Blavatsky Blogger

Taking Theosophical ideas

into the 21st century


This is a school in which

no pupil ever fails

C W Leadbeater applied this optimistic statement to

the quest for spiritual perfection through the

cycle of death and rebirth, but there’s a catch.

You can only leave when you have qualified for the higher

examinations and in evolutionary terms this may mean

the equivalent of staying at school until you are 37.

Theosophy can get you out earlier.

Posted 28/1/07


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Yes. Everyone will move on to higher levels of development eventually but it is possible to be caught up in a series of pointless recurring lives in which nothing is learned. Just being aware of the mechanics of the system will help you graduate earlier.

In the section on Reincarnation in a “Textbook of Theosophy”, C W Leadbeater explains that man must descend into matter (Involute) in order to gain the experience required for spiritual evolution. Humanity as a whole is destined to complete this process and therefore everyone must and will complete the process in the end. This differs from many orthodox religions which postulate that not everyone and in some religions only a very few will reach any form of higher existence.

“This is the scheme of evolution appointed for man at the present stage – that he shall develop by descending into grosser matter, and then ascend to carry back into himself the result of the experiences so obtained.”

Man cannot gain experience by remaining in spirit form and the descents into matter must be numerous and continuous. Even those who evolve quickly still have to live a large number of lives. Leadbeater likens a single life to a day at school;

“Every one of us has a long line of these physical lives behind him, and the ordinary man has a fairly long line still in front of him. Each of such lives is a day at school.”

The analogy of school life continues with the point that school is not the main event and is only a preparation for real life. In evolutionary terms this is a more advanced stage of spiritual of evolution;

“when it is over he goes forth fully equipped into the real life of the higher worlds for which all this is only a preparation.”

Leadbeater also points out that there are no short cuts other than to harmonize oneself with the schools rules and learn what is taught. There are clear warnings for those who believe that this physical life is all there is and an end in itself.


Theosophy pushes you forward

“The ego puts upon himself his garment of flesh and goes forth into the school of the physical world to learn certain lessons.”

How are these lessons to be learned?

Leadbeater offers the principles of Theosophy as a route to spiritual progress. He elaborates on this by outlining the head start that is given simply by understanding the concepts of Reincarnation and Karma.

Simply understanding Reincarnation and Karma would provide a framework for future development and progressively more understanding of situations and challenges that arise.


A Cycle of Recurrence

It is logical that failure to make spiritual progress is equivalent to failing to learn lessons and as a consequence time at school will become more difficult and frustrating. The extended time at school would be similar to a pupil marking time until the leaving date with the intention of getting a job, going on the dole or to college. In this case, for the student, there is no leaving date without qualifying for the higher examinations and eventually a point will be reached when the student is forced to confront the problem. There is no question of standing still indefinitely, the Law of Karma will teach any of us to move on and even if this only causes us to make an effort in this life, there will be benefits in the next.

In practical terms this would be like living through a series of recurrences with no progress or achievement until we learn from Karma that we need to break the cycle.

If you are not making any spiritual progress or even resisting it, you can expect a nudge in the right direction.

Can you be expelled from this school?

C W Leadbeater doesn’t cover this here as it is a fairly basic text but in more esoteric writings H P Blavatsky does refer to a very small number of irredeemable souls which are lost. The average person need not concern themselves with this.


Reincarnation From A Textbook of Theosophy

By C W Leadbeater (Complete text)


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