RE: [theosophia] About The Use Of Stem Cells / Reincarnation / Ethics
Aug 01, 2005 10:56 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Aug 1 2005
Re: STEM CELLS, TWINNING, DUPLICATION, multiple births
Using what we have learned from THEOSOPHY -- Lets think about Karma and
the Astral plane and body on this.
Modern physiology is using the physical visible cells and their contents to
try to effect regeneration of failing cell structures, or to bring on by
physiological means conceptions where Karmically -- under the normal process
of bodily self-restoration -- it may not be possible for the body to achieve
the healing or the reproduction desires.
It all starts with DESIRE and with the TANHAIC FEELING that a long life is
desirable, and death is to be deferred for as long as possible, using any
and every means.
Where are there errors?
Karma, reincarnation, individual effects for deeds in past lives now
manifesting at least 3 causes. These relate to the Monads of lesser
experience who aggregate around a Monad to provide it with its personality
in this life through which it progresses morally, ethically and
Modern medicine knows little of this.
Students of THEOSOPHY are generally ignorant of medicine. And they do not
know the ins and outs of the Astral or of Karma.
With modern drugs, etc. it is possible to evade many kinds of pain. Ask if
this is always advisable. (Strange question : but if we evade pain this
life are we likely to find it returning in a future one ? I don't know. )
If we prolong life now using med. Tech. Then what effect has that on future
Karma ? Again I don't know.
Reincarnation takes care of the fear of death (we don't fear sleep, as an
example) Remains longevity in a sick incapacitated and ailing body -- but we
are still uncertain and certainly the physical and personal is not reassured
Healing and especially of cancer situations seems to be stalled no matter
what is being tried as the human body is not a mere machine.
If Karma says it is to die, then efforts to preserve life are usually
unsuccessful and also very stressful and even -- to the extent of torture
-- to continue life in a physically disabled and disintegrating body.
We ought also to note that there is a disregard of the ethics and morality
of the situation, patient and patient-doctor relationship. Some patients
are, unknown to themselves, being used as parts of experiments designed to
discover cures. If they are not carefully told of this it is a breach of
Individual Karma may not always be exactly replicated in others. Our bodies
are Karmically guided. Not machines with interchangeable parts.
IS KARMA ONLY PUNISHMENT?
THE following query has been received from H.M.H.: "In August PATH Hadji
Erinn, in reply to the above question, stated that 'those who have wealth,
and the happy mother seeing all her children respected and virtuous, are
favorites of Karma. I and others believe that these apparent favors are only
punishment or obstacles, and others think that the terms punishment and
reward should not be used."
I cannot agree with this view, nor with the suggestion that punishment and
reward should not be used as terms. It is easy to reduce every thing to a
primordial basis when one may say that all is the absolute. But such is only
the method of those who affirm and deny. They say there is no evil, there is
no death; all is good, all is life. In this way we are reduced to
absurdities, inasmuch as we then have no terms to designate very evident
things and conditions. As well say there is no gold and no iron, because
both are equally matter. While we continue to be human beings we must use
terms that shall express our conscious perception of ideas and things.
It is therefore quite proper to say that an unhappy or miserably
circumstanced person is undergoing punishment, and that the wealthy or happy
person is having reward. Otherwise there is no sense in our doctrine.
The misunderstanding shown in the question is due to inaccurate thinking
upon the subject of Karma. One branch of this law deals with the
vicissitudes of life, with the differing states of men. One man has
opportunity and happiness, another meets only the opposite. Why is this? It
is because each state is the exact result bound to come from his having
disturbed or preserved the harmony of nature. The person given wealth in
this life is he who in the preceding incarnation suffered from its absence
or had been deprived of it unjustly. What are we to call it but reward? If
we say compensation, we express exactly the same idea. And we cannot get the
world to adopt verbosity in speech so as to say, "All this is due to that
man's having preserved the cosmic harmony."
The point really in the questioners mind is, in fact, quite different from
the one expressed; he has mistaken one for the other; he is thinking of the
fact so frequently obtruded before us that the man who has the opportunity
of wealth or power oft misuses it and becomes selfish or tyrannous. But this
does not alter the conclusion that he is having his reward. Karma will take
care of him; and if he does not use the opportunity for the good of his
fellows, or if he does evil to them, he will have punishment upon coming
back again to earth. It is true enough, as Jesus said, that "it is difficult
for the rich man to enter heaven," but there are other possessions of the
man besides wealth that constitute greater obstacles to development, and
they are punishments and may coexist in the life of one man with the reward
of wealth or the like. I mean the obstruction and hindrance found in
stupidity, or natural baseness, or in physical sensual tendencies. These are
more likely to keep him from progress and ultimate salvation than all the
wealth or good luck that any one person ever enjoyed.
