The Problem of Death

The problem of death, needless to say, is founded upon the love of life which is the deepest instinct in human nature. The determination that nothing is lost under divine law is a recognition of science; eternal persistence in some form or another is universally held to be a truth. Out of the welter of theories, three major solutions have been proposed; these are well known to all thinking people. They are:

  1. The strictly materialistic solution, which posits the experience and expression of conscious life as long as the physical, tangible form exists and persists, but also teaches that after death and the subsequent disintegration of the body there is no longer any conscious, functioning, self-identified person. The sense of the “I,” the awareness of a personality in contradistinction to all other personalities, vanishes with the disappearance of the form; personality is believed to be only the sumtotal of the consciousness of the cells in the body. This theory relegates man to the same state as any of the other forms in the three other kingdoms in nature; it is based on the non-sensitivity of the average human being to life, withdrawn from a tangible vehicle; it ignores all evidence to the contrary and says that because we cannot see (visually) and prove (tangibly) the persistence of the “I” or the immortal entity after death, it is non-existent. This theory is not held by so many as it was in earlier years, particularly during the materialistic Victorian age.
  2. The theory of conditional immortality. This theory is still held by certain fundamentalist and theologically narrow schools of thought and also by a few of the intelligentsia, primarily those of egoistic tendency. It posits that only those who reach a particular stage of spiritual awareness, or who accept a peculiar set of theological pronouncements, can receive the gift of personal immortality. The highly intellectual also argue at times that the crowning gift to humanity is a developed and cultured mind, and that those who possess this gift are likewise endowed with eternal persistence. One school dismisses those who are what they regard as spiritually recalcitrant or negative to the imposition of their particular theological certainties, either to complete annihilation as in the materialistic solution, or to a process of eternal punishment, thus at the same time arguing for a form of immortality. Owing to the innate kindness of the human heart, very few are vindictive or unthinking enough to regard this presentation as acceptable, and of course among those we must class the unthinking people who escape from mental responsibility into a blind belief in theological pronouncements. The Christian interpretation as given by the orthodox and the fundamentalist schools proves untenable when submitted to clear reasoning; among the arguments which negate its accuracy lies the fact that Christianity posits a long future but no past; it is likewise a future entirely dependent upon the activities of this present life episode and accounts in no way for the distinctions and differences which distinguish humanity. It is only tenable upon the theory of an anthropomorphic Deity Whose will – as it works out in practice – gives a present that has no past but only a future; the injustice of this is widely recognized, but the inscrutable will of God must not be questioned. Millions still hold this belief, but it is not so strongly held as it was one hundred years ago.
  3. The theory of reincarnation, so familiar to all my readers, is becoming increasingly popular in the Occident; it has always been accepted (though with many foolish additions and interpretations) in the Orient. This teaching has been as much distorted as have the teachings of the Christ or the Buddha or Shri Krishna by their narrow-minded and mentally limited theologians. The basic facts of a spiritual origin, of a descent into matter, of an ascent through the medium of constant incarnations in form until those forms are perfect expressions of the indwelling spiritual consciousness, and of a series of initiations at the close of the cycle of incarnation, are being more readily accepted and acknowledged than ever before.

Such are the major solutions of the problems of immortality and of the persistence of the human soul; they aim to answer the eternal questioning of the human heart as to Whence, Why, Whither and Where? Only the last of these proposed solutions offers a truly rational reply to all of them. Its acceptance has been delayed because, ever since the time of H. P. Blavatsky, who formulated this ancient truth for the modern world in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, it has been so unintelligently presented; it has been handicapped owing to the fact that the Eastern races have always held it, and – from the Western angle – they are heathen and the heathen “in their blindness bow down to wood and stone,” to quote one of your fundamentalist hymns. How curious it is to realize that, to the man from Eastern countries, the religious people in the West do likewise, and can be seen on their knees before the Christian altars bearing statues of the Christ, of the Virgin Mary and of the Apostles.

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The occultists of the world, through the theosophical societies and other occult bodies, so-called, have greatly damaged the presentation of the truth anent reincarnation through the unnecessary, unimportant, inaccurate and purely speculative details which they give out as truths anent the processes of death and the circumstances of man after death. These details are largely dependent upon the clairvoyant vision of astral psychics of prominence in the Theosophical Society. Yet in the Scriptures of the world these details are not given, and H.P.B. in The Secret Doctrine gave none. An instance of this inaccurate and foolish attempt to throw light upon the theory of rebirth can be seen in the time limits imposed upon departed human souls between incarnations on the physical plane and the return to physical rebirth – so many years of absence are proclaimed, dependent upon the age of the departed soul and its place upon the ladder of evolution. If, we are told, the soul is very advanced, absence from the physical plane is prolonged, whereas the reverse is the case. Advanced souls and those whose intellectual capacity is rapidly developing come back with great rapidity, owing to their sensitive response to the pull of obligations, interests and responsibilities already established, upon the physical plane. People are apt to forget that time is the sequence of events and of states of consciousness as registered by the physical brain. Where no physical brain exists, what humanity understands by time is non-existent. The removal of the barriers of the form, stage by stage, brings an increasing realization of the Eternal Now. In the case of those who have passed through the door of death and who still continue to think in terms of time, it is due to glamor and to the persistence of a powerful thought-form. It indicates polarization upon the astral plane; this is the plane upon which leading Theosophical writers and psychics have worked, and upon which they have based their writings. They are quite sincere in what they say, but omit to recognize the illusory nature of all findings based on astral clairvoyance. The recognition of a pronounced time factor, and the constant emphasis laid upon timing, are characteristic of all highly developed people in incarnation and of those whose lower, concrete minds are powerful in caliber. Children and child-races on the one hand, and those highly advanced people whose abstract minds are functioning (through the medium of the interpretive lower mind), usually have no sense of time. The initiate uses the time factor in his relations and his dealings with those living upon the physical plane, but is detached within himself from all recognition of it elsewhere in the universe.

Therefore the use of the term “immortality” infers timelessness and teaches that this timelessness exists for that which is not perishable or conditioned by time. This is a statement requiring careful consideration. Man reincarnates under no time urge. He incarnates under the demands of karmic liability, under the pull of that which he, as a soul, has initiated, and because of a sensed need to fulfil instituted obligations; he incarnates also from a sense of responsibility and to meet requirements which an earlier breaking of the laws governing right human relations have imposed upon him. When these requirements, soul necessities, experiences and responsibilities have all been met, he enters permanently “into the clear cold light of love and life” and no longer needs (as far as he himself is concerned) the nursery stage of soul experience on earth. He is free from karmic impositions in the three worlds, but is still under the impulse of karmic necessity which exacts from him the last possible ounce of service that he is in a position to render to those still under the Law of Karmic Liability. You have, therefore, three aspects of the Law of Karma, as it affects the principle of rebirth:

  1. The Law of Karmic Liability, governing life in the three worlds of human evolution, and which is ended altogether at the fourth initiation.
  2. The Law of Karmic Necessity. This governs the life of the advanced disciple and the initiate from the time of the second initiation until a certain initiation higher than the fourth; these initiations enable him to pass on to the Way of the Higher Evolution.
  3. The Law of Karmic Transformation, a mysterious phrase governing the processes undergone upon the Higher Way. These fit the initiate to pass off the cosmic physical plane altogether, and to function upon the cosmic mental plane. It is concerned with the release of those like Sanat Kumara, and His Associates in the Council Chamber at Shamballa, from the imposition of cosmic desire which demonstrates upon our cosmic physical plane as spiritual will. This should be to you an arresting thought. It will be obvious, however, that there is little that I can say upon this subject. The knowledge involved is not yet mine.

