THE DEVACHANIC WORLD
Leipzig, 1 July, 1906
Today I should give you
a description of Devachan, that is to say, of man's experiences in that
world, between death and a new birth. We should not think of this world
is situated somewhere else. It always surrounds us. But an ordinary
human being does not possess the organs which enable him to perceive
the facts pertaining to this world. We should moreover, bear in mind
that our language, our words, are only coined for the physical world.
The higher worlds can therefore only be described by comparisons.
An object in the physical
world is found in Devachan as a vacuum corresponding to the space occupied
by the object in the physical world, and a void, a nothing in the physical
world is found in Devachan as something resplendent, radiant and resounding.
We may compare this with the photographic negative. The physical object
would exactly fit into the vacuum. It is however strange that this only
applies to objects of Nature, whereas artificial forms made by man appear
in Devachan as a positive. Everything consisted of firm, mineral substances,
including the mineral parts of plants, animals and men, is a negative,
a vacuum, existing in the first region of Devachan. This constitutes,
as it were, the firm foundation of Devachan: the continent of Devachan.
Negative images of physical-mineral objects therefore form the continental
regions of Devachan.
In Devachan, all that constitutes
life here on earth, all that enables plants and animals to grow, may
be compared with the ocean. This is the second region of Devachan. There
we find flowing, streaming life. And this streaming life, these oceans
of Devachan, have a great regularity. One might compare them with the
blood-circulation in the human body.
The third region consists
of air, it is the atmosphere in Devachan. It contains everything which
is known on Earth as feeling and sensation. There, the currents of pain
may be felt like the winds which blow on the Earth. Every calamity that
takes place in the physical plane can be heard in this region. For example,
through clairvoyance he was able to have perceptions in Devachan, a battle
appears as a terrific tempest, unchaining itself in lightning, thunder
In the fourth region we
find all the fruitful and valuable ideas ever thought out by man. Even
as the starry sky surrounds us here on Earth, so in this fourth reason
we find a wonderful starry writing. It can be read as these so-called
All the thoughts connected with human deeds are everlastingly
engraved there and may be read. But we come across a still larger writing
in Devachan. At the foundation of each animal, each plant, each crystal,
there is a thought, an idea. All this is engraved in Devachan.
In the fifth region man
discovers his true being. “Tat twam asi — this is thou”,
the great central truth of the Vedanta philosophy resounds in this region.
In the continental region
man gradually overcomes the feeling of importance which he attributes
to his own body. He learns to compare his physical existence in a selfless
way with every other form of physical existence. With every incarnation
he becomes a degree less selfish. The first region of Devachan is the
great school leading to this degree of perfection.
Whenever man passes through
the second region, the oceanic region of Devachan, he experiences the
unity of all life. Little by little, with the development of a theosophical
mentality, this truth of the one life contained in everything, will
gradually enter human life. When we incarnate again, we still have a
pale reminiscence of this streaming life which pervades everything.
In the third sphere, the
atmosphere of Devachan, the initiate and the human being living between
death and a new birth perceive every pain and pleasure in the form of
wonderful atmospheric phenomena, in the sound of thunderstorms, lightning
and tempests. We are then outside the soul-emotions and can therefore
look upon them objectively, recognize their full significance. We come
back to a new earthly life enriched by this observation, this experience
gained in Devachan.
When we reach a certain
stage in our inner development, we shall be able to recall our past
earthly lives. This is only a question of development. Everyone will
finally reach this stage. The frequent repetition of Devachanic experiences
will impress these pictures so deeply upon us, that our ordinary memory