THEOSOPHY, Vol. 49, No. 1, November, 1960
(Pages 30-31; Size: 6K)

QUESTIONS--AND COMMENTS

[Article number (3) in this Department]

IF Nature works to restore balance and harmony throughout the universe, would it not be impossible to have a "population explosion"? Do we have any record of this ever having happened? Am I right in assuming that both China and India are on the decline?

Turning to the last portion of the question first, it seems apparent that both traditional China and traditional India have given way to circumstances of a new birth. Bearing out the prophecies of Madame Blavatsky, the transition in India proceeds with attendant respect for philosophical tradition, and in the figures of Nehru and Vinoba Bhave there is clear evidence that "the Religion of the Ancients" will still speak to future generations in India. In China, beset by many of the same problems as those faced by India, it appears that the karma of Western history is coming to a danger point among the long-abused, but resurgent, Chinese. Population statistics indicate that the Chinese now number approximately 1,000,000,000 while the whole of Europe including the USSR, has only some 700,000,000, with a total for North America, inclusive of Canada and Alaska, reaching but some 200,000,000.

A "population explosion," in Theosophical terms, seems nothing more nor less than the concentration of need for experience by most of the egos of Fifth Race civilization. Populations decimated by war and pestilence must come back to complete their cycles of participation. Programs for "scientific birth control," while often prompted by humanitarian concern, will probably never change the trend of increasing population until egoic needs have been met.

Since the year 1650, the world's total population seems to have increased by more than five times. (The inadequacy of earlier statistics has been largely corrected by the United Nations figures based upon fairly careful international cooperation.) Again, as prophesied by H.P.B., the white-skinned persons are overwhelmingly outnumbered by darker-skinned peoples -- who must not be denied, quite literally, their "place in the sun." In Africa alone the population exceeds that of North America by more than 30,000,000 persons, while the Japanese and Chinese together exceed the North American population by at least seven times. The Latin-American population, inclusive of Mexico, has now surpassed that of North America by some 3,000,000 persons, according to 1957 statistics.

It is certainly permissible to speculate that if the white races are to provide any leadership for the rest of the world, this can only be in terms of a passing on of the Theosophic heritage -- something which can take place if this heritage has been fully rediscovered, reassessed, and revered.

A question arose last night in a Gita Notes class: On page 77 of the Notes, it says: "Through heedlessness verily were the demons vanquished ..." Does this mean that the evil spirits or demons have, on their particular plane, the equivalent down-grade of "Lost Souls"?

The language of ancient scriptures often seems designed to provoke questions rather than provide definitive answers. As a result, paradoxical forms of expression are frequently used.

The word "demons" in the quotation from the Sanatsujatiya refers in a general sense to what Edwin Arnold calls "demons of lust" in the Light of Asia, in a sense paralleling Krishna's quoted explanation above. The tamasic man is passive victim for all potent demonic forces, including "evil spirits," but when the rajasic nature becomes ascendant, the "real" demons are revealed as residing within -- represented by all forms of egoistic self-seeking. But since a person must move from the tamasic to the rajasic state, he must, in a sense, exchange the state of being victimized by more powerful forces than he can generate, for the state of being moved by his own "demons." Before his sattvic potentiality can manifest, finally, he has to become "heedless" to the promptings of his own egoistic desires. Now, there must be both a higher and a lower "heedlessness," the latter being tamasic and the former representing a transition from rajasic ascendancy to sattvic. The various disciplines proposed by Patanjali are representative of this transition, and have to do with the conscious separation of man from his pressing desires. Ultimately, however, one must transcend the specific disciplines in the same way as one must learn to some day transcend "all doctrines which are taught or yet to be taught."

The "demons" may be said to be always related to failures in motivation and errors of ignorance.


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QUESTION--AND COMMENT
(December 1960)
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