FORUM ANSWERS W Q J = 2 =
Jun 18, 2006 07:45 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Sunday, June 18, 2006
FORUM ANSWERS W Q J = 2 --
21 EFFECT OF WAR --- KAMA - LOCA
Q.: What was the effect of our civil war on the astral plane, and
reflexively on ourselves?
W.Q.J.?-To answer this Question aright would require the powers of an Adept
who could see into the astral light and measure the exact results.
But SUDDEN DEATHS IN WAR are not the same in effect as the killing of a
murderer or a wicked man who has violated the law.
The men destroyed in battle are engaged in the moving of troops, the
arrangement of batteries, firing of volleys, and using the sword. Their
attention is almost wholly thus occupied, and when they are suddenly killed
it is with this idea of present attack and defence fixed in their nature.
The ASTRAL WARRIOR confines himself to the repetition of attack and
If we suppose them as lingering in the astral plane, then they will there
continue the same actions which occupied them at the time of death.
But the CRIMINAL, who has led a criminal life, who is full of evil passions,
and who steps off into the other world with a heart full of passion and
revenge, will linger on the other plane full of those unsatisfied desires,
and not overmastered, as is the warrior, by a single strong idea. ?the
CRIMINAL seeks to satisfy his revenge and bad instincts in general
The ASTRAL WARRIOR confines himself to the repetition of attack and defence,
while the CRIMINAL seeks to satisfy his revenge and bad instincts in
These considerations seem to me to point out a difference. I do not pretend
to answer the whole question, however, as to the effect of war acting from
Q.: To be a good Theosophist, is it necessary to believe actively in
Occultism? I mean: If a man feels the ennobling influence of the philosophy
of Theosophy and endeavors to live by it, is it absolutely  necessary
for his profit and development to do more than believe that certain occult
facts are facts, while he personally dislikes Occultism and avoids it in any
form, finding Theosophic teachings sufficient to him without it?
OCCULTISM & ALTRUISM
W.Q.J.?The questioner has either heard from others or read that a good
Theosophist must believe that Occultism is our highest goal as members of
the T.S. Such is not the truth.
At present ?the T.S. is not,? as an Adept once wrote to Mr. Sinnett, ?a hail
for teaching Occultism,? although that is pursued by some.
It is a Society meant for the giving of true views of life and of Nature to
a suffering race which otherwise would sink into a spiritual death brought
on by the joint efforts of materialists and theologians.
Hence, at present, the true Theosophist is the true Altruist who sinks his
personal desires for progress in a secret and fascinating art, so that he
may give this true view of life, of death, and of immortality to as many of
his fellow-men as he can reach.
Many members of our Society, dazzled by the wonders of Occultism, have
hastily taken up its study without realizing that it is something that
demands not only will but wide intellect and unflinching memory; and many
have failed as many others will. 
Q.: Fellows of the T.S. using tobacco defend the habit as having certain
qualities very protective in studying Occultism. Is this true; and if so,
why is it incompatible with one of the five precepts taught by the Lord
Buddha, viz: ?Shun drugs and drinks that work the wit abuse; Clear minds,
clean bodies need no soma juice?? And is it not possible to educate the
will, the spiritual will, to resist effectually everything which this
deleterious weed tends to annul, if it does annul?
W.Q.J.?I should like very much to know who is that F.T.S. who ?defends the
use of tobacco as a protective in studying Occultism,? for he or she cannot
know what protection means or Occultism either. There are hundreds of Hindu
occultists who never have indulged in tobacco; but they have not interdicted
it to others.
They protect themselves by means that can only be used in the plane where
such protection is needful, and that is the plane where neither tobacco nor
sentiment on that or any other subject has place.
Tobacco may protect the carcass from germs of disease, but that security to
safety is needed by all men, whether they are studying Occultism or not.
P 22-23 The whole question of tobacco or no tobacco is purely material.
It has been discovered that it does not degrade except by abuse, but at the
same time it was found and declared that other narcotics and stimulants,
such as hemp, opium, and spirits, do dynamically obstruct and spiritually
Hence these tears?and tobacco.
Q.: Mr. Sinnett says: ?It is not the goody-good or devoutly aspiring man
that attains to the highest development.? What is the highest development,
and how best attained?
W.Q.J.?I should like to add that Mr. Sinnett had in view the doctrine found
in many books old and new that wisdom as well as virtue is needed in him who
aspires to the ?highest development.?
P. 23 VIRTUE leads only to heaven, WISDOM leads to union with the
whole But wisdom must at last have virtue as companion.
Virtue pursued and practiced through many lives will lead at last to wisdom,
yet wisdom first attained makes the cultivation of virtue easier.
