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G. de P. — I am now ready to answer questions.
Student — With reference to the expression "the pilgrimage of the monad" on page 570 of volume one of The Secret Doctrine, I came upon this passage on page 577, which much more clearly shows the unsoundness of recent criticisms of your teachings about the after death states as being "contrary to the teachings of HPB":
"The Planetary origin of the monad (Soul) and of its faculties was taught by the Gnostics. On its way to the Earth, as on its way back from the Earth, each soul born in, and from, the 'Boundless Light,' had to pass through the seven planetary regions both ways."
G. de P. — Things are working in just the way in which I want them to work. I want the members to point out these things, to look into our literature, to prove the statements, and I myself will keep quiet — at least for the time being.
Student — Regarding the monad and the seven planets: if the critics of your teaching had ever had a general view of the system, of the doctrine, they would never for a moment have had any objection to it.
G. de P. — Yes. They have not understood the teaching which they have.
Student — Why wouldn't they even guess it by analogy? Where did the monad come from? What is its pilgrimage? It comes, infinitesimally small, so far as spacial dimension is concerned, and it creates its vehicles, its rupas, one after another, up to a certain point, when it commences to shed them. Now, why should it not go back to whence it came, in order to make its circuit? Analogy points to the high probability of it.
Student — The fact that people are so imbued with suspicion makes them undesirous of testing or thinking of any subject that is submitted by someone else.
Student — These are to them uncharted seas and they don't sail on them.
Student — It was a new idea to me before I realized that the monads finally shed these vehicles.
G. de P. — One of these days I will either lecture, or try to answer questions, on kama-loka and the afterdeath states, and open the doors a little — try to tell men in explicit language just what the afterdeath state is, instead of in vague and general terms.
Student — I found a very interesting statement in Judge's old Forum regarding kama-loka and devachan. He said that Swedenborg did visit both kama-loka and devachan while in the body.
G. de P. — Many have done that and didn't realize it. Let me tell you something. Whenever you have a nightmare or an evil dream, you are in kama-loka. It is brief and temporary and you call it a dream. Now, imagine passing years in that condition, centuries perhaps. I can tell you that if people knew what is coming to them after death in the ordinary course of events as the reward of evil living, of giving way to vice and the appetites of the lower mind, such as hatred and anger, fear, dislike — if they knew, I say, then out of sheer fear, from self-protective interest, human lives would be radically changed. I tell you that it is our duty to inform people more about these things: to explain what kama-loka and what Avichi are. Hitherto our members have been so afraid of giving a bad impression, or of making people feel gloomy, that they have overlooked the importance of this. Perhaps it was a good fault, and quite a strong argument could be made out for the reticence. But there is another side to the matter, and I think the time has come now when men's minds have changed sufficiently to be able to take in these things and understand them properly. All the old doctrines regarding hell or the hells that all the religions have are based as teachings on what exists in the kama-loka and avichi states. But men sometimes are in these states even while living.
Take a thoroughly evil man, one whose consciousness, when out of the body, or after death, is centered in the kama-loka.
I cannot imagine a worse hell than that undergone by an evil-minded suicide, for instance, or a murderer, repeating, repeating, repeating, evil acts through the years, and enduring the same awful series of feelings and thoughts and acts — a perfect and continuous nightmare of horror. That is kama-loka in some of its worst phases, approaching avichi.
On the other hand, average men, normal men, have a very short and indistinct kama-lokic experience; and it is not vivid. It is much more like an unpleasant feeling, a sensation of nervousness and dislike. One cannot say that they are happy. But nevertheless they soon pass through it.
Men while living enter the devachan in the same way that some men enter the kama-lokic state while alive. You may see men going around for weeks in a devachanic state of mind, in a sort of dream state, living in a fool's paradise, enwrapped, for instance, in a musical composition, oblivious of almost anything else, scarcely eating, even careless in their habits for the time being — entirely enwrapped in a beautiful musical dream. It is a devachanic state absolutely, but totally wrong because out of place, and because abnormal and improper for a living man. Either of these two states is not proper for a man in physical life. A man is here on earth in order to live a true man's life, to do his duty, to be wide awake, manly to attend to all things that come his way.
What I have so often lectured upon and written to the effect that a man gets just what he wants, is absolutely, literally true. He gets exactly the devachan he has built for himself, exactly the kama-loka he has built for himself, to the very last point, not a single experience does he undergo unjustly. Nature is rigidly accurate in her justice in these matters. A man is a free agent, and therefore he will reap in retribution what he has made for himself, or in recompense; neither more nor less.
Student — Will that pay off any earthly karma?
G. de P. — Not a particle. Until the second death occurs, there is a certain daze of mind in the kama-loka. The reaction of physical death produces a revulsion of feeling on the dazed entity which does make its mark on the ego and teaches it a lesson. These facts enable me here once more to point out the extreme necessity of preserving during lifetime an aspiring mind, a detachment from things and experiences of the gross, passional, earth-life. Morals are no human convention, but are based on the soundest and most far-reaching vision of the sages. They are founded on nature's own noblest operations.
Student — As you say in Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, a man goes to the exact place to which he is attracted, and he has made the attraction himself; he goes there only because he is attracted there — wherever it may be.
G. de P. — Exactly so; and all the forces in the universe cannot push a man into, or attract him into, a place or state which he himself has not built for himself, whether it be kama-loka or devachan or nirvana or avichi. If you consider the phenomena of dreams, or of human earth-life itself, we find there the same law and the same rule. Kindliness in life, brotherly feelings, a charitable state of mind, genuine forgiveness of others, mean that you are preparing for yourself a brief and colorless and painless kama-loka, perhaps even an unconscious passing through it; you don't even know you are there. Whereas, contrariwise, a man who leaves physical life in hatred, or as a coward, with his soul corrupted and burning with the fierce fire of earthly loves and attractions, or in any other way, will have a kama-loka exactly corresponding to what he himself is.
Student — Take the case of a congenital idiot: he has engendered no causes in this life that would merit any particular punishment.
G. de P. — Correct. He has no kama-loka to speak of, and of course no devachan. Reincarnation in his case is very quick — it may be said to be almost immediate, for the simple reason that the congenital idiot has built up during his earth-life, long or short, neither spiritual aspirations nor self-conscious evil attractions. I am here speaking only of congenital idiots, those who are complete idiots from birth.
