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FW: RE: [bn-study] Re: Can we Help others after Death?

Mar 13, 2002 04:49 AM
by dalval14

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Dear Christina:

I understand what you ask, and I referred to Theosophy for

Our relations with our parent and others near to us in this life
(and, no doubt in earlier ones, as well as those to come) are
from the basis of our memory in this incarnation and using the
substance we (as spirits and Minds) are presently "clothed"
with -- that is, physical substance. The physical brain memory
operates in all of us. It recreates from its memory bank-fund as
it wills, the pictures of our past relations and especially of
the feelings we had with those who were "near and dear." It may
thus be from our desire to be close to our departed ones that we
are able to recreate the "feeling-thought" -- and perceive it as
an objectivized memory of the love and the concerns we shared.
We in fact create for ourselves these events. Once we are
satisfied in time and in concern of the need for such comfort, it
begins to dissipate gradually until it becomes a natural
"parting." For those who are aware of the details of the
reincarnation process this is far more simple and reasonable than
with those who are not. Unfortunately organized religion have
for the most part conspired to obscure and deflect human inquiry
from these truths. Once man's IMMORTALITY is made conditional,
the self-interested body of a priesthood make of it a mystery
into which inquiry is thereafter forbidden with the threat of
"heresy" and of "excommunication."

Our brains tends to objectivize those, and make them more or less
concrete -- this is because, as feelings, and as ideas, the
substance of thoughts and of emotion would not register on the
physical brain we use -- so it evolves for us a memory clothed in
some aspect of physical substance, faces, bodies, events we
experienced in common, and, especially those that stirred our
emotions very deeply. Those last (emotional events) are
compounded of mind and feeling, and they lay very deep
impressions, which, if we revisit them often, last longer than
others. Those can be more easily evoked.

There is no question that some aspect of the "so-called departed
one" leaves a "link" with those who are left behind. This lies
largely in the memory of those who are "left behind." Here you
can see how pernicious the doctrine of religions that refuse to
the common man and woman a knowledge of reincarnation, and of the
very real and actual innate immortality of the SPIRIT/SOUL in
every human, serves to create a monstrous situation, where
anxiety, uncertainty, and terrible sorrow are made to obsess the
average mind, and the concept of "life at any cost" is made to

If everyone was aware of the continuity of IMMORTALITY, the that
would vanish and we would not worry about death any more than we
would worry about one of us falling asleep before the rest.

But as theosophy teaches, after a brief stay in Kama-loka
(symbolized in effect by the 40 day period you mention), the REAL
SPIRITUAL ENTITY passes into a spiritual subjective state named
Devachan. The actual stay in Kama-loka is said to be from a few
days to a few weeks. Only the very wicked have a prolonged stay
in Kama-loka. However there is an image -- a kind of
electro-vital memory impression left in the astral life of the
Kama-lokic entity (which fades out there after the Spirit/Soul
abandons it) and this may be invoked in seances, or even by those
who retain a very vivid and demanding attachment of the dead
"personality." This artificially prolongs the existence of this
"image" in the astral light. But that is a long story, and
probably not relevant here.

There, in Devachan, all selfish and personal earthly attachments
of an emotional nature, having been left behind in Kama-loka,
only the sublimated, the highest of its memories of events,
thoughts, feelings and action from the past life are present as
the subjects for its consideration. If it sees there the faces
and events that involve you, or others of its close relations,
they are idealized and out of all touch with present earth-time,
and present earth-life realities. Their memories stop with the
death of the physical body and their capacity for obtaining fresh
perceptions stops (because there is no further link) at that time
also. They are isolated so to say. in Devachan, in a long dream
state, and this is used by the INNER SELF, for quite a long time,
while meditating on the "good" that they thought of, did, or
wanted to do, when alive in their last personality. From one
point of view this is a perfect selfish state though
spiritualized and sublimated, being limited to incorporating
ideals and altruism into their continuing divine character and
its memories. When that process is complete under karma it is
time to reincarnate again, and resume its place with those of its
relatives and friends who will also be emerging fro their stint
in Devachan, and emerging as newly equipped babes into the
physical world that may be around 15 centuries (for the average
person) in our future -- teaches Theosophy. Time in the
subjective states is said to be measured by different standards
than earth-life time.

Meanwhile, on our plane of materiality (earth life as we know it)
we think and dream of them as they were when their personalities
were alive -- and those are memories and not a reflection of
present actuality for either of us.

