Now moving to the Third Fundamental

Moreover, the Secret Doctrine teaches: —

    (c) The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul — a spark of the former — through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term. In other words, no purely spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul) can have an independent (conscious) existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of the Universal Sixth principle, — or the OVER-SOUL, — has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric philosophy admits no privileges or special gifts in man, save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and reincarnations. This is why the Hindus say that the Universe is Brahma and Brahmâ, for Brahma is in every atom of the universe, the six principles in Nature being all the outcome — the variously differentiated aspects — of the SEVENTH and ONE, the only reality in the Universe whether Cosmical or micro-cosmical; and also why the permutations (psychic, spiritual and physical), on the plane of manifestation and form, of the sixth (Brahmâ the vehicle of Brahma) are viewed by metaphysicalantiphrasis as illusive and Mayavic. For although the root of every atom individually and of every form collectively, is that seventh principle or the one Reality, still, in its manifested phenomenal and temporary appearance, it is no better than an evanescent illusion of our senses. (See, for clearer definition, Addendum "Gods, Monads and Atoms," and also "Theophania," "Bodhisatvas and Reincarnation," etc., etc.)

Please post your thoughts and questions.

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Can students restate the third fundamental in their own words?

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I see this as essentially the 'doctrine of non-separateness'. We are all universal in our ultimate essence, but not necessarily self-consciously aware of our universality.

Because of the 2nd fundamental, our journey in consciousness must be cyclical, and thus the pilgrim's journey is from SELF (unconsciously) to SELF (consciously) through the experience of Self/self.

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Very interesting restatement.  Thank you.

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All is ONE.

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That is a good one.  I have always liked the motto of the Three Musketeers, "All for one and one for all."  I wonder if it is an occult expression?

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We are all one in spirit, dual in expression. All life is from the same source, that nature is common to all. Each being has the potentiality of All-Being. Everything that exists… becomes, through the lowest to the highest. Its only the path that differs for each pilgrim.

From my limited window, it’s not even deniable from a scientific stand point. I have read we share the same genetic codes, sharing small amounts with the lower intelligences, and as each stage of intelligence rises, so does the amount of percentages of genetic codes we share. I view it just as the universe is expanding, so is our consciousness, we carry over from our past incarnations the lowest form and through that we evolve into a higher form. Through each evolution up to now (our human form) our bodies are made through each stage. We still have each form in us, 'As above so below.' So then how could this not be the same on a higher level than us.

This does bring a question to my mind though; why then are the great trees different? I mean they have outlived (for lack of better term) longer than any monad cycle (x 4), in substance, could they be considered a sort of ‘Record Keeper’ or something along those lines?

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What do you mean when you say "dual in expression"?  Please explain further.

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I have been pondering on the purpose of our duality for quite some time, that there must be a reason for it. In my limited understanding I have read the further the descension into matter the more differentiated from the 'One' we become. So I only understand this from the level I am at, with the help of HPB and Crosbie, that we are 'one in spirit, dual in expression.' (Which to me also relates with 'self induced and self devised efforts)

We stand in the most auspicious place for growth, where spirit and matter meet. In my limited view we are both Purusha and Prakriti, but they are just aspects of one and the same thing, our expressions. We would never be able to perceive anything without our dualities, not even the Oneness of all, if we didn't know or experience opposites.

I view these expressions with relation to the 'self induced and self devised efforts' as the actor and something to act upon, which I have been learning from everyone. The cause or action and our reaction and learning what effects our reactions actually have, where through our own mistakes we learn the difference of right or wrong to each personal degree of perception.

This is not to seperate us from the 'One,' its just our own pilgrimage or path towards the same goal, where everyone is at different levels or perceptions towards this goal, and their own devised Karma to work through. I read we are just temporary parts of the whole. Yet I feel and see not all understand this (I am still learning also) and they actually perceive themselves as seperate. In the words of HPB, "It is this sense of seperateness which is the root of all evil."

Essentialy we are all one, but I can only perceive this right now from my duality.

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How would you state the Third Fundamental philosophically, scientifically and religiously?

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All right, how about this for a start...

Religiously: "I and my Father are one" with the addition of "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" and "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

Scientifically: "E=MC2" ;)

Philosophically: "No thing can have a truly separate existence from any other thing, as that would require there to be two absolute truths. With one absolute truth the movement of consciousness must by necessity be from the one to the many and back to the one."

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Could you say more about the E=MC2 reference?  Fascinating.

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Well, I've been pondering over this with great interest for some time now. This equation basically encompasses the three essential aspects of existence: consciousness, energy and matter. Ultimately it demonstrates that these three are in unity. Scientists treat this as a purely materialistic formula and thus miss the 'consciousness' aspect, but we should be able to see it theosophically.

So from this formula we can see that any vehicle of matter, or any 'ray' of consciousness (which relates to C2), or any force are all eternally related to and bound to one another - there can be no separation. Furthermore, there can be no true separation of a 'ray' of consciousness from the source consciousness (or consciousness per se), and no true separation of any 'vehicle' from the source 'substance' from which the vehicle is formed, and thus every 'soul' must be identified with, and one with the 'over-soul'.

We can play a bit further with the equation:

E=energy (or force, or 'cosmic will').
M=mass (or matter, i.e. form).
C2=speed of light squared (speed=motion; light='substance' or 'that which is in motion'), 'white-light' being the 'root-substance' of any plane (i.e. on our plane light is both wave and particle - i.e. it's at the point at which the matter of one plane meets that of the next - 'downwards' it becomes 'particles', 'upwards' it becomes 'wave' (i.e. non-substantial, to us)), so C2 implies the 'action of ideation' (ideation (motion) 'entering' this plane gives rise first to white-light - the speed of light being the 'boundary' of the 'motion' or 'ideation' of this plane - and light being the most 'rarefied' matter of this plane).

If we reverse the equation to: E/C2=M then we could say something like:

"Consciousness, through the force of cosmic will manifests form out of substance." i.e. ideation 'pressed onto' light (or radiation) through the power of will, 'densifies' that light into a form (matter) - i.e. 'wave' becomes 'particle' and from this arise elements and viola! 'objects of perception' or matter. The 'grossness' of the form is proportional to the amount of energy (will) used - so the grosser the matter the more energy is used to maintain the form (i.e. the more energy is 'locked up' in the 'particles' of that form). Furthermore, the consciousness is 'locked' into the form because it is maintaining 'focus' on the form (i.e. keeping the will in place so as to maintain the form) and thus the 'identification' of the consciousness gets 'stuck' in the form as well.

It's a fascinating subject... but the overall point is that the equation demands a fundamental unity of all that is - a unity between consciousness, energy and matter through all planes. The 'path' of the pilgrim is a natural result of the second fundamental, which demands periodicity (i.e. we might say: "the will/energy/force used to maintain the form (vehicle or 'soul') can only be 'held' (by the focus of consciousness) for so long before it must be withdrawn, at which point the vehicle 'disintegrates' (returns to 'universal soul'), energy (will) is redispersed (or 'rests') and the consciousness returns to its native condition". If we see this as operating on each plane, then the 'withdrawal' can be seen to be merely a withdrawal to the next plane up in each case (as in reincarnation, where a lower vehicle (soul) is 'let go of' but a higher vehicle (soul) is maintained longer) - i.e. the physical body requires the most energy (will) to maintain, but the higher vehicles can be maintained much longer because requiring less will to maintain as forms. Bring in a few other theosophical concepts and you have the journey of the pilgrim through cyclical evolution.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Peter on February 8, 2013 at 11:06am
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Jon- That's a very creative and fresh look at both the Third Fundamental and Einstein's equation.  

