The Theosophical Forum – January 1946


When a diver prepares to dive from a springboard, he rises several times from the end of the board into the air, before making the final leap. The height of each rise is controlled by the combined action of his consciously impelled pressure on the board, and the board's mechanical impetus on his body.

The springboard serves as a useful analogy in considering the rise of the ego through various incarnations to higher and higher spiritual levels. The board is the earth-phase, desire is comparable to the diver's pressure on the board, various environmental and physical phenomena correspond to the board's mechanical impetus. If desire is strong in the spiritual direction, each contact with Earth will carry the ego into a higher level of spiritual awareness; the downward sweeps into the earthbound plane will be successively more forceful but briefer; the propulsion upward, mightier. The ego will recognize more clearly with each impact that the solid material plane is useful only in a limited and dimensional way, but that progress in the upward direction is boundless, infinite. However, the contacts must continue until the lesson is learned.

Physicists allege that the laws of gravity operate only within a certain radius of the earth. Theoretically, if an object could by some means pass this circumference, earth-gravity would no longer bring it back, and it would continue on into the unknown ether. This is the principle of the spiritually-geared ego. Each incarnation serves to send it higher and higher spiritually, until at last it no longer needs the lessons and earthy comforts of this plane; and so leaves it forever and goes on to the mystic regions of the next aspect of its journey towards Divinity.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition