THEOSOPHY, Vol. 49, No. 10, August, 1961
(Pages 452-453; Size: 7K)
[Article number (11) in this Department]
H. P. BLAVATSKY states specifically that whereas Devachan is a state, kama-loka is a place -- a "region," a "locality," a "limbus." This idea lends a measure of credibility to the Swedenborgian and Latter Day Saints teaching of astral communities and institutions. (The Mormons, for example, assert that earth-life is "probationary," and that the after-death state is one of possible progression.) It also accounts for the possibility of communication between astral entities and living persons. According to Theosophy, are these foregoing ideas valid?
The intimation of H. P. Blavatsky on the subject of kama-loka is that the soul detained in this particular state of consciousness is, in effect, obsessed. The obsessions are those which pertain to passional or sensual existence, and it is presumably for this reason that the student can speak of kama-loka as belonging to the "atmosphere" of earth. But it does not follow that "kama-loka" has a "geography" resembling the relations in space of oceans and continents. Rather, it must be that the particular state of consciousness represented by kama-loka is so closely tied to earth by magnetic attraction that it constitutes a plane, as well as a state of consciousness. In The Ocean of Theosophy, Mr. Judge explains that every disembodied entity enters the state known as kama-loka with all the interior principles save that of prana-jiva intact. The process leading to the "second death" during which the three higher principles of man's constitution are separated from those which pertain to earth alone, is one of release from the obsessions of purely temporal origin -- after which the passage of the truly subjective self, represented by the term, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, is accomplished.
For analogy, we might consider that no man who is truly obsessed can offer or receive communication. Communication depends upon rapport, and rapport requires a recognition of the real existence of another being -- demands also the capacity for putting one's self in the place of another's thoughts and feelings. Obsession, by definition, is a denial of true communication, and, with this in mind, one can reason, correlatively, that "astral entities" in kama-loka cannot consciously communicate except by projection of the atmosphere of the particular obsession involved. Mr. Judge suggests that such a projection is responsible for the sudden outbreak of a particular sort of brutal crime immediately following the execution of a criminal.
After the separation of higher and lower principles, the "shell," which represents those portions of the personality which have never "gotten off the ground," so to speak, remain in the atmosphere of the earth. If identification with the physical body has been intense, in terms of desires, fears, and hates, this shell may be imagined to "haunt" the particular location where the body of the deceased is placed -- which would explain traditional fears concerning graveyards, mausoleums, etc. And "ghosts" have been seen in such localities. This manifestation of a shadowy form would come about because the lowest level of astral matter, still tenuously linked to the body of the deceased, is galvanized by the influence of an entity in the state of kama-loka.
As for various religious teachings which suggest "progression" in the disembodied state, we can wonder if such are not largely a speculative outgrowth of a common human desire to believe that a continued life after death is somehow "better" than life on earth. Such optimism is natural enough in terms of the psychology of the personal man, but it is notable that no truly memorable human being is inclined to subscribe to such a belief. On the other hand, many intellectual materialists are men of honesty, whose integrity prohibits their believing that the mere fact of death can somehow transform the nature of existence. By complete rejection of any notion of a "better" life after death, such a materialist may deny himself any kind of metaphysical thinking -- but he also escapes the delusion that anyone may reach a higher state merely by dying.
The Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, have characteristically possessed a high degree of integrity, while at the same time they represent a peculiar transition state between the wishful thinking of other religionists who believe that life is automatically "better" after death and the materialist whose instinct tells him that all "progression" must take place during physical existence. (For example, the Mormons lay great stress upon the belief that missionary work is so organized in the after-life that those who did not contact Mormonism while on earth will have further opportunity to be taught its doctrines and embrace its teachings.) As a result, Mormon teachings seem to indicate a kind of reincarnation which presents the soul with new opportunities for learning on other planes, or planets, after the death of the body. Some spiritualists have inclined to a similar persuasion.
[Article number (12) in this Department]
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