A consistent corpus of mediumistic messages
The mediumistic messages obtained through the medium Roberto Setti (1930-1984) by a group initially small, and then gradually more and more wide, of researchers and assiduous or occasional sitters (which in the 70s took the name of Cerchio Firenze 77), during over thirty years, constitute a very broad and articulated corpus. Since the 1950s, the communications were recorded on tape and then transcribed, to be distributed privately. Beginning in 1977 they were published in a series of volumes, all published by Edizioni Mediterranee, with the Cerchio itself as author, under the guidance of some of the communicating entities. The first four volumes (in order: Dai mondi invisibili, Oltre l'illusione, Per un mondo migliore, Le grandi verità ricercate dall'uomo - From the Invisible Worlds, Beyond the Illusion, For a Better World and The Great Truths Sought by Man) saw the light while the medium was still alive. Other collections of themed teachings (obviously received when the medium was still alive) were published in the following years by Luciana Setti, the medium's sister, or by the so-called Scuola del Cerchio Firenze 77. Regarding the topics covered in this blog, I refere to what is reported in the first four books.
The reading of these books is particularly interesting and I highly recommend it, also because it allows us to realize not only the extraordinary faculties of Roberto Setti, his human qualities and his absolute disinterest – which could be defined as «spirit of service» – but also the particular atmospheres that came to be created during the séances, beyond the prodigious phenomena that even occurred. Many of the messages of the entities (which the members of the Circle referred to as Masters, considering their communications as teachings) can be read willingly, as they result edifying, stimulating and convincing above all from an ethical point of view, and are sometimes infused with irony and a certain good-natured sarcasm, especially when they target social conventions and hypocrisies, and the resulting cultural conditioning. The philosophical-esoteric messages are more difficult to understand and to digest, even though in general (but not always) they are exposed in a sufficiently clear and well-argued way. Everyone can evaluate on his/her own how much of these communications she/he thinks she/he can share, and above all what utility believes they can have for his/her life and for the evolution of his/her conscious Ego or even the spirit: the Masters never solicit approval (and less than ever a conversion), nor do they aim to convince.
For my part, I will examine the messages of these entities to see what information can be drew from them on the following topics, which are among those to which this blog is devoted: 1) the liberation of the conscious Ego from its identification with the psychic tunings that control it in the course of human life; 2) the relationship that can be established between the Ego and the spirit (whose consciousness is normally separated from that of the Ego) associated with it during life; 3) the survival of the conscious Ego to the death of the body (and its possible fusion with the spirit); 4) the life and evolution of the spirit, and the meaning of human life (with particular regard to the role of the conscious Ego) for the spirit.
The theosophical vision
Since the beginning (Dai mondi invisibili, pages 139 and following), the interpretation of the human being, of his life on Earth and the existence of the spirit in the state of incarnate and disembodied, as presented to us by the entities, is in perfect agreement with the theosophical vision, so as to seem a synthetic exposition of the theories exposed, in a much wider and complete way, by Theosophy. Explaining what the theosophical vision consists of is a demanding task: to have an idea, I invite you to read the article What is Theosophy? (downloadable from the Library) written in 1879 by Helena P. Blavatsky, who can be included among the founders of the modern theosophical movement. Within this system of esoteric knowledge, the human individual – considered as an embodied spirit – is made up of four bodies: the physical body and its etheric double, the astral body, the mental body and the akashic or causal body. Each of these bodies is active in its own dimension, called plane, so we will have the physical plane, the astral plane, the mental plane and the akashic plane. The description of each of these planes, and the functioning of the corresponding body both during the life of the physical body (and of the brain), and once the brain has ceased to function, are the subject of a particularly accurate and complex – and for various aspects fascinating – statement in the context of the theosophical system, but here I will limit myself to exposing the simplified version given by the entities of the Cerchio Firenze 77.
