S1S5: Review Template
Fellowship of Cosmic Fire
May-June 2005


FILE:  S1S5_review.doc ... 12 May 2005


Colour code
Black: AAB Text TCF or any other
Blue: Commentary from or Question to MDR

Violet: Commentary from or Question to Mentors

Green:  Key Questions for Developing Mental Propositions

Orange: Conundrum –Problems to Solve
Pink:  Warning or Motivational Content

Red: Administrative helpfulness



Review S1S0
preface matter





Review Point: The Dedication



We note the primacy of the work of HPB, in Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine especially. A Treatise on Cosmic Fire is a continuation, the second of an intended three phases.


An area to refine here is the timing. With our knowledge of ray cycles, we could define the astrological and rayological aspects of the release of the Teaching during these times for the occidental mind.


Cc:  Phillip Lindsay, Stephen Pugh, Bruce Lyon.





Review Point: Adoration

"To the God Who is in the FIRE and Who is in the waters;
To the God Who has suffused Himself through all the world;
To the God Who is in summer plants and in the lords of the forest;
To that God be adoration, adoration."
Sh’vet Upanishad, II.17.



FCF NOTE, the definition does not exclude the real feeling … smile!)


Main Entry: adore
Etymology: Middle English adouren, from Middle French adorer, from Latin adorare, from ad- + orare to speak, pray -- more at ORATION
1 : to worship or honor as a deity or as divine
2 : to regard with loving admiration and devotion <adored his daughter>
3 : to be extremely fond of <adores pecan pie>


POINT: Exaltation of Adoration as a keynote quality at the beginning of a “third and first ray presentation”.


No argument here – my only point to refine is, we need the Sh’vet Upanishad handy!


Cc:  Guy Pettitt



Review Point: The 5 Purposes

This "Treatise on Cosmic Fire'' has a fivefold purpose in view:

First, to provide a compact and skeleton outline of a scheme of cosmology, philosophy, and psychology

Secondly, to express that which is subjective in comprehensible terms, and to point out the next step forward in the understanding of the true psychology. It is an elucidation of the relation existing between Spirit and Matter, which relation demonstrates as consciousness. It will be found that the Treatise deals primarily with the aspect of mind, with consciousness and with the higher psychology, and less with matter as we know of it on the physical plane.only in the first section will indication be given as to the nature of those energies which are strictly confined to the physical plane.

Thirdly, to show the coherent development of all that is found within a solar system; to demonstrate that everything which exists evolves (from the lowest form of life at the densest point of concretion up to the highest and most tenuous manifestation) and that all forms are but the expression of a stupendous and divine Existence.

Fourthly, to give practical information anent those focal points of energy which are found in the etheric bodies of the solar Logos, the macrocosm, and of man, the microcosm.The study of medicine, for instance, will eventually be taken up from a new angle, and its practice will be built upon a comprehension of the laws of radiation, of magnetic currents, and of the force centres found in men's bodies and their relationship to the force centres and currents of the solar system.

Fifthly, to give some information, hitherto not exoterically imparted as to the place and work of those myriads of sentient lives who form the essence of objectivity; to indicate the nature of those Hierarchies of Existences who form out of their own substance all that is seen and known, and who are themselves Fire and the cause of all the heat, warmth, life and motion in the universe.

POINT: There are FIVE Purposes to a FIRST and THIRD ray presentation. Let’s note these in their easy-to-remember rayological and numerical resonance, harmonically:


1 = SKELETON or SCAFFOLD upon which to build. STRUCTURE as a key to what is Primary.

2 = UNDERSTANDING MIND; love-wisdom.

3 = COHERENT EVOLUTION; intelligence in activity.

4 = PRACTICAL APPLICATION of knowledge of force centres, magnetism, and radiation; what man may do with this power.

5 = New Information on the Creative Hierarchies of Lives by way of which we recognize objectivity (in terms of heat, warmth, life, and motion); the beauty of the science of inquiry and discovery.

This is a fivefold definition of the threefold united flame of cosmology, philosophy, and psychology, the threefold expression of wisdom.

Cc:  Glen Knape


Review Point:  believe in your own consciousness

The words of the Buddha most appropriately have their place here, and make a fitting conclusion to these preliminary remarks:

that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumors, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them; nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor [Page xvi] because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. ''For this," says he in concluding, "I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly."
Secret Doctrine III. 401.

68.     MDR: A great epistemological statement. Epistemology may be called the ‘science of knowledge’. It deals with the nature of knowing and the knowable.

