Current Theme:  Meta-Biology

The Life Thread               SD i 222-226

Creators and Destroyers         SD i 238-, 260-263

The Vital Fluid                SD i  531-541

The Human Organism    SD ii 56-57

Spirit and Matter            SD ii 84-88

Modes of Procreation     SD ii 116-121

Spontaneous Generation            SD ii 150-159

Kriyasakti                                   SD ii 171-178

Progress and Retardation           SD ii 254-263

The Third Eye                              SD  ii 289-306

Organic Correspondences           SD  ii 593

The Life-Atoms                            SD  ii 671-673

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The Life Thread               SD i 222-226


(a) This sloka expresses the conception—a purely Vedantic one, as already explained elsewhere—of a life-thread, Sutratma, running through successive generations. How, then, can this be explained? By resorting to a simile, to a familiar illustration, though necessarily imperfect, as all our available analogies must be. Before resorting to it, however, I would ask whether it seems unnatural, least of all "supernatural," to any one of us, when we consider that process known as the growth and development of a fœtus into a healthy baby weighing several pounds evolves from what? From the segmentation of an infinitesimally small ovum and a spermatozoon; and afterwards we see that baby develop into a six-foot man! This refers to the atomic and physical expansion from the microscopically small into something very large, from the—to the naked eye—unseen, into the visible and objective. Science has provided for all this; and, I dare say, her theories, embryological, biological, and physiological, are correct enough so far as exact observation of the material goes. Nevertheless, the two chief difficulties of the science of embryology—namely, what are the forces at work in the formation of the fœtus, and the cause of "hereditary transmission" of likeness, physical, moral or mental—have never been properly answered; nor will they ever be solved till the day when scientists condescend to accept the Occult theories.* But if this physical phenomenon astonishes no one, except in so far as it puzzles the Embryologists, why should our intellectual and inner growth, the evolution of the human-spiritual to the Divine-Spiritual, be regarded as, or seem, more impossible than the other?


Creators and Destroyers         SD i 238-, 260-263

With every day, the identity between the animal and physical man, between the plant and man, and even between the reptile and its nest, the rock, and man—is more and more clearly shown. The physical and chemical constituents of all being found to be identical, chemical science may well say that there is no difference between the matter which composes the ox and that which forms man. But the Occult doctrine is far more explicit. It says: --- Not only the chemical compounds are the same, but the same infinitesimal invisible lives compose the atoms of the bodies of the mountain and the daisy, of man and the ant, of the elephant, and of the tree which shelters him from the sun. Each particle—whether you call it organic or inorganic—is a life. Every atom and molecule in the Universe is both life-giving and death-giving to that form, inasmuch as it builds by aggregation universes and the ephemeral vehicles ready to receive the transmigrating soul, and as eternally destroys and changes the forms and expels those souls from their temporary abodes. It creates and kills; it is self-generating and self-destroying; it brings into being, and annihilates, that mystery of mysteries—the living body of man, animal, or plant, every second in time and space; and it generates equally life and death, beauty and ugliness, good and bad, and even the agreeable and disagreeable, the beneficent and maleficent sensations. It is that mysterious LIFE, represented collectively by countless myriads of lives, that follows in its own sporadic way, the hitherto incomprehensible law of Atavism; that copies family resemblances as well as those it finds impressed in the aura of the generators of every future human being, a mystery, in short, that will receive fuller attention elsewhere.


Creators and Destroyers        

This is very interesting.  We see this in the functions of our physical bodies, like the red blood and white blood cells.    Other than the physical plane, does this law apply on any other plane?


You would assume by the law of analogy and correspondence that the principle, perhaps in a different form, carries through at each plane.  Do you think she is talking about elementals when she uses the expression "infinitesimal invisible lives "?


the Creation/Destruction concept first appears, as far as I can tell, at Stanza 3, Sloka 9 - so fairly early in the primordial manifestation phase:

" All these — “Light,” “Flame,” “Hot,” “Cold,” “Fire,” “Heat,” “Water,” and the “water of life” are all, on our plane, the progeny; or as a modern physicist would say, the correlations of electricity. Mighty word, and a still mightier symbol! Sacred generator of a no less sacred progeny; of fire — the creator, the preserver and the destroyer; of light — the essence of our divine ancestors; of flame — the Soul of things."Sd1 81

It also applies to the whole Manvanatara/Pralaya process:

" Of the pralaya before which fourteen Manvantaras elapse, having over them as many presiding Manus, and at whose close occurs the “incidental” or Brahma’s dissolution, it is said in Vishnu Purana, in condensed form, that “at the end of a thousand periods of four ages, which complete a day of Brahma, the earth is almost exhausted. The eternal Avyaya (Vishnu) assumes then the character of Rudra (the destroyer, Siva) and re-unites all his creatures to himself."sd I 370


Is this discussion of creators and destroyers referring to the elemental kingdoms?


