By judiciously analyzing the theory of reincarnation that has been stated by many different pseudo-esoteric and pseudo-occultist thinkers of this day and age, we have arrived at the conclusion that all of these authors are totally confused.
The doctrine of reincarnation comes from the cult of Krishna, which is an ancient Vedic religion. Unfortunately, this sublime doctrine was extremely adulterated by many reformers.
In the cult of Krishna, it has been wisely stated that only the gods, demigods, heroes, titans, divine kings, masters, and guides of humanity reincarnate [In The Bhagavad-gita. See The Mystery of the Golden Blossom Ch 32 by Samael Aun Weor]. Nevertheless, the diverse pseudo-esoteric and pseudo-occultist schools have propagated this concept in a very mistaken way; these schools mistakenly preach onto the multitudes that every human being reincarnates.
Alongside the doctrine of reincarnation, there also is the idea of the transmigration of souls [as taught by Pythagoras, Plato, and Socrates], which includes the reincorporation of human souls into animal creatures. Obviously, terrible human pride considered the reincorporation of human souls into animal creatures as an alteration or distortion of the wise doctrine of reincarnation. Thus, inevitably, by dint of pride, the theory of the transmigration of souls was rejected.
In the four gospels, Jesus Christ emphasizes the difficulty of entering into the kingdom. The great master never said that all human beings would enter into the kingdom. Here enters the law of natural selection:
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” —Matthew 22:14
The entire human species, with the exception of a few, enter into the infernal worlds, where they are terminated through the Second Death. This event is always repeated in all of the planets of infinite space.
We have already stated that only with the Second Death can the lost souls be liberated from the infernal worlds.
The law of eternal return always brings the failed souls (who lived within the underworld and who passed through the Second Death) to a new cosmic manifestation.
The law of eternal return provides the foundation for the doctrine of the transmigration of souls; millions of failed souls (from past cycles of manifestation) are now elementals from the mineral or plant kingdoms and also animal creatures who long to re-conquer the human state that they lost in times of yore.
The wise idea of the eternal return of all things is invariably united to Pythagorean wisdom and to the sacred Hindustani cosmogony.
The entire doctrine about the life of Brahma, mahamanvantaras and pralayas, kalpas, the breath of Brahma, etc., is intimately related to the doctrine of Pythagoras and to the law of recurrence or eternal return.
An in-depth analysis of Buddhism takes us to the conclusion that Buddha taught the law of eternal return or recurrence in his doctrine of successive lives.
Simplicius, cited by Ouspenski, wrote,
“The Pythagoreans said that the same things are repeated again and again.
“In this connection it is interesting to note the words of Eudemus, Aristotle’s disciple (in the 3rd book of Physics). He says: “Some people accept and some people deny that time repeats itself. Repetition is understood in different senses. One kind of repetition may be in the natural order of things, like repetition of summers and winters and other seasons, when a new one comes after another has disappeared; to this order of things belong the movements of the heavenly bodies and the phenomena produced by them, such as solstices and equinoxes, which are produced by the movement of the Sun.”
“But if we are to believe the Pythagoreans, there is another kind of repetition in quantity, in which the same things exist a number of times. That means that I shall talk to you and sit exactly like this and I shall have in my hand the same stick, and everything will be the same as it is now. This makes it possible to suppose that there exists no difference in time, because if movements (of heavenly bodies) and many other things are the same, what occurred before and what will occur afterwards are also the same. This applies also to their number, which is always the same. Everything is the same and therefore time is the same.”
To the law of recurrence (magnificently exposed by Eudemus in the former paragraphs), the only thing we have to add is the spiral that, according to Pythagoras, is the curve of life.
Time is round, and everything is repeated, at times in higher spirals, at times in lower spirals.
The incessant repetition of the same dramas, the same scenes, the same events in each one of the one hundred and eight lives (that the cosmic law always assigns to every human soul) is interesting and yet simultaneously painful.
Each life is a repetition of the previous life plus its good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant karmic consequences.
When a man dies, the anguishing moments of his agonizing death, his last moments and realizations, his last sensations and his last fears are all found intimately related with the enjoyments of love that originate his new birth.
A new life starts exactly under the same conditions as that of the previous one; clearly, it cannot start in any other way.
According with the law of recurrence, when we are reborn again within this valley of tears, the past is converted into the future.
The intellectual animal (mistakenly called a human being) cannot change his circumstances. He is a victim of circumstance. Everything that happens to him is as mechanical as one season flowing into another. However, he has the illusion of doing things; yet, in reality he does not have the power to do anything. Through him, all things happen.
Only the Being is capable of doing. Only the Being can originate new circumstances. Only the Being can change the order of things. But alas, the intellectual animal has not incarnated the Being.
Within this valley of bitterness there are human-machines with absolute repetition. They are one hundred percent mechanical. These are people who repeat even the most insignificant details from their previous lives.
Constantly reincorporating themselves within this valley of Saint Josaphat, there are certain people whose repetition varies. At times, they revive their previous lives in higher spirals and at times in lower spirals.
On our very intriguing planet there are also certain types of people who have an increasing tendency towards degeneration. They resolutely march upon the descending spiral path; these are the drunkards, suicides, homosexuals, prostitutes, drug addicts, thieves, assassins, etc. In each life, these types of people repeat, over and over again (in a descending manner), the same crimes. Thus, finally, they enter into the infernal worlds.
On the other hand, in apparently stark contrast to the previously mentioned descending life (yet, in a position equally abominable) we find upper class people, such as the great celebrities who worship the great harlot; millionaires, multimillionaires, and perverse scientists who invent destructive weapons. Likewise, we find the tenebrous henchmen of the dialectic materialism who take from humanity their eternal values. Sports fanatics and the great boxing contenders are there as well. Vain record breakers and comedians (who love to play with their monster of one thousand faces) exist there too. Famous movie stars who justify all of their adulteries with innumerable matrimonies and divorces also abide there. Here too can we find the degenerated artists of this new age: painters, rock and roll bands, dancers and singers (of rap, pop, Latin, etc.) Likewise we find the founders of harmful sects, the writers of pornographic literature, etc. All types of skeptical people are found here as well, etc.
All types of celebrities are hypnotized by triumph; this is precisely their great danger. They ignore that they are going down on a descending spiral. Thus, they enter into the infernal worlds inebriated by triumph.
Triumphant types of people know exactly what they have to do each time they return to this worldly scenario. Thus, this is how they repeat their same adventures.
So, the law of recurrence is the cause for the devolution of all of these types of people in the infernal worlds. Within the abyss they have to repeat (in a devolving manner) all of the animal, plant, and mineral processes (which, in times of yore, they had already passed through, yet in an evolving manner).
The final disintegration in the underworld is necessary and indispensable in order to liberate the lost souls. After having passed through their frightful millenarian journey within the underworld, these souls return to a new manifestation that has to begin on the lowest level, which is the mineral kingdom.
This chapter is from The Narrow Way (1968) by Samael Aun Weor.