In such cases--and they are not a few--we see Karmic reward upon the outer
material plane in the wealth and propitious arrangement of life, and on the
inner character the punishment of being unable or unfit through many defects
of mind or nature. This picture can be reversed with equal propriety. I
doubt if the questioner has devoted his mind to analyzing the subject in
Every man, however, is endowed with conscience and the power to use his
life, whatever its form or circumstance, in the proper way, so as to extract
from it all the good for himself and his fellows that his limitations of
character will permit. It is his duty so to do, and as he neglects or obeys,
so will be his subsequent punishment or reward.
There may also be another sort of wealth than mere gold, another sort of
power than position in politics or society. The powerful, wide,
all-embracing, rapidly-acting brain stored with knowledge is a vast
possession which one man may enjoy. He can use it properly or improperly. It
may lead him to excesses, to vileness, to the very opposite of all that is
good. It is his reward for a long past life of stupidity followed by others
of noble deeds and thoughts. What will the questioner do with this? The
possessor thus given a reward may misuse it so as to turn it, next time he
is born, into a source of punishment. We are thus continually fitting our
arrows to the bow, drawing them back hard to the ear, and shooting them
forth from us. When we enter the field of earth-life again, they will surely
strike us or our enemies of human shape or the circumstances which otherwise
would hurt us. It is not the arrow or the bow that counts, but the motive
and the thought with which the missile is shot.
HADJI ERINN Path, February, 1890
IS THE DESIRE TO "LIVE" SELFISH?
Article by H. P. Blavatsky
THE passage, "to Live, to Live, TO LIVE must be the unswerving resolve,"
occurring in the article on the ELIXIR OF LIFE, published in the March and
April Numbers of Vol. III of the Theosophist, is often quoted, by
superficial readers unsympathetic with the Theosophical Society, as an
argument that the above teaching, of occultism is the most concentrated form
of selfishness. In order to determine whether the critics are right or
wrong, the meaning of the word "selfishness" must first be ascertained.
According to an established authority, selfishness is that "exclusive regard
to one's own interest or happiness; that supreme self-love or
self-preference which leads a person to direct his purposes to the
advancement of his own interest, power, or happiness, without regarding
those of others."
In short, an absolutely selfish individual is one who cares for himself and
none else, or, in other words, one who is so strongly imbued with a sense of
importance of his own personality that to him it is the acme of all his
thoughts, desires and aspirations and beyond that all is a perfect blank.
Now, can an occultist be then said to be "selfish" when he desires to live
in the sense in which that word is used by the writer of the article on the
ELIXIR OF LIFE?
It has been said over and over again that the ultimate end of every aspirant
after occult knowledge is Nirvana or Mukti, when the individual, freed from
all Mayavic Upadhi, becomes one with Paramatma, or the Son identifies
himself with the Father in Christian phraseology. For that purpose, every
veil of illusion which creates a sense of personal isolation, a feeling of
separateness from THE ALL, must be torn asunder, or, in other words, the
aspirant must gradually discard all sense of selfishness with which we are
all more or less affected.
A study of the Law of Cosmic Evolution teaches us that the higher the
evolution, the more does it tend towards Unity. In fact, Unity is the
ultimate possibility of Nature, and those who through vanity and selfishness
go against her purposes, cannot but incur the punishment of total
The Occultist thus recognises that unselfishness and a feeling of universal
philanthropy are the inherent law of our being, and all he does is to
attempt to destroy the chains of selfishness forged upon us by Maya.
The struggle then between Good and Evil, God and Satan, Suras and Asuras,
Devas and Daityas, which is mentioned in the sacred books of all the nations
and races, symbolizes the battle between unselfishness and the selfish
impulses, which takes place in a man, who tries to follow the higher
purposes of Nature, until the lower animal tendencies, created by
selfishness, are completely conquered, and the enemy thoroughly routed and
annihilated. It has also been often put forth in various theosophical and
other occult writings that the only difference between an ordinary man who
works along with Nature during the course of cosmic evolution and an
occultist, is that the latter, by his superior knowledge, adopts such
methods of training and discipline as will hurry on that process of
evolution, and he thus reaches in a comparatively very short time that apex
to ascend to which the ordinary individual may take perhaps billions of
years. In short, in a few thousand years he approaches that form of
evolution which ordinary humanity will attain to perhaps in the sixth or the
seventh round during the process of Manvantara, i.e., cyclic progression. It
is evident that the average man cannot become a MAHATMA in one life, or
rather in one incarnation.
Now those, who have studied the occult teachings concerning Devachan and our
after-states, will remember that between two incarnations there is a
considerable period of subjective existence. The greater the number of such
Devachanic periods, the greater is the number of years over which this
evolution is extended.