I think, technically, it can be said to pertain to the elemental kingdoms, but I think this passage maybe more specifically deals with the concept of the Life-Atoms (or Lives), below are a few examples:

"Now the Occultists, who trace every atom in the universe, whether an aggregate or single, to One Unity, or Universal Life; who do not recognize that anything in Nature can be inorganic; who know of no such thing as dead matter - the Occultists are consistent with their doctrine of Spirit and Soul when speaking of memory in every atom, of will and sensation... We know and speak of 'life-atoms' - and of 'sleeping-atoms' - because we regard these two forms of energy - the kinetic and the potential - as produced by one and the same force or the ONE LIFE, and regard the latter as the source and mover of all." (S.D. II, 672)

"(our bodies are) ... built by ... and composed of countless myriads of Lives...Occultism - which discerns a life in every atom and molecule, whether in a mineral or human body, in air, fire or water - affirms that our whole body is built of such lives, the smallest bacteria under the microscope being to them in comparative size like an elephant to the tiniest infusoria."(S.D. I, 225, fn)

"Occultism teaches that - (a) the life-atoms of our (Prana) life-principle, are never entirely lost when a man dies. That the atoms best impregnated with the life-principle (an independent, eternal, conscious factor) are partially transmitted from father to son by heredity, and partially are drawn once more together and become the animating principle of the new body in every new incarnation of the Monads. Because (b), as the individual Soul is ever the same, so are the atoms of the lower principles (body, its astral, or life double, etc.), drawn as they are by affinity and Karmic law always to the same individuality in a series of various bodies, etc.)" (S.D. II, 671-2)


"This sloka expresses the conception—a purely Vedantic one, as already explained elsewhere—of a life-thread, Sutratma, running through successive generations"

is this life thread - Sutratma - located in the LINGA-SARIRA?  I assume one end of the thread connects to the heart and where else does it connect?  What happens to this sutratma when the soul is in devachan?  I assume this is also called the "silver cord?"


Barb;  I don't think the Sutratman is located in the Linga-Sarira which is a Sanskrit term for the astral body. In the Theosophical Glossary HPB states "It is born before and dies or fades out, with the disappearance of the last atom of the body."  My understanding is the Sutratman is another term for the "immortal soul" and essentially is not going anywhere since it is beyond space and time and is simply withdrawing from this particular set of lower vehicles temporarily (personality).

Perhaps others can speak to the Devachan issue in regards to the Sutratman?


Perhaps we could think of the Sutratman as the Immortal Soul or Atma-Buddhi-Manas.


the following to indicate that the Sutratma is not located in the Linga Sharira:

"the thread which holds him united being the “Thread-Soul,”Sutratma, and Taijasa (the “Shining”) of the Vedantins. And it is through this spiritual and intellectual Principle in man, though Taijasa - the Shining, “because it has the luminous internal organ as its associate” - that man is thus united to his heavenly prototype, never through his lower inner self or AstralBody, for which there remains in most cases nothing but to fade out." sd3 p.59

the following gives the term 'umbilical cord' for the astral cord:

"Q. The Antahkarana is the link between the Higher and the Lower Egos; does it correspond to the umbilical cord in projection? A. No; the umbilical cord joining the astral to the physical body is a real thing. Antahkarana is imaginary, a figure of speech, and is only the bridging over from the Higher to the Lower Manas. Antahkarana only exists when you commence to “throw your thought upwards and downwards.” The Mayavi Rupa, or Manasic body, has no material connection with the physical body, no umbilical cord. It is spiritual and ethereal, and passes everywhere without let or hindrance. It entirely differs from the astral body, which, if injured, acts by repercussion on the physical body. The Devachanic entity, even previous to birth, can be affected by the Skandhas, but these have nothing to do with the Antahkarana. It is affected, e.g., by the desire for reincarnation." Sd3 p.545

Here's an account of what happens to the Sutratma after death:

"The reason why public mention of the Auric body was not permitted was on account of its being so sacred. It is this Body which, at death, assimilates the essence of Buddhi and Manas and becomes the vehicle of these spiritual principles, which are not objective, and then, with the full radiation of Atma uponit ascends as Manas-Taijasi into the Devachanic state. Therefore it is called by many names. It is the Sutratma, the silver “thread” which “incarnates” from the beginning of Manvantara to the end, stringing upon itself the pearls of human existence, in other words, the spiritual aroma of every personality it followsthrough the pilgrimage of life. [See Lucifer, January 1889, “Dialogue upon the Mysteries of After- Life.”] It is also the material from which the Adept forms his Astral Bodies, from the Augoeides and the Mayavi Rupa downwards. After the death of man, when its most ethereal particles have drawn into themselves the spiritual principles of Buddhi and the Upper Manas, and are illuminated with the radiance of Atma, the Auric Body remains either in the Devachanic state of consciousness, or, in the case of a full Adept, prefers the state of a Nirmanakaya, that is, one who has so purified his whole system that he is above even the divine illusion of a Devachani." SD3 p.446


Thank you, Cassidy.  Very interesting passages, I will think more about it.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 23, 2015 at 10:26pm

Thank you from me too Casady.  Compiling these passages together really helps our understanding.  We are in your debt.

