G. de P. — Is there anything to bring before the meeting this evening?
Secretary — The teacher has asked that I read an extract from a letter just received by him:
"I am on the lookout for every crumb of teaching I can set eyes on. Light and more and more and more light is the cry of my soul tho' it is growing all the time. I have all the proof I want that I am in a genuine school in our ES The only thing is now I want discipline — more of it — something to help me to get rid of the personal idea more and more, so that I can make the Light shine for all those others more clearly."
G. de P. — That is a beautiful communication. I was touched by it and I will tell you why. It shows the touch of the chela-spirit, the craving for discipline in order to loosen, to shake off, the shackles of the personal selfhood, the enshrouding veils, the crippling chains of personality. I wonder how many of you, dear friends, would be willing to undergo a course of chela discipline for even so short a period as six months? I wonder! The first thing that would be aroused in your natures, I am almost sure, would be rebellion. You would ask yourself first: "Why should this be asked of me? Don't I know my life? Don't I know my duty? I want discipline, I want more light, I want to be shown the path, but I don't want to be shown the A B C of things that everybody knows." Do you see the point?
The ES discipline, the chela discipline, the chela training, comes with absorbing power into all the events of the everyday life. It would be a somewhat fantastic procedure to train a man to meet and to undergo a set of artificial tests for which he would have been — during a process of training and thought and a preparation extending over weeks and months perhaps — tensing his spiritual and intellectual muscles in order to meet these artificial tests. You may read in romances about this latter kind or method of training, but they do not actually exist in the lower degrees of our School. Only in the higher degrees, after the chela has shown that he is capable of meeting successfully the conditions of life as they come, and overcoming all temptations, are these other greater, severer tests put upon him, and even then they come unexpectedly always.
Suppose that I were to ask of you for six months only, never to justify yourself and never to answer back. I wonder how many of you could stand the strain of even that simple little test which as you see would operate so strongly in the events of daily life. This is one of the commonest rules in the ordinary ethical training even of the exoteric schools, and yet it is the very first rule in the chela's course of training. Never indulge in self-justification in any circumstances; but when another is unjustly attacked then spring immediately to his defense, if you feel that the attack is unwarranted and unjust.
I am very desirous that these meetings of the KTMG continue. I have given largely of the teachings, and have done so with all my heart and all my mind.
But don't you realize that occultism is not a plaything, and that you are now in what, in ancient times, would have been called a Mystery-school, such as the Mystery-schools of ancient Greece, and of Hindustan, and of Egypt, and even of the archaic European countries?
Keep therefore the strictest silence about all the teachings that you have received. Even threats of death, or the actual coming of death, are not sufficient excuse for you to open your lips, even to save your life. It matters not at all that you may possibly think — and some unwise person may so think — that the teachings hitherto given are such as you might have gained elsewhere or yourself have read in books. That is not the point, nor is it indeed the fact. The point is that you are pledged to perfect secrecy. Some day you will realize that the teachings that you have received here, you could not have received anywhere else in the world, unless indeed it be in some other branch of our own order.
One of the companions wrote to me a little while ago that, in his mind, there was a strong doubt of our moral right to keep such beautiful teachings from mankind in general. The letter continued that he had received such help, such an inner illumination, that it seemed a crime to keep these teachings secret, and that they ought to be given out publicly in order to give the same help to others that he had received. One who had lived a longer time in the atmosphere of our school and had thus imbibed a larger portion of the esoteric life never could have suggested or written a thing like that. The motive was good, the spirit was altruistic, and there was the desire to help others and to give to others what had been received. But it was entirely wrong so easily to forget the pledge of utter secrecy which this companion had taken.
I can tell you that the teachings you have received here in many cases might be dangerous to talk about in public. I have on previous occasions given you reasons to show you why in such cases they could be dangerous. They are not fit for the public, simply because the public is not prepared to receive them.
These teachings are, as it were, glimmers of the buddhic splendor coming from the minds of the great ones, intended to awaken the buddhic splendor in you, to fire it into a more lively flame, to set your souls on fire with the holy light. It is a very difficult thing to take these age-old doctrines and to give them to Occidental minds which have been trained to look upon as actual virtues some of the things that a far deeper penetration into the psychological mysteries of the human soul would show to be not wise things, not intrinsically good things.
There is a common feeling among scientific men and the public of the Occident today that all knowledge is sacred and should be given to everybody. You frequently hear this idea spoken of. It is said that knowledge of any kind belongs to humanity, and therefore that everybody should have it. Tom, Dick, and Harry should be acquainted with everything that is in the universe if it be possible to give it to Tom, Dick, and Harry. This is all wrong. There are facts in nature and teachings about nature and about man which should be given only to those who have been spiritually, intellectually, and morally trained to receive and to guard them — put into the minds of men and women who would guard them sacredly. There are keys unlocking powers and forces in the human being which could be dreadfully misused. Some men and women are far cleverer than others, but cleverness is no guarantee of moral fitness; and because half-a-dozen men or half-a-dozen women think that knowledge could be safely entrusted to them, is no proof that it could be safely entrusted to others.
You may remember what HPB says in more than one place about so apparently harmless and simple a thing as the teaching regarding the septenary nature of man and of the universe. "How on earth," it has often been asked, "could such a teaching bring harm to anybody?" And yet it most certainly might. Take for instance the teaching of karma: as you sow, ye reap; what you are, you have made yourselves to be; the ultimate end will be a perfecting of you. Do you not see how this teaching could be distorted to evil uses? Someone might argue: "Ah, I see. I make myself to be what I shall become. Nevertheless the ultimate end is my perfection; therefore what really matters what I do now? Why may I not take a vacation and play ducks and drakes with the ethical laws of being, since my ultimate end is perfection? Why not vent my hatred and rage on so and so who has misused me, wrongfully mistreated me? Doubtless I shall pay for it with suffering, it may be; but after I have paid, then I shall be freed from the sin, and meanwhile I shall have had the pleasure of being revenged on my own enemy."
Such people forget the other side of the teaching, the teaching regarding the fate of the lost soul.
Are there any questions that you would like to ask?
Student — Is not man himself primarily responsible for the races of the new globe which he is destined in future to inhabit? Continually man emits thoughts, and these thoughts become entities, and these entities, what happens to them if they do not amalgamate and form the world substance? If they don't, how can man meet the thought currents that he sets in motion all the time? How does he ever meet the result of his thought — karma, if I may put it in that way? Do you get my thought?
G. de P. — I think I do. But could you elaborate a little more; then perhaps the question will become shorter and clearer.
Student — Well, I want to know how worlds began, and why they should begin unless man is responsible for them. Why should he have to live on a world that he has not made? Shall I say anything more?
G. de P. — I think I understand you now. Your last words are much briefer and much clearer. As a matter of fact, man and the world he lives on are essentially one. They are both of the same blood, bone of the same bone, flesh of the same flesh, so to speak. The very atoms which compose him also compose the different parts of the constitution of the chain of globes — or the planetary chain — with which his destiny is linked. As he is part of the substance of this planetary chain, he therefore is bound into it. But man is a creative center, a focus of creative fire. This creative fire is consciousness-thought-will, three aspects of the same fundamental. From this creative focus which is the center of his being he is continually emitting, sending forth, thoughts — elementals, thought-centers, if you like — and these are unself-conscious god-sparks. It is thus that the universe is continuously repopulated and provided with the new rivers of incoming entities beginning their aeons-long evolutionary journey; and with equally continuous flow through much more progressed entities, relatively perfected entities so far as our universe is concerned are passing out at the other or concluding end of the cosmic circle of existence as fully self-conscious gods.
Man, therefore, as one host of the inhabitants of our planetary chain, is indeed fully responsible for the globes on which he lives in so far as his thoughts and emotions and acts have modified those globes or changed them. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — The remarks that I have just made apply to all human beings. They apply fully likewise to the cosmic spirits or dhyan-chohans or gods, who having been men like us in a former manvantara are now at the most evolved end of the cosmic chain of being. They too are connected with our world, or with our series of worlds, and with our universe also. It is therefore they who are our elders, our light-bearers, those who are ahead of us and carrying the torches. Seeing their light we follow after, much as the traveler follows after the bright light of the one at the head of the caravan.
Gods at one end of the spiral of cosmic existence. Unself-conscious god-sparks at the other or beginning end; the intermediate stages or grades of the ladder of life, filled with all other classes of beings. Such is any universe, or planetary chain, or world, in each case depending upon the scale of existence that you have at the time in your thought.
Student — Thank you. May I say just one more thing? I want to know what the actual planet or globe is formed of the actual world substance.
G. de P. — I see what you mean. Every cosmic body, every celestial body, our earth for instance, as also all the other globes of our planetary chain, is formed in the last analysis of monads who happen to be passing through that especial phase of their evolutionary journey. We human beings in past aeons, in past ages, were just such monads then composing the physical substance of a globe, or a series of globes, on which other entities then lived as human beings; and these other entities are now our gods and our supergods. Do you understand?
Student — Yes. So then the earth itself, or the globe — well, we are responsible then for making these monads. The globe that we are going to go on now is the reimbodiment of the globe or the monads that we were then?
