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Arthur E. Powell

A publication of The Theosophical Society

Tables of Contents






































































C H A P T E R—X X X I I I-


C H A P T E R -X X X I V—


C H A P T E R -X X X V-



This book, like its three predecessors, is dedicated with gratitude and appreciation to those whose painstaking labour and researches have provided the materials out of which it has been fashioned


This book forms the fourth, and last, of the series of compilations dealing with the bodies of man. Throughout the series the same plan has been adopted. Approximately forty volumes mostly those written by Annie Besant and by C.W. Leadbeater, have been thoroughly searched, the material thus found has been sorted, arranged and classified into its appropriate departments, so as to present to the student of modern Theosophy a coherent and sequential account of the finer bodies of man.

In addition, there has been incorporated a considerable amount of information regarding the planes, or worlds, associated with these four bodies of man. It is therefore, probably near the truth to say that the gist of nearly everything that has been published by the two principle pioneers into the mysteries and complexities of the Ancient Wisdom, with the exception of certain clearly marked specialities [such as Occult Chemistry, for example] is to be found in these four books.

The compiler thus hopes that the intensive labour, which has occupied him for about three years and a half years, will serve to make a little easier the path of those who desire to obtain a comprehensive grasp of what may be termed the technical aspects of modern Theosophy.

In view of the fact that our occult knowledge, of planes finer than the physical, is likely to be enormously increased in the near future, it has seemed desirable to undertake the not inconsiderable task of arranging, in textbook form, such data as are already in our possession, before the total mass becomes too unwieldy to be handled in this manner. Moreover, by such orderly arrangement of our materials, we construct for ourselves an outline, or skeleton into which further information can be built, as it becomes available.

As in the previous volumes, references to the sources of the information have throughout been given in the margin (when using the book), so that any student who so desires, may verify for himself every statement made, at its original source. In the few cases where the compiler has stated his own unsupported views, the initials A.E.P. have been printed in the margin. About two thirds of the Diagrams are original, the remainder having been taken, sometimes with slight modifications, from the works of C.W.Leadbeater, and a few from A Study In Consciousness, by Annie Besant.

A further department of Theosophical knowledge, to a great extent self-contained, and therefore specialised, is that of the Scheme of Evolution in which man evolves: this includes Globes [such as the Earth] Rounds, Chains, Races, Sub-Races, and so forth. The writer hopes to compile a volume dealing with this section of technical Theosophy, in the near future.




In the three preceding volumes of this series, viz., The Etheric double, The Astral Body, and The Mental Body, the life history of each of the three lower vehicles of man has been studied. In these studies, it has been sufficient for us to take each of the three vehicles as we find it actually existing in man, and to examine its methods of functioning, the laws of its growth, its death, and then the formation, from the nucleus provided by the permanent atoms and mental unit, of new vehicles of the same kind, in order that man’s evolution on the three lower planes can be continued.

When we come to study the causal body of man, we enter upon a new phase of our work, and must take a far wider sweep in our purview of man’s evolution. The reason for this is, that whilst the etheric, astral and mental bodies exist for one human incarnation only, i.e.., are distinctly mortal, the causal body persists throughout the whole of man’s evolution, through many incarnations, and is therefore relatively immortal. We say relatively immortal advisedly because, as will be seen in due course, there is a point where a man, having completed his purely normal human evolution, commences his supernormal human evolution, and actually loses the causal body in which he has lived and evolved during the past ages of his growth.

Hence, in dealing with man’s causal body, we are no longer standing within the personality, looking upon any vehicle of that personality, and seeing from its own standpoint how it is serving the evolution of the real man who uses it, but instead we must take up our stand by the side of the man himself, looking from above on the vehicles of the personality, and regarding them as so many temporary instruments fashioned for the use of the man himself, and discarded, as a broken tool is discarded, when they have served their purpose.

Furthermore, in order to make our study comprehensive, and to round it off in a manner that will be intellectually satisfactory, we must discover and study the origin and birth of the causal body, i.e., how it has formed in the first instance. Finding that it had a beginning, we see at once, not only that it must have an end, but also that there must be some other form of consciousness which uses the causal body, much as the ego in the causal body uses the vehicles of the personality. This other form of consciousness is, of course, the human Monad. Hence, in order that we may fully comprehend the part that the causal body plays in the tremendous story of human evolution, we must study also the human Monad.

Reverting to the birth or formation of the causal body, we are at once plunged into a consideration of the somewhat intricate subject of Group-Souls, with which we shall have to deal. Tracing the origin of Group-Souls, we are led back, step by step, to the Three Great Outpourings of the Divine Life, from which all forms of manifested life arise. Whilst studying the Three Outpourings, we must necessarily consider to some extent the formation of the material world into which the Outpourings are projected.

Thus in order that our study of the Causal Body may be a comprehensive one, we must describe, though in brief outline only, the formation of the field of evolution, the flow into that field of the great streams of life, the coming forth of the Monads, the building of the many kingdoms of life, and the plunging of the Monads, with the assistance of the permanent atoms, into the material universe, and the gradual development of the life in the Group Souls until eventually, after aeons of existence, the point of Individualisation is reached, when the causal body for the first time appears.

Thereafter, our study will follow much the same lines as in the previous books of this series. We shall have to deal in turn with the functions of the Causal Body: its composition and structure; the nature of causal thought; the development and faculties of the causal body; the portion of life after death spent in the causal body in the higher heaven worlds.

Then we must pass to a fuller examination of the entity, the ego to wit, who inhabits and uses the causal body, projecting from it personality after personality into the cycle of reincarnation. We must examine what is known as Trishna, the “thirst”, which is the true cause of reincarnation; the permanent atoms and the mechanism of reincarnation; the attitude which the ego takes toward the whole process of reincarnation and to the personalities which he projects into the lower worlds.

The whole relationship of the ego to the personality, his link with it, and the way in which he uses it, must be carefully examined. A special chapter will be devoted to certain Sacramental aids towards strengthening and improving the link between the ego and the personality, and another chapter to the rationale of the memory of past lives.

Then we pass to describe, so far as is possible, the life of the ego on his own plane. This leads us on to Initiation into the Great White Brotherhood, when the causal body vanishes for a time. Some description of the buddhic consciousness must be attempted, and a succinct epitome of such facts as are known regarding the Second and Higher Initiations.

Finally, we conclude our long history with the relation of the ego to his “Father in Heaven”, the Monad.

The field which this book attempts to cover is thus, as already said, a far greater one than that covered in any of the three preceding volumes of the series. The book will, it is hoped, enable the student of Theosophy to obtain a broad grasp of the wonderful panorama of human evolution, and to see in true perspective the part played by each of the four subtler bodies of man—the etheric, the astral, the mental and the causal.



By the “field of evolution” we mean the material universe in which Evolution is to take place. Strictly speaking, life or Spirit, and matter are not in reality, separate and distinct existences, but rather are opposite poles of one noumenon; but for purposes of intellectual analysis and study it is convenient to consider these two aspects or poles almost as though they were separate and distinct, much in the same way that a builder, for example considers, more or less separately, plans and sections of his buildings, although these plans and sections are merely abstractions, from the one entity—the building itself.

The field of evolution in our solar system consists of seven planes or worlds; these may be regarded as making up three groups: [1] the Field of Logoic manifestation only; [2] the field of supernormal evolution [3] the field of normal human, animal, vegetable mineral and elemental evolution. These facts may be tabulated as shown on page 5.

The Adi and Anupadaka planes may be conceived as existing before the solar system is formed. The Adi plane may be imagined as consisting of so much of the matter of space, symbolised by points, as the Logos marks out to form the material basis of the system He is about to produce.

The Anupadaka plane, symbolised by lines, we may imagine as consisting of this same matter, modified or coloured by His individual life, His all ensouling consciousness, thus differing in some way from the corresponding plane in another solar system. These ideas may be roughly symbolised thus:

The Fields of Evolution (Diagram -1-)



Field of Evolution

















Super-normal human, i.e., “Initiates”.








Normal human, animal, vegetable, mineral and elemental entities.






Physical Activity


(a) No English equivalent exists: Adi means literally “first”

(b) No English equivalent exists: Anupadaka means literally “without vesture”.

First Stage

The Logos marks out His Universe on the Adi plane

Second Stage

The Logos modifies this matter with His own individual life, on the Anupadaka plane

This preparatory work may be illustrated in another way by two sets of symbols, one showing the threefold manifestation of the consciousness of the Logos, the other the threefold change in matter corresponding to the threefold change in consciousness.

Taking first the manifestation of consciousness, the site of the universe having been marked out [see Diagram II] : [1] the Logos Himself appears as a point within the sphere; [2] the Logos goes forth from that point in three directions to the circumference of that sphere or circle of matter; [3] the consciousness, of the Logos returns on Itself, manifesting at each point of contact with the circle one of the three fundamental aspects of consciousness, known as Will, Wisdom and Activity, as well as by other terms. The joining of the three aspects, or phases of manifestation, at their outer points of contact with the circle, gives the basic triangle of contact with matter. This triangle, together with the three triangles formed by the lines traced by the point, yields the”divine tetractys”, sometimes called the Kosmic Quaternary.

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The shining forth of the Monads has been graphically described by H.P. Blavatsky, thus: “The primordial triangle [i.e.., The three faced Monad of Will, Wisdom, and Activity] as soon as it has reflected itself in the “Heavenly Man” [i.e..,Atma, Buddhi, Manas] the highest of the lower seven—disappears, returning, into “Silence and Darkness”.

The Monads themselves, therefore remain ever beyond the fivefold universe, and in that sense are spectators. They dwell beyond the five planes of matter. They are the Self, standing Self-conscious, and Self determined. They reign in changeless peace and live in eternity. But, as we have seen, they appropriate matter, taking to themselves atoms of various planes.

The Monads are of seven types or “rays” just as matter also is of seven types or rays. The process by which the seven types arise is as follows: The three aspects of consciousness of the Logos or Universal Self, are Will [Ichchha], Wisdom [Jnanam], and Activity [Kriya]. The three corresponding, qualities in matter are Inertia [Tamas], Mobility [Rajas] and Rhythm, [Sattva].

These are related as follows: The Aspect of Will imposes on matter the quality of Inertia or Tamas, the power of resistance, stability, quietude.

The Aspect of Activity gives to matter its responsiveness to action, Mobility, or Rajas.

The Aspect of Wisdom gives to matter Rhythm or Sattva, harmony. DIAGRAM VII shows these correspondences.

Now every Monad has these three aspects of consciousness, the proportions, of which may vary in different Monads in seven ways: thus:-

Predominant Aspect

Secondary Aspect

Tertiary Aspect




















The seventh variety is that in which the three aspect are equal.

The seven types of matter are similarly formed, by the varying proportions of the three qualities Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva. The stream of life known as the Second Outpouring, in fact, is composed of seven streams, one of the seven types of matter-combinations being found in each of the seven streams.

DIAGRAM VIII is an attempt to show the seven types of monads with the seven corresponding types of matter.

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Another way of expressing the same truth, viz., that each Monad belongs to one or other of the seven Rays, is to say that he came forth originally through one or other of the Seven Planetary Logoi, who may be regarded as centres of force within the Solar Logos, channels through which the force of the Solar Logos is poured out.

Nevertheless, although as has been said, each Monad belongs fundamentally, to one Ray, yet he has within himself something of all the Rays. There is in him no ounce of force, no grain of matter, which is not actually part of one or other of the Seven Planetary Logoi. He is literally compacted of Their very substance, not of one, but of all, though always one predominates. Therefore, no slightest movement of any of these great Star Angels can occur without affecting to some extent every Monad, because they are bone of Their bone, flesh of Their flesh, Spirit of Their Spirit. This fact is, of course, the real basis of astrology.

Furthermore, the bodies of those Monads, which originally came forth through, a given Planetary Logos, will continue all through their evolution to have more of the particles of that Logos than of any other, and in this way men can be distinguished as primarily belonging to one or other of the seven Rays or Logoi.

Whilst the ordinary rule is that a Monad remains on the same Ray throughout the whole of his evolution, so that he eventually returns through the same Planetary Angel as that through which he first came forth, yet there are comparatively, rare exceptions. For it is possible for a Monad to change his Ray so that he will return through a Planetary Angel other than that through which he first emerged. Such transfers are usually to the First and Second Rays there being relatively few persons on those two Rays at the lower levels of evolution.

Before we can proceed to describe the method by which the atoms are attached, to the Monads, there is still another factor with which we must first deal.

The Second Outpouring, in addition to its work of forming the Elemental and other Kingdoms, also brings with it evolved beings, at various stages of development, who form the normal and typical inhabitants of the Three Elemental Kingdoms. These beings have been brought over by the Logos from a preceding evolution. They are now sent forth to inhabit the plane for which their development fits them; they co-operate with the work of the Logos, and later with man, in the general scheme of evolution. From them, man derives his perishable bodies.

They are known in some religions as Angels, to Hindus as Devas—meaning literally, Shining Ones. Plato speaks of them as “Minor Gods”. It is the translation of the word “Deva” as “Gods” which has led to much misapprehension of Eastern thought. The “thirty-three crores [330 millions] of Gods”, are not Gods in the Western sense of the term, but are Devas or Shining Ones.

Of these there are many grades, including representatives on each of the five lower planes, i.e.., those of Atma, Buddhi, Manas, Kama, and the etheric part of the physical plane.

Their bodies are formed of the Elemental Essence of the Kingdom to which they belong, and are flashing and many-hued, changing form at the will of the entity Himself. They form a vast host, ever actively at work, labouring at the Elemental Essence to improve its quality, taking it to form their own bodies, throwing it off again and taking other portions, so as to render it more sensitive.

In the First Elemental Kingdom, on the higher mental or causal plane, they make materials ready to clothe abstract thoughts. In the Second Elemental Kingdom, on the lower mental plane, they make materials ready to clothe concrete thoughts. In the Third Elemental Kingdom, on the astral plane, they prepare materials for the clothing of desires.

At the stage which we are now considering, this work of improving the Elemental Essence, is the only work there is for them to do. Later on, they are also constantly busied in the shaping of forms, in aiding human egos on the way to incarnation in building their new bodies, bringing materials of the kind required and helping in its arrangements. The less advanced the ego, the greater the directive work of the Devas. With animals they do almost all the work, and practically all with the vegetables and minerals. They are the active, agents of the Logos, carrying out all details of His world-plan, and aiding, the countless evolving lives to find materials they need for their clothing and use. Included with them are the vast numbers of the fairy kingdom, known as nature spirits, trolls, gnomes, and by countless other names.

Some description of these hosts of beings is given in The Astral Body and The Mental Body, so that there is no need to describe them further here. All we are really concerned with at the moment is their origin, and the part they play in helping the Monads to commence their evolution in the lower planes.

The term Deva is, strictly speaking, not wide enough to cover all the living agencies which are employed in the work connected with the Monads and their long pilgrimage through the lower worlds. This work is carried out by no less than seven orders of beings, known collectively as Creative Hierarchies, the Monads, themselves, curiously enough, being one of the seven.

For our present purposes, however, in order not to make the description too complicated and involved, we shall denote all these agencies by the single term Devas. In a later and separate chapter we shall to some extent go over the ground again more in detail, and give the names and functions [so far as these are known] of the seven Creative Hierarchies.

Thus we see that before any embodied consciousness, save that of the Logos and His Creative Hierarchies, could appear, or do anything at all, a vast preliminary work had to be accomplished, preparing the “form-side” of the field of evolution.

We have now the three factors needed to enable us to consider the attachment, of the atoms to the Monads: these three are:

[1] the atoms of the various, planes;

[2] the readiness of the Monads themselves on the Anupadaka plane;

[3] the assistance of the Devas, without whom the Monads by themselves, would be powerless to carry out their evolution.

A Monad, as we have seen, possesses three aspects of consciousness, each of which, when the time comes for evolutionary process to begin, sets up what may be termed a vibratory wave, thus causing to vibrate the atomic matter of the planes of Atma, Buddhi, and Manas, which surrounds him.

Devas from a previous universe, who have themselves passed through a similar, experience before, guide the vibratory wave from the Will-aspect of the Monad, to an atom of Atma, which thus becomes “attached” to the Monad, and is its Atmic permanent atom, so called because it remains with the Monad throughout the whole process of evolution.

Similarly, the vibratory wave from the Wisdom aspect of the Monad is guided, by Devas to an atom of Buddhi, which becomes the Buddhic permanent, atom.

Similarly, also, the vibratory wave from the Activity-aspect of the Monad is guided by Devas and attached to an atom of Manas, which becomes the third permanent atom. Thus is formed Atma-Buddhi-Manas, often called the Ray of the Monad.

DIAGRAM IX illustrates the process just described.

A graphic description of the process is as follows: from the luminous ocean of Atma a tiny thread of light is separated off from the rest by a film of buddhic matter, and from this hangs a spark which becomes enclosed in an egg-like casing of matter belonging, to the formless levels of the mental plane. “The spark hangs from the flame by the finest thread of Fohat”. [The Book of Dzyan, vii, 5.]

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As said, those atoms which are attached to Monads become, and are called, “permanent atoms”; H.P. Blavatsky spoke of them as “life atoms” [The Secret Doctrine, II,709].The remainder of the atoms of the various planes, which are not attached to Monads, remain and continue to be called the Monadic Essence of each plane. The term is perhaps a little misleading, but it was given in the first instance, because [as mentioned in chapter V] the essence at this stage is suitable to be attached to Monads as permanent atoms, though by no means all of it does actually become attached.

Atma-Buddhi-Manas, the Ray of the Monad, is known also by many other names; such as the Heavenly Man, the Spiritual or Higher Triad, the Higher Self, the separated Self, and so on. The term Jivatma is also sometimes applied to it, though Jivatma, which may be rendered literally Life-Self, is of course equally applicable to the Monad. It is known also as the “manhood” of the Divine Son of the First Logos, animated by the “Godhead,” i.e., by the Monad. It may be regarded also as a vessel into which the Monad pours His life.

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Here we have the mystery of the Watcher, the Spectator, the actionless Atma, i.e.., The Monad, who abides ever in his highest nature on his own plane, and lives in the world by his Ray [Atma-Buddhi-Manas], which in turn animates, his “shadows”, the lives or incarnations of the lower self on earth.

DIAGRAM X illustrates the Monad and his Higher Triad.

It is important to remember that Atma-Buddhi-Manas, the Higher Triad, is identical in nature with the Monad, in fact is the Monad, though lessened in force by the veils of matter round it. This lessening of power must not blind us to the identity of nature, for it must ever be born in mind that human consciousness is a unit, though its manifestations vary owing to the predominance of one or other of its aspects and to the relative density of the materials in which an aspect is working at any given moment.

The Monad having thus appropriated for his own use these three atoms, has begun his work. He himself in his own nature, cannot descend below the Anupadaka plane; hence he is said to be in “Silence and Darkness”, i.e., unmanifest. But he lives and works in and by means of the atoms he has appropriated.

Although the Monad on his own plane, the Anupadaka, so far as his internal, life is concerned, is strong, conscious, capable, yet on the lower planes in their time and space limitations, he is a mere germ, an embryo, powerless, senseless, helpless. Although at first the matter of the lower planes enslaves, him, he will slowly, surely, mould it for Self-expression. In this he is watched over and aided by the all sustaining and preserving life of the Second Logos, until eventually he can live in the lower worlds as fully as he lives above, and become in his turn a creative Logos, and bring forth out of himself, a universe. For a Logos does not create out of nothing: He evolves all from Himself.

The full manifestation of the three aspects of consciousness expressed by the Monad takes place in the same order as the manifestation of the Triple Logos in the universe. The third aspect, Activity, revealed as the creative mind, as the gatherer of knowledge, is the first to perfect its vehicles. The second aspect, Wisdom, revealed as the Pure and Compassionate Reason, or Intuition, is the second to shine forth: this is the Krishna, the Christ in man. The third aspect, Will, the Divine Power of the Self, the Atma is the last to reveal itself.




The spiritual Triad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, having been formed, the warmth of the stream of Logoic life arouses within it faint thrillings of responsive life. After long preparation, a tiny thread, like a minute rootlet, a golden coloured thread of life sheathed in buddhic matter, proceeds from the Triad.

This thread is sometimes called the Sutratma, literally the Thread-Self, because, the permanent particles will be threaded on it like beads on a string. The term however, is used in various ways, but always to denote the idea of a thread connecting separate particles. Thus it is applied to the reincarnating Ego, as the thread on which many separate, lives are strung: to the Second Logos, as the thread on which beings in His Universe are strung; and so on. It thus denotes a function, rather than a special entity or class of entities.

From each spiritual Triad appears one of these threads, which at first wave vaguely in the seven great streams of life. Then, each of them is anchored, just as happened in the case of the Higher Triad, by the agency of the Devas to a mental molecule, or unit as it is usually called, this being a particle of the fourth mental sub-plane, i.e.., The highest level of mental plane.

Around this mental unit, are gathered temporary aggregations of elemental essence of the Second Elemental Kingdom, scattering and regathering, over and over again. The vibrations of the essence gradually awaken the mental unit into faint responses, these again thrilling feebly upwards to the seed of consciousness in the Triad, producing, therein vaguest internal movements.

The mental unit cannot be said to have always round it a form of its own, for there may be several of many mental units plunged into a given aggregation of essence, whilst other aggregations of essence may have only one mental unit in them, or none at all.

Thus, with inconceivable slowness, the mental units become possessors of certain qualities: i.e.., they acquire the power of vibrating in certain ways, which, are connected with thinking, and will at a later stage make thoughts possible.

In this, they are helped by the Devas of the Second Elemental Kingdom, who direct upon them the vibrations to which they gradually begin to respond, and surround them with the elemental essence they, the Devas, throw off from their own bodies.

Furthermore, each of the seven typical groups is separated from the others by a delicate wall of monadic essence—atomic matter ensouled by the life of the Second Logos—the beginning of the wall of the future Group-Soul.

Diagram XI A, illustrates the process just described.

The whole process is then repeated at the next lower level [vide Diagram XI B]. The thread of life ensheathed in buddhic matter, with the mental unit attached, pushes outward to the astral plane, where, by identically similar means, an astral atom is attached. Round this astral permanent atom gather temporary aggregations of elemental essence of the Third Elemental Kingdom, scattering and regathering, as before.

Similar results follow, the astral atoms being gradually awakened to faint responses, these being passed upwards to the seed of consciousness, producing therein, once more, vaguest internal movements. Thus the astral permanent, atoms acquire the power of vibrating in certain ways, connected with sensation, which will at a later stage make sensation possible. As before the work is helped by the action of the Devas, of the Third Elemental Kingdom.

The separating wall of each of the seven groups now acquires a second layer, formed of astral monadic essence, thus approaching a stage nearer to the wall of the future Group-Soul.

Yet once more is the process repeated [vide Diagram XI C] when the great wave of life has passed onwards to the physical plane. The thread of life, sheathed in buddhic matter, with its attached mental unit and astral permanent, atom, pushes outwards, and annexes a physical permanent atom. Round this atom etheric matter gathers, as before.. The heavier physical matter, however, is more coherent than the subtler matter of the higher planes, and consequently a much longer term of life is observed.

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Then, as the etheric types of the proto-metals, and later proto-metals, metals, non-metals, and minerals are formed, the Devas of the etheric sub-planes submerge the physical permanent atoms into one or other of the seven etheric types to which they belong. Thus is begun the long physical evolution of the permanent atom.

Again, on the atomic sub-plane of the physical, a third layer is added to the separating wall which will form the envelope of the future Group-Soul.

In this manner is formed what is often called the Lower Triad, consisting of a mental unit, an astral permanent atom, and a physical permanent atom.

Diagram XII shows the stage which we have now reached, the Monad, with His three Aspects, having been provided with a Higher Triad of Atma-Buddhi-Manas, and the Higher Triad in its turn having been furnished with a Lower Triad of Lower-Manas-Kama-Sthula.

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It will be remembered that the matter of each plane is of seven fundamental types, according to the dominance of one or other of the three great attributes, of matter—Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva. Hence the permanent atoms may be chosen from any one of these types. It appears however, that each Monad chooses all his permanent atoms from the same type of matter. The choice is made by the Monad, although, as we have seen, the actual attachment is done by the Devas.

The Monad himself belongs, of course, to one of the seven fundamental types of Monads, and this is his first great determining characteristic, his fundamental “colour”, “keynote”, or “temperament”.

The Monad may choose to use his new pilgrimage for the strengthening and increasing of this special characteristic, in which case, the Devas will attach to his Sutratma permanent atoms belonging to the group or type of matter corresponding to the type of the Monad. Such a choice would result in the secondary colour—that of the permanent atoms—emphasing and strengthening the first: in the later evolution, the powers and weaknesses of that doubled temperament would show themselves, with great force.

On the other hand, the Monad may choose to use his new pilgrimage for the unfolding of another aspect of his nature. Then the Devas will attach to his Sutratma atoms belonging to another matter-group, in which the aspect the Monad wishes to develop is predominant. This choice would result in the secondary “keynote” or “temperament” modifying, the first, with corresponding results in later evolution. This latter choice is obviously by far more frequent, and it tends to greater complexity of character, especially in the final stages of human evolution, when the influence, of the Monad makes itself felt more strongly.

Whilst the permanent atoms of both the Higher and the Lower Triads belong to the same type, the bodies of the Higher Triad, being, once formed, relatively, permanent, reproduce definitely the keynote of their permanent atoms. But in the case of the bodies of the Lower Triad, various other causes operate, in the determination of the choice of materials for these bodies.

The Monad can exert no direct action on the permanent atoms: nor could there be such direct action until the Higher Triad has reached a high stage of evolution. But the Monad can and does affect the Higher Triad, and through that exerts an indirect and continual action on the permanent atoms.

The Higher Triad draws most of his energy, and all his directive capacity, from the Second Logos. But his own special activity does not concern itself with the shaping and building work of the Second Logos, being directed rather, to the evolution of the atoms themselves, in association with the Third Logos. This energy from the Higher Triad confines itself to the atomic sub-planes, and until the Fourth Round, appears to spend itself chiefly on the permanent atoms.

The use of the permanent atoms is of course, to preserve within themselves, as powers of vibration, the results of all the experiences through which they have passed. We may take the physical permanent atom as illustrating this process.

A physical impact of any kind will set up, in the physical body it strikes, vibrations corresponding to its own. These vibrations will be transmitted, by direct, concussion if they are violent, and in all cases by the buddhic life-web to the physical permanent atom.

Such a vibration, forced on the atom from the outside, becomes in the atom a vibratory power, a tendency to repeat the vibration. Thus through the whole life of the physical body, every impact leaves an impression on the physical permanent atom. At the end of the life of the physical body, the physical permanent atom has in this way stored up innumerable powers of vibration.

The same process takes place in the case of the permanent atom or unit in each of the bodies of man. Moreover, the student will by now be familiar with the fact that the permanent atoms—as their name implies — remain permanently with a human entity throughout the whole of his many incarnations, being, in fact, the only portions of his various bodies which survive and remain permanently with the evolving ego in the causal body.

The vortex, which is the atom, is the life of the Third Logos; the wall of the atom, gradually formed on the surface of this vortex, is made by the descent of the life of the Second Logos. But the Second Logos only faintly traces the outline of the spirillae, as filmy channels: He does not vivify them.

It is the life of the Monad which, flowing down, vivifies the first of the spirillae, making it a working part of the atom. This takes place in the First Round. Similarly, in each successive Round, another of the spirillae is vivified and brought into activity.

The first set of spirillae is used by the prana which affects the dense body; the second set with the prana used by the etheric double; the third set by the prana affecting the astral body, thus developing the power of sensation; the fourth set is used by the prana of kama manas, making it fir to be used for the building of a brain as the instrument of thought.

As we are now in the Fourth Round, the normal number of spirillae at work is four, both in the permanent atoms, and in the ordinary unattached atoms. But in the case of a highly evolved man, the permanent atom may have five spirillae at work, or even six. The fifth set of spirillae will in the normal course, be developed in the Fifth Round; but advanced people, as said, can by certain Yoga practices evolve even now both the fifth and sixth sets of spirillae.

In addition to the permanent atoms themselves, the Monad also begins to work in a similar fashion on other atoms that are drawn round the permanent atom. Such vivification, however, is temporary only, as, when the physical body is broken up, these atoms return to the general store of atomic matter. They may then be taken up and used by some other Monad, being, of course, now more easily vivified again, on account of their former experience.

This work takes place with all the permanent atoms of the Monad, such atoms, thus evolving more rapidly than they would otherwise do, owing to their association with the monad.



As promised in Chapter VI, we now come to describe more in detail the hierarchies of beings, of various grades of power and intelligence, who build the universe, and help the Monads to undertake their vast pilgrimage through the worlds of matter.

The information at present available is somewhat fragmentary and ill defined whilst recognising that this is so, we must endeavour to make the most of such few facts at our disposal.

We have already seen that the One Existence, the Supreme, from Whom all manifested life proceeds, expresses Himself in a threefold manner, as the Trimurti, the Trinity. This of course, is recognised in practically every religion, under many names: e.g.., Sat, Chit, Ananda: Brahma, Vishnou, Shiva: Ichchha,Jnana, Kriya: Cochma, Binah, Kepher: Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Power, Wisdom, Love: Will, Wisdom and Activity, etc.etc.

Around the primary Trinity, in the light coming forth from Them, we find Those who are called the Seven. The Hindu speaks of the seven sons of Aditi: they have been called the Seven Spirits in the Sun: in Egypt They were known as the seven Mystery Gods: in Zoroastrianism they are named the seven Amshaspends,: in Judaism they are the seven Sephiroth: among Christians and Muhammedans, they are the seven Archangels, the seven Spirits before the Throne. In Theosophy they are usually termed the seven Planetary Logoi, each administering, His own department of the solar-system. They have ever been identified with the seven sacred planets, the planets being their physical bodies.

Round the Seven, is a wider circle, there come the Creative Hierarchies, as they are called: the Twelve Creative Orders of the Universe. These are headed by the Twelve Great Gods, that appear in ancient stories, and that are symbolised in the familiar Signs of the Zodiac. For the Zodiac is a very ancient symbolic conception, in which the plane of the solar system is written.

When it is said that a planet “rules” or is Lord of, one of the Signs of the Zodiac, the meaning is that the Planetary Spirit or Logos has dominion over one of the twelve Creative Hierarchies which, under His control and direction build up, His Kingdom, and help the Monads to evolve.

The Twelve Creative Hierarchies are thus intimately concerned with the building, of the universe. These Hierarchies of Intelligence have, in past kalpas or universes, completed their own evolution, and thus become co-workers with the One Will, with Ishvara, in the shaping of a new universe, or Brahmanda. They are the Architects, the Builders of the solar systems. They fill our solar system, and to them, we human beings owe our evolution spiritual, intellectual and physical. It is they who awaken the consciousness of the Monad and his Ray to the “dim sense of others”, and of “I”, and with this, a thrill of longing for a more clearly defined sense of the “I” and of “others”, this being the “individual Will-to-live”, which leads them forth into the denser worlds, wherein alone such sharper definition is possible.

At the present stage of evolution, out of the Twelve Creative Hierarchies, four have passed onward into liberation, and one is touching the thresh hold of liberation. Thus five have passed away from the ken of even the greatest and most developed Teachers of our world. There remain, therefore, seven only, with whom we have to deal.

Part of the work which some of them do, viz., the attaching of the permanent atoms, has already been described in Chapters VI and VII. This will now be repeated for the sake of completeness, with such few further particulars as are available, the whole work being classified into the departments for which each of the remaining seven Hierarchies is responsible.


1. The First of the Arupa, or Formless, Creative Orders, is described by words connected with fire. They are known as Formless Fiery Breaths, Lords of Fire, Divine Flames, Divine Fires, Fiery Lions, Lions of Life. They are described also as the Life and Heart of the universe, the Atma, the Kosmic Will.

Through them comes the divine Ray of Paramatma, that awakens Atma in the Monads.

2. The Second Order is twofold in its nature, and is known as the “twofold units”, representing Fire and Ether. They stand for Kosmic Buddhi, the Wisdom of the system, manifested Reason.

Their function is to arouse Buddhi in the Monads.

3. The Third Order is know as “the Triads”, representing Fire, Ether and Water. They stand for Mahat, the Kosmic Manas or Activity.

