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Theosophy in Practice

Dec 14, 2004 01:02 PM
by Anand Gholap

EVERY thought of man upon being evolved passes into the inner world, and becomes an active entity by associating itself, coalescing we might term it, with an elemental—that is to say, with one of the semi-intelligent forcesof the kingdoms. It survives as an active intelligence—a creature of themind's begetting—for a longer or shorter period proportionate with the original intensity of the cerebral action which generated it. Thus a good thought is perpetuated as an active, benefi­cent power, an evil one as a maleficent demon. And so man is continually peopling his current in space with a world of his own, crowded with the offspring of his fancies, desires, impulses and passions; a current which reacts upon any sensitive or nervous organization which comes in contact with it, in proportion to its dynamic intensity. The Buddhist calls it his "Skandha"; the Hindu gives it the name of " Karma". The Adept evolves these shapes consciously; other men throw them off unconsciously.1


No more graphic picture of the essential nature of karma has ever been given than in these words, taken from one of the early letters of Master K. H. If these are clearly understood, with all their implications, the perplexities which surround the subject will for the most part disappear, and the main principle underly­ing karmic action will be grasped. They will therefore be taken as indicating the best line of study, and we shall begin by considering the creative powers of man. All we need as preface is a clear conception of the invariability of law, and of the great planes in Nature.

The Invariability of Law

That we live in a realm of law, that we are sur­rounded by laws that we cannot break, this is a truism. Yet when the fact is recognized in a real -and vital way, and when it is seen to be a fact in the mental and moral world as much as in the physical, a certain sense of helplessness is apt to overpower us, as though we felt ourselves in the grip of some mighty power, that, seizing us, whirls us away whither it will. The very reverse of this isin reality the case, for the mighty power, when it is understood, will obedi­ently carry us whither we will: all forces in Nature can be used in proportion as they are understood—


" Nature is conquered by obedience "—and her resistless energies are at our bidding as soon as we, by knowledge, work with them and not against them. We can choose out of her boundless stores the forces that serve our purpose in momentum, in direction, and so on, and their very invariability becomes the guarantee of our success.

On the invariability of law depends the security of scientific experiment, and all power of planning a result and of predicting the future. On this the chemist rests, sure that Nature will ever respond in the same way, if he be precise in putting his questions. A variation in his results is taken byhim as implying a change in his procedure, not a change in Nature. And so with all human action; the more it is based on knowledge, the more secure is it in its forecastings, for all " accident" is the result of ignorance, and is due to the working of laws whose presence was unknown or overlooked. In the mental and moral worlds, as much as in the physical, results can be foreseen, planned for, calculated on. Nature never betrays us; we are betrayed by our own blindness. In all worlds increasing knowledge means increasing power, and omniscience and omnipotence are one.

That law should be as invariable in the mental and moral worlds as in the physical is to be expected, since


the universe is the emanation of the ONE, and what we call Law is but the expression of the Divine Nature. As there is one Life emanating all, so there is one Law sustaining all; the worlds rest on this rock of the Divine Nature as on a secure, immutable foundation.

The Planes of Nature

To study the workings of karma on the line sug­gested by the Master, we must gain a clear conception of the three lower planes, or regions, of the universe, and of the principles 1 related to them. The names given to them indicate the state of the consciousness working on them. In this a diagram may help us, showing the planes with the principles related to them, and thevehicles in which a conscious entity may visit them. In practical occultism the student learns to visit these planes, and by his own investigations to transform theory into knowledge. The lowest vehicle, the gross body, serves the consciousness for its work on the physi­cal plane, and in this theconsciousness is limited with­in the capacities of the brain. The term subtle body covers a variety of astral bodies, respectively suitable to the varying conditions of the very complicated region indicated by the name psychic plane. On the



devachanic plane there are two well-defined levels, the form level and the formless level; on the lower, consci­ousness uses an artificial body, themayavi rupa, but the term Mind Body seems suitable as indicating that the matter of which it is composed belongs to the plane of manas. On the formless level the causal body must be used. Of the buddhic plane it is needless to speak. Now the matter on these planes is not the same, and speaking generally, the matter of each plane is denser than that of the one above it. This is accord­ing to the analogy of Nature, for evolution in its downward course is from rare to dense, from subtle to gross. Further, vast hierarchies of beings inhabit these planes, ranging from the lofty intelligences of the spiritual region to the lowest sub-conscious elementals of the physicalworld. On every plane spirit and matter are conjoined in every particle—-every particle having matter as its body, spirit as its life—and all independent aggregations of particles, all separated forms of every kind, of every type, are ensouled by these living beings, varying in their grades according to the grade of the form. No form exists which is not thus ensouled,but the informing entity may be the loftiest intelligence, the lowest elemental, or any of the countless hosts that range between

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