The Theosophical Forum – October 1946

THE MONAD AND THE SOUL — Lolita W. Hart

Perhaps the simplest way to picture a monad is as a part of a sea of consciousness with the light of divinity shining on its endless ripples, each ripple vivified and pouring forth its expression of limitless possibilities through the various kingdoms of nature.

The monad does not really descend into the kingdom of our material world, but shines into it — just as the Sun pours its rays onto and through our earth, and holds in its magnetic power the Earth and every particle that makes it up and lives upon it, but remains in its place as the heart of a solar universe.

The monad through many evolvings and revolvings emanates from itself, or, so to say, clothes itself with, living vehicles or forms which we call souls. Through this continual outpouring of divine energy, it is able finally to express itself as man, the thinker. Man, as a human soul or ego, for he is composite, "swings between the pit and the Sun and is to be saved." Here it is that humanity stands in its great pilgrimage from unself-conscious divinity to self-conscious godhood.

The soul in man is an inferior monad, and in its turn, through its struggles and experiences while on earth, and as it progresses toward the light of the divine, raises other inferior souls, called life atoms. In Fundamentals, p. 157, Dr. de Purucker says,

. . . the Monad, the spiritual radical . . . itself can evolve only by raising inferior souls and psychological vehicles into self-conscious entities, which thus in turn themselves become Monads. THIS IS THE GENERALIZED AND ENTIRE PLAN OF EVOLUTION ON ALL PLANES. This is our Great Work.

There are two points of view in considering these difficult spiritual teachings. From below, each man, as a soul clothing a monad and expressing the glorious golden light and spiritual fire of the monad as best he can, is quite correct in speaking of his spiritual monad, as the center of his being. Each one of us travels his own road back toward that inner glory which illumines every man, and which he rightfully calls his higher self, his Christ immanent, and which he may consciously contact if he can quiet his restless mind and look toward that center of his being. From above, however, the spiritual center, like the Sun, shines on all men alike and is one — a shining sea of spiritual light and fire.

Mme. Blavatsky (The Secret Doctrine, I, p. 614) warns us that:

Those unable to seize the difference between the monad — the Universal Unit — and the Monads or the manifested Unity, . . . ought never to meddle in philosophy, let alone the Esoteric Sciences.

Again (Vol. I, p. 177) she says:

. . . the Spiritual Monad is One, Boundless and Impartite, whose rays, nevertheless, form what we, in our ignorance, call the "Individual Monads" of men. . . .

If we think of consciousness or living awareness as a shining sea, we cannot consider the drops of that ocean of life as unlimited in number. It would be difficult to understand good and evil and the apparent inequalities in life, if we did not accept the teaching that the number of monads on earth is limited, though practically countless. These "monads," as individualities, have passed through countless births and deaths here on earth since they first animated the "empty senseless shells" of the first race many millions of years ago, and are amongst us today — are in fact ourselves.

Again we quote from Mme. Blavatsky, (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, page 185):

. . . there is no such thing as a Monad (jiva) [i.e.: living center] other than divine, and consequently having been, or having to become, human. . . . The Monad is a drop out of the shoreless Ocean beyond, or, to be correct, within the plane of primeval differentiation. It is divine in its higher and human in its lower condition . . . and a monad it remains at all times, save in the Nirvanic state, under whatever conditions, or whatever external forms.

Evolution then may be considered as the pouring forth of the inherent faculties of the monad as it progresses through the kingdoms of nature, reaches the state of humanhood, and then expands into Godhood or relative freedom, Moksha. This freedom from the limitations of our senses and material life is relative, for though it is bliss to us as we are constituted at present, just because we are essentially divine (which means endless), it is an open door to another beginning and to unimaginable experiences and glories of greater awareness.

The essential unity or oneness of monadic life is the true basis of brotherhood. Men are not at equal stages of evolution, but the same life, the same spiritual glory, is seeking to express itself not only in every man but in every living speck of matter, and that glory is the monad, a spiritual consciousness center.


The Theosophical Forum

THEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE