Theosophical University Press Online Edition
Studies in Occult Philosophy  —  by G. de Purucker

Questions and Answers  (part 17)

Consolation Regarding Death
How Old Are the Hindu Schools of Philosophy?
Healing Methods and Karman
Octaves of Radiation in the Cosmic Scale


Consolation regarding Death

I have studied the technical Theosophical literature and understand that man is a composite being.  Also, I have read about what happens to the sevenfold hierarchy ‘Man’ when he dies, but has not Theosophy also an ethical side in regard to death, with love and compassion?

My question is: What consolation for the heart, what inspiring hope and courage, does Theosophy give to those who fear death, to the dying, to those who have lost their loved ones?

Theosophy teaches that death per se is not to be feared.  It is a change to a better state, but only when death comes naturally.  This questioner evidently has not read much of our Theosophical literature, wherein he would have been told that ethics are of the very essence of every doctrine that Theosophy has.  Ethics are of the very structure of the Universe, for they mean harmony: that right is right, and that wrong is wrong, and that the correct thing is the correct thing, no matter when and where it is; also that the straight thing is the straight thing no matter where and when it is.

The ethics of our teaching regarding death are what I have so often stated: That it is naught to fear; it is inexpressibly sweet, for it means ineffable rest, peace, bliss.  When a man dies, he enters into the great Silence, just as happens when a man falls asleep and later awakens.  These few words tell you the whole story, although none of the details of the story.

Do you remember what Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in his Requiem?  He wrote this for his own grave, they say:

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie;
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I lay me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me
“Here he lies where he longed to be.
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.”

Ay, very beautiful, for in it the spirit of Robert Louis Stevenson spoke; but why did he say: “Dig the grave and let me lie.”  Don’t you see here the old horrible thought that the man is his physical body?  I would have written: “Dig the grave and let me go free.”  I, an incarnate energy of the Universe — can you keep me within a grave?  I, a flaming intelligence, an imbodied spirit, can you enchain me within a coffin?  Ay, the very bonds of the world are too small for me.  My soul is native with the stars, and whether it be Conopus or Sirius Polaris, there I dwell on familiar terms.  There I belong.  Free me!  Glad did I live, and gladly I die, and I lay me down with a will.  This be the verse you grave for me.  Hence he has gone, where he longed to be.”

Take the case of one who dearly loved someone else on earth, and the one who loves, dies: Does the dead one who loved, continue to love?

A very natural question indeed.  The very meaning, the very essence, of the heaven-world state, or devachan, is bliss and love, because bliss and spiritual yearnings have as their main motive-power that abstract impersonal function of energy of the human spirit which we men call love.  The devachan signifies all that is beautiful and good and sweet and holy and true and clean and pure.  Love is immortal; it continues always; and mark you, the more one loves, of course impersonally, the nobler he becomes.  I don’t here mean the ordinary gross, personal love, for that can be even of the fires of hell.  But I mean that inexpressibly sweet, divine flame which fills life with beauty, which instills thoughts of self-sacrifice for others.  Love of that kind, impersonal love, is the very heart of the Universe.  Therefore, I say, the one who loved and who died, loves still, for it is of the fabric of his soul.


How Old Are the Hindu Schools of Philosophy?

Can you give me any hint as to age or time of origin of the six Darsanas or Hindu schools of philosophy?  When did Kapila and Patanjali actually live?  There is so much argument on these two personages and the time of their birth.

You ask first about the origin, and second about the various ages, of the Six Great Darsanas or Philosophic Visions, otherwise Schools of Philosophy in India; and collaterally with these you ask about the ages of their various Founders, such as Kanada, Kapila, Gotama (not the Buddha of course here), Patanjali, etc.

First, as regards the ages of the founders: The truth all the ages, or dates rather, given by European Orientalists are little more than speculations; they have never been proved, even though they may be generally accepted.  Consequently we Theosophists refuse to accept them.  They are almost invariably too late in time, too close to us.  That is what I would say.

On the other hand, I would accept with much more respect a date that might be worked out as given by some eminent Hindu of old times himself.  Of course I know this would be a vast work, sifting the material, and I merely mention it to show that I would prefer the Hindu tradition, as to when so-and-so lived, to the theorizings of modern Occidentalists who are all psychologized with scientific ideas of the recent development of thinking man, etc., etc.

In the old days it used to be held that the world was created only six thousand odd years ago, and this was a then Christian view; and consequently every date had to be brought down as close to ours as they could push it.  So much for the dates of the founders of these Schools.  Every one of these founders was not actually a founder in the sense of starting a new School, but merely carried on, perhaps rejuvenated, perhaps modified, what already had been known for heaven knows how many ages before he lived: somewhat in the same way that H. P. B. brought the archaic Theosophy to our age and presented it in its modern form, although it is ageless as time.

This leads me to the origin of these Six Darsanas.  Occidental Orientalists, as I have already pointed out, in trying to keep within the limits of their new facts, say that each such School was probably started by the philosopher named.  But I have just pointed out why in actual fact this need not be so.

