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Eastern School of Theosophy (08)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 343-352)

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids


Suggestions and Aids 343

Eastern School of Theosophy

London, May 27, 1891

Brothers and Sisters:

The departure of our Teacher, H.P.B., renders necessary certain changes in the Constitution of this School, and a notice of these accompanies the present address. But in addition to these changes, made by the joint Councils of the E.S.T., it is our duty, as the two selected by H.P.B. as her agents and representatives after her departure, to specially speak to each one of you respecting the duty laid on the School by her retirement from the visible control of its affairs. The future of this body depends on the way in which this test of steadfastness and loyalty is endured by the members collectively and individually. If they fall, the School will perish and the life-work of H.P.B.’s last incarnation will be a failure: if they stand, the Blessing of the Masters will rest on the School, will secure its stability, and will prosper the efforts of the members for the good of the exoteric Society. More than ever does it now become our duty to devote ourselves to the body at large. The knowledge we have acquired, and shall continue to acquire, we hold in trust for the service of the Society; it will ill become her pupils if they desert the great Cause to which her life was given, and invite the terrible Karma that must fall on those who break the solemn pledge that each of us has made. The School is the heart of the Society: if the heart ceases to throb, the Society must die, as a living power, and slowly decay while passing into a mere sect. We call you then to a fuller and more earnest carrying out of your pledge than you have ever yet attempted; the greatness of the need should be the measure of your efforts, and the success of those efforts will most certainly depend on the zeal and the sincerity with which they are animated. It is not that the Masters will not help the School if we are supine, it is that they cannot, for they are bound by law, not by law of man’s creation but by the immutable Law of nature which always works through agents appropriate to the end in view. Consider the position of the School: we are no longer a band of students taught by a visible Teacher; we are a band of students mutually 344 Echoes of the Orient interdependent, forced to rely on each other for our usefulness and our progress, until our very brotherliness in mutual help shall draw a visible Teacher back among us. H.P.B. remains one of our Heads though H. P. Blavatsky is “dead,” and the Heads of the School have not withdrawn Their guidance in withdrawing the presence chosen to represent Them for a time and on which we have rejoiced to lean. Especially important is it that at the present juncture we should bear in mind the words of H.P.B. written at the conclusion of the Key to Theosophy. In laying stress on the knowledge and wisdom that will be required by those on whom it falls to carry on the work of the Society after her departure, she explains that these qualities only can save the Theosophical Society from ending in failure. All previous attempts have thus failed (in accomplishing their mission in full) because they have degenerated into sects, and we have her word for it that unless we be freed from bias, “or at least taught to recognize it instantly and so avoid being led away by it, the result can only be that the Society will drift off to some sandbank of thought or another, and there remain a stranded carcase to moulder and decay.” If, however we can avert this danger, Then the Society will live on into and through the twentieth century. It will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of thinking and intelligent people with its large-minded and noble ideas of Religion, Duty and Philanthropy. Slowly but surely it will burst asunder the iron fetters of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices; it will break down racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will open the way to the practical realization of the brotherhood of all men. Through its teaching, through the philosophy which it has rendered accessible and intelligible to the mind, the West will learn to understand and appreciate the East at its true value. Further, the development of the psychic powers and faculties, the premonitory symptoms of which are already visible in America, will proceed healthily and normally. Mankind will be saved from the terrible dangers, both mental and bodily, which are inevitable when that unfolding takes place, as it threatens to do, in a hotbed of selfishness and all evil passions. Man’s mental and psychic growth will proceed in harmony with his moral improvement, while his material surroundings will reflect the peace and fraternal good will which will remain in his mind, instead of the discord and strife which are everywhere apparent around us to-day.1

There, then, is our next pressing work, our most mighty respon

Suggestions and Aids 345

sibility. For if we of this School, Brothers and Sisters, cannot accomplish this task, the Theosophical Society is doomed. Not in vain will come to you these tones of her living voice, speaking across “the change that men call death,” for we know that she lives and is watching with grave, strong interest how they acquit themselves whose pledge can in no wise be altered by her departure into the invisible. That pledge was not given to the personality, it was given to Masters’ Lodge and given also to the Higher Self invoked to witness it. It can therefore never be recalled, however much it may be denied.

