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THE MEMORY
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PAST BIRTHS
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CHARLES JOHNSTON

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S. BY Charles Johnston. Y. IRA h KIVERglTT . Retired. M. Bengal Civil Service. THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY Publishing Department 244 LENOX AVENUE NEW YORK. A. R. N.THE MEMORY OF PAST BIRTHS.

.to®(rflll «?QPYRl»HT 1899 BY IhE METAPHYSICAL PUBLISHING Co.

. Of those who receive most accept . human becomes once more credible and belief. lightens the burden of death. for you have sowed in your of an idea full mind the seed blossoms into endless life germinate and grow till at last it knowledge. C. That certainty of the larger life wherein the lives and deaths of this our world are but as days and nights. stirs and grows. gradually growing credence . The Memory which will of Past Births. winding through the mists and shadows of the valley.PREFACE. By reading taken the first the title. the We begin to catch the light of our immortal shall illumine gleam from beyond the heavens which still our hidden past. away the Immortality. J. greater boon. the seed of life. it at once with a convicit tion which runs ahead of evidence many hold tentatively with it. none altogether reject or forget The thought remains. bring clear vision of the path till it before us. dulls the edge of sorrow. at last belief ripens into certainty. takes terror of separation. heart. this thought of through many births. and. rises at last into the everlasting sunshine. nay more. you have already step towards remembering. demands and compels our selves. the dearest hope in every intelligible . and as rebirth life is a true law till every turn and incident of gives it new force.

' . .

—the soul half earthly. we must begin by a better understanding of ourselves. the Teaching Came. but soul and spirit as well . and in all the years reincarnation years ago. It was first clearly presented in an attractive of Occult and symin pathetic form in the Blavatsky published Theosophist . The or seventeen years back The idea in the " Fragments" was this: To understand our lives. as well as the love of 5 ** TBI TJNIVKRSITT SiCAUFO!^ . us. or give If I When vague and unsatisfactory answers. are not body soul only. before We birth. spirit half heavenly the spirit. as well as the pure will the desires. still this block. one question is invariably raised have lived before. almost unknown to The is everything between the body and the . — reincarnation is spoken of. as yet. The idea of reincarnation came to the Western world only a few inclined to adopt it. to know what lies before us after death and what lay behind us. —the pas- sions. BIRTHS. while almost everyone who once grasps the thought of successive lives on earth feels strongly one point has remained a stumblinghas been talked of nothing definite or to the point has been said as to this really vital question.THE MEMORY OF PAST CHAPTER How I. so that. why do I not remember it ? The defenders of reincarnation almost invariably evade this question. "Fragments some sixteen Truth" which Mme.

and then the animal in us comes out and fills our lives with The soul is drawn upward toward the spirit passions and appetites. cannot rise at spir- Almost immediately after physical death the soul comes to itself. resembling the vigor vesture of mortality has been and sickness. what has happened the body. surfeited with these passions It — clogged once to like a heavy feeder after too rich a meal. But this vivid or a few days at most touch with earthly life lasts for a few hours only. and goodness. which is at the root of the teaching of Purgatory. laid aside. "Fragments" gave the name: the Body of Desire. change. death comes. and appetite. selfishness and life. itual life. true qualities of human } life. pictures of lust longings for sensuous things. a month or a year before. The spirit draws the soul . at the moment of death? First. and this only comes after repeated attempts to talk to the living people so recently left. with it. In the fullness of What happens then? or time. the all it first. rid of its pains and vigor. the was a day. the passions and desires begin to assert themselves and gradually work themselves out through a period of purification. and faith its higher part by soul is The are developed —the . that network of instinctive and elemental powers in which built it up and carried on is work during But. and power. and which now pulls to pieces again. and with a feeling of lightness The of keen health and high spirits. and truth. but there is often no clear consciousness that death has actually taken place. life. which make up so much of ordinary human is. and beauty. in dissolution. on earth. and the sins self-love. then genius. soul when it not all pure. while its higher half was called the Mind. The soul as it were. while still its life still it. unsatisfied of malice. who are still vividly present to the person just dead. any more than lasted the body is laid aside. then the scenery round the soul begins to . body has been separated from the its soul . drawn downward toward the body by the Body of Desire. The soul has its worse half clinging to passions.To the lower half of the soul the beauty.

in contact with the living world. it would help and protect the living. the " Fragments" further suggest that. "Fragments" gave the name of De" the vachan. its strong. the soul shakes itself free from its bondage and puts off the Body of Desire. has a power and immortal youth. pure life. according to the strength of its earthly desires. or years. with their gold and stones." and one well known in the books of the northern Buddhists. so the souls of those who are are keenly conscious of that bound together bond and union. And more truly when all the pains of this mortal life are laid aside. and a wide and sweeping knowledge that almost reaches omniscience. in the course of days. That is the soul's great holiday and day part of the soul of refreshment. and breathe new life and vigor into the soul's dreams of beauty. that rest of the soul. their trees and rivers. and conscious of them and. The passions become latent and are as seeds in the dried and withered flower. the of Occult Truth. in the sense that And has a consciousness of the nearness of living people." There was something in this teaching. apparently. an eternal vigor. is still It must gradually put off the earthly desires. but the soul. or months. so unlike the material heavens of the churches. so far as lay in the power of the soul. It was the idea of Devachan more than any other teaching which made the fortune of the '* Frag- To the great rest they enter into. The higher is drawn back into the spirit. overburdened with pasfirst cannot at respond. As spirit in us. and the radiant power and strong.toward sions. Then. as our spirits are far intimately united than our bodies. The . a Tibetan word meaning Blissful. in when the Body of Desire is put away. . pure will of the spirit pour into it. and. inspirations of goodness and strivings after truth. at once so reasonable and so sublime. that is the very heart of joy. " the Fragments" suggested that any strong bond of affection it toward people still in the world would keep the soul of the dead person close to them. standing close to divinity. and ments yet something so satisfying to our best aspirations that one could not help believing that something like it must be the truth.

so is the Blissful Rest different for each. the soul bathes in the waters of life. of difficulties overcome. is kindled into rich and vig- the soul puts away spirit in orous filled . is the soul's great opportunity to rise to new aspirations. life . and goodness. brings to it it the harvest of its best hours in life the . to receive new seeds of beauty and joy. which shall in their turn blossom in the time to come. its own Devachan. of beauty. when it returns again to But the soul does not only receive from the the spirit sense of . spirit. in it. it also gives to . but rest it will not end until there has come fullness of refreshing and a from the memory of human ills. through own powers and Every soul forms its energies. spirit's Drawn thus life close to the spirit. As the measure of its aspiration. And as the souls of men are of every different measure of aspiration. the spirit soars angelic above our life it is thereby cut off from many a secret that every mortal knows. reinforced and And that life in Devachan strengthened by the energies of the spirit. That paradise of peace and power may last as long as a full human no years are given for us to measure it may last thrice as long life it . . blossoms out into a perfect flower. and these are the messages it learns from the soul in if For breathes over the soul in paradise.8 its garment of desires it rises up to union with the Devachan. with the sense of the beauty of the world the the sense of toil its loves and its efforts . return for the power and peace it by. the ideals of future it growth. every seed of hope. knowledge has won . all aspirations are satisfied . The radiance of rest becomes slowly quiescent . the soul shares the greater and receives the seeds of hope. which are to guide and stimulate this earthly life. and and refreshed. all hopes of heaven are is is ful- all Then its dreams of joy are more than realized. under the sunlight of the spirit and its vivifying rays. and truth. the overshadow- . reward . and is thrilled through and through All that the soul had with the spirit's exultant and immortal youth. human life. the Blissful. so strengthened the measure of every hope in it. well done.

enters once tinged and colored with them. whole development of humanity had been nothing but the repeated rebirths of the same human souls. the de. generacy of Greece.ing light and power of the spirit become dim spirit in the soul which has drowsed itself with peace. and family whose itself life is most of in harmony with child. There its affinities draw it to that land. saw the fall of the Roman Republic. and class. of selfishness passion. in France. the passions as well as the understanding. The " Fragments them afterwards. in Italy. its it own nature. of Gradually the earth's vitality works in these germs and self-love till the soul is once more of lust. . that powers Then. and had. which we are greatly inclined to admit. and Scandinavia. and no others. the elemental and simple earthly things to come to full life in it are man shares with the animals. even supplying chapters which we have no knowledge of. like drawing to like. in the days of Thor. the days of chivalry and religious zeal. yet which seem to have a certain Tightness and reasonableness. the last days of the Jewish nation. and Russia. Thus come childhood and youth and . almost with the plants. then once more. and. of desire. and Odin. and as the draws away. the breath of the returning earth begins to stir and move in these seeds of desire which were left when the flower of the last earth life withered.. They carried the teaching on and applied it to the whole of human history. are the same men and women It was said that the who lived through the Middle Ages." and the additions made to a great deal more than merely sketch this course human life. that we. the more human side of the soul. a single cycle of rebirth. come to their growth. that we are the same men and women who peopled heathen Germany. did of a single of Occult Truth. in Spain. gradually. age and death. and a full return to human life is once more made. who now live and breathe the vital airs. and. uniting to the body an unborn pres- The first seeds of ently passes again through the gates of birth. in England . and Perun that we ourselves. more the confines of the earth.

