Chương 4: Nhân Quả (Sách Karmic Laws-MFVN Dịch)

Nhân Quả tổng hợp

CHAPTER 4

Death and Rebirth
It is understanding the natural laws which flow from the world of the ‘real’ that explains
to us the nature of the Laws of Karma and of Reincarnation.

ChếtTái sinh

Chính là  sự hiểu được các luật tự nhiên xuất phát từ thế giới của “cái chân” sẽ giải thích cho chúng ta bản chất của Các Luật Nghiệp quảLuân Hồi..

Laws of Birth and Rebirth

Your own life is the result of a unique set of causes and effects. The pepper plant does not give birth to roses, nor will sweet jasmine turn into thistle. Law governs all. Even the scientist recognizes just this. He emphasizes that law governs the movement of planets in their orbits. Law dictates the times of the eclipses, the rising of the sap in trees, the pressure of blood in human veins. If these are true, why should there not be laws governing how and when we are born, how and when we die, and laws governing the interim period between life and death? For the occultist, laws like those which govern karma and rebirth are very real.

Các Định luật của Sự Sinh Và Tái Sinh

Cuộc sống của chúng ta là kết quả của tập hợp riêng biệt của các nguyên nhân và hậu quả. Khi ta gieo hạt tiêu thì không thể có được hoa hồng, cũng như khi trồng cây hoa nhài ngọt dịu sẽ không thể cho cây hoa gai. Định luật chi phối tất cả. 

Ngay cả nhà khoa học cũng nhận ra điều này và ông nhấn mạnh định luật  kiểm soát các hành tinh chuyển động trong quỹ đạo của chúng. Định luật điều khiển số vòng quay của những hình elip, con đường đi lên của nhựa trong thân cây, huyết áp của máu trong mạch máu. Và nếu các điều này là sự thật, tại sao lại không có các định luật chi phối bằng cách nào và khi nào chúng ta sinh ra? Bằng cách nào và khi nào chúng ta chết đi? Và định luật nào chi phối giai đoạn giữa lúc sống và lúc chết?  Theo các nhà huyền bí học, các định luật chi phối nghiệp quảtái sinh là hoàn toàn có thực.

It is only when the disciple truly understands that there is no such thing as death but only a change of state that the majestic processes of karma are properly understood. He then begins to perceive rebirth merely as the opening of a door in which the Self passes from one room to another in the dwelling place of the Soul. Actions set in motion in a front room may have to await their resolution until reentry into that room is made in a life specifically chosen for that purpose.

The Laws of Karma and Reincarnation do not affect our personalities as much as they affect our souls. We feel that we are influenced by previous lives. This is true, but the laws of karma apply not so much to man’s lower nature, but to the eternal part of man—his Soul.

Chỉ khi nào người đệ tử thực sự hiểu rằng không có cái gọi là sự chết, đó chẳng qua chỉ là một sự thay đổi trạng thái, khi đó tiến trình vĩ đại của nghiệp quả mới được hiểu một cách đúng đắn. Khi đó y bắt đầu nhận thức được rằng sự tái sinh cũng giống như việc đi từ căn phòng này tới một căn phòng khác trong nơi cư ngụ của Linh hồn. Những hành động được thiết lập để thực hiện ở căn phòng ở phía trước có thể phải chờ thực hiện cho đến khi người đó bước vào lại căn phòng đó trong một kiếp sống đặc biệt được lựa chọn cho riêng mục đích đó.

Định luật Nghiệp quảLuân hồi không tác động đến phàm ngã của chúng ta nhiều như cách chúng tác động đến Linh hồn. Chúng ta cảm thấy rằng chúng ta bị ảnh hưởng bởi các kiếp sống trước đây. Điều này đúng, nhưng luật Karma không tác động quá nhiều tới các thể thấp như tác động tới thể bất diệt của con ngườiLinh hồn.

The Higher Triad and the Lower Triad

To an esoteric scientist, man’s lower nature is a triplicity – a triad made up not only of the physical body which we know so well, but also containing inner vehicles which we also know well on other levels of consciousness.

