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RE: [bn-study] Re: REINCARNATION

Jan 13, 2006 04:12 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

1/13/2006 3:56 AM

Dear Friend:

Re: Reincarnation -- Karma -- DEITY


"It has been suggested ... that theosophists jot down as they occur any
arguments hit upon to support the doctrine of reincarnation. 

One furnishes this: 

That the persistency of individual character and attitude of mind seems a
strong argument; and adduces the fact that when he was a youth thirty years
ago he wrote a letter to himself upon questions about God, nature, and the
inner man, and finds now upon re-reading it that it almost exactly expresses
his present attitude. Also he thinks that the inner character of each shows
itself in early youth, persisting through life; and as each character is
different there must have been reincarnation to account for the differences.
And that the assertion that differences in character are due to heredity
seems to be disposed of by the persistency of essential character, even if,
as we know to be the case, scientists did not begin to deny the sufficiency
of heredity to account for our differences.

Another writes: 

If heredity would account for that which, existing in our life, makes us
feel that we have lived here before, then the breeding of dogs and horses
would show similar great differences as are observed in men. But a high-bred
slut will bring forth a litter of pups by a father of equal breed, all
exhibiting one character, whereas in the very highest bred families among
men it is well known that the children will differ from each other so much
that we cannot rely upon the result. Then again, considering the objections
raised on ground of heredity, it should not be forgotten that but small
attention has been paid to those cases where heredity will not give the

Inherent differences of character. 

The great differences in capacity seem to call for reincarnation as the
explanation. Notice that the savages have the same brains and bodies as
ours, yet not the same character or intelligence; they seem to be
unprogressed egos who are unable to make the machine of brain to respond to
its highest limit."	[Path, August. 1891}


The mystery about reincarnation -- as to whether it is a fact or not,
revolves around our understanding of the nature and the powers of the Mind

Ordinarily the Mind is thought to be immaterial, or to be merely the name
for brain-action, in evolving thought. Thinking is still a process wholly
unknown other than by inference. Yet it is also held that if there is no
brain, there can be no mind. A good deal of attention has been paid to
cataloging some mental functions and attributes, but the terms in our
language are absent to describe metaphysical and spiritual facts about man.

The reaction against religion in the West, prevented science from taking
anything but a materialistic view of man and nature. 


Theosophy states the fifth principle is Manas, translated Mind. Other names
may have been given to it, but it is the Knower, The Perceiver, The Thinker.
The sixth principle is Buddhi, or spiritual discernment; the seventh is
Atma, or Spirit -- the ray from the Absolute Being. English as a language,
may suffice to describe in part what Manas is, but not Buddhi, or Atma, and
will leave many things relating to Manas undescribed. 


The course of evolution developed the four lower principles (Desire,
Life-energy, Astral and Physical bodies) and produced at last, the form of
man with a brain of better and deeper capacity than that of any other

This man in form was not man in mind, and needed the fifth principle, the
thinking, perceiving one, to differentiate him from the animal kingdom and
to confer the power of becoming Self-Conscious. The Monad (Atma-Buddhi) was
imprisoned in these forms, for without the presence of the Monad evolution
could not go forward. 


Going back for a moment to the time when mankind was devoid of mind, the
question arises, "who gave the mind, where did it come from, and what is
it?" It is the link between the Spirit of God above and the personal below.
It was given to the mindless Monads by others who had gone through this
process ages upon ages before in other worlds, and it therefore came from
older evolutionary periods which had been carried out and completed long
before the solar system began. This is the strange theory which must be
stated if we are to tell the truth about Theosophy; and this is only handing
on what others have said before. 

The manner in which this Light Of Mind was given to the Mindless Men can be
understood from the illustration of one candle lighting many. Given one
lighted candle and numerous unlighted ones, it follows that from one light
the others may also be set aflame. So in the case of Manas. It is the candle
of flame. The mindless men having four elementary principles of Body,
Astral Body, Life and Desire, are the unlighted candles that cannot light


The "Sons of Wisdom," who are the Elder Brothers of the family of men on any
globe, have the Mind-light. It was derived by them from others -- their
"Elders," who reach back, and yet farther back, in endless procession with
no beginning or end. They set fire to the combined lower principles and the
Monad, thus lighting up Manas in the new men. And from there began the
preparing of another great race for final initiation. 

This lighting up of the fire of Manas is symbolized in all great religions
and Freemasonry. In the East a priest appears holding a candle lighted at
the altar, and thousands of others come to him in a procession, to light
their candles from this one. 