Student — It is really only paying off a debt for that earth life.
G. de P. — No, hardly that. A congenital idiot cannot be said to have incurred any moral debts. When a congenital idiot dies, it is therefore for him practically a complete unconsciousness from the moment of death until the new reincarnation brings him again to childhood.
Student — A congenital idiot might be merely a physical organism without any real entity connected with it.
G. de P. — That is virtually and usually the case, but it all depends upon the individual case. A congenital idiot may be the reincarnation of an astral monad from which the divine monad had previously departed — just the reincarnation of a human psychomagnetic bunch of energies which works itself out and then vanishes. In such case there is nothing permanent there to continue. But these cases are rare even where congenital idiots are concerned. Congenital idiocy is usually the result of a complicated karma from the past, and almost always signifies a number of previous lives on the downward path — but not always. Each such case must be considered by itself as an individual problem.
Student — Like the tag end of a storm.
Student — Just how much responsibility has the child before the higher ego has attached itself to the child's mental apparatus?
G. de P. — Very little; practically none. An infant has no genuine ethical responsibility at all, simply because there is in the infant no deciding will and no selecting reason. These faculties come later in life.
Student — I understand that the reincarnating ego does not really make much impression upon the child until he is thirteen or fourteen years old?
G. de P. — In the normal human being the reincarnating ego begins to show its transcendent powers at about seven or eight years — just begins; but it is about the time of puberty that the reincarnating ego begins to show its swabhavic qualities with some definiteness.
The average human being's kama-loka is very short; and its devachan does not amount to much as far as intensity and length of time go. This is because the average human being is more or less colorless in character. It is the strong characters that have an intense and terrible kama-loka if they are bad, and, contrariwise, a very beautiful and very long devachan if they are good men.
Student — I had a dream last night that some benevolent person — I did not identify him — had learned of the fact that we could do a great deal of good if we had more funds, and had donated us $150,000.
G. de P. — Well, my Brother, I take it that your love for the work and your desire to see it advance made you yearn for larger means to expand our beautiful theosophical activities; and as these desires are of the spiritual type, probably in your dream you were in the lower ranges of devachan.
Remember the following concerning the nature of devachan. Imagine the most beautiful moment of your life — whatever it may be, because of course it all varies with the individual — without a touch of sorrow or pain or regret. Imagine it prolonged for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, with every possible change and permutation of change of this beautiful moment — a scintillating, varying, changing state of unalloyed happiness, living, intense, and continuous, ringing all the changes that this beautiful thought could possibly have. That is devachan to express it in poor human language, and you are not conscious of the passage of time, don't know anything about it. You are inwrapped in a continuously changing panorama of exquisitely beautiful and spiritual dream experience.
Student — G de P, can this state be shortened by will?
G. de P. — Yes, it certainly can, but the will to do so must be set to that end before physical death ensues.
Student — Now, in the case of a man like Swedenborg, who was very unusual in that he could see things like this and really experience them: could he converse with these people in devachan as he says himself he did, or with those in kama-loka?
G. de P. — No. In the devachan there is the imaginary intercourse all the time with those we have loved with a spiritual love. The consciousness takes them in and considers itself to be in communication with them, just as happens in a beautiful dream when you sleep. The loved ones actually are not there in your dream, but nevertheless they are vividly present to your consciousness. You have the feeling or the realization that they are there with you, and this is just like the devachan, if the devachan happens to be along that line of consciousness. In the kama-loka, events occur in exactly the same way but inverted as it were. For instance, a murderer in the kama-loka, if he is a really bad man — I mean, if his murder was done with malice aforethought, as the result of weeks or months or perhaps years of horrid hatred, resulting in the act of murder as the consequence of mental deposits laid up all those years — he and his murdered victim will be together in his consciousness in the kama-loka. In his consciousness he will be committing the murder again and again and again — repeated, repeated, repeated, through the years — a perfect horror of consciousness like a terrible nightmare. Yet actually the murdered man is not there at all. It is the murderer's consciousness which is ringing all the changes of a scene which was stamped into the very fabric of his consciousness.
Student — What extent of time is there?
G. de P. — He is not conscious of the extent of time; the murderer is not conscious of the passage of time when he is committing the murder again and again in the kama-loka. Have you never had evil dreams? That will make this clear to you.
Student — If a person has a strong feeling of compassion, and suffers with those who suffer, he is convinced that it is a good and high feeling, but it is not a feeling really of genuine happiness. The suffering of others makes him suffer in a sense. Does this belong to the devachan life?
G. de P. — No; because in the devachan the state of consciousness is washed clean of any particle of unhappiness and pain. A character of the type you describe, who during his whole life has yearned to do works of compassion and noble kindliness, will have his devachan mainly along that line, simply because such is the main bent or direction of the individual's consciousness. But it will be without any touch of pain or sorrow; there will be no alloy, no adulteration of anything that belongs to the incarnated human, who is wide awake, with the reincarnating ego actively functioning and self-consciously active.
Student — You said that the devachanic state may be shortened at will.
G. de P. — It can be. Devachan is like a sleep. Just as a man lies down on his bed at night and rests, he can shorten his sleep if he will; and devachan in a sense is a sleep, a repose.
Student — Will his desire tend to shorten the devachan?
G. de P. — Not necessarily, unless combined with the feeling of compassion. The noble-minded man who desires to shorten his devachanic state and who is yearning to be at work again in such noble acts in earth-life, thereby stamps his consciousness with an impulse to return to earth to continue such noble work, just as a man who lies down in his bed at night and says to himself: I must arise early in the morning to help so and so. In both cases the consciousness acts automatically and shortens the rest-period. Contrariwise, if the man had just the love of doing compassionate works, but without the yearning to be active in it — do you see the difference? — then all the devachan will be passed in that state of consciousness of an abstract love of doing compassionate works, without the definite desire to be active in them.
Student — Just like a mother who is nursing a sick child and who feels that she cannot leave the child alone; but she has to have sleep, and she knows that she will wake up in fifteen minutes or half an hour. It seems to me that this case is like the fact that you describe.
G. de P. — You are right. All chelas — and of course the Masters who are but higher chelas, the chelas of greater Masters — in their lower stages of training are taught how to shorten the devachan during the life on earth, for the sole purpose of coming back quickly, coming back to continue their work on earth in service for mankind. This cannot be done with the average man because the bent of his energies is not in that direction. Such men yearn for the devachanic rest; they crave personal happiness; they long for personal peace; they don't want to be workers; they want to rest. Do you see the point of difference?
Student — KT was always talking about coming back soon.
G. de P. — And she will, very soon. There comes a time, as the ego becomes more completely evolved, when there will be no more devachan for it. This is the case with the highest mahatmas. They have no devachan. They simply pass from body to body, after a few weeks, or months it may be, of quiet repose in utter unconsciousness, which is a certain repose that nature's laws imperatively demand — because a certain tension producing psychological fatigue cannot be avoided in the parts of the human constitution which are the more material. But there are certain very high adepts who have advanced so far that not only have they no devachan, but they do not even know the short temporary repose that these others need. And in these lofty instances the mahatma either remains as a nirmanakaya in the atmosphere of the earth, or at will he keeps reincarnating immediately.
Student — Does that mean that the same individuals, when in imbodied existence, can go without sleep?
G. de. P. — No, but to a large extent they can shorten enormously their physical sleep periods. Remember that the physical body is, after all, a physical machine, although alive, and being subject to wear and tear needs recuperation or it dies. There are men even among ordinary individuals who find four or five hours of sleeping quite enough for health. Other men need eight or nine. This does not mean that the man who requires only four or five hours is the greater or better man; but my remarks simply illustrate the situation.
Student — There seems to be, as far as kama-loka and devachan are concerned, a complete cleavage between what is right and what is wrong. There is no such thing, then, in either one of those states, as choice — never an opportunity to choose.
G. de P. — Not while you are in those states, with a subtle difference, however, that the kama-lokic state contains. It is a strange paradox; but if you will notice your bad dreams, you will readily see that the same paradox exists there. In bad dreams you are dimly conscious that you can change the course of your dream by exercising your will. For example, you can hit or you can refrain from hitting; you can commit an act or you can refrain from committing the act; and I have been told by many people whom I have talked to about their dreams, that they found that their dreams are set to run in a certain way, but that by exercising their conscious will, even in dream, they can give to their dream a different direction. Summarizing, therefore, there is no real choice in the kama-loka either, no more so than there is in bad dreams; but both in the kama-loka and in a bad dream, due to preceding causes originated in active earth-life, one has a sense of being able to change the course of a dream; and to a certain extent because of these causes it is true.
Student — In your dreams or nightmares it is possible to recognize that it is a dream, and thus force yourself to wake up.
G. de P. — The same thing happens sometimes with individuals who die. An individual in the kama-loka, if of a sufficiently aspiring character when in the just closed earth-life, can actually raise himself out of the kama-loka and sink into the devachanic sleep. This actually often happens.
Student — If he has exercised himself in earth-life to drive away thoughts that intrude upon him, then he would have more ability to do as you say.
G. de P. — Absolutely so. That is the one thing that human beings should learn to do in earth-life: to refuse to let their evil thoughts control them; to be masters instead of slaves. This is what all the great teachers have taught — to control your thoughts, to be your spiritual self; and if men train themselves to do this in earth-life, then the passage through kama-loka becomes smooth and easy. They reach the devachan with scarcely any conscious experience in kama-loka.
Student — If kama-loka is a state and at the same time is a locality, how far does it extend around the earth?
G. de P. — The kama-lokic spheres extend from the center of the earth to the sphere of the moon and to the regions surrounding the moon. These describe closely enough the ranges of the kama-loka.
Student — When you say earth and moon, do you mean globe D of the earth and the kama-rupic phantom globe D of the moon?
G. de P. — Yes, certainly.
Student — It extends from somewhat below the surface of globe D of the earth to somewhat beyond the moon.
G. de P. — Yes; but remember that the lowest ranges of the kama-loka merge into and blend with the higher regions of the avichi; and avichi is practically around the center of the earth, so far as locality goes.
Student — Is devachan the same locality as kama-loka?
G. de P. — No, it is otherwise localized. Think first of the devachan as being preeminently a state of consciousness. The entity can begin its devachan even in the higher part of the kama-lokic region; but it very soon rises out of the kama-loka as a cork will rise to the surface of the water. It floats out of the kama-lokic region, and it continues its true devachan in the bosom of the monad. Wherever the monad goes, there will be the devachani inwrapped in roseate dreams of bliss, resting, resting like a seed of consciousness in the bosom of the monad.
Student — Does every globe of the earth-chain have its own kama-lokic sphere?
G. de P. — Yes; every one of them has its own kama-lokic sphere. For instance, globe F has its own kama-lokic sphere, which is a very ethereal one as compared with globe D. Nevertheless it is there, and it extends to the corresponding kama-lokic globe F of the moon. Globe G, or the last globe, has practically no kama-lokic sphere at all, but nevertheless there is the correspondence there of what the kama-lokic sphere is on earth. There is of course a corresponding kama-loka of the globe G of the moon.
Student — Is it not of less magnitude and influence?
G. de P. — Yes, very much so. I would not say that it is less in mere size. One of the things that the chela has to go through in the initiations is to descend into the underworld, as the ancients put it. In other words, to go into kama-loka consciously, and experience kama-loka — be a kama-lokic entity for a time, but nevertheless inwardly living above it.
Student — Likewise avichi?
G. de P. — Likewise avichi. The initiate-neophyte must be able to "descend into hell," and yet to retain his purity there, to leave it unscathed. It is for just these and for other similar reasons that I have tried to point out that the results of initiation are three: success, death if absolute failure comes, or insanity. Insanity occurs where the initiant is not spiritually strong enough to pass unscathed through the trials. In this case the reason is unseated from its throne, and he returns to earth-life a madman.
Student — Could death be the consequence of his voluntarily casting in his lot with those in that locale?
