Arranged by Chapters.
Point out the Way originates from stenographic notes taken at an informal Ocean class held in the early 1930s at the Los Angeles ULT.  The questions were answered by John Garrigues.





   The following series of articles are reprinted from THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT magazine, published by Theosophy Company (India), Ltd., Theosophy Hall, 40 New Marine Lines, Bombay 400 020 (India). The series ran from January, l95l through July, 1954. The answers are based on the Teachings as brought by H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge. The writings of these two Teachers and those consistent with them, form the basis of study for those associated with The United Lodge of Theosophists. 



    The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization, It is loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion.

    The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues. That work and that end is the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles of the Philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in practice of those principles, through a truer realization of the SELF; a profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood.

     It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is “similarity of aim, purpose and teaching,” and therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers, the sole bond between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.

    It regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or organization, and It welcomes to its association all those who are in accord with its declared purposes and who desire to fit themselves, by study and other wise, to be the better ‘able to help and teach others. “The true Theosophist belongs to no cult or sect, yet belongs to each and all.”






The following is the form signed by Associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists:



    Being in sympathy with the purposes of this Lodge, as set forth in its “Declaration, I hereby record my desire to be enrolled as an Associate, it being understood that such association calls for no obligation on my part, other than that which I, myself, determine.




The First Fundamental   ————————————————————5

Second Fundamental   —————————————————————9

Third Fundamental    —————————————————————14

Introductory Address  —————————————————————19

Chapter I    ——————————————————————————23

Chapter II     —————————————————————————28

Chapter III                I. The Sevening of Cosmos   —————————33

          II The Sevening of Man     ————————————————37

          III. The Monads   ————————————————————41

          IV Rounds of Evolution  —————————————————45

          V. The “S. D” Basis  ———————————————————50

Chapter IV ——————————————————————————54

Chapter V                        I. The Lives, Healing and Astral Matter  ——57

          II. The Astral Body, Astral Substance, and Human Birth  ——61

          III The Astral Body, Cells and Skandhas   —————————68

          IV. The Astral Body, Imagination and Prodigies  ——————73

          V. Astral Matter, Atoms and Incarnation   —————————76

Chapter VI  Hypnotism, Suggestion and the Astral Light  —————79

Chapter VII                    I. Manas, Self—Consciousness and the Brain  84

         II. The Inner Ego, Incarnation and the “Mindless Man”   ———88

         III. Intuition, Intellect and “Lighting Up” the Child  —————93

         IV. Genius, Initiation and the Motion of Manas   ——————100

Chapter VIII                   I. Reincarnation and “New Thinkers” ———106

        II. Food, Incarnation, and the Thinker in Evolution —————111

        III. “Once a Man, Always a Man,” and “Lost Souls”——————116

Chapter IX               I. Vegetarianism, Religious Taboos, Memory —121

         II. Buddhi, “Progress” in Devachan, Conscious Death  ————127

Chapter X    Environment, Intelligence and Blind Tom  ——————131

Chapter XI                       I. Karma, Nirvana and the “Karmaless”   ——137

          II. Equilibrium and Liberation  ——————————————142

Chapter XII                          I. Death and the Death Vision ——————148

         II. The Motion of “Shells” and “Waking” Kama Loka  —————154




Chapter XIII      

         I. “Waking” from Devachan and the 15OO-Year Cycle  —————158

         II. Assimilation in Devachan and Continuing Consciousness  ——163


Chapter XIV

         I.  The Four Ages, The Four Castes and “The Lives”  ——————168

         II. Earthquakes, The Yugas and Evolution  ——————————173

         III. Kali Yuga, Cycles and the Calendar ————————————177

         IV. Early Rounds, Spiritual Cycles and Nirvana ————————181


Chapter XV 
“Infinite” Perfection, Delayed Egos and Nature’ s “Sure Method”  ———186


Chapter XVI

           I. Imagination, Cohesion and Faith  —————————————190

          II. Modes of Seeing, Vibrations, Contact with Masters  —————195


Chapter XVII 
The Psychic World in Everyday Life  ————————————————200


Conclusion  ———————————————————————————204





The Three Fundamentals at an Informal “Ocean” Class;

    Before the reader proceeds to the consideration of the Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan which form the basis of the present work, it is absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted with the few fundamental conceptions which underlie and pervade the entire system of thought to which his attention is invited. These basic ideas are few in number, and on their clear apprehension depends the understanding of all that follows; therefore no apology is required for asking the reader to make himself familiar with them first, before entering on the perusal of the work itself .— H.P.B., The Secret Doctrine Vol. I, p. 13.

    It was the conviction of Robert Crosbie that a proper comprehension of the three fundamental propositions was necessary for the aspirant to Theosophical service. It has also become the conviction of almost all who have been assuming responsibility for the propaganda through the U.L.T. At its study classes these fundamentals are regularly considered, repeated and explained. At one such study-class, with The Ocean of Theosophy as its text book, these fundamentals were Question and Answer form. It should be said that the answers here presented were originally given extemporaneously, and this quality will serve to remind the reader that the statements made are suggestive rather than authoritative. The obvious intent of the speaker was to turn inquirers to the recorded teaching it whence they might derive “an inspiration of their own to answer their deeper questions, and to guide them across the ocean of Theosophy.


The First Fundamental


Q.—Is it possible for a great intellect to understand The Secret Doctrine without an understanding of the Three Fundamental Propositions?

A.—The Three Fundamental Propositions are a part of The Secret Doctrine So, if we understood The Secret Doctrine we would understand the Three Fundamental Propositions. But, in any event, let us examine the term “intellect.” We habitually use it to mean that our intellect exists apart from other intellects, and apart from the other elements in our nature. Certainly, any ordinary man of average intelligence, of good intellectual comprehension, could follow clearly everything that H.P.B. has written. But it would do good only so far. He would derive merely an intellectual benefit from it, because intellect was the only one of the elements in him that he had exercised. He might see that all The Secret Doctrine statements are correct. There are very able men in the Theosophical. field, and always have been—able men in our sense of the word—who know The Secret Doctrine intellectually. What is the matter with them? They have forgotten a more important element than the intellect—the Will. What is the good of all the knowledge in the world, without the Will to apply what we see, what we know? Theosophy is devoted primarily not only to the education of our minds but to the arousal of our WILL.  The Will cannot be aroused  from outside: The  intellect can.

Q.—If our knowledge commences with manifestation, does this mean that our knowledge can never include, the Unmanifested?




A.—This question ought to bring us back to what we understand. What picture is raised in our minds by the word "knowledge"? We can’ t know anything as object or as subject, save and except to the extent that it manifests itself. What do I know of any of you? Nothing whatever, except what I perceive. Your body, your expression, your words, your acts, all that I ever can see is what I can know; all that I can see and know is your manifestation not you. So the word “knowledge” always means duality: the knower—yourself, myself, any other self—and what is known. What is known is always what is manifest.

    Take another term altogether, which should raise in us the picture that H. P. Blavatsky  tries to draw, particularly in the First Fundamental Proposition. What do we mean when we use the compound word “self-knowledge”? In the use of the word “knowledge,” I know by means of the five senses, by means of the mental inferences or deductions that I make, and by the pictures afforded through the five senses; and I know by comparison of the pictures that I take with the pictures that you take. Self-knowledge has nothing to do with the five senses. Self-knowledge has nothing whatever to do with the mind. Our self-consciousness is not the product of our body, or of our senses, or of our mind. What is it? Why, it is the coming to life—to the consciousness of Self here in this body and in these circumstances—of that which eternally has been here but has been asleep to Self. However much it may have been awake to pictures or mental images, it has been asleep as the Self.
Take what to us is a convenient word to represent the beginning of matter and the essence of form—call it an atom. The First Fundamental proposes that what we call an atom is just as much Life as that which we call a Mahatma. Both are identical in their origin, in their substantial or real nature; both are identical with the One Principle of life, and yet the gulf between an atom and a Mahatma is the gulf between unconsciousness and consciousness, imperfection and perfection, beginning and end of any cycle. H.P.B. says that every atom has in it the potentiality of self-consciousness. The Mahatma is aware of that self-consciousness; it is active and universal in him; but in the atom it is asleep; it is not yet awake.

 Q.—How far does the “substance” of Spinoza’s conception agree with the First Fundamental?

 A.—Turn to Volume I of The Secret Doctrine to the section on “Gods, Monads and Atoms,” beginning about page 610. H.P.B. gives the fundamental idea of Spinoza and goes quite at length into the fundamental ideas of Leibnitz, showing that between the two is the esoteric doctrine. Leibnitz conceived of the universe as an infinitude of living centres of action, each one of them a kind of spiritual being; but he had to account for their origin. This he did by postulating some kind of a supernal extra-cosmic deity of which all living things are the children. We can see the anthropomorphism that governed his perception of the infinitude of purely monadic beings. Spinoza conceived of an infinite and changeless divine substance that never had a beginning, can never die; but he could not account for the fact that there are beings in the world. There was a gap between the simplicity of substance and the multiplicity of beings.

    Now if we take the First Fundamental, which represents Spinoza’s conception, and the Third, which represents that of Leibnitz, and unite them by means of the second Fundamental, we have the true esoteric teaching.



Q.—It is said that everything which we see is seen inwardly. But how is it possible that objects visible to the naked eye can be seen within?

 A.—Well, isn’t there more than one kind of seeing? One may be on the outside of a thing and see it as within oneself. This is the process that we partly know and use and call “feeling,” “memory,” “thought,” and refer to as “faith” and “hope” and “aspiration,” and by many other terms. In other words, there is a mental or metaphysical universe: it is life regarded as internal to ourselves. Then there is identically the same life regarded as external to the form we occupy, and that life regarded as external is what we call space and matter and the stars and planets.

    Very, very difficult it is for us to grasp the reality. Once H.P.B. used an expression something after this fashion. It must be about page 75, in the first volume of The Secret Doctrine and it is repeated in other places. It is to the effect that the same initial difficulty confronts us all—the apparent multitude of objects and their diversity. But that exists in our consciousness and nowhere else. Change our state of consciousness, and the conceptions that we now take to be realities cease to be. We are there, Life is there, and behold, we begin to perceive another state of impressions. What was there in the beginning? Why, in the beginning there was Life, and Life was full of impressions, and Life was busy with those impressions. What is there after death? The same Life, and we, busy with our impressions. But these impressions change with the nature of the being, and that is again our Third Fundamental.

    It ought to be simple enough for us to see that our perception of Space is founded upon sense perception, whether in this world or in another. If you can see, there is Space wherever you go; also if you can’t see, there is Space wherever you go. Or take our conceptions, which we all locate in time—last year, last week, last month. The sense of time is due to a change of the state of consciousness. H.P.B. says that time is an illusion produced by the changes or succession of the states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration. If a man is happy, 100 per cent happy, there is no time; if a man is 100 per cent unhappy, there is no time. Time, therefore, is due to the contrast of sight and sound in every case; the contrast of the two senses gives us the mental sense of time. Time is a mental sense of action, a mental sense of objects.

    All this universe was once subjective; that is, internal to our consciousness. It now is internal to the consciousness of the Mahatmas—it is not an external universe to Them. In Their consciousness this universe is subjective; it is Their mind; it is Their intelligence; it is Their knowledge; it is Their wisdom. When the Three Fundamentals are seen, the universe entire is internal to ourselves; the universe entire is external to ourselves; the universe is part internal and part external; the universe ceases to be altogether internal and external, as we think it. What else could it be to be a Mahatma? It is hard to realize that duality and multiplicity exist in the perceiving consciousness and nowhere else, but The Secret Doctrine and its three basic propositions exist to help us toward this realization.

 Q.—Should we not make a distinction between limited space and the Space of the First Fundamental?

 A.—Yes; Space is given to us as the perfect symbol of the One




Self, the One Reality. Why? Because it is that in which all things live and move and have their being; it is that which is the background of consciousness, the field of perception and the arena of action for any and every being of every description. So when we get the spiritual conception of Space, we can appreciate what H.P.B. said in another place. She said, “I have tried my best to convey to Theosophists, to arouse in them, the perception that there is but one Reality; that It is omnipresent; that It neither was nor will be; It eternally is.” She said she had tried in vain to arouse them to see that. “Now,” she said, “once that is seen, that we came from That, that we exist in That, and that sooner or later we must return to That—all the rest becomes easy.”

 Q.—The First Proposition of Theosophy states that All is Life, whether in form or out of form. Why, then, should we worry as to man’ s using an animal form? Since the consciousness that is using the animal form will some day extend to the human form, in previous periods of evolution this humanity of today must have used animal forms.

 A.—Let us get H.P.B.’s definition of “animal.” She is speaking in terms of consciousness when she says “animal”; she is speaking in terms of consciousness when she says “Buddhi”; she is speaking in terms of consciousness when she says “Manas,” or “Atma”, but in our reading of these terms, we translate them into terms of form and action as experienced by us here and now through our physical senses. What is an animal, according to Theosophy? It is the germ of awakening consciousness, the germ, exactly as the embryo is the germ of a human being. And what is human consciousness? It is the next stage beyond the germ stage; that is, human consciousness stands in the same relation to the consciousness of Manas—Egoic self-consciousness—as the foetus stands in relation to the body after it is born. First, the embryo; then the foetus; then the body that is born. First, the germ of consciousness; then the unification, through experience, of those germs until a stage is reached where a contact point is set up with a higher form, and that is the so-called “mindless” man; then we. have the human stage, and there the same struggle begins over again in order for the individual to reach Egoic self-consciousness or regain it—just as the mass in the kingdoms below struggled to reach human self-consciousness.

    Human self-consciousness never was germinal self-consciousness; the baby body never was the foetus; the foetus never was an embryo. What do the three words represent? Three stages in the evolution of a human form. Apply that, then, to the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms. To make the category complete, three elemental stages; then the mineral stage, the vegetable stage and the animal stage of consciousness. That is all part of developing the germs of experience which constitute an individual entity; then occurs the lighting up of Manas, or the reflection of Self, in that combination of germs, and we call that “human” consciousness. Now, looking at it from the stand-point of stages in the journey of  consciousness, we can see that while it is one and the same Monad or Spark, or Soul, these words—elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, and human—are by us interpreted in terms of form while their meaning is stages in the awakening of consciousness The man was never an animal any more than Devachan was ever Kama-Loka. The various kingdoms represent stages or states through which one and the same Perceiver passes.




Q.—If the First Fundamental transcends human conception and expression, how can that be regarded as a practical basis for thought and action?

 A.—The statement of the First Fundamental Proposition is that there is a centre in each one of us on which everything else turns; that centre is no “place”—it is a centre of consciousness. Now, we know that nothing exists for us unless we are conscious of it, or unless we are aware of it. So, can’t we see at once that consciousness is the reality to us, and that existence has no place whatever except for that reality? Let us extend the idea; bring it home to ourselves. We are limited, but the only limitation is our own conception and perception. Extend that idea—it is true of all others; it is true of all life. No existence is apart from That. There is the principle and basis for all experience of every kind.

    Imagine a railroad station, a few minutes before train time. Looking at the whirling mass of humanity, all the people moving, full of excitement, did you ever think that there must be something permanent somewhere? We can watch our own reactions; every time someone passes in front of us, we think about it; we have some feeling about it; and people are passing all the time. Our own reactions are like that—changing—first one thing, and then another, first one colour, and then another. All of a sudden it may come home to us: we don’t change at all. We have these thoughts, and they change; we have feelings, and they change; but we are the beings who have them. We have not changed with any of the feelings and thoughts, and we can relate, say, one change to another. We could not if we were any of the passing impressions. Thus, there must be something permanent in us.

    All down the ages, people have been trying to find God, and they have erected all sorts of mental images, usually reflections of them selves and carrying human virtues to the nth degree, and also displaying a great many human defects. They have placed this God in some impossible heaven somewhere—no two heavens alike, no two Gods alike, either. The real Spiritual Teacher on whose teachings the religions afterwards were founded never taught any outside God like that; They all taught the God within, this changeless something which everyone is. Theosophists call it a Principle; they don’t call it a God because people make a being of a god. Theosophists say that there is one changeless essence—a Principle, not a person, which is the sustainer of all, the source of all. Interesting? Yes, isn’t it? It is ennobling, too, because it makes of every man a god, and why not? All that any man can know of God is what he knows in himself, through himself and by himself.


The Second Fundamental


Q.—What is the distinction between reincarnation and metempsychosis?

Ans.—The distinction lies in the definitions and misconceptions given to those terms by man. H.P.B. says that “metempsychosis” means, in the first instance, the changes which go on metaphysically in any and every being; that is, the very word “metempsychosis”—the transformation of soul—leaves matter out of consideration altogether. Every time, for example, we change a bad feeling to good feeling, there is a metempsychosis. Every time we change from courage to fear, there is a metempsychosis: it is temporary, but it is a transformation, no matter how



short a time it lasts. It goes on in our own souls. So metempsychosis refers to man as a spiritual and psychological being, without regard to the world he may occupy, or the form that he might inhabit, or the state of consciousness in which he may at any given moment be. Metempsychosis deals with the changes through which the soul goes.

    Now what is reincarnation? The word literally means “going into flesh again.” This psychological and spiritual being may enter a body of matter such as is known to us, that we call flesh; that would be it incarnation If it came a second time into a body of flesh, that would be its reincarnation. H.P.B. originally used, in Isis Unveiled the word “metempsychosis”; she refused to employ the word “reincarnation,” because that word had already been preempted by the followers of Allan Kardec, who was an exceedingly well-known French Spiritualist, author of great numbers of text-books used in the French public schools. Kardec got interested in Spiritualism through two of his little nieces; he performed many experiments with them, and with others, and evolved a kind of philosophy. In this philosophy of his, he took that which we call the personality—that is, the human consciousness—to be the real being, and he thought that that human consciousness returned to earth again—that a man could be reincarnated in his own son or his own grandson. This return of the personality to a body on earth again he called “reincarnation.”

    The confusion of Kardec’s teaching with H.P.B.’s gave rise to one of the great misconceptions that finally split the Theosophical Society. Some of H.P.B.’s students—among them Col. Olcott himself—thought that because she discarded Kardec’s doctrine, she knew nothing about reincarnation, or else that she changed her mind after she went to India. Yet in Isis the distinction is made perfectly clear.

    “Reincarnation” means the return of Atma-Buddhi-Manas to an animal body on this earth. “Metempsychosis” means the changes that go on in Buddhi-Manas as the result of the experiences gained through repeated reincarnations.

 Q.—Isn’t it also metempsychosis that takes place in the units of life going from one kingdom to another?


 Ans.—When units of life go from one kingdom to another—that is, dying in one kingdom, losing their bodies and getting new bodies in another kingdom—that is re-embodiment. If it should be rebirth in bodies of flesh, it would be reincarnation; but if we refer to the changes that go on in the soul, then another term is used. If the soul, the reincarnating ego, has not reached the human stage, the process of re-embodiment is called transmigration. “Transmigration,” properly speaking, as the word is ordinarily used, does not apply to the reincarnating ego. When H.P.B. came to write the S.D., Kardec’s word “reincarnation,” because it was a materialistic term, become popular and the Theosophists and Spiritualists were all using it.

    So H.P.B., in The Secret Doctrine had to employ the word in common usage. She adopted term “reincarnation,” but gave it an altogether different sense from the Kardec meaning or the Hindu meaning. We would do well to remember that Karma as H.P.B. taught it, is not known in the world at all; that reincarnation as H.P.B. taught it is not known in any religion.

 Q.—(Reading from a written question:) “A Perfected Being operating




through a physical body would not be subject to reincarnation. ”

Ans.—Let us observe that sentence. How could perfected beings operate through a physical body if they were not subject to reincarnation? “All beings up to Brahm┗which there means simply all life up to the life which is not manifested—”are subject to rebirth again and again.” The highest being is as much subject to rebirth as we are, but rebirth is quite a different thing with them. They choose the time, place and circumstances of their birth; they are conscious throughout. The opposite is the case with us.

    The question goes on to say, “He might, however, choose to reincarnate.” He does not choose to reincarnate, but he chooses the time, place and circumstances of his reincarnation. Then the question is asked, “Does pre-existence, then, necessarily involve reincarnation?” It doesn’t necessarily involve reincarnation here, but so long as any being has any thing to do with manifested life, if he doesn’t reincarnate here, he must incarnate in some other place.

 Q.—Is there no way of getting free from Reincarnation?

 Ans.—Well, consider what the opposite of freedom is. The opposite of freedom means that we are the victims of forces over which we have no control. Freedom means we are in the same world, with the same forces, but we have control over them.

 Q.—One of the Aphorisms on Karma states that effects may be counter acted or mitigated by the thoughts and acts of oneself or of another. The question is, how can an individual be affected except by his own thoughts and actions?

 Ans.—We have to remember that nature’s method of accounting is double-entry. We do not have a thought except in connection with someone else; we do not perform an act except in connection with someone else. Our thoughts and our acts produce an immediate change in us, but that is in the beginning of things. Since they are visited upon another, they produce a modification in him, willingly or unwillingly; and then, in the course of time, that which we sowed with other beings we reap from other beings.

    If a man visited evil on us, and we knew it was evil but did not resent it; if we did not have any condemnation or blame for him, knowing how it came that we suffered at the hands of this person—then that Karma is done so far as we are concerned. Since one half of the problem has already been solved, it is immediately an amelioration of circumstances for the other half, although not always to his consciousness. Other wise, why should Buddha have said, for example, “Let the sins of the whole world fall on me”?

    We come down to this statement, that there is no such thing as the Karma of any one, exclusive of the Karma of all. I might hurt my foot, which is one member of my body, and then I could counteract or mitigate the injury to my foot by using my hand. There is nothing hard to understand about that when we realize that self-consciousness is Buddhi-Manas—and there is only one Buddhi-Manas in manifestation. That Buddhi-Manas is the whole of humanity, not this individual or that individual. From the standpoint of enduring consciousness, there is only one man-consciousness here on earth; that is the consciousness of all humanity. So each physical personal being stands in relation to the collective consciousness of mankind—Buddhi-Manas—as, say, one of the members of the body stands to the whole body.




Each one of us is a portion of the body corporate of humanity, and any part of the body corporate—physically or metaphysically—an be used to injure other portions, or it can be used to ameliorate, mitigate or counteract any injury inflicted on, or about to be inflicted on, the rest. We know that is so.  Here is an unconscious man who would die if someone didn’t staunch the flow of blood. Isn’t the effect of the collision by which this man was knocked unconscious and so wounded that his life-blood was ebbing away—isn’t this Karma mitigated by the action of the one who stays the flow of blood? Here one of us has his rent coming due tomorrow, and is about to be thrown out on the street. A neighbour lends us the money, or the landlord gets a change of heart: isn’t this Karma ameliorated?

    Take our meeting here. Some of us get a strength from the collective mind, from the collective motive, which of ourselves we could not muster. That is a mitigation, a mitigation through others of the individual Karma. Otherwise, what is the sense of any association? All associations are either for good or for evil, and that means they can make good bad; or bad worse—or they can make good better; and evil less bad.

 Q.—Given a certain situation, we say, it’s “Karmic.” Does duration depend upon Karma, or has the individual some choice in the matter? Is he the helpless victim of that situation, or can his will operate to change it?

 Ans.—Don’t we know that he has a choice? If you want to read a psychological study of the subject from the stand-point of Theosophy, it would be worth while to read a very short story by Edgar Allan Poe, “The Pit and the Pendulum.” There was a man in a situation so awful that it’s almost unbelievable and unimaginable. He reconciled himself to it. The story doesn’t show him the victim—that is, the loser—in the struggle.

    Everything that happens to us is Karma, and that’s our usual view of Karma; we don’t think of Karma except in terms of effects experienced. Yet there is the other side to it—the causes of those effects. Now, when anything happens to us, it is the ego who feels, whether in the body or out of the body. Out of the body, the ego knows the causes of those effects, and so he struggles, even unwittingly, when he is back in the body and no longer can perceive the causes. He struggles, although he does not understand why he struggles, against these bad effects.

    An old school of Philosophy all down the ages has taught that. man is the creature of the environment; that is, in fact, the philosophy of materialism. Now, notice the philosophy of religion. A man is just as much a creature in religion as he is in materialism. In one case, he is the creature of matter, of his environment, of his birth. In the other, he is the creature of “God.” The materialist—the genuine one—knows that it is no use to struggle. He believes in Kismet, fate, destiny, no free-will. Yet he goes right on struggling, and does not perceive the contradiction in himself. So, the religious man believes that everything that happens to him happens to him by the will of his God, but he is as busy as a bee all the time: he does not perceive the logical absurdity of his own position.

    Higher Manas is perception on the plane of causes; lower Manas is experience on the plane of effects. In other words, the teaching of The Secret Doctrine is very simple. H.P.B. puts it in these identical words:

    Whenever  the immortal ego incarnates, it becomes a compound unity of



spirit and matter, which together act on seven distinct planes of Life and Consciousness. If we regard matters from that point of view, the problem begins to clear up.

    We enter into union with our brother lives of lower grades of intelligence than ourselves. Now, while in union with them, we see through their eyes, on their plane. How else could we see? In other words, we become for the time being the other fellow—the animal self, the astral self, the Kamic self, the physical self. Not until the combination is loosed, whether by sleep, or by death, or by the regaining while in the body of Manasic knowledge, are we able to live free from the contingencies of the environment. We could put it, according to the Seventh Chapter of the Ocean in some such fashion as this: call what H.P.B. otherwise calls the immortal ego, or the reincarnating ego, by the name of Manas without qualification. The moment that Manas enters into union with the forms of life on a lower plane than its own, Manas is modified by the union. Lower Manas is the modification of higher Manas; higher Manas is that part of Manas which is not modified by contact with matter. What part is that? What else than the part of Manas which is in contact with Buddhi?

    If we regard lower Manas and higher Manas not as two separate things or as two separate beings, but think of lower Manas as a modification induced in Manas by its union with matter—that’s what the word “incarnation” means—then we can understand the distinction. Mr. Judge goes on to show that the modification of this Lower Manas—the original modification—is subject to four further modifications: That modification in lower Manas induced by the body alone; that modification induced by the astral body; and the modification induced by the principle of Kâma, or the intelligence which belongs in the astral and physical natures. Those are three of the modifications, and Mr. Judge says they are all due to memory. When we study our body, our body is seen to be a product of memory; our astral body is a product of memory; passions and desires are the product of memory—these are nothing but the reanimation of the three forms of memory in matter. What reanimates them? Our incarnation.

    And what is the fourth modification of Manas? Lower Manas is still integral with Manas, and so there is some Manasic action, even in that part of Manas which is present in the body and intoxicated, as we might say, by incarnation. But we want to know why. That’s Manas. Whenever we are trying to find out the cause of a condition that afflicts us or others—not trying to dodge it, but trying to find out what caused it; whenever we are trying to cure the bad effects we are experiencing by admitting our share in bringing them about, and are determined to set up better causes; there is the action of Manas in the body—pure Manas.

 Q.—Why should the important changes in a man’s life come every seven years?

 Ans.—It isn’t strange at all; it’s the most natural thing in the world. All the events of Nature move in just those cyclic orders. It is the Law of the whole universe. It pertains just as much to the atom as to ourselves and to the sun, This very universe we live in—in a state of intense activity now—will have a rest, retire into silence and secrecy, and then after that emerge again into another new mode of activity. It is the same way with ourselves. We are living here on this earth now, intensely active, and we are going to die; we will have our rest, and we will come back again to earth. We will reincarnate, as Theosophists say,




because we have left unfinished business here. There are beings acting here that we were acting with before; we do not act at all alone; we all act together, and every time we act mentally, or morally, or physically, we involve the whole universe in our actions, some, of course, more remotely and some more immediately.

    Just as a seed in the vegetable kingdom grows to a certain kind of fruitage and no other, so it is with us. “Causes sown each hour bear each its harvest of effects, for rigid Justice rules the World.” There isn’t any accident; there isn’t any miracle, and there isn’t any God that brings these things to pass in our lives. We have set up the causes for them; we have brought about these events. So we can actually be the makers of our own destiny for good and bad, and we are making that destiny every minute. So long as we work for the good of all beings in the universe, we are acting for our divine destiny; but if we act for self, then for an infernal destiny.

    If we really come to know this Law, we shall be more intelligent beings, and we shall bring to bear upon this earth that Law of Harmony and translate it into what we all would love to see—Universal Brother hood. That’s not only a name to Theosophists—that is what they are making all the time.


The Third Fundamental


Q.—What is the meaning of Over-Soul, and what is the relation of Over-Soul to the Universal Sixth Principle? also, what is it that does the passing—what or who passes through the various forms?

 Ans.—The Over-Soul is universal intelligence or knowledge, the knowledge of all considered as one. What is the Universal Sixth Principle? The Over-Soul, Buddhi. Now, we have an idea of “my” knowledge, and “your” knowledge, as if it were our own. It is, in a way, but knowledge is one. An idea of unity must prevail in a consideration of all these subjects and ideas. There is one knowledge; it is the knowledge of all considered as one; our knowledge is our own knowledge. Over-Soul is another word for that one body of perfected knowledge. The soul of each one is his hold on that.

    Now, what is it that goes through all this process of evolution? It is the Monad. Mr. Judge in the Ocean calls it the germ of self-consciousness. He does not say that is the Monad, but that is what the Monad is. The Monad is Life in manifestation, manifested Life. The term “Monad” has been used as if it were a differentiated something, but H. P. Blavatsky says it is used for convenience only, that it would be better to say, the Monad, or Life manifesting in the mineral kingdom, in the vegetable kingdom, in the animal kingdom, and so on.

    In the lower kingdoms, the “monad” is like a wave in the ocean of life. When the man stage is reached, there is a self-conscious Monad; the germ of self-consciousness has ripened. But it is not fully aware, yet it is aware of itself, and awake; that is so with each one of us. The Monad in the human kingdom is that ripened germ or sprouting germ of self-consciousness, that which wells up in each one and says, “I am my self.” This does not mean that any of the lower kingdoms become man—they are like grades in school through which life passes, to finally differentiate and act as a self-conscious Ego in the man form.



Q.—Does the “spark,” as used in the Third Fundamental, change? If it does not change, what is the use of the Pilgrimage?

 Ans.—We fail to see that it is the finite which constitutes our experience; it is the Infinite which has the experience. Each one of us is both the finite and the Infinite. As the perceiver, we are the Infinite; we are forever unchanging. Each one of us can perfectly well answer that our experience constantly augments; there is no end to the growth of Soul, if we use the word “Soul” in the meaning of experience. What is the highest form of experience? Self-realization. The time must come, then, when a man realizes that in him and in everything else are both the finite and the Infinite, and that all finite or manifested existence has but one object—an ever—increasing realization of the nature of the Infinite, which is All.

 Q.—Do those Great Beings who represent the perfected product of a former period of evolution also have to pass through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of the next manvantara?

 Ans.—That is not the statement of the Third Fundamental. The Third Fundamental says that no purely spiritual Buddhi—that is, no primary form of life—can have a completely self-conscious or a perfected existence until It has passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of  that Manvantara. There could be no babies unless there were adults; there could be no eggs unless there were the chickens that laid them. The eggs do not lay the chickens; the chicken lays the egg. The analogy, then, is that action or evolution or manifestation begins in Spirit, not in matter. What is meant by “Spirit”? A collective or universal term for consciousness and that which issues from the pure essence of the universal Over-Soul has no consciousness of its own. The Secret Doctrine makes a graphic statement of the very beginning of Evolution. It calls the beginning “the descent of souls”—conscious and unconscious atoms. The greatest beings, says the Secret Doctrine cannot avoid reincarnation. But that’s quite different from descent through the elemental forms of the phenomenal world.

 Q.—How is self-consciousness developed?

 Ans.—It is quite a wonderful thing to think of a man form, to recognize in one form all that there is in Nature. The human form represents a sample lot of the whole of Nature. Only through and in such a form could self-consciousness well up; it is a fitting instrument for a self-conscious life. In such a form, through such a combination of instruments, man can stand aside and look at himself; that is what self-consciousness means. The beings below man represent varying degrees of consciousness and intelligence, but they are like beings in a “state.” Their range is that state of intelligence, that state of consciousness—there is no individuality there.

    There is an incipient individuality as far below as the vegetable kingdom, so it is said; but not until the man stage is reached through natural impulse—the great give-and-take of Nature, with the higher forms of intelligence clothing themselves in the low ones and thus impressing them—only when the man stage is reached, is a universal instrument available, one that could be made universal because the whole of Nature is represented therein. Then there is a fitting instrument for the use of the self-conscious man. Think how it is with ourselves in a dream. In a dream we are the




state, ordinarily speaking; we are involved in the state; usually, we can step aside and look at ourselves. We can think of that, then, as representing a state of consciousness. But in normal wakefulness, we can examine our works, we can examine our thoughts, our feelings, our attitudes—step away from ourselves and look it all over. That is self-consciousness. Now, evolution means the expansion of that. Finally, not only is the universe our instrument, but we know it is. The consciousness of any being in it is, if we like, our consciousness, without our losing ourselves or our sense of Self.

 Q.—What is it that comes up through the lower kingdoms and acquires individuality? In other words, were we ever animals, vegetables, minerals, elementals and what not?

 Ans.—Well, we really ought to answer that in this way. If the First Fundamental is true, this is a Universe of Life, no matter what kingdom it is. Now, lives exist in a state of unity; lives exist in an unorganized state; lives exist in an organized state; there are the three classes of lives or souls or monads. So, then, if we use the words of the Third Fundamental, and call it a Buddhi—a purely spiritual soul— then there is a purely spiritual soul in every atom of dust, just as much as there is in the greatest Mahatma, because it is a life beginningless and endless.

    Notice that no principles of manifestation are active in the purely spiritual Buddhi. After endless transmigration through induced activities, one principle of action wakes up; it was there latent all the time—it could not have been aroused if it had not been there. But, from the manifested stand-point, it had no existence. After a while, two principles of action are aroused; after another while, three elements of action, and then we have the mindless man.

    It is Life which travels through the kingdoms in a given state, with no activity whatever, any more than there is mobility in this paper. This paper is not active—but we can move it around. The air is not active in any conscious sense, but we are using it constantly, and in time that which we call air will have one element or principle of action of its own. Now, when three principles of action have been developed, we have the highest form of matter; then it is possible for another kind of induction to be set up. What is it? A life or soul in which all seven principles of action are active, can coalesce with it or incarnate in it, and then we have a human being.

    So it is Life, Life unorganized which moves from below up, and when finally three principles are active, it means an organized life, but with no consciousness of Self. The fully organized form of matter, makes it possible for a spiritual soul—that is, a self-conscious being, call it a reincarnating Ego—to enter incarnation. Then you have once more a seven-principled being here on earth. But remember that so far as the lower principles are concerned, it is induced action; so far as the higher principles are concerned—the Ego—it is a will action. In time this Life which constitutes what we call our body, the cells of our body, the molecules of our body, the atoms of our body—whatever we choose to call them—will have all the principles of action waked up, and when this obtains, you have the human being. After that, the progress is of necessity self-induced and self-devised.

 Q.—On the downward sweep of evolution, the incarnation of Spirit




into matter, is the same amount of self-induced and self-devised effort required as on the upward sweep?

 Ans.—Isn't  it far easier to fall than it is to climb? Evolution, in the sense of the initiation of a period of universal manifestation, must necessarily proceed from the collective action of all the spiritual beings; but evolution, as applied to the individual being, at once calls for self-induced and self-devised exertion. It takes no effort for any being to move with the mass, no matter in what direction the mass may be moving—up, down, or otherwise. The effort comes in when the individual desires to pursue a course which is at variance with that pursued by the mass, and that is in the fourth stage of evolution.

 Q.—Would that not imply that there is no individualization in the downward course?

 Ans.—In the march of an army, there is universal motion. Does that imply any lack of individuality in the constituent soldiers who in their collectivity of orderly motion compose the army? H.P.B. tells us over and over again that, in attempting to consider these things, we have to depart from the methods of study and education which we are all familiar with in everyday life, and which we learn in our schools. She says that, since Theosophy in its origin deals with states of consciousness higher than the human, and with forms of matter more refined than any that we now know anything about, it follows that the only way for us to gain the clear perceptions and conceptions which are necessary is through analogy and correspondence.

    If man is, as she declares over and over again, the microcosm of the great macrocosm, then when any statement is made, our business is to search within ourselves to see some activity, some motion, some experience, some relativity in our consciousness which will fit the description given in regard to other states and forms of life and being. She declares that that is the only Ariadne thread which will lead us out of the labyrinth of misconception in which man is involved. It is astonishing to try this principle on ourselves, and, after reading a particular statement of the philosophy, say, “NOW, if that statement is true, there is that in me which I know, which I can identify, which corresponds to it. Let me find it. There is that in the working of everyday human consciousness which is analogous to, and corresponds with, anything and everything taught in the Secret Doctrine

 Q.—In the Third Fundamental it is stated that our efforts, self-induced and self-devised, are checked by our Karma. Does that not imply a sense of limitation of the power of free-will?

 Ans.—If there were not a limitation to free-will or any other kind of will, how could there be will at all? If there were not a limit to manifestation, there would be nothing but that which is Absolute. We have but to think to see that this is so. Our conception of free-will is actually a conception of will, but under a misleading guise. Our conception of will is causation without resistance. That is, we think we can set up any causes we please, and can pick the results that please us—kicking overboard the results that do not gratify our taste. But we all know that we get both kinds of results.

    Everyone has will, for will, primarily, is the power of selection, nothing else. Of two things, we choose that which to us appears better or dearer. So does an atom; so does everything and anything. Will,




then, in the sense of the exercise of the power to perceive, is absolutely universal—everywhere and in everything. Will in the spiritual sense could only mean the will as applied to one’s self. If we perceive a course of action which is better than our present one, let us pursue it. But generally we perceive that which is better for the other fellow to do, and try to make him do it. That is our conception Will; it is the scientific conception and the religious conception—it is called the will of "God".

    If we take all these English words which carry an occult value because they have a fundamental meaning, and then rigidly make our own definition of those terms in the light of Theosophical teachings, we shall be doing for ourselves precisely what H.P.B. does in all her writings. It is perfectly amazing in going through the Secret Doctrine to see with what scrupulous, constant and universal assiduity H.P.B. herself defines every term she uses. Now, if we read her definitions of will, and her statement in regard to the First Principle—that is, her statement in regard to the four presently manifested aspects of the First Principle—we can see how carefully she has expressed what she means in so far as the limitations of language permit.

   If we would compare her definitions of terms with those in the dictionary or with popular usage and understanding, we should often see that the two definitions are antithetical. Almost invariably, her use of the most common words is exactly the opposite of ours. Take, for example, the word “matter.” We habitually think and speak of matter as three-dimensional; it is not, and never was. It is two-dimensional; it is a reflecting surface. We are the third “dimension” of matter, and we never see it. Matter has no consciousness its existence; it is we who have the consciousness of its existence, and we name that consciousness, to ourselves, “matter.” Go out and speak to a lump of rock and say, “Stone, move.” The stone does not answer. But if an Adept who actually understood the real nature of the stone said, “Move,” it would move, and He would not have to set up a highly involved industrial system to do it, either !

 Q.—What is meant by “an independent conscious existence”?

 Ans.—H.P.B. defines what an. “independent conscious existence” is a few lines further on: It is self-consciousness or individuality; once acquired, it can be maintained by the individual himself, regardless of whether bodies come or go; regardless of whether universes come or go; it is a combination of intellect and will. We are self-conscious, but only in a limited way. We lose our self-consciousness every night when we go to sleep and we pick it up again in the morning. So it is as if we died at night and were re-manufactured every morning, just as at the time of our birth. Why? Because our self-consciousness is objective; it cannot be complete, so long as anything can even temporarily interrupt its continuity.

    If our consciousness were like the Mahatma’ s, it could not be interfered with by sleep; if it were like the Mahatma’s, it could not be interfered with by death. The continuity of consciousness means Life plus Will, plus knowledge or understanding, and that means the control of memory, so that memory becomes a faculty like our physical sense of sight—we can exercise it or refuse to exercise it, at will. No matter what we wished to look at, we could look at it, and if we wished to stop looking at it, we could stop looking at it. Memory is only a form of percep-




tion that is, the power of seeing. There has not yet been acquired in matter the full self-consciousness that sooner or later we all must acquire in matter. We have it on the plane of Spirit; we lose it every time we leave the plane of Spirit; we need not, but we do.


Introductory Address


    The Ocean of Theosophy by William Q. Judge, has long been a basic text-book in the study programme of the United Lodges of Theosophists. Published in 1893, two years after the passing of H. P. Blavatsky and five years after the issuance of The Secret Doctrine the Ocean first appeared in the modest form of a paper series. Mr. Judge is said to have written the whole of the Ocean in a week’s time, and, even making allowances for his prodigious capacity for work, this is a remarkable achievement.

    Yet, in another sense, The Ocean of Theosophy was started in 1867, when Mr. Judge printed An Epitome of Theosophy a brief pamphlet which nevertheless does full justice to the central Theosophical doctrine. The Epitome shows what was indeed the fact, that Mr. Judge was familiar with The Secret Doctrine’s synthesis of the Theosophic philosophy before H.P.B.’s work was printed, even as he had had “prior acquaintance” with Isis Unveiled in both cases Mr. Judge was one of those helping H.P.B. to prepare and organize the wealth of material provided her by her Adept teachers.

    In 1890 came the second forerunner of the Ocean—Echoes from the Orient—contributed anonymously by Mr. Judge to a Washington newspaper, in 21 installments. When, later in the year, the articles were collected in a pamphlet, Mr. Judge’s preface disclaimed any idea, on his part, of having “exhaustively treated’ the subject of Theosophy. As with the Ocean the evident aim of the Echoes is to invite not merely inquiry, but strong search for the truth toward which Theosophy points the way.

    The week in 1893 devoted by Mr. Judge to putting The Ocean of Theosophy on paper was thus itself an epitome, since the book manifestly echoes knowledge which was his in former births—as well as steady self- education in the then newly—recorded Theosophical teachings. To study the Ocean by continuous reference to the writings of H. P. Blavatsky is, then, a most natural procedure, for it follows the example set by Mr. Judge himself.

    The present series, collected from stenographic notes of Ocean class questions and answers, is a case in point, for attention is clearly and constantly directed to the source material in H.P.B.’s Secret Doctrine As Robert Crosbie has observed, the student will find that every statement in the Ocean can be expanded by consulting H.P.B. ‘s book—and the Ocean class which succeeds in stimulating this process of “testing and verifying” has done the best it can, and all that it can, toward making Mr. Judge’s text-book a living Theosophical  manual.    
The Three Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine as taken




up in an informal Ocean class, have appeared in our last three issues. As an introduction to this series of answers to questions in the same class, we give part of a talk on the book itself. Next, following the general programme of the study classes, we will present the questions and answers devoted to the Ocean proper. It should be said that the answers to be presented in this series were originally given extemporaneously, and this quality will serve to remind the reader that the statements made are suggestive rather than authoritative. The obvious intent of the speaker was to turn inquirers to the recorded teaching itself, whence they might derive “an inspiration of their own” to answer their own deeper questions, and to guide them across the ocean of Theosophy.


    Perhaps there are those here who have found life a puzzle, a mystery rather than a problem. They have tried out their own experience, and found not enough in it to solve the mystery; they have been to academic philosophy, to organized religion, or to orthodox science, whatever it may be, and found no answer. Coming to this Ocean class, they may for the first time in their lives be in a student frame of mind, open-minded enough to look in a new direction.

    Now we introduce them to Mr. Judge. First, will they not see here an honest man, writing not for his sake, but for theirs and ours, and writing of what he understands, in order that we all may gain some little understanding? What moved Mr. Judge to write The Ocean of Theosophy Take the first sentence of the preface: “An attempt is made in the pages of this book to write of Theosophy in such a manner as to be understood by the ordinary reader.”

    Second, let us apply a simple test to Mr. Judge, as we can to Mme. Blavatsky—a test by which we shall soon learn the difference between what these two wrote and what lesser students have written in regard to Theosophy. To Illustrate: when the colonists settled in New England, they gave the Indians some gunpowder and showed them what to do with it. The Indians reasoned according to their experience, and what did they do with the gunpowder? They went out and planted it so as to raise a crop. Again: a man takes a slab of oak lumber and plants it. He doesn’t raise any oak trees; but he does if he takes an acorn and plants it. So, in everything H.P.B. writes, in everything Mr. Judge writes, is a seed value, and that is a value we nearly always miss. No preacher can write about religion if he does not himself know. The hundreds of students who have written books about Theosophy, in just as fine language, just as interesting, just as detailed, just as explicit—often more so, in fact—were handing us shavings Not a thing they have written will grow when planted in the mind.

     If we were to take The Ocean of Theosophy as material stuff for our intellectual clothing, t would all we should get out of it. If we were to read it out of mere curiosity, we should have only an interest in something that is novel. The curious man, as distinguished from the interested man, will never look at the same thing more than twice; he will never read the same book more than once. or twice; after that his interest wanes, because his “interest” was curiosity. Those who read the Ocean merely for comparative purposes—that is, to see how It differs from what some other writer says—will derive from it only the comparison; they won’t get seed values




    How can we determine that the Ocean has seed values? Take any given sentence in the Ocean that conveys an idea complete and intact in itself. One who thinks about that idea, will find it germinates; it grows at once; and it will wake up things in his own nature that he did not know were there. The writing of a true teacher, at any time, in any place and in any nation, can be told by its “seed value.”

    William Q. Judge wrote the Ocean in peculiar circumstances. A. P. Sinnett had written, in 1881, The Occult World exciting the curiosity of tens upon tens of thousands people. But the philosophy in The Occult World the noble ethics in the book, were seen by scarcely any one who read it. Instead, the impression was, “What a wonderful man Sinnett was What wonderful phenomena H.P.B. performed” Then Mr. Sinnett wrote Esoteric Buddhism which was an attempt to present in terms understandable by the ordinary reader the teachings of Theosophy. Yet, few men can read Esoteric Buddhism and derive moral elevation out of it. It treats of Theosophy from a one-life stand-point, from the stand-point of our thinking brain; in other words, from the materialistic stand point. At the time the Ocean was written, Esoteric Buddhism more widely circulated than any other single Theosophical book, had almost entirely displaced Isis Unveiled The Secret Doctrine and all the other literature of Theosophy.

     Sinnett’s book is very simple; nobody can misunderstand it. A christian can read it clear through and never get a jolt; a Spiritualist can read it clear through and think Sinnett was talking about Spiritualism. Everybody read Esoteric Buddhism because it was so simple to understand, and it was so, so nice that not a thing in it would offend anybody-’s feelings. People read it and were none the wiser; people read it and were none the better. They grafted whatever they could catch on to their christianity, their Spiritualism, their materialism, and called themselves Theosophists
  To compare the method of treatment of The Ocean of Theosophy with that of Esoteric Buddhism is amazing. A man can read a thousand Esoteric Buddhism’s and never dream that Theosophy relates to himself. No man with ordinary intelligence can sit down and read the Ocean without having the realization strike him at one point or another that Theosophy pertains and belongs not to somebody else, to some other world, some other chain of globes, some other incarnation, but to himself, here and now. That is the seed of Mr. Judge’s book.

    Another reason Mr. Judge had for writing the Ocean is shown in the closing paragraph of the preface: “No originality is claimed for this book. The writer invented none of it, discovered none of it, but has simply written that which he has been taught and which has been proved to him. It therefore is only a handing on of what has been known before.” This is almost a paraphrase of H.P.B.’s statement in the Introduction to The Secret Doctrine where she repeats what Confucius said: “I only hand on; I cannot create new things.” Why did Mr. Judge speak as “the writer,” instead of using the word “I”? He saw that the personal pronoun, I, was totally misread in the world. The Hindus have made out of
Brahmâ, out of Krishna, out of Vishnu, out of Siva, gods outside of man, because of the use of the pronoun I. Christians have made out of Jesus an outside God, and turned his teachings around to mean that mortal man is only to be saved by an immortal god independent of mankind—all because they misunderstood the use of the first personal pronoun.




    This brings us to one of the great teachings of the Ocean : the true nature of the ego. “I” is the sound uttered at every breath. The Sanskrit word is Aham and it means the Om. Literally, I, the English form of Aham means “I am that I am,” the phrase attribute to Jehovah in the Bible. When such an one as Jesus says “I,” he is using the pronoun for the Ego in a totally different sense than we do. When we say we are speaking from the stand-point of the personal ego, but a man like Jesus manifestly speaks from another stand-point—that of the true, the reincarnating ego. The comparative value of the teachings of Jesus, and those of Lao Tse, or of Buddha, or Krishna, is indicated by Krishna’s use of the word I. Krishna’s is not a use made by a reincarnating ego, but a conception of “I” that almost transcends our imagination, for Krishna uses “I” in the sense of universal self-consciousness. Universal self-consciousness, egoic self-consciousness, and personal self-consciousness are all one self-consciousness—three modes of the same vision.

    The first chapter of the Ocean—the first paragraph, after Theosophy is defined—says, “All is soul and spirit ever evolving under the rule of law which is inherent in the whole.” Mr. Judge has already spoken of law on the first page. Now he says that all, all, from atom to Brahm
â, from Satan to Jehovah, all, all, is soul and spirit. Turning to Patanjali— whose Yoga Aphorisms no one has better rendered into English than Mr. Judge—we find what the soul is: “The soul is the perceiver; is assuredly vision itself pure and simple; unmodified; and it looks directly upon ideas.” If that statement is true, what are we? We are soul and spirit. What, then, was Judge’s purpose? To so rouse us, to so touch us—not as bodies, not as persons, not as educated men and women, not as illiterate people, not as saints, or sinners—but to so touch our souls that we would for a moment make the primary assumption, “I am a soul and as so I will look forth upon these ideas.” Mr. Judge desired that we might look upon what he had written through his eyes, that we might see what he saw when he wrote. He wished to endow us, if you please, with his vision for a time. If the highest see through the eyes of the lowest, as in fact they do, and as we do almost habitually, then by turning the vision inward, the lowest may see through the eyes of the highest. How is it that here and there in some rare rejuvenating instant we meet some person, we hear some tone, we see some sight, we read some book, we have some form of contact with the soul and spirit around us, so that we see as we never saw before? Just for an instant we are looking forth on this same universe through the eyes of the highest.

    What is the highest in us? Soul and spirit in the egoic sense. We look through the eyes of the body, habitually, and so we see all things as matter reflects them. Once in a while, we look with the eyes of desire, and we see all things as desires reflect them. Very rarely, we look out in an abstract measuring equipoise of reason, and then we see all this universe with what kind of eyes?  With the eyes of Manas per se. When we look with the eyes of the body, we are bound to be affected by what we see; we are bound to go by what we see; and in no long time the man thinks, “I am this body; I began with this body; when this body terminates, I cease.” And if a man looks with the eyes of desire, he never looks back, he never looks at the present; he is forever just ahead. His word is Tomorrow,
Mañana. Desire always relates to the future, when we shall possess something we do not now possess, acquire something we do not now have, and so on. And the reasoning, what is that? That is




weighing the future against the past, or weighing the past against the future; both dead, because the unborn are, as far as this world is concerned, just as dead as those who have passed away. Now, Judge says, Atma-Buddhi-Manas—soul and spirit plus universal consciousness—they and no other are we. Can we see that through the eyes of matter? Can we see through the eyes of any Christian sect that there is no difference whatever between us and Christ, save the difference in attitude? Never does a Christian church stress the identity existing between man and the Supreme Spirit. Never in all the four quarters of the globe, in any popular religion whatever, is the inquirer helped to grasp the fact that great beings, supernal beings, have come amongst us over and over again. They come, not to overwhelm us with their knowledge and power, not to show us an impassable gulf separating themselves from us, as between Dives and Lazarus; but to tell us that the difference is all in the use made of the vision by the soul itself. The Soul is the perceiver. How is he using his power of vision?

    That is one of the great lessons of The Ocean of Theosophy It can be read with the eye of mind, with the eye the senses, with the eye of aspiration—that is, with the desire to become great, to gain powers, to shine before men—or it can be read with the eye of soul and spirit, and the reader becomes intimately acquainted with the rest of himself, and with the whole of nature, embodied and disembodied.

    In order to make this ideal possible for us to grasp, Mr. Judge opens The Ocean of Theosophy by teaching of Masters. What is a Master? He is a being, a perceiver, in whom is embodied the whole universe, past, present and to come—a conscious embodiment of the whole of nature. Think what it means that there are such Beings, that they were once as we are, that They are our Elder Brothers, that what They are, we are on the road to becoming. This conception of Masters follows upon the concept of  law, and upon the concept that all is soul and spirit—that the only difference between us and the greatest Master is that we have not yet completed the assimilation, understanding and control which shall make us a perfected embodiment of the whole of nature, of its kingdoms, of its operations.

    The great thing about the Ocean is that by studying it Theosophically, we can gain enough understanding of Theosophy to come in contact with the mind of William Q. Judge. Having come in contact with the mind of William Q. Judge, we can come in contact with William Q. Judge; and having come in contact with William Q. Judge, we can come in contact with all the beings of the class to which he belongs. If all is soul, if all is spirit, then to whatever extent we are interested in the same things that the Adepts are, we are an embodiment of all the Adepts and devoted to Their Cause—humanity.


Chapter I

Q.—What is meant in Theosophy by “Soul”? Is man, as a Soul, the same as the Ego; that is, are Soul and the reincarnating Ego the same?

Ans.—Suppose we take the statement made on the second page of the Ocean that, even down to the minutest atom, no matter how we regard it or what we may name it, what visible or what changing appearance may present—actually, “All is Soul and Spirit.” If the question is, “What is Soul?” Soul is everything;—there is nothing that is not Soul and




Spirit in its basic nature. Then the question naturally arises, What is the distinction between the Soul and Spirit?

    It would be worth while to look in The Theosophical Glossary for a brief memorandum by H.P.B. under the word Spirit She says that the word “Spirit” ought in fact never to be used except in direct relation to the Universal Consciousness, but that a great confusion is due to warring conceptions, so that the words “Soul” and “Spirit’ are used indiscriminately. Now, if we take “Spirit” to refer first, last, and all the time to Consciousness from the Universal point of view, just as we use the word “Matter” for the universal basis of all form then, with Spirit as the universal basis of all consciousness, Soul would be the individual form of Spirit—just as we say “matter” and “body,” not meaning two different things, but one, matter being the universal stuff from which all bodies are formed. Then we would have in “matter” and “body” a perfectly good analogy to what is metaphysically meant by the words “Spirit” and “Soul.”

    If, then, we take man as a Soul-Life or Consciousness, which, as Mr. Judge says, is “ever evolving under the rule of law which is inherent in the whole”—man represents a Soul which has reached a given stage in the evolution of individual consciousness. The animal below us is no less Soul than we are; the Life in the vegetable and the mineral kingdom is no less Soul than we are; but their stage of evolution, their stage in the gradual progress towards individualized permanent consciousness, is behind ours. Using “Soul” in that sense, man as a Soul and as the reincarnating Ego mean one and the same thing.

Q.—Was H.P.B. the first Great Teacher since the time of Jesus? If so, why should there have been so long a period between them, if another Great One is expected in l975?

Ans.—The life of a civilization is much longer than the life of a single generation of men—call the life of a civilization about 2,000 years. The Great Teachers come at the birth of a new civilization, and the birth, the genesis of the new, is always while the old is still on the stage. The men and women who will be running this country 10, 15, 20 years from now are on earth right now, and many of the boys and girls who will be running this earth 30 or 50 years hence are here now. So there are cycles when Great Teachers come and there are cycles when lesser Teachers come. So far as Theosophy is concerned, the statement is made that Teachers have never been absent from the race. With regard to the present effort, it began in the l4th century with Tsong-kha-pa, in Tibet, and with Western Teachers bringing the same truths in Europe.

Q.—Do we learn from observation and experience, or do we learn from experience only?

Ans.—Is there one of us but knows, if he asks himself, that we gain knowledge both by experience and from observation? It is only when we look wholly outside that we ask such a question as that. In fact, in reading the Ocean or any of the other Theosophical books, we might try to bear in mind that there is that in us, a department of our nature, where the knowledge actually exists of anything and everything that the Teachers write about; then, we would begin to look within ourselves to corroborate, from the harvest of our own past experience, our observation of what the Teachers say. There is, however a vast difference between a man asleep or a man




dreaming, and a man awake. The thing to observe is that it’s the same man, regardless of what state he is in. Let us apply that to knowledge: if this teaching is true, we have been active and a part of this solar system ever since it had a beginning—not to go farther back. There isn’t a single state, a single condition, a single form of life and being in this solar system that every one of us has not been through tens of thousands of times in all the kingdoms below as well as in the present human kingdom; in all of the seven states of consciousness, not merely the one we are aware of now.

    Where is this experience? It is asleep in us, and, in the religious man and the scientific man, it’s dreaming. Our business, then, is to awaken to the same kind of consciousness that we have here and now in other states of matter and on other planes of life and being. Only a part of our nature is awake. At other times, in the past, other parts of our nature have been awake. We identify ourselves with the part of our nature that is awake; we do not recognize our whole nature, and so make no effort to rouse that part of us which is present but not active.

 Q.—Could we learn all that remains to be learned by observation?


 Q.—Isn’t observation the only way we learn anything about astronomy?

 Ans.—Learning from observation distinguishes man—even the savage, the lowest of men—from the brute kingdom. Animals cannot learn from observation; they can learn only by experience. Why can’t they learn by observation? Well, the meanest of men always “sees double.” If the impulse rises in him, say, to run from something that he sees, he can say, “Well, shall I run or shall I stand fast and fight?” And no matter how much his legs want to run, he can choose to stand and fight, and do it. But when the same situation presents itself to the animal, it has only one perception, fight It never reasons. Why doesn’t it reason? It sees no contrast. It can see only one thing at a time. Now if we observe ourselves, we will find that 99% of what we know comes from observation. What does the other 1% come from? Experience. We conduct ourselves by bringing what we see (observation) and what we experience into coadunition and consubstantiality: that is knowledge.

 Q.—Is not observation a form of experience?

 Ans.—Well, if we use the word “observation” in a subordinate, and the word “experience” in a general, sense, then all observation is a part of our experience; but if we take the two words as they stand, “observation” and “experience,” then experience is direct perception and observation is indirect perception. Old Patanjali says that the means of knowledge are three not two—as we think of them when we say “observation and experience.” The first means of knowledge, says Patanjali, is direct perception—that is what we call experience. One who has tasted tabasco sauce knows that it is liquid fire: that is direct perception. The second form of knowing is by the direct perception of others which they tell us about. They may tell us, “Don’t drink that bottle of tabasco as you would drink a glass of water,” and, attaching sincerity, good faith and common-sense to them, we only smell of the sauce or touch it with our tongue; we go slowly. So we have direct perception of our own, which is experience; we have the testimony of others in regard to their experience; and then we have, says Patanjali, a third method, inference the




deductions which we make whether from our own experience or from the testimony of others.

    Now, there is a fourth method of knowledge that we seldom think about. It is peculiar to the Adepts. Have you ever thought of the expression, “Universal. Brotherhood,” or union, as the means par excellence of gaining knowledge? And yet the 13th page [p. 12 Am. Ed.] of the first chapter of the Ocean shows us clearly that that’s the way the Masters get their knowledge. At the bottom of the 12th page (pg. 11 American Edition), it says that the Mahatmas have power over space, time, mind, and matter, precisely because they are perfected men; that is, they have had a sufficiency of experience, of testimony, of inference, to satisfy them that there is fundamentally no separateness at all between one being and another, one state and another.

    The separateness is in one’s own eye. If we think so, there is separateness; if we don’t think so, there isn’t. Then They said to Themselves, why couldn’t I put myself in that man’ s place? If I could just do that, I would feel as he feels; I would think as he thinks; I would get all of his experience instantly. Suppose they want to know about ants. Do they read books on ants? No. Do they hire people to go out and observe ants, experiment with them, and get testimony about them? No. The Mahatma puts himself in the ant’s place, and instantly he knows the universe as an ant knows it, feels it and lives it. This, then, is the method which Patanjali describes as peculiar to the ascetics.

 Q.—On page 8 (pg. 7 Am. Ed.), Mr. Judge makes the statement: "But irrespective of all disputes as to specific names, there is sufficient argument and proof to show that a body of men having the wonderful knowledge described above has always existed and probably exists today. If Masters of Wisdom are a fact, why does Mr. Judge use the word, “probably".

 Ans.—To us who have no direct knowledge of our own that there are Masters of Wisdom, our conviction—or lack of it—our belief or disbelief, must rest upon evidence and testimony, and no matter how good the evidence may be in regard to anything, it does not make it a certainty. Thus, in our minds must always exist the possibility that there are no such Beings as Masters of Wisdom—until when? Until we know for ourselves that there are such Beings, until we come into direct contact with them. From our stand-point, it is a matter of the consideration of evidence, not of first-hand knowledge. Bearing this in mind, Mr. Judge talks to us in our own language. There is no “probably” about it in his case, because he knew for himself that such Beings exist.

    Have you not noticed that, whenever a man asserts positively and without qualification something that he may know but that we do not know, the very flat-footedness of the assertion arouses in us an element of opposition? We do not know, and something in us tells us that the man is trying to take advantage of us, when he affirms without qualification something to be so that he knows but we do not know. There is a freedom from dogmatism, a freedom from pressure or coercion on the soul of the listener or of the inquirer or of the believer, for that matter, by the simple putting in of that word “probably.” The evidence that we have studied satisfies us that such Beings must exist today; so we are




studying and trying to apply Theosophy. If we do that and if such Beings do exist, the time must come when we will contact Them, and then there will be no “probably” about it for us.

 Q.—Would any man be a friend of the human race who tried to act in harmony with the laws of life?


 Ans.—Very evidently, the one who asked that question sees, just as clearly as any Mahatma could see, what a free and independent Theosophist is, and knows perfectly well for himself that if a man obeys the laws of all Life, he is the only one who could be a friend of the human race. What, then, is the matter? Why the question? There is such a thing as not having enough confidence in ourselves. If a man sees, and knows that he sees, then to the extent that he sees and that he knows that he sees, he is an Adept. Why shouldn’t he rely on his own perception, his own inference, and merely check it, corroborate it by the testimony of others?

    If we had more faith in ourselves, we would have far more faith in the Masters, and the converse is just as true; in fact, even more true. It’s a strange thing and perhaps it is one of the reasons why Mr. Judge and H.P.B  began their teachings with a discussion of the Masters of Wisdom. Unless we see that there are beings as much higher than we are, as, in Mr. Huxley’s phrase, we are higher than a black beetle, and that these beings were not born that way; that they became what they are through observation, experience and inference—and by living according to the laws of Life—we shall not have confidence that there are Masters. But once we have that confidence, results flow: each of us begins to have confidence in himself, no matter how big a fool he may be, or how bad a sinner, or how many mistakes he makes; then he begins to have confidence in his brother man, no matter how big a fool he is, or how big a sinner he is, or how many mistakes he has made. That is the first real step in Universal Brotherhood.