Tam Thể Thượng Và Tam Thể Hạ

Đối với một nhà khoa học huyền môn, tam thể hạ như là một bộ ba –  một Tam nguyên được hình thành không chỉ bởi thể vật lý mà chúng ta đã biết rõ, nó còn bao gồm các khí thể bên trong mà chúng ta cũng biết rõ ở các tầm mức tâm thức khác.

The Etheric Body of Man

Every human being has an energy counterpart, known in esoteric parlance as the etheric body, which is at long last being investigated by scientific instrumentation. It is this body which yogis say energises the physical body through great streams of energy coming from the sun known as prana – a solar energy that enters through certain force-fields or centres in the etheric matrix, proceeding from there to the physical form.

Thể Dĩ Thái Của Con Người.

Mỗi người đều có một đối phần năng lượng, được biết đến trong ngôn ngữ bí truyền như là thể dĩ thái, mà cuối cùng cũng sẽ được các thiết bị khoa học làm sáng tỏ. Chính thể này mà các nhà yogi nói rằng cấp năng lượng cho thể vật lý qua các dòng năng lượng vĩ đại đến từ mặt trời được biết đến như là prananăng lượng thái dương đi vào xuyên qua các trung tâm lực trong ma trận dĩ thái, từ đó đến cơ thể vật lý.

An Emotional or Astral Nature

Of course, man has an emotional nature – an astral body – made up of emotional substance. Many people hardly respond to anything else, being so controlled by the over-stimulation of these energies as to be considered a ‘bundle of nerves’ or a ‘walking powder keg’.

When we go to sleep, we transfer our consciousness from the physical brain into the astral body, which may then leave the physical body in bed and be transported through the ether in search of targets of people or places … usually in response to events or requests registered during the previous day’s activities in the objective world.

Thể Tình Cảm hay Thể Cảm xúc.

Điều tất nhiên, con người có một bản chất cảm xúc – một thể astral – được tạo nên từ chất liệu cảm xúc. Rất nhiều người gặp khó khăn trong việc tương tác với mọi thứ khác, họ bị kiểm soát bởi sự kích thích quá mức bởi những năng lượng này, được gọi là  “thần kinh bó buộc hay cục bột di động”

Khi ngủ, chúng ta chuyển đổi ý thức từ bộ não vật lý sang thể cảm xúc, khi đó có thể tách khỏi thể xác trên giường và dịch chuyển xuyên qua chất dĩ thái nhằm tìm kiếm những người hoặc những địa điểm nào đó… thường là đáp ứng lại những sự kiện hoặc các đòi hỏi được ghi nhận từ các hoạt động của ngày hôm trước trong thế giới vật lý.

The Mental Sheath

The mental body of man also interpenetrates with the others. The totality of this interaction makes up what is referred to as the human aura – a magnetic forcefield of energy surrounding each person in an oval shape, varying in depth according to the spiritual status of the individual. We spend so much time developing these bodies life after life only to discard them each time at death.

Thể trí

Thể trí của con người thâm nhập vào các thể khác. Toàn bộ sự tương tác này hình thành nên hào quang con người – một từ trường mãnh lực của năng lượng xung quanh mỗi người, có hình ô van, có chiều sâu thay đổi khác nhau tuỳ thuộc vào trạng thái tinh thần của mỗi cá nhân. Chúng ta mất rất nhiều thời gian để phát triển thể này từ kiếp này qua kiếp khác, chỉ để rũ bỏ chúng mỗi lần vào lúc chết.

Karma and reincarnation imply justice and love in everything. No matter how straight the gate … no matter how rough the road, we are the masters of our fate if we regard ourselves as Souls. If we think of ourselves only as personalities, then the road will always seem rough … the mountain top will always seem just beyond the horizon. Life truly becomes interesting when seen from the plane of the Soul … when we begin to control our own karma.

Nghiệp quảluân hồi hàm ý sự công bằng và tình yêu thương trong mọi vật. Cho dù cánh cổng thẳng tới đâu…cho dù con đường gập ghềnh thế nào, chúng ta luôn là chủ nhân của số phận của chính mình nếu chúng ta xem mình như là Linh Hồn. Nếu chúng ta nghĩ rằng chúng ta chỉ là những phàm ngã thì dường như con đường sẽ luôn luôn gập ghềnh… đỉnh núi cao dường như luôn luôn vượt quá đường chân trời. Cuộc sống trở nên thực sự thú vị khi được nhìn từ cõi giới của Linh hồn…khi đó, chúng ta sẽ bắt đầu kiểm soát nghiệp quả của chính mình.

