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The Gateway of Understanding by Carl August Wickland M.D. - 1861 - 1945


Reincarnation and Theosophy


LONG years of contact with the Invisible World and the lessons obtained from dwellers in that school of life cause the doctrine of reincarnation to lose its plausibility. Any foundation for belief in this theory receives a better interpretation when we understand the influence and thought waves emanating from discarnate spirits which act upon a sensitive brain much as sound waves are conveyed through the radio, a fact equally demonstrated through Psychic Research, especially the abnormal phase.


The theory of reincarnation can undoubtedly be traced to early stages of mankind when departed spirits took possession of the bodies of sensitive individuals and lived and acted through them, thus seemingly indicating reincarnation. But in reality this was only spirit obsession or possession.


Swedenborg states in "Heaven and its Wonders and Hell": "There is such conjunction between the spiritual world and the natural world in man that the two are seemingly one... (It is) provided that there should be angels and spirits with each individual."...


"With every individual there are good spirits and evil spirits... by the two he is kept in equilibrium, and being in equilibrium he is in freedom."


"Good and evil are two opposites Unless man were between these two he could have no thought nor any will, still less any freedom or any choice, for all these man has by virtue of the equilibrium between good and evil."...


"Every man in respect to his spirit, even while he is living in the body, is in some society with spirits although he does not know it."...





"If a spirit were to speak from his own memory with a man, the man would not know otherwise than that the thoughts then in his mind were his own, although they were the spirit's thoughts. This would be like the recollection of something which the man had never heard or seen."


"This is the source of the belief held by some of the ancients that after some thousands of years they were to return into their former life, or had returned. This they concluded because at times there came to them a sort of recollection of things they had never seen or heard. This came from an influx from the memory of spirits into their ideas of thought."


Such occurrences are not limited to primitive races but obtain today in the possession by selfish or ignorant spirits of sensitive persons whose identity becomes entirely changed by these various forms of encroachment; but today this is designated as mental aberration or insanity.


The supposed "memories" of past lives of those who believe in reincarnation are far better accounted for by the presence of invisible intelligences whose memories of their own mortal careers are conveyed through thought waves to the reincarnationists who have become sensitized to such impressions by their meditations and negativism.


Mischievous entities who enjoy playing pranks can also impress upon sensitive minds all sorts of false "memories" which please the victim's vanity.


A woman who was a Theosophist stated to us, as proof of reincarnation, that whenever she read ancient history she invariably remembered the events about which she was reading, not realizing that interfering spirits were producing those mental pictures.


Is it not curious that the "memories" of past lives which "recur" to these believers in the theory of reincarnation are essentially concerned with wonderful careers of greatness in the past, they usually recalling themselves only as Kings, Cleopatras, Apostles, Great Patriarchs, etc.?


Annie Besant believed herself to be the reincarnation of Hypatia and Giordano Bruno, and a report from England states there are at least fifty presumed Cleopatras in that country today. Individuals holding such beliefs are not real





analysts but mere sentimentalists; they mistake the impressions of discarnated spirits for memories of their own past lives.


A case may be quoted which shows to what unfortunate entanglements the reincarnation doctrine may lead. A gentleman, a student of New Thought, Christian Science and Theosophy, became infatuated with the theory of reincarnation and, developing what he supposed was the faculty of recalling past lives, discovered (?) that his wife had been his mother in a former incarnation. Upon making this "discovery" he decided he must leave his loyal, intelligent wife and family of grown children; he obtained a divorce and the home was broken up.


He then became enamored of another woman, a divorcee; believing themselves to be soul-mates, the two left for another part of the country to live on "higher planes." But this blissful existence did not last long; owing to his negative state, the gentleman became entirely possessed by foreign entities and lost his mental balance, whereupon his "soul-mate" promptly deserted him and had him sent back to his family.


As various means resorted to in an endeavor to reestablish the mental equilibrium of the gentleman were of no avail, members of his family, who understood obsession, urged us to take charge of him. He proved to be a very unruly patient, although his actions changed from time to time as various entities were removed from him by static electrical treatments and hydro-therapy.


