Originally published 1907; third and revised edition, 1921.
Chapter 4. The Second Death
Chapter 5. Devachan
Chapter 6. The Preparation for the Next Incarnation
Chapter 7. The Individuality and its Impersonations
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Theosophy teaches that the death of the body is not the only great change that occurs at the close of life; there is a second death, a death of the lower passional nature, the kama-rupa or 'body of desire.' This mystic death sets free the higher principles, which then rise to sublime heights of spiritual existence from whence they do not return until the next incarnation.
To understand this more clearly we must regard the higher ego or manas as the center of self-consciousness, overshadowed by the potentiality of atma-buddhi, but during life partly incarnated in this molecular existence, where for experience and for the elevation of lower states of being, it has identified itself with that limited bodily condition where passion and desire have great power. The lower manas is an emanation, a portion sent out from the higher ego -- we may call it for convenience the reflection or the shadow -- and while in the body it becomes fully identified with terrestrial existence after the first few years of life, when, as Wordsworth says:
Shades of the prison-house begin to close / Upon the growing Boy, / But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, / He sees it in his joy; / The Youth, who daily farther from the east / Must travel, still is Nature's priest, / And by the vision splendid / Is on his way attended; / At length the Man perceives it die away, / And fade into the light of common day.
It has forgotten "heaven which is its home." The false personality, the compound of the lower manas -- this emanation of the higher -- the passions, and a number of sensory impressions derived from a long train of daily experiences strung together by the thread of physical memory, is what we call our personal self, Mr. or Mrs.---- as the case may be; but all the time the real reincarnating ego, the higher individuality, is behind, watching, guiding, and helping, whenever the lower self will allow its voice -- the conscience -- to be heard. It is the guardian angel.
At death the body, the astral, and the physical vitality or prana, return to their own molecular or atomic states, and for the present we need say no more about them. The inner man now stands freed from his physical sheath, but he is none the less a personality; he is still entangled in those passions he has been weaving around himself since infancy. He is now on the kama-loka plane, the natural home of desire and passion. The perfectly legitimate normal existence of other states of being, beyond and within the ordinary terrestrial plane, blending into and interpenetrating it, is a conception people find difficult to realize in some cases. Even the lowest of these planes are invisible to our embodied senses except under very unusual circumstances, and though they shade into each other like the colors of the spectrum, each one is distinct and characterized by a dominant state of consciousness.
Most people are in the habit of thinking of everything on terrestrial lines, of supposing that the higher as well as the lower feelings disappear utterly with the destruction of the brain, or else of putting the whole question aside as a hopeless mystery. But to see the truth the student must look upon the things of the mind and the soul from higher ground. Reasoning, which does fairly well for the things of the body and the mechanical forces, will not apply to supermundane conditions without modification. So when we speak of the plane of passion and desire whereon a being may live, we must not look upon it as if it were another material planet like ours, but rather as a subtle condition of matter within or interpenetrating our world; the kama-lokic condition of consciousness partly resembles the state the mind is in when dreaming an ordinary dream. Even this comparison is very incomplete, for most of our dreaming is done through the brain-cells. Speaking of kama-loka, H. P. Blavatsky says that it is
the semi-material plane, to us subjective and invisible, where the disembodied "personalities," the astral forms, called Kama-rupas, remain until they fade out from it by the complete exhaustion of the effect of the mental impulses that created these eidolons of the lower animal passions and desires.
H. P. Blavatsky here uses the words astral and eidolon for a much more subtle and ethereal principle, so to speak, than that almost physical astral which perishes as the body decays. The kama-rupa is the subjective being (subjective from our terrestrially objective position but objective enough on its own plane) composed of the whole of the passional nature of the man that was; and for a while the higher ego cannot withdraw the shadow, the emanation or lower manas, which has gotten entangled in it. In some cases the lower consciousness absolutely dominates the position and the higher ego is compelled to break off from its shadow. This terrible fate for the lower manas even happens occasionally during life, and then we see the awful spectacle of a seemingly human being entirely destitute of conscience -- a soulless being -- although often highly intellectual. The kama-lokic plane has many divisions, each one in harmony with the grade of materiality of the being passing through it. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead they are symbolized by the many portals the soul has to pass through before being finally allowed to enter the Elysian fields of Aaru. At each gateway he has to give the password, showing advance in spirituality and purification.
