Theos-World RE: [bn-study] Fundamentalist or Individualist ? REINCARNATION & BIBLE
Nov 15, 1999 04:57 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Nov 15 1999
Re: Possible errors in the Labeling of individual attitudes,
Reincarnation in the Old and New Testaments.
Are these not all labels that we use and attach to either people
or their words?
But, when we get to studying what they say, we either agree,
disagree or question. In any case we take individual action.
Those decisions are choices and reflect our prevailing nature at
the time. But we alone make them (although we may be influenced
by memory, anticipation of a response, fancy, actual knowledge of
the subject, doubts, skepticism, or disinterest (in which case we
probably do nothing).
What ever selected is productive of a Karmic result. We either
grow, or vegetate as a result. But if we consider that all
circumstances that arrive 'on our doorstep,' are effects, then
our reaction invokes motive. Motive in ourselves generates our
future, does it not?
Mathematics has some pretty strict "fundamentals." Not many
people argue about them, although some who are very advanced in
mathematical theory do investigate their "absoluteness." From
simple arithmetic to calculus or spherical trigonometry is a vast
evolution. The facts and laws of procedure have always been
there, inherent in the figures and shapes and their
inter-relation. As we progress we find them. Others learn and
then prove their accuracy to themselves. this takes time.
Metaphysics and philosophy are also areas in which logic and
meaning are essential components. And if strict logic is adopted
as a tool, are we then fundamentalists or seekers for Truth?
What is the "arithmetic" of philosophy, or of Knowledge, or
WISDOM ? How do we find and then how do we identify and prove
it? Surely this takes some time ? Do we have any
"predecessors" -- such as a Euclid, or an Archimedes, or a Newton
and a Leibnitz -- or even the more ancient Asuramaya and Narada?
Who designed Stonehenge or the Pyramids? Who laid out the
ancient observatories in Jaipur? Who carved Ellora or Elephanta,
or the statues of Bamian? Where do the Easter Island statue
really come from? Who built Ankor Wat and Bayon? Who were the
Cyclopes and the Pelasgians?
Theosophy says that we did all that or participated in those
cultures when we had incarnated there. Nut how are we to prove
or disprove the immortality of the Spirit-Soul of man?
Jesus spoke to us in parables and also left in those sayings of
his that have come to us a record of his own belief in
pre-existence, and reincarnation. [ see notes below ]
Reincarnation in the Bible and According to Jesus
The lost chord of Christianity is the doctrine of Reincarnation.
It was beyond doubt taught in the early days of the cult, for it
was well known to the Jews. Origen - no doubt believed in the
doctrine. He taught pre-existence and the wandering of the soul.
This could hardly have been believed without also giving currency
to reincarnation, as the soul could scarcely wander in any place
save the earth. She was in exile from Paradise, and for sins
committed had to revolve and wander.
Paul cannot be accused of ignorance, but was with Peter and James
one of several who not only knew the new ideas but were well
versed in the old ones. And those old ones are to be found in the
Old Testament and in the Commentaries, in the Zohar, the Talmud,
and the other works and sayings of the Jews, all of which built
up a body of dogmas accepted by the people and the Rabbis. Hence
sayings of Jesus, of Paul, and others have to be viewed with the
well-known and never-disputed doctrines
Jesus himself said that he intended to uphold and buttress the
Herod listened to assertions that John or Jesus was this, that,
or the other prophet or great man of olden time. We know that he
was with the people speculating on the doctrine of reincarnation
or "coming back," To an Eastern potentate such a warning would
be of moment, as he, unlike a Western man, would think that a
returning great personage would of necessity have not only
knowledge but also power, and that the people might have their
minds attracted to a new aspirant, and the idea that an old
prophet had come back to dwell in another body with them would
The Christians have no right, to remove the doctrine of
reincarnation from their system if it was known to Jesus, if it
was brought to his attention and was not condemned at all but
tacitly accepted, and if in any single case it was declared by
Jesus as true in respect to any person. And that all this was
the case can, I think, be clearly shown.
1st. Jesus was born among the Jews, and he said unequivocally
that he came as a missionary or reformer to them.
2nd. The "Zohar" (Splendor) is a work of great authority among
the Jews. It says [II, 199] that all souls are subject to
"revolutions." This is "a'leen b'gilgoola;" but it declares
also, that "men do not know the way they have been judged." In
those "revolutions" a memory of the acts that have led to
"judgment" is lost. This is also the Theosophical doctrine. We
do not remember details of our earlier personal lives
3rd. The "Kether Malkuth" says, "If she, the soul, be pure, then
she shall obtain favor...but if she hath been defiled, then she
shall wander for a time in pain and despair...until the days of
her purification." If the soul be pure and if she comes at once
from God at birth, how could she be defiled? And where is she to
wander if not on this world until purification?" The Rabbis
explained it as meaning she wandered down from "Paradise" through
many revolutions or births until purity was regained.
4th. "Din Gilgol Neshomes" -- reincarnation -- is spoken of in
the Talmud. The term means "the judgment of the revolutions of
the souls." And Rabbi Manassa Ben Israel, one of the most
revered, says in his book "Nishmath Hayem": "The doctrine of
transmigration of the soul is an infallible dogma accepted by the
whole assemblage of our church, and that there is none who would
dare to deny it. . . there are a great number of sages in Israel
who hold firm to this doctrine so that they made it a dogma, a
fundamental point of our religion. We are therefore bound to
accept this as the truth of it has been demonstrated by the
Zohar, and all the Kabalists."
