Theosophical University Press Online Edition
[[This page continued from previous section]]
If one turns to those wells of information, “The Natural Genesis” and the Lectures of Mr. Gerald Massey, the proofs of the antiquity of the doctrine under analysis become positively overwhelming. That the belief of the author differs from ours can hardly invalidate the facts. He views the symbol from a purely natural standpoint, one perhaps a trifle too materialistic, because too much that of an ardent Evolutionist and follower of the modern Darwinian dogmas. Thus he shows that “the student of Bohme’s books finds much in them concerning these Seven Fountain Spirits and primary powers, treated as seven properties of nature in the alchemistic and astrological phase of the mediaeval mysteries;”* and adds —
“The followers of Bohme look on such matter as divine revelation of his inspired Seership. They know nothing of the natural genesis, the history and persistence of the Wisdom† of the past (or of the broken links), and are unable to recognise the physical features of the ancient Seven Spirits beneath their modern metaphysical or alchemist mask. A second connecting link between the Theosophy of Bohme and the physical origins of Egyptian thought, is extant in the fragments of Hermes Trismegistus.‡ No matter whether these teachings are called Illuminatist, Buddhist, Kabalist, Gnostic, Masonic, or Christian, the elemental types can only be truly known in their beginnings.§ When the prophets or visionary showmen of cloudland come to us claiming original inspiration, and utter something new, we judge of its value by what it is in itself. But if we find they bring us the ancient matter which they cannot account for, and we can, it is natural that we should judge it by the primary significations rather than the latest pretensions.|| It is useless for us to read our
* The Natural Genesis, Vol. I.. pp, 318-319.
† Yet there are some, who may know something of these, even outside the author’s lines, wide as they undeniably are.
‡ This connecting link, like others, was pointed out by the present writer nine years before the appearance of the work from which the above is quoted, namely in Isis Unveiled, a work full of such guiding links between ancient, mediaeval, and modern thought, but, unfortunately, too loosely edited.
§ Ay; but how can the learned writer prove that these “beginnings” were precisely in Egypt, and nowhere else; and only 50,000 years ago?
|| Precisely: and this is just what the Theosophists do. They have never claimed, “original inspiration,” not even as mediums, but have always pointed, and do now point to the “primary signification” of the symbols, which they trace to other [[Footnote continued on next page]]
later thought into the earliest types of expression, and then say the ancients meant that.* Subtilized interpretations which have become doctrines and dogmas in theosophy have now to be tested by their genesis in physical phenomena, in order that we may explode their false pretensions to supernatural origin or supernatural knowledge.†
But the able author of the “Book of the Beginnings” and of “The Natural Genesis” does — very fortunately, for us — quite the reverse. He demonstrates most triumphantly our Esoteric (Buddhist) teachings, by showing them identical with those of Egypt. Let the reader judge from his learned lecture on “The Seven Souls of Man.”‡ Says the author: —
“The first form of the mystical Seven was seen to be figured in heaven by the Seven large stars of the great Bear, the constellation assigned by the Egyptians to the Mother of Time, and of the Seven Elemental Powers.”
Just so, for the Hindus place in the great Bear their seven primitive Rishis and call this constellation the abode of the Saptarishi, Riksha and Chitra-Sikhandinas. But whether it is only an astronomical myth or a primordial mystery, having a deeper meaning than it bears on its surface, is what their adepts claim to know. We are also told that “the Egyptians divided the face of the sky by night into seven parts. The primary Heaven was seven-fold.” So it was with the Aryans. One has but read the Puranas about the beginnings of Brahma, and his “Egg” to see it. Have the Aryans taken the idea from the Egyptians? — “The earliest forces,” proceeds the lecturer, “recognized in nature were reckoned as seven in number. These became seven elementals, devils (?) or later, divinities. Seven properties were assigned to nature, as
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] countries, older even than Egypt; significations, moreover, which emanate from a hierarchy (or hierarchies, if preferred) of living wise men, mortals, notwithstanding that Wisdom, who reject every approach to supernaturalism.