Excerpted from:

Esoteric Healing – Chapter IV – The Basic Requirements for Healing”

By Alice Bailey &Djwhal Kuhl

Past Life Recall and Akashic Records

In a previous post about the Akashic records the Tibetan is suggesting that when a being has essentially rid itself of astral / emotional and physical / etheric polarisation and is largely mentally polarised, perhaps in higher and abstract mind, they should be able to access the akashic records of their previous lives. And do so accurately. He does warn that the records, contain many illusory, emotive and glamoured forms. So, people who might think they are accessing their records may be largely kidding themselves. You might even be able to get a purveyor of snake oil to access these records for you to have something to talk about over dinner. I often wondered why so many people claim to be reincarnation of famous people like Genghis Khan or Jesus. Very few say, “I am the reincarnation of a 17th century cobbler called Smith. I died from tertiary syphilis which I contracted from a penny whore.”

I mentioned earlier in the blog that there was a time ~2003 when I got what appeared to be overlay of my life as a Buddhist monk whilst walking down Upper Tulse Hill in London on my way to work and only a few hours before I would be lecturing 100 students on Chemical Reaction Kinetics. There are number of ways of interpreting this, genuine past life recall, accessing of the Akashic records or simple hallucinatory psychosis. The thing was I was perfectly able to get on a bus, board a crowded tube train and alight at South Kensington. Despite the overlay I was in control and not freaked out.

Because by this stage I had come across the notion of past life recall, thanks to Théun Mares, I settled as the most likely hypothesis that this was indeed some spontaneous past life recall from what was mooted to me later as two previous Buddhist priest / monk incarnations.  Later at a Shinto shrine in Tokyo, Japan and never having knowingly done it or seen it before, I enacted a cleansing ritual much to the surprise of my Japanese colleague and interpreter. This suggested that one of my Buddhist lives was perhaps Japanese. It explains maybe why I have been drawn to things Japanese since I was about 17 {kyokushin karate}. These can at best be chimera like things, insubstantial. Nevertheless, these chimeras may explain certain latent propensities.

If my interpretation is correct, and that is a big if, then I do have some measure of recall from three of my previous lives with reduced recall from two others. There are some partial fragments from one a very, very long time ago, too.

Generally, when one reads the Tibetan one gets a sense of a measured, detached and highly intellectual being who is both eloquent and clear. In Toltec terms I would bet that he is a Scholar by predilection and a Scholar on the second ray, giving him double whammy Scholastic tendencies.

In the past I did in states of elevated awareness attempt to “find” these akashic records and unless I am kidding myself, I did. I reasoned that there was little point in trying to do this as it was a) showing off and b) distracting from liberation. Once I had gotten sufficient glimpse so as to sense the truth in what the Tibetan writes, I jacked it in.

If you asked your common or garden physicist, they would be unlikely to believe in the akashic records or even for many past life recall. Though if they changed field from condensed matter physics to string theory, they might say in my previous incarnation I was a condensed matter physicist.

What do you reckon might there be a permanent record of every action deed and thought somewhere?

The Sound and the Akashic Records – Patanjali

17. The Sound (or word), that which it denotes (the object) and the embodied spiritual essence (or idea) are usually confused in the mind of the perceiver. By concentrated meditation on these three aspects comes an (intuitive) comprehension of the sound uttered by all forms of life.

This is one of the most important sutras in the book, and holds the key to the object of the entire meditation process. This is to reveal or to unveil to the perceiver or spiritual man, the true nature of the self, the second aspect, and the correspondence to the second aspect in all forms of subhuman life, as well as to put him en rapport with the second aspect in all superhuman forms. Thus it concerns the subjective side of all manifestation and deals with those forces which in every form constitute the consciousness aspect, which concern the Christ or buddhic principle and which are the direct cause of objective manifestation and the revelation of spirit through the medium of form.

This is the AUM. First the breath, then the word and all that is, appeared.

Just as long as the great Existence who is the sum total of all forms and of all states of consciousness continues to sound the cosmic AUM, just so long will the objective tangible solar system persist.

The following synonyms in connection with this sutra must be borne in mind if clarity of thought is to be achieved:

I. Spiritual Essence                           II. The Sound or Word                    III. The Object

1. Spirit                                                 1. The Soul.                                         1. Body

2. Pneuma                                          2. The Psyche.                                   2. Form.

3. The Father. Shiva                         3. The Son. Vishnu.                          3. The Holy Spirit. Brahma.

4. The Monad. The One.                4. The cosmic Christ.                       4. The vehicle of life and of                                                                                                                                          incarnation.

5. The eternal Will or Purpose.   5. Eternal Love-Wisdom.               5. Eternal activity and intelligence.

6. The great Breath.                        6. The AUM.                                       6. The Worlds.

7. Life.                                                  7. Consciousness Aspect.              7. Activity Aspect.

8. Synthesizing Energy.                 8. Attractive Force.                          8. Matter.

9. First Aspect.                                 9. Second Aspect.                            9. Third Aspect.

In the mind of man these three aspects are confused and that which is outward and objective is usually recognized as reality. This is the great maya or illusion and can only be dissipated when the perceiver can distinguish the three great aspects in every form, his own included. When the second aspect, the soul, the middle or mediating principle is known, the nature of the form is also known, and the essential nature of spirit can be inferred. The immediate field of knowledge, however, which the yogi has to master is that of the second aspect. He must arrive at the Sound or Word which brought every form into manifestation, and which is the result of the breath, the essence or spirit.

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made by Him…” (John I, 1, 2.)

Here, in the Christian Bible, is the substance of the entire teaching, and in the significance of the three letters of the Sacred Word, AUM, lies the clue to the entire cosmic process. The meditation process when duly and correctly carried out reveals therefore the second or soul aspect, and the Sound, or Word (the Voice of the Silence) can then be heard.

Once heard and the work carried steadily forward, the realm of consciousness is revealed and the yogi is en rapport with the second aspect of his own nature and with the second aspect in every form. This is the basis of the whole science of the soul and leads a man to know his own soul or psyche and the psyche in every form of divine life. It is the foundation for the entire science of psychism, both in its higher and lower aspects.

When a man is a lower psychic he is aware of, and responds to the soul aspect of the material forms and the third or Brahma aspect (the body), dominates, for every atom of matter has a soul. This concerns all that is subhuman.

