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Feb 12, 2002 04:56 PM
by dalval14

Dear Friends:

A question about the nature of consciousness has arisen. this is
important and Theosophy has much to say on this.

"Consciousness" as a word means "to see along with." It appears
to be a shared experience, where one mind tries to appreciate
what another mind has grasped or understood. Both imply an
infinite latitude to the power of thought. It is assumed that
the will of the recipient is of the same source as the will and
vision of the original Percipient.

Among these quotations are no doubt a number that will be found
provocative, paradoxical and always challenging to the "innate
power to perceive" which we all have.]

Best wishes,




"Our consciousness is one and not many, nor different from other
consciousnesses...consciousness itself...the one consciousness of
each person is the Witness or Spectator [his Higher Self] of the
actions and experiences of every state we are in or pass through.
It therefore follows that the waking condition of the mind is not
separate consciousness.

"The one consciousness pierces up and down through all the states
or planes of Being, and serves to uphold the memory--whether
complete or incomplete--of each state's experience.

"Thus in waking life, Sat experiences fully and knows. In dream
state, Sat again knows and sees what goes on there, while there
may not be in the brain a complete memory of the waking state
just quitted. In Sushupti--beyond dream and yet on indefinitely,
Sat still knows all that is done or heard or seen.

"The way to salvation must be entered. To take the first step
raises the possibility of success. Hence it is said, 'When the
first attainment has been won, Moksha (salvation) has been won.'

"The first step is giving up bad associations and getting a
longing for knowledge of God; the second is joining good
company, listening to their teachings and practicing them; the
third is strengthening the first two attainments, having faith
and continuing in it...	G. NOTES 98-100

"...the plane of action is thought itself, that is to say--ideas.
Action is merely the sequence of the concretion of thought."

"Man, made of thought, occupant only of many bodies from time to
time, is eternally thinking. His chains are through thought, his
release due to nothing else. His mind is immediately tinted or
altered by whatever object it is directed to. By this means the
soul is enmeshed in the same thought or series of thoughts as is
the mind. If the object be anything that is distinct from the
Supreme Self then the mind is at once turned into that, becomes
that, is tinted like that. This is one of the natural capacities
of the mind. It is naturally clear and uncolored...It is movable
and quick, having a disposition to bound from one point to
another. Several words would describe it. Chameleon-like it
changes color, sponge-like it absorbs that to which it is
applied, sieve-like it at once loses its former color and shape
the moment a different object is taken becomes that to
which it is devoted."	GITA NOTES p. 141-2

"No act is performed without a thought at its root either at the
time of performance or as leading to it. These thoughts are
lodged in that part of the man which we have called Manas-the
mind, and there remain as subtle but powerful links with magnetic
threads that enmesh the solar system, and through which various
effects are brought out...the whole system to which this globe
belongs is alive, conscious on every plane, though only in man
showing self-consciousness...the slightest not
lost but only proportion to the intensity of his
thought will be the intensity and depth of the picture..."
OCEAN 91-2

"The same power to perceive is possessed by all alike. The
differences in beings consists in the range of perception which
has been acquired through evolution, and this applies to all
lives below Man, to Man himself, and to all beings higher than Ma
n. In THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE it is said that "Mind is like a
mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects," and in other
writings it is spoken of as "the mirror of the Soul." We cannot
fail to see that we act in accordance with the ideas of life that
we hold' that what we call "our mind" is a number of ideas held
by us as a basis for thought and actions; that we change our
ideas from time to time, as we find occasion for such change;
but that at all times we act from the basis of the ideas
presently held...We are prone to accept and hold only such ideas
as are in accord with out personal desires...The real "worship"
is devotion to an ideal. Here "the Self of All" is the ideal,
and the action indicated is to think and act for, and as, the One
Self in all things, without self-interest in the results. We are
not attached to results by our acts, but by our thoughts;
freedom comes from a renunciation of self-interest in the fruit
of actions."	GITA NOTES p. 161-2