G. de P. — No. I think that you are wrong there, or at least you have not expressed your idea clearly. Your fundamental idea possibly may be right, but it is not clearly expressed. We originally were the thought-elementals of those entities who are now gods, just as we human beings are now constantly emitting thought-elementals who in their turn in future ages will become human beings and later blossom into gods. The universe, looked at from an abstract point of view, is composed of two general classes of entities: first, those beginning their journey, which are the monads in the three elemental kingdoms, in the mineral kingdom, in the plant kingdom, and in the beast kingdom; then comes the human or intermediate kingdom; and, second: the other great general class which comprises all monads which have blossomed forth and become gods. The matter of our earth consists in the last analysis, as I have already said, of monads. These monads do not actually fully exercise their creative powers of casting forth other monads until they themselves have become more or less adult or mature. Then and thereafter they begin to "create." It is even so in the growth of a human being. A human being cannot very well cast forth seeds of life until a certain age has been reached. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes, thank you very much.
Student — I am going to ask a question with great diffidence. Do the entities of the pratyeka buddhas become the manasaputras of some future manvantara? I mean, do the monads have to send forth the manasaputras to go through another stage of growth, so that they can have a chance to become the unselfish buddhas?
G. de P. — Do you mean: do the pratyeka buddhas become the manasaputras of a future manvantara so that thus they may learn nature's grandest lesson of impersonality?
Student — Yes, that is my idea.
G. de P. — Yes, they do; but I would add that the pratyeka buddhas who thus become manasaputras, or children of mind, of a future manvantara belong to the lower classes of the agnishvatta-pitris who also are the manasaputras. The higher classes of the manasaputras are those entities who had already in the preceding manvantara attained a certain high degree of impersonal existence.
Student — In The Secret Doctrine it speaks of atma-buddhi, the spiritual monad, as transmitting its spiritual and intellectual enlightening forces over the bridge formed by manas and kama into the personal ego.
G. de P. — Just so.
Student — Or quaternary. And then we have heard that the agnishvatta-pitris enlighten and inspire the lower lunar pitris with their spiritual-intellectual energies and forces. I would like to know what the difference is between these spiritual-intellectual energies and those of the atman-buddhi which are transmitted into the personal ego.
G. de P. — Yours is a very profound question and involves two lines of evolution, both of which are spoken of rather vaguely in The Secret Doctrine. What you have said is perfectly true. All man's noblest impulses, all his inspirations of genius, all his evolving faculties and powers — or rather all the spiritual fire within him bringing forth the evolution of his faculties and powers — all this and much more comes from the spiritual monad, the atma-buddhic monad. But in order that this atma-buddhic monad may manifest in the brain of the physical man it must be stepped down or transmitted to that brain by an intermediary organ. This intermediary organ is what is popularly called the human soul, the kama-manas.
Now having said this much we go a step farther. In the early races of humanity on this globe, in this fourth round, and more exactly at about the middle point of the third root-race, there occurred the most wondrous event in human history: the firing of this hitherto latent intermediate part of humanity by the descent into, by the incarnation or rather imbodiment in that intermediate part, of more progressed manasaputric entities from previous manvantaras. This is called the descent of the manasaputras, and this entrance or descent of the manasaputras quickened with its living flame the hitherto sleeping intermediate nature of the third root-race. The third root-race had potentially all the capacities of the man, but the intermediate nature was asleep, latent, not yet evolved, not yet strong enough to transmit or step down the spiritual influences from the atma-buddhic monad. But these manasaputras entered into those waiting vehicles, those waiting entities, and with their living flame quickened the sleeping intermediate part, the sleeping human soul, awakened it, stimulated it, so that it became active.
Remember that there are two sides to this matter. First, the individual human being in the third root-race had all the capacities that man now has, but they were then wholly asleep so far as the intermediate or soul nature was concerned. Perhaps it would be better to say that they were not then as yet evolved. It would have taken ages and ages of slow evolutionary work to awaken these latent soul parts of the then mankind. But in order to help mankind, in order to quicken man's evolution, in order more quickly to bring into action this intermediate or soul part, the manasaputras from a previous manvantara, spiritual beings as they are, "descended" into man, quickened by their own living fire his sleeping or unevolved soul, and thus awakened it. Do you understand? Is the answer responsive to your question?
Student — Yes, and it covers it completely; but I could not solve it myself. I have another question. The Secret Doctrine speaks about kama. Kama, the seat of desires, requires a spiritual fire which, as I understand it, has been appropriated by the "triangles" and is analogous to the fire that has been appropriated by Prometheus. I should like to know what the triangles are, or who they are. Are they dhyan-chohans, or higher archangels?
G. de P. — This question refers to the same matter that your first question contained. This word triangles is a technical term given to the upper triad, the atman, buddhi, and the higher manas, combined into one. A fiery triangle is the title often given to such an entity, and they are the manasaputras. It is their descent into, or rather their overshadowing of, the kamic part of the human being which completes the man and makes him a septenary man-plant, that is, a man-plant with every part of his constitution more or less in active function. Do you understand me? If you do not, please ask again.
