The Doctrine is Taught in St John’s Gospel    

ENQUIRER. . . . if even the orthodox dogma does promise the impenitent sinner and materialist a bad time of it in a rather too realistic Inferno, it gives them, on the other hand, a chance for repentance to the last minute. Nor do they teach annihilation, or loss of personality, which is all the same.

THEOSOPHIST. If the Church teaches nothing of the kind, on the other hand, Jesus does; and that is something to those, at least, who place Christ higher than Christianity.

ENQUIRER. Does Christ teach anything of the sort?

THEOSOPHIST. He does; and every well-informed Occultist and even Kabalist will tell you so. Christ, or the fourth Gospel at any rate, teaches re-incarnation as also the annihilation of the personality, if you but forget the dead letter and hold to the esoteric Spirit. Remember verses I and 2 in chapter xv. of St. John. What does the parable speak about if not of the upper triad in man? Atma is the Husbandman―the Spiritual Ego orBuddhi (Christos) the Vine, while the animal and vital Soul, the personality, is the “branch.” “I am the truevine, and my Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away . . . As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the Vine―ye are the branches. If a man abide not in me he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered and cast into the fire and burned.” Now we explain it in this way. Disbelieving in the hell-fires which theology discovers as underlying the threat to the branches, we say that the “Husbandman” means Atma, the Symbol for the infinite, impersonal Principle,* while the Vine stands for the Spiritual Soul, Christos, and each “branch” represents a new incarnation.

* (During the Mysteries, it is the Hierophant, the "Father," who planted the Vine. Every symbol has Seven Keys to it. The discloser of the Pleroma was always called "Father.")

ENQUIRER. But what proofs have you to support such an arbitrary interpretation?

THEOSOPHIST. Universal symbology is a warrant for its correctness and that it is not arbitrary. Hermas says of “God” that he “planted the Vineyard,” i. e., he created mankind. In the Kabala, it is shown that the Aged of the Aged, or the “Long Face,” plants a vineyard, the latter typifying mankind; and a vine, meaning Life. The Spirit of “King Messiah” is, therefore, shown as washing his garments in the wine from above, from the creation of the world.† And King Messiah is the EGO purified by washing his garments (i. e., his personalities in re-birth), in the wine from above, or BUDDHI. Adam, or A-Dam, is “blood.” The Life of the flesh is in the blood (nephesh―soul), Leviticus xvii. And Adam-Kadmon is the Only-Begotten. Noah also plants a vineyard―the allegorical hot-bed of future humanity. As a consequence of the adoption of the same allegory, we find it reproduced in the Nazarene Codex. Seven vines are procreated — which seven vines are our Seven Races with their seven Saviours or Buddhas — which spring from Iukabar Zivo, and Ferho (or Parcha) Raba waters them.* When the blessed will ascend among the creatures of Light, they shall see Iavar-Xivo, Lord of LIFE, and the First VINE.† These kabalistic metaphors are thus naturally repeated in the Gospel according to St. John (xv., 1).

*1(Codex NazaræusVol. III., pp.60, 61.)

† (Ibid., Vol. II., p. 281.)

from The Key to Theosophy pp186-188 (original edition)


Comments and questions welcome.

Follow on passages can be found here:

Part two:

Part three:

Part four:

Part five:

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"Universal symbology is a warrant for its correctness and that it is not arbitrary."

What does HPB mean by "Universal symbology"?  


Maybe she means the symbology that has parallels in all the ancient traditions and therefore can be verified by different cultures and show a common pattern of meaning.  The serpent, the crocodile, the rose, the lotus for examples.


That makes sense, Tamiko.  I wonder how we can be as sure as HPB when we use Universal Symbology to make our own interpretations of texts and scriptural passages? 


If we start with the notion that Truth is universal and timeless then a correct interpretation of a given symbol would be the same in all cultures and in all times. (Bearing in mind also that symbols can have a variety of meanings in different contexts) Using our best judgement we might be able to discern similarities of interpretation of a symbol from culture to culture.  Our passage this time gives us a clear parallel between notions of the immortality of the soul and the temporary nature of the persona in the Gospels and in Theosophical teachings.  This is one of the great benefits of our SD study.  HPB helps point us to similarities in many different traditions of the forgotten past.


HPB shows in her extensive discourses that there is a universal language of symbolism which Initiates of Esoteric Science, no matter in which part of the globe and to which nations/race they belong, perfectly understand. Geometrical signs, glyphs, myths, allegories etc. are all various modes of this universal language. Mr Judge, in his Notes on the Bhagavadgita, some where says, to the effect that when an Occultist hears a recitation of the hymns of the Vedas, which is in old Sanskrit, instantly understand what they refer to, though he does not know Sanskrit, and belongs to another culture in another part of the world. 


When we persists in the study of Theosophy ,  we begin to see the Universal Symbols in many places some you would not expect,  children's stories, movies, plays etc.  It is as if there is a universal thread from the Universal Mind that is brought into expression, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously.

For the student of the Key to Theosophy, we begin to see this universal language in many forms. 


Yes, "persists" is a good word, Laura.  Study of any topic or science requires persistence and getting to know the language and technical terms used.  As you point out, a study of Theosophy does help us see the Universal Symbols underlying not only the spiritual traditions but of all kinds of events in our lives. I imagine that Plato would have pointed to these as being the Divine Forms/Ideas that underpin the phenomenal world.


Here is the next passage in our study:

Part 2:

Let us not forget that in the human system―even according to those philosophies which ignore our septenary division — the EGO or thinking man is called the Logos, or the Son of King of Soul and Queen of Spirit. “Manas is the adopted Son of King―and Queen―” (esoteric equivalents for Atma and Buddhi), says an occult work. He is the “man-god” of Plato, who crucifies himself in Space (or the duration of the life cycle) for the redemption of MATTER. This he does by incarnating over and over again, thus leading mankind onward to perfection, and making thereby room for lower forms to develop into higher. Not for one life does he cease progressing himself and helping all physical nature to progress; even the occasional, very rare event of his losing one of his personalities, in the case of the latter being entirely devoid of even a spark of spirituality, helps toward his individual progress.

ENQUIRER. But surely, if the Ego is held responsible for the transgressions of its personalities, it has to answer also for the loss, or rather the complete annihilation, of one of such.

THEOSOPHIST. Not at all, unless it has done nothing to avert this dire fate. But if, all its efforts notwithstanding, its voice, that of our conscience, was unable to penetrate through the wall of matter, then the obtuseness of the latter proceeding from the imperfect nature of the material is classed with other failures of nature. The Ego is sufficiently punished by the loss of Devachan, and especially by having to incarnate almost immediately.

Key to Theosophy p188


This is a beautiful description of the role of the EGO:  "...incarnating over and over again, thus leading mankind onward to perfection, and making thereby room for lower forms to develop into higher. Not for one life does he cease progressing himself and helping all physical nature to progress;"

HPB also introduces an interesting notion in the last paragraph, i.e. that the higher EGO may not do enough to help the personal consciousness.  How might we understand this?

Another question is:  why is the loss of Devachan a punishment for the Higher Ego?



Here are my guesses:

"HPB also introduces an interesting notion in the last paragraph, i.e. that the higher EGO may not do enough to help the personal consciousness.  How might we understand this?"

