Arguments on reincarnation


THEOSOPHY, Vol. 33, No. 10, August, 1945
(Pages 374-375; Size: 5K)
(Number 5 of a 14-part series)
Theosophy Magazine site (

THE stock argument of the materialist, that there is no "soul" because it ceases to manifest with the destruction of the body, is worthless. A musician also ceases to manifest as a musician when his instrument is broken -- until he gets another one. A single well-authenticated instance, on the other hand, of the action of a self independently of the body, would prove the case for soul immortality. There is in fact an enormous volume of evidence on this point.

Telepathy, prophetic dreams, sight without eyes, hearing without ears, and the rest, are facts. No really thoughtful mind will dismiss these without seriously studying the literature on them. As to telepathy, one of the very greatest of modern physicians has pronounced for its reality -- Dr. Alexis Carrel.

Prof. H. H. Price, elected president of the Society for Psychical Research in 1939, speaks of how public opinion on psychic phenomena has gradually changed during the past thirty years:

Most educated people are now ... prepared to admit the reality of Telepathy and Clairvoyance, and even to give a fair hearing to the case for Precognition. Here I think the educated public is quite right. The evidence for Telepathy and Clairvoyance is both abundant and good; and the evidence for Precognition -- the most paradoxical, perhaps, of all supernormal phenomena -- is very considerable. . . .
If Telepathy and Clairvoyance do occur -- and I see no way of denying it -- then surely they must be extremely important. For it will follow that the human mind has powers entirely different from sense-perception, introspection, memory, and inference. If Precognition occurs, we shall probably have to revise our theories of Time and Causation in the most drastic manner.(1)

As to prophetic dreams: they form one of the most common phenomena; every community has had its experience in this line. Our files contain many. Still more striking are such books as Dunne's Experiment With Time. This particular phenomenon shows that time and space are not what we think they are, and that the time-space relationships of the human ego have certainly not been solved by materialism.
Hypnotism presents striking evidence, not only of the power of mind over matter, such as the raising of a blister with a piece of ice by hypnotic suggestion, but in the uncovering of buried memories. Moreover, under its influence, the senses give all the reactions of reality to non-existent but suggested objects.

One of the most striking evidences of the separability of mind and brain lies in the recent investigations of normal and abnormal brain potentials. The electric waves of a brain in a normal condition are different from those given off in sleep. But under hypnosis the waves are quite normal: although the subject may be wholly oblivious of what is going on, his body and brain act normally yet not under his own control.

There could hardly be a more conclusive proof that the brain is merely an instrument, not the creator, of consciousness. If the brain can act independently of the ego, then the converse is true. An analogue of this is in the fact that men who have recovered from insanity sometimes have a clear recollection that they were internally quite sane, suffering the agonies of the damned over the behavior of their bodies. The dual consciousness -- of brain and of some deeper power which we may call the mind -- is strikingly recorded in Jane Hillyer's account of her experience of insanity: Reluctantly Told (Macmillan, New York: 1940). To deal fully with this line of evidence would mean volumes.