TCF-1 division B
Section One – The Internal Fires – Fire by Friction
Division B – The Personality Ray and Fire by Friction
B.I. The Work of the Three Rays
We here touch upon a matter of wide general interest yet which is withal very little comprehended. I refer to the subject of the permanent atoms.26 Each body or form wherein Spirit functions has, for its focal point on each plane, an atom composed of matter of the atomic subplane of each plane. This serves as a nucleus for the distribution of force, for the conservation of faculty, for the assimilation of experience, and for the preservation [70] of memory. These atoms are in direct connection with one or other of the three great rays in connection with the microcosm:
  1. The Monadic Ray, the synthetic ray of the microcosm.
  2. The Egoic Ray.
  3. The Personality Ray.
26 Permanent Atom. An appropriated point of atomic matter. A tiny center of force which forms the central factor and the attractive agency around which the sheaths of the incarnating Monad are built. These are strung like pearls upon the sutratma, or thread.

Ray. A stream of force or an emanation. The solar Logos, or the Macrocosm, manifests through three major rays and four minor rays. The Monad or microcosm likewise manifests through three rays as mentioned in the text above. All rays express a peculiar and specialized type of force.

Triad. This is literally Atma-buddhi-manas, the expression of the Monad, just as the personality is the expression of the Ego. The Monad expresses itself through the Triad, and in its lowest or third Aspect forms the Egoic or Causal body, the infant or germinal Ego. Similarly, the Ego expresses itself through the threefold lower man, mental, emotional, and etheric (these being the reflection of the higher Triad) and these three give rise to the dense physical manifestation.

27 Spirilla. "In order to examine the construction of the atom, a space is artificially made, then, if an opening be made in the wall thus constructed, the surrounding force flows in, and three whorls immediately appear, surrounding the "hole" with their triple spiral of two and a half coils, and returning to their origin by a spiral within the atom; these are at once followed by seven finer whorls, which following the spiral of the first three on the outer surface and returning to their origin by a spiral within that, flowing in the opposite direction – form a caduceus with the first three. Each of the three coarser whorls, flattened out, makes a closed circle; each of the seven finer ones, similarly flattened out, makes a closed circle. The forces which flow in them, again, come from "outside," from a fourth-dimensional space. Each of the finer whorls is formed of seven yet finer ones, set successively at right angles to each other, each finer than its predecessor; these we call spirillae.

