Monday, 9 July 2018

Theosophy Basics: Blavatsky on the Number Seven 2


Chapter 9 of Isis Unveiled 2, is full of interesting information on the number seven, so a second post on the topic seemed pertinent:
Read the hymn by Dirghatamas.
"TO HIM WHO REPRESENTS ALL THE GODS."
"The God here present, our blessed patron, our sacrificer, has a brother who spreads himself in mid-air. There exists a third Brother whom we sprinkle with our libations. . . . It is he whom I have seen master of men and armed with seven rays."**
And again:
"Seven Bridles aid in guiding a car which has but ONE wheel, and which is drawn by a single horse that shines with seven rays. The wheel has three limbs, an immortal wheel, never-wearying, whence hang all the worlds."
"Sometimes seven horses drag a car of seven wheels, and seven personages mount it, accompanied by seven fecund nymphs of the water."(411)
With every ancient people, the Creator, or Demiurge, was placed over the seventh heaven. "And were I to touch upon the initiation into our sacred Mysteries," says Emperor Julian, the kabalist, "which the Chaldean bacchised respecting the seven-rayed God, lifting up the souls through Him, I should say things unknown, and very unknown to the rabble, but well known to the blessed Theurgists."( Julian: "In Matrem," p. 173; Julian: "Oratio," v., 172.) In Lydus it is said that "The Chaldeans call the God IAO, and SABAOTH he is often called, as He who is over the seven orbits (heavens, or spheres), that is the Demiurge."( Lyd.: "De Mensibus," iv., 38-74; "Movers," p. 550; Dunlap: "Saba," p. 3.)
One must consult the Pythagoreans and Kabalists to learn the potentiality of this number. Exoterically the seven rays of the solar spectrum are represented concretely in the seven-rayed god Heptaktis. These seven rays epitomized into THREE primary rays, namely, the red, blue, and yellow, form the solar trinity, and typify respectively spirit-matter and spirit-essence. Science has also reduced of late the seven rays to three primary ones, thus corroborating the scientific conception of the ancients of at least one of the visible manifestations of the invisible deity, and the seven divided into a quaternary and a trinity.
The Pythagoreans called the number seven the vehicle of life, as it contained body and soul. They explained it by saying, that the human body consisted of four principal elements, and that the soul is triple, comprising reason, passion, and desire. The ineffable WORD was considered the Seventh and highest of all, for there are six minor substitutes, each belonging to a degree of initiation. The Jews borrowed their Sabbath from the ancients, who called it Saturn's day and deemed it unlucky, and not the latter from the Israelites when Christianized. The people of India, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt observed weeks of seven days; and the Romans learned the hebdomadal method from these foreign countries when they became subject to the Empire. Still it was not until the fourth century that the Roman kalends, nones, and ides were abandoned, and weeks substituted in their place; and the astronomical names of the days, such as dies Solis (day of the Sun), dies Lunae (day of the Moon), dies Martis (day of Mars); dies Mercurii (day of Mercury), dies Jovis (day of Jupiter), dies Veneris (day of Venus), and dies Saturni (day of Saturn), prove that it was not from the Jews that the week of seven days was adopted. Before we examine this number kabalistically, we propose to analyse it from the standpoint of the Judaico-Christian Sabbath. (417-418)
When Moses instituted the yom shaba, or Shebang (Shabbath), the allegory of the Lord God resting from his work of creation on the seventh day was but a cloak, or, as the Sohar expresses it, a screen, to hide the true meaning.
The Jews reckoned then, as they do now, their days by number, as, day the first; day the second; and so on; yom ahad; yom sheni; yom shelisho; yom rebis; yom shamishi; yom shishehi; Yom SHABA.
"The Hebrew seven Hebrew text, consisting of three letters, S. B. O., has more than one meaning. First of all, it means age or cycle, Shab-ang; Sabbath Hebrew textcan be translated old age, as well as rest, and in the old Coptic, Sabe means wisdom, learning. Modern archaeologists have found that as in Hebrew Sab Hebrew textalso means gray-headed, and that therefore the Saba-day was the day on which the "gray-headed men, or 'aged fathers' of a tribe, were in the habit of assembling for councils or sacrifices."( "Westminster Review": Septenary Institutions; "Stone Him to Death." )

