What Happens To Us After
Martin Euser (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Revision 3.1; March, 2000
[This article used
with the express permission of the author.]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Traditional views of
death don't encourage us to think about it
- Why knowledge of the
processes of death is useful
- Man: a stream of
- Death is a gradual
- After-death states
according to Theosophy
- How can one verify the
given information oneself?
The subject of this article is the
discussion of death and the process of dying.
Invaluable information will be given about life and death, from
Theosophical sources, and a way will be shown how to verify the given
information. This verification is possible because sleep and death are
virtually identical processes, a subject about which you can read more
in section 7.
The connecting thread throughout this article will be the concept of
man as a stream of life-consciousness, using various vehicles
('souls') for manifestation of this stream. For an extensive
discussion about this concept I kindly refer the reader to my article
'The psychological key to man', also available at this server site.
Traditional views of death don't
encourage us to think about it
In Western culture death is largely a
taboo subject. Most of us don't like to think about the fact that one
day we will die. Many people hold to the point of view that we live
only once, and that after death there is either an eternal 'heaven' or
'hell' or there is 'nothing' at all.
Both these points of view are something of 'an easy solution'. If we
have some fixed prospect then there is no need anymore to think about
Philosophically speaking, the concept of 'heaven' and 'hell' as static
states is a bit childish. Nature herself shows that everything is in a
constant change of flux, motion, change. Change is the essence of
Plato provides some interesting food for thought in his Phaedo.
Socrates argues in that dialogue that everywhere in nature we can
observe the play of opposites: day and night, sleeping and waking,
life and death, etc. Regarding the pairs of opposites he notes that
everything has the possibility to pass into its opposite state. Every
pair of opposites has transitionary forms, e.g. good and bad have as
transitions: getting better and getting worse. Night comes forth out
of day via twilight, and day comes forth out of night via dawn.
Sleep comes forth out of being awake and being awake out of sleep.
With each of these pairs of opposites one can find transitionary
states or forms. Moreover, one can understand that these opposites and
transitional forms are always a state of something and that the
appearance of this something is only a transition from one state to
If this applies to all pairs of opposites then the question arises
whether life and death are also such a pair of opposites. If so, then
it would be logical that there are transitionary states for life and
death too. Death is certainly opposite to manifest life, so let's
start searching for transitionary states. One gets into life through
birth. One gets into the state of death by dying. One can only die
because one lives now. Analogous, one can only get into life because
one has been dead before.
Conclusion: life and death come forth out of each other and pass into
each other via transitional states. A very plausible reasoning indeed!
One has only to observe the processes of nature to see endless cycles
going on and on.
The key question is what is it exactly that is going through these
changing states? Answer: it is CONSCIOUSNESS.
Man is consciousness, and specifically gifted with the power of
reflection, thinking. The personality (persona = mask) is a temporary
vehicle builded by the real human monad in order to express itself on
the outer planes of life. The higher aspects of thinking can be
brought into expression on this outer planes too, thereby providing
the means of verifying the truth of reincarnation, or, as some prefer
to call it: palingenesis. See section 7.
Why knowledge of the processes of
death is useful
The conclusion of the foregoing section
is that any real knowledge of the process of dying and the after-death
states, in fact of LIFE ITSELF, is lacking in this world.
Yet, we can find certain clues in some religions as to what happens
when we die (see section 6). Since the old Wisdom-Religion was
reframed in Theosophy by H.P. Blavatsky, we are given a lot of
valuable knowledge about death and the processes involved. Now, having
said that this information is available to this world, this doesn't
imply blind belief! Rather, Theosophy encourages everybody to
investigate the processes of nature and the structure of the universe
him/herself. How this can be done is briefly outlined in section 7.
Besides satisfying our curiosity, knowledge of the processes of death
is really knowledge about the processes of life itself and about the
structure of the universe. Why is this so? Because life and death are,
contrary to how we ordinarily see them, two phases of an ever
recurring type of cycle in nature: the cycle of manifestation
of consciousness on the outer planes of life, preceded and followed by
the withdrawal of consciousness from the outer into the inner planes
This cycle can be described as:
birth, outer life, death, inner life, reincarnation.
Now, if we proceed from the viewpoint of reincarnation, then naturally
the question rises what/how/who will we be in our next life. In what
circumstances will we be born? These may seem interesting questions -
indeed they are to a certain extent - but the most important question
is: what will be our character in our next life? Why is this
such an important issue? Because our character is a decisive factor,
not only regarding which family we will feel attracted to, but also
how our entire look upon life will be and how we will live our lives.
