Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy — G. de Purucker

Chapter Seven

Hierarchies: One of the Lost Keys of the Esoteric Philosophy. The Pythagorean Sacred Tetraktys. The Ladder of Life: The Legend of Padmapani.

Theophilosophy proceeds on broader lines. From the very beginning of AEons — in time and space in our Round and Globe — the Mysteries of Nature (at any rate, those which it is lawful for our races to know) were recorded by the pupils of those same now invisible "heavenly men," in geometrical figures and symbols. The keys thereto passed from one generation of "wise men" to the other. Some of the symbols, thus passed from the east to the west, were brought therefrom by Pythagoras, who was not the inventor of his famous "Triangle." The latter figure, along with the plane cube and circle, are more eloquent and scientific descriptions of the order of the evolution of the Universe, spiritual and psychic, as well as physical, than volumes of descriptive Cosmogonies and revealed "Geneses." The ten points inscribed within that "Pythagorean triangle" are worth all the theogonies and angelologies ever emanated from the theological brain. For he who interprets them — on their very face, and in the order given — will find in these seventeen points (the seven Mathematical Points hidden) the uninterrupted series of the genealogies from the first Heavenly to terrestrial man. And, as they give the order of Beings, so they reveal the order in which were evolved the Kosmos, our earth, and the primordial elements by which the latter was generated. Begotten in the invisible Depths, and in the womb of the same "Mother" as its fellow-globes — he who will master the mysteries of our Earth, will have mastered those of all others. — The Secret Doctrine, I, 612-13

"It is that LIGHT which condenses into the forms of the 'Lords of Being'the first and the highest of which are, collectively, JIVATMA, or Pratyagatma (said figuratively to issue from Paramatma. It is the Logos of the Greek philosophers — appearing at the beginning of every new Manvantara). From these downwardsformed from the ever-consolidating waves of that light, which becomes on the objective plane gross matterproceed the numerous hierarchies of the Creative Forces, some formless, others having their own distinctive form, others, again, the lowest (Elementals), having no form of their own, but assuming every form according to the surrounding conditions." — Ibid., II, 33-4

WE OPEN our study this evening by reading from The Secret Doctrine, volume I, page 274:

The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who — whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels — are "messengers" in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws. They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence; and to call them all pure Spirits without any of the earthly alloy "which time is wont to prey upon" is only to indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either was, or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or a coming cycle (Manvantara).

When we ended our study last week, we left unmentioned a number of very important things, which we shall have to take up this evening. First, a few words more concerning the nebular theory or hypothesis and the planetary theory deriving from it, as considered from the theosophical standpoint, and consequently a further explanation or rather development of the doctrine of hierarchies, which will lead us to the study towards which we have aimed, that is to say, the consideration of cosmogony or the beginning of worlds as outlined in the Jewish Book of Genesis or Beginnings.

About one hundred years ago, more or less within a few years of each other, there died three remarkable men, namely Kant, perhaps the greatest philosopher that Europe has produced; Sir William Herschel, the astronomer; and the Marquis de Laplace; the first a German, the second an Anglo-German, and the third a Frenchman. All these three men in some degree were responsible for the enunciation and the development of the theory of world-beginning which eventuated in the nebular hypothesis of Laplace. It is interesting also to note that all three men were of humble birth, and by the force of their own intelligence and character became, all three of them, remarkable men. Kant was, I believe, the son of a saddler; Sir William Herschel was also of humble origin, and was in youth an oboist in the Hanoverian Guards; and Pierre Simon Laplace was the son of a farmer; Laplace was ennobled, and upon him was conferred the nobiliary title of marquis.

Now the nebular theory really originated with Kant; he it was who laid down the basic lines, the fundamental ground, as it were, upon which the theory was later developed mathematically by Laplace. Coincident with Kant's work and writings was the astronomical work of Herschel in England, and those two men were responsible for the fundamentals of the nebular theory. Laplace took it up after they had more or less laid down the main lines, developed it into what is called the nebular hypothesis or theory of Laplace, and on account of its explaining in mathematical form the mechanism of the universe, that is to say, of the solar system and the planets and their satellites, it has been called a "magnificently audacious" hypothesis. It was Laplace who carried the theory a good deal farther than the work of Kant and Herschel; and, in a sense, Laplace materialized it. As H. P. Blavatsky tells us, if the nebular theory had remained at the point where Kant and Herschel had left it, there would be little for the theosophical writers and thinkers to do except to develop it and explain it in accordance with the esoteric philosophy.