We who write to you claim over you no authority save such as she delegated to us. We are your fellow students, chosen by her — the Messenger of the Masters of Wisdom — as Their channels to the measure of our ability, during this period of darkness. Read what the Master wrote not long ago to her — beloved Teacher — in regard to a question raised about “orders”:

Were there such an order ever given (which luckily for all concerned it never will be) and the pledged person refused to obey it though knowing that since it was given there must be something serious involved in it, then you know what the effects would beA direct order is a rare thing indeed and a most serious one. You have no right to let any of them remain in ignoranceEveryone has a right to act according to his conscience, but it is the nature of such act of conscience that decides whether it will be right or wrong. Suppose a pledge-order came to do something base or criminal then no pledge could avail. The “order” would be something going entirely against a universally recognized law, a principle. [See BCW XII:63] None in the School is likely to feel as strongly as we feel ourselves our inadequacy for the task laid upon us: but we cannot break our pledge of obedience, nor shirk responsible duty on the coward’s plea of incompetency. We believe in H.P.B. and in the Masters, and it is enough for us that they say, “Go and carry on our work along the lines on which you have been instructed.” In this, as in many lives past and in all lives to come, we are vowed to the service of the Secret Wisdom and of that humanity of which we all are a part and for the lifting up of which alone the Masters work.

Let us again quote to you the words of the Masters sent to H.P.B.:

Let not the fruit of your Karma be your motive, for your Karma, good or bad, being one and the common property of all mankind, nothing good or bad can happen to you that is not shared by many others. Hence your motive, being selfish, can only generate a double effect, good and bad, and will either nullify your good action, or turn

346 Echoes of the Orient

it to another man’s profit. There is no happiness for one who is ever thinking of self and forgetting other selves.2

We ask you, each one of you, to make the general burden lighter by carrying so much as strength will bear. Then will the Theosophical Society be saved and the Masters’ work be helped. For the use of all of us, there are written teachings left by H.P.B. in our hands that will give food for study and thought for many a year to come, and though the main duty of the Esotericist is service to others, and not personal advancement in knowledge, it is characteristic of her thought for us that behind her she left intellectual and spiritual food for the earnest student, as well as the charge to complete her unfinished work. The choice is now before you to go forward or to go back: as the choice is yours so also is the responsibility of your decision. That decision will influence all your future: “Tried and found wanting,” or “Tried and found faithful,” will be written of each in the Karmic records; no words of ours can enhance the importance of that choice, nor lighten the weight of that responsibility.

We are your faithful servants,

Annie Besant

William Q. Judge

European Headquarters

19 Avenue Road, Regent’s Park London, N. W., England

May 27, 1891

Suggestions and Aids 347

New Series No. 2

June 1, 1891


In Instructions I, we are told that the parts of the body have relation with the higher worlds, and that “each such part has been evolved and developed to perform six functions on six distinct planes of action, besides its seventh — lowest and purely terrestrial — function on the physical plane” [BCW XII:520].

Yet on the Double-Paged Diagram [facing p. 524] we are told that certain “physical organs are used only by Dugpas in black magic.” Some students have thought that these two statements contradicted each other. It thus becomes necessary to explain this apparent discrepancy. In the first place, the clearer statement would be, that the physical organs, as such, are only used in magical arts, by the Dugpas. The White Adept, when in a body, puts them to that natural use which the Bhagavad-Gītā describes in showing them to be mere centers of action (as physiological organs proper), and Chap. V of the Gītā should be carefully read in this connection.

