Part I == H P B and the T S and "SPIRITUALISM"
Feb 02, 2002 03:56 PM
Saturday, February 02, 2002
Re: Early days of the T S and "Spiritualism"
Much of the history of the relations between H P B, Col. Olcott,
and the early days of the T S in an attempt to codify and make
"spiritualism" into a "science," are found illustrated in the
early writings of H P B contained in the book A MODERN PANARION.
This has been out of print for many years until recently the
THEOSOPHY COMPANY, of Los Angeles issued a photographic reprint
of the original edition of this book. It is available through
http://www.blavatsky.net at their "bookstore."
The student will find therein the attempt made in those early
years to separate true psychic and mediumistic phenomena from the
However for the sake of students who are interested in what
Theosophy has to say about the "Spiritualism" movement and
psychic phenomena we offer in 2 parts some details .
It is important in all studies for those interested to know as a
basis the rationale of that considered, as views concerning the
"history" of events are often the result of superficial gleanings
from happenings, than from any real knowledge of what is actually
being dealt with. The true student always furnishes himself with
information that relates to the causes of events. This gives
depth to any real scholarship.
The following may then perhaps be of service.
References on the ASTRAL WORLD or PLANE and the PSYCHIC WORLD
This is a necessary introduction to the Theosophical concept of
"Astral Plane and the Astral Man."
The cosmic and human chronology of the Hindus is laughed at by
western Orientalists, yet they can furnish nothing better and are
continually disagreeing with each other on the same subject...
They could find in the story of the building of Solomon's temple
from the heterogeneous materials brought from everywhere, and its
erection without the noise of a tool being heard, the agreement
with these ideas of their Egyptian and Hindu brothers.
For Solomon's Temple means MAN whose frame is built up, finished
and decorated without the least noise. But the materials had to
be found, gathered together and fashioned in other and distant
places... Man could not have his bodily temple to live in until
all the matter in and about his world had been found by the
Master, who is the Inner Man, when found, the plans for working
it required to be detailed. They then had to be carried out until
all the parts should be perfectly ready and fit for placing in
the final structure.
So in the vast stretch of time which began after the first almost
intangible matter had been gathered and kneaded, the material and
vegetable kingdoms had sole possession here with the Master --
MAN -- who was hidden from sight within, carrying forward the
plans for the foundations of the human temple. All of this
requires many, many ages, since we know that nature never leaps.
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 counselors to learn their parts properly so
that MAN, the Master, might be able to use the temple for its
best and highest purposes.
The ancient doctrine is far nobler than the Christian religious
one or that of the purely scientific school. The religious gives
a theory which conflicts with reason and fact, while science can
give for the facts which it observes no reason which is in any
way noble or elevating.
Theosophy alone, inclusive of all systems and every experience,
gives the key, the plan, the doctrine, the truth.
The real age of the world is asserted by Theosophy to be almost
incalculable, and that of man as he is now formed is over
eighteen millions of years. What has become at last man is of
vastly greater age, for before the present two sexes appeared the
human creature was sometimes of one shape and sometimes of
another, until the whole plan had been fully worked out into our
present form, function, and capacity.
During all these ages before our man came into being, evolution
was carrying on the work of perfecting various powers which are
now our possession. This was accomplished by the Ego or real man
going through experience in countless conditions of matter all
different one from the other, and the same plan in general was,
and is pursued, as prevails in respect to the general evolution
of the universe.
That is, DETAILS WERE FIRST WORKED OUT IN SPHERES OF BEING VERY
ETHEREAL, metaphysical in fact. Then the next step brought the
same details to be worked out on a plane of matter a little more
dense, until at last it could be done on our present plane of
what we miscall gross matter.
In these anterior states the senses existed in germ, as it were,
or in idea, until the Astral Plane which is next to this one was
arrived at, and then they were concentrated so as to be the
actual senses we now use through the agency of the different
SENSES AND POWERS HOW EVOLVED
The outer organs of sight, touch and hearing, and tasting, are
often mistaken by the unlearned or the thoughtless for the real
organs and senses, but he who stops to think must see that the
senses are interior and that their outer organs are but mediators
between the visible universe and the real perceiver within. And
all these various powers and potentialities being well worked out
in this slow but sure process, at last man is put upon the scene
a sevenfold being just as the universe and earth itself are
Each of his seven principles is derived from one of the great
first seven divisions... So the first sevenfold differentiation
is important to be borne in mind, since it is the basis of all
that follows; just as the universal evolution is septenary so the
evolution of humanity, sevenfold in its constitution, is carried
on upon a septenary Earth. [ S D I 157 ]
This is spoken of in Theosophical literature as the Sevenfold
Planetary Chain, and is intimately connected with Man's special
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. This is in perfect correspondence with man himself who has
six other constituents of which only the gross body is visible to
him because he is now functioning on the Earth -- or the fourth
Globe -- and his body represents the Earth. [ S D I 200; II
The whole seven "Globes" constitute one single mass or great
Globe and they all interpenetrate each other. But we have to say
"Globe," because the ultimate shape is globular or spherical....
