Number of Lifetimes
A reader, a student of Benjamin Crème, maintains that the average state of evolution of humanity increased 25-fold since the time of Christ. The reason he states for this is that new more advanced souls have come into incarnation.
He points out that since there were only 270 million on earth 2000 years ago and over 6 billion today that more advanced souls had to be brought in.
It is true that when certain spiritual advances come that advanced souls that have not incarnated for long periods will be born. A handful of such souls may already be born, but most of these are awaiting the time when the door to evil will be sealed shut, and such is not yet the case.
To increase the average point of evolution 25X for humanity as a whole would require a large number of such souls indeed. If you study the intelligence of the people of the past compared with the present there is no indication that spiritual evolution has made such an increase.
He further states that the lowest 41% of the people of today are at .1 or ten times advanced than the average at the time of Christ. This has no basis in either fact or reason, even if we consider that some more advanced souls have been born
The fact that there are many more people on earth today doesn’t necessarily indicate that new intelligent monads are coming into incarnation to fill the void. DK himself tells us that the population explosion is causing entities to incarnate more often to fill the gap. He also states that many are incarnating too soon to absorb the lessons of the past because of this circumstance.
Another important point to consider is this. A doubling of the population does not mean that twice as many souls will be needed for incarnation over an extended period.
Why is this?
Because of the great difference in the mortality rate. For a good portion of recent history, the average life span did not even reach the age of thirty. Some estimate it to be as low as 27 in the days of Jesus.
The average life span today is around 75 years. This means that there was almost three times the number of incarnations available for a similar time span 2000 years ago. In other words, the 270 million population in the days of Jesus would provide the birth frequencies as nearly 750 million today.
Even so, it is true that the shear increase in population has shortened the time between incarnations.
From my experience in taking people back into past lives I would guess that the average person (at least in the U.S.) has lived at least 3-4 lifetimes during the past 2000 years.
Crème again gives an illogical unprovable piece of data when he says that average humanity has advanced 25 times the point of the average in the time of Jesus. When one studies the history of the early Greeks and Romans the average people back then sound about as intelligent as they are today, but merely living in different circumstances.
There’s another point to consider and that is there is life in the earth as well as on the surface. This is taught in the scriptures several places. In the book of Revelations we read:
“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” Rev 5:2-3
Here we are told that there are men “under the earth.”
The Mormon scriptures say the same thing: “And this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth, and that are under the earth–for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess…” D&C 88:104 Again, the scriptures says there are “people” “under the earth.”
DK gives similar evidence:
“It is His consciousness and His sensitive response to all forms and to all states of being and to all possible impacts and contacts which guarantees the developing consciousness of all the many lives within or upon this Earth of ours.”
Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle Pg 183
Here DK talks of lives “within or upon this Earth.”
If we consider that there is life within the earth then there could be a lot more opportunity for the 60 billion monads to incarnate than was previously realized.
Reader: You also write, “Where would I find the reference from DK on 1000 lives to reach perfection?”
JJ: Dk doesn’t give a specific number though he say that one thousand is “the number of spiritual achievement.” Letters on Occult Meditation, Pg 80. I concluded this number by using the Law of Correspondences and corresponding a lifetime for each of the 1000 petals in the crown center.
Again the number 1000 comes up: In connection with the fourth world, Vyasa notes that it is the world of mastery, therefore the home of the Masters, and all liberated souls whose “food is contemplation” and whose lives are “for a thousand mundane periods,” therefore who have immortality. The Light of the Soul, Pg 300
The “thousand mundane periods” could represent 1000 lifetimes.
DK says repeatedly that there are many incarnations through which we must pass to achieve liberation. And even after we have gone so far as to achieve the first initiation we have a long ways to go to arrive at he second. He states:
“I would remind you here that many, many lives can elapse between the first initiation and the second-long, long interludes of silent and almost unapparent growth.” Discipleship In the New Age Vol 1, Pg 94-5
Then in other places he talks of the 777 incarnations of the human entity but then goes on to tell us the number is not exact.
