Cosmic Seeds

The ankh is the hieroglyphic sign for life, and it symbolizes eternal, divine existence. As a symbol of such an imperishable and vital force, the ankh was found through- out ancient Egypt, carved in the walls of temples and tombs as well as adorning personal items in every household.
The ankh is the hieroglyphic sign for life, and it symbolizes eternal, divine existence. As a symbol of such an imperishable and vital force, the ankh was found through- out ancient Egypt, carved in the walls of temples and tombs as well as adorning personal items in every household.


…as ye sow, so shall ye reap…

What is karma?

Karma is the Sanskrit word for action. It is equivalent to Newton´s law of “every action must have reaction.“ When we think, speak or act we initiate a force that will react accordingly. This returning force maybe modified, changed or suspended, but most people will not be able to eradicate it. This law of cause and effect is not punishment, but is wholly for the sake of education or learning.

Yogi Ramacharaka

“Life is the constant accumulation of knowledge, the storing up of the result of experiences. The law of cause and effect is in constant operation, and we reap what we sow – not as a matter of punishment, but as the effect following the cause. Theology teaches us that we are punished for our sins, but the higher knowledge shows us that we are punished by our mistakes instead of for them.“

Mabel Collins

“Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment; These thruths, which are as great as is life itself, are as Simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them.“

Kahlil Gibran

“A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.“

Henry Ford

“I adopted the theory of Reincarnation when I was twenty six. Religion offered nothing to the point. Even work could not give me complete satisfaction. Work is futile if we cannot utilise the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered Reincarnation it was as if I had found a universal plan I realised that there was a chance to work out my ideas. Time was no longer limited. Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives. Some are older souls than others, and so they know more. The discovery of Reincarnation put my mind at ease. To me this is the most beautiful, the most satisfactory from a scientific standpoint, the most logical theory of life. For thirty years I have leaned toward the theory of Reincarnation. It seems a most reasonable philosophy and explains many things. No, I have no desire to know who I was once; or who, I shall be in the ages to come. This belief in immortality makes present living the more attractive.  We are here in life for one purpose—to get experience. We are all getting it, and we shall all use it somewhere. I would like to communicate to others the calmness that the long view of life gives to us.“ (San Francisco Examiner 26. August 1928).

Richard Wagner

“In contrast to reincarnation and karma, all other views seem petty and narrow.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“As long as you are not aware of the continual law of Die and Be Again, you are merely a vague guest on a dark Earth. I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before, and I hope to return a thousand times…“

Leo Tolstoy

“Our present life is only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life and then return after death.“ 

Alice Bailey/Djwhal Khul

“The average Christian confuses the Law of Rebirth with what he calls “the transmigration of souls,” and frequently believes that the Law of Rebirth signifies the passing of human beings into the bodies of animals or of lower forms of life. Such is by no means the case. As the life of God progresses onwards through form after form… the life of God passes into the human kingdom, and becomes subject to the Law of Rebirth and not the law of Transmigration.”

Benjamin Creme

“The important factor in relation to the incarnational process is that we incarnate not individually, but in groups. While, of course, individual incarnation does take place, it is only incidental to the greater event of group rebirth. This group rebirth proceeds cyclically, according to certain laws governing the manifestation of energies or Rays, and connected also with the point in evolution of the groups involved. I do believe… that in the West the new interest in reincarnation has centred almost exclusively in recall of past lives with the harmful ensuing glamours which that has released. The important life is the one in which we find ourselves now.”

 Aart Jurriaanse

“Now if man were granted only one life on Earth, only a single opportunity to either succeed or fail, with all these individuals so unequally equipped for life’s challenges and struggles, how could such a state of affairs possibly be justified and regarded as equitable? How could one possibly believe in a God of love apparently favouring one with every conceivable advantage in life, and another nothing, no intelligence, no worldly goods, no opportunities, and no spiritual consciousness? How could two such divergent individuals be brought before the Seat of Justice and be judged on the same terms? No, impossible! No Loving Father would ever countenance such anomalies, when providing only one opportunity for redemption. Fortunately for man, we do have a loving Father, on whose wisdom and justice we can depend. The shortcoming lies with man himself who can neither understand nor interpret that with which he is surrounded. He can only distinguish one small facet of the Truth and of a most involved system, and therefore bases his judgement on totally inadequate evidence. But where then has man failed in his reasoning? The answer and crux of the whole problem lies in the misleading and erroneous assumption that the evolution and redemption of the human soul must be completed in a single spell of life on Earth.”