H P B and her Adept teachers say, that the seven Globes of our
chain are in "coadunition with each other but not in
consubstantiality." (Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 166.) This is
further enforced by cautions not to rely on plane surface
diagrams, but to look at the metaphysical and spiritual aspect of
the theory as stated in English. Thus, these Globes are united in
one mass though differing from each other in substance, and that
this difference of substance is due to change of center of
OUR EARTH IS A REINCARNATION
The Earth Chain of seven Globes as thus defined is the direct
reincarnation of a former chain of seven Globes, and that former
family of seven was the moon chain, the moon itself being the
visible representative of the fourth Globe of the old chain.
When that former vast entity composed of the Moon and six others,
all united in one mass, reached its limit of life it died just as
any being dies. Each one of the seven sent its energies into
space and gave similar life or vibration to cosmic dust --
matter, -- and the total cohesive force of the whole kept the
seven energies together. This resulted in the evolving of the
present Earth Chain of seven centers of energy or evolution
combined in one mass. As the Moon was the fourth of the old
series it is on the same plane of perception as the Earth, and as
we are now confined in our consciousness largely to Earth we are
able only to see one of the old seven -- to wit: our Moon...
HUMANITY : A MASS OF EGOS -- MONADS
The stream or mass of Egos which evolves on the seven Globes of
our chain is limited in number, yet the actual quantity is
enormous. For though the universe is limitless and infinite, yet
in any particular portion of Cosmos in which manifestation and
evolution have begun there is a limit to the extent of
manifestation and to the number of Egos engaged therein. And the
whole number of Monads now going through evolution on our Earth
Chain came over from the old seven planets or Globes which I have
described...as a "life wave," which means the stream of Monads.
"GLOBES" REPRESENT STATES OF "CONSCIOUSNESS"
It reached this planetary mass, represented to our consciousness
by the central point our Earth, and began on Globe A or No. I,
coming like an army or river. The first portion began on Globe A
and went through a long evolution there in bodies suited to such
a state of matter, and then passed on to B, and so on through the
whole seven greater states of consciousness which have been
called Globes. When the first portion left A, others streamed in
and pursued the same course, the whole army proceeding with
regularity round the septenary route.
This journey went on for four circlings round the whole, and then
the whole stream or army of Egos from the old Moon Chain had
arrived, and being complete, no more entered after the middle of
the Fourth Round. The same circling process of these differently
arrived classes goes on for seven complete "Rounds" of the whole
seven planetary centers of consciousness, and when the seven are
ended as much perfection as is possible in the immense period
occupied will have been attained, and then this chain or mass of
"globes" will die in its turn to give birth to still another
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: the experience of the whole
seven globes being needed to make a perfect development.
Hence we have the Rounds and Races. The Round is a circling of
the seven centers of planetary consciousness; the Race the racial
development on one of those seven. There are seven races for each
Globe, but the total of forty-nine races only makes up seven
great races, the special septenate of races on each globe or
planetary center composing in reality one race of seven
constituents or special peculiarities of function and power.
And as no complete race could be evolved in a moment on any
Globe, the slow, orderly processes of nature, which allow no
jumps, must proceed by appropriate means. Hence sub-races have to
be evolved one after the other before the perfect Root Race is
formed, and then the Root Race sends off its offshoots while it
is declining and preparing for the advent of the next great Race.
As illustrating this, it is distinctly taught that on the
Americas is to be evolved the new -- sixth -- race; and here all
the races of the earth are now engaged in a great amalgamation
from which will result a very highly developed sub-race, after
which others will be evolved by similar processes until the new
one is completed.
A PERIOD OF REST BETWEEN EARTH INCARNATIONS
Between the end of any great race and the beginning of another
there is a period of rest, so far as the Globe is concerned, for
then the stream of human Egos leaves it for another one of the
chain in order to go on with further evolution of powers and
But when the last, the seventh, race has appeared and fully
perfected itself, a great dissolution comes on... and then the
world disappears as a tangible thing, and so far as the human ear
is concerned there is silence. This, it is said, is the root of
the belief so general that the world will come to an end, that
there will be a judgment-day, or that there have been universal
floods or fires.
EARLY ASPECTS OF MATTER
Taking up evolution on the Earth, it is stated that the stream of
Monads begins first to work up the mass of matter in what are
called elemental conditions when all is gaseous or fiery. For the
ancient and true theory is that no evolution is possible without
the Monad as vivifying agent. In this first stage there is no
animal or vegetable. Next comes the mineral when the whole mass
hardens, the Monads being all imprisoned within.
Then the first Monads emerge into vegetable forms which they
construct themselves, and no animals yet appear. Next the first
class of Monads emerges from the vegetable and produces the
animal, then the human astral and shadowy model, and we have
minerals, vegetables, animals and future men, for the second and
later classes are still evolving in the lower kingdoms.
When the middle of the Fourth Round is reached no more Monads
emerge into the human stage and will not until a new planetary
mass, reincarnated from ours, is made. This is the whole process
roughly given, but with many details left out....
MANIFESTATION : UNIVERSAL PLAN -- MAHAT - UNIVERSAL MIND
The plan comes first in the Universal Mind, after which the
Astral Model or basis is made, and when that astral model is
completed, the whole process is gone over so as to condense the
matter, up to the middle of the Fourth Round.
Subsequent to that, which is our future, the whole mass is
spiritualized with full consciousness and the entire body of
Globes raised up to a higher plane of development. In the process
of condensing above referred to there is an alteration in respect
to the time of the appearance of man on the planet. But as to
these details the teachers have only said, ... "but the variation
will not be given to this generation." Hence it is impossible to
give it. But there is no vagueness on the point that seven great
races have to evolve here on this planet, and that the entire
collection of races has to go seven times round the whole series
of seven Globes.
Human beings did not appear here in two sexes first. The first
were of no sex, then they altered into hermaphrodite, and lastly
separated into male and female. And this separation into male and
female for human beings was over 18,000,000 years ago. For that
reason is it said, in these ancient schools, that our humanity is
18,000,000 years old and a little over.
SOUL -- EGO -- MIND
Nearly everyone says he has a soul and a body, and there it ends.
What the soul is, and whether it is the real person or whether it
has any powers of its own, are not inquired into, the preachers
usually confining themselves to its salvation or damnation. And
by thus talking of it as something different from oneself, the
people have acquired an underlying notion that they are not souls
because the soul may be lost by them. From this has come about a
tendency to materialism causing men to pay more attention to the
body than to the soul, the latter being left to the tender
mercies of the priest of the Roman Catholics, and among
dissenters the care of it is most frequently put off to the dying
day. But when the true teaching is known it will be seen that the
care of the soul, which is the Self, is a vital matter requiring
attention every day, and not to be deferred without grievous
injury resulting to the whole man, both soul and body....
THE 7-FOLD CLASSIFICATION
H. P. Blavatsky directly from the Great Lodge of
Initiates...places...the old doctrine [of seven-fold Man] before
western civilization. The classification is:
1. The Body, or Rupa.
2. Vitality, or Prana-Jiva.
3. Astral Body, or Linga-Sarira.
4. Animal Soul, or Kama-Rupa
5. Human Soul, or Manas.
6. Spiritual Soul, or Buddhi.
7. Spirit, or Atma,
The words in the Sanskrit language are adopted the English terms.
This classification stands to this day for all practical
purposes, but it is capable of modification and extension.
For instance, a later arrangement which places ASTRAL BODY
second instead of third in the category does not substantially
alter it. It at once gives an idea of what man is, very different
from the vague description by the words "body and soul," and also
boldly challenges the materialistic conception that mind is the
product of brain, a portion of the body.
No claim is made that these principles were hitherto unknown, for
they were all understood in various ways not only by the Hindus
but by many Europeans. Yet the compact presentation of the
sevenfold constitution of man in intimate connection with the
septenary constitution of a chain of Globes through which the
being evolves, had not been given out...
Considering these constituents in another manner, we would say
that the lower man is a composite being, but in his real nature
is a unity, or immortal being, comprising a trinity of Spirit,
Discernment, and Mind which requires four lower mortal
instruments or vehicles through which to work in matter and
obtain experience from Nature.
This trinity is that called Atma-Buddhi-Manas in Sanskrit,
difficult terms to render in English. Atma is Spirit, Buddhi is
the highest power of intellection, that which discerns and
judges, and Manas is Mind. This threefold collection is the real
man; and beyond doubt the doctrine is the origin of the
theological one of the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The four lower instruments or vehicles are shown in this table:
REAL AND UNREAL
Because people in general have been in the habit of admitting to
be real only what they can see with the physical eye, they have
at last come to suppose that the unseen is neither real nor
material. But they forgot that even on the earth plane noxious
gases are invisible though real and powerfully material, and that
water may exist in the air held suspended and invisible until
conditions alter and cause its precipitation.
Let us recapitulate before going into details. The Real Man is
the trinity of Atma-Buddhi-Manas, or Spirit and Mind, and he uses
certain agents and instruments to get in touch with nature in
order to know himself.
These instruments and agents are found in the lower Four -- or
the Quaternary -- each principle in which category is of itself
an instrument for the particular experience belonging to its own
field, the body being the lowest, least important, and most
transitory of the whole series.
For when we arrive at the body on the way down from the Higher
Mind, it can be shown that all of its organs are in themselves
senseless and useless when deprived of the man within.
Sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smelling do not pertain to the
body but to the second unseen physical man, the real organs for
the exercise of those powers being in the ASTRAL BODY, and those
in the physical body being but the mechanical outer instruments
for making the coordination between nature and the real organs
[ continued in Part II ]
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application