Theosophical University Press Online Edition
Failures of Previous Rounds
The Incarnation of the Highest Seven
The Birth of the Sons of Wisdom
The Great Sacrifice
Spheres of Expectation
We have a passage from a Master's letter which has a direct bearing upon these incarnating angels. Says the letter: "Now there are, and there must be, failures in the ethereal races of the many classes of Dhyan-Chohans, or Devas (progressed entities of a previous planetary period), as well as among men. But still, as the failures are too far progressed and spiritualized to be thrown back forcibly from Dhyan-Chohanship into the vortex of a new primordial evolution through the lower Kingdoms, this then happens. Where a new solar system has to be evolved these Dhyan-Chohans are borne in by influx 'ahead' of the Elementals (Entities . . . to be developed into humanity at a future time) and remain as a latent or inactive spiritual force, in the aura of a nascent world . . . until the stage of human evolution is reached. . . . Then they become an active force and commingle with the Elementals, to develop little by little the full type of humanity." That is to say, to develop in, and endow man with his Self-conscious mind, or Manas. — The Secret Doctrine, II, 232-3 footnote
Several of our students have been greatly puzzled by a footnote written by H. P. B. in Volume II, pp. 232-33, of The Secret Doctrine, quoting a letter from the Master, which is published, by the way, in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, page 87. I have not The Secret Doctrine before me, but the Master states that in the very earliest parts of planetary and human evolution, of the evolution of the globes of a planetary chain, high spiritual entities came to this earth before or contemporaneously with the elemental kingdoms, and remained in the 'atmosphere' of the laya-center out of which the earth-chain was then forming, constituting a passive spiritual, intellectual guiding aura; according to which plan, when later the elementals came they built up the foundations of the earth, of the lower portions of it. And then again when a much later period arrived, these spiritual beings whom the Masters call 'failures' for a very good reason, when their time came and 'human' vehicles were sufficiently evolved, finding these vehicles then ready, entered into or incarnated into these human vehicles and gave them mind.
Question: Who and what are these failures that the Master speaks of? My explanation already has given the key, I believe. They are entities from the preceding chain-imbodiment, or what we now would call the moon-chain, who long before the moon-chain had reached its term or end of evolution, had themselves attained the spiritual and intellectual qualifications or status of Nirvanis, lower Jivanmuktas, if you understand these technical terms.
But because these human beings in the moon-chain, long before the moon-chain had reached its evolutionary term, had themselves attained the power to enter nirvana, they were entering nirvana when the moon-chain ended its manvantara, and remained in the nirvana until that for them was ended; and then, precisely because they were not sufficiently strong in spirit and in intellect to attain a higher nirvana than the one they had reached, in other words because they were not 'pukka' or perfect Jivanmuktas, freed spiritual monads roaming the spaces, because they had not attained that highest or relatively highest state — karman obliged them to assume the role of world-architects. They were therefore 'failures' because they did not attain that higher plane in the nirvana. To us they would be great spiritual geniuses. But they were failures in the other higher sense that they had not become full-blown gods. They had ended their nirvana before the earth-chain, the child of the moon-chain, came into being; remained in the akasic solitudes, if you like to call it that, in the realms of the higher astral light, or rather in the anima mundi, as passive spiritual natures, before the earth-chain formed again, before the earth's monad came down to these planes and gathered about it the cosmic dust forming our chain. They remained there as a passive spiritual intellectual influence or atmosphere guiding the work of the other lower builders, so that under these 'Architects' the work by the Builders could be done and well done — the Architects guiding the Builders, engineers supervising the work of the workmen.
Who are they then? Jivanmuktas of an inferior grade? Yes. Manasaputras? If you wish, yes. And they remained in that passive state because the time had not come for them to work definitely on lower planes. The distance between their relatively high status and the gross ranges of physical matter was too great. The intermediary rungs had to be built up. So they remained as an overshadowing mind-group, hosts of them, of great spiritual and intellectual power, passive as far as they were concerned; but because their very nature was intellectual and spiritual knowledge, diffusing light, intellect, life around them, as the sun does on all below here.
They came first. Then almost contemporaneously came the elementals, all the kingdoms of elementals, and these last began building in the before-mentioned 'atmosphere' which guided the work of these elementals, just as the atmosphere of a clever leader of his men will be felt and will guide other men although they never feel his hand — gossamer like, and yet stronger than steel in its effects in binding together, in unifying. Call it will, spiritual will if you like. It is thus that the gods work, and the demigods. The makers or producers of this 'atmosphere' were Manasaputras.
Then came the time when the elementals and the lower kingdoms of monads or classes had built up to the limit of their power, and the human vehicle in the middle of the Third Root-Race was in consequence then relatively ready. The nervous system, and the physical frame as then it was, although much less fine and perfected than now these are, were nevertheless just ready to become efficient carriers of the inner intellectual light. Then these waiting spiritual-intellectual entities saw their chance. Some of them incarnated in those human bodies, which there and then were endowed with mind by these incarnators. These who entered were that class of Manasaputras who entered the bodies first and gave them light. Then thinking men began and were. These were the greatest of the human race, and have reincarnated ever since that time from age to age as the great geniuses of human history, those grand and glorious names, the Buddhas, the Christs, the marvelous geniuses who made the history of past ages.
Time passed, and others of these waiting Manasaputras who had not incarnated, who refused at first really because they were not strong enough — this second group of mind-giving Manasaputras incarnated in human bodies. And later on the very last class of these Manasaputras incarnated. The second class of such incarnating Minds became the majority of mankind, we ourselves. The third class which waited the longest before obeying the karmic law to incarnate, comprised what are now the lowest of mankind, the savages and the barbarians like the Andaman Islanders, and the Bushmen and some of the degenerate mountain-tribes in different places over the earth.
Then the door of the human kingdom closed because the bottom or nethermost evolutionary point of the Fourth Round had been reached and passed. The animals were not yet ready to receive the incarnating Monads of Mind; nor are they ready yet. They win receive mind in such manner in the next manvantara or imbodiment of our chain.
Coming back to our former thought from which we have been led into these fascinating bypaths of study, the 'failures' mentioned by the Master are what we have been describing, the various classes of the Kumaras, or rather Agnishwattas and Manasaputras. They, these 'failures,' in later ages became what are now the great Mahatmans, including of course such glorious entities as the Buddhas and the geniuses of spirit and intellect who have brightened human history, whose names are household words in every civilized land. Many of the names of those who lived in pre-history have been lost, but we know the names of some of them.
And mark you, this shows how near the bottom of the Arc of Descent we still are, how much we have lost of what we have learnt and known and experienced not only in other Root-Races but in other Rounds. Here we are, we humans, with our noblest light almost obscured, truth-seekers hungry for light; and yet within us these beings are; they are we, always striving to give, to us what they have, and we rebels refusing, attracted by the flesh-pots of matter or earth; and yet, albeit attracted, resenting this lower attraction, rebelling, trying. We are pulling ourselves up, turning to the light whenever the heart aches. Such is our life. And within every human being there is a demi-god, and a demi-beast, intempled together; through evolution raising this poor human of flesh up, up, up, so that some day it too may receive the light, the blessed light, the light glorious that we have received and have forgotten.
No wonder the Master speaks of these spiritual beings, who are our inner parts, as fallen angels, gods who have fallen, dropped from their azure seats — that is not mere poesy — the seats of intellectual splendor, from the old thrones, fallen from the golden glory of the Sons of Light.
When I look at my fellow human beings I no longer see the faces sometimes torn with sorrow, hungry for light. But I see the great flame within, the divinity within every human being, incarnate gods. It is a tragedy that here we live in this semi-animal part of us, wasting aeons because we will not go higher.
