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Eastern School of Theosophy (10)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 363-372)

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids

 

Suggestions and Aids 363

are said to be identical with the Dhyāni-Buddhas who emanate as Rays from the Second Logos, and as such, owing to the triple Logos being symbolized by the triple physical sun, they may be called Solar Devas (in addition to the fact that the sun being the origin, physicallyspeaking, of life and light, there is an analogy with the gift of life and light from the Mānasa-Putras).

The Reincarnating human Egos are also called Mānasa-Putras, and it would thus seem that in almost all men there has been a quickening of a latent power, which would explain as a continued Karmic evolution the descent of the Mānasa-Putras to incarnate in men, “who are themselves.”

The student must always bear in mind that there is no “dead matter” in the Universe, but that it is all life during a Manvantara. Each atom is a life. The imagined final atom of science (called monad by Leibniz) is a life, and a member of some hierarchy. Thus the mineral world is a hierarchy, and so also is the world of Manas, as all others, and the extremely subtle matter which is called the unseen, primordial matter (also known as Prakṛiti) is composed of lives also, and is a hierarchy with an intelligence and action peculiar to itself. Therefore the meaning of the teachings is clear in respect to the statement that the Mānasa-Putras gave man this, and the others gave him that, and so on, for all the various kingdoms participated in forming the body for the future man who is the combination or concentration into one whole of the various hierarchies named and some not yet named.

2. What is the function of the Auric Egg in reincarnation? What is it that reincarnates? Ans. — At the time of the incarnation of the Mānasa-Putras, Kumāras,

or Pitṛis, the animal man is ensouled by these entities or Egos from preceding Manvantaras. They are called in the Instructions “Pillars of Light.” It is stated that the Lunar Pitṛis are absorbed by the auric essence proceeding from the Ākāśic aura of the Mānasa-Putras, and that thus a distinct astral form is evolved for each incarnation. The physical (or rather ethereo-physical) form of the earlier races on earth was molded on the astral chāyās or shadowy men evolved by the Lunar Pitṛis, and the physical form (after the incarnation of the Mānasa- Putras) is molded on the astral form which grows with the growth of the human being, according to the guiding energy of the Auric Egg. The Auric Egg, in addition to thus being the origin of the astral form or Liṅga-śarīra, is also the origin of the Māyāvi-rūpa of the Adept, and its dregs form the Kāma-rūpa of the material man after his death.

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The Auric Egg at death assimilates the essence of Buddhi and Manas, absorbing the spiritual aroma of each personality which it can follow in earth-life. It is thus identified with the Sūtrātma which incarnates from beginning to end of a Manvantara. It is in constant transformation and correlation during the progress of the Ego, and thus forms a constant record of individual progress.

Thus it may be said that the Ego or Higher Manas incarnates in association with Buddhi, the vehicle of the triple Monad, the connection between them being the Auric Egg, which is the first film on homogeneity. Through the impulse arising in the Monad and communicated by the Auric Egg, the Ego is drawn into manifestation or incarnation under Karmic Law, the Auric Egg molding the astral form in combination with the Taṇhic elementals. It is Manas which incarnates under the guidance of the Ākāśic records in the Auric Egg. The word “incarnate” means being in the flesh, and therefore has reference to the present general development of humanity; for, when man was in the astral stage, and had no flesh body, he could not be said to be incarnated.

Now, as it is clearly shown in Esoteric Buddhism, The Secret Doctrine and Key to Theosophy, that the present man, as a general rule, has not developed the Higher Manas, but that it is lower Manas with Kāma — or desire — which rules at present, it follows that strictly replying to the question, we should say that it is lower Manas that is incarnated. But, as lower Manas is a part of Higher Manas and cannot be dissevered from it except in the case of the loss of the soul, it follows that the incarnating impulse and power is received by Higher Manas which, obeying the effect of its Karma generated on earth by lower Manas and Kāma, causes again an incarnation. In that sense, therefore, Higher Manas also reincarnates. And Ātma-Buddhi-Manas constitute the reincarnating principle as a whole, inasmuch as there must be some basis for the reincarnations that go on, and in which is to inhere the essence or flavor of all the personal lives lived by that triad through the medium of lower Manas in conjunction with Kāma at this point in evolution.

