[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: Theos-World DO WE REMEMBER ?

Apr 09, 2006 07:24 PM
by Cass Silva

"W.Dallas TenBroeck" <> wrote:=20
4/9/2006 3:56:16 AM

Dear Friend:

 Do we remember past incarnations ?=20


TO many it seems puzzling that we do not remember the experiences of the
Higher Self in sleep.=20

But as long as we ask "Why does not the lower self [Kama-Manas, the embodie=
mind] remember these experiences," we shall never have an answer. There is =
contradiction in the question, because the lower self, never having had the
experiences it is required to remember, could not at any time recollect

When sleep comes on, the engine and instrument of the lower personality is
stopped, and can do nothing but what may be called automatic acts. The brai=
is not in use, and hence no consciousness exists for it until the waking
moment returns. The ego, when thus released from the physical chains, from
its hard daily task of living with and working through the bodily organs,
proceeds to enjoy the experiences of the plane of existence which is
peculiarly its own.=20

On that plane it uses a method and processes of thought, and perceives the
ideas appropriate to it through organs different from those of the body.=20

All that it sees and hears (if we may use those terms) appears reversed fro=
our plane. The language, so to say, is a foreign one even to the inner
language used when awake.=20

So, upon reassuming life in the body, all that it has to tell its lower
companion must be spoken in a strange tongue, and for the body that is an
obstruction to comprehension. We hear the words, but only now and then
obtain flashes of their meaning. It is something like the English-speaking
person who knows a few foreign words entering a foreign town and there bein=
only able to grasp those few terms as he hears them among the multitude of
other words and sentences which he does not understand.
What we have to do, then, is to learn the language of the Ego, so that we
shall not fail to make a proper translation to ourselves. For at all times
the language of the plane through which the Ego nightly floats is a foreign
one to the brain we use, and has to be always translated for use by the
brain. If the interpretation is incorrect, the experience of the Ego will
never be made complete to the lower man.=20

But it may be asked if there is an actual language for the Ego, having its
sound and corresponding signs. Evidently not; for, if there were, there
would have been made a record of it during all those countless years that
sincere students have been studying themselves. It is not a language in the
ordinary sense.=20

It is more nearly described as a communication of ideas and experience by
means of pictures.

So with it a sound may be pictured as a color or a figure, and an odor as a
vibrating line; an historical event may be not only shown as a picture, but
also as a light or a shadow, or as a sickening smell or delightful incense;
the vast mineral world may not only exhibit its planes and angles and
colors, but also its vibrations and lights.=20

Or, again, the ego may have reduced its perceptions of size and distance fo=
its own purposes, and, having the mental capacity for the time of the ant,
it may report to the bodily organs a small hole as an abyss, or the grass o=
the field as a gigantic forest. These are adduced by way of example, and ar=
not to be taken as hard and fast lines of description.

Upon awakening, a great hindrance is found in our own daily life and terms
of speech and thought to the right translation of these experiences, and TH=

This leads us unerringly to virtue and knowledge, for the vices and the
passions eternally becloud our perception of the meaning of what the Ego
tries to tell us.=20

It is for this reason that the sages inculcate virtue. Is it not plain that=
if the vicious could accomplish the translation of the Ego's language, they
would have done it long ago, and is it not known to us all that only among
the virtuous can the Sages be found?

 Eusebio Urban  PATH, June, 1890






(This is a very, very old story. The original is in an ancient Hindu
collection of tales called the Hitopadesa.)

A laughing child running after a butterfly saw a banana peel lying in the
path. He kicked it aside and ran on. Soon, a bent and blind old man came
that way. He would have slipped and fallen into the ditch but for the
impulsive act of the good-natured little boy. For this unconscious deed, th=
Karma of his next life saved the boy from being struck by a great tumbling
stone on that very path.

The life and the =EF=BF=BDlives=EF=BF=BD that make up every thing never rea=
lly die. They
only change forms in their way as we do in ours. So, once again, the banana
peel is found lying in a path. Wandering wearily and hungrily along, a beg
gar saw the peel and picked it up, hoping to find a morsel of food. But no;
it was only a peel; so he threw it away, saying to himself, =EF=BF=BDThis i=
s my
Karma.=EF=BF=BD Then along came a fat merchant, whose unfaithful servant th=
e beggar
had been in a former life. Not watching the path, the merchant would have
had a bad fall, but for the beggar=EF=BF=BDs care to throw aside the banana=
This action, and the beggar=EF=BF=BDs acceptance of his own lot, made him a
respected master of caravans in his next incarnation.

