Precisely What of Human Beings Reincarnates?
In a lexicon as ambiguous and challenging as that of the philosophia perennis, or theosophia, any degree to which greater precision can be achieved to describe or explain some of the most difficult ideas and principles confronting humankind is both useful and welcome. The surviving literary record reveals that, from the first such writings, polemic disputations have been waged within schools of esotericism about this very question: what precisely, as opposed to generally or broadly, of or within the human being is that which reincarnates or transmigrates from one birth to the next in a continuity of successive rebirths until liberation is achieved?
In examining this question, emphasis is placed on the writings of H.P. Blavatsky (“HPB”), and her two teachers, the Adepts Morya and Koot Hoomi. In the doctrine which they collectively profess, it is necessary to understand the predicate upon which this question can be answered with any precision–the septenary constitution of every human being, i.e., the seven “principles.” These principles, known in Sanskrit as kośas, and variously translated into English as “sheaths” or “bodies” or “envelopes,” are roughly bifurcated into the denser four or “lower quaternary,” and the finer three or “higher triad” being in Sanskrit ātma, buddhi, and manas. Moreover, the fifth such principle, being manas or “mind,” is a pivotal key to this discussion, and is further bifurcated into the lower manas rupa, and the higher manas arupa.
It is only with close scrutiny of what HPB and the Adepts have written of these human principles, and the process that the spiritual transmigrant undergoes in the post-mortem states between death and rebirth, will true precision or clarity be achieved. The author here proffers some further precision, and seeks to add greater clarity to this chronically ambiguous subject.