The Theosophical Forum – February 1937


G. de P. "s Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy in Review

Extracts from the Minutes of the Meeting of the Lodge, of May 10, 1936

The President, Dr. H. T. Edge, turned the meeting over to the Program Chairman, Mr. Abbott Clark.

Mr. Clark — "This afternoon we have been commemorating the life and work of our first great Teacher, and tonight we endeavor to express what we have been endeavoring to do all this time to continue that work in the spirit and true to the impulse which she gave. We have been studying for the last three years and three months Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy — a book which continues the spirit and work of H. P. B., with the same dignity and majesty which H. P. B. places in her life's work, and it has been to us the most rich and profitable study of our lives. At our next lodge-meeting we will take up the study of The Esoteric Tradition which further continues the lodge-force that H. P. B. first brought into the modern world, in the same spirit in which she gave it, simply brought up to the needs of the time. From time immemorial the greatest boon that mankind could ask and receive has been esoteric instruction, esoteric knowledge. That we have received generously and copiously, more adequately than has been given to the world in thousands of years — not because of any merit we could claim, but because the needs of humanity and the appeal of the hearts which searched for light were so great that the Lodge of Compassion, true to its name and nature, responded with the spiritual light and teaching which we have received. A good part of these three years we have had not only the book to study, but we have had with us the Teacher who gave that book, and I maintain that this is more important than a book, because the Teacher himself gives an impetus greater than any book can give. The presence of a Teacher to all normal human hearts invokes all the love and gratitude that it is possible for the human heart to feel and express. In the very nature of things it is impossible that any disciple or body of disciples could pay back to the Teacher what they have received. The only way we can show our gratitude is by assimilating and imbodying in our lives the teachings given and the spirit in which the Teacher gives them. This we can do by becoming ourselves humble members of, and earnest workers in, the Lodge of Compassion and Peace, thus bringing to suffering humanity the light, hope, joy, and courage which we have received in so great a measure.

"It is the request of the Committee as we have many speakers on the platform tonight that they dispense with the formality of addressing the Chair and address the audience directly. Our first speaker tonight is Miss Helen Savage "

Miss Helen Savage spoke for three minutes (as did all the following speakers) on "The Dawn of Manifestation — the Magnum Opus from the Invisible into the Visible and from the Visible into the Invisible The one becomes the many Manvantara and Pralaya "

Then came the following speakers and their respective subjects:

Mr. La Fayette Plummer "Cosmic Time-Periods, Racial Cataclysms"
Mr. C. M. Savage "Lava-Centers, Elements, Principles, The Twelve Zodiacal Signs"
Miss G. Knoche "Space and the Spaces of Space, The Seven or Ten Cosmic Planes, Lokas and Talas"
Mr. B. de Zirkoff "The Doctrine of Hierarchies, Matter and Spint-Con-sciousness (The Two Fundamental Kosmical Hierarchies) "
Mrs. Inez Davenport "The Doctrine of the Spheres in its Four Aspects "
Mr. W. E. Small "The Wondrous Being, The Silent Watcher, Nirmanakayas, Sambhogakayas, and Dharmakayas "
Mrs. F. M. Dadd "Rounds, Races, Sub-races, Sishtas, Buddhas and Bodhi-sattvas — their relation to Globes, Rounds, and Races, Avataras "
Mr. E. J. Dadd "The Doctrine of Swabhava, The Process of Evolution"
Mr. Sven Eek "Man's Composite Nature 3-fold, 4-fold, 5-fold, or 7-fold"
Miss F. Colhsson "Gods, Monads, Atoms, Self, Ego, Soul, Consciousness and self-consciousness "
Mr. G. L. Davenport "The Seven Jewels of Wisdom"
Mrs. Irene Ponsonby "The Seven Stages of Initiation"
Mrs. H. O. Minot "The Spiritual-Psychological Hierarchy of Adepts (Hierarchy of Compassion), The Chela Life"

Then the Leader spoke for a few minutes, closing the meeting.

The following are the three-minute summarizations All in all they give a panoramic view of Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy and an idea, though necessarily inadequate, of the immense amount of detailed teaching contained in it.


