by E.D. Walker

as published in "Theosophical Siftings" Volume 3 - of years 1890 -1891

[Page 1] I want to make reasonable the basic hypothesis of Theosophy that men as we now see them are individuals coming out of an immeasurable past, and destined for an immeasurable future; and that just as a schoolboy is tied to one class at his school till he knows all that that class can teach, rising therein from the lowest to the highest places, so man lives again and again on this particular planet till he has acquired all that is of value in these conditions of existence.

Suppose a man were placed for the first time in a great forest of oaks. Side by side with gnarled and knotted veterans, impressive in size and suggestive of antiquity, there would be the infantine saplings of yesterday, there would be more developed, but still youthful trunks; in fine, there would be at once before his eye oaks of every degree in magnitude and age. Gazing upon these, would he not be an idiot if he did not guess that at some time in the far past those veterans had been as are now the smaller trees; that as years went by they had grown up through every grade of size now at once exemplified before his eye ? He sees the greater, the less, the least; he infers that the greater have once been as are now the lesser and the least.

The parallel is exact. There exist at the same moment men of the noblest scope of intellect and the purest morality, and alongside of these are idiots, criminals, men of the meanest mind and without any morality at all. And midway between the extremes are all the possible grades. Shall we not infer, as with the oaks, that the men largest in intellect and morals were once as the men smallest, and that they grew up through all the stages we now see ? If you urge that they have effected all this in one life, in the first place we deny it. Our Herbert Spencers and Father Damien's were not idiot-criminals to start with. And secondly, if it were so, it would remain true that they have developed fastest. How did they acquire the principle of rapid development not shown in idiots and criminals, unless we assume that by the age, say of 21, they have grown up into that fulness of power they had acquired when they left their last life, and can now go on and improve upon that ? So the problem remains.

Let us therefore represent a man's intellect and morality, his total size of character at 21, by the figure 100. By the age of 71, he will have expanded [Page 2] into 105. His brother's total character at 21 might perhaps be represented by 90, and he at the age of 71 has only evolved into 93. On the other hand, his sister started life at no less a figure than 120, and at her death was 130. Here then we have three people starting at different levels, and making three different rates of progress. Does it not seem that in some past life our man, who this time started at 100, started then as does his brother now at 90, progressing perhaps to 93, and that in some future life, starting as does his sister now at 120, he may, like her, then reach 130? If we do not make this hypothesis, how shall we account for his starting life at 100, and not like the criminal-idiot at 5, 10, or nothing ? It is no answer to the difficulty to suggest that the differences between men are due to differences in their heredity, parentage, and environment. Members of the same family have the same heredity, parentage, and environment, yet they may differ in every respect. Even twins, conceived and born in the same hour, are as likely as not to develop radical differences of mind and morals as time goes on. So the qualities of men are due neither to their parents, their ancestry, nor education, nor surroundings, since those who correspond in all those particulars may yet differ. Of this difference the theory of reincarnation affords the only fair explanation, as well as of other innumerable difficulties, otherwise inexplicable. In bar to its acceptance stands one apparent difficulty, and one only. Far from being really a difficulty, however, it is a key-stone of the theory. I refer to the fact that we do not ordinarily remember our past lives. But is the fact of our having forgotten them a proof that we did not live them ? Then, also, is the fact that we do not remember our birth a proof that we were not born, and the fact that we remember nothing of our first two years a proof that we did not then exist ? If the fact that we are now thirty years old is proof that we were once two years old, then the fact that our present moral and intellectual development may be represented by 100 is proof that it might once have been represented by 50, and we know that in this life we never stood so low as that. There is a story of a certain pike, kept in a large glass tank in the grounds of its owner. Now this fish used to spend the whole of his time in carefully swimming around his tank. On a certain day the owner inserted a glass plate into the tank, so as to shut off half of it from the pike's perambulations. Not seeing the glass, and continuing to circulate, he knocked his nose against it, and this occurred every time he swam round, day and night, for nineteen years. At the end of that time he learned that at a certain point in his journey, pain occurred if he persisted in his circle, so he made it smaller and thus avoided the plate. The owner now removed it, but during the rest of his life of many years he was never known to [Page 3] cross the line where it had been. It is reasonable to suppose that in time he forgot there had been a plate there, forgot the pain he used to have, forgot that he must not cross a certain point, and simply did not cross it, had no inclination to cross it. He had forgotten the fact of the plate, but had learnt and remembered a lesson founded on that fact. The first time an infant sees a flame he naturally puts his fingers into it, and gets them burnt. This occurs many times, and at last he learns that flame burns. When he is a man the lesson remains with him that flame burns, but he has forgotten every one of those individual baby finger-burnings that taught the lesson. The lesson remains, but the facts have departed. He might argue that because he could not remember those burnings, they had never occurred; that his knowledge of the properties of flame had been inherited, or grown up out of his environment, and so on. The illustration is suggestive of the possibility that though the facts of past lives have been forgotten, the lessons, the deductions from those facts, are not forgotten, but are the capital, the 100, with which we start this life. Grant, for a moment, that we have lived many past lives. If we could remember the innumerable details in all those, we should be so lost in a vast and shoreless ocean of memories, as to have neither time nor inclination for present action and thought. But the deductions and lessons from them are few, and have become inherent parts of our characters. But it is not necessary to assume that because they have slipped out of the field of our present consciousness, they are past recall. There are on record many statements from those who have been nearly drowned and resuscitated. From these it appears that at the moment of, or just before, death, the whole field of memory is lighted up, and apparently every single fact of every day of the now closing life stands out clearly into consciousness. It may well be that this occurs at the last instant of every life, and that the departing soul reviews its whole career, and assimilates as a lesson the deductions from the panoramic facts of life, which, having served their purposes, are flung into the limbo of empty shells.