It is very interesting to note that another great man, Swedenborg in Sweden, also worked upon the same theory and apparently had very nearly the same ideas that Kant and Herschel had as regards a nebular genesis of cosmical systems. Now these two latter men had a spiritual idea back of the theory which they enunciated, and it was the abandonment of that spiritual idea by Laplace, and the substitution by him of a mechanico-mathematical theory in its place, which furnished those influences which directed the nebular hypothesis away from the line and thought and teachings as laid down in the esoteric philosophy, as taught by the ancient teachers.

The nebular hypothesis has in some respects been much changed since the day of Laplace; scientists have thought more about it, a fact which was also true in 1887 or 1888 when H. P. Blavatsky wrote The Secret Doctrine. There has been an attempt by later astronomers of our own day, Sir Norman Lockyer and the American astronomer and mathematician See, to replace a nebular origin of cosmical bodies, at least in part, with what has been called a planetesimal hypothesis or a planetesimal origin — that is to say, that the bodies of the solar system have been built up of and by cosmic dust and tiny planets drawn together by the force of gravitation. Now this theory is, philosophically speaking, at an immense distance from the teachings of the esoteric philosophy, although this philosophy does admit and teach that at a later stage in the evolution of cosmical bodies collection and concretion of stellar dust is, actually, one of the phases in the growth of worlds.

Theosophy admits that a planet or a solar system, in the course of its formation, does gather to itself stardust and vagrant bodies dispersed in space; but this factor in its growth is not its origin. The origin of a sun, of a solar system and of the planets in it, and consequently of the entire universe within the encircling zone of the Milky Way, has a spiritual background, has spiritual essences or gods behind it, who form such a system and direct it, and are the mechanicians in it and of it. Their work is carried on (more or less) along the main lines of the nebular theory as enunciated by Kant and Herschel: that is to say, space is eternally filled with matter in a certain state or condition of being, and when this matter, as Kant and Herschel would have said, receives the divine impulse, it is concreted and becomes luminous, and this concretion is further (and later) strengthened by its drawing into itself, from the immense spacial expanse in which it is, material stardust and larger bodies.

When we look up at the sky we see material bodies, fourth-plane bodies seen with our fourth-plane eyes, but behind these fourth-plane bodies there are spiritual intelligences, which are called in the esoteric philosophy, dhyan-chohans, or "lords of meditation." As the ancients put it, every celestial body is an "animal." Now the word animal comes from the Latin, and means a living being. Commonly, in speech, we speak of animals when we should say beasts or brutes; that is, a brute is an entity which has not yet been raised to the level of a self-conscious entity; it is brute in the original Latin sense, i.e., "heavy," "gross," hence irrational and incomplete; it is not yet finished. But an animal really means a living being, and in that sense the word applies to human beings.

Likewise, in the view of the ancients, it applies to the stellar, solar, and planetary bodies — they are animals in the sense of being living things, with a physical corpus or body, but nevertheless animate or insouled: in the mystical teachings of the esoteric philosophy they are insouled things, as indeed every atom is, every tiny universe, or tiny cosmos.

Now this insouling is done by (or is the action of) what is commonly called hierarchies. There is not for every individual entity in kosmos, whether atom, beast, man, god, planet, or sun, one concreted soul, as it were, derived from the universal world-soul, with nothing — no connecting links — above it and nothing below it; not at all. There are no true vacancies in nature, physical, astral, or spiritual; there are no vacuums. Everything is linked on to everything else, by literally countless bonds of union, which is another master key to the teachings of the esoteric philosophy. As in man, so in every other unit of being, in every other entity, the universal life manifests through a hierarchy; the multiform and varied qualities of beings are but the life-rays of a hierarchy, that is to say, grades or steps of consciousness and matter, ascending from below upward or, if you like, coming downwards from above, through all of which the center of consciousness — call it soul or ego for the moment — must pass in its evolution towards godhood.

This teaching of hierarchies is fundamental. It is one of the present-day "lost keys" of the esoteric philosophy. Nothing can be understood adequately without a clear comprehension of it. As man is in our ordinary psychology considered to be a triad or a triform entity — body, soul, and spirit — so he may be considered from another point of view as a fourfold entity, or as a fivefold, a sixfold, or a sevenfold, or (the most esoteric of all) as a tenfold entity. Why ten Because ten is the key number which explains the compound fabric of the universe. The universe is built on a denary scale, that is, on a scale counting by tens. In a few moments we shall develop in outline the philosophical import of seven and ten. Let us say now that man is septenary in our view only because we reckon in, as principles, two elements of his being which are not, strictly speaking, human principles: one, the physical body which really is not a "principle" at all; it is merely a house, his "carrier" in another sense, and no more belongs to man — except that he has excreted it, thrown it out from himself — than does the house in which his body lives. He is a complete human being without it.

The second strictly nonhuman principle is the highest of all the seven, the higher self, the atman, the seventh — nonhuman because it is universal. The self no more belongs to me than to you or to anyone else. Selfhood is the same in all beings. But beyond the atman, there is the Paramatman, which we have briefly studied before, the supreme self. The atman is, as it were, the star of our own self-issue, the root of our selfhood, the point where we cling, as it were, to the Highest. If we can conceive of an ocean of superspiritual ether, so to speak, and in that ocean — call it consciousness — a vortex, a laya-center, a point, a Primordial Point, whence the six principles below it flow forth into concrete manifestation through its vehicles — the souls or egos — we obtain a very crude conception of the root of our being. It is the atman, the channel or spiritual point where the superspiritual breaks, as it were, from and through a barrier downwards into individualized life. This process we shall more fully explain later, and shall then illustrate it by diagram.

Now this matter of hierarchies is dealt with in the different world religions virtually in the same manner but under different names and in different paradigmatic schemes. For instance, you can think of the ten parts or grades or steps of a hierarchy as one under the other, like the floors in a house or like the flats in an apartment house, a very gross simile, it is true, but having the advantage of suggesting steps or planes, and of suggesting high and low. We can think of a hierarchy in another, more subtil, manner, as consisting in triads of spheres, or living centers, three triads hanging from the tenth or highest point; and that highest center is, as already explained, the point beyond which our thought and imagination can soar no higher, and we merely say that this center is the highest that the human intellect can reach. But we know that beyond this tenth which is our highest there is also the lowest center or plane of another hierarchy still higher from which our hierarchy hangs as a pendant; and so on endlessly. We cannot say of infinity that it begins here and ends there: if this were so, it would not be infinite, it would not be boundless. Our doctrine of universal life, of universal consciousness, of one universal "law" working everywhere, means that that "law" manifests in every atom, and in every part of universal being, and in all directions, and for all duration, and in the same manner everywhere, because it cannot manifest in radically diverse ways; if so, it would be many fundamental "laws" and not one "law."

For instance, in our last study we considered the hierarchy of the Neoplatonic philosophy, which is really the esoteric teaching of ancient Greece in the form that Plato gave to it. And there were nine stages, nine degrees, hanging, as it were, from the topmost, the spiritual sun or the central sun. We can conceive of these hierarchies as seven concentric circles around and deriving from a central point, the highest triad, which we can call the infinite or the Primordial Point; or, again, we can call this Primordial Point the atman or self of the thinking entity, man, and then the other spheres or circles of being around him will stand for his six other principles, somewhat in this fashion:

concentric circles

This is one way of representing a human individual hierarchy, the different spheres or concentric circles, six of them, all flowing forth from the center, or seventh element, the self. All hierarchies are divided into seven, nine, or ten. The reason for this is a question that we shall have to go into by and by. There is no need to represent all these methods or paradigmatic schemes, but the idea is the same in all. Another way of representing a hierarchy by paradigm is by like lines, ten of them, in this way:

diagram on hierarchies

or by representing the nine stages or spheres as three triads on three planes, and the tenth on its own fourth plane:

diagram on nine stages

We have studied the system of the Neoplatonic hierarchies in brief outline; and, if we have time, we shall take up this evening two other paradigmatic schemes by which hierarchies are variously represented. Let us call earnest attention here to the important fact, before going farther, that these schemes, these paradigmatic representations on a flat surface, do not mean that the grades or steps or planes of being are either flat surfaces, or are like nests of boxes; they merely show by analogy, by hints, the relations and the functions of the grades among themselves.

