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Eastern School of Theosophy (14)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 403-412)

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids


Answers to Correspondence 403

Truths being transmitted by generations of Adepts. [See BC W XII:601] (S.D. I:127, 128, 574; II: 22, 23, 29, 318).

The question was fairly well answered by the School. Many had not studied, and confounded the Highest Kumāras with the Kumāras who incarnated as ourselves.

2. (a) What is the Auric Egg? (b) Under what three aspects may it be considered?

(c) What duration or persistency of definite existence has the Auric Egg?

Ans. — (a) The Auric Egg is the esoteric seventh Principle, or the second basic principle, and corresponds in man with the Hiraṇyagarbha of the Universe or Brahmā’s Egg. It is the oviform, divine, almost ideal body which surrounds the Monad and that in which it incarnates. Its substratum in pure Ākāśa. It is an invisible magnetic sphere which surrounds every differentiated object in nature; but the Auric Egg of man differs from all the rest because the individual Monad in him is threefold, Ātma-Buddhi-Manas. This is seen in the passage where it is said; “Each is a Pillar of Light. Having chosen its vehicle it expanded, surrounding with an Ākāśic Aura the human animal,” etc. It is the direct emanation from the Ātmic Ray in its triple aspect of Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer or Regenerator, and from Buddhi-Manas. [Cf. BCW XII:607-8.]

(b) It is: First, the preserver of every Karmic record. Second, the “storehouse of all the good and bad powers of man, receiving and giving out at his will — nay, at his very thought — every potentiality which becomes then and there an acting potency.” [608] Third, it furnishes man with his Astral form in combination with the Taṇhic elementals; with the Kāma-Rūpa after death by means of its dregs; with the radiance of Ātma upon it, it ascends as Manas-Taijasi into Devachan; it furnishes the Adept with the Māyāvi-Rūpa, and the Instructions say that its seventh aspect is that of the luminous Augoeides. In its essence it is eternal.

(c) It will thus endure for a Mahā-Manvantara, and there are hints which tend to show that an individuality persists beyond this period to the next Manvantara. It is the thread on which our incarnations are strung.

Many answers confounded the Auric Egg with the aura around the person.

3. What are the two great lessons to be learned from the study of the Instructions?

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Ans. — These are [as paraphrased from Instruction I, p. 519] (a) that man is identical in spiritual and physical essence with both the Absolute Principle and with God in Nature, and (b) that in him are the same potential powers as exist in the creative forces of Nature. Hence it follows, first, that all men are united through the one pervading principle, and thus Universal Brotherhood has an actual basis; and second, each man is potentially a God because in him are the vast powers of Nature. These being latent must be developed; that development can only come by and through knowledge which comes from study, practice, and endeavor; sentiment and negative virtue will not give knowledge, hence we must begin to learn what the cosmos and ourselves are in reality; so the Instructions say that the correspondences must be learned and that we must gradually arrive at a knowledge of the real power and meaning of colors, sound, and numbers; we must realize that “as it is above so it is below, and as below so it is above.”

These objects and lessons were not generally given, the replies dealing generally with individual conceptions of duty. 4. What is true prayer from the occult point of view? What is its rationale and effect?

Ans. — The clue to this is found in question three. For the lessons to be learned give us the reason for the study and show that if the word AUM is understood in its true meaning and then turned into thought and act, that is, made a part of us, true prayer will follow. True prayer must be unselfish, and that of a true occultist will be a command, as it has no selfish object. This is attained by knowing AUM, the most sacred word. So if we are vague and if we are selfish, or if we pray to a single person or personage, we may grow powerful to some degree, but it will not be the true occult prayer. Prayer in the usual sense fixes the mind and arouses forces, and may be to a stick of wood as well as to a God. In India for many years there has been kept up a large institution for the help of others by daily prayer to a certain god of the Indian pantheon selected by the praying person, and with success, for the replies come and show therefore that prayer to God is no better than prayer to a god. Jesus in saying to pray to the Father in secret meant to direct prayer to the Higher Self for those who wished to pray. The question was not meant to affect the rate of standing in the E.S.T. but to bring out the ideas on the matter. The replies showed that the relation between questions three and four was not perceived, and the quality of the answers was mixed and vague, generally referring to aspiration or showing the effect of old

Answers to Correspondence 405

teachings in the attempt to adapt new ideas to old conceptions of God and prayer.

5. How far do you think the pledge to do what you can for the Theosophical Society, in time, money, and work, should enter into your home duties and daily intercourse with others? [Compare pledge 6 in BCW XII:506.]