But one last word. Note how wonderfully Nature fashions her works. Even though we have lost our memory of what is our inmost right, of the god-man in us, wandering gods, here on earth sunken in matter and forgetting our own inner divinity, we are nevertheless aiding to raise the lower part of us just mentioned, the semi-animal part of us, some day to become no longer semi-animal but truly human, truly human; and we, the human part within us, then shall have rebecome the gods that within us we already are. Remember the sayings of the Christian Scripture: Know ye not that ye are gods, and that the spirit of the Most High liveth within you?
In ancient Symbolism it was always the SUN (though the Spiritual, not the visible, Sun was meant) that was supposed to send forth the chief Saviors and Avatars. Hence the connecting link between the Buddhas, the Avatars, and so many other incarnations of the highest SEVEN. — The Secret Doctrine, I, 638
When H. P. B. spoke of the "incarnations of the highest SEVEN" she did not mean the imbodiment of any one of the sevens, but incarnations or imbodiments of rays therefrom, and that this is back of the Buddhist teaching of the true genuine Living Buddhas of Tibet being imbodiments either of Avalokitesvara or of Amitabha, these being two of the highest of the Seven. It does not mean that these cosmic spirits, divinities, gods, descend in their fulness into a human being; only that a ray with this or with that swabhava or characteristic individuality overshadows, or rather overenlightens, and finally imbodies itself in one of these Living Buddhas or Avataras; and indeed it is just this that makes the true Avatara.
The "highest of the Seven" refers to the highest hierarchy of our own solar system, or rather to be very technical, our own Universal Solar System — a very technical phrase. It does not mean all the solar systems in the galactic universe. It has another meaning entirely, but that is another story I cannot go into here.
Another way of describing the highest Seven would be to say that they are the seven chief Logoi of our Sun; or again, the seven chief Planetary Rectors or Governors of the seven Sacred Planets, these being actually Solar Logoi or emanations from our Sun, each such planetary chain or planet being its mansion or house or dwelling or focus — all words meaning pretty much the same thing. It is from one or from another of these seven chief divinities in our solar system that have proceeded the long line of avataras, and indeed in another sense of all the Buddhas; and similarly every unusually great man spiritually — mark that word 'spiritually' that the human race has produced among its children has been in a greater or less degree an imbodiment or an incarnation, a veritable incarnation, of a ray of one or of another of these seven chief Solar Logoi. Jesus was one, and that is why he said: I and my Father [that is the Source, the Logos, or the Logos from the Sun itself] are one.
The names of these Logoi you will find given in the Hindu writings. If merely knowing names will help you at all, Sushumna is one; Samnatta is one more.
In regard to the Sun, the seven rays, it is clearly enough seen that it is the spiritual solar energy which is back of all these initiations and back of greatness when it appears in men. Hence the old occult saying you have heard me quote so often, that one of the titles of the adept when he has just been initiated is and was 'clothed with the Sun! You now see the meaning. The Sun's soul, solar power, is for the time being shining through him and clothing him with solar splendor so that actually the very body shines. It is filled with glory. The man is thus glorified: 'Eli, 'eli, lamah shabahhtani: O God of me, how thou dost glorify me.
In an old Hindu astronomical work, called the Surya-Siddhanta, often quoted by us, in the preliminary or beginning of this remarkably profound and interesting work, it is stated that it was dictated by the Sun to the great Atlantean astronomer Asuramaya. You now see the meaning of that: not that the Sun came from heaven into a room and dictated with an apparent human mind, but that the solar glory in this adept drove or illuminated the man's brain so that this magnificent astronomical work was one of the products of Asuramaya's genius. You will remember that often H. P. B. in The Secret Doctrine refers to Asuramaya as an Atlantean, and so he was; but also an Aryan, for be lived just when the Atlantean race was finishing its Kali-yuga, and the Aryan was in the beginning of its Krita, at the very commencing of its beginning; and this places the date of the Surya-Siddhanta as this number of years: 1,200,000 plus 864,000 plus — as we are now in the beginning of Kali-Yuga — 5000. So the Surya-Siddhanta is 2,069,000 years old. But my main point is: the Surya-Siddhanta states itself that Asuramaya, worshiping the Sun — which means raising his inner nature spiritually and intellectually to the solar ray of which he was an incarnation — was thereupon taught by the Sun, by the solar divinity within him, some of the astronomical secrets of our solar universe. The Surya-Siddhanta was the result.
