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Series IV:
(Knowledge Essential to Contemporary Esotericism)

Study Set 1:

The Three Periodic Vehicles


Seed Thought and Reading Assignment
Written Work to be Completed
Letter from the Teaching Staff
The Inner Constitution of Man
The Three Periodic Vehicles
The Egoic Lotus
Personality Defined
The Diverse Sounds of the Whole Man

The "Rules of the Road" comprise the twelve seed-thoughts for this year's meditation. The Tibetan writes of these rules: "They are imposed by the conditions of the Path itself; they carry the warrant of a man's own soul and are the result of the experience of millions of travelers upon that Path."  

Seed Thought

The Road is trodden in the full light of day, thrown upon the Path by those Who know and lead. Naught can then be hidden, and at each turn, a man must face himself.  

Reading Assignment:

    Vol. One: Esoteric Psychology 1:  pages: 3-22, 28-44, 53-62, 129-132, 157-162
    Vol. Two: Esoteric Psychology 2:  pages: 3-8, 259-270, 283-290


1) Spiritual creativity has been defined as bringing something good or something needed into one's environment that has not been there before.

Q) How does one bring tranquility into one's environment?

2) Occult reticence is an important aspect of esoteric training.

Q) What does occult reticence mean to you? (Please give your own ideas in your own words rather than quoting from anything you have read.)

Q) Why is occult reticence important?

Q) In what way would the practice of occult reticence bring beauty and harmony to your daily life?

3) We are taught that impersonality will be a salient characteristic of the next world period.

Q) Do you see a growing trend toward impersonal love?

Q) If you do, how do you feel about it?

Dear Fellow Student,

As we travel the Way of Group Progress together, this fact becomes increasingly clear: -- no matter where we go our inner lives go with us. We know that man functions in a dual environment, one external, the other internal. The external environment is made up of the outer world with its problems and attachments. The internal environment is a compound of instincts, impulses, emotions, thoughts and ideals. Our daily life is an interplay of these often-in-conflict seldom-under-control internal and external factors.

Regardless of whether or not the idea is appealing, there is little hope that the average person will be successful in dominating the conditions of his external environment. However, there is every reason to believe that he can master the state of affairs within himself. And by the wise governing of his inner life he may hope to eventually achieve liberation from the ever-encroaching pressures of daily living which threaten to destroy the last remnants of his peace of mind.

As individuals we respond to varying levels and types of pressure. External pressure is usually related to worldly problems of home, family, business and friends. The diverse elements within each man's sphere of influence make sometimes exhausting, often competitive demands upon his resources of time, skill and energy. As the demands increase, the feeling of pressure rises.

Internal pressure is of two kinds. One arises from a lack of proper mental and emotional direction. If one's attitudes are unreasonable, and emotions are uncontrolled, the individual is susceptible to an internal condition made up of a discordant clamour: physical urges, insistent ideas, ideals, ambition, aspiration, plus erratic fluctuations of happy and unpleasant feeling states -- all crowding for expression into word or deed; and in addition, in the midst of the other voices, the Voice of Conscience and the Call of the Soul.

While both internal and external pressures are all too common in the daily experience of the average person, not all are to be considered valid or desirable. True, they are part of an inevitable personality re action to its inherent inadequacy at a certain stage of growth. But many pressures that plague us are not to be indulged, encouraged, or in any way sustained. They are to be outgrown.

The only valid pressure within man is the natural pressure to grow in spiritual stature. This pressure is a foreordained, divinely planned urge toward universal maturity. This pressure is the working of the Law of Life. It is the spiritual will of the Soul motivating the personality instrument to fulfill its proper role in the evolution of the human race. It is an impersonal pressure. It does not seek to satisfy the arbitrary demands of man's mental, emotional, or physical equipment, but instead aims to further integrate that equipment, making it a fit tool for the purposes of the indwelling Soul.

A little quiet retrospection will clearly indicate to the sincere student of Life the need for further exploration into the resources of his own inner being. What he seeks is not to create an inner life, but to further reveal the inner life that is already there. He realizes his need for a long range program which will structure a solid foundation for the building of his inner strength and stability and the revealing of his inner divinity.