Their function is to awaken Manas in the Monads


4. The Fourth Creative Hierarchy consists of the Monads themselves.

At first sight, it may appear curious that the Monads themselves should be classed with the other Orders, but a little thought will show that the classification, is a proper one, the Monads clearly having a great deal to do with their own evolution. It is by no means outer agencies alone that determine their involution and evolution. Let us briefly recapitulate some of the factors due to the Monads themselves.

[1] Being of the First Logos, His will to manifest is also their will: they are self-moved

[2] It is the Monads who “shine forth” sending out their life, which builds the Ray or Higher Triad, and works through it.

[3] It is the Monads who choose the type of permanent atoms which are to be attached to them.

[4] The Third Outpouring, resulting from which the Causal Body is formed, comes through the Monads themselves.

[5] The Monads themselves pour down their life into and vivify the spirillae In the atoms, both permanent and other.

[6] The Monads, as evolution proceeds, steadily pour down more and more of their lives, gradually getting more closely into touch with their Rays—the Individuality, and also through the Individuality, with the personality.

5. The Fifth Creative Hierarchy is named that of Makara, and has for its symbol, the pentagon. In them the dual spiritual and dual physical aspects of nature appear, the positive and negative, at war with each other. They are the “rebels” of many myths and legends. Some of them are known as Asuras, and were the fruits of the First Chain. They are beings of great spiritual power and knowledge. Deep within themselves they hide the germ of Ahamkara, the I-making faculty which is necessary for human evolution.

The Fifth Hierarchy guides the vibratory wave from the Aspect of Atma of the Monad to an atom of Atma, which it attaches as a permanent atom.

6. The Sixth Creative Hierarchy contains some who are known as Agnishvattas, and also as the “sixfold Dhyanis”. They are the fruit of the Second Planetary Chain.

This Hierarchy includes also great hosts of Devas.

They guide the vibratory wave from the Wisdom aspect of the Monad to the Buddhic permanent atom.

Further they give to man all but the Atma and the physical body, and so are called the “givers of the five middle principles”. They guide the Monad in obtaining the permanent atoms [including of course the mental unit] connected with these principles, i.e.., Buddhi, Manas, Lower Manas, Kama, and the Etheric Double.

They have especially to deal with the intellectual evolution of man.

7. The Seventh Creative Hierarchy contains those known as Lunar Pitris, or Barhishad Pitris,: these are the fruit of the Third Chain.

They have to do with the physical evolution of man.

Also belonging to the Seventh Hierarchy, are vast hosts of Devas, the lower Nature Spirits, who have to do with the actual building of the body of man.

For the convenience of the student, a tabular statement of the Creative Hierarchies is appended.





Function of evolution in monads





Fiery breathes

Awaken Atma



Twofold Units

Awaken Buddhi




Awaken Manas





Will to Manifest.

Shine forth and build Ray.

Choose type of permanent atoms.

Channels for Third Outpouring

Vivify spirillae of atoms.

Influence Individuality and Personality



Makara(including Asuras)

Attach atom of Atma

Asuras were Fruit of First Chain



Give 5 “Middle principles”.

Attach 4 permanent atoms and mental unit

Concerned with intellectual evolution of man

Fruit of Second Chain



Concerned with physical evolution of man

Fruit of Third Chain



We have now arrived at the stage where each Monad is provided with a Higher Triad, consisting of a permanent atom of the planes of Atma, Buddhi and Manas, and a Lower Triad consisting of a mental unit, an astral and a physical permanent atom. These particles of matter are, of course, merely nuclei which enable the Monad, through his “ray”, to come into touch with the various planes, and to build bodies or vehicles through which he can gather experiences from, and learn to express himself on, those planes of existence.

In order to understand the mechanism by which these results are achieved, we must next study the phenomena known as Group-Souls.

We have already seen that as the atoms of the Lower Triad are attached to the Sutratma, or life-thread, thin films of matter come into existence, separating, the seven main types of triads from one another. Thus are formed the seven primary groups or “rays” of triads which, by repeated division and subdivision, will give rise to large numbers of Group-Souls in the various kingdoms of life.

These seven great types or “rays” of Group-Souls remain separate and distinct, throughout all the vicissitudes of their evolution: that is to say, the seven types evolve in parallel streams, the streams never uniting or merging into one another. The seven types are clearly distinguishable in all kingdoms, the successive forms taken by anyone of them making a connected series of elementals, minerals, vegetables, or animals, as the case may be.

These seven primary Group-Souls appear as vague, filmy forms, floating in the great ocean of matter as balloons might float in the sea. They are seen first on the mental plane, becoming more clearly outlined on the astral plane, and still more so on the physical plane.

They float, one in each of the seven main streams of the Second Life Wave.

Within each Primary Group-Soul there are, of course, innumerable Lower Triads, each connected by the radiant golden thread to its Higher Triad, these again depending from the overhanging Monad. As yet no golden life web appears round the Triads; this will not come into existence until the mineral kingdom is reached.

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DIAGRAM XIII roughly illustrates the stage now reached. The very small number of Triads, which the limitations of space make it possible to show in the seven Group-Souls, must be considered as representing vastly larger numbers, with, of course, their connected higher Triads and Monads.

The stage shown in the Diagram is that at which the thin film or veil separating, the seven Primary Group-Souls, has received its three layers: these consist of mental essence, astral monadic essence and atomic matter of the physical plane. As already stated, these films or veils will eventually form the containing walls or envelopes of the Group-Souls proper.

It should be noted that these envelopes are formed of matter of the same Matter-group as that to which the Triads themselves belong.

The general plan of the evolutionary process—more strictly the involutionary process—is, as we have seen, a gradual differentiation of the great stream of divine life, until, after repeated division and subdivision, definite individualisation as a human being is attained, after which no further subdivision is possible, a human entity being an indivisible unit or “soul”.

Group—Souls, which exist in the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms thus represent intermediate stages leading up to complete differentiation into separate human entities or units. Hence in the three kingdoms mentioned, we do not find one soul in a block of mineral, or a plant or an animal. Instead of this, we find one block of life—it we may use such a term—ensouling, a vast quantity of mineral substance, a large number of plants or trees, or a number of animals. Into the details of these we will enter later, confining ourselves for the moment to a consideration of the general function and purpose of the Group-Souls.

The best physical analogy of a Group-Soul is perhaps the oriental one of water in a bucket. If a glassful of water be taken from the bucket, it represents, the soul—or portion of soul—of say, a single plant or animal. For the time being, the water in the glass is quite separate from that in the bucket, and, moreover, it takes the shape of the glass which contains it.

So may a portion of a Group-Soul occupy and vivify a vegetable or animal form.

An animal, during its life on the physical plane, and for some time after that in the astral world—has a soul, just as separate as a man’s; but when the animal comes to the end of its astral life, that soul does not reincarnate in a single body, but returns to the group-soul, which is a kind of reservoir of soul-matter.

The death of the animal would thus, in our analogy, be represented by pouring water from the glass back into the bucket. Just as the water from the glass becomes thoroughly mixed and united with the water in the bucket, so does the portion of the soul from the particular animal become mixed and incorporated, with the total soul in the Group-Soul. And just as it would not be possible, to take again from the bucket another glassful consisting of the same molecules of water, so is it not possible for the same portion of the total soul in the Group Soul to inhabit another particular animal form.

Continuing the analogy further, it is clear that we could fill many glasses with water from the bucket at the same time: equally is it possible for many animal forms to be ensouled and vivified by the same Group-Soul.

Further, if we suppose that any given glassful of water becomes coloured with a distinctive hue of its own, then, when the water is poured back into the bucket, that colouring matter will be distributed throughout the whole of the water in the bucket, the colour of all the water in the bucket being thereby to some extent modified.

If we consider the colouring matter to represent experiences or qualities acquired by a particular animal, then, when the portion of soul vivifying that animal returns to its parent Group-Soul, those experiences or qualities will become part of the general stock of the whole Group-Soul and be shared by every other part of it equally, though in a lesser degree than that in which the experience existed in the particular animal to whom it occurred; i.e., we may say that the experiences concentrated in a particular animal are spread, in a diluted form, over the whole Group-Soul to which the animal is attached.

There is an exact resemblance between the Group-Soul in the Mineral, Vegetable, and Animal Kingdoms, and a human child it its prenatal life. Just as the human child is nourished by the life-stream of the mother, so does the protective envelope of the Group-Soul nourish the lives within it, receiving and distributing the experiences gathered in it.

The circulating life is that of the parent: the young plants or animals are not yet ready for individual life, but must depend on the parent for nourishment. Thus the germinating lives of mineral, vegetable, and animal are nourished by the envelope of elemental and monadic essence, thrilling with Logoic life.

The evolution of lives in these early stages in the Group-Soul, depends upon three factors:

[a] first, and chiefly, the cherishing life of the Logos;

[b] the co-operating, guidance of the Devas:

[c] their own blind pressure against the limits of the enclosing form.

The general mechanism of the process by which, through these three agencies, the vibratory powers of the atoms in the Lower triads are awakened, is as follows:

The Second Logos, acting in the envelope of the Group-Soul, energises the physical permanent atoms. These are plunged, by the action of the devas, into the various conditions offered by the mineral kingdom, where each atom is attached to many mineral particles. The experiences—consisting of heat, cold, blows, pressure, shaking, etc.—through which the mineral substances pass, are conveyed to the attached physical permanent atoms, thus arousing vague answers of sympathetic vibration from the deeply slumbering consciousness within.

When any permanent atom has reached a certain responsiveness, or when a mineral form, i.e., The particles to which the permanent atom is attached, is broken up, the Group-Soul withdraws that atom into itself.

The experiences acquired by that atom—i.e., The vibrations it has been forced to execute—remain in it as powers of vibrating in particular ways, as vibratory powers in short. Then the permanent atom, having lost its embodiment in the mineral form, remains, as we might say, naked in its Group-Soul: here it continues to repeat the vibrations it has learnt, repeating its life experiences, and thus setting up pulses which run through the envelope of the Group-Soul, and are thereby conveyed to the other permanent atoms contained in that Group-Soul. Thus each permanent atom affects and helps all others.

Now another important phenomenon arises. It is clear that those permanent atoms which have had experiences similar in character will be affected more strongly by each other, than will be those whose experiences have been different,. Thus a certain segregation will take place within the Group-Soul, and presently a filmy separating wall will grow inwards from the envelope, dividing these segregated groups from each other.

Reverting to the simile of the water in the bucket, we may conceive of a scarcely perceptible film forming itself across the bucket. At first the water filters through this barrier to some extent: but nevertheless the glasses of water taken out from one side of that barrier are always returned to the same side, so that by degrees the water on one side becomes differentiated from the water on the other side. Then the barrier gradually densifies, and becomes, impenetrable, so that eventually there are two distinct portions of water instead of one.

In similar fashion, the Group-Soul after a time divides itself by fission, and forms two Group-Souls. The process is repeated over and over again, producing, an ever-increasing number of Group-Souls, with contents showing a correspondingly ever-increasing distinction of consciousness, while of course, still sharing certain fundamental characteristics.

The laws according to which permanent atoms in a Group-Soul are plunged into the kingdoms of nature are as yet by no means clear. There are indications, that the evolution of the mineral, vegetable and the lowest part of the animal kingdom belongs rather to the evolution of the earth itself than to that of the Triads, representing the Monads, who are evolving in the solar system and who come, in due course, to the earth to pursue their evolution by utilising, the conditions it affords.

Thus, grass and small plants of every kind seem to be related to the earth itself much as man’s hairs are related to his body, and not to be connected with the Monads and their Triads. The life in grass, etc., appears to be that of the Second Logos, which holds them together as forms, whilst the life in the atoms and molecules composing them is, of course that of the Third Logos, modified not only by the Planetary Logos of our system of Chains, but also by a somewhat obscure entity known as the Spirit of the Earth. Thus these kingdoms, while offering a field for the evolution of Monads and their Triads, do not appear to exist by any means solely for that purpose.

Hence we find permanent atoms scattered through the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, though we do not as yet understand the reasons governing their distribution. A permanent atom, for example, may be found in a pearl, a ruby, or a diamond; many will be found scattered through veins of ore and so on. But on the other hand, much mineral substance does not seem to contain any permanent atoms.

Similarly, with short-lived plants. But in plants of long continuance, such as trees, permanent atoms are constantly found. But here again, the life of the tree seems to be more closely related to the Deva evolution than to the evolution of the consciousness to which the permanent atom is attached.

It is, therefore, rather as though advantage were taken of the evolution of life and consciousness in the tree for the benefit of the permanent atom. The permanent atom may thus be said to be there more as a parasite, profiting by the more highly evolved life in which it is bathed. The student must recognise that at the moment our knowledge on these matters is extremely fragmentary.

Having now studied the general nature and functions of Group-Souls, we can pass on to consider more in detail Mineral, Vegetable and Animal Group-Souls, commencing with the Mineral Group-Soul.



DIAGRAM XIV is an attempt to illustrate a Mineral Group-Soul. It will be seen that the wall or envelope of the Group-Soul has three layers: the outermost is composed of physical atomic matter; the central one of astral monadic essence; the innermost one of mental elemental essence, i.e., matter of the fourth mental sub-plane.

A mineral Group-Soul may thus be defined as a collection of Triads, enclosed in a triple envelope consisting of mental elemental essence, astral monadic essence, and physical atomic matter.

Within the Group-Soul are shown some Lower Triads, attached of course, to their respective Higher Triads, these again being linked to their overshadowing Monads. These Triads within the Group-Soul are not at the moment plunged into any mineral substance.

Below the Group-Soul are shown a number of irregular shapes, which are intended to represent groups or blocks of mineral substances. Within some of these blocks are to be seen some Lower Triads, the lines rising upwards from these indicating that they belong to their parent Group-Soul hovering over them.

On the extreme right of the Diagram is shown a block of mineral substance which is supposed to have been in some way shattered, so that it is broken up into fragments. The Lower Triad, which previously was immersed in it, is shown in the act of withdrawal towards its parent Group-Soul, [as described on page 49 of the book]

The habitat of the Mineral Group-Soul may be said to be that of its densest envelope, i.e., the physical in other words, the most active working of the Mineral Group-Soul is on the physical plane.

Every Lower Triad has to pass through the mineral kingdom, this being the place where matter reaches its grossest form, and where the great Life-Wave reaches the limit of its descent, and turns to begin its upward climbing.

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Furthermore, it is physical consciousness that is the first to be awakened: it is on the physical plane that life must turn definitely outwards and recognised contacts with the external world. The consciousness gradually learns to recognise the impacts from without, to refer them to the outer world, and to realise as its own the changes which it undergoes in consequence of those impacts. In other words, it is on the physical plane that consciousness first becomes Self-consciousness.

By prolonged experiences, the consciousness feels the pleasure or pain arising, from the impacts, identifies itself with that pleasure or pain, and begins to regard as not itself that which touches its external surface. Thus is formed, the first rough distinction between “Not-I “ and “ I “.

As experiences accumulate, the “ I” will retreat ever inwards, throughout the whole of its future evolution, one veil of matter after another being relegated outwards as belonging to the “Not-I “. But, while its ———connotations steadily change, the fundamental distinction between subject and object ever remains. “ I “ is the consciousness which wills, thinks, feels, acts; “ Not-I “ is that about which the consciousness wills, thinks, feels, or acts.

Consciousness thus awakens on the physical plane, as we have said, and its expression is through the physical permanent atom. In this atom lies sleeping : “It sleeps in the mineral,” according to a well known aphorism; and therein some degree of awakening must take place, so that it may be roused, out of this dreamless sleep, and become sufficiently active to pass on into the next stage—that of the vegetable kingdom, where it is destined to “dream”.

The responses of consciousness to external stimuli in the mineral kingdom are far greater than many may quite realise, some of these responses indicating, that there is even a dawning of consciousness in the astral permanent atom. Thus chemical elements exhibit distinct mutual attractions, and chemical compounds are continually being broken up, when another element intrudes. Two elements, forming a silver salt, for example, will suddenly separate from one another, in the presence of hydrochloric acid, the silver uniting with the chlorine from the acid, leaving the hydrogen from the acid to form a new partnership or compound with the discarded element, which formerly was united to silver.

When such active interchanges take place, there is a slight stir in the astral atom, in consequence of the violent physical vibrations set up by the formation of, and a wrenching apart of, intimate ties.

Thus astral consciousness is slowly aroused from the physical, a little cloud of astral matter being drawn round the astral permanent atom by these slight thrillings. This astral matter is, however, very loosely held, and seems to be quite unorganised.

At this stage, there does not seem to be any vibration in the mental unit.

No detailed list has as yet been made of minerals, plants or animals, of the Seven Rays or types; but the following list of jewels and minerals is a beginning of the classification which will no doubt some day be made.


Jewel at head of Ray

Other jewels on same Ray




Rock Crystal



Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, Sodalite



Aquamarine, Jade, Malachite



Chalcedony, Agate, Serpentine



Citrine, Steatite



Tourmaline, Garnet, Carnelian,Carbuncle, Thulite, Rhodonite



Porphyry, Violane



A VEGETABLE Group-Soul is illustrated in DIAGRAM XV. It will be observed that the wall of the Group-Soul has now two layers only; the outer one is composed of astral monadic essence, i.e.., of astral atomic matter; the inner one of mental elemental essence, of matter of the fourth mental sub-plane. The physical layer, which the envelope of the Mineral Group-Soul possessed, has thus disappeared, as though absorbed, by the contents of the Group-Soul, for the strengthening of their own etheric bodies.

Within the Group-Soul are shown some Lower Triads, attached to their respective Higher Triads, these being again linked with their overshadowing Monads. The Lower Triads within the Group-Soul are not at the moment directly associated with any plant life.

Below the Group-Soul are shown a number of forms which are intended to indicate groups of plants or vegetable lives. Within some of these are found some Lower Triads, the lines between these and the Group-Soul indicating that they belong to the parent Group-Soul which hovers over them.

As in the case of the Mineral Group-Soul, at A, on the extreme right of the Diagram, there is shown a plant form which is supposed to have been destroyed as an organism; the Lower Triad, which was embedded in it, is released, on the destruction of the form, the Group-Soul then withdrawing it back into itself, as indicated by the arrow in the Diagram.

The activity of the Group-Soul is now transferred from the physical to the astral, plane, its work being the nourishment of the astral bodies of the lives it contains.

Precisely as in the case of the Mineral Group-Souls, we may repeat that it is not to be supposed that every blade of grass, every plant, every tree, has a permanent atom within it, evolving to humanity during the life of our system. It is rather that the vegetable kingdom, which exists on its own account, and for other purposes, also affords the field of evolution for these permanent atoms, the Devas guiding the permanent atoms to one plant form after another, so that they may experience the vibrations that affect the vegetable world and again store up these as vibratory powers in themselves as they did whilst, they were embedded in the mineral kingdom.

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The method of interchange of vibrations, and consequently of segregation, continue as before. The Group-Souls therefore constantly divide and subdivide, becoming thus not only more numerous, but also more different from one another in their leading characteristics.

During the time that is spent in the vegetable kingdom, there is more activity, perceptible in the astral permanent atom, than was the case during the period spent in the mineral kingdom. In consequence, the astral permanent atom attracts round itself astral matter, which is arranged by the Devas in a rather more definite way. In the long life of a forest tree, the growing aggregation of astral matter develops itself in all directions as the astral form of the tree. That astral form experiences vibrations, which cause “massive” pleasure or discomfort, set up in the physical tree by sunshine and storm, wind and rain, heat and cold, etc., these experiences being passed on, to some extent, to the permanent atom embedded in that particular tree. As stated before, when the tree—form perishes as a tree, the permanent atom retreats within the Group-Soul taking with it its rich store of experiences, which it shares in the manner previously described, with the other Triads in the Group-Soul.

Furthermore, as the consciousness becomes more responsive in the astral, it sends little thrills down to the physical plane; these give rise to feeling which, though really derived from the astral, are yet felt as though in the physical.

When there has been a long separate life, as, for example, in a tree, there will be a slight arousing of the mental unit, which will gather round it a little cloud of mental matter; on this the recurrence of seasons, etc., will slowly impress itself as a faint memory, which becomes a dim anticipation.

As a general rule, in fact, it appears that each Lower Triad, during the later stages of its evolution in the vegetable world, will have a prolonged experience, in a single form, in order that some thrills of mental life may be experienced, and the Lower Triad thus be prepared to profit, in due time, by the wandering life of an animal. The rule however, is not universal, for it also appears that, in some cases, the passage into the animal kingdom is made at an earlier stage, so that the first thrill in the metal unit occurs in some of stationary forms of animal life, and in very lowly animal organisms. For conditions, similar to those described as existing in the mineral and kingdoms, appear to prevail also in the lowest types of animals. In other words, the kingdoms appear to overlap to some extent.



An animal Group-Soul is illustrated in DIAGRAM XVI. As will be seen from from the Diagram, the envelope of the Group-Soul now has but a single layer, consisting of elemental essence of the fourth mental sub-plane. The astral layer, which the Vegetable Group-Soul possessed, has been absorbed for the strengthening of the vague astral bodies of the Triads within the Group-Soul.

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The activity of the Group-Soul is now transferred a plane higher to the lower mental plane, and it nourishes the inchoate mental bodies of the contained Triads thus gradually strengthening these into outlines less vague.

DIAGRAM XVI is on lines exactly similar to those of DIAGRAMS XIV and XV. At “A” is an animal form which, as a form, has been destroyed. Consequently, the Lower Triad from it is being withdrawn into the Group-Soul as indicated by the arrow in the Diagram.

Just as in the earlier kingdoms, the Devas guide the Triads into animal forms. Also, as in the mineral and vegetable kingdoms, the lower forms of animal life, such as microbes, amoebae, hydrae, etc., show a permanent atom only as a visitor, now and again, and obviously in no way depend upon it for their own life and growth, nor do they break up when the permanent atom, is withdrawn. These animal forms are thus merely hosts, which from time, to time receive permanent atoms as passing guests: in no sense are they bodies formed round a permanent atom.

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In fact, before the Devas, at a much later stage, build forms round these permanent atoms, the atoms in the animal kingdom must have received and stored up many experiences.

Moreover, it is noteworthy at this stage, that the golden life-web in no way represents the organisation of the body of the host. The life-web seems rather, to act as rootlets act in soil, attaching to themselves particles of soil and sucking from them the nourishment they require for the organism they serve.

Needless to say, in the animal kingdom, the permanent atoms receive far more varied vibrations than in the lower kingdoms: consequently, they differentiate more quickly. As this differentiation proceeds, the multiplication of Group-Souls goes on with increasing rapidity, the number of Lower Triads in any one Group-Soul of course steadily diminishing.

DIAGRAM XVII illustrates the fission of an animal Group-Soul. Mineral and vegetable Group-Souls, as already described, also divide by a similar process of fission.

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Again and again the Group-Soul divides, until eventually each Lower Triad possesses its own separate envelope. The Triad is still within the enveloping case of elemental essence, which protects and nourishes it. It is drawing near to “Individualisation”, and the term Group-Soul is no longer strictly applicable to it, because one Lower Triad clearly is not a “group”. It is a single Lower Triad which has separated off from the “group” to which previously it belonged.

DIAGRAM XVIIIA shows the stage which has now been reached: in the Group-Soul envelope there is but one Lower Triad; but there are still several animal forms attached to the Group-Soul. The next stage is reached when there is only one animal form attached to the Group-Soul. This is indicated in Diagram XVIII-B. Large numbers of the higher domestic animals have reached this stage, and have really become separate entities, incarnating in a succession of animal bodies; although they have not as yet, of course, attained to the possession of a causal body—the true mark of individualisation.

Before passing on to describe the very interesting process of individualisation, we may here note an analogy between the animal, when it is approaching individualisation, and the human ante-natal life. The animal at this stage corresponds to the last two months of the human foetus.

Now it is known that a seven-months child may be born and may survive, but it will be stronger healthier, more vigorous, if it profits yet another two months by its mother’s shielding and nourishing life. So is it also better, for the normal development of the ego, that it should not burst too soon the envelope of the Group-Soul, but should remain within it, still absorbing life through it, and strengthening from its constituents the finest part of its own mental body. When that mental body has reached the limit of growth possible, under these shielded conditions, then the time is ripe for individualisation to take place.

Knowledge of these facts has sometimes caused occultists to warn people, who are very fond of animals, not to be exaggerated in their affection, or to show it in unwise ways. For it is possible that the growth of the animal may be unhealthily forced—just as we know the development of a child may be unhealthily forced—and the individualisation of the animal thus be hastened out of due time. It is obviously far better to let an animal develop naturally, until, it is fully ready for individualisation, than to force it artificially, and cause it to become an individual before it is really ready to stand by itself, and live in the world as a separate human entity.

It must be recollected that we are at present little more than half way through the Fourth Round of the Fourth Chain, i.e., a little more than half way through the evolution of this Chain of worlds, and that it is only at the end of this evolution, that the animal kingdom is expected to attain humanity. Hence, any animal which is now attaining, or even approaching individualisation, must be very remarkably in advance of the others, and the number of such cases is consequently very small. Nevertheless, they do occasionally occur. Close association with man is necessary to produce this result.

We may note two factors at work:

1] the emotions and thoughts of the man act constantly upon those of the animal, and tend to raise him to a higher level both emotionally and intellectually;

2] the animal, if kindly treated, develops, devoted affection for his human friend, and also unfolds his intellectual powers in trying to understand that friend and anticipate his wishes.

It has been found that individualisation, which lifts an entity definitely from the animal kingdom into the human, can take place only for certain kinds of animals,—one for each of the seven great types or “rays”. In fact, it is only among domesticated creatures, and by no means among all classes, even of these, that individualisation occurs. Of these classes, we already know certainly the elephant, the monkey, the dog and cat. The horse is possibly a fifth.

Up to each of these heads of types leads a long line of wild animals, which has not been fully investigated. It is known, however, that wolves, foxes, jackals, and all such creatures culminate in the dog: lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars and ocelots culminate in the domestic cat.

It should be noted also that an animal of any given type, that individualises into a human being, will become a man of that same type, and no other.

Both bees and ants [which together with wheat, were brought from Venus by the Lords of the Flame] live in a manner quite different from purely terrestrial creatures, in that with them a Group-Soul animates the entire ant or bee community, so that the community acts with a single will, and its different units are actually members of one body, in the sense in which hands and feet are members of the human frame. It might indeed be said of them that they have not only a Group-Soul, but a group-body also.

The investigations of M.Maeterlinck appear to confirm the above fully. He writes:—

“The population of the hive, the ant hill and the termitary, seems to be one individual, one single living creature, whose organs, composed of innumerable cells, are disseminated only in appearance, but remain always subject to the same energy or vital personality, the same central law. By virtue of this collective immortality, the decease of hundreds of termites that are immediately succeeded by others, does not affect or touch the central, being. For millions of years, the same insect has gone on living, with the result that not a single one of its experiences has been lost. There has been no interruption of its existence, or disappearance of its memories; an individual memory has remained, and this has never ceased to function or to centralise every acquisition of the collective soul. They bathe in the same vital fluid as the cells of our own being; but in their case this fluid would seem to be much more diffuse, more elastic, more subtle, more psychical, or more ethereal than that of our body. And this central unity is no doubt bound up with the universal soul of the bee, and probably with what is actually the universal soul”. [From the “Life of the white ant” by Maurice Maeterlink, pages 199-207]

With regard to the numbers of separate creatures attached to a Group-Soul, there may be quadrillions of flies and mosquitoes; hundreds and thousands of rabbits or sparrows; a few thousands of such animals as the lions and tiger, leopard, deer, wolf, or wild boar. Among domesticated animals such as sheep and oxen the number is still smaller.

In the case of the seven animals from whom individualisation is possible, there are usually only a few hundred attached to each Group-Soul, and as their development continues, they break up rapidly. Whilst there may be a thousand pariah dogs attached to one Group-Soul, in the case of a really intelligent pet dog or cat there may be not more than ten or twelve bodies over which the Group-Soul hovers.

Animal Group-Souls are greatly affected and assisted by the influences which the Masters of Wisdom are continually pouring out, affecting to some extent everything within a wide radius.



We have now arrived at the stage where a change of vast importance to the evolving life is about to take place—viz., the individualisation of the animal the formation of the causal body, the entry into the human kingdom.

In order to understand the whole phenomenon, and to recognise its full significance, let us briefly recapitulate the stages already passed. We saw first that the Monads, which derive their being from the First Logos, come forth and dwell on the Anupadaka Plane during all ages over which we have glanced. With the help of Devas, each Monad has appropriated to himself the three permanent atoms which represent him as a Jivatma on the planes of Atma, Buddhi and Manas, these three forming the Higher Triad. In addition, to each Higher Triad has been attached also a Lower Triad, consisting of a Mental Unit, and an Astral and a Physical Permanent Atom.

The Lower Triad has been plunged successively into the earlier kingdoms of life, shielded and nourished by its Group-Soul. By repeated subdivision, brought about by differentiation of experience, each Lower Triad has now become possessed of an envelope or sac to itself, derived from the original Group-Soul. After a succession of experiences in a series of single animal forms, the Lower Triad is at length sufficiently awakened to warrant a further step being taken in the evolutionary scheme, a step which will bring to it a further instalment, if we may use such an expression, or aspect, of the Divine Life.

Just as the human foetus is nourished by the mother in her womb until such time as the child is strong—enough to live its own independent existence in the outer world, so is the Triad, shielded and nourished by the Group-Soul, the medium by which the Second, Logos protects and nourishes His infant children, until the Triad is strong, enough to be launched into the outer world as a self-contained unit of life, pursuing its own independent evolution.

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Thus is reached the term of ante-natal life of the Jivatma [the Higher Triad of Atma,Buddhi,Manas] enclosing the life of the Monad, the time being now ripe, for his birth into the lower world. The mother-life of the Second Logos has built for him the bodies in which he can live as a separate entity in the world of forms, and he has to come into direct possession of those bodies and take up his human evolution.

Up to this point, all communication of the Monad with the lower planes has been brought through the Sutratma or thread-self, on which the permanent, atoms are strung [see DIAGRAM XIX-A] But now the time has come for a fuller communication than is represented by this delicate thread in its original form. The Sutratma accordingly widens out [see DIAGRAM XIX-B] the Ray from the Monad glows and increases, assuming more the form of a funnel: “the thread between the Silent Watcher —and his shadow becomes more strong and radiant” [The Secret Doctrine,Volume I, page 285].

This downflow of monadic life is accompanied by much increased flow, between the buddhic and manasic permanent atoms [see DIAGRAM-XIX-C]

The manasic permanent atom awakens, sending out thrills in every direction. Other manasic atoms and molecules gather round it [see DIAGRAM XIX-D], and a whirling vortex is formed on the three upper sub-planes of the mental plane. A similar whirling motion takes place in the cloudy mass surrounding the mental unit which, as we have seen, is enveloped in the Group-Soul.

The wall of the Group Soul is then torn asunder, and caught up into the vortex, above, [see DIAGRAM XX-A]. Here it is disintegrated, being resolved into matter of the third mental sub-plane, and, as the whirlpool subsides, it is formed into a delicate, filmy envelope, this being the causal body [see DIAGRAM XX- B].

In describing this process, the illustration usually given in the East is that of a waterspout. There we have a great cloud hovering above the sea, on the surface of which waves are constantly forming and moving. Presently from the cloud is extended an inverted cone of violently,, whirling vapour, like a great finger.

Underneath this, a vortex is rapidly formed in the ocean; but instead of being, a depression in its surface, as in an ordinary whirlpool, it is a whirling cone rising above that surface.

Steadily the two draw closer and closer together, until they come so near that the power of attraction is strong enough to overleap the intervening space, and suddenly a great column of mingled water and vapour is formed where nothing of the kind existed before.

In just the same way, the animal Group-Souls are constantly throwing parts of themselves into incarnation, like the temporary waves on the surface of the sea. At last, after the process of differentiation has continued to the maximum possible, a time comes when one of the waves rises high enough to enable the hovering cloud to effect junction with it. Then it is drawn up into a new existence, neither in the cloud nor in the sea, but between the two, and partaking, of the nature of both. Thus it is separated from the Group-Soul, of which hitherto it has formed a part, and falls back again into the sea no more. Technically expressed, the life of the animal, working in lower mental matter, is whirled up to meet the downpouring life of the Monad, expressed through higher mental or causal matter.