Thanks

Permalink Reply by Casady on February 8, 2013 at 1:58pm
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This is quite compatible with ancient Greek theosophy

(c) The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul,

This concept can be found in Plato's Timaeus - psyche tou kosmou - soul of the world - anima mundi

 the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root;

the Good or the One, in Platonism

and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul — a spark of the former — through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law,

Necessity - in ancient Greece, Necessity was considered as the necessary results of the chain of causes in the natural world - rain necessarily occurs as the result of condensation of moisture, etc... manifestation probably being the highest expression of necessity.

 pure Essence of the Universal Sixth principle, — or the OVER-SOUL, —

Nous - Intellect, Divine Mind in Platonism

has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). 

I don't know if this is explicit in Greek theosophy, but it is hinted at in myths and the four elements are present in the theosophical order of earth, water, air, fire - possibly this is more compatible with Pythagorean concepts. The higher beings are often termed heroes, demi-gods, and gods. Karma corresponds to justice or providence.

  the variously differentiated aspects — of the SEVENTH and ONE, the only reality in the Universe whether Cosmical or micro-cosmical; and also why the permutations (psychic, spiritual and physical), on the plane of manifestation and form, of the sixth (Brahmâ the vehicle of Brahma) are viewed by metaphysical  antiphrasis as illusive and Mayavic.

this notion of illusion can be found in Plato's myth of the cave in the Republic.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on February 8, 2013 at 2:15pm
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Plato is considered one of the great teachers of the Philosophia Perennis (Eternal Doctrine), Gupta Vidya or Secret Doctrine according to Theosophy.  Ancient Theosophy predates the ancient Greeks and is the source doctrine for all the great traditions in their Esoteric meaning.  Read correctly Plato and Buddha and Lao Tzu are teaching the same teaching in different ways, with different methods in different tongues but they are talking about the same Reality. 

See Secret Doctrine Book 1.  First Item  page 272

Thank you for the Plato Dialogue correlations.  Much appreciated.

Permalink Reply by Jeffrey Smart on February 9, 2013 at 6:35am
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Very deep.  We are all one and each of us is on a journey of growth.  Perhaps one day (unless one takes into account that time is merely an illusion and that everything and everyone is "happening" currently in the Eternal Now) in the extremely far future we will be gods creating our own universes or worlds, perhaps someday.  But today we are simply on The Journey. We are divine sparks issued forth from Brahma, or God, or the Divine.  This makes absolute sense, much more sense than the old western idea of a wise old man sitting above the clouds creating the universe from nothing.  If the physicists are right and everything is, in its final essence, simply energy (from the smallest form of physical matter to the highest form of consciouness) then we are all part of the ONE. 

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on February 9, 2013 at 9:43am
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All this is very well stated and clear.  So if you were going to restate the third fundamental principle of the Secret Doctrine in the least number of words, how would you do so succinctly?

Permalink Reply by Peter on February 11, 2013 at 12:43pm
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The fundamental identity of all Souls (the divine Soul, Buddhi) with the Universal Over-Soul is the basis of Universal Brotherhood, a brotherhood which is given as a fundamental truth in Kosmos.   It is through our sixth principle, buddhi, that this truth is felt directly.  

All the many stages of progression outlined in the third fundamental proposition need to understood with this truth of brotherhood in mind.  The proposition itself moves on quickly to outline the tasks and trials facing the divine Soul in attaining an independent conscious existence along with the need for personal effort, self-induced and self-devised efforts through a series of transformations and reincarnations.  And it just here, right in the midst of ourpersonal efforts to progress along the way, that we are most likely to forget and yet most need to remember the One-ness of which all the kingdoms of nature, humanity and the gods are but evanescent aspects, sparks of the One Flame.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on February 13, 2013 at 10:16pm
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Is universal brotherhood something that is a fact in nature or something we must attain?

Permalink Reply by Peter on February 14, 2013 at 12:37pm
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I would say it is a fact in nature that has to be realised.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on February 16, 2013 at 1:00am
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I suppose something could be a fact in nature and human beings could entirely ignore it, like the tides or gravity for example.  You can run but you cannot hide from it sort of thing.

It is interesting that it is both a reality and an ideal.

Permalink Reply by Peter on February 17, 2013 at 10:09am
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Gerry writes:  I suppose something could be a fact in nature and human beings could entirely ignore it, like the tides or gravity for example.  You can run but you cannot hide from it sort of thing. It is interesting that it is both a reality and an ideal.

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Yes, I think that's the case, Gerry - just as Theosophy gives Karma as a fact in nature yet human beings are either unaware of it or, if aware, regularly ignore its implications.

In The Key to Theosophy it is stated:

"It is an occult law, moreover, that no man can rise superior to his individual failings, without lifting, be it ever so little, the whole body of which he is an integral part. In the same way, no one can sin, nor suffer the effects of sin, alone. In reality, there is no such thing as "Separateness"; and the nearest approach to that selfish state, which the laws of life permit, is in the intent or motive."  (KTT :  203)

I think your last line puts it very well.  It is a reality - realisation of it is the ideal we aim towards.

Permalink Reply by Peter on February 19, 2013 at 3:17am
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The Four Links of the Golden Chain.

"Universal Unity and Causation; Human Solidarity; the Law of Karma; Re-incarnation. These are the four links of the golden chain which should bind humanity into one family, one universal Brotherhood."    The Key to Theosophy, p233

Permalink Reply by Casady on February 15, 2013 at 8:43am
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Pretty fair summary! I'm reminded of that mysterious kabbalistic saying: “The Breathbecomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.”

I think it goes back to at least Luria - here's a quote from the Ba’al Shem Tov, the 18th century founder of  Hasidism:

"The Holy Sparks that fell when God built and destroyed the 
worlds, man shall raise and purify upward from stone to plant, from plant to 
animal, from animal to speaking being [from speaking being to God] -- purify and 
raise the Holy Sparks that are imprisoned in the world of shells . . . . And who 
with the kavannah of his spirit is able to raise the Holy Spark from 
stone to plant, from plant to animal, from animal to speaking being, he leads it 
to freedom and no setting free of captives is greater than this. It is as when a 
King's son is rescued from captivity and brought to his father." (The Ba'al Shem 
Tov, "Instructions in Intercourse with God," trans. by Martin Buber in 
Hasidism and Modern Man, Horizon Press, 1958, pp. 187-188)

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Jimmy on February 15, 2013 at 4:56pm
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Would anyone care to describe this sixth principle 'buddhi'? Obviously this principle doesn't present itself in consciousness with the label "Buddhi". What are it's characteristics?
Permalink Reply by Peter on February 19, 2013 at 3:57am
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Perhaps a good starting place is to share what you/we understand Theosophy to say about Buddhi.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on February 20, 2013 at 11:36am
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In HPBs Glossary:

Buddhi (Sk.). Universal Soul or Mind. Mahâbuddhi is a name of Mahat (see “Alaya”); also the spiritual Soul in man (the sixth principle), the vehicle of Atmâ exoterically the seventh.

Alaya (Sk.). The Universal Soul (See Secret Doctrine Vol. I. pp. 47 et seq.). The name belongs to the Tibetan system of the contemplative Mahâyâna School. Identical with Âkâsa in its mystic sense, and with Mulâprâkriti, in its essence, as it is the basis or root of all things.

Key to Theosophy p. 92

THE UPPER IMPERISHABLE TRIAD.

SANSCRIT TERMS EXOTERIC MEANING EXPLANATORY
  1. Manas―a dual principle
    in its functions.















     
  2.  Buddhi  


     
  3.  Atma 
     
  1. Mind, Intelligence:
    which is the higher  
    human mind, whose
    light, or radiation 
     links the MONAD, for
    the lifetime, to the
     mortal man. 










