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Devachan 2nd answer -- PART II

Feb 11, 2003 03:43 PM
by dalval14

Feb, 11 2003


Dear Friends:

Here is the 2nd "answer" to a statement of confused thinking that
arose when FRAGMENTS OF OCCULT TRUTH was first published in




But, first, in another answer there was embodied a comment on the
subject of


which seemed to me to be particularly useful and explanatory.

here it is:

"According to Esoteric Doctrine this [final] evolution is not viewed
as the extinguishment of individual consciousness but its infinite

The entity is not obliterated, but united with the universal entity,
and its consciousness becomes able not merely to recall the scenes of
one of its earth-evolved Personalities, but of each of the entire
series around the Kalpa, and then those of every other Personality.

In short: from being finite, it becomes infinite consciousness. But
this comes only at the end of all the births at the great day of the
absolute Resurrection. "

THEOSOPHIST [ On Devachan ] 1883.




The Appendix referred to in the Fragments No. VI, in the Theosophist
for March, is in no way inconsistent. When properly understood in the
light of our doctrines, Appendix. C. (p. 136) gives what it professes
to explain and leaves nothing doubtful, while the FRAGMENTS itself has
perhaps a few expressions that may be misleading: though exclusively
so to those who have not paid sufficient attention to that which

For instance: "Love, the creative force, has placed their (the
associates') living image before the personal soul which craves for
their presence, and that image will never fly away." It is incorrect
to use the term "personal soul" in connection with the Monad. "The
personal or animal soul" is, as already said, the 5th principle
[Kama-Manas], and cannot be in Devachan, the highest state permitted
to it on earth being samadhi.

It is only its essence [Buddhi-Manas] that has followed the Monad into
Devachan, to serve it there as its ground-tone, or as the background
against which its future dream-life and developments will move; its
entity, or the reliquiæ (?) is the "shell," the dross that remains
behind as an elementary to fade away and in time disappear. That which
is in Devachan is no more the personæ--the mask, than the smell of a
rose is the flower itself. The rose decays and becomes a pinch of
dust: its aroma will never die, and may be recalled and resurrected
ages thence. Correctly expressed, the sentence would have to read:

. . . the living image before the Spiritual Soul [Buddhi-Manas], which
being now saturated with the essence of the personality, has thus
ceased to be Arupa (formless or rather devoid of all substance) for
its Devachanic duration, and craves for their presence, etc."

The gestation period is over, it has won the day, been reborn as a new
out of the old ego, and before it is ushered again into a new
personality', it will reap the effects of the causes sown in its
precedent birth in one of the Devachanic or Avitchian [hellish]
states, as the case may be, though the latter are found wide apart.

Avas'yam eva bhoktavyam kritam karma Shubhashubam. (The fruit of the
tree of action, whether good or bad, must unavoidably be eaten.)

The Devachanic condition in all its aspects is no doubt similar to a
dreamy state when considered from the standpoint of our present
objective consciousness when we are in our waking condition.
Nevertheless, it is real to the Devachanee himself as our waking state
is to us. Therefore, when it is asked "Whether Devachan is a state
corresponding to our waking life here or to our sleep with
dreams,"-the answer given is that it is not similar to either of these
conditions; but it is similar to the dreamy condition of a man who has
no waking state at all, if such a being can be supposed to exist. A
Monad in Devachan has but one state of consciousness, and the contrast
between a waking state and a dreamy state is never presented to it so
long as it is in that condition.

Another objection urged is, that if a Devachanee were to think of an
object or person as if the object or person were present before him
when they are not so (when judged from the common ideas of objective
perception) then the Devachanee is "cheated by nature." If such is
really the case, he is indeed always "cheated by nature," and the
suggestion contained in the foregoing letter as to the possible mode
of communication between a Devachanee and one living on earth will not
save him from delusion.

Leaving aside for a moment the nature of a Devachanee's communication
with another monad either in or out of Devachan, let the nature of his
ideas be examined so far as they are connected with objects; and then
the truth of the above mentioned statement will be easily perceived.

