THE FABRIC OF LIFE
Study Set 3
THE EMOTIONAL BODY
Written Work to be Completed and Mailed
Letter from the Teaching Staff
The Astral Plane
The Astral Body
The Refining of the Emotional Body
The Importance of Emotional Control
Solar and Lunar Pitris
The Function of the Agnisuryan
Upon that Road one wanders not alone. There is no rush, no hurry. And yet there is no time to lose. Each Pilgrim, knowing this, presses his footsteps forward, and finds himself surrounded by his fellowman.
SEVEN RAYS II, pages 401-448
WRITTEN WORK TO BE COMPLETED
1.) Many devout people separate their religious practices from their daily living. To them the sacraments of the church and the doctrine of their religious faith have little connection with the activities and affairs of their daily lives.
For the serious esoteric student, what is the relationship between meditation and the daily life?
2.) The average person thinks of service as doing good on the physical plane; but physical plane expression is only a small part of mans life. Occult students realize that the emotional plane and the mental plane and the higher spiritual planes are also part of his life.
What constitutes service on the emotional plane? What constitutes service on the mental plane? How many ways can you think of serving on the mental plane?
3.) On which plane do you think are servers most needed:
a. On the emotional plane?
b. On the mental plane?
4.) Is it possible to serve on more than one plane at the same time?
If you think it is possible give some examples.
Dear Fellow Meditator:
A most important part of the meditation work you are doing, is learning to work with the Seed Thought. Correct use of a wisely assigned Seed Thought, is a technique of revelation.
All Seed Thoughts are drops of Hierarchical energy. We might compare them to drops of water from the ocean. If we analyze a drop of sea water, the composition or content of sea water will be revealed to us. In much the same way a Seed Thought can reveal to us the quality of Hierarchical thinking. Through deeper and deeper penetration of the Seed Thought we learn more and more about the Ideas that abound in the fifth kingdom of Souls, the dwelling place of Hierarchical consciousness. Through working on the content of the Seed Thought itself, we touch the heart of Hierarchy.
Revelation is already contained in the Seed Thought. Therefore our effort in meditation will be concerned only with the right use of our meditative tool, the mind. We first use the mind to call into recognition all knowledge that we have stored in the brain concerning the Seed Thought. We review everything we have heard about the subject or idea indicated by the Seed Thought. Then, when this familiar information has been reviewed and digested, we move on. By palling into use deeper layers of mind, we uncover the deeper meaning and the significance of the Seed Thought. This deepening and revelation will not in any way be irrelevant to the Seed Thought. The deeper meaning and the possible revelation were implanted in the Seed Thought at the moment of its creation. So we see that by strictly holding our attention on the Seed Thought, Hierarchical thinking can be revealed to us.
There are several ways that we can be distracted from the subject matter of the Seed Thought. For instance, we might activate our spiritual wish-life. By spiritual wish-life we mean high aspirations such as a longing to serve the Master or a surging sense of the universality of all mankind or a recognition of ones part in the pageant of life. Aspiration is a lovely and wonderful part of us, but it is not the same as reaching (in consciousness) the level of Hierarchical thinking.
Another way of straying from the Seed Thought is to be reminded of something else by a single word or phrase in the Seed Thought and to start pursuing that line of thought. In this way one could wander quite far off from the original premise. No matter how spiritually worthy these thoughts are, they are of no value in meditation because they are removed from the center of focus of the basic Seed Thought.
There is a third obstacle to reaching a meaningful awareness of the Master's thinking. This obstacle is a super-abundance of ideas about the Seed Thought. When we have too many thoughts pouring in at one time, we are not able to pursue any of them to a suitable depth. We are likely to move upon the surface of the mind and not develop the penetrating focus which is necessary in order to gain a clarification of the specific idea contained in the Seed Thought. We must learn to make a carefully discriminating selection of one thought at a time and try to make thorough use of it.
We have to meet Hierarchy on Their own ground, since a master mind formulated the Seed Thought (assigned Seed Thoughts are selected from the stream of hierarchical teaching) it is through penetrating the meaning of the Seed Thought that we begin to understand Their ideas.