 Q.—Page 4 of the Ocean states: For this age, as one of them has already said, “is an age of transition,” when every system of thought, science, religion, government, and society is changing, and men’s minds are only preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the race to advance to the point suitable for these elder brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight. The question is, just what is this alteration which will prepare men’s minds?


Ans.—Using our own powers of observation, and then checking by our own experience, can’t we all see, both in regard to ourselves and in regard to other men in every walk of life, that things our fathers were so sure were the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth things they never doubted and never questioned—we totally disbelieve or wholly doubt? Take, say, religion. Only a little while ago, practically speaking, nobody doubted that there was a personal god; that there were miracles; that if a man did not become a member of some Christian church, he would be out of luck when he died. Who believes that today? There has been a tremendous transition in our minds.

    Turn to modern science. Only a little while ago, men believed that science would solve every problem in the universe. Any number of men had




the same faith in the theories of science that other people had in the revelations of religion. Who takes any stock in scientific theories today? No scientist. You can’t find a single scientist who will bank on any scientific theory. They are far more honest in that respect than the preachers are, for they say, “This is just a working hypothesis.” Wasn’t it Sir David Brewster who, discussing the theories of light, said that the only thing a scientist can do at present is to believe in the corpuscular theory of light on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the rest of the week act on the theory that light is just a rate of vibration? The two theories are absolutely antithetical. And so with many theories of science.

    Look around the world political, social, mechanical. In the years since the first world war, what a colossal change has taken place in the attitude of the populace as a whole towards freedom for women; that is, that they have just the same right to think for themselves, to choose for themselves, to act on their own responsibility, as a man has. Why, that is the most unimaginable, incredible change in the state of mind of the race for the last twenty centuries; and so on, all up and down the line.

    The Ocean statement means, then, that the mind of the race, instead of being rigid and following age-old ruts or grooves, is becoming fluidic. Men will listen to anything. The phrase goes, “Try anything once.” Doesn’t this mean that we are rapidly coming to the point where one can describe the human mind as an open mind? When the mind of the race actually is an open mind, there is a chance to do what, up to date, Theosophy has been able to do for a handful only; there is a chance to sow the seed of Theosophical teachings broadcast to all men everywhere.

    When the thirst of the race for power, for money, for glory, for self-indulgence is dried away—when the mind of the race says: Life is not worth living if that’s all Life is for—then, men will be led to study the great idea of Brotherhood, to see that Karma and Reincarnation are laws of evolution, and to believe in the existence of Masters not, as miracles but as teachers as our Elder Brothers; the race mind will have so changed that it will welcome these Elder Brothers  presence amongst us as teachers, as guides, as philosophers, as workers, as friends. And then They will come.


Chapter II


Q.—The Ocean says, “In place of ‘the Absolute’ we can use the word Space.” Since the One Reality or the Absolute is beyond the range and reach of thought, unthinkable and unspeakable, it would seem that Mr. Judge must have referred to Absolute Abstract Space, which is just as in conceivable to our mind as Absolute Abstract Motion. Could we infer, then, that Space of which we can have any thought or conception whatever is the first aspect of the One Reality, Law the second aspect, and Evolution the third?

 Ans.—Why, yes, we can have any conception we want to or that we are capable of, but why not go back to first principles? In her discussion of the First Fundamental in The Secret Doctrine H.P.B. gives us Space as a symbol, but she tells us why she gives that symbol. She says Space is the one thing that no being can exclude from his mind or include in his mind. Don’t we see that that is a perfect symbol of the




sent, eternal, boundless, immutable principle? We can exclude from our minds the Source, and we can include It in our minds. It is the Source not only of our mind but of all the other minds in Nature. The Christian takes one born of the dilemma—he puts the Source out side himself in outer space, and the personal god is the legitimate off spring of this idea. The philosopher or the Stoic tries to find his idea of the Source within the limits, the horizon, of his own thinking; he includes by excluding.

    Space is within and without; it can neither be included nor excluded; and that is why it is given as a symbol of the One Reality. Read the Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge H.P.B. says that people are forever talking about Space as if it were either an absolute void or a plenum. It is neither, because it is both. We can see that there are things that our minds cannot grasp. No matter who we are, a great sage or an angel, there are things that our minds cannot grasp; and yet we reach out for them. Does this not tell us that there is something higher than the human mind? Then, why not rise to that plane of life and thus see things that are mysteries to us? To try to grasp with our mind that which is beyond mind is just as if an animal were to try to reduce human consciousness within the terms of its rudimentary and lower plane of life.

    The purpose of Theosophy, then, is to arouse man, that is, to waken him out of the psychic somnambulism which we call human nature, to shake him up from this waking dream, to the reality of his own being, and then he is on the plane of Higher Manas. What then? Why, with respect to that, H.P.B. says that it is only by means of the Higher Mind that we can ever hope to reach into the depths of the all-pervading Absoluteness; that is to say, once in the true awakened state of mind, we can reach into the all-pervading depths of Absoluteness.

    The whole of Theosophy is merely an attempt to wake men up by turning their attention to the fact that there is something higher in them than they can ever dream of. No wonder people say, “Wake up”.

 Q.—Chapter 2 says that each of the seven principles of man is derived from one of the seven great first divisions of the Universe. What are the seven great divisions of the Universe?

 Ans.—Do we not recall the statement of the seven great divisions of the Kosmos given by Mr. Judge in this chapter? Does he not say that the universe evolves in seven ways and seven planes in all worlds, and that the divisions may be thus roughly stated: The Absolute, Spirit, Mind, Matter, Will, Akasa and Life? These are represented in everything that is, with this distinction, that in the Kosmos as a whole, all seven of these great Principles are inherently universal and therefore impersonally active; in the case of the beings below Man, they are not individually active but sporadically active, as in the four lower human principles; while in any man, whether considered as a human being or as a Mahatma, all these seven principles are actually active individually; that is, he can operate them, divert them, direct them himself.

 Q.— Great Breath goes forth and returns again” (p. 17)(p. 16 Am. Ed.). What is meant by that term as here used?

 Ans.—Let us seek an analogy in our own experience: We say, “He gave up the ghost.” That is, he gave up the breath; he breathed his last breath. What does that mean? Dissolution, the death of that which




was an active form. We say, “He drew his first breath”; he took breath. If the newborn babe does not do that, he does not become viable; he is dead at the beginning of the journey instead of at the end. Apply that to the whole universe: There is the birth of a universe: that is the beginning of the Great Breath; there is the life of the universe, or the continuance of the breathing; and then there is the death of the universe, or the dissolution of the Breath, the return of life to its original condition.

 Q.—What might we denominate the Father and the Mother of the Universe?

 Ans.—The incoming and the outgoing Breath. All breath consists first of an inception, next of a retention, and finally of an exhalation; then of a new inception, a new retention and a new exhalation, and so on, over and over again. There is reincarnation, or re-embodiment, or change, applied to everything that is, from a solar system down to the minutest conceivable atom. What causes this? Polarity, attractive and repulsive forces, the affinities of Nature, positive and negative attractions; and those are personified as “Father” and “Mother.” In everyone of us there are positive forces; in everyone of us there are negative forces; we are anon active and anon passive—receptive in this, that or the other direction. Personify that and you have the “Father” and the “Mother.” They are both in us and may alternate; that which is at this moment positive may the next become passive.

Q.—Might not “giving up the ghost” refer to the leaving of this body, which is impermanent, and the assumption of another body, which is permanent?

 Ans.—Actually the expression is one coined by the translators of the Bible, the King James version, the common Bible of the Protestant sects: “He gave up the ghost,” it says in one place; “He yielded up the ghost,” in another. You know, all over the world amongst every kind of people there has always existed, and there persists now, the idea that at death something which is the counterpart of the living, visible, physical body, and which ordinarily is invisible, leaves the body. This “invisible” form is often spoken of as the wraith. And so at the departure of the astral body, its separation from the physical, we say “He gave up the ghost.”

 Q.—On p. 18 (p. 17 Am Ed): Why did the Hebraic tradition become such an apparent drag on the mind of the West?

 Ans.—Well, one answer is that it is Karma, of course. It is evident that the egos who are not Jews in religion or nationality or tradition have been tremendously or powerfully affected by the egos who have constituted in the past the Semitic or Hebraic race. We see that everywhere. In another sense, the answer is that they fastened the personal god on us.

Then the next question is, What is the connection between the Jews and the Egyptians It is probable that Mr. Judge is referring there to the story in the Old Testament about how the Jews went down into Egypt; his older brothers sold old Jacob’s second youngest son—Joseph—into slavery because they were jealous of him. Afterwards, in time of famine, the whole Jacobite clan moved to Egypt where Joseph had become a popular politician, you might say. They multiplied exceedingly, and finally, according to the Old Testament and according to such traditions in




history, the Egyptians enslaved and frightfully abused the Jews during many centuries. The Theosophical teaching is that those Egyptian egos are the very ones who form the advance guard of civilization in Europe, and particularly in America; and so the Jews came back. The pendulum reverses and we have been enslaved; we, who enslaved them physically, have been enslaved by them financially and religiously—the two meaning the same thing.

 Q.—The Jews are said to have merely had one part of the Secret Doctrine taken from the ancient Egyptians; what is that one part?

 Ans.—If we were familiar with our Bible, could we not answer that ourselves? The Jews had the ideas of a creation, that is, an evolution; then they had the idea of a destruction by flood, fire or whatnot; and then, the renovation. But the doctrine itself is that this process is periodic, without beginning and without end; in the procession of cycles that is, of creation, of preservation, of destruction or regeneration, over and over again. So the Jews had only the idea of one particular creation, one particular flood; they had no idea of cyclic law.

Q.—What is meant by the term “Universal Mind”?

 Ans.—What is meant by the term “Universal Matter”? It is that substance of which all bodies are composed, but the bodies are not one thing and the matter something else. So Universal Mind is that which consists of and includes all intelligence of every degree in the manifested universe, high or low visible or invisible.

 Q.—What is the difference between Brahma and Brahmâ?

 Ans.—The same distinction that there is between man the perceiver and man the creator.

 Q.—Pages 21—2 (p. 20 Am. Ed.):—And when the rough work was completed, when the human temple was erected, many more ages would be required for all the servants, the priests, and the counsellors to learn their parts properly so that man, the Master, might be able to use the temple for its best and highest purposes. Would you please say something about the meaning of the expression “servants, priests and counselors”?
Ans.—Imagine a condition similar to space as we see it now, in which there is no manifestation at all; in which all life, all consciousness, all matter, is in one homogeneous condition. What steps would be necessary with that cosmic dust, what work would have to be gone through, before a universe such as we have now would be evolved? Manifestly, we would have to separate or differentiate that immense mass of inchoate matter into seven distinct streams, and then we would have to take the Monads or lives or embryonic souls that make up those seven streams of matter and use them until their ancient knowledge returned. In other words, we would have to set up the atomic kingdom, the molecular kingdom, and the intermediate or astral kingdom out of which to erect the cellular and the crystalline kingdom——four immense steps. That takes between one and a half to two billion years. Not till then would we be able to constitute a mineral kingdom, even in its incipient rudimentary state, the chemical elements.

Next, we would have to combine and recombine those lives or forces




of nature in the state we now know as the mineral kingdom—combine and recombine them until we could form out of the most advanced of them a vegetable kingdom; then erect an animal kingdom; and then take the organic structure, the cellular and crystalline basis of all three kingdoms, and erect out of that a form that we could use as a sending and receiving instrument—an acting instrument—in every one of the seven kingdoms. That is what is meant by the “priests” and the “counselors” and the “servants’ training of the non-self-conscious lives, their combinations in the kingdoms of the forces or elementals, and in the kingdoms of nature known to us, until it would be possible to build out of them one single form in which all the activities of the whole solar system could be independently reproduced; and that is the body and nature of man.

 Q.—Three primary divisions of Life are spoken of on p. 16 (p. 15 Am. Ed.): Spirit, Mind and Matter. Do these represent unvarying qualities, or does man become spirit or matter, and vice versa?

 Ans.—Matter never becomes man; man never becomes spirit; and spirit never becomes matter. These are just terms for the three great states of Life. What is it that becomes matter? Life. What is it that, when it knows enough, becomes mind? Life. What is it that, when it knows still more, becomes spirit? Life. It is Life that passes from spirit to matter to mind and returns again to spirit, just as it is man who passes from waking to dreaming to deep sleeping and back to waking again; but the waking state never becomes the dream state; the dreaming state never becomes the deep sleep state, or vice versa.

 Q.—P. 17 (p. 16 Am. Ed.):— Wherever a world or system of worlds is evolving, there the plan has been laid down in universal mind; the original force comes from spirit; the basis is matter—which is in fact invisible—Life sustains all forms requiring life, and Akasa is the connecting link between matter on one side and spirit-mind on the other.

    H.P.B. says that Spirit is always descending into matter and matter is always evolving into Spirit. Is not original or primordial matter in reality Spirit? Could you amplify that quotation as to how Universal Mind evolves these worlds?

 Ans.—Analogy is always, says H.P.B., our best guide. What do we consider as the final form that all experience takes with us? It is one of two things—knowledge or memory, and either the knowledge or the memory, or both of them, may be latent or active. Suppose we substitute for the words “Spirit and Matter, knowledge and memory and there is the final form into which everything is resolved. Now, at the beginning of manifestation, Spirit, which is knowledge, stirs up Matter or memory, and thus the plan is brought over, since nothing perishes either in the form of Spirit, Consciousness, or knowledge, or in the form of latent memory or Matter. Memory as the basis of action is merely the tendency to repeat. All mechanical action, all chemical action, all electrical action, is the clearest picture in the world of the action of memory. If we study the question from this stand-point, into what is everything finally resolved with us? Into memory or knowledge. Memory takes many forms when stirred up—tendency, habit, instinct, impulse, the imitative faculty. What stirs up memory? Consciousness or knowledge.





Chapter III
I.—The Sevening of Cosmos

Q.—On p. 24 (p. 23 Am. Ed.), at the bottom, Mr. Judge writes:—

    The earth is one of seven globes in respect to man’s consciousness only, because when he functions on one of the seven he perceives it as a distinct globe and does not see the other six.

    What is meant by “in respect to man’s consciousness only”? When we are in another state of consciousness, are we on another globe?

 Ans.— What we can see is one thing at a time, and what we are now seeing is the universe, isn’t it? But we are in fact seeing the universe, so to say, through the eyes of only one of our seven principles; that is, the fourth one. Whenever the opposite principle becomes active, the fourth principle goes to sleep, and then we see the universe with the eye of Spirit instead of with the eye of desire. We can’t see the universe, except from one point of view at a time. At present we are seeing the universe from the human point of view—waking human consciousness. Now, tonight we go to sleep; it is the same “we,” and we see the universe, but we do not see nearly as much of it; we do not even know that we are looking at something else. In fact, we aren’t looking at something else—we are looking at the same universe from the point of view of the astral consciousness instead of the waking consciousness. After we die, it is the same “we", the same universe, but we are looking at it from a different point of view and we see another world.

    As a matter of fact, the universe can be looked at in seven different ways, and those seven different ways are called the seven globes of our planetary chain. The universe is always a study in consciousness, and nothing else. An ant is as much Life as we are and in a sense is much more intelligent, because it has no politics, no government and no religion, and—it knows its business How different this same universe of ours must seem to an ant How different this universe must seem to the Life locked up in the stone—the same universe, the same consciousness, in a stone. How different this universe looks to us when we are happy, from the way it looks when we are unhappy; how different it looks when we are in love, from how it looks when we think nobody cares for us, nobody loves us. It is the same universe all the time, the same Self all the time, but the universe looks utterly different according to the point of view, or the state of consciousness.

Q.—Mr. Judge says that everything in nature is sevenfold.

 Ans.—But the statement is not that everything in the universe has all its seven principles active at the same time. It is in man alone that all the seven principles may become active, but in order for all seven to become active at once, they must be unified. How many principles has a Mahatma? One. He has Atman, and since Atman is the source of all the principles, he emits the principles as the occasion requires. How many kinds of lever is our body? All kinds of levers. Is our body a lever? No, but it can at once be used as a lever of the first, the second, or the third class. Take, say, what we call. the mineral kingdom: only one principle is active, and that principle is active only as our body is active when we are asleep—it is only breathing. Take the vegetable kingdom; it is clear to one who studies it from the stand-point of consciousness that



the same consciousness which, in the mineral kingdom, is sound asleep—externally—is, in the vegetable kingdom, beginning to dream. Then take the animal creation as a whole; it has identically the same consciousness as manifests in the other kingdoms. At times it is asleep and at times it is dreaming. Animal consciousness is mostly dreaming; but fitfully, under shock, it will wake for a second, like a flash of lightning. We know electricity can make a flash of lightning, or the steady glow of lights in a room. Come to man: he has his period of waking consciousness, that is, self-consciousness, and his period of animal consciousness; but, when his human consciousness is active, his animal consciousness is dreaming or asleep. When his animal consciousness is active, his vegetative and human aspects of consciousness are asleep or dozing. We pass up and down the four states, mineral, vegetable, animal and human, and don’t notice that we are doing it.

 Q.—What is meant by a Manvantara being “a period between two men”?
Ans .—To answer that question, we have but to turn back to the first chapter of the Ocean to where Judge says that the one object of these mighty waves of evolution called Manvantaras is the production of perfect man. So a Manvantara, the whole vast panorama, is soul and spirit ever evolving towards one object, and when that object is achieved for as many as possible—then, according to the second chapter, that Manvantara is over: its crop is perfected men or Mahatmas. Next is a period of rest, and again there is a new mighty wave of evolution, all being soul and spirit, once more evolving with the same object of producing a new crop. So there is a crop of men, meaning perfected men, in this Manvantara and a crop of perfected men in another Manvantara—the period between one crop of men and another being a “Manvantara.”

 Q.—On p. 28 (p. 27 Am. Ed.), Mr. Judge states:—

Between the end of any great race and the beginning of another there is a period of rest.

What is the nature of that rest, and are there any records of it?

 Ans.—Between the great races, of which there are seven in each Round, there is a period of rest, when all the active principles of this plane cease to be active, and this plane goes to sleep. The analogy between Pralaya and this period about which the question is asked—which H.P.B. calls “obscuration”—is the same analogy as that between death and sleep. Our Earth Chain dies every so often; when it dies, it dissolves, just as our body does, to be re-formed just as a reincarnating body is formed. But the earth, so far as we know, sleeps between the great races. What becomes of US? We go to another globe, just as we go to another globe or state of consciousness in dream, in sleep and after death. We may go to the globe below this or we may go to the globe above this, as the case may be; but the self-conscious egos leave the globe between races.

    If we regard the universe and man as consisting in their perfection during manifestation of seven elements, and all the beings in that universe as seven-principled beings, then it can be seen that these seven globes relate to the seven fundamental elements into which everything can be reduced and to the seven fundamental principles—our basis of collective action or manifestation. The principle that is now active—Kama-Manas—did not exist on Globe A; Kama-Manas did not exist on Globe B, or on Globe C, or D, or E, or F, or G during the first three Rounds, and it



did not exist in this Round until we reached Globe D; Kama was then utterly different, just as, say, the flesh of our bodies, although matter, is just as different as can be from the chemical elements from which it has been derived. So Kama, the principle of action, in the kingdoms below man, is just as different from that same Kama in man as our flesh is different from the chemical elements. Until the two lines of evolution, the physical and the spiritual, were conjoined in the same form, we had no Kama-Manas; we had the active principle, memory, in the form of impulse, desire and habit in the three lower kingdoms; the Monad, Atma-Buddhi, represents the spiritual line of evolution; the two lines conjoined by the descent of the reincarnating Ego—Manas—into a form of matter, and we have the universe as it is now.

Q.—How can such a process be a matter of knowledge to us?

Ans.—Several statements are made suggestively in The Secret Doctrine as that the collective consciousness of the Manus—or call it Universal Mind, which is the same thing—embraces the interminable eternities of all the past; also that there must be beings so high that they can view in retrospect, that is, from the stand-point of what we would call memory, the whole period of evolution of a given solar system.

Q.—What is meant by Mulaprakriti?

Ans.—Literally, it means the root of matter. Oftentimes, you know, you can get at the truth by a process of elimination as well as by a process of addition. Now consider the universe; it is enormously compound, whether regarded physically or metaphysically; it is highly complex. Suppose we begin dissolving it just as we dissolve things chemically. Into how many elements can we dissolve it? According to the teachings of Theosophy, the whole universe and everything in it can be finally dissolved into seven elements. How about those seven elements? Can they be dissolved? Yes, they also can all be dissolved or resolved; into what? Into one element only. If this is the case at dissolution, reverse the process, and we have manifestation. From the One Element proceed successively seven modifications of that Element, and we, looking at it from this side and not seeing what is on the other side of the seven elements, call the modifications “seven elements.” It is seven different modifications within, or aspects of, one and the same Element. Then what? Then we begin making combinations of those same elements, and finally we have what we have—a great series of “elements.”

    We can get at the problem decimally very easily, and in truth that is the right way. But view it, if we want to view it, both physically and metaphysically or spiritually. Suppose we use mathematics on the universe, and not any other system of mathematics than the decimal system. (You know some ancient peoples used to have 7 as the basis for their arithmetic, and others have had 9 as the basis. A great many people have had 11, and a few have had 13—of which one of the survivals is our idea of unlucky numbers.) Let’s take the universe as a decimal system. Would anybody object to this statement? “It makes no difference to me whatever what number you give me; it can consist of ten digits variously combined and variously repeated.” No matter how big the number is—it is made up of ten simple elements or digits. And what did all those digits proceed from? From zero, which is no number they all return into zero. The ten elements of arithmetic, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. When we come to



examine the digits, we find that the digits are not actually simple integers; 9 is a combination of 8 and 1; also of 7 and 2; also of 6 and 3; also of 5 and 4;  8 is not a simple indissoluble number; 8 is a compound of 7 and 1, 6 and 2, and 3, 4 and 4. So we can treat every one of our so-called digits. There is only one number and that which is no number; but the combination of no number and one number gives us the digits and the combinations of digits, gives us, in fact, all the field of mathematics.

    Apply the same thing precisely to our universe: the One Element never was, never will be anything but the One Element. But seven forms of perception are possible in every part of that One Element; seven forms of action are possible; therefore, seven forms of results are possible. While we cannot define the Absolute, yet, if we apply this same process and reverse the Three Fundamentals, we shall not find it difficult to realize that, no matter what we do, behind our doing is That.

    No matter what we think, behind our thinking are three things—our selves, what we know, and what we assume. There is the eternal trinity in us. Many people assume that the source of Nature is different from the source of themselves, and they act on that basis; they do not know it; they believe it. Many people think there is no source to Nature, and they act on that basis. So there is themselves, what they know, and what they believe or assume or not know. Very well. How are we to know the First Fundamental? How are we to realize it? Through the Second; how else? What is the Second Fundamental? It is Nature’s law of equilibrium. If I act in equilibrium with Nature, if, in the words of The Voice of the Silence I “help Nature and work on with her,” I will understand the First Fundamental; I will know the First Fundamental; I will realize the First Fundamental, because I will consciously be the First Fundamental.

    In the first letter of the second volume of Letters That Have Helped Me, Judge makes a truly wonderful statement. He speaks about the Masters, out the natural desire of everyone to have some consciousness of contact with the Masters, and of our way of going about it. He discusses that; then he turns around and says, The fact is that the Masters are active all the time; they are “in every phase of our changing days and years.” He says they are the very law of Karma, because they are Atman itself; they are Atman and realize it.

    We are Atman and talk about it, believe about it, hope about it, fear about it, discuss about it, and—to use H.P.B.’s own word—”wrestle" about it, but all the time the only way that we can ever realize the First Fundamental is through the Second. Manifestly, our actions, which is what the Second Fundamental is concerned with, have led us further and further from the realization of the Self, until finally we are at the point where our realization of Self is that we are separate from all other selves Masters have reversed that. On the basis of the unity of all in Nature, they work for Nature; they live for Nature, and so they realize in themselves all there is in Nature.



 Chapter III
II.——The Sevening of Man

Q.—In the middle paragraph on p. 28 (first paragraph on p. 27 Am. Ed.) is the statement that there comes a time of perfection; that is, when progress stops in that particular cycle spoken of, and then the earth disappears as a tangible thing. It isn’t annihilated, we know that, but the statement is made that it disappears as a tangible thing. What is meant by that?

 Ans.—Let’s go on in the greater cycle until the same stage is reached again. What will happen to this earth that will have disappeared as a tangible thing? What will become of it? Will it not once more reappear as a tangible thing, going through its again on this plane, and then once more—having achieved as much perfection as possible what will it do? Disappear as a tangible thing, and once more reappear. It is nothing but the Law of Reincarnation. “Cycle” means reincarnation, only this word is used to show that it means the reincarnation of a mass of Monads or egos, whereas we use the word “reincarnation” as applied to one single individual. Yet we say that there is a cycle of reincarnation. For the man of today we know that the average duration of that cycle is 1500 years.

    Now, after we have seen that the Ocean says the world, or our earth, disappears as a tangible thing, the question is, “How do you account for the moon still being visible?” Suppose we change that word “still” to the word “now.” How do you account for the moon now being visible? Well, one way we can understand it is this: When the old moon chain disappeared as a tangible thing it disappeared, but when the same stage was reached in the new evolution, its ghost or Kama-Rupa materialized. Any Kama-Rupa is on the fourth plane of evolution, is in the fourth stage of existence. Remember that the fourth stage is the stage of formation, or re-formation, and it is also, of necessity, the opposite—the stage of disintegration. When this earth had once more reached the fourth stage, its effect on the moon may well have been such as to precipitate the kamic moon onto our plane. H.P.B. says in The Secret Doctrine—and Mr. Judge says the same thing on p. 26 (p. 25 Am. Ed.) that the reason we can see the moon is that it is on the same plane of perception as ourselves.

    Venus is said to be in the Seventh Round, but we can see Venus. How can we do that when we are in the Fourth Round? Because Venus is in the fourth stage of her Seventh Round. We are in the Fourth Round and Venus in the fourth stage, so both are on the same plane of perception. The statement is made that both Mercury and Mars have been in obscuration—that is in Pralaya—and that Mercury is only beginning to come out of obscuration, yet both are visible. How explain that? Why, they are fourth-plane globes, which, during a minor Pralaya remain intact, though dead. Being on the fourth plane of perception, they are visible to us. We do not see the moon, say, of the Third Round; why not? Because that moon is on the third plane of perception. If we could transfer our consciousness to the centre of the Third Race or the centre of the Third Round, then, says Mr. Judge, we would see the corresponding moon, that is, the moon in her third stage, and so on endlessly.

 Q.—If one saw the moon in a dream, what globe of the moon would that be?

 Ans.—How many remember the eighth Chapter of the Gita It says



that those dying in the fortnight of the waning moon and while the sun is in the path of his southern journey, return again to mortal birth.

    Now, when we go to sleep, we go through the same process that a man goes through when he dies—up to a certain point, at least. We pass through the same steps. If we had an atavistic dream, and descended in our dream, let us say, to the Fourth Race of this Round or to the Third Race of this Round (instead of remaining in the Fifth to which we belong), we should be, in our dream, on the plane of nature that was tangible in the Third Race or in the Fourth Race. The corresponding moon would be there, and we would see the astral moon in one of its stages; we would see its astral photograph, certainly. Why, the air around us is full of elementals and of Kama-Rupas, all forming and disintegrating stages of anything and every-thing that has been in existence on this plane, both that which has died and is therefore on its way out, and also that which is on its way back here. If we, then, awake or asleep, get on to the astral or kamic plane, we shall see the corresponding moon, or—what is the same thing—the reflection of the moon, in her astral envelope instead of in her physical envelope.

 Q.—Did I understand you to say that the moon, as we now see it, had dissolved into its constituent particles? Or did the moon remain as it was, except that, since we were not in that stage, it was lost to us and dissipated so far as we are concerned? It says on p. 28 (p. 27 Am. Ed.), that “so far as the human ear is concerned there is silence.” The moon certainly shows the effect of these universal lines of fire as it stands, and it seems that, if it had come again in the new combination, it wouldn’t show that old death scar.

 Ans.—That raises a most interesting question, one that each student is at liberty to think about for himself. First, the statement is made in the Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge that the sun is older than any of the planets in this solar system, and yet H.P.B. turns around in the same sentence and says that the moon is older than the sun. That can mean only one thing, that this moon which we see is a relic of a former solar system, of a planetary chain in a former solar system, because any and every planetary chain is but a portion of the mass of matter and of the monads engaged in any solar system.

    H.P.B. makes a number of curious statements in various foot-notes of the S.D. For example, she says that, when the end of a solar system comes, there is what is called a universal Pralaya; that is, absolutely every thing is disintegrated and returns to the primordial condition. Naturally, no lives or Monads are lost. Once there is a new evolution of the solar system, it must be that those Monads which were in the former solar system or planetary chain once more reassume their ancient place. She says that nought remains during a. solar pralaya but the Akasic photographs of all that have been. Now, if we were on the seventh globe or the sixth globe of this chain, according to Mr. Judge, we should see the corresponding moon. What moon would we see? We should see its Akasic photograph, shouldn’t we? Successively, as evolution goes on in this Solar System or in this planetary chain, condensation and expansion and recondensation, without a complete dissolution, goes on, because there are minor Pralaya and minor Manvantaras within the greater cycles.

    Finally, in a foot-note on another subject, (p. 68 of the Second Volume) and again on page 730 of the same volume, H.P.B. solves the puzzle of the scientists, explaining how it was that man came first in this




Round, and yet there are relics of flora and fauna reaching back for hundreds of millions of years and no relics of man beyond a certain period. What is the explanation? This is H.P.B. answer: That innumerable forms which were alive in the Third Round left their etheric photographs when they died and, when the stage of condensation was reached in this Round, those photographs were precipitated into our matter, and that is why we find the fossil remnants in our matter of beings that never lived in our matter.

    If we applied that same reasoning to planets and planetary chains, bearing in mind the statements that after a solar system there is an absolute dissociation and return to the primeval condition, and the other statement that the moon is older than the sun and that the sun is older than any of the planets—the only logical explanation is that those degraded lives, those forms which took the back road that made the degraded part of the former moon chain, when the precipitating stage is reached, condense, coalesce, or precipitate on this plane.

    There is still another way to look at this question. Every one of us has heard of spiritualistic seances where they materialize spirits. We are familiar with the Theosophical teaching that the materialized form is not the dead man at all, but is his discarded astral body, his Kama-Rupa, in short; and that, because of the nature of the thoughts and feelings of the sitters and of the medium, the Kama-Rupa, or dead astral body, is coated with matter of this plane so that it reflects the light of this plane and appears to be just as much physical matter as the bodies of the medium and of the men and women at the seance But in a few minutes this materialized ghost will disappear, dissolve and go back to its own place, whereas the sitters don't dissolve. Yet the statement is made that it is possible, through a process of precipitation, to fix those images.

    Now, if that occurs in the case of Third Round flora and fauna which never existed in this Round on this earth, although we have their physical “remnants if that kind of precipitation is possible, isn’t it possible that the moon we see is, in fact, not a physical thing, as, say, the sun or this earth is? That it is some kind of Kama-Rupa brought to life again, so to speak, by the thoughts and feelings of men?

    The statements are, first, that the moon is older than the sun, which means that it is a relic of a former solar system; secondly, that it is on the same plane of perception as our earth; thirdly, that the Moon Chain is the parent of the Earth Chain. H.P.B. states over and over again that there are great mysteries connected with the subject of the moon. Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume were literally wild to find out all about the moon—why? They never asked themselves why they should be so interested in the moon. But H.P.B. says that the Adepts would not give out any other information than that which is contained in the S.D. on the subject.

 Q .—In view of what was said regarding Mars, is there any hope of success in the efforts of scientists to get in touch with Mars?

 Ans.—Science is just as much in touch with Mars as it is with the earth; that is to say, with the physical appearance of it. And all that science is in touch with, anywhere, at any time, is the physical appearance of things. This recalls a peculiar thing in regard to the moon. We can’t get a spectrum of the moon as we can get a spectrum of the sun, or of any other self-luminous body. We never see the moon except by




reflected light; it doesn’t shine of itself. Without the light of the sun and of the earth and the sidereal light falling on it, we should never know there was a moon—and that itself might tell us something.

 Q.—When we evolve to the fifth globe, will our state be one of the following: (1) illusionary, in the same way as in deep sleep or in Devachan; (2) a subjective state; or (3) Manasic?

 Ans.—Let us first make a correction. The first alternative given is: Will we be in an illusionary state “in the same way as deep sleep”? Man is in an illusionary state when he is in Devachan, if he does not know it is Devachan, and when he is in Nirvana and doesn’t know it for what it is, is he not still in an illusionary state? But remember, what we call “deep sleep” merely means that the Ego drops the four lower vestures; it is once more Atma-Buddhi-Manas outside of incarnation. That state is the only chance it has of being free from illusion. But that doesn’t do the Ego any more good than the intervals of sobriety do good to a drunkard if he gets drunk again. Every time Atma-Buddhi comes down into matter once more—whether at waking up in the morning, or at birth—we know that we are all overcome by the illusion of matter. This is an illusionary world, because how many people in the world today regard matter for what it is, or human life for what it is? Scarcely one.

    To answer the question, we may say that on the fifth globe we shall be in the three states, an illusionary state, a subjective state and a Manasic state, just as we are now—unless what? Unless we overcome the illusions of matter, and none of us have succeeded in doing that. The teaching is that the fifth globe of any Round, the Fifth Race on any globe, and the Fifth Round of the whole period of evolution, is the final precipitant. Then the ego either is completely overcome by the illusions of matter, no matter on what plane or in what state he may be, or he is on the way to complete emancipation from illusion.

    We might put it this way: here we are, spiritual beings of the same nature as the Masters of Wisdom. The Master of Wisdom is Atma-Buddhi-Manas, but he is nothing but Atma-Buddhi-Manas, asleep or awake. On this globe or any other globe, this plane or on any other plane, he is Atma-Buddhi-Manas. We are Atma-Buddhi-Manas, but when we are on this plane or any other plane, on this globe or any other globe except the highest, we think we are something else than Atma-Buddhi-Manas. Our sense of reality does not reside in Atma-Buddhi-Manas—it is outside of us, in the world, in the state, in the condition. We find the term “centre of consciousness” in this chapter. That centre is shifted up and down. Have we given thought to what that means? Where is our sense of reality located? If it is located in this body, we know where we are; if it is located in our desires, we know where we are; if it is located in our feelings, we know where we are; if it is located purely on the plane of thought, that is, in pure ratiocination, we know where our sense of reality is.

    There are seven conceptions of reality—that’s what the seven planes are—and not one of those conceptions is true. There never was anything real but Self; there is not now any-thing real but Self. There could not be two Absolutes. Anybody can see that. So, how could there be two realities? Yet the S.D. tells us whatever plane our consciousness is functioning on, both we and the things of that plane appear to us to be for the time being the only realities.




    Always we are afflicted with a double or triple sense of reality, whereas reality never could be but one thing. According to the teachings, Self is the reality, no matter what the globe ,what the solar system, what the world, what the round, what the race, what the condition. The Self is the real; all else is Maya and illusion; yet self thinks that something else than the Self is the real.

    The Fifth Round closes the gates, so to speak. After the middle of the Fourth Round, no more Monads come from below into the human kingdom. So, after the middle of the Fifth Race of the Fifth Round, no more human beings can return to the divine kingdom as self-conscious entities.

    Sometimes we fail to realize the force of accumulation—momentum it is called in physics, mass multiplied by motion. There is momentum or accumulated force, moral or spiritual, also. How difficult it is for us to energize ourselves, and keep ourselves continuously energized, on the plane of the higher mind Yet Masters live in spirit and work in matter. That is what we ought to do, but we both live and work in matter, and all our past, the momentum of the race, tends more and more, as the increasing acceleration of the vast cycles goes on, to make us choose between spirit and matter. When the great time of choice comes in the Fifth Round, many people will have lost all belief in the reality of Spirit, they will be so absolutely convinced that life in matter is the only life—the only life they know, or care for, or are interested in. When the time of choice comes, what will they choose? They will choose the old familiar road, and, instead of their becoming one of the new crop of Mahatmas, all their work and suffering for that Manvantara will go for nought. They have to begin all over again, from the beginning, in a new Manvantara, after a Pralaya of complete individual unconsciousness.


Chapter III
III.——The Monads

Q.—It is taught that after the middle of the Fourth Round—that is, this present Round—when the mid-point is passed, no more Monads come over from the old Moon Chain to this Earth Chain, and likewise that, after the middle of the Fourth Root-Race, no more Monads (with the exception of the anthropoid apes) enter the human kingdom. Now, as time went on, would this not result in the thinning of the ranks in the lower kingdoms, and also a crowding of Monads at the door of the human kingdom?

Ans— Looking at it from our point of view, that seems to be reasonable, doesn’t it? But suppose we look at it from the standpoint indicated, say, in the 15th chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna and Arjuna are speaking of the Tree of Life, which is only another expression for the vast fields of evolution—spiritual or monadic, intellectual or psychic, and astral or physical. The chapter uses this language, “It is the primeval Spirit from which floweth the never-ending stream of conditioned existence.” There is an eternal flow from the highest state to the lowest, and, therefore, an equally uninterrupted flow from the lowest state back towards the highest.

    Now, although the statement in the Theosophical teachings is that no more Monads will enter this earth chain—the human kingdom of this earth—after the middle of the Fourth Round and the fourth globe of that Round, it does not say that this is so with respect to Mars, Mercury or Venus, to the 10 million or so other stars, planets and Suns in Space.




    All those represent the descent of conditioned Life from the highest state to the lowest. On the other hand, the statement is made that there were once on this earth many forms of animal life that no longer exist. They haven’t become human beings, so where are they? It is very strongly hinted that there are other fields for their evolution, just as there are other fields for our evolution. At the present, the teaching, for our better comprehension, is confined not merely to the Fourth Round but to the fourth of the seven globes in the Chain of Planets that are the scene of our evolution. Now, if we go from planet A to B and C and D, and then from D, this earth, we go to E and F and G, how about the other classes of Monads? They must do the same thing. We don’t cease evolving after we leave this globe; we go to another globe. And after we have completed our evolution on all the seven globes of this Chain, do we cease evolving? No. We didn’t cease evolving when we left the Moon Chain. How about the Monads following us? They didn’t cease evolving.

    It is a mistake to think that the universe is either overcrowded or thinly populated. We want to get away from the idea that there is at any time, anywhere, any over crowding. Space is full all the time and the Monads, high or low, are always on the move.

Q .—What provides for the circulation of Monads in the lower kingdoms after that middle point?

Ans.—We provide for their circulation in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in the thoughts we think, in the acts we perform. Isn’t that self-evident?

 Q.—While it says there are no more Monads to enter the human kingdom, is it anywhere said that no more monads enter the kingdom below?

 Ans.—No, it isn’t; to the contrary, in fact, if we make rational inferences from page l8 of the first volume of The Secret Doctrine After having discussed this very question, H.P.B. says that the cycle of metempsychosis is closed for the human Monad. If we regard her as knowing how to use exact language, she limits the statement to the human Monad. Read the other way about, what does it mean? That the cycle is not closed to other classes of Monads. The cycle of metempsychosis must be going on in other kingdoms. It is limited as far as the human Monads are concerned to the “half-way house,” the middle of the fourth way around.

 Q.—Since a limitless number of egos have been evolving for a limit less time, an unlimited number must have become perfected. How does this harmonize with the statement in Light on the Path about “the few strong hands that hold back the powers of dark from obtaining complete victory”?

 Ans.—Does anyone see a contradiction in the two statements? It is similar to the one that is often asked. If we have eternity behind us as well as eternity ahead of us, why haven’t we learned something? Why aren’t we all Mahatmas now? Examining that sort of question, we can see that the questioner is considering the time factor in the equation as the only element. The fallacy of that can easily be shown. Suppose I take a man and say, This man has lived for millions of years and does not know the multiplication table. Is it any evidence that the man has not lived for millions of years, that he does not know the multiplication table? On the other hand, is there any evidence that, if he had lived for billions of




years, and went on living for other billions of years, he would never know the multiplication table, once he set to work and learned it?

    The confusion comes from reducing the success to one single factor, whereas evolution means movement, action. All action of every kind is contingent upon three fundamental factors, not one. When that is seen, the question explains itself. How long will it take a man to learn the multiplication table? It is not a time question at all. It is a question of the fact of (1) the existence of a multiplication table, (2) of a desire in the man’ s own mind to acquire that for himself, and (3) of the assiduity with which he tackles the problem. There are the three factors.

    Applying this to knowledge, perfect knowledge—which is all that is meant by the state of a Master of Wisdom, the perfection of knowledge and being—applying that, can we not see that knowledge from our point of view exists as an abstraction? That is, the multiplication table has eternally existed, whether we know it or not, but from the practical point of view there is for us no multiplication table, except as a matter of disbelief or belief in our minds, until we have learned it. So, with knowledge; knowledge in itself has neither beginning nor ending. Knowledge means just exactly the same as Consciousness, Spirit, Life. There is no knowledge apart from Life; there is not anything apart from Life. But Life in the whole, Life in a higher state, these are two different things from Life as I am living it. There is the same Life in me that is in Buddha. Am I living Life as Buddha lives it? Life to me actually is as I see it and live it. What is Life to Buddha? As He sees it and lives it.


    A being may be content at any point of evolution and remain there forever. Were it not for the fact that other beings induce him, by push or pull, that is, by natural impulse, to get busy. How long would a dog remain a dog? Forever, if left to himself. How long would an atom remain an atom? Forever, if left to itself. But Life in the higher states and the higher forms continually impels or pushes forward Life in the lower states and in the lower forms, so that they come in contact with Life in other forms than their own and, little by little, imbibe some thing from it until the imitative faculty, the impulsive faculty, is awakened in the mind.

    The coming of a Great Being into the world has just that effect. He stirs up our whole nature, as a race and as individuals, as we our selves are incapable of stirring it up, so that, when we get a glimpse of Life as seen by Christ, of Life as seen by Buddha—even if it is only a single lightning flash, gone in an instant—something of it remains in us as an inspiration and an aspiration to become as They are.

    The phrase is used that “the highest sees through the eyes of the lowest.” How could They understand our nature if They weren’t able to do that? Suppose a flawless, perfect being came into our world, one who was constitutionally incapable of making a mistake of any kind, or suffering from any of the things that we suffer from. How in the world could He contact us or we Him? He would not have a particle of contact. By an act of His will, He sets aside His own nature and takes on ours. Why? In order experimentally and empirically, by actual assimilation, to see and know for Himself how Life looks to us. Then, reasserting His own nature, He is able to talk to us in our language, in the terms of our experience, about His World, His knowledge, His life, which at present




are beyond our horizon.

Q.—What is pushing us, what is guiding us now?

Ans.—Well, what is? These are not academic questions. What is pushing a man when he gets scared? Something he is afraid of. What is pushing a man when he seeks reputation even in the cannon’ s mouth, a la Shakespeare? Something is pushing—vanity, glory, ambition. Yes, men risk their lives for vanity, glory and ambition; they will not only risk their lives, but they will risk other people’s. And what is it that causes a man to share his last crust with one who is hungry and has no crust at all and is able only to furnish the appetite? What is it that pushes him? It is that dual nature. When we do evil, what is the lure, the push, the pull? The infernal side of nature. And when we do good, what is the lure, the push, the pull? The divine side of nature. We are open to both influences. You can’t have a door that swings both ways that will not equally afford ingress and egress. So it is with our nature. It is wide open to both good and evil influences and impulses, and so we have to study that nature with care, and reduce the lower to subjection to the higher.

Q.—H.P.B. says on p.159 of the S.D., Volume I, that it is only during the First Round that heavenly man comes a human being on Globe A; rebecomes a mineral, a plant, an animal, on Globes B and C. Does that mean that a human being really becomes a plant and animal?

Ans.—Here again we need to stop, look and listen to the words. She says it is in the First Round that heavenly man becomes a human being on Globe A. What is heavenly man? The monadic man. It does not make a particle of difference to the heavenly man what kingdom or world or form he is in. Read the foot-note on pages l74) and l75 in the First Volume of the S.D. It does not make a bit of difference to the monadic man where he is in form or space or state; how could it, when we come to think about it? It makes a difference to the physical being, the psychic being, the astral being, the intellectual being, the cognitional being; it makes a terrific difference to the passional being where he is; it makes no difference whatever to the monadic being. So “heavenly man” is merely a phrase for Atma-Buddhi; it does not mean the man that is discussed in Chapters Five and Six of the Ocean That is Atma-Buddhi-Manas. “Heavenly man” means the monad in that form built by himself and for himself. It is the kingdom of man—not the elemental kingdom, or the animal kingdom, or the mineral kingdom, or the human kingdom, or the spiritual kingdom, or the kingdom of Mahatmas; that is quite another story.

    So heavenly man is only a paraphrase for the expression, the Eternal Pilgrim, the two in one, the Monad—Atma-Buddhi. The intellectual man, the self-conscious spiritual being, could not enter the lower kingdoms if he tried to.

Q.—Can you explain what is meant by “human shapes” in the S.D., the same page, in the following quotation:—Man, or rather that which becomes man, the Monad, passes through all the forms and kingdoms during the First Round, and through all the human shapes during the following Rounds. What are those human shapes?

Ans.—If we will look at the symbolical representations in the first




book, or any book, on plane geometry, we shall find out; but from a dimensionless image to a three-dimensional form is quite a long journey. Put it this way: What was the first shape? It was a rolling mass of radiant substance. If you want to know what it is like, look at the nebulae. What was the next condensation? A fiery elongation. If you want to look at the shape, look at a comet or at spermatozoa. What is the next fundamental shape? Sticking strictly to our modern terms, the next fundamental shape is molecular, that is, protoplasm, genuine protoplasm—not the protoplasm of science. And what is the next? The crystal. and the cell. And next? The forms of the four kingdoms. There are the various human “shapes.” We have come through every one of them between Devachan and rebirth; we go backwards through every one of them between death and Devachan.

    We have only to think, and think in the terms of analogy, not materialistic reasoning, and we can get plenty of information; only, we have to look inside. To look inside means that our Manas comes into correlation with Buddhi, instead of, as ordinarily happens, into correlation with Kama; we get in correlation with divine consciousness, instead of with elemental and elementary consciousness; that is what looking inwards means. Every time we try to find out in thought and reflection who and what we are fundamentally, through what processes and states we have passed in becoming mentally what we are, morally what we are, psychically what we are, as well as physically what we are, then a conjunction takes place between Manas and Buddhi, replacing the ordinary conjunction of Manas with Kama, and thence comes knowledge of our own—inside information.


Chapter III
IV.——Rounds of Evolution

Q.—When the Moon Chain died, was there no period of rest before its energies began the Earth Evolution?

 Ans.—Let us notice the care with which Mr. Judge shows that when the old Moon Chain died it threw its energies into space, and those energies set fire, as it were, to matter that had hitherto been in Pralaya, disseminated cosmic dust, fired it up, and there was the beginning of the physical evolution of the succeeding Manvantara. But he doesn’t say anything about the Egos. Yet not only the chapter on Cycles, but also statements elsewhere in the Ocean as well as in The Secret Doctrine including the Second and Third Fundamentals, go to show that after every period of action there is a period of rest. So, after the Moon Chain completely died, there was a Pralaya of the same period for the Monads involved, and then they began again.

 Q.—It says, pp. 25-6 (p.24 Am. Ed.):—

When that former vast entity composed of the Moon and six others, all united in one mass, reached its limits of life, it died just as any being dies.
    When a being dies, its body goes to pieces, disintegrates entirely. Wouldn’t the moon disintegrate and go to pieces entirely?

Ans.—Let us regard what happens when a man dies, because that is an analogical answer to this question. When we die, those energies of ours which were incorporated in the four lower principles are at once thrown




off into space, aren’t they? And they immediately enter into combination, or fire up other forms of matter. When a man dies, Kama, to use one of the terms, at once flies to other forms. That is what happened to the Moon Chain; those vital energies flew to cosmic dust and animated that. When a man dies, what becomes of his higher principles? They go for a period of rest. When a man dies, his body goes to pieces; isn’t that what will happen to the Moon? Yes, that is so, only observe: A man’s body goes to pieces; the mineral portions of his body may last for ages, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of years. Nobody knows how old the oldest bones found are; yet they were once a component element of a living body. So the teaching is that the bodily elements disintegrate very rapidly, except for the bones, which are related, as we know, chiefly to the mineral kingdom.

    This brings us back to a previous proposition: The old Moon Chain died and her elements, except her bony structure, disintegrated, just as our body disintegrates; but the bones are there yet after billions of years, not merely millions. Now that might be a good way to vision it: there are the moon’s bones; it was once “a rag and a bone and a hank of hair,” and all that is left are the bones.

Q.—Almost like klinkers left from burning coals, isn’t it?

 Ans.—Yes. Furthermore, Mr. Judge says at the conclusion of the Epitome—and he makes some wonderful statements in that pamphlet, statements found nowhere else except in obscure remarks in the footnotes of the S.D.—that Nature has her “slag pit,” as was just now suggested. The resistance to disintegration will cause that “slag pit” to cling, perhaps, through many solar systems. Consider the meteoric swarm called Loonies, whose parabolic orbit intersects ours around the middle of November, and which assumes special intensity every 33 years. Nobody knows what it is, except that it is an immensity of small particles of matter ranging from sizes that are invisible to us unless lighted by friction, to masses as high as a couple of hundred miles in diameter, with millions upon millions of particles. May they not be the broken slag, the bone dust of who knows what globe, of how many MahaManvantaras?

It is a curious statement that H.P.B. makes in regard to our sun, that when the end of this solar system comes, our sun will burst into millions of fragments, which will wander for aeons through the infinitudes of space.

 Q.—In The Table of Contents for Chapter Three, we read:—

A mass of Egos for each chain. The number, though incalculable, is definite. Their course of evolution through the seven globes. In each a certain part of our nature is developed.

The question is, what parts of our nature are to be developed in the remaining three globes?

Ans.—All parts of our nature, not just Atma-Buddhi-Manas, but all those lives which make up all our seven principles. They progress, also. Matter evolves from the crudest stage to the finest, both from globe to globe through every Round, and from Round to Round throughout the MahaManvantara—until, finally, the highest possible development has been attained. There is a perfected crop of matter: a perfected astral crop, a perfected chemical or mineral crop, a perfected vegetable crop, a per-




fected animal crop, in every Manvantara. They correspond to what, for the human kingdom, are called the Sishta the seeds, the pioneers, which start the new evolution in every kingdom.

Q.—If evolution in the first three and a-half Rounds is on the descending scale before the turning—point, which I understand was 18 million years ago, does that mean that the Night of Brahma set in 18 million years ago?

Ans.—No; that is a misconception. There is evolution of the whole solar system, then of our planetary chain, then of our earth, then of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms. When earth had reached the point where it was possible to combine them all in a single astral form, at the middle of the Fourth Round, and not till then—precipitation took place, and we have the matter we know now.

    Eighteen million years ago was the time when man and nature became as they now are. The Night of Brahma is a long, long way off. How far off? Well, if a Day of Brahma, including the evolution of the whole solar system, is 4,320,000,000 years, how much of that time has already elapsed? Just a trifle less than half as regards the solar system as a whole. So we still have over two billion years to go, as regards the solar system. But how about our particular race of humanity, meaning by that, the Aryan white race? We have hundreds of millenniums to go before our Night of Brahma comes, and that will be a shorter night than the Great Night.

Q.—Venus, Mars, Mercury and other visible planets are all fourth-plane globes of distinct planetary masses and for that reason are visible to us, their companion six centres of energy and consciousness being invisible, the same as our own other six globes. Is it to be inferred that Venus is in the fourth state of consciousness, corresponding to our globe, of her seventh round?

Ans.—In this chapter it shows not only that there are seven Great Races, but that each race has seven gradations. So there are seven Great Races and seven sub-races in each, really, 49. Apply the same thing, then, to the seven states of matter called the seven “globes.” Each state of matter has seven sub-states. So there are 49 globes and sub-globes; that is, states and sub-states of matter. Now, according to the teachings, Venus—both as regards her humanity and as regards the globe itself, that is, the Venus "earth" is in its seventh round. What does that mean? Perhaps it means that the Venus humanity are all Masters of Wisdom. And what does it mean as regards the planet Venus? That it is seventh-state matter, but it is the fourth subdivision of seventh-state matter; and so we see it, just as we see light. The sub-states of matter are what fool our scientists as to whether light is substantial or whether it is simply a rate of motion. Visible light is the fourth sub-state of astral matter, and they have one lovely time trying to decipher it either in terms of physical substance or physical energy.

Q.—Does conscious physical existence correspond with the planetary centre of consciousness?

Ans.—Let us consider what is meant by conscious existence. It means the state of knowingness, or awareness; it does not make any difference whether it is awareness in physical existence, awareness in astral exis-




tence, awareness in planetary existence, awareness in cosmic existence: consciousness is awareness. When we are aware, we are conscious; when we not only exercise power, as does everything in nature, but are aware that we have powers, that we do exercise them, that we are experiencing the consequences of our exercising, then we are in self-conscious existence, whether in matter, that is, darkness; in astral life, that is, twilight; or in spiritual life, that is, sunlight or full self-consciousness.

 Q.—On p. 29 (p. 27 Am. Ed.), it speaks of the fact that when the middle of the Fourth Round is reached no more monads will emerge into the human kingdom. Does that apply to the lower kingdoms as well, or will there always be monads to supply those forms? I am thinking also of this quotation from Mr. Judge’s article on “Reincarnation of Animals” (Reprinted in The Heart Doctrine p. 135) : —

    While it is stated that no more animal monads can enter on the man—stage, it is not said nor inferred that the incoming supply of monads for the animal kingdom has stopped. They may still be coming in from other worlds for evolution among the animals of this globe.

Ans.—”After the middle of the Fourth Round” means only after the period of evolution has passed half-way through the Fourth Round, or that three and a-half Rounds are gone. I recall no statement in the teachings which declares that any monads have passed permanently after the middle of the Fourth Round from the mineral to the vegetable, or passed permanently from the vegetable to the animal. We know as a matter of fact that they are incessantly rising from the mineral to the human and going back; that is their cycle. So every monad in the kingdoms below keeps right on going through Its own monadic cycle, which is from mineral to human and back again. This is not human consciousness, but human matter

Q.—Isn’t primordial matter very closely approached in Spinoza’s substantia?

Ans.—Yes, it’s the same thing, except that Spinoza does not understand how in the world it can differentiate. There is a very close correspondence, says H.P.B., between Vedantin doctrines, the doctrine of Leibnitz, the doctrine of Spinoza, and the actual teachings of Theosophy. Go to the S.D. section entitled, “Gods, Monads, and Atoms,”—it’s about 22 pages, beginning about 610 in the first volume, and it is worth ten years’ study.

    Our trouble is this—what is the phrase in the Voice? Samvritti relative truth, is the “origin of all the world’s delusions.” What can that mean other than this, that whatever I see and know to be true for myself, is true. My mistake is that I take that to be truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, whereas I need to ask myself: Do I know it all? Can any being know it all? Very well; my knowledge, how ever vast, is but relative truth. If a Mahatma were to take His knowledge as all the knowledge there is, he would fall into error. Most of us profess to be very humble, admit that we know very little, but when any disagreement comes along with a neighbour, we know it all! That is the kind of relative truth that besets us.

Spinoza certainly had a wonderfully clear perception, but he was no Occultist; of him can be said what H.P.B. said about Leibnitz: he was




an extraordinarily intuitional philosopher; he got a clear flash of the truth; he saw that the source of this universe is one and never could be anything but one and, since it is real, it is therefore substantial; and he spoke of it in terms that anybody could understand. On the other hand, Leibnitz, H.P.B. says, saw that everything in the universe is eternal as well as mortal, so he called every form in the universe a Monad. He saw the eternity of every Monad, but he couldn’t tell where those Monads came from, nor where they were going. He could not see that they were but so many differentiated aspects of the One of Spinoza. So H.P.B. says, if you take the teachings of Spinoza and the teachings of Leibnitz and blend them together, that is, find out what is common to both of them, you have the esoteric doctrine. She says the same thing of Maha Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta in India. Take the two teachings, fit them together, and throw away what isn’t common to both of them, and you have the Truth.

In the very beginning of Isis H.P.B. writes:—

The work now submitted to public judgment is the fruit of a somewhat intimate acquaintance with Eastern Adepts, and study of their science.

    Its aim, she says, is to assist students to find the fundamental truths which are common to the philosophical systems of old. Then, read how she concludes the discussion of the Three Fundamentals in The Secret Doctrine She says that once the student has gained a clear comprehension of his own, sees for himself that these propositions are eternally true, they will need no justification in his eyes, because their truth will be as evident to him as the sun in heaven. Think of that She says too that they are in fact contained in every religion and system of thought worthy of the name but, alas, all too often under a misleading guise. Find what is common to all religions and you have the Truth; find what is common to all philosophies and you have the Truth; find what is common to all sciences and you have the Truth. Now, find what is common to this purified religion, this purified science, this purified philosophy, and you have the Wisdom Religion of the Masters. How is a man to find that for himself. Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine are the evidence of it.

    The second object of the parent Theosophical Society was just exactly that, to study these old religions, because their skandhas fill our brains, our minds, our hearts and our memories; they fill our hopes and our aspirations, in spite of ourselves. We need to filter them. Can we get some kind of a screen that the Truth will filter through with no mental “bugs”? The Three Fundamental Propositions make a screen which strains truth from error. The truth never hurt anybody.

    The truth is in these old religions, and people go around and say, “There is good in them.” Why, of course there is; what they forget is that there is also bad in them. Give a thirsty man an eight-ounce glass of water with only a thimbleful of chloral drops in it and he says, “I am thirsty; that is good water; that has allayed my thirst.” It has quenched his thirst, but it also knocks him out, and it is the chloral that gets the noticeable work in, not the water. It is not the truth in anything that hurts anybody; the things that “ain’t so,” as Josh Billings says, are those that hurt. This very work we are doing—the weekly study and discussion of Theosophy—washes some more stains out of our mind, more rubbish out of our intelligence, and above all, begins to




purify our hearts, every time we go over it, every life in which we come back to it. Think of the myriads of people, who, in ten incarnations, with all their multitudinous experience, won’t get what the humblest man can get in going through this Ocean one single time thoughtfully.

Chapter III
V.—The "S. D." Basis

Q.—Could the Masters or a Buddha reincarnate in some other solar system?

Ans.—No Master or Buddha would want to reincarnate in another solar system. He is called Master, Buddha, Mahatma, Brother, because, although he could leave this solar system, he chooses not to. But the question probably means, is it possible for a man to finish evolution here, say, in our earth chain, or in this solar system, and leave the solar system if he chooses to? It is clear that this is possible, and that many egos do it. For example, in the S.D., p. 213 of the first volume, there is a statement that this solar system contains twelve hierarchies of beings—not seven, as we think of it—twelve great hierarchies of being, but only seven of them have anything to do with our system directly. Then on p.77 in the second volume is the statement that of these twelve orders which relate to the whole solar system, four have already reached liberation to the end of the Great Age; that is, they are no longer in manifestation in this solar system; that the fifth of the Great Orders of the solar system is ready for liberation, but remains active on the highest planes in order to help mankind; and that the other seven great orders are still under the sway of Karmic Law—and we know mighty well who those Egos are!

    If we study a subject which is mentioned in The Voice of the Silence and in the Glossary we find that there are three classes of beings who achieve perfection, each of its own kind. One of those classes is called the “Nirmanakayas”; that is, the class of Great Souls to which our Masters and Buddhas and all such beings belong. Another class is called “Dharmakayas”, and still a third class is called “Sambhogakayas.” While H.P.B. is extremely reticent, both in regard to Sambhogakayas and Dharmakayas, she does show that they have nothing more to do with this earth. Now they may go into Nirvana, or into some other stream of evolution aside from the one that is in our solar system—who can say?

Q.—If the most progressed and advanced entities are the ones that start the new evolution, how does that harmonize with the statement that those that come later catch up and travel faster?

Ans.—It seems to me that if we look for analogies right around us we could see it easily. This afternoon I saw a dog riding in an automobile making 75 miles an hour; there isn’t a dog living that could do it under his own four-legged power. The dog availed himself of the progress of the human race. All of us travel faster than the very great men of a thousand years ago. A school-boy gets more experience in 10 years than Plato had in 80. Why? Because he takes advantage of all the past.

    So if you proceed from the physical to the metaphysical, you can see how, not so very long ago, it was, do the best he could, a six-month hard journey for a man on foot from New York to San Francisco. Now, a man




travels the entire distance in twelve hours. How is he able to do it? He takes advantage of the progress, not of himself alone, but of all those who have preceded him, so that the humblest man today gains far more experience, that is, has far more opportunity to learn, than our ancestors did a thousand years ago, ten thousand years ago.

    It is simply under the law of unity, the principle of Brotherhood. Any man, if he chooses, may avail himself of the accumulated experience of the whole mass of egos who have preceded him in this Manvantara. So he is able to travel far faster than if left to himself.

Q.—In the S.D., Volume II, p. 564 it is implied that the length of a Round is approximately 7,000,000,000 years. Does this figure include the Pralaya of the Round, as well as the Manvantara? It is said that the first Round was of enormously greater duration that the Second and Third. Would it follow that Rounds , 6 and 7 will increase progressively in length?

Ans.—If by a Round is meant the life of a solar system, a full period of 14 Manvantaras, then, according to the S.D., the years of manifestation measured in mortal years are 4,320,000,000; the Pralaya will be of the same length. Add them together, and you have the full cycle. Now the questioner asks, will Rounds , 6 and 7 increase progressively in length? We might infer as much from the direct statement in the that the earlier Rounds were longer than this Round; but, as a matter of fact, the same S.D. makes another statement showing that such an inference would be erroneous. It says that the later Rounds are much shorter, and that stands to reason.

Q.—Why was it just said, “That stands to reason”?

Ans.—It means, that’s for us to think about.

Q.—On p. 27 (p. 26 Am. Ed.):—Each one of the globes is used by evolutionary law for the development of seven races, and of senses, faculties and powers appropriate to that state of matter. Now, since it says we are on the fourth globe of the Fourth Round, how comes it that we have five senses?

Ans.—We are in the Fifth Sub-race of the fourth state; therefore we have four of the senses complete and one of the senses very, very little developed. We have its initial development, but in the next Round—in the next race as far as that is concerned—we shall not only have five senses; we shall have six, and all of them will be incomparably greater in their range than they now are.

Q.—Which sense is not developed?

Ans.—It varies in different people, but in most people it is their sense of smell or their sense of taste or their sense of touch. Just think; we can distinguish clearly only three tastes; we can only distinguish clearly four touches; and in smell, some persons can only make two distinctions—I like it and I don’t like; it’s sweet or it isn't  it’s good or it isn’t. Then think of the range of perception we have through the sense of hearing, and that is incomparably less than our range of perception through the sense of sight. Yet all of these senses are interchangeable.