Manas, or the Thinker, is the reincarnating being. It is the immortal who
carries the results and values of all the different lives lived on earth or


Its nature becomes dual as soon as it is attached to a body. For the human
Brain is a superior organism, and Manas uses it to reason from premises to
conclusions. This also differentiates man from animal, for the animal acts
from automatic, the so-called instinctual impulses. Whereas the man, can use
Reason. This is the lower aspect of the Thinker or Manas, and not, as some
have supposed, the highest and best gift belonging to man. 

Its other, and in Theosophy higher, aspect, is the intuitional, which knows,
and does not depend on reason. It is Manas allied to Buddhi -- spiritual
discrimination and Wisdom. The lower, and purely intellectual, is nearest
to the principle of Desire, and is thus distinguished from its other side
which has affinity for the spiritual principles (Buddhi and Atma, above. If
the Thinker, becomes wholly intellectual, the entire nature begins to trend
downward; for intellect alone is cold, heartless, selfish, because it is not
lighted up by the two other principles of universality and immortality:
Buddhi and Atma. 


In Manas the thoughts of all lives are stored. That is to say: in any one
life, the sum total of thoughts underlying all the acts of the life-time
will be of one character in general, but may be placed in one or more
classes. That is, the business man of today is a single type; his entire
life thoughts represent but one single thread of thought. The artist is
another. The man who has engaged in business, but also thought much upon
fame and power which he never attained, is still another. 

The great mass of self-sacrificing, courageous, and strong, poor people who
have but little time to think, constitute another distinct class. In all
these, the total quantity of life thoughts makes up the stream or thread of
a "life's meditation" -- "that upon which the heart was set" -- and those
are stored in immortal Manas. All those will be brought out again at any
time in whatever life the brain and bodily environments are similar to those
used in engendering that class of thoughts. 


It is Manas which sees the objects presented to it by the bodily organs and
the actual organs (which are seated in the Astral body) within. When the
open eye receives a picture on the retina, the whole scene is turned into
vibrations in the optic nerves which disappear into the brain, and there
Manas is enabled to perceive them as idea. And so with every other organ or
sense. If the connection between Manas and the brain be broken, intelligence
will not be manifested unless Manas has by training found out how to project
the astral body out and away from the physical, and thereby keep up
communication with fellow men. 


That the organs and senses do not cognize objects, hypnotism, mesmerism, and
spiritualism have now proved. For, as we see in mesmeric and hypnotic
experiments, the object seen or felt, and from which, all the effects of
solid objects may be sensed, is often only an idea existing in the
operator's brain. In hypnotism there are many experiments, all of which go
to show that so called matter is not per se solid or dense; that sight does
not always depend on the eye and rays of light proceeding from an object;
that the intangible for one normal brain and organs, may be perfectly
tangible for another; and that physical effects in the body may be produced
solely from an idea. 

The well-known experiments of producing a blister by a simple piece of
paper, or preventing a real blistering plaster from making a blister, by
force of the idea conveyed to a subject, either that there was to be or not
to be a blister, conclusively prove the power of effecting an impulse on
matter by the use of that which is called Mind (Manas). But all these
phenomena are the exhibition of the powers of Lower Manas acting in the
astral Body and the fourth principle -- Desire, using the physical body as
the field for the exhibition of the forces.


It is this Lower Manas which retains all the impressions of a life-time and
sometimes strangely exhibits them in trances or dreams, delirium, induced
states, here and there in normal conditions, and very often at the time of
physical death. But it is so occupied with the brain, with memory and with
sensation, that it usually presents but few recollections out of the mass of
events that years have brought before it. 

It interferes with the action of Higher Manas because just at the present
point of evolution, Desire and all corresponding powers, faculties, and
senses are the most highly developed, thus obscuring, as it were, the white
light of the spiritual side of Manas. It (Lower Manas) is tinted by each
object presented to it, whether it be a thought-object or a material one.
That is to say, Lower Manas operating through the brain is at once altered
into the shape and other characteristics of any object, mental or otherwise.
This causes it to have four peculiarities. 

.	First, to naturally fly off and away from a selected point, object,
or subject; 
.	Second, to fly to some pleasant idea; 
.	Third, to fly to an unpleasant idea; 
.	Fourth, to remain passive and considering nothing.
The first is due to memory and the natural motion of Manas; the second and
third are due to memory alone; the fourth signifies sleep when not abnormal.
And when abnormal is trending toward insanity. 