C.R. Straham

“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim – letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.”

John Lennon 

“Instant Karma´s gonna get you…We all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun…Why in the world are we here, surely not to live in pain and fear…“

Bhagavad Gita 

“There never was a time when you or I did not exist. Nor will there be any future when we shall cease to be.”  

Famous Believers in Reincarnation | Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E.

Reincarnation in the New Testament – Shri Adi Shakti

Articles about Reincarnation & Karma – homepage

Akashic Records | The Book of Life | Edgar Cayce Readings | Edgar …

Brian L. Weiss Quotes (Author of Many Lives, Many Masters)



By Dr. H. Spencer Lewis Ph. D., F.R.C.                                               

There is but one soul existing throughout the entire universe and this soul is the consciousness and divine essence of God. The individual souls of human beings are not separate and independent souls, but unseparated segments of the Universal Soul, never losing their association or contact with this consciousness of God and the divine essence which constitutes the vital life force.

The ego or personality always remains with each segment of the God consciousness or Oversoul of the universe, for the ego is immortal like the soul itself, and cannot be destroyed and never ceases to exist. Whether the segment of the soul is in the physical body or out of it, the ego, with its mind, memory, and consciousness remains with it, and so we see that we can have an intelligent, conscious segment of the soul either in a body or out of a body. When it is in a body we have the union of the spiritual with the material, making a perfect manifestation of a living soul on earth. When it is out of a body we have a physical body that is lifeless, unintelligent, and unconscious, and a segment of soul still retaining its vitality and consciousness, ego, and intellect.

It is an absolute fact that the Soul of an individual does not return to earth except to reincarnate again, and therefore does not float around in space and visit seance rooms, or psychic laboratories or research circles at any time. It is also an absolute fact that the Soul cannot take on mortality, or physical form, exept through incarnation in a physical body in the form of an infant. To explain what apparently takes place in a seance room and what actually takes place would require a large volume. It is possible for the consciousness of a departed Soul to project its mentality unto a distant place on earth, just as the consciousness or mentality of a person living on earth can project itself to a distant point and make itself sensed by those who may be properly attuned to receive such impressions. But this is not a projection of the Soul, nor is it a materialization of the Soul, as the students of spiritualistic phenomena claim through their misunderstanding of the real principles involved. I do not mean to say that certain things do not occur in a seance room, which will give the impression of a materalized Soul, but I do mean to say it is not what they believe it to be and, therefore, not what they claim it to be. The Soul does not materialize itself, and it does not become clothed with form except through incarnation.

The idea that suicide will bring an end to any of our earthly sufferings, trials, and tribulations is the most absurd idea that man has ever held. No matter how intense may be our earthly sufferings, or how despondent we may be, all of this is nothing as compared with the suffering that is immediately realized after transition through suicide.

No one compliments himself by saying that he has discarded or rejected a statement, a principle, or a law that he neither understands nor gives sufficient consideration to comprehend. Such an attitude is one of intolerance, bigotry, or ignorance. If your own good judgment cannot convince you of the soundness of the doctrines of reincarnation and karma, you should not accept them on the strength of someone else’s faith in them or someone else’s endorsement of them.

I will grant you that there are certain things about the popular notions of reincarnation that are absurd and so greatly misrepresented that the logically minded or thinking person feels that it is a presumption upon his intelligence even to consider the statements made. When someone states that their understanding of this doctrine is that man may be born again as a cat or a dog, or some other animal lower in the scale than the human being, we keenly realize what an injustice is being done to a very beautiful and important law of nature through gross ignorance or willful misunderstanding. When, however, we find that three fourths of the world’s thinking and analyzing minds have accepted a certain principle or doctrine for many ages, and when we find that the best-informed persons and the keenest intellects in the business, scientific, and religious world have given their approval and credence to such a doctrine or principle, then we should feel inclined to give a few minutes’ thought to the doctrine and discover whether there is in it the essence of truth or probability. This is only fair to ourselves and fair to the doctrine. I have yet to find an intelligent man or woman who, after hearing the true doctrines of reincarnation properly presented, refuses to admit that they are reasonable, logical, and acceptable.