In the second place, as regards the relations of organs to higher planes, every organ has its spiritual and psychic prototype (an essence apart from any idea of form), by means of which alone it may be said to have an action upon higher planes than the physical. The organ per se does not act; it is a mere center of force. The Adept, in using any force, acts from the higher plane, but plays upon the scale of forces represented by the seven principles. To use an illustration, the musician, when artistically rendering thought in music, is really (though he may not recognize it) playing upon all the gradations of skill which he has acquired by long and arduous practice. He plays; but his playing is the sum total of himself. The White Adept exercises a force which is the unity of the scales of force played upon by him, on higher and higher planes. The action of this force is immediate, but the gradations are all there and can be recognized on analysis. The musician plays a grand chord with a single movement of eye and hand. But that is the synthesis of the knowledge which enables him instinctively to play the notes in harmony. It is the spiritual, essential prototype, therefore (around which cluster the atoms, molecules, and cells which inform and form

348 Echoes of the Orient

any organ, making of the organ a center of activity), which alone “acts” upon the higher planes through the working of noetic force, which, while it “cannot act directly upon bodies,” does act upon the Monads, the atoms — not the mere chemical atoms — and Prāṇa. Some condensed statements from H.P.B.’s article “Psychic and Noetic Action” in Lucifer, Oct.-Nov. 1890, will assist us to understand the problem [see BCW XII:350-74].

“Occultism regards every atom as an independent entity,” and every cell as a “conscious unit.” No sooner do such atoms group and form cells, than these cells become endowed with consciousness, each of its own kind and with free-will to act within the limits of law. [365] The lower self manifests through the organic system. The “Higher Ego” cannot act directly on the body, as its consciousness belongs to quite another plane and planes of ideation. The Lower Self has the power of choice, to gravitate towards its “Father in Heaven” or to the animal in man. It has no direct dealings on this physical plane with brain or heart, but only with our passional organs, such as the liver, spleen, stomach, and so forth. The memory of such events must first be awakened in that organ which was the first to induce the action remembered afterward, and conveyed it to our sense thought, which is entirely distinct from the supersensuous thought. It is only the higher forms of this latter which correlate with the cerebral and cardiac centers. The memories of physical and selfish (or personal) deeds, on the other hand, together with the mental experiences of a terrestrial nature, can, of necessity, only be correlated with the molecular constitution of various kāmic organs, and with dynamical associations of the elements of the nervous system in each particular organ. Every organ in the body has a memory of its own kind, and a psychic and noetic action. Responding to the touch of both a physical and a metaphysical Force, the impulse given by the psychic (or psycho-molecular) Force will act from without, within; while that of the noetic (shall we call it spiritual dynamical?) Force works from within, without. As our body is the covering of the inner principles, so the molecule or the cell in which dwell its principles, covers the (to our senses and comprehension) immaterial atoms which compose that cell. The cell’s activity and behavior are determined by its being propelled either inwardly, by the noetic, or outwardly, by the psychic Force, the former having no relation to the physical cells proper. Therefore, while the latter act under the unavoidable law of the conservation and correlation of physical energy, the atoms, being psycho-spiritual, not physical units, act under laws of their own. [367-8] There are Mānasic as well as Kāmic organs in us, though the cells of the body answer to both physical and spiritual impulses. [369]

Suggestions and Aids 349

It is the function of the physical lower mind to act upon the physical organs and their cells; but it is the higher mind alone which can influence the atoms interacting in those cells; which interaction is alone capable of exciting the brain, via the spinal “center” cord, to a mental representation of spiritual ideas far beyond any objects on this material plane. The phenomena of divine consciousness have to be regarded as activities of our mind on another and higher plane, working through something less substantial than the moving molecules of the brain. [369] The liver and spleen cells are the most subservient to the action of our “personal” mind, the heart being the organ par excellence through which the Higher Ego acts, through the Lower Self. [370] The brain is the direct recipient of the impressions of the heart. All the organs of the body originate, according to their animal needs and desires, the electro-vital sparks that illuminate the field of consciousness in the Lower Ego, and it is the sparks which awaken in their turn and into function, the reminiscences of it. [370] (Close of [condensed statements from] H.P.B.’s article.)

