- Glossary


The meanings of some non-English words and some English ones used in a special sense in the text. No accents are used and in some cases the spelling is anglicised. The definitions and meanings have been taken mostly from the Theosophical Glossary (H.P.B.) and Glossary of Sanskrit Terms (Barborka)

Ahankara. The egotistical principle in man giving the illusion of "I" as separate from the ONE SELF, egoism.

Akasa. The subtle, supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space, primordial substance.

Antahkarana. The bridge between lower and higher Manas, between the personal soul of man and the higher Ego.

Astral. A word literally meaning starry, used in combinations as astral body and Astral Light, q.v.

Astral Body. The ethereal counterpart or phantom or shadow of man and animal, the Linga-sarira, the second principle of man's constitution; sometimes called the astral double.

Astral Light. The invisible region that surrounds our globe, corresponding to the Linga-sarira in man; the vehicle of the life principle (third principle in Cosmos), Prana; the highest principle of the terrestrial atmosphere though undetectable physically.

Astral Soul. The lower mind (Manas), or Kama-Manas so called, the reflection of the Higher Ego.

Atma. The seventh principle in Cosmos and man. Spirit. The ONE SELF. The God above, rather than in man.

Aura. Subtle invisible essence or fluid that emanates from human and animal bodies and even things. It is a psychic effluvium partaking of both the mind and the body; it is the electro-vital, and at the same time an electromental aura; the akasic or magnetic aura.

Auric Envelope. The akasic envelope that demarks a man as an


entity from Cosmos, the container of all his characteristics, qualities and experience, acquired through many incarnations.

Bhoot. See Bhut below.

Bhut. Ghost or phantom, merely - not a "demon" as sometimes called.

Bodhi. Receptive intelligence, in contradistinction to Buddhi, which is the potentiality of intelligence.

Buddha. A title given to Prince Siddartha of Kapilavastu, otherwise known as Gautama, (circa 620-543 BC), born at Kusinagana in Oudh, India, when he had become fully enlightened after many and prolonged efforts and trials. Sometimes a name given to an elevated state of being and consciousness, perception of the REAL SELF and the realization of nonseparateness.

Carapace. The shell of a crab, tortoise, etc. Causal Body. The higher Ego or Spiritual Soul, not properly a body in any sense; Buddhi in conjunction with Manas.

Chhaya. Shade or shadow; the astral image (body) of a person. Deva. A celestial being-good, bad, or indifferent. These beings inhabit the three planes above the physical - viz., astral, kamic and mental, forming a vast host; a shining one, a god.

Devachan. The "dwelling of the gods." A state intermediate between two earth-lives, into which the Ego (Atma, Buddhi, Manas, or Trinity made One) enters, after its separation from Kama-rupa, and the disintegration of the lower principles on earth.

Doppelganger. A synonym of the "double" and of the "astral body" in occult parlance.

Duad. A twofold entity. The upper duad in man is Atma-Buddhi and the lower duad is Kama-Manas.

Ectoplasm. A substance which sometimes exudes from entranced mediums at spiritualistic séances where "materializations" occur; partly etheric (second principle) and partly physical (first principle). It has weight.

Ego. The consciousness in man; the feeling of "I-am-ship"; the "Self." Esoteric philosophy teaches the existence of two Egos in man, the mortal or persona[. and the Higher, the Divine and the Impersonal, calling the former "Personality" and the latter "Individuality"; the higher triad in man; the reincarnating entity.

Elementals. Spirits of the Elements. The creatures evolved in the four Kingdoms or Elements. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Except for a few of the higher kinds and their rulers they are rather


forces of nature than ethereal men and women. These Forces, as servile agents of the Occultists, may produce various effects; but if employed by "Elementaries" (see next)-in which they enslave the mediums-they will deceive the credulous.

Elementaries. The phantoms or spooks of disembodied persons; elementary "spirits" who have been men; souls divorced from their higher triads and their physical bodies, existing in kamarupic envelopes and irresistibly drawn to earth amid elements congenial to their gross natures. The duration of their stay in Kama-loka varies but ends invariably in disintegration. See also Kama-rupa.

Ether. Not here the chemical substance but a term applied by nineteenth century physical science to a postulated subtle, invisible agent of transmission of electromagnetic radiations; in Occultism it is also such an agent, material but hitherto undetected by any physical apparatus; not to be confused with Akasa or the Astral Light. Akasa is spiritual and, as with real Ether, is also undetectable.