The planes and the bodies
The emanated spirit, or divine spark, in its individualized aspect is generically called, by the entities, individual. «The akashic plane is... immediately following the mental plane and immediately preceding the spiritual one... every being here feels that it belongs to the Whole, and that it is one with all the rest of Emanation, and at the same time, to be itself as never before. From this plane, boundless love and limitless understanding flows into the other planes of existence. This, then, is the plane of the Universal Brotherhood, of Love, the plane where everyone will live consciously one day... The akashic body of the individual is the body formed precisely by the matter of this plane, that body which holds inside itself all the experiences it had in the various incarnations; that body that is formed as the individual evolves». When the individual must incarnate, he progressively encases itself in a mental body, an astral body and a physical body. Each of these bodies functions, as has been said, in the corresponding plane.
«The mental plane, in its immense subtlety of matter, has seven subdivisions established with respect to its different density. A particularity that is noted in this plan is the great elasticity of the forms that are immensely more malleable than those of the astral plane. The picture that is shown to those who acquire a conscious vision of this plan is wonderful, sublime! Extraordinary shapes and colors, from the most subtle nuances to the brightest contrasts... the mental body of an individual, is that body which translates the impulses of the individual consciousness into images or glows, according to the nature of these impulses, and these images or glows are defined by you thoughts which, received by the physical brain, are translated into words... the physical body is that vehicle capable of communicating with the others by means of acts or words. But just as the physical body is not the individual itself, so too is the mental. The individual is the thinker, the one who thinks, and who should not be confused with the mental vehicle».
For the mental plane as well as the astral plane, a problem arises which we immediately underline, and which we will examine in a little while, about which the entities thus express themselves: «The existence of the individual on these planes cannot be understood as traveling of the individual from one plane to another; instead, it means having in each plane a body in formation or in activity... If anything, one must distinguish between unconscious existence and conscious existence. The first is that existence that for little evolution, and therefore poor vehicle capacity, does not give the vision of what surrounds the various bodies; the second, on the other hand, gives the vision and perception of what happens in the various planes in which these vehicles are... Individual existence takes place on different levels: consciously in the physical plane and unconsciously in the astral plane at the level of feeling, emotion, desire; in the mental plane on an instinctive, intellectual and supernormal level, to finally reach the level of full individual consciousness».
As for the astral plane: «The grossest matter which does not belong to the physical plane, is on a world which we define as astral... The astral world is very similar to the physical one, also because many astral vehicles resemble exactly the physical ones. Here there is no opaque matter, but each object has a special brightness and color... What about the inhabitants of the astral plane? There are plenty of them. From the elementary spirits and builders of nature, from the vehicles of embodied or disembodied individuals, there are of all species: sociable and grumpy, timid and fierce, kind and unkind, a lot of them. An individual who lives consciously in the astral plane, sees all this and has before him a vast and wonderful world... The astral vehicle of an individual is that body that transforms what comes from the physical world, or from the astral plane, into sensations transmitted to the mind that collects and catalogs them... The particular nature of the astral body... causes the individual to consider more intense and more pleasing certain sensations than others and, of course, to desire them; in other words, the human soul, according to the evolution of the individual, directs the activity of its lower vehicles towards certain fields that provide it with the necessary experiences in order to evolve».
The physical plane and the physical body are those that we know well during human life. By incarnation is meant: «...that process which links the life of the individual with any form of life on the physical plane... Individual, therefore, is also the one who, for little development or little evolution, still does not incarnate as a man, but is connected to the manifestation of some form of the three natural kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal). Microcosm is, par excellence, the individual who has reached the stage of human evolution; the man, in a nutshell». At this point, since our point of view is linked to the human condition, even before facing the problem of consciousness we ask ourselves how this whole mechanism of planes and bodies works, and for what purpose it was developed. The explanation given by the entities is not entirely clear, anyway – integrating it with some knowledge from Theosophy – we are able to present an interpretative scheme of the process.
The spirit, emanated as a divine spark, is not conscious: «Evolution, for the individual, means development of the individual consciousness and is of a personal and interior nature, therefore extremely difficult to understand... The Divine Spark, detaching itself from eternal fire to come to animate a physical form, passes through all the planes of existence, covering itself with each material». In the physical world, first sensation and desire are developed, forming and transforming the matter of the astral plane: «Desire and sensation are well developed in animals, and mental matter begins to vibrate in them, for they seek the way to satisfy desire and feeling». But then, through evolution, the mind prevails: «During human life, the mind detaches itself from desire and, instead of complying with it, subjugates it. Thus begins the vibrating of the true Self, the Spirit, which, at the apogee of the evolutionary scale, will unite with the mind or human soul divinizing man. Thus the evolution of creation takes place». This process is akin to what I have indicated as the path of liberation of the conscious Ego from the psyche that controls it, and with which it tends to identify itself.
Why things must go this way, we are not allowed to know: on the other hand we always come, in our attempt to understand these processes, to a point where we must recognize that things are like this just because they are so, and that's it. The same can be said about human life. If someone wants to attribute this to the divine laws, he is free to do so, and rightly! It must be kept in mind that each of the planes referred to in the theosophical system is present at the same time with the others, being separated only by something similar to what is frequency for the electromagnetic waves that crowd the dimension we call ether. And just as on our planet an evolutionary process occurred that transformed a magmatic world first into a world of water and rocks, then into a world with increasingly complex life forms, even in the astral plane and in the mental plane something similar could have occurred. In fact, in the beginning there were neither sensations nor desires, and less than ever mental processes. It could be said that, taken together, the astral plane and the mental plane constitute what I have called the psychic world.
The cycle of incarnation: physical and astral plane
Before a new incarnation, the spirit (or what the entities call the individual) is in the akashic plane (or plane of pure consciousness), in a state of bliss if its akashic body is already sufficiently evolved, otherwise in a state of torpor in which it sees all its already experienced existences. In any case «...at the time of the new reincarnation... there is a time for preparation, a period in which (the individual), so to speak, dies to this awareness, because when it envelops in a new mental matter... it's like being asleep. With each new incarnation, a new mental body, a new astral body, a new physical body are formed. The akashic is what always remains. And these new bodies that are formed have in them prerogatives, particularities that are inherited from previous incarnations... While the new physical body is in formation, we already know that that body which is going to come alive in the physical plane is destined to that entity, and only to that one...».
Once the new human being is born, the only active body is the physical one. Later «the vehicle that first responds to the impulses of the physical body is the astral body: that is, the child has immediately sensations, albeit with regard only to his/her vegetative life, cold, heat, hunger, etc. Then the child grows and begins to have desires, that is, he/she has found complete contact with his/her astral body. Subsequently there is contact with the mental body, and the child begins to have very distinct thoughts and the first reasonings...». An indication is also given about the times: «In general, we can say that at the age of seven there is already a complete contact with the astral body, and its development is well advanced, at fourteen years with the mental body, at twentyone with the akashic body or consciousness. The development is always posterior to contact... the ages of the contacts can vary from individual to individual: it is certain that a person has reached his/her complete development when he/she comes into direct contact with his/her consciousness, with the akashic body which – overshadowed by the new mental body in every incarnation – cannot communicate the direct memory of the past lives, but communicates to the unconscious of the new being the gist of past experiences, so that in every incarnation the individual expands its consciousness and never returns back in its evolution».
Here it is not clear the use that is made of the term consciousness, which certainly does not indicate awareness, since humans are conscious and self-conscious already in their childhood. The reference to the akashic body seems to want to connect consciousness to an influence by the spirit that, as said immediately afterwards, communicates to the unconscious. Since no mention is made of the brain and its functioning, it is not clear in what sense the term unconscious is here used. The process of development of the astral and mental bodies also is not better explained: we know the development of the physical body, which at first grows in force and efficiency, then – once it reaches maturity – begins to decline, until its rapid decay at a very old age. But how the astral and mental bodies are developed can only be guessed, unless we are gifted with non-ordinary resources.