I tried to explain questions of character and how to refine it by
developing one's higher faculties in a previous article (theosophy
basics, part 2).
The point is, that we ourselves decide NOW what our character will be
in our next life! By necessity, our character in its main aspects
cannot differ very much from the character we have build during this
lifetime. So we have to work now at ourselves, get some
feeling for what we really are, deep inside and bring some spiritual
light into our character and express it in our life. No one else will
do that for us. You can't buy a wholesome character. The only way to
develop it is through selfless service and trying to understand the
deep meaning of life and death.
One of the 'tricks' is starting to live in the NOW, to just be
yourself, dynamically doing what we feel and understand is necessary
to do and go on. Don't expect too much fruits of your labor. Your mind
will get trapped in expectations (a form of attachment!). If you get a
feeling for this, your life will gradually change into a more holistic
one. You will feel more connected to the whole, the supreme spirit,
including mankind. Your appreciation of nature and her wondrous works
might raise considerably.
So, knowledge of the processes of death is really knowledge about the
processes of Life and is important for one's everyday life.
As your understanding of the inner states of life and consciousness,
and how these connect to daily life expands, verification of the
information that is provided here, and in my other articles, becomes
possible. See also section 7.
Man: a stream of consciousness; the
composite constitution of man.
For reference purposes I repeat the
egg-scheme from my second article about Theosophy, (available on this
WWW-site), titled: 'the psychological key to man'.
Some short comments will be added here.
World of Archetypes ----------|-----------------------------------------
(Several planes/spheres) | <--------/ / / / Supreme Spirit(Logos)
----------|----------/ | -----| | -------------
| / | | |
Vehicular aspect | / | | | Consciousness
of Life | / | | | aspect of Life
( | ) / | | |
( | )/ | | |
( *|* / ) | | |
( * | * ) | | |
( * | * ) | | |
Divine (-----------------------) | | | Divine Ego
Soul ( * | * / | |
( * | * / ) | |
( *|* / ) | |
( | / ) | |
( %|% / ) | |
( % | % <--/ ) | |
Spiritual (----------------------------------) / | Spiritual Ego
Soul ( % | % ) / |
( %|% / |
( | /) |
( +|+ <-----------/ ) / Higher
Higher (------------ +-|-+ -------------) / Human ego
Human Soul ( +|+ ) / (individual ego)
( | __________________/ "I am" (human monad)
( -|- / )
Human Soul (--------- - | - ----------) (Lower) Human, personal, ego
( -|- ) = Reincarnating ego (ray from human monad)
( | ) "I am I" (personality)
Animal Soul (--------#|#---------)
( #|# ) Animal ego
( | )
( | )
Physical Soul (-----X------) Body
Model-body, ( | )
body ( | )
A short clarification:
The circles within the egg-scheme symbolize so-called 'monads': sparks
of the universal life-force. These are pure spirit. The stream of
consciousness, that flows from the Supreme Spirit (Logos) at the top
of our hierarchy (= most spiritual level in our hierarchy) down
to the 'grosser' states of consciousness-matter manifests itself
through pairs of souls/ego's.
A soul is a 'carrier' of consciousness, and can be conceived of as a
psycho-spiritual-electromagnetic field, consisting of units that are
called 'life-atoms'. The lowest class of life-atoms have the chemical
atoms as their physical embodiment.
An ego is a center of consciousness, a facet of the stream of
consciousness, using an appropriate soul to express itself on or in
the corresponding plane of life, psychic, mental, spiritual and
physical. The soul/ego pairs arise out of the interfacing of spirit
One's personal consciousness is centered in the personal ego. The
reincarnating, personal, ego emanated by the personal, human, monad,
contains a ray of consciousness emanated from this higher, or true
human monad. This is one of the mysteries of the human being: his
thinking faculty is dual in character. Man can concentrate his
thinking on almost exclusively personal affairs, but on the other hand
s/he can direct his/her attention on high ideals, giving expression to
The higher human monad has evolved the thinking faculty to an almost
perfect degree and the faculty of understanding, the enlightenment
principle, to a reasonable degree.
Death occurs as the link between the personal soul/ego and the parent
soul/ego, the higher human ego/soul, is broken. The reason for this
break is simple: the old 'vehicles' are no longer useful, nay, become
an impediment for the parent ego to manifest its qualities. Time to
Somewhat rephrased: the 'voltage' has become too high for the lower
vehicles to bear. Rememember, the stream of consciousness is a mighty
vital, psycho-magnetic stream, the 'voltage' of which must be stepped
down all along from the divine planes or states to the grosser states.