Fohat. (A Tibetan word) The active (male) potency of the female reproductive power (Sakti) in nature; the essence of cosmic electricity; in the manifest universe the ever-present electrical energy and ceaseless destructive and formative power; the universal propelling Vital Force, at once the propeller and the resultant.

Gnomes. The mediaeval, Rosicrucian, name for the mineral and earth elementals.

Kama. Desire, the passional nature of man; the fourth principle in his constitution, associated with his emotions and desires; the cleaving to existence; volition; evil desire, lust.

Kama-Ioka. The semi material plane, to us subjective and invisible, where the disembodied "personalities," the astral forms, called Kama-rupa (fourth and part of man's fifth principle) remain until they fade out from it by the complete exhaustion of the effects of the mental impulses that created these eidolons of human and animal passions and desires.

Kama-rupa. The subjective form created by all sentient beings through the mental and physical desires and thoughts in connection with things of matter; a form which survives the death of their bodies. This is the eidolon, in man, of the ex-personality, the pale copy of the man that was; it vegetates in Kama-Ioka for a period of time, dependent on the degree of materiality of the defunct. Bereft of higher mind, spirit and physical senses, if left


alone to its own senseless devices, it will gradually fade out and disintegrate. But, if forcibly drawn back into the terrestrial sphere whether by the passionate desires and the appeals of the surviving friends or by regular necromantic practices-one of the most pernicious of which is mediumship-the "spook" may prevail for a period greatly exceeding the span of the natural life of its body. Once the Kama-rupa has learned the way back to living human bodies, it becomes a vampire, feeding on the vitality of those who are so anxious for its company. In India these eidolons are much dreaded. They are Elementaries, q .v.

Karma. Action; metaphysically the Law of Retribution, the Law of Cause and Effect or Ethical Causation; it is the power that controls all things, the resultant of moral action, the moral effect of an act committed for the attainment of something which gratifies a personal desire. There is the Karma of merit and of demerit. Karma neither punishes nor rewards; it is simply the one Universal Law which guides unerringly and, so to say, blindly, all other laws productive of certain effects along the grooves of their respective causations. When Buddhism teaches that "Karma is that moral kernel (of any being) which alone survives death and continues in transmigration" or reincarnation, it simply means that there remains naught after each Personality but the causes produced by it; causes which are undying, i.e., which cannot be eliminated from the Universe until replaced by their legitimate effects, and wiped out by them, so to speak, and such causes - unless compensated during the life of the person who produced them with adequate effects - will follow the reincarnated Ego, and reach it in its subsequent reincarnation until a harmony between effects and causes is fully re-established. No "personality" - a mere bundle of material atoms and of instinctual and mental characteristics - can of course continue, as such, in the world of pure Spirit. Only that which is immortal in its very nature and divine in its essence, namely the Ego, can exist forever. And as it is that Ego which chooses the personality it will inform, after each Devachan, and which receives through these personalities the effects of the karmic causes produced, it is therefore the Ego, that self which is the "moral kernel" referred to and embodied Karma, "which alone survives death."

Kriyasakti. The power of thought; one of the seven forces of Nature. Creative potency of the Siddhis (powers) of the full Yogis.


Linga Sarira. The "astral body" of man or animal. The eidolon, the vital and prototypal body; the reflection of the man of flesh. It is born before, and dies or fades out with the disappearance of the last atom of the body.

Magic. In occultism, the great "Science" considered as "a sacred science inseparable from religion," by the oldest and most civilized and learned nations. Magic is the science of communicating with and directing supernal, supramundane Potencies, as well as of commanding those of the lower spheres; a practical knowledge of the hidden mysteries of nature known only to the few, because they are so difficult to acquire, without falling into sins against nature. "The realistic desires of modern times have contributed to bring magic into disrepute and ridicule. Faith (in one's own self) is an essential element in magic, and existed long before other ideas which presume its pre-existence. It is said that it takes a wise man to make a fool; and a man's ideas must be exalted almost to madness, i.e., his brain susceptibilities must be increased far beyond the low, miserable status of modern civilization, before he can become a true magician.

White magic is divine magic, devoid of selfishness, love of power, of ambition, or lucre, and bent only doing good to the world in general and to one's neighbour in particular. The smallest attempt to use one's abnormal powers for the gratification of self makes of these powers sorcery or black magic.

