In this article, I will transcribe what Master Kuthumi wrote about the reincarnation in the book The Mahatmas Letters.
When Mr. Alfred Sinnett asked him:
« 1) There is a very interesting allusion in your last, when speaking of Hume you speak of certain characteristics he brought back with him from his last incarnation.
2) Have you the power of looking back to the former lives of persons now living, and identifying them?
3) In that case would it be improper personal curiosity — to ask for any particulars of my own? »
Master Kuthumi answered him:
« 1) All of us we bring some characteristics from our previous incarnations. It is unavoidable.
2) Unfortunately some of us have. I, for one do not like to exercise it.
3) "Man know thyself" — saith the Delphian oracle. There is nothing "improper" — certainly in such a curiosity. Only would it not be still more proper to study our own present personality before attempting to learn anything of its creator, — predecessor, and fashioner — the man that was?
Well, some day I may treat you to a little story — no time now — only I promise no details; a simple sketch, and a hint or two to test your intuitional powers. »
(ML 23A, p.145)
And in the following letter, Kuthumi informed him:
« You were Nonius Asprenas, Consul of the Emperor Domitian together with Arrecinus Clemens, and you were also friend of the Flamen Dialis of that time (the high priest of Jupiter and chief of the Flamenes) which would account for A.P. Sinnett's suddenly developed love for mysticism. »
(ML 23B, p.175)
The full name of that Roman politician was Lucius Nonius Calpurnius Torquatus Asprenas. He belonged to an aristocratic family. He was first Senator, then Consul in 94 AD, later Proconsul of Asia between 107 and 108 AD, and finally again Consul in 128 AD
His daughter Torquata married with Lucius Pomponius Bassus and his family and ancestors held important positions during the Roman Empire.
And this information tells me two things:
1) First, Sinnett took approximately 1700 years before reincarnating.
2) And second, finding your past lives only serves as a curiosity, but it doesn't help you get to know yourself better, because there is almost no information about those characters from the past. So if you really want to meet yourself, it is better to investigate who you are today, because you are the synthesis of everything you have lived before.
HIDDEN DATA ABOUT THE REINCARNATION
Master Kuthumi wrote:
« The progress of man throughout the whole — from its starting to its closing points meeting on the highest point of its circumference — is what we call the Maha Yug or Great Cycle, the Kuklos, whose head is lost in a crown of absolute Spirit, and its lowest point of circumference in absolute matter — to viz.: the point of cessation of action of the active principle.
If using a more familiar term we call the great cycle the Macrokosm and its component parts or the interlinked star worlds Microkosms, the occultists' meaning in representing each of the latter as perfect copies of the former will become evident.
The great is the Prototype of the smaller cycles: and as such, each star world has in its turn its own cycle of Evolution which starts with a purer and ends with a grosser or more material nature. As they descend, each world presents itself naturally more and more shadowy, becoming at the "antipodes" absolute matter.
Propelled by the irresistible cyclic impulse the Planetary Spirit has to descend before he can reascend. On his way he has to pass through the whole ladder of Evolution, missing no rung, to halt at every star world as he would at a station; and, besides the unavoidable cycle of that particular and every respective star world to perform in it his own "life-cycle" to, viz.: returning and reincarnating as many times as he fails to complete his round of life in it, as he dies on it before reaching the age of reason as correctly stated in Isis. »
(ML 9, p.46)
At the beginning of their cosmic existence, humans are like seeds with all the potential in them, but still nothing built yet.
And at the end of their evolution, they have already become fully developed divine beings.
And to achieve that goal, humans need to evolve in the increasingly dense and then increasingly spiritualized balloons of a planetary chain. But since this route is very long, that is why they require many reincarnations, because a single life on the planet is not enough to achieve it.
(More information in: the evolution of man on Earth)
And in another letter, Master Kuthumi gave more details about that journey:
« However, to set you right so far I will say — one life in each of the seven root-races; seven lives in each of the 49 sub-races — or 7 x 7 x 7 = 343 and add 7 more. And then a series of lives in offshoot and branchlet races; making the total incarnations of man in each station or planet 777.
The principle of acceleration and retardation applies itself in such a way, as to eliminate all the inferior stocks and leave but a single superior one to make the last ring. Not much to divide over some millions of years that man passes on one planet.
Let us take but one million of years — suspected and now accepted by your science — to represent man's entire term upon our earth in this Round; and allowing an average of a century for each life, we find that whereas he has passed in all his lives upon our planet (in this Round) but 77,700 years he has been in the subjective spheres 922,300 years.
Not much encouragement for the extreme modern reincarnationists who remember their several previous existences!
Should you indulge in any calculations do not forget that we have computed above only full average lives of consciousness and responsibility.
Nothing has been said as to failures of Nature in abortions, congenital idiots, death of children in their first septenary cycle, nor of the exceptions of which I cannot speak. No less have you to remember that average human life varies greatly according to the Round.
