Near death experiences have opened a wonderful door into vistas of the soul's survival - especially now that modern medical techniques have increased the recovery rate of individuals in hospitals, and now that more people feel free to openly discuss their experiences.
But there is another vantage point. In the late 19th century Madame Blavatsky promulgated a teaching she had received form "those who know". It included many details of "what happens when we die". It included more information than is normally available from those having near death experiences since the knowledge she was teaching, extended from one death on to the next birth.
Dr Jean-Louis Siémons has compared in detail the results of near death experiences reported in the last quarter of the twentieth century with the assertions made by Blavatsky a century earlier concerning the journey of the soul. He demonstrates a very striking congruence. Furthermore, Siémons says "Beyond question, her views on the process of dying were quite original for her epoch."
Since her views were "quite original" for her epoch - and based on her knowledge - and since they are now confirmed by increasing numbers of people having near death experiences - we therefore have a significant confirmation of the validity of her assertions on this subject and her assertions in general. A study of her teachings then gives us a way to learn still more - with confidence - on the survival of the soul and its journey through successive lives. Because Blavatsky was right on the mark, based on this evidence, we can approach her other statements with significantly greater confidence in their validity. We invite you to look.
Below is the article by Siémons. Along with the analysis, it gives an excellent presentation of Theosophy's view on this subject, complete with detailed citations from the Theosophical literature.
Full Article by Jean-Louis Siémons below.
Table of contents of his article:
by Dr Jean-Louis Siémons
|1. A few words on Theosophy
|2. A generalized holistic and transpersonal approach
|3. Problems of terminology
|4. From the personal to the transpersonal
|5. Further information on the transpersonal Ego
|6. Of the usefulness of an "astral" body
|II. What was known of Near Death Experiences's a century ago?
|III. The process of dying as viewed by Theosophy
|1. The apparent end of life is but the first step towards death
|2. It is the starting point of a process undergone by the dying one, beyond his control
|3. The journey to death is a mapped out itinerary
|4. The last moment is lived in a communion between the personal and the transpersonal
|5. "Entering the Light", or "encountering the being of light" - an imaged interpretation by the personal self of its re-union with its deep-rooted source of self-consciousness
|6. The Ego's quasi omniscience is a key to interpret the dying man's conscious experience in its higher phase
|a. The objective, panoramic review of life
|b. The review of previous lifetimes
|c. The experience of "total knowledge"
|d. Flashforwards disclosing the earthly man's future
|e. "Supernatural rescues"
|f. The apparent choice to come back
|7. Death only comes after the reintegration of the personal to the transpersonal consciousness: it strikes the last chord of the ending life