2ND pART -- reincarnation
Feb 04, 2003 04:05 PM
(extracts from The OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY (W. Q. Judge)
INDIVIDUALITY IS PERMANENT -- IMMORTAL
The permanent individuality gives to every man the feeling of being
himself and not some other; it bridges the gap made by sleep; in like
manner it bridges the gap made by the sleep of death. It is this, and
not our brain, that lifts us above the animal.
The forces of thought are generated by Manas, that is, by the thinking
of the life time. Each thought makes a physical as well as mental link
with the desire in which it is rooted.
All life is filled with such thoughts, and when the period of rest
after death is ended, Manas is bound by innumerable electrical
magnetic threads to return to earth by reason of the thoughts of the
last life, and therefore by desire.
MATTER -- ALSO PERMANENT -- HAS BEEN THROUGH ALL FORMS
The Permanent Individuality [Manas] has been through every sort of
experience, for Theosophy insists on its permanence -- as an Immortal
Monad -- and in the necessity for its continuing to take part in
evolution. It has a duty to perform, consisting in raising up to a
higher state of consciousness and intelligence, all the matter
concerned in the chain of globes to which the earth belongs. Mankind
uses the matter available, and imparts to it the touch of the divine
when nobility and altruism motivate its actions.
We have all lived and taken part in civilization after civilization,
race after race, on earth, and will so continue throughout all the
rounds and races until the seventh is complete.
PERFECTION FOR ALL ASPECTS OF MAN
Although reincarnation is the law of nature, the complete Monadic
trinity of Atma-Buddhi-Manas does not yet fully incarnate in this
race. They use and occupy the body by means of the entrance of Manas,
the lowest of the three, and the other two shine upon it from above,
constituting the "God in Heaven." For that reason man is not yet fully
conscious, and reincarnations are needed to at last complete the
incarnation of the whole Godlike trinity in the body.
When that has been accomplished the race will have become as gods, and
the divine trinity being in full possession the entire mass of matter,
will be perfected and raised up for the next step.
Reincarnation does not mean that we go into animal forms after death.
"Once a man always a man" is the saying in the Great Lodge. Evolution
having brought Manas the Thinker and Immortal Person on to this plane,
cannot send him back to the brute which has not mind-Manas.
MEMORY AS A DEATH VISION
Memory of a prior life is not needed to prove that we passed through
that existence, nor is the fact of not remembering a good objection.
We forget the greater part of the occurrences of the years and days of
this life, but no one would say for that reason we did not go through
those years. We are all subject to the limitations imposed upon the
Ego by the new brain in each life. This is why we are not able to keep
the pictures of the past. The brain is the instrument for the memory
of the soul on this plane, and, being new in each life, has only a
certain capacity. That capacity will be fully availed of just
according to the Ego's own desire and prior conduct, because past
living will have increased or diminished its power.
By living according to the dictates of the Soul, the brain may at
least be made porous to the Soul's recollections; as the present
brain-matter had no part in the life last lived, it is in generally
unable to remember. And this is a wise law, for we should be very
miserable if the deeds of our former lives were not hidden from our
view until by discipline we become able to bear a knowledge of them.
UNIVERSAL LAWS AND REINCARNATION
Theosophy applies to the self (the Thinker) the same laws which are
seen everywhere in operation throughout nature, and those are all
varieties of the Great Law: that "effects follow causes," and, "no
effect is without a cause."
Viewing life and its probable object, with all the varied experience
possible for man, one must be forced to the conclusion that a single
life is not enough for carrying out all that is intended by Nature, to
say nothing of what man himself desires to do. The scale of variety in
experience is enormous.
There is a vast range of powers latent in man which we see may be
developed if opportunity be given. Knowledge infinite in scope and
diversity lies before us, and especially in these days when special
investigation is the rule.
We perceive that we have high aspirations with no time to reach up to
their measure, while the great troop of passions and desires, selfish
motives and ambitions, war with us and among themselves, pursuing us
even to the door of death. All these have to be tried, conquered,
used, subdued. One life is not enough for all this.
We come back to earth because on it and with the beings upon it our
deeds were performed; because it is the only proper place where
punishment and reward can be justly meted out; because here is the
only natural spot in which to continue the struggle toward perfection,
toward the development of the faculties we have, and the destruction
of the wickedness we created earlier, and which is attached to us.
Justice to ourselves and to all other beings demands it, for we cannot
live for ourselves alone, and it would be unjust to permit some of us
to escape, leaving those who were participants with us to remain, or
to be plunged into a hell where the victim receives no compensation.
And lastly, the fact that certain Inherent Ideas are common to the
whole race is explained by the Sages as due to recollection of such
ideas which were implanted in the human mind, by those Brothers and
Sages who learned their lessons and were perfected in former ages,
long before the development of this globe began. These Inherent
Ideas -- virtues and brotherhood -- will always be recollected as they
accompany the Ego through the long pilgrimage to Perfection.
