Magazine "Lucifer - the Messenger of Light"
This magazine, of the Dutch division of The Theosophical Society (Point Loma - The Hague) appears bi-monthly. It demonstrates how the theosophical teachings are to be applied in human life. Lucifer differentiates itself from other opinion-magazines through the consistent searching into the causes of the problems. The criterion for this is the extensive knowledge of the Universal Esoteric Philosophy as this is taught in Theosophy. This 'different' approach to individual and social problems gives a refreshing outlook and offers new possibilities of solving these problems effectively.
The 'technical' teachings of Theosophy are never objectives in themselves. In Lucifer the ethical consequences are always drawn from them by applying these teachings to the actual problems with which mankind is struggling. In this light it is nearly superfluous to say that great value is put on the letters to the editor.
Science, philosophy and religion, and especially the interconnection between these three in human thinking are widely dealt with. It is made clear that universal compassion is the basic pattern of Nature. The articles in Lucifer appeal particularly to the individual thinking faculty of the readers. But above all it is demonstrated that Theosophy offers Man a solid foundation for a philosophy of life with a perspective. Lucifer is a publication of the I.S.I.S. Foundation and is available in the form of single copies or an annual subscription.
First digital English edition of magazine Lucifer, the messenger of Light
We would like to present to you our first digital edition of the magazine Lucifer, the messenger of Light in English.
In 1979 some members of the Dutch section of The Theosophical Society Point Loma Blavatskyhouse took the initiative to start a theosophical magazine. We did not want to write about ‘technical’ Theosophy. Primarily, we wanted to show the practical value of Theosophy.
The Dutch Lucifer has been in print for thirty-four years now. We have published articles about almost every aspect of society. The range of subjects varies from social problems, to drugs and medicine, to scientific issues like climate change and evolution. Sometimes we have also tried to explain less understood aspects of Theosophy.
Lucifer in English
In the last few years a better communication and understanding has arisen between all kinds of theosophists and theosophical organizations in different countries. We were happy to be able to participate in international congresses. Often we were asked about our vision on many issues and about our working methods. We had already published articles in our Dutch Lucifer about many of those ideas.
So it was natural for us to start to make an English written Lucifer, in a language that is not only understood in English speaking countries, but all over the world.
So here we present our first digital edition of Lucifer, the messenger of Light in English. It contains articles about Râja and Hatha Yoga, Emanation, Addiction and attachments, the Bodhisattva vow, Organ donation and — to get to know us better — we have also published an article about the Point Loma tradition in this issue.
We present the digital version of Lucifer for free. We will publish this magazine a couple of times per year. Are you interested to receive following editions of Lucifer, please subscribe for free by sending an e-mail to lucifer.red[at]isis-foundation.org*.
*) Replace [at] with @.
On behalf of the editors and all co-workers we hope you will enjoy reading Lucifer.
On the 22nd October the Dutch Government launched a new campaign to encourage all Dutch people to register themselves as organ donor. The project however suffered a bad start as a recent high profile case in Denmark made organ donation subject of a controversial discussion in that country.
What are the facts:
A young 19-year-old woman fell into a deep coma after a car accident. A doctor asked the parents’ permission to remove the organs. According to him there was not the slightest hope of a ‘small wonder’. If she would wake up, the woman certainly would stay in a vegetative state for the rest of her life, he argued.
But what happened? When they disconnected her from the respiratory ventilation machine the young woman didn’t die: 24 hours later she woke up. Since that moment a year has passed, and she is now able to walk, talk and even ride a horse. She does have problems with her short term memory, which problems however may not have occurred if the doctors would have treated her longer.
This remarkable story was filmed and broadcasted by Danish public television. It evoked a tremendous lot of reactions in Denmark. People who had registered themselves as donor, signed out. The Minister for Healthcare announced plans to strengthen the rules: the procedure to take away the organs may only begin once brain death is diagnosed. Physicians of course protested against such change, because in their opinion they would lose precious time.
In the Netherlands, the government urges people to register as a donor. They don’t hesitate to use popular commercials to convince people to join the Organ Donor Register. These commercials usually are an emotional appeal to people trying to make them believe that they are selfish if they don’t want to donate their organs after their death.
