The Appendix referred to in the Fragment No. VI, in The Theosophist for March, is in no way inconsistent. When properly understood in the light of our doctrines, App. C (p. 136) gives what it professes to explain and leaves nothing doubtful, while the Fragment itself has perhaps a few expressions that may be misleading: though exclusively so to those who have not paid sufficient attention to that which preceded. For instance: “Love, the creative force, has placed their [the associates’] living image before the personal soul which craves for their presence, and that image will never fly away.” It is incorrect to use the term “personal soul” in connection with the monad. “The personal or animal soul” is, as already said, the 5th principle, and cannot be in Devachan, the highest state
permitted to it on earth being samadhi. It is only its essence that has followed the monad into Devachan, to serve it there as its ground-tone, or as the background against which its future dream-life and developments will move; its entity, or the reliquiae is the “shell,” the dross that remains behind as an elementary to fade away and in time disappear. That which is in Devachan is no more the persona—the mask, than the smell of a rose is the flower itself. The rose decays and becomes a pinch of dust: its aroma will never die, and may be recalled and resurrected ages thence. Correctly expressed, the sentence would have to read: “ . . . the living image before the Spiritual Soul, which being now saturated with the essence of the personality, has thus ceased to be Arupa (formless or rather devoid of all substance) for its Devachanic duration, and craves for their presence, etc.” The gestation period is over, it has won the day, been reborn as a new out of the old ego, and before it is ushered again into a new personality, it will reap the effects of the causes sown in its precedent birth in one of the Devachanic or Avitchian states, as the case may be, though the latter are found wide apart. Avaśyam eva bhoktavyam kritam karma śubhâśubham.* The Devachanic condition in all its aspects is no doubt similar to a dreamy state when considered from the standpoint of our present objective consciousness when we are in our waking condition. Nevertheless, it is as real to the Devachanee himself as our waking state is to us. Therefore, when it is asked “Whether Devachan is a state corresponding to our waking life here or to our sleep with dreams,”—the answer given is that it is not similar to either of these conditions; but it is similar to the dreamy condition of a man who has no waking state at all, if such a being can be supposed to exist. A monad in Devachan has but one state of consciousness, and the contrast between a waking state and a dreamy state is never presented to it so long as it is in that condition. Another objection urged is, that if a Devachanee were to think of an object
* The fruit of the tree of action, whether good or bad, must unavoidably be eaten.
or person as if the object or person were present before him when they are not so (when judged from the common ideas of objective perception) then the Devachanee is “cheated by nature.” If such is really the case, he is indeed always “cheated by nature”; and the suggestion contained in the foregoing letter as to the possible mode of communication between a Devachanee and one living on earth will not save him from delusion. Leaving aside for a moment the nature of a Devachanee’s communication with another monad either in or out of Devachan, let the nature of his ideas be examined so far as they are connected with objects; and then the truth of the above mentioned statement will be easily perceived. Suppose, for instance, Galileo in Devachan, subjectively engaged in his favourite intellectual pursuit. It is natural to suppose that his telescope often comes within the range of his Devachanic consciousness, and that the Devachanee subjectively directs it toward some planet. It is quite clear that according to the general ideas of objectivity, Galileo has no telescope before him, and it cannot be contended that his train of ideas in any way actually affects the telescope which he left behind him in this world. If the objector’s reasoning is correct, Galileo is “being cheated by nature,” and the suggestion above referred to will in no way help him in this case.
Thus, the inference that it is neither correct nor philosophical to speak of a Devachanee as being “cheated by nature” becomes once more unavoidable. Such words as cheating, delusion, reality are always relative. It is only by contrast that a particular state of consciousness can be called real or illusionary; and these words cease to have any significance whatever, when the said state of consciousness cannot be compared with any other state. Supposing one is justified in looking upon Devachanic experience as delusion from his present standpoint as a human being living on this earth, what then? We fail to see how any one means to make use of this inference. Of course from the foregoing remarks the reader is not to suppose that a Devachanee’s consciousness can never affect or influence
the state of consciousness of another monad either in or out of Devachan. Whether such is the case or not, the reality or the unreality of Devachanic experience, so far as a Devachanee is concerned, does not depend upon any such communicative influence.
