It will soon be: 1500 years since the decision of the Council of 543 A.D.* condemned to oblivion sublime teachings which ought to have been carefully preserved and handed down to future generations as a beacon amid social reefs; teachings that would have uprooted that frightful egoism which threatens to annihilate the world, and instilled patience into the hearts of such as were being crushed beneath the wheel of the cosmic law, by showing them the scales of Justice inclining to the side filled with their iniquities of bygone times; teachings which would have been welcomed by the masses, and the understanding of which would not have called for any lofty intellectual culture. It was one of the greatest misfortunes that could have befallen the races of the West, more especially the European, that they were thus deprived for centuries of this indispensable knowledge.
We look upon it as a duty, following on so many others, to offer it anew, this time in the clear, logical, illuminating form presented in theosophic teachings. The necessity thereof is all the more imperative when we consider the growth of skepticism and materialism amongst the more intellectual classes, whilst the mass of the people have forsaken their blind faith only to succumb to religious indifference.
To every awakened soul the question comes: Why does evil exist? So long as the enigma remains unsolved, Suffering remains a threatening sphinx, opposing God and ready to devour mankind. The key to the secret lies in Evolution, which can be accomplished only by means of the continual return of souls to earth. When once man learns that suffering is the necessary result of divine manifestation; that inequalities of conditions are due to the different stages which beings have reached and the changeable action of their will; that the painful phase lasts only a moment in Eternity, and that we have it in our power to hasten its disappearance; that though slaves of the past, we are masters of the future; that, finally, the same glorious goal awaits all beings—then, despair will be at an end; hatred, envy, and rebellion will have fled away, and peace will reign over a humanity made wise by knowledge.
Were this modest work to hasten forward this time by a few years, we should feel sufficiently rewarded.
The subject will be divided into four chapters:
(1) The Soul and the bodies.
(2) Reincarnation and the moral law.
(3) Reincarnation and science.
(4) Reincarnation and the religious and philosophical consensus of the ages.
*FOOTNOTES: This Council came to the following decision: Whosoever shall teach the preexistence of the soul and the strange opinion of its returns to earth, let him be anathema!
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