Copyright © 1997 by Theosophical University Press. All rights Reserved.
G. de P. — Have the recorders anything to bring to our attention this evening?
Secretary — Yes, Professor, I have something. It has to do with the form in which questions are asked. Some of the questions are extremely difficult for the recorders to take down, because the form of the question is often very much involved. It is even difficult to understand what the questioner is trying to ask. I might also mention for the information of those here present, that it took the Teacher more than five hours of solid work to correct the last KTMG Report, in order so to correct the questions that people reading the report would be able to understand just what the meaning of the question was. I wonder if we could not all make an effort to have our questions grammatical, clear, and concise?
G. de P. — Yes, I do think that this is a matter of real importance. The difficulty in asking questions, I believe, lies largely in the fact that the questioner's ideas are not clearly outlined in the mind. If you have a definite and clear-cut idea, then you can phrase it briefly and clearly. If you are desirous of having an answer to some question which happens to be more or less vague in your own mind, then almost certainly your question will be wandering, devious, diffuse, vague, and full of corrections and repeatings of incidental thoughts and words. As a matter of fact, it is easier to think out your question before you ask it, and then to ask it briefly, than it is to be troubled with the feeling that you have not done justice to the question that you desire to ask. Please, therefore, do be careful in these respects. As you know, these questions with their respective answers will in time be printed. They will then go to many parts of the world, to people who read English perhaps, but who don't understand English as well as you do. In justice to them as well as to others to whom English is their native tongue, your questions should be brief, clear-cut, well-defined.
I am now ready to answer questions.
Student — I have two questions. How should I explain to a child the septenary constitution of nature in the lower kingdoms, since manas is one of the principles?
G. de P. — That is indeed a difficult thing to do. You meet with the same difficulty there that you meet with in attempting to explain to a child any recondite and difficult problem. How can you explain to your child, who may question you about it, what electricity is, what the solar system is, what the functional apparatus of the sun is, why does it rain, why does our blood flow, why have we two hands and not four or six? It is always difficult to explain things intellectually to a child.
I think that if you appeal to your child on the same grounds of understanding that you employ when you try to answer other questions that he may put to you — not so much in an intellectual way, but by appealing to his instinct and his intuitive understanding of things — you will then have less difficulty in answering his questions.
I think you will find that a child very rarely desires or even craves for a purely intellectual answer to his question. It wants an answer of some kind, of a type calculated to satisfy its feelings as well as its mind.
Student — The point was, there was not enough importance attached to the descent of manas.
G. de P. — Just what do you mean?
Student — Well, if animals have seven principles, and in humans we call one of the principles manas, the child considered that there was not enough importance attached to it.
G. de P. — Importance attached to — ?
Student — To the descent.
G. de P. — Do you mean that the child thought that —
Student — Well, that the potentiality of manas was not enough.
G. de P. — Oh, I think I understand you. If I understand you aright, your child thought that your reply, running to the fact that manas in the beast was not fully acting, but was merely latent, was by no means a satisfying answer.
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — As a matter of fact, it is a satisfying answer, and I would suggest that you tell the child to study and to think; also talk with it about these matters, and tell it of your own difficulties of understanding, and of how it took some years for yourself to get the idea clearly.
Student — The point was we don't consider manas present until we refer to human beings; so that evidently, so far as speaking about the septenary constitution of all entities is concerned, manas does not exist until we become human beings, and then there is a descent of manas into the human being.
G. de P. — I am afraid, perhaps, that I don't quite get the idea. Just what did your child have in his mind when asking you the question?
Student — Well, don't we say that animals have a septenary constitution?
G. de P. — Yes, indeed.
Student — When we count the septenary constitution of humans, we count manas as one of the principles. Then manas ought to be the eighth.
G. de P. — The eighth?
Student — Yes. Because when we become human, it is added to us.
G. de P. — How can something be added to us in order to complete our septenary constitution, when what already exists before is our complete constitution?
Student — That is the answer.
G. de P. — Yes.
Student — That is the potentiality. That is what the child took exception to. He said we are not attaching enough importance to the descent of manas, to the activity of it.
G. de P. — In the beasts, or in the humans?
Student — The humans. He meant the self-conscious stage.
G. de P. — Well, the idea is probably true. Possibly a great many humans attach too small an importance to the value of the highest manasic faculty. Perhaps if you suggest to your child the idea that everything in universal nature exists everywhere in universal nature, he will see that every part of universal nature has either the activity or the potency of whatever exists everywhere else. Consequently the manasic faculty must exist in the beasts just as it exists in the newborn infant — as a potentiality.
If this child has a little brother younger than he, or a little sister younger than he, then point to the little one and say: "You see Johnny, or Sarah (whatever the name is), is not as manasic or mentally developed as you are. You are older; you have developed more of what is within you."
Indeed, the beasts are as children when compared with us. Manas is not as evolved in them as it is in us; but it will develop ever more largely as the beasts evolve in future aeons. I don't know whether I quite understand what question the child desires to have answered, but I think that I understand you.
Student — Yes. The question is answered.
G. de P. — What, then, is the other question?
Student — The other question is: I understood you to say that during an eclipse of the moon, entities are constantly passing from the moon to the earth, and from the earth to the moon. I can understand their passing from the moon to the earth, but not from the earth to the moon. I don't see why a disintegrating body should attract living entities.
G. de P. — Nevertheless, it is so. You are speaking of an eclipse of the moon, are you not?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — This matter of eclipses is a very interesting study. During an eclipse of the moon the transfer of living entities takes place in both directions; but especially so in the direction of passing from the moon to the earth. This is because of a stronger pull on the moon than on the earth. In other words, what takes place is that entities leave the moon in order to seek incarnation or embodiment on earth.
An eclipse of the sun has the same two cases of transfer of living entities, from moon to earth and from earth to moon; but in the latter case — during an eclipse of the sun by the moon — the stronger attraction is from earth to moon. I mean that during an eclipse of the sun, the stronger attraction is from earth to moon than in the other direction — from the moon to earth. Do you understand?
Student — Yes. Thanks.
G. de P. — Of course there is a great deal more to be said on this matter of eclipses.
Student — I wondered rather whether all disintegrating bodies attracted living bodies.
G. de P. — All disintegrating bodies emit life-atoms continuously. As a matter of fact, the process of disintegration or dissolution is nothing but the passing out from the decaying entity of the life-atoms of which the decaying entity is composed. This leaving on the part of the life-atoms is the producer of the decay. Decaying bodies don't attract so great an influx into themselves of exterior life-atoms as is the quantity of life-atoms which they throw forth. The moon is in exactly the same case; but in certain positions, as in an eclipse of the moon, the pulling power of the earth conjoined with the pulling power of the sun, acting together, makes, as I have just told you, the pull from the moon towards the earth greater than is the flow of the entities in the other direction from the earth to the moon. Even the decaying or dissolving body attracts appropriate life-atoms; but this attraction is weaker than is the energy of expulsion of life-atoms from the decaying body. Is the answer responsive to the thought in your mind?
Student — Yes, indeed.
Student — Am I right in thinking that there are seven life-waves passing through the seven globes, one after another, seven times, making in all the seven rounds? That is to say, after the first class of monads coming into the earth-chain has passed through globe A and gone on to globe B, the first class of the second life-wave comes into globe A. Am I correct in thinking thus?
G. de P. — That is right, you are correct.
Student — Then taking as one example, the vegetable kingdom on our earth, is it not so that there are sishtas of seven classes, one for each life-wave that passes through a globe?
G. de P. — That is also correct.
Student — At our last meeting you told us that at the end of the seventh race on this globe the flower of humanity would remain — a certain number of course — as sishtas for a whole subsequent round, until the same humanity returned. I ask then, are there now on this globe six classes of sishtas waiting the return of their respective humanities?
G. de P. — That is a very pertinent and interesting question. You can count the classes of sishtas in the following way: first kingdom of elementals, second kingdom of elementals, third kingdom of elementals, the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the beast kingdom — this last not yet fully in obscuration, and therefore not yet fully in the sishta stage — and the human kingdom. How many kingdoms have I enumerated thus far?
Many Voices — Seven.
G. de P. — Good. There are also three other classes of monads or life-waves who will follow us after the human kingdom shall have gone on, thus making ten classes in all. Is the answer responsive to your question?
Student — Not exactly. I was asking whether there are six classes of sishtas — which would be sishtas belonging to the other globes — awaiting the return of the humanities on the other globes, just as their humanities come to this globe.
G. de P. — Certainly, but why do you limit the number of sishta-Groups to six?
Student — Because I was thinking only of the human.
G. de P. — You were thinking only of the human sishtas of any round through the seven globes of the planetary chain?
Student — My question referred only to the human. Of course I know that there must be the same on every one of these planes.
G. de P. — Yes. Now I think I understand you; but will you state your question once more, and briefly?
Student — My question is: are there six classes of human sishtas on this globe now awaiting the return of their respective humanities from the other globes?
G. de P. — No. The human class of monads, or the human life-wave, leaves only one class of sishtas on any globe. Of course, this one class of sishtas itself is divided into different families or grades, because it is obvious that all human beings are not equally evolved. We have the white men — or rather the pink men, more accurately perhaps pink-brown — then the yellow-skin men, then the black men so called, and the various tribes of barbarians and savages now living on the earth. These men all belong to the human kingdom, to the one human life-wave, and in some cases are simply relics of different human races which have previously passed through their period of racial supremacy. Remember, however, that the sishtas left on any globe are always the highest or most evolved of that respective life-wave.
Why do you think that the human life-Wave is divided into six?
Student — Because there are six globes.
G. de P. — There are seven globes.
Student — Yes, seven. But on this globe there is of course one active humanity. Now when the next globe comes to this globe — when the globe just behind us moves on to this globe — there must be some sishtas, I should think, waiting here for them, just as sishtas on the next globe will be waiting for us.
G. de P. — Will the recorder read back this question? I think the questioner will easily see there is a slight misapprehension here when she hears her words as read. [Recorder reads question.]
You see your question is so involved that it is almost impossible to get your idea clearly; consequently, I cannot give a clear answer. First, you speak of one globe coming to this globe. Such an occurrence does not take place. Now please frame your question just as clearly as you can in your own mind before you ask it.
Student — The picture is very clear in my own mind.
G. de P. — That is good. Please then give us that clear picture in clear words. Just take your time, dear friend. Have your picture clear, then ask the question.
Student — You told us that sishtas of this humanity will await our return to this globe. That will mean a whole round. Now, then, I inferred that there must be sishtas waiting here for the humanity of the globe which will follow our humanity. Is this question clear?
G. de P. — I am afraid it is not clear. Let me try to explain. Let us take any one life-wave, our own human life-wave as an example. We will begin with the beginning of any one round, in other words, with globe A, the first globe. This human life-wave passes its seven root-races on this first globe A, then leaves its sishtas there and passes to globe B; it goes through seven root-races on globe B, and then leaves its sishtas on globe B, and passes to globe C. It does the same thing on globe C: leaves its sishtas there, and then it as a Life-wave passes to Globe D and leaves sishtas there, and then passes to globe E and leaves its sishtas there. Then it passes to globe F, goes through seven root-races on globe F, leaves its sishtas there, and then goes to the last globe G, where, after passing through seven root-races, it leaves its sishtas again. Then the life-wave goes into its nirvana, and at the end of its nirvana begins the next round, and the sishtas previously left on that first globe A are the ones which are the seeds of life, giving to this same life-wave now entering upon its next round, its first bodies. Do you understand? In other words, each life-wave leaves but one group of sishtas on any globe.