One point is exceedingly important to keep in mind when we
study schemes such as the above: we should not separate all the
planes, states of consciousness, ego's, etc. in any absolute
sense. In reality, all these seven states interpenetrate each other,
giving rise for example, to the sevenfold division of thinking
I discussed at length in my previous article. In other words: the
small mirrors the large in some respect. The small contains elements
of the whole! As above, so below. The old Hermetic axiom (a master key
to understanding !).
Because one IS the seven principles of manifestation (see table in my
previous article), one does not have to look somewhere else (outside
of oneself) for 'enlightenment', etc. One is also what/how one thinks
(compare the writings of Marcus Aurelius). Realize your potential and
just BE yourself, not forcing yourself into a cramped mental state.
Use the faculty, power, of Imagination to form detailed images of
Siblinghood, Brotherhood, Sisterhood, cooperation, etc, and these
images will concretize into a living reality, touching the minds of
those who are spiritual seekers. You will have to act on these
ideas too, of course. A persistent effort and discipline is required
for holding this pattern of cooperation steady in your mind. Remember
also: thoughts are living beings!
As to the name 'egg-scheme' I could add that it is derived from the
concept (and reality) of the auric egg, which was a secret teaching
among the Brahmans. The auric egg is the basis for the commonly known
human aura, which last one is only it's grossest form! More info about
this mysterious subject can be found in the esoteric instructions of
Godfried the Purucker (see lit. #3b).
Death is a gradual process
What happens near the end of our life?
To answer this question we should first of all recognize the fact that
we feel a certain attraction to outer life. We want to play our role
on the stage of this world. The stream of consciousness manifests
itself because there is a certain characteristic within this stream
that is attracted to the outer planes of life. If one is honest with
himself then he can easily be aware of this fact.
In the course of life this attraction gets a bit less strong. We have
witnessed many events and see a repetition of the same old patterns
over and over again, wherever we look. The attraction to the inner
planes or states in the stream of consciousness gets stronger for us.
Bit by bit we loose the interest in outer life. We start having
periods of absentmindedness. The stream of consciousness flashes up
and down, so to speak, between the outer and inner planes or states of
consciousness. The 'turning point' has been reached for our personal
This period of the lessening of our attraction to outer life usually
takes a couple of months, varying with each individual of course. One
more word about the stream of consciousness: this stream is a strong
psycho-magnetic vital current that is being transformed by each of the
vehicles (souls) it uses to manifest itself. Each vehicle or sheath is
similar to a resistance or fuse in an electrical circuit. When the
body, the outer vehicle, wears, it will breakdown in the end. The fuse
melts.. The stream is interrupted. Compare an ordinary lightbulb. A
similar process is going on there (a crude analogy).
This break occurs between the personal human soul and the higher human
soul (see egg-scheme). Now that the lower or more outward vehicles are
not longer fed by the energy of the stream of life-consciousness,
these vehicles start disintegrating. The 'overlord' (the higher human
soul) doesn't hold the composing cells any longer together..
This leads us to the consideration of after-death states.
After-death states according
The following info about the processes
of death will be a bit sketchy. A mere outline will be given here. I
refer the interested reader to the esoteric instructions of Dr.
Gottfried de Purucker (lit. #3a) where one can find more details. One
thing that I don't discuss here is the presence of spiritual guides
for the just deceased. Let's just say that I know there are such
guides on the subtle planes to help the confused dead, whether it is
in times of disaster or not. Of course there are invisible helpers,
also helping people where possible while they are still alive on this
The last couple of hours before brain-death are spent on the so-called
'panoramic vision', a process that involves the review of the life
about to be ended. This review is like an extremely accelerated movie
of all the events of life, seen in the light of the CAUSES behind
This ego will see how others have experienced his actions, thoughts,
etc., brought about by the state of consciousness it is then in for
the moment. Normally, we are not very perceptive to the causes behind
events, and it is at this transition period from physical life to
after-death states that the 'personal' ego finds itself in this
altered state of consciousness.
The personal human ego sees the justice of all that has happened and
is able to understand its past life in the light of karma or the
correlation of cause and effect. (But see also my remark about
collective karma later on in this section) You could call this
panoramic vision a teaching or instruction for the personal human ego.
After physical death of a person there's the following situation:
- There is the physical body which is
decomposing. The model body, sometimes called: 'etheric' body or
linga-sharira is decomposing as well.
