Feb 04, 2003 11:30 AM
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
In inquiring into reincarnation one needs to know something of the
7-fold nature of man and of the world (also the Universe) we all live
in. Here is a brief review of these (Extracts from THE OCEAN OF
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
THE 7-FOLD CLASSIFICATION
H. P. Blavatsky as a "messenger" directly from the Great Lodge of
Initiates, places the old doctrine of seven-fold Man before us. The
1. The Body, or Rupa.
2. Astral Body, or Linga-Sarira.
3. Vitality, or Prana-Jiva.
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 from the English terms.
This classification stands to this day for all practical purposes, but
it is capable of modification and extension. 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.
These principles were all understood, 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.
We would say that the lower (personality) 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 beyond doubt the doctrine is the
origin of the theological 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 each other.
When the hour of physical death arrives 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 is composed begin to separate from
each other, and the whole collection being disjointed is no longer fit
as 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 Immortal 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 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 mankind as
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
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 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
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 are found in the lower Four, each principle 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 coordinating Thinker and Observer -- or
the Real 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 inside.
STATES AFTER DEATH
EVOLUTION THROUGH REINCARNATION
We are therefore not appearing for the first time when we come upon
this planet, but have pursued a long, an immeasurable course of
activity and intelligent perception on other systems of globes, some
of which were destroyed ages before the solar system condensed. This
immense reach of the evolutionary system means, that this planet on
which we now are is the result of the activity and the evolution of
some other one that died long ago, leaving its energy to be used in
the bringing into existence of the earth, and that the inhabitants of
the latter in their turn came from some older world to proceed here
with the destined work in matter.
KAMA - DESIRE & PASSION ARE NOT MIND
Kama, Desire and Passion is the fourth, the balance principle of the
whole seven. It stands in the middle, and from it the ways go up or
down. It is the basis of action, and the mover of the will. As the old
Hermetists say: "Behind will stands desire." For whether we wish to do
well or ill, we have to first arouse within us the desire for either
course. Then "We" choose.
A "GOOD" MAN
The "good" man who at last becomes a sage, had at one time in his many
lives to arouse the desire for the company of holy men and to keep his
desire for progress alive in order to continue on his way. Even a
Buddha or a Jesus had first to make a vow, which is a desire, in some
life, that he would save the world or some part of it, and to
persevere with the desire alive in his heart through countless lives.
The high desires come from the influence of and aspiration to the
trinity above, of Mind, Buddhi, and Spirit. The "God" within each of
us, begins with Manas or Mind, and it is the struggle between this
"God" and the "brute" below, which Theosophy speaks of and warns
A "BAD" MAN
On the other hand, the "bad" man life after life took unto himself
low, selfish, wicked desires, thus debasing instead of purifying this
principle. The low passion and desire is that shown by the constant
placing of the consciousness entirely below in the body and the astral
body. It is selfish and isolates the man from others and his
environment. It is an impossible, a false condition, and cannot be
MIND -- THE 5th PRINCIPLE, AND ATMA-BUDDHI [THE MONAD]
The fifth principle is MANAS, and is usually translated Mind. It is
the Knower, the Perceiver, the Thinker. The sixth is BUDDHI, or
spiritual discernment; the seventh is ATMA, or SPIRIT, the ray from
the Absolute Being which envelops the entire Universe Evolution in
matter is the work there of the lower principles and produced at last
the form of man with a brain of better and deeper capacity than that
of any other animal.
But this man in form is not man in mind, and needs the fifth
principle, the thinking, perceiving one, to differentiate him from the
animal kingdom, and to confer the power of becoming self-conscious.
The Immortal Monad, composed of Atma and Buddhi, was imprisoned in
these forms, for without the presence of the Monad, evolution could
not go forward.
THE LIGHTING UP OF MANAS
Going back for a moment to the time when the races of mankind were
devoid of mind, the question arises, "Who gave the MIND, Where did it
come from, and What is it ?"
It is the link between ATMA, the "Spirit of God above" and the
"personality" below. It was given to the mindless Monads by others
who had gone through this process ages upon ages before in earlier
worlds and systems of worlds, and it came from other evolutionary
periods which were completed long before our solar system had begun.
The manner in which this light of mind was given to the Mindless Men
can be understood from the illustration of one candle lighting many.
