What We Believe 2

Lourdes Lopez, Firebird

Eastern New Age beliefs encourage tolerance, open our hearts to Nature, and build universal brotherhood and sisterhood.

They are widespread today, reports a new Pew Research Center Forum poll, (see part one of this Post.)

Many Americans, the Poll reveals,”blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects.

In the world as a whole, more people believe in reincarnation and karma than do not. But the question of why these ideas have become so widespread in the West, remains unanswered.

Soul Memory

Perhaps centuries being influenced by Eastern religions and Theosophy — karma and rebirth being their core doctrines — has helped reawaken the old truths in humanity’s consciousness.

“Verily the Spirit in man, so long hidden out of public sight, so carefully concealed and so far exiled from the arena of modern learning,”

H. P. Blavatsky wrote shortly before her death, — “has at last awakened.”

Occult America

Occult America showcases “America’s homegrown religious movements, from transcendentalism to spiritualism to Christian Science to the positive-thinking philosophy that continues to exert such a powerful pull on the public today.

“A feast for believers in alternative spirituality, an eye-opener for anyone curious about the unknown byroads of American history.

Occult America is an engaging, long-overdue portrait of one nation, under many gods, whose revolutionary influence is still being felt in every corner of the globe.”

A Matter of Faith

New Age ideas represent the “soul memory” of humanity itself, perhaps, and only confirm our reminiscences of former lifetimes.

(See recent post: World of Love)

Significantly, the ancient idea that consciousness is independent of the physical brain, is being reinforced today by frontier scientists studying psi and the paranormal.

(See related post: Science or Spirituality)

Acceptance of the reality of spiritual life is gaining ground in science, largely because more enlightened thought leaders are softening the materialistic effects of what IONS researcher Dean Radin calls the “Woo Woo Taboo.”

A Mysterious Power

(William Q. Judge, Articles II)

“There is a mysterious power in these doctrines of karma and reincarnation which at last forces them upon the belief of those who take them up for study.

“Each person is the concentration and result of karma, and is compelled from within to believe.”

“It is due to the fact that the soul is itself the experiencer of rebirth and karma, and has within a clear recollection of both — and rejoices, as it were, when it finds the lower mind taking them up for study.”

For an in-depth explanation of the chameleon-like “Manas” (Sanskrit) — the Reincarnating Ego” — see Key to Theosophyhere.

Spiritual Evolution

“It is not as important to discover which religion is best able to prove its own claims, as it is to learn, if possible, which system of religious belief has the most constructive effect upon human conduct.”

-Manly P. Hall, “Daily Words of Wisdom”

Related post: Ethical Alchemy

In Theosophy, evolution is actually a triple drama: physical, mental and spiritual. Darwin’s ideas describe the physical only, and that only imperfectly.

For many persons, reincarnation and karma are more than simply philosophical or religious beliefs. They are practical tools for gaining insight into the past, and creating positive change in the present.

Why does Theosophy assert the overarching importance of Karma and Reincarnation? Not because it wants to enforce a religious dogma.

These doctrines are easily understood and beneficent to individuals – and they furnish a “solid foundation for ethics and human conduct,” as W. Q. Judge writes – “They are the very key-notes of the higher evolution of man.” …

“ Without Karma and Reincarnation evolution is but a fragment – a process whose beginnings are unknown, and whose outcome cannot be discerned – a glimpse of what might be – a hope of what should be.”

“In the light of Karma and Reincarnation, evolution becomes the logic of what must be,” Judge concludes, and “the links in the chain of being are all filled in, and the circles of reason and of life are complete.”

“ Karma gives the eternal law of action – and Reincarnation furnishes the boundless field for its display.”

(Excerpt: Judge Articles II, “The Synthesis of Occult Science”)

Reincarnation: The Phoenix Fire Mystery

An East-West Dialogue on Death and Rebirth from the Worlds of Religion, Science, Psychology, Philosophy

“Fascinating and moving to read. … Filled with encouragement, with the extraordinary eloquence of poetry, myth and religion … A massive encyclopedic gathering from the religions of both East and West, from science, psychology, philosophy.”

