FAQ's = Frequently Asked Questions
A web site is a great way to communicate with people. But most people do not e-mail me. They just visit the website. But some do e-mail or leave a message on my guestbook. Some of the questions these people have asked are answered here, as they are of general interest.
There are four major themes:
The White Brotherhood is a group of adepts many theosophists believe in. White does not stand for the color of the skin in this case, but the color of the soal: White as in white magic : unselfish spiritual magic in service of all of mankind. White also stands for light: spiritual light.
The term is originally theosophical, though not the earliest theosophy. It is thought that there are people who are more advanced (in their spiritual evolution) than we are who have spiritual powers way beyond the rest of us. These people are called adepts or Mahatmas if they use these powers to coordinate their efforts and use their powers only for the good of all mankind and its spiritual evolution. They work together (hence brotherhood) as all smart people know that coordinated effort works best. The kinds of powers they are thought to have include clairvoyance, the power to influence people's thoughts (though never tampering with free will), omniscience and more physical powers like the ability to project their astral form and appear somewhere other than where their physical body is.
Asked by someone who said (see my guestbook):
Haven't looked at it [this website] yet, but fully intend to, because I have found in just the few articles that I have looked at, the most satisfying explanations I have ever found for various questions and experiences I have had in this life.My reason for being involved in theosophy, is rather like the reason why you seem to so far like my web site: because it gives explanations for questions that otherwise remain mere phantoms at the back of my head. It has opened for me vistas of thought, and well, I like exploring those vistas. ;-)
Also, I have always been interested in religion, though not raised religiously at all, and yet no religion I came across could satisfy my instinctive yearning for something I did not even know I was looking for. Theosophy, without giving any final answers (if you think you've found any on my web site, please meditate on all the questions left open, or something, because, well, final answers don't seem to exist), still helps put my life into a perspective I can live with. Also, I came across theosophy by way of my local lodge (I am by now the secretary), which I liked, adored the three objects of the TS, and so here I am... having set up a web site and an e-mailgroup and made myself busy all round.
Yes, I have started (august 2003) a newsletter that will keep its members updated on changes on my website as well as being its own medium for spiritual material from various backgrounds. See:
Unfortunately, Big web sites are very difficult to manage in such a way that people do not get lost. Some sites manage this by a search engine, but for now, I don't think that is necessary for my site yet. Check google for anything on a subject you favor - and whether you end up on my web site or not is irrelevant - for now, I may change my mind. But I do have three web pages that may help you get your bearings again:
- Katinka's Weblife : an overview of the web sites that I manage.
- Sitemap : an overview of the web sites I manage, plus their subcategories.
- Contents-page : an overview of all the English Language articles, organized alphabetically by author - excepting the material by J. Krishnamurti and the Pick a Quote - sections.
Well, my answer (for now - 2002) would be that sorrow is part of life. You have to accept that and live with it. This does not mean wallowing in self-pity or anything, or not trying your best to live the best way you can. But sorrow and happiness are probably about evenly distributed in our lives. Not fighting that may not bring happiness (maybe it does, I don't know), but it will bring more peace of mind, I think.
This is all the answer I can give without knowing anything of your life - though of course one other thing usually helps: find a way in which you, with your talents (whatever they are) can contribute to other people's happiness. Whether it is helping through volunteer work in a shelter for the homeless or building a web site like I've done. Doing stuff for other people, selflessly may not bring happiness, it sure brings fulfillment and a sense of purpose in life.
Krishnamurti might say something like: You are not happy? Good - face that , stick to that.
Can a person rooted in 21st century day to day life learn to tap into eternal verities in a real sense?
Of course. Some people say meditation is the key. Others say study of religious and spiritual literature is it. Some people say that communing with nature is the way. Or focussing on your thoughts, feelings and body now. Whichever path it yours, if you find love in your heart, there will be moments that you can tap into these truths directly. Purifying the heart and mind will help you clarify what you tap into. And perhaps even make it last. But that goes beyond my personal experience.
You are studying themes related to karma & reincarnation. What are your reasons or arguments for believing in reincarnation (if you do)? And how do you explain that we don't remember past lives?
I believe in reincarnation, sort of. I do so, because of the standard reason: I think I remember some of my past lives. Still, remembering those past lives, I know that the person I am today is very different from the person I was then. Even to use the same word "I" for it feels sort of stupid. Words get in the way when trying to explain these things. There is a continuity of consciousness, from life to life, and my remembrances suggest that one stream of consciousness enters ONE life form at a time. This is sort of the extent of my understanding. I think the document where Jiddu Krishnamurti talks about death, dying and possible reincarnation is excellent.
The short version (check your theosophical literature for more) is that it is NOT the personality which reincarnates. This makes sense, as most of us don't remember our previous births anyhow. What reincarnates is the monad (Atma + Buddhi), which takes the essence of your thoughts with it. Major fascination, major tendencies you had, major aspirations, the central thread of what motivated you during life (well, not the base emotions, not the greed or the fear or that sort of stuff). The higher thoughts, or the best and the noblest parts of your consciousness go into devachan (roughly heaven) and come back to earth in a new life as part of what you might call the essential you and what is called the monad in theosophical literature.
There around that monad the life-atoms gather that your previous personality has deserved there. So then, back on earth, the result of the lower aspects of your previous personality also has its effect. But essentially a new personality is formed in response to new circumstances and taking the previous as sort of the material to work with.
Hope that is a starting point for understanding this.