In the passage above, HPB says that the mission of the Ego is to uplift Matter - born over and over again leading the lower forms to perfection.  There are incarnations where the shadow, the personal self fails to develop any spirituality due to its insensitivity;  Hence the Higher Ego has failed to awaken the lower self.    

Another question is:  why is the loss of Devachan a punishment for the Higher Ego?

Devachan is an intense subjective experience of an illusory paradise.   It is also the time when the Higher Self gets to assimilate the spiritual qualities that were acquired during its earthly existence.   This interlude is shortened or skipped if there were nothing for the Ego to absorb.


"There are incarnations where the shadow, the personal self fails to develop any spirituality due to its insensitivity;  Hence the Higher Ego has failed to awaken the lower self."

That's a good point, Barbara. One can imagine how that state of affairs develops (in the sense of worsens) over a series of lives until at some stage a break is finally made between the higher and lower. 

I agree with you about the Devachan - so, the punishment for the EGO is that there is nothing to assimilate from the previous life.



Devachan is a period of rest and assimilation for the Higher Ego.  The personal man is gone and participates in none of the after death states.  So losing the opportunity for rest and assimilation might be seen as a loss for the Higher Ego perhaps.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 25, 2014 at 10:32pm

It is loss to the Higher Ego, certainly. Example is given in the Key : Higher Ego is the  Land Lord, Lower Manas is his labourer sent out to the till the field and bring in the harvest. The labourer may fail to fulfill his obligation through idleness and carelessness, and bring no harvest. He is rejected by the Master as a failure.

As beautifully stated in the Gospel, explained by HPB : Unless the branches (personalities) abide in the vine, (Christ, Divine Ego) they whither and are cast away by the Husbandsman (Atma).

Such failures are whithered branches. 

Branches must abide in the vine, sustained and nourished by the vine, bear grape fruit, which Husbandsman harvests and makes Wine (symbol of Wisdom)

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on June 25, 2014 at 5:59pm

Why did HPB  use the word "Ego" to designate the immortal Self?  Wouldn't it easily get confused with ego its opposite so to speak?

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 25, 2014 at 10:13pm

Ego is the right word to use, because it is the Individuality which is referred to--the unbroken thread of I-am-I consciousness, endless and beginningless.

Immortal Self has three aspects, or rather, One and secondless manifesting in three ways : three-in-one and one-in-three. They are : 

1. Atma, the Higher Self - the Abstract Spirit 

2. Buddhi, the radiance of the first, Abstract Wisdom, differentiated Spirit.

These two are in fact One, the Monad. In that is Ego latent.

3. Manas : Individualized spirit or Egoic consciousness.

In the Atma, Universal Spirit (than which there is nothing higher or precedent, but causeless cause of all that was, is and ever shall be) knowledge of itself can never arise, unless it separates itself from itself as individual self, and knows itself through that separate self. Buddhi is the accumulated wisdom of self-knowledge so gained from time without beginning.

All is Self-Atman, there is nothing other than That. There is but ONE and not many in reality and truth. Universal Brotherhood.

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 26, 2014 at 3:34am

I can understand why you say that, Grace. I guess a part of it is the limitation of language, so HPB tends to distinguish between the personal and the immortal by using capitals as in ego, Ego or EGO.  It's the same with the term 'self' - sometimes we mean myself (the personal) and at other times we mean the Self (Atman).  The former, limited and perceiving of separateness; the latter unlimited and Universal, as Ramprakash has eloquently described it in his post.

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 22, 2014 at 3:17am

Here is the next part of our study passage:

Part 3:

ENQUIRER. This doctrine of the possibility of losing one's soul — or personality, do you call it? — militates against the ideal theories of both Christians and Spiritualists, though Swedenborg adopts it to a certain extent, in what he calls Spiritual death. They will never accept it.

THEOSOPHIST. This can in no way alter a fact in nature, if it be a fact, or prevent such a thing occasionally taking place. The universe and everything in it, moral, mental, physical, psychic, or Spiritual, is built on a perfect law of equilibrium and harmony. As said before (vide Isis Unveiled), the centripetal force could not manifest itself without the centrifugal in the harmonious revolutions of the spheres, and all forms and their progress are the products of this dual force in nature. Now the Spirit (or Buddhi) is the centrifugal and the soul (Manas) the centripetal spiritual energy; and to produce one result they have to be in perfect union and harmony. Break or damage the centripetal motion of the earthly soul tending toward the centre which attracts it; arrest its progress by clogging it with a heavier weight of matter than it can bear, or than is fit for the Devachanic state, and the harmony of the whole will be destroyed. Personal life, or perhaps rather its ideal reflection, can only be continued if sustained by the two-fold force, that is by the close union of Buddhi and Manas in every re-birth or personal life. The least deviation from harmony damages it; and when it is destroyed beyond redemption the two forces separate at the moment of death. During a brief interval thepersonal form (called indifferently Kama rupa and Mayavi rupa), the spiritual efflorescence of which, attaching itself to the Ego, follows it into Devachan and gives to the permanentindividuality its personal colouring (pro tem., so to speak), is carried off to remain inKamaloka and to be gradually annihilated. For it is after the death of the utterly depraved, the unspiritual and the wicked beyond redemption, that arrives the critical and supreme moment. If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the INNER SELF (Manas), to unite something of the personality with itself and the high glimmering ray of the divine Buddhi, is thwarted; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out from the ever-thickening crust of physical brain, the Spiritual EGO or Manas, once freed from the body, remains severed entirely from the ethereal relic of the personality; and the latter, or Kama rupa, following its earthly attractions, is drawn into and remains in Hades, which we call the Kama- loka. These are “the withered branches” mentioned by Jesus as being cut off from the Vine. Annihilation, however, is never instantaneous, and may require centuries sometimes for its accomplishment. But there the personality remains along with the remnants of other more fortunate personal Egos, and becomes with them a shell and an Elementary. As said in Isis, it is these two classes of “Spirits,” the shells and the Elementaries, which are the leading “Stars” on the great spiritual stage of “materialisations.” And you may be sure of it, it is not they who incarnate; and, therefore, so few of these “dear departed ones” know anything of re-incarnation, misleading thereby the Spiritualists.

Key to Theosophy   pp189-191 (original edition)

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 22, 2014 at 10:43am

"If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the INNER SELF (Manas), to unite something of the personality with itself and the high glimmering ray of the divine Buddhi, is thwarted; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out from the ever-thickening crust of physical brain, the Spiritual EGO or Manas, once freed from the body, remains severed entirely from the ethereal relic of the personality; and the latter, or Kama rupa, following its earthly attractions, is drawn into and remains in Hades, which we call the Kama- loka."

This passage certainly carries a 'health warning' and to that extent appears somewhat negative.  However, there is also a very heart stirring and positive aspect implicit in its first part, namely, that during the life time the INNER SELF does seek to unite something of the personality with itself.  Perhaps the manner it which our own INNER SELF seeks to do this is something for each of us to reflect upon in the privacy of our own thoughts, meditation or silence.


Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 22, 2014 at 3:12pm

I have a few questions regarding this week's study:

1. " .....INNER SELF (Manas) - is this higher Manas and is referred to here as the inner self? 