When the consciousness is centered in the upper principles and complete knowledge, or jnānam — is attained, then the reincarnation that takes place is voluntary — by an Adept — and is not to be judged by ordinary standards, and will, for the present, have no relation to the question now put.

3. In what way are the Higher and the lower Manas related to each other (a) in earth life, (b) in Devachan?

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Ans. — Manas has been divided into Higher and lower for the purpose of considering it in relation to earth life. Lower Manas is that part of Manas which is incarnate in man as we now know him. It is of precisely the same nature as Higher Manas save that its association with Kāma colors it. Consequently it is a “Ray” rather than a reflection. Manas joined to Buddhi is Self-Consciousness; when consciously united with Buddhi and Ātma, it becomes divine Consciousness; joined to Kāma and earth life it becomes personal Consciousness. Thus in E.S.T. Manas is usually considered and spoken of as Buddhi-Manas and Kāma-Manas. It has also been stated that Manas, as such, is not in relation at all to earth life and acts only through its “reflection” or Kāma-Manas. The Higher and lower Manas are related as a reflection one of the other, and by means of some medium, this medium being called Antaḥkaraṇa in the Instructions. As yet, Higher Manas has not fully incarnated in mankind as a whole, for the time has not yet come for it. That will come later, and then a corresponding element in nature will appear and be visible in the air. This element will be a development of the Ākāśa corresponding to Manas, and will proceed into greater and greater visibility as Manas develops in man. In fact this element is already in the air, but is not perceived by us because we have not yet developed the necessary senses and uses of organs to enable us to cognize it.

In Devachan, earth-life with its more or less material conditions has been done away with, and the lower Manas, or reflection for the purpose of terrestrial life, does not exist. The Higher Manas may be said to have claimed its own, and to have absorbed the essence of all the spiritual deeds and aspirations of the personality to form another pearl on the Sūtrātma or Auric Egg. Before the Higher Manas enters the state of Devachan, the lower Manas with the dregs of the Auric Envelope has formed the Kāma-Rūpa, and this latter has in most cases been dissipated to form Taṇhic elementals. Thus the lower Manas has no relation to the Higher in Devachan, for the Taṇhic elementals are not existent on that plane of consciousness. This is fully explained in Key to Theosophy [Section IX, pp. 143-5, TUP ed.], where it should be studied.

4. What is the Antaḥkaraṇa?

Ans. — The Antaḥkaraṇa is an imaginary bridge of communication between the divine and the human Ego. In Instructions III [631] it is compared with the air of a room in which there is a brilliant lamp. The lamp represents the divine Ego, the light [thrown on the 366 Echoes of the Orient wall] the human Ego, the wall of the room the physical body, and the atmosphere or air without which no light could pass at all represents the Antaḥkaraṇa. In Plate I [580] Antaḥkaraṇa is represented as a narrow strip which connects the indigo blue and green triangles, and in it is stated, in The Voice of the Silence, to be the link between Higher and lower Manas. The strip in Plate I is only an indication, as it is not such a definite strip.

Antaḥkaraṇa is only half in action during sleep, and at death it is destroyed as a Bridge. For the personal man awake and acting in the lower Manas, Antaḥkaraṇa is the only means by which he can aspire to and recognize the divine in himself. The personal man has therefore to keep open the bridge of communication, else it may be destroyed and he be converted practically into a “soulless being.”

H.P.B. described Antaḥkaraṇa as a mode of consciousness. The Voice speaks of it as the path between the personal and impersonal Self, (page 50) “the highway of sensations” (p. 56), a projection of the lower Manas (p. 88-9, note), and shows it as the battlefield where takes place the struggle for mastery over the personal self, for we traverse this bridge whenever we aspire unselfishly. As said in the Voice (p. 55), at the termination of the struggle, and at the initiation, “behold the very battlefield is now engulfed.” This state is present in any individual during the moments when he turns his thoughts towards the spiritual life.

