Fellowship of Cosmic Fire
Commentary Semester I Section XIII
TCF 122-127: S1S13
Revision 31Aug05

MDR Commentary in BLUE (numbered)
OTHER Commentary in VIOLET (lettered)


[Page 122]
3. The Protective Purpose of the Etheric Body.

Now let us, after this somewhat lengthy digression, leave things cosmic and incomprehensible, and come down to practical evolution, and to the study of the matter of man's etheric body, and of the harm that may ensue to him should that body (through the breaking of the law) no longer perform its protective function.  Let us see first of all what those protective functions are:

1.                  One of the beauties of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire is the frequency with which Master DK switches from the large picture to that which is eminently practical.

2.                  All proceeds according to law. If we abide by the law, we shall develop safely.

First.  The etheric web acts as a separator or a dividing web between the astral and the dense physical body.

3.                  The maintenance of the web is an absolute necessity (especially in the relatively early days of spiritual development) as the forces of the astral plane (the “plane of illusion”) will prove overwhelming if released in fullness into the brain consciousness.

4.                  In this web we have nature’s method of protecting the incarnated human consciousness.

5.                  Here is a diagram of these webs taken from EH 186:

6.                  The etheric divisions in the head are listed shows as follows on TWM: 592:

7.                  We note that the figure known as the “St. Andrew’s Cross” is related to the etheric divisions in the head. Astrologically, this cross is created by uniting the mid-points of the signs on the Fixed Cross (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius). The horizontal line is also present, astrologically uniting the equinoctial points on the Cardinal Cross (Aries, Libra).

8.                  Much has occurred in the modern world due to the effect of great sounds (such as the sound of warfare) to tear this web open. As well, the release of atomic energy through the atomic and hydrogen bombs have also created great rents in the web. About these rents we can do nothing but learn the methods of repair as relates to our own energy system. The greater sorts of repair on a planet-wide basis must proceed under hierarchical instruction.

9.                  Should the door to the astral plane be opened unadvisedly (or have been opened in a previous incarnation with resulting intrusions in this incarnation) attempts must be made to close the door. Studies of a mental nature prove useful in this process as well as much use of the color yellow—a mental and buddhic color. It is also a color associated with Gemini and Virgo (two Mercurial signs) and Mercury, as a planet of mentality (and of the buddhic plane and Scorpio Hierarchy.)

10.             The Aryan Race is meant to be a mentally-focussed race. Development for those of the Aryan consciousness does not lie in a return to Atlantean ways characterized by psychism, often uncontrolled.

Second.  It circulates the inflowing vitality or pranic fluid and carries on its work in three stages.

11.             We remember from earlier sections and commentaries that the vitality or pranic fluid is received from solar and planetary sources.

12.             The circulation occurs along the pranic triangle, which includes a center between the shoulder blades (not the heart center), a center above the diaphragm (not the heart center), and the splenic center.

13.             This circulation is all part of what we call the “Divine Circulatory Flow” which is related to Aquarius, the sign of flow and circulation.

The first stage is that wherein the pranic fluid and [Page 123] solar radiations are received, and circulated three times around the triangle, thence being distributed to the periphery of the body, animating and vitalising all the physical organs and conducing to the automatic subconscious workings of the body of dense matter.

14.             This is an excellent review of the process. DK says the same thing in a number of different ways and in different places. Occasionally, He will give a summary that brings together what He has said in a less consolidated manner.

15.             We note a circulation of three times around the triangle. The exact reason for this is not specified, but we recognize three as a number of preliminary completion. We also realize that every aspect (such as the etheric-physical aspect of the personality) has three subdivisions, and perhaps in the triple circulation these three aspects are activated and vitalized.

  When perfectly accomplishing its object it protects from disease, and the ills of the flesh are unknown to the man who absorbs and distributes prana with accuracy.  This hint is recommended to all physicians, and when properly comprehended, will result in a basic change in medicine, from a curative to a preventive foundation.

16.             We note the marvellous preventative promised with the correct absorption and accurate distribution of prana.

17.             It is the high initiate, however, “who absorbs and distributes prana with accuracy” (at least as things now stand in the world). Perhaps when more is known the average human being will come much closer to this correct absorption and accurate distribution and humanity will be far healthier.

18.             Two quotations are given below telling us something of importance about the perfect health of the initiate:

Where there is the free flow of the life force and no impediment to the circulation of the life fluid, via the blood, there will consequently and normally be the presence of perfect health. It is the understanding of this law which produces in the initiate the condition of controlled health and chosen immortality which is the stated objective of many schools of mental healing. (EH 366)

Where there is complete unobstructed inflow from the soul to the seven vitalising centres, you have the perfect health which the initiate of the fourth degree demonstrates, unless some disciplinary, experimental or initiating karma is being tried out in his case.  However, as a general rule apart from these or planetary conditions, an initiate of high degree needs no healer; there is nothing in him requiring healing. (EH 539)
Q re EH 539: What examples, in the case of AAB or HPB for instance, do we have of their health being 'quickened' or otherwise altered? As they are considered initiates, what level of "high initiate" would it be that would no longer have anything in him to be healed?

19.             The study of the etheric body is the very basis of the preventive medicine of the future. How much more economical to ward off a disease before it starts than to work on a cure after the disease has taken root!

The second stage is that in which the pranic fluids begin to blend with the fire at the base of the spine and to drive that fire slowly upwards, transferring its heat from the centres below the solar plexus to the three higher centres—that of the heart, the throat and the head.

20.             We are dealing here with an important stage of energy transference.

21.             Since it is what is here called the “second stage”, the dynamic of blending occurs, since blending, merging and fusing are all activities occurring in large part under the second ray.

22.             The circulation in the pranic triangle occurs first and then the blending with the (etheric) fire at the base of the spine. This blending is responsible, apparently, for driving that fire slowly upwards.

23.             There should be emphasis upon the word “slowly”, as the whole process may required lifetimes.

24.             The transference is the usual one: sacral center to the throat center; solar plexus to the heart; and base of the spine to the head.

25.             The ajna center (the major center of direction) is left out of this enumeration, but other treatments of triangles and energy transference do involve it.

26.             The “fire at the base of the spine” should be considered etheric, but wherever etheric fire is activated a reflex activation of the latent fires of matter also occurs.

  This is a long and slow process when left to the unaided force of nature, but it is just here that (in a few cases) a quickening of the process is permitted in order to equip workers in the field of human service.

27.             We are dealing with a long, slow, natural process which is best left to itself in most cases. In fact, it is not permitted to tamper with this process unless the motive for doing so is correct and the necessary supervisory expertise is available.

28.             The motive for a quickening of the raising of the fire is entirely selfless; such quickening is only permitted to “equip workers in the field of human service”. The present times are most critical and so, it can be imagined that such supervised quickening will become more common. This will especially be the case when the Masters of the Wisdom are available in physical form to act as supervisors.

  This is the object of all occult training.  This angle of the matter we will take up in still greater detail when we handle our next point of "Kundalini and the Spine."

29.             This raising of the fire is the object of all occult training and can only be attempted in the individual who is an advanced disciple or initiate. A strong mental polarization is required if there is to be success and if many evident dangers are to be minimized.

30.             Occult training is far more than moving energy through the centers, but such movement is a definite accompaniment of the spiritual, meditative and psychological processes which are part and parcel of occult training.

31.             The raising of the fire at the base of the spine will hasten evolution as well as the capacity to serve: the two are complementary.

32.             In all initiatory processes the regulated rising of the fires is involved.

33.             Some of the students in FCF will have studied the Tibetan’s group meditations given in DINA II. They will have noted that the blending of the chakric energies forms, at certain points, an important part of these meditations. However, attention to the base of the spine (though present in one instance) is minimal. This would naturally be so as concerted attention on this center must be reserved for those who have passed the third degree. The basal chakra is not even fully activated until the fifth degree is in process—such is its latent potency.

34.             It is recommended that students review the DINA II meditations for evidences of the processes of blending and raising.

The third stage is that in which active radiatory matter or prana is blended ever more perfectly with the fire latent in matter; this results (as will be brought out later) in certain effects.

35.             We remember, in relation to the terminology we have been using, that active radiatory matter is prana—the fires of the etheric body; and that latent fire is the fire of matter. These fires are also called “active heat” and “latent heat”.

36.             In stage two, the fire circulating in the pranic triangle began its blending with the fires at the base of the spine. A slow rising of the fires was thereby produced.

37.             This third stage stresses the blending of the prana with the latent fires of matter, thus activating the physical body in a more dynamic (and sometimes dangerous) manner.

38.             We are still dealing with the fires of matter in two categories, and not yet with the fires of the still more inward personality vehicles—the astral and mental bodies.

39.             The latent fires or latent heat are the “ancient fires” of matter. When the transformative process begins to involve such fires, the process becomes acute and critical as these ancient fires throw up much resistance to etheric re-patterning.

40.             That which is destroyed in this process is what we call “dross” or impurity.

41.             Now we will deal with some physical and also etheric effects.

It produces a quickening of the normal vibration of the physical body so that it responds with more readiness to the higher note of the Ego, and causes a steady rising of the blending fires through the threefold channel in the spinal column.

42.             The word “quickening” suggests an increase in the rate of vibration of the atoms of the physical body.

43.             The idea of “quickening” is related to initiation in which the “quickening” of the vibratory presence of the Christ-Child within matter is achieved.

44.             The initiatory process is, itself, a quickening. When, in addition, there is (under right supervision) a forcing of the fires, the quickening is ever greater.

45.             Does the Ego naturally have a higher note, or is there a higher note within the Ego? It seems that we are speaking of response to the Ego, which has a higher note.

46.             We realize that the physical body is composed of the dense matter of the previous solar system and so, in its own nature, is very resistant to the repatterning energy of the Ego, vibrating as it does to the note of the second solar system.

47.             This quickening process will not be painless due to the inherent quality of first solar system matter.

In the second stage this vitalising blended fire reaches a centre between the lower part of the shoulder blades, which is the point of conjunction, and of complete merging, of the fire from the base of the [Page 124] spine [cf. TCF 135] and the fire circulating along the pranic triangle.  It will be remembered how one point of this triangle originates there. 

48.             What merges at the pranic center between the shoulder blades? Fire from the base of the spine (both active and latent) and fire from the pranic triangle merge in this center.

49.             We note that the center in question is “between the lower part(s) of the shoulder blades”. Presumably, the heart center is higher. There may also be a lung center which is even higher.

50.             In the pranic triangle, it is as if the shoulder center plays the role of the first aspect.

51.             We note that the shoulder center is the point of “complete merging” of the fires in question—those of the pranic triangle and those from the base of the spine area.

52.             Again, during the second stage, blending and merging occurs. Although “blending” is often associated with the second ray, there is a reference which speaks of the “blending power of the third Logos”… felt at the fifth initiation” (TCF 422)

53.             In this process relating to the base of the spine and the pranic center, we will expect the planets involved to the Earth, Mars, Mercury and Pluto—all for different reasons.

