We continue our study of Chapter 14 of Ocean of Theosophy:

"The Metonic cycle is that of the Moon. It is a period of about nineteen years, which being completed the new and the full moons return on the same days of the month."

"The cycle of the Sun is a period of twenty eight years, which having elapsed the Dominical or Sunday letters return to their former place and proceed in the former order according to the Julian calendar."

The great Sidereal year is the period taken by the equinoctial points to make in their precession a complete revolution of the heavens. It is composed of 25,868 solar years almost. It is said that the last sidereal year ended about 9,868 years ago, at which time there must have been on this earth a violent convulsion or series of such, as well as distributions of nations. The completion of this grand period brings the earth into newer spaces of the cosmos, not in respect to its own orbit, but by reason of the actual progress of the sun in an orbit of its own that cannot be measured by any observer of the present day, but which is guessed at by some and located in one of the constellations.

Affecting man especially are the spiritual, psychic, and moral cycles, and out of these grow the national, racial, and individual cycles. Race and national cycles are both historical. The individual cycles are of reincarnation, of sensation, and of impression. The length of the individual reincarnation cycle for the general mass of men is fifteen hundred years, and this in its turn gives us a large historical cycle related closely to the progress of civilization. For as the masses of persons return from devachan, it must follow that the Roman, the Greek, the old Aryan, and other Ages will be seen again and can to a very great extent be plainly traced. But man is also affected by astronomical cycles because he is an integral part of the whole, and these cycles mark the periods when mankind as a whole will undergo a change. In the sacred books of all nations these are often mentioned, and are in the Bible of the Christians, as, for instance, in the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale. This is an absurdity when read as history, but not so as an astronomical cycle. "Jonah" is in the constellations, and when that astronomical point which represents man reaches a point in the Zodiac which is directly opposite the belly of Cetus or the whale on the other side of the circle, by what is known as the process of opposition, then Jonah is said to be in the center of the fish and is "thrown out" at the expiration of the period when that man-point has passed so far along in the Zodiac as to be out of opposition to the whale. Similarly as the same point moves thus through the Zodiac it is brought by opposition into the different constellations that are exactly opposite from century to century while it moves along. During these progresses changes take place among men and on earth exactly signified by the constellations when those are read according to the right rules of symbology. It is not claimed that the conjunction causes the effect, but that ages ago the Masters of Wisdom worked out all the problems in respect to man and found in the heavens the means for knowing the exact dates when events are sure to recur, and then by imprinting in the minds of older nations the symbology of the Zodiac were able to preserve the record and the prophecy. Thus in the same way that a watchmaker can tell the hour by the arrival of the hands or the works of the watch at certain fixed points, the Sages can tell the hour for events by the Zodiacal clock. This is not of course believed today, but it will be well understood in future centuries, and as the nations of the earth have all similar symbols in general for the Zodiac, and as also the records of races long dead have the same, it is not likely that the vandal-spirit of the western nineteenth century will be able to efface this valuable heritage of our evolution. In Egypt the Denderah Zodiac tells the same tale as that one left to us by the old civilization of the American continent, and all of these are from the same source, they are the work of the Sages who come at the beginning of the great human cycle and give to man when he begins his toilsome ascent up the road of development those great symbols and ideas of an astronomical character which will last through all the cycles.

You can read the entire article here at the UniversalTheosophy.com site.

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What is a moral cycle?

"The length of the individual reincarnation cycle for the general mass of men is fifteen hundred years..."

Popular accounts from past life regression therapies and Edgar Cayce style readings put the time spent between incarnations at one or two hundred years or less in many cases. Is this just new-ager fiction or is there some truth to it?

There's some truth to it if you believe some of the stories/studies going on. You might be interested to watch this video about a little boy who is allegedly the reincarnation of a World War II fighter pilot--he remembered things from his past life no little boy his age ought to know, and that (according to his parents) he was never exposed to:


Interestingly, I've read somewhere in Theosophical literature that more advanced souls tend to forego devachan or spend less time there, and that seems to fit in this case (the boy claims to remember choosing his parents prior to being born).

Further reading on the case:



Well there is plenty of "new-ager" fiction to go around but when HPB mentions the length of time between incarnations I believe she is referring to an average for humanity.  It would differ from individual to individual based on karmic circumstances if I understand the teaching on this correctly.