"Thus, the week of six days and the seventh, the Saba or Sapta-day period, is of the highest antiquity. The observance of the lunar festivals in India, shows that that nation held hebdomadal meetings as well. With every new quarter the moon brings changes in the atmosphere, hence certain changes are also produced throughout the whole of our universe, of which the meteorological ones are the most insignificant. On this day of the seventh and most powerful of the prismatic days, the adepts of the "Secret Science" meet as they met thousands of years ago, to become the agents of the occult powers of nature (emanations of the working God), and commune with the invisible worlds. It is in this observance of the seventh day by the old sages — not as the resting day of the Deity, but because they had penetrated into its occult power, that lies the profound veneration of all the heathen philosophers for the number seven which they term the "venerable," the sacred number. The Pythagorean Tetraktis, revered by the Platonists, was the square placed below the triangle; the latter, or the Trinity embodying the invisible Monad — the unity, and deemed too sacred to be pronounced except within the walls of a Sanctuary. (417-418)
The Heptaktis is not the Supreme Cause, but simply an emanation from Him — the first visible manifestation of the Unrevealed Power. "His Divine Breath, which, violently breaking forth, condensed itself, shining with radiance until it evolved into Light, and so became cognizant to external sense," says John Reuchlin. ( "Di Verbo Mirifico.") This is the emanation of the Highest, the Demiurge, a multiplicity in a unity, theElohim, whom we see creating our world, or rather fashioning it, in six days, and resting on the seventh. And who are these Elohim but the euhemerized powers of nature, the faithful manifested servants, the laws of Him who is immutable law and harmony Himself?
They remain over the seventh heaven (or spiritual world), for it is they who, according to the kabalists, formed in succession the six material worlds, or rather, attempts at worlds, that preceded our own, which, they say, is the seventh. If, in laying aside the metaphysico-spiritual conception, we give our attention but to the religio-scientific problem of creation in "six days," over which our best biblical scholars have vainly pondered so long, we might, perchance, be on the way to the true idea underlying the allegory. The ancients were philosophers, consistent in all things. Hence, they taught that each of these departed worlds, having performed its physical evolution, and reached — through birth, growth, maturity, old age, and death — the end of its cycle, had returned to its primitive subjective form of a spiritual earth. Thereafter it had to serve through all eternity as the dwelling of those who had lived on it as men, and even animals, but were now spirits. This idea, were it even as incapable of exact demonstration as that of our theologians relating to Paradise, is, at least, a trifle more philosophical. (419-420)
The Chaldeo-Babylonian tablets recently translated by George Smith leave no doubt of that in the minds of those who read the inscriptions esoterically. Ishtar, the great goddess, speaks in column iii. of the destruction of the sixth world and the appearance of the seventh, thus:
"Six days and nights the wind, deluge, and storm overwhelmed.
"On the seventh day, in its course was calmed the storm, and all the deluge,
"which had destroyed like an earthquake,*
"quieted. The sea he caused to dry, and the wind and deluge ended. . . .
"I perceived the shore at the boundary of the sea. . . .
"to the country of Nizir went the ship (argha, or the moon).
"the mountain of Nizir stopped the ship. . . .
"the first day, and the second day, the mountain of Nizir the same.
"the fifth and the sixth, the mountain of Nizir the same.
"on the seventh day, in the course of it
"I sent forth a dove, and it left. The dove went and turned, and . . . the raven went . . . and did not return.
"I built an altar on the peak of the mountain.
"by seven herbs I cut, at the bottom of them I placed reeds, pines, and simgar. . . .
"the gods like flies over the sacrifice gathered.
"from of old also the great God in his course.
(422-23)

Monday, 2 July 2018

Top Posts of 2015


1 Theosophy basics: Blavatsky on the number seven
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/07/theosophy-basics-blavatsky-on-number.html