At the nucleus of such a long range program stand three major disciplines: meditation, study and service. In Series IV, THE FABRIC OF LIFE, we shall strive to deepen the student's meditative experience, to present a more comprehensive study program, and to enhance the student's ability to be spiritually discriminating in his service endeavors. As the title indicates, we shall engage in a careful study of the inner composition of life. We shall analyze the arrangement and the interrelation of all of the parts which make up the dynamic whole of Consciousness. A thorough understanding of this structural knowledge is essential to our efforts to comprehend the nature of those energies which condition man and which manifest through him to re-create his world. The study work will deal with planetary energies as well as extra planetary sources of energy.

The study set subjects to be studied are as follows:
    1 The Periodic Vehicles (Monad, Soul, Personality)
    2 The Etheric Body
    3 The Emotional Body
    4 The Mental Body
    5 The Seven Energy Centers
    6 The Major Septenaries of Life
    7 The Five Senses and Lower and Higher Psychism
    8 The Sun's Passage Through Zodiacal Signs
    9 The Seven Ray Energies
  10 More On the Seven Rays
  11 More On the Seven Rays
  12 Summary and Evaluation

Careful emphasis, as always, will be placed upon the importance of keeping the daily disciplines. An individual venturing inward must in living faith devote part of each day to attuning his inner ear to instruction in the Laws of the Soul.

The man in search of his Soul begins with a willingness to learn. The first thing he learns is how to achieve a certain measure of quietude. He learns to relax the body, to calm the emotions, and to focus the mind upon an assigned meditation outline. During his daily period of meditation he gives his whole attention to the meditation work assigned. Even during periods of personal difficulty or personal crisis, he does not permit his personal problems to intrude upon the meditation work.

(For some students, this is not an easy lesson. Some students try to bring their personal problems into the meditation, hoping thereby to solve the problems. Instead, they only further energize and perpetuate the states of mind that led to the problems in the first place.)

Practicing this quieting, aligning, detaching exercise day after day, he gradually strengthens the communicating signal of that stream of energy which connects the Higher Self with the lower self. He establishes a clear and powerful energy relay system between the Soul, which is transmitting spiritual ideas, and Its receiving triple instrument, the personality.

During meditation the interplay between the positive, high tension, light energy of Soul consciousness and the negative, low tension, dense energy of the personality has a refining, up-lifting, and stabilizing effect upon the three lower bodies (the lower mental, the emotional, and the physical). Using the carefully strengthened transmission line, the Soul slowly infuses Its dynamic energy into the purified vehicles, thereby giving the personality a magnetic quality.

The Soul infused person then knows himself to be a Soul, and consciously uses Soul energy in the service of all of life. He is more loving, because the energy of Soul consciousness is Love; more enlightened, because the energy of Soul consciousness is Light; and more effective, because the energy of Soul consciousness is Power. He becomes wise as the Soul is wise; he then applies to the rightful duties of each day the wise judgment and calm loving understanding of the Soul who has seen aeons of living and has known so much of human nature.

As a result of this gradual increase of inner awareness the individual is able to see more clearly, and to better define, the different levels of pressure to which he is responding. He distinguishes useful motivation from harmful chaos. With the aid of the Soul's Love, Light and Power, he is able to relax away from external pressure, and to transmute negative internal pressure into problem-solving energy.

The Soul oriented person learns not to permit his mind to dwell overly long upon immediate problems of success or failure. He is more concerned with understanding Universal Laws and revealing the eternal values within his own nature. He voluntarily accepts part of the world's unfinished business as his own. He becomes responsible for some constructive work from which he, as an individual, has nothing to gain -- except, perhaps, an even greater capacity for work. Doing the Soul's work begins to absorb and condition his life.

Please note, we said his life. Unfolded Soul consciousness is not the reward of some snap course in the mechanics of metaphysical magic. It is the natural result of many years and lifetimes of honest and intelligent spiritual effort. Esotericism is for thinking people, and the thoughtful person realizes that there is no such thing as an Instant Illuminatus.

