Man, the Microcosm
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The Enigma of Man
Of all the mystical symbols known to Initiates, Man (we use the term "Man" to refer to both genders) is considered as the most ancient among them. Man possessing the masculine and feminine natures, is the epitome of the Cosmos on a microcosmic scale. Within Man's being lies all of the forces, powers, and principles of Nature; embodied within Man are the laws of the universe; mysteriously written within the sacred heart you will find the source of the sacred scriptures of the world. Mystery schools of the past and present regard that being created and considered "good" by the Archcreator as a reflection of the macrocosm; hence the term "microcosm" to refer to the totality of Man, and the usage of mirrors to symbolically convey the teaching of Man's true pristine nature as exemplified in the teachings of Taoism and Dzogchen.
Paracelsus, the medieval alchemist, believed Man to be a miniature solar system. All of the creative powers utilized in the making of a solar-system are to be found inherent within this cosmic child, within Man--the god-in-becoming. Creative and spiritual powers, however, lie dormant in a latent state within Man; their unfoldment will occur as the result of evolution, the process of growing into God's perfect image. It really takes a great deal of involvement with the study of the "Book of Man"--with internal inquiry, with introspection, with the application of principles of mysticism and the occult, and the practice thereof to discover exactly why Man is the universe on a lesser scale, on a lower octave. St. Martin, the enlightened "Theosophist," taught that the study of the nature of Man was the most proper for humanity, especially for the "Man of Desire," for the aspirant--the seeker of Truth. Qabalists of the Jewish mystical tradition refer to Man as the "microprosopus," or lesser countenance," that is, a reflected God upon the realms of formlessness and form. This belief is based on the statement in Genesis of Man being created in God's image. In Javanese mysticism, Man is known as the "Jagad Alit," or the "small universe." There are parallels of this in almost every mystical tradition of the world.
While posing as a microcosmic being, Man is a macrocosmic system to the lower kingdoms in his charge. This is in accord with the principles and famed verse of Hermes; "as above, so below"--to the Law of Correspondence. By studying the microcosm, we in fact study the macrocosm. One of the Quarternary laws of Martinism propounds this particular principle of the "Thrice Greatest." Sentient beings of the lower lifestreams look upon Man as a God--sometimes as a wrathful one. Animals, with their fine instincts developed for them by their group-spirits, their directors of evolution, perceive Man with a sense of love, and a sense of awe and fear. This ambivalent feeling and response in animals are caused by the complexity of Man's egoistic expression, the imperfect manifestation of his innate divinity and his relationship towards life as a whole. Primitive Man, or the primitive mind responds in a similar manner towards Nature, but for a different reason--ignorance, the lack of understanding towards God and Self. The problem of apparent inharmony within Nature therefore, lies within Man himself, and only within his Self, within the microcosmic kingdom of God, will he truly find the solution to right living and right relationships. Though the ordinary mind is the slayer of the Real, it is the spiritualized mind that will nullify its miscreations. Such a principle of the mind, the function of reason of which imbued by Buddhi--intuition, love, and the higher intellect--the "intelligence of the heart" of the hierophants of ancient Egypt, would reveal to Man his "Naked Face," his "Natural State," his true nature, the foundation of his existence, and the unreality of phenomena--the impermanence of form and aggregates.
Initiates of the hoary past, such as to be found among the secret societies of the Compagnons, Knights Templer, Dionysiac Artificers, and the Operative Masons, designed and built their temples, cathedrals, lodges, and places of worship after the geometric design and anatomy of Man's body. King Solomon's Temple and the Great Pyramid are just two examples of sacred edifices constructed after the harmonic proportion embodied within Man. In one sense, Man is the source of all measures, and is himself, the measurer of all things. Within archetypal Man, lies a tome of cosmic measurements, harmonics, and balance. Ancient Greeks produced art-forms--sculptures of the human physical form that stimulated the aesthetic sense and subtly aroused and awakened in the onlooker the memory of his divinity, spiritual nature, and origin. Symmetry in an artist's soul results in the symmetry of created forms, the harmony and beauty of which triggers in the witnessing soul through impressions impinging upon the consciousness, an alignment with the spiritual SELF. By gazing at spiritual beauty one instinctively feel the presence of the Divine.
Various symbols in the past have been used by esotericists to represent Man. Among the well-known emblems are the pentagram, the five-pointed star, numerologically the pentad; and the hexagram, the six-pointed star--the hexad. The former represents Man's occult nature, while the latter symbolizes the unity of Man and God; or "coordinated Man"--Man with the perfect harmonization of the lower principles of his four-fold personality and his spiritual triad.
The cross, of which there are many versions, is another ancient design that portrays Man. The use of this symbol probably had its inception during the age of Man's adoration and veneration towards the Sun. Awakening at dawn, man would face the rising sun with outstretched hands to receive the beneficent rays of life. This pose casts a shadow on the ground in the form of a cross. This was how man was symbolically equated with it. The daily ritual of sun veneration and adoration is still to be found in some cultures, in India especially. It is believed that the rite invokes an additional amount of vital force, or prana that fills the energy-structure of the microcosm. Mantras such as the beautiful Gayatri are also sometimes recited in the rite in conjunction with physical movements, making it a sacred exercise.
At a later period, in the days of the mushrooming of esoteric schools and secret societies in Spain and the rest of Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries, the mystic rose was added to the cross, thus expanding and elaborating upon its symbolism. The union of cross and rose, is in a dynamic sense, the unity of Islamic and Christian mysticism unified by the Knights Templar and expressed in their doctrines. The "Rosy Cross" as it came to be called, was adopted by a certain mystical brotherhood that called itself "Rosicrucian" after the appellation "Rosy Cross," or "Rosae Crucis," to give its original Latinized version. So exquisite in form, and so sweet its perfume that the rose signified Man's unfolding spiritual nature, his innate God-attributes. Qabalistically speaking, the cross has its origin in Malkuth, whereas the rose has its roots in Kether. The substance of the rose is divine, being composed of light, life and love; whereas crystallized spirit is the substance of the cross. Hindu philosophers would say that the rose is a manifestation of Purusha, or Soul; and the cross, Prakriti, or Matter. From one point of view, the rose attached to the cross represents the unfoldment of the anahata (heart) chakra. Rich with metaphysical significance, the Rosy Cross may be considered as one of the Secret Doctrine's most profound Word made manifest in symbolical form. Meditating upon such a symbol, like the Holy Grail, puts us in touch with a vast fount of wisdom--with the egregore, the archetypal force, the group consciousness, and the psychic pool of spiritual ideas represented by the symbol.
Helena Blavatsky, the messenger of the Himalayan Masters of the 19th century, taught that Man is a being whose highest and lowest principles are linked together by the mental principle, by human intelligence. According to the Ancient Wisdom all beings that exist, have been, or will be Man at a certain phase of their spiritual evolution. It is believed by some occult students that Man lies midway between the higher and lower kingdoms in Nature. He is the link between the celestial kingdoms of be-ing and the natural kingdoms of becoming. St. Martin considered Man as an enigma, for although a divine son of God, with a "superior principle," generally, Man believes himself to be a contemptible creature, a lowly being devoid of any divine spark and moral strength who was born a sinner and doomed to the eternal flames of Hell unless his faith in an external saviour is strong enough to save him.
Another puzzling feature of Man is the way he expresses himself, the way he contradicts his inner nature; he thinks of one thing, on one hand; then he says another, and later he goes on to act in a manner in opposition to his original thoughts and words--while all along the inner voice is prompting the outer consciousness with its wisdom--quite a queer creature this being called Man. Man is also regarded as a puzzle by the mortal mind because much of Man's being and function lies hidden in his occult nature, in his immortal identity waiting to be discovered and realized by the progressive mind. Man's spiritual, invisible being is Man unrevealed, the veiled Isis. To solve the puzzle of Man's true identity and of his relationship to the universe, Man would have to look within, to stretch his mind and imagination, to allow his intuition full play and to expand his consciousness to new spiritual vistas. The narrow, closed, biased, caged mind will never succeed in the quest of Self-discovery. It is the open mind that will allow the unfoldment of divine seeds; for they are to sprout into the Light and ascend to new spiritual frontiers and possibilities. The mature mind is thoughtful of its place and origin in the scheme of things; the puerile mind is thoughtless regarding its raison d'etre. The riddle of the Sphinx propounded to Oedipus, and his subsequent answer, sums up the main concern of the Mystery Schools of the past of which Man was the prime subject. Man, evolving from the quadruped phase of a dependent child-on-fours to the adult biped cycle and the tripodal phase of being, in the plane of mind corresponds to the growing spiritualized consciousness of Man. A person who thinks in finite terms is a mortal entrapped by the limitations and constrains that he imposes upon Self. Conversely, a person who regards the Self in the proper light of infinity, eternity, and immortality, commences the process of liberation and salvation. Man, on earth, in the kingdom of Malkuth, is the expression of Self in a certain phase of becoming. The carnal mind, or finite consciousness, subjects Man to the laws of Samsara, to Maya, to the laws of mortality. Attaining the spiritual mind, even that which was in Jesus Christ, we acquire or realize immortality as our true estate. We must first; however, sacrifice our animal indulgences in order for the Christ to appear in our consciousness. We should "die daily" to our self-centeredness like St. Paul. Manly Hall, an occult philosopher of the 20th century and last millennium, made this pertinent statement in his monumental work, "The Secret Teachings of All Ages" :
Man, through his involvement and evolvement in matter, reveals various facets of the dark side of his psyche in the symbolical picturization of his consciousness with objects of mundane experience, such as the parasite, the beast, the robot, and the zombie. Devoid of divine illumination, Man expresses himself with such carnal personas. For instance, one moment he lives upon the sweat of another's brow like a blood-sucker, and the next moment, he moves mechanically like a machine and aimlessly like an undead with no feeling and mental or spiritual direction in his consciousness and will. As can be seen from this, Man plays a part on the world's stage in more ways than one, and Shakespeare probably had an inkling of this situation. The protean transformations and expressions of Man's psyche are the manifestations of the false ego's unstable nature, and also of Man's false conception of his true Ego. Man identifies himself with forms, with his desires and mortal aggregates. It deludes him into thinking that he is a separate being, a unique creation, apart from the essence of all manifestations. This causes needless pain and suffering, for the identification with the false, the ephemeral, results in spiritual death and degradation, and the loss of divine light--or "Nur," to give the Sufic designation. Unity of existence is the basis of Life, and it is wisdom to realize this fundamental condition of the Cosmos. A being who loves, extends out of its Self, to its greater SELF--the universe as a whole, the vital energies and forces that sustains the harmony of the Tao, the orderly functions of the Cosmos.
Wisdom is the way of thinking from God's point of view, and it is acquired by attuning one's heart with the heart of the All. Man must grow out of the personality cult, to cease worshipping this idol, this mark and symbol of the beast. This self-proclaimed god is carnal in nature, it is self-centered and egoistic. Its breath is that of sulphur, and the anguish experienced by Man who considers himself as this idol is great, and Man, as a result, undergoes a self-triggered cosmic penalty--that of suffering.. Suffering is the consequence of Man's own willful violation or the misuse and abuse of the laws of God, of Omneity, for his self-centered purposes. One of the major laws that Man breaks each day is his identification with the false image that he creates for himself. Man should instead realize the true Self, the image of God that he essentially is. God saw that this image, this archetype, this blueprint, was good; therefore Man should likewise see the goodness in this archetypal image which is the reflection of God's, instead of demeaning and condemning his basic identity. Man must shed his mortality, his mortal habits, his finite way of thinking and living before the "coat of various colors," the vesture of immortality is bestowed upon him. Man's focus should be upon his innate divinity and not on the shadow upon the wall of matter. Thinking that Man is mortal is the sin of Adam and Eve, and it caused Eden to fade from their gaze and awareness. The consequences of sin is death--spiritual deal--and this operates in an automatic fashion. Gautama Buddha declared that we are punished by our sins, our karma, and not for them. The all-merciful compassion of God, as embodied by the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin, does not throw the first stone and never will at any misguided individual. Man's mistakes rebound back to him of their own accord, and this law is inexorable and immutable in its application in the samsaric worlds.
Man, Know Thyself
The above biblical quotation shows that the concern and enquiry into Man were of prime importance not only to the Greek sages who admonished their disciple to "know thyself," but also to their Hebrew brethren across the Mediterranean; in fact, the wise men of all ancient cultures were of the opinion that unless one occupied one's time and energy with the seeking out of one's true nature, of knowing one's Self, knowing one's Reality--one's presence in this physical plane is wasted and not easily acquired again for aeons; one would linger in a hell-like realm called "Hades," or what Tibetan Buddhism calls "Bardo," remorsing over all of one's karmic mistakes and sins. The human form is really a precious jewel, very fragile in its structure and precious in the eyes of Divinity--for it is its instrument in this plane of existence. We should not make the mistake of thinking that the physical form would endure for a considerable period in this three-dimensional world. There are no guarantees in life. The Angel of Death may at any given moment say that our alloted time is spent. Living a hedonistic life robs us of a considerable amount of life-energy that should be returned to our Source in joyous gratitude. The energy at our disposal does not really belong to us--not to the false ego or personality--it belongs to God. For so long we have given to Caesar that which is his and not thought about rendering to God his due. It is an error to utilize the energy given for self-indulgence, for egoistic purposes. Understanding this, we should occupy ourselves with spiritual pursuits, even in the midst of everyday living.
Forsaking egoism or self-centeredness which is Qabalistically, the qlipphotic side of Man, we automatically dethrone most, if not all of the lesser gods, the devils in disguise, such as greed, sloth, jealousy, and lust. On the converse side, transcendental virtues--the Paramitas, such as giving, morality, patience, and perseverance ought to be practiced and lived by Man. Expressions of compassion, mercy, and the serving of life are just some of the many ways that we "cast bread (energy) upon the waters" and have it returned to us tenfold. Spiritual aspirants must learn to be responsible for their own actions, and to control their minds and emotions. Thinking compassionately, calmly, and impersonally is the way of the Divine.
Another energy-giving of great importance is the acquisition of Self-knowledge, for by such work we will ultimately be in a position to guide others to fulfill their spiritual destinies, and to relieve them from suffering. Man, in our observation, spends too much time with glamour; with fashions and fads; with ephemeral baubles that does not benefit the soul--even with too much indulgence in matters of psychic phenomena, of "trying the spirits" instead of investigating the inner nature of the soul; of resolving psychological imbalances and increasing the awareness of the unity and oneness of all manifestations. Adam, or unregenerated Man, should curb his desires for sensation, no matter where it may be found: in the media, TV commercials, the neighbourhood gossiper, and--this may come as a surprise to some--even in occult or New Age literature. We should end our polarization in the emotional body and climb higher up along the mountain side; we should cease dilly-dallying in the astral world; we should halt most of our attachment and indulgence with psychic matters that more often than not, only arouse pride and arrogance.
Preoccupation with carnal appetites such as sex, wealth, power, and fame eventually lead to suffering. Man wastes his time seeking peace and happiness without--depending upon external sources or environment--and if acquired, he is deluded into thinking of the permanency of such a state. Peace and happiness that are dependent upon externals are artificial and transient, for matter is in a constant state of flux; and as such, an unreliable source of experiencing the state of well-being in a constant, continuous manner. When the Nazarene Master declared "My peace I give unto you," it is to the unfoldment of the Christ nature within us that is referred to, which does give us a sense of bliss. Living in harmony with the Tao, and knowledge of the True Self and the laws of the Cosmic, leads us to abundant living; it provides us with a greater perspective of life of which all seemingly injustices that we experience and encounter in the mundane sphere are understood as blessings coming from God. Before the New Jerusalem can come into existence, all of the old values, beliefs, attitudes and customs that cause spiritual stagnation and inertia would have to be destroyed, and thrown into the flames for transmutation. Alchemically, Man is both the crucible and the philosophical matter to be transformed.
It is an axiom within the world of esotericism that everything that exists is vibratory. The differences in manifestation of objects being that of a variation in its frequency, or vibratory rate. Even consciousness or one's personality is vibratory; and the higher the rate, the higher-the soul-expression, intelligence, spirituality, level of awareness, and habitual thought-pattern. Vibration is energy-in-motion, the exhalation of Parabrahm, the pulsating Word, symbolised by the ancient swastika. Without vibration that would be no stimulus to the senses, and therefore, non-awareness of life. What we sense; however, does not convey the Real nature of things, for our senses deceive us, and our interpretation of what we sense is subjected to error; the brain sees what the mind wants it to see. Man, therefore, does not immediately realize or is aware of his transcendental being, his Absolute Self; he instead sees and believes that the "skandas," his mortal aggregates is his Ego. Esoteric Buddhism teaches us that there is a self to be refuted and a Self to be accepted.; one is conventional, the other is absolute. The real nature of things the enlightened prince Gautama called "sunyata" or voidness. All is energy in motion; that which we call Spirit is energy vibrating at a tremendous rate; matter, on the other hand, is energy vibrating at the nadir of the cosmic scale of vibration. Nature, as scientists say, abhors a vacuum. Space is therefore apparent, and not Real. This seemingly contradicts the statement of the Buddhist that all is void; in reality, however, this substantiates Buddhism's esoteric viewpoint of the false self and the Real Self. Space, and all manifestations therein, from this point of view are illusory; all is SELF, or being, and nothing can truly exist outside of it.
Man, like all other beings and intelligences is a focalized-pattern of energy manifesting within the Omni-consciousness of the One. At the present stage of his evolution, Man has come to realize the three-fold principle of awareness: the knower, the thing known and the knowing--this is a sense of separation, of duality; animals, especially domestic beasts, are on the verge of attaining this state through the cosmic process of individualization. As evolution proceeds, from the dualistic point of view, the present principle of awareness will merge into a state of Oneness, of being the All. From a dualist, Man becomes a non-dualist.
This paper may contain inconsistencies as it is presented in a shifting form from the dualistic to the non-dualistic point of view; but since we recognize the two truths, the relative and the absolute, it is hoped that readers would likewise adjust their understanding. Conventional truth was what Pontius Pilate enquired of his divine prisoner. Absolute truth was what Jesus sought to represent. The highest respect that can be paid to the Absolute, as all sages have discovered, is silence.
All organic matter is composed of infinitesimal lives, and a higher intelligence mould such life-infused matter into form. Within Man are lesser lives of sentient beings. The cells in his body are beings endowed with consciousness, although the nature of their consciousness can only be conjectured. Man, himself, is analogous to the cells in his body. The composite lives of human beings is a part of a greater being, a greater Life-unit. It is, therefore, rightly declared in scriptures that we live and move in "His" being. This phenomenon is what is known as the hylozoistic theory.
The Shiva Samhita, a manual on Yoga, declares :
We shall, therefore, take a closer look at the microcosm, for to know the Self and its expressions, it is important to understand something of the hidden constitution of Man; his occult anatomy and physiology, and his True Reality and purpose. We propose the following essential points of which we will discuss briefly :
The 7 Principles
For Man to exist, to manifest in a realm, he would have to possess a body to function in. That there are 7 planes in the Physical Cosmic Plane, with each plane consisting of 7 subdivisions, making it 49 planes in all, is a teaching of modern Theosophy. The seven planes or dimensions are called, "Physical," "Astral," "Mental," "Buddhic," "Atmic," "Monadic," and "Logoic." St. Paul's "third heaven" goes no higher than the Astral Plane; while Prophet Muhammad's (blessed in his name) journey to the "seventh heaven" is said to be in the Mental or Buddhic dimensions.
Teachings of the sages; however, differ in their division of Man into his component parts, his "bodies" or "principles," as it is called by modern occultists. They divide Man into 3, 5, or 7--the most common being 3 and 7. This seemingly contradictory assertion by the Seers is probably because of their perspective and their methodology of conveying the Secret Doctrine. According to the triune system, the divisions labelled by Christian mystics are body, mind, and soul; or body, soul, and spirit. St. Paul, however, taught a system of dual bodies; he declared that we had a natural, and a spiritual body (I Cor 15:44). The triune concept within Christianity, it would seem, evolved a little later as the religion progressed in its influence within the European kingdoms. Other ancient traditions and modern mystical teachings acknowledged the division of Man's being as a triad, among which are to be found in the following table :
The Monad is Man, the spark of God, or the atom within God's body; the Ego as Hu-man, has a portion of the Monad in its being, making it semi-divine; while the Personality as the Human Being upon the physical plane, has a fragment of the Ego, with a minuscule spark of the Monad in the Holy of Holies burning within the heart.
It might be appropriate here to define the word "principle" as
used to refer to Man's occult "bodies." The American Heritage
Dictionary defines it as "a basic source." Principles, in our
present context, therefore, are creative centers, sources and
builders of forms for the spirit of Man to ensoul; they originate
sheaths for the spirit of Man to function at the various levels or
planes of the omniverse. According to the definition above, the
lowest sheath, the physical body, is not considered a principle
because it is not causative; it does not create or engender any
other sheaths; of itself, it is lifeless. It is mainly reactive to
pulsating streams of energy emanating from the higher principles;
and without them, it lies inert. The physical body is sometimes;
however, considered as a principle for the purposes of tabulating
the list of bodies that Man
The physical body, as a pseudo-principle is sometimes replaced in the list by the fiery spark of Man, his core identity that emanated from the Spiritual Sun, called by Theosophists "Monad," or "Virgin Spirit" by the Rosicrucians. Man's individualized being, or Ego is represented by the threefold Spirit enumerated above: the Divine, Life and Human. The personality of Man's being, on the other hand, sometimes called "the Quarternary," or the lower trinity if the etheric-physical bodies are considered as one--is represented by the three lower bodies and the mental sheath. The Quarternary is the child of the higher trinity, Man's Ego, while the Ego itself is an emanation of the Monad. Patterns of interlacing energy form that being we call "Man."
According to the third point of the Quarternary Law of Martinism (not to be confused with the 4 lower principles of the microcosm), all emanations that proceed from a higher source carry a lesser amount of its progenitor's characteristics, potencies and qualities. The Ego, according to this law, as a lesser manifestation of the Monad, expresses creative powers, intelligence, and consciousness in a lesser proportion to that which the Monad possesses. On a lower octave of the total spectrum of energy-principles, the Personality is in an analogous state. As a precious child of the Ego, it manifests very little of its emanator's inherent divinity--although the seed, or image of the Monad, the flickering fire, does lie as a minute spark in the altar of the physical heart.
The Monad issued-out of the highest principle of the Solar Logos as a Divine Spark. It is sometimes called "the Solar Angel." Solomon, or SOL-OM-ON, is a personification of this central core within the microcosm. The three syllables in the name of this Hebrew monarch, represent the Highest Principle in the Universe, or the Monad in three different languages : Hebrew, Hindu, and Egyptian.
Be-ness, or Being is the natural state of the Monad; becoming is the nature of the lower principles. The consciousness of the Spark of the Logos is divine, and its awareness and consciousness are attuned with "Ra," or "Helios," its progenitor. It is, in fact, a cellular body within the greater body of the Solar Logos. The Monad was created in God's image and it is God's likeness that the Ego is destined to become through the process of evolutionary transformation. It is through the Ego, the individualized Man, that the Monad fulfills its destiny, the reason for its be-ing. The Ego, however, is incapable of returning to the Monad, to merge with it without gaining the benefit of certain experiences and nourishment from the realms of Matter. It, therefore, engendered the Quarternary--the four lower bodies. The Human Spirit, or Higher Mental--the aspect of God's intelligence, caused a crystallization of part of itself on a lower plane, and the Mental sheath was born. Buddhi, or the Life Spirit--the aspect of God's Love, brought the Astral body into existence; and finally, Atma, or the Divine Spirit--the aspect of God's Will, formed the etheric and physical bodies. The Quarternary evolves in the lower realms and conveys pabulum--or soul-force, the fruit of its physical sojourn, to the Ego. This was intended and designed by the Solar Logos; however, the Personality, the persona, sometimes strays from its destiny like a wayward child, like a prodigal son, with the consequences of spiritual stagnation along the evolutionary spiral.
One of the purposes of the Quarternary is to manifest fully Monadic-Consciousness in the lower worlds. This is preceded by the attainment of Egoic awareness. In Figure 1, we present graphically this attainment according to the stages of Man's development represented by the average man, the Initiate, and the Adept. We symbolize the Monad with the circle, the Ego with the triangle, and the Quarternary with the square; and all three of them surrounded by the Auric-Egg, represented by the oval. This Auric-Egg is a subtle sac that encloses all of the components of the microcosm. In picture b, the Initiate begins to acquire Egoic awareness of which the average man in a lacks. In c the Adept possessing full Egoic-Consciousness, is just beginning to acquire Monadic awareness.
Although the subject of spiritual evolution is interesting and of prime importance to Self-knowing, we will continue with it later as it is a digression from our present subject. We will instead consider certain esoteric matters associated with the 7 principles.
As mentioned previously, Man is a septenate, and a threefold being; his seven principles corresponds to the seven realms. Man, in his present stage, is only aware of the physical plane. When his consciousness develops and unfolds in the normal course of evolution, he will be able to function with conscious Self-awareness in all seven planes of Life. We have mentioned the threefold-spirit above. The soul, or psyche of Man, is also threefold: it is conscious, emotional, and intellectual.
In Esoteric Christianity, the septenary in its division of 3 and 4, is personified by Joseph, Mary and Jesus--the Ego; and the quadruped, the ass, as the Quarternary. The docile nature of the beast indicates the mastery and complete control of the Ego over the Personality. Krishna's chariot with Arjuna onboard has the same esoteric significance.
Some schools of esoteric thought call the Ego, "Christ"--the intermediary between God (Monad) and Man (Personality). St. Paul, in one of his letters, admonished his disciples to allow Christ to form within them. Esoterically, this refers to the growth of Egoic influence within the force-field of the Personality.
The Ego is the divine trinity within the microcosm. It is, in fact, the Real Man, the invisible, sentient, and intelligent being. It is bisexual or bipolar, possessing both the masculine and feminine polarities. It represents the Father/Mother God in the microcosm. Atma, the Father aspect, expresses omnipotence; while Buddhi, the Mother aspect--or the Holy Spirit, expresses omnipresence. The higher mental, or Abstract Mind, is that aspect of the Ego, the Son, which is omniscient. In the Qabalah, in the Tree of Life, the Ego is Tiphareth, whereas the Monad is represented by Kether. Intuition is a faculty that has its origin in the Ego--or in Buddhi, to be more specific. Divine Love and compassion are other expressions of the Buddhic principle. It stands to reason that to develop intuition one has to have compassion; love truly, unconditionally, wisely, and divinely. Alchemists of the Renaissance called Buddhi, "the White Eagle."
In the Masonic mysteries, the threefold Ego is represented by King Solomon, King Hyram, and Hiram Abiff. The ruffians responsible for the "death" of the Master Mason, Hiram Abiff, are the personifications of the physical body, the astral form and the Mental sheath. The killing of Hiram is microcosmically speaking, the willful forgetfulness and disobedience of the lower self--the Personality, the false ego, towards the Higher Self--the Spiritual Triad. The lower mind, the intellect and desires, slays the Voice of Silence, the sway of the Ego; and the Word, that Word of God, which Hiram Abiff personifies, is lost in the being of the Master Mason. Recovery of that which was lost--the acceptance of Egoic influence into the life of the aspirant, occurs when the ruffians repent and align themselves to the higher will. When the Ego dominates the Personality, the aspirant has verily attained the title of a Master Mason. The aspirant acquires a greater understanding, a greater wisdom and a maturity of thought as a result of the resurrection of Hiram Abiff. Spiritual wisdom is the true criterion of Man's age, and not the material years of the physical body.
Once the Ego has control over the personality, Monadic influence gradually comes into sway. The elements of the Monad and the Ego are collectively the stone that the builders, or the analytical intellect rejected. The word "stone" in Hebrew is "Ahben." It is composed of two words "Ah," meaning "father," and "Ben," meaning "son." The stone is therefore, the oneness of the Monad--the Father, and the Ego--the Son. Mystical stones is a constant theme in various spiritual traditions. In Islam we have the Hajar Aswad in the Ka'ba. Solomon's Temple was built with the "shamir" stone; the mystical Shambhalla preserves the Chintamani; in Revelation, the child of God is given a white stone, etc. The spiritual essence of the Quran itself is the letter Ba with a dot--the dot representing the Stone. This is a profound mystery that will not be discussed in this paper.
At Man's present evolutionary stage, his consciousness is polarized in the Astral body, the seat of his emotions. Average people function with their emotional-desire nature predominating over all of their thoughts and actions--the desires of which are detrimental to the health of the physical body. It is by treading the spiritual Path that will repolarize Man to the Mental sheath and the Ego.
The Mental sheath in the microcosm of the average person, is not considered a body as yet for it is still in the developing stages--it is still loosely structured and is embryonic. In this world there is much abuse, misuse and even non-use of the mental faculty, and this does not in the least assist the Mental sheath to grow and improve in its quality. When spiritual emanations of the Ego are allowed to impregnate the lower mind, then the Mental sheath will steadily become a creative body for the true Man to function in.
In the Pyramidal Mysteries, the four sides of the base of the pyramid represent the personality. The Ego is signified by the missing capstone which has an all-seeing eye in its center. This is graphically illustrated in the American dollar, in the picture of the pyramid. Egyptian Initiates of bygone days called the Ego, "the Eye of Horus." By examining this Divine Eye, certain elements of Man's occult anatomy may be discerned. This is shown in Figure 2. Not only are the Monad, Atma, Buddhi and Higher Mental present, but other occult structures, such as the Causal body, the Sutratma, and the Antahkarana are also indicated in the All-Seeing Eye of Ra or Horus. This piece of information was revealed intuitively to the writer of this paper.
The capstone of the Pyramid is a symbol of Christ. In the Christian Mysteries, Christ is referred to as the "head of the corner stone." This description fits only to an edifice of a pyramidal structure. The head-corner stone is the capstone of a pyramid. Also keep in mind that the Spiritual Triad, or Ego is also referred to as the "Christ Self." Thus we see in this arcana the unity of Egyptian and Christian esotericism. It is interesting to note that whenever a candidate of the Mysteries makes a vow, he makes it before the presence of the Star (Monad), the Sun (Ego), and the Moon (Quarternary). The candidate is made aware of the symbolism of these celestial bodies by the hierophant during initiation. In ancient Egypt, the sacred eye was worn as an amulet. It was called "Usa" by the people. They believed that the wearing of the amulet brought them health and protection. Esoterically, it is Egoic energy functioning within the Quarternary that is the promoter of vitality and the talismanic power behind the above condition.
Of all the principles of Man, modern science is gradually acknowledging the existence of the etheric body, called "Pranamayakosha" by the Hindu mystics. Experimentation with the magnetic force of man, with such phenomena as healing and psychokinesis is now engaging the minds of open-minded, scientific researchers. The etheric body is sometimes known as the "vital body" for it is the battery that runs the physical vehicle. It is also the matrix which the dense physical structure patterns itself after. The etheric body is composed of four etheric substances :
This vital body, also called "eidolon," has a dual function, as implied by the above :
The etheric body possesses the Vishnu-force. It preserves the integrity of the physical body. It vitalizes this dense body with life essence. The Astral body and Mental sheath, with their destructive feelings and thoughts are constantly imposing a strain upon the physical temple of Man. Negative emotions and thoughts harm tissues; they deplete energy and destroy cells; they cause an imbalance in the glandular system--decrepitude and a weakened body is the result of this onslaught. Harmful emotions cause blockages in the chakras, preventing streams of pranic-energy from penetrating the physical body. Thus the etheric body and the Astral-Mental bodies are constantly at war with each other--one is anabolic--a builder of the gross body; while the other two are predominantly catabolic--destroyers of the physical form. When there is turmoil in the lower bodies, the Ego's influence is minimized and curtailed. This is one reason why aspirants on the Path are admonished to still the mind and emotions. When there is inharmony among the lower principles, the Voice of Silence--the whisperings of the Ego--does not make an impression upon the brain and objective consciousness. The brain is deaf and dumb to spiritual promptings.
It is important for selfish inclinations of the Astral body to be transmuted into spiritual aspiration--self-centeredness into Self-Allness, before spiritual guidance from the microcosmic trinity is placed at our disposal in conscious awareness. Once the Ego is in full control over the Personality--when the lower bodies are coordinated and functioning in accord with the will of the Higher Self, the Monad is stirred into activity and it makes a greater contact with the lower principles than heretofore.
Within the etheric bodies, are seven major energy-centers called "chakras," which means "wheel' in Sanskrit. Christian mystics call them the "interior stars." Actually, psychic centers are to be found in all of the seven principles. They are the means whereby spiritual forces flow from one principle to another. Hindu metaphysicians liken the etheric chakras to lotuses in the process of blooming in the average person, or already displaying their unfolded petals in the Master-Adept. The unopened chakras droop downwards, away from the face of God, or the face of the Monad. Some species of flowers have this strange characteristic. They simply will not face the sun. It is as though they turned antagonistic towards their life-giver--some people live and behave in a similar manner. Hindu esotericism assigns certain gods and goddesses as rulers of the chakras. "Bijas," or seed-sounds invoke the energies of those rulers into the chakras.
When awakened and stimulated by the serpent fire, by Kundalini--of which we will deal later--the chakras blossom, and are vivified. Unfolded, active, and developed chakras bestow certain faculties, virtues, and abilities. Hindu metaphysicians call these "siddhis."
The seven chakras are the magnetic-field vortex of the plexuses of etheric nerves, or "nadi." They are found in the following locations: at the base of the spine, below the navel, at the solar plexus, in the heart area, at the throat, between the eyebrows, and in the area of the fontanel. In Sanskrit, their names are, respectively: Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudha, Ajna, and Sahasrara.. Each of the chakra, when fully develop, vibrate in high frequencies and with its own specific rate. Vibrating chakras causes a manifestation of certain sounds and colours which, at present, can only be perceived clairvoyantly. In the future, the real technology to capture these images including the aura on screen will be developed--and this would be based on direct electronic conversion of the energies of ultra-light, and not an indirect and unreliable capture through the acupuncture points of the hands.
In an unevolved individual, chakras appear muddied and grayish. In a Master-Adept, chakras are luminous and resplendently brilliant. In the Temple of Solomon, the psychic centers are represented by sacred objects used in various rites and rituals, these objects are: the Ark of the Covenant, the Menorah, the altar of incense, the altar of sacrifice, the sea of brass, and the Urim and Thummim.
Associated with the chakras in the physical body are the endocrine glands. These glands are, starting with the one linked with the Muladhara: gonads, pancreas/spleen, adrenals, thymus, thyroid, pituitary, and pineal. The endocrine glands are crystallizations of the chakras. Each chakra conveys a certain force necessary for the sustenance of the physical organism. Chakras are portals for the influx of etheric forces into the glands. Should a chakra be sluggish in its function, should it be blocked by certain impurities, or should the inflow of etheric forces be impeded in some way, the physical body will consequently feel the effects--it will suffer glandular imbalances and inharmony in some manner. Glands are, therefore, instruments of Man's karma and they are his "Book of Judgment."
The spleen center, or svadishthana plays an important role in distributing pranic force throughout the chakral system. It accepts pranic energy and breaks them into a septenary force which are sent to the various chakras--and from thence to the organs of the body via the glandular and autonomic nervous system. Pranic forces flowing into the energy-centers are nullified by negative emotions. Negative attitudes of the mind likewise disrupt spiritual forces flowing into the chakras, especially Sahasrara, the crown center. Narrow-mindedness, animal-curiosity, cynicism, aggression, a judgmental outlook, and other expressions that characterizes a low mentality--these all restrict the ingress of spiritual manna.
The glands, when functioning harmoniously, produces substances that spiritualizes a person's attitude and appearance. The thymus is often designated as the "youth-sustaining gland." The hormones that it secretes preserve the cells and prevents them from losing the memory-pattern embodied in their DNA. Divine Love is a thymus stimulant. It is said that those who do not love grow old quickly; on the other hand, the loving are youthfully radiant.
One of the most important endocrine gland in the body is the pituitary. It orchestrates most of the functions of the other hormone-producers. One of its secretions, called "pituitrin," has an effect of producing the feeling of bliss and love. It transmutes aggression into good-will. If a hormone may manifest the love aspect of the kingdom of God within man, it is in all probability that other substances representing the Will and Intelligence-aspect of the Divine Creator exist, although yet to be discovered by the modern researcher. The possibility of the existence of an "intelligence-hormone" is implied specifically in the effects of a certain Buddhist mantra. Mantras are structured sounds that stimulate the chakras and glands. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the mantra of the bodhisattva Manjushri has the power to awaken or increase one's intelligence. This might occur through the activation of certain chakras and glands by the sound vibrations of the mantra which stimulates the release of the appropriate hormones.
It is not only the etheric body that possesses chakras as mentioned before; the higher principles--the Astral body, for example, have them too, and they function in an analogous manner--they channel forces from a higher principle or source to a lower body. Chakras of the astral body are not to be found in the same location as the etheric centers, however. Etheric chakras are located on the surface of the etheric body, whereas astral chakras lie more in the interior. When the chakral-systems of the various principles are aligned and functioning in harmony, then a channel for the inflow of Egoic force is established. This means that contact with the higher worlds and with one's Higher Self is made feasible. Intuitive impressions are more regular and less vague. One regularly hears the voice of the Master and the group of his Egoic Ray.
Chakras are vivified and vitalized as Man unfolds and purifies his nature; as he expands and refines the quality of his consciousness. This vitalization and stimulation cause a reciprocative response by the glands as they secrete hormones of a higher nature and quality. These spiritual secretions restructure the physical body and facial features into a thing of strength, beauty, and youth. They awaken dormant brain cells and form faculty centers in the cerebrum; they improve sense perception. Our thoughts and emotions arouses the glands, and they mould not only our temperament, but our physical manifestation as well. A soul of beauty, purity, strength, and determination produces a divine countenance--a luster in the eyes, and a sweetness in the smile.
Symbolically speaking, the chakras are represented by astrological ruling bodies--Venus, Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and the Sun; they are also represented by the elements--earth, water, fire and air--including ether and Azoth, which represents the head centers. In Revelation, they are the "seven seals" and the "seven churches." In Greek mythology, "Olympus," the abode of the gods, represents the higher centers, whereas "Hades," the abode of the shades of the dead, represents the lower centers. Tibetan Buddhism embody the chakral-system in structures called "chorten." These structures are monuments that are supposed to preserve the relics of the founding Father of Buddhism, or other venerated personages. In the Egyptian Mysteries, the King and Queen's chamber of the Great Pyramid symbolizes the head centers. Each candidate for initiation is directed therein for certain psychic experiences. Esoterically, this is the focusing and polarizing of the consciousness in the head chakras--a manner of functioning of which the average person is unaccustomed. The seven chakras correspond to the seven kingdoms in Nature. Man as a collective, is the fourth kingdom and is associated with the heart chakra. In the present stage of his soul-development, he is to unfold this center, or the expression of unconditional, divine love.
The man on the street polarizes his consciousness in the solar-plexus center, the seat of the lower emotions in the chakral-system--the center associated with the third, or animal kingdom. This chakra in its negative aspect, is the expression of self-centeredness, selfish ambition, and all sordid desires; the individual who is polarized in this chakra lives like an animal; he is carnally-minded. The spiritual work of an aspirant, or disciple is to redirect the focus and polarization of his consciousness from the lower centers, to the heart and throat chakras--the centers of Divine Love and Creativity, and later to the head centers--the focus of Divine Will. The heart center, once active, stimulates the head chakras through that channel called the "vagus nerve." This nerve, anatomically, commences in the medulla oblongata and midbrain, and extends downwards to embrace the heart, lungs, and other parts of the thorax. Esoterically, it connects the brain in the heart to the heart in the brain. The vagus nerve is the pathway for the inner breath.
In the advance stages of the practice of "Pranayama," or the art of controlling the life-force in the breath, the yogic practitioner ceases to breathe through the nostrils. The yogic cessation or stoppage of the breathing cycle activates the intake of prana through the medulla oblongata and the vagus nerve. The control of involuntary functionings of the body is made possible by the mastering of this very important nerve.
Many occultists believe the ajna chakra to be the "third-eye," symbolised by the horn of the unicorn. When the mechanism of this receptor is functioning, Man would be able to perceive impressions emanating from the spectrum of energies of the higher dimensions; perceiving the distant past, the distant present, and the distant future would be a common thing--the Akashic records of life would be opened to his view. It is probable that the Cyclops of Greek mythology, with their famed single eye between the brows, represents a race of spiritual giants whose third-eye was in the active mode; however, this psychic eye gradually atrophied because of misuse and abuse--this is, esoterically, the tale of the people of Atlantis, the land of the Titans and the Rakshashas.
The third-eye actually is a psychic function and not a particular organ. It embraces the head centers and their glandular counterparts, the third and fourth ventricles of the brain, the medulla oblongata, and the optic thalamus. It is formed and actuated by Egoic energy and the kundalini. Thus to open the third-eye, one has to evoke this Shivaic and Shakti force into the holy chamber of the brain for a spiritual embrace which would give birth to the god of Wisdom--represented by Ganesha. The three aspects of the Ego--Will, Love, and Intelligence--would have to be exercised within Man's waking consciousness. This is accomplished by the following :
The Principle Nadis & Kundalini
The etheric body, according to Hindu mystics, is said to be composed of 72,000 nadis, or subtle nerves. This figure as the actual number is questionable; it is more likely to be symbolic and should not be taken literally. Sushumna, Ida and Pingala are the major nerves of this vital body. Sushumna is the etheric counterpart of the cord of the central nervous system in the spinal column. Ida and Pingala correspond to the two branches of the autonomic nervous system situated along side of the 33 segments of the vertebrae. Ida and Pingala are rooted in the perineum. They rise and flank each side of the sushumna, and they terminate in the openings of the nostrils. Ida is negative in polarity; Pingala, positive. These subtle nerves are the channels for the Yin and Yang energy absorbed through the breath. Hindu yogis have recognized the fact that the breath does not flow equally through the nostrils. A certain cyclic law causes the breath to flow easily through one nostril at a time for an hour or so, and then switching the mechanism to the other nostril. Nature has designed this operation for a certain reason connected with the growth of man's psyche.
Sushumna has its bottom end at the root chakra, or Muladhara. Its upper end terminates in the brow chakra. Within Sushumna are to be found even subtler nadis called Vajrini-nadi, Chitrini-nadi, and Brahmarandha-nadi. The etheric chakras are anchored in the Chitrini-nadi, and it is this fine nerve in particular that is the pathway for the "serpent-fire," that electrical, magnetic energy called Kundalini. Five deities are believed to reside in the Brahmarandha-nadi : Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Sadasiva, and Ishvara. These gods are the personifications of certain seed faculties that lie dormant until aroused by their consort, their shakti, the divine Kundalini. Sushumna is one of the repositories in the microcosmic being for the past and present records of the psyche, the subconscious feelings and thoughts of the "Mr Hyde" side of Man. These records are cleansed and transmuted as Kundalini rises and burn her way through.
The Great Central Sun, that spiritual fire burning in the celestial realms, is recognized by occultist as the source of all forms of energies within the galaxy and in our solar system. It radiates its rays into our solar system through the sun, the Solar Logos or deity. This energy qualified by our sun is the divine shakti, the Cosmic Kundalini. An aspect of this cosmic energy is solar prana--that energy that gives and sustains life in physical organism. Cosmic energy is distributed throughout the solar system. Each planetary body receives and assimilates Cosmic Kundalini and qualifies this energy, bestowing upon it its own peculiar quality, and then radiating it out again for the benefit of the other planetary centers. Our satellite, the moon, is also a transformer of Cosmic Kundalini emanating from the sun. The energy that it receives from the sun is transmuted and rayed down upon our earth. Our planet, therefore, is the recipient of various energies emanating from the sun, moon, and the planets; and incidentally, this is the basis of astrology. These energies of the planets, moon, and sun combine with the earth forces in our planetary center and it rises to affect every sentient being that has its abode on Terra. Herein lies the source of Kundalini within Man, for the serpent fire has its origin within the conglomerate energies in the bowels of the earth. It ascends to reside in the vessel prepared for it in the etheric body. This vessel is called "kanda" and it is the etheric counterpart of the coccygeal gland.
Kundalini lies "coiled" within Kanda. It slumbers until awakened through the evolutionary process. Kundalini is the creative potential within Man. It is a dynamic force, a dormant static power that releases atomic energy when aroused. Normally, at Nature's pace, it may take thousands of millions of years for kundalini to fulfill her destiny within Man. By treading the spiritual path; however, kundalini may be awakened within a single lifetime--with the careful guidance of a true Spiritual Master--though this step should not be attempted by all men who simply desires or is interested in it. It is enough for the average person simply to initially engage in purification exercises and living in accord with spiritual laws. Premature kundalinic activation without certain preparations may cause pain and suffering as the fiery force scorches its way up the spine.It may burn the nervous system causing disorders, mental derangements, and even death. Its awakening should be preceded by the yogic or alchemical steps of soul cultivation so familiar to students of the occult and mysticism. It might surprise some to learn that Kundalini is actually not a "fiery" energy but a cool force. It is the friction between Kundalini and impurities that causes the sensation of heat.
Kundalini energy accelerates evolution, there is no doubt of this; however, unwieldy handling of this energy may cause the opposite effect. Kundalini may give abundant life, or kill the foolish individual who attempts to raise it without full knowledge. Be wary of the so-called Masters that seek to awaken your kundalini for a fee--most of them are deluded and have not even raised their own Kundalini. Energy rising in the back in the form of any sensation does not indicate that the full Kundalini force is rising. There are three aspects to Kundalini and any of one of them may rise up the spine. There is the Kundalini force circulating around the meridian nerves; there is the kundalini force manifesting as sexual energy; and the true kundalini at the base of the spine. Observing the so-called masters of Kundalini energy and we still find them short of the spiritual standards as exemplified by the Saints and Hierophants of the Almighty. The true instant rising of the Kundalini as triggered by Masters of shaktipat are not given indiscriminately but wisely to those who are prepared for it and not for the mere asking of it by the immature soul. Even in shaktipat, it is not the true Kundalini that rises but simply an aspect of it. There is too much sensationalism involved in Kundalini awakening.
The serpent fire, or the force of shakti, when awakened, rises within sushumna to unite with the Shivaic energy from the Ego that may lie within the third ventricle of the brain. Egoic energy, like kundalini has to be evoked for it to be present at the marriage bed inside the cranium. When united, they stimulate the head centers and glands, and the third-eye begins to unfold. It raises Man to a higher plane of consciousness. Inside the cranium, kundalinic fire stimulates the pineal gland. The magnetic union of these head centers causes an explosion of energy which illuminates the entire cranium and causes physical changes in the brain. Kundalini is the source of Man's regenerative potential. She vitalizes the chakras, and via the chakras, the glands. The glands then secrete hormones that are life and youth preserving. Kundalini is related to the serpent in the story of Genesis. The true interpretation of this book as known to the initiate, remains to be revealed to a wider audience. The Tree of Knowledge with its branches corresponds to the central nervous system with its various plexuses. It is through this nervous system and the senses that we acquire knowledge of the physical plane. The Tree of Life represents the autonomic nervous system to some extent but specifically to the etheric nervous system, or the nadis .
Protecting the body from an untimely kundalinic stimulation and a bombardment of astral forces are certain network of nadis, or "etheric webs," which are found along the subtle spinal cord. In Yogic philosophy, these webs are called "granthi," meaning "knots." There are three granthis of considerable importance. They are called "Brahma's knot," "Vishnu's knot," and "Rudra's knot." These are located in the vicinity of the Muladhara, Anahata, and Ajna chakras, respectively. They offer a maximum resistance to Kundalini when she ascends.The shielding off of Kundalini by these knots as she rises, causes manifestations of a painful nature in the body--but this is for the general well-fare of the psychosomatic system. The brain is safe if the warning of pain is heeded and kundalinic arousal halted. These protective shields, or etheric webs are "dispersed" naturally, or raised in frequency through spiritual living and the purification of the nadis. Kundalini herself, however, burns away the subtle dross within sushumna and in the body which the normal purificatory process is unable to accomplish completely. The proper way for raising the fiery force is through magnetization of the higher centers and sushumna and not through direct arousal by the focalization of the consciousness on the slumbering serpent. Kundalini rises as the male and female polar energies within the body are balanced. Yogic mystics often resort to certain contractions and locks of the muscles called "bandhas" to arouse Kundalini and to assist her ascent upwards. These bandhas are applied in the following areas :
These locks are called in Yoga teachings "Mula Bandha," "Uddhivana Bandha," and "Jalandhara Bandha," respectively. These contractions or "locks" rejuvenate the chakras, glands, nerves and nadis. The exercises of these locks are accompanied by directing the internal wind--"prana" and "apana," which must be balanced in the root chakra.
Kundalini awakening in general, must be supervised by an adept who is well-experienced in these matters and who has had his own Kundalini raised. It is a matter of right timing, the ripeness of the disciple which the Adept-Guru must determine carefully for his disciple. Kundalini arousal can be safe or it can be a dangerous matter depending on the readiness and prior preparation of the chela. One of the dangers of Kundalini arousal which should be noted is the motion of the force--whether it rises upwards or downwards. The right course is upwards, and it is symbolically called the "serpent of wisdom." The downward course causes sexually deviations and an amplification of the carnal instincts and desires, which are represented by the "red dragon" in myth and allegories. The raised serpent giving heath and vitality may be found in the symbols adopted by the medical and apothecary professions : the caduceus and the coiled serpent around a chalice.
As we have seen, Kundalini is represented by the serpent and dragon, depending on her motion. Her downward spiral is also represented by the scorpion. When she reaches the Sahasrara chakra, when she has united with her Lord Shiva, the Christ force, she is transformed into an eagle, which symbolizes a transcendental consciousness. The wings of an eagle together with the other components of the subtle body are portrayed in that emblem held in the hands of the god Hermes or Mercury--the caduceus--and appropriated by the medical profession as mentioned above. The passage and journey of Kundalini upwards from the base chakra into Sahasrara may be found in the allegories of the Rosicrucian tale of CRC in the Fama Fraternitatis, in the Exodus of the Israelites, in the story of Jesus, in the Grail myth, and in the opening of the seven seals in Revelation. Some occult students believe that the central mystery of the Holy Shekinah in Qabalism refers to Kundalini. The circumambulations of the pilgrims around holy sites such as the Ka'ba in Mecca and Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas are symbolic of the spiralling ascent of the serpent fire. When interpreted esoterically, Moses is believed to have received instructions on Kundalini as implied in the following verse :
This serpent upon the pole is the caduceus with Kundalini flowing harmoniously in the three nadis. With the help of Kundalini, every one bitten by ignorance although spiritually dead, shall live as they are spiritually illumined and perceive through the eyes of wisdom.
In Masonry, Kundalini is represented by Hiram Abiff. The 33 degrees of attainment of this esoteric brotherhood, which have degraded in modern times, represents the 33 segments of the spinal column. The resurrection of Hiram is the work undertaken by the Masonic initiate. The life of Jesus also represents kundalinic ascent. The number 33 again appears as the age of the Nazarene Master as he was crucified upon the hill of Golgotha, the place of the skull--the initiate's skull. In this context Jesus represents the power of Kundalini. More of this will not be revealed here.
Incense plays a role in sanctifying an environment as a preparation for spiritual work. It is used in almost all religions and mystical traditions. Its smoke spiralling upwards to convey Man's prayers to the gods--as believed by some cultures--represents the rising energy of Kundalini.
Chrism Oil & the Brain Dews
Kundalini alone is incapable of illuminating or transforming brain-consciousness--this is a principle often over-looked by New Agers. Kundalini has to unite with Egoic energies and also convey the etheric substance called by some "Chrism Oil" to the third ventricle of the brain. This oil is produced by the prostrate gland in the male and the uterus in the female. It is transported to the brain by the serpent force where it mixes with the crystallized energies of the Ego called "Brain Dews." These are then released into the bloodstream and into the nervous system. This results in psychological and biological changes--in the acceleration of the vibratory rate of the body; and it brings about rejuvenation and an improvement in the quality and extent of the magnetic field, the aura surrounding the physical body--but these are the least important of the changes wrought. The important transformations occur in the consciousness.
Chrism oil, sometimes called "the Golden oil," is developed out of the sexual fluids. If it is not held in the body by conservation and sublimination of semen and the sexual force, is wasted in the act of procreation and generation, especially if the carnal nature is excessively expressed. When conserved, this oil, this "balm of Gilead," does not automatically reach the third ventricle where it is to blend with its mate unless directed there with the aid of the Kundalini force in the practice of spiritual acclivity techniques. By conserving, transmuting and sublimating sexual energy--called "Ojas-shakti" by yogis--together with the Chrism oil to the cerebrum, we stimulate brain cells and awaken to a higher intelligence. In Taoist yoga, this is called "reversing the flow." Taoists refer to sexual energy as "ching chi," which is a transformation of Kundalini and the chi or prana in the gonads. This spiritual force is willed and directed mentally to the head center where it again undergoes some changes to develop into a higher energy called "shien chi."
Religious and esoteric groups of the past and present practice sexual restrain--some call it "encratism." All mystical schools in the East and in the West believe that ejaculation of the seminal fluid is detrimental to the mind, body, and soul. It should be noted, however, that the object is not sexual expression, but transformation, sublimation and assimilation.When conserved and sublimated, seminal energy tones up the whole organism. It makes the senses more acute; it brightens the eyes, and causes a certain sheen to be seen on the skin; it also unfolds psychic abilities. Sexual energy is the force that assists man to raise his consciousness to a higher state. Thus we see from this that the energy of procreative sex is a potential power which could and should be transmuted into a higher expression and used for spiritual purposes in right living and in the exercising of certain esoteric techniques to evolve the consciousness to Superconsciousness. Metaphysical sexual unions would occur within the microcosm as a result of sexual sublimation and the absorption of the Chrism oil; and they are as follows :
Brain-dews, called "Ros" by the ancient Rosicrucians, is a spiritually magnetized fluid that transforms human blood into a river of life, into the saving blood of Christ, into the "redeeming blood of the lamb." It is the true waters of baptism. Ros is the crystallized Christ substance. The Christ force emanates from the Godhead of the omniverse; it is the son aspect of the cosmos that enters this solar system via the sun. This Christ force, called "Azoth" by alchemists, stands at the door of the Sahasrara chakra and knocks :
Normally, the Christ force stands at the portal uninvited into the sanctum sanctorum. This is because its presence is usually unacknowledged and the way for its entry obstructed and hindered by impurities, psychic toxins, as a result of a materialistic life style and orientation; Other factors also prevent the Christ force from entering the brain to densify into Christ substance or Ros and to have a spiritual effect upon the lower aspects of the microcosm. These are :
We therefore, invite the Christ into our system by purification of the chakras, nadis, and bloodstream; and a change in the life-style that is partial to the spiritual life. The latter builds the antahkarana (we will elaborate upon this later).