Perhaps all of us think of Chapters II and III as “a mighty tough proposition,” especially when we pass from the Ocean to the Secret Doctrine discussion of the same subjects that are represented by Mr. Judge In these chapters we shall find the equivalent of many pages and thousands of statements in H.P.B.'s work, and, after we have been studying her statements for a few lifetimes, we shall begin to appreciate what Mr. Judge has done for us. Our first difficulty is, of course, in not realizing the nature of the subject involved. Remember that we are In that state of consciousness called Lower Manas, or human mind, which means that we are on the fourth plane or sub-division of Manasic perception. Mr. Judge, or H.P.B., or a Mahatma, talking to us, then, knows that, no matter what he says or how he says it, we can regard it only from our plane of perception, not from his. In the S.D., H.P.B. tells us over and over again not to reason from our plane of perception, but to study analogies. Nothing takes place on earth that has not already taken place in the astral world, and before that in the semi-ethereal, and before that in the ethereal, and before that in the Akasic. It is just a succession of descents, or prototypes, from rung to rung of the ladder of being, and then an ascent from the lowest to the highest.


    Two or three references in the S.D., if studied over and over and over, will disclose to us, first, which principles are involved; secondly, what the process is; and thirdly, the analogies between the various statements made in the S.D., as to other Rounds, other worlds, other globes, other races-past or to come and this globe, this race, this Round.

    First, take an exceedingly clear statement, both of the difficulty the student has to recognize, and of the successive seven stages in the evolution of anything, whether it is a solar system, an ant, or an atom. That will be found from the bottom of p. 20, to the bottom of p. 22, in the first volume of the S.D. The more that is studied, the more every word and phrase are weight the more will begin to clear up for our minds. When that portion is well digested, we may turn and read from the bottom of p. l to the bottom of p. 160, in the first volume; the same matter is gone over again from the stand—point of the evolution of our chain and our minds. Then, if we turn and read from p. 170 to p. 173, again in the first volume, we shall see illustrated and carefully explained how, at the death of an old chain, its successive energies are passed to cosmic dust and form the beginning of a new solar system, or chain of globes, or whatnot. Next, p. 176, Volume I, should be very carefully read, for it gives much more on the evolution of the planetary chain than we have dreamed of, although all that is sketched is called merely the seven preliminary or preparatory steps. It is a descent from the plane of undifferentiated cosmic matter, or spirit—whichever word you choose to use—to the bottom of the valley of matter, and then it is a reascent to the original condition of Spirit-Matter.


    Now, H.P.B. says that the successive states of that descent are first, three elemental or elementary stages—whether regarded cosmically or with reference to the birth of a human child, a solar system, or a world, or anything else; second, a stage of concretion or crystallization, a freezing together—the mineral kingdom as applied to our earth; and then, the three further stages of vegetable, animal and human. Here are the seven stages from the highest to the lowest, seven preliminary stages from the undifferentiated Laya point through three elemental




stages, or worlds or steps, to the mineral kingdom; those three and the mineral make four; three more stages which we see only as vegetable, animal and human. Remember, moreover, that every one of those seven represent physical evolution. The human being is a physical product. The human being prior to 18 million years ago, the mindless man or the Lunar Pitri, or the human stage spoken of, means a perfected being in matter In the sense of a self-conscious spiritual being, there never was any man on this planetary chain, or in this round, or on this globe, until 18 million years ago. Hundreds upon hundreds of billions of years have elapsed, but, so far as the seven classes of Monads under the sway of Karmic Law are concerned, intellectual evolution—which is what we are involved in—never began till 18 million years ago. Why then, is another story. We should need another evening to take that up.

    At the bottom of p. 176, Volume I, and the top of p. 177, H.P.B. states what the process is in one sentence: It is a descent from spirit to matter equivalent to a corresponding ascent in “physical evolution”; that is the end of the preliminary or physical stage. Then a reascent from the human stage to the status quo ante—that is, to the highest state, plus all that has been gained She recurs to that again, and gives a wonderful picture of the Rounds, and of the everlasting repetition of the process, on pp. 231 and 232, in the first volume. Another reference belongs with these. It comes on p.514 first volume, where H.P.B. tells us what matter is, from the stand-point of Occultism, not from our stand-point. She says that matter, to the Occultist, is that collectivity of existence which is manifest under the sway of Karmic Law. Matter, to the Occultist, is that collectivity of manifested existences capable of transition on any of the planes of cosmos—that is, on any plane whatever, the highest as the lowest. We see objects and beings; that which we see is manifest; they are objective; therefore, they are matter on that plane.

Q.—How does that harmonize with the statement of Mr. Judge, p. 16 (p 15 Am. Ed.), that matter is invisible?

Ans.—It is invisible to us. Matter is always invisible to matter, but he does not say matter is invisible to a Mahatma on the highest plane. Study pgs. 1 and 67, and p. 116, foot-note, in the S.D., first volume; and then look at the very first sentence on p. 289, in the same volume. “The initial existence in the twilight of a Maha-Manvantara is a conscious spiritual quality.” It is substance to our spiritual sight, but it cannot be called so by men in their waking state, who look through it; in other words, it is absolutely invisible to them; they name it God-Spirit.

    Now the other reference is on the subject of Spirit and matter. We all remember, yet we forget, the statement of the First Fundamental. The very first statement is that Spirit and matter are not to be regarded as independent realities; they are but the opposite poles, the two phases, or aspects, of One Reality. Turn in the Secret Doctrine to p. 633, first volume, at the end of the first paragraph. H.P.B. says that Spirit is matter on the seventh plane; that is, if you take what we call matter—it is Spirit. Spirit means the highest. Then she goes on to say that Spirit at the lowest point of its cyclic activity is matter. All of what we call matter was once Spirit. This only means that what is now in the lowest state or stage was once in the highest stage, and what is in the highest stage will sooner or later go to the lowest stage. It will go



there awake, asleep, or dreaming.

    Remember that a Mahatma cannot escape reincarnation any more than we can. Look at p. 639, first volume. She says that not even a Buddha or a Christ can escape reincarnation. What is the difference? Why, He knows what He is doing; His motives are different from ours; His knowledge is different from ours. He is awake. He is here for the good of those who think this plane is real. H.P.B., after stating that matter on the seventh plane is Spirit, and that Spirit at the lowest point of its cyclic activity is matter, declares that both are Maya. They are the illusions created before their own eyes by the seven classes of Monads.


Chapter IV


Q.—On p. 35 (p. 33 Am. Ed.), it says that the quaternary or lower man is a product of cosmic and physical laws and substance; it has been evolving during the lapse of ages, like any other physical thing, from cosmic substance, and is therefore subject to physical, physiological and psychical laws which govern the race of man as a whole. Will you please explain what is meant by this?


Ans.—Not knowing what is in the questioner’s mind, it would be difficult to explain what is meant, except by saying: Study more thoughtfully the sentence used. It carries its own explanation. The spiritual man is an individual being progressing through self-induced and self-devised efforts, whether in a body or out of a body; but the physical man, the mortal temporary man, the combination of the four lower principles, is not an individual entity progressing through self-induced and self-devised efforts. There is the great problem of the psychologists. In this, they are just like the religionists. No matter how materialistic our biologists or psychologists may be, they none the less take the same view of the matter that the religionists do; they consider the mortal, physical man with his senses, his human mind, his memory and imagination, to be the whole man. Now, if that is the only man they know, they are quite logical in their view. The physical man, the mortal man, the lower man, the human being is a result or effect of causes produced. The mortal man is therefore a creature; there was a time when he was not; there will come a time when he will cease to be. But the real man—Atma- Buddhi-Manas, the spiritual man—is a creator, and never was the time when he was not, nor shall he ever hereafter cease to be. There the problem lies for us all—a conflict with the race mind and the race views. We are all too apt to regard man as a creature and to apply Theosophical teachings to the man whom we see and know and mix with. That man is just as mortal as an animal; only, he lasts longer. But the Fourth Chapter calls very clearly to our attention that not only is the mortal man a creation; and not only is the combination of which he is made up a compound to be dissolved at death or soon after; but the very principles themselves which compose the human being—the personal or mortal man—those very principles themselves are subject to dissolution. Not merely the combination of principles in the thinking man but also the very elements that compose him, are subject to dissolution. The reverse is the case with spiritual man, the creator—Manas.

Q.—The teaching is that man never was an animal. On the other hand, the teaching is also that all animals and all the lower forms, too, will




sometime be men; they are going through evolution and will at some time in a future Round, a future Manvantara, be men. How about this?

Ans.—The statement is made that the animals will some day be men. The statement is made that man never was an animal. The statement is also made that man was an animal. How are we to reconcile these statements? Turn to this Fourth Chapter. What is this body? A flock of lives of a certain grade of intelligence, a flock of embryonic centres of intelligence. Now, what is the astral body? A collectivity of lives of a higher grade of intelligence. And what is the kamic principle? A collectivity of lives of a still higher grade of intelligence. And what is Lower Manas? The same thing. What is Manas? A self-conscious life. And what is Buddhi? The collectivity of self-conscious lives.

    Now, these lives aggregate and disperse both in their own class and in combinations of classes. Our perfect analogy is to look out in space. We can see a blank; that is unconditioned, unmanifested, imperceptible space, and, since we can’t speculate on the unmanifested and imperceptible, we just say, It is. But we see the very beginnings of physical manifestation in space the starry nebulae, and then slowly the successive stages from the nebulae, the comet, the sun, the planet and the moon, down to meteors and down to dust, disseminated throughout space—the dissociated remains of what once were moons, planets, solar systems, nebulae. Apply the same thing metaphysically, and the problem ceases to be a problem. The animal, however regarded, is a combination of lives.

    When we say “Man” we mean that all the seven principles in the life or soul or spiritual being have been aroused to some degree of activity. When we say “animal” we mean that only three of them have been awakened to partial activity. When we say “vegetable,” we mean that there is less activity and, in the “mineral,” still less. We see that, whether we use the expression elemental, vegetable, mineral, animal or human we are in fact giving names to stages through which passes this spiritual life it self, whether asleep or awake or dreaming. Remember, the analogy in the stages through which the new-born child passes. We say babyhood, child hood, youth, middle age, old age. Now, does babyhood become childhood? No. The life that dwells in the baby form, by slow degrees, as that form changes, is seen to be dwelling in a child form—the second stage in the development of a body. Now go on. Does the child body become the youth body? We know that it does not; but the same ego or soul or Manas that is in that body—which was in the baby body and in the child body—will be in the youth body.

    We have, then, to distinguish between mind, which, as a general, unvarying term, and unless coupled with an adjective, means a self-conscious life and form, which is conscious life. A self-conscious life was never a non-self-conscious life. But there again “it stands to reason”; that is, we have to think it out ourselves. Put it this way: All of us are familiar—although it would perhaps be difficult for us to formulate a definition—with what is meant by the word Instinct and all of us are familiar to some extent with what is meant by the word Intuition Suppose we call Kama the energizing principle in matter, and by matter we mean all lives which are non-self-conscious. Kama, then, is the intelligence active in the kingdoms below man, the ruling intelligence in the kingdoms below man. Kama always acts by direct perception, but it is not, conscious of the fact that it is so acting. Direct perception without self-consciousness is what is meant by




the word Instinct.

    Now, take the self-conscious being—the spiritual man in his own world. Manas is the energizing principle of that world spiritual, just as Kama is the energizing principle of the world physical. On the plane of the three spiritual worlds, Manas also acts by direct perception, but it is conscious that it is so acting. So the only difference in the world between intuition and instinct—both being direct perception—is that the being acting by instinct is not self-conscious, is not able to modify or direct his own instincts. They rule him; he does not rule them. But in the world spiritual, Manas is the energizing principle, in conjunction with Buddhi—direct perception—and the Ego is fully conscious of when, where and how to use it. When Manas incarnates, when Manas is “lighted up,” to use the familiar phrase, the energizing principle of the world spiritual at its lowest are of activity comes into union with the energizing principle of matter at the highest arc of its activity; that union, which lasts for the cycle of a personal life, is the Manas we know; that is the man we know. We are under two influences, the influences from the world spiritual—our good motives, our good intentions, our aspirations, our intuitions, our good resolutions—and, at the opposite pole, we are equally subject to the influences of the world physical, because those opposite or contrasted forces or influences or energizing principles are both active in us. We have reason because we have the comparison of the two.

Q.—In the Fourth Chapter of the Ocean it says that the real man is the trinity of ,Atma-Buddhi-Manas. It is also taught in Theosophy that man is none of his principles. Would you please explain?

Ans.—Well, all that we can study, that we can experience, that we can speculate about in any way, and therefore all that we can give names to, refer to manifestation and something manifested. Man, in the sense of Atman, is the forever non-manifested Self. Buddhi-Manas is so much of the Self as can be perceived in the manifested universe. There is on that subject a great statement in the Secret Doctrine that the One Principle does not manifest or cause evolution, whether consciously or unconsciously, but only periodically exhibits aspects of Itself, to the perception of finite minds. Now, when we contrast the world infinite with the world finite, we can see that “finite” represents not only the seer but also that which is seen; but “infinite” represents the unmanifested and the manifested. Thus, it is perfectly correct, from the stand point of manifested existence, to speak of the seven principles. Principles of what? Principles of manifestation. That’s what the seven principles mean—not the principles of non-manifestation but the principles of manifestation, all these principles being in the Self, the Unmanifested, the Nameless, the One.

Q.—What is the cause of the various degrees of longevity among men and among races, the older races having been said to have lived for hundreds of thousands of years?

Ans.—What causes such differences in the length of life, not so much amongst races as amongst individuals? Here is a baby born who dies in five minutes. Here is another, who dies in a few months. In fact, it may be a good average to say that of all the babies born, two-fifths of them die before they are five years old. They represent failures of nature—that is, failures to gain incarnation. The average of life




amongst civilized peoples is said to be now somewhere in the neighbour-hood of forty years, but if an average were to be had of all the peoples of the earth, it would be lower than that. Yet, there are people who live to be a hundred or more. What is the cause? It depends on the use made of the elemental lives. Some come back with a perfect astral body that remains the same to the end of the Manvantara: they have so. dealt with the lives that composed their astral body that an indissoluble union takes place among the astral lives and the form persists. The majority of the race have to have a new astral body every time they are born. The explanation is the different affinities set up, different uses made of the elemental lives. Once there was no death, no sickness. That was before we had had time to corrupt the lives.

Chapter V
I.——The Lives, Healing, and Astral Matter

Q.—What is the basis of the statement on pp. 38—9 (pp. 35-6 Am. Ed.) regarding the preservers and destroyers?

Ans.—There can be no manifestation without duality. Duality is represented by alternation; in one sense, action and rest; in another sense, positive and negative. So those lives which are drawn by affinity—that is, by liking—to this plane are naturally creators. After a while, they get “tired” of their environment, and we call them destroyers. The same lives are alternately creators and destroyers, just as we are. Whatever relation we enter, we enter it because of some affinity or some liking for it; but after we have had enough, we want to quit. That is passivity; that is rest; and if we find we can’t quit, we fight to get loose of the combination; we ourselves become destroyers.

Q.—Is the relation between the destroyers and preservers shown by the phrase “inbreathing and outbreathing”?

Ans.—In an analogical sense, yes. You know the Christian Trinity, “Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” is so much better put in the Brahmanical Trimurti or Trinity. They say, “Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the Preserver; Shiva, the Destroyer”; so that the lives that are breathed forth, in this symbolism, are those which desire manifestation. Do you remember the phrase, “Desire first arose”—that is, awoke? Then, when the lives are seated, rather, when they have found the combination they want, these creators become preservers. When they have found what they did not want, or are weary of what they have, then the lives which were creators, which were preservers, become destroyers. So the analogy follows.

Q.—What is meant (p. 40) (p. 37 Am. Ed.) by “Hence there is no physical cell, but the privative limits of one”?

Ans.—The crowd in front of me is an illusion I see a crowd but there is no crowd, really, simply an aggregation of bodies which appears to me in the form of a crowd. In Isis Unveiled H.P.B. explains this. Before we can see any natural body, three elements are necessary; privation, form and matter. The lives are the matter what we see is the cell, the form it is illusion, although it is substantial in itself, because it exists within an ideal shape. In other words, the astral cell is the real thing. She says in Isis that that is what Aristotle meant by privation the astral form which is behind the physical, and without



which the physical would not be at all.

Q.—It is said that the body changes every seven years. Why is it that a tattoo mark or a vaccination scar does not change? Why does it carry through the life of the body?

Ans.—We will find that ordinarily our mind is not centred on any particular portion of the body or any particular bodily operation, but anybody who ever was tattooed knows that the man who is to be tattooed is fairly apt to have his mind on the spot, because of the pain of the process. Anyone who gets a wound which makes a scar, a sore and a scar, has the mind centred on it. That mind acts exactly like an engraving tool; the consciousness makes a deep registration in the astral body; the matrix is rendered more or less permanent, so that the impression on the surface of the body does not change.

Q.—Suppose a man is unconscious, under hypnosis, and does not know he is wounded because he does not feel the wound—how about the scar in such a case?

Ans.—We are there. Don’t you see that, as a matter of fact, a stronger force has been used to hypnotize him, or to produce anaesthesia, than the ordinary man is capable of generating? It simply makes the  engraving that much deeper. The man hypnotized, the man under an anaesthetic, is not dead; he is merely inhibited from controlling the operations of his body, but, for all that he may see what is going on, and his mind may be more intensely concentrated on it than otherwise. But there is another side to this question which is just as interesting: you can remove a scar by an act of the will, if your will is strong enough.

Q.—A scar mark will stay on the tree for years. Why is this?

Ans.—Yes, but the tree has an altogether different kind of astral body. Such marks on a tree are normal and natural, in most cases; but, in any event, the astral body of the tree is a totally different thing from the astral body of a man. Every mineral, every atom, has an astral body, or it could not be; but the astral body varies enormously. We have to remember another thing: the very slightest touch, say, upon our nerves, produces a sensation out of all proportion to the force exerted, more acute, in fact, than a smart blow on other parts of the body. Suppose a man has an exposed nerve in his tooth; merely to draw his breath is exquisite agony, while you can slap the same man on the shoulder with a fifty-pound blow and it wouldn’t injure him at all. Now, perhaps there is a sensitiveness in plant life of an unbelievable acuteness in certain directions. We all know that plants can be injured; a plant can be injured more easily than flesh; but, in any event, wherever there is relative changelessness in any particular part of the body, it only goes to show that, by some process or other, the astral body has been more or less crystallized there; it has been changed from a fluidic to a more or less rigid state; it ceases to be resilient, flexible, tensile, elastic and strong.

Q.—There seems to be something else involved. You can have quite a serious wound or a cut; in some cases, a scar is left, and, at other times, not. What is the explanation?

Ans.—The more we think about these things, the more we see that there are various explanations. For example, with respect to extraneous matter, we know that if we cut our finger and get vegetable matter in the




wound, it will not only cause infection, but will leave a scar. If we get extraneous mineral matter into a wound, it will leave a scar. But don’t let us mix our planes. If we get other physical matter than plasma from the blood cell in a wound, it will leave a scar; but if it is simple plasma from the blood cells with no outside or foreign matter permitted to enter, it will leave no scar. Yet, no matter what infects it, that is, no matter what other lives than those pertaining to the physical body of that man enter the cut, which is an artificial opening, they make their home there, and that leaves a scar.

Q.—There is also the fact that if a quite considerable wound is not shut, but is put together by adhesive, by plaster, it will not leave a scar.

Ans.—It all depends upon whether extraneous matter gets into the artificial opening or not, looked at from this side. On the other side, it all depends upon the impression made upon the lives of the body. There have been men who have disemboweled themselves in religious ecstasy, and then put the intestines back in the open wound, pressing the opening together with their two hands, and the wound healed without a scar, all inside of five minutes. There have been such cases.

Q.—Does the matter of youth and age affect the healing of a scar?

Ans.—We know that it does; we can see that in the breaking of an arm, for example, it knits very quickly in a child. It takes a much longer time to knit in an older person, because there is more lime in the bones of an older person than in those of a child—the same analogy. Remember these lives are of 49 different forms; some are more intelligent, some more obstinate than others; some of one class and some of another. If there is a mixture, we get results accordingly. As a rule, what was said in the earlier part of the chapter is true of all children. When we are young, the creators predominate, whatever happens to the body. As we get older, the slightest thing is a shock and makes an opening for the destroyers, and that means a breaking down of the normal tissues and their replacement by lives of another class. The whole story of scars is there.

Q.—What is the Theosophical explanation of what is often called “inbreeding,” that is, the continuous intermarriage of blood relatives?

Ans.—Well, on the one hand, there are cases of intermarriage between brothers and sisters for generations. Trace the greatest ruling family of which there is any modern historical record this side of tradition—the Ptolemies of Egypt. In conformity with Egyptian law, brothers and sisters should marry. To us that would be the last word in abomination, morally, and deterioration mentally, but again, it is perfectly well known that the greatest people there is any record of in South America were the Incas. They had the same law. Something else to speculate about: Their blood was so pure or was assumed to be so—that it was considered a crime to mix their blood with any except that of their own royal kin; and there is no record of deterioration; in fact, the last of the Ptolemies was Cleopatra; no particular record of deterioration there.

    But it is a fact that amongst other peoples, as amongst the North American Indians it was forbidden to marry inside the clan. Now, we can see that between people who are alike throughout, there is nothing to arouse creative fire; they are all the same. If the lives are all the




same, they tend more and more to passivity, to inertia. The very characteristics of astral matter—resiliency, elasticity, and tenuity—that are here spoken of, are lacking. Therefore, the astral body is more open to foreign influences, and the person becomes more psychic, or mediumistic. We call that deterioration. But any doctor will tell you that it is an exploded theory. There is, perhaps, no more remarkable record than that of the royal families of Europe, since for 500 years, there has been continual inbreeding among less than 500 people, the royal families of Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria, Belgium, England, France and Scotland. Intermarriage between themselves of  those who were as close as cousins.


Q.—Referring to the last two lines in the first paragraph on p. 38 (p. 35 Am. Ed.): Can we see that matter which extends beyond the actual outer limits of the body with our physical eyes? What is the border line between the physical sight and the astral sight?

Ans.—Astral. matter presents subdivisions or sub-states just the same as does this matter that we know. We speak of solid, liquid and gaseous matter; those are three states of our matter. We know that the gaseous is ordinarily invisible; that the liquids are extremely impressible as to shape; that solid matter retains a fixed tenuity of form. Now apply the same thing to the astral matter; there is solid astral; there is liquid and there is gaseous astral. We can understand, then, from the physical analogy of this earth, what Mr. Judge means in that statement, “Our body is our earth.” Isn’t our earth surrounded with an immense ocean of gaseous and vaporous matter of the same kind as the earth itself? So our body is surrounded by vaporous and gaseous lives on the astral plane. That is why it is that we can oftentimes sense another whom we cannot see.


Q.—P. 39 (p. 36 Am. Ed.) says, “So in sleep we are again absorbing and not resisting the Life Energy,” and lower on the page it says, “When we fall asleep we are yet more full of life than in the morning.” This seems contradictory.

Ans.—If the paragraph had been read with attention, no contradiction would appear. In sleep we are absorbing and not resisting the life energy. When we awake we are resisting it. When we fall asleep we are more full of life than in the morning because our power to resist becomes less and less; during the waking hours we become charged with the life energy until we are no longer able to resist it, and sleep supervenes. Take a flowing stream and a swimmer: he swims against the stream, resisting the current, then he floats down stream with the current of the water. We might say that he is absorbing Life while floating, resisting it while swimming; as long as he is holding his place, he is awake; when he is drifting, he is asleep. We can use the illustration of the current in an electric lamp; the filament resisting the current gives light, but If the current flowed through with no filament, there would be no resistance. Also, this analogy shows how Life outwardly kills, because the filament in the globe stands the Impact just so long and then we have a broken filament.


Q.—What is meant by the word “privative” as used in this chapter (p. 40) (p. 37 Am. Ed.)?

 Ans.—We are familiar with the word “deprivation.” We are familiar with the fact that a man may be in a state of privation. What does that mean? Reduced to the extreme limits of endurance. Well, suppose we take




its metaphysical counterpart. There is that form in space occupied by everybody, the mould in space made by anybody. You put your foot on sand and you have made the mould; there is the privative limit of a foot. According to H.P.B., privative refers to the astral form as apart from the physical; that is, the privative limit of the cell. To us the cell appears a physical thing. Mr. Judge says it has no existence physically; it is simply poured into a container; that container is the astral cell, which is the real cell. And this is true with everything there is.

    A magnet is a good example: when the iron filings come within the influence of the magnet, the true form is made; yet when the filings are pushed away, the astral body does not cease to exist, because as soon as the iron filings are brought close to the magnet again, the true form is seen.

 Q.—May we infer that the astral model of the child may be imperfect before it contacts the mother?

 Ans.—Don't  you think the whole subject can be reduced to simple terms? All of us, out of a body or in the body, in heaven or in hell, place ourselves in relation with other forms of life. The relation in which we put ourselves is the result of our own act; whatever we get from that relationship is the consequence or effect of our own acts. I put myself in the power of an evil entity; that is my doing. The evil entity acts according to its world, not according to mine; I get the results. And, if we apply that in every direction, we can see that the Ego, as the result of his own actions, comes under the influence of the mother. Then, whatever she thinks or feels, he must get the result of it as the consequence of his own actions. Her imagination, her aspirations, may build him a wonderfully sensitive and susceptible instrument, or a defective one. In either case, he had put himself in that relation and so the Karma of it, in so far as it affects him, is his Karma; in so far as the mothers conduct is concerned, the same thing is true—it is her Karma.

We might say that the thoughts and feelings of the mother form one of the constituent elements of the astral body of the incoming ego.


Chapter V

II.——The Astral Body, Astral Substance and Human Birth


Q.—Why is the term “astral body” used? Why not use another one of the terms suggested by Mr. Judge on p. 41  (p. 38 Am. Ed.)?

Ans.—Astral bodies are composed of astral matter, whether it is the astral body of this, that or the other form. There is mineral matter, coming from below up—the first state of matter. There is vegetable matter—the second state; animal matter—the third state; and astral matter—the fourth state. There are bodies composed of all three and all four. We think of matter as solid, liquid and gaseous, but that is not the meaning that Theosophy gives to it. Solid, liquid and gaseous are all merely sub-states of mineral matter. The confusion comes, perhaps, because there are seven planes of perception. We are seeing physically on the fourth plane of perception, counting from above down, or from below up.




Q.—How can we call astral substance the fourth stage of matter?

Ans.—Because H.P.B. says so herself, on p. 737, Vol. II, of The Secret Doctrine Don’t you think half our troubles come, first, from not finding out what the exact Theosophical statements are on any subject, and secondly, from trying to explain to ourselves what we understand this, that or the other to mean? A thousand and one statements are made about the astral body, or about anything else, and unless we try to get at what H.P.B. means in using such—and such a word or words, we have only a hazy idea of the philosophy. The whole purpose of the Ocean class is to assist us all to get clean and clear and correct perceptions of what the Teachings are, and then, having found out what the Teachings are, to try to assimilate those in terms of our own understanding. This is the great object of our work.

Q.—When an Ego assimilates all the experiences in Devachan and is ready for rebirth, the parents have prepared the way for him to come; is the astral body already formed before physical conception?

Ans.—The Theosophical answer is, Yes.

Q.—Or does it start to form immediately after physical conception?

Ans.—Conception is the union of fourth-state matter on this plane, with the fourth-state matter on the higher plane on which the Ego is living. The process is exactly analogous to that by which water is formed when Hydrogen and Oxygen are fused by a spark.

Q.—Refer to the top of p. 44 (bottom of p. 40 Am. Ed.), where it says:— At the present time the model for the growing child in the womb is the astral body already perfect in shape before the child is born. Now, how can astral substance be the model for the physical?

Ans.—The point is that the astral body, even in the living man such as we now are, is not a physical thing in our sense of the word “physical.” We use the word “magnetism” and the word, “electricity,” but we think of both of them in other terms than those of matter or substance, whereas electricity and magnetism are substantial. So, for us, the easiest way to begin thinking about the body in anything like true terms of the imagination, is to think of it as a form of force rather than as a form of matter. It is the force-body; it exists as a pattern before conception, but before it exists as a pattern, it exists in idea. Every one of us has an idea of form and, as a matter of fact, our idea of form or body is constantly changing; but we have more than an idea of body— we have an ideal of the body we would like to have. So the primary form, the actual germ of the Ego, is in fifth-state matter, but it is seed, it is an idea. Then egoic “imagination” modifies the memory of the body last had.

    What is here spoken of as ethereal form—although Mr. Judge says it is that ethereal form which exists after death—must, if it exists after death, have also existed before birth. So we have the form as it exists in memory, the form as it exists in idea, and the form as it exists in egoic “imagination”; then we have a combination of these three. The Ego’s own astral body—that is of electrical and magnetic substance—



combines with the corresponding substance on the plane of matter that we know.

Q.—You spoke about the form of idea and the form of imagination. Just what is the difference between the two?

Ans.—Let us take an analogy, and compare a block of marble with the sculptor’s mental picture. Ideas are the mere material for the imagination to work on. Perhaps another way to help us to get at this is this: take our bodies, or any other body; it can be affected by two kinds of forces we know. It can be affected, first of all, by what we call mechanical forces, and we know also that all these forms can be affected by what we call chemical forces. Now, think of imagination as a force, of memory as a force, of will as a force, of feeling as a force, and we understand that our bodies can be affected by our feelings. Don’t we all know that? Don’t we see the distortion of the face, the change in the movement of the heart of a man who is angry, or who is envious, or who is full of love? You can tell a man’s thoughts by looking at his face, providing you know how to read that kind of script; but no man can think in the body and not affect his body. So, thinking of these things as forces, we can understand that there is a state of substance that is affected directly by the will; there is a state of matter that is affected directly by thought; there is a state of matter that is affected directly by feeling, in just the sane way that the matter we know is affected chemically, mechanically, or electrically—and all the rest becomes easy. But if we try to think of these things in the terms of matter as we know it, and we are in danger of doing that, we are just as foolish as if we were to try to deal with things as we see them in dreams. We see in dreams; we touch, we taste, we smell; but dreams have no sense in physical terms.

Q.—How about the persistence of the scar?

Ans.—That ought to be easy to see. Whenever a man gets a wound, he gets a shock from it. So does his flesh; so does the astral body. It is just as when we get a hard jolt amongst our friends, and change our relation towards them; so, the shock to the psychic nature of a tree is such that the new physical lives which enter are not of the same texture, not of the same grade, as the lives which were there, and we have a scar. The greater the shock physically, astrally, psychically, mentally—the longer enduring is the scar.

Q.—A lobster who has broken off his claw, will grow another. Why have we lost that power?

Ans.—We ought to be able to see why, easily enough. The lobster has no imagination. His is a borrowed body, and if he loses a claw, he has no memory of the loss, but he has plenty of claws left; so, other forces operate than those which work in us. The model is still there, only it is another kind of astral model because it is on the lower plane of psychic or vital nature and undisturbed lives fill up the model. But notice the immense change in us: when we lose a limb the change is mental; we can’t even imagine it growing on again. The law of growth begins in imagination.

Q.—Why does the lobster have that power of growing another claw, which none of the other animals have?

Ans.—The lobster is part of an order of life which belongs to a




former Manvantara and which is accidentally present in this one. It is under the laws of a period of evolution that for us is long, long past.

Q.—Does the body we have now resemble the body we had in the last incarnation?

Ans.—Of course it does, unless there are miracles. We know our friends from our foes—and we know our foes, too, so far as that is concerned. How comes it that we know them? We have natural affinities for people the moment we see them, or natural repulsions, or we are utterly indifferent—and all this, the first time we ever saw them.

    Suppose a man were let down from a balloon into a village of savages in darkest Africa. He would immediately form likes and dislikes amongst the natives. Either there are miracles, or that repulsion and affinity is a form of memory. You can’t have an affinity for a thing you know nothing about; you can’t have a repulsion towards a thing you never had anything to do with. How could you? These are forms of memory. There are many more forms of memory than personal memory.

Q.—How can the matter of two planes mix? For instance, how does an invisible astral arm move a visible tangible concrete object? (pp. 47-8) (p. 44 Am. Ed.)

Ans.—Remember that the matter—matter of every kind—is but the projection of an image into the visible “here.” Suppose there were a book on the table, as there is, and a good medium were here, or an adept; we could see the book, without physical contact, picked up and moved, say, and deposited on the chair. How is it done? Behind the physical book, the visible book, is an astral book; the adept or the medium would simply be dealing with the astral book. He lifts the astral book, and that’s all there is to it. The moment that there is direct contact of astral with astral, our laws of gravity no longer apply. We can see how that is with, say, a gas. We know that the characteristic property of what we call solid matter is centripetal; it tends to cohere around a centre; and yet we know also that this same solid matter—the very same particles in it—when some change goes on to which we give the name of heat is at once converted into another state altogether, that of a gas. The characteristic property of a gas is the exact opposite of the characteristic of a solid, yet the lives in the gas and the lives in the solid are the same lives. Take ice; there is substance—visible, touchable. Apply heat (which is but astral fire) to it, and at once those same lives are freed from the centripetal force and are in a neutral state; the particles move freely amongst themselves. Apply still more heat and those same lives become centrifugal.

Q.—If the senses apply to the astral body, were they developed on the astral plane?

Ans.—Yes, and no. No, not as the astral plane is treated in Chapter Five; and yes, as we are accustomed to think of them. The Secret Doctrine tells us that the elements were developed one by one—that refers to the cosmic elements, symbolized for us under the names of fire or ether, air, water and earth—and that a new sense, which means only an agency of action, was developed step by step with the development of each new element. There is the explanation of the changes in the constituent particles of matter or monads or atomic lives—fiery lives in the solar system, as specified in the footnote of the S.D. on pp. 2O5-6 Vol. I.




In the beginning, matter, as we know, was in a wholly different state. From what we can see of a nebula, there is light there. Now, regarding a nebula as the second stage in the development of a solar system to come, there is a sense already developed there. What is that sense? Well, we can call it the sense of sound but, applied intellectually, it means the sense of touch, of contact, the sense of unity. If you use the word “astral.” in the sense of the pure development of the elements, not what we have been doing with those elements for the last 18 million years—then the development of the elements was astral, probably psychic.

Q.—It is said that the astral form of the incoming ego is attracted or drawn to the mother. How is the father drawn to the ego? Is it through his astral, also? During the period before birth, is the mother affected by the incoming ego? Is there any connection after conception of the incoming ego with the father?

Ans.—The statement has several times been made in Theosophical teachings, that the route to birth for the descending ego is through the mother. We know that is true physically. It is also true, necessarily, astrally, and is usually true all up and down the line. Yet, at our stage of evolution, it is not possible for there to be virgin birth, immaculate birth, although every religion and every people have traditions of immaculate birth in the past and prophecies of immaculate birth to come some time in the future.

    Now, taking these statements which relate the incoming ego specifically to the mother—that is, directly to the mother—it is a natural and would seem to be a correct inference that the ego is not connected with the father in the same way. The father’s attraction is towards the mother; the mother’s attraction is what draws the ego. If this line of thinking is correct, the father’s connection with the incoming ego is indirectly through the mother; the mother’s connection with the descending ego is direct; and that is illustrated in all religions.

    The question is also asked: Is the mother affected by the incoming ego? Well, ask your own mother, if she is living. Talk to a woman who has had three, four, five or six children, and she knows that, while the process of ante-natal life—its stages—are the same, no matter how many children or who has them, her own physical, psychical and emotional states varied enormously with each of the different births. Isis Unveiled is full of statements as to the effect of the incoming ego on the mother, astrally, psychically and physically, and of the possible effects of the mother on the incoming egos, astrally, psychically and physically. It would be possible for the mother and the father (the Father sheltering the mother) to provide a fit tabernacle for the incoming ego, although that ego itself might be relatively of low grade. Or, it is within the mother’s power to provide a poor tabernacle for the incoming ego, although that ego might be one of very high grade.

    It is a matter, first, of thought, will and feeling on the part of the mother, and a matter, secondly, of her knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of trinitarian birth—because not just father and mother, but father, mother and the ego are an concerned in the birth. Finally, it is a question of relation of the father and of the community at large, its attitude toward motherhood, its understanding and care and provision for the mother to be.




Q.—Why do we so often find the father and child in perfect harmony with each other—mentally and spiritually—the mother being out of accord entirely?

Ans.—As a matter of fact, observe the relation of father, mother and children; you will find that, as a rule, no such accord exists between the father and the children, as exists between the mother and the children. The mother, according to the teachings of Theosophy, has a far more direct and continuous relation with the incarnating ego than the father. The father’s initial relation to the incoming ego may be but momentary; that of the mother lasts not only through the many months before the child is born, but also during the period of nursing and helpless infancy. Not until the ego is seated in the body does the father begin to have such direct relations with the incarnated ego. Now, it is quite true that the ego, although drawn to the mother, is drawn by a conjunction of factors and circumstances, and the father has his part in those factors and circumstances—not the same part that the mother has, although sometimes it may be even a greater part. After the ego is here, gets in command of the body—and this, I think, is what lies behind this question—there may be far more intellectual affinity, let us say, far more affinity of tendency and of interest, between the incarnated ego and the father than there is between the incarnating ego and the mother. This might be, and often is, the case—but it is not so as a rule. In coming into incarnation, the ego comes via the mother, thus making the relation of the mother more immediate and direct than the relation of the father.

     Now, carry this question a little further. All through life the mother generally will—even for the grown son, maybe a man with children of his own—will, to the day of her death, sacrifice for her own children. If any of us get in trouble, and our mother and father are both living, whom do we go to? Do we go to Father and say, “I ran into another car,” “I got into a fight and hurt somebody,” or “I took money from the till to gamble on a horse.  No—we go to Mother. Why? Sometimes because the mother’s identity with us, her connection with us, is far more profound than the father’s, and for that reason her compassion for us is greater than that of the father. This was put long ago by Lord Byron:—Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart;

‘Tis woman’s whole existence.

    On the other hand, many mothers are over-indulgent, and will sacrifice, for their children’s sake, all manner of principles and every consideration of justice and equity; in such cases, the child seeks “protection” and “forgiveness” from the mother, instead of facing Karmic consequences on his own.

    Now, the basis of all relationship is the love that is born between the two who are related, and on that basis it is perfectly clear that mother-love is often a far deeper, far more inclusive, far more enduring and direct bond than father’s love—not that it should necessarily be so, but it generally is so.

Q.—What is the difference between the highest being in the world and the lowest being in the world?

Ans.—It is not a difference in essence; one is just as spiritual in his origin, in his destiny, in his essence, as the other, and yet we know that tremendous differences exist between members of the human kingdom—let alone between the human kingdom and the other kingdoms. There




is an intimate relationship between intelligence—that is, acquired experience—and the instrument, a given ego being inhibited by one or another of his principles or sheaths or bodies from the fullest expression. Now, we have but to look at the woman body as compared with the man body and know for ourselves that physiologically, nervously and psychically the female instrument, the female body, is far more sensitive and responsive to impressions than the male body; ergo in those things which constitute our feeling responses—the psychic nature—it stands to reason that the same ego in the female body is able to express the inner and higher nature more easily, more freely, more fully, in our period, than the same ego in a male body.

Q.—Is that the reason that the Masters usually take male bodies—because they are inferior?

Ans.—There is no statement whatever in the Teachings that the Masters usually take male bodies. How do we know what kind of bodies the Masters take? We do not even know what kind of a body H.P.B. had. As a matter of fact, H.P.B. was neither male nor female; she was androgyne. Theosophy says that sex has nothing whatever to do with adeptship. Now, if the Adepts did take male bodies, it might be because men needed their example more than women do in the present day.

Q.—On p. 40 (p. 37 Am. Ed.), reference is made to the fact that the cell is not a material thing, and three or four lines further on Mr. Judge refers to the fact that there is no physical cell. Now, is there such a thing as a physical anything?

Ans —We all realize that some things are objective to our sense perceptions; in other words, Life can be looked at in its various forms and manifestations either with spiritual sight, or with intellectual sight, or with the eye of sense. Now, as a matter of fact, what we call “physical” matter is Life as seen from the sense point of view, the point of view of the five senses. It might help us in this discussion of the cell, to consider that the Ocean was written in 1893, five years after the Secret Doctrine was published (in 1888), and that both in the Secret Doctrine and in the Ocean—which is but a key to the Secret Doctrine there is clear enunciation of the occult doctrine of the basis of all manifestations, the theory, you may call it, about objectivity or manifested existence on every plane.

    What is that theory? That actually all is Life that, although what we see around us is named “matter,” it has no existence in and of itself, being a condensation and an effect of something which preceded it; that the real basis of matter consists simply of what we may call Monads in the cosmic sense, but not in the human sense. What is a Monad? It is a conscious centre of energic force in the One Life. Today, 60 years afterwards, we have the present scientific theory of the constitution of matter which bears exactly the same relation to the theory laid down by Mr. Judge that a dead body bears to a living one. Every statement made by Mr. Judge can be found in a modern text—book on physical science. The difference in the two theories is that Western occultism—that is, modern science—regards these centres of energy as dead, as inanimate, moved by some unknown extraneous force, whereas Theosophy regards them as inherently self-energizing.




Chapter V
III.—The Astral Body, Cells and Skandhas

Q.—What is meant by the astral body?

Ans.—It is a self-germinating body. We know that our bodies, as they stand, are composed of two classes of cells—first, those which are self-germinating, that is, able to reproduce a complete compound structure of which they are but one single cell; and second, body cells which are able to reproduce themselves, but can do nothing else. Astral matter is self-germinating matter. It is worth while to watch every word Mr. Judge uses. If we read carefully what he says about the cell being an illusion, we will find that he does not say anything different from what our greatest scientists have come to declare: “The cell is an illusion. It is merely a word. It has no existence as a material thing.” Our science says the same thing. When regarded as a physical thing in itself, the cell is a pure illusion; it has no existence.

    In 1893, then, Mr. Judge propounded the present atomic theory of matter. All matter is an illusion if regarded as material; that is, as substance The matter we see is composed of finer forms, those finer forms are composed of still more recondite forms, and those recondite forms are composed of still more infinitely recondite forms—until we get to a central point, a centre of energy, an electric charge. So, 60 years ago, Mr. Judge put on record, in simple and innocent words that a child can understand, that which our greatest scientists have finally come to. The only difference is that Mr. Judge says those sensitive points are life; therefore he calls them lives while our science is still wondering what it is that makes them move. They will get to that in 40 or 50 years more, and perhaps in 1975 the scientists will be ready to listen to the next messenger.

Q.—What is the fourth principle?

Ans.—It is us, for the most part. The fourth principle, according to the table give counting up or down, is that called by Mr. Sinnett in his book, Kama-Rupa. Kama means love, passion or desire. Rupa means form or body. So the word Kama-Rupa means the mass or body of passions and desires in any individual or in any collection of individuals. This is called in man the fourth principle, counting either way—from above down or from below up.

Q.—What is meant by secreting life (p. 41 (p. 38 Am. Ed.)?

Ans.—Well, we are all absorbing energy, aren’t we, all the time? And expending it? Instead of saying “absorbing,” say “secreting.”

Q.—How would you explain elementals to an inquirer?

Ans.—Well, we shall first seek an explanation for ourselves and find that we have none; so we shall advise the inquirer to do just what we are doing—study the books and do the best that he can. There is mighty little information (in the sense that we understand “information”) given on elementals. Why? Because we are too much under the sway of a dark class of elementals now. But the statement is made that not a motion (in our nature as human beings) of our mind, of our feelings, of our passions and desires, of our hopes and fears, of our memory, of our everyday physical actions—not a single motion of our human consciousness—is possible except by and through elementals. They are psychic embryos.




Notice that there is a constant transition of matter from the inorganic condition up to the organic condition, and a constant transition of matter from the organic condition to the inorganic state. So there is very clearly a cycle of evolution—it is in fact the cycle of physical evolution, from the inorganic to the organic and back again. But The Secret Doctrine tells us that there are three lines of evolution. There is the merely physical cycle of evolution which we have just spoken of; but there is also a psychic or intellectual cycle of evolution, and elementals represent the subjective side of psychic evolution. Psychic evolution begins in feeling and ends in intellection: intellection begins in ratiocination—that is, seeing that things have a cause—and ends in intuition.

Q.—Isn’t it because of the negative state of the masses and their indolence that we are subjected so much to the dark side of the elemental world?

Ans.—Yes, that’s true, but it is the Karma of the whole human race. We have misused the sensitive points, the lives, of the three kingdoms of nature below us—have done that for ages and ages—and now we are reaping what we sowed. This is a vast subject, and if any wanted to know about elementals and about this dark side, the best possible advice that could be given them is to come right here to the U.L.T. meetings; get an Ocean of Theosophy study carefully and participate in the meetings; and pay great attention to all that goes on; so doing, one will begin to learn something about the elemental kingdoms for oneself.

    Notice carefully, again, the various names Mr. Judge gives to the astral body. As we were saying a moment ago, his language is worthwhile watching. Remember the signs at the railroad crossings, “Stop—Look— Listen”? That is, concentrate Now, if we take every statement made by Mr. Judge, and “stop, look and listen” inside, we will get something. Take, then, the various names that he gives to the astral body: “ Linga Sarira, Sanscrit, meaning design body.” “Personal man.” Notice that? The personal man; that is what the astral body, astral matter, the astral man is—it is the personal man. We are dealing with astral men all the time. We talk about a man’s feelings. What are we dealing with? An ego; but he does not know himself for what he is, or whom he is dealing with. He thinks he is his feelings. And so every word we utter not only strikes the tympanum, but also strikes the astral man and produces an immediate polarization of this perisprit—that is, a human being, an astral man. That is a very graphic expression. People often ask what is meant by the astral man, astral body, astral form, astral matter. It is the stuff that the human being is made of. The divine being is made of another kind of stuff; the physical being is made of another kind of stuff. What is the physical being made of? The chapter tells us—cosmic dust. That is not astral matter.

Q.—Can the astral man be annihilated?

Ans.—He is annihilated at every incarnation; that is why we die and have no recollection of former lives.

Q.—Are the terms “atomic lives” and Skandhas synonymous?

Ans.—No; when we say “atomic lives” we have used a contradictory expression, haven’t we, because the word atomic, as understood by us, means We never think of atomic matter as being alive and




yet, when we say “atomic” life, we are trying to wed two ideas, the idea of Theosophy, and the idea of Science that atoms are “lifeless.” By using the word “atomic”—which means, so far as we know, nuclear matter—with the word “lives,” we may help the man who has formed a mental picture of infinitesimal indestructible particles of matter to see that those indestructible particles are Life “atomic lives.”

    Now take the word Skandhas the word itself means, in English, collections, or aggregates, or bundles. This audience is a Skandha that is, it is a collection or bundle of beings, but Skandhas are bundles of desires—that is, feelings, memories, hopes, fears and passions formed by the man. We form them every moment and they constitute the Kamic principle in us; after we leave the body the astral body that we use ceases to be, because it is no longer inhabited by us. It is inhabited only by these aggregates, by these bundles of thoughts and passions—reflected lights. Remember, Mr. Judge says that the term Kama-Rupa should properly apply only after death, because Kama and the astral body do not coalesce while we are alive; our presence keeps either one or the other paralyzed. If our passions are active our astral body is passive; if our passions are passive, our astral body is active; but you can’t energize them both. Our presence in the body paralyzes one or the other.

    Now, we die; a complete change takes place in that which was our astral body. What is that change? Both positive and negative. Negatively, we have left it; positively, the passions and desires have left it. The moment we have left it the two poles of the astral man—the passions and the desires on the one side and the lives that form the substance of the astral body—coalesce and then we have a shell, a Kama-Rupa an elementary. It represents the dark side of the ex-human being. It is the personality minus the Ego. After a while, it dies and when it dissolves, it does not dissolve into its constituent lives as it should. We have had such fierce passions, such fierce loves and hates and hopes and fears, that we have made fusible compounds out of some of these lives, so that each separate compound lasts for ages and ages and ages, and those are the Skandhas they are the bases of our molecular body on the return to a new incarnation.

Q.—Is there a distinction between the word Siddhis and Skandhas .

Ans.—Yes, there is all the difference in the world: our Siddhis have produced the Skandhas In other words, the elementals of themselves have no power to combine and remain in cohesion, just as a dozen and one chemical elements have no power to hunt each other up and combine. But any man who has intelligence and knowledge of the elements can put these chemical elements together, develop a great heat, and fuse them. Then we have a new substance and it manifests entirely different qualities from the original elements themselves. The word Siddhis means powers. Every time we use our power of thought or will or feeling or memory or imagination, we are exercising our Siddhis we either exercise them in a high way or in a low way, up or down. If we exercise them “downward,” we form elementals which persist because of the cohering power of our thought and feeling and those afterwards become the Skandhas. Skandhas are human elementals; that is, they are collections of elemental beings given a form by our thought. They couldn’t have taken that form of themselves; of themselves elementals have no forms; we give them forms forms of hate, forms of fear, forms of doubt, forms of suspicion, and good forms, cheerful forms, optimistic forms and beautiful forms. These




constitute the Skandhas.

Q.—Does one pick up all of his Skandhas at each incarnation, or do some of them wait?

Ans.—Well, if we picked them all up at once we would be sunk. We have here to refer to the “Aphorisms on Karma” and notice—look and listen.” It says that all our life long we are making mental deposits. “Mental deposits” is only another phrase for Skandhas. All our life long we are “colouring” human elementals of one grade or another, which, after the break—up of the Kama-Rupa, become the Skandhas Now the Aphorisms say that in any given life those only of our mental deposits—the old elementals that we have used and misused in any given incarnation—can become active which are appropriate to the environment provided. Mr. Judge goes on to show how everyone of us is at one and the same time doing three things: first, we are absorbing into our system (using in our mind and four lower principles) the elementals or mental deposits of a former lifetime which are now awake, alive, active, ripe and constitute our mind and nature and tendency. Secondly, and at the same time, we are going right on thinking; we are going right on wishing, feeling, hoping, fearing, and so on; so all the time we are making new mental deposits which will come to fructification in some future if not in this. Thirdly, and at the same time, since we have lived myriads of lives and since we have a million feelings for a given action—(think of the millions of feelings we have every day and how few of them we act out.) we are facing not only those deposits that are now ripe and that we are now experiencing, not only those that we are making or storing up for experience in the future, but also an enormous mass of held-over or suspended mental deposits from former lives awaiting a favourable moment to ripen.

Q.—Suppose one were afflicted with a terrible perception—that is, the coming to sudden life of an enormous mass of old and bad mental deposits—in other words, suppose a person were suddenly afflicted with a mass of bad Karma. Could he call on his Higher Self and get rid of it?

Ans.—Well, that involves a lot of truth an quite a lot of misconceptions. Remember, in the first place, that we very seldom see straight. There is truth in all of us, just as there is truth in everything, but there is also a terrific admixture of what is absolutely untrue, as well as what is erroneous, and we can’t always tell which is the truth and what is the erroneous and false. Now, let us see; what is Karma? Karma, in the spiritual sense, in the Egoic sense, is neither past nor future; it is always present—there is no “past Karma” in the spiritual sense; there is no “past Karma” as there is no “future Karma” in the spiritual sense. Our Karma at every given moment does not lie in our circumstances; it lies in the way we feel about them. What is real to us at any moment—whether we are in the seventh heaven or the lowest hell—is the way we fee]. about it. Our “hell” is the way we feel; our heaven is the way we feel; but our feelings depend on circumstances instead of on us. So the real question of good and bad feelings, good and bad Karma, and good and evil themselves, is a matter of our control over our fourth principle
When a man can control his feelings, there is no longer for him any good Karma or any bad Karma; there is just action Can’t we see that? Suppose you were drowning and you actually could say to yourself, “Well, what of It? In five minutes it will all be over and I shall be able to recall the circumstance.” What would drowning mean? Suppose we could




look at death as we look at going to sleep I Suppose last night we dreamed we lost our home; we couldn’t pay interest; the mortgage was being fore-closed; we had no job and no bread and butter; we were starving; but supposing we woke up and said, “Thank God, that was only a dream” Yet it was no “dream” while we were dreaming.

    All these feelings that we have are only illusions. We think they are due to our circumstances but in every case they are our attitude to ward circumstances. The more you look at it the more you will come to see the utter truth of a statement made by Mr. Judge, that “the power of any and all circumstances is a fixed, unvarying quality”; it is we who are the variants. Where is the variation? It is in our feelings. Would it be possible for a man to burn alive and smile? Why, you have but to read American history to find numbers of Indians and of white men who were burned at the stake and who jested and laughed at their tormentors for their inability to make them suffer. History is full of the Christian martyrs who were crucified, nailed up on a cross; it took them hours and hours to die, and yet they were literally “in Heaven” while nailed to the cross.

    Now, isn’t it possible for us to get into such a state of consciousness that it is our body which suffers, not we ourselves; or that it is our astral body that suffers, not we? The old teaching of Theosophy is that that is the fact. You know that what you can do to a man is very little. Think how narrow is the range within which you can torture a man. Physically, you can torture him until his temperature goes up 8 or 10 degrees, and then you can’t torture him any more; or, his temperature will go down 8 or 10 degrees, and then you can’t torture him any more, because the body cannot normally stand any more. That is, the body’s normal tensile strain in terms of suffering is within a range of 15 or 16 degrees from normal.

    Don’t we realize that the astral body (which is the source of our personal sufferings as well as personal feelings) has its tensile limit, also, and that it does not make any difference how badly our feelings are lacerated—it’s still easy not to have them lacerated? Suppose you were in the presence of a delirious man; you knew he was delirious, therefore irresponsible. Suppose, then, he called you every name under heaven—liar, thief and all the rest—he would only incite your compassion. A man in anger is a delirious man—he is in a far worse delirium than one who is merely physiologically delirious, because that derangement is of his brain and nervous system; but with the angry man the derangement is in his astral and Kamic nature. Now, would we be disturbed if a delirious man used abusive language to us? Not at all. So, it is all a question of our identification with the experiences which come to us.

Speaking of the Higher Self, we are our Higher Self, if we think so; we are the devil himself if we feel that way. It is not what we go through, physically or astrally or psychically; it is our identification of Self with circumstances—whatever we name the circumstances. The ceasing of identification is the ceasing of soul pain. Then a man suffers just as an animal suffers, and an animal’s sufferings are a joke compared with the sufferings of a human being, because an animal has neither memory nor anticipation.

Q.—What is compassion?

Ans.—The feeling of Unity, the feeling of Brotherhood, the feeling of Service—three words for the same thing.





Chapter V
IV.—The Astral Body, Imagination and Prodigies

Q.—On p. 44). (p. 41 Am. Ed.), Mr. Judge speaks of the imagination of the mother affecting the astral body of the child. If that is so, don’t our thoughts affect our astral body and form a link between cause and effect, or precipitate our Karma?

 Ans. When you come to think about it, our imagination is simply another form of expression for our feelings. we notice, when our feelings are disturbed, how our imagination races? Now, our imagination is the one thing that does affect us. It is not what happens to us—it is the way we feel about it, it is our imagination in regard to it. You know, you could tell an American Indian that in five minutes you were going to burn him at the stake and, if he happened to be tired, he would lie down and go to sleep for those five minutes.

 Q.—What is the difference between what we have just been talking about and the methods of Christian Science?

 Ans.—I was going to say, “All the difference in the world.” If you take an anaesthetic, which means an artificial way of getting out of your body—something that paralyzes the nervous system—then you can treat the body as if it were a log of wood. That is what the Christian Scientist does, and justly so—because his ideas are wooden. He lets the practitioner treat them, and he uses an anaesthetic—self-hypnotism. What does the Yogi do? He goes through whatever experiences are necessary to enable him to serve others. All of the Christian Scientist’s self-denial and all of his affirmations are, as a rule, for his own sake. That is what constitutes, according to the teachings of Theosophy, black magic whether it is conscious or unconscious. Take the average man of today and give him the power of the Mahatmas; if he could save the world by being burned to death as millions of men have been burned, would this man consent to be burned to death as a human being? Would he consent to be crucified? Would he put aside his power in order to step aside from the carcass and let them burn it, or would he stay in it? You know what the answer would be; most of us would use our powers for ourselves.

    Nevertheless, you can see that there is truth in what the Christian Scientist believes and does; but there is truth in a crooked balance sheet: the figures are all right. There is truth in a forged check: the paper is genuine and the ink is genuine. It may be good writing, too, but nobody forges checks for someone else’s sake—least of all for the sake of the fellow whose signature he forges The Christian Scientists, we might say, are forging the signature of Spirit for personal, selfish, material gain. What will the price be when Nature’s “bank” checks up? Look around you; the world is full of people who are psychologically and psychopathically deranged. There are tens of millions in India, and do you know that more than half of the hospital space in this country is devoted to psychopathic cases?

    If a man has smallpox or some serious physical disease, he is sent to the hospital; but if a man is insane, psychologically unbalanced, that is, in many cases, the last thing on earth his friends will do. They all think they can take care of him at home. Now, if you will consider that of the known cases in the hospitals more than half are psychically deranged, and add to that the enormous percentage of cases which are kept quiet, you will get some idea of this problem. Some people—




many people—are born nervously deranged, psychically shot to pieces, and they finally become “perverts,” “extraverts,” or “introverts,” if you like those pet words. The world is full of them; they have lost their discrimination. Once a man has lost his discrimination, how can he know that he has lost it? Think of it: imagine a man denying that there is evil in the world.

Q.—What would be the effect upon the astral body of the cremation of the physical body?

Ans.—What would be the effect on the physical body if you took your clothes off and burned them? It would set the body free, instead of letting it wait for the clothes to fall off. So it is when you burn the physical body. Remember that what we call rotting or decomposition is a slow, slow process. Nature is not as intelligent as man—let us not forget that. It takes Nature years and years to accomplish what man can bring about in a few minutes. Here is a man who dies: leave the body to Nature and it will be months, perhaps years, before the slow decomposition of Nature sets the astral body free; but put the body in a retort and it can be set free in half an hour, an hour, or two hours. So, the effect upon the astral body of cremating the physical form is to set the astral free from the physical. You can’t burn the astral body—our fire does not work on that plane.


Q.—Doesn't the astral body require a physical body after death for about two days?

Ans.—No; the physical body is precipitated on the astral body in exactly the same way that electric plating is put on. The father is one “pole” of the battery—the copper pole; the mother is the other “pole” of the battery—the zinc pole; and so, matter on this plane is precipitated on astral matter. The astral body is “soaked” with the physical. Read carefully what Mr. Judge says about materialized spirits. Now, stretch that out over a period of nine months, and make it a natural process, and you have the method by which the astral body is coated with matter during the nine months of antenatal life. The process is the same: one is atavistic, unnatural, and unintelligent; the other one is natural but unintelligent. It is quite possible for us to speculate a little (and find plenty of confirmation in The Secret Doctrine about those in whom Manas has by training found out how to use the astral body independently of the physical: what might happen to such a being after death? He wouldn’t take another physical body—why should he? If he wanted to come and live amongst men for five minutes at a time, half an hour at a time, or for days at a time, he would use his intelligence to coat his astral body from matter held in suspension on this plane, so that it would present to us all the appearance of a solid, natural-born physical body. He would hold it that way, and when he was through with his interviews and his interviewers, let loose the temporary form. That would be simply an acceleration of the process of Nature.


Q.—I think the question was: Does not the astral body require the physical body for two days after death?

Ans.—Well, the answer was No, the astral body does not require it at all. But something else is required after death. When we say that death has supervened, the ego—according to the teachings of Theosophy— has in fact not yet left the body and astral body, and the body should




be left undisturbed for at least twelve hours. In some cases it ought to be left longer—it would depend upon what kind of a life had been lived by the man. But it takes a certain period before we can be sure that the Ego has extricated himself from the mortal instrument. If he hasn’t and we incinerate the body, we are in fact burning the man alive. That has happened—but that is Karma, too.


Q.—Do the bacilli of diseases enter the system from without, or are they a malignant type of some of the bodily lives?


Ans.—Every-thing in manifestation means “pairs of opposites” we breathe in and breathe out, and both endosmosis and exosmosis go on all the time, spiritually, psychically and physically. According to our will and our desires, we establish the nature of the lives within our bodies harmoniously or inharmoniously, and according to the kind established there are attracted similar lives. A harmonious assemblage of lives means that the body is immune from so-called disease germs, regardless of surrounding conditions. A disease germ’s activity may be increased, diminished, or neutralized according to the nature of the body into which it enters. All disease germs are productions of some kind of consciousness, and are destructive in their tendencies; they may find entrance into a harmonious system, but will not be assimilated because there is no “soil” in which they can increase; they will be neutralized or reconstructed, as the case may be. Following the lines of the “pairs of opposites,” we have two main divisions of kinds of lives in our bodies—the “atomic” and the “molecular,” to use ordinary terms. They might be called spiritual-atomic and psycho-molecular. Aggregations of “atoms” form cells according to the nature of the consciousness using them. The personal or lower mind acts directly upon the psycho-molecular set of cells, and the higher mind—or spiritual manas—acts through and upon the atomic bases of the cells and organs. Among the organs, again, similar divisions may be found. For instance, the liver and spleen cells are the most subservient to the action of our personal mind, the heart being the organ par excellence through which the Higher Ego acts—through the Lower Self.


Q.—”The infant. . .is put to sleep each day by the overpowering strength of the stream of life.” (p. 39) (p. 36 Am. Ed.) What is it that keeps most adults asleep? For instance, many adults require—or think they require—12 to l4 hours of sleep a day.


Ans.—That is probably an exaggeration. Very few adults—and only those who are physically diseased—require anything like 12 hours a day. But the same law holds with the adult as with the child, the only difference being that the child’s body is more quickly responsive to the impact of the life wave. A child will recuperate in a moment after exhausting the last ounce of its strength in play; it will throw itself on the ground and in three minutes it is ready to do it all over again. This is not so with the adult. It takes him longer to start up, longer to exhaust, and longer to recuperate; but that length is not necessarily in time. Recuperation comes from letting loose. There are men who can get a night’s sleep in two minutes; they let loose instantly and completely. And so their 24 hour life, their waking life, is like our heart  We say, you know, that from the moment of birth to the time of death, the heart never stops beating. As a matter of fact, it has more




 rest than any other organ in the body; it rests 50 per cent of the time, but it rests on a mathematical basis—stroke, return, stroke, return. Now if our life were regulated on that basis we would be awake 24. hours in the day. It would be this rhythm—act; retreating to the plane of Manas; act; retreating to the plane of Manas; and so on, just like a heart-beat.


Chapter V

V.—Astral Matter, Atoms and Incarnation

Q.—The statement is made (The Ocean of Theosophy 2nd Indian ed., p.45 (p. 41 Am. Ed.) that the astral body can go a short distance from the physical. What is it, then—if such a thing occurs—that holds the physical together?