G. de P. — That produces insanity. For instance, a lingering fear, a lingering horror; that produces insanity. He is not strong enough to meet what he has to meet and escape unscathed; he comes back a madman — at least, he rises from the initiatory trance, mad. If he dies there may be observed a flicker of the physical eyelids, but the chain of life is broken. On the other hand, if he pass through unscathed, he comes back glorified. The very passage into kama-loka or avichi or devachan and to the other planets results in washing out the remnants of the personality. This is the cause of the glorification — living in his higher nature.
Student — Does not the initiant have a certain amount of assistance?
G. de P. — No; for that is just where the test comes. He must pass through the trials alone. That in itself is the test. His body, however, is watched over. He is helped to enter into these planes and then is left to his own spiritual and intellectual resources. There is no other way — there cannot be any other way. He must prove himself and show his character. It must be pure gold.
Student — That must be what my mind had thought; that his body was watched over, then.
G. de P. — Yes, the body is watched over. He is also trained carefully before the tests come. He is taught; he is intensively trained; he is tested in every possible way; and he is not allowed to undertake the trials or tests until the teacher feels practically certain that success will come. But so intricate are the pathways of consciousness, so intricate are the ways of karma, that sometimes even the Masters cannot see all the hidden streaks of weakness. And if there exists even one weak streak, when the acid test comes, then that weakness will come out, because initiation is a searching and a probing and a testing of the consciousness in every atom of its being. It is no child's play.
Student — But what a consoling thing it is that you do have this preparatory guidance!
G. de P. — Yes, indeed. These poor, misguided theosophists who prate about "No teachers are needed; all the teachers we need are the Masters," simply don't know what they are talking about. They don't understand esoteric theosophy.
Student — Is any reincarnating ego, while in its devachanic state, conscious to any extent whatsoever of the experiences of other egos belonging to the same spiritual monad then imbodied on other planets?
G. de P. — No; absolutely unconscious. That is the very essence of devachan: to have nothing intruding upon the vibrating consciousness except its own spiritual and intellectual and psychological memories of bliss.
Student — Like one drop in the ocean.
G. de P. — The ocean of life of course is. The devachanic ego is the one drop, and it is unconscious at the time of other drops.
When a devachani is in the highest part of the devachan, which is the same as the lowest part of the nirvana, it is no longer, as is the lower devachani, merely enwrapt in a personally conscious state. It is becoming conscious, is already conscious of other entities around it; but as those other entities already entering the nirvana are practically a unity with itself, its consciousness is therefore universal. Such is nirvana. "Blowing out" of all personality.
Student — A person like a theosophist, who is taught these things and keeps them in his higher mind, will he not remember them in devachan and begin to reason about the dreams?
G. de P. — Yes, the training in theosophy will materially change or modify the devachanic period. In direct proportion as the theosophist is sincere, is convinced of the truths of theosophy and loves them in his consciousness, will his devachanic period and also his devachanic quiet be affected thereby. He thus will become more and more conscious of himself as a spiritual entity, instead of merely being sunken in the devachanic bliss-dream.
Student — Then he will dream, for instance, that he is studying wonderful esoteric books. Will those teachings he then thinks he is reading, in reality contain any real teachings?
G. de P. — Absolutely, because he is living in pure consciousness and this pure consciousness will act and react on itself, and thus, at least in some degree, present to the devachani's eye visions of new realities, new truths. Nevertheless, most of the "new" teachings that the devachani receives will be from seeds of thought and developments of thought latent in the storehouse of memory from past lives. Not only will he pass his devachanic period in the most amazing psychical explorations of consciousness, but to a certain extent he will become slightly, or moderately, or even vividly, conscious of his relation with the monad in whose bosom he is resting; in other words, take a partially conscious part in the monad's pilgrimage.
In the vast majority of cases this last realization is very, very slight. It all depends upon the individual. If the devachani has been a theosophist of very spiritual type, an initiate, he will be partly conscious of his pilgrimage with the monad. If he is just an ordinary theosophist, like so many theosophists are — one who loves theosophy, but does not understand much about it — then his devachan will be superior indeed to that of the man in the street, but it won't be very much more. It is the man himself who makes his own devachan. He makes for himself what he will get. For instance, the higher chelas, when they go into devachan always go to the very highest parts of the devachan or, perhaps, to the very low parts of the nirvana; but as such men reincarnate very quickly, for reasons set forth at other times, their stay in the devachan is not long.
But take a man with a very spiritual character, a good, earnest, lovable, kindly man, what we call a thoroughly good man. If he is no initiate, if he has not studied theosophy, if his consciousness is not colored or rather saturated with the truths that theosophy brings to him, then his devachan will be very, very long.
Student — Where do such men of destiny as Napoleon and Alexander stand in regard to devachan?
G. de P. — Just where their characters place them. That is the only possible answer to give to a question like that. It depends upon the amount of spirituality in the individual — the amount and the quality. A Napoleon would not have a very high devachan.
Remember that men of destiny are of two kinds: those who lead the race upwards, or those who lead it downwards.
Student — Here is something that is troubling me. From what you are stating, the devachanic period determined by one earth-life may be a long devachanic period. But should other lives on the other planets be so determined, for instance to be a short period? How do they work together?
G. de P. — Very easily; or, there might be a very short life on earth and a very long life on planet F, for instance.
Student — But the period for the round itself will always —
G. de P. — It is always balanced by the individual egos concerned. Here we are, two billions of individuals forming the inhabitants of this globe — two billion different characters. It is almost impossible to draw up a certain hard and fast rule and say of all: "Do just this, and all will have a long life here and a short life there." You cannot do it. The matter is similar as regards the kama-loka or, again, the life on earth. There are certain cases where the monadic pilgrimage through the spheres is exceedingly rapid. There is only a descent into one of the sacred planets for a very short time and then out again. There are other cases where the descents last long, or are long on one planet and short on the next. It depends upon the individuals entirely.
Student — Does not the reincarnating entity have to wait for its next incarnation until that pilgrimage through the planets is complete?
G. de P. — Yes, for the next reincarnation on this earth.
Student — Could it incarnate on any other?
G. de P. — The reincarnating ego could in theory reimbody itself on the other globes of our chain. However, it never does that. It is sleeping in the bosom of the monad.
Student — Then it must wait for the next incarnation, until the pilgrimage of the monad is completed?
