Reincarnation

(1) The average Christian confuses the Law of Rebirth with what he calls “the transmigration of souls”, and frequently believes that the Law of Rebirth signifies the passing of human beings into the bodies of animals or of lower forms of life. Such is by no means the case . . .

Beyond the fact that there is such a law (Rebirth), we know little . . . Only a few things can be said with accuracy about it, and these few warrant no contradiction:

1. The Law of Rebirth is a great natural law upon our planet.

2. It is a process, instituted and carried forward under the Law of Evolution.

3. It is closely related to, and conditioned by, the Law of Cause and Effect.

4. It is a process of progressive development, enabling men to move forward from the grossest forms of unthinking materialism, to a spiritual perfection and an intelligent perception, which will enable a man to become a member of the Kingdom of God.

5. It accounts for the differences among men and – in connection with the Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) – it accounts for differences in circumstances and attitudes of life.

6. It is the expression of the will aspect of the soul, and is not the result of any form decision; it is the soul in all forms which reincarnates, choosing and building suitable physical, emotional and mental vehicles, through which to learn the next needed lessons.

7. The Law of Rebirth (as far as humanity is concerned), comes into activity upon the soul plane. Incarnation is motivated and directed from the soul level, upon the mental plane.

8. Souls incarnate in groups, cyclically, under the law and in order to achieve right relations with God and their fellowmen.

9. Progressive unfoldment, under the Law of Rebirth, is largely conditioned by the mental principle, for “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. These few brief words need most careful consideration.

10. Under the Law of Rebirth, man slowly develops mind, then mind begins to control the feeling, emotional nature, and finally reveals the soul and its nature and environment to man.

11. At that point in his development, the man begins to tread the Path of Return, and orients himself gradually (after many lives), to the Kingdom of God.

12. When – through a developed mentality, wisdom, practical service, and understanding – a man has learnt to ask nothing for the separated self, he then renounces desire for life in the three worlds, and is freed from the Law of Rebirth.

13. He is now group conscious, is aware of his soul group, and of the soul in all forms, and has attained – as Christ had requested – a stage of Christlike perfection, reaching unto the “Measure of the stature of the fulness of the Christ”. (Eph. IV: 13)

(2) Beyond this generalisation, no intelligent person will attempt to go. When Christ reappears, our knowledge will become more true and realistic; we shall know that we are eternally related to the souls of all men, and that we have a definite relationship to those who reincarnate with us, who are learning with us the same lessons, and who are experiencing and experimenting with us.

(3) Civilisation, cultures, races and nations appear and disappear, but the same individualities come and go with them, garnering the fruits of experience, and progressively marching on to fuller Self/-government and group organisation and synthesis.

(4) It would appear that as yet only two rules are posited in connection with the return of an ego to physical incarnation. The first is that if perfection has not been achieved, then the soul must return and continue the perfecting process upon the Earth. The second is that the impulse predisposing the ego to such action, is some form of unsatisfied desire. Both these statements are true in part, and generic in effect, but they are only partial truths, and incident to larger truths which have not yet been sensed or noted accurately by esotericists; they are secondary in nature and are expressed in terms of the three worlds of human evolution, of personality intent, and of time-space concepts. Basically, it is not desire which prompts return, but will and knowledge of the Plan. It is not the need for achieving an ultimate perfection, which goads the ego on the experience in form, for the ego is already perfect. The main incentive is sacrifice and service to those lesser lives that are dependent upon the higher inspiration (which the spiritual soul can give), and the determination that they too may attain planetary status, equivalent to that of the sacrificing soul . . . In themselves, rebirth and reincarnation, are misleading terms, and “cyclic impulsion”, “intelligent purposeful repetition”, and “conscious in-breathing and out-breathing” would describe more accurately this cosmic process. It is, however, difficult for you to grasp this idea, for it necessitates the ability to identify oneself with the One Who thus breathes – the planetary Logos – and the entire theme must therefore remain relatively obscure until initiation has been taken. Esoterically speaking, the point of greatest interest lies in the fact that it is group rebirth which is taking place all the time, and that the incarnation of the individual is only incidental to this greater happening. This has been largely ignored or forgotten, because of the intense and selfish interest in personal experience and living, evidenced in the speculative details anent individual return given in the current so-called occult books, most of which are largely inaccurate, and certainly unimportant.

(5) Each soul, withdrawn from the body, has come to earth repeatedly, and many millions are here today, particularly those who were present in later Atlantean times and who are, therefore, the flower and the highest product of that highly emotional race. They bring with them the predispositions and the innate tendencies with which their past history has endowed them.

(6) A particular incarnation is not an isolated event in the life of the soul, but is a part and an aspect of a sequence of experience, which are intended to lead to one, clear, definite goal – the goal of free choice, and a deliberate return out of matter to spirit, and eventual liberation.

(7) Man has consciously to bring about his own liberation. These results are self-induced by the man … as he is emancipated from the three worlds, and has broken the wheel of re-birth himself instead of being broken upon it.

(8) All incarnations on the physical plane are not of equal importance, but some are of more moment than others; some, from the point of view of the Ego, are practically negligible, others count. . .

(9) When the life of the personality has been full and rich, yet has not reached the stage wherein the personal self can consciously co-operate with the ego, periods of personality nirvana are undergone, their length depending upon the interest of the life, and the ability of the man to meditate upon experience. Later, when the Ego dominates the personality life, the interest of the man is raised to higher levels, and the nirvana of the soul becomes his goal. He has no interest in devachan. Therefore, those upon the Path (either the probationary Path, or the Path of Initiation) do not, as a rule, go to devachan, but immediate incarnation becomes the rule in the turning of the wheel of life; this time it is brought about by the conscious co-operation of the personal Self with the divine Self or Ego.

