THEOSOPHY, Vol. 47, No. 3, January, 1959
(Pages 119-121; Size: 8K)

One whose fire is burned out is reborn through the tendencies in mind; according to his thoughts he enters life.

--Prasna Upanishad
WHEN a man is "forced in upon himself" he faces a curious dilemma. Only sometimes does he realize that he is the Self, "bright, bodiless, and free," the Eternal Pilgrim who has gathered unto himself numberless experiences. As an active center of thought, perception, evaluation, he, as Thinker, can range from past to future, encompassing all as Duration, with himself a center of awareness which gives all experiences meaning. He feels himself to be that deathless, immortal, unchanging One -- the Self. Then, again, the personal man takes control, and our late Eternal Pilgrim sees himself as an "involved entity," victim of circumstances of birth, bound by tangled cords to family, race, nation -- even a whole humanity, perhaps, with which he feels little sympathy. Then he may question -- how has this come about? What can he do about it?

The first step, perhaps, is for him to think of himself in relation to all about him, and the Fundamental Propositions of Theosophy, however stated, help in this:

It is the Spiritual evolution of the inner, immortal man that forms the fundamental tenet in the Occult Sciences. To realize even distantly such a process, the student has to believe (a) in the ONE Universal Life, independent of matter (or what Science regards as matter); and (b) in the individual intelligences that animate the various manifestations of this Principle. (S.D. I, 634.)

The question is, do those mysterious divisions of time, called Yugas and Kalpas by the Hindus, and so very graphically "cycle," ring or circle, by the Greeks, have any bearing upon, or any direct connection with, human life? Even exoteric philosophy explains that these perpetual circles of time are ever returning on themselves, periodically, and intelligently in Space and Eternity. (S.D. I, 637-8.)

Man has not one principle more than the tiniest insect; he is, however, "the vehicle of a fully developed Monad, self-conscious and deliberately following its own line of progress, whereas in the insect, and even the higher animal, the higher triad of principles is absolutely dormant." The original Monad has, therefore, locked within it the potentiality of divinity. . . . The human monad or Ego is akin to all below it and heir to all above it, linked by indissoluble bonds to spirit and matter, "God" and "Nature." . . . Mind is the latent or active potentiality of Cosmic Ideation, the essence of every form, the basis of every law, the potency of every principle in the universe. Human thought is the reflection or reproduction in the realm of man's consciousness of these forms, laws, and principles. Hence man senses and apprehends nature just as nature unfolds in him. (THEOSOPHY 3I : 536, 538.)

In the periodic return of events, the Ego finds itself drawn to birth again. The ancient teaching is that thoughts of the past bring the Ego back to birth and dictate the circumstances of that birth. Thought, united with desire, forms attractive threads that enmesh man with the whole of life. Spirit and matter are eternal, it is taught, and every thought makes a mental as well as a physical link with the desire in which it is rooted. A thought -- a living thing -- is born, has its period of endurance, then dies, only to be reborn again, intensified by the companionship of other thoughts. Desire, fulfilled or unfulfilled, usually deludes the Ego, forming ties that bind the soul to birth. The ancient books speak of that time when "all the knots of the heart are untied." This comes when a man's thinking becomes so disciplined that he is no longer deluded by desire.

The task of bringing back the inconstant mind from its wanderings and placing it on the Self is not easy. Yet it can be done, teaches The Bhagavad-Gita, "by practice and absence of desire." In the article, "Universal Applications of Doctrine," Mr. Judge indicates that it is little wonder we find it difficult to keep our minds on high themes. A few hours a week spent in thinking on principles can make but little headway against a whole week's energy directed toward frivolity, selfishness, indifference. And again, elsewhere, he says that it must one day be our task to follow after and evaluate every thought that has passed through our minds during the course of a day -- no easy thing. This is the work of a philosopher, which each of us must one day strive to be, to consider the nature of our thinking, to energize only those thoughts that pass the test of discrimination.

There are qualities of thinking that particularize men. We categorize people as scientists, business men, artists -- recognizing that each has a characteristic stream of thought that places him uniquely. He is identified by the quality of his life's thinking. It is the nature of this thinking that will draw the involved entity back to birth, to circumstances formed from the energy placed in that type of thinking. The Ego thus finds an entry to life with family, race, nation which exactly suits his needs. It is, in fact, just what he himself desired, although he may not wish to recognize it as such. Men are sometimes born into families where hate seems the attractive bond. Energy previously expended in that direction formed those particular ties. Again and again it has been said, "There is no attachment for what we do not think about," and, conversely, there is attachment to the subjects of our thoughts. In this living universe, man weaves the web of his destiny daily with every thought and action. Karma-Nemesis, as Madame Blavatsky points out, has no attributes; it is nations and individuals who give to this principle the role of rewarding angel or vengeful fury.

We look tolerantly, perhaps, at past passions that no longer grip us, without considering that other, newer desires may hold us fast. And it will not be until the involved entity learns detachment that he can be fully "creative." This freedom will not come from a desire to escape incarnation -- for this is still being bound by desire. But when the man sees this life in proper perspective as but a portion of past and future -- not a separate thing, but a flow, a continuity, and himself as perceiver and thinker, giving meaning to every experience, then he will find himself no longer the "involved entity," but one who is truly "bright, bodiless and free."

Next article:
Youth-Companions Ask--and Answer
(January, 1959)

Main Page | Introductory Brochure | Volume 1--> Setting the Stage
Karma and Reincarnation | Science | Education | Economics | Race Relations
The WISDOM WORLD | World Problems & Solutions | The People*s Voice | Misc.