     
  2. The Spiritual Soul 


     
  3. Spirit 
  1. The future state and the
     Karmic destiny of man
    depend on whether Manas
    gravitates more downward
    to Kama rupa, the seat of
     the animal passions, or up-
    wards to Buddhi, the
    Spiritual Ego. In the
    latter case, the higher con-
    sciousness of the individual
     Spiritual aspirations of
    mind (Manas), assimilating
    Buddhi, are absorbed by it
    and form the Ego, which
     goes into Devachanic
     bliss.*

     
  2. The vehicle of pure universal spirit.

     
  3. One with the Absolute, as
    its radiation.

Key to Theosophy p. 135

I.         Atma, the "Higher Self," is neither your Spirit nor mine, but like sunlight shines on all. It is the universally diffused "divine principle," and is inseparable from its one and absolute Meta-Spirit, as the sunbeam is inseparable from sunlight.

II.        Buddhi (the spiritual soul) is only its vehicle. Neither each separately, nor the two collectively, are of any more use to the body of man, than sunlight and its beams are for a mass of granite buried in the earth, unless the divine Duad is assimilated by, and reflected in, some consciousness. Neither Atma nor Buddhi are ever reached by Karma, because the former is the highest aspect of Karma, its working agent of ITSELF in one aspect, and the other is unconscious on this plane. This consciousness or mind is,

III.         Manas,* the derivation or product in a reflected form of Ahamkara, "the conception of I," or EGO-SHIP. It is, therefore, when inseparably united to the first two, called the SPIRITUAL EGO, and Taijasi (the radiant). This is the real Individuality, or the divine man. It is this Ego which―having originally incarnated in the senseless human form animated by, but unconscious (since it had no consciousness) of, the presence in itself of the dual monad―made of that human-like form a real man. It is that Ego, that "Causal Body," which overshadows every personality Karma forces it to incarnate into; and this Ego which is held responsible for all the sins committed through, and in, every new body or personality―the evanescent masks which hide the true Individual through the long series of rebirths.

 MAHAT or the "Universal Mind" is the source of Manas. The latter is Mahat, i.e., mind, in man. Manas is also called Kshetrajna, "embodied Spirit," because it is, according to our philosophy, the Manasa-putras, or "Sons of the Universal Mind," who created, or rather produced, the thinking man, "manu," by incarnating in the third Race mankind in our Round. It is Manas, therefore, which is the real incarnating and permanent Spiritual Ego, the INDIVIDUALITY, and our various and numberless personalities only its external masks.

Key to Theosophy p. 175

                                                             Atma the inseparable ray of the Universal
            THE HIGHER                     and ONE SELF. It is the God above, more
                  SELF is             {            than within, us. Happy the man who 
                                                             succeeds in saturating his inner Ego with it!

                                                            
                                                             the Spiritual soul or Buddhi, in close union with
            THE SPIRITUAL                Manas, the mind-principle, without which it
                divine EGO is                is no EGO at all, but only the Atmic Vehicle.              
                                                         

                                                             Manas, the "Fifth" Principle, so called,
                                                             independently of Buddhi. The Mind-Principle
                                                             is only the Spiritual Ego when merged
            THE INNER, or                   into one with Buddhi,―no materialist being
             HIGHER EGO”             supposed to have in him such an Ego, how-
                   is                                       ever great his intellectual capacities. It is 
                                                              the permanent Individuality or the "Re-
                                                              incarnating Ego." 

                                      
                                                             the physical man in conjunction with his lower

       THE LOWER,                            Self, i.e., animal instincts, passions, desires,
       or PERSONAL           {              etc. It is called the "false personality," and
       “ EGO"    is                                 consists of the lower Manas combined with
                                                              Kama-rupa, and operating through the
                                                              Physical body and its phantom or "double."

The remaining "Principle" "Prana," or "Life," is, strictly speaking, the radiating force or Energy of Atma― as the Universal Life and the ONE SELF,―ITS lower or rather (in its effects) more physical, because manifesting, aspect. Prana or Life permeates the whole being of the objective Universe; and is called a "principle" only because it is an indispensable factor and the deus ex machina of the living man.

Buddhi is often referred to as that principle in us which is true Wisdom, Understanding and Intuition.

Without Atma (as a matter of speech, because the two cannot be separated), Buddhi would be pure prakriti, the manifested homogeneous substance of mulaprakriti (it's noumenon).

This is just for starters, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye (the lower mind :-)

Permalink Reply by Peter on February 26, 2013 at 6:42am
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Jimmy, some useful passages on 'buddhi' have been posted by Pierre.   Have these gone any way towards answering your question as to 'what are the characteristics of Buddhi?'

Permalink Reply by barbaram on March 23, 2013 at 12:48pm
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Hello:

After reading the illustration on buddhi above, it is still unclear to me the nature of this principle.  Can you give some practical examples of "buddhi in manifestation?"

Thanks in advance,

barbara

 

 

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 25, 2013 at 11:10am
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Barbara - I’m not sure how adequate this will be as a response to your question.  However, here are a few tentative reflections on buddhi - more a work (understanding) in progress rather than any definite thoughts.  Apologies for repeating things you probably know already.

Buddhi is that aspect of our inner constitution in which is reflected divine wisdom (i.e. Atman). This may well be one aspect of buddhi when we see it described as being ‘the vehicle of Atman’.  This Wisdom is a potential in us - it is passive, so to speak.  It becomes active as spiritual understanding or Intelligence only in conjunction with Manas (MIND), spiritual self-consciousness.

The mind (lower manas) coupled with kama (desire) has a kind of intelligence which is more like cunning, as it is more often than not a knowledge used for personal gain, for self (me and mine) over others (you and yours). 

Mind couple with buddhi brings forth a wisdom that naturally has for its goal ‘the universal’, the benefit and well being of others over (my)self.  We might see this aspect of buddhi-manas reflected  in genuine altruism, a love for humanity as a whole, compassion - leading eventually to a desire to live to benefit all beings.  From this perspective we might then conceive of buddhi as those ‘waters’ that irrigate the mind and heart and which are poured forth freely to nourish the field in which all beings seek and strive to live, often with much suffering and hardship.

Creative ideas that spring forth through various individuals and which benefit humanity as a whole may also come from or through that same source.

HPB sometimes refers to buddhi in two senses: differentiated and undifferentiated.  It is the latter sense i.e undifferentiated that applies to the human Monad.

‘Cosmic Buddhi, the emanation of the Spiritual Soul Alaya, is the vehicle of Mahat only when that Buddhi corresponds to Prakriti. Then it is called Maha-Buddhi. This Buddhi differentiates through seven planes, whereas the Buddhi in man is the vehicle of Atman which vehicle is of the essence of the highest plane of Akasa and therefore does not differentiate.’

Transactions of Blavatsky Lodge, p14

It seems then, that it is as a result of the undifferentiated nature of "the Buddhi in man" that we feel those intimations of oneness with all life.  It is through Manas (spiritual self consciousness) that this realisation becomes awakened fully - in due course.

It is worth noting that HPB suggests that it is Buddhi which is properly speaking the human Monad.  See for example:

‘The Monad is from Greek, “One”, the unit, whatever it is. If we call it Monad, it is simply because it [i.e. Atma] is with Budhhi.  And that Ātma in reality is not a unit, but the one universal principle, and it is simply a ray.  That which uses Buddhi as a vehicle is that ray of that universal principle. Therefore, in reality it is Buddhi which is the Monad, the one unit.'

