THE INNER CONSTITUTION OF MAN
Nov 18, 2005 05:35 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
November 18, 2005
In a recent posting a remark concerning the nature of planes and principles
seemed to imply that such designations needed closer investigation.
Here is such an effort:
THE INNER CONSTITUTION OF MAN ( an abstract -- 1891 )
By W. Q. Judge
"We are such stuff as dreams are made of." -- Shakespeare.
"Have perseverance as one who doth for evermore endure, for thy
shadows [personalities] live and vanish. That which in thee shall live
forever, that which in thee knows, for it is knowledge, is not of fleeting
life; it is the man that was, that is, and will be, for whom the hour shall
never strike." – [VOICE, p. 34.]
It is of these "dreams" of which we are made, and of this man for whom "the
hour will never strike" that I have to speak to you tonight. Or, in other
words, of the inner constitution of man, divided in a sevenfold manner;
called sometimes the seven-fold constitution of man.
This seven-fold constitution is not confined, in our opinion, to man, but is
shared with him by the whole of nature also. The consideration of this
subject, therefore, properly demands that of the whole theosophical theory
of evolution, so that tonight I cannot hope to go over it, but only that
part of it which particularly relates to man.
In the theosophical theory, spirit and matter are co-existent, and
There is no spirit without matter and, vice versa, there is no matter
These two are the manifestations of the One Absolute reality. That is to
say, matter is at one pole of this reality and spirit at the other. In other
words, spirit contains the plan, as it were, which it impresses upon matter,
which receives this and carries out its evolution from the moment that
manifestation begins. Therefore, this evolution is on all the seven planes.
PLANE -- PLACE -- CONDITION
The word "plane" is used in Theosophy -- and by many others before this --
to indicate not only a place, but also a state or condition. For instance we
have the plane of mind, of body, the spiritual, and the physical planes.
This des not mean that they are separated from each other like the
compartments of a ship, or floors of a house.
These planes are conditions, or states, of which one may interpenetrate the
other, and evolution may be carried on to perfection so far as this relates
to inner planes, such as those of man's septenary constitution.
To illustrate: Consider the shadow from some object in an electric light,
thrown in a certain direction. Another electric light may throw a beam at
right angles to this black shadow. The shadow and the light thus cross each
other, but they do not interfere. The shadow, when it strikes an object
beyond, still envelopes it in darkness, although the electric light has
shone through its center. Thus the shadow and the bright light may exist at
the place where they cross, independently, otherwise they would negative
each other, and there would be a cessation of light or of shadow beyond the
point where they met. Instead of this, both shadow and light will continue
on to their respective destinations.
This sufficiently illustrates my meaning, that the planes of evolution may
proceed within each other, and yet not interfere, and it is not necessary
that they be separated in any sense whatever. There are many illustrations
which could be drawn from science. Mr. Tyndall substantiates this with
respect to the colors of the solar spectrum. We know these are all in the
solar light, unseen by us until they are separated by the prism. And so on,
in almost every direction, are similar illustrations.
EVOLUTION PROCEEDS EVERYWHERE
Evolution proceeds on seven planes throughout the manifested universe.
Man, in this world, is the highest manifestation of this evolution, and
therefore contains within himself its higher seven planes, which before his
advent were not perceptible, although they existed always in the germ.
Buddha declares that man is made up or formed from thought germs. He is not
alone in this assertion. Many philosophers since his time have said the same
thing; that man is a thinker, and is made up of and the result of his
thoughts. Western minds have become so accustomed to judging him by his
mortal body, and to listen to theories which teach the conditions whereby
mental states may be materially produced, that at last it has lost sight of
man as a thinker at all, and cannot understand why he is made up of his
We admit that he has a body, and that this body is not thought, but declare
that it is the result of his thoughts. The body, now used by all human
beings, is the result of the thought of the human race in the past, which
thought, at length enabled it to so mold matter as to furnish the body in
which man, who is the thinker, really lives.
MAN, THE THINKER
Man, the thinker, is not divided in this seven-fold way, but man consisting
of body and other elements of his nature is so divided. This seven-fold
division is not absent anywhere in nature.
