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RE: Reincarnation and Karma

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  • dalval14@earthlink.net
    03/09/2002 3:47 AM Dear Friends: An old saying is: To give a dog a bad name. This implies that a label placed on anything epitomizes its assemblage of
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2002
      03/09/2002 3:47 AM

      Dear Friends:

      An old saying is: "To give a dog a bad name." This implies that
      a "label" placed on anything epitomizes its assemblage of
      qualities. It also implies that readers might accept such an
      evaluation without further inquiry. This "dummies" the reader.
      It is unfair as it provides no REASONS for such a

      I read in a recent posting: "Reincarnation is purely a religious

      Yes, reincarnation, or the return of the Real Man into flesh was
      and is still a great "belief" of many faiths and of many peoples
      down the ages. Its presence can be traced in many philosophies
      and religions of the past.

      Let us take Christianity and Judaism for example, since
      Christianity derives from a reform of Judaism.


      Reincarnation or re-embodiment is the lost chord of Christianity.
      It is a doctrine of the Jews and widely known at the time of
      Jesus' ministry. Jesus did not deny or contradict it.

      Jesus said he intended to uphold and buttress the law. We find
      Herod listening attentively to discussions that John or Jesus was
      this or that returning prophet or great man of olden
      times--speculating on the doctrine of reincarnation, of "coming
      back." It was then a matter of court gossip, which, to an
      Eastern potentate, would be a warning that a returning great
      personage would of necessity have, not only knowledge but also
      power; and that people, if attracted to such a new leader, would
      have their minds inflamed beyond control with the idea that a
      wise one of old had returned to live and work with them.

      Reincarnation when brought to Jesus' attention is not found to be
      condemned, refuted or denied by him, but tacitly accepted and
      even declared to be true. This illustrated below.

      Old Jewish traditions held that the soul of Adam reincarnated in
      David and will have to come again in the expected Messiah.
      Hebrew interpreters said that since Adam had sinned it was
      necessary for him to reincarnate on earth to make good the evil
      committed by him. David sinned against Uriah... This doctrine
      was also applied by the Jewish Rabbis to Moses, Seth, and Abel
      (Habel). Cain died and was reincarnated as Yethrokorah.
      Similarly it was held by them that Bileam, Laban and Nabal were
      reincarnations of the same soul or individuality. Job is said to
      have been once Thara, the father of Abraham. We find Jeremiah
      speaking of Esau and Jacob "returning." And, the people spoke of
      Elias "who was yet to first come;" and also that some of the old
      prophets were there in Jesus and in John the Baptist. "Proverbs"
      gives the doctrine where Solomon says he was with the Creator
      "from the beginning" and that then his (Solomon's) delights were
      with the sons of men and in habitable parts of the earth.

      Matthew in Ch. 11, v. 14 relates what Jesus said concerning Elias
      "which was for to come." Here he took the doctrine for granted.
      And, in the 17th Chapter he says among other things: "But I say
      unto you that Elias is come already, and they knew him not...and
      the disciples understood that he spake to them of John the
      Baptist." This is repeated in Mark Ch. 9, v. 13 but there the
      name of John is omitted.

      There is the case of the man born blind--Jesus neither denied nor
      condemned the doctrine when this was discussed. They asked Jesus
      if he had been punished by the Almighty or for some sin he had
      committed, or one done by his parents, thus voicing the accepted
      views of the doctrine of reincarnation. Jesus replied, saying
      that the cause was not because of past sin, but for an
      extraordinary purpose. In another case when he revived one whose
      death had not proceeded beyond recovery, this gave him an
      opportunity to demonstrate the powers he had. Had the doctrine
      been untrue and pernicious he would have denounced it. He did
      not, but brought up to his followers the case of John, on the
      coast of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asked the disciples: "Who do
      men think that I am ?" using the prevailing idea of the time.
      (Matthew xvi, v. 13) There he seems to have deliberately brought
      up the old doctrine to distinguish himself from the common lot of
      sages and prophets by showing himself to be an incarnation of God
      and not a reincarnation of any saint or sage. Had the doctrine
      been wrong, then was the time for Jesus to denounce it, putting
      his condemnation on it for all time. (see St. John, ix).

      St. John could have meant nothing but that doctrine when in
      Revelations, Ch. iii, v, 12 he said: "Him that overcometh will I
      make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall no more go
      out." Evidently he had "gone out" before, or this could have no
      place or meaning.

