PERSONALITY, INDIVIDUALITY and IMMORTALITY
Jun 30, 2006 12:19 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Our study of THEOSOPHY shows some important points to consider:
PERSONALITY, INDIVIDUALITY and IMMORTALITY
Please read carefully of the distinction between our PERSONALITY (the "self"
of this incarnation) and the INDIVIDUALITY ( the eternal Monad -
ATMA-BUDDHI-MANAS ). HPB covers this in The KEY TO THEOSOPHY ? but it
takes concentrated study to get it right.
The latter is permanent -- IMMORTAL. It reincarnates and does not ?die.?
Have you read The KEY TO THEOSOPHY on this ? It gives valuable and precise
The secret, as I see it, lies in the distinction between the "selfish lower
self" and the higher virtuous SELF (which is an indissoluble part of the
rigorously just, fair, merciful and compassionate UNIVERSAL SPIRIT ) -- the
latter never "dies."
The "good" that we do is grafted so to say on to the permanent immortal
SELF, and becomes the "memory" of this, as of every incarnation. This why
and how THEOSOPHY gives a basis for ?morality and ethics.? It is fairness,
and justice, and mercy, and compassion, for all beings and all humans. [If
we would all act and live in that way, we would indeed have a ?heaven on
The "evil" we may do, does not get dissipated entirely because of the death
of any personality, including the present one, but its impact -- as
educative Karma -- returns to us in succeeding incarnations -- we have to
adjust that with NATURE / the UNIVERSE.
Put it this way: If we know in our heart of hearts that any "evil" we do
(as present PERSONALITIES) will haunt us till we reverse and expiate or
mitigate it, would we do any evil now, (or in the future) that will
invariably have to be dealt with (as pain and suffering) to be endured by
our future PERSONAL selves ?
"The hands that smite us are our own!"
This is the universal and fair / just directive of our interactive Universe
and of all sensitive Nature.
Every least "life-atom" (Monad) is an "immortal," and is progressing towards
the mind-stage (or human condition) which (as humans) is our stage at
present. All Monads are ?immortals.? None of us (as Monads) are any ?older?
or ?different? from any other.
Therefore ?brotherhood? is symbolic of the inter-relationship of all beings.
Can brothers contemplate harming each other ? Can we harm others if we KNOW
we are only going to ultimately harm ourselves ?
That (in us ? in our ?nature?) which has ?progressed? through the common
methods of evolution and experience, are the common vital capacities of our
emotional and mind-natures. In that way we are all ?equals.? Those who have
learned how to control their ?lower-selves? are those who are now designated
as ?Masters of Wisdom.? It is the ?Perceiver? within each of us that has
to use the will to achieve success. When this is achieved a tremendous step
is made towards ?Perfection.?
THEOSOPHY teaches we have been through all the "lower stages of
consciousness and experience." We are now presently under the educative and
testing process to ensure that this MIND SELF of ours, the permanent Monad,
will only henceforth act virtuously.
Put it another way:
Christ -- Jesus -- is an illustration of a MAN-MIND that is perfectly
virtuous, and acts and behaves as such in a society which is depraved.
He was of course made a victim by those in power who desired to have the
vicious methods of living continue. Do we not see them active here and now
(as parallels and analogies) everywhere in our daily lives ? We profess
and pretend to be virtuous, but secretly, are we so? Are we virtuous in all
respects when unobserved ? Each one has to answer that question to their own
Our HIGHER SELF (ATMA-BUDDHI) is the "Jesus" within each of us. We are
the sons and daughters of "God." Can we make our lower selves act and live
as such ?
MOMENT OF CHOICE
?Q. What is meant by the moment of choice for humanity as a whole?
A. It is the old story in the Bible of the separation of the sheep from the
goats. The time must come in the progress of humanity when there are two
divisions,?that of the right-hand path, and that of the left, or, when, as
the Secret Doctrine says, one part of humanity goes north, and the other
south. Beings of the same kind move by them selves. When that division
comes, there are many earthly cataclysms which serve to make physical
disruptions of humanity, such as the disappearance of old continents, and
the establishment of new ones.