Permalink Reply by Casady on March 29, 2015 at 12:18pm

That seems to indeed correspond to the general definition. But there are a few cryptic references to Sutratma here and there that point to a little more nuanced definition, for example:

† “Pilgrim” is the appellation given to our Monad (the two in one) during its cycle of incarnations. It is the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an indivisible part of the integral whole — the Universal Spirit, from which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end of the cycle. When it is said to emanate from the one spirit, an awkward and incorrect expression has to be used, for lack of appropriate words in English. The Vedantins call it Sutratma (Thread-Soul), but their explanation, too, differs somewhat from that of the occultists; to explain which difference, however, is left to the Vedantins themselves."SD I 16-17

Judge, in his Glossary gives:

SUTRATMAN, in Vedantic philosophy, the spiritual essence which passes through the five subtle principles of the human being and links them together as by a thread. (sutra, thread; atman, soul: thread-soul.)

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 7, 2015 at 4:56pm

The Vital Fluid                SD i  531-541

"But regarding Life—Vital Force—as a power far more exalted than either light, heat, or electricity, and indeed capable of exerting a controlling power over them all" (this is absolutely occult). . . . . "we are certainly disposed to view with satisfaction that speculation which supposes the photosphere to be the primary seat of vital power, and to regard with a poetic pleasure that hypothesis which refers the Solar energies to Life."

Thus, we have an important scientific corroboration for one of our fundamental dogmas—namely, that (a) the Sun is the store-house of Vital Force, which is the Noumenon of Electricity; and (b) that it is from its mysterious, never-to-be-fathomed depths, that issue those life currents which thrill through Space, as through the organisms of every living thing on Earth. For see what another eminent physician says, who calls this (our life-fluid) "nervous Ether." Change a few sentences in the article, extracts from which now follow, and you have another quasi-Occult treatise on Life Force. This once, it is again Dr. B. W. Richardson, F.R.S., who gives his views in the "Popular Science Review," Vol. X., p. 380-3, on "Nervous Ether," as he has on "Sun-Force" and "Earth-Force":—

"The idea attempted to be conveyed by the theory is, that between the molecules of the matter, solid or fluid, of which the nervous organisms, and, indeed, of which all the organic parts of a body are composed, there exists a refined subtle medium, vaporous or gaseous, which holds the molecules in a condition for motion upon each other, and for arrangement and rearrangement of form; a medium by and through which all motion is conveyed; by and through which the one organ or part of the body is held in communion with the other parts, by which and through which the outer living world communicates with the living man: a medium, which, being present, enables the phenomena of life to be demonstrated, and which, being universally absent, leaves the body actually dead. . . . . ."

Permalink Reply by barbaram on March 16, 2015 at 6:43pm

This vital fluid sounds like Prana.  Anyone has any thoughts?

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on March 21, 2015 at 11:58am

Indeed, prana is correct. It is called jiva in relation to the three higher principles of cosmos and man, and prana in relation to the four lower principles of both cosmos and man. It emanates from the 7th principle, so in a sense all our principles are crystallized jiva or prana and it is the living or energetic aspect of the sutratma.

Nevertheless both terms, jiva and prana are often used interchangeably.

In our universe it is the life force exuding from the sun (the solar blood oozing out of the solar spots, the valves of the solar heart at the rate of one heartbeat every 11 years) and circulating through the solar system (it's body) and its organs (the planets) before it returns back to the solar heart. Light is the visible aspect of this force. Jiva or prana differentiates 7-fold when it is scattered in the "atmosphere" (which is also 7-fold) of any planetary body and gives rise to the 7 kingdoms.

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on March 22, 2015 at 3:12pm

Does the terms Jiva and Prana come from the same school and the same tradition in India?

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on March 23, 2015 at 7:00pm

Hi Grace, as I understand it both terms are used in various Indian schools and traditions, not always in exactly the same way however.

I think our friend Ramprakash is in a better position to answer this question more in depth.

Permalink Reply by Casady on April 7, 2015 at 11:21am

I would imagine that the Yoga schools have focused on them the most.

ps - As far as I can tell, the definition for Prana is basically the same in Hinduism and Theosophy, whereas with Jiva, considered as a monad, the Theosophical definition is similar to Hinduism, but Hinduism doesn't seem to use it in the sense of cosmic prana.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 12, 2015 at 10:46am

The Human Organism    SD ii 56-57

Thus physical nature, when left to herself in the creation of animal and man, is shown to have failed. She can produce the first two and the lower animal kingdoms, but when it comes to the turn of man, spiritual, independent and intelligent powers are required for his creation, besides the "coats of skin" and the "Breath of animal Life." The human Monads of preceding Rounds need something higher than purely physical materials to build their personalities with, under the penalty of remaining even below any "Frankenstein" animal.*

