A Spirit Undefeated

KERRYN McCANN won the hearts of all Australians in 2006 when she got gold at the Commonwealth Games in a down to the wire marathon win.

Media footage showed Kerryn crossing the finish line, as if that was her life’s main triumph.

Two years later the much loved athlete succumbed to breast cancer, her husband and three children at her bedside.

Kerryn told friend and fellow athlete Raelene Boyle just a week before that she was still hopeful. Then she was so ill in her final days, she could no longer talk — yet through it all, her spirit never dimmed.

Happily, the body, brain and personality is understood in Theosophy as only a vehicle for the immortal soul each lifetime.


But this necessary instrument presents us with special opportunities in each life to express our  potential. Yet, many are unable or unwilling to seize those gifts in the time allotted to them, as Karryn did.

The illness drew out her determined, deathless and compassionate spirit, an inspiration to those who might not have her inner strength. She knew the deadly disease had come back, but she competed anyway.

The soul’s capacity will be fully availed of, or not, according to individual karmic endurance, W. Q. Judge says. Their capacity and destiny is the result of their “desire and prior conduct.”

The person’s past choices and behavior, he says,”will have increased or diminished” their karmic resources.


Our individual choices shape not only our own character and capacity, but inspires the emergence of character and capacity in others as well, because we are all connected at the core.

And, “the troubles of nations and families arise from want of capacity,” Judge says, “more than from any other cause.” So the choices we make will always carry a greater influence than just to us as separate individuals.

Karryn’s Inspiring Finish

Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad

(Drama of the Mysteries)

“The Spirit sees not, yet seeing not, she sees.
“The Spirit smells not, yet smelling not, she smells.

“The Spirit tastes not, yet tasting not, she tastes.
“The Spirit speaks not, yet speaking not, she speaks.

“The Spirit hears not, yet hearing not, she hears.
“The Spirit thinks not, yet thinking not, she thinks.
“The Spirit touches not, yet touching not, she touches.
“The Spirit knows not, yet knowing not, she knows.

“For the energy that dwelt in smell, taste, speech, hearing, thinking, touching and knowing cannot cease, because it is everlasting.


“But there is nothing else besides the Spirit, or separate from her, for her to know.”  🙂


The Ultimate Knowing

Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Eternal Joy

“For only where there is separation may one see another, may one taste another, may one speak to another may one hear another, may one think of another, may one touch another, may one know another.

“The one Seer is undivided, like pure water.

“This is the world of the Eternal. This is the highest path. This is the highest treasure. This is the highest world.

“This is the highest bliss. All beings live on the fragments of this bliss.”


Homeless to Harvard


“But as the brain had no part in the life last lived, it is in general unable to remember,” W. Q. Judge explains in the Ocean of Theosophy, but “by living according to the dictates of the soul…

“…the brain may at last be made porous to the soul’s recollections.”

On the other hand, he says, “if the contrary sort of a life is led,” one which is essentially soul-less, “then more and more will clouds obscure that reminiscence.”

Until we gain a deeper soul perspective on life, we would not be able to recall our past lives. We would be “very miserable if the deeds and scenes of our former lives were not hidden from our view,” Judge wrote,

“… until by discipline we become able to bear a knowledge of them.”

Early Theosophists placed great importance on Dharma. This is the sum total of the limited portion of our karma into which we are reincarnated in any one life.

Living Your Dharma?

Dr. Wayne Dyer

Hope and Responsibility

Karma and reincarnation are easily understood, W. Q. Judge wrote, and together they furnish “a solid foundation for ethics, and all human conduct.” Reincarnation provides the hope, and karma the responsibility for our actions and choices.

These are “the very key-notes of the higher evolution of man,” he said, and  without them “evolution is but a fragment, a process whose beginnings are unknown, and whose outcome cannot be discerned — a glimpse of what might be, a hope of what should be.”

“But in the light of Karma and Reincarnation evolution becomes the logic of what must be.”


Jacqueline du Pré

“The links in the chain of being are all filled in, and the circles of reason and of life are complete.

“Karma gives the eternal law of action, and Reincarnation furnishes the boundless field for its display.”

Endless evolution on the grandest scale, is a “complete synthesis” of laws which effect all humanities and worlds, Judge wrote. And in this great scheme, he said, it is the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation that “form so important a part.”


“Great Genius if true and innate,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote, “and not merely an abnormal expansion of our human intellect…

“… can never copy or condescend to imitate — but will ever be original, sui generis in its creative impulses and realizations.”

Genius is living proof of the preexistence of a spiritual thread soul. The power of the soul’s innumerable life experiences, focused like water through a narrow channel of a single life, magnifies its force. Clear streams flowing naturally and effortlessly through the obstacles of life in complete acceptance.

We selected the three heroine geniuses for this post, not as much for their incomparable talents, as for their undaunted courage in the face of tragedies that would have broken lesser souls.

To the very end, their minds and hearts remained each crystalline pure, unclouded by blame or regrets, focused solely on their karmic callings, and always as much, for ways they could help others.

Both Sides Now

Hayley Westenra


Related Posts:

The Resolute Spirit


Threads of Genius

6 responses to “A Spirit Undefeated

  1. Thanks for the email.


  2. Forgive me if this is repeated … I think I originally posted this under the wrong entry —

    Always a breath of fresh air. Very much appreciate the care and research that goes into each of your posts. I wonder if Iamblichus is somehow conntected to the English iamb, as in iambic pentameter ? And speaking of, I imagine all art, inspired, (inspired, I believe originally meant, filled with divine breath), as it were — is also kin to prayer, if not one and the same.


  3. And according to HPB, “when the lesson is learned, the necessity ceases.” Every now and then I think, “Oh, I’ve finally learned that karmic lesson,” and then a year later find myself doing the same crazy act again. Learning didn’t take place after all. Still, I love the idea.


  4. We read in the S.D. that there is no event or occurrence in our life that cannot be traced back to our own action in a previous or present incarnation. We do not know the exact cause of present suffering but we can be sure it is according to justice and fairness.


  5. STUNNING!!!
    To say that this is, to date, the most encouraging and inspiring post I’ve read so far would not come anywhere near the truth of it. Thank you so much for this. Just astounding what human beings are capable of, what lies inside of us, that is really beyond us.



  6. As we read in the S.D., verily there is not a circumstance or effect that cannot be traced back to a previous act either in this or an earlier incarnation. We may not know the exact cause of current suffering but we accept it as just and fair.


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