G. de P. — Yes; but remember that our earth is not the beginning of the pilgrimage; it is merely one in a closed series.
Student — And I understand until its circuit through the planets and back to the earth is completed —
G. de P. — Then indeed the reincarnating ego reimbodies itself again, takes up the same identical life-atoms that it had dropped before, and the same man who died before exactly is reborn and grows up.
Student — It seems as if the reincarnating ego governs the progress of the monad.
G. de P. — No; it does so only to the extent of pulling the monad back to this earth when its turn comes. It is the pull of the other egos that takes the monad to the other planets.
Student — Does our reincarnating ego on this planet control those egos on the other planets?
G. de P. — No. The physical body has a brain, a heart, a stomach, a spleen, a liver, genital organs, etc. You cannot say that one of these organs exercises a more important or controlling influence on the general consciousness of the man than some other does. Each one has its part to play, its work to do, and has its own specific influence, and colors the consciousness thereby. And so it is with the various egos in the bosom of the monad. For instance, we are incarnated here on this earth; other reincarnating egos are asleep in their devachan, in the bosom of the monad, and so remain as long as we as individuals are here on earth. The monad goes to another planet and then some other ego will end its devachan and imbody itself on that planet. We shall then be in our devachan.
Student — I apprehend that; but this is what I had in mind. The period between earth-lives of different incarnating egos varies according to the status of each. Now, here is an ego whose degree of development entitles him, and he has it, to a short devachanic period between incarnations. Now, the brevity of that period, due to his own spiritual inefficiency, apparently is a determining thing in hastening the return of the monad to this earth.
G. de P. — I see what you mean. Answering briefly and generally I reply, no, not wholly. What about the other egos on the other planets? Now hearken. Here is the point. Such a reincarnating ego as you describe is an ego of fairly undeveloped type, springing from a monad which has not yet brought that low-type ego to a higher degree; and all other reimbodying egos in that monad are of more or less similar type. So in each case, you see, it is not a young monad, but a monad which has not yet brought out its baby egos to be more evolved, has not evolved them to be higher. Furthermore, due to the intricate nature of the karma of each ego, the time periods passed by any reimbodying ego on any planet are all so nicely adjusted by the action and interaction of the intricate psychological machinery which is in operation, that no ego can imbody itself on any planet until its time comes to do so. There are also many cases of egos waiting their time for imbodiment — virtually ready for imbodiment but retarded until the impulse from the monad reaches it. The main point, however, to be noted here is that all time periods of the different egos issuing from any one monad are adjusted with extreme nicety.
Student — Suppose that one of these incarnations turns out a complete failure. Does that affect all the others?
G. de P. — Oh, no. Take the case of a child which dies shortly after birth. Here, the purpose of the incarnating ego has not been satisfied; the magnetic relations are not satisfied there; and the reincarnating ego simply hovers in the earth's atmosphere. Hovering is not really what takes place, but the word will give you the idea of my meaning. The monad in this case does not peregrinate further, but remains quiescent until the reincarnating ego, after its futile birth, enters a new child's body and has its new chance. But remember this, please: don't think of the monad as a mere slave waiting upon the karmic destiny of any one of its reincarnating ego-children. The monad is relatively unconscious of it all. The monad is a god in its own sphere. The monad is not conscious on this earth. Earth consciousness is the reincarnating ego's affair.
Student — In the same way as we are not conscious of what goes on inside the body, among the atoms and molecules in our body, which have all been trained previously? Although we are continuously conscious in our own egoity, we are not conscious of the consciousness of the atoms and molecules in our body.
G. de P. — Exactly so.
Student — May I ask a question, the idea of which struck me as very odd? All the planetary chains are sevenfold, and yet we don't see seven men walking around as one man; and yet I wondered if we perhaps did not have the seven globes or rather their influences inside of us.
G. de P. — I don't think I understand your question.
Student — There are seven globes — they are all sevenfold — for a planetary chain. Now, in the case of human beings, of course that is not the case. Human beings as individuals are simply one; but there must be some analogy between those seven globes of a planetary chain and human beings.
G. de P. — A human being is sevenfold. The seven principles of man correspond not only to the seven globes of our planetary chain, but are more directly derivative from the seven sacred planets of the ancients; and, mind you, the seven principles of man, as hitherto given out in our teachings, are a very elementary and primer way of explaining man's constitution. It is like saying that man's physical body consists of the chemical elements: so much carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, etc. These are cosmic elements. Our seven human principles are also cosmic principles. But when we speak of the seven principles of man in a more technical way, as used in our Oriental School, we mean them to be knots or centers of consciousness; as, for instance, the divine monad or ego, the spiritual monad or ego, the human monad or ego, the animal monad or ego, the astral monad or ego, and the physical monad or ego which is the body. It is these centers of consciousness, or monads or egos, which in their aggregate really are man. Therefore, an infinitely better way of looking upon man as a sevenfold being is to consider his stream or river of consciousness as consisting of seven centers or knots, whirlpools, of consciousness, ranging from the divine to the physical. These seven centers or knots of consciousness exist and work in and through the seven cosmic elements, which latter, expressing themselves in man, we call atman, buddhi, manas, kama, and the material last three.
Student — Did you mean to imply that the reincarnating ego belonging to any given planet, as is the case with the earth's planetary chain, imbodies itself on every globe of that chain?
G. de P. — Yes, as a reimbodying ego of that chain. But please remember carefully that you can speak of a reincarnating ego only when it incarnates itself in bodies of flesh; the proper general term for egos which may reimbody themselves in vehicles other than flesh is reimbodying ego.
Student — How is your former remark to be understood in connection with the other statement that at death the reincarnating ego is withdrawn into the monad?
G. de P. — It indeed is; otherwise it could not pass to the other globes of the chain.
Student — When does it imbody itself on the upper globes of this chain?
G. de P. — During its passage out of this chain to the chains of the other seven sacred planets. Not only that, but at death the divine ego, like a flash of lightning, is indrawn into the divine monad, into its parent-star.
Student — And the ego into the spiritual monad?
G. de P. — Correct.
Student — When it is withdrawn into the spiritual monad, that is not the time when it will be reimbodied in the upper globes of this chain?