The seven days of a week is an instance. The layers of the skin are divided
in a seven-fold way. In the growth of the child before birth, there are
seven distinct divisions. In the progress and construction of the great
works of man, there is even seen the seven-fold division.
Of a great building, for example, the architect first formulates the plan.
The materials existing in various states, represent a second stage;
collecting them together after that, a third; united in the building, a
fourth; decorating it, a fifth; furnishing it, a sixth; and its occupation
by man, the seventh and last. And so it is with man. The ideal plan is laid
down; the materials of which are scattered through space; these are
collected; then built together in the various forms of nature, until that of
man is reached.
The first division of man is body, composed of what is called matter, or
atoms, held together in a definite form. Have you ever reflected that your
body, composed of matter, is made out of the mineral, vegetable and animal
kingdoms, and therefore you have in you portions of the tiger and all
ferocious beasts, as well as the gentle? You have also vegetable and mineral
matter collected in your body, for this represents all that evolution on the
physical plane has accomplished in the world.
THE “FIRE – MIST “ -- AT FIRST
With the Evolutionists of today, we admit that at one time there was only a
mass of fire mist, and, although our theory of evolution does do so, it is
unnecessary to go beyond that for our present purpose. These say there was
first this fire mist, which, by means of the processes of nature, began to
revolve into a vortex, and so continued until it became sufficiently dense
for a crust to form upon it. This kept growing thicker, until we have the
world as it exists today, which finally, without any life or intelligence of
its own, produced these. That is, from nothing came forth something. We
admit with them that this process went on, but we assert that it was in
accordance with the plan laid down by other human beings, who evolved it as
the result of the experience of other lives on earths which they had passed
through in the great wheel of eternity.
But we say further, that this fire mist, of the scientists, are beings,
carrying the plan of evolution with them. They first put this matter through
the mineral school, so to speak, residing within each particle, and
continuing the process for millions and millions of years.
When this had been sufficiently accomplished these beings then passed on;
that is, pushed forward some of this matter into the vegetable kingdom. This
process was carried on for uncountable years. Then this same collection of
beings carried the evolution of atoms up into the animal kingdom, where we
are now, as mere masses of flesh, not as human shapes. This process went on
until the whole mass had received education in the animal kingdom.
The geological history of the world verifies these statements, excepting, of
course, the presence of these egos. I admit that its links do not give us
any proof of these beings, but I insist that a survey of the whole scheme
demands their presence. In the early ages we find only forms of trees;
later, we observe enormous, or mammoth, beasts. They have disappeared when
the necessity for them passed. There isn't even a "missing link."
The anatomist of today insists that these were the forefathers of our
animals; that such and such a huge beast is the original of such and such a
smaller one. The process of perfecting that brought them to the stage where
they now are was done by and through these beings.
Are our bodies, then, the result of this evolution? If so, we are connected
with all the lower kingdoms. Without life this body would be useless, and
the Theosophic theory is that there is no spot in space where there is no
life. We have been accustomed to talking about life as something belonging
to material bodies, but as to the intervening space, we have generally
thought of it as without life.
It is undoubtedly true, I think, that in every point in space there is the
same stream of life, in which all beings exist, and hence this Life
Principle is the second division of the Theosophic classification of man's
WHAT IS DEATH ?
Now, the question arises, what is life and what is death?
Ordinarily, death is thought of as something that comes to all beings,
without exception. Theosophy denies that there is such a thing as death at
all. We don't say there is no death for this body. But we declare that what
is called death is really life; is one of its phenomena.
Man may be compared to an electric lamp, composed of carbon interposed at a
break in the wire. The current, caused to flow through this wire, reaches
the carbon, is resisted and broken until the carbon is exhausted.
Man is a carbon standing in a current of life, consisting of molecules
united in such a manner that he is capable of living -- burning -- just so
long. That is, carrying the theory into everyday life, he is capable of
remaining active just so many hours, when he becomes fatigued because life
is so strong he cannot longer resist it. In the morning he awakens, to once
more renew the contest, and keeps on so doing from year to year, until life
has grown too strong for him and he is compelled to give up the fight and
abandon his home in the body.