Again the picture changes, this time showing a desert warrior mounted on a
dromedary, a =EF=BF=BDflying camel,=EF=BF=BD as the Arabs say. All day he h=
ad been pursuing
a fleeing enemy. Now, at last, he was gaining in the chase, even though his
hungry dromedary was stumbling from exhaustion. Seeing the banana peel in
the track, the warrior bethought him of his faithful mount. He stopped that
it might eat this delicious tidbit =EF=BF=BD delicious, that is, for a came=
Meanwhile, the enemy escaped; but in the next life, for his kindness this
warrior was reborn as a beneficent teacher of gods, men, and beasts.

Next, a =EF=BF=BDtrue believer,=EF=BF=BD a Sudra or servant, walking humbly=
, as befits all
men, whatever their caste, stepped on the banana peel. =EF=BF=BDAh,=EF=BF=
=BD he thought,
=EF=BF=BDbut for my good Karma, I might have fallen. Perchance another woul=
d not be
so blessed.=EF=BF=BD So he tossed the peel into a little stream to feed the=
in the river below. For his humbleness and for his brotherhood, this Sudra
was reborn as a Hotri, or Family Priest.

Then a proud Brahmin=EF=BF=BDone noble in name=EF=BF=BDcame upon the banana=
 peel in his
path. He communed with himself, saying, =EF=BF=BDEvery man reaps in the fut=
ure the
fruits of all his acts. If, therefore, I take this peel from the pathway, I
shall have done a deed of merit, and be re warded by Karma in my next life.=
So mused the Brahmin, and he carefully removed the peel. For this crafty
thought of self, the proud Brahmin was born in a lower caste in his next

Finally, the same lives which have been through all these
changes=EF=BF=BD=EF=BF=BDtransmigrations=EF=BF=BD=EF=BF=BDare once more in =
the form of a discarded banana
peel. Along comes a true Yogi, one who has risen above all rules of caste
and custom. In him, Soul, and Mind, and Body have each found their rightful
sphere of Karma. As he walks, the Yogi is meditating in his heart gentle
service to all that lives. In his mind, he is pondering the words that he
will say at the next village. In his body, all the senses are alert in thei=
sentinel duties. His eyes catch sight of the banana peel. His arm reaches,
his fingers grasp the peel, putting it to one side, and the senses then
resume their watchfulness, without troubling either the mind or the heart o=
the Yogi. Thenceforth, all that are touched by the Yogi, in this or any
future life, will be blessed by the contact, and themselves be led to find
and follow the path of service.




He was the son of a ruler in Rajpootana. His father governed a district,
including several villages as well as his own small town, with justice and
wisdom, so that all were prosperous and happy. The ruler was called a Rajah=
he lived in a building made of stone, built on a hill that commanded the
town. The son was born after the Rajah had been for many years childless,
and was the only child to whom the father=EF=BF=BDs honors and power could =

He was named Rama after the great Avatar. From the time he was born and
until he could speak, a strange look was always to be seen in his baby eyes=
a look that gazed at you without flinching, as if he had some design on you=
and yet at times it seemed to show that he was laughing at himself, sorry,
too; melancholy at times.

Rama grew up and delighted his father with his goodness and strength of
mind. The strange glance of his eye as a baby remained with him, so that
while every one loved him, they all felt also a singular respect that was
sometimes awe. His studies were completed, and he began to take part in the
administration of the affairs of the old and now feeble rajah.

Rama felt a great need of being alone. Every day he retired to his room,
unattended, and on the fourteenth of each month spent the entire day alone.
He felt a weight upon his heart which did not come from this life. He had
had no sorrow, had lost no bright possession; his ambitions were all
fulfilled. He longed to know what was before him yet to learn. This was why
he spent his time in self- searching and meditation. So, he came to find
that his higher self spoke one language, and the personal self another. He
came to see that the personal self weighted him down with the chains of
ignorance, and that his must be a search, not for possessions, but for
knowledge, no matter where the search should take him. Then, one day, a
vision passed before him of the poverty and the riches that might be his, o=
huts and buildings of stone, as he went on his way to enlightenment. But
after this, he was no longer troubled, no longer sorrowful; his mind was at

His old father died, and he carried on the government for many years,
scattering blessings in every direction, until a rival rajah came and
demanded all his possessions, showing a claim to them through a forgotten
branch of the family. Instead of rejecting the claim, which was just,
instead of slaying the rival as he could have done, Rama resigned all,
retired to the forest, and died, after a few years of austerity.

The wheel of time rolled on and Rama was reborn in a town governed by the
Rajah who had once in a former life demanded Rama=EF=BF=BDs possessions. Bu=
t now
Rama was poor, unknown, an outcaste, a chandalah who swept up garbage and
hoped that Karma might help him. He knew not that he was Rama; he only swep=
the garbage near the Rajah=EF=BF=BDs palace.

