AFTER-DEATH CONSCIOUSNESS AND PROCESSES
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EXCEPTIONS: SUICIDES AND ACCIDENTS
CW IV, 301 An Inquirer [embodies] in his query the statement: "I shall certainly affirm that an incurable invalid who finds himself powerless for good in this world has no right to exist ...", upon which H.P.B. comments:
And the affirmation - with a very, very few exceptions - will be as vehemently denied by every occultist, spiritualist, and philosopher, on grounds quite the reverse of those brought forward by Christians. In "godless" Buddhism suicide is as hateful and absurd, since no one can escape rebirth by taking his life.
CW VI, 106 [From a learned Tibetan correspondent] ... What kind of creatures are they who can communicate at will objectively or by physical manifestations? They are impure, grossly sinful souls, 'a-tsa-ras'; suicides; and such as have come to premature deaths by accident and must linger in the earth's atmosphere until the full expiration of their natural term of life.
No right-minded person, whether Lama or Chhipa - non-Buddhist - will venture to defend the practice of necromancy, which, by a natural instinct has been condemned in all the great Dharmas - laws or religions - and intercourse with, and using the powers of these earth-bound souls is simply necromancy.
Now the beings included in the second and third classes - suicides and victims of accident - have not completed their natural term of life; and, as a consequence, though not of necessity mischievous, are earth-bound. The prematurely expelled soul is in an unnatural state; the original impulse under which the being was evolved and cast into the earth-life has not expended itself - the necessary cycle has not been completed, but must nevertheless be fulfilled.
(107) Yet, though earth-bound, these unfortunate beings, victims whether voluntary or involuntary, are only suspended, as it were, in the earth's magnetic attraction. They are not, like the first class, attracted to the living from a savage thirst to feed on their vitality. Their only impulse - and a blind one, since they are generally in a dazed or stunned condition - is, to get into the whirl of rebirth as soon as possible. Their state is what we call a false Bar-do - the period between two incarnations. According to the karma of the being - which is affected by his age and merits in the last birth - this interval will be longer or shorter.
Nothing but some overpoweringly intense attraction, such as a holy love for some dear one in great peril, can draw them with their consent to the living; but by the mesmeric power of a Ba-po, a necromancer - the word is used advisedly, since the necromantic spell is Dzu-trul, or what you term a mesmeric attraction - can force them into our presence. This evocation, however, is totally condemned by those who hold to the Good Doctrine; for the soul thus evoked is made to suffer exceedingly, even though it is not itself but only its image that has been torn or stripped from itself to become the apparition; owing to its premature separation by violence from the body, the 'jang-khog' - animal soul - is yet heavily loaded with material particles - there has not been a natural disintegration of the coarser from the finer molecules - and the necromancer, in compelling this separation artificially, makes it, we might almost say, to suffer as one of us might if he were flayed alive.
Thus, to evoke the first class - the grossly sinful souls - is dangerous for the living; to compel the apparition of the second and third classes is cruel beyond expression to the dead.
(108) In the case of one who died a natural death totally different conditions exist; the soul is almost, and in the case of great purity, entirely beyond the necromancer's reach hence beyond that of a circle of evokers, or spiritualists, who, unconsciously to themselves, practise a veritable necromancer's Sang-ngag, or magnetic incantation. According to the karma of the previous birth the interval of latency - generally passed in a state of stupor - will last from a few minutes to an average of a few weeks, perhaps months. During that time the "jang-khog' -animal soul - prepares in solemn repose for its translation, whether into a higher sphere - if it has reached its seventh human local evolution - or for a higher rebirth, if it has not yet run the last local round.
At all events it has neither will nor power at that time to give any thought to the living. But after its period of latency is over, and the new self enters in full consciousness the blessed region of Devachan - when all earthly mists have been dispersed, and the scenes and relations of the past life come clearly before its spiritual sight - then it may, and does occasionally, when espying all it loved, and that loved it upon earth, draw up to it for communion and by the sole attraction of love, the spirits of the living, who, when returned to their normal condition, imagine that it has descended to them.
SD III, 591 In cases of sudden death, the Lower Manas no more disappears than does the Kama Rupa after death. After the severance the Ray may be said to snap or be dropped. After death such a man cannot go to Devachan, nor yet remain in Kama Loka; his fate is to reincarnate immediately. Such an entity is then an animal Soul plus the intelligence of the severed Ray. The manifestation of this intelligence in the next birth will depend entirely on the physical formation of the brain and on education.
Such a Soul may be re-united with its Higher Ego in the next birth, if the environment is such as to give it a change of aspiration (this is the "grace" of the Christians); or it may go on for two or three incarnations, the Ray becoming weaker and weaker, and gradually dissipating, until it is born a congenital idiot and then finally dissipated in lower forms.
ML 100:103 ... although as actual Egos, children prematurely dying before the perfection of their septenary Entity do not find their way to Deva-Chan ...
ML 106:109 Of course there is a "better sort" of reliquiae; and the "shells" or "earth-walkers" as they are here called, are not necessarily all bad. But even those that are good, are made bad for the time being by mediums. The "shells" may well not care, since they have nothing to lose anyhow. But there is another kind of "Spirits", we have lost sight of: the suicides and those killed by accident. Both kinds can communicate, and both have to pay dearly for such visits. And now I have again to explain what I mean. Well, this class is the one that the French Spiritists call - "les Esprits Souffrants". They are an exception to the rule, as they have to remain within the earth's attraction, and in its atmosphere - the Kama-Loka - till the very last moment of what would have been the natural duration of their lives. In other words, that particular wave of life-evolution must run on to its shore. But it is a sin and a cruelty to revive their memory and intensify their suffering by giving them a chance of living an artificial life; a chance to overload their Karma, by tempting them into open doors, viz. mediums and sensitives, for they will have to pay roundly for every such pleasure. I will explain. The suicides, who, foolishly hoping to escape life, found themselves still alive, - have suffering enough in store for them from that very life. Their punishment is in the intensity of the latter. Having lost by their rash act their seventh and sixth principles, though not for ever, as they can regain both - instead of accepting their punishment, and taking their chances of redemption, they are often made to regret life and tempted to regain a hold upon it by sinful means. In the Kama-Loka, the land of intense desire, they can gratify their earthly yearnings but through a living proxy; and by so doing, at the expiration of the natural term, they generally lose their monad for ever. As to the victims of accident - these fare worse still. Unless they were so good and pure, as to be drawn immediately within the Akashic Samadhi, i.e. to fall into a state of quiet slumber full of rosy dreams, during which, they have no recollection of the accident, but move and live among their familiar friends and scenes, until their natural life-term is finished, when they find themselves born in the Deva-Chan - a gloomy fate is theirs. Unhappy shades, if sinful and sensual they wander about - (not shells, for the connection with their two higher principles is not quite broken) - until their death-hour comes. Cut off in the full flush of earthly passions which bind them to familiar scenes, they are enticed by the opportunities which mediums afford, to gratify them vicariously. They are the Pisachas, the Incubi, and Succubi of mediaeval times. The demons of thirst, gluttony, lust and avarice, - elementaries of intensified craft, wickedness and cruelty; provoking their victims to horrid crimes, and revelling in their commission! They not only ruin their victims, but these psychic vampires, borne along by the torrent of their hellish impulses, at last, at the fixed close of their natural period of life - they are carried out of the earth's aura into regions where for ages they endure exquisite suffering and end with entire destruction.
(107:110) But if the victim of accident or violence, be neither very good nor very bad - an average person - then this may happen to him. A medium who attracts him, will create for him the most undesirable of things: a new combination of Skandhas and a new and evil Karma.
ML 109:112 Now, the causes producing the "new being" and determining the nature of Karma are, as already said -Trishna (or "Tanha") - first, desire for sentient existence and Upadana - which is the realization or consummation of Trishna or that desire. And both of these the medium helps to awaken and develop nec plus ultra in an Elementary, be he a suicide or a victim. (Footnote: Alone the Shells and Elementals [i.e. where the sixth and seventh principles have withdrawn] are left unhurt though the morality of the sensitives can by no means be improved by the intercourse). The rule is, that a person who dies a natural death, will remain from "a few hours to several short years" within the earth's attraction, i.e. in the Kama-Loka. But exceptions are, in the case of suicides and those who die a violent death in general. Hence, one of such Egos, for instance, who was destined to live - say 80 or 90 years, but who either killed himself or was killed by some accident, let us suppose at the age of 20 - would have to pass in the Kama-Loka not "a few years" but in his case 60 or 70 years, as an Elementary, or rather as an "earth walker"; since he is not, unfortunately for him, even a "shell". Happy, thrice happy, in comparison, are those disembodied entities, who sleep their long slumber and live in dream in the bosom of space! And woe to those whose Trishna will attract them to mediums, and woe to the latter, who tempt them with such an easy Upadana. For in grasping them, and satisfying their thirst for life, the medium helps to develop in them - is in fact the cause of - a new set of Skandhas, a new body, with far worse tendencies and passions than was the one they lost. All the future of this new body will be determined thus, not only by the Karma of demerit of the previous set or group but also by that of the new set of the future being. Were the mediums and spiritualists but to know, as I said, that with every new "angel guide" they welcome with rapture, they entice the latter into an Upadhana which will be productive of a series of untold evils for the new Ego that will be born under its nefarious shadow, and that with every séance - especially for materialization - they multiply the causes for misery, causes that will make the unfortunate Ego fail in his spiritual birth, or be reborn into a worse existence than ever - they would, perhaps, be less lavishing their hospitality.
ML 119:123 Exceptional cases, my friend. Suicides can and generally do [communicate with earth], but not so with others. The good and pure sleep a quiet blissful sleep, full of happy visions of earth-life and have no consciousness of being already for ever beyond that life. Those who were neither good nor bad, will sleep a dreamless, still a quiet sleep; while the wicked will in proportion to their grossness suffer the pangs of a nightmare lasting years; their thoughts become living things, their wicked passions - real substance, and they receive back on their heads all the misery they have heaped upon others. Reality and fact if described would yield a far more terrible Inferno than even Dante had imagined!"
ML 120:123 Q. What difference can there be to take the case of suicides, whether these be conscious or unconscious, whether the man blows his brains out, or only drinks or womanizes himself to death, or kills himself by over-study? In each case equally the normal natural hour of death is anticipated and a spirit and not a shell the result - or again what difference does it make whether a man is hung for murder, killed in battle, in a railway train or a powder explosion, or drowned or burnt to death, or knocked over by cholera or plague, or jungle fever or any of the other thousand and one epidemic diseases of which the seeds were not ab initio in his constitution, but were introduced there in consequence of his happening to visit a particular locality or undergo a given experience, both of which he might have avoided? Equally in all cases the normal death hour is anticipated and a spirit instead of a shell the result.
ML 127:131 [In answer to questions re suicides etc. in Letter XX A, p 123] Although not "wholly dissevered from their sixth and seventh principles" and quite "potent" in the séance room, nevertheless to the day when they [suicides] would have died a natural death, they are separated from the higher principles by a gulf. The sixth and seventh remain passive and negative, whereas, in cases of accidental death the higher and the lower groups mutually attract each other. In cases of good and innocent Egos, moreover, the latter gravitates irresistibly toward the sixth and seventh, and thus - either slumbers surrounded by happy dreams, or sleeps a dreamless profound sleep until the hour strikes. With a little reflection, and an eye to the eternal justice and fitness of things, you will see why. The victim whether good or bad is irresponsible for his death, even if his death were due to some action in a previous life or an antecedent birth, it was an act, in short, of the Law of Retribution, still, it was not the direct result of an act deliberately committed by the personal Ego of that life during which he happened to be killed. Had he been allowed to live longer he may have atoned for his antecedent sins still more effectually: and even now, the Ego having been made to pay off the debit of his maker (the previous Ego) is free from the blows of retributive justice. The Dhyan Chohans who have no hand in the guidance of the living human Ego, protect the helpless victim when it is violently thrust out of its element into a new one, before it is matured and made fit and ready for it. We tell you what we know, for we are made to learn it through personal experience. You know what I mean and I CAN SAY NO MORE! Yes; the victims whether good or bad sleep, to awake but at the hour of the last Judgement, which is that hour of the supreme struggle between the sixth and seventh, and the fifth and fourth at the threshold of the gestation state. And even after that, when the sixth and seventh carrying off a portion of the fifth have gone to their Akashic Samadhi, even then it may happen that the spiritual spoil from the fifth will prove too weak to be reborn in Deva-Chan; in which case it will there and then reclothe itself in a new body, the subjective "Being" created from the Karma of the victim (or no-victim as the case may be) and enter upon a new earth-existence whether upon this or any other planet. In no case then, - with the exception of suicides and shells, is there any possibility for any other to be attracted to a séance room. And it is clear that "this teaching is not in opposition to our former doctrine" and that while "shells" will be many, - Spirits very few.
ML 128:132 A. There is a great difference in our humble opinion. We, who look at it from a stand-point which would prove very unacceptable to Life Insurance Companies, say, that there are very few if any of the men who indulge in the above enumerated vices, who feel perfectly sure that such a course of action will lead them eventually to premature death. Such is the penalty of Maya. The "vices" will not escape their punishment, but it is the cause not the effect that will be punished, especially an unforeseen though probable effect. As well call a suicide a man who meets his death in a storm at sea, as one who kills himself with "overstudy". Water is liable to drown a man, and too much brain work to produce a softening of the brain which may carry him away. In such a case no one ought to cross the Kalapani nor even take a bath for fear of getting faint in it and drowned (for we all know of such cases;) nor should a man do his duty, least of all sacrifice himself for even a laudable and highly-beneficent cause, as many of us - (H.P.B. for one) - do. Would Mr Hume call her a suicide were she to drop down dead over her present work? Motive is everything and man is punished in a case of direct responsibility, never otherwise. In the victim's case the natural hour of death was anticipated accidentally, while in that of the suicide, death is brought on voluntarily and with a full and deliberate knowledge of its immediate consequences. Thus a man who causes his death in a fit of temporary insanity is not a felo de se to the great grief and often trouble of the Life Insurance Companies. Nor is he left a prey to the temptations of the Kama Loka but falls asleep like any other victim. A Guiteau will not remain in the earth's atmosphere with his higher principles over him - inactive and paralysed, still there. Guiteau is gone into a state during the period of which, he will be ever firing at his President, thereby tossing into confusion and shuffling the destinies of millions of persons; where he will be ever tried and ever hung. Bathing in the reflections of his deeds and thoughts - especially those he indulged in on the scaffold ... As for those who were "knocked over by cholera, or plague, or jungle fever" they could not have succumbed had they not the germs for the development of such diseases in them from birth.
So then, the great bulk of the physical phenomena of Spiritualists" my dear brother, are not "due to these Spirits" but indeed - to "shells".
ML 132:136 On margin I said "rarely" but I have not pronounced the word "never". Accidents occur under the most various circumstances; and men are not only killed accidentally, or die as suicides but are also murdered - something we have not even touched upon. I can well understand your perplexity but can hardly help you. Bear always in mind that there are exceptions to every rule and to these again and other side exceptions, and be always prepared to learn something new. I can easily understand we are accused of contradictions and inconsistencies - aye, even to writing one thing to-day and denying it to-morrow. What you were taught is the RULE. Good and pure "accidents" sleep in the Akasa, ignorant of their change; very wicked and impure - suffer all the tortures of a horrible nightmare. The majority - neither very good nor very bad, the victims of accident or violence (including murder) - some sleep, others become Nature pisachas, and while a small minority may fall victims to mediums and derive a new set of skandhas from the medium who attracts them. Small as their number may be, their fate is to be the most deplored.
.. Remember still even in the case of suicides there are many who will never allow themselves to be drawn into the vortex of mediumship.
PSYCHIC AND SPIRITUALISTIC PHENOMENA
[This section contains a selection of only the more important passages on the subject in the books. There is much more information.]
Key 28 Enq: How do you account for them [spiritualistic phenomena] then?
Theo: In many ways. The causes of such manifestations are by no means so simple as the Spiritualists would like to believe. Foremost of all, the deus ex machina of the so-called "materializations" is usually the astral body or "double" of the medium or of someone present. This astral body is also the producer or operating force in the manifestations of slate-writing, "Davenport"-like manifestations, and so on.
Enq: You say "usually"; then what is it that produces the rest?
Theo: That depends on the nature of the manifestations. Sometimes the astral remains, the Kama-lokic "shells" of the vanished personalities that were; at other times, Elementals. "Spirit" is a word of manifold and wide significance. I really do not know what Spiritualists mean by the term; but what we understand them to claim is that the physical phenomena are produced by the reincarnating Ego, the Spiritual and immortal "individuality". And this hypothesis we entirely reject. The Conscious Individuality of the disembodied cannot materialize, nor can it return from its own mental Devachanic sphere to the plane of terrestrial objectivity.
Enq: But many of the communications received from the "spirits" show not only intelligence, but a knowledge of facts not known to the medium, and sometimes even not consciously present to the mind of the investigator, or any of those who compose the audience.
(29) Theo: This does not necessarily prove that the intelligence and knowledge you speak of belong to spirits, or emanate from disembodied souls. Somnambulists have been known to compose music and poetry and to solve mathematical problems while in their trance state, without having ever learnt music or mathematics. Others answered intelligently to questions put to them and even, in several cases, spoke languages, such as Hebrew and Latin, of which they were entirely ignorant when awake - all this in a state of profound sleep. Will you, then, maintain that this was caused by "spirits"?
Enq: But how would you explain it?
Theo: We assert that the divine spark in man being one and identical in its essence with the Universal Spirit, our "spiritual Self" is practically omniscient, but that it cannot manifest its knowledge owing to the impediments of matter. Now the more these impediments are removed, in other words, the more the physical body is paralysed, as to its own independent activity and consciousness, as in deep sleep or trance, or, again, in illness, the more fully can the inner Self manifest on this plane. This is our explanation of those truly wonderful phenomena of a higher order, in which undeniable intelligence and knowledge are exhibited.
Key 30 Footnote: [regarding "intercommunication of the spirit of the living man with that of disembodied personalities"] We say that in such cases it is not the spirits of the dead who descend on earth, but the spirits of the living that ascend to the pure Spiritual Souls. In truth there is neither ascending nor descending, but a change of state or condition for the medium. The body of the latter becoming paralysed, or "entranced", the spiritual Ego is free from its trammels, and finds itself on the same plane of consciousness with the disembodied spirits. Hence, although there is hardly a human being whose Ego does not hold free intercourse, during the sleep of his body, with those whom it loved and lost, yet, on account of the positiveness and non-receptivity of its physical envelope and brain, no recollection, or a very dim dream-like remembrance, lingers in the memory of the person once awake.
Key 144 Enq: And is it this nonentity [Kama-rupic "shell"] which we find materializing in séance rooms with Mediums?
Theo: It is this nonentity. A true nonentity, however,only as to reasoning or cogitating powers, still an Entity, however astral and fluidic, as shown in certain cases when, having been magnetically and unconsciously drawn towards a medium, it is revived for a time and lives in him by proxy, so to speak. ... In the Medium's Aura, it lives a kind of vicarious life and reasons and speaks either through the medium's brain or those of other persons present.
Key 145 And if the "Spirits of the dead" are enabled to return and see all that is going on on earth, and especially in their homes, what kind of bliss can be in store for them?
Enq: What do you mean? Why should this interfere with their bliss?
Theo: Simply this; and here is an instance. A mother dies, leaving behind her little helpless children - orphans, whom she adores - perhaps a beloved husband also. We say that her "Spirit" or Ego - that individuality which is now all impregnated, for the entire Devachanic period, with the noblest feelings held by its late personality, i.e., love for her children, pity for those who suffer, and so on - we say that it is now entirely separated from the "vale of tears", that its future bliss consists in that blessed ignorance of all the woes it left behind. Spiritualists say, on the contrary, that it is as vividly aware of them, and more so than before, for "Spirits see more than mortals in the flesh do". We say that the bliss of the Devachanee consists in its complete conviction that it has never left the earth, and that there is no such thing as death at all; that the post-mortem spiritual consciousness of the mother will represent to her that she lives surrounded by her children and all those whom she loved; that no gap, no link, will be missing to make her disembodied state the most perfect and absolute happiness. The Spiritualists deny this point blank. According to their doctrine, unfortunate man is not liberated even by death from the sorrows of this life. Not a drop from the life-cup of pain and suffering will miss his lips; and nolens volens, since he sees everything now, shall he drink it to the bitter dregs. Thus, the loving wife, who during her lifetime was ready to save her husband sorrow at the price of her heart's blood, is now doomed to see, in utter helplessness, his despair, and to register every hot tear he sheds for her loss. Worse than that, she may see the tears dry too soon, and another beloved face shine on him, the father of her children; find another woman replacing her in his affections; doomed to hear her orphans giving the holy name of mother to one indifferent to them, and to see those little children neglected, if not ill-treated ...
(147) Enq: .. How can you reconcile the theory of Soul's omniscience with its blindness to that which is taking place on earth?
Theo: Because such is the law of love and mercy. During every Devachanic period the Ego, omniscient as it is per se, clothes itself, so to say, with the reflection of the personality that was. I have just told you that the ideal efflorescence of all the abstract, therefore undying and eternal qualities or attributes, such as love and mercy, the love of the good, the true and the beautiful, that ever spoke in the heart of the living personality, clung after death to the Ego, and therefore followed it to Devachan. For the time being, then, the Ego becomes the ideal reflection of the human being it was when last on earth, and that is not omniscient. Were it that, it would never be in the state we call Devachan at all.
Key 191 Enq: .. does not the author of Isis Unveiled) stand accused of having preached against reincarnation?
Theo: By those who have misunderstood what was said, yes. At the time that work was written, reincarnation was not believed in by any Spiritualists, either English or American, and what is said there of reincarnation was directed against the French Spiritists, whose theory is as unphilosophical and absurd as the Eastern teaching is logical and self-evident in its truth. The Reincarnationists of the Alan Kardec School believe in an arbitrary and immediate reincarnation. With them the dead father can incarnate in his own unborn daughter, and so on. They have neither Devachan, Karma, nor any philosophy that would warrant or prove the necessity of consecutive rebirths. But how can the author of Isis argue against Karmic reincarnation, at long intervals varying between 1,000 and 1,500 years, when it is the fundamental belief of both Buddhists and Hindus?
(192) Enq: Then you reject the theories of both the Spiritists and the Spiritualists, in their entirety?
Theo: Not in their entirety, but only with regard to their respective fundamental beliefs. Both rely on what their "Spirits" tell them; and both disagree as much with each other as we Theosophists disagree with both. Truth is one; and when we hear the French spooks preaching reincarnation, and the English spooks denying and denouncing the doctrine, we say that either the French or the English "Spirits" do not know what they are talking about. We believe with the Spiritualists and the Spiritists in the existence of "Spirits", or invisible Beings endowed with more or less intelligence. But, while in our teachings their kinds and genera are legion, our opponents admit of no other than human disembodied "Spirits", which, to our knowledge, are mostly Kama-lokic SHELLS.
Enq: You seem very bitter against Spirits. As you have given me your views and your reasons for disbelieving in the materialization of, and direct communication in séances, with the disembodied spirits - or the "spirits of the dead" - would you mind enlightening me as to one more fact? Why are some Theosophists never tired of saying how dangerous is intercourse with spirits, and mediumship? Have they any particular reason for this?
Theo: We must suppose so. I know I have. Owing to my familiarity for over half a century with these invisible, yet but too tangible and undeniable "influences", from the conscious Elementals, semi-conscious shells, down to the utterly senseless and nondescript spooks of all kinds, I claim a certain right to my views.
(193) Enq: Can you give an instance or instances to show why these practices should be regarded as dangerous?
Theo: This would require more time than I can give you. Every cause must be judged by the effects it produces. Go over the history of Spiritualism for the last fifty years, ever since its reappearance in this century in America - and judge for yourself whether it has done its votaries more good or harm. Pray understand me. I do not speak against real Spiritualism, but against the modern movement which goes under that name, and the so-called philosophy invented to explain its phenomena.
Enq: Don't you believe in their phenomena at all?
Theo: It is because I believe in them with too good reason, and (save some cases of deliberate fraud) know them to be as true as that you and I live, that all my being revolts against them. Once more I speak only of physical, not mental or even psychic phenomena. Like attracts like. There are several high-minded, pure, good men and women, known to me personally, who have passed years of their lives under the direct guidance and even protection of high "Spirits", whether disembodied or planetary. But these Intelligences are not of the type of the John Kings and the Ernests who figure in séance rooms. These Intelligences guide and control mortals only in rare and exceptional cases to which they are attracted and magnetically drawn by the Karmic past of the individual. It is not enough to sit "for development" in order to attract them. That only opens the door to a swarm of "spooks", good, bad and indifferent, to which the medium becomes a slave for life. It is against such promiscuous mediumship and intercourse with goblins that I raise my voice, not against spiritual mysticism. The latter is ennobling and holy; the former is of just the same nature as the phenomena of two centuries ago, for which so many witches and wizards have been made to suffer. Read Glanvil and other authors on the subject of witchcraft, and you will find recorded there the parallels of most, if not all, of the physical phenomena of nineteenth century Spiritualism.
(194) Enq: Do you mean to suggest that it is witchcraft and nothing more?
Theo: What I mean is that, whether conscious or unconscious, all this dealing with the dead is necromancy, and a most dangerous practice. For ages before Moses such raising of the dead was regarded by all the intelligent nations as sinful and cruel, inasmuch as it disturbs the rest of the souls and interferes with their evolutionary development into higher states. The collective wisdom of all past centuries has ever been loud in denouncing such practices. Finally, I say, what I have never ceased repeating orally and in print for fifteen years: While some of the co-called "spirits" do not know what they are talking about, repeating merely - like poll-parrots -what they find in the mediums' and other people's brains, others are most dangerous, and can only lead one to evil. These are two self-evident facts.
[This is followed by much more justifying caution when evoking or dealing with "spirits".]
CW I, 35 Even the materialized form of my uncle at the Eddy's was the picture; it was I who sent it out from my own mind, as I had come out to make experiments without telling it to any one. It was like an empty outer envelope of my uncle that I seemed to throw on the medium's astral body. I saw and followed the process. I knew Will Eddy was a genuine medium, and the phenomenon as real as it could be, and, therefore, when days of trouble came for him I defended him in the papers. In short, for all the years of experience in America I never succeeded in identifying, in one single instance, those I wanted to see. It is only in my dreams and personal visions that I was brought in direct contact with my own blood relatives and friends, those between whom and myself there had been a strong mutual spiritual love ... For certain psychomagnetic reasons, too long to be explained here, the shells of those spirits who loved us best will not, with a very few exceptions, approach us. They have no need of it since, unless they were irretrievably wicked, they have us with them in Devachan, that state of bliss in which the monads are surrounded with all those, and that, which they have loved - objects of spiritual aspirations as well as human entities. "Shells" once separated from their higher principles have nought in common with the latter. They are not drawn to their relatives and friends, but rather to those with whom their terrestrial, sensuous affinities are the strongest. Thus the shell of a drunkard will be drawn to one who is either a drunkard already or has a germ of using his organs to satisfy the craving; one who dies full of sexual passion for a still living partner will have its shell drawn to him or her, etc. We Theosophists, and especially occultists, must never lose sight of the profound axiom of the Esoteric Doctrine which teaches us that it is we, the living, who are drawn toward the spirits - but that the latter can never, even though they would, descend to us, or rather into our sphere.
CW I, 287 They (the kabalists) taught that man's spirit descended from the great ocean of spirit, and is therefore, per se, pure and divine; but its soul or capsule, through the (allegorical) fall of Adam, became contaminated with the world of darkness, or the world of Satan (evil), of which it must be purified, before it could ascend again to celestial happiness. Suppose a drop of water enclosed within a capsule of gelatine and thrown in the ocean; so long as the capsule remains whole, the drop of water remains isolated: break the envelope, and the drop becomes a part of the ocean, its individual existence has ceased. So it is with the spirit, so long as its ray is enclosed in its plastic mediator or soul it has an individual existence. Destroy this capsule (the astral man, who then becomes an elementary), which destruction may occur from the consequences of sin, in the most depraved and vicious, and the spirit returns back to its original abode - the individualization of man has ceased. This militates ... with the idea of progression, that Spiritualists generally entertain. If they understood the law of harmony, they would see their error. It is only by this law that individual life can be sustained; and the farther we deviate from harmony the more difficult it is to regain it.
CW I, 288 When we die, our interior light (the soul) ascends, agreeably to the attraction of its star (the spirit), but it must first of all get rid of the coils of the serpent (earthly evil -sin); that is to say, of the unpurified astral light, which surrounds and holds it captive, unless, by the force of will, it frees and elevates itself. This immersion of the living soul in the dead light (the emanations of everything that is evil, which pollute the earth's magnetic atmosphere, as the exhalation of a swamp does the air) is a dreadful torture; the soul freezes and burns therein, at the same time.
CW I, 293 By its complex nature, the soul may descend and ally itself so closely to the corporeal nature as to exclude a higher life from exerting any moral influence upon it. On the other hand, it can so closely attach to the nous or spirit, as to share its potency, in which case its vehicle, physical man, will appear as a God even during his terrestrial life. Unless such union of soul and spirit does occur, either during this life or after physical death, the individual man is not immortal as an entity. The psyche is sooner or later disintegrated. Though the man may have gained "the whole world", he has lost his "soul". Paul, when teaching the anastasis, or continuation of individual spiritual life after death, set forth that there was a physical body which was raised in incorruptible substance. The spiritual body is most assuredly not one of the bodies, or visible or tangible larvae, which form in circle-rooms, and are so improperly termed "materialized spirits". When once the metanoia, the full developing of spiritual life, has lifted the spiritual body out of the psychical (the disembodied, corruptible astral man, what Colonel Olcott calls "soul"), it becomes in strict ratio with its progress, more and more an abstraction for the corporeal senses. It can influence, inspire, and even communicate with men subjectively; it can make itself felt, and even, in those rare instances, when the clairvoyant is perfectly pure and perfectly lucid, seen by the inner eye (which is the eye of the purified psyche - soul). But how can it ever manifest objectively?
CW IV, 101 In the normal or natural state, the sensations are transmitted from the lowest physical to the highest spiritual body, i.e., from the first to the 6th principle (the 7th being no organized or conditioned body, but an infinite, hence unconditioned principle or state), the faculties of each body having to awaken the faculties of the next higher one, to transmit the message in succession, until they reach the last, when, having received the impression, the latter (the spiritual soul) sends it back in an inverse order to the body. Hence, the faculties of some of the "bodies" (we use this word for want of a better term) being less developed, they fail to transmit the message correctly to the highest principle, and thus also fail to produce the right impression upon the physical senses, as a telegram may have started for the place of its destination faultless, and have been bungled up and misinterpreted by the telegraph operator at some intermediate station. This is why some people, otherwise endowed with great intellectual powers and perceptive faculties, are often utterly unable to appreciate -say, the beauties of nature, or some particular moral quality; as, however perfect their physical intellect - unless the original, material or rough physical impression conveyed has passed in a circuit through the sieve of every "principle" -(from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, up to 7, and down again from 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, to No. 1) - and that every "sieve" is in good order - the spiritual perception will always be imperfect. The Yogi, who, by a constant training and incessant watchfulness, keeps his septenary instrument in good tune and whose spirit has obtained a perfect control over all, can, at will, and by paralysing the functions of the four intermediate principles, communicate from body to spirit and vice versa - direct.
[The author says: "The Yogi forms a direct connection between his spiritual soul and any faculty, and, by the power of his trained will, that is by magnetic influence, concentrates all his powers in the soul, which enables him to grasp the subject of his enquiry and convey it back to the physical organs, through the various channels of communication." H.P.B. adds:]
Or - direct, which is oftener the case, we believe.