When he responds to the higher correspondence of this, to the reality of which the lower is but the shadow, he is in touch with the Christ consciousness, with the soul of his being which is one with the soul in all the superhuman kingdoms.

In connection with this, two things must be remembered. If he is a lower psychic he is in touch with the second aspect of the lower man, the astral body, the middle principle in the lower man, linking the mental body and the etheric. He is, therefore, en rapport with all that can be contacted on that plane.

If, however, he is a higher psychic he is en rapport with the second aspect of divine manifestation, the ego or soul on its own plane, mediating between and linking the monad with the personality, spirit with the body.

It is interesting here to note that a clue to the truth of this can be found in the manifestations of lower psychism such as are seen in the average mediumistic seance and the ordinary type of spiritualism. Contact with the astral plane is made through that great center, the solar plexus which links the higher three centers and the lower. It accounts also for the fact that flowers are such a feature in materializations at seances, for the vegetable kingdom is the middle kingdom of the three subhuman kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, and animal. The explanation as to the prevalence of Indian guides is also found here, for they are the shells and powerful thought-forms left by the second of the three strictly human races, Lemurian, Atlantean and Aryan. No Lemurian shells or thought-forms are left now, but many Atlantean shells are still to be found preserved through the use of certain forms of Atlantean magic.

By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between these aspects there will eventually come a hearing of the Voice of the Silence and contact with a man’s own second aspect. He will know himself as the “Word made flesh” and will recognize himself as the AUM.

When this is the case he will then hear the word in other units of the human family, and will awaken to a recognition of the sound, as it is emanated by all forms in all the kingdoms of nature. The realm of the soul will stand open to him and this, when it includes recognition of the sound in all the four kingdoms, will lead him to know himself as Master. Soul knowledge and the power to work with the soul of all things in the three worlds is the distinctive mark of the Adept.

18. Knowledge of previous incarnations becomes available when the power to see thought-images is acquired.

The significance of this sutra is very great, for it gives the basis for the regaining of a knowledge of past experience. This basis is strictly mental, and only those mentally polarized and with the mind under control can regain this knowledge if they so wish. The power to see thought-images only comes through mind control, and the mind can only be controlled by the real or spiritual man. Therefore only egoically centered people can truly acquire this knowledge. It might be asked here what therefore do those people see who are emotional and not mental, when they claim to know who they are, and to relate the past lives of their friends? They are reading the akashic records and because their mental control and equipment are not adequate, they cannot discriminate nor ascertain accurately what they see.

The akashic record is like an immense photographic film, registering all the desires and earth experiences of our planet. Those who perceive it will see pictured thereon:

  1. The life experiences of every human being since time began,
  2. The reactions to experience of the entire animal kingdom,
  3. The aggregation of the thought-forms of a kamic nature (based on desire) of every human unit throughout time. Herein lies the great deception of the records. Only a trained occultist can distinguish between actual experience and those astral pictures created by imagination and keen desire.
  4. The planetary “Dweller on the Threshold” with all that appertains to that term and all the aggregations of forms which are to be found in its environment.

The trained seer has learnt to dissociate that which pertains to his own aura and the aura of the planet (which is in actuality the akashic record). He can distinguish between those records which are:

  • Planetary,
  • Hierarchical or pertaining to the work of the twelve Creative Hierarchies as they bring to concretion the plan of the Logos.
  • Imaginative forms, the result of the desire-thought activity of the myriads of men, animated by desire for some form of experience or other.
  • The historical record pertaining to races, nations, groups and families in their two great divisions on the physical plane and on the astral.

It should be borne in mind that every human being belongs to a physical family which constitutes his link with the animal kingdom, and also belongs to an astral family. Through that affiliation on the upward arc he is linked with his egoic group and on the downward arc with the vegetable kingdom.

  • The astrological record, or the forms taken on the astral plane under the influence of the planetary forces. These are in two great groups.
  • Those forms or pictures in the akasha produced by the inflow of solar force via the planets.
  • Those forms or pictures which are produced by the inflow of cosmic force from one or other of the signs of the zodiac, that is, from their corresponding constellations.

These points are enumerated to show how impossible it is that the majority of the claims regarding past incarnations can be true. They are the result of a vivid imagination and the assumption that the flashes of astral sight which reveal glimpses of the akashic film give that which pertains to the one who sees. This is not the case any more than the people and activities seen out of any window in a big city reveal to the onlooker his own relatives, friends and pursuits.

The knowledge referred to in the sutra comes in three ways:

  1. Direct ability to see the records if so desired. This form of acquiring knowledge is seldom employed except by initiates and adepts in connection with their pledged disciples.
  2. Through direct knowledge of the group activities and relations of a man’s own ego. This, however, only covers that cycle of time which began when a man stepped upon the probationary path. Experiences prior to that are relatively of no more vital importance than is a second in the life of an old man as he passes in retrospect his long life. All that stands out are events and happenings and not the individual hours and seconds.
  3. Through the instinctual life. This is based on memory, on acquired faculty and capacity and on the possession of those qualities which go to the equipment of the ego. The ego knows that the possession of the power to do thus and so in the three worlds, is the direct result of past experience, and knows too that certain effects are only to be achieved through certain causes. These he arrives at through concentrated meditation.

The thought images he becomes aware of are:

  1. Those in his aura at the time of his meditation,
  2. Those in his immediate environment,
  3. Those of his present family, group and race,
  4. Those of his present life cycle,
  5. These of his egoic group.

Thus through the process of elimination he gradually works his way through grade after grade of thought images until he arrives at the particular layer of thought impression which deals with the cycle about which he is concerning himself. This is not therefore simply a perception of certain aspects of the records, but a definitely scientific process, known only to the trained occultist.

19: Through concentrated meditation, the thought images in the minds of other people become apparent.

It should be remembered that the result of the eight means of yoga is to produce a yogi or trained knower. He is, therefore, one who concerns himself with causes and not with effects. He perceives that which causes the tangible to appear, that is the thoughts which start into motion the forces of substance and eventually produce the concretion of that substance.

The use of this power to read the minds of others is only permitted to the yogi in those cases where it is necessary for him to understand the causes, lying back of certain events, and this only in order to work out intelligently the plans of the Hierarchy and of evolution. The power here is analogous to that of telepathy but it is not identical. Telepathy entails the tuning in of one mind with another, and necessitates their being en rapport. This faculty of the trained seer is more in the nature of an act of the will and the manipulation of certain forces whereby he can instantly see what he wants in any aura at any time.

The subject of his investigation may be attuned to him or not; through intense meditation and the use of the will faculty thought images stand revealed. This power is a dangerous one to use and is only permitted to trained disciples.