We may think of the Monad as waiting on his own plane, while the lower bodies are being formed, round the atoms attached to him, brooding over them through long ages of slow evolution. When they are sufficiently evolved, he flashes down and takes possession of them, to use them for his own evolution. As he meets the upward-growing, unfolding mind-stuff, he comes into union with it, fertilising it, and at the point of union, forms the causal body, the vehicle of the individual.

The downflow of life, resulting in the formation of the causal body, is known as the Third Life Wave, or Third Outpouring, and derives from the First Logos, the eternal all-loving Father—from Whom came also, as we have seen, the Monads themselves in the first instance.

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The action of the three Outpourings in producing an individual human being is graphically represented in the well-known Diagram opposite page 38 in Man Visible and Invisible, and on page 16 of The Chakras. This Diagram we have ventured to modify slightly [see DIAGRAM XXI] in accordance with the further information given in The Chakras and in The Masters and The Path.

The explanation of DIAGRAM XXI is as follows:—

The First Life Wave or Outpouring, from the Third Logos or Aspect, plunges straight down into matter, the line in the drawing, indicating this, growing heavier and darker as it descends, showing how the Holy Spirit vivifies the matter of the various planes, first building the atoms, and then aggregating the atoms into elements [as described in Chapter V].

Into that matter so vivified, the Second Life Wave, or Outpouring, from the Second Logos or Aspect, God the Son, descends through the First, Second, and Third Elemental Kingdoms, down to the mineral kingdom; then it ascends through the vegetable and animal to the human kingdom, where it meets the downward- reaching power of the First Logos—the Third Outpouring, from the First Logos, or Aspect.

Meanwhile the force of the Third Logos, the First Outpouring, from the Third Aspect, after touching its lowest point, also rises again. On this path of return, or ascent, it is Kundalini, and it works in the bodies of evolving creatures, in intimate contact with the Primary or Life- Force, the two acting together, to bring the creature to the point where it can receive the Outpouring, of the First Logos, and become an ego, a human being, and still carry on the vehicles even after that. Thus we may say that we draw God’s mighty power from the earth beneath as well as from heaven above, and are children of the earth as well as the sun.The two forces meet in us, and work together for our evolution. We cannot have one without the other, but if one is greatly in excess there are serious dangers. Hence, incidentally, the risk of any development of the deeper layers of Kundalini before the life in man is pure and refined.

Whilst all three Outpourings are truly the actual Life of God Himself, yet there is a vital and important distinction between the First and Second Outpourings, on the one hand and the Third Outpouring on the other hand. For the First and Second Outpourings have come down slowly and gradually through all the sub-planes, drawing round themselves the matter of each of these, and enmeshing themselves in it so thoroughly that it is scarcely possible, to discern them for what they are, to recognise them as Divine Life at all.

But the Third Outpouring flashes straight down from its source without involving itself in any way in the intermediate matter. It is the pure white light uncontaminated by anything through which it has passed.

Furthermore, although in the Diagram, as originally published, the Third Outpouring, was shown as coming forth directly from the Logos, yet it has in fact [as we saw in Chapter IV] issued from Him long ago, and is hovering at an intermediate point, i.e., On the second or Anupadaka plane, where we know it as the Monad. We have therefore, ventured to modify the original Diagram by inserting the triangle, representative of the Monad, in its appropriate place in the stream of the Third Outpouring.

This —”monadic inflow”—resulting in the evolution of the Monad from the animal into the human kingdom, continued up to the middle of the Fourth Race [the Atlantean], the human population thus continually receiving fresh recruits. This point represents the middle of the scheme of evolution in our Planetary Chain, and after it has passed, very few animals attain individualisation. An animal who does succeed in individualising is as far in advance of his fellows, as is the human being who attains Adeptship in advance of the average, man. Both are doing, at the middle point of evolution, what they are expected to be able to do only at the end of it. Those who achieve only at the normal time, at the end of the Seventh round, will approach their goal so gradually that there will be little or no struggle.

The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, page 205, refers to this matter when it states that after the “central turning point”, of the cycle of evolution, “no more Monads can enter the Human kingdom. The door is closed for this cycle”.

The student will observe that the Third Outpouring differs from others in another important respect, in that whilst the First and Second Outpourings affect thousands or millions simultaneously, the Third Outpouring comes to each one individually, only as that one is ready to receive it.

The Third Outpouring, as we have seen, has already descended as far as the Buddhic world, but comes no farther until the upward leap is made by the soul of the animal from below. Then the two flash together, and form the ego as a permanent individuality, in the manner described.

Whilst we speak of the individuality of man as being permanent, it must be understood that such permanence is relative only, for at a far later stage in evolution the man transcends it, and reaches back to the divine unity from which he came. This matter will be dealt with in a later chapter.

Recapitulating briefly, we see that the Logos sends forth three mighty waves of His Life, through His three Aspects in succession: the first shapes and ensouls matter; the second imparts qualities and builds forms; the third carries down the human Monad to unite with the forms prepared by the second.

The student should note that previous to individualisation, the fragment of the of the Group-Soul has played the part of the ensouling force. After individualisation, however, that which was the Group-Soul is converted into the causal body, thus becoming the vehicle which is ensouled by the Divine Spark which has descended into it from the higher world.

Thus that which hitherto has been the ensouling life becomes in turn the ensouled, for it builds itself into a form, symbolised in ancient mythology by the Greek idea of the Crater or Cup, and by the mediaeval story of the Holy Grail. For the Grail or Cup is the perfected result of all that lower evolution, into which is poured the wine of the Divine Life, so that the soul of man may be born. Thus, as has been said, that which had previously been the animal soul becomes in the case of man the causal body, occupied by the ego or human soul. All that has been learned in its evolution is thus transferred to this new centre of life.

Now that the causal body has been formed, the Higher or Spiritual Triad has a permanent vehicle for further evolution. When the consciousness in due time becomes able to function freely in this vehicle, the Higher Triad will be able to control and direct, far more effectively than before, the evolution, of the lower vehicles.

The earlier efforts at control are not, of course, of a very intelligent description, any more than the first movements of an infant are intelligent; although we know that there is an intelligence connected with them. The Monad is now quite literally, born on the physical plane; but he must be regarded as a baby there, a true Individuality, but an infant ego, and he will have to pass through an immense period of time before his power over the physical body will be anything but infantile.

The Soul or Ego we may consider as that which individualises the Universal, Spirit, which focusses the Universal Light into a single point; which is as it were, a receptacle into which is poured the Spirit; so that which in Itself is universal, poured into this receptacle appears as separate: always identical in its essence, but separated in its manifestation. The purpose of this separation is, as we have seen, that an individual may develop and grow; that there may be an individualised life potent on every plane of the Universe; that it may know on the physical and other planes as it knows on the spiritual planes, and have no break in consciousness; that it may make for itself the vehicles that it needs for acquiring consciousness beyond its own plane, and then may gradually purify them one by one until they no longer act as blinds or as hindrances, but as pure and translucent media through which all knowledge on every plane may come.

The process of individualisation, however, should not be conceived as merely the making of a form or receptacle, and then pouring something into it, so that that which is poured at once takes the definite outline and shape of the vessel.The real phenomenon is more analogous to the building of a solar system from a nebula. Out of the primeval matter of space, a slight mist appears too delicate almost to be called even a mist: the mist grows gradually denser as the particles aggregate more closely together; eventually shapes are formed within the mist, which, as time goes on, become more definite, until a system is formed, with a central sun and planets around it.

So is the coming of Spirit into individualisation. It is like the faint appearance of a shadow in the universal void; the shadow becomes a mist, which grows clearer and more definite, until eventually an individual comes into existence. The Soul, or individual, is thus not a thing complete at first, plunging like a diver into the ocean of matter: rather is it slowly densified and builded, until out of the Universal it becomes the individual, which ever grows as its evolution proceeds.

Thus the Third Outpouring makes within each man that distinctive “spirit of the man which goeth upward”, in contradistinction to “the spirit of the beast which goeth downward”—which, being interpreted, means that while the soul of the animal pours back after death of the body into the Group-Soul to which it belongs, the divine spirit in man cannot so fall back again, but rises ever onward and upward towards the Divinity from Whom it came.

As has already been stated, the divine life represented by the Third Life Wave appears to be unable of itself to descend lower than the Buddhic plane, where it hovers like a mighty cloud, waiting for an opportunity of effecting, a junction with life of the Second Outpouring, which is rising to meet it.

Now although this cloud seems to exercise a constant attraction upon the essence below it, yet the effort which makes the union possible must be made from below. With the nature of this effort we shall deal in the next chapter.

The junction of the Third with the First and Second Outpourings is the beginning of the intellectual evolution, the coming of the Ego to take possession of his physical tabernacle, and to link to that tabernacle the Spirit which has brooded over it, which has by its subtle influence shaped and fashioned it.

Of this, H.P.Blavatsky says: “There exists in nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the formation of the three periodical Upadhis; or rather three separate, schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably and inter blended at every point——

I. The Monadic, as the name implies, is concerned with the growth and development into still higher phases of activity of the Monads, in conjunction with;

II. The Intellectual, represented by the Manasa-Dhyanis [the Solar Devas, or the Agnishvatta Pitris], the ‘givers of intelligence and consciousness ‘ to man; and:

III. The Physical represented, by the Chhayas of the Lunar Pitris, round which Nature has concreted the present physical body…….It is the union of these three streams in him, which makes him the complex being he now is” [The Secret Doctrine,Volume I, pages 203-204.]

“Man “ has well been defined in Occultism as that being in the universe, in whatever part of the universe he may be, in whom highest Spirit and lowest Matter are joined together by intelligence, thus ultimately making a manifested God, who will go forth to conquer through the illimitable future that stretches before him.

Man himself, the reincarnating ego, should preferably be considered as the Thinker, rather than as Mind; for the word Thinker suggests an individual Entity, whereas the word Mind suggests rather a vague, diffused generality.

If we consider the phases of involution and evolution in broad outline, we may think of them as consisting of seven stages. During three the Spirit descends. As it descends, it broods over Matter, imparting qualities, powers and attributes. The fourth stage stands alone, for in it Matter, now imbued with various powers and attributes, comes into manifold relations with the informing Spirit, which now enters it. This is the great battle of the universe, the conflict between Spirit and Matter, the battle of Kurukshetra, of the vast hosts of the opposing armies. In this part of the field is the point of balance. The Spirit, coming into innumerable relations with Matter, is at first overpowered; then comes the point of balance, when neither has the advantage over the other; then slowly the Spirit begins to triumph over Matter, so that, when the fourth stage is over, Spirit is master of Matter, and is ready for his ascent through the three stages that complete the seven.

In these, the Spirit organises the Matter which he has mastered and ensouled, turns it to his own purposes, shapes it for his own expression, so that Matter may become the means whereby all the powers of the Spirit shall be made manifest and active. The last three stages are thus taken up by the spiritual ascent. In tabular form, the seven stages may be indicated thus:

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with the matter of the lower planes,: it acts as a link between [a] and [c]; [c] in turn is a small part of [b], and is thoroughly entangled with lower matter of the mental and astral bodies.

[a] we may think of as the body of a man; [b] as his arm stretched out; [c] as the hand which grasps, or perhaps rather the tips of the fingers which are dipped in matter.

We have here a very delicately balanced arrangement, which may be affected in various ways. The intention is that the hand [c] should grasp firmly and guide the matter with which it is entangled, being fully directed all the time by the body [a] through the arm [b]. Under favourable circumstances, additional strength, and even additional matter, may be poured from the body [a] through the arm [b] into the hand[c]. so that the control may become more and more perfect.

The hand [c] may grow in size as well as in strength, and the more it does so the better, so long as the communication through the arm [b] is kept open freely, and the body [a]retains control. For the very entanglement of the causal matter, which constitutes the hand [c], awakens it to a keen activity, and an accuracy of response to fine shades of vibration, which it could gain in no other way, and this, when transmitted through the arm[b], to the body[a], means the development of the ego himself.

Unfortunately the course of events does not always follow the ideal plan of working indicated above. When the control of the body [a] is feeble, it some times happens that the hand [c] becomes so thoroughly enmeshed in lower matter that, as said, it actually identifies itself (Page 177) with that lower matter, forgets for the time its high estate, and thinks of itself as the whole ego.

If the matter be of the lower mental plane, then we shall have a man who is wholly materialistic. He may perhaps be keenly intellectual, but not spiritual; he may very likely be intolerant of spirituality, and quite unable to comprehend, or appreciate it. He may probably call himself practical, matter-of-fact unsentimental, while in reality he is as hard as the nether-millstone; and, because of that hardness, his life, from the point of view of the ego, is a failure, and he is making no spiritual progress.

If, on the other hand, the matter in which he is so fatally entangled be astral, he will, on the physical plane, be one who thinks only of his own gratification, who is utterly ruthless when in pursuit of soma object which he strongly desires, a man quite unprincipled, and of brutal selfishness. Such a man lives in his passions, just as the man immeshed in mental matter lives in his mind. Cases such as these have been spoken of as “lost souls”, though they are not irretrievably lost.

H.P.Blavatsky says of such men: “There is, however, still hope for a person who has lost his Higher Soul through his vices, while he is yet in the body. He may still be redeemed and made to turn on his material nature. For either an intense feeling of repentance, or one single earnest appeal to the Ego that has fled, or best of all, an active effort to amend one’s ways, may bring the Higher Ego back again. The thread of connection is not altogether broken, “—[Secret Doctrine, III 527].

In returning to our analogy of the investment, we note that, in making his investment, the ego expects not only to recover the hand[c], but he expects also that it will be improved both in quality and quantity. Its quality should be better, because it should be much more awake, and capable of instant and accurate response to a far more varied gamut of vibrations than before. (Page 178) This capacity the hand [c], when reabsorbed, necessarily communicates, to the body [a], though, of course, the store of energy which made such a powerful wave in the hand (c) will be able to create a ripple, when distributed throughout the whole substance of the body [a].

We should remind ourselves here that although the vehicles can respond to, and express, evil thoughts and emotions, and although their excitement under such vibrations can produce perturbation in the entangled causal matter [c], yet it is quite impossible for [c] to reproduce those vibrations itself, or to communicate them to the arm[b] or the body [a], simply because matter of the three higher mental levels can no more vibrate at the rate of the lowest plane than the string of a violin tuned to a certain pitch can be made to produce a note lower than that pitch.

The hand[c] should also be increased in quantity, because the causal body, like all other vehicles, is constantly changing its matter, and, when special exercise is given to a certain part of it, that part grows in size, and becomes stronger, precisely as a physical muscle does, when it is used.

Every earth-life is an opportunity, carefully calculated, for such development in quality and quantity as is most needed by the ego; a failure to use that opportunity means the trouble and delay of another similar incarnation, and sufferings probably aggravated by the additional karma incurred.

Against the increment, which the ego has a right to expect from each incarnation, we must offset a certain amount of loss which, in the earlier stages, is scarcely avoidable. In order to be effective, the entanglement with lower matter must be very intimate, and it is found that when this is so, it is scarcely ever possible to recover every particle, especially from the connection with the astral body.

When the time comes for separation from the astral body, it is almost always a shade and not a mere shell—[vide The Astral Body, pages 170—171] that is left behind (Page 179) on the astral plane; and that very distinction means that some of the causal material is lost. Except in the case of an unusually bad life however, this amount should be much smaller than that gained by growth, so that there should be, on the whole, a profit on the transaction.

Diagram XXVII-A illustrates this case, which may be regarded as the normal state of affairs.

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The student should not allow the analogy of the arm and the hand to mislead him into thinking of the arm [b] and hand [c] as permanent appanages of the ego. During a life period they may certainly be considered as separate, but at the end of each life-period, they withdraw into the body [a], and the result of the experience is distributed, as it were, through the whole mass of its substance. When, therefore, the time comes for the ego again to put part of himself into incarnation, he does not, nor can he, stretch out again the old arm [b], and the old hand [c], for they have become absorbed in him and become part of him, just as a cupful of water emptied into a bucket becomes part of the water in the bucket, and cannot be separated from it.

Any colouring matter—symbolising the qualities developed by experience—which was present in the cup is distributed though in paler tint, through the whole bucketful of water. The plan is, therefore, exactly parallel to that we have already studied in the case of group-souls, (Page 180) except that a group-soul may put down many tentacles simultaneously, while the ego puts forth only one at a time. In each incarnation, therefore, the personality is obviously quite a different one from those preceding it, though, of course, the ego behind it remains the same.

In the case of men, such as those described above, men living entirely in their passions or their minds, there would be no gain, either in quality or quantity, since the vibrations would not be such as could be stored in the causal body. And, on the other hand, as the entanglement has been so strong, there would certainly be considerable loss when the separation took place.

In cases where the hand [c] has asserted itself against the arm [b] and pressed it back towards the body [a], the arm [b], has become attenuated, and almost paralysed, its strength and substance being withdrawn into the body, while the hand [c] has set up for itself, and makes on its own account jerky and spasmodic movements, which are not controlled by the brain. If the separation could become perfect, it would correspond to an amputation at the wrist; but this very rarely takes place during physical existence, although only so much communication remains as is necessary to keep the personality alive. Diagram XXVII-B illustrates the case we have been describing.

Such a case is not hopeless, for even at the last moment fresh life may be poured through the paralysed arm, if a sufficiently strong effort be made, and thus the ego may be enabled to recover some proportion of the hand [c], just as he has already recovered most of the arm [b].Nevertheless, such a life has been wasted, for, even if the man just contrived to escape serious loss, at any rate nothing has been gained, and much time has been frittered away.

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The most disastrous catastrophe which can occur to an ego is that in which the personality captures the part of the ego which is put down, and actually causes it to break away. Such cases are exceedingly rare, but they have happened. (Page 181) This time, the hand [c], instead of repelling the arm [b], and driving it gradually back into the body [a], by degrees absorbs the arm [b] and detaches it from the body [a]. Diagram XXVIII-C illustrates such a case. This could be accomplished only by determined persistence in deliberate evil, in short, by black magic. Continuing the analogy, this is equivalent to amputation at the shoulder, or to the loss by the ego of nearly all his available capital. Fortunately for him, he cannot lose everything, because the arm[b] and the hand[c] together are only a small proportion of the body[a], and behind [a] is the great undeveloped portion of the ego, on the first and second mental sub-planes. Mercifully a man, however incredibly foolish or wicked, cannot completely wreck himself, for he cannot bring that higher part of the causal body into activity, until he has reached a level at which such evil is unthinkable.

There are certain men, who deliberately set them selves in opposition to nature and, instead of working for unity, towards which the whole force of the universe is pressing, they debase every faculty they possess for purely selfish ends. They spend their lives striving for separateness, and for a long time they attain it : it is said that the sensation of being utterly alone in space is the most awful fate that can ever befall a man.

This extraordinary development of selfishness is, (Page 182)of course, the characteristic of the black magician, and it is among their ranks only that men can be found who are in danger of this terrible fate. Many and loathsome as are their varieties, they may all be classed in one or other of two great divisions. Both classes use such occult arts as they possess for selfish purposes, but these purposes differ.

In the commoner and less formidable type, the object pursued is the gratification of sensual desire of some sort: naturally, the result of such a life is to centre the man’s energy in his astral body. Having succeeded in killing out from himself every unselfish or affectionate feeling, every spark of higher impulse, nothing is left but a remorseless, ruthless monster of lust, who finds himself after death neither able nor desiring to rise above the lowest subdivisions, of the astral plane. The whole of such mind as he has is absolutely in the grip of desire, and, when the struggle takes place, the ego can recover none of it, and in consequence finds himself seriously weakened.

For the time being he has cut himself off from the current of evolution, and so, until he can return to incarnation, he stands—or so it seems to him -outside that evolution, in the condition of avichi, the waveless. Even when he does return to incarnation, it cannot be among those whom he has known before, for he has not enough available capital left, to provide ensoulment for a mind and body at his previous level. He must now be content, therefore, to occupy vehicles of a far less evolved type, belonging to some earlier race. He has thus thrown himself far back in evolution, and must climb over again many rungs of the ladder.

He will probably be born as a savage, but will most likely be a chief among them, as he will still have some intellect. It has been said that he may even throw himself so far back that he may be unable to find in the world, in its present condition, any type of human body low enough for the manifestation which he now requires, so that he may be incapacitated from taking any further part in the Scheme of evolution, and may therefore have (Page 183) to wait, in a kind of condition of suspended animation, for the commencement of another.

Meanwhile, the amputated personality, having broken the “silver thread that binds it to the Master”, is, of course, no longer a permanent evolving entity, but remains full of vigorous and wholly evil life, entirely without remorse or responsibility. As it is destined to disintegrate amidst the unpleasant surroundings of the “eighth sphere”, it tries to maintain some sort of existence on the physical plane as long as possible. The sole means of prolonging its baneful existence is vampirism of some sort:when that fails, it has been known to seize upon any available body, driving out the lawful owner. The body chosen might very probably be that of a child, both because it might be expected to last longer, and because an ego, which had not yet really taken hold, could be more easily dispossessed.

In spite of its frenzied efforts, its power seems soon to fail, and it is said there is no instance on record of its successfully stealing a second body, after its first theft is worn out. The creature is a demon of the most terrible type, a monster for whom there is no permanent place in the Scheme of evolution to which we belong.

Its natural tendency, therefore, is to drift out of this evolution and to be drawn into that astral cesspool known as the “eighth sphere”, because what passes into it stands outside the ring of our seven worlds, or globes, and cannot return, into their evolution. There, surrounded by loathsome relics of all the concentrated vileness of the ages that are past, burning ever with desire, yet without the possibility of satisfaction, this monstrosity slowly decays, its mental and causal matter being thus at last set free. Such matter will never rejoin the ego from which it has torn itself, but will be distributed among the other matter of the plane, to enter gradually into fresh combinations, and so be put to better uses. Such entities are, as already stated, (Page 184) exceedingly rare: and, moreover, they have power to seize only those who have in their nature pronounced defects of a kindred type.

The other type of black magician, in outward appearance more respectable, is yet really even more dangerous, because more powerful. This is the man who, instead of giving himself up altogether to sensuality, sets before himself the goal of a more refined but not less unscrupulous selfishness. His object is the acquisition of occult power higher and wider, but still to be used always for his own gratification and advancement, to further his own ambition, or satisfy his own revenge.

In order to gain this, he adopts the most rigid asceticism as regards mere fleshly desires, and starves out the grosser particles of his astral body, as perseveringly as does the pupil of the Great White Brotherhood. But, though it is only a less material kind of desire, with which he will allow his mind to become entangled, the centre of his energy is none the less entirely in his personality. When therefore, the separation, at the end of the astral life, takes place, the ego is unable to recover any of his investment. For this man the result is, therefore, much the same as in the former case, except that he will remain in touch with the personality much longer, and will to some extent share its experiences, so far as it is possible for an ego to share them.

The fate of that personality, however, is very different. The comparatively tenuous, astral integument is not strong enough to hold it for any length of time on the astral plane, and yet it has entirely lost touch with the heaven-world, which should have been its habitat. For the whole effort of the man’s life has been to kill out such thoughts as naturally find their result at that level. His one endeavour has been to oppose natural evolution, to separate himself from the great whole, and to war against it; and, as far as the personality is concerned, he has succeeded. It is cut off from the light and life of the solar system,: (Page 185) all that is left to it is the sense of absolute isolation, of being alone in the universe.

Thus, in this rare case, the lost personality practically shares the fate of the ego from which it is in process of detaching itself. But, in the case of the ego, such an experience is only temporary, although it may last for what we would call a very long time, and the end of it will be reincarnation, and a fresh opportunity.

For the personality, however, the end is disintegration—the invariable end, of course, of that which has cut itself off from its source.

In a case of this kind, involving the loss of an entire personality, the ego does no evil intentionally. He has let the personality get out of hand, and for that he is responsible. He is therefore responsible for weakness, rather than for direct evil. Whilst the ego has fallen back terribly, yet he does go on: probably not immediately, because he seems to be stunned at first.

After such an experience, an ego would always be peculiar. He would be dissatisfied, and would have recollections of something higher and greater than now he could reach. It is a fearful condition, but still the ego has to take the karma of it, and realise that he has brought it upon himself.

It is reported that there is another even more remote possibility. Just as the hand [c] may absorb the arm[b] and revolt against the body [a], setting up on its own account and breaking away altogether, it is [or at any rate has been in the past] just possible that the disease of separateness and selfishness, may infect the body[a] also. Even if it is then absorbed into the monstrous growth of evil, and may be torn away from the undeveloped portion of the ego, so that the causal body itself may be hardened and carried away, instead of only the personality. Diagram XXVIII-D illustrates this case.

This class of case would correspond, not to an amputation, but an entire destruction of the body. Such an ego could not reincarnate in the human race; (Page 186) ego though it be, it would fall into the depths of animal life, and would need at least a whole Chain period to regain the status which it had lost. This, though theoretically possible, is practically scarcely conceivable. It will be noted, however, that even in this case the undeveloped part of the ego remains as the vehicle of the monad.

Whilst some ancient scriptures speak of men sinking back into the animal kingdom, there is no direct evidence of any such cases. There are other cases in which man may come into touch with animal consciousness, and suffer terribly through It [vide The Astral Body, p.142] but to reincarnate as an animal is not possible now, whatever may have been possible in the distant past.

We may here make a slight digression, in order to explain how it is that even in cases such as those described above a really serious loss is no easy matter.

Owing to the fact that good thoughts and emotions work in the higher types of matter, and that finer matter is far more easily moved than coarser matter, it follows that a given amount of force spent in good thought or feeling produces perhaps a hundred times as much effect as precisely the same amount of force sent out into coarser matter. If this were not so, it is obvious that the ordinary man would make no progress at all.

If a man throws a certain amount of energy into some evil quality, it has to express itself through the lower and heavier astral matter; and, whilst any kind of astral matter is exceedingly subtle as compared with anything on the physical plane, yet, as compared with higher matter of its own plane, it is just as gross as lead is on the physical plane, when compared with the finest ether.

If therefore, a man should exert exactly the same amount of force in the direction of good, it would have to move through much finer matter of the higher sub-planes, and would produce, as said, at least a hundred times as much effect, or, (Page 187) if we compare the lowest with the highest, probably more than a thousand times as much.

Whilst we are probably entitled to assume that 90 percent of the thought and feeling of the undeveloped man is self-centred, even if not actually selfish, yet, if 10 percent of it is spiritual and unselfish, the man must already be rising somewhat above the average. In fact, if these proportions did produce commensurate results, the vast majority of humanity would take nine steps backwards for everyone forward, and we should have retrogression so rapid that a few incarnations would deposit us in the animal kingdom, out of which we evolved.

Happily for us, however, the effect of the 10 percent of force, directed to good ends, enormously outweighs that of the 90 percent, devoted to selfish purposes, and so, on the whole, such a man makes an appreciable advance from life to life.

A man who can show even 1 percent of good makes a slight advance, so it will be readily understood that a man whose account balances exactly, so that there is neither advance nor retrogression, must have been living a distinctly evil life; while to obtain an actual descent in evolution, a person must be an unusually consistent villain.

Apart from these considerations, we have to bear in mind that the Logos Himself is, by His resistless power, steadily pressing the whole system onwards and upwards, and that, however slow this cyclic progression may seem to us, it is a fact which cannot be neglected, for its effect is, that a man who accurately balances his good and evil, comes back, not to the same actual position, but to the same relative position, and therefore even he has made some slight advance, and is, as it were, in a position just a little better than that which he has actually deserved and made for himself.

It is thus clear, that if any one is so foolish as to want to go really backwards against the stream, he will have to work hard and definitely towards evil. There is no fear of “sliding back”. That is one of the old delusions, which (Page 189) remains from the times of the belief in the orthodox “devil” who was so much stronger than the Deity that everything in the world was working in his favour. The fact is that the exact opposite is the case, and everything round a man is calculated to assist him, if only he understands it.



(Page 189) In The Mental Body we examined the relationship between the personality and the ego, principally from the point of view of the personality. It is now necessary to study more deeply the relationship between the ego and the personality, this time from the point of view of the ego.

Let us recapitulate the main facts regarding the constitution of man as Monad, Ego and Personality.

The fragment of The Divine Life, which we know as the Monad, manifests itself upon the plane of Вtma as the triple spirit [vide -Diagram XII, p. 36].

Of these three aspects, one, the spirit itself, remains upon its own plane, that of Вtma. The second, that of intuition, or pure reason, as it is sometimes called, puts itself down one stage, and expresses itself through the matter of the plane of Buddhi. The third aspect, that of intelligence, puts itself down two planes, and expresses itself through the matter of the higher mental plane.

This expression of the Monad, on the planes of Вtma., Buddhi and manas, is the ego, or individuality.

The ego expresses itself on the lower planes as a personality, which is also triple in its manifestation, and is, moreover, an accurate reflection of the arrangement of the ego. But, like other reflections, it reverses itself.

Intelligence, or higher manas, reflects itself in lower manas. Pure reason, or Buddhi, reflects itself in the astral body: and, in some way much more difficult to comprehend, the spirit of Вtma. reflects itself upon the physical plane.

There is always a link or line of communication (Page 190) between the higher self, or ego, and the lower self, or personality. This link is known as antahkarana. This Samskrit word means the inner organ, or inner instrument. H.P.Blavatsky spoke of it as the link, channel or bridge between higher manas and kama-manas during incarnation. Speaking of one who can unite kama-manas with higher manas, through the lower manas, she speaks of lower manas, when pure and free from kama, as the antahkarana.

The antahkarana may be regarded as the arm stretched out, between the little piece of the ego that is awakened, and the part put down, the hand. When the two are perfectly joined, i.e., when the ego and the personality are perfectly in tune, and united, then the attenuated thread of antahkarana cease to exist. Its destruction implies that the ego no longer needs an instrument, but works directly on the personality: when one will operates the ego and the personality, then there is no longer any need for antahkarana.

The term antahkarana, or internal agency, is used also in another sense, to denote the whole of the triple higher self or ego, because this is the channel or bridge between the Monad and the lower self.

In its earlier stages, man’s evolution consists in the opening of this antahkarana, or line of communication, so that the ego may be increasingly able to assert himself through it, and finally entirely to dominate the personality, so that it may have no separate thought or will, but may be merely, as it should be, an expression of the ego on the lower planes, so far, of course as the limitations of the lower planes permit.

The link that binds the lower to the higher self is often spoken of as a thread—a thread of silver, as befits an emblem of purity.

The heart is the centre in the body for the higher triad, Вtma., buddhi, manas, so that when the consciousness is centred in the heart, during meditation, it is most susceptible to the influence of the higher self, or ego. The head is the seat of the psycho-intellectual man; it has its various functions in seven cavities, including the (Page 191) pituitary body and the pineal gland. He who in concentration can take his consciousness from the brain to the heart should be able to unite kama-manas to the higher manas, through the lower manas, which, when pure and free from kama, is the antahkarana. He will then be in a position to catch some of the promptings of the higher triad.

The man who is absolutely untrained has practically no communication with the ego: the Initiate on the other hand, has full communication. Consequently we find, as is to be expected, that there are men at all stages between these two extremes.

The student will by this time have appreciated the enormous importance of realising the existence of this connection between the higher and lower self, and of doing everything that he can to strengthen that link so that the ego and the personality may gradually come to function as one entity. To help him in this task may, perhaps, be regarded as the grand motif of this series of four books, explanatory of man’s constitution, and the various bodies through which he functions.

Whilst endeavouring in many ways and by many devices, to appreciate and realise the great difference between the viewpoints of the personality and the ego, we must ever bear in mind, as has been repeatedly said, that there is only one consciousness; yet often we clearly feel two, and are led to wonder, whether the ego is entirely dissociated from the physical body. We must, however, realise that there is only one consciousness, the apparent difference being caused by the limitations of the various vehicles.

We should not therefore, imagine that there are two entities in man. There never is any lower self as a separate being, but, as we have seen, the ego puts down a tiny portion of himself into the personality, in order to experience the vibrations of the lower planes.

The fundamental identity between higher and lower manas must be kept constantly in mind. For convenience’ sake, we distinguish between them; but the difference is one of functioning activity, not of nature. (Page 192) Lower manas is one with higher manas, in the same way that the ray is one with the sun.

