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Eastern School of Theosophy (05)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 313-322)

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids

 

Suggestions and Aids 313

This world is part of a definite system having the sun as center. The evolutionary stream proceeds upon one definite plan for each manvantara. In order to carry this out all evolved objects and things must evolve upon one plan. All the forces must work from one center out to the various smaller centers, and in this the law of correspondence is seen. The sun being the center, it must have a correspondence in every concrete form or system found within the whole collection of objects in the sun’s sphere of action. The sun must be the center of life then for the solar system, and so its currents and forces are said to correspond to the heart in man which is his center of physical life and force. The circulation of the blood through the human body must correspond to something higher in the solar system. This is found in the cosmic blood which circulates through space and is of course nothing like our blood in appearance. This “cosmic blood” is the life-giving ether spreading in space. It enters the body of man and there vitalizes his blood by means of his breathing. The sun focalizes for his system the whole plan and force of such evolution in order to carry that plan and force into operation through appropriate channels in all the planets which he governs. By reading Instruction No. I, a good idea may be gained of the proper use of the law of correspondences.[1] By studying those pages with care, with the object of discerning and remembering the method pursued in making the analogies drawn there, the student will perceive for himself how it is done.

Using this law we must see, for instance, that the different cells of the body, the mucous, the lymphatics, the phenomena of blood formation and destruction, and so on, correspond naturally with the evolution of the various human races. Or that the human body corresponds to a globe, for the globe is the body or container of units of life. So by pushing the analogy we discover that the globe must have its own circulation which will be the same for the globe as our blood for our body, although not similar in appearance. In the globe the blood circulation may be either great currents of water flowing through it or currents of magnetism or electricity.

Taking up as an illustration we read that there are ten openings in the human body through all of which cosmic influences come in. We see a correspondence in the fact, as stated, [546 & Diag. I facing 524] that the sun has within him the forces for this system proceeding from the ten Divinities, seven of which are shot out in his rays and three remaining in his seventh principle. All of the foregoing is by way of illustration and example. But even this will lead to a better understanding of some

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obscure things in the Instructions and The Secret Doctrine. In those the number ten is called “perfect,” yet seven is the number used as to our inner constitution, while there are ten openings for the entry of cosmic forces. The three Divinities left in the sun represent the unknown and unknowable quantity. In mathematics we have the same in the ratio between the diameter and the circumference of the circle. This ratio is called commonly three, as: if the diameter is three feet the circumference will be nine. But it is really more, and so the strict mathematical statement is that the difference is the decimal number 3.1415 and so on with an endless series of figures, it being admitted that the end cannot be found. Hence here is the same unknown quantity encountered in the difference between the seven and the ten. It being unknown and evidently pertaining to the absolute or to states much higher than ours, we can see a reason why H.P.B. cannot, if she would, make it clear.

SUNDRY QUERIES

From M.K.S. — What is the meaning of the word “nāḍī?” It is not in the Glossary.

Ans. — It means a passage or method or channel.

From E.B. — What is meant by the flat of fa in Instructions No. III, where it says “Iḍā and piṅgalā are simply the sharp and the flat of that fa (of human nature),” as there is no half-tone between it and mi? [616] Ans. — The present piano scale is not referred to by H.P.B., as it is known even to musicians to be not correct. The fa is the known tone of nature, corresponding to sushumṇā, and the sharp and the flat correspond to those nerves or passages on each side of sushumṇā known among the Hindus as iḍā and piṅgalā. There is always the note and on either side its sharp and flat, and it is in this general way that the Head of the Section speaks on this matter, which again is evident from her saying, “of human nature.”

From R.J.N. — Is it well to read books upon theosophic subjects other than those emanating from the Head of the Section?

Ans. — If such an idea were to be carried out strictly it would deprive us of many of our most valuable books such as the Bhagavad

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Gītā, Upanishads, etc. Upon first becoming interested in Theosophical subjects one is apt to have an omnivorous craving for everything that touches upon them, but that hunger dies away as knowledge is acquired, so that the choice number of books is apt to grow smaller and smaller. Just what these few books should be must be left to the intuition of the individual reader, for as he gains in wisdom he must learn for himself from what sources he can gain the most benefit. Is it well to study such books upon esoteric subjects as can be purchased in the market? Ans. — Here again it is impossible to draw strict lines. Surely no books which are advertised as esoteric should be in any way used as guides by members of the E.S. for practical study, as that would be incompatible with the strict adherence and obedience which should be paid to the Instructions. Each one takes from the books he reads just what he is prepared for and no more. In such books as the inquirer alludes to there might be found much that was valuable, but as a rule it would take so much time to sift out the good from the bad that the average individual could not have time for such vague work; and it is therefore inadvisable for the majority to go beyond the books mentioned as necessary, for these with proper study of the Instructions will give the average student all he can attend to. But the Head of the Section cannot publish an Index Expurgatorius and each one must judge for himself. The only guide that can be offered generally is the fact that we are, as a class, inclined to do too much reading and too little thinking.