Ans.—Well, if the astral body were actually detached from the physical, the physical would instantly collapse, instantly disappear. We ought to bear in mind something that H.P.B. said more than once and that Mr. Judge has also called our attention to more than once. To us the astral body exists only theoretically. Isn't that so? Similarly, the Ego’ s independent existence in Kama-Loka or in Devachan, or as Higher Manas, is theoretical, yet it is to us something that looks reasonable, that looks credible, that appeals to our conscience, our judgment, our common-sense. We do not find it out of accord with life as we know and experience it here. But we haven’t the same experimental knowledge of these conditions that we have of life here in the physical body.

    Why do we know so little of the astral body? Because the astral and physical represent a pair of opposites, in the first place. We know no thing about the astral, and whatever Mr. Judge says here in the Ocean can only be said to us in terms of analogy. Suppose you were trying to describe our electric lights to a South Sea Islander. He never saw an electric light—he doesn’t know a thing about electricity. You could tell him about it only by saying that electricity is chain lightning, canned lightning, harnessed lightning, “lightning” that we carry around in a box. Now, from our point of view, that would be absolutely true, wouldn’t it—even though that is not the way we describe lightning scientifically?

    We ought to reason by analogy. What is Spirit? It is the exact polar opposite of Matter. What is Matter? It is the exact polar opposite of Spirit. What is Astral Matter? Sub-state by sub-state, it is the polar opposite of physical matter. If we begin to think about it from that point of view, we may get some light. How is astral matter manipulated physically? By magnetic attraction and repulsion. No mechanical force, no chemical force, has anything to do with it. How can it be affected metaphysically In three ways: by thought, by will and by feeling. How is it affected by us? Mostly by feeling, isn’t it? And so are we affected by it, in the same way. True, whether astral or physical, it is one and the same stuff looked at from opposite directions. But don’t you see that, in physical matter, the characteristics that in themselves are called “astral matter” are latent? They have to be latent for physical matter to be active. But if astral matter is to be active, then physical matter has to be latent. Suppose any man could suddenly, by an act of the will, paralyze his five senses. He would be instantly seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and so forth on the astral plane. Now we have him on the astral plane; let us paralyze his five astral




senses. Where is he? Right here in our physical world.

Q.—When we eat our food, it is said, we raise the lower lives. When the body dies, however, these lives go back to the mineral state. How can they advance further than the animal kingdom?

Ans.—Well, there is some misconception here. It is nowhere said that all the lives go back to the mineral state. Every class of lives has an appropriate “place” in consciousness in one of the elemental kingdoms, and it goes back to its own appropriate place. Some, say, become mineral elementals; some go back to the vegetable kingdom, and become vegetable elementals; some go back to the animal kingdom and become animal elementals. Some of the lives we use do not descend to the lower kingdoms at all. They accompany the Ego into Devachan; they stay with the Ego from the beginning of the Manvantara to the close. If you want to read something very interesting on that subject, start with the last paragraph on p. 671, Volume II of The Secret Doctrine and read over onto the next page.

Q.—How long after the body dies does the astral body live?

Ans.—The statement is that the astral body and the Kamic elements coalesce almost immediately after death and commence disintegrating right away. For the average man—in fact, with the ordinary man in the case of normal death—the astral body begins disintegrating a considerable time before the body is dead. Normal death is brought about by the partial disintegration of the astral body, that is, partial separation Or, reversing the process, we have, in prenatal life, the drawing together of the elements of the astral form. So, looking at the question the other way about, the astral begins to disintegrate before actual physical death, save in cases of violent death. The period varies from a few months to a few years. But the Kama-Rupa, after death, begins to disintegrate at once. The period during which that disintegration goes on depends upon many, many circumstances, and, just like the period in Devachan, no actual definite figures could be stated for any individual person.


Q.—If an atom in the mineral kingdom is just the same kind of atom as in the vegetable, animal, or human kingdoms, does it make any difference where that atom is? Isn’t that atom the same’?

Ans.—It necessarily depends on what we understand by the term “atom.” Much of our confusion undoubtedly arises from the compulsion under which H.P.B. laboured to use our Western scientific terms. Now, to the Theosophist, to the Occultist, she says, “atom” means something altogether different from what it means in science. To us an “atom” has meant, until the past few decades, something physical, of an exceeding smallness. It no longer means that to any present—day physicist. In their conception of what an atom is, physicists have made as big a jump in recent years as there is still remaining between their conception and that of the Occultist. Suppose we take H.P.B. ‘s own statement: At the beginning of any period of evolution, the Monads emerge from their state of absorption within the One, whether we call that Nirvana, Paranirvana, or what-not. Now, those Monads represent one of two classes; they are either fully awakened or they aren’t. If they are not awakened, they are called, in their collectivity, Matter and for the lives ( or Monads constituting Matter, the word atom is just as good as any other. Slowly, by



natural impulse, they become partially awakened, and then they are called Elementals. So, actually, there is all  the difference in the world between what we could call an “atom” of the animal kingdom, or the vegetable kingdom, and an “atom” of the mineral kingdom. We ought to know that there is an immense difference between metallic iron and organic iron. We must see that there is a tremendous difference between the chemical elements in our body and the same chemical elements in the soil. The difference isn’t made by us; it’s made by the different natures of those lives when they have a chance to act. But again, if you will read that same reference that was given, from S.D., II, 671, bottom, to the top of p. 672, you will understand this question better.

Q.—In Theosophical teachings, what is meant by the spiritual man?

Ans.—The spiritual man, pure and simple, is the individualization of the three highest principles, Atma-Buddhi-Manas. That is why man is immortal. What would the purely physical animal being be? Would it not be the exact opposite of the purely spiritual being? Spirit and matter are a pair of opposites. Then, what is the purely animal being? The Secret Doctrine says that the pure animal consists of the three lower principles in temporary union. We may say, therefore, that the spiritual man is the three higher spiritual principles of life permanently individualized, while the “animal being” is the three lowest principles of life temporarily organized.


    Let us ask another question: What is the purely human being? If we have studied our Secret Doctrine with any care, we have found that over and over again H.P.B. speaks of the human stage She speaks of the human being, but says it would be an utter absurdity to think of the human being of the Third Round or of the Third Race as in any way like the man of today, the human being of today. Now, we have a purely spiritual man, or spiritual being; we have a purely animal being. We are trying now to get at: What is a purely human being? Can’t we see the answer? When did the incarnation take place? The middle of the Third Race, the middle of the Third Round; so the purely human being is a 3-½ or 4-principled being. What was the Lunar Pitri? Was he a spiritual being? No. Was he an animal being? No. What kind of being was he? A human being, pure and simple. The 3-½ principles were in him. In the most progressed of the Lunar Pitris, the 4  lower principles were united, but in the great bulk of them only 3-½ principles were awakened. Those were the ones who could receive only a spark; it was only those in whom the four lower principles were temporarily united, who could receive more.

    If we can grasp that, we are on the road to understanding this mystery of “Was man ever an animal?” Spiritual man means the individualization of the three highest principles of Life; animal means the temporary organization, in a form, of the three lowest principles. The purely human being no longer exists, so far as we know; if he does exist, he doesn’t mix with humanity. The purely human being is one in whom the four lower principles are developed and in union in the being—that’s the Lunar Pitri. H.P.B. says they were of seven classes, which means that they ranged all the way from 3-principled consciousness with just the faintest touch of the fourth principle up to full 4 principled being.

    Now we can understand what incarnation means. We have the purely spiritual being, the purely animal being, the purely human being, and




then we have the incarnation of the 3-principled permanent spiritual being—the reincarnating ego in the 4 or 3-½—principled being, the Lunar Pitri in one degree of evolution or another. Not until then do we have humanity as we understand it. Then comes the great mystery, the mystery of good and evil, the mystery of loss of “Soul.” and the rest—the mystery of intellectual evolution. The purely spiritual man is not an Intellectual being in our sense of the word; his consciousness is universal. He thinks in terms of the consciousness of all other beings. That is the meaning of the statement of one of the Masters, that not until the 3-principled being—the reincarnating ego—united his mind with this perfected 4-principled being, not till then did we have man? That is called the “incarnation.” There were the pairs of opposites united in a single form; the spiritual being and the human animal, in one consciousness. Then comes the intellectual man or intellectual evolution. Why? Why was it not possible before? No contrast. The moment that we incarnate, there is the contrast between the spirit and the matter in us. We are neither spirit nor matter—we are the blending of both spirit and matter, and that is the man of today.

    If we think of an animal as a 3-principled Monad, of a Lunar Pitri as a 4-principled Monad, and of the reincarnating egos as individual Monads, then we can think of the human being as a 7-principled Monad  and of the Mahatmas as perfected 7-principled Monads.

    Is everything sevenfold? No, it isn’t although the expression is used. Let us take an example. Is it not perfectly clear that there is a great difference between the money I have and the money I have not? I am a millionaire in potency; actually, I don’t know how I am going to pay next month’s rent. So, nobody can call me a millionaire in fact. The animal is Life, just as much as the highest Mahatma, but actually only three out of the seven principles are awake in that Life. The potency, the potentiality, of all the other principles is there, but they are non-existent—they exist in possibility but not in actuality.

    So it is perfectly true, as “The Synthesis of Occult Science” (U.L.T. Pamphlet No. 3, p. 13) says, that “man has not one principle more than the tiniest insect,” but in the tiniest insect 4-½ principles are dormant; in man all seven are awake. They are awake in us, but not yet in union; when they are in union, then we shall be Mahatmas.

    As an analogy for the seven principles in man, consider this book, which we can see with our physical eyes; that represents the physical body. Shut your eyes, and still you see the book; that is the astral. Then, looking at the book, you want to know what is in it; that is the Desire Principle. You begin to read it, think about what is written; That is Mind or Manas working. After you have read it for a while, all of a sudden you begin to see something of the deeper meaning—you get a flash of understanding; that is Buddhi. And when you finally realize it, really know it, that is Self-Knowledge, which may represent Atma.


Chapter VI

Hypnotism, Suggestion and the Astral Light

Q.—At the time the Ocean was written in 1893, much attention was devoted to hypnotic experimentation as demonstrated by Charcot in Paris. This interest declined, and seems not to have been revived until the last decade or so. What is the explanation?




Ans.—This question relates to the cycles of psychism. Now, in the last century, Charcot demonstrated that hypnotism was not a safe method to use. Yet much of what is called Behaviorism and Psychoanalysis is nothing but a modified form of hypnotism. Another thing found out very quickly was that Charcot ruined his subjects—in body, mind and soul— and so his school fell into disrepute. Have we ever thought, however, with respect to this modern form of psychoanalysis, that its power, psychologically, is in its confessional element? In some degree, at least, the power of the psychoanalyst is a renewal of the power of the priest.

Q.—Is there an element of suggestion in Psychoanalysis?

Ans.—Always the suggestion is that the man unburden himself—and most of us are very willing to do so. The psychoanalyst listens and then he suggests forms of gratification, so that these suppressed tendencies may be given their normal field of exercise—physically, if it is safe; otherwise, in the man’s thoughts. The truth is that most of us are hypnotized, not by some person but by the influence upon our astral natures of the thoughts, desires and feelings of all mankind for millions of years. We have been incarnated, let’s say, a thousand times since the beginning as an entirely distinct race of our Aryan Race, and before that we had tens of thousands of incarnations in Atlantean days. That experience hasn’t perished; it is the substance of the astral light, and everyone of us is hypnotized by it. To whatever extent our wills are not instantly operative, just to that extent we are hypnotized by the astral light. For example, there isn’t one of us who is not constantly seeing his own mistakes of every kind and constantly desiring or resolving not to repeat those mistakes; we continually wish to do better and yet find our will ineffectual. This is due to the paralyzing effects of the astral light, which light is the crop of thoughts and desires raised by us all throughout this whole period of evolution, and that paralyzing influence has to be recognized, has to be faced, has to be torn out by each individual for himself.


Q.—Don’t the Mahatmas themselves use suggestion?

Ans.—Well, the very words, Spirit and Matter, black and white, light and dark, or, as with us, good and evil, show that there isn’t a relation, a function, a faculty, a power that can’t be used for benefit as well as for injury. Suggestion as we use the word, is employed for selfish purposes. We suggest to a man that he do this or that, for our benefit. On the other hand, you can suggest to a man that such-and-such a course of conduct is dangerous. That isn’t suggestion in the sense in which it is used by the advertising fraternity, by the politician, by the psychoanalyst, by the priest. There is just as much difference between that form of suggestion and the suggestion that the U.L.T. is a good place to come and study, as there is between black and white. So, we can truly say that Masters use suggestion all the time, if we understand the meaning of the term as applied to Them.

    Take another instance. You know we are accustomed to argue Now, the difficulty of arguments is that they are always over differences. Arguments never produce anything but a breach in the discussion. Yet the word argue originally means “to make clear.” and dispute was once a synonym for the word discuss Today, we have three different words: to dispute, to argue, to discuss. What is the difference between them?




Attitude. So with suggestion.

Q.—If we are hypnotized largely by the stored—up evil thinking of the race in the past that is held in the astral light, aren’t we also equally affected by the stored—up reservoir of good thoughts, good deeds, good resolutions, good relations?

Ans.—Yes, and no. Originally, when we incarnated, there was no life at all as we now know life. There was no violence, there were no storms, there was no hatred between man and the rest of creation; there was no hatred between man and man. It was a Golden Age, which means only that the state of matter in which we incarnated and of which our bodies were composed was homogeneous matter as compared with the matter that now exists. Since that time, little by little, the buried past—not merely of Atlantean days but also of former manvantaras— came to the surface, and the astral light today reflects the dregs of the thinking of mankind.

    Suppose we use the word Akasa or Ether. When we first incarnated, our bodies were bodies of ether—matter in a state now altogether unknown to us—and the bodies of the animals were ethereal bodies, only not in the same sub-state as our own. We are familiar with the words, solid, liquid, gaseous and so on. Now, imagine that etheric matter has four states, that astral matter has four states. Actually each one of them has seven. Thus, we were then in one state of ethereal matter; the animal kingdom was in another state of ethereal matter; and so on with the other states and kingdoms. There was no more friction between the kingdoms than the friction in media. Now, little by little, the “water” began to get muddy, and you know how dirt settles to the bottom of water, making the lower part of it dirty. The astral light represents the muddy part of the ether. If we rise to the higher strata of the astral light, we shall not be in the astral light—we shall be in the astral ether.

    For years and years in that early period, there was no birth, no death, no Kama Loka no sickness or disease. It was continuous existence in a pure state. Of course, we still go through the three states of ether. We go through this state, which is a mixture of the good and the bad—all of us being affected, but very few “hypnotized” by the good with which the light is stored. Most of us are hypnotized by the other side. Now, we die. What is Kama Loka it is that existence in which the man’s consciousness is completely hypnotized by the pictures in the astral light. And what is Devachan? It is the state in which the Ego gets out of that light into the upper ether. The Ego in Devachan is not in the astral light, although we speak of the “higher” and “divine” and the “lower” and “infernal” astral light. When we go to Devachan we go to the same state of consciousness subjectively in which—during the latter part of the Third and the early part of the Fourth Race—we lived objectively.

Q.—What relation have hysteria, epilepsy, scrofula, and other such diseases to the astral body? (Ocean p.45 (p.41 Am. Ed.)

Ans.—Let us consider the physical body. We have first the bony system. We know that that is related more directly to the mineral kingdom than to any other kingdom. Then we have the circulatory system, the blood, What is that related to? Manifestly, to a mixture, you may say, of air and water—two of the kingdoms of nature which we regard as




inorganic. Next, take that vast unknown field we call the nervous system. What is that directly related to? It is clear that its more immediate relation is with that unknown field we name magnetism and electricity. So the nervous system is the chief connecting link between the astral world and the body. There is another system in the body, some times spoken of as the glandular system, which has some kind of a mysterious circulation of its own. Perhaps it is the human salvage from the same kind of circulation that we see going on in the vegetable kingdom, and in the fish, or a relic of the time when we were cold-blooded creatures—that is, when our bodies were of another kind altogether, or even were the opposite of what they are now. Certain diseases are related directly to the blood circulation, and blood impurities are manifested directly in certain forms of disease. Other forms of disease are directly connected with the nervous system; still others, with the glandular system. The nerves and the glands are closely related—although our physiologists, apparently, are as yet not too sure of this fact. The truth is that these two systems represent the positive and the negative poles of the same kind of magnetic circulation throughout the body. So, then, hysteria, epilepsy, scrofula, and other such diseases represent in fact a short-circuiting—an improper induction between some of the elements in our physical body, so that matter is displaced. These diseases, then, may be said to be related directly to the astral body through the glandular system.

Q.—What about the sterilization of those who have such diseases, of the insane, or of an enemy nation? This has been suggested as a means of protecting future generations, yet it hardly seems right to take such a means without the individual’s consent—as is sometimes done. Wouldn’t this be going against Karma?

Ans.—Let us begin by saying that whatever position a man is in, or whatever happens to him, the thing to do in trying to understand it, is to come back to first principles, that is, to bases. Now, whether a man is hung or sent to the penitentiary for life, or sterilized, or robbed, or any other calamity befalls him, either that happening had a cause or it didn’t—a cause in the sense that it is the inevitable consequence, so far as that man himself is concerned, of his own past conduct. Either that is true or it isn’t. If the Law of Karma is the secret of the Universe, then it does not make any difference what happens to a man, whether of good or evil fortune—it is the reaping by him of what he sowed; to the extent that he sowed, he reaps. Often, we do not remember that we may not see all the successive links in the chain of events that have transpired since the sowing and the reaping.

    To take the opposite view, if the law of cause and effect is not true, then this whole Universe is a moral iniquity; there is no justice, there is no squareness and no fairness anywhere. Now, he is a bold man indeed, and a terribly ignorant one, who would make such an assertion. We do not see all, but all that we see tells us that it’s just as true today as it was when Jesus spoke it, that we do not harvest grapes from thorns or figs from thistles; or, as Buddha said, from sesame you harvest sesame; from corn, you harvest corn. When a man gets back to that basis, he can understand—no matter if a person is sterilized with his consent or against his consent, or hung in the name of the law, or commits suicide—in each case he is reaping what he sowed. There is no




getting away from it, either on the basis of our intuition, on the basis of such knowledge as we have, or on the moral basis.

    Actually, one has to study the history of the so—called “third sex” to understand why it is that sterilization is becoming a great thing of propaganda and of argument today. It has not been so very many years since large numbers of the male population were eunuchs. An eunuch was not in most cases made such by his own will; he was enslaved by those who were stronger and who for their own purposes emasculated him. Now, under Karma, what would happen to the ones who did that emasculating? They would reap what they sowed. When the wheel turns, that would happen to them which they had inflicted on others, if in the meantime they hadn’t atoned, hadn’t learned better, hadn’t done better.

Q.—What is true equilibrium?

Ans.—Walking on the water—that is, treading our path between the pairs of opposites. Let us illustrate. Suppose a man wants to go due north; if he verges the least bit to the left, he is going west by north; if he verges the least bit to the right, he is going east by north; in either case, he isn’t going north. East and west, then, represent simply the two sides of perfection, but perfection is neither one of the sides. Equilibrium is self-control in the individual; it is balance; it is poise. True equilibrium is that poise which nothing can upset.

    The strangest joke in the world, when you come to think of it, is the dictionary definition of equilibrium It speaks of “stable” equilibrium and illustrates it by a pyramid; “unstable” equilibrium is represented by a sphere, and “equal” equilibrium by a perpendicular line which would be upset by the least oscillation. Now, as a matter of fact, you can’t upset a sphere; a sphere is the only thing that is always in stable equilibrium, although the dictionary calls it “unstable.” A man who is unaffected, who is calm, who is able to see, to choose, to act or refrain from acting without the possibility of error, would be in equilibrium, wouldn’t he? And if he acted that way all the time, it would be true equilibrium.


Q.—What would true equilibrium be in the universe as a whole?


Ans.—A perpetual balance of forces. Take the statement in the Gita (VII. 4):— Earth, water, fire, air, and akasa, Manas, Buddhi, and Ahankara is the eightfold division of my nature. It is inferior; know that my superior nature is different and is the knower; by it the universe is sustained.

    Whenever the sustaining power of Spirit is withdrawn, what becomes of manifested nature? It dissolves instantly, just in the same way as darkness disappears upon our striking a light. What maintains darkness? The absence of light. It is the unmanifested Spirit which is the counter poise of manifested nature. That is what keeps the universe in equilibrium.





Chapter VII

I.—Manas, Self—Consciousness and the Brain

Q.—What would be the natural consequences of removing the fetters placed by religion upon science?

Ans.—If we bent a tree in this direction and finally released the tension, would the tree fall that way, this way, or in the opposite direction? The moment men dared to think, dared to use their own eyes and ears and power of reason, they swung by reaction from extreme credulity or superstition—which is what sectarian religion is—to exactly the opposite extreme; from credulity to extreme or total incredulity—which is what the word materialism means.

    Religion as we see it in sects and creeds today is the Karma of the black magic we practiced in Atlantis. It is the most accursed of the Skandhas We worshipped Self in another sense altogether during the days of Atlantis. We practiced black magic then on the psychic and astral planes, whereas now we consciously practice black magic only on the physical, personal, human plane. Notice how everybody looks out for “number one,” first, last and all the time—that is the practice of black magic. Selfishness, whether conscious or unconscious, is the practice of black magic. The man who thinks of self first and the other fellow second, is practicing black magic.

    That is what we did on Atlantis, but we did it on the astral and psychic planes, instead of on the physical. We had the knowledge, and we had the power, and we used it—selfishly. Why did we do it? Did we know better? Of course we did. Listen to all this talk about the woes of today. We want laws for this and laws for that. And the very ones who talk about them know what is the matter with us all—our wicked selfishness. That is our religion. Organized religion is supremely selfish—it never was anything else and never will be anything else.

    We all know what circular motion is, don’t we? It means motion of the whole around a centre when all of the parts are equally balanced with regard to the centre. Do we realize what is meant by eccentric motion? It is the same motion round and round, but the axis of the motion is not the centre, and so it presents a very peculiar gyration. The cam shaft of an automobile is a sample of eccentric motion, while the wheel as it revolves is an example of circular motion. We can make any idea whatsoever—no matter what it is or what it is about—we can make that the axis of our thought, will, feeling and action for five minutes or five eternities. And that is how we make a “religion.”

Q.—Mr. Judge speaks of the human brain being superior because of the depth and variety of the brain convolutions. I read of a man 72 years old who attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. When he came to, 50 years of his life had been wiped out. That happened in that case?

Ans.—Consider that, as spiritual beings, we are now away from our own habitat, and we have a mirror of ourselves. Call that mirror the brain. Suppose I stand in front of a mirror and look at myself. Say that my eye is 25 years old and all the rest of me is 72. I take a pistol and take a shot at the mirror, cracking it so that the only part left is the part that reflects my eyes. Then, how old am I in the mirror? Twenty-five. Since the brain is a recording mechanism of thought on this plane,




we can understand that if one part of the cortex is injured and in that particular part are stored certain memories, the Ego loses those memories. That’s all. If the man’s real intention was to take years out of his memory, he was very foolish to choose that extreme way of doing it. Of course, that probably wasn’t his intention, but if it had been, he could have gone to certain quacks and had himself permanently hypnotized. Then he would have been 25 till he died——to himself, not to others. You know, we all labour under the illusion that we do not look as old as we are. Well, we don’t as a matter of fact. How could anyone look 18,000,000 years old? So far as memory is concerned, we are told that every atom reflects the universe. When we use a certain class of lives, they all furnish the same reflection. Remember that the “lives” have no individuality of their own; that is why they all furnish the same reflection, or reaction, if we want to use that word. As a matter of fact, take two coyotes: they are entirely distinct creatures, one from the other, but they will give the same reaction. You don’t have to keep the same coyote if you want to study coyotes. If you want to use life of a particular class, you don’t have to pick up the same elemental you used yesterday—any “life” will do. With human beings the case is quite different, and there is some thing to think about in the fact that, although the brain is changing constantly, yet we do not lose certain memories; others, we do.

Q.—Is the physical brain the real brain?

Ans.—It is the real brain to us here If you have an astral brain and no physical brain, you are out of luck. If you have a physical brain and no astral, you might be “in luck” because you could not think—you’d be here but you could only cerebrate, and, of course, if you want to be happy here, you don’t want to think—you prefer to cerebrate. But, as a matter of fact, the astral brain and the physical brain are one and the same to us, except during the deep sleep state, during delirium, under hypnosis, during intoxication, during insanity, or after death. It is no use to talk about them apart from each other, even as it is no use to talk about force and matter apart from each other.

    Remember the three lines of evolution; we do not have merely the astral brain and the physical; our consciousness principle, together with the astral brain and the physical, are inseparable in normal waking consciousness. Remember what H.P.B. says in regard to the three lines of evolution, that in our state—that is, in our minds, in our natures as human beings—they are inextricably interbended and interwoven at every turn. So it is not by the attempt to consider them, one apart from the other, that we can get any value, except theoretically.

Q.—How is it that Manas becomes dual as soon as it attaches to a body, that is, as soon as it incarnates?

Ans.—What is the basis or essence or intelligence in matter? What is it that governs matter? What is natural impulse? If we regard matter as life, then the life in matter has been through innumerable experiences of every kind, and the memory, in the sense of the record—the impressions of all those experiences of the past—is just as indelibly imprinted in an atom as in us. We know that the atom can’t arouse its own memories, and that, once they are aroused, it can’t disencumber itself of those memories. We, however, can arouse our own memories and we can dismiss




our own memories. We are not yet able to do it perfectly, but we can do it often enough, and do it in enough directions, to show that we have the power. Very good, then. Remember that there is memory which, when aroused, becomes the intelligence of the past experiences; when that intelligence is fully wakened, we may call it the animal consciousness, or apperception in flower.

    Now, Manas unites itself with the animal intelligence. That is what incarnation means. The spiritual intelligence unites itself with the intelligence in matter, and that active union is incarnation In the metaphysical sense, then, Lower Manas means spiritual self-consciousness wedded to the consciousness in matter; and Higher Manas means spiritual self-consciousness wedded to universal self-consciousness. Here is an act of union, originally the exercise of our own will. The act of union means “the identification of Self with”—we couldn’t experience matter at arm’s length. If we want to know what fire is like, we have to get within range of it; if we want to experience, feel, the whole nature of fire, we have to step into it. So then we, a more experienced form of life, entered into union with a lower form of life—not a union of matter, but a union of consciousness—and thenceforth, as long as that union lasts, the consciousness of the higher is partly absorbed in or identified with the consciousness of the lower, and the consciousness of the lower is fully identified with the consciousness of the higher.

    If we look for an analogy, we can see one in ourselves. Take the graphic phrase in The Secret Doctrine that when Manas incarnates, it becomes wedded to kama. Observe us: Are we not literally wedded to our likes and dislikes. We are so wedded to our likes and dislikes that it is almost impossible for us to think of any-thing except in terms of “I like that” or “I don’t like that.” That is Lower Manas. When we think of things in terms of Self, not in terms of liking and disliking, that is Higher Manas.

Q.—Why did Manas have to be lighted up?

Ans.—Well, you know some people use an alarm clock. Why don’t they wake themselves up? They don’t know how. And some people, even when they wake up, are so sleepy-headed that they don’t want to get up, and then somebody has to wake them up. The same thing applies to waking up the mind.

Q.—But did it not exist before?

Ans.—Why, of course it existed before. You could not wake it up if it hadn’t been there before Notice how all the time we are reminding ourselves of this, that and the other, aren’t we? That is Higher Manas lighting up the lower. Very often, other people remind us of this, that, or the other thing, even more than we remind ourselves. Every-thing we look at “reminds” us of something. Isn’t this the lighting up of Manas in one or another direction, the reawakening of that which was awake before but now is either asleep or dreaming? If  we can get that clear in our minds, we shall never again fall into the delusion of thinking that Manas is the product of any-thing. Manas is the producer; Manas is the embodiment of Atman in an individual form. Buddhi is Atman embodied in the Cosmos.

Q.—Is human self-consciousness conferred?

Ans.—I suppose it would depend upon the point of view taken. As a




matter of fact, the answer is no, if it means that somebody hands us something that we do not and never did have. The power to become is inherent in everything. Human self-consciousness represents one of the (49). stages in the power of becoming. Consider that the man who is asleep can’t wake himself up, and the man who is dreaming can’t wake himself up: they have to be aroused, because, from one point of view, to be asleep means to have fallen under the dominance of another state; to dream means to have fallen under the dominance of another state. Being angry means falling under the dominance of another state and so on.

    If human consciousness means—as probably it was intended to mean a state or condition of consciousness, then beings in a lower state than that of human consciousness may temporarily be raised to that state, and beings in a higher state may temporarily descend to that state. There are seven great states, each with seven subdivisions, and human consciousness is one of them. A frog, for example, can get in the air by taking a good big jump, but it can’t get in the air in the sense a bird can. Yet a bird could pick up a frog, or a turtle, and give it a ride through the air. In that sense, the bird would be giving the frog a lift, and, from the standpoint of the “hitch-hiker,” a ride is being conferred on him. Human self-consciousness is not “conferred” except by induction, that is, temporarily.

Q.—If there is anything in this analogy of the candle, it would seem as if Manas, or the perception of separateness, would depend upon a continual change going on.

Ans.—We could have a million thoughts about ourselves: would any or all of those thoughts be ourselves? We could write a million volumes of words, the expression of our ideas, our thoughts, our feelings, in regard to ourselves. Would any or all of those million volumes be ourselves? We all can see that this isn’t possible. Let us apply that to what Mr. Judge is writing here about Manas, remembering that in the human race of which we are a part, Manas is not yet fully awake. Remember also that no one man can go very far ahead of the race to which he belongs. It follows, then, that Manas is not fully awake in us as human beings. Manas, in the sense of self-consciousness, is not at all awake in the animal kingdom, or in the vegetable, or in the mineral. The principle of consciousness is there, but it has not been individualized; in us, it has been aroused.

    The question is, Does Manas or mind depend upon continual change? No; but its activity does. Take a candle; what is a candle? Latent fire. If it weren’t so, it wouldn’t burn when you put a match to it. What is fire? An active candle. Once H.P.B. was trying to illustrate this very point. She said, “Take granite; why won’t it burn? It is full of fire. It is too near to fire; granite is fire in another state, just as is light.” Light is called cold fire, and that may seem to us a ridiculous expression. Yet tread on burning coals, and see if it’s ridiculous. The activity of Manas depends on contrast, but Manas is the producer of the contrast, not the contrasts themselves. Manas becomes inactive when there is no material to work on.

Q.—How do you mean, Granite is fire?

Ans.—I would suggest that you read the dissertation on fire,





Volume I, pp. 289—290 of The Secret Doctrine and you will realize that fire has more than a scientific meaning.

Q.—Where is Manas during Pralaya?

Ans.—Non-existent. Manas is absorbed in Buddhi at the close of each life; Buddhi-Manas are absorbed in Atman at the close of each Manvantara. They don’t cease to be because they have ceased to exist. H.P.B. says that instead of quibbling and disputing over words, the important thing is to get ideas, and she applies that to these words, being and existence She says that a thing can cease to exist and still be. A very simple illustration of that is the power of speech. Suppose there were a deaf-and-dumb man here, and he and the chairman both sat quiet. Could you tell which was the dumb man, just by looking at them? No. The chairman would be speechless because he chose not to speak. The dumb man would be speechless because he could not speak. Yet they would present identically the same appearance. So long as the chairman does not speak, the power of speech is, but it is not existent; the moment he chooses to speak, the power of speech both is, as being—actively speaking—and exists In other words, the First Fundamental is, regardless of the Second or Third, but the Second and Third do not exist apart from the First.


Q.—Does Manas evolve?

Ans.—If we mean by Manas, pure self-consciousness, how could it be an evolution? It is a descent of divine fire from above, not an evolution from below upward. We should remember that, according to The Secret Doctrine there are engaged in what we call evolution, seven classes of purely spiritual beings, and the collectivity of each one of these classes constitutes what we know as the seven principles. Considering a principle as a basis of action we can see that each principle serves as the vehicle of action for the beings of the principle next above it. Taking these statements in combination, it ought to be easy for us to see what is meant by the “evolution” of Manas. We may also recall that in the Second Volume of the S.D., H.P.B. makes these statements: Buddhi—the principle Buddhi—has two aspects, while the principle Manas has three aspects: (a) Manas in connection with Buddhi; (b) Manas in connection with Kama; (c) Manas as a principle per se. Now, H.P.B. defines Manas per se in The Key to Theosophy and says that in itself, Manas pure and simple is Spiritual Self-Consciousness. Then, in the First Volume of the S.D., she says that when this pure Self-Consciousness descends into matter, it loses all consciousness of its own individuality and has to regain it in matter. We get a perfect analogy from the very phrase, “lighting up.” When a man with seeing power goes into the dark, he becomes blind until he strikes a light. So far as the Manasic principle goes, that “light” is struck by our duty to our younger brothers, and in no other way.


Chapter VII

II.——The Inner Ego, Incarnation and the “Mindless Man”

Q.—What is the difference between the “inner man” and the “inner Ego”?

Ans.—The expression “inner man” is sometimes used to represent




merely the astral man. “Inner Ego” is used to represent the psychic man, or Lower Manas, as well as Manas per se; that is, Manas as self-consciousness, irrespective of form or relation. Again, “Inner Man” sometimes means Buddhi-Manas, and sometimes it means the divine Ego.

    Suppose for a moment that we regard ourselves as seven-principled beings. This means that we are, so to say, but one Self or Spirit surrounded by seven elements. We live in the midst of seven elements or seven principles, only one of which is visible to the senses——the physical body. Now, what is the Inner Man? Self plus the other six principles. But suppose we peel off not only the body but another of the principles, as takes place at death; what is still left? The Inner Man: Self plus four principles. Now suppose we peel off—that is, separate Man from—another element; it is still the Inner Man. So the term means Man plus his principles, apart from the physical body. Oftentimes “inner man” is used simply to indicate the reincarnating Ego, but you will find the very expression, the inner man, used by H.P.B. to designate our tempter: she speaks of the more intimate astral man, the astral, which is more often our devil than otherwise.

    It is like the word Man itself. Say the word Man to a materialist; what does it mean? A form that was born so many years ago, that will be dissipated in so many years, and so forth. Then say Man to a psychologist, and at once he thinks of man in terms of mind. Say Man to a Christian and he will begin to reflect that man is a soul created by God. But say Man to a Theosophist, and he will say, “Which man are you talking about? That is, which aspect of the embodied Self or Spirit?”

Q.—On p. 6I (p. 9 Am. Ed.), Mr. Judge says that the Egos will have to make a conscious choice, and that those who do not choose correctly will have to be annihilated. That does not mean that the being as a being is annihilated, does it? Is it just the experiences that are annihilated?

Ans.—It means that all the personal or material experiences, the harvest amassed throughout this entire period of evolution, will be lost by that act—absolutely gone—and to acquire that experience again, the Ego will have to begin at the bottom and come up all over the weary road that he has traveled so far. There is no annihilation in the sense that anything that is can ever cease to be; there is no creation in the sense that something that was not can be made to be. In other words, neither the scientific idea of evolution, which has materialism as its basis, nor the religious idea of creation, which has superstition as its basis, neither one of them could by any possibility be true as understood by the scientific man or as understood by the religious man. But the Theosophist knows what lies behind those concepts of theirs: they have spelled nature upside down; the fact is there, but they have misconceived it.

Q.—Does the same self-conscious being begin all over again his work with matter?

Ans.—That is the teaching. There must be a new “first” contact with matter. Remember that, in the spiritual sense, “matter” only means separative existence, instead of unitary existence. But annihilation, in the sense that we use that word—like the creation of something out of nothing, the going into nothingness of something that is—is not meant in the teaching at all. The annihilation spoken of means the loss




of that which has been partially gained, and the chance, of course, in the next Manvantara to regain it.

    Illustrate that in this way: Here is a man who has the capacity to go on living for 30 or 40 years. "Luck" goes against him; he thinks that he can get rid of all his misfortunes by committing suicide; that is, he thinks that if he blows his head off, he will be annihilated. Now, he is “annihilated,” so far as this life is concerned. He takes a shot, puts a bullet through his heart or brain, and we say, “He is dead; that is the end of him.” It is, for this incarnation. But is the man annihilated? No. He merely lost what he had so far gained in this incarnation and what he might have gained, and in the next incarnation he has to begin all over again—plus the tendency to come to the same conclusion.

    The suicide says, in effect, “I would rather cease to be than go on being as I am,” and the very fact of suicide ought to enable us, when we dwell on it as an analogy, to see how it is that when the latter part of the Fifth Round comes, myriads upon myriads of men, unable to face the accumulated Karma of the Manvantara—not merely the precipitated Karma of a single lifetime—will say, “I would rather be out of it; I would prefer extinction to this.” They have made their choice, just as any one living today makes his individual choice.

    Every year there are thousands upon thousands of suicides; thousands upon thousands of adult, reasoning men and women come to that point of tangled threads in one single incarnation where they say, “I would rather be annihilated than struggle with this, than face this.” That is a deliberate choice. When they have to face the precipitation, not of one life time but of thousands of lifetimes, what are these people going to do? Will not many of them make the same choice again? And then that means that they will lose all consciousness of separative, individual existence. So, when the new Manvantara opens, they will begin just as is spoken of in the Third Fundamental—they have to pass through every elemental form until they regain the level at which they quit in this cycle. Then only is Manas waked up in them.

Q.—Where was man before the lighting up of Manas?

Ans.—I think we can get at that best by analogy. Where is the sense of smell when there is nothing to smell? Where is the sense of sight when there is nothing to see? Where is the power to think when there are no differentiated objects to think about? Manas is the principle of self-consciousness acting in a differentiated universe. Atma-Buddhi is the principle of self-consciousness acting in a homogeneous universe. The moment there is separation, there is Manas. But before there is separation, how could there be anything but Atma-Buddhi? All our senses exist in potency, in potentiality; they are non-existent; they are in a state of absolute being; they are non-active—until what? Until there is something to stimulate them, something to arouse them. We have the sense of smell right now in potency, but until there is some object to excite that sense, it does not exist—it only remains as a mental abstraction; that is, as a permanent potentiality.

    So, until there was differentiated life, how could there be Manas? Until the drops of water separated themselves from the lake, how could there be drops of water? That is the whole story. H. P. Blavatsky says in The Key to Theosophy that there is no more difference between Buddhi and Manas than there is between a lake and its waters. Now, so long as




the waters of the lake remain as one unitary mass, we can’t speak of the drops of water except as mental concepts; but the moment the lake is troubled, there is still water, and there are also many drops of water. We are one single man, yet we can set a thousand activities afloat, and in whatever direction we are active, we present, even from that single point of view, two aspects: the active aspect of ourselves, and our infinite capacity for further and other activities. Now, make an analogy of that—we can see that Manas is the active aspect of Buddhi in any individual form. Manas is the same principle that we speak of as Buddhi and as Atma. What is Atma? Well, we can use a thousand words, but it is self-consciousness without any qualification or relation whatever. What is Atma-Buddhi? It is the same self-consciousness we are all dwelling in—it is accumulated experience. and what is Manas? It is the identical Atma-Buddhi, but limited still more to individual experience—yours, mine, any other man’s. We think of Manas as different from Atma, and of Buddhi as different from Atma. Yet it is all one and the same thing in three different relations. Atman is the man, or self-consciousness asleep to manifestation; what else could it be? Atma-Buddhi is the same self- consciousness awake to the spiritual harvest of all universal experiences. Manas is that same Self in action. It can all be put into one phrase: Manas is the perception of differentiated existence; Buddhi is the perception of homogeneous existence; Atma is the perceiver of both differentiated and homogeneous existence.


Q.—What is the difference between instinct and intuition?

Ans.—They are both active Buddhi. Instinct, says H.P.B., is direct perception. Intuition, says Mr. Judge, we don’t have to reason on, we know; that is direct perception. But man is conscious that he has direct perception; the animal isn’t. In both cases it is race consciousness manifesting in the individual, but the man is conscious of his intuitions, while the animal is in no case conscious of its instincts. Yet both faculties are Buddhic.

Q.—Is not instinct intuition lighted up?

Ans.—Both were said to be of Buddhi, but instinct appears to be the knowledge of matter, and intuition appears to be the knowledge of Spirit. Buddhi has nothing to do with this plane directly, and therefore when we have an intuition, we try to bring it from the Spiritual plane to this plane, and because we are rather muddled up through our various sheaths, we do not always get it through clearly, just as happens with a vision in a dream. We almost never bring the vision through pure because we are impure ourselves. Our intuition is stained, as was suggested, by our desires here, but pure intuition is Spiritual knowledge.

Q.—What is the relation of the Ego to Manas?

Ans.—There is one Ego in man, but it has three aspects. Manas pure and simple is spiritual self-consciousness. Then there is its reflection in the most highly evolved matter; that is, personal self- consciousness. Finally, there is Manas in union with all Monads; that is, Spirit or divine self-consciousness, if we want to use a third term for it. It is all the same Manas. Only when we regard Manas as the power of thought is it proper to speak of it as a “principle”; only when we regard Manas as reflected in the highest organized form of matter is it proper to speak of Manas as “personality”; and only when we




consider that the spiritual being is capable of changing forms without changing identity is it proper to speak of Manas as the reincarnating Ego. Atma, Buddhi, Manas are three different points of view of one and the same thing. It is worth while, after a study of the Sixth Chapter and after going thoughtfully over this Seventh one, to turn back to pp. 2-3 of the Fourth Chapter, and consider the quotation from The Secret Doctrine that is found there.

Q.—Mr. Judge says (pp. 61—2) (p. 57 Am. Ed.) that the inner Ego. who reincarnates is Manas not united to Buddhi. Does this imply a separation?

Ans.—Suppose we consider that there is a state, the highest of all, which we name Unity or Homogeneity or Spirit—or, in Theosophical nomenclature, Buddhi—where the consciousness of all is the experience of each. That is the theory of repose called Nirvana, or Pralaya, and it is duplicated everywhere all the time in each of us. After we work, we have repose and the enjoyment of the fruits of our labour; after a period of rest, every being goes like the bee from the hive to gather what he may from the flowers of existence. Thus Manas, the intellectual principle, is dissociated from the state of homogeneity, called Buddhi. We have to remember that Manas is to be regarded under three distinct aspects, of which human life is only one, and that the least.


Q.—What is pushing us, what is guiding us now?

Ans.—Well, what is? These are not academic questions. What is pushing a man when he gets scared? Something he is afraid of. What is pushing a man when he seeks reputation even in the cannon’s mouth, in Shakespeare’s phrase? Something is pushing—vanity, glory, ambition. Yes, men risk their lives for vanity, glory and ambition; they will risk not only their lives; they will also risk other people’s. And what is it that causes a man to share his last crust with one who is hungry and has no crust at all, who is able only to furnish the appetite? What is it that pushes him? It is one part of that dual nature. When we do evil, what is the lure, the push, the pull? The infernal side of nature. And when we do good, what is the lure, the push, the pull? The divine side of nature. We are open to both influences. You can’t have a door that swings both ways and not have it equally afford ingress and egress. So it is with our nature. It is wide open to both good and evil influences and impulses, and so we have to study that nature with care, and reduce the lower to subjection to the higher.

Q.—P. 58 (p. 54 Am. Ed.): “The Sons of Wisdom. . .set fire to the combined lower principles and the Monad, thus lighting up Manas in the new men.” The question is, Are there two ways of lighting up Manas, namely, first, the actual incarnation of the Sons of Wisdom in these forms and, second, the giving of a spark by the Sons of Wisdom to awaken the latent Manas in the new men?

Ans.—Have we ever thought of this process from that point of view? It really is just as the questioner indicates. Here are human forms on earth today in which veritable gods dwell, with no illusion or delusion whatever in regard to Nature, and to them the whole of the four lower principles is but a garment or an instrument of action. And then there are others, their brothers, who incarnated in the same way as they did




but who succumbed to the temptations of matter—that is, separative existence and enjoyment—and who lost their way. H.P.B. says that those are the ones who constitute the Fifth Root-Race, by and large. And then there are those who received but a spark; that is, they are either those very beings who lost their human consciousness in former Manvantaras and have not yet regained it, or they are those human elementals called in The Secret Doctrine Lunar Pitris, who are lighted up by mere presence and association with higher beings. Of this latter class, those who received but a spark, the statement is made in the S.D. that they constitute the bulk of the population of the earth today.

Q.—Is that the new crop of mankind?

Ans.—It would seem so. But, in any event, the term “mindless men” merely means that self-consciousness is lacking to that form of life. Remember, we speak of the mineral kingdom—regarding it Theosophically as a state of life; the vegetable kingdom as another state of evolving life and the animal kingdom as a third state of evolving life. Without understanding why this is so or what it means, our scientists are well aware that just as between two fingers there is, from the stand point of flesh, an “empty” space, so between the mineral kingdom and the vegetable kingdom there is a hiatus—a missing link. Between the animal and the human kingdom there is also a missing link, which is represented by the so-called Pitris or ancestors of whom The Secret Doctrine treats and those are the ones who received the spark who constitute the bulk of humanity of the present time.

    We can understand, therefore, why they fall for religion, why they fall for Spiritualism, why they fall for the radio, why they fall for kings and queens, why they fall for everything that comes along. The inner perceptions of Karma, justice, and brotherhood have not yet penetrated the brain-mind.

Q.—When our Karma does not permit us to take any active part in ameliorating the stress of world conditions, what should be our attitude of mind towards them?

Ans.—Well, a right attitude of mind towards world conditions and every other kind of conditions is the greatest amelioration that any being can give. But we can apply an analogy used by Jesus. He said, in effect, “If you give a drink to one of these, my little ones, you have fed and nourished me.” And do you remember that chapter in the Gita which says, “If you give a leaf, a flower, or water unto me, you have performed sacrifice”? Suppose we do our daily duties in the right attitude. Is that an amelioration of world conditions? Why, yes Good conduct is contagious; courage is contagious; unselfishness is contagious; it isn’t just disease and “cussedness” that are contagious. Try it and see—that’s the only way the world will ever grow better.


Chapter VII

III.—Intuition, Intellect and “Lighting Up” the Child


Q.—Mr. Judge states on p. 8 (Indian Ed.) (p. Am. Ed.) that intuition does not depend on reason. Why is it that those flashes of intuition seem to come from very deep thought on any subject? It would seem that intuition is the result of deep thought.




Ans.—As a matter of fact, if we observed a little more carefully, we should find that we do not get intuitions in deep thought—we get them after having indulged in deep thought. Deep thought is like a camera; the intuition is like the taking of a picture. The intuition does not come from the camera, but from the direction toward which the camera is pointed.. So, taking ourselves as Manas—the being, not the principle, the being in this form—isn’t it clear that we stand between two worlds, the world of human self-consciousness and the world of beings which are not self-conscious but whose guiding light is the four lower principles more or less completely aroused?

    It follows, then, that if we direct the eye of the mind—that is, our attention—towards the physical body or the astral body or the life energy or Kama or any combination of them, the picture that we shall get in our mind will be from below and we shall identify ourselves with the picture. But if, as the question suggested, we turn in deep thought, not to those pictures perceived by means of our senses or our astral body, and so on, but to the causal source from which these effects flow, then this same eye of the mind is turned towards the divine world, and the result is that we shall get some kind of pictures, impressions, ideas, flashes from that world. This constitutes our higher mind—those impressions, or intuitions, or the perception of principles, or reason regarded as the pure mathematics of the Soul What is that power? The ability to see the relation existing or subsisting between one thing and another.

Q.—The use of the word “intellect” at the bottom of the paragraph on p.58 (p. 54 Am. Ed.) brings up a statement which Mr. Judge made in another place, that intellect will lead a man straight to hell because it is so cold, hard, selfish.

Ans.—Do we not see that intellect is used for the perception of the relation between cause and effect, the principle of relativity? Now, we can mathematically apply that power, our perception of cause and effect (the factors which produce any given result), just as well in figuring out how to destroy somebody’s life as we can use it in figuring out how to save somebody’s life.

    Here is a man drowning. By the use of this principle in us, in its mundane aspect, we can say, “If such-and-such steps are taken, we can save that drowning man. We may perhaps even be able to resuscitate him after all signs of life have disappeared.” Or we can take that same reason, here called “intellect,” and say, “If we just put out a pole and hold it on top of that man’s head and keep him under water for 10 minutes, he will drown.” The same power—by one exercised wisely, creatively and preservatively; by the other, used destructively.

    Mr. Judge knew, and we all know, that this power, unless used from a moral basis—that is, a humanitarian basis, an unselfish basis—is bound to be used from a selfish basis, a personal basis. Everything in nature comes down to one of two directions. So, then, whatever principle it is that we employ, if we do not employ it unselfishly we are bound to employ it selfishly. Does it not stand to reason, therefore, that the man who regards intellect, or the reasoning from cause to effect, as the very highest power of mind, knowing nothing of Self, knowing nothing of the principle of unity, knowing nothing of the real source and real purpose of all existence—is bound to use it for his own sake, for his own benefit? That is




what is the matter with humanity all the time.

Q.—When the mindless man becomes a man, becomes aware of his own real nature, even in the smallest or most inaccurate way, does he then say, “Never was time when I was not?”

Ans.—Well, we say it, but when we were in the cradle we did not know that never was there a time when we were not. The knowledge was in us, but we weren’t aware that it was in us. Perhaps many of these questions, including the famous one, “Were we ever animals?” can never be cleared up for any one of us. Actually, that stands to reason. If any other being whatsoever could do our work for us in the mental and moral and spiritual sense, it stands to reason that the Masters of Wisdom would have done it for all of us long ago.

    Do you remember that passage in the first chapter (p. 6) (p. 5 Am. Ed.) that Mr. Judge quotes from the Master’s letter,[ l ] where the Masters say that if they had the powers imagined in a personal god, they could do all sorts of things? As a matter of fact, they can’t The Third Fundamental says that progress for man is absolutely by self-induced and self-devised efforts.

But to “return to our muttons,” as the French say. What do we mean by “inorganic matter,” with all its ramifications and subdivisions? If we think that isn’t Life then we haven’t grasped what Theosophy has to say, namely, that all is Life But it’s perfectly clear to us that in organic matter, although it is Life, is in a state of profound lethargy externally. When examined, it will be found that internally it is Violently alive, that its particles are in a state of tremendous tension and oscillation within themselves. The analogy for this is in the mind of a man who may be sitting perfectly still; outwardly, he is in a state of profound lethargy but, internally, his mind is whirling at a tremendous speed, is in a state of high tension.

    Then we have the beginnings of organic life. What is the essential difference, let us not say between a vegetable and a mineral, but between what we know as the vegetable kingdom and the mineral kingdom? In order to see what is the difference, we have first to see what there is in common. One is just as much Life as the other. To distinguish the primary form of life which has passed through the three elemental kingdoms and through the mineral kingdom, and is now in the vegetable kingdom, we have to invent a term. That term in Sanskrit is Jiva meaning a life To put it in English, we can borrow the religious term and say, a soul or we can borrow a Theosophical term and call it a Monad It simply means a primary, and therefore a simple and enduring, form of life.

    Now this life is in the vegetable form. What does that mean? It means that two of its principles, which were there all the time potentially (all seven principles are there, but asleep), are now partially awake. Follow that same soul or Monad or primary form of life through into the animal kingdom, and what does that mean? That this same Monad now has three of its principles active and awake, and is only beginning dimly to be sensitive.

    Next, we come into a kingdom no longer known to us, a kingdom here

l . For sentence referred to, see the fuller quotation from this
letter from the Master in U.L.T. Pamphlet No. 29, p. 7.




called that of the “mindless men,” who in The Secret Doctrine are called the “Lunar Pitris.” Here we have a form of life which is today no longer existing; it is human in form, but has no self-consciousness. If we called it simply an animal—that to-us-unknown being—we should think of it as a four-legged creature, perhaps with horns and a tail. But when the phrase “mindless man” or “human animal..” is used, it ought to arouse in us the conception that this form of life does not exist on this plane

    What is the “mindless man”? There is the same primary consciousness with all four of the lower principles not only fully aroused and active, but combined into one principle. If we were using present-day Theosophical terms for it, we could call it the personality, the human being with out self-consciousness. We can see a very close counterpart of it in a little child—except that the race of the mindless had grown-up forms. In the case of the child, there is a human form, but actually the being is a “human animal”: it is a mindless human being, because there is no self-consciousness in the baby body.

    What is that consciousness that has passed “through every elemental form. • •of that Manvantara • •.first by natural impulse”? We need to think what that means. The Monad has risen to that point where its fifth principle can be waked up by those beings in whom the fifth, sixth and seventh principles are all awake. How is that accomplished? Well, H.P.B. once used the word metempsychosis which is the true word, but we are mostly materialists and we were still more so 75 years ago. So the people took the word reincarnation and she took it because they took it.

    But if you turn to p. 136 (p. 128 Pm. Ed.) in the Ocean Mr. Judge gives us the answer right there as to how this mindless man had his Fifth Principle waked up by his brother beings, the incarnating egos, so-called, in whom the fifth and sixth and seventh principles were awake in unison. The initial awakening is continued by the sure method, as Mr. Judge says, of mixture, amalgamation and precipitation—just exactly what goes on in a chemical laboratory every day with the chemical elements. The ingredients are put together, they are mixed, they are amalgamated, they are fused, until a new temporary element exists. Then, when that is precipitated, we—humanity, that is—have something we can use.

    The mineral, then, is Life in which only two of the principles are in combination, and its activity is entirely internal among the lives that compose it. The vegetable, looked at from the outside, is a combination of lives in a certain form, and in those lives three of the principles are more or less aroused. Then, if we regard what we call an animal, it is still “life,” and all of its forms or principles are collections of lives, with four of the principles more or less active and in combination or union. Now, take a being who unites his fifth principle with those four principles, with the lives of this four-principled being, and you have the waking up of Manas.

    All the time we are doing the same thing with each other. Any time we look at any one, lives pass from us to him and from him to us. Any time we think of any one, lives pass from us to him and from him to us. Otherwise, how are clairvoyance, telepathy, communication at a distance, realization of the Self, spiritual communion, mental communion—how are these to be achieved? The fifth chapter tells us that lives, even physically, are everlastingly entering the body, everlastingly flying out of the body. That is far more true, on the inner planes, of the higher principles.




Q.—Why is it that we have such a profound admiration for the intellect in the sense that Mr. Judge speaks of it in this chapter? Take a man like Mr. Einstein. Everybody knows that he is a humanitarian, one of the loveliest and most lovable characters, but nobody cares so much about that. What everybody raves about, talks about, is his capacity of intellect. Now, why is it that we relish intellect?

Ans.—Don’t you think the reason is clear? We have thought in terms of results achieved or to be achieved; we haven’t been thinking of Self as the prime factor, the prime Mover of all; and so at last we have come to “relish” this fifth principle. In contact with the four lower principles, the fifth principle is the “sparking power.” In fact, as Mr. Judge says, intellect is by some men thought to be the highest power.

Q.—Will the mindless men appear again on this plane in this Manvantara?

Ans.—In the first place, our previous statement was general. There are exceptions to all rules. The statement was made that there are no mindless men on this plane now, just as it would be perfectly correct to say, “There are no Mahatmas known amongst men,” or “There are no Lunar or mindless Pitris known amongst men.” Yet we know that Mahatmas actually do exist here on earth in human bodies. And so we might infer that very possibly mindless entities, mindless men, exist here on earth—pure Lunar Pitris—and we might go looking for the signs of these.

    But will they come on earth again? Well, remember, the infallible law of evolution is a descent, consciously or unconsciously, from the highest to the lowest; and then a reascent from the lowest to the highest. It follows then that, although we have sunk lower in matter than the plane of the mindless men, the time must come when in our reascent we shall once more be in contact with the mindless men on their own plane.

Q.—Does the mindless man, when lighted up, say, “Never was time when I was not”?

Ans.—Would it be exactly correct to say, “Never was time when I was not”? Why, if you can say it, it must be exactly correct to say it—but a dog can’t say it. The dog, if he knew, if he believed, if he suspected, if somebody had ever told him, “Say, friend doggie, never was time when you were not”—and the dog’s intelligence had reached (which it hasn’t) that point where it could entertain an idea of Self—the doggie would say, “Well, I wonder! I wonder! And after a while, it would say, “I believe that’s the explanation of things in this kingdom of mine—I must always have existed!

    So, you see, the fact is the same for the mindless man as for the Mahatma. The fact is the same for the soul that we call an atom as it is for the greatest being. But the atom, the vegetable, the mineral, the animal. forms of consciousness are not yet capable of reflecting the image of Self—call it the idea of Self. Once that image has found lodgment, then the very first question the man asks himself is the question the child asks after he gets the conception of “I”: “Well, who am I? What am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?” That’s the child stage of self-consciousness.

    If you look around the world, you will see that most human beings have received but a spark; in other words, they are in the child state of self-consciousness. They go to their father and say, “Dad, who am I?




Where did I come from? Where am I bound for?” And Dad says, “Well, you’d better go to the preacher about that.” So they go to the preacher and they say, “Who am I?”

    And the preacher says, “Why, God made you; your father and mother furnished your body, but God furnished your Soul.”

    Then they ask, “Where am I going?”

And the preacher replies, “Well, you are going to Hell if you don’ t believe that !”—And the people swallow that, most of them. Doesn’t it show, then, that their self-consciousness here in the body—confused by impressions from the four lower principles—is vague, uncertain and erroneous? The fact of self-consciousness is there, but not until we have learned to disassociate our consciousness from the body and say, “Whatever I am, I can’t be this body,” will we have the real thing.

Q.—Mr. Crosbie, in the Answers to Questions compares the lighting up of Manas to the lighting up of the of an infant by the parents or guardians. What would be the results to the child if this were not done, and what might be the possibilities of the parents in this lighting up?

Ans.—If there were no one, whether parent or guardian or other living man or woman, to light up the Manas in the new—born body, what would be the result? Can’t our imagination or our intuition tell us the answer? Idiots Teach a child nothing, and it will know nothing. H.P.B. makes the very definite statement that if you were to graft the Spiritual Monad of a Newton on that of the greatest saint on earth in a body with only the animal principles, without the presence of Manas, you would have an idiot.

    Now the question is, what can the parents do towards facilitating—in much greater degree than is ordinarily the observable case—this lighting up of Mamas? They give the child what we are all learning here, trying to light up Manas in ourselves. Remember that the chapter tells us that Manas is very far indeed from being fully operative and in control in the adult body and mind. To the extent then, that we try to make our own lives respond to Manasic impact rather than to Kamic impact, we are fitting ourselves for parenthood and for the training of children. There could be no question that, as there come to be more and more parents of that kind, they will draw into incarnation a very different class of egos indeed from those which constitute the bulk of the race. H.P.B. goes so far as to say that men and women have it in their power “to procreate Buddha-like children—or demons.

Q.—In general, does it not depend largely upon the character or nature of the incarnating ego itself?

Ans.—Surely, in the true sense, all depends on that. But just as if there were nobody to look after the baby body, the most powerful ego in the world would lose out on incarnation, so, applying it in corresponding terms to the development of the intelligence here, if it were not for the help of parents and other human beings, then the most powerful ego would lose both body and human mind—because he is not in a position to form them for himself. But I take the question also to mean that we might do our utmost for a low-grade ego and we couldn’t make a Buddha out of that low-grade ego. Still, when a high-grade ego is drawn to a body, its powers here could




be prepared for in a way almost undreamed of by us. That subject, by the way, is quite fully discussed under the heading of “Theosophy and Education” in The Key to Theosophy There is no more remarkable treatise, Theosophically speaking, in existence, than that one upon the right method of education of the child, which only means the lighting up of Manas here.


Q.—Isn’t it true that no matter what kind of a preparation we make for them, a very limited number of low-grade egos could get into incarnation now, on account of their own limitations?

Ans.—The majority of mankind today consists of low-grade egos; that is, of those who, in the words of The Secret Doctrine “received but a spark.” That is true, but who knows the possible range of growth for even those egos, if they were given the right help by those already here? Certainly there are innumerable cases of low-grade egos, those who had but a spark, who have become beneficent forces right here in human life, while, alas there are innumerable cases also of those who had great intelligence—very different from those who received but a spark—and who have in fact been a curse to the human race.

Q.—Referring to the four peculiarities of Manas (top of p. 61) (p. 56 Am. Ed.), why is the natural motion of Manas excluded from the second and third characteristics?

Ans.—Mr. Judge gives four characteristics. He says the first one is due to two things—the natural motion of Manas plus memory—and that the next two are due to memory alone, while the final one is due to the absence of manasic motion. What is the natural motion of Manas? The natural motion of Manas is due to of three things, or rather to three things in combination—self-consciousness, knowledge and imagination. No being in the universe, except a Manasic being, has imagination. Now, the moment that Manas is caught in the mould of memory, the motion of imagination is done for. How can Manas identify itself with anything? That is the very meaning of the word imagination. Imagination is putting ourselves in the other fellow’s place, and if memory catches us, good-bye, imagination. But it is a good thing to think about. Over and over, Mr. Judge will make a sentence where the English is so clear that we do not stop to ask ourselves whether we get the meaning or not.

Q.—Where in the teachings does it say, “The Buddhi-Manas of the race has to be raised”? How can Buddhi-Manas, which is a very high state, be “raised”?

Ans.—Refer to Letters That Have Helped Me, ( Semicentennial Ed., p. 72 (Indian Ed., p. 77)) and to a memorial article by Mr. Judge, “H.P. B. ‘s —A Lion—Hearted Colleague Passes.” 2

Buddhi-Manas is our cognition of Self, our realization of Self, our sense of Self. When we regard the human race as it is and see the degraded idea of Self that we have, is it not perfectly clear that the whole story of the Theosophical Movement, its success or its failure, rests upon giving mankind a new idea of Self? That Self is divine; that Self is immortal; that Self is responsible; that Self is what

2 Reprinted in THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, Vol. III, p. 41 for April 1933, and in Vernal Blooms p.. 233.




it is—whatever its condition—as the result of its own actions. When we get the idea that our Self is a God, that our Self is immortal, that there is absolutely no limit to our rise or fall, is not that a change in our Buddhi-Manas? And a change in the Buddhi-Manas of a single individual seeking understanding is like a fire. A single match could set the whole world on fire. Wherever a person gets a change in the Buddhi-Manas, it becomes a living, quenchless fire.

    There is another side to this Theosophical Movement, an inner side. Every one of us knows how many people come to us telling their troubles, seeking light, seeking understanding. That is where the real work of the Theosophical Movement is done—from mouth to ear. That is the contact of one individual with another. That is why it is so necessary for us to have true understanding.


Chapter VII

IV.—Genius, Initiation and the Motion of Manas

Q.—The Greeks and Romans had the idea that every man was, throughout his entire pilgrimage, under the parental eyes of a god or a tutelary deity, just as the Gita speaks of the “presiding deity” and this tutelary or parent deity or Spirit was called the genius of that man. What principle of man would this correspond to?

Ans.—In this chapter the statement is made that Higher Manas is not fully incarnated in the race—the human race—let alone in the individual; that only here and there is Manas fully incarnated, and then we have such a character as Buddha or Krishna or Jesus. Yet Mr. Judge goes on to say that now and then there come men of extraordinary natures, whose whole life is lighted up by a ray direct from Higher Manas. He mentions some as great characters and Napoleon is spoken of by name.