It seems as if we may infer that the pineal gland is the chief organ through which the Higher Ego acts directly, and not through the lower self. Often too, in exoteric writings, the word “heart” is a blind, and refers to “the pine-formed heart” of Occultism, or pineal gland. In the above, however, there is reason to think that the heart itself is meant. It may help us to recall, in this connection, the constitution of the organic cell. It has: (1) Cell wall. (2) Protoplasmic content. (3) Nucleus. (4) Nucleolus, a brilliant spot visible in the center of the Nucleus, but only seen in very perfect cells. This would correspond to the four basic human principles.

But between the cell wall and protoplasmic content is an intermediate state of differentiation from both, observable under the microscope as a current only, and the same again between protoplasmic content and nucleus, which gives us six states or principles to the cell, while the life principle, running through all, makes the seventh. I do not count in a differentiation of state between nucleus and nucleolus, because the latter, the radiant spark of the cell, is not always found. When it is found in a cell, that differentiation may be counted as the eighth state. This would give eight states, just as man has eight states if the physical body (= cell wall) is counted in. This cell wall breaks down and sloughs off in time, just as man’s physical body does at death, the protoplasmic content disperses, like the double, the nucleus and nucleolus float off and begin a new growth, after a time, in some other part of the body, when the cell

350 Echoes of the Orient

becomes again a perfect cell. These remarks refer to the eight states of the physical cell, as they are stated in the graduating thesis of Dr. Anna Kingsford, read at Paris, and also before the Royal Microscopical Society of London. They are included in the earliest editions of The Perfect Way, being completely omitted from all later editions, and serve to show the perfect analogy in the states, death and rebirth of a cell, even on the physical plane.

Next we must consider what is meant by the term “atom” in Occultism, as H.P.B. states that this word is not used in the sense of a “physical atom” in her article quoted above. The Secret Doctrine says that the “physical atoms” proceed from the mineral monad. (I:178) Defining the atom of the occultist, we have: Atom; “a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy which itself has not yet become individualized; a sequential manifestation of the one, Universal Monas

“It is the spiritual essence which vivifies them [the monads] in their degrees of differentiation, which properly constitutes the Monad — not the Atomic aggregation,. through which thrill the lower and the higher degrees of intelligence.” (Secret Doctrine I:178-9)

“The Atomic, though to human perception invisible organisms. The latter are considered as the ‘Spirits of Atoms,’ for they are the first remove (backwards) from the physical Atom — sentient, if not intelligent creatures. They are all subject to Karma and have to work it out through every cycle” (Secret Doctrine I:221). It also says these atoms are one form of nature spirits, the sixth and seventh group of beings. “Every elemental atom. is, in their firm belief (when not knowledge), a soul; not necessarily a disembodied soul, but a Jīva,. a center of potential vitality, with latent intelligence in it, and, in the case of compound Souls — an intelligent, active existence, from the highest to the lowest order; a form composed of more or less differentiations. . All those atom-Souls are differentiations from the one, and in the same relation to it as the divine Soul — the Buddhi — to its informing and inseparable Spirit, or Ātman.” (Secret Doctrine I:567)

“There are shoals of such informed atoms (informed by their apperceptive monads), which in their turn inform the molecules;. every cell in a human body is so informed.” (Secret Doctrine I:632). That these atoms are the principles, corporeal, psychic, and spiritual, of the Gods; that they propel their molecules into activity from within and are motion and vibration; that “every atom becomes a visible complex unit (a molecule) and once attracted into the sphere of terrestrial activity, the Monadic Essence, passing through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, becomes manGod, Monad, and

Suggestions and Aids 351

Atom are the correspondences of. Ātma, Manas, and Sthūla-śarīra in man”; we find in the chapter on “Gods, Monads, and Atoms” (Secret Doctrine I:619).

We may thus see what it is upon which the noetic force works. On the physical plane, Keely, through sound, ruptures the etheric molecules and liberates atomic force. Is not this a physical image of the operation of the dynamo-spiritual force engendered in man by the action of noetic vibration?