* But where is the proof that the ancients did not mean precisely that which the theosophists claim? Records exist for what they say, just as other records exist for what Mr. G. Massey says. His interpretations are very correct, but equally one-sided. Surely nature has more than one physical aspect; for astronomy, astrology, and so on, are all on the physical, not the spiritual plane.
† It is to be feared that Mr. Massey has not succeeded. We have our followers as he has his followers, and materialistic Science steps in and takes little account of both his and our speculations!
‡ The fact that this learned Egyptologist does not recognise in the doctrine of the “Seven Souls,” as he terms our principles, or “metaphysical concepts,” but “the primitive biology or physiology of the Soul,” does not invalidate our argument. The lecturer touches on only two keys, those that unlock the astronomical and the physiological mysteries of esotericism, and leaves out the other five. Otherwise he would have promptly understood that what he calls the physiological divisions of the living Soul of man, are regarded by theosophists as also psychological and spiritual.
matter, cohesion, fluxion, coagulation, accumulation, station, and division — and seven elements or souls to man.”
All this was taught in the esoteric doctrine, but it was interpreted and its mysteries unlocked, as already stated, with seven, not two, or at the utmost, three keys; hence the causes and their effects worked in invisible or mystic as well as psychic nature, and were made referable to metaphysics and psychology as much as to physiology. “The principle of sevening” — as the author says — “was introduced, and the number seven supplied a sacred type that could be used for manifold purposes”; and it was so used. For “the seven Souls of the Pharaoh are often mentioned in the Egyptian texts. . . . Seven Souls or principles in man were identified by our British Druids. . . . . The Rabbins also ran the number of souls up to seven; so, likewise, do the Karens of India. . . .”
And then, the author tabulates the two teachings — the Esoteric and the Egyptian, — and shows that the latter had the same series and in the same order.
Further on, the lecturer formulates these seven (Egyptian) souls, as (1) The Soul of Blood — the formative; (2) The Soul of Breath — “that breathes”; (3) The Shade or Covering Soul — “that envelopes”; (4) The Soul of Perception — “that perceives;” (5) The Soul of Pubescence “that procreates”; (6) The Intellectual Soul — “that reproduces intellectually”; and (7) The Spiritual Soul — “that is perpetuated permanently.”
From the exoteric and physiological standpoint this may be very correct; it becomes less so from the esoteric point of view. To maintain this, does not at all mean that the “Esoteric Buddhists” resolve men into a number of elementary Spirits, as Mr. G. Massey, in the same lecture, accuses them of maintaining. No “Esoteric Buddhist” has ever been guilty of any such absurdity. Nor has it been ever imagined that these shadows “become spiritual beings in another world,” or “seven potential spirits or elementaries of another life.” What is maintained is simply that every time the immortal Ego incarnates it becomes, as a total, a com-
* This is a great mistake made in the Esoteric enumeration. Manas is the fifth, not the fourth; and Manas corresponds precisely with Seb, the Egyptian fifth principle, for that portion of Manas, which follows the two higher principles, is the ancestral soul, indeed, the bright, immortal thread of the higher Ego, to which clings the Spiritual aroma of all the lives or births.
pound unit of Matter and Spirit, which together act on seven different planes of being and consciousness. Elsewhere, Mr. G. Massey adds: — “The seven souls (our “Principles”) are often mentioned in the Egyptian texts. The moon god, Taht-Esmun, or the later sun god, expressed the seven nature-powers that were prior to himself, and were summed up in him as his seven souls (we say “principles”) . . . . The seven stars in the hand of Christ in the Revelation, have the same significance,” etc.
And a still greater one, as these stars represent also the seven keys of the Seven Churches or the Sodalian Mysteries, cabalistically. However, we will not stop to discuss, but add that other Egyptologists have also found out that the septenary constitution of man was a cardinal doctrine with the old Egyptians. In a series of remarkable articles in the “Sphinx” (Munich) Herr Franz Lambert gives incontrovertible proof of his conclusions from the “Book of the Dead” and other Egyptian records. For details the reader must be referred to the articles themselves, but the following diagram, summing up the author’s conclusions, is demonstrative evidence of the identity of Egyptian psychology with the septenary division in “Esoteric Buddhism.”