"This means that each human being has the power to see and know
all things, however restricted that power may be at any given
time; that the restriction lies in the more or less narrow range
of the ideas that he adheres to, and which form the basis for his
actions. This self-limited range of perception, not only
prevents the full exercise of his powers as Self, but acts as a
bar to the right understanding of his observation and
experience."	GITA NOTES 166-7


"Man is a perfected animal, but before he could have reached
perfection even on the animal plane, there must have dawned on
him the light of a higher plane. Only the perfected animal can
cross the threshold of the next higher, of the human plane, and
as he does so there shines upon him the ray from the supra-human
plane. Therefore, as the dawn of humanity illumines the animal
plane, and as a guiding star lures the Monad to higher
consciousness, so the dawn of divinity illuminates the human
plane, luring the monad to the supra-human plane of
consciousness.... however, "the vehicle of a fully
developed Monad, self-conscious and deliberately following its
own line of progress..."
WQJ ARTICLES Vol. I, pp. 27-8
(see ISIS I 305, SD I 571-2, HPB ART III 440-1, HPB ART II

"..."Mind" is manas, or rather its lower reflection, which
whenever it disconnects itself, for the time being, with kama,
becomes the guide of the highest mental faculties, and is the
organ of the free-will in physical man...." HPB
ARTICLES, Vol. II, p. 13

"That which is known as you is the result of one continuous
existence of an entity. Your present body and your soul (or the
personality) are the results of a series of existences. Your
Karma is a result of co-existence. The individuality, or spirit,
is the cause of the soul and personality, or what is called
"you." You are the manifestation of an entity and are the result
of many appearances of that entity upon this stage of action in
various personalities." WQJ ARTICLES., II, p. 452

"Happy is the man physically pure, for if his external soul
(astral body, the image of the body) is pure, it will strengthen
the second (the lower Manas), or the soul which is termed by him
the higher mortal soul, which, though liable to err from its own
motives, will always side with reason against the animal
proclivities of the body. In other words, the ray of our Higher
Ego, the lower Manas, has its higher light, the reason or
rational powers of the Nous, to help it in the struggle with
Kamic desires. The lusts of man arise in consequence of his
perishable material body, so do other diseases, says Plato..."
HPB ARTICLES I 27-8	[ see VOICE p. 12 fn ]


"Personality In Occultism--which divides man into 7 principles,
considering him under three aspects of the divine, the thinking
or the rational, and the animal man--the lower quaternary or the
purely astro-physical being; while by Individuality is meant the
Higher Triad, considered as a Unity. Thus the Personality
embraces all the characteristics and memories of one physical
life, which the Individuality is the imperishable Ego which
re-incarnates and clothes itself in one personality after
T. GLOS. 252

"The astral through Kama (desire) is ever drawing Manas down into
the sphere of material passions and desires. But if the better
man or Manas tries to escape the fatal attraction and turns its
aspirations to Atma-Spirit--the Buddhi (Ruach) conquers and
carries Manas with it to the realm of eternal Spirit."	S D I p.

"The life principle acts from the time of fetal existence until
death. The lower principles are fed continuously during that
time from the astral plane; that which constitutes the
individual monad reincarnates at the time of birth, but whether
or not the highest principles may assimilate with the germ during
a lifetime, and to which extent they will either assimilate or be
lost, will depend on the will and the exertions of the
individual." THEOS. ART. & NOTES, p. 118-9

"That which is known as you is the result of one continuous
existence of an entity. Your present body and your soul (or the
personality) are the results of a series of existences. Your
Karma is a result of co-existence. The individuality, or spirit,
is the cause of the soul and personality, or what is called
"you." You are the manifestation of an entity and are the result
of many appearances of that entity upon this stage of action in
various personalities. WQJ ART., II, p. 452


"Mind is the intelligent part of the Cosmos...[it contains] the
plan of the Cosmos...brought over from a prior period of
manifestation, which added to its ever-increasing perfectness,
and no limit can be set to its evolutionary possibilities in
perfectness...the plan has been laid down in the universal mind;
the original force comes from spirit; the basis is matter--which
is in fact invisible--Life sustains all the forms requiring life,
and Akasa is the connecting link [Fohat] between matter on one
side and spirit-mind on the other"	OCEAN, pp. 14-16.