[The author also says: "If he desires to traverse space in spirit, this is easily done by him by transferring the faculty of will .." H.P.B. adds:]
From the physical to the Spiritual body and concentrating it there, as we understand it.
CW IV, 120 .. to show the great difference that exists between the terms "soul" and "spirit" - one the reliquiae of the personal EGO, the other the pure essence of the spiritual INDIVIDUALITY - the term "spirit" had to be often used in the sense given to it by the Spiritualists, as well as other similar conventional terms, as, otherwise, a still greater confusion would have been caused. Therefore, the meaning of the three sentences, cited by our friend, should be thus understood:
On page sixty-seven wherein it is stated that many of the spirits, subjectively controlling mediums, are "human disembodied spirits", etc., the "controlling" must not be understood in the sense of a "spirit" possessing himself of the organism of a medium; nor that, in each case, it is a "spirit"; for often it is but a shell in its preliminary stage of dissolution, when most of the physical intelligence and faculties are yet fresh and have not begun to disintegrate, or fade out. A "spirit", or the spiritual Ego, cannot descend to the medium, but it can attract the spirit of the latter to itself, and it can do this only during the two intervals - before and after its "gestation period". Interval the first is that period between the physical death and the merging of the spiritual Ego into that state which is known in the Arhat esoteric doctrine as "Bar-do". We have translated this as the "gestation" period, and it lasts from a few days to several years, according to the evidence of the adepts. Interval the second lasts so long as the merits of the old Ego entitle the being to reap the fruit of its reward in its new regenerated Egoship. It occurs after the gestation period is over, and the new spiritual Ego is reborn - like the fabled Phoenix from its ashes - from the old one. The locality, which the former inhabits, is called by the northern Buddhist Occultists "Deva-chan", the word answering, perhaps, to Paradise or the Kingdom of Heaven of the Christian elect. Having enjoyed a time of bliss, proportionate to his deserts, the new personal Ego gets reincarnated into a personality when the remembrance of his previous Egoship, of course, fades out, and he can "communicate" no longer with his fellowmen on the planet he has left forever, as the individual he was there known to be. After numberless reincarnations, and on numerous planets and in various spheres, a time will come, at the end of the Maha-Yug or great cycle, when each individuality will have become so spiritualized that, before its final absorption into the One All, its series of past personal existences will marshal themselves before him in a retrospective order like the many days of some period of a man's existence.
The words - "their being benevolent or wicked in quality largely depends upon the medium's private morality" - which conclude the first quoted sentence mean simply this: a pure medium's Ego can be drawn to and made, for an instant, to unite in a magnetic (?) relation with a real disembodied spirit, whereas the soul of an impure medium can only confabulate with the astral soul, or "shell", of the deceased. The former possibility explains those extremely rare cases of direct writing in recognized autographs, and of messages from the higher class of disembodied intelligences. We should say then that the personal morality of the medium would be a fair test of the genuineness of the manifestation. As quoted by our friend, "affection to those whom they have left on earth" is "one of the most powerful attractions" between two loving spirits - the embodied and the disembodied one.
CW IV, 244 For the sake of those of our friends who have made of spiritualism a new "Revelation", a "glorious faith", as they call it, we feel really sorry to be forced to hurt their feelings by our "blank denial". But truth stands higher in our opinion than any earthly consideration ever will; and, it is truth - at least we so regard it - that compels us to answer those, who come to us for an explanation, according to the teachings of occultism, instead of telling them, as Spiritualists would, that such phenomena are all produced by disembodied mortals, or spirits. To ascertain the laws according to which psycho-physiological manifestations take place from a spiritualistic standpoint is, no doubt a gratifying kind of knowledge; but we, Occultists, are not satisfied with only this. We seek to learn primal, as well as secondary, causes; to fathom the real, not apparent, nature of that power that performs such strange, seemingly supernatural operations; and, we think, we have succeeded in unravelling some of its mysteries and in explaining much of the hitherto unexplained. Hence our conviction that the Force which the Spiritualists view as a thinking, intelligent Principle, a power, that can never be manifested outside the magnetic aura of a sensitive, is oftener a blind energy than the conscious production of any beings or spirits; and also, that this Force can be replaced by the conscious will of a living man, one of those initiates, as a few may yet be found in the East. We cannot be content with the easygoing theory of returning spirits. We have seen too much of it. And, since we are thoroughly convinced that nearly everything in connection with this mysterious agent - the "Astral Serpent" of Eliphas Levi - had been discovered ages ago, however little knowledge of it we may claim personally, yet we know sufficiently, we think, to judge on the whole correctly of its influence upon, and direct relations with, the corporeal machines called mediums; as also of its intercorrelations with the aura of every person present in the séance-room. Moreover, we maintain that it looks far more reasonable to follow the uniform teaching upon this subject of one school, than to be hopelessly groping for truth in the dark, with our intellects literally rent asunder by the thousand and one conflicting "teachings" of the supposed denizens of the "Spirit-World".
(245) Had our correspondent asked - for an explanation of the weird phenomena that have just occurred in his family - one possessed practically of that knowledge, he would no doubt, have received perfectly correct information as to what really took place, and how the phenomena have come to pass (that is to say, if the adept had found [it] worth his while to undergo a mentally painful process, and safe to divulge the whole truth to the public). While now, he has to be content with a few generalities. We can tell him for a certainty what it was not, but we cannot undertake to say what it really was, since similar effects may be produced by a hundred various causes.
We will not touch upon the question of foreboding dreams, since the existence of such is proved to all but incurable sceptics, and is easily accounted for by everyone who believes and knows that inside his body of flesh, the gross envelope, there is the real, generally invisible, body of ethereal elements, the Ego, that watches and never sleeps. The facts as described seem certainly as though they belonged to that class of phenomena which are regarded as "spiritual", and which occur, under ordinary circumstances, only where there are one or more mediums in the family. The regular and periodic trance-fits, which our correspondent's relative had suddenly become subject to for several consecutive nights, would point to that lady as being the cause, the principal generator of the phenomena. But, since we know nothing of her previous state of health, and lack further details that might give an additional clue to the mystery, our explanation must be regarded as a simple suggestion. Though the Occultists reject, on the whole, the theory of disembodied Egos manifesting after death, yet they admit of certain possibilities of a real spirit's presence, either preceding or directly following physical death, especially when the latter was sudden as in the case of the writer's niece. We are taught by those in whom we have full confidence, that, in such rapid cases of dissolution, the body may be quite dead, and buried, and yet the brain - though its functions are stopped - may preserve a latent spark of will or desire, connected with some predominating feeling in life which will have the effect of throwing into objectivity, of thrusting so to say, into a certain magnetic current of attraction the astral Ego, or doppelgaenger, of the dead body. Whenever, we are told, death is brought on by suffocation, apoplexy, concussion of the brain, haemorrhage,, or some such change, "the tripod of life" - as the Greeks called it - the heart, the lungs and the brain, the fundamental basis upon which animal life is erected - is simultaneously affected in its three parts; the lungs and heart, the organs the most intimately associated in the circulation of the blood, becoming inactive, and the blood not being sufficiently aerated on account of this inactivity, the latter often becomes the cause of putting a sudden stop to the functions of the brain, and so terminates life.
(246) Therefore, before pronouncing upon the value of an apparition, an Occultist has always to ascertain whether complete death was brought on by, or primarily due to the death of the lungs, the heart, or the brain. But of all these the latter - on account of its double functions - the spiritual and the physical - is the most tenacious. As cessation of breathing and of the pulse, stoppage of the heart, coldness and paleness of the surface, a film on the eye, and the rigidity of the joints are no sure indications of real physical death; and, as the facies Hippocratica has deceived more than one experienced practitioner; so, even complete physical death is no indication that the innermost spiritual life of the brain is equally dead. The activity of the mind remains to the last; and the final physical function of the brain in connection with some feeling, or passion may impart, for all our physiologists can say to the contrary, a kind of post-mortem energy to the bewildered astral Ego, and thus cause it to continue its dynamic, seemingly conscious action even for a few days after death. The impulse imparted by the still living brain dies out long after that brain has ceased its functions forever. During life the astral Ego is dependent on, and quite subservient to, the will of the physical brain. It acts automatically, and according to how the wires are being pulled by either our trained or untrained thought. But after death - which is the birth of the spiritual entity into the world or condition of effects, the latter having now become for it a world of causes - the astral entity must be given time to evolute and mature a shadowy brain of its own before it can begin to act independently. Whatever its subsequent fate, and whatever happens in the meanwhile, no action of it can be regarded as a result of a conscious, intelligent will, no more than we would hold any gestures of a newly-born infant for actions resulting from a determined and conscious desire.
CW IV, 293 .. What we say is, that no "spirit" can tell, do, or know, anything that is absolutely unknown to either the medium or one of the sitters. Some "shells" have a dim intelligence of their own.
CW V, 47 It is not logical to say that all the entities that manifest themselves are essentially bad." We have never said it. We do not say that these are devils), but that they are unfortunate vampires, generally unconscious - mere shells ... That is why we do not consent to degrade the sublime word Spirit by applying it to the Elementaries whose spirit is in Devachan, from whence it never descends although the spirit of the medium can ascend thereto; and while we have nothing to say against subjective communication with the spirits, nevertheless we would consider ourselves practising necromancy were we to encourage the larvae to play the part of the latter in material and physical manifestations.
CW V, 48 Theosophy (Occultism would be more correct) in dividing the human being into entities called: Animal intelligence, higher intelligence, Spirit, etc., does not assert, nor even imply "the disintegration and consequently the destruction of the conscious, individual Ego". On the contrary, Occultism protects it from every kind of profanation, from the sacrilegious outrage of making it bear the heavy burden of absurdities, lies and impostures, of the goblins and larvae which have been adorned with that divine name, that does not belong to them nor does it suit them in many cases. Do the Spiritists wish us to believe that all their "Spirits" are Angels of Light, that they always show themselves true and honest, that they have never lied or deceived anyone? Really! We Occultists say that in our estimation it is a horrible blasphemy to give these impermanent beings the holy name of "Spirit", and Soul! Why should we not give to everything its proper name? Where is the chaos and the destruction of the "conscious ego" in that most necessary division? Can one doubt that the intelligence and the soul are two different things; that the first can be destroyed by just a blow on the head with a hammer without the soul feeling it at all? The aggregations which the Spiritists call memory, intelligence, etc., are only the transitory attributes of the fifth principle, which itself is also temporary. To render the conscious ego eternal, in short to assure its immortality, it is absolutely necessary that it be transferred (not in its terrestrial entirety, but in the essence of its spirituality) to the 6th and 7th Principles, to the monad, in fact. We appeal to the philosophy of the whole world to inform us if we can accept, while remaining within the bounds of rigid logic, the absolute immortality of the divine soul, while firmly believing that the five principles which clothe it during its earthly existences, continue with the divine essence, attached to it like barnacles to the sides of a ship!
CW V, 50 We have received our doctrines from those who do not need, in order to explore and learn the mysteries of the Universe, to avail themselves of either the disincarnate spirits or their "shells", and what an enormous advantage that is! The Spiritists, on the other hand, who, like the blind, have to employ the eyes of others to cognize objects too far away to be touched, are only able to learn what those "spirits" are willing to tell them. The more fortunate among them, having had to trust to somnambulists who are not able to guide at will their temporarily liberated souls, cannot always receive correct impressions because their soul (the fifth principle) is itself guided by the magnetizer, whose preconceived and often fixed ideas dominate the subject and make him speak in the direction in which they tend more or less themselves, while the adepts do not suffer from these unavoidable limitations. For them, the evidence is not second-hand, nor post-mortem, but really the evidence of their own faculties, purified and prepared through long years to receive it correctly and without any foreign influence that would make them deviate from the straight road. For thousands of years, one initiate after another, one great hierophant succeeded by other hierophants, has explored and re-explored the invisible Universe, the worlds of the interplanetary regions, during long periods when his conscious soul, united to the spiritual soul and to the ALL, free and almost omnipotent, left his body. It is not only the initiates belonging to the "Great Brotherhood of the Himalayas", who give us these doctrines; it is not only the Buddhist Arhats who teach them, but they are found in the secret writings of Samkaracharya, of Gautama Buddha, of Zoroaster, as well as in those of the Rishis.
The mysteries of life as well as of death, of the visible and invisible worlds, have been fathomed and observed by initiated adepts in all epochs and in all nations. They have studied these during the solemn moments of union of their divine monad with the universal Spirit, and they have recorded their experiences. Thus by comparing and checking the observations of one with those of another, and finding none of the contradictions so frequently noticed in the dicta, or communications of the mediums, but on the contrary, having been able to ascertain that the visions of adepts who lived 10,000 years ago are invariably corroborated and verified by those of modern adepts, to whom the writings of the former never do become known until later - the truth has been established. A definite science, based on personal observation and experience, corroborated by continuous demonstrations, containing irrefutable proofs, for those who study it, has thus been established. I venture to believe that this science is just as good as that which relies on the accounts of one or even of several somnambulists.
CW VI, 108 [From a learned Tibetan Correspondent] "Therefore we differ radically from the western Rolang-pa - spiritualists - as to what they see or communicate with in their circles and through their unconscious necromancy. We say it is but the physical dregs, or spiritless remains of the late being; that which has been exuded, cast off and left behind when its finer particles passed onward into the great Beyond.
"In it linger some fragments of memory and intellect. It certainly was once a part of the being, and so possesses that modicum of interest; but it is not the being in reality and truth. Formed of matter, however, etherealized, it must sooner or later be drawn away into vortices where the conditions for its atomic disintegration exist.
"From the dead body the other principles ooze out together. A few hours later the second principle - that of life - is totally extinct, and separates from both the human and ethereal envelopes. The third - the vital double - finally dissipates when the last particles of the body disintegrate. There now remain the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh principles; the body of will; the human soul; the spiritual soul and pure spirit, which is a facet of the Eternal. The last two, joined to, or separated from the personal self, form the everlasting individuality and cannot perish. The remainder proceeds to the state of gestation - the astral self and whatever survived in it of the will, previous to the dissolution of the physical body.
"Hence for any conscious action in this state are required the qualifications of an adept, or an intense, undying, ardent and holy love for someone whom the deceased leaves behind him on earth; as otherwise the astral ego either becomes a 'bhuta' -'ro-lang' in Tibetan - or proceeds to its further transmigrations in higher spheres.
"In the former case the Lha, or 'man-spirit', can sojourn among the living for an indefinite time, at his own pleasure; in the latter the so-called 'spirit' will tarry and delay his final translation but for a short period; the body of desire being held compact, in proportion to the intensity of the love felt by the soul and its unwillingness to part with the loved ones.
"At the first relaxation of the will it will disperse, and the spiritual self, temporarily losing its personality and all remembrance of it, ascends to higher regions. Such is the teaching. None can overshadow mortals but the elect, the 'Accomplished', the 'Byang-tsiub', or the 'Bodhisattwas' alone -they who have penetrated the great secret of life and death - as they are able to prolong, at will, their stay on earth after 'dying'. Rendered into the vulgar phraseology, such overshadowing is to 'be born again and again' for the benefit of mankind.
"If the spiritualists, instead of conferring the power of "controlling" and "guiding" living persons upon every wraith calling itself "John" or "Peter", limited the faculty of moving and inspiring a few chosen pure men and women only to such Bodhisattwas or holy initiates - whether born as Buddhists or Christians, Brahmans or Mussulmans on earth - and, in very exceptional cases, to holy and saintly characters, who have a motive, a truly beneficial mission to accomplish after their departure, then would they be nearer to the truth than they are now.
"To ascribe the sacred privilege, as they do, to every "elementary" or "elemental" masquerading in borrowed plumes and putting in an appearance for no better reason than to say: "How d'ye do, Mr Snooks?" and to drink tea and eat toast, is a sacrilege and a sad sight to him who has any intuitional feeling about the awful sacredness of the mystery of physical
translation, let alone the teachings of the adepts.
CW IX, 107 Student.- What are some of the dangers at séances?
Sage. - The scenes visible - in the Astral - at séances are horrible, inasmuch as these "spirits" - bhuts - precipitate themselves upon sitters and mediums alike; and as there is no séance without having present some or many bad elementaries -half dead human beings, - there is much vampirising going on. These things fall upon the people like a cloud or a big octopus, and disappear within them as if sucked in by a sponge. That is one reason why it is not well to attend them in general.
Elementaries are not all bad, but, in a general sense, they are not good. They are shells, no doubt of that. Well, they have much automatic and seemingly intelligent action left if they are those of strongly material people who died attached to the things of life. If of people of an opposite character, they are not so strong. Then there is a class which are really not dead, such as suicides, and sudden deaths, and highly wicked people. They are powerful. Elementals enter into all of them, and thus get a fictitious personality and intelligence wholly the property of the shell. They galvanize the shell into action, and by its means can see and hear as if beings themselves, like us. The shells are, in this case, just like a sleep-walking human body. They will through habit exhibit the advancement they got while in the flesh. Some people, you know, do not impart to their bodily molecules the habit of their minds to as great [an] extent as others. We thus see why the utterances of these so-called "spirits" are never ahead of the highest point of progress attained by living human beings, and why they take up the ideas elaborated day-by-day by their votaries.
CW X, 218 M.C. Great confusion exists in the minds of people about the various kinds of apparitions, wraiths, ghosts or spirits. Ought we not to explain once for all the meaning of these terms? You say there are various kinds of "doubles" - what are they?
H.P.B. Our occult philosophy teaches us that there are three kinds of "doubles", to use the word in its widest sense. (1) Man has his "double" or shadow, properly so called, around which the physical body of the foetus - the future man - is built. The imagination of the mother, or an accident which affects the child, will affect also the astral body. The astral and physical both exist before the mind is developed into action, and before the Atma awakes. This occurs when the child is seven years old, and with it comes the responsibility attaching to a conscious sentient being. This "double" is born with man, dies with him and can never separate itself far from the body during life, and though surviving him, it disintegrates, pari passu, with the corpse. It is this, which is sometimes seen over the graves like a luminous figure of the man that was, during certain atmospheric conditions. From its physical aspect it is, during life, man's vital double and after death, only the gases given off from the decaying body. But, as regards its origin and essence, it is something more. This "double" is what we have agreed to call linga-sarira, but which I would propose to call, for greater convenience, "Protean" or "Plastic Body".
M.C. Why Protean or Plastic?
H.P.B. Protean, because it can assume all forms; e.g., the "shepherd magicians" whom popular rumour accuses, perhaps not without some reason, of being "were-wolves", and "mediums in cabinets", whose own "Plastic Bodies" play the part of materialized grandmothers and "John Kings". Otherwise, why the invariable custom of the "dear departed angels" to come out but little further than arm's length from the medium whether entranced or not? Mind, I do not at all deny foreign influences in this kind of phenomena. But I do affirm that foreign interference is rare, and that the materialized form is always that of the medium's "Astral" or Protean body.
(219) M.C. But how is this astral body created?
H.P.B. It is not created; it grows, as I told you, with the man and exists in the rudimentary condition even before the child is born.
M.C. And what about the second?
H.P.B. The second is the "Thought" body, or Dream body, rather; known among Occultists as the Mayavi-rupa, or "Illusion-body". During life this image is the vehicle both of thought and of the animal passions and desires, drawing at one and the same time from the lowest terrestrial manas (mind) and Kama, the element of desire. It is dual in its potentiality, and after death forms, what is called in the East Bhoot, or Kama-rupa, but which is better known to theosophists as the "Spook".
M.C. And the third?
H.P.B. The third is the true Ego, called in the East, by a name meaning "causal body" but which in the trans-Himalayan schools is always called the "Karmic body", which is the same. For Karma or action is the cause which produces incessant rebirths or "reincarnation". It is not the Monad, nor is it Manas proper; but is, in a way, indissolubly connected with, and a compound of the Monad and Manas in Devachan.
M.C. Then there are three doubles?
H.P.B. If you can call the Christian and other Trinities "three Gods", then there are three doubles. But in truth there is only one under three aspects or phases: the most material portion disappearing with the body; the middle one, surviving both as an independent, but temporary entity in the land of shadows; the third, immortal, throughout the manvantara unless Nirvana puts an end to it before.
(220) M.C. But shall not we be asked what difference there is between the Mayavi and Kama rupa, or as you propose to call them the "Dream body" and the "Spook"?
H.P.B. Most likely, and we shall answer, in addition to what has been said, that the "thought power" or aspect of the Mayavi or "Illusion body", merges after death entirely into the causal body or the conscious thinking EGO. The animal elements, or power of desire of the "Dream body", absorbing after death that which it has collected (through its insatiable desire to live) during life; i.e., all the astral vitality as well as all the impressions of its material acts and thought while it lived in possession of the body, forms the "Spook" or Kama rupa. Our Theosophists know well enough that after death the higher Manas unites with the Monad and passes into Devachan, while the dregs of the lower manas or animal mind go to form this Spook. This has life in it, but hardly any consciousness, except, as it were by proxy; when it is drawn into the current of a medium.
M.C. Is it all that can be said upon the subject?
H.P.B. For the present this is enough metaphysics, I guess. Let us hold to the "Double" in its earthly phase. What would you know?
M.C. Every country in the world believes more or less in the "double" or doppelgaenger. The simplest form of this is the appearance of a man's phantom, the moment after his death, or at the instant of death, to his dearest friend. Is this appearance the mayavi rupa?
H.P.B. It is; because produced by the thought of the dying man.
M.C. Is it unconscious?
H.P.B. It is unconscious to the extent that the dying man does not generally do it knowingly; nor is he aware that he so appears. What happens is this. If he thinks very intently at the moment of death of the person he either is very anxious to see, or loves best, he may appear to that person. The thought becomes objective; the double or shadow of a man, being nothing but the faithful reproduction of him, like a reflection in a mirror, that which the man does, even in thought, that the double repeats. That is why the phantoms are often seen in such cases in the clothes they wear at the particular moment, and the image reproduces even the expression on the dying man's face. If the double of a man bathing were seen it would seem to be immersed in water; so when a man who has been drowned appears to his friend, the image will be seen to be dripping with water. The cause for the apparition may be also reversed; i.e., the dying man may or may not be thinking at all of the particular person his image appears to, but it is that person who is sensitive. Or perhaps his sympathy or his hatred for the individual whose wraith is thus evoked is very intense physically or psychically; and in this case the apparition is created by, and depends upon, the intensity of the thought. What then happens is this. Let us call the dying man A, and him who sees the double B. The latter, owing to love, hate or fear, has the image of A so deeply impressed on his psychic memory, that actual magnetic attraction and repulsion are established between the two, whether one knows of it and feels it, or not. When A dies, the sixth sense or psychic spiritual intelligence of the inner man in B becomes cognizant of the change in A, and forthwith apprises the physical senses of the man, by projecting before his eye the form of A, as it is at the instant of the great change. The same when the dying man longs to see some one; his thought telegraphs to his friend, consciously or unconsciously along the wire of sympathy, and becomes objective. This is what the "Spookical" Research Society would pompously, but none the less muddily, call telepathic impact.
(221) M.C. This applies to the simplest form of the appearance of the double. What about cases in which the double does that which is contrary to the feeling and wish of the man?
H.P.B. This is impossible. The "Double" cannot act, unless the key-note of this action was struck in the brain of the man to whom the "Double" belongs, be that man just dead, or alive, in good or in bad health. If he paused on the thought a second, long enough to give it form, before he passed on to other mental pictures, this one second is as sufficient for the objectivizations of his personality on the astral waves, as for your face to impress itself on the sensitized plate of a photographic apparatus. Nothing prevents your form then, being seized upon by the surrounding Forces - as a dry leaf fallen from a tree is taken up and carried away by the wind - [to] be made to caricature or distort your thought.
(222) M.C. Supposing the double expresses in actual words a thought uncongenial to the man, and expresses it - let us say to a friend far away, perhaps on another continent? I have known instances of this occurring.
H.P.B. Because it then so happens that the created image is taken up and used by a "Shell". Just as in séance-rooms when "images" of the dead - which may perhaps be lingering unconsciously in the memory of even the auras of those present - are seized upon by the Elementals or Elementary Shadows and made objective to the audience, and even caused to act at the bidding of the strongest of the many different wills in the room. In your case, moreover, there must exist a connecting link - a telegraph wire - between the two persons, a point of psychic sympathy, and on this the thought travels instantly. Of course there must be, in every case, some strong reason why that particular thought takes that direction; it must be connected in some way with the other person. Otherwise such apparitions would be of common and daily occurrence.
M.C. This seems very simple; why then does it only occur with exceptional persons?
H.P.B. Because the plastic power of the imagination is much stronger in some persons than in others. The mind is dual in its potentiality: it is physical and metaphysical. The higher part of the mind is connected with the spiritual soul or Buddhi, the lower with the animal soul, the Kama principle. There are persons who never think with the higher faculties of their mind at all; those who do so are the minority and are thus, in a way, beyond, if not above, the average of human kind. These will think even upon ordinary matters on that higher plane. The idiosyncrasy of the person determines in which "principle" of the mind the thinking is done, as also the faculties of a preceding life, and sometimes the heredity of the physical. This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist - the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied - to raise himself, or for one who is naturally spiritually minded, to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought. Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a large measure.
(223) M.C. But the habit of thinking in the higher mind can be developed - else there would be no hope for persons who wish to alter their lives and raise themselves? And that this is possible must be true, or there would be no hope for the world.
H.P.B. Certainly it can be developed, but only with great difficulty, a firm determination, and through much self-sacrifice. But it is comparatively easy for those who are born with the gift. Why is it that one person sees poetry in a cabbage or a pig with her little ones, while another will perceive in the loftiest things only their lowest and most material aspect, will laugh at the "music of the spheres", and ridicule the most sublime conceptions and philosophies? This difference depends simply on the innate power of the mind to think on the higher or on the lower plane, with the astral (in the sense given to the word by de Saint-Martin), or with the physical brain. Great intellectual powers are often no proof of, but are impediments to spiritual and right conceptions; witness most of the great men of science. We must rather pity than blame them.
M.C. But how is it that the person who thinks on the higher plane produces more perfect and more potential images and objective forms by his thought?
H.P.B. Not necessarily that "person" alone, but all those who are generally sensitives. The person who is endowed with this faculty of thinking about even the most trifling things from the higher plane of thought has, by virtue of that gift which he possesses, a plastic power of formation, so to say, in his very imagination. Whatever such a person may think about, his thought will be so far more intense than the thought of an ordinary person, that by this very intensity it obtains the power of creation. Science has established the fact that thought is an energy. This energy in its action disturbs the atoms of the astral atmosphere around us. I already told you; the rays of thought have the same potentiality for producing forms in the astral atmosphere as the sunrays have with regard to a lens. Every thought so evolved with energy from the brain, creates nolens volens a shape.
(224) M.C. Is that shape absolutely unconscious?
H.P.B. Perfectly unconscious unless it is the creation of an adept, who has a pre-conceived object in giving it consciousness, or rather in sending along with it enough of his will and intelligence to cause it to appear conscious. This ought to make us more cautious about our thoughts. But the wide distinction that obtains between the adept in this matter and the ordinary man must be borne in mind. The adept may at his will use his Mayavi-rupa, but the ordinary man does not, except in very rare cases. It is called Mayavi-rupa because it is a form of illusion created for use in the particular instance, and it has quite enough of the adept's mind in it to accomplish its purpose. The ordinary man merely creates a thought-image, whose properties and powers are at the time wholly unknown to him.
M.C. Then one may say that the form of an adept appearing at a distance from his body, as for instance Ram Lal in Mr. Isaacs, is simply an image?
H.P.B. Exactly. It is a walking thought.
M.C. In which case an adept can appear in several places almost simultaneously.
H.P.B. He can. Just as Apollonius of Tyana, who was seen in two places at once, while his body was at Rome. But it must be understood that not all of even the astral adept is present in each appearance.
M.C. Then it is very necessary for a person of any amount of imagination and psychic powers to attend to their thoughts?
H.P.B. Certainly, for each thought has a shape which borrows the appearance of the man engaged in the action of which he thought. Otherwise how can clairvoyants see in your aura your past and present? What they see is a passing panorama of yourself represented in successive actions by your thoughts. You asked me if we are punished for our thoughts. Not for all, for some are still-born; but for the others, those which we call "silent" but potential thoughts - yes. Take an extreme case, such as that of a person who is so wicked as to wish the death of another. Unless the evil-wisher is a Dugpa, a high adept in black magic, in which case Karma is delayed, such a wish only comes back to roost.
(225) M.C. But supposing the evil-wisher to have a very strong will, without being a dugpa, could the death of the other be accomplished?
H.P.B. Only if the malicious person has the evil eye, which simply means possessing enormous plastic power of imagination working involuntarily, and thus turned unconsciously to bad uses. For what is the power of the "evil eye"? Simply a great plastic power of thought, so great as to produce a current impregnated with the potentiality of every kind of misfortune and accident, which inoculates, or attaches itself to any person who comes within it. A jettatore (one with the evil eye) need not be even imaginative, or have evil intentions or wishes. He may be simply a person who is naturally fond of witnessing or reading about sensational scenes, such as murder, executions, accidents, etc., etc. He may be not even thinking of any of these at the moment his eye meets his future victim. But the currents have been produced and exist in his visual ray ready to spring into activity the instant they find suitable soil, like a seed fallen by the way and ready to sprout at the first opportunity.
M.C. But how about the thoughts you call "silent"? Do such wishes or thoughts come home to roost?
H.P.B. They do; just as a ball which fails to penetrate an object rebounds upon the thrower. This happens even to some dugpas or sorcerers who are not strong enough, or do not comply with the rules - for even they have rules they have to abide by - but not with those who are regular, fully developed "black magicians"; for such have the power to accomplish what they wish.
M.C. When you speak of rules it makes me want to wind up this talk by asking you what everybody wants to know who takes any interest in occultism. What is a principal or important suggestion for those who have these powers and wish to control them rightly - in fact to enter occultism?
(226) H.P.B. The first and most important step in occultism is to learn how to adapt your thoughts and ideas to your plastic potency.
M.C. Why is this so important?
H.P.B. Because otherwise you are creating things by which you may be making bad Karma. No one should go into occultism or even touch it before he is perfectly acquainted with his own powers, and that he knows how to commensurate it with his actions. And this he can do only by deeply studying the philosophy of Occultism before entering upon the practical training. Otherwise, as sure as fate - HE WILL FALL INTO BLACK MAGIC.
CW XII, 609 fn And it is this Kama-Rupa alone that can materialize in mediumistic séances, which it occasionally does when it is not the Astral Double, or Linga-Sarira, of the medium himself which appears. Therefore, how can this bundle of vile moral passions and terrestrial lusts, resurrected by, and gaining consciousness only through, the organism of the medium, be accepted as a "departed angel" or the spirit of a once human body? As well say of the microbe pest which fastens upon a person that it is a sweet departed angel.
This is accomplished in more or less time, according to the degree that the Personality (whose dregs it now is) was spiritual or material. If spirituality prevailed, then the Larva, "spook", will fade out very soon; but if it was very materialistic, the Kama-Rupa may last centuries and - even survive with the help of some of its scattered Skandhas, which are all transformed in time into Elements.