Even a planetary Logos has certain karma to work out, and every living being on this planet shares in that karma to some extent. All of us, from those exalted Beings down to the lowliest of human beings, can begin to control our karma—both good and evil.

Ngay cả một Hành Tinh Thượng Đế cũng có nghiệp quả cần được giải quyết, và mỗi chúng sinh trên hành tinh này cùng chia sẻ nghiệp quả đó ở một mức độ nhất định. Tất cả chúng ta, từ những Đấng Cao Cả xuống tới những người thấp hèn nhất, đều có thể bắt đầu kiểm soát nghiệp quả của chính mình – cả nghiệp thiện và nghiệp ác.

Sometimes, the individual fails to learn the lesson for which a particular circumstance was supposed to provide an opportunity. Life after life may be squandered, until the person recognizes the cause behind the recurring circumstances in each life. In some instances, it may be many lives before the individual is called upon to make retribution for something he initiated in a life of ancient origin.

Đôi khi, cá nhân gặp thất bại trong việc học bài học mà một trường hợp cụ thể được dự định cung cấp một cơ hội. Có thể bị lãng phí hết kiếp này đến kiếp khác, cho đến khi người đó nhận ra nguyên nhân đằng sau của các hoàn cảnh được lặp đi lặp lại ở các kiếp sống.  Trong một số trường hợp, có thể sẽ trải qua rất nhiều kiếp sống trước khi cá nhân đó bị gọi ra để trả giá cho một vài việc mà y đã làm ở một kiếp sống xa xưa.

Life is a Sine Wave

On one level, each life operates as a sine wave of energy – flowing from birth through death. On a higher turn of the spiral, the wave would show as a continuous journey by the Soul in its effort to achieve perfection, with the peaks representing the travel through time and space in physical forms on the plane of the earth and the valleys standing for the periods spent in devachan.

Cuộc sống là một Sóng Hình Sin.

Ở một cấp độ, mỗi kiếp sống diễn ra như một sóng năng lượng hình Sintừ khi sinh ra cho đến khi chết. Trên vòng xoắn cao hơn của hình xoắn ốc, sóng này sẽ diễn ra như một hành trình liên tục của Linh Hồn với những nỗ lực nhằm đạt đến sự hoàn hảo, với các đỉnh là hành trình xuyên qua thời giankhông gian trong hình thể vật lý trên trần gian, và thung lủng là giai đoạn trong Devachan.

On a still higher turn of the spiral, an individual can spend a final series of incarnations in several lives with only short periods out of a personality form, with the entire series seen as one sine wave. Such a run would emerge from an extended period of absence from the earth plane (known as a pralaya) and be impelled under the driving force of the Will-to-Be of the Logos to continue in each life the work started in the previous one. Such work would, of course, be on a planetary scale and evolutionary in content such as a development of the healing arts (See The Psychology of Discipleship, pp.80-83, by the author).

Trên một vòng xoắn còn cao hơn, một cá nhân có thể trải qua một chuỗi tái sinh cuối cùng trong một vài kiếp sống với chỉ một giai đoạn ngắn ngoài hình thể phàm ngã, với toàn bộ chuỗi giống như dạng sóng hình Sin. Một tiến trình như vậy sẽ phát xuất từ thời kì kéo dài vắng mặt khỏi cõi trần (được biết như là một Pralaya) và được thúc đẩy dưới mãnh lực của Ý Chí – Hiện Tồn của Thượng Đế để tiếp tục trong mỗi kiếp sống công việc vốn đã bắt đầu từ kiếp trước. Dĩ nhiên, một công việc như vậy nằm tên tầm mức hành tinh có tính thúc đẩy sự tiến hóa, chẳng hạn như sự phát triển nghệ thuật chữa bệnh (Xem Psychology of Discipleship, P 88-89, cùng tác giả).