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Series A 6 Jan. 8, 1891

IS RULE 5 UNIMPORTANT ? (([The numbering of the Rules in The Book of Rules was changed even in Mr. Judge’s time. In the Archives of the Theosophical Society, Pasadena, California, I have seen a note in W.Q.J.’s handwriting correlating the new numbering with the old. Thus, readers will find Rule 8 covers the topic and may be found in BCW XII:495. — Compiler]))

Ans. — Rule 5 of the General Rules prohibits the making of complaints. Some of the members have objected that this rule is absurd and that it seems to be unnecessary as well as one that impedes their liberty. As I was present in London when H.P.B. drew up these rules I can state her views upon this one. She said it was one of the most important and deep-searching of all, adding that it goes to the root of personality and was made for that reason. By reading The Voice of the Silence it is seen that more stress is laid on the “heresy of separateness” than on anything else. This heresy relates to the personal, and grows out of the ignorant notion that one is separate from others and justified in asserting his personality, as well as vindicating himself by either complaint to superiors or by administering chastisement. Of course a man or woman of the world is justified from his standpoint in making complaint or asserting personality, and such, indeed, is the tendency of our social system. But the true esoteric student knows that he has no justification for such a course, and that he loses each time he dwells on his own personality, thus putting off the hour when union with the divine may be possible. Now when a fellow member appears to transgress against us or in any way which would ordinarily call for complaint, we should at once dismiss the assumed transgression from our mind and pay attention instead to some of our own faults. Those who, like the E.S. members, have taken a solemn pledge to their Higher Self — which is that of us all — are more particularly under the operation of karma than people not in the E.S. who have never taken such a pledge, and our small sins are more far-reaching than those of such outsiders. At the same time we must remember, as is said by H.P.B., that our good deeds and thoughts are also more potent and far-reaching than the deeds and thoughts of those not so pledged. In my view Rule 5 is the most important of all. If the E.S., and the T.S. through it, are to be

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a success on the lines intended, then this rule will be remembered. If it is not heeded, then our claims to brotherhood will be false and our solidarity a mere fabric of the imagination.

ASTRAL LIGHT EARTH’S LIṄGA-ŚARĪRA

From Jno. — In the Remarks on Examination Paper No. I, p. 297, it says: “The Astral Light of the solar system is the liṅga-śarīra of our globe: as the Astral body of man is the molder of the Physical, so does the Astral Light serve primarily as the matrix of the earth, but it is now largely composed of the emanations of our earth.” The only place I am aware that an analogy is shown between man’s liṅga-śarīra and the Astral Light is on [ BCW XII:613], Instructions

No. III, where information is given that does not quite tally with the above. Compare the two carefully: “Our Astral Light is, so to speak, the liṅga-śarīra of our earth; only instead of being its primordial prototype, as in the case of our chāyā, or double, it is the reverse. While the human and animal bodies grow and develop on the model of their antetypal doubles, it is the Astral Light that is born from the terrene emanations, grows and developes after its prototypal parent “ According to the latter statement, there must have been a time when the physical earth existed without a liṅga-śarīra that is, an Astral Light and hence there is no analogy to man’s liṅga-śarīra. Will you please give more light? Ans. — I see in this no confusion. The statement in the answers to Examination Paper agrees with the part of the Instructions referred to, and the only difference is that the one goes a little farther than the other. There is a perfect analogy between the two liṅga-śarīras mentioned, for no matter how the one or the other was produced they now stand in the same relations in their respective fields. The earth, we are taught, is produced from an antetype, that is to say, from some other body which when it died gave up its life and the plan of its evolution to form the earth, and then the earth began to make its astral light, which now — that is, in this age of the world — is polluted with the emanations from the people on the earth. We must not accuse the earth of this pollution, but rather the people upon it who have grown wicked in the descent of the cycle.

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DOCTRINE OF TRANSMIGRATION

The question is asked if there is any basis for the popular but erroneous doctrine in the East that souls transmigrate into animal and inanimate forms. The origin of the belief is probably due to teachers informing disciples that the atoms used by the soul while in any body are impressed with the character and acts of each soul, and that the soul has a duty imposed on it to so live, think, and act that all the atoms used in the material body shall progress equally with the Ego and not be given a downward tendency, for if such downward tendency be given, then when death comes the atoms fly to lower forms and are there degraded, and also, in that sense, the man has gone into lower forms. Of course the human ego cannot go into a lower form. It must be remembered as a grave, a weighty thing, that each atom in the body is conjoined with a life of its own, and has a consciousness peculiar to itself. These lives are a class of elementals and hence are the carriers of much of our character to any forms they may go to. It is similar to lighting many candles at one flame. They live in us and derive from us a character, and as they enter and leave us every instant our duty is plain. For by means of these atoms and lives we are actually carrying on the work of evolution, and are as members pledged to the Higher Self, bound to aid in evolution with good intent, or liable to heavy karma if we aid in degrading atoms which are to be used by our fellowmen and succeeding races.

