AGNI YOGA WEB TV
BROADCASTING 2: The Secret of Immortality
(Nicholas Roerich "Kanchenjunga"
Part I: With seven Steps to a Life that does not end
(Nicholas Roerich "Mount of five Treasures")
Since human beings exist, they are afraid of death.
(Beethoven, 3rd Symphony, Funeral March)
Since human beings exist, they are dreaming of immortality.
(Richard Strauss "Also sprach Zarathustra")
The time is ripe to overcome this fear and to realize this dream!
(Nicholas Roerich "Star of the Hero")
Do you want together with us conquerdeath? We are showing you how you can step by step achieve immortality.
(Paul Cézanne "Three Skulls")
Immortal man – will that not be worthy of the future? (Agni Yoga 553)
(Nicholas Roerich "Agni Yoga")
Do not think that we are telling you fairy tales. The first immortals are already living among us!
New Men who are everlasting, inviolable, invincible, fearless, and completely free, for nobody and nothing can do them any harm.
They resemble the Gods because they live eternally. They will continue to exist when this earth has long fallen to pieces.
Not only the universe, also the existence of man is infinite!
The immortal man walks a path without end. He has at his disposal not just one single life, but all eternity. There are no limits to his growth. He uses the gigantic potential of his imperishable spiritual being to become ever greater, to climb ever higher levels, far beyond today's humanity.
The new immortal is far superior to the old mortal man!
As an immortal, you can reach for the stars!
A new life in the spirit of immortality is the way out of the misery of the time, the foundation upon which we can completely transform ourselves and human society as a whole.
The eternal existence of man is the starting point from where we can get rid of all our outdated thinking, of the whole old world, as well as of ignorance, imperfection, distress and suffering.
Already Goethe taught: Man should believe in immortality, he has a right to do so, it is according to his nature.
(Goethe to Eckermann, 04.02.1829)
New Step of Evolution
Let me explain with an example what we are talking about:
Millions of years ago, one of our ancestors left the animal kingdom. He rose up onto two legs. He climbed a new stage of evolution. He transformed from a being with four legs into a being with two legs.
What a heroic deed! A huge leap in the development of life! A gigantic progress for all mankind!
Upright walk: What an achievement! What a new dignity! It opened up immeasurable possibilities to the human race!
Just imagine how this higher being distinguished itself from the four-legged creatures around him:
How it wandered through the savannah liberated, detached from the earth, proud, with head erect – looking into far distance, to the future, to the heights, to the light.
In fact, a God for all those wild hordes around him, who were still crawling on all fours.
Today, we are standing on the threshold to a leap just as big. The time has come for humanity to gain immortality. Thereby, we shall be climbing the next step of evolution on which new, fantastic possibilities are awaiting us.
Evolution is advancing every day. We humans have to keep pace with it. We must continue to develop further. We ourselves have to grow, not just our technical devices. Otherwise, we will be eliminated one day as unsuitable, as before us the dinosaurs.
Unlike the animals, we are called upon to consciously participate in our own evolution. We have to climb the new level on our own. No one else will lift us up there.
Part I: With seven Steps to a Life that does not end
Let us now start our course. We take you by the hand and walk together with you the seven steps that lead to immortality.
1st Step: You recognize your Soul
"Know thyself!" this is what the wise men of the past taught.
What do we find when we follow this good advice and examine ourselves?
1. Universal Realization of the Soul
We encounter a knowledge that is both ancient and universal: Man consists not only of the visible, material body; he also has an invisible, spiritual being, called by religion: the soul.
All cultures know: The death of the body is by no means the end of human existence. The soul continues to live in a spiritual world that is called Heaven or Hell, Paradise, Gehenna, Hades, Olympus, Orkus, Underworld, Walhalla or the like.
(Botticini "Assumption of the Virgin"; Dierick Bouts "Hell")
The wisdom of all times teaches the immortality of the higher nature of man. No one endowed with insight ever believed that our existence was limited to one single earthly life.
The peoples of all times: Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Germans, Africans, Indians and Chinese, American Indians, Incas and Mayas;
the religions of all times: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, even the so called primitive cults:
They all know of the survival of an aspect of man on a higher level after the death of the body.
This applies to you, too: Do you remember the last sentence of the Apostles’ Creed?
"I believe in life everlasting."
Since Plato's works "The Republic" and "Phaedon – On the Immortality of the Soul", this knowledge is one of the foundations of the Western worldview.
The religions of this world, so estranged from each other as they are, nevertheless have one common basis.
This is not the belief in God – the gods of men are very different!
The common basis of all confessions is: The knowledge of the immortality of the soul, the promise of everlasting life.
On this point, we can distinguish believers from non-believers: A faithful Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim cannot be a mortal.
All, really religions agree on four essential points:
1. One aspect of man survives death on a different, non-material level.
2. It is an individual being, distinctly different from others of its kind, that passes over to the other world. It has acquired certain personal merits. It has burdened itself with certain personal guilt. These properties were accumulated during its stay on earth.
3. One can and must provide for the future existence, for example by laying objects into the grave, or by a virtuous earthly life. The quality of the existence in the world beyond is decisively determined by the preparations taken in the material sphere.
4. The being that goes over leaves the body behind, continues to live without it, does not need it there any longer: It is an invisible, non-material, spiritual creature.
