THEOSOPHY teaches the progressive development of everything, “worlds as well as atoms,” according to The Secret Doctrine.
This “stupendous development,” say the ancient sages, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”
To them, our ‘Universe’ is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes.”
In this view, each individual cosmos, or single human life, is the effect of its predecessor. Under karmic law, “a cause as regards its successor.”
If lifetimes and universes are analogous to schools, then the classrooms are stages of consciousness, pushing us to ever greater self-awareness and self-development — only if we are wise enough to pursue the path offered.
Thus our lives are complex creations, a series of “progressive awakenings,” advanced or retarded drop by drop, by our individual, family, racial, national and global karma.
Everyone, in this view, settles into his or her own unique rhythm in which a lifetime meditation reflects a mixture of past karma, and present choices.
We all must be then at slightly differing points on an ascending evolutionary arc, paying off old debts, making new ones — pushing forward or slipping back, and the mind thus ever awakens to newer realities.
The choices that shape our character each lifetime, are self-chosen—compounded of physical, sensory, emotional, mental, psychic and spiritual energies.
The ancient Egyptian after death judgement, weighed symbolically a person’s heart against the “feather of truth.”
The challenges of life, the occult doctrine notes, are the result of our being grounded in a personal level of consciousness, a limited world view. The Secret Doctrine 1:39-40 teaches that “whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”
“Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute existence which contains in itself the noumena of all realities.”
“Only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from delusions.”
“As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities.
… and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality’—”