Jul 30, 1996 01:39 PM
by Jerry Schueler
Some responses to Alan:
>1. Life evolves "upward" from the lower kingdoms to the higher, so that
>at some (undefined) point "lower" animals incarnate for the first time
According to the SD, animals incarnate as humans only
during the first 3 1/2 Rounds, after which the "door" closes. This
occurred millions of years ago, and no new human monads are
coming into incarnation.
>2. New human souls come into incarnation (ex nihilo?)
Again, this is against the SD, G de P, and others.
>In either scenario we are said to be on a learning path, acquiring karma
>which will be worked out in future lives, of which there will be a very
>large number before we reach a state whereby we will qualify to get off
>the wheel of rebirth in this world.
This is the exoteric view, to which I am strongly opposed. This
concept lies at the very heart of maya, and is just as illusory as everything
>Jinarajadasa's model (based upon
>CWL 'clairvoyant' observations) allows for varying periods between lives
>which can be small, say 20 years, but is often hundreds of years.
I am unfamiliar with either of these gentlemen's models, but
it sound like they differ from HPB considerably. G de P gave a general
rule that we remain in bardo for 100 years for every year lived. Since
the average age of a human being on earth is about 15 (which may
have increased a little since G de P's time, but probably not by much)
we average about 1500 years between incarnations. If you live to 50,
you can expect about 5000 years in bardo. But many factors
can influence this general rule, such as unfulfilled desire, and so on.
>All this has been going on since (say) the "big bang." In emulation of
>Coue, we could say of this model, "In every life in every way I am
>getting better and better and better."
This is the problem with linear models, and why I prefer
a circular one.
>1. In support of the long time it takes to gain "perfection" we can note
>that the world population is increasing all the time, which would
>confirm that sould are coming back over and over again.
Actually, I think the world's population now supports those
who are against reincarnation. According to the latest stats, there is
currently living on earth, more people than lived throughout the entire
history of earth. In other words, if you count up all of the people who
have died since Adam and Eve, you won't count as many as are now
living. This is a staggering number of people, and HPB's model has
a hard time supporting this fact (unless we agree that Altantis and
Lemuria sank with lots of folks on them).
>2. Against this view, we can note that an overall expected improvement
>in the spiritual, ethical, and "moral" nature of humanity has *not*
>accompanied this process, which according the the theory we should
>expect to have seen by now. The *evidence* suggests that the
>development (spiritual or whatever) is actually getting "worse" -
This is in line with HPB's statement to the effect that
humanity in general is at the adolescent age. The average person
is only now striving for a sense of personality and individuality
that we generally find in teenagers. They are trying to "prove"
themselves. But any way you cut it, our development is not linear;
not for a person and not for humanity as a whole.
>3. Also against this view, if new humans are appearing all the time,
>*and* it takes those who are on the wheel of rebirth vast ages to get
>off, there has to come a time when due to the slow progress of human
>beings, there will be no room to move on the planet.
The time seems to coming soon (the population is
doubling every 20 years or so). I personally do not subscribe
to the view that it takes vast ages to get off. I find this view to be
> But there is other evidence. People "remember" past
>lives, and there are many recorded accounts of such memories.
It is absolutely impossible to tell whether such
accounts are true past incarnations or whether they are
tapping into the collective unconscious or reading the
akashic records. I do believe that short time periods are
possible--as in the case of a bodhissattva who wants
to return as soon as possible to help others. His own
desire can bring it about. But, like not getting enough sleep
at night, the next life will find such a person tired and
>Insofar as I do not consider karma to be anything other than cause and
>effect (I bang my thumb with a hammer, it hurts). OOB experience and
>Near death experience suggest that individual "karma" - the consequences
>of my own actions in this life - are dealt with and absorbed at the end
>of this individual life - the "judgement."
I like to think of reincarnation like sleep. What you do during
the day will likely effect your dreams at night, and what you leave undone
during the day will still be waiting for you the next morning.
Just some simple thoughts on a very complicated subject.
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