If the people of all times possessed this knowledge, then we, too, can use it today as a secure foundation for our "Experiment Immortality".
2. Personal Realization of the Soul
It is of the utmost importance that you do not blindly believe what I am telling you here. It is of no use to reiterate dogmas or formulas such as "I believe in life everlasting." You have to sense yourself that you have a soul as well as a body. Let us now see how you can make such an experience.
3. The Matrix
You know the movie "Matrix", this modern version of Plato's "Allegory of the Cave"? A brilliant film! It shows humanity as enslaved in a prison of wrong conceptions. The bars are inside our own heads!
We real human beings of today’s time are no better off:
Do you know the greatest obstacle to the further ascent of humanity, to the overcoming of the omnipresent ignorance, and to the fight against need and suffering?
The limitation of our thinking to the material, the visible!
People refuse to recognize the invisible, not touchable, spiritual aspect of reality. They limit themselves to the physical world, which is, however, only one half of reality.
By ignoring the other half, you are banishing yourself into an illusionary world – a matrix. You must act wrongly, you cannot advance if you refuse to take into account the more important part of reality!
We want to show you here the other, the higher, the spiritual side of reality – hoping that you will not close your eyes before that what exists.
Of course, we are unable and unwilling to free anyone by force from the prison of his illusions. All we can do is to point with the finger at something – the watching you have to do yourself.
The expansion of consciousness beyond the limits of the material sphere should preferably begin with ourselves: We should be able to recognize the essence of our own being more easily than anything else.
When you recognize yourself, you recognize the whole world. When you sense the Divine within your own inner being, you will also find the Divine in the surrounding outside world.
4. The other Ego
The writer Odön v. Horvath says:
In principle, I am quite different, but I rarely manage actually to live like that.
This is a truth everyone knows. Each of you feels: There is something higher hidden within you: A being so childlike pure, so priestly, so royal, so divine – with a power that can "tear out trees" and "remove mountains".
You know the Comic Superman? The small, inconspicuous clerk Clark Kent who turns, when required, into a mighty hero and saves the world from all sorts of catastrophes?
You feel yourself: Within you, too, there is hidden such a giant! Within you, too, there slumbers a potential of immense forces, which allows you to carry out the heroic deeds of which you are dreaming!
This comic is so successful only because it strikes a chord within all of us, because it touches at something that lies deeply within us.
Or think of Cinderella, indeed an archetype of mankind! Don’t you, too, sometimes feel completely out of place in your life situation – like a neglected stepchild whose true destiny it is to be a queen?
It is of the utmost importance that you do not dismiss this feeling as an illusion, but take it seriously. The deep longing to realize your higher potential indicates the right path.
Every now and then you succeed in expressing your higher self. Then a deep joy fills you – because you have lived the great, the eternal, the divine of your nature and overcome the animal part of your being.
You are much greater than you think and than you realize in everyday life.
7. Knowledge of the Heart
Of course, we cannot prove the existence of the soul with the methods of classical physics or chemistry. Nevertheless, we are acting perfectly scientifically when we now proceed to investigate into the higher reality by the means of observation and experience. We are no spinners, no mystics and no occultists – we are scientists!
All we are doing – no more, but no less either – is to look without prejudice
and to perceive that what exists!
For this, we have to add the knowledge of the heart to the traditional methods of the natural sciences.
Saint-Exupéry says in “The Little Prince":
One sees clearly only with the heart; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Allow this sentence to melt on your tongue. Do you grasp its immense importance? The essential, that what really counts in your life, is not visible and not touchable – and, therefore, can be recognized not by the intellect, but by the heart alone.
This is true for spiritual realities such as love, fidelity and beauty, or for the distinction between good and bad – and for the soul.
Let us therefore open our hearts and take a look at some everyday situations in which you feel your innermost and noblest with a certainty beyond all reason.
When you listen to the music of the great masters: Don’t you feel the existence of something greater within you? Of something bright which awards courage to you? Of something in its essence invulnerable which gives you the strength to master even the worstmisfortune with a smile?
(Beethoven 3rd Symphony, Finale)
Don’t you recognize with pride, with fury and with shame that there lives within you a being so innocent, so childlike and pure to which you lend, unfortunately, only too seldom expression and whose voice you tend to suppress under the apparent constrictions of your material existence?
Above all, Mozart shows us over and over again the marvellous picture of a better world, of a higher sphere – the homeland of our soul. His music teaches us that in every human being there is buried an angel, who waits to be awakened.
(Mozart Laudate dominum)
Don’t you feel when leaving the concert hall: He who is filled with the superior spirit, which speaks from a symphony of Beethoven or Bruckner, could overcome triumphantly all the nuisances of earthly life! There comes to light a true power which lies within you.
Music makes us really greater: We enter the music hall depressed from the load of everyday life. We leave it elevated and with head erect in the newly animated consciousness of our majesty and dignity.
Music makes us experience our true self, the royal, priestly creature, which we should in reality be, which is so much greater than our miserable material existence. Music appeals to the divine core within us.
It is not without reason that the concert halls are better filled than the churches: Here you can actually experience a reality about which the priests can only make words.
All true works of art, the great treasures of literature, painting and sculpture, lend expression to the spiritual aspect of reality, which only the heart can grasp. (Paul Cézanne "The Path". Le Corbusier Chapel of Ronchamp. Kandinsky "Riding Couple". Goethe "Faust". Auguste Rodin "The Cathedral")
In nature: Don’t you feel your kinship with every flower and every tree, with the stars, the sea and the clouds, with every stone, even with the most tiny grain of sand?