Student — That would seem to me to be true, if the globes were not occupied all at the same time. I supposed that they were. I supposed that there was a humanity on every globe simultaneously.
G. de P. — No. But remember, however, that there are other evolving groups or life-waves simultaneously on different globes.
Student — That I never have known. I was entirely mistaken. My question had no meaning in these circumstances.
G. de P. — Then I am very glad that you asked it. Your asking must have helped the other companions, because your question involved a very difficult subject. It is true that other life-waves are on the other globes, but these other life-waves by no means necessarily are human life-waves. Any one globe of the seven of our planetary chain may be in obscuration at the very time when others of the six globes are filled with respective life-waves. Do you understand me? But that temporary global obscuration does not last for a long time; and at the end of this obscuration another life-wave — some other life-wave than the one which had previously left the globe — comes on to that globe. In other words, the different life-waves follow one another around the globes.
There are seven life-waves — really ten, but we will speak of seven only. All these seven life-waves follow each other from globe to globe around the chain: from globe A to globes B, C, D, E, F, and G. After any one life-wave or family group has left a globe, that globe then has a short or temporary obscuration. When that short or temporary obscuration is ended, then another life-wave — the next one in succession — comes on that same globe. Do you see? Is the explanation responsive?
Student — Yes, thank you. I certainly misunderstood.
G. de P. — Well, I am very glad that you asked the question, because I am sure that this discussion has helped us all.
Student — May I ask a question?
G. de P. — May I ask, dear friend, if your question is clear in your mind?
Student — It is on the same subject. Is it permissible to ask if any of these successive life-waves are another kind of humanity, or another kind of being, that we humans cannot conceive of?
G. de P. — Not necessarily at all. These different or succeeding life-waves, to the number of ten or seven, as I have just explained, are different family groups of evolving monads. For instance, on our own globe we have the three kingdoms of the elementals; after them came the mineral monads; after them the plant monads; after them came the animal monads — but not the mammalian animals, for a reason that I have explained before, because the mammalians followed man in time. After the animal monads, came our humanity.
Thus you see we have these different family groups or evolving families of monads succeeding each other around the chain. Obviously then, the three kingdoms of the elementals, and the minerals, and the beasts, are not human, and yet they are distinct family groups or life-waves, which we humans can certainly conceive of and understand in some degree.
Now, the three life-waves or family groups who will follow our humanity are much superior to us. They are actually imperfect dhyan-chohans; and hold the place, beyond or above us, as three family groups superior to us, that the three kingdoms of the elementals hold at the beginning of the life-stream of succeeding family groups. Thus we have the relatively perfect above us or in advance of us, and the relatively elemental so called, in the beginning of the life-stream.
Student — May I ask one more question? When we leave this globe at the end of the seventh race, and the sishtas are left behind, then I understand that thus the next life-wave comes on: these beings, these dhyan-chohans, while we are on the next, the pralaya between the next round, before the next round. Is that the idea?
G. de P. — Will the recorder please read back the question, so that our dear Brother may hear how he has framed his thought? [Recorder reads back question.]
Student — It does sound a little mixed.
G. de P. — Won't you try again?
Student — We must write some of these questions in order to have them clear and thus save our time.
G. de P. — It will be all right if you companions will bring your written questions and will read them here yourselves.
Student — These questions are very difficult to formulate. Advanced geometry is not in it! I am trying in my mind to clarify my question.
G. de P. — Well, before you ask your question, I might point out that you mistake the meaning of pralaya when you speak of a pralaya between the globes or between the rounds — that is, if I understand your question aright. There is no pralaya between the globes and no pralaya between the rounds. There is an obscuration of every globe which has just been left by the advancing life-wave. Have you your question now clear-cut, clearly defined, in your mind?
Student — Not quite. I think that I will ask it a little later.
G. de P. — Very well then.
Student — May I ask a question? It is about the seven principles in nature. Are they immutable and eternal, or are they of such character that the one may change into the other, such as the kama becoming the manas, and the manas becoming the buddhi, and so forth? If that is not correct and they are eternal and immutable, then is it so that the life-atom, the divine spark, travels in its evolution through the seven principles?
G. de P. — That is a profound question, very; and the answer is the following: nothing in universal being is changeless. Everything changes because everything grows. Everything is advancing to its next higher stage, the cosmic principles just as much as everything else. But there is nevertheless throughout eternity — and you will see the reason why, if you reflect — the same continuing division of universal being into seven principles, because any one principle as it changes its character or type to that which is next higher is succeeded by the one inferior to or beneath it, which takes its place. As nature is eternal, as infinitude has neither beginning nor end, there is this constant wave of evolutionary progress passing through eternal duration. It is like a river of life without beginning and without end. Is the answer responsive?
Student — I had this thought in my mind —
G. de P. — Just a moment. Is the answer thus far responsive? Do you understand it?
Student — No. It is too deep for me.
G. de P. — It should not be.
Student — I should like to think about it some more.
G. de P. — What is your question now?
Student — In The Key to Theosophy, HPB speaks of manas gravitating either to buddhi or to kama. It would seem from this, that if manas is a principle, then it is possible for manas to change to either buddhi or kama. Is that correct?
