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Marcus had always remembered her smile, had seen it in his dreams when he was a boy, and it still warmed his heart. Perhaps you can come to the house tomorrow. What the hell was she so happy about.

Theosophical Manuals Series

Theosophical Manual No. FEW words are needed in sending this little book out into the world. It is the seventh of a series of Manuals designed to meet the public demand for a simple exposition of theosophical teaching. Some have complained that our literature is ,at once too abstruse, too technical, and too expensive for the ordinary reader, and it is our hope that the present series may succeed in supplying what is a very real want.

Theosophy is not only for the learned; it is for all. It may be that among those who in these little books catch their first glimpse of its teachings, there may be a few who will be led by them to penetrate more deeply into its philosophy, its science, and its religion, facing its abstruser problems with the student's zeal and the neophyte's ardour.

But these manuals are not written for the eager student, whom no initial difficulties can daunt; they are written for the busy men and women of the work-a-day world, and seek to make plain some of the great truths that render life easier to bear and death easier to face.

Written by servants of the Masters who are the Elder Brothers of our race, they can have no other object than to serve our fellow-men. So much confusion exists as to consciousness and its vehicles, the man and the garments that he wears, that it seems expedient to place before Theosophical students a plain statement of the facts so far as they are known to us.

We have reached a point in our studies at which much that was at first obscure has become clear, much that was vague has become definite, much that was accepted as theory has become matter of first-hand knowledge. It is therefore possible to arrange ascertained facts in a definite sequence, facts which can be observed again and again as successive students develop the power of observation, and to speak on them with the same certainty as is felt by the physicist who deals with other observed and tabulated phenomena.

But just as the physicist may err so may the metaphysicist, and as knowledge widens new lights are thrown on old facts, their relations are more clearly seen, and their appearance changes - often because the further light shows [1] that the fact which seemed a whole was only a fragment. No authority is claimed for the views here presented; they are offered only as from a student to students, as an effort to reproduce what has been taught but has doubtless been very imperfectly apprehended, together with such results of the observations of pupils as their limited powers enable them to make.

At the outset of our study it is necessary that the Western reader should change the attitude in which he has been accustomed to regard himself, and that he should clearly distinguish between the man and the bodies in which the man dwells. We are too much in the habit of identifying ourselves with the outer garments that we wear, too apt to think of ourselves as though we were our bodies; and it is necessary, if we are to grasp a true conception of our subject, that we shall leave this point of view and shall cease to identify ourselves with casings that we put on for a time and again cast off, to put on fresh ones when we are again in need of such vestures.

To identify ourselves with these bodies that have only a passing existence is really as foolish and as unreasonable as it would be to identify ourselves with our clothes; we are not dependent on them - their value is in proportion to their utility.

The blunder so constantly made of identifying the consciousness, which is our Self, with the vehicles in which that consciousness is for the moment functioning, can only be excused by [2] the fact that the waking consciousness, and to some extent the dream consciousness also, do live and work in the body and are not known apart from it to the ordinary man; yet an intellectual understanding of the real conditions may be gained, and we may train ourselves to regard our Self as the owner of his vehicle and after a time this will by experience become for a definite fact, when we learn to separate our Self from his bodies, to step out of the vehicle, and to know that we exist in a far fuller consciousness outside it then within it, and that we are in no sense dependent upon it; when that is once achieved, any further identification of our Self with our bodies is of course impossible, and we can never again make the blunder of supposing we are what we wear.

The clear intellectual understanding at least is within the grasp of all of us, and we may train ourselves in the habitual distinguishment between the Self - the man - and his bodies; even to do this is to step out of the illusion in which the majority are wrapped, and changes our whole attitude towards life and towards the world, lifting us into a serener region above "the changes and chances of this mortal life," placing us above the daily petty troubles which loom so largely to embodied consciousness, showing us the true proportion between the ever-changing and the relatively permanent, and making us feel the difference between the drowning man tossed and buffeted by the [3] waves that smother him, and the man whose feet are on a rock while the surges break harmlessly at its base.

By man I mean the living, conscious, thinking Self, the individual; by bodies, the various casings in which this Self is enclosed, each casing enabling the Self to function in some definite region of the universe. As a man might use a carriage on the land, a ship on the water, an aeroplane in the air, to travel from one place to another, and yet in all places remain himself, so does the Self, the real man, remain himself no matter in what body he is functioning; and as carriage, ship and aeroplane vary in materials and arrangement according to the element in which each is destined to move, so does each body vary according to the environment in which it is to act.

One is grosser than another, one shorter-lived than another, one has fewer capacities than another; but all have this in common - that relatively to the man they are transient, his instruments, his servants, wearing out and renewed according to their nature, and adapted to his varying needs, his growing powers.

We will study them one by one, beginning with the lowest, and then take the man himself, the actor in all the bodies. Another reason for classing these two principles as our physical body or physical vehicle is that so long as we cannot pass out of the physical world - or plane, we are accustomed to call it - we are using one or other or both of these physical vestures; they both belong to the physical plane by their materials, and cannot pass outside it; consciousness working in them is bound within their physical limitations, and is subject to the ordinary laws of space and time.

Although partially separable, they are rarely separated during earthly life and such separation is inadvisable and is always a sign of disease or of ill-balanced constitution. They are distinguishable by the materials of which they are composed into the gross body and the etheric [5] double, the latter being the exact duplicate of the visible body, particle for particle, and the medium through which play all the electrical and vital currents on which the activity of the body depends.

Further, it is better to have English names for the subdivisions of the human constitution, and thus remove from our elementary literature the stumbling block to beginners of a Sanskrit terminology.

Also, the name etheric double exactly expresses the nature and constitution of the subtler portion of the physical body, and is thus significant and therefore easy to remember, as every name should be; it is "etheric" because made of ether, "double" because an exact duplicate of the gross body - its shadow, as it were.

Now physical matter has seven subdivisions, distinguishable from each other, and each showing a vast variety of combinations within its own limits. The subdivisions are: solid, liquid, gas, ether, the latter [6] having four conditions as distinct from each other as liquids are distinct from solids and gases.

These are the seven states of physical matter, and any portion of such matter is capable of passing into any one of these states, although under what we call normal temperature and pressure it will assume one or other of these as its relatively permanent condition, as gold is ordinarily solid, water is ordinarily liquid, chlorine is ordinarily gaseous.

The physical body of man is composed of matter in these seven states - the gross body consisting of solids, liquids and gases; and the etheric double of the four subdivisions of ether, known respectively as Ether I, Ether II, Ether III, and Ether IV.

When the higher Theosophical truths are put before people, we find them constantly complaining that they are too much in the clouds, and asking: "Where ought we to begin? If we want to learn for ourselves and prove the truth of the assertions made, how are we to start? What are the first steps that we should take? What, in fact, is the alphabet of this language in which Theosophists discourse so glibly?

What ought we to do, we men and women living in the world, in order to understand and verify these matters, instead of merely taking them on trust from others who say they know?

Nothing that a man can do to the physical body alone will turn him into a seer or a saint; but it is also true that inasmuch as the body is an instrument that we have to use, certain treatment of the body is necessary in order that we may turn our footsteps in the direction of the Path; while dealing with the body only will never take us to the heights to which we aspire, still to let the body alone will make it impossible for us to scale those heights at all.

The bodies in which he has to live and work are the instruments of the man, and the very first thing we have to realize is this: that the body exists for us, not we for the body; the body is ours to use - we do not belong to it to be used by it. The body is an instrument which is to be refined, to be improved, to be trained, to be moulded into such a form and made of such constituents as may best fit it to be the instrument on the physical plane for the highest purposes of the man. Everything which tends in that direction is to be encouraged and cultivated; everything which goes contrary to it is to be avoided.

It does not matter what wishes the body may have, what habits it may have contracted in the past, the body is ours, our servant, to be employed as we desire, and the moment it takes the reins into its own hands and claims to guide the man instead of being [8] guided by the man, at that moment the whole purpose of life is subverted, and any kind of progress is rendered utterly impossible.

Here is the point from which any person who is in earnest must start. The very nature of the physical body makes it a thing which can be turned fairly easily into a servant or an instrument. It has certain peculiarities which help us in training it and make it comparatively easy to guide and mould, and one of these peculiarities is that when once it has been accustomed to work along particular lines it will very readily continue to follow those lines of its own accord, and will be quite as happy in doing so as it was previously in going along others.

If a bad habit has been acquired, the body will make considerable resistance to any change in that habit; but if it be compelled to alter, if the obstacle it places in the way be overcome, and if it be forced to act as the man desires, then after a short time the body will of its own accord repeat the new habit that the man has imposed on it, and will as contentedly pursue the new method as it pursued the old one to which the man found reason to object.

Let us now turn to the consideration of the dense body that we may roughly call the visible part of the physical body, though the gaseous constituents are not visible to the untrained physical eye. This is the most outward garment of the man, his lowest [9] manifestation, his most limited and imperfect expression of himself.

The Dense Body. Both of these work by means of nervous systems, but by nervous systems of different kinds. One carries on all the activities of the body which maintain its ordinary life, by which the lungs contract, by which the heart pulsates, by which the movements of the digestive system are directed.

This is composed of the involuntary nerves, commonly called the "sympathetic system. While a person is in health, he does not notice these activities; he knows that he breathes when the breathing is oppressed or checked, he knows that his heart beats when the beating is violent or irregular, but when all is in order these processes go on unnoticed. It is, however, possible to bring the [10] sympathetic nervous system under the control of the will by long and painful practice, and a class of Yogi in India - Hatha Yogis they are called - develop this power to an extraordinary degree, with the object of stimulating the lower psychic faculties.

It is possible to evolve these without any regard to spiritual, moral or intellectual growth by direct action on the physical body. The Hatha Yogi learns to control his breathing even to the point of suspension for a considerable period to control the beating of his heart, quickening or retarding the circulation at will, and by these means to throw the physical body into a trance and set free the astral body. The method is not one to be emulated; but still it is instructive for Western nations who are apt to regard the body as of such imperative nature to know how thoroughly a man can bring under his control these normally automatic physical processes, and to realize that thousands of men impose on themselves a long and exquisitely painful discipline in order to see themselves free from the prison-house of the physical body, and to know that they live when the animation of the body is suspended.

They are at least in earnest, and are no longer the mere slaves of the senses. Passing from this we have the voluntary nervous system, one far more important for our mental purposes. This is the great system which is our instrument of thought, by which we feel and move on the physical [11] plane.

It consists of the cerebro-spinal axis - the brain and spinal cord - whence go to every part of the body filaments of nervous matter, the sensory and motor nerves - the nerves by which we feel running from the periphery to the axis, and the nerves by which we move running from the axis to the periphery. From every part of the body the nerve-threads run, associating with each other to make bundles, these proceeding to join the spinal cord, forming its external fibrous substance, and passing upwards to spread out and ramify in the brain, the centre of all feeling and all purposive motion controllable by the will.

This is the system through which the man expresses his will and his consciousness, and these may be said to be seated in the brain. The man can do nothing on the physical plane except through the brain and nervous system; if these be out of order, he can no longer express himself in orderly fashion. Here is the fact on which materialism has based its contention that thought and brain-action vary together; dealing with the physical plane only, as the materialist is dealing, they do vary together, and it is necessary to bring in forces from another plane, the astral, in order to show that thought is not the result of nervous actions.

If the brain be affected by drugs, or by disease, or by injury, the thought of the man to whom the brain belongs can no longer find its due expression on the physical plane. The materialist will also point out that if you have [12] certain diseases, thought will be peculiarly affected There is a rare disease, aphasia, which destroys a particular part of the tissue of the brain, near the ear, and is accompanied by a total loss of memory so far as words are concerned; if you ask a person who is suffering from this disease a question, he cannot answer you; if you ask him his name, he will give you no reply; but if you speak his name he will show recognition of it, if you read him some statement he will signify assent or dissent; he is able to think, but unable to speak.

I seems as though the part of the brain that has been eaten away were connected with the physical memory of words, so that with the loss of that the man loses on the physical plane the memory of words and is rendered dumb, while he retains the power of thought and can agree or disagree with any proposition made.

The materialistic argument at once breaks down, of course, when the man is set free from his imperfect instrument; he is then able to manifest his powers, though he is again crippled when reduced once more to physical expression. The importance of this as regards our present inquiry lies not in the validity or invalidity of the materialistic position, but in the fact that the man is limited in his expression on the physical plane by the capabilities of his physical instrument, and that this instrument is susceptible to physical agents; if these can injure it they can also improve it - a [13] consideration which we shall find to be of vital importance to us.

These nervous systems, like every part of the body, are built up of cell, small definite bodies, with enclosing wall and contents, visible under the microscope, and modified according to their various functions; these cells in their turn are made up of small molecules, and these again of atoms - the atoms of the chemist, each atom being his ultimate indivisible particle of a chemical element.

These chemical atoms combine together in innumerable ways to form the gases, the liquids, and the solids of the dense body. Each chemical atom is to the Theosophist a living thing capable of leading its independent life, and each combination of such atoms into a more complex being is again a living thing; also each cell has a life of its own, and all these chemical atoms and molecules and cells are combined together into an organic whole, a body, to serve as vehicle of a loftier form of consciousness than any which they know in their separated lives.

Now, the particles of which these bodies are composed are constantly coming and going, these particles being aggregations of chemical atoms too minute to be visible to the naked eye, though many of them are visible under the microscope. If a little blood be put under the microscope, we see moving in it a number of living bodies, the white and red corpuscles, the white being closely similar in structure [14] and activity to ordinary amoebas; in connection with many diseases microbes are found, bacilli of various kinds, and scientists tell us that we have in our bodies friendly and unfriendly microbes, some that injure and others that pounce upon and devour deleterious intruders and effete matter.

Some microbes come to us from without that ravage our bodies with disease, others that promote their health, and so these garments of ours are continually changing their materials, which come and stay for a while, and go away to form parts of other bodies - a continual change and interplay. Now, the vast majority of mankind know little and care less for these facts, and yet on them hinges the possibility of the purification of the dense body, thus rendering it a fitter vehicle for the indwelling man The ordinary person lets his body build itself up anyhow out of the materials supplied to it, without regard to their nature, caring only that they shall be palatable and agreeable to his desires, and not whether they be suitable or unsuitable to the making of a pure and noble dwelling for the Self, the true man that liveth for ever more.

He exercises no supervision over these particle as they come and go, selecting none, rejecting none, but letting everything build itself in as it lists, like a careless mason who should catch up any rubbish as materials for his house, floating wool and hairs, mud, chips, sand, nails, offal, filth of any kind - the veriest jerry-builde [15] is the ordinary man with his body. When a man thus resolves to purify the body and to make it into an instrument fit for the Self to work with, he takes the first step towards the practice of Yoga - a step which must be taken in this or in some other life before he can seriously ask the question, "How can I learn to verify for myself the truths of Theosophy?

Even should he have brought over from better-disciplined lives partially developed psychic faculties, which show themselves despite present unfavourable circumstances, the use of these will be hampered when he is in the physical body, if that body be impure; it will dull or distort the exercise of the faculties when they play through it, and render their reports untrustworthy.

Let us suppose that a man deliberately chooses that he will have a pure body, and that he either takes advantage of the fact that his body completely changes in seven years, or prefers the shorter and more difficult path of changing it more rapidly - in either case he will begin at once to select the materials from which the new clean body is to be built, and the question of diet will present itself.

He will immediately begin to exclude from his food all kinds which will build into his body particles which are impure and polluting. He will strike off all alcohol, and every liquor which contains it, because that brings into his physical body microbes of the most impure kinds, products of decomposition; these are not only offensive in themselves, but they attract towards themselves - and therefore towards any body of which they form [17] part - some of the most objectionable of the physically invisible inhabitants of the next plane.

Drunkards who have lost their physical bodies, and can therefore no longer satisfy their longing for intoxicants, hang round places where drink is taken, and round those who take it, endeavouring to push themselves into the bodies of people who are drinking, and thus to share the low pleasure to which they surrender themselves. Women of refinement would shrink from their wines if they could see the loathly creatures who seek to partake in their enjoyment, and the close connection which they thus set up with beings of the most repellent type.

Evil elementals also cluster round the thoughts of drunkards clad in elemental essence, while the physical body attracts to itself from the surrounding atmosphere other gross particles given off from drunken and profligate bodies, and these also are built into it, coarsening and degrading it. If we look at people who are constantly engaged with alcohol, in manufacturing or distributing spirits, wines, beers, and other kinds of unclean liquors, we can see physically how their bodies have become gross and coarse.

A brewer's man, a publican - to say nothing of persons in all ranks of society who drink to excess - these show fully what everyone who builds into his body any of these particles is doing in part and slowly; the more of these he builds in, the coarser will his body become.

And so with other articles of diet, [18] flesh of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, with that of crustaceous creatures and mollusks which feed on carrion - how should bodies made of such materials be refined, sensitive, delicately balanced and yet perfectly healthy, with the strength and fineness of tempered steel, such as the man needs for all the higher kinds of work? Is it necessary again to add the practical lesson that may be learned by looking at the bodies of those living in such surroundings?

See the slaughterman and the butcher, and judge if their bodies look like the fittest instruments for employment on high thoughts and lofty spiritual themes. Yet they are only the highly finished products of the forces that work proportionately in all bodies that feed on the impure viands they supply. True, no amount of attention paid to the physical body by the man will of itself give him spiritual life, but why should he hamper himself with an impure body?

Why should he allow his powers, whether great or small, to be limited, thwarted, dwarfed in their attempts to manifest by this needlessly imperfect instrument?

There is, however, one difficulty in our way that we cannot overlook; we may take a good deal of pains with the body and may resolutely refuse to befoul it, but we are living among people who are careless and who for the most part know nothing of these facts in nature.

In a town like London, or indeed in any Western town, [19] we cannot walk through streets without being offended at every turn, and the more we refine the body the more delicately acute do the physical senses become, and the more we must suffer in a civilization so coarse and animal as is the present.

Walking through the poorer and the business streets, where there are beerhouses at every corner, we can scarcely ever escape the smell of drink, the effluvium from one drinking-place overlapping that from the next - even reputedly respectable streets being thus poisoned; so, too, we have to pass slaughter-houses and butchers' shops. Of course one knows that when civilization is a little more advanced better arrangements will be made, and something will be gained when all these unclean things are gathered in special quarters where those can seek them who want them.

But meanwhile particles from these places fall on our bodies, and we breathe them in with the air. But as the normally healthy body gives no soil in which disease-microbes can germinate, so the clean body offers no soil in which these impure particles can grow.

C W Leadbeater - Man Visible And Invisible (1902)

Signification of the Colors 2. The Planes of Nature 3. The Three Outpourings 4. Involution and Evolution 5. The Causal Body of the Savage 6. The Mental Body of the Savage 7.

.: Links to Theosophical Texts Online :.

Must religion and morals go together? Can one be taught without the other? It is a practical question for educationists, and France tried to answer it in the dreariest little cut and dry kind of catechism ever given to boys to make them long to be wicked.

Annie Besant. : Annie Besant : Free Download, Borrow, and

Ebooks by Annie Wood Besant. Online library. Dharma Essays on socialism Evolution of life and form : four lectures delivered at the twenty-third anniversary meeting of the Theosophical Society at Adyar, Madras, Four great religions : four lectures delivered on the twenty-first anniversary of the Theosophical Society at Adyar, Madras Four great religions, four lectures delivered on the twenty-first anniversary of the Theosophical society at Adyar, Madras: H.

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At the outset Of our study it is necessary that the western reader should change the attitude in which he has been accustomed to regard himself, and that he should clearly distinguish between the man and the bodies in which the man dwells. We are too much in the habit of identifying ourselves with the outer garments that we wear, too apt to think of ourselves as though we were our bodies; and it is necessary, if we are to grasp a true conception of our subject, that we shall leave this point of view and shall cease to identify ourselves with casings that we put on for a time and again cast Off, to put on fresh ones when we are again in need Of such vestures. To identify ourselves with these bodies that have only a passing existence is really as foolish and as unreasonable as it would be to identify ourselves with our clothes; we are not dependent on them — their value is in proportion to their utility. The blunder so constantly made of identifying the consciousness, which is our Self, with the vehicles in which that consciousness is for the moment functioning, can only be excused by the fact that the waking consciousness, and to some extent the dream consciousness also, do live and work in the body and are not known apart from it to the ordinary man; yet an intellectual understanding of the realconditions may be gained, and we may train ourselves to regard our Self as the owner of his vehicles; and after a time this will by experience become for us a definite fact, when we learn to separate our Self from his bodies, to step out of the vehicle and to know that we exist in a far fuller consciousness outside it than within it, and that we are'in no sense dependent upon it; when that is once achieved, any further identi fication Of our Self with our bodies is Of course impossible, and we can never again make the blunder of supposing that we are what we wear. The clear intellectual understanding at least is within the grasp of all of us, and we may train ourselves in the habitual distinguishment between the Self — the man — and his bodies; even to do this is to step out of the illusion in which the majority are wrapped, and changes our whole attitude towards life and towards the world, lifting us into a sterner region above the changes and chances of this mortal life, placing us above the daily petty troubles which loom so largely to em bodied consciousness, showing us the true proportion between the everchanging and the relatively permanent, and making us feel the difference between the drown ing man tossed and bufieted by the waves that smother him, and the man whose feet are on a rock while the surges break harmlessly at its base.

Whilst the greatest effort has been made to ensure the quality of this text, due to the historical nature of this content, in some rare cases there may be minor issues with legibility. Religions based on Revelation find in Revelation their basis for morality, and for them that is Right which the Giver of the Revelation commands, and that is Wrong which He forbids. Now all Revelation has two great disadvantages as a basis for morality It is fixed, and therefore unprogressive while man evolves, and at a later stage of his growth, the morality taught in the Revelation becomes archaic and unsuitable. A written book cannot change, and many things in the Bibles of Religion come to be out of date, inappropriate to new circumstances, and even shocking to an age in which conscience has become more enlightened than it was of old. The fact that in the same Revelation as that in which palpably immoral commands appear, there occur also jewels of fairest radiance, gems of poetry, pearls of truth, helps us not at all.

Ebooks by Annie Wood Besant

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