The moment of choice exists all the time for every individual. In that
moment he may take any path but when the general moment of choice comes, he
takes the path to which he has become addicted by his nature and
disposition. We are constantly following the line of separateness, or of
unity, choosing one way or the other, and the time must come when the
differences between those who take the right-hand path, and those who take
the left, are so great that there is no possible conjunction between them.?
Q & A pp. 200-1
?It is in the life of everyone to have a moment of choice, but that moment
is not set for any particular day. It is the sum total of all days; and it
may be put off until the day of death, and then it is beyond our power, for
the choice has then been fixed by all the acts and thoughts of the lifetime.
We are all self-doomed at that hour to just the sort of life, body,
environment, and tendencies which will best carry out our karma. This is a
thing solemn enough, and one that makes the ?daily initiation? of the very
greatest importance to each earnest student.?
W Q J - Articles II 498 STREAM OF THOUGHT AND QUERIES
PATH Sept. 1889
??every race and individual of it reaches in evolution a period known as
"the moment of choice," when they decide for themselves their future destiny
by a deliberate and conscious choice between eternal life and death, and
that this right of choice is the peculiar appanage of the free soul.
It cannot be exercised until the man has realized the soul within him, and
until that soul has attained some measure of self-consciousness in the body.
The moment of choice is not a fixed period of time; it is made up of all
moments. It cannot come unless all the previous lives have led up to it.
For the race as a whole it has not yet come.
Any individual can hasten the advent of this period for himself under the
previously stated law of the ripening of Karma. Should he then fail to
choose right he is not wholly condemned, for the economy of nature provides
that he shall again and again have the opportunity of choice when the moment
arrives for the whole race.
After this period the race, having blossomed, tends towards its dissolution.
A few individuals of it will have outstripped its progress and attained
Adeptship or Mahâtmâship. The main body, who have chosen aright, but who
have not attained salvation, pass into the subjective condition, there to
await the influx of the human life wave into the next globe, which they are
the first souls to people;
the deliberate choosers of evil, whose lives are passed in great spiritual
wickedness (for evil done for the sheer love of evil per se), sever the
connection with the Divine Spirit, or the Monad, which forever abandons the
human Ego. Such Egos pass into the misery of the eighth sphere, as far as we
understand, there to remain until the separation between what they had thus
cultivated and the personal Ishwara or divine spark is complete. But this
tenet has never been explained to us by the Masters, who have always refused
to answer and to explain it conclusively.
At the next Manvantara that Divine Spark will probably begin again the long
evolutionary journey, being cast into the stream of life at the source and
passing upward again through all the lower forms.
So long as the connection with the Divine Monad is not severed, this
annihilation of personality cannot take place. Something of that personality
will always remain attached to the immortal Ego. Even after such severance
the human being may live on, a man among men?a soulless being. This
disappointment, so to call it, of the Divine Spark by depriving it of its
chosen vehicle constitutes the "sin against the Holy Ghost," which its very
nature forbade it to pardon, because it cannot continue an association with
principles which have become degraded and vitiated in the absolute sense, so
that they no longer respond to cyclic or evolutionary impulses, but,
weighted by their own nature, sink to the lowest depths of matter. The
connection, once wholly broken, cannot in the nature of Being be resumed.
But innumerable opportunities for return offer themselves throughout the
dissolving process, which lasts thousands of years.? EPITOME
?After circling, so to say, along the arc of the cycle, circling along and
within it (the daily and yearly rotation of the Earth is as good an
illustration as any) when the Spirit-man reaches our planet, which is one of
the lowest, having lost at every station some of the etherial and acquired
an increase of material nature, both spirit and matter have become pretty
much equilibrized in him. But then, he has the Earth's cycle to perform;
and, as in the process of involution and evolution downward, matter is ever
striving to stifle spirit, when arrived to the lowest point of his
pilgrimage, the once pure Planetary Spirit will be found dwindled to -- what
Science agrees to call a primitive or Primordial man -- amidst a nature as
primordial -- speaking geologically, for physical nature keeps pace with the
physiological as well as the spiritual man, in her cyclic career.