When the threefold basic fire

54.             This fire works through a center very low at the base (“a point at the bottom of the spinal column”) and the two sex glands. (cf. TCF 135)

55.             This basic fire should not be considered the full powers of the base of the spine center per se.

 and the threefold pranic fire meet and merge, then evolution proceeds with greatly increased velocity.

56.             We have here one of the technical indications of an increased velocity of the evolutionary process. When we see such an acceleration, we may wonder if the technical process is being fulfilled.

  This is effected definitely at the first Initiation [probably the birth initiation *] when the polarisation [focus] becomes fixed in one or other of the three higher centres,—which centre being dependent upon a man's ray.

57.             We have yet another technical reference to energy occurrences at the first initiation.

58.             We are later told of the “immense staying power” that results from this merging. We can, therefore, predict that staying power will begin increasing dramatically from the time of the first initiation, growing more and more powerful as we approach the fourth.

* 59.             It is almost certain that master DK means the planetary first initiation (the “Birth”), and not the third. Energy developments are far more advanced at the third.

60.             What is a man’s ray? In this case, there is reason to believe that we are speaking of the monadic ray. This does not mean that the soul ray is not influential. A search on the words “man’s ray” reveals twenty-three hits. Sometimes the references pertain to the soul ray but, there are also definite references to the monadic ray. The following reference is interesting in regard to determining which ray may be meant by a “man’s ray”.

“The planetary influences must be studied to find out the quality of a man's Ray, and this in the above indicated threefold manner.  Man is the Monad, therefore, he expresses a small part of his enfolding life.  In this solar system he is essentially the Ego. (TCF 1191)

61.             What are the three higher centers? In this case, probably the throat, heart, and head, representing, respectively, the third, second and first rays.

62.             If we cannot decide whether to focus on the soul or the monad, we could say that first ray souls or monads polarize in the head center; second ray souls or monads polarize in the heart center; and third ray souls or monads in the throat center.

63.             We remember that the first initiation is important in relation to the patterning of the etheric body. At that initiation, the desirable etheric pattern, responsive to will and mind, must go a long way towards overcoming appetite and instinct. Thus, it is fitting that the pranic triangle should be involved.

64.             We are being told that at the first initiation, evolution proceeds with greatly increased velocity. The assessment of this velocity is made in comparison with the long, slow evolutionary process. At the second initiation the velocity is dramatically increased as spiritual will overcomes the expression of selfish desire.

The result of this merging leads to a change in the action of the centres. 

65.             Another piece of technical information. From it, we are learning that there is a change in the action of the centers around the time of the first initiation.

66.             Interestingly, it is the monad that begins to have a definite effect upon the soul/Ego at the time of the first initiation.

The stimulation, for instance, that is the result of the action of the monadic Ray upon the mental unit is only felt when the aspirant treads the Path, or after he has taken the first Initiation. (TCF 71)

“The centres are formed entirely of streams of force, pouring down from the Ego, who transmits it from the Monad.  In this we have the secret of the gradual vibratory quickening of the centres as the Ego first comes into control, or activity, and later (after initiation) the Monad, thus bringing about changes and increased vitality within these spheres of fire or of pure life force.” (TCF 166)

“The word Know, in relation to the initiate-consciousness, concerns the certainty of the initiate, and his profound conviction of the fact of the Christ in the hearts it is at the same time coupled with a reaction which emanates from the sacrifice petals in the egoic lotus—those petals which are composed of the will quality of the Monad and relate the soul to the emanating Monad.  The first faint tremor of the impact of monadic "destiny" (I know not how else to express this concept) makes itself felt, but is registered only by the soul of the initiate and on the level of soul consciousness; it is never registered by the man on the physical plane who is taking the first initiation; his brain cannot respond to this high vibration.” (R&I 312-313)

67.             In considering the blending of water and fire, we are considering the blending of the blue and the orange, which are opposites.

68.      Why does the merging lead to a change of action in the centers? Because the streams impacting the centers are greatly empowered and presumably of a different quality (due to the inclusion of the fires from the region at the base of the spine).

They become "wheels turning upon themselves," [but when? *] and from a purely rotary movement become fourth dimensional in action, and manifest as radiant whirling centres of living fire.

* 69.             Do centers turn upon themselves at the first initiation? Or is this fourth dimensional turning a later development? It seems more reasonable as a later development.

70.             There is an analogy of pure reason/or inclusive reason to the “wheel turning on itself”. This motion transcends the uni-directionality and sequentiality of Saturn.

“The reason here referred to is that pure intuitional infallible comprehension which grasps cause and effect simultaneously, and sees why and whence and to what end all things are moving.” (EP II 395)

71.             Is Uranus the planet of the fourth dimension? It is certainly the planet of “revolution” and the planet of simultaneity. It seems to have a definite place in the process by which the wheels begin to turn upon themselves.

The three major head centres (the sequence varying according to ray [monadic ray?]) become active and a similar process is effected between them as was effected in the pranic triangle. 

72.             The three major head centers must here be considered: the thousand petalled lotus, the ajna, and the alta major centers.

73.             If the alta major center is not consider “major” (though that word is in its name), then the three major head centers would be the crowning twelve-petalled lotus, the remainder of the “thousand-petalled lotus” consisting of 960 petals; and the ajna center. It is hard, however, to conceive of a triangle operating between the tree just stated, and easy to think of a triangle operating between the thousand-petalled lotus, the ajna center and alta major center.