May this be the attitude of every reader of this ''Treatise on Cosmic Fire.''



This is a reissue of Michael's commentary from S1S0 (linked via the online schedule). I have included the Secret Doctrine cross referencing (thanks BAM!), Sam's recent important post inquiring on the possible inversion of the fires is included, in conjunction with Michael's concerns about the internal and external fires possible discrepancy.



[Page xvii]

"What says the esoteric teaching with regard to Fire?"

Fire is the most perfect and unadulterated reflection, in Heaven as on earth, of the One Flame. It is life and death, the origin and the end of every material thing. It is divine Substance." [Substance is still principled and matter is not]
Secret Doctrine I. 146. [In the Two Volume 1888 Set this is Volume I, page: 121]

73.     We will try to come to an understanding of some essential factors: Flame, Fire and Divine Substance.

74.     Heaven” represents the higher dimensions of nature. With respect to the cosmic physical plane, “Heaven” may be considered equivalent the four cosmic ethers.

75.     The “One Flame” is the One Reality, Pure Being. “The spark hangs from the flame by the finest thread of Fohat.” (TCF 773)

76.     Fire” and “Flame” are often used interchangeably, but when thinking of the “One Flame”, it must be considered the origin of “Fire” and of all kinds of fires.

77.     Thus, “Fire” in this context, it to be considered the reflection of Flame.

78.     Philosophically, “Flame” is the noumenon of “Fire”, which is the phenomenon of “Flame”.

79.     Does pure flame burn anything? Perhaps it does not. As there is naught else but Pure Being, Flame consumes itself and can be considered Self-existent.

80.     When that which flames is dependent upon something to burn, you have fire, but Flame (in this ultimate context) may considered Self-consuming. Flame has only itself to consume. This is another way of saying that Pure Being is Self-sustaining.

81.     Fires descend from the One Flame; analogically, God can only create from out Himself. (What else is there?)

82.     Flame is pure essence and even “fire electric” is a reflection of it.

83.     Pure Being is the ‘Unperceived Perceiver’, the ‘Ultimate Subject’. Flame is the ‘Ultimate Fire’. Flame abides as Essence throughout the duration of every universe, just as the Unmanifested Logos similarly abides.

84.     Essential Flame is the Great Breath, the One Essential Motion. The Great Breath has no beginning and no end. >From this perspective, Breath and Flame are equivalent.

85.     The three aspects of divinity “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit” are “Fires”. Flame, however, is pure Life/Being, of which “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit” are aspects.

86.     Do not expect that there will be an easy consistency of terminology in these matters. Even in Theosophical works and charts, the terminology and the meaning of terms seem to vary.

87.     If we say of Fire that “it is life and death, the origin and the end of every material thing”, we mean that all things are both created and destroyed by Fire. The various fires in combination or association are the creation of material things; the various fires in dissociation are the destruction of all material things.

88.     The true origin and end of every material thing is the Divine Flame or Pure Being.

89.     If we call Fire by the term, “Divine Substance”, (as suggested above) we are reminded of the “Sea of Fire” on the systemic logoic plane. This plane, in relation to the cosmic physical plane, is the ‘location’ of that which can be considered systemic Mulaprakriti, but not of universal Mulaprakriti. When we think of Mulaprakriti in relation the systemic logoic plane, we are thinking only from the perspective of our solar system, and, instead of thinking of that which is truly homogeneous, we are dealing with differentiated matter (though matter of the least complex kind—systemically speaking—matter ‘nearest’ to homogeneity). The matter of the first subplane of the logoic plane approximates homogeneity more completely that any other matter in our solar system, but is still far from homogeneous. In other words, the first subplane matter of the systemic logoic plane is not really Universal Mulaprakriti.

90.     Philosophically, ‘Universal Mulaprakriti (i.e., Universal Pre-Genetic Matter) is the reflection or Self-perception of the Universal Spirit’. That Universal Spirit (or Universal Logos) is Flame expressing (in emanation) as a multiplicity Fires.

91.     We might say that ‘Fire-in-Mulaprakriti (taking Mulaprakriti as universal undifferentiated, “pre-genetic substance”) substands all manifestation, and is, thus, ‘sub-stance’.

92.     Thus, when considering matter and substance as different, it is possible to think of Fire as substance. Universal Mulaprakriti, would then, be the ‘Self-reflection of the one homogeneous Divine Flame”. Fire (the active emanation of that One Flame) would work within Universal Mulaprakriti creating the differentiated universe.