These mental characteristics all belonging to Lower Manas. It is these
which the Higher Manas, aided by Buddhi and Atma, has to fight and conquer.
Higher Manas, if able to act, becomes what we sometimes call Genius. If
completely master, then one may become a god. But memory continually
presents pictures to Lower Manas, and the result is that the Higher is
obscured. Sometimes, however, along the pathway of life we do see here and
there men who are geniuses or great seers and prophets. In these the Higher
powers of Manas are active, and the person is illuminated. Such were the
great Sages of the past, men like Buddha, Jesus, Confucius, Zoroaster, and
others. Poets, too, such as Tennyson, Longfellow, and others, are men in
whom Higher Manas now and then sheds a bright ray on the man below, to be
soon obscured, however, by the effect of dogmatic religious education which
has given memory certain pictures that always prevent Manas from gaining
full activity. 

In this higher Trinity, we have the God above each one; this is Atma, (the
7th principle) and may be called the Higher Self. Next, (the sixth) is the
spiritual part of the soul called Buddhi; when thoroughly united with Manas
(the fifth) this may be called the Divine Ego, or the Spiritual Soul. 


The inner Ego (Manas), who reincarnates, taking on body after body, storing
up the impressions of life after life, gaining experience and adding it to
the Divine Ego, suffering and enjoying through an immense period of years,
is the fifth principle -- Manas -- not united to Buddhi. 

This is the permanent individuality which gives to every man the feeling of
being himself and not some other; that which through all the changes of the
days and nights from youth to the end of life makes us feel one identity
through all the period; 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 depth and variety of the brain convolutions in man are caused by the
presence of Manas, and are not the cause of mind. And when we either wholly,
or now and then, become consciously united with Buddhi, the Spiritual Soul,
we "behold God," as it were. This is what the ancients all desired to see,
but what the moderns do not believe in, the latter preferring rather to
throw away their own right to be great in nature, and to worship an
imaginary god, made up solely of their own fancies, and not very different
from weak human nature. 


This permanent individuality in our present race has therefore been through
every sort of experience, for Theosophy insists on its permanence 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 all the matter concerned
in the chain of globes to which the earth belongs. 

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. At the same time it should be
remembered that the matter of this globe, connected with it, has also been
through every kind of form, with possibly some exceptions in very low planes
of mineral formation. 

But in general all the matter visible, or held in space still
unprecipitated, has been molded at one time or another into forms of all
varieties, many of these being such as we now have no idea of. The processes
of evolution, therefore, in some departments, now go forward with greater
rapidity than in former ages because both Manas and matter have acquired
facility of action. 

Especially is this so in regard to man, who is the farthest ahead of all
things or beings in this evolution. He is now incarnated and projected into
life more quickly than in earlier periods when it consumed many years to
obtain a "coat of skin." This coming into life over and over again cannot be
avoided by the ordinary man because Lower Manas is still bound by Desire,
which is the preponderating principle at the present period. Being so very
influenced by Desire, Manas is continually deluded while in the body, and
being thus deluded is unable to prevent the action upon it of the forces set
up in the life time. 

These forces are generated by Manas, that is, by the thinking of a whole
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 earth by reason of the thoughts of the last
life, and therefore by desire, for it was desire that caused so many
thoughts and ignorance of the true nature of things. This is called by the
Hindu philosophies "maya." (illusion).

An understanding of this doctrine of man being really a thinker and made of
thought, will make clear all the rest in relation to incarnation and

The body of the inner man is made of thought, and this being so it must
follow that if the thoughts have more affinity for earth-life than for life
elsewhere a return to life here is inevitable. 

At the present day Manas is not fully active in the race, as Desire still is
uppermost. In the next cycle of the human period Manas will be fully active
and developed in the entire race. Hence the people of the earth have not yet
come to the point of making a conscious choice as to the path they will
take; but when in the cycle referred to, Manas is active, all will then be
compelled to consciously make the choice to right or left, the one leading
to complete and conscious union with Atma, the other to the annihilation of
those beings who prefer that path of an isolated selfishness.


How man has come to be the complex being that he is and why, are questions
that neither Science nor Religion makes conclusive answer to. 