This Third Race is sometimes called collectively "the Sons of Passive Yoga," i.e., it was produced unconsciously by the second Race, which, as it was intellectually inactive, is supposed to have been constantly plunged in a kind of blank or abstract contemplation, as required by the conditions of the Yoga state. In the first or earlier portion of the existence of this third race, while it was yet in its state of purity, the "Sons of Wisdom," who, as will be seen, incarnated in this Third Race, produced by Kriyasakti a progeny called the "Sons of Ad" or "of the Fire-Mist," the "Sons of Will and Yoga," etc. They were a conscious production, as a portion of the race was already animated with the divine spark of spiritual, superior intelligence. It was not a Race, this progeny. It was at first a wondrous Being, called the "Initiator," and after him a group of semi-divine and semi-human beings. "Set apart" in Archaic genesis for certain purposes, they are those in whom are said to have incarnated the highest Dhyans, "Munis and Rishis from previous Manvantaras" — to form the nursery for future human adepts, on this earth and during the present cycle. These "Sons of Will and Yoga" born, so to speak, in an immaculate way, remained, it is explained, entirely apart from the rest of mankind.
The "BEING" just referred to, which has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., etc., have branched off. As objective man, he is the mysterious (to the profane — the ever invisible) yet ever present Personage about whom legends are rife in the East, especially among the Occultists and the students of the Sacred Science. It is he who changes form, yet remains ever the same. And it is he again who holds spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the "Nameless One" who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the "Initiator," called the "GREAT SACRIFICE." For, sitting at the threshold of Light, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know — aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth-life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, though but a few Elect may profit by the GREAT SACRIFICE.
It is under the direct, silent guidance of this MAHA — (great) — GURU that all the other less divine Teachers and instructors of mankind became, from the first awakening of human consciousness, the guides of early Humanity. It is through these "Sons of God" that infant humanity got its first notions of all the arts and sciences, as well as of spiritual knowledge; and it is they who have laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that puzzle so sorely our modern generation of students and scholars. — The Secret Doctrine, I, 207-8
The sublime passage in Vol. 1, page 207 of The Secret Doctrine, referring to the birth of the Sons of Wisdom, and to the Wondrous Being or Silent Watcher, has been the subject of much speculation, debate, and even misunderstanding. In this fact is involved one of the most subtil of occult conceptions: unity in multiplicity. I will try to explain.
A single semi-divine human being at the head, the Hierarch; and those beneath him being so close to him, karmically, spiritually, etc., that they are to him like his alter egos, as are the organs or limbs of a man to himself. Hence it is at times spoken of as the Silent Watcher, or again as the Supreme School or Occult body, the highest human stage on the planet; and it will remain so till the life-wave leaves this planet for Globe E. Sishtas will be left behind, of course; and it was these Sishtas of the Third Round that became this Silent Watcher, semi-divine man, and School, when our Round opened on this Globe. It is this complex of ideas to which H. P. B. alludes in the passage here referred to.
From this original Wondrous Hierarch-Hierarchy later on, in a later age during the Third Root-Race, sprang forth or were born the first regularly formed Occult schools for teaching and training, and raising ready ones to adeptship. This Wondrous Being, who as stated is at once a Hierarch of the Hierarchy, and the Hierarchy itself, and whose spiritual and intellectual union is so close between these two that they are often simply spoken of as one, as H. P. B. does in this passage of the S. D. — this Hierarch-Hierarchy actually came into being as a divine body-corporate or multifold unit in the very first Race of this Round on our Globe; and its seed was, as stated above, the sishtas of the highest humanized elements in our life-wave left on this globe when that life-wave during the Third Round passed onwards. When these sishtas felt the new incoming of the life-wave approaching Globe D during this Fourth Round, then as it were they collected or prepared themselves into a unity, and formed the Hierarchy preparatory for new increments to themselves coming with the human life-wave.