But our "dreams and thoughts" are not as, and of the same quality
of substance, as those with which they are engaged with in
Devachan. It is therefore said that there can be no direct
relations any more emotionally or intellectually from OUR plane
with THEIR plane of life. The change in orientation makes this
impossible. They are meditating on their past life. We are
engaged in activity in this one that continues and changes day by
day. This will remain so, until the great wheel of Karma brings
us back all together in the future as friends, relatives,
this common plane of experience through a physical vehicle.

Let me try another aspect., We all go to sleep around the same
time but rarely at identical times, and we all wake up again at
our own times. We do not worry about that, as we know we will be
waking up to very soon resume common affairs again in these
physical bodies that are so familiar to us.

In reincarnation we are troubled because we do not have a sure
means of identifying the forms. The Spiritual and the
Intellectual bodies we are not yet able to identify clearly while
we are embodied on the matter we are presently using. We can
think of their possibility, but we do not yet experience them
directly. In fact we tend to identify thoughts and the
intellectual body with physical evidence of brain action.

Emotions come and go and thoughts are associated with them. We
perceive them as entities, as sensations, and moods when we are
able to detach ourselves more or less completely from them. (The
Real Being -- EGO (or Monad) -- in us knows the difference, but
the human brain has not yet been able to refine and purify itself
so as to access the visions and perceptions of our own SPIRIT
(the Monad) -- even though we are physically, here and now,
totally dependent on IT for our continued living. -- and we
depend on IT for the life that persists after death and the
intermediate stages of kama-loka and of Devachan. This INNER GOD
OR DIVINE MONAD is the REAL HUMAN. The man of clay and earthy
material substance we are inhabiting has to convince itself of
this first as idea, then as sentiment, and finally as a living
reality. Then the words we use like "Eternal Pilgrim," "Higher
SELF" etc. begin to be clothed with our more subtle and growing
spiritual perception -- as the physical instrument spiritualizes
itself, and, of its component Monads it builds them into those
spiritual and intellectual receptors that give life to the Inner
Spirit so that it can incarnate on Earth. Then we say we are in
the presence of a Sage. A spiritual being that is wise even
within the restrictions of earth-life.

No one ever leaves in "spirit." All spirits are immortal.

The Spirit animates a whole environment and enlivens the "Monads
of lesser experience" which surround it and are attracted to it,
and thus it becomes as a tutor to them.

This is the theory as Theosophy offers it.

I trust this will prove to be of use to you.

Best wishes, as always


PS The following may prove of interest to you:


Article by H. P. Blavatsky

WE find in a very old letter from a MASTER, written years ago to
a member of the Theosophical Society, the following suggestive
lines on the mental state of a dying man:
"At the last moment, the whole life is reflected in our memory
and emerges from all the forgotten nooks and corners, picture
after picture, one event after the other. The dying brain
dislodges memory with a strong, supreme impulse; and memory
restores faithfully every impression that has been entrusted to
it during the period of the brain's activity. That impression and
thought which was the strongest, naturally becomes the most
vivid, and survives, so to say, all the rest, which now vanish
and disappear for ever, but to reappear in Devachan. No man dies
insane or unconscious, as some physiologists assert. Even a
madman or one in a fit of delirium tremens will have his instant
of perfect lucidity at the moment of death, though unable to say
so to those present. The man may often appear dead. Yet from the
last pulsation, and between the last throbbing of his heart and
the moment when the last spark of animal heat leaves the body,
the brain thinks and the EGO lives, in these few brief seconds,
his whole life over again. Speak in whispers, ye who assist at a
death-bed and find yourselves in the solemn presence of Death.
Especially have ye to keep quiet just after Death has laid her
clammy hand upon the body. Speak in whispers I say, lest you
disturb the quiet ripple of thought and hinder the busy work of
the Past casting its reflection upon the veil of the Future. . .
The above statement has been more than once strenuously opposed
by materialists; Biology and (Scientific) Psychology, it was
urged, were both against the idea, and while the latter had no
well demonstrated data to go upon in such a hypothesis, the
former dismissed the idea as an empty "superstition." Meanwhile,
even biology is bound to progress, and this is what we learn of
its latest achievements. Dr. Ferré has communicated quite
recently to the Biological Society of Paris a very curious note
on the mental state of the dying, which corroborates marvelously
the above lines. For, it is to the special phenomenon of
life-reminiscences, and that sudden re-emerging on the blank
walls of memory, from all its long neglected and forgotten "nooks
and corners," of "picture after picture" that Dr. Ferré draws the
special attention of biologists.
We need notice but two among the numerous instances given by this
Scientist in his Rapport, to show how scientifically correct are
the teachings we receive from our Eastern Masters.
The first instance is that of a moribund consumptive whose
disease was developed in consequence of a spinal affection.
Already consciousness had left the man, when, recalled to life by
two successive injections of a gram of ether, the patient
slightly lifted his head and began talking rapidly in Flemish, a
language no one around him, nor yet himself, understood. Offered
a pencil and a piece of white cardboard, he wrote with great
rapidity several lines in that language--very correctly, as was
ascertained later on--fell back, and died. When translated--the
writing was found to refer to a very prosaic affair. He had
suddenly recollected, he wrote, that he owed a certain man a sum
of fifteen francs since 1868--hence more than twenty years--and
desired it to be paid.
But why write his last wish in Flemish? The defunct was a native
of Antwerp, but had left his country in childhood, without ever
knowing the language, and having passed all his life in Paris,
could speak and write only in French. Evidently his returning
consciousness, that last flash of memory that displayed before
him, as in a retrospective panorama, all his life, even to the
trifling fact of his having borrowed twenty years back a few
francs from a friend, did not emanate from his physical brain
alone, but rather from his spiritual memory, that of the Higher
Ego (Manas or the re-incarnating individuality). The fact of his
speaking and writing Flemish, a language that he had heard at a
time of life when he could not yet speak himself, is an
additional proof. The EGO is almost omniscient in its immortal
nature. For indeed matter is nothing more than "the last degree
and as the shadow of existence," as Ravaisson, member of the
French Institute, tells us.
But to our second case.
Another patient, dying of pulmonary consumption and likewise
reanimated by an injection of ether, turned his head towards his
wife and rapidly said to her: "You cannot find that pin now; all
the floor has been renewed since then." This was in reference to
the loss of a scarf pin eighteen years before, a fact so trifling
that it had almost been forgotten, but which had not failed to be
revived in the last thought of the dying man, who having
expressed what he saw in words, suddenly stopped and breathed his
last. Thus any one of the thousand little daily events, and
accidents of a long life would seem capable of being recalled to
the flickering consciousness, at the supreme moment of
dissolution. A long life, perhaps, lived over again in the space
of one short second!
A third case may be noticed, which corroborates still more
strongly that assertion of Occultism which traces all such
remembrances to the thought-power of the individual, instead of
to that of the personal (lower) Ego. A young girl, who had been a
sleepwalker up to her twenty-second year, performed during her
hours of somnambulic sleep the most varied functions of domestic
life, of which she had no remembrance upon awakening.
Among other psychic impulses that manifested themselves only
during her sleep, was a secretive tendency quite alien to her
waking state. During the latter she was open and frank to a
degree, and very careless of her personal property; but in the
somnambulic state she would take articles belonging to herself or
within her reach and hide them away with ingenious cunning. This
habit being known to her friends and relatives, and two nurses,
having been in attendance to watch her actions during her night
rambles for years, nothing disappeared but what could be easily
restored to its usual place. But on one sultry night, the nurse
falling asleep, the young girl got up and went to her father's
study. The latter, a notary of fame, had been working till a late
hour that night. It was during a momentary absence from his room
that the somnambule entered, and deliberately possessed herself
of a will left open upon the desk, as also of a sum of several
thousand pounds in bonds and notes. These she proceeded to hide
in the hollow of two dummy pillars set up in the library to match
the solid ones, and stealing from the room before her father's
return, she regained her chamber and bed without awakening the
nurse who was still asleep in the armchair.
The result was, that, as the nurse stoutly denied that her young
mistress had left the room, suspicion was diverted from the real
culprit and the money could not be recovered. The loss of the
will involved a law-suit which almost beggared her father and