2.  Karma rupa is another term for the personality, which is comprised of lower manas, kama, and prana? 

3.  Even If the higher Manas or inner self does not succeed in uniting itself with some parts of personality, eventually everything goes back to the One.  In a sense, nothing is really lost.  It is not the best scenario but it is just a matter of lost opportunity?

4.  If the Higher Manas tries to attach something of the lower vehicles, how about attaching itself to the Spiritual Ego, Buddhi Manas?   Does this only happen after death?

5.  Is Manas the same as Mind?  What is the difference, if any, between manas as a vehicle and Manas as Mind?

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 23, 2014 at 2:41am

Responses to the five queries : It seems to me :

1. Inner Self seems to be Higher Manas. It may also be called Inner Ego. In the Ocean, in the chapter on Manas, Mr. Judge speaks of different aspects of Manas : i. Lower or Kama Manas, joined to Kama, Prana and Astral Body; ii. Inner Ego, which is Manas proper, the indestructible Individuality, which goes through innumerable reincarnations, itself unchanging, harvesting essential experiences of each of its mortal shadows; iii. Divine Ego, which evolved through assimilation of those quintessential life's experiences into Buddhi.

Again, in her article, psychic and Noetic Action, HPB says that the Higher Manas has a mission, which is to gradually rid the personality of its illusions in order to make of it a perfect instrument of itself on this plane.

Hence Inner Self seems to refer to Higher Manas--Inner Ego proper, which is quasi-omniscient.

2. Kama Rupa spoken of in the passage cited appears to be spook which is left behind by the Ego in Kama Loka when it ascends to Devachan. It is a relic of personality which disappeared, but devoid of mind or conscience.

3. It is a lost opportunity to the personality and a loss to the Higher Ego also. It seems nothing much is lost provided the lost ground is regained by the Ego in subsequent rebirths. If not, it will be a terrible loss. Entire annihilation of personality is a distinct prospect in case of materialists but it is rare, because something of the personality does survive. There are stages and degrees of loss of personality. In the preliminary stages of the downward course, it may, through effort and by the strength of past good Karma, it may re-establish the broken link.

4. Perfectly right. Attaching to the Buddhi follows. Assimilation of Manasic experiences garnered from earth-life is added on to Buddhi after Devachainc dream-life.

5. Higher Manas is Divine Mind, a Divine Ego. Lower Manas is Mind, the thinking principle, and it is also, at the same time, an Entity, Soul.  This is a mystery which baffles me.

In Patanjali Yoga Aphorisms it is said that Yoga is hindering of the modifications of the Thinking Principle (Chitta). Who controls the modifications of the Mind ? It is Mind itself, the Entity, the Soul.

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 24, 2014 at 4:19am

There's a thought provoking passage in the SD on the 'human mind.'

"Between man and the animal – whose monads (or Jivas) are fundamentally identical – there is the impassable abyss of Mentality and Self-consciousness. What is human mind in its higher aspect, whence comes it, if it is not a portion of the essence – and, in some rare cases of incarnation, the very essence – of a higher Being: one from a higher and divine plane? Can man – a god in the animal form – be the product of Material Nature by evolution alone, even as is the animal, which differs from man in external shape, but by no means in the materials of its physical fabric, and is informed by the same, though undeveloped, Monad – seeing that the intellectual potentialities of the two differ as the Sun does from the Glow-worm? And what is it that creates such difference. unless man is an animalplus a living god within his physical shell? Let us pause and ask ourselves seriously the question, regardless of the vagaries and sophisms of both the materialistic and the psychological modern sciences."  (SD I 81)

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 24, 2014 at 4:33am

4.  If the Higher Manas tries to attach something of the lower vehicles, how about attaching itself to the Spiritual Ego, Buddhi Manas?   Does this only happen after death?

Good question, Barbara.  I can't see why a partial assimilation of the spiritual aspects of the personal consciousness to Buddhi-Manas shouldn't happen during life if a sound connection has been made.   However, it may be that for as long as 'the bridge' between the two 'entities' exists during the lifetime a full assimilation cannot occur. In other words, the full assimilation is part of the process of withdrawing the manasic ray from its vehicle at the end of the lifetime and as part of the stages of the after death process.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 25, 2014 at 2:13am

That is perfectly right. Assimilation of essence of life's experiences can only happen after bodily death, in the state of Devachan, for unregenerate mortals who have not overcome their lower selves. 

It is only for high Chelas, who have irretrievably pledged to sacrifice themselves to work for relief of Orphan Humanity's Great Pain, it is possible to skip long Devachanic interludes between births so that they may come back soon to labour for Humanity. They are helped out of Devachan by Masters, of course with full concurrence of the Ego so helped, with a perfect understanding of the consequences of such an awful sacrifice.

In such cases, the Ego returns immediately to rebirth. Consequence of which is that during its next earth-life the Chela, in obedience to his sacred pledge, continue his selfless labour for humanity, and, simultaneously assimilate the rich harvest of previous life's experiences while in the midst of trials and tribulations of earth-life + assimilate the experiences of his new earth-life also, all of which involve such a strain and stress on the whole of the inner man that it cannot even be imagined by us, who wince even under small stresses of life.  

So, except in such rare cases of foregoing Devachan by high Chelas, assimilation of life's experiences is possible only in Devachan. It is pretty obvious why it must be so.

Justice, Mercy and absolute Wisdom and beauty of the Karmic Law governing Ego's progress through its dual existence, alternating between material earthly life and spiritual post-mortem life, is very evident.  

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 27, 2014 at 7:41am

Yes, this makes sense much more sense.  And I think it would be very helpful learning to recognize those moments when the light of buddhi penetrates through the crust of matter.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on July 7, 2014 at 10:22pm

Kama-rupa rather than karma-rupa correct?

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 25, 2014 at 9:40am

From part three of our study passages:

"The universe and everything in it, moral, mental, physical, psychic, or Spiritual, is built on a perfect law of equilibrium and harmony. As said before (vide Isis Unveiled), the centripetal force could not manifest itself without the centrifugal in the harmonious revolutions of the spheres, and all forms and their progress are the products of this dual force in nature. Now the Spirit (or Buddhi) is the centrifugal and the soul (Manas) the centripetal spiritual energy; and to produce one result they have to be in perfect union and harmony. Break or damage the centripetal motion of the earthly soul tending toward the centre which attracts it; arrest its progress by clogging it with a heavier weight of matter than it can bear, or than is fit for the Devachanic state, and the harmony of the whole will be destroyed. Personal life, or perhaps rather its ideal reflection, can only be continued if sustained by the two-fold force, that is by the close union of Buddhi and Manas in every re-birth or personal life."

Would anyone like to comment on the centripetal and centrifugal forces in relation to Buddhi and Manas?  What kind of thing would this mean in practice for our day to day lives?

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 27, 2014 at 10:01am

If anyone would like to put their understanding into words with regards our current study and, perhaps, on the nature of centripetal and centrifugal forces, that would be grand :-)

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 28, 2014 at 5:48am

Centripetal and Centrifugal forces.  Some thoughts:

Picture the movement of a planet around the sun.  There are two key forces involved in its circular path around the sun, the centre of the circle.  The centripetal is that force which could be said to ‘tie’ or ‘pull in’ the moving planet to the sun.  The centrifugal is that force, which, if left to itself would take the planet off at a tangent into space - i.e. out of its orbit and away from the sun.