Antaḥkaraṇa may also be described as that action of Consciousness which draws it (Consciousness) up and down — in this case up. That is, by aspiring in our consciousness to Higher Manas and Buddhi, we continue to improve that power located there between Higher and lower Manas, so that it remains with us as a Bridge, because, in consequence of the general race development, we are not normally able to remain consciously on the plane of Higher Manas. 5. What do you mean by the “Higher Self,” and how do you distinguish between it and the personal self?

Ans. — The term “Higher Self” is somewhat confusing. It ought to be confined to the One Universal Self, and as such cannot really be qualified as “Higher.” By some it has been mistaken to mean the Higher Ego as opposed to the lower Ego or personal self. It may be well to strictly distinguish between (a) the lower Ego or personal self; (b) the Higher Ego or Individual Self; then there is (c) the divine Ego or Buddhi-Manas; finally there is (d) the Universal Self or Monad in manifestation.

Suggestions and Aids 367 In the Instructions the Higher Self is identified with AUM; the Higher Ego is said to be the third letter and Buddhi, the second [639]. It is also identified with the triad of Ātma-Buddhi-Manas, and therefore with the three hypostases of Ātman within the Auric Egg. It would thus seem right to connect the words Higher Self with this triadic hypostasis of the Universal, homogeneous, and secondless Self. The Higher Self is Ātma, “the inseparable ray of the Universal and One Self (Key to Theosophy, p. 175, TUP ed.).

The “personal self” is purely a reflection for terrestrial purposes of the Higher Ego or Individual Self. It is really equivalent to Kāma-Manas. And the personal self — also called lower self — is not the body, for that is only the field in which these powers play or work. The body is senseless as such, and being composed of every sort of matter and thus of every hierarchy, may be just as well good as bad. So the personal lower self is the combination of passions and desires with lower Manas. This should be carefully thought out and realized. It is lower Manas combined with Kāma operating through the astral and physical. In the Instructions, lower Manas is green and consequently absorbs Kāma (red) and it is our duty to separate this combination. Lower Manas, then, freed from desire, shows itself of the same nature as its creator (Higher Manas), and operating with it, is able to perform its true mission here, the Ego working in conjunction with its alter Ego.

6. State the constitution of man as given esoterically, and describe the different principles in that division, saying what becomes of each at and after death.

Ans. — As given in the Third Instruction [607] the constitution of man is divided thus:

First, the origin of all, the Triadic Monad or triple Ātman, which is here considered as an eternal principle, although in the First Instruction it is stated that Ātman is no principle and that its esoteric substitute is the Auric Egg, which is said to be almost pure Ākāśa. Buddhi, a Ray of the spiritual Soul or Ālaya. Manas, the product of Mahat or Universal Mind. These are said to be the four eternal bases. The aspects of these in manifestation comes next, as:

Prāṇa, which is the life of material existence and is the transitory aspect of Jīva, the One Life, which is identified with the triple Ātman. Liṅga-śarīra, the astral form, the transitory aspect and formation of the Auric Egg.

The lower Manas, which is a reflection of Buddhi-Manas, con

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sidered in association with Kāmic elements.

The physical body is not included in the classification in either case, neither in the classification of the Instruction III is the Kāma-rūpa of exoteric division, nor the Kāma principle of earlier Instructions. The physical body is a fleeting combination of atoms, never constant, and consequently is not recognized as a principle.

At death or shortly after, the physical body is resolved into its elements and the Prāṇa manifested in it rebecomes Jīva. The Liṅga Śarīra, which at death is more or less liberated from the meshes of the physical body, lingers for a time in its neighborhood, but is ultimately completely destroyed and dissipated. The energy of Manas reflected in Kāma-Manas is sharply separated by the division of Antaḥkaraṇa. The energy in association with Kāmic elements, forms with the dregs of the Auric Egg, the Kāma-rūpa, or spook of the seance-room, and this leads a more or less extended existence in accordance with the energy in it. Manas and Buddhi with the aroma of the spiritual aspirations of the personality preserved in the Auric Egg, exist in the state of Devachan until the new incarnation has to be effected.