93.     Within our solar system, it would seem that the Fires of Spirit work upon relatively undifferentiated matter. But there may be problem with this supposition.

94.     Metaphysical problem to be resolved: Do the ‘Creative Fires’ actually work upon universal, homogeneous, undifferentiated, pre-genetic matter (i.e., Universal Mulaprakriti) or do they work upon differentiated matter (which, even in its most homogenous condition is far from being Universal Mulaprakriti)? What we are asking is, “Is Universal Mulaprakriti the ‘Play Stuff’ of all great Creative Logoi, or only the ‘Play Stuff’ of the Spirit Aspect of the ‘First Universal Logoic Trinity’? Universal Mulaprakriti cannot be confined to any particular plane or subplane in cosmos as it is the Source of all planes and subplanes.

95.     True Divine Substance however is not that which has been created by any Logos (such as the Third Universal Logos Who differentiated pre-genetic matter into its manifold parts). True Divine Substance (from the universal perspective) is Pure Being, Itself.

96.     When we say this, we are using word “Substance” in a way somewhat in the manner that the philosopher Spinoza used it: Substance, for him was not only infinite, but was the INFINITE—i.e., the INFINITE GOD/DEITY. For him, “Substance” was ‘SUBSTANCE’.

97.     It would seem that Spinoza’s definition of substance was very much deeper than the one we are using in relation to HPB’s statement above concerning “divine Substance”, for Spinoza equated Substance (really SUBSTANCE) with the Theosophical ABSOLUTE, the INFINITE DEITY.

98.     Returning to intra-Universe considerations, we might say that “Flame” antedates any of the Three “Outpourings”. The very word, “Outpouring” suggests an emanation from that which already exists.

99.     Divine Substance (considered as Fire), therefore, is not matter, for Fire works upon matter which already exists to be worked upon.

100.  Flame, when considered universally, reaches far beyond our solar system.

101.  Universally considered, Flame (as the Divine Flame) antedates cosmic emanation of any kind. Flame is the Source if the three Primary Universal Emanations—Universal Electric Fire, Universal Solar Fire and Universal Fire by Friction.

102.  Two summary metaphysical reflections emerge from these rather abstract considerations:

1.        Flame (the universal “Divine Flame”) is a conditioned “reflection” of the ABSOLUTE. The term ‘conditioned emanation’ can also be used.

2.        Fire is a ‘reflection’ or emanation of the Divine Flame.

103.  The universe is created through Self-perception.

104.  From this perspective, the Unmanifested Logos is Flame, the point of Pure Being within the Trinity of “Electric Fire”/Father, “Solar Fire”/ “Son and “Fire by Friction” / “Holy Spirit”.

105.  It should be noted that this definition of the “Unmanifested Logos” is different from that put forward in the beginning of TCF. There is always a danger of putting forth three ‘Originators’ and forgetting the fourth factor.. As here presented, however, the “Unmanifested Logos” is the “Point within the Triangle” or the ‘Peak of the Universal Tetrahedron’, and thus the one preceding the three, making, in all, four.

106.  Thus, the Universal Flame is ‘Pure-Being-in-Universe’.

107.  Is Flame, then, finite or infinite? In one respect, Flame is finite, because the Universe (of which Flame is the ‘First Intelligible Cause’) ends repeatedly, cyclically, forever.

108.  The real first cause (which is not intelligible) is the ABSOLUTE (which cannot act, but from which ‘arises’ the ‘RAY’ {the “RAY of the ABSOLUTE”} which is the ORIGIN of successive universes.

109.  Flame (considered as an extension of the “RAY of the ABSOLUTE”) is, from our perspective, ever-recurring and virtually infinite, because it is, conceivably, the ‘Representative’-in-Cosmos of the ABSOLUTE. (This must be pondered further)

110.  Is the ‘Universal Trinity’ to be considered Flame or Fire? It is to be considered as Fire deriving (emanating from) Flame.

111.  Philosophically, we might say that ‘Flame is the manifest RAY of the ABSOLUTE’ and is thus the ‘presence-in-cosmos of that which arose in the ABSOLUTE

112.  There are some equivalences we must consider:

1.        the ‘RAY of the ABSOLUTE’

2.        the ‘FIRST MOVEMENT’

3.        the ‘GREAT EXHALATION’

4.        the NOUMENON of Flame, i.e., the ‘FLAME’ of Flame

113.  Out of the foregoing arise that which can be expressed as additional equivalences:

1.        the ‘Universal’ Flame—(i.e., not the ‘FLAME of the Flame’)

2.        Pure Being (cosmically considered)

3.        The Essential Universal Monad

4.        The Unmanifested Logos

5.        The ‘Universal Point’ (within the Universal Triangle)

6.        The Universal Spirit

7.        The ‘Cosmic Primordial Particle’

8.        Universal Life pervading Universal Spirit, Universal Soul, Universal Matter

114.  The ‘RAY of the ABSOLUTE’ is the evidence of ‘Perpetual Super-Cosmic Dualism’

115.  The flashing forth and retraction of the GREAT RAY is:

1.        Super-Cosmic PERPETUAL MOTION

2.        The ‘GREAT BREATH’


Our earth and man (are) the products of the Three Fires. Secret Doctrine II. 258.

  And his is true of all things in universe, for the Three Fires are, ultimately, the ‘Universal Trinity’, which, in a way, springs immediately out of the One—the ‘Omnipresent Point within the Triangle’


[In the Two Volume 1888 Set this is Volume II, page: 247 -- Note this is also the section that Sam just posted on the apparent inversion of the three fires.]
From Sam's email: 
The attempt to bridge the three fires as given by the Tibetan in his TCF with that of HPB's information about them in the SD is challenging (for me it is).  As an example take this paragraph from the SD, vol. 2, page 247:

"Our earth and man," says the Commentary, "being the products of the three Fires" -- whose three names answer, in Sanskrit, to "the electric fire, the Solar fire, and the fire produced by friction," -- these three fires, explained on the Cosmic and human planes, are Spirit, Soul, and Body, the three great Root groups, with their four additional divisions. These vary with the Schools, and become -- according to their applications -- the upadhis and the vehicles, or the noumena of these. In the exoteric accounts, they are personified by the "three sons of surpassing brilliancy and splendour" of Agni Abhimanin, the eldest son of Brahma, the Cosmic LOGOS, by Swaha, one of Daksha's* daughters. In the metaphysical sense the "Fire of friction" means the Union between Buddhi, the sixth, and Manas, the fifth, principles, which thus are united or cemented together; the fifth merging partially into and becoming part of the monad; in the physical, it relates to the creative spark, or germ, which fructifies and generates the human being. The three Fires, it is said (whose names are Pavaka, Pavamana and Suchi) were condemned by a curse of Vasishta, the great sage, "to be born over and over again." (Bhagavata-Purana iv. 24, 4.) This is clear enough.

     There's also this reference to the three fires in the SD:

Explained elsewhere. The "Three Fires," Pavaka, Pavamana, and Suchi, who had forty-five sons, who, with their three fathers and their Father Agni, constitute the 49 fires. Pavamana (fire produced by friction) is the parent of the fire of the Asuras; Suchi (Solar fire) is the parent of the fire of the gods; and Pavaka (electric fire) is the father of the fire of the Pitris (See Vayu Purana). But this is an explanation on the material and the terrestrial plane. The flames are evanescent and only periodical; the fires -- eternal in their triple unity. They correspond to the four lower, and the three higher human principles   (footnote, vol. 2, page 57)

     There is also about three or four more other references to the three fires in the SD where HPB indicates them using either the sanskrit or english words.  However, from the foregoing, it seems that the SD's fire by friction (pavamana) is a blend of electric and solar fire as indicated in TCF.  While electric fire as denoted in the SD is the fire by friction in TCF.  Suchi (solar fire) remains more or less the same.

     So the question is how to reconcile these two presentations of the three fires?

Fire and flame destroy the body of an Arhat; their essence makes him immortal. Secret Doctrine I. 35.

[In the Two Volume 1888 Set this is Volume I, page: 6]

Can the flame be called the essence of Fire? This Essence is "the LIFE and LIGHT of the Universe, the visible fire and flame are destruction, death, and evil." "Fire and Flame destroy the body of an Arhat, their essence makes him immortal." (Bodhi-mur, Book II.) "The knowledge of the absolute Spirit, like the effulgence of the sun, or like heat in fire, is naught else than the absolute Essence itself," says Sankaracharya. IT -- is "the Spirit of the Fire," not fire itself; therefore, "the attributes of the latter, heat or flame, are not the attributes of the Spirit, but of that of which that Spirit is the unconscious cause." 

Also see following questioning on the Internal and External Fires and differences of HPB and DK may use those terms, below.