Finally, he gives us a definite statement that the final number of incarnations is long indeed. He states:
“The initial vibration is slow and heavy, and millenia of lives have to elapse before the interchange of energy between the Ego and its reflection, the personal self (the lower threefold man) is such that the consciousness of the man occultly ‘awakens’ in the Hall of Learning. For advanced man at this time these incarnations took place upon the moon chain and in some cases upon certain planets connected with the inner round.” Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Pg 825
Here we are told that it takes “millenia of lives” to achieve the Hall of Learning.
He further tells us that the number of lives we spend on a certain cycle will vary with the effort of the individual.
My conclusion is that each petal in the head does indeed represent a life and that such a life is a symbol of a step forward. Each of these 1000 steps may take several short lifetimes or perhaps a very successful one may cause us to take several steps.
One fact is certain. With the long journey we have ahead of us the average person is not going to leap ahead by a factor of 25X in a couple lifetimes.
When someone gives us an esoteric piece of data and the facts do not add up we must consider that it may be incorrect and use the highest we know in connection with the soul to formulate the truth. The mark of the beast must yield to the God within.
The reader quotes DK indicating that advanced humanity of today did not incarnate in earlier ages. By this he supposes that advanced humanity waited until this time to incarnate. This is possible for some souls, but he is misinterpreting DK here.
He tells us that the advanced souls of today did indeed refuse to incarnate for a period, but it was not recent history that they skipped but the primitive Lemurian days. And it was not only recently that they decided to incarnate, but began during earth life in Atlantean times many thousands of years before Christ.
“a large number of the present more advanced human beings came into incarnation in the middle of the Atlantean root-race.” Initiation, Human and Solar Pg 45
“As stated in various occult books, many of the present advanced humanity individualised on the moon chain, and only took physical bodies in the earth chain during the fourth root-race, thus escaping incarnation during the first three rounds, and the first two races of the fourth round.” Treatise on Cosmic Fire Pg 364-5
Then he makes this interesting statement:
“The bulk of human beings are still Atlantean, still purely emotional in their reactions and in their approach to life. They are still governed predominantly by selfish desires and by the calls of the instinctual life. Our earth humanity is still in the Atlantean stage, whereas the intelligentsia of the world, and the disciples and aspirants, are passing rapidly out of this stage, for they reached individualisation on the moon chain, and were the Atlanteans of past history.” Esoteric Psychology Vol 2 Pg 25-6
Now according to Crème humanity before 2000 BC was at an average point of evolution of .002. If this were correct then the Atlantean consciousness would have been even lower since it stretches back in history hundreds of thousands of years.
Let us be generous with their spiritual evolution and use the more recent figure used by Crème of 2000 BC as their point and figure from there.
Now DK says in the above quote that “The bulk of human beings are still Atlantean… Our earth humanity is still in the Atlantean stage…”
The use of the word “bulk” would indicate more than half. A clue as to how much more than half is given his next statement: “the disciples and aspirants, are passing rapidly out of this (Atlantean) stage.”
Here we learn that even some advanced students have not left behind the Atlantean consciousness, but are in the process of going beyond it. But what percentage of humanity are disciples and aspirants? Very few, less than 1%.
This means that about 99% of the world today is at the Atlantean stage of evolution or at least they were in 1942 when DK made the statement.
The question then arises. How could average humanity be 125 times as advanced as the average of the population of 4000 years ago when 99% are still Atlantean in consciousness? The idea that we are progressing so rapidly is fanciful and does not harmonize with any of the ancient wisdom.
Reader: According to Benjamin Crème, the average number of lives between these initiations is around 7 or 8 or 9 lives – but can take up to 12 or 15 or even more lifetimes.
JJ This does not harmonize with the statement of DK: “I would remind you here that many, many lives can elapse between the first initiation and the second-long, long interludes of silent and almost unapparent growth.” Discipleship In the New Age Vol 1, Pg 94-5
7-9 life times is a far cry from “many, many.”