(10) At the close of evolution, when the human unit is upon the Path and consciously controlling his destiny, and working off karma, the intervals intervening between two incarnations are brief or not, as the man may choose in the interests of the work to be done, and according to his intention to achieve liberation from the form.

(11) If the deva, or solar Angel, is as yet in love with manifestation, and has a desire for objective existence, thus identifying himself voluntarily with substance, there ensues the phenomenon of reincarnated physical life.

(12) Some Egos cycle through their incarnations and their pralayas very rapidly; others spend untold aeons, and hence it is impossible to say that there are even “averages” connected with the appearance of Egos on the astral plane.

(13) Human units . . . when out of incarnation pass through the astral to the mental and descend again to incarnation from the mental levels.

(14) The factors governing the appearance in incarnation of a disciple are as follows:

First, his desire to work off karma rapidly and so liberate himself for service. The Ego impresses this desire upon the disciple during incarnation, and thus obviates any counter desire on his part for the bliss of devachan, or even for work on the astral plane. The whole objective, therefore, of the disciple after death is to get rid of his subtler bodies, and acquire new ones. There is no desire for a period of rest . . . The man, therefore, absents himself from the physical plane for a very brief time, and is driven by his Ego into a physical body with great rapidity.

Second, to work out some piece of service under direction of his Master. This will involve some adjustments, and occasionally the temporary arresting of his karma . . .

Third, a disciple will return into incarnation occasionally so as to fit into the plan of a greater than himself. When a messenger of the Great Lodge needs a vehicle through which to express Himself, and cannot use a physical body Himself, owing to the rarity of its substance, He will utilise the body of a disciple. We have an instance of this in the manner the Christ used the body of the initiate Jesus, taking possession of it at the time of the Baptism . . .

Fourth, a disciple may, through the lack of rounded development, be very far advanced along certain lines, but lack what is called the full intensification of a particular principle. He may, therefore, decide (with the full concurrence of his Ego and of his Master) to take a series of rapidly recurring incarnations with the intention of working specifically at bringing a certain quality, or series of qualities, to a point of higher vibratory content, thus completing the rounding of his sphere of manifestation. This accounts for the peculiar, yet powerful, people who are met at times; they are so one-pointed and apparently so unbalanced that their sole attention is given to one line of development only, so much so that the other lines are hardly apparent. Yet their influence seems great, and out of all proportion to their superficial worth. A realisation of these factors will deter the wise student from hasty judgments, and from rapid conclusions concerning his fellowmen.

Occasionally a variation of this reason for rapid and immediate incarnation is seen when an initiate (who has nearly completed his cycle) appears in incarnation to express almost entirely one perfected principle. This he does for the good of a particular group which – though engaged in work for humanity – is failing somewhat in its objective through the lack of a particular quality, or stream of force. When this becomes apparent on the inner side, some advanced disciple puts the energy of that particular quality at the disposal of the Hierarchy, and is sent forth to balance that group, and frequently to do so for a period of rapidly succeeding lives.

These are a few of the causes governing the periodic manifestation of those who are grouped in the Hierarchical records as “the aligned points of fire”. They are distinguished by the energy flowing through them, by the magnetic quality of their work, by their powerful group effects, and by their physical plane realisation of the plan.

(15) The Law of Rebirth holds hidden the secret of the present crisis. Groups of egos come together to work out certain karma involved in past days.

(16) The diversities among men are innumerable, but in each life there is a predominant trend towards which all the energies of his nature turn . . . The day comes, however, when the soul awakens to the need of dominating the situation and of asserting its own authority.

(17) All souls incarnate and re-incarnate under the Law of Rebirth. Hence each life is not only a recapitulation of life experience, but an [Page 339] assuming of ancient obligations, a recovery of old relations, an opportunity for the paying of old indebtedness, a chance to make restitution and progress, an awakening of deep-seated qualities, the recognition of old friends and enemies, the solution of revolting injustices, and the explanation of that which conditions the man, and makes him what he is. Such is the law which is crying now for universal recognition.

(18) The new psychology must inevitably be built upon the premise that this one life is not man’s sole opportunity in which to achieve integration and eventual perfection. The great Law of Rebirth must be accepted, and it will then be found to be, in itself, a major releasing agent in any moment of crisis, or any psychological problem case. The recognition of a further opportunity, and a lengthened sense of time, are both quieting and helpful to many types of mind.

(19) Practically all the teaching given anent rebirth or reincarnation, has emphasised the material phenomenal side, though there has always been a more or less casual reference to the spiritual and mental gains acquired in the school of life upon this planet, from incarnation to incarnation. The true nature of the unfolding awareness, and the growth of the inner consciousness of the true man, have been little noted; the gain of each life in added grasp of the mechanism of contact, and the result of increased sensitivity to the environment, are seldom if ever stressed.

(20)The entire subject of rebirth is but little understood at present. Its modern interpretation, and the emphasis which has been laid so strongly on small and unimportant details, have distorted and diverted the wide sweep of the subject and ignored the true import of the process; the broad general lines of the incarnation process, have been largely overlooked. In the debate as to the length of time a man is out of incarnation, and in the consideration of foolish items of unproved and unprovable information, and in the puerile reconstruction of the past lives of theosophically inclined people (none of them based on any truth), the real truth and the real beauty of the theme have been lost to sight.

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