What is this miraculous feeling based on? On the fact that not only you yourselves are animated by a soul, but the whole Creation as well; on the fact that the same divine spirit dwells, as within you, so in all other matter.
The old, gnarled oak is your little brother, the sparkling crystal your little sister! Both have souls exactly like yours – only smaller, not so highly developed ones.
Auguste Rodin „The Kiss“
What happens when you love? Your higher self touches the related angel-like being, which is hidden behind the insignificant physical façade of the beloved.
By true love, souls are being attracted towards each other, not bodies!
Maybe for only one tiny bright moment you perceive something miraculous; something that the others do not see, because it is hidden within your beloved: The eternal, the divine core.
Even those of you who do not regard themselves as esoterics know: Every human being has his own particular aura. You are able to capture the essence of another man instantly by intuition in the moment when he enters a room.
It is not primarily the body that radiates. What you sense are the emanations of the soul.
Of course, the body as well has a certain radiation, but limited to the physical side: big or small, thick or thin, strong or weak, skillful or awkward.
The spiritual nature radiatesa much stronger emanation.
(Nicholas Roerich "Christ")
You are perfectly aware, at the very first moment, whether you have to do with a small or a great soul, with an important or an insignificant, a wise or an ignorant, a positive or a negative, a cheerful or a downcast, a friendly or a hostile person.
All these and many others are characteristics not of the body, but of the soul.
12. Prayer and Meditation
Nicholas Roerich „Tsong kha-pa“
In prayer or meditation, the worldly life of the body takes a break. Now your soul awakes to its life. Now it can develop. It also has its needs.
Your soul receives from the communion with the higher spheres consolation, strength and knowledge.
These are the noblest moments when the divine within you communicates with the divine in higher spheres in a purely spiritual way.
Rembrandt „St. Matthew and the Angel“
Your higher self – through your heart – speaks to you as conscience. It advises you to observe the laws of the spiritual world and to apply ethical standards to your actions.
The body has no conscience. It knows the rules of the physical world only: struggle for survival and pleasure.
You all know that the voice of your spiritual being sometimes quarrels with the wishes of your lower self, which is linked to the body. This is so exactly because your soul is a creature different from your body.
Albrecht Dürer „Death“
Think of the death of a beloved person: We all harbour after all a secret, timid, blessed confidence that his spirit lives on; that he has passed over into a better world where he continues his work; that one day we shall meet him again if we are really related, that means, if our souls belong to each other spiritually.
We refuse to imagine, it simply cannot be, it would be absurd, a gigantic cosmic wastefulness, if a powerful spirit such as Goethe's, which still has so much to discover, to say and to accomplish, were to be completely extinguished.
The conviction of our continuity I derive from the concept of activity. For if I continue to work restlessly until my end, nature is obliged to allocate to me another form of existence, if the present form is unable to endure my spirit any longer. (Goethe to Eckermann, 4 February 1829)
This feeling of the heart shows the right way. We not only hope – we know at the bottom of our heart, with a certainty beyond all reason, that those are right who paint the miraculous picture of an everlasting existence.
Simple unspoiled minds not misled by the intellect sense this truth very well.
15. Near-Death Experiences
Hieronymus Bosch „Flight to Heaven"
Even the natural scientists begin to concern themselves with that part of man, which is different from the body:
They question patients who have looked down from the ceiling of a room and watched the doctor reviving their body. Such so-called extra-physical experiences occur for example with strokes, drug-taking, epileptic attacks or near death. They are recently being investigated into with scientific methods.
The patients report of a bright world, so beautiful that they had no desire to return to earth at all! Not the body has entered this world – it lay meanwhile on the operating table –, but the soul!
16. Longing for Truth, Justice, Beauty and Love
Your soul is not of this world. Material things do not satisfy it. It longs for something higher, for spiritual values. It is enthusiastic about ideals such as truth, justice, beauty and love.
Your spiritual being actually suffers from every untruthfulness, injustice, ugliness or unkindness – even if it does not concern you yourself at all, but others.
What has an animal with its hardly developed soul, what has the purely physical side of your being to do with justice? Nothing! Like cattle, it is only concerned with survival, reproduction and satisfaction of its desires, with devouring and being devoured, with the law of the stronger, which rules in the jungle.
Why did we overcome in the course of evolution this primitive state? Because we followed our higher nature, we have established, by an immense struggle, the rule of a spiritual principle (justice) over brute force and superior material means.
This proves: There lives something higher within us, which belongs not to the physical, but to the spiritual world.
The greatest longing of man is to bring to bear this divine aspect of his nature. The highest satisfaction fills us when we succeed in this – not, as one tries to make us believe, when we satisfy our animal needs.
17. Longing for Paradise
Peter Wenzel „Adam und Eva in the earthly Paradise“
Your soul actually remembers the ideal world from where it comes – paradise, from which you were expelled in order to incarnate on the material plane.
Your soul longs to return to these heavenly conditions.
Your soul strives to introduce down here on earth the overwhelming beauty of the supermundane order, which it has itself experienced before birth. Hence the eternal dream of the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth.