During the period of several months no less than eleven spirits were dislodged from the patient and allowed to temporarily control Mrs. Wickland. Each entity manifested a distinct personality and characteristics similar to those which previously had been enacted through the patient—one grimaced, another made unusual noises, another had caused the patient to refuse to eat, some spoke in a foreign language, and one gave his name as "The Great I Am." The latter claimed to be a "Super-Master of Metaphysics" and said, "I have the Secret Doctrine of Life; I can perform black magic and I know everything."


After the gentleman was freed from all these entities





he gradually regained his mental poise and during the past ten years has been engaged in his former occupation.


If reincarnation had been a fact through the ages should we not find evidence of it in a goodly portion of superior human beings who had advanced to a high degree of knowledge and development? But there is no evidence of such supermen; only a general average is noticeable among mankind.


Were the theory true that re-birth is required for attaining perfection, should there not be more evidence of perfected souls among us than is discernible—aside from the number of self-hypnotized individuals who imagine themselves to have attained that goal?


As the above was being written, a spirit visitor, Madam Katherine Tingley, who had in earth life been a staunch advocate of reincarnation, unexpectedly controlled Mrs. Wickland and expressed her present views on the subject of reincarnation and the new life.


"I came here today because your writing about reincarnation made an opportunity. Why should reincarnation be taught? I see now that the theory of reincarnation is only a hindrance to progression. I am Tingley."


"When I passed out I had knowledge of the change and had understanding. But passing out is not a pleasant experience for everyone. It is pleasant for those who understand, but very different for those who cling to earthly things."


"For many, when they waken, there is a wall, a gray, cloudy condition, a neutral state where the soul remains until it realizes the change it has made and where it is.


"The physical body is an overcoat for the spirit body; all through earth life you are building the spirit body; when you pass from the physical you throw off the overcoat. The spiritual body is only a form for the soul to manifest through—the Theosophists would say 'an astral shell.'"


"When realization of the change from the physical takes place (this may occur soon after transition or after an extended period, according to the light or strong attachment of the spirit to physical habits and ideas) the soul still holds the old ideas which it had in the physical existence."

"Spirit bodies can be of very coarse material or they can





be of very fine vibration. Those with coarse vibrations and strong physical attractions may sometimes be seen, as in haunted houses."


"When one who has learned to build the spiritual body through understanding passes from the physical, the spiritual body has light and strength, and when the awakening comes such a soul progresses."


"Pure Theosophy, the pure Hindu philosophy, does not teach reincarnation. It teaches we are one with the Maker and we must develop in ourselves an understanding of the higher life."


"Theosophists sit and meditate but they only enter a coma state; they live in a negative condition. They meditate and want to be spiritual; they desire to become 'Masters.'"


"To sit in the silence and meditate is dangerous; you really contact the neutral gray sphere. You become negative and lose the world; your spirit tries to enter what the Theosophists call the 'Astral World.'"


"In this state you see nothing, you know nothing, since that is the condition of the next sphere, which is also a place of rest."


"But as long as you have your physical body, the soul is not yet ready to go into this negative state. Other souls who have passed out of the physical and do not yet understand themselves may then step in. Some are trying to 'reincarnate' and with this thought they float around. These are the ones Theosophists call 'astral shells! They do not want to progress in their spiritual bodies, so they drift about, not really as developed spirits but in a negative condition."


"This gray sphere, the 'astral plane,' is real, but spirits do not progress there. There are many kinds of spirits in the gray, neutral condition; it is a laboratory and spirits there have not yet strength or power."


"The first stage in this sphere is a gray, negative state, the second stage is one in which you waken to a realization of a change and must decide about development."


"The first and second states are conditions in which old ideas are thrown off. If you are ignorant you think only of your earthly home and go back to be near earth life."





"If you understand, you progress. In this state the sun of understanding is rising. It is like the light of dawn, like the peace and harmony of a beautiful morn; it is a wonderful awakening. You will then seek God within."