The chief aim of the occultist is therefore to so control himself as to be
able to control his future states, and thereby gradually shorten the
duration of his Devachanic states between his two incarnations. In his
progress, there comes a time when, between one physical death and his next
re-birth, there is no Devachan but a kind of spiritual sleep, the shock of
death, having, so to say, stunned him into a state of unconsciousness from
which he gradually recovers to find himself reborn, to continue his purpose.
The period of this sleep may vary from twenty-five to two hundred years,
depending upon the degree of his advancement. But even this period may be
said to be a waste of time, and hence all his exertions are directed to
shorten its duration so as to gradually come to a point when the passage
from one state of existence into another is almost imperceptible. This is
his last incarnation, as it were, for the shock of death no more stuns him.
This is the idea the writer of the article on the Elixir of Life means to
convey, when he says:--
By or about the time when the Death-limit of his race is passed HE IS
ACTUALLY DEAD, in the ordinary sense, that is to say, that he has relieved
himself of all or nearly all such material particles as would have
necessitated in disruption the agony of dying. He has been dying gradually
the whole period of his Initiation. The catastrophe cannot happen twice
over. He has only spread over a number of years the mild process of
dissolution which others endure from a brief moment to a few hours. The
highest Adept is in fact dead to, and absolutely unconscious of, the
World--he is oblivious of its pleasures, careless of its miseries--in so far
as sentimentalism goes, for the stern sense of DUTY never leaves him blind
to its very existence. . . .
The process of the emission and attraction of atoms, which the occultist
controls, has been discussed at length in that article and in other
writings. It is by these means that he gets rid gradually of all the old
gross particles of his body, substituting for them finer and more ethereal
ones, till at last the former sthula sarira is completely dead and
disintegrated and he lives in a body entirely of his own creation, suited to
That body is essential for his purposes, for, as the Elixir of Life says:--
But to do good, as in every thing else, a man must have time and materials
to work with, and this is a necessary means to the acquirement of powers by
which infinitely more good can be done than without them. When these are
once mastered, the opportunities to use them will arrive. . . .
In another place, in giving the practical instructions for that purpose, the
same article says:
The physical man must be rendered more ethereal and sensitive; the mental
man more penetrating and profound; the moral man more self-denying and
The above important considerations are lost sight of by those who snatch
away from the context the following passage in the same article:--
And from this account too, it will be perceptible how foolish it is for
people to ask the Theosophists "to procure for them communication with the
highest Adepts." It is with the utmost difficulty that one or two can be
induced, even by the throes of a world, to injure their own progress by
meddling with mundane affairs.
The ordinary reader will say--"This is not God-1ike. This is the acme of
selfishness" . . . . But let him realise that a very high Adept, undertaking
to reform the world, would necessarily have to once more submit to
Incarnation. And is the result of all that have gone before in that line
sufficiently encouraging to prompt a renewal of the attempt?
Now, in condemning the above passage as inculcating selfishness, superficial
readers and thinkers lose sight of various important considerations. In the
first place, they forget the other extracts already quoted which impose
self-denial as a necessary condition of success, and which say that, with
progress, new senses and new powers are acquired with which infinitely more
good can be done than without them.
The more spiritual the Adept becomes, the less can he meddle with mundane,
gross affairs and the more he has to confine himself to a spiritual work. It
has been repeated, time out of number, that the work on a spiritual plane is
as superior to the work on an intellectual plane as the one on the latter
plane is superior to that on a physical plane.
The very high Adepts, therefore, do help humanity, but only spiritually:
they are constitutionally incapable of meddling with worldly affairs. But
this applies only to very high Adepts. There are various degrees of
Adeptship, and those of each degree work for humanity on the planes to which
they may have risen. It is only the chelas that can live in the world, until
they rise to a certain degree. And it is because the Adepts do care for the
world that they make their chelas live in and work for it, as many of those
who study the subject are aware. Each cycle produces its own occultists who
will be able to work for the humanity of those times on all the different
planes; but when the Adepts foresee that at a particular period the then
humanity will be incapable of producing occultists for work on particular
planes, for such occasions they do provide by either giving up voluntarily
their further progress and waiting in those particular degrees until
humanity reaches that period, or by refusing to enter into Nirvana and
submitting to re-incarnation in time to reach those degrees when humanity
will require their assistance at that stage. And although the world may not
be aware of the fact, yet there are even now certain Adepts who have
preferred to remain statu quo and refuse to take the higher degrees, for the
benefit of the future generations of humanity.
In short, as the Adepts work harmoniously, since unity is the fundamental
law of their being, they have as it were made a division of labour,
according to which each works on the plane at the time allotted to him, for
the spiritual elevation of us all--and the process of longevity mentioned in
the ELIXIR OF LIFE is only the means to the end which, far from being
selfish, is the most unselfish purpose for which a human being can labour.
H P B Theosophist, July, 1884
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Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2005 10:07 AM
About The Use Of Stem Cells / Reincarnation / Ethics
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