The whole matter is very complicated, very mystical, and is so utterly contrary to Western conceptions, that at first it seems difficult to understand. Yet when understood, one wonders how it could ever have been misunderstood, and one wonders how it ever could have been unnoticed.
It should not be forgotten that when we speak of beings of this type, I mean those composing this Hierarch-Hierarchy, one in others and others in and with the one, the general name as a descriptive title only for all such beings is Dhyanins, or Dhyani-Chohans. Dhyanins is perhaps more general, and Dhyani-Chohans should be used more for the chief among the chohans. Chohan means chief or lord, or principal. Actually this Hierarch-Hierarchy is formed of all the very highest, most evolved, most spiritual human beings belonging to our life-wave, corporated into a unity and really on the verge of continuous dhyaniship, dhyan-chohanship indeed; but who, on the principle of the Buddhas of Compassion, refuse to pass on until those trailing behind them, in other words, all the less evolved human egos, have had every help that can be given by these advanced ones. Hence the hierarchy visualized as a hierarch, in other words the hierarchy seen in this case through its hierarch as a unit, is called the Silent Watcher, the Wondrous Being, etc.
It is very much like the Cosmic Logos. Many students have been puzzled why the Cosmic Logos is spoken of at one time as an individual or a unit, and at other times as a vast body of monads collected into a unit, a hierarchy. It is the same principle. A similar point arises in the case of the Manus. Considered as units they are one, as the Logos and Wondrous Being are in such cases considered as one. Yet considered distributively, or in other words looking at the unified or collected units we ascertain it as a hierarchy in all three cases.
The idea may be perhaps made clearer by thinking of the human body. We may look upon it as a unit, and speak of it as such. But then on reflexion we see that the physical body is made up of innumerable multitudes of life-atoms, even of ordinary physical molecules and cells; and when we examine the body thus distributively, and recognise its unity and coherence as a unit, we call it a hierarchy.
Do you remember? In the first volume [I, 207] of H. P. B.'s The Secret Doctrine, there is a marvelous passage dealing with the Great Sacrifice as she calls it, the Initiator, the one who through evolution, long time since fully accomplished, has attained almost the outer limit of knowledge regarding our hierarchy, our sphere of life; but sits not only at the heart but as it were on the margin of the greater light, of greater life and greater wisdom, of a still more comprehensive hierarchy, and refuses to pass into the light beyond, but waits to serve as the inspirer and guide of all those multi-millions of pilgrims less advanced than he trailing along behind. There the Great Sacrifice sits at his self-imposed task; he no longer advances. The divine love of this wonder-being's heart will not allow him to pass onward into infinite peace until all those foot-sore pilgrims coming behind him have been led up and onward to the peace and wisdom that is his.
Who is this Initiator; who is this Great Sacrifice? Who is this Silent Watcher? Please open your ears in reverence. Ages ago when the human race on this planet during this Fourth Round was still young, mind had not yet imbodied in the then intellectually senseless early Third Root-Race, when therefore man was but slightly psychic, fully instinctual, but not yet intellectual, non-self-conscious as we understand this phrase. There were nevertheless a few in whom the lamps of mind burned bright, the most advanced of the human race who had been intellectually enlightened by Manasaputric descents before the vast majority of the race. They were even in the early part of the Third Root-Race fully self-conscious, intellectual and spiritual human beings; and all the rest of mankind were sunken in the dreamland as it were of non-intellectual activity; very much as the mind of a little child, by and by to become intellectualized as it grows into manhood, but not yet. As a little child it is not intellectual, it is in a dreamland, full of physical activity, full of certain psychic sensitivity, fully instinctual. Mind has not yet manifested, it is just beginning. And so was the majority of mankind in the early part of the Third Root-Race. They were grown adults of course. When I use the simile of a little child I do not mean little children. They were full-grown adults; but as far as mind was concerned, they were spiritually and intellectually as little children are. They did not yet think. For instance, the problems of science and philosophy and religion, and even politics, literature, all the great things, all the great thoughts that infill the minds of thinking men today, are, for little children, not yet existing.