"The third state is one of homes and home life. Every soul wants a home, companionship and harmony. This is the waiting place where you may wait until your friends and relatives come. You may then progress or you may remain there, for it is very beautiful, with music, art and harmony. Or, if you feel you have left something undone on earth you can make it your work to carry out some mission. There is no development until selfishness is overcome."


"Why should we, after passing through the first two stages of the gray sphere, go back to earth when we can develop into the bliss where all are as one? Some say 'lost in God'; yes, that is true, but it is not loss of the individual. I cannot describe how harmonious is the state of this third sphere, where all can be if they wish."


"I have told all this only to show the folly of trying to reincarnate when the law of the ego is always to go forward and upward through many stages of development and progress in the higher realms."


In our book, "Thirty Years Among the Dead," mention is made of an entity who had in earth life imbibed the notion of reincarnation and after discarding the physical body had attempted to reincarnate and became enmeshed in the aura of a young boy of five, causing the latter to act as an adult, entirely foreign to his normal self. A spirit entity was attracted from the boy, after which he fully regained his mental poise.


The spirit, when controlling Mrs. Wickland, explained that he had been homely and pock-marked and that people had shunned him, which grieved him. Having heard something about the theory of reincarnation he determined to reincarnate for the purpose of obtaining more attractive





features to obviate being shunned and thus had unwittingly obsessed the boy.


Seven years after the publication of our book we received a letter which read in part as follows: "I have just read 'Thirty Years Among the Dead.' On Page 333, opening your chapter, 'Theosophy,' you describe the case of one Charlie Herrman, who lived all his life near Raymond, Illinois. He died in middle age, about twenty­five or thirty years ago. He was never spoken of by any other name than 'Charlie,' and he and his parents used the double 'r' in spelling 'Herrman,' though my father's folks simplified the spelling thus: 'Herman.' He, Charlie, had smallpox which left his eyesight greatly impaired and his face full of pock marks... Most Sincerely Yours, (Signed) ———— Herman."


During our years of Psychic Research we have contacted many discarnated spirits of various conditions who said they had been seeking for a chance to reincarnate but with the only result of becoming lodged in the aura of some person sensitive to spirit encroachment, thereby causing great distress to the victim of such obsession.*


Often such entities inspire bizarre notions and hallucinations in the victim's mind, yet the individual may be unaware that a spirit is causing the delusions and the entity may be unaware of being a spirit or of interfering with anyone, and both may be skeptical regarding spirit influence.


Instead of being helpful, the doctrine of reincarnation is very pernicious, since earthly-minded individuals with strong attractions to the physical world, may learn of the theory of rebirth and fix firmly in their minds the determination to reincarnate again, hoping to obtain a better opportunity to carry out their earthly propensities. We have contacted many such spirits who were firm believers in reincarnation yet were unaware of being so-called dead; often in their ignorance they claimed to be wonderful "Masters,"


* See case of the crawling man, Chapter XII. "Dangers of Occult Practices." Page 241.





and yet they were only earthbound spirits. A great deal of reasoning was required to disillusion them, cause them to realize their situation and open their mental eyes to the road of spiritual progression.


Several children with mental aberrations, who came under our care, proved to be influenced by spirits who had attempted to reincarnate and found themselves enmeshed in the auras of the children, thus interfering with the children's normal physical and mental development as well as hindering their own spiritual progression.


We had been treating a young boy who was subject to attacks of petit mal, and a number of spirits had been removed from him. During a subsequent treatment, while his mother, Mrs. J., was present, Mrs. Wickland also was in the office and the spirit of an intelligent former reincarnationist was dislodged from the boy and allowed to control Mrs. Wickland.


Dr. Wickland How do you do, and who are you?

Spirit A man, of course. How could I be anything else? I am born again. I was a Theosophist and was going to reincarnate but when I tried to reincarnate there were about a dozen ahead of me. (Other spirits obsessing patient.)

And I don't like it—all of us crowded into one little body. I was a man, a student studying Theosophy, and I died, but I have not yet reached what I am going to become.

Mrs. J.             How did you find my son?

Sp. Through you. I found you first. I thought you were quite a nice lady and I saw that if I could get into your family I could have a good home and a quiet, easy life.

But circumstances prevented my reincarnating and I only got into a boy. I know better now and I understand that reincarnation is all buncombe. I knew where I was all the time.

Dr.                  What is your name?





Sp.            My name is Ralph James and I was a lecturer in London. (The patient's family had lived in England.)

Dr.             Who was the ruler at that time?

Sp. King Edward. I wish that I could go out and shout to the world how many children are sent to the idiot asylums by spirits of Theosophists who have hovered around mothers trying to reincarnate through a young baby.

"When one gets into a child and cannot get out it is a great mistake. Sometimes there are two, three or more minds interfering with one child, the child is declared insane and they all go to the asylum and remain with the child until it dies."

"Once in a while an obsessing spirit can get away but only by holding continuously the thought of leaving. This is very difficult."

"Sometimes I was able to slip away but came back again. I have been watching the whole proposition here (removal of obsessing spirits, one by one, from the patient) and watched for my time to get out."

"I have observed obsession here and the treatments given, the effect of electricity on the vital organs, the magnetic current being cut and the wonderful results accomplished by means of this psychic. (Mrs. Wickland.)"

"Why people cannot master themselves in the earth life I cannot understand. They should study nature instead of growing so negative from following various fads, such as eating only vegetables. They should understand that everything depends upon everything else, from microbes on up."

"Many Theosophists travel around in the astral world in a blind condition but hold the thought of finding a place to reincarnate. Many want to become leaders and have their own religion."





Dr.             How old are you?

SP.           "I cannot tell exactly. I think I was about forty-five years old. You can count the interval, as King Edward came to the throne in 1901."

"I knew all about my own death. After I left my physical body, I wanted to travel with people, so I went to India and elsewhere, following others."

"If you are conscious of passing out, it is a wonderful study to observe where you are going. Very few travel on, however. Generally they prefer to remain in their own homes."

"Especially is that so of England. There departed spirits remain for centuries, abiding in old castles and haunted houses, fighting among themselves."

"Those in the physical life cannot remain long in such places so in time all of these old castles will be torn down, because people cannot live comfortably in haunted houses, and the owners cannot afford to keep up these places. If only people would understand this influence."

"Some day I will come to you again and tell you all about my experiences. I am not a bad spirit, merely a foolish one."

"I visited mediums; some considered themselves controlled by Cleopatra and some by St. John, but these were only obsessing spirits pretending to be great personages."

"It is going to take time to break up false beliefs, but there will be a new religion and it will be a sensible one." "I must go now. Thank you for freeing me."


I am fully persuaded that some day it will be found not only that ignorant, designing spirits are often serious contributing factors in the case of the imbecile, idiot and moron,





but also that the reincarnation doctrine has, in many cases, played a role in the unfortunate situation.


The spirit of Madam Blavatsky, speaking through Mrs. Wickland, said of the theory of reincarnation: "I see now that my teachings caused many to become psychic sensitives and that the theory of reincarnation causes much obsession. I also taught that one should be a vegetarian, but the majority live under too great a nervous tension for this and become too sensitive."


"I have found that 'reincarnation' is possible only through obsession, and I have also found, to my great sorrow, that many of my followers become obsessed."


"It is dangerous to teach the theory of reincarnation because many selfish people, who come to the other side of life, look for what they consider the right place to reincarnate but they do not understand obsession and therefore disturb and obsess children. That is one reason there are so many idiot children in the asylums."


"I was a psychic when in earth life and I knew spirits could come back and control mortals. I realize now that if I had taught the philosophy of Theosophy and the truth of spirit return it would have been much better."


'We cannot progress to the higher life of understanding with a falsehood on our minds; an understanding of the truth is necessary."