In order to find out what Hierarchy is thinking about, it is necessary to slow down and control the motions of the lower mind so that it can become a receptacle for Hierarchical or Soul ideas. The mind should learn to reflect the Soul's view of the Seed Thought (this is the same as the Hierarchy's view). Proof or evidence of our ability to do so shows in our daily life by our willingness to listen to other people and our attentiveness and receptivity to teaching. We listen more and we speak with fewer words and we speak less often.
An age old habit of mind is trying to out-think the Soul (not listen to the Soul). Mind is always active, always busy, always moving. We have to develop sufficient control of this mobile mental substance, so that it can be impressed with the content of the Soul's meditation. Therefore, we persistently hold the mind on the content and meaning of the Seed Thought, refusing to let in any ideas that are not directly concerned with the meaning of the Seed Thought.
When we as a group have so trained our minds that they accurately reflect Hierarchical ideas, then we will be of use as a Powerful force for good in this rapidly changing world. Until we do so, we will be hampering all ongoing effort by the scattered, fragmentary nature of our thinking. Forward motion is always arrow like; it is pointed, directed, focussed. Arrows are clean and trim; they have no excess material clinging to them. Our thinking must become like the symbol of the arrow. It must be aimed receptively at Hierarchy; later it must be aimed creatively at community problems; it must be free of irrelevant matter; it must not veer from its path. It is through precise use of the Seed Thought that we will reach our goal.
The call is going out to all who can respond, "Tighten, refine, turn inward so the outer need may be answered in time".
Toward clearer thinking,
The Staff of ARCANA
THE ASTRAL PLANE
You will recall that in page 1 of section (e) in SS 2 it was mentioned that H.B.P. used the term "astral body" to mean "etheric body" because she realized that at that time the etheric body of the average individual was mainly animated by astral energy.
However, mankind is making rapid progress in developing and using the mind; and the average intelligent person is now applying an increasing measure of thoughtfulness to his daily life -- which means that his etheric body acts as the conveyor and transmitter of thought as well as emotion and physical vitality. So in our papers, the term astral does not refer to the etheric body or to the etheric subplanes of the physical plane. By astral body we mean man's body of desire, his emotional nature. By astral plane we mean the 6th plane, the plane of desire and emotion which is made up of matter less dense than physical and more dense than mental. Thus in the relation of matter, the astral plane lies between the physical and mental planes.
Commentary by the Staff
The astral plane is the plane whereon the man passes through three stages of consciousness:
a. He gains, through his sensory apparatus, consciousness in the world of forms, and develops ability to re-act to those forms with wisdom and intelligence. This consciousness he shares with the animal world, though he goes far beyond them in some respects, owing to his possession of a correlating and co-ordinating mind.
b. Sensitivity, or awareness of moods, emotions and feelings, desires and aspirations which have their roots within him in the principle of self-consciousness, or in the ahamkara principle, as the occultist (who loves difficult phrases) is apt to call it. This he shares in common with his fellow-men.
c. Spiritual awareness or sensitiveness to the spiritual world, and the feeling aspect of the higher consciousness. This has its roots in the soul, presupposes the dominance of the mental nature and is that faculty which constitutes him a mystic. This awareness he shares in common with all disciples and it is the reward of the gained victories of his astral plane experience.
A TREATISE ON WHITE MAGIC 226--227
One of the most vital things every aspirant has to do is to learn to understand the astral plane, to comprehend its nature and to learn both to stand free from it and then to work on it. In this instruction, I seek to give some clear teaching on this plane, for the moment a man can "see" on the astral plane, and can achieve equilibrium and hold steady in the midst of its vibrating forces, that moment he is ready for initiation.
First, let us gather together some of the terms which are used to describe this sphere of divine Being wherewith a man has first to identify himself, penetrate to the center, pierce through its veiled illusion, and eventually stand poised, untouched, detached, uninfluenced and free.