    On the other hand, genius, as popularly understood, is mentioned in a foot-note in The Voice of the Silence H.P.B. there says that genius is without exception an aptitude or capacity brought forward from another life. Here is a man, let us say, interested in art, literature or science, and more and more of his thought, will and feeling are poured into one particular line. We can see that if he continues the same way for many lives, there will be an enormous development of capacity in a certain direction.

    For purposes of illustration more than of exactitude, and to put it in terms of the principles, we may say that that portion of his astral brain or nature which is connected with his specialty remains intact from one incarnation to another. So he doesn't start at the bottom as we do; he starts with an organization much more developed. Genius, as we understand genius, is rather an abnormality than something preternatural.

Q.—How was the mind of man given to the mindless man?

Ans.—The statements in the Ocean raise questions in our mind. For example, it is one of the teachings of the occult side of Theosophy that all real knowledge is given in silence and not through speech. The statement is made that a acquired through words is merely a notion devoid of any real basis of understanding. What, then, is the value of words? They make impressions on us, and then, in the silence




of our own minds, we ponder the sounds heard, the words spoken, the ideas mentioned—if we ponder them, questions will inevitably rise in our minds.

    Who knows the origin of the word ponder It has two meanings: one is to weigh, to measure, to consider, to deliberate; but the other means to lay, as a hen lays an egg, or as chickens are hatched; to ponder a thing is to meditate on it—not to do anything with it, merely to keep it in mind. The analogy is in nature. When the farmer wants to raise a wheat crop he stirs the ground; then he puts the grains of wheat into the ground and covers them up; and thereafter he does not do a thing. The sun shines and the winds blow and the rains come, and behold in the silence, internally, in the earth, something takes place—the crop “hatches” it germinates.

    Now, if we could grasp that this is just as true in the field of ideas as it is in a wheat field! How do great inventors make their marvelous discoveries? Never through processes of deduction; never by the process of reasoning. How do great writers, sculptors, statesmen, achieve their results? Never by reason; never by deductions; often without themselves knowing the process by which it is done, any more than a hen who sits on the nest of eggs understands the mystery of the hatching of those eggs.

    True inspiration or understanding comes by pondering the questions arising in our own mind. If we carry them in the mind, they pass from the physical brain into the astral brain; if held, they pass from the astral brain to what we may call the Manasic brain, the Buddhi-Manasic part of our nature; then the thought germinates and, since it was rooted in an impression here, the harvest Thus here.

Q.—Is that called “concentration”?

Ans.—Yes, that is concentration, meditation—we can use a thousand words for it.

    Let us now take the question “How is the light of mind given to the mindless man?” and apply it to ourselves.

    According to the teachings, neither Atman nor Buddhi is individualized, either in the human being or in the whole human race, and even Manas is only partly active in the whole human family—very, very rarely fully active in this or that given individual, as we have just been saying. It follows, then, that the process of lighting up Manas is still going on in us, doesn’t it? If Manas is not fully lighted up here and now in us, then the process of the lighting up of Manas is going on in us all the time. And when Manas is fully lighted up, then the process of the lighting up of Buddhi will have to go on in the individual, and then the lighting up of Atma. The conscious union of Atma-Buddhi-Manas in each individual human being has to be achieved.

    How does that process go on? Isn’t it in everyday life by every thing we hear, see, touch, taste and smell, and by the ideas and feelings those external actions and impressions give rise to? Finally, the lighting up of Manas proceeds to the point where the man perceives that there is no answer in popular religion to his questions; no answer in science to his questions, nor any answer in psychology or philosophy. That is, there is no answer to his questions in the harvest that men reap from their actions and experiences in life. In other words, he comes at last to see that nothing which smacks of the personal can ever answer his




    The question no longer is, “Why am I as I am?” “Why was I born as I was?” “Why did this fall on me?” “What is to become of me?” But, Why is there anything? “How happens it that any man is in such-and-such a position?” “How happens it that all men are as they are?” “Why?” “Why aren’t they animals?” “Why are there minerals?” “Why aren’t we all of the same nature and order?”


    When the questions begin to pass from the personal to the impersonal, then, in fact, those who watch the progress of the world—our tutelary genius, if you like, or Higher Manas in us—brings us in contact with Theosophy. That is the light of Atma-Buddhi shining in the world of Manas, and it shines by reflected light in the world of human consciousness. Then we start a class in the Ocean and then we begin to study these subjects. We begin to talk them over with each other, to think about them.

    So the lighting up of Manas is going on in the human race all the time. Don’t you remember how Judge speaks of another great race being prepared for final initiation? Well, our humanity is that great race. It is the fifth of the great races that is now being prepared for final initiation. Is it not easy for us to see that, as we think and ponder and study and endeavour to light up Manas in ourselves, we are making an effect on our bodies; that is, on all the lives which compose our bodies? They are spiritual beings. We have an effect on all the lives that compose what we may call our vital energies—that is, to use the Theosophical term, the lives that make up the Prana. We have an effect on all the lives which in their totality we call the psychic nature—that is, our feelings. We have an effect on all the lives that compose our mind and our use of it.

    Just to the extent that we are interested in higher subjects, that we are engaged in lighting up Manas in the self—in the mortal transitory human consciousness—just to that extent we are preparing the kingdoms below us for their initiation in the next great Manvantara. Those lives which now compose our Kamic principle will be the new-born men. In that Manvantara they will be initiated from “human-animal” consciousness or Kama; they will be initiated into human consciousness. Those lives which make up the most advanced portion of what we call the vegetable kingdom—those lives in the vegetable kingdom with which man has most to do—will be prepared for their initiation into what? Into the animal kingdom; that is, another principle will become active.

    The vegetable kingdom is, as a matter of fact, constituted of lives in which only two-and-a-half out of the seven principles are active. In the next great Manvantara, then, those same lives will have a principle “added.” In other words, they will have passed from the vegetable kingdom to the animal kingdom—and to say “animal” is only to say a stage of life in which three out of the seven principles are active. But our use of those lives slowly wakes them up, and so, before the evolution of human consciousness is over, the higher animals have three-and-a-half principles active. We see that in dogs, elephants and all other animals brought into intimate and, usually, friendly relations with man.
In the next Manvantara, instead of beings with three-and-a-half principles active, they will become four-principled beings—they will be the “mindless men” of the next Manvantara. When the four principles are active, it is possible for the ray of the Higher Manas in Nature to be-




come partially focalized in their consciousness. Thus, instead of being four-principled beings, they will become four-and-a-half principled beings. Remember how The Secret Doctrine tells of mysterious and inferior races, the animals which the Atlanteans bred, who were semi-human beings? They were not merely four-principled beings; they were four-and-a-half principled beings. Take ourselves; we are really only four-and-a-half principled beings while here in a body. When Higher Manas becomes fully active, then we will be five-principled beings here in a body. And when the time comes that Higher Manas is not only fully active here in the body, but seeks union with Buddhi—that is, the mind in the whole of Nature, not only mind in human consciousness—then six principles will be fully active in the human being. So the lighting up of Manas is a continuing process.

Q.—What is meant by the four peculiarities of Manas being due to the natural motion of Manas?

Ans.—In the text, it says that the first peculiarity is due to memory and the natural motion of Manas; the next two are due to memory alone, and the fourth is due to the sinking into abeyance both of the natural motion of Manas and the memory. Now, the question is, what is this natural motion of Manas? Well, we are Manas. What is our natural motion? Since Manas is the individualized perceiver, the natural motion of Manas is the act of perception exercised in whatever direction.

    In other words, the natural motion of Manas is expansion and contraction: expansion to a field of objective perception and contraction to the perception of some inner object. All day long we are living illustrations of this fact, and if we learned what it has to teach us, we should gain what we might call the first lesson in true occultism. Being part of the race and having the race mind, isn't it a fact that we observe in all others—and can just as easily observe in our selves—that we incessantly look for knowledge outside? Yet there is no possibility of knowledge reaching any being from the outside. All that any outside stimulus can do is to remind us of something already in us, and that reminding is the lighting up of Manas in that direction. But the knowledge itself is in us. If, when we read these Ocean statements, we were to turn within a say, “Now, then, what is there in me, in my own life-experience, of which this statement is speaking,” we might learn a great deal.

Q.—At the top of p. 62 (2nd Indian Ed.) ( bottom of p. 57 Am. Ed.), Mr. Judge speaks of the permanent individuality. Through all the changes of day and night, it exists and makes us feel one identity. Now, in the gap made by the night of sleep we have memory, and that gives us that sense of identity, but in the gap of death we do not have that memory. How, then, can that sense of individuality persist?

Ans.——There is no individuality unless there is the consciousness of our persistence; that is what Manas means, fundamentally. Now, how can the analogy be true which says that Manas bridges the gap of sleep in the same way as it bridges the gap of death? We know that the gap of sleep is bridged by memory, but we also know that the gap which has intervened between our last incarnation and this one is not bridged by memory. Isn’t that, then, a false analogy? No. It is simply that we are looking in the wrong place for the ”memory.” If you looked in Higher Manas for the memory of the lower, you would never find it. If you




looked in lower Manas for the memory of the Higher Manas, you would never find it. If you looked in The Ocean of Theosophy for a quotation from the Bhagavad-Gita, you would have a very hard time finding it.

    The whole purpose of this class, and particularly of this chapter, is to help us seek for memory in its own proper field. Everyone of us is the witness of it. There are what you may call three distinct sets of impressions made on us by every action. The first is a sense impression. We all can understand what that means; that forms the astral body. Next, everything makes not only a sense impression but an ideative impression. We do not merely get a sense picture; we get a thought, a feeling, an idea; and the natural motion of Manas makes us try to couple that ideative impression with other ideative impressions of the same or similar kind.


    But if we watch further, we shall find that everything that happens produces not only a sense impression and a mental or ideative impression, but produces also a spiritual or will impression—“I like that; I will follow that up.” “I don’t like that; I will dodge it.” “I will put it out of mind; I will avoid it; I’ll quit thinking about it.” Spiritual memory is in that form of impressions. The memory of past births is in the second form of impressions. The memory of this life is in the third form of impressions.

    Notice that, although we remember the sense impressions of yesterday, we do not remember what we were doing during our sleep last night. Why not? It’s because last night we were not in the field of sense impressions; we were not in the field of mental impressions, as we understand that term while awake; we were in the field of spiritual impressions. So we have no sense memory of them here in the body. Why not? Because of the law of all life. You know, one of the fundamental meanings of the word Law is “hinge,” and a hinge means a connecting link—something that will swing back and forth, giving entrance and exit, a closure or an opening. Manas is precisely that. The oldest book in the world, the Rig Veda says, “Desire first arose in It and this was the prima], germ of mind,” or that which connects being with non-being, Spirit and Matter.

    Now, so long as our mind refuses to make the theoretical assumption that we have an existence in Spirit (without trying to define what Spirit may be) and we refuse to turn our mind in that direction, we never shall get any conscious impressions from that side of our nature. It is literally true that the moment a man sees that there is no knowledge in a book, no knowledge in words or language; that language is only a means of communication, but communication is between souls, between beings; the moment a man sees that he has to search in himself—in the hidden departments of his own being—for the meanings of these terms; the moment he sees that, and begins to look for the spiritual meaning and for the higher mental meaning, that moment he will get an answer he will have memory.

    Just because people do not talk about these things—don’t go around saying, “Look at me; I have got the knowledge of this or that; I have the memory of this or that”—is no sign that they haven’t got it. And just because a man says, “Look at me; I am the one that has this knowledge you are looking for”—that is no sign that he has got it, either. We have to see for ourselves through our own inner sight This is where we fail to exercise our will, because we do not make the primary assump-




tion; we do not apply the Three Fundamental Propositions to ourselves.

Q.—Is there a natural motion to all the principles?

Ans.—Must there not be? There are six directions is space. Everyone of the principles is nothing but one of the six modifications of the Second Fundamental, ceaseless eternal motion. What is the first motion? From within without. That is very graphically set forth on the first few pages of the S.D., in a quotation from Isis Unveiled There can be no motion from the centre out, unless instantly there is the concurrent correspondent motion from without within. This is the double motion, and that, primarily, is what is meant by Akasa or Astral Light—the double motion of the whole of Life, expansion from a centre outward, retraction from the circumference to the centre. That double motion constitutes an action and an impression. But instantly that motion sets up a third motion, rotary motion, because of the friction, however slight, of the particles, and we have three forms of motion. From the interlocking of these three comes a fourth form of motion, the motion we are concerned in, the motion that we call “Kama” vibratory motion, oscillatory motion. That motion is neither centripetal nor centrifugal, nor is it rotary. It is from a fixed centre of consciousness, a weaving back and forth from object to object. That is astral motion, the motion of memory; it is the motion of’ desire. We don't remember anything unless we like it or don’t like it.

    Memory has many aspects. Kama, the germ of mind, is nothing but the latent memory in Manas. Manas is nothing but an active memory in Buddhi. Buddhi is nothing but a mirror of the whole of nature—my nature, your nature, everybody’s nature. So, we can speak of things in terms of Self; we can speak of them externally in terms of form and action; or, we can speak of them as a combination of the two, an alter nation between the two—that is what we mean by mind.


Q.—How came we by the inner knowledge?


Ans.—We never came by it; we are it. We do not realize that, just as it takes a man an appreciable time to wake up and an appreciable time to be born, so it takes him an appreciable time to go to sleep, an appreciable time to die—there is an interval of transit. That is all that “time” means between one state and another. This is in relation to one single being. Apply it to the infinite, measureless numbers of beings which make up the Universe even as now manifested to us, and we ought to realize that it took billions of years for this Universe to wake up even as far as it has—and it isn’t half awake yet.

    Applying the principle of’ the first form of motion—centripetal and centrifugal—”waking up” to separative existence is concurrent with “going to sleep” to unitary existence. It took us three-and-a-half rounds to go to sleep, or to “die” to the world of Spirit, and to wake up or become alive to the world of matter. We have been in the world of matter only a few moments, by comparison with the eternities that we spent in Spirit even after this manifested universe began; and, after we are out of it, this manifested universe will go on for billions of years. We have to learn to think in terms of analogy and correspondence: there is no other way. So, to talk about “acquiring” or “losing” knowledge calls on us to understand, to give ourselves definitions. What is knowledge, and what is manifestation? H.P.B. says that there is a simple




formula for all manifestation: it is the gradual coming forth in successive stages from the abstract—that is, the unmanifested, the purely spiritual—to the concrete.

    Now, what is the power that produced the manifestation in the first instance? It is the power of will. In the second instance, it is the power of memory. In the third instance, it is the power of thought. And in the fourth instance—that is, ourselves—it is the power of all three: will, memory and thought.

   There are the three fundamental characteristics of knowledge. Knowledge eternally exists. We have but to think of The Voice of the Silence. That which in thee knows for it is knowledge. We say over and over again that there is no knowledge apart from the Self; that Self is the Knower. Knowledge simply means the impressions stored in Self; whether we are looking at them or not, they are there. Look at the countless stores of impressions we have right here and now, just as related to this life or to today. Where are they when we are not thinking of them, that is, when we are not paying attention to them or putting our attention on them? They are non-existent. They haven’t ceased to be, but they have ceased to exist, and not until we look at those impressions do they exist, do they become alive to us. Apply that all along the line, and it is the story of evolution.

    All the knowledge that there is or ever was, is neither more nor less at any instant or in any being than it ever was or ever will be. The question is, on what is the power to know, the power of perception, focused? In the beings below man it is focused on what we may call sense impressions, and in us it is almost entirely focused upon those ideas which we derive by reflection from sense impressions. So far as our will is concerned, it is wholly inactive except in the sphere of the likes and the desires. Knowledge presents itself under three aspects—Will, memory and thought—and any one of these may be fully active, wholly latent, or partially aroused.
In man as we know him, the spiritual Will is never aroused except in supreme moments, like birth or death or great danger or great love or a great emergency of some kind or another. It could be aroused more often but, until our attention is turned on that department of our nature, it stores are to us as if they didn’t exist. This whole book is an attempt to light up Manas in us. The lighting up of Manas consists simply of turning the attention upon Self, upon the origin of self from the evolutionary standpoint, upon the present nature of self, upon the past nature of self, upon the principles of self, upon their combinations, upon how to use those principles. The whole of the book is for that purpose.


Chapter VIII

I. ——Reincarnation and “New Thinkers”

Q.—How do we know that we come back to this earth?

Ans.—How do we know that we are here? How do we know that we are? We know we are; and in exactly the same way that we know that we are, we know that we were. We know that we shall be in exactly the same way that we know that we are. We know that circumstances of environment, of body, of mind, are constantly changing; that we are not now in the same




circumstances, physically or mentally, that we were in yesterday or 10 years ago or 2 years ago. By that we know the future—that 2 years from now we shall not be in the same environment, physically and metaphysically. There is reincarnation which only means a change of environment.

    Remember that there is more than one kind of change. There is that change which the books call continuous; that is, it goes on all the time unnoticed by ourselves. The moment that we reflect, we see this to be true of our minds, of our hopes and fears and memories and conduct in every sense—there is a continuous change of form and state. That’s reincarnation in a continuous sense. Then there is what is called incidental, accidental, minor and periodic reincarnation. We know that every night when we go to sleep we leave the body and we leave the bodily world; we leave the mind and we leave the mind world; we leave the senses and we leave the sense world, absolutely everything connected with them. We go away; the body stays here. We can see the retreat from the body; we can see the retreat from the senses. We go away, and then next morning we come back again; that is periodic or incidental reincarnation. It means leaving and returning to the same body the same mind.

    Then there is a third kind of reincarnation where we leave the environment, physical and metaphysical, altogether and completely. After a long cycle, we return again, step by step downward—as we return in the morning from sleep—except that we come into a new body, new circumstances, new sense organs, new mental organs. That is what we usually call reincarnation, and it is reincarnation in the third sense, physical reincarnation.

A man has but to turn within himself to see that there is something in him which does not change, to see that that is the real. Now, if that has not changed in all the period of our memory, what earthly reason have we to think that it ever will change? Is not this the enduring, the immortal Self of each one of us, the reincarnating being? Each one has but to reflect within himself to see that, aside from this unchanging Self, everything else is constantly changing, step by step, stage by stage. There is continuous reincarnation. Remember that fundamentally the word “reincarnation” means merely a change of state, form and relation for the enduring Self—and the whole subject becomes easy.

Q.—On p. 67 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 62 Am. Ed.) it says, “. . .the time shall come when what is now known as mineral matter will have passed on to the human stage and out into that of thinker.” Does that mean that present mineral matter will one day be a thinker?


Ans.—Let us turn back to Mr. Judge’s Preface to the Ocean the very first sentence. It runs something like this: “An attempt is made in the pages of this book to treat of Theosophy so as to be understood by the ordinary reader.” Now, the attempt is made to arouse our own thinking principle, or the creative principle which we call Imagination in just such terms as Mr. Judge uses in the sentence questioned.

Is there anything startling in the thought that all this mass of nervous matter, vital matter, which now constitutes the flesh, the brains, the blood cells, that we call, as a whole, our body—is there anything beyond our understanding when one says that all this which is now flesh was,




only a few years ago, plain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen? We can see how the inanimate becomes the. animate, the senseless becomes the sensitive.

    Carry the picture one step further: In this body of ours, there are portions which are not merely sensitive, but which are of such an extreme sensitiveness that they are immediately responsive to our will. We do not have to use anything chemical, anything physical, any agency that our mind can grasp, to make this sensitive matter our body respond instantly to an extremely sensitive, non-material something which we call our Will. We will to speak: instantly the body adjusts itself and a volume of sound goes out. We will to walk: and instantly this, which only a little while ago was dust, gets up and walks.
Now, does it require any great stretch of our imagination, any departure from a straight line of reasoning, to say that some day all this which we now call dust will become sensitized matter and stay that way? It won't slip back. All this that we now call the sensitized matter which makes up our nature, physical and metaphysical, will some day become self-conscious be able to act of its own will, as we act of our own will.


    Don't we see that every use of our will is producing something besides obedience on the part of the principles that in their combination we call our body? Every use of our will makes an impression on them, and if the will is strong enough, if the repetition is frequent enough, after a while that dumb flesh begins to be able to act of its own will. We do not have to give a thought to the complicated motions of those few striae which make up our vocal cords; we just will to say, “Good morning” and this matter shapes itself. Yet the baby has quite a time learning that, teaching the matter of its throat and brain to respond to its will. Once that is done, they do their work themselves. Take another illustration: A man says to himself, “I’ll go down to the corner store.” It is half a mile away. At once something more than the mere response of the body as a mass to his will takes place—the eyes, the nerves, the legs move of themselves. He never has to give another thought; they bring him up in front of the grocery store, open the door for him and take him inside.

Q.—Yet these things wouldn’t move of themselves without the man there, would they? How about that sensitized flesh? Is it ever going to become self-conscious thinkers without man being there?

Ans.—The question is: Does the body move of itself? We know it does not. Does the brain work of itself? We know it does not. Would this body have come into being, would these bodily powers, as we call them, have become manifested, had we not been there seated in their midst—however invisible—disciplining and drilling, and drilling and disciplining? No, of course not.

The next part of the question is: Suppose man went away, suppose there were no men on earth, would the animal kingdom and the vegetable kingdom and the mineral kingdom proceed? No. How do we know that? Take Mr. Man out of the body, and what happens to the body? We say it rots, it decomposes. We simply mean that the body’s only sense of its own is for its various elements to separate and go, each its own way, and finally return to its own natural state. Call it the mineral kingdom, or call it the cellular state, which is the basis of the vegetable kingdom. When it gets to its own natural state, it stops there.




    Consider this proposition—that every-thing is self-existent on its own plane, whatever that plane may be. It has only an artificial, that is, a sustained or temporary position, on any other plane of life than its own. But why does the mineral stop at the mineral kingdom when our body goes to pieces? Why doesn’t it go back and become electricity, or any other of a thousand forms of energy? Because that life in the form that we use and call our body is self-existent on the plane of matter. We know that energy isn’t self-existent on the plane of matter. You can incarnate energy to the thousandth part of a second in matter and it leaves our head and goes back to its own plane. But this life which we call our body sinks back into the animal kingdom, to the vegetable kingdom and the mineral kingdom and halts there. Why? Because in its evolution that form of life has already gained enough experience to be self-existent on that plane which we name the mineral. What about ourselves? Our whole experience should tell us where our native habitat is and where we are immortal; that is, on the plane of thought. There is our natural plane. It does not make any difference what we are thinking about—Man is a Thinker and he is eternally thinking. You can’t recall a time when you weren’t thinking; you can’t imagine a time when you won‘t be thinking. Man means a Thinker; that is where we are self-existent, on the plane thought, pure or impure. If it is on the plane of pure thought, we call it Higher Manas; if it is on the plane of impure thought, then we call it Lower Manas; but in any event, our plane of life is that of the Thinker.

    This Thinker is constantly using the most highly evolved forms of life, which as a lump total we call matter. It therefore is constantly gaining impressions from the Thinker. Some day, then, those impressions will become self-germinative, and behold we have a new Thinker. That’s why it is that the flesh of our bodies and the life in the mineral kingdom will some day become self-conscious Thinkers.

    We have to get behind the words to the idea, and the idea is the incessant flow of thought. You can express any idea in any kind of words, but a man never will be able to get the idea, no matter what words are chosen, unless he looks through the words to the ideas. Just so, we shall never recognize the real man until we look through body and senses—which belong to the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms just as much as to us—look through body and senses to what? To the Thinker.


Q.—If all this is true, then there must be a beginning to man?

Ans.—How could there be a beginning to anything? If there is some thing that once was not and now is, we are confronted with a miracle. All religious people believe in miracles but none of them are able to produce any!

Q.—What do you mean by the expression, a “new Thinker”?

Ans.—We haven’t produced anything new when we wake up a sleeping man; we have produced a change of state in the same man. We haven’t produced anything new when we put a waking man to sleep; what we have done is to produce a change of state in Mr. Man. The sleeping state al ways is, but not all beings are in it at the same time. The waking state always is, but not all beings are awake at the same time. The thinking state always is, but not all beings are in the thinking state.

    For example, when a man is in the state called in the books “concentration,” he isn’t thinking; he can’t think, because he is beyond the




state called thought. When a man is in the state called in our books “meditation,” he can’t think—he is beyond the state called thought. He has risen beyond the native habitat of the human race, and when a man is in the state pure and simple, the highest of all, that the books call Atman—that is, the Knower, the Perceiver—then he is outside of the circle of manifested existence, which is in him, but he is not in it.

    Everyone of us is a Perceiver, just as much a Perceiver as we ever were or ever will be. So is every atom of our body the perceiver. But we look directly upon ideas; the lives below man look directly upon sensation. We say, waking, dreaming, sleeping because our attention has not been directed to the state of nature beyond life or man as immortal. But there are other names for these states of consciousness. Think of the mineral kingdom as a state of consciousness. Just as with us, we know that sleeping is a state, or dreaming is a state, or waking is a state. Think of the vegetable kingdom as meaning life in a given state of consciousness, and the forms built in that state. Think of the animal kingdom as life in a given state of consciousness with the appropriate forms built in them.

    Now we—in the state called the Thinker, which is our natural state—are not any the less the Perceiver, because we are also at the same time the Thinker, and the being which feels. But neither are we the Thinker pure and simple, nor are we the creature that is the experiencer of effects pure and simple—nor are we the Perceiver pure and simple. It is impossible to dissociate the three. If a man were in the state called the Perceiver, and if he were in that state pure and simple, all this that is a mystery to us would be just as objective in the spiritual sense as we here and now are objective to each other in the “sense use” of the term.

 Q.—Could not the question of the “new Thinker” be answered by the statement on p. 58 (2nd Indian ed.) (p.54 Am. Ed.), that these Elder Brothers set fire to our minds, the lower principles and the Monad, thus lighting up Manas? Is that just what you are trying to say in other words?

 Ans.—In the chapter on Manas, speaking of the lighting up of Manas, it says the Elder Brothers set fire to the Monad and the combined lower principles and thus initiated a new hierarchy of self-conscious thinkers. Is that the same as has been said? Surely. What is the Monad in any sense and in every sense? It is Life regarded as a unit. What are the combined lower principles? The mineral monad’s life knows one state and one only—which, from the point of view of consciousness, would correspond to dreamless sleep, utterly unconscious of everything external. So, it is a one—principled life.

    Take the same Life and, should there be the incipient dawning of an other kind of consciousness, that of contact and touch, we have the vegetable kingdom. It is the same Monad; that is, Life with two principles partially awakened. Take that identical Monad or Life which already Is responsive to two states; let it develop, however incipiently, another degree of consciousness—not the sense of contact but the sense of externality which is the opposite of the sense of contact—and we have the animal kingdom. Remember all the time that growth in ability to receive impressions means the development of a higher faculty.

    The Monad or Life has reached the point where it is saturated, not merely with impressions from these three states but also with what Leibnitz called the “apperception” of the higher state—due to a partial




waking of the higher nature—that is, the waking up of the impressions gained through aeons of experience in the lower state. Then, what happens? The Elder Brothers set fire to the Monad and the combined lower principles. Who are those Elder Brothers? We are—who else?

    How do we “set fire”? Use your imagination. Here is a candle; it went through an infinity of forms and experiences before a force unknown to it pressed that suet and that tallow into the shape we call a candle. Then there is all the experience gained in invisible impressions, moulded to the form that we call a candle. Observe it still more closely. In the centre of the candle is another kind of form and shape which also has been through an infinity of transformations, and that accumulation of impressions we call a wick. There is matter sleeping—Life which has been through an infinity of transmigrations and knows nothing about it, loaded with impressions which aren’t alive. Along comes somebody and touches a match to the wick; you light up that candle. What has entered? Fire, and as the fire burns, what does it do to the wick and the candle? It consumes them. The fire is there all the time, but an intentional intelligence had to come into play to unite invisible fire with fireless elements—then you have the lighted candle.

    Now, what are we? Are we a candle? No. Are we a wick? No. Are we the fire? In one sense, yes. What we have done is to set fire to this candle called the body by entering into it and giving it the fire of our self-conscious intelligence.


    It is a miracle when you come to think about it—one of the profoundest miracles in the world. In the first place, what is fire, and how is it that fire is the Monad, because fire is eternally one? In the second, it does not make a bit of difference what the fuel is—fire is one though the fuels be many: Why? What is the third miracle? It is the very thing we are talking about. Watch that candle, and pretty soon there will be no tallow; there will be no suet; there will be no wick; there will not be anything physical—it will all have been transformed into fire. There is the return from matter to spirit.


Chapter VIII

II.——Food, Incarnation, and the Thinker in Evolution

Q.—On p. 67 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 62 Am. Ed.):—At a point of time very far from now the present vegetable matter will have been raised to the animal stage and what we now use as our organic or fleshy matter will have changed by transformation through evolution into self-conscious thinkers. What does this passage mean?


Ans.—It does not mean that the vegetable, animal or mineral form will become some other self-conscious entity, but that the Intelligence or Life or Monadic consciousness now expressing itself through the vegetable, animal or mineral form will ultimately, under the Third Fundamental Proposition, develop and reach that point where Manas can be lighted up in it. Manas is potential, of course, in the Life; when that Manas is lighted up, then there is a self-conscious Thinker. The whole of evolution is locked up in those few words.




Q.—P. 73 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 68 Am. Ed.):—

    Now if the road to reincarnation leads through certain food and none other, it may be possible that if the Ego gets entangled in food which will not lead to the germ of physical reproduction.

    This seems puzzling. Could Mr. Judge here refer to certain dietetic aberrations? What is meant by the Ego’s getting “entangled” in food? What is meant by "certain food and none other”?


Ans.—Mr. Judge does not seem to be referring to particular diets. He did say he would throw out a hint for the benefit of certain Theosophists. But if we think from the basis already known to us of physiological processes, we can get something. We know, for example, that before any thing can be taken into our system—whether in the form of the reproductive germ or in the form of the somatic germ or body cell—that particle has to get into the blood and become blood. We also know that before it can get into the blood, the multitudinous food elements have to be reduced to a common denominator that we call chyle. Now, if the Ego gets entangled in the kind of food that cannot be reduced to the synthetic basis which makes it possible for it to enter the blood, then that Ego is debarred for the time being from getting into incarnation.

    More and more, the food of humanity lacks the reproductive element, because we do not put it in. We can only take out of food what we put into it and, although we are the highest beings here on earth, we use nature with never a thought that nature is in evolution. Consequently, little by little, the spiritual element which has to be present in all food becomes absent; the psychic element—the higher psychic element which has to be present in all food if it is to have the reproductive germ—becomes absent; and the time comes when, although there is an Earth here, no Ego can reincarnate on it—just as that time came on the Moon.


    There are no Egos on the Moon. Why not? No possibility of getting a body there. All those elements of nature which we alone can supply, we failed to supply to the lives below us; so, because of that, we were unable to reincarnate there and had to try some place else.

    Perhaps this would be a good thing for us to think about. Our natures being what they are, our heredity being what it is, our education being that which is common to our time, it follows that, if Theosophy be indeed true, then very much that is lodged in our minds—both consciously and unconsciously to ourselves—is erroneous or is outright error.

    It follows, further, that with the minds we have, as we study Theosophy, we shall constantly see objections which to us will seem very, very real. When we ask to have these harmonized, what we really mean is to have Theosophy explained in harmony with our preconceptions It can’t be done, because our preconceptions point in one direction, and Theosophy points in the opposite direction. Theosophy, for example, says that a man is a Soul; that he is a beginningless and endless being. If that statement is true, then the bulk of the activities of humanity are worse than useless; the bulk of our thinking is a positive detriment. We ought to take these things into consideration and, instead of asking others to make this, that, and the other clear, try if we ourselves




can’t find a common ground. How? By reducing our ideas to their synthetic origin, and then we will have no trouble whatever in assimilating the Secret Doctrine.

    We can get all kinds of food but, no matter what kind of food it is that we eat, we can’t take it into our systems, make it flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood until, first, it has been reduced to a unitary basis, to a common denominator, to a synthetic standard, which is the same as the basic constituent of our own nature. To put it in a single word, we can say that, whatever it is that we eat, we have to reduce it to a homogeneous basis before we can absorb it physically. With whatever we eat mentally, we have to do the same thing, and the trouble we have in understanding Theosophy lies in our ideas and in our thinking.

    When we reduce our ideas to a homogeneous basis we shall have not a particle of trouble in understanding anything in the philosophy, because it will no longer be something in a book—it will be our own re-aroused knowledge. In other words, we say, “I think so-and-so.” That is why there are the difficulty and the objection. All right, let me get right at the fundamental of my own thinking, and I will find that my fundamental is no fundamental at all! Then I will throw it away and turn around and look at ideas in the light of Theosophy, instead of looking at Theosophy in the light of my ideas—all the difference in the world.

 Q.—You made the statement that the majority of our thoughts and our actions were useless. How can that be reconciled with the thought that our evolution is a cycle of necessity? We can’t be useless.

 Ans.—Put it this way: Never mind what our ideas are—what do they spring from? They spring from the idea that we are mortal beings, and that this present self is all that there is to us or that there ever was of us or that there ever will be of us. That is the fundamental basis of human nature; but if it is true, why waste time with Theosophy? If Theosophy is true, why waste time with this Tower of Babel called “our ideas”?

    You see, we are trying to reconcile the irreconcilable. We have to go step by step. It is the old story of the Dublin City Hall. They passed a resolution: Resolved, that the city needs a new city hall; Resolved, that we will construct a new city hall; Resolved, that we will construct the new city hall out of materials contained in the old city hall; Resolved, that we occupy the old city hall until the new city hall is completed.

    Now, in a way, that is just what we have to do. We must occupy our “ideas” while we are renovating them. Consider that any number of people go crazy over the occult—they try to rebuild, restore, to do the whole business of hundreds of incarnations, perhaps, in 20 minutes by the town clock. The result is similar to what happens to a man on the top of a 10-storey building who is in a hurry to get to the ground. He jumps; he alights all right—but he is in no condition!

    So we ought to come down to bases. We can say to ourselves, “Here is my objection. What does my objection rest on? On my own human fundamentals.” Then let us compare that with the Theosophical Fundamentals; throw our human fundamentals away; and we will strike at the roots of human misconceptions.


Q.—Why is man as he is, and how did he come?

 Ans.—Don’t you think that if we consider the question from the




standpoint of Cycles and what we know of the lighting up of Manas, we can see how we have come to be as we are? There is the descent of the spiritual being—one in whom the three higher principles alone were active—to partial union with beings in whom the three lower principles alone were active. Have we thought of the meaning of Manas. Manas means the higher triad, that is, those spiritual beings in whom the three highest principles only are active—Atma-Buddhi-Manas. That was ourselves, down to the middle of the Third Race. Such a being descends and enters into a union of consciousness—more or less complete, more or less partial—with a being which has come from unconscious planes; that is, Primordial Matter, up to that point where the three lower principles are fully active. Then, when the three higher principles (represented by the triangle which points upward) and the three lower principles (represented by the triangle with its point downwards) unite, there is human consciousness. But the contact is of the three higher principles—Spirit—with the three lower principles—Matter.

    Perhaps we may consider, incidentally, that evolution goes on in Venus in orderly fashion; evolution goes on in other worlds in orderly fashion. It is only in this fourth-rate humanity—that is what Fourth Round means—that evolution goes on in a disorderly manner. Our job is, as we see, to light up Manas in ourselves in order to be able to light up Manas in others and in the world.


Q.—How can we prove that animals do not use reason or that they have no thinking principle? (p. 72, 2nd Indian ed.) (p. 67, Am. Ed.)

 Ans.—In the first place, you can’t prove a negative. Why try? You can’t prove that there are no miracles, but you can, by a process of abrogating the reason, believe that there are miracles.

    Let us consider animal consciousness. When we say that the animal has no reasoning powers we ought to remember again to be on our guard in the use of terms. Our use of the thinking faculty is a self-conscious use—or could be. The animal’s use of the thinking faculty is non-self-conscious. That is the real meaning of the word psychic the non-self-conscious use of the mind principle.

    Anyone who observes an animal can see that there are the rudiments of reason; that is what makes an animal. “Animal” means rudimentary mind, whereas man’s mind is partially organized. The animal’s mind enables it to put one and one together, so to say, and make two, but it does not permit putting one and two and three together to make six. In other words, no animal is capable of sequential reasoning—and that is what we mean by “reasoning mind”—because there is nothing to weld the links of thought together. That takes something that is not thought, something that is not desire, something that is not feeling. What does it take? A Thinker, that is, a self-conscious form of Life. So we know by this as well as for many other reasons, that an animal is not self-conscious.

 Q.—Why is it that speech originates or begins only with the incarnation of Manas?

 Ans.—How is it that speech didn’t begin till the incarnation of the Egos in the rudimentary forms? (We shouldn’t call them animals; they were rudimentary elemental forms, psychic forms, astral forms.) There are several answers to that. In the first place, as man we did not need to speak; any man could at once enter into the mind of any other man and




whatever the other man thought or whatever the other man felt, or what ever the other man knew, that was his, also, as if he himself had been through those experiences. So there was no necessity for speech.

    The “mindless men” so-called, these rudimentary minds in astral forms, because their minds were rudimentary had a rudimentary form of speech, just as the animals have now—that is nothing but an heirloom of the past. But when man entered into that state, he had to devise some means of keeping up communication with his fellow-men. His past experience in former Manvantaras, the help of still older and wiser Egos than ourselves, and the experience gained not only by ourselves but also by the Life in these mindless men in former manvantaras, made it perfectly easy.

Thus, speech couldn’t begin until Manas, having incarnated, left the state of unity. We exchanged, says H.P.B., our personal individualities—in which the consciousness of all was the consciousness of each at will—for individual personalities. Now, having made the exchange, we never knew the difference. Does that seem strange? Over here is a man who possesses that power we call discrimination; suppose that we had some way to perform a psychological surgical operation to remove his discrimination; and suppose we removed it. How could he know that he had lost it? Can you tell me, please?

    The animal is aware of no sense of loss. But take man everywhere—it doesn’t matter what he calls himself or what he thinks of anything—everywhere humanity is an orphan The sense of a lost estate, of a lost relationship and of something that ought to be and must be and is not, is in him. That’s the memory of past births; but it’s the memory of the impersonal individuality the shadow in the individual personality.

 Q.—Since man knows that he is immortal, why doesn’t he know how to keep himself on the true path?

 Ans.—Perhaps the answer is that it’s vain to look in your hip pocket for the watch when you are wearing it on your wrist! There is such a thing as misplaced knowledge. We are looking in Matter for the knowledge of Spirit. How could we find it there? Then, again, we totally fail to reflect on the meaning of the word “knowledge.” Mr. Judge uses that word over and over again; so does H.P.B.; so do we; but they don’t mean what we mean. Let’s see: We say “knowledge” means a subject and an object; it means a knower and something he knows. In other words, our use of the word “knowledge” implies duality their use of the word “knowledge” implies unity.

    How can we put that another way? It is easy for us to see that matter is a state of life, or substance, or consciousness. The idea that knowledge implies unity seems incredible to us because we do not try to consider whether it may not be that intelligence is a state or condition of being, or life, or consciousness. In other words, that knowledge is Primordial Matter, that knowledge is pure Spirit, that our personal consciousness is the reflection of that state in this brain and body—these four lower principles.

    It is nothing but Plato’s illustration of the cave. Suppose there were a great fire outside, an immense light, a never-dying sacred fire, and a wall between us and the fire. But suppose there was a hole up there and a mirror over the wall and we looked at the wall. We should see the image or shadow or reflection of the fire outside as that reflec-




tion came through the hole. But we should not see the fire, the wall that separates us being another state of consciousness, an intervening state. We should think that the reflection was what people meant when they talked about fire.

    So with the words, “Spirit,” “Knowledge,” “Intelligence,” “Self.” If they are used as Theosophical terms, they mean one and the same thing all the time; but we think of Self as one thing and knowledge as another.

    Finally, our idea of the word “knowledge” is exclusively confined to relative knowledge, just as our use of the word “Self is purely confined to the relative use of the word “Self,” whereas when H.P.B. and W.Q.J. speak of Self they are speaking of the Absolute Self, the undying Self, the unborn Self, the unchanging Self. When they speak of Intelligence or Knowledge, Soul or Spirit, they speak of the undying, the unborn, the unchanging Perceiver everywhere, in everything.


Chapter VIII

III.—“Once a Man, Always a Man” and “Lost Souls”

Q.—In the last paragraph of Chapter VII, pp. 63-4 (2nd Indian ed.) (p.59 Am. Ed.), the statement is made that in the next cycle or Round, when Manas is fully active in the race as a whole, all men will be compelled to make the choice consciously to the right or the left, “the one leading to complete and conscious union with Atma the other to the annihilation of those beings who prefer that path.” How can this agree with the statement on p. 72 (p. 67 Am. Ed.), “Once a man always a man”?

 Ans.—If the questioner will examine p. 72, he will find the statement, “Once a man always a man,” to have been employed in connection with a misconception of reincarnation very widely prevalent in the Orient—and in the Occident, too—the idea that a man can reincarnate in an animal body, or in lower forms than the human. Mr. Judge says that, although there are some men so depraved that this would not be an undue Karmic punishment for them, the fact is that Nature shuts the door behind man and reincarnation in a kingdom lower than the human is not possible. “Once a man always a man,” the Masters teach. Thus the statement has no connection with the one in Chapter VII in regard to Manas, which refers to the incarnated Egos in their human consciousness.

    Put it this way: There is in us all, as we well know, a double nature; that has been the case ever since the incarnation of Manasic Egos in animal or astral bodies. It will continue to be so till the middle of the next Round, when the force of past contact will bring men to see that it is impossible to carry water on both shoulders. So, men will deliberately choose the right-hand path or the left-hand path.

    If they choose the right-hand path, they will attain adeptship; that is, come into conscious union with what Emerson calls the Over-Soul, here spoken of as Atma Those human Monads which make the opposite choice will be extinguished in their human consciousness until the beginning of the next Great Day of Evolution. Annihilation, remember, is not used in the sense of the non-existence of anything that is; what it means is that those Monads which have reached the human form—and remember that human consciousness is a transitional consciousness—will lose their consciousness and will relapse into unconsciousness.




    In the second volume of The Secret Doctrine H.P.B. says that those Monads will slumber in unconscious inactivity until the beginning of the next Great Day of Evolution, and that then they begin all over again at the bottom—like the purely Spiritual Buddhis or divine souls of the Third Fundamental Proposition.

    Now we can see how that will come about. In every one of us this duality of our nature is perfectly clear. If we put it in the moral, ethical and spiritual sense, we are all aware of a selfish side to our nature, and equally aware of an altruistic or unselfish side. We are perfectly aware that one side of our nature wants knowledge for the sake of the enjoyment and power that we can derive from knowledge, while an other side seeks knowledge and power only to put it to use for the benefit of our fellow-men.

    It is just as true today as it was when Christ spoke, say, 20 centuries ago: a house divided against itself can’t endure, can’t stand. You can’t serve both God and Mammon; you can’t serve or keep peace between the higher and the lower sides of your nature, the unselfish and the selfish. Sooner or later, the time must come when we shall either live for self as against all other selves, no matter what happens to them and our motto will be “Me first, Number One”; or else, it will be the exact opposite—we shall live for the sake of our brother selves, utterly regardless of what may befall us for having done so.

    Now, the questioner asked about conscious annihilation. Take the example of the sane suicide. Here he is, alive. The cards that Nature has dealt him have made him lose what he had or have prevented his gaining what he desired. He believes in no after-existence. He says, “Why should I go on playing the game when there is nothing in it for me? I’ll commit suicide”—meaning I will jump into non-existence.” So far as he is concerned, that is what he expected to do; that is what he intended to do; and that is what he has done—he thinks.

    Apply that to the great multitudes of men. Who is the man who soberly and calmly commits suicide? Why, it’ s the man who has used life and life’s powers for what there was in them for him, regardless of others; then, when Nature’s reaction came, he thought he could avoid paying his debts to violated Nature and outraged conscience by seeking annihilation, by plunging into oblivion.

    That’s exactly what men will do in huge numbers in the next Round. It’s a curious thing that the percentage of suicides is always highest in the most civilized nations.


Q.—It would seem that when man comes to that moment of choice he would reach it only as the result of his prior choices.

 Ans.—Why, certainly Our past is not separate from our present; our present is not separate from our future. We can put it in the simplest way in the world. The Highway of Life in the body or out of the body is the same highway for every being in the Universe. It’s like any other highway; you can head in either of two opposite directions. All human life goes in the direction of 100 per cent selfishness, or in the direction of 100 per cent unselfishness.

    The question we ought to ask ourselves is, “Which way are we heading, right here and right now?” In whichever direction we are heading, the influences that attract us to the selfish path are the result of our past—the cumulative result of our past selfish choices; and the influ-




ences that impel us to fight the lower side of our nature and take the path of upward striving for the good of all are the result of our past good choices.

    But we have reached the mid-point of human evolution, where we see clearly that there is no compromise between straight north and straight south; that we can’t be half-good and half-bad, half-unselfish and half-selfish; that in the end the war in ourselves will rend us asunder. So we begin to choose, little by little, day by day, hour by hour, to set aside the purely personal in favour of the purely impersonal; to cultivate watchfulness and attentiveness to the needs, the comforts, the aspirations of others, rather than following our own personal preferences. Those men and women who are making the conscious choice in the right the direction are the only ones whom the Great Teachers can by any possibility really help by coming into the world.

    The great bulk of mankind are religious in their conceptions; why? For the sake of what there is in it for Nature, for the sake of what there is in it for mankind, or for the salvation of their own soul? Everyone knows what the answer is. From this point of view, every religion is a curse because it glosses over and gilds with the highest and holiest terms and names the selfish side of our nature.

    What is the difference between a man who saves his own soul, no matter if the world goes hang, and a fellow who is willing to sink a ship with a thousand people on it and see them drown—if only he can get to land? There is no difference. What is the difference between him and the man who eats, drinks and is merry today because he has plenty, and shuts his eyes to the privation of his neighbours—social or financial—to their need for clothes and food and shelter? There is no difference. All these choices are cumulative.

 Q.—On p. 72 (p. 67 Am. Ed.): “And evolution having brought Manas the Thinker and Immortal Person on to this plane, cannot send him back to the brute which has not Manas.” That seems to lead us to think that the immortal Thinker is on the planes below man.

 Ans.—Certainly, the immortal Thinker has been on planes below the human. Every time we think of our desires—those that are present in our consciousness—we are on the plane below the human. The human plane is not the plane of passion and desire, which is an infernal plane. Every time our consciousness is absorbed in purely sense objects—they may be very beautiful things or the reverse; that is not the question—at every moment that our consciousness is absorbed in sense perceptions, we have not ceased to be immortal Thinkers, but we are on the way to planes below the human. At any time that we are awake and yet are torpid mentally, we are on the plane of the mineral kingdom; we haven’t ceased to be immortal Thinkers, but we are not exercising our immortal faculties.


Q.—Is that what Mr. Judge meant by that statement that we couldn’t go back to the brute?

 Ans.—Mr. Crosbie used to answer that question in a way that led to our thinking it over ourselves in terms of: “Now what did he mean? He must have meant something.” This was Mr. Crosbie’s answer: “You can’t un-know what you know.” We have the knowledge that we are not brutes, although we are on the brute plane. No matter to what world we go, we can’t un-know that knowledge. We naturally know that we are not brutes when we are Thinkers, no matter how we employ our thinking powers.




    No man, no Thinker, can incarnate on the lower planes—that is, re-become a brute. He can take a brute body, but all the time he is perfectly well aware that he is using that body. He has an existence—even if he only regards it as a mental existence—which is distinct from bodily existence.

 Q.—Is that what happens to the lost soul that has to come back from the lower kingdoms?


Ans.—You know the expression “lost soul” is not a Theosophical expression. It is found in the Kabala. All the older students—the early members of the Theosophical Society—were Spiritualists or Kabalists. “Lost soul,” then, is an expression of the Kabala derived for the most part from Eliphas Levi's writings. He, by the way, was a Jew by descent; a Roman Catholic priest who was a renegade; and a student of occultism—and he was for Eliphas first, last and all the time.

    There are no “lost” souls; the term means loss of the soul. Over and over in The Secret Doctrine H.P.B. points out that many of our confusions are to the fact that fundamental terms have three specific applications: one to the plane of matter as we are experiencing it; one to the plane of matter that we call the mind; and the third to the plane of matter that we call our ideals. These actually are planes of matter, since we try to objectify them. These three meanings she calls: the physical human understanding; the ideal meaning—that is, our noblest mental conceptions and values in relation to any object; and the spiritual meaning.

    Apply this to the word “soul.” Soul is only a term for the accumulated experiences. There has been a loss of the soul today for most of us; that is, we have had thousands of experiences today in our mind that we should try in vain to recall tonight; they aren’t actually lost but they are out of reach. Now, that is loss of the “soul,” using “soul” in the sense of the collectivity of experiences gained.

    Apply this to a lifetime and we shall see that there is an immense collectivity of impressions, of ideas, of hopes, of desires, of feelings, that we couldn’t recall if we tried to. To us they are lost in the real sense; we can’t specifically recall them. They are vaguely present in the ideal sense, in that every thought we ever had, all the thoughts we have had, have left an impress in our power to think, a good or a bad impress, as the case may be. They are not spiritually lost because they exist in us still as a tendency in this, that or the other direction—whether that tendency is aroused or not.

    The Ego has a Manvantaric incarnation as well as a personal-body in carnation. The Manvantaric incarnation is what is meant by Atma-Buddhi. The threefold incarnation—that is, in spirit, mind and matter—is what is meant by Atma-Buddhi-Manas. It is possible, then, for the Ego, a Monad, a purely spiritual Buddhi, to enter into the stream of manifestation at the beginning, say, of a solar system, and have an infinity of experiences so that he develops a very great mind; and then he may so conduct himself that he loses absolutely all consciousness of that entire experience. We know a case of a boy who went through a very bad accident in January, years ago—a highly intelligent, thoughtful boy. Afterward, he had only partial consciousness in the body; be had no memory whatever of events happening after Christmas, although the accident occurred a long while after Christmas, relatively speaking. Was that experience




lost? It was a loss of experience to him, until he regained it. So Monads enter the stream of spiritual incarnation, to use a phrase, of material incarnation and finally of intellectual incarnation—which is the union of the two, making a third. It is possible for them to reach the human stage once more, acquire enormous knowledge, and then, by their abuse of their power and knowledge, to lose it all, just as it is possible for a man to lose his body and to lose the capacity to return again to incarnation. Here is a phase of the sterility of the Ego. That is what is meant by loss of soul.

    We habitually take that phrase, “lost soul,” to mean that the reincarnating Ego is in some mysterious way annihilated. That is an impossibility in nature. What could destroy it? What is there in heaven or hell that could destroy the Self?

So, that is the story of “lost souls”—the loss of what might have been retained once it was gained.

Q.—Is that the case with idiots, where apparently the soul is losing its contact with the objective world?


Ans.—There again, we have to look at it not the way we do from this side. Seeing no manifestation of self-conscious intelligence, we say “Idiot,” and assume that the Ego is an idiot. Suppose you saw a man dragging a paralyzed leg around; it does not mean that the man is paralyzed. If you saw a man dragging out an existence in a paralyzed body, one that he could not move at all—and there are many such cases—to think that the man was paralyzed would be a mistake. The same thing is true of an idiot.

    The Ego has so conducted himself that, although he has not lost, either permanently or temporarily, the power to reincarnate, he has a body that he can’t manifest through; he is “stuck.” That is the very word for it—but the Ego knows he is stuck.

    There is a wonderful passage of H.P.B.’s on this very subject—two or three of them, in fact. One is in the Transactions another one is in The Secret Doctrine one that is an explanation of a myriad of our questions. But the explanation is also in Mr. Judge’s Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, and will be found in Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms There are five modifications of the mind, as Patanjali calls it. That covers the whole field of manifested existence. It makes no difference what the modification is; the statement of Patanjali is that the modifications are always known by the presiding spirit.

    Who is the presiding spirit? In man as we know him, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, ourself, our self-consciousness. So, there is a plane of our being where all is recorded, and therefore, whenever we are on that plane, we are no being as we are in waking consciousness on this lower plane of our being. When we are on that higher plane, there is the record—past, present and future; good, bad and indifferent.


 Q.—Is there any way of knowing what the purpose of Life is, other than by inference?

 Ans.—Don’t you think we have but to look within ourselves, first of all, and then look outside, in no matter what direction, and we certainly shall be able to see that action of any kind without a purpose is unimaginable? If there were no purpose in action, there would be no action. We never act without purpose; nothing acts without purpose. So the evidence, if one were to use a word, the “evidence” of the purposive-




ness is self-evidence.

    The familiar illustration is geometry, pure mathematics as applied to forms. It starts, as all study must start, with self-perception. Someone says, “You are.” How do you know that you are? Do we know that we are because someone has told us so? Do we know that we are by inference from what goes on about us? Or, like Descartes, do we say: “ergo Sum.” (“I think, therefore I am.”)

    As a matter of fact, knowledge begins in Self and ends in Self. So, whatever terms we use, we are apt to forget Self in thinking of the subject or object. Patanjali says that all knowledge rests upon three things. The first of them is what one sees for himself—that is, his own perception. But, knowing that his perceptions are not infallible, he compares notes with others. Do they see the same thing as he sees? Do they see as he sees? If he goes to one man and that man says, “Yes, I see that; I see it just as you see it,” that is evidence. If he goes to half a dozen men and they all see that, then he has what mathematicians have for the value of pi in squaring a circle—the maximum of testimony.

    From his own perception and the testimony of others’ perceptions, he draws a conclusion which we call an inference. That is a basis for action, but, in the final sense, all must rest upon self-evident perception. That is what the Three Fundamentals are. Unless a man sees for himself without argument that those are true and must be true, he does not see, that is all.

Chapter IX

1.—Vegetarianism, Religious Taboos, Memory

Q.—It is stated that the various animals are going through a course of evolution. That being the case, what is the general opinion of a student of Theosophy in regard to the flesh-eating habit?


Ans.—It varies with different Theosophists. Many Theosophists eat flesh and wish they didn’t have to, but they do it just the same.

    If you want a specific statement on that subject, you may find it by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy She says it is not what man eats so much as what he thinks and feels that determines his progress; that to eat meat is no sin.

    You know, the aboriginal tribes of the South Seas have what they call taboos. The Jews have taboos. No Jew could eat pork, but they could gorge themselves on goose. A good many people would prefer ham to goose, but ham is taboo to the Jew. In the same way, many people make meat a taboo; they wouldn’t eat meat to save a ship from sinking. Others make a taboo of something else. There are a certain number of people in every period of religious revival who would not eat anything at all. They die in the odour of sanctity; and a dead saint is just as dead as a dead devil I So it all depends upon how one feels about many subjects.

    There are things which in themselves are bad; they possess no alleviative or remedial features whatever; the consensus of mankind knows them to be bad. Take such a thing as to betray the confidence of a friend, to rob one who trusts you. The world around, irrespective of race, creed, sex, condition or organization—these things are done, but the man who



does them is a Judas. There is something that possesses no extenuating features.

    But we, according to our nature and our ideas, set up an arbitrary criterion and say: This is good; that is bad. Then, instead of acting upon our perception—if it is good, do it; if it’s bad, don’t do it—instead of doing that ourselves (in other words, practising ourselves what we believe), we go out and try to ram it down other people’s throats.

    The people of India, for example, are naturally vegetarians. Through thousands of years of heredity, they have the vegetarian idea there, just as we in the West have the personal-God idea. No modern Hindu invented it; it is inherited. The same with us and our personal God. We didn’t invent a personal God—it was imposed on us.

    The orthodox Hindus saw mortal sin in killing an animal; they saw no sin whatever in neglecting and abusing animals. Of all places on earth where the cattle look as if they lived in the poorhouse the worst is India. Nobody would kill a cow, but many will maltreat one, and some times starve it to death. A man may abuse a cow in every way, and still be a vegetarian.

    Jagdish Chandra Bose, one of the greatest of our real modern scientists, discovered that vegetables have nerves just as an animal has, and that they suffer just as an animal does. A storm of protest arose in Indian The Hindus had to live; if it was the same kind of a sin to eat a vegetable as it was to eat an animal, what was the Hindu going to do?

    The point is that these are not moral questions, except as any man himself makes them moral questions. All of us see things, unless we are stone—blind, that are relatively bad—that is, imperfect—and we see how they could be much better, We go out and do the best we can to put our ideas before others and educate them to the same view. But suppose they don’t want to be educated. Then most people feel like resorting to violence. I have seen vegetarians who, if they could, would hang a man who ate meat.

    We forget the fundamental nature of man. Let us illustrate. It is not the stomach’s job to choose what will be put into it. That is our job. The stomach will take any-thing that is put into it—alcohol, opium, glass, any-thing. It is the man’s business to put the right food into his stomach. The average man will put any-thing into his stomach that he can get and all that it will hold and anything that tastes good; that is his criterion. The same thing is true of our mental food. What kind of ideas do we put into our minds? Our minds go to work and digest what we put into them. It is like the food in our stomach. Once in our stomach, the alcohol does not behave the way we think it should. It behaves according to the nature of alcohol. Opium behaves like opium, etc. The poisons don’t obey the stomach; they obey the law of poisons.

    The same thing is true mentally. People get all sorts of mental diseases, mental appetites; their minds become perverted. And we are deceived because of their tremendous sincerity. Anybody whose mind contains no discordant idea is terribly sincere—100 per cent sincere, since there is no discordance in his own mind.

    Take the well—known worshippers of the Goddess of Death in India, the Thugs. It was their religion to kill a man. No Thug could go to heaven until he had killed a man. It never occurred to him to question it. If he had, he would have quitted Thuggee; but the 100 per cent Thug would




not let any contrary idea into his mind.

    The same with a genuinely religious man: his mind is set. Why? Because it is 100 per cent religious. Look at the Jesuits. Certainly there were never any more sincere men than the holy fathers of the Inquisition; yet their ideas were infernal. Take the prevailing ideas in the world today—many of them are genuinely infernal, but nobody questions them.

    You know there is something wrong with your mind when you can’t control it; that inability is the source of most of our misery. You know there is something wrong with your body if you can’t control it, and something wrong with your moral nature if you can’t control that. Since we can’t absolutely depend on any part of our nature as we are now using it, isn’t that evidence enough that there is something wrong with us?

    We must go to work and find out what is wrong. We shall find plenty; but very few people are interested. The more a man suffers, the more he demands a panacea; arid there are no panaceas except knowledge and self-reformation. The more a man is a lover of his fellow men—that is, the more he has in him of the elements of a Mahatma, of universal brotherhood—the more he has that feeling of compassion, of sympathy for his fellow man and still hasn’t knowledge—the more this man looks for a panacea and is ready to propound one.

    Read the church announcements in the papers and you will see a peck of religious panaceas offered. Listen to any political speech, read the newspapers, and anybody and everybody will tell you how to cure the troubles of the whole country—when they can’t cure their own No wonder people have said, “Physician, heal thyself .”

    Sincerity, conviction, self-sacrifice, they are as common as dirt. Why? Because man is a divine being. There are drunken gods, wicked gods, cruel gods, and there are a lot of ignorant gods here on earth. Theosophy knows they are gods, but knows they will have to stay here in jail—that is, condemned here in mortal life—until they learn their business, until they become intelligent gods, self-examining gods. Self-knowledge is of the essence of the highest.

 Q.—Does not H.P.B. somewhere advocate vegetarianism by quoting a passage in Genesis which says that man’s food is of herbs and of the fruits of the tree?


Ans.—Why, yes, certainly. H.P.B. was a vegetarian who ate meat; so was Mr. Judge; so was Mr. Crosbie. Paul said, “If meat make my brother to offend,” he would not eat meat.

    But we fail to see that a man may be a great-hearted philanthropist, utterly harmless, yet go to war and fight vigorously. There never was a greater peace-loving man than George Washington; yet he fought one of the bitterest wars in history. From our point of view, Christ was a fool. He submitted to the “vivisection” of himself, but he had no need to; and he not only submitted to vivisection, he submitted to betrayal; and he never complained.

    So we have to get a truer view. People use the profoundest words of Brotherhood, God, Spirit, Love and so on, as if they knew what those words meant. We need to think over our conception of fundamental  verities, and we shall find that our conceptions of the highest things are often of the earth, earthy.




Q.—When Mr. Hume asked one of the Masters if his wife could cease eating beef or drinking liquor, didn’t the Master write that she could stop the meat but to keep on with the liquor—that if she stopped the liquor, it would kill her? Might that not be the same case with others as to meat?

 Ans.—There are myriads of folk, as we were saying, who put moral tags on all the time, failing to see that, so far as any individual him self is concerned, the morality or the immorality of any act is in him self that, so far as the effects of his actions upon others are concerned, the effect which they experience is good or bad according to their natures; that there are very, very few things which are fundamentally good, and very, very few things which are fundamentally bad. We name as “good” and “bad” innumerable things which are neither good nor bad, except as we think them so. In other words, we try to determine moral bases by physical values. You might as well try to weigh the centre of gravity as to weigh the centre of morality.

 Q.—Wouldn't it make a difference what the motive was? If it was to gain spirituality, that would be selfish, would it not?

 Ans.—It would make a difference to the man. Mr. Crosbie used to tell a story about a Christian Scientist and her little boy. It seems they were late to an appointment and were cutting across through an alley. In the alley there happened to be a white goat that had broken loose from his picket—rope, and, frightened or aggravated at the sight of the little boy—or the Christian Scientist, perhaps—the goat charged. The little boy rushed to his mother and began to whimper. She said, “Tommy, Tommy, remember that you are a Christian Scientists”!

“Yes, Ma,” he said, “but the goat isn’t!

    Now, suppose a man’s stomach is habituated to meat: his stomach has no conscience, no moral nature, no motives. It knows meat; it does not know rice, or vegetable soup, or anything that a horse eats. The conscience is in the man. He may, for motives that to him seem worth while, abstain from meat after having been a meat-eater for so generations. But the lives in his body would raise Cain with his body, if the change was too sudden. We have in the West a meat-eating heredity; so this matter is a question for each individual to solve for himself.

 Q.—Will you state in simple terms how to meet the general objection that we don’t remember our past lives? 

Ans.—This question is to say, “If we have lived before, why don’t we remember?” or “Why don’t we remember here in a body?” Let us start with an answer that any man can understand. You know that this body, this brain, this nervous system and these organs of sense have all been built in the last 30, 40, 50 years; in other words, 100 years ago this body did not exist, nor did this brain, these senses and this nervous system. How could anyone remember in this body what happened in a body a thousand years ago? It would take a miracle for him to remember—with out effort on his part.