-Robert Kirsch, Los Angeles Times

It’s Not Magic

TO ANYONE who has experienced a computer crash, one that held years of cherished work — files of articles, poems, photos, emails, bookmarks — we feel your pain.

It can be a lot like the sudden death of a trusted colleague and friend. Gone forever, or — perhaps not.

The computer technician to whom we poured out our sad story, surprisingly told us that all was not lost. It is possible to recover (for a substantial fee!), nearly 100% of the files from our damaged hard drive.

Nothing magic about it really, he explained. In the digital universe, where everything is made of zeros and ones, stuff is hard to kill dead forever.

Like the mythical Phoenix, information that took years to create, can all be reassembled from the ashes of even the worst computer disaster — even drowning or burning.

A new hard drive cannot know what the dead one knew, of course — unless the rescued information is transferred to the new one — then voila! Reincarnation before our very eyes.

Reincarnation, the new body — and Karma, the old data — they are inseparable twins.

(See related post: Visceral Knowing)

Consciousness Is Eternal

Recovering computer information may be a lot like real reincarnation — of human beings, that is. What are thoughts, feelings and memories, experiences, if not some kind of conscious energy?

In Sanskrit they are called “skandhas,” collectively, or “siddhis” — and are classed as either lower psychic, or deeper spiritual tendencies and gifts.

Reincarnation: Past-Life Evidence

Mozart, who composed musical score at the age of 3, is an example of a born genius. He understood without formal training, explains W. Q. Judge:

“How? Because he was a musician reincarnated, with a musical brain furnished by his family and thus not impeded in his endeavors to show forth his musical knowledge.”

For more on special geniuses that are born not made, click on:

Hanging by a Thread

Near-Death Experience: “Man Sees His Past Lives”

The devil is in the details. Arranged together, even the smallest events become part of the storyline of a human life. Few believe a life is completely absent of value — even the most wretched souls have saving graces.

Soul Memory

Are all our old memories and experiences simply waste after death of the body, to be trashed and forgotten?

If Buddha and Krishna, and many other Adepts, were able to remember thousands of their past lives, why not so with us? Couldn’t we remember just one, even in our undeveloped state? (But be careful what you wish for, the saying goes!)

Edgar Cayce

“Both I and thou have passed through many births. Mine are known unto me, but thou knowest not of thine.”

Perfectly sane adults are surprised by their own past-life memories, and the literature is full of such reports, beginning with the psychic seer Edgar Cayce who founded the non-profit Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) in 1931.

The purpose was to explore spirituality, holistic health, intuition, dream interpretation, psychic development, reincarnation, and ancient mysteries — all subjects that frequently came up in the more than 14,000 documented psychic readings given by Cayce.

What seems to fascinate people most is the question of “soul mates.”

(See related post: Seers and Psychics)

Edgar Cayce on Soul Mates

Each lifetime provides the soul with a series of lessons which need to be learned for soul growth. Those lessons often come to us in the form of other people in our lives. We have free will and can choose to learn the lessons or not.

“There are no coincidences or accidents,” Edgar Cayce said in one of his readings. “Each individual constantly meets self.”

In the 1950’s there was the Bridey Murphy case, later made into a popular movie. And, University of Virginia’s Dr. Ian Stevenson, a controversial figure amongst psychoanalysts, is remembered for his scientifically documented reincarnation research, “Children Who Remember Previous Lives.”

Ian Stevenson

“The case usually starts when a small child of two to four years of age begins talking to his parents or siblings of a life he led in another time and place,” Stevenson says.

“The child usually feels a considerable pull back toward the events of the life and he frequently importunes his parents to let him return to the community where he claims that he formerly lived.”

The Department of Perceptual Studies, (DOPS), founded by Dr. Stevenson, continues to thrive at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine. More information is on their website here.

Parents are also confused when their children remember past lives, as shown in the well documented case of a little Scottish boy named Cameron retold in this full length video documentary about the case.

The Boy Who Lived Before

Consciousness Rules

Energy and matter are neither created nor destroyed, science and Theosophy agree. How much truer this must be for the energy of consciousness and ideas. It is an understatement to say that ideas rule the world — they are the driving force that have defined our societies — our evolution and knowledge — from the beginning of time.

If ideas rule the world, as Plato said, what rules ideas?