18. Conclusion of the first Step
These examples should be sufficient for the moment. Do you now grasp a little bit more of the infinite reality? Has your consciousness been widened by a few millimetres?
Do you now realize? Your soul is no less real than your body. You would not deny the reality of thoughts, feelings, X-rays or other energies, just because you are unable to touch them!
He who denies his higher nature, the divine within himself, falls back to the level of the animals who have not yet developed a consciousness of the spiritual part of their being.
One tries to rob you of the best you own! It really is a victory of the devil and a spiritual catastrophe that modern man finds no way, under the influence of Enlightenment, to reconcile the truth of science – or reason –- with the truth of religion – or the heart.
If we rely on our intellect alone, if we deny every spiritual reality – then we fall back into barbarity, become spiritless robots and create a cold, dead world in which to live is a torture.
Let us sum up: The first step towards immortality is:
I recognize my soul.
2nd Step: You change your Identity: „I am a Soul“
Nicholas Roerich "Higher than Mountains"
We have taken the first step on the way to immortality. You now know that you have a soul. How do we continue? Which are the next steps?
Some try to gain immortality by extending the life of the body. However, this is impossible. Everything material is bound to pass away.
The immortality of your body is not even desirable: The life of your soul in its homeland, the world beyond, after the death of the body, is indispensable to your spiritual development.
If you want to become immortal, you have to transform into a non-material, spiritual being that is not limited by the restrictions of matter, space and time – and therefore cannot die.
2. The Choice
We have learned in the first step: We humans consist of two parts. We are twofold like the Roman god Janus.
Two souls are dwelling in my breast. (Goethe, Faust)
Our being is composed of
- a material, visible, mortal body and
- a spiritual, invisible, immortal soul.
If this is so, you have the choice:
Who or what do you want to be? Which of the two parts do you want to regard as your true self? Of whom of the two would you like to say: "This is me"? Of the body or of the soul?
Of course, you will choose the soul!
No one will regard the perishable part of his nature as his true ego, after recognizing that there is an eternal being as well. You will not choose to be something that will soon cease to exist, when you can be something else that is everlasting!
Of course, you would rather be an immortal than a transient being.
3. The new Identity
The second step towards immortality is: You assume a new identity!
Up to today, you have saddled the wrong horse: the old man identifies with his body. This is hardly reasonable.
The New Man identifies with his soul, which he regards as his true self. For that what is eternal is certainly more real and more important than that what is perishable.
The personal man is ephemeral, incidental to the real man or soul who is an evolving, persisting entity, "eternal in the heavens," who never had a beginning and to whose life there can be no end. With the growth of the idea of the soul as being the important part comes the perception of the unity of all life. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. III, Lesson “Lifes Efflorescence”)
Change your identity!
As long as your body is your ego, your existence ends with its death. When your soul becomes your ego, you continue to live on eternally even after the death of the body.
When you are asked: "Who are you?", answer:
I am a soul. I am not a material, I am a spiritual being.
Previously you used to think: "I have a soul."
Correct, however, is: "I am a soul!"
Do you see? You have already turned into an immortal being. For, once you are a soul, you go on living after the death of the body.
We have to form a completely new picture of ourselves: Man is a species belonging to the spiritual world that can neither be seen nor touched.
Antiquity, from the two premises "All humans are mortal" and "I am a human being" drew the conclusion: "I am mortal".
Today, we establish two new premises: "All souls are immortal" and "I am a soul", from which we conclude: "I am immortal".
4. Overcome the Illusion of Matter
We immortals beseech you: See through the illusion of matter! The sun does not go down in the sea in the evening, it only appears to do so.
At the age of seventy-five years one cannot fail to think about death from time to time. This thought leaves me in complete peace, for I have the firm conviction that our spirit is a being of an indestructible nature; its activity is continuing from eternity to eternity. It is like the sun, which seems to go down only to our earthly eyes, but which in reality never sets, but shines on unceasingly. (Goethe to Eckermann, May 2, 1824)
You must overcome the illusion of matter in relation to yourself as well: You are not the body that acts on earth. You are the spirit, which animates that body! You are not the dress, which is constantly changing; you are the everlasting creature, which bears the dress!
You are not the person, which you perceive in the mirror, the figure with head, torso, and limbs – this is only illusion, short-lived cover.
Previously, you used to believe that you are a body. To be sure, you also had a soul, but you did not really know what to make of it, and certainly not of its eternal life.
Today, you have to change your picture of yourself and say: "I am a soul. I also have a body – which, however, does not matter very much, because it will soon perish. "
So to know the real do not think you have a soul, but the soul has you. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Life and Death”)
You are: That what remains after your body has died.
Remember the near-death experiences which we have already talked about: you are not the body, which lies on the operating table. You are the invisible, spiritual being who is watching from the ceiling.
All human beings are actually immortal. They just do not know. Do not allow yourself to be deceived like a mayfly, which ridicules the term "month".
Rise up! You are much greater than you think! You are a cosmic giant, who already lived before our earth existed, and who will continue to live when this insignificant chunk of matter has long disintegrated.
5. The Role of the Body
My body is a tool which "I" (the soul) have to use because "I" as a non-material spiritual being cannot appear and act on the physical plane without such a vehicle. Just as a deep sea diver is able to descend to the bottom of the sea only in a solid diving bell.