H. S. — The doctrine of How the One Becomes the Many is not fully understandable by any being living on earth, because one would have to be universe-wise in order to understand it, as it embraces all truth. One aspect, however, of this great mystery is the teaching about manvantara and pralaya, the outbreathing and inbreathing of the universe, its cyclical appearance from the invisible worlds into the visible worlds and its withdrawal again. Manvantara means "between two Manus." Manu in one sense may be spoken of as the Third Logos. It is an entity and at the same time a host of entities from which all other beings in the universe are born as lesser beings, lesser selves of the Great Self. Each one of these lesser selves, all along the hierarchical scale, is at once a consciousness-center and a vehicle in which a greater being may express itself. It is these countless hosts of individuals in their age-long striving, willing, doing, acting and interacting, all expressing their innate vitality, which produce, which actually are, the manifested universe.

After the period of manvantara is over, there comes the pralaya, when all action on the lower planes ceases, causing the universe no longer to exist. But this does not mean annihilation for the actors in that universe. Their essence, which is the essence of the universe, goes on into higher spheres, to experiences so far beyond our comprehension that we can only conceive of them as non-existent.

As man is a little universe, therefore he too has his manvantaras and pralayas: his active life on earth and his spiritual life in "formless" realms after the death of the body. Atoms, even, in their rapid vibratory existences, have their manvantaras and pralayas. The same law is exemplified in every scale of life; but where we can learn most about it is in our own lives and the lives of those about us, and also in a study of the mystery of death and the after-death states.


L. P. — The Heart of the Universe eternally beats, sending out to all beings an endless flow of life and energy. And all the creatures, be they humans, beasts, plants, atoms, or suns and stars, evolve in cyclic progressions, timed to the Cosmic Heartbeats. All cycles are cosmic time-periods, but those that have for us a peculiar interest are the cycles of planetary formation and growth, and likewise the periods of the evolutionary development of man upon this earth.

There are one or two interesting facts to be noted about these cycles, and it will readily be seen that they are all interrelated. Firstly, all cycles are the result of the action of consciousness-centers, or monads. The Path of Immortality is endless, but the monads take devious routes and by-paths ere the goal is reached. An ancient symbol for the Monad and its imbodiments upon the planes of being was the Tetraktys, composed of ten dots arranged in the form of the equilateral triangle, one above, then two, then three, then four dots forming the base. The one above represents the Monad which in itself is non-material, and is unaffected by cyclic changes. The nine below represent the manifested worlds. Reading the numbers of dots from the lowest row upwards, we have then, four, three, and two. Now, the number 432 forms the basis for computing cosmic time-periods; for example, the life-cycle of a planetary chain is 4,320,000,000 of our years, 432 with 7 ciphers annexed; the period of a Root-Race is 4,320,000 years, 432 with 4 ciphers annexed. All of the other great cosmic time-periods are either multiples or factors of the 432, annexing the necessary ciphers.

Closely related to this is the study of the Racial cataclysms. There are seven Root-Races functioning on any globe during any one Round — we are now the fifth Root-Race — but the time of birth of a new Root-Race is the mid-point of the old Root-Race cycle. The birth of a new Race is attended with great terrestrial cataclysms, immense seismic and volcanic disturbances, and great floods. But, as always in Nature's processes, there is regularity about these proceedings. The first, third, fifth, and seventh Root-Races are known as the aqueous Races. They are so called because when these races flourish, they do so when the Earth is covered with a greater ocean surface than land area, and similarly, the second, fourth, and sixth Root-Races are called the terreous Races, because they bring forth their civilizations at times when the land surface is greater in area than the oceans separating the continents. The racial cataclysms which occur at the mid-points of these Root-Races are alternately fiery and watery. This means that in one case the destruction of the continents is effected mostly by volcanic eruptions, and in the other case by floods, but it should be understood, however, that in all the racial cataclysms all the elements contribute to the general upheaval, so that in a watery cataclysm there will be great volcanic and other disturbances, but the floods will predominate, and vice versa. The first, third, fifth, and seventh Races are said to be destroyed by fire, and the second, fourth, and sixth Races by water.