CW XII, 706 At spiritualistic séances the Linga-Sarira of the medium materializes, the resemblance to deceased persons being mostly caused by the imagination, but sometimes by an Elemental throwing onto the Linga-Sarira a reflection of a picture of the defunct in the Astral Light, thus producing the likeness. The clothing on such phantasms is formed from the living particles of the medium's body, and is no real clothing, nor has it anything to do with the clothing of the medium. All the material clothing seen at materialization séances has been paid for. Materialized forms are to be for the present divided into two classes: (a) those with a definite form produced by the sub-conscious or other thought of the person to whom the form belongs, or as above stated, and (b) those the form, or semblance, or appearing of which is due to the combined thought of the person to whom it belongs, and the person who sees it, so that the outer appearance is due to a process of thought or imagination exercised by the one or the other. The imagination and the thought in these cases take place or act at the same time with too small an interval to be noticed. It is these facts about Astral Bodies that account for the Arabian and Eastern tales about Jinns, bottle imps, etc. Dugpas are able to work on the Linga-Sariras of other people. When a man visits another in his Astral Body, it is the Linga-Sarira that goes, but this cannot happen at any great distance. So also it is the Linga-Sarira that is seen in the neighbourhood of persons as their "doubles". And it is the Linga-Sarira that is used to move objects without visible contact. A Linga-Sarira can be formed by the escaping Chhaya without any knowledge of the person emanating it, and can wander about, but it is not then fully endowed with Consciousness. Such projection of the Astral Body should not be attempted.
A more important kind of Astral Body is the Mayavi-Rupa, or illusionary Body, and this is of different degrees. All have the Chhaya as upadhi, but they may be unconscious or conscious. If a man thinks intensely of another at a distance, his Mayavi-Rupa may appear to that person, without the projector knowing anything about it. This Mayavi-Rupa is formed by the unconscious use of Kriyasakti, when the thought is at work with much intensity and concentration. It is formed without the idea of conscious projection, and it is itself unconscious, a thought body, but not a vehicle of Consciousness. But when a man consciously projects a Mayavi-Rupa and uses it as a vehicle of Consciousness, he is an Adept. No two persons can be simultaneously conscious of one another's presence, unless one of the two be an Adept.
In the formation of a Mayavi-Rupa, as already said, the upadhi is furnished by the Chhaya, the "basis of all forms". When an Adept projects his Mayavi-Rupa, the guiding intelligence that informs it comes from the Heart, the essence of Manas entering it; the attributes and qualities are drawn from the Auric Envelope. Nothing can hurt the Mayavi-Rupa - no sharp instrument or weapon - since, as regards this plane, it is purely subjective. It has no material connection with the physical Body, no umbilical cord. It is spiritual and ethereal, and passes everywhere without let or hindrance. It thus entirely differs from the Linga-Sarira; its projection is always a Manasic act, since it cannot be formed without the activity of Kriyasakti. The Mayavi-Rupa may be so strongly vitalized that it can go on to another plane, and can there unite with the beings of that plane, and so ensoul them. But this can only be done by an Adept. Dugpas and Sorcerers, the Adepts of the Left Hand Path, are able to create and use Mayavi-Rupas of their own.
Isis I, 67 We are far from believing that all the spirits that communicate at circles are of the classes called "Elemental", and "Elementary". Many - especially among those who control the medium subjectively to speak, write, and otherwise act in various ways - are human, disembodied spirits. Whether the majority of such spirits are good or bad, largely depends on the private morality of the medium, much on the circle present, and a great deal on the intensity and object of their purpose. If this object is merely to gratify curiosity and to pass the time, it is useless to expect anything serious. But, in any case, human spirits can never materialize themselves in propria persona. These can never appear to the investigator clothed with warm, solid flesh, sweating hands and faces, and grossly-material bodies. The most they can do is to project their aethereal reflection on the atmospheric waves, and if the touch of their hands and clothing can become upon rare occasions objective to the senses of a living mortal, it will be felt as a passing breeze gently sweeping over the touched spot, not as a human hand or material body. It is useless to plead that the "materialized spirits" that have exhibited themselves with beating hearts and loud voices (with or without a trumpet) are human spirits. The voices - if such sound can be termed a voice at all - of a spiritual apparition once heard can hardly be forgotten. That of a pure spirit is like the tremulous murmur of an Aeolian harp echoed from a distance; the voice of a suffering, hence impure, if not utterly bad spirit, may be assimilated to a human voice issuing from an empty barrel.
Isis I, 320 .. while, as a rule, physical phenomena are produced by the nature-spirits, of their own motion and to please their own fancy, still good disembodied human spirits, under exceptional circumstances, such as the aspiration of a pure heart or the occurrence of some favouring emergency, can manifest their presence by any of the phenomena except personal materialization. But it must be a mighty attraction indeed to draw a pure, disembodied spirit from its radiant home into the foul atmosphere from which it escaped upon leaving its earthly body.
Isis I, 476 Some persons have the natural and some the acquired power of withdrawing the inner from the outer body, at will, and causing it to perform long journeys, and be seen by those whom it visits. Numerous are the instances recorded by unimpeachable witnesses of the "doubles" of persons having been seen and conversed with, hundreds of miles from the places where the persons themselves were known to be. Hermotimus, if we may credit Pliny and Plutarch, could at will fall into a trance and then his second soul proceeded to any distant place he chose.
The Abbe Fretheim, the famous author of Steganographie, who lived in the seventeenth century, could converse with his friends by the mere power of his will. "I can make my thoughts known to the initiated," he wrote, "at a distance of many hundreds of miles, without word, writing, or cipher, by any messenger. The latter cannot betray me, for he knows nothing. If needs be, I can dispense with the messenger. If any correspondent should be buried in the deepest dungeon, I could still convey to him my thoughts as clearly and as frequently as I chose, and this quite simply, without superstition, without the aid of spirits." Cordanus could also send his spirit, or any messages he chose. When he did so, he felt "as if a door was opened, and I myself immediately passed through it, leaving the body behind me." The case of a high German official, a counsellor Wesermann, was mentioned in a scientific paper. He claimed to be able to cause any friend or acquaintance, at any distance, to dream of every subject he chose, or see any person he liked. His claims were proved good, and testified to on several occasions by skeptics and learned professional persons. He could also cause his double to appear wherever he liked; and be seen by several persons at one time. By whispering in their ears a sentence prepared and agreed upon beforehand by unbelievers, and for the purpose, his power to project the double was demonstrated beyond any cavil.
ML 49:49 The question arising: "May not Spirits as well as men differ in ideas?" Well, then their teaching - aye, of the highest of them since they are the "guides" of the three great London Seers - will not be more authoritative than those of mortal men. "But, they may belong to different spheres?" Well; if in the different spheres contradictory doctrines are propounded, these doctrines cannot contain the Truth, for Truth is One, and cannot admit of diametrically opposite views; and pure Spirits who see it as it is, with the veil of matter entirely withdrawn from it - cannot err.
ML 99:101 Many of the subjective spiritual communications - most of them when the sensitives are pure minded - are real; but it is most difficult for the uninitiated medium to fix in his mind the true and correct pictures of what he sees and hears. Some of the phenomena called psychography (though more rarely) are also real. The spirit of the sensitive getting odylised, so to say, by the aura of the Spirit in the Deva-Chan, becomes for a few minutes that departed personality, and writes in the hand writing of the latter, in his language and in his thoughts, as they were during his life time. The two spirits become blended in one; and, the preponderance of one over the other during such phenomena determines the preponderance of personality in the characteristics exhibited in such writings, and "trance speaking". What you call "rapport" is in plain fact an identity of molecular vibration between the astral part of the incarnate medium and the astral part of the disincarnate personality. I have just noticed an article on smell by some English Professor (which I will cause to be reviewed in the Theosophist and say a few words), and find in it something that applies to our case. As, in music, two different sounds may be in accord and separately distinguishable, and this harmony or discord depends upon the synchronous vibrations and complementary periods; so there is rapport between medium and "control" when their astral molecules move in accord. And the question whether the communication shall reflect more of the one personal idiosyncracy, or the other, is determined by the relative intensity of the two sets of vibrations in the compound wave of Akasa. The less identical the vibratory impulses the more mediumistic and less spiritual will be the message. So then, measure your medium's moral state by that of the alleged "controlling" Intelligence, and your tests of genuineness leave nothing to be desired.
ML 105:108 Is there any intermediate condition between the spiritual beatitude of Deva-Chan, and the forlorn shadow life of the only half conscious elementary reliquiae of human beings who have lost their sixth principle? Because if so that might give a locus standi in imagination to the Earnests and Joeys of the spiritual mediums - the better sort of controlling "spirits". If so surely that must be a very populous world? from which any amount of "spiritual" communication might come.
Alas, no; my friend; not that I know of. From "Sukhavati" down to the "Territory of Doubt" there is a variety of Spiritual States; but I am not aware of any such "intermediate condition". I have told you of the Sakwalas (though I cannot be enumerating them since it would be useless); and even of Avitchi - the "Hell" from which there is no return, and I have no more to tell about. "The forlorn shadow" has to do the best it can. As soon as it has stepped outside the Kama-Loka, and crossed the "Golden Bridge" leading to the "Seven Golden Mountains" the Ego can confabulate no more, with easy-going mediums. No "Ernest" or "Joey" has ever returned from the Rupa-Loka -let alone the Arupa-Loka - to hold sweet intercourse with mortals.
ML 110:113 .. it is not against true Spiritualism that we set ourselves, but only against indiscriminate mediumship and - physical manifestations, - materializations and trance-possessions especially. Could the Spiritualists be only made to understand the difference between individuality and personality, between individual and personal immortality and some other truths, they would be more easily persuaded that Occultists may be fully convinced of the Monad's immortality, and yet deny that of the soul - the vehicle of the personal Ego; that they firmly believe in, and themselves practice spiritual communications and intercourse with the disembodied Egos of the Rupa-Loka, and yet laugh at the insane idea of "shaking hands" with a "Spirit"!; that finally, that as the matter stands, it is the Occultists and the Theosophists who are true Spiritualists, while the modern sect of that name is composed simply of materialistic phenomenalists.
ML 121:124 Q. .. very often as I understand the spirits of very fair average people dying natural deaths, remain some time in the earth's atmosphere - from a few days to a few years - why cannot such as these communicate?
ML 129:133 A. The Spirits of very fair average good people dying natural deaths remain .. in the earth's atmosphere from a few days to a few years," the period depending on their readiness to meet their - creature, not their creator; a very abstruse subject you will learn later on, when you too are more prepared. But why should they "communicate"? Do those you love communicate with you during their sleep objectively? Your Spirits, in hours of danger, or intense sympathy, vibrating on the same current of thought - which, in such cases, creates a kind of telegraphic spiritual wires between your two bodies - may meet and mutually impress your memories; but then you are living, not dead bodies. But how can an unconscious 5th principle impress or communicate with a living organism, unless it has already become a shell? If, for certain reasons, they remain in such a state of lethargy for several years, the spirits of the living may ascend to them .. and this may take place still easier than in Deva Chan, where the Spirit is too much engrossed in his personal bliss to pay much attention to an intruding element. I say - they cannot.
ML 121:124 Q. .. it is a fact that thousands of spirits do appear in pure circles and teach the highest morality .."
ML 130:133 A. I am sorry to contradict your statement. I know of no "thousands of spirits" who do appear in circles - and moreover positively do not know of one "perfectly pure circle" and "teach the highest morality".
ML 170:173 Thus with a shell; once in the aura of a medium all he perceives through the borrowed organs of the medium and of those in magnetic sympathy with the latter, he will perceive very clearly - but not further than what the shell can find in the perceptive faculties and memories of circle and medium - hence often the rational and at times highly intelligent answers; hence also a complete oblivion of things known to all but that medium and circle. The shell of a highly intelligent, learned, but utterly unspiritual man who dies a natural death, will last longer and the shadow of his own memory helping - that shadow which is the refuse of the sixth principle left in the fifth - he may deliver discourses through trance speakers and repeat parrot-like that which he knew of and thought much over it, during his life-time. But find me one single instance in the annals of Spiritualism where a returning shell of a Faraday or a Brewster (for even they were made to fall into the trap of mediumistic attraction) said one word more than it knew during its life-time. Where is that scientific shell, that ever gave evidence of that, which is claimed on behalf of the "disembodied Spirit" - namely, that a free Soul, the Spirit disenthralled from its body's fetters perceives and sees that which is concealed from mortal eyes?
ML 170:174 Spirits they call them? Spirits with personal remembrances? As well call personal remembrances the sentences screeched out by a parrot. .. Let the "Spirit" of Zoellner - now that he is in the "fourth dimension of space", and has put up an appearance already with several mediums - tell them the last word of his discovery, complete his astro-physical philosophy. No; Zoellner when lecturing through an intelligent medium, surrounded with persons who read his works, are interested in them - will repeat on various tones that which is known to others (not even that which he alone knew, most probably), the credulous, ignorant public confounding the post-hoc with the propter-hoc and firmly convinced of the Spirit's identity. Indeed, it will be worth your while to stimulate investigation in this direction. Yes; personal consciousness does leave everyone at death; and when even the centre of memory is re-established in the shell, it will remember and speak out its recollections but through the brain of some living human being.
MUCH SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL AND IMMORTALITY
Key 93 Enq: Do you really teach, .. [as some say] the annihilation of every personality?
Theo: We do not. But as this question of the duality - the individuality of the Divine Ego, and the personality of the human animal - involves that of the possibility of the real immortal Ego appearing in séance rooms as a "materialized spirit", which we deny as already explained, our opponents have started the nonsensical charge.
Key 94 Enq: You have just spoken of psyche running towards its entire annihilation if it attaches itself to Anoia [see Glossary]. What did Plato and what do you mean by this?
Theo: The entire annihilation of the personal consciousness, is an exceptional and rare case, I think. The general and almost invariable rule is the merging of the personal into the individual or immortal consciousness of the Ego, a transformation or a divine transfiguration, and the entire annihilation only of the lower quaternary. Would you expect the man of flesh, or the temporary personality, his shadow, the "astral", his animal instincts and even physical life, to survive with the "spiritual EGO" and become sempiternal [lasting indefinitely after a start]? Naturally all this ceases to exist, either at, or soon after corporeal death. It becomes in time entirely disintegrated and disappears from view, being annihilated as a whole.
Enq: Then you also reject resurrection in the flesh?
Theo: Most decidedly we do!
Key 95 Theo: The Nous is the spirit (whether in Kosmos or in man), and the logos, whether Universe or astral body, the emanation of the former, the physical body being merely the animal. Our external powers perceive phenomena; our Nous alone is able to recognize their noumena. It is the logos alone, or the noumenon, that survives, because it is immortal in its very nature and essence, and the logos in man is the Eternal EGO, that which reincarnates and lasts for ever. But how can the evanescent or external shadow, the temporary clothing of that divine Emanation which returns to the source whence it proceeded, be that which is raised in incorruptibility?
Key 103 Theo: We say that [concerning the relationship of the Supreme Spirit (Atma) to the spiritual man] we only allow the presence of the radiation of Spirit (or Atma) in the astral capsule, and so far only as that spiritual radiancy is concerned. We say that man and Soul have to conquer their immortality by ascending, towards the unity with which, if successful, they will be finally linked and into which they are finally, so to speak, absorbed. The individualization of man after death depends on the spirit, not on his soul and body. Although the word "personality", in the sense in which it is usually understood is an absurdity if applied literally to our immortal essence, still the latter is, as our individual Ego, a distinct entity, immortal and eternal, per se. It is only in the case of black magicians or of criminals beyond redemption, criminals who have been such during a long series of lives - that the shining thread, which links the spirit to the personal soul from the moment of the birth of the child, is violently snapped, and the disembodied entity becomes divorced from the personal soul, the latter being annihilated without leaving the smallest impression of itself on the former. If that union between the lower, or personal Manas, and the individual reincarnating Ego has not been effected during life, then the former is left to share the fate of the lower animals, to gradually dissolve into ether, and have its personality annihilated. But even then the Ego remains a distinct being. It (the spiritual Ego) only loses one Devachanic state - after that special, and in that case indeed useless, life - as that idealized Personality, and is reincarnated, after enjoying for a short time its freedom as a planetary spirit, almost immediately.
Key 105 Theo: An Ego who has won his immortal life as spirit will remain the same inner self throughout all his rebirths on earth; but this does not imply necessarily that he must either remain the Mr Smith or the Mr Brown he was on earth, or lose his individuality. Therefore, the astral soul and the terrestrial body of man may, in the dark hereafter, be absorbed into the cosmical ocean of sublimated elements, and cease to feel his last personal Ego (if it did not deserve to soar higher), and the divine Ego still remain the same unchanged entity, though this terrestrial experience of his emanation may be totally obliterated at the instant of separation from the unworthy vehicle.
Key 106 Enq: Would you call the Soul, i.e. the human thinking Soul, or what you call the Ego - matter?
Theo: Not matter, but substance assuredly; nor would the word "matter", if prefixed with the adjective primordial be a word to avoid. That matter, we say, is co-eternal with Spirit, and is not our visible, tangible, and divisible matter, but its extreme sublimation. Pure Spirit is but one remove from the no-Spirit, or the absolute all. Unless you admit that man was evolved out of this primordial Spirit-matter, and represents a regular progressive scale of "principles" from meta-Spirit down to the grossest matter, how can we ever come to regard the inner man as immortal, and at the same time as a spiritual Entity and a mortal man?
Key 108 Enq: How can that which .. is .. of an identical substance with the divine, fail to be immortal?
Theo: Every atom and speck of matter, not of substance only, is imperishable in its essence, but not in its individual consciousness. Immortality is but one's unbroken consciousness; and the personal consciousness can hardly last longer than the personality itself, can it? And such consciousness ... survives only throughout Devachan, after which it is reabsorbed, first, in the individual, and then in the universal consciousness ..
Key 113 The personal soul must, of course, be disintegrated into its particles before it is able to link its purer essence for ever with the immortal spirit. "Can that spirit, which gives life and motion and partakes of the nature of light, be reduced to nonentity?" .. In Buddhistic philosophy annihilation means only a dispersion of matter, in whatever form or semblance of form it may be, for everything that has form is temporary, and is therefore, really an illusion. For in eternity the longest periods of time are as a wink of the eye. So with form. Before we have time to realize that we have seen it, it is gone like an instantaneous flash of lightning, and passed for ever. When the spiritual entity breaks loose for ever from every particle of matter, substance, or form, and re-becomes a Spiritual breath, then only does it enter upon an eternal and unchangeable Nirvana, lasting as long as the cycle of life has lasted - an eternity truly. And then the Breath, existing in Spirit, is nothing because it is all; as a form, a semblance, a shape, it is completely annihilated; as absolute Spirit it still is for it has become Be-ness itself.
CW IV, 506 [Concerning funerary rites] .. nowhere will one find in the oldest books the injunction of the ceremonies now in use, least of all that of spending large sums of money which often entails ruin upon the survivors.
Nor, from the occult standpoint, do such rites benefit in the last the departed soul. The correct comprehension of the law of Karma is entirely opposed to the idea. As no persons's karma can be either lightened or overburdened with the good or bad actions of the next of kin of the departed one, every man having his karma independent and distinct from that of his neighbour -no more can the departed soul be made responsible for the doings of those it left behind. [Comment on the handling of the dead, burial, etc., followed.]
CW IV, 508 fn Twelve hours at least had to elapse between the death of the person and the burning or the destruction by any other means of the corpse of the dead. This old law was equally forgotten by the Brahmins as by the Zoroastrians. It was not the act of burning that was forbidden, but the burning before the corpse was empty, viz. before the inner principles had had time to get entirely liberated. As the aqua fortis was thought possessed of an occult property to that effect, hence the preliminary burning of the flesh by this means.
CW IV, 559 [Concerning mummification] .. He [the writer of an article] looks at the objective terrestrial and empty shell - the "mummy" - and forgets that there may be hidden under the crude allegory a great scientific and occult truth. We are taught that for 3000 years at least the "mummy", notwithstanding all the chemical preparations, goes on throwing off, to the last, invisible atoms which from the hour of death, re-entering the various vortices of being, go indeed "through every variety of organized life forms". But it is not the soul, the fifth, least of all the sixth principle, but the life atoms of the jiva, the second principle. At the end of 3000 years, sometimes more, and sometimes less, after endless transmigrations all these atoms are once more drawn together, and are made to form a new outer clothing or the body of the same monad (the real soul) which had already been clothed with [them] two or three thousands of years before. Even in the worst case, that of the annihilation of the conscious personal principle, the monad or individual soul is ever the same as are also the atoms of the lower principles which, regenerated and renewed in this ever-flowing river of being are magnetically drawn together owing to their affinity, and are once more reincarnated together. Such was the true occult theory of the Egyptians.
CW IV, 560 That which maintains the consciousness of its individuality is the sixth principle in conjunction with the seventh and a portion of the fifth and its vehicle the fourth -the triad thus constituting the conscious monad. Life-atoms or "life principle" (the Jiv) that escapes at death has no consciousness in its disintegrated condition, nor has this any bearing upon the "grand purposes of creation".
CW V, 5 I can indicate [a number of] places .. where it is affirmed in the clearest manner that the 7th and 6th principles, the Divine Monad and its vehicle, the spiritual soul (which makes a unity), are immortal, indestructible and infinite. Believing in the innumerable reincarnations of the "spiritual Ego", the only "conscious Ego" in Eternity, not one of us, Occultists, could ever say that the individual consciousness was annihilated or that the "spiritual Ego" could fall back into the world of cosmic, primal matter ...
CW VI, 244 It has also been often put forth in various theosophical and other occult writings that the only difference between an ordinary man who works along with Nature during the course of cosmic evolution and an occultist, is that the latter, by his superior knowledge, adopts such methods of training and discipline as will hurry on that process of evolution, and he thus reaches in a comparatively very short time that apex to ascend to which the ordinary individual may take perhaps billions of years. In short, in a few thousand years he approaches that form of evolution which ordinary humanity will attain to perhaps in the sixth or the seventh round during the process of Manvantara, i.e., cyclic progression. It is evident that average man cannot become a MAHATMA in one life, or rather in one incarnation. Now those, who have studied the occult teachings concerning Devachan and our after-states, will remember that between two incarnations there is a considerable period of subjective existence. The greater the number of such Devachanic periods, the greater is the number of years over which this evolution is extended. The chief aim of the occultist is therefore to so control himself as to be able to control his future states, and thereby gradually shorten the duration of his Devachanic states between his two incarnations. In his progress, there comes a time when, between one physical death and his next re-birth, there is no Devachan but a kind of spiritual sleep, the shock of death, having, so to say, stunned him into a state of unconsciousness from which he gradually recovers to find himself reborn, to continue his purpose. The period of this sleep may vary from twenty-five to two hundred years, depending upon the degree of his advancement. But even this period may be said to be a waste of time, and hence all his exertions are directed to shorten its duration so as to gradually come to a point when the passage from one state of existence into another is almost imperceptible. This is his last incarnation, as it were, for the shock of death no more stuns him. This is the idea the writer of the article on "The Elixir of Life" means to convey, when he says:-
By or about the time when the Death-limit of his race is passed, HE IS ACTUALLY DEAD, in the ordinary sense, that is to say, that he has relieved himself of all or nearly all such material particles as would have necessitated in disruption the agony of dying. He has been dying gradually during the whole period of his Initiation. The catastrophe cannot happen twice over. He has only spread over a number of years the mild process of dissolution which others endure from a brief moment to a few hours. The highest Adept is, in fact, dead to, and absolutely unconscious of, the world; - he is oblivious of its pleasures, careless of its miseries, in so far as sentimentalism goes, for the stern sense of DUTY never leaves him blind to its very existence ..
The process of the emission and attraction of atoms, which the occultist controls, has been discussed at length in that article and in other writings. It is by these means that he gets rid gradually of all the old gross particles of his body,
for them finer and more ethereal ones, till at last the
former sthula sarira is completely dead and disintegrated and he lives in a body
entirely of his own creation, suited to his work. That
body is essential for his purposes, for, as the "Elixir of Life" says:-
But to do good, as in everything else, a man must have time and material to work with, and this is a necessary means to the acquirement of powers by which infinitely more good can be done than without them. When these are once mastered, the opportunities to use them will arrive ..
In another place, in giving the practical instructions for that purpose, the same article says:-
The physical man must be rendered more ethereal and sensitive; the mental man more penetrating and profound; the moral man more self-denying and philosophical.
CW VI, 362 [On a day for ever memorable to me - a fatal day] - I made the acquaintance of a venerable and learned bonze, a Japanese priest, named Temoora Hideyeri. I met him at the foot of the golden Kwon-On, and from that moment he became my best and most trusted friend. [Notwithstanding my great and genuine regard for him, however, whenever a good opportunity was offered I never failed to mock his religious convictions, thereby very often hurting his feelings.]
But my old friend was as meek and forgiving as any true Buddhist's heart might desire. He never resented my impatient sarcasms, [even when they were, to say the least, of equivocal propriety,] and generally limited his replies to the "wait and see" kind of protest. [Nor could he be brought seriously to believe in the sincerity of my denial of the existence of any god or gods. The full meaning of the terms "atheism" and "scepticism" was beyond the comprehension of his otherwise extremely intellectual and acute mind. Like certain reverential Christians, he seemed incapable of realizing that any man of sense should prefer the wise conclusions arrived at by philosophy and modern science to a ridiculous belief in an invisible world full of gods and spirits, djins and demons. "Man is a spiritual being," he insisted, "who returns to earth more than once, and is rewarded or punished in the between times". The proposition that man is nothing else but a heap of organized dust, was beyond him. Like Jeremy Collier, he refused to admit that he was no better than "a stalking machine, a speaking head without a soul in it", whose "thoughts are all bound by the laws of motion". "For," he argued, "if my actions were, as you say, prescribed beforehand, and I had no more liberty or free will to change the course of my action than the running waters of the river yonder, then the glorious doctrine of Karma, of merit and demerit, would be a foolishness indeed."
(363) Thus the whole of my hyper-metaphysical friend's ontology rested on the shaky superstructure of metempsychosis, of a fancied "just" Law of Retribution, and other such equally absurd dreams.
"We cannot," he said paradoxically one day, "hope to live hereafter in the full enjoyment of our consciousness, unless we have built for it beforehand a firm and solid foundation of spirituality .. Nay, laugh not, friend of no faith," he meekly pleaded, "but rather think and reflect on this. One who has never taught himself to live in Spirit during his conscious and responsible life on earth, can hardly hope to enjoy a sentient existence after death, when, deprived of his body, he is limited to that Spirit alone."
"What can you mean by life in Spirit?" - I enquired.
"Life on a spiritual plane; that which the Buddhists call Tushita Devaloka (Paradise). Man can create such a blissful existence for himself between two births, by the gradual
transference onto that plane of all the faculties which during his sojourn on earth manifest through his organic body and, as you call it, animal brain." ..
"How absurd! And how can man do this?"
"Contemplation and a strong desire to assimilate the blessed gods, will enable him to do so."
"And if man refuses this intellectual occupation, by which you mean, I suppose, the fixing of the eyes on the tip of his nose, what becomes of him after the death of his body?" - was my mocking question.
"He will be dealt with according to the prevailing state of his consciousness, of which there are many grades. At best -
immediate rebirth; at worst - the state of avitchi, a mental hell. Yet one need not be an ascetic to assimilate spiritual life which will extend to the hereafter. All that is required is to try and approach Spirit."
(364) "How so? Even when disbelieving in it?" - I rejoined.
"Even so! One may disbelieve and yet harbour in one's nature room for doubt, however small that room may be, and thus try one day, were it but for one moment, to open the door of the inner temple; and this will prove sufficient for the purpose."
"You are decidedly poetical, and paradoxical to boot, reverend sir. Will you kindly explain to me a little more of the mystery?"
"There is none; still I am willing. Suppose for a moment that some unknown temple to which you have never been before, and the existence of which you think you have reason to deny, is the 'spiritual plane' of which I am speaking. Some one takes you by the hand and leads you towards its entrance, curiosity makes you open its door and look within. By this simple act, by entering it for one second, you have established an everlasting connection between your consciousness and the temple. You cannot deny its existence any longer, nor obliterate the fact of your having entered it. And according to the character and the variety of your work, within its holy precincts, so will you live in it after your consciousness is severed from its dwelling of flesh."
"What do you mean? And what has my after-death consciousness -if such a thing exists - to do with the temple?"
"It has everything to do with it," solemnly rejoined the old man. "There can be no self-consciousness after death outside the temple of spirit. That which you will have done within its plane will alone survive. All the rest is false and an illusion. It is doomed to perish in the Ocean of Maya."
Amused at the idea of living outside one's body, I urged on my old friend to tell me more. Mistaking my meaning, the venerable old man willingly consented.
Temoora Hideyeri belonged to the great temple of Tzi-Onene, a Buddhist monastery, famous not only in all Japan, but also throughout Tibet and China. No other is so venerated in Kioto. Its monks belong to the sect of Dzenodoo, and are considered as the most learned among the many erudite fraternities. They are, moreover, closely connected and allied with the Yamabooshi (the ascetics, or hermits), who follow the doctrines of Lao-tze. [No wonder then, that at the slightest provocation on my part the priest flew into the highest metaphysics, hoping thereby to cure me of my infidelity.]
(365) No use repeating here the long rigmarole of the most hopelessly involved and incomprehensible of all doctrines. According to his ideas, we have to train ourselves for
spirituality in another world - as for gymnastics. Carrying on the analogy between the temple and the "spiritual plane" he tried to illustrate his idea. He had himself worked in the temple of Spirit two-thirds of his life, and given several hours daily to "contemplation". Thus he knew (?!) that after he had laid aside his mortal casket, "a mere illusion," he explained - he would in his spiritual consciousness live over again every feeling of ennobling joy and divine bliss he had ever had, or ought to have had - only a hundred-fold intensified. His work on the spirit-plane had been considerable, he said, and he hoped, therefore, that the wages of the labourer would be proportionate.
"But suppose the labourer, as in the example you have just brought forward in my case, should have no more than opened the temple door out of mere curiosity; had only peeped into the sanctuary never to set his foot therein again. What then?"
"Then," he answered, "you would have only this short minute to record in your future self-consciousness and no more. Our life hereafter records and repeats but the impressions and feelings we have had in our spiritual experiences and nothing else. Thus, if instead of reverence at the moment of entering the abode of Spirit, you had been harbouring in your heart anger, jealousy or grief, then your future spiritual life would be a sad one, in truth. There would be nothing to record, save the opening of a door, in a fit of bad temper."
"How then could it be repeated?" - I insisted, highly amused. "What do you suppose I would be doing before incarnating again?"
(366) "In that case," he said, speaking slowly and weighing every word - "in that case, you would have, I fear, only to open and shut the temple door, over and over again, during a period which, however, short, would seem to you an eternity."
This kind of after-death occupation appeared to me at that time, so grotesque in its sublime absurdity, that I was seized with an almost inextinguishable fit of laughter.
My venerable friend looked considerably dismayed at such a result of his metaphysical instruction. He had evidently not expected such hilarity. However, he said nothing, but only sighed and gazed at me with increased benevolence and pity shining in his small black eyes.
"Pray excuse my laughter," I apologized. "But really, now, you cannot seriously mean to tell me that the 'spiritual state' you advocate and so firmly believe in, consists only in aping certain things we do in life?"
"Nay, nay; not aping, but only intensifying their repetition; filling in the gaps that were unjustly left unfilled during life in the fruition of our acts and deeds, and of everything
performed on the spiritual plane of the one real state. What I said was an illustration, and no doubt for you, who seem entirely ignorant of the mysteries of Soul-Vision, not a very
intelligible one. It is myself who am to be blamed. .. What I sought to impress upon you was that, as the spiritual state of our consciousness liberated from its body is but the fruition of every spiritual act performed during life, where an act had been barren, there could be no results expected - save the repetition of that act itself. This is all. I pray you may be spared such fruitless deeds and finally made to see certain truths." And passing through the usual Japanese courtesies of taking leave, the excellent man departed.