See through the illusion of matter! In this case, too, the true ego is not the outwardly visible shell (the diving bell), but the invisible being, hidden within the shell: the diver.
The monks regard the body as their little friend and companion and call it "brother donkey". Thereby thy expresses very nicely its serving function. You, however, are not the donkey – you are the rider!
The body decays after death and is gnawed by worms. The "resurrection" of this cadaver, worn out and grown unappealing by long use, is a fairy tale, incompatible with the laws of reason and of science.
Moreover, no one can seriously desire the immortality of his frail and with increasing age ever more defective body.
The body is like a marionette, which has to play a role. It is led to and fro on the stage of earthly life by the will of an invisible player. You are the player, not the doll!
How should we treat our physical being? Of course you should keep your body fit through a little training and preserve it as a suitable tool. More attention is not required for an object, which will soon disintegrate.
Is it not ridiculous for a man to care for and decorate his donkey, rather than to embellish himself?
It is much more important that you nurture, heal, train, and make great and strong your true, imperishable self, your soul.
When you learn to think and to act in this way, your transformation into an immortal being begins.
Let us summarize: The second step on the way to immortality is but small and easy to accomplish. It takes place solely within our minds: You change your identity and say confidently:
I am not a physical being. I am not a body. I am a spiritual being. I am a soul.
You achieve immortality by learning to become a soul!
3rd Step: You adjust your Consciousness:
„I am an immortal being“
We are continuing with the third step towards our goal: immortality.
Let me give you a simple example to help you to better understand what we are talking about:
Imagine a young eagle growing up in a henhouse. His "parents" who raise him, his playmates, his whole environment, which moulds him – all but chickens. Because there is no mirror, he does not recognize that he is different from the others. He imitates his companions, behaves like a chicken, and thus presents a miserable picture.
What does the eagle have to do in order to realize his essential nature, to become truly himself? He must first recognize that he is not a chicken like the other creatures around him, but a much greater, more powerful and majestic being.
As long as the eagle thinks he is a chicken, he will behave like a chicken, present a sad picture and waste his higher potential.
What does man have to do in order to realize his essential nature, to become truly himself? He must first recognize that he is not a mortal like the other creatures around him, but a much greater, more powerful and majestic being.
As long as you consider yourself to be mortal, you will behave like a mortal and show a deplorable picture, because you are throwing away the immeasurable possibilities of an everlasting creature.
We all are still chickens, although we have the potential of eagles. However, knowing nothing of this treasure, we do not use it, and therefore risk to spoil our mission.
A sensitive, high-minded person feels vaguely that he is greater than it seems; that he does not exhaust his possibilities by far; that he is destined to something far greater than to scratch in the dung, to quarrel about worms and to squander his powers for the everyday, small-scale rubbish with which the world around him is concerned.
However, he finds no way out of the prison, and so drowns his longing for higher strivings in alcohol, debauchery, or the hunt for material things.
For millennia, man has been conditioned so as to regard himself mortal, and he behaves accordingly. Gradually and with arduous labour we have to overcome this formation.
We notice here for the first time and will find again and again: Our consciousness is the true reality!
Whoever has the consciousness of a chicken is only a chicken (because he behaves like a chicken) – even if, from the outside, he looks like an eagle.
Therefore, the essential transformation must take place in our thinking:
The New Man differs from the old one primarily in one aspect: The consciousness of his immortality.
Do not listen when you are told that you are small, limited and perishable. In reality, you are great, unlimited and eternal.
We are infinite, not temporary. (Heart 515)
Let us sum up: The third step towards immortality is taken when you adjust your consciousness and think:
I am an immortal being.
4th Step: You shift your Consciousness to your higher Self:
„I fill my Soul with Consciousness“
We are now taking the fourth step towards immortality. It is not enough for us only to be immortal. We also want to use the gigantic possibilities of a creature living eternally.
Imagine: There is an individual, non-material, everlasting being. Let us call it, to give it a name, "Anima". Let us imagine it, in default of a better picture, like this:
Anima has her home in the spiritual world. In the course of her eternallife, she again and again descends to the material plane. There she establishes, with the help of perishable physical bodies, various limited, mortal existences. After their death, Anima returns to her homeland.
For example: 2000 years ago, she dressed herself in the garment of a Greek lady. Then she appeared on earth in the Middle Ages in the body of a knight. After the death of this shell she returned to a break of rest and instruction to her eternal home. Centuries later she appeared on the stage of material life as a lady-in-waiting at the court of the King of France. After the end of this role, she again went to the world beyond, in order to digest what she experienced. 100 years ago, she incarnated as a craftsman. This existence, too, ended after a few years, and today she lives as a banker at the Wall Street. Who knows which roles she is to play in the future?
Between these material incarnations, Anima lives without a physical body in the world beyond – actually for a much longer time than on earth.
This creature "Anima" is your soul. This is you – your true, eternal, spiritual self.
2. Illusion of the perishable Personality
You think: "I am Robert Miller". And you think: "I am Mary Smith". This is a pardonable error, caused by the illusion of matter. (Edouard Manet "In the Wintergarden")
In truth, you are Anima. Mr. Miller and Mrs. Smith are only transient personalities, which your Eternal Individuality has temporarily formed. Anima will cast off these material covers as soon as they are no longer usable.
Mr. Miller and Mrs. Smith will cease to exist in a few years’ time. Anima, on the other hand, walks an eternal path through the most diverse material and non-material worlds, spheres and planes of existence.