Student — Yes, I see how the manasaputras have entered into the kamic principle, and through their fire have given the spiritual fire that makes kama a cosmic principle.
G. de P. — Yes, but you phrase it wrongly. Kama is a cosmic principle itself. It is the cosmic fire, a psycho-electromagnetic principle. You may divide the human constitution into three parts: an upper fiery triangle or spiritual triangle; a lower psycho-astral physical triangle; and the two connected by the antaskarana or link or bridge. It is this intermediate element or link or bridge which was awakened in the third root-race by the descent of the manasaputras. This intermediate link was there, latent, but it was not then manifesting, it was not then awakened. It was "sleeping."
So it is at present with the beasts. The beast has all the principles that we as men have. There is everything in the beast that a man has. But all the upper part of the beast's constitution is not yet evolved to the point of manifesting itself. To use popular language, it is asleep, it is not yet awakened. The time will come when the upper or superior parts of the beast constitution will be awakened, and then the beasts will no longer be beasts: they will have become men, or individuals occupying the same evolutionary stage that we men do. Whether they will be men exactly as we are men is a matter for debate; but they will be men, self-conscious thinking entities with a conscience, with will, and with all the other faculties that man shows.
Student — Are the manasaputras the same as the spiritual monad in us?
G. de P. — No, they are not, Doctor.
Student — Are they children of our inner gods?
G. de P. — Children of our inner gods?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — No, they are not, Doctor.
Student — Then I am wondering what is the karmic relation that makes them incarnate in our constitution?
G. de P. — A very pertinent question indeed. Some of the questions of our companions who have studied longer than others probe very deeply into the esoteric teachings. You here touch upon a matter which I have often tried to explain. Every part of the human constitution may be considered as an evolving entity. For instance, taking myself as an example of all other men, there is in me an inner god; a spiritual soul some day to become an inner god; a child of this spiritual soul which is my human soul, some day to become a spiritual soul, and therefore on its way in still more future time to become an inner god. There is in me again an animal soul, a child of the human soul; and this animal soul is on its way to become a human soul, later to become a spiritual soul, later to become an inner god. There is in me, besides all this, the lowest part of my constitution — the psycho-astral-physical triangle.
Now the spiritual soul, when it has raised the human soul to become like unto itself, will at that time have become an inner god. But when the human soul, thus raised, has attained that grade of spiritual soul, it becomes a manasaputra and thereafter takes an active self-conscious part in the evolutionary work of the universe. Among others of its functions or duties will be the quickening or enlivening or inflaming of the soul part of some future race of beings — just as the manasaputras in our own human case enlivened us, quickened us, inflamed our souls, awakened our souls.
Therefore the manasaputras spoken of in The Secret Doctrine are not we ourselves and yet are we. Mysteriously, they are a part of us, because they awakened us. They could not have awakened us unless they had been karmically connected with us, and they are karmically connected with us because in a past manvantara they had evolved from being human souls to becoming spiritual souls or manasaputras.
For instance, in me there is a manasaputra not yet evolved forth, but evolving. It is the lower part of my spiritual soul, or the highest part of my human soul you may say. That statement is true enough. But that manasaputra within me and part of my own monadic essence is not the manasaputra which inflamed my human soul and awakened it in the middle of the third root-race. This latter manasaputra is a spiritual soul which still overshadows me with its spiritual splendor. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, thank you, but I don't quite yet understand the karmic relation. I don't know why this son of the sun — is it greater than the inner god? No, of course it is lower than the inner god.
G. de P. — What is?
Student — The manasaputra that awakened a human soul in the third race — is it greater or not than our inner god?
G. de P. — It is less great. A manasaputra has its own inner god, and a manasaputra is a human soul raised to become a spiritual soul, because it has become at one with its inner god. The inner god at the top, the human soul at the bottom, the spiritual soul between. Now these three form a manasaputra. But a manasaputra is an entity in which the human soul has become so inflamed with the spiritual fire that that human soul itself is on the verge of becoming a spiritual soul, a pure buddhic essence. Do you understand?
Student — The manasaputra then is from another manvantara?
G. de P. — Yes, from another manvantara.
Student — Yes, I understand.
G. de P. — May I add this, and it may help you a little. All entities throughout our universe are karmically linked together, some more closely knit together than others are. That is why we earth creatures are all here together. We all help each other, whether we will or whether we nill. We help each other. We are all children of this universe. We are all linked together by karmic bonds of existence, therefore of destiny. Just as the manasaputras helped us by awakening our human souls, in exactly similar way we in future aeons as manasaputras shall awaken the human souls of a future race of human beings, which I myself believe to be what we now call the races of the beasts who then will have become human or verging into becoming human.
Or, again, as we are karmically connected with the beasts who are in a sense our children, so are these manasaputras connected with us, for we in a certain sense are their children.