G. de P. — No. Reimbodiment does not take place instantly.
Student — When does the reimbodiment take place? Before it leaves our own planetary chain to go to others?
G. de P. — Of course. But now please look at the question that you are asking me: when? Don't you realize that it depends upon the individual case? I cannot say just when. The question is too particular; it may be a year, it may be twenty or more.
Student — You did not understand me; I did not mean by when, human time, but sequence.
G. de P. — Your question was not clearly asked, I think. Having reference to sequence only, after the death on earth the monad passes to globe E and there is a reimbodiment short or long as the case may be there. Then it passes to globe F where the same thing takes place, governed by generally identic laws. Then it passes to globe G or last of this planetary chain, and there again the same general rule is followed. Then it leaves this planetary chain and goes to the next in sequence of the seven sacred planets.
Student — Wouldn't you say this: that when a reincarnating ego has reached such a degree of consciousness and perfection that its proper environment is globe E — it will then incarnate on globe E?
G. de P. — Yes, generally speaking; it will imbody itself on globe E; but mark you this very important element of the teaching: only that portion or ray of itself which appertains, or belongs, or is attracted to globe E will imbody itself on globe E, and similarly so for the other globes of our planetary chain. The reincarnating ego belongs to all the chain; but only an aspect of it, or a ray or a phase of it, is appropriate to or fit for, or attracted by any one particular globe.
Student — It all depends then upon its own degree of evolution of character and consciousness?
G. de P. — Just exactly so. It must reimbody itself on globes E, F, and G, before it can leave the planetary chain. It must cast off the atoms of its constitution belonging to these globes before it can free itself from this planetary chain and go to the next chain.
Student — It went down the shadowy arc; but to leave those elements it has created, then it should go back or return through the shadowy arc.
G. de P. — No; it returns to earth by way of the shadowy arc; but it leaves the planetary chain by way of the luminous arc.
Student — It has not yet incarnated and has not yet created any elements there.
G. de P. — Oh, but it has done so before, in other passages through those globes. Now, don't you see it could not come to globe D on its return from its cosmic pilgrimage unless it had the life-atoms resident within it, pulling it first to globe A, then pulling it to globe B, then to globe C, globe D, then to globe E, F, G. Then the karmic balance is struck. The life-atoms become quiescent or dormant, and the monad takes its flight to the next in sequence of the seven sacred planets. It goes through the seven sacred planets only to return to this chain, reaches globe A, and then peregrinates through B, C, D, E, F, and G again.
Student — If the monad has withdrawn into its bosom the reincarnating entity at physical death, that reincarnating ego will again issue forth from that monad to imbody itself on globe E.
G. de P. — Correct, as to every reincarnating ego, and bearing in mind what I have just previously told you; but remember that here you are not dealing with lumps of iron or bodies of gas, but with states of consciousness, egoity.
Student — It will not be the same ego.
G. de P. — It will be the same ego, but made fit for or attracted to globe E, and then the other globes in serial order. For instance, you are a human being; you have ten rooms in your house; each room devoted to a different purpose. You go into the first room for the purpose of eating; your consciousness there is inwrapped in eating. Then you go into the succeeding room, and there your consciousness is involved, perhaps, in taking a rest or reading a pleasant magazine, or an interesting book. You then go into the next room, and you are perhaps involved in musical studies. You then go into the next room, and you may be listening to in interesting lecture, or perhaps it may be your workshop. Each of these is a different state of consciousness, a different ray from the reincarnating ego; and yet always it is the same essential egoity or egoship throughout. You could not say, if you spoke strictly, that it is the same man which goes into each one of these rooms, because the state of consciousness is as different in the one case as it is possible to be from any other one. When you have reached the tenth room, you have undergone or been in ten different states of consciousness. You are the same, and yet you have been different in each room. So it is with the reincarnating ego which has a different consciousness for each globe of the planetary chain. Then definitely and definitively and permanently it sinks into its super-devachan and remains in the bosom of the monad while the monad pursues its peregrinations on the cosmic pilgrimage.
Student — And when it comes back, it goes through the descending arc, beginning with globe A; but it would appear that the life-atoms left on the ascending arc could not be very well collected on the descending arc.
G. de P. — No, nor does the reincarnating ego need them; those atoms belong each class to the respective globes E, F, and G.
Student — So the answer really is this: when the reincarnating ego is on globe D, it does not have the atoms of the succeeding globes until it reaches those globes?
G. de P. — The atoms of every globe belong to that globe as a vital center, and do not leave it except for their own individual peregrinations. But within the ego, which is the parent of these life-atoms, there is the attraction of affection for each one of its children.
Student — We put on the suit that we have made for any globe.
G. de P. — Very much so. You take up again the life-atoms that you left on any globe when you left it before.
Student — May it not be possible that while a denizen of globe D one can emanate life-atoms that belong on globe E, and that go to globe E and await the appearance of that parent?
G. de P. — Yes; because there is a constant interchange of these life-atoms throughout the planetary chain, but this is due to the individual peregrinations of these life-atoms themselves. The bulk of globe D atoms remains on globe D; but these particular life-atoms, just like the reincarnating egos, have their own pilgrimages to make, and each one takes its turn to go around the chain. Our life-atoms are simply imperfectly developed monads, or to put it differently and more accurately, monads in the life-atom stage.
Student — In that way we create our vehicles in advance on these superior globes.
Student — And pick them up and drop them again.
G. de P. — Just so.
Student — Lately I have been studying the matter of the higher and lower manas, and their connections with buddhi and kama. Now, in comparing the Esoteric Instructions by HPB re the lower manas, and what you have said yourself, I would like to ask this: is there ever a separation between the higher manas as such, and buddhi?
G. de P. — The antaskarana is always there. As a matter of fact, there is an antaskarana between any two of the principles; otherwise they could not hold together. The antaskarana is the link, like the coupling holding together two railway cars.
Student — And when you speak about an intermediate principle, you really mean the lower manas?
G. de P. — The lower manas — yes, but with the light of the higher upon it — the lower manas with the antaskarana.
Student — That is, in our normal condition?
G. de P. — Yes; such is the normal condition of all ensouled human beings. But soulless human beings, which means most of the people of the earth, who live in their senses and in their wants and desires and appetites and ambitions and little ideals and little ideas, can hardly be called ensouled. All that I have just said is a manifestation of no soul life — or at least the higher soul is but very slightly active.
Student — The teaching says as I understand it that the higher ego will, as punishment, have to incarnate again, if the lower ego, the personal ego, has been either destroyed, or retained or detained within the kama-lokic region.
G. de P. — I think that your statement is hardly accurate. If I understand your question correctly, you are referring to the case of lost souls, which as you know are not the same cases as soulless human beings. As long as a manasic ego exists, its links are with the higher manas. You see, the higher manas is simply the parent of the lower. The lower ego is of manasic quality because being a manasic center of consciousness growing out of the higher manas, somewhat as a branch grows from the stock of a tree.
Now, if that branch from the stock of the tree lives and bears leaves and takes in oxygen from the air, and throws out carbon dioxide, the tree won't need to put forth another big branch in the same place because the present branch is alive. The tree is satisfied with its one big branch in that one place.
But if that big branch is cut off or dies, then the trunk of the tree, in order to live more largely, through its vitality seeks a new lung or big branch to take the place of the one that has gone, and thus throws forth a new child, which in this case is a new big branch. Thus does the higher manas replace its contact with the lower spheres by issuing forth from itself a new human monad or lower manas.
Student — Following your illustration, if this lower personal ego has been destroyed — gone to avichi, as the term goes — how is it that the higher manas protrudes or creates, or sends out a new ray, emanates a new manasic ray? Now this new ray has not had the advantages of all the circulations and experiences that were gathered in by the dead ray: how is it then? Can this new ray take up the thread of consciousness where the destroyed ego left off its connection with the higher ego?
G. de P. — Of course. Think: the lower ego in every case springs forth from, or is represented in, a treasury of former experiences gathered in through manvantaras past. The lower ego is simply a ray from the higher ego. Now, this treasury of past experiences has been built up from the many former lives, and has become a part of the being or essence of the higher ego. Each new life with its following devachan adds a newly written page of experience to the book which is this treasury. Change the figure of speech a trifle and call this treasury the book of life. Now, if a lower ego has written on a page during a life only a single word or even a single letter, this trifle is enough for something to be registered in the treasury. But in the next life, or in the second succeeding life, let us suppose that the lower ego, which in the last life or two failed to register experiences in the higher spheres, in the treasury, becomes a lost soul, dies its spiritual death. Nevertheless the book of life is there, into which this same ray, now dead, that is the root of this ray, had been writing its experiences. Hence from that same treasury of accumulated experiences of many, many past lives, there comes forth a new ray emanating from or flowing forth from the same ingathered experiences plus the light upon it of the spiritual monad, that is, buddhi-manas or the higher manas.
Student — I now understand exactly.
G. de P. — That new ray, as you now see, is not absolutely and totally different from the last or now vanished ray. It is as if the last ray were a diseased arm cut off from the body; and then the body, in order to have a good right arm again, emanated a new one in the place and position of the old one, with the old one's root as its own root.
Within the treasury house of experience, the book of lives, each new devachan is therefore a new experience accumulated in the treasury. Please remember that in these things we are dealing with spiritual matters, and must not fasten our minds too closely to these physical examples which are merely suggestive aids to the imagination.
Student — But if one consider the personal ego as a feeble sun which has sent out myriads of life-atoms and rays, and these rays make actual records in the akasa or in the astral light if this sun, this center, of the personal ego is destroyed, what then?
G. de P. — But the sun is not destroyed. It is merely a ray from it which is lost in the outer darkness. Your illustration is not a good one because the personal ego is not yet a sun in any wise. The sun would really be the spiritual monad — atma-buddhi-manas.
Student — I am thinking, however, of the central point, which is what you have called the human monad. If that is destroyed, what then happens? Because it has the same relation, as I understand it, to the various skandhas which have been accumulated during the ages, as the sun has to the planets and rays in the solar system.
G. de P. — I think I see your difficulty. You have an idea that the human soul is the same from incarnation to incarnation; but it is not. It is a new entity each time, but a new entity born of all the old entities. Don't you understand? To phrase the matter in other words, every human soul in each new reincarnation is a ray from the human monad. Now the human monad, as a monad, cannot ever be destroyed, for it is a spiritual consciousness-center. It is only its ray that can be lost.
Consequently, when any one of these human egos, or rather human souls, becomes a lost soul, on account of the intense concentration of vitality and impulses and karmic impressions registered in its fabric, and thus pulling it downwards into more material regions, it preserves coherency for a while in the lower worlds just because of this vitality, but finally drops into avichi, and thence into the eighth world, the so-called planet of death, and therein it finally dissipates and disappears. But meanwhile, the manasic monadic sun from which it came as a ray shoots forth another ray to take its place — the body grows another arm to take the place of the amputated one.
Student — Supposing it were thus: that the lost soul, I mean ego, has broken the antaskarana — broken itself away from the higher ego: can the higher ego in the meantime emanate a new personal soul, while the other one has not yet been completely disintegrated in kama-loka?
G. de P. — Yes, it can, but it rarely does so.
Student — And then by sorrow or suffering it can again try to build a new antaskarana with the higher ego?
G. de P. — But that won't happen since all new egos thus emanated come from above, and it is impossible for a lost soul — one irrevocably lost — to regain its former link with its parent-monad. This is because the lost soul is so completely separated that its chance for reunion is entirely gone. Only then can the treasury send forth successfully a new ego or soul.
Student — It can be a dweller on the threshold.
G. de P. — Yes, the lost soul indeed can be so; and that is a much worse case than an ordinary dweller on the threshold, because the lost-soul dweller is a perfect demon. It is not merely a psychical dweller of the nature of a kama-rupa, a shell, remaining after the second death, and perhaps even remaining until the next incarnation; but the lost-soul dweller is actually a spiritual entity of evil. There is evil spirituality in it; and until it disintegrates it is a demonic dweller on the threshold to the new struggling ray that has been freshly emanated. This state of things could not be unless the new ray had some links of psychomagnetic attraction with the old ray which is now the lost-soul dweller. This takes place because the two are the products of the same consciousness.