On the left hand side the Kabalistic names of the corresponding human principles are placed, and on the right the hieroglyphic names with their renderings as in the diagram of F. Lambert.
* There seems a confusion — lasting for many centuries — in the minds of Western Kabalists. They call Ruach (Spirit) what we call Kama-rupa; whereas, with us Ruach would be the “Spiritual Soul” Buddhi, and Nephesh the 4th principle, the Vital, Animal Soul. Eliphas Levi falls into the same error.
This is a very fair representation of the number of the “principles” of Occultism, but much confused; and this is what we call the 7 principles in man, and what Mr. Massey calls “Souls,” giving the same name to the Ego or the Monad which reincarnates and resurrects, so to speak, at each rebirth, as the Egyptians did, namely — “the Renewed.” But how can Ruach (Spirit) be lodged in Kama-rupa? What does Bohme, the Prince of all the mediaeval Seers, say?
“We find Seven especial properties in nature whereby this only Mother works all things” (which he calls — fire, light, sound (the upper three) and desire, bitterness, anguish, and substantiality, thus analysing the lower in his own mystic way) . . . “whatever the six forms are spiritually, that the seventh, the body (or substantiality), is essentially.” These are the seven forms of the Mother of all Beings from whence all that is in this world is generated,* and again in Aurora xxiv. p. 27 (quoted in Natural Genesis) — “The Creator hath in the body of this world generated himself as it were creaturely in his qualifying Fountain Spirits, and all the stars are . . . God’s powers, and the whole body of the world consisteth in the seven qualifying or Fountain Spirits.”
This is rendering in mystical language our theosophical doctrine. . . But how can we agree with Mr. G. Massey when he states that —
“The Seven Races of men that have been sublimated and made Planetary (?) by Esoteric Buddhism,† may be met with in the Bundahish as (1) the earth-men; (2) water-men; (3) breast-eared men; (4) breast-eyed men; (5) one-legged men; (6) bat-winged men; (7) men with tails.” . . . Each of these descriptions, allegorical and even perverted in their later form — is, nevertheless, an echo of the Secret Doctrine teaching. They all refer to the pre-Human evolution of the water-men “terrible and bad” by unaided Nature through millions of years, as previously described. But we deny point blank the assertion made that “these were never real races,” and point to the Archaic Stanzas for our answer. It is easy to infer and to say that our “instructors have mistaken these shadows of the Past, for things human and spiritual”; but that “they are neither, and never were either,” it is less easy to prove. The assertion must ever remain on a par with the Darwinian claim that man and the ape had a common pithecoid ancestor. What the Lecturer takes for a “mode of expression” and nothing more, in the Egyptian Ritual, we take as having quite another and an important meaning. Here is one instance. Says the Ritual, the “Book of the Dead” —
* Signatura rerum xiv. ps. 10, 15 et seq.
† This is indeed news! It makes us fear that the Lecturer had never read “Esoteric Buddhism” before criticising it, as there are too many such misconceptions in his notices of it.
“I am the mouse.” “I am the hawk.” “I am the ape.” . . . “I am the crocodile whose soul comes from men.” “I am the Soul of the Gods.” Of these last two sentences, one: “whose soul comes from men” — is explained by the Lecturer, who says parenthetically, “that is, as a type of intelligence,” and the other: “I am the Soul of the Gods,” as meaning, “the Horus, or Christ, as the outcome of all.”
The occult teaching answers: “It means far more.” . . .