A simple example would be to imagine a conker or small object on the end of a piece of string that a child whirls around in a circle.  The piece of string is equivalent to the centripetal force which keeps the motion of the conker in its circular path. The centrifugal force is that force which pulls away from the centre and would cause the conker to career off on a completely different path into space if the child let go of the string.

To come back to our planet, where there are no strings attached - the continued orbit of the planet around the sun relies on these two forces being in balance.  

If the centrifugal force were to suddenly, massively overcome the centripetal force then the planet would break its orbit and career off into space and away from the sun (the centre of the circle). If this happened more slowly, with the centrifugal force gradually overcoming the centripetal force, the planet would start to orbit further and further away from the sun. Eventually, it would break away from its orbit as the centripetal force lost its power of attraction to the centre.

On the other hand, if the centripetal force which keeps the planet circling the sun overcomes the centrifugal force, then the planet will eventually be pulled into the sun.

Put very simply, from this example we could say that the centripetal force is that force which is inward pulling towards the centre, while the centrifugal force is that force which is outward going, pulling always away from the centre.

We might see a number of analogies here with regards to the Sipritual Ego and the personal ego.

Transferring these concepts to Theosophy, we would normally think of the force drawing us back to the centre (the centripetal) as the spiritual tending force, while the force pulling us away from the centre (the centrifugal) as being the material tending force.  However, in our study passage HPB refers to Buddhi as the Centrifugal and Manas as Centripetal force.  How should we understand this?  Is it an error in the printing?  Is there a deeper meaning?

Any thoughts?

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 28, 2014 at 10:48am

That is a nice illustration of the two opposite forces. The question is why Buddhi is c.f. and Manas c.p. ? Some thoughts :

The Third Fundamental Proposition says that all souls are fundamentally identical with the Universal Over Soul, and that every Soul is under the inescapable necessity of performing a long journey through all the kingdoms of Nature, beginning with the most elementary to the more complex by natural impulse, and then enter the human stage when it acquires Individuality, after which its further progress towards its final destination of conscious reabsorption into One Life, by self-induced and self devised ways and means checked by its Karma. 

The inescapable necessity of Souls to plunge into forms is the c.f. force; it is the Karmic Evolutionary energy. 

This cycle of necessity is represented in an allegory in the Zohar, which is quoted in the Key. The Soul pleads before the Deity, O Master, I am happy in the world of spirit and would not wish to go into another world where I shall be a hand maid. But the Lord of the Universe says that against his (Soul's) will he (the soul) will become embryo and take birth in the world.

c.f. force is said to proceed from Buddhi. But is not Buddhi by itself inert without Atma, the ultimate basis of all that was, is and will be ? Buddhi is the first vesture of Atma, in which vesture action begins. Buddhi is in fact Mahat, the aggregate of seven primordial Rays of the Logos - the universal 6th Principle. They are the first seven breaths of the Dragon of Wisdom (Logos) (SD I, 106) This Primordial Seven produce from their holy circumgyrating breaths Fiery whirlwind, ie., Fohat. Dzyu, universal Wisdom, becomes Fohat, ie., universal omnipotent creative force (p.107-8)

Hence Buddhi is the c.f. force.

Why Manas is c.p. force ?

Because Manas is a ray of Mahat, of the seven Primordial Seven Breaths. Hence the Son of the Universal Mind has a natural  natal affinity with its Divine Parent. It ever tends to reunite with its parent. It is c.p. tendency inherent in the Higher Mind. But it can reunite only by assimilating all experiences of manifested Mahat through reincarnations checked by its Karma. This compulsive going forth is c.f. force.

Two powerful factors operate the c,f, force : one, the impulse proceeding from Buddhi ; second, Kama, the principle of passions and desires which develop into insatiable thirst for life, Tanha, which drive the Ego into rebirths after rebirths. An aspect of c.f. force. 

Higher Manas is divine in nature and full of devotion. The Immortal Egos are the Solar Angels, Lords, Agniswatta Pitris. Their natural state is "persevering ceaseless devotion"--Pranidhana. (SD ii. p. 88) Manas is 5th priniciple, and Iswara Pranidhana--ceaseless Devotion to Iswara, the Higher Self,  is 5th discipline under the 5  of Religious Observances in Patanjali Yoga Aphorisms.

Hence Manas is c.f. force.

But, the Lower Ego,the personality, its reflection on earth, through which it (the Higher Ego) has to gain its great end, goads it to the bitter end. Though innocent, as HPB says, Higher Ego takes on the sins of its terrestrial reflection and suffer. What a sacrifice ! --Christos crucified on the cross of flesh for the redemption of the flesh : the true meaning of the Church dogma of Vicarious Atonement.

So it seems.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 28, 2014 at 5:12pm

Sorry for the mistake. 

3rd para from the bottom of my last post reads :

Hence Manas is c.f. force.

It should read : 

Hence Manas is c.p. force.

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 29, 2014 at 10:03am

This is a great post, Ramprakash.  Thanks.

There are still some aspects of the centrifugal-centripetal dimension that don't quite fit for me. But that could just be me, of course.  For example, it could be argued that Mahat manifesting the Ideas in the Divine Mind is a centrifugal Force rather than a centripetal one.  

Tanha and kama do seem to naturally fall into the centrifugal category, always tending towards the phenomenal and away from the spiritual centre.  Not sure we can include Buddhi in that category.

When Manas gets identified with tanha and kama it gets carried further and further away from its spiritual source.  Manas has to overcome this centrifugal force of tanha and kama if it would unit itself with Buddhi.   The more it (manas) frees itself of tanha and kama, the more it falls within the centripetal influence of Buddhi or rather of the Monad (Atma-Buddhi).

Manas, could be thought of as both centrifugal and centripetal as a dual entity during incarnation.  The lower tending outwards towards the phenomenal world, the Higher as the heaven aspiring mind towards Buddhi.

Anyway, I don't have any strong views either way on these interpretations - I just wanted to open it up as a question for discussion.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 29, 2014 at 4:48pm

For discussion sake:  We could say that what is centripedal and what is centrifugal (drawing to a center, drawing to the periphery) are part of a dialectical breathing of the mind.  If we draw the mind to a point exclusively on an idea what tends to occur is a penetration of the idea and a perspective that connects the idea with other unseen ideas.  So in this example we have both forces at work.  When the mind is drawn back to a question ( a point perhaps) we come back to the center, with reflections on the question we gather a penumbra of meanings and ideas that perhaps leads to a new question.  And so the cycle continues.  So too we see this cyclic process born out on the cosmic stage.   So it might be possible to see both centripetal and centrifugal forces at work in all the vestures and at all levels.  The problem occurs with the cycle is broken and the flow interrupted.

This is really the second fundamental principle at work. Which we know pervades all of manifestion even to the highest levels.

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 30, 2014 at 2:46am

Nice example of the two forces, Gerry.

"So it might be possible to see both centripetal and centrifugal forces at work in all the vestures and at all levels." 