As we have said before, brain-dews are the condensations of the Christ force or ethers of the higher planes. The bloodstream, as the vehicle of the Ego, determines an individual's spiritual state, as understood metaphysically. The more Christ substances are assimilated into the blood, the greater will be the body's etherealization and perfection. It should be noted, however, that the body will absorb only as much Christ substance as the state of an individual's consciousness would allow. It should also be realized that unless the brain-dews mixes with the Chrism oil, it would simply evaporate and leave no effect upon the whole organism. Love and its manifold expressions greatly increases one's ability to assimilate the Christ substance. Ros, the condensed fluid of the Christ substance, is believed to impregnate saliva in an adulterated form; the saliva of spiritual people, are therefore said to possess therapeutic and rejuvenative qualities. This can be seen in the gospel stories of the Master Jesus healing the blind with his spittle. Certain Sufi methods of healing also employ the spittle.
Once the third-eye has been developed with the help of Kundalini, the Chrism oil, the secretions and magnetism of the head glands, and the brain-dews, man would be able to function in the higher worlds with full awareness. These various substances and energies are instrumental to man's physical resurrection or etherealization. They are collected, blended, and released into the body through the third ventricle of the brain which, in one sense, represents the Holy Grail :
Hindu yogis call the brain-dews "soma" or "amrita." It is the nectar or ambrosia of the gods. Manuals on yoga such as the "Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika" advises students to flood the body with it. A superior body of vitality and strength is acquired by the permeation of the blood with soma. Aging is arrested and, it is believed, immortality is acquired--this is the transformation of the natural body called "adhibhautikadeha," into the divine body "adhidaivikadeha" as termed by Hindu mystics.
Filling the body with light-energy in the form of soma and Chrism oil is the means whereby the human is changed into the divine.Yogis believe that magickal powers are bestowed upon the individual whose physical body is transmuted into a higher form. It is thought that amrita flows profusely from the third ventricle by stimulating the palate and uvula with the tongue. This exercise is a fundamental practice among various mystical sects in India.
Symbolically speaking, the apron made of lambskin and worn by Masonic initiates during the performance of rituals is emblematic of the Chrism oil to be found in the loins. The covering of the nether regions represents the conservation of the precious energies to be found therein. In Esoteric Christianity, the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordon refers to the anointment within the cranium with the mystic waters of the Chrism oil (Jesus), and the brain-dews (Christ). Or in another sense, Jesus may represent "ching chi" and Christ to the fiery essence in the semen. This is supported by the Greek code-word IKHTHUS, which means "fish" but is also an anagram for the phrase in Greek: "Jesus Christ, god-saviour." The fish in this context refers to the sperms in the semen and to its odour. As a side note, it would probably interest some that one of the original symbols for Christianity was the fish and not the crucifix. The mark of the fish is to be found in many early Christian tombs and gravestones.
Sutratma, Antahkarana, & the Permanent Seed-Atoms
Sutratma or amrita nadi, is the cord that connects the principles of Man like a string of beads; the principles and sutratma are symbolically speaking, the divine rosary. The purpose of sutratma is to spiritually link the Monad with the Quarternary via the Ego. Sutratma is the conveyor of divine substances from the Ego and the Monad to the lower principles. It terminates its lower end at Sahasrara--the crown chakra, and its physical counterpart, the pineal gland. It is composed of the higher energies of the various planes where it functions. In thickness, sutratma is said to be just a few centimeter in diameter, but is believed to have once extended to the size of Man's body in past Golden Ages when Man was more spiritually oriented. The reduction of its size was one of the consequences of Man's disobedience to the will of God, or the violation of the laws of the Cosmos. Sushumna in the etheric body is actually the extension of sutratma. Sutratma, the spiritual umbilical cord, is woven out of other thinner cords called the mental, emotional, and physical cords. The mental and emotional cords are the products of Man's evolution. They have their upper terminal points in the Ego. They convey mental and emotional forces to the physical body. In bygone days, only the physical cord existed. In the Atlantean period, the emotional cord was developed. In this Aryan Age, the mental cord was formed. The next phase is the development of the spiritual cord called the antahkarana.
The physical cord originates from the Monad and it was bestowed upon Man when he undertook the work of evolving Divine Self-awareness. The physical cord is the rope of life; it is the cord that conveys a certain life essence. As Man develops spiritually, the cords will gradually improve in size and quality. Mental activity strengthens the mental cord, whereas emotional harmony and balance ameliorates the nature of the emotional cord. In the Old Testament, sutratma is referred to as the silver cord :
The verse above also refers to the fact that the silver cord is detached from the physical body during the process of transition. So long as this cord remains intact, life within the body is sustained, even should Man fall into a cataleptic state with the appearance and clinical pronouncement of death.
The Antahkarana, is the spiritual cord that at Man's present stage of evolution, is in the process of becoming. It is called by some students of the occult "the rainbow bridge," and is the actual pathway for the Christ substance, for the alchemical Azoth. Like the mental or emotional cord, it is created by Man's efforts of obtaining his divinity and immortality. This cord begins in the heart chakra and is growing steadily towards the Monad--the pace of its own growth is in accord with Man's spiritual works and aspiration--these being meditation, prayers, service to humanity, and a spiritual way of life. Each step of Man's spiritual progress increases the extension of this spiritual cord towards the One. The Antahkarana is an independent cord but will later merge into sutratma like the other cords. When it does so, Man's human nature would be transformed into divine godhood. We see, therefore, that there are four cords associated with Sutratma, three of which are already interwoven and merged into Sutratma.
The three cords, mental, emotional, and physical--or the "life cord" as it is usually called, function analogously, in one sense, to anchor-ropes; the anchors in this case are the Permanent Seed-Atoms.
Permanent Seed-Atoms are Man's "Book of Life." They record Man's physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development. In Christianity, they are refered to as the "recording angels" that note every thought, feeling and action of Man. There are three Permanent Seed-Atoms that play a role in Man's spiritual development; these are the Mental, Emotional, and Physical Seed-Atoms. The Mental Seed-Atom is located in the pineal gland, the Emotional Seed-Atom is to be found in the apex of the liver, and the physical seed atom has its abode in the right auricle of the heart. Some schools of occultism teach of an "Etheric Seed-Atom" that has its place in the spleen.Other Seed-Atoms may gradually come into existence as Man's spiritual development continues to progress. Permanent Seed-Atoms are composed of the substances of their respective planes. The Physical Seed-Atom, for instance, is formed out of the energies of the physical plane. Seed-Atoms in general, registers and preserves the quality, nature, frequency and blueprint of their associated principles. They conserve faculties, talents and abilities formed by the incarnating Ego. The Seed-Atoms are stored in the Causal body when Man is not incarnated in the physical plane. This is symbolised in the allegory of Noah's Ark that preserved the seeds of animals for a new life-cycle. Each incarnation improves the record of a Seed-Atom, and each Seed-Atom, as a blue-print, builds what is contained in its memory banks. Seed Atoms carry the vibrational nature of their associated principles. Principles are formed with the same vibrational frequencies of those Seed-Atoms. The quality and form of a manifested principle depend very much on the stored blueprint in the core of the Seed-Atom. The more perfect the blueprint or archetype, the more perfect the principle. Blueprints are improved as Man develops his mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual quality. The contents of seed atoms are the pabulum that nourishes the Ego and builds the Causal Body. St. Paul was aware of the existence of Seed-Atoms. In one of his letters to the Corinthians he declared :
When Man commences a cycle of incarnation, it is the Physical Seed-Atom that first descends and gives life to a spermatozoon destined to unite with an ovum. A few months later, the Emotional Seed-Atom is implanted into the growing fetus. The pregnant mother then begins to feel the movements of her growing child within her. At the time of birth, the Mental or Consciousness Seed-Atom is anchored into the head center of the infant. In the process of transition from this plane, the Mental-Seed is the first to be released. The Emotional Seed-Atom follows not long after. When the last Seed-Atom leaves the body, the silver cord snaps. The death process itself is triggered with the release of certain information from the Physical Seed-Atom. This information is conveyed to the glands where they produce the hormones necessary to assist the release of the Seed-Atoms from physical anchorage and trigger the death-process..
Seed-Atoms are programmed by the Soul to release certain pulses of information at stated times. These pulse-information manifest in Man's psychological and physical structure as certain formations, abilities, liabilities, talents or limitations. In the Physical Seed-Atom we also find records of Man's karma. Man's karmic sins returns to him when the consequences of his actions are ripe for manifestation. Waves of electromagnetic energy, representing the records of karma, issue from the Seed-Atoms. These waves of energy infiltrate into the bloodstream where they stimulate the endocrine glands. These glands then secrete the appropriate balance of hormones to manifest the nature of the effect of the karmic cause, whether for good or ill. Knowledge of the Physical Seed-Atom located in the heart prompted a Hebrew sage to write about it :
The Causal Body & Electronic Belt
Man's good works do not pass unrecorded. They are the energies that he uses to build the "temple not made with hands," the Causal body. In each incarnation Man is alloted a certain amount of energy; this is his capital, so to speak, which if used rightly in accord with divine laws and rules in investing and building constructive and creative projects of the Soul, he would prosper well. Energies rightly used acquire a greater value and are deposited into the Causal body, the cosmic bank. These energies are our spiritual treasures that we lay in heaven. When Man passes through transition he takes away nothing along with him accept his karmic deeds, his experiences, memories, and his newly attained stage of soul development. Each incarnation never fail to beautify and glorify the Causal body, for in each embodiment Man does perform some works of righteous, beauty, and love, no matter how far he has strayed from the path of Truth.
The Causal body, as mentioned before, is the repository for the Seed-Atoms. These seeds are stored when Man is in the state of repose, the state of pralaya of the cyclic law of Activity and Rest. This Causal body is also the vehicle for the Ego and Monadic energies of the higher mental plane. In Conte de Graal, one of the Holy Grail stories written by Chretian de Troyes in the late 12th century, portrays the Holy Grail as being carried by a virgin in a procession. Esoterically, this virgin is the Monad, the Virgin Spirit that bears the Causal body, the Holy Grail with its contents of divine nectar--the Egoic energies, spiritual seeds, and the energies related to one's spiritual development. To drink the nectar from this chalice in this physical plane through meditation and prayer is the act of invoking additional spiritual energies, additional capital to fulfill one's destiny on this mundane sphere. Only a person of purity may discover the Grail and be its bearer. As the Quarternary is purified of all mental, emotional, and physical impurities, the qualities of the Causal body, the holy blood, are poured into it like a celestial cornucopia pouring its abundance into the chosen one, into the knight who becomes a Grail King thereafter. As can be seen from this, the Causal body is a two-way relay station; it is a transmitter and receiver of divine energies. In the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, God spoke through Isaiah concerning the bestowal of the gifts of the Causal body in this symbolical manner :
The quest for the Grail is the lifetime search for one's immortal nature. Socrates, the ancient Greek sage, taught of the possibility of retrieving previous knowledge and talents of the Soul. Where former spiritual knowledge gained by the Soul of Man was concerned, he believed that it was only necessary to discuss upon cosmic truths to awaken the memory of one's previous attainment.