P. 23 The highest development cannot be attained in any single
incarnation. The teachers say that we must seek the company of those who are
pure and wise, who lead holy lives, and that we must look for knowledge with
persistency, humbleness, and faith, and that thus setting our feet upon the
path the goal will loom in sight after many weary struggles.
ATMOSPHERIC AND ELECTRICAL DISTURBANCES
Q.: Has any Theosophical theory been advanced in regard to the
atmospheric and electrical disturbances so prevalent in this country during
the last few years?
W.Q.J.?Some theories have been advanced by theosophists respecting the great
P. 23 ???atmospheric and electrical disturbances, but they are not
specially confined to that; they include other great changes, and reach over
into the realm of thought and the minor changes in the race.
P. 23 Atmospheric and electrical changes occur at all times, and
are intensified at certain periods. The changes of the great cycles?from one
to another?make all sorts of upheavals possible.
P. 23 The sun moving slowly in his great orbit carries the small
earth?s path out into new fields of space where entirely new cosmic
conditions are met with, and the sun also goes through alterations of place
and state. These latter must affect our atmosphere and electrical condition,
for it is held by some theosophists that the sun is our great source of
Science has lately admitted the possibility of there being an actual
connection between spots on the sun and our great electric storms; the old
 Hindu astrologers always asserted this, for they claimed that, as the
sun altered, so did the condition of the earth. But it would be premature to
definitely state either that the sun causes the changes alone, or that they
are due to a different situation of the earth in her great path through
24 Q.: In the Path for Aug. 1889, under the heading [ Worship of
the Dead,? Extracts from a Private Letter] ?Some of the Evil Consequences of
Mediumship,? we are told that the calling back of suicides and those who
have met with accidental deaths is ?productive of untold evils for the Ego
that will be reborn under its nefarious shadow,? and, further on, that ?it
is now cursing many men who find themselves forever in a mental hell, at war
with themselves and with their best thoughts, they know not why.? Are we to
understand from the first quotation that some of us are born with this
vampire fastened upon us? if so, then in the interest of those of us who
seem to be in the condition described in the last quotation, how can we rid
ourselves of this old man of the sea?
W.Q.J.?The septenary scheme of man?s constitution and the conclusions as to
how the separation of the so-called principles takes place, as well as their
?fate? after death of the body, seem to be against the assumption that it is
superstition to suppose that evil results from suicides and those dead by
accident being drawn to séance rooms.
VIOLENT DEATH -- SUICIDE -- MURDER
It is well known that after violent death of the body the principles above
the material do not separate as in other cases, do not go to Devachan, do
In a case of natural ordinary demise the astral body dissipates, so does
Kama-rupa; with the other cases it is not so.
P 24 The man who kills himself is not really dead. Only his body
is dead; he remains a living man in the astral spheres close to us, minus a
If left alone he comes to his end in due course, but a long way off,
generally measured by the length of years he would have lived if he had not
raised hand against himself.
But if he is drawn into a medium, he is given a new attraction which ties
him to earth and makes him drunk, as it were, with the fumes of life. This
retards him and causes him to live long, long years in Kama Loka, and
curses, too, the one who draws him thus further down.
How does ?the orderly working of Karma? go against this? It is his Karma
that made him a suicide, that put it in the power of mediums to disturb him.
It is exactly the case of a man who drinks to excess, and who thus puts
himself where he may be harmed by other evil influences.
25 ACCIDENTAL DEATH
P. 25 Also in the case of accidental death. Karma made by the same
person decrees that he shall so punish himself and so lay himself open to
all the consequences that may follow.
That is no reason why we should ignore the law and pay a dollar to gratify
our whims and at the same time hurt a fellow-being.
p. 25 Hypnotism is an admitted fact. We know that people may be hypnotised
and against their will made to make fools of themselves by ridiculous
gestures and antics. Some people pay to see it done. In that case we may see
the harm with our eyes. It is all improper. But is it therefore superstition
to believe it and to declare what are its evils? I hardly think so. I may
add that the ?private letter? was by a high chela, and was endorsed by
several high occultists as true.
Q.: Is the use of hypnotism for intended good, as in the case of
surgical operations, looked upon with disfavor by Theosophists? What
relation have the investigation and practice of hypnotism, when only good is
intended, to the 3rd. object of the Theosophical Society?
W.Q.J.?-Replying in part to this question, one can only give a personal
opinion, and mine is that hypnotism should be prohibited by law.
P. 25 No one but some very few high-minded and learned physicians
should be allowed to practice it. I would as quickly prohibit the general
mass of physicians from using it as the general mass of the public, for I
regard it as a dangerous and injurious power. The great Charcot who has
popularized it says he would have only competent physicians use it. In the
present age of black selfishness I would vote for its total seclusion from
use for the present.