As the departed soul progresses in purification it approaches nearer and nearer the Father in Heaven, the higher ego, and at the same time the kama principle fades away, only leaving behind it the seeds of future action, the seeds that have been sown in the life just passed and which have to come to fruition in some later incarnation. Only the highest thoughts and feelings of the past life can enter into the final state of heavenly bliss, but before this can be attained the gradual change called the second death has to be faced.
The general theosophical teaching of the second death is nothing new, and as it is a fact in the orderly progress of the soul, the most enlightened of the ancient philosophers knew of it and have handed it down to us, who have greater difficulties in investigating for ourselves. The sacred knowledge of the mysteries of death cannot be found by the invocation of the fading kama-rupic shades of the dead in seance-rooms or by any ordinary means known to science. Penetration behind the veil of illusion that wraps us so closely can only be done with faultless vision by those who have passed entirely beyond the entanglements of selfish desire. Only those Masters of Wisdom who have attained perfect compassion, the "perfect love that casteth out fear," can venture into and return safely from those regions "from whose bourn no [uninitiated or untrained] traveler returns." The visions of such imperfect seers as Swedenborg, Scipio Africanus, St. Teresa, and the like are often quite unreliable, for they are colored by preconceptions arising from their own particular school of theology acting through self-hypnosis, as well as by gigantic personal limitations. Plutarch puts the ancient theosophic teaching very clearly, though of course, he could not explain anything fully as the whole detail belonged to the inner Mysteries. He says:
Now of the deaths we die, the one makes man two out of three and the other one of [out of] two. The former is in the region and jurisdiction of Demeter; whence the name given to the Mysteries, teletai, resembles that given to death, teleute. The Athenians also heretofore called the deceased sacred to Demeter. As for the other death, it is in the moon or region of Persephone.* . . . And as with the one, the terrestrial, so with the other, celestial, Hermes doth dwell. This suddenly and with violence plucks the soul from the body; but Proserpina mildly and in a long time disjoins the understanding from the soul. . . . Now both the one and the other happen thus according to nature. It is ordained by Fate [Fatum or Karma] that every soul, whether with or without understanding [mind] when gone out of the body, should wander for a time -- though not all for the same -- in the region lying between the Earth and Moon [Kama-loka]. For those who have been unjust and dissolute suffer then the punishment due to their offenses; but the good and virtuous are there detained till they are purified and have, by expiation, purged out of them all the infections they might have contracted from the contagion of the body, as if from foul health, -- living in the mildest part of the air, called the Meadows of Hades, where they must remain for a certain prefixed and appointed time. And then, as if they were returning from a wandering pilgrimage or long exile into their country, they have a taste of joy . . . etc.
[*Proserpina, or Persephone, stands here for post mortem Karma, which is said to regulate the separation of the lower from the higher "principles" -- the soul, as Nephesh, the breath of animal life, which remains for a time in Kama-loka, from the higher compound Ego, which goes into the state of Devachan, or bliss.]
CONSCIOUSNESS AND PERSONALITY
Before passing on to the consideration of the region of Paradise where the higher manas and the spiritual aroma of the lower manas become one and unite with the higher self, it will be well to take another glance at the question of reflected or emanated intelligence, a great stumbling-block to beginners. The superficial materialism of this age -- not only the theoretical disbelief in the existence of immortality, but the modern ideals of practical life -- have brought so many millions into such a settled way of thinking of themselves as nothing but this body and brain-mind that it requires some exercise of will to break up the hypnotic illusion and to see things in a larger way and with a broader view. But when this is done, what a relief to find it is not necessary to believe, as the theologians have indoctrinated us in their ignorance, that our present limited personalities will continue to exist in heaven or hell throughout all eternity; nor to have to take refuge in a natural, instinctive horror of that wearisome belief -- in the melancholy hope of annihilation!
