After Death Experience – Part 1
The Spiritual Bridge And Life After Death.
There is nothing more certain than that you will die out of this world and enter the purely nonphysical after death states, eventually to return to a new physical life here on Earth. Nothing is more psycho-spiritually difficult to do than to fully grasp and comprehend the meaning of death while we yet live in this world. This is as it should be, for non spiritually active people, given the fact that our seven principles are aligned in a specific order, and a specific way within what theosophy calls a “ring-pass-not”. This “ring-pass-not” encompasses and defines everyday consciousness in the everyday world.
Theosophy has concerned itself with the subject of the postmortem states of being and consciousness since the beginning of the Theosophical Society in 1875 and farther back in the Theosophy of the Classical Greek period and before in India and in particular Ancient Egypt.
In Paleoanthropology, when we discover that a prehistoric hominid buries its dead, we know it is human. Human mortals like us must always be concerned with what may await us beyond our death. This concern is a crucial aspect of what defines our humanity.
There is nothing morbid or unnatural about the wish to understand the meaning of death or what may lie beyond it. Death is a part of life and is built into every living organism. Death is natural. Theosophy concerns itself with the psycho-spiritual meaning of death and how this experience is to be understood. All true Initiates, while their physical body yet lives, must pass through psycho-spiritual death and what lies beyond as a natural process of spiritual awakening. Sustained wisdom path meditation, initiates the fully active theosophist into the after death and pre-birth states of being. This is how someone becomes an Initiate.
There is a dramatic difference in the way people of different stages of spiritual evolution experience death and what unfolds in the Astral states of Kama Loka and Devachan, after death. This term, Kama Loka, simply means ‘location of desire’ and Devachan simply means ‘house of Devas’ or the home of Angelic beings. The individuals state of innate spiritual development also determines their capacity to grasp and understand the psycho-spiritual significance and meaning of death and the postmortem states.
In The Key to Theosophy 1889, and other original writings a description of the after death states is given, and this is where most people begin to become familiar with the terms Kama Loka and Devachan.
It is necessary to understand that when the The Key to Theosophy was published a great many people were in a state of anguished recoil from the ideas of materialistic and mechanistic Science. Darwinism had shaken long held beliefs in religious dogma, and the Industrial Revolution was tearing millions of people away from the land with its naturally rhythmic spiritual cycles and seasons.
Western society was reeling from the assault on long held certainties by Science, Darwinism, and Industrialization. Spiritualism emerged from within this cultural and spiritual crisis, offering the comfort and excitement of ‘proof’ that mortals not only survive death, but can under the appropriate circumstances communicate with the living. Spiritualist theories and seances became popular overnight and were widely reported in the Press. For every skeptic and disbeliever there were ten people eager and waiting to be convinced by Spiritualism.
Since time immemorial in all enlightened civilizations, Spiritualism has been condemned as Necromancy, the conjuring of the dead. Necromancy is taboo. Nevertheless famous and well thought of cultural leaders at the time pronounced themselves convinced of the claims being made by Spiritualism. Western culture was in danger of a very damaging regression into psychism and atavism. And this precisely during a cycle when the manasic principle was destined to go through a major leap forward into objectivity and fact based pragmatism.
Spirituality was to gain from clarity of thinking and free itself from the blind faith so beloved by authoritarian religions. Unwary people were replacing the authority of the Priest with the authority of disembodied entities posing as spiritual guides speaking through entranced and unconscious Mediums from the world of the dead.
It fell to the Theosophical movement to combat Spiritualism, by pointing to its dangerous illusions, and errors in ethical and spiritual judgment. In Section 9 on the Kama-Loka and Devachan of the Key to Theosophy a devastating argument against Spiritualism is mounted. Increasingly people who found themselves in a spiritual crisis were able to enter into the teachings of Theosophy which are spelled out in a clear and and easy to understand manner.
Much that could have been said at the time about the after death states was omitted in the attempt to keep the message as simple and clear as possible. Apart from spreading the general message of theosophy the purpose of The Key to Theosophy was to steer the public away from the hazards of spiritualism, which involved interference with the dead in an unwholesome way. Of course Spiritualism, which had a brief resurgence under the umbrella of the New Age Movement still exists and is going on amongst a fringe minority of not very intelligent “trance channeling psychics” and their ‘psychic seeker’ clients.
Theosophy rejects Spiritualism for several reasons not least amongst them the fact that Spiritualism fosters spiritual passivity. Spiritual passivity combined with psychism is a dangerous mix. A positive and healthy spiritual life demands the discovery and awakening of the spiritual will within the higher Self through the path of active meditation. An active and focused spiritual will is vital to authentic spiritual emancipation.
In Part Two we will go into the events and awareness states that unfold during the period between Death and Rebirth.
It is highly recommended that you read these writings in their posted order.
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