The term "astral" so often used is in reality a misnomer. H.P.B. was basically right when she used the term in connection with the etheric or vital planes of the physical plane. When contact is made with the etheric world, the first impression given is always of a starry light, of brilliance, of scintillation. Gradually, however, the word became identified with Kama or desire, and so was used for the plane of emotional reaction.
It is interesting to note this for it is in itself an instance of the effect of the astral plane upon the human brain, which in its uninformed condition reverses the reality and sees things in an upside down state. The appearance of the astral plane when first definitely seen by the "opened eye" of the aspirant is one of dense fog, confusion, changing forms, interpenetrating and intermingling colors, and is of such a kaleidoscopic appearance that the hopelessness of the enterprise seems overwhelming. It is not light, or starry or clear. It is apparently impenetrable disorder, for it is the meeting ground of forces. Because the forces in the aspirant's own body are equally in disorder, he blends in with the surrounding chaos to such an extent that it is at first almost impossible for the onlooking soul to dissociate its own astral mechanism from the astral mechanism of humanity as a whole, and from the astral mechanism of the world.
One of the first things then that the aspirant has to learn is to dissociate his own aura in the emotional sense from that of his surroundings and much time is expended in learning to do this. It is for this reason that one of the first qualifications of discipleship is discrimination, for it is through the use of the mind, as analyzer and separator, that the astral body is brought under control.
Secondly, the astral plane is the plane of illusion, of glamour, and of a distorted presentation of reality. The reason for this is that every individual in the world is busy working in astral matter, and the potency of human desire and of world desire produces that constant "outpicturing" and form building which leads to the most concrete effects of astral matter. Individual desire, national desire, racial desire, the desire of humanity as a whole, plus the instinctual desire of all subhuman lives causes a constant changing and shifting of the substance of the plane; there is a building of the temporary forms, some of rare beauty, some of no beauty, and a vitalizing by the astral energy of its creator. Add to these forms that persistent and steadily growing scenario we call the "akashic records" which concern the emotional history of the past, add the activities of the discarnate lives which are passing through the astral plane, either out of or towards incarnation, add the potent desire, purified and intelligent, of all superhuman Lives, including those of the occult planetary Hierarchy, and the sum total of forces present is stupendous. All play upon, around and through every human being, and according to the caliber of his physical body, and the condition of his centers will be his response. Through this illusory panorama, the aspirant has to make his way, finding the clue or thread which will lead him out of the maze, and holding fast to each tiny fragment of reality; as it presents itself to him, learning to distinguish truth from glamour, the permanent from the impermanent and the certainty from the unreal. As the Old Commentary puts it:
"Let the disciple seize hold of the tail of the serpent of wisdom, and having with firmness grasped it, let him follow it into the deepest center of the Hall of Wisdom. Let him not be betrayed into the trap set for him by the serpent of illusion, but let him shut his eyes to the colorful tracery upon its back, and his ears to the melody of its voice. Let him discern the jewel, set in the forehead of the serpent whose tail he holds, and by its radiance traverse the miry halls of maya."
No glamour, no-illusion can long hold the man who has set himself the task of treading the razor-edged Path which leads through the wilderness, through the thickset forest, through the deep waters of sorrow and distress, through the valley of sacrifice and over the mountains of vision to the gate of Deliverance. He may travel sometimes in the dark (and the illusion of darkness is very real); he may travel sometimes in a light so dazzling and bewildering that he can scarcely see the way ahead; he may know what it is to falter on the Path, and to drop under the fatigue of service and of strife; he may be temporarily sidetracked and wander down the by-paths of ambition, of self-interest and of material enchantment, but the lapse will be but brief. Nothing in heaven or hell, on earth or elsewhere can prevent the progress of the man who has awakened to the illusion, who has glimpsed the reality beyond the glamour of the astral plane, and who has heard, even if only once, the clarion call of his own soul.
The astral plane is also the Kurukshetra, both of humanity as a whole and of the individual human unit. It is the battle-ground whereon must be found the Waterloo of every aspirant. In some one life, there comes an emotional crisis in which decisive action is taken, and the disciple proves his control of his emotional nature. This may take the form of some great and vital test, covering a brief time but calling forth every resource of wisdom and of purity that the disciple possesses, or it may be a long and protracted emotional strain, carried over many years of living. But in the attaining of success and in the achievement of clear vision and right discernment (through right discrimination) the disciple testifies to his fitness for the second initiation.
