WHY IS THEOSOPHY TRUE ?
as published in “Theosophical Siftings” - Volume 4 [
WHY is Theosophy, to my mind, so necessarily true ? I come into the world and find myself surrounded by fellow-beings in an infinite variety of circumstances. They vary in character, abilities, position in life, etc., etc.. They, like myself, are subjected all their lives to diverse experiences by which they learn. This must be for a purpose. This life must be a school preparing each of us for some other state. Now at first sight it seems as though the world came into existence for man's use, and only to develop the human race, for all things in it appear to contribute to his necessities. Then whither does he tend ? Man has the imaginative faculty which animals do not appear to possess. This faculty is of a spiritual nature. The best of men have less of the animal and more of the spiritual in them. But it is evident that the world does not exist for the best of men only, for they are the very few, and are not appreciated by the many. Then why are they the best of men in a life-time ? Why are some better than others? Because they, the best of men, are more highly developed than the rest. When and where did they so develop, that they have come into the world with better natures than the majority ? Again, some display genius in some art, while others have no taste whatever in that direction. But we have a knowledge that there is such a thing as justice, and we obtain that knowledge from the spiritual part of ourselves, our conscience. If then justice exists the better of us could only have become developed by having overcome the difficulties that the weaker and more foolish i.e., the more wicked, should be endeavouring to overcome in their present life. Then these higher natures must have formerly had experiences, in which they have been stronger than their fellows, under circumstances similar to those in their present life. They must have had a body in which to function in some former life, a body in which they had an opportunity of to some extent destroying their lower animal tendencies, and developing the more spiritual part of their natures. If this is so, a character, or individuality, must go on developing through many lifetimes in order that the individual may become perfect. Then the human race tends towards perfection, as we can see in daily life. But “history repeats itself ". Modes of thought come again into the world centuries after they have disappeared. Why so? Perhaps the same entities are born again into bodies. Where they left off in a former earth-life, they would probably begin again in another. It must be this which produces progress in the world. A man who had much studied any particular subject in a [Page 4] former earth-life world assimilate it more readily when he returned to earth. and would here go on making further progress. In that case what would be the probable result of a man doing his utmost in any one life-time to destroy his lower nature, and to cultivate his higher spiritual nature ? He would in his next lifetime begin where he left off in his last. His tendencies would remain the same, having been given an impetus towards the good. This process being continued through many lifetimes, would necessarily in time destroy the lower animal tendencies in the character of the entity, until at last it would no longer require a body in which they might function. And further, in proportion as its animal nature was destroyed, its spiritual faculties would become more and more developed. Moreover, we find much apparently unjust suffering in the world, but we also see much injustice. What other plane can be more suitable for the exact punishment of former evil thoughts and actions than this our earth-life ? "That which ye sow, that shall ye also reap". How, when and where ? We find it is the nature of man to aspire, but that he is never satisfied with, that which he has acquired, but strives for more, and still continues dissatisfied. Now, if he is for ever advancing, or rather evolving, towards a certain goal, such a position would fully account for his aspirations. So long as these aspirations are concentrated on things perishable and earthly, they fail to satisfy, however much he may gain, but we find the good man, whose desire is towards all that constitutes goodness, become happier, because he is probably evolving in the proper and more natural direction. Now as to the animals — the higher orders distinctly display some character, but their higher intellectual and moral perceptions are not yet developed. They too may be evolving on a lower plane than we, and in the same direction. They too vary in degrees of intelligence and in disposition. Their bodies are suited to their needs, for these seem to be the expression of their mental capacities, as ours are for us.
As Spenser says: —
"For of the soul the body form doth take,
For soul is form, and doth the body make."
If man shows affection, an animal often displays the same quality, and that quality is spiritual in its nature.