Yes, I think that is the case.  I think too, as Ramprakash seems to suggests (if I've understood him correctly in relation to Buddhi), we have to take into account both the nature of the 'individual' Principle we are looking at and the force or forces which flow through it from a 'higher' plane.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 30, 2014 at 1:15am

Peter, you said 

" could be argued that Mahat manifesting the Ideas in the Divine Mind is a centrifugal Force rather than a centripetal one.  "

How can it be only one of the pair of two. The two opposite forces are a pair, inseparable. Mahat has both these in it. CFF, cosmically,  is Karma of all beings in collectivity which compel going forth. In the 8th chapter of the Bhagavadgita Karma is defined as an emanation which causes existence and reproduction of creatures. The Karmic Law, the Law of all laws is focused in Mahat, and, consequently in the heart of every creature, by which the universe comes into existence and evolves.

Sun has these two forces, cp and cf, operating by which the planets are kept in harmonious revolutions. The theory of gravitation and the Newton's third law of motion, do not explain it. It is only a theory. They will be compelled to discard it one day. The Occult theory is that these two forces operate in the Sun. But is the Sun the originator of it ? No. Sun is only an illusive reflection in space of the Real Sun, the Spiritual Sun, Logos or Mahat, whose actions are reflected, as in a mirror, in the Sun. 

The origin of this dynamic pair of opposite forces has its first impulse in the Spiritual Sun, the synthesis of the seven Primordial Rays of Logos :

"The Primordial Seven, the first Seven Breaths of the Dragon of Wisdom, produce in their turn from their holy circumgyrating breaths the Fiery Whirlwind." (Stanza V, verse 1, p. 106 of SD i)

This is the spiritual intelligent cause of harmonious planetary motion. Just as the Spiritual Sun is aggregate of Seven Rays or primordial Hierarchies, constituting supra-solar upadhi in which spiritual forces correlate, so the seven mystical rays of the physical sun form collectively the Solar upadhi in which all the correlations of forces (known and unknown to science) operate in the solar system.(SD i. fn p. 515)

In the same way, I think, the two opposite forces are centred in man.

There is an innate natal devotion in the human heart which tends naturally to rise to its Spiritual Centre. it is cpf. In the 16th chapter Krishna says that Faith -- Sraddha -- proceeds from Sattva quality, and that all creatures are gifted with it.

But the cff also proceeds from Buddhi because the Ego-Soul has to evolve by assimilating experiences of life. Hence the out-going force, CFF, drives the Ego into manifestation in forms. This CFF is focussed in all sentient beings as Tanha, thirst for life, Kama, passion, arising out of Egoism, resulting in cycles of reincarnations under Karmic Law.  Without this Rajasic centrifugal  Force no evolution is possible. In Yoga aphorisms it is said that it is felt by the Wise as well as the unwise, and all life's struggles, sorrows, confusions, disappointments, tears of pain--the fruits of Karmic Retribution-- has a great end and purpose, and that is Emancipation of Soul. The emancipated soul has conquered this Rajasic outgoing force.

Right balancing of these two forces in the life of man ensures spiritual continuity of the personal consciousness in Eternity. If broken by too much sense indulgences and selfishness, the personality cannot remain within the orbit of the law of spiritual continuity, and risks annihilation.

This was so well understood and life of society was governed in ancient India. 

CFF was Artha  and Kama, which means, striving to acquire wealth and satisfy Kama, desires natural to man. But these two pursuits were governed by Dharma, (CPF) the Moral Order of the Universe--"I am Desire regulated by Moral fitness" says Krishna in the Bhagavadgita. The final goal and ideal of life was ever in focus, which is soul's emancipation from limitations and miseries of conditioned existence = Nirvana, Moksha. Thus Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha constituted the four-fold object of life.

So was the social order organized in ancient Greece--on similar lines. West has forgotten it.

Emancipation of all beings was the chief Ideal and object which moved the high civilization of the past. It was thus the Law of spiritual Continuity was kept in perfect harmony, which, at last, led man naturally and gradually to the final goal of Emancipation, true  Freedom

Pravritti Marga is CFF, outgoing tendency ; Nivritti Marga, inward looking higher aspiring tendency, is CPF. 

Both these were recognized as legitimate. Both were governed by Dharma. 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 30, 2014 at 1:59am

That's another great post, Ramprakash.  Thanks.

"How can it [Mahat] be only one of the pair of two."

Yes, of course you are right.  I was only suggesting that it could be seen as either - just as I mentioned later on in my post with reference to Manas.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 30, 2014 at 10:30am

The margas might be correlated with western mysticism in the concepts of via negativa and via positiva.  One must negate the tendency towards a separative self, but on the other hand connect with the whole. These two practices could be correlated with the centripetal and centrifugal motions of the macrocosm.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 30, 2014 at 10:14pm


Via negative would be, as Mr, Judge says in his Notes on the Bhagavadgita, giving up bad associations, habits of thought and tendencies; via positiva would be cultivating good associations (Sat-sangh), study of the Teachings of the Wise, try to put them into practice, developing virtues and continuing in this path throughout life. That is, he says, the sure foundation of laying foundation for Adeptship.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 28, 2014 at 11:15am

Hi Peter,

Maybe, Manas is centripetal because the spirit is drawn to express itself through matter during manifestation?  It is different in the unmanifested state. 

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 28, 2014 at 5:34pm

Yes. Manas is embodied Spirit. Atma-Buddhi-Manas are One with three aspects. So Manas has natural affinity to its Divine Parent, Atma-Buddhi.

But when incarnate, the same Manas becomes dual, the lower aspect incarnated and the higher standing above as witness and a Watcher, and also admonisher (Conscience) and Guide, if permitted to be so by the personality.

Dharma of man is to heed and live by the dictates of the Higher Self. Neglecting to do so, and following the whims of Kama, Lower mind tends to animalism, and loses its inner perception of, and link to, the Higher Manas--which, if persisted in life after life, results in what is called Spiritual Death or annihilation of personality.

There is natural devotion in human heart. Divinity is the very essence of our being it shines in the Heart. It is the cp force. But mere intellectualism and sensuality kills that natural higher impulse. Education and culture and modes of modern life is centered around personality as if it is the be-all and the end-all. 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 30, 2014 at 2:17am

Here is the next part of our study passage:

Part 4.

ENQUIRER. But does not the author of “Isis Unveiled” stand accused of having preached against re-incarnation?

THEOSOPHIST. By those who have misunderstood what was said, yes. At the time that work was written, re-incarnation was not believed in by any Spiritualists, either English or American, and what is said there of re-incarnation was directed against the French Spiritists, whose theory is as unphilosophical and absurd as the Eastern teaching is logical and self-evident in its truth. The Re-incarnationists of the Allan Kardec School believe in an arbitrary and immediate re-incarnation. With them, the dead father can incarnate in his own unborn daughter, and so on. They have neither Devachan, Karma, nor any philosophy that would warrant or prove the necessity of consecutive re-births. But how can the author of “Isis” argue against Karmic re-incarnation, at long intervals varying between 1,000 and 1,500 years, when it is the fundamental belief of both Buddhists and Hindus?

ENQUIRER. Then you reject the theories of both the Spiritists and the Spiritualists, in their entirety?

