TCF-1 division C
Section One – The Internal Fires – Fire by Friction
Division C – The Etheric Body and Prana34
C.I. The Nature of the Etheric Body
34 "Prana, or the vital principle, is the special relation of the Atma with a certain form of matter which by the relation of Atma, organizes and builds up as a means of having experience. This special relation constitutes the individual Prana in the individual body. The cosmic all-pervading Prana is not Prana in the gross sense, but is a name for the Brahman as the author of the individual Prana... All beings, whether Devas, men or animals, exist only so long as the Prana is within the body. It is the life duration of all... Prana, or vitality, is the common function of the mind and all the senses."
- Serpent Power, pp. 94, 95.
In our consideration of the internal fires of the system we shall find much of very real interest to the coming [78] generation of thinkers for three main reasons, which might be enumerated as follows:
C.I.1. Its Purpose and Description
First. In the study of the etheric body lies hid (for scientists and those of the medical profession) a fuller comprehension of the laws of matter and the laws of health. The word health has become too localized in the past, and its meaning confined to the sanity of the body corporeal, to the cooperative action of the atoms of the physical body of man, and to the full expression of the powers of the physical elemental. In days to come it will be realized that the health of man is dependent upon the health of all allied evolutions, and upon the cooperative action and full expression of the matter of the planet and of the planetary elemental who is himself a composite manifestation of the physical elementals of all manifested nature.
Second. In the study of the etheric body and prana lies the revelation of the effects of those rays of the sun which (for lack of better expression), we will call "solar pranic emanations." These solar pranic emanations are the produced effect of the central heat of the sun approaching other bodies within the solar system by one of the three main channels of contact, and producing on the bodies then contacted certain effects differing somewhat from those produced by the other emanations. These effects might be considered as definitely stimulating and constructive, and (through their essential quality) as producing conditions that further the growth of cellular matter, and concern its adjustment to environing conditions; they concern likewise the internal health (demonstrating as the heat of the atom and its consequent activity) and the uniform evolution of the form of which that particular atom of matter forms a constituent part. Emanative prana does little in connection with [79] form building; that is not its province, but it conserves the form through the preservation of the health of its component parts. Other rays of the sun act differently, upon the forms and upon their substance. Some perform the work of the Destroyer of forms, and others carry on the work of cohering and of attracting; the work of the Destroyer and of the Preserver is carried on under the Law of Attraction and Repulsion. Some rays definitely produce accelerated motion, others produce retardation. The ones we are dealing with here – pranic solar emanations – work within the four ethers, that matter which (though physical) is not as yet objectively visible to the eye of man. They are the basis of all physical plane life considered solely in connection with the life of the physical plane atoms of matter, their inherent heat and their rotary motion. These emanations are the basis of that "fire by friction" which demonstrates in the activity of matter.
Finally, in the study of the etheric body and prana comes comprehension of the method of logoic manifestation, and therefore much of interest to the metaphysician, and all abstract thinkers. The etheric body of man holds hid the secret of his objectivity. It has its correspondence on the archetypal plane, – the plane we call that of the divine manifestation, the first plane of our solar system, the plane Adi. The matter of that highest plane is called often the "sea of fire" and it is the root of the akasha, the term applied to the substance of the second plane of manifestation. Let us trace the analogy a little more in detail, for in its just apprehension will be found much of illumination and much that will serve to elucidate problems both macrocosmic and microcosmic. We will begin with man and his etheric body.
The etheric body has been described as a network, permeated with fire, or as a web, animated with golden light. It is spoken of in the Bible as the "golden bowl." [80] It is a composition of that matter of the physical plane which we call etheric, and its shape is brought about by the fine interlacing strands of this matter being built by the action of the lesser Builders into the form or mould upon which later the dense physical body can be molded. Under the Law of Attraction, the denser matter of the physical plane is made to cohere to this vitalized form, and is gradually built up around it, and within it, until the interpenetrating is so complete that the two forms make but one unit; the pranic emanations of the etheric body itself play upon the dense physical body in the same manner as the pranic emanations of the sun play upon the etheric body. It is all one vast system of transmission and of interdependence within the system. All receive in order to give, and to pass on to that which is lesser or not so evolved. Upon every plane this process can be seen.
Thus the etheric body forms the archetypal plane in relation to the dense physical body. The thinker on his own plane stands, in relation to the physical, as the Logos to His system. In the synthesis of thought it might be expressed thus: The thinker on the astral plane, the plane of desire and of necessity, stands to the physical body as the Logos on the cosmic astral plane stands to His system.
As we continue the study we will work out the correspondence in the cosmos, the system, and in the three worlds, for we need to remember that the analogy must be perfect.
  1. Man, the Microcosm, the manifesting Monad, or One.
  2. The Heavenly Man, the planetary Logos, or the manifesting group.
  3. The Grand Man of the Heavens, the Macrocosm, the solar Logos, the manifestation of all groups and of all evolutions within His Body, the solar system. [81]
35 S. D., I, 74.

36 "This whole solar system being conceived of as one vast mechanism, with an exquisite adjustment of its parts in all major details, is only the physical expression of Vishnu, or the ethereal basic substance, as we may understand the word for the present. All the harmonies observable in the manifested cosmos are only the result of the harmoniously working energies that resolve ether into the expression that we recognize. All planets, worlds, human beings, etc., are only parts of the body, each functioning in subordination to the law which governs the whole. The evolution, preservation and destruction of the world is therefore one vast process called Yagna, which takes place in the body of Yagna Purusha, or the psychical body of nature. Humanity taken collectively is the heart and brain of this Purusha and therefore all the Karma generated by humanity, physical, mental, or spiritual, determines mainly the character of this Yagnic process... Shri Krishna therefore calls the process the Yagnic life that he has been giving out to Arjuna as Yoga (1st Sloka 4th Chr). In fact, Yoga and Yagna are very closely allied and even inseparable, though at the present day people seem to disconnect the two. Yoga derived from the root Yuj to join means an act of joining. Now as the heart is the great center in man, likewise the Yogi of the heart keeps his central position in the universe and hence his individuality. The individuality or the Higher Manas being the pivot of the human constitution or the center on which two hemispheres of higher and lower existence turn as I have already said, the Yogi of the heart has a heavenly dome above and earthly abyss below and his yoga becomes twofold as a consequence. He joins himself on to the thing above in dhyana and the thing below in action. The word Yagna derived from the root Yaj – to serve also means a twofold service, service done to the thing above through service done unto its expression the thing below."
- Some Thoughts on the Gita, pp. 18, 134.

All these bodies – the body of a man, a planetary Logos, and a solar Logos – are the product of desire originating on the planes of abstract mind, whether cosmic, systemic, or mind in the three worlds, whether cosmic desire-mind or human desire-mind, and all their bodies are "Sons of Necessity," as H.P.B. so aptly expressed it.35, 36
C.I.2. Eight Statements
It is with the etheric bodies of all we are dealing, and with their vivification by prana (whether cosmic, solar, planetary or human), with the organs of reception and with the basis of emanations. Here, therefore, we can arrive at certain dicta anent the etheric body which for purposes of clarity might well be enumerated:
  • First. The etheric body is the mould of the physical body.
  • Second. The etheric body is the archetype upon which [82] the dense physical form is built, whether it is the form of a solar system, or of a human body in any one incarnation.
  • Third. The etheric body is a web or network of fine interlacing channels, formed of matter of the four ethers, and built into a specific form. It forms, a focal point for certain radiatory emanations, which vivify, stimulate and produce the rotary action of matter.
  • Fourth. These pranic emanations when focalized and received, react upon the dense matter which is built upon the etheric scaffolding and framework.
  • Fifth. This etheric web, during incarnation, forms a barrier between the physical and astral planes, which can only be transcended when consciousness is sufficiently developed to permit of escape. This can be seen in both the microcosm and the macrocosm. When a man has, through meditation and concentration expanded his consciousness to a certain point he is enabled to include the subtler planes, and to escape beyond the limits of the dividing web. [83] When the Logos has expanded His Consciousness on cosmic levels He can then transcend the logoic etheric web, and escape beyond the ring-pass-not of His objective manifestation. In thinking out this analogy we must hold closely in mind the fact that the seven major planes of our solar system are the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical or the lowest cosmic plane.

    We might note here the accurate working out of the correspondence in matter and the radiatory correspondence is equally accurate.

1. First ether – Atomic plane Adi (Divine) Sea of fire. First cosmic ether.
2. Second ether – Subatomic Anupadaka (Monadic plane) Akasha. Second cosmic ether.
3. Third ether – Super-etheric Atmic (Spiritual plane) Aether. Third cosmic ether.
4. Fourth ether – Super-gaseous Buddhic (Intuitional plane) Air. Fourth cosmic ether.
5. Gaseous – Subetheric Mental Fire. Cosmic gaseous.
6. Liquid Astral (Emotional plane) Water. Cosmic liquid.
7. Earthly Physical (Dense) Earth. Cosmic dense.
  • Sixth. In all the three bodies – human, planetary, and systemic or logoic – will be found a great organ within the organism which acts as the receiver of prana. This organ has its etheric manifestation and its dense physical correspondence.
    In the system, the organ of cosmic prana, of the force vitalizing matter, is the central sun, which is the direct receiver and dispenser of cosmic radiation. This is one of the threefold divisions of the Primordial Ray of active intelligence. Each of the cosmic Rays is in essence threefold, a fact which is oft overlooked, though logically obvious; each Ray is the vehicle for a cosmic Entity, and all existence is necessarily triple in manifestation. The central Sun has within its periphery a center of reception with a surface radiation.
    In the planet there will be found a similar organ or receiver within its etheric body, the locality of which is not for esoteric publication and cannot therefore be revealed. It is connected with the location of the two poles, north and south, and is the center around which the globe rotates, and is the source of the legend of a sacred fertile land within the sphere of polar influences. The mythic land of exceeding fertility, of abundant [84] luxuriance, and of phenomenal growth, vegetable, animal and human would naturally lie where prana is received. It is the esoteric Garden of Eden, the land of physical perfection. Surface radiation demonstrates, after distribution, as planetary prana.
    In Man. The organ of reception is the spleen through its etheric counterpart. After distribution over the entire body via the etheric network it demonstrates in surface radiation as the health aura.
  • Seventh. Thus in all the three bodies will the resemblance clearly be seen, and the working out in perfect correspondence is easily demonstrable:


Entity manifesting The solar Logos.
Body of manifestation The solar system.
Receptive center Pole of the central Sun.
Surface radiation or emanation Solar prana.
Movement produced Systemic rotation.
Distributive effect Solar etheric radiation (felt cosmically).