Q.: Is Kama Loka definitively stated to be a state of suffering merely
(therein somewhat analogous to the Roman Catholic Purgatory), characterized
solely by dissolution, or a violent wrenching apart of the four higher
elements? If this be so, how comes it that after the separation of Kama Rupa
and lower Manas from Manas proper the surviving entity carries with it to
Devachan the recollections of the earthly personality?
W.Q.J.? I am unable to decide whether T. E. K. [ questioner] infers that
suffering in Kama Loka destroys memory, or that the separation of the
?principles? takes it away. But if the question turns on ?suffering,? then I
should say that that does not deprive of memory. This leaves for discussion
the other query: How does the surviving entity carry with it into Devachan
the recollections  of the earthly personality?
The KEY TO THEOSOPHY in Chap. IX describes the process in general to which
the question refers. There it appears that at death the body, life-force,
and astral body are lost, and the middle principle (Kama-rupa), together
with Manas, Buddhi, and Atma, is in
P. 26 Kama-Loka, which is a state or condition and not a place.
Then the separation between Kama-rupa and the higher triad begins, after the
completion of which
P. 26 Manas-Buddhi Atma fall into the Devachanic state.
Turning to [Key] page 92 of the same book, we find in the column
?explanatory? that if the Manas naturally gravitates to Buddhi and away from
P. 26 the ?Ego goes into Devachanic bliss.? This gives the process. It can
not be said to be suffering or painful.
The only point left, then, is as to memory. T.E.K. rightly says
Chapter VIII of THE KEY makes this clear.
P. 26 ?Memory? is the physical brain- memory; reminiscence is the ?memory
of the soul.?
Each new brain makes a new physical memory used by Manas in each life, but
Manas itself is the seat of memory proper, called by H. P. Blavatsky
It is not meant that
P. 26 Manas takes into Devachan the remembrance of every circumstance in
life, but only the efflorescence of its life, the reminiscence of its best
hours, leaving the painful and evil portions to the dying brain and to
If the questioner desires, as a help, an objective illustration of what
happens to Manas through the separation from Kama-rupa, this may do: Imagine
Manas as attached on its lower side to Kama-rupa just as a photograph may be
attached to a glass plate. When dry, the paper can be taken from the plate,
leaving on it the film of the picture.
P. 26 Thus when Manas is separated, its lower film may be left attached to
Kama-rupa, its higher portion going into Devachan. And it is in Higher Manas
that real memory is.
Q.: Is it a fact that we have no right to condemn men, and should only
condemn their conduct?
W.Q.J.?I fail to see that in order to train the moral sense one has to
practice condemnation of others. The necessity for condemnation will never
pass away if we occupy ourselves in such practice while waiting for the
world to grow so good that there will be no one to condemn.
P. 26 It appears to me to be an untheosophical doctrine that our moral
sense is to be or can be properly cultivated by engaging in condemnation of
The maxim cited in the Question was never intended by the  writer or
writers as one for application in the State, but solely for earnest
disciples who endeavor to follow the very highest rules of conduct.
We are so prone to condemn others and let our own faults go by that [P. 27]
??sincere disciples are taught, as a discipline, to cultivate their moral
sense by inspecting their own faults, and let others do the same for
themselves, but when the occasion demands condemnation, that it shall be of
the wrong act.
This cannot apply to a judge, or any other proper inquisitor, teacher, or
guide. It is meant solely for those who, believing that our span of life is
so short that there will be no time left if we busy ourselves with faults of
others, prefer to improve their opportunity by purging them selves, by
cleaning their own doorway, by taking the beam out of their own eye.
For all sages and occult practitioners declare that among the necessary
facts to be known is the fact that
P. 27 ??each time a man indulges in condemnation of another he is himself
prevented by his own act from seeing his own faults, and that sooner or
later his faults increase.
If a sincere student thinks this be true he will hesitate about others and
occupy himself with self-examination and self-conquest. This will take all
of his time.
P. 27 We are not born as universal reformers of all people?s faults and
and theosophists can not waste their energies in criticizing others.
Furthermore I strongly doubt if anyone was ever improved by the
fault-finding of his acquaintances.
P. 27 It is natural discipline that makes the improvement, and that only.
Indeed, I have observed in much experience with those who constantly
criticize others that nothing results in 99 cases out of 100 but a smirking
self-satisfaction in the breast of the critic, and anger or contempt in the
heart of the victim of the fault-finding.
One illustration will do for all, and it is this: One evening I was leaving
the elevated railroad car with a friend who hardly misses a chance for
pointing out omission or commission by others. As he went out first a
roughly-dressed man blocked the way, appearing as if attempting to enter. My
friend, being strong, caught him by the shoulders, shoved him back, and
said, ?The rule is that passengers are let out first.? Result: as he walked
off feeling that he had properly corrected a fault, the man cursed him
loudly, and audibly asked for an opportunity to kick him. Thus naught
resulted but anger and malice in one heart? perhaps in the heart of a man
born in adversity?and in the critic a self-satisfaction which is known to be
the handmaid of delusion.