“The Formless (Arūpa) Radiations, existing in the harmony of Universal Will, and being what we term the collective or the aggregate of Cosmic Will on the plane of the subjective Universe, unite together an infinitude of monads — each the mirror of its own Universe — and thus individualize, for the time being, an independent mind, omniscient and universal; and by the same process of magnetic aggregation, they create for themselves objective, visible bodies, out of the interstellar atoms.” (Secret Doctrine I:632-3)

It would appear, by analogy, that the constitution of our minds is monadic, and is composed of all the monads and atoms in our sphere, upon which noetic force acts “from within” as the atoms work from within. This does not imply that the thinking entity in man is the mere sum total of all the atoms of the body and organs. Such an implication would ignore the meaning attached by Occultism to the term Monad or Monas, which means mind when so used (see article “Gods, Monads, and Atoms,” Secret Doctrine I:610-34). Man is something more. That is, we know that this aggregation of cells with their psychic action (but not the noetic action) constitutes what is known as the Kāma-Manas of the personality. That man is something more than this aggregation is owing to the incarnation of Mānasaputras. While psychic action is owing to the psycho-physiological aggregation, the noetic action seems to be due to this incarnation.

It would appear that, in the evolution of physical matter with the Races, the principles are similarly developed in the cell as in the individual. The atoms and molecules have also been developed partly and are developed in consciousness similarly to the individual Higher Ego and the personal ego, i.e., the higher principles of the cell are potential only, like the higher Triad in its relation to this plane. “It does not act on this plane, where the acting agent is the Manas,” says a Teacher. Thus we have above some glimpses of the basis of the relations of organs — which are centers of action informed by atoms and monads — to planes higher than the physical. The real organ is the substratum, the essence which has drawn together cells, molecules, atoms, etc., by attraction and repulsion, or action and reaction. This essence alone

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“acts” upon the higher plane and from them, or from within outwards, acts through the various and graduated constituents of organs, each such grade of constituents being upon a different plane from those of other grades; as for example, the atoms are upon the higher psychic plane. In this way the organ, a sum total, has functions, through its finer informing constituents governed by noetic force, upon higher planes.

Finally, in the Secret Doctrine I:635, we read that the material and spiritual organs are united by Karma, or action and reaction. No authority is claimed for any of this series of papers.


These were correct, generally speaking. Several students failed to discriminate between what may be called the normal and the abnormal Kāma-Rūpa. The queries related to the latter only, as the normal or ordinary Kāma-Rūpa does not cohere for centuries after the death of the body. Almost all the replies were from Western students; it would seem as if those of the East had not given their attention to this matter.

When the body dies “the remains of Antaḥkaraṇa survive as Kāma- Rūpa” [Voice, p. 89, TUP ed.], and the normal Kāma-Rūpa being thus formed, the usual result is that after the Kāma-Rūpa has been dissipated in Kāma-Loka into the Taṇhic Elementals, the Higher Ego enters the state of Devachan. But should the tendencies and desires of the past life have been almost exclusively animal and material in nature, the stronger and more coherent will be the Kāma-Rūpa, the less the length of time to be passed in Devachan, and the quicker the reincarnation of the Higher Ego. Even in this case, the Kāma-Rūpa will have been dissipated as such previous to the reincarnation of the Higher Ego, although it may have cohered for a very long time. But in the abnormal cases, previous to the death of the body, a separation is effected between the “Higher Ego” and the “Kāmic” or “Personal Soul.” In such a case the Higher Ego may be led back again by spiritual aspiration, when no permanent separation takes place. But should the union not be effected, the Kāmic or Personal Soul becomes a separate Entity, to reincarnate immediately as a human

  1. [ The Key to Theosophy, pp. 305-6.] []
  2. [For a more complete rendering see BCW XI:168-9; H. P. Blavatsky to the American Conventions: 1888-1891, TUP, Pasadena, 1979, p. 22.] []
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