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THEOSOPHY WORLD ----------------------------------- January, 2000
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"Spirit in Crisis: The Way to the Boundless," by H. Oosterink
"Our Immediate Work," by A. Trevor Barker
"Thoughts on Public Speaking," by Boris de Zirkoff
"A Comparison of the Gradual and Sudden Paths,"
by Grigor Vahan Ananikian
"Point Loma Reflections and Overview -- 2000"
"The Etheric Double: The Far-Reaching Effects of a False
Assumption," Part I, by Geoffrey A. Farthing
> Tradition points to a grotto, a vast cave in the deserts of
> Central Asia, whereinto light pours through its four seemingly
> natural apertures or clefts placed crossways at the four
> cardinal points of the place. From noon till an hour before
> sunset that light streams in, of four different colors, as
> averred -- red, blue, orange-gold, and white -- owing to some
> either natural or artifically perpared conditions of vegetation
> and soil. The light converges in the center around a pillar of
> while marble with a globe upon it, which represents our earth.
> It is named the "grotto of Zarathushtra."
> H. P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, 464
SPIRIT IN CRISIS: THE WAY TO THE BOUNDLESS
by H. Oosterink
[Theosophical University Press, Covina, California, 1946, pages
The question arises, what are we to do to enter the Kingdom of
the Spirit? Is there a possibility of sharing the experiences of
our Higher Consciousness in full awareness of it?
In other words, how can we raise and enlarge our consciousness
and see the truth of things and remove our blindness?
Do we possess slumbering capacities which we can develop,
capacities which have been lost under the effort of the human
being to make himself at home in this world? The world of the
spirit is no abstraction, but a real world, which our
consciousness may get to know after we have found the way to it.
All people should be fully alive to the importance of this truth.
Why would the great spiritual teachers of humanity speak with so
much authority, with such conviction, if they were not seers --
i.e., people who have seen the vision in all its splendor? And
should it not also be possible for us to follow the path they
However, would people who are taken up with life outside
themselves be able to be absorbed in their internal life? Would
people who are driven hither and thither by their thoughts, have
the possibility of finding in themselves the peace which is
necessary to enter a world of stillness and peace? Can they
concentrate on the spiritual truths when their souls do not yearn
Asking these questions means answering them. He who wants to
unseal his mind to the world of the spirit should do this in
quiet and stillness.
The intellect has a quality which enlarges its activity.
It may be directed to, or concentrate itself in, one point. This
directional and concentrated thinking compares with the
activities of a lens. When we catch sunbeams in a lens, they are
concentrated in the focus and in this point an increased activity
results from the united activities of the rays, which makes it
possible to burn something through.
The mind acts in the same way. If we want to consider or to see
through something, we must adjust the lens of our consciousness
in such a way that all our thought-rays are focused in one point.
Even in ordinary social life, people must know how to concentrate
their thoughts on one single point. How could a person achieve
something in spiritual matters when his thoughts fly hither and
thither and escape his control?
How can an unpracticed intellect proceed a single step in the
regions of a higher consciousness? And yet in the development of
our consciousness not a single capacity of man may be left idle;
they are the only tools nature gave us on our journey to the
Endless. Concentration is the first requirement, the first step
on the way to a deeper insight.
But we can also use the mind in a different way.
We can practice bringing our thoughts to rest, withdrawing them
from the things of everyday life, in which we are absorbed day in
and day out.
And then, when this mind is at rest, we must direct it to
Reflection on the highest truths results in true contemplation.
This exercise, performed at the beginning of the day, gives us
rest and happiness which impart a special splendor to the day.
We call this meditation, a word that I use only hesitatingly,
partly because the word has so often been misused, partly because
meditation breathes such a devotion and rest that we may put
meditation on a level with true prayer.
It is generally assumed that meditation is an oriental practice
-- that by their very nature westerners live in a world of action
and activity. As if the happiness of inner vision or
introspection were reserved for only part of humanity!
It is abuse of meditation when we aim at a forced stimulation of
psychical powers by making ourselves oversensitive, and
consequently lose control.
Real meditation is something different: meditation is guiding the
stream of our thoughts either upwards or inwards, after the
ordinary hurrying thoughts of every day have been eliminated.
Meditation means -- with the mind at rest -- dwelling on the
highest truths we know.
That's why rest is one of the first requirements in our thinking.
Spiritual growth requires devotion. This growth demands daily
practice, but the consequence of this practice is that it rouses
a dynamic force in the spiritual life of the devotee.
If our minds are disturbed and under the influence of our
emotions, it is as if we look through a blurred windowpane.
A quiet mind reflects the light of the spirit unbroken.
When we make this daily meditation a habit, it will have a
profound and beneficial effect in our lives. It brings peace,
rest, love, a sense of spiritual beauty, and more -- it brings
the ecstasy which inspires and pervades man like a living,
radiant force; meditation makes us attract the highest thoughts
and ideas as a magnet does. It brings evenness of temper in foul
and fair, and under the magic it conjures up, our
super-consciousness opens slowly like a flower.
Let us imagine what it means when our highest consciousness
becomes active, and let us understand what perspectives are
Let us imagine what it means when the Mystery of the endless,
boundless evolution of our consciousness is revealed to us, and
what it means to dwell in the highest regions of human thinking,
on the summits of spiritual enlightenment.
Behold . . . in the quiet, virginal fields of our highest
consciousness the first rays of the spiritual Sun break through
and gradually set these fields aglow.
We are surrounded by an ocean of wisdom, beauty and spiritual
light in which we can be absorbed infinitely, but of which we are
able to take in only a part. In order to penetrate it, it is
necessary to develop within ourselves a capacity that reaches
beyond mere thinking; we must rouse our intuition, that is --
reach a state of spiritual vision. I do not write about unreal
things. They are not far from us or strange. The entire
Creation is suffused with a spiritual life and light, it is an
expression of it, and we live in its middle. We have come from
it, and we shall return to it.
We keep only a memory, a hankering of the soul for that which is
inexpressible. Approaching it is our highest spiritual joy, it
raises us above this world which has resulted from it -- above
life as we know it, it makes us see the unity of all that is.
What do we really know about life? We can penetrate it, but we
shall never be able to get to the bottom of it. Look at man; how
lonely and lost he is in the silence of the night, surrounded by
myriads of suns and solar systems. How much is there of him in
this infinitely large universe, in this wonderful creation? And
yet a divine longing, an irresistible craving for investigation
and understanding urges him on to search deeply the world about
him, an irresistible craving to solve the problem of his
existence. Thousands upon thousands of stars twinkle in the
night sky; solar systems and milky ways speak of the greatness of
creation and its beauty penetrates the soul of the investigator
and makes him silent.
The more man loses himself in this grand spectacle, the more he
is absorbed by it and becomes conscious of his greatness. Is it
no wonder that he is able to bend his thoughts on this mystery,
no wonder that he is able to open his spirit to the majesty of
creation, and to experience the marvel that he can become
conscious that he is all this? In that -- which is beyond
thinking and understanding, from which this creation resulted --
he finds the essence of his being.
He comprises, and finds within himself, all that he absorbs, the
greatness and the beauty of which he becomes conscious; he
himself is all this. And in the only mysterious center of his
existence, the center which is his only mainstay and reality --
the Self -- all is concentrated. This center is indestructible,
infinitely great in its smallness, unfindable and yet comprising
everything. Is this no wonder -- has not it always been and will
it not always be, did not it comprise everything and will it not
comprise everything? Man is infinitely small and at the same time
infinitely great: limited in his essence, as long as he partakes
only of earthly life, but universal when he rises to the
Boundless. If we dare to lose ourselves in the mystery in which
we are nothing, the boundless spirit blooms and we have allowed
ourselves to be absorbed by the Divine, in a state of pure
There is a world above boundaries, space and time, where real
happiness may be found. This truth will one day reach the
dejected people, like a message from higher spheres.
The people who have called forth this catastrophic war did not
know this peace. Religion was no longer a living force, because
it forgot the Kernel of Faith -- devotion. They did not observe
the daily exercise of the faculties that were to gain for them
entrance to the Eternal Observer -- the Spirit.
This practice does not lead man outside life, but shows it to him
in its higher sense, and suffuses life with a splendor of beauty,
and illumines it.
But how many disasters and how much suffering, which humanity has
drawn toward itself, must be gone through before it will begin to
live in a meditative world of contemplation instead of losing
itself in a world of desires, before the only source of
inspiration and spiritual life, the Internal Self, is roused and
begins to flow?
It is not sufficient to open the gate to show an unknown world of
beauty for a single moment; there must be a constant longing for
a hidden world of infinite greatness and happiness which can only
be entered slowly, and which grows more beautiful every moment.
In reality there is such a world within man.
Our consciousness opens but slowly to it and never before the
searcher has found rest and peace, and the Internal Way to that
which I have called the background or the soul of life.
The earthly sphere in which we live comprises only a fragment of
the great cosmic creative consciousness, part of which is
revealed and becomes active in this life on earth. The great
perceiving Spirit, our real "I," registers all impressions and
experiences of the infinite consciousness. Our "I" is affected
by means of the faculties that are in the possession of earthly
man only to the extent that this "I" has become active in the
human existence, however sublime this may become.
But consciousness is infinite when man is boundless. From many
sides, along many channels, by endless capacities, the great
spiritual Perceiver, or the Spirit, absorbs these impressions.
And yet the wisdom of this everlasting and immortal "I" is our
wisdom, Its love and rest are ours.
In the fabric of our boundless existence wonderful mysteries are
hidden, but they are only within reach of him who succeeds in
gaining entrance to the internal worlds of contemplation, of him
in whom the divine light of intuition burns.