Clearly, it must be thinkersafter all it is us thinkers who cram all that information into a computer’s hard drive.  And it is thinkers, of course, who design the software, systems and computers — and all of it came into existence from applying thoughts and ideas to physical materials.

Carl Jung on Past Lives

Some of the beliefs passed on to us by our parents, peer groups, teachers and religion, fall away as we “come of age.” Others, for good or ill, persist into middle age and beyond. Others, like the visions of Carl Jung, are intimations of a soul awakened.

“My life often seemed to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling that I was an historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding text was missing.

“I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer — that I had been born again because I had not fulfilled the task given to me.” —Carl Jung

After twenty-three years, Carl Jung’s private meditations and drawings have been released by the family for the benefit of humanity. This extraordinary body of work is published as The Red Book, and you can get an idea of what it contains by clicking on the cover:

(See related post: The Red Book)


Jenny Finds Her Past Life Children

“It is the Spiritual evolution of the inner, immortal man that forms the fundamental tenet in the Occult Sciences.”

-H. P. Blavatsky

The Wisdom Religion

by Helena P. Blavatsky

“God has no religion.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

“THE unity of everything in the universe implies and justifies our belief in the existence of a knowledge at once scientific, philosophical and religious, showing the necessity and actuality of the connection of man and all things in the universe with each other.

“This knowledge, therefore, becomes essentially RELIGION, and must be called in its integrity and universality by the distinctive name of WISDOM-RELIGION.

“It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals… and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange new disguise.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is from this WISDOM-RELIGION that all the various individual ‘Religions’ (erroneously so called) have sprung, forming in their turn offshoots and branches, and also all the minor creeds, based upon and always originated through some personal experience in psychology.

“Every such religion, or religious offshoot, be it considered orthodox or heretical, wise or foolish, started originally as a clear and unadulterated stream from the Mother-Source. The fact that each became in time polluted with purely human speculations and even inventions, due to interested motives, does not prevent any from having been pure in its early beginnings.

“I am in exact accord with the belief of Thomas Edison that spirit is immortal, that there is a continuing center of character in each personality. For thirty years I have leaned toward the theory of Reincarnation. We are here in life for one purpose—to get experience. We are all getting it, and we shall all use it somewhere.”

—Henry Ford

“There are those creeds — we shall not call them religions — which have now been overlaid with the human element out of all recognition. Others, showing signs of early decay, not one has escaped the hand of time.

“But each and all are of divine, because natural and true origin; aye—Mazdeism, Brahmanism, Buddhism as much as Christianity.”

“A Religion in the true and only correct sense, is a bond uniting men together — not a particular set of dogmas and beliefs. Religion, per se, in its widest meaning, is that which binds not only all MEN, but also all BEINGS and all things in the entire Universe into one grand whole. This is our Theosophical definition of religion.”

“Religion is the best armour that man can have,
but it is the worst cloak.”

-John Bunyan

Sissel Kyrkjebo: Imagine

An Eternal Now

From a Master’s Letter

“PLATO was right: ideas rule the world, and, as men’s minds will receive new ideas, laying aside the old and effete, the world will advance: mighty revolutions will spring from them; creeds and even powers will crumble before their onwards march crushed by the irresistible force.

“It will be just as impossible to resist their influx, when the time comes, as to stay the progress of the tide. But all this will come gradually on, and before it comes we have a duty set before us — that of sweeping away as much as possible the dross left to us by our pious forefathers.”

“New ideas have to be planted on clean places, for these ideas touch upon the most momentous subjects. It is not physical phenomena but these universal ideas that we study, as to comprehend the former, we have to first understand the latter.

“They touch man’s true position in the universe, in relation to his previous and future births — his origin and ultimate destiny — the relation of the mortal to the immortal — of the temporary to the eternal — of the finite to the infinite” 

“— ideas larger, grander more comprehensive — recognizing the universal reign of Immutable Law, unchanging and unchangeable, in regard to which there is only an ETERNAL NOW…

Welcoming 2010

We wish to express our sincere thanks to all the writers, producers, artists, thought leaders whose wonderful creations and insights have graced Theosophy Watch pages.