MIND.	"Mind is the name given to the sum of the states of
Consciousness grouped under Thought, Will and Feeling."	SD I

MANAS (Sk.)	Lit., "the mind," the mental faculty which makes of
man an intelligent and moral being, and distinguishes him from
the mere animal; a synonym of Mahat. Esoterically, however, it
means, when unqualified, the Higher EGO, or the sentient
reincarnating Principle in man. When qualified it is called by
Theosophists Buddhi-Manas or the Spiritual Soul in
contradistinction to its human reflection--Kama-Manas."	T. GLOS.

" is also necessary to admit the existence of soul, and the
comparative unimportance of the body in which it dwells. For,
Patanjali holds that Nature exists for the soul's sake [PAT
p.26]...he lays down that the real experiencer and knower is the
soul and not the mind, it follows that the Mind, designated
either as "internal organ," or "thinking principle," while higher
and more subtle than the body, is yet only an instrument used by
the Soul in gaining experience...He shows that the mind is, as he
terms it, "modified" by any object or subject brought before it,
or to which it is directed..."	PATANJALI, . Intro. xiii

"MAHAT (Sk.) Lit., "The great one." The first principle of
Universal Intelligence and Consciousness. In the Puranic
philosophy the first product of root-nature or Pradhana (the
same as Mulaprakriti); the producer of Manas the thinking
principle, and of Ahankara, egotism or the feeling of "I am I"
(in the lower Manas)." T. GLOS. 210

"Divine Mind is, and must be, before differentiation takes
place. It is called the divine ideation, which is eternal in its
Potentiality and periodical in its Potency, when it becomes
Mahat, Anima Mundi or Universal Soul...each of these conceptions
has its most metaphysical, most material, and also intermediate
aspects." TRANSACTIONS. 4

"Buddhi is the Immortal Ego. Buddhi cannot be described. It is
feeling, the accumulated experiences--all our experience is in
feeling. Manas is the Higher Mind, that part of the Buddhi which
is in action; the creative power of Buddhi. There is a
continuous line of experience as Perceivers--all beings are
Perceivers. They are limited by the power of their self-created
instruments. In all perceptions is the quality of the instrument
through which that perception comes." ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS.
p. 6

"BUDDHI (Sk.) Universal Soul or Mind. Mahabuddhi is a name
of Mahat (see "Alaya"); also the spiritual Soul in man (the 6th
principle), the vehicle of Atma, exoterically the 7th."
T. GLOS. 67

"MAHA-BUDDHI (Sk) Mahat. The Intelligent Soul of the World.
Cosmic Buddhi, the emanation of the Spiritual Soul Alaya, is the
vehicle Mahat only when that Buddhi corresponds to Prakriti.
Then it is called Maha-Buddhi. This Buddhi differentiates
through 7 planes, whereas the Buddhi in man is the vehicle of
Atman, which vehicle is of the essence of the highest plane of
Akasa and therefore does not differentiate. The difference
between Manas and Buddhi in man is the same as the difference
between the Manasaputra and the Ah-hi in Kosmos.
T. GLOS 199

"The mind might be likened to a telescope in use by Man, the
Perceiver, in order to be able to perceive the nature of the
things about him. He can act only in accord with what he
perceives through the telescope. If the telescope is not
properly adjusted or out of focus, the perceptions will be out of
true, and wrong action will follow...[we have to learn] the
proper adjustment and focusing of the instrument upon which right
perception and action depend."	FRIENDLY PHILOS. p. 143.
[ see OCEAN p. 53-4, KEY p. 129 ]

"...there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the
formation of the three principal Upadhis; or rather three
separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are
inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These
are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the
physical evolutions. These three are the finite aspects or the
reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of ATMA, the seventh,

2. The Intellectual, represented by the Manasa-Dhyanis (the
Solar Devas, or the Agnishwatta Pitris) the "givers of
intelligence and consciousness" to man... (182) It is the
Manasa-Dhyanis who fill the gap, and they represent the
evolutionary power of Intelligence and Mind, the link between
"Spirit" and "Matter"--in this Round." SD I 181-2