But our shop-fronts do not exhibit all the contents of the shop. The mind with which we earn our bread, and laugh, and make love, and think and study with, is not our last possibility, not our eternal mind, not the mind that preserves the record of the many lives we live. Over our heads rests the great globe of the real mind, dipping down a little only of itself into the consciousness of daily life, and the " I " with which we act in daily life is only a little of that great and all-remembering self. Hypnotism, that would-be modern science, will light up for us many of the problems of mental life, and to it for a moment we will now appeal. In the Salpetrière Hospital in Paris, Dr. Charcot, the most important [Page 4] living authority on diseases of the nervous system, with a band of scarcely less eminent physicians, is prosecuting the study of Hypnotism, and the light it throws on disease. The result of their researches is published in a volume of the International Scientific Series by Drs. Binet and Feré. It is there shown by very many carefully conducted experiments that Hypnotism produces a total change of nervous relations. These are of so bewildering a nature, so complex, that without the solution offered by Theosophy they are utterly baffling. So far, nothing has been said concerning the view of Theosophy as to the real constitution of man. Materialists deal with him as a unit; many Christians as a duad, body and soul; St. Paul speaks of him as body, soul, and spirit; Theosophy splits him yet further into seven principles or aspects, or six sheaths and a nucleus, each of the seven having different functions, and being in various relationships in different men. In this division lies the real explanation of Hypnotism, of re-incarnation and the lost memory of former lives. Let us divide a man's mind, his consciousness, into two; representing the total by a great globe over his head, touching his head and dipping into it. Let us suppose that the purpose of repeated lives is that the whole of that conscious sphere of thought shall in successive parts or segments dip into his successive life-brains, and learn somewhat of the world thus each time. At the end of each lifetime the segment that has been steeped into the physical brain, endowing it with

Reincarnation Graphic
A, B, C, etc., are successional segments of the total field of consciousness, dipping into, and conferring temporary consciousness upon, the brain of each life. The total memories of these lives are thrown into the common [Page 5] field for devâchanic assimilation. The segments differ in size according to the amount of himself a man can draw into his brain consciousness, and learning thus the facts of each life, on being liberated from that life, pours its knowledge into the common stock in the middle. When the time comes for the man to be born again, the sphere revolves a little, and dips a new clean segment into the new brain of an infant, which then becomes conscious. But that new segment B knows nothing of the doings of the old segment A, though the total mind does. This total mind is, however, not in the brain, but only a little of it. When we say "I", we mean only a small segment of the true or total "I", that segment that is in this temporary brain, and which, therefore, knows nothing of former lives, though the true divine "I" does know and remember. That space of time which lapses between leaving one life and beginning the next is spent in, as it were, entering into the ledger of the eternal or total mind the day-book items of the evanescent segmentary and partial mind of the past life, in drawing from that life any lessons that may be of use for the next. The lesser mind has entered into the inheritance of the vast stores of the greater. Now, Hypnotism does something like this. It partially frees the lesser mind or Ego from the limitations of brain by paralyzing the brain. Therefore, to the extent that Hypnotism is real and deep is the memory expanded. A servant-girl, under the care of Braid, the Manchester surgeon, and a re-discoverer of Hypnotism, while hypnotized, recited long passages of Hebrew, of which, in her waking state, she did not know one word, because many years before she had lived with a Hebrew scholar as his servant. A patient of Charcot's recognised at once, when hypnotized, and correctly named, a physician whom she had not seen since she was two years old, and then only for a short time, during which she was under his care. There is, of course, not now time for the narration of anything like a series of cases, but only for one or two as types. Dr. Richie's great work and the volume already mentioned will give data of any desired fulness, showing that the grasp of real memory upon even the smallest fact is never relaxed. For the memory of waking life is only an infinitesimal fraction of the memory of our entire Ego. Can we get any idea of what the Soul, the Ego, the globe overhead is doing while we are eating, and thinking, and making love in our daily ordinary mind ? Let us advance the hypothesis that while we, knowing two facts, laboriously reason to the third, it knows all three at once; that while we, barely remembering the facts of last year, totally forget our infancy, it knows all the facts of our preceding lives; that therefore its judgment, if we could only get it, would, from the range of its knowledge, be of infinitely greater value than our own. [Page 6]