The Causal body of a spiritually developed individual, manifests as concentric rings or spheres of multicolored, multidimensional fire. In the microcosm of an unevolved man, however, it is a colorless ovoid without any hint of its future glorification. St. Paul was, therefore, right when he declared that one star or Causal body differs from another in glory :
It is the incumbent task of Man to endow his holy temple with divine lights and to decorate it with jewel ornaments, for this is indeed the New Jerusalem :
Coloured gems of the rainbow within the Causal body, metaphorically speaking, represent various aspects of man's spiritual development. Yellow, for instance represents the development of man's spiritual intellect. White, on the other hand, is the color of the unfoldment of purity. Pink is the color of divine love and compassion, whereas blue is the color of the will. The Causal body also manifests colors that has no earthly counterpart.
The Electronic Belt is the antithesis of the Causal body. While the Causal body stores the righteous works of Man, the Electronic Belt stores and records his "wickedness," the energies that he misqualifies; all of his negative karmic deeds. We all know that particles light in weight, such as those of hydrogen and helium, rises into the air. Conversely, heavy particles sink to the ground. The Electronic Belt is composed of such dense particles, and as such, they accumulate at the lower half of Man's physical body forming a shape like a large cauldron. All of the dross of Man manifests as heavy atoms, molecules, and dense energies. Unless purified and destroyed by the burning action of the Holy Spirit which we visualize and invoke by prayers, decrees, and words of power, the Electronic Belt will continue to bind Man to mortality and prolong his stay in Samsara--the lower planes. Its dissolution will release Man to ascension's Light.
The Dweller on the Threshold, "I AM" & the Flame Within
To know Man's Reality, his True Self, the seeker after Truth would first have to know the false self--or that which he calls "self"--for this false ego is the cloud, the veil that hinders true perception of that which is truly the SELF of Man, that which is called "I AM." Before the Master Jesus began his ministry, he engaged upon a period of introspection, fasting, meditation, and prayer upon a "mountain top" where he was tempted by "Satan." In a parallel event in the East, hundreds of years before, Gautama Buddha, before attaining the lofty state of enlightenment underneath the Bodhi tree, was tempted by "Mara." Mara and Satan, or in psychology--the alter ego, are the "adversaries" of liberation, of soul-development. In modern occult terminology, they are the Dweller on the Threshold.
The Dweller personifies and represents the carnal mind and desires, the false ego and its manifold vices that constantly tempt Man to stray from the path of Truth, from the Path of Righteousness; it also is the subconscious content of the psychosis, phobias, neurosis, and the morbid sense of sin and guilt that attacks the integrity of the psyche. The Dweller, this pseudo-being, is the non-self considered to be the Self by the lower mind. Most of us are familiar with the term, "the Voice of Silence"; the promptings of the Dweller is the "Voice of Noise" that disrupts the tranquility of the soul. The Dweller is an illusory being that every spiritual aspirant has to overcome; although the strategy for overcoming this seemingly powerful opponent is not by direct attack but by using the spiritualized intellect in understanding the falseness of its assertions, wants, and desires. It is by seeing through the deceptive nature and illusory existence of this false ego, this Dweller, that we triumph over its subtle attack in the form of suggestions. We should appreciate its presence, though, for it has a role to play in our lives; it is, in fact, a fragment of energy of all that we truly are.
Man, when stripped down of all his vestures, down to his essential being, is that Silent Watcher, that great "I AM." Its very nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda, or Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. It is the SELF called by some Hindu philosophers "Brahman." It is Man's true reality. This SELF is that which spoke to Moses, the "I Am that I AM" from the burning bush; it is also that which was referred to by the Nazarene Master when he said :
It is the Divine Presence within Man mentioned in Psalms :
In the Qabalah, I AM is referred to as "Yekidah." Kashmiri Shaivism calls the I AM, "Ahamta." Initiates of ancient Egypt represented Ahamta--which in Theosophy is the Monad--by "Ptah," the father of the gods. Ptah is often depicted as creating the lower gods or principles by the light of his Eye. Ptah within the microcosm is the nature of be-ness, or be-ing. It is, was, and ever will be. Its qualities are is-ness, now-ness, and here-ness. It is the true image of deity emanated as a spark from the thought of God, from the Divine Consciousness of Parabrahm. The Ego is the entity within the microcosm growing into that I AM image. I AM is the God immanent within the microcosm. A wise sage once declared :
The Monad is the SELF that every candidate of the Mystery Schools of the past sought to realize. According to Theosophy, the Monadic core of Man, the I AM, resides in the Paranirvanic, or Anupadaka plane. This is the second highest realm in the Physical Cosmic Plane. Monadic essence is to be found within the Ego in the lower realms, and a minuscule spark of the Spark lies in the depth of Man's physical heart as a channel and conveyor of Life.
The spark in the heart is threefold in aspect: it is will/power, love/wisdom, and intelligence/activity represented in the flame by the fiery colors of blue, pink and yellow, respectively. It is about a quarter of an inch in height and is said to increase in size in proportion to Man's spiritual development. This flame carries the image of deity in its essence. It is the God within the heart. This is probably why some sages declare that the seat of Self, the "I" is in the heart. Followers of Zoroaster honour the flame within their temple three times a day; esoterically speaking, this flame is the luminous essence within the heart. Within this spiritual fire, symbolically, the flame of Vesta--goddess of the hearth, is the Permanent Seed-Atom. Most sages of the past of both East and West, like Paracelsus and Sankaracharya, acknowledged the existence of this inner flame, this inner man. Even the Upanishads speak about it. For instance, in the Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad, the inner flame is called "Akasha," which literally means radiance. In Yogic philosophy it is called "Dahara." In Christian scriptures, Peter also mentions this inner being :
In the well-known Buddhist mantra of Avalokiteshvara, "Om Mani Padme Hum," meaning "I am the Jewel in the Lotus," the flame is represented by the Jewel and its fiery brilliance. In symbolical form, the flame within is represented by the "fleur de lys."
The inner flame is Man's direct connection with his divinity. Its size is increased by the living of spiritual principles. As it grows it raises the vibrations within the microcosm and conveys the abundant life of the Monad to every cell and atom composing Man's being. Practitioners of soul-cultivation should acknowledge its existence daily. It should be stirred into activity by one's focused thoughts, attention, and devotions.
The Rays Governing Man & the Stream of Consciousness
We have previously described how the Great Central Sun is the source of divine energy in our solar system. According to occult wisdom, the Cosmic Energy--the divine Shakti, has twelve qualities in its nature, five of which are considered "secret." This spectrum of energies, the exoteric seven, and the esoteric five, are called "Rays." These Rays are the expression, the very life force of the Deity, and are sometimes called aeons or emanations. The first three Rays of the seven are called "Rays of Aspect"; they are: the First Ray of Will/Power, the Second Ray of Love/Wisdom, and the Third Ray of Intelligence/Activity. The second class of Rays are called "Rays of Attribute." These are: the Ray of Creativity/Harmony--the Fourth Ray; the Fifth Ray of Science/Concrete Knowledge; the Sixth Ray of Idealism/Devotion; and the Seventh Ray of Ceremony/Order. Each of the various realms in our Cosmic Physical Plane is influenced by one or more of the Rays. At this time we know almost nothing about the Secret Rays, and although we know very little of the exoteric Rays, they are sufficient enough to provide us food for thought. It is the Law of Correspondence in particular that gives us a greater view of how the Rays relate to our lives and evolution.
All of the Rays, although having a predominant quality of its own, do possess to a lesser degree the qualities of all of the others. These are called "subrays." The science of rays gets more complex because each of these subrays in turn has its own subrays, ad infinitum. Each life-unit from atom to sun is influenced by a certain Ray-quality. Rays mould and qualify the consciousness of a life-unit along certain lines of activity and mode of expression. Within Man it bestows upon him his temperament, his inclinations, and his idiosyncrasies.
Our sun evolves along the Second Ray of Aspect, the Ray of Love, which reveals in a way why Love is such a powerful force in our lives and in our solar system. The subrays of the primary ray of the sun are embodied by the planets in our solar system; these planets are the chakras in the body of the Solar Logos. In certain ancient writings they are called "Elohim"--the "Spirits before the Throne." Our beloved planet is under the influence of the Third Ray of Aspect--the Ray of Intelligence/Activity, which is a subray of the Solar Ray. Now this Ray of Intelligence has its subrays too, and it is these that directly influence the evolution of mankind, individually and collectively. The rays, however, are not all in the active mode at any given time. Only five predominate, and this produces the interesting changes and turn of direction in the progress of civilization and the psychological and natural bend of mind of humanity.
The microcosm of Man, as we have seen, is triune in aspect and septenary in nature. Each principle of Man embodies a Ray. Sometimes these Rays conflict within Man; they pull him in several directions; it is, therefore, his task to manifest harmony out of their discord, alignment out of their disorder. Once alignment occurs in the Rays of the lower three principles--the Rays of the physical body, the astral form, and the mental sheath, then the Personality Ray emerges and begins to hold sway. Man progresses even further when he allows the Egoic Ray to influence his consciousness by subduing the activity of the predominating Personality Ray. When this is accomplished, the Monadic Ray will make itself felt with a repetition of the subduing process on a higher spiral in the being of Man. The Personality Ray when active, has a strong effect upon the physical body and its Permanent Seed-Atom; it has an affinity with this particular principle more than the others. This means that as the Personality Ray exerts itself, its nature can be perceived clearly in the physical body. What is true for the Personality Ray and the Physical body with its Permanent Seed-Atom is likewise true for the Egoic Ray and the astral body with its Emotional Permanent Seed-Atom, and also on a higher level for the Monadic Ray and the mental sheath with its Permanent Seed-Atom. For some particular reason the Monads of Man are only to be found on the Rays of Aspect, and thus as a divine being, Man expresses either the quality of Power, Love, or Intelligence.
As Man evolves, he responds more frequently to the Rays emanating from higher sources, such as the Rays of the Spiritual Hierarchy, the Planetary Ray, and the Solar Ray, etc. All of the Rays correspond with one of the chakras and glands. The predominating Ray within Man affects the glands which in turn secretes substances that manifest a certain personality and body type. Thus generally speaking, there are types of Man with seven basic temperaments and appearances. For instance, we have the man of a commanding nature--this typifies the First Ray. Another man may express a strong devotion to an ideal--this is a man of the Sixth Ray. Individuals with such natures often choose the type of vocation or occupation most suited to their natures. In the above example, the man of the First Ray may choose to be a soldier; the man of the Sixth Ray may choose to be a priest. We evolve more quickly and fully by knowing the Rays governing us and unfolding their qualities within our soul. Humanity as a whole, however, are not solely influenced by their individual Rays--Rays from various sources affect Mankind; these are the Racial Rays; the Ray of the Human kingdom; National Rays; Rays of Cycles; the Planetary Ray; the Solar Ray, etc.
The subject of Rays is abstruse and complex. With our limited minds and consciousness we can only perceive and comprehend a general picture. Consciousness play a role in unfolding the knowledge we have of ourselves, or rather SELF. It is for this reason that spirituality is equated with the expansion of consciousness, for the more conscious we are, the more divine our expression; the more we apprehend Cosmic purpose, the more responsive we are to sentient contiguity. The inner differences between one kingdom and another is the quality of the consciousness. Those interested in delving more on the subject of Rays ought to study the works of Alice Bailey.