The tiny fragment of the ego, which is put down into the personality, is the point of consciousness which clairvoyants can see moving about in the man. According to one system of symbology, it is seen as “the golden man the size of a thumb,” who dwells in the heart. Others, however, see it rather in the form of a star, a brilliant star of light.

A man may keep his Star of Consciousness where he will; that is to say, in any one of the seven principal chakrams or centres of the body. Which of these is most natural to a man depends largely upon his type or “ray”, and probably also upon his race and sub-race.

Men of the Fifth Root Race nearly always keep this consciousness in the brain, in the centre dependent upon the pituitary body. There are, however men of other races to whom it comes more natural to keep it habitually in the heart, the throat or solar plexus.

The Star of Consciousness is thus the representative of the ego in the lower planes, and, as it manifests through the lower vehicles, we call it the personality, the man as he is known to his friends down here.

Although, as we have seen, the ego is but a fragment of the Monad, yet he is complete as an ego in his causal body, even when his powers are undeveloped; whereas in the personality there is but a touch of his life.

Furthermore, whilst in the case of the ordinary man, the consciousness of the ego on his own plane is only partial and vague, yet so far as it is active, it is always on the side of good, because it desires that which is favourable to its own evolution as a soul.

In fact, the never-changing desire of the ego is for progress, for the unfoldment of the higher self, and for bringing of the lower vehicles into tune as its instruments.

Any of those thoughts that we call evil are for the ego impossible; for, in the ego, so far as any quality is developed, it is pure. If, for example, affection is there, (Page 193) it is utterly untainted by jealousy, envy or selfishness. It is a mirror of the divine love, in so far as the ego can reproduce it at his level.

Furthermore, the ego is never likely to be wrong. He is, apparently, not deceived, about anything; but that he is ignorant of certain matters is quite clear for indeed the very purpose of incarnation is to remove that ignorance.

But, as we have seen, the fragment of the ego, which has been put down into lower matter, becomes so keenly and vividly conscious in that matter, that it thinks and acts as though it were a separate being; it forgets that it belongs to the less developed, but far wider consciousness of the ego, and sets up in the business of life on its own account, and tries to go as it wants, rather than as the ego wishes.

Furthermore, the ego, with all his mighty powers, is very much less accurate than the lower mind, and the personality, valuing above all the discriminating, powers of the lower mind which it is intended to develop, often comes in consequence to despise the far higher but vaguer self, and acquires a habit of thinking of itself as an independent ego.

We may note here that all through the course of our evolution there is always a danger that a man should identify himself with that point at which, or that vehicle in which, he is most fully conscious.

Hence, as we have seen, sometimes it seems as though the fragment worked against the whole; but the man who is instructed declines to be deluded and reaches back through the keen, alert consciousness of the fragment, to the true consciousness behind, which is as yet so little developed. That is what Mr. Sinnett called “giving allegiance to the higher self”.

We have already seen that in the nature of things, there can be no evil in the causal body, or in the ego. But wherever there is a gap in the causal body there is a possibility that the lower vehicles may run into some sort of evil action. Thus for example, the astral elemental may take possession of the man and rush him (Page 194) into the commission of a crime. In such a case the ego is not sufficiently awake to step in and prevent the action, or perhaps he does not understand that the passion or greed of the astral body may force the lower self into commission of the crime. Evil, therefore, does not come from the Higher Self : it comes from a lack in the Higher Self: because, if the ego were more developed, he would check the man on the brink of the evil thought, and the crime would not be committed.

In ordinary men, the ego has not much grasp of the personality, nor a clear conception of his purpose in sending it forth; and, as we have seen, the small piece which meets us in the personality grows to have ways and opinions of its own. It is developing by the experience it gains, and this is passed on to the ego; but, together with this real development, it usually gathers a good deal which is hardly worthy of that name. It acquires knowledge, but also prejudices, which are not really knowledge at all. It does not become quite free of those prejudices—prejudices, be it noted, of knowledge, of feeling and of action—until the man reaches Adeptship. Gradually it discovers these things to be prejudices, and progresses through them; but it has always a great deal of limitation, from which the ego is entirely free.

In order to assist the ego in controlling his vehicles and to help to utilise them for his own purposes, a very great deal can be done by parents and teachers, during infancy and childhood. For it makes a vast difference when the good, rather than the evil germs in the child’s bodies are aroused first. If by exceeding care before birth, and for several years after it, the parents are able to excite only the good tendencies, then the ego will naturally find it easy to express himself along those lines, and a decided habit is set up in that direction. Then, when an evil excitation comes, it finds a strong momentum in the direction of good, which strives in vain to overcome.

Similarly, if the evil tendencies have been aroused first, (Page 195) then excitations towards what is good have to struggle against the predisposition towards evil. In this case, there is in the personality a taste for evil, a readiness to receive and indulge in it. In the other case, however, there is strong natural distaste for evil, which makes the work of the ego much easier.

In the average man there is a perpetual strain going on between the astral and mental bodies, and also neither of these bodies is in the least in tune with the ego, or prepared to act as his vehicle. What is needed is the purification of the personality, and also the channel between it and the ego must be opened and widened.

Until this is done, the personality sees everything and everybody from its own very limited point of view. The ego cannot see what is really going on; he perceives only the distorted picture of the personality, which is like a camera, with a defective lens, that distorts the light-rays, and a faulty plate, which makes the result blurred, indistinct, and unequal.

Hence, in the case of most people, the ego cannot derive any satisfaction from the personality, until it is in the heaven-world. The ego himself knows the true from the false: he recognises truth when he sees it, and rejects the false. But, generally, when he casts an eye downwards into the personality, he finds so crazy a confusion of inconsequent thought-forms, that he can distinguish nothing definite. He turns away in despair, and decides to wait for the quietude of the heaven-world, before attempting to pick up the fragments of truth out of this unseemly chaos.

Under more peaceful conditions of devachan, as the emotions and thoughts of recent physical life come up one by one, and envisage themselves in the vivid light of that world, they are examined with clear vision, the dross is thrown away, and the treasure is kept.

The disciple should, of course, try to bring about that condition, while still in the physical body, body purifying the personality, and harmonising it with the ego or soul. (Page 196)

Although the ego is undoubtedly only very partially expressed by his physical body, yet it would be inaccurate to speak of him as dissociated from that body. If we imagine the ego as a solid body, and the physical plane as a surface, then, if the solid is laid on the surface, obviously the plane figure, representing the contact of the solid with the surface, would be an exceedingly partial expression of the solid. Further, if the various sides of the solid were laid on the surface successively, we might obtain impressions which differed considerably from one another. All of them would be imperfect and partial, because in all cases the solid would have an extension in an entirely different direction, which could in no way be expressed on the flat surface.

In the case of an ordinary man, we shall obtain a nearly accurate symbolism of the facts if we suppose the solid to be conscious, only so far as it is in contact with the surface. Nevertheless, the results gained, through the expression, of such consciousness, would inhere in the solid considered as a whole, and would be present in any later expression of it, even though that might differ considerably from previous expressions.

When the ego is still undeveloped, he cannot respond to more than a very few of the extremely fine vibrations of the higher mental plane, so that they pass through him practically without affecting him. At first it needs powerful and comparatively coarse vibrations to affect him: as these do not exist on his own plane, he has to put himself down to lower levels in order to find them.

Hence full consciousness comes to him at first only in the lowest and densest of his vehicles, his attention being focussed for a long time in the physical plane; so that although that plane is so much lower than his own, and offers so much less scope for activity, yet in those early stages he feels himself much more alive when he is working there.

As his consciousness increases, and widens its scope, he gradually begins to work more and more in matter (Page 197) one stage higher, i.e., in astral matter. At a much later stage, when he has attained to clear working in astral matter, he begins to be able also to express himself through the matter of his mental body. Still later, the end of his present effort is achieved when he works as fully and clearly in the matter of the causal body on the higher mental plane as he does now on the physical plane.

When an ego becomes sufficiently developed to come under the direct influence of a Master, the amount of that influence, which can be passed on to the personality, depends upon the connection between that personality and the ego, which is very different in different cases: there is, in fact, an infinite variety in human life.

As the spiritual force rays upon the ego, something of it must flow through to the personality always, because the lower is attached to the higher, just as the hand is attached to the body by the arm. But the personality can receive only what it has made itself able to receive.

There is also another important factor which comes into operation. The Master often plays upon the qualities in the ego which are much obscured in the personality, so that, in such a case, very little comes down to the personality. Just as only those experiences of the personality can be handed on to the ego, which are compatible with the nature and interests of the ego, so only those impulses, to which the personality can respond, can express themselves in it. We must also bear in mind that whilst the ego tends to exclude the material, and receive the spiritual, so the general tendency of the personality—at least in the earlier stages—is to exclude the spiritual, and receive the material.

A clairvoyant may sometimes see these influences at work. Thus, on a certain day, he may notice a characteristic of the personality much intensified, with no outward reason. The cause is often to be found in what is taking place at some higher level—the stimulation of that quality in the ego. A man may find himself for (Page 198) example, overflowing with affection or devotion, and quite unable on the physical plane to explain why. The cause is usually the stimulation of the ego or, on the other hand, it may be that the ego is taking some special interest in the personality for the time being.

The relationship between a pupil and his Master is not at all unlike that of the personality to the ego. Just as the ego may be considered to put down a small fragment of himself into the personality, and express himself—however imperfectly—through that personality, so in the same sort of way the pupil not merely represents the Master, but is the Master in a very real sense, but the Master under tremendous limitations; those limitations consist, not only of the conditions of the lower planes themselves, but also, of course, of the personality of the pupil, which is by no means transcended.

Furthermore, even if the pupil’s ego had gained perfect control of his lower vehicles, there would still be the difference between the size of the ego of the pupil and of the ego of the Master, because the pupil is naturally a smaller ego than the Master whom he follows, and therefore can be only an incomplete, representative of Him.

Meditation is a method of drawing the attention of the ego: it should however be born in mind that, in the practice of meditation, instead of trying to interrupt the ego, and draw him down to the personality, we should strive to reach up to him in his higher activity. Higher influence is certainly invited by meditation, which is always effective, even though on the physical plane things may seem to be very dull, and quite without zest. The feeling of dullness in the personality may, in fact, be due to the reaching upwards of the ego, and his consequent neglect to send energy down to the personality.

Meditation and the study of spiritual subjects in this earthly life undoubtedly make a very great difference in the life of the ego: for meditation, conscientiously (Page 199) done, opens the channel between the personality and the ego, and keeps it open. It should, however, be borne in mind that the physical meditation is not directly for the ego, but for the training of the various vehicles to be a channel for the ego. In fact, during physical meditation, the ego regards the personality much as at any other time—he is usually slightly contemptuous. Nevertheless the force which comes down is always that of the ego, but as it is only a small part, it tends to give a one-sided conception of things.

The ordinary person, who has not taken up spiritual matters seriously, has a thread of connection between the personality and ego: in fact this channel is often so narrow that sometimes it appears to be almost choked up. On some special occasion—as, for example, that of “conversion”—the force may break through again. For more developed persons, there is a constant flow, in some measure, between ego and personality.

These considerations should bring home to us that it is by no means always accurate to judge the ego by his manifestation in the personality. Thus, for example, an ego of an intensely attractive type may make more show, on the physical plane, than another of far higher development, whose energy happens, to be concentrated almost exclusively upon the causal or buddhic levels. Hence people who judge merely by physical plane appearances are frequently entirely wrong, in their estimation of the relative development of others.

Each of the successive descents of the ego into the lower planes is a limitation so indescribable that the man, whom we meet down here on the physical plane, is at best a fragment of a fragment, and as an expression of the real man is so inadequate as to furnish us with nothing even remotely resembling, a conception of what that man will be at the end of his evolution.

Until one can see the ego, one has no conception of how great he really is, how infinitely wiser and stronger than the incarnate entity. Every one, in reality, (Page 200) is very much better than he ever seems to be. The greatest saint can never fully express his ego; on that higher plane he is a still greater saint than he can ever be down here. But, magnificent as he is, he is still, if we may say so, vague in his magnificence.

There are really three ways in which the ego may be developed, and may influence the life. [1] The way of the scientist and philosopher: these develop not only the lower mind, but also the higher, so that a great deal of its more abstract and comprehensive kind of thought comes down into their consciousness.

For such as these, the development of the buddhic consciousness will come later.

[2] The method of using the higher emotions, such as affection, devotion or sympathy, and so awakening the buddhic principle to a great extent without developing especially the intermediate causal body. Nevertheless, the causal body will be affected, since all buddhic development reacts very powerfully on the causal body. These people are not necessarily developing a buddhic vehicle in which they can permanently live: but the use of the higher emotions unquestionably evokes vibrations in the buddhic matter. Hence there is a stir in the as yet unformed buddhic vehicle, so that many of its vibrations come down and brood over the astral body. Thus the man may receive a considerable amount of influence from the buddhic plane before the vehicle is at all fully developed.

[3] The more obscure method in which the will is called into activity, the physical body in some way reacting on вtmic matter. Very little is known as to how this operates.

The method of most students is through devotion, and keen sympathy with their fellow men.

A fairly advanced ego may sometimes be rather inconsiderate of his body because whatever is put down into the personality means so much taken from the ego, and he may therefore grudge such expenditure of force. An ego may be somewhat impatient, and withdraw himself somewhat from the personality: in such cases, however, (Page 201) there would always be a flow between the ego and personality, which is not possible with the ordinary man. In the ordinary man the fragment of the ego is, as it were, put down, and left to fend for itself, though, it is not completely cut off. At the more advanced stage mentioned, however, there is a constant communication between the two along the channel. The ego can therefore, withdraw himself whenever he chooses, and leave a very poor representation of the real man behind. So we see that the relations between the lower and higher self vary much in different people, and at different stages of development.

An ego busy with his own occupations on his own plane, may forget for a time to pay his personality proper attention, just as even a good and thoughtful man may occasionally. under some special pressure of business, forget his horse or his dog. Sometimes, when that happens, the personality reminds him of its existence by blundering into some foolishness, which causes serious suffering.

One may notice that sometimes, after the completion of a special piece of work, that has needed the co-operation of the ego to a large extent—as for example, lecturing to a large audience—the ego takes away his energy, and leaves the personality with only enough to feel rather dispirited. For a time, he admitted that there was some importance in the work, and therefore poured down a little more of himself, but afterwards he leaves the unfortunate personality feeling rather depressed.

We must ever recollect that the ego puts down into the personality only a very small part of himself: and as that part constantly becomes entangled in the interests which, because they are so partial, are often along lines different from the general activities of the ego himself, the ego does not pay any particular attention to the lower life of the personality, unless something rather unusual happens to it.

In the physical life of the ordinary man of the world (Page 202) there is little of interest to the ego, and it is only now and then that something of real importance occurs, that may for a moment attract his attention, so that from it he draws whatever is worth taking.

The ordinary man lives in patches; more than half the time he is not awake to the real and higher life at all. If a man complains that his ego takes very little notice of him, let him ask himself how much notice he has taken of his ego. How often, for example, in any given day, has he even thought of the ego?

If he wishes to attract the attention of the ego, he must make the personality useful to him. As soon as he begins to devote the greater part of his thought, to higher things—in other words, as soon as he really begins to live—the ego will be likely to take somewhat more notice of him.

The ego is well aware that certain necessary parts of his evolution can be achieved only through his personality, in its mental, astral and physical bodies. He knows, therefore, that he must some time attend to it, must take it in hand, and bring it under his control.

But we can well understand that the task may often seem uninviting, that a given personality may appear anything but attractive or hopeful. If we look at many of the personalities around us, their physical body full of drugs and poisons, their astral bodies reeking with greed and sensuality, and their mental bodies having no interests beyond moneymaking, and perhaps “sport” of the cruder varieties, it is not difficult to see why an ego, surveying them from his lofty height, might decide to postpone his serious effort to another incarnation, in the hope that the next set of vehicles might be more amenable to influence than those upon which his horrified gaze now rests. We can imagine that he might say to himself: “I can do nothing with that; I will take my chance of getting something better next time; it can hardly be worse, meantime I have much more important business to do up here”.

A similar state of affairs not infrequently happens (Page 203) in the early stages of a new incarnation. As we have already seen, from the birth of the child the ego hovers over it, and, in some cases, begins to try to influence its development while it is still very young. But, as a general rule, he pays little attention to it until about the age of seven, by which time the work of the karmic elemental should be practically finished.

But children differ so widely, that it is not surprising to find that the relation between the egos, and the personalities involved, differs widely also. Some child personalities are quick and responsive, some are dull and wayward. When dullness and unresponsiveness are prominent, the ego often withdraws his active interest for the time, hoping that, as the childish body grows, it may become cleverer or more responsive.

To us such a decision may seem unwise, because, if the ego neglects his present personality, it is unlikely that the next will be an improvement upon it; and if he allows the child body to develop without his influence, the undesirable qualities which have been manifested may quite possibly grow stronger, instead of dying out. But we are hardly in a position to judge, since our knowledge of the problem is so imperfect, and we can see nothing of the higher business, to which the ego is devoting himself.

From this it will be seen how impossible it is to judge, with any precision, the position in evolution of any one whom we see on the physical plane. In one case, karmic causes may have produced a very fair personality having an ego of only moderate advancement behind it. In another case those causes, may have given rise to an inferior or defective personality, belonging to a comparatively advanced ego.

When the ego decides to turn the full force of his energy upon the personality the change which he can produce is very great. No one who has not personally investigated the matter cannot imagine how wonderful, how rapid, how radical, such a change may be, when conditions are favourable—that is, when the ego is (Page 204) reasonably strong, and the personality not incurably vicious—more especially, when a determined effort is made by the personality, on its side, to become a perfect expression of the ego, and make itself attractive to him.

To understand how this can be, it is, of course, necessary to look at the matter simultaneously from two points of view. Most of us here are very emphatically personalities, and think and act exclusively as such; yet we know all the time that in reality we are egos, and those of us who, by many years of meditation, have rendered ourselves more sensitive to finer influences, are often conscious of the intervention of the higher self.

The more we can make a habit of identifying ourselves with the ego, the more clearly and sanely shall we view the problems of life. But, in so far as we feel ourselves to be personalities, it is obviously our duty, and our interest, to open ourselves to the ego, to reach up towards him, and persistently to set up within ourselves such vibrations as will be of use to him. At least we should be sure that we do not stand in the way of the ego, that we always do our best for him, according to our lights.

Since selfishness is the intensification of the personality, the first step should be to rid ourselves of that vice. Next, the mind should be kept filled with high thoughts; for, if it is continually occupied with lower matters—even though those lower matters may be quite estimable in their way—the ego cannot readily use it as a channel of expression.

When the ego makes a tentative effort, when he puts down, as we might say, an explanatory finger, he should be received with enthusiasm, and his behests, should be instantly obeyed that he may more and more take possession of the mind, and so come into his inheritance, so far as the lower planes are concerned.

The personality should, so to speak, stand aside, and let the ego, the “warrior”, fight in him.

In so doing, however, the personality must take care (Page 205) that he is devoted to the work, and not to his personal share or part in it. He must take care that, in a rush of personality, he remembers all the time that it is the ego that is working in him.

Although the vagueness of the ego, unless he were developed, may perhaps preclude him from indicating a particular line of work, yet when the personality, being more definite, has found the work, the ego can and does pour himself down into it, and enables him to do it in a much better manner and in an altogether grander frame of mind than the personality could attain unaided.

“But if thou [the personality] look not for him [the ego], if thou pass him by, then there is no safeguard for thee. Thy brain will reel, thy heart grow uncertain, and in the dust of the battlefield thy sight and senses will fail, and thou wilt not know thy friends from thy enemies”. [Light on the Path] This is what happens when the personality does not look for the higher guidance of the ego.

This is a step necessary to be taken, but man who intends to set his feet upon the Path which leads to Initiation, for, at Initiation, the lower and the higher become one, or rather the lesser is absorbed by the greater, so that there should be nothing left in the personality, which is not a representation of the ego, the lower being merely an expression of the higher. With this, however, we shall deal more fully in Chapter XXXI, which deals specifically with Initiation.

It is obvious, therefore, that the personality should endeavour to ascertain what the ego desires, and provide him with the opportunities he wants. The study of inner things, as mentioned, and living the spiritual life, wakes up the ego, and attracts his attention. To take an example: suppose you have an ego whose principal method of manifesting himself is by affection. That quality is what he wants to exhibit by his personality: consequently, if the personality tries to feel strong affection, and makes a specialty of that, the ego will promptly throw more of himself into the personality, (Page 206) because he finds in it exactly what he desires.

In the savage, the self expresses itself in all kinds of emotions and passions of which the ego could not possibly approve, but, in the developed man, there are no emotions but such as he chooses to have. Instead of being swayed by emotions, and carried off his feet, he simply selects them. He would say, for example: “Love is a good thing: I will allow myself to feel love. Devotion is a good thing: I will allow myself to feel devotion. Sympathy is beautiful: I will allow myself to feel sympathy. “This he does with his eyes open, intentionally. The emotions are thus under the dominion of the mind, and that mind is an expression of the causal body, so that the man is coming very near to the condition of complete unity of the higher and lower self.

The connection between the ego and the mental body is of the greatest importance, and every effort should be made to keep it active and alive. For the ego is the force behind, which makes use of the qualities and powers of the personality. In order that we may think of anything we must remember it; in order that we may remember it, we must have paid attention to it; and the paying attention is the descent of the ego into his vehicles in order to look through them.

Many a man with a fine mental body and a good brain makes little use of them, because he pays little attention to life—that is to say, because the ego is putting but little of himself down into these lower planes, and so the vehicles, are left to run riot at their own will. The remedy for this has already been stated: it is to give the ego the conditions he requires, when there will be no reason to complain of his response.

It appears that the actual experiences of the personality cannot be transmitted to the ego: but the essence of them may be passed to him. The ego cares little for details, but does want the essence of experiences. This being so, it is evident (Page 207) that the ordinary man has in his life very little that appeals to the ego.

The system of yielding up results of the lower work, but not the detailed experiences, proceeds all the time until Adeptship is attained.

The student will do well to follow the advice given in Light on The Path : watch for the ego, and let him fight through you: but at the same time remember, always that you are the ego. Therefore identify yourself with him, and make the lower give way to the higher. Even if you fall many times, there is no reason to be disheartened, for even failure is to a certain extent success, since by failure we learn, and so are wiser to meet the next problem. It is not expected that we should invariably succeed, but only that we shall always do our best.

Moreover, we must recollect that the ego has associated himself with the personality because he has a hunger, or thirst [Trishna] for vivid experience. As he develops, the hunger abates little by little, and sometimes, when he is advanced, and has become more sensitive to the delights and activities of his own plane, he goes to the other extreme of neglecting his personality, caught as it is in the grip of karma, sunk in conditions which are now full of sorrow or of boredom to the ego, because he feels that he has outgrown them.

This diminution of the thirst has taken place as he developed his personality. When he gained full consciousness on the astral plane, the physical began to appear dull by comparison; reaching the lower mental world, he found the astral dark and dismal; and all four of the lower levels lost their attraction when he began to enjoy the still more vivid and luminous life of the causal body.

As has already been pointed out, it is necessary ever to bear in mind that consciousness is one: it is, therefore, quite mistaken to conceive of the ego, or higher-self, as something “above”, something essentially foreign to ourselves, and consequently hard to reach. (Page 208) Often we speak of the “tremendous effort” required to reach the higher self: at other times of the inspiration, etc., which comes from the higher self to us down below. In all these cases, we make the fundamental mistake of identifying, ourselves with that which we are not, instead of that which we fundamentally are. The first condition of spiritual achievement is the certainty, beyond any doubt that we are the ego of higher self: the second condition is that we have full confidence in our own powers as the ego, and the courage to use them freely.

Instead, therefore, of looking upon the consciousness of the personality as usual and normal, we should accustom ourselves to look upon the consciousness of the personality as abnormal and unnatural, and the life of the ego as our own true life, from which by continuous effort we keep ourselves estranged.

This attitude to the various bodies should be adopted in practical life. Thus, the physical body should not be permitted to work of its own accord, but should be deliberately and consciously trained to obey the behests of the ego. In this way will be brought about what the Hermetic philosophers called the “regeneration” of the body. This is a real change which, when accomplished for ever breaks the dominion of the physical body over the consciousness, making it instead an instrument for the use of the ego.

A similar change should be brought about with regard to the astral body. Instead of permitting the world of emotion to influence it and determine its activity, the ego should himself decide and determine what emotions he will entertain, what feelings he permits himself to radiate from his astral body. Thus the consciousness of the ego becomes disentangled from the astral body, and that body becomes subservient to the wishes of the ego.

Perhaps most essential of all is control of the mental body, because thought is the manifestation of the supreme Creative Energy. We should never allow thought images to be incited from without: (Page 209) instead, when thought images are made, they should be created by the deliberate, self-conscious action of the ego himself.

Great danger lies in the undisciplined imagination. Were it not for the imagination, external objects of desire would have no power over us. The ego should therefore acquire full control over the imagination, and permit it to exercise its function only in such directions as he determines.

Uncontrolled imagination acts also as a powerful factor in undermining and weakening the will. Only too often, after some resolution has been made, the imagination is allowed to play with the unpleasant aspects of what it has been decided to do, until eventually it is made to appear so unpleasant that the idea of doing it is given up altogether. Shakespeare uttered deep psychological, truth when he made Hamlet say : “the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.”

The remedy for this unfortunate habit is obvious: the will and attention should be irrevocably concentrated, not on the difficulties or unpleasantnesses which we imagine confront us, but on the task which is to be done. “Nerve us with constant affirmatives”, said Emerson.

Pursuing the analysis a little further, we should abandon the widespread idea that the will does things, that we carry through something by an effort of the will. To do and carry out is not the function of the will, but of a quite different aspect of the ego, the creative activity.

The will is the Ruler, the King who says “this shall be done,” but who does not go and do things Himself. Psychologically speaking, the will is the power to hold the consciousness focussed on one thing and exclude everything else. In itself, it is perfectly serene, quiet, and unmoving, being, as said, just the power to hold one thing and exclude all else.

It is scarcely possible to fix the limits of the power of the human will when properly directed. It is so (Page 210) much more far-reaching than the ordinary man ever supposes, that the results, gained by its means appear to him astounding and supernatural. A study of its powers brings one gradually to realise what was meant by the statement that if faith were only sufficient, it could remove mountains, and cast them into the sea; and even that oriental description seems scarcely exaggerated when one examines authenticated instances of what has been achieved by this marvellous power. Perhaps the most important factor in a successful use of the will is perfect confidence, which of course, may be gained in various ways, according to the type of person concerned.

As soon as man realises that there is the inner and spiritual world of the ego, which is of enormously more importance in every way than that which is external, he may well adopt the attitude of an actor, who plays his part in the world, only because of the true life inside. An actor takes various parts at different times, just as we come back in other incarnations and wear other kinds of bodies. But all the time the actor has his real life as a man and as an artist as well, and, because he has that life of his own, he wants to play his part well, in the temporary life of the stage. Similarly, we should wish to do well, in our temporary life here, because of the great reality behind, of which it is a very small fragment.

If this is clearly realised, we shall see what is the relative importance of this outer life: that its only value to us is that we shall play our part well, whatever that part may be. What kind of part it is, and what happens to us in this mimic existence—these things matter little. It may be an actor’s business to go through all sorts of pretended sorrows and difficulties; but these do not trouble him in the least. He may, for example, have to be killed every night in a duel; what does the feigned death matter to him? The only thing that concerns him is that he should acquit himself well.

Hence, it should not be difficult to realise that the (Page 211) world about us is a mimic world, and that it really does not matter what experiences may come to us. All things that happen to people from the outside are a result of their karma. The causes were set up going long ago in other lives, and cannot now be altered. Therefore it is useless to worry about the things that happen: they should be borne philosophically. The way in which they are borne moulds the character for the future, and that is the only important thing. One should use karma to develop courage, endurance and various other good qualities, and then dismiss it from the mind.

Thus the groping, striving, struggling divine Self becomes, as evolution proceeds, the true Ruler, the inner Ruler Immortal. A man who grasps that he is himself that Immortal Ruler, seated within his Self-created vehicles of expression, gains a sense of dignity and power which grows ever stronger, and more compelling on the lower nature. The knowledge of the truth makes us free.

The Inner Ruler may still be hampered by the very forms he has shaped for self-expression, but, knowing himself as the Ruler, he can work steadfastly to bring his realm into complete subjection. He knows that he has come into the world for a certain purpose, to make himself fit to be a co-worker with the Supreme Will, and he can do and suffer all which is necessary to that end.

He knows himself divine, and that his Self-realisation is only a matter of time. Inwardly, the divinity is felt, though outwardly it is not yet expressed; his task is to become in manifestation what he is in essence. He is king de jure, not yet de facto.

As a Prince, born to a crown, patiently submits to the discipline which is fitting him to wear it, so the sovereign Will in us is evolving to the age when royal powers will pass into its grasp, and may therefore patiently submit to the necessary discipline of life.

A correct view of the relationship, between the ego and his successive personalities, should suffice to clear up (Page 212) the misunderstandings which have arisen regarding the teachings of the Lord Buddha. The Buddha preached constantly against the idea which was evidently prevalent in His time, of the continuation of the personality. But while He taught that nothing of all that, with which men generally identify themselves, lasts forever, He made most unequivocal statements about the successive lives of men. He gave examples of preceding lives, and compared, successive incarnations to days that one may have spent in this village or in that.

Nevertheless, the Southern Church of Buddhism now teaches that only karma persists, not an ego; as though man in one life made a certain amount of karma, and then died, and nothing was left of him, but another person was born, and had to bear the karma which that person did not make.

With curious illogicality, however, in spite of the formal teaching to the contrary, a practical belief in the continued existence of the individual persists, because, for example, the Buddhist monks speak of attaining nirvana, and recognise that this will take many lives.

The real significance of this teaching of the Buddha lies in the great emphasis, He laid on the external temporary part of man which does not endure, and the implication that the parts of man which are not temporary or external, do survive as the enduring ego, the real man.

His teaching, however, went still deeper than this. There is a passage in the Shri Vakya Sudha which warns the aspirant that when he repeats the great formula “I am That”, he must take care what he means by “ I “. It explains that the separate individual should be understood as threefold, and that it is the union of Brahman only of the highest of these three that is proclaimed by “Thou art That”, and such sayings. We have already abundantly seen that the personality is not “I”: and even the “you” in me is not “I” : the “ I “ is some thing indistinguishable (Page 213) from the universal Self, in which the many and the One are one. The Lord Buddha’s teaching denies the permanency of the “you”, that men call “ I “.

Much wisdom is often wrapped up in etymology. Thus the very word “person” is compounded of the two Latin words per and sona, and therefore signifies, “that through which the sound comes”- i.e., The mask worn by the Roman actor to indicate the part which he happened at the moment to be playing. Thus we very appropriately speak of the group of temporary lower vehicles, which an ego assumes when he descends into incarnation, as his “personality”.

Almost equally instructive are the words individual and individuality which are highly appropriate when applied to the ego. For individual means that which is not divisible without loss of identity: subsisting as one; and individuality is defined as separate and distinct existence. Going a stage further still, the word exist derives from ex, out, and sistere, to make to stand. Thus the ego or individuality is made to stand out [from the Monad], and manifests itself through the mask of the personality.

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Diagram XXIX is an attempt to illustrate one aspect of the relationship between the ego and his successive personalities. We see in the Diagram, first, the Monad deriving his life from the Unmanifest, and projecting below himself his ego, with his threefold characteristics or aspects. The ego in turn projects (Page 214) from himself into the lower planes a series of successive personalities. These are shown in the drawing as gradually widening out, as they develop, until eventually the last personality is equilateral, being fully and symmetrically developed, thereby expressing, as fully as its inherent limitations permit, the nature and powers of the ego.

As people develop, the personal consciousness may be unified with the life of the ego—as far as that is possible—and then there is only one consciousness: even in the personal consciousness there will be the consciousness of the ego, who will know all that is going on. But, as already said, with many people, at the present day, there is often considerable opposition between the personality and the ego.

A man who has succeeded in raising his consciousness to the level of the causal body, and thereby unifying the consciousness of the lower and the higher selves, of the personality with the individuality or ego has, of course, the consciousness of the ego at his disposal during the whole of his physical life. This will not be at all affected by the death of the physical body, nor even by the second and third deaths in which he leaves behind him the astral and mental bodies respectively.

