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The Laws of Higher Life

( Lectures delivered at an Annual Convention of the Indian Section of the Theosophical Society, held at Varanasi [Benares] )


  I, therefore, want to show you how, among many persons trained in the habits of the materialistic thinking and materialistic science of the West; there is now a recognition that there is a consciousness larger than the brain consciousness, a recognition of a consciousness which transcends the body, and which is a matter of wonder and puzzlement, a matter of controversy and widespread dispute, on which men of science are experimenting, which they are trying to understand, which they are trying, as it were, to reduce into some familiar form within the realm of Law. The investigation is leading them by scientific experiments on the physical plane, to the same results which we find in Eastern teachings, results obtained in the East by the practice of Yoga and the consequent development of the Higher Consciousness, that looks from the higher downwards on to the physical plane. Eastern Psychology - starting from the fact of the Higher Self, and seeing that Self working in various upadhis - traces out deductively its workings on the physical plane. Western Psychology - starting on the physical plane, studying the upadhi first and then the consciousness in it - is slowly climbing up step by step, until compelled to transcend ordinary bodily conditions, until, by its own artificial methods, it is producing states of consciousness long familiar in the East, and trying, in a vague and groping fashion, to work out some theory which will make the facts intelligible and coherent. The long road is somewhat strange and unpromising, but is nevertheless coming to a similar goal to that found out long ages since by the spiritual insight of the Seer.