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Theosophical doctrines draw attention to basic concepts

Jan 23, 2006 04:16 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck


Theosophical doctrines draw our attention to some basic concepts:--
1.       The Universe is All.  IT has no limits, either in space  
                        or in time.  It is Immortal.  It is Life.
2.       The Universe operates under cyclic Law.  Law cannot be
                       broken.  It supports universal progression.  Morally 
                       It can be said to provide justice and compassion to 
                       all beings.  Universe = Nature in toto.
3.       Each being is a unit of Life.  In its essence it is
                        ray of the Universal One.  The unit is variously   
                        called" Monad, or "Life-atom," etc... it is a       

                        "perpetual motion machine" and is an immortal
                        it passes through all evolutionary processes, 
                        acquiring intelligence and experience.
                        It is analogous to a solar system, or to a galaxy.
4.       Every being shares in the immortality of the One in its 
                        essence.  It therefore cannot be destroyed or 
                        annihilated as a Unit of Life.  Life or energy
                        is universal, and in its diversity it animates
                        every "unit of life."
5.       In essence each "part" (Unit of Life), is united 
                        through 'electro-magnetic' links with all others.
                        There is one whole;  only the 'units' seem to be 
                        separate, divided from one-another in terms of our
                        gross perceptions of "matter."  Their unity is the
                        basis for cooperation expressed in brief as 
                        Universal Brotherhood.
5.       To make a physical form each 'unit' draws together
                        other units of lesser experience than itself on the
                        "Ladder of Being."  In doing that it makes itself 
                        responsible for their growth and well-being.  Just
                        as a "teacher" makes himself responsible for the
                        progress of many pupils.  It should be noted that
                        while the "Teacher" offers instruction based on   
                        his experience, it is the responsibility of the
                        "pupils" to test and adopt it when they are 
                        satisfied as to its accuracy.  We call this, in
                        general terms : Evolution, when viewed as a whole.
6.       Any "form," serves temporarily as a place for those               
                        beings of lesser experience to acquire more ex- 
                        perience and thus have opportunity to "advance."
                        Under the operation of LAW, Karma, they acquire,
                        each in its own way, a wider experience, a higher 
                        degree of consciousness.  All those who have not
                        yet reached the "human-mind" state, are called   
                        non-self-conscious "life-atoms."           They are
                        cipient men-to-be.  They inform for the moment,
                        the elemental, mineral, vegetable and animal       
                        kingdoms, or divisions, of Nature.
7.       When the level of self-consciousness (mind, manas, man,           
                        soul) is achieved by any of the "lives,"
                        proceeds further, as a human being, through the
                        process of reincarnation, using many successive
                        physical bodies.  All live in the same framework
                        of law, progression and mutual support.  The     
                        whole evolutionary scheme is a vast brotherhood.
                        In the man-mind condition/stage, progress is by
                        trial/error, and thus the awareness or attentive
                        faculty is developed as the individual studies 
                        the operation of universal laws operating in and
                        around him.
8.       Like the Universe, man is seven-fold in constitution:
          1.   Spirit            - Atman, (a "Ray" of the Divine.
          2.   Discrimination-Intuition-Conscience 
                                    - Buddhi, ( memory of experiences)
          3.   Thinking, Intellection, Reason,           
                                    - Mind - Manas, (choice & free will
          4.   Emotion, Sensation, Selfishness -      
                                    - Kama,           ( desire, passion )
          5.   Vitality, Life-energy, magnetism -      
                                    - Prana, Jiva  (vitality, life-force)
          6.   Electro-magnetic model form - 
                                    - Astral body,  (electro-magnetic form)
          7.   Physical Body.  (Known to us.)
9.       The Universe, Man, and all other beings go through an evolutionary
cycle which is seven-fold, covering an immense time, during which each being
passes through every one of the seven phases that this seven-fold scheme
provides, so that each may secure the highest degree of perfection by its
own experiences and voluntary decisions.  All progress is by self-effort.  [
Very much as in our educational system.]
10.       The self-conscious man, in which Manas (mind) or
self-consciousness is the active principle, makes decisions.  Motive
actuates Karma.  If the decisions are universally-based, 'good' and progress
for the unit, and the whole accrues rapidly.  Should decisions be
self-focused, as opposed to the general good, 'evil' results.  Karma thus
actuated, teaches the unit through disciplining circumstances what the ideal
decisions ought to be.  Thus evolution proceeds.  All karmic events are the
direct result of the choices that are individually made.
11.       Graduates from this "School-of-Life" face the choice or
responsibility of becoming, in their turn, "teachers."  That is, of actively
assisting in the process of diffusing and explaining this universal
process.  They are superior men. [ Similar to the Professors in our
12.       These are designated Sages, Wise Men, Adepts, Masters-of-Wisdom,
Arhats, 	Bodhisattvas, Buddhas, Dhyan Chohans, Tathagatas, Prophets,
	[ In history we may name Jesus, Gautama the Buddha, Krishna,
Pythagoras, Lao     
            Tse, Plato, Shankaracharya, Apollonius of Tyana, and many
others.]  they all came as 	reformers, and if their original teachings
are compared it will be found that they all 
            taught the same metaphysical doctrines and practical ethics.
13.       The process of securing experience by mankind is 
            called reincarnation.  The "Life-atom" that is self-
            conscious, or the Real Man,  uses a physical body which is
            assembled, as above described for it to live in.  In this
            life process it not only advances (or recedes) depending on
            its choices, but at the same time serves to assist and 
            elevate by its example the whole mass of "life-atoms" for
            which it has specific karmic responsibilities.   
                        At death the man-consciousness passes first into a
            state called Kama-Loka, where a separation between the          
            moral and the immoral occurs.  A “Second death" occurs in a
            short while and the immoral side of one's nature is allowed 
            to disintegrate gradually in the astral plane of Kama-Loka.  
            The higher, immortal Ego, the moral side of our being, 
            passes into a state called Devachan, which has three stages
            1st the rupa-loka, where the consciousness of the Ego is
            occupied with the aspirational and noble feelings, thoughts
            and actions of the last personal life.  This process of       
            assimilation being over, the MIND-EGO enters a spiritual
            plane where, united with the "Ray" of the Universal Spirit,
            it is quasi-omniscient.  This 2nd stage is called the
            arupa-loka [formless stage].  In that condition it is able
            to review the life last lived within the perspective of all 
            previous lives, and thus trace the line of its Karma.  The
            3rd stage is one of preparation for a new incarnation, and
            it begins to draw to itself those personal elements 
            (skandhas) which will be used to make up its new 
     A brief, concise and helpful description of Devachan is 
"...Devachan is a state where the Ego enjoys and does not suffer, suffering
being reserved for the earth life.  It is not a question of memory strictly
speaking, but is a state where the causes generated on this earth which can
exhaust in no other state, do so exhaust themselves, leaving the causes
relating to this plane of earth life to be afterwards exhausted here, and as
it is, like this life, a state of illusion, the Ego naturally enlarges all
its conceptions of what it thought best and highest when it was alive, for
such are the causes that relate to that state."
   	WQJ--Pract. Occ. p. 258-9
     "As physical existence has its cumulative intensity from infancy to
prime, and its diminishing energy thenceforward to dotage and death, so the
dream-life of devachan is lived correspondentially...[bottom]  As in actual
earth-life, so there is for the Ego in devachan--the first flutter of
psychic life, the attainment of prime, the gradual exhaustion of force
passing into semi-unconsciousness, gradual oblivion and lethargy, total
oblivion and--not death but birth:  birth into another personality, and the
resumption of action which daily begets new congeries of causes, that must
be worked out in another term of Devachan, and still another physical
rebirth as a (196) new personality..."             M L (Barker) p. 195
            Lower in the same page we find:-- 
     "...the sensations, perceptions and ideation of a devachanee in
Rupa-Loka, will of course, be of a less subjective nature than they would be
in Arupa-Loka, in both of which the devachanic experiences will vary in
their presentation to the subject-entity, not only as regards form, color,
and substance, but also in their formative potentialities.  But not even the
most exalted experience of a monad in the highest devachanic state in
Arupa-Loka (the last of the seven states)--is comparable to that perfectly
subjective condition of pure spirituality from which the monad emerged to
"descend into matter," and to which at the completion of the grand cycle it
must return. [ on to p. 200]...The "reward provided by nature for men who
are benevolent in a large, systematic way" and who have not focused their
affections upon an individual or specialty, is that--if pure--they pass the
quicker for that through the Kama and Rupa Lokas into the higher sphere of
Tribhuvana, since it is one where the formulation of abstract ideas and the
consideration of general principles fill the thought of its
occupants."                     M L (Barker) p. 199
          "The spiritual Ego of man moves in Eternity like a pendulum
between the hours of life and death.  But if these hours marking the periods
of terrestrial and spiritual life are limited in their duration, and if the
very number of such stages in Eternity between sleep and awakening, illusion
and reality, has its beginning and its end, on the other hand the spiritual
"Pilgrim" is eternal.  
          "Therefore are the hours of his post-mortem life--when,
disembodied he stands face to face with truth and not the mirages of his
transitory earthly existences during the period of that pilgrimage which we
call "the cycle of rebirths"--the only reality in our conception..."
          HPB Art. II 203
          "Every Spiritual Individuality has a gigantic evolutionary journey
to perform, a tremendous gyratory progress to accomplish...from first to
last of the man-bearing planets, as on each of them, the monad has to pass
through seven successive races of man...Each of the 7 races send 7 ramifying
branchlets from the Parent Branch:  and through each of these in turn man
has to evolute before he passes on to the next higher race;  and that seven
times...The branchlets typify varying specimens of humanity--physically and
spiritually--and no one of us can miss one single rung of the ladder...There
are other and innumerable manvantaric chains of globes bearing intelligent
beings--both in and out of our solar system--the crowns or apexes of
evolutionary being in their respective chains, some--physically and
intellectually--lower, others immeasurably higher than the man of our
chain."       M L (Barker) p. 119
            Nature of Consciousness--Monad--Man's Evolutionary Rounds
            "...Man (physically) is a compound of all the kingdoms, and
spiritually--his individuality is no worse for being shut up within the
casing of an ant than it is for being inside a king.  It is not the outward
or physical shape that dishonors and pollutes the five principles--but the
mental perversity.  

Then it is but at his fourth round when arrived at the full possession of
his Kama-energy and is completely matured, that man becomes fully
responsible, as at the sixth he may become a  Buddha and at the seventh
before the Pralaya--a "Dhyan Chohan."...

He starts downward as a simply spiritual entity--an unconscious seventh
principle (a Parabrahm in contradistinction to Para-parabrahm)--with the
germs of the other six principles lying latent and dormant in him...(76) [
follows a description of stages of differentiation, round by round, a kind
of 'gestation' process ]...

Volition and consciousness are at the same time self-determining and
determined by causes, and the volitions of man, his intelligence and
consciousness will awake but when his (77) fourth principle Kama is matured
and completed by its (seriatim) contact with the Kamas or energizing forces
of all the forms man has passed through in his previous three rounds.  

The present mankind is at its fourth round ( a genus...) the
individual entities in them are unconsciously to themselves performing their
local earthly sevenfold cycles--hence the vast difference in the degrees of
their intelligence, energy and so on.  Now every individuality will be
followed on its ascending arc by the Law of retribution--Karma and death

The perfect man or the entity which reaches full perfection, (each of his
seven principles being matured) will not be reborn here.  His local
terrestrial cycle is completed...(The incomplete entities have to be reborn
or reincarnated)...

On their fifth round after a partial Nirvana when the zenith of the grand
cycle is reached, they will be held responsible henceforth in their descents
from sphere to sphere, as they will have to appear on this earth as a still
more perfect and intellectual race.  

This downward course has not begun but will soon...The above is the rule. 
The Buddhas and Avatars form the exception as verily we have yet some
Avatars left to us on earth." 
    	M L (Barker)  p. 75-77
            Absorption of Lower Principles into Higher Ones after Death
            "The world of effects are not lokas or localities.  They are the
shadow of the world of causes their souls--worlds having like men their
seven principles which develop and grow simultaneously with the body.  

Thus the body of man [physical form] is wedded to and remains for ever
within the body of his planet;  his individual jivatma life principle that
which is called in physiology (72) animal spirits returns after death to its
source--Fohat;  his linga shariram [astral body]  will be drawn into Akasa; 
his kamarupa will recommingle with the Universal Sakti--the Will-Force, or
universal energy;  his 'animal soul' [kama-manas] borrowed from the breath
of Universal Mind will return to the Dhyan Chohans;  his sixth principle
[Buddhi] --whether drawn into or ejected from the matrix of the Great
Passive Principle must remain in its own sphere--either as part of the crude
material or as an individualized entity to be reborn in a higher world of
causes.  The seventh [ATMA] will carry it from the Devachan and follow the
new Ego to its place of re-birth..."                     M.L. p. 71-2
            "You want to know why it is deemed supremely difficult if not
utterly impossible for pure disembodied Spirits to communicate with men
through mediums...        
     (a)  On account of the antagonistic atmospheres       
                                    respectively surrounding these worlds;
     (b)  Of the entire dissimilarity of physiological and     
                                    spiritual conditions; and --
     (c)  Because that chain of worlds I have just been telling you about,
is not only an epicycloid but an elliptical orbit of existences, having, as
every ellipse, not one but two points--two foci, which can never approach
each other;  Man being at one focus of it and pure Spirit at the other...but
there is still another and far mightier impediment...the concatenation of
worlds of Causes and worlds of Effects, the latter -- the direct result
produced by the former.  Thus it becomes evident that every sphere (48) of
Causes and our Earth is one--is not only interlinked with, and surrounded
by, but actually separated from its nearest neighbor--the higher sphere of
Causality--by an impenetrable atmosphere (in its spiritual sense) of effects
bordering on, and even interlinking, never mixing with--the next sphere: 
for one is active, the other--passive, the world of causes positive, that of
     	M.L. (Barker)  p. 45
              Kama-Loka -- Rupa-Loka and Arupa-Loka
     "The speculations of the Western mind have hitherto scarcely ever
depicted any higher future life than that of the Kama and Rupa lokas, or the
lower, intra-terrestrial "spirit-worlds."... All depends on the degree of
the monad's spirituality and aspirations.  

The astral body of the 4th principle--called Kama, because inseparable from 
Kama loka, the monad has to work itself free of the still finer yet equally
potent attractions of its Manas before it ever reaches in its series of
Devachanic states, the upper-Arupa regions.  Therefore there are various
degrees of Devachanees.  In those of the Arupa [formless] lokas the entities
are as subjective and truly "not even as material as that ethereal
body-shadow--the Mayavirupa."  And yet even there, we affirm there is still
"actual companionship."  But only very few reach there skipping the lower

There are those Devachanees, men of the highest moral caliber and goodness
when on earth, who, owing to their sympathy for old intellectual researches
and especially for unfinished mental work, are for centuries in the
Rupa-lokas in a strict Devachanic isolation--literally so, since men and
loved relatives have all vanished out of sight before this intense and
purely spiritual passion for intellectual pursuit... This is Tanha (Hindu 
Trishna) or an unsatisfied yearning which must exhaust itself before the
entity can move on to the purely a-rupa condition.  A provision is made for
every case, and in each case it is created by the dying man's last,
uppermost desire.  

The scholar who has mainly lived under the influence of manas, and for the
pleasure of developing his highest physical intelligence, kept absorbed in
the mysteries of the material universe, will still be magnetically held by
his mental attractions to scholars and their work, (33) influencing and
being influenced by them subjectively--(though in a manner quite different
from that known in seance-rooms and by mediums), until the energy exhausts
itself and Buddhi becomes the only regnant influence.  The same rule applies
to all the activities, whether of passion or sentiment, which entangle the
traveling monad (the Individuality) in the relationships of any given

The disincarnate must consecutively mount each ring of the ladder of being
upward from the earthly subjective to the absolutely subjective.  And when
this limited Nirvanic state of Devachan is attained, the entity enjoys it
and its vivid though spiritual realities until that phase of Karma is
satisfied and the physical attraction to the next earth-life asserts
itself...According to the Esoteric Doctrine this evolution is not viewed as
the extinguishment of individual consciousness but its infinite expansion.  

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

The record of those relationships imperishably endures in the Akasa, and
they can always be reviewed when in any birth, the being evolves his latent
spiritual powers to the "4th stage of Dhyana;"...when the personal
links--magnetic or psychic, as one may prefer to call them--binding the
Devachanee to other entities of that next previous life, whether relatives,
friends, or family, are worn out, he is free to move on in his cyclic path. 
Were this obliteration of personal ties not a fact, each being would be
traveling around the Kalpa entangled in the meshes of his past relationships
with his myriad fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, wives, etc., etc., of
his numberless births:  a jumble indeed! ..."           Theos Articles. &
Notes p. 32-4
            "Who goes to Deva Chan ?"  The personal Ego of course, but
beatified, purified, holy.  Every Ego--the combination of the sixth and
seventh principles--which, after the period of unconscious gestation is
reborn into the Deva-Chan, is of necessity as innocent and pure as a
new-born babe.  The fact of his being (101) reborn at all, shows the
preponderance of good over evil in his old personality.  And while the Karma
(of evil) steps aside for the time being to follow him in his future
earth-reincarnation, he brings along with him but the Karma of his good
deeds, words, and thoughts into this Deva-Chan...all those who have not
slipped down into the mire of unredeemable sin and bestiality--go to
Deva-Chan.  They will have to pay for their sins, voluntary and involuntary,
later on.  Meanwhile they are rewarded;  receive the effects of the causes
produced by them."
            Of course it is a state, one, so to say, of intense selfishness,
during which an Ego reaps the reward of his unselfishness on earth.  He is
completely engrossed in the bliss of all his personal earthly affections,
preferences and thoughts, and gathers in the fruit of his meritorious
actions.  No pain, no grief nor even the shadow or a sorrow comes to darken
the bright horizon of his unalloyed happiness:  for, it is a state of
perpetual "Maya."...Since the conscious perception of one's personality on
earth is but an evanescent dream that sense will be equally that of a dream
in the Deva-Chan--only a hundred fold intensified.  So much so, indeed, that
the happy Ego is unable to see through the veil the evils, sorrows and woes
to which those it loved on earth may be subjected to.  It lives in that
sweet dream with its loved ones--whether gone before, or yet remaining on
earth;  it has them near itself, as happy, as blissful and as innocent as
the disembodied dreamer himself;  and yet, apart from rare visions, the
denizens of our gross planet feel it not.  It is in this, during such a
condition of complete Maya that the Souls or astral Egos of pure, loving
sensitives, laboring under the same illusion, think their loved ones come
down to them on earth, while it is their own Spirits that are raised towards
those in the Deva-Chan.  Many of the subjective spiritual
communications--most of them when the sensitives are pure minded--are real; 
but it is most difficult for the uninitiated medium to fix in his mind the
true and correct pictures of what he sees and hears...The spirit of the
sensitive getting odylised, so to say, by the aura of the Spirit in the
Deva-Chan, becomes for a few minutes that departed personality, and writes
in the hand writing of the latter, in his language and in his thoughts, as
they were during his life time.  The two spirits become blended in one; 
and, the preponderance of one over the other during such phenomena
determines the preponderance of personality in the characteristics exhibited
in such writings, and "trance speaking."       M L (Barker) p. 101
            Devachan not Monotonous  --  Unaware of Death Event
                                    Time spent in Kama-Loka
            "Love and Hatred are the only immortal feelings, the only
survivors from the wreck of Ye-damma, of the phenomenal world.  Imagine
yourself in Deva-Chan with those you may have loved with such immortal
love...--a perfect blank for everything else relating to your interior,
social, political, literary and social life.  And then, in the face of that
spiritual, purely cogitative existence, of that unalloyed felicity which, in
proportion with the intensity of the feelings that created it, lasts from a
few to several thousand years,--call it the "personal remembrance of
A.P.S."-- if you can.  
Dreadfully monotonous!--you may think.--Not in the least--I answer.  Have
you experienced monotony during--say--...the moment of highest bliss you
have ever felt?--Of course not...where there is no consciousness of an
external world there can be no discernment to mark differences, hence,--no
perception of contrasts of monotony or variety;  nothing in short, outside
that immortal feeling of love and sympathetic attractions whose seeds are
planted in the fifth [manas], whose plants blossom luxuriantly in and around
the fourth [kama], but whose roots have to penetrate deep into the sixth
[buddhi] principle, if it would survive the lower groups...we create
ourselves our devachan as our avitchi while yet on earth, and mostly during
the latter days and even moments of our intellectual, sentient lives.  

That feeling (128) which is the strongest in us at that supreme hour;  when,
as in a dream the events of a long life, to their minutest details, are
marshaled in the greatest order in a few seconds in our vision, (FN.:  That
vision takes place when a person is already proclaimed dead.  The brain is
the last organ that dies.)-- that feeling will become the fashioner of our
bliss or woe, the life principle of our future existence.  In the latter we
have no substantial being, but only a present and momentary
existence,--whose duration has no bearing upon, as no effect, or relation to
its being...The real full remembrance of our lives will come but at the end
of the minor cycle--not before.  In Kama Loka those who retain their
remembrance, will not enjoy it at the supreme hour of recollection. -- Those
who know they are dead in their physical bodies--can only be adepts
or--sorcerers;  and these two are exceptions to the general rule.  Both
having been "co-workers with nature," the former for good, the latter--for
bad, in her work of creation and in that of destruction, they are the only
ones who may be called immortal--in the Kabalistic and the esoteric sense of

Complete or true immortality,--which means an unlimited sentient existence,
can have no breaks and stoppages, no arrest of Self-consciousness.  And even
the shells of those good men whose page will not be found missing in the
great Book of Lives at the threshold of the Great Nirvana, even they will
regain their remembrance and an appearance of Self-consciousness, only after
the 6th [buddhi] and 7th [atma] principles with the essence of the 5th
[manas] (the latter having to furnish the material for even that partial
recollection of personality which is necessary for the object in
Deva-Chan)--have gone to the gestation period, not before...

Thus, when a man dies, his "Soul" (5th prin.) becomes unconscious and loses
all remembrance of things internal as well as external.  Whether his stay in
Kama Loka has to last but a few moments, hours, days, weeks, months or
years;  whether he died a natural or a violent death;  whether it occurred
in his young or old age, and, whether the Ego was good, bad, or
indifferent,-- his consciousness leaves him as suddenly as the flame leaves
the wick when, blown out.  When life has retired from the last particle in
the brain matter, his perceptive faculties become extinct forever, his
spiritual powers of cognition and volition--(all those faculties in short,
which are neither inherent in, nor acquirable by organic matter)--for the
time being.  His (129) Mayavi Rupa may be often thrown into objectivity, as
in the cases of apparitions after death ..."                         M L, p.

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