This is a fascinating question and I have been revolving around it for some time. It has even costed me being thrown out of a theosophical forum for confronting the periods mentioned in the ML with other sources.

The fluctuation of Earth's population surely plays some part in this.

Some historians say that population has been fairly stable up to the 1800's. Others estimate that in 1 AD, there were only 200 thousand human beings on our planet...

Today we are more that 7 billion, and this number will increase until the end of this century.

Are we living a "special time" which "forces" a great number of souls to incarnate now?

I also believe that 1,500 years is an average. In the ML one of Mahatmas mentions 1,000 up to 3,000 years and more, so this could be the minimum and maximum in "normal conditions".

Sylvia Cranston in her famous book about reincarnation, has a chapter about population explosion, where she quotes Ian Stevenson postulating that same hypothesis:

"In recent centuries conditions could have altered so that now more souls are incarnated and fewer remain in the discarnate condition" (p.280).

There is a good compilation about this subject in two of Geoffrey Farthing's books and I suggest reading also this interesting article:




Please tell me what ML stands for. Thank you


Mahatma Letters   to AP  Sinnett


Whether it is 3,000 years or 150 years don't you think there would still be total disorientation of the personal consciousness from life to life?  Can't take the car or the golf clubs with you so to speak


Another consideration is that the length of the person's life would certainly have a drastic effect on the period between lives. An infant who dies would have a very short period between lives. I had heard that a lot of the world war two casualties returned fairly quickly and made up the baby boomers. 


...the length of the person's life would certainly have a drastic effect on the period between lives.

This is a good point. I imagine there to be many factors (likely many of which we'd have a hard time understanding) that would determine the length between incarnations. My understanding, like Gerry's, is that the 1500 years (I've also read 2500) is an average, a generalization.

There's the example Judge gives in this chapter on cycles of Napoleon as the reincarnation of Charlemagne. If we were to assume this to be true, that would be only about 950 years.

It does seem unlikely to me that WW2 casualties would return so quickly, based solely on my limited understanding of the process of reincarnation and what's been written about premature/sudden deaths and the after-life state, but I'm not opposed to the idea. Perhaps such things do occur under certain circumstances. It would certainly paint an interesting picture of the past century.


Jon wrote:

"It would certainly paint an interesting picture of the past century."

This brought to mind questions regarding the karmic situation surrounding the fact that the population has exploded so recently in history. There were nowhere near 7 billion people incarnated 1500 years ago, so if 1500 years really is the average resting period between incarnations, that begs the question of how/why so many people are here right now. Does the average length between lives decrease in response to the fact that so many more vehicles are being produced? Also it could point to the possibility that there is something karmically significant about this time.


That is a very interesting question.  Obviously there is some important karma to be worked out at this time.  The conditions must be just right for a large number of souls to work through some "karmic debts".  What might we all need to be working through at this time?

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Jimmy on November 18, 2012 at 1:12pm
I have often wondered what purpose the current population explosion plays in the Divine Plan. To me, it's a mystery. Whatever that purpose may be, it seems that the rapid multiplication of human vehicles must result in an acceleration of the evolution of humanity as a whole. Could it be that we are simply behind schedule? Maybe we're just getting caught up.
Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 20, 2012 at 12:01am

I think there is something to what you say here. According to your idea humanity is lagging behind where it needs to be at this point of evolution.  I think there is evidence to support that idea.

Permalink Reply by Daniel Noga on November 18, 2012 at 7:41pm

I think it is possible that if there is some karma for us all to work through at this time, it could have to do with sharing, with compassion, with power relations and with an urgency for breaking free from kama-manas.

With more people alive at the same time, sharing of resources becomes more difficult. There are those who say the current population verges on over-taxing the planet's ability to support life. There are others who say that there is room for plenty more people and furthermore, that the masses who currently live in poverty could experience a much higher standard of living than they do now, even if the population reached 20 billion.

We are collectively facing the common nemesis of climate change brought on by our own actions, and yet we continually find ourselves caught up in lesser dilemmas. Around the world, many are beginning to stand in unity for greater peace and equality on the planet.

One key to all of this lies in unraveling the kama-manasic tethers that bind us. Those privileged at this time with money and the comforts that is can bring have a choice--they can enjoy the fruits of their karmic situation for themselves, or they can turn to charity and work to help others. What do the richest people on earth do with their money? What about the not-so-rich?