This immortal thinker having such vast powers and possibilities, all his
because of his intimate connection with every secret part of Nature from
which he has been built up, stands at the top of an immense and silent

He asks why Nature exists, what the drama of life has for its aim, how that
aim may be attained. But Science and Religion both fail to give a reasonable
reply. Science does not pretend to be able to give the solution, saying that
the examination of things as they are (as Nature has arranged them), is
enough of a task. Religion offers an explanation both illogical and
unmeaning and acceptable but to the bigot, as it requires us to consider the
whole of Nature as a mystery and to seek for the meaning and purpose of
life, with all its sorrow, in the whimsical and fanciful pleasure of a God
who cannot be found out. The educated and enquiring mind knows that dogmatic
religion can only give an answer invented by man while it pretends to be
from God. 


What then is the universe for, and for what final purpose is man the
immortal thinker here in evolution? It is all for the experience and
emancipation of the soul, for the purpose of raising the entire mass of
manifested matter up to the stature, nature, and dignity of conscious
god-hood. The great aim is to reach self-consciousness; not through a race
or a tribe or some favored nation, but by and through the perfecting, after
transformation, of the whole mass of matter as well as what we now call

Nothing is or is to be left out. The aim for present man is his initiation
into complete knowledge, and for the other kingdoms below him that they may
be raised up gradually from stage to stage to be in time initiated also. 

This is evolution carried to its highest power; it is a magnificent
prospect; it makes of man a god, and gives to every part of nature the
possibility of being one day the same; there is strength and nobility in it,
for by this no man is dwarfed and belittled, for no one is so originally
sinful that he cannot rise above all sin. 


As to the whole mass of matter, the doctrine is that it will all be raised
to man's estate when man has gone further on himself. 

There is no residuum left after man's final salvation which in a mysterious
way is to be disposed of or done away with in some remote dust-heap of
nature. The true doctrine allows for nothing like that, and at the same time
is not afraid to give the true disposition of what would seem to be a
residuum. It is all worked up into other states, for as the philosophy
declares there is no inorganic matter whatever but that every atom is alive
and has the germ of self-consciousness, it must follow that one day it will
all have been changed. 

Thus what is now called human flesh is so much matter that one day was
wholly mineral, later on vegetable, and now refined into human atoms. At a
point of time very far from now the present vegetable matter will have been
raised to the animal stage and what we now use as our organic or fleshy
matter will have changed by transformation through evolution into
self-conscious thinkers, and so on up the whole scale until the time shall
come when what is now known as mineral matter will have passed on to the
human stage and out into that of thinker. 

Then at the coming on of another great period of evolution the mineral
matter of that time will be some which is now passing through its lower
transformations on other planets and in other systems of worlds. This is
perhaps a "fanciful" scheme for the men of the present day, who are so
accustomed to being called bad, sinful, weak, and utterly foolish from their
birth that they fear to believe the truth about themselves, but for the
disciples of the ancient theosophists it is not impossible or fanciful, but
is logical and vast. And no doubt it will one day be admitted by everyone
when the mind of the western race has broken away from Mosaic chronology. 

As to reincarnation and metempsychosis we say that they are first to be
applied to the whole cosmos and not alone to man. But as man is the most
interesting object to himself, we will consider in detail its application to


For alone in reincarnation is the answer to all the problems of life, and in
it and Karma is the force that will make men pursue in fact the ethics they
have in theory. It is the aim of the old philosophy to restore this doctrine
to whatsoever religion has lost it; and hence we call it the "lost chord of


The second explanation is, that inasmuch as nature intends us to use the
matter which comes into our body and astral body for the purpose, among
others, of benefiting the matter by the impress it gets from association
with the human Ego, if we use it so as to give it only a brutal impression
it must fly back to the animal kingdom to be absorbed there instead of being
refined and kept on the human plane. 

And as all the matter which the human Ego gathered to it retains the stamp
or photographic impression of the human being, the matter (as "life-atoms,"
or Monads of lesser experience) transmigrates to the lower level when given
an animal impress by the Ego. 

This actual fact in the great chemical laboratory of nature could easily be
misconstrued by the ignorant. But present-day students know that once Manas
the Thinker has arrived on the scene he does not return to baser forms;
first, because he does not wish to, and second, because he cannot. For just
as the blood in the body is prevented by valves from rushing back and
engorging the heart, so in this greater system of universal circulation the
door is shut behind the Thinker and prevents his retrocession. Reincarnation
as a doctrine applying to the real man does not teach transmigration into
kingdoms of nature below the human.

In the West, where the object of life is commercial, financial, social, or
scientific success, that is, personal profit, aggrandizement, and power, the
real life of man receives but little attention, and we, unlike the
Orientals, give scant prominence to the doctrine of preexistence and


It is said, if we reincarnate, how is it that we do not remember the earlier
life; and further, as we cannot remember the deeds for which we suffer, is
it not unjust for that reason to suffer now? 

Those who ask this, ignore the fact that they also have enjoyment and reward
in this life, and are content to accept them without question. For if it is
unjust to be punished for deeds we do not remember, then it is also
inequitable to be rewarded for other acts of ours, done then, which have
been forgotten. 


Mere entry into life is no fit foundation for any reward or punishment. 

Reward and punishment must be the just desert for prior conduct. Nature's
law of justice is not imperfect, and it is only the imperfection of human
justice that requires the offender to know and remember in this life a deed
to which a penalty is annexed. 

In the prior life the doer was then quite aware of what he did, and nature
affixes consequences to his acts, being thus just. We well know that she
will make the effect follow the cause whatever we wish and whether we
remember or forget what we did. 

If a baby is hurt in its first years, so as to lay the ground for a
crippling disease in after life, as is often the case, the crippling disease
will come although the child neither brought on the present cause nor
remembered aught about it. But reincarnation, with its companion doctrine of
Karma, rightly understood, shows how perfectly just the whole scheme of
nature is. 

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 these years. They
were lived, and we retain but little of the details in the brain. But the
entire effect of them on the character is kept and made a part of ourselves.
The whole mass of detail of a life is preserved in the inner man to be one
day fully brought back to the conscious memory in some other life when we
are perfected. And even now, imperfect as we are, and little as we know, the
experiments in hypnotism show that all the smallest details are registered
in what is for the present called the "sub-conscious" mind. The theosophical
doctrine is that not a single one of these happenings is forgotten in fact,
and at the end of life when the eyes are closed and those about say we are
dead, every thought and circumstance of life flash vividly into and across
the mind, and are transferred to the inner, the astral and the spiritual man
which are now leaving the body.


A survey of one short human life gives no ground for the production of a
man's inner nature. 

It is needful that each soul should have all possible experience, and one
life cannot give this even under the best conditions. It would be folly, as
for instance, for the "Almighty," to put us here for such a short time,
only to remove us just when we had begun to see the object of life and the
possibilities in it. The mere selfish desire of a person to escape the
trials and discipline of life is not enough to set nature's laws aside. 

The Soul must be reborn until it has ceased to set in motion the cause of
rebirth, after having developed character up to its possible limit as
indicated by all the varieties of human nature, when every experience has
been passed through, and not until all of truth that can be known has been

The vast disparity among men in respect to capacity compels us, if we wish
to ascribe justice to Nature or to God, to admit reincarnation and to trace
the origin of the disparity back to the past lives of the Ego. 

For people are as much hindered and handicapped, abused and made the victims
of seeming injustice because of limited capacity, as they are by reason of
circumstances of birth or education. We see the uneducated rising above
circumstances of family and training, and often those born in good families
have very small capacity; but the troubles of nations and families arise
from want of capacity more than from any other cause. 


The fact that certain inherent ideas are common to the whole race of
mankind, is explained by the Sages as due to recollection of such ideas,
which were implanted in the human mind at the very beginning of its
evolutionary career on this planet by those Elder Brothers and Dhyanis (the
WISE), who learned their lessons and were perfected in former aeons, on
other worlds, and long before the development of this globe began. No
explanation for inherent ideas is offered by science that will do more than
say, "they exist." These were actually taught originally to the mass of Egos
who are engaged in this earth's evolution; they were imprinted or burned
into their natures, and have, and are always been recollected; they follow
the Ego through the long pilgrimage to final Perfection.

It has been often thought that the opposition to reincarnation has been
solely based on prejudice, when not due to a dogma which can only stand when
the free Mind is bound down and prevented from using its own powers. 

It is a doctrine the most noble of all, and with its companion one of Karma,
it alone gives the basis for ethics. 

extracts from The OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY 

Best wishes,



-----Original Message-----
From: Johanes Soetarjono [] 
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 5:48 AM

Subject: [bn-study] Re: REINCARNATION

my experience in spiritual practices to understanding
what the real happen and mean of reincarnation or the
law of cause and effect in the all content of earth
planet has result like this. All our beautiful planet
always cover with the disordant energies that
defendant or againts the GOD Plan. 


Your truthfully,


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