I would like to point out that it is this test and crisis through which humanity is now passing and which began in those conditions which culminated in the world war and the present world strain. The first initiation of humanity, as an entity, took place when individualization became possible, and the soul was born in the body of humanity. This was preceded by a period of fearful stress and strain, dimly sensed by the pioneers into the human kingdom from the ranks of the animal-men. Should this crisis be successfully passed, the second initiation of humanity will be the result -- the passing through the baptism and the entering of the stream. So the world war and its resulting effects constitute the Kurukshetra of the world Arjuna, and the outcome is still in the balance. Let this not be forgotten. There is however no cause for pessimism. The outcome of good is inevitable. It is however a question of a slow or a rapid realization and liberation from the great world illusion, and to this end every aspirant is begged to work strenuously and to lend his aid. Every man who liberates himself, who sees clearly and who releases himself from the glamour of illusion aids in the Great Work.
Again, the astral plane is that whereon the pairs of opposites act and interact, and whereon the pull of the great dualities is most potently felt. Primarily, the interaction is between the soul and its vehicle, matter, but there are many lesser dualities which play their part and are more easily recognized by the average man.
Light and darkness interact, as do pleasure and pain; good and evil meet and form the
playground of the Gods, and poverty and riches are offset one against the other, The
entire modern economic situation is of an astral nature; it is the outcome of desire and
the result of a certain selfish use of the forces of matter. Heat and cold, as we
understand the term, in a most peculiar manner are the result of the interplay of the
pairs of opposites, and an interesting line of occult study concerns itself with the
effects of racial emotions on climatic conditions. We most truly make our climate in one
significant sense. When desire has burnt itself out, planetary life comes to an end, as
climatic conditions will negate form life as we understand it.
A TREATISE ON WHITE MAGIC 221--225
THE ASTRAL BODY
The astral body is the prime motivating factor in the lives of the majority. This is caused by the fact that:.
1) It is the body in which the bulk of human beings are today centering their consciousness.
2) It is the most developed of the bodies at this time, and therefore receives the bulk of the life energy as it comes down the life stream, from the soul, and likewise receives the energy of the stream of consciousness.
3) It is oriented, if I may so express it, outwards or towards the plane of physical experience. That orientation shifts at times and, temporarily in the case of the aspirant turns inwards. Just as the centers in man, the "lotuses of life" are depicted as turned inwards and with the stalk upwards in the undeveloped man, but are turned upwards in the case of the developed, so there are conditions in the astral body analogous to this. In the case of the highly evolved man, of the initiate or the Master, the astral body is steadily oriented towards the soul. In the mystic, the aspirant and the disciple, the process of thus definitely changing the direction of the forces is going on and producing, therefore, a temporary chaos.
4) The astral body of man, being the latest to develop (the physical and the etheric being the first two in order of time) is still the most alive and potent. It reached its acme of development in late Atlantean days and its potency is still great, con6tituting the mass potency, the mass emphasis, and the mass polarization. This is also augmented by energies coming from the animal kingdom, which is entirely astral in its point of attainment.
I would remind you here that the use of the word "body" is most misleading
and unfortunate. It produces in the consciousness the idea of a defined form and a
specific shape. The astral body is an aggregate of forces, working through into the
consciousness in the form of desires, impulses, longings, wishes, determinations,
incentives, and projections, thus laying the basis for much of the truth of the teachings
of modern psychology. Psychologists have discovered (or rather uncovered) the nature of
some of these forces, and their terminology in this connection is frequently more truly
occult and accurate than is that of the orthodox esotericist and theosophist.