It is my opinion, in fact my conviction, that every one of these Six Darsanas is of enormous age.  The fact that they are such natural productions of the human intellect shows that they must have occurred ages and ages and ages ago to other philosophic minds.  Personally I think they run back in their reaches even to Atlantean times, not in their present presentations or forms, but I mean the philosophic ground-thoughts that these Schools respectively represent.  The various so-called founders were merely more or less recent; and by that I mean long after Atlantis, but not in our time — Hindu philosophers who themselves were attracted by one or other of the Schools; and each one was so successful in interpreting and propagandizing his own particular choice or philosophic preference, that in time he became the founder of this School or that School.

For instance, take the Yoga School of Patanjali.  I think that it flourished ages beyond the age of Patanjali, whenever he lived, because Yoga has been active in the thought of man’s mind since immemorial time.  Patanjali did not discover it.  He merely acted as I have above stated.  The same with the Nyaya School of Logical Philosophy of Gotama, or the Vaiseshika, the Atomic School of Kanada.  Thoughts like these must have been in the minds of men since Atlantean times.  Similarly with the Vedanta, especially the Advaita.  The Advaita form of it was magnificently presented and formulated by the great Sankaracharya, and this is just an instance in point.  Some occidental scholars now call him the Founder of the Advaita-Vedanta, as if men never had the thoughts in the Advaita-Vedanta before Sankaracharya.  He merely took this aspect of the Vedanta, and re-formed it according to the ideas of his time, and did so wonderfully that he became known as its great Teacher.  But Advaita-Vedanta is so native to the human spirit, it must have existed for ages and ages before ever Sankaracharya was dreamed of, by the Gods that be.

As we Theosophists say, the Six Darsanas contain the six various types or methods in which human philosophy through the ages has been cast, and we unite them all in the highest or seventh, which is our own Wisdom-Religion or Theosophy — or to put it more correctly, it is from this God-Wisdom or Wisdom-Religion that all these six various Darsanas have come forth as six special presentations or six specializations of philosophy, each one along its own line, the scientific, the mystical, the logical, the scientific-mystic, the objectively idealistic, call them by what names you like.


Healing Methods and Karman

What is your opinion in regard to the various kinds of healing by vital or so-called ‘magnetic’ processes, whether the ‘laying-on of hands’ or magnetic passes, or what some semi-ignorant schools call ‘absent treatment’ etc.?

All these various forms of healing, apart from regular medical or surgical practice, depend upon the innate, i.e., inborn or inherent, ability of the ‘healer’ or practitioner to convey healthy life-force from himself to the diseased person.  This is the key to success, or the lack of success, in all cases, and in all kinds of healing, of whatsoever so-called ‘school.’

If the ‘healer’ or practitioner is a ‘magnetizer,’ the whole explanation lies in the successful conveying of prana or vitality from his own healthy body to the diseased body or diseased organ or part, which healthy vitality or life-force ‘expels’ or changes the inharmonious vibrations from the afflicted part, and restores harmony therein, thus bringing about health.  Such cures can be permanent; usually they are temporary, lasting a few days, a few weeks, months, possibly a year or two or three.  All these methods and processes were well known to the ancients.

What about karma in this connection?  Is it wrong to heal in these ways, or is it right?  And does it ‘dam back karma,’ making it rush forth in the future with accumulated force, thus bringing about a disease worse than that which was temporarily stayed or stopped?

If — and this is important — if the magnetizer is physically healthy, mentally well-balanced, and most important of all, morally and intellectually clean, there is no harm whatsoever in these healings by mesmeric magnetism — but not by hypnotism.  There is nothing wrong in healing sick and ailing people, whether by regular surgical and medical practice, or by a high-minded, healthy, and compassionate ‘vital healer,’ using magnetism, even if the latter acts in ignorance of the philosophical rationale.  This last case is not ‘damming back karma,’ because karma already is exhausting itself in the diseased person, and the healing is merely helping nature to bring restoration of health, to re-establish normal conditions in the sufferer.

In cases where the healer attempts to act upon the will, the conscience, or the moral integrity, of the sick person, the patient, the sufferer, by hypnotizing the mind and will power and conscience of the sufferer, karma is dammed back.  But the merely vital magnetizer does not do this.  He treats the suffering body alone, as the ordinary physician and surgeon does, helps to restore harmony in the pranic currents of the sufferer’s body, but does not touch the will power or moral nature of the sufferer.

Another drugless healing method or process, commonly called ‘vital healing’ or by some similar term, or healing by passes, etc., is the case where the sufferer himself is brought into a state of hope, self-confidence, the higher kind of resignation bringing peace and inner quiet in its train.  This arouses the sufferer’s own innate powers of resistance, of vitality, etc., and thus making these dominant, thus allowing the body to heal itself; and not in overpowering the sufferer’s will, or imagination, or moral instincts.