entirely ruined his reputation, and the family were reduced to
great straits. About nine years later the young girl who, during
the previous seven years had not been somnambulic, fell into a
consumption of which she ultimately died. Upon her death-bed. the
veil which had hung before her physical memory was raised; her
divine insight awakened; the pictures of her life came streaming
back before her inner eye; and among others she saw the scene of
her somnambulic robbery. Suddenly arousing herself from the
lethargy in which she had lain for several hours, her face showed
signs of some terrible emotion working within, and she cried out
"Ah! what have I done? . . . It was I who took the will and the
money . . . Go search the dummy pillars in the library, I have .
. ." She never finished her sentence for her very emotion killed
her. But the search was made and the will and money found within
the oaken pillars as she had said. What makes the case more
strange is, that these pillars were so high, that even by
standing upon a chair and with plenty of time at her disposal
instead of only a few moments, the somnambulist could not have
reached up and dropped the objects into the hollow columns. It is
to be noted, however, that ecstatics and convulsionists (Vide the
Convulsionnaires de St. Médard et de Morizine) seem to possess an
abnormal facility for climbing blank walls and leaping even to
the tops of trees.
Taking the facts as stated, would they not induce one to believe
that the somnambulic personage possesses an intelligence and
memory of its own apart from the physical memory of the waking
lower Self; and that it is the former which remembers in articulo
mortis, the body and physical senses in the latter case ceasing
to function, and the intelligence gradually making its final
escape through the avenue of psychic, and last of all of
spiritual consciousness? And why not? Even materialistic science
begins now to concede to psychology more than one fact that would
have vainly begged of it recognition twenty years ago. "The real
existence" Ravaisson tells us, "the life of which every other
life is but an imperfect outline, a faint sketch, is that of the
Soul." That which the public in general calls "soul," we speak of
as the "reincarnating Ego." "To be, is to live, and to live is to
will and think," says the French Scientist . 1
<> But, if indeed
the physical brain is of only a limited area, the field for the
containment of rapid flashes of unlimited and infinite thought,
neither will nor thought can be said to be generated within it,
even according to materialistic Science, the impassable chasm
between matter and mind having been confessed both by Tyndall and
many others. The fact is that the human brain is simply the canal
between two planes--the psycho-spiritual and the
material--through which every abstract and metaphysical idea
filters from the Manasic down to the lower human consciousness.
Therefore, the ideas about the infinite and the absolute are not,
nor can they be, within our brain capacities. They can be
faithfully mirrored only by our Spiritual consciousness, thence
to be more or less faintly projected on to the tables of our
perceptions on this plane. Thus while the records of even
important events are often obliterated from our memory, not the
most trifling action of our lives can disappear from the "Soul's"
memory, because it is no MEMORY for it, but an ever present
reality on the plane which lies outside our conceptions of space
and time. "Man is the measure of all things," said Aristotle; and
surely he did not mean by man, the form of flesh, bones and
Of all the deep thinkers Edgard Quinet, the author of "Creation,"
expressed this idea the best. Speaking of man, full of feelings
and thoughts of which he has either no consciousness at all, or
which he feels only as dim and hazy impressions, he shows that
man realizes quite a small portion only of his moral being. "The
thoughts we think, but are unable to define and formulate, once
repelled, seek refuge in the very root of our being." . . . When
chased by the persistent efforts of our will "they retreat before
it, still further, still deeper into--who knows what--fibres, but
wherein they remain to reign and impress us unbidden and unknown
to ourselves. . . ."
Yes; they become as imperceptible and as unreachable as the
vibrations of sound and colour when these surpass the normal
range. Unseen and eluding grasp, they yet work, and thus lay the
foundations of our future actions and thoughts, and obtain
mastery over us, though we may never think of them and are often
ignorant of their very being and presence. Nowhere does Quinet,
the great student of Nature, seem more right in his observations
than when speaking of the mysteries with which we are all
surrounded: "The mysteries of neither earth nor heaven but those
present in the marrow of our bones, in our-brain cells, our
nerves and fibres. No need," he adds, "in order to search for the
unknown, to lose ourselves in the realm of the stars, when here,
near us and in us, rests the unreachable. As our world is mostly
formed of imperceptible beings which are the real constructors of
its continents, so likewise is man."
Verily so; since man is a bundle of obscure, and to himself
unconscious perceptions, of indefinite feelings and misunderstood
emotions, of ever-forgotten memories and knowledge that becomes
on the surface of his plane--ignorance. Yet, while physical
memory in a healthy living man is often obscured, one fact
crowding out another weaker one, at the moment of the great
change that man calls death--that which we call "memory" seems to
return to us in all its vigor and freshness.
May this not be due as just said, simply to the fact that, for a
few seconds at least, our two memories (or rather the two states,
the highest and the lowest state, of consciousness) blend
together, thus forming one, and that the dying being finds
himself on a plane wherein there is neither past nor future, but
all is one present? Memory, as we all know, is strongest with
regard to its early associations, then when the future man is
only a child, and more of a soul than of a body; and if memory is
a part of our Soul, then, as Thackery has somewhere said, it must
be of necessity eternal. Scientists deny this; we, Theosophists,
affirm that it is so. They have for what they hold but negative
proofs; we have, to support us, innumerable facts of the kind
just instanced, in the three cases described by us. The links of
the chain of cause and effect with relation to mind are, and must
ever remain a terra-incognita to the materialist. For if they
have already acquired a deep conviction that as Pope says--
Lulled in the countless chambers of the brain
Our thoughts are link'd by many a hidden chain. . . .

--and that they are still unable to discover these chains, how
can they hope to unravel the mysteries of the higher, Spiritual,

H. P. B.
Lucifer, October, 1889

1 Rapport sur la Philosophie en France au XIXme. Siècle.

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