The Theosophical Forum – October 1941


There is a great challenge in the study of the majestic architects of universal nature, for they were once men and their stature suggests possible destinies awaiting us. Some of the members of this hierarchy of teachers, governors, architects, are, in fact, men. Fully developed spiritually and intellectually, these men are masters of the art of human living, and they are a rung in a ladder of beings which stretches out into the spaces and includes planetary, solar, and galactic intelligences. But we must approach this hierarchy of spiritual beings with the deepest reverence in our hearts for the highest of them are indeed gods and their abodes are sacred "temples."

Some of them dwell in cosmic substances and forces beyond our vision, others in visible stars and solar systems. They have representatives on every globe. We may live among and in them but their life is too great for our senses to perceive or encompass. Their consciousness is too vast for ours to encircle, and the rhythm of their lives is so great that to us it would not appear as motion but rather as the quiet and silence of a man in deep meditation. For this reason some of them are called by the Sanskrit terms Dhyani-Chohans, meaning "Lords of Meditation," and others, Dhyani-Buddhas, meaning "Buddhas of Meditation."

There are many aspects to the work of these titanic beings. Their architectural work is to bring forth the patterns, the blue prints of worlds, the plan which is to be wrought into a substantial structure by lesser workers, the Builders. They are responsible for the construction of worlds and the protection and guidance of inhabitants of worlds. The wheels of the universal mechanisms, physical, psychological, mental, must be kept spinning in perfect precision. But the most beautiful aspect of their work is the effort to stimulate spiritual growth and to formulate, preserve, and teach the truths about the universe. This is carried out not only on earth but in every sphere visible or not. Because of this special function the hierarchy is called the Compassionate. The very essence of the existence of this Hierarchy of Compassion is selflessness and it is through much self-sacrifice that its members have fitted themselves to carry on this very necessary work.

Of course there are many grades and degrees of accomplishment in this hierarchy just as there are in any other group of beings. Some are of a more cosmic or Archetypal nature than others, while some belong to what Platonists would call the intelligible world, the creative world, the demiurgos. Among these latter intelligences there are those who, although highly advanced and carrying on the work of the Hierarchy of Compassion, also belong to the general line of beings called Builders. They receive the plans and orders from the ideative world, from the Architects and carry them out. The Greeks called these builders Kosmocratores, and like the Hebrew Jehovah they are "creators," fashioners, masons of worlds.

The work of this Hierarchy of Builders, which must in turn include many grades of intelligences, is to care for and guide all the details of the substantial structure and the operations of nature. It is they who marshal the many kinds of life-atoms, their building materials, into the endless variety of patterns and designs which we find repeated in such perfection or indeed imperfection as the case may be.

In this teaching of the intelligent constructors of nature lies the explanation, as Dr. de Purucker has said, of ". . . the philosophic and scientific framework, the structural carpentry, not only of the universe but of man's own consciousness."

The Manasaputras are particularly inspiring examples of the selflessness of these beings. They are the "Sons of Mind," god-beings who gave of the stuff of their own nature as a candle gives its flame to light another wick. Thus they did the work of builders, building the inner constitution of man, and at the same time the motive and act were a part of the work of the Hierarchy of Compassion. The functions and phenomena of nature which apparently happen without guidance and in a purely mechanical way, have been explained by so-called primitive peoples by attributing them to the work of fairies and gnomes. By other peoples the elements and forces were personified into a pantheon of gods. But at least they all recognised that the intricate mechanisms of nature cannot operate by chance but that there must be some kind of directive, and in some cases intelligent, forces working through them.

This problem has troubled Europe's greatest philosophers. Kant was unwilling to say that the marvelous symmetry, unity, and beauty of the myriad forms in nature are due to what he called "supernatural design" because he could not close his eyes to the waste and chaos in certain aspects of nature and to what he thought useless repetition and multiplication. Our architects and builders fit into this picture, however, because their perfections are relative, not absolute. They are all growing and evolving beings ranging through many grades, and they have their own problems, mistakes, and even failures. Besides, how can we judge them when we cannot even understand them? Too often we permit them to go unappreciated and unthanked. What may seem to us a tragedy or a waste may in some cases even be a blessing.

Looking to the harmony and symmetry so evident for instance in the arrangement and movements of the planets and stars, in the structure of a flower, or in the pattern of a snowflake, we ask ourselves how the unseen helpers of nature provide and keep these designs. What is their source? They spring from the heart of the universe which is one and the same as the heart of a flower, or of a star, or of a snowflake. These architects, each according to its degree of evolution, have learned to draw their consciousness nearer to their own higher selyes which are rooted also in this divine heart of the universe. To reach such a high spiritual state they purified their personality, they raised it, drew it into their higher nature so that it no longer impedes their vision and they reflect more clearly their innermost nature. In this wonderfully impersonal and selfless state they can be the instruments of the laws of a greater universe, they can reflect in their functioning and habits the ways of Divine Intelligence. They help nature geometrize, so to speak, for the symmetrical patterns and mathematical proportions which are repeated on all scales, were in this way first impressed on the Archetypal world, and then being taken up by the Builders they were wrought into the myriad varieties of external worlds.

There is a very interesting relation between these two hierarchies, the Architects and Builders. They represent the two contrasting sides of being, and are the bi-polar forces which build all of nature. These two magnetic forces have many aspects; they are positive and negative, bright and shadowy, spirit and matter. The Chinese call them the Yang and the Yin, while in Sanskrit the bi-polar worlds are called the Lokas and Talas. But these contrasts are not separate from each other; everywhere they are found together and this is because they are two aspects of being, of the one fundamental life. The Hierarchy of Compassion is rooted in the spiritual-energy-consciousness side of life and the Hierarchy of Builders in the vehicular side. As we have shown, there are many beings who belong to either hierarchy, according to how one views them.

The spiritual-energy-consciousness side of nature includes in its span all the degrees of consciousness from the highly spiritual yet primordial and un-self-conscious god-spark which is unaware of its own divinity or even of its own identity, ranging upward and outward to the great masters of self who have gained a recognition of their divinity, faced the Divine One at their hearts, and have accepted the responsibilities which such recognition entails.

Humanity holds a unique position in this great scale of varying stages of development. We stand, from our plane of vision, midway in the journey; we are no longer among the un-self-conscious nor are we we among the directive powers of nature, but with a modicum of self-awareness and the free will that this entails we may use these for the directing of our own evolution and thus follow the way of our guardians and teachers who have become masters of life. Always we must remember that these states and conditions are relative, that we are but one link, and in our higher natures a truly god-like one, in the vast chains of existence which stretch away beyond our vision or imagination.

The vehicular side of nature covers a span from primordial substance and force to matter which is to us apparently vegetative; indeed it includes the vehicles of all scales of entities from atoms microcosmic and atoms celestial. Each vehicle is in turn helping to build the body of a greater being. The atoms and molecules build our bodies, and the solar systems and galaxies are the atoms and molecules that build the bodies of greater universal beings. This principle applies not only to physical bodies but to vehicles of desire, to thought-bodies, and to spiritual sheaths.

The great necessity of knowing these facts lies in the vision it gives us of the goal of life, the destiny and heritage that may be ours. Plato in his Republic suggests this destiny when he says:

And what is it that he who has attained to knowledge knows? It is this: That all visible things are types, in which are mirrored to us the features of certain archetypes, and are, therefore, the mere shadows of higher realities. The aesthetic education of man consists in his learning thus to rise from the type to the archetype.

Here then is our goal, to learn to raise our consciousness and interests, to draw them up till they are one with the god reality.

The way to this goal has been pointed out by those who have succeeded in pushing past some of the shadows. Men like the Buddha, Lao-Tse, Jesus, and indeed Plato, great teachers of the race whose coming to us is vital evidence of the existence of such a goal and that it is not unattainable, are the strongest evidence of the existence of the Hierarchy of Compassion, and their precepts indicate that in joining the ranks of this Hierarchy we are taking the first steps toward our goal and the realizing of our highest destiny in accord with the universal plan. Their ethical precepts are the challenging golden rules of right living which indicate the way to fulfil our destiny. Godhood will not be thrust upon us. We must seize it ourselves, but first we must prepare ourselves, becoming ever more fully human, like those titan men, the Masters, who take an active part in the selfless work of the guardians of nature.

It is very encouraging to know that this pathway has been followed before, and that the very difficulties which we now face in our selves have troubled the greater beings, and that in our efforts we will be watched over with their infinite understanding. We are told that every inspiration that comes to us to do good, to help another, every perception of the wonder of these secrets of nature, is to be cherished and remembered for it is a gift given us by our own higher selves and by the Hierarchy of Compassion. The chain of this hierarchy has a link on every planet, a nucleus in every solar system which is centered in the Sun of the system, and there is a spiritual center in every galaxy. We receive our knowledge of the universal structure and relations and our inspiration for better things down through this chain. It is stepped down to us from link to link. "Somewhere in Galactic space there is a company of Solar Gods. Somewhere in the fields of Cosmic space there is a celestial council of galactic divinities from whom we receive our light."

The Theosophical Forum