Re: Alan on reincarnation & karma
Jul 30, 1996 03:31 PM
Alan>The "standard" Theosophical view as I have met it is usually that
offered by CWL/Jinarajadasa & Co. This goes something like either:
1. Life evolves "upward" from the lower kingdoms to the higher, so that
at some (undefined) point "lower" animals incarnate for the first time
2. New human souls come into incarnation (ex nihilo?)
The Theosophical view of GdeP regarding this second point is different:
there is a fixed amount of human monads (after some point in the fourth Round
already passed where animals cannot any longer enter the human Kingdom; the
psychological distance/barrier has become to big). According to Blavatsky
we (as 'animal' monads) have come from the moon, so this is not ex nihilo.
She doesn't say what 'we' were before that.
From such a view, certain inescapable observations emerge.
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.
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" -
Well, I'm not too sure of that. Certainly there are many nasty
things going on, but yet I see also counter-developments on a global scale
as well as on a smaller scale. It could be a transitory phase humanity
is currently in (let's hope for the better :)
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.
Interesting view. In GdeP's view it would not be like that, however,
because there's a fixed amount of human monads in each Round and at any given
time only a small part of these would be incarnated (and parts of these would
have a rather long rest in Devachan after that).
So ... given the "conventional" view, the evidence of logic is against
its accuracy. But there is other evidence. People "remember" past
lives, and there are many recorded accounts of such memories.
In countries such as India, where reincarnation is held to be a fact,
most accounts concern the almost *immediate* reincarnation of someone,
and the best documented ones show the new soul inhabiting a child in a
family not far from its former abode in terms of time *and* distance.
This does *not* concur with the TS teaching.
TS teaching is not that rigid on reincarnation. If souls reincarnate
quickly, there will be a bigger chance of that soul of remembering its last
reincarnation, I think. This evidence is, however, to be taken into account.
Past life recall can be achieved by hypnotic regression methods,
sometimes with spectacular results.
What are these spectacular results? A release of deep-rooted anxieties?
Or what? I regard hypnotic regression methods as a difficult area to discuss.
There have been court cases against some regression therapists who were accused
of implanting false memories (notably about incest) in their clients.
If I remember well some of these cases have been won by the clients.
(whole families were brought into grave conflicts by this kind of therapy)
I have to say that I have a great deal of reserve regarding hypnotic regression
techniques. One of the hilarious things about people saying that they
remember past lives is that so many of them seem to think that they've been
Napoleon or Jeanne d'Arc, etc. I don't include the Indian accounts in this
(I've seen something
on television about that; BTW also a really impressing story of a British child
who remembered some details of her past life - especially her death by an
on a railroad- records were there to proof these details)
Alan> However, dramatic though such
evidence can be, there are alternative and viable alternatives. Ian
Wilson, wrote a book called "Time out of Mind" which offers some of
these, as does some of the work of hypnotic regression researchers.
Can you give examples of viable alternatives?
*I have past life memories* which could fit the TS model, but which also
support the Indian evidence, as well as an alternative explanation, eg,
that I can recall a past life, with all the sense of personal memory
which such experiences give, BUT the life recalled is not necessarily
any form of "me" at all, but the memory pf a past life belonging to the
person whose life it was - I am experiencing that memory "out of time."
This is the most interesting part to me:
- what reincarnates (manas?)
- what happens to the personality after the human being dies?
(is it dissolved or is there some continuance like many spiritualists say-
some spiritualists accept the principle of reincarnation but I'm never sure
in their accounts as to what it is that reincarnates)
- Memories of previous reincarnations: you say that you experience these
'out of time'. If your memory is out of time, is it also out
of space? Do you think time is something bound to sensory input and
processing, but not an intrinsic thing on itself?
>Does your view imply a different notion about karma as well?
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."
Yes, but is karma being carried over into another manifestation?
As I've said before on theos-l, karma means "There ain't no such thing
as a free lunch."
Agreed. That would imply that effects, not manifested in this life,
would manifest in another life? And that these 'seeds' or tendencies remain
latent in the auric egg or Field of consciousness-life-matter?
>The reason that I mention spiritualists here is because you said to have
>(had) certain experiences that may make you understand spiritualists better
>most (?) of us do.
Perhaps. Often, if someone I know has a relative or near one who has
just died, I "see" them or even "hear from" them, but only within the
first few days after their decease. All my experiences in this area
*confirm* the general ideas and experiences of the spiritualists. So,
my reincarnation experiences are more in accord with spiritualist
experiences than theosophical teaching suggests.
This sounds interesting to me. Could you elaborate a bit more
on that? I also asked some questions above on your view on spiritualist
experiences on what happens when the soul leaves the body. It's not really
clear to me whether they think that the personality dies and doesn't reincarnate
or what? I have read several accounts of spiritualists about Summerland,
astral spheres, mental spheres, spirit guides, etc. These accounts seem to
suggest that the astral body continues for a long time to live in several
spheres (and some spiritualists do teach reincarnation although it is not clear
to me what exactly reincarnates in their view: astral soul/body or what?)
This is a long and inevitably incomplete post, so if you want to ask me
more, I suggest another time!
Thanks for your answer, and, above are more questions :)
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