At that point the great Law begins its work of selection. Matter found
entirely divorced from spirit is thrown over into the still lower worlds --
into the sixth "GATE" or "way of rebirth" of the vegetable and mineral
worlds, and of the primitive animal forms.
>From thence, matter ground over in the workshop of nature proceeds soulless
back to its Mother Fount; while the Egos purified of their dross are enabled
to resume their progress once more onward.
It is here, then, that the laggard Egos perish by the millions. It is the
solemn moment of the "survival of the fittest," the annihilation of those
unfit. It is but matter (or material man) which is compelled by its own
weight to descend to the very bottom of the "circle of necessity" to there
assume animal form; as to the winner of that race throughout the worlds --
the Spiritual Ego, he will ascend from star to star, from one world to
another, circling onward to rebecome the once pure planetary Spirit, then
higher still, to finally reach its first starting point, and from thence --
to merge into MYSTERY.
No adept has ever penetrated beyond the veil of primitive Kosmic matter. The
highest, the most perfect vision is limited to the universe of Form and
Matter. M L p. 47
?You ask about the "moment of choice." It is made up of all moments. It is
not in space or time, but is the aggregation of those moments flying by us
each instant. It is referred to in Esoteric Buddhism as a period not yet
arrived for the race, when it will as a whole be compelled to make choice
for good or evil. But any single individual can bring on the period for
himself. When it will or has come, the uninstructed cannot tell. For the
student of occultism it may come in the next instant, or it may come one
hundred lives after. But it cannot come this instant unless all the previous
lives have led up to it.
Yet as regards the student, even if it be presented to him and he refuse, he
will be brought to the choice in future existences, with the whole body of
his race. Race influences are insidious and powerful.
For instance, my race has its peculiarities deeply seated and inherited from
an extraordinary past. I must be under their influence in this body as a
necessary part of my experience. In another life I might have been a prosaic
Hottentot, or an Englishman, and in a succeeding one I might be under the
influence of other race peculiarities. Those influences are, then, guiding
me every moment, and each thought I have adds to them now, for either my own
future use or for some other person who will come under the power of part of
the force generated now by me.? Letters - Judge p. 5
?Nature is dual: there is a physical and material side, as there is a
spiritual and moral side to it; and, there is both good and evil in it, the
latter the necessary shadow to its light.
To force oneself upon the current of immortality, or rather to secure for
oneself an endless series of rebirths as conscious individualities--says the
Book of Khiu-te Vol. XXXI, one must become a co-worker with nature, either
for good or for bad, in her work of creation and reproduction, or in that of
It is but the useless drones, which she gets rid of, violently ejecting and
making them perish by the millions as self-conscious entities. Thus, while
the good and the pure strive to reach Nipang (nirvana or that state of
absolute existence and absolute consciousness--which, in the world of finite
perceptions, is non-existence and non-consciousness)--the wicked will seek,
on the contrary, a series of lives as conscious, definite existences or
beings, preferring to be ever suffering under the law of retributive justice
rather than give up their lives as portions of the integral, universal
whole. Being well aware that they can never hope to reach the final rest in
pure spirit, or nirvana, they cling to life in any form, rather than give up
that "desire for life," or Tanha which causes a new aggregation of Skandhas
or individuality to be reborn. Nature is as good a mother to the cruel bird
of prey as she is to the harmless dove. Mother nature will punish her child,
but since he has become her co-worker for destruction she cannot eject him.
There are thoroughly wicked and depraved men, yet as highly intellectual and
acutely spiritual for evil, as those who are spiritual for good.
The Egos of these may escape the law of final destruction or annihilation
for ages to come. That is what Éliphas Lévi means by becoming "immortal in
evil," through identification with Satan. "I would thou wert cold or hot,"
says the vision of the Revelation to St. John (III. 15-16). "So then because
thou art, lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my
mouth." The Revelation is an absolutely Kabalistic book. Heat and cold are
the two "poles," i.e., good and evil, spirit and matter.