All things possess self-consciousness in potentiality; every atom on each plane of being has it in latency if not in action, and the principles that the ego builds round itself in order to come into touch with the many phases of earth-life receive a partial awakening from its contact. Think of a light shining through differently colored panes of glass, some of which remain phosphorescent for a while after the withdrawal of the inner light, a physical fact which partly illustrates the superphysical condition of the lower states of consciousness when the higher ego has passed on. The whole of nature is ready at the first favorable moment to acquire self-conscious existence; the greater object which man is struggling to reach (and all things are tending to become man on their way upward) is to "enjoy the Glory of God," in the language of the theologians. We would prefer to put it: that all things should become aware of the plan of the divine Oversoul of which they are expressions. Observe that the word God is not used in theosophy with any personal signification -- unless the ordinary, limited meaning of the word personal is set aside as so many theologians try to do by their desperate attempts to combine the incompatible in their efforts to define the nature of God. By this almost creative power of a higher consciousness to light the fires in less evolved substance, the illusion is produced in the mind that it can divide and subdivide itself; but actually the original consciousness must remain a unity and does not lose its identity. The basis in which it works will change, or more exactly, it will pass through many fundamentally distinct states, but once having arrived at that feeling, the sense of I-am-I exists through all the changes of form and growth during earth-life. Even during the states of so-called unconsciousness (unconsciousness to the waking mind, such as when the brain is under the effect of hypnotism) there is no real blank, for when the subject is again hypnotized the lost memory of what has taken place during the hypnotic state returns and can even be made permanent. Even the character of the personality may change, but the spectator, the inner man "for whom the hour shall never strike," looks on and recognizes the changes and profits by the experience gained through the lower self. Back of all there is that which is still more spiritual than the higher ego: the higher self -- the divine breath, buddhi illuminated by atma, that which is one, the Oversoul.
"Lift thy head, O Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee, burning in the dark midnight sky?"
"I sense one Flame, O Gurudeva, I see countless undetached sparks shining in it."
"Thou sayest well. And now look around and into thyself. That light which bums inside thee, dost thou feel it different in anywise from the light that shines in thy Brother-men?"
"It is in no way different, though the prisoner is held in bondage by Karma, and though its outer garments delude the ignorant into saying, 'Thy Soul and My Soul.'" -- From an Eastern esoteric catechism, quoted by H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine 1:120
Now we have traveled in our imaginary journey a long way with the advancing soul, and though many mysteries have been left yet unexplained and many gaps remain to be filled as the student makes progress in impersonality, still the broad outlines of the coherent system are now apparent.
With the disappearance of the kama principle, the radiant glories of the heavenly world open on the purified soul, now freed from the taint of everything that held it from the realization of the Christos, the true Vine, of which it is but one branch. As a tree puts forth twigs and leaves, withdrawing into itself by degrees the virtue it has gained through the existence of the leaves, now mere skeletons, so the higher has withdrawn all that was useful, noble, and of good report from the terrestrial. The state of devachan has now been fully entered upon, the final state preceding the next plunge or rebirth into earth-life for further development.