Alas, alas! had I but known at the time what I have learnt since, how little would I have laughed, and how much more would I have learned!
[This story unfolds during the next few pages and ends with a bitter conclusion.]
CW VII, 43 The Apostle premises by saying (Rom., viii, 16-17) that "The Spirit itself" (Paramatma) "beareth witness with our spirit" (atman) "that we are the children of God," and "if children, then heirs" - heirs of course to the eternity and indestructibility of the eternal or divine essence in us. Then he tells us that:
The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (viii, 18)
The "glory" we maintain, is no "new Jerusalem", the symbolical representation of the future in St John's kabalistical Revelations - but the Devachanic periods and the series of births in the succeeding races when, after every new incarnation we shall find ourselves higher and more perfect, physically as well as spiritually; and when finally we shall all become truly the "sons" and "the children of God" at the "last Resurrection" - whether people call it Christian, Nirvanic or Parabrahmic; as all these are one and the same. For truly -
The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (viii, 19)
CW XII, 31 I [A.F. Tindall] cannot but feel that the Agencies of the Adepts are not confined in their manifestations to the Theosophical Society.
Nor was it ever claimed by us. On the contrary, the hitherto very esoteric doctrine of the Nirmanakayas was lately brought forward as a proof and explained in the treatise called The Voice of the Silence. These Nirmanakayas are the Bodhisattvas or late Adepts, who having reached Nirvana and liberation from rebirth, renounce it voluntarily in order to remain invisibly amidst the world to help poor ignorant Humanity within the lines permitted by Karma. These are the real SPIRITS of the disembodied men, and we recognize no others. The rest are either Devachanees to whose plane the spirit of the living medium must ascend, and who therefore, can never descend to our plane, or spooks of the first water. But then no Nirmanakaya will influence any man for the benefit of the latter for his own weal, or to save him from anything save death, and that only [if] the man's life is useful. By the fruit we recognize the tree. Units are as the leaves of that tree for them; and they look forward to benefit and save the trunk, not to concern themselves with its every leaf, whether good, bad, or indifferent. Even living Adepts have no such right.
CW XII, 526 The reason why public mention of the Auric Body is not permitted is on account of its being so sacred. It is this Body which at death assimilates the essence of Buddhi and Manas and becomes the vehicle of these spiritual principles, which are not objective, and then, with the full radiation of Atman upon it, ascends as Manas-Taijasa into the Devachanic state. Therefore it is called by many names. It is the Sutratman, the silver "thread" which "incarnates" from the beginning of Manvantara to the end, stringing upon itself the pearls of human existence - in other words, the spiritual aroma of every personality it follows through the pilgrimage of life. It is also the material from which the Adept forms his Astral Bodies, from the Augoeides and the Mayavi-Rupa downwards. After the death of man, when its most ethereal particles have drawn into themselves the spiritual principles of Buddhi and the Upper Manas, and are illuminated with the radiance of Atman, the Auric Body remains either in the Devachanic state of consciousness or, in the case of a full Adept, prefers the state of a Nirmanakaya - that is, one who has so purified his whole system that he is above even the divine illusion of a Devachani. Such an Adept remains in the astral (invisible) plane connected with our earth, and henceforth moves and lives in the possession of all his principles except the Kama-Rupa and Physical Body. In the case of the Devachani the Linga-Sarira - the alter ego of the Body which during life is within the physical envelope while the radiant aura is without - strengthened by the material particles which this aura leaves behind, remains close to the dead body and outside it, and soon fades away. In the case of the full Adept the body alone becomes subject to dissolution, while the centre of that force which was the seat of desires and passions, disappears with its cause - the animal body. But during the life of the latter all these centres are more or less active and in constant correspondence with their prototypes, the cosmic centres, and their microcosms, the principles. It is only through these cosmic and spiritual centres that the physical centres (the upper seven orifices and the lower triad) can benefit by their occult interaction, for these orifices, or openings, are channels conducting into the body the influences that the will of man attracts and uses, viz), the cosmic forces.
CW XII, 608 The Auric Egg, on account of its nature and manifold functions, has to be well studied. As Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Womb or Egg, contains Brahma, the collective symbol of the Seven Universal Forces, so the Auric Egg contains, and is directly related to, both the divine and the physical man. In its essence, as said, it is eternal; in its constant
correlations, it is a kind of perpetual motion machine during the reincarnating progress of the Ego on this earth.
As given out in The Secret Doctrine, the Egos or Kumaras, incarnating in man, at the end of the Third Root-Race, are not human Egos of this earth or plane, but became such only from the moment they ensouled the animal man, thus endowing him with his Higher Mind. They are "Breaths" or Principles, called the Human Soul, or Manas, the Mind. As the teachings say: "Each is a Pillar of Light. Having chosen its vehicle, it expanded, surrounding with an Akasic Aura the human animal, while the Divine (Manasic) Principle, settled within that human form".
Ancient Wisdom teaches, moreover, that from this first incarnation, the Lunar Pitris (who made men out of their Chhayas, or Shadows) are absorbed by this auric essence, and a distinct Astral Form is now produced for each forthcoming Personality of the reincarnating series of each Ego.
Thus the Auric Egg, reflecting all the thoughts, words and deeds of man, is:
(a) The preserver of every Karmic record.
(b) The storehouse of all the good and bad powers of man, receiving and giving out at his will - nay, at his very thought - every potentiality, which becomes, then and there, an acting potency: this aura is the mirror in which sensitives and clairvoyants sense and perceive the real man, and see him as he is), not as he appears.
(c) As it furnishes man with his Astral Form around which the physical entity models itself, first as a foetus, then as a child and man, the astral growing apace with the human being, so it furnishes him during his life, if an Adept, with his Mayavi-Rupa, Illusion Body (which is not his Vital Astral Body); and after death, with his Devachanic Entity and Kama-Rupa, or Body of Desire (the Spook).
Footnote: It is erroneous, when speaking of the fifth human principle, to call it "the Kama-Rupa". It is no Rupa, or form at all, except after death, but the Kamic elements, animal desires and passions, such as anger, lust, envy, revenge, etc., etc., the progeny of selfishness and matter.
In the former case, that of the Devachanic Entity, the Ego, in order to be able to go into a state of bliss, as the "I" of its immediately preceding incarnation, has to be clothed
(metaphorically speaking) with the spiritual elements, of the ideas, aspirations and thoughts of the now disembodied Personality; otherwise what is it that enjoys bliss and reward? Surely not the impersonal Ego, the Divine Individuality. Therefore it must be the good Karmic records of the deceased, impressed upon the Auric Substance, which furnish the Human Soul with just enough of the Spiritual elements of the ex-personality to enable it to still believe itself that body from which it has just been severed, and to receive its fruition, during a more or less prolonged period of "spiritual gestation". For Devachan is a "spiritual gestation" within an ideal matrix state, that ends in the new birth of the Ego into the world of effects, which ideal, subjective birth precedes its next terrestrial birth - the latter being determined by its bad Karma - into the world of causes. [Here the world of effects is the Devachanic state, and the world of Causes, earth life.] In the second case, that of furnishing the Kama-Rupa for the ghost or spook of the Entity, it is from the animal dregs of the Auric Envelope, with its daily Karmic record of animal life, so full of animal desires and selfish aspirations, that it is furnished.
(609) Footnote: And it is this Kama-Rupa alone that can materialize in mediumistic séances, which it occasionally does when it is not the Astral Double, or Linga-Sarira, of the medium himself which appears. Therefore, how can this bundle of vile moral passions and terrestrial lusts, resurrected by, and gaining consciousness only through, the organism of the medium, be accepted as a "departed angel" or the spirit of a once human body? As well say of the microbe pest which fastens upon a person that it is a sweet departed angel.
Now, the Linga-Sarira remains with the Physical Body, and fades out along with it. An astral entity then has to be created (a new Linga Sarira provided) to become the bearer of all the past Tanhas and future Karma. How is this accomplished? The mediumistic "spook", the "departed angel", fades out and vanishes also in its turn as an entity or full image of the Personality that was, and leaves in the Kamalokic world of effects only the records of its misdeeds and sinful thoughts and acts, known in the phraseology of the Occultists as Tanhic or human "Elementals".
Footnote: This is accomplished in more or less time, according to the degree that the Personality (whose dregs it now is) was spiritual or material. If spirituality prevailed, then the Larva, "spook", will fade out very soon; but if it was very materialistic, the Kama-Rupa may last centuries and - even survive with the help of some of its scattered Skandhas, which are all transformed in time into Elements. See The Key to Theosophy, pp 141 et seq., in which work it was impossible to go into details but where the Skandhas are spoken of as the germs of Karmic effects.
It is these Elementals which - upon entering into the composition of the "astral form" of the new body, into which the Ego, on its quitting the Devachanic state, is to enter according to Karmic degree - form that new astral entity which is born within the Auric Envelope, and of which it is often said "Karma, with its army of Skandhas, waits at the threshold of Devachan". For no sooner is the Devachanic state of reward ended, than the Ego is indissolubly united with (or rather follows in the track of) the new Astral Form. Both are Karmically propelled towards the family or woman from which is to be born the animal child chosen by Karma to become the vehicle of the Ego which has just awakened from the Devachanic state. Then the new Astral Form, composed partly of the pure Akasic Essence of the Auric "Egg", and partly of the terrestrial elements of the punishable sins and misdeeds of the last Personality, is drawn into the woman. Once there, Nature models the foetus of flesh around the Astral, out of the growing materials of the male seed in the female soil. Thus grows out of the essence of a decayed seed the fruit or eidolon of the dead seed, the physical fruit producing in its turn within itself another and other seeds for future plants.
CW XII, 626 The higher triad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, may be recognized from the first lines of the quotation from the Egyptian papyrus. In the Ritual (now the Book of the Dead), the purified Soul (the dual Manas) appears as "the victim of the dark influence of the Dragon Apophis" (the physical personality of Kama-Rupic man, with his passions). If it has attained the final knowledge of the heavenly and the infernal mysteries, the Gnosis - the divine and terrestrial mysteries of White and Black Magic - then the defunct personality "will triumph over its enemy" - death. This alludes to the case of a complete reunion, at the end of earth life, of the Ego with its lower Manas, full of "the 'harvest' of life". But if "Apophis" conquers the "Soul", then it "cannot escape its second death".
These few lines from a papyrus, many thousands of years old, contain a whole revelation, known, in those days, only to the Hierophants and the Initiates. The "harvest of life" consists of the finest spiritual ideations, of the memory of the noblest and most unselfish deeds of the personality, and the constant presence during its bliss after death of all those it loved with divine, spiritual devotion. Remember the teaching: The human soul (lower Manas) is the only and direct mediator between the personality and the divine Ego. That which goes to make up on this earth the personality (miscalled by us individuality) is the sum of all its mental, physical and spiritual characteristic traits, which, being impressed on the human soul, produces the man. Now, of all these characteristics it is the purified ideations alone which can be impressed on the higher immortal Ego. This is done by the "human soul" merging again, in its essence, into its parent source, commingling with its divine Ego during life, and reuniting itself entirely with it after the death of the physical man. Therefore unless Kama-Manas transmits to Buddhi-Manas such personal ideations, and such consciousness of its "I" as can be assimilated by the divine EGO, nothing of that "I" or personality can survive in the Eternal. Only that which is worthy of the immortal God within us, and identical in its nature with the divine quintessence, can survive; for in this case it is its own, the divine Ego's, "shadows" or emanations which ascend to it and are indrawn by it into itself again, to become once more part of its own Essence. No noble thought, no grand aspiration, desire, or divine immortal love, can come into the brain of the man of clay and settle there, except as a direct emanation from the higher to, and through, the lower Ego; all the rest, intellectual as it may seem, proceeds from the "shadow", the lower mind, in its association and commingling with Kama, and passes away and disappears forever. But the mental and spiritual ideations of the personal "I" return to it, as parts of the Ego's essence, and can never fade out. Thus of the personality that was, only its spiritual experiences, the memory of all that is good and noble, with the consciousness of its "I", blended with that of all the other personal "I's" that preceded it - survive and become immortal. There is no distinct or separate immortality for the men of earth outside of the EGO which informed them. That Higher Ego is the sole Bearer of all its alter Egos on earth and their sole representative in the mental state called Devachan. As the last disembodied personality, however, has a right to its own special state of bliss, unalloyed and free from the memories of all others, it is the last life only which is fully realistically vivid. Devachan is often compared to the happiest day in a series of many thousands of other "days" in the life of a person. The intensity of its happiness makes the man forget entirely all others, his past becomes obliterated.
(627) This is what we call the Devachanic State and the reward of the personality, and it is on this old teaching that the hazy Christian notion of "Paradise" was built, borrowed with many other things from the Egyptian Mysteries, wherein the doctrine was enacted. And this is the meaning of the passage quoted in Isis. The Soul has triumphed over Apophis, the Dragon of Flesh. Henceforth, the personality will live in eternity, in its highest and noblest elements, the memory of its past deeds, while the "characteristics" of the "Dragon" will be fading out in Kama-Loka. If the question is asked, "How live in eternity, when Devachan lasts but from 1000 to 2000 years?" the answer is: "In the same way as the memory of each day which is worth remembering lives in the memory of each one of us". For the sake of an example, the days passed in one personal life may be taken by us as an illustration of each personal life, and this or that person may stand for the divine Ego.
To obtain the key which will open the door of many a psychological mystery it is sufficient to understand and remember that which precedes and that which follows. Many a Spiritualist has felt terribly indignant on being told that personal immortality was conditional; and yet such is the philosophical and logical fact. Much has been said already on the subject, but no one to this day seems to have understood the doctrine. Moreover, it is not enough to know that such a fact is said to exist. An Occultist, or he who would become one, must know why it is so; for having learned and comprehended the raison d'etre, it becomes easier to set others right in their erroneous speculations, and, most important of all, it affords you an opportunity, without saying too much, to teach other people to avoid a calamity which, sad to say, occurs in our age almost daily. This calamity will now be explained at length.
(628) One must know little indeed of the Eastern modes of expression to fail to see in the passage quoted from the Book of the Dead, and the pages of Isis referred to: (a) an allegory for the uninitiated, containing our esoteric teaching; and (b) that the two terms, "second death" and "soul", are, in one sense, blinds. "Soul" refers indifferently to Buddhi-Manas and Kama-Manas. As to the term "second death", the qualification "second" applies to several deaths which have to be undergone by the "principles" during their incarnation, Occultists alone understanding fully the sense in which such a statement is made. For we have: (1) the death of the body; (2) the death of the Animal Soul in Kama-Loka; (3) the death of the Astral (Linga-Sarira), following that of the Body; (4) the metaphysical death of the Highest Ego, the immortal, every time it "falls into matter", or incarnates in a new personality. The Animal Soul, or Lower Manas, that shadow of the divine Ego which separates from it to inform the personality (the details of which process will now be given), cannot by any possible means escape death in Kama-Loka, at any rate that portion of this reflection which remains as a terrestrial residue and cannot be impressed on the Ego. Thus the chief and most important secret with regard to that "second death", in the esoteric teaching, was and is to this day the terrible possibility of the death of the Soul, that is, its severance from the Ego on earth during a person's lifetime. This is a real death (though with chances of resurrection), which shows no traces in a person and yet leaves him morally a living corpse. It is difficult to see why this teaching should have been preserved until now with such secrecy, when, by spreading it among people, at any rate among those who believe in reincarnation, so much good might be done. But so it was, and I had no right to question the wisdom of the prohibition, but have given it hitherto, as it was given to myself, under pledge not to reveal it to the world at large. But now I have permission to give it to all, revealing its tenets first to the Esotericists; and then when they have assimilated them thoroughly, it will be their duty to teach others this special tenet of the "second death", and warn all the Theosophists of its dangers. The pledge of secrecy, therefore, will no longer extend over this one solitary article of the esoteric creed.
To make the teaching clearer, I shall seemingly have to go over old ground; in reality, however, it is given out with new light and new details. I have tried to hint at it in The
Theosophist as I have done in Isis, but have failed to make myself understood. I will now explain it, point by point.
(629) THE PHILOSOPHICAL RATIONALE OF THE TENET
(1) Imagine, for illustration's sake, the one homogeneous, absolute and omnipresent Essence, above the upper step of the "stair of the seven planes of worlds", ready to start on its evolutionary journey. As its correlating reflection gradually descends, it differentiates and transforms into subjective, and finally into objective matter. Let us call it at its north pole Absolute Light; at its south pole (which to us would be the fourth or middle step, or plane, counting either way) we know it esoterically as the One and Universal Life. Now mark the difference. Above, LIGHT; below, Life. The former is ever immutable; the latter manifests under the aspects of countless differentiations. According to the occult law, all potentialities included in the higher become differentiated reflections in the lower; and according to the same law, nothing which is differentiated can be blended with the homogeneous.
Nor can anything endure of that which lives and breathes and has its being in the seething waves of the world, or plane of differentiation. Thus, Buddhi and Manas being both primordial rays of the One Flame - the former the vehicle (upadhi or vahana), of the one eternal Essence, the latter the vehicle of Mahat or Divine Ideation (Maha-Buddhi in the Puranas, the Universal Intelligent Soul - neither of them, as such can become extinct or be annihilated, either in essence or consciousness. But the physical personality, with its Linga-Sarira, and the animal soul with its Kama, can and do become so. They are born in the realm of illusion, and must vanish like a fleecy cloud from the blue and eternal sky.
He who has read The Secret Doctrine with any degree of attention, must know the origin of the human Egos, called generically Monads, and what they were before they were forced to incarnate in the human animal. The divine beings whom Karma led to act in the drama of Manvantaric life, are entities from higher and earlier worlds and planets, whose Karma had not been exhausted when their world went into Pralaya. Such is the teaching; but whether it is so or not, the Higher Egos are - as compared to such forms of transitory, terrestrial mud as ourselves - Divine Beings. Gods, immortal throughout the Mahamanvantara, or the 311,040,000,000,000 years during which the Age of Brahma lasts. And as the Divine Egos, in order to re-become the One Essence, or be indrawn again into the Universal AUM, have to purify themselves in the fire of suffering and individual experience, so also have the terrestrial Egos, the personalities, to do likewise, if they would partake of the immortality of the Higher Egos. This they can achieve by crushing in themselves all that benefits the lower personal nature of their "selves" and by aspiring to transfuse their thinking Kamic principle into that of the Higher Ego. We (i.e., our personalities) become immortal by the mere fact of our thinking, moral nature, being grafted on our divine triune Monad (Atma-Buddhi-Manas), the three in one and one in three (aspects). For the Monad manifested on earth by the incarnating Ego is that which is called the Tree of Life Eternal, that can only be approached by eating the fruit of Knowledge, the Knowledge of Good and Evil, or of GNOSIS, Divine Wisdom.
(630) In the exoteric teachings, this Ego is the fifth principle in man. But the student who has read and understood the first two Instructions, knows something more. He is aware that the seventh is not a human, but a universal principle in which Man participates; but so does equally every physical and subjective atom, and also every blade of grass and everything that lives or is in Space, whether it is sensible of it or not. He knows, moreover, that if man is more closely connected with it, and assimilates it with a hundredfold more power, it is simply because he is endowed with the highest consciousness on this earth; that man, in short, may become a Spirit, a Deva or a God in his next transformation, whereas neither a stone nor a vegetable, nor an animal can do so before they become men in their proper turn.
(2) Now what are the functions of Buddhi? On this plane it has none, unless it is united with Manas, the Conscious Ego. Buddhi stands to the divine Root-Essence in the same relation as Mulaprakriti to Parabrahman, in the Vedanta school; or as Alaya, the Universal Soul, to the One Eternal Spirit, or that which is beyond Spirit. It is its human vehicle, one remove from that Absolute which can have no relation whatever to the finite and the conditioned.
(3) What again is Manas and its functions? In its purely metaphysical aspect, Manas, being again one remove (on the downward plane) from Buddhi, is still so immeasurably higher than the physical man, that it cannot enter into direct relation with the personality, except through its reflection, the lower mind. Manas is Spiritual Self-Consciousness, in itself, and Divine Consciousness when united with Buddhi, which is the true "producer" of that "production" (vikara), or Self-Consciousness, through Mahat. Buddhi-Manas, therefore, is entirely unfit to manifest during its periodical incarnations, except through the human mind, or lower Manas. Both are linked together and are inseparable, and can have as little to do with the lower Tanmatras (rudimentary atoms) as the homogeneous with the heterogeneous. It is, therefore, the task of the lower Manas, or thinking personality, if it would blend itself with its God, the divine Ego, to dissipate and paralyze the Tanmatras, or properties of the material form. Therefore, Manas is shown double, as the Ego and the Mind of Man. It is Kama-Manas, or the lower Ego, which deluded into a notion of independent existence, as the "producer" in its turn and the Sovereign of the five Tanmatras, becomes Ego-ism, the selfish Self, in which case it has to be considered as Mahabhutic and finite, in the sense of its being connected with Ahamkara, the personal "I-creating" faculty. Hence "Manas has to be regarded as eternal and non-eternal; eternal in its atomic nature (para-manu-rupa), as eternal substance (dravya), finite (karya-rupa), when linked as a duad with Kama (animal desire or human egoistic volition), a lower production, in short". In this I do but repeat what I wrote in August, 1883, in answer to a critic in The Theosophist, in an article called "The Real and the Unreal". While, therefore, the INDIVIDUAL EGO, owing to its essence and nature, is immortal throughout eternity, with a form (rupa) which prevails during the whole life-cycle of the Fourth Round, its Sosie, or resemblance, the personal Ego, has to win its immortality.
(631) (4) Antaskarana is the name of that imaginary bridge, the path which lies between the divine and the human Egos, for they are Egos, during human life, to re-become one Ego in Devachan or Nirvana. This may seem difficult to understand, but in reality, with the help of a familiar though fanciful illustration, it becomes quite simple. Let us figure to ourselves a bright lamp in the middle of a room, casting its light upon the solid plaster wall. Let the lamp represent the divine Ego, and the light thrown on the wall the lower Manas, and let the wall stand for the body. The atmosphere which transmits the ray from the lamp to the wall, will then in our simile represent the Antaskarana. We must further suppose that the light thus transmitted is endowed with reason and intelligence, and possesses, moreover, the faculty of dissipating all the evil shadows which pass across the wall, and of attracting brightness to itself, receiving their indelible impressions. Now, it is in the power of the human Ego to chase away the shadows (sins) and multiply the brightness (good deeds) which make these impressions, and thus, through Antaskarana, ensure its own permanent connection, and its final reunion with the divine Ego. Remember that the latter cannot take place while there remains a single taint of the terrestrial, or of matter, in the purity of that light. On the other hand, the connection can never be ruptured, and final reunion prevented, so long as there remains one spiritual deed, or potentiality, to serve as a thread of union; but the moment this last spark is extinguished, and the last potentiality exhausted, then comes the severence. In an Eastern parable the divine Ego is likened to the Master who sends out his labourers to till the ground and to gather in the harvest, and who is content to keep the field so long as it can yield even the smallest return. But when the ground becomes actually sterile, not only is it abandoned, but the labourer also (the lower Manas) perishes.
On the other hand, however, still using our simile, when the light thrown on the wall, or the rational human Ego, reaches the point of actual spiritual exhaustion, the Antaskarana disappears, the light is no longer transmitted, and the lamp becomes non-existent to it. The light which has been absorbed gradually disappears and "soul-eclipse" occurs; the being lives on earth and then passes into Kama-Loka as a mere surviving congeries of material qualities; it can never pass outwards towards Devachan, but is reborn immediately, a human animal and scourge. Let "Jack the Ripper" stand as a type.
This simile, however fantastic, will help one to seize the correct idea. Except through the blending of the moral nature with the divine Ego, there is no immortality for the personal Ego. It is only that which is akin to the most spiritual emanations of the personal human soul which survives. Having, during a lifetime, been imbued with the notion and feeling of the "I-am-I" of its personality, the human soul, the bearer of the very essence of the Karmic deeds of the physical man, becomes, after the death of the latter, part and parcel of the divine Flame (the Ego). It becomes immortal through the mere fact that it is now strongly grafted on the Monad, which is the "Tree of Life Eternal".
And now we must speak of the tenet of the "second death". What happens to the Kamic human soul, always that of a debased and wicked man or of a soulless person? This mystery will now be explained.
The personal "soul" in this case - viz. in that of one who has never a thought unconnected with the animal self, having nothing to transmit to the Higher, or to add to the sum of the experiences from past incarnations which its memory is to preserve throughout eternity - this personal soul becomes separated from the Ego. It can graft nothing of Self on that eternal trunk whose sap throws out millions of personalities, like so many leaves from its branches, leaves which wither and die and fall at the end of their season. These personalities bud, blossom forth and expire, some without leaving a trace behind, others after commingling their own life with that of the parent stem. It is the "souls" of the former class that are doomed to annihilation, or Avichi, a state so incorrectly understood and still worse described by some Theosophical writers, but which is in fact not only located on our earth, but is this very earth itself.
(633) Thus we see that Antaskarana has been destroyed before the lower man had an opportunity of assimilating the Higher and becoming at one with it; and therefore the Kamic "Soul" becomes a separate entity, to live henceforth - for a short or long period, according to its Karma - as a "soulless" creature.
But before I elaborate this question, I must explain more clearly the meaning and functions of the Antaskarana. As already said, it is represented in Plate I as a narrow strip connecting the Higher and the lower Manas. If you look at the Glossary of The Voice of the Silence, pp. 88 and 89, you will find that it is a projection of the lower Manas, or, rather, the link between the latter and the Higher Ego, or between the human and the divine or spiritual Soul. "At death it is destroyed as a path, or medium of communication, and its remains survive as Kama-Rupa" - the "shell". It is this which the Spiritualists see sometimes appearing in the séance rooms as materialized "forms", which they foolishly mistake for the "Spirits of the Departed". So far is this from being the case, that in dreams, though Antaskarana is there, the personality is only half awake; therefore Antaskarana is said to be drunk or insane during our normal sleeping state. If such is the case during the periodical death (sleep), of the living body, one may judge of what the consciousness of Antaskarana becomes when it has been transformed after the "eternal sleep" into Kama-Rupa.
But to return. In order not to confuse the mind of the student with the abstruse difficulties of Indian metaphysics, let him view the lower Manas or Mind, as the personal Ego during the waking state, and as Antaskarana only during those moments when it aspires towards its higher half, and thus becomes the medium of communication between the two. It is for this reason that it is called "Path". Now, when a limb or organ belonging to the human physical organism is left in disuse, it becomes weak and finally atrophies; so also is it with any mental faculty; hence the atrophy of the lower mind-function, called Antaskarana, becomes comprehensible in both completely materialistic natures and those of depraved people.
According to esoteric philosophy, however, the teaching is as follows. Seeing that the faculty and function of Antaskarana is as necessary as the medium of the ear for hearing, or that of the eye for seeing, so long as the feeling of Ahamkara (of the personal "I" or selfishness) is not entirely crushed out in a man, and the lower mind not entirely merged into and become one with the Higher (Buddhi-Manas), it stands to reason that to destroy Antaskarana is like destroying a bridge over an impassable chasm: the traveller can never reach the goal on the other shore. And here lies the difference between the exoteric and the esoteric teaching. The former makes Vedanta state that so long as Mind (the lower) clings through Antaskarana to Spirit (Buddhi-Manas), it is impossible for it to acquire true spiritual Wisdom, Jnana, and that this can only be attained by seeking to come en rapport with the Universal Soul (Atman); that, in fact, it is by ignoring the Higher Mind altogether that one reaches Raja-Yoga. We say that it is not so. No single rung of the ladder leading to knowledge can be skipped. No personality can ever reach or bring itself into communication with Atman, except through Buddhi-Manas; to try and become a Jivanmukta or a "Mahatma", before one has become an Adept or even a Naljor (a sinless man) is like trying to reach Ceylon from India without crossing the sea. Therefore we are told that if we destroy Antaskarana before the personal is absolutely under the control of the impersonal Ego, we risk to lose the latter and be severed forever from it, unless indeed we hasten to reestablish the communication by a supreme and final effort.
(634) It is only when we are indissolubly linked with the essence of the divine Mind, that we have to destroy Antaskarana. "Like as a solitary warrior pursued by an army, seeks refuge in a stronghold; to cut himself off from the enemy, he first destroys the drawbridge, and then only commences to destroy the pursuer; so must the Srotapanna act before he slays Antaskarana." Or, as an occult axiom has it: "The unit becomes three, and three generate four. It is for the latter (the quaternary) to rebecome three, and for the divine three to expand into the Absolute One". Monads (which become duads on the differentiated plane, to develop into triads during the cycle of incarnations), even when incarnated, know neither Space nor Time, but are diffused through the lower principles of the quaternary, being omnipresent and omniscient in their nature. But this omniscience is innate, and can manifest its reflected light only through that which is at least semi-terrestrial or material; even as the physical brain which, in its turn, is the vehicle of the lower Manas enthroned in Kama-Rupa. And it is this which is gradually annihilated in cases of "second death".
(635) But such annihilation - which is in reality the absence of the slightest trace of the doomed soul from the eternal MEMORY, and therefore signifies annihilation in eternity - does not mean simply discontinuation of human life on earth, for earth is AVICHI, and the worst Avichi possible. Expelled forever from the consciousness of the Individuality (the reincarnating Ego), the physical atoms and psychic vibrations of the now separate personality are immediately reincarnated on the same earth, only in a lower and still more abject creature, a human being only in form, doomed to Karmic torments during the whole of its new life. Moreover, if it persists in its criminal or debauched course, it will suffer a long series of such immediate reincarnations.
Here two questions present themselves: (1) What becomes of the Higher Ego in such cases? (2) What kind of an animal is a human creature born soulless?
Before answering these two very natural queries, I have to draw the attention of all of you who are born in Christian countries to the fact that the romance of the vicarious atonement and mission of Jesus, as it now stands, was drawn or borrowed by some too liberal Initiates from the mysterious and weird tenet of the earthly experiences of the reincarnating Ego. The latter is indeed the sacrificial victim of, and through, his own Karma in previous Manvantaras, who takes upon himself voluntarily though unwillingly the duty of saving what would be otherwise soulless men or personalities. Eastern truth is thus more philosophical and logical than Western fiction. The Christos (Buddhi-Manas) of each man is not quite an innocent and sinless God, though in one sense it is the "Father", being of the same essence with the Universal Spirit, and at the same time the "Son", for Manas is the second remove from the "Father". By incarnation the Divine Son makes himself responsible for the sins of all the personalities which he will inform. This he can do only through his proxy or reflection, the Lower Manas. This, then is what happens when it has to break off from the personality. It is the only case in which the Divine Ego can escape individual penalty and responsibility as a guiding principle, because matter, with its psychic and astral vibrations, is then, by the very intensity of its combinations, placed beyond the control of the EGO. "Apophis, the Dragon", having become the conqueror, the reincarnating Manas, separating itself gradually from its tabernacle, breaks finally asunder from the psycho-animal soul.
Thus, in answer to the first question, I say:
(1) The Divine Ego does one of two things: either (a) it recommences immediately under its own Karmic impulses a fresh series of incarnations; or (b) it seeks and finds refuge in the "bosom of the Mother", Alaya, the Universal Soul, of which the Manvantaric aspect is Mahat. Freed from the life impressions of the personality, it merges into a kind of interlude of Nirvana, wherein there can be nothing but the eternal Present, which absorbs the Past and Future. Bereft of the "labourer", both field and harvest now being lost, the Master, in the infinitude of his thought, naturally preserves no recollection of the finite and evanescent illusion which had been his last personality. The latter, then, is indeed annihilated.