AFTER DEATH STATES - CHRONOLOGY
In chronological order we go into Kama-Loka -- or the plane of
desire -- first on the demise of the body, and then, the higher
principles, the Real Man, falls into the state of "Devachan" (the
abode of gods).
In this sequence this occurs:
The breath leaves the body and we say the man is dead, but that is
only the beginning of death; it proceeds on other planes. When the
frame is cold and eyes closed, all the forces of the body and mind
rush through the brain, and by a series of pictures the whole life
just ended is imprinted indelibly on the Inner Man, not only in a
general outline, but down to the smallest detail of even the most
minute and fleeting impression.
At this moment, the real man is busy in the brain, and not until his
work there is ended is the person gone. When this solemn work is over
the astral body detaches itself from the physical, and, life energy
having departed, the remaining five principles are in the plane of
Kama Loka. This process takes about half an hour, unless accelerated
by the sudden disintegration of the physical body (as in an explosion)
The natural separation of the principles brought about by death
divides the total man into three parts:
* First, the visible body with all its elements left to further
disintegration on the earth plane, where all that it is composed of is
in time resolved into the different physical departments of nature.
* Second, the Kama Rupa made up of the Astral Body and Kama (the
passions and desires,) which also begins at once to go to pieces on
the astral plane;
* Third, the Real Man, the upper triad of Atma-Buddhi-Manas, deathless
but now out of earth conditions, devoid of body, begins in Devachan to
function solely as mind clothed in a very ethereal vesture which it
will shake off when the time comes for it to return to earth.
Kama Loka -- or the place of desire -- is the astral region
penetrating and surrounding the earth. As a place it is on, in and
about the earth. Its extent is to a measurable distance from the
earth, but the ordinary laws obtaining in physical matter here, do not
obtain there, and entities therein are not under the same conditions
as to space and time as we are.
DESIRES -- HAVE THEIR OWN PLACE
It is called Kama-Loka, the "plane of desire," because it relates to
the fourth principle, and in it the ruling force is desire, devoid of,
and divorced from intelligence. It is an astral sphere intermediate
between earthly and heavenly life. The fact underlying this is that
the Soul may be detained in Kama Loka by the enormous force of some
unsatisfied desire, and cannot get rid of the Astral and Kamic
clothing until that desire is satisfied by some one on earth or by the
But if the person was pure minded, and of high aspirations, the
separation of the principles on that plane is soon completed,
permitting the Higher Triad (Atma-Buddhi-Manas) to go into Devachan.
Being the purely astral sphere, it partakes of the nature of the
astral matter which is essentially earthly and devilish, and in it all
the forces work (and they are called "devilish" because they are
undirected by soul or conscience). It is the slag-pit, as it were, of
the great furnace of life. In Kama Loka all the hidden desires and
passions are let loose in consequence of the absence of both the
physical body and the controlling mind, and for that reason the state
is vastly more diversified than the life plane.
It is generally supposed that the desires and passions are inherent
tendencies in the individual, and they have an altogether unreal and
misty appearance for the ordinary student. While the man is living in
the world, the desires and passions -- the principle Kama -- have no
separate life apart from the astral and inner man, they being diffused
throughout his being. They have also been called the "psychic man."
During mortal life the desires and passions are guided by the Mind and
Soul; after death they work without guidance from the former Master.
While we live, we are responsible for them and their effects, and when
we have left this life, we are still responsible, although they go on
working and making effects on others and without our direct guidance.
In this is seen the continuance of responsibility.
In Kama are the really active and important tendencies and "Skandhas"
(or "little lives" we have used and impressed) are being made from day
to day under the law that every thought combines instantly with one of
the elemental forces of nature, becoming to that extent an entity
which will endure in accordance with the strength of the thought as it
leaves the brain. And all of these are inseparably connected with the
being who evolved them as a continued responsibility. There is no way
of escaping; all we can do during life is to make sure we only have
thoughts of good quality, for the highest of the Masters themselves
are not exempt from this law, but they deliberately "people their
current in space" with "entities powerful for good alone."
Now in Kama Loka this mass of desire and thought exists very
definitely, though in a while it is scattered. Hence it is said they
(the skandhas) remain until the Real Being comes out of Devachan to
reincarnate. And then at once, by the law of attraction it (this
mass) is drawn to the returning Being, who from it as basis, builds up
a new set of "skandhas" for the new life. Every atom going to make up
the man has a memory of its own which is capable of lasting a length
of time in proportion to the force given to it. Returning to the Man
they bring with them the impress left by him on them earlier.
In the case of a very material, and gross or selfish person, the force
lasts longer than in any other. Its purely astral portion contains and
carries the record of all that ever passed before the person when
living, for one of the qualities of the astral substance is to absorb
all scenes and pictures and the impressions of all thoughts, to keep
them, and to throw them forth by reflection when the conditions
permit. This frequently happens during life, and is to be recognized
and guarded against.
Struggling out of the body Atma-Buddhi-Manas, begins to think in a
manner different from that which the body and brain permitted in life.