The image we call forth keeps receding and leads us further on
the path of investigation. And the most wonderful thing is that
as our insight takes us further into the unsuspected depths of
our being, the world in which we live and which seemed to us the
only reality, becomes more and more unreal to us, and the
unknown, quiet, unreal world of consciousness that we are about
to enter becomes our security.
If we want to rise beyond human knowledge to superhuman
contemplation, we enter an unknown world in which we have to
orient ourselves; we are born again in a new world. And as a
child which is born on earth becomes conscious only after years
of growth, we must grow to find our place in this new world in
which we are born again.
I am thinking of Jesus' words: "Except a man be born again, he
cannot see the Kingdom of God." But in that case man enters A
VERY REAL WORLD, he develops one by one his slumbering faculties
by his devotion to higher life.
At present brutal things happen. The things people make their
fellow creatures suffer are indescribable. The things that take
place about us, the persecution of the Jews, the seizure of their
goods, the carrying off of these unhappy people, the keeping of
hostages who forfeit their innocent lives, the total lawlessness;
we must accept it without any possibility of protest. What
judgment is called forth by the absolutely blinded persons who
commit these things? The people are unconscious of a higher law
that holds everyone responsible for their actions; they do not
know what they are doing
The noblest instincts of man are violated. Feelings of love and
compassion are considered weakness.
On this small planet, this obscure, out-of-the-way spot of the
universe, hatred reigns supreme. In ordinary life people have an
even temper; as soon as great events come into play, everyone
becomes deaf to another's insight. No understanding, no
patience, no compassion. So much are people absorbed and
fascinated by the world in which they think they are living that
they deny their highest principles of life. The words of their
sublime Master -- "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek,
turn to him the other also; and whosoever shall compel thee to go
a mile, go with him twain," -- which breathe a commandment not to
resist violence, have not become popular.
People want to defend themselves, and, as a matter of fact, it is
the only thing they can do.
In my heart lives a feeling of compassion for the people who
steel their hearts and who have to do this because they cannot
rise above themselves, because they do not know themselves. But
by acting thus, people close themselves against their higher
consciousness. When the delicate and noble impulses of the soul
are forced back, man remains deserted; deserted in the most
literal sense of the word.
It is my deepest conviction that man is never completely
deserted, that only a limited insight makes him inaccessible,
that compassionate powers are only waiting till man becomes
conscious of them. Compassion and love are magic powers, and the
more man opens his heart to them, and the more he forgets himself
and thinks of others, the closer he approaches the heart of the
universe. The heart of life is love, because everything
originates in this heart, and after endless wanderings everything
returns to it.
The evolution or unfolding, the development of consciousness, is
the course of the LIMITED AND FINITE life to the UNLIMITED AND
INFINITE life. It is the development or growth of the seed which
germinates in the fields of the boundless existence, because the
heart of life is concentrated there.
That which is supreme, cannot be thought of as limited. However,
it is from this supreme, this boundless, that sprang limited
creation. There -- in the boundless -- lies the origin of all
limited life; there is the Heart of all that is.
The journey which the human Self makes, the endless development
of his inner life from the boundless to the boundless, is the
"mystic Path" that the "I" sets foot on. This path, sprung from
and forming a part of the Boundless, is also trodden by men,
while it is continued far beyond the human form and never ends.
This is the Path along which the Pilgrim travels and on which he,
paradoxically speaking, remains immovable.
For, whatever man achieves, where his growth may lead him -- he
has always been this. We may consider this a journey from the
finite to the infinite, but also a journey back from it. We are
the Infinite and now we are going along the road of the Finite
back to the Infinite.
We may say that "the unlimited has limited itself"; the Infinite
has made itself finite, as if the eternal has concentrated itself
on this world of time and space and has limited itself to it, to
bring about this Creation, this temple of life and consciousness.
The Infinite has concentrated itself within us, in one point, in
the numerous creatures in numerous points; it is just like one
life that focuses itself in a germ, while the number of germs is
legion. Every germ contains the complete entity. Thus every
creature contains in itself the possibility of infinite growth,
every creature, from the smallest Infusoria to the completely
developed universe. All these creatures are repositories of a
certain form of consciousness. Each separate life, each being
sprung from creation, is driven to ever grander unfoldment under
the irresistible impulse of his inner being.
The unlimited has divided itself (as a source of light or a beam
of light divides itself into numerous rays) into as many separate
centers of consciousness, which I have called the infinite "I" of
the percipient Spirit that comprises everything.
These seeds of life are numerous and distributed all over the
universe. They are the building stones of Creation and it is
immaterial whether in their present phase of growth they manifest
in the form of plants, animals, or men. From these germs spring
the centers of consciousness. They may reveal themselves in
human or other beings, in a solar system or in a Cosmos.
They compose the infinite chain of life of which universal life
and consciousness has been built.
Together they form the fabric of cosmic consciousness, a fragment
of which enlightens our earthly sphere. Each life is one of the
numerous lives, each life contains the Boundless in itself.
Just as the sunlight, when the rays are broken, shows a play of
colors, life, broken by the numerous facets of different kinds of
consciousness, shows the shades of the spiritual splendor that
enlighten cosmic consciousness.
In the course of the infinite duration of Creation these lives
have been produced, and now they are in different phases of
growth. On this earth we see only a small part of the great
life; i.e., just as much as our perception enables us to see.
That is why there must be numerous hierarchies of life which we
do not know, and which do not exist for us any more than the
colors and sound vibrations that are beyond our power of
observation, which science teaches us do exist, although we
cannot perceive them.
What induces people to think that eternal Creation should have
exhausted itself? That all through the aeons it has produced no
creature higher than man, and no spiritual being of a higher
Is not everything that lives visibly or invisibly suffused with,
and one with, the infinite spirit that produced this Creation? Is
not every being, whether plant or cosmos, animal, man or solar
system, the outgrowth of a divine seed, an invisible,
indestructible center of boundless life within this being, but
different only in its manifestations, as they are all in
different phases of growth?
When we reflect on these things, it is as if a veil that was
thrown over our view of life is suddenly removed. For, how
important is the thought that life is consciousness -- one great
consciousness in different forms, material, psychical, mental,
spiritual or divine -- and yet, in spite of its variations, ONE!
And how important is the thought that man is closely connected
with the great cosmic consciousness! He originates from it, he
rises from it, he returns to it, and the path that leads him back
lies within himself. If we manage to withdraw ourselves from the
grip of life, if we know how to stem its tide which tries to
carry us along, if we live on quietly, confiding in the higher
laws which regulate our spiritual unfolding, we are heading for a
revelation of ever increasing, sublime consciousness. If we
suffer ourselves to be impressed by this thought, we banish our
baser impulses. Peace, love, wisdom and light fall to our share.
It was a decline in the perspective of the life of men when they
began to consider themselves the center and highest manifestation
of life and took the hour of their birth on this earth for the
starting-point of their existence.
If the spirit is eternal, we men are only one of its vehicles or
lives, built after aeons of time and active in a lower sphere of
life. Then life is a peregrination through the eternal and
boundless, with a prospect of possibilities of life that are far
beyond our highest imagination. Then there are intelligent
entities, so sublime that our own intelligence sinks into
insignificance compared with them -- spiritual entities with whom
our life is closely connected.
Neither science, philosophy, nor religion is built on this view
today, though Science, growing bold, throws its spotlight on a
wider field of investigation, giving us hypotheses that revive
our imagination. These three attempts to investigate man confine
their observations to the perceptible and cannot give us an
insight beyond the sphere of their investigation. But that is
why the spiritual life of man is so dull, so colorless, without
inspiration and without devotion to the sublime within him. That
which we cannot perceive is consigned to the world of phantasy.
What a restriction of our insight!
What is to become of the world that has drawn around itself such
a narrow sphere of thoughts? For if man has no spiritual
perspective, if he lives without inspiration, the lower life
becomes everything to him. Then he allows himself to be absorbed
by the things to which his desire drives him, a chase for
possessions or pleasure.
Is it to be wondered at that this catastrophe has come? Would a
humanity guided by higher principles, conscious of an idea of the
splendor and beauty of its beings, have caused such a conflict?
Would a humanity guided by an insight into the divine laws of
life have dared to unchain such a bloody war, unworthy of man?
Would not a purer idea of the brotherhood that binds us all
together have prevented us from hating others and from treating
Were there no ways to find each other, without a conflict of
What will the generations that come after us think about this
Will not the conditions under which we are living now seem
barbarous to them? Will they be able to form an idea of this
narrow cycle, in which the thoughts of man moved without the
Gospel of Hope that is implied in these doctrines?
Time was when people thought that they lived on a flat earth,
surrounded by stars which moved around the Earth. What widening
of horizons when people realized at least that they inhabited a
small planet lost in an infinite world of suns and milky ways in
a boundless space! What will be the reaction of people who have
made the great discovery of the Divine Worlds and their Sublime
Consciousness, and who have opened their eyes to a vision that
makes them see behind the veil of life, whose intuitive
capacities have been roused, and who have penetrated into this
world, whose spiritual eyes have opened, and who have brought
their lives into harmony with the wonderful discovery of their
They will wonder how people of our days could live. They will
speak about us as we speak about the Middle Ages. They will say:
these people thought that they were the only intelligent,
rational entities and that only the Earth on which they lived,
this single house of life, has produced living creatures; and
that the rest of the universe was dead and deserted.
They thought that for aeons Creation had produced only man as the
highest form of the manifestation of life. They thought that of
all living creatures only their existence had a special purpose
and that the rest of the creatures which came behind them in
growth and development had been created without use and without
any purpose. They lived their lives hastily, without thinking,
many of them paralyzed with terror when they thought of death.
They thought that after their death part of them would go through
a great many horrors and another part would spend eternity in the
joys of Heaven; why they lived on this earth they did not know.
Those generations will not be able to follow these ways of
thinking, this lack of Divine vision. They will wonder if there
were no spirits broad and great enough to paint a more sublime
picture of life, and how we could live without inspiration,
without any conception of the great beauty within us.