This much can be said in closing any argument regarding the truthfulness or soundness of the doctrine of reincarnation. We are here on this earth plane living a life of trials, experiences, lessons, and constructive instruction. Whether we accept the doctrine of reincarnation or not we will continue to live in accordance with some law, some principle, some scheme of things; and, when the end comes, this period of life on earth will be consummated and through transition we will learn of what there is in the future. What we may believe, or think, in regard to reincarnation will not change one principle of the doctrine nor affect the laws involved one iota. The great effect of such belief or disbelief, or the acceptance or non-acceptance of these doctrines, will be in our lives as we are living them here and in our readiness and preparation to meet transition when we come face to face with it.

Knowing, therefore, that the acceptance of these doctrines will bring to the reader, as it has brought to millions of others, greater happiness in life through a greater understanding of the trials and problems involved, and an absolute fearlessness of so-called death, I close my manuscripts and  rest in the hope that thousands may find Light, Life, and Love through what I have written.

Mansions of the Soul

AMORC, The Rosicrucian Press

THE SANCTUARY OF SELF                                                             

By Ralph M. Lewis F.R.C. Chapter IX


In ORTHDOX Christianity there is little place for the doctrine of karma. In Christianity, as in Judaism before it, God is conceived of as a Father, as a supreme, munificent Being. He is held to transcend the world, and yet He is considered as having an influence upon the world and seeking to establish a theocracy upon earth, namely, a Kingdom of God. Men are said to be His children. The relationship between humanity and God, from the Christian viewpoint, is not grately unlike the relationship between mortal children and their father. Just as mortals do, orthodox Christianity conceives of God as expressing love, hate and forgiveness. Men may violate the divine Father´s wishes, just as mortal children disobey their parents. The Divine Father, orthodox Christianity expounds, can and will punish the erring human. The punishment consists of a personal act. It is purely arbitrary on the part of God. It is not that the individual by his act has evoked an inexorable law.

Further, according to Christianity, man is but required to love the Devine Father, and in this sincere love he will find salvation and forgiveness. Thus, according to the Christianity, men´s moral acts produce no independent personal effects which may react upon them. The effects of man´s moral acts the consequences of them, lie entirely in the arbitrary judgement and love of God. Thus one my leave in his wake in life, because of the manner in which he lived and his personal conduct, much sorrow and hurt to others. At death, if he embraces God, if he sincerely asks the Divine Father for forgiveness, according to orthodox Christianity, he will receive it. Thus while others may continue to experience the effects of his acts and continue to endure suffering because of his previous conduct, the instigator of the evil may be forgiven if he embraces God and admits his wrong.

The punishment the evildoer may receive according to this Christian dogmatic conception, may have entirely no relationship to the original evil act. The individual may be punished in such a manner that he does not experience the serious consequence of his wrongdoing. Good and evil in Christianity become but a series of admonishments, the establishment of ethical and moral rules which one is obliged to adhere to. Rules, as we all too well know, are not always understood by the individual, and thus they are not adhered to because when there is no understanding, there is no symphaty. A parent frequently amonishes his child to, “don´t  do this and don´t do that,“  but unless the child has some corresponding idea as to why he should not do it, the admonishment becomes merely an irksome restriction which he tries to break or surmount. If the child can experience  the effect of his acts, then he will know why he is being asked not to so act. This is the reason why Christianity, in not including the doctrine of karma, the experiencing of the effects of one´s acts, has such a problem in the enforcement of its moral codes.

Rosicrucian mysticism also employs the doctrine of karma, but its application is considerably unlike that of its Oriental predecessors. To the Rosicrucian, karma is commensurate with the law of causality. For every effect, there must be both an active and a passive cause. Every act, mental or physical, brings about a result which has a value related to the cause itself. Thus, if one sets into motion a series of creative, morally good acts, they will ultimately redound to the benefit of the individual.