(636) (2) The future of the Lower Manas is more terrible, and still more terrible to humanity than to the now animal man. It sometimes happens that after the separation the exhausted Soul, now become supremely animal, fades out in Kama-Loka, as do all other animal souls. But seeing that the more material the human mind, the longer it lasts, in that intermediate state, it frequently happens that after the actual life of the soulless man is ended, he is again and again reincarnated into new personalities, each one more abject than the other. The impulse of animal life is too strong; it cannot wear itself out in one or two lives only. In rarer cases, however, something far more dreadful may happen. When the lower Manas is doomed to exhaust itself by starvation; when there is no longer hope that even a remnant of a lower light will, owing to favourable conditions - say, even a short period of spiritual aspiration and repentance - attract back to itself its Parent Ego, then Karma leads the Higher Ego back to new incarnations. In this case the Kama-Manasic spook may become that which we call in Occultism the "Dweller on the Threshold". This "Dweller" is not like that which is described so graphically in Zanoni, but an actual fact in nature and not a fiction in romance, however beautiful the latter may be. Bulwer must have got the idea from some Eastern Initiate. Our "Dweller", led by affinity and attraction, forces itself into the astral current, and through the Auric Envelope of the new tabernacle inhabited by the Parent Ego, and declares war to the lower light which has replaced it. This, of course, can only happen in the case of the moral weakness of the personality so obsessed. No one strong in his virtue, and righteous in his walk of life, can risk or dread any such thing; but only those depraved in heart. Robert Louis Stevenson had a glimpse of a true vision indeed when he wrote his Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His story is a true allegory. Every Chela would recognize in it a substratum of truth, and in Mr. Hyde a "Dweller", an obsessor of the personality, the tabernacle of the "Parent Spirit".
"This is a nightmare tale!" I was often told by one, now no more in our ranks, a person who had a most pronounced "Dweller", a "Mr. Hyde", as an almost constant companion. "How can such a process take place without one's knowledge?" It can and does happen, and I have almost described it once before in The Theosophist. "The Soul, the lower mind, becomes as a half-animal principle almost paralyzed with daily vice, and grows gradually unconscious of its subjective half, the Lord, .. one of the mighty Host"; and "in proportion to the rapid sensuous development of the brain and nerves, sooner or later, it (the personal Soul) finally loses sight of its divine mission on earth". Truly, "like the vampire, the brain feeds and lives and grows in strength at the expense of its spiritual parent .. and the personal half-unconscious Soul becomes senseless, beyond hope of redemption. It is powerless to discern the voice of its 'God'. It aims but at the development and fuller comprehension of natural, earthly life; and thus can discover but the mysteries of physical nature .. It begins by becoming virtually dead, during the life of the body; and ends by dying completely - that is, by being annihilated as a complete immortal Soul. Such a catastrophe may often happen long years before one's physical death: 'We elbow soulless men and women at every step in life'. And, when death arrives ... there is no more a Soul (the reincarnating Spiritual Ego) to liberate, .. for it has fled years before".
(637) Result: Bereft of its guiding principles, but strengthened by the material elements, Kama-Manas, from being a "derived light", now becomes an independent Entity. After suffering itself to sink lower and lower on the animal plane, when the hour strikes for its earthly body to die, one of two things happens: either Kama-Manas is immediately reborn in Myalba (the state of Avichi on earth) - Footnote: the Earth, or earth-life rather, is the only Avichi (Hell) that exists for the men of our humanity on this globe. Avichi is a state, not a locality - a counterpart of Devachan. Such a state follows the "Soul" wherever it goes, whether into Kama-Loka, as a semi-conscious "spook", or into a human body, when reborn to suffer Avichi. Our philosophy recognizes no other Hell), or, if it becomes too strong in evil - "immortal in Satan" is the Occult expression - it is sometimes allowed, for Karmic purposes, to remain in an active state of Avichi in the terrestrial Aura. Then through despair and loss of all hope it becomes like the mythical "devil" in its endless wickedness; it continues in its elements, imbued through and through with the essence of matter; for evil is coeval with matter rent asunder from spirit. And when its higher Ego has once more reincarnated, evolving a new reflection, or Kama-Manas, the doomed Lower Ego, like a Frankenstein's monster, will ever feel attracted to its "Father", who repudiates his Son, and will become a regular "Dweller" on the threshold of "terrestrial" life. [Here H.P.B. quotes from The Theosophist (Vols III and IV)], "useless drones" [are] those who refuse to become co-workers with nature and who perish by millions during the Manvantaric life-cycle; those (as in the case in hand) who prefer to be ever suffering in Avichi under Karmic Law than to give up their lives "in evil", and finally, those who are co-workers with Nature for destruction. There are thoroughly wicked and depraved men, but yet as highly intellectual and acutely spiritual for evil, as those who are spiritual for good. "The (lower) Egos of these may escape the law of final destruction or annihilation for ages to come."
Thus we find two kinds of soulless beings on earth: those who have lost their higher Ego in the present incarnation, and those who are born soulless, having been severed from their Spiritual Soul in the preceding birth. The former are candidates for Avichi; the latter are "Mr. Hydes", whether in or out of their human bodies, whether incarnated or hanging about as invisible but potent ghouls. In such men, cunning develops to an enormous degree, and no one except those who are familiar with the doctrine would suspect them of being soulless, for neither Religion nor Science has the least suspicion that such facts actually exist in Nature.
While yet in the body which has lost its higher "Soul" through its vices, there is still hope for such a person. He may be still redeemed and made to turn on his material nature; in which case either an intense feeling of repentance, or one single earnest appeal to the Ego that has fled, or best of all, an active effort to mend one's ways, may bring the Higher Ego back again. The thread or connection is not altogether broken, though the Ego is now beyond forcible reach, for "Antaskarana is destroyed", and the personal Entity has one foot already in Myalba; but it is not yet beyond hearing a strong spiritual appeal.
[Note: "Myalba is our earth - pertinently called "Hell" and the greatest of all Hells, by the esoteric schools. The esoteric doctrine knows of no hell or place of punishment other than a man-bearing planet or earth. Avitchi is a state not a locality." (Voice of the Silence, Pt III, note 35)]
CW XII, 712 DOUBLES AND EX-DOUBLES. How to discover the source of the "Will behind your consciousness (your own expression) which sweeps your physical self out of the moorings of your control - a frequent case with many persons? This involves the revelation of a great mystery: the discovery very often, of the identity of one's invisible foe, who seems to lead one there and make one do that which is dangerous and inadvisable. I cannot tell all, yet I may impart enough to put you on the right track. Know then that the atomic quality of your astral doubles is not uniform. On the contrary it varies immensely with the moral, spiritual and physical combination of the individual. Let us take the instance of the same ego - who was A. fifteen hundred years ago, and is now B. in the year 1888.
Now the Double of A. is, after the death of his body, either preponderatingly spiritual or preponderatingly terrestrial. In the first case it soon dissipates in the Kama Loka and disappears like smoke; for it has no Kama Rupa (body of strong desires and passions) to cling to and assimilate. "The Linga Sarira of the good man is like the morning mist after it has quitted the body of illusion; the merits of virtue of the man that was, are like the sun. When the sun rises its warm rays dissipate the image (Astral Body) like the perfume of the rose" (Occult Aphorisms). This, if A. was even an average good man. But suppose he has been a great sensualist, or cruel or something of the sort, his Double at his death survives by a sort of elastic quality, a striking of its atoms together by the surviving medium of that intense force which made the man the sensualist or whatever he was.
Now, in this case the Double survives and holds on together for centuries sometimes. Whereas the Double of A., the good man, is disintegrated long, long before the rebirth of his Ego; the Double of A., the sensualist, may linger till the next reincarnation. And that which takes place then is this. The previous Double is drawn by affinity to the new personality (or rather to the Ego therein, its old Ego). Now you have to learn well and know the nature, the origin and ways of the Doubles, the genesis and the laws of dissolution of those reflections of men, before you can understand me well. This would take too long to explain and cannot be given now, but try to understand me. The old Double fastens very often on the new personality of his ex-Ego, and, if the actual Double is weaker, the former gets mastery over the latter; it overpowers it and makes sometimes the otherwise good man all that which his ex-personality was the previous birth or worse. This, I see, is your case. You have one of your Doubles, or rather your ex-Double, trying to link itself again with you. Yet it is but a phantom of a phantom, and, unless soon after death - which is not your case, as your past incarnation is many centuries old - or when the deceased has been exceedingly wicked, it cannot affect third parties. But, until it is finally disintegrated and dispersed, it can affect its old Ego now, in new form, that individuality within your present body and your past bodies, which is moving ahead from birth to birth. It can give him (the new man) in his physical self, a lascivious, or cruel, or selfish, or avaricious tendency against his better feelings, make him vain and self-opinionated, etc., and have the best of him unless he struggles hard to shake off the incubus. It is the ex-Doubles of the present man and woman which, if the man was a woman in the previous birth, or the woman a man, take the shells or forms of their past incarnations and play the "spirit-wives" and "spirit-husbands" with the unfortunate mortals. It is they again - but let us drop the subject.
I see then in your photograph that at least one cause of your trouble is the influence of your former undissolved Double. But, as I said to you in my last letter, "the best remedy is your Will" under the masterful inspiration, and with the help of spirituality. This (the Will) is the one irresistible power in nature and in the psychic world; whatever the phantom or demon, it may be swept into nothingness by concentrating upon it this Will and bidding it go.
CW XIII, 364 [BLAVATSKY LODGE MINUTES]. At a meeting held at Maycot, June 16, 1887, a discussion arose as to the aura and magnetism of any individual. Magnetism, it was stated, is an emanation which arises from all things, the earth, animal and vegetable life; it is a physiological thing and arises from prana; which is the individual life principle. The aura is an individualization of a Universal Life Principle (Jiva) and endures with a man in spite of his periodical changes of state and planes. The aura is the origin of the feeling of sympathy and antipathy; it is a magnetic emanation of prana but in combination with manas and buddhi. In this connection it may be noted that memory is the effect of buddhi upon manas. The process of "psychologizing" is performed by will-power and is effected by and affects the aura. A discussion arose as to the distinction between will and desire. Desire has to do with a man's success but less than will or karma. Outside the animal kingdom desire ought only to have concern with one of the higher principles. Desire is a Kamic principle, it is Typhonic, a disturbing power and is opposed to will, which latter is an emanation from the seventh and sixth principles. Desire is an energy which ought to be repressed; when repressed the energy is scattered and goes to the universal energy but is not lost. It is got rid of by the man himself when repressed, but if given effect hangs round his neck like a mill-stone in the form of Karma. After death a man exists in Kama-loka encased in the Kama-rupa or bundle of desires which restrains the higher principles from passing entirely into Devachan. On his return thence man finds the Karma of unrepressed Desire waiting for him at the threshold. Hence the real punishment of Karma arises from the presence of desires which have to be repressed. This is done by the effort of will; which is not infinite and has a beginning and an end. But will is the manifestation of an eternal law which is appreciable only in its effects and in this place it was said that absolute will is not the same as Kosmic Will. Thus Man as microcosmos is gifted with freewill; but is limited by the action of other free wills under the law of universal harmony which is Karma. The real function of willpower is to produce harmony between the law and man. Thus the Mahatma being without desire and outside of the sphere of action of Karma; His real condition is in harmony with nature and is Karma and its agent, and hence is outside its action. His physical body is however still within its limits of action. Thus the direction of will should be towards realizing one's aspirations which are Buddhic, when the intellectual fifth principle is nearly merged in buddhi the sixth. These aspirations may be called "glimpses into the eternal". The lower consciousness mirrors aspirations unconsciously to itself and then itself aspires and is elevated if things are in accord. Such an aspiration would be a tendency towards Theosophy; this instinct if developed becomes a conscious aspiration. A distinction was drawn between obstinacy, firmness and will. Obstinacy results from an obscuration of the reason and may be compared to the two halves of the brain acting in opposition when the work is obstructed. Firmness may be said to result from equilibration of these two. Upon this firmness will is based and starts from this equilibration to work.
CW XIV, 489 The more I see of mediums - for the United States are a true nursery, the most prolific hot-bed for mediums and sensitives of all kinds genuine and artificial - the more I see the danger humanity is surrounded with. Poets speak of the thin partition between this world and the other. They are blind: there is no partition at all except the difference of states in which the living and the dead exist, and the grossness of the physical senses of the majority of mankind. Yet, these senses are our salvation. They were given to us by a wise and sagacious mother and nurse - nature; for, otherwise, individuality and even personality would have become impossible: the dead would be ever merging into the living, and the latter assimilating the former. Were there around us but one variety of 'spirits', - as well call the dregs of wine, spirits, - the reliquae of those mortals who are dead and gone, one could reconcile oneself with it. We cannot avoid, in some way or other, assimilating our dead, and little by little, and unconsciously to ourselves, we become them - even physically, especially in the unwise West, where cremation is unknown. We breathe and devour the dead -men and animals - with every breath we draw in, as every human breath that goes out makes up the bodies, and feeds the formless creatures in the air that will be men some day. So much for the physical process; for the mental and the intellectual, and also the spiritual, it is just the same; we interchange gradually our brain-molecules, our intellectual and even spiritual auras, hence - our thoughts, desire, and aspirations, with those who preceded us. This process is common to humanity in general. It is a natural one, and follows the economy and laws of nature, insomuch that one's son may become gradually his own grandfather, and his aunt to boot, imbibing their combined atoms, and thus partially accounting for the possible resemblance, or atavism. But there is another law, an exceptional one, and which manifests itself among mankind sporadically and periodically: the law of forced post-mortem assimilation, during the prevalence of which epidemic the dead invade the domain of the living from their respective spheres - though, fortunately, only within the limits of the regions they lived in, and in which they are buried. In such cases the duration and intensity of the epidemic depends upon the welcome they receive, upon whether they find the doors opening widely to receive them or not, and whether the necromantic plague is increased by magnetic attraction, the desire of the mediums, sensitives, and the curious themselves, or whether again, the danger being signalled the epidemic is wisely repressed.
Such a periodical visitation is now occurring in America. It began with innocent children - the little Misses Fox - playing unconsciously with this terrible weapon. And, welcomed and passionately invited to 'come in', the whole of the dead community seemed to have rushed in, and got a more or less strong hold of the living. I went on purpose to a family of strong mediums - the Eddys - and watched for over a fortnight, making experiments, which, of course, I kept to myself .. You remember, Vera, how I made experiments for you at Rougodevo, how often I saw the ghosts of those who had been living in the house, and described them to you, for you could never see them .. Well, it was the same daily and nightly in Vermont. I saw and watched these soulless creatures, the shadows of their terrestrial bodies, from which in most cases soul and spirit had fled long ago, but which throve and preserved their semi-material shadows, at the expense of the hundreds of visitors that came and went, as well as of the mediums. And I remarked under the advice and guidance of my Master, that (1) those apparitions which were genuine were produced by the 'ghosts' of those who had lived and died within a certain area of those mountains; (2) those who had died far away were less entire, a mixture of the real shadow and of that which lingered in the personal aura of the visitor for whom it purported to come; and (3) the purely fictitious ones, or as I call them, the reflections of the genuine ghosts or shadows of the deceased personality. To explain myself more clearly, it was not the spooks that assimilated the medium, but the medium, W. Eddy, who assimilated unconsciously to himself the pictures of the dead relatives and friends from the aura of the sitters.
SD I, 577 The Planetary origin of the Monad (Soul) and of its faculties was taught by the Gnostics. On its way to Earth, as on its way back from the Earth, each soul born in, and from, the "Boundless Light", had to pass through the seven planetary regions both ways.
SD II, 424 Events which were never written outside the human memory, but which were religiously transmitted from one generation to another, and from race to race, may have been preserved by constant transmission "within the book volume of the brain", and through countless aeons, with more truth and accuracy than inside any written document or record. "That which is part of our souls is eternal," says Thackeray; and what can be nearer to our souls than that which happens at the dawns of our lives? Those lives are countless, but the soul or spirit that animates us throughout these myriads of existences is the same; and though "the book and volume" of the physical brain may forget events within the scope of one terrestrial life, the bulk of collective recollections can never desert the divine soul within us. Its whispers may be too soft, the sound of its words too far off the plane perceived by our physical senses; yet the shadow of events that were, just as much as the shadow of the events that are to come, is within its perceptive powers, and is ever present before its mind's eye.
Isis I, 302 When the Central Invisible (the Lord Ferho) saw the efforts of the divine Scintilla, unwilling to be dragged lower down into the degradation of matter, to liberate itself, he permitted it to shoot out from itself a monad, over which, attached to it as by the finest thread, the Divine Scintilla (the soul) had to watch during its ceaseless peregrinations from one form to another. Thus the monad was shot down into the first form of matter and became encased in stone; then, in course of time, through the combined efforts of living fire and living water, both of which shone their reflection upon the stone, the monad crept out of its prison to sunlight as a lichen. From change to change it went higher and higher; the monad, with every new transformation borrowing more of the radiance of its parent, Scintilla, which approached it nearer at every transmigration. For "the First Cause", had willed it to proceed in this order"; and destined it to creep on higher until its physical form became once more the Adam of dust, shaped in the image of the Adam Kadmon. Before undergoing its last earthly transformation, the external covering of the monad, from the moment of its conception as an embryo, passes in turn, once more, through the phases of the several kingdoms. In its fluidic prison it assumes a vague resemblance at various periods of the gestation to plant, reptile, bird, and animal, until it becomes a human embryo. At the birth of the future man, the monad, radiating with all the glory of its immortal parent which watches it from the seventh sphere, becomes senseless. It loses all recollection of the past, and returns to consciousness but gradually, when the instinct of childhood gives way to reason and intelligence. After the separation between the life-principle (astral spirit) and the body takes place, the liberated soul - Monad, exultingly rejoins the mother and father spirit, the radiant Angoeides, and the two, merged into one, forever form, with a glory proportioned to the spiritual purity of the past earth-life, the Adam who has completed the circle of necessity, and is freed from the last vestige of his physical encasement. Henceforth, growing more and more radiant at each step of his upward progress, he mounts the shining path that ends at the point from which he started around the GRAND CYCLE.
Isis I, 317 Physical death, or the death of the body, was a provision of the divine economy for the benefit of man, a provision by means of which he attained the higher ends of his being. But there is another death which is the interruption of the divine order and the destruction of every human element in man's nature, and every possibility of human happiness. This is the spiritual death, which takes place before the dissolution of the body. "There may be a vast development of man's natural mind without that development being accompanied by a particle of love of God, or of unselfish love of man". When one falls into a love of self and love of the world, with its pleasures, losing the divine love of God and of the neighbour, he falls from life to death. The higher principles which constitute the essential elements of his humanity perish, and he lives only on the natural plane of his faculties. Physically he exists, spiritually he is dead.
Isis I, 319 After the death of the depraved and the wicked, arrives the critical moment. If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the inner-self to reunite itself with the faintly-glimmering ray of its divine parent is neglected; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out by the thickening crust of matter, the soul, once freed from the body, follows its earthly attractions and is magnetically drawn into and held within the dense fogs of the material atmosphere. Then it begins to sink lower and lower, until it finds itself, when returned to consciousness, in what the ancients termed Hades. The annihilation of such a soul is never instantaneous; it may last centuries, perhaps; for nature never proceeds by jumps and starts, and the astral soul being formed of elements, the law of evolution must bide its time. Then begins the fearful law of compensation, the Yin-youan of the Buddhists. This class of spirits are called the "terrestrial" or "earthly elementary".
Isis I, 327 That which survives as an individuality after the death of the body is the astral soul, .. the mortal soul, for, according to the Hermetic doctrine, it throws off its more material particles at every progressive change into a higher sphere. .. his mortal soul retains all the characteristics of the body after the death of the latter; so much so, indeed, that a man marked with the whip will have his astral body " full of prints and scars". The Divine, the highest and immortal spirit, can be neither punished nor rewarded. To maintain such a doctrine would be at the same time absurd and blasphemous, for it is not merely a flame lit at the central and inexhaustible fountain of light, but actually a portion of it, and of identical essence. It assures immortality to the individual astral being in proportion to the willingness of the latter to receive it. So long as the double man, i.e., the man of flesh and spirit, keeps within the limits of the law of spiritual continuity; so long as the divine spark lingers in him, however faintly, he is on the road to an immortality in the future state. But those who resign themselves to a materialistic existence, shutting out the divine radiance shed by their spirit, at the beginning of the earthly pilgrimage, and stifling the warning voice of that faithful sentry, the conscience, which serves as a focus for the light in the soul - such beings as these, having left behind conscience and spirit, and crossed the boundaries of matter, will of necessity have to follow its laws.
Isis I, 346 Thus, like the revolutions of a wheel, there is a regular succession of death and birth, the moral cause of which is the cleaving to existing objects, while the instrumental cause is karma (the power which controls the universe, prompting it to activity), merit and demerit. "It is, therefore, the great desire of all beings who would be released from the sorrows of successive birth, to seek the destruction of the moral cause, the cleaving to existing objects, or evil desire". They, in whom evil desire is entirely destroyed, are called Arhats. Freedom from evil desire insures the possession of a miraculous power. At his death, the Arhat is never reincarnated; he invariably attains Nirvana .. Nirvana is the world of cause, in which all deceptive effects or delusions of our senses disappear. Nirvana is the highest attainable sphere.
Isis I, 389 At the end of three or four weeks the [human] ovum has assumed a plant-like appearance, one extremity having become spheroidal and the other tapering, like a carrot. Upon dissection it is found to be composed, like an onion, of very delicate laminae or coats, enclosing a liquid. The laminae approach each other at the lower end, and the embryo hangs from the root of the umbilicus almost like a fruit from a bough. The stone has now become changed, by metempsychosis, into a plant. Then the embryonic creature begins to shoot out, from the inside outward, its limbs and develops its features. The eyes are visible as two black dots; the ears, nose, and mouth form depressions, like the points of a pineapple, before they begin to project. The embryo develops into an animal-like foetus - the shape of a tadpole - and like an amphibious reptile lives in water, and develops from it. Its monad has not yet become either human or immortal, for the kabalists tell us that that only comes at the "fourth hour". One by one the foetus assumes the characteristics of the human being, the first flutter of the immortal breath passes through his being; he moves; nature opens the way for him; ushers him into the world; and the divine essence settles in the infant frame, which it will inhabit until the moment of physical death, when man becomes a spirit.
Isis I, 481 Setting aside the incredible fiction of Lazarus, we will select two cases: the ruler's daughter, recalled to life by Jesus, and the Corinthian bride, resuscitated by Apollonius. In the former case, totally disregarding the significant expression of Jesus - "She is not dead but sleepeth", the clergy force their god to become a breaker of his own laws and grant unjustly to one what he denies to all others, and with no better object in view than to produce a useless miracle. In the second case, notwithstanding the words of the biographer of Apollonius, so plain and precise that there is not the slightest cause to misunderstand them, they charge Philostratus with deliberate imposture. Who could be fairer than he, who less open to the charge of mystification, when, in describing the resuscitation of the young girl by the Tyanian sage, in the presence of a large concourse of people, the biographer says, "she had seemed to die"?
In other words, he very clearly indicates a case of suspended animation; and then adds immediately, "as the rain fell very fast on the young girl", while she was being carried to the pile, "with her face turned upwards, this also, might have excited her senses. Does this not show most plainly that Philostratus saw no miracle in that resuscitation? Does it not rather imply, if anything, the great learning and skill of Apollonius, "who like Asclepiades had the merit of distinguishing at a glance between real and apparent death?
A resuscitation, after the soul and spirit have entirely separated from the body, and the last electric thread is severed, is as impossible as for a once disembodied spirit to reincarnate itself once more on this earth, except as described in previous chapters. "A leaf, once fallen off, does not reattach itself to the branch," said Eliphas Levi. "The caterpillar becomes a butterfly, but the butterfly does not again return to the grub. Nature closes the door behind all that passes, and pushes life forward. Forms pass, thought remains, and does not recall that which it has once exhausted."
Isis II, 153 .. Moses, like certain other god-like men, was believed to have reached the highest of all states on earth: -the rarest of all psychological phenomena, the perfect union of the immortal spirit with the terrestrial duad had occurred. The trinity was complete. A god was incarnate. But how rare such incarnations!
That expression, "Ye are gods", which, to our biblical students, is a mere abstraction, has for the kabalists a vital significance. Each immortal spirit that sheds its radiance upon a human being is a god - the Microcosmos of the Macrocosmos, part and parcel of the Unknown God, the First Cause of which it is a direct emanation. It is possessed of all the attributes of its parent source. Among these attributes are omniscience and omnipotence. Endowed with these, but yet unable to fully manifest them while in the body, during which time they are obscured, veiled, limited by the capabilities of physical nature, the thus divinely -inhabited man may tower far above his kind, evince a god-like wisdom, and display deific powers; for while the rest of mortals around him are but overshadowed by their DIVINE SELF, with every chance given to them to become immortal hereafter, but no other security than their personal efforts to win the kingdom of heaven, the so chosen man has already become an immortal while yet on earth. His prize is secured. Henceforth he will live forever in eternal life. Not only he may have "dominion" over all the works of creation by employing the "excellence" of the NAME (the ineffable one) but be higher in this life, not as Paul is made to say, "a little lower than the angels".
Isis II, 565 .. a man striving after spiritual perfection must have three births: 1st Physical from his mortal parents; 2nd Spiritual, through religious sacrifice (initiation); 3rd His final birth into the world of spirit - at death. Though it may seem strange that we should have to go to the old land of the Punjab and the banks of the sacred Ganges, for an interpreter of words spoken in Jerusalem and expounded on the banks of the Jordan, the fact is evident. This second birth, or regeneration of spirit, after the natural birth of that which is born of the flesh, might have astonished a Jewish ruler. Nevertheless, it had been taught 3,000 years before the appearance of the great Galilean prophet, not only in old India but to all the epoptae of the Pagan initiation, who were instructed in the great mysteries of LIFE and DEATH. This secret of secrets, that soul is not knit to flesh, was practically demonstrated in the instance of the Yogis, the followers of Kapila. Having emancipated their souls from the fetters of Prakriti, or Mahat (the physical perception of the senses and mind - in one case, creation), they so developed their soul-power and will-force, as to have actually enabled themselves, while on earth, to communicate with the supernal worlds, and perform what is bunglingly termed "miracles". Men whose astral spirits have attained on earth the nehreyasa, or the mukti, are half-gods; disembodied spirits, they reach Moksha or Nirvana, and this is their second spiritual birth.
ML 47:47 You want to know why it is deemed supremely difficult if not utterly impossible for pure disembodied Spirits to communicate with men through mediums or Phantomosophy. I say, because:-
(a) On account of the antagonistic atmospheres respectively surrounding these worlds;
(b) Of the entire dissimilarity of physiological and spiritual conditions; and -
(c) Because that chain of worlds I have just been telling you about, is not only an epicycloid but an elliptical orbit of existences, having, as every ellipse, not one but two points -two foci, which can never approach each other; Man being at one focus of it and pure Spirit at the other.
To this you might object. I can neither help it, nor change the fact, but there is still another and far mightier impediment. Like a rosary composed of white and black beads alternating with each other, so that concatenation of worlds is made up of worlds of CAUSES and worlds of EFFECTS, the latter - the direct result produced by the former. Thus is becomes evident that every sphere of Causes and our Earth is one - is not only inter-linked with, and surrounded by, but actually separated from its nearest neighbour - the higher sphere of Causality - by an impenetrable atmosphere (in its spiritual sense) of effects bordering on, and even interlinking, never mixing with - the next sphere: for one is active, the other - passive, the world of causes positive, that of effects - negative. This passive resistance can be overcome but under conditions, of which your most learned Spiritualists have not the faintest idea. All movement is, so to say, polar. It is very difficult to convey my meaning to you at this point; but I will go to the end. I am aware of my failure to bring before you these - to us - axiomatical truths - in any other form but that of a simple logical postulate - if so much - they being capable of absolute and unequivocal demonstration, but to the highest Seers. But, I'll give you food for thinking if nothing else.
(48:48) The intermediary spheres, being the projected shadows of the Worlds of Causes - are negatived by the last. They are the great halting places, the stations in which the new Self-Conscious Egos to be - the self begotten progeny of the old and disembodied Egos of our planet, are gestated. Before the new phoenix, reborn of the ashes of its parents, can soar higher, to a better, more spiritual, and perfect world - still a world of matter - it has to pass through the process of a new birth, so to say; and, as on our earth, where the two -thirds of infants are either still born or die in infancy, so in our "world of effects." On earth it is the physiological and mental defects, the sins of the progenitors which are visited upon the issue; in that land of shadows, the new and yet unconscious Ego-foetus becomes the just victim of the transgressions of its old Self, whose karma - merit or demerit - will alone weave out its future destiny. In that world, my good friend, we find but unconscious, self-acting, ex-human machines, souls in their transition state, whose dormant faculties and individuality lie as a butterfly in its chrysalis; and Spiritualists would have them talk sense! Caught at times, into the vortex of the abnormal "mediumistic" current, they become the unconscious echoes of thoughts and ideas crystallized around those present. Every positive, well-directed mind is capable of neutralizing such secondary effects in a séance room. The world below ours is worse yet. The former is harmless at least; it is more sinned against by being disturbed, than sinning; the latter allowing the retention of full consciousness as being a hundredfold more material, is positively dangerous. The notions of hells and purgatory, of paradises and resurrections are all caricatured, distorted echoes of the primeval one Truth, taught humanity in the infancy of its races by every First Messenger - the Planetary Spirit mentioned on the reverse of page the third - and whose remembrance lingered in the memory of man as Elu of the Chaldees, Osiris the Egyptian, Vishnu, the first Buddhas and so on.
(49:49) The lower world of effects is the sphere of such distorted Thoughts; of the most sensual conceptions, and pictures; of anthropomorphic deities, the out-creations of their creators, the sensual human minds of people who have never out-grown their brutehood on earth. Remembering thoughts are things - have tenacity, coherence, and life, - that they are real entities - the rest will become plain. Disembodied - the creator is attracted naturally to its creation and creatures; sucked in - by the Maelstrom dug out by his own hands ..
ML 51:51 For countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable rocks, a giant's Tower of INFINITE THOUGHT, wherein the Titan dwelt, and will yet, if need be, dwell alone, emerging from it but at the end of every cycle, to invite the elect of mankind to co-operate with him and help in his turn enlighten superstitious man. And we will go on in that periodical work of ours; we will not allow ourselves to be baffled in our philanthropic attempts until that day when the foundations of a new continent of thought are so firmly built that no amount of opposition and ignorant malice guided by the Brethren of the Shadow will be found to prevail.
ML 71:71 The worlds of effects are not lokas or localities. They are the shadow of the world of causes their souls - worlds having like men their seven principles which develop and grow simultaneously, with the body. Thus the body of man is wedded to and remains for ever within the body of his planet: his individual jivatma life principle that which is called in physiology animal spirits returns after death to its source - Fohat; his linga shariram will be drawn into Akasha; his Kama rupa will recommingle with the Universal Sakti - the Will-Force, or universal energy: his "animal soul" borrowed from the breath of Universal Mind will return to the Dhyan Chohans: his sixth principle - whether drawn into or rejected from the matrix of the Great Passive Principle must remain in its own sphere - either as part of the crude material or as an individualized entity to be reborn in a higher world of causes. The seventh will carry it from the Devachan and follow the new Ego to its place of rebirth ..
ML 73:73 All is one Law. Man has his seven principles, the germs of which he brings with him at his birth. So has a planet or world. From first to last every sphere has its world of effects, the passing through which will afford a place of final rest to each of the human principles - the seventh principle excepted.