2 Book Review: Masters of Wisdom: The Mahatmas, Their Letters, and the Path - Edward Abdill
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/07/book-review-masters-of-wisdom-mahatmas.html

3 Blavatsky Interview - Paris, 1884
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/02/blavatsky-interview-paris-1884.html

4 The spiritual meaning of St-John's Day / Midsummer Day / the Summer Solstice
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-spiritual-meaning-of-st-johns-day.html

5 Blavatsky on the Tao and Taoism
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/02/blavatsky-on-tao-and-taoism.html

6 The Spiritual Meaning of Easter 1
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-spiritual-meaning-of-easter.html

7 Book Review: The Esoteric Papers of Madame Blavatsky - Daniel Caldwell
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/09/book-review-madame-blavatskys-esoteric.html

8 King Ashoka on Religious Tolerance - Rock Edict #12
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/02/king-ashoka-on-religious-tolerance-rock.html

9 Are there a specific number of reincarnations?
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/10/are-there-specific-number-of.html

10 Ibn Arabi on the Unity of Religions and Religious Tolerance
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/10/ibn-arabi-on-unity-of-religions-and.html

11 Geoffrey Farthing on Reincarnation
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/08/geoffrey-farthing-on-reincarnation.html
12 Blavatsky and the Kabbalah 1 : the Sefer Yetzirah
https://theosophyproject.blogspot.com/2015/01/blavatsky-and-kabbalah-1-sefer-yetzireh.html

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Astrology: Summer Solstice - June 21 2018


Retro Cool Summer

The Spring season really ushered in a whole new phase as volatile Uranus in Aries shifted to Taurus, marking the end of a turbulent seven year passage.  Moreover, Chiron has moved into Aries, after a six-year stay in Pisces.:
Uranus enters Taurus (May 15th) (last in Taurus from 1935 – 1942). 1. Challenges and transformation of our values, including our self-value. 2. Radical innovations of our financial system on a personal and collective level.3. A shift from external ‘security’ props to internal security. 4. The breakdown of inauthentic false values in the collective. 5. A radical change in our understanding of beauty. 6. Innovations in taking care of the resources on our planet. 7. Major changes in the concept of ‘home’ and ‘housing’.8. Changes in our relationship patterns. (Cosmic Intelligence Agency)
 
Chiron in Aries (April 17th – June 2026): ( last in Aries from 1968-1977) understanding and integrating gaps in your sense of personal empowerment, engaging with your inner fears in a courageous manner, taking chances, in spite of your fear and healing energetic blocks that are connected to the planets that Chiron aspects in your chart during his travels through this sign. (Cosmic Intelligence Agency)
 
Morever, due to retrogradation, Saturn is still at the beginning of Capricorn:
Saturn in Capricorn:  conservation, restrictions, and boundaries to be put in place. […]- Saturn gives you what you deserve and no more. There will be no easy way or shortcuts up the career ladder as Saturn transits Capricorn. Only concentrated and steady progress will bring you the rewards that you deserve. (Café Astrology)
 
The more difficult aspects from the outer planets have faded, leaving three easy aspects, according to Café Astrology:
Jupiter trine Neptune: idealistic and humanitarian goals or impulses surface now. Making connections with others from a different background may figure. Widening our minds through unusual or different experiences can be part of the picture. Generosity and compassion increase and our faith is boosted. We more easily make personal sacrifices.
Saturn trine Uranus: This can be a time of firsts in the primary structures of our lives. Changes we make tend to be deliberate or calculated, but possibly also quite quick. Original ideas may take form, or they might be developed quite successfully now. There is an opportunity to combine stability and improvement or excitement with good results. The same can be said of innovation and tradition.

and the ever-present Neptune sextile Pluto. This is a whole new deal and although the spring quarter saw its share of turmoil, overall, the level of intensity and conflict seems to have mellowed.

