The Newsletter of the Northwest Branch of the Theosophical Society
July 2003 Vol. 6 Issue 5
I think most people would agree that our purpose in life is growth, physical, mental, moral, and spiritual. The purpose of life is to raise the mortal into immortality; to give time and opportunity for the deathless spiritual potency at the core of our being to develop, grow, and unfold into perfection.
As humans, we are composite beings with three elements in our constitution: first, a personality that we call by name; second, back of this personality we find a deeper reservoir of consciousness expressed, for example, in the ideal desires of the nature; third and lowest is the animal consciousness, including the body which is the vehicle for the two higher elements. When we understand this threefold division we can more fully understand St. Paul's description of man as soul, spirit, and body.
It is this higher, ideal nature, the spiritual ego, which reincarnates. The word reincarnation means re-entering a body of flesh. Human reincarnation is one phase of the universal law of evolutionary growth through alternate states of rest and reimbodiment. Reimbodiment of everything that has life is a habit of nature. Universes, solar systems, suns, worlds, men, animals and plants, cells, molecules, atoms, all reimbody. This habit of nature is to me one of the strongest proofs that human beings reincarnate. Our innermost self is a deathless being, a god, which reclothes itself from age to age in new bodies or vehicles, that it may undergo all possible experiences in the universe to which it belongs and so reach its own most complete growth and self-expression. Rebirth, then, is the pathway of evolution. It is the method by which nature progressively draws into growth or unfoldment the limitless capacities latent in all creatures from atoms to gods. The very fact that we intuitively know that there are large reserves of power and possibility within us that are seeking expression; the fact that nearly everyone yearns to develop, to be, that greater self which he senses within -- this very urge to a larger and fuller life is our daily witness to nature's true purpose for us. It is through reincarnation that we can bring out and perfect this hidden wealth of power and capacity. In each life some new phase of character is shaped by environment. New powers and capacities are unfolded from within. Weaknesses, selfishness, and other faults are corrected by suffering.
We might ask here why we do not remember our past lives, because it would seem that if we did remember, we should not make so many mistakes. However, it is well that we do not remember details of our past lives because we should spend too much time reviewing our mistakes, which would hinder our evolution. Evolution always looks forward, is constructive, builds afresh and on developing patterns. So instead of remembering our mistakes, we simply carry over the memory of the lesson learned by the experience.
Character is the spiritual fabric woven by evolution. It is the only thing we can take out of life when we go; it is what we bring back as our heritage from the past when we return to incarnation on earth. -- Mary L. Fay
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons we are having to learn is how to stand alone and yet feel our oneness with all others. The paradox is, of course, that if we could learn this lesson fully we should find we are not alone, for the nearer we grow towards the central sun in ourselves, the closer we come to each other. Everyone needs to be amongst friends; we are not hermits. But when we have the inner strength to rely on our own spark of Eternity, we speak to the real self of others, for it is on that level where brotherhood is a reality. Such communication of spirit lifts our hearts from the immediacy to the enduring. -- E. A. Holmes
The Bhagavad-Gita Book Circle continues on Tuesday, July 15, 7:30-8:45 pm, at Newport Way Library. We will be reading Chapter 4. The fifth meeting will be Tuesday, July 29, 7:30-8:45 pm, at the Newport Way Library, 14250 SE Newport Way, Bellevue. Feel free to drop in at any meeting!
Directions to Newport Way Library. From I-90: Take exit 11A to 150th, turn right onto 150th, go up the hill and turn right onto Newport Way at traffic light. The library is a short distance on the right-hand side, visible from Newport Way. Turn right onto 142nd SE and then right into parking lot. From I-405: Take the I-90 exit East, then follow the directions above. A map and directions are available online at www.kcls.org/npw/direct.cfm.