THE TWO VIRGINS DOLMA

From H.P. — What is the meaning of this sentence on p. [518], No. 1: “Then the Deity allowed to stream forth from his left eye a blue ray of light, which becoming incarnate in the two Virgins Dolma, acquired the power to enlighten the minds of living beings?”

Jno. — The left eye and the color blue correspond to Manas which “enlightens the minds of living beings.” The two Virgins, then, would be Manas in its dual nature. Socrates acknowledged that he never knew from the mythology of his day whether there were two Aphrodites or only one. Manas in reality is one, yet at the commencement of every incarnation it projects a portion of itself (lower manas) into the personality, making up one of the lower Quaternary. A review of the gods and goddesses of all mythologies aids greatly in the [un]raveling of

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many problems that are continually coming up. The earlier Aphrodite (Venus, goddess of love) was born from the foam of the sea, and was called Anadyomene, or “she who comes out of the sea.” She was represented as wearing a green veil of the color of the sea, and great power was ascribed to her over that element (water, which typifies Ākāśa, the Mānasic tattva). She was the personification of that purest of the forces in nature, love without physical desire, while the later Aphrodite was the symbol of common earthly love. Hence a nude woman accompanied by her son, Eros (Cupid), the Charities (Graces), the Horae, Himeros (god of the desire of love), Pothos (god of the anxieties of love), and Peitho (suadela, or the soft speech of love). She gave birth to Cupid, Anteros (love and counter-love), Hymen (god of marriage), and Hermaphrodites. See Secret Doctrine, p. 458, Vol. I, for what goes with the following quotations: “Water is the Third Principle in material Kosmos, and the third in the realm of the Spiritual.” “They are all the products of water (mystically), of the Ākāśic ocean, of the Third Principle in nature.” And the third principle in the Microcosm is Manas.

BASES AND ASPECTS

From A.O.R. — Instruction No. III [p. 607], gives four bases and three aspects, kāma-rūpa being omitted. Page 158, Vol. I, Secret Doctrine, gives three bases. Will you please explain?

Ans. — The Instructions give what has never been given exoterically, the Auric Envelope or Egg. This is a principle. Not being in the exoteric teachings, a substitute was found for it by looking at Ātman as 7th and counting in also the physical body which is not a principle at all, but is called illusionary because wholly impermanent. In this way the three great principles spoken of exoterically are with some body, soul, and spirit. So in The Secret Doctrine the author, writing for the public, has again to alter the arrangement somewhat. The right arrangement of the four basic principles is in the Instructions, for the One Life is common property, indestructible; the Auric Envelope is basic since it is so close to the root of all; Buddhi and Manas also because they proceed through manvantaras. Now if we take out of this the One Life, because common property, we have again three basic principles. Kāma-rūpa is only an aspect or differentiation or specialization.

The word “rūpa” shows this, for it means form, and form must disappear and the kāma elements are not basic in a cosmic sense. Now the four basic principles 320 Echoes of the Orient above spoken of produce the three aspects of prāṇa, astral body, and manas (lower). Prāṇa includes body and part of kāma-rūpa; astral body is the model and necessary medium, and lower manas includes or causes or attracts part of kāma. As has been fully taught, and ought to be remembered by those who answered the Examination Paper, kāma principle is diffused through the whole system during life and is no form until after death, when, assuming a concrete life apart from the body, it becomes kāma-rūpa, or “desire-form.” Hence it cannot be properly included in the aspects spoken of on p. [607] of No. III. Paragraph 3 of “transitory aspects,” shows this, for it clearly states that the animal soul has the potentialities of Buddhi and Manas, but generally conquered by association with the kāma elements in man and nature.

AS TO KĀMA-RŪPA

From R.J.N. — In Forum No. 18, p. 5, lines 27-9, W.Q.J. says, “In a case of ordinary demise the astral body dissipates, so does kāma-rūpa.” (([In Echoes II:280, Question 88.]))

Here the impression is that kāma-rūpa exists before and in a case of “ordinary demise” dissipates at death. Remarks on Examination Paper No. I, pp. 295-6, says “Kama has no rūpa during life;” . “The Esotericist must distinguish clearly between the kāmic principle in the personality and the kāma-rūpa which is the embodiment of that principle after death,” . “Only a very small minority stated that the rūpa was formed after death.” Instructions No. III, page [608n] says, “It is erroneous when speaking of the fifth human principle, to call it ‘the kāma-rūpa.’ It is no rūpa or form at all, except after death: but the kāmic elements, animal desires, passions, such as anger, lust, envy, revenge, etc., the products of selfishness and matter.” Now how is the statement of W.Q.J. in the Forum to be reconciled with these conflicting quotations?