Student — Thank you, but it seems to me such a gap between the spiritual monad and the human monad, that I ask whether there must not be two or three grades of dhyan-chohans which became part of our inner constitution in order to make the necessary evolutionary steps. Is that true?
G. de P. — I would not say that there are these many grades of dhyan-chohans between the spiritual soul and the human soul. Please recollect that the human soul is the child of the spiritual soul; or using another figure of speech, the spiritual soul is the sun-center and the human soul is a ray from it. The ray is of the same essence, of the same light; nevertheless the ray is not the sun. It is merely its offspring, an influence from it, an effluence from it. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, I see. But where are the dhyan-chohans which came from the moon? Are they not between us, the human, and the spiritual monad?
G. de P. — No. Dhyan-chohan is a generalizing term meaning "Lord of Meditation," and is applied to any spiritual or quasi-spiritual entity whatsoever when considered as such an entity. The manasaputras are dhyan-chohans. Even our human souls, when in devachan, can technically and properly be called dhyan-chohans of a low grade because they are in a spiritual condition then. Do you understand? Dhyan-chohan is merely a title descriptive of any class of spiritual or quasi-spiritual entities. So, you see, I do not think that it would be quite right to speak of many classes of dhyan-chohans, or of spiritual beings, between the spiritual soul and the human soul. There are practically no such grades at all.
Student — May I add a question along this line? I had thought that the third race which was endowed with a spark of mind by the manasaputras had formerly been, as it were, atoms in the beings of the manasaputras when these manasaputras had evolved to a state corresponding to our humanity. I don't want to call them humans, but I refer to a time when they occupied a plane equivalent to the human. I have reference to something analogous to what The Secret Doctrine means when it says that the beast kingdom is composed of cast-off atoms from our previous humanities. Is that wrong?
G. de P. — No, that is right; generally speaking, that is quite right. But I would like to enter a caveat here, or rather utter a little word of warning, if I may. You speak of the manasaputras "endowing" our human souls with self-consciousness. Perhaps the word endowing is all right, if you make a careful distinction in your mind when you use this word; but if by using the word endowing you mean giving, conferring upon, then it is wrong.
Student — No; lighting, I should have said.
G. de P. — Yes. It is a lighting. It is awakening light in what is already there. It is an awakening of self-consciousness in the hitherto unself-conscious vehicles through the action of the manasaputric fire. Consider this as an analogy: when a teacher awakens interest, intelligence, in his pupil, he sets a spiritual fire to the mind of the pupils. He awakens it, he stimulates it, he brings it into activity. He does not give mind to his pupil, but he merely works on what is already there, and inflames it so that it begins to work from its own energies, and thereafter to act. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, I see, endowed was the wrong word. Fired or awakened would be better.
G. de P. — Yes. Nevertheless you are justified in using the word, because HPB frequently uses it. But please understand what the word implies. The mysteries connected with the "descent" of the manasaputras are really very great, and I am not at all surprised that in so intricate and difficult a subject there should be room for so many questions, so many doubts — if you like, so many misunderstandings. It is perfectly understandable. Nevertheless the matter is one of the most fruitful subjects of thought, and very productive of benefit.
Student — I would like to ask if the manasaputras are not our reincarnating egos.
G. de P. — No, indeed, they are not, if you refer to the "descent" of the manasaputras in the third root-race. The manasaputras are evolved entities from another manvantara who, descending into, or rather quickening, enlivening, setting fire to the sleeping or unevolved souls of the then mankind, brought these souls into activity, awakened the latent faculties which were already there. These awakened faculties thereafter were and are the reincarnating egos of the individual humans.
Student — Oh, the awakened faculties are the reincarnating egos?
G. de P. — Yes. Certainly these awakened parts of mankind were and are the reincarnating egos, a reincarnating ego being the spiritual-psychological parts of the constitution. The manasaputras are spiritually and intellectually progressed entities from another previous manvantara; and these manasaputras, in that past manvantara, were themselves then human souls who had been awakened in their turn. They were awakened in that previous manvantara just as we have been awakened in this manvantara. In future aeons we shall be manasaputras and in our turn shall then awaken other sleeping or unevolved souls of an inferior race or humanity of that future home.
Student — Why do they call them reincarnating egos, then?
G. de P. — You mean the manasaputras?
Student — No. You said the manasaputras are not the reincarnating egos, but that they awakened the faculties of the human soul, and that these awakened faculties are the reincarnating ego.
G. de P. — The awakening human soul becomes the reincarnating ego; and these egos are awakened by the egos of the gods, by the fire, the divine fire, by their connection with the divine fire resident in the manasaputra. Remember the analogy that I gave you a few moments agone: a teacher will awaken the sleeping soul in his pupil. The soul was there, but it was sleeping, unevolved. But contact with the teacher, the stimulation of the teacher's words and teaching and example — all this awakens the sleeping inner part of the pupil, so that thereafter the pupil himself begins to learn truly to live, truly to be.