His consciousness, in fact, resides in the ego all the time, and plays through whatever vehicle he may happen at any given moment to be using.

For him the whole series of his incarnations is only one long life: what we call an incarnation is to him a day in that life. All through his human evolution, his consciousness is fully active. Incidentally, we may note that he is generating karma just as much at one period as at another; and while his condition at any given moment is the result of the causes he has set in motion in the past, yet there is no instant at which he is not modifying his conditions by the exercise of thought and will. Whilst this consideration applies to all men, yet it is clear that one who possesses the ego consciousness is in a position to modify his karma more deliberately, and with (Page 215) more calculated effect, than one who has not achieved continuous ego-consciousness.

H.P.Blavatsky speaks of the Higher Self as the “great Master”, though she is here using the term Master in an unusual sense, different from that in which it is mostly employed today. It is, she says, the equivalent of Avalokiteshvara, and the same as Adi-Buddha with the Buddhist occultists, Вtma. with the Brahmanas, and Christos with the ancient Gnostics.



(Page 216) There are a number of ways in which the activity of the ego may be more specifically observed as operating through the consciousness of the personality. In the first place, as has been pointed out more than once, anything evil or selfish cannot, by the very mechanism of the higher planes affect the ego, and we may therefore say that he has nothing to do with it. Unselfish thoughts and feelings alone can affect the ego: all the lower thoughts and feelings affect the permanent atoms, not the ego: and as we have seen, corresponding to them we find gaps in the causal body, not “bad” colours. The ego is concerned only with purely unselfish feelings and thoughts.

Most people are conscious of times when they are filled with splendid inspiration, and exaltation, with glowing devotion and joy. These moments, of course, are precisely those when the ego succeeds in impressing himself upon the lower consciousness; but that which is then felt is, in reality, there all the time, though the personality is not always conscious of it. The aspirant should endeavour to realise, both by reason and by faith, that it is always there, and it will then appear as though he actually felt it, even at times when the link is imperfect, and when he does not feel it in the personal consciousness.

Moreover, it is obvious that while the mind is responding to the appeals of he physical, astral and lower mental planes, it is not likely to hear the message, that the ego is trying to transmit to the personality from his own higher planes.

An emotional impulse belonging to the astral plane, is sometimes mistaken for real spiritual aspiration (Page 217) because what happens in the buddhic vehicle, if brought down to the personality, is reflected in the astral body. A standard example of this phenomenon is to be found in religious revivalist meetings. Such great emotional upheavals, whilst sometimes beneficial, are in many instances harmful, tending to throw people off their mental balance.

Two simple but excellent rules may be given for differentiating between a true intuition and mere impulse. First: if the matter be laid aside for a while, and “slept on” an impulse will probably die away: a genuine intuition will remain as strong as ever. Second: true intuition is always connected with something unselfish; if there is any touch of selfishness it may be taken as certain that it is only as astral impulse, and not a true buddhic intuition.

The influence of the ego is often felt on occasions when one seems to know by inner conviction that a thing is true without being able to reason it out. The ego knows, and has good reason for his knowledge; but sometimes he cannot impress his reasons on the physical brain, though the bare fact that he knows manages to come through. Hence, when a new truth is presented to us, we know at once whether we can accept it or not.

That is not superstition, but an intense inner conviction. Superficially, it may appear to be abandoning reason in favour of intuition; but then it must be remembered that buddhi, which we translate “intuition” is as known in India as “pure reason”. It is the reason of the ego, which is a type higher than that which we have on the lower planes.

More specifically, we may say that manas gives inspiration: buddhi gives intuition as to right and wrong: Вtma. is the directing conscience, commanding that the man should follow that which he knows to be best, often when the mind is trying to invent some excuse to do otherwise.

Again, the manifestation of genius are but the momentary grasping of the brain by the large (Page 218) consciousness of the ego, forcing it into an insight, a strength of grip, and a width of outlook, that causes its noble reach. This large consciousness is the real Self, the real man. Many things that we see around us, or that happen to us, are hints of this larger consciousness, whisperings, scarcely articulate as yet, but with all the promise of the future, that come from the land of our birth, from the world to which we truly belong. They are the voice of the living spirit, unborn, undying, ancient, perpetual, constant. They are the voice of the inner God, speaking in the body of man.

Life teaches us in two ways, by tuition that the world gives us, and by intuition the working of the inner self. As men develop, their intuition increases, and they do not depend so much as before on the instruction that the world gives. That is another way of saying that the man who uses his inner powers can learn much more from a little experience than other men can from a great deal. Because of the activity of his innate intelligence, the developed man is able to see the great significance of even small things; but the undeveloped mind is full of curiosity. It is eager for novelty, because, not being good at thinking, it soon exhausts the obvious significance of commonplace things. This mind is the one that craves miracles in connection with its religious experience, as it is blind to the countless miracles that surround it all the time.

What we call the dictates of conscience come from above, and represent usually the knowledge of the ego on the subject. But here a word of caution is necessary. The ego himself is as yet but partially developed. His knowledge on any given subject may be quite small, or even inaccurate, and he can reason only from the information before him.

Because of this, a man’s conscience often misleads him, for an ego who is young, and knows but little, may yet be able to impress his will upon the personality. But as a general rule the undeveloped ego is also undeveloped in his power of impressing himself (Page 219) upon his lower vehicles; and perhaps this is just as well.

Sometimes however, as said, an ego, who lacks development in tolerance and wide knowledge, may yet have a will sufficiently strong to impress upon his physical brain orders which show that he is a very young ego, and does not understand.

Hence, when conscience seems to dictate something which is clearly against the great laws of mercy and truth and justice [as, possibly, was the case with some of the inquisitors], the man should think carefully whether the universal rule is not a greater thing than the particular application which seems to conflict with it. The intellect should always be used in such a way that it will be an instrument of the ego, not an obstacle in the path of his development.

A curious example of the way in which an ego may manifest himself to the personality is that described in The Mental Body, p.280. A certain orator whilst speaking one sentence of a lecture, habitually sees the next sentence actually materialise in the air before her, in three different forms, from which she consciously selects that one which she thinks the best. This is evidently the work of the ego, though it is a little difficult to see why he takes that method of communication, instead of himself selecting the form he thinks best, and impressing that form alone on the personal consciousness.

That which is known to mystics as the “Voice of the Silence” differs for people at different stages. The voice of the silence for any one is that which comes from the part of him which is higher than his consciousness can reach, and, naturally that changes as his evolution progresses.

For those now working with the personality, the voice of the ego is the voice of the silence, but when one has dominated the personality entirely, and has made it one with the ego, so that the ego may work perfectly through it, it is the voice of Вtma.—the triple spirit on the nirvanic plane. When this is (Page 220) reached, there will still be a voice of the silence—that of the Monad. When the man identifies the ego and the Monad, and attains Adeptship, he will still find a voice of the silence coming down to him from above, but then it will be the voice, perhaps, of one of the Ministers of the Deity, one of the Planetary Logoi. Perhaps for Him in turn it will be the voice of the Solar Logos Himself. The “Voice of the Silence”, therefore, from whatever level it may come, is always essentially divine.

The ego works in the physical body through the two great divisions of the nervous system—the sympathetic and the cerebrospinal. The sympathetic system is connected mostly with the astral body, the cerebrospinal system with the mental body, this system coming more and more under the influence of the ego as he advances in intellectual power.

As the cerebrospinal system developed, the ego passed on to the sympathetic system more and more of the parts of his consciousness, definitely established, towards which he no longer needed to turn his attention, in order to keep them in working order. It is possible, by the methods of Hatha Yoga, for example for the ego to re-establish direct control over portions of the sympathetic system: to do so, however, is obviously not a step forward, but a step backward, in evolution.

The student should recollect that the ego is always striving upwards, trying to get rid of the lower planes, endeavouring to throw off the burdens which prevent his climbing. He does not want to be troubled, for example, with looking after the vital functions of the body, and gives his attention to the machinery only when anything goes wrong. As previously said, all such workings are recoverable, but it is not worth while to do so. On the contrary, the more we can hand over to that automatism, the better; for the less we have to utilise the waking consciousness, for the things that are constantly recurring, the more shall we have to work for the things that really need attention, (Page 221) and that are probably vastly more important, at any rate from the point of view of the ego.

Occasionally a man may become dominated by a “fixed idea”, this resulting in some cases in madness, in other cases, in the unshakable devotion or determination of the saint or the martyr. These two classes of cases have diverse psychological origins, which we may now study.

A fixed idea that is madness is an idea which the ego has handed over to the sympathetic system, so that it has become part of the “subconscious”. It may be a past mood or notion, that the ego has outgrown; or a forgotten fact, suddenly reasserting itself, unaccompanied by its proper surroundings;or the connection of two incongruous ideas; and so on.

There are countless such ideas, with which the ego has had to do in the past, and which he has not entirely thrown out of the mechanism of consciousness so that they have lingered there, though the ego himself has outgrown them. So long as any part of the mechanism of consciousness can respond to them, for so long those ideas may emerge above the horizon, or “threshold” of consciousness.

When such an idea comes up, as it does, without reason, without rationality, with the rush and surge and passionate strength of the past, it overbears the subtler mechanism that the ego has evolved for his higher purposes. For ideas, such as those we are considering, are stronger on the physical plane than those we call the ordinary mental ideas, because, their vibrations being slower and coarser, they produce more result in the denser matter. It is far easier to affect the physical body, for example, by the surge of a barbaric emotion, than by the subtle reasoning of a philosopher.

We may state, then, that the fixed idea of the madman is usually an idea which has left its trace on the sympathetic system, and which, during some disturbance or weakening of the cerebrospinal system, is able to assert itself in consciousness. It arises from below. (Page 222)

The fixed idea of the saint or martyr, on the other hand, is a very different thing. This comes down from the ego himself, who is striving to impress upon the physical brain his own loftier emotion, his own wider knowledge. The ego, who can see further on the higher planes than he can in the physical encasement, tries to impress upon that physical encasement his own will, his own desire for the higher and nobler. It comes with all-dominating power; it cannot approve itself to the reason, for the brain is not yet ready to reason on those lines of higher knowledge and of deeper vision and intuition; but it comes down, with the force of the ego on a body prepared for it, and thus asserts itself as the dominant power, guiding the man to heroic action, to martyrdom, to saintship. Such fixed ideas come, not, as in the previous class, from below, but from above; not from the subconscious but from the super-conscious.

As was said in The Mental Body, p. 279, we need not shrink from the fact that there is frequently a psychological instability associated with genius, as expressed in the saying that genius is akin to madness, and in the statement of Lombroso and others that many of the saints were neuropaths. The more delicate the machinery, the more easily may it be overstrained, or thrown out of gear; hence it is sometimes true that the very instability of the genius or the saint is the very condition of inspiration, the normal brain being not yet sufficiently developed, nor delicate enough, to answer to the subtle waves coming from the higher consciousness.

Thus those impulses, which we call the promptings of genius, come down from the super-conscious, from the realm of the ego himself. Not only do these inspirations from the higher consciousness sometimes cause brain instability, but, as is well known, they are frequently accompanied by great irregularity of moral conduct. The reason for this is interesting and important.

When any force comes down, from a higher to a lower plane, (Page 223) it is subject to transmutation in the vehicle into which it comes. According to the nature of the vehicle will be the transmutation of the force, a portion of the force being changed by the vehicle, into which it plays, into the form of energy to which that vehicle lends itself most readily.

Hence, for example, if an organism have a tendency to sexual excitement, the down flow of the force of genius will immensely increase the force of sexuality, by that part of which is transmitted into vitality. We may note here, as an example of the working of this principle, that in the Third Race, the down flow of the spiritual life, into the channels of the animal man, so enormously increased his animal powers, that it was necessary that the Sons of Mind should come to his assistance, or humanity would have plunged down into the vilest of animal excesses, the very force of the spiritual life increasing the depth of the plunge into degradation. The lesson to be learnt here is clearly, that before we invite the inflow of the higher forces, it is all-important first to purify the lower nature. As the Buddha taught, the first rule is: “Cease to do evil”.

In the words of The Voice of the Silence: “Beware lest thou shouldst set a foot still soiled upon the ladder’s lowest rung. Woe unto him who dares pollute one rung with miry feet. The foul and viscous mud will dry, become tenacious, then glue his feet unto the spot; and like a bird caught in the wily fowler’s lime, he will be stayed from further progress. His vices will take shape and drag him down. His sins will raise their voices like as the jackal’s laugh and sob after the sun goes down; his thoughts become an army, and bear him off a captive slave.

“Kill thy desires, Lanoo, make thy vices impotent, ere the first step is taken on the solemn journey.

“Strangle thy sins, and make them dumb forever, before thou dost lift one foot to mount the ladder.

“Silence thy thoughts, and fix thy whole attention on thy Master, whom yet thou dost not see, but whom thou feelest”.

(Page 224) The student will scarcely need to be told that one meaning of “thy Master” is his own ego.

A man on the Path must do his work thoroughly. On the threshold mistakes can easily be corrected. But unless the disciple gets rid entirely, for example, of the desire for power, in the early stages of his spiritual apprenticeship, it will become stronger and stronger. If he does not weed it out where it is based in the physical, astral and mental planes, but allows it to take root in the spiritual plane of the ego, he will find it very difficult to eradicate. Ambition thus established in the causal body is carried on from life to life. So the pupil should beware of permitting spiritual ambition to touch the causal body, and so build into it elements of separateness, which more and more encase the life.

A man who is a genius on some line may often find it easy to apply tremendous, concentration to his particular line of work; but, when he relaxes from that, his ordinary life may quite possible be still full of whirlpools in his mental and astral bodies. Such whirlpools may and do constantly crystallise into permanent prejudices, and make actual congestions of matter closely resembling warts upon the mental body [vide The Mental Body, p.31]. This of course is not what is required: the student of occultism aims at nothing less than the complete destruction of the whirlpools, so as to comb out the lower mind and make it the calm and obedient servant of the higher self at all times.

During the sleep of the physical body, although the ego leaves the body, yet he always maintains a close connection with it, so that under ordinary circumstances, he would be quickly recalled to it by any attempt that might be made upon it, e.g.., to obsess it.

Whilst there are several widely different causes of sleepwalking [vide The`Astral Body p.90-91] there are some instances in which it appears that the ego is able to act more directly upon his physical body during the absence of the intermediate mental and astral vehicles— (Page 225)instances in which the man is able, during his sleep, to write poetry or to paint pictures, which would be far beyond his powers when awake.

The ego often impresses his ideas upon the personality in dreams, using sets of symbols, of which each ego has his own system, though some forms seem general in dreams. Thus it is said that to dream of water signifies trouble of some sort, although there does not seem any real connection between the two.

But, even though there be no real connection, an ego—or for that matter some other entity who desires to communicate—may use the symbol, merely because it is understood by the personality, and, by means of it, warn the personality of some impending misfortune.

Prophetic dreams must be attributed exclusively to the action of the ego, who either foresees for himself, or is told of some future event, for which he wishes to prepare his lower consciousness. This may be of any degree of clearness and accuracy, according to the power of the ego to assimilate it himself, and having done so, to impress it upon his waking brain.

Sometimes the event is one of serious moment, such as death or disaster, so that the motive of the ego, in endeavouring to impress it, is obvious. On other occasions, however, the fact foretold is apparently unimportant, so that it is difficult to understand why the ego should take any trouble about it. But in such cases, it must be borne in mind that the fact remembered may be merely a trifling detail of some far larger vision, the rest of which has not come through to the physical brain. Stories of such prophetic dreams are, of course, quite common. Several are to be found in Dreams, by C.W.Leadbeater, p. 52 et seq.

In order to bring through, into the physical brain, impressions from the ego,It is obvious that the brain must be calm. Everything from the causal body must pass through the mental and astral bodies, and, if either of these is disturbed it reflects imperfectly, just as the least rippling of the surface of a lake will break up and distort images reflected in it. It is necessary (Page 226) also to eradicate absolutely all prejudices, otherwise they will produce the effect of stained glass, colouring everything which is seen through them, and so giving a false impression.

If a man is to hear the “still small voice” with certainty and accuracy, he must be still: the outer man must be unshaken by all external things, by the clamour of the big breakers of life that dash against him, as well as by the delicate murmur of the softer ripples. He must learn to be very still, to have no desires and no aversions. Except on rare occasions, when it is unusually strong, it is only when personal desires and aversions have ceased to exist, when the voice of the outer world can no longer command him, that a man can hear the inner voice which should be his unfailing guide.



(Page 227) The sacraments of the Christian religion, and also the ceremonies of Freemasonry, have such an intimate bearing on the relationship between the ego and the personality, as to justify a separate chapter being devoted to considering this important aspect of our subject.

We will consider first the sacraments of Christianity, as they are performed in the Liberal Catholic Church.

The Christian Church sets out to meet the soul or ego, as soon as he comes into his new set of bodies, offering him welcome and assistance: this is achieved through the ceremony of baptism.

As it is not practicable to get at the ego himself, his vehicles are dealt with on the physical plane. As we have seen, what the ego most needs is to get his new set of vehicles in order, so that he can work through them. Coming, as he does, laden with the results of his past lives, he has within him seeds of good qualities, and also seeds of evil qualities. Those seeds of evil have often, been called “original sin”, and quite wrongly connected with the fabled action of Adam and Eve.

It is obviously of great importance to the child that everything possible should be done to starve out the germs of evil, and to encourage those of good: it is to this end that the sacrament of baptism is especially designed. The water used is magnetised, with a special view to the effect of its vibrations upon the higher vehicles, so that all the germs of good qualities, in the unformed astral and mental bodies of the child, may thereby receive a strong stimulus, while at the same time the germs of evil may be isolated and deadened.

(Page 228) The ceremony has also another aspect, that of consecrating and setting apart the new vehicles to the true expression of the soul within, and when it is properly and intelligently performed, there can be no doubt that its effect is a powerful one, which may affect the whole future life of the child.

The baptismal ceremony brings a new force into activity, on the side of the ego, in order to influence his vehicles in the right direction. Underlying the belief, that at baptism a guardian angel is given to the child, is the fact that a new thought-form, or artificial elemental is built, which is filled by the divine force, and also ensouled by a higher kind of nature-spirit known as a sylph. This remains with the child as a factor on the side of good, so that to all intents and purposes it is a guardian angel. Incidentally, through this work the sylph becomes individualised, and grows from a sylph into a seraph, through its association with a thought-form, permeated by the life and thought of the Head of the Church Himself.

The sacrament of baptism cannot alter the disposition of the man, but it can make his vehicles a little easier to manage. It does not suddenly make a devil into an angel, or a very evil man into a good one, but it certainly gives the man a better chance. This is what it is intended to do, and that is the limit of its power.

In addition, and more specifically, the baptismal ceremony is intended to open up the chakrams, or force-centres, and to set them moving much more rapidly. When this has been done [for details the student is referred to The Science of the Sacraments], and the “guardian angel” thought form has been built, the pouring in of the triple spiritual force takes place at the actual baptism itself, through the medium of consecrated water.

As the names of the Trinity are invoked, the force unquestionably flows from the Three Persons of the Solar Deity Himself, though it reaches us through the intermediate stages of the Christ, Who is the Head of the Church, (Page 229) and the ordained priest. The thought which fills the guardian angel thought-form is, in fact really that of the Christ Himself.

Baptism is primarily intended for infants, and its commission in infancy cannot be fully supplied by baptism is later life. This adult has necessarily long ago verified the matter of his vehicles for himself, and his currents are flowing much in the same way as baptism would have caused them to flow; but it will usually be found that the “corners” are not cleaned up, much of the aura seems unvivified, and there is a large amount of indeterminate matter, with which nothing is being done; it has, therefore, a tendency to get out of the general circulation, to settle and form a deposit, and so gradually to clog the machinery and interfere with its efficient working. Baptism in infancy obviates much of this unpleasant result.

In the case of older people, quite a different type of sylph is given, a more worldly-wise entity, capable of development into a keener intelligence. About him there is something half-cynical: he has unwearying patience, but he does not seem to be expecting much, while the angel of the baby is optimistic—vaguer, it may be, than the other, but full of love and hope, and schemes for the future.

Still, a wholesome and beneficent influence is exercised by the baptism of adults; the anointing with the sacred chrism is not without its use, in cleansing the gateway through which the man passes in and out of his body in sleep, and even in the making of the shield, before and behind, is good, especially for those who are young and unmarried.

In the sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop pronounces a preliminary blessing, which is intended to widen out the connection between the ego and his vehicles, in order to prepare the way for what is coming. We might say that the object is to stretch both soul and vehicles to their utmost capacity, that they may be able to receive more of the Divine outpouring.(Page 230)

As he makes the sign of the cross, at the appropriate places, the bishop pours into the candidate power, which is definitely that of the Third Person of the Trinity. This comes in three waves, and acts at the three levels, upon the principles of the candidate.

The divine power rushes through the ego of the bishop, into the higher mind of the candidate: then it pushes upward into Buddhi and finally presses upwards into the Вtma. In each case, it is through the Third-Person aspect of each of these principles that the work is done.

Some candidates are, of course, far more susceptible to the process of opening-up than others. Upon some the effect produced is enormous and lasting; in the case of others, it is often but slight, because as yet that which has to be awakened is so little developed as to be barely capable of any response.

When the awakening, so far as it may be, has been achieved, there comes what may be called the filling and sealing of Вtma., buddhi and manas. The effect on Вtma. is reflected in the etheric double, so far as the development allows, that on buddhi is reproduced in the astral body, and that on higher manas is mirrored in the mental body.

The intention of Confirmation is thus to tighten the links all the way up, to bring about a closer connection between the ego and the personality, and also between the ego and the monad. The result is not merely temporary; the opening up of the connections makes a wider channel, through which a constant flow can be kept going. Confirmation arms and equips a boy or girl for life, and makes it easier for the ego to act on and through his vehicles.

Passing to the Minor Orders, we find the Cleric is intended to aim at the control of his physical body: the Doorkeeper to purify and control his astral body; the Reader has to learn to wield the forces of his mind: the ordination of the Exorcist is aimed at the causal body, and is intended to develop the will, and to give the ego fuller control of the lower vehicles. The degree of Acolyte (Page 231) is intended to help the man to quicken his intuition, the buddhic faculty.

In this series of Diagrams, the following symbols are employed:—

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Of these three aspects, the first [A1] remains on the plane of Вtma.: the second descends, or moves outwards, to the plane of buddhi, where we will call it Buddhi [1], marking, it B1. The third descends or moves out through the two planes, and shows, itself in the higher mental world as Manas, or M: this aspect, also, as it descends or moves through the plane of Buddhi, we will call it Buddhi [2] or B2.

These three outer or lower manifestations, A1, B1 and M, taken together, constitute, as we know, the soul or ego, in his causal body, as indicated in the Diagram by the dotted line which encloses them.

Thus we see that, in addition to the principles of Вtma., buddhi and manas, expressed in the ego as A1, B1 and M, there is also, still latent and undeveloped, another aspect of Buddhi [B2], and two aspects of Вtma. [A1 and A2], making three further aspects still to be brought out of latency, and developed into activity.

Now in the Christ Himself, the Perfect Man, these principles also exist, in exactly the same order: but in His case, they are, of course, fully developed, and, moreover, mystically one with the second Person of the Trinity. One of the gifts conferred by ordination is the linking of certain of these principles, in the ordinand, (Page 233) with the corresponding principles of the Christ, so that a definite channel is made, down which spiritual strength and wisdom flow, up to the fullest limit of the ordinand’s receptivity.

The Ordination to the degree of Sub-Deacon confers no powers, but assists in preparing the way for Ordination to the degrees of Deacon, the lowest of the three Major Orders. The bishop therefore attempts gently to widen the connection [the antahkarana, see p.190] between the ego and the lower vehicles of the Sub-Deacon [see Diagram XXXII-A].

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At the Ordination of a deacon, the link between the ego and his vehicles is widened, to become a channel, and also the higher manas [M] is linked with the corresponding principle of the Christ. In some cases buddhi [B1] may also be awakened, and made to glow slightly, thereby establishing a slight line of connection between it and the higher manas. These effects are indicated in Diagram XXXII-B.

This opening of the channel is so great a departure from ordinary life that it can be done only by stages, and the first step towards it, in the Ordination of a deacon, may be regarded as practically a psychic surgical operation.

The threefold influence, of which a bishop is so especially the custodian `[as we shall see presently], is called strongly into manifestation, and poured forth, so that, by playing upon the corresponding principles of the ordinand, it stirs them into sympathetic vibration; they therefore become, at any rate for the time, enormously more active and receptive than ever before.

At the conclusion of the ceremony of ordination the bishop makes a final cross, of which the express purpose is to thicken the walls of the much-expanded link between the ego and the personality, to harden (Page 234) them, and hold them more firmly in their new form. It is as though a sort of framework were erected within, a lining to prevent the widened channel from contracting.

The establishment of the link between the deacon and the Christ enables the higher manas of the Christ to influence that of the deacon, and to stir it into beneficent activity. Needless to say, it does not all follow that it will so affect it; that depends on the deacon. At least the way is laid open, the communication is established, and it is for him to make of it what he can.

In the case of the priest, the connection is carried a stage further, and several important developments take place.

At the first imposition of the hands, Вtma. and buddhi in the priest [A1,B1 and M] are made to glow with indescribable fervour, by sympathetic vibration, in harmony with the blinding light of the corresponding principles in the Christ. The glow is usually slight in Вtma., but more marked in buddhi. The influx rushes into the ordinand’s Вtma., buddhi and manas, through the corresponding principles of the bishop himself.

Further, a line between Вtma. and buddhi is established, while that already existing between buddhi and higher manas is intensified. The channel between higher manas and the lower vehicles is also widened [see Diagram-XXXIII-C].

At the second imposition of the hands, the hitherto latent principle of buddhi [B2] is called into activity, and linked with that of the Christ, while the link between it and higher manas is strengthened.

The link between the priest’s own Вtma., buddhi and manas, [A1,B1 and M] is opened still more, to permit the flow of more force [see Diagram XXXIII-D].

Thus the priest becomes, in a very real sense, an outpost of the consciousness of the Christ, so that he becomes “His man”—the “parson” in fact, that word meaning the same as the person [see p.213] who represents the Christ in a certain parish.

At the ordination of the priest, his ego is more (Page 235) definitely awakened, so that he can act directly upon other egos at the level of the causal body. It is, in fact, this relation which gives him that power to straighten out the distortion, caused by deviation from the path of right, which in ecclesiastical terminology, is known as the power to “remit sin”.

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The anointing of the hands of the priest, with oil of catechumens, which is constructive in its effects, is a setting of them apart for the purpose of his office and a moulding of them for the transmission of the power of the Christ. The hand of the priest is thus a specialised instrument that can transmit a blessing. The anointing brings the opening forces to bear upon the hands, and endues them with power, whereby, along the lines that are made in the anointing, the influence can pour out.

The process is something like the magnetisation of steel: the anointing operates so that forces can pass through the hands, and at the same time tempers the hands, so that they can bear the forces, and transmit the power safely.

The bishop makes one cross, which is intended to arrange for the distribution, of the force which rushes down the diagonal line between Вtma.[1], Buddhi[1] and Manas, and a second cross which arranges for the dispensing of the force which flows from Buddhi [2].

The development of an ideal priest is possible to a man of great determination, who for years works at strengthening the connections between his own principles and those of the Christ. He can intensify the link made with Buddhi[2] and Manas, and can arouse to vigorous action Вtma.[1] and Buddhi[1], thereby making himself a channel of extraordinary power [vide Diagram XXXIIIE].

At the consecration of a bishop, when the actual (Page 236) words of consecration are said, a connection is made between Buddhi [2] and Вtma. [3], and the channels between Buddhi [2] and Manas, and the corresponding principles of the Christ, are enormously widened [vide Diagram, XXXIV-F.

Thus through Вtma. [3]- Buddhi is linked directly with the Triple Spirit of the Christ, so that blessing from that level flows through him for those Three Aspects are of course, truly one: hence the rationale of the bishop signing the people with a triple cross, instead of with one, as the priest does.

The priest draws his blessing down through his own principles, Вtma.[1], Buddhi[1] and Manas, and emits through his causal body. The bishop, being more fully developed, is able to let the power shine through more immediately, and therefore far more strongly.

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In the case of the bishop, an entirely new line is also opened, linking the bishop’s Buddhi[1] directly with that of the Christ, and thus giving it the potentiality of a development far beyond our imagination.. It is this wonderful Christ-force which enables him to hand on his powers to others.

Next, the way is opened for the influence of the amazing development of Buddhi, which has just been made possible, to pour down into the mental and astral vehicles.

At the anointing of the head of the bishop with chrism, the power of reflection of the triple spirit in the lower vehicles is intensified, the triple spirit Вtma. [1] Вtma. [2] and Вtma. [3], glowing, and the way being cleared, down into the physical brain, for the flow of the new forces [see Diagram XXXIV-G]

The three lines connecting Вtma.[3], Buddhi [2] and Manas [see Diagram XXXIV], indicate that a bishop can draw (Page 237)into the causal body, and thus ray forth in blessing, the threefold power of the Triple Spirit.

The action of the chrism tends in the direction of making the force-centre at the top of the head—the brahmarandra chakram—which in most men is a saucer-like depression—into a rapidly rotating cone, projecting upwards from the head.

The anointing of the hands of the bishop with chrism arranges the mechanism, of the distribution of the three kinds of force, from the Three Aspects of the Trinity.

The direct line of communication between Buddhi and the astral body is opened fully, so that if and when that Buddhi, or intuition, is developed, it may flow through at once, into what is intended to be its expression in physical life.

The development of the ideal bishop is possible to one who takes advantage, of every opportunity. All of his principles become responsive channels to the power of the Christ, and he becomes a veritable sun of spiritual energy and blessing. This stage is indicated in Diagram XXXIV-H].

The Perfect Man is not only linked with the Christ, and with his own Highest Self, the Monad, but becomes ever more and more an epiphany of the Logos Or Deity, who brought forth the solar system. He becomes the Master, for Whom incarnation is no longer necessary. Diagram XXXV indicates this stage.

Another provision in the Christian religion is the power of Absolution, vested in the priests. As this affects the relations between the various bodies of man, we may usefully consider it briefly here.

The bodies of man are not, of course, separate in space, but interpenetrating. Looked at from below, however, they give the impression of being joined by innumerable fine wires or lines of fire. Every action which works against evolution puts an unequal strain upon these twists and entangles them. When a man goes badly wrong, the confusion becomes such that communication between the higher and lower bodies is seriously impeded; he is no longer his real self, (Page 238) and only the lower side of the character is able to manifest itself fully.

Whilst the natural forces will straighten out the distortion in due time, yet the Church provides for the work being done more speedily, for the power of straightening out this tangle in higher matter is one of those powers specifically conferred upon a priest at ordination. The co-operation of the man himself is, of course, also needed: for, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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The effect of “absolution” is strictly limited to the correction of the distortion above described. It reopens certain channels, which have been to a large extent closed by evil thought or action; but it in no way counteracts the physical consequences of that action, nor does it obviate the necessity of restitution, where wrong has been done. The priest’s action straightens out the etheric, astral and mental entanglement, produced by the wrong action, or rather by the mental attitude which made that action possible; but it does not in any way relieve the man from the karmic penalty of his action. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”.

One other item of information, regarding the work of the priest in the Holy Eucharist, may be mentioned. In making the three crosses, at “bless, approve, and ratify,” over the offerings, the priest pushes his “tube” through the etheric, astral and lower mental matter respectively, and the two crosses made separately over the wafer and the chalice, carry the same tube, now in two branches, on through the higher mental into the plane above. (Page 239) In doing this, he should use the forces of his own causal body, pressing his thought upward to the highest possible level.

Turning now to Freemasonry, we find that the three Principal Officers represent, Вtma., Buddhi and Manas in man, and that the three Assistant Officers represent the lower mind, the emotional nature or the astral body, and the etheric double: the O.G. or Tyler represents the physical body. As we are in this book concerned principally with the causal body, we may note especially, that the higher mind is represented by the J.W.

In the devas, nature-spirits and elementals associated with the J.W., a golden hue predominates.

When the R.W.M creates, receives and constitutes the candidate as an E.A.F., the three touches of the f…s… convey different aspects of power, corresponding to the three Aspects of Trinity, the first conveying strength to the brain, the second love to the heart, and the third executive ability to the right arm.