To get an approximate idea of devachan, the highest state between earthly incarnations, we must not allow ourselves to dwell too much on form. No doubt it is difficult for our brain-minds to separate the idea of conscious existence from definite form of some kind; probably the easiest way to open the intuitive faculty in this direction is to meditate on -- and then act out -- such attributes of the divine nature as justice, mercy, love, and compassion. These are as actual as anything else we contact, for they are changeless and everlasting; but they are formless and they cannot be laid out on the dissecting-table or analyzed with spectroscopes. They are the eternal verities shining behind the veil of illusion created by the spirit of the universe to manifest them. It is impossible to put these high and sacred matters into words to be understood by the brain-mind in its ordinary condition, for the mind partakes too much of the nature of matter itself to do more than grasp faint glimpses of what is meant by spirit. The caricatures the laboring minds of men have drawn in their futile efforts to explain the meaning of spirituality have disgusted many thoughtful seekers who were just turning towards the light, and have sent them back to materialism as a lesser evil than superstition. Attempting to explain spiritual consciousness to one who has no glimmering of intuition is like discussing the colors of the rainbow with a blind man.
But theosophy does not leave anyone without hope. It teaches that if even the least effort is made to break away from the clogging things of personal selfishness, a little spiritual knowledge will come, and that if the struggle is continued without slackening, the light will get brighter until the full daylight of what is called in the East nirvana, and in the Christian mysticism the Beatific Vision, will flood the soul. The heat of aspiration transmutes the lead of the lower nature to the gold. Spiritual fire begins to flame the instant a high aspiration is entertained.
But devachan is not this state of perfect knowledge and wisdom; it is a high and exquisitely refined condition, but even in its purity the soul is bound to a certain extent by illusion. Although devachan is nearer the one reality than the physical plane, it is not that divine region where all things are plain to the view of the illuminated seer and are known in their real essence. We have not yet gained our freedom, for the life cycle of humanity is only partially completed and ages must elapse before perfect liberation is achieved by the race as a whole.
In the theosophical teaching of devachan an entirely new conception of life after death has been offered to the Western world. A dismal materialism has woefully misunderstood the meaning of our environment; it can see nothing but that nature is "red in tooth and claw," and thinks that with the disappearance of the brain, annihilation is the end of consciousness; while the vague and inconsistent ideas of heaven and hell of the ecclesiastics, or the Summerland of the Spiritists, are the only alternatives. No wonder there is so much negation and rejection of all but what pertains to the life of the senses; no wonder that the highest ideal of large masses of the people is that 'honesty is the best policy.'
But theosophy shows that between the extremes of denial and credulity the truth is to be looked for. Neither will human intelligence sink into the abyss of nothingness, its existence having been to no purpose; nor will the narrow brain-mind of Mr. A. or Mrs. B. drag on a wearisome career in eternity cramped by the limitations of personality as we know them. Once we realize that the real man is a part of the Oversoul; is immortal in past and future; that he has to understand the various planes of existence in this illimitable universe by embodiment in forms of differing degrees of materiality; that for the inner man there is no alarming shock at death flinging him into painfully new conditions -- once we grasp these sublime conditions we shall comprehend the mercy of the higher law in a new way. The theosophist rejoices in the knowledge that devachan is at least a partial release from the bonds of personality, a perfect rest for the soul after the strife of earth-life, when it assimilates the worthiest experiences of the past and gains strength for the next battle. W. Q. Judge puts the case tersely:
Nature, always kind, leads us soon again to heaven for a rest, for the flowering of the best or highest in our natures.
In devachan, the imagination, one of the highest faculties we have, is given full play. This godlike creative power, the inspiration of the artist, musician, or inventor, has for its materials experiences of the past life, memories of antecedent states, unknown to the brain-mind of the previous incarnation, as well as knowledge of things entirely veiled from us by the limitations of the senses. Who knows what creations of poetry or of invention have not been worked out in devachan, which afterwards seemed to shoot into the brain of the personality in his next incarnation? The following arrangement will help the student to understand something of the changes produced by the journey through the portals of death. This classification is not set forth as the authoritative teaching of theosophy, but is the writer's deduction from the little that the Teachers have given out about the changes of consciousness after death.