 
Retro Cool Summer
At the solstice, four outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto) are retrograde and by the end of the summer, six planets will be retrograde; add Mars (June 26-August 27) and Mercury (July 26th-August 19). Retrograde motion can signify revisiting past experiences that are linked to the planets domain and also revealing elements pertaining to that planet’s energy that were not properly processed, causing a slowing of forward movement. It’s an ideal period for reviewing and fine tuning, and so after the brisk rush of the new spring energies, it’s a good time to slow down and evaluate how the new direction is going as well as dealing with loose ends and unfinished business from the previous turbulent periods. Here’s a quick breakdown, courtesy of Astrology King:
Jupiter retrograde (March 9- July 10) represents a time of philosophical or spiritual introspection and reflection. This year the main theme of Jupiter retrograde is poisoning of your personal value system and morals that affects your physical health.
Saturn retrograde(April 18-September 6) is a double dose of karma. The lessons associated with Saturn retrograde 2018 relate to your thoughts and words. Saturn retrograde 2018 will be especially challenging if you have a history of teasing or verbally abusing people. Gloomy thoughts, bad news or loneliness could have a negative effect on your mental well-being.
Neptune retrograde (June 18- November 25) is the ideal time for spiritual self-development. The grand trine aspects and fixed stars involved make Neptune retrograde 2018 especially good for undertaking a spiritual quest to seek the truth.
Pluto retrograde Pluto (April 22-October 2) this is ideal for taking a direct, even aggressive approach to dealing with your Pluto retrograde power and control issues.         
 
Mercury-Neptune-Jupiter water grand trine
A grand trine brings strong, stable, beneficial energy. This grand trine brings happy, warm, optimistic, idealistic feelings, with intuitive, creative thinking – good vibrations!
 
Inner planet pandemonium
Although the Moon is sextile to Venus and Trine to Mars making for an outgoing sociability, there are four heavy oppositions, and they actually form five T-squares, which are very difficult and powerful aspects. This could mean a day marked with a lot of minor tensions, conflicts, and mishaps. Perhaps this foreshadows the upcoming three summer eclipses, which should shakes things up. (a partial solar eclipse on July 13,  a total lunar eclipse on July 27–28, and a partial solar eclipse on August 11). Below is a brief look at the major oppositions:
Mercury opposite Pluto -  Intellectual conflict, resolving issues, introspection, one-track mind
Mars opposite Venus – Sexual tension (the Mars-Uranus square will  continue to add tension this summer, due to Mars retrograde)
Sun opposite SaturnRestlessness, inhibition, isolation
On the more mystical side, the cross formed by the Sun/Pluto and Moon/Chiron oppositions is suggestive (although it is not quite a grand cross).
 
So there is a new sense of optimism and cooperation in the air, but the fallout from the sweeping changes of the previous period can still require considerable attention. The rebuilding process now slows down for the next four or five months as we progress in the vivacious early phase of a new direction. This can be a period akin to shaking the house to see if the new foundations are strong. Things will gradually pick up speed during the fall, more so when Jupiter enters its ruling sign of fiery Sagittarius  on November 8.
 
References:
Robert Hand, Planets in Transit
https://cafeastrology.com/

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Through the Gates of Gold Chapter 4 The Meaning of Pain, Part 2b


Once perceiving this sense of responsibility, derived from the awareness of the awesome potential of our divine nature, we begin to realize our power to act on human society. With this comes the practical realization that we reap what we sow (Karma or Nemesis).
The man of the world, pure and simple, is by far the best practical observer and philosopher with regard to life, because he is not blinded by any prejudices. He will be found always to believe that as a man sows so shall he reap. And this is so evidently true when it is considered, that if one takes the larger view, including all human life, it makes intelligible the awful Nemesis which seems consciously to pursue the human race, — that inexorable appearance of pain in the midst of pleasure. The great Greek poets saw this apparition so plainly that their recorded observation has given to us younger and blinder observers the idea of it.
 
One should be aware of the suffering of the body versus the suffering of the soul. The body may suffer, yet the inner or the soul has the power to move beyond the suffering of the body.
There is the inner man — the soul — behind, using all these mechanisms; and this is as evidently the truth with regard to all the existences we know of as with regard to man himself. We cannot find any point in the scale of being at which soul-causation ceases or can cease. The dull oyster must have that in him which makes him choose the inactive life he leads; none else can choose it for him but the soul behind, which makes him be. How else can he be where he is, or be at all? Only by the intervention of an impossible creator called by some name or other.

