Reprinted by Blavatsky Study Center

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Memory

Theosophy:   

"There are five Skandhas or 'attributes' in the Buddhist teachings: 'Rupa (form or body), material qualities; Vedanna, sensation; Sanna, abstract ideas; Samkhara, tendencies of mind; Vinnana, mental powers. Of these we are formed; by them we are conscious of existence; and through them communicate with the world about us...

"Enq. What do you mean by Skandhas?

"Theo. Just what I said: 'attributes' among which is Memory... Because memory is included within the Skandhas, and the Skandhas having changed with the new existence, a memory, the record of that particular existence, develops. ... the record or reflection of all the past lives must survive... we preserve no memory on the physical plane of our past lives, though the real 'Ego' has lived them over and knows them all." (Key to Theosophy, pp. 129-31)

Neo-Theosophy:

"When functioning in this physical world he remembers by means of his mental body; but since that is a new one, assumed only for this birth, it naturally cannot contain the memory of previous births in which it had no part." (C.W. Leadbeater, A Textbook of Theosophy, p. 44)

"The memory of the cells, or of groups of cells, perishes at death, and cannot be said to be recoverable, as such. Where then is Memory preserved?

"The brief answer is Memory is not a facu1ty, and is not preserved; it does not inhere in consciousness as a capacity, nor is any memory of events stored up in the individual consciousness. Every event is a present fact in the universe-consciousness, in the consciousness of the LOGOS..." (Annie Besant, A study in Consciousness, p. 169)