THEOSOPHY, Vol. 19, No. 3, January, 1931
(Pages 117-119; Size: 9K)
[Article number (3) 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!HOW does the soul know in what country to get a new body?
Many of us have no doubt wondered why we find ourselves incarnated in the race, the country, the body we inhabit. In our fancy, we can all picture an environment in which we would rather find ourselves; we might prefer a different body than that of the race to which we now belong; or if we desire the admiration of our fellow men, we imagine that having been born in another country, we would have had a better opportunity to express our aspirations. Why, then, are we here? Are we not as Souls, the Chooser -- the Knower? If so, have we not as Souls ourselves chosen the race body, the country to which we now belong? Under the law of Karma, we have in other incarnations formed affinities, whose effects must be worked out in the relationships we now find ourselves in. We are now actually choosing the circumstances of our next incarnation by the causes we set up now. The Soul knows in what country and circumstances to come, just as we know what grade we belong in at school after the summer vacation -- we can't go in any other than our past work entitled us to.
Why do they study the works of dead civilizations, as in the Great Teachers Series?
To understand the works of all Great Teachers down the ages is one of the purposes of Theosophy School. Theosophy is not a new religion or philosophy invented by man but is the Wisdom or Truth concerning Man and Nature, which has been known all down the ages. This knowledge has always been taught and has always been available, for every race and every nation have had their teachers who gave out as much as was needed of these great truths. The study of past civilizations is for finding the thread of Truth running through all teachings. By so doing one can prove that Theosophy is but the handing on of what has been known before -- known before perhaps by ourselves in those ancient times. Besides it helps us to see that our present day only repeats those other times, and we all have work to do for Theosophy, if we are to have a great civilization on this continent.
If the body changes every seven years, why does a scar remain even for a lifetime?
Many times when a person is cut it only harms the physical body and therefore the scar goes away, but if when the person is hurt physically he is frightened and his imagination is involved in the cut, it seems as if he must impress the cut upon the astral body. Because the astral is a pattern for the physical, even though the physical body in general changes, the physical atoms have no focus in that particular part to gravitate to. The astral body is more permanent than the physical and an injury to that therefore has a permanent effect on the physical.
How do you explain the fact that the Moon, which is a dead planet, affects and influences the Earth?
The moon is not dead! If it were dead, the moon would have lost the power of cohesion and would have disintegrated and so be invisible. However, it is true that the moon is dead in its highest aspect. The life or higher principles have now gone from it leaving only the lower lunar body. The moon is really similar to our bodies. Our astral bodies after we have withdrawn from them at death run on with some power, because of the force we have put into them by our thoughts and feelings and desires during life. They cohere automatically until the force runs out.
Now what is it that the moon affects in us and our world? It must be our lower nature.
We have become a race of moon worshipers. Our very lives are based on moon cycles instead of sun cycles. A great deal of this is due to the Catholic Church, which changed the older calendar and regulated it by the moon. Before the Christian era people lived by a sun calendar. The moon calendar is one sign of a dark age. Most of the superstition about the moon is true -- it does have an evil effect on us.
The moon was our last inhabited globe, consequently it was the mother of the earth and bears the same tie. "Therefore being dead she throws upon the latter, so very near her, a stream of noxious emanations; which when availed of by wicked and knowing persons may be used for man's injury."(1) It is interesting to note that all religions and priestcraft have used that knowledge to the utmost.
Then we may look upon the moon as a visible part of our own lower nature. The moon will last until that part in ourselves which corresponds to it has disappeared in the sixth great round.
If a man commits suicide, isn't it his karma to do so?
Thoughts are the seeds of Karma, and if a man has ever entertained a thought of suicide, he will at some time in some life be tempted to commit such a deed. It does not have to be, however, for one can so live in thought and action that whenever depression or discouragement comes, he can try to understand what led to the condition. When he understands, as Theosophy teaches, he can start new causes in motion which will bring better results. Then comes a desire to live to benefit others as well as one's self.
One cannot learn anything of life or avoid paying one's debts to life by dying. Suicide is an attempt to dodge one's responsibility to all.
[Note: Here's the link to William Q. Judge's "Moon's Mystery and Fate" article that was quoted from by a student in the above article (see footnote).--Compiler]
[Article number (4) in this Q&A Department]
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(1) "Moon's Mystery and Fate," THEOSOPHY, Vol. II, p. 526. [Note: The article referred to is by William Q. Judge. For those who would like to read it, once you have finished reading this article, I've placed a link to it at the end of this one.--Compiler]
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