5th. The traditions of the old Jews, show that the soul of Adam
reincarnated in David, and that on account of his sin against
Uriah, he will have to come again as the expected Messiah. And
out of the three letters A D M, being the name of the first man,
the Talmudists made the names : Adam, David and Messiah. We
also find in the Old Testament: "And they will serve J H V H
their God and David their king, whom I shall reawaken for them."
That is, David reincarnates again for the people. Taking the
judgment of God on Adam "for dust thou art and unto dust thou
shalt return," the interpreters said that as Adam had sinned it
was necessary for him to reincarnate to make good the evil
committed. So he came as David, and is due to return later again.
6th. The same doctrine was applied to Moses, Seth, and Abel.
Abel was killed by Cain. The Lord then gave Seth to Adam; he
died, and was reincarnated as Moses, and he guided the people.
Seth was said by Adam to be Abel reincarnated. Cain,
reincarnated as Yethrokorah. After his death, the soul waited
till Abel came back as Moses and then incarnated as an Egyptian
whom Moses killed.
7th. Bileam, Laban, and Nabal were said to be reincarnations of
the one soul/individuality.
8th. Job was said to have been Thara, the father of Abraham.
Rabbis used this to explain a verse of Job (ix, 21), "Though I
were perfect, yet would I not know my own soul," to mean that he
would not have recognized himself in the personality of Thara.
9th Turning now to Jeremiah, one reads: "Before I formed thee
in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest out of the womb
I sanctified thee."
10th. Again, one may find in Romans [ix, v, 11, 13], the
statement made about the still unborn Jacob and Esau : "Jacob
have I loved and Esau have I hated."
11th. Concerning the prophet Elias, the people believed that
"Elias was yet to first come;" and that one of the prophets was
there in Jesus or John. And, when Jesus asked : "Whom do men
think that I am?" -- there is found ample evidence of the belief
of reincarnation among the Jews for ages and down to the time of
Jesus, (who did not deny or contradict) and that idea is also
seen elsewhere in other faiths to have prevailed universally.
If we turn to the "New Testament," we can find additional
12th. St. Matthew relates [ Ch. 11] of Jesus speaking of John
(the Baptist) he declared him to be the greatest of the prophets
and, passing to verse 14, we read: "And if ye will receive it,
this is Elias which was for to come." Here Jesus took the
doctrine of reincarnation as granted, and the "if" referred to
whether they would accept his designation of John, as Elias.
13th. In the 17th chapter he once more takes up the subject
thus: [v.10.] "And his disciples asked him saying, 'Why, then,
say the scribes that Elias must first come?' And Jesus answered
and said unto them; 'Elias truly shall first come and restore all
things. But I say unto you that Elias is come already, and they
knew him not, but have done to him whatsoever they listed.
Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them.' Then the
disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the
14th. This statement is almost exactly repeated in Mark, [Ch.
ix, v. 13], but, omitting John's name. It is easy to see that
reincarnation is not denied anywhere by Jesus It is not among
any of the cases where the Gospels contradict each other.
Instead it is a clear enunciation of it.
15th. In the case of the man who was born blind, when Jesus
heard the doctrine referred to, but he did not deny it nor
condemn it in any way. He said that the cause in that case was
not for sin formerly committed, but for some extraordinary
purpose. And we find this also in the case of the supposed dead
man when he said that the man was not dead; and he then used this
to show his power over disease. In the latter case he had
perceived there was one so close to death that no ordinary doctor
or person could cure him. Jesus did.
If Jesus had thought that reincarnation was a false doctrine, and
untrue, he would have condemned it when it first came up. He
failed to do so, and, he distinctly brought it up in the case of
John (the Baptist).
16th. We find also the narrative: "When Jesus came into the
coasts of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Whom do men
say that I am?" And they said, 'Some say that thou art John the
Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'
This brought up the old doctrine, to which the disciples replied,
as all Jews would when thinking of the doctrine of reincarnation.
And the reply of Jesus was not a refutation, but one that set him
apart from the legends of sages and prophets by showing himself
to be an "incarnation of God," and not a reincarnation of any
saint or sage.
He did not bring this up to condemn the doctrine as he did in
other matters; but it would seem that he referred to it so he
might show himself as an incarnate God. And following this it is
noted that his disciples never disputed that; they were all aware
17th. St. John could have meant nothing but that in Revelations,
[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." Evidently he
had "gone out," before, or the words "no more" could have no
place or meaning. It was the old idea of the exile of the soul
and the need for it to be purified by long wandering before it
could be admitted as a "pillar in the temple of God."
Historically it is only long after the death of Origen that those
who met at the Council of Constantinople condemned
"pre-existence" and "reincarnation" directly in the face of the
very words of Jesus, so that at last it ceased to vibrate as one
of Christianity's chords.
We may thus conclude that, finally, the prophecy made by Jesus:
that he came to bring a sword and division and not peace, was
fulfilled by the warring Christian nations profess to "follow
him" in words but constantly deny him whom they call "the meek
and lowly" in their acts.
These extracts seem to give us a good "send-off" on our search
for the story of reincarnation in Judaism and Christianity, its
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