. whose the vanished continent races. who. The tis. before our own The first two epoch. inhabit the lands whose descendants. a part in the great transition that passed from Judea to the Greek and Roman worlds. were relics and vestiges of a vanished past. in more ancient India. and in older days. — our present The third race as humanity sion. mingled with offshoots of the earlier and continents we know. we know had natures hardly yet fashioned to the mould of it with them instinct had not yet become pas- to conscious reason. even in our purely animal nature. . to us very dim and mysterious. because they had not They reached any keen sense of responsibility. a few still to be found among the inland Chinamen. spiration the glad old strenuous days of inhave opened our eyes to the daylight. sent out many third race. Instead of going back. nor had the almost automatic . as I have done. the " Fragments of Occult " Truth began at the utmost horizon of the past and came down to and real our own days. enough. Of pure remnants of the fourth race there were. outlining no less than four great races. with the flat-headed aborigines of Australia. and the race which now inhabits the earth. or even of their own indi- vidual lives. came such material life as we ourselves are used to. and Egypt. there are hardly more than a few fragments left. Of this third race. acts of animal life yet fully changed were blameless. fourth race. we were told. and Chaldea. while we actually lived them. we were told. memory is still held in the story of Atlannow hidden beneath the waves. though much. but bright enough. mingling of the third and fourth races came the humanity the strong. has been steadily modified and changed.IO perhaps. races were dim and shadowy as forgotten dreams. but growing gradually more gross and material as the long ages went on. and those debased to the utmost limit of degeneration. with the third race. Finally. that we ourselves played a part in the growth in of Greece and Rome. in and liberty that we Assyria and Iran. progressive members of the race. From the fifth.

so the fourth race and Atlantis sank with its task. brought to the question : If experience. And thus. our larger joy. not one colored patch of the Nile. of ambition. or skill. without its ignorance. it had nothing and definiteness which won such instant recognition for the teachings of . of cruelty. the men of the Dark Ages. Thus the " Fragments" suggested orderly development. of to regain individual life. each the races of our planet filling parts in the supplementing the others and bringing some power. the powers of wood and stone. Each of us. or knowledge. inner With these nature also. all to us our place in a great and same scheme. but the answer was not like the clearness any rate. of modern days. In that race is our own place. of iron and silver and gold. to rise again from material- to hold the consciousness of the fourth race and the sense . are destined to find our fuller growth. how is it that we really had such ripe and abundant we remember of it not a single fragment This question was answered satisfactory. fifth To the fifth race are to follow others. we were the Chaldeans. and when it.II The gained fourth race developed a strong individualism. but without cruelty or too keen self-love the innocence of the third race. the self-same souls. or. this cycle of life this earth of ours ended with there are other greater cycles and nobler worlds on which we. we were the ancient Romans. we were of the Renaissance. or instinct to the total sum. And ism . and time and clime. is ended. once more. each adding something new and excellent. and to add new powers and perfections undreamed of in the earlier world. and with it great power over nature: a conquest of material* forces. or the Euphrates. and until mankind is perfected is . the Greeks. not a single Atlantean day. in the ocean. the metals. fell. Then came the fifth race. which without it would have been by that much deficient. or the Khalifs. the Indians. at in a sense. no memory of Babylon. we were told. or Chivalry? . material surroundings came a hardening of the and the faults of selfishness. had passed through every race. and that destiny is being unfolded in us. the Egyptians.

like the the Veddahs. . that the chants of the Persian fire-worshippers have won a new life on the lips of Christian choirs. left though they seem obscure as the riddles of the gods. So we should be lately very tolerant in this matter of color.12 the " Fragments. we find that the races supplement each other in a marvelous way that the work of the temple-builders of Egypt was . and perfected. not in Egypt. red and black to give them the of many kinds — — And we can never tell how scope and opportunity they require. in this great and wonderful scheme of the races there was much to commend itself veiy strongly." Still. with " many additions. fragmentary sign and inscription they have and the fact. day crowds in the museums scheme Then again. in proof of our identity with the men of those old races. that the thoughts of the old Indian sages were caught up and given a beauty and vivid grace. even though it could hardly be verified or proved in any positive way. by Pythagoras and that the work of Praxiteles and Apelles was handed down to Plato . Once more. nothing but the wild life of these wanderers could teach And when the laggards have learned their lesson the belated races will assuredly disappear. that them. Everything in the life of all races and all times is vividly akin to us even the holistrive to decipher every . who have yet certain lessons to learn. are constantly bearing witness to our affinity with the days and the lands that are dead. or the Australians. the of the " Fragments" made more intelli- gible the lingering presence of low and abject races among us. There was. of belated souls. so must there be many races white and yellow. we ourselves inhabited other colored skins. carried on. as souls are many-sided things. too. As there are souls in all stages of growth. as Esoteric Buddhism. our keen interest and understanding of their works and ways the infinite patience. but in Greece . that we can decipher these old sign-pictures." especially when they appeared in a volume. . with which we . the infinite eagerness. laggards in the race. These are the dwellings Bushmen. first of all.

. just as each of us must is taste both birth and As to poverty and riches. ever perfecting the great. how In this way. . So. there was something added Shakespeare. in one and all. further in advance. the teachers of the "Fragments" suggest that all souls. a year hence. . youth and maturity death. too. where we are to-day. we is are our own for- tunes . we see but each lends aid to every other. the world's great way there is no such So that we may say of the life of any one. a new development So all . above all. he is further back. the matter of sex. very clearly. And it follows. where we shall be to-morrow. There is for the whole race and for each of us a certain path to be a gradual a certain large and perfect growth to be reached trod : . wise it is to look on the whole human race as but one great assemblage of souls.13 Raphael and Titian that Michael Angelo is the kin of Phidias that Euripides wrote for Racine that . like the blue champaka. . development. through endless change./Eschylus was the prophecy of And that. in the simplest way. . must do his own walking on thing as hiring substitutes. that his position is pretty strictly and justly due to his own walking in bygone days. the question too large to touch en . and that his position to-morrow will depend on the use he makes of to-day. in the days that are dead. This the law of Karma. Of the first. on by their own works. that. . . and not by the works of others every one or ten years hence. shall one day bloom in none has a perfect races supplement each other . the strenuous and courageous are . that the position of any one on the great path depends if he has very definitely on the distance he has already traveled gone so far. Paradise. gift . he is now at such a place if he has lagged. and whether we And we see. a fresh unfolding of the leaves of the flower of humanity. we weave our destinies for ourselves. mysterious work. that races and men get still keep moving. must live the life of both the sexes just as each of us must in every life inherit childhood. There are parts of this great law of Karma that we should like to linger over. . and the great question of poverty and riches. depends on . We build our own lives. to gain perfect experience.

time is our pathway. they answered something still in session. same assembly of souls was present through all the yesand will be present in every to-morrow. . gigantic races. who move and live in the world to-day. where the sand-storms sweep over desert Tarim and Gobi if I shared the fate of dim. or in yet older lands. men's souls pass on their journey back and forth from outward And life is this terdays of the world. perhaps. through which life. why can I not recall a day of it? Why is my memory as empty of purple hours as a beggar's cloak in the rain? What said the "Fragments"? like this : Well. There is but one . where the seas now Gautama. roll. a quarter. all are alive at this moment none great assembly of human souls of them are belated or caught in the net of bygone ages. essential justice is : done. too. why does no not recall how I tilted in the in memory lists in of it all remain? . Our life. Yet that question obstinately recurs: If I. how I how prayed hunted the deer through gloomy Germediaeval days in the manic forests I how I shouted for Caesar or Brutus Forum how . before Atlantis was. But of these.here . and heard old Homer sing? What has become my lotus garlands of Egypt. even in dreams. Why I can I Gothic cathedrals. The memories of all those past births are . one great of which we are all parts . all are present in the in life now embodied on of to-day. We should try to see the matter in this light . and the whole earth our inheritance. one of them . my share in the sermons of If I. . every your posbut they are hid and carefully packed away in remote corners of your being. are the earth three-fourths are hidden in the heavens. have indeed passed through so rich and varied days and years and lives. . the paradise of peace. caves of Ellora and Elephanta? in the days of Atlantis. who get such sincere satisfaction out of life and all experiences. saw the plays of of Sophocles. but we must rest assured that here. my part in the old temple processions on the Nile. or in the dim halls of desire. moved indeed. or the and no other. whither you hardly find your But when the day of attainment dawns for way.

is you. of the seventh race we should like the Friend like to realize a little of all that great wealth of ours . those memories shall be yours. our attainment. living. Well. : most interesting point of the whole question The memory of past births and we should like to learn something more definite about it. . may be at learned. pretty unsatisfying. three-fourths hidden. at the moment. at the end. They have all had something to say and it has generally been well worth saying. one-fourth manifest on earth. that was satisfactory enough in a way and yet. thought of the ever-living assembly of souls. in the Why do we not remember our past births? we shall get this answer uniformly from the ages A good many do and always have remem- — bered. from India. with all We do not feel like waiting for the day of that. from Plato. from Synesias. including even the Christian world one time. has held to this great teaching of Reincarnation. should warn us against speaking slightingly of the mighty dead. It And I Upanishads. and hold the stage in the present hour. that we are here. ing together the chief passages that bear on the subject. . from the tion of lost memory. perhaps. should like a quarter in hard cash. . on account. . Let me anticipate for a moment. I shall add the testimony of the living to the witness of the dead . in Italy. as it happens. in think I shall be doing a good work in bringGreece. Now. . from Virgil. and all the world has run up against this fascinating and exasperating queshas been thought out in India. from Buddha. at the end of the way you will be able to look back to all past stages of your journey. on whom we feel as though we clearly the every one was pressing hundred-dollar checks. we may be lesser than the admired sages but we have this advantage. in Egypt. and say that to our question. yet none the less Though that heavens. there is a good deal that This is . All the world.