THEOSOPHIST. Not in their entirety, but only with regard to their respective fundamental beliefs. Both rely on what their “Spirits” tell them; and both disagree as much with each other as we Theosophists disagree with both. Truth is one; and when we hear the French spooks preaching re-incarnation, and the English spooks denying and denouncing the doctrine, we say that either the French or the English “Spirits” do not know what they are talking about. We believe with the Spiritualists and the Spiritists in the existence of “Spirits,” or invisible Beings endowed with more or less intelligence. But, while in our teachings their kinds and genera are legion, our opponents admit of no other than human disembodied “Spirits,” which, to our knowledge, are mostly Kamalokic SHELLS.

ENQUIRER. You seem very bitter against Spirits. As you have given me your views and your reasons for disbelieving in the materialization of, and direct communication in seances, with the disembodied spirits — or the “spirits of the dead” — would you mind enlightening me as to one more fact? Why are some Theosophists never tired of saying how dangerous is intercourse with spirits, and mediumship? Have they any particular reason for this? 

THEOSOPHIST. We must suppose so. I know I have. Owing to my familiarity for over half a century with these invisible, yet but too tangible and undeniable “influences,” from the conscious Elementals, semi-conscious shells, down to the utterly senseless and nondescript spooks of all kinds, I claim a certain right to my views.

ENQUIRER. Can you give an instance or instances to show why these practices should be regarded as dangerous?

THEOSOPHIST. This would require more time than I can give you. Every cause must be judged by the effects it produces. Go over the history of Spiritualism for the last fifty years, ever since its reappearance in this century in America — and judge for yourself whether it has done its votaries more good or harm. Pray understand me. I do not speak against real Spiritualism, but against the modern movement which goes under that name, and the so-called philosophy invented to explain its phenomena.

The Key to Theosophy, pp 191-193

Permalink Reply by Peter on July 4, 2014 at 3:21am

ENQUIRER. But does not the author of “Isis Unveiled” stand accused of having preached against re-incarnation?

For those not familiar with the history this refers to the dispute between HPB and the Allen Kardec School, which taught reincarnation of the personality.  As we should know by now from this study, HPB refutes the idea that the personality reincarnates.  That which reincarnates is Manas and it does so into a  'new' personality in each life - that personality shaped by Karma and the skandhas of the previous life time.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on July 4, 2014 at 8:02am

"That which reincarnates is Manas"

What is the relationship between Manas and consciousness?

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on July 4, 2014 at 10:18am

This is a difficult question. The best answer to is found in HPB's discussion on it in transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, pp 28 and 29. 

Scientific (modern) view is there is no mind without brain, and no consciousness without mind. In short, activity of the cerebral cortex is the  cause of mind, and consciousness, as  Epi-phenomena.

HPB says that what science says is true so far as mind and consciousness are concerned on the physical or physiological plane; but that it is not necessarily so on higher planes.

Lower Mind is one thing; but the Higher Divine Ego is another wholly independent of Lower Mind and its vehicle brain, and the resultant of the two--consciousness.

But even then there must be something analogous to brain on higher planes for Higher Mind to act through which results in consciousness on those higher planes.

She suggests, Mahat, the Intellectual Soul of the World, acts as the brain, through which Universal and Eternal Mind radiates the "Ah-hi", representing resulting consciousness or ideation.

So we have a triad : Brain -- Mind - Consciousness. This triad we understand on our physiological plane.

The triad on the highest manifested Kosmos is : Mahat - Universal Mind - consciousness (Cosmic Ideation)

Perhaps the same analogy holds good on the seven planes through which the Higher Ego functions, beyond the ken of Lower Mind-consciousness.That is, there must be something very subtle corresponding to brain, a Mind and the resulting consciousness on every one of the seven Cosmic planes and sub-planes.

HPB's teaching that Mind is a distinct Entity or Soul is to be kept in mind.

Permalink Reply by Peter on July 5, 2014 at 11:54am

“What is the relationship between Manas and consciousness?”

Hi Barbara,

Perhaps we need to ask, ‘what is consciousness?’  

Ultimately it’s unknowable from our perspective, as it has its source in the Absolute.  Whether we call that source Absolute Consciousness or Absolute Unconsciousness, it is inconceivable to us who cannot imagine consciousness without something to be conscious of.

In the SD we read that one aspect of the Absolute is Unconditioned Consciousness, symbolised by the term ‘The Great Breath’. This is very similar to the Advaitee’s description of Atman - i.e. unconditioned or pure consciousness - which is often described as ‘One without a second… with nothing for it to know and no one to know it.’   Indeed, in CW XII 615 HPB says ‘The Great Breath’ is Atman.

When it comes to manifestation or differentiation we read in the SD that the Great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation, which is “the fons et origo of force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. . . precosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature.”  SD I 15.

It seems, then, that the interplay between pre cosmic Ideation and and pre cosmic root-substance  (spirit and matter) results in different types and varieties of consciousness welling up in different upadhis (objective planes of nature).  Or as HPB writes in THE KEY:

“Each of the seven fundamental planes (or layers) in space―of course as a whole, as the pure space of Locke's definition, not as our finite space―has its own objectivity and subjectivity, its own space and time, its own consciousness and set of senses.”   Key to Theosophy 88-89

So, Manas is a particular kind of consciousness, which includes ‘self-consciousness’, and which wells up on its own fundamental plane as a result of this interplay between cosmic ideation and cosmic substance (it is no longer ‘pre’ once in manifestation).   No doubt the upadhi (the substance of that plane) must first have reached a certain stage of evolutionary development before that latent ‘self-consciousness’ is able to manifest itself.

In its turn, when Manas projects a ray of itself into ‘matter’ during incarnation a further, secondary kind of ‘self-consciousness’ arises in a very limited and conditioned form compared to its source (Higher Manas), which is also limited compared to its source, universal Mind and so on.

Ultimately, though, that thread of consciousness is traceable back to its source - Unconditioned Consciousness. If it were not so, how would Realisation ever be possible?

This may be too general a reply to your question.  I’m just thinking perhaps it might be useful to try to get an overview of the big picture or general principle.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on July 5, 2014 at 6:21pm

Hi Peter and Ramprakash:

Thank you for the thoughtful posts.  We are usually so engrossed with the objects of perception but hardly ever wonder the mysterious faculty that enables us to be aware.  I have read that consciousness is a faculty of Manas, which seems to make sense.  I have also seen that consciousness is the root of Mind while in manifestation, which corresponds to your message.   When we think Manas in humans, we think of "self-consciousness" as its unique attribute and, as you suggested, this could just one particular type of consciousness.  

To see the source of consciousness comes from the Absolute and the interaction between Spirit and Matter produces consciousness, is helpful.  We are taught, that everything has consciousness.  Where is there is life, there is consciousness.    These are very profound mysteries that continue to elude us.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on July 4, 2014 at 9:26am

In her refutation of the idea of personality reincarnating, she makes one exception. Can someone give an account of it as one understands, without quoting HPB (as James would say) ?

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on July 4, 2014 at 8:34pm

Hi Ramprakash   

Can you give where she says this the please

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on July 4, 2014 at 10:19pm

Why James, it is on the very pages of Isis Unveiled in which she says personality does not reincarnate as a rule. She gives one exception to it. Pl refer to Isis vol. i, p.351.