  • "Each spirilla is animated by the life-force of a plane, and four are at present normally active, one for each round. Their activity in an individual may be prematurely forced by yoga practice."
    - Occult Chemistry, p. 28.
Each of these rays has a connection with one or other of the permanent atoms in the lower threefold man, and has a direct action upon the spirillae27 found within the atom. We have noted in "Letters on Occult Meditation" that the atoms of the lower threefold man underwent a twofold process:
They were first vivified in rotation, and each held the light in ordered sequence until the lower triangle was entirely illumined.
Eventually transmutation took place, or (to word it otherwise) the polarization eventually shifted into the three permanent atoms of the Triad, and out of the three permanent atoms of the lower triangle. The physical permanent atom is transcended and the polarization becomes manasic or mental, the astral permanent atom is transcended and the polarization becomes buddhic, while the mental unit is superseded by the permanent [71] atom, of the fifth plane, the atmic. This is all brought about by the action of the three rays upon the atoms and upon the life within each atom. The relationship between these three rays and the permanent atoms might be summarized as follows:
  • The Personality Ray has direct action upon the physical permanent atom.
  • The Egoic Ray has a similar action upon the astral permanent atom.
  • The Monadic Ray has a close connection with the mental unit.
The effect which they have is threefold, but is not simultaneous; they work ever, as do all things in Nature, in ordered cycles. The stimulation, for instance, that is the result of the action of the monadic Ray upon the mental unit is only felt when the aspirant treads the Path, or after he has taken the first Initiation. The action of the egoic Ray upon the astral permanent atom is felt as soon as the Ego can make good connection with the physical brain; when this is so the egoic ray is beginning to affect the atom powerfully and continuously; this occurs when a man is highly evolved and is nearing the Path. This threefold force is felt in the following way:
  • First. It plays upon the wall of the atom as an external force and affects its rotary and vibratory action.
  • Second. It stimulates the inner fire of the atom and causes its light to shine with increasing brilliancy.
  • Third. It works upon the spirillae, and brings them all gradually into play.
B.II. The Personality Ray and the Permanent Atom
The Personality Ray deals with the first four spirillae, and is the source of their stimulation. Note here the [72] correspondence to the lower quaternary and its stimulation by the ego. The Egoic Ray concerns itself with the fifth spirillae and with the sixth, and is the cause of their emerging from latency and potentiality into power and activity. The Monadic Ray is the source of the stimulation of the seventh spirillae. There is great interest attached to this subject and wide reaches of thought and vast fields for investigation open up before the earnest student. This threefold action varies in point of time and sequence according to the ray itself upon which the Monad may be found; but the subject is too vast to be handled at this time. In looking at the matter from the standpoint of fire the idea may be grasped a little through the realization that the latent fire of matter in the atom is brought into brilliance and usefulness by the action of the personality Ray which merges with this fire and stands in the same position to the permanent atom in the microcosm as Fohat does on the cosmic plane. The fire is there hidden within the sphere (whether the sphere systemic or the sphere atomic) and the personality Ray in the one case, and Fohat in the other, acts as the force which brings latency into activity and potentiality into demonstrated power. This correspondence should be thought out with care and judgment. Just as Fohat has to do with active manifestation or objectivity, so the personality Ray has to do with the third, or activity aspect in the microcosm. The work of the third aspect logoic was the arranging of the matter of the system so that eventually it could be built into form through the power of the second aspect. Thus the correspondence works out. By life upon the physical plane (that life wherein the physical permanent atom has its full demonstration) the matter is arranged and separated that must eventually be built into the Temple of Solomon, the egoic body, through the agency of the egoic life, the second [73] aspect. In the quarry of the personal life are the stones prepared for the great Temple. In existence upon the physical plane and in the objective personal life is that experience gained which demonstrates as faculty in the Ego. What is here suggested would richly repay our closest attention, and open up before us reaches of ideas, which should eventuate in a wiser comprehension, a sounder judgment, and a greater encouragement to action.
B.III. The Personality Ray and Karma
It might be wise here to recapitulate a little so that in the refreshing of the memory may come the basis of further knowledge. We dealt first with the three fires of the system, macrocosmic and microcosmic, and having laid down certain hypotheses we passed to the consideration of the first of the fires, that which is inherent in matter. Having studied it somewhat in its threefold manifestation in the various parts of the system, including man, we took up the matter of the personality Ray and its relationship to this third fire. We must recall here that all that has been dealt with has been in relation to matter, and for the whole of this first section this thought must be borne carefully in mind. In our second section we will consider all from the standpoint of mind, and in the final from the standpoint of the Divine Ray. Here we are dealing with what H.P.B calls the primordial ray and its manifestations in matter (see S. D., I, 108; II, 596). All these Rays of Cosmic Mind, Primordial Activity, and Divine Love-Wisdom are but essential quality demonstrating through the agency of some one factor.
  • The Primordial Ray is the quality of motion, demonstrating through matter. [74]
  • The Ray of Mind is the quality of intelligent organization, demonstrating through forms, which are the product of motion and matter.
  • The Ray of Love-Wisdom is the quality of basic motive that utilizes the intelligent organization of matter in motion to demonstrate in one synthetic whole the great Love aspect of the Logos (S. D., I, 99, 108; II, 596).
This line of thought can be worked out also correspondingly in the Microcosm, and will show how individual man is engaged in the same type of work on a lesser scale as the solar Logos.
At this point in the treatise we are confining our attention to the Ray of Active Matter, or to that latent heat in substance which underlies its activity and is the cause of its motion. If we think with sincerity and with clarity we will see how closely therefore the Lipika Lords or the Lords of Karma are associated with this work. Three of Them are closely connected with Karma as it concerns one or other of the three great Rays, or the three fires, while the fourth Lipika Lord synthesizes the work of his three Brothers and attends to the uniform blending and merging of the three fires. On our planet, the Earth, They find Their points of contact through the three "Buddhas of Activity," 30 (the correspondence should be noted here) and the fourth Kumara, the Lord of the World. Therefore, we arrive at the realization that the personality Ray, in its relation to the fire of matter, is directly influenced and adjusted in its working by one of the Buddhas of Activity. [75]
30 "Buddhas of Activity." The 'Pratyeka Buddhas.' This is a degree which belongs exclusively to the Yogacharya School, yet it is only one of high intellectual development with no true spirituality... It is one of the three paths to Nirvana, and the lowest, in which a yogi – "without teacher and without saving others" – by the mere force of will and technical observances, attains to a kind of nominal Buddhahood individually."
- Theosophical Glossary.