To begin with.CHAPTER The of all II. and that it was taught. How then did the Indian teachers face the problem which we have spoken of the blank pages of memory for all the illimitable past which was unrolled. in the we shall have to ask the one which preWhat did the sages of India teach concerning rebirth cedes it. we are met by a very general misconception. the great hereditary caste of priests and scholars who loom on the Indian horizon. kin to that it 16 . many generations of foreigners visiting India in search of secret By looking deeper into the Indian books we shall find first that. The older race who taught the Brahmans was a red race. and who have kindled the imaginations wisdom. which satisfactorily practically runs through all that has been written by students of Indian lore : the belief that we owe the teaching of rebirth to the so large of so Brahmans. from originating the teaching of rebirth. namely. To answer and most by taking in their order the passages in the Indian sacred books in which rebirth is taught. The Tradition of the East. the Brahmans for period of their history confessedly knew nothing about was already well known even then to another race in India. and most from India. teaching of past births comes to us from the East. so far the whole it . and what is it they conceived as reborn? And we can do this best this question. by this other race to the Brahmans. . before our latest descent through the gates of birth? Why do view of the Indian sages? — we not remember our past births. on a definite historic occasion.

long years. are called the dom Upanishads that is. through which the soul passes in its descent . and all through the mystery . in human that their teachers were a race of demigods. is but the suggestion constantly put forward. the Books of Secret Teachings. From whom this ancient race received its tradition. the higher the soul has rested of all. . its unfulfilled other beings alive on this earth. its own these offer it as a sacrifice dying out thirst for further physical life is born into the psychic world. from this divine race. is traditionally known as the Lore of the Five Fires because. we cannot tell. The lunar lord is the psychic body . after its last birth birth comes. into birth. The books which contain the tradition of down to India by one branch of the old : the Mysteries. There is.*7 the inhabitants of ancient Egypt and Chaldea and it is among the descendants of this red race that we find the clearest conception of . and from this sacrifice. The first of these is in a passage which with the teaching of rebirth. have the teaching of rebirth complete. the gods offer up the soul as a sacrifice in the is fire of the celestial world. above the waves of birth and death. or Hidden Wisand there are two chief passages 'n the Upanishads which deal . in India as in Egypt. . When the time for the new free from the shadow of sorrow and pain. first the paradise of peace. in it. and of the whole teaching which makes up the subject of the Mysteries. the lunar lord born. are spoken of as celestial world. fires. and in this world. rebirth. as handed red race. between earth and heaven. it destinies. even though there is no vestige of memory of their beginningless past in the minds of those who are born into the world. or divine beings form the representatives of man before the fall and that . where . the worlds above this. its attractions to . the soul is through an immortal and angelic being. we is are told. the teaching of rebirth has been handed down And for this reason we in unbroken succession to the present day. This gods who a simple allegory in the old mystery language: the offer up the soul are its own inherent powers. the midworld of the celestial world.

which rules everything psychic. and so he dies. life of the personal self. and a part of further analysis according to the color of the flames. The lunar lord body. hope and fear. To enter into a fuller explanation of in it symbolism us of the fires. who are the remaining two of the this five fires. which 13 called the third fire. would be said carry away too far from the main theme life but may is that this apprehension of bodily its as a fire. And we are met by another great part of the mystery teach- ing: the teaching of the difference of destiny after death. the personal self. and passes upwards again through the three worlds. There are in reality three paths open for the soul which has just left the . the borderland between earth and heaven. who lives through the life and whose keen sense of being is due wholly to the alternation of emotion since any one emotion continued indefinitely would bring . Therefore sorrow and fear are as .18 teachings the moon is used as the symbol of the psychical world. is a sense of numbness. from the remotest ages to the present day. symbolism which runs through the whole tradition of the Mysteries. birth. the actual earthly brief as an epitaph: life of man embraced within a sentence as He lives as long as he lives. and appears in our human life in the alternating emotions of pleasure and pain. as cause of the tides. is regent of waters being the commonest symbol of the psychic and in part because the waxing and waning of the moon reprerealm. much one since the From the psychic world. and the part they play . through the intermediation of human parents. or radiant energy. This the waters — the in part because the moon. the soul passes downwards to the physical world. In the passage is we are quoting from. the psychic of the emotions. of total absence of that keen feeling which is the very the food of the personal self as are hope and pleasure can never be separated from the other. sent the great law of alternation. of the Indian rite of rises Then we come to the brief description burning the body. sorrow and joy. and we are told that the soul in from the pyre here a vesture the color of the sun.

and thus give birth to a life that may endure for generations. they cling around the personal it. and who have never caught a glimpse of the Beyond. it is irradiated by the . is yet bound it has not escaped the the law of repeated birth. according to their inherent character. or an elm. and ascend once more through the regions of the psychic world. which an oak. And they are mixed with other desires. Drawn up by its cycle aspirations to the verge of the celestial world. full . and opens and expands in that light as a flower expands in the sunshine. Those who have been in a better of aspiration. forces. to be born again almost without an interval to begin a new earth-life. nor any gleam of the celestial light that shines to us from the back of the heavens. set have been wholly For those whose imaginations upon earthly life. to be satisfied So that the soul full of religious only by a new return to earth. in a web of invisible forces. and these three paths depend wholly on spiritual its inherent quality and treasure and attainment. it. and therefore they are not devoid of the element of egotism. for more earthly joys. of self-centeredness. a beech. so the its future with in the germs of aspirations and But these aspirations and desires were formed for the personal self by the personal self. Then for generations or ages it bathes in the joys of satisfied aspiration. in their world order according to their remoteness from earth and nearness to the Their aspirations are a body of higher and more spiritual worlds. and depend on for aspiration for the personal bliss of necessity. of religious longings for whose imaginations have been full of happiness of heaven and glory to be won and enjoyed by themselves. spiritual light. And. self.19 body. their destiny is. and soul carries desires. pictures are carried upward on the strong stream of their aspirations. more material happiness. as the whole growth of a huge forest-tree is stored up in a minute seed. as definite as those will bring forth wrapped up in the seed of a tree. as soon as the . its lies hidden there. with a full sense of personal bliss and . former earth-life is ended.

20
illumination,
until the

hour

strikes for

it

to be born again.

This

\

comes when the store of aspirations and upward longings is worn out, expanded like the life of a tree, full grown and ready to fall, and so
again through the realms of the psychic world, and passes back again through the gates of birth, to begin once more the
the soul
falls

cycle of earthly

life.

Here we
of the

see one reason for lapse of
soul.

memory,

for the

blank pages

new-born

For

at the

moment
;

of death, its

were of two kinds,

spiritual

and material

mind-images and the force which was

locked up in the spiritual thoughts has already been released and exhausted in the long rest of paradise, bearing its fruit there, in a splendid vision woven of the very best of the life just lived.
•>•-»

The
of

material mind-images have remained latent during the repose paradise, and in the form of germs of force, comparable to
in

the tree while yet

the

seed,

they await the returning soul,

and join it as it approaches the gates of birth. These material images and tendencies form the forces which impel the soul into
its

new body, and which

spin themselves into the

web

of a

new

bodily life, thus exhausting themselves just as the spiritual forces Thus it seems that the memories exhausted themselves in paradise.
of former births,

whether

spiritual or material,

whether of aspiration
of a

or desire, are actually

worked into the substance
;

new

existence

on

this earth or in paradise

so that they no longer exist in the form
in the

of memories, as

and cannot therefore be remembered,

same way

events of the day before yesterday. They are in the sphere of the new personality, just not present as memories, as what happens to a father is not present in the memory of his son,

we remember the

though

through the son's life. To take a simple simile, and one which is thoroughly in harmony with the language of the Mysteries, throughout all ages, and in all
it

may and does work most

vitally

lands.

The former
is

life

is

like a plant,

and reaches maturity.
the plant

It

which completes its growth, comes into flower, and all the essence of
in.

transformed and glorified

the blossom, with

new and

21
splendid coloring, form, and odor

all

strange to the plant, and yet
is

formed of
vital in

its

essence.

This flowering

the

life

in paradise

where,

under the radiance of the
the soul
is

spiritual sun,

all

that

was best and most
life,

transformed and expanded into a glorious

and

puts forth

new and

spiritual powers quite strange to the natural

and yet springing from his inwardly working soul which has put forth the mortal man

man, being, or rather from that being and
into the

human

world.
;

But the matter does not end with the flower there are the seeds and these seeds will in due time bring forth a second plant of also
;

like nature

with the

first,

and ready

in its turn to burst into splendid

bloom.

The

seeds are the material germs which rest within the soul

time of blossoming is done, bring it back And seedtime and harvest go on again through the gates of birth. forever. So is it with the life of man. But, as the former plants
in paradise, and,
its

when

are not present except in spirit, in the new plant, so the former lives are not present in the form of material memories, which might be
recalled like the events of a few days or

months ago.
;

There

is

yet a third destiny
of rebirth,

:

the path of Liberation

and

this,

the essence of the Upanishads, and way Instead of faring forth along the of the whole Mystery teaching. of necessity, there is another destiny open to the soul, and this cycle
rather than the
is

its

own

true and proper destiny.

The

soul

is

not by right a timeless

wanderer, but a present immortal; a divine and creative being; an undivided part of the everlasting Eternal. And it is within the will
of every

ranks

man at any time to claim his heritage of men who die to be reborn, and to

;

to pass out from the
join the host of the

And immortals, and share in the wisdom and power of the Divine. this entry through the doorway of the Sun is the true Initiation into
the Greater Mysteries, an initiation which finds leaves him an immortal.

man

mortal, and

For those who have passed through the door
no return
;

of the

Sun there

is

their destiny lies elsewhere

;

they are no longer on the

22

path of the Fathers; they have entered the pathway of the Gods. The whole message of the Upanishads is the discovery of this way,. the tradition of it, and of the powers and immortality it brings. And it is only as leading up to this higher way, that the teaching of
rebirth has a place in the

Upanishad teaching.

And now we come

past births. through the books of the Mysteries, to the effect that one of the
fruits of the

We

once again to the question of the memory of can trace a strong and unchanging tradition all
first

higher way,

of the true initiation into

life, is

a

memory
In

of former births,

down
it is

to the minutest and
is

most distant

details.

the Upanishads this teaching
explicitly stated;

by implication than said, again and again, that he who has entered
rather present

into the Self,

he

is

and thereby become immortal, knows all things; that lord of what has been and what shall be that he shares in all
;

the wisdom of the
particular
births
is

Eternal.

But, in

the
in

great

Upanishads, the

command implied not definitely mentioned, though we can easily trace the tendencies which make it an inevitable conclusion.
of the past

a knowledge of former

It is

only

when we come

to the

first

great Indian revival of the

Mystery teaching, under Krishna, that we have a clear and explicit statement of the fact that this memory of past births is real. The tradition of India places this revival at a point just five thousand years
ago; and
constantly suggested that there is a definite and precise between that period and the present day. In virtue of this cyclic link it is the lot of the present age to see given out broadcast, in the ears of all men, teachings which have formed a part of the
it is

cyclic relation

Mysteries for ages, and one great historic presentment of which was

due to the Rajput sage Krishna,
the lines which

five

thousand years ago.

Krishna teaches quite clearly the doctrine of rebirth, following we have already traced from the great Upanishads,
fires,

and using the symbolism of the

the moon, and the sun, which

we find everywhere throughout

the mystery books.

He

also teaches,
;

with especial grandeur and force, the splendid reality of Liberation

• 23 our heritage of present immortality. But remember. and by Manu to Ikshvaku. Rajputs. while the birth of the Solar Lord was earlier. is the earliest specific and indubitable mention of the restored memory of past births. of the Solar line known to the religious world as Gautama Buddha we shall find this tradition expanded — . or Teachings of Krishna. many centuries before. how then am I to understand that thou hast taught him? " And Krishna replies: " Many I births my past births. was taught by the Solar earliest dawn. " Before Abraham was. and answers: "Later. and also thine. After touching on the Buddhist tradition in the matter. the race of the red preserved. we shall have to enter on another mystery it is doctrine: the fourfold being of the soul. of the great red race which." are my past This passage from the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna. together with the one remarkable passage. in Manu. our divine and celestial And. When we come to the next great revival of the under Prince Siddhartha. Master. I am. To finish the subject. and of the solar dynasties in in the heart of this Solar race. vainly tries to comprehend this hard saying. he says that this destiny. handed down the teachings of the Mysteries from earth's This teaching. while thine thou rememberest not. in the Sacred Books of India. — Mystery-teaching. and given out in its entirety so that we shall have even a perfectly specific and clear explanation of the psychological method by following which any man can remember his past incarnations. we shall have to complete the theme by taking the few though quite definite allusions in Plato and the classical writers. Chaldea. he says. the progenitor Ancient India. of —the genius Lord to same doctrine was taught by him in the beginning to the Solar Lord Egypt. for only by understand- . the Mystery doctrine was faithfully Arjuna." so nearly identical with what the sage Krishna answered to Arjuna. also a Rajput. as it refers more especially to the main stream of occult tradition. speaking of the cycle of rebirth. and India. and the disciple of Krishna. is thy birth.

and the man consciously rises above death. and which only the tradition of the Mysteries can help us to understand. of hopes and fears. dwells in the psychic body. and the causal self. which will be for him not even a break of consciousness. the " psychical self. from the world of sensation into the world of Life and present immortality. and is formed in its image. above both space and time. The threefold ." He is body as using a form of speech as old as the human race. which. they are restored again to St. according to the alternations of his will and fate. the immortal. The psychic self. which are space is of the material world alone. and allow the soul to sink altogether into animal sensation. is the causal self. of pains and pleasures. and carries him up. . dwells of earth. man the immortal." The thus overshadowed is made up of the natural self. drawn downwards. And man the personality stands between the two the animal self below. swayed by the one or the other. lost to mortal man. the lord from heaven. dwelling in a world where space has no place. then the psychic body takes on the likeness of the physical. man is is overshadowed by the highest of in the initiation Spirit. the man of emotions. is above the limits of space. then the psychic body takes on the image of the causal body. he is If human he be overcome by the downward tendencies. or upwards. tells Paul speaks as an Initiate when he of the regeneration from the psychic to the spiritual body. as Above these two. as one of the fruits of initiation. perpetually dissolved in the physical body. and then speaks of the spiritual " the new man. the infinite Eternal . though subject to time. the vesture and perpetually renewed under nature's law of never-ending mutation. of doubts and expectations. The natural self. and why it is that. above : . subject to death.24 ing this that we can see exactly where the memories of the vanished past are stored. But if the divine bears down upon man. and the causal. but simply the putting aside of an outer body. ever spoken it tongue of the is Mysteries as the Sun therefore that threefold man spoken of as entering in by the door of the Sun. divine self. in the causal vesture. the man of animal instinct and appetite.

the shadow of our brooding past truth as to our endless births.25 lie being meanwhile conscious. and only dimly conscious even of our psychic life. as a part of which make up the chain of incarnations its . it is raised in strength . which St. And it is this turning or conversion of the psychic body. it is true it is . now identi- fied his destiny. and our memory of exactly measured by our foresight for the future if we cannot see forward to our immortality. indiit . When we rise above instinct to emotion. and thoughts and hopes within the natural self. task. to our definite answer the memory of past births self. the causal self has. The the Sun. it is sown in weakness. we already come under . to guide the lives throughout endless years . step." vidual souls like Again. the guardian it disposes all things wisely the divinity which shapes our ends. when we pass above the These can only come with the next limits of the psychical. the past is . of past and future. of souls. but it is preserved only by the causal the only in proportion as we inherit our immortality. it is raised in magnificently describes : incorruption sown a psychic body. . Therefore the causal self is the lord of "the : whole cycle of births. as vesture of the human soul. it is impossible for us to have any more memory of our past than the beasts that perish. And is now we come preserved. and consciously rise above the barriers of time." with which the man has . but clear we are ready to apprehend the we are not yet ready to hold any and definite memories. and rise into . it is rough-hew them how we will. The Ocean causal and immortal body. While we are still confined in all our immortal. we cannot see backwards to the dark abysm of time from whence we came. it is it is raised a spiritual self. after whose shining all else shines. and a part of its destiny is to establish true and divine relations between "thyself and others. myself and thee. and exercising full volition in a psychic body not subject to space. that we can possibly inherit the memory of our past. is overshadowed by the one Eternal the infinite of Life. the Soul causal self stands in the midst of other selves. Paul so " It is sown in corruption.

. what will life. We can only recover the old by overlooking. once more. So the emotions of each new birth crowd out the still memories of births gone by. just as they were while we saw the picture.the real realm of spirit and causal saying. the new. They are of a finer quality. even though it is one after the other. a different order of mind-images. And this is equivalent to be perhaps more readily intelligible. that we cannot perceive the memories of past births so long as our whole minds and hearts are preoccupied with the present birth. how can they be conscious of the soul's remote and vanished past ? It is like something we have all noted. but the later own thoughts of a baser writing will lose It its clearness and sharp outline in the process. without giving them any hold on the Eter. erasing the large utterance of the early gods. or the daylight be allowed to pour in. the present day. there exactly as before. without thinking of it: at a magic-lantern performance we see the colored pictures on the screen. images of lands and cities and men but if the gas be suddenly turned up. The first writing on the palimpsest can be brought out. profit it may be asked of what would be if we did remember The answer is: our past births. and in part sacrificing. it would simply weaken to most men it would be no profit at all their hold on the present. the Add that almost all men living in the world bear present hour. or some of the divine old Greeks. and. where some medieval monk or scribe has taken an old parchment with lines of It is. has written on the parchment his and more common day. about with them a heavy burden of material hopes and fears. if they are not even conscious of their present souls. and what we lose in losing them. the picture on the screen instantly becomes invisible. . just as in the case of a palimpsest. Homer or Plato. and that they are so wholly wrapped up in these that there is no possibility of their seizing and steadily apprehending any other form of mind-image . and even though precisely the same rays from that picture are entering our eyes. and the coarser and nearer blot out the finer and more remote. and therefore we cannot remember trjem.

we have in the likeness of remade ourselves the divine. the time comes for us more fully to remember. different.27 nal. And there are always witnesses in the that we shall live again. it would therefore the law. under the leading of the brooding Soul. to see the life of to-day. has decreed that they shall not remember. type of the regenerate soul. and loosens the tyranny of the present. they can only grasp the forever through the now. But when the sense of our immortality thus gradually is borne in it upon is us. Then comes the time for us to be reminded that we have lived before. ranged with the lives that all leading up to the everlasting. past births. and also thine. world to remind us. which disposes all things wisely through endless years. endowed wholly with brief and ephemeral desires. be loss rather than profit to remember their past and are therefore For them . drawing ourselves forth from time's cycle to the quiet presence of eternity. For while still learners in the infant-school of the world. for the tradition never dies away utterly from the hearts of men. And when. mine I thine thou rememberest not. is place in the perfect chain. replies: are "Many ber. but taking mortal fuller its have gone before.'* though my remem- . then Krishna. not separate. when man the ready to be initiated into present immortality. Arjuna. then comes memory.

may even enter the eyes of the spectators. of his personality something to be used by him as adornments and conveniences of his mortal life a mere . nor have We there is anything to see.seen when all other lights are show. compared the enigma of forgotten births to a magic lantern where the picture can only be. carrying every detail of color and form. cut off. They do not hold that the high gifts of magic are to be used chiefly to astonish and entertain the friends of the magician. Where Memory Dwells. unbroken by any other ray. and the view this simile. that divine and occult powers are some abnormal outgrowth. we saw that though the light from the image on the screen. — embroidery to his threescore years and ten. and paint on their retinas just the same picture as before. until that light spirit of any proof that shines alone. yet they will see absolutely nothing.CHAPTER III. but for the whole range of the divine powers of the soul. nor to help him to make a material success of his present life. and : brings us to a cardinal point in all their teaching a point constantly mistaken or overlooked. For the sacred books never teach what they are often thought to teach. and still bound by the straitened limits. not only in regard to the single power of suggested by recovered memory. The true 28 . for all of man's immortal heritage. They hold this teaching. This simile carries the very the Eastern sacred books. to be painfully acquired by the personal man while still wearing the vesture.

above pain and sorrow. and perfectly endowed with all its infinite powers. and death. We are not the patrons of the soul and magical powers.29 inner teaching of the East is so different from this. gain thinkable for that which is the limitless all. by absorbing this quality but rather accidents and flaws in the real Life and that. an unthinkable void. they are not the but rather the clouds and vapors which reveal the light. by breaking its even flow. What not to add to the powers of our souls. cutting it off. we are accustomed to hold. as a result of this failure. but rather a distinguish- little . yet by great good fortune not debarred from the save us. and at last to turn the whole into a means of complacent We are rather humble beneficiaries of the divine self-glorification. but to come to tion. through its own inherent and divine nature. are not necessary . so that no growth possible for the Infinite. to develop this. of the tremendous powers our souls already possess. soul of possibility that our souls may The each of us. real to us. unbroken With our low and material habit of thought. must We stand and constantly keep in mind that the Eastern doctrine teaches that the soul of every man is already perfect. that without time and space and matter there would be no real thin abstraction. which need no saving. that its would-be interpreters have often failed to grasp it altogether. a beatitude life. some percepall its dim and vague at the first. being one with is all other souls in the highest life. as the humor takes us. and the and whole material world which seems so real. ray. so much higher tha"n this. by light. and have fallen into one grotesque mistake after another. We or all try to gain some firm hold of this first great principle. above These things. and will in most cases very confidently assert. and call out that. must first try to underour further studies will be in vain. already stands above the ocean of birth time and space. and thereby showing the remainder as other than the pure. we nor any can do is. quite unable to save our souls. Life.

