Glimpses of Esoteric Christianity Part 4
Reincarnation Everything in this universe is in motion. Movement produces change, or transformation. This is an eternal constant, a Law of the Cosmos, and it is immutable. The process of transformation occurs in stages, phases, and cycles. Every unit of life unfolds its consciousness in accord with the Law of Activity and Rest. The cycle of activity begins with birth, youth, maturity; it declines with old age and ends with so-called death, which is the period of Rest.
The cycle continues repeatedly until the goal for that life-unit is achieved. Reincarnation is an expression of the Law of Activity and Rest as applied to human evolution. It is what Jewish mystics call "Gilgul," and was a doctrine taught by the Greek Philosophers, Plato, Pythagoras and Plotinus. Most of the holy scriptures of the world contain references to the law, though some are veiled. Once man found himself entombed within Matter, it became expedient for him to liberate himself.
According to our observation, mankind as a whole, however, is not pursuing this goal, for he is unconscious of the purpose of his existence. The promptings of the Inner Self are misinterpreted for the selfish ambitions of the personal ego. Possessing a physical body, in a sense, is actually a great privilege, for it offers a rapid method for spiritual unfoldment. But to prolong our sojourn in the world of matter is foolhardy. This plane of consciousness is simply a phase, a stepping stone leading towards our spiritual destiny. Greater work, greater tasks awaits us elsewhere in the infinite reaches of the cosmos. We should realize that the physical world is not our true home. We are spiritual beings with a spiritual heritage. Ignorance and egoistic desire are the twin negative causes of our bondage to the wheel of birth and rebirth. Mastery of these causes offer spiritual freedom as the personal will and consciousness becomes united with the Divine Will and Mind of our True SELF.
We are bound to this wheel of reincarnation by causes. There are two sides to everything. We have already mentioned the negative causes. The positive causes are our aspiration for perfection and the balancing of karma. The former of this positive cause is the willful intent of the Soul, as human perfection may be accelerated while interacting and overcoming masterfully the resistance of matter. Karma binds us to the wheel until its misqualified energy has been spent, balanced, compensated, or the Law of Grace precipitated to over-ride the karmic condition as a result of spiritually understanding the required lesson that the Law expected one to learn. Reincarnation is a common term for the concept of a human soul being born cyclically into the physical world. There are other terms, though, each referring to reincarnation, each with a slight variation as to meaning and implication. These terms are: rebirth, reimbodiment, transmigration, and metemapsychosis. The term transmigration often brings to mind the element of retrogression, of man re-embodying as an animal.
This is a spiritual impossibility, for once individualized, the human spirit can never revert to an undividualized animal soul. The animal vehicle in itself would not be able to sustain the great radiations and magnetism of the human individualized Spirit. This concept of retrogression, of transmigration of the human soul into an animal form is a corruption of a doctrine that teaches the similitude of human characteristics to animal nature, which are retained embodiment after embodiment until the energies underlying the bestial nature are transmuted. The astral form is also highly impressionable and mouldable by thoughts and feelings. They tend to reflect the nature of the soul. Should the human soul be beastly in nature, the astral body would reflect the animal form. From a different perspective, the lower components of the soul, the astral and etheric bodies, when discarded by the human spirit, may gravitate to surroundings and objects of a similar nature.Thus we may have the possibility of these ethereal cadavers attaching themselves to animals--this probably started the concept that humans beings incarnate as animals. If reincarnation is a Cosmic law, a doctrine of Truth, why is it not taught in the churches by the priesthood? This is a common query among the members of the exoteric churches. Unbeknown to them, this doctrine was a basic tenet of the early Church, and references to this law filled the scriptures and the gospels abundantly.
St. Augustine, St. Clement, and Origen expressed a belief and an understanding in the doctrine of reincarnation. So did Bishop of Synesius (370--430 AD) of Ptolemais. St. Gregory of Nyssa (257--333 AD.) believed strongly in the law; he wrote: "It is absolutely necessary that the soul be healed and purified, and if this does not take place during its life on earth it must be accomplished in future lives." Origen expounded the law in his literary works. He wrote extensively on the Law of Reembodiment.
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