3rd -- Evolution Becoming -- 3rd Fundamental
Feb 25, 2003 02:32 AM
3 3rd: Evolution Becoming
Questions and Answers are an Informal OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY 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
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
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.
3rd Fundamental: Evolution Becoming
THE THIRD FUNDAMENTAL
Becoming - Universal Evolution
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
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
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
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
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
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 be
cause 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 perception
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.
Extract from POINT OUT THE WAY [ U L T Phoenix ]
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