* In the first volume of the lately published "Introduction a l'atude des Races Humaines," by M. de Quatrefages, there is proof that since the post-tertiary period and even before that time — since many Races were already scattered during that age on the face of the Earth — man has not altered one iota in his physical structure. And if, surrounded for ages by a fauna that altered from one period or cycle to another, which died out, which was reborn in other forms — so that now there does not exist one single animal on Earth, large or small, contemporary with the man of that period — if, then, every animal has been transformed save man himself, this fact goes to prove not only his antiquity, but that he is a distinct Kingdom. Why should he alone have escaped transformation? Because, says de Quatrefages, the weapon used by him, in his struggle with nature and the ever-changing geological conditions and elements, was "his psychic force, not his physical strength or body," as in the case of animals. Give man only that dose of intelligence and reason with which other mammalia are endowed, and with his present bodily organization he will show himself the most helpless of creatures of Earth. And as everything goes to prove that the human organism with all its characteristics, peculiarities and idiosyncrasies existed already on our Globe in those far distant geological periods when there was not yet one single specimen of the now-existing forms of mammalia, what is the unavoidable conclusion? Why this: Since all the human races are of one and the same species, it follows that this species is the most ancient of all the now-living mammalia. Therefore it is the most stable and persevering of all, and was already as fully developed as it is now when all the other mammalia now known had not made even their first approach to appearance on this Earth. Such is the opinion of the great French Naturalist, who gives thereby a terrible blow to Darwinism.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 15, 2015 at 10:38pm

Spirit and Matter    SD ii 84-88

Worlds and men were in turn formed and destroyed, under the law of evolution and from pre-existing material, until both the planets and their men, in our case our Earth and its animal and human races, became what they are now in the present cycle: opposite polar forces, an equilibrized compound of Spirit and Matter, of the positive and the negative, of the male and the female. Before man could become male and female physically, his prototype, the creating Elohim, had to arrange his Form on this sexual plane astrally. That is to say, the atoms and the organic forces, descending into the plane of the given differentiation, had to be marshalled in the order intended by Nature, so as to be ever carrying out, in an immaculate way, that law which the Kabala calls the Balance, through which everything that exists does so as male and female in its final perfection, in this present stage of materiality. Chochmah, Wisdom, the Male Sephiroth, had to diffuse itself in, and through, Binah, intelligent Nature, or Understanding. Therefore the First Root-race of men, sexless and mindless, had to be overthrown and "hidden until after a time"; i.e., the first race, instead of dying, disappeared in the second race, as certain lower lives and plants do in their progeny. It was a wholesale transformation.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 20, 2015 at 11:37pm

Spirit and Matter      SD ii 84-88

The Endowers of man with his conscious, immortal EGO, are the "Solar Angels"— whether so regarded metaphorically or literally. The mysteries of the Conscious EGO or human Soul are great. The esoteric name of these "Solar Angels" is, literally, the "Lords" (Nath) of "persevering ceaseless devotion" (pranidhâna). Therefore they of the fifth principle (Manas) seem to be connected with, or to have originated the system of the Yogis who make of pranidhâna their fifth observance (see Yoga Shastra, II., 32.) It has already been explained why the trans-Himalayan Occultists regard them as evidently identical with those who in India are termed Kumâras, Agnishwattas, and the Barhishads.

How precise and true is Plato's expression, how profound and philosophical his remark on the (human) soul or EGO, when he defined it as "a compound of the same and the other." And yet how little this hint has been understood, since the world took it to mean that the soul was the breath of God, of Jehovah. It is "the same and the other," as the great Initiate-Philosopher said; for the EGO (the "Higher Self" when merged with and in the Divine Monad) is Man, and yet the same as the "OTHER," the Angel in him incarnated, as the same with the universal MAHAT

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 27, 2015 at 5:37pm

Can anyone please explain Plato's concept of the same and the other that HPB is celebrating here?

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on March 27, 2015 at 8:26pm
Hi Gerry
As you will see from below  the Ray that forms our mind is in essence the same as the Solar Angels, but it is clothed in other material, the elemental essence of the lower worlds of form which is needed in order to operate and think in a physical world
Likewise the higher self merged with the Monad.  
One is Monadic or Electric fire, one Solar fire, and one Fire by friction, the Triple Evolution you quoted earlier.
Also known as Spirit, Soul, Body
Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on March 28, 2015 at 9:33am

I remember reading in the SD that Plato's notion of the "same and the other" is just another example of his standing as an Initiate.  It is a pivotal idea in better understanding who and what it means to be human.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on March 28, 2015 at 7:26pm

Hi James:

What is the Ray that forms the mind?  Are you referring to the Manasuptras, the entities who gave us the thinking principle? 

And what is a Solar Angel?  Is it our fifth and sixth principle (or Higher Ego)?   Why is the monad (Atma Buddi) electric fire? 

Thank you.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on March 28, 2015 at 8:34pm

Hi Brabaram,    I will post previous post in full to avoid confusion but first the Higher Ego HPB refers to is Manas proper that gave us the thinking principle as you say, (Solar Angel) which shoots out the Ray forming the lower ego at each incarnation. 

Why the Monad is Electric fire is in next post

 Solar Fire...  The givers of intelligence and consciousness to man; Solar Angels/ Solar Devas/Agnishwattas

Could HPB’s use of Solar Angels in the following quote be an attempt to give an English title to the specific ‘job’ of these particular Angel/Devas as they stay with us from ‘Individualisation’ to the end of human evolution, thus separating them from any of the other Deva that may or may not exist on this level.