ESOTERIC HEALING, pp. 42-43
THE REFINING OF THE EMOTIONAL BODY
The emotional body is simply a great reflector. It takes color and movement from its surroundings. It receives the impress of every passing desire. It contacts every whim and fancy in its environment; every current sets it in motion; every sound causes it to vibrate unless the aspirant inhibits such a state of affairs and trains it to receive and register only those impressions which come from the intuitional level via the Higher Self, and therefore via the atomic subplane. The aim of the aspirant should be to so train the emotional body that it will become still and clear as a mirror, so that it may reflect perfectly. His aim should be to make it reflect only the causal body, to take on color only in line, with the great Law, and to move under definite direction and not just as blow the winds of thought, or rise the tides of desire. What words should describe the emotional body? the words: still, serene, un-ruffled, quiet, at rest, limpid and clear, of a quality mirror-like, of surface even, a limpid reflector, -- one that accurately transmits the wishes, the desires, the aspirations of the Ego and not of the personality. How should this be accomplished? In several ways:
a. By the constant watching of all desires, motives and wishes that cross the horizon daily, and by the subsequent emphasizing of all those that are of a high order, and by the inhibition of the lower.
b. By a constant daily attempt to contact the Higher Self, and to reflect His wishes in the life. At first mistakes will be made, but little by little the building-in process proceeds, and the polarization in the emotional body gradually shifts up each subplane until the atomic is reached.
c. By definite periods daily directed to the stilling of the emotional body. So much emphasis is laid in meditation on the stilling of the mind, but it should be remembered that the stilling of the emotional nature is a step preliminary to the quieting of the mental; one succeeds the other and it is wise to begin at the bottom of the ladder. Each aspirant must discover for himself wherein he yields most easily to violent vibration, such as fear, worry, personality desire of any kind, personality love of anything or anyone, discouragement, over-sensitiveness to public opinion; then he must overcome that vibration., by imposing on it a new rhythm, definitely eliminating and constructing.
d. By work done on the emotional body at night under the direct ion of more advanced egos, working under the guidance of a Master. Stimulation of vibration or the deadening of vibration follows on the application of certain colors and sounds. At this particular time two colors are being applied to many people for the specific purpose of keying up the throat and foremost head center, namely, violet and gold.
Remember that the work is gradual, and as the polarization shifts up, the moment of
transition from one subplane to another is marked by certain tests applied at night, what
one might term a series of small initiations that eventually will be consummated in the
second great initiation, that marks the perfection of the control of the body of the
LETTERS ON OCCULT MEDITATION, pp.337-339
(some editions, pp.333-335)
THE IMPORTANCE OF EMOTIONAL CONTROL
The emotional body is at this time the most important body in the Personality for several reasons. It is a complete unit, unlike the physical and mental bodies; it is the center of polarization for the majority of the human family; it is the most difficult body to control, and is practically the very last body to be completely subjugated. The reason for this is that the vibration of desire has dominated, not only the human kingdom but also the animal and vegetable kingdoms in a lesser sense, so that the evolving inner man has to work against inclinations set up in three kingdoms. Before the spirit can function through forms of the fifth or spiritual kingdom, this desire vibration has to be eliminated, and selfish inclination transmuted into spiritual aspiration. The emotional body forms practically a unit with the physical body, for the average man functions almost entirely at the instigation of the emotional, -- his lowest vehicle automatically obeying the behests of a higher. It is also the body that connects most directly, as has been oft-times said, with the intuitional levels, and one path of attainment lies that way. In meditation the emotional body should be controlled from the mental plane, and when the polarization has been transferred into the mental body through forms of meditation and intensity of purpose and of will, then the emotional becomes quiescent and receptive.
This negative attitude in itself, if carried too far, opens the door to serious dangers A negative condition is not desired in either of the bodies, and it is just this very negativeness that beginners in meditation so oft achieve, and so run into danger. The aim should be to make the emotional ovoid positive to all that is lower and to its environment and only receptive to the Spirit via the causal. This can only be brought about by the development of the faculty of conscious control -- that control which even in the moments of highest vibration and contact is alert to watch and guard the lower vehicles. "Watch and pray," the Great Lord said when last on earth, and He spoke in occult terms, that have not as yet received due attention or interpretation.