The law of causality, Rosicrucians teach, in mysticism as in science, permits no deviation. The effects must follow. From mistakes pain may often be experienced. The pain, however, which may be associated with the result of the act is not an intentional result. It is inevitable. It follows from the neccessity of the cause, but it is not intended as a punishment. It is not a matter of retribution. From such pains, or they may be pleasures, man learns the consequences of his causative acts. He knows what to expect when he puts them onto effect. Many persons may object to moral codes. They may find them illogical, but man cannot argue with or refute the effects of his own acts, which he experiences. He knows they are inevitable, and he must adjust his life to them. Karma thus provides each individual with an intimate experience with Divine Cosmic laws. It is an experience which he must have in his own consciousness, it is not related to him by others. Karma thus removes blind faith, doubts and skepticism, and provides knowledge as to right living instead.

There is no excuse for wrong conduct, even ignorance. There are major and minor karmic consequences which we create by our acts. Each day, in fact, we create almost innumerable minor karmic consequences. For example, we may eat something, and because we do, as an effect, we may suffer indigestion. We may use our eyes too much and thereby strain the muscles, and we experience an annoying headache. Such suffering is not punishment inflicted by nature. It is not a retribution but the natural sequence of the law of causality. It is equivalent to adding a number of digits, by which process we arrive at a sum and which sum proceeds from the mathematical necessity of the digits themselves, not because there is any mind insisting on or compelling or providing that sum.

Major karmic effects exist in the violation of Cosmic laws and Divine priciples. Such a violation would be an intentional injury to others for selfish ends. It is not always necessary that the individual must bang his head, figuratively speaking, against a stone wall in order to learn from such action that it is wrong and painful. We do not always have to experience an effect to know what follows from the cause. We have been given a spiritual barometer, which is the moral sense we posess, or conscience. This barometer informs us whenever our acts, or contemplated acts, are contrary to Cosmic laws and principles. In effect, this may be experienced as a reluctance to continue certain acts or to proceed along the lines of action which we have in mind. If, however, we proceed in opposition to the promptings of this barometer of conscience, we then of course experience the effect, which may be an unpleasant one and a bitter lesson to learn.

It is a palmary principle of karma that an innocent violation of Cosmic law, for example, does not excemt the violator from the effect which will follow. However, unconscious acts, or acts of which we honestly do not know the effects, mitigate what would ordinarily be the drastic results, yet to some degree the effects inexorably follow. All karmic effects are not adverse. Most persons speak of karma only when they speak of effects which are unpleasant. Very seldom do they mention, in the light of karma, circumstances or conditions which are beneficial. There are deeds which also produce beneficial effects. The so called good-luck which many persons have and which may seem to be unaccountable, which seem to descend upon people without reason, or justification, may be an accumulated beneficial karma, the result of constructive, unselfish, and virtuous acts in a past time of which the recipients may have no knowledge now. We must realize that in the Cosmic there is no such thing as time. Eternity may be as a tick of a second. Our acts, as causes, may have their effects projected into the future; that future may be the next moment, as we think of it, or this day or this year. Or the future may be several subsequent lives from now. Today´s experiences, today´s good fortune, may be rooted far in the past.

History is a very excellent example of past karmic causes. Society, civilization, puts into motion certain causes by reason of the things which the people do, under the influence of their expressed wishes, the laws they enact or which they permit their leaders to enact. The effect of such causes my occur several generations later. Most wars, which in their origin seem to perplex the average layman, can be explained by the doctrine of karma. They are a matter of cause and effect. A selfish disregard by a people or a nation of the international situation in general may be one cause. If we let a people of another nation starve merely because within the boundaries which we have inscribed about us there are many natural resources which make us indifferent, or if we set up enormous tariff walls, shutting out a few products which such people need to sell for their sustenance and their comforts, then by that cause we may experience a karmic effect in years to come. If we let other nations attain a balance of power whereby they oppress others and monopolize that which other people need, merely because it does not affect us directly, we are also instituting causes which will produce the karmic effects of war. Eventually there will be conflagration, envy and hatred. The result of our acts will break forth into flames that will sear us. It is the equivalent of negligently allowing oily rags to collect in a tight closet which, as causes, finally pruduce the effect of spontaneous combustion.

Thus nations, composed of individuals, create karma for themselves. The innocent peoples in such a nation are enmeshed in the war and the effects which follow. It is to be hoped that the plans now slowly being formulated for a one world will be free from those weaknesses of human nature – envy, power, and selfishness – which, otherwise, a few years hence, might produce the same effects karmically as were experienced in World War II. If the elements of pacts, as causes, are not intelligent, impersonal, and motivated by humanitarian ideals, they will be the means of precipitating another war, at which time many millions of innocent persons again will and must experience the karmic effects of the society of this generation.

When we experience misfortune, when we encounter adversity, we should not be embittered, we should not try to affix the responsibility on others, but inquire into the nature of the conditions, of the causes, which may have brought about the misfortune. Analize the effects intelligently for the determination of the cause. At least, with an open mind, accept the effects as a lesson, as one possibly teaching tolerance and humility. As you learn from adversity and accept the lesson, without bitterness, but as a means of preparing yourself for more enlightened living, you are creating a favorable karmic effect, possibly years of happiness, if not in this life, then in another.

Therefore, like that third example of Leibnitz´ clocks which keep time together, we realize that the power of adjusting our lives, of adapting them to happiness and attainment, is entirely within ourselves. Favorable and unfavorable events principally lie in our own acts as causes, which we alone can institute. Each of our acts is a moving positive cause, and it acts upon the relatively passive and negative factors of our environment, as objects, events and conditions. In contrast to ourselves, all else is a negative cause, and the two-ourselves and our environment-produce effects, and the effects partake always of the nature of their causes. If we are conscious of this, we will be cautious in acting upon things and conditions which surround us.

Rosicrucian Library Volume XXI

Does Abortion Destroy the Soul?

By Ralph M. Lewis, F.R.C.

The CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT of abortion has many facets–the theological, philosophical, scientific, and legal. One view of abortion holds that the fetus is an unborn but living substance and it is both morally and legally wrong, under any circumstances, to destroy such life. Is it a soul? If the fetus is a soul, then abortion would be the destruction of a human life, the denial of the soul of its right to expression.

Most of medical science is of the opinion that there is no separate consciouness or living entity until birth has been attained in a fully completed organism. Until then the assumption is that the fetus is but a part of the organic nature of the mother, the fetus having no consciouness apart from that of the mother.

Varying theological doctrines contend that the soul resides in the fetus in its initial development. This is the “substance“ concept of soul. In other words, the soul is a kind of divine substance that is implanted in the mother before theinfant´s birth. Abortion, following this theory, destroyes not only the tissue, thestructure that would have become the body, but the soul itself. These advocates therefore charge the abortion is murder!

However, another concept propounds that the soul has no entity until the first breath after birth, and that the soul enters with the first inspiration or intake of air into the lungs of the newborn. The principle behind this view is that Vital Life entering with breath brings about the function of consciouness and the qualities of soul.

There are really two aspects of the above doctrine: One is that the soul has an essence or a superior form of consciouness, that is conveyed by the Life Force, and the breath is the medium for both. This gives soul a separate cosmic universal quality from the Life Force but they are associated and they enter together into the newborn with the first breath. Not until then is the animate subject “a living soul.“

The Potential of Soul

            The other aspect of this view is that the Life Force has within it a kind of consciousness as an attribute. With the first breath this consciousness pervades the whole body of the newborn and is quite distinct from the consciousness of the mother. This consciousness of the newborn has within it the potential of soul. The soul, in other words, gradually develops and matures into self realization with the growth and development of the body. Therefore, the infant has soul in essence or in the making in the life and consciousness with which it is imbued. However, until it acquires that degree of self-consciousness to be aware of this psychical function, it has no expression of soul.

Obviously, then, this latter view in both of its aspects does not contend that abortion destroys the soul. But even if no soul exists until the first breath following birth, dopes abortion prevent the possibility of a soul coming into existence? Some people claim that this denial caused by abortion is a moral wrong, that man is interfering with divine law.

This latter interpretation is principally a human evaluation of the circumstances. For example, various Hindu sects so define certain of their religion doctrines as to mean that they must continually bear children. They have given the gift of procreation; therefore they must not obstruct its functioning, and to do so is a moral wrong.