    If we look into the subject of memory, we shall find that our ideas of memory are like our ideas of ourselves and of nature—they are altogether personal. There is nothing personal in nature except man. Have we thought of that? Memory in itself is absolutely impersonal. Matter and body are in themselves absolutely impersonal. Thought is absolutely




impersonal. All our powers are impersonal. It follows then that, so long as we limit our idea of Self to this body we never can remember the experiences that may have occurred in former bodies. So long as we limit our ideas of Self to this bodily existence, we never can have any memory of Self as distinct from this or any other body, in it or out of it. So long as we regard ourselves as a creature, we never act from any conception of ourselves as a creator. Isn’t that perfectly simple?

    The true memory is in man the creator, man the metaphysical Self, man the impersonal Self. Once that idea is suggested to a man and he gets to thinking about it, we can bring up the question of dreams and deep sleep. Thinking of the inner Self, a man will see that that is the only explanation of the riddle of Life, the riddle of Nature and the riddle of our own experiences—that the mind must be capable of existence independent of the body; in other words, that it is possible for us to exist subjectively.

    When a man goes to thinking on that line, the question of memory begins to clear up very readily, very rapidly. Consider: we are all perfectly aware that we have an objective existence right here and now. Are we not equally aware that we have a subjective existence here and now? Is a physical existence, a sense existence, a sensuous existence, the only existence that we have? We know that we have a mental, moral and spiritual, or a self-conscious existence, but we have never yet, in this body, found out for ourselves whether or not we could have an independent existence. That is the only way to explain dreams; that is the only way to explain sleep.

    The real question becomes: “Is the man’s present understanding of life—that this is the only birth there is—a tenable basis of thinking?” If he examines his own basis, he will find that the whole universe is against him on the theory that we are only born once, that we had no existence before this body, and that we shall have no existence after this death. Then, when he has found out that his own theory of life will no more hold water than a sieve, he may be ready to listen with an open mind to some other theory, and he will find that this other theory will fit all the facts as far as he knows them, and will fit a great number of facts that he can find no explanation for. Whether or not it will fit all the facts known or imagined would remain to be seen.

    This much is perfectly certain: No matter how much knowledge may exist outside of our brain consciousness of it, no matter how many millions of times we may have lived in other worlds—in other bodies or in no body at all—we could have no consciousness whatever of it, here, un less the knowledge or the memory were printed in the brain here It would be in vain to go out in the forest from which this paper came to look around to find The Ocean of Theosophy it would be in vain to look in the pulp mill for The Ocean of Theosophy it would be in vain to look in the paper house for The Ocean of Theosophy. Not until something which is the product of mind his been transferred, by the independent use of one form of matter, to another form of matter, do we have the printed book that we call The Ocean of Theosophy The brain of man is just exactly that. Our knowledge of rest of the universe is our “Ocean of
Theosophy,” and until we print it on this brain, we can never know it for our selves.

    Everyone is aware, if he chooses to look within himself, of countless impressions that never came from his physical body, or his physical senses:




he cannot account for them in this life. If this is a universe of order, of law, and the impression is there—it must have come from somewhere. Nobody could get from physical existence any notion whatever of immortality, but all men everywhere have the notion, whether they believe in it or not. No man in the world could ever get from physical existence the conception of law, the conception of cause and effect. We all have the fundamental notion, however erroneously. Nobody could ever get from physical existence the idea of justice or injustice; yet we all have the idea. Where did it come from? Suppose we had no other knowledge than what our eyes give us, and had the same reasoning powers that we now have, and suppose we had a visitor here from the planet Mercury, where our time is not. He sees a clock on the wall, and asks, “What is that?” Somebody would answer, “That is a clock.” “Where did it come from?”

    We might tell him it grew out of a wall. He wouldn’t doubt what he heard—no child ever doubts when it is told that the Moon is made of green cheese!, So far as the visitor from Mercury knows, he has received a truthful explanation. We know better. Why? The result of our experiences.

    Understanding does not come until we begin to question in a reverent sense two things: first to question our experiences over again; and secondly to question the explanations offered to us and instilled into us, or those which we have adopted. Very few of our bases of action, our bases of thinking, our explanations of things, will stand examination. But the more any man will examine Theosophy—which is an explanation of all the phenomena of existence—the more he will understand his experiences, until finally the explanation, the experience and the ability to command both, will become one in him—and he will have regained his ancient state of knowledge.

    No matter what state of consciousness we may be in, if we take that state to be real, then we shall take everything else which happens, as an attribute or quality of that state, to be real, and we shall seek for an explanation within that state. But if, in fact, the explanation lies out side, we shall never find it that way. The explanation of death, of birth and of reincarnation lies outside of all human experience. We have the experience, but the explanation lies outside of human life. Where? On the plane of Higher Manas.

    Until we investigate, we shall not see the relation between our thinking in former lives and our birth in this one. We shall not see the relation between the views and notions that we have adopted or have had drilled into us, and our Karma. When we begin to look, we shall begin to see.

    It has been said that the Ocean calls particular attention to the fact that neither Atma nor Buddhi is incarnated at all; to them, our matter does not exist. Manas exists to them, and is to them the only “existance.” Manas is only partly incarnated, because Manas is so identified with the effects—conscious effects of unconscious causes—that we cannot, of our own will, let go for an instant its identification with these effects. The moment we begin to let go—for example, by considering merely as a plausible theory the Fundamental Propositions of Theosophy—that moment we begin to see for ourselves.




Chapter IX

II.——Buddhi, “Progress” in Devachan, Conscious Death

Q.—Buddhi was spoken of as not being incarnated at present; does that imply that there is no action of that principle?

 Ans.—The word Buddhi has many meanings. You might be interested in looking up p. xix, in the Introduction to The Secret Doctrine H.P.B. there shows that Buddhi is the faculty of cognition; that is, the power of perception. Also, it is not only the power of perception, but it is the perfected perceptions acquired by the use of that power. Buddhi is not only those two things but it is, therefore, a reflector—a reflector only—of all. impressions.

    When we come to think about this and apply it to ourselves, we can see that we are perceivers; that we are constantly exercising the power of perception, which is the activity of Buddhi in us; next, that we have acquired some perfect perceptions, which is Buddhi objectively recorded—all impressions are mirrored in our perfections, or we wouldn’t know them as impressions.

    But Buddhi is affected by action only in the sense of H.P.B.’s explanation of the real law of all life; it is not the evolution out of nothing of something that now is; it is not the evolution of spirit out of matter. Life, manifested Life, she says, is an ever-becoming. Therefore, perfection—which the word Buddhi might very well represent, by and large—perfection forever augments. Buddhi might be called the harvest; the enjoyer of the harvest sown is represented by Manas.

 Q.—Buddhi being such a high principle, why is it classed as the “inferior nature” in the Gita.

 Ans.—Because there is only one superior nature; that is the Knower. Buddhi in that classification represents what he knows. No matter how much a Mahatma knows, his knowledge is inferior to himself. No matter how much he knows, there are other solar systems, other universes; he can go on knowing forever, increasing his knowledge forever, because, as Mr. Crosbie used to say, “In an infinite universe there are infinite possibilities.” But the Self, the Knower—remember again what Mr. Judge says in the Notes on the Seventh Chapter: although these great powers or principles are called the lower nature, they are so only relatively to the higher. The higher nature is the Knower, and the lower nature is the known or the means of knowing. They are all but aspects of Self.

 Q.—Isn’t Buddhi a specialization of Atma?

 Ans.—It is the reflector of Atman in the manifested universe. Suppose we say, “There is Self, unmanifested”—which to us would represent saying, “beyond all action and all perfections.” Now, what is our contact with Self in that sense? It could not be through our imperfections; it could only be through the perfections of all nature. Give to the perfections acquired in all nature by all beings the name Buddhi then Buddhi is the reflector of Atman in manifested nature, just as the visible sun is the reflector of the invisible central Sun.

 Q.—If the Real in us never changes, in what way does the Ego acquire knowledge?

 Ans.—That which perceives changes not at all—that is the real being. That which is perceived changes as soon as the Perceiver shifts his



vision from one thing to another. So, all change is in perception not in the Perceiver. But as soon as the Perceiver identifies himself with what he sees, then he is thrown into confusion. As the Gita says, at the time of birth all beings fall into error by reason of the delusion which springs from the pairs of opposites.

    The phrase, “pairs of opposites,” is only a way of rendering a problem philosophers have had in all ages. Something in them tells them that there could not be two Absolutes, for that would be a contradiction in terms. There must be one source for everything, and yet the universe is manifestly a duality. His is what throws our philosophers and ourselves into confusion.

    How does the Self experience? Only through being that which we experience. When we have learned that we are not the experience, then the same self is prepared for a new being—that is, a new experience. It is only through being—that is, becoming what we perceive for the time—that any realization in any degree is obtainable.

 Q.—The Great Teachers have been universally and individually hated by the people amongst whom they came. Would those people incarnate at the same time as the Great Teacher when he came back, through the hate, engendered?

 Ans.—They would have to make adjustment; if the hate was engendered here through what appeared to be personal contact, adjustment would have to be made on the plane where the cause was set in motion.

 Q.—P. 76 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 71 Am. Ed.): “But as we progress in this life, so also must we progress upon leaving it. .“Since mere death confers no advance, what progress is here referred to?

 Ans.—The progress that is referred to is not the progress of death but a progress after death. The progress after death is quite different from the progress during life, but there is progress.

    If we could see what we might call seven totally distinct forms of existence for one and the same being, then we could see that earth-life—ordinary waking consciousness—represents only one form of our possible experience. How many different dream states there are, and how many different sleep states there are, we have no means of knowing but at any event earth-life, dream and sleep represent the same being undergoing experiences on quite another basis. And so it is after death.

 Q.—Do we have a chance either to do evil or to receive help after death?

 Ans.—No it is not possible, because after death there are no contrasts. We cannot soak it too thoroughly into our systems that all good and all evil are relative; that is, they are due to contrast. If a man was born blind and stayed blind all his life, he wouldn’t suffer from his blindness, because he would I nothing else. But if he lives to be 5, 10, 20 years old and then loses his sight, he suffers horribly. Why? Because he has a consciousness of an infinitely great world, the world of sight, from which he is now cut off.

    We do not suffer for our sins all our lives. We get the results of what we do not suffer until they hit us here. In other words, we are not conscious of our former states and so do not suffer from them.

    After death there is said to be a separation of the principles. That has many meanings, one of which is that “death” is completed on the




plane of unbalanced forces. If a man goes on the dark side, it is all dark. There are no contrasts of light and dark. If he goes on the bright side, it is all bright. There is no contrast of bright and dark. Whereas in life here our mind is dual, after death there is a separation, so that the bad goes by itself and is all bad; the good goes by itself and is all good—no mixture.

    This is why it is pointed out that in the next Round there will come the moment of choice—nothing can exist, or continue to exist, that is mixed. All of us, now, have a dual mind. We carry water on both shoulders. We are neither 100 per cent good nor 100 per cent bad; neither all selfish nor all unselfish. But after death the selfish “lives” coalesce; the unselfish coalesce; and there is no contrast.

 Q.—(Reading from a written question): “A Perfected Being operating through a physical body would not be subject to reincarnation.

 Ans.—Let us observe that sentence. How could Perfected Beings operate through physical bodies if they were not subject to reincarnation? “All beings up to Brahma”—which here means simply all life up to the life which is not manifested—“are subject to rebirth again and again.” The highest Beings are as much subject to rebirth as we are, but rebirth is quite a different thing with them. They choose the time, place and circumstances of their birth; they are conscious throughout. The opposite is the case with us.

    The question goes on to say, “He might, however, choose to reincarnate.” He does not choose to reincarnate, but he chooses the time, place arid circumstances of his reincarnation. Then the question is asked:

    “Does pre-existence, then, necessarily involve reincarnation?” It doesn’t necessarily involve reincarnation here, but so long as any being has any thing to do with manifested life, if he doesn’t reincarnate here, he must incarnate in some other place.

 Q.—Is there no way of getting free from reincarnation?

 Ans.—Well, consider what the opposite of freedom is. The opposite of freedom means that we are the victim of forces over which we have no control. Freedom means that we are in the same world with the same forces, but we have control over them.

 Q.—Please, what and where is the Mind?

 Ans.—In Theosophy Mind means the sum of the various states of consciousness possible to any being and in man. In ordinary everyday English, all the seven states of consciousness may be lumped together and grouped under three words: Thought, Will and Feeling. Sometimes Will predominates, but Thought and Feeling are present; sometimes Thought predominates, but Will and Feeling are present; sometimes Feeling predominates, but Thought and Will are present, are subordinate, are limited. That is the meaning of Mind, the sum of the states of consciousness.

    Where is it? It forms our metaphysical body. It began before birth it is here now, and it reaches its, so to say, perfection or maturity during life. During life we live in a borrowed body. After death we live in a body made by ourselves, and it is that body which during life we call our mind.

 Q.—Suppose it were possible for one to go into the dream state knowingly, and also, to go into the deep sleep state knowingly. Would it not also be possible to come back in another body and know it?



Ans.—There is a degree of Self-knowledge, or divinity, which, when reached, enables the being to pass from waking to dreaming, to sleeping and back again through dreams into waking life with his knowledge of the journey and of the experience intact; that is, without any lapse or hiatus either of memory or of knowledge—the two poles of continuity in consciousness. Now the question is, if that is possible, would it not be possible for a man to die, leave this body, go to the after-death world of disintegration (Kama Loka), the after-death world of bliss (Devachan) come back to a new body—and retain that same unbroken continuity of consciousness?

    Don’t you think that if the one proposition is true, the other must necessarily be true? That is the Theosophical teaching and one of the purposes—one of the great purposes—of all Theosophical work. It is not to inject something new into our minds, to give us knowledge that before we did not have. It is to arouse in us, if only for a fraction of a second, the knowledge which is already there.

    We have been through many states, many times, many conditions, besides through many bodies, and on the way “down” into matter it was quite another story. In the beginning we knew; we had that kind of waking consciousness. For the time being we have lost it, but the knowledge is there. It is like the man who has had an experience that the layers of subsequent experiences have completely covered, and he doesn’t know what lies under the surface of his own present consciousness. along comes someone who seeks that knowledge in him—whether through curiosity, or desire, or hope, or faith, or what-not—and he discovers that there is much more to him than he had thought there was. He discovers that knowledge is to be gained by boring in, not by boring out; and that, if a man try, he will soon get the evidence that within, behind, above and below the layer of consciousness that we call waking, there is an infinitude of unremembered experiences in us.


    To the extent that we make efforts, we come consciously in contact with those unremembered experiences. The value of effort is this: All things that come to the Mahatmas come to us, but they come to the Mahatma as the result of self-induced and self-devised effort. Therefore, when they come the Mahatma is conscious of them. But that which comes to a man as the result of the conscious effort of another, with no effort of his own at all, he is not aware of.

    You can give a dog cooked food of the highest quality; the dog will eat it, but all he sees is food, He does not know how it was produced; he does not know that it is cooked. A1l that he knows is what a dog gets—a full stomach at someone else’s expense!

     So there is more in the formulation of the Third Fundamental Proposition than we often imagine. It stresses the fact that man is consciously aware of nothing, save and except as the result of his own conscious efforts. That is what “self-induced and self-devised exertions” mean. To the extent that we make conscious efforts in any direction, conscious results follow. To the extent that we make unconscious efforts in any direction, unconscious results follow. How else could it be in a Universe of Law?




Chapter X

Environment, Intelligence and Blind Tom

Q.—Just what, from a Theosophical basis, would constitute true humility?


Ans.—Humility is one of the requisites, Krishna says, for the man who would acquire wisdom. The root of this word actually means earth We are all from earth; our nature is not clay—it’s “mud,” everyone’s. Our bodies were all born in the same way, subject to the same contingencies. There is no distinction of race, condition, creed, sex or organization in genesis, that is, in birth or conception. All these distinctions come afterwards; and at death, too, there is no distinction. Death comes to all alike, just as birth does.

    On that basis, true humility is the recognition of the fundamental identity, the fundamental equality and the fundamental possibilities of all souls. Take the worst man who ever lived: he may be bad today, yet there was a time when we were just as bad as he. If we know better now than to think as he thinks, to feel as he feels, to speak as he speaks, to act as he acts, it ought to give us charity, and the greatest breeder of charity in the world is the reflection that there is no difference fundamentally between one man and another.

    For a thousand years in Europe they believed that a different kind of blood flowed in the veins of a nobleman from that which flowed in the veins of an ordinary human being. We know better now, but we are still afflicted with the idea that one man is superior to another, or inferior to another; that one man is favoured by God and another is being punished by God. When we get these ideas out of our heads, then we can understand what humility means. Krishna says, “He, 0 Arjuna, who by the similitude found in himself, seeth but one essence in all things, whether they be evil or good, is considered to be the most excellent devotee.”


Q.—Very often one says that he is in a condition or a situation where he does not really belong and that he is called upon to do that which is not his duty. How could such a condition arise in a just and honest universe where each receives exactly what he has sown?

Ans.—The factors that make any of us what we are at this moment are more than one and, until all the factors are taken into account, we find contradictions. Take a fish out of water—the fish is so seriously out of place, out of relation, that if it does not get back into the water, it dies. But, if we examine the matter, we find that the fish had its share in getting out o the water. He performed actions the result of which was to “land” him.

   So with us. An incompetent man seeks a position where competency is required; he gets the position, and then gets fired. Is there any thing but the clear operation of law there?

    When the untrustworthy man is in a position of trust, he is out of place, as viewed from that pair of opposites. But when it is found that the one who trusted him represents one-half of another equation, and that he who sought the trust is the other half, then we can understand that the foolish man, who trusted where he shouldn’t have, reaps what he has sowed when he is betrayed; and the untrustworthy man, who obtained the confidence of another and betrayed it, reaps what he sowed.

    When we come to examine both sides of any question, then we can begin to see the question clearly. All our problems come from taking one



side or the other of a Question.
 Q.—The analogy of sleep and dreams is often put forward in support of the doctrine of reincarnation. To what extent is this a valid argument? After all, during sleep there is still a connection between the Ego and his body, and could not dreams be attributed purely to brain action instead of to what science considers a far-fetched theory—that is, to the action of the Ego independent of the body?


Ans.—In the first place, the analogy of sleep and dreams is never put forward in support of the doctrine of reincarnation. Analogy is a means by which we can see one thing when expressed in terms of another. When we say, Smith has a “hard heart,” we are actually putting forward an analogy. Everybody knows what the word “hard” means physically; everybody knows that the heart is a physical organ. But when we say that Smith has a hard heart, or Smith has a tender heart, manifestly we are saying something that the man has to “see” in another language than that which the words imply; he has to use his imaginative power.

    So, when the analogy of sleep and dreams is put forward, it is suggestive only. It is not an argument for reincarnation, but it does give a man something to think about. If he wanted to go into the subject, he would say to himself: What is my understanding of the phenomenon known as dream and the everyday phenomenon known as deep sleep? Does my understanding explain, or my theory cover, all the facts? Are there any objections to my theory? If he did this, he would find that his theory was shot full of objections.

    Then, when it is suggested to him that perhaps the phenomena of sleep, of dreaming, of waking, are each due to the mixture of three independent elements, one or the other of which predominates at a given time, and that the mixture is partly separated or precipitated at other times, he has a basis from which—if he cares to follow it up in his own thought—he will see for himself the road to the understanding of waking, dreaming and sleep.

    When he has gone thus far, then it may be suggested to him that identically the same analogy holds good with regard to birth and death, that birth is the bringing together into a given combination of certain elements which before had existed separately, each having its own independent existence, and that the period of that combination lasts for 50, 60, 70 years. At the end of that time, the combination wears out, and the original elements return to that state of independent existence in which they had been before the original combination—called birth—took place. So, the man has the same analogy to apply to birth and death that he has to sleeping and waking, and he will begin to see for himself.

    The great trouble with the materialist is not in his thinking but in his basis and that never occurs to him. If, for example, we believe that the matter of our objective consciousness is the reality, how are we going to explain mind, thought, feeling, memory, desire? We can only call them attributes of matter. If we believe that waking consciousness is the reality, then how can we do otherwise than call deep sleep and dreaming attributes of the waking consciousness?

    What every man needs to do is not so much to examine his reasoning and his inferences as to examine the basis from which he acts. If a man is a materialist, let him see if his theory of life will explain Nature. It would be difficult to find a single writer on a materialistic basis



who isn’t a pessimist, a despairing man, who gives up the whole of Nature as an insoluble riddle, or who has not an “explanation” that is a confession of failure. Bertrand Russell, perhaps the greatest materialistic philosopher living, says that at least we can die as heroes.

    Similarly any with the religious man, the trouble is with his basis of dealing with Life. From his standpoint, everything is as he thinks—not as it is, but as he thinks it is. But if he begins to examine his basis he will find that his basis not explain Nature, does not explain himself does not explain any-thing that goes on. Let it be suggested to him that God, in the language of Pythagoras, is the universal intelligence disseminated throughout the whole of Nature; and that intelligence, no matter how formed or informed, is one, just as matter is one, no matter how many forms there may be const of matter or how these forms may differ among themselves. Matter is one, intelligence is one. Given these propositions as a suggestion to explain why it is that, in spite of disorder, there is order in Nature, he can then go to work and think for himself, and thinking for oneself on the Theosophical basis means turning the power of sight inward, instead of outward.

    The teaching is that, whenever the power of sight, of thinking—thinking sight—is turned inward, then the conjunction or reunion between Manas and Buddhi takes place while one is awake and alive—the con- junction which, in the ordinary man, take only during deep sleep or at death. The moment there is a conjunction between Manas in the body and Buddhi outside of the body or beyond the body, that moment there is direct perception, and then the man sees and knows for himself.


Q.—On p. 90 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 85 Am. Ed.) it speaks of “these lower egos” in connection with savagery and the fall and rise of nations. One would infer from this that there was a difference in Egos. In addition to the acquirements of Manasic action, is there a fundamental difference between Egos?


Ans.—On the plane of Spirit there are no distinctions at all. If there were distinctions, it would not be the plane of unity; rather, there are distinctions without differences. Now the question of lower Egos and higher Egos, when we come to look at it, is not really a consideration of Egos—it is a consideration of environments. We find certain Egos in ideal environments, whether physically, mentally, morally, or spiritually. Then we find other egos in the worst of environments, physically, socially, financially, mentally, morally and what not. Those who are in the worst environments we speak of as “lower” Egos; those who are in the finer environments we speak of as “higher” Egos; but we can all see that this is only an analogical way of speaking and that the terms are purely relative.

    The Aphorisms on Karma warn us against passing judgment on the status or occult nature of any Ego because of the environment in which we see him placed. If there had been those to see Abraham Lincoln when he was 19 years old trying to get a log—raft down the river in Illinois, they would have regarded him as a lower—grade Ego; but if they had seen that same man 25 years afterwards, they would have seen the saviour of his country. If there had been those to see Jesus of Nazareth learning to drive a copper nail and to split a board with an adze—there were no saws in those days—they might have thought he was a low-grade carpenter; but, in fact, he was the Christian Saviour.



    So the Aphorisms tell us we cannot judge from externalities, that is, from the environment; that Egos of the loftiest character, we may say, incarnate in the very worst of environments for the sake of the good they can do in that environment, or for the sake of soul discipline, to undo some ancient wrong which they perceive is still undone, to adjust some Karmic relation.

    When we speak of lower—and higher—grade Egos, don't you think we ought to carry in our minds the idea of character. An Adept is said to be a lower-grade Ego than a Mahatma, and a Mahatma of this Manvantara is a lower-grade Ego than the Mahatma of the next great Manvantara, but this is a relative use of terms and largely analogical. Practically always, low-grade and high-grade refer to the intelligence the Ego is able to bring to bear here.

    How often have we heard it said that every man—and that includes the low-grade Ego as well as the high-grade one—is in fact a god; that is, a purely spiritual being, and, in fact, spirit! Every man is a god who has descended into matter, and while in matter he experiences the qualities, good, bad and indifferent, that proceed from his contact with it—until what? Until he is able to understand the nature of matter and to deal with it according to its nature; that is intelligence.

    If we consider it from that standpoint, all of us can see how enormously intelligence varies amongst men. But, lest we err too much in the idea of conditions, we have but to consider any given man—Lincoln, for example. Look at him in the cradle; look at him when 10 years old; look at him when he is 50. It seems like three different beings, one of them apparently a helpless congenital idiot—the child in the cradle; another, a very low-grade Ego indeed—the child of 10;. and the last, perhaps a Christ—Lincoln at 50. Yet it is the same Ego all the way through; in the earlier phases he has not yet come into proper relation with the environment. If you heard Paganini tuning his violin you would think he was trying to produce discord; but after he gets the strings tightened, and gets the resin on them, then and then only—after he has tuned up—can we tell whether it is Paganini or the next—door neighbour? sons


Q .—It is said that the Red Indians are in incarnation again. Are we to assume that the pioneers of that time are also in incarnation?


Ans.—Probably there are some. Remember that the Indian’s idea of heaven wasn’t very wide; how could it be? Handicapped as he was by his body and with his brain, his intellectual range was small, and upon the instrument in use depends the range of a man’s intelligence. So, although his heaven might be a vivid one while it lasted, it wouldn’t last very long. We shouldn’t think of the Indians’ having a l,500-year Devachan, for instance. There are two classes of beings who have very- short Devachans: the first includes not merely people like savages and materialists but also the wicked the second are the wise. The wickeder a man is, the more quickly he reincarnates; and the wiser a man is, the more quickly he reincarnates.


Q.—How about white people reincarnating in Indian bodies?


Ans.—That has often happened and happens today. But if you want to look for reincarnating former white folk, look for them in Negro bodies; there are plenty of them.



Q.—Although the piano is practically a new instrument as time goes, here is Blind Tom (pp. 91—2)
(p. 86 Am. Ed.), a boy of 10, who has the mechanical agility and skill to play on those keys. This takes a lot of technique and skill. Where did he get that?


Ans.—Well, it happens that I can tell a little story about Blind Tom. In my boyhood I knew a Virginia lawyer, then a man of 50 or more, who was very highly educated. He had a wonderful voice for singing and was himself an expert on the piano. As a boy he had been brought up next to the family that owned Blind Tom, and he was present at luncheon that day when Blind Tom first played the piano. This man said that no genius that he had ever heard—and he had heard all of the great pianists—could hold a candle to Blind Tom. Now, whether he spoke truly or not—we must use our own judgment to believe or to reject—what this gentleman said corresponds with all the known facts in regard to Blind Tom.

    On pp. 241-2 in the second volume of The Secret Doctrine H.P.B. discusses the threefold nature of man. There is, first, the Spiritual Monad or duad—Atma-Buddhi. Then there is the purely animal Monad, the three lower principles. But unless there is the connecting link of the two middle principles—Manas and Kama—there is no contact between the Spiritual Ego (Atma-Buddhi) and the physical or animal Ego (the so-called mindless man). Trying to drive that home to us, that it is the union of these three selves—the Spiritual Self, the intellectual self, and the animal self—that makes the man, H.P.B. uses almost this identical language: graft the Spiritual Monad of a Newton (now, we have to remember that when she wrote that, Newton was dead, so she means graft the discarnate Spiritual Monad of a Newton) on the Monad of the greatest saint on earth, and without these two middle principles, you have nothing but a soulless, conscienceless idiot.

    Remember that Blind Tom was just a little boy when his genius was first noticed. We may infer that he had had no prior education whatever, either in this or in former incarnations as a musician (obviously, he did not have the technical experience required to play complicated piano scores, because the piano at that time had been hardly 50 years in the world—there were no pianos before about the beginning of the 19th century). Might not this boy, looking at it front above downward, be an Ego just the same as Newton or the greatest saint on earth, or you or I; or, looking at it from below upward, he might have been nearly a mindless man, that is, lacking Higher Manas—as nearly a mindless man as we can conceive. Now, suppose that he had an enormous, an overmastering, an over-whelming love for harmony, for music, for happiness, for peace: the more he was oppressed by his surroundings, would he not the more turn within himself for the harmony and the sounds? We have all heard the story about mice coming out of their holes to listen to a violin, and how certain Hindu yogis can charm the cobras and the wild beasts by the magic of sound—establishing some kind of rapport. Curiously enough, at the time the famous “discovery of Blind Tom was made, Jenny Lind was in this country—the greatest singer the world knew anything about—and, accompanying her, one of the greatest performers on the piano. Everybody was thinking about them, talking about them; here was an atmosphere, a stage setting. Why might not the love of this little boy for music have put him en rapport with the consciousness of this very musician who played with Jenny Lind, or some other great composer or musician, so that by purely psychic sympathy he became



nothing but an instrumentality—the same as the piano itself—for a form of the action of consciousness that we are altogether unfamiliar with?

    Think of our situation, whether we are a wise person or a dull person, an old person or a child, when someone whom we greatly love, in whom we have found bliss, happiness, has left this plane. Is it outside the realm of Theosophy that our love for that person can be so great that in the hours of sleep—which only means in those hours when we are not disturbed by the lower principles—we catch the thought, the feeling, the will of that one whom we love, no matter how great a being he might be, so that for the time being we become that person, and his powers are our powers? That is a form of psychic consciousness, but it is the higher psychism.

    H.P.B. speaks of this same thing herself, although not in relation to Blind Tom. She wrote an article originally published in Lucifer and republished in the Magazine Theosophy. It is entitled “Genius,” and she goes ahead to take the pride out of what are commonly called geniuses, as well as taking the vanity out of Blind Tom, we may think. She said that every Spiritual Ego is identical with every other Spiritual Ego; there are no “high” Spiritual Egos and no “low” Spiritual Egos. That is something for us to think about. She says that the whole story, then, of the differences between Egos as we meet them and see them does not lie in the Ego at all—it lies in the instrument acquired. Now in Theosophy (Vol. XXXI p.56) is this commentary that has just barely been scratched. If you would like to follow up the subject, there are two other articles in the Magazine Theosophy one, written by H.P.B, called “Premature and Phenomenal Growths,” which applies in a far wider range than mere words. You will find that in Vol. V, p. 325. Some years ago, another article was published in Theosophy called “Child Prodigies,” and it gave quite at length some illustrations of things that are inexplicable from the standpoint of our human knowledge. That article is in Vol. XXI, p. 258

    We can all do some more thinking on the subject. For example, think, if we could get in that kind of rapport with the Masters of Wisdom that Blind Tom had with the musical sphere, what couldn’t we do? Just through his love of music, of the magic of sounds, he was able to bless himself, to make a heaven for himself—poor little slave boy that he was—that his owners knew nothing of. And he was able to make a heaven for others.

    Suppose our love for humanity, for our fellow beings, was as intense as little Blind Tom’s love of music was. Wouldn’t the intensity of that love of ours for our fellow men—who are the object of the devotion of the Masters of Wisdom—wouldn’t that bring us into such a synchronism of thought, will and feeling (call it “soul vibration,” if you want to) that the very harmony, the very knowledge, the very power, the very nature of those Masters of Wisdom, would enter into us just as the power of music entered into this poor boy?

    These are the things—not merely the phenomenal aspects of “genius”—that such a subject as this could lead us to think about.

* * * * * * *
(Blind Tom) Bethune, Thomas, a musical freak born about the


1 Reprinted in U.L.T. Pamphlet No. 13.

2 Reprinted in The Theosophical Movement for September 1936 (Vol. VI, p. 170).



 middle of the 19th century; d. Hoboken, N. J., 13 June 1908. He was a Negro slave in Georgia and was born blind and with very weak mental development. He showed remarkable aptitude for music and after hearing a piece played once could reproduce it accurately on the piano. He also performed other musical wonders, and for several years was exhibited in various cities. After playing he would generally spring up and applaud himself. He reappeared on the stage in l905 but being difficult to manage he was soon withdrawn. His lack of intellect developed into almost brutal idiocy.

(From The Encyclopedia Americana)

Chapter XI

I.—Karma, Nirvana and the “Karmaless”

Q.—Isn’t the habit we have of speaking of Karma and Reincarnation as separate doctrines a misleading one? Wouldn’t it be better if we had one term for both of them?


Ans.—As a matter of fact, we have one term—”Action.” The single term in Sanskrit is Karma Throughout all the old literature, Reincarnation is simply a concomitant, a resultant, an effect of Karma, but our nature is dual and all of Nature is dual; that means that there are two sides to every question. So Karma and Reincarnation are the two sides of the question of manifested Nature. We have manifested being and manifested Nature. What are the two sides of it? Karma and Reincarnation.

   Have you noticed in the statement of the Fundamentals as given in The Secret Doctrine the immense change from the statement of the First Fundamental to the statement of the Second, and the immense difference between the statement of the Second and the statement of the Third? Take the Second Fundamental. It does not postulate cycles; nor does it postulate Karma arid Reincarnation—it postulates the eternity of the universe in toto That is the first fundamental; but in this universe in toto there incessantly appear and disappear the manifesting stars. So really the First and Second Fundamentals are a statement of Nature. Nature has two sides, the unmanifested side and the manifested side. The First Fundamental is the statement of Nature unqualified; the Second Fundamental is the statement of manifested Nature. The Third Fundamental is the statement of Nature as it appears to us; that is, a personified or individual manifestation of Nature as represented in us and about us. We have a pair of terms to distinguish everything; the thing of which we speak is a unity, whether it is phenomenon or noumenon, or the First Fundamental.


Q.—It is said that Spirit and Matter are a pair of opposites—but one and the same thing. Yet Karma has no effect on the Spiritual plane. How about that?


Ans.—Spirit and Matter are said to be the two poles of the one Life, a pair of opposites, and at the same time it is said that Spirit is unaffected by action. How can it be affected by action when it is unmanifested? Only that which is manifested can be affected by manifestation. You can’t get burned in one house when you are living in some other house!

    But we again have to distinguish between the various uses of terms. How would you represent in the English language what is in fact represented



by the word “Nirvana”? Nirvana means, literally, “without an instrument”; that is, actionless existence, because there can be no action without a body or an instrument. That is what the Aphorisms mean: “There is no Karma unless there is a being to make it.” There is no action unless there is a form or instrument of action, and Nirvana means without an instrument; therefore, it means actionless existence, unmanifested Life.

What English word shall we employ as equivalent to Nirvana? There is no other word than “Spirit.” As used by H.P.B. throughout The Secret Doctrine the word “Spirit” is the equivalent of Nirvana, unmanifested Nature—Nature at rest, as opposed to Nature in action. And “matter” is used fundamentally throughout The Secret Doctrine to mean all manifested existence in no matter what state, shape or form, highest or lowest. The Seventh Gita says the same thing. We say Manas-Buddhi, and think of the Spiritual; yet The Secret Doctrine says that Buddhi is an effect; it is matter.


Q.—H.P.B. says in The Key to Theosophy that neither Atma nor Buddhi are ever reached by Karma.


Ans.—Well, what is Atma-Buddhi? It is the Self, actionless in the midst of its perfection. How could there then be any Karma? All Karma represents imperfection Karma is the working over of the remains—whether we work them over today from yesterday, or this Manvantara from a former Manvantara—it is dealing always with imperfection.

    We fail to realize that there is a condition of consciousness which cannot respond to discord; that is, there is a condition of Life in which there is no possibility of any consciousness of discord. In the case of the individual man, that is precisely his existence in Devachan; no discord whatever can reach the being in Devachan. He is just as un conscious of discord as we, here, are unconscious of Devachan. It is only in a world of contrasts, of impressions, that there is any possibility of pain or suffering.

    Then again, the word Spirit is often used to distinguish man. Man is embodied Spirit as we know it, and we have but to turn to the greatest chapter on Karma and Reincarnation—the Thirteenth Gita—and study it thoughtfully, to see much that will clear up all our problems. Krishna says, for example, that embodied Spirit—or Purusha (individual spirit) when invested with matter—experienceth the qualities that proceed from matter. Take a being that we could imagine to be now in Nirvana. Seeing the miseries of the world, he chooses to leave and enter this earth. Then he would have to suffer the pains and pleasures of this earth. He might not permit his equilibrium to be upset by them, but if you stuck a pin in the highest of beings, he would feel it just the same as any body else would. Our idea of a Mahatma is of one who is incapable of feeling pain. If he can feel our happiness he can also feel our woe, but he is incapable of being disturbed by pain, being upset by pain.

    Don’t you think we mistake the bondage of Karma for Karma itself? Everybody hates work, we say; but does he? Release this man from his job and he will go out and play football or play tennis or go out on the golf course or wrestle with somebody and work four times as hard as he did on the bench or in the office at is the difference? It is not in the expenditure of energy; he expends more energy in what he calls play than in what he calls work. The difference is that, in what we call play, body, senses, mind and heart are all conjoined.



    When we think of Karma, there is in the background of our consciousness a perception of something disagreeable. Action and inaction are a pair of opposites, a pair of contrasts. We can’t think of one without the other. The Self may be identified with inaction; when so identified, the Self is in Alaya, in Nirvana, in Devachan. The Self may be identified with action. When it is so identified, it is in the kingdoms below us and in the state of most men. But Self has an existence independent of both action and inaction. That’s the whole theme of the Gita The attachment of Self to action—that is, the more or less complete identification of Self with action—is what causes our bondage.


Q.—You spoke of a being in Nirvana becoming conscious of our woes. Can a being in Nirvana become conscious of our woes here on earth?

 Ans.—As a matter of fact, the being that is in Nirvana cannot. If he is in Nirvana and he is conscious of pain, he is bound to feel it, isn’t he? You can’t be conscious of anything without feeling it. But if he feels pain, he isn’t in Nirvana; that is a contradiction in terms. The result of evolution is the Mahatma. What is a Mahatma? He is the being who is beyond both manifested and unmanifested Nature; that is, he is beyond Karma, which is action, and he is beyond Nirvana, which is repose. Yet, how, in what sense? Why, he knows what Nirvana is—a state of measureless bliss, happiness, peace, perfectness. He knows what manifestation is, but he does not identify himself with either of them.

    When you go to Devachan, that to you is the real; when you go to Nirvana, that is the real. It takes three and a half rounds to drag us out of Nirvana, we are so sure that that is all there is!  In Nirvana, the Self is completely identified with bliss. The shadow of Nirvana, so to say, rests on every human being. What is it that everybody is longing for, working for, fighting for? For happiness; that is, for enjoyment, for repose, where he can’t be disturbed, where he can’t suffer. There is only one way to find that place; and that is, get off the map.

    So, when it was said that a being in Nirvana who is untouched by works, fruits of works or desires, sees the woes of earth and comes here, it does not make any difference if he comes in love or compassion instead of under duress: the moment he is here he feels what goes on here.

    The upshot of evolution is the Mahatma. He never identifies Self with good; he never identifies Self with evil; he never identifies Self with bliss; he never identifies Self with misery; he never identifies Self with birth, or body, or circumstances, or environment, or death, or manifestation, or non-manifestation. He knows there is only That which eternally is, and That I am. That is the harvest, the fruit of evolution.

 Q.—What is the difference between the Karma of animals and the Karma of Man?

 Ans.—Broadly speaking, this question could be answered in a single sentence: There are no moral consequences to the animal from its actions; there is no Karma as the human being experiences Karma. Animals get the physical reaction from their actions and environment; they get the sense, or sensation—the psychic reaction—from their actions; they have no appraisal of good and evil, for this requires both self-consciousness and reason. Lacking these two balance principles, the animal. can’t suffer Karma in the sense that the human being does.

    The difference, then, is that the real Karma of every man is moral suffering. He feels the injustice of what befalls him; that’s Karma.



From the standpoint of the individual being, Karma always presents, when you come to think about it, two great aspects. First, Karma is what he does; what he experiences in his actions. Second, Karma is what he feels as the result of what happens to him.

 Q.—How about the Karma of what he doesn’t do?


Ans.—A man may be in the world of action and refuse to act, physically. Then the result is disintegration of the body. A man may be in the mental world and refuse to act mentally. Then the result is the disintegration of the mind. We see people whose bodies are going to pieces for no other reason in the world than that they do not act. We see others going to pieces psychically, astrally, mentally, and morally because they will not act when they see that action is called for. Non-action is death, slow death.

 Q.—Why is it that an animal has physical Karma? Why should an animal have any kind of Karma?


Ans.—Being human, and looking through human eyes, our difficulty is to avoid personifying other forms of life in nature around about us. It is these nature stories telling about what the wolf “thinks” and how the dog “chooses” that put us on the wrong track. An animal is in a world of action and has the power of action; it lives in an environment, the environment of its body, that of its senses, that of its appetites or necessities, and a physical environment which reacts to its own active principles. An animal can act, and does act from the moment of birth to the moment of death. There is also the other side of its action—the reaction. But Karma in our sense does not exist for the animal.


Q.—If you say an animal is not a responsible being, how do you account for the suffering that some, of them undergo?

 Ans. Its our irresponsibility that makes the animal suffer, not its. We have to pay for it; we do pay for it in our moral suffering. Most of the moral suffering of humankind is the inarticulate groan of the whole of nature below man which reverberates in our own feeling, our own sense of futility and injustice. Mr. Crosbie often repeated that phrase of St. Paul: “Doth not the whole of creation groan in travail because of the iniquities of man?” The kingdoms below us are as absolutely in our power as our bodies are in our power. When we abuse our bodies, the body does not “suffer” from it—it is we who suffer from that abuse. We abuse the animal kingdom in particular. It is not the animal kingdom which “suffers” in our sense; they suffer physically; they suffer psychically to a degree. But the real suffering is our own, because we are the responsible entities in manifested nature, whereas they, having neither self-consciousness nor reasoning power, can’t suffer morally.


Q.—Would Karma react more strongly on an intelligent man than on an ignorant one?

 Ans.—Don’t we recall how Mr. Judge speaks about people whose mental and psychic and moral outlook is restricted? He says that the lower they are in the scale of being, the less they feel Karma, although they themselves may feel it to be very dreadful, very burdensome. The more refined and cultured a man is, that is, the more sensitive to the harmonies of 1ife—doesn't  it stand to reason that he will suffer the more when subjected to the disharmonies of life?



    If we are keenly sensitive to harmony in some direction, say in music, our mode of life, our use of our principles in other directions may be just the reverse of our use of our principles in the direction of music. So, on the side of music we can be elevated to the highest heaven, but not having towards everything else in life the same attitude as that which we take towards music, we suffer abominably. This may explain the so-called “artistic temperament.” Devoting their lives to some one aspect of nature, to some one field of possible activity or sympathy, as if that were all, they are then, in fact, out of harmony with all the rest of life.

    Where our attitude is the same towards the whole of life, we tend more and more towards stable equilibrium. It would be possible for one to be sensitive to the fall of a pin on the farthest star—assuming that they have pins there—so sensitive that he could hear a sigh perhaps from some being on that farthest star, and yet move serene through the destruction of a universe. There would be poise in him. Why? Because the attitude of such a being will be the same towards all creatures, towards all that happens.


Q.—Since Karma is reaped in the place where the causes are sown, do we necessarily reap effects through the same beings with whom we set up the causes?

 Ans.—Karma in itself, whether as a principle of action or the law of compensation, is absolutely and utterly impersonal. We are personal in most of our actions. To the extent to which we personify our relations with another, we have to settle with him. Does not that stand to reason? To the extent that his feeling is personally involved, he does not see Karma; he sees it personally just as we did. So whenever we are impersonal we learn from all, and that is the highest Karma there is. Our life is then an example to all. But we, taking the personal view, hate a given being or love a given being—this only means that we personify we deify. So long as that feeling is in us, it will bring us in contact with that very being over and over again, until we cease to personify anything. Then what? Then all relations are relations of will, or duty, or choice, and not under duress of any kind.


Q.—Isn’t that making the adjustment at the point of disturbance?

 Ans.—Undoubtedly, this is the direct answer to the question: the spot, place or focus is wherever there is a disturbance, and the adjustment must necessarily be made at the point of disturbance.


Q.—Supposing the one personified or deified is impersonal in his actions towards us, but we are, personal?

 Ans.—An impersonal being doesn’t take anything personally; therefore, he has no Karma. All Karma depends upon the way you take it. Karma consists simply of but one thing seen from two points of view:

(a) it is our action; (b) it is our re-action—not the other fellow’s.

Q.—On p. 101 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 96 Am. Ed.), what is referred to in this statement?

......if he falls into indifference of thought and act, thus moulding himself into the general average karma of his race or nation, that national and race karma will at last carry him off in the general destiny. This is why teachers of old



cried, “Come ye out and be ye separate.”
Ans.—Don’t you feel it is perfectly clear that whoever tries to progress in anything, by that fact goes ahead of the mass? So he does come “out” from among them; he is a pioneer. Isn’t it a fact that those whom we call radicals are also men who come out from among prevailing ideas or the mass mind, and seek something better? All progress, it seems, is due to that very thing.


Q.—While there is action, can equilibrium be established?


Ans.—If equilibrium is established, then there will necessarily be, under the Second Fundamental Proposition, a further period of activity. The whole thing might be said to come to rest at the centre. But there is the Spirit of Life itself, and its line of operation through its separations, always under the law of periodicity, so that there would be a further line of action on the basis of the experience gained. Always, where there is action or manifestation, there must be the pairs of opposites; where there is no manifestation, no pairs of opposites.

    Take the question: Can there be action without a disturbance of equilibrium? Suppose I am hungry and desire food; my neighbour has food and desires to give me food; he gives me food. There certainly has been action, but has there been a disturbance of equilibrium? We forget that all disturbance of equilibrium is due to involuntary participation. Where there is voluntary participation on both sides, there is no disturbance in equilibrium; and there is plenty of action. All action could be with out disturbance of equilibrium in the mental, moral and spiritual senses; there should be altruism in actu that is, action without Karma.

    Don’t you think there is constant danger, because our state of consciousness is a personal one, of taking a personal view of Karma? There is neither morality nor, neither good nor evil, neither pleasure nor pain, in the Law of Karma. The good and the evil, the pleasure and the pain, are in us, in our attitude towards Karma. Death comes to a man and he is content to die; where is the Karma for him? Death comes to a man and he wants to go on living—bad Karma, we say. Yet Karma is neither good nor bad.

Chapter XI

II.—Equilibrium and Liberation

Q.—What is the difference between being a helpless victim of fate and being bound to old Karma? Mr. Judge, referring to why it is that a child is born humpbacked, states on p. 97 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 92 Am. Ed.) of the Ocean “His Karma for thoughts and acts in a prior life.”


Ans.—Let us go back to physics and take the simple word, equilibrium Any being is capable of a given degree of oscillation to one side or the other, forwards or backwards, up or down, while still preserving his equilibrium. But whenever the centre of gravity falls out of that on which he stands—that is, the base line—it would be a miracle if he didn’t lose his own equilibrium and fall. This only means gaining a new centre of gravity.

    Apply this in metaphysical terms to Karma: if our Karma is not consciously generated on the plane of Spirit by the use of the three higher



powers which we can Atma-Buddhi-Manas, then at once it passes to the plane of ideation; in other words, to a new centre of gravity. But, if that Karma is not “caught” and adjusted there and equilibrium restored on the plane of mind, then of necessity there will be a fall to the next centre of gravity, which we call the plane of Kama. If Karma is not caught there, then there is a fall and a new equilibrium gained in what we name the Astral. If Karma isn’t caught, or stopped, on the astral plane, then it falls to the lowest world—in which case we lose our centre of gravity on the higher planes of life and finally are upset here, physically. Not having studied the chain of cause and effect, which only means successive loss of centres of gravity, we fail to preserve equilibrium on any plane and get upset here. Then we say, “That is my Karma.” Now, that is like saying that a murder victim met his death by getting in front of a flying bullet, when what we mean is that he met some man with a gun who simply shot him. The bullet is not Karma—it is the last link of a long sequence of loss of equilibrium.


Q.—On page 97 (p. 92 Am. Ed.) it is said that one is born hunch-backed because he had made fun or sport of another hunch-back in a previous life. Because I have a lame foot, I got to thinking why I got it and I want to guard against being further deformed in the next incarnation. Can this be done?


Ans.—Well, we can all understand that behind every one of our questions there is something within the range of our own experience, some thing of which we are conscious, that has caused us to raise the conscious question. Yet it is just as impossible for us to determine the actual line of causation of a specific result, physical or otherwise, in this life, as it would be for someone standing on this platform and taking note of this audience to endeavour to speculate as to whence each one came, from the mere fact that he is here. This can’t be done, because you can come from a thousand different directions to a common focus.

    So there are any number of ways by which any result can come about. A man might be a hunchback or a man might teach some erroneous doctrine in regard to hunchbacks. Perhaps his “hunch” is wrong.

    Here is another man who has a foot that is very troublesome. He comes to a false idea of the chain of causation which produced this deformity or difficulty with his foot. Well, now, doesn’t the man need most to get back to the right cause of it? We have to proceed first from universals to particulars. The simplest person can see that in so far as he knows anything at all, everything that occurs, occurs under law. If any physical thing happens, there was a cause for it. The same thing applies in the moral world. If any moral effect occurs, there was a cause for it. If any intellectual result occurs, there was a cause for it. If there is any spiritual effect experienced by any man, there was a cause for it.

    Without trying to attempt to trace the sequence—a long, long chain of cause and effect—by which any particular effect was achieved, Theosophy points out that if it was achieved, it was not an accident, not a miracle, not some God giving us something we did not deserve, or some God punishing us: it came about under Law. Once we get that perception, we know how it is that every good comes about—under Law. We know how every evil comes about—under Law. It makes no difference what being is expe-



riencing the good, or what good he may be experiencing. It makes no difference what being is experiencing the evil, or what evil he may be experiencing. Everything comes about under Law, regardless of the good or evil, regardless of the person to whom it comes.

    Yet evidently there is an immense hiatus. Here am I with a lame foot or a humpback, and I know that that came about under Law, but how did it come to me, and not to my brother? How did it come to me, and not to my enemy? The answer to that question can never be found except in the man himself, because the man is the connecting link between the universal and the particular.

    Looking a little further, we can see that all bad actions begin in bad motives, and a bad motive is in some way or another one of two things: either there is the desire to benefit ourselves without due consideration of whether our action is going to benefit or injure others; or else, and usually conjoined with it, there is injustice toward some other. Always there is that element of selfishness somewhere, or of preferential treatment for ourselves. If I want anything that I haven’t earned, then in fact I am unconsciously unjust towards others. If I get what I don’t earn, how can other men get what they do earn?

    When a man sees that, he won’t bother whether he has a humpback or a lame foot or what—not. He will say: Whatever it is that afflicts me is the same as whatever it is that afflicts all mankind. It is the sequence of coloured motives, coloured thoughts, coloured feelings and coloured actions. There is no dodging. No matter how many misfortunes are lying in wait for me as the result of my own acts, they are not to be dodged, and I don’t want to dodge them. I will take them as they come, I will recognize them when they come, and I will do what is needed to patch up the situation. But from now on I am going to scrutinize my own motives so as to get this idea of preferential treatment for myself, this idea of injustice to others, out of my system. I never can get it out of my system if I don’t check my own motives scrupulously, if I don’t check my own thoughts scrupulously, if I don’t check my own acts and conduct scrupulously.

    In other words, if I begin to watch myself spiritually, mentally, morally, and know that if I keep on doing so, this being a universe of law, two things will be the result: I shall undo all the mistaken actions of my past and I shall atone for the two evils that I have done—the taking of what didn’t belong to me and the failure to do what I should have done. I’ll have repaired my sins of omission and commission.

    We seldom think of what Karma means—equilibrium. Equilibrium means poise;, equilibrium means balance; equilibrium means rest; it means freedom.


Q.—Isn’t it difficult for beginners to get the right idea of Theosophy when there are so many bogus “theosophies” abroad? For instance, there is that story of the hunchback put forth by a so—called clairvoyant who claimed to have come back into life.

 Ans.—Suppose it isn't. What have we to do with that? Mr. Judge cites the hunchback as a specific illustration in the Ocean. But all of us are “hunchbacks” somewhere—visibly or invisibly; all of us have deformities, and one deformity is certainly no better than another.

    Some may remember a story in a school reader about how a great being came to the earth and told the people that if they all came to him with



their troubles, he could suggest a way to help them. So everybody came with his troubles; one had this tendency, the other had that tendency or defect. Then the visitant said:— “I’ll tell you what you can do. You take all your troubles, and I shall give you a magic power—you can pitch them over there in that valley But there is one condition. You know, probably few of us realize that the other fellow has his troubles too; whatever our trouble is, to us it seems like the biggest and only trouble in the world. It really isn’t so, but the great difficulty is to see that it isn’t. So the condition attached to this offer is that after you go and throw all your troubles in a heap, you can’t leave the valley until you have picked out some other trouble which suits you better.

    They all thanked him and felt greatly relieved. Everybody rushed away and pitched his disability, his defect, his disease, over in the valley. Then they raced down—hill, holding hands—all as brotherly as they could be. Then they started prowling around. One man who was driven crazy with headaches traded for the stomachache; another man traded his disease for Bright’s Disease, and so on, and were they happy. Then they all wanted to go back up-hill to say farewell to this heavenly visitor and thank him once more. But as they started on the way up-hill, they found these new troubles didn’t suit them. Each one began to complain: I could get along with my own trouble, but now I have this other trouble and I don’t know how to deal with it.”

    By the time they all got back, there was the heavenly visitor, smiling blandly, with his hands clasped behind his back, and as they came up—looking so sick—he said:

    “My deer children, what is the trouble?”

    One fellow said, “I could stand the boil in this place but I can’t stand pain here.”

    “Well,” the visitor replied, “I will be glad to make any adjustment necessary.” It seemed that every one had a thousand times worse complaint than before, and so finally the Master said, “It looks as if I made a mistake. I’ll tell you; I’ll use this magic power again, and then each of you can go back and pick up his own trouble.” So all the people pitched their new troubles overboard and raced down-hill like children. Each one got his own trouble back again, and they all came back hand in hand—the happiest clan.

    Isn’t this what the Ninth Chapter of the Gita means—the chapter just preceding the initiation of Arjuna into the Divine manifestations of Krishna and the vision of the Divine Form as including all forms, which covers the Tenth and Eleventh Chapters? That Ninth Chapter begins:

    “Unto thee who findeth no fault. • •“ If we do injustice in any sense, conscious or unconscious, that injustice will come back to us sooner or later for adjustment, and then it will weigh on us doubly heavy—because of the other man’s sense of injustice plus our own—and that is why it is that we now “find fault.” If we want to talk about sins, the greatest sin of humanity is the sin of fault finding—with Nature, with the operation of Law, with our neighbours and with ourselves. Faultfinding never did anybody any good.


Q.—In a selfish nation can an individual who overcomes selfishness in himself be liberated from the national Karma?


Ans.—Why, that is liberation from the national Karma The man who



quits stealing in a thieving world is liberated from theft, isn’t he? The man who quits lying in an untruthful world is liberated from false hood. That is what liberation means. The man who overcomes selfishness in himself, through and through, is no longer a man; he is a Buddha; he is a Christ; he is a Master of Wisdom. Could he live here in a selfish world and still be free? Why, of course. If he couldn’t, then such beings as Buddha and Christ and the Masters of Wisdom are unfortunate beings indeed. Can a man be at peace in the midst of a physical storm? Of course he can—or he can share the nature of the storm.


Q.—The statement is made that certain Karma, or certain causes have been set up in the past—myriads of causes, as a matter of fact, by all of us—that those causes don’t all ripen together. Partly they are prevented by the force of Karma already ripened; in other words, they are suspended and can’t precipitate until the appropriate instrument or environment is obtained. The question is: Does Karma depend upon the instrument?


Ans.—Karma depends upon more than one factor. Part of our Karma is connected with the physical body. At the end of the Fifth Round there will no longer be any physical body. What becomes of the unharvested Karma sown in physical bodies since the middle of the Third Race in the Third Round? After the middle of the Fifth Race in the Fifth Round we can’t reap what we sowed on earth because our earth would not exist any longer; we can’t reap in or through physical bodies because we would not have physical bodies any more. What becomes of such Karma? It remains in suspension until the next Manvantara.

    So, when we come to die, there are innumerable causes set up in a physical body, with a physical instrument, in physical, human, earthly relations, that can’t come to fruition until we come back to the earth again and into another physical body in which to sow and reap. The same way with the Karma which we experience after death. We can’t reap dissembodied Karma as long as our consciousness is confined to a body. We only reap the disembodied Karma after we cease at death, or cease, through wisdom in this lifetime, our identification with the body.

    Looked at in this way, all these problems begin to clear up. It is not so much that the books clear up a problem, not that anyone can clear them up for us—the clarification is in ourselves. All our confusions come from principles out of place, principles unrelated, a confusion of the elements of our being. As our thoughts are turned inward to the principles of things, our confusion at once begins to lessen; in degree as the confusion lessens, clarification takes place. It is like light and darkness—darkness is not the reality; light is. Darkness is only the absence of light. The moment light begins to dawn, darkness begins to disappear. So the moment our minds are turned inward towards the source of our being here, to the elements which compose our being here, to the principles involved in our coming here, there is the shining of the Spiritual Sun in us. Then we begin to see for ourselves.

    The closing section of Chapter XI gives a recapitulation from a more elevated plane. Have we noticed that? Remember that Mr. Judge says he writes the book so as to be understood by the ordinary man, but it is most interesting to observe the true occultism of Mr. Judge. He begins his chapters speaking from our human, personal, every-day standpoint of things, and then in the concluding portion of the chapter he gives a re-



capitulation and summary from a higher point of view. Throughout the writing, he proceeds in a general way, but, at the end of a given chapter, he uses the methods of occultism and so approaches the subject from the standpoint of the reincarnating Ego, the higher man.

    The whole story of Karma is really contained in Mr. Judge’s Aphorism No. 30 on Karma: “Karma operates to produce cataclysms of nature by concatenation through the mental and psychic planes of being. “ When we come to think about it—since we look from within outward—Karma insensibly and inevitably presents to us the appearance always of something happening to us from sources and causes outside ourselves, while the whole theme of the chapter is that Karma inheres in ourselves, that there is no cause for any being unless he makes it, nor any effect for any being save as he feels it. Aphorism 30 speaks of Karma at large, every kind, and we may ask: I how can the dynamic power of human thought cause a flood or an earthquake or a cyclone? Where is this terrific power stored until it reaches the exploding point?

    In the section on Karma in the first volume of The Secret Doctrine H.P.B. makes a curious statement that bears directly this subject. She says:—

    It is a law of occult dynamics that “a given amount of energy expended on the spiritual or astral plane is productive of far greater results than the same amount expended on the physical objective plane of existence.” (I. 614)

    Let’s see if we can’t get an illustration. Our body is our earth, isn’t it? What are diseases? In disease, the body is used as a dumb, blind instrument. What are diseases but another kind of cyclones, floods, storms? How are they produced? Are they not produced in the first instance by a flash of feeling in us which explodes the vital energy inside and results in a physical earthquake? That is, our body becomes immediately an instrument.

    Suppose the atmosphere gets surcharged with a mixture of air and water, vapour and gasoline. Nothing happens unless someone strikes a match, but, one flash of fire, and there is a truly frightful explosion. Earth and air and water are all lives which our thoughts and feelings affect; the elements of nature are the carriers, the storehouse of these human energies we expend. Then a flash of Manasic feeling explodes the situation. That’s the answer to the question here.

    Every being, down to the minutest in his time and cycle, becomes the cause or fulcrum upon which the whole of life revolves; if that fulcrum breaks, there is a catastrophe.


Q.—If calamities, such as cyclones and earthquakes, are caused by man’s thinking, why doesn’t the result of those calamities always affect man? There are a great many calamities which occur where nobody is, nobody exists.


Ans.—That is Nature’s prevision. Why is it that in an assassination somebody else is killed than the assassin, and when people die from poisoning, those who die are not the poisoners? Man, because of his dynamic powers, is forever visiting on those weaker than himself the results of his own actions. We affect the matter of our bodies we affect the astral matter which is powerless to resist our impact—and it is a good deal better for us to have our diseases physically than to have them



mentally and morally.
    There is, however, another side to the question. If the questioner will look at the quotation from Buckle’s History of Civilization given in the first volume of The Secret Doctrine (p. 298, he will find that the subject of Karmic prevision is treated; and also there are various hints by H.P.B. as to the work actually performed by those beings called Nirmanakayas. We shall then understand that in so far as the Karma of the race permits, these violent forces are discharged where they do the least harm, and, if man does not learn, then sooner or later he will be involved in those catastrophes. We have to remember that the time will come when whole continents will be destroyed by a natural catastrophe— fire, earthquake and subsidence in the sea. These things are cumulative.


Q.—What is the explanation of the statement by Mr. Judge in Letters That Have Helped Me that when there is an earthquake some new Great Soul has come into the world?


Ans.—Mr. Judge didn’t say what he meant; he only made the statement. One of the Masters once wrote that the method of occultism is to arouse or provoke curiosity—which means mental interest and inquiry—provoke it, but not gratify it. The Ocean itself is an illustration of that all the way through. All kinds of shocking or provocative statements are made; the answers aren’t there, because in us is the power to solve the question raised. So whatever Mr. Judge may have meant by the statement— quakes here yesterday: these signify some souls of use have come into the world somewhere”—it is in the same category as the statement in the Bhagavad-Gita, that “rain comes from sacrifice.” There is the statement; Krishna didn’t explain the how, when, why or wherefore of it; but it is something for people to think about—and no doubt they have been thinking about it for 5000 years!

Chapter XII

I.—Death and the Death Vision

Q.—It is said that after the physician has pronounced the body dead, the real man is busy in the brain. Is it the physical brain that is here referred to, and if so, what about those Egos, taken in war or by accidental death, whose physical bodies are blown to pieces?

 Ans.—There is more than one view of the brain. To us the brain is a mass of pulpy matter, but to the dead man it is not a mass of pulpy matter but a film of impressions. Since those impressions are stored in the molecular structure of the physical brain, it follows that the real brain cannot be blown to pieces. It would not make a bit of difference if the physical head were shattered into ten million fragments—every molecule is there, undisturbed, after the explosion. We can see how that is. A great battle goes on, and yet Nature registers the vibrations just exactly as if they were so many rays of the sun; the exploding shells and the terrors of war don’t interrupt Nature’s processes for a moment.

    Remembering that death is the separation of the principles, not only from each other but in themselves, can’t we see that in such an instantaneous death only the body has been torn loose from the other principles? So the inner astral man is still alive “on the other side.” A man may suffer a severe brain concussion and lie unconscious for many days, but



his body is not separated from the other principles. The man himself is on another plane of consciousness than the physical, until he wakes up in his body again. In the case of death by violence; there is no body to return to, and death must be completed in a state of semi-lethargy, which is perhaps neither in Kama Loka nor on earth, until the period of the natural term of life is ended.

    Just as the drowning man has part of his death vision before he is resuscitated, and must complete it when his natural “hour” has come, can we not imagine that the shock of death by violence must bring with it some part of the death vision? H.P.B. says in The Key to Theosophy that this vision is for every man, without any exception even when death is sudden. So, it stands to reason that  the natural life term has ended, the Ego must complete its review on the threshold of Devachan. Memory has remained intact in the astral brain. If this review were not completed, where would be the material from his last life on earth to afford him his Devachanic bliss?