- The personal (lower human) soul and
animal soul are separated from the physical and model body. They are
clothed in a kind of astral body. Together this complex is called: 'kama
rupa' (kama=desire, rupa=body or form; hence: body of desire). The
lower human soul 'floats' in the kama-rupa, so to speak. More
discussion about this complex will follow shortly.
- The two highest monads that were
connected to the personal egoic center of consciousness (through
their radiance or rays) follow their own pathways along what is
called the circulations of the cosmos: the divine monad withdraws,
flashes back to its parent-star from which it is a ray, the
spiritual monad starts its travel through the solar system (it is a
ray from the sun). Many mysteries are connected with these
circulations and it is safe to say that we know very little about
it, except what has been stated about it in the writings of
Gottfried de Purucker.
The higher human monad is withdrawn in
the 'bosom'of the spiritual monad.
Let's pay some more attention to the
kama-rupa complex. It is held together by the force of desires that we
collected during our earthly life. The lower human ego/monad is still
connected to this complex, working to free itself from the influence
of the magnetic earthly desires/energies. The kama-rupa exists also
during earth-life, but then it is more fluid, constantly changing
since our desires, passions and aspirations, change and evolve during
our life-time and consequently the kama-rupa does so too since it
consists just of these desires in one's psyche (on the astral plane).
The kama-rupa, during life, is the personality pattern, the persona or
mask, the lower qualities or merely personal qualities of the human
Now, where is this kama-rupa to be found, after death has occurred?
Obviously not in the material world. Theosophy teaches that it remains
in a quasi-material world, called: kama-loka (loka=place or state,
hence: place of desire). This is a familiar notion in many religions.
The Roman Catholics call this place the purgatory, the Greeks called
it Hades, the ancient Egyptians called it Amenti (see Egyptian
book of the Dead), the Tibetans call this the Bardo (actually a
subdivision of the Bardo; see Tibetan book of the Dead and lit. #3a).
The kama-loka exists on the astral plane (lower parts thereof - there
are several degrees of density of matter in the astral world).
[Regarding the Egyptian book of the Dead we could add that it
describes esoterically the process of Initiation, a thing which is
related to the process of death and dying. Death, sleep and initiation
are similar processes, varying in degree only.]
We ourself determine the duration of the kama-rupa state (in which the
personal ego is in an unconscious state, thanks heaven!) by the way we
live our life now. If we lead a spiritual life, serving our
community, our personal ego-soul will have a short stay in kama-loka
varying, say, from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
If we live otherwise, paying a lot of attention to our personal
status, filled with selfish ambitions, paying little attention to the
needs of others, then we will have a much longer stay in the kama-loka
varying, say, from a couple of years to a much longer period. In some
cases (of really vile people) there's a possibility of loss of soul -
a mysterious teaching, but important to know - a thing that is
clarified by H.P. Blavatsky (see: Blavatsky Collected Writings, Vol.
XII, Theos. Publishing House, Wheaton, Ill.)
Well, you could say, what does it matter if my soul stays long in the
kama-loka or not? One answer to this lies in the dangers for the
kama-rupa to be attracted to seances. Theosophy teaches that
necromantic practices are unhealthy and dangerous, both to the medium
and participants as for the deceased. For the latter especially if the
deceased's soul is still in the kama-loka as in cases of accidental
death. It may very well be impressed with the unclean vibrations of
the medium and of other forces, attracted to the seance.
H.P. Blavatsky and others have repeatedly warned against these
practices (see lit. #3a, #7 and #8).
Leave the dead undisturbed! If you have deep love for a deceased what
better respect could you pay to him/her than to live according to the
highest ideals of that person? By identifying with these ideals and
the highest qualities/characteristics of the deceased one you will
actually incorporate these qualities in your own character!
Speaking about the dying person, esoteric teachings state that one
should not disturb this person by being overly emotional. I realise
that this may sound harsh towards the relatives, etc. but in truth it
is a sound advice. The dying one has other concerns; (s)he prepares
for the panoramic vision and needs quietness, peace, around him/her.
Coming back to the issue of the kama-rupa: when the human monad of the
deceased one has released itself from the lower desires then the
SECOND DEATH occurs.
This implies the absorption of the higher aspirations (higher
desires), all the noble qualities developed during earth-life, into
the higher human ego-soul-monad. This marks the end of the kama-loka
state of the personal ego. Better phrased: these spiritual and
intellectual qualities, higher aspirations, are precisely what remains
of the personal ego and this is the best part, the truly human being,
sometimes called the 'spiritual aroma' and that part enters into a new
state of consciousness: the devachan (deva=god, chan=world or place;
hence: 'world of the gods' or 'heaven-world'), not so much a 'world'
but a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
It is an exalted dreamy state of spiritual fulfilment of all the
ideals the personal ego cherished during lifetime and can also be seen
as a kind of reward for undeserved miseries on earth. These miseries
are a consequence of collective deeds and thoughts of the human
race, so from the point of view of the personality these miseries are
not deserved. Yet, being part of humanity, it cannot escape all the
stupidities and violence in this world. Of course this includes its
own follies as well.
It is not only that. It is also a state of weaving the spiritual
elements in the character of the reincarnating ego - a ray of the
parent monad: the higher human monad. The personal egoity is now
dreaming-sleeping 'in the bosom of the higher human monad into which
it is drawn up' - a sleep which can endure for many centuries. The
higher human monad has its own activities, of course, in its own
respective spheres of manifestation. Esoteric teachings state that
this monad travels or moves in/trough the 'higher' planes or worlds
connected to the earth-system and after that travels through the solar
system in the bosom of the spiritual monad, visiting the seven sacred
In it's next earthly life the personal ego will commence with an
improved character. So you see why it is important to know these
things. You sow the seeds NOW for your next life. We determine the
character of our next life partly by what we do now, by how we live
now. How just this all is! How can we be different from what we make
of ourselves? We can't. Of course, collective karma plays an important
role during our lifetime and will do so during our next life. This can
be no excuse however for not exercising one's own powers of the mind.
Nor should this lead to indifference to the lot of others.
All the ancient peoples of the world believed in the reality of reincarnation
and a majority in this world still does. Buddhists, Hindus, Druids,
Celts, Britons, Gallics, Platonists, Pythagoreans, many gnostic
Christians, are only some of the peoples and individuals that hold to
this doctrine. Add the Inca and Maya civilizations, the old Egyptians,
the Roman poets Vergil, Lucretius, Horatio, the Stoics, and the list
is still not complete! Also the Jewish Zohar, the famous Kabbalistic
book, contains references to reincarnation.
The Christian Bible contains some implicit references to this doctrine
(see gospel of John(9, verse 1)and Matthew 11, verses 14 and 15). The
famous church father Origen was very familiar with this doctrine.
Eusebius and other church fathers helped to eliminate the doctrine of
reincarnation, or maybe more correct: the pre-existence of the soul,
from the Christian faith (which was more a sort of collection of
sects). Needless to say that Nature doesn't go along with this
Reincarnation is the 'lost thread' in our society. Understanding this
key to life, together with that of Karma, would change fundamentally
the way we live. It would bring some order into this chaotic world.
One question about reincarnation, namely: 'why don't we remember our
past lives?' can be shortly answered here. The point is that we get a
new brain in our new life. This new brain doesn't hold the memories of
the past lives. Well, you could ask, where are these memories
kept? Answer: in a certain part of the human constitution called the 'auric
egg', and also in the astral light of our earth.
There seem to be exceptions to this not remembering one's past life,
especially in the case of little children. The reason that these
sometimes remember past life episodes may be that they still live
closer to the spiritual world - they have not yet fully incarnated. If
their previous life has been rather short then the recollection of
images of their past life may be still vivid because of the rather
short period between that life and the current one.
In some cases adults seem to have had flashes of a previous life when
they were in a kind of a spontaneous psychic trance-state, but I doubt
whether many claims of such remembrances are valid - too many people
imagine that they once have been Napoleon/Cleopatra/ Julius
Caesar/etc. Yet it is quite possible that such flashes, and also
previsions seep through to the brain-mind, although more often than
not the human being can hardly tell the difference between fantasies
and real visions that come to the mind.
Regarding the astral light: this is the all pervading 'fluid' which
was known among many mystics (Boehme, Swedenborg, etc.) and even to
some of the scientists in former centuries, and of course to sensitive
people in our era. It is the 'magical agens', correlating all the
forces of nature, carrier of our thought currents, elementals of
nature and much more. The human will can exert a powerful influence on
and through this light (see lit. #8, chapter V). The auric egg is
composed of Akasha (Cosmic Aether - 'invisible' Light - a relatively
The more spiritual parts of the auric egg are composed of celestial
light which is the building substance of our spirit; the less
spiritual parts are composed of astral light, formative substance of
our psyche. The auric egg is fundamental life. It also contains the
karmic records of all our thoughts and deeds.. This will undoubtedly
lead to many more questions and the best I can do is to refer the
reader to the books of Blavatsky, Judge and De Purucker (lit.
