ANYONE who believes in reincarnation accepts that life can continue to exist without a visible physical form. And that consciousness can exist without a neuron filled physical brain.
Both concepts are still a challenge for the standard model of modern science which “believes not in the soul of things,” as H. P. Blavatsky declared in her monumental work The Secret Doctrine, (1:272)
The problem is directly related to the controversial “hard problem of consciousness,” formulated by the philosopher David Chalmers.
Mme. Blavatsky had already unveiled the problem by declaring that “the whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and the esoteric sciences, depends upon the belief in, and demonstration of, the existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter.” (The Secret Doctrine 2:149)
“This astral body is the prototype, or design, around which the physical body is built, and which, considered from the point of view of the powers, is the real physical body. Without it the physical body would be nothing but a mass of matter—”
Our Real Senses
“It is the astral body which contains the organs, or centers from which the organs have been evolved in accord with the needs of the thinker within. The real senses of man are not in the physical but in the astral body. The astral body lasts a little over one lifetime. It does not die when the physical body dies, but is used as a body in the immediate after-death states.” – Robert Crosbie, (Universal Theosophy)
Thus, most mainstream scientists will not even approach the possibility that consciousness might exist as a separate entity from the physical brain and body, because they believe that mind and thoughts can only arise from activity within the visible physical. A kind of dogmatic religious belief.
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson refers to this position as a “pathological disbelief” within the scientific establishment. Cell biologist Bruce Lipton in his “The Biology of Belief,” describes their position as:
“I wouldn’t believe it
even if it were true!”
In contrast Theosophy teaches that life and consciousness cannot be created or destroyed. And further that the duration between lifetimes of the same individual immortal consciousness is not just the 15 or 20 minutes of some near-death studies.
Reincarnation into a new physical body varies from a few hours or weeks, up to 1, 500 years or more (or less), depending on the spiritual, mental and emotional development of the Soul, and also especially the age of the person.
“If our physiologists find the cause of dreams and visions in an unconscious preparation for them during the waking hours,” Mme. Blavatsky asks in The Key to Theosophy p. 165, Section 9, “why cannot the same be admitted for the post-mortem dreams? I repeat it: death is sleep.”
Children who have died early, as a rule tend to be reborn quickly, Blavatsky says, as they do not have many current life experiences that would hold them in the after-death dream state.
The after-death dream lasts, according to the Master K.H. (Notes on Devachan, 249), only “until Karma is satisfied” and “is proportionate to the unexhausted psychic impulses originating in earth life.” (W. Q. Judge, How Soon do we Reincarnate?)
But, who knows for certain, and how to they know? According to The Secret Doctrine, Summing Up, knowing hidden truths is acquired using the power exercised by initiated Seers, which includes all the great Masters of Life such as Buddha, Krishna, Jesus,Lao Tsu, etc. Blavatsky explained:
“The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated
into the very kernel of matter, and recorded
the soul of things there.”
Further: “It is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers,” (The Secret Doctrine 1:272), “whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity.”
(For more info see: How Soon do we Reincarnate?)
Now a team of psychologists and medical doctors associated with the Technische University of Berlin announced they had proven, by clinical experimentation, the existence of some form of life after death.
“This astonishing announcement is based on the conclusions of a study using a new type of medically supervised near-death experiences, that allow patients to be clinically dead for almost 20 minutes before being brought back to life.