Student — I don't see why they call it reincarnating ego.
G. de P. — Call what reincarnating ego?
Student — What is the reincarnating ego?
G. de P. — The reincarnating ego is the awakened human soul.
Student — But awakened does not exactly mean reincarnating, does it?
G. de P. — No, of course not. But it could not reincarnate as an individual ego until it had evolved the egoic reincarnating faculty.
Student — But it was a soul before, I understand.
G. de P. — Yes; it was a soul, but a sleeping soul, a latent entity, as it were. When the manasaputra awakened it, it became an individual, it became egoic, or rather an egoic quality was evolved forth from within it.
Student — It is then only called a reincarnating soul in the case that it reincarnates after every earth life.
G. de P. — That's it. And it was the descent of the manasaputra on the sleeping embryonic soul which trained it into becoming, or evolved it forth into becoming, a reincarnating ego. The next step in evolution that the reincarnating ego will take, will be to become in its turn a manasaputra. The manasaputras, as I have already told you several times, in a former manvantara were simply reincarnating egos. Before that they were sleeping or unevolved souls. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, thank you.
G. de P. — That is good.
Student — I would like to ask one or two questions. First of all, if the manasaputras quickened the human souls of entities who were in the beast kingdom — I mean, who came from the beast kingdom into the human kingdom — does not this imply a responsibility of the manasaputras to their own thought-children?
G. de P. — Assuredly it does.
Student — Does that not show why the manasaputras came to them?
G. de P. — Just so.
Student — And is it the destiny of every human soul to go through that phase of its evolution in becoming a manasaputra, and quicken its own children of some past manvantara?
G. de P. — First there is the sleeping monad, the unself-conscious god-spark — two ways of expressing the same thing. Then through aeons of slow natural evolutionary growth there come the first faint adumbrations of individualized consciousness, which we may call soul. Soul is a vague term, admittedly so, but our language in these esoteric respects is very vague. Such souls you will find in the minerals, in the plants, in the lower orders of the beasts. Then as its evolution proceeds, this individualizing process becomes greater or stronger. In other words the individual soul becomes more compact, more concrete, more definite; and then we have the highest orders of the beasts and the very lowest orders of the humans.
But no such evolving soul can actually attain full self-consciousness until it has been touched by the divine fire, quickened, you understand, by some manasaputra with whom it is karmically connected. Thereafter, spiritual individuality has been achieved, and the reincarnating ego begins its aeonic career as an individual, destined in its turn to blossom forth in later future aeons into becoming a manasaputra. Each manasaputra, furthermore, is attended by a long train of karmic followers, its own psychovital "children." And in some far distant future aeon each such manasaputra must awaken or quicken these, its psychovital offspring. It is thus its own psychovital children, over which the manasaputra watches, and it has an intimate karmic connection with these psychovital children of itself.
Now carry your thoughts far into the future. Each such manasaputra in the distant aeons of future time will be a sun, shining in splendor in space, attended with its family — its spiritual, intellectual, psychical, material, vital-material family — which are the planets and the comets and the nebulae of the solar system. Something that our astronomers have not yet even dreamed of. This family relationship exists indeed not only on the visible plane of the solar system, but on the invisible planes and spheres also.
Furthermore, as each one of us human beings is going to be a manasaputra, therefore we can say that each one of us in far distant aeons of the future is destined to become a sun shining in splendor in space.
There is one law running throughout universal being which is the law of its own essence, and consequently every entity existing in universal being has this fundamental law at its heart and therefore governing all its career through time and space. Hence it is that the Hermetic School said: "What is above is the same as that which is below. What is below is fundamentally the same as that which is above."
Student — The point that puzzles me is this. I can understand how a teacher can fire the pupil's imagination and awaken it, but I do not understand the manner in which the manasaputras awakened those sleeping entities.
G. de P. — The manner or the method of doing it is by surrounding the child or the pupil with its own vital psycho-astral flame. This is called the descent or the incarnation. Admittedly, these two words descent and incarnation are inaccurate, because really the manasaputra does not actually come down into the flesh. Incarnation and descent when so used are but figures of speech. What actually happens is that the manasaputra surrounds, incloses, with its aura, with its vital atmosphere, the soul which it is its karmic duty to awaken, very much as a mother surrounds her unborn babe and newborn babe with her own vitality, her own atmosphere, her own aura, thus giving it its fit and appropriate opportunity or bed or place in which to grow. The mother not only provides this atmosphere and unconsciously gives it, but furnishes also the womb in which the child, the entity-to-be, can grow safely, can take its first steps in evolutionary development in the new sphere of life. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, I understand. When that word incarnate was used it always gave me the impression that something was put into us.