G. K., Jr. — "What is that which was, is, and ever will be, whether there is a Universe or not; whether there be gods or none?" And the Esoteric Catechism makes answer: "SPACE, the eternal Anupa-padaka." Space, the parentless, child of none, yet the parent of all existing things. The Hindus call it Parabrahman, the Vedas TAT; it is the heart of all manifested entities. From Space, the Boundless, are born individual spaces: universes, worlds, suns, planets, men, atoms, each a discrete portion of Space, and yet inseparable. The heart of man is Space, the heart of a sun is Space. The Greeks called Space the Pleroma, the utter fulness of manifested universes, ranging from the divine to the material. This is Space when looked at from the substantial side of Being; the Buddhist named it Sunyata or "emptiness," i. e., the emptiness of all manifestation when perceived from the esoteric and consciousness-side.

From the abyss of pralayic sleep manvantara stirs Space to produce her individual spaces; and universes, worlds, men, start the cycle of existence through the cosmic planes. These cosmic planes are those spheres of being, or fields of activity, through which and as the source of which the life-waves pass through particular stages of consciousness. The ten planes, with the two polar links between the hierarchies above and below, are not separate, but interpenetrate each and all. Every one is composite of every aspect of planar manifestation, therefore contains all other nine in it, conceived as different only by virtue of each plane expressing one particular swabhavic aspect of universal consciousness or Space. Evolution proceeds from plane to plane, from sub-plane to sub-plane, these inter-blending planes not only being the vehicles of entities, but actually the entities themselves unfolding one aspect of consciousness after another, and thus finding themselves evolving on plane after plane.

Just as the Cosmic Planes from the spiritual standpoint are Space, so are the lokas and talas expressions of Space in its duodenary capacity. Lokas are conditions of beings of the Luminous Arc, talas, states or conditions of beings of the Shadowy Arc. The seven lokas and seven talas ranging from the divine to the material manifest on the seven cosmic planes. All entities express themselves through these lokas and talas, and not only work through them, but are them, though at any one moment manifesting but one particular aspect, which we then call a particular loka or tala. Lokas and Talas are respectively the spiritual and material poles of consciousness, neither one may work without the other. At the beginning of manvantara the godsparks roll forth from Sunyata, in spiritual nescience each to unfold through the planes and the lokas the self-consciousness of Divinity. To become divine, one has to have become the inner heart of every loka and tala, of every cosmic plane, and only thus will he become one with his individual portion of Space, the parabrahmic essence within him, Sunyata.


C. M.S. — A Laya-center is a mystical point where matter, consciousness, or whatever it may be, disappears from one plane, and passes onwards to reappear on another plane. Laya is derived from the Sanskrit root li meaning to dissolve or vanish away, hence a laya-center is a vanishing or disappearing point. It is the seventh or highest degree in any plane, leading into the lowest degree of the next higher plane. Conversely, it may be the point where energies of a higher order flow into and manifest in a lower plane. For our solar system, the core of the sun is a laya-center. Each planet has, and is, at its central point, a laya-center. In the human being, there is a center in his nature through which pour the forces from above, and through which he himself ascends higher. That is the laya-center of his inner nature.

ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES. There are seven of these Elements, or Bases, or Rudiments, and they are the seven vehicles of the seven Principles or Forces of the Kosmos. The Elements are the matter-prakriti side of being, and the Principles are the energy-consciousness aspect of being. Each succeeding element springs from its predecessor and gives birth to its successor. Each globe of a Planetary Chain, although builded out of the seven elements, has one element predominating. The same may be said of each Round on each Globe, and of each Race in each Round: each has its predominating correspondence with one of these Elements, and Principles.