We are lonely people, strangers to each other and estranged from
our Selves. Periods of unknown duration passed away before we
came to this earth, and now that we are here we live in a world
which is quite in conflict with our being.
We have fettered ourselves in our visible form, separated
ourselves from our fellow creatures, imprisoned ourselves in
cocoons of egoism -- thus has been the course of fate.
In spite of this blindness we are connected with the highest
spiritual consciousness by invisible ties, and at the same time
we are blind to its beauty, losing ourselves in an illusory world
of strife and desire: lonely people, though we are brothers by
nature, strangers, though together we form the life of the
Oh, this loveless world of ignorance! Within ourselves we keep
the soul-memory of a remote and glorious past; in front of us we
see a perspective of infinite beauty and growth, we border upon
worlds of unknown peace and rest, we can realize that we are the
cosmic consciousness, the universal Self, but how much sorrow and
misery is necessary to make a man realize his inner self!
We are lonely people and strangers to each other, we pass each
other without noticing those who go by amidst millions, and yet
every one of us is a CHILD OF THE BOUNDLESS!
In the treasure chamber of our life we find the images, the mind
images, the ideas born in quiet hours of meditation.
Consciousness directed to the invisible worlds of a higher
invisible existence has attracted these images like a magnet;
images, still suffused with the splendor of these worlds. The
artist who calls up these images in our minds, the sculptor who
evokes them, is the Spirit. From the formless and wordless
beauty of the soul they take shape within us as the fruit of
golden hours passed in quiet meditation, which raises us above
the grievous experiences of our everyday life.
Creation is the expression of the cosmic thought of the Universal
Spirit; it forms itself as man forms his mind images, growing
slowly to greater perfection, and evolves the formless and
speechless beauty of the universal soul.
When I call forth in myself this sublime picture of life, I feel
as if I were standing on a mountain overlooking the vast
landscape below me.
This is life as it really is, full of, and enlightened by, the
Divine power of the universal Spirit, the universal Spirit with
whom I am one.
I see the vision before me in all its beauty. This small world
at my feet, a world of hatred and strife, with narrow
limitations, is not the real life.
In these few years a world has perished that will not return for
many centuries to come. Our attention will be drawn to new
economic problems, great social changes.
But I am convinced that, as life goes on, and in spite of all the
misery we shall have to go through, the spiritual truths will one
day again spread the light for which a weary humanity, tired of
fighting, will be longing.
It is the only wisdom which can be built upon with safety. It is
the only road along which the growth of humanity can make
progress. The new world which people want to build will also
perish. They will turn away from it, because the soul keeps
searching and searching till it has found its destination, the
way to its boundless home. One day people will be looking for it
again; the truth lies within man himself, the way to
enlightenment is always the same, the craving of the soul is of
OUR IMMEDIATE WORK
by A. Trevor Barker
[From THE HILL OF DISCERNMENT, Theosophical University Press,
1941, pages 53-60.]
I am very happy to be amongst you all again after an absence from
England of rather more than two months, and I would like to take
this opportunity to speak to you on several important matters in
connection with our Theosophical work. The whole purpose of our
work and studies in the Theosophical Movement is to fit us one
day to play a part -- a conscious part -- in the direction of the
forces which govern and guide the human race under Cosmic and
Cyclic Law. Nothing less is our future destiny if we want to
tread the age-old Pathway that leads to knowledge and to wisdom.
Time is one of the factors that the occult student must take into
consideration, because in real esoteric work there are times and
seasons for everything -- for initiating work, and for completing
it. Our regular Lodge Meetings must and should begin promptly at
the advertised time, whatever that may be. This is an elementary
but fundamental principle in the conduct of any work such as
ours. It is not only a matter of wholesome discipline for us,
but there are larger issues at stake.
There are times when certain things may be done; there are other
times when it is not only folly, but it is dangerous, to do the
same things. The very opening and closing of a Lodge Meeting
according to the scheduled time is only a kind of symbolical
exercise wherein we recognize the fundamental harmony of the
Universe, and take into consideration that the advertised time is
the right time when we have decided to come together, with heart
and mind to study the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. We have
asked Those who stand behind this work to take note of it, and to
give us, if we are worthy, of their inspiration, their energy and
their guidance. If then we turn up five or ten minutes late for
a meeting! -- it just shows that we are not sufficiently
interested, that's all, and that we do not know what it is all
about. It is the business of this exoteric movement to inject
into the mind of the Race some elementary knowledge -- first
ideas -- of the Teachings of Occult Science; and on the principle
that a little leaven leaveneth the whole loaf, thereby make it
possible for those who do play a conscious part in the direction
of the destinies of this Race of ours, to come and work amongst
us more openly than they can at present.
I am going to try to speak tonight of what it really means to
come into this Theosophical Society and to work in it. You
cannot, it would be wrong, to think of it as a body which in all
its affairs is directed by some great Initiate or Master of
Wisdom. That would be to mislead you and it is not true. But
what is true is that these great Beings began the work of the
Theosophical Society as a great hope -- a great experiment -- for
the education and enlightenment of the Races now inhabiting this
Globe, so that, if it might be successful, they could come into
ever closer and closer touch with humanity.
The great masses of the people are for the esotericists, 'the
profane' -- those who have not reached spiritual birth, who have
not commenced to set their feet upon the Path of enlightenment
and knowledge. We must remember, however, that one of the
Masters once said that Humanity in the mass has always a
paramount claim upon them. None the less they have to protect
their time and energy from interference by the curious and
ignorant. They necessarily must do so; but the important fact
for us to bear in mind is that these esoteric circles have, even
in the Theosophical Society itself, individuals with whom they
have entered into some kind of relationship -- individuals who
have proved for themselves that they exist. And some of these
people live and work and do their best in the ranks of the
Theosophical Society. The fact that they do so means that sooner
or later each one of us has the opportunity of coming in contact
with somebody who KNOWS -- thereby coming more closely within the
sphere of the Masters' influence. Obviously, as you can see for
yourselves, all the individuals with whom Masters have entered
into any kind of relationship are themselves points of
observation for these Masters; therefore the people that they in
turn come in contact with must come under observation of Masters
also, at least to that extent.
But we have always to bear in mind that a great Adept has a
vision which is Universal. He can look over the surface of the
globe in its most densely populated parts and also in the less
populated, and there see, if he so chooses, anyone who has
succeeded in lighting his spiritual lamp, even if it be but a
feeble glimmer. Such individuals they look for, they watch over,
they help to nourish and to tend the flickering flame, and to
bring them sooner or later within the sphere of influence of any
particular work in the world that one or other of their pupils
may be doing. It is folly, in my humble judgment, to look upon
the work of the Theosophical Society as the ONLY work of this
kind going on in the world. I do not believe that idea. We are
not a sect, we are not a narrow Church that believes that we are
the only ones who will be saved, and that only through us can
Light come to humanity. We know, if we think for a minute, that
such an idea must be false. I know personally of several groups
in different parts of the world that have nothing whatever to do
with the Theosophical Society, but the members of which know
things -- because they are being taught.
The human race is looked after, guided, helped, and opportunities
are given for those who want them; but as Katherine Tingley said,
if you want it you have got to work for it, and if you don't work
for it you won't get anything. And when I say you "won't get
anything" I hope that no one will say to me that he did not think
that was the idea -- to get something. It is not, but think a
little further. What I mean is this. If we start out in this
work to try to do our best to serve our fellows, to help others,
to share what little light and knowledge we have, immediately we
are face to face with the problem of human individuals who are
ignorant, suffering, and who need help. When they come to you in
their need, what are you going to give them? By what means are
you going to do the good that you want to do, if you don't know
The answer is that you have got to find out. You have to get the
knowledge; and all your effort, all your endeavor to get, is in
order that you may GIVE; and if that is your purpose your motive
is a true one, and you need have no fear. Let us search,
therefore, all of us for the truth -- within ourselves and
without, let us seek for it in order that we may have that with
which we may feed those who starve. The Theosophical life is
nothing if it is not a fearless, courageous, open-minded search
for Truth. And I hope it will never be our lot to hear any
member of any of our Lodges talking and acting as if they no
longer have to SEARCH for Truth because, forsooth, they have come
into the Theosophical Society and they have found it already
within the pages of some book or another. Unfortunately there
are such in the Theosophical Movement who take just that position
-- we do not have to search because we have it. Poor souls! We
have none of us got it as a final thing, but we may have started
out to find it. Then we have gained something at least. We
cannot give what we have not got, and so we must "keep up the
aspiration and the search," as Mr. judge used to say.
I believe that the true attitude is never the one which merely
accepts everything without question which is handed to us. Think
of the words of the Buddha: "Do not accept anything just because
I say it." He, the Blessed One, the Teacher of Gods and men -- do
not accept it just because he said it, or because some other
great Sage said it, or because you find it in one or other of the
sacred Scriptures; but rather go in a spirit of humility, in a
spirit of eager QUESTIONING, asking to be taught. Go to those
sources of inspiration of the human race, and try to understand
what you will find there. See if it is reasonable, logical,
whether it brings you illumination, whether it shows you the
Pathway before your feet; or whether it sends you to sleep in a
kind of self-satisfied smugness. If we do not understand a
thing, if it is repugnant to us, if we disagree with it (no
matter from what source it comes) QUESTION, and do not be afraid.
I personally enjoy to meet a man or a woman who takes another
viewpoint in these matters than my own -- that is if it is a
sincere one and not an affectation or a pose. We do not have to
have a dull agreement on everything. I say that we want to
encourage the presence amongst us of fearless seekers after
truth, along whatever line they may be going. Let us hear what
they have to say. We should not permit them to cause us to
diverge from our own course, but encourage them to express an
honest doubt, to say perhaps: "But your theory, gentlemen, is not
reasonable; we do not understand it; we have no sympathy with it,
and what good does it do?" and then expound if you can -- give
them the solution of the riddle if you have it; and if you have
not, for the love of the Immortal Gods let us admit it.
