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Five Lectures on Reincarnation by Swami Abhedananda
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I. REINCARNATION


The visible phenomena of the universe are bound by the universal law
of cause and effect. The effect is visible or perceptible, while the
cause is invisible or imperceptible. The falling of an apple from a
tree is the effect of a certain invisible force called gravitation.
Although the force cannot be perceived by the senses, its expression
is visible. All perceptible phenomena are but the various expressions
of different forces which act as invisible agents upon the subtle and
imperceptible forms of matter. These invisible agents or forces
together with the imperceptible particles of matter make up the subtle
states of the phenomenal universe. When a subtle force becomes
objectified, it appears as a gross object. Therefore, we can say,
that every gross form is an expression of some subtle force acting
upon the subtle particles of matter. The minute particles of hydrogen
and oxygen when combined by chemical force, appear in the gross form
of water. Water can never be separated from hydrogen and oxygen, which
are its subtle component parts. Its existence depends upon that of its
component parts, or in other words, upon its subtle form. If the
subtle state changes, the gross manifestation will also change. The
peculiarity in the gross form of a plant depends upon the peculiar
nature of its subtle form, the seed. The peculiar nature of the gross
forms in the animal kingdom depends upon the subtle forms which
manifest variously in each of the intermediate stages between the
microscopic unit of living matter and the highest man. The gross human
body is closely related to its subtle body. Not only this, but every
movement or change in the physical form is caused by the activity and
change of the subtle body. If the subtle body be affected or changed a
little, the gross body will also be affected similarly. The material