This page has to be read carefully, because the printers's devil made a mistake which distorted her teaching, giving rise to controversies. She, nevertheless, clarified and corrected the printer's error and explained the tenet we are discussing with clarity. Her clarification can be found in her article, "Theories about Reincarnation and Spirits" in HPB Article vol. ii, p. 274 et.seq., a lengthy article. This is a highly important teaching, we should not miss to study.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by barbaram on July 5, 2014 at 8:06am

Hi James:

Can you resend your post on manas and consciousness?  I would like to study it but do not see it on the forum.

Thank you.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on July 6, 2014 at 1:49am

Hi Barbarm  

I was going to post this a couple of days ago but it got lost, I then decided not to as it needs a separate  thread on consciousness , however as it does touch on mamas-consciousness-Psyche and how they touch the higher states, so at you request I will reinsert slightly changed.

As I understand it we are a developing Human Soul of which the Psyche and Consciousness are a part of, if not exactly the same thing. Just as we develop our physical body, so we must develop the emotional and lower mental bodies, then the higher mind, followed by our Buddhic vehicle etc. I also believe that in order to understand consciousness and its evolution we need to start at the beginning and work our way up. Look closely at the returning Narvanee’s who gave us the spark of the mind which is the middle principle between Spirit and Matter, also referred to as higher Manas. This enabled us to separate from the animals and start our long journey back to spirit through self-assertion.  They also gave us the causal body as store house of all our knowledge and good actions etc. over our many lives.

She also states lower mind, emotional and physical are planes while the higher are more like states than planes, presumably states of awareness. This would be from our human prospective only.

By only trying to understand it by comparison with it higher counterpart negates our developing/evolving aspect which is very important for our evolution I consider.

We are here to evolve through all states and learn by experience. HPB, while giving us that side of evolution, has not always tied it in clearly when talking about the mind. The mind is still developing, we got the spark of the mind in Lemuria where the physical development was foremost, then the Atlantis period where the astral-emotional-feeling body was developed, now in the Aryan race it is the minds turn to develop which we do by using it in the material world for developing and acquiring material things as well as other areas.   All this can be called the developing/development of the Human Soul, the Psyche. As an example we started procreation in Lemuria with pure lust and no real maternal instincts, no marriage; we slowly evolve to sentimental personality love and marriage which teaches us all about the joys and sorrows of family life and love of family members From there we move to the spiritual life where we learn about Universal love, Brotherhood and the One life which pervades us all. Our mind has to be reasonably well developed before we become interested in, and study the Wisdom Teachings. This mind development has been greatly helped by modern education, also the internet, TV, news of the world in our home etc. but it also becomes a negative when mere intellectualism is seen as the all and why the time was right for HPB to write the SD. It is only by education, mind development and consciousness expansion that we become aware of a bigger picture. A narrow focused religious fundamentalist, who only believes in his version of the Scriptures and his personal God, has a lot of mental expansion to achieve before he will accept HPB’s teachings. She suggested all Theosophists should become Jana Yogi’s by studying her works, by this one would presume she meant they  would be ready for the next step in the next life, and this is what we are all doing here, attempting to expand our minds. Also It is only through the lower mind that we can eventually unite with higher or abstract mind, which at the third Initiation/expansion of consciousness these two become ‘like twins upon the line’, VOS.   

However we cannot unite with higher Manas without first building the antahkarana or rainbow bridge which is built from below upwards,  or from lower mind to higher by personal effort. This is sometimes known as Thread soul or sattva.

This I believe is built in two stages or strands, the first being built by right thought, right speech, right action in all areas of everyday life.

The second and perhaps most important if we want the Intuition and higher insights to be accessible in everyday life, is by study and practice of the Occult-Raja yoga system and its meditation. It is this daily ‘up and down’, ‘up and down’ of regular meditation that builds this thread. A bit like paving a path, one paver a day.    I am not promoting this meditation, just pointing it out.

Occultists explain it as the path or bridge between the Higher and the Lower Manas, the divine Ego, and the personal Soul of man…SD-( personal soul being the developing human soul which eventually becomes our own higher Manas or fully developed Soul, thus allowing these returning Nivanee’s free to carry on with their own evolution elsewhere-James)

HPB showed us symbolically with the centre connecting triangles of her coloured diagram, of which I inserted only the triangles below. Note antahkarana is shown in green of lower mind indicating it is built from below of mental essence.  From this we get the meaning of the interlaced triangles of Theosophy. These colors are important as well and she refers to then in the meditation section

Below is HPB’s description of the contemplation or samadhi stage in meditation, It takes a lot of mind training practice for the lower mind to become completely still, and become only a mirror of the above which is then reflected down to where the lower mind is also the receiving tablet. Our normal tendency is for the mind to latch onto the first movement that come within its radius, thus ending any downward reflection.... The mind needs to be held alive and alert, still and receptive while being illumined from above.  HPB uses the word ‘Trance’ but this is not the blank mindedness we usually associate with trance. Nor is it the unconsciousness trance of a trance medium.

……By reflection, self-knowledge and intellectual discipline, the soul can be raised to the vision of eternal truth, goodness, and beauty —that is, to the Vision of God…-from HPB’s work and explained practically below in her meditation description.

 HPB.on Meditation .CW 12….There comes a moment, in the highest meditation, when the Lower Manas is withdrawn into the Triad, which thus becomes the Quaternary, the Tetraktys of Pythagoras, the highest, the most sacred, of all symbols. This upward withdrawal of the Lower Manas leaves what was the Quaternary as a Lower Triad, which is then reversed. The Upper Triad is reflected in the Lower Manas. The Higher Manas  cannot reflect itself, but when the Green passes upward it becomes a mirror for the Higher; it is then no more  Green, having passed from its associations. The Psychē, thus separated from Kāma, unites itself with the Higher Triad and becomes spiritual; the Triad is reflected in the Fourth, and the Tetraktys is formed. So long as you are not dead, there must be something in which the Higher Triad is to be reflected; for there must be something to bring back to the waking Consciousness the experiences passed through on the higher plane. The Lower Manas is a tablet, which retains the impressions made upon it during trance; thus serving as a carrier between the Higher Manas and the everyday Consciousness. This withdrawal of the Lower Manas from the Lower Quaternary, and the formation of the Tetraktys, is the Turīya state; it is entered on the Fourth Path, and is described in a note to The Voice of the Silence as a state of high spiritual consciousness, beyond the dreamless state…..  p711


Permalink Reply by barbaram on July 6, 2014 at 5:15pm

Hi James:

Thank you for re-posting your ideas.  You brought up many interesting thoughts and there is a lot to digest.  A few points did jump out, but I need to think more about it.


Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on July 4, 2014 at 11:48pm

Hi Ramprakash  

To put in my words there is a plan for each incarnation of more evolved man, by more evolved I mean someone who has evolved enough for the placing of each incarnation to have a specific lesson, meaning and purpose. Here we have cases where abortion, early infant death or unplanned idiocy has interrupted this particular life plan so the same personality is reincarnated in another attempt to carry out its life purpose

She goes on to say if Reason and Discrimination are well developed no more reincarnation is necessary.

This is similar to what I said in an earlier post, ‘when there is nothing more to Discriminate between, enlightenment follows’. …Reason is related to the correct use of the Intuition.

