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The eternal existence of man is the starting point from where we can get rid of all our outdated thinking, of the whole old world, as well as of ignorance, imperfection, distress and suffering.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.