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Re: "Isis Unveiled" question

Jun 02, 1996 04:18 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>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.

The general rule, as I've understood it, is perhaps
thousands of years between lifetimes. There are, though,
a number of factors that cause this to vary.

Being in the Kali Yuga, or dark age, where the most spiritual
advance is possible, being in incarnation is more desirable,
and people have shorter after-death experiences. A greater
percentage of people are embodied at any one time, and the
population of the earth swells.

People who die prematurely, by accident, may dwell in the
earth's atmosphere, unconscious in kamaloka, for the duration
of what their lives would have been. Or they may sometimes
find immediate rebirth.

There are other special cases where when a young child dies,
an adept may take up life in the dying-child's body, and
become its new occupant. (This is called "avesa".)

For people with little spiritual content in their lives,
there is little energies to be worked out in the after
death states, and they'd find quicker rebirths. Some extreme
cases would have almost immediate rebirth. (This does not
mean that they're horribly unevolved individuals, but just
that their current lifetime has been mostly a waste. We
all have bad days where nothing seems to get done; on a
bigger scale, sometimes there's a whole lifetime that has
nothing to show for it.)

On the other end of the scale, for Mahatmas, able to give
tangible expression to all their inner spiritual urges,
they'd have very short or non-existent after-death states,
because in them all the higher energies that were felt in
life were fulfilled; there was no unfulfilled dreams,
longings, aspirations to fuel a heaven world experience
(devachan in Theosophical books, or dewachan in Tibetan).

>Yet, also, the long period of rest between incarnations seems
>to go against Eastern philosophy which accepts even immediate

As you see from above, although there are many exceptions
that I won't have mentioned in this quick message, many do
have short between-life experiences, although that is not
the general rule.

There are differences between Theosophy and Eastern philosophy,
because it is a fresh presentation of the esoteric philosophy.
(One example of these differences is that Theosophy says "once
a man always a man", whereas some Eastern religions call for
rebirth in lower forms like as animals.) Established religions
and philosophies tend to decay over time, and need reformers to
restore them to their original truths. Theosophy was an attempt
at reform at Western thought, although it already shows its
own signs of decay, finding itself buried in a mound of
contradictory opinion of its would-be followers. <frown>

>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?"

There's a lot that is addressed in "The Secret Doctrine", but
for the more basic questions that you ask, a good intermediate
theosophical book might be helpful. Two I'd recommend would be
"The Ocean of Theosophy" by W.Q. Judge and "The Esoteric
Tradition" by G. de Purucker. Others on theos-l may recommend
different books based upon their backgrounds.

-- Eldon

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