World travelers, missionaries, authors and lecturers alike bear testimony that in India, where belief in reincarnation is general, cases of obsession and possession are exceedingly prevalent.


Rev. John L. Nevius, for forty years a missionary to the Chinese, in his book, "Demon Possession and Allied Themes," quotes from an article by the Rev. Robert C. Cardwell, well known English missionary in India: "Do there exist in the present day such instances of demoniacal possession as those which elicited the marvelous intervention of Christ? If the case nowadays of the demonolators of Southern India differs from that of the Hebrews, who in the time of Christ were possessed with devils, will anyone Point out to me the exact bound and limit of the difference?"


"The question I raise is surely one which Christians of





all creeds may fairly and calmly consider and argue. Is there such a thing as 'demoniacal possession' in the present day, amongst barbarous and uncivilized tribes? And if it does exist, does it materially differ from the kindred afflictions which the Great Physician, in His infinite mercy, deigned to cure, whilst He walked as man amongst men?"


Dr. J. M. Peebles devoted sixty years to the study of Psychic Research and the Science of Religion; he was a prolific writer and made five journeys around the world to obtain data pertaining to these problems.


The interference of discarnated spirits in human affairs was particularly brought to his attention and he wrote a large volume on this subject entitled, "The Demonism of the Ages, Spirit Obsessions," in which he states, "The belief is universal among the various races and tribes of India that spirits, good and bad, especially the latter, have access to, and the power to influence, mortals. Among the hill-tribes, demoniacal obsession has become a sort of religion."


Jeddu Krishnamurti, Hindu philosopher and lecturer, in an address on the need of individual freedom of thought, declared that the theory of reincarnation is a theory of the lazy, and urged liberation from all dogma.


Reincarnation is also a convenient excuse for selfishness since those with wealth and those born in more favorable circumstances may credit their own position to many incarnations and attainment through rebirths and assume they are now enjoying their just dues because of their "good Karma"; while the lowly and unfortunate ones who, because they were born in unfavorable conditions and raised in squalor and poverty, have been deprived of the better opportunities of life, are regarded as supposed victims of their own "bad Karma."


To hold that the inequalities and miseries in this world are due to wrong acts, or acts of omission and commission in former lives which have established an unbalance necessitating reincarnation in order to work out the supposed "Karmic Law of Justice," merely condones the selfishness so prevalent in the world and the self-aggrandizement of the few which deprives the many of proper opportunity to realize the purpose of existence.





Selfishness and ignorance have blinded humanity to the purpose of the Creator; the idea that self-preservation is the first law in nature has prevailed from the dawn of existence to the present time. This has been the source of much evil and wrong all through the ages, as well as the cause of untold oppression by the worldly mighty and of untold misery to the less fortunate, who have been held down by unreasonable creeds, cults and dogmas, and deprived of all opportunity to gain any intelligent understanding of the meaning of their existence.


The theory of reincarnation subverts the natural spiritual progression; too much stress and importance is placed upon this brief mortal life. The teaching of the reincarnationists that we must return again and again to earth life to become perfected is equivalent to saying that, after one has passed through kindergarten, grade schools and university, he must return to kindergarten over and over again to learn everything that is to be learned pertaining to life.


What is mortal life but a kindergarten? Too little is credited to the vaster opportunities of the next school in the spiritual realm, the verity of which has been so abundantly demonstrated and which may be easily verified by the unprejudiced student through intelligent Psychic Research.


The entire scheme of reincarnation is a limited idea, one that falls to recognize this is a formative plane and that there are many planes and schools on the Invisible Side which offer far greater opportunities for the higher soul culture than does this mortal plane. There is no need of returning to the mundane when we can progress from sphere to sphere, or school to school, and thus ultimately realize the "God within."


To live morally and uprightly, to learn in this life what we are living for, and to realize there are future opportunities, is undoubtedly the cardinal object of our human existence.


The spirit of Rudolph Valentino, communicating through Mrs. Wickland, spoke at length of the reincarnation theory and of conditions as they actually are in the spirit world.