      The whole subject is extremely complicated and it is a mistake to think that it can be answered in a single paragraph.  This has been but a hasty outline of a tangled situation arising from the complicated structure of our human constitution.


Octaves of Radiation in the Cosmic Scale

Do light and radio act through different media of transmission and if so, which are these media?

The questioner thinks that all energy, being One Force, can be transformed from one form of manifestation into another, and he seems to believe that light and radio cannot be combined in healing work on account of the fact that they work through different media.

I think there is a confusion of thought here.  Light-waves, radio-waves, heat-waves, and those other wave-radiations which are called x-ray, cosmic ray, etc. — all these are different parts of, or different octaves in, the great scale of nature, and hence although all of them radiations or wave-forms (using modern scientific terminology here), they are as distinctly separate, because of their different energies or frequencies, as are for instance a mile and an inch or a centimeter.

For instance, the radio-waves are very long waves.  Then come the heat-waves which are shorter.  Then come the light — visible light that is — waves which are still shorter.  Then come the ultra-violet waves, still shorter; then after an interval come the x-rays which are very short.  And then after another interval come other waves extending into the shortest known radiations among which are the gamma-rays and cosmic rays.  Thus very high frequency waves, like x-rays and cosmic ray radiations, are called ‘hard’ waves, simply because they are of frequency so high, that is, of vibration so tremendously high, that they are like tremendous bumps or thumps.  Whereas the long waves like radio-waves, the frequency being so small, that is, the vibration or wave-length so long, we might call ‘soft’ waves.

Here then is the answer to the question, an answer by the way which is known to all scientists.  It is true that all the forces in the universe are reducible to one Cosmic Force, but this one Cosmic Force during manifestation in cosmic manvantara, in its lower forms is broken up into these multitudinous different radiations or wave-lengths, each wave-length having its specific individuality.

For instance, we can, if we wish, in order to give an example, say that the waves of health are of a certain length, a certain frequency; the waves of disease are of another frequency.  Yet they are both waves, and the only difference between them is in the different frequencies or vibratory rates.  Thus then it is theoretically possible, quite possible, to change the hard, short diseased waves into the longer, softer, gentler waves of health-radiation.  Naturally it is extremely difficult to do this, but thought can do it, mind can do it, because thought and mind are superior to these waves and can therefore control them, thought-and mind-power being relatively spiritual and healthy, and disease-waves being relatively physical.  Thus it is that while One Force is at the bottom of all, being the Cosmic Force, the great spiritual Force of the Universe; yet these different other subordinate forces: light, radio, heat, electricity, etc., etc.: are all different octaves of the one cosmic radiation scale.  Thus it is quite possible in theory to transform one into the other, but in actual point of fact, to transform a long radio wave into an x-ray, let us say, would be tremendously difficult, because it would be changing a wave-radiation of a mile or two, or several miles long, into a wave-radiation, that is the x-ray, which is an infinitesimal part of an inch long.  Hence for practical purposes, it is of almost cosmic difficulty to transform one such force into another force.

The way to heal disease by radiation would be to apply to the disease-frequency another frequency or vibratory energy of a softer, gentler, but stronger because more harmonic type.  To change the figure of speech, let us say that the health of a human body is a certain key-note or key-tone.  If a certain part of that body, let us say the heart or the liver or the brain, is in disease, it means that that particular organ rebels against the keynote of the body, and is establishing a little keynote of its own; and this produces a discord in the body which is what we mean when we say disease.  The way to heal that disease is in some way to change that harder vibration or frequency of the diseased organ, into the keynote of the whole body, thus re-establishing the keynote of the body and bringing back health.  Scientists of the future will learn how to do this without injuring the body; but it is quite possible that the body could be seriously injured if not killed by ignorant experimentation, for the diseased organ might actually be ruptured or shattered if the proper radiation or frequency be not applied to it.

Thus then the answer to your question is to remember the following: All these different forces above named: radio, heat, light, x-ray, cosmic ray, and all the intermediate frequencies: all belong to the cosmic scale, and each one such is but a small octave of that great Cosmic Scale.  This is even ordinary science today.  All these forces or forms of radiation are just that: different forms of radiation.  Just as in an octave in a piano, the do re mi fa sol la si do, are different sound-frequencies belonging to the one piano-octave.  If one changes such a note on a piano-octave into some other note, or tries to rather, it is a very, very difficult thing to do, because you destroy one note by increasing its frequency, or decrease its frequency in order to make some other note.

Thus, to change light into radiant heat, you would ‘soften’ or diminish the frequency.  Or, in the other direction, to change visible light into ultra-violet light, one would have to increase or ‘harden’ the frequency of vibration.  And to do either of these would be real magic.  Nevertheless, as said, it is perfectly true that fundamentally all these different frequencies are radiations belonging to the cosmic scale, and while theoretically it is possible to transform one into another, it would require a magician to do this.  Hence, the healer attempting to do this with radio or light or electricity or sound, would have to know how to apply the healing frequency to the diseased frequency of a diseased organ.


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