Manas. The mind, the mental faculty which makes of man an intelligent and moral being and distinguishes him from the mere animal. Esoterically it means, when unqualified, the Higher Ego, or the sentient reincarnating Principle in man. When qualified it is Buddhi-manas or the Spiritual Soul in contradistinction to its human reflection, Kama-manas.

Maya. Illusion; the cosmic power which renders phenomenal existence and perception thereof possible. All that which is subject to change through decay and differentiation and which therefore has a beginning and end, is, in Hindu philosophy, regarded as maya; as against Reality which alone is changeless and eternal.

Mayavi-rupa. Illusive form; the body of "astral" projection, formed from the thought, as distinct from the emotional, elements of the kama-manasic mortal soul (fourth and lower fifth principles) of man; it is to be distinguished also from the astral body, the Linga-Sarira, man's second principle, which


cannot be separated far from his physical body. From the Mayavi-rupa can be formed a semi material apparitional likeness of a man even while he lives, similar to a materialized "spook" at a séance.

Monad. The Unity, the One; in Occultism often applied to the higher duad, Atma-Buddhi; in conjunction with the higher mind principle, Manas, in man it becomes the Ego, the reincarnating entity. Without an association with Manas, Monad is unconscious in any sense in which we understand that word.

Necromancy. The raising of the images of the dead, considered in antiquity and by modern Occultists as a practice of black magic. Many witches were necromancers and were condemned as such.

Para. Literally beyond, hence paramatma is beyond or above Atma. Parabrahm is beyond Brahman, and so on.

Plane. As used in Occultism, the range or extent of some state of consciousness or of the perceptive power of a particular set of senses, or the action of a particular force, or the state of matter (physical or otherwise) corresponding to any of the above. There are seven main planes (see text, Chapter 6, the Constitution of Man), each of which has seven subplanes, each, itself of a nature corresponding to a main plane. Our terrestrial main planes together constitute the lowest one of seven corresponding Cosmic planes. We are given no information beyond this.

Prakriti. The "substantial" aspect of the ONE; Nature in general, as opposed to Purusha, spiritual nature or just Spirit. The two together are the "two primeval aspects of the One Unknown Deity."

Prana. The life principle, third; the breath of life; vitality, the vital fluid. When it is absent from a body or organism that body is "dead," and the co-ordinating and controlling functions of other principles cannot then operate.

Purusha. Spirit in contradistinction to Matter; the Spiritual Self. The animating principle in man; man.

Rupa. Form. Sometimes associated with the sense of sight. Sakti. Power; the active female energy of the gods; the consort or wife of a male god; Universal Energy; force and the six forces of nature synthesized.

Skandhas. Bundles, or groups of attributes; everything finite, inapplicable to the eternal and absolute. In Occultism there are seven "predispositions and tendencies" in every human living


being. Five of these are, as usually translated, form, perception, consciousness, action, and knowledge. These unite at the birth of a man and constitute his personality. After the maturity, they begin to separate and weaken, and this is followed by decrepitude and death of the physical body.

Sthula-Sarira. The physical body.

Swabavat. The spirit and essence of substance, that which is behind the world substance and stuff. From it all nature proceeds and into it all returns at the end of the life-cycles. It is the plastic essence of matter; in esotericism the "Father-Mother".

Tanha. The thirst for life. Desire to live and the clinging to life on this earth, causing rebirth or reincarnation.

Triad. Atma-Buddhi and the "Envelope" which reflects their light, the three in one. Also applied to Atma, Buddhi, and Manas, and in the Kabala to the three supernal Sephiroth of the Tree of Life, Kether, Chokmah, and Binah, the One and its two aspects, male and female.

Trinity. The three aspects of Deity: Father, Mother (male, female, positive, negative), and their progeny, Son, the resultant, active animated life. The Son is sometimes equated to Man. In the Christian Trinity, Mother was made (by Athanasius) the Holy Ghost, which therefore must be regarded as Female.

Upadhi. Basis; the vehicle, carrier or bearer of something less material than itself; as the human body is the upadhi of its spirit, ether the upadhi of light; a mould, a defining or limiting substance. Literally, a substitute, a disguise, hence a "veil of spirit"; e.g., Buddhi is the upadhi of Atma.




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