Anyway, human life, as a life through the physical body, ends with the passing: «The Entity, after the passing of its physical body, rests close to it for some time and is greatly disturbed by the scenes of tears from the bystanders: often, in this first contact with a different plane of existence, the individual is helped by its loved ones who passed away before, who try to detach it from the sight of its physical body. If the transition was violent, the individual does not immediately realize its change of state: then a sort of sleep with dreams occurs, during which the deceased enters into a summary vision of its past life». Consciousness is transferred from the physical to the astral body, and what is perceived is no longer the physical world, but the astral plane: «Before its eyes opens a world not very different from the physical one, but which has a different imprint: the essence of the astral plane has the particularity of modeling itself under the impulse of each one's emotions, sensations and desires. So everyone builds its own seemingly solid, colorful world, with scents, temperatures, sounds». Obviously the individual finds himself in a condition similar to that of a very intense conscious dream, in which subjective reality conforms to the emotions that must be experienced and to the desires that must be satisfied.
«In the astral plane we find ambitions of all social categories: creatures who were priests of some religion, not moved by vocation, but by ambition, here, in the astral plane, can create churches and monasteries of which they imagine to be the regents; politicians who figure to be heads of government, vain individuals that create a court of people admiring their beauties and so on». This subjective phase lasts for a longer or shorter period: even if the perception of time in the astral plane is different from that in the physical plane, the stage of desire satisfaction can last for years or even decades. Then comes a phase that could be defined as objective astral reality: «Until the entity frees itself from its desires, fantasies and unfulfilled aspirations, it remains in the astral plane. Finally, when the entity has elaborated all its dreams and afterthoughts of physical life, it no longer has the desire to lose itself in the fantasies that so well translate into forms, seeming like a real world, and awakens to a new awareness. His astral body has freed itself from the densest matter and begins to space a wider horizon: it comes into contact with the life of the astral plane».
Following is a description of the entities that inhabit the astral plane: «The individual can thus see, in addition to the temporary inhabitants of that plane who are transitional entities like himself, the permanent inhabitants who are the so-called elementary spirits which have their own form, a form that derives from the function they perform. They are intelligent personified forces, instruments of the divine laws, capable of constituting the astral body and the physical body of individuals in a manner appropriate to the development that these must achieve. Meet the astral helpers, who are entities whose mission is to help individuals detach and abandon the astral plane...». Eventually, even the astral plane is abandoned: «In this region of the astral plane, the individual remains as long as necessary for the decay of all the shells of its astral body: once completely left away its astral body, an event similar to the death of the physical body, the individual is on the threshold of the following plane, the mental plane, which was not perceived before. In fact, those who have their awareness in the astral plane can follow what happens in the physical world, that is, in the immediately denser plane, but have no perception of the other more subtle planes, just as, when living in the physical plane, we have no idea of the other planes of existence».
Should someone want to get a more complete idea of how Theosophy describes the astral plane and the entities that, permanently or temporarily, dwell there, I invite them to read The Astral Body, a synthesis of all the references to the astral plane contained in the texts written by the main exponents of Theosophy, edited in 1926 by Arthur E. Powell (1882-1969). The book can be downloaded from the Library, and – as always happens – the original offers much more than the synthesis made by the Cerchio Firenze 77 entities.
The mental and akashic planes
When the astral body is abandoned, the consciousness is transferred to the mental body and, through this, the individual begins to live in the mental plane: «Once the astral vehicle is abandoned and by this the unsatisfied desires are slumbered, the mental faculties of the individual are more ready and clearer, and thus it can reflect on its last incarnation more clearly. This is the moment in which it finds an explanation for so many questions about the events of its earthly life: questions that the individual had posed both during the passing of events on the physical plane, and after its passing... Scholars have their paradise in the mental plane. Here the individual can learn and satisfy its thirst to know more than it could make while embodied; in substance, it completes the notions that it had in the last incarnation: every effort is transformed in ability, every aspiration in power».
No other indications are offered about the life on the mental plane and what can be found there, apart from the fact that scholars can continue to be interested in those problems that had involved them during human life, ending with an unclear statement: «Of all that the individual learns in the mental plane, the fruits of the reflections about the meaning of life remain, as well as the ease of learning in a forthcoming incarnation what the individual has elaborated in the mental plane, but it will not ever occur that a man can evolve spiritually and start something new in the mental plane, or in any case after the transition, because – if so it were – life on the physical plane would no longer have any meaning». That life on the physical plane exists is a fact, but what is the reason why, from existence planes much more in keeping with the nature of the individual (such as the astral or mental plane) we must return to the physical world, is not explained. As we will see, Entity A considers incarnation as an opportunity, not an obligation. Again, those wishing to learn more about the mental plane can read Arthur E. Powell's The Mental Body, published in 1927.