but a great and excellent boon. even worse.3o able from extinction. rather a direct of a friend. illusion. a weakening. in the heart space that makes kinship. real value in the science of life. no cure. must all even between souls is in perfect . so that our souls can feel. not only where our bodies but also wherever we have It is is a link of unity and communion. many dead intercourse yards of mountain or of rock. These thoughts. rid ourselves of the time and space. no pity. into mastery over it. supreme hold on the heart of man. or the beginning of strength. then shall see more clearly whether that deliverance is a loss or a gain bonds of we . We shall best understand the matter. are the very outer rays of our simile. the belief that so many miles of land or sea. absence is presence of regret And the black and deadly shadow of this . the deadly fear of separa- true moral expression. union and accord so that out of sight really out of mind and the sense of loss. nor any possibility of warding off the swiftly approaching and of final separation. and the illusions they deify. and seeing in what way we do. by laying theory aside. and our wills can act. in fact. we shall never catch a glimpse of the finer light from beyond the heavens. so of necessity cut off . which keep us from opening our eyes to the revelation. and immediate intuition of oneness. Space tion It is is its is the first and grossest illusion its . nor any echo of the music of the spheres. its or. not mere nearness in It is Friendship not so cheap as that. and barred within a world where no space is. for inexorable doom. of the dull burden of matter. perhaps. to those lower sounds and grosser colors. victory shut out from it. a glow and . While we are attuned only to that coarser vibration. That is human is heart what we get from the seeming reality of space and no endowed with intelligence and feeling will hold that it . And now for what we gain by our over this illusion it is not that we are robbed of space. : first rather that we come are. into possession of space. is Death that fearful shadow which there is no hope.

but never generated. or ten thousand. The is truth is this : For the psychical life there is no space . is union. separation purely and solely material. comes through difference of quality. but is as strong and vital. space comes the knowledge that this direct and intuitive touch of soul with soul. leads to our obsession nor proper place. and great misery and sorrow are our reward. in their august For we feel the misery of separation coming. as immediately present to us. Animals know neither the misery nor the sorrow of the human . . But the fact discrepancy between intuition and fact is our sorrow. because the voice in us says there should be no separation and the . of will with will. They are in truth the shadows of our powers. that we possess ample psychic powers without knowing we possess them heart . and thereby we begin to conquer space. space In the psychic world. even these are testimonies to our divinity. and not through difference of place. has long been impossible for man. directly by by the outer senses. even though As soon as bodies be held apart by untraveled leagues of ocean. there is our imaginations cease to be filled with the image of our animal bodies. so full of dark images and evil imaginings. is not weakened or barred by space. we begin to live in the psychical world.3r the present sense of another living soul felt the soul in us. And with our first victory over the illusion of enthusiasm of love. immediate presence and contact. so that any simple animal beginning has been pure as the animals But our psychic being is it. difference Therefore where there of love. and only interpreted. difference of vibration. and only our corrupt animal life by these ghosts and phantoms of the long past material world. where it has no true right. of heart with heart. this sense of another living being at one with us. so chaotic. divide heart from heart. whether a mile. cast before them. cast into the psychic world. and are more rightly occupied with a sense of our human selves. a hundred. so disordered. this life. And for all mankind. the shadows they. is a mere material shadow. made live ages ago.

life . Though hills . We must never be content with a mere . it is rather the open door to a life which shall in time wither up the last veil and vestige of the material world altogether. and valleys nor in any intervene. which space cannot touch to by inheriting a larger which death itself no longer threatens. the first step in itself. the inheritance of true human feeling. acquaintance with their bodies much less with those images of them we build up for our own prejudices and desires. it . all knowledge and first Without mysteries avail This is the victory over space. over the dullness and brute It is the divine power of seeing and feeling souls. the splendid intuition of other present souls. life We are rewarded for our faith . tongues of us nothing. by immediate intuition. if But we must find the souls of our friends we would hold them us hereafter. Therefore true soul-vision is to give us the realization in the life beginning. and each doorway gives entry to the whole mansion of the Most High. for the soul. That power. but by some miraculous unfolding the far greater miracle. For all souls are but doorways into the Eternal. we are true to that. men and angels. which has by been from the beginning.32 The conquest brings with it of animalism. most the excellent gift. as is it lives in all and not merely as wisdom. they do not intervene between soul and soul weaken the immediate. is not designed merely as a convenience and adornment of our material resistance of the material world. making all men in our own likeness. now. And this it power to true feel another soul. we can in time learn all secrets. in virtue of which all souls are forever one. the awakened sense of other If human lives. of the vivid and intimate whom we already have perfect kinship and communion but in the end. not to be painfully acquired. like the rest. ministers to us. With all that it. and living rather we soon have our reward. the beginning of all illumination. conscious. setting the soul in others higher than the animal in ourselves. and living touch of one degree with another. inherit this vision of soul We can and soul. of the rare souls with .

in like that. and the entry into a divine and miraculous life. not over- in any way it . as the Eastern loss nor diminution. .33 is to give us a realization of the life of all other souls without excep- tion or abatement in any regard. individuality . but rather overcoming space by by gaining the power to conquer separation. whether it be the lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes. and exists in itself or a shadow of the mind we shall let and paint rather the steps by which the victory over the theory is in fact won. which is enslaved to space. to space where lives a soul of man. or shut into some heaven beyond the confines coming space possessing all wholesome and living universe . Once more we whether it shall set aside all theories as to is what time . which demands unceasing sensation. It is a victory over the whole brute world of darkness. while the is who lacks is one of the damned. where each soul may be infinitely enriched by inheriting the life of all other souls as enlargements of his own gaining the universal without losing . Wisdom teaches And the victory over time. which brings as one of its first fruits the memory of past births. but an infinite gain. for the sense of vivid being. — . endless stimulus. is a victory of kindred nature. whatever may be the morality of the sects. The essence of the lust of sensation is always the same it is a demand for fulness of life. are one with the Supreme. and therefore one with us. is life's This the divine and everlasting law. whether it be with the chiefest Not all pure souls only. And for the realization sinner or the brightest saint. The means of the victory are the same time-spirit a slow rising above the tyranny of our sensual natures of that in us rest. and with this knowledge of the past. is It is no the true victory over space. This morality. That is what is meant by the victory over space. a knowledge of the future also. of work anywhere This it. not exiled of the from space. not through any inherent energy or . gifted or groping in outer darkness. whether high or low. is. of this one vital truth spotless saint all sins it and crimes as will be forgiven . but all souls.

if to get an equally strong sensation. Thus it befalls that we come under the dominion of time. All mankind preach the final sermon by is their deaths. a sermon far more impressive in its silence than the of the doleful message of mortuary services. the outcome of a law everywhere operamaterial world. or. and the with every recurrence loses force. Half of mankind go through the later years of their lives as mere living sermons on decrepitude on the deadening and dulling which comes . its the this : a stimulus of a certain character produces maximum effect at the first impression. we must be prepared to see the effect weakened So that we shall have at last one of two things : numbness There is of total insensibility. we are limited to a certain with every repetition. from the lust of sensation. and the word sermon . which will finally shatter the physical frame altogether. For only a question of time wear itself out or wear us out. to bodily images which makes us serfs of space. The hospitals are full of proofs of this law. till our imaginations are full of the sense of palate or ears or liver. no third alternative. much lies the same are we made It is slaves of time. The lust of sensation tive in under a curse. gradually attach the idea of one and another sensation to this or that part of our bodies. . cither the measure of sensation.34 i activity in ourselves. but from impressions made from without from And we sensations made on our nerves by the material world. or whatever organ we rely on for our outward excite- It is this clogging of the imagination with coarse bodily and material images which enchains the soul within the body and hinders it from soaring to its own proper and divine world it is this slavery ment. that with all we must either increase the stimulus. it is when any given sensation will either And the final wearing out is death. insistence of physical law. in which our bodies all must take In their place among way the rocks and trees and other things in the material world. It therefore follows. or a series of constantly strengthened doses. . which should be written in golden letters over the threshold of every temple of man.

we are shorn of when we reach beatitude we and all things lie. desires and affections with the body of matter. and in our Yet emotion comes under time's sway. Its remedy is alternation. Therefore all that is nothing subject to change is subject to time. subject to death lift us altogether above time. . like all . Such is the law. that is. nor can space intercept or check them. to joy. subject to dissolution. it soon numbs the soul. we too must die. but our first advance inward does not from servitude to material things. we once break down turn the walls of selfishness and aloofness. do not fill space. thought. Time is not a benefit or reward bed. And this is in truth a wonderful gain. though it lifts us above space. and the soul will no longer feel the same excitement or from the same intensity of emotional impression. and try to find our life there. lust of sensation . For emotion is of such nature that. succeeds joy. of opposite stimulus character. over the doom of separation. it is with all matter. hope."O » n a tf^ •» *»» DTNIVBRgr 35 this: if we identify our thoughts. Change is the law everywhere throughout the material world all all things things once brought together must again be separated . . they are not And when subject to space. To one emotion succeeds another. it is a doom. sorrow. yet of different character. under which within ourselves from the . From sensation we turn to emotion from the physical we turn to the psychic body. And we conquer time by turning back . one day be brought together. And this succession. to hope. Change everywhere and time is but the record of gradual change. like sensation. and wills of others. So . lives we can touch with our emotions the become It is recipient of theirs. feeling and imagination. to fear. To sorrow. for with the transference of our imagination to the psychical body we triumph Emotion and over space. under a law as imperious as that which dooms sensation. succeeds fear. The mountains have been heaved up from the ocean depths they are once more worn down by fine water drops and carried by the rivers to pave the ocean separated will .

the garment of time. our doorway to Life. The law : and The Eastern teaching of the will is this there is for every a genius. ochres. therefore it is not. an individual embodiment of the infinite Life. as emotion it is. in subordination to an intuition of power or an inspiration of beauty. but its in activity from within. in very truth. like emotion. divine. We must yet further. it is in virtue of it time that succession possible. also a part The creative will finds its life not in reception from without. The first of as expressed in his physical powers. to be free. It is draws at energies from an immortal infinite Life. is a form of the time-illusion is . we are time's slaves. since the will in us one with the and fixed is. therefore it is doom of ever weakened stimulus from successive sensations. to receive them So still that. and therefore coming under not dependent on successive impressions from not under the It is without. creative. even when we rise above animalism to human rise life life. a divine power. and is certain. and We . and which of their inheritance in time's curse. life immortal. through the will in him. built in. And all the arts and sciences are nothing but this: the subjection of Nature to the will in us. The to his embody genius. which stands above and behind his personal life. source. and to work immortal. It is coming from within. of his genius in himself. oils. take earthly materials. life by all his best and highest powers and but most of the life all by the will. not dependent on alternation. which emotions is share with the grossest forms of sensations. and that life eternal. in sensation or emotion we die. Therefore the soul. subject to time. resins. when itself first sought contrasted emotions. in His genius will three ways.3$ change. is In the will we live. of Above enter the sensation life we enter the emotion . Nor is under the doom of continually weakening effect. mission of every man is to rise into the life of command him these is and thereby to become to work. colored clays. man united with the personal intuitions. the subjection of the material world. above emotion we of the will. At last we have a form of neither doom.