Suppose, for instance, Galileo in Devachan, subjectively engaged his
favourite intellectual pursuit. It is natural to suppose that his
telescope often comes within the range of his Devachanic
consciousness, and that the Devachanee subjectively directs it towards
some planet. It is quite clear that according to the general ideas of
objectivity, Galileo has no telescope before him, and it cannot be
contended that his train of ideas in any way actually affects the
telescope which he left behind him in this world. If the objector's
reasoning is correct, Galileo is "being cheated by nature," and the
suggestion above referred to will in no way help him in this case.

Thus, the inference that it is neither correct nor philosophical to
speak of a Devachanee as being "cheated by nature" becomes once more
unavoidable. Such words as cheating, delusion, reality are always
relative. It is only by contrast that a particular state of
consciousness can be called real or illusionary; and these words cease
to have any significance whatever, when the said state of
consciousness cannot be compared with any other state.

Supposing one is justified in looking upon Devachanic experience as
delusion from his present stand-point as a human being living on this
earth, what then? We fail to see how any one means to make use of this
inference. Of course from the foregoing remarks the reader is not to
suppose that a Devachanee's consciousness can never affect or
influence the state of consciousness of another monad either in or out
of Devachan. Whether such is the case or not, the reality or the
unreality of devachanic experience, so far as a Devachanee is
concerned, does not depend upon any such communicative influence.

In some cases it is evident that the state of consciousness of one
Monad whether in Devachan or yet on earth, may blend with, as it were,
and influence the ideation of another monad also in Devachan. Such
will be the case where there is strong, affectionate sympathy between
the two egos arising from participation in the same higher feelings or
emotions, or from similar intellectual pursuits of spiritual

Just as the thoughts of a mesmerizer standing at a distance are
communicated to his subject by the
emanation of a current of magnetic energy attracted readily to wards
the subject, the train of ideas of a Devachanee are communicated by a
current of magnetic or electric force attracted towards another
Devachanee by reason of the strong sympathy existing between the two
Monads, especially when the said ideas relate to things which are
subjectively associated with the Devachanee in question. It is not to
be inferred, however, that in other cases when there is no such action
or reaction, a Devachanee becomes conscious of the fact that his
subjective experience is a mere delusion, for it is not so. It was
already shown that the question of reality or unreality does not
depend upon any such communication or transmission of intellectual

We are asked, "if some of those (the Devachanee loved) are not
themselves fit for Devachan, how then?" We answer: "Even in the case
of a man still living on earth, or even of one suffering in Avitchi,
the ideation of a monad in Devachan may still affect his monad if
there is strong sympathy between the two as indicated above, (2 ) [2]
The reader is reminded in this connection that neither Devachan nor
Avitchi is a locality, but a slate which affects directly the being in
it and all others only by reaction-Ed.] Yet the Devachanee will
remain ignorant of the mental suffering of the other." If this
generous provision of nature that never punishes the innocent outside
this our world of delusion, be still called "a cheating of nature,"
and objected to, on the ground that it is not an "honest symbol" of
the other personality's presence, then the most reasonable course
would be to leave the occult doctrines and Devachan alone.

The noble truths, the grandest goal in soul-life, will remain for ever
a closed book to such minds. Devachan instead of appearing what it
is-a blissful rest, a heavenly oasis during the laborious journey of
the Monad toward a higher evolution, will indeed present itself as the
culmination, the very essence of death itself. One has to sense
intuitionally its logical necessity; to perceive in it, untaught and
unguided, the outcome and perpetuation of that strictest justice
absolutely consonant with the harmony of the universal law, if one
would not lose time over its deep significance. We do not mean it in
any unkind spirit, yet with such an opposition to the very exposition
(since no one is pressed for its acceptance) of our doctrine by some
western minds, we feel bound to remind our opponents that they have
the freedom of choice. Among the later great world philosophies there
are two -- the more modern the outgrowth of the older -- whose "after
states" are clearly and plainly defined, and the acceptance of either
of which, moreover, would be welcomed: one-by millions of
spiritualists, the other-by the most respectable portion of humanity,
viz., civilized Western society.