Meeting Schedule: Two Tuesdays a month from 7:30 - 8:45 pm at Newport Way Library
This month "Who Am I?" is our subject. We will be discussing questions such as: What are human beings? Why are we here? Where do we come from? Do we have a set path or specific journey to follow? What is the nature of consciousness? How can we understand ourselves and others better? What about different approaches to self-exploration? Come and share your ideas!
Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge.
The topics for the monthly discussion group for the next few months are:
August 7: Myths and Symbols: A Universal Language
September: No Meeting - Bellevue Library remodeling and closed to meetings
October: What Is the Basis of Ethics?
November: Bringing Ourselves to Birth
December: What Is the Meaning of Life?
Isn't it remarkable that radios and television can "select" from the atmosphere the voices and music that are most desirable to the individuals turning the dials? With so many programs being given all over the world at the same hour and moment, there is a question that is apt to arise in the minds of both the unlearned and the wise: What is it that enables a mechanism of any kind to discriminate against the atmospheric chaos and select certain sounds which thereby remain intact and unmolested by other sounds? We, of a little learning, glibly answer the question thus: it is possible to select because the programs broadcast at the same time are not on the same wavelength. A simple answer and quite honestly given with conviction. But the wise man knows that every point in space is a consciousness-center, and that where there is force and energy, there is life and intelligence. He knows, too, that vibration is the rhythmic activity of living entities acting and reacting upon each other in response to a definite force which has preceded it.
Man in his complexity is both a broadcasting and a receiving mechanism. Every thought and emotion has a certain wavelength which becomes a vital thing that has its life in the universal atmosphere.
The more we realize that life is eternal and that there is no "dead" matter in the universe, the more will nature reveal her secrets to us. It is not enough to mechanically repeat that this is true, and in the next breath state that atmospheric resistance kills out vibration. The truth is that the lives making up the atmosphere carry the impressions on and on by their own activities. Once a thing is set in motion it is apt to reach that "furthermost star," and even there to find renewed impetus to live and grow. A thought becomes a living entity, composed of smaller vibrating lives, the aggregate of which has it own "key tone" or dominant quality. This key tone may be modified and apparently killed out by coalescing the vibrations of a so-called evil though with strong vibrations of the opposite quality. But the apparent cessation of a vibration is probably due to our limited perspective regarding nature's cyclic repetitious operation.
As the secrets revealed to us depend upon our receptivity and degree of understanding, our thought-life is the important factor in the problem of "selection." We tune in constantly, at certain wavelengths, on the universal flow, and we in turn broadcast, whether we are aware of it or not. Think of the marvelous opportunity that is afforded those who perform on radio or television -- the unlimited power that lies in their domain. They are entrusted not only with the power of all thinking individuals, that of impregnating the subtle atmosphere with his thought-waves, but also with the privilege of audibly objectifying those thoughts, the influence of which is an unknown quantity. The human beings -- the streams of consciousness tuning in, crossing, and interblending with the waves sent out by the one broadcasting -- are affected by both that objectified force and by the thoughts preceding it. The responsibility of the broadcaster is a great one. His words may contain inspirational value, but if his consciousness is not centered in the highest part of himself, the greater part of his opportunity is lost. There is power in the spoken word, but it must be directed and vitalized by thought. The atmosphere is full, but there is room for illimitable constructive and uplifting forces, for the "Fullness" is like the "Void": it is not mere container.
There have been those people who have developed a super-selective faculty. The great teachers were outstanding examples. It was because of this, combined with pure motives, that nature's mysteries were revealed to them. They needed no instruments to hear the voice of divine wisdom. They themselves were instruments through which humanity may hear wisdom today by touching the magic dial of its own inner being.
The wise man sums up the issue in a few words: "Yes, when man is able to forget his personal self and make of himself an instrument for the good of humanity, mysteries unfold before him. Then, if his self-mastery is complete enough, mechanics, the laws of motion, hidden operations of nature, are all open to him. Marvelous inventions may be placed at his feet, but he does not need them. He has already 'tuned in.'"