31 "From the view taken of Karma as I have done it, you will see that no plane of the highest spirituality, be that the plane of the nirvanees, is outside the karmic wheel and when it is said in the Sanskrit writings and even in the Bhagavad Gita that men cross the karmic ocean, it must be understood with some allowance. The entities that have now succeeded in going outside the karmic wheel, have done so, only if that wheel be taken as the one that turns now. The cosmos is not going in one groove all the days of Brahma, but it is going on a higher and higher status as it fulfils its mission. Those who have attained unto a rest in a state of spirituality not reachable now, will therefore in a future day come within the action of the wheel, with perhaps a punishment for the great duties neglected for long ages."
- Some Thoughts on the Gita, p. 40.

32 The Lipika are the Spirits of the Universe. They are connected with the Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) and its recorders. Lipika comes from "Lipi" writing. For information concerning the Lipika Lords see S. D., I, pp. 152, 153.

  • The Buddhas of Activity, are the Triad Who stands closest to Sanat Kumara, The Lord of the World. They are the planetary correspondences to the three Aspects of the logoic third Aspect and are concerned with the force behind planetary manifestation.
  • Monadic Essence, the matter of the atomic (or highest) subplane of each plane.
  • Elemental Essence, the matter of the six subplanes which are non atomic. It is molecular matter.
33 "Karma may be defined to be the force generated by a human center to act on the exterior world, and the reactionary influence that is in turn generated from the exterior world to act on him may be called karmic influence and the visible result that is produced by this influence under proper conditions may be called karmic fruit."
- Some thoughts on the Gita, p. 53.
The karma31, 32, 33 of matter itself is an abstruse subject and has as yet scarcely been hinted at. It is nevertheless indissoluble mixed up with the karma of the individual. It involves a control of the evolution of the monadic essence, the elemental essence and of the atomic matter of the plane; it is concerned with the development of the four spirillae, with their activity, with their attachment to forms when atomic, and with the development of the inner latent heat and its gradual fiery increase until we have within the atom a repetition of what is seen within the causal body: the destruction of the periphery of the atom by the means of burning. It deals with the subject of the building of matter into form by the interaction of the two rays, the Divine and the Primordial, producing thereby that fire by friction which tends to life and fusing.

The karma of form is likewise a vast subject, too [76] involved for average comprehension but a factor of real importance which should not be overlooked in connection with the evolution of a world, a synthesis of worlds, or of a system when viewed from higher levels. Every thing is, in its totality, the result of action taken by cosmic Essences and Entities in earlier solar systems which is working out through the individual atoms, and through those congeries of atoms which we call forms The effect of the personality Ray upon the internal fires is therefore, in effect, the result of the influence of the planetary Logos of whatever ray is implicated, as He works out that portion of Karma which falls to His share in any one cycle, greater or lesser. He thus brings about and eventually transmutes, the effects of causes which He set in motion earlier in relation to His six Brothers, the other planetary Logoi. We get an illustrative parallel in the effect which one individual will have upon another in worldly contact, in molding and influencing, in stimulating or retarding. We have to remember that all fundamental influence and effects are felt on the astral plane and work thence through the etheric to the dense physical thereby bringing matter under its sphere of influence, yet not itself originating on the physical plane. [77]