LATER, IN DEVACHAN:
In devachan the higher energies or causes set in motion in earth-life are carried to their completion. The very nature of the manasic principle requires the time and peaceful conditions provided in devachan to work out the effects of what it has stored. While in a body these higher fruitions cannot manifest themselves, for the environment and structure of the brain are too material. In devachan the higher ego, overshadowed by buddhi -- i.e., the buddhi-manas -- by the assimilation of the lower manasic personal ideations and such consciousness of the better things like compassion, patience, the higher side of art and music, and ideals of service for humanity, draws up to itself the enduring part of the former personality. The higher ego is the bearer of all the alter egos threaded on its silver line of successive incarnations, which blend into one at last; but in the devachan immediately succeeding any one life, the spiritual aroma of the events of that particular lifetime is what colors it with the greatest distinctness. Personal immortality for the alter ego is so far conditional that it depends upon the quality of its aspirations to make its union with the Father, the True Vine, possible. Like to like is the rule in all worlds, and the law of least resistance bears sway everywhere; it would be obviously preposterous to imagine an utter sensualist in the higher and more refined degrees of kama-loka or until purged on the spiritual plane of devachan.
The descent of the higher ego through its shadow is symbolized in the Christian story by the incarnation of the Christos in Jesus of Nazareth and his subsequent ascent to his Father, after being crucified on the cross of matter. The penitent thief stands for the higher aspiration of the past life, as he is promised Paradise with the Christos, but not so the other who represents the unredeemable passions which go to the pit.
The ego in devachan, now a trinity in unity, is not omniscient nor free from illusion; it has ages of necessary experience to go through first. We ought really to regard devachan from the standpoint of the lower manas, or more properly and correctly, from the standpoint of the bridge or antaskarana, the part of the higher ego that has been the connecting link between the two manases in life and which now bears all that essence of the late personality which can be united with its Father in Heaven. From this position, looking up, the mystic union with the higher ego in devachan will be, to the purified antaskarana -- all that we can recognize as worth preserving of the personality -- a tremendous increase of life and light, of glory, of bliss beyond anything in our most exquisite dreams. The imagination comes into action with a thousandfold the power it ever had on earth, and the rich and satisfying dream, which is more than a dream, abundantly rewards the pilgrim for those distressing events on earth for which it may not have been responsible in that particular incarnation and which had left a sense of injustice.
Although devachan is much nearer the reality of things than any ordinary dream, yet it is sufficiently illusory for the soul to be able to build up its castles in the air without fear of disturbance by anything outside. It is surrounded in imagination by friends, relatives, and all it held dear; as the creative imagination builds exactly what it desires so vividly as to appear more real than the most intense experiences while embodied, everyone gets precisely what is to him the highest joy. The soul in the devachanic state is, in fact, practically in that wondrous condition of rapture that the poet or the musician or even perhaps the mathematician enjoy when absorbed in their highest creative states, in which the body, the earth, and all other externals cease for the time to exist.
The actor [in devachan] is so imbued with the role be has lately played that he dreams of it during the whole Devachanic night, and this vision continues until the hour strikes for him to return to the stage of life to enact another part. -- The Key to Theosophy, p. 181
Glorious as the state of devachan is, it is not equal in importance to the condition of earth-life. Necessary it is, joyous exceedingly, but it is on earth that liberation from the chains of illusion and passion has to be gained. Here, where the whole nature of man is crying to be used wisely, is the real school, here it is that the perfected man must arise. When this is done the time spent in the spiritual state of devachan will be unnecessary; that condition is now needed by the soul for recuperation, for without it the strain of earthly existence could not be endured. When the whole nature has been purified in the fires of trial, and absolute impersonality is gained, the divine man will be as one of the gods and will in his turn become a fully conscious creator and guide to the unprogressed beings below him on the upward march.