Ans. — This was fairly well answered, but a disposition was shown by many to shirk it, and also to plead family duties as an excuse for inactivity. Family duties are binding and should not be neglected, but no family or person has the right to debar us utterly from study and action. We each owe a duty to ourselves. But that part of the question relating to how far one should spread the influence of his studies in his home was neglected. Surely, if Theosophy and the study of the Instructions are of use to us, we should endeavor to spread the benefit in our families, to which by all laws human and natural we are connected. It is well known to the writer that many members through fear, false sympathy, and laziness permit parent, wife, or family to curb his lawful actions and stifle the struggling self within.

6. What is the relationship of the Esoteric Seventh principle to that principle which is derived from the violet sub-ray of the Violet Hierarchy of Nature?

Ans. — Some students, although warned to the contrary, took certain numbers on the double-page Diagram [II, facing p. 532] and said the Liṅga-Śarīra is the esoteric seventh principle. But on the whole the question was well answered.

The A.E. is the esoteric seventh principle. The Liṅga-Śarīra is derived from the violet sub-ray of the Violet Hierarchy [568]. The relation is that of transitory emanation to eternal basic principle. The essence of the Liṅga-Śarīra is derived from the Violet Hierarchy, but its individual coloring, nature, and form are furnished by the A.E. and the taṇhic elementals or essence of former skandhas.

7. What are the seven states of human consciousness as enumerated in the Instructions ?

Ans. — This was remarkably well answered by all. The reason is that it was in many places so tabulated as to be easy to remember. But in occultism it is not that which is easily learned that is valuable, but that obtained by digging and much thought. The states are: Waking, when the forces of the body have most sway; Dreaming, when the body

406 Echoes of the Orient

is quieted and the inner man may use his senses if not overpowered by the fumes of food or the irregularity of waking thoughts; Natural sleeping; Induced or trance sleep; Psychic; Super-psychic, and Spiritual. The very high dreams and visions do not come in the last as some think, but in the trance and psychic states.

8. What are the three, seven, and ten centers of the Diagram I, [ facing p. 524], and to what worlds do they pertain?

Ans. — Many answers showed a memorizing of the Diagram. This is very well if used in the right way but as those thus answering showed but little grasp of the real meaning and the very wide import of the Diagram, such a method was not the best. Refer to the Aids on this subject. [Cf. pp. 427-30, and BCW XII:542-3.]

The Diagram was intended to give in full the whole scheme, and it does so to those who will look. Evidently many did not think that words used made much difference, but the designation of the three ovals is by certain words that have meanings different from others. Students often confused centers of force with centers of action. A study of the difference between what is a center of force and what are the centers and organs of action will lead to good results. From a survey of so many hundred replies I can properly suggest to the School at large that the use of a good dictionary would be of benefit to give the meanings of unfamiliar words. This is no blame to students, but blame to the false and superficial system of education under which we labor and have been brought up. It is well here to point out here to the students that as there is a duality in manifested nature, that is, positive and negative, a recollection of that in the study of the Diagram will clear up many matters, as for instance, the mere placing of numbers in certain spots of the Diagram. They had to be placed somewhere, but the particular spot was not of very great moment. 9. When is Kāma-Manas an independent entity? Describe its career as such.

Ans. — Very few remembered that Kāma-Manas may reunite itself to the parent Ego by a supreme effort if there be a spark of the divine left.

If in any life or series of them the personality never has had an aspiration toward the real Ego, never had a thought which was not connected with the animal self there is nothing which can be assimilated by the Ego. Antaḥkaraṇa is then destroyed, the upper part of Kāma having absorbed the lower part of Manas into itself, and the personality

Answers to Correspondence 407

is separated from the real Self. Such a personality is then a lost soul, and Kāma-Manas, the center of action, becomes an independent entity. There are in this life more bodies devoid of souls than we believe, and they are not all engaged in wickedness, for they may be merely intellectual or stupid, as well as thoroughly bad.

The career of the Kāma-Manasic entity so lost is, (a) a fading out in Kāma-Loka; (b) a reincarnation in a body because of the strength of the animal desires and the power of the physical forces left in it. This reincarnation may be for several times, going lower and lower each time until at length it has but strength to live for a while in Kāma-Loka, where it finally fades out. (c) It may attach itself to the incarnation brought about by the Ego it has strayed from, and in that case it will obsess and hinder the next personality. This is the Karma of the person. (d) If it has become by reason of many lives of evil and by certain knowledge and practice a definite entity of the order only to be known in English as black magicians on the astral plane, it may persist for many centuries feeding on the living and getting new physical astral life from any it can lay hold of. These last are the controls in general of the séance-room. They assume high names and keep up illusions for the purpose of having the instruments and means for their own purposes at hand.

10. (a) Is the astral light pertaining to this earth universally diffused? (b) What law causes the deceptive confusion of colors, sights, and sounds in it? (c) For what reason are ordinary clairvoyance and clairaudience including herein the seeing and hearing from astral entities or apparent entities misleading and delusive?