Let us thereby learn our lesson -- that this (the work of a
Theosophical Lodge) is our field of training in the Masters'
service. Do you realize that? I believe that each one of us
ought to be prepared to accept the conditions of our training if
we want it. It applies to all of us -- Presidents of Sections,
Presidents of Lodges, Officers of Lodges, Officers of Sections,
all the way down the scale. Let us follow this fundamental
principle and accept our condition of service. It will be at
times uncomfortable, especially if we have a wrong point of view,
but do not let our members and the public come here and go away
empty-handed, saying "But these people do not understand -- they
do not grasp my questions; they give me nothing in reply; they do
not seem to know." That is wrong. Cherish above almost
everything the intellectual integrity and freedom of thought of
our Theosophical Lodge, the intellectual honesty of our students;
and let our purpose be to go to work; let us go like students to
school, and let us study, let us go where we can get instruction,
and get the information and make it a part of our being. But it
does mean work.
It does not signify if you have been a member for fifty years of
the Theosophical Society, if you have not done any work in those
fifty years, and if you do not know your stuff. There may be no
harm done except for yourself; but be humble enough to go to work
now. BEGIN, because if you do not begin today, well tomorrow you
won't be any better off, and you will have nothing to give the
other fellows. Oh! How one longs to see the members of our
Theosophical Lodges becoming more and more intellectually and
spiritually alive, growing and discriminating purposefully in
their Theosophical work, day by day learning more of the Ancient
Wisdom: learning it, opening up their own inner faculties, so
that they are not placed in the position very often of having to
say, "I don't know"; but never miss the opportunity of saying you
do not, if really and truly you don't. Why? Because it makes for
mutual confidence, so that others can think: "At least these
people do not pose, they do not pretend to know something that in
fact they do not know."
You know that was one of the most marvelous things about our old
HPB. She was never a deceiver. She made hundreds of mistakes
PERHAPS -- and I personally have very little use for the people
who do not make mistakes. If you are a human being -- learning,
struggling, engaged in the affairs of this world, you are bound
to make mistakes and thereby you learn. And therefore it is
never necessary to put on the pose that you never make a mistake.
Be honest about it.
And I would like, if the President of this Lodge will permit me,
to voice to you a suggestion I have already made to him. I would
earnestly suggest this for your consideration, as I always do to
all the other Lodges -- have your business meetings when they are
necessary, but have them at a time other than the regular
meetings of the Lodge -- either before or afterwards; but do not
interfere with the very life, spirit, and purpose of your
Theosophical work in order to discuss how you are going to do
something. Set your time, ask the people to come -- lay
emphasis, appeal to them to come at that time; but your proper
Lodge Meeting time is the time for your Masters' work. That is
the time that you want some illumination, and you won't get any
in business meetings -- or very little. But they have their
proper place and purpose, and they are good. I am delighted to
hear that your President is taking steps to get more active
cooperation from all the members of the Lodge and from the
members of Committees, so that they all take their share in the
common work. Shoulder the burden and delight in it; that is the
right way. But do not let us get things out of proportion. Give
business its proper place -- but no more than that.
We stand at this moment at one of the most critical periods, I
suppose, that the Theosophical Movement has had. I feel myself
that if we go the right way about it; if we keep our views and
our work broad enough, alive enough, if we are willing to accept
Truth where it may be found, during the next few years we shall
have an opportunity of an increasing amount of help from what we
call Esoteric circles. Remember that everyone who succeeds in
making himself a fit channel for them to work through is going to
do something for this Society, and through it for the human race,
and that in time will bring its own result. It is our objective.
We ought to work for it.
THOUGHTS ON PUBLIC SPEAKING
by Boris de Zirkoff
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, March 1938, pages 192-196.]
Many students of Theosophy experience something akin to a
psychological and mental 'shrinkage' when asked to give a little
talk to a group of people. When confronted with the proposition
of actually addressing an audience at a public meeting, their
psychological state becomes similar to the one graphically
described by a Slavonian proverb, according to which the 'soul'
of the party in question takes refuge in his heels -- whatever
may be the process by which this is accomplished! Others, with a
certain amount of what they term 'courage,' go through the
'trial' of facing an audience, brave the tribulation of hearing
their own voices, and, in general, 'stick it out' to the bitter
end -- and then are surprised to find out that the audience was
not particularly interested in what they had to say, or felt the
meeting to be too long. Cool reasoning would suggest that the
above-mentioned attitude is a sheer waste of energy, a waste of
time, and a waste of fun. It is all a matter of outlook, rather
of change of outlook, and public speaking can become not only
easy but actually a pleasure, a relaxation, and a source of inner
satisfaction at having shared, however little, some noble
thoughts with one's fellow men. No one can do it for you; you
have to do yourself; although a few suggestions from others might
be of some help.
The first thing to establish seems to be this: What are you
actually going to do when called upon to speak? Are you going to
speak in order to share some beautiful thoughts with others, to
whom these thoughts may not be familiar as yet, or are you going
to gather together any kind of idea that might be around, in the
realm of your mind, so as to fill the time allotted to you? Are
you going to think, while speaking, of the often unvoiced hunger
of the audience for a little help in life, or are you going to
express to your listeners, irrespective of circumstances, some
idea or ideas that happen to be paramount in your own mind, that
mean to you a great deal, but may mean nothing at all to your
listeners? Are you going to show them how well you can build a
sentence and how beautifully you can deliver it, or are you going
to use simple language, everyday words, in order to give
utterance to a few simple, everyday truths? Are you going to
speak on a subject which tasks the imagination of the highest
minds, places under stress the mental capacities of the most
learned ones, and takes everybody right out of all daily concerns
or practical relation to life, or are you going to speak to your
listeners about issues which are a LIVING REALITY within your own
self, about problems which vibrate with life in your own mind and
heart, and are in sympathetic accord or touch with the yearnings
and unsatisfied longings of others? Are you going to think of the
impression your personality might produce upon the audience, and
spend energy and time trying to appear 'impersonal,' and
'natural,' meanwhile being as awkward as anyone can be, or are
you going to search somewhere in your audience for a pair of
intelligent eyes, wherein can be sensed a keen expectation of
receiving an answer to some unvoiced question? Are you going to
speak from your brain-mind and anxiously watch the timepiece lest
it runs too fast and some of the many quotations you have brought
along with you remain unread, or are you going to forget all
about any set program and give a few definite, helpful ideas,
which will 'stick' and be remembered by those present, because
they are universal in their appeal and simple to understand? Are
you going to try to cram into the allotted time as many facts,
arguments, ideas, thoughts, statements and proofs, as you
possibly can do, speaking 'a mile a minute' so as to be able to
cover all the ground you had in mind to cover, or are you going
to bring to the attention of your listeners one, two, or three
thoughts, at the utmost, repeating them over and over again, in
different language each time, thus bringing these few well-chosen
thoughts or teachings home to everyone who listens?
When you do find yourself on the public platform or anywhere
else, facing an audience, never look at the front row or any of
the rows close by; look toward the farther end of the hall most
of the time, particularly if you are a beginner in public
speaking. This will help your thought to fill the hall, to
permeate it with its message; you will include in it, encompass
in it, the whole of the audience, instead of being crowded out
yourself by the magnetism of eyes looking at you from everywhere.
Choose, as subject, a teaching or a thought which you KNOW the
truth of, which you have embodied in your own being, which
nothing can take away from you, which no amount of argument will
ever shake, and which therefore will radiate from your whole
being, while you speak of it to others. Against such a
background, you can project, as it were, other teachings which
you know only in an intellectual way. To illustrate: the Oneness
of all Life can be expressed in simple, eloquent language, as an
integral part of your being, as the basis of your own life; and
against this REALITY you can project some of the teachings
regarding the Doctrine of the Spheres, or the Circulations of the
Cosmos. If you start with the latter ones, you will be, more
often than not, repeating what you have read in books.
By all means, do not take yourself too seriously. Do not think
for a moment that you are 'saving' souls from 'hell,' or helping
to place the Theosophical Movement on its feet once again, or are
representing the Masters themselves on the greatest and most
spiritual platform of public speaking that was ever erected in
the Occident. Let no one in the audience imagine for a single
instant that the Theosophical Society is made up of people who
are in any way different from the rest of humanity, that before
it was started in the West no one knew anything about spiritual
teachings anywhere in the world, and that 'Dark Ages' prevailed
all over the globe before H.P. Blavatsky came to America and
wrote ISIS UNVEILED, nor that the only work which imbodies a
lofty ethical standard is THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE or other
Theosophical books. And above everything else, when you have
made your audience think a little, make it also smile a little,
by making some timely and harmless joke, either about some idea,
or about yourself, as a speaker. This will help them to remember
(if they had a chance to forget it) that you are just as much a
human being as they are themselves.
Do not speak in a monotone, nor in a chantlike manner, nor like a
bubbling rivulet, nor as if you were on the verge of ecstasy, nor
with rhetorical grandeur, nor with mile-long technical terms
which only confuse the meaning of what you intended to say, nor
so loud as to shatter people's nerves (already heavily strained
by the probable stuffiness of the hall, or the impossible shape
of the chairs), nor again so low as to be heard exclusively by
those in the front row. Do not use the language of law-courts,
nor make anyone believe you are prosecuting him for his remarks,
or court martial him for his question, or flay him alive for
being 'unorthodox,' or seem to try to make him apologize for
having come to attend the meeting, or perchance reprimand him for
being alive at all.
