THE twin doctrines of Karma (responsibility) and Reincarnation (hope) are keys to freeing us from the dark jungle of ignorance.
These doctrines make sense out of two of humanity’s most persistent puzzles — the purpose of life, and the meaning of death.
Theosophical world messenger H. P. Blavatsky made it clear that the ultimate salvation of humanity lay in a true understanding of these doctrines.
In her Third Letter to the 4th Annual Convention of the American Section of the Theosophical Society Blavatsky counseled: “Learn well the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation:
and teach, practice, promulgate that system of life and thought which alone can save the coming races.
The effect of a new popularization of near death experiences (NDEs), and the reality of the spiritual world they point to, is to understand better Blavatsky’s insistence on the overarching importance of these twin doctrines.
The metaphysical teachings underlying cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis were presented after Isis Unveiled with Blavatsky’s magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine — a universal springboard for the New Age.
Some 130 years later, Theosophy’s light is still brightening the end of the tunnel.
Those who have had a near-death experience have already seen the light — including children, as the noted researcher P.M.H. Atwater reports.
Out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are still the most compelling evidence for the existence of a cognitive self that exists independently from the physical body, and a convincing argument for reincarnation of the same soul from life to life.
Compelling scientific documentation was not available in the early days of Theosophy. But in recent years Scientists have begun to study ‘out of body experiences.’ See the blog post: Scientists Study Out of Body Experiences.
“Scientists will see if consciousness continues after brain death. People who report seeing bright lights or tunnels as they leave their bodies in near-death experiences are having their claims treated seriously in a hospital study.”
Dr Sam Parnia, an intensive care doctor who is heading the study, said: “If you can demonstrate that consciousness continues after the brain switches off,
it allows for the possibility that the consciousness is a separate entity.
The Past Life Memory that Healed Him
“Getting back the memory of other lives is really the whole of the process, and if some people don’t understand certain things it is either because they have not got to that point in their other lives, or because no glimmer of memory has yet come.”
– William Q. Judge
(Letters That Have Helped Me, Vol. 2, Letter 5)
“There is no special organ of will, any more than there is a physical basis for the activities of self-consciousness. … memory has no seat, no special organ of its own in the human brain, but that it has seats in every organ of the body. The phenomena of divine consciousness have to be regarded as activities of our mind on another and a higher plane, working through something less substantial than the moving molecules of the brain.”
- H. P. Blavatsky, Psychic and Noëtic Action
Today’s frontier sciences are providing more and more experimental results demonstrating the existence of a mind-soul existing beyond the boundaries of physical matter. Organizations like the Institute of Noetic Sciences are transforming contemporary worldviews on the relationship between consciousness and matter:
“At the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), we are inspired by the power of science to explain phenomena not previously understood, harnessing the best of the rational mind to make advances that further our knowledge and enhance our human experience.”
The Breath of God
“The NDE belongs to a larger family of experiences that go beyond the usual limits of space and time and can transform a person’s life and beliefs. They may be called spiritually transformative, conversion, mystical, religious, or transpersonal experiences. Most NDEs are felt as peaceful and loving, but some are disturbing. Each near-death experience is unique, but as a group NDEs display common features.”
The excerpt below, is from the BBC documentary “The Day I Died: The Mind, the Brain, and Near-Death Experiences, called “the ultimate NDE video.”
Pam Reynolds Lowery from Atlanta, Georgia was an American singer-songwriter. In 1991, at the age of 35, she had a near-death experience (NDE) during a brain operation. Her NDE is one of the most notable and best documented in NDE research. During the “standstill” operation, Pam’s brain was found “dead” by all three clinical tests – her electroencephalogram was silent, her brain-stem response was absent, and no blood flowed through her brain which left her clinically dead. Interestingly, while in this state, she encountered the “deepest” NDE of all. She made several observations about the procedure which later were confirmed by medical personnel as surprisingly accurate. This famous near-death experience is considered by many to be proof of the reality of the survival of consciousness after death, and of a life after death.