It is obvious to any thinking man that the hierarchies of being do not rise one above another like the floors of a house. It is perhaps true that all over the world they are so represented by different systems; but this is merely to show that there is a high and a low, a series of conditions or states of spirit and matter. Just as we would teach children, so the ancient teachers taught us, in simple ways. Nor are we to imagine that the hierarchies actually extend somewhere in space in the form of triangles or circles. We represent them in this way in order to show their intermingling relations and their interpenetrating functions among each other. Why, however, do we separate the grades into triads? Because certain ones of these grades or planes are more nearly related, intermingle more easily, function more easily together, since their conditions or states are more closely akin. (1) The first triad, the highest; (2) the intermediate; (3) the lowest triad; and all overshadowing the corpus, the physical body. Or we can take another scheme, and have the three lowest centers forming the bottom triad; the three intermediate centers next; and then the three highest; all the three triads hanging from a point, the Primordial Point, "God," if you like.

Now let us consider the question: Have the Christians a hierarchy in their theology? They have; and by this I mean that the Christians had one, apparently from the earliest times, till the natural resiliency of the human mind began to exert itself in rebellion against the dogmatism and materialization of the Christian teaching which reached its climax in the epoch preceding the renaissance of thought, when the discoveries of science freed the human mind from its dogmatic shackles. Nevertheless, up till that time this teaching of hierarchies controlling living beings flourished in the Christian Church, and it originated in the form it then had, as we pointed out in our last study, in the writings of Dionysius the Areopagite. One of his works was called On the Celestial Hierarchy, and it showed how all spiritual being was divided into a hierarchy of ten degrees or stages, the tenth or highest being God. This mystic writer followed this work with another called On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, and he claimed as a good Christian, or in order to please his good Christian friends — there is every reason to believe that he copied the hierarchical scheme of the Neoplatonic philosophy, which was purely pagan, of course — that on earth the celestial hierarchy was reenacted or reflected or repeated in an ecclesiastical hierarchy, which was the Christian Church, topped by Jesus as the highest representative thereof and as the "Logos of God."

What were the names that Dionysius gave to the grades or stages of his hierarchy? First, God, as the summit, the Divine Spirit; then came the Seraphim; then the Cherubim; then the Thrones, forming the first triad. Then Dominations, Virtues, Powers, forming the second triad. Then Principalities, then Archangels, then Angels, the third triad counting downward.

It is interesting to note that this hierarchy is syncretistic, that is, composite, taken from different sources and built up into a unity. Seraphim and Cherubim are from the Hebrew. This plural word Seraphim comes from a Hebrew root meaning to "burn with fire," hence, to be inflamed with love. Cherubim is a curious word, but scholars generally think that it means "forms." The Seraphim are mystically believed to be red in color, and the Cherubim dark blue. The Thrones, the Dominations, the Virtues, the Powers, the Principalities, are all taken from the Christian teachings of Paul in the Epistles, Ephesians 1:21, and Colossians 1:16, and are distinctly mystic. The two last, the Archangels and the Angels, are not at all Christian in their origin, but are derived in indirect and tortuous descent from the ancient Greek and Asiatic — especially old Persian — system of thought which recognized messengers or ministers or transmitters between man and the spiritual world; the Greek word angelos (angel) originally meant "messenger," and the highest type of these were called Archangels, or Angels of the highest degree.

The fault, or rather inadequacy, of this Christian system is that its highest point reached no higher than this God here, a modification on Greek lines of the Jewish Jehovah; and it went no farther below in reach or extent than man himself. The Ineffable, Unthinkable, on the one hand, and the immeasurable spheres of beings below man, on the other hand, are ignored. It was merely a chapter torn out of the ancient wisdom and taken over into Christianity; but small and imperfect as it was, it provided Christianity with all the mysticism and spiritualizing thought that saved it from utter materialism in religion during the Middle Ages.

Let us now take up another hierarchy, the Jewish scheme of the Qabbalah. You see that there are nine degrees here, nine degrees all pendant from the supreme self or God. Now the Jewish Qabbalistic hierarchy, or hierarchies, or system of hierarchies, is an outgrowth of the teachings and thinkings of the Jewish doctors or rabbis from a time very far back, and is actually a reflection of esoteric Babylonian teachings.

