[Notes on Kama-Loka and the After Death States]
Theosophist, February, 1885
Article Selections by A. P. Sinnett, “Kama-Loka and the Bearings of the Esoteric Doctrine on Spiritualism”| Editor’s Note by H.P.B.
. . . many of the processes of Nature concerned with the higher spiritual evolution of Man have but, as yet, been vaguely portrayed in the Theosophical writings which have so far been produced, and the work which now lies before . . . us . . . has to do chiefly, for
the present, with the detailed examination of these processes. . . .
. . . Perhaps there is no passage in the Esoteric teaching which has, up till a recent period, been left in deeper shade than that which has to do with [the phenomena of human evolution immediately following the death of tho physical body] . . .
It will be remembered that the passages in the Esoteric teaching as first systematized for the service of Theosophical study, which deal with the passage from earth-life to the true spiritual condition of Devachan, are broadly to the following effect:—When a man dies the three lower principles are discarded and consigned to the graveyard. The real entity may then be regarded as consisting of four principles, themselves divisible in imagination into two duads, the lower having to do with the earth-life just spent, the higher with the spiritual life then re-awakening. A struggle, it has been represented, takes place in the sphere or state of existence
immediately adjacent to our physical state—in Kama-loka—
between the affinities which these two duads are imbued with.
That struggle has been described as ending in the rupture of
the fifth principle or human Ego; all its higher attributes
passing with the sixth principle or immortal, spiritual soul,
into Devachan, while the lower portions of the fifth principle,
limiting with the fourth or animal soul, relapse into a temporary existence of a relatively degraded kind, in Kama-loka, there gradually to disintegrate as the physicial body disintegrates, or ought to be allowed to disintegrate, in the grave. The Kama-loka entities of this description have been called “shells,” in accordance with same old-established precedents of occult literature . . .
[Note: the full article by A. P. Sinnett is worth reading in full; it continues on a detailed discussion of what he had been taught about the states after death by his Teacher.]
Editor’s Note. [H.P.B.]:—The word “rupture” seems an unhappy expression, as it suggests the idea of a separate entity, whereas only a principle is under discussion. The “higher attributes” of the 5th principle are evolved in it, during the life time of the Personality, by its more or less close assimilation with the sixth, by the development, or rather the spiritualization by the Buddhi of the intellectual capacities which have their seat in the Manas (the fifth). During the struggle spoken of and when the spiritual monad striving to enter the Devachanic state is being subjected to the process of purification, what happens is this: personal consciousness, which alone constitutes the personal Ego, has to rid itself of every earthly speck of grossly material taint before it becomes capable of living “in spirit” and as a spirit. Therefore, while the upper consciousness with all its noblest higher feelings—such as undying love, goodness, and all the attributes of divinity in man, even in their latent state—are drawn by affinity towards, follow and merge into the monad, thus endowing it,—which is part and parcel of universal consciousness and has therefore no consciousness of its own—with a personal self-consciousness, the dross of our earthly thoughts and cares, “the material tastes, emotions and proclivities” are left to lurk behind in the shell. It is, so to say, the pure incense, the spirit of the flame, disengaging itself from the ashes and cinders of the burnt-up fire. The word “rupture,” therefore, is a misleading one.
The “Soul when laden with unsatisfied desires” will remain “earth-bound” and suffer. If the desire is on a purely earthly plane, the separation may take place notwithstanding, and the shell alone be left wandering; if it were some act of justice and beneficence, such as the redress of a wrong, it can be accomplished only through visions and dreams, the spirit of the impressed person being drawn within the spirit of the Devachanee, and by assimilation with it, first instructed and then led by Karma to redress the wrong. But in no case is it a good or meritorious action for “living friends” to encourage the simulacra, whether shells or entities, to communicate. For, instead of “smoothing the path of its spiritual progress,” they impede it. In days of old, it was the initiated hierophant under whose guidance the mediums of the adyta, the sibyls, the oracles and the seers acted. In our days there are no initiated priests or adepts at hand to guide the blind instincts of the mediums, themselves the slaves of yet blinder influences. The ancients knew more about those matters than we do. There must be some good reason why every old religion prohibits intercourse with the dead as a crime. Let the Hindus always bear in mind what the Atharva Veda says to that effect, and the Christians the prohibition of Moses. Subjective, purely spiritual ‘‘Mediumship’’ is the only harmless kind, and is often an elevating gift that might be cultivated by every one.