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Excerpted from “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 3 – Union achieved and its Results”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Towards Freedom – The Corporeal

Unless you are some dis-incarnate being wandering through space-time it is likely that you are, as yet, corporeal. And this meatiness of being corporeal presents a major challenge for the times I live in. We have the new phenomenon of body dysmorphia and the ability to surgically alter outer appearance. Thanks to the availability of leisure time and high definition photography we are surrounded by images of people, bodies and food. Due to the decline of manual labour and the availability of food, for the first time in history, humanity has a problem with being overweight. The advances in modern medicine together with its magic bullet hint at an increased longevity and a panacea for old age. People can compare what they look like to those held to be exemplar and beautiful. The obsession with corporeal image is at the root of much unhappiness and dissatisfaction. The simple truth remains, as things stand, all humans face the prospect of growing old, losing their faculties and dying. It comes to us all. There is an identification with form, with body and a hypochondriacal worry about its workings and the imminence of death. People are shit scared of dying, by and large. This corporeal identification is a part of the fear, as well as fear of the unknown.

Are you your body or your thoughts?

This simple question points at the fact that the essence which makes you a being is more than either your body or your thoughts. It is possible to observe your body and let people stick needles in it. It is possible to observe your thoughts. This means that there is something more than these, something extra or maybe less, doing the observations, your essence. If a partial non-attachment is possible, then it follows that this degree of detachment might be enhanced, with practice. If you are going to vacate the form, the body and are unpractised, when the time comes it is going to be harder. Now here is the weird bit, many understand that they are not simply a body full of thoughts at an intellectual level, but that is as far as it goes. The thinking isn’t joined up, or clear.

If you are going to drive a car, then it is best that the car is looked after, serviced and checked out from time to time. There is nothing wrong with taking care of the form you inhabit, but when it becomes an obsession that is unhelpful. When you are continually worrying about the next MOT test, you can forget to live. It doesn’t matter if someone else has an Audi, you have the car you were born into. You can’t swap cars, but you might be able to add a spoiler and change the exhaust. So long as the car functions it can still get you from A to B, from birth to death. The car may have a few tantrums and with the help of a mechanic (doctor) you can get it back on the road again. Changing the badge on the car does not change what is inside the car or the car itself. When you get to B, you will have to leave the car at the breakers’ yard. There is no choice in this. It may be used for spare parts or simply torched or buried.

In order to have more freedom, it is necessary to lessen the corporeal attachment and reduce the levels of drama about both its appearance and how it works. Not everyone can run as fast as Bolt. The body has certain biological functions, and these are necessary, it has reproductive drive, it has hunger. Associated with these functions is a mass of mind stuff where the mind makes up a whole bunch of drama to indulge in. The primal reproductive desire is overlaid with pleasure seeking gratification and indulgence. People can fuck themselves stupid. To be free is to have these urges in balance and not to be slave to them. One must see them as they are and not as some glamorous thing, some competition. Remember freedom is increased by reducing the number of things which have power over you. If sexual lust controls you, there is no freedom, simply a commanding basal urge. 

In our antiseptic times there is a tremendous squeamishness about bodily function and phobias against bacteria. Whilst some prudence is good, it can get out of control. And to have a taboo about basic bodily function is to be hung up by them. Just like death we all have some commonality in the need of these. Anything which you have a hang up about, impinges on your freedom. To be precious is to be constrained. In the west we have the luxury of modern sanitation which renders life easy and lowers health hazards. Being a little more earthy about the body demystifies it and frees up. I am not going to delve into the psychology of bodily function here, but the mental drama so associated is widespread and unnatural. In this respect modern western living, largely detached as it is from nature, lends a hand to phobia.

If one over exercises in order to sculpt a body, there is a very real danger that body identification increases. This worry in comparison to others does not liberate. The wretched pass time of comparison is at the root of much dissatisfaction and suffering. You have the car you were born with, learn to appreciate it and treat it reasonably well. Find out what it can do instead of comparing it to the Joneses all the time.

If one has invested heavily in the body and the intellect thereof, the degree of attachment increases, as does the fear of loss. But if you are not your body or your thoughts, both of these are simply on loan and impermanent. Everyone knows that they will die, yet this emphatic evidence of corporeal impermanence is set to one side and ignored by most, at least for the first four decades or so. It is only when the body starts to malfunction and grumble that the reality of death starts to knock. The gift of a body is taken for granted and imagined eternal. 

 Along with materialism, corporeal obsession works to decrease freedom. If someone can take away your possessions, they can take away your life or injure your vehicle. Fear of this is rife. Thinking a little it follows that if fear has power over you, then you are not free. And so many human fears are associated with this, the corporeal. These meat fears and social faux pas fears both inhibit freedom.  I am not here advocating a reckless disregard, rather a decrease in identification with the form side of life. If your essence is not the form, then why be so overly concerned about the form? Treat it with some respect but do not let it dictate.

 The more control over your mind you gain, the clearer you see that the corporeal is not tantamount, it is not the be all and end all. Perhaps you can see the degree of interrelation of mind and body, beyond mind there is essence. It is with the essence that authenticity lies. Getting to this essential core does not happen overnight. Glimpses of it loosens corporeal obsession, which increases freedom. And when the time comes you are much more ready and willing to let go of the body. This transition is less fearful, and you don’t live with the cloud of fear overhanging.

In this sense the body is but a vehicle used to explore the earthly reality of our day-to-day world. It did not ought to be master. One can enjoy the use of the body but to over indulge in it is unhelpful. Equanimity arises out of an increasing objectivity, where corporeal function is seen for what it is and no more.  We are here to learn, and the means is corporeal.

Impulse and Incarnation

Excerpted from:

“A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Division D – Thought Elementals and Fire Elementals”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Perhaps light upon this very difficult question of the incarnating jivas, of adepts and of avatars may come if the student remembers that:

  1. An ordinary man demonstrates the third aspect of intelligent activity in his personality life, and is evolving consciously the second aspect, or the egoic manifestation on the physical plane.
  2. An adept in incarnation is demonstrating fully the second aspect as well as the third, and in his own internal life is in process of evolving the first aspect, or is endeavoring to bring through the monadic life into conscious activity on the buddhic plane.
  3. An avatar demonstrates one of two things, according to his peculiar karma:
    1. The pure light of the Monad, brought through by means of the perfected Ego and personality on to the physical plane. The line of force extends straight through from monadic levels to the physical.
    2. The light of the Logos Himself in one or other aspect, this being transmitted consciously via the Monad straight through to the physical plane from the planetary Logos, or even from the solar Logos Himself.

In the first two cases, desire for sentient existence, or desire for service to humanity, are the factors which produce physical manifestation (one through the force of evolution itself, the other through a conscious act of the will). Desire for sentient existence is but the latent second aspect seeking expression by means of the Not-Self, and in the other case the manifested second aspect consciously utilizes form as a means to an end. In the case of all avatars it is the will aspect which is brought into play, and which produces appearance – either the will of the perfected adept, such as the Buddha Himself, or (as in the case of the true Avatar, Who is, and Who has not achieved) the will of the planetary Logos or of the solar Logos, taking form for a specific purpose. It involves a higher display of the creative faculty than that displayed by the Adept in the creation of His body of manifestation, the Mayavirupa. 52 The terms “appropriation of a physical body” and “creation of a physical body” must be extended to include all the planes of the solar system, and not just our physical plane, the seventh subplane of the cosmic physical.