If the human soul is struggling towards perfection through successive re-births on this earth, it is trying to reach something higher and more perfect than its present state as man, it is in a transition state, and if it has much in its character of the spiritual, while the lower animals have but a very little of that quality, then we might reasonably expect to find some men in whom new senses are beginning to develop, such as clairvoyance and things of that sort. We might also expect to find that the world would occasionally produce beings who have become almost, or quite, perfect men, [Page 5] and who would have those new senses developed and be to as us Gods. Their knowledge would be of a spiritual sort, and as such, they would not be so chained down to the limitations of matter as ordinary men. But if for any reason to help mankind, they chose to display any extraordinary phenomenon, and were able to do so by a deep knowledge of the laws of Nature, it would be no miracle, whatever the ignorant might call it, any more than a clock would be to a horse.
They would doubtless enunciate great truths that would be very apparent to good men, and would appeal to the better natures of all. These truths given to the world, would live, and would be for long ages associated with the names these beings were known by on earth, however disfigured and mythical their personal histories might ultimately become.
While these beings were on earth, they would attract towards them persons sufficiently developed to appreciate their teachings to a very great extent.
But such a Master, being no longer with his disciples, and they, knowing themselves how true His teaching had been, are fired with enthusiasm to benefit others by the spreading of it. But where is the disciple able to find receptive pupils ? Each man he instructs gives to it his own colouring. This man, by the aid of a little Truth, and the addition of a great deal of his own rendering of it, becomes, in his turn a teacher. A priesthood is formed. The followers of one teacher ultimately fight against the followers of another, each claiming to know the exact Truth. Indeed the whole affair would possibly collapse, were it not for the fact that a ray of truth is still able to penetrate the ceremonial clap-trap.
I came to the conclusion that the world does not exist for the best men only, they being but the few. Then why should the physical exist for man, alone ? Why should not all living beings be also evolving towards higher planes ?
Another thing is quite certain to my mind, that whatever exists in actuality in the present, must have always existed in potentiality in the past. Therefore any instant of time, as relating to any object, is the form it assumes at that particular point in the cycle of Eternity.
To return to re-incarnation — we find good people labouring amongst the degraded with little success. If the above suppositions are true this would be the case, for if these degraded ones had been bad people in a succession of former lifetimes, it would take more than one life to give them a better direction. Then how entirely so-called fate must depend on former action. Then, all that is, is just and right. Then sin is Nature thrown out of harmony, and Nature sooner or later adjusts it by punishment. This adjustment being also instruction, by which Nature teaches us not again to violate her Law. This shows me why I should return good for evil. If a [Page 6] person injure me, he disturbs this harmony, and if I retaliate I also disturb this harmony, and shall assuredly be punished for it.
I fancy that anyone if he thought seriously, might arrive at the above conclusions without any outside evidence.
But is there no outside warrant for these speculations? Yes ! Theosophy tells me that all religions are one at the core, and also that they all sprang from one Philosophy. If then, a man evolves through many life-times towards perfection, what is it that evolves ? It is not the body, therefore it must be a character, a capacity, an individuality. This Theosophy calls the " Higher Ego", [Or rather, the Ego, with all its stored-up experiences. The union of its better part with the Higher Self, or Buddhi, constitutes, strictly speaking, the “Higher Ego”.) – [Editor]] the real man, which is rooted in the Eternal.
I gather from Cary's translation of the Phaedo, that Socrates demonstrated very clearly, that in all things contraries are produced from contraries. Then if the body is perishable, the spirit is eternal. Not the lower animal soul of desires, but the Spirit, the ultimate essence, which is, Theosophy teaches, something above, in and around all.
Socrates says, with regard to life and death, that they are produced from each other, he says "From the dead, then, O Cebes, living things and living men are produced". So Socrates taught re-incarnation. He says further on "Our learning is nothing else than reminiscence". He also says that before we were born we had a knowledge of abstract equality, of the beautiful, the good, the just, etc. That to know this we must necessarily have had a knowledge of all these before we were born,. in order to perceive them and understand them when we come again into physical life. When we meet them again we know them by reminiscence. Kant, the great German philosopher, also says, "There are a very important class of ideas which do not come by experience" (i.e. I suppose, since we were born) "and these are intuitions of the mind itself". Such intuitions must then be the result of former experiences of the mind which have inhered in the Higher Ego; in fact, as Socrates calls them, reminiscences.
