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The Causes of Reincarnation in light of Theosophy

16 Oct 2019
10:00
Conference Hall

The Causes of Reincarnation in light of Theosophy

In this presentation we will explore the question, what are the causes of reincarnation in the light of Theosophy? We will do so from a microcosmic perspective, using as compass TheMahatma LettersThe Secret Doctrine and The Key to Theosophy.  H.P.B. refers to the three causal chain of reincarnation as the almighty trinity: KarmaTanha and Skandhas. This trinity will be the main focus of our discussion. In exploring karma we will first focus on Maya. H.P.B. says in The Secret Doctrine that even though the foundation of every atom (individual or collectively) is derived from the one reality, Atman (the seventh principle), its temporary appearance in the physical world is a sensorial illusion. In this vein, Maya is central to the process of reincarnation and we will see why. Following our discussion on karma and the causal chain, we will focus on the twelvefold chain of being, the Nidānas, also known as the “great causes of misery” leading to rebirth in the wheel sasāra: ignorance; mental formations, the causes of conditioning; awareness derived from perception; sensorial perception and awareness arising from form; sensations resulting from sense-perception; contact; feeling; craving; attachment; becoming; rebirth; ageing and death. After that, we will dwell on the skandhas defined by KH in The Mahatma Letters as the attributes constituting the physical and mental being. However, instead to focus on the traditional five skandhas, KH claims that they are seven; the additional two are related to Sakkāyaditth, the “heresy or delusion of individuality” and Attavada “the doctrine of Self.”