So it was in this early Third Root-Race; but these few in whom the lamps of intellect had already begun to burn bright formed a group, a band, a brotherhood, of human guides. But yet something more was needed, something from a still higher sphere was required for the utter safety of all mankind, for the utter safety of those few souls, as well as of the great multitude of as yet non-intellectual human beings. So these few took council, went into themselves and sought the inner light. Oh how may this mystery be expressed? Uniting their will-power and their imagination, these ethereal beings, through Kriyasakti, through spiritual will-power and imagination, established contact with the waiting divinity, karmically waiting, the destined one for this globe, and provided the physical vehicle for the imbodiment of this waiting divinity, a true Avatara of a peculiar type. Through Kriyasakti this relatively small band of men in whom the flame and light of mind already burned brightly, united, and created if you wish, produced by their vitality and their will and their imagination, the vehicle. And behold, the link was made with the waiting Dhyani-Chohan and before their eyes it was!
At first it was a marvel-being, a very god who became their chief and leader, their inspirer and guide; and he by teaching and inspiration and magic if you wish, prepared the way for the general manasaputric descent into the senseless imbodied human vehicles of the multitudes of men evolutionally behind. And after him, a relatively short while after, this Wondrous Being who thus became the Initiator, aided by those others in whom the flame of mind burned so bright, brought other similar descents into being, and they with their great spiritual powers were called the Sons of Will and Yoga. Think what that means: the Sons of Will-power and Imagination, given bodies by Kriyasakti in order to manifest the heavenly influx; and this was the germ of all later revelation to men. This group became the first mystery-school. It still exists, Companions; and this Being, the Initiator, is the Supreme Head of all true occultists in all ages. He has been known in every land. He has been whispered about and wondered about in every country of the earth and in every age. Given numerous names, he changes form from time to time as evolution demands it. This Wondrous Being still remains our Supreme Head.
I think I have said enough, Companions. The main points are these: the Wondrous Being was brought into objectivity on this Globe D, our Earth, through Kriyasakti by the first individuals of the Third Root-Race who were manasaputrized because of their own good karman and more advanced evolution, in other words in whom the light of intellect and mind came first. The body or vehicle was created for this Being by Kriyasakti. First it was this one Being; then other Sons of Will and Yoga came afterwards; and this group exists today and will continue to exist to the very end of time so far as our Earth is concerned. It will remain when the life-wave passes on to the next globe, guiding these and inspiring the sishtas, in other words the elect of mankind left behind on this globe when the general life-wave of humanity passes on to the next globe. And thus left behind and guided by this Lodge of Light, of the Sons of Light, of the Sons of Will and Yoga, it will be the nursery to produce the future humanity on this globe again when the life-wave has circled around the globes, and comes down to our globe once more. These sishtas, guided by the Sons of Will and Yoga, will provide the bodies at first; and once the river begins to flow, it will be guided and the work of magic will cease.
The whole matter is so beautiful, known to every great religious and philosophical system the world over and in every age in various guises, hinted at yet never fully explained until the Theosophical Society was founded.