"Occult philosophy reconciles the absurdity of postulating in the
manifested Universe an active Mind without an organ, with that
worse absurdity, an objective Universe evolved as everything else
in it, by blind chance, by giving to this Universe an organ of
thought, a "brain." The latter, although not objective to our
senses, is none the less existing; it is to be found in the
Entity called KOSMOS (Adam Kadmon in the Kabalah). As in the
Microcosm, MAN, so in the Macrocosm, or the Universe. Every
"organ" in it is a sentient entity, and every particle of matter
or substance, from the physical molecule up to the spiritual
atom, is a cell, a nerve center, which communicates.

This is precisely what occult philosophy claims; our Ego is a
ray of the Universal Mind, individualized for the space of a
cosmic life-cycle, during which space of time it gets its
experience in almost numberless reincarnations or rebirths, after
which it returns to its Parent-Source.

The Occultist would call the "Higher Ego" the immortal Entity,
whose shadow and reflection is the human Manas, the mind, limited
by its physical senses. The two may be well compared to the
Master-artist and the pupil-musician...In the course of natural
evolution our "brain-mind" will be replaced by a finer organism,
and helped by the 6th and the 7th senses. Even now there are
pioneer minds who have developed these senses."
HPB -- Theosophical Articles & Notes, p. 208


"...The Host of Dhyanis, whose turn it was to incarnate as the
Egos of the immortal, but, on this plane, senseless monads--that
some "obeyed" (the law of evolution) immediately when the men of
the 3rd Race became physiologically and physically ready, i.e.,
when they had separated into sexes. These were those early
conscious Beings who, now adding conscious knowledge and will to
their inherent Divine purity, created by Kriyasakti the
semi-Divine man, who became the seed on earth for future adepts.
Those, on the other hand, who, jealous of their intellectual
freedom (unfettered as it then was by the bonds of matter),
said:--"We can choose...we have wisdom,"...and incarnated far
later--these had their first Karmic punishment prepared for them.
They got bodies (physiologically) inferior to their astral
models, because their chhayas had belonged to progenitors of an
inferior degree in the 7 classes. As to those "Sons of Wisdom"
who had "deferred" their incarnation till the 4th Race, which was
already tainted (physiologically) with sin and impurity, they
produced a terrible cause, the Karmic result of which weighs on
them to this day...the bodies they had to inform had become
defiled through their own procrastination...This was the "Fall of
the angels," because of their rebellion against Karmic Law. The
"fall of man" was no fall, for he was irresponsible..."	SD II

Ahankara (Sk) The conception of "I", Self consciousness or
Self-identity; the "I", the egotistical and mayavic principle in
man, due to ignorance which separates our "I" from the Universal
ONE-SELF, Personality, Egoism. T. GLOS. 11


"...divine man dwelt in his animal--though externally
human --form; and, if there was instinct in him, no
self-consciousness came to enlighten the darkness of the latent
5th principle [Manas]. When moved by the law of Evolution, the
Lords of Wisdom infused into him the spark of consciousness, the
first feeling it awoke to life and activity was a sense of
solidarity, of one-ness with his spiritual creators. As the
child's first feeling is for its mother and nurse, so the first
aspirations of the awakening consciousness in primitive man were
for those whose element he felt within himself, and who yet were
outside, and independent of him. DEVOTION arose out of that
feeling, and became the first and foremost motor in his nature;
for it is the only one which is natural in our heart, which is
innate in us, and which we find alike in human babe and the young
of the animal. This feeling of irrepressible, instinctive
aspiration in primitive man ... It lives undeniably, and has
settled in all its ineradicable strength and power in the Asiatic
Aryan heart from the 3rd Race direct through it first "mind-born"
sons,--the fruits of Kriyasakti. As time rolled on the holy
caste of Initiates produced but rarely, and from age to age, such
perfect creatures: beings apart, inwardly, though the same as
those who produced them, outwardly...the 3rd primitive race...was
called into being, a ready and perfect vehicle for the
incarnating denizens of higher spheres, who took forthwith their
abodes in these forms born of Spiritual WILL and the natural
divine power in man. Its physical frame alone was of time and of
life, as it drew its intelligence direct from above. It was the
living tree of divine wisdom; and may therefore be likened to
the Mundane Tree of the Norse Legend, which cannot wither and die
until the last battle of life shall be fought, and while its
roots are gnawed all the time by the dragon Niddhogg; for even
so, the first and holy son of Kriyasakti had his body gnawed by
the tooth of time, but the roots of his inner being remained for
ever undecaying and strong, because they grew and expanded in
heaven not on earth. He was the first of the FIRST, and he was
the seed of all the others. There were other "Sons of
Kriyasakti" produced by a second spiritual effort, but the first
one has remained to this day the Seed of divine Knowledge, the
One and the Supreme among the terrestrial "Sons of Wisdom." SD
I 210-211