Spirit This is the first time I have talked through this instrument. Each instrument or medium is different from another and we must learn the law of controlling mediums and how to pass from the spirit world to this world. We go to many circles, from one to another. This is the first opportunity I have had to come into this circle.

Ques.         May we ask who you are?

Sp.            I am Rudolph Valentino.

Ques.        You were interested in psychic matters when you were on earth, were you not?

Sp.            Yes.

Ques.         And you have communicated often since passing over?

Sp.            Yes, through a most excellent instrument, a trance medium who is very easily controlled.

Ques.         Do you still believe in reincarnation?

SP. "I have found matters to be very different in that respect from what I thought. Reincarnation, as it is generally understood, is not necessary. A spirit that realizes his condition and understands progression is not interested in reincarnation; to reincarnate in a physical body on this earth again would be very foolish."

"But very few spirits seek for the spirit world when they pass out. Some spirits who have gone beyond the veil of death are in the dark, some are in semi-darkness, some are in twilight, some in the light."

"The ones who have found the light are those who understand, who have knowledge of life in spirit; these would never think of coming back to earth again in a physical body."

"They come back as spirits, to be invisible teachers, to guide and help humanity. This might be called a 'reincarnation of the soul,' but without physical birth; it is only a temporary measure. It is not reincarnation in the flesh, but in spirit, to help and serve. They can





come back to their dear ones and help them in many ways when they know the laws."

"But many spirits are ignorant of their true situation and very few seek for the spirit world when they pass out. Ignorance is darkness and they have to be awakened to see the light."

"Intelligent spirits enlighten and teach these ignorant ones, often taking them to earth to contact material things; in this way many souls are brought to earth to acquire earth experience with the help of enlightened spirits. Through matter they awaken and see and learn through different experiences."


"We may say this is reincarnating to earth life in soul, but not in a physical body. They are brought to earth as spirits to correct their mistakes. In that way they can be of help to those they have wronged by serving, protecting and guarding them. That is their mission."

"They must do good for any wrong committed; they cannot progress until they have served in one way or another the ones they have injured. No matter how small the misdeed, the wrong must be replaced by good."


"That is justice; the scales of justice must balance. After spirits have done their duty they are taken to other spheres to learn lessons which lead to progression."

"Is this not much better than to reincarnate as a child? A spirit who believed in reincarnation on earth wakens from the sleep into which he has hypnotized himself and thinks it is time for him to reincarnate. He hopes to come in contact with the birth of some child; sometimes he succeeds in doing this—but what has actually happened?"


"He has possessed that child and that is a sin. These facts should be taught during earth life; people will then understand and be so much happier."







"People should be taught that if they do harm to their fellowmen they cannot be forgiven until they have served the ones they have harmed or have helped others."


"A spirit who on earth has lived only for self must learn to serve and to overcome self. It is a very hard matter to conquer self but one who has not learned the lesson of self-sacrifice cannot be happy in the spirit world."


"How could one be happy in the spirit world if he had a jealous, selfish mind? He could not, because he would see others there in a happy condition, all light and beauty, yet he would be different. His selfish thoughts and jealousy would disturb the minds of those in their happy state and that would not be 'heaven.'"


"But when he has learned to overcome selfishness, jealousy and envy, and has learned to sacrifice self, then he is ready to take a step forward. He will be in a much happier frame of mind and will then be in a position to enter the home in the spirit world which he has prepared for himself while on earth."


"Some may ask, Would that be 'Heaven'? To some, yes, but to those who have not learned harmony it would be 'hell.' On earth those who understand music enjoy symphonies and the classics, but if those who do not understand music should go where the most wonderful music is being played, they would be miserable because they are not attuned to higher music or harmony. They would enjoy jazz, or something like


"Some think that all are mingled together in the spirit world; no, each goes where he belongs and only as far as he has progressed while on earth."


"The spirit of one who on earth had lived for higher science and to investigate nature could not, when he passed to the spirit side of life, be happy for very long in any other line of thought."