This your true self "Anima" really exists. As a non-material, spiritual being it is not bound to the limitations of matter, time, and space. Therefore, it is immortal. Whether you believe in this or not, is without any influence on this hard fact.
3. No Life without Consciousness
We are now coming to a crucial point:
The spiritual being, to which we provisionally gave the name Anima, exists. But it only vegetates like a plant or an animal, as long as it is not conscious of its existence.
In the case of higher beings than plants and animals (already with humans, especially with spiritual beings!), "living" means more than merely "existing". It means being conscious of one’s self as well as using consciously one’s powers and abilities.
So that Anima, your higher ego, can "live" in this sense, she must become conscious not only of her mere existence. She must also know her essential nature. She must know who or what she is – for example an eagle, not a chicken. Therefore, she must become conscious of herself as a non-material, spiritual, eternal being.
As it stands today, when your soul is hardly aware of itself, let alone of its immortality, it cannot develop and is unable to use its higher spiritual powers.
Let me explain this based on an example: There once was a rich man. He was hungry because he did not know he had a treasure in his cellar. Objectively was rich. Nevertheless, he could not make use of his wealth, for he was not aware of the fact that he is rich.
Likewise, as long as Anima is not aware of her being immortal, her treasure remains in the cellar and she cannot make use of the huge potential of an everlasting life.
4. Equip Anima with Consciousness
So, if you are not content with just being immortal, but want to use the treasure of immortality, you have to equip your Eternal Individuality with consciousness. Without consciousness, "Anima" is not much more than a dead, empty shell.
You must extract your consciousness from the body, from the currently incarnated, perishable personality, and move it into the soul.
In order to gain immortality, the student of Occult Science has to learn the means of shifting gradually his sense of individuality from his corruptible material body to the incorruptible and eternal Non-Being represented by his seventh principle. Please consider this as the real aim of Occult Science. (Mahatma Letter No. 131 of 26.06.1882)
You must not allow your consciousness to get stuck in the tool, in the donkey. You have to move it into the rider!
You must stop limiting yourselves with the consciousness of transient personalities such as Mr. Miller or Mrs. Smith. Instead, shape for yourself the consciousness of an everlasting being!
An example: This is as if you leave the house, in which you have lived for many years, sit down behind the wheel of a car, and drive away.
All of a sudden, your life changes completely. You can now use the vast possibilities of the new vehicle, which your spirit has entered.
Enclosed in a house you were unable to move around. Once you take possession of a car, you can tour the world!
Enclosed in a perishable body, your existence is limited. As soon as your consciousness enters your immortal soul, your existence becomes unlimited. You can now begin to make use of the immeasurable possibilities of a non-material being.
Another example: Think of the movie "Avatar": The consciousness of a human being leaves its physical body and is transferred to another vehicle, with the help of which a life in a foreign world becomes possible.
5. One single uninterrupted Consciousness in all Worlds
If your consciousness remains in the body, it ends with the death of this vehicle. When you move your consciousness into the soul, it lives on with her. Only in this way can the promise of everlasting life, known to all religions, become a reality.
As long as your consciousness remains in an earthly personality, you think that you are Mr. Miller or Mrs. Smith, a Greek woman, a knight, a lady at court, a craftsman or a Wall Street banker. Then you form many separate, limited existences, all of which are mortal and without any relation to one another. Then you start every new life again and again at zero, always from scratch with a new personality.
If, on the other hand, you provide Anima with consciousness, Anima is Anima on all levels, because she is always aware of being Anima.
She lives as Anima in the world beyond. She descends consciously as Anima down to earth. She consciously enters into a perishable body and lives in it as Anima for a few years. After the death of the vehicle, she consciously returns to her homeland, continues to live there, later descends again, and so on forever. Above and below, during descent and ascent, she always remains Anima.
Immortality is nothing else than the preservation of one single continual uninterrupted consciousness throughout the whole eternal way.
Immortality is that gift which allows the same great personality to step at will from one worn-out body into another. (Helena Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine II, Part 1, Stanza X, “No Devils outside Humanity”)
The achievement of true immortality means the maintaining of consciousness on all four planes of existence. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 11.06.1935)
Anima has only one single continual uninterrupted life: Above and below, in all worlds, at all times and in all circumstances, she always appears with one and the same identity.
One may regard the chain of incarnations as a sequence of separate lives, but it is better to look upon the entire chain of incarnations as one life. Truly, there is but one life. (Agni Yoga 450)
Only when you succeed in this, Anima becomes immortal. Then you continue your work and your development there, where you left it at the previous stage of existence for a short break.
Let us sum up: You take the fourth step towards immortality when you draw your consciousness out of the physical body and move it into your Eternal Individuality:
I fill my soul with consciousness.
6. An Exercise
For some of you, this may sound somewhat abstract. However, we do not want to make just words. We are walking a path together. Therefore, I would like to show you the fourth step towards immortality in practical terms as well.
How exactly do you shift your consciousness to the soul? The following exercise will show:
Occult research has shown that our spiritual being is a little bit bigger than the body. Therefore, imagine your soul as a kind of etheric shell that permeates the body and surrounds it from all sides – like an aura. This being you must fill with your consciousness, otherwise it will remain dead and empty.