If you have gone to the platform with a sincere desire to serve
your fellow men to the best of your knowledge, to bring them
light, to give them encouragement and a new strength, from out of
the little light and courage that you yourself have found in
Theosophy through the years; if you have started speaking about
teachings which, like those of karma and reincarnation, are
basic, fundamental, vital, living, real, and truly helpful, and
have done so because you know what these teachings have done in
your own life; if you have used simple English, or simple
Swedish, or simple French, or simple anything, and have made your
audience feel that you are an integral part of itself, one of
them, their brother and friend, not their tutor or
disciplinarian; if you have made your points amply clear to
everybody by expressing them in varying language over and over
again; if you have added here and there some real humor and made
everybody feel at home with you -- the chances are overwhelming
that you will have felt calm and composed yourself, happy to be
doing it, encouraged and strengthened inwardly as a result of it,
and that the audience will have departed with a keen feeling that
it was 'a heck of a good meeting' and that it was too short.
A COMPARISON OF THE GRADUAL AND SUDDEN PATHS
by Grigor Vahan Ananikian
[based upon a November 10, 1999 posting to
Consider a comparison of the gradual path and sudden path. It
seems to be a cross-cultural phenomenon. I will first survey a
few traditions in an effort to support the idea that the two
paths are cross-cultural.
In the West (pagan Neo-Platonism, Hellenistic Judaism, and
Christianity), the gradual path is characterized as three stages
of purgation, illumination, and union. The two premier early
Christian representatives of this gradual path are Dionysus the
Areopagite and John the Silent. Later, John of the Cross and
Teresa of Avila are representatives of the gradual path. The
representatives of the sudden path, in the west, were some of the
later religious Stoics (following Poseidonis), the Pythagorean
forerunner of Neo-Platonism Numenius of Apamea, the Hermetic
school of Alexandria, Evagrios, R. Bacon, and Eckhart. In the
Buddhist East, the representatives of the gradual path are
represented by Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga and the lam rim
traditions of Mahayana and Tantric Buddhism. The Buddhist
representatives of the sudden path are Dzog chen and some forms
of Chinese Ch'an and Zen. In Sufi circles, the gradualist
approach is widely represented in all Sufi lineages that speak of
a inner way (tariqah) within the Law of Life (Shariat) that is
comprised of progressive degrees of "states" (ahwal, typically a
situation where the next higher level is realized but has not
become a permanent state) and "stations" (maqamat, typically a
state that has become a permanent state of being). Meanwhile,
the sudden approach (where the Truth or al-haqq is immediately
touched as a state and the work, which we shall see is typical of
sudden path ways, is to convert that state into a station), with
strong ties to Central Asia (as do the other sudden path
traditions) is found in some Sufi lineages of the Naqshibandi and
in the illuminationist (Israqi) school of Suhrawardi. As legend
has it, of the Sufi and Buddhist forms of the sudden path, they
both attribute the original knowledge of this way as coming from
an ancient and off-planet source that had been preserved on this
planet by a secret lineage of teachers within Zoroastrianism.
Contemporary movements seem to display both gradual and sudden
path characteristics. Early Theosophy, in practice, appears to
have been a gradual path. Without getting too far into the
issues surrounding Krishnamurti, from a Dzog chen perspective, it
appears to this author that he was being trained, following the
early gradualist form of pratical theosophy, in the gradual path
when suddenly a sudden path "process" (as Krishnamurti himself
described it) took over. Both the descriptive phenomenology of
his experience of the "process" and his later iconoclastic
statements to the effect that there is "no path" (i.e. that
truth is a trackless land) are indicative of sudden path
realizations. The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff, as described by the
current leader of the Gurdjieff Foundation of Paris, Michel de
Salzmann, in a series of talks in 1975 at Far West and published
as "Man's Ever New and Eternal Challenge" in On the Way to
Self-Knowledge edited by Jacob Needleman and Dennis Lewis,
appears to also be a "way" of the sudden path type.
Now it is time to examine what the contrast is between these two
paths to the same goal.
As indicated, the gradual path has a general structure of
purgation, illumination, and union. By contrast, the sudden path
immediately realizes (as a temporary state) the unitive state of
which illumination and purgation are automatic manifestations or
effects of the unitive state. The task of the sudden path is to
make these temporally realizations of the unitive state into a
permanent state. It is now time to describe these paths in more
For both paths, what is wrong with unenlightened persons is that
they are enslaved and ruled by emotions that are distorted
because the proper order of the soul has been destroyed because
the higher ruling power (nous, intellectus, buddhi) has been
darkened. Thus, they become the play- things of the world's
drama because as primarily the emotional reactions to the outer
world that they take as the "pseudo-I," they identify themselves
as, and thus, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, through
identification or attachment, they ARE mostly, in their very
identities, the inner effects of an outer world pushing their
buttons. The same inner helplessness not to be one's emotions
that incapacitates unenlightened persons is the same samsaric
process by which karmically a personality and the dispositions of
future reactions (lives) is created by the outer forces that make
the "pseudo-I" an almost a passive and accidental product of
"forces that live the person" (who is lived by forces without
because the inner power to authentically live from within is
asleep). By contrast, the enlightened person is one in which the
ruling power restores the proper order in the soul and which
transfigures the emotions into higher powers of insight and
effective response. It is time to examine the two paths while
keeping this in mind.
The first phase of the process of transformation in the gradual
path is purgation. Purgation has three components. Meanwhile,
it is important to keep in mind that purgation, illumination, and
union are three stages of the functional interrelations of these
three components (1. intellectual or pure awareness part of
mind, 2. rational or logical part of mind, and 3. emotions).
As Buddhism puts it very clearly, besides the Eightfold Path,
there is the threefold training that trains each of these
components: right samadhi for awareness/buddhi, right
views/mindfulness for the rational thinking part/manas, and sila
Purgation of the awareness (nous, the Greek for buddhi) is the
practice of samadhi or as the Neo-platonists and Eastern
Christians put it, enstasis. This process overcomes the clouded
distractibility of the awareness as it becomes a stable, lucent,
presence of sober wakefulness. This initial phase is the
purgation/purification of awareness of disruptive and interfering
thoughts and emotions by separating it from them. Many Americans
and contemporary theosophists think this is the whole of what is
called "meditation." This is a mistake. What they mistakenly
believe to be "meditation" is just a preliminary phase of right
Purgation of the reasoning/conceptualizing part of mind (dianoia,
Greek for manas) is the development of its powers of analysis and
logical reasoning. The initial phase is purgative because it is
a training of the reasoning/logical powers of mind to not be
distracted, fuzzy-headed, or fallacious by separating it from
other factors like emotion. A heightened training in analysis
and logic was one of the ascetic (here meant merely as pertaining
to training) goals of the medieval disputations found in western
and eastern Christian monasteries, Sufi tekkias, and Buddhist
monasteries. Astounding feats of quick mental logical
evaluation, of opposition, inversion, and contra-position that
transforms the categorical propositions of syllogistic logic
(i.e. the operations of the "square of opposition" found in
western logic textbooks) into each other's correlate, and
identification of fallacies, as well as prodigious feats of
mathematical calculation as displayed by followers of the Jadguru
of the Advaita school, are displayed by advanced monks while
western logicians need to get out a pencil and paper. With the
growing concentrative ability that training of the awareness
produces, well-trained logical and conceptual operations become
illumined in a way that allows the effective pursuit of Socratic
"elenchic dialectic" (the clarification of the nature of a
phenomenon through a mutual cross-examination, the elenchic part,
devoted to define it's essence), of Descartes' pursuit of
rendering the cogito clear by seeking to make its cogitationes or
ideas clear and distinct, or by rendering authentically possible
Husserl's epoche as the founding act to clearly and distinctly
gain phenomenological access to the essential nature of the
"things themselves." As Suhrawardi teaches, illumination makes
rational and conceptual philosophical thought truly possible in
an effective and authentic form.
Purgation of emotions is developing them into well-crafted
patterns of response and perceptive insight by purging them of
patterns of resentment, hurt, and other crap of an emotional past
haunting the mind as baggage, as bad habits, and as the emotional
knot falsely taken to be "me."
Illumination has the same three corresponding aspects. Where the
initial phase of purgation was to separate and normalize the
three functions without mutual interference and disruption, the
illuminative phase starts to bring them back together in mutually
supporting and harmonious roles within.
Union is where these three spheres have to be fully fused with
each other and with the higher guiding reality that controls/is
how the universe flows (to put it as broadly as possible, whether
Tathagatahood, Tao, Isvara, or "God"). Thus, contemplation
(theoria) has three components in all these phases.
Theoria = enstasis/hesychia of the nous + diakrisis
(discriminative powers of rational mind) of dianoia + praxis of
the eso kardia and thymos. Once harmonized, theoria leads to
episteme, gnosis, or sophia (depending on which tradition you
refer to, I use the pagan and Christian Greek here).
The gradual path seeks to remove obstacles to clear/correct
functioning in these three spheres first, and then, bring on the
enlightened state of the harmonious co-functioning of these three
spheres. By contrast, the sudden path says the enlightened state
is automatically self-correcting.
The trick is to find it and learn how to stay in it in a variety
of situations just as if one was learning how to stay on a surf
board through all sorts of waves/conditions. Thus, for Evagrios,
one found the unitive state which was automatically an
illuminative and purgative state. This was also the view of
Eckhart. It was also, I'd argue, what Krishnamurti discovered.
In a theosophical context, I'd say Krishnamurti became a teacher
of the sudden path while books such as Taimini's Self Culture are
gradual path texts.
So, again, emotions are movers -- e-motors. They had been
evolved to be rapid bodily responses to situations. Thus, they
have a bodily aspect as moving or emoting. Muscles are prepped
to be flexed for action or relaxed by biochemical, neural, and
lymphatic signals sent to prompt for a line of action. And they
have a psychological aspect where they are experienced as a
strong imperative "do this." At least in effect.