The Secret Doctrine Commentaries 566.  (The revised Transactions of Blavatsky Lodge)

and in HPB’s collected writings: 

‘The “monad” is the combination of the last two Principles in man, the 6th and the 7th, and, properly speaking, the term “human monad” applies only to the Spiritual Soul, not to its highest spiritual vivifying Principle. But since divorced from the latter the Spiritual Soul could have no existence, no being, it has thus been called. The composition…of Buddhi or the 6th principle is made up of the essence of what you would call matter (or perchance a centre of Spiritual Force) in its 6th and 7th condition or state; the animating  ATMAN being part of the  ONE LIFE or Parabrahm. '

CW V 171 − 172

Just some thoughts…

P.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on March 25, 2013 at 7:43pm
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Thanks Peter for taking up this question, I'm not in the position right now to give much input to TheosophyNexus and I think you did a wonderful job in your above reply. Your work in progress (understanding) is working out fine :-)

Whether the answer is sufficient will be up to the reader and she or he can always inquire further. I think no answer in and by itself will be ultimately sufficient because in the end it's experiential and the "subjective" elements in theosophy will always elude perfect description in language or even thought as it is as you say indeed a matter of intuition.

Thanks again for the input.

Pierre.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on March 26, 2013 at 7:55pm
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Hi Peter,

Would you say all the philanthropists are in touch with their buddhi principle since they are using their intelligence to benefit others?  This goes for those people who give their life to a good cause as well. 

"HPB sometimes refers to buddhi in two senses: differentiated and undifferentiated.  It is the latter sense i.e undifferentiated that applies to the human Monad."  I have never read this.  What is the difference between the differentiated as opposed to the undifferentiated facet of buddhi.

Thank you.

 

 

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 27, 2013 at 2:01pm
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Barbara - that's a good point.  Yes, we could well view universal philanthropy as an expression or reflection of buddhi-manas.  It might even be an aspiration towards it.  I guess it will always be a matter of degree, purity of motive, to what extent it can be sustained & so on  For most of us it may just come (if it comes at all) in momentary flashes or when faced with a crisis of choice.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on March 27, 2013 at 4:22pm
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Barbara, a little summing up (not exhaustively) of what represents buddhi from a practical perspective. It obviously includes what Gerry and Peter have referred to already.

Motive; voice of conscience; wisdom; infallible intuition; spiritual knowledge; adeptship; heart; aspiration (vs ambition); altruism (brotherhood); unity; non-dual consciousness; impersonality (in the sense of being devoid of personal ambition as seen in the world); universal love; universal kindness; etc… In man all of this is represented by degrees of accomplishment.

A truer (by degrees) realization of the Self (Atma-Buddhi-Manas) is thus highly recommended :-)

Philanthropy in itself is no guarantee for altruism, it depends on the motive, some people might use philanthropy as a vehicle for self-aggrandisement for instance. The true philanthropists are obviously in touch with a buddhic aspect within themselves (a heart quality). Everything in the manifested universe exists in degrees.

Undifferentiated buddhi has for it's "substance" prakriti or nature, the homogeneous universal element in nature and is the carrier of the manifested potentialities that reside in atma for which buddhi becomes the vehicle. In the manifested universe (cosmically speaking) you can't separate these two.

Its differentiated aspect - of buddhi - is manas or mind (again, in different degrees). So manas is the individualized or localized differentiation of buddhi. Cosmically speaking buddhi - corresponding with maha-buddhi and mahat - is the sum total of all the hierarchies that will manifest as individual rays. When the individual manas or human soul is permanently united with buddhi, then man becomes like a "god". That type of consciousness is what we find in a Mahatma - again in degrees. Our intuitions generally speaking come from higher manas and can be fallible (HPBs words) and therefore have to be confirmed through intellect in the lower mind of space and time on our plane (Plato's words). When manas becomes eventually united with buddhi (buddhi-manas) then that intuition becomes infallible because buddhi - as said before - is the substratum or storehouse of all universal knowledge. From our lower manasic perspective buddhi appears as pure spirit (HPBs words).

"When Buddhi absorbs our EGO-tism (destroys it) with all its Vikaras, Avalôkitêshvara becomes manifested to us, and Nirvana, or Mukti, is reached,” “Mukti” being the same as Nirvana, i.e., freedom from the trammels of “Maya” or illusion." SD I: xix

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on March 27, 2013 at 7:28pm
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This is great, Pierre. Thanks.

Out of curiosity, an open question to anyone who may have some insights: what might be the correspondence (if any) between chitta in Patanjali's aphorisms and prakriti (as the undifferentiated 'substance' of buddhi)? And also with akasa or alaya?

Where does the 'modification of the mind-stuff (chitta)' of Patanjali fit with this view of the differentiation of buddhi (manas)? Is 'differentiation' itself modification, or is it that which is differentiated that is then subject to modification...?

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 29, 2013 at 11:54am
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Jon, as no one else has responded here's an attempt at a reply.

The term 'chitta' (like the word 'mind' or 'consciousness') is often used in a very general way to mean any number of things depending on the context. Also, the meaning given to the terms such as chitta, manas and buddhi often differ to those given in Theosophy.

Chitta is sometimes used as a general term - 'mind stuff' - to cover what in Hinduism is called the 'internal organ' (Antah-karana) made up of mind, intellect, memory and ego. Swami Vivekananada explains it thus in his Raja Yoga.

At other times chitta is seen as just one aspect of the antah-karana:
manas (mind), buddhi (intellect), chitta (memory), ahamkara (the feeling of egoity). This is the normal use in both Sankhya and Advaita, as far as I am aware.

Either way all these are seen as differentiations of prakriti and therefore insentient. Purusha (Atman) alone is pure consciousness and sentient. Manas and buddhi borrow their light from Purusha (Atma). See, for example, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, book IV, 18,19

The general theory of perception in Vedanta is that the mind goes out to the object via the sensory organ (the real base of these being in the subtle body, not the physical) and assumes the form of the object. This modification of the mind (called a vritti) into the form of the object is first step in the knowledge of that object. Manas (mind) presents this impression to Buddhi (the intellect or determinative faculty), which in turn determines what it is and whether it is good, bad, indifferent etc. Ahamakara provides the element of egoism in,"I know this object." Citta as memory is the impression (vritti, modifications in the mind stuff) which remain in the mind as thoughts after perception is finished.

In Patanjali's second verse of Book I, he states:

I.2   Yogaś citta-vritti-nirodhah.

I.2  "Yoga is the inhibition of the modifications of the mind."

The theory underlying this practice is that when the modifications of the mind are inhibited, the light of the Purusha or Atman alone shines and the seer rests in his own nature. Easily said, and this is why Patanjali sets out a system of yoga and the required practices necessary for that stage to be reached, without which the practitioner could simply end up in a tamasic state of blankness, leaving him/her self open to all kinds of adverse influences.

If we reflect upon the nature and mechanism of perception described above; that the mind takes on the form of the object perceived, we may get some insight into some of the practices and types of samadhi that Patanjali sets out, particularly when an object of meditation is recommended.

Clearly, there are some important differences in the meaning given to the principles and inner organs when we compare them to those found in Theosophy.

Hope that is useful.  I'm sure there are other members here who could give a better response.

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Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on March 29, 2013 at 12:24pm
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Thanks Peter, very good response. Btw, I'm having a hard time finding the time to respond to all these questions (that I've been asked for at least :-) So I'll try and keep up with it but it will take some time. I apologize for grammatical errors as I'm not a native speaker.

Here's a tidbit from SD I:288 fn* that might be interesting to the conversation and perhaps shows the manifold meaning of Sanskrit terms and perhaps also a more esoteric angle to the meaning of chitti/chitta/chiti, than we are used to finding in exoteric works.

HPB points out the difference of chiti from a yogi's perspective and the esoteric perspective.