Emerson writes of the extraordinary profoundness and precision of Kant's thinking. Carlyle remarks in " Sartor Resartus", "Death and Birth are the vesper and the matin bells, that summon mankind to sleep and to rise refreshed for new advancement".
“Nature", says Emerson, "has a higher end, in the production of new individuals, than security of a species — namely, ascension or passage of the Soul into higher forms". Again I find in Josephus (Whiston's translation) in the " Wars of the Jews", Book III., chap. viii., in a speech delivered by him to some other Jews, the following: — "Do you not know that those who depart out of this life obtain a most holy place in heaven, from whence, in [Page 7] the revolution of ages, they are again sent into pure bodies". I suppose he meant into the bodies of infants. Moreover, Josephus and these Jews thought themselves on the point of death by their enemies, so that he was no doubt serious.
But how about this Higher Ego ? It must be the same as the Over-soul of Emerson, the permanent individuality. Emerson says, "Our being is descending into us"; further "The Supreme Critic on the errors of the past and the present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest ", which I take to be a just law of retribution for actions done in this or former lives. Nature adjusts herself. He calls this Over-soul, a Unity .If it be rooted in the Eternal it must there be a Unity, for there can be but one Eternal. "That Unity", he says, "within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all others. ...to which all right action is submission". "A man is the facade of a temple wherein all wisdom and good abide". "Him we do not respect, but the Soul whose organ, he is, would he let it appear through his action, would make our knees bend". In his "Lecture to Divinity Students", Emerson speaks thus of Christ: "He saw with open eye the mystery of the Soul. ...drawn by its severe harmony. ...he lived in it, and had his being there. One man was true to what is in you and me. He saw that God incarnates himself in man, and evermore goes forth, anew to take possession of his world. He said, in this jubilee of sublime emotion: " I am divine. Through me God acts; through me, speaks. Would you see God, see me". Emerson says here that God incarnates himself in man, and goes forth anew. Yes, truly, re-incarnates. We see here a perfected man living in his Higher Self, to whom his body is a delusion, and who has become a vehicle of the Highest Eternal principle, as Theosophy teaches. Not that the Higher Ego of Theosophy is itself the Absolute principle, which latter is altogether unthinkable, but Theosophy teaches that this principle is the ultimate Essence of the Higher Ego. It is that root which is eternal, changeless and unconditioned. So, like Socrates' law of contraries, we have at the source, the changeless Absolute Spirit; at the other end of the scale, the ever-changing and perishable body. As I understand it then, the greatest teachers of humanity are the Beings who founded various religions. First, teaching in different times one philosophy, which has now become many religions.
But One indeed has told us how desire is the source of all our sorrows; how he was no longer subject to temptation; how, for the love of humanity, he occupied a human body. That by the Karmic law man must appear again and again in Earth-life, until all his earthly desires are conquered. How he, the Lord Buddha, recollected all his former lives, because they were treasured up in his Higher Self, the "Over-soul" of Emerson. He [Page 8] taught us not only to return good for evil and to love all that lives, but also gave a reason for it. He taught the law of Karma, by which every man is exactly what he has made himself. Sir Edwin Arnold's translation of the definition is as follows: —
" Karma — all that total of a soul
Which is the things it did, the thoughts it had,
The ‘Self' it wove with woof of viewless time
Crossed on the warp invisible of acts;
The outcome of Man on the Universe.
* * * *
Before beginning and without an end,
As space eternal and as surety sure,
Is fixed a Power divine which moves to good,
Only its laws endure.
It will not be contemned of anyone,
Who thwarts it loses, and who serves it gains:
The hidden good it pays with peace and bliss,
The hidden ills with pains.
It seeth everywhere and marketh all,
Do right — it recompenseth ! Do one wrong —
The equal retribution must be made,
Though Dharma tarry long.
It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter-true
Its measures mete, its faultless balance weighs;
Times are as naught, tomorrow it will judge,
Or after many days.