Suppose we look at our consciousness during a whole day, and see what elements we can find in it. Lowest of all are the animal emotions, hunger, desire to get money, the impulse to fall in love, sleepiness, etc. ; next above these comes thinking proper, reasoning, deductions of a third fact from two others. Without any other conscious elements than these two sets, we should simply spend life in reasoning as to the best way to gratify our own wishes, to obtain any pleasure and avoid all pain, But on a higher level than either of these two comes an impulse to do duty at any cost, regardless of pleasure or pain, and in the face often of the protests of the reasoning faculty. Assuming brain to be the organ of reason, this call to the performance of duty evidently does not come from brain, but from outside or above it. The hypothesis suggests itself that this call to duty comes from that upper self or globe. Possessing the sum of experiences of all former lives, it judges of our best course in life quite independently of the short-sighted wishes of its limited segment, and what we call obedience to duty is obedience to the course it suggests as in the long run the best for our real evolution. Duty, then, is an impulse whose reason we cannot know. So it remains to prove that outside of ourselves there is an actor, a thinker, a memory, not known to us in our ordinary consciousness, yet a part of ourselves, and occasionally forcing its thoughts upon us and compelling us to act apparently without reason. It cannot be proved, but in a study of Hypnotism we can find strong reason for thinking that this is so. I have to quote two more experiments from the Salpetrière record. A patient being hypnotized was made to promise that in a given number of days, I think as many as 140 after waking, and at a certain hour, she would come in, take up a knife on the table, and stab a doctor in the room. She awoke and departed as usual without memory of the promise. But nevertheless at the appointed time she appeared, entered the room, took up a wooden paper knife and tried to stab the doctor present. Asked to explain her conduct, she stated that she wanted to see how he would look, or gave some other trifling reason, but note that during all that time there must have been in activity that in her which had promised an activity not in her consciousness, but of which she was the tool, and which at the appointed time compelled of her the fulfilment of its promise. To explain to herself her own conduct, her brain-mind is obliged to go to work and invent a reason, not the true one. In the next experiment, during the sleep, words were traced on the patient's arm with the blunt end of a probe, and the order issued or promise extracted that on the following day, at four o'clock, blood would issue along the lines of the tracing. At the time named, minute bleeding took place in the prescribed manner, and the words stood dotted out in points of blood. In this case, [Page 7] the power called into activity within the patient, yet not within the field of his waking consciousness, exceeded any that he could in his normal state have used, since no man can control his blood flow, yet it nevertheless acted punctually and exactly. So Hypnotism will prove that the consciousness of the waking man does not show him anything like the range of his memory or of his powers, and inasmuch as Hypnotism proves that both are existent in hitherto undreamed-of perfection, may we not venture to suggest that some other process so far not known to us might bring into consciousness the immeasurable ranges of past lives, and place in our hands powers like those assigned to saints and seers of the past ? This is the hypothesis of Theosophy. That there exists in man a real and eternal centre, Ego, or Soul, not omniscient, but still learning, not omnipotent, but still acquiring new powers, and that for these purposes it continuously dips into, or mixes itself with matter; in other words, incarnates or lives. It is the actor who, in successive dramas, or lives, plays successive parts, becoming thereby a better actor, and earning time after time the right to greater parts. We in our ordinary selves are the parts it plays, and mistake the few yards of stage for a real world, and the stage furniture properties and scenery for real and desirable things. These are not in themselves of value, but only as training for the actor. We have, therefore, to recognise that we are not the person of the drama, but the actor who plays it. Suppose the actor while playing his part fell into the delusion that the part was the reality, lived in his dramatic and stagey personality, and could not be waked out of it. He would have lost the lesson in acting that the part could give, he would be fit for no other, and, lapsing into an asylum, he would cease to exist as an actor. The strictly materialist hypothesis is that consciousness, and the sensation of " I-ness " is a bundle or succession of impressions coming in from the world without; not that consciousness or the man, the Ego, receives those impressions, but that it consists of them; that the mind is a succession of changes without anything changed. Mivart presents us with a humorous analogy. Suppose that we could only conceive of a man as sitting down or standing up. The materialist, being asked what is a man, defines him as a succession of sittings down and standings up ? We hold that the materialist has got only part of the matter. The real reincarnating soul projects a little of itself into the bodily brain that it may thus receive impressions from the outer world. Our everyday thinking, then, is a succession of changes or impressions which we call mind, or ourselves. Part of those impressions come from external objects through the senses, part from the body (the bodily desires and sensations), and a part, very few (the impulses to unselfishness and duty), from the true Soul above. [Page 8] But this Soul is the thing impressed, and the substance whose impressed changes constitute mind. The theory then is this: the parents of a child produce its physical body only, after the pattern of either one or of a combination in different proportions of the two. The body thus produced becomes animated by an Ego or Soul, whose tendencies in its past lifetime were such as entitled it to that particular body and environment. The consciousness of the being thus compounded being due to the union of its brain-cells with a portion or segment of the complete Soul is on a lower plane, less in quantity and darker in quality than the pure light of the Soul, since this Soul can only function through the crude and inert brain matter. Hence the brain, though sufficiently animated by the soul to think and know the outer qualities of nature, is unable to know of the past lives of that Soul, and were the facts of those past lives to be photographed into its cells, they would have no room to register the facts of the present life, and we should fool away life in dreams of the past. Hence this brain does not remember the past brain since it does not register its facts. Inaccurately calling the brain the man, we say the man does not remember his past life. Let us therefore keep strictly in mind that the man of one life is only an aspect, a segment of the complete man. Suppose we call the man of the past life A, the man of this life B, and the total man or Soul of which they are parts AB. Then, though it seems unjust that B should suffer for the sins of another man A, whom he never knew, and therefore does not remember, yet there is no real injustice, for the aim of nature is not exactly to educate, by suffering, A or B, but AB. The real actor, the individuality, grows and learns by the efforts and pains of its temporary fragments, its personalities, of which our present lives are one. Take the case of a man who in his last lifetime habitually over-ate and over-drank. The child-body into which a man is reborn is that which is in correspondence with the