7. What do you understand by the statement that Life and Consciousness are in every point of the Universe?

Ans. — It is not to be understood that Life and Consciousness, as we imperfectly know them, are in every point of the universe But as the law of Evolution necessitates Absoluteness in duration, previous to any differentiation in space and time, Life and Consciousness thus become aspects of the Absolute, differentiating in space and time, thus they may be said to be in every point of the universe, everywhere at all times. Although from this point of view both, as aspects, are coeval in the Absolute, yet Life is a higher aspect than Consciousness. The Secret Doctrine I:216 says “The ‘First-Born’ are the Life, the heart of the Universe, the Second are its Mind or Consciousness.” But this Consciousness is still unconditioned as compared with consciousness as we know it, for Mahat, the Universal Mind, is the production of Pradhāna, undifferentiated matter. Thence the Energy arising from Absoluteness passes into differentiation in the Life and Consciousness of the Hierarchies of sentient Beings who, according to law, build and guide the Universe, which is themselves.

Cosmic Ideation and Cosmic Substance, together with the Cosmic Energy arising from the reflection of Absoluteness in Cosmic Ideation, result in differentiation. The interaction of spirit and matter, subject and object, with intelligence, results in the various bases or vehicles

Suggestions and Aids 369

through which life and consciousness are manifested But the manifestation differs in degree with the basis of differentiation, this being at the very least septenary. The consciousness of even one plane of terrestrial existence differs from all the other planes. From the point of view of Absoluteness, all planes are illusion, and, therefore, no difference of Life and Consciousness exists for those who themselves are in the illusion. Yet existence — or the going forth into objectivity impelled by universal law — implies the Life and Consciousness of many varieties and kinds of beings and entities, whose differentiations, one from the other, are as wide as the universe, yet each of which has a Life and a Consciousness of its own kind, each in its own plane, because each is an incarnation of the One Life which manifests under innumerable forms and which is Consciousness itself. From this arises the corollary that there is nothing in the Universe which has not a Life and Consciousness of its own degree and order. Of these orders of Consciousness we at present know only our own, but the other states still exist. Questions 8, 9, 10, and 11 can only be answered by the students, each for himself or herself.[1] The majority of replies on these heads were found to be satisfactory. Yet it cannot be too often repeated that the E.S.T. was formed in order to help and to vivify the T.S., and that all its members are expected to work to that end. Those who fail to do so need not expect to advance, for by their inertia they shut themselves away from the higher life-impulses communicated to us by Those who help all who help humanity. The Masters are not concerned with personal ambitions and selfish acquisition of knowledge.

370 Echoes of the Orient

New Series No. 4

March 29, 1892

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The E.S.T. has no official connection with the Theosophical Society. When first organized it was known as a section of the T.S., but it being seen that the perfect freedom and public character of the Society might be interfered with, H.P.B., some time before her departure, gave notice that all official connection between the two should end, and then changed the name to the present one.

This leaves all T.S. officials who are in the E.S.T. perfectly free in their official capacity and also permits members if asked to say with truth that the School has no official connection with the T.S. and is not a part of it. Members will please bear this in mind.

ANNIE BESANT WILLIAM Q. JUDGE

REGARDING EXAMINATION No. 2

It is pleasant to be able to state, as the result of the past examination, that the School, as a whole, shows an advance on Examination No. 1. Only those students who confessedly have not studied and have not meditated, have failed to show progress.