The causes which combine to produce incarnation, are seen to be three:

  1. Egoic impulse.
  2. The activity of the solar and lunar Angels.
  3. Karma, or the place which antecedent action plays in producing manifestation.

We can hardly dissociate them in the consideration of our subject owing to the innate constitution of the egoic body itself and the factor the indwelling consciousness plays in producing appearance through an act of will. Let us briefly, therefore, reconsider what we have learned anent the egoic body and its constitution, and then take up the steps followed by the Ego in producing results in the three worlds.

We have seen that on the third level of the mental plane, the egoic lotus is found and the student should picture it to himself as follows:

Concealed at the very center or heart of the lotus is a brilliant point of electric fire of a blue-white hue (the jewel in the lotus) surrounded, and completely hidden, by three closely folded petals. Around this central nucleus, or inner flame, are arranged the nine petals in circles of three petals each, making three circles in all. These petals are formed out of the substance of the solar angels, as are the central three, – substance which is not only sentient as is the substance of the forms in the three worlds and the lunar bodies, but which has an added quality of “I-ness” or of self-consciousness, enabling the spiritual unity at the center (by means of it) to acquire knowledge, awareness, and self-realization. These nine petals are of a predominant orange hue, though the six other colors are found as secondary colors in a varying degree. The inner three petals are of a lovely lemon-yellow hue. At the base of the lotus petals are the three points of light which mark the position of the permanent atoms, and which are the medium of communication between the solar Angels and the lunar Pitris. By means of these permanent atoms the Ego, according to its state of evolution can construct his lunar bodies, acquire knowledge on the lower three planes, and thus buy his experience, and becomes aware. On a higher turn of the spiral, the Monad through the egoic petals, and thus with the aid of the solar Angels, acquires knowledge and equally on more exalted levels becomes aware.

The light within these permanent atoms has a dull red glow and we have, therefore, all the three fires demonstrating in the causal body – electric fire at the center, solar fire enclosing it as the flame encloses the central nucleus or essence in a candle flame, and fire by friction, this latter fire resembling the glowing red wick which lies at the base of the higher flame.

These three types of fire on the mental plane – meeting and unified in the egoic body – produce in time a radiation or warmth which streams out from all sides of the lotus, and forms that spheroidal shape noted by investigators. The more fully developed the Ego may be, and the more the petals are unfolded, the greater the beauty of the surrounding sphere, and the more refined its coloring.


52 The Mayavirupa is literally the illusory form; it is the body of temporary manifestation which the Adept creates on occasion through the power of the will and in which He functions in order to make certain contacts on the physical plane and to engage in certain work for the race.

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At the early stages after individualization, the egoic body has the appearance of a bud. The electric fire at the center is not apparent, and all the nine petals are closed down upon the inner three; the orange color has a dead aspect and the three points of light at the base are just points and nothing more; the triangle which is later seen connecting the points is not demonstrated. The surrounding sphere is colorless and is only to be appreciated as undulatory vibrations (like waves in the air or ether) reaching barely beyond the petal outline.

By the time the third Initiation is reached, a wondrous transformation has transpired. The outer sphere is palpitating with every color in the rainbow, and is of wide radius; the streams of electrical energy circulating in it are so powerful that they are escaping beyond the periphery of the circle, resembling the rays of the sun. The nine petals are fully unfolded, forming a gracious setting for the central jewel, and their orange hue is now of a gorgeous translucence, shot with many colors, that of the egoic ray predominating. The triangle at the base is now quickened and scintillating, and the three points are small blazing fires, showing to the eye of the clairvoyant as sevenfold whorls of light, circulating their light from point to point of a rapidly moving triangle.

By the time the fourth Initiation is reached, the activity of this triangle is so great that it looks more like a wheel in rapid revolution. It has a fourth dimensional aspect. The three petals at the center are opening up, revealing the “blazing jewel.” At this initiation, through the action of the Hierophant wielding the electric Rod of Power, the three fires are suddenly stimulated by a downflow of electric, or positive force, from the Monad, and their blazing out in response produces that merging which destroys the entire sphere, dissipates all appearance of form, and produces a moment of equilibrium, or of suspension, in which the “elements are consumed with fervent heat.” The moment of highest radiation is known. Then – through the pronouncement of a certain Word of Power – the great solar Angels gather back into themselves the solar fire, thus producing the final dissipation of the form, and hence the separation of the life from the form; the fire of matter returns to the general reservoir, and the permanent atoms and the causal body are no more. The central electric fire becomes centralized in atma-buddhi. The Thinker or spiritual entity stands free of the three worlds, and functions consciously on the buddhic plane. Between these two stages of quiescent (though self-conscious) inertia and of that radiant activity which produces a balancing of forces, is a long series of lives.

In our consideration of the subject of the reincarnating jivas, we have touched upon three subjects:

  1. Avatars, with the intent of disposing of the confusion in the minds of students as to certain types of appearances. In our present study we shall deal only with the process followed by ordinary men.
  2. Pralayas, with the intent of arousing in the mind of the student the idea of interludes of quiescence dependent upon the intervening periods of activity.
  3. The appearance of the body egoic and its general conformation, with the intent of awakening the realization of the student to the fact that evolution affects that body also, and not only man’s forms in the three worlds. The effects of the process are interdependent, and as the lower self develops, or the personality becomes more active and intelligent, results are produced in the higher body. As these effects are cumulative, and not ephemeral as are the lower results, the egoic body becomes equally more active and its manifestation of energy is increased. Towards the close of the evolutionary period in the three worlds a constant interchange of energy is seen to be taking place; the lower forms become irradiated with light, and reflect the higher radiance; the egoic body is the Sun of the lower system, and its bodies reflect its rays, as the moon reflects the light of the solar sun. Similarly the egoic Sun, – through the interaction – shines with ever greater intensity and glory. On the higher levels a similar interaction takes place for a brief period between the Monad and its reflection the Ego, but only in the coming solar system will this interaction be carried to its logical conclusion.

Having, therefore, very briefly dealt with these three topics, we can now proceed to consider the process followed by the Ego when seeking manifestation in the three worlds. Let us endeavor in our thoughts to interpret all these processes in terms of energy and of force.

The old Commentary says:

“When the Spark is touched to the four wicks, and when spiritual Fire in its threefold essence meets with that which is combustible, the Flame bursts forth. Faint the flicker at the first appearing, and near to death it seems, but the wicks smolder and glow, and the heat is retained. This is cycle the first, and is called that of the glowing wheel.

The flicker grows into a tiny flame and the four wicks burn, but are not consumed, for the heat does not suffice. The light of these three fires is yet so small that the cave is not illumined. Nevertheless, the flame and the essential heat can be felt by the One Who approaches and watches. This is the second cycle, and is called that of the warming wheel.