ML 104:107 .. had the reverend translator been acquainted with the true doctrine a little better - he would have (1) divided the Devas into two classes - and called them the "Rupa-devas" and the "Arupa-devas (the "form" - or objective, and the "formless" or subjective Dhyan Chohans); and (2) would have done the same for his class of "men", since there are shells, and "Mara-rupas" - i.e. bodies doomed to annihilation. All these are:
|(1)||Rupa-devas||Dhyan Chohans, having forms||Ex-men|
|(2)||Arupa-devas||Dhyan Chohans, having no forms|
|(4)||Mara-rupa||Doomed to death (3 principled).|
|(5)||Asuras||Elementals - having human form||Future men|
|(6)||Beasts||Elementals - 2nd class - animal Elementals.|
|(7)||Rakshasas (Demons)||Souls or Astral Forms of sorcerers; men who have reached the apex of knowledge in the forbidden art. Dead or alive they have, so to say cheated nature; but it is only temporary - until our planet goes into obscuration, after which they have nolens volens to be annihilated.|
It is these seven groups that form the principal divisions of the Dwellers of the subjective world around us. It is in stock No.1, that are the intelligent Rulers of this world of Matter, and who, with all this intelligence are but the blindly obedient instruments of the ONE; the active agents of a Passive Principle.
ML 126:129 We call "immortal" but the one Life in its universal collectivity and entire or Absolute Abstraction; that which has neither beginning nor end, nor any break in its continuity. Does the term apply to anything else? Certainly it does not. Therefore the earliest Chaldeans had several prefixes to the word "immortality", one of which is the Greek, rarely-used term - panaeonic immortality, i.e. beginning with the manvantara and ending with the pralaya of our Solar Universe. It lasts the aeon, or "period" of our pan or "all nature". Immortal then is he, in the panaeonic immortality whose distinct consciousness and perception of Self under whatever form - undergoes no disjunction at any time not for one second, during the period of his Egoship. Those periods are several in number, each having its distinct name in the secret doctrines of the Chaldeans, Greeks, Egyptians and Aryans, and, were they but amenable to translation, - which they are not, at least so long as the idea involved remains inconceivable to the Western mind - I could give them to you. Suffice for you, for the present to know, that a man, an Ego like yours or mine, may be immortal from one to the other Round. Let us say I begin my immortality at the present fourth Round, i.e., having become a full adept (which unhappily I am not) I arrest the hand of Death at will, and when finally obliged to submit to it, my knowledge of the secrets of nature puts me in a position to retain my consciousness and distinct perception of Self as an object to my own reflective consciousness and cognition; and thus avoiding all such dismemberments of principles, that as a rule take place after the physical death of average humanity, I remain as Koothoomi in my Ego throughout the whole series of births and lives across the seven worlds and Arupa-Lokas until finally I land again on this earth among the fifth race of men of the full fifth Round beings. I would have been, in such a case - "immortal" for an inconceivable (to you) long period, embracing many milliards of years. And yet am "I" truly immortal for all that? Unless I make the same efforts as I do now, to secure for myself another such furlough from Nature's Law, Koothoomi will vanish and may become a Mr Smith or an innocent Babu, when his leave expires. There are men who become such mighty beings, there are men among us who may become immortal during the remainder of the Rounds, and then take their appointed place among the highest Chohans, the Planetary conscious "Ego-Spirits". Of course the Monad "never perishes whatever happens," ..
ML 142:146 Q. What is the good of the whole cyclic process if spirit only emerges at the end of all things pure and impersonal as it was at first before its descent into matter? (And the portions taken away from the fifth?)
ML 154:158 A. What emerges at the end of all things is not only "pure and impersonal spirit", but the collective "personal" remembrances skimmed off every new fifth principle in the long series of being. And, if at the end of all things - say in some million of millions years hence, Spirit will have to rest in its pure, impersonal non-existence, as the ONE or the absolute, still there must be "some good" in the cyclic process, since every purified Ego has the chance in the long interims between objective being upon the planets to exist as a Dhyan Chohan - from the lowest "Deva-Chanee" to the highest Planetary, enjoying the fruits of its collective lives.
But what is "Spirit" pure and impersonal per se? Is it possible that you should not have realized yet our meaning? why, such a Spirit is a nonentity, a pure abstraction, an absolute blank to our senses - even to the most spiritual. It becomes something since matter is infinite and indestructible and non-existent without Spirit which, in matter, is Life. Separated from matter it becomes the absolute negation of life and being, whereas matter is inseparable from it. Ask those who offer the objection, whether they know anything of "life" and "consciousness" beyond what they now feel on earth. What conception can they have - unless natural born seers - of the state and consciousness of one's individuality after it has separated itself from gross earthly body? What is the good of the whole process of life on earth - you may ask them, in your turn - if, we are as good as "pure" unconscious entities before birth, during sleep, and, at the end of our career? Is not death, according to the teachings of Science, followed by the same state of unconsciousness as the one before birth? Does not life when it quits our body become as impersonal as it was before it animated the foetus? Life, after all, - the greatest problem within the ken of human conception is a mystery that the greatest of your men of Science will never solve. In order to be correctly comprehended, it has to be studied in the entire series of its manifestations, otherwise it can never be, not only fathomed,but even comprehended in its easiest form - life, as a state of being on this earth. It can never be grasped so long as it is studied separately and apart from universal life.
ML 143:147 Q. "The full remembrance of our lives will come but at the end of the minor cycle." - Does "minor cycle" here mean one round, or the whole Manvantara of our planetary chain? That is, do we remember our past lives in the Deva Chan of world Z at the end of each round, or only at the end of the seventh round?
ML 167:171 A. Yes; the "full" remembrance of our lives (collective lives) will return back at the end of all the seven rounds, at the threshold of the long, long Nirvana that awaits us after we leave Globe Z. At the end of isolated Rounds, we remember but the sum total of our last impressions, those we had selected, or that have rather forced themselves upon us and followed us in Deva Chan. Those are all "probationary" lives with large indulgences and new trials afforded us with every new life. But at the close of the minor cycle, after the completion of all the seven Rounds, there awaits us no other mercy but the cup of good deeds, of merit, outweighing that of evil deeds and demerit in the scales of Retributive Justice. Bad, irretrievably bad must be that Ego that yields no mite from its fifth Principle, and has to be annihilated, to disappear in the Eighth Sphere. A mite, as I say, collected from the Personal Ego suffices to save him from the dreary Fate. Not so after the completion of the great cycle; either a long Nirvana of Bliss (unconscious though it be in the, and according to, your crude conceptions); after which - life as a Dhyan Chohan for a whole Manvantara, or else "Avitchi Nirvana" and a Manvantara of misery and Horror as a -----, you must not hear the word nor I - pronounce or write it. But "those" have nought to do with the mortals who pass through the seven spheres. The collective Karma of a future Planetary is as lovely as the collective Karma of a ----- is terrible.
ML 144:147 Q. "The spiritual Ego goes circling through the worlds, retaining what it possesses of identity and self-consciousness, always neither more nor less (a) But it is continually evolving personalities, in which at all events the sense of identity while it remains united with them is very complete. (b) Now these personalities I understand to be absolutely new evolutions in each case. A.P. Sinnett is, for what it is worth, - absolutely a new invention. Now it will leave a shell behind which will survive for a time (c) assuming that the spiritual monad temporarily engaged in this incarnation will find enough decent material in the fifth to lay hold of. (d) That shell will have no consciousness directly after death, because "it requires a certain time to establish its new centre of gravity and evolve its perception proper". (e) But how much consciousness will it have when it has done this? (f) Will it still be A.P. Sinnett of which the spiritual Ego, will think, even at the last, as of a person it had known - or will it be conscious that the individuality is gone? Will it be able to reason about itself at all, and to remember anything of its once higher interest? Will it remember the name it bore? (g) or is it only inflated with recollections of this sort in mediumistic presence, remaining asleep at other times? (h) And is it conscious of losing anything that feels like life as it gradually disintegrates?
ML 171:174 A. A more or less complete, still dim recollection of its personality, and of its purely physical life. As in the cases of complete insanity the final severance of the two higher duads (7th 6th and 5th 4th) at the moment of the former going into gestation, digs an impassable gulf between the two. It is not even a portion of the fifth that is carried away - least of all 2.1/2 principles as Mr Hume crudely puts it in his Fragments that go into Deva Chan leaving but 1.1/2 principles behind. The Manas shorn of its finest attributes, becomes like a flower from which all the aroma has suddenly departed, a rose crushed, and having been made to yield all its oil for the attar manufacture purposes; what is left behind is but the smell of decaying grass, earth and rottenness.
(a) Question the second is sufficiently answered, I believe. (Your second para.) The spiritual Ego goes on evolving personalities, in which "the sense of identity" is very complete while living. After their separation from the physical Ego, that sense returns very dim, and belongs wholly to the recollections of the physical man. The shell may be a perfect Sinnett when wholly engrossed in a game of cards at his club, and when either losing or winning a large sum of money - or a Babu Smut Murky Dass trying to cheat his principal out of a sum of rupees. In both cases - ex-editor and Babu will - as shells, remind anyone who will have the privilege of enjoying an hour's chat with the illustrious, disembodied angels, more of the inmates of a lunatic asylum made to play parts in private theatricals as means of hygienic recreation, than of the Caesars or Hamlets they would represent. The slightest shock will throw them off the track and send them off raving.
(172:175) (b) An error. A.P. Sinnett is not "an absolutely new invention". He is the child and creation of his antecedent personal self; the Karmic progeny for all he knows, of Nonius Asprena, Consul of the Emperor Domitian - (94 A.D.) together with Arricinius Clementus, and friend of the Flamen Dealis of that day (the high priest of Jupiter and chief of the Flamenes) or of that Flamens himself - which would account for A.P. Sinnett's suddenly developed love for mysticism. A.P.S. - the friend and brother of K.H. will go to Deva Chan; and A.P.S., the Editor and the lawn-tennis man, the Don Juan, in a mild way, in the palmy days of "Saints, Sinners and Sceneries", identifying himself by mentioning a usually covered mole or scar, - will, perhaps, be abusing the Babus through a medium to some old friend in California or London.
(c) It will find "enough decent material" and to spare. A few years of Theosophy will furnish it.
(d) Perfectly correctly defined.
(e) As much as there is of the personality - in A.P.S.'s reflection in the looking glass - of the real, living A.P.S.
(f) The Spiritual Ego will not think of the A.P.S., the shell, any more than it will think of the last suit of clothes it wore; nor will it be conscious that the individuality is gone, since that only individuality and Spiritual personality it will then behold in itself alone. Nosce te ipsum is a direct command of the oracle to the Spiritual monad in Deva Chan; and the "heresy of Individuality" is a doctrine propounded by Tathagatha with an eye to the Shell. The latter whose bumptiousness is as proverbial as that of the medium when reminded that it is A.P.S. - will echo out: "Of course, no doubt, hand me over some preserved peaches I devoured with such an appetite for breakfast, and a glass of claret!" - and who after this who knew A.P.S. at Allahabad, will dare doubt his identity? And when left alone for one short instant by some disturbance in the circle, or the thought of the medium wandering for a moment to some other person - that shell will begin to hesitate in its thoughts whether it is A.P.S., S. Wheeler, or Ratigan; and end by assuring itself it is Julius Caesar. (g) - and by finally "remaining asleep".
(h) No, it is not conscious of this loss of cohesion. Besides, such a feeling in a shell being quite useless for nature's purposes, it could hardly realize something that could be never even dreamed by a medium or its affinities. It is dimly conscious of its own physical death - after a prolonged period of time though - that's all. The few exceptions to this rule - cases of half successful sorcerers, of very wicked persons passionately attached to the Self - offer a real danger to the living. These very material shells, whose last dying thought was Self, - Self, - Self, - and to live, to live! will often feel it instinctively. So do some suicides, though not all. What happens then is terrible for it becomes a case of post mortem licanthropy. The shell will cling so tenaciously to its semblance of life that it will seek refuge in a new organism in any beast - in a dog, a hyaena, a bird, when no human organism is close at hand - rather than submit to annihilation.
ML 195:198 The "minor cycle" meant, is, of course, the completion of the seventh Round, as decided upon and explained. Besides that at the end of each of the seven rounds come a less "full" remembrance; only of the devachanic experiences taking place between the numerous births at the end of each personal life. But the complete recollection of all lives - (earthly and devachanic) omniscience - in short comes but at the great end of the full seven Rounds (unless one had become in the interim a Bodhisatwa, an Arhat) - the "threshold" of Nirvana meaning an indefinite period. Naturally a man, a Seventh-rounder (who completes his earthly migrations at the beginning of the last race and ring) will have to wait longer at the threshold than one of the very last of those Rounds. That Life of the Elect between the minor Pralaya and Nirvana - or rather before the Pralaya is the Great Reward, the grandest, in fact, since it makes of the Ego (though he may never have been an adept, but simply a worthy, virtuous man in most of his existences) - virtually a God, an omniscient, conscious being, a candidate - for eternities of aeons - for a Dhyan Chohan .. Enough - I am betraying the mysteries of initiation. But what has NIRVANA to do with the recollections of objective existences? That is a state still higher and in which all things objective are forgotten. It is a State of Absolute Rest and assimilation with Parabrahm - it is Parabrahm itself. Oh, for the sad ignorance of our philosophical truths in the West, and for the inability of your greatest intellects to seize the true spirit of those teachings. What shall we - what can we do!
EWS, 185 THOUGHTS ON KAMA-LOKA
Suggested by Mr Sinnett's paper on the same subject (vide the Theosophist, February 1885, page 106)
In considering this subject we must, above all things, take care to realize that the seven principles in man are not several entities or substances that can be separated and each considered as a distinct individuality having definite characteristics peculiar to itself. In Sanskrit the different principles are called Upadhis, i.e., the sheaths or seats of the different states of existence of the ONE LIFE.
The seat of consciousness which gives rise to the feeling of individuality and the sense "I am I" is in the fifth principle.
If there is no fifth principle, i.e., if there is no consciousness of individuality, all the other states of existence are non-existent, for without a percipient ego there can be neither perception nor any object of perception. Hence it is said, that without the son (the germ of consciousness in the Logos roused into activity at the time of Cosmic evolution) there is no Father or Mother. The Father and the Holy Ghost come into existence when the Son is born, and this is the true occult explanation of the Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity. Perhaps it may be objected that animals can take cognisance of existence although they have no fifth principle; but the reason of this is that, although the fifth principle is not united to the lower principles of the animals, it yet overshadows them. Thus, properly speaking, it is the fifth principle only which plays a prominent part in the various states of man in life and after death. By its association (no matter how, for the present) with the lower principles, it generates earthly and material tendencies which attract it downwards. At the same time, being overshadowed by its father, the sixth and seventh principles, it generates higher aspirations which attract it upwards. After physical death, when the entity passes into Kama-Loka, the real struggle is confined to the fifth principle alone, that is, to the seat of consciousness together with the affinities generated in it during its earthly incarnation. In Kama-Loka, therefore, the fourth principle of Kama-Rupa which is the Upadhi, or seat of all earthly desires and passions, etc., drags towards itself those affinities of the fifth principle which are of a material nature, while the higher aspirations are attracted towards the sixth and the seventh principles. The conception may be made clear by remembering that the seventh principle is the source of energy, while the sixth principle is merely the energy radiated by the seventh. The states of existence of man may be divided into three which can be again divided into seven. The first three are:- physical life, astral life and spiritual life. The seven states are :- (1) Physical life, (2) the state between physical and astral life, (3) the astral life, (4) the state between the astral life and the spiritual life, and (5, 6, 7,) the three states of spiritual life. In physical life, all the physical activities are strong while the astral life is exhibited in the temporary cessation of the functions of physical activities, as takes place in sleep, etc. Each life manifests itself only on those spheres to which its organization is adapted. Thus for manifestation on this physical world a physical organism is essential, and without its help no activity can be manifested in this sphere. In this life we have, as it were, brought with us such an accretion of principles as has been produced by the effects of the causes generated in a previous incarnation. At the same time we have an organization which enables us to generate new causes. When the physical body is worn out by the activities manifested through it, the cohesive force which held its particles together becomes weaker and weaker until physical death takes place. We do not therefore die at once (except in cases of sudden death caused by accidents, etc.), but are gradually dying every moment of our lives. The vital principle, finding its present Sthulasariram unfit for habitation, leaves it, to animate some other Sthulasariram. The third principle, which is the agglomeration of the magnetic emanations of the physical body, cannot but die at the death of the latter. The fourth principle, however, by its contact with the third in physical life, has gathered round itself some of its essence. But this essence is like the smell of a rose, which lingers only for a time after the rose has been destroyed. Hence it is that the so-called astral body is seen at a distance by the friends or relatives of a dying man. The concentrated thought, an intense desire to see a friend, etc., clothes itself in the fourth principle which, by the essence of the third gathered around itself, makes itself objective to the distant friend. And such a manifestation is possible, only so long as this essence is retained. This is the reason for the Hindu custom of burning the dead, for when the body is once burnt, no more astral essence can be drawn out of it. But a buried body, although in the process of decomposition, still furnishes the aura, however feeble it may be, through which the dead entity finds itself able to manifest itself. In the dying man the struggle between the physical and the astral man goes on till it ends on physical death. This result produces a shock stunning the astral man who passes into a state of unconscious sleep until he re-awakens into the Kama-Loka. This sleep is the second state of existence. It will thus become apparent why it is that "apparitions" are seen some time after the supposed death of the man. But on careful examination it may be found that the man only appears to be dead; and although the medical faculty may not be able to detect any signs of life in him, still, in reality, the struggle between the physical and the astral man is not yet ended.
It is because this struggle is silently going on that the ancients enjoined solemn silence in the awful presence of death. When the man awakens into the Kama-Loka, he begins his third state of existence. The physical organization, which alone enables man to produce causes, is not there, and he is, as it were, concerned only with those affinities which he has already engendered. While this struggle in the fifth principle is going on, it is almost impossible for the entity to manifest itself upon earth. And when a dweller on this earth tries to establish a connection with that entity, he only disturbs its peace. Hence it is that the ancients prohibited these practices, to which they gave the name of necromancy, as deadly sin. The nature of the struggle depends upon the tendencies engendered by the individual in his physical life. If he was too material, too gross, too sensual, and if he had hardly any spiritual aspirations, then the downward attraction of the lower affinities causes an assimilation of the lower consciousness with the fourth principle. The man then becomes a sort of astral animal, and continues in that state until, in process of time, the astral entity is disintegrated. The few spiritual aspirations that he might have had are transferred to the monad; but the separate consciousness being dragged into the animal soul dies with it and his personality is thus annihilated. If a man, on the other hand, is tolerably spiritual, as most of our fellow men are, then the struggle in Kama-Loka varies according to the nature of his affinities; until the consciousness being linked to the higher ones is entirely separated from the "astral shell", and is ready to go into Devachan. It will thus be seen that in any case intercourse with the Kama-Loka entities is detrimental to the progress of those entities and also injurious to the person indulging in such intercourse. This interruption is just as bad and even far worse than the disturbance in the death-chamber on this physical plane. When it is remembered that the fourth principle by its contact with the fifth has assimilated to itself the essence of the latter, it becomes an easy matter to account for those rare phenomena in which a high degree of intelligence has been exhibited by the Kama-Loka entities dragged into mediumistic séances. Of course there are cases in which an "astral shell" acts merely as a mirror through which the intelligence of the "medium" is reflected, as there are others in which "elementals" make use of these "astral shells". But in those cases where the Kama-Loka entities actually appear and exhibit a rare intelligence, it is on account of the essence absorbed by the fourth principle during its connection with the fifth. There are again cases in which the Kama-Loka entities of "suicides" and of persons dying unnatural and accidental deaths may appear and exhibit rare intelligence, because those entities have to live in Kama-Loka the period they would have passed on earth if those accidents had not carried them away - before the struggle between the astral and spiritual affinities commences. The causes engendered by them during earth-life are not yet ripe for fruition and they must wait their natural time. But to recall these into "mediumistic" circles is equally dangerous as in the above-mentioned cases, and for the very same reasons. It may not be positively injurious in all cases, but at any rate the process is fraught with danger and should not be undertaken by inexperienced persons. As regards those good persons who, it is apprehended, may on account of some unsatisfied desire linger on earth, the Hindus have a peculiar custom which is generally relegated to the limbo of exploded superstitions, because its scientific rationale is not properly understood. If the desire be of a spiritual nature, then of course it is only concerned with the spiritual affinities set up in the Manas. But if it be of a material nature, such as some act to be done for the welfare of a friend or family, etc., etc., then only need it be taken into account. In ancient times, an initiate or adept was always present in a death chamber, and attended to the necessary conditions and thus released the dying man from his earthly attractions. This is the real origin of "extreme unction" in the Roman Catholic Church and the custom of having a priest near the dying man in other religions. Gradually as a materializing tendency began to assert itself, the Hindus invented a ceremony which is the next best thing they could do under the circumstances. It is a general belief among them that after physical death, the entity lingers on the earth for a period of ten days before passing into any other state of existence. During this period they perform a regular daily ceremony in which they prepare some rice balls and put them before crows. The belief is that crows are so sensitive as to detect any astral figure they see. If the man dies, having some unsatisfied desire, then his astral figure covers the rice balls which the crows cannot touch. If the balls are immediately touched, then it is concluded that the man having no unsatisfied desire is no longer earth-bound. But if they are not, then the relatives of the dead person go on recounting all the wishes of the latter, that they can possibly think of, promising at the same time to fulfil them. When the right thing is hit on, then it is believed the entity immediately goes off to its sphere, and the crows touch the balls. Whatever it may be, the Hindus have a horror of those elementaries, and instead of dragging them into séances they try by every possible means to release them from the earth's atmosphere. When the struggle between the lower affinities and the higher aspirations of the man is ended in Kama-Loka, astral death takes place in that sphere as does physical death on this earth. The shock of death again throws the entity into a state of unconsciousness before its passage into Devachan. The "shell" left behind may manifest itself until it is disintegrated, but it is not the real spiritual man; and the rare intelligence exhibited by it, occasionally, is the radiation of the aura caught by it during its connection with the spiritual individuality. From its fourth state of existence, it reawakens in Devachan, the conditions of which, according to Hindu books are, Salokata, Samipata and Sayujata. In the lowest state, i.e., of Salokata the entity is only under the influence of the sixth and the seventh principle, while in the second state, i.e. of Samipata, it is fully overshadowed by the latter. It is in the Sayujata state only that it is fully merged into its Logos to be thrown again into re-incarnation when it has fully enjoyed the effects of the spiritual aspirations created by it. It is only very highly spiritualized entities that reach this higher state of Devachan. Of course, the cases of adepts are here entirely left out of consideration for as the Bhagavat Gita says, the Gnyani reaches that state from which there is no re-birth and which is called Moksha or Mukti. The period of gestation between the Devachanic condition and the physical re-birth may be called the eighth state; but in the Hindu books the physical life being the basis of the seven after-states is not included in the category of the Sapta higher lokas, just as in the septenary principles, Parabrahma is not taken into account for the very same reason. From the subjective stand-point, the Parabrahman, and from the objective stand-point the Sthulasariram, are not included in the septenary division, as the former is the basis upon which the whole structure is built.
MAHATMA LETTER No. 16
[Mr Sinnett's queries are indented]
The remarks appended to a letter in the last Theosophist, page 226, col. 1, strike me as very important and as qualifying - I do not say contradicting - a good deal of what we have hitherto been told in re Spiritualism.
We had heard already of a spiritual condition of life in which the redeveloped Ego enjoyed a conscious existence for a time before reincarnation in another world; but that branch of the subject has hitherto been slurred over. Now some explicit statements are made about it; and these suggest further enquiries.
In the Devachan ( .. ) the new Ego retains complete recollection of his life on earth apparently. Is that so or is there any misunderstanding on that point on my part?
(1) The Deva-Chan, or land of "Sukhavati", is allegorically described by our Lord Buddha himself. What he said may be found in the Shan-Mun-yi-Tung. Says Tathagata:-
"Many thousand myriads of systems of worlds beyond this (ours) there is a region of Bliss called Sukhavati ... This region is encircled with seven rows of railings, seven rows of vast curtains, seven rows of waving trees; this holy abode of Arhats is governed by the Tathagatas (Dhyan Chohans) and is possessed by the Bodhisatwas. It hath seven precious lakes, in the midst of which flow crystalline waters having 'seven and one' properties, or distinctive qualities (the 7 principles emanating from the ONE). This, O, Sariputra is the 'Deva Chan'. Its divine Udambara flower casts a root in the shadow of every earth, and blossoms for all those who reach it. Those born in the blessed region are truly felicitous, there are no more griefs or sorrows in that cycle for them ... Myriads of Spirits (Lha) resort there for rest and then return to their own regions. Again, O, Sariputra, in that land of joy many who are born in it are Avaivartyas ..." etc., etc.
(2) Now except in the fact that the duration of existence in the Devachan is limited, there is a very close resemblance between that condition and the Heaven of ordinary religion (omitting anthropomorphic ideas of God).
(2) Certainly the new Ego once that it is reborn [in Deva Chan], retains for a certain time - proportionate to its Earth-life, a "complete recollection of his life on earth". (See your preceding query). But it can never return on earth, from the Deva Chan, nor has the latter - even omitting all "anthropomorphic ideas of God" - any resemblance to the paradise or heaven of any religion, and it is H.P.B.'s literary fancy that suggested to her the wonderful comparison.
(3) Now the question of importance is who goes to Heaven - or Devachan? Is this condition only attained by the few who are very good, or by the many who are not very bad, - after the lapse in their case of a longer unconscious incubation or gestation?
(3) "Who goes to Deva Chan?" The personal Ego of course, but beatified, purified, holy. Every Ego - the combination of the sixth and seventh principles - which after the period of unconscious gestation is reborn into the Deva-Chan, is of necessity as innocent and pure as a new-born babe. The fact of his being reborn at all, shows the preponderance of good over evil in his old personality. And while the Karma (of evil) steps aside for the time being to follow him in his future earth-reincarnations, he brings along with him but the Karma of his good deeds, words, and thoughts, into this Deva-Chan. Bad is a relative term for us - as you were told more than once before, - and the Law of Retribution is the only law that never errs. Hence all those who have not slipped down into the mire of unredeemable sin and bestiality - go to the Deva Chan. They will have to pay for their sins, voluntary and involuntary, later on. Meanwhile they are rewarded; receive the effects of the causes produced by them.
Of course it is a state, one, so to say, of intense selfishness during which an Ego reaps the reward of his unselfishness on earth. He is completely engrossed in the bliss of all his personal earthly affections, preferences and thoughts, and gathers in the fruits of his meritorious actions. No pain, no grief nor even the shadow of a sorrow comes to darken the bright horizon of his unalloyed happiness; for it is a state of perpetual "Maya".
Since the conscious perception of one's personality on earth is but an evanescent dream that sense will be equally that of a dream in the Deva-Chan - only a hundred fold intensified. So much so indeed, that the happy Ego is unable to see through the veil the evils, sorrows and woes to which those it loved on earth may be subjected to. It lives in a sweet dream with its loved ones - whether gone before, or yet remaining on earth; it has them near itself, as happy, as blissful and as innocent as the disembodied dreamer himself; and yet, apart from rare visions the denizens of our gross planet feel it not. It is in this, during such a condition of complete Maya that the Souls or astral Egos of pure, loving sensitives, labouring under the same illusion, think their loved ones come down to them on earth, while it is their own Spirits that are raised towards those in the Deva-Chan. Many of the subjective spiritual communications - most of them when the sensitives are pure minded - are real; but it is most difficult for the uninitiated medium to fix in his mind the true and correct pictures of what he sees and hears. Some of the phenomena called psychography (though more rarely) are also real. The spirit of the sensitive getting odylised, so to say, by the aura of the Spirit in the Deva-Chan, becomes for a few minutes that departed personality, and writes in the hand writing of the latter, in his language and in his thoughts, as they were during his life time. The two spirits become blended in one; and, the preponderance of one over the other during such phenomena determines the preponderance of personality in the characteristics exhibited in such writings, and "trance speaking". What you call "rapport" is in plain fact an identity of molecular vibration between the astral part of the incarnate medium and the astral part of the disincarnate personality. I have just noticed an article on smell by some English Professor (which I will cause to be reviewed in the Theosophist and say a few words), and find in it something that applies to our case. As, in music, two different sounds may be in accord and separately distinguishable, and this harmony or discord depends upon the synchronous vibrations and complementary periods; so there is rapport between medium and "control" when their astral molecules move in accord. And the question whether the communication shall reflect more of the one personal idiosyncracy, or the other, is determined by the relative intensity of the two sets of vibrations in the compound wave of Akasa. The less identical the vibratory impulses the more mediumistic and less spiritual will be the message. So then, measure your medium's moral state by that of the alleged "controlling" Intelligence, and your tests of genuineness leave nothing to be desired.
(4) Or are there great varieties of conditions within the limits, so to speak, of Devachan, so that an appropriate state is dropped into by all, from which they will be born into lower and higher conditions in the next world of causes? It is no use multiplying hypotheses. We want some information to go on.
(4) Yes, there are great varieties in the Devachan states, and it is all as you say. As many varieties of bliss, as on earth there are shades of perception and of capability to appreciate such reward. It is an ideated paradise, in each case of the Ego's own making, and by him filled with the scenery, crowded with the incidents, and thronged with the people he would expect to find in such a sphere of compensative bliss. It is that variety which guides the temporary personal Ego into the current which will lead him to be reborn in a lower or higher condition in the next world of causes. Everything is so harmoniously adjusted in nature - especially in the subjective world, that no mistake can ever be committed by the Tathagatas - or Dhyan Chohans - who guide the impulses.
(5) On the face of the idea, a purely spiritual state would only enjoyable to the entities highly spiritualized in this life. But there are myriads of very good people (morally) who are not spiritualized at all. How can they be fitted to pass, with their recollections of this life from a material to a spiritual condition of existence?
(5) It is "a spiritual condition" only as contrasted with our own grossly "material condition", and, as already stated - it is such degrees of spirituality that constitute and determine the great "varieties" of conditions within the limits of Deva-Chan. A mother from a savage tribe is not less happy than a mother from a regal palace, with her lost child in her arms; and although as actual Egos, children prematurely dying before the perfection of their septenary Entity do not find their way to Deva-Chan, yet all the same the mother's loving fancy finds her children there, without one missing that her heart yearns for. Say - it is but a dream, but after all what is objective life itself but a panorama of vivid unrealities? The pleasures realized by a Red Indian in his "happy hunting grounds' in that Land of Dreams is not less intense than the ecstasy felt by a connoisseur who passes aeons in the rapt delight of listening to divine Symphonies by imaginary angelic choirs and orchestras. As it is no fault of the former, if born a "savage" with an instinct to kill - though it caused the death of many an innocent animal - why, if with it all, he was a loving father, son, husband, why should he not also enjoy his share of reward? The case would be quite different if the same cruel acts had been done by an educated and civilized person, from a mere love of sport. The savage in being reborn would simply take a low place in the scale, by reason of his imperfect moral development; while the Karma of the other would be tainted with moral delinquency.
