Re: "Isis Unveiled" question: To Kym on Reincarnation and Isis
Jun 02, 1996 08:59 AM
by Blavatsky Foundation
>I have begun reading "Isis Unveiled," finding it a wonderful and fascinating
>read, although I have to have a dictionary lying next to me during these
>reading sessions. I think this monograph will require many repeat readings
>in order to better understand it. "The Secret Doctrine" is of course next -
>although it too looks daunting.
>Am I understanding "correctly" when Ms. Blavatsky states that incarnation
>into the physical more than once is an exception, rather than the rule?
>That surprised me; I have read a bit about theosophy but hadn't come across
>that viewpoint. I had read that Theosophy espouses to long periods (over
>1000 years) between incarnations, but that would allow for many more
>incarnations than one or two. Yet, also, the long period of rest between
>incarnations seems to go against Eastern philosophy which accepts even
>Is there a publication or source which could help clarify or suggest a
>consensus to these philosophies? Perhaps I am premature in my confusion -
>will this be addressed in "The Secret Doctrine?"
Kym, I would suggest that as you read Isis Unveiled that you also consult
In the Collected Writing Edition of Isis (edited by Boris de Zirkoff), Mr.
has written a very informative "Introductory" on "How 'Isis Unveiled' Was
Written." (Vol1, 62 pp.----Wheaton, Ilinois, Theosophical Publishing House." In
this Introductory, Mr. de Zirkoff (on pp. 43-5) goes over certain facts and
"seeming discrepancies", especially concerning reincarnation.
Also I would consult the "The Mahatma Letters" from the Masters M. and K.H.,
there are three differnt editions currently in print, but if you look in
under "Isis Unveiled", you will see a good number of pages in which the
Mahatmas make certain comments on the writing of Isis, etc.
In one of the Mahatma Letters, Master Morya pens the following note to A.P.
"By-the-bye, I'll re-write for you pages 345 to 357, Vol. I, of Isis---much
and confused by Olcott, who thought he was improving it!", Letter No. 13, p. 75
in the 3rd Edition of the Mahatma Letters.
Colonel Olcott served as one of the proof-readers for Isis and also
"englished" some of
the text for H.P.B.
And in Madame Blavatsky's THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, the question is asked:
"But does not the author of 'Isis Unveiled' stand accused of having preached
And HPB answers:
"...At the time that work was written [1875-76-77)], re-incarnation was not
by any Spiritualists, either English or American, and what is said there of
*re-incarnation* was directed against the French Spiritists....The
of the Allan Kardec School believe in an arbitrary and immediate re-incarnation.
With them, the dead father can incarnate in his own unborn daughter, and so on.
They have neither Devachan, Karma, nor any philosophy that would warrant or
prove the necessity of consecutive rebirths. But how can the author of
'Isis Unveiled' argue against *Karmic* reincarnation, at long intervals varying
between 1,000 and 1,500 years, when it is the fundamental belief of both
Buddhists and Hindus?" pp. 191-192 original edition.
And as early as April 12, 1875, HPB mentions (in a letter to a
Kardec" and says: "...though I do not beieve in reincarnation in the same
sense as the
There is much more that could be said on this subject. There are, in fact,
of articles written by H.P.B. on this very subject of reincarnation and Isis.
I'm glad that you are diving into Isis. I would suggest that you read it
very slowly and
with as much attention as you can muster. This will pay off for you later
studies. Too many students read HPB's works like they would a novel or a
I'm also glad that you are intent upon reading later the Secret Doctrine.
Before you read the Secret Doctrine, I would suggest that you read the following
THE OCCULT WORLD by A.P. Sinnett
ESOTERIC BUDDHISM by A.P. Sinnett
THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT
1877 ISIS UNVEILED
1881 THE OCCULT WORLD
1883 ESOTERIC BUDDHISM
[1880-5] THE MAHATMA LETTERS
1888 THE SECRET DOCTRINE
Reading these books in chronological order will help you to see the
*unfolding* of the teachings
as given by H.P.B. and her Masters.
Also, Kym, if you're interested, we can suggest other select articles by HPB
which give additional
insights as you read these works.
Reading these works may be difficult for you. Do not let THAT deter you!
The struggle to understand
what you read will be very productive IN THE LONG RUN!
If you're interested I will give you several quotes from the Mahatma Letters
which give good advice
on how to study the Theosophical teachings. Let me know and I will post
them to you.
Daniel H. Caldwell
P.S. Also I will be most happy to help you obtain any of the above works
that you do not have.
Just let me know and I will give you ordering info, etc. or possibly some of
these works can
be borrowed either from your local library or elsewhere. Just let us know
how we may help you.
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