Millions in Misery

            Let us look at the circumstances, the effects of such reasoning, or at least the effects of adherence to this traditional belief. In India millions of children are born to such mothers who are economically destitude, in dire poverty. They are unable, as we have personally seen, either to properly feed themselves or nourish their brood of children. There is an appalling infant mortality rate in such families. Where death has not already occurred, the suffering from starvation is great.

The distended bellies of the children, their sunken pallid cheeks, wide staring eyes–are these worthy examples of conformity to a religious precept? Human compassion, mercy, the alleviation of suffering, have long been extolled as acts of purity and holiness next to godliness. If that is so, it would be far better to make available and to reach the use of contraceptive methods and to practice legal abortions in such families. Certainly this would seem to be closer to what is thought to be Divine Love for humanity and, especially, for children. However, we do not need to look just to India for such religious ideas. Christianity has also applied to this subject a most orthodox, fundamental interpetation of the Bible.

Admittedly it would be difficult tho change the views of such persons. Blind religious devotion and fear would strongly oppose it. Emotion where literacy and education are lacking has a far greater appeal than reason and expediency.

Let us, however, consider the problem in the so-called “enlightened“ countries of the world. Here, too, as we have said, we see religious doctrines and philosophical concepts negating and opposing all practical ends and human advancement that are suggested as coming from the practice of abortion. Would it be a moral crime to prevent the birth of a child to a mother who has been raped by a madman or one possessed of a severe venereal disease? Would it be a moral crime to prevent the birth of a child who physicians say would be more like a monster or completely imbecilic rather than reasonably normal? Must the children be subjected to such an ordeal and suffering all through their lifetime?

Those who advance karma as an answear may relate that this kind of suffering is as an obligation that has been imposed and therefore must be endured. We object to this interpretation of karma. We hold that karma is not retribution for an act, that is, as a form of punishment imposed arbitrarily by some supernatural will. Rather, karma is the Law of Compensation, or better termed, the Law of Causiality.

We Have A Choice

            The parents may have been the cause of an abnormal birth, but even if they were, karma, like any other cause, can be mitigated by the intelligent application of yet another cause. In other words, the parents do not have to submit to this condition, as they could resort to abortion. So far as any lessons needing to be learned, the whole circumstances would constitute that without an unnecessary prolongation of the suffering not only of the parent but possibly for a horribly deformed child.

What is the Rosicrucian attitude with regard to soul and its relation to birth?                                                                We quote from the Rosicrucian Glossary on this subject:

Soul: The Divine Essence, or Cosmic Intelligence, which permeates man. There is but one Soul in the universe, the Soul of God, the Living, Vital Consciousness of God. Within each living being there is an unseparated segment of that Universal Soul. This is the Soul of man. It never ceases to be a part of the Universal Soul. The Soul is the Divine Consciousness which accompnies the vital life force. It is an extension of God in man. Man can respond to it, but he cannot control or possess it. Every human is bound by this Universal Soul force to every other mortal.

Vital Life Force: The form of energy which vitalizes the human body at the moment of birth and which leaves at the moment of transition. It is not spirit energy which exists in all matter, and which does remain in the human body after transition. The positive polarity of Nous manifests as vital life force. It is this which animates matter, brings into existence the living energy. An attribute of the vital life force is consciousness. It is infinite and unlimited and becomes soul when in man.

We have set forth various views here with regard to the prevelent popular discussion in periodicals and elsewhere on the necessity, as some hold, for legalizing abortion. Each individual must weigh the expediency and the need in our day and times to prevent starvation and other social disorders against his personal religious or philosophical views and decide whether or not he believes in abortion.

Rosicrucian Digest October 1983.


By Yogi Ramacharaka


Life is the constant accumulation of knowledge, the storing up of the result of experiences. The law of cause and effect is in constant operation, and we reap what we sow – not as a matter of punishment, but as the effect following the cause. Theology teaches us that we are punished for our sins, but the higher knowledge shows us that we are punished by our mistakes instead of for them.