In some cases it is evident that the state of consciousness of one monad whether in Devachan or yet on earth, may blend with, as it were, and influence the ideation of another monad also in Devachan. Such will be the case where there is strong, affectionate sympathy between the two egos arising from participation in the same higher feelings or emotions, or from similar intellectual pursuits or spiritual aspirations. Just as the thoughts of a mesmerizer standing at a distance are communicated to his subject by the emanation of a current of magnetic energy attracted readily towards the subject, the train of ideas of a Devachanee are communicated by a current of magnetic or electric force attracted towards another Devachanee by reason of the strong sympathy existing between the two monads, especially when the said ideas relate to things which are subjectively associated with the Devachanee in question. It is not to be inferred, however, that in other cases when there is no such action or reaction, a Devachanee becomes conscious of the fact that his subjective experience is a mere delusion, for it is not so. It was already shown that the question of reality or unreality does not depend upon any such communication or transmission of intellectual energy.
We are asked, “if some of these (the Devachanee loved) are not themselves fit for Devachan, how then?” We answer: “Even in the case of a man still living on earth, or even of one suffering in Avitchi, the ideation of a monad in Devachan may still affect his monad if there is strong sympathy between the two as indicated above.* Yet the Devachanee will remain ignorant of the mental suffering of the other.”
The reader is reminded in this connection that neither Devachan nor Avitchi is a locality, but a state which affects directly the being in it and all others only by reaction.—Ed.
If this generous provision of nature that never punishes the innocent outside this our world of delusion, be still called “a cheating of nature,” and objected to, on the ground that it is not an “honest symbol” of the other personality’s presence, then the most reasonable course would be to leave the occult doctrines and Devachan alone. The noble truths, the grandest goal in soul-life, will remain for ever a closed book to such minds. Devachan instead of appearing what it is—a blissful rest, a heavenly oasis during the laborious journey of the Monad toward a higher evolution, will indeed present itself as the culmination, the very essence of death itself. One has to sense intuitionally its logical necessity; to perceive in it, untaught and unguided, the outcome and perpetuation of that strictest justice absolutely consonant with the harmony of the universal law, if one would not lose time over its deep significance. We do not mean it in any unkind spirit, yet with such an opposition to the very exposition (since no one is pressed for its acceptance) of our doctrine by some Western minds, we feel bound to remind our opponents that they have the freedom of choice. Among the later great world philosophies there are two,—the more modern the outgrowth of the older,—whose “after states” are clearly and plainly defined, and the acceptance of either of which, moreover, would be welcomed: one—by millions of spiritualists, the other—by the most respectable portion of humanity, viz., civilized Western society. Nothing equivocal, or like cheating of nature in the latter: her Devachanees, the faithful and the true, are plainly and charitably promised the ineffable rapture of seeing during an eternity the tortures of the damned in the depths of Gehenna. We are, and do feel willing to give out some of our facts. Only occult philosophy and Buddhism having both failed as yet to produce a Tertullian to strike for us the key-note of an orthodox hell,* we cannot undertake
* Reference is probably made here to the soul-inspiring monologue that is found in Tertullian’s De Spectaculis, Chapter xxx. Falling into a wild ecstasy of joy over the bare prospect of seeing some day all the philosophers “who have persecuted the name of Christ burn in a most
to furnish fictions to suit every taste and fancy.