    The accounts given by those saved from drowning seem never to include the seeing of causes in the events of their lives. The same holds true with those who are within a split second of dying in an air crash. The seeing of causes is part of the spiritual death vision, since then the Ego knows the justice of all that has befallen him, and sees himself as he is in the whole chain of cause and effect. This is the kind of vision that means the real completion of one’s last life on earth.

    When death has occurred by violence, there must be many occult adjustments that take place for the averagely good man during the period of his semi-lethargy before Devachan; but the Teachers have not dealt with these matters in any detail. How could they, since every man has his own particular after death states, not to be “lumped” with those of others?

 Q.—Would one kind of violent death affect the subtle brain, so to speak, more than another?

 Ans.—I don’t recall any statement on that subject to that effect. Isis Unveiled says that even after actual death has supervened, it is possible to call the Ego back to the body—which is in effect a new incarnation in the same body—and, in those cases of drowning where the actual death vision takes place, it stands to reason that the man is dead and then is brought back.


Q.—How about the man in the airplane who had a death vision?

 Ans.—He was dead, because, to the Ego, death means a separation from the body.


Q.—Would you say it was the finishing of one life and the beginning of another?

 Ans.—Yes. All we know is that there are innumerable records, principally in cases of asphyxiation such as drowning produces, where the man had seemed to be dead but was brought back and then said that, at the moment of drowning, all the past events of his life had passed before his eyes.


Q.—It has been said that many Theosophists would have no Kama Loka or Devachan. Where would these elect be. after death?

 Ans.—Such a remark must have been made in connection with other



statements and circumstances; that is to say, with qualifications. Those who have no Devachan are busy, whether in a body or out of a body. We have but to look at the various statements in respect to those beings who are called Nirmanakayas. But, for the average Theosophist, we can very easily answer the question as to whether he will have a Kama Loka and a Devachan. Do we dream at night good dreams and bad dreams? Do we get so happy while we are awake that we forget the woes of other people? Do we get so wretched, downcast and miserable that we forget even our own happiness? If so, we certainly will go into Devachan and Kama Loka. There is no doubt, however, that those who desire to work, who have the good of their fellows at heart and whose will is set in that direction, are helped out of Devachan. That is the statement in the teachings.

Q .—Some think that during the last Great War there was a great deal of communication with the astral bodies of deceased soldiers. Is there any truth in this idea?

Ans.—The statement of the philosophy is that only those beings are conscious and able to communicate on the astral plane who are one of two things: Adepts or sorcerers.


Q.—The drowning man is said to review his past life during the short space of time consumed in the process of his complete suffocation, while with the man who is slowly freezing to death, after the first painful stages are passed, his condition becomes purely subjective and he seems to have passed directly into a condition of Devachanic bliss. Will you please comment on these strange phenomena?

Ans.—The only comments that can be made merely remind us of what everybody can see for himself. First, a frozen man is seldom restored to life; many drowned men are. So we do not know so much about what happens to a man who loses his life by freezing.

    The next thing to consider is that death by drowning is an extremely violent death, brought about by the fact that air is instantly cut off from the man. Now, air has a direct relation to what we may call the connecting sheath of the seven principles of the living man; it corresponds to Buddhi. What do we breathe for? We don't breathe for the sake of our body; we breathe for the sake of some other principle than the body. We drink water for the sake of some other principle than the body; we go out in the sun for the sake of some other principle than the body.

    Further, a frozen body will last a good deal longer than a living one, whereas death by drowning takes place in a few minutes, and violently ruptures the connection between the three pairs of principles. With any body who dies a natural death, the body gradually turns cold, so that death by freezing is an acceleration of the natural process—except that the body turns cold artificially while the man is still living. Therefore, we can imagine that death by freezing, once the initial pains are past, approximates simply an accelerated natural death.


Q.—To revert once more to that period of unconsciousness between the dream state and the deep-sleep state—is there such a period between all the states?

Ans.—Of necessity we are all the time moving from state to state, and these states exist in alternating order. Thus, no matter what state we are in, when we pass to another state, we are in the position of a man traveling in one particular direction—before he can travel in the



opposite direction, he has to come to a dead stop. There are intervening states of unconsciousness, but they are “unconscious” only in our sense, and because we associate consciousness with the idea of something to be conscious of.

    Patanjali says that there are conditions in which the soul exists, but exists in the state of a spectator without a spectacle. Now, there is a moment of non-vision in passing from one state into another. We can visualize this: Come out of darkness into bright light; for a moment you can’t see. Go out of bright light into darkness, and for a moment you can’t see. Yet in a little while, coming from bright light into darkness, or from dense blackness into light, you can see.

 Q.—Since the Ego is always conscious on some plane of being, what is meant by the term “unconsciousness”?

 Ans.—Where is the Ego during a condition of coma? If he is not here, he is in some other state; he may be in any one of a hundred extra-physical states, higher than our consciousness or lower, as the case may be.


Q.—Would a prolonged period of coma just preceding death tend to make the separation of the lower principles easier after death actually supervenes?

 Ans.—If we take a simple statement in the philosophy, we can answer that question, each one for himself. The moment death supervenes, the being is on the plane of effects; he can set up no new causes until after he emerges from Devachan prior to the next incarnation. If that is the case, no matter what he does after death, it is reflex, it is involuntary. Coma, in any case, simply means unconsciousness here Where he is conscious, how he is conscious, depends upon his interest on the other plane and in the other states to which he has gone.


Q.—If the Perceiver, as said by Patanjali, looks directly on ideas, how could we see anything save as we see it in idea? In external sight, wouldn’t we have to have an idea in regard to things seen to see them actually?

 Ans.—What do we see? Space? No. We see something in idea and we name that idea “Space.” Do we see matter? No; we perceive forms with our physical senses, and we see them in idea, and then we name them “matter.” To any being the entire universe is his idea of it. In fact, our idea of the universe is what is meant by the term “human being.” There is no relation whatever between the universe here and now as we see it and experience it, and this identical universe as an animal sees and experiences it, or as a plant sees and experience or as a mineral sees and experiences it—or as a genuine chela sees and experiences it.


Q.—Must not the blind man have some idea of Space if he reaches out and spans distances?

Ans.—Of course, if we consider the case of the blind man or of one with his eyes shut, we shall realize that when we say “Space,” we do not even think what we mean. Space to us is the impression that the sense of sight brings to us; Space ceases if we close that sense of sight. Our sight is through the eye, which is the active or positive pole of what passively and externally we call Space Our ideas internally are the active aspect of what, externally, we call matter.



    There are three ways of regarding Life. Look in the religious books, in the encyclopedia or in the dictionary for the three “hypostases” of God, or what the Hindus call the three Avasthas The Indians called them the three Laws of Men, and a Greek thinker once called them the three principles of the lever. Theosophists speak of body, soul and Spirit, or the “Three Fundamentals.” These terms all refer to the same thing. The universe can be regarded as Self, and when so regarded, and then only, is the whole universe Life to us. The universe can be regarded as external to oneself, as internal to oneself, or as a mixture of the two—these are the Three Hypostases. When we regard the whole universe as Self, we are Brahms, we are God; when we regard the universe as matter, we are animals; when we regard the universe mentally, we are lower Mamas; when we regard the universe as the field of Life, its actions—that is, its expressions and impressions—we can see that there is nothing outside of Life. So, we have to understand our Fundamentals in a vital sense.


Q.—Since the real man is in Devachan, can you really say that he exists in Kama Loka?

Ans.—If the real man is in Devachan, can he be said to exist in Kama Loka? No, of course not. That entity which exists in Kama Loka when the Ego is in Devachan is no more the man than the dead body left on earth is the man. If the Ego is in Devachan, then that which is in Kama Loka cannot be the man.


Q .—How do executed criminals inject thoughts of murder and crime into sensitive living people?

Ans.—They don’t inject them consciously, unless they are waked up by mediumistic practices, but they inject them in the same way as a wire which is connected with the cells of a charged battery; that wire will transmit a current of electricity just as soon as the charge is in the battery. Any one whose nature is open to ill will and bad feeling comes at once into magnetic relation with these “charged batteries” of hate that the executed criminals or murderers represent; a magnetic rapport is set up, and that person becomes a receiver for their villainous content of thought in precisely the same way as you turn on a radio and get whatever is in the air according to the rate of vibration to which your radio is tuned. A study of the radio affords a perfect analogy for innumerable things that go on between thinking men and astral entities, elemental entities, entities in Devachan—in every state.


Q.—How can it be a man’s Karma to be murdered or to die in an accident if his natural life span is not finished?

 Ans.—It simply means the operation of conflicting forces. During this Black Age, the usual limit of earth life for any one—not you or me or this one or that one in particular—is said to be 70 to 100 years. Now, if interfering forces set up by any individual in connection with others cut short his normal span, then he spends it in the after-death states before he can go to Devachan. The natural coherence of the principles is for a given length of time. At any given age, any one of us may interrupt that coherence and throw himself out of the body, but, if he does, he doesn’t disrupt the coherence of the rest of the principles and he simply has to remain suspended, so to say, until the natural time of dissolution comes.



Q.—How long does the average man stay in Kama Loka after death?

Ans.—Remember, we are speaking about the Ego—the answer is, from a few minutes to a few hours; sometimes a few days, sometimes a few years; but, in the case of ordinary humanity, the man does not stay in Kama Loka very long. If we look deeply, we can see the reason for that. There again is the force of the inner conviction of good and evil. Suppose that a man had thought murder, thought cruelty, thought all sorts of abominations during his life; that, whenever his mind was free, he dwelt upon iniquity. In thought he slew his enemies, he robbed and plundered and betrayed; that was a favorite subject of cogitation with him. This man dies. His consciousness is on the plane of Kama Loka where there is no impediment to the vision of desire on the black side. Now he sees murders he does not change his thinking; he sees crime, gluttony, iniquity, lust of every kind, as it does not shock him at all; he is used to it. How long would he stay there? He might stay there for many years.

    But the average man, no matter if occasional thoughts of murder, or rage, or wickedness, flash into his mind, is revolted by them; he throws them out. He dies and goes to Kama Loka, and the same field of vision, of desire, of the black side of nature is open to him. He sees and participates in that murder or those crimes to the extent that he had thought about them while alive. The moral shock to him is such that it wakes him up; he is out of there right away. It is the same proposition as when we are asleep at night. No matter what kind of dream we are having, if there is something in the dream that actually revolts our moral sense, we are awake in a moment. There is probably not a person who hasn’t had some shocking dream—call it a nightmare—and almost invariably he wakes up; the more horrid the nightmare, the more promptly does he wake up. That is the average state of mind after death. The nightmare side of life is open to one and the shock of it throws him out.


Q.—What is the cause of insanity, and what becomes of the Manasic principle when a man is insane?


Ans.—Insanity is the condition in which the Ego has lost all control over the psycho-physiological side of his body without losing the body itself: there is the fact. What caused it? Abuse while in the body of the principles now deranged. What becomes of Manas in the case of insanity? Manas sees and knows, but is unable to remedy the difficulty; in other words, Manas in case of insanity is no longer in the body—the body is attached to the man and he can’t get rid of it. He is not seated in the body; the body no longer responds to his thinking will. It’s like a man who has the palsy or any kind of a nervous disease or nervous paralysis; he knows what is the matter with him, but the connection between his will, the brain and the hand that he desires to use has been broken, so that it will no longer obey his will. The man is not insane; the hand or the arm is paralyzed or out of control. Apply the same thing to the bodily instrument as a whole. The Ego can’t go insane; the Ego is wisdom itself, but its instrument may become deranged through misuse.




Chapter XII

II.——The Motion of “Shells” and “Waking Kama Loka

 Q.—What is the relation between the classification of “shells” and the four characteristics of Manas?

 Ans.—Has anyone ever thought to speculate on that subject? With most of us, our ordinary mental action is the action of a shell—the mind flies off from anything we want to put it on. It flies to something that we like, that is, that we are attracted to, or it flies away from what we like, which is what a shell does; and it “squats,” remains passive, considering naught—which again is what a shell does.

    Such a correlation ought to arouse us to the fact that our consciousness in Kali Yuga—the consciousness of the race—becomes more and more incarnated Kama Loka. (If you want to pursue that a step further, read the statement in The Secret Doctrine Vol. II, p. 350 Look at the number of people there are that are nothing but incarnated shells—just psychics, mediums. The Ego is there, but he is like an Ego in Kama Loka—he either exercises no control of his lower principles or he has lost the power of control.

 Q.—What is the difference in the kind of causation that leads to the after-death states and that which leads to rebirth?

 Ans.—There is no difference; it is the same causation that leads to rebirth, to life, to death, to Kama Loka, to Devachan, to rebirth. That causation is Tanha the thirst for separate existence in matter. All these states go together. As long as there is the thirst, all the states are there. Why cannot all causes be worked out in the after-death states? Because the after-death states are purely a reaping of what has been sown; they are not a field of sowing, but a place of reaping.

    Remember what H.P.B. says about the lower principles that make up the human being, except for the light of Higher Manas? She says that the lower principles are like wild beasts, and that, when death comes, they are made all the wilder by the great change—they fly to their elements. That is why the stay in Kama Loka is very short for the average man; the Ego can’t assimilate the lower principles; they are with the Ego under duress during life. The moment they are free to fly, they fly.

    In Devachan, the Ego is engaged in assimilating so much of addition to his will, to his knowledge, to his Buddhi, we may call it—that is, his sense of compassion, brotherhood and affinity for mankind—as the food furnished by the life last lived made possible. When that is over, he is drawn back to life by the sense of desire.

    One of the Masters once used a very graphic phrase in regard to Devachan that may interest many of us. He said, “Of course, Devachan in sober truth is an intensely selfish state, a state of spiritual selfishness”— notice the word, selfishness—”in which the Ego reaps the reward of his unselfish acts and thoughts on earth.” There is a pair of opposites with a vengeance, isn’t it?

 Q.—If the real man is not affected by change or pain, why is there such a difference between the suffering of human beings and that of the animal kingdom, as seems to be implied in Theosophical teachings?

 Ans.—There is a coupling up of two unrelated things. Suffering in the human kingdom is of two kinds: “animal” suffering—that is, suffering not accompanied by memory of former suffering, or by anticipation of



worse suffering—and suffering upon which the imagination and the memory are put to work. H.P.B. says, “Woe to those who live without suffering. But we can suffer as the animal suffers without any mental suffering. Mental suffering comes from the imagination and memory. So man’s suffering is mental and moral; the animal’s is purely astral—quite another thing.


Q.—It has been stated that there are seven states between incarnations. Only three, however, seem to be spoken of: Life here and now, Kama Loka and Devachan. What are the other four states?


Ans.—Well, there is a kind of Devachan and Kama Loka on the way down to birth; that is quite another story. When we come here at birth, this is the same old earth as when we got old and got ready to die, but it looks mighty different. It is another earth to the old man than it is to the child. The two intervening states, the two psychic states on the way down, and the Kama Loka and Devachanic states, constitute four, altogether; earth life is another, making five. The two spiritual states besides the state of Manas itself are the other two, and we have the seven states.

    But we could put it more properly this way: There are three worlds or states which are causal; those are the three Spiritual worlds. There are three worlds or states which are the effect side of the causal or Spiritual states. Those are the three material worlds or elemental worlds. Then there is the mixture of the three Spiritual states and the three material states; that is, waking human consciousness. There are the seven worlds or seven states.

Q.—Do the executed criminals, victims of violence and so on, realize that they are dead and out of earth life?

Ans.—It would be difficult to answer that by Yes or No. According to the teachings, the violence of the shock is such that they are for the most part stunned; they are like a man in a nightmare, like a man dazed by a blow. But they can be roused to some consciousness of earth life and to the fact that they are dead and out of earth life; they can be roused to that, and when they are, they may become a species of ghoul and vampire.

Q.—If the after-death states are effect states, how can one get out of Kama Loka by self-induced and self-devised efforts?

Ans.—He must make the self-induced and self-devised efforts while he is alive in a body. The Kama Loka state is relative to the thought and action of the life last lived—it is still a part of the personal life, but it is the effect side of the personal life.

Q.—What is a Theosophist to do when a person dies and those about the dead one are not Theosophists and even summon officers of the law?

Ans.—You can’t prevent other people doing what they can do. But if the body were not left for ten minutes after death and we couldn’t prevent it, we would only make a bad case worse by worrying about it or by getting desperate ourselves. Where we have the knowledge and the duty and the power, we are to do what we see is right; but if it is not in our power, then we ought to recognize that it is not our business. My business is what I can do, not what can’t do. Isn’t that so in every case?




Q.—What type of beings are those that have gone into Avitchi?

Ans.—First, let us understand that Avitchi itself, although ordinarily translated as “hell,” is not our Christian theological hell. It is just the most convenient and graphic English word to use; but the term Avitchi bears no more relation to the theological hell than heaven itself does to Devachan. A being in Avitchi is one who loves evil for its own sake, does evil for its own sake; his only happiness is in inflicting evil on others. Any such being is in Avitchi whether he is incarnate or disincarnate. There are such beings alive in human bodies. H.P.B. said that we elbow soulless beings at every corner. But if one has great knowledge and the kind of nature which loves evil for its own sake, he may be clever enough to keep out of incarnation himself and make use of the bodies of incarnated beings for his own purpose.


Q.—How would that affect children? Sometimes we see children who act as if they were possessed of a devil.

Ans.—Maybe they are. Remember that children, good or bad, are not human beings or incarnated Egos in the sense that we are. Incarnation, even to the extent that it reaches in the ordinary adult man, is a very gradual process. It is said that the Ego doesn’t get into connected contact with the body until the age of seven is reached. Up to that time the child may be called a human animal. There is an Ego to whom that body belongs, and in time the Ego will gain more or less control over it; but, up to the age of seven, both the Ego and the body have a somewhat independent existence as, you might say, a physical and a psychical Siamese twin.

    But after seven years, the Ego begins to have consciousness as Ego, moral responsibility or sense as Ego, while in the body. Then, as we all know, at about l4 years of age, the second seven a distinct change comes over the child; we call it adolescence. That change is not merely physiological, but psychical, mental and moral as well. In fact, the physiological side of it is a mere effect of the fact that the Ego is becoming more and more active as Ego while in the body.

    By the time age of 21, the third seven, is reached, the Ego has attained maturity; that is, he has gone as far as he went before in the body; he has reached what for him is a balanced existence in the body. From then on, he makes new Karma, for better or worse; that is, he increases his Egoic power and control over, because of his understanding of the right use of, the body—or the reverse. By the time he is 28, or 35 the fourth or fifth seven, the Ego has undertaken consciously and intentionally the battle of life, which is the control of the body—meaning by that the four lower principles.

    Most of us, however, struggle very little with ourselves after we reach young manhood and young womanhood; by the time we are 24, 25, 30 years old, we have become settlers, and we are inclined to take things as they are. Those bodily desires which are agreeable to us, we feed; those bodily desires which are disagreeable to us, we endeavour to suppress; but we seldom push the fight.

    The value of Theosophy is that it makes one a student of nature. In grown men and women it arouses the knowledge that the battle is only begun. Look at this class—men and women who are studying, not because somebody drives them to school, but studying, of their own will, the great problem of how the Ego in the body is to be the master of the four



lower principles and not their slave.

Q.—What you have said accounts for the fact that there is no record of the ghost of a baby ever, having been seen?

Ans.—Yes; there are vivid dreams sometimes, and sometimes the imaginings of a mother in Devachan—imaginings of her baby so powerful that they might produce a picture of a baby that a medium or clairvoyant could see and would mistake for the ghost or soul of a baby. But all they would be seeing would be a mental image.


Q.—Would the mother get no feeling from the mental image?

Ans.—She couldn’t produce it except out of concentration of feeling, which is Buddhi. Remember, the problem of the after-death states is not so difficult after all. Manas during waking human life is said to be dual and we speak of it as higher and lower Manas. When we reflect upon this, we see that it means that, in waking human life, Manas—which is one, not two—is aware of relativities. That is why it is called the dual Manas. Higher Manas is aware of a higher world than its own that it is now in; Lower Manas is aware of a lower world than itself. Manas thus perceives at least more or less successfully or unsuccessfully the contrast between the higher, invisible and the lower, visible world. After death, Manas is not dual, whether in Kama Loka or in Devachan; Manas is once more one.

    Furthermore, we have to remember that in no case is Manas active in Kama Loka. Kama Loka is the state of objectified memory If Manas were active in Kama Loka, Kama Loka would be a Spiritual state. Manas is active in Devachan but it is Manas active in the Buddhic mode of activity, and we know that only under such terms as Meditation and Concentration, while in a body.

    Another thing to remember in regard to the after-death states and every similar state: since we are in waking human life, Manas is dual in us; that is, we are aware of a higher world and a lower world, and of ourselves struggling between the two. We need to study this subject by analogy. No after-death experience is possible for any living man that he hasn’t already had while on earth without any Kama Loka or any Devachan. There are times with us all when we are conscious only of evil; that is, of the dark side of life—our woes, pains, torments, and especially our sufferings or wrongs. We are so vividly conscious of the dark side of life that for the time being we have no memory whatever of life’s bright side. Whenever that is our state, we are in Kama Loka; but we have a chance to know that we are in Kama Loka. After death, we are not conscious of that.

    Everyone has times when he is completely happy. Assume a man dreaming of music, dreaming of a great painting, dreaming of writing a great book, dreaming of being his country’s saviour and happy in his dream. “Dream” there is a conventional term—It means that his creative imagination is at work, no matter in what direction; at work so vividly and so actively that for the time being he is utterly unconscious of contrasts; in other words, he sees and is immersed in only the bright side of his nature. Such a man is in Devachan, but while alive he has a chance to see it for what It is. He says, “This is a Devachanic dream; I am in the Devachanic state.” Then he would be “awake” in Devachan. Such a realization would not make him any the less competent an artist or a poet or a statesman or a writer of a great play, or a philanthropist; it



would make him infinitely more competent, more capable, from our stand-point. In fact, all the great works in the world have been produced in just that way, even as all the evil works are born in “living Kama Lokas.


Q.—It is taught that Kama Loka extends to a distance beyond the physical earth. Does that distance vary with the intensity of the mass action of human beings?

Ans.—To speak accurately, No; but to speak more truly, though not accurately, Yes. Whether in Kama Loka or in Devachan, the being is in what you would call the “egg” state. Compare an egg with a chicken running around the yard, and you have the difference between meditation and thought. Thought or minds are represented by the chicken; the consciousness of the mind or thought of the matter in Devachan or Kama Loka is the egg.

    Thus, the being in Devachan or Kama Loka has no consciousness that he is there; he has no conscious communication with any other being. If he had, his state would be one of relativities, and Manas would wake up. Manas is but the spectator of his own creations in Devachan, but the spectator of his own objectified memories in Kama Loka.

    Since Kama Loka is a solitary state, in fact, how could the being be influenced by the mass? The teaching is that, in certain specified cases, we can be affected; the being in Devachan can be reached by one of the Adepts and affected by him to the extent that he can be brought out of that state—that is, Manas once more may be awakened to duality, to the perception of relativities. And as all fiction is founded on fact, the vast fiction of prayers for the dead, of purgatory, etc., has some basis of truth behind it. For a certain time after death—that is, so long as the Ego is, in fact, in Kama Loka—he can be affected both by the mass mind of humanity, its beliefs on that subject, and more particularly by the beliefs and thoughts directed towards by those who knew him in life and who were associated closely with him.

Q.—On page 109 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 103 Am. Ed.) Mr. Judge says: earth-life is also a kama loka since it is largely governed by the principle kama and will be so until at a far distant time in the course of evolution the races of men shall have developed the fifth and sixth principles, thus throwing kama into its own sphere and freeing earth-life from its influence.” What is the “own” sphere of Kama?

Ans.—Kama is the energic impulse in all Nature. When man regards Kama simply as vital energy and nothing else, as a form of power, then Kama will be in its own place. That was so up to the middle of the Third Race in this Round. There was no Kama Loka, and there was no “Kama” as the word is now used in Theosophical. teaching, until after the middle of the Third Race in the Fourth Round—nor will there be any such Kama or Kama Loka after the middle of the Third Race of the Fifth Round.

Chapter XIII

I.—”Waking” From Devachan and the 1500—Year Cycle

Q.—It has been stated that the aspiration of the being would determine his stay in Devachan. What about the Theosophical student who does not wish to stay l500 years in Devachan, but wishes to come back to work?


Ans.—The stay in Devachan, referred to in terms of our years, is the



period during which the psychic impulses for good, generated during the lifetime, have a free field for their working out to the satisfaction of the Ego. How about the Theosophical student? Well, we are all studying about Devachan and Kama Loka. Aren’t we generating psychic impulses of our own, probably more strongly than other people are, while we are studying this subject? What is the nature of the psychic impulses generated? If they are in the direction of our personal happiness, our personal progress, then will they not land us in Devachan as sure as fate, and keep us comfortable and happy, solving the problems of the universe to satisfy ourselves?

    The stay in any state—that is, the subjugation to the illusions of any state—must necessarily be contingent upon the depth or force of the underlying conviction in the man. If our conviction of earth-life here were an illusion, we would wake up from the thraldom of human consciousness. If we did not wake up from this thraldom, we certainly wouldn’t wake up from the thraldom of Devachanic consciousness, which is human consciousness without interruption; here, there is human consciousness plus interruption.

    If the contrasts of good and evil here aren’t sufficient to shake us loose from the conception, “This is the Real” how it would be if there were no evil to break up our meditation: how long would we stay here on earth? The Theosophist in Devachan will be just like any one else, unless his knowledge, his will, his psychic impulses generated in earth-life are sufficient to effect the union of Buddhi-Manas while he is conscious in a body. Certainly he will be in Devachan in the same state of illusion as if he were not a Theosophist.


Q.—If one has an active mind and a desire to serve humanity, how could he remain so long in Devachan?

 Ans.—He is the one who is apt to stay there longest. Remember, he does not know he is in Devachan; he is “serving mankind”; he is saving generation after generation of sinners, lifting them up to high heaven. He is his own Christ, his own Mahatma, his own Buddha, his own everything. Our philanthropist is creating worlds of beings in his own mind, and saving them all; there isn’t a lost soul among them. How long will he stay there? He will stay there until his dream wears out; that is, until the material of his imagination, which started the seeds of thought in earth-life, has all grown to its full stature, so to speak, and died.

    But suppose one had a sound philosophical basis, say, a Theosophical. basis. Suppose one is a genuine Theosophist and a sincere student, with an ardent desire to serve humanity and an active mind. He goes to Devachan—why? For the simplest reason in the world, when you come to understand the nature of incarnation. The cycle of incarnation as an average, say the books, is l500 years, which means that the reincarnating Ego, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, contacts matter and it takes l500 years to work out one single cycle of contact. Earth-life is only a part of the cycle of incarnation; the descent from the plane of Buddhi-Manas to earth-life is only a part of the cycle; so are Kama Loka and Devachan; the whole cycle is 1500 years.

    Now, if the man has set up the cause for earth-life—laid the foundation for it—back to earth-life he will come; he is here because he chose to come. That cause might be Will: he is here because he chose to come, but he did not have to. That would be the incarnation of a Mahatma or an Adept. Or else, he is here because of some unsatisfied desires of



a former incarnation and many former incarnations—the thirst for separate existence. Existence on the plane of Spirit is not separate; it is unitary. Thus, the thirst for separate existence is what brings him into the cycle of reincarnation. If this thirst brings him to earth and remains as his Will, it will take him to Kama Loka, whether he likes it or not; it will take him to Devachan, whether he likes it or not—because the desire is more powerful than his Will or his knowledge.

    How to overcome that? When we realize what has just been stated, we can see that both Kama Loka and Devachan are effect states and not causal states. Manas cannot act, in our sense of the term, except on the basis of Will or relativity. Since the man hasn’t acted on the basis of Will, in his incarnation, he has acted on the basis of desire. Therefore, instead of our earthly life being one of will and thought—which would mean ordered thought—it is desire and thought; instead of being Will and Imagination—that is, creative imagination—it is desire and imagination. Ergo unless the man experiences here in earth-life the full effect of this never-ending flow of causes, unless he adjusts every impression he receives here and now, they are there on his metaphysical “back when he dies, and since the spiritual being cannot assimilate feelings, and can not assimilate impressions, it follows that there is no escape from Kama Loka or Devachan.

    Here in the Lodge, some years ago, there was an old lady who said that the last thing she wanted was to go to Devachan—and yet she was the hungriest person ever seen hunting for happiness here. It is the hunt for happiness here that shows the Devachanic tendency in us. We aren’t here to be happy; we aren’t here to be unhappy; we are here to work. In other words, to use our Will, our power of thought, our creative imagination, subject to our divine Will—that is what we are here for. If Jesus had been looking for happiness, he certainly never would have come. If Buddha had been looking for happiness, he certainly never would have come. So long as thirst for the soft side, the good side, the easy side, the happy side for ourselves is in us, that very thirst will make our Devachan afterwards.


Q.—It was just said that every impression must be adjusted here and now; what is meant by that?


Ans.—We know that all day long we receive myriads of impressions through our five senses, through memory, through imagination, through thought, through desire, through feeling, through contact with others. How many of those impressions do we weigh in the divine scale? Of how many of those impressions do we say, “Now, that is a good impression; I want to deepen that, strengthen it, preserve it. I want to build that into my character. This is a bad thought, a bad memory, a bad feeling—I don't want to carry that or harbour that.”

    Mr. Crosbie used to say, “You can’t prevent the birds from flying over your head, but you can prevent their nesting in your hair.” So we can’t prevent that ceaseless flow of impressions, because we are living on the plane of Kama Loka now; we are living on the plane of Devachan now; we are living on the Spiritual plane now. We have to recognize what earth-life is—the plane of mixed forces. In Devachan the forces are unmixed; in Kama Loka the forces are unmixed. If this weren’t a plane of mixed forces, a world of mixed forces, then we couldn’t have a perception of’ good and evil, of right and wrong, of pleasure and pain and



the other qualities which the Gita calls “the pairs of opposites.”

We don’t sift our impressions. When they bring us a bill of fare at the hotel, we don’t tell the waiter to begin with “A” and go all the way through; we select what is compatible with our need and our taste, and that is what we order. But when we pick up a newspaper, we “eat” the whole bill of fare, the whole thing. Think of the myriads of rotten impressions with which we store our minds every day—and we never take a mental bath. So, then, unless we sift our impressions, take a mental bath, we aren’t fulfilling our duty as Ego, and after death we are loaded with the impressions that have to be discharged.


Q.—Is there any help possible for a student if he is not wise enough to come back, of himself? Can he have somebody help him come back from Devachan?


Ans.—We have to remember that from the standpoint of the purposes of soul, and of our being what we are and where we are in evolution, Devachan and Kama Loka are just as necessary for us as earth-life is. As we are, isn’t air necessary? Isn’t water necessary? Isn’t fire or heat necessary? Yes. Isn’t earth—that is, solid comestibles—necessary? Isn’t exercise necessary? Isn’t sleep necessary? Yes, those are all necessary things for the different constituents of our nature here.

    Just so, the experience of Kama Loka is a necessary constituent of our being in the cycle of incarnation and the experience of Devachan is likewise a necessary cycle, a necessary experience. But why should anyone want to go to Devachan? Reverse the question—Why should one want to come out of Devachan? It is desire in either case. One desires to go to heaven and the other desires to stay away from it—or come out of it if he falls in. Both of these people are moved by desire. Devachan is the result of Spiritual desire. The man who is afraid to go into Devachan, or doesn’t want to go into Devachan, is making himself go there. Whenever you go to thinking about anything, what are you doing? Beginning to transfer spiritual, intelligent and creative imagination to that state of which you are thinking.

    Now, under law, if a Theosophist is interested in humanity—whether he is awake or asleep, alive or dead, sick or well, happy or unhappy—his whole thought is on the purposes of Soul Then he is just as useful in Devachan, when he is there, nature as he is useful here. The statement has been made over and over again that Devachanees often affect for good those they love who are still on earth—even to the extent of benefiting them in their material circumstances. So, while a man may be dead and in Devachan, if his heart, his thought, his meditation, is on humanity, he is serving there. But in time he will reach that state where he will be more useful here than he is in Devachan, and then we have a right to think that he will be helped out of it.

    We are told that all workers for the Lodge of Masters, no matter of what degree, are helped out of Devachan if they themselves permit. That is a statement of H.P.B.'s which will be found reprinted in Theosophy Volume III, page 37. (See Vernal Blooms p. 162.) There have been a good many questions on this point. How and when is this permission given? Since we have lived many, many lives on earth before, and this one in addition, all of us have an immense amount of what might be called Karma in suspension; that is, we have set up infinitudes of causes—causes that in fact embrace the whole solar system, subjectively as well as



objectively. Not all of that Karma can be precipitated in any one life or in any one after-death state. The “permission” given is not that of a “Lord of Devachan,” a being, asked by a Devachanee, “Master, Sir, can I come out?” Nor is it a Lord who says to a Devachanee, “It is high time for you to return to birth; may I have your permission to push you back to earth? All of us can help in many ways.”

    What is the permission given? The permission given is the causes set up. What is a cause? It is that action of our own which to us t help of those of the same nature and with the sane objective as inspires us, or which composes the best in us. It is the conduct of the student while alive which shows what his real motive and intent were. He might very well be asleep in Devachan, but Those able to see on that plane, as we see here, might see what the man’s nature is, that he is simply oversleeping, and that he will be glad of the chance to come back to work. So, perhaps, a suggestion might be dropped into his mind that things are not what they seem, and then his will is set in motion, his reasoning is set in motion, and that is what brings him out of Devachan—nothing unnatural, nothing abnormal, nothing in any way that smacks of the personal god.


Q.—You speak of the 1500—year cycle. Will that cycle ever change?

Ans.—Surely; it is changing all the time. Some have the same cycle as they had a million years ago, some have a shorter cycle and some have a longer cycle. The cycle is simply one of the sequences of states induced by the Ego in its ignorance or its misconception. As knowledge increases, whether in the individual or in the mass, as conscious differentiation and the orderly progression or evolution of all increases, it follows that Devachan will cease and Kama Loka will cease. Up to the middle of the Third Race, there was neither Kama Loka nor Devachan, we should remember; these states have come only since we became “fallen angels.”


Q.—The statement was made that there are many cases in which a being in Devachan affects beneficially those still on earth, that benefit extending even to material circumstances. The question is: Is the Devachanee conscious of this?

Ans.—Why, no. He thinks he is still on earth, remember. The Devachanee does not know that he is dead, does not know that he is separated from those he has left. How could he know it? He is a million times closer to them than he ever was when he was alive, except in Devachanic moments while on earth. He has no idea that he is “up in heaven” and has surviving friends down on earth. He has no idea that he is clothed in a fine vesture of thought, in a fine state of substance; it is a fact, but he does not know it. The child in the womb does not know it is there; it is there, but it does not know it. So the Devachanee is not conscious of the actual effects produced here on the living being, but the effects are there just the same.

    We have to get at the fundamental distinctions of states. The analogy is in our earth-life. Here we are awake in this world. Now, where are we when we lie down and close our eyes to go to sleep? It is the same ourselves; we are still here—that is, in the world of matter—but we are in another state, the dream state, we call it. What is the difference between the dream state and the waking state? It is enormous. We ought to be able to figure that difference out for ourselves. It is the precise




difference between the living man and the man in Devachan. When we are dreaming, we are not aware that we have left waking consciousness. The Devachanee has left physical embodiment, but he does not know it any more than we know when we are dreaming. And so through the various other post-mortem states, good, bad and indifferent, because Kama Loka has seven subdivisions, the same as ordinary waking consciousness has; Devachan has seven subdivisions, the same as ordinary waking consciousness has.

    A Mahatma, an Adept, on the Devachanic plane is awake there, just as we are awake here, but he does not disturb the sleepers any more than we would if we saw a tired man asleep here. We would not go up to him and say, “Hey, Bill, I am awake; you are asleep; why don’t you wake up?” That wouldn’t be good for Bill—and, if Bill were a courageous man, it might not be good for us, either. Why should we assume because we see somebody asleep that he needs waking up? Why should we assume that because somebody is dead, he needs pulling out of that state? Are we “God” that we should decide the destinies of others for them?

All the time, since it is the same Ego, there is in Devachan the Spiritual consciousness. That consciousness is latent and inactive because it is purely in the position of a spectator but, since it is there, every once in a while the Devachanee has a half-waking instant. Have we not had that same experience in dream? We were dreaming, certainly; we did not completely wake up, but we suspected that we were dreaming. The same thing happens with a man in Kama Loka. That is what gets him out of it. So with a man in Devachan. After a while that feeling becomes more than a suspicion.


Chapter XIII

II.—Assimilation in Devachan and Continuing Consciousness

Q.—If an ordinary human being, having advanced to Devachan, can in fact affect for good those whom he loves while they are still on earth, what could be done by a Being who had knowledge?

 Ans .—There is no limit to what could be done, save and except that imposed by the Karma of the being whom he would like to help. If we had perfect knowledge of the nature of the other, we might be able to conceive of a thousand ways in which we could help, and still be debarred from helping him because of something in his nature.


Q.—Does not the Ocean seem to imply that there is a freedom of the soul in Devachan that is not possible to the ordinary soul here on earth?

Ans.—We should be able to see that from the key statement of the whole chapter, near the top of p. 118 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 111 Am. Ed.):

    “It simply now has gotten the opportunity to make its own world for it self unhampered by the clogs of physical life.” The Ego here does not have the opportunity to make its own world for itself unhampered by the clogs of physical life. Here, whatever it is that we aspire to do, whether good or evil, we are constantly subject to the interruption and interference of our fellow beings.

    Earth life is an objective state, one of the two fields for the manifestation of Soul. What does “objective” mean? It means a state in which we, in relation with others, can act out what we think. But Deva-



chan is a subjective state; that is, the being is in no conscious contact with any other being. The truth is that after death two things happen: First, in Kama Loka we relive life at its worst, as we thought of living it or as we wanted to live it when on earth, or in the way we were prevented from or afraid of living it. Secondly, in Devachan we relive our life at its best as we thought that life should be lived. How are we able to do that after death? Because there is no interference from other beings. Why can’t we do that here? Because of interference from other beings.


Q.—Does the Ego gain anything from his stay in Devachan?

Ans.—It is the one place where he does gain something. Do we gain anything by eating our dinner? Not a thing; we only gain from what we assimilate. So Devachan is that stage of assimilation where the Ego absorbs into his own permanent being whatever was assimilable of the life last lived. Spiritually, it is a state of progress. Intellectually, there is no progress; physically, there is no progress—it is neither a physical state nor an intellectual state, but a spiritual and psychic one.

    Our analogy is simple: Does the food we eat add anything to the health and strength and energization of the body? Surely it does. So with Devachan. The good experiences of the earth life are assimilated into the very fabric of that portion of our being which we call Buddhi-Manas, and the man comes back better by just that much.

Q.—Can there be such a great Karmic influence as to keep a person out of either Kama Loka or Devachan and bring him back immediately into a body?

Ans.—There could be if he were an Adept; and he wouldn’t have to wait for the body to die to do that, either.

Q,—Don’t we assimilate while we are in the physical body?

Ans.—We all know that we do, but it is not a state of uninterrupted assimilation. While we are living in the body we are consciously acting, unconsciously assimilating. So, waking human consciousness differs enormously from the spiritual condition. We have a threefold basis of action in the body, while our basis of action in Devachan is internal and unitary.

Q.—Since we pass through dreams into deep sleep, is there no higher resting-place for the soul than Devachan after death?

Ans.—Devachan is personal Nirvana, and it may last to the end of the Manvantara—it does, for some beings. If you will watch carefully the almost numberless statements about the after-death states, you can not only see that fact recited, but also see the reasonableness of it. Devachan is a state of repose. Now, if there be a state of repose for an almost infinite series of years, it might last to the end of this Manvantara; it would be comparable to a Devachan, but it would be given an other name—Nirvana. Any state of repose this side of Nirvana is a Devachan.

    There will be no higher state of repose until the whole of humanity goes into repose and our period of evolution for man as a whole is over. There is no higher state than Devachan for the human being, but there is a higher state for those who follow the path of knowledge and of compassion. Just as they become free from the illusions of earth life without leaving the earth, so they become free from the illusions of Devachan




without forfeiting their right to repose. Such would be the Adepts.

Q.—It is said that the high leanings and aspirations of the soul cannot be worked out on this plane. Why do we have to go to Devachan to work out the noblest aspirations of the Soul?

Ans.—It is because we haven’t got what it takes to work them out here. All of us have lots of good intentions, and you know what the road to a certain place is paved with!. We haven the courage, we haven’t the will, to carry our good intentions into practice here, because there are too many oppositions, too many frictions—it costs too much. But after we die there is no opposition; we work them out to our own satisfaction, because we are not interfered with. The very reason that there is no Devachan for an adept is that his will is the supreme power in him, whether he is asleep or awake, alive or dead, in this body or in any other. He lives in what we might call a will body. There is no Devachan for him; there is repose, but no illusion.

Q.—Does not Mr. Judge say that as this state is often entered into and passed through here, it should be a help and not a hindrance?

Ans.—Why, yes. Devachan as a state of bliss is not absent from earth life. When any one is so happy that he isn’t thinking of anything—so happy that his happiness fills him—he is in Devachan; and, per contra when any one is so miserable that his will is in abeyance, he is in Kama Loka. Devachan and Kama Loka apply to the soul; they are not geographical locations.

    While we are in earth life, then, we experience all the states of consciousness, or their subdivisions, over and over again; but after death we do not. That is the great value of earth life. In it, we do not notice when we pass from a state of bliss—call it Devachan—to a state of mental anxiety and suffering—call it Kama Loka. Afterwards, we look back and say, “It’s strange—when I woke up this morning, I was as happy and as cheerful as could be, and at 10 o’clock every-thing went dead wrong!.” But we did not notice when we made that shift. Our attention is on objects, sensations, feelings and not on states of consciousness.

Q.—The question I had in mind referred to Kama Loka, not Devachan. Wouldn’t you say it is possible to assimilate the joys of Devachan and the woes of Kama Loka while here in earth life?

Ans.—Well, if we don’t, we shall always fall victim to them. If I can’t tell a state of consciousness before I am in it, after I am in it and while I am in it, then I shall inevitably fall victim to it. If I can’t see the contrast while the contrast is there, I certainly can’t see it when it is not there.

    We have to learn to understand Devachan, and recognize it when we come into that state. When we get “the blues,” when we become full of anxiety and woe and terror and despair and despondency, we are over whelmed by them—just as Arjuna was in the Second Chapter of the Gita Arjuna didn’t even suspect that he was in Kama Loka or Avitchi, but that’s where he was. Krishna knew it. Arjuna wasn’t wise enough to say, “Why, I know what is the matter with me—I have just tumbled over into another state without noticing it.”

    Unless we understand Kama Loka or Devachan while we have the opportunity to compare it and contrast it with other states we shall fall victim to it after death. As a matter of fact, our very thought and study



on this subject—granting that we try to get clear perceptions and conceptions—will inevitably shorten our stay in Kama Loka and Devachan; they will bring us out of both states more quickly than would be possible for the ordinary human being.


Q.—What becomes of that ethereal Devachanic vesture—Mr. Judge calls it a “vesture” rather than a form?

Ans.—It is a vesture of thought. In Devachan the Ego is going over and experiencing, working out in his mind and thought, the best of the life last lived, the ideals that he had and was unable to work out in actual, physical, waking life but on which his mind dwelt much. He realizes those ideals in Devachan; he has them in his thoughts in that state. So it would seem as if he made that vesture of thought, and it can be assimilated as a part of his own permanent nature. When he has worked it out, there is no longer any vesture. He, as the immortal triad, sees and knows himself, and sees the nature of the incarnation to come; then he is drawn back into incarnation. At least, we can look at it this way; work it out; this is by no means a final answer.

Q.—Can a being, born into this world as an idiot, enjoy the Devachanic state after death?

Ans.—Well, from a certain point of view, it is a form of “idiocy” that makes a man go to Kama Loka and Devachan But consider: even though the congenital idiot might have a death vision, how could such a being possibly have a Devachan, since it could scarcely have generated any noble aspirations or psychic impulses?

Q.—We find this statement on p. 124 (p. 116 Am. Ed.):— The whole period allotted by the soul’s forces being ended in devachan the magnetic threads which bind it to earth begin to assert their power. The Self wakes from the dream, it is borne swiftly off to a new body, and then, just before birth, it sees for a moment all the causes that led it to devachan and back to the life it is about to begin, and knowing it to be all just, to be the result of its own past life, it repines not but takes up the cross again—and another soul has come back to earth.

    The puzzling part of this passage is the phrase, “it sees for a moment all the causes that led it to Devachan.” Is there not a moment of clear seeing between Kama Loka and Devachan? What takes place during the passage of the Ego from Kama Loka to Devachan?

Ans.—Those are two cognate and extremely searching questions, and upon them, as upon many other things, the written statements of the philosophy are, first, exceedingly reticent and, secondly, such statements as are made are scattered far and wide. One has to find them for himself.. We can get, however, following H.P.B.’s advice, a very clear analogy. During the day we have our waking activities. Then, when we go to bed at night, we have a vision—everyone does—a backward vision over the day. We think over, we look back over, what we have done, what we thought, what we have said during the day. Some do it carelessly; some do not notice that they do it; some do it thoughtfully, because they realize that it is the analogy in physical life of what takes place at death—the back ward vision over things done, things undone and so on.

    All of us are aware, or could be aware, that after these few quiet




moments something happens to us—a moment of complete unconsciousness. For the time being, the waking life, whatever it was, of today and of every other day, has ceased and been blotted out just as absolutely as if it never existed. This is the barrier between states. Then only do we begin to dream on the outward tide of dreaming, which corresponds to waking up in Kama Loka. We die, we have the backward vision, then comes complete unconsciousness and then comes our experience in Kama Loka.

    If we follow the analogy, we know that after our dreaming there comes a prolonged period to which we give the name of sleep, but which, seen from this side, represents total unconsciousness. We all know that in returning from that unknown world that we call deep sleep, there is suddenly a re-entrance on the incoming tide of the dream world. Then, just as we awake, a moment’s obliteration, so that very, very few people bring through anything, you might say, from dreams. We have been in bed 7, 8 or 9 hours, and in one second we can recall all that we did; that is, one second is time enough to recall what we brought through.

    Going on with this analogy, there is death; there is the retrospective vision of the life lived; then there is the passage of the barrier that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead, a line of unconsciousness; and, finally, “waking,” to use the best term possible, in Kama Loka. But it must follow that the Kama Loka life comes to an end. As it does so, there must be a retrospective glance in Kama Loka, then unconsciousness, then the waking into the Devachanic existence. Again, after the period of Devachanic activity, there must come at its close a retrospective glance over the Devachanic life, then a moment’s unconsciousness, and then waking as Atma-Buddhi-Manas on this plane—in which case we see both forwards and backwards: we see what led up to this birth, and what is involved in it. That is, we see the unlearned lessons and the undone things which we are once more to struggle with.

    Those who are really interested in this question will find in The to Theosophy on p. 160 (2nd Indian ed.), two profound statement the first relating to the retrospective vision and the second, to the prospective vision.


Q.—Where does the Ego function during this “unconscious” moment?

Ans.—We ourselves can see what that means—a change of orientation, a change of direction. No matter what it is that we may be giving our attention to, when the time comes either that we have to cease giving our attention to that thing, or we ourselves choose to give our attention to a new thing, there is a moment’s hiatus when we are looking at nothing. We have ceased to look at A and, before we can look at B, we have to reverse our attention. That’s given in the Third Aphorism of Patanjali, and the line of “unconsciousness,” the barrier line, is the fundamental meaning of the word “concentration.” The Third Aphorism in the First Book of Patanjali says, “At the time of concentration the soul (ourself) abides in the state of a spectator without a spectacle.” Where there is nothing to be perceived, there is no consciousness of perception. The thing is self-evident, when we come to think about it.

Q.—Is it just that we should be punished for what we did in a former life, when we do not remember it?

Ans.—According to the teachings, every night while we are asleep, at the moment just before birth, and in the after-death moment of concentration, we have a perfect consciousness of the past and of the future,



as well as of the present—we see their unbroken continuity. Human waking consciousness is discontinuity. Our consciousness during this life is discrete, not continuous. That makes earth life what it is.

    But the idea that we are punished for our sins of omission and com mission carries with it the idea that somebody or something outside of us is doing the punishing; in other words, the idea that we are punished in the evils that befall us is a relic of the Personal-God idea. We may not be aware of the fact, but it colours our thinking a great deal. Why did this befall me? That’s a good question to ask. If we understand that, whatever befalls us, we who are the reaper were also the sower, we see that we reward ourselves, we punish ourselves. But in truth, there is neither reward nor punishment. That question applies to the religious doctrine of salvation and damnation. Whether good or evil happens to us, we have a chance to do something besides enjoy, something besides suffer—we have a chance to learn, to realize our own judgment, our own wisdom in action, our own moral stamina, our own power of cohesion, that is, our power to stand fast in the midst of no matter what circumstances. So if we get rid of the idea that we are punished or rewarded we have a chance to consider the real nature of Karma and to get some better perception of the possible implications of the Third Fundamental Proposition.


Q.—How is it possible not to have continuity? Even though we are not aware of it, it must be present.

Ans.—We may have continuity or discontinuity of states, continuity or discontinuity of mind, continuity or discontinuity of will or judgment, but we ourselves are continuous. The desirable thing is to have the unbroken continuity of the will, of the moral nature, of the discriminating faculty—and that, we know, is not the case with us.

    Yet the very study of Theosophy, the very attempt to understand and apply it, restores to us the command of our own faculties, and then these things which now are mysteries will cease to be so to us.


Chapter XIV

I.——The Four Ages, The Four Castes and “The Lives”

Q.—Are any people on earth today in the Golden Age?

Ans.—There are no such races, in our sense of races—brown, white, yellow and so on—it seems; but in the moral and spiritual sense, yes there are such people. Here in the world, despite the great depression (this was in 1933), there are millions of people practically unaffected, undisturbed by it, people who are leading peaceable, tranquil lives, protected. Are they not in their “Golden Age,” while the rest of us are in the Kali Yuga?

Q.—Why are not the calculations of the Chinese correct for the Aryan Race?

Ans.—The Chinese belong to the Fourth Race; the Aryans, to the Fifth Race. Since the combination of principles which makes up the living man changes from race to race for the whole mass of units, it follows that the laws which applied to the Fourth Race are not the same as the calculations which cover the Fifth Race, and so with all the others. The astronomical calculations, say, which govern the motion of the moon are




not the same as the astronomical calculations which govern the motion of this earth, although there is an interrelation between the cyclic phases of the moon and the cyclic phases of the earth. So, there is an inter-action between the cyclic phases of the Fourth Race and of our own Fifth Race.

Q.—Would the various Yugas—the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron—of the American Indian be the same as those of the white race?

Ans.—Manifestly not; the American Indian is a relic of the Fourth Race, and we belong to the Fifth.

Q.—Isn’t it said that we are really all these Races—the Second, the Third and the Fourth?

Ans.—Yes, and more than that is said. H.P.B. states that the First Race is the Second Race, the Second Race is the Third, the Third is the Fourth and the Fourth is the Fifth, since they are all one mankind; but the egos themselves are divided into seven times seven classes.

    When we speak of the cycle of the First Race, then, it does not mean that the egos in it are distinct from the rest of the egos, but merely that in the Golden Age, or the First Race, the highest class egos have the direction of forces; in the Silver Age, not the highest but the next highest class egos have the direction of forces, and so on down.

    Now, when the lowest class egos were in the saddle, the highest class egos would be in hell, wouldn’t they? When the submerged tenth runs the government, it is the Golden Age for them; but what is it for the decent part of the community? The Iron Age. As men are today, when the so-called “best” men are having their Golden Age, how about the submerged nine-tenths? Are they not in their Iron Age? Surely. When we have a theocracy as the order of government, the priest is in clover, while the rest of the population lives on thistles. When we have the divine right of kings as a substitute for the divine right of God, the nobles are in clover and the populace is in Kali Yuga. Consider democracy, mobocracy, Communism—all symbols of different degrees of concentration of the same thing. When the most able intellectually rule, isn’t it clear that it’s the Iron Age for the rest? When the totally unfit rule, isn’t it the Iron Age for all others?

Q.—The four castes are clearly defined in the Bhagavad-Gita. What kind of Karma has made such a confusion of castes here and now?

Ans.—The Gita states that the four castes spring in fact from Spirit—that is, from the fundamental difference in the character of the egos which incarnate. It is perfectly well known that there was a time when the castes were distinct. There were then no false or spurious Brahmins; no false or spurious Sudras; and so with the other castes— each class of egos was in its own place. That was in the Golden Age.

    Since then, little by little there has come about confusion of castes: you may find any number of the very highest class egos in the humble situation of outcastes and Sudras; you may find the very lowest of the low in the highest places; politically, in business, in economics and so on. What is the cause of this?

    Well, it would be a good thing if we were to try to relate, much more than we do, what is said in one part of the teachings with what is said in another part. In the very chapter following this (Chapter XV), Mr. Judge, in discussing the origin of species, states that our globe—



the fourth—was populated by the incarnation or descent of the mass of egos from the next superior globe, and that that mass was divided into seven distinct groups. They all incarnated at the same time on this earth, coming here from another globe of our chain. Then he says that they remained distinct, the one from the other, until the middle of the Second Round or Race, when they began to mix together, and since then you can tell, looking at a man from the outside, to what caste he belongs.

    Mr. Judge further says that Nature’s method is mixture, amalgamation and precipitation. The man who is the ruled of today is the ruler of tomorrow; the man who is the employer today is the employee of tomorrow, quite without regard to moral or intellectual fitness. This process goes on until the middle of the Third Round, and then a great separation begins to take place, until finally, at the close of the Seventh Round, all these seven classes of egos will have again become seven distinct classes. Naturally, as a result of that mixture and amalgamation, the high have learned something of the nature of the low and the low have learned something, however little, of the nature of the high. Evolution proceeds by that method—the “sure method,” Mr. Judge calls it—of descent, of association, of amalgamation, of mixture, and then of precipitation or separation.

    We can see the beginnings of that everywhere now. Notice the so-called “class struggle, in which the workman cannot see that the more dependent he is upon employment, the more inextricably is his Karma interwoven and interbended at every point with that of his employer. He acts as if the employer were his enemy. Go to the opposite pole—in the same way, employers cannot see that their business would go to rack and ruin without employees to do the work, without many others to produce and to consume the product under their direction. And so employers are separating into a caste or class by themselves. Over against that is the rare case where employees and employers, producers and consumers, manufacturers and merchants recognize that their interests are identical and that neither group can get along without the other; they therefore work together in more or less harmony. That is the only way by which the Golden Age can ever be brought back.


Q .—Do the lives which constitute our bodies go strictly “below when the body dies, dust to dust? Or are there lives that never fall below?


Ans.—If lives could not be raised from the lowest to the highest state, there is no such thing as evolution. But if lives can be raised from a lower to a higher state—by the descent in the first of other lives from higher to lower states in order to help them—then it must follow that as time goes on some of these lives stay on a given plane which was higher than the plane which they formerly occupied.

    Take all the lives which in their totality constitute what we call the vegetable kingdom: once all those lives were in the mineral kingdom. Some of them revert to the mineral kingdom, but many of them stay on the vegetable plane, because there is an astral vegetable kingdom as well as a physical, and when the vegetable goes to pieces physically, the lives that compose it may remain on the second stage of the astral plane.

    Go still higher: all the lives that constitute the animal consciousness were before that on the vegetable plane of consciousness and, before that, on the mineral plane. Many of them remain on the animal plane and don’t sink below; others repeat their cycle.




    Come still higher to incarnated man: many of the lives which constitute our thinking principle here, our feeling instrument, our memorial instrument, our desire instrument—many of them, when we die do not relapse to the animal plane, physically or astrally, let alone to the kingdoms below; many of them remain on the fourth plane or, as we may call it, the human plane. They constitute what are sometimes spoken of as the “human elementals.” If there had not been such lives in the former Manvantara which remained in consciousness or in potentiality upon the human elemental plane, there would have been no mindless man for us to incarnate in.

    Thus, our task is, in fact, to elevate the lives. By our use of them we can degrade lives from the human to the animal plane; we can degrade lives from the animal, to the vegetable plane and so on. In other words, we force back the current of life, instead of aiding it forward.

    There are Buddhic lives; they cannot be degraded. There are purely Manasic lives which cannot be degraded. But the lives below those two highest planes can be degraded. Therefore, the question would be answered in the affirmative: Yes, there are lives which are not degraded.


Q.—What is that picture or image which seems to be implanted in the lower self and which makes us identify ourselves with it?

Ans.—That takes us to the problem of the theologians of all history—what is sometimes spoken of as the three hypostases of Self. If you try, you will find that it is impossible to think of Self at all without relating Self to something. There is the greatest, the staring evidence for everyone in all the world of the community of all life. If there were actual separateness, a man could think of Self as identified with nothing and with no one. He can’t do that. Unless he thinks of the Self of all, he is bound to think of the separate Self. Who is in those forms? When we say “ourselves,” we are identifying ourselves with what we see, or with what we hear, or taste, or touch, or smell; so, the answer is there.

    Another way of looking at it is this: If we take the highest possible conception of Self, it is of Self as the seer, as the perceiver The moment we take the conception of Self, “I am that which sees,” then, what is it that I see? That is Self in the opposite hypostasis. That is why The Secret Doctrine says that Spirit and Matter ought not to be conceive separate realities; they are but the opposed phases or aspects of one and the same reality. The moment we postulate a seer, then we postulate the seen. Spirit is nothing but a collective term to designate the perceiver, the seer; matter is nothing but a collective term to designate that which is seen.

    What is it that sees? It is Self, which we name Spirit. What is it that is seen? Self, which we name Matter; and the Seventh Chapter of the Gita calls the Self which is seen the inferior nature; and the Self which sees and knows, the superior nature. Why is that? Because the Self, the Knower never changes; but Self, the seen changes all the time as we change direction of our vision. That’s why the changing Self is inferior and the unchanging Self—the Perceiver—is superior.

Q.—Does the changing Self become the unchanging Self?

Ans.—Never. Does the unchanging Self become the changing Self? Never if the changing Self could be turned into the unchanging Self, in all the eternities of the past that would have happened, and there



would be no evolution. If the unchanging Self could by any possibility turn into the changing Self, in the course of time there would not be any unchanging Self left. We have to see that all this merely means the opposed aspects of one and the same Reality, and that is the Second Fundamental—Self which sees and Self which is seen; Self which acts and Self which is acted upon; Self which manifests and Self which is unmanifested. It is in alternation that action and rest occur. Remember that when we enter the body and are subject to its vicissitudes, we remain just the same as when we were in the highest heaven. The only difference is that we aren’t looking at the same things, we aren’t feeling the same things.


Q.—Then who is the creator of this phantasmagorial world, the changing Self?


Ans.—We are: all the manifested universe exists only in the consciousness of Self, the Perceiver; Self, the Creator.


Q.—Doesn’t H.P.B. say that Spirit is constantly becoming Matter, and Matter is as constantly becoming Spirit?


Ans.—If she did use the statement, she used it exactly in the same sense as the Kabalistic aphorism: “A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast;, a beast, a man; a man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.” That is the same as saying that the unconscious becomes dimly conscious; the dimly conscious, more conscious; the more conscious becomes self-conscious; the self-conscious becomes all—embracing in its Self-consciousness.

    What H.P.B. says on the subject will be found on p. 633 of Volume I of The Secret Doctrine That both Spirit and Matter are an illusion when taken to be real in themselves. She says that matter on the seventh plane is Spirit and that Spirit on the lowest arc of its cyclic activity is matter. So, you see, Spirit and Matter are no more realities in themselves than are their everyday counterparts—sleeping and waking. Does waking ever become the sleeping state? We know that it does not and cannot. Does the sleeping state ever become the waking state? We know that it does not and cannot. That would be to say that nothing becomes something, that something becomes nothing. But we can say that Self sleeps, Self dreams, Self wakes; and that the process of the activity is always from waking to sleep through dreaming, and from sleeping to waking through dreaming.

    If we substitute “Spirit” and “Matter” for Self awake and Self asleep then Self awake incessantly struggles with Self asleep, and finally Self asleep begins to dream and to act on its own account. We see that in the kingdoms below man. When the dream becomes a hallucination and the man in his dream says, “I am not dreaming; I am awake; I can prove to myself I am not dreaming; there are my clothes; there is the chair; there is the familiar window,” then it is a dream within a dream—and that is human consciousness.

    We should make a great mistake if at any time we fell into the snare of the pairs of opposites, thinking of Spirit as distinct from Matter, thinking of Matter as distinct from Spirit, thinking of either of them as having any existence apart from Self. That has been the stumbling—block, says H.P.B., of metaphysicians and philosophers down the ages.




Chapter XIV

II.——Earthquakes, The Yugas and Evolution

Q.—On p. 131 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 123 Am. Ed.), something is said about earthquakes, but in Letters That Have Helped , Mr. Judge says that earthquakes often come at the ushering in of a Great Soul upon this earth. How could that be? We usually associate earthquakes with destruction and terror.


Ans.—Well, maybe the coming of a Great Soul is destructive and terrifying! Why not? Look at us as we are now would be happy in the presence of an angel? We would be scared stiff, any one of us. Suppose, in the theological sense, we are good honest Christians, no matter to what church we belong, and somebody says, not “This night thou shalt see thy God” but “This instant thou shalt see thy God”

    Didn’t H.P.B. cause a tremendous moral, psychological, spiritual and intellectual earthquake by her coming? Didn’t Christ? Didn’t Buddha? Didn’t Krishna? Didn’t even a Lincoln raise great earthquakes in the area of human consciousness? Now, if the coming of one Great Being within the sphere of human consciousness could raise such seismic metaphysical disturbances, why would it be unreasonable to think that such a being’ s entrance into the astral atmosphere of this earth might raise a physical and psycho-physiological disturbance of the same nature as that which we call an earthquake?


Q.—Referring to the table on p. 134 (p. 125 Am. Ed.), where it says, “Add the dawns or twilights between each Manu 25,920,000”—how is that figure obtained?


Ans.—Our daily cycle is roughly divided into two parts, light and darkness, but there is an interval that we call dawn and there is another interval that we call twilight, which are neither light nor dark but a mixture of the two. So with the yugas between each yuga and the succeeding one, there is a dawn and there is a twilight. These dawns and twilights are put together to equal l/10 of a yuga. So, adding the periods of years, there are 71 Maha Yugas in the Round, or the reign of one Manu that makes 994 yugas which amount to 306,720,000 years. So if we add the twilights to them, during the period of 114 Manus we have 15 dawns and twilights for 14 Manvantaras—the first Manu is preceded by a dawn; the last one is followed by a twilight before night sets in: that makes 15 According to the Brahmanical table, the period of each of these twilights—taking dawn and twilight to be of the same length as the Satya ( Yuga is 1,728,000; multiply that by 15 and you have 25,920,000.