As the Book of Genesis (the first few chapters of it at least) is very largely taken from the Babylonians, so the Jews derived their angelology, or system of angels or angelical hierarchies, from that same source. Now this teaching found its finest expression in the Jewish theosophy called the Qabbalah (this word, as said before, meaning "to receive" — i.e., traditionary lore handed down from teacher to teacher), and the teaching of the hierarchies in the Qabbalah is fundamental, the whole system being based on it: it implies the intermingling and the interchange of all life and all beings, between low and high. Hence the Qabbalah is, so far as it goes, a faithful reflection of the esoteric philosophy. The Qabbalah as outlined in the book Zohar, a word meaning "splendor" — this book is often called the Bible of the Qabbalists — is in large part exoteric from the theosophical viewpoint, because all our teachings, with regard to certain things, are in the Zohar, but not all the explanations are there, and this fact makes the book exoteric, in so far as the keys are lacking.

The teaching in the Qabbalah with regard to the hierarchies and the ladder of life is that from the Boundless, or Eyn Soph, down to infinity below, the ladder of life consists of steps, or degrees, or grades, of consciousness and of consciousnesses, and of being and of beings, and that there is a constant interchange, an interflow of communication, between these innumerable grades of the various hierarchies or worlds. Precisely our teaching — naturally. The Qabbalistic hierarchy consists of, or more accurately is typified by, nine grades or planes or spheres hanging from a tenth (or a first, if you like), all together making ten. They bore the following names. The first is called the Crown, the Primordial Point, the first and highest of the Sephiroth (sometimes spelt Sefiroth) or the grades, steps, planes, or spheres, before spoken of. The next Sephira is called Wisdom. (We have no time now to give the Hebrew words here; they may be found in any book on the Qabbalah; see Isis Unveiled, II, 213, and Theosophical Glossary.) The next, the third, is called Understanding or, perhaps better, Intelligence. These form the head and two shoulders of the Adam Qadmon, or Archetypal Man, or Ideal Man. According to the thinking of the Qabbalists, as these hierarchies are particularly and sympathetically related to certain respective parts of the human body, so these three just spoken of have each its respective relation: certain parts about the crown of the head, or in or from the head, or belonging to the head, for the first Sephira; the right shoulder to Wisdom; the left to Understanding. The right arm is called Greatness, or sometimes Love; the left arm is called Power, or sometimes Justice, and is considered a feminine quality; the breast or region of the chest or heart is called Beauty. The right leg (remember I am speaking generally of the Archetypal Man) is called Subtility; the left leg is called Majesty, and is considered a feminine quality. The generative organs are called Foundation.

Now these make nine. Each of these grades is assumed to emanate from the one above it. First the Crown; from the Crown, Wisdom; from the Crown and Wisdom, Understanding; from the three — Crown, Wisdom, and Understanding — comes the fourth; from the four all together comes the fifth; from the five all together comes the sixth; and so on down to the ninth; and the ninth, with all the forces and qualities of the others behind it, produces this round being, an egg-shaped container or "carrier" or vehicle, an auric egg; and this auric egg, as the tenth, is called Kingdom, or sometimes Dwelling Place, because it is the fruit or result or emanation or field of action of all the others, manifesting through these different planes of being.


Why should the hierarchies sometimes be numbered or reckoned as seven, and sometimes as ten? Because ten is the most sacred fundamental number in occultism. It is that upon which the universe is built. The fabric of being is built along the lines of the decad or ten. The Pythagoreans, members of one of the most mystic of the ancient Greek schools of thinking, had what they called the sacred Tetraktys, a word referring to the number four; and how did they represent the Tetraktys? In this fashion: first a point above and alone, the Monad; then two points below that, or the Dyad; then three points below these, or the Triad; and then four points below these, or the Tetrad — ten points altogether. They had an oath which they considered the most sacred adjuration of the Pythagorean School, which they uttered when they swore by the "Holy Tetraktys." What is this oath? It is worth remembering: "Yea, by the Tetraktys, which has supplied to our soul the fountain containing the roots of everflowing nature." This is just full of profound thought. Finally, the Tetraktys emblematized (among other things) the procession of beings into manifestation. First the Primordial Point, then the line, then the superficies, then the cube: 1+2+3+4=10.