It is again emphasized that the key is to accept responsibility for one’s own destiny and not rely on the illusions of outside powers to justify one’s limitations; growing up and putting aside one’s superstitions as it were; and one does this by recognizing one’s own immortal, divine inner nature.
...for the soul of man is of that order of life which causes shape and form, and is unaffected itself by these things, — of that order of life which like the pure, the abstract flame burns wherever it is lit. This cannot be changed or affected by time, and is of its very nature superior to growth and decay. It stands in that primeval place which is the only throne of God, — that place whence forms of life emerge and to which they return.

Then one can focus on the heart of one’s being, and from that center, undertake a balanced development of all the radiating lines of one’s being. One reaches the Golden Gates by the process of the gradual recognition of the god in oneself.
That place is the central point of existence, where there is a permanent spot of life as there is in the midst of the heart of man. It is by the equal development of that, — first by the recognition of it, and then by its equal development upon the many radiating lines of experience, — that man is at last enabled to reach the Golden Gate and lift the latch. The process is the gradual recognition of the god in himself; the goal is reached when that godhood is consciously restored to its right glory.







 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Through the Gates of Gold Chapter 4 The Meaning of Pain, Part 2a


This chapter introduces the idea of the inner god. It begins by comparing humans to a kind of tree of knowledge of good and evil.
If we carefully consider the constitution of man and its tendencies, it would seem as if there were two definite directions in which he grows. He is like a tree which strikes its roots into the ground while it throws up young branches towards the heavens. These two lines which go outward from the central personal point are to him clear, definite, and intelligible. He calls one good and the other evil
 
However the simplistic notion of going to heaven or hell is challenged. It is as hard to go to ‘hell’ as to enter the Gates of Gold. Even if one is determined to pursue self-destructive debauchery, one finds that one is checked by the divine light within oneself, the mental pain caused by one’s conscience.
But it is not so easy to go to hell as preachers declare it to be. It is as hard a task as to find one's way to the Golden Gate. A man may wreck himself utterly in sense-pleasure, — may debase his whole nature, as it seems, — yet he fails of becoming the perfect devil, for there is still the spark of divine light within him. He tries to choose the broad road which leads to destruction, and enters bravely on his headlong career. But very soon he is checked and startled by some unthought-of tendency in himself, — some of the many other radiations which go forth from his center of self.
 
Hence, if we acknowledge our divine nature we have to acknowledge that we are the cause of the pleasure and pain we experience, we are therefore responsible beings and should not rely on some outside divine power that creates blind fatalism.
It is because man is so idle, so indisposed to assume or accept responsibility, that he falls back upon this temporary makeshift of a creator. It is temporary indeed, for it can only last during the activity of the particular brain power which finds its place among us. When the man drops this mental life behind him, he of necessity leaves with it its magic lantern and the pleasant illusions he has conjured up by its aid. That must be a very uncomfortable moment, and must produce a sense of nakedness not to be approached by any other sensation. It would seem as well to save one's self this disagreeable experience by refusing to accept unreal phantasms as things of flesh and blood and power.
Not so, if man is regarded from a loftier standpoint than that we generally occupy. If he is looked upon as a powerful consciousness which forms its external manifestations according to its desires, then it is evident that physical pain results from deformity in those desires. No doubt it will appear to many minds that this conception of man is too gratuitous, and involves too large a mental leap into unknown places where proof is unobtainable. But if the mind is accustomed to look upon life from this standpoint, then very soon none other is acceptable; the threads of existence, which to the purely materialistic observer appear hopelessly entangled, become separated and straightened, so that a new intelligibleness illumines the universe.
 