The tiny flame becomes a lighted lamp. The fire flares up, but much smoke is there, for the wicks are burning fast, and the heat suffices for their quick destruction. The lamp, set in the midst of darkness, makes the thick blackness manifest itself; the light and warmth are felt. This, the third cycle, is called that of the lighted wheel.

The four wicks and the flame appear as one, and nearly all the smoke is gone, for flame is mostly seen. The cave itself is lighted up, though the lamp is yet apparent. Cycle the fourth is called the hour of the flaming wheel.

The final cycle comes when even the lamp itself is burned, destroyed through the intensity of heat. The One Who watches, seeing the work accomplished, fans the central point of fire and produces a sudden flaming. The wicks are naught – the flame is all. This, so the Sacred Science says, is called the cycle of the wheel consumed.”

Here in the arcane symbology is hid (in terms of energy and of radiant activity) the whole secret of egoic energy, and of impulse making its presence felt in the substance of the lower planes; the student should interpret the above sentences both macrocosmically and microcosmically. In all manifestation, the originating impulse comes from the first aspect which is hidden at the heart of the egoic lotus, but this hidden Identity works under law, and in the earlier stages (the first three cycles) the process goes on under the Law of Economy, which is the law of substance itself; in the final two cycles this law becomes merged (though not superseded, being still potent) with the Law of Attraction, which is the fundamental law of the divine Self. It is the failure to realize this which has resulted in the confusion existing in the minds of many metaphysicians as to which demonstrated first, desire or will, and as to the distinction between them, between impulse and purpose, and between instinct and intention. In the earlier stages man reincarnates under the Law of Economy, and though the will aspect lies back of the process, yet for a long time it is the pull of sensation and its reflex in consciousness, desire, which produces rebirth. Sensation, being a quality in matter or substance, the Self in the beginning identifies Itself with sensation. Later, when the Self is beginning to, identify Itself with Itself, and to recognize the nature of the Not-Self, the Law of Attraction and Repulsion becomes more active, and conscious will and purpose are displayed. Here it should be remembered that a profound difference in time and space exists between the Logos, or Macrocosm, and Man, the Microcosm. Average man comes into incarnation through egoic impulse, based on desire and on the relation of the second aspect to the third aspect or of the Self to the Not-Self. He will eventually bring about (through evolution) the revelation of the first aspect, and then egoic impulse (based on conscious mental apprehension of the purpose in view) will be the dominant factor, and will demonstrate through a definite will to act. In connection with the Logos, the first stage has been left far behind, and logoic manifestation is based on will and purpose and on conscious intelligent activity. The reason for this is that the Logos, and the planetary Logoi likewise, are on the path of cosmic initiation.

Therefore, though the originating impulse comes from the central point, it is not at first apparent. At the moment of individualization, the dim outline of a form such as earlier described has made its appearance on mental levels, and (which is a point not as yet recognized by students) it becomes apparent that a period on mental levels has transpired given over to a preparation for the imminent event. Through the activity of the solar Angels the twelve petals have gradually taken form, as the point of electric fire at the heart has begun to make itself felt even though not as yet localized. Then the first three petals take shape, and close down upon the vibrant point, or “jewel” under the potency of the Law of Attraction. One by one the nine other petals take shape as the vibrations begin to affect solar substance, the three types of petals being each under the influence of one or other of the major Rays; these, in their turn, come under the influence of force from cosmic centers.

As earlier said, these petals form a bud, each being closely folded. Only faint vibrations are to be seen pulsating in the bud, just enough to testify to its being a living organism. Shadowy and dim can the ring-pass-not be seen, the encircling limit of the activity of the coming Consciousness. It is an ovoid or sphere, and very small as yet. This process of forming the egoic lotus has gone on silently from the moment that the lower animal man, or the lower four principles, had reached a point where the energy (generated by him) could begin to make itself felt on mental levels. When the fire of the lower prepared sheaths (the threefold fire of substance itself) becomes radioactive, this nebulous appearance on the third subplane of the mental plane begins to be organized, as the result of the downward pull of the higher by the lower, and as the response of the Spirit aspect to the radiations, or attraction, of matter. But individualization as we understand it is not yet effected. This process of radioactivity on the part of the lower, and of a downflow of energy from the higher, covers a long period wherein the solar Angels are working on Their Own plane and the lower Pitris are also working on theirs; one group is producing the nucleus of the egoic body, and the other the receptacle for the life of God, or the Monad in the three worlds.

Then comes a set time in the life of the planetary Logos wherein His centers become active in a particular manner; this is coincident with the incarnation of the Monads, and their descent into the three worlds. A systemic triangle is formed (for ever the three produce the seven), and through this setting loose of threefold energy, the work of the solar and lunar Pitris is coordinated, and the three permanent atoms are appropriated by the jiva concerned, and appear at the base of the egoic lotus. Individualization has taken place and the work of at-one-ment is completed; the fourth kingdom in nature is a “fait accompli;” the Monad has clothed itself in material sheaths, and the self conscious unit appears on the physical plane. If all that H. P. B. has to say anent the first three rounds of our Earth scheme is read as dealing with the period of condensation of the causal body upon the mental level, and as covering the time leading up to the appearance in the fourth round of man as we now have him, some light may be thrown upon this difficult matter.

The egoic lotuses can be seen grouped together, and each of them forms part of a group. These groups in their turn form part of a vaster lotus which embodies the consciousness of a still greater Entity whose “jewel” may be found on the second subplane. All these in their turn may be divided into seven fundamental groups. These seven groups or aggregates of egoic lotuses form the seven types of consciousness of those Entities Who are the seven centers of force for our own planetary Logos. These seven in their turn will be synthesized on higher levels into the three higher centers, till the entire energy and force which they represent is gathered up, and absorbed by the center corresponding to the highest head center of the planetary Logos. Each Logos embodies one type of cosmic energy. Each of His centers embodies this type of energy in one of its seven differentiations. Each of these seven in turn manifests through egoic groups, and these again are composed of those points of energy we call Egos.

These multitudes of egoic groups form a radiant interlocking whole, though all are diverse and differing, both as to their point of development, and their secondary coloring. Just as the petals in the egoic lotus of the incarnating jivas unfold in differing order and at different periods, so the egoic groups also unfold diversely as to time and sequence. This produces a wonderful appearance. Again just as the Master can (by studying the group or larger lotus of which He is a part), ascertain the condition of the human units who go to its constitution, so the planetary Logos can ascertain through conscious identification (note the term) the condition of the various groups through whom His work must be accomplished.

It will now be apparent to the student that the appearance of the incarnating jivas on the physical plane will be governed by three things:

  • First of all, on impulse based on the will-purpose of the Life animating the aggregate of groups on any subray, or one of the seven larger groups.
  • Second, on impulse based on the will, tinged by desire, of the Life animating a man’s egoic group.
  • Third, on impulse, based on the desire of the Ego for physical plane manifestation.

As identification of a man with his group becomes matured the desire impulse becomes modified until it is eventually superseded by group will. If these facts are pondered upon it will be apparent that Egos come into incarnation therefore not singly but according to group urge, and thus collectively. This is the basis of collective karma, and of family karma. The individual urge, which is, of course, a reaction to group urge, is the result of personal karma. Hence, though we may by these reflections, have thrown some light upon this question of reincarnation, we have nevertheless said much to increase the magnitude of the question, and its complexity. Average man is confined to the use of the physical brain, and is, therefore, unable to think in group terms.

This egoic impulse in any group or any group unit makes itself felt as a pulsation, or access of energy, emanating from the central point. This central activity is produced by the action of the planetary Logos working through the groups in His centers, and according to the center under stimulation so will the groups concerned be affected. Beyond mentioning this fact, we cannot enlarge, for the subject is stupendous, and beyond a man’s comprehension; it is only necessary for him to appreciate his dependence in this matter upon the planetary Logos.

From the group center, therefore, emanates an urge to renewed activity, and this spreads throughout the group lotus until the units who respond to that particular ray vibration occultly “awaken.” All this time (as far as the jivas are concerned) this aspect of force has been that of the first aspect, and has passed from the central points to other central points. The positive nuclei in each case are affected by this flashing forth of electric fire, or energy. Each point concerned responds by a primary contraction followed by an outgoing or expansive display of energy. Each Identity concerned proceeds to sound a WORD. This sound expands into a mantram and the solar angels vibrate in response. There is a point of interest to be noted here.

  1. The first aspect works through a Word of Power.
  2. The second aspect works through mantric combinations.
  3. The third aspect works through mathematical formulas.

Having sounded the Word the first aspect, represented by the electric fire at the center of the lotus, sinks back into quiescence, and becomes an abstraction as far as the self-conscious unit is concerned. The work has been begun, the necessary vibration has been set up, and the whole process then proceeds under law. The solar angels have begun their activity, and until their work has reached a very high stage, the Spirit aspect must become, in the causal body, an analogy to the Silent Watcher. As the solar Angels continue sounding out the mantram, which is the basis of their work, the lunar Pitris respond to certain sounds in that mantram (not to all by any means at first) and gather out of those sounds the formula under which their work must proceed. So the Word is the basis of the mantram, and the mantram is the basis of the formula.

At each incarnation, finer forms are required, and the formulas therefore grow more complicated, and the sounds on which they are based become more numerous. In time, the formulas are completed, and the lunar Pitris respond no more to the sounds or mantrams chanted on the mental plane. This is indicative of the stage of perfection, and shows that the three worlds have no more a downward pull for the jiva concerned. Desire for lower manifestation and experience has no more sway, and only conscious purpose is left. Then, and only then, can the true Mayavirupa be constructed; the Master then sounds the mantram for Himself, and builds without formulas in the three worlds. At the time too that man begins to tread the Probationary Path, the mantrams of the solar Angels begin to die down, and slowly (as the petals of the inner circle open up) the true Word emerges until the three enshrining petals burst open, and the central spark is revealed. Then the Word is fully known, and mantrams and formulas have no further use. Thus is the beauty of the scheme revealed. When the planetary Logos is concerned, the Word sounded on cosmic levels is being resolved into mantrams on the cosmic etheric planes, for He is in a position to create consciously on those levels; He works nevertheless through formulas on the dense physical planes of His scheme, our three worlds of endeavor.

To return to the reincarnating jivas: When the initiatory impulse has been given, the vibration thrills through the petals, and activity starts in those of them which respond to the note of that Word. The solar Angels direct the vibration, and the mantram for that particular type of Ego is begun. Finally the vibration reaches the mental unit at the base of the lotus bud, and the lunar Pitris are called into activity. They begin to work out their formulas for the particular type of vehicle which is required.

Memory Restoration

“Since time immemorial, humans have tried to understand what memory is, how it works and why it goes wrong. It is an important part of what makes us truly human, and yet it is one of the most elusive and misunderstood of human attributes.

It seems that our memory is located not in one particular place in the brain, but is instead a brain-wide process in which several different areas of the brain act in conjunction with one another (sometimes referred to as distributed processing). For example, the simple act of riding a bike is actively and seamlessly reconstructed by the brain from many different areas: the memory of how to operate the bike comes from one area, the memory of how to get from here to the end of the block comes from another, the memory of biking safety rules from another, and that nervous feeling when a car veers dangerously close comes from still another. Each element of a memory (sights, sounds, words, emotions) is encoded in the same part of the brain that originally created that fragment (visual cortex, motor cortex, language area, etc), and recall of a memory effectively reactivates the neural patterns generated during the original encoding. Thus, a better image might be that of a complex web, in which the threads symbolize the various elements of a memory, that join at nodes or intersection points to form a whole rounded memory of a person, object or event. This kind of distributed memory ensures that even if part of the brain is damaged, some parts of an experience may still remain. Neurologists are only beginning to understand how the parts are reassembled into a coherent whole.

Neither is memory a single unitary process but there are different types of memory. Our short term and long-term memories are encoded and stored in different ways and in different parts of the brain, for reasons that we are only beginning to guess at. Years of case studies of patients suffering from accidents and brain-related diseases and other disorders (especially in elderly persons) have begun to indicate some of the complexities of the memory processes, and great strides have been made in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, but many of the exact mechanisms involved remain elusive.”

Excerpted from Human-memory.net

Elsewhere in this blog I have hypothesised some kind of partial memory recall from previous incarnations. Such a thing is impossible if all memory function is brain only, because on death and subsequently the brain ceases to function and be. Using the esoteric psychology of the personality, comprised of physical vehicle, vital-etheric, astral and mental vehicles, these too fade in time. So, for memory to be stored and carried over it must be stored or imprinted in the causal vehicle or in other words the dreamer. It cannot be material and made of matter. It probably cannot be stored like in a neural brain web. There must be some other mechanism.

It was suggested to me that when I encountered the Toltec Teachings this time around, I had had some prior, previous life training, because I picked them up quickly. My memory was in a way restored and grounded into the physical vehicle. Those teachings once again became mind resident. I could hypothesise that a similar thing happened with Buddhism. It is unlikely that the detail is stored but the propensity might be. I suspect that tulkus who undergo training at the monastery are having their memory restored and I guess that the training is warp speed and relentless.

I have done a lot of working, dreaming practise and the master in the heart med., to encourage a linkage with my causal vehicle or dreamer and to hand over control of the steering wheel, so to speak, to it.

I have read a lot of esoteric stuff and it seemed to stick quickly. In reading some of the published material on say kabala, I know that it is both wrongly presented and inaccurately explained, there is a lot of wishful thinking and flowery extrapolation. As a test I once went through one of Crowley’s extensive tabulations of correspondences, intuitively I could see that much made sense and corresponded but that there were glaring errors.

I am a trained researcher of some intellect. My pattern recognition is good.