The general effect of this downpouring of force is to widen somewhat the channel of communication between the ego and the personality of the candidate.

The degree of E.A.F. corresponds to the sub-deacon in the Christian system.

At a similar point in the Second Degree ceremony, there is a more decided widening of the link between the ego and the personality, so that it is opened up as a definite channel for the downpouring of force. This channel the candidate can utilise with marked effect, if he sets himself to work upon it and through it.

In this Degree, there is a certain parallel between the Passing of a F.C and the ecclesiastical ordination to the diaconate. At the same time, a link is made between the candidate and the H.O.A.T.F, in those Lodges where He is acknowledged.

As in the case of the widening of consciousness, the link that is made is for the candidate to utilise as he pleases. It may be of greatest benefit to him; it may change the whole of his life, and enable him to (Page 240) make rapid progress along the path that leads to Initiation. Or, on the other hand, if he entirely neglects it, it may make but very little difference to him.

The proving of the M.M. by the square and the compasses indicate that a M.M may be tested and known by the fact that both the higher self and the lower self are in working order, are functioning together and in harmony.

The M.M. is symbolical of the Initiate of the fourth degree, the Arhat. At that stage of attainment, on the occult path, the battle against the lower quaternary is practically over, and the latter has become an obedient instrument in the hands of the higher triad, which is awake and active in all its three parts.

The M.M. has to find the g..s…on the c…: in other words, it is by finding in himself that deeper Self, which is the Monad, beyond even the higher triad, that the M.M. will at last discover the supreme secret of life, and will then find in very truth, by his own living experience, that he is, and always has been, one with God.

In earlier Degrees, the consciousness of the candidate had to be raised from the s… to the c…, that is, from the quadrilateral to the triangle, from the lower to the higher self. But now, as a M.M. it has to be raised from the triangle, to the point—as is clearly indicated by the W.T.—from the higher self to the Monad.

The Monad is now beginning to work his will in the higher self, as before the higher self worked his will in the lower. The s… t represents the action of that Monad, as it turns upon a centre pin, and sends out a line from its own body as it spins the web of life, just as a spider spins its web from its own body.

The p… marks that chosen path, or ray of the Monad, the line of life and work which the Arhat must discover, and on which he must specialise, in order to make rapid progress. And the c… once more represent the triangle, the powers of the triple spirit, which he must use in his work.

The currents of etheric force, which flow through and (Page 241) around the spine of every human being, are stimulated into activity, in Freemasonry, in order that the evolution of the candidate may be quickened. This stimulation is applied at the moment when the R.W.M. creates, receives and constitutes. In the First Degree, it affects Ida, the feminine aspect of the force, thus making it easier for the candidate to control passion and emotion. In the Second Degree, it is the Pingala, or masculine aspect, which is strengthened, in order to facilitate the control of mind. The Third Degree, the central energy itself, the Sushumna, is aroused, thereby opening the way for the pure spirit from on high.

It is by passing up this channel of the Sushumna that a yogi leaves his physical body at will, in such a manner that he can retain full consciousness on higher planes, and bring back into his physical brain a clear memory of his experiences.

Ida is crimson in colour, Pingala is yellow and Sushumna is deep blue.

The stimulation of these nerves, and the forces which flow through them, is only a small part of the benefit conferred by the R.W.M., when he wields the sword at the moment of admission. The widening of the connection between the individuality and the personality has already been mentioned, also the formation, of a link between certain principles of the candidate and the corresponding, vehicles of the H.O.A.T.F. The changes induced are somewhat of the same nature as those described on p.233 et seq., but of less pronounced character.

Whilst these effects are real, unmistakable and universal, yet their result in the spiritual life of the candidate depends, of course, on himself.

The E.A. should, as a personality, be employed on organising his physical life for higher use; but at the same time, as an ago, he should be developing active intelligence in his causal body, exactly as does the pupil of a Master, who is preparing himself for Initiation.

In the same way, the F.C. is organising his emotional life, (Page 242) while he unfolds intuitional love, in his buddhic body.

The M.M., while arranging his mental life down here, should, as an ego, be strengthening his spiritual will, or Вtma.



(Page 243) A glance at Diagram XXV on p.147 should be sufficient to indicate the mechanical reason why the physical brain of a man cannot normally remember his past lives. For it is obvious that the physical body can have neither a memory, nor a record, of a past incarnation in which it did not participate. Precisely the same consideration applies to his astral and mental bodies, since all these vehicles are new for each incarnation.

We thus see that, as the causal body is the only one that persists from one incarnation to another, the lowest level, at which we can hope to get really reliable information about past lives, is that of the causal body, for nothing below, that can give us first hand evidence.

In these past lives, the ego in his causal body was present—or rather a certain small part of him was present—and so he is an actual witness. All the lower vehicles, not being witness, can report only what they may receive from the ego. Consequently, when we bear in mind how imperfect is the communication between the ego and the personality in the ordinary man, we shall see at once how entirely unreliable such second, third, or fourth-hand testimony is likely to be.

Although one may sometimes obtain from the astral and mental bodies isolated pictures of events in a man’s past life, we cannot get a sequential and coherent account of it; and even those pictures are but reflections from the causal body, and probably very dim and blurred reflections, which occasionally find their way through to the lower consciousness.

It is thus abundantly clear that, in order to read accurately past lives, it is necessary first of all (Page 244) to develop the faculties of the causal body. The thing, however, could be done at lower levels, by psychometrisation of the permanent atoms, but, as this would be a much more difficult feat than unfolding of the senses of the causal body, it is not at all likely to be attempted successfully.

Including the method just mentioned, there are four methods of reading past Lives:—

[1] Psychometrisation of the permanent atoms

[2] To take the ego’s own memory of what happened

[3] To psychometrise the ego, or rather his causal body, and see for ourselves the experiences through which he has passed. This method is safer than [2], because even an ego, having seen things through a past personality, may have imperfect or prejudiced impressions of them.

[4] To use the buddhic faculties, becoming completely one with the ego under investigation, and to read his experiences as though they were our own i.e., from within, instead of from without. This method obviously demands much higher development.

Methods [3] and [4] have been employed by those who prepared the series of incarnations, which have been published during the past few years in The Theosophist, some of them having also been produced in book form. The investigators had also the advantage of the intelligent co-operation of the ego, whose incarnations were described.

The physical presence of the subject, whose lives are being read, is an advantage, but not a necessity. He is useful, provided he can keep his vehicles perfectly calm, but, if he becomes excited, he spoils everything.

The surroundings are not specially important, but quiet is essential, because, if impressions are to be brought through clearly, the physical brain must be calm.

It is necessary also to eradicate absolutely all prejudices, otherwise they will produce the effect of stained glass, colouring everything which is seen through them, and so giving a false impression. (Page 245)

We may say that there are two sources of error possible: [1] personal bias; [2] limited views.

In view of the fact that there are fundamental differences of temperament, these cannot but colour the views taken of other planes. Every one below the level of an Adept is sure to be influenced in this manner to some extent. The man of the world magnifies unimportant details, and omits the important things being in the habit of doing this in daily life. On the other hand, a man starting on the Path may, in his enthusiasm lose for a time his touch with the ordinary human life, from which he has emerged. But even so, he has the advantage, for those who see the inside of things are nearer the truth than those who see only the outside.

In order to minimise this sort of error, it is usual for people, of radically different types, to work together at these investigations.

The second danger we have mentioned is that of a limited view, of taking a part for the whole. Thus, one may take a view of a small portion of a given community, and apply it to the whole community, i.e., one may fall into the common error of generalising on insufficient basis of observation.

There is however, a general aura of a time or a country, which usually prevents any great mistakes of this sort. A psychic, who has not been trained to sense this general aura, is often unconscious of it, and may thus fall into many errors. Long continued observation shows that all untrained psychics are sometimes reliable, and sometimes unreliable, and those who consult them therefore run the risk of being misled.

In looking at past lives, it is safer to retain full physical consciousness, so as to be able to make a note of everything, while it is being observed, than to leave the physical body during the observations, and trust to memory to their reproduction. This latter plan, however, has to be adopted when the student, though able to use the causal body, can do so only while the physical body is asleep.(Page 246)

The identification of egos is sometimes difficult, because egos naturally change considerably in the course of some thousands of years. Some investigators feel an intuition as to the identity of a particular ego, and, although such an intuition may often be right, it may certainly also sometimes be wrong. The safer, but more laborious, method of identification, is to pass the records rapidly in review, and trace the ego concerned through them, until he is found at the present day.

In some cases, the egos of ordinary people are instantly recognisable, even after thousands of years: that does not speak particularly well of the people concerned, because it means that they have made but little progress. To try to recognise, twenty thousand years ago, one whom one knows at the present day, is somewhat like meeting as an adult some one whom one knew long ago as a child. Sometimes recognition is possible, sometimes the change has been too great.

Those who have since become Masters of the Wisdom are often instantly recognisable, even thousands of years ago, but that is for a different reason. For, when the lower vehicles are already fully in harmony with the ego, they form themselves into the likeness of the Augoeides, and so change little from life to life. Similarly, when the ego himself is becoming a perfect reflection of the Monad, he also changes but little, though he gradually grows: hence he is readily recognisable.

The nature of the Akashic Records having been already described in The Mental Body, a few of the more immediately relevant points only will be mentioned here.

In examining a past life, the easiest way is to let the record drift past at its natural rate: but, as this would mean a day’s work to look up the events of each day, it is clearly impracticable, except for short periods. It is, however, possible to accelerate or retard the passage of events to any degree required, so that a period of thousands of years may be run through rapidly, (Page 247) or any particular picture may be held as long as desired.

What is described as the unrolling of the record is, in reality, not a movement of the record, but of the consciousness of the seer. But the impression which it gives is exactly as though the record itself were unrolled. The records may be said to lie upon one another in layers, the more recent on top and the older ones behind. Yet even this simile is misleading, because it suggests the idea of thickness, whereas the records occupy no more space than does the reflection on the surface of a mirror. The consciousness does not really move in space at all, but rather puts on itself, as a kind of cloak, one or other of the layers of the record, and, in doing so, it finds itself in the midst of the action of the story.

The method of arriving at dates has been described in The Mental Body, page 242.

It is, on the whole, somewhat easier to read lives forwards than backwards, because in that case we are working with the natural flow of time, instead of against it.

The languages employed are almost always unintelligible to the investigator but, as the thoughts behind the words lie open before him, that matters little. On several occasions, investigators have copied down public inscriptions, which they could not understand, and have afterwards had them translated on the physical plane, by someone to whom the ancient language was familiar.

The records must not be thought of as originally inhering in matter of any kind, though they are reflected in it. In order to read them, it is not necessary to come into direct contact with any particular grouping of matter, since they can be read from any distance, when a connection has once been made.

Nevertheless, it is true that each atom contains the record, or perhaps possesses the power to put a clairvoyant en rapport with the record, of all that has ever (Page 248) happened within sight of it. It is in fact, on account of this phenomenon that psychometry is possible.

But there is attached to it a very curious limitation, in that the psychometer sees, by means of it, only what he would have seen if he had been standing at the spot from which the object psychometrised has been taken.

For example, if a man psychometrises a pebble, which has been lying for ages in a valley, he will see only what has passed during those ages in that valley. His view will be limited by the surrounding hills, just as if he had stood for all those ages where the stone lay, and had witnessed all those things.

There is, however, an extension of psychometric power, by which a man may see the thoughts and feelings of the actors in his drama, as well as their physical, bodies. There is also another extension by which, having first established himself in that valley, he may make it the basis of further operations, and so pass over the surrounding hills and see what lies beyond them, and also what has happened there since the stone was removed, and even what occurred before it in some manner arrived there.

But the man who can do all this will soon be able to dispense with the stone altogether.

When using the senses of the causal body, it is seen that every object is throwing off pictures of the past.

We have already seen that, as the inner faculties are developed, life becomes continuous. Not only can the consciousness of the ego be reached but it is possible to travel back, even as far as the animal group-soul, and look through animal eyes at the world which then exited. The difference of outlook is said to be so different as to make description impossible.

Short of such continuous consciousness, there is no detailed memory of the past, not even of the most important facts. There is, however, this fact, that whatever we have known in the past we are almost sure to recognise and instantly accept, as soon as it is again presented to us in the present. (Page 249)

Hence, though one may appreciate intellectually the truth of reincarnation, actual proof can be obtained only in the causal body, where the ego is cognisant of his past.

When a man, using the consciousness of his causal body, has always with him the memory of all his past lives, he is of course, capable of consciously directing the various lower manifestations of himself at all points of his progress.

During the stages in which the man is not yet fully capable of this, the ego can nevertheless impress his purpose upon his permanent atoms, so that that purpose will be carried over from life to life. Knowledge of this will not be born inherent in the man, as part of his stock-in-trade, so to speak, but the moment it comes before him, in any form, in his next incarnation, he will immediately recognise its truth, seize upon it, and act accordingly.

In the case of a very quick rebirth, the possibility of recovering the memory of the past incarnation is considerably increased. Diagram XXV, p.147, should make the mechanism of this possibility easy to understand. There have been a large number of atoms and molecules, in the old mental and astral bodies, which have preserved a certain affinity with the mental unit and astral permanent atom, and consequently a good deal of the old material may be used in building the new mental and astral bodies. With their assistance, it is clear that memory of the last incarnation should be more easily attained than in cases where there has been a long interval between lives, and the old materials have all been dissipated and spread through the various planes.

We do not yet understand the laws which govern the power to impress the detailed knowledge of one life upon the physical brain of the next. Such evidence as is at present available seems to show that details are usually forgotten, but that broad principles appear to the new mind as self-evident.

It is a common experience, on hearing of a truth (Page 250) for the first time, to feel that one has known it before, though one has never been able to formulate it in words. In other cases, there is scarcely even that degree of memory: yet when the new truth is presented, it is instantly recognised as true.

Assuming the truth of tradition, even the Buddha Himself, who incarnated with the definite intention of helping the world, knew nothing clearly of His mission after He had entered His new body, but regained full knowledge only after years of searching for it. Undoubtedly He could have known from the first, had He so chosen, but He did not so choose, submitting Himself rather to what seems to be the common lot.

On the other hand, it may be that the Buddha did not take the body of Prince Siddartha from birth, but only when it fainted, after the long austerities of the of the six years searching for truth. If this be so, there would be no memory, because the entity in the body was not the Buddha, but some one else.

In any case, however, we may be sure that the ego, who is the true man, always knows what he has once learned: but he is not always able to impress it upon his new brain without the help of a suggestion from without.

It seems to be an invariable rule that one who has accepted occult truth in one life always comes into contact with it in the next, and so revives his dormant memory. We may say, perhaps, that the opportunity of thus recovering the truth is the direct karma of having accepted and of having earnestly tried to live according to it in the previous incarnation.



(Page 251) We come now to consider the ego as a conscious entity on his own plane, i.e.., in the higher mental or causal world, quite apart from the partial expressions of himself on the lower planes.

From the moment that the ego breaks off from his group-soul, and commences his separate existence as a human being, he is a conscious entity: but the consciousness is of an exceedingly vague nature. The forces of the higher mental world pass through him practically without affecting him, because he cannot as yet respond to more than a very few of such extremely fine vibrations. The only physical sensation, to which this condition is at all comparable, is that which occasionally comes to some persons, at the moment of awakening in the morning. There is a state, intermediate between sleeping and waking, in which a man is blissfully conscious that he exists, and yet is not conscious of any surrounding objects, nor capable of any movement. Indeed, he sometimes knows that any movement would break the spell of happiness, and bring him down into the ordinary waking world, and so he endeavours to remain still as long as possible.

This condition, which is a consciousness of existence, and of intense bliss, closely resembles that of the ego of the average man upon the higher mental plane. As we have seen previously, he is wholly centred there, only for the short time intervening between the end of one life in devachan and the commencement, of his next descent into incarnation. During that short period, he obtains a fleeting glimpse of his past and his future, a flash of retrospect and prospect, and for many ages these glimpses are his only moments of full-awakening: and, (Page 252) after this momentary awakening, he falls asleep again. As we have seen, it is his desire for a more perfect manifestation, his desire to feel himself more thoroughly alive, that drives him into the effort of incarnation.

A stanza in the Book of Dzyan states that “Those who received but a spark remained destitute of knowledge: the spark burned low”; H.P.Blavatsky then explains that “those who received but a spark constitute the average humanity, which have to acquire their intellectuality during the present manvantaric evolution.” [Secret Doctrine, II, 177]. In the case of most men the spark is still smouldering, and it will be many an age before its slow increase brings it to the stage of steady and brilliant flame.

The causal body of the average man has thus as yet almost no consciousness of anything, external to itself, on its own plane. The immense majority of egos are but dreamily semi-conscious, though few are now in the condition of mere colourless films. The majority are not yet sufficiently definite, even in such consciousness as they possess, to understand the purpose or the laws of the evolution in which they are engaged.

Although the ordinary ego is still in a sleepy condition, he is yet, during physical life, capable to some extent of brooding watchfully over the personality, and of a little effort.

The average ego in his causal body may be compared to the chicken within the egg, the chicken being entirely unconscious of the source of the heat, which nevertheless stimulates its growth.

When an ego reaches the stage where he breaks through his shell, and becomes capable of some sort of response, the whole process takes on a different form, and is enormously quickened.

The awakening process is greatly helped by the Masters of Wisdom, who pour out their spiritual force like sunlight, flooding the entire plane, and affecting to some extent everything within its radius. As mentioned in Chapter XXI, even the group-souls of (Page 253) animals on the lower mental plane are greatly affected and assisted by this influence.

It is on the mental plane that much of the most important work of the Masters is done: this is more especially the case upon the causal plane, where the individuality, or ego, can be acted upon directly. It is from this plane that They shower the grandest spiritual influences upon the world of thought: from it. They impel great and beneficial movements of all kinds. Here, again, much of the spiritual force poured out by the glorious self-sacrifice of the Nirmanakayas is distributed. Here also direct teaching is given to those pupils who are sufficiently advanced to receive it in this way, since it can be imparted far more readily and completely here than on the lower planes.

With a developed man, the ego is fully awake. In course of time the ego discovers that there are a good many things which he can do, and, when this happens, he may rise into a condition in which he has a definite life on his own plane, though in many cases it is even then but dreamy.

The ego of the ordinary person, as we have seen, has rather a vegetable consciousness or life, and seems to be only just aware of other egos. But, as the ego becomes sufficiently developed, he can not only help other egos, but lives a life of his own among his peers, among the great Arupadevas, among all kinds of splendid Angels or Devas. The young ego is probably but little awake, as yet, to all that glorious life,, just as a baby in arms knows little of the interests of the world surrounding him; but, as his consciousness gradually unfolds, he awakens to all this magnificence, and becomes fascinated by its vividness and beauty.

Such a developed ego enjoys the companionship of all the brightest intellects that the world has ever produced, including, as said, the Deva or angel kingdom as well as the human. The life of the ego on his own plane is glorious beyond any conception possible to the personality. If one could imagine an existence in the company of the great men of the world—artists, poets, (Page 254) scientists, and even the Masters Themselves—and add to all that an understanding unattainable down here—then only would one begin to have some idea of the life of the ego.

The personality would not, of course, know what the ego does, unless the personality and ego have been unified. Thus, the ego may know the Master, while the personality does not. The ego must have been fully conscious and active on his own plane for a long time before any knowledge of that existence can come through into his physical life.

This ego-consciousness must not be confused with the consciousness which comes from the unification of the higher and lower selves, mentioned in Chapter XXVI. When unification has been achieved, the man’s consciousness resides in the ego all the time, and from the ego it plays through whatever vehicle he may happen to be using. But, in the case of a man who has not yet achieved that union, the consciousness of the ego on his own plane comes into activity only when he is no longer hampered by any lower vehicles, and exists only until he puts himself down into incarnation; for as soon as he takes up a lower body, his consciousness can manifest for the time only through that body.

The causal plane is the true and relatively permanent home of the ego, for here he is free of the limitations of the personality, and is simply himself, the reincarnating entity. Although his consciousness may be dim, dreamily unobservant, and scarcely awake, yet his vision is true, however limited it may be. Not only is he free from the illusions of the personality, and the refracting medium of the lower self, but thought itself no longer assumes the same limited forms which it takes upon itself, at levels below the causal.

In some of the older literature, there are statements which seem to imply that the higher ego needs no evolution, being already perfect and godlike on his own plane. Whatever such expressions are used, whatever may be the terminology employed, they must be taken to apply only to the Вtma, the true “god” within man, (Page 255) which is certainly far beyond the necessity of any kind of evolution of which we can know anything.

Again, H.P. Blavatsky states that Manas, or the higher Ego, as “part of the Universal Mind, is unconditionally omniscient on its own plane” : the meaning of course, is that this is so only when it has fully developed self-consciousness, by its evolutionary experiences, and “is the vehicle of all knowledge of the past and present and future”.

The reincarnating ego most undoubtedly does evolve, as is perfectly evident to those who possess causal sight. At first, he has very little active power on any plane, and it is his purpose to become fully active on all planes, even the physical.

An ego who is awakened, and is truly alive upon his own plane, is a glorious object, giving us for the first time some idea of what man is intended to be. Such developed egos are still separate, yet intellectually they fully realise their inner unity, for they see one another as they are, and can no longer blunder, or fail to comprehend.

It is not easy to explain, in physical words, the differences which exist between egos, since all of them are in many ways much greater than anything to which we are accustomed down here. Some faint reflection of the impression, produced by intercourse with them, may be conveyed by saying that an advanced ego reminds one of a dignified, stately and most courteous ambassador,, full of wisdom and kindliness, while the less developed man has more of the type of the bluff, hearty, country squire. An ego who is already on the Path, and is nearing Adeptship, has much in common with the great Angels, and radiates spiritual influences of prodigious power.

It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that the ego throws himself energetically into the whirl of intense activity on his own plane, and that it seems to him immensely more important and interesting than the faint, far-distant struggles of a cramped and half-formed personality, veiled in the dense obscurity of the lower world.(Page 256)

One ego has been described, by a person who saw him as a radiant youth, like a Greek Apollo carved out of glistening marble, and yet immaterial, with inspiration as his keynote. Another ego appeared somewhat like the sculpture of Demeter in the British Museum, a dignified, serene and peaceful figure, brooding as it were over the world which he helped to foster and protect. Thus every ego has his own radiantly beautiful appearance, expressing his particular mission or genius.

Among such beings, thoughts no longer take form and float about as they do at lower levels, but pass like lightening flashes from one to another. Here we are face to face with the enduring body of the ego, a body older than the hills, an actual expression of the Divine Glory which ever rests behind it, and shines through it more and more in the gradual unfolding of its powers. Here we deal no longer with outer forms, but we see the things in themselves, the reality which lies behind the imperfect expression. Here cause and effect are one, clearly visible in their unity, like two sides of the same coin. Here we have left the concrete for the abstract; we no longer have the multiplicity of forms, but the idea which lies behind all those forms.

The ego, on his own plane, is able to perceive with absolute instantaneity, without, of course, the use of nerves: hence arises a certain class of dream, where a man is awakened from sleep by a physical sound or touch. In the minute space of time, between the impact and awakening of the man, the ego will often compose a kind of drama, or series of scenes, leading up to and culminating in the event which awakens the physical body. This habit, however, seems to be peculiar to the ego which, as far as spirituality is concerned, is still comparatively undeveloped. As the ego develops, and comes to understand his position and his responsibilities, he rises beyond these graceful sports of his childhood.

It seems that, just as primitive man casts every natural phenomenon into the form of a myth, so the primitive ego dramatises every event that comes under his notice. (Page 257) But the man who has attained full consciousness finds himself so fully occupied in the work of the higher planes that he devotes no energy to such matters, and therefore dreams no more in this fashion.

The use of symbols seems to be a characteristic of the ego, when out of the body during sleep: that is to say, that what in the physical world would be an idea, requiring many words to express, is perfectly conveyed to the ego by a single symbolical image. When such a thought is remembered in the physical, brain unless its key is recollected, there is likely to be confusion. The activities of the ego on his own plane thus sometimes give rise to another class of dream; but there are, of course, many other causes of dreams [vide The Astral Body, page 93].

The ego on his own plane uses abstractions just as we on the physical plane deal with concrete facts. On his plane, the essence of everything is available; he is no longer concerned with details: he need no longer talk round a subject or endeavour to explain it. He takes up the essence or the idea of a subject and moves it as a whole, as one moves a piece when playing chess. His world is a world of realities, where not only is deception impossible, but also unthinkable. He no longer deals with emotions, ideas, or conceptions, but with the thing in itself.

It is impossible to express in words the ordinary traffic between men in fully developed causal bodies. What down here would be a system of philosophy, needing many volumes to explain it, is there a single definite object — a thought which can be thrown down as one throws a card upon a table.

An opera or an oratorio, which here would occupy a full orchestra for many hours in the rendering, is there a single mighty chord. The methods of a whole school of painting are condensed into one magnificent idea. And ideas such as these are the intellectual counters, which are used by egos in their converse with one with another.

On this plane, as we have said previously, (Page 258) the ego has fully unrolled before him all the lives he has lived on this globe, the actual living records of the past. He see his lives as one vast whole, of which his descents into incarnation have been but the passing days. He sees the karmic causes which have made him what he is: he sees what karma still lies in front of him, to be worked out before “the long sad count is closed”, and thus he realises, with unerring certainty, his exact place in evolution. Here he perceives the great scheme of evolution, and what is the Divine will for him.

When dealing with matters on his own plane, and those below him, all the ideas of the ego are complete ideas, properly rounded off and perfect.

Furthermore, anything incomplete would be to him unsatisfactory, would, in fact, hardly be counted as an idea at all. For him a cause includes its effect, and therefore, in the longer view which he is able to take, poetic justice is always done, and no story can ever end badly.

These characteristics of his reflect themselves to a certain extent in his lower vehicles, and we find them appearing in ourselves in various ways. Thus, children always demand that fairy tales shall end well, that virtue be rewarded, and that vice shall be vanquished; and all unsophisticated and healthy-minded people feel a similar desire. Those who clamour for an evil realism are precisely those whose views of life have become unhealthy and unnatural, because, in their short-sighted philosophy, they can never see the whole of any incident, but only the fragment of it which shows in one incarnation, and usually only the merest outside husk even of that.

In the Fourth Root- Race, which is concerned chiefly with the development of the astral body and its emotions, this characteristic of rounding off stories, and exaggeration, is often very marked: this is clearly seen for example, in old Keltic stories. The desire for scientific accuracy and truth is comparatively a recent development, and belongs more specifically to the Fifth Root-Race which is concerned principally (Page 259) with the development of mind and the mental body. Fifth Race people thus demand first that a thing shall be true, otherwise it is of little interest to them: the old races, on the other hand, demand first of all that it shall be pleasing, and decline to be limited in their appreciation, by any such consideration as whether the thing had ever materialised, or could ever materialise, on the physical plane.

The desire for accuracy is thus the coming through of another quality of the ego, of his power to see truly, to see a thing as it is, as a whole and not only in part. Understanding this, we should clearly encourage and insist on the quality of accuracy, and keep our record of facts distinct from our thoughts and desires with regards to those facts.

Yet, in cultivating truthfulness, there is no need to extinguish romance. It is necessary to be accurate: it is not necessary to be a Gradgrind. We need not lose sight of the beauty and romance which lie behind things, merely because we have acquired a scientific knowledge of details, many of which may be arid and superficial. Thus sugar does not cease to be sweet and pleasant to the taste because we have learned that its chemical formula is C 12 H 22 O11.

The ego’s measure of time and space is so entirely different from that which we use in waking life, that from our point of view it seems as though neither time nor space existed for him.

Events which, on the physical plane, take place in succession, appear on the mental plane to be occurring simultaneously, and at the same point. That, at least, is the effect on the consciousness of the ego, though it appears probable that absolute simultaneity is the attribute of a still higher plane, and that the sensation of it on the mental plane is simply the result of a succession, so rapid that the infinitesimally minute spaces of time are indistinguishable, just as the eye receives the impression of a continuous ring of fire, if a stick with one end burning, is whirled round rapidly. The reason for this, of course, is that (Page 260) the human eye is not able to distinguish, as separate, similar impressions which follow one another at intervals of less than about a tenth part of a second.

Particular examples of what we may call the immense speed, at which the consciousness of the ego operates on its own plane, may be found in Dreams by C.W.Leadbeater, pages 36-40, where a number of dreams dependent on this phenomenon, are recounted and explained.

A result, which follows from the ego’s supernormal method of time-measurement, is that in some degree prevision is possible to him. If he knows how to read them, the present, the past and to a certain extent the future lie, is open before him. He undoubtedly thus foresees, occasionally, events that will be of interest or importance to the lower personality, and makes more or less successful endeavours to impress them upon it.

Man undoubtedly possesses freewill: hence prevision is possible only to a certain extent. In the case of the ordinary man, it is probably possible to a very large extent, since the man has developed no will of his own worth speaking of, and is consequently very largely the creature of circumstances. His karma places him amid certain surroundings, and their action upon him is so much the most important factor in his history, that his future course may be foreseen with almost mathematical certainty.

When we consider the vast number of events which can be but little affected by human action, and also the complex and wide-spreading relation of causes to their effects, it should not seem wonderful to us that, on the plane where the result of all causes at present in action is visible, a very large portion of the future may be foretold with considerable accuracy, even as to detail. That this can be done, has been proved again and again, not only by prophetic dreams, but by the second-sight of the Highlanders, and the predictions of clairvoyants; and it is on the forecasting of effects, from the causes already in existence, that the scheme of astrology is largely based. (Page 261)

When, however, we come to deal with a developed man, then prophecy fails us, for he is no longer the creature of circumstances, but to a great extent their master. The main events of his life may certainly be arranged beforehand, by his past karma; but the way in which he will allow them to affect him, the method by which he will deal with them, and perhaps triumph over them—these are his own, and they cannot be foreseen, except as probabilities. Such actions of his, in their turn, becomes causes, and thus there are produced, in his life chains of effect which were not provided for by the original arrangement, and, therefore, could not have been foretold with any exactitude.

We may say, therefore, that the course of the ordinary undeveloped man, who has practically no will of his own worth speaking of, may often be foreseen clearly enough, but, when the ego boldly takes his future in his own hands, exact prevision becomes impossible.

An ego, who is at all developed, will meditate upon his own level, such meditation not necessarily synchronising with any meditation that the personality may be performing. The yoga of a fairly well-developed ego is to try to raise his consciousness, first into the buddhic plane, and then through its various stages. This he does, without reference to what the personality may be doing at the time. Such an ego would probably also send down a little of himself at the personal meditation, though his own meditations are very different.

It should ever be remembered that the ego is not manas or mind only, but the spiritual Triad of Atma-Buddhi-Manas. At our present stage of consciousness, the ego rests in the causal body on the higher mental plane, but, as he develops, his consciousness will be centred on the buddhic plane: later still, when he attains Adeptship, it will be centred on the plane of Вtma

But it is not to be supposed, that when this further development takes place, the manas is in any way lost. For, (Page 262) when the ego draws himself up into the buddhic plane, he draws up manas with him, into that expression of manas which has all the time existed on the buddhic plane, but has not been fully vivified until now.

Similarly, when he draws himself up into the plane of Вtma, manas and buddhi exist within him, just as fully as ever, so that now the triple spirit is in full manifestation, on its own plane, in all three aspects.

The spirit is, therefore, truly sevenfold, for he is triple on his own plane, that of Вtma, dual on the buddhic, and single on the mental, the unity which is his synthesis making seven. Thus, though he draws himself into the higher, he retains, the definiteness on the lower.

What has been stated to be the clearest and best description of the human trinity, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, is to be found in The Key to Theosophy by H.P.Blavatsky:—

THE HIGHER SELF is Вtma, the inseparable ray of the Universal and ONE SELF. It is the God above more than within us. Happy the man who succeeds, in saturating his inner Ego with it.

THE SPIRITUAL divine EGO is the spiritual soul, or Buddhi, in close union with Manas, the mind principle, without which it is no Ego at all, but only the Atmic vehicle.

THE INNER OR HIGHER EGO is Manas, the fifth principle, so called, independently of Buddhi. The mind-principle is the Spiritual Ego only when merged, into one with Buddhi……It is the permanent individuality, or the reincarnating Ego [The Key to Theosophy, pages, 175-176.]