Therefore pleasure and pain are the results of our experiencing the working out of our desires. As William Q Judge has observed,
The causes of reincarnation are desire and ignorance. We have what we term "will," but our will is moved into action by desire, and our acts spring from the desire to bring about pleasure or to avoid pain. As long as we are ignorant we constantly fix our desires upon enjoyment or the avoidance of pain, and thus lay the ground for the operation of Karma in another body. (The Necessity for Reincarnation)
 
Granting, then, for the sake of this argument, that man is a powerful consciousness who if his own creator, his own judge, and within whom lies all life in potentiality, even the ultimate goal, then let us consider why he causes himself to suffer.
If pain is the result of uneven development, of monstrous growths, of defective advance at different points, why does man not learn the lesson which this should teach him, and take pains to develop equally?
It would seem to me as if the answer to this question is that this is the very lesson which the human race is engaged in Learning.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Sufism: Ibn Arabi - What the Seeker Needs 1



Extracts from a classic text: Book of the Quintessence Concerning What Is Indispensable For the Spiritual Seeker (transl. - Tosun Bayrak)

Muhiyy ad-Din Ibn 'Arabi
 
Basic Life Style
1- Be accepting, approving, forgiving, serving, and loving to everyone and everything.
Look upon the whole creation, and above all, humankind, with good will - accepting, approving, forgiving, serving, and loving. Make that your nature in your dealings with the world. Listen to your conscience. Cleanse your heart. In that clean heart, keep up prayer for your faithful brothers. Help and serve, as much as you can, the people who hide their misery, who are content with their poverty, the travelers on the path to truth. Do not attribute to yourself virtue, goodness, and graciousness because of your service to the creation. Consider that you owe other people thanks for having humbly accepted your help. It is incumbent upon you to lighten the load of those who are burdened. If people whose pain you have helped to alleviate cause you pain in return - if their responses, their ways, their habits are dark and cast shadows upon you - show patience and forbearance. Do not forget that Allah says:
...surely Allah is with the patient. (Baqara, 153)
 
2- Do not waste time; try to be as helpful as possible.
Do not spend your life in empty endeavors and your time in idle talk. Instead, reflect and remember Allah, read the Qur'an, guide the misguided to the enlightened path. Help others leave evil and turn to doing good. Mend broken friendships. Help others to help others.
 
3- Find good friends of like mind.
Find the right friend, who will be a support for you, a good traveling companion on the path of truth. Faith is a seed. It grows into a tree with the beneficent watering and sunshine of faithful friends. […]
 
4- Look for a good teacher
Look for a perfect teacher who will lead you on the straight path. In your search for a guide, be sincere, because sincerity distinguishes the true seeker. It is certain that if you cling to sincerity and truthfulness, the Lord will manifest His attribute of the Ultimate Guide upon you and will guide you to a perfect teacher.
 
5- Be sincere
Sincerity in the seeker is such a blessing that when it is present, Allah will even turn the accursed devil himself and the seeker's personal devil, his ego, into angels of inspiration serving him. Sincerity is such a catalyst that it turns lead into gold and purifies everything it touches. […]
 
6- Be light-hearted and low maintenance
To advance in this path, in the footsteps of the prophets (peace and blessings be upon them), you have to be light - light in worldly goods, light in your concerns about this world. An unmistakable sign of the heaviness that will prevent you from advancing is to be a burden on people. Neither be a freeloader nor let others carry your load. Particularly, do not accept goods and favors, either for yourself or for others, from people whose hearts are dead, submerged in the sleep of heedlessness.
 
7- Don’t be overly materialistic; earn your living modestly.
In what Allah permits you to gain as your sustenance - in all your actions, behavior and words - fear Allah. Do not seek comfort and luxury, especially when you have not worked hard for it. Lawful sustenance is obtained by working harder than is demanded of you. A clear sign of the lawfulness of one's gain is that it will not permit you to be either stingy or a spendthrift.
 
8- Be detached from worldly things.
Take care, since if the love of this world takes root firmly in your heart, it constricts your heart, and it becomes exceedingly hard to pull it out and throw it away. This world is a trial ground; do not seek comfort and riches in it.
 
9- Have meditation periods to review your actions.
Cleanse and beautify your days and nights with worship. […] It is to be hoped that only good deeds and actions befitting a Muslim are done between the times of prayer.
 