You seem to dispute the fact that it takes a thousand or more lives to achieve liberation. I was under the impression that you thought the number was less than a thousand. I was surprised to see you say that it takes hundreds of thousands of lifetimes.
DK does indicate it could be more than 1000. He says “The initial vibration is slow and heavy, and millenia of lives have to elapse before the interchange of energy between the Ego and its reflection, the personal self (the lower threefold man) is such that the consciousness of the man occultly ‘awakens’ in the Hall of Learning. For advanced man at this time these incarnations took place upon the moon chain and in some cases upon certain planets connected with the inner round.” Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Pg 825
To achieve soul contact takes “millennia of lives.” This means over 1000 lifetimes though when he speaks of numbers over 1000 he could be including lives we lived before this particular solar system or universe.
He also states: “What the Personality spends many thousands of lives in establishing is not going to be lightly altered when the Ego-working in the lower consciousness-seeks to effect a change.” Letters on Occult Meditation, Pg 82
Here he talks of “many thousands of lives.”
If it takes over a thousand lives to achieve liberation then it is impractical indeed that there could be enough lifetimes to speed the evolution of the average person 125 times in evolution since 2000 BC and 25 times since the time of Christ.
If liberation takes a hundred thousand lives, as you suggest, then average humanity would have to live through thousands of them over millions of years to move ahead as Crème suggests.
There is no indication in esoteric writings that a great influx of advanced souls are just coming in now to the extent that evolution is so speeded up. This also does not explain Crème’s statement that that average humanity increased in evolution five fold from 2000 BC to 1AD. There were not enough incarnations available to support such an increase, especially when you consider that the average person was lucky to get in one of his 1000+ lifetimes during that period.
Reader: There is a difference between intelligence and spiritual evolution.
JJ: I don’t think so. This may seem true if you gauge intelligence by the standard of brain activity, but intelligence goes far beyond this. There is emotional intelligence, intelligence of the higher mind, and spiritual intelligence.
A Master of Wisdom is called such because of intelligence. He is intelligent enough to Master wisdom.
“The glory of God is intelligence.”
Reader: Where does DK tell us that the population explosion is causing entities to incarnate more often to fill the gap?
JJ: DK writes: “For ages men have misused and wrongly employed a God-given function (procreation); they have prostituted their birthright, and through their laxity and license, and through their lack of control, they have inaugurated an era of disease, both mental and physical, of wrong attitudes and illusory relations which it will take several centuries to eradicate; they have also brought too rapidly into incarnation myriads of human beings who were not yet ready for the experience of this incarnation, and who needed longer interludes between births wherein to assimilate experience. Those souls who are unevolved come into incarnation with rapidity; but older souls need longer periods wherein to garner the fruits of experience. They are however open to the magnetic attractive power of those who are alive on the physical plane, and it is these souls who can be brought prematurely into incarnation. The process is under law, but the unevolved progress under group law as do the animals, whilst the more evolved are susceptible to the pull of human units, and the evolved come into incarnation under the Law of Service, and through the deliberate choice of their conscious souls.” Esoteric Psychology Vol 1 Pg 272
Here we are clearly told that that the high and low are both pulled prematurely into incarnation “who were not yet ready for the experience of this incarnation.” He says nothing about new souls coming in to fill the demand created with population increase.
He says they “needed longer interludes between births wherein to assimilate.” He is obviously talking about entities who have been incarnating all along and not a fresh round of souls.
As far as lives under the earth goes – DK says there are “many” different types there, but does not give enough details to settle any arguments.
You obviously have a sharp physical brain here which makes it surprising that you cannot see the flaw in Crème’s figures. If you examined his data with the same jaundice eye that you examine mine your belief system would be turned upside down.
I think that if Crème and I changed positions that you would accept anything I would put out without question.
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” Stephen Hawking
June 12, 2004
Copyright by J J Dewey
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