It gives first of all a corroboration of the teaching that, while the human monad has passed on globe A and others, in the First Round, through all the three kingdoms — the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal — in this our Fourth Round, every mammal has sprung from Man if the semi-ethereal, many-shaped creature with the human Monad in it, of the first two races, can be regarded as Man. But it must be so called; for, in the esoteric language, it is not the form of flesh, blood, and bones, now referred to as Man, which is in any way the Man, but the inner divine Monad with its manifold principles or aspects.
The lecture referred to, however, much as it opposes “Esoteric Buddhism” and its teachings, is an eloquent answer to those who have tried to represent the whole as a new-fangled doctrine. And there are many such, in Europe, America, and even India. Yet, between the esotericism of the old Arhats, and that which has now survived in India among the few Brahmins who have seriously studied their Secret Philosophy, the difference does not appear so very great. It seems centred in, and limited to, the question of the order of the evolution of cosmic and other principles, more than anything else. At all events it is no greater divergence than the everlasting question of the filioque dogma, which since the XIIth. century has separated the Roman Catholic from the older Greek Eastern Church. Yet, whatever the differences in the forms in which the septenary dogma is presented, the substance is there, and its presence and importance in the Brahminical system may be judged by what one of India’s learned metaphysicians and Vedantic scholars says of it: —
“The real esoteric seven-fold classification is one of the most important, if not the most important classification, which has received its arrangement from the mysterious constitution of this eternal type. I may also mention in this connection that the four-fold classification claims the same origin. The light of life, as it were, seems to be refracted by the treble-faced prism of Prakriti, having the three Gunams for its three faces, and divided into seven rays, which develop in course of time the seven principles of this classification. The progress of development presents some points of similarity to the gradual development of the rays of the spectrum. While the four-fold classification is amply
sufficient for all practical purposes, this real seven-fold classification is of great theoretical and scientific importance. It will be necessary to adopt it to explain certain classes of phenomena noticed by occultists; and it is perhaps better fitted to be the basis of a perfect system of psychology. It is not the peculiar property of ‘the trans-Himalayan esoteric doctrine.’ In fact, it has a closer connection with the Brahminical Logos than with the Buddhist Logos. In order to make my meaning clear I may point out here that the Logos has seven forms. In other words, there are seven kinds of Logoi in the Cosmos. Each of these has become the central figure of one of the seven main branches of the ancient Wisdom-religion. This classification is not the seven-fold classification we have adopted. I make this assertion without the slightest fear of contradiction. The real classification has all the requisites of a scientific classification. It has seven distinct principles, which correspond with seven distinct states of Pragna or consciousness. It bridges the gulf between the objective and subjective, and indicates the mysterious circuit through which ideation passes. The seven principles are allied to seven states of matter, and to seven forms of force. These principles are harmoniously arranged between two poles, which define the limits of human consciousness.”*
The above is perfectly correct, save, perhaps, one point. The “sevenfold classification” in the esoteric system has never been claimed (to the writer’s knowledge) by any one belonging to it, as “the peculiar property of the Trans-Himalayan esoteric doctrine”; but only as having survived in that old school alone. It is no more the property of the trans, than it is of the cis-Himalayan esoteric doctrine, but is simply the common inheritance of all such schools, left to the sages of the Fifth Root Race by the great Siddhas† of the Fourth. Let us remember that the Atlanteans became the terrible sorcerers, now celebrated in so many of the oldest MSS. of India, only toward their fall, the submersion of their continent having been brought on by it. What is claimed is simply the fact that the wisdom imparted by the “Divine Ones” — born through the Kriyasakti powers of the Third Race before its Fall and Separation into sexes — to the adepts of the early Fourth Race, has remained in all its pristine purity in a certain Brotherhood. The said
* The Theosophist, 1887 (Madras).
† According to Svetasvatara-Upanishad (357) the Siddhas are those who are possessed from birth of superhuman powers, as also of “knowledge and indifference to the world.” According to the Occult teachings, however, Siddhas are the Nirmanakayas or the “spirits” (in the sense of an individual, or conscious spirit) of great sages from spheres on a higher plane than our own, who voluntarily incarnate in mortal bodies in order to help the human race in its upward progress. Hence their innate knowledge, wisdom and powers.