Every one but that ego which, attracted by its gross magnetism, falls into the current that will draw it into the "planet of Death" - the mental as well as physical satellite of our earth - is fitted to pass into a relative "spiritual" condition adjusted to his previous condition in life and mode of thought. To my knowledge and recollection H.P.B. explained to Mr. Hume that man's sixth principle, as something purely spiritual could not exist, or have conscious being in the Deva-Chan, unless it assimilated some of the more abstract and pure of the mental attributes of the fifth principle or animal Soul: its manas (mind) and memory. When a man dies his second and third principles die with him; the lower triad disappears, and the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh principles form the surviving Quaternary. Thenceforth it is a "death" struggle between the Upper and Lower dualities. If the upper wins, the sixth, having attracted to itself the quintessence of Good from the fifth - its nobler affections, its saintly (though they be earthly) aspirations, and the most Spiritualized portions of its mind - follows its divine elder (the 7th) into the "Gestation" State; and the fifth and fourth remain in association as an empty shell - (the expression is quite correct) - to roam in the earth's atmosphere, with half the personal memory gone, and the more brutal instinct fully alive for a certain period - an "Elementary" in short. This is the angel guide of the average medium. If on the other hand, it is the Upper Duality which is defeated, then it is the fifth principle that assimilates all that there may be left of personal recollection and perceptions of its personal individuality in the sixth. But, with all this additional stock, it will not remain in Kama-Loka - "the world of Desire" or our Earth's atmosphere. In a very short time like a straw floating within the attraction of the vortices and pits of the Maelstrom, it is caught up and drawn into the great whirlpool of human Egos; while the sixth and seventh - now a purely spiritual, individual MONAD, with nothing left in it of the late personality, having no regular "gestation" period to pass through (since there is no purified personal Ego to be reborn), after a more or less prolonged period of unconscious Rest in the boundless Space - will find itself reborn in another personality on the next planet. When arrives the period of "Full Individual Consciousness" - which precedes that of Absolute Consciousness in the Pari-Nirvana - this lost personal life becomes as a torn out page in the great Book of Lives, without even a disconnected word left to mark its absence. The purified monad with neither perceive nor remember it in the series of its past rebirths - which it would had it gone to the "World of Forms" (rupa-loka) - and its retrospective glance will not perceive even the slightest sign to indicate that it had been. The light of Samma-Sambuddh-
" ... that light which shines beyond our mortal ken
The light of all the lives in all the worlds" -
throws no ray upon that personal life in the series of lives foregone.
To the credit of mankind, I must say, that such an utter obliteration of an existence from the tablets of Universal Being does not occur often enough to make a great percentage. In fact, like the much mentioned "congenital idiot", such a thing is a lusus naturae - an exception, not the rule.
(6) And how is a spiritual existence in which everything has merged into the sixth principle, compatible with that consciousness of individual and personal material life which must be attributed to the Ego in Deva-Chan if he retains his earthly consciousness as stated in the Theosophist Note?
(6) The question is now sufficiently explained, I believe: the sixth and seventh principles apart from the rest constitute the eternal imperishable but also unconscious "Monad". To awaken in it to life the latent consciousness, especially that of personal individuality, requires the monad plus the highest attributes of the fifth - the "animal soul"; and it is that which makes the ethereal Ego that lives and enjoys bliss in the Deva-Chan. Spirit, or the unalloyed emanations of the ONE - the latter forming with the seventh and sixth principles the highest triad - neither of the two emanations are capable of assimilating but that which is good, pure and holy; hence no sensual, material or unholy recollection can follow the purified memory of the Ego to the region of Bliss. The Karma for these recollections of evil deeds and thought will reach the Ego when it changes its personality in the following world of causes. The Monad, or the "Spiritual Individuality", remains untainted in all cases. "No sorrow or Pain for those born there (in the Rupa-Loka of Deva-Chan); for this is the Pureland. All the regions in Space possess such lands (Sakwala), but this land of Bliss is the most pure." In the Djnana Prasthana Shaster, it is said: "by personal purity and earnest meditation, we overleap the limits of the World of Desire, and enter in the World of Forms".
(7) The period of gestation between Death and Devachan has hitherto been conceived by me at all events as very long. Now it is said to be in some cases only a few days, in no cases (it is implied) more than a few years. This seems plainly stated, but I ask if it can be explicitly confirmed because it is a point on which so much turns.
(7) Another fine example of the habitual disorder in which Mrs H.P.B.'s mental furniture is kept. She talks of "Bardo" and does not even say to her readers what it means! As in her writing-room confusion is ten times confounded, so in her mind are crowded ideas piled in such a chaos that when she wants to express them the tail peeps out before the head. "Bardo" has nothing to do with the duration of time in the case you are referring to. "Bardo" is the period between death and rebirth - and may last from a few years to a kalpa. It is divided into three sub-periods (1) when the Ego delivered of its mortal coil enters into Kama-Loka (the abode of Elementaries [or shells]; (2) when it enters into its "Gestation State"; (3) when it is reborn in the Rupa-Loka of Deva-Chan. Sub-period (1) may last from a few minutes to a number of years - the phrase "a few years" becoming puzzling and utterly worthless without a more complete explanation; Sub-period (2) is "very long"; as you say, longer sometimes than you may even imagine, yet proportionate to the Ego's spiritual stamina; Sub-period (3) lasts in proportion to the good Karma, after which the monad is again reincarnated. The Agama Sutra saying:- "in all these Rupa-Lokas, the Devas (Spirits) are equally subjected to birth, decay, old age, and death," means only that an Ego is borne thither then begins fading out and finally "dies", i.e., falls into that unconscious condition which preceded rebirth; and ends the Sloka with these words: "As the devas emerge from these heavens, they enter the lower world again:" i.e., they leave a world of bliss to be reborn into a world of causes.
(8) In that case, and assuming that Devachan is not solely the heritage of adepts and persons almost as elevated, there is a condition of existence tantamount to Heaven actually going on, from which the life of Earth may be watched by an immense number of those who have gone before!
(8) Most emphatically the "the Deva-Chan is not solely the heritage of adepts", and most decidedly there is a "heaven" - if you must use this astro-geographical Christian term - for "an immense number of those who have gone before". But "the life of Earth" can be watched by none of these, for reasons of the Law of Bliss plus Maya, already given.
(9) And for how long? Does this state of spiritual beatitude endure for years? for decades? for centuries?
(9) For years, decades, centuries and millenniums oftentimes multiplied by something more. It all depends upon the duration of Karma. Fill with oil Den's [Sinnett's son] little cup, and a city Reservoir of water (sic), and lighting both see which burns the longer. The Ego is the wick and Karma the oil; the difference in the quantity of the latter (in the cup and the reservoir) suggesting to you the great difference in the duration of various Karmas. Every effect must be proportionate to the cause. And, as man's terms of incarnate existence bear but a small proportion to his periods of inter-natal existence in the manvantaric cycle, so the good thoughts, words and deeds of any one of these "lives" on a globe are causative of effects, the working out of which requires far more time than the evolution of the causes occupied. Therefore, when you read in the Jats and other fabulous stories of the Buddhist Scriptures that this or the other good action was rewarded by Kalpas of several figures of bliss, do not smile at the absurd exaggeration, but bear in mind what I have said. From a small seed, you know, sprung a tree whose life endures now for 22 centuries; I mean the Anuradha-pura Bo tree. Nor must you laugh, if ever you come across Pindha-Dhana or any other Buddhist Sutra and read: "Between the Kama-Loka and the Rupa-Loka there is a locality, the dwelling of 'Mara' (Death). This Mara filled with passion and lust, destroys all virtuous principles, as a stone grinds corn. His palace is 7000 yojanas square, and is surrounded by a seven-fold wall", for you will feel now more prepared to understand the allegory. Also, when Beal, or Burnouf, or Rhys Davids in the innocence of their Christian and materialistic souls indulge in such translations as they generally do, we do not bear them malice for their commentaries, since they cannot know any better. But what can the following mean:- "The names of the Heavens" (a mis-translation; lokas are not heavens but localities or abodes) of Desire, Kama-Loka - so-called because the being who occupy them are subject to desires of eating, drinking, sleeping and love. They are otherwise called the abodes of the five (?) orders of sentient creatures - Devas, men, asuras, beasts, demons" (Lautan Sutra, trans. by S. Beal). They mean simply that, had the reverend translator been acquainted with the true doctrine a little better - he would have (1) divided the Devas into two classes - and called them the "Rupa-devas" and the "Arupa-devas (the "form" - or objective, and the "formless" or subjective Dhyan Chohans); and (2) would have done the same for his class of "men", since there are shells, and "Mara-rupas" - i.e. bodies doomed to annihilation. All these are:
(1) "Rupa-devas" - Dhyan Chohans, having forms ) Ex-
(2) "Arupa-devas" - " " , having no forms ) men.
(3) "Pisachas" - (two-principled) ghosts.
(4) "Mara-rupa" - Doomed to death (3 principled).
(5) Asuras - Elementals - having human form ) Future
(6) Beasts - " 2nd class - animal Elmtls.) men.
(7) Rakshasas (Demons) Souls or Astral Forms of sorcerers; men who have reached the apex of knowledge in the forbidden art. Dead or alive they have, so to say cheated nature; but it is only temporary - until our planet goes into obscuration, after which they have nolens volens to be annihilated.
It is these seven groups that form the principal divisions of the Dwellers of the subjective world around us. It is in stock No.1, that are the intelligent Rulers of this world of Matter, and who, with all this intelligence are but the blindly obedient instruments of the ONE; the active agents of a Passive Principle.
And thus are misinterpreted and mistranslated nearly all our Sutras; yet even under that confused jumble of doctrines and words, for one who knows even superficially the true doctrine there is firm ground to stand upon. Thus, for instance, in enumerating the seven lokas of the "Kama-Loka" the Avatamsaka Sutra gives as the seventh the "Territory of Doubt". I will ask you to remember the name as we will have to speak of it hereafter. Every such "world within the Sphere of Effects has a Tathagata, or "Dhyan Chohan" to protect and watch over, not to interfere with it. Of course, of all men, spiritualists will be the first to reject and throw off our doctrines to "the limbo of exploded superstitions". Were we to assure them that every one of their "Summerlands" had seven boarding houses in it, with the same number of "Spirit Guides" to "boss" in them, and call these "angels", Saint Peters, Johns and St Ernests, they would welcome us with open arms. But whoever heard of Tathagatas and Dhyan Chohans, Asuras and Elementals? Preposterous! Still, we are happily allowed - by our friends (Mr Eglinton, at least) to be possessed "of a certain knowledge of Occult Sciences" (Vide Light). And thus, even this mite of "Knowledge) is at your service, and is now helping me to answer your following question:
Is there any intermediate condition between the spiritual beatitude of Deva-Chan, and the forlorn shadow life of the only half conscious elementary reliquiae of human beings who have lost their sixth principle? Because if so that might give a locus standi in imagination to the Ernests and Joeys of the spiritual mediums - the better sort of controlling "spirits". If so surely that must be a very populous world? from which any amount of "spiritual" communication might come.
Alas, no; my friend; not that I know of. From "Sukhavati" down to the "Territory of Doubt" there is a variety of Spiritual States; but I am not aware of any such "intermediate condition". I have told you of the Sakwalas (though I cannot be enumerating them since it would be useless); and even of Avitchi - the "Hell" from which there is no return, and I have no more to tell about. "The forlorn shadow" has to do the best it can. As soon as it has stepped outside the Kama-Loka, and crossed the "Golden Bridge" leading to the "Seven Golden Mountains" the Ego can confabulate no more, with easy-going mediums. No "Ernest" or "Joey" has ever returned from the Rupa-Loka -let alone the Arupa-Loka - to hold sweet intercourse with mortals.
Of course there is a "better sort" of reliquiae; and the "shells" or "earth-walkers" as they are here called, are not necessarily all bad. But even those that are good, are made bad for the time being by mediums. The "shells" may well not care, since they have nothing to lose anyhow. But there is another kind of "Spirits", we have lost sight of: the suicides and those killed by accident. Both kinds can communicate, and both have to pay dearly for such visits. And now I have again to explain what I mean. Well, this class is the one that the French Spiritists call - "les Esprits Souffrants". They are an exception to the rule, as they have to remain within the earth's attraction, and in its atmosphere - the Kama-Loka - till the very last moment of what would have been the natural duration of their lives. In other words, that particular wave of life-evolution must run on to its shore. But it is a sin and a cruelty to revive their memory and intensify their suffering by giving them a chance of living an artificial life; a chance to overload their Karma, by tempting them into open doors, viz. mediums and sensitives, for they will have to pay roundly for every such pleasure. I will explain. The suicides, who, foolishly hoping to escape life, found themselves still alive, - have suffering enough in store for them from that very life. Their punishment is in the intensity of the latter. Having lost by their rash act their seventh and sixth principles, though not for ever, as they can regain both - instead of accepting their punishment, and taking their chances of redemption, they are often made to regret life and tempted to regain a hold upon it by sinful means. In the Kama-Loka, the land of intense desire, they can gratify their earthly yearnings but through a living proxy; and by so doing, at the expiration of the natural term, they generally lose their monad for ever. As to the victims of accident - these fare worse still. Unless they were so good and pure, as to be drawn immediately within the Akashic Samadhi, i.e. to fall into a state of quiet slumber full of rosy dreams, during which, they have no recollection of the accident, but move and live among their familiar friends and scenes, until their natural life-term is finished, when they find themselves born in the Deva-Chan - a gloomy fate is theirs. Unhappy shades, if sinful and sensual they wander about - (not shells, for the connection with their two higher principles is not quite broken) - until their death-hour comes. Cut off in the full flush of earthly passions which bind them to familiar scenes, they are enticed by the opportunities which mediums afford, to gratify them vicariously. They are the Pisachas, the Incubi, and Succubi of mediaeval times. The demons of thirst, gluttony, lust and avarice, - elementaries of intensified craft, wickedness and cruelty; provoking their victims to horrid crimes, and revelling in their commission! They not only ruin their victims, but these psychic vampires, borne along by the torrent of their hellish impulses, at last, at the fixed close of their natural period of life - they are carried out of the earth's aura into regions where for ages they endure exquisite suffering and end with entire destruction.
But if the victim of accident or violence, be neither very good nor very bad - an average person - then this may happen to him. A medium who attracts him, will create for him the most undesirable of things: a new combination of Skandhas and a new and evil Karma. But let me give you a clearer idea of what I mean by Karma in this case.
In connection with this, let me tell you before, that since you seem so interested with the subject, you can do nothing better than to study the two doctrines - of Karma and Nirvana - as profoundly as you can. Unless you are thoroughly well acquainted with the two tenets - the double key to the metaphysics of Abidharma - you will always find yourself at sea in trying to comprehend the rest. We have several sorts of Karma and Nirvana in their various applications - to the Universe, the world, Devas, Buddhas, Bodhisatwas, men and animals - the second including its seven kingdoms. Karma and Nirvana are but two of the seven great MYSTERIES of Buddhist metaphysics; and but four of the seven are known to the best orientalists, and that very imperfectly.
If you ask a learned Buddhist priest what is Karma? - he will tell you that Karma is what a Christian might call Providence (in a certain sense only) and a Mahomedan - Kismet, fate or destiny (again in one sense). That it is that cardinal tenet which teaches that, as soon as any conscious or sentient being, whether man, deva, or animal dies, a new being is produced and he or it reappears in another birth, on the same or another planet, under conditions of his or its own antecedent making. Or, in other words that Karma is the guiding power, and Trishna (in Pali Tanha) the thirst or desire to sentiently live -the proximate force or energy, the resultant of human (or animal) action, which, out of the old Skandhas produce the new group that form the new being and control the nature of the birth itself. Or to make it still clearer, the new being, is rewarded and punished for the meritorious acts and misdeeds of the old one; Karma representing an Entry Book, in which all the acts of man, good, bad, or indifferent, are carefully recorded to his debit and credit - by himself, so to say, or rather by these very actions of his. There, where Christian poetical fiction created, and sees a "Recording" Guardian Angel, stern and realistic Buddhist logic, perceiving the necessity that every cause should have its effect - shows its real presence. The opponents of Buddhism have laid great stress upon the alleged injustice that the doer should escape and an innocent victim be made to suffer, - since the doer and the sufferer are different beings. The fact is, that while in one sense they may be so considered, yet in another they are identical. The "old being" is the sole parent - father and mother at once - of the "new being". It is the former who is the creator and fashioner, of the latter, in reality; and far more so in plain truth, than any father in flesh. And once that you have well mastered the meaning of Skandhas you will see what I mean.
It is the group of Skandhas, that form and constitute the physical and mental individuality we call man (or any being). This group consists (in the exoteric teaching) of five Skandhas, namely: Rupa - the material properties or attributes; Vedana - sensations; Sanna - abstract ideas; Sankhara - tendencies both physical and mental; and Vinnana - mental powers, and amplification of the fourth - meaning the mental, physical and moral predispositions. We add to them two more, the nature and names of which you may learn hereafter. Suffice for the present to let you know that they are connected with, and productive of Sakkayaditthi, the "heresy or delusion of individuality" and of Attavada "the doctrine of Self", both of which (in the case of the fifth principle the soul) lead to the maya of heresy and belief in the efficacy of vain rites and ceremonies; in prayers and intercession.
Now, returning to the question of identity between the old and the new "Ego", I may remind you once more, that even your Science has accepted the old, very old fact distinctly taught by our Lord, viz. - that a man of any given age, while sentiently the same, is yet physically not the same as he was a few years earlier (we say seven years and are prepared to maintain and prove it):buddhistically speaking his Skandhas have changed. At the same time they are ever and ceaselessly at work in preparing the abstract mould, the "privation" of the future new being. Well then, if it is just that a man of 40 should enjoy or suffer for the actions of the man of 20, so it is equally just that the being of the new birth, who is essentially identical with the previous being - since he is its outcome and creation - should feel the consequences of that begetting Self or personality. Your Western law which punishes the innocent son of a guilty father by depriving him of his parent, rights and property; your civilized Society which brands with infamy the guiltless daughter of an immoral, criminal mother; your Christian Church and Scriptures which teach that the "Lord God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation", are not all these far more unjust and cruel than anything done by Karma? Instead of punishing the innocent together with the culprit, the Karma avenges and rewards the former, which neither of your three western potentates above mentioned ever thought of doing. But perhaps, to our physiological remark the objectors may reply that it is only the body that changes, there is only a molecular transformation, which has nothing to do with the mental evolution; and that the Skandhas represent not only a material but also a set of mental and moral qualities. But is there, I ask, either a sensation, an abstract idea, a tendency of mind, or a mental power, that one could call an absolutely non-molecular phenomenon? Can even a sensation or the most abstractive thoughts which is something, come out of nothing, or be nothing?
Now, the causes producing the "new being" and determining the nature of Karma are, as already said -Trishna (or "Tanha") - first, desire for sentient existence and Upadana - which is the realization or consummation of Trishna or that desire. And both of these the medium helps to awaken and develop nec plus ultra in an Elementary, be he a suicide or a victim. (Footnote: Alone the Shells and Elementals [i.e. where the sixth and seventh principles have withdrawn] are left unhurt though the morality of the sensitives can by no means be improved by the intercourse). The rule is, that a person who dies a natural death, will remain from "a few hours to several short years" within the earth's attraction, i.e. in the Kama-Loka. But exceptions are, in the case of suicides and those who die a violent death in general. Hence, one of such Egos, for instance, who was destined to live - say 80 or 90 years, but who either killed himself or was killed by some accident, let us suppose at the age of 20 - would have to pass in the Kama-Loka not "a few years" but in his case 60 or 70 years, as an Elementary, or rather as an "earth walker"; since he is not, unfortunately for him, even a "shell". Happy, thrice happy, in comparison, are those disembodied entities, who sleep their long slumber and live in dream in the bosom of space! And woe to those whose Trishna will attract them to mediums, and woe to the latter, who tempt them with such an easy Upadana. For in grasping them, and satisfying their thirst for life, the medium helps to develop in them - is in fact the cause of - a new set of Skandhas, a new body, with far worse tendencies and passions than was the one they lost. All the future of this new body will be determined thus, not only by the Karma of demerit of the previous set or group but also by that of the new set of the future being. Were the mediums and spiritualists but to know, as I said, that with every new "angel guide" they welcome with rapture, they entice the latter into an Upadhana which will be productive of a series of untold evils for the new Ego that will be born under its nefarious shadow, and that with every séance - especially for materialization - they multiply the causes for misery, causes that will make the unfortunate Ego fail in his spiritual birth, or be reborn into a worse existence than ever - they would, perhaps, be less lavishing their hospitality.
And now, you may understand why we oppose so strongly Spiritualism and mediumship. And, you will also see why, to satisfy Mr Hume, - at least in one direction, - I got myself into a scrape with the Chohan, and mirabile dictu! - with both the sahibs, "the young men by the name of" - Scott and Banon. To amuse you I will ask H.P.B. to send you with this a page of the "Banon papyrus", an article of his that he winds up with a sever literary thrashing of my humble self. Shadows of the Asuras, in what a passion she flew upon reading this rather disrespectful criticism! I am sorry she does not print it, upon considerations of "family honour", as the "Disinherited" expressed it. As to the Chohan, the matter is more serious, and he was far from satisfied that I should have allowed Eglinton to believe it was myself. He had permitted proof of the power in living man to be given to the Spiritualists through a medium of theirs, but had left the programme and its details to ourselves; hence his displeasure at some trifling consequences. I tell you, my dear friend, that I am far less free to do as I like than you are in the matter of the Pioneer. None of us but the highest Chutuktus are their full masters. But I digress.
And now that you have been told much and had explained a good deal, you may as well read this letter to our irrepressible friend - Mrs Gordon. The reasons given may through some cold water on her Spiritualistic zeal, though I have my reasons to doubt it. Anyhow it may show her that it is not against true Spiritualism that we set ourselves, but only against indiscriminate mediumship and - physical manifestations, - materializations and trance-possessions especially. Could the Spiritualists be only made to understand the difference between individuality and personality, between individual and personal immortality and some other truths, they would be more easily persuaded that Occultists may be fully convinced of the Monad's immortality, and yet deny that of the soul - the vehicle of the personal Ego; that they firmly believe in, and themselves practise spiritual communications and intercourse with the disembodied Egos of the Rupa-Loka, and yet laugh at the insane idea of "shaking hands" with a "Spirit"!; that finally, that as the matter stands, it is the Occultists and the Theosophists who are true Spiritualists, while the modern sect of that name is composed simply of materialistic phenomenalists.
And once that we are discussing "individuality" and "personality", it is curious that H.P.B., when subjecting poor Mr Hume's brain to torture with her muddled explanations, never thought - until receiving the explanation from himself of the difference that exists between individuality and personality - that it was the very same doctrine she had been taught: that of Pacceka-Yana, and of Amata-Yana. The two terms as above given by him are the correct and literal translation of the Pali, Sanskrit, and even of the Chino-Tibetan technical names for the many personal entities blended in one Individuality - the long string of lives emanating from the same Immortal MONAD. You will have to remember them:-
(1) The Pacceka Yana - (in Sanskrit "Pratyeka") means literally the "personal vehicle" or personal Ego, a combination of the five lower principles. While -
(2) The Amata-Yana - (in Sanskrit "Amrita) is translated "the immortal vehicle", or the Individuality, the Spiritual Soul, or the Immortal monad - a combination of the fifth, sixth and seventh.
It appears to me that one of our great difficulties in trying to understand the progress of affairs turns on our ignorance so far of the divisions of the seven principles. Each has in turn its seven elements we are told: can we be told something more concerning the seven-fold constitution of the fourth and fifth principles especially? It is evidently in the divisibility of these that the secret of the future and of many psychic phenomena here during life, resides.
Quite right. But I must be permitted to doubt whether with the desired explanations the difficult will be removed, and you will become able to penetrate "the secret of psychic phenomena". You, my good friend, whom I had once or twice the pleasure of hearing playing on your piano in the quiet intervals between dress-coating and a beef-and-claret dinner - tell me, could you favour me as readily as with one of your easy waltzes - with one of Beethoven's Grand Sonatas? Pray, pray have patience! Yet, I would not refuse you by any means. You will find the fourth and fifth principles, divided into roots and Branches on a fly-sheet herein enclosed, if I find time. And now, how long do you propose to abstain from interrogation marks?
MAHATMA LETTER No. 20c
Received August 1882.
Except in so far that he constantly uses the terms "God" and "Christ" which taken in their esoteric sense simply mean "Good" - in its dual aspect of the abstract and the concrete and nothing more dogmatic - Eliphas Levi is not in any direct conflict with our teachings. It is against a straw blown out of a hay-stack and accused by the wind of belonging to a hay-rick. Most of those, whom you may call, if you like, candidates for Deva-Chan - die and are reborn in the Kama-Loka "without remembrance"; though (and just because) they do get some of it back in Deva-Chan. Nor can we call it a full, but only partial remembrance. You would hardly call "remembrance" a dream of yours; some particular scene or scenes, within whose narrow limits you would find enclosed a few persons - those whom you loved best, with an undying love, that holy feeling that alone survives, and - not the slightest recollection of any other events or scenes? Love and Hatred are the only immortal feelings, the only survivors from the wreck of Ye-damma, or the phenomenal world. Imagine yourself then, in Deva-Chan with those you may have loved with such immortal love; with the familiar, shadowy scenes connected with them for a background and - a perfect blank for everything else relating to your interior, social, political, literary and social life. And then, in the face of that spiritual, purely cogitative existence, of that unalloyed felicity which, in proportion with the intensity of the feelings that created it, last from a few to several thousand years, - call it the "personal remembrance of A.P. Sinnett" - if you can. Dreadfully monotonous! - you may think. - Not in the least - I answer. Have you experienced monotony during - say - that moment which you considered then and now so consider it - as the moment of the highest bliss you have every felt? - Of course not. - Well no more will you experience it there, in that passage through Eternity in which a million of years is no longer than a second. There, where there is no consciousness of an external world there can be no discernment to mark differences, hence, - no perception of contrasts of monotony or variety; nothing in short, outside that immortal feeling of love and sympathetic attraction whose seeds are planted in the fifth, whose plants blossom luxuriantly in and around the fourth, but whose roots have to penetrate deep into the sixth principle if it would survive the lower groups. (And now I propose to kill two birds with one stone - to answer your and Mr Hume's questions at the same time) - remember, both, that we create ourselves our devachan as our avitchi while yet on earth, and mostly during the latter days and even moments of our intellectual, sentient lives. That feeling which is the strongest in us at that supreme hour; when, as in a dream, the events of a long life, to their minutest details, are marshalled in the greatest order in a few seconds in our vision, [Footnote: That vision takes place when a person is already proclaimed dead. The brain is the last organ that dies.] - that feeling will become the fashioner of our bliss or woe, the life principle of our future existence. In the latter we have no substantial being, but only a present and momentary existence, - whose duration has no bearing upon, as no effect, or relation to its being - which as every other effect of a transitory cause will be as fleeting, and in its turn will vanish and cease to be. The real full remembrance of our lives will come but at the end of the minor cycle - not before. In Karma Loka those who retain their remembrance, will not enjoy it at the supreme hour of recollection. - Those who know they are dead in their physical bodies can only be either adepts or sorcerers; and these two are the exceptions to the general rule. Both having been "co-workers with nature", the former for good, the latter for bad, in her works of creation and in that of destruction. They are the only ones who may be called immortal in the kabalistic and the esoteric sense of course. Complete or true immortality, - which means an unlimited sentient existence, can have no breaks and stoppages, no arrest of Self-consciousness. And even the shells of those good men whose page will not be found missing in the great Book of Lives at the threshold of the Great Nirvana, even they will regain their remembrance and an appearance of Self-consciousness, only after the sixth and seventh principles with the essence of the 5th (the latter having to furnish the material for even that partial recollection of personality which is necessary for the object in Deva Chan) - have gone to their gestation period, not before. Even in the case of suicides and those who have perished by violent death, even in their case, consciousness requires a certain time to establish its new centre of gravity, and evolve, as Sir W. Hamilton would have it - its "perception proper" henceforth to remain distinct from "sensation proper". Thus, when a man dies, his 'Soul' (fifth prin.) becomes unconscious and loses all remembrance of things internal as well as external. Whether his stay in Kama Loka has to last but a few moments, hours, days, weeks, months or years; whether he died a natural or a violent death; whether it occurred in his young or old age, and, whether the Ego was good, bad, or indifferent, - his consciousness leaves him as suddenly as the flame leaves the wick, when blown out. When life has retired from the last particle in the brain matter, his perceptive faculties become extinct forever, his spiritual powers of cogitation and volition - (all those faculties in short, which are neither inherent in, nor acquirable by organic matter) - for the time being. His Mayavi-rupa may be often thrown into objectivity, as in the cases of apparitions after death; but, unless it is projected with the knowledge of (whether latent or potential), or owing to the intensity of the desire to see or appear to someone, shooting through the dying brain, the apparition will be simply - automatical; it will not be due to any sympathetic attraction, or to any act of volition, and no more than the reflection of a person passing unconsciously near a mirror, is due to the desire of the latter.
Having thus explained the position, I will sum up and ask again why it should be maintained that what is given by Eliphas Levi and expounded by H.P.B. is "in direct conflict" with my teaching? E.L. is an Occultist, and a Kabalist, and writing for those who are supposed to know the rudiments of the Kabalistic tenets, uses the peculiar phraseology of his doctrine, and H.P.B. follows suit. The only omission she was guilty of, was not to add the word "Western" between the two words "Occult" and doctrine ( .. ). She is a fanatic in her way, and is unable to write with anything like system and calmness, or to remember that the general public needs all the lucid explanations that to her may seem superfluous. And, as you are sure to remark - "but this is also our case; and you too seem to forget it", - I will give you a few more explanations. As remarked on the margin of the October Theosophist - the word "immortality" has for the initiates and occultists quite a different meaning. We call "immortal" but the one Life in its universal collectivity and entire or Absolute Abstraction; that which has neither beginning nor end, nor any break in its continuity. Does the term apply to anything else? Certainly it does not. Therefore the earliest Chaldeans had several prefixes to the word "immortality", one of which is the Greek, rarely-used term - panaeonic immortality, i.e. beginning with the manvantara and ending with the pralaya of our Solar Universe. It lasts the aeon, or "period" of our pan or "all nature". Immortal then is he, in the panaeonic immortality whose distinct consciousness and perception of Self under whatever form - undergoes no disjunction at any time not for one second, during the period of his Egoship. Those periods are several in number, each having its distinct name in the secret doctrines of the Chaldeans, Greeks, Egyptians and Aryans, and, were they but amenable to translation, - which they are not, at least so long as the idea involved remains inconceivable to the Western mind - I could give them to you. Suffice for you, for the present to know, that a man, an Ego like yours or mine, may be immortal from one to the other Round. Let us say I begin my immortality at the present fourth Round, i.e., having become a full adept (which unhappily I am not) I arrest the hand of Death at will, and when finally obliged to submit to it, my knowledge of the secrets of nature puts me in a position to retain my consciousness and distinct perception of Self as an object to my own reflective consciousness and cognition; and thus avoiding all such dismemberments of principles, that as a rule take place after the physical death of average humanity, I remain as Koothoomi in my Ego throughout the whole series of births and lives across the seven worlds and Arupa-Lokas until finally I land again on this earth among the fifth race of men of the full fifth Round beings. I would have been, in such a case - "immortal" for an inconceivable (to you) long period, embracing many milliards of years. And yet am "I" truly immortal for all that? Unless I make the same efforts as I do now, to secure for myself another such furlough from Nature's Law, Koothoomi will vanish and may become a Mr Smith or an innocent Babu, when his leave expires. There are men who become such mighty beings, there are men among us who may become immortal during the remainder of the Rounds, and then take their appointed place among the highest Chohans, the Planetary conscious "Ego-Spirits". Of course the Monad "never perishes whatever happens," but Eliphas speaks of the personal not of the Spiritual Egos, and you have fallen into the same mistake (and very naturally too) as C.C.M.; though I must confess the passage in Isis was very clumsily expressed, as I had already remarked to you about this same paragraph in one of my letters long ago. I had to "exercise my ingenuity" over it - as the Yankees express it, but succeeded in mending the hole, I believe, as I will have to many times more, I am afraid, before we have done with Isis. It really ought to be re-written for the sake of the family honour.