"One who had been inclined to higher soul music would go to the sphere of music; another whose main interests had been electricity would follow that line."


"But first all must learn the lesson of overcoming selfishness; they must study, not for glory or fame, but from the heart. Then, when self has been overcome, they go to the life where they belong."


"Happiness awaits all finally because they go where their hearts desire. But they must first overcome self and learn to help others who do not have as much understanding as they."


"We all have dear ones on earth of whom we think; we try to help these, but, at the same time, when we progress and have light and knowledge, material things no longer hold us. We want to cast off matter, especially the physical body and its attractions. That is why spirits who understand life in the spirit world are not interested in the theory of reincarnation; they know the law of progression."


"What that beautiful understanding of soul life is, cannot be described to anyone; each must attain it for himself."


In "Illuminated Brahminism," a communication transmitted by the spirit Ranga Hilyod, the ancient Indian teacher called the Great Brahma, an explanation is given of the original Brahminical doctrines and "the perversion of a great truth into a malign superstition... which has become a source of the most pestilent spiritual mischief."


"There is one effect of the doctrine of reincarnation of the souls of the dead that is felt with direful power in the spiritual world of India. Myriads who have left the physical life hover over the mortals of that country seeking for opportunities





to become re-embodied, in order that they may realize the promised relief from their imperfect development in the former earth life. They are earth-bound to a degree that infects the mental atmosphere of its people with almost hopeless despair, for however intense may be their desire, they are never able to obtain the fancied reincarnation."


"Could India emancipate herself from the tyranny of the idea of reincarnation, she would rise in the scale of spiritual enlightenment far higher than she rose in the age of the Vedas or when Capilya or Gautama led her hosts toward the heavenly paradise. She must do this or she must remain the prey to vile superstitions, and her moral nature be degraded by the mental influx of myriad hosts who strive in vain to realize the truth of the dogma."


"I taught that one God alone was Supreme, and the true object of adoration and praise. I taught that from this Being proceeded all that had life and existence in the world of spirit or mortal being. I taught that to this Being all who passed from physical life would return, but I never taught that returning to the presence spiritual of the great Om would result in the annihilation of the individual or his inability to return to earth as a spirit."


"I did teach that all spirits could return to earth to manifest, and influence mortals, and I also taught that such a return would be determined by the mental bias of the individual."


"There were those who could not understand how a spirit could come to earth without being re-embodied in physical life... To suppose that in the statements which I left on record as to the nature of the soul there is or ever was any basis for the present theory of transmigration, is to pervert a great truth until it has become a most grievous error. I taught that the pathway of the race was upward, not downward, and that the world of spirit held in itself the power to emancipate all souls from the thralldom of spiritual slavery."


"Whenever any great soul arises upon earth, manifesting the attributes of wisdom and love, such a soul does not lose its power of expression upon earth, for there will ever be correlative spirits born there through which the higher developed mind in spirit can give expression to its own existence... As individuals they can only return through the





power of the spiritual transfer of thought, which enables them to register upon the mentality of mortals the wisdom that pertains to the world of developed mind."


"The law of spiritual unfoldment is this, that the better the conditions the wiser and purer the life; and while it may be necessary for the spiritual entity to lay its foundation in planetary life, the sooner it can escape from bad conditions there the more likely it will be to have a beautiful development. It may have to stay in the mortal environment for a season to perfect the form powers, but when that is once accomplished no necessity exists for further imprisonment upon earth, for all that earth can teach is what pertains to the physical senses rather than to the spiritual life, and to condemn a spirit to return to it after once having had its nature developed in that direction would be to degrade rather than exalt the soul, nor could anything be gained by it."...


"By the law of spiritual evolution, the spirit once having had its formative stages in earthly or planetary life has no more necessity for returning to that condition than the developed bird has to reenter the shell of the embryonic period."


"The law does not call for the return to the environment of earth after its escape from the atmosphere of earthly thoughts, nor does it ever need to express itself again in the realm of earthly embodiment. Its pathway to Nirvana is away from earth, and happy the soul who is freed from the idea of ever having to tread the path through mortal life again.


