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EXPLORING THE GREAT BEYOND -
We now come to our next important set of facts; the constitution of man, physically, psychically, and spiritually. (Diagram) These divisions correspond to those of the Pauline classification of body, soul, and spirit; they provide a key to the understanding of many problems relating to man, his behaviour patterns, his psychology as currently understood, his dreams, his long term destiny, and his after-death states. According to the Esoteric Doctrine, man is a sevenfold entity. In life he is a single whole being, not many beings, but one with seven aspects or principles. These are:
In this classification, the upper three principles, seven, six and five, comprise man's spiritual Self, his divine triplicity or upper triad. It is in the fifth principle, mind, that consciousness wells up as "1 am I", wherein man knows himself to be, and whereby he can be aware not only of his surroundings but of himself in them. The Ego is said to be imperishable, virtually immortal. It is that which puts a ray of itself down into physical, objective existence in each successive "personality" in its periodical incarnations. It is the reincarnating entity.
The four principles, first to fourth, sometimes referred to as the lower quaternary as opposed to the higher triad - the reincarnating, persisting individuality - comprise the successive personalities that are born and die after their due periods of existence and activity. It has been said they are like beads strung together on the thread of Egoic being. The cumulative harvest of their experience is garnered by the Ego. The distinction between the individuality and the personalities should be noted.
Another and deeper aspect of the constitution of man is that which "entifies" him as a whole spiritual, mental-psychic being, and makes him individual or separate from the whole, a life
distinct from the general Cosmic Life. In esoteric literature this is referred to as the Auric Egg. This egg or envelope is said to "contain and be directly related to both the Divine and the physical man. In its essence ... it is eternal; in its constant correlation and transformation, it is a kind of perpetual motion machine during the reincarnating process of the Ego on this earth." (S.D. III, 494)
In the processes of his very long term evolution man is seen to be the product of two main streams, the physical which provided him with his physical body and the mental which provided him with his distinct individual human Soul.
One of the difficulties confronting the student of Occultism is the lack of clear cut, definitive, and concise statements as to the nature of things. This is because of their almost infinite complexity in their total being. Any exposition must vary with the aspect being considered. An attempt to analyse man's principles, as a kind of overall, i.e. inner and outer "physiology," results in a classification such as we have just given, but when we wish to consider man in relation to the generality of the living Cosmos, or see him as part of the universal evolutionary process of unfoldment of spiritual potentiality, the language of exposition sometimes changes. Further, in the literature from which illustrative excerpts are freely used in this book, some technical language is frequently met with. As this terminology is also in general use and as it has some quite specific meanings, it might be helpful if we now introduced the reader to some of it. Most of the technical terms are taken from Sanskrit, the ancient religious language of the East, no longer spoken. Most of these terms are from Hindu- ism but some come from Buddhism in India and Tibet in local language.
Universal, all pervading Spirit (seventh principle) has many names; the common one is Atma. The Vehicle of Spirit (sixth principle) is commonly called Buddhi.
The fifth principle, mind, with its upper and lower aspects, is commonly / referred to as Manas. When orientated towards Buddhi, it is Buddhi-Manas and when orientated towards the fourth principle, Kama-Manas.
The fourth principle, which we referred to as that of desire and passion is, in this nomenclature, Kama, having a range of meanings all centring on emotional feeling. These include anger, lust,
hatred, jealousy; but especially is it used for desire, the internal prompter to action. We commonly do what we want or feel we should.
In this connection we should notice the word Rupa which means a form, sometimes taken to mean body, that through which action can take place. Kama-rupa is the body of desire.
The third principle (Sanskrit: Prana) is not private to man but is common to all living things. It is the universal vital principle, the life force, a "reflection of Atma, at lower 1evel. It becomes a principle of individual man only insofar as it is assimilated into his vital body, his second principle.
Our astral double or vital body, our second principle, is, in the Sanskrit classification, the Linga Sarira. This is the inner body forming the pattern or mould of our physical body. It is the repository of the elements of our being, stored from our previous lives, which condition our present one, particularly as far as the physical body is concerned.
Our first principle is our physical body, the Sthula Sarira. During waking life this is the focus, the seat of action in the physical world of all the other principles of man, insofar as they can operate through it. This depends on its degree of development and refinement.
A few more terms should be introduced before we go on with our narrative, but see also the Glossary. One of these terms is Monad. This is a word applied to the combination of Spirit and it’s vehicle, Atma and Buddhi. Together these form the inner essence of conditioned existence, but they are universal principles, and while they underlie consciousness, Monad itself is said not to be conscious in any sense that we know. Consciousness arises in he association of Monad with Mind. Such a combination when elated to an individual mind, is sometimes referred to as a monad. The spiritual essence overshadowing a life atom is also sometimes referred to as a Monad. But Monad, proper, is always whole and indivisible.
As we shall see later, man has several "doubles," the double of his physical vehicle, a "double" of his conditioned mental principle, and the "double" which, so to speak, encloses the totality of him, all his principles, demarking him from the universal, as a drop of water is demarked, when separate, from the ocean. This last is the Auric Envelope or Egg, already mentioned.
The mind body (lower or Kama-Manas) is known as his body of illusion, or Mayavi-rupa (maya = illusion), of great significance in the context of our theme as the body of astral travel, etc.
Astral is a word which causes much confusion because it is used in so many ways. We are familiar with it in the connection with astral body, astral travel, the Astral Light and the astral man. In formal Occultism all these have proper meanings. The astral body is a synonym for the second principle, Linga Sarira, but sometimes it is also applied to Kama-rupa. This leads to confusion because the Kama-rupa as such, as we shall see, does not exist until after death. Further, the term astral man is sometimes applied to the totality of the inner man, i.e. all his invisible principles from the second to the fifth; sometimes to the personal soul elements of the man, Kama-Manas, i.e., up to and including the lower parts of the mind, (the fifth principle). Sometimes it refers to the mental elements of the Kama-Manas principles. This is, as we have seen, more specifically the Mayavi-rupa. In our reading we have to gather from the context in which of these senses the word "astral" is used.
Here we should notice a further complication because it ex- plains some finer points in the understanding of man's constitution in terms of his modes of consciousness and behaviour, as well as some aspects of phenomena. Each of man's principles - reflecting those of Cosmos - comprises seven sub-principles, each reflecting one of the seven main principles. For example, Manas would have seven sub principles as Manas-atma, Manas-buddhi, Manas-manas, Manas-kama, Manas-prana, Manas-astral and Manas-physical (or something corresponding to physical at that level).
Another term very commonly met with in connection with the after-death states, discussed fully later (see Chapter 8) is Devachan. This is a subjective condition of bliss enjoyed by everyone in the normal course after death and after some processes involving our inner principles have been completed.
Karma, as opposed to Kama, is another word that needs some explanation now. It means literally action but is commonly applied to universal law by which the- whole process of Nature (its action) is governed. It is commonly regarded as the law of action and reaction, particularly as applied to man. It too is more fully discussed later.
We have now made sufficient preliminary explanations for some significant extracts from the literature to be appreciated.
Regarding man as a spiritual entity operating in a set of vehicles, the Auric Egg .'containing" all his principles. Out of these and associated with which "a distinct Astral Form is ... produced for each forthcoming personality of the reincarnating series of each Ego." Thus the Auric Egg, reflecting all the thoughts, words and deeds of man is:
We have seen that in the long sleep of death the 'personalized' Ego enters its Devachanic rest and there enjoys its subjective experiences, feeling itself to be its old personal self in the places and with the people it held dear in life. We have seen that the psychic principles disintegrate after, in their own time, but that the skandhas remain. In the Esoteric Science there are seven skandhas, as opposed to five in the exoteric systems, and they are described in roughly equivalent terms, as ... "the material properties or
There is much confusion in "Occult" literature concerning the meaning of the terms (a) The astral body, the double, eidelon or phantom, (b) the desire body, Kama-rupa and (c) the Mayavi-rupa, the body of astral travel and of apparitions at a distance. These are sorted out in a paper " A dialogue between Two Editors" on Astral Bodies or Doppelgangers, by H.P.B., (C. W. Vol. X pp. 217 et seq.); she says:
More was said on this subject by H.P.B. in the same paper but it pertains more to the condition of our state after death and has been included in Chapter 8. But another question asked :
This is important because the section just quoted could seemingly be taken to mean that they are one and the same.
In these extracts, the treatment of the constitution of man is somewhat different from usual but it has been included for the description not only of the nature of the principles of our inner being, but also something of their origin. The points made here should be noted as data for the explanations concerning the after- death states and of so-called astral travel in the Mayavi-rupa. Again the description of the various "doubles" of man's constitution should be particularly noted because there is so much confusion about them.
It is hoped that the setting into which we have put this description of the principles of man will help with the expansion of the theme of the great beyond. Man is a denizen of all the inner worlds and it helps us to know the vehicles of his constitution which correspond to them.
Here is some additional information about the astral body-the phantom double-of man and it's functions, which answers difficulties arising from questions concerning consciousness apart from a physical body or brain.
With the advent of new instruments able to tell us something of what is going on in the brain, its functions as a vehicle of mind
activity are now being understood in a totally different way from what we were able to learn from methods of examination of the conventional psychologist, if the word conventional can be used in this context. The picture of the mind that the non-specialist layman has been building up has been a synthesis of the pronouncements of those engaged in research, clinical and otherwise, in this field. Among these have been the work and writings of pioneers such as Adler, Freud and Jung. Their theories of the workings of the mind, which included the emotions, were necessarily conjectural because they lacked this framework of Occult knowledge. Those that were empirically based have proved useful therapeutically and many people have been helped.
Now. however, much that was indistinct in our vision of our psychological workings and their influence on our bodies and our behaviour can become clearer. The subject is immensely complicated.
The encephalograph (EEG) and the electromyograph (E.M.G.) have helped to clear some of the mists, and the techniques of bio-feedback are opening up avenues of exploration which are not only very exciting but they seem to be confirming the teachings of esoteric Science, particularly in the field of "mind over matter."
In learning what functions are performed by the various parts of the brain we are also learning something more about the functions themselves. For example, it has now been established that le left hand side of the brain deals with our ordinary thinking concerning ourselves, our business, and with physical concrete things generally. The function of this side seems to be analytical and ratiocinative, matter-of-fact. The right hand side deals with our aesthetic, artistic, religious, and mystical activities insofar as we indulge them. It has been discovered that in general in Western countries the development of the left hand side of the brain is emphasized, whereas in the East the reverse is true.
In terms of the lower or personal mind, and the higher spiritual mind classification given in the Occult constitution of man, we see the corresponding left and right side development of the brain. Further research may tell us of areas of the brain that are functioning only in the highly developed man and how, for example, by biofeedback techniques we may come to develop them for ourselves. Such research may produce some effective meditational techniques, graduated to suit people at all stages.
If this is possible religious instruction, both in and outside of schools, may be given a revolutionary turn.
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