RE: [bn-study] Seven Fold Constitution of Man in Theosophy
Feb 02, 2002 03:57 PM
Saturday, February 02, 2002
Re: 7-fold Man and nature. Perhaps the enclosed will be of use?
It is of course the Theosophical division, but equivalents,
according to quality, nature and function, will be found in all
ancient scriptures. They form the spans of a great bridge that
links the SPIRIT to the Physical form of man. They are
invisible, but comprehensible t the mind that probes for cause
and meaning behind the superficial and casual.
Let us look at the terms: 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 as advanced by Theosophy 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. [ see H P B article: CLASSIFICATION OF
PRINCIPLES, H P B Articles, Vol. II, p. 236-243 (U L T Edn.)
THEOSOPHIST, August 1887 -- Vol. 8, p. 448... ]
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,
9. [ATMA is actually the ONE PRINCIPLE, and the rest are its
The words in the Sanskrit language are adopted and translated
into 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 does, however, hint that the physical body may be considered
to be condensed (solidified, and made visible) Astral Matter. 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 the brain, a material 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... [ see also in the KEY
TO THEOSOPHY (HPB) the footnote at the bottom of p. 92.] [ [see
also in SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. I 157-8, II p. 596 ]
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. [ See Judge's article: " THE
SEVENFOLD DIVISION," PATH, April 1890;
W Q J Articles, Vol. I, p. 298-9 (U L T Edn.)] [ see also in
SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. I, pp 223-5 ]
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 Man is :
Lower Vehicles are :
* The Passions and Desires,
* Life Principle,
* Astral Body,
* Physical Body.
These four lower material constituents are transitory and subject
to disintegration in themselves as well as to separation from
When the hour of physical death arrives, it is for them a time
for their separation to begin. The combination can no longer be
kept up, the physical body dies, the atoms of which each of the
four are composed begin to separate from each other, and the
whole collection being disjointed is no longer fit for an
instrument for the Real Man.
DEATH of the PHYSICAL
This is what is called "death" among us mortals, but it is not
death for the Real Man because he is deathless, persistent,
immortal. He is therefore called the Triad, or Indestructible
Trinity, while they are known as the Quaternary or mortal four.
This quaternary, or Lower Man, is a product of cosmic or physical
laws and substance. It has been evolved during a long series of
ages, like any other physical thing, from cosmic substance, and
is therefore subject to physical, physiological, and psychical
laws which govern Nature and the race of man as a whole.
Hence its period of possible continuance can be calculated just
as the limit of tensile strain among the metals used in bridge
building can be deduced by the engineer.
Any one collection in the form of man made up of these
constituents is therefore limited in duration by the laws of the
evolutionary period in which it exists. Just now, that is
generally seventy to one hundred years, but its possible duration
is longer. Thus there are in history instances where ordinary
persons have lived to be two hundred years of age; and by a
knowledge of the occult laws of nature the possible limit of
duration may be extended nearly to four hundred years.
* THE VISIBLE PHYSICAL MAN IS: Brain, Nerves, Blood, Bones,
Lymph, Muscles, Organs of Sensation and Action, and Skin.
* THE UNSEEN PHYSICAL MAN IS: Astral Body, Passions and
Desires, Life Principle (called prana or jiva).
It will be seen that the physical part of our nature is thus
extended to a second department which, though invisible to the
physical eye, is nevertheless material and subject to decay.
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 poisonous
gases are invisible though real and powerfully material, and that
water may exist in the air held suspended as vapour, and,
invisible until conditions alter and cause its precipitation.
Let us recapitulate. 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
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 (Buddhi-Manas, or the Spiritual Soul/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
From: Larry F Kolts [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 6:48 AM
Subject: [bn-study] Seven Fold Constitution of Man in Islam
Taking Christina's reference as a starting place, I found Fadi's
from 24 Aug 2001 in rhe archives. Here is a digest of his
Arabic NASMAH- translates "light breeze"
Arabic NAFS- translated "soul", "the immaterial part of man,
cpoupled with the physical world"
Arabic ROUH- another word for soul
This is what he shared. I believe the the "Nasmah" equvilent to
"breath of life". I looked up breath of life in the Qur'an but
listing as such. This phrase seems to cever that.
"Nafs" is a good word for soul, while I think the "Rouh" is a
spirit. Ir corresponds to the Hebrew RUACH which is "spirit" in
In my Qur'an search I find both "soul" and "spirit" coming uo in
English translation search but as yet can't find and
lexicon similat to what is available in English/Greek.
We can tentitively use these three terms.
Annie, can you confirm any of this. Also, do you know the Arabic
reference for the physical body?
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