G. de P. — It changes to buddhi. It cannot retrace its steps. If that were possible, then there would be no such thing as the constant steady advancement or unfoldment of what is latent in the heart of things. Nature would be a chaos. Everything is moving steadily forward. To use your illustration, manas steadily becomes more and more buddhic until finally manas merges into buddhi. But its manasic place on the stairway of life is taken by the new manas which was the kama principle beneath the manas which has gone on to buddhi, and therefore this kama-principle thus takes the manasic place. Nevertheless, so far as the human constitution is concerned, it is true that the egoic principle, itself an evolving entity in our present stage of evolution, is continuously hovering between buddhi and kama and gravitates to the one or to the other. Your difficulty arises out of confusing centers of consciousness with the seven principles either of man or of the universe.
Is the answer responsive to your question?
Student — Yes, thank you. I understand now.
G. de P. — Please remember also that the seven principles, while they themselves change their respective character types, nevertheless always fill universal being. There is always a cosmic buddhi, always a cosmic manas or mahat, always a kama, etc.
Student — My question is on another subject. You said in one of the Sunday afternoon lectures not long ago that it is better to remain in devachan the full karmic time, because the repose gained therein is needed. Does this apply to theosophical students who are anxious to come back and work for humanity?
G. de P. — It applies less rigorously of course. The mere fact of the existence of the hunger of the heart to do good to one's fellows brings the devachani back to his work on earth sooner than otherwise would happen. As the student grows, as he evolves, as he passes higher along the stages of initiation, he is tending towards a time and a point in his own development when he can at will reduce his devachanic term to such time period as he may please to do.
Student — As I understand, the whole universe is not simply consciousness, as an abstract something, but is filled with consciousnesses, and my question therefore is the following: does not this same thought apply to the principles — the principle of kama, or of manas, or of buddhi? None of these principles is an abstract something in an abstract state, but each principle, as it were, is a stream of consciousnesses.
G. de P. — That is absolutely correct. We speak of buddhi, manas, kama, etc., as merely generalizing terms, or abstractions. The actual situation is, however, that the buddhic principle is simply the aggregate of buddhic entities with their buddhic vital auras; and it is so also as regards the other principles. Thus, we speak of mankind or humanity. There is no such thing per se. These terms are abstractions or generalizations, but nevertheless there are men who in their aggregate compose mankind or humanity. Don't you understand? You will not find humanity or mankind anywhere as an entity. These are merely words, abstractions signifying men; similarly with the principles such as buddhi. You won't find such a thing as buddhi per se as an entity in the universe. What we call buddhi is the aggregate of buddhic entities who are in that stage of their evolutionary growth; and it is their buddhic vitality, their buddhic essence, which makes that buddhic ocean to which we give the name buddhi. The cosmic buddhi is the spiritual or superspiritual film of substance which is the cosmic akasa in its highest essence, and is therefore a phase of mulaprakriti.
It is the armies of entities in the universe of closely similar or identic grade which make the cosmic principles. Just so in the case of human beings. There is no such thing as intellect per se, existing as an entity. You cannot find intellect anywhere, but you will find intellectual entities everywhere.
Student — May I ask a question about the gunas? Are not the three gunas the basis of the seven throughout nature?
G. de P. — The basis of the seven — what?
Student — I understand that from the three fundamental principles the gunas naturally dissolve themselves into the seven principles, that behind the seven are the three always — three fundamental principles.
G. de P. — I would not say that the three gunas — sattva, rajas, and tamas — are the causes of the seven principles. That is quite wrong. The gunas are simply attributes or qualities of any principle, of any one of the seven principles; and obviously so, because tamas means inactivity, rajas means activity, and sattva you may describe as the true essence of a thing, its true being. Sattva comes from sat — reality, and twa — the element of it, the actual essence of it, the reality of it. The three gunas belong to any one of the seven principles. Do you understand?
Student — Well, I had the idea that the one contained the three and the three the seven.
G. de P. — That also is true as you now phrase it. The universe is the one. Its deathless portion during its existence in manvantara is its three higher portions or parts; and from these supernal three hang as a pendant the manifested seven. That is the explanation, I am sure, of the idea you have in your mind. Do you understand it?
Student — I have ideas in my mind, but I do not think that I understand it as clearly. There is a question of progressing in understanding always.
G. de P. — That is right, that is quite right.
Student — You rather surprised me in regard to your reference to the kama-manas. Would you kindly tell us the evolution of kama-manas?
G. de P. — Please frame your question again, and a little more definitely, if possible.
Student — I would like to know how the kama-manas is formed, because I understood that it was due to the desire principle in man assimilating the manasic, and that the combination formed the lower mind. But you said just now that the mind didn't descend to the kama-manas. It was always a point of evolution. I would like to know what is the evolution of the kama-manas.
G. de P. — When the human center of consciousness hovers midway between desire on the one hand, and the desire for abstract truth on the other hand, and is neither the one nor the other, which is our present human state, there is then born the self-consciousness of the entity as existing in the kama-manasic state. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, so far. But what about the entities which form the kama-manasic, which give the color to that principle?
G. de P. — The kama-manas is a state or condition of the human egoic consciousness, and therefore the kama-manasic state is not an entity per se. The kama-manasic quality is not something which exists per se apart from kama or apart from manas. It is a state midway between manas and kama, and it is the state of the human egoic consciousness when hovering between these two principles of the human constitution, and neither descending wholly into kama nor arising out of kama wholly and dwelling entirely in the next higher or manasic principle. Similarly is it when the human consciousness is centered in the buddhi-manasic state between buddhi on the one hand and manas on the other hand. It is then not yet purely buddhi. It is rising out of the pure manasic state. It hovers between the two.
Human beings in their present state of evolution are between the beast and the demigod, in other words between kama or the desire principle and manas or the mental faculty. Consequently, our present egoic self-consciousness is centered in the kama-manasic part of our constitution, at that critical point where kama and manas, as it were, blend. Is the answer responsive?
Student — Yes; but isn't it true that man's evolution is the ascent upwards from the kama-manasic state into manas?