The Will-to-Be of the Monad would be the driving force for most incarnations. In rare instances, such as suicides or extreme debauchery, the desire of the personality to maintain its hold on the earth plane can be so strong that the individual is swept back into incarnation almost immediately. Of course, in the latter case, the same set of circumstances would present itself until the personality learned its lesson and escaped from the self-created prison of cyclic events.

Ý chí – Hiện Tồn của Chân thần là động lực cho hầu hết sự tái sinh. Trong những trường hợp hiếm hoi như tự sát hoặc có lối sống quá đồi trụy, sự khao khát của phàm ngã muốn duy trì đời sống đó trên cõi trần có thể quá mạnh đến mức phàm ngã ngay lập tức bị cuốn vào vòng luân hồi. Tất nhiên trong trường hợp này, những hoàn cảnh tương tự cũng sẽ được đưa ra cho đến khi phàm ngã đã học được bài học của chính nó và giải thoát khỏi vòng giam hãm của những sự kiện lặp lại.

But this lower triad of man is transient—a form which we discard at death, which the esotericist knows to be only a stage of consciousness where in each person enters greater fields of opportunity for Soul experiences.

Nhưng tam thể hạ của mỗi người chỉ là tạm thời – một hình thể mà chúng ta sẽ rũ bỏ khi chết, và nhà huyền bí học biết rằng đó chỉ là một giai đoạn của tâm thức trong đó mỗi người bước vào một lãnh vực rộng mở hơn với những cơ hội cho Linh hồn kinh nghiệm.

Certainly this lower triad of man is affected by the Laws of Karma and

Reincarnation, but those laws are hardly understandable in terms of one short life. Karma and reincarnation must be evaluated in terms of the higher triad of man— the true, perpetual, enduring part of man—the part we call the Soul. The Soul of man is formless, but made up of three major energies known as Atma, Buddhi and Manas.

Chắc chắn tam thể hạ này chịu sự chi phối bởi luật nghiệp quảluân hồi, nhưng trong một giai đoạn ngắn, rất khó để hiểu được những định luật này chỉ trong một kiếp sống ngắn ngủi. Nghiệp quảluân hồi phải được đánh giá theo tam thể thượng – là phần chân thật, vĩnh cửu và trường tồn của mỗi người – thể mà chúng ta gọi là Linh Hồn. Linh Hồn của một người không có hình tướng, nhưng được cấu thành từ ba nguồn năng lượng chính được biết đến là: Atma, Buddi và Manas.

When we talk about karma, we are talking about laws which govern ultimately the unfoldment of the Egoic Lotus. This higher part of man which persists after death has been sometimes depicted as a lotus, each petal being unfolded according to the Laws of Karma. Each incarnation is chosen by the Soul according to which petal is to be unfolded in that life – whether it is to be a Sacrifice Petal as the result of great effort in service to mankind, a petal of Knowledge, or a petal of Love. All of this is decided by the Laws of Karma and Reincarnation. (See The Jewel In The Lotus, pp.

139-149, by the Author).

Khi nói về Karma, chúng ta đang nói về luật chi phối tối hậu sự khai mở của Hoa Sen Chân Ngã. Bộ phận cao hơn này của mỗi người vẫn tồn tại sau khi chết, đôi khi được miêu tả như một hoa sen, mỗi cánh hoa được khai mở theo Luật Karma. Linh hồn lựa chọn mỗi kiếp luân hồi tuỳ theo cánh hoa nào được khai mở trong kiếp sống đó – dù đó là Cánh Hoa Hy Sinh trong nỗ lực phụng sự nhân loại, hay Cánh Hoa Hiểu Biết hay Cánh Hoa Tình Thương. Tất cả những điều này đều được quyết định bởi Luật KarmaLuân hồi (Xem trong cuốn The Jewel in the Lotus, PP 139149, của tác giả).

 

Phụ lục

Giải thích về Sóng hình Sin của sự Luân hồi

Trích từ Psychology of Discipleship

The urge of the Soul to incarnate is part of the Will-to-Be of that infinitely greater Being, the planetary Logos. Life in a physical body is, for the soul, a karmic necessity, a necessity which is met cyclically. The monad gains, through the Soul’s involvement in a physical form, spiritual staying power. Staying power implies sustained will and determination.