The examination has brought out one or two facts worthy of some attention. Issued, as it was, soon after the departure of H.P.B., and when great pressure of work devolved upon this office, while at the same time the heads of the School were constantly traveling and lecturing, the further issue of the correct replies was greatly delayed. At the same time members, on finally receiving these, wrote to express surprise at the delay. Surely some slight forethought on their part might have indicated its cause and might have spared this office the necessity of reply. This is only one of several instances where the exercise of even a modicum of thought would have benefited both the office and its correspondents; instances where members overlook information given

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in letters, complain of its omission and have to be requested — amidst great office pressure, to read the previous letter again. Another point is the number of very lengthy examination replies, written upon the meanest paper, sometimes covering a quire of foolscap — even more and demanding a profusion of time and postage stamps for revision and return. Such method of replies show a want of thought for others, as do those received unsigned and which must be traced to the writer, notwithstanding the effaced postmark on the cover. Others again did not contain the Questions, though return of these was specially requested. The extra work involved in the sum total of such mistakes cannot be estimated by any but the office-workers; service is not grudged by them, but useless expenditure of means and energy at a time of such pressure and with so few workers is deplorable. Nearly every worker in the office here and in London has much more to do than any one person ought to have upon them, and the School as a whole does not give much financial aid from the probable cause that it is not able.

NOTICE “NOT TO SHOW” THE REPLIES

On the correct replies there was put a notice not to show them to others, and yet scores of letters were sent in asking “why such secrecy?” — some called it nonsense. A slight re-reading would make it evident that not to show did not mean not to discuss. Hence discussion of the correct replies was perfectly right, but to show them — that is, hand them over — would be a different thing, as many of the members had not yet arrived at that stage. Perhaps if the notice had been “not to give” it would have been better; but the whole course of the examination shows, that the effect of American civilization and literature, and terrific rush, is bad upon our powers of concentration even in slight matters.

DUTIES OF GROUP PRESIDENTS

The duties of Group Presidents toward their fellow-members is that of assisting them to study, to develop their energies, and to conduct the Group meetings in such wise that all shall be benefited. When the Instructions are read, a pause should be made at the end of each paragraph to provide for its discussion. The younger members should be encouraged to express their opinions first, with a view either to their support and enlargement — or to their correction — by the elder members. The object of Group meetings is the development of their own members, and they should be carefully conducted to that end. The President should endeavor to acquaint himself with the mental

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needs of each fellow-scholar, an effort in which all can assist him. Elder members should give all possible assistance to those younger in study of these themes, or less advanced intellectually. Once let it be realized that the Group is only as strong as its weakest part; that its real status is indicated by the average of progress of its collective members, and we trust that individual effort will be directed toward the advancement of the Group as a whole rather than toward individual advancement or display.

DUTIES OF GROUP SECRETARIES

Several of the E.S.T. Lodges have established weekly dues, some of which are placed as low as ten cents per member; these are not obligatory in cases where any member is really unable to offer them, and they are sent in to this office monthly, as a rule. They are collected by the Secretary, one of whose duties it is to remind members at the close of the meeting, that he is ready to receive these dues. Sentimentalists have occasionally objected to “mixing the taint of money with E.S. meetings.”

Such should remember that without some such provision the School cannot be carried on — a point of which the majority of Groups are entirely oblivious.

The Secretary is usually the reader of the Instructions. Upon the tact of this officer, his care to give to all members the opportunities of discussion and comparison, much of the usefulness of the meetings must depend. The relations of all members — whether officers or not — to their Group is a karmic one, and the responsibility of each toward each and to the whole Group, cannot be too deeply taken to heart. Every strong Group in time increases by just so much the strength of this School, upon which our departed Teacher so greatly depended for the future welfare of the Theosophic cause. Secretaries should also inform this office of the departure of members, in order that the records of Group membership may be properly kept up. Such members should also themselves promptly inform this office of intended change of residence, giving also some correct address. Many letters go astray and are finally returned here for want of this precaution.

In the duties of these officers as above given, the duties of members are also indicated.

MEDITATION

While the majority of members show appreciation of the desirability of meditation, there are those to whom the following notes, previously issued in London will be useful.

  1. [(8.) Do you carry out, as far as you can, the rule about daily meditation?;

    (9.) What do you understand by the term “meditation,” as directed to be practiced in the Rules? On what do you meditate?; (10.) What work have you been doing for the T.S. since you have been in the E.S.T.?; (11.) What books on Theosophy have you studied since you joined the School?] [<<]

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