118.  The word “flame” is not in capital letters, so it does not mean “Flame” (as Pure Being). Could “fire” here mean Solar Fire and “flame”, Fire-by-Friction? If so, this type of “flame” would be evidence of a more objective kind of Fire. Fire by Friction is a more objective fire than Solar Fire.

119.  The “body” here referred to is the “causal body”. According to the Tibetan’s descriptions of this destruction, all three types of fire contribute to the destruction of the causal body.

120.  The word “essence” refers to the One Flame. The immortality of any being arises from the fact that that being is essentially the “One Ray of the ABSOLUTE”.

121.  The term “Arhat” means an initiate of the fourth degree.

122.  Man is already immortal and has only to discover that fact.

123.  At the heart of the monad is the “Ray of the Absolute”. The monad (as we usually think about it) is but a temporarily localization for the expression of the a ray within the “One Ray of the ABSOLUTE”




I. The Internal Fire or Fire by Friction.

"There is heat internal and heat external in every atom, the breath of the Father (Spirit) and the breath (or heat) of the Mother (matter)." Secret Doctrine I. 112.
[In the Two Volume 1888 Set this is Volume I, page: 84]

The celestial Ocean, the 'Ether . . . . is the Breath of the Father, the life-giving principle, the Mother, the Holy Spirit, . . . . for these are not separated, and their union is LIFE." SD I 75  [In the Two Volume 1888 Set]

124.  Note that “breath” is equated with “heat”. “Heat” is essentially motion, and breath is the cause of motion (as usually perceived), though, ultimately, breath is motion, itself. The one beginningless, endless, perpetual motion is the “Great Breath”.

125.  If “heat” is considered to be ‘that which activates’ (for heat is measured by the degree of atomic or particulate activation), then the similarity between “heat” and “breath” is readily seen, for, occultly, “breath” is the great activator.

126.  We are dealing here with twofold internal fire—the fire of matter and the fire of ether.

127.  It may be that HPB is using the terms “internal” and “external” in a special sense, different from the way DK develops these terms. In this case, it seems the term “internal” relates to Father (Spirit) and “external” to Mother (matter). When DK uses the term “internal” (especially as it is related to fire), He means a ‘lower’ and more material type of fire, with a higher type of fire “radiatory fire” being more “external” in the sense that it is not found in the depths of matter.

128.  However, the “Breath of the Father (Spirit)” could be considered “external” to the recipient of that Breath.

129.  The order or terms found in the sentence, however, makes HPB’s use of “internal” and “external” seem different from the one that DK develops in TCF.


Review: The Contents

158.  All internal fires come under the heading of “Fire by Friction”.

159.  The Table of Contents below may not mean too much to us at the outset of our study, but later, reviewing it, we shall see where we have been and shall, perhaps, realize why.



Introductory Remarks

Division A. Of the Sheaths macrocosmic and micro cosmic

Division B. The Personality Ray and the first fire

Division C. Prana and the etheric body

Division D. Kundalini and the spine

Division E. Motion on the physical and astral planes

1. In the Sheaths

2. In the Centres

Division F. The Law of Economy




Introductory Questions

Division A. The Nature of Manas or Mind

Division B. Manas as a cosmic, systemic and human factor

Division C. The Egoic Ray and solar fire

Division B. Thought elementals and fire elementals

Division E. Motion on the plane of mind

Division F. The Law of Attraction




Division A. Certain basic fundamentals

Division B. The Nature of the seven cosmic paths

Division C. Seven esoteric stanzas


The above tabulation of the subjects dealt with in this treatise is of very real importance, for it forms the basis of that which we shall be considering. The total lack of a wider consciousness than the individual and the personal, acts as a bar to the true comprehension of things macrocosmic, but if the occult method is adhered to, if the Law of Correspondences is studied, and if we ever reason upward from the microcosm to the greater Whole, then glimpses will be caught of vast realms of realisation and vistas of spiritual unfoldment will open up before us, undreamt of hitherto.

160.  Master DK intends to widen our consciousness by enabling us to catch “glimpses…of vast realms of realisation and vistas of spiritual unfoldment…undreamt of hitherto.”

161.  Many of us find ourselves embroiled largely in the individual and the personal, and thus we have been barred from catching these life-giving glimpses.

162.  To correct this situation, we are asked to

1.        Adhere to the occult method

2.        Study the Law of Correspondences

3.        Reason upward from the microcosm to the greater Whole

163.  If we do this “vast realms of realisation” may dawn upon our consciousness and our ‘being in this world’ and our service in this world will, inevitably, be improved.


See the 13 CHARTS