THEOSOPHY, Vol. 19, No. 2, December, 1930
(Pages 72-74; Size: 10K)


[Article number (2) in this Q&A Department]

The character of this department, devoted to Theosophy School, is being modelled to another form, as the above caption indicates. All Youth-Companions everywhere, whether members of Theosophy School or not, are invited to send in questions which they would like to have answered. All who would like to answer questions for publication in this department are also invited to write to the Editors for the list of questions provided for each month's issue. Both questions and answers will be handled by the young people of Theosophy School. Contributors are expected to have their papers in on or before the first of each month. It is preferred by the Editors that each question be treated quite fully, as, if space does not admit of all the answers being printed in one issue, they can be held until another. It may also be that more than one answer to the same question will be given. Neatly prepared manuscripts are expected, although neat handwriting is acceptable when typing is not possible. Thus, enlightening one another, may all Youth-Companions grow full of that "enjoyment and satisfaction" which comes from constantly speaking and thinking of Theosophy, and doing service in its name!
DO you mean to say that all the cells in our body will sometime be men? If that is so, then there must have been a time when we were little cells? Isn't that so?

All of the cells in our bodies are just forms or shapes that Life takes, and forms die. All of the flowers that we know and enjoy are always dying -- the roses, the carnations, the violets -- but there are always more flowers blooming, and while the individual rose or violet dies, the life in the plant kingdom continues. So, the cell will never be a man, for the cell is just a form that life takes, but the life in the cell form will some day reach man's high estate. We were never cells, but the life in us has been in every kingdom of the mineral, plant, and animal world until it reached the human kingdom. For that matter, right now, many of our cells constitute the mineral Part of us -- many, the vegetable Part of us; though the animal Part of us is mostly in our "wants," and hates.

What will happen to us if after even a million lives we do not become Masters?

What does it matter, if you keep on trying? Only, the question is, Why do you want to become a Master? Is it that you want to reach some exalted state of salvation -- and be proud of the fact that you have reached Mahatmaship? Masters are perfected beings who live to benefit Mankind. But we too can live and work for others; we can act for and as the Self of all creatures; so why worry about when we shall be or not be Masters? Such thoughts are selfish and concern only our own personal development. When we think them, we are not thinking about our younger brothers. Regardless of our rank, and rank is only relative anyway, we can always help others who know less then we do. If there are beings as much higher than ourselves as perfected men whom we call Masters, then there must be beings as much lower in the scale. We could always help them, as well as all the life about us, which is in reality a part of ourselves. The Voice of the Silence says:

If Sun thou canst not be, then be the humble planet. Aye, if thou art debarred from flaming like the noon-day Sun upon the snow-capped mount of purity eternal, then choose, O Neophyte, a humbler course.

Point out the "Way" -- however dimly, and lost among the host -- as does the evening star to those who tread their path in darkness.

What causes us to go to sleep, and how do we do it?

You couldn't keep going for twenty-four hours if you tried, studying and going to school. Your body needs rest, for it is composed of countless little lives which need rest as much as you need to play after sitting in school all day. If our bodies did not have sleep they would wear out much faster than they do. But it is only our bodies which need the sleep. The real man does not sleep, although he too needs a rest from the friction of the life in a body. While our bodies rest, the real man goes through the dream state into the state of deep sleep where the Spirit knows itself for what it really is. So often in waking life we forget that we are really spiritual beings, and we act as if we were merely animals with likes and dislikes, wants and desires running our actions. Don't you suppose that sleep gives us a chance to remember what we are, and that our true refreshment comes from that higher nature? There is a saying that "The night time of the body is the daytime of the Soul."

The Ocean of Theosophy, pages 35-36, gives some help on this question. It says:

For, it is said, the infant lives because the combination of healthy organs is able to absorb the life all around it in space, and is put to sleep each day by the overpowering strength of the stream of life, since the preservers among the cells of the youthful body are not yet mastered by the other class. These processes of going to sleep and waking again are simply and solely the restoring of the equilibrium in sleep and the action produced by disturbing it when awake. It may be compared with the arc-electric light wherein the brilliant arc of light at the point of resistance is the symbol of the waking active man. So in sleep we are again absorbing and not resisting the Life Energy; when we wake we are throwing it off. But as it exists around us like an ocean in which we swim, our power to throw it off is necessarily limited. Just when we wake we are in equilibrium as to our organs and life; when we fall asleep we are yet more full of life than in the morning; it has exhausted us; it finally kills the body.
How do butterflies and peacocks get their colors?

They must get the material for their colors in the same way and from the same source as does everything else which has color. Color is in reality the substance or matter of a finer plane or world than our own -- sometimes called astral light, or akasa. They must get this material from food, water, air, and light -- the elements which compose every body, and these elements must exist in many finer states than those we know as solid, liquid, and gaseous. Light and color are some of these finer states.

Birds and plants have Minds, too; not the same kind of Minds that we have, but just as they choose the food they eat, have their own instincts and habits, which they must have learned to prefer through their experiences -- so they must, in their own way, choose the different colors and patterns of their bodies. The same Life is in them as in us and in everything, and that Life could not flow or pass from one state to another, from one kingdom to another, from one form to another, if there were, really, any gaps, any "missing links" (as they say in school) between one kingdom and another. Madame Blavatsky says that the Elemental Lives build the forms in the mineral and vegetable kingdoms by imitating the pictures they see in the astral light, and that in turn the insects and birds imitate them -- for the mineral and the vegetables come first in the order of evolution, before the insects and the birds. So their Minds are all imitative; they can't imagine new forms, as we can. They get this imitative faculty from their experience and from each other, but they get the original patterns from the use made of them by Man in the long ago. Are not men continually creating new forms and species now, by building on old forms? Haven't we flowers now in color, shape, and size that were not thought of ten years ago? So, new patterns are continually being put into the astral light by men, which will be imitated in a new period of evolution by the Elemental Lives on their own account. Then again, Man will think how he can improve them, and so evolution goes on.

Next article:
(January 1931)
[Article number (3) in this Q&A Department]

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