School or Fraternity being closely connected with a certain island of an inland sea, believed in by both Hindus and Buddhists, but called “mythical” by geographers and Orientalists, the less one talks of it, the wiser he will be. Nor can one accept the said “sevenfold classification” as having “a closer connection with the Brahminical Logos than with the Buddhist Logos,” since both are identical, whether the one “Logos” is called Eswara or Avalokiteswara, Brahma or Padmapani. These are, however, very small differences, more fanciful than real, in fact. Brahmanism and Buddhism, both viewed from their orthodox aspects, are as inimical and as irreconcilable as water and oil. Each of these great bodies, however, has a vulnerable place in its constitution. While even in their esoteric interpretation both can agree but to disagree, once that their respective vulnerable points are confronted, every disagreement must fall, for the two will find themselves on common ground. The “heel of Achilles” of orthodox Brahmanism is the Adwaita philosophy, whose followers are called by the pious “Buddhists in disguise”; as that of orthodox Buddhism is Northern mysticism, as represented by the disciples of the philosophies of Aryasanga (the Yogacharya School) and Mahayana, who are twitted in their turn by their correligionists as “Vedantins in disguise.” The esoteric philosophy of both these can be but one if carefully analysed and compared, as Gautama Buddha and Sankaracharya are most closely connected, if one believes tradition and certain esoteric teachings. Thus every difference between the two will be found one of form rather than of substance.
A most mystic discourse, full of septenary symbology, may be found in the Anugita.* There the Brahmana narrates the bliss of having crossed beyond the regions of illusion, “in which fancies are the gadflies and mosquitoes, in which grief and joy are cold and heat, in which delusion is the blinding darkness, avarice, the beasts of prey and reptiles, and desire and anger are the obstructors.” . . . . The sage describes the entrance into and exit from the forest (a symbol for man’s life-time) and also that forest itself:†
“In that forest are seven large trees (the Senses, Mind and Understanding, or Manas and Buddhi included), seven fruits and seven guests; seven hermitages, seven (forms of) concentration, and seven (forms of) initiation. This is the description of the forest. That forest is filled with trees producing splendid flowers and fruits of five colours.”
* “The Sacred Books of the East,” vol. viii. Anugita, p. 284, et seq.
† I propose to follow here the text and the editor’s commentaries, who accepts Arjuna Misra and Nilakantha’s dead-letter explanations. Our Orientalists never trouble to think that if a native commentator is a non-initiate, he could not explain correctly, and if an Initiate, would not.
“The senses,” says the commentator, “are called trees, as being producers of the fruits . . . . pleasures and pains; the guests are the powers of each sense personified — they receive the fruits above described; the hermitages are the trees, in which the guests take shelter. The seven forms of concentration are the exclusion from the self of the seven functions of the seven senses, etc., already referred to; the seven forms of initiation refer to the initiation into the higher life . . . by repudiating as not one’s own the actions of each member out of the group of seven.” (See Khandagya, p. 219, and Com.)
The explanation is harmless, if unsatisfactory.
Says the Brahmana continuing his description: —
“That forest is filled with trees producing flowers and fruits of four colours. That forest is filled with trees producing flowers and fruits of three colours, and mixed. That forest is filled with trees producing flowers and fruits of two colours, and of beautiful colours. That forest is filled with trees producing flowers and fruits of one colour and fragrant. That forest is filled (instead of seven) with two large trees producing numerous flowers and fruits of undistinguished colours (mind and understanding — the two higher senses, or theosophically, ‘Manas-Buddhi’). Here is one Fire (Self) here connected with the Brahman* and having a good mind (or true knowledge, according to Arjuna Misra). And there is fuel here, namely, the five senses (or human passions). The Seven (forms of) emancipation from them are the Seven (forms of) initiation. The qualities are the fruits. . . . There, the great Sages receive hospitality. And when they have been worshipped and have disappeared, another forest shines forth, in which intelligence is the tree, and emancipation the fruit, and which possesses shade (in the form of) tranquillity, which depends on Knowledge, which has contentment for its water, and the Kshetragna (the “Supreme Self,” says Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, p. 102 et seq.) within for the Sun.”
Now, all the above is very plain, and no theosophist, even among the least learned, could fail to understand the allegory. And yet, we see great Orientalists making a perfect mess of it in their explanations. The “great sages” who “receive hospitality” are explained as meaning the senses, “which, having worked as unconnected with the self are finally absorbed into it.” But one fails to understand, if the senses are “unconnected” with the “Higher Self,” in what manner can they be
* The English editor explains here, saying, “I presume devoted to the Brahman.” This would be a very poor devotion, indeed, in the accomplishment of the gradually emancipating process of Yoga. We venture to say that the “Fire” or Self is the higher real Self “connected with,” that is to say one with Brahma, the One Deity. The “Self” separates itself no longer from the universal Spirit.
“absorbed into it.” One would think, on the contrary, that just because the personal senses gravitate and strive to be connected with the impersonal Self, that the latter, which is Fire, burns the lower five and purifies thereby the higher two, “mind and understanding” or the higher aspects of Manas* and Buddhi. This is quite apparent from the text. The “great sages” disappear after having “been worshipped.” Worshipped by whom if they (the presumed senses) are “unconnected with the self”? By Mind, of course; by Manas (in this case merged in the sixth sense) which is not, and cannot be, the Brahman, the Self, or Kshetragna — the soul’s spiritual sun. Into the latter, in time, Manas itself must be absorbed. It has worshipped “great sages” and given hospitality to terrestrial wisdom: but once that “another forest shone forth” upon it, it is Intelligence (Buddhi, the 7th sense, but 6th principle) which is transformed into the tree — that tree whose fruit is emancipation — which finally destroys the very roots of the Aswattha tree, the symbol of life and of its illusive joys and pleasures. And therefore, those who attain to that state of emancipation have, in the words of the above-cited sage, “no fear afterwards.” In this state “the end cannot be perceived because it extends on all sides.”
“There always dwell seven females there,” he goes on to say, carrying out the imagery. These females, who, according to Arjuna Misra, are the Mahat, Ahamkara and five Tanmatras, have always their faces turned downwards, as they are obstacles in the way of spiritual ascension.
“ . . . . In that same (Brahman, the ‘Self’) the Seven perfect Sages, together with their chiefs, abide and again emerge from the same. Glory, brilliance and greatness, enlightenment, victory, perfection and power — these seven rays follow after this same Sun (Kshetragna, the Higher Self). . . . Those whose wishes are reduced (unselfish). . . . whose sins (passions) are burnt up by restraint, merging the Self in the Self,† devote themselves to Brahman. Those people who understand the forest of Knowledge (Brahman, or Self) praise tranquillity. And aspiring to that forest, they are (re-) born so as not to lose courage.
* As Mahat (universal intelligence) is first born, or manifests, as Vishnu, and then, when it falls into matter and develops self-consciousness, it becomes Egoism, Selfishness, so Manas is of a dual nature. It is respectively under the sun and moon, for as Sankaracharya says “The moon is the mind, and the sun the understanding.” The sun and moon are the deities of our planetary Macrocosmos, and therefore Sankara adds that “the mind and the understanding are the respective deities of the (human) organs” (vide Brihadaranyaka, pp. 521, et seq.) This is perhaps why Arjuna Misra says that the moon and the Fire (the self, the sun) constitute the universe.
† “The body in the Soul,” as Arjuna Misra is credited with saying, or rather the “Soul in the Spirit,” and on a still higher plane of development: “the Self or Atman in the Universal Self.”
Such indeed, is this holy forest . . . . and understanding it, they (the Sages) act accordingly, being directed by the Kshetragna. . . . ”
No translator among the Western Orientalists has yet perceived in the foregoing allegory anything higher than mysteries connected with sacrificial ritualism, penance, or ascetic ceremonies, and Hatha Yoga. But he who understands symbolical imagery, and hears the voice of Self within Self, will see in this something far higher than mere ritualism, however often he may err in minor details of the philosophy.