tendencies of his past life. The man in question, the glutton and drunkard, will therefore be attracted towards and animate that infant which has inherited from its parents a diseased liver or weak digestion. With these drawbacks it therefore goes crippled through life, with the habit of melancholy, the clouded brain, that they produce, fails in business, and ends perhaps with suicide. He thinks himself hardly used, but he is the natural outcome of the former man. The real self behind both, the producer of both, which in the first lifetime did so little to elevate its offspring, was so drawn to material enjoyment, is in the next life condemned to an inadequate and heavy vehicle. Hard, perhaps, for that conscious vehicle, but a vitally just and important lesson for the Soul. A man in his boyhood may be an infamous glutton, grow out of it as he gets older, and by old age have forgotten all about it, but his forgetting will not prevent his dyspepsia, the hard penalty of forgotten foolishness. So even in [Page 9] one lifetime we may get punished for forgotten deeds, and do not then think it unjust. Why should it be more unjust because the life in which the deeds were committed is forgotten ? And there are few who would grumble at the injustice of being rewarded for good deeds in lives past. A brain well-used will be followed by a better one; a brain totally unused or blotted out by drink will be followed by that of an idiot. This is the law that Theosophists call Karma, and in it is the explanation of the diversities and qualities, the abilities and imbecilities of men. We are our own creators, we spend our lives moulding and chiselling a statue, and in our next lives we are that statue, though it has forgotten its creator. Schopenhauer spoke only Theosophy when he said that the World was the product of Will and Idea, The Idea, arising in the eternal Mind, is willing to express itself in matter, is copied or clothed in matter. As a man lives he is unconsciously fashioning a statue. With every act in life he is chipping it into form. If his aims are high, and his efforts great, the statue will gradually become noble in aspect. If he have no aim, but follow the sensual suggestions of his body, his statue grows to be the picture and the work of his sensuality. It is the product of his acts, and as these are prompted by shifting ideas, it comes to represent the total idea or sum of ideas of his life. It is his idea of himself, he dies, and his brain, laden with the facts of life, perishes, but the statue remains. That statue, when he is reborn, he animates with his consciousness; he is his own statue. It has not the facts of his past life, it knows not the acts, but it is their essence, it is a compound of all the ideas and impulses that inspired them. So a man is the creator of his future self, and the continuation of his past. It is in a sense an error to say we do not remember our past lives, for only the facts are forgotten. A man has forgotten the efforts through which he learnt to walk, the falls and aches and bruises, but he has remembered the one important thing — the art of walking. So life is a process of learning, and its pains the cast-aside husk that holds the kernel of knowledge. Every individual of humanity is moving up through his succession of lives towards the perfect final state, moulded thereto by the law of justice called Karma. Into the sources of that law we cannot look as yet; we can only note its tendencies and results. It is strange that the idea of a fixed sum of life on earth has not occurred to many more than the few who have speculated upon it. It has been reckoned axiomatic that the world-population has always steadily increased. But the waste places of the earth are continually displaying the ruins of vast and populous civilisations whose voices have not even reached the beginnings of recorded history; in our own day races are dying down, and the tide that here is flowing is there upon its ebb. If it [Page 10] be objected that the future of the sun will not allow of time for such an evolution of humanity as Theosophy postulates, let it be remembered that science knows no more about the sun than about anything else. It knows neither the reason nor the amount of its heat. Pouillet gives its temperature as 1,461 degrees; Waterston as 9,000,000 degrees. As to the reason, there are as many theories as theorisers. Mr. S. Laing calls them all in question, and Comte regarded it as a for ever insoluble problem. Laing asks, "What is the material universe composed of? Ether, Matter, Energy". " Ether is a sort of mathematical substance which we are compelled to assume in order to account for some phenomena. "As to Matter“, Huxley says, "We know nothing about the composition of any body whatever as it is. "As to Energy“, he says, "It is an empty shadow of my imagination." It might almost be said that no scientific statement can ever have any truth. Mr. Edward Carpenter thus analyses two of them. We are told that the path of the moon is an ellipse. But owing to perturbations supposed due to the sun, it is a certain ellipse only for an instant, the next it is a portion of another ellipse. The path is, therefore, an irregular curve somewhat resembling an ellipse. But while the moon is going round the earth, the earth itself is moving round the sun, in consequence of which the path of the moon does not at all resemble an ellipse. The sun itself is in motion round the fixed stars, and they also are moving. So we have not the faintest idea what is the path of the moon. " It is true that if we ignore the perturbations produced by the sun, the planets and other bodies ignore the motion of the earth, the flight of the solar system through space, and the movement of any centre, round which that may be speeding, we may then say that the moon moves in an ellipse. But this has nothing to do with the facts". He then takes Boyle's law of the compressibility of gases. This is the law that under a constant temperature the volume of gas is inversely as to its pressure. How does it work ? Firstly, it is not accurate as to some gases, as hydrogen and carbonic acid Then all gases deviate from it when near their liquifying point, so it was concluded that it was true only for perfect gases. This involves the assumption that at a certain distance from their liquefying point gases reach at last a fixed and stable condition. Since then it is discovered that there is an ultra-gaseous state of matter, and that the change in the condition of matter from the solid to the ultra-gaseous states is perfectly continuous. Boyle's law, therefore, applies only at one point in this long ascending scale, one metaphysical point, and at all other points it is incorrect. " Therefore all we can say is that out of the innumerable different states that gases are capable of, we could theoretically find one state that would obey Boyle's law, and that if we could preserve a [Page 11] gas in that state (which we can't) Boyle's law really would be true. In other words the law is metaphysical, and has no real existence. This is the method of science. It begins by seizing some salient point, and forms a 'law' round that, neglecting apparently unimportant details. But these details are certain in time to arise and overpower the law thus formed. If you agree to take no account of gases that are approaching liquidity even in a remote degree, and if you agree to take no account of those that are approaching the ultra-gaseous state even in a remote degree, and if you choose your point between these two states with exact regard to the requirements of your problem, and if further you agree not to carry your experiments to great extremes of pressure or the reverse, you may thus by accepting limitation after limitation be able to say you have arrived at Boyle's law. But to represent that this 'law' in any way corresponds with a fact in nature is of course impossible. It is limitation which alone enables the intellect to grasp the situation."