As evolved patterns of almost automatic response, they are the
legacy/replacement of behavioral instincts. They boot up body
and urge the mind. But they stop. Then it is time for mind
and/or training to take over. And further, as almost automatic
patterns of rapid response, they have to have been correct enough
of the time to allow the body to survive. So, most of the time
(maybe with few defective bodies that can't harm overall
viability of a species) they correctly respond appropriately to
Imagine a type of animal that had fear/flight in face of food and
anger/aggression at a predator for which it was food. Soon the
whole species would be dead. The human trick is to train and
refine these patterns of emotional response from their endowed
primitive forms into higher and more nuanced forms. Because
emotions are movers, they can enhance or interfere or interrupt
other mental processes in the mind due to the legacies of bad
karma as chronic malfunctioning.
Besides being patterns of response, I said emotions are
cognitive. They are forms of perception beyond the five senses.
There has to be a correct recognition of a situation for the
emotion to be a correct response. But what is more, without
emotion, sometimes the situation is left unknown especially if it
is an emotional or social situation.
Emotions can only cognitively mislead us only if we are rightly
relying on them to see or get information. The eye can deceive
as well as the ear for same reason. If we rely on them to
perceive, they sometimes mislead. The same is true of emotions.
The problem with emotions as both mover and as perceiver in
modern society is that they are not trained. The gradualist
approach seeks to train each main power, buddhi-nous-intellectus,
manas-dianoia-ratio, and the emotions first to work correctly
alone (purgation), and then, in tandem (illumination -- in lam
rim, "higher insight"), and finally, as one integrated power of
being (union -- in lam rim, "perfect insight" or
"enlightenment."). The sudden approach says that to find the
unitive state is self-correcting (automatically illuminative and
purgative), and the task, is learning to maintain it and practice
it in a variety of situations.
Now consider virtue ethics. The standard conceptions of it are
mostly gradualist in approach. A virtue is a well-crafted
competence that has been cultivated into a high degree of
excellence. The Greek arete (virtue) literally means excellence.
Virtue ethics was not about finding correct rules to manage a
large social group (decide how to behave in one) but often said
to be training persons to be of good character. The goal was to
create not good rules but good people. In Taoism, Confucianism,
Buddhism, and Greek philosophy, an important component of ethical
training was training emotions (dispositions of heart, of thymos,
etc.) into reliably and as excellent patterns of emotional
insightful response as possible. There was the training of
This is part of any Buddhist meditation training as well as yogic
training. On the gradualist path, the first step is the
meditational separation of awareness from the inner useless and
usually negative chatter of thought driven by emotional
resentments and identifications until at least dhyana (pure
awareness without thought or emotional interference or
distraction) or samadhi is achieved.
As indicated, most westerners mistakenly think this is the whole
of meditation. Through the practice of right
concentration/awareness training, ability to be purely aware is
achieved (right concentration). But this is a mere means to an
end. Most western mediators get no further than this thinking
this is meditation. Again, this is wrong.
On the gradualist path there is also a discipline of thought by
its learning correct information correctly understood and logical
training in non-formal mental reasoning into a very high state of
logical expertise (right views or right
discrimination/inferencing). This is why earlier-mentioned
debates, mental math, and mental logic are part of the training
of Buddhist monks, as it used to be for Christian monks, and
still is for the illuminationist school of Suhrawardi. They
perform, in their head in an instant, astounding feats of mental
contraposition, conversion, and observation of the categorical
propositions of a syllogistic argument that it takes western
logicians a pencil and paper to work out. They do this in
Third, the gradualist path has the crucial training in ethical
practices which are include the training of emotions and the
cleaning out of resentments and other emotional crap.
The main characteristic, again, of the gradualist path, is the
three phases of this development. Once these three absolutely
necessary and separate lines (at the purgative stage) have
reached a certain level of proficiency, they begin to enhance the
other lines (at the illuminative stage). Thought, instead of
distracting and clouding awareness, in its disciplined form
sharpens it into sharp analytic, clear, and distinct awareness.
Clear pristine awareness that is a gathered and concentrated
focus that cannot be distracted can give enhanced attention to
the implications and ramifications of a line of logical
inference. Purified emotions no longer disturb (in their moving
aspect) reasoning processes or awareness processes and no longer
(in their cognitive aspect) cause awareness to misperceive or
reason to falsely or fallaciously mis-infer.
Positively, they become enhanced forms of insight integrating the
five senses into a total empathetic response or taking in of a
situation in an insightful fashion. Then, these three aspects of
human development, beyond enhancing each other, begin to fuse and
interpermeate each other (at the unitive stage). They become
fused into one consciousness.
The sudden path says to find the unitive state first, and the
illuminative and purgative processes happen automatically. Then,
they are trained together, as a form of enlightened functioning,
as we practice being enlightened in various situations that are
like tests at the skill of being enlightened within them.
In both approaches, emotions have their role. Thus the ultimate
objectivity is a Buddha's insightful compassion -- the SOLE
emotion of a Buddha, and thus, the SINGLE-FOCUSED INSIGHT of a
Buddha (the cognitive aspect) and SOLE MOTIVE of a Buddha (the
POINT LOMA REFLECTIONS AND OVERVIEW -- 2000
by the Point Loma Publications Board
[A general letter dated December 12, 1999, with best thoughts and
Again we are happy to greet you during the December/Winter
Solstice and take this sacred time to share with you some of our
plans and news for the upcoming year and new millennium. In our
avenue of education and community involvement, we have initiated
the transformation of our bookstore into Wisdom Traditions
Institute [WTI]. The new Institute will be a focus for sharing
the teachings of the Wisdom Tradition. During the past two years
we have offered a variety of classes from different aspects of
the Wisdom Tradition. We endeavored to maintained a focus on an
essential underlying depth of view and vision based in the
experience of the unitive view of Reality from which these Wisdom
Teachings come. We will be continuing and expanding our offering
of classes, workshops, and symposiums from the heart of the
Wisdom Tradition during this next year.
(The WTI Schedule for January to June, including presenters and
faculty, can be found on our webpage:
Our first publications of the new millennium include a collection
entitled WISDOM PRACTICE: GATEWAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT by G. de
Purucker It is a collection of de Purucker's insights from
Mahayana Buddhism and Vedanta from a Universal Theosophical view.
Point Loma is also republishing A. Trevor Barker's THE HILL OF
DISCERNMENT. Barker was famous for his publishing of THE MAHATMA
LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT in the 1920's, and on his untimely death
in 1941, W. Emmett Small and Helen Savage Todd prepared a
compilation of his lectures and writings, THE HILL OF
DISCERNMENT. Many of de Purucker's closest students in the
esoteric school saw in Barker one who embodied and expressed the
qualities of a genuine teacher and successor to de Purucker in
the Point Loma lineage. [These students includedHelen Savage
Todd, Elsie Benjamin, W. Emmett Small, Ila Beale Barborka,
Katherine Heck, et al.] Barker's sensitive health, however, was
shattered when during a bombing of London during World War II he
was in a building when a wall collapsed. He died a few months
later and a year before de Purucker's own passing. De Purucker
wrote of Barker:
> A deep and very simple character, he worked through an unusually
> complex personality ... Spirit, mind, and soul in him were
> dedicated to Theosophy; and from the beginning of his awakening
> in this life to Theosophical work until the day of his passing .
> . . Trevor Barker had but one thought, one objective, one aim:
> the delivery of our Masters' Teaching to mankind.
> -- THE HILL OF DISCERNMENT, by A. Trevor Barker, Point Loma
> Publications, Inc., ISBN: 1-889598-04-6, 400 pp. $14.95.
Point Loma Publications has also made available a number of tapes
on the Theosophical Wisdom Teachings including studies in Sacred
Geometry, Death and Dying, Spiritual Awakening, and Karma and
Reincarnation, from speakers including Boris de Zirkoff, Judith
Tyberg, Gordon Plummer, Emmett Small, Iverson Harris, Alvin Boyd
Kuhn, and W.Y. Evans-Wentz. Some of these recordings were from
a class entitled "Theosophy and Contemporary Thought" which met
at the Unitarian Church in San Diego during the 1950's and 60's.
It is within this context that for example Emmett Small gave the
progressive and challenging talk: "Reincarnation and Karma as
Viewed Against the Backdrop of Nuclear War."
In the Spring, Point Loma Publications will also republish Gordon
Plummer's study in sacred geometry, MATHEMATICS OF THE COSMIC
MIND, with additional annotations from Blavatsky and classical
sources, and new and expanded illustrations. It will be reissued
under the new title SACRED GEOMETRY OF THE LIVING COSMOS (ISBN:
1-889598-05-4) and will include a cd-rom with the geometrical
images self generating their new forms symbolic of the Cosmos in
manifestation composed by Michael Bartlet.
We close with a few thoughts for reflection upon our vision,
intent and work as we enter the new millennium. Moving to a
deeper, a more interior view let us reflect on what are the
interlinking networks necessary to manifest the Wisdom Tradition
in the world today? How do we best apply our compassion and
knowledge to the world around us? Recently at the end of the
Parliament of World Religions in Capetown the Dalai Lama shared
some unusually strong words for all to consider:
> In a stern message for the 21st century, the Dalai Lama said
> Wednesday that religious people must do more than offer prayers
> if the world is to become a better place to live. "Change only
> takes place through action" said the Dalai Lama. "Frankly
> speaking, not through prayer or meditation, but through action."
> Addressing an interfaith conference of nearly 7,000 people from
> around the world, the Dalai Lama urged the spiritually minded to
> get off their knees and become directly involved in solving
> conflicts. "New ideas and visions will become useless in the New
> Millennium if they do not lead to change." "The new millennium
> itself is nothing special; day and night, sun and moon will come
> just the normal way, but if you make good preparation for the new
> millennium the new millennium can be more peaceful" At a news
> conference the Dalai Lama was telling reporters that the
> conference was "Not very useful" and "Does not have much
> meaning." He reiterated his wish that delegates tackle more
> substantive issues. "This message is taken with deep reverence,"
> Jain said, "He's telling us 'You have done the talking, now go
> back and make a difference in your communities'.
> -- LOS ANGELES TIMES, Dec. 11, 1999
Let us now enter this new millennium with the Dalai Lama's words
and inspiration in mind with new vision to generate change in our
communities, deepen human values, and seek opportunities for
direct involvement in resolving human conflict. Let us keep
these basic ideas shared by the Dalai Lama as keynotes for us in
the new millennium and 'points' of focus to carry our compassion
into ever deeper and more concerted action!
And a closing thought of inspiration for entering the new
millennium from Trevor Barker:
> Let those who have climbed the hill and seen the vision, and in
> that clean, sweet air have heard the keynote of the dawning cycle
> -- holdfast -- and remember in the days that are coming -- the
> sweetness, and the beauty, and the truth they have seen.
> -- A.Trevor Barker from the Introduction to THE MAHATMA LETTERS.
THE ETHERIC DOUBLE:
THE FAR-REACHING EFFECTS OF A FALSE ASSUMPTION,
by Geoffrey A. Farthing
[Reprinted, with permission, from a booklet in private
circulation dated June 1995]
Many thoughtful students of Theosophy are genuinely confused at
the discrepancies they find between what has become known as
second generation Theosophy (the Annie Besant / C.W. Leadbeater
or AB/CWL system) and the teachings of the two Masters
instrumental in setting up the Theosophical Society and
introducing Theosophy as given out through H.P. Blavatsky (the
These discrepancies do not come to light as long as only one
system is studied. In the minds of such students there are no
difficulties or inconsistencies to worry about. The attitude can
then well be that really there cannot be any serious divergences
because surely the source of data, the main outlines of the
Esoteric Science, are common to both systems, therefore
discrepancies are likely to be trivial and really inconsiderable.
This attitude is not really tenable but it is one generally held
by those who have studied nothing but second generation
literature. Moreover, it is this second generation literature
which has become the commonly accepted one throughout the Adyar
Society and generally in the world at large. Its classifications
of the principles of man and the planes of Cosmos are now the
commonly accepted ones. They do not accord, however, with those
originally given out in the vast Blavatsky literature. Some of
the areas of difference are presented and examined in this
article. It will be seen that nearly all hinge on the
introduction into the AB/CWL literature of the Etheric Body into
the constitution of man. Many alterations not only to that
constitution but also to the planes of Nature had to be made to
accommodate this introduction, chiefly to preserve a sevenfold
The purpose of this paper is not only to point out the
discrepancies but to demonstrate that they are unjustified
because there is not and cannot be such a thing as an Etheric
Body constituted as described by Leadbeater.
The ramifications of the impossibility of there being such a body
SOME AREAS OF DIFFERENCE
The main areas of difference are in the classification of the
human principles and the 'planes' of being. These differences
stemmed from the division in the AB/CWL system of the physical
plane into seven subplanes, with three of them regarded as dense
physical and four as 'etheric', a term first used by Leadbeater
to describe four states of matter he had observed during a
clairvoyant examination of the common physical elements.
In the book OCCULT CHEMISTRY which records some prolonged and
painstaking investigation work done by Leadbeater and Besant over
about three decades in their discoveries of the graded formation
and the nature of the subatomic aggregations that make up
physical atoms, there is a passage toward the end describing four
pre-normal states of the common elements of Carbon, Hydrogen,
Nitrogen and Oxygen which Leadbeater named 'etheric'. He added
that this was done 'perhaps unadvisedly' (see OCCULT CHEMISTRY
revised edition 1919, table opposite page 7, and Appendix after
page 109). He said this because of the sense in which the word
ETHER was then being commonly used. Ether was then regarded as
the postulated universal all-pervading 'substance' which conveyed
electromagnetic vibrations such as heat, light, electric charge,
etc., throughout space and through a vacuum. Nevertheless, the
term ETHERIC as above defined was adopted and became generally
used thereafter in the AB/CWL literature, making three gross
states, viz. solid, liquid and gaseous, and four etheric states.
It is important to note that these investigations were done
clairvoyantly, or, in the author's parlance, using astral sight
(presumably in Blavatsky's nomenclature). This is important
because, according to the Blavatsky teachings, there is a laya
center, or neutral condition between each plane of Cosmos and it
is explained that senses of a different order are needed for each
plane. In other words, physical senses will not respond to
'astral' stimuli and vice versa. This means that anyone using
'etheric' (astral) sight could not be seeing physical matter.
What would be seen would be the etheric (astral) counterpart of
the physical, not the physical itself. In order to examine these
'etheric' subatomic structures Leadbeater had to use a special
power of the will (siddhi) to break down the atoms from their
normal state (of gaseous) to the abnormal disintegrated substates
which he saw. It must be stressed, however, that these
sub-states of matter were created by Leadbeater using his siddhi,
and that they do not exist in the normal way, either in the
'etheric' (astral) plane or at physical level. They have never
been observed as existing in the 'free' state at physical level,
although specimen states corresponding to them may exist under
abnormal conditions, for example during sophisticated and
powerful experiments. If they exist at physical level, they
would be observable by normal physical senses or suitable
sense-extending instruments. Similarly the astral (Blavatsky)
world being that from which all that is in the physical is
protected, would contain the counterparts of 'etheric' atomic
states normally (i.e., without Leadbeater having to break down
atoms into their constituent parts). However, they do not, or he
would have seen them without having to use his siddhi.
If these 'etheric' states do not exist at physical level, there
is no matter of which the 'etheric' double could be composed.
That there was, was an assumption made by Leadbeater. This
assumption could have been checked by his clairvoyantly examining
an Etheric Body direct. There is no record of such an
examination and presumably none was made, i.e. the assumption of
the composition of an Etheric Body was not checked by direct
observation, neither was the real existence of such a body (as
described) ever established by him or any other person.
The 'etheric' states of physical matter, or its astral Blavatsky
counterpart, were 'created' by Leadbeater, and the idea of an
'etheric' body or semi-physical plane, was an unsound deduction.
LEADBEATER'S 'ETHERIC' STATES OF MATTER
The conception of an 'Etheric Body' and its location on an
'etheric' semi-physical plane arose from the naming as described
of what might be regarded as the formative stages of the atoms of
common chemical elements, by a series of aggregations of what
Besant and Leadbeater called the ultimate physical atom (Anu).
It is important to note that, whereas in such a developmental
stage, i.e., moving from one 'etheric' state to the next, there
is a change in atomic structure, but in the three normal states
of matter, i.e., solid, liquid and gaseous, there is no such
change. This is an inconsistency from the normal process of
change of state.
Besant refers (on page 72 of THE ANCIENT WISDOM) to these etheric
stages as 'higher' than the physical atoms of science. There is
a serious objection to this contention in that the 'etheric'
states are clearly formative, i.e., more primitive states than
those of the elements as they now exist. If there were such a
thing as an Etheric Body it would be lower on the evolutionary
scale than the physical body.
Furthermore, as pointed out above, apart from the chemical
elements (listed in the periodic table) composed according to
Leadbeater of the subatomic particles of his investigations,
which comprise the 'matter' of our objective world, Leadbeater's
sub-particles have normally no independent existence. Therefore
no bodies, and no plane, could be composed of them.
Besant later, consistently with the original (Blavatsky)
literature, added 'fire' to the gross physical states,
corresponding the classical four elemental states of Earth,
Water, Air and Fire and the invisible beings, the elementals,
supposed in mediaeval times to have been associated with them,
viz. the gnomes, the sylphs, the undines and the salamanders.
These four Elements correspond in the original literature to the
tattvic states of matter which include Fire but the AB/CWL
classification in OCCULT CHEMISTRY omits Fire as a state of
matter, having however its four etheric states. If Fire is
included as an element there is room only for three etheric
states. In Blavatsky's classical scheme there are seven tattvic
TATTVAS AND CORRESPONDING STATES OF MATTER
In several places, Blavatsky identified the four states of
matter, viz. earth, water, air, fire, and associated them with
elementals of corresponding classes and with the Tattvas under
the Hindu names of Prithivi, Apas, Tejas, Vayu. Continuing up
the tattvic scale she put the fifth as Alaya or Akasa, and then
mentioned two more above that, viz. a sixth, Anupadaka and a
seventh, Adi. These are the expressions used (BCW, XII, 614) and
compared with the AB/CWL nomenclature in the table below:
TABLE I -- COMPARING THE STATES OF MATTER IN THE TWO SYSTEMS
HPB/MASTERS SYSTEM AB/CWL SYSTEM
TATTVAS NO. ELEMENTS & NO. STATES OF MATTER
STATES OF MATTER (UNRELATED TO TATTVAS)
--------------- -- ---------------- -- ----------------------
ADI #7 AETHER (Akasa) #1 ETHER 4
ANUPADAKA #6 DIVINE FLAME #2 ETHER 3
ALAYA (or AKASA) #5 ETHER #3 ETHER 2
TEJAS #4 FIRE #4 ETHER 1
VAYU #3 AIR #5 AIR (GASEOUS)
APAS #2 WATER #6 WATER (LIQUID)
PRITHVI #1 EARTH #7 EARTH (SOLID)
1) Adi simply means first or supreme, it is not used to apply to
a plane in THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
2) Anupadaka (literally meaning "parentless") Apart from being
the name of a tattva, it was applied to the seven Dhyani Buddhas
(SD, I, 571.)
3) The inversion of the numbering should be noted. It is a
further cause of confusion to students.