THE TWELVE ZODIACAL SIGNS. There are various correspondences between the twelve Zodiacal signs and the twelve globes of a complete planetary chain — seven manifest, and five unmanifested. Here also, although each one of these globes is subject to the oversight of one of the Constellations of the Zodiac, which is its predominating Genius or Rector, the other eleven constellations are also at work there. There is, moreover, a strict and close correspondence between each of the seven Sacred Planets, a sign of the Zodiac, and one of the globes of our Earth-Chain. Thus, Globe A is under the oversight of the Sun (as a substitute) and its Zodiacal House is Leo. Globe B is under Jupiter; Zodiacal House Sagittarius; and so forth, the complete enumeration being found on pages 488 and 489 of Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy.


B. de Z. — This term is derived from the Greek hieros, "sacred," and archein, "to rule," and implies the idea of "sacred rulership." The essential meaning of the Doctrine of Hierarchies can therefore be derived from the etymology of the term itself. A Hierarchy is primarily the realm or field over which extends the influence of a Hier-arch, i. e., a Divine Ruler, a "god," in the esoteric sense of this word. This Divine Being is the Seed, the focal point, the Monadic Essence, from and out of which flows forth or radiates or emanates its own essential nature or hyparxis, which descends from plane to plane and in so doing unrolls out of its own heart the substances and consciousness-energies of these lower planes, fashioning them and informing them in serial and descending gradation, so that ultimately a manifested Hierarchy is a Unity composed of ten planes or grades of consciousness-substance, each plane or grade being organically connected with all the others, and being pervaded throughout by the all-encompassing Consciousness and Vitality of its originant or Hier-arch. A Hierarchy is therefore a self-contained Unity in which there exists a state or system of delegated directive power and authority, flowing forth from its divine seed or summit, which itself is but a life-atom or thought of the Boundless Kosmic Life. Everything that is, is either a potential and unmanifested, or an active and manifested because unrolling, Hierarchy, and the series of Hierarchies extends infinitely in both directions. One way of considering a Hierarchy is to describe it in the generalized Greek fashion, as being composed of nine steps or links: 1. The Divine; 2. The Gods, or divine-spiritual; 3. The Demi-gods or divine heroes; 4. The Heroes proper; 5. Men; 6. Beasts; 7. Plants; 8. Minerals; 9. The Elemental world. The Tenth is the enfolding and permeating Life-Consciousness or the Heart of the Hyparxis Itself. Each one of the great philosophical schools of ancient times had its own manner of presenting this teaching, and its own way of subdividing a Hierarchy. There are two fundamental and intimately co-related aspects within any Hierarchy: the matter or substance side; and the spirit or consciousness side; as every plane and every point within a Hierarchy is a potential Hierarchy itself, these two aspects may also be called by the term Hierarchy, forming therefore the matter and the consciousness Hierarchy respectively. It should be remembered, however, that what we call Matter is but the illusory aggregate of veils surrounding the fundamental essence of Cosmic Life-Consciousness. The Matter-Pole of a Hierarchy consists of Monadic lives relatively asleep; the Spirit-Pole of a Hierarchy consists of Monadic lives relatively awakened. Matter and Spirit are but generalized expressions for hosts of entities manifesting aggregatively within a Hierarchy. The difference between spirit and matter is evolutionally so, but not essentially. They are one in the underlying Reality which transcends them and permeates them both. The Hierarchies of Matter and the Hierarchies of Spirit, or of Substances and Consciousnesses, are but the positive and negative Poles of the all-embracing Reality which is both and neither, and for ever concealed as such. The whole process of evolution is the raising of units manifesting in matter into becoming at one with their spiritual-divine essence.


I. D. — The Doctrine of the Spheres, subdivided under four headings, deals with the Mansions of Life: (1) The Universal Solar System, (2) Our Solar System, (3) The Earth Planetary Chain, and (4) a group of "Mystery-Planets" about which we are left to exercise our intuition or imagination.

The Universal Solar System includes all the bodies, known and unknown, visible and invisible, that revolve around the sun as their primary. Our Solar System includes what the ancients called the Seven Sacred Planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon; Sun and Moon, however, being but "enumerative substitutes" for two unnamed Planets. One law applies to Universe in general and planet in particular: each is sevenfold in constitution. In man's present stage of evolution he can see at most only one seventh of any celestial body. He does not see even as much as one seventh of the Universal Solar System, though, there being countless invisible Bodies, owing to the fact that their evolutionary status is either higher or lower than that of our home, the Earth.