This is the door of immortality and power. When the last word is spoken. here and . It is arrangement of relations such that. The fruit of the first things a perfect mastery of to make all science and art. We driven back from individuals to are one. the one Soul. leading us back from Nature to And so with mankind. dim and vague There the infinite Soul. science of The life is human perfect mastery of the far greater art and There is yet a third. shall be perfected One. the union of our separate selves with that immortal and infinite All is the last and highest task set us by our wherein And wills. The second work of the will is infinitely more difficult than all the true adjustment by our wills of the balance between ourselves and all other selves: the sciences and arts put together. That is our second task every and we need only to listen to the promptings of the will. of the wonderful powers and miracles that lie hid in her every part. and the beauty it beholds. divine uses of the will. will in this task. not some dim survival beyond the grave. in the different. in us as in them and things. yet .37 mastering their character and qualities. and mold all to the. has been said of Nature's beauty. we would undertake work of the will is new. to find the true and divine adjustment in every case. copies. with our is where our heart's hope dwells. in a vague and shadowy heaven. in munion and common consciousness of the last fine. the second fruit. And so we are destined to conquer all nature. be condemned by the and universal validity and we must have something of the of lasting spirit of revolutionaries. In the will is our peace. in human But relation. there is no room Much now deemed will if . their source. is it which makes any comIt is at all possible? all common all soul. other selves. for cowards. though all be of power and joy between all all living souls. we mold them by our wills into pictures embodying the human soul. what is it in them which the presence are at the draws and delights us? What. but a present sense of our life immortal. there remains this to say After all : all these beauties and powers are but weak reminders.

As come the light grows. break away from the sense of uncertainty. we shall slowly perceive the measure and character of our newly inherited powers. We grow into a sense that our life is a whole. of the separation of our life into single days. we shall grow receptive of the enter neither sensation nor finer light. lifts us above the awful . Therefore the victory of the will. it. if this thought be kept in mind. the realization by the will. of the present immortal in us the over time and space is the reward carrying with it an endless victory extension of our powers.33 now something more certain and nearer to us than the shining of the sun or the beating of our own hearts. any one of For this separated and broken which. of Liberation which inspires them It is This is as humanity. This is the shutting off of all outer lights. for this the doctrine of the Mysteries. this whole is inviolable. old as life itself. and. we sense of life we substitute a sense of our life as a whole. and. it will be easy to understand them all . This is the essence of all the great religions of the East. the knowl- edge that we are not subject to the caprice of Death. This is the dawn of immortality. our knowledge and power grow with a false association of thought. old is the teaching of the Life. may be our last. and no longer to live in emotion. as our eyes grow accustomed to that truer radiance. a necessarily continuous being. which alone makes possible the When darkness has come. will and work. from subject to death rather from . we have passed into the silence where emotion. We as false into a sense of our lives as outside time's sway altogether. . it seems. whose length depends not on a fortunate escape from accident and sickness. rise first As we above time. the ever-present dread of death. really to comprehend and grasp the splendid thought all. fear of separation. raises us above both space and time or. when visible shining of the inner light. not a mere and we come to understand that the life of collection of fragments . to speak more truly. a single unity. but on an inner necessity and law. the determination to live in .

definite powers to be won. the sense of a . who could tell. a scene in ancient Egypt. than from real necessity future conquest of death. and the long vistas before us light up. to find men and women who have a clear and definite vision of things that befell them in other tell. the finer images of our longer life flash out upon us from the darkness with sudden brightness and color . with definite We conquests to be gained. draws in. I give details of some of these. and the very remote becomes near and As the images of bodily sensations remembered and familiar. which fill us with a strange sense of our form and voices own identity therein a knowledge that these remote and unfamiliar in life . carrying with them images of pictures perfect and names. a it was. He also had a quite clear vision memory belonging to yet another life. and were ready to have known many Let me the right inquirer. gain a grasp of our separate lives as no longer separate. One remembered clearly a temple ceremony in a shrine hollowed out between the paws of some great beast. remembering only the clear picture. without knowing it. And with this lifting of It the veil from the future comes a like unveiling of the past. lives the vast begin to shrivel up and disappear. comes closer to us. but as only the days in our longer divine year. complete. He described. and motion. lives. but — having no sense of where of a hillside in India. many who remember. the coarse brute pictures which tracts of desert oblivion that divided us from our dead made up so much of life begin to lose their insistence. final. things have befallen us. telling even the form of the landscape and color of the sky as he had seen them. when looking back through the door. as there have always been. desired. and . triumphant. only ask. Thus returns to us the memory of past births. And there are One need to-day. definite tasks to be performed. with the nights of rest between.39 and with that thought comes imagination. for the a shrine shrine is cut out between the paws of the Egyptian Sphinx of which he knew nothing.

though there are often startling For the mystics are those who have begun life . Yet another spoke of many lives remembered. One birth. down to minute and often bizarre and unexpected details. without finding some one who remembers something and . where a ceremony of the Mysteries was being performed. but local details of which were familiar to me. had been verified as to local color and had never circumstance by the man himself. and asks among the students of mysticism and occult philosophy. altogether. to struggle against the tyranny of sensation things. to live from the will. For only blend his consciousness with the consciousness of the causal body. another had fallen in a land he visited. And all were in a continent other than that in which the present personality was born. seek. as to inherit all past births inhere. of seven consecutive births. He had a clear sense of his own place in the And he also temple. And. They it was a generation ago with apparitions. had definite memory of two other births. as thus does a the body of saw. whoever goes further. rather than from material And this. that the pictures of this. taken at show that it is with the memory of past births as random from many. and here alone. one including a scene in a temple in inner China. overcome the coarser vibrations of . will soon meet with quite definite and clearly marked memories. vivid as A third if they had happened yesterday. Therefore to inherit the divine powers of the . A moment's consideration that will show that it is exactly among the mystics to we should exceptions to this rule. the place of which was remembered of these with especial accuracy. we saw. of the words spoken. of the ritual carried out. which is immortal. Let these three cases stand. is the necessary condition. with details of names and places.4o his description here was equally vivid and true. as we in this immortal body. it is impossible to raise the subject in a general audience. remembered places and names. it is man will. in such abundance as to bring the matter outside the region of doubt or conjecture.

there its . experienced such Then I happiness and such miseries. five births. fifty births. by inherent and divine energy. had such a name. three births. such maintenance. But to appreciate fully the moral and meaning of the last sentences we should have to go deeper Buddhism. And Buddhism. teaching. births. one hundred thousand a world-cycle. so as to say I lived in such a place. had such maintenance. and there we should find that the requirements set down here cover the very thing we have spoken of the raising of the spiritual into : . or disciples. should frame this wish: states of existence. experienced such happiness and such miseries. There also I had such a name. to wit. thus passed from that existence and was reborn in this existence ' — in let me call to mind many former them. many destructions births. twenty births. ten births. nature to enter into the pure and vivid life of the will to live from within. mortal becomes immortal. of such a class. was of such a family. This from the Upanishads. and not from outer And this is the very essence and heart of the Eastern sensations. four births. teaches the he becomes the same thing: " to If a disciple. many renovations of a and many renovations of a world-cycle. ' Let me call mind many previous forty one birth. thirty births. one thousand births. and be much alone. and enters the eternal knowing all things. the . and let me the specifically characterize then must he be perfect " precepts. had such a length of life. Then I passed from that existence and was reborn in such a place. two births. bring his thoughts to a state of quietness. is only one way : to become one with the Soul." at the other end of the long pedigree of Indian wisdom. had such a length of life. one hundred births. practice diligently the trances. and with . "When all desires that dwell in the heart are let go.' Between the extreme brevity of the Upanisha*d and the absolute completeness of detail in the Buddhist Sutra the whole Eastern doctrine is given here. was of such a family. attain to insight.4i Soul. all. had : many destructions of world-cycle. ' states of existence. of such a class.

which imprisons the imagination in the animal body. and above selfishness. but to the immortal man. which imprisons feeling in the personal for both these limitations are barriers to real life. our entrance into real divinity —and life can we begin to inherit the powers of our of among them the memory former births. which belongs not to the mortal. and only with self . .42 mind above sensuality.

the Power which wells up in the individual being of all men. and into whose memory of past births. speak little of rebirth. according to the preponderance of the material. and the present day comes the great Halfway between Krishna Rajput prince whom the world of the East knows as the Buddha. the Upanishads do not lay stress on the memory of past births they teach the necessity of this memory more as a part of a general 43 . the psychic. in virtue of which a necessity. the Songs of the Master. the oldest of occult teachings of India are the Upanishads : of tradition Hidden Wisdom. as a necessary exercise for In harmony with the same principle . occupied before all else with establishing the present intuition of the Soul. or the spiritual nature in the man to be reborn. all men must return. of the clan of the religious Gotamas. and which monument in that most mystical of scriptures.CHAPTER How The Books IV. the disciple himself. are all is clearly set forth . according to the venerable of the East. After them. the three modes of rebirth. after that. laying down merely the outline of the teaching and The is never lingering over the law of continuous moral energy. comes the great development of the Secret in Teaching which culminated finds its greatest the revelation of Krishna. The bosom details. to Remember. the particular application his left to opening spiritual faculties. and therefore of the great Upanishads. and of the Shakya race. the Bhagavad Gita. and the teaching of rest in paradise between rebirth birth and birth. These three great unfoldings of the Wisdom Religion correspond to three stages of the teaching of rebirth.

power. Upanishads births. greater theme : how we the background. thine thou rememberest There is . the doctrine of Kapilavastu. are rather held the much It is . Eternal. man who The Bhagavad an age which is Gita. is lord of alike. and also thine. the main motive of a whole class of teachings parables on the minds of In the : which point their morals. rather than to find them ready made. kept subordinate to are to reach liberation. as rather overwhelms than illumines us. master of past and future From this follows as a necessary deduction. must of necessity regain a knowledge of his past births. us. But nearer than that the great Upanishads do not go. that magnificent width and Upanishads from all other books. detail only when we come to Buddhism that we meet with full with such a richness and profusion of definite statement. The . For an overrichness and luxuriance of imagery. what has been and what it be . not. but only as a deduction. analysis. not by some imaginary history like the . with whom shall the mortal is now at one. and enters the Eternal . explicit statement as that in the great but even in the Bhagavad Gita the memory of past such what concerns us most in directly now. Arjuna. representing the five work of a later age. is much more detailed and at the same time it loses much of that grand and universal definite . Mine no I remember. indeed. the teaching how to remember.44 illumination than as a particular end to be held in view we have to infer their views. that the reaches adeptship. illustration. if though are to still millenniums distant from we accept the tradition of the East itself. Upanishads teach that when all desires that dwell in the heart are let that the go. are everywhere through Buddhism. which distinguish the The Bhagavad Gita speaks are far more explicitly of former births: Many my past births. sweep. the mortal becomes immortal. in this union with the Eternal. comment. and. as this is a part of that omniscience to which he is now heir. the result of the tremendous moral and intellectual stimulus impressed prince rebirth of is his age by the Rajput Buddhist books.

detail. as. and such an age. was in the first instance really used by the Buddha to illustrate the laws of life.45 good Samaritan or the unjust judge. and. in lives gone by. and especially of continuity of became such a difficult favorite with his followers that in time they moral force through birth after birth. we cannot doubt. such Their romances even take the same form in . This form of birth story. states of existence. fifty births. five births. the fullest directions the recovery memories to the Buddha himself. a devotee should desire thus: 'Let : me call to mind many previous births. which. all relate that. this rank abundance even. three births. absolutely certain that he did give his disciples quite definite rules for the acquirement of this marvelous power. ten births. yet there are passages among his which make the teachings attributed to him personally. Let me among it quote one such passage previously given in this series "If. one thousand one hundred thousand births. good or evil deeds. but by incidents avowedly taken from former lives of the Buddha himself. though of lost we cannot teachings. or of the lady Visakha both of which turn on destiny as molded by our own former Temiya at all to the imagination. the Master was a or a crane. births. that is. found it to tell a story otherwise than as an episode from a former their in birth. many destructions of a world- . and both of which go into the amplest This luxuriance. the tale of in Pali. two births. twenty births. is only the outward and the visible sign of the perfectly definite teaching as to rebirth which Buddha did undoubtedly hand down trace to his disciples for . and such incidents befell. acts. hare or a tiger. one hundred births. thirty forty births. social and physical characters in their present births being explained by their parts actions and aspirations. and that. one birth. in his animal embodiment. Burmese. under such a king. fables of animals are molded in this form. their moral. and in which the subordinate are assigned to the hearers present. devotees. leaving nothing but supplying the equations of moral action with more than mathematical precision. for instance. four births.

those who have : taken their refuge in the Buddha. and there all the controversy whether persistence of individuality through the line in the affirmative. attain to illumination. had such possessions. and in the Communion who. lived in such a place.46 cycle. of such a caste. was of such a family. cities and seas. Buddhism always offering these directions who have overcome the tyranny of th£ world . have renounced the pomps and vanities of this . There I passed from that existence. Next. and such a length of life. possessions. and let me precisely define them he must be perfect in the precepts. experienced such joys and sorrows. namely. like their lord." implies the identity of ego from first to last. I had such a name. . or turning down all other must lose our view of our immediate surroundings if we lights. and dwell in solitude. I was such a one. had such Then such joys and sorrows. This limitation is exactly equivalent to what we saw before : that the memory of past come after a weakening of the tyranny of the actual. and births can only all the sinful lusts of the flesh. of had such a caste. many renovations of a wo rid -cycle. to those Therefore we shall find to disciples only. M In such a birth. we must note that this teaching is offered only to certain people. of the present birth. existence. also this existence. which the magic-lantern can paint upon the screen. saying: such a name. settles once and for begin by saying that one such passage as this. the magic-lantern picture can only become visible by shutting out the daylight." Let the me are hundreds of them. and was reborn in such a place. in the Law. Buddha taught the and settles it of rebirths. just as We are to catch the views of other scenes and other climes. was of such a family. Thus let me call to mind many former ' if he should so desire. and not to all indiscriminately to the devotees. many I destructions and renovations of a world-cycle. practice the trances diligently. bring his emotions to a state of — states of quiescence. and such a Then I passed from that existence and was reborn in length of life. wicked world. for these alone could profit by the teaching. mountains.

touched on those : the precise moral and mental acts to be carried out It is by who would remember. attaining illumination. the conscious existence of the immortal self. This passage is from the Vishuddhi Marga. as in the cases of several people We may then personally known to me. . where the directions for remembering past material . pictures of places and names. or even memory of the past. but it births are given with a precision and definiteness which simply leave nothing more to be imagined or desired.47 note that the things touched on as remembered first. by showing at length what are the precepts to be practiced. great disciples. And finally we are to remember that the directions specifically laid down. Our passage is part of a on a sermon of the Buddha. are just the things which. method laid rather lengthy to quote in full. the revealer of the Buddha's teachings. who have large portions of their heritage of recovered fragments. For each of these we have abundant seems better to turn at once to another passage of the Buddhist scriptures. and Buddhas. separate Buddhas. people do remember first. We could further bring out the points in this passage. a great work written some sixteen hundred years ago by the famous sage. or Path of Purity. chief disciples. and illustrate the precise moral and mental actions which it prescribes to the end of remembering the past. in point of fact. but I shall try to leave out nothing essential to a sound understanding call to of the ' ' down : : There are six classes of people who can mind former states of existence devotees of other sects. a passage very like that commentary which we have just quoted and it is intended to give more ample and detailed instruction as to the meaning of the very points we have . Buddhaghosha. what is meant by entering the trances and attaining to illumination. ordinary disciples. whose name signifies the Voice of the Buddha. entering the trances. point in the direction in which it is inevitable they should point namely. such as practicing the precepts. in that causal : body from which all rebirths come forth.

going backwards over reverse order. month ago. what he did what he did between taking the bowl and rinsing his mouth at dawn what he did in the middle watch of the night . . and is alone and plunged in meditation. a year ago and having in the same . On rising should consider the event which from the fourth trance. "The devotee. he last took place. then. . the tenth day. who tries for the first time to call to mind former states of existence. when rayed disk of the call to moon summer sun. next the spreading of the mat the entering of the room the away of bowl and robe his eating his leaving the village . . what he did in the first watch of the night. . . .putting down. up to the fifth day. "The power the ordinary disciple great disciples is is like the light of the morning-star like the light of the the light of a small lamp that of the like the light of a torch that of the chief disciples is like . this will suffice to he had used a lighted lamp. a that. but it is exceedingly plain to one whose mind is in preliminary concentration. his offering adoration in the courts of the shrine and of the Bodhi tree his washing the . . namely. the day before fortnight ago. his sitting . then he should once more enter upon the trance which leads to the higher powers. and when he has risen from it. which leads to the higher powers. . his going the rounds of the village for alms his entering the village for alms. all that he did for a whole day and night. and has been absorbed in the four trances in succession. he must again consider that past event .48 possessed by devotees of other sects to perceive former states of existence is like the lamp of the glow-worm that of . should choose a time after breakfast. his departure from the monastery. " In the same reverse order he must consider what he did the it make as plain as if day before. if there is any one event which is not plain. . with disciples and their power to Our present text concerns itself only mind former states of existence. Thus he must consider it in "As much But as this is plain even to the ordinary mind. bowl . that of the separate Buddhas is that of the Buddhas is like the thousand. he has returned from collecting alms. a .

49 manner considered the previous ten and twenty years. same way the devotee rising fell that mighty tree. if the edge of his axe be turned in lopping off the branches and twigs. still by others. 1 or to take as the object of my thought the name and form which I had in my last birth. But shall never be able to penetrate beyond conception. five births. will not despair of cutting down the tree. "Just as a strong man in cutting down a mighty tree to be used peaked roof of a pagoda. and take as his object the name and form which he had at the moment of death. he will a second time have return. in his last birth. •> . A is able at the first attempt to penetrate beyond and to take as his object of thought the name and form conception. and so on. but will go to an iron-worker's shop. and since nothing that he has chopped once needs to be chopped again. in no long time will penetrate beyond the moment of conception. and and go on with his cutting. at the moment of death. " His he can alert attention call having become possessed of this knowledge. two three births. like and difficult to be made out by the mind of any person even such a one should not despair. but he should again and again enter the trance which leads to the higher powers. in the words of the text. he should again intend his mind upon that point of time. he must then consider the name and form which he had at the moment of death in his last birth. have his axe sharpened. return. which he had at the moment of death in his last birth. he will in no long time> when there is nothing left to chop. four births. without considering what he has already considered once." births. and considering only the moment of conception. to mind many former states of existence. and if the edge of his axe be as the turned a second time. and so on up to the time of his conception in this birth. and were thick darkness. and go on with his cutting. as. one birth. But since the skilled devotee name and form replaced of the last birth this point of came quite time is to an end. nor say I ' : deluded. In the from the trance that leads to the higher powers. and each time he rises from the trance. it sharpened.