X It is certainly inconceivable; therefore, there is no mortal use to discuss the subject.
X You misconceived the teaching, because you were not aware of what you are now told: (a) who are the true co-workers with nature; and (b) that it is by no means all the evil co-workers who drop into the eighth sphere and are annihilated.
The potency for evil is as great in man - aye - greater - than the potentiality for good. An exception to the rule of nature, that exception, which in the case of adepts and sorcerers becomes in its turn a rule, has again its own exceptions. Read carefully the passage that C.C.M. left unquoted - on pp 352-353, Isis, Volume 1, para. 3. Again she omits to distinctly state that the case mentioned relates but to those powerful sorcerers whose co-partnership with nature for evil affords to them the means of forcing her hand, and thus accord them also panaeonic immortality. But oh, what kind of immortality, and how preferable is annihilation to their lives! Don't you see that everything you find in Isis is delineated, hardly sketched - nothing completely or fully revealed. Well the time has come, but where are the workers for such a tremendous task?
( .. ) And now when you have read the objections to that most unsatisfactory doctrine - as Mr Hume calls it - a doctrine which you had to learn first as a whole, before proceeding to study it in parts, - at the risk of satisfying you no better, I will proceed to explain the latter.
(1) Although not "wholly dissevered from their sixth and seventh principles" and quite "potent" in the séance room, nevertheless to the day when they would have died a natural death, they are separated from the higher principles by a gulf. The sixth and seventh remain passive and negative, whereas, in cases of accidental death the higher and the lower groups mutually attract each other. In cases of good and innocent Egos, moreover, the latter gravitates irresistibly toward the sixth and seventh, and thus - either slumbers surrounded by happy dreams, or sleeps a dreamless profound sleep until the hour strikes. With a little reflection, and an eye to the eternal justice and fitness of things, you will see why. The victim whether good or bad is irresponsible for his death, even if his death were due to some action in a previous life or an antecedent birth, it was an act, in short, of the Law of Retribution, still, it was not the direct result of an act deliberately committed by the personal Ego of that life during which he happened to be killed. Had he been allowed to live longer he may have atoned for his antecedent sins still more effectually: and even now, the Ego having been made to pay off the debit of his maker (the previous Ego) is free from the blows of retributive justice. The Dhyan Chohans who have no hand in the guidance of the living human Ego, protect the helpless victim when it is violently thrust out of its element into a new one, before it is matured and made fit and ready for it. We tell you what we know, for we are made to learn it through personal experience. You know what I mean and I CAN SAY NO MORE! Yes; the victims whether good or bad sleep, to awake but at the hour of the last Judgement, which is that hour of the supreme struggle between the sixth and seventh, and the fifth and fourth at the threshold of the gestation state. And even after that, when the sixth and seventh carrying off a portion of the fifth have gone to their Akashic Samadhi, even then it may happen that the spiritual spoil from the fifth will prove too weak to be reborn in Deva-Chan; in which case it will there and then reclothe itself in a new body, the subjective "Being" created from the Karma of the victim (or no-victim as the case may be) and enter upon a new earth-existence whether upon this or any other planet. In no case then, - with the exception of suicides and shells, is there any possibility for any other to be attracted to a séance room. And it is clear that "this teaching is not in opposition to our former doctrine" and that while "shells" will be many, - Spirits very few.
(2) There is a great difference in our humble opinion. We, who look at it from a stand-point which would prove very unacceptable to Life Insurance Companies, say, that there are very few if any of the men who indulge in the above enumerated vices, who feel perfectly sure that such a course of action will lead them eventually to premature death. Such is the penalty of Maya. The "vices" will not escape their punishment, but it is the cause not the effect that will be punished, especially an unforeseen though probable effect. As well call a suicide a man who meets his death in a storm at sea, as one who kills himself with "overstudy". Water is liable to drown a man, and too much brain work to produce a softening of the brain which may carry him away. In such a case no one ought to cross the Kalapani nor even take a bath for fear of getting faint in it and drowned (for we all know of such cases;) nor should a man do his duty, least of all sacrifice himself for even a laudable and highly-beneficent cause, as many of us - (H.P.B. for one) - do. Would Mr Hume call her a suicide were she to drop down dead over her present work? Motive is everything and man is punished in a case of direct responsibility, never otherwise. In the victim's case the natural hour of death was anticipated accidentally, while in that of the suicide, death is brought on voluntarily and with a full and deliberate knowledge of its immediate consequences. Thus a man who causes his death in a fit of temporary insanity is not a felo de se to the great grief and often trouble of the Life Insurance Companies. Nor is he left a prey to the temptations of the Kama Loka but falls asleep like any other victim. A Guiteau will not remain in the earth's atmosphere with his higher principles over him - inactive and paralysed, still there. Guiteau is gone into a state during the period of which, he will be ever firing at his President, thereby tossing into confusion and shuffling the destinies of millions of persons; where he will be ever tried and ever hung. Bathing in the reflections of his deeds and thoughts - especially those he indulged in on the scaffold . . . his fate. As for those who were "knocked over by cholera, or plague, or jungle fever" they could not have succumbed had they not the germs for the development of such diseases in them from birth.
So then, the great bulk of the physical phenomena of Spiritualists" my dear brother, are not "due to these Spirits" but indeed - to "shells".
(3) The Spirits of very fair average good people dying natural deaths remain ... in the earth's atmosphere from a few days to a few years", the period depending on their readiness to meet their creature not their creator; a very abstruse subject you will learn later on, when you too are more prepared. But why should they "communicate"? Do those you love communicate with you during their sleep objectively? Your Spirits, in hours of danger or intense sympathy, vibrating on the same current of thought - which in such cases creates a kind of telegraphic spiritual wire between your two bodies - may meet and mutually impress your memories; but then you are living, not dead bodies. But how can an unconscious 5th principle (see supra) impress or communicate with a living organism, unless it has already become a shell? If, for certain reasons they remain in such a state of lethargy for several years, the spirits of the living may ascend to them, as you were already told; and this may take place still easier than in Devachan, where the Spirit is too much engrossed in his personal bliss to pay much attention to an intruding element. I say - they cannot.
(4) I am sorry to contradict your statement. I know of no "thousands of spirits" who do appear in circles - and moreover positively do not know of one "perfectly pure circle" and "teach the highest morality". I hope I may not be classed with slanderers in addition to other names lately bestowed upon me, but truth compels me to declare that Allan Kardec was not quite immaculate during his lifetime, nor has become a very pure Spirit since. As to teaching the "highest morality", we have a Dugpa-Shammar not far from where I am residing. Quite a remarkable man. Not very powerful as a sorcerer but excessively so as a drunkard, a thief, a liar, and - an orator. In this latter role he could give points to and beat Messrs Gladstone, Bradlaugh, and even the Rec. H.W. Beecher - than whom there is no more eloquent preacher of morality, and no greater breaker of his Lord's Commandments in the U.S.A. This Shapa-tung Lama, when thirsty, can make an enormous audience of "yellow-cap" laymen weep all their yearly supply of tears with the narrative of his repentance and suffering in the morning, and then get drunk in the evening and rob the whole village by mesmerising them into a dead sleep. Preaching and teaching morality with an end in view proves very little. Read "J.P.T.'s" article in Light and what I say will be corroborated.
(To A.P.S. (5)) The "obscuration" comes on only when the last man of whatever Round has passed into the sphere of effects. Nature is too well, to mathematically adjusted to cause mistakes to happen in the exercise of her functions. The obscuration of the planet on which are now evoluting the races of the fifth Round men - will, of course "be behind the few avant couriers" who are now here. But before that time comes we will have to part, to meet no more, as the Editor of the Pioneer and his humble correspondent.
And now having shown that the October Number of the Theosophist was not utterly wrong, nor was it at "variance with the later teaching", may K.H. set you to "reconcile the two"?
To reconcile you still more with Eliphas, I will send you a number of his MSS. that have never been published in a large, clear, beautiful handwriting with my comments all through. Nothing better than that can give you a key to Kabalistic puzzles.
I have to write to Mr Hume this week; to give him consolation, and to show, that unless he has a strong desire to live, he need not trouble himself about Devachan. Unless a man loves well or hates as well, he will be neither in Deva-Chan nor in Avitchi. "Nature spews the luke-warm out of her mouth" means only that she annihilates their personal Egos (not the shells nor yet the sixth principle) in the Kama Loka and the Devachan. This does not prevent them from being immediately reborn - and, if their lives were not very very bad, - there is no reason why the eternal Monad should not find the page of the life intact in the Book of Life.
This Glossary is compiled from definitions of, and meanings ascribed to, various Sanskrit and other terms used in the book, given in H.P. Blavatsky's "Theosophical Glossary", Geoffrey A. Barborka's "Glossary of Sanskrit Terms", "Occult Glossary" by G. de Puruker and the Glossary to "The Key to Theosophy".
Abidharma. The metaphysical (third) part of Tripitaka, a very philosophical Buddhist work by Katyayana.
Absolute. The adjective derived from 'Absoluteness'. When predicated of the UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE it denotes an abstract noun which is more correct and logical than to apply the adjective in the "Absolute" to that which has neither attributes nor limitation, nor can IT have any.
Adept. From the Latin adeptus, "He who has obtained". In Occultism one who has reached the stage of Initiation, and become a Master in the science of Esoteric Philosophy.
Agama Sutra. A portion of the Buddhist scriptures. Agama means coming, advent; Sutra means a thread.
Ahamkara (alt. Ahankara). The conception of "I", Self-consciousness or Self-identity; the "I", the egotistical and Mayavic principle in man, due to our ignorance which separates our "I" from the Universal ONE-SELF, Personality Egoism. Simply egoity.
Akasha (alt. Akasa). The subtle, super-sensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space; the primitive substance erroneously identified with Ether. It is to Ether what spirit is to matter or Atma to Kama-rupa. It is, in fact, the Universal Space in which lies inherent the eternal ideation of the Universe in its ever-changing aspects on the planes of matter and objectivity, from which radiates ... expressed thought.
Alaya. The Universal Soul. The name belongs to the Tibetan system of the contemplative Mahayana School. It is identical with Akasa in its mystic sense and with Muhlaprakriti, in its essence, as it is the basis or root of all things.
Alaya-Vijnana. A compound of Alaya as defined above and Vijnana, the principle which dwells in the Vijnanamaya Kosha (the sheath of intellect) and corresponds to the faculties of Higher Manas.
Anastasis. The continued existence of the Soul.
Anola. Lit. “want of understanding; the name given to the lower Manas when too closely allied with Kama.
Antahkarana. The path or bridge between the Higher and the Lower Manas, the divine Ego, and the personal soul of man. It serves as a medium of communication between the two, and conveys from the Lower to the Higher Ego, all those personal impressions and thoughts of men which can, by their nature be assimilated and stored by the undying Entity, and be thus made immortal with it, these being the only Elements of the evanescent Personality that survive death and time. It thus stands to reason that it is only that which is noble, spiritual and divine in man can testify in Eternity to his having lived.
Arupa Loca. Literally a place of no form. Rupa is form, Arupa is formless, Loca simply means a place.
Arupa Washara. Esoterically mystic sound. Washara is sound, as bird-song, hum of insects, etc.
Ashta-Vijnyana. Ashta literally means eight. Vijnyana corresponds to the faculties of the Higher Mind.
Astral Body. The ethereal counterpart or shadow of man or animal. The Linga Sarira (q.v.), the "Doppelgaenger" or double, not to be confused with the ASTRAL SOUL, another name for the lower Manas or Kama-Manas, so-called, the reflection of the Higher Ego.
Astral Light. The invisible region that surrounds our globe, as it does every other, and corresponding to the second Principle of Kosmos (the third being Life, of which it is the vehicle) and to the Linga-Sarira or the Astral Double in man. The subtle Essence, visible only to a clairvoyant eye and the lowest but one (viz., the earth) of the Seven Akasic or Kosmic Principles.
Asuras. The Asuras, esoterically, are spiritual and divine beings in spite of the common exoteric meaning of elementals and evil gods.
Atma(n). The Universal Spirit, the divine Monad, the seventh Principle, so-called, in the septenary constitution of man. The Supreme Soul.
Attavada. The sin of personality.
Aum. The sacred syllable; the triple-lettered unit; hence the trinity in one.
Aura. A subtle invisible essence or fluid which emanates from human and animal bodies and even things. It is a psychic effluvium, partaking of both the mind and the body, as it is the electro-vital and at the same time and electro-mental aura; called in Theosophy the akashic or magnetic aura. The Auric Body is this aura regarded as an entity. See however Auric Egg below.
Auric Egg or Envelope. In Esoteric Science this is an akashic sheath surrounding all the principles of a man. It endures from life to life and contains all the karmic influences and effects generated by a man during his physical lives. It is so to speak the boundary of a man's spiritual being demarking him whilst he remains an individuality from the generality of cosmic life.
Avaivartya. Lit. non-receding. A term applied to higher advanced Bodhisattwas.
Avidya. Opposed to Vidya, Knowledge. Ignorance which proceeds from, and is produced by, the illusion of the senses.
Avitchi. Lit. the waveless state. The state of continuous agony, not necessarily after death only or between two births, for it can take place on earth as well. Some soulless men are condemned to it on this physical plane.
Babu. A respectful form of address; endearing term for a male baby.
Bardo. Lit. between, until, during, as long as. Esoterically sometimes used for the state between lives, after death.
Bhut (Bhoot). Ghost or phantom; a secondary meaning is "heretics". To call them demons is incorrect.
Bodhi. A shortened version of Bodhi Tree under which Gautama, the Buddha, obtained illumination. Bodhi is to awaken or enlighten, hence spiritual wisdom.
Bodhisattwa. Lit. "he, whose essence (sattva) has become intelligence (bodhi)". One who needs but one more incarnation to become a perfect Buddha, to be entitled to Nirvana.
Brahma(n). The impersonal, supreme and uncognizable Principle of the Universe from the essence of which all emanates and into which all returns, which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless and endless. It is all-pervading, animating the highest god as well as the smallest mineral atom. If spelt with an accent over the last 'a' it is the male and the alleged Creator who exists periodically in his manifestation only, and then again goes into pralaya, i.e. disappears and is annihilated.
Buddhi. The universal soul or mind; the spiritual soul in man (the sixth Principle), the vehicle of Atma.
Byang-Tsiub. Purified, perfect; Bodhi enlightenment.
Chain (of Worlds). The name given to six subjective, non-physical globes and one objective physical one forming an integral system corresponding in man to his physical body and his six inner principles. An entirely esoteric conception.
Chhaya. "Shade" or "shadow"; the astral image of a person in esoteric philosophy.
Chhipa. Latent, secret, occult.
Chiliocosm. The term including the Rupa and Arupa Locas of Devachan.
Daimon (Daemon). A word with a meaning identical with that of "God", "Angel" or "Genius". The Daemon of Socrates is the incorruptible part of the man, or rather the real inner man which we call Nous or the rational divine Ego. To be distinguished from "demon".
Devachan. Lit. the "dwelling of the gods"; a state intermediate between two earth lives, in which the Ego (Atma-Buddhi-Manas or the Trinity made One) enters after its separation from Kama-Rupa and the disintegration of the lower principles on earth.
Dharmakaya. Lit. "the glorified spiritual body". The third or highest of the three bodies developed by every initiate who has crossed or reached the end of what is called "the fourth Path" (in Esotericism the sixth portal prior to his entry on the seventh). This body corresponds to the buddhic plane of
consciousness. The three bodies are 1) Nirmanakaya, 2)
Sambhogakaya and 3) Dermakaya, the last being the highest and most sublimated of all as it places the ascetic on the threshold of Nirvana.
Dhyani. An abbreviation of Dhyan Chohan (see below).
Dhyan Chohan. The "Lords of Light". The highest gods answering to the Roman Catholic archangels, the divine Intelligences charged with the supervision of Cosmos.
Dindha-Dhana. Misconceived treasures.
Doppelgaenger. A synonym of the "Double" and of the "Astral Body" in occult parlance.
Dravya. Substance (metaphysically).
Dugpa. Latterly the term has become a synonym for "sorcerer", "adept of black magic" and everything vile. It is from the Dugpas that orientalists have learned of Buddho-Lamaism in Tibet and have formed a completely wrong impression of it. Because of this Northern Buddhism in its purified, metaphysical form is almost entirely unknown.
Ego. "Self"; the consciousness in man "I AM I" - or the feeling of "I-am-ship". Esoteric philosophy teaches the existence of two "Egos" in man, the mortal or "personal", and the Higher, the Divine and the Impersonal, calling the former "Personality" and the latter "Individuality".
Element. In Occultism the word is applied to the old philosophers' elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Occultism adds another, "Ether", which is just starting to manifest and there are two more to come in the sixth and seventh Rounds. Each element has a correspondence with a tattva, a sense, a sound, and so on.
Elemental. Spirits of the Elements, the creatures evolved in the four kingdoms or elements - earth, air, fire and water. These were called by the Kabalists, gnomes (of the earth), sylphs (of the air), salamanders (of fire) and undines (of water). Except a few of the higher kinds, and their rulers, they are rather forces of nature .. and have many names as 'little people' etc.
Elementary. Properly the disembodied soul of the depraved, these souls having some time prior to death separated from themselves their divine spirit and so lost their chance for immortality; the term is also applied to the spooks or phantoms of disembodied persons in general, i.e. to those whose temporary habitation is the Kama Loca.
Elohim. This seems to be the plural of the feminine noun Eloah .. and seems to imply the emitted active and passive essences .. "Elohim" has been said to represent a sevenfold power of Godhead.
Facies hippocratica. Facies means 'general aspect',
Hippocrates was a Greek physician of the pre-Christian era.
Globes (A - Z). It is said in Occultism that the earth is one of seven globes of a Chain, itself physical and objective but its six companion globes are subjective and invisible. It is said that during the life of a globe the life wave passes seven times round the Chain and that in each Round the kingdoms of Nature including the human go through seven evolutionary stages. The human stages are known as Root Races.
Gnosis. Lit. knowledge. The technical term used by the Schools of Religious Philosophy, both before and during the first centuries of so-called Christianity, to denote the object of their enquiry. This Spiritual and Sacred Knowledge, the Gupta Vidya of the Hindus, could only be obtained by Initiation into Spiritual Mysteries of which the ceremonial "Mysteries" were a type.
Hiranyagarbha (sometimes as two words Hiranya Garbha). The radiant or golden egg or womb. Esoterically the luminous "fire-mist" or ethereal stuff from which the Universe was formed.
Incubi. The plural of Incubus. Something more real and dangerous than the ordinary meaning given to the word, viz., that of nightmare .. The spooks of mediaeval demonology called forth from the invisible regions by human passions and lusts.
Initiates. The designation of anyone who was received into, and had revealed to him, the mysteries and secrets of either Masonry or Occultism .. In our modern days those who have been initiated by the Adepts of Mystic Lore into the mysterious knowledge, which, notwithstanding the lapse of ages, has yet a few real votaries on earth.
Jettatore. One possessing the "evil eye".
Jhana. Knowledge; occult wisdom.
Jiva. Life, as the Absolute; the Monad also or "Atma-Buddhi".
Jivanmukta. An Adept or Yogi who has reached the ultimate state of holiness, and separated himself from matter; a Mahatma, or Nirvanee, a dweller in bliss and emancipation. Virtually one who has reached Nirvana during life.
Jivatma. The One universal life, generally; but also the divine Spirit in Man.
Ka. A name of Brahma in his phallic character as generator or Prajapati.
Kabalah. The hidden wisdom of the Hebrew Rabbis of the middle ages derived from the older secret doctrines concerning divine things and cosmogony ..
Kalapani. Punishment for the worst violators of laws (civil).
Kalpa. The time period of a planet, generally a cycle of time, but usually representing a "day" and "night" of Brahma, a period of 4,320 million years.
Kama. The first conscious, all-embracing desire for universal good, love, and for all that lives and feels, needs help and kindness, the first feeling of infinite tender compassion and mercy that arose in the consciousness of the ONE FORCE as soon as it came into life and being as a ray from the ABSOLUTE. More commonly thought of as evil desire, lust, volition; cleaving to existence. Kama is generally identified with Mara, the tempter.
Kama-loca. The semi-material plane, to us subjective and invisible, where the disembodied "personalities", the astral forms, called Kama rupa remain until they fade out from it by the complete exhaustion of the effects of the mental impulses that created these eidolons of human and animal passions and desires.
Kama-prana. A compound of Kama and Prana, which see.
Kama-rupa. Metaphysically, and in our esoteric philosophy, it is the subjective form created through the mental and physical desires and thought in connection with things of matter, by all sentient beings, a form which survives the death of their bodies; this form plays an important part in the after death states and processes. These have a definite term in relation to it and when they are over the form disintegrates.
Kamawachar(a). Belonging to Kama-loca; one devoted to sensuous pleasure or personal desires.
Karma. Physically, action; metaphysically, the law of retribution, the law of cause and effect or ethical causation, nemesis only in one sense, that of bad Karma .. It is the power that controls all things, the resultant of moral action .. The moral effect of an act committed for the attainment of something that gratifies a personal desire. There is a personal merit and a Karma of demerit. Karma neither punishes nor rewards, it is simply the one Universal Law which guides unerringly, and, so to say blindly, all other laws productive of certain effects, along the grooves of their respective causations.
Karya-rupa. In the form of action; to supplement or translate into action.
Kha. The same as "Akasa".
Khaba. The square building in Mecca, object of pilgrimage.
Kosha. Lit. a sheath, as in Anandamaya-kosha, "the illusive sheath of bliss", identical with our Atma-Buddhi or the Spiritual Soul. A mayavic or illusory form. One of the five Koshas or "principles" in man,
Kumara. Lit. a virgin boy or young celibate, a holy youth. The name was given to a class of high spiritual entities associated with the very early development of humanity. Two other classes mentioned were the Agnishvattas and the Manasaputras.
Lama. In Tibet this title, if correctly applied, belongs only to the priests of superior grades, those who can hold office as gurus in the monasteries, but the title has become somewhat debased.
Lha. Spirit of the highest spheres, whence the name of Lhasa, residence of the Dalai Lama. Title often given to saints and yogis in Tibet who have attained great occult powers.
Licanthropy. (Lycanthropy) The power of changing oneself into an animal (properly a wolf).
Linga Sarira. The "Astral Body" of man or animal; the vital and prototypal body; the reflection of the man of flesh. It is born before and dies or fades out, with the disappearance of the last atom of the body.
Logos. The manifested deity with every nation and people; the outward expression, or the effect of the cause which is ever concealed. Thus, speech is the logos of thought; hence it is aptly translated by the "Verbum" and "Word" in its metaphysical sense.
Maha-but. Lit. Maha great and but (bhut) a ghost or phantom; sometimes the term is applied to one of the seven great Element Principles.
Mahat. Lit. the "great one". The first principle of Universal Intelligence and Consciousness. The producer of Manas, the thinking principle and of Ahankara, egotism or the feeling of "I am I" in the lower manas.
Mahatma. Lit. great soul. Adepts of the highest order, exalted beings who, having attained the mastery over their lower principles, are thus living unimpeded by the "man of flesh", and are in possession of knowledge and power commensurate with the stage they have reached in their spiritual evolution; Arhats.
Maksha. Hypocrisy; concealing one's views.
Manas. Lit. the mind, the mental faculty which makes of man an intelligent and moral being, and distinguishes him from the mere animals. Esoterically it means when unqualified the Higher Ego or the sentient reincarnating Principle in man. When qualified, it is Buddhi-Manas or the Spiritual Soul in contradistinction to its human reflection, Kama-Manas.
Manasa. Lit. the efflux of the Divine Mind, signifying the Manasa or Divine Sons, arupa and incorporeal, of Mahat .. (They) are identical with Kumara, the Manasa-Putra (mind sons) and are finally identified with the human "Egos".
Manasa-Putra. Lit. sons of Mind, see above. Also termed the Solar Pitris, the great benefactors of the human race acting in the capacity of awakening the dormant mind principle during the Third Root Race of humanity.
Manas Taijasa. Lit. the radiant Manas. A state of the Higher Ego, which only high metaphysicians are able to realize and comprehend.
Manu. A great Regent or Watcher of a planetary system. There are 14 Manus (7 primeval ones) who are each the patron or guardian of a cycle in a Manvantara. In India a great
legislator, hence the Laws of Manu.
Manvantara. A period of manifestation as opposed to Pralaya (dissolution or rest). Applied to various cycles, especially to a day of Brahma, 4,320 million Solar years.
Mara. The Destroyer, the Evil One; the god of Temptation, hence the "death" of the soul, the seducer who tried to turn Buddha away from his path.
Maya. Illusion; the cosmic power which renders phenomenal existence and the perceptions thereof possible. In Hindu philosophy that alone which is changeless and eternal is called reality; all that which is subject to change, to decay and differentiation and which has therefore a beginning and an end is regarded as maya - illusion.
Mayavi-rupa. "Illusive form"; the "double" in esoteric philosophy, to be distinguished from the Linga Sarira; the vehicle of projection.
Metanoia. Change; spiritual conversion; repentance; transformation.
Monad. The Unity, the One; in Occultism it often means the unified triad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, or the duad, Atma-Buddhi, that immortal part of man which reincarnates in the lower kingdoms, and gradually progresses through them to Man and then to the final goal - Nirvana.
Mulaprakriti. The abstract deific feminine principle -undifferentiated substance. Akasa. Lit. the "root of nature" (Prakriti) or Matter.
Myalba. In esoteric philosophy of Northern Buddhism the name of our Earth, called Hell for those who reincarnate in it for punishment.
Nephesh. Breath of life. In theosophical teachings the synonym of the Prana-Kamic principle or the vital animal Soul in man.
Nidana. One of the twelve causes of existence; as links in the chain of causation of the whole range of existence. The Nidanas are listed under their Sanskrit names in the Theosophical Glossary.
Nipang. Crippled; worthless.
Nirmanakaya. Lit. a transformed "body"; a state; a man who, while leaving behind his physical body, retains every other principle save the kamic. Instead of entering Nirvana he remains to help mankind in an invisible yet effective manner.
Nirvana. The state of absolute existence and absolute consciousness, that of an Ego who has reached the highest degree of perfection and holiness during life, after the body dies.
Noumena. The true essential nature of being as distinguished from the illusive objects of sense.
Nous. The Higher Mind or Soul; Spirit as distinct from animal soul - psyche; divine consciousness or mind in man.
Occult. Lit. hidden. The secrets of Nature at all levels of being. An Occultist is one who studies them. Occultism covers all arcane sciences.
Odyle. Matter, tenuous. A force supposed to manifest in light, magnetism, chemical action, hypnotism, etc. (Reichenbach).
Parabrahm. Lit. beyond Brahma. The Supreme Infinite Brahma, "Absolute" -, the attributeless, secondless reality. The impersonal and nameless universal Principle.
Paramanu-rupa. The form of an atom or infinitesimally small particle.
Paramatma(n). The Supreme Soul of the Universe.
Paranirvana. Absolute Non-Being, the state reached by the human Monad at the end of the Great Cycle.
Pisachas. Fading remnants of human beings in Kama-loca, as shells and Elementaries.
Prakriti. The material aspect in Nature in general as opposed to Purusha, the spiritual nature and Spirit.
Pralaya. A period of obscuration or repose - planetary, cosmic or universal. The opposite of Manvantara.
Prana. Life principle; the breath of life.
Principle(s). The Elements or original essences, the basic differentiations upon and of which all things are built up; the seven individual and fundamental aspects of the one universal reality in Kosmos and in man.
Protean. Of many shapes or aspects; from Proteus.
Psyche. Lit. soul: in Theosophy the mortal soul, the inner (fourth and lower fifth) principles of Personality.
Rapport. Relation: sympathy, emotional bond: spiritualistic touch.
Reliquiae. Lit. remains. In Theosophy the remains of the psyche after death, in Kama-loca.
Rosicrucians. Originally disciples of Christian Rosenkreuz (1460); mystical students of the Kabbala and western magic.
Round(s). The passage of the life wave round the seven globes of a planetary Chain. This earth is in its fourth Round.
Rupa. Body: form, the forms of the gods which are subjective to us.
Rupawachara. One belonging to the domain of form; one devoted to visual objects or fine material.
Sakkayaditthi. False belief that the personality (Sakkaya) is permanent and unchanging.
Samadhi. A state of ecstatic and complete trance, conferring absolute control over all faculties.
Samma-Sambuddha. The recollection of all one's past incarnations: a yoga phenomenon. A title of Buddha, perfect illumination.
Sanna. A Skandha, abstract ideas.
Skandha(s). Lit. group of attributes. Characteristics which form the personality.
Somnambul(ism). Lit. sleepwalking. Performing every function of waking consciousness in one's sleep with utter oblivion of the fact on waking.
Srotapanna. One who has "entered the stream"; attained the first grade of sanctification; a converted man.
Sthula-sarira. The gross physical body, the lowest of man's seven principles.
Succubi. Female devils supposed to consort with men during sleep.
Sukhaviti. A paradise of physical delights enjoyed between lives, a mistaken notion of Devachan.
Sushupti. The state of deep sleep: the third of the 4 states of consciousness.
Tanha. The thirst for life.
Tanmatra(s). A characteristic property; noumena of the element-principles of earth, water, air, fire and ether.
Taraka Raja Yoga. A system of brahminical Yoga culminating in liberation.
Tathagata. One who is like his predecessors (the Buddhas) and successors.
Terra incognita. Lit. unknown territory.
Tetraktis. The sacred Pythagorean Four; same as Tetragrammaton, symbolized by a triangle of four dots a side with one in the middle making ten dots, the number of perfection.
Theosophist. A student of Theosophy, the Ancient Wisdom, the Wisdom Religion, Esoteric Science, Occultism, etc. One who tries to live in accordance with the eternal verities of existence.
Tiaou. A kind of devachanic post-mortem state.
Tribuvana. The three worlds, heaven, earth and hell, in popular beliefs. Esoterically the spiritual, psychic (astral) and the terrestrial regions.
Trisharana. Lit. three conditions of Bodhi (wisdom) essential, reflected, and practical; attributes of a Nirmanakaya, one who has attained to but renounces the state of Nirvana in order to serve humanity.
Tushita Devaloka. The dwelling place of a class of gods of great purity (Hindu).
Udambara flower. Lit. lotus of great size: a supernatural omen blossoming once every three thousand years. One such blossoming heralded the birth of Gautama Buddha.
Upadhana. Lit. acquiring an adhana. Clinging to earth life: a material cause.
Upadhi. Lit. a substitute. A disguise, basis or vehicle; carrier of something less material than itself, e.g. body upadhi of spirit.
Upanishad(s). (Hindu) that which destroys ignorance, produces liberation of spirit: writings dealing with metaphysical subjects, viz. the origin of the universe, the nature and essence of unmanifest deity, gods, etc.; writings of great antiquity.
Vahan(a). Lit. a vehicle. The carrier of something immaterial and formless.
Vedana. The second Skandha, perceptions, senses: the sixth Nidana.
Vihara. Place inhabited by Buddhist priest or ascetic, temple, cave or monastery.
Vikara. Alteration; deterioration; perversion; change of mind.
Vinnana. Lit. mental powers: consciousness, intelligence. A Skandha and Nidana.
Vishaya. An object of sense; a worldly object or concern.
Vishnu. A sustaining force in the Universe: preserver, second person of Hindu trinity.
Ye-damma. Famous Buddhist mantra summarizing the Buddhist message.
Yin Yonan. Lit. earth and sky. Darkness and Light.
Yoga-ballu. The power of devotion or meditation; any 'supernatural' power.
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