Entity manifesting A planetary Logos.
Body of manifestation A planet.
Receptive center The planetary pole.
Surface radiation or emanation Planetary prana.
Movement produced Planetary rotation.
Distributive effect Planetary etheric radiation (felt within the system).

Entity manifesting The thinker, A Dhyan Chohan.
Body of manifestation Physical body.
Receptive center The spleen.
Surface radiation or emanation Health aura.
Movement produced Atomic rotation.
Distributive effect Human etheric radiation (felt by environment). [85]

Entity manifesting An elementary life.
Body of manifestation The atomic sphere.
Receptive center Pole of the atom.
Surface radiation or emanation Contribution of atom to the united health aura of body.
Movement produced Atomic rotation.
Distributive effect Atomic etheric radiation (felt within the physical form).
  • Eighth. When the "will to live" vanishes, then the "Sons of Necessity" cease from objective manifestation. This is logically inevitable, and its working out can be seen in every case of entified objectivity. When the Thinker on his own plane withdraws his attention from his little system within the three worlds and gathers within himself all his forces, then physical plane existence comes to an end and all returns within the causal consciousness; this is as much an abstraction in the three worlds of the Thinker as the Absolute is in the threefold solar system of the Logos. This demonstrates on the physical plane in the withdrawing from out of the top of the head of the radiant etheric body and the consequent disintegration of the physical. The framework goes and the dense physical form falls apart; the pranic life is abstracted bodily from out of the dense sheath, and the stimulation of the fires of matter ceases to be. The latent fire of the atom remains; it is inherent, but the form is made by the action of the two fires of matter – active and latent, radiatory and inherent – aided by the fire of the second Logos, and when they are separated the form falls apart. This is a picture in miniature of the essential duality of all things acted upon by Fohat. [86]

    There is a close connection between the spleen and the top of the head in connection with the etheric body. The organ of the spleen has an interesting correspondence to the umbilical cord which attaches an infant to the mother for purposes of nourishment, and which is separated at birth. When a man starts to live his own life of conscious desire, when a man is born into a new world of a subtler form of life, that interlaced cord of etheric matter (which had united him to his physical body) is broken; the "silver cord is loosed" and the man severs his connection with the dense physical body and passes out through the highest center of the body instead of the lowest to life in a higher world and of another dimension. So it will be found in all the bodies and sheaths of the microcosm, for the analogy will persist on all planes during manifestation. When more scientific knowledge has been gained it will be found that the same procedure on a larger scale, takes place in planetary manifestation. A planet is but the body of a planetary Logos, that body being etheric, and the Logos expressing Himself through it and building upon the etheric scaffolding a vehicle of manifestation. The moon once was the body of expression for one of the Logoi; the Earth now is, and the cycles change continuously. The center of escape for the etheric body is found likewise in a physical planet, and the planetary silver cord is loosed at the time appointed; but the times and cycles, their commencement and termination are hid in the mysteries of Initiation, and do not concern us.

    Again in the solar system itself similar action will eventuate at the close of a Mahamanvantara. The Logos will withdraw within Himself, abstracting His three major principles.37 His body of manifestation – the Sun [87] and the seven sacred Planets, all existing in etheric matter – will withdraw from objectivity and become obscured. From the usual physical standpoint, the light of the system will go out. This will be succeeded by a gradual inbreathing until He shall have gathered all unto Himself; the etheric will cease to exist, and the web will be no more. Full consciousness will be achieved, and in the moment of achievement existence or entified manifestation will cease. All will be reabsorbed within the Absolute; pralaya,38 or the cosmic heaven of rest will then ensue, and the Voice of the Silence will be heard no more. The reverberations of the word will die away, and the "Silence of the High Places" will reign supreme.

37 Principles, the basic differentiations, essential qualities or types of energy upon which all things are built; they give the distinctive nature of all forms.

38 Pralaya – A period of obscuration or repose – planetary, systemic or cosmic. An interlude between two periods of manifestation.

C.II. The Nature of Prana
In dealing with the subject of the etheric body and its functions as an assimilator and distributor of prana, we have dealt with it from the standpoint of its place in the scheme of things. We have considered this matter of etherics from the angle of correspondences, and have traced analogies in the system, the planet, and man. We have seen that it formed the foundation of the dense physical form, and in itself constituted a most important link between:
  1. Physical man, and the emotional or astral plane.
  2. Planetary Man, and essential emotional quality.
  3. The Logos, the grand Heavenly Man, and the cosmic astral plane.
We might now narrow the subject down to the consideration of the etheric body of the human being and not touch upon correspondences to things systemic or cosmic at all, though it may be necessary to remind ourselves that for the wise student the line along which wisdom [88] comes is the interpretative one; he who knows himself (in objective manifestation, essential quality, and comprehensive development) knows likewise the Lord of his Ray, and the Logos of his system. It is only then a matter of application, conscious expansion, and intelligent interpretation, coupled to a wise abstention from dogmatic assertion, and a recognition that the correspondence lies in quality and method more than in detailed adherence to a specified action at any given time in evolution.
All that it is possible to give here is material which, if rightly pondered on, may result in more intelligent practical living in the occult sense of the term "living"; which, if studied scientifically, religiously and philosophically, may lead to the furthering of the aims of the evolutionary process in the immediately coming lesser cycle. Our aim, therefore, is to make the secondary body of man more real, and to show some of its functions and how it can eventually be brought consciously into the range of mental comprehension.
Science, as we know, is fast reaching the point where it will be forced to admit the fact of the etheric body, because the difficulties of refusing to acknowledge it, will be far more insuperable than an admission of its existence. Scientists admit already the fact of etheric matter; the success of photographic endeavor has demonstrated the reality of that which has hitherto been considered unreal, because (from the standpoint of the physical) intangible. Phenomena are occurring all the time which remain in the domain of the supernatural unless accounted for through the medium of etheric matter, and in their anxiety to prove the spiritualists wrong, scientists have aided the cause of the true and higher spiritism by falling back on reality, and on the fact of the etheric body, even though they consider it a body of [89] emanative radiation – being concerned with the effect and not having yet ascertained the cause. Medical men are beginning to study (blindly as yet) the question of vitality, the effect of solar rays upon the physical organism, and the underlying laws of inherent and radiatory heat. They are beginning to ascribe to the spleen functions hitherto not recognized, to study the effect of the action of the glands, and their relation to the assimilation of the vital essences by the bodily frame. They are on the right road, and before long (perhaps within this century) the FACT of the etheric body and its basic function will be established past all controversy, and the whole aim of preventive and curative medicine will shift to a higher level. All we can do here is to give simply, and in a condensed form, a few facts which may hasten the day of recognition, and further the interest of the true investigator. Let me, therefore, briefly state what will be dealt with in our remaining three points:
  • The functions of the etheric body.
  • Its relation to the physical during life.
  • The ills or diseases of the etheric body (taking care to retain the original meaning of the word "disease.")
  • Its after death condition.
This will embody all that is as yet of practical use. More may later be forthcoming for our helping if that which is now given to the public is carefully followed up, and if investigators wisely, sanely and broadly study this important matter.
As the nature and functions of the etheric body of man assume their rightful place in the thought of the world and as it is realized that the etheric is the most important of the two physical bodies, man will be brought into closer conscious contact with the other evolutions [90] that evolve in etheric matter just as he does in a dense physical body. There are certain large groups of devas, called "the devas of the shadows," or the violet devas, who are closely allied with the evolutionary development of man's etheric body, and who transmit to him solar and planetary radiation. The etheric body of man receives prana in different ways and of different kinds, and all these ways bring him into touch with varying entities.
C.II.1. Solar Prana
This is that vital and magnetic fluid which radiates from the sun, and which is transmitted to man's etheric body through the agency of certain deva entities of a very high order, and of a golden hue. It is passed through their bodies and emitted as powerful radiations, which are applied direct through certain plexi in the uppermost part of the etheric body, the head and shoulders, and passed down to the etheric correspondence of the physical organ, the spleen, and from thence forcibly transmitted into the spleen itself. These golden hued pranic entities are in the air above us, and are specially active in such parts of the world as California, in those tropical countries where the air is pure and dry, and the rays of the sun are recognized as being specially beneficial. Relations between man and this group of devas are very close, but fraught as yet with much danger to man. These devas are of a very powerful order, and, along their own line, are further evolved than man himself. Unprotected man lies at their mercy, and in this lack of protection, and man's failure to understand the laws of magnetic resistance, or of solar repulsion comes, for instance, the menace of sunstroke. When the etheric body and its assimilative processes are comprehended scientifically, man will then be immune from dangers due to solar radiation. He will protect himself by the application of the laws [91] governing magnetic repulsion and attraction, and not so much by clothing and shelter. It is largely a question of polarization. One hint might here be given: When men understand the deva evolution somewhat more correctly and recognize their work along certain lines in connection with the Sun and realize that they represent the feminine pole as they themselves represent the masculine (the fourth Creative Hierarchy being male)39 they will comprehend the mutual relationship, and govern that relationship by law.
These solar devas take the radiatory rays of the sun which reach from its center to the periphery along one of the three channels of approach, pass them through their organism and focalize them there. They act almost as a burning glass acts. These rays are then reflected or transmitted to man's etheric body, and caught up by him and again assimilated. When the etheric body is in good order and functioning correctly, enough of this prana is absorbed to keep the form organized. This is the whole object of the etheric body's functioning, and is a point which cannot be sufficiently emphasized. The remainder is cast off in the form of animal radiation, or physical magnetism – all terms expressing the same idea. Man therefore repeats on a lesser scale the work of the great solar devas, and in his turn adds his quota of repolarized or remagnetized emanation to the sumtotal of the planetary aura.
C.II.2. Planetary Prana
This is the vital fluid emanated from any planet, which constitutes its basic coloring or quality, and is produced by a repetition within the planet of the same process [92] which is undergone in connection with man and solar prana. The planet (the Earth, or any other planet) absorbs solar prana, assimilates, what is required, and radiates off that which is not essential to its well-being in the form of planetary radiation. Planetary prana, therefore, is solar prana which has passed throughout the planet, has circulated through the planetary etheric body, has been transmitted to the dense physical planet, and has been cast off thence in the form of a radiation of the same essential character as solar prana, plus the individual and distinctive quality of the particular planet concerned. This again repeats the process undergone in the human body. The physical radiations of men differ according to the quality of their physical bodies. So it is with a planet.
39 S. D., I, 232-238. The whole cosmos is guided, controlled and animated by an almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform. S D., I; 295.
Planetary emanative prana (as in the case of solar prana) is caught up and transmitted via a particular group of devas, called the "devas of the shadows," who are ethereal devas of a slightly violet hue. Their bodies are composed of the matter of one or other of the four ethers, and they focalize and concentrate the emanations of the planet, and of all forms upon the planet. They have a specially close connection with human beings owing to the fact of the essential resemblance of their bodily substance to man's etheric substance, and because they transmit to him the magnetism of "Mother Earth" as it is called. Therefore we see that there are two groups of devas working in connection with man:
  1. Solar devas, who transmit the vital fluid which circulates in the etheric body.
  2. Planetary devas of a violet color, who are allied to man's etheric body, and who transmit earth's prana, or the prana of whichever planet man may be functioning upon during a physical incarnation.
A very pertinent question might here be asked, and though we may not fully explain the mystery, a few [93] suggestive hints may be possible. We might ask: What causes the apparent deadness of the Moon? Is there deva life upon it? Does solar prana have no effect there? What constitutes the difference between the apparently dead Moon, and a live planet, such as the Earth? (S. D., I, 170-180.)
Here we touch upon a hidden mystery, of which the solution lies revealed for those who seek, in the fact that human beings and certain groups of devas are no longer found upon the Moon. Man has not ceased to exist upon the Moon because it is dead and cannot therefore support his life, but the Moon is dead because man and these deva groups have been removed from off its surface, and from its sphere of influence. (S. D., I, 179.) Man and the devas act on every planet as intermediaries, or as transmitting agencies. Where they are not found, then certain great activities become impossible, and disintegration sets in. The reason for this removal lies in the cosmic Law of Cause and Effect, or cosmic karma, and in the composite, yet individual, history of that one of the Heavenly Men Whose body, the Moon or any other dead planet at any time happened to be.
C.II.3. The Prana of Forms
It must first be pointed out that forms are necessarily of two kinds, each having a different place in the scheme:
  • Forms that are the result of the work of the third and the second Logos, and Their united life. Such forms are the units in the vegetable, animal and mineral kingdoms.
  • Forms that are the result of the united action of the three Logoi, and comprise the strictly deva and human forms.
There is also the still simpler form embodied in the substance of which all the other forms are made. This matter [95] is strictly speaking the atomic and molecular matter, and is animated by the life or energy of the third Logos.
In dealing with the first group of forms, it must be noted that the pranic emanations given off by units of the animal and vegetable kingdom (after they have absorbed both solar and planetary prana) are naturally a combination of the two, and are transmitted by means of surface radiation, as in solar and planetary Prana, to certain lesser groups of devas of a not very high order, who have a curious and intricate relationship to the group soul of the radiating animal or vegetable. This matter cannot be dealt with here. These devas are also of a violet hue, but of such a pale color as to be almost grey; they are in a transitional state, and merge with a puzzling confusion with groups of entities that are almost on the involutionary arc. 42, 43, 43a [96]
42 Involutionary Arc is the term applied to the first part of the evolutionary process. It covers the "path of descent," or the coming down of Spirit into ever denser matter until the lowest point is reached, the point of densest concretion. The latter half of the process is called evolutionary and marks the ascent or return of Spirit to its emanating source, plus the gains of the evolutionary process.