There is no such place of torture for the innocent, no such state in which under the plea of reward and a necessity for “honest symbols,” the guileless should be made witness to, or even aware of, the sufferings of those they loved. Were it otherwise, the active bliss of the Dhyan Chohans themselves would turn into a shoreless ocean of gall at such a sight. And He who willed—“Let all the sins and evils flowing from the corruption of Kaliyuga, this degenerate age of ours fall upon me, but let the world be redeemed”—would have so willed in vain, and might have given preference to the awes of the visible to those of the invisible world. To suppose that a “Soul” escaping from this evil-girdled planet where the innocent weep while the wicked rejoice, should have a like fate in store for it even within the peaceful haven of Devachan, would be the most maddening, the [most] dreadful thought of all! But we say, it is not so. The bliss of a Devachanee is complete, and nature secures it even at the risk of being accused of cheating by the pessimists of this world unable to distinguish between Vastu—the one reality and Vishaya—the “mayas” of our senses. It is fetching rather too far the presumption that our objective and subjective shall be the true standards for the realities and unrealities of the rest of the universe; that our criterion of truth and honesty is to stand as the only universal land-mark of the same. Had we to proceed upon such principles, we would have to accuse nature of
cruel fire in hell. . . .” this saintly Patristic character, a Father of the Christian Church, exclaims: “Oh, what shall be the magnitude of that scene. How I shall laugh! How I shall rejoice! How I shall triumph!” etc.—Ed.
[It is not known from what particular translation of Tertullian’s work H.P.B. quotes. However, in T. R. Glover’s translation of the original Latin text (See Loeb Classical Library, Edited by T. E. Page, etc., London, Wm. Heinemann, Ltd.; New York, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1931), the following passage is to be found: “. . . How vast the spectacle that day, and how wide! What sight shall wake my wonder, what my laughter, my joy and exultation? as I see all those kings. . . . And the magistrates who persecuted the name of Jesus. . . .” In the above-mentioned edition, the English text is printed side by side with the original Latin.—Compiler.]
cheating incessantly not only her human but also her animal offspring. Who, of our objectors, when treating of facts of natural history and the phenomena of vision and colour, would ever hazard the remark that because ants are utterly unable to see and distinguish colours as human beings do (the red, for instance, having no existence for them), therefore, are they also “cheated by nature”? Neither personality nor objectivity as known to us, have any being in the composition of a monad; and could, by any miracle, any living human creature come within the range of the Devachanic vision, it would be as little perceived by the Devachanee as the elementals that throng the air around us are perceived with our natural eyes.
One more error of the critic. He seems to be labouring under the impression that if one has some conception of Devachanic state of subjective consciousness while in this life, he will know that such experience is illusionary when he is actually there; and then Devachanic beatitudes will have lost all their reality so far as he is concerned. There is no reason to apprehend any such catastrophe. It is not very difficult to perceive the fallacy that underlies this argument. Suppose, for instance, A, now living at Lahore, knows that his friend B is at Calcutta. He dreams that they are both at Bombay engaged in various transactions. Does he know at the time he is dreaming that the whole dream is illusionary? How can the consciousness that his friend is really at Calcutta, which is only realized when he is in his waking condition, help him in ascertaining the delusive nature of his dream when he is actually dreaming? Even after experiencing dreams several times during his life and knowing that dreams are generally illusionary, A will not know that he is dreaming when he is actually in that condition.
Similarly, a man may experience the devachanic condition while yet alive, and call it delusion, if he pleases, when he comes back to his ordinary state of objective consciousness and compares it to the said condition. Nevertheless, he will not know that it is a dream either when he
experiences it a second time (for the time being) while still living, or when he dies and goes to Devachan.
The above is sufficient to cover the case were even the state under discussion indeed “a dream” in the sense our opponents hold it in. But it is neither a “dream” nor in any way “cheating.” It may be so from the standpoint of Johnson’s dictionary; from that of fact independent of all human definition, and the standpoint of him who knows something of the laws that govern the worlds invisible, the intercourse between the monads is real, mutual, and as actual in the world of subjectivity, as it is in this our world of deceptive reality. It is the old story of Zöllner’s man from the two-dimensional region disputing the reality of the phenomena taking place in the three-dimensional world.