G. de P. — Quite true, perfectly true; and man is so evolving at present, and he has not yet reached the pure manasic condition. As I have told you, he is in the critical stage between the two principles. He has not yet fully abandoned the kamic or desire-pull, and he has not yet entered fully into the intellectual. He is between the two. Intellect is not yet fully developed in us, nevertheless we are far above all the beasts on account of the manasic influence in our being. We have these physical bodies enshrining an intellectual flame, but we are not yet manasaputras, sons of manas or mind.
Student — Thank you. I think that your answer will help.
Student — Is the atman also an aggregate of entities, of living entities?
G. de P. — It is — if you are keen enough to understand this affirmative reply.
Student — In that case there must be something higher than atman. Is that so?
G. de P. — It is so. And it is just this matter that I have tried so often to explain when I have spoken of the hierarchies succeeding each other on the endless ladder of life. I have tried to point out that the highest or supreme hierarch of any hierarchy is the atman of that hierarchy; but that hierarch, although the highest of his own hierarchy, is nevertheless lower than the hierarch of the succeeding hierarchy. The hierarch is the atman of his hierarchy. Just as we human beings are composite entities composed of hosts of beings, just so is the hierarch. Although possessing its own individuality, it is an aggregate of all the entities composing its hierarchy, its family, of which the hierarch is the supreme head, and also the source and fountain and root and cause of all subordinates flowing from it. The hierarch or atman is an individual. It is an entity, it is the supreme self for all that hierarchy. Its vitality permeates all; its selfhood permeates all subordinate entities of its own hierarchical group, and thus composes for that hierarchical group the essential I am of all the entities it encloses. Although it is thus an individual, it is mystically divisible into all the beings of which it is the supreme self, the atman.
You have asked one of the most difficult questions of occultism, one of the most sublime and great; one, for that very reason, very difficult to understand. For instance, I am an ego. At the heart of this ego is my I AM, my atman, a stream of consciousness permeating me from the hierarch of this hierarchy; and yet, what am I as an entity? A composite, an aggregate of life-atoms of many degrees, existent on many stages of consciousness, and all following the evolutionary path. My body, again, is but an aggregate of physical-astral life-atoms, and yet my body is an individual. Every one of these life-atoms composing my body is per se a learning entity, destined in future aeons to be a human being, and in still more distant aeons of time to be a god. We human beings were such life-atoms, each one of us, and even of the physical body in some other entity in some far bygone cosmic manvantara. What wonderful and yet what mysterious doctrines these of occultism are, so inspiring, so comforting; and how they save us from the worst sin of all — the sense of personalism!
The atman is indivisible in the sense that it is the being or entity of the hierarch of our hierarchy, therefore permeating and manifesting in all things and entities as their essential Self: the essential sense of I AM, deathless at least for as long as that hierarchy endures in its cosmic manvantara. Hence the atman is the aggregate of the monadic essences of all the entities composing that hierarchy. Similarly on the physical plane, and following the law of analogy, my physical body is an individual and yet is composed of the life-atoms which build it, make it, form it. Do you begin to understand?
Student — Yes, thank you, I do believe I understand.
G. de P. — It is a very difficult thing to explain, but I think that I have given to you the key.
Student — If evil is imperfection, then it should seem that evil depends upon ignorance altogether, and that even the Brothers of the Shadow do not really know that they commit any crimes; and, in the main, wherein lies real responsibility? Can you clear our minds regarding this?
G. de P. — Yes. You are quite right in saying that avidya, nescience, lack of knowledge of the essential reality of things, is the cause of imperfection. This avidya, or ignorance if you like so to call it, is the cause of the disharmony in the universe and in human beings. Now, the Brothers of the Shadow present a very abstruse problem. If they had the consciousness, the intuitive consciousness, that they are what they are, they would not be what they are, but would already be on the path of growth leading to fellowship in the line of the Buddhas of Compassion. But unfortunately, the Brothers of the Shadow — the real ones, I am now speaking of — are convinced that their views of things, that their course of life, are just as right as are those of our Masters. To a certain extent the case is the same with the criminals in our human affairs. The real criminal, the one of essentially criminal instincts, would not be a criminal if the consciousness were in him clear that he was doing wrong, that he was inharmonious with his surroundings and with other entities. The criminal is a battler against what the average of humanity instinctively feel to be right, but which he does not yet overpoweringly feel to be right.
I am now speaking of the deliberate instinctive criminals, and there are a very few such. Most criminals don't belong to that category. They are simply weak and foolish men and women. You will often find it stated in the Oriental writings that avidya, ignorance, is man's greatest foe. It is true.
Student — Yes, but I have been thinking sometimes that the real evil does not consist in a special state, but rather in the direction an entity follows. When an entity goes intentionally down, then there is evil, and when the entity rises, then there is good. I have also been thinking that imperfection in itself, for instance a less developed entity than we, a flower, a child, although in a state of imperfection, does not appear to us as something evil. The flower or the child is rising, it is trying to go forward and thus we recognize this as something good. It is good, it is not evil, and we think because of its imperfection — I have been thinking of this and cannot get it quite clear — that that imperfection in itself should be or produce evil; although naturally through ignorance a man or any entity can commit an evil act, that is, go down.
G. de P. — That is all perfectly true. But why do you think that a flower is imperfect? A flower is by no means imperfect. Imperfection, as employed in the occult sense, refers to an entity which through ignorance opposes its will to the higher and nobler laws, thus creating disharmony in nature's evolutionary stream which is advancing forwards, going forwards always. Imperfection in this sense is the abstract creator of inharmony, which is evil, and arises out of a misuse of will, and this misuse of will is born in an imperfect understanding or relative ignorance of truth. Now a flower does not do that. Similarly again the beasts are not evil. The insects are by no means evil. They are each and all harmonious in their respective environments. The flower is a thing of beauty, a joy forever. It is not ignorant because it knows its own station in life, so to speak. It follows its own pathway, where it is, in perfect harmony and in accordance with nature's evolutionary stream. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, but —
G. de P. — But when an entity opposes its will, driven by inner desire, to nature's advancing evolutionary stream, that opposition produces inharmony and surrounding evil, and this is the cause of what human beings call evil. The entity is imperfectly evolved; therefore we can truly say, and briefly say, it exists in imperfection, creating disharmony in its environment; and hence, as you see, imperfection in this sense may be truly said to be the cause of evil. Any thing, any entity, which is in harmony with its environment, and following the pathway of the clean, natural instincts implanted within it, is "good," no matter what its evolutionary grade may be.
Thus a human being is highly imperfect if we compare him with a god; but if that human being lives to benefit mankind, and in all thoughts and acts of his life tries to lead a harmonious existence, that human being is an entity of inner beauty. He is harmonious with his environment. He is advancing along nature's evolutionary stream in the proper way. He creates no disharmony.
Student — Does your term life-atoms comprise the same entities which HPB in The Secret Doctrine calls the fiery lives, or the creators and the destroyers?
G. de P. — The fiery lives, or the creators and destroyers, are one great family group of the life-atoms, or rather two great family groups, one the creators, and the other the destroyers. These names are but two generalizing terms. Let me try to illustrate this. Any entity at any time, although perfectly harmonious with its own environment, may be passing through a stage of its evolution in which it may belong to either one of the two classes — creators or destroyers. If that is part of its natural growth, then its action is harmonious, and no evil is created. For instance, the destroyers have a role in universal nature which is just as important as is the role of the creators, so called.
Student — Yes, I understand that. I wanted your definition of life-atom — if it is the same as the fiery lives.
G. de P. — If you put it in that way, then the answer is, yes, because every life-atom is a fiery life in the sense that it is filled with the fire of life, with the warmth, the glowing vitality, in other words the solar vitality. But when you speak of the creators and the destroyers, then you restrict the term merely to two spheres of activity of the life-atoms.
Student — Yes, I see. May I ask another question? Is the planet which is the substitute for the moon in the enumeration of the seven sacred planets, the one referred to by HPB in Isis Unveiled as the one that takes up all the refuse of the earth?
G. de P. — In other words you are alluding to the Planet of Death?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — I am very sorry that I may not answer your question. But, as usual, it is my duty to give some kind of answer.
Student — I would suggest that he withdraw the question if it embarrasses the teacher.
G. de P. — It is all right. I was just thinking of the proper words in which to say something, because the very fact that the question has been asked, shows that at least some answer ought to be given. I am indeed sometimes more embarrassed than I can easily describe. Let me say the following.
The entities, which through willful following of evil in life after life, separate off the higher portions of their constitution so that by mere weight of evildoing, they drop into a lower sphere, pass to the Planet of Death, which is one of nature's laboratories where these entities who no longer belong to the human life-stream, to the human life-wave, are mercifully broken up and disintegrated. The human constitution, which as you know is a wholly composite thing, in its lower parts is rent into all its component elements. This takes place in the deepest part of avichi. You have all heard of avichi, which exists in seven stages or degrees. It is intimately connected with the moon; and I will merely add this, that the planet, the secret planet, for which the moon stands as an astrological substitute, is very intimately connected with the work that the moon does on the earth and on human beings, and on other entities having their home on earth.
I really believe, Companions, that if those of you who are interested in this horrible subject really understood what it implies, you would not care to ask these questions. The whole teaching is horrible, simply because it is a true description of the end of these wretched beings. It is unwholesome to let your mind dwell too long on these things. Some day you must know all about it; indeed, you will be obliged to know. You cannot pass the examinations, so to speak, you cannot pass into a higher grade — until you know the truth. But that time has not come yet. You must be very strong spiritually, intellectually, and morally, to know the whole truth about this subject.
Nature has its terrible aspects, just as it has its sublimely beautiful aspects.
Student — We always speak of the globes as being seven in number, and of the life-waves as being seven in number, and also as regards the hosts of entities, etc. But you told us that there are ten classes. I desire to know if there are not really twelve, that is, two more added in the following manner: one more elemental than the first elemental kingdom, the lowest or the nether pole; and the other, the very highest or the north pole, the very expression of the highest spiritual manifestation.
Am I wrong?
G. de P. — No; you are very greatly right, and yet wrong in one detail. There are indeed actually ten globes, just as there are ten classes of the monads. But there are also a sub-elemental sphere and a superdivine sphere, just as you say; these two latter being, or rather acting as, the junction-globes between any three hierarchies: the superior, the one intermediate, and the inferior. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, perfectly.
G. de P. — The first and the twelfth, if you follow the teaching of the twelve, are the junction spheres, so to speak.
Student — May I ask in what form did we entities of the present human race manifest when we entered globe A in the first round?
G. de P. — Do you mean what corporeal form did the entities then have?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — During the first round, you mean?
Student — Yes, on globe A.
G. de P. — In other words, your question is this: what form did the entities which are now human beings have on globe A in the first round?
Student — Yes, Professor.
G. de P. — They had forms which you may speak of as fire. That answer is not exactly correct, because the substance was not fire as we now understand it; but fire is the nearest word that I can think of to describe the type of corporeal encasements that the imbodied monads then had. It was of a fiery character, but of a fire still more fiery, more ethereal, than the fire that we know here. You might call it a form of electricity, and you would not be far from the truth.
Student — Then we belonged at that time to one of the elemental kingdoms — to one of the three elemental kingdoms?