As soon as an ego becomes at least partially conscious of his surroundings, and other egos, he leads a life, and has interests and activities, on his own plane. But even then we must remember, as we have seen in earlier chapters, that he puts down into the personality only a very small part of himself, and that, that part constantly becomes entangled in interests which, because they are so partial, are often along lines different (Page 263) from the general activities of the ego himself, who consequently does not pay any particular attention to the lower life of the personality unless something rather unusual happens to it.

When this stage is reached, the ego usually comes under the influence of a Master. In fact often his first clear consciousness, of anything outside himself, is his touch with that Master. The tremendous power of the Master’s influence magnetises him, draws his vibrations into harmony with its own, and multiplies many-fold the rate of his development. It rays upon him like sunshine upon a flower, and he evolves rapidly under its influence. This is why, while the earlier stages of progress are so slow as to be almost imperceptible, when the Master turns His attention upon the man, develops him, and arouses his own will to take part in the work, the speed of his advancement increases in geometrical progression.

In the chapters on devachan, we saw that an ego, who is much loved by many people, may have part in many heavens simultaneously, ensouling the thought images which his friends make of him. These images are, of course, of great evolutionary benefit to the ego concerned, affording him additional opportunities of developing qualities, such, for example, as affection. This is clearly the direct result and reward of those loveable qualities, which draw towards the man the affectionate regard of so many of his fellowmen.

Occasionally the action of such a force, upon the ego of a surviving friend, may manifest even in the personality of that friend upon the physical plane. For, while the action is upon the ego, through the special thought-image, yet the personality of the surviving friend is a manifestation of that same ego, and, if the ego be considerably modified it is at least possible that that modification may show itself in the physical manifestation on this lower plane.

It is obvious, however, that there are two possible limitations to the perfection of the intercourse between the ego concerned, and those who make images of him. (Page 264) First, the image may be partial and imperfect, so that many of the higher qualities of the ego may not be represented, and may therefore be unable to show themselves through it.

Secondly, it is just possible that the ego is not in reality, so to speak, as good as the image which has been made of him, so that he is unable to fill it completely. This, however is unlikely to occur, and could take place only when a quite unworthy object had been unwisely idolised. These aspects of the matter have, however, been fully dealt with in The Mental Body, pages 197-198.

The more highly the ego is developed, the more fully is he able to express himself through the thought-images, these becoming steadily fuller expressions of himself. When he gains the level of a Master, he consciously employs them as a means of helping and instructing his pupils.

To assist the student in obtaining a thoroughly clear grasp of the mechanism and results of thought-images in devachan, Diagrams XXXVI and XXXVII are appended.

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Diagram XXXVI illustrates an ego X, in his mental body x, in devachan, surrounded by thought images a’, b’, c’, d’, e’, and f’ of his six friends A, B, C, D, E, and F respectively.

Of these A and F are also in devachan, in their respective mental bodies a and f : B and E are on the astral plane, in their respective astral bodies b and e; C and D are still “alive” in the physical world in their physical bodies c and d.

The Diagram shows that the thought-images, made by X, of his six friends, are ensouled by, and therefore directly connected with, the egos A, B, C, D, E and F. not with the personal expressions (Page 265) of those egos, whether those personal expressions be on the physical, astral or mental planes.

It is also clear from the Diagram that the personalities a, b, c, etc., can know nothing of what is happening through the thought-images a’, b’, c’, etc., except, through their own egos A, B, C, etc..

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As the consciousness rises still further up into the higher planes, it will be seen that it overlaps those on either side of it more and more, until eventually when the “centre” is reached, there is practically a complete merging of consciousness. Nevertheless, each separate spoke still exists, and has its own individual direction and outlook. Looking out towards the lower worlds, each consciousness looks in a different direction :it is an aspect of the one central consciousness. Looking inwards, on the other hand, these diverging directions all meet together, and become one with one another.

The sense of union is characteristic of the buddhic plane. On this plane, all limitations begin to fall away, and the consciousness (Page 280) of man expands until he realises, no longer in theory only, that the consciousness of his fellows is included within his own, and he feels and knows and experiences, with an absolute perfection of sympathy, all that is in them, because it is in reality a part of himself.

On this plane a man knows, not by mere intellectual appreciation, but by definite experience, the fact that humanity is a brotherhood, because of the spiritual unity which underlies it all. Though he is still himself, and his own consciousness is his own, yet it has widened out into such perfect sympathy with the consciousness of others that he realises he is truly only part of a mighty whole.

As a being, standing in the sun, suffused with its light, and pouring it forth, would feel no difference between ray and ray, but would pour forth along one as readily and easily as along another, so does a man on the buddhic plane feel brotherhood and pours himself into any one who needs his help. He sees all beings as himself, and feels that all he has is theirs as much as his: in many cases, more theirs than his, because their need is greater, their strength being less.

As the predominant element in the causal body is knowledge, and ultimately wisdom, so the predominant element of consciousness in the buddhic body is bliss and love. The serenity of wisdom marks the one, whilst tenderest compassion streams forth inexhaustibly from the other.

Hence the buddhic body is called by the Vedantins the Anandamayakosha, or bliss sheath. This is “the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”, of which St. Paul, the Christian Initiate spoke. He raised charity, pure love, above all other virtues, because by that alone can man on earth contribute to that glorious dwelling. For a similar reason is separateness called the “great heresy” by the Buddhists, and “union” or yoga is the goal of the Hindu.

A selfish man could not function on the buddhic (Page 281) plane, for the essence of that plane is sympathy and perfect comprehension, which excludes selfishness.

There is a close connection between the astral and the buddhic bodies, the astral being in some ways a reflection of the buddhic. But it must not therefore be supposed that a man, can leap from the astral consciousness to the buddhic, without developing the intervening vehicles.

Although, on the highest levels of the buddhic plane, a man becomes one with all others, we must not therefore assume that he feels alike to all. There is, in fact, no reason to suppose that we shall ever feel absolutely alike towards everybody. For even the Lord Buddha had His favourite disciple Ananda, and the Christ regarded St John the Beloved in a different way from the rest. What is true is that presently men will love every one as much as they now love their nearest and dearest, but by that time they will have developed, for those nearest and dearest, a type of love of which they have no conception now.

There is no separation on the buddhic plane. On that plane, as said, consciousnesses do not necessarily merge instantly at the lowest level, but they gradually grow wider and wider until, when the highest level is reached, a man finds himself consciously one with humanity. That is the lowest level at which the separateness is absolutely non-existent; in its fullness the conscious unity with all belongs to the atmic or nirvanic plane.

To each ego, who can reach this state of consciousness, it would seem that he had absorbed or included all others; he perceives that all are facets of a greater Consciousness; he has, in fact, arrived at the realisation of the ancient formula : “Thou art That”.

It must be recollected that, whilst the buddhic consciousness brings a man in to union with all that is glorious and wonderful in others, into union, in fact, with the Masters Themselves, yet it also, and necessarily, brings him into harmony with the vicious and the criminal. Their feelings must be experienced, (Page 282) as well as the glory and the splendour of the higher life. When separateness is abandoned, and unity is realised, a man finds that he is merged in the Divine Life, and that the attitude of love is the only one which he can adopt, towards any of his fellowmen, whether they be high or low.

An ego, whilst living in the causal body, already recognises the Divine Consciousness in all; when he looks upon another ego, his consciousness leaps up, as it were, to recognise the Divine in him.

But, on the buddhic plane, it no longer leaps to greet him from without, for it is already enshrined in his heart. He is that consciousness, and it is his. There is no longer the “you” and the “I “, for both are one—facets of something which transcends, and yet include them both.

It is not only that we understand another man, but that we feel ourselves to be acting through him, and we appreciate his motives as our own motives, even though. as said in the preceding chapter, we may perfectly understand that another part of ourselves, possessing more knowledge, or a different viewpoint, might act quite differently.

The sense of personal property in qualities and in ideas is entirely lost, because we see that these things are truly common to all, because they are part of the great reality which lies equally behind all.

Hence personal pride in individual development becomes an utter impossibility, for we see now that personal development is but as the growth of one leaf, among the thousands of leaves on one tree, and that the important fact is not the size or shape of that particular leaf, but its relation to the tree as a whole; for it is only of the tree as a whole that we can really predicate permanent, growth.

We have ceased altogether to blame others for their differences from ourselves,: instead we simply note them as other manifestations of our own activity, for now we see reasons which before were hidden from us. Even the evil man is seen to be part of ourselves (Page 283) a weak part; so our desire is not to blame him, but to help him by pouring strength into that weak part of ourselves -, so that the whole body of humanity may be vigorous and healthy.

Thus, when a man rises to the buddhic plane, he can gain the experience of others; hence it is not necessary for every ego to go through every experience, as a separate individual. If he did not want to feel the suffering of another, he could withdraw: but he would choose to feel it, because he wants to help. He enfolds in his own consciousness one who is suffering, and although the sufferer would know nothing of such enfoldment, yet it will, to a certain extent, lessen his sufferings.

On the buddhic plane there is a quite new faculty, having nothing in common with faculties on the lower planes. For a man recognises objects by an entirely different method, in which external vibrations play no part. The object becomes part of himself, and he studies it from the inside instead of from the outside.

With such a method of apprehension, it is clear that many familiar objects become entirely unrecognisable. Even astral sight enables one to see objects from all sides at once, as well as from above and below: adding to that the further complication that the whole inside of the body is laid out before us, as though every particle were separately placed upon a table: adding to that again the fact that, while we look at these particles, we are yet at the same time within each particle, and are looking through it, it is apparent that it becomes impossible to trace any resemblance to the object which we knew in the physical world.

Whilst the intuition of the causal body recognises the outer, the intuition of buddhi recognises the inner. Intellectual intuition enables one to realise a thing outside oneself: with buddhic intuition, one sees a thing from inside.

Thus if, when working in the causal body, we want to understand another person, in order to help him, we turn our consciousness upon his causal body, and (Page 284) study its peculiarities; they are quite well marked, and plainly to be seen, but they are always seen from without. If, wanting the same knowledge, we raise our consciousness to the buddhic level, we find the consciousness of the other man as part of ourselves. We find a point of consciousness which represents him—we might call it a hole rather than a point. We can pour ourselves down that hole, and enter into his consciousness, at any lower level that we wish, and therefore can see everything precisely as he sees it—from inside him, instead of from outside. It will easily be understood how much that lends itself to perfect understanding and sympathy.

Yet, as has been said, in all this strange advance, there is no sense of loss of individuality, even though there is an utter loss of sense of separateness. Whilst that may seem a paradox, yet it is true. The man remembers all that lies behind him. He is himself the same man who did this action, or that, in the far-off past. He is in no way changed, except that now he is much more than he was then, and feels that he includes within himself many other manifestations as well.

If, here and now, a hundred of us could simultaneously raise our consciousness into the buddhic world, we should all be one consciousness, but to each man, that consciousness would seem to be his own, absolutely unchanged, except that now it included all others as well.

Buddhic vision reveals a person, not as an enclosure, but as a Star radiating out in all directions : the rays of that star pierce the consciousness of the observer, so that it is felt to be a part of himself, and yet not perfectly so. All observers agree that it is impossible, except by a series of contradictions to describe the buddhic state of consciousness.

The power of identification is gained, not only with regard to the consciousness of people, but with regard to everything else, on the buddhic plane. Everything is learnt, as said, from the inside, instead of from the outside. That which we are examining has become a (Page 285) part of ourselves; we examine it as a kind of symptom in ourselves. This characteristic obviously constitutes a fundamental difference. Before it can be attained, utter selflessness must be acquired, because so long as there is anything personal in the disciple’s point of view, he cannot make any progress with the buddhic consciousness, which depends on the suppression of the personality.

H.P.Blavatsky states that : “Buddhi is the faculty of cognising, the channel through which divine knowledge reaches the Ego, the discernment of good and evil, also divine conscience, and the spiritual Soul, which is the vehicle of Вtma” [The Secret Doctrine, I, p. 2]. It is often spoken of as the principle of spiritual discernment.

In the Yoga system, turiya, a lofty state of trance, is related to the buddhi consciousness, just as sushupti is related to the mental consciousness, svapna to the astral, and jagrat to the physical. These terms, however, are used also with other significances, being relative rather than absolute, vide The Mental Body, p. 146.

In the Six Stages of Mind, given in The Mental Body, p. 146, that of niruddha, or Self-controlled, corresponds to activity on the buddhic plane.

In the physical body, the yellow prana which enters the heart chakram or force centre represents the principle of buddhi.

Although at the buddhic level, a man still has a definite body, yet his consciousness seems equally present in vast numbers of other bodies. The web of life, which is constructed of buddhic matter, is extended so that it includes these other people, so that, instead of many small separate webs there is one vast web, which enfolds them all in one common life.

Many of these others may, of course, be entirely unconscious of this change, and to them their own private little part of the web will still seem as much separated as ever—or would do so if they knew anything about the web of life. So, from (Page 286) this standpoint, and at this level, it seems that all mankind are bound together by golden threads, and make one complex unit, no longer a man, but man in the abstract.

On the buddhic plane, in some manner which is naturally quite incomprehensible to the physical brain, past, present and future all exist simultaneously. Neither is a man, on this plane, any longer subject to limitations of space such as we know on the physical plane. Hence, in reading the Akashic Records, [vide The Mental Body, p.238] he no longer needs, as on the mental plane, to pass a series of events in review because, as said, past, present and future are simultaneously present to him.

With consciousness fully developed on the buddhic plane, therefore, perfect prevision is possible, though, of course, the man may not—in fact, will not—be able to bring the whole result fully through into his lower consciousness. Nevertheless, a great deal of clear foresight is obviously within his power, whenever he chooses to exercise it; and even when he is not exercising it, frequent flashes of foreknowledge come through into his ordinary life, so that he often has an instantaneous intuition as to how things will turn out, even before their inception.

The extension of the buddhic plane is so great, that what may be called the buddhic bodies of the different planets of our chain meet one another, so that there is one buddhic body for the whole chain. Hence it is possible for a man, in his buddhic body, to pass from one of these planets to another.

We may note here that an atom of buddhic matter contains 49 to the 3rd or 117,649 “bubbles in koilon.”

A man who can raise his consciousness to the atomic level of the buddhic plane finds himself so absolutely in union with all other men that, if he wishes to find another man, he has only to put himself out along the line of that other person in order to find him.

The following may be taken as an example of the working of buddhic consciousness. All beauty, whether it be of form or colour, whether it be in nature or (Page 287) in the human frame, in high achievements of art or in the humblest household utensil, is but an expression of the One Beauty; and therefore, in the lowliest thing that is beautiful, all beauty is implicitly contained, and so, through it, all beauty may be realised, and He Who Himself is Beauty, may be reached. To understand this fully needs the buddhic consciousness, but even at much lower levels the idea may be useful and fruitful.

As a Master has expressed it : “Do you not see that there is but One Love, so there is but One Beauty? Whatever is beautiful, on any plane, is so because, it is part of that Beauty, and, if it is pushed back far enough, its connection will become manifest. All Beauty is of God, as all Love is of God; and through these His Qualities the pure in heart may always reach Him”.

The full development of the buddhic vehicle, however, belongs to the stage of the Arhat, though those who are as yet far from that level can gain in various ways touches of the buddhic consciousness.

Buddhi in the human spirit is the pure and compassionate Reason, which is the Wisdom Aspect, the Christ in man.

In the normal course of evolution, the buddhic consciousness will be gradually unfolded in the sixth sub-race of the Fifth Root Race, and still more so in the Sixth Root Race itself.

One may trace the coming of the sixth sub-race in the scattered people found in the fifth sub-race, in whom tenderness is the mark of power. It is a synthesising spirit which characterises the sixth-sub race; its members are able to unite diversity of opinion and of character, to gather round them the most unlike elements, and blend them into a common whole, having the capacity to take into themselves diversities, and send them out again as unities, utilising the most different capacities, finding each its place, and welding all together into a strong whole.

Compassion is strongly marked; it is that quality which is at once affected by the presence of weakness answering (Page 288) to it with patience, with tenderness, and with protection. The sense of unity and compassion will be a strength and a power which will be used for service, the measure of strength being the measure of responsibility and of duty.

C H A P T E R—X X X I I I-


(Page 289) In chapter III we studied the Coming Forth of the Monads, and considered briefly the general nature of the Monads. In the chapter on Initiation, we dealt with the effects which Initiation produces on the relation between the Monad and the ego. It will now be fitting to consider such further information as is available regarding the relation between the ego and the Monad, and also deal a little more fully with the nature of the Monad himself, and his attitude towards his manifestations in the lower worlds.

Turning first to the nature of the Monad himself, we are confronted with the difficulty that no direct observation of the Monad, on his own plane, is at present, possible to our investigators. The plane on which the Monad resides—the Anupadaka plane—is at present beyond the reach of our clairvoyant investigators, the highest which those investigators can actually know of man, from direct observation, being the manifestation of the Monad as the Triple Spirit on the plane of Вtma Even at that stage he is incomprehensible : for his three aspects are quite distinct and apparently separate, and yet are all fundamentally one and the same.

Whilst no one below the rank of the Adept can see the Monad, yet the Arhat can know of its existence. For, on the plane of Вtma, the triple manifestation can be perceived, and the rays which make that triple manifestation are obviously converging as they rise to the highest point. It can therefore be seen that they must become one, though the actual unity is out of the sight.

We have already referred [vide p. 124] to the (Page 290) possibility of focussing the consciousness in the highest level of the causal body, looking up the line that joins the ego and the Monad, and, through that vision, realising the identity with the Deity.

Perhaps the least misleading manner, in which we can imagine the true nature, of the Monad to ourselves, is to think of him as part of God—a part, however, of That which cannot be divided. Although, unfortunately, this is a paradox, to the finite intellect, yet it enshrines an eternal truth which is far beyond our comprehension.

For each Monad is literally a part of God, apparently temporarily separated from Him, while he is enclosed in the veils of matter, though in truth never for one moment really separated. He can never be apart from God, for the very matter in which he veils himself is also a manifestation of the Divine. Although matter seems to us evil, because it weighs us down, clogs our faculties, and holds us back upon the road, yet this is only because as yet we have not learned to control it, because we have not realised that it also is divine in its essence, because there is nothing but God.

It is a mistake to think of the Monad as something very far away. For the Monad is very near to us, is our SELF, the very root of our being, the one and only reality. Hidden, unmanifest, wrapt in silence and darkness though he be, yet our consciousness is the limited manifestation of that SELF, the manifested God in our bodies, which are his garments.

The Monad has been variously described as the Eternal Man: a fragment of the Life of God: a Son of God, made in His image: a spark in the Divine Fire : the “hidden God “ as he was known to the Egyptians : he is the God within us, our personal God: our true Self : a fragment of the Eternal : the real and only permanent “ I “ in man. The Monads have been described also as centres of force in the Logos.

Instead of speaking of human Monads, it might perhaps be more accurate to speak of “the Monad manifesting in the human kingdom”, though such pedantic (Page 291) accuracy might be still more puzzling. H.P.Blavatsky wrote : “The Spiritual Monad is one, universal, boundless, and impartite, whose rays, nevertheless, form what we, in our ignorance, call the “individual Monads’ of men”. [The Secret Doctrine, I, 200].

At the Occult Catechism expresses it :-

“I sense one Flame, O Gurudeva; I see countless undetached sparks burning in it. “

Thou sayest well. And now look around and into thyself. That light which burns inside thee, dost thou feel it different in any wise from the light that shines in thy brother-men?

“It is in no way different, though the prisoner is held in bondage by Karma, and though its garments delude the ignorant into saying, ‘thy soul’ and ‘my soul’.” [The Secret Doctrine, I, 145]

To take a physical plane analogy, we recognise that electricity is one all the world over; and though it may be active in this machine or in that, the owner of no machine can claim it as distinctively his electricity. So also is the Monad one everywhere, though manifesting in different directions, through apparently separate and different human beings.

But, in spite of having the same source, and the same fundamental nature, yet each Monad possesses a very distinct individuality of his own : in his manifestation on the plane of Вtma, as a triple light of blinding glory, even at that stage, each Monad possesses certain qualities which make him distinct from every other Monad.

The Consciousness of the Monad on his own plane is complete: he shares the divine knowledge in his own world. But, in the lower world, he is to all intents and purposes unconscious: he cannot in any way touch the lower planes of life, the matter there being of a character which is not amenable to his influences. He, who has been in union with all around him, would, if plunged into denser matter, find himself in uttermost isolation, as in empty space, unconscious of all impacts and contacts of matter.(Page 292)

Nevertheless, everything is in him, by virtue of the One Life that he shares: but it has to be brought out : hence we speak of awakening the latent consciousness into life. Literally everything is in the Monad, all divine knowledge; but, to bring that out, so that on any plane of matter he may know, is the whole work of evolution.

Hence the rationale of his evolutionary journey, down and again upwards, is for the purpose of acquiring that consciousness, of subjugating matter completely as a vehicle, until on each plane he answers to the vibrations of similar matter outside, and is able to bring out moods of consciousness, which answer to those outside impressions, and thereby make it possible for him to be conscious of them.

Geo.S.Arundale gives an interesting account of the appearance and evolution of the Monads. Looking upon the world, he writes, he sees our Lord the Sun expressed in myriad suns. Each Monad is a sun in miniature, the Sun Divine throwing off sparking suns, charged with all His attributes. The process of evolution begins, and these sparks burst into colour; rainbows with sun hearts, or centres. Every atom of light is an atom of unconscious Divinity, slowly but surely fulfilling the will of the Sun that it shall become unfolded into self-conscious Divinity. Every atom is a Sun unconscious, and shall become a Sun self-conscious.

When manifestation begins, the Monad is “thrown downwards into matter”, to propel forwards and force evolution [vide The Secret Doctrine. II, 115]: it is the mainspring of all evolution, the impelling force at the root of all things.

This accounts for that mysterious pressure, which so much puzzles orthodox science, as to why things move onwards : as to what is the force which makes evolution : as to what gives rise to all the variety we find in this world, and the ever-present “tendency to variation”.

The Monad knows from the first what is his object (Page 293) in evolution, and he grasps the general trend of it. But, until that portion of him, which expresses itself in the ego, has reached a fairly high stage, he is scarcely conscious of the details down here, or at any rate he takes little interest in them. He seems at that stage not to know other Monads, but rests in indescribable bliss, without any active consciousness of his surroundings.

The purpose, then, of the descent of the Monad into matter, is that through his descent he may obtain definiteness and accuracy in material detail. To this end, as we have seen in the earlier chapters of this book, an atom of each of the planes of Вtma, Buddhi and Manas is attached to the Monad : the distinction of these atoms gives a precision that did not exist in the consciousness, of the Monad on his own plane.

But, it may be asked, if the Monad is of the essence of divinity in the beginning, and returns to divinity at the end of his long pilgrimage, if the Monad is all-wise and all-good, when he starts on his journey through matter, why is it necessary for him to go through all this evolution, including, as it does, much sorrow and suffering, simply to return to his source in the end?

The question is based on a misconception of the facts. When that which we call the human Monad came forth from the Divine, it was not, in reality, a human Monad, still less an all-wise and all-good Monad: it returns, eventually, in the form of thousands of millions of mighty Adepts, each capable of himself, developing into a Logos.

As a man who cannot swim, flung into deep water, at first is helpless, yet eventually learns to swim and move freely in the water, so is the Monad. At the end of his pilgrimage of immersion in matter, he will be free of the Solar System, able to function in any part of it, to create at will, to move at pleasure. Every power that he unfolds through denser matter, he retains for ever under all conditions: the implicit has become explicit, the potential the actual. It his own Will to (Page 294) live in all spheres, and not in one only, that draws him into manifestation.

For there was no developed individualisation in the Monad at first: it was simply a mass of monadic essence. The difference between its condition when issuing forth, and when returning, is exactly like that between a great mass of shining nebulous matter, and the solar system which eventually formed out of it. The nebula is beautiful, undoubtedly, but vague and, in a certain sense, useless. The sun formed from it by slow evolution pours forth life, heat and light upon many worlds and their inhabitants.

Or we may take another analogy. The human body is composed of countless millions of tiny particles, and some of them are constantly being thrown off from it. Suppose that it were possible for each of these particles to go through some kind of evolution, by means of which it would in time become a human being, we would not say that, because it had been, in a certain sense, human at the beginning of that evolution, it had therefore not gained anything when it reached the end.

So, the monadic essence comes forth as a mere outpouring of force, even though it be Divine force.

The appearance and evolutionary course of the Monad may be compared with the appearance of the long day of Brahma, of the Saguna-Brahman Sachchidananda, the Divine Triplicity. That coming forth into cosmic manifestation we have reproduced, in our solar system, by the Solar Logos, and again by the Monad, who is a fragment of the Logos. When the human evolution, is over, he gathers himself up again, and the superhuman evolution begins. Thus we have the long swing of the opening life, from the nirvanic, back to the nirvanic, the whole of human evolution lying between these two. It is completed with the Initiation of the Jivanmukta, the Master, where superhuman evolution begins.

Whilst the Monad in his own world is practically without limitations, at least so far as our solar system is concerned, (Page 295) yet at every stage of his descent into matter he not only veils himself more and more deeply in illusion, but he actually loses his powers.

If, in the beginning of his evolution, we may suppose the Monad able to move and to see, in an infinite number of those directions in space which we call dimensions, than at each downward step he cuts off one of these, until, for the consciousness of the physical brain, only three of them are left. Thus, by involution into matter, the Monad is cut off from the knowledge of all but a minute part of the worlds which surround him. Furthermore, even what is left to him is but imperfectly seen. For those who can train themselves to appreciate more than three dimensions, there is available an excellent method of arriving at some sort of comprehension of what consciousness on planes higher than the physical is like, and what it involves : though at the same time such a method of approach brings home the hopelessness of expecting fully to understand the Monad, who is raised by many planes and dimensions above the point from which we are attempting to regard him.

All the sacrifices and limitations, caused by descent into matter, may rightly be described as necessitating suffering. But as soon as the ego fully understands the situation, they are undertaken gladly : the ego has not the perfection of the Monad, and so he does not fully understand at first: he has to learn. Thus the quite tremendous limitation at each further descent into matter is an unavoidable fact, so that there is that much of suffering inseparable, from manifestation. We have to accept that limitation as a means to an end, as part of the Divine Scheme.

There are two senses in which all manifested life is sorrowful, unless man knows how to live it. One of these is to a certain extent inevitable, but the other is an entire mistake, and is easily to be avoided. As we have seen, to the Monad, who is the true Spirit of man, all manifested life is a sorrow, just because it is a limitation: a limitation which we in our physical (Page 296) brain cannot in the least conceive, because we have no idea of the glorious freedom of the higher life.

It is in this sense that it has always been said that the Christ—the Second Person of the Trinity—offers Himself as a Sacrifice, when He descends into matter. Undoubtedly it is a sacrifice, because it is an inexpressibly great limitation, for it shuts off from Him all the glorious powers which are His, on His own level.

The same is true of the Monad of man; undoubtedly he makes a great sacrifice, when he brings himself in connection with lower matter, when he hovers over it through the long ages of its development up to the human level, when he puts down a tiny fragment of himself, a fingertip as it were, and thereby makes an ego, or individual soul.

The second kind of sorrow, which it is possible entirely to avoid, is due to “desire”, using that word in the wide sense to include all desires for lower things, such as craving for power, money, position, and so forth. All such desires necessarily cause disturbance and suffering: hence, from this point of view, what is most needed for progress is serenity.

Hence we have the two first of the Four Noble Truths which the Lord Buddha taught : the Existence of Sorrow, and the Cause of Sorrow.

Passing now to consider, more specifically, the ego in his relation to the Monad, we should realise that the individualising process, by means of which the ego comes into being, does not take place on the spiritual plane, but that Atma-Buddhi, as seen through Manas, appears to share in the individuality of Manas.

Even the ego is not the true, eternal man : for the ego had a beginning—he came into existence at the moment of individualisation : and whatever has a beginning must also have an end. Therefore even the ego, which has lasted since emergence from the animal kingdom, is also impermanent. The Monad, and the Monad alone, is the only real, permanent man.

We may look upon the ego as a manifestation of the Monad on the higher mental plane: but we (Page 297) must understand that he is infinitely far from being a perfect manifestation. Each descent from plane to plane means much more than a mere veiling of the Spirit: it means also an actual diminution in the amount of Spirit expressed.

Although to speak of Spirit in terms of quantity is inaccurate and misleading, yet, if an attempt is to be made to express these higher matters in human words at all, such incongruities cannot be wholly avoided. The nearest that we can come, in the physical brain, to a conception of what happens to the Monad, when he involves himself in matter, is to say that only part of him can be shown, and even that part must be shown in three separate aspects, instead of in the glorious totality which he really is in his own world.

So, when the second aspect of the triple spirit comes down a stage, and manifests as buddhi or intuition, it is not the whole of that aspect which so manifests, but only a fraction of it. So again when the third aspect descends two planes, and manifests as intellect, it is only a fraction of a fraction of what the intellect aspect of the the Monad really is. Therefore the ego is not a veiled manifestation of the Monad, but a veiled representation of a minute fraction of the Monad.

Following the ancient maxim, “as above, so below”, as the ego is to the Monad, so is the personality to the ego. By the time we have reached the personality, the fractionisation has been carried so far that the part we are able to see bears no appreciable proportion to the reality of which, nevertheless, it is the only possible representation, to us. Yet with and from this hopelessly inadequate fragment, we strive to comprehend the whole. Our difficulty in trying to understand the Monad is the same in kind, but much greater in degree, as that which we found when we tried really to grasp the idea of the ego.

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Diagram XXXIX is an attempt, however inadequate, to represent graphically the relationship between the Monad, the ego and the personality.

The Monad has been compared with the flame : (Page 298) the ego or triple spirit with the fire : and the personality with the fuel.

The correspondence between the Monad in its relation to the ego, and the ego in its relation to personality, will bear a little further amplification. As the ego is triple, so is the Monad : the three constituents of the Monad exist on the first three planes of our System, viz., the Adi, the Anupadaka and the Вtma planes. On the atmic plane the Monad takes to itself a manifestation, which we call the Monad in its atmic vesture, or sometimes the triple Вtma, or triple spirit. This is for the Monad what the causal body is for the ego.

Just as the ego takes on three lower bodies [mental, astral, and physical] the first of which [the mental] is on the lower part of his own plane, and the lowest [the physical] two planes below, so the Monad—regarding him now as the triple Вtma or spirit—takes on three lower manifestations [Вtma, buddhi manas] the first of which is on the lower part of his own plane, and the lowest two planes below that.

It will thus be seen that the causal body is to the Monad what the physical body is to the ego. If we think of the ego as the soul of the physical body, we may consider the Monad as the soul of the ego in turn.

For, just as the causal body takes, from the personality, whatever is of a nature to help its growth, (Page 299) so the causal body, through its inner or upper side, passes on, into the third aspect of Вtma, the essence of all experiences which may have entered into it. What is thus poured into the mвnasic aspect of Вtma renders it capable of acting without the causal body, that is, without a permanent vehicle which limits it. This throws light on the phenomenon of the perishing of the causal body, or individuality, with which we have already dealt in Chapter XXXI.

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(Page 302) Diagram XLI is a rough illustration of the relation between Monad, Ego and Personality, and the stages by which these three gradually come more and more into touch with one another.

At the left-hand side of the Diagram, we see the ego represented as very small : he is just a baby ego : complete, but small and undeveloped: the personality is also slender, indicating its primitive condition. As evolution proceeds, the personality gradually widens out, until eventually it becomes equilateral, indicating that it is well developed, all-round, symmetrical. Also, it will be observed, the link between the personality and the ego, at first very narrow, has widened out, until it becomes almost as wide as the full width of the personality.

Whilst this has been going on, at the same time, the ego has been steadily growing in size, and the channel between him and the Monad has also been steadily increasing in width.

Thus, at the right-hand side of the Diagram, we have a strong and wide channel between the Monad and Ego, the Ego himself being fully developed, exercising, through a wide and well-developed link, full control over a symmetrically developed personality.

Finally, the time will come when, just as the personality and ego have become one, the Monad and ego also become one. This is the unification of the ego with the Monad, and when that is achieved the man has attained (Page 303) the object of his descent into matter, he has become the Superman, the Adept.