Nature spues the "lukewarm" or "the useless portion of mankind" out of her
mouth, i.e., annihilates them. This conception that a considerable portion
of mankind may after all not have immortal souls, will not be new even to
European readers. Coleridge himself likened the case to that of an oak tree
bearing, indeed, millions of acorns, but acorns of which under normal
conditions not one in a thousand ever developed into a tree, and suggested
that as the majority of the acorns failed to develop into a new living tree,
so possibly the majority of men fail to develop into a new living entity
after this earthly death. H P B Art. III p. 272-3 STRAY
THOUGHTS ON DEATH & SATAN
?It is supremely strange that both the Lamas and Druses should have the same
mystical statistics. They reckon the bulk of the human race at 1,332
millions. When good and evil, they say, shall come to an equilibrium in the
scales of human actions (now evil is far the heavier), then the breath of
"Wisdom," will annihilate in a wink of the eye just 666 millions of men. The
surviving 666 millions will have "Supreme Wisdom" incarnated in them. This
may have, and probably has, an allegorical meaning. But what relation might
it possibly bear to the number of the "grand Beast" of John's Revelation??
H P B Articles III 289 -- LAMAS & DRUZES
?According to the teachings, Maya, or the illusive appearance of the
marshalling of events and actions on this earth, changes, varying with
nations and places.
But the chief features of one's life are always in accordance with the
"Constellation" one is born under, or, we should say, with the
characteristics of its animating principle or the deity that presides over
it, whether we call it a Dhyan Chohan, as in Asia, or an Archangel, as with
the Greek and Latin churches.
In ancient Symbolism it was always the SUN (though the Spiritual, not the
visible, Sun was meant), that was supposed to send forth the chief Saviours
and Avatars. Hence the connecting link between the Buddhas, the Avatars, and
so many other incarnations of the highest SEVEN.
The closer the approach to one's Prototype, "in Heaven," the better for the
mortal whose personality was chosen, by his own personal deity (the seventh
principle), as its terrestrial abode. For, with every effort of will toward
purification and unity ...with that "Self-god," one of the lower rays breaks
and the spiritual entity of man is drawn higher and ever higher to the ray
that supersedes the first, until, from ray to ray, the inner man is drawn
into the one and highest beam of the Parent-SUN.
Thus, "the events of humanity do run coordinately with the number forms,"
since the single units of that humanity proceed one and all from the same
source?the central and its shadow, the visible SUN. For the equinoxes and
solstices, the periods and various phases of the Solar course,
astronomically and numerically expressed, are only the concrete symbols of
the eternally living verity, though they do seem abstract ideas to
uninitiated mortals. And this explains the extraordinary numerical
coincidences with geometrical relations, as shown by several authors.
Yes; "our destiny is written in the stars!" Only, the closer the union
between the mortal reflection MAN and his celestial PROTOTYPE, the less
dangerous the external conditions and subsequent reincarnations?which
neither Buddhas nor Christs can escape. This is not superstition, least of
all is it Fatalism. The latter implies a blind course of some still blinder
power, and man is a free agent during his stay on earth. He cannot escape
his ruling Destiny, but he has the choice of two paths that lead him in that
direction, and he can reach the goal of misery?if such is decreed to him,
either in the snowy white robes of the Martyr, or in the soiled garments of
a volunteer in the iniquitous course; for, there are external and internal
conditions which affect the determination of our will upon our actions, and
it is in our power to follow either of the two.
Those who believe in Karma have to believe in destiny, which, from birth to
death, every man is weaving thread by thread around himself, as a spider
does his cobweb; and this destiny is guided either by the heavenly voice of
the invisible prototype outside of us, or by our more intimate astral, or
inner man, who is but too often the evil genius of the embodied entity
called man. Both these lead on the outward man, but one of them must
prevail; and from the very beginning of the invisible affray the stern and
implacable law of compensation steps in and takes its course, faithfully
following the fluctuations.
When the last strand is woven, and man is seemingly enwrapped in the
net-work of his own doing, then he finds himself completely under the empire
of this self-made destiny. It then either fixes him like the inert shell
against the immovable rock, or carries him away like a feather in a
whirlwind raised by his own actions, and this is?KARMA.