    Or, to put it another way, the period amounts to six Maha Yugas because a Kalpa is said to be the equivalent of 1,000 Maha Yugas while 71 Maha Yugas make the Round or the reign of one Manu 14 Manus is 14 x 71, or 994. Six Maha Yugas total the same amount of time as the dawns and twilights; multiply 14,320,000 by 6 and you will get 25,920,000.

    It is suggested that you turn to the table on pp. 69 and 70 in Volume II of The Secret Doctrine and look in the Theosophical Glossary under the word “Yuga,” where you will find the same table with some illuminating Commentary statements. It is possible to work these things out mathematically.

    In connection with this chapter, we should note the very wonderful paper read by Mr. Judge at one of the Theosophical Conventions—”Cyclic



Impression and Return and Our Evolution.” (Reprinted in U.L.T. Pamphlet No. 24 This Chapter XIV and that lecture of Mr. Judges taken together, give the physical or form aspect, and the memory or soul aspect of this subject.


Q.—Since every being in the universe is now a man, has been a man, or will become a man, why is it not true that man at one time was an animal, a vegetable, a mineral, and so on? Was not John Smith, the old man, once a man of 50, a young man of 25, the child-man of 5? Why is it said that man never was that which at last became himself, so to say? Somehow, although this question has often been answered and has seemed clear at the time, it never stays clear.


Ans.—Well, let us see. Let us draw the curtain gently, and go back to childhood, when we came home from school with some husky problems and got father, mother, brother or elder sister to work our examples for us. It looked very clear to us when they worked them for us, didn’t it? And the next day we knew no more about them than we did before. Not until we worked those examples for ourselves did they stay clear. It isn’t difficult to get at these Theosophical problems, but it requires thought and careful attention to the meaning of terms—and few people are willing to crucify themselves by thinking, or to be honest with themselves in making a balance—sheet of the terms they use.

    “Man,” when used unqualifiedly in Theosophy, means but one thing and that one thing has no meaning to a human being. “Man” means a purely spiritual self-conscious entity which is just so much abracadabra to the ordinary human being. “Man,” to him, means the human being; yet, first, last and all the time, one who reads Theosophical writings with any attention will see that the human being is not Man.

    What is a human being? It is a soul; that is, an evolving life which has reached equilibrium between spirit and matter—matter representing complete unconsciousness and spirit representing complete consciousness. A human being is an evolving life or a soul or mind which has reached equilibrium as between the highest and the lowest states. What does it mean to reach equilibrium? It means that one is aware that there are opposed conditions in life and, because he is aware that there are opposed conditions, he is able to choose for himself—whether he chooses wisely or not—between the two states; that is to be a human being.

    But man is something else altogether. It is clear, then, that the evolving soul starts as an entity or an individual in the state of complete and utter individual unconsciousness. (Any one who cares to look that up will do well to study p. 175 of the 1st Volume of The Secret Doctrine.

    This evolving soul has no consciousness of its own at all. That is the “purely spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul)” of the Third Fundamental. The soul passes through three elementary or elemental states of consciousness; that is, the soul is aroused to momentary action through the impulse or impress of other forms of life which are using it without its knowledge.

    Now, this evolving life is not “an elemental”—that is only a convenient form of speech. The Soul passes through three elementary states, forms, conditions; it isn’t any of them. Then, the impression having so far been made and left in this evolving Monad—or purely spiritual Buddhi,



or divine soul, or evolving individual—after passing through these three elementary states of consciousness or formation, the Monad lapses once more into complete unconsciousness, which is what entering the mineral stage means. It goes to sleep; it has its Nirvana—an unconscious Nirvana, but Nirvana none the less.

    Slowly, it is once more prodded into activity and this same evolving soul passes through three more states of consciousness which we name mineral, vegetable and animal (Those aren’t their proper names, but those are the nearest to our comprehension.) This Soul, then, has passed through three deep-sleep stages—the elementary stages; it has passed through three dream states—what we call mineral, vegetable and animal; and finally it has waked up to the fact that there are opposites. That is, it has waked up to external perception, and then we say we have a “human being.”


    Who does the waking up? Who or what is it that prods this beginning Soul through the three elemental kingdoms? Who or what urges it on through the three states of consciousness known here as the mineral, the vegetable and the animal? It is descending spirits who represent full individual consciousness while in separative existence. Of such is the man. When the evolving life has reached the human state—that is, has become aware of contrasts—it is open to induced self-consciousness. How? Through the union of the psychic nature of the descending man with the psychic nature of the evolving soul. And then, just as one drop of water can coalesce with another drop, you don’t have two souls in the same body—you have one soul. The evolving soul is absorbed in the consciousness of the spiritual man, and the spiritual man’s self-consciousness is reflected in the human being.

    So we have here in man a compound mind not a compound soul, and since we do not recognize that there is a spiritual mind in ourselves as well as an earthly mind, we are constantly identifying “self” with one or the other phase of our mind—mind constituting the seventh state of consciousness, that is, the human being.

    From this point of human consciousness, there begins another cycle—the purely intellectual and spiritual cycle of man, leading in time to his becoming a Mahatma; and in that cycle there are seven stages.

    So, to say that a man was once an animal is just the same as to say that man was once asleep, or was once in the dream state. This is hard for us to see, because we do not look at the meanings of our terms. We confuse the being with his form he isn’t his form, no matter what the form is. We confuse the being with the state into which he goes or from which he comes; he is never the state, no matter what the state is—the highest or the lowest. As soon as we see those two things—that the evolving life is no form and no state—then there is a chance for us to see for ourselves what evolution means.

    One more thing might be added: Are we an animal now? Each man has to answer that for himself We are certainly in an animal state of consciousness and we are certainly in an animal body, right now: Are we an animal because of that fact? We are certainly in a vegetable state of consciousness and in a vegetable form, right now: Are we a vegetable? Once more: We are absolutely immersed in the mineral kingdom, right now, and our form is a thoroughly mineral form: Are we a mineral?

    When these questions are brought home to us in this way, there is some chance for us to see that H.P.B. was compelled to make full use of



terms available, terms which we are familiar with, while she endeavoured as far as possible to put her meaning into them. Everyone who talks to a child, if he has any sense, takes into account all the time that it is a child mind he is talking to and that the child is going to take a child’s view of things, no matter how wise the adult may be. Whatever the man talks about, he is talking from adult experience and from the adult point of view. The child is going to take it on the basis of a child’s experience and a child’s point of view.

    Being immersed in matter, in that state of consciousness which represents the union of the three elemental kingdoms—the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms—the Teachers knew that we were bound to take a human view of what They had to say. But once we grasp the idea that we are now Life that we never were any-thing but Life and that man in any sense means a life which has reached a given degree of spiritual, intellectual and physical evolution, the problem becomes clear.

    Manifestly, we have not reached the highest degree of spiritual evolution, or we should never have lost our individual consciousness; we should be in Nirvana all the time, no matter where our body was. Manifestly, we have not yet reached the highest degree of intellectual evolution; if we had, we should be able to affect matter now by will and thought, as the Mahatmas affect it. They don’t use machinery; They have no more use for machinery in dealing with Nature than They have for machinery in dealing with Their own bodies. Because They say that spirit becomes a stone, the stone becomes a plant, the plant becomes animal the animal becomes a man, and the man becomes a god—we take it as an aborigine would take it if we told him “The sun ‘rises’ and ‘sets.’” The sun does not rise or set; our relation to the sun alters; but it is a convenient form of words to say that the sun rises and sets. So Their words are merely a convenient phraseology. We know that the self-consciousness in us, in the very question here, is the same self-consciousness in the man of 50 that was in the man of 25 or in the child of 5. That is the man, the perceiving self-consciousness.


Q.—The table on p. 134 (p.125 Am. Ed.) has a strange lure. What is the approximate length of a Round, say, our present Fourth Round, and what is meant by the “inner and outer Round,” mentioned elsewhere?


Ans.—Taking the question separately and considering the second one first: What is meant by the “inner and outer Round,” that is, the inner and outer cycle of evolution? We remember that in the Theosophical teachings evolution is threefold: there is not merely the physical evolution with which we are all familiar in our school and college text-books, evolution as understood by science; there is a psychic and intellectual evolution which precedes, is the cause of and survives all physical evolution. Then there is a third line of evolution, sometimes called Spiritual or Monadic evolution; that is, evolution in the sense of Self, of the realization of the unity and continuity of Life.

    So, we have inner and outer Rounds at the same time. Our bodies are undergoing their cycle of evolution; our minds are undergoing a cycle of evolution and, while body and mind are undergoing their cycles, we—the inhabitant of the body and the creator and user of mind and body both— are undergoing a constant evolution in our sense of Self.

    Look back to when we were little children in body and mind. The same Self was there present as is here present; but how our conceptions



of Self have changed in the intervening years As a matter of fact, the change in the Monadic evolution—the realization of Life, or the conception of Self—is faster than our mental change and certainly very much faster than our physical change.


Chapter XIV

III.——Kali Yuga, Cycles and The Calendar

Q.—With the death of Krishna began the cycle of Kali Yuga What cycle, then, began with the death of H.P.B., since both must have been Teachers of like nature?


Ans.—We often confuse the clock with the event. To say that a meeting is at 6:15 p.m. does not mean that the clock causes a meeting at that hour. The statement is that Kali Yuga—which lasts, by the way, for our race for 432,000 years—began with the death of Krishna at midnight between the 17th and 18th of February, 3102 B.C. Thus, it was exactly 5,000 years later, one-half of a decimillennial cycle, when H.P.B. came. Another 5,000 years, and according to Isis Unveiled we may expect to see Krishna again in propria persona.

    Now, 5 is half of 10, as 4 is half of 8, as 3 ½ is of 7, and as 4 ½ is of 9. We have here a clue to many things in connection with cycles. Every single digital number is capable of being made the central point of the cycle; that is, there can be a dual cycle, a triple, a quadrennial cycle, a cycle of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Ten is the first decimal cycle, and when we use the number 5, that is half of it.

    If we take, then, as a key, the fact that cycles, no matter how discussed, refer in every case to the descent from the highest to the lowest state, and the return from the lowest state to the highest once more, plus whatever may have been gained, then it is clear that in a decimal cycle of any kind, 5 marks the turning-point. So, if Kali Yuga were divided into cycles of 10,000 years each, there would be 143 wheels to Kali Yuga 143 great descents of masses of mankind from Spirit to the depths of materiality, and their return to the highest state again. If we recall that the first cycle of 10,000 years started with Krishna, then the bottom of that cycle was reached when H.P.B. came, and we are on the reverse arc. That is, the next 5,000 years will mark for the Aryan Race an advance and not a retrogression. H.P.B. inaugurated the return half of the cycle.


Q.—Is it possible to prevent alternating cycles of prosperity and depression?


Ans —Not for others, but we can for ourselves. How? By stepping outside the vicious circle of self-interest of which these two words, prosperity and adversity mark the opposite poles. Suppose you take Christ as the type of a true sage—or Buddha, or Plato. Plato will be a first-rate illustration, since he was recognized during his life as the greatest philosopher in all Greece. Yet when Plato was a middle-aged man with a very high reputation, the King, or the Tyrant as they called him then, of Syracuse, sent to Athens and invited Plato to come over to teach his son how to be a real ruler, to tell him how to rule rightly among his people.

    Plato left Athens and came to Syracuse, and Dionysius had an inter-



view with him. He said, “I don’t want you to forget that my son is a King’s son, and you must deal with him accordingly.” Plato said, “King, there is no royal road to knowledge.” The King became very much dissatisfied with Plato, and dismissed him.

    Plato took passage back to Athens—mind you, he was a world-known philosopher then—and the boat was wrecked. The captain, the crew and Plato were landed on some inhospitable shore, and the captain, in order to raise money to pursue the voyage, sold Plato as a slave. But when the man who bought Plato found out who he was, he fell on his knees and begged Plato’s pardon, supplied him with funds, and sent him back to Athens.

    The point is, do you suppose that Plato was a bit different when he was walking in the groves of the Academy at Athens, talking with his students or questioning Socrates; when he was called to Syracuse to become the tutor of the King’s son; when he was a passenger on the ship and the ship was wrecked; when he was sold as a slave; when he came back to Athens honoured of all people—do you suppose that all that made a bit of difference to Plato? Not at all.

    Now, if we had been put through the same course of events, we should have thought were in a cycle of enormous “prosperity” when we were invited to Syracuse, and we should have treated Dionysius’ son very respectfully. When the ship was wrecked, we should have thought we were in a cycle of the very worst kind of "depression" until we were sold as a slave, and then we would have raised our voice to high heaven and cursed the gods. Don’t we see that it is all in our mind?

    It is hard for us to realize that, yet it is possible for a man so to detach himself from the body while alive that, so far as he is concerned, it is as if he had no body. It is possible for a man so to detach himself while alive from everything we call pleasure and from every thing we call pain, that they no more affect him than as if he were dead and out of our sphere of existence.

    What does it mean to detach oneself from pleasure and pain? It means to cease to identify Self with the body, to cease to identify Self with either the good side or the dark side of life. Self is not the good side, or the dark side; Self is neither prosperity nor pain. Pain and pleasure come from identification of Self with what is experienced. The moment the identification is cut off, the body is here if we choose to use it, and pleasure and pain are here if we choose to experience them; otherwise, we are outside their sphere of influence. It is difficult for us to get this view, but that is the very purpose of our struggle on earth.


Q.—How would you say that Karma is connected with the Law of Cycles?

 Ans.—We are too apt to think of cycles solely from a chronological or time standpoint, and we are too apt to think of Karma only in terms of effects—especially, in terms of effects as experienced by us. The word depression has one meaning when it visits my neighbour; it means some thing altogether different when it roosts in my house. We have to get over that.

    Suppose we say, then, that Mr. Judge is giving us a gentle hint that all Karma, as we understand and experience Karma, rises from memory, and memory has its own distinct law of association; that is, like seeks like. We are creatures of will and Yoga, that is, of will and knowledge; whereas the opposite half of Nature is not will and knowledge, but memory and impulse, memory and desire. Desire is nothing but awakened



    Cycles refer to the successive steps in the waking of sleeping life, and since that life can’t waken itself, we who descend into matter, or incarnate, as we call it, wake that life up and that is where we experience Karma. Now, we incarnate only under special circumstances. A boat that draws a very little water need pay no attention to the tides; it can come in and go out at low tide just as well as at high tide. In fact, it can go out better at low tide than at high tide, because at low tide the water is receding from the shore while at high tide it is piling in. But if you have a vessel of deep draught, then you have to watch the tides.

    That is why great beings like Krishna incarnate, says H.P.B., once in a decimillennium, once in 10,000 years. Why? Because the rising tide of human consciousness reaches its flood only after many, many incarnations of ordinary egos. Then, when it has reached its flood, a great being like Krishna incarnates. Again, when it has reached the very bottom and men are in utter despair, crying, “Who will save us? Lord, send us a saviour” and following whoever cries, “Lo here ” or “Lo there”— then, a great Being, out of his Will and Yoga and regardless of the condition of mankind, incarnates, and we have the pair of opposites thus indicated by the incarnation and form of Krishna.


Q.—Pages 132-3 (p. 124 Am. Ed.): “The Chinese always were a nation of astronomers • • • but as they belong to an old race which is doomed to extinction • •their conclusions will not be correct for the Aryan races.” Now, mathematics wouldn’t change, would it? Two plus two equals four for the Chinaman as well as for the American.

Ans.—Don’t you think we have to take into account that there is a law of acceleration and a law of retardation? The Chinese, a dying race, are under a law of acceleration downwards, which is a law of retardation from the standpoint of progress, while a young race is exactly the reverse. A geometrical progression and an arithmetical progression are two totally different things as are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.


Q.—Why did Mr. Judge mention the Metonic Cycle?

Ans.—Our Gregorian calendar is a correction of the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar was a correction of Meton’s calendar, and Meton’s calendar was the same thing as is attempted today and as can be attempted by any one. Meton attempted to reconcile solar and lunar time, and the possibility of reconciling them is just as true today as it was in his day. Solar and lunar time coincide; in other words, they have a least common multiple, and that common multiple is 18 years and some odd months.


Q.—Just why is it possible to accomplish more in Kali Yuga.

Ans.—Don’ t you think we could put that in moral terms? The contrasts are far sharper, far more sheer, in Kali Yuga than in any other age, and we learn by contrast. Furthermore, Mr. Judge says that Kali Yuga has the momentum of all the other ages behind it.

Q.—HOW can there be differentiation from that which is homogeneous?

Ans.—How can there be differentiated parts except from an undifferentiated Whole? The question answers itself; if we have a part, it is obvious that there must be a whole from which it is derived.



Q.—It says in the Chapter that the Red Indian is just coming out of the Stone Age and we are in Kali Yuga What is the difference between the Stone Age and Kali Yuga.

Ans.—Well, take George Washington as a child with a hatchet and George Washington on the night of December 13th, 1799, and there is the difference. George with the hatchet was in the Stone Age—he was just beginning to chip his way into experience; but at the end, on December 13th, 1799, he was an old man dying of a bad cold.

    We are at the end of our tether in a Manvantaric sense; the Red Indian is just renascent. You know, we ought to turn back from this chapter on cycles, and study thoughtfully Chapters II and III, and then take the succeeding chapter, XV, on Evolution—all in the light of this chapter. Chapter XIV is the key chapter of the whole book, because the whole Ocean is about cycles.


Q.—What is the story of the Zodiac?

Ans.—The story of the Zodiac is many, many thousands of years old. According to The Secret Doctrine there are Zodiacs in existence that were painted 7,000 or 8,000 years ago. Taking it roughly, that is, in round numbers, it takes the earth 360 days to make its circuit around the sun, doesn’t it, and that circuit forms a complete circle. It is divided into 360 degrees, corresponding to the 360 days, and we know that in the year there are four seasons. Divide 360 degrees—artificial divisions of the circle, which represent seasonal stages of the year—and you have four right angles defining the four 90-degree segments of the circle. We also, on the basis of the lunar year, speak of it as being 12 months. Divide 360 by 12 and you have 12 signs of 30 degrees each. That is the story of the Zodiac.


Q.—You asked us how many days there are in the year and our answer is 365 1/4, instead of 360.

Ans.—Yes, but we have to distinguish between time in the sense of the period required for any given stellar body to make its circle and time as regarded by us; that is, time as kept by a calendar. You can count time by the North Star and construct a calendar on that basis—the Mayas did. You can construct a calendar on any of the constellations because every star, every constellation, is in constant motion, and, as a matter of fact, there is no such thing as what the astronomers call secular motion. All motion of a physical body is cyclic, so that it is represented by a circle.

    We in the West—and in fact, the whole Aryan Race, for that matter— count time in two ways: one is from the motion of the earth around the sun, which is called solar time; the other is by the motion of the moon around the earth, lunar time; and there is no convenient combination of those two systems. Take the actual motion of the earth around the sun: reduced to terms, it is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 4.6 2/5 seconds. Lunar time, a complete nodal cycle of the moon is 29½ days less 1/5 of a day.

    In order to find a combined cycle to include both the lunar cycle and the solar cycle, you have to find the least common multiple of those numbers with their fractions, and there is no easy dividing of that. That is the origin of the Metonic Cycle; of the so-called Julian calendar, and, as far as that is concerned, of our Gregorian calendar also.



    You know, it is no trouble to remember that you see. Take the Atlanteans: they had a calendar which wasn’t at all like ours—they divided the months into tenths, but nevertheless there were the same sun and the same moon in the sky, and Meton, 425 or 430 years before Christ, began to calculate whether there was not some way literally to cipher out those cycles and reconcile solar and lunar time.

    Consider our own lunar cycle around the earth, which takes 29½days. The moon presents four phases, and for convenience sake, we divide those into 7 days each, which makes 14 quarters of the moon—28 days— and that’s the easy computation of a lunar cycle, no matter what you name it. But in fact, it is 1½ days “off,” because the cycle is more than 28 days long. On that basis, how long will it be till there is a new moon again on the same solar date? It isn’t hard to figure: figure it on the basis of 28 days instead of 29½—there are l½ days out of the way. How many years will it take the moon to catch up with herself again? Why, 29½ divided by l½ will give us 19.6, and that’s the Metonic cycle. Take 19 years and 7 months and multiply it by l½ and you get the lunar cycle.

    Meton corrected the Greek calendar in the same way, solar and lunar time, after this fashion. Counting it 7 days to the quarter, it means that a lunar year is 364 days; 52 weeks of 7 days each, 364 days. But in round numbers a solar year is 365 days; so there is a day’s difference. The moon’s whole cycle is 28 days; how long will it take for the sun-day and the moon-day to come together again? Why, as many times as the difference between the lunar year and the solar year will go into 28. The solar cycle, therefore, is 28 years, and in fact, Meton was “off” about a quarter of a day—he disregarded the fraction.

    By the time of Julius Caesar, the calendar of the actual time computation was off a quarter of a day per year for about 450 years. In other words, there was a difference of 93 days, so that, as a matter of fact, what is the 21st of June was the 21st of March. Caesar reconciled that by lengthening some of the months, shortening some of the others, and sticking in some months—one for himself and one for Augustus.


Q.—What can be said about the adoption of the 13-month calendar?

Ans.—Meton fixed up the calendar in this way: out of this 19-year-cycle, the Metonic cycle of the moon, he figured out a 12-month lunar year for 12 years, and for the other 7 years, a 13-month lunar year. So, 12 out of the 19 years had 12 months in them, and 7 had 13 months—lunar months—and that reconciled the calendar within 60 seconds.

    Actually, there isn’t any reason why we shouldn’t have a 13-month calendar and a 24-hour clock.


Chapter XIV

IV. Early Rounds, Spiritual Cycles and Nirvana

Q.—How was evolution carried on for 3½ rounds, if man was not here? I thought man was always here.

Ans.—How does the new-born babe carry on until it is seven years old? There is no “man” there. How does the earth carry on? There is no sun here—the sun is in heaven, but without the sun there could be no earth. Where is man? Man is in Nirvana, but he is still man; he is still engaged in action, although he is not on this earth. The sun,



about 90 million miles away not only rules and affects this earth without being here, but this earth and its life could not be without the sun. It would be interesting in this connection for us all to study carefully pp. 246 and 247 in the First Volume of The Secret Doctrine.

    Our trouble, don’t you think, in studying cycles, is that, being of the race and of the race mind, we take a wholly physical view of cycles and we forget that evolution is threefold? There would be no physical evolution or physical cycle—it means the same thing—unless there were an intellectual or psychic evolution keeping pace with it; nor would there be either physical or intellectual evolution unless there were spiritual evolution within which they both exist. We forget, then, what H.P.B. points out on p.247 that just as matter, so-called, is condensing and evolving physically from below up, so another class of Monads—the second class or middle class—is evolving on the intellectual and psychic planes and descending from above downward, until at last a junction point of the ascending physical and the descending intellectual or psychic is reached.

    The whole key for a common-sense study of cycles is to be found on p. 136 (Indian ed.) (pp. 127—8 Am. Ed.) in the Ocean. It does not matter whether we are referring to the cycle of evolution of a solar system, to the cycle of spiritual evolution or physical evolution, or to the cycle of the first or third classes of Monads—he gives the invariable formula: There is unity; then differentiation; then admixture or contact of the already differentiated element—interpenetration we might call it; then amalgamation and, finally, precipitation.

    There is the homogeneous state, whether we call it Pralaya or Nirvana—they represent a pair of opposites. Then there are three steps of elemental evolution; that is, elemental differentiation, elemental admixture or combination, and amalgamation; then precipitation, and we have the mineral kingdom; then once more from the mineral kingdom, differentiation, then admixture, then amalgamation. The mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom and the animal kingdom are all amalgamated in the living physical man, then again there is precipitation. For man, what is precipitation? Death or sleep or wisdom.

    What is the spiritual cycle, spiritual evolution? Take the evolution that we are engaged in—deep sleep, dreaming, waking, objective action, followed again by the repose of deep sleep. There is our spiritual cycle. We go through it every hour of the day. Take it in the intellectual sense, and we go through it every instant of time—perception, will, choice, action; perception of the results new will, new choice, new action; new perception of results, over and over again—from spirit to matter and back again, with every motion of our consciousness.

    We can realize that cycles are first spiritual, then the opposite, physical or astral (spiritual or Monadic, H.P.B. says, and physical or astral) and that the connecting link between the two is intellectual or psychic; intellectual on the ascending arc, and psychic on the descending arc. One of the Great Teachers put it in this way—that the four stages are germinal, instinctual, semi-conscious, fully conscious; then a return to the germinal. or rest state; then once more from the germinal to the instinctual, which is the doing over again what was done before—and the semi-conscious, the dream, the fully conscious, and once more a return to the original state.

    Would you like to have the real key to cycles to work on? It stares



us all in the face; it is over and over again put in Isis but it is made beautifully clear if we can get it. Read the very first verse of the seventh of the Stanzas of Dzyan in the First Volume of The Secret Doctrine There is the story of all cycles of every description there is the mathematical formula of what Mr. Judge calls in the Ocean the “mathematics of the soul.” That is the order of evolution everywhere, of everything, all the time.


Q.—If the spiritual nature is not reached by Karma, in what sense do you use the term “spiritual cycle”?


Ans.—The Third Fundamental Proposition states that the evolution of the purely spiritual being is first a descent through every elemental form of that Manvantara—a descent spiritually but an ascent physically. What is it that descends which results in the organization, first, of the three elemental kingdoms, and then the organization of the four kingdoms known to us as the mineral, vegetable, animal and human? What lies behind it? In so far as the Life engaged in this evolution is concerned, it is unconscious spiritual motion. What gives the impulse? The spiritual beings who are conscious. So, then, the first half of evolution is by natural impulse under the impulsion of the fully conscious beings—those who do not go through the cycle of sleep, dream, waking and sleeping, but whose whole cycle is perception, wisdom, action and repose in full consciousness: they give the impulse.

    The word “spiritual” is often used for unconscious soul action, yet in its opposite sense it means the fully conscious action of a being who never sleeps but either acts or rests. We have but to turn to one of the very first of the Aphorisms of Patanjali to see what that means and then we can find the analogy in ourselves. He says, “At the time of concentration” which may be either conscious or unconscious—death is a time of concentration, sleep is a time of concentration, Pralaya is a time of concentration—”At the time of concentration the soul abides in the state of a spectator without a spectacle.” That soul is fully conscious, but he chooses not to look; he chooses not to act; he is in the state of conscious repose. We have no word for that. The only full repose we know of is sleep or death. There is conscious repose throughout the vast night.

    Take as illustration a process like physical sight: We have eyes, and when we choose not to look at anything, it does not mean that we have lost our sight, but we have become unconscious, unable to perceive; it means that we literally choose not to look. When we choose not to look, we are in the same state as a blind man who can’t see; so the difference in Nirvana is just that.

    There are, then, beings who are fully conscious, and those Monads which are completely unconscious, and the only evolution we know anything about is from “unconsciousness” to consciousness. But what is the “power behind the throne”? It is Beings in the state. of full spiritual consciousness.


Q.—The Ocean of Theosophy speaks of the rate of vibration establishing the new evolution affecting this system, and especially the first note of that vibration. What can we, as human beings, self-conscious thinkers, do about it? We could make a happy cycle, and by our use of our powers in this cycle affect the rate of vibration of the next great cycle.



Ans.—As an analogy, our life-term is set when we are born, barring what may properly be called accidents, and it is not changed by our thinking; but by our thought and action during this life we set the life-term of our next incarnation. Thus, the rate of vibration that endures throughout the entire cycle is set by the will of the Higher Beings, but at the close of that period even the lowest of beings have made some progress, and so the joint interaction makes it possible, as The Secret Doctrine shows, that these same beings emerging from their Nirvana of consciousness—or their Nirvana of unconsciousness—assemble in a far higher plane, in a far higher world, to recommence their cycle of perfected activity.

    A curious statement of the effect of man on cycles is in a discussion of “Premature and Phenomenal Growths” (The Theosophical Movement Vol. VI, p. 170). A foot-note shows that the Yugas and therefore, by analogy, all larger cycles, vary in length not only with each race but with each round and presumably with each Manvantaric chain. In other words, these cycles do not have a fixed, definite number of years. You will find this same subject discussed just enough to make us do some thinking and studying and calculating from the various figures given, in a foot-note on p. 147, Second Volume of The Secret Doctrine.

    On this very subject of cycles, H.P.B. says in Isis and repeats in The Secret Doctrine that in the Golden Age the normal length of a human life is 400 years, and in the Silver Age it is 300 years, and in the Bronze Age 200 years, while here in Kali Yuga the normal length of human life is 100 years. Now, what have we done to the length of normal life in Kali Yuga.

    Certainly there are beings whose normal life in physical bodies is Live, 400 years or more, because they are in the Golden Age condition and there are others whose normal. length of life is 300 years. On this subject of calculations, H.P.B. says that the life of a solar system is 311,0140,000, 000,000 of mortal years. Mr. Judge once wrote an article called “Universal Applications of Doctrine,” (U.L.T. Pamphlet No. 3) and he makes a wary little suggestion in it. Read the article and see how he throws out hints, and, if you take the hint, you may be astonished to find that the number of seconds in a normal human life in Kali Yuga is as 1 to 100,000, to the number of years in Brahma’s life.

Tucked away in an obscure place in one of the old numbers of The Theosophist is the statement again, telling that the period of the earth’s journey in our own great cycle around the sun is known to be 365 days; we know more or less accurately the period of rotation of all the other planets. We do not know what the earth’s period of rotation was a million years ago—it may have been a good deal vaster in a much bigger circle. There may have been a time when the earth was, say, where Neptune is now in the planetary arrangement. There may come a time when the earth may occupy the same relative position to the sun that Mercury does, or any of the other planets. There is no god holding us in a fixed orbit, keeping us there. Take the seven planets and the moon, this little article suggests, and find out the orbital motion of each; find the least common multiple of these, and you will get 4,320,000,000.

    So, the books are full of hints to set us thinking, but we can’t rest our way to wisdom. Don’t we see that, although H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, or Masters, can scatter facts, hints, suggestions and information broadcast before our eyes, we can’t listen our way to knowledge?



There isn’t any dodging the necessity to think and thinking on high themes does not involve the memory, but rather, the imagination in the spiritual sense, the creative faculty. Imagination on its own plane is spiritual memory.

    So, the moment that we begin to figure out, “Now, what can this mean? What analogies can I find to this? How does this apply?”—the moment we get together the various statements we have read and endeavour to synchronize them, in other words, to follow the process of differentiation, ad mixture, amalgamation and precipitation—the result is illumination from within No amount of information in the books can avoid for us the necessity of arousing into action, here, our own two higher principles— Buddhi-Manas.

Q.—What is the relation between the Nirvanic state and that of those who in life do not try to think?

Ans.—There is no relation; the relation is with the quality in Nature called Tamas Those who don’t think are on the reverse arc of evolution; they are acting in retrograde motion. But to say that people do not think is too sweeping a statement. We do think, all of us, all day long, but we think in regard to the body and bodily things, in regard to earthly life and the things of earthly life. We think in terms of mortal, physical existence—we aren’t thinking from the basis of or in the terms of our immortal existence, but we think. Mr. Crosbie used to say that the fact that a man thinks wrongly, or that he thinks of nothing but mud, oughtn’t to blind our eyes to the fact that he can think. The problem is to get him to think of something besides mud, something besides matter, something besides the daily, mortal round, because that only involves the memory, the psychic nature and lower Manas.


Q.—What is implied in Mr. Crosbie’s saying “The clock marks time; the clock does not make time”?

Ans.—Examine our views of Karma and we can see that we take a clock notion of Karma. “My Karma did this to me; my Karma did that to me; my Karma brought me this and my Karma took that away.” It doesn’t do any thing of the kind. The things that happen to us are the clock of Karma, but we are the Karma; we are the doer; we are the actor. You know, if a bullet struck where you were standing a moment ago, the bullet couldn’t possibly hit you—its cycle is not the same as yours. So, we make our own conjunctions and our own oppositions.


Q.—What distinguishes the different ages?

Ans.—The Golden Age is the age of innocence—the age of the mind less man, or of the pure man, the innocent man. So, the Golden Age is that age in which the Great Lords called in the books Maha-Chohans—now called Mahatmas, because they are in bodies—lived and walked this earth with the nascent mankind. Every man who lived knew these Great Beings for what they were, just as, say, a child represents the age of innocence the golden age, but the child knows its parents.

    The Silver Age is when nascent humanity begins to grow, just as the child grows, and the parents—in other words, the divine instructors—leave the child-humanity to its own devices, to some extent, but keep guard over men and move amongst them.

    In the Bronze Age our “child” has reached the age of 14, its third cycle, and not only is it wise for it to act upon its own responsibility,



but it insists on doing it. Men begin to choose leaders from amongst themselves; in other words, the old tendencies brought over from the preceding Manvantara come alive again, and people can’t tell the difference between a true teacher and a false one—just as today they can’t tell the difference between a patriot and a politician, between an honest man and a dishonest one, or know a truthful man from an untruthful man at sight. They choose leaders who satisfy their desires. By the end of the Bronze Age, then, the Great Beings retire; They no longer mix with mankind. If’ you would like to study that further, turn in the Second Volume of The Secret Doctrine to, say, p. 272, and read from there on to the end of the section—a most wonderfully instructive and inspiring section.

Chapter XV

“Infinite” Perfection, Delayed Egos and Nature’s “Sure Method”

Q.—If there is the possibility of a man becoming infinitely perfect, must he not have been in the past infinitely imperfect?


Ans.—If anything were, by any stretch of the imagination “infinitely imperfect,” how could there ever be anything else?

    Again, if’ it were conceivable that any being was, is, or ever could be “infinitely perfect,” how could there possibly be any imperfection?

    Many of our misconceptions and misunderstandings could be avoided if’ we would not take a statement as either true or false, but simply look at it and, instead of trying to get the author’s understanding of the statement, try to get our own. Now, we know there is growth every where—growth physical, growth mental, growth moral. In other words, we know there is evolution. But implicit in this question is the idea that somehow, in some way, there is a Being who is infinitely perfect—that is the God-idea——and, at the same time, there is a being who is infinitely imperfect. There is supposed to be a God who is omnipotent, while the same universe that is manhandled by this omnipotent God is absolutely subject to the machinations and wiles of the Devil. Nobody could really believe that for two seconds; but, looking squarely at the affirmation, the truth is that the great bulk of’ mankind always has believed just that sort of thing.

    What is it that contains all the imperfection that ever was, is, or ever will be? What is it that contains all the perfection there ever was, is, or ever could be? It is Life. But we tend to confuse Life with its manifestations. We like to believe in birth without death, though observation tells us that this is an impossibility. So, because we swallow that, we swallow its antithesis—and believe in death without birth. One is just as idiotic, just as clear a failure to use the mind, as the other. Yet the majority of people simply fall from one of those pits into the other.

    We often hear Theosophists speak of Masters’ having reached “perfection.” But They are not Gods—Their perfection is, in one sense, just as relative as ours. A Master learns all that there is to be learned in this world, not only physically but mentally, morally and spiritually; but He. knows nothing, except by analogy and correspondence, of what goes on outside of’ this solar system. Everybody who has studied the theory of numbers knows that infinity simply means ordinary continuity, continuity




without a break. No one can count to the end of numbers. So, Masters are perfected Beings in that They know all that is knowable about this solar system.

    They could leave this world; They know enough to leave it. They don’t leave, although some others do. Those who don’t, stay. Why? Because They love Their fellow men, and They are staying behind, setting aside Their own further evolution till some future period of manifestation, in order to help on Their younger brothers. Who constrains Them? Nobody, nothing. Why, then, do They do it? Because They know that the Life in all is the Life in each, and therefore the Life in each is but a part of the Life in all. That is the conception of Brotherhood.


Q.—What is the responsibility of the so-called “delayed egos”?


Ans.—The egos caught in anthropoid bodies were morally irresponsible beings. They were those who had received but a spark; their moral stature was that of little children. The real sin was our sin, meaning by “us” the reincarnating egos who knew it was their duty to incarnate in the Third Race, and who yet wouldn’t do it. Those egos said, “Let’s  wait; these bodies are not fit; these forms are not progressed enough for us; we will wait.” So, it was a sin of omission on the part of the reincarnating egos. It is just like parents neglecting children; then the children get into mischief or get hurt.

    Since the real sin was the sin of the reincarnating egos, not of those monads which were caught in those bodies, the “delayed egos” will get their reward. Their punishment is not punishment in our sense, any more than it is a punishment to an animal to be an animal. Their reward will come by reaction—they will suffer the consequences of their own sins, but that does not alter the fact that those who ought to have taught and guided them, wouldn’t do it. The delayed egos will get their reward in this sense—that in the next Round, and perhaps in the next Race, The Secret Doctrine says, they will come into human forms under better auspices. In other words, those egos will inform bodies of a higher class, in a moral sense, than would have been the case in the Third Race and the Third Round.

    It is very interesting to read in that connection a truly terrible statement from one of the Commentaries to be found on p. 192 in the First Volume of The Secret Doctrine It speaks there of the “holy youths,” meaning the reincarnating egos—ourselves. Remember that we were not on the physical plane, or the astral plane, or the psychic plane, but on the spiritual plane—the plane of Buddhi-Manas; in other words, we were gods then. The Commentary says that the “holy youths” refused to incarnate, or, using the Bible expression, to increase and multiply—they did not want to give up their divine status. Thus the Commentary states that selfishness prevailed even among the gods If we find it hard to resist our selfishness here, suppose we in the highest and holiest state and were told, “It is your turn to go down there in the dirt, now.” And suppose we had power enough to say, “Not now; let’s wait until it is pleasanter, more agreeable.” Which would we choose?.  . .Well, that is what we did choose.

    Take Theosophists who haven’t done their duty, all these years, by the Theosophical Movement—innumerable people have fallen victim to the fakirs and the false yogis of a thousand-and-one kinds. Why? Because the Theosophists who knew, didn’t do their duty. What kind of Karma will



befall Theosophists who knew what ought to be done, but didn’t find it convenient to do it, by following the path H.P.B had shown? What kind of Karma will be theirs when the penalties of Atlantis come home to us all?

Q.— will the Karma of Atlantis be felt?

Ans.—Have you ever thought of Jesus’ statement in connection with Mr. Judges? Do you remember that paraphrase of the former, that “he who will not when he may, when he will, he shall have nay”? The world is full of people seeking the truth, and finding anything and everything in the way of counterfeits which they accept as truth. That is the beginning of the Karma of Atlantis, which will continue until at last we perceive black as white and white as black. We can see it everywhere in Nature now, and the Kali Yuga of our race has but barely begun.

Q.—On p. 136 (2nd Indian ed.) (p. 128 Am. Ed.), Mr. Judge, after alluding to the sure method of mixture, precipitation and separation, adds, “And this method was one known to the Alchemists.” The question is, since it is universally agreed that in seeking pure truth it is better to proceed from the known to the unknown, rather than from the unknown to the known, why should Mr. Judge, after mentioning the sure method of precipitation and separation after mixture, allude to a body of people like the alchemists who are discredited by science and the courts?

Ans.—Well, the old alchemists are not so discredited today as we might think. Paracelsus, for example, is no longer considered a charlatan. Philalethes and Robert Fludd are respected for their discoveries.

    But suppose they were regarded as quacks and charlatans. H.P.B. was so regarded by the scientists of her day, and is so regarded now. What of it? It isn’t a question of what we think of a person. Lots of people regard Theosophists as cranks, quacks, or queer. What of it? They are welcome to that opinion—it makes them happy, and it doesn’t hurt us. We go right on just the same.

    Instead of speaking of these discredited alchemists, why didn’t Mr. Judge refer to our scientists, who use the alchemists’ methods in their laboratories? Don’t you think the answer is clear? Whatever may have been the nature of those alchemists, they were dealing with metaphysical nature, and when Mr. Judge speaks of mixture, precipitation and separation, he is referring to ethical, moral, intellectual and psychic mixture, precipitation and separation. Although our scientists follow this process right along, they do it wholly with physical things. It is not physical mixture that makes evolution go on—it is the mental, moral, psychic and astral mixture.

    Take our meeting here tonight. We exchange ideas; we mingle in our thought, in our feeling, in our hopes and fears, our successes and failures. All that is a mixture. And then, this one or that one or another says something that clears our mind of some fog or trouble—it "falls" right out. That is the alchemical meaning of precipitation—that which was part of the alloy drops out, and we see more clearly.

    So, it wouldn’t have done at all for Mr. Judge to have referred to the methods of the laboratory. This is quite another kind of mixture, precipitation and separation. After a while, we shall separate and each go his own way, plus or minus. One may have rejected everything he heard—the mixture may not have done him a bit of good, may have done him harm,




may have sent him away sore and disgruntled. Or, the mixture or precipitation might have done another one good—he sees more, has become more tolerant, has a better understanding of his neighbours’ points of view and attitude. We are all too much under the influence of merely laboratory methods of mixture, precipitation and separation. The mental, moral and psychic processes go on all the time, and out of that mixture comes our evolution.


Q.—The statement is made that when we began our evolution on this globe, or before we began it, we were beings of very great power. Does that mean that after having been in evolution here for a long while, we are beings of less power than we were then? 

Ans.—That relates to the three lines of evolution. Until we incarnated, our evolution was purely spiritual. After incarnating, our evolution became more and more intellectual; that is, more and more a reasoning growth and less and less an intuitional growth, so that our spiritual nature, knowledge and powers were put into the background of our consciousness, while our intellectual nature was growing. Now we are to seek to reunite the two by using the intellect on a spiritual basis, instead of— as most of us do—on a physical basis.


Q.—On p. 136 (p. 128 Am. Ed.) the statement is made that “Nature never does her work in a hasty or undue fashion.” What connection is there between that statement and the Third Fundamental of The Secret Doctrine.

Ans .—It ‘s the same thing. “Nature. . .by the sure method of mixture, precipitation, and separation, brings about the greatest perfection.” You can see right here that we are all differentiated beings; yet we come together and exchange views, ideas, questions, answers, speculations, experience and so on. That is mixture. Then, whatever each one sees as an addition to his present stock he holds in his mind and calls it by adoption “his.” This necessarily produces or precipitates a change in his own thinking, and therefore in his own basis of action. Then we all go our separate ways, and apply against our new experience whatever we may have gained or added to our former store.

    The same holds true physically: we are all the time taking in food, which is mixture; precipitation—that is action; the result of this process energizes a man to go on working, and that is differentiation.


Q.—How could there be equilibrium when there is action?

Ans.—Because of the nature of our present minds and environment, we take a more circumscribed view of Karma than we should, and so Karma is often stated first as an abstract theorem—the theorem of law. Next, Karma is still more frequently spoken of in a universal sense—cause and effect, sowing and reaping, and so on. Finally, Karma is spoken of in a specific and practical, because applicable, sense: “Karma is an undeviating and unerring tendency in the Universe to restore equilibrium That is the third aphorism. “An undeviating and unerring tendency in the Universe. But the first aphorism is specific, because it deals with our minds: There is no Karma for you or me or any other being, it is implied, unless that being—you, I, or some other being—makes it or experiences its effects. That is the direct, immediate, personal, applicable statement of Karma. I have no Karma, except as I make causes and reap effects.



    The third aphorism passes from the concrete or specific or particular to the universe. How comes it that every time I act I experience results? Because I have for the moment disturbed the motionless repose of Nature, as far as I am concerned. So Nature, abhorring a vacuum, instantly acts to restore the balance—and you can follow that all the way through.

    Remember that our knowledge is limited, our reasoning is limited, our perceptions are limited, our actions are limited; our conclusions and the results of our experiences are all relative. There is not merely our relation to the universe; there is the universe relation to our-selves. We ought not to forget the statement in the Gita that for every act which a man performs, whether with his body, his speech, his senses or his understanding, five agents are necessary. We are too much inclined to think that when we act, we act alone.

Chapter XVI

I.—Imagination, Cohesion and Faith

Q.—What class of Karma—and by class I mean physical, psychic or mental—particularly affects the imagination?

Ans.—No kind. Imagination is a spiritual power and cannot be affected by Karma. But our fourth principle, which is the mirror of imagination and thought, can be affected by any number of things that happen. Remember that all our desires arise from imagination—imagination does not arise from our desires. Imagination is the creative power. How could the creative power be affected in any way, except as regards its manifestations? Why can’t we use our imagination, that is, why can’t we make our imagination active here in the body? It is because another state altogether intervenes. What is that state? Our desires, or our psychic nature.


Q.—Isn’t there a distinction between the image—making faculty and imagination?

Ans.—Yes, as we use the terms. But the word imagination actually means nothing more or less than that, the “image making faculty.” We often use the term imagination to mean our collection of pictures or images, and never think of the faculty that produced those pictures, just as we say, “He is a great reasoner,” because he can hand us a lot of reasons. Yet he may be no reasoner at all in the true sense of the word, for reason is the conscious use of the power of discernment and the power to connect relativities. How many reasoners are there, do you think?

    The books say that what we call imagination is fantasy—an old, old word which we incorporated in modern terminology as the word fancy meaning dreams. If you notice, our ordinary dreams are images. They are not images which we consciously or intentionally produce—that would be another kind of dreaming; it would not even be dreaming at all, but the action of the thinker on the other side of the dream state. The sense-produced images that we see in dreams are not the result of our imagination at all, but the result of our fancies.

    Think how much of our time is spent in “wool-gathering,” day-dreaming, fancy, or what is often called, by a misuse of terms, thinking—when in fact we are in a somnambulant condition of the mind, “waking-dreaming” There is the waking state, and there is a true dreaming state—but that lies on the other side of sleep; what is meant by “psychic” is that state



which lies next on the other side for the sleeper to see. In most of our so-called “waking consciousness,” then, we are not awake—that is, not actually, intentionally, volitionally aware of what we are doing or thinking.

    Now, there is a waking-dreaming state, which fills most of the waking consciousness, so-called, of most people. When it goes just a little beyond that to which the race is habituated, we say that the man in that state is hypnotized, psychologized, intoxicated, delirious, or insane. This condition represents only a very slight fall of the barometer of the average human mind.

    Thus, we are not consciously fulfilling our purpose. When we incarnated, we were wide-awake, but we entered the dream state. Little by little, through the simple process of infiltration or osmosis, we not only impressed the lower forms of consciousness with our life, but they impressed us with theirs, and so the man of today is constantly in a dream state. That is what “lower Manas” is—waking-dreaming.


Q.—What is cohesion?


Ans——Let us suppose we have before us a chunk of granite. Some thing brought this chunk of granite into being, whatever that “something” may have been. Suppose we destroyed the granite—we haven’t destroyed the particles, however we name them, of which the granite is composed. We have not destroyed the power, whatever it was, that originally produced the granite. Granted the same circumstances, the same exercise of the same power on the same particles, and you would have the same boulder back again.

    Somebody said you could not destroy a human body and re-create it. Yet everybody right here has been re-created thousands of times. Do you suppose this is the first time that we have had this body? We have had it any number of times. We have the same body all the time on one plane. We have a slowly, selectively changing body on another plane.

    Take that which we call the principle of Manas, and consider the substance of which it is composed. That “body” lasts throughout the entire period of a Manvantara! Take that body made of Monadic stuff—it lasts throughout the entire period of a cosmic evolution. Take that power which produced our cosmic body, that power which produced our intellectual form—that power never was created, never could be destroyed; it is the creator, the sustainer of all forms. We are using in these bodies, even in the physical and the intellectual bodies, matter that we have used countless times. If we hadn’t, if we hadn’t developed mutual affinity, we could not get a body at all.

    What, then, is cohesion? What in the world but “the opposite” to electricity. Electricity is the attraction of opposites while cohesion is the attraction of a common nature. What is the astral body? It is that form, that world, that state of manifestation of the One Form where like flies to like. But if, in our study of electricity, we try to unite like and like, all the power in the world will not allow us to do it. You can unite positive and negative—you can’t unite positive and positive, negative and negative.

    It is upon that same principle that the whole universe is built. Thus, cohesion is nothing but the borrowing of a word in English to indicate one form of attraction, the opposite of that which Mr. Judge here calls dispersion.




Q.—Isn’t there quite a difference between dissolving a piece of granite into powder, and that which was referred to as reducing it to its “original elements”?


Ans.—Stating the whole subject of cohesion from beginning to end, the beginning is in the power of consciousness, and the end is what we see manifested on any plane. Suppose we look at it in this way If all is Life, then it is not possible for us to conceive of Life as totally in active. We can conceive of Life as asleep or dormant or dead on this plane, but if all is Life, its cessation from activity here merely means activity in some other state or world or form or thing.

    From that point of view, all action of any kind in any world, how ever high or low, is a “sowing” on the part of a Life which acts. If the sowing is of such a nature that it cannot reap on the plane where the sower lives, then he is drawn by the attraction existing between him and his sowing to the plane where the harvest is.

    All beings in that state sometimes called Nirvana are on the same plane; some beings stay there from Manvantara’s end to Manvantara’s end, and never leave it except as an act of mercy for those involved in manifestation. How do they manage to remain forever in such a state as Krishna describes in the Eleventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita? They have reached perfection, but that is only a term. They remain in that state because they set no causes which are not absolutely universal Therefore, all their reaping is on the plane of their Soul. But in a universal state, if any being were to set up a cause which in the slightest degree was not universal, it couldn’t germinate on the universal plane—it would sink to that layer of consciousness where it could germinate, and the being would sink with it.

    So, the beginning of cohesion is in ourselves. What is our attraction? In our feelings, in our thoughts, in our will—they are the basis of our action, whether separate or unitary, whether ennobling or degrading. Actions all spring out of our mind, to use an Athenian term. Every physical thing begins as a mental deposit, and as our mental deposits in crease through the ages, that which was originally transparent becomes opaque, and finally we find ourselves incarnated—that is, enmeshed in effects that we can’ t see through—and that we call physical existence. Once you know the whole process and the laws, and have the enginery of it—and the enginery is in the mind of man—it is possible to produce in a second, by the trained will and imagination, a result that, left to Nature, would take millions of years to accomplish.

    Take the physical thing that we call birth. From the time of conception to the time of birth it takes nine months. It once took several years. Now the process is contracted. But there must be beings who can descend from the highest heaven to our world not in nine months but in nine seconds, in nine-tenths of a second. How? By an act of the will.

    There are more modes of birth than one. Just because we do not know about them is no reason why we should deny their existence. We find their analogies and counterparts everywhere in Nature. A little while ago, if a man wanted to silver-plate a spoon, he had with infinite care to melt the silver and then paint it on with a brush. Of course, he could not do a perfect job of it. Then when he was through, he had to burnish it and burnish it; to plate a silver spoon well was a good day’s work. Nowadays they simply put the spoon in an acid which contains a chunk




of silver and the poles of an electric battery. Then, when the current is passed through something goes on which is absolutely invisible to the eye. Flake by flake, atom by atom, infinitesimally, particle by particle—a force takes the silver off the chunk and deposits it with absolute uniformity all over the spoon. There is creation before our eyes, and it takes place in a few minutes. Yet, if that were left to Nature, it would take thousands of years, because Nature’s path is slow.

    How long will it take a grain of sand to get dissatisfied? Longer than it would us. That which takes an animal ages—or that which took men, only a few hundred years ago, an incredible time—is now done in a matter of days. Do you know that when the Romans built a trireme, it took the labour of thousands of men for months? But when you consider what they had to work with—no steel and using copper nails, it is a marvel that they could do it at all. How long would it take a South-Sea Island savage to do it?

    Not very long ago, pins were worth an appreciable amount apiece, and it was a good workman who could make a good skewer in a day. How long would it have taken Nature to make a pin? Endless ages, until the lives which compose that metal had been used in pin-making over and over and over again—until the metal and the processes constituted their “consciousness.” In some solar system, perhaps, they raise pins just as we raise cabbages. Why not?

    If we approach things from that point of view, it takes away our conceit, our mock modesty and the limitations we impose upon the possibilities of Nature. Is all this any more remarkable than to think that out of the same primordial cell comes every single atom of our body with its thousands and thousands of diverse elements? And all manufactured out of what? Hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. Now, there is a globe of our chain where what we call carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen have been so used to being in human forms that they construct those forms themselves—no parents are necessary. That is the kind of body we had in the First Round; that is the kind of body we had in the Second Round and in the Third Round. In the first, second and third races of this earth, we stepped into bodies as we now step into houses—they grew with out any intervention of our We have those bodies now, but they are locked up in the relatively inert physical one which represents the lives which we have furthered in their evolutionary progress.


Q.—On p145 (p. 137 Am. Ed.) it speaks about a stone being passed through a solid wall. Why couldn’t they pass a human body through a stone wall?


Ans.—Wherever there are three factors in a problem and you know two of them, use your wits and you can find the third element. In every case, the Teachers give a simple one-two-and-three problem—two factors are given in every statement They make, but it is for us to solve the third. Then we can consider problems of more than one unknown quantity, problems of two unknown quantities, problems of three unknown quantities. Why? The answer is simple. Most of the missing factors are so transparently simple that we don’t see them because they are transparent. In ourselves is the real answer to that question—in one of our principles. One can think it out for himself.


Q.—What do you suppose Mr. Judge means, on p.146 (p. 138 Am. Ed.)



by “faith”? He lays as much stress on faith as Jesus did. Do you suppose he means the kind of faith they have in the churches, the kind of faith a banker has, the kind of faith a politician or a scientist has? What is faith?

Ans.—We can get at the meaning of faith by considering its opposite, here called unbelief. If we have no faith in any man, we by that fact do two things: we cut ourselves off from all possibility of any understanding of what is truth and we cut ourselves off from all possibility of giving aid to, or receiving aid from, him. Faith, then, means a recognition of that which is common, not the recognition of that which is different. Whatever results are achieved anywhere, under any conditions, the fulcrum of the action by which the result is achieved is that which is held in common. The whole secret of the art of magic is in the meaning of that word faith the recognition of that which is in common between subject and object, between higher and lower, between good and bad, life and death, spirit and matter.


Q.—What about Paul’s definition?

Ans.—Paul was clearly discussing faith only in its moral bearings in the 13th chapter of I. Corinthians. He was discussing only the moral aspect of faith, just as here, under the terms “cohesion” or “dispersion” or “levitation” or the passing of one object through another and so on, Mr. Judge is referring to the same power, discussing the same rule or law of occult practice. But in every case, the result is achieved by finding what is held in common.

    Any of us can interlace rings or the links of a chain, only we can’ t do it by an act of the will. We have to melt the metals in order to do it, or we have to take the partially completed rings, hook them together, and then weld—that is, connect together one set of ends. The principle is the same, only we are unable to apply it except in its lowest terms.

    What is the common principle employed in everything we manufacture? Fire, heat; that is common to everything that is. But fire has 49 applications, 49 degrees, 49 characteristics, and in every case the higher fire—when understood—uses all lower fires as its material, and is it self used by all higher fires for their material. This is a universe of fire and light, heat and motion; all together you can give it in one word: Electricity.

    What is electricity? Manifested life, says H.P.B. It manifests in one way in the mineral kingdom, in another way in the vegetable kingdom, in still another in the animal kingdom—and it is capable of manifesting in a supernal degree in Man. Consider what H.P.B. says, that the double object of the Masters of Wisdom is to demonstrate that Man is essentially divine; that he is identical both with the Absolute Principle and with the Deity as we see it manifested in the forces of Nature; secondly, to demonstrate, by virtue of that fact, that the same powers exist in every man that exist in the great forces of Nature.

    How does that demonstration take place? By teaching on Their part, and by learning on ours. But, just as we have to learn to sound the scale and to know the difference between one note and another at the very beginning of the study of music, so we have to study Fundamentals and learn to distinguish the various states, to see the correlation of all the forces, before we undertake their practical demonstration.

    Take a demonstration of faith from another standpoint. Many students



come to this class, rain or shine, every night it is held—they are either sick or in jail if they are not here. A tremendous power in this. They don’t regard it as practice in the ABC’s of the very highest occultism, but that is what it is. And, since they have undertaken that practice, the time will come when they will see what is involved in it.

    Another thing: in this class it is marked—the attention is given to what is said and not to the one who says it. The humblest student comes on this platform—he is listened to; and devotion, respect for his effort, faith in him, is shown by the whole class. What higher occult practice could there be? Because that encourages the other man and then we get encouragement. In the end, this practice must strengthen the knowledge of all, the energy of all, the powers of all—call it the faith of all.

    How are the Masters of Wisdom what They are? Because of Their individual virtues? Impossible. No Master can work miracles When He leaves the company of the Lodge and comes into the world, two things are necessary: They must take pains on the other side, and he must take pains on this side, to preserve the unbroken continuity, the rapprochement of all Their principles. The power of the individual is the power of the Lodge. That is one of the phrases meaning that the Will of the Masters is one. These are the powers that, as unconsciously as the child grows, grow in us.

    Once a man sees that—whether it takes thousands of years or a thousand lifetimes—isn’t there plenty to do? Don’t we ever find life more interesting, more things to learn? We speak of cohesion, dispersion, levitation, control of mind over matter, faith—what difference does it make what word is used? If we get behind the words to the realities, we come closer and closer to the awakening in us of the sixth principle in conjunction with the fifth. That’s the growth that is going on, little by little. That’s the gold plate upon the base metal of the lower nature which the electric power of good-will, of study, of Brotherhood, of application in our daily lives, is bringing about. It is a transmutation of the base metal into gold; that is the greatest alchemy in the world, and the only real teaching of evolution.

Chapter XVI

II.——Modes of Seeing, Vibrations, Contact with Masters

Q.—What is the mode of sight employed when people see a mirage on a desert?


Ans.—Physically, the same mode as when we see a cinema—a layer of air of a different degree of opacity from the air below it serves as a mirror, like the cinema screen. A mirage is just as much a physical thing as our seeing each other right now.


Q.—Referring to p. 154 (p.145 Am.Ed.), where it speaks of three modes of sight, why is it necessary to impress the image, to see through the inner sense?


Ans.—Let us state it by analogy: When we talk over the telephone—speaking strictly within the terms of our intellectual sight—what happens is that our thought, will and feeling set our vocal organs to work, and then, under that impulsion and control, we make sounds, which means




only that we set the air in vibration. The vibration of the air sets up a corresponding vibration in the tympanum of the telephone, and that sets up a corresponding electrical vibration, which to all intents and purposes is instantly transmitted to any distance. At the other end of the line, the process by which we have talked into the telephone is precisely reversed; the electrical vibration sets up a vibration in the tympanum of the telephone; the tympanum of the telephone sets up a vibration in the air; that sets up a vibration in our tympanum; and that vibration is transmitted through its o channel our brain, where it sets up a vibration with thought, will and feeling in us.

    Take another illustration—a simple cinema. How was the film obtained, in the first place? By the transmission of light images from without, through a lens, on to a recording substance. When we see the cinema, what happens? The recording substance with the images impressed on it is not seen by us, but is thrown outward over the lens—projected, they call it—and we see the projection. That’s exactly what happens with us here. Certain vibrations from outside enter us through five lenses and we call those vibrations our sense-impressions; then they set up a vibration in another portion of our nature, and these other vibrations, we call thought, will, feeling, memory and imagination. They in turn arouse our will, our attitude and our action, and then the process is reversed. This process goes on everywhere and all the time.

    Now, would it be possible on this theory for a man of his own knowledge, of his own perception, of his own will, to create a given form in what some call Spirit-Matter? If so, that form would be visible on the plane of Thought-Matter—call it the psychic plane. Suppose one knew how to hold it there or concentrate it there that is, instead of magnifying the strip, as the cinema projector does, to reverse it, just as the photographic instrument reduces a large thing to small dimensions. So the spirit-image would be reduced to the compass of thought and fixed. Then, the thought image would instantly be visible and audible in astral substance. Suppose it were there held, and condensed still further? The astral image would then become internally visible to the living man. How? By being. projected from his brain through the optic nerve into his eye from within.

    Anything that is done consciously and with knowledge can also happen “accidentally”—that is, unconsciously—through a concatenation produced internally by the various organs. Any number of people “see things.” Remember the 10th Proposition of Isis Unveiled about the movements of the wandering astral form? Neither time nor space offer any obstacle to them. A thaumaturgist and practical occultist can cause his astral body to assume protean appearances—that is, take on the shape of anything in Nature, big or little, and in no matter what kingdom. He can not only cause his astral body to assume protean appearances, but also can make it visible or invisible to another by an act of his will. He can also impress pictures formed in his own mind on the mind of another without the latter’s being aware of it.

    Those who have seen such an imposed picture are ready to stake their lives on the reality of what they have seen—when the whole thing was but an illusion, a phantasmagoria produced by the irresistible will of the Adept. Probably everyone has “seen things”; he saw them and, a moment after, looked again and there was nothing there for him to see, physically. How did he see? He saw astrally that is, externally and astrally;



an astral image was projected not from without inward, but from within outward.


Q.—Would that apply to sound also—to “hearing things”?

Ans.—Precisely, and also to smell and touch and taste. This is the power that all the bright advertising men are using unconsciously, just as the Christian Scientists are using another kind of power unconsciously. They don’t recognize it for What it is, and they give it false names, for in both cases they aren’t using it for the sake of the public—they are using it for their own sake, or for the sake of their own interests.


Q.—On p. 149 (p.140 Am. Ed.), referring to the misuse of powers, Mr. Judge says that if a man persists in such misuse, these powers are taken from him. If they can be taken away, the implication is that they can be conferred Yet on p.144 (p. 136 Am. Ed.) it says that man, held by the Masters of Wisdom to be the highest product of the whole system of evolution, mirrors in himself every power, however wonderful or terrible, of Nature; by the very fact of being such a mirror he is man. Isn’t, then, that power inherent, rather than conferred? The two statements seem to conflict.

Ans.—Underscore the word “mirrors.” We mirror in ourselves every power in nature, but we are not able to exercise those powers because we haven’t the knowledge to make that reflection anything but an image. We haven’t the knowledge, and we haven’t the will to make images objective. How easy it is for us to agree with the Golden Rule, and how very difficult it is for us to practise it Why? The Golden Rule is an astral or psychic or mental image. Living it is fixing it, in terms of three dimensions. Do we find that easy?


Q.—In regard to the third mode of sight, is this power to project an image from without within, or from within without, the secret of the fakirs who make great numbers of people see what isn’t there?

Ans.—Yes, surely; that’s an occult power. Have you ever thought that there must be certain terrible secrets working on us all the time, not on any one of us picked out as a victim, but on all humanity? Look at the readiness with which people can believe what isn’t so, and give their lives for it. They have accepted such-and-such ideas. Having accepted them, although those ideas may be totally false, they appear to the believer as absolutely true, and he is ready to be burned at the stake, and to burn others at the stake, for the sake of those ideas.

    What kind of occult, left-hand power is being exercised on human minds? We know how very hard it is, even with the aid of Theosophy, to qualify our perceptions, so that we are able to label the ideas we find in our own minds as sound and true, or false. And even after having so labelled them, what tremendous difficulty we have to disembarrass our-selves, to get free from the force and influence, of what, for convenience sake, we may call bad habits, bad memories, bad thoughts, bad inner picturest Although we want to be rid of them, we can’t. What terrible influence is behind all that?

    Reversing it, the opposite is just as true. What divine influence is the