There are only endless groups of living souls sequentially, steadily, and inevitably moving up along the spiral path of expanding consciousness. Therefore, dear group brother, we bid you,

Grow in peace.
The Staff of ARCANA


The constitution of man is basically threefold, as follows:

I. The Monad, or pure Spirit, the Father in Heaven.
    This aspect reflects the three aspects of the Godhead:

1. Will or Power..................................The Father
2. Love-wisdom...................................The Son
3. Active Intelligence..........................The Holy Spirit  

and is only contacted at the final initiations, when man is nearing the end of his journey and is perfected. The Monad reflects itself again in 

II. The Ego, Higher Self, Individuality, or Soul.
   This aspect is potentially:

1. Spiritual Will...................................Atma
2. Intuition......................Buddhi, Love-Wisdom, (the Christ Principle)
3. Higher or abstract Mind.................Higher Manas  

The Ego begins to make its power felt in advanced man, and increasingly on the Probationary Path until by the third initiation the control of the lower self by the higher is perfected, and the highest aspect begins to make its energy felt.

The Ego reflects itself in  

III. The Personality, or Lower Self.
    This aspect is also threefold:

1. A mental body..........................lower manas
2. An emotional body....................astral body
3. A physical body........................the dense physical and the etheric body. 

The aim of evolution is therefore to bring man to the realization of the Egoic aspect and to bring the lower nature under its control. 



Man, in essential essence, is the higher triad [Spiritual Will, Intuitive Perception, and Abstract Mind] demonstrating through a gradually evolving-form, the egoic or causal body, and utilising the lower threefold personality [mental, emotional, and physical bodies] as a means to contact the lower three planes. All this has for purpose the development of perfect self-consciousness. Above the triad stands the Monad or the Father in Heaven -- a point of abstraction to man as he views the subject from the physical plane. The Monad stands to him in the position of the Absolute, in the same sense as the undifferentiated Logos stands to the threefold Trinity, to the three Persons of logoic manifestation. The parallel is exact.  

The threefold lower nature is in essence a quaternary -- the etheric vehicle, animating life or prana, kama-manas, and lower mind. Manas [mind] or the fifth principle, forms the link between the lower and the higher.  

We have, therefore, our lower four, our higher three, and the relation between them, the principle of mind. Here we have the seven formed by the union of the three and the four, and another factor, making eight. The ultimate seven will be seen when buddhi and manas are merged. Much has been hinted at in certain of out occult books about the eighth sphere. I would suggest that in this linking factor of intelligent mind, we have a clue to the mystery. When mind becomes unduly developed and ceases to unite the higher and the lower, it forms a sphere of its own. This is the greatest disaster that can overtake the human unit.

Therefore we have:

Monad, the microcosmic absolute.

Pure Spirit.
The one and only.  

The monadic trinity.

First aspect....................Atma or spiritual will.
Second aspect................Buddhi, the Christ principle.
Third aspect....................Manas, or higher mind.  

The Son aspect in objectivity.

The body egoic or causal body (Egoic Lotus).  

The lower quaternary.

1. The mental body.
2. The astral or emotional body,
3. Prana, or vital energy.
4. Etheric body.  



Let us picture the nine-petalled egoic lotus, the heart centre in the monadic consciousness, unfolding each of its petals in groups of three upon the three planes of the higher mental. Their unfoldment is worked out through the evolutionary process, undergone on the three planes in the three Worlds, or within the three Halls of Ignorance, of Learning, and of Wisdom.

a. First Group of Petals -- Knowledge Petals:

1. The Petal of Knowledge for the physical plane. Through the breaking of the Law and the ensuing suffering the price of ignorance is paid and knowledge is achieved. This unfoldment is brought about through physical plane experience.

2. The Petal of Love for the physical plane. Unfolds through physical relationships, and the gradual growth of love from love of self to love of others.

3. The Petal of Sacrifice for the physical plane. This unfoldment is brought about through the driving force of circumstances, and not of free will. It is the offering up of the physical body upon the altar of desire -- low desire to begin with, but aspiration towards the end, though still desire. As man in the early stages of his evolution is polarised on the physical, much of this is undergone unconsciously and without any realisation of what is being consummated, but the result in the causal body is seen in a twofold increase of heat or of activity:

The physical permanent atom becomes radio-active or a radiant point of fire.