I’ll speculate that in order for “memory” to be stored in anyway in the causal vehicle the personality vehicle must be on the way to or already partially Soul infused. The more the Soul infusion has taken place the more likely there is a capacity to encode “memory” into the causal vehicle. If someone has worked at Soul infusion then it is more likely that in a subsequent incarnation, they will seek out the same teachings so as to finish the job, to pick up from where they left off.

In Buddhism there is the phenomenon of stream-entry, sotāpanna.

“The word sotāpanna literally means “one who entered (āpanna) the stream (sota), stream-enterer”, after a metaphor which calls the noble eightfold path a stream which leads to vast ocean, nibbāna. Entering the stream (sotāpatti) is the first of the four stages of enlightenment.”

Such a being would on each incarnation be becoming more and more Soul infused and then gain the so-called special knowledge of pubbe-nivāsanussati.

“Remember one’s former abodes” (pubbe-nivāsanussati), causal memory, that is, recalling one’s own past lives;”

One could say that there is textual and traditional precedent for such a thing to occur.

It is impossible to prove that I have memories from former abodes, because nobody alive in the same body today was alive when these “occurred”. With a Tibetan tulku, given that they reincarnate swiftly after death, it is possible that a being could experience someone, some Soul, in two different bodies.

I am wondering this morning if because humanity is so enamoured with its fancy machines and statistics that it is looking in the wrong place to understand memory. Looking elsewhere we might shed some light on dementia.

Hmnn..

“and great strides have been made in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, but many of the exact mechanisms involved remain elusive.”

Malta, Sicily and Déjà Vu

The dream which I had this morning is consistent with the hypothesis of my putative life, two lifetimes ago. This life was based in France but had elements of travel to the Holy Land for purposes of crusade and the acquisition of knowledge.

In this lifetime I was an ordained priest, a scholar and also a trained warrior. I was very often accompanied by the same man who was my confidant and assistant. His name was Cédric. The life involved sailing from somewhere near Perpignan on occasion, but was based further North, in a green land and near a watermill. There was a small village, a church and a mill race. When the normal village priest was away on business, I would stand in for him at the church.

As a child when I flew from Zambia to boarding school in England it was customary and necessary to stop on the way for fuel. On my first such flight, barely aged 10 by a day or so, we landed in Malta at dawn. I woke my mother who was taking me that first time to school and remarked at the beauty of the dawn over Malta. I was also having a truly massive attack of déjà vu. Somehow, I knew this place. I have been back a couple of times as a tourist. It feels so darned familiar. A similar baseball bat strike of déjà vu hit me when I went to Erice in Sicily for the first time. Bam! I have been here before…Bam!

Visions possibly associated with this life broke through a little after the Buddhist ones. There was an arrival by sea to Malta. There was study on the misty mountain top at Erice. I was in some kind of liaison role and for whatever reason I was generally acceptable to both the “Arabs” and the Jewish kabbalists, from whom we sought knowledge.

All was fine until one time me and a small band of fellow travellers got captured by a rogue group and paraded through the town, virtually naked. They took our chain mail and our white tunics with the rosy cross. It was a sea-front town, a small port, which they had recently captured. Everywhere there were torches burning some kind of dense tar like substance. The smell was powerful, almost noxious, the noise of celebration and “music” was loud. They led us down to a beach. There was much argument about what to do with us. They tied us to makeshift wooden crosses. They lit a big fire on the beach. They then inverted the crosses and placed them in the sand. They only did a few of us like this. The others sat huddled, praying and watched.

They, our captors, danced around the fire whooping and hollering in victory. The smell of the tar, the bitumen, burning was intense. It was difficult to remain conscious upside down. So, I drifted in and out.

When they were bored of the dancing they came over to us swearing, mocking and cursing. My wounds sustained in the capture were unstitched and much blood had run out of me. They prodded us with spears to antagonise, not to puncture. Some whipped us. The frenzy of the torment raised up a notch and they started to break the skin. They slit my throat. I can feel it now.

Soon I was above the beach looking down. I could see the fires and the half-crazed victors. I saw them moving towards the others and then I looked up and there were stars. Lots of stars.

The smell was at last gone.

Medieval Vestment Dream 18-09-21

Here is this morning’s dream it is in stark contrast to the subject matter I was researching last night.

It feels like the 12th or 13th century. We are both on horseback, my companion and I. He is something like a batman to me. We are not wearing our usual uniform with the rose cross. We are simply adorned in chain mail and are carrying battle axes. Our swords are in scabbards around our belts. Under my mail I have a vestment which is a sacred relic. I explain to my companion that the best way to attack with a battle-axe is from slightly behind, one needs to manoeuvre the opposition to be in front by pulling back on the reigns of the horse.

We have to get the vestment over the border and into the protection of the bishopric. We are being pursued and our pursuers are gaining on us, but we are close to the border and the pursuers will not dare breech it. I decide that my companion needs to make a loud diversion whilst I slope off into the forest, there is a path known to me there which leads to a wall in which I can hide the vestment. My companion giddies up the horse and heads off into the distance making a lot of noise. I slip off the trail and into the wood quietly. Soon I pick up the path I know. I arrive at the clearing and by the wall I dismount. I am over the border and at the edge of the bishopric. I remove my mail and secrete the vestment in the wall. It is yellow and red and highly ornate. It is by way of a waistcoat to be worn over a priest’s robes. It is not mine, but it has been OK for me to carry it because I have been ordained.

As agreed, I rendezvous with my companion in the local town, and we go off to see the bishop there to acquire a guard of men and with which we will retrieve the garment. The setting feels like England, but it could well be Breton. It is green, verdant and pleasant.

When I awake this dream is very reminiscent of a lifetime two lifetimes ago.

Saw Some Zürich Number Plates…

On the way taking the bamboo to the tip today I saw a car with Zürich number plates. This is unusual we get a lot of VD, VS and the odd GE but this is the first Zürich plate I have seen. It makes sense for the francophone cantons to visit. Of course, most people from Switzerland are very adept at language.

Coincidence or thematic linkage to my dream?

I have been following the threads from the thesis which point at Annie Besant, Jiddu Krishnamurti and to Giordano Bruno. These naturally led also to Rudolph Steiner. I was astounded to learn that Steiner had given a series of talks a Penmaenmawr in 1923!! There were rumours that Besant was the reincarnation of Bruno and for a while Krishnamurti was touted as the voice of the World Teacher. Besant spoke on the subject of Bruno at the Sorbonne!!

I seriously thought about teaching in a Steiner school and later at one founded by Krishnamurti. I got close enough to have a pre-interview interview at the Steiner school. It was a tad freeform for my liking, but the people were very nice.

It seems the theosophists played a major role in the promulgation of ideas and the promotion of education, several large auditoria, including the Holywood bowl are down to them, apparently.

It seems wherever one goes the foibles of the human personality and interpersonal politics are to be found.

It has been interesting re-visiting these spaces.

Back at home…

The river has risen nearly three feet in under an hour and the runoff from Menez Bre will still be on its way here…chances are the bridge will be submerged before darkness falls.

It has been nice to have some thunder and lightning…

But please can you ease up on the rain for a bit?