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[8/24/2013 6:11:31 PM] Thuan Thi Do: CHAPTER 22
THE term “spiritualism” is used nowadays to denote communication of many different kinds with the astral world by means of a medium.
The origin and history of the spiritualistic movement have already been described in Chapter 21.
The etheric mechanism which makes spiritualistic phenomena possible has been fully described in The Etheric Double, to which work the student is referred.
There remains now for us to consider the value, if any, of this method of communicating with the unseen world, and the nature of the sources from which the communications may come.
In the early days of the Theosophical Society, H. P. Blavatsky wrote with considerable vehemence on the subject of spiritualism, and laid great stress on the uncertainty of the whole thing, and the preponderance of personations over real appearances. There seems little doubt that these views have largely coloured and determined the unfavourable attitude which most members of the Theosophical Society take towards spiritualism as a whole.
C.W. Leadbeater, on the other hand, affirms that his own personal experience has been more favourable. He spent some years experimenting with spiritualism, and believes that he has himself repeatedly seen practically all the phenomena which may be read about in the literature of the subject.
In his experience, he found that a distinct majority of the apparitions were genuine. The messages they give are often uninteresting, and their religious teaching he describes as being usually “Christianity and water” : nevertheless, as far as [Page 195] it goes, it is liberal, and in advance of the bigoted orthodox position.
C.W. Leadbeater points out that Spiritualists and Theosophists have much important ground in common, e.g., (1) that life after death is an actual, vivid, ever-present certainty; and (2) that eternal progress and ultimate happiness, for every one, good and bad alike, is also a certainty. These two items are of such tremendous and paramount importance, constituting as they do so enormous an advance from the ordinary orthodox position, that it seems somewhat regrettable that Spiritualists and Theosophists cannot join hands on these broad issues and agree, for the present, to differ upon minor points, until at least the world at large is converted to that much of the truth. In this work there is ample room for the two bodies of seekers after truth.
Those who wish to see phenomena, and those who cannot believe anything without ocular demonstration, will naturally gravitate towards spiritualism. On the other hand, those who want more philosophy than spiritualism usually provides, will naturally turn to Theosophy. Both movements thus cater for the liberal and open-minded, but for quite different types of them. Meanwhile, harmony and agreement between the two movements seems desirable, in view of the great ends at stake.
It must be said to the credit of spiritualism that it has achieved its purpose to the extent of converting vast numbers of people from a belief in nothing in particular to a firm faith in at any rate some kind of future life. This, as we said in the last chapter, is undoubtedly a magnificent result, though there are those who think that it has been attained at too great a cost.
There is undoubtedly danger in spiritualism for emotional, nervous and easily influenced natures, and it is advisable not to carry the investigations too far, for reasons which by now must be apparent to the student. But there is no readier way of breaking [Page 196] down the unbelief in anything outside the physical plane than trying a few experiments, and it is perhaps worth while to run some risk in order to effect this.
C.W. Leadbeater fearlessly asserts that, in spite of the fraud and deception which undoubtedly have occurred in some instances, there are great truths behind spiritualism which may be discovered by anyone willing to devote the necessary time and patience to their investigation. There is, of course, a vast and growing literature on the subject.
Furthermore, good work, similar to that done by Invisible Helpers (see Chapter 28), has sometimes been done through the agency of a medium, or of some one present at a séance. Thus, though spiritualism has too often detained souls, who but for it would have attained speedy liberation, yet it has also furnished the means of escape to others, and thus opened up the path of advancement for them. There have been instances in which the deceased person has been able to appear, without the assistance of a medium, to his relatives and friends, and explain his wishes to them. But such cases are rare, and in most cases earth-bound souls can relieve themselves of their anxieties only by means of the services of a medium, or of a conscious “Invisible Helper”.
It is thus an error to look only at the dark side of spiritualism: it must not be forgotten that it has done an enormous amount of good in this kind of work, by giving to the dead an opportunity to arrange their affairs after a sudden and unexpected departure.
The student of these pages should not be surprised that amongst spiritualists are some who are bigoted and narrow, who know nothing, for example, of reincarnation: it is probable, in fact, that the majority of English and American spiritualists do not yet know of that fact, though there are schools of spiritualism which do teach it. We have already seen that when a man dies, he usually resorts to the company of those [Page 197] whom he has known on earth: he moves among exactly the same kind of people as during physical life. Hence such a man is little more likely to know or recognise the fact of reincarnation after death than before it. Most men are shut in from all new ideas by a host of prejudices: they carry those prejudices into the astral world with them, and are no more amenable to reason and common-sense there than in the physical world.
Of course a man who is really open-minded can learn a great deal on the astral plane: he may speedily acquaint himself with the whole of the Theosophical teaching, and there are dead men who do this. Hence it often happens that portions of that teaching are found among spirit-communications.
It must also be borne in mind that there is a higher spiritualism of which the public knows nothing, and which never publishes any account of its results. The best circles of all are strictly private, restricted to a small number of sitters. In such circles the same people meet over and over again, and no outsider is ever admitted to make any change in the magnetism. The conditions set up are thus singularly perfect, and the results obtained are often of the most surprising character. Often the so-called dead are just as much part of the daily life of the family as the living. The hidden side of such séances is magnificent: the thought-forms surrounding them are good, and calculated to raise the mental and spiritual level of the district.
At public séances an altogether lower class of dead people appear, because of the promiscuous jumble of magnetism.
One of the most serious objections to the general practice of spiritualism, is that in the ordinary man after death the consciousness is steadily rising from the lower part of the nature towards the higher: the ego, as we have repeatedly said, is steadily withdrawing himself away from the lower worlds: obviously, therefore, it cannot be helpful to his evolution that the lower part should be re-awakened from the natural and [Page 198] desirable unconsciousness into which it is passing, and dragged back into touch with earth in order to communicate through a medium.
It is thus a cruel kindness to draw back to the earth-sphere one whose lower manas still yearns after kâmic gratifications, because it delays his forward evolution and interrupts what should be an orderly progression. The period in kâmaloka is thus lengthened, the astral...
[8/24/2013 6:48:53 PM] Thuan Thi Do: body is fed, and its hold on the ego is maintained; thus the freedom of the soul is deferred, “the immortal Swallow being still held by the birdlime of earth”.
Especially in cases of suicide or sudden death is it most undesirable to re-awaken Trishnâ, or the desire for sentient existence.
The peculiar danger of this will appear when it is recollected that since the ego is withdrawing into himself, he becomes less and less able to influence or guide the lower portion of his consciousness, which, nevertheless, until the separation is complete, has the power to generate karma, and under the circumstances is far more likely to add evil than good to its record.
Furthermore, people who have led an evil life and !' are filled with yearnings for the earth life they have left, and for the animal delights they can no longer directly taste, tend to gather round mediums or sensitives, endeavouring to utilise them for their own gratification. These are among the more dangerous of the forces so rashly confronted in their ignorance by the thoughtless and the curious.
A desperate astral entity may seize upon a sensitive sitter and obsess him, or he may even follow him home
and seize upon his wife or daughter. There have been many such cases, and usually it is almost impossible
to get rid of such an obsessing entity.
We have already seen that passionate sorrow and desires of friends on earth also tend to draw departed entities down to the earth-sphere again, thus often causing acute suffering to the deceased as well as interfering with the normal course of evolution.
Turning now to the kinds of entities who may [Page 199] communicate through a medium, we may classify them as follows:—
Deceased human beings on the astral plane.
Deceased human beings in devachan.
The medium's ego.
As most of these have already been described in Chapter 14 on Astral Entities, little more need be said about them here.
[8/24/2013 7:38:53 PM] minh546melinh nguyen: Các anh chị có cuốn dịch của bà blavaky: THE SECRET DOCTRINE không ạ
[8/24/2013 7:57:38 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://blavatskyarchives.com/inner/innerno19.htm
[8/24/2013 7:58:05 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://blavatskyarchives.com/inner/innerno20.htm
[8/24/2013 8:14:39 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://thongthienhoc.net/truongbigiao/DaiCuongTiengVoThinh.htm
[8/24/2013 9:52:04 PM] *** Call ended, duration 3:43:45 ***
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