The lower three petals become vibrant and begin to unfold until fully developed.

b. Second Group of Petals -- Love Petals:

1. The Petal of Knowledge, for the astral plane; unfoldment is brought about by the conscious balancing of the pairs of opposites, and the gradual utilisation of the Law of Attraction and Repulsion. The man passes out of the Hall of Ignorance where, from the egoic point of view, he works blindly and begins to appreciate the effects of his physical plane life; by a realisation of his essential duality he begins to comprehend causes.

2. The Petal of Love for the astral plane; unfoldment is brought about through the process of gradually transmuting the love of the subjective nature or of the Self within. This has a dual effect and works through on to the physical plane in many lives of turmoil, of endeavor and of failure as a man strives to turn his attention to the love of the Real.

3. The Petal of Sacrifice for the astral plane; unfoldment is brought about by the attitude of man as he consciously endeavors to give up his own desires for the sake of his group. His motive is still somewhat a blind one, and still coloured by the desire for a return of that which he gives and for love from those he seeks to serve, but it is of a much higher order than the blind sacrifice to which a man is driven by circumstances as is the case in the earlier unfoldment. As this threefold enlightenment or unfoldment proceeds, again a dual result is seen:

The astral permanent atom comes into full activity and radiance, as regards five of its spirillae, and the two atoms of the physical and astral planes are equally vibrant.

The three petals of the central ring of the egoic lotus come also into full unfoldment, and the heart center of the Monad is seen as a wheel of fire with six of its spokes in full display of energy and rapidly rotating.

c. Third Group of Petals -- Sacrifice Petals:

1. The Petal of Knowledge for the mental plane; its unfoldment marks the period wherein the man consciously utilises all that he has gained or is gaining under the law for the definite-benefit of humanity.
    Each of the groups of petals is distinguished by a predominant colouring; Knowledge, on the physical plane, with the colouring of the other two subsidiary; Love, on the astral plane, with the light of sacrifice weaker in tone than the other two, which practically show forth in equal brilliancy. On the mental plane, the light of sacrifice comes to its full display, and all that is seen is coloured by that light.

2. The Petal of Love on the mental plane is unfolded through the conscious steady application of all the powers of the soul to the service of humanity with no thought of return nor any desire for reward for the immense sacrifice involved.

3. The Petal of Sacrifice for the mental plane; demonstrates as the predominant bias of the soul as seen in a series of many lives spent by the initiate prior to his final emancipation. He becomes in his sphere the "Great Sacrifice." This stage can be seen objectively to the eye of the clairvoyant as dual in effect:

a. The mental unit becomes a radiant point of light; its four spirillae transmit force with intense rapidity.

b. The three higher petals unfold, and the nine-petalled lotus is seen perfected.

The causal body is then (expressed in terms of fire) a blazing center of heat, radiating to its group warmth and vitality....... When the fire of matter, of "fire by friction," becomes sufficiently intense; when the fire of mind, of solar fire (which vitalises the nine petals), becomes equally fierce, and when the electric spark at the innermost center blazes out and can be seen, the entire causal body becomes radioactive. Then the fires of substance (the vitality of the permanent atoms) escape from the atomic spheres, and add their quota to the great sphere in which they are contained; the fire of mind blends with the emanating source, and the central life escapes. This is the great liberation. The man, in terms of human endeavor, has achieved his goal. He has passed through the three Halls and in each has transferred that which he gained therein to the content of his consciousness; he has in ordered sequence developed and opened the petals of the lotus -- first opening the lower three, which involves a process covering a vast period of time. Then the second series of petals are opened, during a period of time covering his participation intelligently in world affairs until he enters the spiritual kingdom at the first Initiation; and a final and briefer period wherein the three higher or inner ring of petals are developed and opened.

I would request the student to bear the following points in mind:

First. That the order of the development of the petals and the stimulation of the fires depends upon the Ray of the Monad, and the subray upon which the causal body finds itself. This thought would bear expansion, and would prove a fruitful source of study to the occult investigator.

Second. That this unfoldment proceeds slowly in the early stages, and only proceeds with rapidity as the man himself works at it with conscious effort.

The Ego takes no active interest in the development until the second petal in the second series is beginning to open. Before that time, the work proceeds under the law of its being and through the inherent life of the second Logos which is the life of the petals of the lotus. The life of the first Logos, working through the SELF (who dwells in a form built by the life of energy of the second Logos out of force-substance animated by the Life of the third Logos) only responds to opportunity when the above mentioned stage is reached.