The communication, "Illuminated Buddhism," purported to have been psychically received from the spirit, Siddartha, Sakya Muni, presents the following views of reincarnation:


"When the error went forth from what was considered competent authority, through the Brahmin priesthood, that metempsychosis was the destiny of the spirit, the mentality of India was so poisoned by it that for centuries there was no improvement or desire for relief except in annihilation."...


"The myriad victims (of this error) have been seeking the relief from consequences that result from the notations of the natural law of spirit unfoldment and have crowded back to the earth, seeking in vain to become reincarnated





over and over again, hoping against hope for generations... By inductive transfer of thought (these spirits) have infected the mental World of the mortals of India with a hopeless despair... and the nation has sunk under the burden of this weight of ignorance."


"The only incarnation that will give relief is the embodiment of spiritual light upon a basis of scientific demonstration, and the only metempsychosis that will avail its people is the lifting of the soul from the belief or desire of any further experience in the world of physical life to the infinite unfoldment that awaits the spirit in the worlds immortal. It is there that the true metempsychosis is to be experienced."


"Developed spirits who have attained the states of freedom from desire and the disposition of benevolence do not wish to ever return to the atmosphere of earth, but on the part of those who are ignorant devotees of transmigration there is a great tendency to cling to earth... The hope of reincarnation is entirely vain and serves no good purpose, but retards the spirit from going forward in the spheres of unfolding thought. When the spirit is freed from its earthly form it should be able to go onward in the spheres of eternal unfoldment."


We need to realize that this mundane existence is but a primary school for the unfoldment of consciousness and other innate mental faculties and that at "death" the spirit, freed from physical cares and hindrances, enters the next school where greater opportunities are available for progressive attainment and understanding of God's Plan.


If mankind will set aside prejudice and, in place of the dogmatic cults and isms which, aside from any moral precepts they may contain, are in so many instances only opiates to the soul, open-mindedly co-operate with the Intelligences from the next school of life, who are ever eager to convey the assurance that they are not "dead," it will revolutionize the world's conception of the Creator and the creation of which we are a part and afford an intelligent understanding of the meaning of life, the lack of which is keeping the world in doubt and despair.


When this inter-communication is fully established then, and then only, will humanity begin to discern the fundamental wrongs of the prevailing system of economics which





have hitherto not been fully comprehended. It will reveal that the education and enlightenment of the soul, as it passes through this mundane sphere, is a primary object and that experiences pertaining to the physical life are only a means for that accomplishment.


"Lo, the Sculptor sees form in a block of marble,

Visioning a figure of beauty and grace,

Hews from that form its cumbersome wrapping,

Endows it with Life, inspiring the Race Of all ages, to shed its clumsy trapping

Of ignorance, to seek inward for a trace

Of Beauty, and hew from the Soul its wrapping,

The layers of selfishness, that hide the Face Of the Spiritual nature the Soul is housing."


(H. R. B.)


The advancement of science and research and the inventions for human betterment are gradually bringing about the dawn of a new era and, in spite of opposition, are replacing dogmas and useless creeds with enlightenment and knowledge.


In lieu of accepting dogmas, reincarnation theories or other beliefs let humanity waken to the fact that the teachings of the Nazarene have a scientific background, that all mankind is bound together and no man can live unto himself alone. Everyone born into this life should have the fullest opportunity for soul culture.


Change the economic system; let ideal educational opportunities be provided and each individual, from early infancy, have the proper surroundings where the best possible physical and mental environment are afforded; let the latent finer sensibilities be evolved through loving kindness and quickened through object lessons—music, arts, sciences and the beautiful in nature.


If such ideal conditions could obtain through a few generations the average of human intelligence would be so far advanced that dogmas and creeds, as well as the idea of reincarnation, would be as obsolete as the gods of mythology. Onward and upward is the trend of evolution—from the darkness of ignorance to the light of understanding. This is clearly Nature's Plan.