10- Do your work with devotion.
Most people complain that this world, their work to secure their sustenance, and their work as householders for their families, take time away from their worship. Know that work done heedfully, with consideration for others, in accordance with proper behavior, for the pleasure of Allah, is also worship. [...]
 
11- Organize your life to give maximum time for spiritual efforts.
Use these to gather as much of your sustenance as possible in the minimum of time. If possible, secure in one day your week's sustenance. […]
 
12- Sunrise and sunset are strong spiritual moments.
After you perform your morning prayer, stay with your Lord until sunrise, and after your afternoon prayer stay in His presence until sunset. These are two periods of time when spiritual powers and enlightenment flow in abundance. Keep your heart tied to Allah in humility and in peace. […]
 
13- Eat, sleep and dress sparingly.
Do not sleep until you are unable to stay awake. Do not eat until you are hungry. Dress only to cover your body and to protect it from cold and from heat. […]
 
14- Read slowly and conscientiously.
Read without haste, slowly thinking of the meaning of each word.
 

Friday, 25 May 2018

Collective Aspects of Karma and Reincarnation

Since both of William Q. Judge’s 1888 articles on Karma and Reincarnation deal with more collective aspects of reincarnation, i.e. reincarnation with family and friends and hereditary factors, I thought it would be appropriate to include extracts from both:
Hence, if the soul that we do love inhabits another physical frame, it is the law--a part of the law of Reincarnation not often stated or dwelt on--that we will again, when incarnated, meet that same soul in the new tenement. We cannot, however, always recognize it. But that, the recognition or memory of those whom we knew before, is one of the very objects of our study and practice. Not only is this the law as found in ancient books, but it has been positively stated, in the history of the Theosophical Society, in a letter from an Adept addressed not many years ago to some London theosophists. In it he asked them if they imagined that they were together as incarnated beings for the first time, stated that they were not, and laid down the rule that the real affinities of soul life drew them together on earth.
To be associated against our will with those who lay upon us the claim of mother, father, brother, son, or wife from a previous life would neither be just nor necessary. Those relations, as such, grew out of physical ties alone, and souls that are alike, who really love each other, as well as those who harbor hate, are brought together in mortal bodies as now father and now son--, or otherwise.
So, then, with the doctrine of Devachan we have the answer. In that state we have with us, for all practical purposes and to suit our desire, every one whom we loved on earth: upon being reincarnated we are again with those whose souls we are naturally attracted to.
By living up to the highest and best of our convictions, for humanity and not for self, we make it possible that we shall at last recognize in some earth-life those persons whom we love, and to lose whom forever seems such a dreary and uninviting prospect.
(Respecting Reincarnation The Path, August, 1888)
This is the general view. Heredity is a puzzle, and will always remain one so long as the laws of Karma and Reincarnation are not admitted and taken into account in all these investigations. Nearly all of these writers admit--excepting those who say they do not know--the theological view that each human being is a new creation, a new soul projected into life on this earth.
If these two doctrines should be accepted by the supposed legislators, it would follow that no such law as I have adverted to would ever be put on the books; for the reason that, once Karma and Reincarnation are admitted, the responsibility of each individual is made greater than before. Not only is he responsible even under his hereditary tendency, but in a wider sense he is also responsible for the great injury he does the State through the future effect of his life--that effect acting on those who are born as his descendants.
The necessity for recognizing the law from the standpoint of ethics arises from the fact that, until we are aware that such is the law, we will never begin to perform such acts and think such thoughts as will tend to bring about the required alterations in the astral light needed to start a new order of thoughts and influences. These new influences will not, of course, come to have full effect and sway on those who initiate them, but will operate on their descendants, and will also prepare a new future age in which those very persons who set up the new current shall participate. Hence it is not in any sense a barren, unrewarded thing, for we ourselves come back again in some other age to reap the fruit of the seed we had sown.
The impulse must be set up, and we must be willing to wait for the result. The potters wheel continues to revolve when the potter has withdrawn his foot, and so the present revolving wheel will turn for a while until the impulse is spent.
(Is Heredity a Puzzle? The Path, November, 1888)