After a long period of rest, the Soul presses downwards into the mental, astral and physico-etheric planes, stimulating first its permanent atoms on those planes and then, attracting through them, the materials out of which its sheaths of matter will be constructed.

The urge to incarnate is repeatedly satisfied as personality after personality is assumed and discarded. All the time, the soul garners qualities from these experiences which, in terms of their atmic, buddhic and manasic qualities will bring staying power to the overshadowing monad. It is not so much through the incarnating process that this spiritual staying power is gained but rather in the process of extraction or of disengagement from the lower triad of bodies that the quality is won. When the cycle ends the soul goes into a state of withdrawal, brooding over its experiences, consolidating them and resting in preparation for the resurgence that follows.

This oscillation, both ways, into and out of involvement in material form may be seen as a sine wave with the downward thrust of the curve depicting the increasing potency of the urge to incarnate. The upward movement of each curve would, correspondingly, depict the waning of the expression of the will-to-be. Thus all men reflect outwardly, in their behaviour, something of these Soul-urges. Generally, incarnations assumed in the downward sweep are ones in which Will Rays predominate in the personalities. In the trough or nadir of the sine wave, there are lives in which there is a balance between the complement of Love and those of Will Rays. In the upward sweep of the curve, Love Rays predominate in the personalities assumed. A life in which there is ‘abulia,’ an absence of will-power is generally experienced at the summit of this curve immediately prior to the soul’s withdrawal into a long period of pralaya.

We write here, of pralaya, in the sense of the soul being out of manifestation but it includes, in fact, the period spent in devachan, represented by the crest of the waves. Devachan is not the heaven world which is associated with the Earth. In those who possess perfectly normal physical bodies and in whom karma is not particularly malevolent or active, there is a life of inactivity. This would show not only as lack of interest in a career, marriage, ambition etc., but it can demonstrate more diffusely in lack of any sort of drive. Thoughts may enter the mind but they lose the name of action. It is almost as if the incarnee is in a state of shock. There is desire to contact the environment but a paralysis of action.

Whilst it is certain that schizophrenia has a genetic background to it, in that stress cannot be endured to any great extent through physical disabilities endowed by a dominant gene, many sufferers of the condition would escape outward signs of the disease if it were not for the fact that the incarnation has almost reached the crest of the withdrawal part of the sine wave. Here, the lack of Will energies, especially those of atma—which have a special affinity for the physical body and particularly for the brain mechanism itself—allows the vehicles of consciousness to become too loosely connected. The energies of the personality are too facile. They quickly energise any thought form, and so, distract with it, the awareness of the schizophrenic into elements of the unreal. The will-to-be is not strong; the bodies are loosely combined and the splitting of personality is easy.

In the early years of of life ‘on the Path’, the tendency to withdraw all interest from the tangible, the so-called world of reality, grows apace and unless the personality is carefully disciplined along the lines of classical esoteric instruction, instability may result. ‘Keeping both feet on the ground’ is good advice to all pupils but most especially to those who suffer from ‘hypobulia’, the diminishment of the will-tobe.

The Diagram below shows, by method of a sine wave, a series of lives for average man. For him, each life is separated by approximately 700 to 1100 years* depending on whether it is a life predominantly on the Will Rays or one on the Love Rays. Arrows pointing downwards represent the former and those directed upwards represent the latter. The heaven world occupies the space between lives but after a series of lives there would be a period in devachan shown in the crests above the diagram’s horizontal line that demarcates pralaya from manifestation in a physical body.

*These two figures have been greatly reduced from their traditional estimates shown here, due to the rapid rise of population in the world.

 

It is appropriate here to consider the nature of devachan as described in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnet:

‘The Devachan, or land of ‘Sukhavati,’ is allegorically described by our Lord Buddha himself. What he said may be found in the Shan-Mun-Yik-Tung. Says Tathagata:-

“Many thousand myriads of systems of worlds beyond this—ours—there is a region of Bliss called Sukhavati … This region is encircled with seven rows of railings, seven rows of vast curtains, seven rows of waving trees; this holy abode of Arahats is governed by the Tathagatas—Dyhan Chohans—and is possessed by the Buddhisatwas. It hath seven precious lakes, in the midst of which flow crystaline waters having “seven and one 2 properties, or distinctive qualities – 7 principles emanating from the One—This, O Sariputra is the “Devachan”. Its divine Udumbara flower casts a root in the shadow of every earth, and blossoms for all those who reach it. Those born in the precious region are truly felicitous, there are no more griefs or sorrows in that cycle for them … Myriads of spirits— Lha—resort there for rest and then return to their own regions. Again, O Sariputtam in that land of joy many who are born in that are Avaivartyas … “ etc.

‘Certainly the new Ego, once it is reborn, retains for a certain time, proportionate to its Earth-life, a complete recollection of his life on Earth. But it can never return on Earth, from the Devachan, nor has the latter, even omitting all anthropomorphic ideas of God, any resemblance to the paradise or heaven of any religion, and it is H. P. B.’s literary fancy that suggested to her the wonderful comparison.

Now the question of importance is who goes to Heaven, or Devachan? Is this condition only attained by the few who are very good, or by the many who are not very bad, after the lapse in their case of a longer unconscious incubation or gestation?’

The diagram below shows the changes that occur in the Laws governing reincarnation with regard to the Pupil and the Initiate. A long period in Devachan heralds a run of lives which are in quick succession. The pupil has been given a share of the Plan. He uses both Will and Love Rays to execute it and returns again and again until the cycle of manifestation ends with a pralaya and a return to Devachan or to the climax of initiation and Masterdom.

 

’Who goes to Devachan?’ The personal Ego of course, but beatified, purified, holy. Every Ego, the combination of the sixth and seventh principles, which, after the period of unconscious gestation is reborn into the Devachan, is of necessity as innocent and pure as a new-born babe. The fact of his being reborn at all, shows the preponderance of good over evil in his old personality. And while the karma— of evil—steps aside for the time being to follow him to his future earthreincarnation, he brings along with him but the Karma of his good deeds, words and thoughts, into this Devachan. ‘Bad’ is a relative term for us, as you were told more than once before, and the Law of Retribution, is the only law that never errs. Hence, all those who have not slipped down into the mire of unredeemable sin and bestiality, go to the Devachan. They will have to pay for their sins, voluntary and involuntary, later on. Meanwhile they are rewarded; receive the effects of the causes produced by them.

‘Of course it is a state, one, so to say, of intense selfishness, during which an Ego reaps the reward of his unselfishness on earth. He is completely engrossed in the bliss of all his personal earthly affections, preferences and thoughts, and gathers in the fruits of his meritorious actions. No pain, no grief nor even the shadow of a sorrow comes to darken the bright horizon of his unalloyed happiness: for, it is a state of perpetual Maya … Since the conscious perception of one’s personality on earth is but an evanescent dream, that sense will be equally that of a dream in the Devachan … only a hundredfold intensified. So much so, indeed, that the happy Ego is unable to see through the veil, the evils, sorrows and woes to which those it loved on earth may be subjected. It lives in that sweet dream with its loved ones … whether gone before, or yet remaining on earth; it has them near itself, as happy, as blissful and as innocent as the disembodied dreamer himself; and yet, apart from rare visions, the denizens of our gross planet feel it not. It is in this, during such a condition of complete Maya that the Souls or astral Egos of pure, loving sensitives, labouring under the same illusion, think their loved ones come down to them on earth, while it is their own Spirits that are raised towards those in Devachan. Many of the subjective spiritual communications, most of them when the sensitives are pure-minded, are real; but it is most difficult for the uninitiated medium to fix in his mind the true and correct pictures of what he sees and hears. Some of the phenomena called psychography—though more rarely—are also real. The spirit of the sensitive getting odylised, so to say, by the aura of the Spirit in the Devachan, becomes for a few minutes that departed personality, and writes in the handwriting of the latter, in his language and in his thoughts as they were during his lifetime. The two spirits become blended in one, and, the preponderance of one over the other during such phenomena determines the preponderance of personality in the characteristics exhibited in such writings, and trance speaking. What you call rapport is in plain fact an identity of molecular vibration between the astral part of the incarnate medium and the astral part of the discarnate personality. As in music, two different sounds may be in accord and separately distinguishable and this harmony or discord depends on the synchronous vibrations and complementary periods; so there is rapport between medium and ‘control’ when their astral molecules move in accord. And the question as to whether the communication shall reflect more of the one idiosyncrasy, or the other, is determined by the relative intensity of the two sets of vibrations in the compound wave of Akasha. The less identical the vibratory impulses the more mediumistic and less spiritual will be the message. So then, measure your medium’s moral state by that of the alleged controlling Intelligence, and your tests of genuineness leave nothing to be desired.