I think a chitkala may well be the influence of the Nirmanakaya/Daemon/Augoeides we can attract to ourselves - whadda ya think?

* The Hermetic philosophers called Theoi, gods, Genii and Daimones (in the original texts), those Entities whom we call Devas (gods), Dhyan Chohans, Chitkala (Kwan-yin, the Buddhists call them), and by other names. The Daimonesare—in the Socratic sense, and even in the Oriental and Latin theological sense—the guardian spirits of the human race; "those who dwell in the neighbourhood of the immortals, and thence watch over human affairs," as Hermes has it. In Esoteric parlance, they are calledChitkala, some of which are those who have furnished man with his fourth and fifth Principles from their own essence; and others the Pitris so-called. This will be explained when we come to the production of the complete man. The root of the name is Chiti, "that by which the effects and consequences of actions and kinds of knowledge are selected for the use of the soul," or conscience the inner Voice in man. With the Yogis, the Chiti is a synonym ofMahat, the first and divine intellect; but in Esoteric philosophy Mahat is the root of Chiti, its germ; and Chiti is a quality of Manas in conjunction with Buddhi, a quality that attracts to itself by spiritual affinity a Chitkala when it develops sufficiently in man. This is why it is said that Chitiis a voice acquiring mystic life and becoming Kwan-Yin.

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 28, 2013 at 8:29am
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Pierre - very helpfufl response.  Thanks.  I’ve put a chart in the next message with some footnotes from the SD which support what you have said about differentiation starting with the third cosmic principle which corresponds with Manas - the accompanying footnote explains. Other students might find this helpful.

At the same time I wonder if,  in her passage about buddhi in Transactions of BL, HPB is drawing our attention to another aspect of buddhi.  She could have said differentiation begins with Manas here, yet she says that it is buddhi itself which differentiates through seven planes:

‘Cosmic Buddhi, the emanation of the Spiritual Soul Alaya, is the vehicle of Mahat only when that Buddhi corresponds to Prakriti. Then it is called Maha-Buddhi. This Buddhi differentiates through seven planes, whereas the Buddhi in man is the vehicle of Atman which vehicle is of the essence of the highest plane of Akasa and therefore does not differentiate.’   (Transactions of Blavatsky Lodge, p14)

For example, could this differentiation relate to what is loosely called ‘monadic evolution’ and the seven kingdoms of Monads which HPB points to in her quotes from ‘Five Years of Theosophy’? :

"There are seven kingdoms. The first group comprises three degrees of elementals, or nascent centres of forces-from the first stage of differentiation of (from) Mulaprakriti (or rather Pradhana, primordial homogeneous matter) to its third degree-i.e., from full unconsciousness to semi-perception; the second or higher group embraces the kingdoms froin vegetable to man; the mineral kingdom thus forming the central or turning point in the degrees of the" Monadic Essence," considered as an evoluting energy. Three stages (sub-physical) on the elemental side; the mineral kingdom; three stages on the Objective side-these are the (first or preliminary) seven links of the evolutionary chain."  ( SD I 176)

Related passages are:

‘The tendency towards segregation into individual Monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost to the point.  .  .  .  The "Monadic Essence"  begins to imperceptibly differentiate towards individual consciousness in the Vegetable Kingdom.’  SD I 178-9

Following on from p176, HPB goes on to say that it is only when the monadic wave of evolution (mineral, vegetable, animal and man) reaches the door of our fourth globe in its Fourth Round that the Cosmic Monad, Buddhi, (Maha-Buddhi?) is wedded to and becomes the vehicle of the Atmic Ray and enters into a first step of a new septenary ladder of evolution. I wonder -  is it at this stage where we can say that the Buddhi in Man is undifferentiated and of the essence of the highest plane of Akasa?  (SD I 177)

This is just something I’ve wondered about for a while and it may not even be a good question.  I also bear in mind that the SD also teaches:

‘In short, as the spiritual Monad is One, Universal, Boundless and Impartite, whose rays, nevertheless, form what we, in our ignorance, call the" Individual Monads" of men, so the Mineral Monad – being at the opposite point of the circle – is also One-and from it proceed the countless physical atoms, which Science is beginning to regard as individualized.’ (SD I 177-8)

Any thoughts?

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on March 28, 2013 at 9:58am
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Gotcha covered Peter. Here's the table from p. 596 (click on it to enlarge):

And the footnote of interest:

† Differentiated matter existing in the Solar System (let us not touch the whole Kosmos) in seven different conditions, and Pragna, or the capacity of perception, existing likewise in seven different aspects corresponding to the seven conditions of matter, there must necessarily be seven states of consciousness in man; and according to the greater or smaller development of these states, the systems of religions and philosophies were schemed out.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on March 30, 2013 at 8:06pm
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This is very thought-provoking.  Thank you for posting.   The passage below is especially significant.

"Following on from p176, HPB goes on to say that it is only when the monadic wave of evolution (mineral, vegetable, animal and man) reaches the door of our fourth globe in its Fourth Round that the Cosmic Monad, Buddhi, (Maha-Buddhi?) is wedded to and becomes the vehicle of the Atmic Ray and enters into a first step of a new septenary ladder of evolution. I wonder -  is it at this stage where we can say that the Buddhi in Man is undifferentiated and of the essence of the highest plane of Akasa?  (SD I 177)"

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 28, 2013 at 11:27am
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A request please, Pierre.  Would you provide a reference to where HPB says Higher Manas can be fallible.   In general, where you say "HPB's words" in your post, would you be good enough to give us the quote or provide a reference?  

Many thanks.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on March 30, 2013 at 2:50pm
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The mission of Buddhi is simply to shadow divine light on Manas, otherwise Manas will be always falling into the Karmic {Kamic} principle, into the principle of matter; it will become the lower Manas, and act as the lower Manas or mind. But the incarnating ego is certainly the mind, the Manas. SDD 438.

One thing you may say about Buddhi. Intuition is in Manas for the more or less light shed on it by Buddhi, whether it is assimilated much or little with Buddhi. SDD 443

Permalink Reply by Sharisse on March 30, 2013 at 9:43pm
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I just want to say I am very grateful for you and Pierre and everything you have been sharing, thank you it. There is no room to ask this question on Pierre's post but its to any and all:

The mission of Buddhi is simply to shadow divine light on Manas,

What is meant by 'to shadow?' I'm not quite understanding, I think I'm viewing the word shadow wrong. Or is it just that as a shadow, its there when the light is behind the matter creating a shadow, always elusive of trying to grasp it?

Permalink Reply by barbaram on April 6, 2013 at 9:15pm
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"The mission of Buddhi is simply to shadow divine light on Manas, otherwise Manas will be always falling into the Karmic {Kamic} principle, into the principle of matter; it will become the lower Manas, and act as the lower Manas or mind. But the incarnating ego is certainly the mind, the Manas." SDD 438.

I take this to mean the purpose of buddi is to influence and protect manas, like a tree which casts a shadow on the object under the bright light of Atma.  There are a few references in the TS literature alluding that buddhi is too pure to enter into the physical.  It hovers over the individual above the crown.   Perhaps,  another reason for this metaphor is that buddh can only oversahdow but can not directly act on the person till one climbs upward.     