So that there is really no such thing as death, but only a change, an
abandoning of the body. This, then, is the second division of man's nature;
called in the Sanskrit philosophy, Prana, meaning breath, because it is said
that man lives by means of breath. It is derived from the sun, which is the
center of life or being for this globe.
THE ASTRAL DESIGN BODY
The next division is the Astral body, called the Design body, or Linga
Sarira, that on which the physical structure is built; a further
materialization of the ideal plan which existed in the beginning of this
Ages since, at the time animals were going through the evolution necessary
to prepare the human form, only the Astral man existed. This Astral body was
therefore first; before man existed in material form, and, I think,
represents the time when according to the Christian Bible Adam and Eve were
banished from the Garden of Paradise, for it was a state of paradise to have
only an astral body at a time when a physical one would have compelled man
to maintain a perpetual warfare against the monsters of prehistoric ages.
The Theosophical theory is that Adam was existing as an Astral Body, and
having reached that point in evolution where matter could be built into this
body he received a "coat of skin," or became a man of flesh and blood as he
is today. I advert to this because it is from the sacred book of the
Christian, which has been reviled and scoffed at because it has never been
explained except in its literal sense.
The Astral body is the shape of man's body, but contains in itself organs
which connect the man inside the real figure with the outside organs; eyes,
ears, nose, etc. Without the Astral body it would be impossible to account
for the possession of senses which are not man's true outer senses.
The somnambulist, for instance, walking with his eyes open sees nothing; is
looking at you and cannot see you. Our explanation is, that the connection
between himself in the Astral body and the outer organs is cut off. In
hypnotism, any organ or organs may be so cut off while others remain active,
thus accounting for many of its phenomena.
The Astral body therefore is in reality more the man than the body, but is
so connected with it that it is not able to act except in certain cases.
"Mediums" are such instances. A medium is a hysterical, nervous person. We
know that looking over mediumship we find them afflicted with something akin
to this; catalepsy, for instance. The condition in which many curious things
happen through mediums is this: The proper adjustment of all the functions,
nervous, material, and mental, is really a condition of the Astral body,
which is able sometimes to manifest itself. In our opinion, nearly all the
phenomena of Spiritualism may be traced to the Astral body, are
manipulations of it; and we know that when one goes to a medium he simply
awakens her Astral body and receives from it his own thoughts in reply to
his queries, and nothing more, except in some few rare cases.
The divorce between religion and science has been so great that the "Inner
Man" has been forced to manifest improperly and out of place, in order to
keep alive the evidence that there was such a body.
Had science been united to and gone hand in hand with spiritual philosophy,
we would have had a uniform development. Since man's investigations have
been curbed he has revolted within, and he has been manifesting this inner
nature for the last forty years.
The facts of Spiritualism are thus of use, but at the same time are
dangerous. They bring back to the earth influences which ought not to
return; pictures of old crimes which produce in men once more the desire to
PASSIONS AND DESIRES -- KAMA
We come next to the division of passions and desires, the basis of action
from which men find their incentive to do both good and evil. When a man
dies and is buried his kamic [desire] body is released. The life principle
is also released from these atoms to go into others. Then the kamic body,
with all the passions and desires is set free.
We will suppose the case of a suicide. His kamic body escapes full of the
idea of suicide. Similarly, the man who has indulged in drinking and all
sorts of sensualities, goes out full of these things. A murderer who is hung
is in the same condition. Guiteau would go out full of that last scene where
he defied his accusers, and where he declared he would destroy all the
people who had anything to do with his incarceration. What happens? Man's
higher principles go on and on with evolution, finally being reincarnated.
If after death these lower elements are seized by mediums and brought back
to earth, infused with additional life, not permitted to disintegrate, it is
SÉANCE AND THE KAMIC BODY
Everyone who goes to a medium and asks that their dead may return commits a
crime. It is a crime against the person who is dead, and against the medium;
it brings around her bad influences, for the majority that can return are
full of crime. They are of the earth, earthy.