* * * *
Such is the law which moves to righteousness,
Which none at least can turn aside or stay;
The heart of it is love, the end of it
Is peace and consummation sweet. Obey! "
How shall I venture to discuss a Buddh ? Far be it
from me to do so from mere idle curiosity. The lower principles have altogether ceased to exist in such a
glorified being, except the body It uses, which is within the higher principles then animating that body.
Emerson says, relating to Christ, "The heart which abandons itself
to the Supreme Mind finds itself related to all the works of the Supreme Mind. It has come from our remote
station on the circumference into the closet of God. It sees causes".
The Buddh was asked, "Is there an ego ? " He replied, " Surely I was an ego, but now have ceased
to be such". This refers to the lower personal ego. Living in His Higher Self, he saw the centre or First
Cause, which is in all things. The Divine shines through Him. He is represented to have said that when a man
becomes a Buddh "The Universe grows I". The idea is given in the remark of Christ, "I and
my Father are One", i.e., I am one with the First principle which is in all things. At-one-ment, [Page
9] materialized into the vicarious atonement.
The emblem that was known in the East ages before the commencement of Christianity was the Man on the Cross.
As Pythagoras and others have shown, the sign of the Cross always represented Divinity, the source of all things.
It was the Egyptian sign for Life, the sign of Venus, as source of life, etc.. The man sacrificed
on the Cross was typical of a man becoming a Buddh. The man voluntarily sacrificing , himself to the God, the
man-nature to the God-principle. No personal God, of course; but that only which Is, the Absolute and Unconditioned.
Strange to say, whilst writing this I have been struck vividly for the first time with the significance of the Christian parallel. A man becomes a Buddh because he is overwhelmed with the fearful spectacle of human suffering; not in order to escape from it himself. His desire is to help the World. A willing sacrifice is this "Man on the Cross". Some may urge that crucifixion was the Roman capital punishment. The Romans may have seen the symbol and have materialized it in another way. Be this as it may, it has been amply proved that the Man on the Cross came from India.
If the Buddh of this age, and the Christ of the Christians are reputed to have wrought miracles, I see no reason to doubt it. Emerson says, "The heart which abandons itself to the Supreme Mind will travel a royal road to particular knowledges and powers"; and further on he says — "The word Miracle, as pronounced by Christian churches, gives a false impression; it is Monster. It is not one with the blowing clover and the falling rain".
But an old man cannot again become a child in a re-birth. Yes, he can, in the same way as an early dawn will become as bright a noon as that of yesterday. Theosophy shows that intellect and all the other higher principles grow into a child exactly in this gradual way, and that after middle life they turn slowly towards the subjective.
But very often an infant takes after its parents. Yes, says Theosophy, because the evolving entity, returning from a state of subjectivity in Devachan, is attracted to those persons who have certain characteristics in common with itself. I am told that in the Greek Church version of the New Testament, the reply of Christ about being born again was, "The spirit goeth where it willeth ...so is everyone who is born of the Spirit". The Spirit standing for, and at the source of, the Higher Ego, about to incarnate. There are plenty of analogies to re-incarnation. The wave that crosses the ocean is the same force throughout, but not the same water. A man when he awakes in the morning finds himself in a certain position in life, he is the make-up of all his other days of life, as a man when he comes into the world is the make-up of what he has been in all [Page 10] his past lives. It is said that when a man is almost drowned, he sees all his past life. Theosophy and Buddhism tell us that when a man becomes a Buddh, and is in his last physical body, he sees all his past lives or objective states from the time he started on his evolutionary career.
The limited individuality of the leaves of a tree is a good analogy. They have no lives of their own, "their being is descending into them"; the leaves, men; the branches, the Higher Egos; then comes the trunk, the Source. The leaves wither and die like the generations of humanity, but from the same source they shoot out again. This analogy is capable of being carried very much further. It was such an idea, says Theosophy, which Christ wished to convey when he told his disciples " I am the vine, ye are the branches, my Father is the husbandman".