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on June 8, 2013 at 11:31am
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Peter, let me shake the tree here a little bit again on this subject - in fact HPB's shaking it. I came across an old reference that had totally slipped my mind when we were discussing this subject. When I saw it again yesterday I thought I'd bring it to your attention. If you think my comment about higher manas being fallible sounded a bit like blasphemy, you may even add Buddhi to the list as well. Check out this reference straight from the horses mouth :-)

SD I:570 (second paragraph - the sentence in question I've put in bold):

"The monad—[…]—is here rendered as the Atma in conjunction with Buddhi and the higher Manas. This trinity is one and eternal, the latter being absorbed in the former at the termination of all conditioned and illusive life. The monad, then, can be traced through the course of its pilgrimage and its changes of transitory vehicles only from the incipient stage of the manifested Universe. In Pralaya, or the intermediate period between two manvantaras, it loses its name, as it loses it when the real ONE self of man merges into Brahm in cases of high Samadhi (the Turiyastate) or final Nirvana; "when the disciple" in the words of Sankara, "having attained that primeval consciousness, absolute bliss, of which the nature is truth, which is without form and action, abandons this illusive body that has been assumed by the atma just as an actor (abandons) the dress (put on)." For Buddhi (the Anandamaya sheath) is but a mirror which reflects absolute bliss; and, moreover,that reflection itself is yet not free from ignorance, and is not the Supreme Spirit, being subject to conditions, being a spiritual modification of Prakriti, and an effect;Atma alone is the one real and eternal substratum of all—the essence and absolute knowledge—the Kshetragna. It is called in the Esoteric philosophy "the One Witness," and, while it rests in Devachan, is referred to as "the Three Witnesses to Karma.""

So here we are, HPB shaking the tree once more :-)

Btw, for Anandamaya sheath (Spiritual Soul - Buddhi), see SD I:157 in the middle column of the Vedantic classification.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 26, 2013 at 11:24pm
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I think one expression of Buddhi that is common to many people is the voice of conscience.   We might relate Buddhi to the idea of the heart in man.  You kind of touched on that with the philanthropists allusion.  Perhaps any expression of unselfish love for others are more examples of buddhi in everyday life.

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 27, 2013 at 3:00pm
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Gerry, I came across a passage by William Judge today that touches on conscience and the unity of life and which supports what you and Barbara have suggested:

"The spiritual unity of mankind is the basis of our moral life.  Regard, love, kindness are qualities which are exhibited and practiced intuitively during the greatest part of daily life;  the voice of conscience which meddles in every thought and act is indicative of a brotherhood founded upon the sympathy of man for man, which is a fundamental fact ofhuman nature."

William Judge ‘Echoes of the Orient’  vol 1, p181.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on February 13, 2013 at 10:15pm
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What does it mean to acquire individuality through self-induced and self-devised efforts?

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Permalink Reply by Peter on February 15, 2013 at 9:25am
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What does it mean to acquire individuality through self-induced and self-devised efforts?

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Perhaps, in part, it's about winning conscious immortality or conscious divinity, so to speak. Up until the midpoint of this fourth round humanity's journey has been an unconscious one. The various hierarchies of beings (Dhyan Chohans) have provided the material(s) that have been the vehicles through which the human monads have passed (unconsciously) through each stage - in accordance with the unfolding law of Cosmos. Up to this point progress has been "by natural impulse", as HPB refers to it in the 3rd fundamental.

From this mid point stage onwards conscious effort is involved if we are to win an "independent (conscious) existence" as a spiritual entity. This is where 'free will' comes in, which has been the subject of our other group study. Even up to the threshold of Nirvana this operates - as we see in the example of the Buddha who chose not to forsake suffering humanity.

From the mid point onwards, once 'mind' has been awakened, our progress or lack of it will depend upon our own choices and our own efforts "checked by Karma". According to the Mahatma KH this continues right up to the stage of Adeptship and beyond.

"The fact is, that to the last and supreme initiation every chela – (and even some adepts) – is left to his own device and counsel. We have to fight our own battles, and the familiar adage -- "the adept becomes, he is not made" is true to the letter. Since every one of us is the creator and producer of the causes that lead to such or some other results, we have to reap but what we have sown. Our chelas are helped but when they are innocent of the causes that lead them into trouble; when such causes are generated by foreign, outside influences."

Mahatma Letter no 54 (Barker edition)

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 6, 2013 at 9:33pm
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Depending on how you look at this the whole prospect of being completely responsible for our own ship (so to speak) it  can be exhilarating or terrifying.   In the Grand Inquisitor by Dostoyevski the Priest tells the parishioners not to worry, the Church will provide you with everything you need to get to heaven you only need surrender your will and faith to the church.  When Jesus comes back to confront the Grand Inquisitor the message to Jesus is go away.  We don't need you anymore.  We provide the people with security.  When you come (Jesus) you bring revolution.

Permalink Reply by Casady on February 23, 2013 at 8:48am
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The concept of the soul evolving up through the lower kingdoms can be found in the Ismaelian Abu Yaqub Al-Sijistani's Kitab Al-Yanabi.

http://www.iis.ac.uk/view_article.asp?ContentID=100518

Peace.

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 29, 2013 at 3:13pm
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Pierre -  there's no link to reply to your latest message, which seems to happen when the message thread has become full.  So, I've replied here.

Re: chiti, chitkala & so on...Yes, on the surface not an obvious connection with Patanjali, yet it does open up the meaning of the term, as you rightly say.  Interestingly, the passage you shared with us from SD I 288 has a relationship to our previous discussion of Patanjali, back in December.  See:

http://theosophynexus.com/group/sacred-texts/forum/topics/phase-2-t...

By the way,  don't feel under any pressure at all to answer any questions of mine.  You had already said you're busy at the moment.  So, no problem.

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on March 30, 2013 at 8:36pm
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Just want to thank you Peter, and you Pierre for such helpful responses on chitta, buddhi, manas, prakriti, etc.. Some of these distinctions can get pretty subtle and I'm enjoying the exercise of trying to work through them. You're responses have given me much to ponder over. :)

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 30, 2013 at 8:00am
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Following on from the posts on Patanjali's 'mind stuff', for those new to theosophy in this post I've suggested how we might look at the same terms but from a Theosophical perspective. As the ning software doesn't allow me to put a reply under the original post at the moment, I've put a summary here. When we looked at the principles as generally found in Patanajali and in the samkhya and vedantic philosophies we had the following make up of the individual:

The physical body with brain and sense organs (the seat of the latter being in the subtle body).

The Internal Organ (Antahkarana) made up of mind (manas), intellect (buddhi), memory (chitta) and the feeling of egoity (ahamakara). In perception the mind goes out to objects via the subtle sense organs and assumes the form of the object, this modification (vritti) of mind into the form of the object is then presented to buddhi (the intellect and determinative faculty) which identifies it. Memory (chitta) remains as modifications of the mind stuff after the act of perception is over.

The fourfold antahkarana is made up of prakriti, is insentient and merely the instrumental organ of the true seer, i.e. the Purusha (Atman).

Purasha (Atman) is Spirit, pure consciousness, the Seer, the true Self.

From a theosophical perspective we have a different arrangement and understanding:

Atma and Buddhi together constitute the human monad. They are both eternal and universal and of themselves can have no relations to finite things in the phenomenal world.

Manas is the link between the Monad and the phenomenal world. Manas is dual in its functions, the lower manas being a temporary ray of the higher manas during incarnation and around which form the vehicles which make up the personality.

The antahkarana is a bridge of communication during incarnation between the lower and the higher manas. For the average individual this bridge of consciousness is formed (created even) out of our aspirations towards the higher, such a link allowing for a two way communication between higher and lower and allowing the voice of buddhi-manas (e.g. conscience, intuition) to be felt in the personality.

Perhaps one way to look at the 'mind stuff' which spreads across all planes is as follows: on the phenomenal plane, sensory perception (gross or subtle) involves the medium of 'supersensous states of matter in motion', i.e. elementals (see, for example, SD I 146). On what are called 'the higher planes' of spiritual perception and spiritual substance, i.e. buddhi-manas, the dhyanis are the medium of transmission of Wisdom.