Theosophy urges students to make the greatest distinction in their own minds between the immortal individuality -- the divine Christos, called in the East the Isvara, that dwelleth in the heart of every creature -- and the fleeting personality. Man in his ordinary state believes that he is nothing more than the lower mind. Even the greatest intellectual thinkers of the age do not dare to break through this hypnotic veil, well symbolized by the teaching of the creeds that men are miserable sinners, a depressing nightmare; or the similarly depraving notion of the biologists that a man is no more than 'a monkey shaved.' Theosophy recognizes the backward state of mankind to the full and makes no attempt to flatter its vanity with false praise. But it gives hope, and by showing that there is the higher ego overshadowing the personality, that it is ever trying to call attention to those things which are pure and of good report, and that we can enter into the mansion that is waiting for us if we will only try the right means, it destroys the fear of death.
In gaining the real life of the soul, of which the devachanic interlude is a pale reflection, we really shall not be gaining any new thing; if we go about it rightly we find that we have but to remove the obstructions that are in the path, most of which we have built up for ourselves. If we give up the lower desires and turn our energies to those in harmony with the highest human aspirations, we at once find ourselves partaking of a larger consciousness; we begin to hear the mysterious whisper in the heart -- the voice of the greater humanity of which we are all a part, but of which, we are so little aware. Without going more deeply into metaphysics, it suffices for practical purposes that as we remove the obstructions, the glories of real life and the existence of the true self break in upon us. This is the only way to triumph over death. All the greatest teachers of the ages have brought the same message.
The terrestrial body is not the only River of Lethe, plunged into which, as Plotinus says, the soul forgets all, but devachan partakes of the same nature, for in that blissful state the celestial body with which the soul is united causes it to lose sight utterly of the painful events and thoughts of the past life. Although the real cause of devachan is ignorance of the higher ego, yet in our present state of evolution it is a necessary and desirable experience; we see how necessary by the very fact -- a profound mystery to physiology -- that to keep going and preserve sanity the higher ego has to abandon its communication with the body for a large part of each twenty-four hours. The higher ego never entirely quits the spiritual realms, and although the materials used by the imagination in devachan with which to build its ideal life are only derived from the most sublimated thoughts and acts of the past incarnation, yet the totality of events of that and all the previous lives is indelibly recorded so that when real self-knowledge arrives the veil will fall and access be gained to the records, and the course of evolution be plainly seen. We are taught that the soul is able to look back with purified sight a little way into the past as it re-enters earth-life. It then sees the causes that have led it irresistibly to the new incarnation, good or bad, and recognizes the justice of karma; it takes up the cross again with willingness.
H. P. Blavatsky says: "Devachan is a spiritual gestation within an ideal matrix state," and as we emerge from it into the light of earthly day, complete in all our potentialities for good or evil, we again have the opportunity of keeping the simplicity of the spiritual life. Of all the poets, Wordsworth has given us in his Intimations of Immortality the most inspired vision of preexistence in the devachanic state. In the haunting sweetness of his word-picture we catch evanescent glimpses of that which we have lost:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; / The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, / Hath had elsewhere its setting / And cometh from afar; / Not in entire forgetfulness, / And not in utter nakedness, / But trailing clouds of glory do we come / From God, who is our home: / Heaven lies about us in our infancy! / Shades of the prison-house begin to close . . .
Hence, in a season of calm weather / Though inland far we be, / Our souls have sight of that immortal sea / Which brought us hither; / Can in a moment travel thither / And see the children sport upon the shore, / And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Some have been fortunate enough to retain the "vision splendid" longer than others; some have revived it, after recollecting how they once lost it in early childhood. Those who never had it, to whom everything is commonplace and drab, have been the materialistically minded, worldly-wise folk who have not sown any seeds in their past life for the reaping in devachan, and have therefore passed the time while waiting for a suitable incarnation in a semi-torpid state. They may even have reincarnated immediately, without any devachanic break.