43 "The Three Outpourings. In the diagram the "symbols of the three Aspects (of the Logos) are placed outside of time and space, and only the streams of influence from them descend into our system of planes... They represent in due order what are commonly called the three Persons of the Trinity... It will be seen that from each of them an outpouring of life or force is projected into the planes below. The first of these in order is the straight line which descends from the third Aspect; the second is that part of the large oval which lies on our left hand – the stream which descends from the second Aspect until it has touched the lowest point in matter, and then rises again up the side on our right hand until it reaches the lower mental level. It will be noted that in both of these outpourings the divine life becomes darker and more veiled as it descends into matter, until at the lowest point we might almost fail to recognize it as divine life at all; but as it rises again when it has passed its nadir it shows itself somewhat more clearly. The third outpouring which descends from the highest aspect of the Logos differs from the others in that it is in no way clouded by the matter through which it passes, but retains its virgin purity and splendor untarnished. It will be noted that this outpouring descends only to the level of the buddhic plane (the fourth plane) and that the link between the two is formed by a triangle in a circle, representing the individual soul of man – the reincarnating ego. Here the triangle is contributed by the third outpouring and the circle by the second..."
- The Christian Creed, by C. W. Leadbeater, pp. 39, 40.

43a See S. D., I, 98, 99, 100, 103.

  • 1. The root of life was in every drop of the ocean of immortality Every atom in matter was impregnated with the life of the Logos.
  • 2. The ocean was radiant light, which was Fire, Heat, Motion. These three are the subjective life manifesting objectively.
  • Fire: The essence of the first Logos. Electric fire. Spirit.
  • Heat: Duality. The essence of the second Logos. Solar fire. The Son aspect. Consciousness.
  • Motion: The essence of the third Logos. Fire by friction. Matter.

THE MACROCOSM (subjective expression)

First Logos Fire – Electric The will to live or to be.
Second Logos Heat – Solar Duality, or love between two.
Third Logos Motion – Fire by friction The fire of mind, the relation between.

THE MACROCOSM (objective expression)

The Sun Will or Power.
Venus-Mercury Love and Wisdom.
Saturn Activity or Intelligence.

THE MICROCOSM (subjective expression)

The Monad Electric fire Will or Power.
The Ego Solar fire Love and Wisdom.
The Personality Fire by friction Activity or Intelligence.

THE MICROCOSM (objective expression)
The mental body Will or Power Fire.
The astral body Love-Wisdom Heat.
The physical body Active Intelligence Motion.