Though not easy to find, there are different opinions available. A recent article in the leading Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, with the meaningful title: “Man is not a box from which you may pick what you need”, mentions some good arguments against organ donation. [De Volkskrant, October 22, 2012]
Similar to those based on the principles of the Theosophia, which we have used for decades in our communications about the subject.
The case in Denmark is not unique. One may wonder how many men and women would still be alive, if doctors had not taken out their organs prematurely. Of course there is the protocol in which it is described that organs may only be taken out when somebody is brain dead. But brain death is a rather vague term and difficult to apply for diagnosis. Before the first organ transplantations took place, the word didn’t even exist. It was invented by physicians from Harvard University to make organ transplantations acceptable for the public. It would have been unacceptable when the public would think that organs from dying – i.e. still living – humans are transplanted. By introducing the term “Brain Dead” it would seem to the public they are already dead. And if you wait until the heart stops beating, you don’t have enough time to remove the organs.
Brain death is defined as the irreversible cessation of all brain activity. However, there are cases describing the factual story of people who came back to life, although they were diagnosed as brain dead. In fact you can’t say that they ‘came back to life’, because they never died. That brain death is irreversible is therefore not true.
Brain death suggests that the brain died, but apparently that’s not the case. There are people of the medical profession who refer to a brain dead person as a “mechanical ventilated corpse”. There is a case of a pregnant so called brain dead woman of whom the baby in her womb kept growing. The baby eventually was born after a Caesarean-operation. In short, organs are sometimes taken away while the donor is not dead yet. It would be fair when the authorities and the organ donation lobby publishes these facts as well..
Objections against organ donation
The quintessential problem of organ donation is rooted in our view on life and death. If you think that life is the product of matter, you will be inclined to look at your body as a kind of machine that, like an old car on the junkyard, may be used to supply spare parts to other machines. But if you see a body as a living instrument that is used by a human being – call it the soul or the consciousness if you like – it is the living expression of that inner man.
In several articles published in our magazine Lucifer – the Messenger of Light we have provided a large number of arguments against organ donation. These can be summarized as follows:
Objections for the donor
- It is impossible to ascertain by medical means when somebody has died. The diagnosis of brain death does not guarantee that someone is dead.
- During the process of dying the human soul has a panoramic vision – a very clear review of the past life. By removing organs, this panoramic vision may be severely disturbed.
- The deceased enchains himself to a person who receives his organ: a person who might be totally unknown to him. As a consequence, the process of dying may be delayed. Moreover, he creates a karmic bond with someone else, which will inevitably have its consequences in a future life.
Objections for the receiver
- By implanting a new organ the receiver also adopts some of the characteristics of the donor. (Many of such cases are known. It has been established by scientists that an organ has its own memory function. This may result into severe psychological problems.
- The new organ is always rejected. For the rest of his life the receiver of the organ will depend on heavy medication to counteract this rejection. Organ transplantations do not cure: you remain ill. You will experience for instance an increased susceptibility for infections or tumors. And by the way, the operation may also fail. So in the case of a heart or liver transplantation, the patient may die immediately.
- You do not get the chance to work out your disease, which may handicap your future life.
Theosophy does not prescribe any strict rules of conduct. Each person should choose what he thinks is the best in accordance with his own conscience. But we strongly believe that in the case of organ donation the information provided by the government and its institutions is largely incomplete and utterly subjective. Who is able to make the right decision on an issue that is so very important from an ethical perspective as Organ Donation, when not all the information is available?
Universal Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities of Reincarnating Man
The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of the Rights of Men (UDRM) is one of the most important ethical documents of our time. But, on what inspirational sources is the UDRM based? These are not mentioned in the UDRM itself. To fill the gap, a group of members wrote a ‘Universal Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities of the Reincarnating Man’, publicly presented in 2007 at the symposium ‘Reincarnation: mystical and social’. It is an elucidation of the inspiring, universal principles underlying the official UDRM. This text, we wish to stress, is given as first draft, to be improved by sincere research and discussions. Reactions are welcome!
