By C. W. Leadbeater
WHAT THEOSOPHY IS "There is a faculty of philosophy nonetheless in life of which smooth tradition has misplaced sight." In those phrases Mr. A.P. Sinnett all started his e-book, The Occult international, the 1st renowned exposition of Theosophy, released thirty years in the past. [Namely in 1881.] throughout the years that experience handed considering that then, many hundreds of thousands have realized knowledge in that faculty, but to the bulk its teachings are nonetheless unknown, and so they can provide merely the vaguest of replies to the question, "What is Theosophy?" books exist already which resolution that query: Mr. Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism and Dr. Besant's the traditional knowledge. i've got no considered getting into pageant with these general works; what I hope is to offer an announcement, as transparent and straightforward as i will be able to make it, that could be considered as introductory to them.
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Extra resources for A Textbook of Theosophy
When a man thinks of any concrete object—a book, a house, a landscape—he builds a tiny image of the object in the matter of his mental body. This image ﬂoats in the upper part of that body, usually in front of the face of the man and at about the level of the eyes. It remains there as long as the man is contemplating the object, and usually for a little time afterwards, the length of time depending upon the intensity and the clearness of the thought. This form is quite objective, and can be seen by another person, if that other has developed the sight of his own mental body.
Even astral life has possibilities of happiness far greater than anything that we can know in the dense body; but the heaven-life in the mental world is out of all proportion more blissful than the astral. In each higher world the same experience is repeated. Merely to live in any one of them seems the uttermost conceivable bliss; and yet, when the next one is reached, it is seen that it far surpasses the last. Just as the bliss increases, so does the wisdom and the breadth of view. A man fusses about in the physical world and thinks himself so busy and so wise; but when he touches even the astral, he realizes at once that he has been all the time only a caterpillar crawling about and seeing nothing but his own leaf, whereas now he has spread his wings like the butterﬂy and ﬂown away into the sunshine of a wider world.
Desire is therefore a far greater force in the astral life than in the physical, and if the man has not been in the habit of controlling it, and if in this new life it cannot be satisﬁed, it may cause him great and long-continued trouble. Take as an illustration the extreme case of a drunkard or a sensualist. Here we have a lust which has been strong enough during physical life to overpower reason, common sense and all the feelings of decency and of family affection. After death the man ﬁnds himself in the astral world feeling the appetite perhaps a hundred times more strongly, yet absolutely unable to satisfy it because he has lost the physical body.