G. de P. — No, no. We belonged to the same human kingdom that we now are, but that human kingdom was then in its earliest stages appropriate to the first globe of the first round.
Let me tell you something, and this will perhaps make it clear. We human beings were the most highly evolved beasts of the lunar chain. During this earth-chain — I mean during our evolution on this present earth-chain — we have evolved forth humanity. When we leave this earth-chain, we shall have evolved forth dhyan-chohanship, we shall have become gods; and the higher beasts now following us on earth will be the "men" of the planetary chain succeeding this earth-chain. Just as we are the men of this chain, who were on the lunar chain the beasts of that lunar chain — the higher beasts of that lunar chain.
Every beast of earth today, and the mammalian beasts preeminently, in its essence contains the potentiality of a human being, which we may look upon as "locked up" within it; just as we human beings now, each one of us, has a god locked up within him. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, Professor. But then, after our first appearance on globe A in the first round, do we have to go through the other kingdoms of nature: the elemental, the vegetable, the animal, etc.?
G. de P. — That was true during the first round. But this is a very different question indeed from the one that you asked before.
Student — Yes, I know.
G. de P. — I will also point this out, that there were human beings on globe A during our first round; and I mean by that statement, entities then living on globe A during the first round who had already evolved sufficiently to be human beings. Now those entities are the entities whom today we call the mahatmas and the buddhas. Is the answer responsive?
Student — Yes, thank you very much.
G. de P. — In regard to the manner of evolving through all the kingdoms of nature from the elementals up to the highest, during the first round, that is indeed a very interesting subject for thought and discussion, but it is a subject quite different from the question that you asked.
Now, Companions, I will answer one or two questions more, if you please.
Student — With regard to the term used in our philosophy, the inner god: is it the head of our hierarchy or is it a composite being consisting of the manasic entities, the buddhic entities, and the atmic entities?
G. de P. — You are referring to the inner god of any one human being?
Student — Yes, Professor.
G. de P. — Answering your question with exactitude, the inner god of any one human being is not the head of our hierarchy, and therefore it is not a hierarchical, composite being as you outline. You should understand that this term, the inner god, does not mean one general entity who is the only inner god of every human being and every other subordinate entity. That is not the idea, because although your question is correct in its statement when applied to the hierarch of our hierarchy, it does not apply to the individual inner god of any human being. Each human being has his own inner god, or, to speak more accurately, every human being is the manifestation of an entitative inner god. The thought is clear thus far, is it?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — This inner god is a dhyan-chohan, and on the lunar chain was a mahatma of that lunar chain. Every human being, now going a step further in our explanation, is a composite entity. My inner god, your inner god, the individual inner god of every individual human being, is at one and the same time the higher self of that human being, and yet different. For this reason, each one of us as a human individual is destined to become in his turn an inner god in future ages. Let me explain it in the following way.
Every human being, every human soul, every human ego, is a child of his own inner god. From and through that inner god he receives his I-AM-NESS; but as an egoic human being he is an I-am-I. I hope that you understand this. Every human being is a little world or microcosm. He is composed of an inner god. He is composed of a spiritual soul. He is composed of himself, the human soul, or human ego. This human soul or human ego lives in vehicles formed of hosts of life-atoms. Each one of these life-atoms is a growing, evolving entity destined to become a human being in future aeons, and later still to become an inner god. Each one of us human beings is going to be in future aeons the inner god of the most evolved subsoul of his present constitution, which subsoul in those future aeons will be a human being, a human ego. Do you understand that?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — Each one of us is like a ladder of life. One rung of that ladder of life is our human ego, our human soul; and the other rungs are our links both above and below, and these other rungs with our human ego form our composite constitution. Let me change the figure of speech.
Every human entity may be likened to a chain composed of links, one link in this beginningless and endless chain is I, or is you, or is any other human ego; and the other links of any such chain are the other parts of that entity's constitution.
Further, we are connected by the higher links and the lower links with all the universe that surrounds us, and our constitution is wholly formed of all these links. Thus we come back to what I have so often told you that each human being is essentially the universe, and the universe is distributively each human being.
You must get rid of the idea of the immortal eternal soul. There is no such immortal soul in man, for the simple reason that every part of your constitution is evolving, growing. This means changing, this means evolving to something greater. Consequently, the soul at no two consecutive seconds of time is the same, and therefore a crystallized immortality is a mere figment of the imagination, a dream, an illusion. Do you understand?
Many Voices — Yes.
Student — What is the work, if I may put it in that way, of the inner god? Is it merely waiting to be recognized by us, so that it can manifest through us? Or, if it has a work on its own plane, what is that work?
G. de P. — Yes, indeed, it has a work on its own plane. Every part of the human constitution is evolving on its own plane, because every distinct part or link is a distinct entity. But they are all interlinked, interconnected, interbound, interworking, and in a very true sense interpenetrating. No entity anywhere can live unto itself alone. The gods live in their own spheres, have their own ways of life, but they permeate all entities and things subordinate to and beneath them, and they themselves are permeated by the essences of superdivinities above them, which therefore of course likewise permeate us.
I will tell you a truth, I will go a little farther — the gods have their own worlds; they have even what we humans would call their own dwellings, they have their own duties. We pass through them constantly, we pass through what we may call their lakes and through what we may speak of as their houses, and we have no cognizance of it. But because we live, each one of us, in the vital essence of the entity superior to us — our divine parent of which we were a life-atom in a former manvantara — we call this superior entity our inner god, because it is such.
We are it actually, because the I-am-I of that inner god manifests in us as our "I am." Then, each one of us as a human has his own I-am-I, which is the "I am" of all the subordinate entities of that human being. Don't you see?
The gods live in their own spheres. They have their own duties, their own occupations, their own avocations; we may doubtless say that they have their own schools, their own temples, their own houses. I am employing human terms in this connection merely in order to make the idea clear to you.
