The Path – March 1892


Some further considerations have occurred to me as not only supporting the doctrine of reincarnation, but from a scientific stand-point rendering it a necessity. These points are often referred to in the Secret Doctrine, but it may be well to group them together as a single concept. Spirit and Matter represent the two poles of one eternal Nature, the subject and object, the energy and the form, of all things. "Matter" refined and purified through plane after plane till it reaches the sixth plane, the plane of the absolute, becomes "pure spirit", and disappears "behind the veil" of the absolute; is absorbed in it. "Spirit" precipitated, differentiated, condensed through plane after plane, becomes on the lowest plane that which we call matter. That which we call "solid", "real", "substantial" is thus the most illusionary of all conceivable things. Its very existence depends on ceaseless change. Thus we may complete the paradox, and say that it is because it is not. The One rootless-root, the potency that lies back even of what we call Spirit, and that never manifests itself as such, the Nameless, the Unknown and forever Unknowable, the Logos, reflects its image, or manifests always through a vehicle (upadhi). The divinity in man is a ray from this Logos. It is not "a part" of this ever-concealed Divinity, because there can be no partition or division in that which is forever One; but a "ray" or "beam" or "spark" may emanate from an Eternal Light, and the Light remain unchanged and its real source be still unrevealed, Now the principle is everywhere stated in the Secret Doctrine that this Logos always manifests through a vehicle, and that of the six planes into which Spirit descends and manifests in relation to man, and on each of which the Ego may become conscious, the physical is not only the lowest reached, but the lowest, the very dregs of the possible descent of spirit into objectivity. This is the earthly plane of our present humanity, incarnated in fleshly bodies.

It can hardly be conceived that what we call man is concerned with anything outside of that solar system of which the earth is one of the lesser orbs, and for our present purpose we need not take into account any other members of our planetary chain than our Earth.

We have then the following propositions.

1st. Spirit manifests only through a vehicle of matter. "Pure spirit" is a latent potentiality, and as such never manifests.

2nd. The "Laya-center", or "Divine Ego", in man is a ray from the One which is; and is beyond both Spirit and Matter.

3rd. This Divine Ego, called also the "Eternal Pilgrim", being connected with the Earth and its planetary chain or solar system, can have no conscious or experimental (through participation in experience) connections with other solar systems during the life cycle of our planetary chain, or during our present manvantara.

4th. The present physical embodiment of man in sense and matter is the lowest in the planes of consciousness of the descent of spirit into matter, for the experience of the Immortal Ego, Below this lowest human plane the Ego does not attain self-consciousness, and is therefore not yet human. These elements of humanity and divinity are descents from spirit, and not ascents from matter and physical form.

5th. Consciousness on any plane for man means adjustment of man's complex attributes to experiences on that plane: a consensus of his faculties with rhythmic vibrations consonant to and with the vibrations incident to that plane. "The chord of the mass" in man, and on the plane of matter, are synchronous; and consciousness involves the quality, pitch, intensity, and amplitude of all vibrations, according to the eternal law of harmony.

6th. The next plane of consciousness above the present physical or "fleshly" is the astral. In certain individuals of the present race there is already manifest the dawn of the supra-physical or astral consciousness. These persons are known as "psychics" or "mediums". This consciousness is in no sense "spiritual", except that it is one remove from the material toward the spiritual pole of the life-current. One who had entirely mastered the lowest physical plane, exhausted its experiences, and withdrawn its consciousness to the supra-physical, would have no need of embodiment in flesh, because all its-vibrations would have become synchronous with the next higher plane. The vehicle of the Ego would necessarily be drawn from the higher and not the lower plane, and such an ego could not logically be conceived as having a body of flesh belonging to the lowest plane.

The conclusion is obvious. The Ego that has not exhausted or risen by actual experience above the physical plane of flesh, sense, and animal passion must manifest still on that plane or not manifest at all. The fact that the Ego is still on the lowest plane is proved by its now inhabiting and by its attachment to the body of flesh. The most advanced individuals known to the present time are those who have most nearly exhausted and withdrawn from the sense plane, and who, at the same time, show through their altruism and diviner unfolding the dawning consciousness of the higher planes. Even these would still be, on the next higher plane, weak, enervated, and in no sense fully conscious or "alive" on that plane, because the threads of former life would still be entangled in and not yet withdrawn from the lower plane. They would be like the "still-born" in physical bodies, and fall back into the negative or unconscious state. Therefore is it both a scientific and philosophical necessity that the great majority of persons of the present race of humanity will be again and again reincarnated.

By great and persistent personal effort, by self-denial, and by wise instruction and training, man may work out his own salvation, and even in the present life rise to higher planes of consciousness and so escape reincarnation.

The Path