The child who touches the hot stove is punished by reason of the act itself, not by some higher power for having “sinned.” Sin is largely a matter of ignorance and mistake. Those who have reached the higher plane of spiritual knowledge have borne upon them such a convincing knowledge of the folly and unwisdom of certain acts and thoughts, that it becomes almost impossible for them to commit them. Such persons do not fear there is some superior being waiting to strike them to the earth with a mighty club for doing certain things, simply because that intelligence has laid down an apparently arbitrary law forbidding the commission of the act. On the contrary they know that the higher intelligences are possessed of nothing but intense love for all living creatures, and are willing and ready to always help them, so far as is possible under the workings of the law. But such persons recognize the folly of the act, and therefore refrain from committing it – in fact, they have lost the desire to commit it.

It is almost exactly parallel to the example of the child and the stove. A child who wants to touch the stove will do so as soon as he finds an opportunity, notwithstanding the commands of the parent, and in spite of threatened punishment. But let that child once experience the pain of the burn, and recognize that there is a close connection between a hot stove and a burnt finger, and it will keep away from the stove.

The loving parent would like to protect its child from the result of its own follies, but the child-nature insists upon learning certain things by experience, and the parent is unable to prevent it. In fact, the child who is too closely watched and restrained, usually “breaks out” later in life, and learns certain things by itself. All that the parent is able to do is to surround the child with the ordinary safeguards, and to give it the benefit of his wisdom, a portion of which the child will store away – and then trust to the law of life to work out the result.

And so the human soul is constantly applying the test of experience to all phases of life – passing from one incarnation to another, constantly learning new lessons, and gaining new wisdom. Sooner or later it finds out how hurtful certain courses of action are – discovers the folly of certain actions and ways of living, and like the burnt child avoids those things in the future.

All of us know that certain things “are no temptation to us,” for we have learned the lesson at some time in some past life and do not need to relearn it – while other things tempt us sorely, and we suffer much pain by reason thereof. Of what use would all this pain and sorrow be if this one life were all?

But we carry the benefit of our experience into another life, and avoid the pain there. We may look around us and wonder why certain of our acquaintances cannot see the folly of certain forms of action, when it is so plain to us – but we forget that we have passed through just the same stage of experience that they are now undergoing, and have outlived the desire and ignorance – we do not realize that in future lives these people will be free from this folly and pain, for they will have learned the lesson by experience, just as have we.

It is hard for us to fully realize that we are what we are just by the result of our experiences. Let us take one single life as an example. You think that you would like to eliminate from your life some painful experience, some disgraceful episode; some mortifying circumstances; but have you ever stopped to think that if it were possible to eradicate these things, you would, of necessity, be forced to part with the experience and knowledge that has come to you from these occurrences.

Would you be willing to part with the knowledge and experience that has come to you in the way mentioned? Would you be willing to go back to the state of inexperience and ignorance in which you were before the thing happened? Why, if you were to go back to the old state, you would be extremely likely to commit the same folly over again.

How many of us would be willing to completely wipe out the experiences which have come to us? We are perfectly willing to forget the occurrence, but we know that we have the resulting experience built into our character, and we would not be willing to part with it, for it would be taking away a portion of our mental structure. If we were to part with experience gained through pain we would first part with one bit of ourselves, and then with another, until at last we would have nothing left except the mental shell of our former self.

But, you may say, of what use are the experiences gained in former lives, if we do not remember them – they are lost to us. But they are not lost to you – they are built into your mental structure, and nothing can ever take them away from you – they are yours forever. Your character is made up not only of your experiences in this particular life, but also of the result of your experiences in many other lives and stages of existence. You are what you are today by reason of these accumulated experiences – the experiences of the past lives and of the present one. You remember some of the things in the present life which have built up your character – but many others equally important, in the present life, you have forgotten – but the result stays with you, having been woven into your mental being.

And though you may remember but little, or nothing, of your past lives, the experiences gained in them continue with you, now and forever. It is these past experiences which give you “predispositions” in certain directions – which make it very difficult for you to do certain things, and easy to do others – which cause you to “instinctively” recognize certain things as unwise or wrong, and to cause you to turn your back upon them as follies. They give you your “tastes” and inclinations, and make some ways seem better than others to you.

Nothing is lost in life, and all the experiences of the past contribute to your well-being in the present – all your troubles and pains of the present will bear fruit in the future.

Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism