Seven Fold Constitution Of Humanity
( Originally Published 1908 )
WE have seen that proceeding from Unity through its first uttered thought,— the Voice of God striking upon the waters of Life,— Kosmic vibrations varied by sound, motion, and number, and restrained by unison and harmony, are the base and order of the Universe.
Never lose sight of the basic law that Unity in action is dual,— that in this fact lies the axial point of creation, as also the endurance of the Universe; that right here, the ultimate of manifestation that man's intelligence can reach or comprehend, is the Fohat feeding the Great Dynamo which maintains the absolute rhythm of the Great Breath of all Life. On every hand we have proof of these two opposed but complementary forces in Nature.
The attraction and repulsion of these two phases of one substance — that is, the reciprocal activities of the positive and the negative, or the active and the passive — are the source of perpetual motion. While each phase is in its purest state, sympathy draws them together; when they are completely blended, antipathy results and they fly apart.
Thus satiety follows rapture and prepares the way for further rapture; the two phases ever building and disintegrating, mingling and separating.
This duality exists in every differentiality from the First Cause, and therefore in every atom. This is the first bond of union and sympathy, the phase of motion; it is this that maintains the conservation of energy; and the next is the form, like seeking like, fire feeding fire, water blending with water, oil with oil; and from every duad is de-rived a third, which is the synthesis of the triad.
As the seven sounds, the tones, or voices of the Logoi — emanations from the Holy Spirit of the Primal Trinity — define through their differentiations, the limits of causation and, therefore, the links in the chain; through their activities, they established corresponding planes of existence, or manifestation, which are called the sheaths of Brahman. It is Brahman,— the Creator who is undefinable,—" The one Breath of the whole Uni-verse," who set these limits to creation; without whom there could be no life; and not till the souls of men realize this can they attain immortality.
Now, wherever God is — and He is everywhere the possibility, the germ of development, of evolution, is present; and it is in this sense that it can be truly said, from the Truti to man, every atom is an epitome of the Universe, having its correspondence with the sheaths or planes. Consciousness is inherent in substance, therefore em-bodied in the atom which is the soul of the molecule, so that " every molecule in the Universe is able to feel and to obey after its kind,— the inorganic as well as the organic" (Perfect Way, p. 122).
Sir William Crooke's " protyle," the withinness of his dual atom, is a Prithivic Yâyu sheath of this synthesizing spiritual ray— the soul of every atom, of every created thing. It is for this reason that to sensitive souls, the souls awakened to the presence of the Spirit, the immanence of the God-presence becomes in all the secret haunts of nature an abiding fact ever present to their consciousness. Therefore, these enlightened ones see more, hear more, feel more, and receive more from intimate association with nature than those average folk whose chief characteristics are their gregariousness, their obtuseness to blatant noise, and their love of excitement — often indeed, their acute horror of being alone. They are afraid of the mystery of life which in silence knocks on the door of consciousness,- afraid because it has been clothed in terror when it should be radiant with beauty.
Western science is to-day ably corroborating all that the ancient religions and wisdom have affirmed concerning this septenary chain of creation, of in-volution and evolution. The telescope has revealed that the great globe of Jupiter is divided into a series of concentric shells showing variations of motion and character. The eye is able to look through these varying planes, or spheres within spheres; and an ideal picture of the spectacle, drawn by Garrett Serviss, curiously enough shows exactly six concentric rings surrounding the luminous central sphere. Now this central sphere is the " home " of the ruling Logoi,— the soul of the planet, which rules its function and emanations and sounds its key. Our own earth has its enveloping sheaths in like manner, and its radiant center, the Higher Ego (this is " The Glory clothing the Hidden Spirit "), which is positive to all its sheaths but negative to its Creator, Life Eternal!. Our sun holds in synthesis all the planetary rays sending to every one its own.
The astronomical symbol of the earth is a disc with a cross stretched from center to circumference. Has the deep significance of this ever occurred to you? It symbolizes the earth-life of humanity; the soul crucified upon and within the four elements of the physical plane; earth, water, fire, and air,— the stimulators of the senses and, through them, of desire. The ancient Hindu symbol called the Svastika (really a world symbol, as it has been found everywhere) is a modification of the earth sign; and, explained exoterically, signifies manifested life coming out of the unmanifested; that is, the arms of the Greek cross bent at right angles symbolize the human soul on the wheel of life, held to its orbit by the circle (under-stood) of the Spirit,— the one and. only source of all life. There is, however, a profounder symbology: The bent arms mark the soul's recognition of its oneness with spirit, and its determination to evolve out of the physical sheaths into synchronous vibration with the spiritual plane; hence into the state of spiritual consciousness. That is, to trans-form its cross into a crown ! In all the oldest records, the cross was always within the circle, which symbolizes Divine Unity, time unending, and the omnipresence of the unrecognizable.
You are familiar already with the fact that there are seven descriptions of life-currents corresponding with the planets, and it will not be difficult for you to understand that these seven fundamental forces in Nature are also seven planes of being, which, as Mme. Blavatsky explains very clearly, " are seven states of consciousness in which man can live, think, remember, and have his being."
These different Principles, sheaths, or bodies have received many names in the different religions and philosophies of both the ancient world and the modern ; and have been variously classified as to order. Any attempt to enumerate all these and to reconcile them would make a book in itself. The significant fact is that these different states have been recognized in all religions and every philosophy worthy of the name. The Christian Triad of body, soul, and spirit includes the whole septenary chain; but it has given currency to the common be-lief that man is only a triadic creature; so we speak of physical, mental, and spiritual selves.
The analysis here given does not change the familiar classification, but goes further — closer to the heart and truth of things, distinguishing other divisions; and showing how every Principle or sheath influences and interpenetrates the others. The septenary constitution of humanity is symbolized by a triangle surmounting a cube or square. In the cube, we have the ultimate of manifestation, containing as it does the possibilities of all variety, of every form, of all expression; all the elements in one, being the actual form of Prithivi, the earth vibration.
The cube represents the four different sheaths which make up the " natural body " of earth life. The two outer are the Sthula-Sharira, or gross body; and the Sûkshma-Sharira, or subtle body — the Etheric-double, which is the prototype and shadow of the Sthula, being the form round which the physical body is built; and in some of its appearances it is called the astral body. The Sûkshma-Sharira is the vehicle of Prana, which is transmuted through the astral spleen, and thus the life-current unites the two bodies. The noeuds-vital in the throat and " the pit of the stomach,"
so-called (the great vagus nerve and the solar plexus), are the points of closest connection between these Shariras, which explains the sensitiveness of these physical centers. The restoration of 'those who have been shocked by electricity or smothered by drowning is effected through such stimulation of these centers as restores connection between these bodies and thus recalls the Ego to consciousness. This is the secret of the wonder-working Kat-zu (resuscitation from apparent death) of the Japanese. The remaining sheaths of the quarternary are the desire-body, or Kâmarupa, the principle which uncontrolled gives physical man the most trouble; and the animal soul, or mind, Lower Manas. Mme. Blavatsky describes the latter as " The reflection or shadow of the Buddhi-Manas [Higher Manas], but often conquered by Kâmic elements." She states farther :
There are enormous mysteries connected with Lower Manas. With regard to some intellectual giants, they are in somewhat the same condition as smaller men, for their Higher Ego is paralyzed; that is to say, their spiritual nature is atrophied " (Secret Doctrine, Vol. III, p. 592).
These sheaths of the quarternary, correspond as enumerated with the Tattvas from Prithivi to Vâyu.
The upper triad ascends through Higher Manas, Higher Ego, Causal Body, or Kârana-Sharira — various names for one sheath or principle; to Buddhi, the soul, or spiritual sheath; and terminates with the Auric Egg, or Atma,— the Divine Spirit. The seventh holds all the other sheaths in synthesis; but the lower member of the triad, as in all trinities, holds the two highest Principles in synthesis and also, as the fifth from the lowest Sharira, holds the lower quartenary in synthesis, and unites then to the higher. You have doubtless recognized this as the all-pervading 1lkasha.
The two higher Principles, the duad of the upper triad (6-7), pervade everything in nature from the mineral upwards, but only in man is the fifth Principle found in an active state. It is the Causal Body, the beginning of individuality and consciousness, and marks the passage of the life from the beast to the human.
The four lower Principles are those in which, during earth life; the Spirit is involved; and the three higher, those through which by ascent the soul accomplishes its evolution — earns its immortality. Do not think of these sheaths or planes as one above another, either in the Universe or in man. All seven may be said to permeate all space. Their difference is a variation in form of manifestation of one and the same substance — Eternal Spirit; and this change in form is a change of velocity as well as change in combination of the primary simple Tattvas. The change is best and most simply described as increasing density and decrease of velocity from the highest to the lowest, which must be understood also as from inner to outer; or counting upwards from the lower and outer — that is, the physical body — the sheaths grow more subtle and the vibrations increase tremendously in velocity as they proceed from lowest to highest, from without to the radiant center of life. All these bodies change, deteriorate or improve, according to the materials we draw into them through our thoughts and emotions.
The rays of the Spirit radiate in every direction from the center to circumference, but the atoms of the separate sheaths are conditioned to the plane of their manifestation by the rates of their vibrations. These definite planes, or spheres, reflect one another as in a mirror; reflection proceeding downward and outward, every sheath being receptive to the next higher, and attracted to the next lower; but the Spirit radiates outward throughout the sheaths. Thus the Spirit is never in bondage to nature, even when working in and manipulating it; and the soul, the vehicle of the Spirit, has but to recognize its power in order to utilize it and manifest its freedom. The light is always within; but whether we reveal or obscure it depends upon the density of our outer spheres,— upon the character we are building for ourselves through our activities, tastes, and aims.
Thus man must master these forces or be mastered by them; and his whole task in life is the transmutation of lower forces into higher, whereby, he may develop the spiritual forces within and come into conscious recognition of his soul,— his Higher Ego.
What chiefly concerns us, then, is to gain consciousness on the spiritual plane. It is only a question of seeking the highest, and compelling obedience from the horde of trivialities on the lower plane which commonly occupy our entire field of consciousness, holding us there with their insistent demands.