Now, when I am dead my astral body will not have my senses; it will contain
only my passions and desires, which swerve me as they swerve you also, and
if I am drawn back against my will I may do harm.
If you could actually see what occurs at a seance you would never go to
another. You would see all these vile shapes enveloping the sitters like a
huge octopus. Mediumship is nothing but communicating with the astral dead;
it is the worship of the dead, and as such it has been condemned for ages.
Moses said "Ye shall kill a witch." He prohibited his people from having
anything to do with such things.
MANAS -- INDIVIDUALIZED THINKER -- CONSCIOUS
Having considered the lower principles of man we now come to that which is
immortal, or mind, soul and spirit, called respectively, Manas, Buddhi and
Atma. Atma, or spirit, is universal, and Buddhi its vehicle, Manas is the
individualized thinker, the one who is conscious. These three together are
eternally passing through incarnation and coming back again and again to
gain experience; to reap reward or punishment.
Before birth, in the pre-natal state, man is in almost the same condition
that he is after death, so that a consideration of the post-mortem state
will serve for the pre-natal. The difference is only slight. By a simple
illustration you will probably understand the ordinary, or devachanic
condition after death, and its relation to life.
Imagine a young Theosophist who is to deliver a speech. Previous to his
appearance he thinks of it continually, perhaps for days, goes over his
ideas and wonders what kind of an impression he will make. In the evening he
delivers it, in a brief time compared to that he has spent in thinking about
it. When he has delivered it, he thinks of the impression he has made.
The next day and for many days he still thinks of it. Isn't the thought more
than the act? The state of Devachan is where he is in a similar manner
thinking over the things of his last life until he returns to rebirth.
Thus after the death of the body we keep up this thinking, and develop this
part of our nature, until the time comes when it is exhausted, and we come
back to life to continue evolution, until the race has been perfected.
[Abstract of a lecture delivered by W. Q. Judge at Irving Hall, San
Francisco, October 26th, 1891, printed in The New Californian, December
1891, pp. 207-213.
INDIA'S WONDER-WORKERS (Report made in 1891)
Interview with W. Q. Judge
"The term fakir is not properly applied when used to designate the Brahman
wonder-worker," remarked William Q. Judge, the great theosophist who is now
in Stockton, to a Mail reporter today.
Mr. Judge was seated in an easy chair in the library of Mrs. Kelsey's
residence, where he is a guest, and was whiffing a cigarette as he spoke.
His object in visiting this city is to deliver public lectures explanatory
of Theosophy, as he is the head of the American Theosophical Society. In an
introductory conversation with the reporter, Mr. Judge, when asked to
describe the wonders he had seen performed in India, said he cared nothing
for the so-called miracles of the Brahmans, and intimated that in his
opinion the public ought to devote its attention to the underlying
principles of Theosophy rather than to the wonders which the Brahmans can
"But," said the reporter, "the public does not take kindly to didactic
discourses. People generally are more interested in the marvelous side of
Theosophy, and even the local theosophists themselves would probably be more
interested in a description of the fakirs' feats, and your explanation of
them, than any explanation of the religion of India."
"The fakirs," said Mr. Judge, "are really Mohammedans. The Brahmanistic
class of wonder-workers are the yogis. Both the yogi and the Mohammedan
fakir perform their feats in India.
"The wonder-workers are divided into two great classes. The one class
consists of common jugglers, who rely simply on sleight of hand. The other
class is gifted with powers not popularly understood. Some of the feats
performed by the latter class are imitated by the former, and hence you will
sometimes find the same trick performed in different ways.
"An instance of this is the basket trick, which is accomplished by two
different methods, the one through jugglery and the other through a power
that would be called superhuman by the majority of people. I had the good
fortune to discover by an accidental circumstance the method in which the
jugglers perform the feat. A woman was placed in a basket, and the cover of
the basket was put on. The juggler then ran a sword through the basket in
every direction. When the cover was removed the woman was found to be
unhurt. The explanation was very simple. I happened to be sitting in such a
position that the sunlight, reflected from the floor through the basket,
enabled me to see the woman within it. She was moving about constantly. The
sword would go under her arm at one thrust, then under her chin, and then
she would rise in the basket and the sword would pass under her body -- and
so on. Her movements were preconcerted. There was a systematic arrangement,
and by practice between the two she knew just how to move in order to avoid
the sword thrust.