Finally: The ceremony of initiation is only undergone when the causal body is in a condition to respond to the Will aspect of the Heavenly Man (the first aspect) and to do this through the glad co-operation of the fully conscious self.

The causal body [egoic lotus] has been seen as a wheel of fire, containing within its periphery three focal points of energy, the permanent atoms. They are analogous, as earlier pointed out, to the seventh principle of each of the three aspects -- will or power, love-wisdom, and active intelligence.

All three lines of evolution are proceeding simultaneously, and have a reflex action the one upon the other; it is this which produces the consequent perfection of unfoldment. It is neither possible nor desirable to follow each line of this threefold evolution separately, nor to consider them as dissociated from each other. The interplay is too accurate, and the mutual stimulation too important to be neglected by the student of egoic evolution.

It is, as stated elsewhere, through the permanent atoms that the Ego comes en rapport with its objective world; he works upon and through his environment successfully or blindly just in so far as he can energise his permanent atoms and bring the spirillae out of latency into potency. This only becomes possible as he unfolds the petals of the lotus.

It would be wise to sound a note of warning here in connection with this question of egoic unfoldment. What has been said here has been but the formulation of the general plan of egoic unfoldment as interpreted in terms of consciousness or fire. In studying the subject with due personal application the student should bear in mind the following facts:

First, that according to the Ray of the Monad, so will the petals unfold. For instance, if the Ray of the Monad is the second Ray, the knowledge petals will be the first to open, but the second petal of love will almost parallel its development, being for that particular type of Ego the line of easiest unfoldment; the knowledge petal will be for it the most difficult to open.

Second, that the effect of one circle of petals opening will be felt within the next circle at an early stage and will cause a vibratory response, hence the greater rapidity of the later stages of unfoldment as compared with the first.

Third, that there exist many cases of uneven or unequal unfoldment. Quite frequently people are found with perhaps two petals unfolded in the first circle and one still in latency, while a petal within the central or second ring may be in full development. This is the explanation frequently of the power in service along certain lines displayed by some, coupled with a comparatively low stage of development or of consciousness (egoically speaking)..... Every egoic unit or monadic force center has a definite effect upon the group or community of Egos in which it may have a place, and as the interaction proceeds results are sometimes produced of a temporarily unexpected nature.

.....This whole subject is of interest in that it is the next step ahead for the student of occult psychology. Much will be eventually ascertained which will throw new light upon the possibility of work upon the physical plane for man. The whole secret of success in any endeavor or enterprise is primarily based on two things:

First, the ability of the Ego to work through the personality, using it simply as the medium of expression.

Second, the karma of the egoic group as it becomes more apparent on the physical plane. Hitherto, much has been said and taught about individual karma. Group karma in the future will slowly assume its rightful place in the thought of students, and this will lead to more intelligent cooperation, to a more sympathetic understanding of group responsibilities, and to a more adequate solution of group problems.

COSMIC FIRE, pages 539-547


All forms, in themselves, are not expressions of a personality. To warrant the term, three types of energy must be present, -- three types, fused, blended and coordinated into one functioning organism. A personality is therefore a blend of mental energy, of emotional energy and of vital force, and these three are masked, hidden or revealed (note this terminology) by an outer shell or form of dense physical matter. This outer crust is in itself a form of negative energy. The result of this union of three energies in an objective form is self-consciousness. Their fusion produces that sense of individuality, which justifies the use of the word 'I', and which relates all occurrences to a self. Where this central conscious entity exists, utilising the mind, reacting sensuously through the emotional body, and energising the dense physical (via the vital body) then one has a personality. It is self-conscious existence in form. It is awareness of identity in relation to other identities, and this is equally true of God or man. It is a sense of identity, however, which persists only during the creative process, and for as long as the matter aspect and the consciousness aspect present the eternal duality of nature.

Personality is that state of awareness which has its conditioning factor in the mind stuff, but this can be transcended when that mind stuff no longer controls. As the individual mind stuff is an integral part of the Universal Mind, and as the principle of mind is inherent in all forms, the sense of individuality and of self-awareness is always eternally possible. In the higher states of consciousness, it is however, eventually relegated to a subordinate position.