Most especially we owe a debt of gratitude to the many TW readers this past year. You have inspired us with your presence and comments  — and helped make our mutual journal of discovery both pleasurable, and even possible.

Love, light and joy to all!

The Editors

Top Ten Posts of 2009

The Inner Ruler

Buddha’s Grace

Breath of Heaven

The Real Jesus

Lofty Strangeness

Believing You Are

A Buddha and His Dog

Fields of Dream

New Hands of Healing

The Caring Spirit

7 responses to “What We Believe 2

  1. I have questioned Christianity since I was old enough to ask question – there are too many loopholes, too many contradictions, and I cant put my faith in something that is so unstable.

    On that note, I myself am on the fence about reincarnation – I want to believe it, it’s just difficult to make that leap – there are so many things I know about or know how to do that I have absolutely no idea where I learned how – and it’s been that way all my life. At age 3 I sat down at my family piano where my sister was practicing, pushed her aside, and began to play – with no idea of what I was doing – my mother has told me about this all my life. I am 40 now, and I am still questioning all these things. There is one person in my life, we met nearly 25 years ago, and the moment we met I felt this special connection, we have been so close for so many years, and we seem to have a deeper connection than anyone I know – it’s haunting. No matter where we go, where I go, we always end up back together and we never lose this bond we have. I don’t know what to think – I believe they are my soul mate, and they are of the same belief. I just wish I could find some kind of positive evidence that reincarnation was the way

  2. Alexander Warren

    Do you happen to know if the ” New Thought” movement and Unity is covered in “Occult America”?

    • Don’t recall about “Unity” — but a lot of New Age is covered. Thanks for your readership and questions. See you in class next week — please share your own answer to this question with us!?

  3. Happy new year. Thanks for the great posts. I’m slowly getting through them all.

    I remember so many past lives I really can’t keep up. With Spirits guidance I’ve learnt to look at past lives like this, and I know what I’m about say will evolve, and it should. If not in this lifetime then in another/next.

    The first thing to grasp is there’s no them or us, no spirits or physical life, no souls or reincarnated souls. This is correct and not correct. It’s all about asking the right question of spirit/consciousness. I believe Edgar Cayce (he’s standing beside me) and others have asked the right questions, but the answer is always filtered through the consciousness of our energy field, the thread (an analogy) that allows us to be/connects us to, the field.

    Rather than, or as well as, we are not living this life because of past lives, but past lives are present/remembered because of this life. An example: I don’t have a phobia because of what I experienced in a past life. The past life is available/remembered because I have a phobia.

    Am I a healer because I’ve been a healer before? If I was a drug addict living on the street, am I doing that because my soul needs to have that experience? Being a healer is pretty cool so my soul must be evolved more than the drug addicts. Now that’s not right.

    We can see the grace/peace/love in being a healer, but not in being an addict. We see karma or a lesson to learn. I think Mozart was mentioned on one of the video clips. He was a genius because he had already being a musician. Maybe (?) the only bit that is true is that he had already being a musician. So have I, so have you, so has the drug addict.

    Until we see the grace in the drug addict, and the guy who hums out of tune, I don’t think we’ll ask the right question or get the right answer (I don’t think one exists because we evolve consciousness (?)) about reincarnation and karma.

    The cells in my body are reincarnating now. My physical body reincarnates into the earth and then (the earth) sustains another body. My soul (?) reincarnates into a body. What came first the chicken or the egg?

    I guess I could go on. The posts here make me think and ask the right questions. Cheers, Simon.

    • “Until we see the grace in the drug addict, and the guy who hums out of tune, I don’t think we’ll ask the right question or get the right answer…”
      Lovin’ it! Thank you Simon for your very insightful comments…

  4. Thank you so much, Theosophy Watch, for all the hard work on these so valuable and enlightening posts!! All the best for 2010, and we are looking forward to many more newsletters!
    A very grateful reader.

  5. Thank you for a beautiful beginning to 2010.

    As Sri Aurobindo said about reincarnation, “It is not a tortuous way to come back — a little battered — to the starting-point; it is there, on the contrary, to bring the whole creation the joy of being, the beauty of being, the grandeur of being, and the perpetual development, perpetually progressive, of this joy, this beauty, this grandeur. Then everything takes on a meaning.”

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