What, finally, is the difference between the system of seven and that of ten? The seven is the fundamental number of the manifested universe; but over the seven hovers eternally the infinite and immortal triad, the Unmanifest. This is the key. Some religions specialize in sevens; but all religions have the ten, also, in their various numerical schemes.

As H. P. Blavatsky says, the number ten is the secret or sephirical principle of the universe, because on and through this denary system the universe is formed and built. Man (as a whole) is tenfold, the universe (as a whole) is tenfold, but both are septenary in manifestation. Every atom, every living being, and every universe is a complete hierarchy of ten degrees: three highest considered as the root, and seven lower in active manifestation. This root, or highest triad, is a Mystery-teaching, concerning which very little open explanation is to be found even in the ancient literatures.

In The Secret Doctrine, volume I, page 98, H. P. Blavatsky first enumerates certain things in the Stanza there printed, to wit: "The Voice of the Word, Svabhavat, the Numbers, for he is One and Nine," to which she joins the following as a footnote:

Which makes ten, or the perfect number applied to the "Creator," the name given to the totality of the Creators blended by the Monotheists into One, as the "Elohim," Adam Kadmon or Sephira — the Crown — are the androgyne synthesis of the 10 Sephiroth, who stand for the symbol of the manifested Universe in the popularised Kabala. The esoteric Kabalists, however, following the Eastern Occultists, divide the upper Sephirothal triangle from the rest (or Sephira, Chochmah and Binah [that is, the Crown, Wisdom and Understanding]), which leaves seven Sephiroth. . . .

Then on page 360 she says in relation to other matters: "The 10, being the sacred number of the universe, was secret and esoteric . . ."; and on page 362: ". . . the whole astronomical and geometrical portion of the secret sacerdotal language was built upon the number 10, . . ."

It may be interesting and well worth while to point out here that these quotations give the reason why the numerical computations of the esoteric philosophy have not yet been satisfactorily solved by students with a mathematical turn of mind — because they will persist in working with the number seven, alone, in spite of Madame Blavatsky's open hints to the contrary, for she says openly that the number seven must be used in calculations in a manner hitherto unknown to Western mathematics. The hint ought to be sufficient in itself alone, because the seven, considered as a basis for computation, is a very unwieldy and awkward number with which to calculate. The subject is alluded to in veiled manner in her esoteric Instructions, number I, page 9, in speaking of Padmapani, or the "Lotus-handed" — one of the names in Tibetan mysticism of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. H. P. Blavatsky says, after narrating a legend concerning this character:

He vowed to perform the feat before the end of the Kalpa, adding that in case of failure he wished that his head would split into numberless fragments. The Kalpa closed; but Humanity felt him not within its cold, evil heart. Then Padmapani's head split and was shattered into a thousand fragments. Moved with compassion, the Deity re-formed the pieces into ten heads, three white and seven of various colors. And since that day man has become a perfect number, or TEN.

In this allegory the potency of SOUND, COLOR AND NUMBER is so ingeniously introduced as to veil the real esoteric meaning. To the outsider it reads like one of the many meaningless fairy-tales of creation; but it is pregnant with spiritual and divine, physical and magical, meaning. From Amitabha — no color or the white glory — are born the seven differentiated colors of the prism. These each emit a corresponding sound, forming the seven of the musical scale. As Geometry among the Mathematical Sciences is specially related to Architecture, and also — proceeding to Universals — to Cosmogony, so the ten Jods of the Pythagorean Tetrad, or Tetraktys, being made to symbolize the Macrocosm, the Microcosm, or man, its image, had also to be divided into ten points. For this Nature herself has provided, as will be seen.

One more citation, in order to finish the subject. On page 15, H. P. Blavatsky writes shortly as follows:

As the Universe, the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, are ten, why should we divide Man into seven "principles"? This is the reason why the perfect number ten is divided into two, a reason which cannot be given out publicly: In their completeness, i.e., super-spiritually and physically, the forces are TEN: to-wit, three on the subjective and inconceivable, and seven on the objective plane. Bear in mind that I am now giving you the description of the two opposite poles: (a) the primordial triangle, which as soon as it has reflected itself in the "Heavenly Man," the highest of the lower seven — disappears, returning into "Silence and Darkness"; and (b) the astral paradigmatic man, whose Monad (Atma) is also represented by a triangle, as it has to become a ternary in conscious Devachanic interludes.

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