Nature repeats herself everywhere. We are all interlinked, interconnected, interbound. The same life flows through all. These inner gods in their turn are similarly linked to other superdivine entities, supergods, higher than they.
Student — May I now restate my question? At the end of the seventh race, after we pass on to the next globe, am I right in understanding that in the sishtas which we have left behind, these other beings — dhyan-chohans — come and live in those sishtas on the earth during the time that our great humanity is on some other globe? I mean, do these dhyan-chohans incarnate in these sishtas? That is what I was trying to get at.
G. de P. — I have often wondered whether this same question would at some time be asked. The general answer to it is, no. But I wish to make a certain reservation here regarding the very lowest class of the life-wave succeeding ours, which possibly, and I think in all probability, will to a certain extent incarnate in the noblest of the sishtas that we shall leave behind. But generally speaking, and leaving these possible exceptions aside, the answer is, no. And if you will look around us and consider the sishtas now living on earth that the preceding life-waves have left, you will see that we do not embody ourselves in the beasts, nor in the plants, nor in the minerals.
The life-wave following ourselves, or the family group superior to ours, will come in their own way, and their sishtas are living and waiting on this earth today. You may ask where? And I will answer with an echo: where indeed? There are many mysteries about the earth of which very little has been said, even in our Esoteric School.
The sishtas that these superior beings left during their last round are on earth today, and are waiting for their own life-wave to return.
Student — Have the mysterious Todas of India that HPB speaks of any connection with these sishtas?
G. de P. — No. Truly, they are by no means high enough. The Todas are one seed of a future great subrace of our fifth root-race. They are a part of the seed-bodies of one of the forthcoming subraces, and I mean grand subraces, because this phrase subrace is a generalizing term and can be used for different kinds of subraces, small or great.
Now, Companions, the time to close our meeting has come. But before doing so I would like to tell you that you should not be discouraged if you are unable immediately to seize the inner meaning of these very difficult teachings regarding consciousness that we have discussed tonight and on other occasions. The study of consciousness is one of the most difficult to understand. I have wondered, I have indeed been astonished, that so many of your questions have been on this subject. I am glad to see that it is so. It shows that you are awakening, that you are indeed beginning to get real gleams of light.
Strive for initiation. Strive for initiation. Because when initiation comes to you, as it certainly will if you don't fall by the wayside, if you don't fail in the tests, then all things will become clearer to you, because you will be taught to become what you are taught. Initiation is the actual pro tempore becoming the things that you have been taught about, so that your consciousness has immediate cognition of all these different states of consciousness, of all these different beings and worlds and spheres.
There is a stage in initiation, and it is one of the highest, when the neophyte meets his own inner god face to face. Now think what that means! Any individual can say: it is my self and yet not my self. Now take this thought and ponder over it; and let me draw a little moral from it before we part tonight.
When HPB came to the Occidental world in 1873 — I think it was, at least to New York in 1873 — carrying all these teachings and plans in her consciousness — knowing what she had been sent to teach, knowing that she had been sent to found a School — what, I ask you, must have been her feelings and her mental outlook at the almost insuperable difficulty of making the mass of mankind understand what she was talking about? Even we, with more than fifty years of study and reflection, find it very difficult to understand these matters. And yet she came to a world which knew nothing at all of esotericism, nothing of occultism, nothing of the real mysteries of life, brought up in the tenets of a dying church, and hypnotized, psychologized, with the teaching of a haughty and arrogant science, which since then has changed practically all of its basic teachings.
My dear Companions, as I look back at it all and consider her work, I think it is truly masterly. She made an impression in human consciousness which as an effort and as an accomplishment was divine in its power. There was divine power behind it. I want you to think over that; and then when you hear some so-called theosophists belittling HPB because they don't understand her, because they have no comprehension of her or of her life and character, just remember what she did, what she brought with her, what she knew she had to teach, and how she had to give that teaching out. And remember that when she died she left behind her a Society, she left behind her teachings, and her books, which have brought you here.
She gave back to man the consciousness of his essential divinity, of his essential oneness with the universe, of the existence of an esoteric wisdom which has lasted through the ages, of the existence and actuality of a band of great men, masters of life. She changed the entire spiritual, moral, and psychological outlook of humanity; and this is no overdrawn statement, because our theosophical ideas in so many respects are, as you well know, now becoming actually popular.
Look at the different societies that have sprung from her work. They are really all offsprings of the theosophical movement, in many cases verging into the left hand, and are thus aberrant on their way, for they know little of the truth. But yet it all has come about since H. P. Blavatsky came to the Occidental world. They all teach her doctrines, though in a more or less distorted form. The Rosicrucians, as one of our companions told me this evening, refer their students to H. P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine. Look at all these various societies, mystical, quasi-occultist, so-called theosophical, and what not. Remember HPB, my dear Brothers. Remember her and love her.
I will conclude tonight with this one statement: that the woman H. P. Blavatsky, the Russian body known under the name of H. P. Blavatsky, was the vehicle of one of the Masters themselves. This does not mean that this Master evicted the soul of HPB. Not at all. But HPB was the psychological cripple that I have tried to explain on other occasions. There was a vacancy in her constitution; I believe you will remember that I have spoken to you about this before, and this vacancy in the constitution was at times filled with the presence, that is with the consciousness and with the will and with the mind, of a Master of Wisdom and Compassion and Peace, who worked through her; and on these occasions she always signed the documents that her hand wrote with the three initials, 'HPB.' She alludes to this matter herself in more than one of her letters addressed to Mr. A. P. Sinnett; and in others she alludes vaguely to the same fact.
The meeting is adjourned, Companions. Will you kindly sound the gong.
[The sounding of the gong. Silence.]