74.             At various points in this commentary, we deal with hypotheses about the sequential activation of the different points of the triangle. Although the third aspect is always activated first by all ray types, the third ray types find the third ray center easiest to activate, while the second ray types find the second ray center easiest, and the first ray types the first ray center. This is obvious.

75.             When discussing the activation of centers in the head, analogies may be borrowed from the way the different ray types approach activation of the petals of the egoic lotus.

76.             That “similar process” must be a merging and blending as was experienced within the pranic triangle.

77.             Since we are dealing with the head centers at this point, their relation to the monadic ray type is very reasonable, for the monad (as the directing faculty) works primarily through the head (considered to be the directing center of the body).

From being three centres that react faintly to each other's vibratory movement (feeling the warmth and rhythm of each other, yet separated), the fire leaps from centre to centre, and each whirling wheel becomes linked by a chain of fire till there is a triangle of fire through which the kundalini and pranic fires radiate back and forth.  Circulation is also carried on.  The fire of kundalini produces the heat of the centre, and its intense radiance and brilliance, while the pranic emanatory fire produces ever increasing activity and rotation.

78.             All of this process is carried on in the head. We are discussing the creation of a triangle in the head.

79.             It is the third process in the sequence we have been describing:

  • first comes the circulation of the fires in the pranic triangle;
  • next comes the merging and blending of the of the pranic and basal fires with a complete merging (for this stage) occurring in the lower shoulder-blade center;
  • the third process adds the head to this merging and blending.

80.             The three head centers were not, before this process was inaugurated, a real triangle. Each center only felt the presence of the other two centers, feeling the warmth and rhythm of the other centers but remaining separated.

81.             We note that DK continues to make a distinction between the “kundalini and pranic fires”. They are different though they have merged.

82.             A great change occurs so energizing each center that “the fire leaps from centre to centre”.

83 same as 81

84.             We can witness something analogous to this process in group work amongst, let us say, three people. At first they may feel each other and react only slightly; later as their relationship continues, and as they are simulated from without, within and from each other, they begin carrying on an active, reciprocal communication. Lines of fire then exist between them and their rotary motion increases in their growing state of interactive stimulation.

As time elapses between the first and fourth Initiation, the threefold channel in the spine [Ida to the left, Pingala to the right, and Sushumna in the middle], and the entire etheric body is gradually cleansed and purified by the action of the fire till all "dross" (as the Christian expresses it) is burnt away, and naught remains to impede the progress of this flame.

85.             We are speaking of a gradual purification process occurring between the first and fourth initiation (during which interval the monad becomes active in relation to the Ego in a new way, and eventually in relation to the disciple in the three worlds).

86.             There is a cleansing by water and by fire (the blue and the orange—in this case the six and the five).

87.             Another way of conceiving the meaning of “dross” is—left over impurities.

88.             The ash which remains after the fire burns is not considered the dross. Dross is that which mixes with that of pure quality and renders pure quality difficult to extract.   It is correct to realize that once a fire burns the pyre remains dirty with ash. But this ash or residue is not the real dross; it is in a condition that can be carried away by the fluid purifying systems of the body. It is easily dissolved and cast from the system.

89.             Changing vibration correctly is like getting rid of dross.

90.             From a subtle perspective, wrong vibration is dross; wrong relationship is dross; bad internal force patterns are dross; incorrect rhythms of relationship are dross.

91.             Uranus is the alchemist, raising vibration and repatterning. Uranus is very active at the first initiation when the first great merging has occurred, between the pranic and kundalinic fires.

92.             Uranus is the purifier in that it restores conditioned patterns to archetypal form. It reorganizes such patterns according to archetypal configuration.

93.             Uranus, a seventh ray planet, affects rhythms, and rhythmic repatterning is one of the most important kinds of reorganization undergone by the one treading the Path. Indeed, there are both good and bad rhythmic patterns; constructive and destructive.

94.             Changing vibrations or vibrational patterns is the key for many kinds of improvement. We often use music for this effect.

95 combined with 88

96.             There are also certain types of burning (very hot) that leave very little such residue. The analogy can be applied to the purificatory process as it affects us.

97.             Purification is ‘pattern-correction’ and is related to the second ray—the Ray of the Divine Pattern. ‘Destruction” is related to the first ray and “organization” to the third.

98.             Various questions:

a.      Does the etheric body rotate differently for men and women? From outside-inside, or from inside-outside? Is there a different polarization for a man or woman in relation to the planes?

b.      Do etheric fields turn? Rotate? It would seem so, but because the etheric field is more directly related to the physical body, imagining the means of rotation is perhaps more difficult.

c.      There is a potential ‘pure-reason correlation’ between the “Word”, Vishnu, the second ray and the Finnish Sage and National Deva, Väinämöinen (who was considered the great Magical Singer).

99.             In all rotary processes both centrifugal and centripetal forces have to be considered. Centrifugal forces relate to Mars and centripetal to Venus.

100.         Through centripality, beneficent forces are drawn into the system; through centrifugal forces negative forces are cast out. The use of the Sacred Word, OM, is both centripetal and centrifugal

As the fire of kundalini and prana proceed with their work, and the channel becomes more and more cleared,

101.         We can see that this is a gradual process and not just a final climactic rising of kundalini.

 the centres more active, and the body purer, the flame [Page 125] of spirit, or the fire from the Ego [could mean the monad], comes more actively downwards till a flame of real brilliance issues from the top of the head.  This flame surges upwards through the bodies towards its source, the causal body.

102.         It becomes clear that he causal body is located ‘upwards’ in relation to the body and lower vehicles.

103.         Note that we may be talking here of the flame of the monad for the flame is called, “the flame of spirit”. Is this one of those instances in which the term “Ego”, when capitalized, means the spirit/monad?

104.         In this case the “flame of spirit” is equated with the “fire from the Ego”, thus the implication is that it is monadic.

105.         Is the process here described one of the end results of the rising of kundalini? Maybe the rising of this flame from the top of the head is one of the factors in the destruction of the causal body?

106.         This is one of those instances when the term “flame” means (also) that which is evoked rather than that which is the agent of evocation. In this example we notice two flames and one fire!

107.         It is clear that the flame will only rise when the body is sufficiently pure. One cannot force the ‘efflorescence of fire’ through impure vehicles without distortion, ugliness and damage.

108.         An anatomical question arises: “How far is the jewel in the lotus (the center of the causal body) from the center at the top of the head?” One can say that the causal body is located on the formless levels and that, hence, this question is meaningless, but often the form of the causal body (is it an ovoid or a sphere) is discussed, so it is, indeed, meaningful to discuss the causal body in terms of form.

109.         We note that nothing is said about this ‘distance’ between two points, though perhaps some pictures by psychics do give hints. We might begin with an assessment of where we ‘feel’ the points to be. That might offer some indications (which is not to say that we are literally correct).

110.         Why is that the flame of spirit (at the point of this process) comes more actively downward? May we say that it has been evoked by the change in the relationship between the three main head centers. The dynamism of these head centers has summoned the flame of spirit, indicating the readiness of the form for descent.

Simultaneously with the activity of these fires of matter and of Spirit, the fires of mind, or manas, burn with greater intensity.  These are the fires given at individualisation.

111.         The fires of manas are given by the Solar Angel at individualization. The Solar Angel is the great ‘Bestower’. We do not normally speak of “fires” (plural) given at individualization, but of the “spark of mind”. Yet all these terms are very symbolic, and it may well be that multiple fires are bestowed at that time. In another reference, we learn that the spark contained not only manasic potential, but love and will potential as well—the bestowal, in miniature, of the qualities of the Solar Angel

112.         From another perspective, the fire of mind and fire of love are similar or the same. This is the middle fire under the rulership of Venus, which is both love and mind.

  They are fed continuously by the fire of matter, and their heat is augmented by solar emanatory fire, which originates on the cosmic levels of mind.

113.         We remember the high source of the fire dispensed by the Solar Angel emanating (in more ultimate form) from the cosmic mental plane.

114.         The heat of the fires given at individualization is augmented by the fires emanating from the cosmic mental plane.

115.         In this short section we are dealing with the increase of intensity of the fires of mind, fed by two sources: the fires of matter and “solar emanatory fire, which originates on the cosmic levels of mind:

  It is this aspect of the manasic fire [a fire which has, apparently, a number of aspects] that develops under the forms of instinct, animal memory, and functional recollection which are so apparent in the little evolved man.

116.         What is being said here is that the fire given at individualization develops normally as instinct, animal memory and functional recollection.

117.         The type of rapid, forced development, which is here our focus, comes much later.

  As time progresses the fire of mind burns more brightly and thus reaches a point where it begins to burn through the etheric webthat portion of the web that can be found guarding the centre at the very top of the head, and admitting entrance to the downflow from the Spirit.  By its means certain things are brought about:

118.         There is little doubt that the “Spirit”, as here given, means “monad” and that the “fire from the Ego” is the fire of spirit. There seems to be no consistency in the capitalization of the word spirit. There is, however, fair consistency in the capitalization of “Monad”, though I often choose to leave both “monad” and “spiritual triad” in lower case.

119.         The center at the top of the head is guarded from penetration by the astral plane. This center must be guarded (which is the symbolism of the “skull cap” worn in various religions (Jewish and Catholic), for if not, obsession or possession is possible.

120.         We note a matter of importance; it is the “fire of mind” which begins to burn through the etheric web, preparing for the downflow of Spirit. We remember, however, that the fires of mind burn more fiercely because they are fed by the fires of matter and the “solar emanatory fire”.

121.         All these fires are engaged in mutual supplementation, strengthening and augmenting each other.

122.         We are speaking of the downflow of the spirit, which can make penetration when the web is worn thin. Probably, the fire of spirit would have its destructive effect upon the web. The web would be challenged from ‘two directions’, as it were.

The kundalini fire is consciously directed and controlled by the mind or will aspect from the mental plane.  The two fires of matter by the power of the mind of man are blended first with each other, and, secondly, with the fire of mind.

123.         This source of direction must never be forgotten. The ajna center (by many standards a mental center) is involved as a directing agency.

124.         The two fires of matter are, in this case, the pranic fires and the fires from the basal area.

125.         Note the sequential blending—the second blending (with the fires of mind) following the blending of the fires of matter.

The united result of this blending is the destruction (under rule and order), of the etheric web, and the consequent production of continuity of consciousness [continuous awareness] and the admission into the personal life of man of "Life more abundant," or the third fire of Spirit.

126.         Note that all destruction occurs “under rule and order”, bringing the seventh ray influence (of order and sequence) firmly into this destructive process.

127.         The etheric web is challenged first the by the united fires of matter and of mind (fed by the fires of matter).

128.         A web prevents one from knowing what is happening ‘elsewhere’. When the web is burnt or penetrated, continuity of consciousness supervenes.

129.         There is no question but that “Life more abundant” is the “fire of Spirit”.

130.         We are pursuing the link that naturally exists between the first and third aspects.

131.         Is the “fire of Spirit” the third fire, or are we dealing with that fire which is the third fire of the three fires of Spirit?

132.         The descent of the fire of Sprit is the consequence of the burning of the etheric web by the combined fires of mind and matter. They must first do their work before Sprit can effectively descend.

The downrush of Spirit, and the uprising of the inner fires of matter (controlled and directed by the conscious action of the fire of mind [from the ajna center]) produce corresponding results on the same levels on the astral and mental planes, so that a paralleling contact is brought about, and the great work of liberation proceeds in an ordered manner.

133.         There is much of the seventh ray in this process, with the highest and the lowest meeting.

134.         The modus operandi of a climactic period of initiatic development is given.

135.         Although it is not here stated, it is clear from other references that the directing center in this process is the ajna center.

136.         Little is said about the fires on the astral and mental planes that correspond to active and latent heat in the physical body.

137.         It is sufficient for us to know that there are such fires and that the downrush of the fires of spirit and the uprising of the fires of matter have a stimulating effect upon these astral and mental fires which get into the process and probably produce much cleansing and purification of those vehicles. A certain amount of cleansing and purification would, however, have to have been accomplished before this type of activation.

The three first initiations see these results perfected, [Page 126] and lead to the fourth, where the intensity of the united fires results in the complete burning away of all barriers, and the liberation of the Spirit by conscious directed effort from out its threefold lower sheath.

138.         Let us keep the sequence clear. Earlier we were talking about a process occurring between the first and fourth initiations.

139.         Although there is a continuous process of cleansing and purification between the first and third initiations, barriers to spirit still exist. These must be removed by the very intense, fiery process preceding and occurring at the fourth initiation. The fiery and often destructive energies of Vulcan are then very active.

140.         Here the larger interval is divided into an interval between the first and second initiations, and a shorter interval between the third and fourth.

141.         “Spirit” descends and “Spirit” is liberated.

142.         The Spirit not only descends from above but is recognized as housed within the form. Thus, Spirit “comes to itself” within its imprisoning vehicles and is able to assert itself towards liberation in response to that greater aspect of itself which descends to meet its uprising.

143.         The threefold lower sheath belongs, really and essentially, to the “Spirit”. The Spirit is the ‘Owner’ of its projection.

  Man has consciously to bring about his own liberation.

144.         Man is spirit, and spirit awakens within its prison and “wants out”!

 These results are self-induced by the man himself, as he is emancipated from the three worlds, and has broken the wheel of rebirth himself instead of being broken upon it.

145.         The Law breaks a man if he does not conform.

146.         It is the power of Vulcan (its hammer blows) that breaks the chains attaching the an to the wheel of rebirth; in fact, as here stated, the wheel of rebirth is broken—for the man.

147.         The Buddha, under Vulcan (esoteric and hierarchical ruler of Taurus) sough to break the wheel of rebirth for humanity.

148.         This whole idea is so vivid. It calls to consciousness images of one being “broken on the rack” until such great strength is developed that the wheel or rack can no longer restrain the newly empowered man—empowered by illusion-destroying illumination, particularly.

It will be apparent from this elucidation that the exceeding importance of the etheric vehicle as the separator of the fires has been brought forward, and consequently we have brought to our notice the dangers that must ensue should man tamper injudiciously, ignorantly or willfully with these fires.

149.         Any mode of tampering is dangerous. This tampering, if conscious, is one of the great temptations of the Path.

150.         The fires are to be liberated at climactic moments of initiation. Great preparation is involved before liberation is possible. Should the protective barrier be breached through injudicious behaviour, nothing but delay and disaster will result.

151.         One of the great lessons of occultism is simply this: “Be Prepared!”

152.         Sections from Letters on Occult Meditation also refer to these dangers.

Should a man, by the power of will or through an over-development of the mental side of his character,

153.         This is the great liability of the black master—he has created the lower mental vehicle as an independent sphere (the thirteenth sphere! or the eighth, depending on the mode or direction of counting).

154.         Mind and will are correlated and mind becomes an instrument of loveless will.

 acquire the power to blend these fires of matter and to drive them forward,

155.         For the first ray is a driving energy, and most members of the “Black Lodge” are on the first ray, we are told.

“Most of the members of this centre of cosmic evil are upon the first ray itself, and some of the divine purpose is known to a few of them, for—in their due place and in the initiatory regime—they too are initiates of high degree, but dedicated to selfishness and separativeness.” (R&I 716)

156.         The energy is driven forward unaccompanied by the energy of love, wisdom and harmony. Its path is unlawfully straight and in considerate of the structural integrity of patterns of energy into which it is forcing itself.

 he stands in danger of obsession, insanity, physical death, or of dire disease in some part of his body, and he also runs the risk of an over-development of the sex impulse through the driving of the force in an uneven [unbalanced] manner upwards, or in forcing its radiation to undesirable centres.

157.         Let us tabulate the dangers for easier reference:

a.      Obsession
b.      Insanity
c.      Physical death
d.      Dire disease
e.      Overdevelopment of the sex impulse
                                                    i.      Through the uneven driving of force
                                                  ii.      Through focussing force in undesirable centers

158.         These dangers arise from too great an intensity of energy in an unprepared vehicle that cannot stand that degree of intensity.

159.         We gather that the members of the “Black Lodge” have succumbed to some of these problems, but have overcome them in an unlawful manner.