Guidance is always effected from above. So, extract your consciousness from the body and move it into the tip of your spiritual cover that is situated above your head.
Your ego-consciousness is now sitting up there, no longer in the body. From there, from the standpoint of eternity, you look around and watch the world as well as yourself – your body.
You face yourself – your body – like a stranger.
By this practice you actually begin to experience that your Eternal Individuality is a being distinct from your body.
7. Another Exercise
Remain the same in joy and sorrow, in sunshine and in rain! This is an advice of the old sages.
You can best realize this ideal by shifting your consciousness to your immortal soul, because your spiritual self is not affected by the vicissitudes of material life, which your perishable personality is used to classify as "good luck" or "bad luck".
5th Step: You think and feel like an Immortal
We have already reached the fifth step towards immortality.
Can you imagine to be a being that one can neither see nor touch? Yesterday, you would have said: "There is no such thing." Today you begin to realize that you yourself are such a creature!
What does it mean to be a soul, an incorporeal, invisible being, to lead a non-material existence, to live in the spiritual world beyond matter, space and time? Here we nearly reach the limits of human imagination.
1. Man is what he thinks
Auguste Rodin „The Thinker“
Buddha teaches: Man is what he thinks.
He who thinks like a chicken, is only a chicken. He who thinks like an eagle, a saint, or a king, is an eagle, a saint, or a king, even if he is banished to a henhouse, or to unsaintly or humiliating conditions.
The same applies to your transformation into an immortal: You are a spiritual being as soon as you think like a spiritual being.
Our consciousness is the true reality!
You turn from a mortal to an immortal by changing your thinking habits. As unusual as it may sound, it is true nevertheless: The difference between a common mortal and an immortal (a God!) is, above all, in their consciousness: He who always thinks like an immortal is an immortal, how ever he may fare apart from that.
Obtaining immortality is a spiritual exercise. The immortal has adjusted his thinking: When he thinks of himself, or speaks of himself, he does not mean his body, but his Eternal Individuality, which survives death.
2. Some practical Exercises
Let us look at some practical examples:
As long as you are a mortal, you think, "I say or I do this or that", or "I go here or there." This, however, is wrong, because on the material level you – your true ego, Anima – as a spiritual being, says nothing, does nothing and goes nowhere either.
So, learn to think like an immortal, which works like this: "I – the immortal soul –, in order to fulfill my mission, make my earthly tool, the body, say or do this or that, or cause him to go here or there."
When you are driving with your car and the petrol at the petrol station, which you are just passing, is too expensive, you drive on. Your car will have to get along with that fuel what it has for another while. Likewise, you have to treat your perishable personality: the spirit decides whether, when, what, and how much food your body gets to eat.
When his stomach growls, the old, mortal man thinks: "I am hungry." Anima, the immortal part of your being, does not think like this. As a spiritual being, she has no need, nor even desire, for material food.
Therefore your soul thinks: "My tool, the donkey is asking for food. Is it really absolutely necessary to supply my vehicle with fuel again? Is not the last filling sufficient for the moment?"
When you have a wound, up to today you thought: "I am hurt." Your spiritual being does not think like this: It is not affected by injuries of the body. Anima thinks: "My vehicle seems to be damaged. Do I have to repair it at once, or will it still last for a while?"
The old mortal man is afraid when he is threatened with death, because he sees the end of his existence before him. Your true, Eternal Individuality does not know this feeling, because it is not affected even by the death of the body – as little as the rider by the death of his donkey. No one and nothing can hurt her.
Are you impatient or irritated? This is an expression of your perishable personality. For your true self, such a feeling is absurd, because in eternity there is an infinite amount of time available to wait patiently and to try again when conditions are ripe.
Therefore, learn to adjust your thinking and feeling. Thereby you gradually transform your essential nature and turn, indeed, from a material to a spiritual creature.
Think at every moment, never forget, make sure constantly:
I am a soul. I think and feel like a rider (like a spiritual being), not like a donkey (like my physical tool).
This is the key to everything else. Then you will draw the necessary consequences with time by yourself.
Do not listen to your body. Do what your soul wants. Then your life will change completely.
Ask yourself, “What does the spirit wish?” (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 120)
Let us summarize: The fifth step of your transformation into an immortal is taken by your adjusting your thinking and feeling in order to bring it in accordance with your Eternal Individuality.
I think and feel like a spiritual being.
6th Step: You act like an Immortal
We are now coming to the sixth and penultimate step on the way to immortality:
The new consciousness (thinking and feeling like an immortal) is an internal process only. This alone is not enough. Your transformation into an immortal will be completed only if a corresponding new behaviour results from it. Your new nature must also manifest itself externally through a new attitude.
Your spirit must actually allocate to the body (like the rider to the donkey) what food it gets and how much. If, on the contrary, the pleasure of the body in food prevails, you are in reality not yet a spiritual being (which, as we have said, neither needs nor even desires material food).
If you are in danger of death, you must in the material reality behave fearlessly, otherwise you have not yet really turned into an immortal (who, surely, does not fear death).
In general, we can say: A spiritual being – and thus immortal – is he who thinks, feels, speaks and acts like a spiritual being.
Therefore, your task on the way to immortality is to distinguish the thoughts, feelings, wishes, and expressions of your perishable personality from those of your Eternal Individuality.
Think, feel, speak and act only as your soul wishes you to think, to feel, to speak and to act!