Final thought: there the Great Sacrifice sits, this Sacrifice of himself unto himself, for mankind and indeed for all that lives. The whole story of the sacrifice of Jesus in the Christian New Testament is a distorted allegory copied from this one fact. The human race, if it will recognise the fact, if it will pocket its petty pride of brain and recognise the facts of nature and the facts of human consciousness, will receive guidance just in proportion to the individual's receptive nature. Of course any man who in his stupid blindness shuts his eyes and mocks and turns away, will reap what he is sowing for himself. For like the rain which is sent upon the just and upon the unjust, or like the glorious sunlight which falls alike upon the good and upon the evil, it is not the rain nor the sunlight which forces itself into places where it is not wanted. It is for those who know what rain and sunlight mean, to receive these blessings. And so it is with the Mysteries. Remember the old Christian saying: Those of you who have ears to hear let them hear, and those of you who have eyes to see let them see. Those who will not hear and who will not see have but themselves to blame.
Says the Catechism (Commentaries): —
. . . "Into the forms projected by the Lha (Pitris) the two letters (the Monad, called also 'the Double Dragon') descend from the spheres of expectation.* But they are like a roof with no walls, nor pillars to rest upon ." . . . — The Secret Doctrine, II, 57
*The intermediate spheres, wherein the Monads, which have not reached Nirvana, are said to slumber in unconscious inactivity between the Manvantaras.
These Spheres of Expectation, at the beginning of pralaya or great period of cosmic rest when everything has resolved back into the ultimate elements, are, as H. P. B. explains, those spheres wherein arise or wherein sink the evolving monads which in the just closed manvantara or period of cosmic manifestation had not yet reached the nirvana, or condition of complete self-identification with the Cosmic Spirit. I was asked to explain just what these Spheres of Expectancy or Expectation are. It struck me that H. P. B.'s footnote is perfectly clear, and I take it that the querent wanted some elaboration of it.
Evolving entities, evolving monads, are divisible into at least ten and even twelve classes. These differences of class really mean differences of evolutionary unfoldment, of emanation. The lowest class of monads are those which have the least unfolded themselves. The highest are those which have evolved, or unfolded themselves or self-expressed themselves the most. And there are all the intermediate monads. On the ladder of life, the different rungs or the different steps or stages on an ascending scale are occupied each rung as it were by a class or group of monads which is one cosmic stage higher than the one just beneath, one cosmic scale lower than the class just above.
Of these ten or twelve families of evolving monads, some at the end of a cosmic manvantara or period of cosmic manifestation have reached the advanced stage of inner growth, or unfolding, or emanation, of what is locked up within, where they are ready for the nirvana and enter it. All the others which have not reached that nirvanic state, which in another sense is called the dharmakaya, and do not enter the nirvana, remain in several intermediate conditions of consciousness far lower than the nirvana, but yet differing among themselves according to the different grades of evolving monads just spoken of; and all these latter states or stages are called Spheres of Expectation, Spheres of Expectancy, because the monads in these states of consciousness inferior to the nirvana are as it were waiting in expectation for the next great cosmic manvantara to give them the chance to ascend where these others, higher than they, have already gone or reached. These stages are therefore the Spheres of Expectation.
Indeed the phrase may be used on a lower scale, on an inferior scale. Take the case of us human beings who have no chance, because we are not as yet sufficiently self-evolved, spiritually and intellectually, to reach the nirvana when we die; we nevertheless enter the devachan, the state appropriate to our respective minds or conditions of consciousness; and in the devachan we are in a sphere or condition or state of expectancy, expectation. The next life we evolve a little more. Finally we shall reach the nirvana.
So that is what the Spheres of Expectation are: conditions of consciousness. It does not matter where they are localized; they may be anywhere in the galaxy. The important point is the condition of the consciousness in such sphere. Any entity which is thus in a sphere or condition of expectation belongs to the class H. P. B. spoke of.
Again, transfer the illustration to a still lower grade than humans. The monads now working through animal-bodies are in Spheres of Expectation waiting to enter the human kingdom, expecting to enter the human kingdom. So far as we are concerned, the more evolved, more emanated, more unfolded, more self-expressed these beast-monads — as we speak of them, for they are merely monads in that condition — are, the more they are in these Spheres of Expectation. The plant-world in just the same way: the different monads now passing through the plant-world are in Spheres of Expectation so far as the beasts are concerned, etc.