Another question about memories from previous lives is whether reincarnation
therapy or hypnosis can help us to get these memories back. From what
I gathered from esoteric teachings the answer to this is: this will
probably not be the case.
As to the 'memories' people experience during reincarnation therapy,
these are probably impressions from the astral light, or, to some
extent, impressions from the therapist him/herself unconsciously
projected into the aura of the client and unconsciously perceived by
the client whilst in a state of regression.
There have been court cases in which the therapist has been accused of
projecting/imprinting his thoughts into the client's mind. One of
these cases has been won by a client (who was an alleged incest victim
according to the therapist). Well, see my remark below.
Regarding hypnosis, it is stated in esoteric literature (lit. #7) that
it can be dangerous to a person. Hypnosis brings about a temporary
separation or paralysis of the higher principles in our constitution
(notably the higher aspects of the thinking faculty) and the lower
principles. This is an unhealthy situation. Many people have suffered
from participating as a volunteer in hypnotic shows.
Needless to say, a very pure motive and wisdom are necessary
attributes for the would-be therapist to exercise his/her mesmeric
powers on others, in order that no impure thoughts enter the aura of
Why don't we study the structure of the universe and especially man
first, before we engage in such activities?
The same advice applies to euthanasia. Are we wiser than nature? No!
Using pain-killers is o.k., often already shortening the period of
dying. But to actively end one's life by lethal injection is quite
The last ten years or so there has been a rising interest in so-called
'near-death-experiences'. Since I'm dealing with the topic of death
and dying it seems pertinent to say a little bit on NDE.
Some people who had a NDE think they have seen deceased relatives.
From what I know from the esoteric philosophy I gather that these
people have been experiencing their own images, pictures, of
these deceased ones. Unaccustomed to the psychic (astral) world and
its inhabitants it is easy to mistake thought-forms for live human
beings. The deceased ones, however, do not remain in the kama-lokic
sphere, which is after all but the dregs of the earth-sphere. They
have long passed into devachan, normally speaking (i.e within a couple
of months after physical death), which is more spiritual in nature.
Their kama-rupa or astral remains may last for some time, maybe this
is seen during NDE sometimes.
To end this section, we can ask ourselves what happens with the
kama-rupa, the astral corpse, after the second death has taken place.
Little is left of this corpse after second death. The lower desires
are slowly being dissipated, somewhat analogous to the afterglow of an
electric stove when the electricity is switched off.
It disintegrates and the life-atoms composing it return to their own
realms; these elements just cycle back to the realms where they belong
(earth to earth, water to water, air to air, fire to fire). These
elements are not so much the earth, water, etc. we are accustomed to,
but rather the root-substances which are used by nature to build the
complex matter we call earth, water, air, etc. But that's an entirely
The lower desires are destroyed in their form-aspect. There remain,
however, impressions, karmic consequences ,'germs', in or on the
astral light. Some of those germs are activated when the reincarnating
ego manifests itself again in this world. Parallel with this the
energies (working through these lower desires and astral forms)
re-enter the auric egg of the personal ego which has entered devachan.
See lit. #9 on the subject of skandhas and lit #3a, chapter on
kama-loka and the second death.
Section 7. How can
one verify the given information for oneself?
A pertinent question to ask is: 'How do
you know all this?' or 'How do you know this information is correct?'
Is it only from books or teachers?
Well, sure we have information from the great Teachers of mankind, but
this is not enough. Everybody can experience the value and truth of
these teachings for themselves! Remember, we ARE the stream of
consciousness. We can shift our center of consciousness from personal
to more spiritual. We can use our faculty of thinking in such a way as
to become more transparent for the inner light that is called understanding
(the Enlightenment-principle or buddhi).
Dr. Gottfried de Purucker gives the clue to this in the section on
meditation in volume 2 of the twelf-part series ~esoteric teachings~.
He says: "Meditation is the holding of a thought steady in the
mind, and allowing the consciousness to work interiorly upon this
thought, and the doing of it easily and with delight.
The way to meditate properly is to have a noble thought, a
beautiful thought, a helpful thought, one taken from our own Order
[note: the hierarchy of compassion - the Light side or spiritual side
of our solar system, and beyond - Martin Euser] and to hold it in
the mind and make a delight out of it. Love this thought. Keep it
in your mind. Let it dwell there. Let the spirit brood over it as a
mother-hen will brood over her eggs and chicks.