The difference between continuing on our current, destructive trajectory and moving towards a path of healing is the difference between selfishness and selflessness. The difference between a small population cap and a larger one is determined by how we manage the planet's resources, how we organize society, and even by what we eat (meat, for example, uses up far more resources than vegetables.) There are many who take the passive route and wait for our leaders to fix these problems, though it is unlikely that any leaders still living in kama-manas would change the situation as they tend to benefit personally from the way things are being done.

Fortunately we live in a time when we have the tools we need to make changes at the grass-roots level, self-organizing into movements that strive for change. And again, the difference is choice. Where in our constitutions do we live? Do we over-indulge in the pleasures our social status offers or do we give some of our time to bettering the world's situation?

Herein we may begin to understand the answer to Gerry's previous question: What is a moral cycle? I had no clue before I made this post but as I wrote, it occurred to me that this post may come at least a step towards answering the question.

Permalink Reply by Sharisse on November 18, 2012 at 11:55pm

All of this is really informative and interesting to me. And I think back 1500 years to Ancient America, about a 1000 years before the Spanish Invasion. American Indians were living through out North America. There was not a unified American Indian culture. The people adapted to their environment in many different ways. One technological advancement that was expanding and widely accepted at this time was the bow and arrow. Which some archaeologists have suggested that this advancement generated major changes in the way people interacted with one another. This great shift 1500 years ago brings me to correlate it with the start of the decline of humanity in North America. It also makes me correlate it to the Mayans, in their long count calendar, which was only one of many, but it could be more of a universal warning, and as that cycle is coming to near, just as you are saying, they are saying as well, there needs to be a shift in a cosmic conscious. We are dividing rapidly, yet we are also destroying one another and the climate in fear. I think we can share the limited resources, because they are really not that limited. Instead of always giving someone rice, could we not fix the problem indefinitely by showing how to grow rice in perpetual crops. But still give the rice until their crop is reared. Instead of them having to walk a long way for water, or search for it, can we not help build a better system or find some ingenuity on all these matters. This decline of humanity now needs to be the rise of humanity. Could this be one way of seeing a moral cycle? 

Permalink Reply by Clifford Bruhn on November 19, 2012 at 10:17pm

I wonder if the reason why the population is so large at this time is because there is such a preponderance of greed for money. It seems that the super rich one percent want to have all the money in the world. This is certainly what caused the world-wide economic collapse. Are we being tested to see if we can realize the absurdity of it all and take steps to more equalize the situation. I really do sympathize with the bankers for the karma they are surely making for themselves. HPB herself said that the evil ones in old Atlantis are the Napoleons of Finance today. Seems that they have not yet learned their lessons. Do we need the large population to finally set things right?

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on November 20, 2012 at 12:06am

I wonder if the reason why the population is so large at this time is because there is such a preponderance of greed for money.

I've been considering something relatively similar, though not necessarily specifically about money - but simply this: in our world today the opportunities for the satisfaction of the desire nature are at an all-time high. We are saturated with easy access to stimulation of our lower natures, which leads me to suspect the number incarnated is likely due (in part) to the simple fact that at this point in our evolution individuals are drawn to such a place as this like moths to a lamp!

Permalink Reply by Daniel Noga on November 24, 2012 at 1:04am

Clifford wrote:

"HPB herself said that the evil ones in old Atlantis are the Napoleons of Finance today."

I was thinking about this yesterday and it occurred to me that this makes a lot of sense. The downfall of Atlantis had much to do with black magic, as Blavatsky wrote in Isis Unveiled:


"Thus, under the evil insinuations of their demon, Thevetat, the Atlantis-race became a nation of wicked magicians.  In consequence of this, war was declared, the story of which would be too long to narrate; its substance may be found in the disfigured allegories of the race of Cain, the giants, and that of Noah and his righteous family.  The conflict came to an end by the submersion of the Atlantis; which finds its imitation in the stories of the Babylonian and Mosaic flood: The giants and magicians “. . . and all flesh died . . . and every man.” All except Xisuthrus and Noah, who are substantially identical with the great Father of the Thlinkithians in the Popol-Vuh, or the sacred book of the Guatemaleans, which also tells of his escaping in a large boat, like the Hindu Noah — Vaiswasvata."


The study of our economic system and how money developed into what it is today reveals the frankly obscene extent to which wealth, as it is now conceptualized and administered by humanity, has been torn away from any semblance of connection to material substance. What, for instance, does a dollar even mean anymore, except in relation to other figures of abstraction? This gets more and more true as one examines the situation at higher and higher tiers of wealth. The richest people in the world--those "Napoleons of Finance"--literally manage to fabricate money from money itself, in a sense appearing to derive something from nothing. This can be viewed as black magic at its pinnacle, as it is all smoke and mirrors, a vast abstraction and nothing more, yet one that by its confounding complexity has become the most powerful secular influence (I say "secular" because although the situation appears dire, spiritual and karmic influences over-arch this all) shaping the course of this stage of our history, and largely determining the real, material course of things on a global scale. It could be argued that the various natural crises we see unfolding before us are the direct consequence of this perversion whereby the meaning of wealth has been ripped by force from its material base. This the reincarnated magicians of Atlantis have managed to pull off even though, as HPB taught, the psychic powers once possessed by humanity in the times of Atlantis have been shut down as a karmic consequence of their misuse. This situation took much more more than wit and cleverness to create.

Permalink Reply by Jimmy on November 24, 2012 at 5:07am
I have an old paper dollar, and at the top of the note it says that it may be redeemed for silver. Unfortunately, paper dollars cannot be redeemed for silver anymore. It's kind of like Monopoly money now, paper money has value as long as everyone is playing the game. It doesn't seem right that bankers are now printing "money" for nothing. One day, Karma will make it right again.
Permalink Reply by Daniel Noga on November 24, 2012 at 9:01am

I did some Google searching about this and the closest thing I found came from C.W. Leadbeater's The Inner Life (material which was also included in A.E. Powell's "The Causal Body and the Ego"):

"Some few of the cleverest of them have made no inconsiderable mark upon human history, for they developed into the celebrated “Lords of the Dark Face” of Atlantis, of whom we read so much in The Secret Doctrine; and later such special distortions became world-devastating conquerors, caring nothing for the thousands who were slain or starved in the course of the gratification of their mad ambition, or (later still) equally unscrupulous American millionaires, well called by their parasites “Napoleons of finance.”

The whole text can be viewed here (this passage is taken from "Modes of Individualisation" in the Sixth Section):


Permalink Reply by Clifford Bruhn on November 19, 2012 at 10:02pm

In reading "The Lives of Alcyone" by Leadbeater/Besant, there was a group of servers who worked together at various times to accomplish some project. But the group was split into two. One had a span of 900 years between lives and the other had a span of1200 years between lives. There were times that individuals might take a short life with its corresponding shorter devachan in order to bring the two groups together in physical life for some project.

Permalink Reply by Peter on November 19, 2012 at 6:14am

The moral cycle can be found in the four yugas (cycles) that comprise a Maha-yuga (Great cycle).  These being the yugas of Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali.  This procession of yugas is repeated many times throughout a Manvantara as part of the endless series of ups and downs, heights and depths of human endeavour.

In the Satya cycle spirituality is at its strongest while materialism is at its weakest.  By the time of the Kali Yuga spirituality is at its weakest and materialism is at its strongest.  

It is said that in the Satya cycles of previous races the stature of human beings was far greater that those of our current race - spiritually, mentally and physically - as was the length of the life span (incarnation).

The length of time for each yuga also decreases proportionally throughout the Maha-yuga.  The Treta-yuga is three quarters the length of the Satya; the Dvapara-yuga is half;  the Kali yuga a quarter. Thus 4:3:2:1.

The length of time between incarnations for the non-initiated seems to depend largely on the amount of time spent in Devachan.  This in turn depends on the altruistic and aspirational nature of the person during incarnation - the complete materialist said to have no devachanic rest at all between one life and the next.  In the Key to Theosophy HPB gives the time between incarnations as 1,000 to 1,500 years.  In the Mahatma Letters a period of 2,000 years is mentioned (see letter 23b).  Of course this can only be the average time for the averagely good person.  It would be reasonable to conceive that the time between incarnations for the ‘average person’ in the Satya cycle would be far longer than that for the ‘average’ person in a Kali Yuga.

Based on our understanding of the four yugas we might speculate that the human life wave becomes concentrated with activity and accumulated karmic effects during the period of a Kali Yuga, leading to the number of Egos incarnated at any one time during this period to be greater than previous cycles.  We are said to be in the Kali Yuga of our series of cycles, having only recently entered it as a race some 5,000 years ago and with some 427,000 years to go.  HPB refers to this time in the SD as one in which “.. not a few accounts will be settled and squared between the races.” (SD I  xliii fn)

A further reason for the intense activity and number of incarnated souls may also lie in the following, from HPB:

“In sober truth, vice and wickedness are an abnormal, unnatural manifestation, at this period of our human evolution -- at least they ought to be so. The fact that mankind was never more selfish and vicious than it is now, civilized nations having succeeded in making of the first an ethical characteristic, of the second an art, is an additional proof of the exceptional nature of the phenomenon.”  (SD II 110)

Permalink Reply by Daniel Noga on November 22, 2012 at 8:14am

This explanation of moral cycles is helpful. Thank you, Peter.

Peter wrote:

"Based on our understanding of the four yugas we might speculate that the human life wave becomes concentrated with activity and accumulated karmic effects during the period of a Kali Yuga, leading to the number of Egos incarnated at any one time during this period to be greater than previous cycles."


It is probably common to wonder, when first learning of the Yugas, why there would be such a dark, harsh and gloomy age amongst them. At least I know I have wondered this sometimes. But what Peter wrote here points to some reasons for such an age. It makes sense that karma would build up over time, and one may also wonder what stops it from just accumulating endlessly. Kali Yuga can perhaps be viewed as a time of cleansing and release. How can we take this idea and use it to shed light on some of the cycles that are more on the scale of our everyday lives?

Are there points in cycles that we can think of which might seem uncomfortable, restrictive or painful on the surface? What purpose might they serve?

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Daniel Noga on November 22, 2012 at 8:18am

As a separate line of exploration/inquiry:

Peter wrote:

"We are said to be in the Kali Yuga of our series of cycles, having only recently entered it as a race some 5,000 years ago and with some 427,000 years to go."


This is a notable and important statement. What lessons can we take from the length of the Kali Yuga and what it means for this world? How does this picture of our collective situation compare or contrast with the ideas commonly put forth in New Age teachings?

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on November 22, 2012 at 11:12am

Well, it would certainly seem to counter the idea that there's going to be a major transition in a month's time (Dec. 21). If it's true that we're only a tiny fraction of the way into Kali Yuga then it would seem unlikely that we'd all wake up and begin living a more 'satya' type life as the popular notions of the new-age Mayan calendar idea would propose.

The length also instills in me the idea that Nature does not move in leaps and bounds, but always slowly (to us) and steadily forward.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 26, 2012 at 3:16pm

Peter you have given us a clear outline of the great cycles of cosmogony but I am not clear on whether or not this explains what a "moral cycle" is?  Are you saying that a moral cycle acts differently within each of these ages?  Karma working itself out more rapidly in the Kali Yuga perhaps than in previous ages? Isn't a moral cycle related to the cause and effect experience of an agent initiating actions and consequences in the manifest world? Do causes we set up in our lives tend to repeat themselves and therefore become moral cycles?

Permalink Reply by Paulo Baptista on November 19, 2012 at 12:20pm

I remembered that there is a passage in "The SD Commentaries" about the duration of the Devachan, and the variation of the world population.

This discussion took place on the 15th meeting (April, 18th, 1889).

"Mr. Yates: The population of the world is unchanging.

HPB: The Monads are unchanging in the middle of the 4th race .

B.Keightley: You may have any number of Monads in Devachan, and so on.

HPB: It is unchanging . Otherwise, there would be no Karmic possibility of adjustment.

Mr. Yates: Take any time in the history of the world, and contrast it with any other period of 3,000 years. There must, of course, be variations; but still, go back-according to that theory, the population of the world was then the same as it is now.

HPB: You don´t know anything at all about population. What it was, and what I have learned, is that the population was almost twice as great as the one we have now [1.49 billion in 1889] (...) There was not a corner of the globe that was not populated, an that is why sometimes it must come, that some of you must be drowned. Look at China; it is the most providential occurrences, those tidal waves.

B.Keightley: And everywhere in the Atlantean times was twice as populated as China is now.

HPB: Not twice; a great deal more than it is now. I remember one thing: there was a time when Africa was all inhabited (in times after that, when it had emerged from the ocean), And now, why, how many parts of Africa are inhabited? I suppose not a twentieth part.(...) They say the continents were greater. Look at the continent that went from India to Australia. It was one continent unbroken, and now it is all seas and seas.

B.Keightley: What I want to get at is, look at the population of the Earth now:the population of the earth then was very much greater. It follows that a large number of the Monads which were then on earth at the Atlantean period, incarnated, are still in Devachan.

Mr.Sinnett: I don´t think that it necessarily follows. Assume for the moment that a Devachanic period was 200 years, instead of 2,000. The change from a condition of things in which they were simply 200 years spent, to a condition in which you have 2,000 spent would reduce the population to a tenth of what it was, without giving any Monad a period of longer than 2,000 years.

Mr. Kingsland: That is to say, the general period then was shorter than the general period is now."

in "The SD Commentaries", p.463-4

Unfortunately HPB does not comment this deduction made by Kingsland...

Permalink Reply by Peter on November 19, 2012 at 4:29pm

That's a good find in the SD Commentaries, Paulo. A couple of things stand out for me. I'd be interested to know if they fit with your understanding.

There is a question as to whether the number of Monads in the human kingdom increases as the races progress. This query is begun before the beginning of the passage you quoted. HPB refers to what is stated in the SD, namely, that from the mid point of the 4th Root Race no more Monads are allowed to enter the Human Kingdom. In other words, from that mid-point onwards the number of Monads in the human kingdom remains constant whether they are in Devachan or not.

Interestingly, HPB says the population (by that is meant the number of monads incarnated at anyone time) in previous races was much higher than it was in the 1880's, though she doesn't suggest it has ever reached the figure we have now.

Sinnett suggests that the number of Monads in the human kingdom can be constant even though the population on earth varies greatly. He argues that that longer the average period in Devachan, the lower the earth's population during that period.

Yes, it's a shame HPB doesn't have any more to add at this stage.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 19, 2012 at 11:54pm

My guess would be that it is on a "need to know" basis at this point.  It seems to me that if we are honest with ourselves we really know very little about humanity and the human condition.  And for that matter we know very little about ourselves.  Mystery of the Ego.

Permalink Reply by Paulo Baptista on November 20, 2012 at 3:39pm

Yes, Peter, I understand it in the same way. 

Curiously if you double the 1889 world population you get less than half of what we have now.

There are many questions surrounding this subject that we have not even mentioned here like the validity of regression therapy (which is the source of reports suggesting a shorter time between lives), alternative explanations for the cases of children that claim to have died by accident in a recent life, etc, etc...Probably in the future the opportunity will come to discuss some of them.

Geoffrey Farting's books "When we die" and "After Death Consciousness and Processes" are valuable, because they systematize what is scattered across the theosophical literature about this subject.


Permalink Reply by Peter on November 20, 2012 at 4:35pm
Geoffrey Farthing has done some great work, Paulo. Those familiar with the after death states as described by Theosophy are likely to first look for other explanations - occult and/or psychological - when people report memories of past lives that are immediately prior to the present life. That doesn't rule exceptions to the rule, but unless one has a grasp of 'the rule' it's hard to know what makes an exception.
Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on November 20, 2012 at 5:19pm

It does seem, based on theosophical teachings at least, that it would be exceedingly easy for the average person under regression therapy (hypnosis), or for those with glimpses of mediumistic abilities, to interact with a particular kamarupa and mistakenly identify with the memories shared by it. I would think it would be very difficult, without being exceptionally wise, to be able to differentiate between glimpses of the past lives of one's own Ego and glimpse of past lives of other Egos.

Permalink Reply by Paulo Baptista on November 21, 2012 at 3:09pm


Yes, that's where I was trying to get. I guess you all know the work of the late Prof. Ian Stevenson. He investigated cases of children that claimed that they have lived before. He did not use hypnosis.

The interval between lives in Stevenson's cases is also shorter in comparison with the theosophical literature, but there is an alternative explanation for the hypothesis of reincarnation that he postulated for those cases...


Interesting subject, but it is very hard to reach a conclusion. But in fact we are talking of a detail and must not forget the larger picture.

Understanding the vast scheme of reembodiment not only of the Human Monad but of all natural systems is what really matters.


Permalink Reply by Peter on November 27, 2012 at 9:28am

Gerry asks:

Peter you have given us a clear outline of the great cycles of cosmogony but I am not clear on whether or not this explains what a "moral cycle" is?  Are you saying that a moral cycle acts differently within each of these ages?  Karma working itself out more rapidly in the Kali Yuga perhaps than in previous ages? Isn't a moral cycle related to the cause and effect experience of an agent initiating actions and consequences in the manifest world? Do causes we set up in our lives tend to repeat themselves and therefore become moral cycles?



As you know, the four yugas - from Satya to Kali - are repeated over and over during a manvantara.  Each yuga in the cycle of four being grosser than the preceding yuga & so on. Satya being the purest, most spiritual, most subtle etc while Kali is the grossest in all ways.  After a Kali Yuga a new cycle begins again from Satya & so on.  This fourfold cycle and its qualitative nature applies to the physical, intellectual and spiritual evolutions.  Each Root Race has its time of high spirituality and intellection as well as times of least spirituality/intellection.  There are cycles within cycles and so on, therefore this cycle of four yugas applies to races, nations and individuals each having their respective high and low points.  From this we can deduce that a moral cycle is inherent in the basic pattern of the four yugas.

HPB provides an analogy:  just as the physical earth revolves around the sun and has a revolution of its own (night and day), so to do the spiritual and intellectual evolutions have seasons along with nights and days of their own.  The way I understand it is that yugas and Mahayugas are natural cycles guided by the Dhyanis (the Manus) and subject to LAW.  We might say -  just as these provide (through their hierarchies) the cycles of spring, summer, autumn and winter for our physical globe, so they also provide for the seasons that effect the intellectual and spiritual growth of humanity.   In the Satya cycle it will be easier and more natural for spiritual aspirations to flourish than in the other cycles; harder for the same aspirations to flourish in the Kali cycle than in other cycles.  Easier for selfishness and gross desire to flourish in the Kali cycle; harder for selfishness and gross desire to flourish in the Satya cycle.

How we act within those yugas will determine the karma we create for ourselves.  The cycle of cause and effect created by our own actions will, of course, have to be played out.   However, I think we can differentiate between the great natural cycles which run through all the rounds and races (affecting all alike) guided by the Manus or Dhyanis,  and the minor karmic cycles affecting individuals and nations which are the results of our own actions within those respective cycles.

The third fundamental proposition refers to both these types of cycle:

‘the Secret Doctrine teaches .. The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul - a spark of the former - through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term.’ (SD I 17; emphasis mine)

As humanity as a whole is now moving on the upward arc of evolution having already passed the lowest point on the arc we can envisage that the Kali Yuga of future races and in future rounds may well be higher and more spiritual than our own Satya age even though it may be the lowest point of that far off future cycle.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on January 7, 2013 at 3:38pm

What are some of the cycles we are in right now that are important to us? and how do we take advantage of them?

Aquarian Age, Moon, Sun etc.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Daniel Noga on January 18, 2013 at 9:53pm

I'll bite, with the most prominent one that comes to mind for me, living as I do at the edge of the Arctic Circle: Sun cycles!

There aren't many holidays that I care much about in my heart of hearts. I can't name one at all, come to think of it--but that's only because the solstices and equinoxes are not considered holidays by society at large--at least not in the lands I am used to living in. Those four days each year are of the utmost significance to me.

The sun cycles effect us tremendously, even in these hectic post-modern days. It's easy to think that they were more important in days gone by, when agrarian societies reigned, but we still all need to eat today. This is especially true as we are collectively beginning to realize that shipping produce from the sunnier, tropical regions to the less-sunny ones is not the most environmentally sound way of doing things. In the end we will yield to the influence of the sun cycles and the defiant attitudes of today's technological exponents will recede.

On a more subtle level, the sun's rays energize us not only physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. At times when the sun's influence is greater, we will tend towards activity. In the winter when we are getting less sun, the tendency is to slow down, draw inward and reflect. It is unfortunate that society is structured today in such a way that this cycle is not honored. The world keeps trying to move at the same frenzied pace even through piles of snow.