‘There are great varieties in the Devachanic states. As many varieties of bliss as there are on earth, there are shades of perception and of capability to appreciate such reward. It is an ideated paradise, in each case of the Ego’s own making, and by him filled with the scenery, crowded with the incidents, and thronged with the people he would expect to find in such a sphere of compensative bliss. And it is that variety which guides the temporary personal Ego into the current which will lead him to be reborn in a lower or higher condition in the next world of causes. Everything is so harmoniously adjusted in nature—especially in the subjective world, that no mistake can be committed by the Tathagatas, or Dhyan Chohans, who guide the impulses.

‘On the face of the idea, a purely spiritual state would only be enjoyable to the entities highly spiritualised in this life. But there are myriads of very good people— morally—who are not spiritualised at all. How can they be fitted to pass, with their recollections of this life from a material to a spiritual condition of existence?

‘It is a spiritual condition only as contrasted with our own grossly ‘material condition’, and, as already stated, it is such degrees of spirituality that constitute and determine the great varieties of conditions within the limits of Devachan. A mother from a savage tribe is not less happy than a mother from a regal palace, with her lost child in her arms; and although as actual Egos, children prematurely dying before the perfection of their septenary Entity, do not find their way to Devachan, yet all the same, the mother’s loving fancy finds her children there, without one missing that her heart yearns for. Say—it is but a dream, but after all what is objective life itself but a panorama of vivid unrealities? The pleasures realised by a Red Indian in his happy hunting grounds in that Land of Dreams is not less intense than the ecstasy by a connoisseur who passes aeons in the rapt delight of listening to divine Symphonies by imaginary angelic choirs and orchestras. As it is no fault of the former, being born a savage with an instinct to kill—though it caused the death of many an innocent animal—why, if with it at all, he was a loving father, son, husband, why should he not also enjoy his share of the reward? The case would be quite different if the same cruel acts had been done by an educated and civilised person, from a mere love of sport. The savage in being reborn would simply take a a low place in the scale, by reason of his imperfect moral development; while the karma of the other would be tainted with moral delinquency . . .

‘Everyone but that ego which, attracted by its gross magnetism, falls into the current that will draw it into the planet of Death—the mental as well as physical satellite of our earth—is fitted to pass into a relative spiritual condition adjusted to his previous condition in life and mode of thought. To my knowledge and recollection H.P.B. explained to Mr. Hulme that man’s sixth principle, as something purely spiritual could not exist, or have conscious being in the Devachan, unless it assimilated some of the more abstract and pure of the mental attributes of the fifth principle or animal Soul, its manas (mind) and memory. When man dies, his second and third principles die with him; the lower triad disappears, and the fourth, fifth and sixth principles form the surviving Quaternary. Thenceforth it is a death struggle between the Upper and Lower dualities. If the upper wins, the sixth, having attracted to itself the quintessence of Good from the fifth, its nobler affections, its saintly, though they be earthly, aspirations, and the most spiritualised portions of its mind, follows (picture) its divine elder—the 7th—into the Gestation State; and the fifth and fourth remain in association as an empty shell—the expression is quite correct—to roam in the earth’s atmosphere, with half the personal memory gone, and the more brutal instinct fully alive for a certain period—an Elementary, in short. This is the angel guide of the average medium. If, on the other hand, it is the Upper Duality which is defeated, then it is the fifth principle that assimilates all that there may be left of personal recollection of and perceptions of its personal individuality in the sixth. But, with all this additional stock, it will not remain in Kama-Loka, the World of Desire or our Earth atmosphere. In a very short time, like a straw floating within the attraction of the vortices and pits of the Maelstrom, it is caught up and drawn into the great whirlpool of human Egos; while the sixth and seventh, now a purely spiritual, individual Monad, with nothing left in it of the late personality, having no regular ‘gestation’ period to pass through—since there is no purified personal Ego to be reborn—after a more or less prolonged period of unconscious Rest in the boundless Space, will find itself reborn in another personality on the next planet. When arrives the period of Full Individual Consciousness, which precedes that of Absolute Consciousness in the Pari-Nirvana, this lost personal life becomes a tornout page in the great Book of Lives, without even a disconnected word left to mark its absence. The purified monad will neither perceive nor remember it in the series of its past rebirths, which it would had it gone to the World of Formsrupa-loka— and its retrospective glance will not perceive even the slightest sign to indicate that it had been.