In the SD III Table the fifth Tattva (Alaya) is referred to as
Akasa, but is the equivalent of the second differentiation from
Adi: commonly in the text of the SD Akasa is synonymous with
Aether, i.e., the One Element. Alaya is referred to elsewhere as
(and corresponds to) Ether. Further it must be noted that the
Table in THE SECRET DOCTRINE shows the correspondences of the
Tattvas with, among other things, the human Principles, which
include the Linga Sarira (as such). Ether is significantly
mentioned (SD, I, 12) wherein it says,
> For clearer understanding on the part of the general reader, it
> must be stated that Occult Science recognizes SEVEN cosmic
> elements, four entirely physical and the fifth (Ether)
> semi-material, as it will become visible in the air toward the
> end of our Fourth Round, to reign supreme over the others during
> the whole of the Fifth. The remaining two are as yet absolutely
> beyond the range of human perception. These latter will appear
> as presentments during the sixth and seventh Races of this round,
> and will become known in the sixth and seventh Rounds
Obviously the first four entirely physical elements are those
enumerated above and the fifth, Ether, is in the process of
manifesting now, but the other elements, whether regarded as
Ethers or not, are not yet manifest on our globe. There is
therefore nothing in the HPB/Masters system that could correspond
to the AB/CWL system's four ethers or etheric states of matter.
SUBATOMIC STATES OF MATTER
It can be asked, if the above is true, what is the matter that is
manifest at spiritualistic seances as ectoplasm and of what are
the 'auras' of Kirlean photography composed?
To answer the second question first, Kirlean photographs are
relatively high voltage discharges affected by the emanations
from living bodies, or where a part of a body has been detached
(cutoff or severed by accident) the astral (not etheric) model
still remaining intact effects the discharge. An understanding
of this involves a knowledge of how forms or models in the astral
are projected into objectivity at physical level.
The first question concerning the exuding of the matter called
ectoplasm from mediums (spiritualistic) during seances involves a
process of the disintegration of the physical substance of the
medium's body, i.e., the creation of a special state of physical
matter for the time being. The phantom's weight increases as
that of the medium correspondingly decreases. Ectoplasm is
exuded as an amorphous mass from an orifice, e.g., mouth or
nostril, and then it, or some of it, assumes a form, or a number
of forms, of recognizable likenesses. These are impressed on the
substance by psychic (astral) force by elementals from patterns
in the minds of those present or in the Astral Light.
Blavatsky describes (SD, I, 257) what characteristic of matter
will correspond to the 'etheric' state when it does manifest, and
she says it will be that of 'permeability'. Along with it a
sixth sense will develop in man which will enable him to see
'through' solid matter. Not only that, in the then proper
'etheric' state a solid object will be able to pass through
another solid one, say a wall, or knots will be able to be tied
in an endless cord, etc. This is something that elementals are
now able to do and sometimes do at seances. If the etheric
states as described by Leadbeater were of this nature this state
of permeability and the sixth sense would also be here now, but
they are not. It should be noted that, just as Leadbeater
'created' his etheric states of matter, so there must be other
states of matter than those we normally know -- as implied a
number of times by Blavatsky -- which do not ordinarily exist in
a free state. An example of the temporary creation of one of
these abnormal states would be that of the endless cord knots
just cited, wherein abnormal states of matter would have been
created by the Elementals.
When Blavatsky wanted to describe something that was nonphysical
and tenuous in nature she used the word 'ethereal' (not etheric),
which again she specifically related to the astral plane (SD, II,
299). Further, toward the end of an article that she entitled "A
Danger Signal" written for LA REVUE THEOSOPHIQUE, April 1889,
(BCW, XI, 185 et seq.) Blavatsky makes the following statement:
> The terminology established some fifteen years ago in the
> Theosophical Society is the correct one, because in every case
> these terms are a faithful translation of their Sanskrit
> equivalents, almost as old as the latest human race,
and then significantly she adds,
> This terminology could not be modified at present without running
> the risk of introducing into the theosophical teachings a chaos
> which would be deplorable and dangerous to their clarity.
This statement is particularly relevant and significant in the
light of what in fact happened to the theosophical terminology in
the books written later on.
It was in 1889 that Blavatsky wrote THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY and
therein she very carefully defined her terms and their meanings.
Toward the end of Chapter IX (page 171 Original Ed.) she wrote a
section, "Definite words for definite things." In this she was
concerned that the terminology should be settled. She used a
large part of that section for definitions of the elements of the
human 'soul'. In a footnote (page 175) she puts, "Shifting of
Metaphysical terms," which she says:
> applies here only to the shifting of their translated equivalents
> from the Eastern expressions: for to this day there never existed
> such terms in English, every Theosophist having to coin his own
> terms to render his thought. It is high time then to settle on
> some definite nomenclature,
and this she did in THE KEY where she defined precisely all the
more commonly used words and gave their Sanskrit equivalents.
She set out the constitution of man, giving the English
equivalents of the Eastern names, in Table II which follows.
Besant's THE ANCIENT WISDOM was written in 1897, eight years
after this terminology had been established. In it (p 194) she
equates the Linga Sarira to her Etheric Double which in her
system, as explained above, she places on the physical plane.
This introduces a difficulty because the Linga Sarira in the
Hindu and original theosophical sense is on the plane above the
It must also be remembered that, according to Blavatsky, there is
a Laya Center between the physical plane proper and the one of
the Linga Sarira (the astral) above it, and therefore distinctly
different sets of senses operate on the planes on either side of
the Laya Centers. The physical is cognizable by physical senses
but the plane of the Linga Sarira (the Astral in the Blavatsky
system) is not; the latter require astral senses, i.e., those of
clairvoyance and clairaudience. In the AB/CWL system, however,
the Etheric Body or Double being 'etheric' physical, but on the
physical plane, would not be separated from the dense physical by
a Laya Center: physical senses would therefore apply to both the
gross physical and the etheric physical.
TABLE II -- THEOSOPHICAL DIVISION (KEY, VI, 91-92)
THE LOWER (PERSONAL QUATERNARY)
(A) SANSKRIT TERM: Rupa, or Sthula Sharira,
ESOTERIC MEANING: Physical Body
This is the vehicle of all the other 'principles' during
(B) SANSKRIT TERM: Prana
ESOTERIC MEANING: Life, or vital principle
Necessary only to A, C, D, and the functions of the lower
Manas, which embrace all those limited to the PHYSICAL
(C) SANSKRIT TERM: Linga Sharira
ESOTERIC MEANING: Astral body
The double, the phantom body.
(D) SANSKRIT TERM: Kama Rupa
ESOTERIC MEANING: The seat of animal desires and passions
This is the center of the animal man, where lies the line
of demarcation which separates the moral man from the
THE UPPER IMPERISHABLE TRIAD
(E) SANSKRIT TERM: Manas
ESOTERIC MEANING: Mind, intelligence; the higher human
mind, whose light or radiation links the Monad, for the
lifetime, to the mortal man.
The future state and the karmic destiny of man depend on
whether Manas more gravitates downward to Kama Rupa, the
seat of the animal passions, or upwards to Buddhi, the
spiritual Ego. In the latter case, the higher
consciousness of the individual spiritual aspirations of
mind (Manas), assimilating Buddhi, are absorbed by it and
form the Ego, which goes into devachanic bliss.
(F) SANSKRIT TERM: Buddhi
ESOTERIC MEANING: The spiritual soul
The vehicle of pure universal spirit
(G) SANSKRIT TERM: Atma
ESOTERIC MEANING: Spirit
One with the Absolute, as its radiation.
She gave some further significant definitions which are of
relevance in the light of some later usage of the terms:
> I. Atma, the Higher Self, is neither your spirit nor mine, but
> like sunlight shines on all. It is the universally diffused
> divine principle, and is inseparable from its one and absolute
> super-spirit, as the sunbeam is inseparable from sunlight.
> II. Buddhi, the spiritual soul is only its vehicle. Neither
> Atma nor Buddhi separately, nor the two collectively, is of any
> more use to the body of man, than sunlight and its beams are for
> a mass of granite buried in the earth, unless the divine duad is
> assimilated by, and reflected in, SOME CONSCIOUSNESS. Neither
> Atma nor Buddhi are ever reached by Karma, because the former is
> the highest aspect of Karma, the WORKING AGENT OF ITSELF in one
> aspect, and the latter is unconscious ON THIS PLANE. This
> consciousness or mind is
> III. Manas, the derivation or product in a reflected form, of
> AHAMKARA, 'the conception of I,' or 'Ego-ship'. It is,
> therefore, when inseparably united to the first two, called the
> spiritual Ego, and TAIJASA, the radiant. This is the real
> individuality, or the divine man. It is this Ego which -- having
> originally incarnated in the senseless human form animated by,
> but unconscious of, the presence in itself of the dual monad,
> since it had no consciousness -- made of that human-like form a
> real MAN. It is this Ego, this 'causal body', which overshadows
> every personality into which Karma forces it to incarnate. It is
> this Ego which is held responsible for all the sins committed
> through and in, every new body or personality -- the evanescent
> masks which hide the true individual through the long series of
> [Key, VIII, 135]
> The HIGHER SELF is Atma, 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 the
> former 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 only the
> SPIRITUAL EGO when merged into one with Buddhi; no materialist
> being supposed to have in him SUCH an Ego, however great his
> intellectual capacities. It is the permanent INDIVIDUALITY or
> the reincarnating Ego. THE LOWER, OR PERSONAL EGO, is the
> physical man in conjunction with his LOWER self, i.e., animal
> instincts, passions, desires, etc. It is called the false
> PERSONALITY, and consists of the lower Manas combined with Kama
> Rupa, and operating through the physical body and its phantom or
> [Key IX, 176]
It is also important to note that, whereas there are tattvic
correspondences to the solid, liquid, gaseous and fiery states of
matter, there are none to the four physical 'etheric' states.
[TO BE CONCLUDED]
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