This is the state of Devachan, (Sanskrit : "the place of the gods.")
The Self in Devachan is devoid of a mortal body. The stay in
Devachan is proportionate to the merit earned by the being in its last
life [from a few years to as much as many centuries, the average being
about 1500 years] and when the mental forces peculiar to that state
are exhausted, "the being is drawn down again, under Karma, to be
reborn in the world of mortals."
Devachan is therefore an interlude between repeated birth and lives in
the physical world. The law of Karma which forces us all to enter the
world, being ceaseless in its operation and also universal in scope,
acts also on the being in Devachan, for only by the force or operation
of Karma are we taken out of Devachan.
The last series of powerful and deeply imprinted thoughts are those
which give color and trend to the whole life in Devachan. The thoughts
collected during the last moments will color each subsequent moment.
On those the Soul and Mind fix themselves and weave of them a whole
set of events and experiences, expanding them to their highest limit,
carrying out all that was not possible to fully do in the past life.
And further, reviewing all impressions and memories of the last life,
in a similar manner, until their force is exhausted.
WHY DEVACHAN ?
The reason for this state after death is one of the necessities of
evolution growing out of the nature of Mind and Soul. The very nature
of manas requires a devachanic state as soon as the body is lost, and
it is simply the effect of loosening the bonds placed upon the Mind by
its physical and astral encasement.
In life we can but to a fractional extent act out the thoughts we have
each moment; and still less can we exhaust the psychic energies
engendered by each day's aspirations and dreams. The energy thus
engendered is not lost or annihilated, but is stored in Manas. But the
body, brain, and astral body permit no full development of that force
during life. Hence, held latent until death, this energy bursts then
from the weakened bonds and plunges Manas, the thinker, into the
expansion, use, and development of the altruistic and noble
thought-forces set up in life.
The whole process is remedial, restful, and beneficial. For if the
average man returned at once to another body in the same civilization
he had just quitted, his Soul (Higher Manas) would be completely tired
out and deprived of the needed opportunity for the development of the
higher part of his nature.
Now the Ego clothes itself in Devachan with a vesture which can be
styled means, or vehicle; and it functions entirely on the plane of
Mind and Soul. Everything is as real there to the being as this world
seems to be to us here. It has obtained the opportunity to make its
own world for itself unhampered by the clogs of physical life. Its
state may be compared to that of the poet or artist who, rapt in
ecstasy cares not for and knows not of either time or objects of the
This question while dealing with what earth-men call time does not, of
course, touch the real meaning of time itself, that is, of what may be
in fact for this solar system the ultimate order, precedence,
succession, and length of moments. But the Ego remains in Devachan for
a time exactly proportioned to the noble psychic impulses generated
during life. Now this being a matter which deals with the mathematics
of the soul, no one but a Master can tell what the time would be for
the average man of this century in every land. That average, is
fifteen hundred years in general and not a fixed one.
Desperately materialistic thinkers will remain in the Devachanic
condition stupefied or asleep, as it were, as they have no forces in
them appropriate to that state save in a very vague fashion, and for
them it can be very truly said that there is no state after death, so
far as Higher Mind is concerned; they are torpid for a while, and then
they return, to live again on earth.
Existence in Devachan is an actual stage in the life of man, and when
we are there, this present life is a dream. It is not in any sense
monotonous. Contrasted with the continuous strain of earth life,
Nature, always kind, leads us soon again into a "heaven" for a rest,
and for the flowering of the best and highest in our natures.
Devachan is then neither meaningless nor useless. "In it we are
rested; that part of us which could not bloom under the chilling skies
of earth-life bursts forth into flower and goes back with us to
earth-life stronger and more a part of our nature than before. Why
should we repine that Nature kindly aids us in the interminable
struggle, why keep the mind revolving about the present petty
personality and its good and evil fortunes? " (Letter from Mahatma K.
H. See PATH, Vol. 5, p. 191)
A question to consider is whether we here can reach those in Devachan,
or, do they come here. We cannot reach them nor affect them unless we
are Adepts. The claim of mediums to hold communion with the SPIRITS of
the dead is baseless, and still less valid is the claim of ability to
help those who have gone to Devachan (where they need no help).
The Mahatma, a being who has developed all his powers and is free from
illusion, can go into the devachanic state and then communicate with
the Egos there. Such is one of their functions. They deal with
certain entities in Devachan for the purpose of getting them out of
the state so as to return to earth for the benefit of the race. The
Egos they thus deal with are those whose nature is great and deep but
who are not wise enough to be able to overcome the natural illusions
The whole period allotted by the soul's forces being ended in
devachan, the magnetic threads which bind it to earth begin to assert
their power. The Self wakes from the dream, it is borne swiftly off to
a new body, and then, just before birth, it sees for a moment all the
causes that led it to devachan and back to the life it is about to
begin, and knowing it to be all just, to be the result of its own past
life, it repines not but takes up the cross again -- and another soul
has come back to earth.
This is extracted from several chapters in THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY
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