The Theosophical Forum – April 1936


G. de P. — Here is a question I would like to ask: You have spoken of the different Buddhas. You have referred to — at least you have inferred — the existence in man of different egos. We have heard on other occasions of the Divine Monad, the Spiritual Monad, the Human Monad, the Astral Monad, and the Physical Monad. Here is my question. Just what, then, is man? How many mans — if I may so coin a plural, I won't say men, but how many mans — are there in a man? I think that is something that is well worth studying and carrying the study over for weeks, because the true answer contains a wonderful light on the matter. How many mans in man? Is he just a horde of creatures streaming and dreaming through his constitution, and is a man made up of this horde; or is he a Divinity who imbodies all these beings within his essence; or what is he?

(After considerable discussion by Lodge-members)

G. de P. — Perhaps I did not phrase my question clearly. Man's constitution is composite, and, as said before, there is a Divine Monad, a Spiritual one, a human, and so forth on down the scale. Now, is each one of these monads an entity by itself, united with the other entities, all together forming man's constitution; and if so, are there several mans in man, or is it just one single unitary being to which different names — I mean divided into portions to which different names — are given as we pass down the scale? Is the thought clear?

(After still further discussion by Lodge-members, the Leader answered the question himself, throwing new light on the teachings.)

G. de P. — It is not a mere figure of speech when we speak of man as having in his constitution different monads. A monad means an indivisible center of life-consciousness-substance, a spiritual ego. Therefore man, in addition to being a stream of consciousness as he is as a constitution, has within him a Divinity, a Buddha or Christ, a Manasaputra, a human being, an astral entity; and he is housed in the human beast — the astral-vital-physical body. All these collectively constitute man's constitution. Hence I have so often said to you: Remember in all your studies, never forget it, that man is a composite entity, which means an entity formed of other entities, other beings. Therefore did I choose the words in asking my question: How many mans — not men but mans — are there in what we call man? All through any one such constitution there is the sutratman or thread-self from the inmost of the inmost, the core of the core, the heart of the Universe — through all these different monads, from the highest till it touches the physical brain of man. Thus man is both legion and unit. The Silent Watcher in him is the Dhyani-Buddha, an actual, entitative, living ego of divine type. Man is but a copy, a microcosm, of what the solar system is, the Macrocosm. He is no different, he is the same: powers, substances, faculties, essences, everything, only in the minute scale. What you see in the solar system, you should find in mankind. If you want to know what the solar system consists of, study yourself. You simply copy the Great.

Now, then, the human ego which is I, which is any one of you, is one of those particular monads as yet relatively unevolved. Above it there is the Spiritual Monad, and above the latter there is the Divine Monad. For karmic reasons very intricate, difficult to understand but existent, any one of us happens to be a certain stream of consciousness, a sutratman; yet you or I as human individuals are the human monad. I am a human monad, each one of you is; so that, as a human being you are only in the intermediate part of that stream of consciousness which is your constitution, and the upper part of it makes your link with infinity, and the lower part of it enables you to learn on this plane.

Thus you are both one and legion. Thus the divinity in the solar system is both one and an army. We are component parts of that army. The god of the solar system has a life-consciousness-substance, energy, being, which flows through all of us, and is the substantial, conscious background in which we live and move and have our being; and all that particular range of monads or egos which forms any one of us, and forms his stream of consciousness, is spiritually housed in this solar Divinity in whom we live and move and have our being. It is really very simple, and it is so beautiful, because in understanding this seemingly intricate but really very simple thought, you have the key to so many of our deepest doctrines.

Now then, a last thought: Any one of these monads or spiritual egos which form your constitution, my constitution, what is commonly called the constitution of a man, is evolving — you are, I am, the god within me also, the god within you also, each one on its own plane, each one following its own pathway, and each one in time going a plane higher, and then a plane higher still. When our monad shall have brought out from within itself its latent powers, its unevolved, undeveloped powers, it will become a Spiritual monad, and we shall all be Buddhas, and we shall then work through what is now the animal nature in us, which then will be human. Each monad will have stepped up a degree, and be more highly evolved. Keep this thought in your mind of your utter oneness with the Divinity; and one of the best ways of recognising the utter unity of everyone of us with Infinity, is remembering that we are composite, not by fastening our minds on the fact that we are just an ego different from other egos. Therein is the heresy of separateness. The differences are illusory, yet they exist. Illusory does not mean that they do not exist, it means that it is not the real Real, the realest Real, the fundamental Reality.

Take Father-Sun. We see only his body, and yet his vitality infills the solar system in which the planets are bathed, and all the beings on the planets, and the invisible planets. Then the innumerable armies and multitudes and hosts of life-atoms building my body, your body, the bodies of the earth, the bodies of the sun, the bodies of the gods — each one of these life-atoms is a growing, learning entity, ensouled by a monad, which is likewise a stream of consciousness.

Man is a unit when you take a particular portion of the constitution which is the human ego, which is evolving. It will become a spiritual ego, and afterwards a divine ego; and yet at the same time shot through and through with forces streaming down into him from egos superior to himself, of which he is the child. This is the esoteric basis for the old saying, that at the flame of a candle you can light all the fires of the world, and the flame of the candle is undiminished. Consciousness is just like that. You cannot exhaust it.

The Theosophical Forum