Improvements and corrections welcome.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on March 30, 2013 at 7:20pm
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Hi Peter,

It makes sense to think various grades of elementals are active in sensory perception while the dhyanis are active in the transmission of Wisdom. Reading your comparision between the samkhya and vedantic philosophies and theosophy is helpful.  A few things came to mind as I think about your message -

 "Atma and Buddhi together constitute the human monad. They are both eternal and universal and of themselves can have no relations to finite things in the phenomenal world."

  • I am not sure what you mean by "can have no relations to finite things..."  If the Atma-Buddhi overshadows the individual, then, would you not consider this as a relation between the human monad and the finite things? 

 

  • I have not read much on the Antahkarana and hope you do not mind my stupid questions.  If manas assumes the form of the objects, then, one is colored by kama when one functions in the lower and colored by buddhi when one identifies with the higher.   If manas is infused with buddhi, why is a bridge necessary?   This is only for "average individual?"

 

  • It is interesting to note that the vedantic tradition considers the antahkarana as the fourfold internal perceptive organ used by the seer.  How is this in relation to the Eye of Dangma?
Permalink Reply by Peter on April 1, 2013 at 11:34am
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Hi Barbara,  

1. ..with regards to your question about 'Atma and Buddhi having no relations to finite things in the phenomenal world'.   I see the point of your question, entirely.  I probably didn’t put that very well. I think an analogy, albeit limited, would be that of sun light which shines on all - impersonal and universal. It doesn't have preferences, seeking to give more here, less there; it doesn't enter into relations with all those entities that benefit from its light.  It’s up to each of these to bring themselves under the sphere of its influence.  The sunlight just IS.  In my understanding the same applies to Atma-Buddhi, it’s impersonal and universal.  It’s up to us, as personalities (lower manas), whether or not we avail ourselves of Its Light.  

2. You ask, “If manas is infused with buddhi, why is the [antahkarana] bridge necessary?”  Good question.  I would think it’s because we are talking about lower manas, initially, which is but a ray of the higher manas. Clothed in the ‘matter’ of the phenomenal world this ray loses sight of its parent source, the Higher Ego.  As Wordsworth so eloquently puts it:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar..

(Ode: Intimations of Immortality)

Thus it is our spiritual aspirations towards the higher that become the material for this bridge between the personal consciousness and its parent, the impersonal Higher Ego (Buddhi-Manas).  This is turn allows the latter to inform the personal consciousness, to one degree or another, depending on the strength and quality of the link itself.

Manas represents spiritual self consciousness.  This is gained through repeated incarnations over vast periods of time.  In each incarnation, only that which is worthy of the higher triad (Atma-Buddhi-Manas) is absorbed after death (i.e. in Devachan) to become part of the Spiritual Soul/Ego (Buddhi).  

I suggested this is the case for “the average person” because on the one hand the very evil person may well have destroyed that bridge during his/her current lifetime; on the other hand we understand from our study of Theosophy that the Initiate or Adept is able to merge his/her personal consciousness into the higher, directly.

Do ask again if I’ve not explained clearly or if you feel I’ve not got it right.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on April 2, 2013 at 8:33pm
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Hi Peter,

"...would be that of sun light which shines on all - impersonal and universal. It doesn't have preferences, seeking to give more here, less there; it doesn't enter into relations with all those entities that benefit from its light.  It’s up to each of these to bring themselves under the sphere of its influence.  The sunlight just IS.  In my understanding the same applies to Atma-Buddhi, it’s impersonal and universal.  It’s up to us, as personalities (lower manas), whether or not we avail ourselves of Its Light." 

On buddhi,  this is my understanding as well.  The more one touches the higher forces, the more universal one becomes.   This is a result of penetrating through the veil of maya as one begins to see the intricate relationships interwoven between all things and the unity beneath the constant fluctuating chimera.     

As for the antakarana, it would seem that eventually the bridge will not be as useful as one rises up to the plane of buddhi.  Perhaps, it is only a temporary assistance?  I’d imagine, sooner or later, one has to infuse oneself with buddhi essence because this is the way in which transfiguration can eventuate.     

Thanks for the verses by Wordsworth;  it is very apt.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on April 3, 2013 at 3:09pm
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Thank you for all this Barb.  I love the fluctuating chimera reference, quite poetical.  Wordsworth has little on you.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on April 9, 2013 at 4:28pm
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Hi Barbara, very well and poetically put!

"As for the antakarana, it would seem that eventually the bridge will not be as useful as one rises up to the plane of buddhi.  Perhaps, it is only a temporary assistance?"

When a permanent connection between the lower and the higher manas is established, the antaskaranic bridge is destroyed (as it is of no further use), the adept in this case can now freely (at will) move between his own and all lower planes. The anta(s)karanic bridge is also destroyed after each individual incarnation of us ordinary mortals because we will enter devachan (with some processes in between and discussed in our literature). But a new (temporary) bridge is being established in the next incarnation (which bridge in a sense is the same one as before). This bridge functions as a connection between lower and higher manas (the 7-fold division of antaskarana being part of lower manas and in a certain sense its sub-divisions). So the bridge has to be traversed from the bottom up so to speak (see Voice p. 17 top, "Beware lest thou…") the first step apparently already indicating a complete control over our kamic nature (see same ref in Voice). Does a higher bridge exist? Who knows? There are some indications that higher manas in turn has multiple (3 and 7) levels before a connection with buddhi can be established. So perhaps there can be a path and a Path? :-)

What Peter indicated is of good use here, lower manas being a ray from higher manas. So the lower manasic ray shot out from higher manas (pardon the expression) descends karmically into a physical vehicle leading to identification - as a personality - with matter (being actually kama, and not the stuff we see around us). Now if we think of this ray as the antaskaranic bridge itself, shot out from the higher manas forming 7 steps downward, then this individuality called lower manas at the bottom of these 7 steps (tumbled down so to speak) has to re-trace its step back up the ladder of this bridge to its source. Perhaps this too physical image can be of help? :-) If on the other hand lower manas consistently identifies with its lower principles, then little or no bridge is being traversed and if persisted in for many incarnations can lead to a permanent dislocation from that connection with higher manas and into the path of black magic with the ultimate destruction of all individual experience - in fact of individuality itself - as the result. This state is often referred to as avitchi (which is a state "lower" than kama loka!) and most likely also consisting of several degrees like anything else in the manifested world.

Permalink Reply by Peter on April 10, 2013 at 5:59am
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I'm not sure we should equate the manasic ray with the antahkarana (antaskarana) as being one and the same thing.  As I understand it…

The ray is a projection of the Higher Manas, there being a new ray projected for each incarnation (albeit the source is always of the same essence).  The antahkarana is a projection of the lower manas, which has to be forged anew in each incarnation. 

The ‘ray’ projected by the Higher Manas into its vehicle of incarnation becomes a kind of ‘detached essence’ once it is clothed in the finest astral matter of the phenomenal planes, and to all intents and purposes is said to be 'shut off' from its source.  This is the allegory in Plato's myth of Er where the souls returning to a new incarnation must first cross the plain of Lethe and drink therein from the waters after which they forget their origin.  We've already noted Wordsworth's poetical rendering of 'our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting' etc…

The antahkarana is described as "an imaginary bridge" between the personal consciousness (i.e. the detached essence or enclosed ‘ray’) and the higher manas.  In other words this ‘bridge’  is forged out of the aspirational consciousness of the lower manas as it seeks to unite itself with its parent source.  It will be either helped or hindered in this by the skandhas created during the previous incarnations of the Individuality (Higher Manas) and the karmic consequences arising from those previous  incarnations.