A materialist, treating upon the periodical creations of our globe, has
expressed it in one sentence. "The whole past of the Earth is nothing but an
unfolded present." This was Buchner, who little suspected that he was
repeating an axiom of the Occultists. It is quite true also, as Burmeister
(quoted in "Force and matter") remarks, that "the historical investigation
of the development of the Earth has proved that now and then rest upon the
same base; that the past has been developed in the same manner as the
present rolls on; and that the Forces which were in action ever remained the
same." S D I 638-40
EVOLUTION OF ROOT RACES IN THE FOURTH ROUND
[ See diagram MERIDIAN OF RACES S D II 300 ]
?Calculating as advised, we find that during that transitional period ?
namely, in the second half of the First Spiritual ethero-astral race ?
nascent mankind was devoid of the intellectual brain element.
As it was on its descending line, and as we are parallel to it, on the
ascending, we are, therefore devoid of the Spiritual element, which is now
replaced by the intellectual. For, remember well, as we are in the manasa
period of our cycle of races, or in the Fifth, we have, therefore, crossed
the meridian point of the perfect adjustment of Spirit and Matter ? or that
equilibrium between brain intellect and Spiritual perception. One important
point has, however, to be borne in mind.
We are only in the Fourth Round, and it is in the Fifth that the full
development of Manas, as a direct ray from the Universal MAHAT ? a ray
unimpeded by matter ? will be finally reached. Nevertheless, as every
sub-race and nation have their cycles and stages of developmental evolution
repeated on a smaller scale, it must be the more so in the case of a
Our race then has, as a Root-race, crossed the equatorial line and is
cycling onward on the Spiritual side; but some of our sub-races still find
themselves on the shadowy descending arc of their respective national
cycles; while others again ? the oldest ? having crossed their crucial
point, which alone decides whether a race, a nation, or a tribe will live or
perish, are at the apex of spiritual development as sub-races.
It becomes comprehensible now why the "odd eye" has been gradually
transformed into a simple gland, after the physical Fall of those we have
agreed to call the "Lemurians."
It is a curious fact that it is especially in human beings that the cerebral
hemispheres and the lateral ventricles have been developed, and that the
optic thalami, corpora quadrigemina, and corpora striata are the principal
parts which are developed in the mammalian brain. Moreover it is asserted
that the intellect of any man may to some extent be gauged by the
development of the central convolutions and the fore part of the cerebral
It would seem a natural corollary that if the development and increased size
of the pineal gland may be considered to be an index of the astral
capacities and spiritual proclivities of any man, there will be a
corresponding development of that part of the cranium, or an increase in the
size of the pineal gland at the expense of the hinder part of the cerebral
hemispheres. It is a curious speculation which would receive a confirmation
in this case.
We should see, below and behind, the cerebellum which has been held to be
the seat of all the animal proclivities of a human being, and which is
allowed by science to be the great centre for all the physiologically
co-coordinated movements of the body, such as walking, eating, etc., etc.;
in front, the fore-part of the brain ? the cerebral hemispheres ? the part
especially connected with the development of the intellectual powers in man;
and in the middle, dominating them both, and especially the animal
functions, the developed pineal gland, in connection with the more highly
evolved, or spiritual man.
It must be remembered that these are only physical correspondences; just as
the ordinary human brain is the registering organ of memory, but not memory
This is, then, the organ which gave rise to so many legends and traditions,
among others to that of man with one head but two faces. These may be found
in several Chinese works, besides being referred to in the Chaldean
Apart from the work already cited ? the Shan Hai King, compiled by King Chia
from engravings on nine urns made 2,255 B.C., by the Emperor Yu, they may be
found in another work, called the "Bamboo Books," and in a third one, the
"Rh Ya" ? "initiated according to tradition by Chow Kung, uncle of Wu Wang,
the first Emperor of the Chow Dynasty, B.C., 1,122": ? says Mr. Ch. Gould in
his "Mythical Monsters." The Bamboo Books contain the ancient annals of
China, found A.D. 279 at the opening of the grave of King Seang of Wai, who
died B.C. 295. Both these works mention men with two faces on one head ? one
in front and one behind (p. 27). S D II 300-1
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Subject: "The Case Against Immortality" by Keith Augustine
Some readers on this forum may be interested in the following essay:
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application