‘The light of Samma-Sambuddh, “ … that light which shines beyond our mortal ken The light of all the lives in all the worlds”, throws no ray upon that personal life in the series of lives forgone. To the credit of mankind, I must say, that such an utter obliteration of an existence from the tablets of Universal Being does not occur often enough to make a great percentage. In fact, like the much mentioned ‘congenital idiot’ such a thing is a ‘lusus naturae,’ an exception, not the rule.

‘The period of gestation between Death and Devachan has hitherto been conceived by me at all events as very long. Now it is said to be in some cases only a few days, in no cases—it is implied—more than a few years. This seems plainly stated, but I ask if it can be explicitly confirmed because it is point on which so much turns.

Another fine example of the habitual disorder in which H.P.B.’s mental furniture is kept. She talks of Bardo and does not even say to her readers what it means! As in her writing room, confusion is ten times confounded, so in her mind are crowded ideas piled in such a chaos that when she wants to express them, the tail peeps out before the head. Bardo has nothing to do with the duration of time in the case you are referring to. Bardo is the period between death and rebirth and may last from a few years to a kalpa. It is divided into three sub-periods … (1) when the Ego, delivered of its mortal coil, enters into Kama-Loka (the abode of Elementaries); (2) when it enters into its Gestation State; (3) when it is reborn in the Rupa-Loka of Devachan. Sub-period (1) may last a few minutes to a number of years, the phrase a few years becoming puzzling and utterly worthless without a more complete explanation; Sub-Period (2) is very long, as you say, longer sometimes than you may even imagine, yet proportional to the Ego’s spiritual stamina; Sub-Period (3) lasts according to the good Karma, after which the monad is again reincarnated. The Agama Satra saying: ‘In all these Rupa-Lokas, the Devas (Spirits) are equally subjected to birth, decay, old age and death’, means only that an ego is born thither, then begins fading out and finally ‘dies’, i.e. falls into that unconscious condition which precedes rebirth; and ends the Sloka with these words: “As the Devas emerge from these heavens, they enter the lower world again,” i.e., they leave a world of bliss to be reborn in a world of causes.

‘In that case, and assuming that Devachan is not solely the heritage of adepts and persons almost as elevated, there is a condition of existence tantamount to Heaven actually going on, from which the Life of Earth may be watched by an immense number of those who have gone before! And for how long? Does this state of spiritual beatitude endure for years? for decades? for centuries?

‘Most emphatically ‘the Devachan is not solely the heritage of adepts’, and most decidedly there is a ‘heaven’—if you must use this astro-geographical term—for ‘an immense number who have gone before’. But life on earth can be watched by none of these, for reasons of the Law of Bliss plus Maya, already given.

‘For years, decades, centuries and milleniums, often-times multiplied by something more … it all depends on the duration of Karma. Fill with oil Den’s little cup, and a city reservoir with water, and lighting both see which burns the longer. The Ego is the wick and Karma the oil, the difference in the quality of the latter— in the cup and in the reservoir—suggesting to you the great difference in the duration of various Karmas. Every effect must be proportionate to the cause. And, as man’s terms of incarnate existence bear but a small proportion to his periods of internatal existence in the manvantaric cycle, so the good thoughts, words, and deeds of anyone of these ‘live’ on a globe are causative of effects, the working out of which requires far more time than the evolution of the causes occupied. Therefore, when you read in the Jats and other fabulous stories of the Buddhist Scriptures that this or the other good action was rewarded by Kalpas of several figures of bliss, do not smile at the absurd exaggeration, but bear in mind what I have said. From a small seed, you know, sprung a tree whose life endures now for 22 centuries; I mean the Anuradha-pura Bo tree.’


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