To be a soul means to express the soul. You are a spiritual being only if you are acting as such – not only "in heaven", but on the material level as well.
A rider is he who acts like a master. He who behaves like a donkey is only a donkey, even if he looks like a rider from the outside. He who behaves in the world like a material, perishable being, is also only a mortal.
When the donkey leads and the rider follows, they both spoil their mission. Then both do something that contradicts their true nature.
Anima’s motto is:I am the rider, not the donkey. I do what I want, not what my vehicle wishes!
Let us sum up: You take the sixth and penultimate step towards immortality when you appear on the material level as a spiritual being and show a corresponding attitude in all circumstances.
I act like a spiritual being.
7th Step: You use the Senses and the higher Forces of your Spiritual Being
The seventh and final step of your transformation into an immortal is that you actually begin to make use of the higher possibilities of your new vehicle.
You enter the car and actually go off.
In concrete terms, this means: You begin to use the higher senses and the higher powers of your soul. To this end, we propose to begin with some exercises:
First, watch yourself – namely your transient, material personality – as if it were a stranger with the eyes of your Eternal Individuality: What do you see? What does your physical self think, what does it feel, what does it wish to do? Is it offended, hurt, depressed, irritated, joyful, tired, aggressive or confident?
Thereby you start to bring to life that part of your being, which is different from your body.
Your soul is actually active when it regards the body, and the conditions in which it lives, from above – indifferently, calmly, from a superior point of view.
Thus, you set in function the eyes of your soul. You begin to watch not with your physical eyes but with your inner senses.
Draw your consciousness within, and look out on life from your own vantage ground, from your own center. See with the eyes of the soul. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. III, Lesson “Center of Light”)
Awaken to life the other senses of your higher self as well by using them: especially the heart.
For example: Practice the feeling of the heart in order to grasp the nature of another man: Can you trust him? Does he mean well with you, or does he just make nice words?
Or listen to the voice of the heart, which tells you reliably what is good and what is bad for you: For example: Certain food or amount of food, certain medicines or treatments, distractions, places, activities, times of sleep, climates, spiritual teachings, diets, people, situations – all this and much more is judged by the heart with unerring certainty.
Remember Saint-Exupéry: One sees clearly only with the heart; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Consult your heart in every situation. Instead of "listen to the voice of the soul", we can also say "listen to the heart": The spiritual, the divine within us expresses itself via the heart. The heart is the most important organ of your Eternal Individuality.
If you are not sure how you should behave, if you do not know what your higher self wants you to do, question the pure feeling of your heart.
So you deny the most divine,
if you do not mind the allusions of the heart. (Goethe, The Natural Daughter II 1)
Begin to control your body from above as the rider steers his donkey. Let the body carry out the will of the spirit, just as the donkey follows the rider's will. Observe calmly, as if it were a stranger, what the body wants, where it strives. Then you decide what it gets and where it moves.
For example, allocate to your body how much and what kind of food it gets. Use your "spiritual muscles" in order to enforce your higher self against the desire of the body. Thus your soul begins to live, to act and to grow.
The need to control your lower self through your Eternal Individuality refers not only to the material side of your being, but to your thoughts, your feelings and your instincts as well.
Theosophy offers the helpful notion that besides the physical body there is a body of feelings, (astral body), a body of thoughts (mental body), and a body of instincts.
These bodies, too, you must bring under the control of your higher self! Just as you should not identify with your physical body, you should not identify with your thoughts, your feelings or your instincts either.
Your Eternal Individuality has to steer four perishable bodies, just like the charioteer his four horses.
So, learn to observe your thoughts, feelings, and instincts like those of a stranger from above, from the position of your true, eternal self.
Then, for example, your soul is affected by the anger that your body of feelings harbours no more than by the anger that one of your neighbours feels!
Next, strive to decide, from the perspective of your higher self, which thoughts, feelings, and instincts you wish to allow to express themselves and which you want to reject, which you want to follow and which not.
Not "I" – my Eternal Individuality – think or feel. My body of thoughts or my body of feelings – parts of my perishable personality – thinks or feels. "I" – Anima – rule this thinking and feeling.
(Nicholas Roerich "Higher than Mountains)
Begin with rejecting negative thoughts or feelings and replacing them with positive ones.
Try to spend a few hours without negative thoughts – you can hardly imagine how difficult this is!
By establishing the rule of the spirit over your thoughts, feelings, and instincts, you are training the powers of your Eternal Individuality, which will grow and become ever greater and stronger by this exercise.
Here, we offer you a training program that can keep you busy for years. The remote goal is:
Nothing but the Divine thinks within you, speaks out of you, and acts with you.
Albrecht Altdorfer „The Battle of Issus“
Let us consider a final practical aspect of your transformation into an immortal:
At every moment, both sides of your being, the material and the spiritual one, are trying to express themselves. There is a constant struggle between these two. When you reveal the divine side of your nature, you are an immortal; when you manifest material aspect, you are only mortal.
At any moment, you have to choose which of the two parts you wish to express. As history shows, we human beings unfortunately allow too often our lower self to gain the upper hand.
Become a spiritual warrior! Take up the fight with your baser instincts. Strive to enforce your eternal self at every moment, in all circumstances. Through this struggle with resisting forces you strengthen the power of your soul.
( Ernst Barlach "The spiritual Warrior")