1) REINCARNATION: SOCIAL UNITY
Subtheme. Reincarnation as a communal process
Each man possesses basically boundless capacities. So, people do not differ essentially from each other. The differences between people only exist in how they express their capacities. Each man has the right to express his capacities in his own individual way, and has the responsibility to take care that every other man is able to do the same.
Each man has the right to a stimulating environment. Each man has the responsibility to coach and guide a newborn human being in such a way, that the process of incarnation, of rebecoming itself, proceeds harmoniously.
Each man has the right and the responsibility to live, to develop and to die in a way worthy for a reincarnating ego (the learning part of man). He also has the responsibility to stimulate all other men so that they may live, develop and die in a similar way.
Subtheme. How does knowledge of reincarnation changes your life: mystical, mental and social
As a consequence of unity, man should act towards his fellow men always in the spirit of togetherness and brotherhood.
Considering the fact that our views and thoughts determine to a certain extent the condition of our fellow men, each reincarnating man has the responsibility to make his views continuously more universal and his thoughts more clear. Each man has the right and the responsibility to do this according to his own understanding and conscience.
Subtheme. Living together without discrimination
As mankind is of one and the same essence and differences between men are merely the result of the individual way in which each man expresses his inherent limitless capacities, each man is equal for the laws of the world community and of whichever national state. Therefore too, everyone has the responsibility to look upon his fellow man as equal to himself and to stimulate him to get the best out of himself.
2) BIRTH: HOW YOU BECOME WHO YOU WERE
Subtheme. The social need for mystical education
Education should be primarily aimed at the immortal capacities of man: his mystical insights, free will and conscience. As each man is endowed with free will, he has the right to develop himself according to his best insights, and has the responsibility to stimulate other people to act in the same way.
Subtheme. Spiritual, mental and material wealth/poverty
Everyone’s ideals, thoughts and material means are for common use by the entire humankind. Thus, each man has the right to share in spiritual, mental and social achievements, and has the responsibility to contribute his part to these three domains, in accordance with his degree of development.
3) INNER GROWTH: HOW YOU BECOME WHAT YOU WISH TO BE
Subtheme. Consciously living together, growing in wisdom and dying
Each man has the right and the responsibility to labour for the cause of the entire society to the best of his ability. The spiritual lessons he learnt as a direct consequence he should incorporate self-consciously in his character.
Subtheme. Administration of justice in the light of reincarnation, “What is wisdom?”
Each man who does not act or did not act towards his fellow men in the spirit of brotherhood, gets the chance to do this from now on. As in each man’s character lie constructive and positive elements, Justice should be based, without exception, on enabling our fellow man to develop these nobler aspects in himself.
Source: LUCIFER DE LICHTBRENGER, Vol. 29, issue 4/5 (2007), page 59 • presented at the 2007-symposium “Reincarnation: Mystical ánd Social” in The Hague • translated from Dutch
The end never justifies the means
A peaceful answer to terrorism
After the dreadful events on the 11th of September in the United States of America everyone poses the same questions. Where do we go from here? Will there be a third World War? But against whom? The enemy has become invisible. Should we retaliate these acts of terror? But how? Would that not be the cause for even more violence? These are confusing and fearful times for most of us.
Like every reasonable person we strongly regret and condemn the fact that a small group made so many innocent people pay for their frustrations in such a brutal way. But we don’t want to leave it there. We encourage people and nations to unite in their struggle against the instigators and the causes of these acts of terror. However, this should not happen on the basis of ‘an eye for an eye’. In which case a spiral of violence will develop which will fuel many negative reactions. Still, we do believe we can safeguard ourselves from violence and terror in the future.
The main objective of the I.S.I.S. Foundation (International Study-centre for Independent Search for truth) - a platform for all searchers for truth - is to form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood. Going from this objective, the Foundation tries to develop initiatives to arrive at a more peaceful world. In its efforts, it mainly focuses on the causal side, which means, it tries to accomplish a change in mentality. This pamphlet offers several principal thoughts that might trigger a broad exchange of views. We hope that everyone longing for peace and non-violence will give serious consideration to these thoughts. We would gladly receive your reactions.