The Earth, as a sevenfold Planetary Chain, is built by forces within and without itself. The interior forces are contained in its essential root, its swabhava. From this root come the impulses for rebirth and self-expression. The exterior forces are the Spirits of the Seven Sacred Planets. From these come the characteristics which determine the nature of the Planet and the measure of its success in self-expression. It is all very like the birth and development of a single man: the urge to life starts within, influences of environment and associates act upon him from without.

The activity of the Seven Sacred Planets on behalf of our Planetary Chain does not make the Earth the hub of the Universe, for in its turn it is one of Seven Sacred Planets to other Planetary Chains, and has its smaller or greater part to play in their birth, growth, death, and rebirth.


W. E. S. — Generally speaking the term "Wondrous Being" can be used of any spiritual Hierarch, the acme, seed, and flower of a hierarchy, whose spiritual influence descends through and permeates all the lower beings in it.

The Wondrous Being can be considered as our Highest Self, meaning it is the originating Seed from which we grew.

The Monad itself is an individualized Wondrous Being.

The term may likewise be applied to the spiritual Entity, the Race-Buddha, who comes shortly before or at the beginning of a Root-Race and who overshadows the Manushya-Buddha. It may apply equally correctly to the Planetary of any Round.

We may likewise, for example, speak of our Human Ego as a Wondrous Being to the infinitesimal atom-universes composing the physical body.

But the one we generally refer to as such is the Hierarch of our Planet. But this itself is a correspondence in small of the Kosmical ONE of the Universal Kosmical Hierarchy of the Solar System — and so on.

Speaking, however, of the Hierarchical Wondrous Being: this is an entity. It manifests on three planes:

1. Adi-Buddha — the highest aspect, manifesting in the Dharmakaya state (continuance body). Here egoity, soulship, has vanished into a universal hierarchical sense, remaining only latent. It is pure consciousness, pure bliss.

2. Dhyani-Buddha — the second aspect or sub-entity, manifesting in the Sambhogakaya state (participation body). Egoity is still retained, though too far above material concerns to meddle with them, and therefore powerless on our material earth.

3. Manushya-Buddha — the third aspect or sub-entity, manifesting in the Nirmanakaya state (form body).

The Wondrous Being for this Fourth Round is one that belongs to the second class, the Dhyani-Buddha, and is in the Sambhogakaya state. Of the three classes of Dhyan-Chohans in this division, our Wondrous Being belongs to the lowest, which is divided into seven sub-classes. It is the fourth of these.

The Ray running through all our individual being, from which we draw our spiritual life, comes direct from the Hierarchical Wondrous Being in whom we all are rooted. When the life-wave has run its Rounds on this planetary chain we shall be indrawn into the hierarchical Banyan. It is as far as this planet is concerned our "Father in Heaven." Its lower copy is what we speak of as the Head of the Hierarchy of Adepts, he who is the Great Sacrifice, the Supreme Initiator. He is the "Ever-living-human Banyan" tree from which lesser beings hang as leaves and fruit, spiritually speaking. He is called the Great Sacrifice because from utter compassion for those lower in the scale of evolution he has renounced all hope and opportunity in this manvantara of going higher, and remains behind among us as our Great Initiator and Teacher. He himself can learn nothing more of this Hierarchy, for all knowledge pertaining to it or possible to it is his already.

In the Third Race of Humanity of this Fourth Round on this globe, the Dhyan-Chohans were then leaving it; but they needed successors more like the men of the period, then rapidly sinking into matter. The noblest representatives of the then humanity became the willing vehicles of self-conscious Rays from these Dhyan-Chohans. A portion of the essence of a Dhyan-Chohan indwelt in them, consciously on both sides. The highest one of these incarnations, the noblest Man-fruit of this human evolution produced up to that time, became the head of this spiritual-psychological Hierarchy — a Man infilled with a Dhyan-Chohan, what might actually be called an incarnate god. This was, and still is, the Silent Watcher, the Wondrous Being, the Great Sacrifice.