What must therefore be watched?
1 - The attitude of the emotional ovoid and its positive-negative control.
2 - The stability of the emotional matter and its conscious receptivity.
3 - Its alignment with the mental and with the causal bodies. If this alignment is imperfect (as it so frequently is) it causes inaccuracy in reception from the higher planes, distortion of the truths sent down to undesirable centers. This lack of alignment is the cause of the frequent straying from sexual purity of many apparently spiritually inclined persons. They can touch the intuitional levels somewhat, the Ego can partially transmit power from on high but as the alignment is imperfect the force from those higher levels is deflected, the wrong centers are over-stimulated, and disaster results.
SOLAR AND LUNAR PITRIS
In the words "prana and the etheric body" (or life force and form) we have the key to the mystery of the solar and lunar pitris, a hint as to the place of the physical body in the scheme of things.
The solar Pitris and devas find their force expression most adequately through man, with all that is included in that term. They are the source of his self-consciousness, and it is their action upon the negative aspect which produces the human Ego (on a large scale, viewing them in their totality as cosmic force); it is their action upon the negative or mother aspect which, on cosmic levels, produces that Self-conscious Unity, a solar Logos, functioning through His physical vehicle. From the Christian standpoint, the greater Builders are the Holy Spirit, or force overshadowing and fecundating matter, whilst the negative or lesser Builders correspond to the Virgin Mary.
The lunar Pitris, and lesser builders from the systemic point of view find their fullest expression in the animal kingdom. When they, as the initiatory impulse, had produced animal man they had performed their prime function, and just as (on a smaller scale and in connection with only one of the Heavenly Men) the moon is a dying and decadent world, so on a systemic scale and therefore covering a vast period of time, the work of the lunar Pitris is slowly coming to a conclusion as the power of the third kingdom, the animal, over the human is being superseded by spiritual power; the systemic correspondence to lunar pitris activity will occultly die out.
The lunar Pitris, the builders of man's lunar body and their correspondence in the other kingdoms of nature, are the sumtotal of the dense physical body of the Logos, or the substance of the mental, astral and physical planes...They are the product of an earlier solar system; their activities date from there. That system stands to the present one as the lunar chain to ours. That is why the physical body is considered no principle (either for man or the solar Logos); that is why the lower nature is considered evil, and why man must "slay his lunar body." Evil is that which can be controlled and subdued but which is permitted to govern. The positive can always manipulate the negative. When the negative line is followed and the line of least resistance to that which is no principle, is pursued, then we have evil.
In the first solar system the negative substance aspect, the Mother aspect or matter, was perfected. The lower Pitris dominated. In this system force activity lies in the hands of the solar Pitris or greater devas. At the close of the mahamanvantara they will have built according to the plan a perfect sheath or vehicle of expression for the Divine Thought, and this through the manipulation of negative substance; they utilize the heat of the Mother to nourish the germ of the Divine Thought, and to bring it to fruition. When the germ has developed to maturity the Mother aspect no longer has a place, and the Man occultly is freed or liberated. This idea runs through all manifestations and the kingdoms of nature or the form (no matter what form it may be) nourish the germ of that which is the next step on in the evolutionary process, and are considered the Mother aspect. This aspect is eventually discarded and superseded. For example, the third kingdom, the anima1, in the early stages nourishes and preserves the germ of that which will some day be a man; the personality is the preserver of that which will some day unfold into spiritual man.
It will thus become apparent to students how the Heavenly Man, viewing Him as a solar
Deity, a self-conscious Entity, works with his negative aspect through positive force,
from logoic etheric levels upon the three aspects of the logoic dense physical, thus
bringing to maturity the atoms and cells of His Body, fostering the germ of
self-consciousness, fanning the flame until each unit becomes fully group conscious and
aware of his place within the body corporate. Each human being likewise, functioning in
the three worlds, works in a corresponding way upon the conscious cells of his bodies,
until each atom eventually achieves its goal. The Heavenly Man works necessarily through
egoic groups, pouring positive force upon them until they emerge from passivity and
negativity into potency and activity. Man works correspondingly through his centers upon
his sheaths, and has a responsibility to the lesser lives which under the karmic law must
be worked out. This is the basis of the evolutionary process.