Ans. — As a whole the question was well answered. Many said the astral light was universally diffused; several forgot the globes of similar materiality; others thought it was made from this earth only. (a) The Astral Light pertaining to our Earth is not universally diffused; it only pertains to our Earth and to all other bodies of the solar system on the same plane of materiality with it. It is one of the lowest layers of the universally diffused Ākāśa, and is a congested portion of it. Moreover, it is not equally diffused over our Earth, as it is more congested in some parts than in others. It may be regarded as both the upper divine and the lower terrestrial Astral Light, the one corresponding to the Astral Body of the Earth and in a sense its prototype, the other being composed of the earthly emanations. (b) In it everything is reflected reversed, both from the upper and lower planes, and objects in it are refracted. It is therefore through the

408 Echoes of the Orient

occult laws governing occult reflection and refraction that deceptions arise for those who see in it.

(c) Untrained clairvoyants and clairaudients are, while their consciousness is centered on that plane, unable to truly know whether they have perceived only the reversed reflections and thought they were direct; they also do not know whether they have unconsciously to themselves reversed the reflection and again perceived directly. Again by reflection and refraction they do not know whether they have perceived things in the wrong relations of space and time and are therefore again misled. They are still in what The Voice of the Silence calls the “Hall of Learning,” and it is only when they consciously and intelligently can transfer themselves above the plane of the Astral Light that they are able to perceive things as they really are. Even then mistakes are liable to occur during the process of transferring their consciousness from the upper planes through the Astral down to that of ordinary physical life so as to render the sights and sounds into terms intelligible to the consciousness of ordinary people. This last source of error is due to the fact that the brain makes a complete and final alteration in the pictures or sounds from the Astral Light.

11. What are the functions of Manas, and is it eternal or non-eternal?

Ans. — Manas is spiritual Self-consciousness, and when united to Buddhi is Divine Consciousness. Buddhi and Higher Manas are so much higher than the physical that they can have no direct relations with the latter except through the Lower Manas or reflection of the Higher. It is the task of the Lower Manas or thinking personality, if it would blend itself with its God or the Divine Ego, to overcome the properties and force of the material form. Manas is therefore both eternal and non-eternal. It is eternal in its higher aspect as united with Buddhi — Higher Manas in its atomic nature: finite in its lower aspect, Kāma-Manas, which has to win its immortality. It is the pivotal principle which serves as a link between the Spiritual and the lower principles. It is essential to Buddhi on this plane because without it Buddhi could not cognize Nature; and as nature exists for the sake of giving experience to the Soul, the fifth principle Manas is absolutely needed. But as Manas is thus the connector between the higher and lower natures, it has two aspects, the one being its connection with Kāma or desire, and the other its relation to Buddhi or Spiritual intelligence. Its function then is to give complete intelligence to Man by adding the pure reasoning faculty to spiritual perception. The question was poorly answered by the School; the distinction

Answers to Correspondence 409

between Higher and Lower was missed, and also that the Lower has to win or obtain immortality. There should be more thought given to this subject.

12. What were the monads in previous earth-periods? What are they now?

Ans. — The Monads here referred to are, of course, the Human Egos. The Instructions state that the Human Egos called Monads are Divine Beings whom Karma led to act in the drama of Manvantaric life, that they are entities from higher and earlier worlds and planets whose Karma had not been exhausted when their world went into Pralaya. The Secret Doctrine speaks of a triple evolution in which the Monadic essence progresses. There is the evolution of the Barhishad or Lunar Pitṛis; these combine with the physical builders to form animal man; in the forms so created the Agnishvātta Pitṛis incarnate and so complete the “Monad” as now evolving, the Ātma-Buddhi-Manas. It is also shown in The Secret Doctrine that previous to this earth-period the principles and Monads were transferred from the Lunar chain of globes. The Monadic essence, there called the Lunar Monads, successively manifested in the three elemental, mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, so arriving at the distinct human period. It is at this point that the Manasic element was introduced in evolution.

The Monad is one and indivisible: “from one flame countless sparks” [cf. S.D. I:120]. It is these sparks which were the physical Builders, the Lunar Pitṛis, the Agnishvātta Pitṛis or Mānasa-Putras, which passed through the seven kingdoms of nature and are now ourselves. The English language is deficient in terms in this field, and so we are compelled to add adjectives to describe the Monad when in different parts of nature, as “Lunar,” “Human,” etc. And also we have some confusion between Monad and Monads. The latter is really the same as the former in essence. The question as a whole received good attention.

13. For what reason is it considered in the E.S.T. that the practices of various schools of Mind Cure, Metaphysical Healing, and Christian Science are misleading and injurious?

Ans. — The practices of the various schools are misleading because they have no true philosophical or logical basis. They are founded on an empiric study of hypnotism, and are in ignorance of the true nature of man and his correspondence with the planes of nature. Their practice of denying and affirming that which has actual relative existence,

410 Echoes of the Orient

and the concentration of the operator and the auto-hypnotization of the patient, lead to hopeless confusion on the internal planes of being. In their ignorance they present falsities to the Higher Self, and in turn the Higher Ego follows suit with the result that Mānasic Insanity supervenes.

They are injurious not only for the above reason, but because in transferring the consciousness from the physical to an inner plane they interfere with the operations of Karma, delaying its action and storing it up with compound interest for the delay. The practice also transfers the disease from the physical to the mental plane. H.P.B. put a serious warning in the Instructions. “They have done more harm than good. Those who are successful owe it to their innate magnetic and healing powers, which very often counteract that which would otherwise be conducive to much evil. Beware, I say; Satan and the Archangel are more than twins; they are one body and one mind — Deus est Demon inversus” [603]. Then, too, the taking of money for these practices is pernicious.

But in any case the above quotation gives the warning of H.P.B.; and those who willfully pursue these practices after having made their Pledge before the Higher Self and after having again reiterated it must do so at their own risk — a risk which may not be appreciated in this life perhaps, but which will make itself known in the next rebirth if hidden now.

Answers to Correspondence 411

Answers to Correspondence No. 4

March 1893


It is very proper to answer the question which has come to many, expressed or unexpressed, whether since the death of H.P.B.’s body the E.S.T. has been in communication with the Masters who ordered her to start the E.S.T.? And it must be understood by all members of the School that the information in this is private, for it has been found that talking publicly of these matters weakens our strength, and also arouses an opposition that is not likely to arise if we are silent as to details while willing to say, if asked, that the Masters have not deserted us. We have not been deserted at all, and the Masters have all along been watching and aiding. They have communicated with several of those who by nature are fit; those who have made themselves fit; and with those who are, by peculiar Karma, in the line of such communication. None of these messages go by favor or by the desire of some to have them. Some of the members of the School have sent in the past to the Masters letters and requests that have not been replied to in writing, and they perhaps wonder why. They need not be named, but I can say that in my possession are their letters sent to me by those Masters in the ordinary way of the mail. The requests were not strictly deserving of an answer. One of them was answered at the time by the Master, and the envelope bears the memorandum in His hand that an answer was sent. Others may be answered later if right, but as to that I cannot say.

There are in the School certain persons known to me who have been in communication with the Masters for some time, but they do not know each other and have never by word or sign given out the fact. And if, after this goes out, any members not included in that number pretend they are of that class, the very pretense, no matter how expressed, will be proof to the contrary, as all the persons who have thus heard are incapable of telling. A rumor was started in one section that the Masters had no more to do with us, but very soon it was seen to be false. In one case a member went to India and there was shown by a wandering fakir that the Masters still worked with us and

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that H.P.B. was a very high personage who had gone out to the west to start the work, but that all those who thought they knew her and what she was were deceived by her outward appearance. This person also by his remarks showed a full knowledge of the problems of the work in all countries, and indicated the exact fact that different lines had to be pursued in each.1

In America the line of communication is not ruptured. It is true that it is not as strong as when H.P.B. was here, but we cannot expect always to have the same amount of force working, for there is a law, based on cycles, which requires such lines of force to be stopped or weakened now and then. The stoppage however is never total, but at certain periods it is confined to the few. We have the misfortune to know that at one time many of the Masters were publicly at work here in our early years and that the opportunity for us was missed by reason of the materialistic and naturalistic tendencies of the day and of our education. Our missing it did not, however, prevent the doing by those personages of the work in hand. A more narrow confinement of these lines of action and communication will come at a later day, strictly in accord with the laws I have referred to. But we have only to do our duty and to work on for the future so as to be able to return to the work at a better time in some other life. Within the last nine months some communications have been received from the Masters bearing on the general work, for They have ceased (as by rule) to deal much in personal concerns, but They do not fail to help in the real and right way the efforts of all members who sincerely work for others. Those who are at work for their own benefit will meet with the exact result of such a line of action, that is, they will not go far and will lose much at death which is sure to come to us all. But unselfish work makes the effect sink down into each one’s own nature and therefore preserves it all.

Furthermore. Some years ago the Masters said that in the course of time I should see that certain facts had to come out. Some of these I now give, and shall give them in The Path publicly. First, the Masters both certified in writing,2

about 1884, that The Secret Doctrine was dictated by them to H.P.B., she only using discretion as to certain connecting paragraphs and certain subsidiary arguments. That book is, therefore, for those of us who say we believe in the Masters, the very work of these personages. What we cannot understand we can lay aside for the future. Second, They sent me copies, as also to others, of the certificate. Third, They certified that not since the batch of

  1. [See pp. 418-20 in this volume.] []
  2. [Echoes I:342-9.] []
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