F. M. D. — At the beginning of a Manvantara the thrill of waking life touches a laya-center in the Cosmos. The hosts of sleeping monads from the previous planetary chain awaken and begin to form Globe A of our Earth. Ten classes of Monads — three elemental, then mineral, plant, beast, human, and three god-kingdoms, have each their sevenfold evolution on Globe A. Then when the first has completed its globe-round, it leaves behind sishtas or sleeping vehicles to await the return of the same monads again; the surplus of life moves on to form Globe B, and the next class comes upon Globe A. The process continues through all the globes, each step forward for the kingdom ahead meaning a step for all behind, until all have passed once through all seven globes, making one Planetary Round. After an inter-planetary Nirvana the second Round commences on Globe A, different from the first, the globes being already formed. The kingdoms follow one another in sevenfold evolution on each globe through seven Rounds, completing a Planetary Manvantara.

We are now on Globe D of the Fourth Round. Taking our human kingdom as an example, there are seven Root-Races, each divided into seven sub-races, divided again into seven Family-races, and again seven National Races. We are now in the fourth Sub-race of the Fifth Root-Race.

This orderly sequence is under the guidance of superior beings forming a spiritual hierarchy above men. There is a Wondrous Being who is the Adi-Buddha or Logos of our chain. From him emanate seven Dhyani-Buddhas, one for each Round; lower still, seven Dhyani-Bodhisattvas, one for each globe; then seven Manushya- or Human Buddhas, one appearing at the beginning of each Root-Race, and manifesting again near the central point of the Race. Gautama was a Buddha of this type.

When a Bodhisattva sends forth a ray to inspire a pure human being, combined with the intermediate nature loaned by a Buddha, then we have an Avatara such as Sankaracharya of India and Jesus of Nazareth.


E. J. D. — The doctrine of Swabhava is perhaps the most beautiful of all, in that it discloses the inexhaustible resources of Nature. Nowhere in the vast and inexhaustible field of life, both visible and invisible, are there any two centers exactly the same. Each is expressing one of the infinite potentialities of beauty and being inherent in the Ever-Becoming.

Each of the units forming the various kingdoms of Nature is evolving forth from within its own essence that which it inherently is: the great Brahma, the expansive force behind all manifestation. But the most important point is that all evolution takes place from within, through the action and interaction of entities and beings, and not by means of abstract forces.


S. E. — Esoteric religion divides man and the universe, the microcosm and the macrocosm, into different principles or elements according to their particular philosophical characteristics. The terms imply a Cosmic origin, and the definitions force, matter, energy might equally well be used. Actually these principles so called are the offspring of Cosmic parents, limited in their action in us by the law of Karman.

In various ages the number of these principles has varied.

Christianity reckons with three principles, body, soul and spirit. Theoretically the Christian makes a distinction between soul and spirit, but does not know wherein the difference lies.

Some Indian thinkers divide man into four and five principles. The Jewish philosophy as delineated in the Qabbalah teaches that man is divided into four parts:

1. The highest and most spiritual of all, that principle or part which is to us a mere breath of being, they called Neshamah.
2. The second principle was called Ruahh or Spiritual Soul.
3. The Astral Soul (or Vital Soul) was called Nephesh, the third next lower, which man has in common with the brutes.
4. Then comes the Guf or physical vehicle, the house in which all these others dwell.

Over all, and higher than all, higher than the Neshamah — which is not an emanation of this Highest, not a creation, not an evolution, but of which it was the production — is the Ineffable called Ain Suf.

The Theosophical classification as explained by H. P. Blavatsky is septenary.

1. Sthula-sarira, a Sanskrit term meaning easily dissolved gross matter. It represents the physical body.
2. Linga-sarira, or model body or Astral body, which forms the pattern on which the physical body is built.
3. Prana or Life-principle is third.
4. The Kama principle comes fourth. Kama means desire. It is the impelling force in the human economy, being neither good nor bad.
5. Manas is the pivotal principle in the human constitution, it represents man the thinker.
6. Buddhi, or the Spiritual Soul, is the vehicle of the highest principle, Atman. The term comes from the Sanskrit root budh meaning to enlighten, to understand. Buddhi is the principle in us which gives us spiritual consciousness.
7. Atman is the highest principle, it is a universal one. During incarnations it is linked to Buddhi as the Buddhi is linked with the Manas, and so on down the scale.

Each principle is septenary, so that Atman has a physical body, an astral body, a Kamic principle, just as the Sthula-sarira has its Atman and Buddhi, and so on down the scale.

The lower principles evolve out of ourselves, our higher selves.


F. C. — Universal Nature is composed of two great classes of evolving entities: countless hosts of beings of varying degrees of self-consciousness, and countless hosts of beings of inferior development, which, blending together, go to form the bodies or vestures or vehicles of the former more evolved class of entities. In the course of aeons this lower group evolves into greater entities, who help in their turn to evolve and develop less evolved beings.

Man in his present state of intellectual self-consciousness, finds it almost impossible to realize that at the essential core of his being he is consciousness itself, and that the highest form of self-consciousness is that of a unit, an individual spirit center, for which the Greek word "Monad" is used, meaning unit or individual.

The Monad, the deathless individuality of man, commences a cyclic journey as an un-self-conscious god-spark. The Monad should be regarded as spirit; it does not become spirit; it is. Clothing itself with its own rays of light, it thus creates vestures, garments, "souls," each of which is rooted in the spirit-center — the Monad. Again, each of these souls emanates and becomes clothed with vestures consisting of hosts of minor souls — life-atoms. These life-atoms should not be confused with the atom of chemistry, for each one is an energic center, within and ensouling the chemical atom. This life atom is a learning, evolving entity, which at its inmost is rooted in a spiritual center — a Monad.

We may also say that through this host of beings streams the light of the Hierarch, the inmost link with the Unutterable, called the Self, limitless, boundless, Selfhood. The individual Self is a spiritual, a Monadic Atom. It is pure consciousness. The Ego is the personal, individualized self in man, that which says "I am I." It is reflected consciousness, or consciousness thrown back on itself. While soul is a term applicable on all planes of being, as the vehicular aspect of the entity manifesting on that plane, in man it is often used to designate the intermediate nature.

The divine aspect of evolution is the raising of the personal to the impersonal. Such is the activity of the Luminous Arc, and of the Buddhic Hierarchy. The Monad thus gains self-conscious god-hood, having gained realization by carrying along the evolutionary pathway the souls which it has created and for which it is responsible during the long cyclic pilgrimage. Thus the Monads and Atoms forming the Shadowy Arc become in turn the members of the Luminous Arc in a future maha-manvantara.


G. L. D. — These Jewels represent the sum of all knowledge attainable in this manvantara. In our study of the "Fundamentals" we find those Seven Jewels and their teachings combined in seven words, each teaching leading and blending into the next, and all so interwoven and dependent upon each other as to form a perfect whole and present a complete picture of universal life in all its phases.

Our first Jewel is Reincarnation, the teaching that man lives innumerable lives, coming again and again to pick up the threads of his former lives and move forward slowly to perfection.

The second, Karman, a Sanskrit word meaning Action, shows us why we return to earth lives again. It is in order that we may reap the results of our past actions, and through those experiences grow.

Our third word, Hierarchies, shows us how this vast universe of ours is constructed, guided and controlled, and the great series of intelligences visible and invisible that compose the countless grades of interlocking hierarchies.

Swabhava, the fourth Jewel, is a word of two meanings. First it explains the essential characteristics in each and every atom of life, showing why it is that each atom can only reproduce its own kind, and teaching us that this is a universe of law and order. The second meaning, self-becoming, applies equally to all things. It is their innate power to bring to fruition their latent qualities, as for instance the acorn does when it becomes an oak-tree, or any other seed of life does in developing along its own line.

The fifth word, Evolution, gives us a picture of just how and why and when entities proceed in their climb from un-self-conscious god-spark to self-conscious gods.

In entering the deeper reaches of these teachings we deal more particularly with the ranges of man's consciousness. The sixth Jewel, called The Two Paths, explains the two courses open to man: Am-rita-Yana, wherein man bends his evolving energies to helping the entities behind him, sacrificing his own evolution for the time being for their sakes; Pratyeka-Yana, the Path of each for himself, where man sacrifices all things to his own advancement, only to find that by so doing he has delayed his own evolution.

Our last Jewel, Atma-Vidya, which in Sanskrit means Knowledge of Self, shows us man's consciousness slowly progressing under evolutionary law ever higher and higher as the ages pass until we in our turn shall have attained those invisible reaches of power where we become self-conscious workers in this universal hierarchy.


I. P. — Of Initiation and the Mysteries we are taught the following in Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy:

Initiation means "beginning." It may also be defined as a process whereby the soul of one who is prepared is quickened: an initiant is one undergoing such a process, and an initiate one who has been quickened in greater or less degree by this process.

There are seven or ten degrees of initiation. Of the highest of the ten, we know naught except that they belong, we are told, to beings whose high state of evolution is beyond that of human entities. The three first degrees consist of teaching upon the hid wonders of the Universe, and the four intermediate of becoming, in ever greater expansion of consciousness on the part of the initiant, that which he has cognised in the abstract.

Thus we may associate with the fifth, sixth and seventh degrees of initiation, the "mystic death," the "descent into hell," and the "ascent to the Sun," when, we are told, the initiant first meets his Higher Self "face to face for a passing moment," later meets Another One — a mystery — and finally becomes the Wondrous Watcher himself for a long or short period, as the case may be.

For these higher degrees of initiation, the Greeks used the terms Epiphany, a minor form of Theophany, which means the appearance of a god illuminating the initiant; Theopneusty, the state of divine inspiration resulting from Theophany; and Theopathy, the conscious suffering of a god's entrance into his being on the part of the initiant.

Of the results of initiation, we have been told that success means joy and consummation beyond our conception; failure means death; and partial failure, madness. These are no punishments meted out to the initiant, but are the natural consequences of perversities or flaws inherent in the constitution of the initiant.

The Mysteries are distinguished from initiations in that they consisted of dramatizations in which the initiant acted the principle part which he would in the higher degrees later live through. The Mystery-Schools and the initiations therein "were established from the same motives of Compassion that presided over the acts of the Great Actors of the Primal Drama, the opening acts of our Manvantara. They copied, as it were in miniature, what took place in those primordial times, and what took place in actual life in the Hierarchy of Compassion on our earth, or that section, rather, of the Hierarchy of Compassion, which we call the Great White Lodge." P. 275, Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy.


H. M. — The Spiritual-Psychological Hierarchy of Adepts: A Hierarchy of highly evolved beings — Buddhas and others — who are the guides and protectors of any one round of a Planetary Chain, and whose hierarch, a Dhyani-Buddha, is our "Father in Heaven," the "Wondrous Being" of that particular hierarchy — also referred to as the "Great Initiator," the "Sacrifice." This "Wondrous Being" is to our own Spiritual-Psychological Hierarchy what the Kosmical ONE is to the Universal Kosmical Hierarchy of the Solar System. The Spiritual-Psychological Hierarchy of Adepts is thus but one octave in that mighty scale of Compassion ranging from Adi-Buddhi through many grades of self-conscious entities to men. To this Hierarchy of Compassion belong all those entities who seek to work in harmony with the highest laws of Being and who labor for the betterment of their fellows, whether it be among the lowest forms of material life or the highest gods in heaven. For man to seek to identify himself consciously as a note in this scale is to take upon himself the responsibility of the chela-life. This life is both beautiful and terrible: terrible, because of the karman which the aspirant has to face and overcome, possibly within the span of one life; beautiful, because, as the teacher tells us, there is "nothing that is so encouraging, and at the same time nothing that calls for larger exercise of the truly spiritual will and of the higher understanding than do the requirements of soul needed in order to follow that chela-life; because that life calls out everything that a man has in him, or a woman has in her — everything."

The Theosophical Forum