Quote SD 2-88;  The Endowers of man with his conscious, immortal EGO, are the “Solar Angels”—whether so regarded metaphorically or literally The mysteries of the Conscious EGO or human Soul are great The esoteric name of these “Solar Angels” is, literally, the “Lords” (Nath) of “persevering ceaseless devotion” (pranidhâna)

 To expand on this from various places in HPB’s work;

The Reincarnating Ego and/or Causal Body are spun from the SOLAR ANGELS own Essence – (evolved the protoplasmic forms of the future Egos from their own essence. SD1- 282)- This Ego (Egoic Lotus) is within/or is part of the Causal Body. It represents the best in consciousness one can demonstrate and houses all the beautiful qualities which its owner has developed during the course of all his Lives –often referred to as ‘The Good, The Beautiful, and the True’.

The Causal Body also records all the Skandas, Karma yet to be worked out. Therefore the Cause of all our problems, but also our ‘Salvation’ as we become aware of the Laws of Karma and our ability to work off existing karma and negate any new karma. . Also called Karmic Body by HPB

These Beings are returning Nirvanis from a preceding Mahamanvantara and they Literally came down from higher levels to build and assist the development of the Human Soul 18 million years ago and are still with us guiding our evolution(hence the name ‘Lords of persevering ceaseless devotion’) until we become spiritually independent, --which is at the 4th or Arhat Initiation,- When we are off wheel of rebirth,  Symbolized by Jesus Crucifixion on the Cross of Matter. When evolution ends the Causal Body burns up as it is needed no more and man is a fully evolved Soul.  "Fire and Flame destroy the body of an Arhat, their essence makes him immortal.” (proem 6)

 They have evolved through all seven races in the seven chains of a previous Maha-Manvantara gaining All Wisdom.

 They are said to be the ‘Intelligence behind the mind’ and to use an Allegory, could be likened to a ‘University Professor’ teaching and getting the best out of his student.

 (“They have lit our fire in Lemurian times with a basic instinctual mind” and now “ fan the flame” --so to speak)

 The whole package is within the formless area between the lower mind and the Spiritual Triad, can be simply referred to as ‘The Developing Human Soul/Causal Body, and its Guide and Guardian, the SOLAR ANGEL

 The Mind is still A Spark in the 3rd or Lemurian Race---As the Kama or Desire Body has to be Developed first in the 4th or Atlantian Race,---Before Proper Mind can be Developed in the 5th or Aryan Race,


Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on March 28, 2015 at 8:55pm

Hi Barbaram 

 I can best explain the Monad by going back to part of Gerry post on Triple Evolution  and part of my reply,

Gerry The Secret Doctrine book i p.181-185

It now becomes plain that there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the formation of the three periodical Upadhis; or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. These three are the finite aspects or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of ATMA, the seventh, the ONE REALITY.

1. The Monadic is, as the name implies, concerned with the growth and development into still higher phases of activity of the Monad in conjunction with:—

2. The Intellectual, represented by the Manasa-Dhyanis (the Solar Devas, or the Agnishwatta Pitris) the "givers of intelligence and consciousness" * to man and:—

3. The Physical, represented by the Chhayas of the lunar Pitris, round which Nature has concreted the present physical body. This body serves as the vehicle for the "growth" (to use a misleading word) and the transformations through Manas and—owing to the accumulation of experiences—of the finite into the INFINITE, of the transient into the Eternal and Absolute.

I added...The Triple Evolution;.... Our earth and man,” says the Commentary, “being the products of the three Fires” — whose three names answer, in Sanskrit, to “the electric fire, the Solar fire, and the fire produced by friction,” — these three fires, explained on the Cosmic and human planes, are Spirit, Soul, and Body, the three great Root groups. SD 2-247

Point 1..Monadic..The fire of Spirit (Pavaka) when blended with the two other fires, forms a basis of spiritual life or existence. As evolution precedes these three fires blaze forth simultaneously, producing perfected consciousness. This blaze results in the final purification of matter at the close of physical manifestation and the termination of existence as understood on the lower planes..  Fire and Flame destroy the body of an Arhat, their essence makes him immortal.” (proem 6)

Point 2..Intelligence.. Solar Fire (Suchi) or the Fire of Mind, when blended with the internal fires, is the basis of life in the human kingdom, and united they control partially now and later entirely the lower threefold man as he evolves.  The mind when correctly used is the slayer of Illusion eg. Suchi, “who drinks up water”, i.e., destroys material desires. Glossary.

This Intelligence aspect came in at Individualisation and gave Animal man the ‘spark of the mind’ which allowed him to evolve into an intelligent thinking human being an member of the 4th Kingdom in nature. It also when applied correctly, gifts him with the ability to move into the 5th or Spiritual Kingdom and eventually evolve into the higher worlds.