Though I am obliged to withhold information about many points yet if you should work out any of the problems by yourself it will be my duty to tell you so. Try to solve the problem of the 777 incarnations. »
(ML 14, p.83)
Keep in mind that what Master Kuthumi wrote should not be taken literally because interpreting it would require keys that Kuthumi did not reveal. As Blavatsky pointed out:
« We know that not one of the exact numbers will ever be given out, as they pertain to the Mysteries of Initiations and to the Secrets of the occult influence of Numbers. »
(CW XIII, p.306)
But despite this, there is relevant information:
1) Contrary to the belief that is currently widespread in Eastern religions and also in many people, which humans quickly return to reincarnate (usually considered a few minutes to a few decades).
In fact, humans take much longer to reincarnate, and here Master Kuthumi indicated an average of 1200 years.
2) The second relevant information is that as a general rule, humans have to go through the different branch races that are being formed as the development of humanity proceeds.
And this reminds me that in another letter, Master Kuthumi also mentioned that animal monads reincarnate into increasingly evolved species. That is, animals, vegetables and minerals have a similar process, but each monad with its respective kingdom.
The goal of animal monads at the end of their reincarnation cycle is to become human, and the goal of human monads at the end of their reincarnation cycle is to become divine beings.
3) The third relevant information is that the duration of reincarnation varies a lot throughout evolution. And so, for example, Master Pasteur specified that during the Atlantean civilization, humans lived for much longer due to various factors.
And I suspect that the long lives that appear in the Old Testament and that progressively were shortened, symbolize this reduction in the duration of their reincarnations that humans have been experiencing throughout these last millennia.
4) And the fourth relevant information is that the number 777 does seem to be an important number, since Blavatsky in another letter wrote to Mr. Sinnett:
« That there were hundred apparent inconsistencies just because you had not the key to the *777* and could not be given it. In short that you gave the truth, but by far not the whole truth especially about rounds and rings which was only at best allegorical. »
CAN YOU STOP REINCARNATING?
Master Kuthumi says you can't:
« No one can get rid of reincarnation. »
(ML 17, p.117)
But instead, what can be done is to accelerate your evolution so that you get out of the reincarnation cycle more quickly:
« This tired succession of reincarnations, for centuries and centuries must be crossed from one extreme to the other, until the human being reaches the end of the seventh round, or attains in the interim the level of development of an Arhat, then the of a Buddha, and thus be liberated by a round or two.
And this weary round of birth upon birth must be ever and ever run through, until the being reaches the end of the seventh round, or — attains in the interim the wisdom of an Arhat, then that of a Buddha and thus gets relieved for a round or two. »
(ML 25, p.196)
But this will only allow you to stop reincarnating during the current fourth round, and when the beginning of the fifth round begins, you will have to return to Earth to continue your evolution (like all mankind) and you will re-start with a new and higher reincarnation cycle.
To give you an analogy, it is as if a child is far ahead in his studies to the point of passing the final exams in the middle of the year, and therefore the rest of the school year he would already spend it on vacation, while the other classmates would follow studying until the end of the year.
But then, at the beginning of the next school year, that child would have to return to school to continue his studies just like his other classmates. The difference is that he had much more vacations than the rest.
And Kuthumi said that the only human who has managed to get ahead, but not only one, but two rounds, has been Lord Buddha:
« No; if we except Buddha — a sixth round being, as he had run so successfully the race in his previous incarnations as to outrun even his predecessors. But then such a man is to be found one in a billion of human creatures.
He differed from other men as much in his physical appearance as in spirituality and knowledge.
Yet even he escaped further reincarnations but on this earth; and, when the last of the sixth round men of the third ring is gone out of this earth, the Great Teacher will have to get reincarnated on the next planet.
Only, and since He sacrificed Nirvanic bliss and Rest for the salvation of his fellow creatures He will be reborn in the highest — the seventh ring of the upper planet. »
(ML 17, p.117)
HOW LONG DO YOU REBORN AGAIN?
Theosophical instructors specified that humans usually take 1200 to 1500 years to reincarnate, but this is only an average that encompasses large differences.
And Master Kuthumi explained that the duration in the divine world depends on several factors:
« The stay in Devachan is proportioned to the unfinished psychic impulses originating in Earth-life: those persons whose attractions were preponderatingly material will sooner be drawn back into rebirth by the force of Tanha (the desire of having earthly experiences). »
(ML 25, p.200)
This means that more your life on Earth has been enriching in knowledge, experiences, development and spirituality, more longer you will remain in the divine world before reincarnating again.
But Master Kuthumi also specified that another very important factor is karma:
« What the lives in devachan and upon Earth shall be respectively in each instance is determined by karma. »
(ML 25, p.196)
« The period in the Devachan is in proportion to good karma, after which the monad will reincarnate again.
And for how long does this state of spiritual beatitude endure?
For years, decades, centuries and millenniums, oftentimes multiplied by something more. It all depends upon the duration of Karma.
Fill with oil Den's little cup, and a city Reservoir of water, and lighting both, see which burns the longer.