A solemn audience was held by the Rajah with all the priests and the
soothsayers present. Troubled by a dream of the night before, the
superstitious ruler called them in to interpret, to state causes learnedly,
to prescribe scriptural palliative measures. He had dreamed that while
walking in his garden, hearing from his treasurer an account of his
increasing wealth, a huge stone building seemed suddenly to grow up before
him. As he stopped amazed, it toppled over and seemed to bury him and his
wealth. Three times repeated, this filled him with fear.

The astrologers retired and consulted their books. The remedy was plain, on=
suggested. =EF=BF=BDLet the King give up a vast sum of money to morrow to t=
he first
person he sees after waking up.=EF=BF=BD This decision was accepted, and th=
e pro
poser of it intended to be on hand early so as to claim the money. The Raja=
agreed to the direction of the stars, and retired for the night, full of hi=
resolution to give immense gifts next day.=20

No horrid dreams disturbed his sleep. The winking stars moved over the vaul=
of heaven, and of all the hosts the moon seemed to smile upon the city as i=
she heard and knew all. The cold early morning, dark with promise of dawn,
saw the chandalah, =EF=BF=BD once Rama=EF=BF=BD sweeping up the garbage nea=
r the palace
where inside the Rajah was just awaking. The last star in heaven seemed to
halt as if anxious that Rama should come in his sweeping to the side of the
palace from which the Rajah=EF=BF=BDs window opened. Slowly the Rajah=EF=BF=
=BDs waking
senses returned, and as they came a hideous memory of his dream flashed on
him. Starting up from the mat on which he lay, he rose and seemed to think.

=EF=BF=BDWhat was I to do? Yes, give gifts. But it is not yet day. Still th=
e oracle
said =EF=BF=BDimmediately on awakening=EF=BF=BD.=EF=BF=BD

As he hesitated, the poor garbage sweeper outside came more nearly in front
of his window. The setting star almost seemed to throw a beam through the
wall that struck and pushed him to the window. Flinging open the shutter to
get breath, he looked down, and there before him was the poor chandalah wit=
waistcloth and no turban, sweating with exertion, hastening on with the tas=
that when finished would leave the great Rajah=EF=BF=BDs grounds clean and =
ready for
their lord.

=EF=BF=BDThank the gods,=EF=BF=BD said the Rajah, =EF=BF=BDit is fate; a ju=
st decision; to the poor
and the pious should gifts be given.=EF=BF=BD

At an early hour he gathered his ministers and priests together and said=EF=
give gifts to the devas through the poor; I redeem my vow. Call the
chandalah who early this morning swept the ground.=EF=BF=BD

Rama was called and thought it was for prison or death. But the Rajah amaze=
him with a gift of many thousands of rupees, and as the chandalah, now rich=
passed out, he thought he smelt a strange familiar odor and saw a dazzling
form flash by. =EF=BF=BDThis,=EF=BF=BD thought he, =EF=BF=BDis a deva.=EF=

The money made Rama rich. He established himself and invited Brahmins to
teach others; he distributed alms, and one day he caused a huge building of
stone to be built with broken stone chains on its sides to represent how
fate ruptured his chains. And later on a wise seer, a Brahmin of many
austerities, looking into his life, told him briefly,

=EF=BF=BDNext life thou art free. Thy name is Rama.=EF=BF=BD

[  An explanation:=20=20

Here in this body we store flesh and blood and tissue, made out of the food
we eat. This is our physical body. We have a body of breath of life, too,
don=EF=BF=BDt we, all through our physical body? It is called Prana.=20

We have a finer body within to which our nerves belong, where we store the
desire and taste for food. This is our sensation body, and also our pattern
body which causes us to keep the same =EF=BF=BDlook,=EF=BF=BD no matter how=
 we change our
looks. It is called the astral body.

And there are other bodies, too, each of which is a storehouse of its kind.
Our mind is a kind of body, mixed with our desires, our Kama nature, but
this is our lower mind. So, of course, the Ego has a body made of very fine
substance indeed, which it always keeps as a storehouse for true Thought an=
true Feeling=EF=BF=BDwhether in this body, or in countless others. This is =
Manas, and because it is the roadway by which the Soul=EF=BF=BDs knowledge =
comes to us in our earthly body, we call it the spiritual body.