 Point 3..Physical..The internal fire of matter is called  “Fire by Friction.” (Pavamâna) It is an effect and not a cause, It is produced by the two fires of spirit and of mind (electric and solar fire) contacting each other through the medium of matter. These internal fires are the basis of life in the lower three kingdoms of nature, and in the human kingdom in connection with his lower vehicles The fire of matter does not persist apart from substance itself and when individual evolution ends it is left behind

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on March 28, 2015 at 6:19pm

Gerry, HPB's reference in SDII:88 is to Plato's Timaeus, the reference to "the Same and the Other" can be found in Timaeus 35a and 37a and can be found for instance here:

[35a]Midway between the Being which is indivisible and remains always the same and the Being which is transient and divisible in bodies, He blended a third form of Being compounded out of the twain, that is to say, out of the Same and the Other; and in like manner He compounded it midway between that one of them which is indivisible and that one which is divisible in bodies. And He took the three of them, and blent them all together into one form, by forcing the Other into union with the Same, in spite of its being naturally difficult to mix.

and 37a

[36e] And whereas the body of the Heaven is visible, the Soul is herself invisible but partakes in reasoning and in harmony, [37a] having come into existence by the agency of the best of things intelligible and ever-existing as the best of things generated. Inasmuch, then, as she is a compound, blended of the natures of the Same and the Other and Being, these three portions, and is proportionately divided and bound together, and revolves back upon herself, whenever she touches anything which has its substance dispersed or anything which has its substance undivided she is moved throughout her whole being and announces what the object is identical with [37b] and from what it is different, and in what relation, where and how and when, it comes about that each thing exists and is acted upon by others both in the sphere of the Becoming and in that of the ever-uniform.

It is a complex, yet esoteric representation of the production by the Demiurge of the universe and the nature of the indivisible and the divisible or unity expressed in multiplicity.

It takes a specialized study to delve into this subject, but a very good synopsis can be found here:

and here:

To my mind HPB is hinting again at the formula she expressed in SDI:20-21. The manifested Ego (the human soul) is the same and the other in that it's unmanifested essence is of an indivisible nature (Mahat) and it's manifested aspect part and parcel of what Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (ch.13) calls the Kshetra (the field or perishable body), yet they are essentially the same, i.e., the Same and the Other. In BG ch. 9: "Taking control of my own nature I emanate again and again this whole assemblage of beings, without their will, by the power of the material essence." [prakriti]. Spirit and matter are distinct but the same in essence, thus the Same and the Other. The body is distinct from the astral body, yet, the Same and the Other. The Lunar Pitri is distinct from the Manasa Putra, yet the Same and the Other, idem ditto for lower and higher manas and so forth.

HPB refers at the beginning of the chapter to the fact that the "Fathers" or the Lunar Pitris are the creators of our bodies and lower principles. "They are ourselves, as thefirst personalities, and we are they." So, the Same and the Other, because we have also the manasaputric aspect in us. In a certain sense the Same and the Other can be seen to correspond with the guruparampara chain. Every teacher has a pupil and every pupil has a teacher, yet the teacher is pupil to a higher teacher and the pupil is teacher to a lower pupil, thus the Same and the Other. The same as applied to the logoi, the first is the second, the second is the third and the first is the third as well, all the Same and the Other. We see this principle repeating itself throughout the SD in many different facets. All together an expression of unity in diversity.

We often ask ourselves, "now, am I the manasaputra or am I the lunar pitri?" We are the Same and the Other and in fact neither of them (!) as our essential nature is of an absolute essence and from that perspective it is perhaps more accurate to think of ourselves as being that essence, whereas all the manifested stages of being (monads, manasaputras, lunar pitris, elementals, atoms, lives and so forth) are rather the stages of this absolute consciousness expressing itself temporarily in vehicles, or manifesting and temporary processes. Yet in essence, manifestation is essentially not separated albeit distinct, nor different from the unmanifested as the Absolute is both being and non-being (1st Fundamental), or the Same and the Other.


Permalink Reply by Casady on March 29, 2015 at 12:26pm

It reappears in the Sophist, as well, where the five metaphysical concepts of being, motion, rest, same, and other are developed.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on March 27, 2015 at 7:58pm