For us there is the achieving of personality, or of a full registration or awareness of the indwelling self; there lies then the utilisation of that personality, and its sacrifice eventually to group good, with a consequent merging of the self in the one Self and the fusion of the individual soul (consciously and willingly) in the Oversoul.  

'I am' -- the cry of every human being. 'I am that' -- the cry of every personality, who realises his selfhood and uses his personality in order to express the will of the indwelling entity, the true person. 'I am that I am' -- the cry of the individual soul as it is lost in the whole and realises its oneness with the soul or self of all.

The characteristics of the individual who is beginning to function as a personality might be briefly enumerated as follows. They are simple and clear and preeminently selfish. Let it not be forgotten that the primitive step on the way to selfhood of necessity is selfishness. Let it be equally well remembered that the prime hindrance to the advanced and highly evolved personality is selfhood, or the prolongation of the selfish attitude. The characteristics therefore are in their sequential development as follows:

1. The ability to say I am, I wish, I desire, I will.

2. The consciousness of being in the centre of one's tiny universe. "Around me the Heavens move and the stars in their courses revolve" is the motto of this stage.

3. The sense of drama and the capacity to visualise oneself as the centre of one's environment.

4. The sense of responsibility and the aptitude to regard the surrounding members of the human family as dependent upon one.

5. The sense of importance -- the outgrowth of the above.
This demonstrates in power and influence where there is a real and steadily awakening entity behind the 'persona', and in braggadocio and bombast where a small selfish creature functions.

6. The power to use the entire equipment so that the mind and brain function synchronously and the emotional nature is thereby subordinated, inhibited or controlled. This involves the steady growth of the power to use thought.

7. Capacity to live a coordinated life so that the entire man functions and is guided by purpose (expressing the energy of will), by desire (expressing the energy of the emotional or psychic nature), and by vitality which swings the physical vehicle into line with purpose and desire.

8. Power to influence, sway, guide and hold others within the range of individual purpose and desire.

When this stage has been reached the three energies which constitute a personality have been successfully fused and merged and the mechanism or instrument of the indwelling self is a usable and valuable asset. The man is a potent personality and becomes the centre of a group; he finds himself to be a focal point for other lives, and is an influential magnetic individual, swaying others, coordinating human units into groups, and organisms. He becomes the head of organizations and of parties, of religious and political bodies and of nations in some cases. Thus do the dominant personalities come into being and find themselves; they discover thus the distinction between the centre of power, the self, and the equipment; they finally become conscious of vocation in the truest sense of the term.



The Physical Body says I AM CONTENT:

to be comfortable
to eat and drink and eat and drink and eat and
to loaf
to take my time
to read; watch TV
to exercise
- for fun
- to relieve boredom
to perpetuate my family and my kind
to increase my family and my kind

The Emotional Body says I WANT:

a Cadillac and things and things and things and
to be liked
to be loved
to be praised
to be noticed
to be thrilled
to be extraordinary
to be nervous
to be excited
to be irregular
to be mysterious
to fluctuate drastically
to be vague and elusive
    -food - highly seasoned
    -drink - ice cold or burning hot
    -hilarious happiness
    -depth of despair
    -religious ecstasy
    -"dark night of the soul"
    -strong likes and dislikes
    -dramatic overstatement
    -intense color
    - in clothes
    -in speech
    -in manner
    -in decor

The Mental Body says I INTEND:

to know
to learn
to understand
to analyze
to penetrate beneath the surface
to prove and disprove
to compare
to clarify
to organize
to explore
to invent
to experiment
to elucidate
to rationalize

The Personality says I AM COMPULSIVELY MOVED:

to excel
to compete
to assert
to express
to dominate
to impress
to coordinate
to organize
to integrate

The Soul says I REJOICE:

in fellowship
in give-and-take
in another's welfare
in another's progress
in multiple interplay (group experience)
in cleanliness
in order
in creativity
in cooperation
in rhythm
in light
in betterment
in "the world of meaning"
in significant relationships, i.e.:
spirit - matter
cause - effect
plan - action
guidance - program
etc. - etc.

The Monad says I WILL:

to be
to love
to manifest
to sacrifice
to energize
to initiate
to fulfill
to complete
to perpetuate


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