COSMIC FIRE, pp. 617-6119
THE FUNCTION OF THE AGNISURYANS
The devas of the astral plane are those with whom man is very specially connected at this time owing to his astral polarization, and to the place desire and feeling play in his development. Consciousness expands through contact, through intelligent appreciation of that which is contacted, and through realization of that which is to be gained through a specific contact. That which is contacted depends upon reciprocal vibration, and the place therefore of desire (which is the going out after sensation) and of feeling (which is the reflex of that desire) is of real importance; they put man constantly in touch -- even though he realizes it not -- with deva substance of some kind or another. Even when man has reached a relatively high stage of evolution, the demonstration of that point of attainment is seen in the type of not-self which he contacts; it is only when he is an initiate that he begins to approximate, and to know the meaning of the essential unity which lies at the heart of Being, and to comprehend the oneness of the Universal Soul, and the unity of that subjective Life which secretes itself behind form of every kind. It should never be forgotten that the matter aspect is found on all planes; also that forms are ever to be found, until the solar ring-pass-not is transcended and the Logos escapes from His present limitation. Owing to this the devas of the astral plane assume a very important place in the three worlds.
..... At this point we will limit our consideration to the relationship of self-conscious units such as Man and the planetary Logos to this deva substance. A great distinction exists between man and his prototype, a Heavenly man.
The astral plane plays a very real part in the evolution of man, having a close connection with one of his principles. Astral matter and vibration is one of the controlling factors in the lives of the great majority of people. To the Heavenly Man, astral matter corresponds to the liquid portion in the physical body of man, and is for Him therefore no principle.
The astral plane is man's principal battle-ground and the area of his most intense field of sensation, -- mental sensation (esoterically understood) is for him as yet only a possibility. The astral body is the seat of man's most violent vibration, and these vibrations are a potent cause of his physical plane activities. If man only realized it, the devas of the astral plane at present very largely control what he does and says, and his goal of evolution (his immediate goal) is to liberate himself from their control in order that he, the real Ego or thinker, may be the dominating influence. To be explicit, and thus to illustrate this point: the little elemental lives which form the body of the emotions, and the positive life of any evolutionary deva who (through similarity of vibration) is linked to any particular man and who gives to him an astral body of a coherent and positive power, are as yet practically in control of the majority. Man usually does as his desires and instincts prompt him. If this evolutionary deva is of a high order (as will be the case in a highly developed man) the vibration will be high, and the desires and instincts will be good and exoterically right. Nevertheless, if the man is controlled by them, he is as yet under deva influence, and must free himself. If the deva life is of a low order, the man will demonstrate low and vicious instincts, and desires of a vile caliber.
If these remarks are rightly apprehended, some understanding will come of what is meant when the deva evolution is spoken of as being a "parallel evolution" to that of man. In the three worlds the two lines of evolution parallel each other, and must not be consciously one. In the planes of the Triad they are known as a unity, producing the Divine Hermaphrodite, or the Heavenly Man, -- the self-conscious human units embodying the three aspects of divinity, while the conscious deva units embody the divine attributes. The two, blended together, form the body of manifestation, the centers and substance of the Heavenly Man. Great is the mystery, and until man knows his place within the conscious Whole, he should reserve his opinion as to the meaning thereof. It will be apparent, therefore, in view of the connection between the astral plane with its unified work, and the buddhic plane with the conscious harmony there experienced, that the astral body of man calls for the closest study and understanding. A link will be found through its medium with the buddhic plane and harmonious activity on the physical plane will be produced. The student of occultism should study carefully in this connection:
a. The physical sun, and its relation to prana and the etheric body.
b. The subjective sun, and its connection with the astral plane, with the kama-manasic principle, and the astral body.
c. The central spiritual sun, and its relation to the Spirit or atma in man.
d. The heart of the sun, and its relation to the lower and higher mental bodies, Producing that peculiar manifestation we call the causal body.