The brain Monad Will or Power Electric fire.
The heart Ego Love-Wisdom Solar fire.
Lower organs Personality Active Intelligence Fire by friction.
In dealing with the second group, the human form transmits the emanative radiations to a much higher grade of deva. These devas are of a more pronounced hue, and after due assimilation of the human radiation, they transmit it principally to the animal kingdom, thus demonstrating the close relationship between the two kingdoms. If the above explanation of the intricate interrelation between the sun and the planets, between the planets and the evolving forms upon them, between the forms themselves in ever descending importance demonstrates nothing more than the exquisite interdependence of all existences, then much will have been achieved.
Another fact which must also be brought out is the close relationship between all these evolutions of nature, from the celestial sun down to the humblest violet via the [97] deva evolution which acts as the transmitting transmuting force throughout the system.
Lastly, all work with fire. Fire internal, inherent and latent; fire radiatory and emanative; fire generated, assimilated and radiated; fire vivifying, stimulating and destroying; fire transmitted, reflected, and absorbed; fire, the basis of all life; fire, the essence of all existence; fire, the means of development, and the impulse behind all evolutionary process; fire, the builder, the preserver, and the constructor; fire, the originator, the process and the goal; fire the purifier and the consumer. The God of Fire and the fire of God interacting upon each other, till all fires blend and blaze and till all that exists, is passed through the fire – from a solar system to an ant – and emerges as a triple perfection. Fire then passes out from the ring-pass-not as perfected essence, whether essence emerging from the human ring-pass-not, the planetary ring-pass-not or the solar. The wheel of fire turns and all within that wheel is subjected to the threefold flame, and eventually stands perfected.
C.III. The Function of the Etheric Body
We will now continue with the discussion of the etheric body, and take up the consideration of its function and its relation to the physical body. The two may wisely be considered together, for the interrelation is so close that it is not possible to discuss them separately. Primarily the functions of the etheric body are three in number:
  1. It is the receiver of prana.
  2. It is the assimilator of prana.
  3. It is the transmitter of prana.
C.III.1. The Receiver of Prana
The etheric body may therefore be described as negative or receptive in respect to the rays of the sun, and as [98] positive and expulsive in respect to the dense physical body. The second function – that of assimilation – is strictly balanced or internal. As stated earlier, the pranic emanations of the sun are absorbed by the etheric body, via certain centers which are found principally in the upper part of the body, from whence they are directed downwards to the center which is called the etheric spleen, as it is the counterpart in etheric matter of that organ. The main center for the reception of prana at present is a center between the shoulder blades. Another has been allowed to become partially dormant in man through the abuses of so-called civilization, and is situated slightly above the solar plexus. In the coming root-race, and increasingly in this, the necessity for the exposure of these two centers to the rays of the sun, will be appreciated, with a corresponding improvement in physical vitality and adaptability. These three centers,
  1. Between the shoulder blades,
  2. Above the diaphragm,
  3. And the spleen
make, if one could but see it, a radiant etheric triangle, which triangle is the originating impulse for the later pranic circulation throughout the entire system. The etheric body is really a network of fine channels, which are the component parts of one interlacing fine cord, – one portion of this cord being the magnetic link which unites the physical and the astral bodies and which is snapped or broken after the withdrawal of the etheric body from the dense physical body at the time of death. The silver cord is loosed, as the Bible expresses it, (Ecc: XII, 6.) and this is the basis of the legend of the fateful sister who cuts the thread of life with the dreaded shears.
The etheric web is composed of the intricate weaving of this vitalized cord, and apart from the seven centers [99] within the web (which correspond to the sacred centers, and of which the spleen is frequently counted as one) it has the two above mentioned, which make – with the spleen – a triangle of activity. The etheric web of the solar system is of an analogous nature, and likewise has its three receptive centers for cosmic prana. The mysterious band in the heavens, which we call the Milky Way, (S. D. II. 250) is closely connected with cosmic prana, or that cosmic vitality or nourishment which vitalizes the solar etheric system.
C.III.2. The Assimilator of Prana
The process of assimilation is carried on in this triangle, and the prana which enters into either center, circulates three times around the triangle before being transmitted to all parts of the etheric vehicle and from thence to the dense physical body. The main organ of assimilation is the spleen – the etheric center and the dense physical organ. The vital essence from the sun is passed into the etheric spleen, and is there subjected to a process of intensification or devitalization, according to the condition, healthy or not, of that organ. If the man is in a healthy state the emanation received will be augmented by his own individual vibration, and its rate of vibration will be keyed up before it is passed on into the physical spleen; or it will be slowed down and lowered if the man is in a poor condition of health.
These three centers are in the form that all centers take, of saucer-like depressions, resembling somewhat the appearance of small whirlpools, and which draw within their sphere of influence the currents that come their way.
The centers should be pictured as whirling vortices with a closely woven threefold channel passing from each center to the other, and forming an almost separate circulatory system. This finds its point of departure for [100] the entire system at the further side of the spleen to that at which the prana entered. The vital fluid circulates through and between these three centers three times, before it finally passes out from them to the periphery of its little system. This final circulation carries the prana, via the fine interlacing channels, to every part of the body, which becomes entirely impregnated by these emanations, if it might be so expressed. These emanations find their way finally out of the etheric system by means of surface radiation. The pranic essence escapes from the circumference of its temporary ring-pass-not as emanative human prana, which is the same prana as earlier received, plus the peculiar quality that any single individual may convey to it during its transitory circulation. The essence escapes, plus individual quality.
Here again can be seen the correspondence to the escape of all essences from within any ring-pass-not when the cycle has been completed.
This matter of the etheric body is of a very practical interest, and when its importance is better realized, men will attend to the distribution of prana within the body with closer attention, and will see that the vitalization of the body, via the three centers, proceeds unhindered.
The subject has necessarily to be handled in a superficial manner, and only outlines and scattered hints can be given. Nevertheless, it will be found that if this teaching is studied with care, it will convey a knowledge of truths whose caliber and content will prove invaluable and of a kind hitherto not given out. The place of the etheric sheath as a separator or ring-pass-not, and its functions as a receiver and distributor of prana, are dealt with here in a larger sense than heretofore, and the subject may later be enlarged.
Two fundamental truths stand out from the aggregate of facts so slightly dealt with here: [101] First. The fourth etheric subplane of the physical plane is the immediate concern of
  1. Man, the Microcosm,
  2. The Heavenly Man, the planetary Logos,
  3. The Grand Man of the Heavens, the solar Logos.
Second. In this fourth chain and fourth round, the fourth ether is beginning to be studied, and – viewed as a separating web – it permits occasional exit to those of suitable vibration.
C.III.3. The Transmitter of Prana
We have touched but little on the subject of the fire, the purpose of the etheric body being to convey it and distribute it to all parts of its system. We have dwelt on facts which might stimulate interest and emphasize the utility of this pranic vehicle. Certain facts need emphasis and consideration as we study this static ring and its circulating fires. Let me briefly recapitulate for the sake of clarity:
  • The System receives prana from cosmic sources via three centers, and redistributes it to all parts of its extended influence, or to the bounds of the solar etheric web. This cosmic prana becomes colored by solar quality and reaches the furthest confines of the system. Its mission might be described as the vitalization of the vehicle which is the physical material expression of the solar Logos.
  • The Planet receives prana from the solar center, and redistributes it via the three receiving centers to all parts of its sphere of influence. This solar prana becomes colored by the planetary quality and is absorbed by all evolutions found within the planetary ring-pass-not. Its mission might be described as the vitalization of the vehicle which is the physical material expression of one or other of the seven Heavenly Men. [102]
  • The Microcosm receives prana from the sun after it has permeated the planetary etheric vehicle, so that it is solar prana, plus planetary quality. Each planet the embodiment of some one ray aspect, and its quality marked predominantly on all its evolution.
Prana, therefore, which is active radiatory heat, varies in vibration and quality according to the receiving Entity. Man passes the prana through his etheric vehicle, colors it with his own peculiar quality, and so transmits it to the lesser lives that make up his little system Thus, the great interaction goes on, and all parts blend, merge and are interdependent; and all parts receive, color, qualify and transmit. An endless circulation goes on that has neither a conceivable beginning nor possible end from the point of view of finite man, for its source and end are hid in the unknown cosmic fount. Were conditions everywhere perfected this circulation would proceed unimpeded and might result in a condition of almost endless duration, but limitation and termination result as the effects of imperfection giving place to a gradual perfection. Every cycle originates from an other cycle of a relative completeness, and will give place ever to a higher spiral; thus eventuate periods of apparent relative perfection leading to those which are still greater.
The aim for this greater cycle is the blending, as we know, of the two fires of matter, latent and active, and their merging with the fires of mind and spirit till they are lost from sight in the general flame; the fires of mind and spirit burn up matter and thereby bring about liberation from the confining vehicles. The altar of earth is the birthplace of spirit, its liberator from the mother (matter), and its entrance into higher realms.
Hence, when the pranic vehicle is working perfectly in all three groups, human, planetary and solar, the union with latent fire will be accomplished. Here lies [103] the reason for the emphasis laid on the necessity for building pure, refined physical vehicles. The more refined and rarefied the form, the better a receiver of prana will it be, and the less will be the resistance found to the uprising of kundalini at the appointed time. Coarse matter and crude immature physical bodies are a menace to the occultist, and no true seer will be found with a body of a gross quality. The dangers of disruption are too great, and the menace of disintegration by fire too awful. Once in the history of the race (in Lemurian days) this was seen in the destruction of the race and the continents by means of fire.45 The Guides of the race at that time availed Themselves of just this very thing to bring about the finish of an inadequate form. The latent fire of matter (as seen in volcanic display, for instance) and the radiatory fire of the system were combined. Planetary kundalini and solar emanation rushed into conjunction, and the work of destruction was accomplished. The same thing may again be seen, only in matter of the second ether, and the effects therefore will be less severe owing to the rarity of this ether and the comparatively greater refinement of the vehicles.
45 In the Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 473, footnote, the destruction of Lemuria by fire is hinted at, and in the Secret Doctrine, II, 149, footnote, the words occur "Lemuria was not submerged but was destroyed by volcanic action, and afterward sank."
We might here note a fact of interest, though of a mystery insoluble as yet to most of us, and that is, that these destructions by fire are part of the tests by fire of an initiation of that one of the Heavenly Men Whose karma is bound up with our earth.
Each destruction of a portion of the web results in a greater facility of exit, and is in reality (when seen from the higher planes) a step forward and an expansion. A repetition of this takes place likewise in the system at the stated cycles. [104]
C.III.4. Disorders of the Etheric Body
We will now study the etheric body, and its ills and also its after death condition. This matter can be only briefly touched upon. All that may now be indicated is a general idea of the fundamental ailments to which the etheric may be subject, and the trend which applied medicine may later take when occult laws are better understood. One fact must here be brought out – a fact but little comprehended or even apprehended. This is the significant fact that the ills of the etheric vehicle, in the case of the microcosm, will be found likewise in the Macrocosm. Herein lies the knowledge that oft-times explains the apparent miseries of nature. Some of the great world evils have their source in etheric ills, extending the idea of the etheric to planetary conditions and even to solar. As we touch upon the causes of etheric distress in man, their planetary and solar correspondences and reactions may perhaps be realized. We will need to bear carefully in mind when studying this matter, that all the diseases of the etheric body will appertain to its threefold purpose and be either:
  1. Functional, and thereby affecting its apprehension of prana,
  2. Organic, and thereby affecting its distribution of prana,
  3. Static, and thereby affecting the web, when viewed solely from the angle of providing a physical ring-pass-not, and acting as a separator between the physical and the astral.
These three different groups of functions or purposes are each of paramount interest, lead to totally different results, and react in a different manner both outwardly and inwardly.
46 The planetary Spirit is another term for the Logos of our planet, one of the "seven Spirits before the Throne," and therefore one of the seven Heavenly Men. He is on the evolutionary arc of the universe, and has passed many stages beyond the human. The planetary Entity is on the involutionary arc and is a very low grade Entity. He is the sum total of all the elemental lives of the planet.
Viewed from the planetary standpoint the same conditions will be perceived, and the etheric planetary body [105] (which is fundamentally the body in the case of the sacred planets, of which the Earth is not one) will have its functional disorders, which will affect its reception of prana, will suffer its organic troubles which may affect its distribution, and those disorders which permit of trouble in the etheric web, which forms the ring-pass-not for the involved planetary Spirit. Here I would point out that in the case of the planetary Spirits Who are on the divine evolutionary arc, the Heavenly Men Whose bodies are planets, the etheric web does not form a barrier, but (like the Karmic Lords on a higher plane) They have freedom of movement outside the bounds of the planetary web within the circumference of the solar ring-pass-not.46
Again from the systemic standpoint, these same effects may be observed, functionally, this time in connection with the cosmic center; organically, in connection with the sum total of the planetary systems; and statically, in connection with the solar or logoic ring-pass-not.
We might now, for purposes of clarity, take up these three groups separately and briefly touch upon them and hint (for more will not be possible) at methods of cure and of adjustment.
a. Microcosmic Functional Disorders. These have to do with the reception by man, via the necessary centers, of the pranic fluids. We must always bear in mind, and thus keep the distinction clear, that these emanations of prana have to do with the heat latent in matter; when received and functioning through the etheric body correctly, they cooperate with the natural latent bodily [106] warmth, and (merging therewith) hold the body in a vitalized condition, imposing upon the matter of the body a certain rate of vibratory action that leads to the necessary activity of the physical vehicle, and the right functioning of its organs. It will, therefore, be apparent that the A. B. C. of bodily health is wrapped up in the right reception of prana, and that one of the basic changes that must be made in the life of the human animal (which is the aspect we are dealing with now) will be in the ordinary conditions of living.
The three fundamental centers whereby reception is brought about must be allowed to function with greater freedom, and with less restriction. Now, owing to centuries of wrong living, and to basic mistakes (originating in Lemurian days) man's three pranic centers are not in good working order. The center between the shoulder blades is in the best receptive condition, though owing to the poor condition of the spinal column (which in so many is out of accurate alignment), its position in the back is apt to be misplaced. The splenic center near the diaphragm is subnormal in size and its vibration is not correct. In the case of the aboriginal dwellers in such localities as the South Seas, better etheric conditions will be found; the life they lead is more normal (from the animal standpoint) than in any other portion of the world.
The race suffers from certain incapacities, which may be described as follows:
  • First. Inability to tap pranic currents, owing to the unhealthy lives passed by so many. This involves the cutting off of the source of supply, and the consequent atrophying and shrinkage of the receptive centers. This is seen in an exaggerated form in the children of the congested quarters of any great city, and in the vitiated anemic dwellers of the slums. The cure is apparent – the bringing about of better living conditions, the [107] employment of more appropriate clothing, and the adoption of a freer and more salubrious mode of living. When the pranic rays can find free access to the shoulders, and to the diaphragm, the subnormal state of the average spleen will adjust itself automatically.
  • Second. Over-ability to tap pranic currents. The first type of functional disorder is common and widespread. Its reverse can be found where conditions of life are such that the centers (through too direct and prolonged submittal to solar emanation) become over-developed, vibrate too rapidly, and receive prana in too great an amount. This is rarer, but is found in some tropical countries, and is responsible for much of the troublesome debility that attacks dwellers in these lands. The etheric body receives prana or solar rays too rapidly, passes it through and out of the system with too much force, and this leaves the victim a prey to inertia and devitalization. Putting it otherwise, the etheric body becomes lazy, is like an unstrung web, or (to use a very homely illustration) it resembles a tennis racket which has become too soft, and has lost its resilience. The inner triangle transmits the pranic emanations with too great rapidity, giving no time for the subsidiary absorption, and the whole system is thereby the loser. Later it will be found that many of the ills that Europeans, living in India, fall heir to, originate in this way; and by attention, therefore, to the spleen, and by wise control of living conditions, some of the trouble may be obviated.
In touching upon similar conditions in the planet, both these types of trouble will be found. More cannot be said, but in the wise study of solar radiation upon the surface of the planet in connection with its rotary action, some of the group rules of health may be comprehended and followed. The spirit of the planet (or the planetary entity) likewise has his cycles, and in the absorption of [108] planetary prana, and in its correct distribution, lies the secret of fertility and equable vegetation. Much of this is hidden in the fabled story of the war between fire and water, which has its basis in the reaction of the fire latent in matter, to the fire emanating outside of matter, and playing upon it. In the interval that has to elapse while the two are in process of blending, come those periods where, through karmic inheritance, reception is unstable and distribution inequable. As the point of race equilibrium is reached, so planetary equilibrium will likewise be attained, and in planetary attainment will come the equilibrium that must mutually take place between the solar planets. When they attain a mutual balance and interaction then the system is stabilized and perfection reached. The even distribution of prana will parallel this balancing in the man, in the race, in the planet and in the system. This is but another way of saying that uniform vibration will be achieved.
b. Microcosmic Organic Disorders. These are basically two in number:
  • Troubles due to congestion.
  • Destruction of tissue due to over-absorption of prana, or its too rapid blending with latent physical fire.
We have a curious illustration of both of these forms of trouble in sun stroke and in heat stroke. Though supposedly understood by physicians, they are nevertheless altogether etheric disorders. When the nature of the etheric body is better understood, and its wise care followed, both these types of disease will be prevented. They are due to solar pranic emanation; in one case the effect of the emanation is to bring about death or serious illness through the congestion of an etheric channel, while in the other the same result is brought about by destruction of etheric matter.
The above illustration has been used with definite intent, [109] but it should be pointed out that etheric congestion may lead to many forms of disease and of mental incompetence. Etheric congestion leads to the thickening of the web to an abnormal extent, and this thickening may prevent, for instance, contact with the higher Self or principles and its resultants, idiocy and mental unbalance. It may lead to abnormal fleshy development, to the thickening of some internal organ, and consequent undue pressure; one portion of the etheric body being congested may lead to the entire physical condition being upset, resulting in diverse complaints.
Destruction of tissue may lead to insanity of many kinds, especially those kinds deemed incurable. The burning of the web may let in extraneous astral currents against which man is helpless; the brain tissue may be literally destroyed by this pressure, and serious trouble be caused through the etheric ring-pass-not having been destroyed in some one place.
47 The Keys to the Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky. See S. D., I, 343; II, note; II, 551.
  1. Every symbol and allegory has seven keys. – S. D., II, 567; III, 3.
  2. Only three keys available in the nineteenth century – S. D., II, 543, Compare II, 617, 842.
  3. There are seven keys to the Entrance door to the Mysteries. – S. D., III, 178. Compare I, 346; II, 330; II, 668; II, 731.
  4. The keys, as hinted by H. P. B., are:
    1. Psychological. – S. D., II, 25, note; I, 389.
    2. Astronomical. – S. D., II, 25, note; I, 389; III, 198.
    3. Physical or physiological. – S. D., II, 25, note; III, 198.
    4. Metaphysical. – S. D., II, 25, note; II, 394.
    5. Anthropological. – S. D., I, 389; III, 198.
    6. Astrological. – S. D. II, 343.
    7. Geometrical. – S. D., II, 494; III, 176.
    8. Mystical – S. D., I, 401.
    9. Symbolical. – S. D., II, 561.
    10. Numerical. – S. D., II, 198.
  5. Each key must be turned seven times. – S. D., I, 22.
  6. The Jews availed themselves of two keys out of the seven.
  7. The Metaphysical key is available. – S. D., I, 338. Compare III, 198.