And here, we must be allowed a last remark. No true theosophist, from the most ignorant up to the most learned, ought to claim infallibility for anything he may say or write upon occult matters. The chief point is to admit that, in many a way, in the classification of either cosmic or human principles, in addition to mistakes in the order of evolution, and especially on metaphysical questions, those of us who pretend to teach others more ignorant than ourselves — are all liable to err. Thus mistakes have been made in “Isis Unveiled,” in “Esoteric Buddhism,” in “Man,” in “Magic: White and Black,” etc., etc.; and more than one mistake is likely to be found in the present work. This cannot be helped. For a large or even a small work on such abstruse subjects to be entirely exempt from error and blunder, it would have to be written from its first to its last page by a great adept, if not by an Avatar. Then only should we say, “This is verily a work without sin or blemish in it!” But, so long as the artist is imperfect, how can his work be perfect? “Endless is the search for truth!” Let us love it and aspire to it for its own sake, and not for the glory or benefit a minute portion of its revelation may confer on us. For who of us can presume to have the whole truth at his fingers’ ends, even upon one minor teaching of Occultism?
Our chief point in the present subject, however, was to show that the Septenary doctrine, or division of the constitution of man, was a very ancient one, and was not invented by us. This has been successfully done, for we are supported in this, consciously and unconsciously, by a number of ancient, mediaeval, and modern writers. What the former said, was well said; what the latter repeated, was generally distorted. An instance: Read the “Pythagorean Fragments,” and compare the Septenary man as given by the Rev. G. Oliver, the learned mason, in his “Pythagorean Triangle” (ch. on “Science of Numbers,” p. 179).
He speaks as follows: —
“The Theosophic Philosophy counted seven properties (or principles), in Man, viz.: —
(1.) The divine golden Man;
(2.) The inward holy body from fire and light, like pure silver;
(3.) The elemental man;
(4.) The mercurial paradisiacal man;
(5.) The martial Soul-like man;
(6.) The passionate man of desires;
(7.) The Solar man; a witness to and inspector of the wonders of the Universe. They had also seven fountain Spirits, or Powers of Nature.”
Compare this jumbled account and distribution of Western theosophic philosophy with the latest theosophic explanations by the Eastern School of Theosophy, and then decide which is the more correct. Verily: —
“Wisdom hath builded her house,
She hath hewn out her seven pillars.” — (Prov. ix, 1.)
As to the charge that our School has not adopted the Seven-fold classification of the Brahmins, but has confused it, it is quite unjust. To begin with, the “School” is one thing, its exponents (to Europeans) quite another. The latter have first to learn the A B C of practical Eastern Occultism, before they can be made to understand correctly the tremendously abstruse classification based on the seven distinct states of Pragna (consciousness); and, above all, to realize thoroughly what Pragna is, in the Eastern metaphysics. To give a Western student that classification is to try to make him suppose that he can account for the origin of consciousness, by accounting for the process by which a certain knowledge, through only one of the states of that consciousness, came to him; in other words, it is to make him account for something he knows on this plane, by something he knows nothing about on the other planes; i.e., to lead him from the spiritual and the psychological, direct to the ontological. This is why the primary, old, classification was adopted by the Theosophists, of which classifications there are many.
To busy oneself, after such a tremendous number of independent witnesses and proofs have been brought before the public, with an additional enumeration from theological sources, would be quite useless. The seven capital sins and seven virtues of the Christian scheme are far less philosophical than even the Seven Liberal and the Seven Accursed Sciences — or the Seven Arts of enchantment of the Gnostics. For one of the latter is now before the public, pregnant with danger in the present as for the future. The modern name for it is Hypnotism. In the ignorance of the seven principles, and used by scientific and ignorant materialists, it will soon become Satanism in the full acceptation of the term.