In the end, even the mental plane is abandoned and the individual returns to the akashic plane: «Once all the material accumulated in the last incarnation has been processed, the individual leaves its mental body, and the faculties achieved (together with the experiences) pass, like germs, in the akashic body, in the individual consciousness free from every veil of oblivion. The only one that does not change, in the sense that it is not abandoned, is precisely the akashic body. There are then two cases: if the individual has not evolved, once it has abandoned the mental body, it enters a sort of numbness and is busy revising all its past lives; this torpor is called the Ego's rest. If, on the other hand, it is sufficiently evolved, that is, if its individual consciousness is sufficiently organized, it has a vision of the akashic plane which gives the Ego, rather than rest, bliss».
The result of the whole process, which in the context of this cycle of rebirths is destined to repeat, consists in an expansion of consciousness, even if the meaning of this term, in the use that the entities make of it, is somewhat different from that of awareness and recording of psychic experiences. «The individual consciousness is therefore the product of all the experiences it had in the various incarnations, not conditionally to the memory of them: it is a part of the individual itself. Every experience is a fragment of truth found by the individual, that determines growth, development in the akashic plane. In this plane there is no longer the sense of separativeness created by the mind, and the individual realizes that it is a whole with the rest of the emanated, that the life of man is not the testing of the soul, but creation in act».
Consciousness and knowledge
We must now face a problem: what credit can we give, based on the cognitive faculties of our intelligence, to these statements about the planes of existence, the other bodies associated with our physical body and the survival of the conscious Ego to the dissolution of the physical body and the brain? Certainly we cannot accept this information as revealed truth, only because it comes from entities that prove capable of performing some miracles: in fact, as we shall see, the same theosophical system leads us not to uncritically believe the revelations coming from entities usually dwelling in the astral plane (the entities of the higher planes do not waste time with mediumistic communications). We must also recognize that the system proposed by Theosophy, even with all its limitations and almost always in an obscure and wanting way, strives to offer an explanation of all paranormal and mediumistic phenomena. So it deserves a little attention, at least by those who are interested in this kind of things.
To return to our human faculties of knowledge, we put the conscious Ego at the center of our attention not so much to enhance the Ego's value, but because any psychic experiences (including thoughts, feelings, sensations and emotions) become existing for us and real, only if we become aware of them. However, it must be remembered that we have separated the conscious Ego from the psychic experiences that involve and ensnare it, prevailing over its control capabilities, precisely to avoid the identification between the subject to which consciousness transmits the psychic elements with which comes into contact, and the psyche itself, which is usually endowed with a great power of subjection of the Ego. In any case, as was well explained in the section on non-ordinary states of consciousness, the possibility of experiencing particular psychic tunings which consciousness usually does not access – at least in the course of a normal human life – depends on the mind, that is, physically, on brain functioning. But precisely because of this, the subjectivity of non-ordinary states of consciousness is inescapable.
Therefore, in assessing the statements and information concerning the condition of the conscious Ego in the beyond, regardless of whether they come to us from theosophical teachings or through communications of mediumistic entities, we must first recognize that they are not part of the normal psychic experiences of the conscious Ego during this life. In fact, my memories do not extend to my previous lives, nor am I aware of having an astral or a mental body with their organs. Adepts in occult or esoteric disciplines can rightly say that some training practices (called paths) lead to an expansion of consciousness, which translates into the ability to access psychic experiences that would otherwise be closed to the Ego. This is certainly true, but the problem is whether it is possible (and correct) to transform these subjective psychic experiences into a system presented as objective and real.
This is a question that anyone interested in knowledge should neither neglect nor underestimate: the normal weakness of the conscious Ego towards psychic instances, and the almost epidemic rapidity with which certain psychic tunings without any objective foundation spread, until they become shared by masses of people, is demonstrated by the power of conviction of the religious systems, which always have subjective psychic experiences as their initial core. The fact is that the conscious Ego must in any case draw on the psyche, because seeking answers to the questions it asks is part of its nature: this is its innate thirst for knowledge. But the critical evaluation of what the psyche proposes must be performed with the help of the intellectual and cognitive resources which the Ego can rely on, in any case avoiding being ensnared and subjugated by psychic tunings.
As far as I am concerned, I adopt this method: whenever esoteric or mediumistic statements about the spirit, the psyche and life in the afterlife are in contrast with a verified and validated human scientific knowledge, I consider them psychic inventions (that is, fantasies) without foundation, regardless of the source from which they originate. Therefore if someone says, for example, that the spirit guides of humanity have come to Earth from the planet Venus, not only do I consider this information to be false, but my interest in the context in which such statement is included also diminishes. It should not be forgotten that many esoteric hypotheses of the second half of the nineteenth century or of the early twentieth century relied on future advances in scientific knowledge that would have provided their confirmation. But the very progress of science has produced different results from those expected. Furthermore, the questions related to the brain functioning as the foundation of mental activity, even in relation to non-ordinary states of consciousness, are never deepened.
Instead, the statements and communications that are not contradicted by science, and that do not consist in useless and abstruse rants (as often happens with mediumistic messages) can be taken as a starting point for reflection and intellectual elaboration, to see if they lead to thought constructions (even imaginary) that are consistent and acceptable to the conscious Ego. It is still, after all, an exploration of the psyche in search of those elements (or those paths) that allow access to dimensions other than the physical, and to alternative psychic tunings. However, we must be ready to recognize and accept the subjective character of such experiences, without this mean making them less real for the conscious Ego, since the subjective reality can have all the necessary perceptive and emotional requisites, so that the experimenting subject may feel it as such. But we will never be able to validate the reality of the experience described by a subject other than our conscious Ego, if we too do not directly experience it. At most, we can trust (believe by faith?) what we are told. In the end, on the psychic plane it will always be our mind to create its reality.
Statements contrary to our knowledge
Certain statements by the Cerchio Firenze 77 entities are in stark contrast to our knowledge of the physical world. The same medium Roberto Setti – who was interested in radiotechnology – and the physicist Alfredo Ferraro remained baffled when one of the guides stated that the electromagnetic field was not produced by the flow of electric charges in a conductor, nor could they ever understand the reason for that provocative statement. Even in the field of natural history and biology there is no lack of baseless claims: «(At the beginning) the Earth's temperature is believed to be equal to fifteen thousand times that of boiling water (ie 1.5 million °C! my note); yet, we can assure you that, in that incandescent mass, elementary forms already existed that became ancestors of the current living forms. As the globe cooled, the matter that made it became increasingly dense, so much so that, by comparison, your matter is nothing but a gas...».
And again: «Human science, finding fossils at the two poles, says that life originated there: that is correct. In fact, although the climate at the poles was tropical, it did not damage the vibration that you call life; as they cooled, life descended towards the equator». Apart from the fact that life originated in the waters, the fossils found in areas at high latitude (not at the poles) are due to the fact that, because of the continents drift, once those same areas were located in temperate or tropical zones. «Your science says that every cell has a nucleus, which can be considered the brain of the same». That's not true: there are also cells without a nucleus, and the nucleus, which certainly performs several fundamental functions and contains the chromosomes, cannot be assimilated to a brain. «You know that the plant cell, in order to live, needs light and oxygen, so much so that in sea depths there are no algae». Oxygen, which did not exist in the Earth's primordial atmosphere, was produced – as a residue – by billions and billions of algae: plant cells do not need oxygen, but carbon dioxide. In short, not infrequently we have the impression that these entities (called Masters) consider their human interlocutors as perfect imbeciles!