Imagine a man with a scientific turn of mind passing through a long series of reincarnations. In his first lifetime he studies the science of the day, measures, weighs, finds out what he thinks are laws. At last he dies in the fulness of honours. After his death, in the course of years, all the face of science changes and a new set of laws reigns. Being born again, without memory of his former life, he studies and explores with the same innocent energy as before, quite unaware that every line he reads contradicts what in his last life he thought was true, and burnt the Theosophists of that day for denying. Again he dies, is reborn, repeats the same farce, always thinking that this is finality, and so on up to now. Now he is Huxley, but the Huxley of 1,000 years hence will speak with charitable pity of the Huxley of today, just as the Huxley of today smiles at the theories of Lucretius. Last night he dreamt and while dreaming took his dreams for truth, and even built up some science out of the foolish phantasms of his dreams, forgetting while dreaming that the night before he had also dreamt, and argued, and theorised upon the different, but equally foolish phantasms of that dream. But the waking Huxley remembers both dreams and knows them both for foolishness. Our successive lives are successive dreams. While dreaming we do not remember the former dreams, but the waking self knows them all. Theosophists hold that there exist men who have awaked, who have unified knowledge from the chaos of their dreams, who show us the way they have come and the philosophy apprehended by their waking minds. The segment of our souls that is steeped in brain sleeps, and to wake is to live up in the light of the whole Soul. Science is occupied in measuring and weighing the husk of nature, the changes in matter, ether, and energy, whereof it says nature consists, Theosophy holds that behind these lies [Page 12] conscious mind. We know that every thought in our own minds, every change in our consciousness, is attended by the development of heat, and according to science by changes in the atomic relationships in the physical brain molecules, and by the production of magnetic and electric effects. Why shall we not say that the reverse is true; that wherever in nature there occurs a magnetic or electric change, a molecular re-arrangement or a development of heat, there is behind these a change in the conscious mind of nature ? The evolutionary purpose of nature has gathered the primordial nebular matter into the coherency of minerals; the same law working in the molecules of primordial protoplasm has forced them to develop the complexity of animal life and consciousness; the same law in the centre of animal consciousness has compelled it to assume the complexity of human mind and consciousness. In the centre of mind is still working that eternal law of which mind is the outcome, which is the producer of mind and therefore above and behind mind, and in which mind lay inherent from the beginning as a seed. To find that fountain of force bubbling up in the centre of consciousness is according to Theosophy the end of reincarnations to which the law known to Theosophists as Karma tends. Science, then, has left mind out of nature, is speaking only of matter, ether, and energy, and has, therefore, to say that in themselves it knows nothing of these, for in themselves they are mind. It will not weigh much with Western minds of today that the doctrine of reincarnation is the creed of a majority of mankind now and in the past, nor of all Platonists and Neo-Platonists, from Plato to Emerson, nor of Origen, and other of the early church fathers. It has been, even in the West, advocated by Lessing, Hegel, Boehme, Swedenborg, Giordano Bruno, Leibnitz, Henry More, Schopenhauer, Sir Thomas Brown, Southey, and many others. Henry More says: " I produced the golden key of pre-existence only at a dead lift, when no other method could satisfy me touching the ways of God, that by this hypothesis I might keep my heart from sinking". Modern reincarnationists need not quake for the company they keep. Even Hume, the sceptic, argues the doctrine to be reasonable. " Reasoning from the common course of nature, what is incorruptible must also be ungenerable. The soul, therefore, if immortal, existed before our birth. The metempsychosis is, therefore, the only system of this kind that philosophy can hearken to."

In one sentence we therefore say that reincarnation is the one possible explanation of the moral and intellectual inequalities of men; that by its aid only can justice be at the root of evolution or evolution itself be possible for men; and that in it only lies folded the history of the past of humanity and the promise of the future.

N.B. Some use has been made of "The Secret Doctrine", and much more of E. D, Walker's work on "Reincarnation".


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