The Sons of Wisdom, who are MINDS -- the Elder Brothers of every
family of men on any Globe -- have the light, derived by them from
others who reach back, and yet farther back, in endless procession
with no beginning or end. They "set fire" to the combined lower
principles and the Monad, thus lighting up Manas in the "new men" and
preparing another great race for final initiation.
Manas, or the Thinker, is the reincarnating being. It is the Immortal
who carries forward the results and values of all the different lives
lived on earth or elsewhere. Its nature becomes dual as soon as it is
attached to a body. In the physical organism, the human brain is the
superior principle, and Manas [Mind] uses it to reason from premises
to conclusions. This is the lower aspect of the Thinker or Manas.
Its higher aspect, is the intuitional, which knows, and does not
depend on reason. The lower, and purely intellectual, is nearest to
the principle of Desire, and is thus distinguished from its other
side, which has affinity for the spiritual principles above. If the
Thinker, becomes wholly intellectual, the entire nature begins to tend
downward; for intellect alone is cold, heartless, selfish, since it is
not lighted up by the two spiritually superior principles of Buddhi
In Manas the thoughts of all lives are stored. The total quantity of
life thoughts makes up the stream or thread of a life's meditation --
"that upon which the heart was set" -- and that is stored in Manas, to
be brought out again at any time.
LOWER MANS -- BRAIN-MIND
The lower Manas retains all the impressions of this life-time, and
sometimes exhibits them in trances or dreams, delirium, induced
states, hypnosis, here and there in normal conditions, and very often
at the time of physical death.
It interferes with the action of Higher Manas because at the present
point of evolution, Desire and all corresponding powers, faculties,
and senses are the most highly developed. This obscures, as it were,
the white light of the spiritual side of Manas. It is tinted by each
object presented to it, whether it be a thought-object or a material
one, and memory continually presents pictures to Lower Manas, with the
result that the Higher is obscured.
MEMORY AS A DEATH VISION
Memory of a prior life is not needed to prove that we passed through
that existence, nor is the fact of not remembering a good objection.
We forget the greater part of the occurrences of the years and days of
this life, but no one would say for that reason we did not go through
those. We are all subject to the limitations imposed upon the Ego by
the new brain in each life. This is why we are not able to keep the
pictures of the past. The brain is the instrument for the memory of
the soul, and, being new in each life, has only a certain capacity.
That capacity will be fully availed of just according to the Ego's own
desire and prior conduct, because past living will have increased or
diminished its power.
By living according to the dictates of the Soul, the brain may at
least be made porous to the Soul's recollections; as the brain-matter
of this life, had no part in the life last lived, it is in general
unable to remember. And this is a wise law, for we should be very
miserable if the deeds of our former lives were not hidden from our
view until by discipline we become able to bear a knowledge of them.
HIGHER MANAS -- INTUITION, TALENT, GENIUS.
Higher Manas, if able to act, becomes what we sometimes call Genius.
If Genius is completely master, then one may become a "God." Along
the pathway of life, we do see occasionally the marks of men who are
geniuses, or great seers and prophets. In these the Higher powers of
MANAS are active and the person is "illuminated." Such were the great
Sages of the past, men in whom Higher Manas was active. Presently,
now and then, we may see higher MANAS shed a bright ray on the man
below, to be soon obscured, however, by the effect of dogmatic
religious education which has always prevented Manas from gaining full
THE "GOD" IN MAN = ATMA - BUDDHI - MANAS
In Man the higher Trinity, is the "God" above. This is ATMA, and may
be called the HIGHER SELF. Next is the spiritual part of the soul
called BUDDHI [Wisdom and Discrimination]; when thoroughly united with
MANAS this may be called the Divine Ego [Higher Manas]. And when we
either wholly or now and then become consciously united with Buddhi,
the Spiritual Soul, we behold "God," as it were.
They are the immortal part of us; they, in fact, and no other are we.
This should be firmly grasped by the mind, for upon its clear
understanding depends the comprehension of the entire doctrine.
The inner Ego who reincarnates, taking on body after body, storing up
the impressions of life after life, gaining experience and adding it
to the divine Ego, suffering and enjoying through an immense period of
years, is the fifth principle -- MANAS -- not united to Buddhi.
ON TO PART 2
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