Spirit and Matter      SD ii 84-88

I posted the Solar Angel quote together with an expanded explanation on the 4th of January which i think could be helpful here but not sure if you like dual posts
I would just like to add that our lower mind although being a Ray from the Solar Angel and the same in essence, is in the world of form, the Astral light, and therefore clothed in, or made up of  elemental essence on the  involutionary arc and related to globe A.
 In order to evolve we have to learn to control these elementals and  build into our bodies the finest of this essence through right thought,speech and action plus meditation and service.
Also I tend to believe that at each initiations man may get flashes or glimpse of his Angle in one form or another, as nothing in nature develops fully without specific stages in between.
Any spiritual vision of any sort appears to be internal, not external, making it hard for most of us to understand what would be seen or explain how it happens.
Only the Initiate knows and few have ever explained it in any detail for obvious reasons although several have given hints
As HPB states Astrology as being an Exact Science It would stand to reason that the Solar Angels are the ones who pick our time and place of birth, as with all knowledge they would be able to see the past and future, therefore know the exact time and place that we need to be born in order for our birth chart to hold the key to our past incarnation and its karma, plus indicate what we have to learn/avoid in this incarnation in order to evolve as much as possible.
Also this area is Solar fire of the three fires mentioned by Gerry in Triple Evolution
Quotes from CW 12 p710; 
Manas is, as it were, a globe of pure, Divine Light, a Ray from the World Soul, a unit from a higher sphere, in which is no differentiation. Descending to a plane of differentiation it emanates a Ray which is itself, which it can only manifest through the personality already differentiated. This Ray is the Lower Manas, while the globe of Divine Light, a Kumāra on its own plane, is the Higher Ego, or Higher Manas, Manas proper. But it must never be forgotten that the Lower Manas is the same in its essence as the Higher.
This Higher Ego, at incarnation, shoots out the Ray, the Lower Ego. At every incarnation a new Ray is emitted, and yet in essence it is the same Ray, for the essence is always one, the same in you and in me and in everybody. Thus the Higher Ego incarnates in a thousand bodies. The Flame is eternal. From the Flame of the Higher Ego the Lower is lighted, and from this a lower vehicle, and so on. For this Ray can manifest on this Earth, sending out its Māyāvi-Rūpa. The Higher Ego is the Sun, we may say, and the personal Manases are its Rays
This Ray energy colours our overall concept of life. We take on the qualities of our Solar Ray as we evolve, earlier we probably radiate our mind and emotional Rays, karma manas. Therefore it is of benefit to know our Soul Ray and its qualities, thus making it easier to build these qualities into our make-up and therefore aiding our own evolution as each Ray energy is different to another.
An example of the different Ray energy is described by HPB when talking about the Mahatma’s and their Letters.
Master M wrote (precipitated) his letters in Red ‘ink’ symbolizing the 1st Ray while K H’s were in blue of 2nd Ray.
The blue and Red writing style were totally different from each other.
HPB Quotes;
The blue was evidently a man of very gentle and even character, but of tremendously strong will; logical, easy-going, and taking endless pains to make his meaning clear. It was altogether the handwriting of a cultivated and very sympathetic man.”
“The red? Oh that is wholly different. It is fierce, impetuous, dominant, strong; it comes in volcanic outbursts, while the other is like Niagara Falls. One is fire, and the other is the ocean.
Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on March 28, 2015 at 9:39am

Might we compare the Atman with the Sun, Buddhi with its radiance and Manas as an individualized ray of light?  The lower man is yet another extension of this ray.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on March 28, 2015 at 4:45pm

While that may seem like a good analogy it could lead to confusion as what she is referring is these Solar Angels are a Globe of light like/is the Sun shooting out a Ray of themselves. Also as the name Solar implies they are concerned with the second  of three evolutions, the givers of intelligence and consciousness to man.  

If we look back and read  Gerry’s 2nd December post ‘The Triple Evolution’ and my post following this you should get a better idea of these three evolutions  

 Our earth and man,” says the Commentary, “being the products of the three Fires” — whose three names answer, in Sanskrit, to “the electric fire, the Solar fire, and the fire produced by friction,” — these three fires, explained on the Cosmic and human planes, are Spirit, Soul, and Body, the three great Root groups. SD 2-247

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on March 28, 2015 at 6:57pm

Yes, the Sun is the Atma or the heart of the solar system, but we have to keep in mind that this is only a correspondence, not identity, so it is indeed a good analogy, but as James points out, it can lead to confusion if we take things too literally, it's a good practice in our study to always look at the context in which a certain term is used, it keeps our mind flexible :-)

So from the perspective of the manifested solar system the sun can be seen as its 7th principle - counting from below, but from a higher cosmic perspective the sun is only the 5th principle (mahat) - counting from below, or the third logos counting from above.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on March 28, 2015 at 10:36pm

It is my view the Key to the S.D. lies in the  to understanding  the Three Fires and their Triple Evolution.

Then one can isolate which level/system is being discussed.

An example is Grace question on Sun and Atma  and how crossing different evolutionary forms across different levels of  the Triple evolution can cause confusion

 Each of these three systems has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of the highest Dhyanis or "Logoi."

Each is represented in the constitution of man, the Microcosm of the great Macrocosm; and it is the union of these three streams in him which makes him the complex being he now is

As evolution precedes these three fires blaze forth simultaneously, producing perfected consciousness

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 24, 2015 at 10:56am

Modes of Procreation     SD ii 116-121


(a) What will be most contested by scientific authorities is this a-sexual Race, the Second, the fathers of the "Sweat-born" so-called, and perhaps still more the Third Race, the "Egg-born" androgynes. These two modes of procreation are the most difficult to comprehend, especially for the Western mind. It is evident that no explanation can be attempted for those who are not students of Occult metaphysics. European language has no words to express things which Nature repeats no more at this stage of evolution, things which therefore can have no meaning for the materialist. But there are analogies. It is not denied that in the beginning of physical evolution there must have been processes in Nature, spontaneous generation, for instance, now extinct, which are repeated in other forms. Thus we are told that microscopic research shows no permanence of any particular mode of reproducing life. For "it shows that the same organism may run through various metamorphoses in the course of its life-cycle, during some of which it may be sexual, and in others a-sexual; i.e., it may reproduce itself alternately by the co-operation of two beings of opposite sex, and also by fissure or budding from one being only, which is of no sex." * "Budding" is the very word used in the Stanza. How could these Chhayas reproduce themselves otherwise; viz., procreate the Second Race, since they were ethereal, a-sexual, and even devoid, as yet, of the vehicle of desire, or Kama Rupa, which evolved only in the Third Race? They evolved the Second Race unconsciously, as do some plants. Or, perhaps, as the Amœba, only on a more ethereal, impressive, and larger scale. If, indeed, the cell-theory applies equally to Botany and Zoology, and extends to Morphology, as well as to the Physiology of organisms,and if the microscopic cells are looked upon by physical science as independent living beings — just as Occultism regards the "fiery lives" * — there is no difficulty in the conception of the primitive process of procreation.