48 "The seven keys open the mysteries, past and future, of the seven great root-races and of the seven kalpas." Every occult book, symbol and allegory can be subjected to seven interpretations. There are three locks to be opened. Seven keys. Every book can be read esoterically, subjectively and spiritually. All the keys are not yet available. (See Secret Doctrine, I, 330, 343.) There is the physiological key, the psychological, the astrological and the metaphysical. The fifth key is the geometrical.

48a "Ring-pass-not. The circumference of the sphere of influence of any center of positive life. This includes the fire sphere of magnetic work of the solar orb, viewing it as the body of manifestation of a solar Logos, and inclusive of an entire solar system. This term is also applied to the sphere of activity of a planetary Logos or to a planetary scheme and could equally well be applied to the sphere of activity of the human Ego." S. D., I, 346.

In connection with the planet a similar state of affairs may be found. Later information may be forthcoming, which is at present withheld; this will show that whole races have been influenced, and certain kingdoms of nature troubled by planetary etheric congestion, or the destruction of planetary etheric tissue.
We have dealt with the functional and organic ills of the etheric, giving certain indications for the extension of the concept to other realms than the purely human. In the human kingdom lies the key, but the turning of that key opens up a door to a wider interpretation as it admits one into the mysteries of nature. Though that key has to be turned seven times, yet even one turn reveals untold avenues of eventual comprehension. 47, 48 [110]
We have considered the reception and distribution of pranic emanations in man, the planet, and the system and have seen what produces temporary disorders, and the devitalization or the over-vitalization of the organic form. Now we can look at the subject from a third angle and therefore study:
c. Microcosmic Static Disorders, or a consideration of the etheric body in connection with its work of providing a ring-pass-not from the purely physical to the astral. As has been said, both here and in the books of H. P. B., the ring-pass-not48a is that confining barrier which acts as a separator or a division between a system and that which is external to that system. This, as may well be seen, has its interesting correlations when the subject is viewed (as we must consistently endeavor to view it) from the point of view of a human being, a planet and a system, remembering always that in dealing with the [111] etheric body we are dealing with physical matter. This must ever be borne carefully in mind. Therefore, one paramount factor will be found in all groups and formations, and this is the fact that the ring-pass-not acts only as a hindrance to that which is of small attainment in evolution, but forms no barrier to the more progressed. The whole question depends upon two things, which are the karma of the man, the planetary Logos, and the solar Logos, and the dominance of the spiritual indwelling entity over its vehicle.
C.IV. Macrocosmic and Microcosmic Ethers
C.IV.1. The Planetary Logos and the Ethers
Man, the indwelling thinker, passes at night from out of his etheric ring-pass-not and functions elsewhere. Therefore, under the law, the planetary Logos likewise can pass His ring-pass-not at stated seasons which correspond in the planet to the hours of man's temporary repose, or pralaya.
The solar Logos likewise does the same during stated cycles, which are not the cycles succeeding those which we term solar pralaya, but lesser cycles succeeding the "days of Brahma" or periods of lesser activity, periodically viewed. All these are governed by karma, and just as the true Man himself applies the law of karma to his vehicles, and in his tiny system is the correspondence to that fourth group of karmic entities whom we call the Lipika Lords; He applies the law to his threefold lower nature. The fourth group of extra-cosmic Entities Who have Their place subsidiary to the three cosmic Logoi Who are the threefold sumtotal of the logoic nature, can pass the bounds of the solar ring-pass-not in Their stated cycles. This is a profound mystery and its complexity is increased by the recollection that the fourth Creative Hierarchy of human Monads, and the Lipika Lords in Their three groups (the first [112] group, the second, and the four Maharajahs, making the totality of the threefold karmic rulers who stand between the solar Logos and the seven planetary Logoi), are more closely allied than the other Hierarchies, and their destinies are intimately interwoven.
49 The four Lipika Lords stand between the first and second plane. – S. D., I, 155.
  1. They can pass the ring-pass-not. – S. D., I, 157.
  2. They are connected with karma. – S. D., I, 153.
  3. They are concerned with the Hereafter. – S. D., I, 151.
  4. They are in three groups. – S. D., I, 153.
  5. They are the spirits of the Universe. – S. D., I, 153.

