For an account of brutality, cruelty, viciousness in the best modern manner, we recommend the article entitled BEDLAM 1946, in Life magazine for May 6. There are some 400,000 guiltless patient-prisoners in more than 180 State mental institutions, and a great number of these are subjected to innumerable cruelties and the most outrageous living conditions. If we were even a half-civilized people, such conditions would not exist for forty-eight hours after they were once made known, so terrible would be the blast of public anger. If we were one-quarter civilized, such conditions would never come into being. Pity the man who, ill in mind and body, falls into the power of his fellow humans, into the maw of institutions, into the clutch of our fang-and-claw 'humanitarianism', into the heartlessness, stupidity and sadism of our 20th century 'culture'. Let all the smug souls and stuffed bellies who think that we at least have no sins as a nation, no bitter karma of unspeakable cruelties to expiate, consider BEDLAM 1946 as one black example to the contrary - after which the tale could too easily be prolonged.
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The Fate of
We have long noted, with some puzzlement, a certain harshness, even savagery of opinion toward those who depart this life by their own hand. Some of the worst of these diatribes have appeared, we grieve to say, in spiritualist publications, where one has a right to expect both informed opinion and gentleness in judgment. These Inquisitors who condemn every suicide without distinction to a near-eternity of darkness - does it never occur to them that even if they really believe such stuff, it is a bitter dis-service to thrust it upon the hearts of sorrowing loved ones?
Our best occult knowledge leads us to believe that every instance of suicide is a problem in itself - and also, that this knowledge is insufficient for definitive judgment.
If moral guilt is involved, the effect of this is karmic and is felt in the next incarnation, not in the inter-life. But what of the suicide who is deranged or 'unbalanced', and what, exactly, do these expressions mean, and just when do these conditions exist? Who is capable of establishing, for another or for himself, the degree of responsibility? What does responsibility mean, anyhow? If you are glib with your answer, put the question to a philosopher, accustomed to deal critically with moral concepts. If ignorance is bliss it is also cocksureness, or the father-and-mother thereof. If you can really define sanity, responsibility, and guilt, then and then only are you qualified to pass upon the destiny of the unfortunate suicide.
It is also believed among nearly all occultists, that the fact of suicide (not the moral guilt, if any) has a distinct effect upon the soul in Kama Loca. This effect, however, is precisely that which results from premature or violent death from any cause - the soul is temporarily and in some degree earth-bound. This is a measure of misfortune, but it is far from being an imprisonment in the astral hells. If the spirit enters the new life under conditions of great strain or suffering or mental derangement (very common accompaniments of suicide) these conditions may leave him dazed and bewildered for a time - just as they would do if he had died in some other and more 'natural' way.
'Suicide' also occurs in a great variety of ways and under many conditions. The word might be applied to one who gives up his life for another (and greater love hath no man), or for a cause he believes just, or that he may not be a great burden upon other persons. His opinion in such case may be mistaken, but he surely has no moral guilt. And there are many who believe that suicide is justifiable, even praiseworthy, as an escape from intolerable and cureless pain. (Those who think it a sin to avoid suffering should renounce all physicians and medicines forthwith.) As to what we have said about the effects of moral guilt (which indeed often exists) we remind our Theosophical readers that this is explicitly the teaching of Sinnett. Let us be very careful in our judgments, remembering that it is not within human Wisdom to determine the degree of blameworthiness of any fellow human.
It is true that many suicides are known to wander in confusion and darkness, but we repeat that this may arise from the mental condition at the time of death, and from ignorance and other contributory factors, and not because of a self-inflicted death. If there was moral guilt, it was not the cause of this sad state, but will be expiated in just degree in another incarnation. Had the suicide died by accident at the same precise moment, his first discarnate state would be the same.
To all bewildered and earth-bound spirits it is well to give hope and encouragement and a knowledge of their true condition, and the advice to pray, to aspire, to seek the light, to call upon their guides and friends and to renounce the ties of earth. In this way much good may be done, and there is a great amount of data in support of this opinion, and substantial agreement upon it. But it is not a good thing to summon these departed ones, to detain them, to bind them to earth with tears and lamentations, or even with the tenderness of love. "Loose and let go" - as indeed one must do with all things.
We are not ignorant of the fact, that many pages could be filled with an elaboration of this subject, with its complexities and curious instances, and the teachings of this cult and of that. We write of it partly because RR receives from time to time, letters from persons in distress of spirit thru the self-liberation of some loved one - and often wrongly distressed and horrified by the 'teachings' of those who should themselves first begin to learn. What has been said here, how-ever, is not ex cathedra, no private revelation, but only a kind of synopsis of what seems to be the best information available.
Evestrum: this is practically a synonym for scin-lecca, umbratile, doppelgaenger, wraith, shadow, astral or etheric double. The Leffas are the astral bodies of plants. Mumia is the body-life, the magnetic body or vital essence, such as remains in a piece of transplanted skin. The Flagae are Familiars, who serve the one on whom they attend and obey his will; they are said to guide in the sortilege (either lot-drawing or divination), and to have been the ancient teachers of mankind. Karana Sharira is the designation (?) of the spirit said to be assigned to each child at birth, as a guide; or it is said to function as a High Self, tho remaining a distinct entity. Beasts in occultism are Elementals in animal forms. Basilisk, Aspis, and Leo are monsters created by sodomy.