Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Kabbalah and Reincarnation 4/5


Blavatsky on Gilgul
Although quite brief and mainly referencing Mackenzie’s Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, Blavatsky's comments on the notion of Gilgul are original and intriguing.
Also the doctrine of Gilgul, held to the strange theory of the "Whirling of the Soul," which taught that the bodies of Jews buried far away from the Holy Land, still preserve a particle of soul which can neither rest nor quit them, until it reaches the soil of the "Promised Land." And this "whirling" process was thought to be accomplished by the soul being conveyed back through an actual evolution of species; transmigrating from the minutest insect up to the largest animal. But this was an exoteric doctrine.

But this doctrine of permutation, or revolution, must not be understood as a belief in reincarnation. That Moses was considered the transmigration of Abel and Seth, does not imply that the kabalists — those who were initiated at least — believed that the identical spirit of either of Adam's sons reappeared under the corporeal form of Moses. It only shows what was the mode of expression they used when hinting at one of the profoundest mysteries of the Oriental Gnosis, one of the most majestic articles of faith of the Secret Wisdom. It was purposely veiled so as to half conceal and half reveal the truth. It implied that Moses, like certain other god-like men, was believed to have reached the highest of all states on earth: — the rarest of all psychological phenomena, the perfect union of the immortal spirit with the terrestrial duad had occurred. The trinity was complete. A god was incarnate. But how rare such incarnations!(Isis Unveiled 2, 152-53)

The idea was metaphysical as well as physical; the hidden interpretation embracing “gods” or souls, in the shape of atoms, as the causes of all the effects produced on Earth by the secretions from the divine bodies.* No ancient philosopher, not even the Jewish Kabalists, ever dissociated Spirit from matter or vice versa. Everything originated in the one, and, proceeding from the one, must finally return to the One. “Light becomes heat, and consolidates into fiery particles; which, from being ignited, become cold, hard particles, round and smooth. And this is called Soul, imprisoned in its robe of matter;”† Atoms and Souls having been synonymous in the language of the Initiates. The “whirling Souls,” Gilgoolem, a doctrine in which so many learned Jews have believed (See Mackenzies Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia), had no other meaning esoterically. The learned Jewish Initiates never meant by the “Promised landPalestine alone, but the same Nirvana as the learned Buddhist and Brahmin do — the bosom of the Eternal One, symbolized by that of Abraham, and by Palestine as its substitute on Earth.‡ The passage of the Soul-Atom “through the Seven Planetary Chambers” had the same metaphysical and also physical meaning. (Secret Doctrine I, 568)