G. de P. — Just so. The word was used for this reason: the manasaputra infuses, as it were, a portion of its own actual psychovital flame or life into the as yet undeveloped human soul. For instance, when fire takes hold of wood and consumes it, it is as if the flame entered into the wood and quickened the material of the wood into glowing, into consuming itself. Do you understand? The fire infuses itself into the wood. Thus gold is heated also. The fire penetrates into the molecules of the gold, the heat penetrates, and soon you see the glowing molten gold.
Of course figures of speech like this should not be pressed too far. They are but attempts to illustrate an idea. But actually what happens is that the manasaputra infuses a portion of its own spiritual-intellectual flame or fire, and a portion of its own psychovital essence, into the hitherto sleeping human souls. As this infusion remains with the human soul through many ages as a constantly and continually quickening, enlivening, inspiring energy, little by little the human soul awakens and comes into the native activity of its own inner faculties. Thus it is that the manasaputra awakens the latent fires in the soul. Do you understand?
Student — Thank you, yes. You referred in the earlier part of the evening to the chela-spirit, and the rule of discipline of always avoiding any self-justification — that first simple rule that one should never justify oneself for any personal reasons. I am not quite clear as to what you mean by never justifying oneself. For instance, in a business way one may have to make explanations of misunderstandings. To what extent do you mean never to justify oneself?
G. de P. — Of course this rule of no personal self-justification is a rule for chelas. Naturally, in the affairs of the business world, it is often advantageous and perfectly proper that an explanation should be given for certain acts, if indeed one's best judgment shows that such explanation is the easiest and the wisest and the kindliest way of composing difficulties. In such case the chela is permitted to do that. But personal self-justification does not mean that.
The rule regarding self-justification is this. If you are attacked justly or unjustly, do not be vindictive, do not hit back, do not begin to fight, do not justify yourself merely in order to satisfy yourself, your own sense of personal justice. With your fellow chelas, and even in the world, try rather so to live and so to conduct yourself that your actions will speak louder than your words. Suffer in silence if it is better so to do, and do it with a tranquil heart, rather than taking offense, firing up and causing more trouble in a world already overburdened with sorrow and passion. Forgive and love, and you will never care to justify your personal self in the way that is forbidden.
As I say, sometimes a quiet and wholly impersonal explanation is perfectly proper and justifiable even for a chela, because in that way sometimes difficulties can best be avoided; but this is not what is meant by the rule of no personal self-justification. I think that I have explained this before. Don't battle, don't fight back, don't create more trouble in the world merely because you feel that you have a right to be heard and that you have a right to put your side of the quarrel before the world, or before the one who has offended you. If it is a matter of mere offense to yourself personally, then let it go. Don't prolong the quarrel. Keep the peace. Be quiet. Be still. Forgive.
Student — Yes, thank you. I see what you mean.
G. de P. — It is a very simple rule. Of course, one must use one's sense in following it. But as a rule it is very easy. It makes life so much simpler and kindlier. It means: avoid quarrels, avoid disputes, avoid unfriendly discussion, avoid prolonging a difference of opinion. Don't justify yourself. Let the matter go. It will all be forgotten in a little while. Then you will be at peace. If your actions speak louder than your words and your actions are noble and beautiful, you will have nothing to worry about. Leave it to the Law. As the Jewish-Christian Bible put it: "Vengeance is mine" — and verily it is so. In other words, be on the side of right every time, and then you will have nothing to worry about.
Student — In our study of the Ramayana many points came up that we have not been able to solve. One question I would like to ask is about the bow of Siva. Is it right to interpret that as a symbol of the power of the spiritual soul?
G. de P. — Yes, you could so interpret it, as also the arrows flying from the bow. It really means the exercise of the spiritual will, because the will is like a bow used by a clever bowman. It can shoot shafts of thought and feeling, and some of these shafts are very dangerous. But when this will is used by a god, it can cleave all material things, pass through all things and reach its goal — like the arrow so discharged. Frequently in Occidental heroic stories of the same type, the symbol or emblem of the sword is used instead of that of the bow, and signifies the same thing: the sword of the spiritual will.
Many of those ancient epic stories contain really beautiful and profound truths expressed in mystical fashion; and there are hundreds and hundreds of such stories. For instance, there is the cloak of invisibility of which you have doubtless often heard. Now what do you think that means? Have you had any thought about it — wrapping around oneself the cloak of invisibility?
Student — Going into obscuration?
G. de P. — Think it over, and the next time we meet, if the Secretary will remind me, I will ask if you have solved the problem of the cloak of invisibility. Do you mind?
Student — No, I would like to. Now about Rama and Sita. You remember that towards the middle of the tale, Rama deserts Sita. Is this the explanation, that Rama came down to earth — he was really a god in human form — in order to kill the demon Ravana, or to help to kill evil in the world? In order to do this work, he would have to unite with the earth principle, which was represented by Sita; and when he had completed his work, he had no more need for this earth principle, and so he left her alone.