Permalink Reply by Casady on May 3, 2016 at 10:41am
Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 27, 2015 at 5:43pm

Spontaneous Generation            SD ii 150-159

The Occultists, who believe firmly in the teachings of the mother-philosophy, repel the objections of both theologians and scientists. They maintain, on their side, that, during those periods when there must have been insufferable heat, even at the two poles, successive floods, upheaval of the valleys and constant shifting of the great waters and seas, none of these circumstances could form an impediment to human life and organization, such as is assigned by them to the early mankind. Neither the heterogeneity of ambient regions, full of deleterious gases, nor the perils of a crust hardly consolidated, could prevent the First and Second Races from making their appearance even during the Carboniferous, or the Silurian age itself.

Thus the Monads destined to animate future Races were ready for the new transformation. They had passed their phases of immetalization, of plant and animal life, from the lowest to the highest, and were waiting for their human, more intelligent form. Yet, what could the plastic modellers do but follow the laws of evolutionary Nature? Could they, as claimed by the Biblical dead-letter, form "Lord-God"-like, or as Pygmalion in the Greek allegory, Adam-Galatea out of volcanic dust, and breathe a living soul into Man? No: because the soul was already there, latent in its Monad, and needed but a coating. Pygmalion, who fails to animate his statue, and Bahak-Zivo of the Nazarean Gnostics, who fails to construct "a human soul in the creature," are, as conceptions, far more philosophical and scientific than Adam, taken in the dead-letter sense, or the Biblical Elohim-Creators. Esoteric philosophy, which teaches spontaneous generation — after the Sishta and Prajâpati have thrown the seed of life on the Earth — shows the lower angels able to construct physical man only, even with the help of Nature, after having evolved the ethereal form out of themselves, and leaving the physical form to evolve gradually from its ethereal, or what would now be called, protoplasmic model.

This will again be objected to: "Spontaneous Generation" is an exploded theory, we shall be told. Pasteur's experiments disposed of it twenty years ago, and Professor Tyndall is against it. Well, suppose he is? He ought to know that, should spontaneous generation
be indeed proven impossible in our present world-period and actual conditions — which the Occultists deny — still it would be no demonstration that it could not have taken place under different cosmic conditions, not only in the seas of the Laurentian period, but even on the then convulsed Earth. It would be interesting to know how Science could ever account for the appearance of species and life on Earth, especially of Man, once that she rejects both the Biblical teachings and spontaneous generation. Pasteur's observations, however, are far from being perfect or proven. Blanchard and Dr. Lutaud reject their importance and show that they have none. The question is so far left sub judice, as well as that other one "when, at what period, life appeared on the Earth?" As to the idea that Hæckel's Moneron — a pinch of salt! — has solved the problem of the origin of life, it is simply absurd. Those materialists, who feel inclined to pooh-pooh the theory of the "Self-existent," the "Self-born heavenly man," represented as an ethereal, astral man, must excuse even a tyro in Occultism laughing, in his turn, at some speculations of modern thought. After proving most learnedly that the primitive speck of protoplasm (moneron) is neither animal nor plant, but both, and that it has no ancestors among either of these, since it is that moneron which serves as a point of departure for all organized existence, we are finally told that the Monera are their own ancestors. This may be very scientific, but it is very metaphysical also; too much so, even for the Occultist.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on April 3, 2015 at 12:07am
Hi Gerry, as you never got to The Third Eye I will post from my past notes, all can be found in HPB’s work

 The Third Eye - - The Cyclopean  Eye

 In the beginning man and animals had one eye, what we call the third eye. There was three stages of change

1--As we were firstly astral, then etheric, so was this eye. As we became physical in the early third race this was still the only eye functioning

This was a Spiritual Eye as we were more Spiritual and less Physical then

It could see through matter, but man used it unconsciously, as he had no mind to, know what he was seeing

2 –The stage of Races with three eyes . This occurred as we became more physical  after the parting of the sexes two physical eyes formed

As our spiritual vision  become more dim, the third eye lost its power

3 –By the time the fourth Race arrived at its middle age Two physical eyes were all there was. The third eye getting gradually petrified and  soon disappeared. But leaving behind a witness to its existence, the Pineal Gland

This Inner Sight can now only be acquired through Occult-Raja Yoga training and Initiation

 We have gone from-

 1 “Unconsciously” Having & Using it,--

 2 To “loosing” it,--

 3 Then to a Conscious Development & Use of it”   through the purification practices of Raja Yoga and Initiation,    or    by the longer Road of Evolution

        Also called Eye of Siva,   Deva Eye,    Eye of Dangma