Nothing equivocal, or like cheating of nature in the latter: her
Devachanees, the faithful and the true, are plainly and charitably
promised the in effable rapture of seeing during an eternity those
whom they may have loved best on earth suffering the tortures of the
damned in the depths of Gehenna. We are, and do feel willing to give
out some of our facts. Only occult philosophy and Buddhism having both
failed as yet to produce a Tertullian to strike for us the key-note of
an orthodox hell, (3) [3] Reference is probably made here to the
soul-inspiring monologue that is found in Tertullian's Despectæ,
Chapter XXX, Falling into a wild ecstasy of joy over the bare prospect
of seeing some day all the philosophers "who have persecuted the name
of Christ burn in a most cruel fire in hell this saintly Patristic
character, a Father of the Christian Church, exclaims: "Oh what shall
be the magnitude of that scene. How I shall laugh! How I shall
rejoice! How I shall triumph" etc. --Ed.] we cannot undertake to
furnish fictions to suit every taste and fancy.

There is no such place of torture for the innocent, no such state in
which under the plea of reward and a necessity for "honest symbols,"
the guileless should be made witness to, or even aware of, the
sufferings of those they loved. Were it otherwise, the active bliss of
the Dhyan Chohans themselves would turn into a shoreless ocean of gall
at such a sight. And He who willed-"Let all the sins and evils flowing
from the corruption of Kaliyug, this degenerate age of ours fall upon
me, but let the world be redeemed"-would have so willed in vain, and
might have given preference to the awes of the visible to those of the
invisible world. To suppose that a "Soul" escaping from this
evil-girdled planet where the innocent weep while the wicked rejoice,
should have a like fate in store for it even within the peaceful haven
of Devachan, would be the most maddening, the dreadful thought of all!
But we say, it is not so.

The bliss of a Devachanee is complete, and nature secures it even at
the risk of being accused of cheating by the pessimists of this world
unable to distinguish between Vastu-the one reality and Vishaya-the
"mayas" of our senses. It is stretching rather too far the presumption
that our objective and subjective shall be the true standards for the
realities and unrealities of the rest of the universe; that our
criterion of truth and honesty is to stand as the only universal
land-mark of the same.

Had we to proceed upon such principles, we would have to accuse nature
of cheating incessantly not only her human but also her animal
offspring. Who, of our objectors, when treating of facts of natural
history and the phenomena of vision and colour, would ever hazard the
remark that because ants are utterly unable to see and distinguish
colours as human beings do, (the red, for instance, having no
existence for them) therefore, are they also "cheated by nature."
Neither personality nor objectivity as known to us, have any being in
the conceptions of a Monad; and could, by any miracle, any living
human creature come within the range of the Devachanic vision, it
would be as little perceived by the Devachanee as the elementals that
throng the air around us are perceived with our natural eyes.

One more error of the critic. He seems to be labouring under the
impression that if one has some conception of Devachanic state of
subjective consciousness while in this life, he will know that such
experience is illusionary when he is actually there; and then
Devachanic beatitudes will have lost all their reality so far as he is
concerned. There is no reason to apprehend any such catastrophe. It is
not very difficult to perceive the fallacy that underlies this
argument. Suppose, for instance, A, now living at Lahore, knows that
his friend B is at Calcutta. He dreams that they are both at Bombay
engaged in various transactions. Does he know at the time he is
dreaming that the whole dream is illusionary? How can the
consciousness that his friend is really at Calcutta, which is only
realized when he is in his waking condition, help him in ascertaining
the delusive nature of his dream when he is actually dreaming? Even
after experiencing dreams several times during his life and knowing
that dreams are generally illusionary, A will not know that he is
dreaming when he is actually in that condition.
Similarly, a man may experience the devachanic condition while yet
alive, and call it delusion, if he pleases, when he comes back to his
ordinary state of objective consciousness and compares it to the said
condition. Nevertheless, he will not know that it is a dream either
when he experiences it a second time (for the time being) while still
living, or when he dies and goes to Devachan.

The above is sufficient to cover the case were even the state under
discussion indeed "a dream" in the sense our opponents hold it in. But
it is neither a "dream" nor in any way "cheating." It may be
so from the stand-point of Johnson's dictionary; from that of fact
independent of all human definition, and the stand point of him who
knows something of the laws that govern the worlds invisible, the
intercourse between the monads is real, mutual, and as actual in the
world of subjectivity, as it is in this our world of deceptive
reality. It is the old story of Zöllner's man from the two-dimensional
region disputing the reality of the phenomena taking place in the
three-dimensional world.



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