Arguments on reincarnation


THEOSOPHY, Vol. 33, No. 7, May, 1945
(Pages 263-264; Size: 6K)
(Number 2 of a 14-part series)
Theosophy Magazine site (

ALL material existence reduces mathematically and scientifically into a single substratum. How about thought, will, and feeling, upon the evolution and action of which in connection with matter, necessarily hangs the question of reincarnation? The mutual convertibility of thought, will, and feeling is the universal internal experience of every human being; thus they are all phases of some one force or quality. In this inner region every one can study for himself, at no cost, correlations which in the realm of objective substance can only be had with costly physical apparatus and cumbersome formulas.

But is this one mode of being which exhibits itself as thought, will, and feeling, also one with that which exhibits as energy, matter, space, and time? Obviously, they are connected; material conditions affect mental ones; mental conditions affect and can control material ones. Let us allow a modern scientist(1) to speak on this:

In this, our universe, affections, emotions and aspirations, thought, wisdom, will, matter, light, gravitation and life are the great fundamentals. How are these related to each other? That is the question.
To part of which the answer suggested in the following pages is that matter is but imprisoned light, and all the rest of material nature the consequence of this.
As regards the other question -- of the relation of thought, will, emotions, awareness, psychism, to this material basis -- it is suggested by Dr. Mathews that these are the universal accompaniment of light, whether that light be radiant, or whether it is imprisoned in space to make an electron. And that all of these phenomena, physical and psychical, are but the varied expression of the ceaseless flux and activity of a fundamental substance, essence, or continuum -- the ether of space-time -- of action and being (of non-matter), of a four dimensional solid-fluid every part of which is conceived to be in an intense and oriented vertical motion.

Compare Dr. Mathews with a very ancient book on reincarnation -- the Bhagavad-Gita:

I am the father and mother of this universe, the grandsire and the preserver ... I am the origin and dissolution, the receptacle, the storehouse, and the eternal seed. I cause light and heat and rain.... I am death and immortality; I am the cause unseen and the visible effect.... Subtle perception, spiritual knowledge, right judgment, patience, truth, self-mastery; pleasure and pain, prosperity and adversity; Birth and death, danger and security, fear and equanimity, satisfaction, restraint of body and mind, alms-giving, inoffensiveness, zeal and glory and ignominy, all these various dispositions of creatures come from me.... I am the Ego which is seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all existing things.... I am endless time itself, and the Preserver whose face is turned on all sides. I am all-grasping death, and the birth of those who are to be.
Throughout the ancient Sanscrit runs this grand symphony of the One origin of all things, and to the aspirant for wisdom is constantly repeated "That thou art!" Nothing more and nothing less did Jesus -- who also taught reincarnation -- mean, in teaching "In Him we live, and move, and have our being."
Now, how did the despised and "superstitious" philosophers of the "night" of Indian time come to present exactly the same doctrine as the very respectable modern Dr. Albert P. Mathews, Professor of Biochemistry, University of Cincinnati?

Revert to the concept that thought and matter are phases or aspects of a single Source. If so, then obviously Truth can be approached either by a study of matter or a study of consciousness; the laws of nature can be ascertained either by apparatus or by the power of mind following certain rules.

The latter is the method by which ancients discovered the One Source and -- Reincarnation. Modern Science, using the opposite approach, has discovered the One Source and is beginning to discover reincarnation. The ancients in their pursuit ignored many details of material manifestation; but the West to date -- like the present degraded East -- has ignored a universe of mental and spiritual law which would have been its salvation from multifold evils. The modern scientific Reincarnationist tries to bring together the best results of both Paths.