      If the Church now does not agree with the views of Jesus, and
      chooses to explain them away, then we ought to consider giving up
      such Church views since they are guilty of doubting the wisdom of
      Jesus and his ability to conduct a great movement. The Church is
      well known to have promulgated dogmas and condemned doctrines
      wholly without any authority, and some that Jesus himself held it
      has placed anathema upon. The Church has cursed the doctrine he
      taught. Which is right? The true believer in Jesus must reply
      that Jesus is. Why should the Church have done this? Perhaps
      because such a doctrine places all men on an equal basis, and
      hence, weakens the chosen position of the Church, as the human
      rulers of heaven and access thereto.

      Such an important doctrine, Jesus could not afford to pass over,
      and if it was wrong, it would be his duty to condemn it--we may
      then suppose that he would have done so were it not entirely
      right. He went further, affirming it and approving of it. We
      should also remember that Jesus said that his mission was
      primarily to the Jews and not the Gentiles: "I am not sent but
      unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

      John the Revealer (Revelations, 3, 12) says that the Almighty
      declared that the man who would overcome should "go out no more"
      from heaven. This is mere rhetoric if reincarnation is denied.

      St. Paul in his epistles refers to the cases of Jacob and Esau,
      saying that the Lord loved one and hated the other before they
      were born. They could not have been non-existent in that case,
      and the Lord (or Karma, the Law) held these views because of
      their past actions, which would shape their future.

      Origen, who died about A.D. 254, held to and taught "the original
      and indestructible unity of God and all spiritual essences."
      Origen, taught pre-existence, and the wanderings of the soul
      (a'leen b'gilgoola--cycle of rebirths with the Kabalists and the
      Talmudists, described in the Zohar)--an exile from Paradise. He
      gave pre-existence and transmigration as a necessary doctrine for
      the explaining of the vicissitudes of life and the inequalities
      of birth. He was highly regarded by all in the early Church, and
      by his contemporaries outside of it. His teachings, and because
      of his influence continued, and, it was only some 500 years after
      Jesus, that the Church, at the Council of Constantinople saw fit
      to anathematize as pernicious the doctrine Jesus had taught and
      Origen and others had maintained, for the reasons given earlier.

      So, "pre-existence of the soul" fell out of the Church teachings
      in the West and became "lost." But it will and should be revived
      as one of the Founder's teachings; and, as it gives a forceful
      basis for ethics, it is in all truth, one of the most basic and
      powerful of teachings. Origen also taught the doctrine of unity
      with God, of the final restoration of all souls to pristine
      purity, and, of their necessary pre-existence.

      If we would consider that the soul, when united to the Spirit and
      not the animal, passional soul, is pure, of the essence of God,
      and desirous of immortality through a person, we may understand
      that the personality may fail, and not be fit for unity with the
      spiritual soul. So, ongoing in its quest, other personalities
      are ensouled. Each one, if a failure in respect to union with
      the Spirit passes into the sum of experience. But, finally, a
      personal birth is found wherein all former experiences are
      united, affirmed and union is gained with the Spirit. From then
      onward there can be no falling back. Immortality through a
      personality has been attained. Prior to this great event the
      soul existed and hence the doctrine of pre-existence. This is a
      process which is within the grasp of all men--each being
      considered as embodying a "ray" from God-Spirit. The Higher
      Self, the Augoeides has existed from all time. It may cause
      rebirths, but not be itself reborn as it merely overshadows each
      birth without being, itself, wholly in the flesh. Mystical this
      may appear, but it provides for each human his personal God,
      within, and That is united to all such Spirits, to be seen in the
      infinite radiations of the One GOD-SPIRIT.

      When at last the modern Churches will admit that its Founder and
      his disciples believed in pre-existence, and that Jesus did not
      condemn it, a long step will be taken towards eliminating may
      intolerant and illogical doctrines now held. A great step
      towards sympathy and universal brotherhood will be taken.

      The SERMON ON THE MOUNT is of high importance--if taken literally
      it appears to be a string of meaningless promises. These
      commandments are broken daily. But the ideas of Karma (justice
      and retribution) and Reincarnation (the return of the Soul to
      earth to balance its accounts of a moral nature) are seen to be
      important and fundamental ethical doctrines. Every ancient
      reformer, prophet or sage prior to Jesus' time promulgated and
      emphasized these ideas to his people and times.

      Wisdom and Truth are synonymous terms, and that which is false or
      pernicious cannot be wise. If it is true, as we are told by a
      well-known representative of the Church of England, that the
      Sermon on the Mount would, in its practical application, mean
      utter ruin for his country in less than three weeks, we are left
      to choose between two courses. We have either to take Science
      and Theology on blind trust and faith, or proclaim them both
      untrue and untrustworthy. There is however a third course, as
      many do and take, and that is pretend to believe in both at the
      same time, and say nothing as many do, pandering to the
      prejudices of Society. The ethics of Christ alone purge the mind
      of hypocrisy for the true believer. Science to be honest and
      true must embrace and investigate every event brought to its
      attention without prejudice or preconception. This is the only
      hope for truth to prevail in this age, and all of us are
      participants in this process. The choice is ours.

      The information described above is extracted from some of the
      writings of Mr. Judge, one of the founders of the THEOSOPHICAL
      SOCIETY. He worked for Theosophy in America under the direction
      of Mme. Blavatsky.

      Now let us look together at the logic that underlies
      Reincarnation and the great and universal Law of Karma. There is
      an old saying that runs: "Many a house of life hath held me."

      "Reincarnation" means the entering again into flesh. (re - again;
      in - into; carne - flesh) So, this word - Reincarnation - tells
      us at once that if we are in bodies now, we have been in bodies
      before! We reincarnate according to cycles of Karma, just as
      seeds of plants do in their seasons. We live our lives in cycles.
      Once we were babes, and then children, and now are adults.
      Childhood is the spring-time of our lives. Grown up, we are in
      the summer-time, Then as our hair grows gray, and our backs
      bent, comes the autumn. After autumn comes winter, and the biting
      frost comes and kills the growing things. So we have our winter,
      too, the dead-time of our bodies. Our life-cycle has made its
      complete path - but, it's a spiral path, and it returns and goes
      on in a new ring! After winter, comes spring again, when -

      "The boughs put forth their tender buds
      And life is Lord of all."

      So, after the dead-time of our bodies, what will the new turn of
      the cycle bring us? New bodies! Once again, we shall be as tiny
      babes, children, grown-ups, old, and die again - to have the
      cycle bring us back to earth again in yet another new body! Only
      We are the Same One going on every turn of the cycle - the same o
      ne in the body now who had another body a thousand years ago. We
      have lived in many a bodily house!

      Just as Cycles and Karma are two ways of looking at Law, so
      Reincarnation which comes according to cycles, also comes
      according to Karma! It's as if Karma, Cycles, Reincarnation are
      three fingers making up the hand of Law. We never think "hand,"
      without thinking of fingers, do we? Or "finger" without seeing it
      in our minds as part of a hand? There would be no way for effects
      to come of some causes, if it were not for Reincarnation.

      "The Wheel of the Good Law moves swiftly on. It grinds by night
      and day." Now, if Karma works silently from day to day all of our
      lives, what else can it mean than that we are making Karma to the
      day, to the minute we leave our bodies? So, we have to get many
      effects in new bodies.

      More than that, if Karma was working yesterday, two years ago, -
      if it never stops - it was working the very day we were born! We
      reincarnate because of Karma. According to Karma, we earned the
      very kind of a body we have, the very father and mother, the
      brothers and sisters we have! If we have no brothers and sisters,
      that, too, we earned. We earned the very color of our eyes, the
      very shape of our bodies. We earned our friends. Many friends we
      have not yet found, for the cycle has not yet returned that
      brings them to us. The cycle of friendships started in other
      lives than this, and so it is often a long cycle of Karma that
      brings them back to us. Think of it - when something wonderfully
      sweet comes to you that you can't see you deserved: "Why, some
      day in some other body, I must have done someone a service - and
      my own has come back to me."

      And again, there may be a time when everything seems wrong, when
      someone uses us harshly, and we know we have done the unkind one
      no wrong! Just so, we have earned that pain, and we can think:
      "'A harsh word uttered in past lives, ever comes again.' This,
      too, is my own come back to me, an echo from the lips I spoke
      through in another body."

      Our dispositions we brought with us, too, from other lives. Some
      of us find our dispositions have much of selfishness, unkindness,
      deceit, laziness, and temper in them. That is why we have this
      body now. It is a body in which we must cure these bad qualities,
      and make our good ones stronger. The more wrong things we cure,
      and the more strongly we act for The Inner, the Higher Self - the
      better the disposition we shall have when the cycle of this body
      ends; consequently, the better conditions we shall bring with us
      into our next body. Our natures, and our characters, are all we
      bring with us. We don't come all dressed up, with a bag of gold
      in our hand when we are born; when we go, we leave behind us all
      our houses and riches of every kind. We leave behind all our
      burdens and hardships, too!

      We bring our characters; we make them better, or worse, and take
      them along with us when we go. Theosophy shows how we can make
      right character!

      Often we may say: "Why, I don't see how I can have lived before
      in other bodies! I don't remember anything about that!" It
      wouldn't be so strange if we didn't remember, when the brains we
      are remembering through came new with these present bodies, and
      when we have crammed them so full with the things of this life!
      Indeed, we don't remember half our days in these bodies!
      Certainly, it is a rare one of us who remembers the day they were
      born - but we must have been born!

      But recognition on sight isn't the only way of remembering. The
      surest way of all is by feeling, and that doesn't depend very
      much on the brain. In fact, it is the feeling, which some sight
      arouses, we should call truly remembering. Your brain does not
      tell you that you love someone. You know you love because you
      feel love for the other person.

      So, we are really remembering the friends of other lives, when we
      see them for the first time, and feel we have always known them
      and loved them; we are also remembering, when for no reason in
      the world we can see, we dislike so intensely another person we
      meet. Is it hard to imagine the kind of Karma-seed in other lives
      which makes such liking or disliking in this one? What kind of
      seeds shall we plant now that will bring us loving friends in
      lives to come? Yes, there are other ways of remembering. In deep
      sleep, we know all about our past lives, and sometimes a dream
      about one or another may come through into our brain, when we are
      almost awake.

      Very young children, especially between three and six, "remember"
      words of a language once they knew. In one family, the parents
      were worried because their little girl was not learning to talk
      at the age of two years. She was constantly "jabbering," but not
      a word could they understand. Then, one day, a soldier who had
      been in France came to visit them. He began to pay attention to
      the little girl, and in amazement he said to the parents, "Don't
      worry about the little one's not talking. She is talking very
      good French!"

      Have you ever noticed how some boys and girls seem never to have
      to learn some particular thing? For instance, one boy knows how
      to use tools without being taught; one girl doesn't need to learn
      how to sew, or to read; one boy can sing from the time he can
      speak, while most of us are years in learning how; some girls
      love to write poetry, or can imitate the ways of speech and
      manners of others, but more people never can do it well in this
      life, however long and hard they try - even with talking lessons.
      All these facilities, or talents, are in evidence now because
      there was a skill developed in those things in other lives; or
      even a love for them, - because it is the feeling, again, of love
      to do these things, that lives, and goes on from life to life.
      Perhaps you have noticed that sometimes, too, people grow lazy
      with these talents, and they lose them. They must love them
      enough to make them always more beautiful by working for them,
      and especially, as a service to share with all as needed, if
      they, or we, would keep them.

      Our "now" is made up of our past, and our "now" is what makes the
      future, so it's the "now" that we must use aright. If flashes
      from the past, comes into the now, unbidden, perhaps in some
      cases, as a sweet odor. We can recognize them, and smile, and
      know them for what they are - messengers that are saying: "there
      are many houses of life we have lived in, and we have yet to
      build for our souls still statelier mansions." Such experiences
      it would seem need not be talked about to others. They are only
      for the Experiencer to consider. But, do not such strange
      "flashes" offer some of the evidence that we have lived before.
      All Nature bears evidence of this same law of reincarnation for
      all who can see. Each one must see for himself and in himself all
      that belongs to him, now or in past lives.

      The following story was written by a commercial photographer of

      "Anne, my little half-sister, younger by fifteen years, was a
      queer little mite from the beginning. She did not even look like
      any member of the family we ever heard of, for she was dark
      almost to swarthiness, while the rest of us were all fair,
      showing our Scotch-Irish ancestry unmistakably.

      As soon as she could talk in connected sentences, she would tell
      herself fairy stories, and just for the fun of the thing I would
      take down her murmurings with my pencil in my old diary. She was
      my especial charge - my mother being a very busy woman - and I
      was very proud of her. These weavings of fancy were never of the
      usual type that children's fairy tales take; for, in addition to
      the childish imagination, there were bits of knowledge in them
      that a baby could not possibly have absorbed in any sort of way.

      Another remarkable thing about her was that everything she did
      she seemed to do through habit, and, in fact, such was her
      insistence, although she was never able to explain what she meant
      by it. If you could have seen the roystering air with which she
      would lift her mug of milk when she was only three and gulp it
      down at one quaffing, you would have shaken with laughter. This
      particularly embarrassed my mother and she reproved Anne
      repeatedly. The baby was a good little soul, and would seem to
      try to obey, and then in an absent-minded moment would bring on
      another occasion for mortification. 'I can't help it, mother,'
      she would say over and over again, tears in her baby voice, 'I've
      always done it that way!'

      So many were the small incidents of her 'habits' of speech and
      thought and her tricks of manner and memory that finally we
      ceased to think anything about them, and she herself was quite
      unconscious that she was in any way different from other

      One day when she was four years old she became very indignant
      with Father about some matter and, as she sat curled up on the
      floor in front of us, announced her intention of going away

      'Back to heaven where you came from?' inquired Father with mock
      seriousness. She shook her head.

      'I didn't come from heaven to you,' she asserted with that calm
      conviction to which we were quite accustomed now. 'I went to the
      moon first, but - you know about the moon, don't you? It used to
      have people on it, but it got so hard that we had to go.'

      This promised to be a fairy tale, so I got my pencil and diary.

      'So,' my father led her on, 'you came from the moon to us, did

      'Oh, no,' she told him in casual fashion. 'I have been here lots
      of times - sometimes I was a man and sometimes I was a woman!'"

      She was so serene in her announcement that my father laughed
      heartily, which enraged the child, for she particularly disliked
      being ridiculed in any way.

      'I was! I was!' she maintained indignantly. 'Once I went to
      Canada when I was a man! I 'member my name, even.'

      'Oh, pooh-pooh,' he scoffed, 'little United States girls can't be
      men in Canada! What was your name that you 'member so well?'

      She considered a minute. 'It was Lishus Faber,' she ventured,
      then repeated it with greater assurance, 'that was it - Lishus
      Faber.' She ran the sounds together so that this was all I could
      make of it - and the name so stands in my diary today, 'Lishus

      'And what did you do for a living, Lishus Faber, in those early
      days?' My father then treated her with the mock solemnity
      befitting her assurance and quieting her nervous little body.

      'I was a soldier' - she granted the information triumphantly -
      'and I took the gates!'

      That was all that is recorded there. Over and over again, I
      remember, we tried to get her to explain what she meant by the
      odd phrase, but she only repeated her words and grew indignant
      with us for not understanding. Her imagination stopped at
      explanations. We were living in a cultured community, but
      although I repeated the story to inquire about the phrase - as
      one does tell stories of beloved children, you know - no one
      could do more than conjecture its meaning.

      Some one encouraged my really going further with the matter, and
      for a year I studied all the histories of Canada I could lay my
      hands on for a battle in which somebody 'took the gates.' All to
      no purpose. Finally I was directed by a librarian to a
      'documentary' history, I suppose it is - a funny old volume with
      the 's' like f's, you know.

      This was over a year afterward, when I had quite lost hope of
      running my phrase to earth. It was a quaint old book,
      interestingly picturesque in many of its tales, but I found one
      bit that put all others out of my mind. It was a brief account of
      the taking of a little walled city by a small company of
      soldiers, a distinguished feat of some sort, yet of no general
      importance. A young lieutenant with his small band - the phrase
      leaped to my eyes - 'took the gates.' And the name of the young
      lieutenant was 'Aloysius Le F├Ębre.'

      The article appeared in the AMERICAN MAGAZINE of July, 1915.

      I trust this will prove of interest,

      Best wishes,


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Gerald Schueler
      Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 7:05 AM
      To: Theosophy Study List
      Cc: theos-l@...
      Subject: - Karma

      <<<Reincarnation is a purely religious belief, yet Dallas cals it
      a "LAW OF NATURE" without providing any evidence or logical

      Theosophists, by and large, do not understand the difference
      between belief, fact, and law. I have been arguing this for years
      and seem to have gotten nowhere. There are some logical
      reasonings, but certainly no "proof."

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