50 The four rays of mind are the four minor rays which form the logoic Quaternary and which are synthesized eventually into a fifth ray, the third major ray of active intelligence, or adaptability. The names of the rays are as follows:

The three major rays:

  1. The Ray of Will or Power.
  2. The Ray of Love or Wisdom.
  3. he Ray of Active Intelligence.
The four minor Rays:
  1. The Ray of Beauty, Harmony, Art or Rhythm.
  2. The Ray of Concrete Knowledge or Science.
  3. The Ray of Abstract Idealism.
  4. The Ray of Ceremonial Order or Organization.
A further link in this chain which is offered for consideration lies in the fact that the four rays of mind (which concern the karma of the four planetary Logoi) in their totality hold in their keeping the present evolutionary process for Man, viewing him as the Thinker. These four, with the karmic four, work in the closest cooperation. Therefore, we have the following groups interacting:
  • First. The four Maharajahs, the lesser Lipika Lords49 who apply past karma and work it out in the present.
  • Second. The four Lipikas of the second group, referred to by H. P. B. as occupied in applying future karma, and wielding the future destiny of the races. The work of the first group of four cosmic Lipika Lords is occult and is only revealed somewhat at the fourth Initiation (and even then but slightly) so it will not be touched upon here.
  • Third. The fourth Creative Hierarchy of human Monads, held by a fourfold karmic law under the guidance of the Lipikas.
  • Fourth. The four planetary Logoi50 of Harmony, Knowledge, Abstract Thought and Ceremonial, who [113] are in Their totality the Quaternary of Manas while in process of evolution, and who pass under Their influence all the sons of men.
  • Fifth. The Deva Lords of the four planes of Buddhi, or the plane of spiritual Intuition, Manas, or the mental plane, Desire, and the Physical, who are likewise allied to the human evolution in a closer sense than the higher three. A further interesting correspondence is found in the following facts that are even now in process of development:
The fourth plane of Buddhi is the one on which the planetary Logoi begin to make Their escape from Their planetary ring-pass-not, or from the etheric web that has its counterpart on all the planes.
When man begins in a small sense to coordinate the buddhic vehicle or, to express it otherwise, when he has developed the power to contact ever so slightly the buddhic plane, then he begins simultaneously and consciously to achieve the ability to escape from the etheric web on the physical plane. Later he escapes from its correspondence on the astral plane, and finally from the correspondence on the fourth subplane of the mental plane, this time via the mental unit. This leads eventually to causal functioning, or to the ability to dwell, and to be active in, the vehicle of the Ego, who is the embodiment of the love and wisdom aspect of the Monad. Note here the correspondence to that proved fact, that many can even now escape from the etheric body, and function in their [114] astral sheath, which is the personality reflection of that same second aspect.
When a man takes the fourth Initiation, he functions in the fourth plane vehicle, the buddhic, and has escaped permanently from the personality ring-pass-not, on the fourth subplane of the mental. There is naught to hold him to the three worlds. At the first Initiation he escapes from the ring-pass-not in a more temporary sense, but he has yet to escape from the three higher mental levels, which are the mental correspondences to the higher ethers, and to develop full consciousness on these three higher subplanes. We have here a correspondence to the work to be done by the initiate after he has achieved the fourth solar plane, the buddhic. There yet remains the development of full consciousness on the three higher planes of spirit before he can escape from the solar ring-pass-not, which is achieved at the seventh Initiation, taken somewhere in the system, or in its cosmic correspondence reached by the cosmic sutratma, or cosmic thread of life.51
51 Sutratma. The "silver thread" which incarnates from the beginning of a period of manifestation until the end, stringing upon itself the pearls of human existence. It is the line of energy which connects the lower personal man with his Father in Heaven via the ego, the mediating middle principle. Upon it are found those focal points of energy we call the permanent atoms.
This fourth earth chain is in this connection one of the most important, for it is the appointed place for the domination of the etheric body by the human monad, with the aim in view of both human and planetary escape from limitations. This earth chain, though not one of the seven sacred planetary chains, is of vital importance at this time to the planetary Logos, who temporarily employs it as a medium of incarnation, and of expression. This fourth round finds the solution of its strenuous and chaotic life in the very simple fact of the shattering of [115] the etheric web in order to effect liberation, and permit a later and more adequate form to be employed.
A further chain of ideas may be followed up in the remembrance that the fourth ether is even now being studied and developed by the average scientist, and is already somewhat harnessed to the service of man; that the fourth subplane of the astral plane is the normal functioning ground of the average man and that in this round escape from the etheric vehicle is being achieved; that the fourth subplane of the mental plane is the present goal of endeavor of one-fourth of the human family; that the fourth manvantara will see the solar ring-pass-not offering avenues of escape to those who have reached the necessary point; that the four planetary Logoi will perfect Their escape from Their planetary environment, and will function with greater ease on the cosmic astral plane, paralleling on cosmic levels the achievement of the human units who are the cells in Their bodies.
Our solar Logos, being a Logos of the fourth order, will begin to coordinate His cosmic buddhic body, and as He develops cosmic mind He will gradually achieve, by the aid of that mind, the ability to touch the cosmic buddhic plane.
These possibilities and correspondences have been somewhat dwelt upon, as it is necessary for us to realize the work to be done in connection with the etheric web before we take up the matter of the various causes which may hinder the desired progress, and prevent the appointed escape and destined liberation. Later we will take up the consideration of the etheric web, and its static condition. This will entail the recollection of two things:
  • First, that this static condition is only so when viewed from the standpoint of man at the present time, and is [116] only termed so in order to make plainer the changes that must be effected and the dangers that must be offset. Evolution moves so slowly from man's point of view that it seems to be almost stationary, especially where etheric evolution is concerned.
  • Second, that we are only concerning ourselves with the physical etheric body and not with its correspondences on all planes. This is because our system is on the cosmic etheric levels, and hence is of prime importance to us.
C.IV.2. Cosmic and Systemic Ethers
For the sake of those who read this treatise, and because the sequential repetition of fact makes for clarity, let us here briefly tabulate certain fundamental hypotheses that have a definite bearing upon the matter in hand, and which may serve to clear up the present existing confusion concerning the matter of the solar system. Some of the facts stated are already well known, others are inferential, while some are the expression of old and true correspondences couched in a more modern form
  1. The lowest cosmic plane is the cosmic physical, and it is the only one which the finite mind of man can in any way comprehend.
  2. This cosmic physical plane exists in matter differentiated into seven qualities, groups, grades, or vibrations.
  3. These seven differentiations are the seven major planes of our solar system.
For purposes of clarity, we might here tabulate under the headings physical, systemic, and cosmic, so that the relationship and the correspondences may be apparent, and the connection to that which is above, and to that which is below, or included, may be plainly seen. [118]
52 S. D., I, 136, 354. See also note page No. 8.

53 S. D., 1, 87, 136, 731, 732.

54 Mulaprakriti. The Parabrahmic root, the abstract deific feminine principle – undifferentiated substance. Akasha. Literally, "the root of Nature" (Prakriti), or matter.

55 The monads of the fourth Creative Hierarchy, the human Monads, exist in three main groups:

  1. The Monads of Will.
  2. The Monads of Love.
  3. The Monads of Activity.

Mahachohan. The officer in our planetary Hierarchy who presides over the activities carried on in the four minor rays and their synthesizing third ray. He has to do with civilization, with the intellectual culture of the races, and with intelligent energy. He is the head of all the Adepts.

Bodhisattva. The exponent of second ray force, the Teacher of the Adepts of men and of Angels. This office was originally held by the Buddha, but His place was taken (after His Illumination) by the Christ. The work of the Bodhisattva is with the religions of the world, and with the spiritual Essence in Man.

The Manu. The One Who presides over the evolution of the races. He is the ideal man. He has to work with the forms through which Spirit is to manifest; he destroys, and builds up again. These three Individuals preside over the three Departments into which the Hierarchy is divided, and therefore represent in their particular sphere the three Aspects of divine manifestation.