The Higher Evolution
Such is the law of love and mercy, says the The Key to Theosophy. The omniscient soul, “clothes itself, so to say, with the reflection of the ‘personality’ that was. For the time being, then, the Ego becomes the ideal reflection of the human being it was when last on earth —
Death comes to our spiritual selves ever as a deliverer and friend.
“For the materialist, who, notwithstanding his materialism, was not a bad man, the interval between the two lives will be like the unbroken and placid sleep of a child, either entirely dreamless, or filled with pictures of which he will have no definite perception; while for the average mortal it will be a dream as vivid as life, and full of realistic bliss and visions.”
People have wondered why H. P. B. and others “lay so much stress on doctrines like Karma and Reincarnation,” William Q. Judge wrote. It is not only because these ideas are logical and easy to understand, and they “benefit individuals,” he noted, but also because “they furnish a solid foundation for ethics, or all human conduct —
…. they are the very key-notes of the higher evolution of man. Without Karma and Reincarnation, evolution is but a fragment.
- William Q. Judge,
The Synthesis of Occult Science
Oscar the Cat
“The scientist in Dr. David Dosa was skeptical when first told that Oscar, an aloof cat kept by a nursing home, regularly predicted patients’ deaths by snuggling alongside them in their final hours,” reported CBS News. Dosa’s doubts eroded “after he and his colleagues tallied about 50 correct calls made by Oscar over five years.”
“The feline’s bizarre talent astounds Dosa,” says CBS News, “but he finds Oscar’s real worth is in his fierce insistence on being present when others turn away from life’s most uncomfortable topic: death.
“People actually were taking great comfort in this idea, that this animal was there and might be there when their loved ones eventually pass,” Dosa said. “He was there when they couldn’t be.”
Furry Angel of Death?
Meet Oscar the Cat
“These same concepts were expressed in the Bhagavad-Gita,” Eloise Hart explains in her article Reincarnation and Karma:
“In Krishna’s conversation with his pupil, Arjuna, he said (ch.2:4) — ‘both I and thou have passed through many births … mine are known unto me, but thou knowest not of thine.'” He then assures Arjuna:
As a man throweth away old garments and putteth on new, even so the dweller in the body, having quitted its old mortal frames, entereth into others which are new.
After Life Visions
The Big TOE
Theosophy, has the ultimate “theory of everything” (TOE), and was the dream of Einstein. But Theosophy’s true agenda was not the pushing of abstruse metaphysics on humanity.
If we understand H. P. Blavatsky and her co-worker W. Q. Judge correctly, their main object was restoring the rightful place of the Soul, and establishing a true understanding of consciousness and its states — including the whole of Nature.
A familiar statement in The Secret Doctrine comes to mind:
we men must remember that because we do not perceive any signs — which we can recognise — of consciousness, say, in stones, we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there.
“There is no such thing as either ‘dead’ or ‘blind’ matter, as there is no ‘Blind’ or ‘Unconscious’ Law. These find no place among the conceptions of Occult philosophy [which] never stops at surface appearances — for it, the noumenal essences have more reality than their objective counterparts.”
After Life Contact
“The Upanishads are to the Vedas what the Kabala is to the Jewish Bible,” Blavatsky wrote, and “they treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts.”
In a few words: They contain the beginning and the end of all human knowledge.
“They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter.“
“Out of a Mist“
“That was in my eleventh year,” Carl Jung eagerly admitted to the interviewer’s question, “On my way to school, I stepped out of a mist .. I stepped out of it and knew ‘I am’ — I am what I am.”
When asked about death, if it is an ‘end,’ Jung replied: and there we are not quite certain, about this end.
(first four lines)
The world’s great age begins anew,
The golden days return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn.
“LIKE the pure blue sky closely shrouded by thick vapours on a misty day, so is the Astral Light concealed from our physical senses during the hours of our normal daily life. But when, concentrating all our spiritual faculties we succeed, for the time being, in paralyzing their enemy (the physical senses), and the inner man becomes, so to say, distinct from the man of matter — then the action of the ever-living spirit, like a breeze that clears the sky from its obstructing clouds, sweeps away the mist which lies between our normal vision and the Astral Light, and we obtain glimpses into, and of, that Light.”
– H. P. Blavatsky
The Bright Spot of Light