There is no need to put the physical or psychical will on to it. If
you do you won't succeed, because such exercise of the will means
effort, it shows strain; and that is no way to meditate. Love a
beautiful thought and keep thinking of it, keep it in the mind; this
is meditation, and if you practise this simple rule of Jnana-Yoga,
agter a while it will become natural to you. It will become part of
your daily consciousness.
At times you will hardly realize that you are thinking it. It will be
there all the time at the back of your mind. That is meditation. And
concentration is simply at certain times, when you have the leisure
for it, taking this thought as it were into your consciousness more
clearly, and centering all your attention upon it, not with the will,
but with ease."
Dr. de Purucker continues to say that this type of meditation is the
fundamental secret of yoga - union of the mind or thinking organ with
the ineffable peace, wisdom and love of the god or divinity within. It
is a very valuable advice! One-pointedness of mind is necessary in
this practice. This means "the holding of the mind with fixity on
and to a point of noble thought, and a brooding upon it, pondering it,
meditating upon it".
The suggested meditation of pondering about brotherhood in theosophy
basics, part 2 is an example of this type of meditation. Remember that
the mind "becomes or takes the form, or flows into the
form, of the object contemplated or perceived, whether good,
bad, or indifferent; and thus the mind molds itself into the objects
of thought; so that if the object or mental picture is spiritual or
divine, the mind becomes similar to it because it flows into the
divine and loses itself therein, or molds itself according to it; and
similarly, when the mind is fastened in the lower things, it becomes
assimilated to the lower things or flows into their form and
appearance. This great occult secret has thus a good and high, as well
as a low and bad, aspect"
The next chapter of this booklet deals with spiritual and psychic
powers and with spiritual illumination versus psychic illusions. I
sometimes wonder whether spiritual seekers realize fully that there is
an abundance of psychical teachings being offered in this world, which
are often misleading the aspirant for spiritual knowledge, focussing
on non-essential things.
While everybody is entitled to his or her path to illumination it
certainly is advisable to learn to discriminate between
psycho-physical exercises and those of the spirit. The first type may
help to gain powers over others (powers to psychologize others), learn
how to make money quickly, etc. which are in the final analysis powers
that perish when one dies and powers tainted with selfishness [ and
will thus backfire ultimately on the dabbler with psychic powers].
Thus, it has nothing to do with the spiritual path!
The second type, spiritual exercises will have permanent effects for
good. Just a word of warning!
This does not mean that psychical faculties or powers are evil per se
or useless. This is not the case. They can be (and will be) dangerous
"without the spiritual light and power of the intellect and
spiritual will to guide and to control the psychical nature in which
these psychical faculties and powers inhere." (p. 71 of esoteric
To summarize: theosophy encourages practice of Jnana, Raja, and, Karma
Yoga, (devotion to the cause of mankind being an essential ingredient
too- this can be described as a form of Bhakti yoga), but not Hatha
Yoga, ceremonial religion (too much concentration on form) and
ceremonial magic(k) (when done for selfish purposes), etc. The problem
with Hatha Yoga exercises (including pranayama) is that these can
disturb the delicate equilibrium of the pranas (subtle energies
circulating through the body).
As an afterthought, I would like to add that ceremonies themselves are
not so much wrong or so, but may focus people's attention too much on
the 'outer' aspects of religion. Of course, ceremonies may serve as
some kind of 'rituals' that give people a feeling of belonging to a
group. However it may be, many theosophists prefer to do without
ceremony, except for the celebration of the equinoxes, solstices, and
commemoration of HPB's death.
As regards ceremonial magic(k), I would like to add that certain
practices like burning incense to cleanse the atmosphere can be
actually helpful in meditative practice.
Invocating elementals or whispering the names of Gods/Goddesses
without exactly knowing what you are doing doesn't seem very wise to
me, but let everybody follow his/her own path and discover these
things, benefit or harm, for him/herself. The same applies to
so-called 'astral-projection' techniques. In Theosophy manasic
projection (creating a temporary thought-body) is encouraged, but that
is entirely a different matter. It requires a steady will and
concentrated mind, plus the ability to use one's faculty of
Imagination. We're talking about the ability to project a part of
one's mind into a sphere we need to enter in order to perform certain
work. Often this is done unconscious, while asleep for example. It
requires an adept to do this consciously.