The following is the Theosophical Division of the Higher Ego, which , is called the Upper Imperishable Triad :
|1st||Atma||Spirit||One with the Absolute, as its radiation. In reality it is no “human” but the universal Absolute principle of which Buddhi, the Soul-Spirit, is the carrier.|
|2nd||Buddhi||The Spiritual Soul||The vehicle of pure universal Spirit. Vehicle of Atma|
|3rd||Manas, a dual principle in its functions||Mind, Intelligence: which is the higher human mind, whose light or radiation links the Monads for the lifetime, to the mortal man.||The future state and the Karmic
destiny of man depend on whether
the Manas gravitates more downward to Kama rupa, the seat of the animal
passions, or upwards to Buddhi, the Spiritual Ego. In the latter case, the higher consciousness
of the individual Spiritual aspirations of (manas),
assimilating Buddhi, are absorbed by it, and they form the Ego, which goes into the Devachanic bliss,
there reposing between each earth life.
(The above table is taken from
“The Key to Theosophy” by H. P. Blavatsky)
In the same work, page 92, I read: "Plato teaches
that when the soul, ‘psuche', allies herself to
the 'Nous', (divine spirit), she does everything aright and felicitously; but the case is otherwise when she
attaches herself to 'Anoia', (folly or the irrational animal soul)".
It is evident that Christ's teaching to his disciples was of an esoteric nature and different from that which he taught to the multitude. For he said: "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to others in parables". Nevertheless we find a few remarks of great significance. He said to Nicodemus (Gospel of St. John, ch. iii, v. 6.), when speaking about the new birth, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, [Page 11] and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit". This must be the body which is born of the flesh, and the re-incarnating Ego, that which is born of Spirit.
Again in St. Luke, ch. xx., where he was asked if seven brethren, one after another married the same wife, to which one would she belong in the resurrection ? He replied, verses 35 and 36, "They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels". This implied doubtless that they only are worthy to obtain that world, when their earthly desires have ceased, as the Lord Buddha showed that life (earthly life) and death, are but the shadows of each other, and when desire ceases they also will both cease. The answer that Christ gave above can by no possibility apply to ordinary humanity in its present stage of development.
He said to his disciples "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world". He wished no doubt to show what could be done.
In that hazy strange book of "Revelation", I find, ch. iii. v. 12, " Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he shall go no more out". "Him that overcometh", not him that believeth in a fetish, however well the latter may subserve for a time. And such exalted ones may verily be called Pillars of Righteousness, whose teaching are the greatest hope of the race. "Go no more out"; having been out before, he will now go out no more; he has overcome, he is Buddha, they are Buddhi, emancipated ones. (See Sankara's remarks at end.)
The Buddh goes into Nirvana, which missionaries and others will persist in calling annihilation. They have been taught to believe that under certain conditions Mr. Jones goes to heaven when he dies, and with them once Mr. Jones he is always Mr. Jones, the idea of an evolving entity is far from their thoughts. They must be mightily fond of their present personalities. In our present condition we cannot realize impersonal consciousness, the latter being limited to our personality. But how can we cease to be when we return once more to the Ocean of Being ? When, as Buddha described it, "The dew-drop slips into the shining sea". Emerson says of the Over-soul, "When it breathes through man's intellect, it is genius; when it breathes through his will, it is virtue; when it flows through his affection, it is love". Now Carlyle says of Goethe: "In his inspired melody, even in these rag-gathering and rag-burning days, Man's Life again begins, were it but afar off, to be divine". Then in a Buddh, or one nearly approaching that state, we should find Genius, Virtue and Love in perfection. Buddha in his childhood astonished and confounded the most learned of his day. The same with Christ when he discussed with the Doctors in the Temple. [Page 12]
As to virtue, there is Buddha's memorable temptation in the forest, and that of Christ in the desert. As to love, they were both all love of a spiritual sort.
Poets especially seem to be imbued with the idea of re-incarnation. But they are more spiritual than the generality of people.
Wordsworth expresses it as follows: —
"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
The soul that rises in us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting."
Long fellow says in "Rain in Summer",
"So the seer, with vision clear,
Sees forms appear and disappear,
In one successive round of strange
And endless change,
From birth to death, from death to birth,
From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth."
Emerson seems to have been saturated with this idea,
and Percival Chubb writes of him: "Emerson's alliance
with the 'brooding East' is (always remembering his strain of Western energy and practicality) more than emotional;
he is, in certain higher reaches of his thought, almost a Brahman; so that a cultured Hindoo may well write, ‘He
seems to some of us to have been a geographical mistake. He ought to have been born. in India'".
It is not surprising that some of the more advanced of the clergy are beginning to perceive these truths. In "Sermons, by Mark Pattison," published by Macmillan, 1885, I read: — "Man is the sum of the units which preceded him...the materials and forces of the life below him re-appear in him... Beyond him, we can discern no higher form of life, save that which may issue from his own unfolding of the ideal man which he carries within him."
One hears sometimes that behind the Theosophical Society are certain Beings possessing abnormal powers. The very idea of such an announcement in a sceptical and materialistic age is considered gross superstition, and labelled as such by those who are looked up to as authorities. Nevertheless it is no absurdity to Edison, who is a member of one of our American Lodges. They are called Mahatmas or great souls. They are what all men should be, and what the majority of men will, in some remote future, become. But they are still men. Their existence came about in this manner. Before the Lord Buddha departed and went into Nirvana, he gave full instructions to his Arhats or initiated disciples. On the death of their Most Holy Master, they, probably knowing it would be useless and waste of energy to endeavour to propagate these truths in their [Page 13] purity, retired to Tibet, there to form monasteries and schools with the object of transmitting this wisdom to the receptive, for the good of the pupils, and the good of posterity. It was considered desirable that they should live in seclusion. This happened more than 2,300 years ago and is still the secret of the exclusiveness of Tibet. [The above description is correct only so far as the Buddhist Arhats are concerned. Mahatmas, the Great Souls, or Adepts, have existed on earth since the Dhyanis incarnated in a certain portion of the Third Race. (See “Secret Doctrine", vol 2, pp. 228, 284, and elsewhere] This is a wonderful thought and fact, let alone the beautiful philosophy which brought about these circumstances. This school must have seen many empires and states rise and fall. There are now, in these days of progress and discovery, more nations in Europe, than there are Europeans, mediaeval and modern put together, who have been into Little Tibet.
Not that the world has been neglected by these Masters of Truth; on the contrary, age after age have efforts been made by this school of philosophy to test the state of progress in the West. The Theosophical Society is the result of their latest effort. But nations, like the units, must work out their own Karma, and must have arrived at a certain stage of development of thought before they can appreciate what the Masters have to teach. The Mahatmas are superhuman to us, but by no means supernatural, for how can there be anything outside Nature ? The unseen can never be more than the supersensuous, although within the supersensuous there must be That which is far beyond the capacity of the human brain to think of, much less to understand.
Emerson's arguments make their existence almost inevitable, though he probably never heard of them. People express so much wonderment about the Mahatmas, but the wonder would be if there were no Mahatmas. There would at any rate be a missing link in this chain of argument.
A man may climb to a very lofty pinnacle of excellence without, as yet, becoming a Buddh, for a Buddh is infallible. They do not wish any man to believe in them with blind faith, neither do they care anything about their own personalities, so long as they are able to help the world. "They have once more given out a little of their store of knowledge". In the most authentic of the Buddhist Scriptures we are told that Buddha mentions them, preaching in his discourses, that for long ages they will carry on this work of love and self-denial, developing themselves only that they may help others, and that they are future Buddhs. They are called Bodhisattvas in these ancient scriptures, and the latter are open to the whole world to read, at any rate to those who understand the language. Pythagoras got his learning from India, or rather from the same source, Tibet. [Page 14]
Buddhism and Brahmanism obtain among the thinking nations. They have more time to think in the East. There is not the keen competition and selfishness of the West, where we have this great, blatant material civilization, and Christian nations going to war with one another and asking the gentle Christ to intercede for their mutual destruction. But then the Buddhist religion is so much nearer the original philosophy than the Christian religion has now become. There are doubtless a vast number of persons above their religion, but taking Christianity in the rough, it is a self-seeking faith. The orthodox person would, and no doubt often does, say, "O Lord, save me first, then all my belongings", and after that he will perhaps condescend to pray that "all the heathen (?) in India may be brought to the true knowledge of Thee, as thou Art" or rather art not.