On the subject of necromancy, the attempt to raise the shades of the dead, it is merely necessary to mention that the purified soul in devachan does not respond to artificial means taken to revivify the astral shell (the residue of the kama-rupa) with a factitious vitality derived chiefly from the medium and the sitters in the seance-room. But though the soul in devachan is so far removed from the physical plane, and so fully occupied with the wondrous inner experiences for which it needs to be temporarily sequestered, that it cannot return to earth in the true sense of the word, it has not lost touch completely with the loved ones left behind. A mother's love is a protecting shield for her children long after she has passed away, though she does not have the pain of seeing them suffer the vicissitudes of life. And at times of great spiritual exaltation a person on earth may sense the bliss of the one in devachan; but we are taught that this is of very rare occurrence, and is poles asunder from the alleged return of the souls of the dead in the seance-room -- apparitions which, when genuine, are almost invariably caused by the astral body of the medium or the shell of the deceased, the kama-rupa, or something else which is not the real man, by which we mean, of course, the higher and lower manas, united at last.
The length of time spent in devachan is a question of difficulty; little direct information has been given on that point, but a general average is said to be about fifteen hundred years. In the case of persons having led an ordinary, creditable life and having a fairly large store of lofty experiences to be assimilated, the time will be much longer than in the case of those who have pursued none but ignoble aims, or materialists who utterly deny the possibility of any existence but the physical. The latter will return to earth very soon. A study of the cyclic periods of history gives some light on the subject; it is seen that there is a distinct tendency for the repetition of similar events in a period of between twelve hundred and two thousand years; witness the Renaissance of art in the fourteenth and later centuries, which followed about 1600 years after the great period of art in Greece. But we have not yet sufficient historical data to be able to follow out this line of research in detail, though as new discoveries are constantly being made, future historians will find this a profitable study, clearing up many otherwise inexplicable difficulties.
The question of the existence of heaven or hell presents no great difficulties to the theosophical student. Hell is mainly here on earth, where we have made the horrible conditions of existence for ourselves; after death there is a period of purification in which many earth-bound souls must necessarily have suffering. Heaven is the long blissful ecstasy of devachan, terminating in the awakening to earth-life in a new personality, formed by the just law of karma from the seeds of action, the skandhas, carried on as seeds by the immortal reincarnating ego after the break-up of the kama-rupa, and in which we have a fresh chance of undoing the mistakes of the past and gaining that real spirituality rendering the semi-illusions of devachan, lofty as they are, unnecessary. The two procedures of purification on earth through lives of effort and the trials for entrance into devachan have close points of resemblance, and were condensed into one in the Egyptian Book of the Dead and Job. H. P. Blavatsky tells us:
During the sacred Mysteries the candidates for Initiation enacted the whole drama of death and the resurrection as a glorified spirit.
Though we may have lost the key to the profounder teachings of the Egyptian and Greek Mysteries, we have not lost the key to the only method of regaining our high estate. William Q. Judge, in pointing the way to reach the higher ego, the 'Warrior,' says:
It is selflessness, unselfishness, altruism, pure love of the light for its own sake, not for what it will confer -- these things bring the candidate face to face with the "Warrior."
Katherine Tingley teaches people to discover and make manifest that "You have within you the ceaseless flow of living Fire," saying further:
According to my knowledge, when a soul is leaving its earthly Temple, however dark and gruesome the circumstances may be, it knows its own path. So in moving out of the body, long before the pulse has ceased to beat or the breath is stilled, it finds itself born into a New Life, an unspeakable joy. Something new has been fashioned for that soul in that sacred moment, and then it comprehends the enormity of its mistakes and wills itself to higher things in the next life. There are different experiences for different souls according to their evolution, but at last each one rests in the arms of the beneficent Law, free from the limitations of earthly life. The ordinary mind cannot fully conceive what has happened; the soul is judged by the Law, not by any man, and when it is reborn it not only takes with it the experience of the past, though without the memory of details, but it takes something else that has happened at that wonderful time when it is born into the New Life, when it is reborn in more ways than one.
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