As always, in these esoteric communications there is no lack of references to alleged civilizations of the past, very evolved and mysteriously disappeared, leaving no trace: «...if we take – for instance – the penultimate humanity of Atlantis, that of maximum splendor, and compare it with the humanity of yesterday or today, it should be said that there was an involution». It must be recognized that the same entities pose the question of the discordance of mediumistic communications and their subjectivity, trying to find an answer: «When there was this great spiritual movement that first manifested itself with spiritism, immediately men were concerned about investigating the afterlife and, of course, many people have trusted what the entities said, not taking into account that the entities, immediately after passing away, continue to see with their own eyes and observe the new truths subjectively: therefore, all of what was said during certain sittings does not correspond perfectly to the truth, but to the idea of the truth that certain entities have acquired». This is a very trivial observation, considering that psychic reality is always subjective, and that the astral and mental planes are psychical worlds.
Mediumistic messages and teachings of various kinds
In addition to those examined so far – which concern the topics to which this site is dedicated – the communications of the Cerchio Firenze 77 entities fill hundreds of pages. We can distinguish, in principle, between the teachings of ethical and moral character, centered on human brotherhood, the common origin of all living beings and the need to overcome selfishness, and the teachings that we could call philosophical-esoteric, relating to the spirit, the necessity of incarnations, the karma and what is defined as the Absolute. The merit of ethical communications consists in the fact that they do not attempt to inculcate behavioral programs that must be adopted with an effort of will (as do certain religious teachings based on «you must do so»), but indicate an evolutionary path based on thought, self-knowledge and the overcoming of human desires, which should allow consciousness to tune in to a new and different kind of feeling. However, one has the impression that the entities themselves doubt the effectiveness of this process in the short term, because human nature is what it is and requires its evolutionary times, so sometimes their teachings seem to be preachings to the wind.
It seems different to me the assessment that can be made about the philosophical-metaphysical teachings, in particular those concerning the relativity of time and its very existence, and the requirements of the Absolute: with the claim of wanting to stick to a stringent logic, pages and pages of useless, repetitive and boring verbal constructions are filled, often explicitly defined as Truth (with a capital T!) whose purpose and effectiveness escape me completely. It is certainly true that human mind has its limits, but precisely for this reason it would be appropriate to refrain from formulating concepts, the meaning of which we do not understand and that add nothing to our knowledge (or our inability to know), unless we want to take them as revealed truths, forcing our mind to memorize them without having understood anything. Something that the same entities continually affirm they do not want, indeed stimulating the critical spirit of their human interlocutors.
With regard to the reliability of the messages and information obtained through mediumistic entities, I conclude this page with a quote taken from the book The Astral Body by Arthur E. Powell, in which the point of view of Theosophy is reported: «Unless a man has had very wide experience with mediumship, he would find it difficult to believe how many quite ordinary people on the astral plane are burning with the desire to pose as great world-teachers. Usually they are honest in their intentions, and really think they have teaching to give which will save the world. Having realised the worthlessness of merely worldly objects, they feel, quite rightly, that if they could impress upon mankind their own ideas the whole world would immediately become a very different place... having modestly disclaimed any special greatness for himself, one of these communicating entities is often imagined by the sitters to be at least an archangel, or even some more direct manifestation of the Deity... it is usually forgotten by such an entity that when he was alive in the physical world, other people were making similar communications through various mediums, and that he paid not the slightest attention to them. He does not realise that others also, still immersed in the affairs of the world, will pay no more attention to him and will decline to be moved by his communications».
«Sometimes also, such entities, seeing the minds of others full of reverence for the Masters, will personate these very Masters in order to command more ready acceptance for the ideas they wish to promulgate... No teaching from a self-appointed preceptor on the astral plane should be blindly accepted: all communications and advice which comes thence should be received precisely as one would receive similar advice on the physical plane. Teaching should be taken for what it is worth, after examination by conscience and intellect. A man is no more infallible because he happens to be dead than when he was physically alive. A man may spend many years on the astral plane and yet know no more than when he left the physical world. Accordingly we should attach no more importance to communications from the astral world, or from any higher plane, than we should to a suggestion made on the physical plane... For the ordinary sitter there is no means of distinguishing the true from the false, since the resources of the astral plane can be used to delude persons on the physical plane to such an extent that no reliance can be placed even on what seems the most convincing proof».