"No sooner had the mental eye of man been opened to
understanding, than the Third Race felt itself one with the
ever-present as the ever to be unknown and invisible ALL, the One
Universal Deity...feeling in himself his inner God, each felt he
was a Man-God in his nature, though an animal in his physical
Self... (SD II 272) the evolution of Spirit into matter could
never have been achieved; nor would it have received its first
impulse, had not the bright Spirits sacrificed their own
respective super-ethereal essences to animate the man of clay, by
endowing each of his inner principles with a portion, or rather,
a reflection of that essence." SD II 273

"Concentration, or Yoga, is the hindering of the modifications of
the thinking principle. (Fn.: ...the [lower] mind--here called
"the thinking principle"--is subject to constant modifications by
reason of its being diffused over a multiplicity of subjects. So
"concentration" is equivalent to the correction of a tendency to
diffuseness, and to..."one-pointedness," or the power to apply
the [lower] mind at any moment, to the consideration of a single
point of thought, to the exclusion of everything else...The
[lower] not the supreme or highest power; it is only a
function, an instrument with which the soul [higher manas]
works...The brain... must not be confounded with the mind, for
the brain is in its turn but an instrument for the mind... The
[lower] mind has a plane of its own, distinct from the soul
[higher mind] and the brain, and what is to be learned is, to use
the will...a distinct power from the mind and brain...)

"Every atom is endowed with and moved by intelligence, and is
conscious in its own degree, on its own plane of development.
This is a glimpse of the One Life... selfishness is the curse of

"Every man has a god within, a direct ray from the Absolute, the
celestial ray from the One..."	TRANS 53

"Free-will can only exist in a man who has both mind and
consciousness, which act and make him perceive things both within
and without himself."

"Consciousness is a condition of the monad as a result of
embodiment in matter and the dwelling in a physical form."	WQJ

"..."Mind" is manas, or rather its lower reflection, which
whenever it disconnects itself, for the time being, with kama,
becomes the guide of the highest mental faculties, and is the
organ of the free-will in physical man...."	HPB ARTICLES, Vol.
II, p. 13

"...Consciousness is not developed; Consciousness always is. It
is intelligence which is developed in different ways, in
different degrees of substance, on different planes of being.
The intelligence gained is an understanding of externalities in
their relation to Consciousness itself ...This acquired
intelligence is the basis of the Archetypal World, in which types
are is Consciousness first, last and all the time
at the root of all manifestation. Always the Perceiver is behind
every form. What is learned in regard to externalities or any
instrument is the amount of intelligence that
intelligence increases it becomes the basis on which better
instruments are formed."	Q & A 203-4

"The soul emerges from the unknown, begins to work in and with
matter, is reborn again and again, makes karma, develops the six
vehicles for itself, meets retribution for sin and punishment for
mistake, grows stronger by suffering, succeeds in bursting
through the gloom, is enlightened by the true illumination,
grasps power, retains charity, expands with love for humanity,
and thenceforth helps all others who remain in darkness until all
may be raised up to the place with the "Father in Heaven" who is
the Higher Self." "The Mahatmas as Ideals & Facts" WQJ