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Diagram XLII- Monad, Ego and Personality: “At-one-ment”.

This Diagram is an attempt to indicate:-


The complete alignment, or unification of Monad, Ego and Personality


The consequent one centre of consciousness


The one life flowing through all three


The limitation imposed upon the manifestations of the one life by the outline-barriers of Personality, Ego and Monad.


The fact that Personality, Ego and even Monad are but mayavic or illusory veils imposed upon the Divine Life


The fact that the One Life itself is unlimited and universal, as indicated by the circularity of the aura of radiation, thus transcending its expressions through Monad, Ego and Personality. “With one portion of Myself I manifest, but I remain”.

Diagram XLII illustrates this consummation. Here we see the Monad, Ego and Personality in perfect alignment, veritably an “at-one-ment” The same life permeates all three of its manifestations, but the personality, owing to its size and its constitution, is able to express less of the one life than the ego is able to do, and the ego, in his turn, for similar reasons, is able to express less than can the Monad.

Even the Monad cannot confine, contain, or express the whole of the divine life which radiates out from and beyond that veil, however thin, of separative matter—which makes him a distinct being.

When this consummation is reached, then only, for the first time, does the entity enter upon (Page 304) his real life, for the whole of this stupendous process of evolution is but a preparation for that true life of the spirit, which begins only when man becomes more than man. Humanity is the final class of the world-school, and, when a man passes out of this, he enters the life of the glorified Spirit, the life of the Christ.

That life has a glory and a splendour beyond all comparison and all comprehension, : but the attainment of it by every one of us is an absolute certainty, from which we cannot escape even if we would. If we act selfishly, if we set ourselves against the current of evolution, we can delay our progress: but we cannot finally prevent it.

There is thus a very close correspondence between the relationship of the Monad to the ego, and the ego to the personality. Just as the ego is for long ages the ensouling force of the personality, so there comes a time eventually when the ego himself becomes a vehicle, ensouled by the Monad, now fully active and awakened. All the manifold experiences of the ego, all the splendid qualities developed in him, all these pass into the Monad himself, and find there a vastly fuller realisation than even the ego could have given them.

The question arises, does the Monad, in the case of the ordinary man, ever do anything which affects, or can affect, his personality down here? Such interference appears to be most unusual. The ego is trying on behalf of the Monad, to obtain perfect control of the personality, and to use it as an instrument, : but, because that object is not yet fully achieved, the Monad may well feel that the time has not yet come for him to intervene from his own level, and to bring the whole of his force to bear, when that which is already in action is more than strong enough for the required purpose. But, when the ego is already beginning to succeed, in his effort to manage his lower vehicles, then the Monad does sometimes intervene.

In the course of investigating some thousands of human beings, traces of such intervention were found in only in a few. The most prominent instance is that (Page 305) given in the twenty-ninth life of Alcyone, when he pledged himself to the Lord Buddha to devote himself in future lives to the attainment of the Buddhahood in order to help humanity.

This being a promise for the far-distant future, it was obvious that the personality, through which it was given, could by no means keep it. Investigation revealed that even the ego, though full of enthusiasm at the idea, was being impelled by a mightier force from within which, he could not have resisted, even had he wished to do so. Following the clue still further, it was found that the impelling force came forth unmistakably from the Monad. He had decided, and he registered his decision. His will, working through the ego, will clearly have no difficulty in bringing all future personalities into harmony with his great intention.

Other examples of the same phenomenon were found. Certain Monads had already responded to the call of the higher Authorities, and had decided that their representative personalities should assist in the work of the Sixth Root Race in California, some hundreds of years hence. Because of that decision nothing that these personalities might do during the intervening time could possibly interfere with the carrying out of that decision.

The compelling force is thus not from without, but from within, from the real man himself. When the Monad has decided, the thing will be done, and it is well for the personality to yield gracefully and readily, recognising the voice from above, and co-operating gladly. If he does not do this, then he will lay up for himself much useless suffering. It is always the man himself who is doing this thing; and he, in the personality has to realise that the ego is himself, and he has for the moment to take it for granted that the Monad is still more himself—the final and greatest expression, of him.

What is known as the great Company of Servers affords another instance; the Servers are a type apart, to which Monads seem to be attached ab intitio, however (Page 306)long it may take for the type to be expressed in the outer consciousness. In a certain sense, it is a kind of predestination, the Monad having taken the resolve. [For further account of the Servers, vide article, entitled The Servers by C.W Leadbeater, in The Theosophist, September 1913.]

In view of the general consideration that in a perfectly ordered universe there is no room for chance, it seems probable that the very mode of individualisation, from the animal kingdom was somehow predetermined, either for or by the Monad himself, with a view to preparation for whatever portion of the great work he is to undertake in the future.

For there will come a time when we shall all be part of the great Heavenly Man: not in the least as a myth or a poetic symbol, but as a vivid and actual fact, which certain investigators have themselves seen. That celestial body has many members; each of these members has its own function to fulfil, and the living cells which are to form part of them need widely different experiences to prepare them. It may well be that, from the dawn of evolution, the parts have been chosen, that each Monad has his destined line of evolution, and his freedom of action is concerned chiefly with the rate at which he shall move along that line.

In the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, there is a good deal of symbolism concerned with the Monad, the Ego and the Personality. Briefly speaking first of the Three Persons of the Trinity, the Host typifies God the Father, and also stands for the Deity, whole and indivisible; the Wine stands for God the Son, Whose life is poured down into the chalice of material form; the Water represents God the Holy Ghost, the Spirit Who brooded over the face of the waters, and yet at the same time is Himself symbolised by water.

Speaking next of the Deity in man, the Host signifies the Monad, the totality, the unseen cause of all: the paten means the Triple Вtma or Spirit through which the Monad acts on matter : the Wine indicates (Page 307)the individuality, poured into the chalice of the causal body : the Water represents the personality which is so intimately mixed with it.

Passing to the effect of Communion upon the communicant, the force of the Host is essentially Monadic, and acts most powerfully upon whatever within the man represents the direct action of the Monad :

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the force of the Chalice is more that of the ego : the Wine has a very powerful force upon the higher astral levels, and the Water sends out even etheric vibrations.

When the priest makes the three crosses with the Host over the Chalice, he wills strongly that the influence from the Monadic level should descend into the ego in its threefold manifestation of Вtma, Buddhi and Manas: and then, as he makes the two crosses between the Chalice and his own breast, he draws that influence into his own mental and astral bodies, that through him it may radiate fully upon his people.

This symbolises the earlier stages of evolution, when the Monad hovers over his lower manifestations, brooding (Page 308)over them, acting upon them, but never touching them. So the priest holds the Host above the Chalice, yet never touches the one with the other until the appointed time has come.

When the priest drops the fragment of the Host into the Chalice, he thereby signifies the descent of a ray of the Monad into the ego.

To facilitate memorisation of this system of symbols, Diagram XLIII is appended.

C H A P T E R -X X X I V—


(Page 309) Each stage of the Path proper is divided into four steps :—

The first is its Maggo, or way, during which the student is striving to cast off the fetters.

The Second is its Phala, literally fruit or result, when the man finds the result of his efforts showing themselves more and more.

The Third is its Bhavagga, or consummation, the period when, the result having culminated, he is able to fulfil satisfactorily the work belonging to the step on which he now firmly stands.

The Fourth is its Gotrabhu, which means the time when he has arrived at a fit state to receive the next Initiation. This means complete and entire freedom from the fetters of his stage on the Path.

The first of the three fetters, or Samyojana, which have to be cast off, before the candidate can take the Second Initiation, is Sakkayaditthi, the delusion of self. This is the “I—am—I “ consciousness which, as connected with the personality, is nothing but an illusion, and must be got rid of at the very first step of the real upward Path. But to cast off the fetter completely means even more than this, for it involves the realisation of the fact that the individuality also is, in very truth, one with the All, that it can therefore never have any interests opposed to those of its brethren, and that it is most truly progressing when it most assists the progress of others.

The second fetter is Vichikichcha, doubt or uncertainty. The candidate must arrive at the certainty of conviction, founded on individual experiment, or mathematical reasoning. He believes, not (Page 310) because he has been told, but because facts are now self-evident. This is the only method of resolving doubt known to occultism.

The third fetter is Silabbataparamasa, or superstition. This includes all kinds of unreasoning and mistaken belief, and all dependence upon outward rites and ceremonies to purify the heart. The man must realise that within himself deliverance must be sought, and that, however valuable aids such as ceremonies, etc., may be in developing will, wisdom and love, yet they can never take the place of that personal effort by which alone he can achieve. The knowledge of the spiritual permanence of the true ego brings reliance on one’s own spiritual strength, and so dispels superstition.

The buddhic consciousness is directly related to these three fetters, for they are all dispelled by that consciousness. Recognising the unity, the man can have no delusion of separateness. Seeing for himself the great laws of life in operation, he can no longer doubt. He sees all the roads that lead to the one Bliss, and that all roads are good, so that he can no longer hold to the superstition that any one form of belief is necessary, to one who has attained that level.

The Second Initiation takes place in the lower mental world, so that the candidate must have developed the power to function freely in his mental body.

This Initiation rapidly continues the development of the mental body, and at or near this point the pupil learns to use the mayavirupa [vide The Mental Body, p. 169].

At the Second Initiation, the Key of Knowledge is given, the Initiator pouring out, from His own mental and causal bodies, rays of power which, falling on the mental and causal bodies of the Initiate, stimulate into sudden and splendid growth, the germs of similar powers therein existing. As though a bud, stimulated by the sun-rays, should suddenly burst into all the glory of the opened flower, so do the mental and causal bodies suddenly unfold the powers latent within them, (Page 311) expanding into radiant beauty. Through them, now expanded, buddhi or intuition can play freely, the great new power being thus set free to work.

The period after the Second Initiation is in many ways the most dangerous anywhere on the Path : it is at this stage that, if there is any weakness in a candidate’s character, it will find him out. In nearly all cases, the danger comes through pride. It is indicated in the Gospel story by the temptation in the wilderness.

As the First Initiation corresponds to a new birth, so may the Second Initiation, be compared to the baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire, for it is the power of the Third Person of the Trinity that is outpoured at that moment, in what may but inadequately be described as a flood of fire.

The man at this stage is known to the Buddhists as a Sakadagamin, the man who returns but once, the meaning being that he should need but one more incarnation before attaining Arhatship, the Fourth Initiation.

The Hindu name for this step is the Kitichaka, the man who builds a hut, he who builds a hut, he who has reached a place of peace.

At this stage no additional fetters are cast off, but it is usually a period of considerable psychic and intellectual advancement. The man must have the astral consciousness at his command during physical waking life, and, during sleep, the heaven-world will be open before him.

When the Third Initiation is passed, the man becomes the Anagamin, which means literally, “he who does not return”, for it is expected of him that he will attain the next Initiation in the same incarnation. The Hindu name for this stage is the Hamsa, which means a swan, but the word is also considered to be a form of the sentence So-Ham, “That am I “. There is a tradition, too, that the swan is able to separate milk from water, and the Sage is similarly able to realise the true value, for living beings, of the phenomenon of life.

This Initiation is typified, in the Christian symbolism, (Page 312) by the Transfiguration of the Christ. He went up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before His disciples : “his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light”, exceeding white as snow, so as no fuller on earth can white them”. This description suggests the Augoeides, the glorified man, and it is an accurate picture of what happens at this Initiation, for, just as the Second Initiation is principally concerned with the quickening of the lower mental body, so at this stage the causal body is especially developed. The ego is brought more closely into touch with the Monad, and is thus transfigured in very truth.

Even the personality is affected by that wondrous outpouring. The higher and the lower self became one at the First Initiation, and that unity is never lost but the development of the higher self, that now takes place, can never be measured in the lower worlds of form, although the two are one to the greatest, possible extent.

At this stage, the man is brought before the Spiritual King of the World, the Head of the Occult Hierarchy, Who, at this step, either confers the initiation Himself, or deputes one of His Pupils, the three Lords of the Flame, to do so. In the latter event, the man is presented to the king soon after the Initiation has taken place. Thus the “Christ” is brought into the presence of His “Father”; the buddhi in the Initiate is raised, until it becomes one with its origin on the nirvanic plane, and a very wonderful union between the first and second principles in man is thus effected.

The Anagamin enjoys, while moving through the round of his daily work, all the splendid possibilities given by full possession of the faculties of the higher mental plane, and during the sleep of the body, he enters the buddhic plane.

In this stage, he has to throw off any lingering remains of the fourth and fifth fetters- attachment to the enjoyment of sensation, typified by earthly love, and all possibility of anger or hatred. He must become free from the possibility of being enslaved in (Page 313) any way by external things. He must rise above all considerations connected with the mere personality of those around him, recognising that the affection which flourishes upon the Path is an affection between egos. Therefore it is strong and permanent, without fear of diminution or fluctuation, for it is that “perfect love which casteth out fear”.

The Fourth Initiation is known as that of the Arhat, which means the worthy, the capable, the venerable or perfect. The Hindus call the Arhat the Paramahamsa, the one above and beyond the Hamsa. In the Christian system the Fourth Initiation is indicated by the suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of the Christ.

This Initiation differs from the others in that it has the double aspect of suffering, and victory, hence a series of events has been employed to represent it. The type of suffering, which accompanies the Initiation, clears off any arrears of karma which may still stand in the Initiate’s way. The patience and joyousness, with which he endures them, have great value in the strengthening, of his character, and help to determine the extent of his usefulness in the work which lies before him.

The Initiate has to experience for a moment the condition called Avichi, which means the “waveless”, that which is without vibration. The man stands absolutely alone in space, and feels cut off from all life, even from that of the Logos; it is without doubt the most ghastly experience that it is possible for any human, being to have. It seems to have two results:

[1] that the candidate may be able to sympathise with those to whom Avichi comes as a result of their actions: and—

[2] that he may learn to stand cut off from everything external, and test and realise his own utter certainty that he is one with the Logos, and that any such feeling of loneliness must be but an illusion.

Avichi for the black magician corresponds to nirvana for the White Adept. Both of these types of men, antithesis of each other, are yogis, and each gets the (Page 314) result of the law he has followed. One attains the kaivalyam—realisation of oneness, complete isolation—of Avichi, the other the kaivalyam of Nirvana.

For the Arhat, while still in the physical body, the consciousness of the buddhic plane is his, this being its normal home.

In fact, to stand at the level of the Arhat involves the power fully to use the buddhic vehicle.

When the Arhat draws himself up into the buddhic plane, it must not be supposed that manas is in any way lost. For he draws up manas with him into that expression of manas which has all the time existed on the buddhic plane but has not been fully vivified until now. He still remains triple, but instead of being on the three planes, he is now on two, with atma developed on its own plane, buddhi on its own plane, and manas level with buddhi, drawn up into the intuition. Then he discards the causal body, because he has no further need of it. When he wishes to come down again, and manifest on the mental plane, he has to make a new causal body, but otherwise he does not need one.

Much in the same way, at a later stage, the buddhi and the glorified intellect will be drawn up into the atmic plane, and the triple spirit will be fully vivified. Then the three manifestations will converge into one. That is a power within the reach of the Adept, because, as we shall see in due course, He unifies the Monad and the ego, just as the disciple is trying to unite the ego with the personality.

This drawing up of the higher manas from the causal body, so that it is on the buddhic plane side by side with the buddhi, is the aspect or condition of the ego which H.P.Blavatsky called the spiritual ego, which is buddhi plus the manasic aspect of the One, which was drawn up into buddhi when the causal vehicle was cast aside. That state—that of the Arhat—is called by Christian mystics that of spiritual illumination, of the Christ in man.

H. P. Blavatsky has also a classification in which she speaks of four divisions of the mind : (Page 315)

[1] Manas —taijasi, the resplendent or illuminated manas, which is really buddhi, or at least that state of man when his manas has become merged in buddhi, having no separate will of its own.

[2] Manas proper, the higher manas, the abstract thinking mind.

[3] Antahkarana, the link of channel or bridge between the higher manas and kama manas during incarnation.

[4] Kama-manas which, on this theory, is the personality.

When the Arhat leaves the physical body in sleep or trance, he passes at once into the unutterable glory of the nirvanic plane. His daily effort is now to reach further and further up into the nirvanic plane, up the five lower sub-planes on which the human ego has being. He has a number of planes open to him, and can focus his consciousness at any particular level he chooses, although there will always be a background of the buddhic and nirvanic consciousness.

Even at the atmic level, there is a sheath of some sort for the Spirit, for in one sense it seems as though it were an atom, and yet in another it seems to be the whole plane. The man feels as if he were everywhere, but could focus anywhere within himself, and wherever for a moment the outpouring of force diminishes, that is for him a body.

The Arhat has to work at the casting off of the remaining five of the ten great fetters, which are:—

[6] Ruparaga—desire for beauty of form, or for physical existence in a form, even including that in the heaven world.

[7] Aruparaga—desire for formless life.

[8] Mano—pride.

[9] Uddhachcha—agitation or irritability, the possibility of being disturbed by anything.

[10] Avijja—ignorance.

The Arhat Initiation may be thought of as a halfway between the First and the Fifth Initiations.

On the first half of the Path—from the First to the (Page 316) Fourth Initiation—the man is busy shaking himself free from those personal limitations, from the illusion of “it”. On the second half, he is engaged in releasing himself from the illusion of “you”. It is usually said that seven lives are occupied, in the average case, at normal times, between the First and Fourth Initiations, and seven lives also between the Fourth and Fifth. But these figures are capable of very great reduction or increase. In most cases the actual period is not very great, since usually the lives are taken in immediate succession, without interludes in the heaven world.

The Arhat, whose ego is working perfectly in the causal body, need not incarnate again in a physical body, and go through the wearisome round of birth and death, which is so unpleasant—at any rate, from the point of view of the ego himself. He must, however, descend as far as the astral plane. While in the astral body, he may at any moment that he chooses enjoy the nirvanic consciousness. If he is in the physical body, he can reach that nirvanic consciousness only when he leaves the body in sleep or trance, as already explained above.

Nirvanic consciousness means consciousness anywhere in the solar system.

The Fifth Initiation makes a man a Master, an Adept, a Superman. The Buddhists call Him the Asekha—literally, the not-disciple—because He has no more to learn, and has exhausted the possibilities of the human kingdoms of nature. The Hindus speak of Him as the Jivanmukhta, a liberated life, a free being, because His will is one with the Universal Will, that of the One without a second. He stands ever in the light of Nirvana, even in His waking consciousness, should He choose to remain on earth in a physical body. When out of that, He rises still higher into the Monadic plane, beyond not merely our words but our thought.

As the Secret Doctrine expresses it: the Adept “begins his Samadhi on the Atmic plane,” all planes below the atmic being one to Him.

(Page 317) A man attains Adeptship when he raises His ordinary consciousness to the nirvanic level: the fact that differentiates Him, and makes Him an Adept, is that He has unified the Monad with the ego. And, since He has become one with the Monad, He has already reached the level of the third or lowest manifestation of the Deity or Logos.

In Christian symbolism, the Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Spirit stand for the attainment of Adeptship, for the Adept does ascend above humanity, beyond this earth, although, if He chooses, as did the Christ, He may return to teach and help. As He ascends, he becomes one with the Holy Spirit, and invariably the first thing He does, with His new power, is to pour it down upon His disciples, even as the Christ poured down tongues of fire upon the heads of His followers at the Feast of Pentecost.

At the Asekha Initiation, the atma is seen as a clear light, a star, and, when it spreads out, at the last breaking down of the wall, it becomes the infinite light.

Before that, the Arhat can feel the underlying peace of atma when in meditative mood, but constantly he returns to the sorrow. But when a man rises to the atmic plane in full consciousness, and the buddhic consciousness merges into that, there is but one light seen. This is expressed in The Voice of The Silence : “The Three that dwell in glory and in bliss ineffable, now in the world of Maya have lost their names. They have become one star, the fire that burns but scorches not, that fire which is the Upadhi of the flame.”

While the man was in the causal body, he saw the Sacred Three separate, but now he sees them as the three aspects of the triple atma. Buddhi and manas, which were “twins upon a line” in the buddhic consciousness of the previous stage, are now one with atma, the fire which is the vehicle of the Monadic flame.

Then says the Teacher : “Where is thy individuality, Lanoo, where the Lanoo himself? It is the spark lost in the fire, the drop within the ocean, the ever present ray become the All and the eternal Radiance”.(Page 318) He who was a disciple is now a Master. He stands in the centre, and the triple Atma radiates from Him.

The Adept has the power to get at any knowledge that He wants, almost in a moment. He can make Himself one with it, and get at the core of it instantly, and then observe the surrounding details as He may require them. Somewhere on the buddhic or nirvanic plane, He would grasp the idea that lies at the back for example, of any particular science or department of knowledge and make Himself one with that. Then, from that point of view, He would reach down into any details He might require.

A Master does not appear to need all the knowledge stored within His brain as we do, but is able to turn a certain faculty on to anything that is wanted, and, by the use of that faculty, then and there, to know all about it. He would not need to read up a subject, but He would turn His all-seeing eye on the subject, and thereby somehow absorb the knowledge.

This may be the explanation of getting rid of avidya—ignorance. With the buddhic faculty, as we have seen, it is no longer necessary to collect facts from outside, but one plunges into the consciousness of anything, whether it be mineral or plant or Deva, etc., and understands it from inside.

H. P. Blavatsky has pointed out that a Master’s physical body is a mere vehicle. It hands nothing on, but is simply a point of contact with the physical plane, a body kept as an instrument, needed for the work He does, and dropped when done with. The same consideration applies to the astral and mental bodies.

The Masters aid, in countless ways, the progress of humanity. From the highest sphere, They shed down on all the world light and life, that may be taken up and assimilated, as freely as the sunshine, by all who are receptive enough to take it in. As the physical world lives by the life of God, focussed by the sun, so does the spiritual world live by that same Life, focussed by the Occult Hierarchy. (Page 319)

Certain Masters are specially connected with religions, and use these religions as reservoirs, into which They pour spiritual energy, to be distributed to the faithful in each religion through the duly appointed “means of grace”.

Then there is the great intellectual work, wherein the Masters send out thoughts of a high intellectual power, to be caught up by men of genius, assimilated by them and given out to the world. On this level, also, They send out their wishes to Their disciples, notifying them of the tasks to which they should set their hands.

In the lower mental world, the Masters generate the thought-forms which influence the concrete mind, and guide it along useful lines of activity in this world, and teach those who are living in the heavenly world.

In the intermediate world, They undertake the work of the helping of the so-called dead, generally direct and supervise the teaching of the younger pupils, and send out aid in numberless cases of need.

In the physical world, They watch the tendencies of events, correct and neutralise, so far as law permits, evil currents, constantly balance forces that work for and against evolution, strengthening the good and weakening the evil. They work also in conjunction with the Angels and Devas of the Nations, guiding the spiritual forces as the others guide the material.

The whole earth is divided into special areas, each in the charge of a Master. These areas, consisting of huge countries or even continents, correspond somewhat to “parishes” in the Church organisation. Thus one Adept may be said to be in charge of Europe: another looks after India : and so on.

The Adept has all the different grades and forms of evolution to regard—not only humanity, but also the great kingdom of the Angels and Devas, the various classes of nature-spirits, the animals, vegetables and minerals, the elemental kingdoms, and many others of which so far nothing has been heard by mankind.

A large part of the work of the Adepts lies at levels far beyond the physical as They are engaged (Page 320) in pouring out their own power, and also the force from the great store filled by the Nirmankayas. It is the karma of the world that it shall have a certain amount of this uplifting force at its service; on account of this, humanity is evolving as a unit, the fact of brotherhood enabling every one to make much more progress, than would be even remotely possible were he standing entirely by himself.

The Great White Brotherhood rays out the supply of force from the great reservoir upon all egos, without exception, on the higher mental plane, thus giving the greatest possible assistance to the unfolding of the indwelling life.

Whilst an Adept may ray out His force upon enormous numbers of people, running often into many millions simultaneously, yet such is the wonderful quality of this power, which He pours forth, that it adapts itself to each one of these millions, as though he were the only object of its influence, and it appears as though what, for us, would be full attention, were being given to that one.

This arises from the fact that the Master’s nirvanic or atmic consciousness is a kind of point, which yet includes the entire plane. He can bring that point down through several planes, and spread it out like a kind of bubble. On the outside, of that huge sphere are all the causal bodies, which He is trying to affect, and He, filling the sphere, appears all in all to each individual.

In this way, He fills with His life the ideals of millions of people, and is for them respectively the ideal Christ, the ideal Rama, the ideal Krishna, an Angel, or perhaps a spirit guide.

In this department of Their work, the Masters frequently take advantage of special occasions, and of places where there is some strong magnetic centre. Where some holy man has lived and died, or where some relic of such a person creates a suitable atmosphere, They take advantage of such conditions, and cause Their own force to radiate along the channels already (Page 321)prepared. When some vast assemblage of pilgrims comes together in a receptive attitude, again They take advantage of the occasion, by pouring Their forces out upon the people, through the channels by means of which they have been taught to expect help and blessing.

Another example of the methods of work of the Masters at the causal level is afforded in the case of talismans, which a Master may link with His own causal body, so that its influence will last through the ages. This was done with certain physical objects, buried at various points of future importance, by Apollonius of Tyana.

The Adept having become one with the Third Aspect of the Logos, manifesting on the plane of atma, His next step is to become one with that Aspect which is represented by the Christ in the bosom of the Father. Later on, it maybe presumed that He will draw ever nearer and nearer to the Deity of the Solar system.

When human life is completed, the Perfected Man usually drops his various material bodies, but He retains the power to take up any of them, if ever He should need them in the course of His work. In the majority of cases, one who gains that level no longer needs a physical body. He no longer retains an astral, a mental, or even a causal body, but lives permanently at His highest level.

Of those who attain Adeptship, comparatively few remain on our earth as members of the Occult Hierarchy, as will be explained more fully presently.

Beyond the Fifth or Asekha Initiation, the higher Path opens up in seven great ways, among which the Adept must take His choice. These seven are as follows:—

[1] He may enter into the blissful omniscience and omnipotence of Nirvana with activities far beyond our knowing, to become, perhaps, in some future world, an Avatara, or Divine Incarnation. This is sometimes called “taking the Dharmakaya vesture”. The Dharmakaya keeps nothing below the Monad, though what the vesture of the Monad may be on its own plane we do not know.(Page 322)

[II] He may enter on “the Spiritual Period”-a phrase covering unknown meanings, among them probably that of “taking the Sambhogakaya vesture”. He retains His manifestation as a triple spirit, and probably can reach down and show Himself in a temporary Augoeides.

[III] He may become part of that treasure-house of spiritual forces, on which the Agents of the Logos draw for their Work, “taking the Nirmanakaya vesture”. The Nirmanakaya appears to preserve His Augoeides, that is, His causal Body, and keeps all His permanent atoms, and therefore has the power to show Himself at whichever level He chooses. The Nirmankayas are Spoken of in The Voice of The Silence as forming a Guardian Wall, which preserves the world from further and far greater misery and sorrow.

[IV] He may remain a member of the Occult Hierarchy, which rules and guards the world in which He has reached perfection.

[V] He may pass on to the next Chain, to aid in building up its forms.

[VI] He may enter the splendid Angel or Deva Evolution.

[VII] He may give Himself to the immediate service of the Logos, to be used by Him in any part of the Solar System: His Servant and Messenger, who lives but to carry out His will, and do His work over the whole of the System which He rules. This is called joining the “Staff”. It seems to be considered a very hard path, perhaps the greatest sacrifice open to the Adept, and is therefore as carrying with it great distinction.

A member of the General Staff has no physical body, but makes one for Himself by Kriyashakti—the “power to make”—of the matter of the globe to which He is sent. The Staff contains Beings at very different levels, from that of Arhatship upwards.

Above the Initiation of the Adept lies the Sixth Initiation, that of Chohan, word which means (Page 323)”Lord”. The same word is used also for the Heads of Rays Three to Seven.

The Ray to which an Adept belongs affects not only His appearance, but also that work that He has to do.

The following table sets out briefly certain facts regarding the Rays:-


Head of Ray

Characteristics of Ray




Chohan Morya


The Master Jupiter is also on this Ray, and is the Guardian of India. He is a great student of the abstruser sciences, of which chemistry and astronomy are the outer shells.


Chohan Kuthumi: formerly He was Pythagoras (6th Century, B.C.


This Ray gives great Teachers to the world


The Venetian Chohan

Adaptability: Tact

Astrology is concerned with this Ray


Chohan Serapis

Beauty and Harmony

Many artists are on this Ray


Chohan Hilarion: formerly Iamblichus (4th century).

Science: detailed knowledge.



Chohan Jesus: formerly Apollonius of Tyana (1st century), and also Ramanujacharya (11th century).

Bhakti or Devotion

The Ray of Mystics


Chohan Rakoczi: formerly the Comte de St.Germain (18th century); Francis Bacon (17th century): Robertus the monk (16th century); Hunyadi Janos(15th century); Christian Rosencreuz (14th century); Roger Bacon (13th century); Proclus the Neo-Platonist (5th century); St. Alban (3rd century).

Ordered Service: Ceremonial

Works through ceremonial magic, and employs the services of great Angels

(Page 324)The following are examples of the methods likely to be employed by representatives of the different Rays:—-

The First Ray man would attain his object by sheer force of resistless will, without condescending to employ anything in the nature of means at all.

The Second Ray man would also work by force of will, but with the full comprehension of the various possible methods, and the conscious direction of his will into the channel of the most suitable one.

The Third Ray Man would use the forces of the mental plane, noticing very carefully the exact time when the influences were most favourable to success.

The Fourth Ray Man would employ the finer physical forces of the ether.

The Fifth Ray man would set in motion the currents of what used to be called the astral light.

The Sixth Ray man would achieve his result by the strength of his earnest faith in his particular Deity, and in the efficacy of prayer to Him.

The Seventh Ray man would use elaborate ceremonial magic, and probably invoke the aid of non human spirits, if possible.

In attempting the cure of disease:—

The First Ray man would simply draw health and strength from the great fountain of Universal Life.

The Second Ray man would thoroughly comprehend the nature of the malady, and know precisely how to exercise his will-power upon it to the best advantage.

The Third Ray man would invoke the Great Planetary Spirits, and choose a moment when astrological influences were beneficent for the application of his remedies.

The Fourth Ray man would trust chiefly to physical means, such as massage.

The Fifth Ray man would employ drugs.

The Sixth Ray man would employ faith-healing.(Page 325)

The Seventh Ray man would use mantras, or magical invocations.

Beyond the Chohan Initiation, on Rays Three to Seven, the highest Initiation that can be taken on our globe is that of the Mahachohan: it is possible, however, to go further on the First and Second Rays, as is indicated in the following table of Initiations, in which it will be seen that the Buddha initiation is possible on the Second and First Rays, and that the Adept may go still further on the First.











































The Occult Government is in three departments, ruled by three officials, who are not merely reflections of the Three Aspects of the Logos, but are in a very real way actual manifestations of Them. These three are [1] Lord of the World, who is one with the First Aspect, on the Adi plane, and wields the divine will on earth; [2] the Lord Buddha, who is one with the Second Aspect, which dwells on the Anupadaka plane, and sends the divine Wisdom down to mankind; and [3] the Mahachohan, who is one with the Third Aspect, which resides on the nirvanic or atmic plane, and (Page 326) exercises the divine Activity—representing the Holy Ghost. The following table sets out these facts:—-


Divine Powers

Planes of Nature

Triangles of Agents


First Aspect


Adi or Originating

The Lord of the World


Second Aspect


Anupadaka or Monadic

The Lord Buddha


Third Aspect


Atmic or Spiritual

The Mahachochan


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In this great Triangle, the Lord of the World and the Lord Buddha are different from the Mahachohan, being engaged in work that does not descend to the physical plane, but only to the level of the buddhic body, in the case of the Lord Buddha, and the atmic plane, in that of the Lord of the World. Yet, without Their work, none of that at lower levels would be possible, so They provide for the transmission of Their influence, even to the lowest plane, through Their representatives, the Manu and the Bodhisattva, respectively. (Page 327)

The Manu and the Bodhisattva stand parallel with the Mahachohan, thus forming another Triangle, to administer the powers of the Logos down to the physical plane. These two triangles are expressed in Diagram XLIV.