Physical Plane Systemic Planes Cosmic Planes
1. Atomic plane, 1st ether Divine Adi Atomic plane 1st ether
2. Subatomic Monadic Anupadaka The Akasha Subatomic 2nd ether
3. Super-etheric Spiritual. Atmic. Ether 3rd ether
4. Etheric Intuitional Buddhic Air 4th cosmic ether
5. Gaseous Mental Fire Gaseous subetheric
6. Liquid Astral Emotional Liquid
7. Dense physical Physical plane Dense physical
  1. These major seven planes of our solar system being but the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane, we can consequently see the reason for the emphasis laid by H. P. B.52,53 upon the fact that matter and ether are synonymous terms and that this ether is found in some form or other on all the planes, and is but a gradation of cosmic atomic matter, called when undifferentiated mulaprakriti or primordial pregenetic substance, and when differentiated by Fohat (or the energizing Life, the third Logos or Brahma) it is termed prakriti, or matter.54
  2. Our solar system is what is called a system of the fourth order; that is, it has its location on the fourth cosmic etheric plane, counting, as always, from above downwards. [119]
  3. Hence this fourth cosmic etheric plane forms the meeting ground for the past and the future, and is the present.
  4. Therefore, also, the buddhic or intuitional plane (the correspondence in the system of this fourth cosmic ether) is the meeting ground, or plane of union, for that which is man and for that which will be superman, and links the past with that which is to be.
  5. The following correspondences in time would repay careful meditation. They are based on a realization of the relationship between this fourth cosmic ether, the buddhic plane, and the fourth physical etheric subplane.
    • The fourth subplane of mind, the correspondence on the mental plane of the physical etheric, is likewise a point of transition from out of a lower into a higher, and is the transferring locality into a higher body.
    • The fourth subplane of the monadic plane is in a very real sense the place of transition from off the egoic ray (whichever that ray may be) on to the monadic ray; these three major rays are organized on the three higher subplanes of the monadic plane in the same way that the three abstract subplanes of the mental are the group of transference from off the personality ray on to the egoic.
    • The four lesser rays blend with the third major ray of active intelligence on the mental plane and on the atmic plane. The four Logoi or planetary Spirits work as one, on the atmic plane.
  6. Another synthesis takes place on the synthetic second ray on the second subplane of the buddhic plane and the monadic plane, while the comparatively few Monads of will or power are synthesized on the atomic subplane of the atmic. All three groups of Monads work in triple form on the mental plane under the Mahachohan, the Manu, and the Bodhisattva, or the Christ; on the second or monadic plane they work as a unit, only demonstrating [120] their dual work on the atmic plane, and their essential triplicity on the buddhic plane.55 The fourth etheric plane holds the key to the dominance of matter, and it might be noted that:
    • On the fourth physical ether man begins to coordinate his astral, or emotional body, and to escape at ever more frequent intervals into that vehicle. Continuity of consciousness is achieved when a man has mastered the four ethers.
    • On the fourth subplane of the mental plane, man begins to control his causal or egoic body, and to polarize his consciousness therein until the polarization is complete. He functions then consciously on it when he has mastered the correspondences to the ethers on the mental plane.
    • On the buddhic plane (the fourth cosmic ether) the Heavenly Men (or the grouped consciousness of the human and deva Monads) begin to function, and to escape eventually from the cosmic etheric planes. When these three cosmic ethers are mastered, the functioning is perfected, polarization is centered in the monadic vehicles, and the seven Heavenly Men have achieved Their goal.
  7. On these etheric levels, therefore, the Logos of our [121] system repeats, as a grand totality, the experiences of His tiny reflections on the physical planes; He coordinates His cosmic astral body, and attains continuity of consciousness when He has mastered the three cosmic ethers.
  8. It is to be observed that just as in man the dense physical body in its three grades – dense, liquid and gaseous – is not recognized as a principle, so in the cosmic sense the physical (dense) astral (liquid) and mental (gaseous) levels are likewise regarded as non-existing, and the solar system has its location on the fourth ether. The seven sacred planets are composed of matter of this fourth ether, and the seven Heavenly Men, whose bodies they are, function normally on the fourth plane of the system, the buddhic or the fourth cosmic ether. When man has attained the consciousness of the buddhic plane, he has raised his consciousness to that of the Heavenly Man in whose body he is a cell. This is achieved at the fourth Initiation, the liberating initiation. At the fifth Initiation he ascends with the Heavenly Man on to the fifth plane (from the human standpoint), the atmic, and at the sixth he has dominated the second cosmic ether and has monadic consciousness and continuity of function. At the seventh Initiation he dominates the entire sphere of matter contained in the lowest cosmic plane, escapes from all etheric contact, and functions on the cosmic astral plane.

    The past solar system saw the surmounting of the three lowest cosmic physical planes viewed from the matter standpoint and the coordination of the dense threefold physical form in which all life is found, dense matter, liquid matter, gaseous matter. A correspondence may be seen here in the work achieved in the first three root-races.56, 57 [122]

56 Root-race. The Secret Doctrine teaches us that in this evolution or Round on this planet the Jivatma – the human soul – passes through seven main types or "root-races". In the case of the two earliest of these, known as the "Adamic" and the "Hyperborean," the forms ensouled were astral and etheric respectively: "huge and indefinite" they were with a low state or outward-going consciousness exercised through the one sense (hearing) possessed by the first race, or through the two senses (hearing and touch) possessed by the second. But with the third race the Lemurian, a denser and more human type was evolved, this being perfected in the fourth or Atlantean race. The fifth race, the Aryan, is now running its course on this globe concurrently with a large part of the fourth race and a few remnants of the third. For it must be noted that, although each race gives birth to the succeeding race, the two will overlap in time, coexisting for many ages. Of existing peoples the Tartars, Chinese, and Mongolians belong to the fourth race, the Australian aborigines and Hottentots to the third.

57 In the coordination of the Monadic, Atmic and Buddhic vehicles of the Heavenly Man, the vehicles of spiritual life, the higher esoteric correspondence to the prana flowing through the lower reflection, the etheric physical body, the point of synthesis is always on the atomic subplane, and the six merge and become the seventh. In this solar system the plane of synthesis is not included in the evolutionary scheme. It is the plane of gathering in and of pralaya. In the earlier system the fourth aetheric was in this position; it was to the evolving units of that period what the atomic plane is now, the highest point of achievement. The goal for all was the buddhic plane or the fourth cosmic ether. Three other planes are the goal now, – the buddhic, atmic and monadic, each time three planes and their eventual synthesis. In the future solar system the cosmic physical atomic ether (the plane of Adi in the system now) will be the starting point and the three planes to be dominated will be the three lowest cosmic astral planes. Man starts in where he leaves off, with cosmic physical matter perfected. His lowest body, therefore, will be the monadic or the body of the second cosmic ether. This will not be then counted as a principle any more than the threefold lower physical body of present day man is recognized as a principle.

The present solar system will see the surmounting of the three next cosmic physical planes, the fourth, third, and the second aethers, and the coordination of the cosmic etheric body.

C.IV.3. The Protective Purpose of the Etheric Body
Now let us, after this somewhat lengthy digression, leave things cosmic and incomprehensible, and come down to practical evolution, and to the study of the matter of man's etheric body, and of the harm that may ensue to him should that body (through the breaking of the law) no longer perform its protective function. Let us see first of all what those protective functions are:
  • First. The etheric web acts as a separator or a dividing web between the astral and the dense physical body.
  • Second. It circulates the inflowing vitality or pranic fluid and carries on its work in three stages.
The first stage is that wherein the pranic fluid and [123] solar radiations are received, and circulated three times around the triangle, thence being distributed to the periphery of the body, animating and vitalizing all the physical organs and conducing to the automatic subconscious workings of the body of dense matter. When perfectly accomplishing its object it protects from disease, and the ills of the flesh are unknown to the man who absorbs and distributes prana with accuracy. This hint is recommended to all physicians, and when properly comprehended, will result in a basic change in medicine, from a curative to a preventive foundation.
The second stage is that in which the pranic fluids begin to blend with the fire at the base of the spine and to drive that fire slowly upwards, transferring its heat from the centers below the solar plexus to the three higher centers – that of the heart, the throat and the head. This is a long and slow process when left to the unaided force of nature, but it is just here that (in a few cases) a quickening of the process is permitted in order to equip workers in the field of human service. This is the object of all occult training. This angle of the matter we will take up in still greater detail when we handle our next point of "Kundalini and the Spine."
The third stage is that in which active radiatory matter or prana is blended ever more perfectly with the fire latent in matter; this results (as will be brought out later) in certain effects.
It produces a quickening of the normal vibration of the physical body so that it responds with more readiness to the higher note of the Ego, and causes a steady rising of the blending fires through the threefold channel in the spinal column. In the second stage this vitalizing blended fire reaches a center between the lower part of the shoulder blades, which is the point of conjunction, and of complete merging, of the fire from the base of the [124] spine and the fire circulating along the pranic triangle. It will be remembered how one point of this triangle originates there. When the threefold basic fire and the threefold pranic fire meet and merge, then evolution proceeds with greatly increased velocity. This is effected definitely at the first Initiation when the polarization becomes fixed in one or other of the three higher centers – which center being dependent upon a man's ray.
The result of this merging leads to a change in the action of the centers. They become "wheels turning upon themselves," and from a purely rotary movement become fourth dimensional in action, and manifest as radiant whirling centers of living fire.
The three major head centers (the sequence varying according to ray) become active and a similar process is effected between them as was effected in the pranic triangle. From being three centers that react faintly to each other's vibratory movement (feeling the warmth and rhythm of each other, yet separated), the fire leaps from center to center, and each whirling wheel becomes linked by a chain of fire till there is a triangle of fire through which the kundalini and pranic fires radiate back and forth. Circulation is also carried on. The fire of kundalini produces the heat of the center, and its intense radiance and brilliance, while the pranic emanatory fire produces ever increasing activity and rotation.
As time elapses between the first and fourth Initiation, the threefold channel in the spine, and the entire etheric body is gradually cleansed and purified by the action of the fire till all "dross" (as the Christian expresses it) is burnt away, and naught remains to impede the progress of this flame.
As the fire of kundalini and prana proceed with their work, and the channel becomes more and more cleared, the centers more active, and the body purer, the flame [125] of spirit, or the fire from the Ego, comes more actively downwards till a flame of real brilliance issues from the top of the head. This flame surges upwards through the bodies towards its source, the causal body.
Simultaneously with the activity of these fires of matter and of Spirit, the fires of mind, or manas, burn with greater intensity. These are the fires given at individualization. They are fed continuously by the fire of matter, and their heat is augmented by solar emendatory fire, which originates on the cosmic levels of mind. It is this aspect of the manasic fire that develops under the forms of instinct, animal memory, and functional recollection which are so apparent in the little evolved man. As time progresses the fire of mind burns more brightly and thus reaches a point where it begins to burn through the etheric web – that portion of the web that can be found guarding the center at the very top of the head, and admitting entrance to the downflow from the Spirit. By its means certain things are brought about: The kundalini fire is consciously directed and controlled by the mind or will aspect from the mental plane. The two fires of matter by the power of the mind of man are blended first with each other, and, secondly, with the fire of mind.
The united result of this blending is the destruction (under rule and order), of the etheric web, and the consequent production of continuity of consciousness and the admission into the personal life of man of "Life more abundant," or the third fire of Spirit.
The downrush of Spirit, and the uprising of the inner fires of matter (controlled and directed by the conscious action of the fire of mind) produce corresponding results on the same levels on the astral and mental planes, so that a paralleling contact is brought about, and the great work of liberation proceeds in an ordered manner.
The three first initiations see these results perfected, [126] and lead to the fourth, where the intensity of the united fires results in the complete burning away of all barriers, and the liberation of the Spirit by conscious directed effort from out its threefold lower sheath. Man has consciously to bring about his own liberation. These results are self-induced by the man himself, as he is emancipated from the three worlds, and has broken the wheel of rebirth himself instead of being broken upon it.
It will be apparent from this elucidation that the exceeding importance of the etheric vehicle as the separator of the fires has been brought forward, and consequently we have brought to our notice the dangers that must ensue should man tamper injudiciously, ignorantly or wilfuly with these fires.
Should a man, by the power of will or through an over-development of the mental side of his character, acquire the power to blend these fires of matter and to drive them forward, he stands in danger of obsession, insanity, physical death, or of dire disease in some part of his body, and he also runs the risk of an over-development of the sex impulse through the driving of the force in an uneven manner upwards, or in forcing its radiation to undesirable centers. The reason of this is that the matter of his body is not pure enough to stand the uniting of the flames, that the channel up the spine is still clogged and blocked, and therefore acts as a barrier, turning the flame backwards and downwards, and that the flame (being united by the power of mind and not being accompanied by a simultaneous downflow from the plane of spirit), permits the entrance, through the burning etheric, of undesirable and extraneous forces, currents, and even entities. These wreck and tear and ruin what is left of the etheric vehicle, of the brain tissue and even of the dense physical body itself.
The unwary man, being unaware of his Ray and therefore of the proper geometrical form of triangle that is [127] the correct method of circulation from center to center, will drive the fire in unlawful progression and thus burn up tissue; this will result then (if in nothing worse), in a setting back for several lives of the clock of his progress, for he will have to spend much time in rebuilding where he destroyed, and with recapitulating on right lines all the work to be done.
58 Lost Souls. See Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 368; also S. D., I, 255, and S. D., III, 493, 513-516, 521, 525, 527.