Now we will discuss the interesting subject of consciousness. Consciousness can be considered as a stream of energy limited in its awareness in the lower planes because of the sheaths that it occupies. This limitation causes an illusory, dualistic sense of fragmentation--of separation from the other elements of the Omniverse. This thread of Ariadne, or the stream of consciousness, is never disconnected or severed as the waking consciousness would have us believe. It is in reality a continuum. There is only one divine consciousness functioning at various levels. These levels are :
In Hindu philosophy they correspond to :
The first two classifications are the consciousness levels of the Personality; superconsciousness is the state of awareness of the Ego. Turiya is the consciousness-state of the Monad--Buddhism call it Adi Buddha or Alaya Vijnana. Sushupti is the Christ-state that we are immediately concerned with. We are all striving to acquire this state by spiritual living. It is the intermediate state prior to the attainment of Cosmic Consciousness. Sushupti is the "dreamless state," the Christ Consciousness that we are told to form within us by St. Paul :
To possess Egoic Consciousness is to dwell in the secret place of the Most High. This secret place is Munsalvaesche, or Mt. Salvation in the Grail Mysteries. Initiates of the Huna teachings of Hawaii, the "Kahunas," refer to superconsciousness as, "Aumakua." Expansion of the consciousness causes a parallel development in the brain, its structure changes to conform to the quality of the operating consciousness.
Swapna, the "dream-state," is our subconsciousness. It is the storehouse of unprocessed impulses that we create and record in the waking state, such as our phobias. Our instincts have their source here too. The subconsciousness is also the channel for psychic contact with other intelligences--disembodied and embodied. Impulses of this "Id," as Freud calls it, often emerge in the form of dreams when the waking consciousness is quiescent. Sometimes it erupts in the waking consciousness, and thus we have the interesting phenomenon of hallucinations, which may occur through the auditory or visual faculty. The subconsciousness runs our involuntary functions such as the pulsations of the heart, the peristaltic movement of the bowels, and the pumping of the lungs. The Swapna-state is very receptive to suggestion. It carries-out commands given to it by the waking mind without question--that is, to a certain degree. Hypnotism is a practice that reaches the subconsciousness by bypassing the awareness of the waking consciousness.
Our waking consciousness is dual in nature: it is objective, and it is subjective. Objective consciousness is the result of external stimuli, the perception of vibrations emanating from the world around us. Our subjective consciousness is related to psychic processes occurring inside the psyche and are within voluntary control, such as reasoning, visualization, and imagination. Here inside the subjective consciousness lies most of the tools of Transcendental Magic. Quantum physics is beginning to realize the principle that consciousness affects that which it observes. This is evident in the atomic level. Occultists have long known of this law and have applied it in the art of transmutation.
Mantras are useful tools in producing an altered state of consciousness. Every initiatic tradition employs its use to further Man's spiritual unfoldment. It is interesting to note that strong emotions such as fear causes an abrupt change and orientation of one's consciousness state. For instance, when a person is in a state of fear or shock, he often faints. the consciousness shifts from Jagrat to Swapna. This occurs similarly, although in reverse, when one experiences fright in the dream state. One is often jolted back into waking consciousness. Between the various levels of consciousness are what we call the borderline state. We are most familiar with the borderline between Jagrat and Swapna. In this state, psychic manifestations occur more readily. Psychology calls the interesting images seen in this consciousness-level "hypnogogic." What really occurs in this state is the thinning of certain etheric webs which facilitates the entrance of impulses and vibrations emanating from the etheric and astral planes.
The brain of man produces waves of electromagnetic energies, and these are recorded in EEG machines. Four primary types of brain waves are recognized and they represent his state of consciousness. These waves are called Alpha, Beta, Theta, and Delta.
In an esoteric sense, the classification of humanity into the caste system by the lawgiver Manu symbolizes the levels of consciousness of Man as he evolves and expands his awareness. Jagrat corresponds to the Sudras--the laborers, the lowest class among mankind. Vaishas are the skilled workers and the merchants--they correspond to Swapna. Ksatriyas, or the ruling class are of the Sushupti-state; while the Brahmans are of Turiya. By evolving his consciousness, Man progresses from one state to the next.
Man's Purpose on Earth
Ever since the fires of the mind began to grow, several profound questions have vexed Mankind, such as , where and how did we originate? who are we? why are we here? Such questions caused Man to formulate hundreds of philosophies and dogmas designed to provide him with a meaning to his existence. Sometimes Man experiences pain, suffering, and struggle in his life--and then asks "why." If one's philosophy does not adequately answer the query or offer solace, then the philosophy itself has to be looked into as to what intrinsic value it contains, and whether it is wise to hold on to it, to modify or to replace it altogether.
The subject of Man's origin and true nature has been discussed previously in a succinct manner; and although our presentation was just the tip of the iceberg, they do provide food for thought. In this section we will concentrate on Man's purpose here on earth, for this gives us some insight on Man's collective destiny.
There is a clue to man's purpose here on earth if we consider what Man takes along with him at the time of so-called death; for if we acknowledge the existence of the higher worlds and the continuity of consciousness through the change called death, then Man's descent into this physical plane of coarse matter has a definite purpose which is normally forgotten as soon as incarnation takes place. A newly-developed brain does not contain the soul-knowledge acquired in previous lives and in heavenly planes. It is only by the attunement and alignment of brain-consciousness with the Soul that will bring this state of knowingness to the fore-consciousness.
It is evident when we look at the great change called "death" that Man is unable to carry his earthly goods or material things along with him when he passes away from this earthly scene; what he does reap and is able to take along with him from his earthly sojourn are immaterial treasures--things which are often considered valueless by the materialist and in most cases only realized as of great worth in the higher worlds when a greater perspective of life is perceived. The apostle Paul said :
As we analyze the situation, we can only conclude that the immaterial essence, the "things which are not seen" that Man benefits from being in this world and takes along with him when the mortal body is shed, are the practical experiences that he gains from manipulating matter and the conditions of space and time; also his relating to sentient beings while encumbered in a form made out of clay. The resistence of matter tries the mettle of the soul. It is this resistance of matter that evolves soul-consciousness. The interaction between consciousness and dense matter creates the illusion of time and space. these factors, although unreal, play a part in the evolution of Man's consciousness. As we can see from this, spiritual evolution is expressively the main purpose of Man's presence here on Earth.
Evolution can be said to be the law of the expansion of consciousness of a life-unit. It is the principle of becoming aware--aware of the All, of the total expression and essence of the Cosmos. From another point of view, it is simply to be--to be our True SELF. This is a state that transcends space and time. Abiding in the SELF is the perception of God "face to face." In case someone of a Christian persuasion thinks this as impossible just refer to the incident where Jacob wrestled with some force and ended up by saying :
An individual who lives in such a spiritual condition constantly, no longer lives as a Personality, or Soul, but lives as Spirit. St. Paul knew of this higher state of Be-ness. He wrote concerning it in one of his epistles :
Evolution is the process of manifesting the qualities of God inherent within the consciousness. Heretofore, evolution was worked upon Man by external agencies; now, at our present evolutionary stage of self-consciousness, we are to participate in our own soul-progress. It is said in Genesis, in the Pentateuch, that God rested on the seventh day. The "seventh day" is a symbolical term expressing the inception of Man's personal involvement with his own soul culture, for where God's works ends, Man's labour begins. The twelve tasks of Hercules are the tasks of the soul as it acquires the immortal qualities of the signs of the zodiac. Mortal concepts and behaviour caused the fall of Man. So long as our belief-structure contains ideations and feelings of unworthiness and mortality, we will continue to live in the abyss and not feel the light of the Sun. As Man climbs the steep slopes of the abyss, he learns more and more of the laws of the Cosmos governing his being. Obedience to those laws aligns Man with the Tao.
At each step of the way, evolving Man earns certain symbolical appellations which indicate his spiritual status. In ancient writings these stages of Man's unfolding consciousness are described as "the darkened spark," the "flickering light," and "the radiant son of God." Relating these stages to the rays, we may say that each stage is influenced by one of the Rays of the triune aspect of Man's being; for instance, the individual with a "darkened spark," may be said to be ruled by the Personality Ray; one who is spiritually awakened, who is described as a "flickering light"--such a person is ruled by the Ray of the Ego; and so it goes with the monadic Ray and the person of the third classification. Oriental mystics have their own unique manner of describing these stages based on the condition of discipleship. Buddhism classifies them in the following :
1) Srotopati--"he who has entered the stream."
There are higher classifications based on the bhumis of the Bodhisattva.
The steps in the growth of Man's consciousness are also delineated in that esoteric "book" called the tarot. Each card of the major arcana denotes a certain stage of Man's spiritual unfoldment. Evolution is God's Plan. The formulation of this divine idea had its inception in archetypal worlds--in Kether, the first emanation of Ain Soph in the Qaballistic "Tree of Life." According to this magickal system, to evolve, Man has to balance and embrace the polarities, the various opposites that we experience in life such as, love/hate, wealth/poverty, thinking/feeling, etc. These dualities are symbolised by Boaz and Jachin, the two pillars in King Solomon's Temple. Man is pulled into entirely different directions by these two conditions; it is Man's task to harmonize them and walk the central path. The middle way is the Royal Road home.
Man is endowed with several different faculties that assist him in determining and in creating his destiny and reality. Reason, imagination, free-will, are all tools that should be used to realize the true nature of things, the essence of life. Man's belief-framework determines to a large extent his reality--the environment is a reflection of the contents of the mind and emotions. Replacement of beliefs with a direct knowing of the Spirit liberates man from all conditions that binds and limits divine expression. The Orphics of ancient Greece called the body "the prison house of the soul"--and Man can only free himself from such a dungeon by widening the cracks that emit light. In order for Man to know eternal verities and manifestations of Cosmic life in celestial spheres he would have to develop the necessary apparatuses, the spiritual mechanisms that would aid in the reception of impressions and cognizance of higher vibratory activity. "As above so below" is a truism that Man has to prove for himself; for if the macrocosm creates, and is limitless in its nature and creativity, so likewise is the microcosmic being of Man. At present humanity is patterning and expressing very little of what lies above in the Kingdom of Souls. The potentiality to manifest God's Kingdom is present, however. Mastery of the elements of our being leads us to management of the cosmos. Life is a Mystery School. Each day Man faces trials and tribulations--the overcoming of which gives him a greater strength and understanding. Man's manifold experiences disciplines his mind, body, and soul. Man's philosophy and attitudes towards life are tested as to their wholesomeness and truthfulness. Revisions to his philosophy are made when they fail to provide him with the peace and energy to grow through life. The search for one's SELF is the search for enlightenment that is already part of the Spirit. Vajrayana Buddhism teaches the practice of knowing, feeling and imagining that the enlightened state were a part of the consciousness level in the "now," in the eternal present. This they call the divine pride of being a Buddha. The whole subject of Man can be complex in its simplicity, or simple in its complexity. It all depends upon our understanding and the perspective that we hold, whether we desire to "become" or just "to be," or perhaps both?
Copyright © 2001 Luxamore
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