"There is, however, what might be called a legitimate way of performing the
basket trick -- that is to say, a method in which the element of trickery
does not enter. That is where the yogi thrusts his sword in and draws it out
covered with blood. You can hear the woman's screams. When the cover is
removed from the basket nobody is within."
"How do you account for that feat?" was asked.
"On the theory of hypnotism. The yogi by reason of his metaphysical power
makes you think you see what you do not."
Mr. Judge then went on to describe other wonders which in his opinion were,
like the basket trick first described, accomplished by means of trickery. On
one occasion a fakir placed a stone in a bag, Mr. Judge standing by and
seeing the stone dropped into it. In a few moments the fakir opened his
mouth, wide-open, and indicated that the stone was about to come out of his
mouth. Mr. Judge looked down the fellow's throat and saw the stone come up,
covered with slime. Two tenpenny nails followed it up. When the bag was
opened the stone was gone from within it. In Mr. Judge's opinion the stone
was got rid of by sleight-of-hand when being apparently put into the bag.
The stone which came from the fakir's mouth was a duplicate which was in his
stomach when he began the trick. The fakirs and the yogi both perform their
feats practically naked. In sleight-of-hand tricks they far excel the
European juggler, who is assisted by his clothing, his pockets and his
Another feat performed by trickery is this: Four or five powders of
different colors are mixed together and swallowed by the juggler, who then
spits them out on a sheet of paper, and each powder is spat out separately,
according to its color.
The feats into which no element of fraud enters are accomplished by the
intervention of natural laws. One is this: The yogi places half a dozen
coins of different denominations on your table and then steps to the
opposite side of the room. You are at liberty to examine the coins and the
table, and satisfy yourself that there is no tangible connection (such as a
thread, for instance) between the table and the yogi. You are then requested
to name any one of the coins. When you name it it rises, as if animated, on
its rim, and traverses the table. It will advance and retire at your bidding
and roll off the table when you so command. Mr. Judge has seen the feat
Another wonder, quite as remarkable as that just described, was narrated to
Mr. Judge by a friend who witnessed it. There were two large earthen jars,
about five feet high, standing in one end of a room. They were nearly full
of water. The yogi who performed the feat stood in the other end of the
room. At his bidding the jars fell upon their sides and rolled along the
floor without spilling the water. The eye-witness of the performance looked
into the jars as they were rolling and saw that the water within them was
whirling around rapidly, making an eddy-like depression in the surface.
"I attribute the secret of these two tricks -- the performance with the coin
and that with the water jars," remarked Mr. Judge to the reporter, "to the
control which the yogi is able to exercise in the way of overcoming certain
natural laws with certain other laws equally as natural but not well
understood by the world at large. I do not think that in feats of this class
hypnotism cuts any figure."
"What is the most remarkable wonder in the hypnotic class?" was asked.
"Well, a singular performance was described to me a few months ago by Mr. E.
T. Greaves, a correspondent for the New York World, who said he saw the
thing done in Algiers. It was performed by a man and a boy -- presumably
father and son. The father took a coil of rope and tossed the rope up into
the air, holding onto one end of it. Up and up the rope went until the upper
end disappeared in the sky. The rope seemed to stretch from earth to Heaven.
Then the man sent the boy up the rope. The youngster climbed and climbed
until he, too, disappeared in the sky. The man called him down. The boy did
not come. The man, feigning anger, put a knife between his teeth and climbed
the rope also, swearing he would kill the boy. Soon shrieks were heard in
the sky. A dismembered leg suddenly dropped from above. Then an arm; then
the other leg; then the boy's head -- and so on. Soon the man was seen
descending the rope with his bloody knife. He gathered the remains together,
covered them with a sheet and pulled the rope down out of the air. Then he
removed the sheet. The boy was beneath it, whole, safe and sound."
>From the Stockton Mail, October 9, 1891.
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