"The course of Being is an ever-becoming. Ever-becoming is
endless, therefore beginningless. This solar system and its
planets of course had a beginning and will have an ending, but
every manifestation is but a further becoming of that which had
been. Periods of Manifestation and Non-Manifestation succeed
each other in Infinite Space, to which neither beginning nor
ending can be applied...The ancient way of stating any beginning
is, "the Desire first arose in It;" it referring to Spirit,
which is the cause and sustainer of all that was, is, or shall
be. There is a beginning to the first glimmerings of external
consciousness, which ever tends to widen its range of perception
and manifestation until it encompasses and becomes at one with
All; Potential Spirit having become Potent Intelligence. The
ending of the process results in a new beginning based upon the
totality of intelligence attained. Whatever begins in time ends
in time. Time is due to perceptions in Consciousness; as the
Secret Doctrine says...beginnings and endings pertain to that
"illusion," and not to the beginningless and endless Spirit which
is the Perceiver. As the Gita says: "The Spirit in the body, is
called Maheshwara, the great Lord, the Spectator, the admonisher,
the sustainer, the enjoyer, and also the Paramatma the highest
soul;" itself without beginning or ending, it makes beginnings
and endings in manifestations, which as manifestations are
beginningless and endless in their turn."	Q & A 102-3

"There is That which must ever remain unknown, because it is the
Knower in every body, It cannot be known because Its
potentiality of knowing is Infinite. There is that in ourselves
which is our very Self and which is unchanged and exhaustless
through infinitudes of experiences; it is the unknowable in us
as well as in all Nature; from It all manifestation proceeds.
We learn what is the Self by seeing what is the non-Self...the
Self ever remains unchanged, while at the same time the
receptacle of all perceptions and experiences...we are not the
experience, the knowledge or the power--they are our possessions.
The whole process of growth is one of realization of the Oneness
and eternity of the Self in us and in all creatures and forms of
manifestation."	Q & A 12-13

"The object of the student is to let the light of [the] spirit
shine through the lower coverings. This "spiritual culture" is
only attainable as the grosser interests, passions, and demands
of the flesh are subordinated to the interests, aspirations and
needs of the higher nature; and this is a matter of both system
and established law.

This spirit can only become the ruler when the firm intellectual
acknowledgment or admission is first made that IT alone is.
being not only the person concerned, but also the whole, all
selfishness must be eliminated from the lower nature before its
divine state can be reached. So long as the smallest personal or
selfish desire--even for spiritual attainment for our own
sake--remains, so long is the desired end put off.. When
systematically trained in accordance with the aforesaid system
and law, men attain to clear insight into the immaterial,
spiritual world, and their interior faculties apprehend truth as
immediately and readily as physical faculties grasp the things of
sense, or mental faculties those of reason..."	EPITOME 14

"The Soul of man is the Eternal. It is made of consciousness, it
is made of feeling, it is made of life, it is made of vision, it
is made of hearing; it is made of the earth, it is made of the
waters, it is made of the air, it is made of the ether, it is
made of the radiance and what is beyond the radiance; it is made
of desire and what is beyond desire, it is made of wrath and what
is beyond wrath, it is made of the law and what is beyond law;
it is made of the All. The soul is of this world and of the

"We have thus to carry on the cultivation of the soul...he is to
rely upon the One Consciousness which, as differentiated in a man
is his Higher Self. By means of this higher self he is to
strengthen the lower, or that which he is accustomed to call
"myself." ...

"Our consciousness is one and not many, nor different from other
consciousnesses. it is not waking consciousness or sleeping
consciousness, or any other but consciousness itself... [this] is
Being... Satchitananda.

"But the one consciousness of each person is the Witness or
Spectator of the actions and experiences of every state we are in
or pass through...The one consciousness pierces up and down
through all the states or planes of Being, and serves to uphold
the memory...of each state's experience."	GITA NOTES pp 98-99

"Mind is higher than the powers, the real is higher than mind;
than this real, the great Self is higher; and than the Great
[Self], the Unmanifest is higher." KATHA UPANISHAD p 52




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