Student — Then consequently the dugpas and black magicians are all such dwellers on the threshold?
G. de P. — No, the dugpas and black magicians can hardly be called dwellers on the threshold — certainly not the dugpas and black magicians who are imbodied. However, there are such things as kama-lokic or disimbodied dugpas or black magicians, and these indeed could very properly be called dwellers on the threshold. Nor would they be in any wise dwellers on the threshold to the new ray. The term dweller on the threshold has a technical meaning, signifying past kama-lokic or astral remnants of a former incarnation which haunt the new imbodiment of the reincarnating ego. Thus, you see, the dugpas and black magicians can hardly be called dwellers on the threshold of the new ego appearing to replace a lost soul. Mind you, I am not speaking of the great sorcerers now.
Student — That is what I was speaking of.
G. de P. — Then, in that case, the great sorcerers are in a different class. Their evil vitality is running so intense and strong, and the remnants of prostituted mentality are still so keen within them, that they can and do continue and endure, sometimes for ages. Some of them are so strong in evil spirituality that they last until the end of the manvantara. It is a most intricate and difficult thing to explain all this, and I do not care to develop the thought farther at present. It is not wholesome to keep these thoughts in the mind, but it is good to know at least something about them.
Student — I understand.
G. de P. — But there is in their case sufficient spirituality, which means universality albeit of an evil type, to enable them to retain unbroken, although wearing dangerously thin, the link with the spiritual monad. Nevertheless they are going downwards towards matter instead of upwards towards spirit, and the break will finally and surely come.
Student — But can they or can they not enjoy devachan?
G. de P. — The sorcerers of the kind that I am now last speaking of are above the illusions of the devachan — which is really an illusion when contrasted with pure spirit, for the devachan is a species of spiritual dream world. There is no dream world for them, any more than there is for the buddhas. They are simply beings of incarnate evil spirituality. They of course are very, very rare, as rare as the buddhas almost; but they exist.
Student — Can such a spiritual monad give birth to a new human ego that lives at the same time? Then the sorcerers would be very dangerous for that person.
G. de P. — The spiritual monad has many children, as you should know; but through that one creative point or pore — somewhat as the skin has pores — from that one creative pore in the monadic essence of the spiritual monad there can issue only one ray at a time. The other monads that come out from it you may call twin-souls or triple-souls, or by some other such titles. They are not the reproductions to take the place of a lost soul. As a matter of fact these great sorcerers are not yet lost souls, although they are rushing towards this doom.
Student — But I have had the idea that a lost soul can reincarnate.
G. de P. — It can and most certainly does until it sinks into the planet of death.
Student — And at the same time the higher ego has incarnated in a new human being and is living at the same time?
G. de P. — No, if you are still speaking of these great sorcerers. What makes such a great sorcerer so tremendously powerful in evil is the fact that he has retained the link relatively unbroken with the spiritual monad. It is this that gives to him his evil fire, his enduring self-consciousness and wicked intellectual vitality.
Student — Yes, but I mean a very, very evil and sensual person who incarnates the lost soul; and it is said in HPB's old Instructions that the higher ego then incarnates almost immediately also.
G. de P. — Ah, you are confusing two things. What you now refer to is a different situation — that of the already lost souls.
Student — And then they exist at the same time on earth.
G. de P. — This is a different situation again, if I understand you, my dear Brother. You speak of these evil sorcerers as being sensual creatures. That is not what they always are by any means. They are as individuals simply incarnate evil essences; and they are as keenly cognizant of the fact that any malpractices against the ordinary laws of nature will result in destruction for them — as keenly cognizant, I say, as a Master is. They are Masters in evil as the others are Masters in good.
Student — You have said recently, if I have understood you, that the beneficent forces of this manvantara were evil forces in a past manvantara.
G. de P. — Almost certainly so; but not in this sense that we are now discussing. The confusion arises, I think, out of the common mistake of misunderstanding words. We human beings are evolving creatures, and we think that we are pretty good, or fairly good, or averagely good, creatures. Yet in the sight of the gods we would seem to be like devils. Look around you on earth and see what happens: the violations of nature's noblest laws by human beings, wilful, deliberate choices of evil, cruelty, harshness, unkindness, cheating, all the horrible things that sully and spoil human life — it is all fiendish work. Nevertheless, we humans are evolving creatures, we are growing; and in the sight of beings below us we are like gods to them; but in the sight of the gods we are like fiends. We are not insane, and cannot plead insanity for our evil doings. Yet these soulless people are fairly insane — and please remember that the soulless folk are not lost souls. The soulless people are like children, as yet unawakened. They don't as yet know. They don't know enough about good actively to work for good; they don't know enough about evil to avoid being afraid of it. Indeed, even the average soulless person is scared to death at the thought of evil. These soulless people are just colorless, feckless, lukewarm.
On the other hand, the Masters of Good and the Masters of Evil are ensouled beings: the one class ensouled by gods, and the other class ensouled by inverted gods — demons.
Student — Can they survive an obscuration?
G. de P. — Usually not. Here is the difference between the two classes: Masters of Good become one with spirit, with the essence of spirit; and the Masters of Evil, the great sorcerers, become one with the spirit of matter — not with mere material things which are but the bubbles of matter, but with matter per se; and matter per se is energy, just as spirit is — the energy down here instead of the energy up there. This is why these evil sorcerers can endure and last. But the essential difference between the two classes of beings is this: the brothers of light have allied themselves with cosmic consciousness, and the brothers of the shadow have allied themselves with the spirit of matter, which de facto is temporary and endures only during the manvantara, whatever that manvantara may be: whether a globe-manvantara or a planetary manvantara. The consequence is that when the manvantara ends and the pralaya comes, the black magicians just disappear with the matter in which they have lived and which they have worshiped.
Student — Excuse my interrupting. When I said obscuration, I meant the word in its technical sense.
G. de P. — Yes, I so understood you, and I use the word in its various technical senses. When a globe goes into obscuration, the great majority — but not all — of the great black magicians simply perish, are wiped out.
Student — But there are some that survive?
G. de P. — Yes, my Brother, there are some that survive, and survive even until the end of the round.
[The sounding of the gong. Silence.]
Meeting 33 Supplement