To conclude: in the first and last analysis it is the motive of
the seeker that will define the nature of the path that s/he is
We also have to practice brotherhood/sisterhood, try to realize
at least a bit of our highest ideals. That will change the
characteristics of one's consciousness.
Brotherhood/Sisterhood/Siblinghood is not so much about being nice to
each other. Rather it has to do with respect for the uniqueness of
other beings and trying to learn something from each other. Learning
to cooperate for the greater good of society is also part of that!
One can learn something from the other when one tries to identify
oneself with the essence of the other, using one's empathic faculty to
mentally put oneself into the position of the other, to put oneself
into accord with or in sympathical resonance with the other (a power
of the faculty of understanding!)
So, our relationships with others are deeply involved here. While
spiritual growth processes can be painful sometimes, one reason being
the immense resistance we encounter in ourselves (and others), it is
beautiful too! We will experience more depth, warmth, humanness, less
automaticity, etc. in our relationships with others. Of course,
sometimes we will have inner struggles, and, who knows, outer
struggles too. All worthwile things must be conquered!
When one starts expressing one's higher aspects of thinking, such as
understanding, inspiration, etc. this is accompanied (expressed in
'instrumental terms') by one's inner nature building a 'bridge', a
conscious connection between the personal soul and the higher human
soul. This bridge is called the 'antaskarana' in the 'Voice of the
Silence' - a beautiful book from H.P.Blavatsky for true students on
This means that one opens one's mind for an enhanced influx of
spiritual energy from within. This has an effect on one's
consciousness also during sleep. One's body sleeps, while one
keeps the continuity of one's (thinking) consciousness instead of
plunging into an oblivious state of unconsciousness.
One could say that the correlation of the waking state, dreaming state
and deep sleep state becomes stronger, in a sense, because the
connecting element of these states seeps more and more through one's
consciousness. One becomes more and more sensitive to inner states of
consciousness, so to speak, but rather through active participation in
spiritual work than through a passive attitude! The mind, during
sleep, goes through certain states of consciousness similar to what
happens during and after death. This means that the mind experiences a
kama-loka state (desires living in one's mind are being experienced) ,
then a state of some bliss, probably cycling from state to state a
couple of times.
[a phenomena we may well be acquainted with: sometimes we wake up
feeling deeply refreshed and content with life, maybe even feeling
some happiness or bliss- whatever our brain-consciousness can retain
from this state of consciousness we experienced during deep sleep.
Similar, we sometimes wake up in a bad mood. We probably didn't get a
lot of this deep sleep!]
Sleep research confirms this changing of states we experience during
sleep. REM-sleep and deep sleep. I gather from this fact and from the
esoteric teaching that sleep and death are similar processes (the
Greeks said: sleep and death are twin brothers) that in the processes
of death and after-death states a similar recurrent change of states
of consciousness ('unconsciousness' may be a better term!) will take
Little information about exact details concerning these processes is
given in esoteric literature (mostly in lit. #3a), as far as I know,
so we have to find these out for ourselves using analogy and direct
experience of the process of sleep.
A critical investigation and verification is always necessary
regarding esoteric teachings. I myself would never just accept
teachings from others without applying my best powers of philosophical
scrutiny and without testing these teachings in my own life, which
testing involves the becoming familiar with one's own composite
constitution and it's relation with nature, the world.
BTW, no drugs will ever provide higher states of consciousness as use
of drugs will only break open the doors of perception of certain parts
of the astral realms (not the noetic realms). Lower elementals may
very well enter into your aura and influence your psyche in an
The old Wisdom-Religion provides pointers on the spiritual path. It is
for the self-chosen, self-elected, to start their journey along the
path, a path that is defined, characterized, by the motive of
Point Loma Publications
Post Office Box 6507
San Diego, CA 92166
1. After death-what?
Leoline L. Wright
2. What death really is; questions we all ask
G. De Purucker
3a. Death and the circulations of the cosmos
Volume I and II
G. de Purucker
Vol.I: ISBN 0-913004-62-6
Vol.II: ISBN 0-913004-63-4
Note that these booklets are almost completely incorporated
(as are the other ten esoteric teachings booklets of De Purucker)
in ~Fountain Source of Occultism~ which is available at TUPOnline
This latter book is one of the most comprehensive books on
occultism (the study of the so-called hidden forces in nature)
that I know of.
3b. From the same author: Esoteric Te
the Author Visit
the Theosophy On-Line Archive
the School of Natural Order
to Paranormal Home