when two ideas are received in connection with each other. should next be brought into the centre of the mind's field This process is to be repeated until the whole colored of view. . During . for a quite unconsciously. where pictures the habitual mind come to the may be.5o So far. had absorbed long trains of sounds quite meaningless to her. in virtue of which. falling into a trance. One way which this fests itself is in the mesmeric or somnambulistic and images hopelessly beyond recall for surface in fragments or whole series. Thus the starting-point is in every case the present moment. the last few years. repeated story Careful investigation . We have rediscovered in memory of the subconscious mind. the evocation of one tends to call up the other also. in order to evoke the impression which directly preceded it this new mind-image is next to be held in view. It will be seen to depend wholly on what we are accustomed to call the association of ideas: the principle. But the ribbon is not separated nor broken off at this point it is joined to a like ribbon of yesterday to reach the end of one is to find the beginning of another. were that w^ know of the subjective mind. Now we are ready to come to another aspect of the matter. evidence has been accumulating on all hands to mani- show that we never the really forget anything. and the disciple is to consider this moment. Now application. hundred years ago. the teaching. The classical that of the servant-maid who. as the case is sleep. ribbon printed with the events of the past four-and-twenty hours has been drawn back again before the mind's eye.long passages of Hebrew and Greek and Latin. long time failed to suggest any explanation. . until it was discovered that she had years before been attendant on a learned divine. and The Buddhists of . when her secret treasure-house was unlocked. who was in the habit of reading aloud in these dead tongues. so to speak. and these were stored up faithfully and indelibly in her subjective memory. in order that the mental picture joined on to it at the other end. like the all perfectly familiar with twenty-five Indian occultists forages before that. the girl. comes the till the hour of trance came.

therefore. to live on alms only. only for a time. this association of memories. to withdraw in once more from the disturbing sense of his outward surroundings. mood must be at all. may be able to print themselves on his mental vision. and who can. who can rise above the first. They knew the secret of "the trances leading to the higher powers. present in some degree for the trances to if be entered There must be a renunciation. Therefore the devotee or disciple spoken of in the Buddhist texts is one who has this disinterestedness. more than that. their monasteries colleges of practical psychology. his subconscious memory. There must be a a loosening of that greed and graspingness which thoroughly dominate the ordinary man and the ordinary life. alone furnishes the condition of mind and soul in which the trances can be entered at will the same . of quite different texture. and could open it at will. is meant for. Once more. but there was one indispensable condition precedent to entering these colleges of occultism perfect disinterestedness and charity. order that the memories of his subjective mind. where this power were nothing but great and much more was taught . they had found the key to the hidden cabinet. an act of renunciation after which the devotee bound himself to touch no money. typified by . very words of the text prove that this. graspingness of his present personality. and nothing else.5i with that much is that we have not implied in this story of the They had discovered all yet guessed. and. with the power of catching the links of association so as to pull the colored ribbons . if the devotee break down in his reversed chain of memory. this detachment from the fortunes of the present personality. what . as they are. the lights must be turned out It is the old story of the magic-lantern . freely offered by those who This charity and disinterestedness." and could acquire the of entering them at will . on food had faith in his work. that is. is he directed to do ? To enter the trance again . servant-maid who talked Greek and Hebrew. letting go. find The the doorway to his subjective mind.

is The this greatest modern teacher a faculty which improves enormously by of Mnemonics bases his whole system on chains of one thing: the constant exercise of the memory on naturally associated words and sounds. practice. If you wish to use a telescope for It is just the same in optics. and trees. that the mental eye shall not be put out of focus by intending . what is more. past . desires concerned only with the animal body. while the nature of the star is another. Now to come to the much larger question the memory of Buddhist scripture which : and. there is nothing in it which we cannot verify. Once the mind's eye is trained to focus correctly on these finer images. So with mind-images. there nothing in the we cannot understand and believe. itself upon the coarser images in of material and selfish desires that is. is What happens is this the mind's eye trained to focus itself correctly on the mind-pictures. you must use a particular eyepiece and a definite focus if you wish to look at your neighbor's cabbage-garden . and see the mind cannot be focussed for both at once. they is are of different orders. but of a different order of reality and the power once gained. that. so far as the present birth Therefore is we concerned. own place. you must change eyepiece and focus. it is only a matter of diligence to draw back before its vision the pictures of a year ago. the study of the stars. or of two. It is no disparagement of cabbages to say they are not stars but the fact remains. they are unquestionably of a quite different quality from the mind-pictures we and the mind cannot be focussed for both at once. five or ten years ago. not merely in the direction in which it has : first been exercised. and those who apply his system find that their memories are thereby so strengthened that they can apply the added power in any direction. The condition for success is. can thus clearly see the picture next to any picture already before its vision. their For however good these may be are dealing with.52 back through the mind. which are as real as stones . . that the nature of the cabbage is one thing. the mind's eye can come to focus on different links of association and .

as The psychical mind-pictures. in the Just as the ribbon of mind-pictures is complete in the subjective of the psychical self. the Eastern enough occultist. by doing this. who dwells retired from the world. . so that all the episodes of a lifetime are there indelibly recorded. are recorded indelibly in that deeper and more subjective memory which belongs to the causal and And self. unlock from your mind an unbroken picture of that month. not only to his own signal benefit. who stands behind physical and psychic alike. or intentionally and consciously entered. the door to which is opened in trance. habitually. up to the moment your personal consciousness began present birth. and then by ascending higher. are all perfectly visible to the psychical self but they can only leak into the consciousness of the physical self in broken fragments. and to take up the lie beyond the tomb. may yet be exercising faculties of tremendous importance and power. so the episodes of that larger life. the vision of the causal self will be so trained and strengthened that it will memories which It is be able easily to overleap the chasm of death. as we saw. in stillness and alone. above all the personal and individual limitations which tie us to the psychic self. the case of the servant-maid. Yet the mesmerist could have. but also to the benefit of the whole human sages is race. not my intention to go deeper into this question here but has been said to make it clear that the devotee. as in the of The mind-chains . in which birth and mind death are but as day and night. say of a given month ten years ago. present birth are. whether involuntary. forming an unbroken ribbon. in such rags and shreds of memory as you . these memories can only be reached in one way by rising up above the psychical and animal instincts which limit us to the material self immortal : . in that of the Buddhist devotee.53 births. or of any month. complete but not in the physical mind of the outward personality. They are complete in the subjective mind of the psychical self. To due the fact that the real science of the soul the study and disinterested work of these Eastern is still within the .

as the one satisfactory answer to life's riddle. devotees. and the latter Buddhist . or could understand. and so remember. so that they might once more have the courage to take up the heavy burden of life. let . treading in the path of the occultists of old. of the sages of the Upanishads. I have outlined the manner in which. but some there be who. It came. who spoke what they did know. It is only in the present day that our races of the West have so far given up their faith in fire and brimstone. . much maligned and traduced in her life. for us. this doctrine did come to our day and generation. was very well remembered. put her testimony on record. more to hear the world-old teaching. which alone gives us present knowledge of our immortality. who speaks of the the Greater Mysteries. through woman. in Plato's teaching. have given us. and humanity is safethan mankind guesses. had actually recovered the memory of their former births. waters of that mystical Lethe which washed from men's minds the memories of bygone sorrows. It is spoken of in that episode of Virgil's epic which. and of our grander memories which embrace them. been quite hidden from any race at in truth Nor any time. among other things. guarded far better has the tradition of past births. and testified to the things their own the message of a eyes had witnessed to those who. this very doctrine of reincarnation. as to be ready once moment taught. the doctrine was once more publicly For so our needs are provided for. Where did she get it? She herself persistently made answer: from the Eastern sages. drink less deep of Lethe. presents dramatically the themes of It has echoes in Plato. and could tell of that past which we call forgotten. on the testimony of all antiquity. as a matter of fact.54 our material races would have lost it utterly. but which. And the the world was ready. possession of mankind If it be asked what these sages have given us out of their treasure. which alone makes intelligible the darkest answer: they riddles of me human life . have so far surrendered the crude and crass materialism which followed after that. for them. but who. nevertheless.

who was therefore. who taught that the same pure spirit was embodied in Adam and David. was the same as that of Simeon. second Adam. I am ? who did remember. . in the temples of Chaldea and Egypt. and the of as Job. the son of David. coming to . that Terah was reborn Among and most of all in India. same teaching held and. All the greatest teachers made this claim we have seen the Buddha make it we have seen it made by Krishna what other meaning can we give to those mysterious words Before Abraham was. No it other ever doctrine has ever been so universally accepted have been so accepted but for the presence in nor could all schools of those who spoke what they knew. and . and should return again in the Among Messiah. European lands. . : . the the older races. They held also that the soul of Japhet. .55 the Jews this doctrine of rebirth was held as a mysteryteaching of the Kabbalists. we find it in the schools of the Druids. in a mystical sense. son Noah.

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wide margins. In a small compass it conveys a surprising amount of curious and valu- able information. of special interest to students of Christian Mysticism the Occultism of the Bible. 86 pages. New edition. of India. all The Bhagavad-Gita has been studied by the Philosophers of ages. Bengal . gilt top.. with an intro- duction by size. unequaled by any other introductory work. with notes on the Mystical or Arcane Sense. Paper. 35 cents cloth. 75 In this Dialogue is represented the conversation between the personal self and the Divine Consciousness in Man. This book is A Letter of Iakorbas. It is well suited for propaganda work. . Retired. Prince of Devotion. Written in atic Paper. cloth. and comprehensive explanation. an easy and popular style. PRYSE. and final Union with the Divine. A verbatim translation from the Greek.. The True Path of Power. WILLIAM Q. A Letter of Ioudas. JUDGE. THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY By WILLIAM Q. lucid A THE BHAGAVAD-GITA The Book the Hindu Avatar. THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT And Other Extracts from the New Testament. 50 cts. in which is set forth the Path of Duty. 25 cents.R. being Dialogues between Krishna. The Coming of the Christos. this book gives a clear and system- statement of Theosophy. 35 cts. 50 cents. and Arjuna. JUDGE. cloth. side stamp. gilt edges. The and Service of Right Conduct. 154 pages. side stamp. 60 cents.KARMA: Works and Wisdom By ice. illustrated cover. pocket cts. With portrait of the author. By JAMES M. the right performance of Action. Contains the Sermon on the Mount. M. CHARLES JOHNSTON.S. It embraces the history and development of the idea which gave birth to the term Karma in the minds of the world's most ancient philosophers. Civil Serv- Paper. based upon the author's translations from the original Sanscrit.A. Flexible leather.

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