G. de P. — That could perhaps be one mystical way of construing the legend. Another way would be supposing that Sita represented the spiritual side of his being and one or more of his spiritual energies. But in order to do a certain work in the world, he had deliberately to turn his back on his wife Sita, that is, on the higher part of his being, and descend into the earth, temporarily leaving or forgetting his divine home.
Interpretations always depend upon the way in which the allegory turns or twists, and you have to make your deductions accordingly. Some of the parables of Jesus are subject to the same diversity of interpretation.
Are there any more questions before we close?
Student — May something be said on the subject of the seed and root-manus?
G. de P. — On the seed-manus and the root-manus? Yes, you will find a great deal said of these two kinds of manus in The Secret Doctrine. There is a root-manu at the beginning of every evolutionary period, whether it be of a planet, of a planetary chain, or of a race of mankind. Manu is a generalizing term. Applied to human beings it means the originators of a human race. There is the root-race in the beginning and there is also the seed-race at the end. Now it is obvious that every seed produces a root, and every root produces a seed; so whether you call the root-manu the first manu, and the seed-manu the last manu, or invert these names, it all really comes to the same thing.
However, let me take the case of a globe, our own globe for instance in its present fourth round. We can see that the root-manu, which originated mankind, became the human race, which, passing through all its manifold and all-various states in evolutionary progress, will when it finally quits the globe leave behind it a portion of itself as the seed-manu. But really it is as correct to speak of the first manu as the seed-manu and of the last manu on the globe as the root-manu furnishing the root for the next life-wave when it returns to this globe.
Student — I wanted to ask if the sishtas were the seed-manus, or vice versa.
G. de P. — They are.
Student — Then Vaivasvata-Manu refers to the seed?
G. de P. — Yes, you can call that the seed-manu. But Vaivasvata can correctly be called the root-manu. As a matter of fact the sishtas are indeed the seed-manus.
Student — One question in regard to the manasaputras. You say that it is scarcely correct to speak of their descent. Well, when they come and fire the latent principle, they themselves in acting as the spiritual soul are really functioning in a progressive way for themselves, are they not? Is not that a new experience for them, so that they are not really losing time?
G. de P. — Oh, bless you, no! No, indeed! They are not losing time. But there are two ways of looking at the functioning or work of the manasaputras. You could say that it is partly by their noble act of descent that they thus gain good karma; but, on the other hand, we must not forget that they are also actually karmically bound to accomplish this work.
Student — Is it not new work for them? Have they functioned in that way before?
G. de P. — They have not twice so functioned in the present manvantara — no. A manasaputra functions in that way for the term period of one manvantara. Then when the next manvantara comes and a new crop of manasaputras appears on the scene, the original manasaputras will have gone on much farther, and will have become gods. There are certain manasaputras, however, which we may call failures, and these are dhyan-chohans who have not made the full rise to godhood at the end of any manvantara, and they have to return to function in the new planetary chain of the succeeding manvantara.
So it is in a school among us humans. There are the professors who teach the pupils, but these professors themselves may be taking postgraduate courses of one kind or other, and they may or may not pass on successfully to the objective which they have put before themselves to attain. If they fail they must continue teaching in the next term. But of course they have gained the benefits of their experience and study. Meanwhile, the pupils are advancing, will have graduated, and in their turn may have become professors or teachers.
The work of the manasaputras is part karmic and part willful, that is, done by choice, done by will. Indeed, so it is in ordinary human life. Every time when we do a noble deed, a deed of self-forgetfulness which helps others, it is karmic merely from the fact that we do it. But nevertheless we do it by our own choice, and make thereby a future better karma. Hence, the karmic work cannot be called a waste of time. Assuredly not. That would indeed be absurd.
Is the answer responsive to your question?
Student — Yes. I thought also of the illustration of the mother giving of herself, her atmosphere, to the child. She also is gaining her experience in motherhood.
G. de P. — Quite true.
Student — Is it something like that? It then is progress, it is evolution, for the manasaputras.
G. de P. — Yes, it is evolution. I can see that your mind hesitates at the thought that perhaps the manasaputras are losing time.
Student — Well, I should think that they would be so terribly bored.
G. de P. — Have you ever been bored, Doctor?
Student — I certainly have.
G. de P. — Doing a noble deed?
Student — Well, I don't know that I have ever done anything like that.
G. de P. — Well, I am sure that you have. Every human being finds his greatest joy in doing deeds of beauty, in doing deeds which evoke hitherto sleeping spiritual qualities. However, it is just as you rightfully point out: such evocation from within of inner spiritual strength and beauty is never something lost. It is indeed a gain. But we do it partly by will, partly by our choice, and partly because it is our karma so to choose.