The Ego is the wick and Karma the oil: the difference in the quantity of the latter (in the cup and the reservoir) suggesting to you the great difference in the duration of various Karmas.
Every effect must be proportionate to the cause. And, as man's terms of incarnate existence bear but a small proportion to his periods of internatal existence in the manvantaric cycle, so the good thoughts, words, and deeds of any one of these "lives" on a globe are causative of effects, the working out of which requires far more time than the evolution of the causes occupied.
Therefore, when you read in the Jats and other fabulous stories of the Buddhist Scriptures that this or the other good action was rewarded by Kalpas of several figures of bliss, do not smile at the absurd exaggeration, but bear in mind what I have said. »
(ML 16, p.106)
The general rule is that after death, humans must ascend to Heaven before they can reincarnate. But the masters also specified that every rule has its exceptions:
« Save a few exceptional cases in the case of the initiated such as our Teshu-Lamas and the Boddhisatwas and a few others, no monad gets ever reincarnated before its appointed cycle. »
(ML 23B, p.176)
And in those special cases, the soul is very quickly reincarnated without ascending to the divine world and waiting for an average of 1200 to 1500 years where it usually remains in the Devachan.
THE INCARNATION OF THE BIG ADEPTS
As we saw, all humans have to continue to incarnate (including the great adepts) but the difference between them and ordinary humans is that the vast majority of humans lose their consciousness when they die and only recover their consciousness when they are reborn.
Instead the great adepts remain conscious after his death, and they have gained such immense control in the process of reincarnating that they can achieve incredible prowess.
« Our "Byang-tzyoobs" and "Tchang-chubs" — the Brothers who pass from the body of one great Lama to that of another — as Lhas or disembodied Spirits. Remember what I said in my last of Planetary Spirits.
The Tchang-chub (an adept who has, by the power of his knowledge and Soul-enlightenment, become exempt from the curse Of unconscious transmigration) — may, at his will and desire, and instead of reincarnating himself only after bodily death, do so, and repeatedly — during his life if he chooses.
He holds the power of choosing for himself new bodies — whether on this or any other planet — while in possession of his old form, that he generally preserves for purposes of his own.
Read the book of Khiu-tee and you will find in it these laws. »
(ML 49, p.285)
The great adherents can even occupy several bodies at once!
CAN HUMANS INCARNATE ANIMALS?
Mr. Kuthumi says they don't:
« Thus far Mrs. Kingsford's idea that the human Ego is being reincarnated in several successive human bodies is the true one. As to its being reborn in animal forms after human incarnation it is the result of her loose way of expressing things and ideas. »
(ML 9, p.46)
And what I have read is that this cannot be done because the body of an animal does not have the capacity to receive a human monad, because the human monad is much more elaborate than an animal monad.
To give you an analogy, it is as if you wanted to install a very modern operating system in an old computer. Well, although the old computer and a new computer in appearance seem similar, this cannot be because its internal structure are very different. And the same happens between animals and humans.
And that is why animals require a whole evolutionary cosmic cycle to reach the level that humans have.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEOSOPHY AND SPIRITISM
ABOUT THE RE INCARNATION
ABOUT THE RE INCARNATION
Spiritualists belonging to the French School, founded by Allan Kardec, also believe in reincarnation, but Master Kuthumi pointed out that there is a big difference with the explanation given by these spiritualists and the explanation given by the transhimalayic masters:
« No doubt the real Ego inheres in the higher principles which are reincarnated periodically every one, two, or three or more thousands of years. But the immortal Ego the "Individual Monad," is not the personal monad.
Eastern reincarnationists — who maintain in that same Isis — had you but read the whole of it — that the individuality or the immortal "Ego" has to reappear in every cycle — but the Western especially the French reincarnationists, who teach that it is the personal, or astral monad, the "moi fluidique". »
(ML 24B, p.183)
In other words, while Kardec’ spiritualists think that the personality that existed in the previous life returns to reincarnate, Theosophists assure that the human is a much more complex being and in reality is his “immortal Ego” who reincarnates again.
To give you an analogy, the "Immortal Ego" is the actor (that is you), and the personality is the character that the actor interprets in his reincarnation each time he descends to Earth (John, Mary, Mike, etc.).
In other words, it is not Cleopatra, who later reincarnates again, but you are who in one life was born as an Egyptian queen, and in another life was born with another personality, etc.
EVOLUTION AND NUMBER OF REINCARNATIONS
And finally, when Mr. Sinnett asked to Master Kuthumi:
What has the number of incarnations to do with the shrewdness, cleverness, or the stupidity of an individual?
The Master replied:
« Not necessarily, since a strong craving for physical life may lead an entity through a number of incarnations and yet these may not develop its higher capacities. »
(ML 86, p.404)
To give you an analogy, imagine a student who likes to be in school a lot because there he has fun with his friends, but that student makes no effort to study. Well, that student, although he has attended many days to class, he will not have advanced much.
Instead, imagine another student who has only gone to school for a few days, but he has studied hard, and the result will be that this second student will be much more advanced than the lazy student.
And the same goes for reincarnations.