27 Q.: In FORUM 16 it says: ?Virtue leads only to heaven. Wisdom
28 to union with the whole.? What is here meant by virtue?
VIRTUE AND KNOWLEDGE
W.Q.J.?According to the dictionaries
P. 28 the radical meaning of virtue is strength. Other meanings are
bravery, efficacy, valor, moral goodness, the abstaining from vice, or
conforming to the moral law. In this last sense the word is used. There is
nothing synonymous between virtue and wisdom.
In the Christian scheme fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. There is the
mere wisdom of erudition, but properly wisdom means having knowledge or to
know; or skilled in arts, science, or philosophy, or in magic and
divination. (2 Samuel XIV.)
In homely language, then,
P. 28 to be virtuous is to be good; to be wise is to possess knowledge.
If the kingdom of God is the perfectness of evolution, then knowledge is
what leads to it sooner than virtue. Of course these terms are used with the
theosophical scheme of man and nature in view, and in that light it appears
P. 28 ??in addition to virtue we must have knowledge, for a life of virtue
leads to pleasures of devachan, with good karma for next life and thus
through many lives; but knowledge added to virtue shows how to use virtue
and its results in finding and treading the path leading to the Supreme
which is all.
KARMA AND HELPING OTHERS
Q.: Is it right to restrain the impulse to benefit another, either by
teaching or by furnishing necessities for physical use, for fear of
interfering with Karma?
W.Q.J.?A little more ought to be said upon this question. It has been raised
in several places, and is due to a slight misconception of what karma is,
and also as to our position as men in the whole natural scheme, whether as
judges or as executors.
If karma were something about each man which we could plainly see, as, for
instance, if each one of us had written upon him what was his karma and what
punishments or rewards should or should not be meted out to him, then it
would be easy for one to say in any particular case what one should do in
the premises. But such a state of things does not prevail.
P. 28 No one of us knows the karma that is coming to another or to
himself, and it is only when events have arrived that we know.
P. 28 For each event small and great is karma, and the result of it as
well as the maker of new, since this great law is action and the results of
Hence, even if we knew the coming karma or that which was due and should
then decide, ?I will help this person although I know it will interfere with
karma,? acting accordingly, we could not interfere in the  least,
because it would still be karma. This is an absurdity, but it is just the
absurdity of those who talk of
P. 29 ??interfering with karma. We cannot interfere with it, for it is
beyond our power, and we are, indeed, the very instruments it uses to carry
out the decrees we have ourselves been the means of passing.
The idea of possible interference has arisen out of the statement now and
then made that Adepts have not done this or that because it would interfere
with karma; but this has not been understood. What was really meant by such
words was that
P. 29 ??the Adepts themselves are karma just as we are, only they see what
we do not, and, as some of us asked for a reason, they said they would not
interfere, or, in other words, the law is strong and no being, god or devil
or man, can interfere with it.
Any attempt to ?interfere? is merely new karma carrying out that seed of
karma already sown, no matter how many ages or years ago. But, still
further, it seems to me that
P. 29 ??if we assume to decide what we shall do out of fear that our
brother may not be sufficiently punished, we not only lay up wrath against
ourselves, but at the same time set the germs in our own character which
will sprout in selfishness and pain.
We need not fear that karma will not do justice.
P. 29 It often does it by offering to us a chance to help another, and, if
we stand aside, it will at another day give us the punishment for our
selfishness and arrogance.
Q.: As Karma punishes all sins, is it right or desirable that human laws
should punish crime by death or imprisonment?
W.Q.J.?My individual opinion upon
P. 29 ??the death penalty is that it is neither right nor desirable
that human laws should punish crime by death, but
this answer presupposes in the race such a knowledge of proper conduct and a
constant practice of the same that every human being is a perfect law unto
himself and for all, and that no laws are needed because all know and keep
the laws of morality and nature.
As, however, men as yet are very imperfect and are struggling to find the
right rule of conduct, laws are necessary for evil-doers. Here, then, arises
the question whether society is benefited by law imposing the death penalty,
and as to that many able writers speak on one side and many on the other. To
my mind it appears that
p. 29 ??the crime of murder has not diminished because of capital
punishment, nor do I think any law will ever stamp out that offense.
Indeed, I know that the majority of Theosophists regard capital punishment
as a greater evil than that which it is directed against. But as
Theosophists we have not much  to do with such a question, since it lies
in the domain of government.
W Q J ANSWERS 3 TO FOLLOW
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