59 See S. D., III, 523-529.

If a man persists from life to life in this line of action, if he neglects his spiritual development and concentrates on intellectual effort turned to the manipulation of matter for selfish ends, if he continues this in spite of the promptings of his inner self, and in spite of the warnings that may reach him from Those who watch, and if this is carried on for a long period he may bring upon himself a destruction that is final for this manvantara or cycle. He may, by the uniting of the two fires of matter and the dual expression of mental fire, succeed in the complete destruction of the physical permanent atom, and thereby sever his connection with the higher self for aeons of time. H. P. B. has somewhat touched on this when speaking of "lost souls";58, 59 we must here emphasize the reality of this dire disaster and sound a warning note to those who approach this subject of the fires of matter with all its latent dangers. The blending of these fires must be the result of spiritualized knowledge, and must be directed solely by the Light of the Spirit, who works through love and is love, and who seeks this unification and this utter merging not from the point of view of sense or of material gratification, but because liberation and purification is desired in order that the higher union with the Logos may be effected; this union must be desired, not for selfish ends, but because group perfection is the goal and scope for greater service to the race must be achieved. [128]
C.V. Death and the Etheric Body
It is not our purpose to give facts for verification by science, or even to point the way to the next step onward for scientific investigators; that we may do so is but incidental and purely secondary. What we seek mainly is to give indications of the development and correspondence of the threefold whole that makes the solar system what it is – the vehicle through which a great cosmic ENTITY, the solar Logos, manifests active intelligence with the purpose in view of demonstrating perfectly the love side of His nature. Back of this design lies a yet more esoteric and ulterior purpose, hid in the Will Consciousness of the Supreme Being, which perforce will be later demonstrated when the present objective is attained. The dual alternation of objective manifestation and of subjective obscuration, the periodic outbreathing, followed by the inbreathing of all that has been carried forward through evolution embodies in the system one of the basic cosmic vibrations, and the keynote of that cosmic ENTITY whose body we are. The heart beats of the Logos (if it might be so inadequately expressed) are the source of all cyclic evolution, and hence the importance attached to that aspect of development called the "heart" or "love aspect," and the interest that is awakened by the study of rhythm. This is true, not only cosmically and macrocosmically, but likewise in the study of the human unit. Underlying all the physical sense attached to rhythm, vibration, cycles and heartbeat, lie their subjective analogies – love, feeling, emotion, desire, harmony, synthesis and ordered sequence, – and back of these analogies lies the source of all, the identity of that Supreme Being Who thus expresses Himself.
Therefore, the study of pralaya, or the withdrawal of the life from out of the etheric vehicle will be the same [129] whether one studies the withdrawal of the human etheric double, the withdrawal of the planetary etheric double, or the withdrawal of the etheric double of the solar system. The effect is the same and the consequences similar.
What is the result of this withdrawal, or rather what causes that something which we call death or pralaya? As we are strictly pursuing the textbook style in this treatise, we will continue our methods of tabulation. The withdrawal of the etheric double of a man, a planet, and a system is brought about by the following causes:
a. The cessation of desire. This should be the result of all evolutionary process. True death, under the law, is brought about by the attainment of the objective, and hence by the cessation of aspiration. This, as the perfected cycle draws to its close, will be true of the individual human being, of the Heavenly Man, and of the Logos Himself.
b. By the slowing down and gradual cessation of the cyclic rhythm, the adequate vibration is achieved, and the work accomplished. When the vibration or note is perfectly felt or sounded it causes (at the point of synthesis with other vibrations) the utter shattering of the forms.
Motion is characterized, as we know, by three qualities:
  1. Inertia,
  2. Mobility,
  3. Rhythm.
These three are experienced in just the above sequence and presuppose a period of slow activity, succeeded by one of extreme movement. This middle period produces incidentally (as the true note and rate is sought) cycles of chaos, of experiment, of experience and of comprehension. Following on these two degrees of motion (which are characteristic of the atom, Man, of the Heavenly Man [130] or group, and of the Logos or the Totality) comes a period of rhythm and of stabilization wherein the point of balance is achieved. By the force of balancing the pairs of opposites, and thus producing equilibrium, pralaya is the inevitable sequence.
c. By the severing of the physical from the subtler body on the inner planes, through the shattering of the web. This has a threefold effect:
First. The life that had animated the physical form (both dense and etheric) and which had its starting point in the permanent atom and from thence "pervaded the moving and the unmoving" (in God, the Heavenly Man, and the human being, as well as in the atom of matter) is withdrawn entirely within the atom upon the plane of abstraction. This "plane of abstraction" is a different one for the entities involved:
  1. For the physical permanent atom, it is the atomic level.
  2. For man, it is the causal vehicle.
  3. For the Heavenly Man, it is the second plane of monadic life, His habitat.
  4. For the Logos, it is the plane of Adi.
All these mark the points for the disappearance of the unit into pralaya. We need here to remember that it is always pralaya when viewed from below. From the higher vision, that sees the subtler continuously over-shadowing the dense when not in objective manifestation, pralaya is simply subjectivity, and is not that "which is not," but simply that which is esoteric.
Second. The etheric double of a man, a planetary Logos, and a solar Logos, being shattered, becomes non-polarized as regards its indweller, and permits therefore of escape. It is (to word it otherwise) no longer a source of attraction, nor a focal magnetic point. It becomes non-magnetic, and the great Law of Attraction ceases to [131] control it; hence disintegration is the ensuing condition of the form. The Ego ceases to be attracted by its form on the physical plane, and, proceeding to inbreathe, withdraws its life from out of the sheath. The cycle draws to a close, the experiment has been made, the objective (a relative one from life to life and from incarnation to incarnation) has been achieved, and there remains nothing more to desire; the Ego, or the thinking entity, loses interest therefore in the form, and turns his attention inward. His polarization changes, and the physical is eventually dropped.
The planetary Logos likewise in His greater cycle (the synthesis or the aggregate of the tiny cycles of the cells of His body) pursues the same course; He ceases to be attracted downward or outward, and turns His gaze within; He gathers inward the aggregate of the smaller lives within His body, the planet, and severs connection. Outer attraction ceases and all gravitates towards the center instead of scattering to the periphery of His body.
In the system, the same process is followed by the solar Logos; from His high place of abstraction, He ceases to be attracted by His body of manifestation. He withdraws His interest and the two pairs of opposites, the spirit and the matter of the vehicle, dissociate. With this dissociation the solar system, that "Son of Necessity," or of desire, ceases to be, and passes out of objective existence.
Third. This leads finally, to the scattering of the atoms of the etheric body into their primordial condition. The subjective life, the synthesis of will and love taking active form, is withdrawn. The partnership is dissolved. The form then breaks up; the magnetism that has held it in coherent shape is no longer present, and dissipation is complete. Matter persists, but the form no longer persists.
The work of the second Logos ends, and the divine [132] incarnation of the Son is concluded. But the faculty or inherent quality of matter also persists, and at the end of each period of manifestation, matter (though distributed again into its primal form) is active intelligent matter plus the gain of objectivity, and the increased radiatory and latent activity which it has gained through experience. Let us illustrate: The matter of the solar system, when undifferentiated, was active intelligent matter, and that is all that can be predicated of it. This active intelligent matter was matter qualified by an earlier experience, and colored by an earlier incarnation. Now this matter is in form, the solar system is not in pralaya but in objectivity, – this objectivity having in view the addition of another quality to the logoic content, that of love and wisdom. Therefore at the next solar pralaya, at the close of the one hundred years of Brahma, the matter of the solar system will be colored by active intelligence, and by active love. This means literally that the aggregate of solar atomic matter will eventually vibrate to another key than it did at the first dawn of manifestation.
We can work this out in connection with the planetary Logos and the human unit, for the analogy holds good. We have a correspondence on a tiny scale in the fact that each human life period sees a man taking a more evolved physical body of a greater responsiveness, tuned to a higher key, of more adequate refinement, and vibrating to a different measure. In these three thoughts lies much information, if they are carefully studied and logically extended.