160.         There are also certain ‘places’ where the energy must not go. The informed spiritual guide knows how to avoid activating those centers.

161.         Black Masters on the first ray have an energy which drives forward. Perhaps they have managed to avoid insanity? Or have they?

162.         When considering the question of unevenness and balance, we thought of Libra and its relationship to equilibrizing chakric triangles.

163.         True ascent must be achieved through the powers of harmonization.

  The reason of this is that the matter of his body is not pure enough to stand the uniting of the flames,

164.         Of matter and of mind.

 that the channel up the spine is still clogged and blocked,

165.         By dross.

 and therefore acts as a barrier, turning the flame backwards and downwards,

166.         This is the real liability of unwise driving forward. The driven energy often cannot get through and, returning upon itself, wrecks havoc in the lower areas of the system.

 and that the flame (being united by the power of mind and not being accompanied by a simultaneous downflow from the plane of spirit), permits the entrance, through the burning etheric, of undesirable and extraneous forces, currents, and even entities.

167.         The beneficently repelling power of “spirit” is here hinted. Spirit is a protection and it is missing because the two fires have not yet merged with it.

168.         The etheric web would be burnt in any case, but he presence of Spirit would cast out the undesirable entities. For that matter, a sufficient presence of love would do the same. But those who force in this manner do so through lower will, lower mind and are driven by the forces of matter. True love and higher will are missing.

169.         Though one wonders, however, how power of Shamballa negatively inspired its agents during the Second World War and at other times when cosmic evil penetrated the circle of human civilization. Perhaps, there was some access to sprit, but only in its third aspect as that affected the concrete mind and personal will.

170.         We are being given here a prescription for the onset of obsession or possession.

171.         One of the injunctions to be gathered from what is said is, “Don’t force, except under expert supervision.”

172.         When desires control the mind, one thinks one is permitted to do anything.

  These wreck and tear and ruin what is left of the etheric vehicle, of the brain tissue and even of the dense physical body itself.

173.         DK could not be more definite about the liabilities of an unwise raising of the fires.

174.         Unbalanced burning has already destroyed many protective structures and the forces or entities which are admitted, do the rest.

175.         Not only is the etheric body destroyed but the brain tissue and other parts of the dense physical body.

176.         This is advice to foolish, unwary or unlawfully willful personalities.

The unwary man, being unaware of his Ray and therefore of the proper geometrical form of triangle that is [Page 127] the correct method of circulation from centre to centre, will drive the fire in unlawful progression and thus burn up tissue;

177.         In order wisely to raise the fires and create the possibility of liberation from the form (instead of mere destruction of the form) one must know his Ray.

178.         We note that the word Ray is capitalized, possibly suggesting the monadic ray.

179.         It is suggested that lawful progression lessens obstruction.

180.         The term “Ray” again seems to suggest the monadic ray. Elsewhere we learn that the circulation of the fires in the etheric body proceeds according to the nature of the monadic ray.

181.         Three types of triangles—the Equilateral, Isosceles, 3/4/5 Triangle pertain to the three monadic rays, respectively.

182.         Different ray types will activate the third, second and first aspects of a triangle in different sequences.

a.      Third ray types may activate in this order: 3, 1, 2
b.      Second ray types in this order: 2, 1, 3
c.      First ray types in this order: 1, 3, 2
183.         However, things are not so simple, for the knowledge level is always first to be activated and the spirit or life level, the last.

184.         In any case, we want to avoid doing things out of order and if we do not know our “Ray” or proceed in an unsupervised manner, we are courting disaster.

 this will result then (if in nothing worse), in a setting back for several lives of the clock of his progress, for he will have to spend much time in rebuilding where he destroyed, and with recapitulating on right lines all the work to be done.

185.         Many people “come in” with obvious need for rebuilding. We do not realize how easily we can do damage to our lower nature.

186.         We have, perhaps, seen these cases. Their energy systems appear disorganized or even chaotic, and the cleavages between the functioning of the various personality vehicles are wide.

187.         Evolution is a building process and that which is unwisely destroyed, must simply be rebuilt.

188.         Do any of us have the impression that we are busy rebuilding as a result of unwise action (not necessarily along this line) in the past?

If a man persists from life to life in this line of action,

189.         Such persistence would prove his unlawful willfulness.

 if he neglects his spiritual development and concentrates on intellectual effort turned to the manipulation of matter for selfish ends,

190.         That which is spiritual is not necessarily intellectual and that which is strictly intellectual may be different, indeed, from that which is spiritual. That which is spiritual contains the element of love.

 if he continues this in spite of the promptings of his inner self,

191.         For the Solar Angel and even his own experience will prompt.

and in spite of the warnings that may reach him from Those who watch,

192.         For they do care and seek to assist seekers avoid disaster

 and if this is carried on for a long period

193.         How many lives? Perhaps the equation is very individual/

 he may bring upon himself a destruction that  is final for this manvantara or cycle.

194.         By “manvantara”, DK may mean the entire cycle of manifestation for a solar system.

195.         He cannot mean a Mahamanvantara (the duration of the entire cosmos), for under the theory of ‘Universal Redemption’, no one and nothing can be left out of the ‘Ultimate Universal Pralaya’. Debate may arise in relation to this statement.

196.         There are many possible cycles for the duration of which a relative destruction may ensue. Severing from the soul is a less dire severance than severing from the monad.

197.         We are here discussing the fact that the mind (untempered by spiritual development) is truly the “slayer of the real”.

  He may, by the uniting of the two fires of matter and the dual expression of mental fire, succeed in the complete destruction of the physical permanent atom, and thereby sever his connection with the higher self for aeons of time.