  A wise person is able to “REASON” This is having the Capacity to bring information from “Buddhi or Higher Mind” and Synthesize it into Intelligent Form.  

This synthesize into intelligent form, is the separating out into brief, clear and descriptive words, that which one intuits from above.

Information at Buddhic level is without separativeness as I understand it, and often comes as a block of information, hence the need to correctly synthesize it into intelligent form. 

This means to separate out, decode, the intuition into clear thoughts, before putting into words. One needs a reasonably well developed, purified and disciplined mind to achieve this.



Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on July 5, 2014 at 1:45am

Thanks James. Something to think about.

Permalink Reply by Peter on July 5, 2014 at 4:16am

"She goes on to say if Reason and Discrimination are well developed no more reincarnation is necessary."

I think that is reading too much into HPB's statement in ISIS, James.  See my reply to Ramprakash below for an alternative view.

Permalink Reply by Peter on July 5, 2014 at 4:13am

For those readers who are not familiar with the subject under discussion:

The general rule is that the personality does not reincarnate. The reincarnating entity is Manas, which is termed ‘the Individuality’ as distinct from the personality. The latter, along with the physical body, is formed ‘afresh’ in each new birth. To compare the Individuality with the personality, the analogy used is that of the actor (the Individuality) playing many parts (different personalities) on great ‘the stage of life.’ (Note: while, strictly speaking, Manas is the Individuality, we can’t really conceive of Manas, or at least Higher Manas, without Buddhi, hence the reincarnating Ego can also be called Buddhi-Manas.)

At the end of each lifetime there is a dispersal of the ‘matter’ that forms the physical vehicle and the constitutional characteristics of the personality. The spiritual characteristics of the personal consciousness are ‘carried away’ by the Reincarnating EGO to be assimilated. Those aspects of the personal consciousness unable to be assimilated by the Reincarnating Ego gradually disintegrate over time in the ‘lower planes’ or states of consciousness. These ‘remains’ are the ‘shells’ that HPB refers to, devoid of their informing ‘Spirit’, which turn up as seances etc.

The exception to the above is said to be the death of infants “before a certain age” (ISIS Unveiled, vol 1, p351). The latter phrase, “before a certain age” is important.

In the case of infants, a ‘raw personality’ is present (called the “astral monad” in Isis Unveiled) but the Reincarnating Ego (Buddhi-Manas) has not yet made a firm connection with it. This doesn’t happen until around the seventh year, when the infant is said to become morally responsible, i.e. capable of generating Karma (see THE KEY, pp174-175). Should an infant die before that time then, HPB says, “nature’s original design to produce a perfect human being” having been interrupted, nature seeks to restore “the disturbed equilibrium, violently throwing back into earth life the astral monad which had been tossed out of the circle of necessity by crime or accident…” (See ISIS reference) While the infant’s gross material body is dispersed with death, the ‘astral monad’ remains and is ‘forced’ into a new body at some stage i.e. it is not made to go through the after death processes which includes the dispersal of the personal consciousness and assimilation of its spiritual aspects into the Reincarnation Ego.

The above is why HPB’s comment “before a certain age” is important. For once the Reincarnating Ego (Buddhi-Manas) has consolidated its contact with the infant personality and brain, then nature's "original design to produce a perfect human being” is complete. Should death occur after that stage then the personality or ‘astral monad’ cannot reincarnate but has to undergo, according to law, the after death processes of disintegration and assimilation of all the lower vehicles. This is what HPB means by:

“If reason has been so far developed as to become active and discriminative, there is no reincarnation on this earth, for the three parts have been united together, and he is capable of running the race.” (ISIS I 351)

In other words, to use HPB later terminology: once the reasoning and discriminative principle (Buddhi-Manas) is able to function in the child, becoming morally and karmically responsible (see above), then the connection between the three parts - the spiritual Monad (Atma-Buddhi) via Manas to the terrestrial consciousness (personality) - is complete. Once this triune connection is completed it has properly entered the cycle of reincarnation and the personality can no longer reincarnate after that point is reached. The Reincarnating Ego is now capable of “running the race” as HPB puts it, and has to accept the Karmic consequences and compensations that are part of the ‘the race’ from that point onwards. 

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on July 5, 2014 at 9:27am

One very important ethical consideration enters here. Forcible abortions on considerations of purely selfish  interests should be a serious interference with nature's purposes, which cannot but bring severe Karmic retributive backlash on parents who chose it. 

In India, which is spiritually degraded, female infanticide is rampant, and the practice is motivated by utter selfishness and materialism of the worst kind. All ancient spiritual values have evaporated from this hapless land.     

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 30, 2014 at 2:30am

Here is part five of our study passage from this section.

Part 5.

ENQUIRER. Don't you believe in their phenomena at all?

THEOSOPHIST. It is because I believe in them with too good reason, and (save some cases of deliberate fraud) know them to be as true as that you and I live, that all my being revolts against them. Once more I speak only of physical, not mental or even psychic phenomena. Like attracts like. There are several high-minded, pure, good men and women, known to me personally, who have passed years of their lives under the direct guidance and even protection of high “Spirits,” whether disembodied or planetary. But these Intelligences are not of the type of the John Kings and the Ernests who figure in seance rooms. These Intelligences guide and control mortals only in rare and exceptional cases to which they are attracted and magnetically drawn by the Karmic past of the individual. It is not enough to sit “for development” in order to attract them. That only opens the door to a swarm of “spooks,” good, bad and indifferent, to which the medium becomes a slave for life. It is against such promiscuous mediumship and intercourse with goblins that I raise my voice, not against spiritual mysticism. The latter is ennobling and holy; the former is of just the same nature as the phenomena of two centuries ago, for which so many witches and wizards have been made to suffer. Read Glanvil and other authors on the subject of witchcraft, and you will find recorded there the parallels of most, if not all, of the physical phenomena of nineteenth century “Spiritualism.”

ENQUIRER. Do you mean to suggest that it is all witchcraft and nothing more?

THEOSOPHIST. What I mean is that, whether conscious or unconscious, all this dealing with the dead is necromancy, and a most dangerous practice. For ages before Moses such raising of the dead was regarded by all the intelligent nations as sinful and cruel, inasmuch as it disturbs the rest of the souls and interferes with their evolutionary development into higher states. The collective wisdom of all past centuries has ever been loud in denouncing such practices. Finally, I say, what I have never ceased repeating orally and in print for fifteen years: While some of the socalled “spirits” do not know what they are talking about, repeating merely — like poll-parrots — what they find in the mediums' and other people's brains, others are most dangerous, and can only lead one to evil. These are two self-evident facts. Go into spiritualistic circles of the Allan Kardec school, and you find “spirits” asserting re-incarnation and speaking like Roman Catholics born. Turn to the “dear departed ones” in England and America, and you will hear them denying reincarnation through thick and thin, denouncing those who teach it, and holding to Protestant views. 

The Key to Theosophy pp 193-195


Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on July 4, 2014 at 9:45am


Sometime back we had discussion on difference between Atma-Buddhi-Manas in Kosmos and in man. I feel I made mistake by conveying something not accurate. It is too abstruse to be speak with any certainty. HPB's statement on this difference is given in Transactions p. 28, top.  even HPB's explanation is not clear to me. Any way the reference cited seems important.