Worse than this there must be many thousands of English churchmen of a Calvinistic tendency, for whom Burns' "Holy Willy's Prayer", would be by no means an inappropriate address to their Divinity.
The incentive then to modern Christianity is selfishness, and it enters into the very fibres of Christian nations; they apply it also to their conduct in life, by getting as much money and cribbing as much territory from each other, and from the more unsophisticated races, as they are able.
Buddhist nations, on the contrary, taking their colouring from their religion, are mild, contented, and only wish to be let alone.
N.B.— Before Humanity, as a whole, is emancipated, the Higher Egos, which when in a body are Buddhs, will not need to descend into a material body, as we understand matter. Humanity, as a whole, will long before then, have ascended into a less dense state of matter, the potentiality of which is now in us all. The many Buddhs which will then be amongst Humanity, will only have to descend into the then material plane of the future.
Most men will arrive at the Buddh state, but the mass of mankind will not become Buddhs, because Buddhahood is the state of one who by the most utter unselfishness has become developed before the other units, to help the human race, and with that object alone. His reward, indeed, is too great to be imagined, but so long as the least possible notion of a reward enters into the mind, he never can reach that state, but must toil on through all the sorrows and disappointments of earthly existence.
Finally, the infinite material Universe is but the outbreathing of Brahmâ, and the inbreathing, when it shall cease to be, when Nature once more reposes in the bosom of the Infinite. A wonderful study! As Mohini says: "It is the Science of Eternal Life".
A great Indian teacher, Sankara, speaking of in the flesh, i.e., a Buddh, remarks: [Page 15]
"The emancipated is One, who having assimilated his soul with the Supreme Spirit is awake, without possessing any other property of that state......... Though without possession he is always contented, though without aid he is most powerful". I recollect having read in the New Testament a description of this state, after the following fashion: "Poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing all things". Further on, Sankara says of the Emancipated One: "Though an individual Ego, he is yet the Supreme Spirit". He plainly does not mean that he is a lower personal Ego, but a body, the Supreme Spirit having manifestation in that body. "He alone is emancipated", he continues, "who, while in the flesh, does not associate the notions' I' and 'My' with the exercise of any function of bodily organs and the rest, and who with absolute dispassion, lives in union with the 'Self '. Mark the large S. By this Self the real Self is meant, your (real) Self and my (real) Self, that Reality which is at the source of our Higher Selves. My Higher Self I can apprehend as my conscience. That Being, an Emancipated One, is a Higher Self. Elsewhere, Sankara says: "Pleasure and pain are only for him in whom the Egotism is tied to the body, but not for the sage who has severed that bond, and whose spirit is the Reality".
I observe in myself a notion of separateness. My consciousness is drawn down to my surroundings, and I create a false self.
The consciousness of such a Being as Sankara describes, is centred in Reality, the real Self which permeates all things.
" Wonderful, wistful to contemplate,
Difficult, doubtful to speak upon,
Strange and great for tongue to relate,
Mystical hearing for everyone;
Nor knoweth man this: what a marvel it is
When seeing and saying and hearing are done."
SIR EDWIN ARNOLD.
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This document is a publication of the
Canadian Theosophical Association (a regional association of the Theosophical Society in Adyar)
89 Promenade Riverside,
St-Lambert, QC J4R 1A3
To reach the President — Pierre Laflamme dial 450-672-8577
or Toll Free — from all of Canada 866-277-0074
or you can telephone the national secretary at 905-455-7325