Ans. — I do not consider the statements quoted to be conflicting. The Instructions and Suggestions are written for the members of the E.S.; the Forum is intended for outsiders. The words quoted from the Forum do not infer anything. They state that kāma-rūpa dissipates after death, which is the fact, and which does not negative the statement made in Instructions that kāma has no rūpa — or form — until death. If I were writing so as to inform the public clearly that kāma-rūpa dissipates after death I would say that the kāma principle assumes a form at death and afterwards dissipates. The only inference that could be drawn

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from the Forum citation is that kāma-rūpa assumed a form at some time not stated. During life the kāmic principle is distributed through the whole system, and not specialized. At death the whole lower force of the dying person centers itself in kāma, draws the whole principle together from the rest of the combination, and then assumes a distinct form of its own. This is clearly given in Instructions No. III, and it is better to read that than pay much attention to the errors or omissions of W.Q.J. in Forum or elsewhere, as he admits the correctness of the Instructions. Pages [608-10] will settle the question clearly and also answer the question sent lately on the same subject.

According to No. III, [609-10]:

(a) The kāma-rūpa fades out in time after the death of the body; (b) After thus fading its Karmic record is left, as a collection of elementals, who go to make up the astral form which — (c) Is born within the Auric Envelope for the purpose of forming the model around which the new human foetus is constructed. This is the process in broad outline, including many details not worked out. Among others of these is the problem: What is the fate and function of a kāma-rūpa which lasts many centuries after death of the body? Does it or does it not have anything to do with the reincarnating Ego which cast if off in a preceding life? If it does, what effect does it produce? These questions should be replied to for forwarding to London.

SUNDRY QUERIES

From E.B. — We are told that the pituitary body is directly connected with the pharyngeal plexus, the inference is that when the Word is used with proper modulations it produces vibrations in the pituitary body which bring about, as a result, the awakening of the pineal gland. Now is not this using physical means which we have been strictly enjoined not to do?

Ans. — Nearly all of this is inference, not wholly supported by the Instructions. And we must not take the teacher’s words in order to nullify her own directions by inferences drawn from her own statements. Students are permitted the use of the Word with certain cautions attached to the permission. Besides, if it does happen that the effect spoken of is produced, that is not the “physical means” prohibited. The prohibition is against physical means and physical practices pursued for the definite purpose of developing psychic power, and it is not our place to argue upon the permission as to the use of the Word in order 322 Echoes of the Orient to show that such indulgence is the very thing “we are enjoined not to do.”

From M.K.S. — Members of the E.S. are required to devote one-half hour daily to study of and meditation on the Instructions. Am I neglecting that part of my duty when I devote my time to the study of The Secret Doctrine in hope of having some light upon the E.S. Instructions? Ans. — As to the first, there is a misapprehension. Half-hour study is suggested, not required. Hence a careful study of The Secret Doctrine is wise. It is beneficial to study half an hour, but study of The Secret Doctrine may proceed with study of the Instructions. From M.A.W. — In the corrected answers to Examination Paper No. I, there is one correction I cannot understand. Kāma-Manas is styled the Higher Ego not the lower Ego as I had named it. I have had a great deal of trouble getting the Egos and Selfs where they belong. Is the following right?

Higher Self — Ātma.

Higher Ego Buddhi-Manas.

Lower Ego Kāma, (or is it Kāma-Manas?).

Lower Self — all that which makes up our Personality.

P. and W.Q.J. — The answers by H.P.B. above referred to do not style Kāma-Manas the Higher Ego. M.A.W. is recommended to read again with care Question 3, pp. 296-7, of Remarks on Examination Paper No. I, with the answer given. We can hardly do better than the Head of the Section. In her answer on p. 296, she says: “The lower self is the personal ego, Kāma-Manas.” Could this be plainer? The Higher Self is Ātma-Buddhi, we might say, common to all mankind. The Higher Ego is the individuality for each man and is located in Manas, which is the meaning of the term “the Mānasic entity,” of p. 296, Remarks on Examination Paper. It has the power to become one with the Higher Self, which is Ātma-Buddhi, and when that is accomplished it is Ātmabuddhimanas, the perfect Triad. At the same time students ought not to make hard and fast determinations as to mere words, for the English language having had chiefly a commercial development is not yet in possession of words for the expression of fine shades of meaning.

From M.K.S. — Is iḍā on the right side of suṣumṇā? The Glossary locates it on the right side, and then further on states that piṅgalā is the right of the three currents.

  1. [See BCW XII:520-4.] [<<]
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