Only that can join with the Higher Manas which is of the same essence.   At the same time, the aim for each incarnation is to add new experience to the Higher Ego (or rather to Buddhi-Manas).  So it is from that encapsulated ‘ray’ or essence ‘within’ combined with the experience gained during incarnation that the new personal consciousness has to forge a link between itself and the Higher or Spiritual Ego.  Like the spider which spins its web out of its own substance the aspirant has himself to become the bridge across which s/he travels the path.   It is through this link, the very stuff of consciousness, that the Higher Ego is then able to guide the lower - to one degree or another.  Without this bridge it remains merely the residing rather than the guiding higher consciousness (this theme is explored and more deeply rendered in SD I 573).

This bridge is also the scene of the battleground upon which all our spiritual struggles take place and it is where we make the choice, on a daily and moment by moment basis, whether to ally ourselves with kama , in the form of our separative earthbound desires and ambitions, or with buddhi and reach towards the universal.

Here a just a few references for those wishing to do their own research:  HPB’s Collected Writings:  CW XII 623-624; 632−634.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Peter on April 12, 2013 at 8:45am
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Just to add a another thought to this question of the ray of the Higher Manas.  Using the law of correspondence: from the point of view of the personal consciousness the triple Monad of Atma-Buddhi-Manas is like the primordial triangle (the first logos) which having reflected itself in the waters of space (i.e. through the ray of the Higher Manas), it withdraws into silence and darkness.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on April 12, 2013 at 11:46am
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Yup, dig, good correspondence on the manifested plane, as you say from the point of view of the personal consciousness.

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on March 30, 2013 at 8:57pm
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In perception the mind goes out to objects via the subtle sense organs and assumes the form of the object...

This raises another set of distinctions I've been trying to work through, especially since I've begun studying the Upanishads with their nearly non-stop reference to the senses, pranas, etc.. And perhaps your comment of the mind-stuff spreading across planes has the answer.

My questioning has centered around the role of Prana in the process of perception, of the mind 'going out through the senses' and the difference between Prana in theosophy versus Prana in the Upanishads. In the Upanishads it seems to be Prana that underlies the senses (or is the animating power of them), so is it Prana that 'goes out through the senses' or is it the mind-stuff? And what's the difference between the two? Is Prana a sort of mediator in the process?

Just really not sure of the role of Prana verses Manas in this process, and how Chitta, etc., relate to the life-breaths.

These are open questions, as you can tell they're still quite vague in my mind, as the details of this process very much elude me. It's confusing territory! ;)

Permalink Reply by Peter on March 31, 2013 at 1:10pm
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Jon, just a very brief response for now to say that the notion of the mind going out through the sense organs and taking on the form of the object is an exoteric theory associated with those particular traditions under discussion.  I provided an outline just to show how the notion of 'mind stuff' and 'vrittis' went together in that tradition so that we could then compare with the theosophical view. I believe it does point to an 'esoteric' truth in some form, but as given it will be found to suffer from important problems and conflicts if we analysed it fully.  Other traditions will have their own theories.  In Tibetan Buddhism, for example, we find claims that each of the five physical senses has a consciousness (a main mind) of its own as does the consciousness that apprehends thoughts and concepts. 

More later...

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on March 31, 2013 at 2:19pm
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Thanks Peter. This is helpful. As you can tell, I'm trying to find my way through the exoteric to the esoteric and to correlate some of these different teachings, but as I'm sure everyone has experienced, it's easier said than done. Very thankful for the insights you bring.

My goal in this line of questioning is basically to push through to a theosophical (esoteric) view of exactly what is occurring during sensory perception and how the various human principles participate in the process, so that I can better understand the meditation process of Patanjali. A tall task, I realize - with more questions than I can shake a stick as, as they say. ;)

Permalink Reply by barbaram on April 6, 2013 at 8:52pm
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Hi Jon:

These are very interesting questions - what exactly goes out to assume the shape of the cognizing objects.  I do not remember I have read anything in Theosophy that specifically talks about your questions.  There is something related in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali translated by M.N.Dvivedi, on page 2 it writes, the thinking principle is comprised of four parts: Manas or mind, “Citta (individualizing), the idea which fixes itself upon a point and makes the object its own by individualizing it; Ahamkara (egoism),the principle which connects the individual with the self; and Buddhi (reason), the light that determines one way or the other. Knowledge or perception is a kind of transformation (parinama) of the thinking principle into anything which is the subject of external or internal presentation, through one or other of these four.  All knowledge is of the kind of transformation of the thinking principle.”   

In the same book on page 131 “There is a great different between Hatha and Raja-yoga lies in while the one believes that  while the one believes that Vrtti (mind) follow prana (breath), the other believes that prana follows Vrtti.  The latter is the correct view of the two, and expereince proves the truth and utility of practices which begin with training the mind and its action.”   

Permalink Reply by Peter on April 1, 2013 at 5:30am
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JON:  My questioning has centered around the role of Prana in the process of perception, of the mind 'going out through the senses' and the difference between Prana in theosophy versus Prana in the Upanishads. In the Upanishads it seems to be Prana that underlies the senses (or is the animating power of them), so is it Prana that 'goes out through the senses' or is it the mind-stuff? And what's the difference between the two? Is Prana a sort of mediator in the process?

—————————————————————

PETER:   If we take the theosophical view given by HPB in the Key to Theosophy that might give us a helpful basis and context from which to start with this question.  Have a look at the table on page 91 of 'the Key' where prana is given as “Life, or Vital Principle.”  In the “Explanatory” it states that prana is necessary for the functioning of the physical body, the astral body, and kama-manas.  This is at the level of the microcosm, i.e. the human.  If we look at the corresponding principle in the macrocosm (see table you just recently posted for me from SD II 596) we get a small glimpse of how necessary and embracing prana is at the Cosmic level, and necessary to all the manifested planes in Cosmos.

Further on in The Key to Theosophy  HPB gives us a further insight into prana:

“"Prana," or "Life," is, strictly speaking, the radiating force or Energy of Atma ― as the Universal Life and the ONE SELF, ― ITS lower or rather (in its effects) more physical, because manifesting, aspect. Prana or Life permeates the whole being of the objective Universe; and is called a "principle" only because it is an indispensable factor and the deus ex machina of the living man.’   (KTT: 176)

Some further connections may arise in the following: if we take the upanishads at their word and view Atman as pure, unconditioned consciousness then this brings us back to the First Fundamental Proposition of the SD in which Unconditioned Consciousness is symbolised by “The Great Breath”.  

WIth the above in mind, the following passage from the SD may lend some support to my earlier suggestion (last paragraph) regarding perception and the “mind stuff” spread across all the planes:

“The Secret Doctrine points out, as a self-evident fact, that Mankind, collectively and individually, is, with all manifested nature, the vehicle (a) of the breath of One Universal Principle, in its primal differentiation; and (b) of the countless "breaths" proceeding from that One BREATH in its secondary and further differentiations, as Nature with its many mankinds proceeds downwards toward the planes that are ever increasing in materiality. The primary Breath informs the higher Hierarchies; the secondary -- the lower, on the constantly descending planes.'  (SD II 492, emphasis added.)

Permalink Reply by barbaram on April 7, 2013 at 8:21am
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Hi Peter:

"from the SD may lend some support to my earlier suggestion (last paragraph) regarding perception and the “mind stuff” spread across all the planes:"

When you say the mind stuff are spread across all the planes,  are you referring to the idea that all manifestations are thoughts of some entities or are you saying something else?  I can see prana spreading on all planes but did not think about this with chitta. 

Thank you.

 

Permalink Reply by Peter on April 7, 2013 at 12:14pm
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