198.         Four is again emphasized—two and two: two fires of matter and a “dual expression of the mental fire”.

199.         Number four and the square. Without the base you cannot erect anything higher—you cannot touch the soul.

Q: Are these two dualities explainable in relationship to quaternary?

200.         There are no true black magicians on the physical plane. Are they then those whose physical permanent atom has been destroyed?

201.         One can imagine the ill effect of the misuse of the two fires of matter and of the mental fire associated with lower mind. Is it more difficult to imagine that the type of mental fire we usually call “solar fire” could also be misused. This fourth type of fire need not be used for loving purposes, but rather for the aggrandizement of the lower ego. This is a mystery, and relates, I think, to the mystery of Lucifer—a bestowed faculty of mind that is at once the saviour and nemesis of humanity.

202.         It is very interesting to realize that connection with the “higher self” could be severed for aeons of time because of the destruction of the physical permanent atom. We remember that the Solar Angel drives the “spark of mind” (or its extension) into the brain of animal man (thereby causing much destruction of ancient animal forms). There is also an etheric brain, and here we seem to be discussing the destruction of the permanent etheric atom which is probably closely associated with the etheric brain.

203.         Is it correct to think that the “spark of mind” (or its extension) is implanted in the physical brain, the etheric brain, the astral brain and whatever on the mental plane corresponds to the brain?

204.         The question could arise, Why would the higher self not be connected to the man through his astral permanent atom and his mental unit?

205.         One thing we do understand is that without a physical permanent atom (on the atomic subplane of the physical plane) it will no longer be possible for the man to incarnate. Thus, since physical incarnation is necessary for initiatory advancement (in almost all cases), there will be no progressive initiation for such a man.

206.         How long is an aeon? The term is perhaps used figuratively, but Master DK surely knows how long such a disastrous condition of “excommunication” could last.

207.         We are, in fact, dealing with real excommunication (not the paltry reflection invented by the Church of Rome). The human consciousness is excommunicated from the “higher self”. This is a terrible fate, but less dire that excommunication from the monad itself.

208.         For the first of these disasters there is a cure, and at one point another “higher self” (of Solar Angel—or its equivalent) will again establish connection with such a being (such a monadic projection). But should the severance be complete (of the monadic emanation from its monad—though a tenuous relation would have to remain just to preserve life an presence) a far greater span of time would result before any remediation were possible. How long? The Masters know.

  H. P. B. has somewhat touched on this when speaking of "lost souls";58,59 we must here emphasise the reality of this dire disaster and sound a warning note to those who approach this subject of the fires of matter with all its latent dangers.

209.         DK is telling us that not only might a man succeed in doing himself great damage (to be slowly repaired over many lives) but that he might, through the pursuit of a willful driving forward of the fires, become a “lost soul”—lost, temporarily (for an aeon) to the “higher self”. He would thus, for the duration, be without hope of elevation or redemption.

  The blending of these fires must be the result of spiritualised knowledge, and must be directed solely by the Light of the Spirit, who works through love and is love, and who seeks this unification and this utter merging not from the point of view of sense or of material gratification, but because liberation and purification is desired in order that the higher union with the Logos may be effected;

210.         Here is given the necessary link between Spirit, light and love. Spirit is not only will, but is a Trinity of aspects.

211.         The proper motivation for blending the fires is reiterated. The requirement is selflessness:

a.      Direction by the Light of Spirit
b.      The Light of Sprit works through love
c.      The Light of Spirit is love.
d.      Sense gratification and material gratification are never to be the motive for this blending and merging

212.         The Logos here mentioned is the Solar Logos.

213.         Since the Solar Logos is a “God of Love” and our monad has “its home within the sun”, the “Spirit” or monad is essentially love no matter what its ray. Its placement upon the second subplane of the cosmic physical plane should reveal this.

214.         “Higher union with the Logos” must mean a return to monadic awareness.

 this union must be desired, not for selfish ends, but because group perfection is the goal and scope for greater service to the race must be achieved.

215.         Pure altruism must substand this dangerous work. Thus the need for moral perfecting along all lines if the later stages of the Occult Path are to be pursued with safety to the seeker and benefit to humanity.

216.         The Plan requires of a man true service to the race of men. Any other motive (no matter how cloaked in self-deluding idealism) will become a great danger both to him and (as power is added) to humanity. Let us reflect upon Hitler (a probationary initiate gone wrong) as an example.

58: Lost Souls.  See Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p.  368; also S. D., I, 255, and S. D., III 493, 513-516, 521, 525, 527.

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

217.         Some speculations were included at the end of this discussion:

a.      When our Solar Logos takes His fifth initiation, the Earth will be a very important planet (or systemic chakra) in that process.. This will occur in this solar system (perhaps).

b.      The monadic ray of our Earth Logos is ray one.

c.      Uranus and Earth can be understood as head and spine, monadically connected. Both have to do with systemic kundalini. The kundalini will rise (in its ultimate systemic form) at the Solar Logos’ mastership, probably to be achieve in this present solar mahamanvantara.

d.       The monadic ray of our Planetary Logos will become powerful even in this solar system, because we will become a sacred planet.

e.      The monadic ray of our Solar Logos will also become more powerful than it is now, because He will, minimally, be undergoing the fourth cosmic initiation in this mahamanvantara.

f.        May it be that there are no pure first ray souls on Earth (or at least very few) because Earth is not a sacred planet and thus its first ray monad is still ineffective and almost completely unexpressed