What happens to us when we die is of concern to all. We are all going to die sometime. Religious have their different versions of what happens, but no one really KNOWS.
This book is a unique and essential guide for students of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Tibetan Book of the Dead and for those pursuing the path to Spiritual Enlightenment. Its content is gathered from the phenomenal and historic letters Helena Blavatsky's Mahatma Teachers wrote to A.P. Sinnett in the 1800's.
Man is possessed of faculties, latent in most of us, but which have been developed to their fullest extent by a few men, known as Mahatmas, who have spent many lifetimes of self-discipline and arduous training bringing them to perfection. This they have done leaving us written records of some of their discoveries, which tell us of the various stages and processes of the after-death states.
Geoffrey A. Farthing was born in England in December 1909. He matriculated London University, became apprenticed into electrical engineering, attended the Manchester College of Technology of which he became an Associate, and is a Corporate Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.
He has studied Theosophy for some 60 years and has lectured in many countries, held most position in the Theosophical Society in England including General Secretary (1969-72); served a term as a member of the Society's General Council at Adyar, India, and was member of the Executive Committee of the European Federation. Also in 1974 he founded the Blavatsky Trust, an educational charity, in England. In 1972 he gave the prestigious Blavatsky Lecture "Life, Death, and Dreams" at the Annual Convention of the English Theosophical Society.
His other books are: Theosophy, What's It All About? And Deity, Cosmos and Man.
Writing three-quarters of a century ago in the aftermath of the first World War, psychologist William McDougall declared:
Unless Psychical Research - that is to say, inquiry according to the strictest principles of empirical science - can discover facts incompatible with materialism, materialism will continue to spread. No other power can stop it; revealed religion and metaphysical philosophy are equally helpless before the advancing tide. And if that tide continues to rise and to advance as it is doing now, all the signs point to the view that it will be a destroying tide, that it will sweep away all the hard-won gains of humanity, all the moral traditions built up by the efforts of countless generations for the increase of truth, justice, and humanity.
Those words have proved prophetic, revealing a prescience remarkable for its time. Truly the scientific and technological paradise we were promised at the beginning of this century has not come about. I grant that in some respects the world is a better place than it was when I was a boy (e.g. in dentistry), but in many other respects it is far worse. Murder, rape, civil war, armed robbery, mob violence, drug, abuse, industrial pollution - these are all crimes which would have evoked banner headlines in the papers when I was young, but are now so commonplace that they are given only meager mention. Death has replaced sex as the great taboo subject in our culture. We pretend that it does not exist and do not care to contemplate it. But it does exist and we are all forced to contemplate it when we are brought face to face with the death of someone we love dearly.
Despite all this, there are still those who realize that a man's life consistent not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. They feel deep down that the universe, incomprehensible though it is not "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound any fury, signifying nothing." Something is going on. They look for a meaning to, a purpose behind, existence The great religions give us partial (and often different) answers to our questions. There are mystical and occult systems which claim to give answers to all life's problems - but the answers are often different and contradictory, and they cannot be checked. For my part, I have found much that is helpful in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky.
H.P.B.'s output is voluminous and dispersed; and the new reader would be well advised not to tackle it without some preliminary help by way of introduction. One of the main sources of her teaching is found in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, written by two of the Masters who were her teachers. The letters cover a wide variety of subjects, not always in logical order; and it is here that Geoffrey Farthing has done valuable work in collecting extracts from these writings relating to a single subject and presenting them in coherent order. This makes the task of the student much easier. Nevertheless I guess that many who take up his book without previous knowledge of Theosophical literature will find it hard going. This is not because of the author's style of writing, which is clear enough. It is due partly to the difficulty of the concepts, which are still strange to Western minds, and partly to the terminology which makes use of Sanskrit words for which there is no equivalent in English.
It matters not who the Masters were, whether they ever existed and how they transmitted the letters. Scholar have argued these points for a century. The teaching in the letters stands or falls by its own merits or faults. Happily we do not have to assimilate it all in one gulp. We may assimilate it a small bit at a time - or not at all. To me the ideas expounded in this book do not represent articles of faith, "which except every one do keep whole and undefiled, he shall without doubt perish everlastingly." They are more in the nature of hypotheses for discussion and I have not hesitated to borrow form them in order to explain some of the observed facts that have come my way. The distinction between Personality and Individuality, the existence and properties of Kama-Manasic Shells, and the almost immediate personal reincarnation of children who have died prematurely in infancy, are three cases in point.
I commend this work to all those who, in these troublous times, are searching for a purpose behind existence. They may find some of the answers here. -Vernon Harrison, Ph.D.
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