We all have just such a body right now, though we can=EF=BF=BDt see it with=
eyes, just as some boys and girls can not see the fiery lives in the air.
When we go to sleep at night it is in this finer body we really live.=20

When we sleep, this physical body is dead, so far as anything happening
around us is concerned. But, of course, the Ego comes back into it again
after sleeping, whereas, when we die, we no longer can come back to it, but
must seek another new body. We are very wise people, all of us, when we are
sound asleep, be cause we see and know all the things we ever knew in all
our former bodies on earth. Some times even, we know it here, and then we
call it Intuition (Buddhi).

When we leave our bodies at death, we just live in that finer body we were
speaking of, which the Ego always keeps. We rest, and get ready to come bac=
to earth again. Some people wait longer than others do; some wait thousands
of years; and some perhaps wait only a very few years.=20

We call this waiting-place between death and birth again, Devachan. (Deva=
god; chan=EF=BF=BDplace.) Only, you see, it isn=EF=BF=BDt a =EF=BF=BDplace=
=EF=BF=BD you go to by train or
airplane. If I were to say, =EF=BF=BDCharley is in a tantrum,=EF=BF=BD you =
would not go
looking for Charley in any place, for you would know that it was Charley=EF=
condition, or state of mind, I spoke of. So, =EF=BF=BDHelen is in a state o=
f great
excitement,=EF=BF=BD might mean she was upstairs, or out in the Street; bec=
ause the
place didn=EF=BF=BDt have anything to do with the condition she was in. It =
was the
condition that was the =EF=BF=BDplace,=EF=BF=BD really.=20

=EF=BF=BDDevachan=EF=BF=BD may be in any place, for it is really a state, o=
r condition, of
great happiness, while we are alive; and when we are no longer in the body,
it is a state of freedom from all earthly cares and tasks,=EF=BF=BDjust the
vacation-time between school- terms on earth.

We come to earth to learn. But there is so much to learn on any earth that
is even more than eighteen millions of years old! Some Egos stay in their
bodies only ten minutes, ten months, ten years. What could they learn in
that short time? Even if one lived to be a hundred and fifty years old, he
could learn very little of this old earth.=20

Think how many peoples, nations, savage tribes are on the earth today=EF=BF=
many languages are spoken=EF=BF=BDhow differently they all live! But to kno=
w all of
them he could know would be only a small part of what a man has before him
to know. He would also have to know where all these people came from, how
the earth was formed in which they live; he would have to look back even to
continents before this present one rose out of the sea. He would have to
know about all the stars in the heavens; know how to create wonderful books=
pictures, statues, music, and more things than we can even name. We have
very little time to learn in one life.=20

We spend so much time in sleeping and eating, you know, and we waste so muc=
time by not knowing what are the right things to learn! What do you think i=
the most important thing? So we learn only a few lessons in one life; a few
new lessons in the next, and we go on learning until we have learned all.

Another reason for coming back to this earth is, we have left unsettled
debts of Karma, and we have to come back to pay them. Do you remember seein=
the farmers plow and plant the barley in the fields after the rains began?
Where did you expect them to harvest their barley crop? In the fields where
they sowed the seed, of course; not in fields in some other country across
the ocean! We get in debt here on this earth, and we come back here to pay
it, to the very ones we owed.=20

Nor must we think it is debts only to persons that we owe. We owe a debt to
the mineral kingdom, to the vegetable kingdom=EF=BF=BDour younger brothers,=
They all have furnished us with food, or clothing, or service of some kind.
Think of the precious metals and gems under the earth; of the mineral salts
in our vegetables; of how certain herbs heal diseases; of how the silk-worm
gives us beautiful silks; how numberless are the services of cow and sheep
and horse and elephant! We come back to help all those kingdoms, too, for
have we not learned that it is the same life in them that is in us all?

Everything reincarnates. The life that is in the seed expands into a plant
that blooms, and fruits, and goes to seed again; again the seed takes up a
new life-cycle. The tiny cells in our bodies break down and the =EF=BF=BDso=
ul=EF=BF=BD of
them, or the nucleus, reincarnates somewhere else in our bodies. The life
that is in the wood is released by fire to the form of gas; the water, from
freezing, reincarnates as ice; or from boiling, takes the form of steam and
gas. The larva becomes a worm, then a cocoon, and at last becomes a

Do animals reincarnate? Of course, animals reincarnate, too. But even thoug=
a dog dreams, it is not the way we dream, and so dogs can not have a
Devachan, of course. The dog-=EF=BF=BDmind=EF=BF=BD is not a thought-mind, =
or an
imagining-mind. No matter how devoted a dog may be to its master, it could
not in the master=EF=BF=BDs absence picture what the master looks like. It =

=3D=3D=3D message truncated =3D=3D=3D

Love cheap thrills? Enjoy PC-to-Phone  calls to 30+ countries for just 2=A2=
/min with Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application