Fellowship of Cosmic Fire
Commentary Semester I Section XI
S1S11: Version 1.4 VSK Reconstituted 04Apr05
(Most of the Tibetan’s text is put in font 16, to provide better legibility when projected during classes. Footnotes and references from other AAB Books and from other pages of TCF are put in font 14. Commentary appears in font 12. Underlining, Bolding and Highlighting by MDR)
4. Disorders of the etheric body.
We will now study the etheric body, and its ills and also its after death condition. This matter can be only briefly touched upon. All that may now be indicated is a general idea of the fundamental ailments to which the etheric may be subject, and the trend which applied medicine may later take when occult laws are better understood.
1. Master DK is ever the healer—even in the presentation of His most cosmological book.
One fact must here be brought out—a fact but little comprehended or even apprehended. This is the significant fact that the ills of the etheric vehicle, in the case of the microcosm, will be found likewise in the Macrocosm. Herein lies the knowledge that ofttimes explains the apparent miseries of nature.
2. It would, therefore, be incorrect for man to blame all human ills upon the misdeed of the human race (though those misdeeds, of course, contribute greatly to man’s problems).
3. Disease may be planetary in origin, and perhaps, even solar.
Some of the great world evils have their source in etheric ills, extending the idea of the etheric to planetary conditions and even to solar. As we touch upon the causes of etheric distress in man, their planetary and solar correspondences and reactions may perhaps be realised. We will need to bear carefully in mind when studying this matter, that all the diseases of the etheric body will appertain to its threefold purpose and be either:
4. We are participating in the “Ancient Law of Evil Sharing”, presented in Esoteric Healing.
5. It will perhaps be easier for us to trace disease on this plane to planetary etheric conditions than to solar etheric conditions, but DK hints at causes which are solar.
6. Diseases of the etheric body will relate to the threefold purpose of the etheric body as given below.
a. Functional and thereby affecting its apprehension of prana, [this includes both reception and assimilation]
b. Organic, and thereby affecting its distribution of prana,
c. Static, and thereby affecting the web, when viewed solely from the angle of providing a physical ring-pass-not, and acting as a separator between the physical and the astral.
7. We can already imagine, however vaguely, the difficulties involved in the malfunction of any of these etheric dynamics.
a. Insufficient or over-abundant reception of prana
b. Insufficient or excessive distribution of prana
c. Lack of protection from astral currents
These three different groups of functions or purposes are each of paramount interest, lead to totally different results, and react in a different manner both outwardly and inwardly.
Viewed from the planetary standpoint the same conditions will be perceived, and the etheric planetary body [Page 105] (which is fundamentally the body in the case of the sacred planets, of which the Earth is not one) will have its functional disorders, which will affect its reception of prana, will suffer its organic troubles which may affect its distribution, and those disorders which permit of trouble in the etheric web, which forms the ring-pass-not for the involved planetary Spirit.
8. Another important hint is given: for the sacred planets, the etheric body is “fundamentally the body”. Such Logoi have overcome the magnetic influence of the dense physical vehicle, which the Logos of Earth has not. For the Lotos of Earth, the dense physical vehicle is still fundamentally the body.
9. A Planetary Logos in incarnation is an “involved planetary Spirit”.
10. A sacred planet is one in which the informing Intelligence has taken the planetary fifth initiation.
No planet is a sacred planet unless the centre at the base of the spine (speaking symbolically) is aroused and the great fusion of energies resulting therefrom has been effected. I refer to this particular world cycle and period and to the state of affairs in this the fifth or Aryan root-race. (EA 453)
11. This arousal occurs only at the fifth degree (by analogy to fifth degree requirements for the human being—R&I 340)
12. There is also this direct statement:
Basically it might be said that a planet is regarded as "sacred" when its informing spiritual Life has taken five of the major cosmic initiations and that a "non-sacred" planet is one whose planetary Logos has not taken these initiations. This is an inadequate definition and is only in any way to be understood if you bear in mind that initiation is a process of developing inclusiveness. (EA 503)
Here I would point out that in the case of the planetary Spirits Who are on the divine evolutionary arc, the Heavenly Men Whose bodies are planets, the etheric web does not form a barrier, but (like the Karmic Lords on a higher plane) They have freedom of movement outside the bounds of the planetary web within the circumference of the solar ring-pass-not.46
13. In the section immediately above, there is no discrimination between sacred and non-sacred Planetary Spirits. For both, the etheric web does not form a barrier.
14. It appears that Karmic Lords are found on a still higher plane than Heavenly Men.
15. It also appears that Heavenly Men have freedom of movement “outside the bounds of the planetary etheric web within the circumference of the solar ring-pass-not”. This may have something to do with the ‘felt presence’ of the various planetary Logoi on our planet.
16. We must look into this term “freedom of movement”; it must refer to consciousness, as the body of any planet has very little freedom of movement, being confined (by Law) to its orbit.
(46: The planetary Spirit is another term for the Logos of our planet, one of the "seven Spirits before the Throne," and therefore one of the seven Heavenly Men. He is on the evolutionary arc of the universe, and has passed many stages beyond the human.
The planetary Entity is on the involutionary arc and is a very low grade Entity. He is the sum total of all the elemental lives of the planet.)
17. An important distinction is made between the Planetary Spirit and the Planetary Entity. A Planetary Spirit is a Heavenly Man (one of the Seven Spirits before the Throne (of the Solar Logos). Sometime the term “Heavenly Man” is to be discriminated from that of “Planetary Logos”, but not in this case.
18. The Planetary Entity, comprised of many unconscious lives, is, on his own level, unconscious.
Again from the systemic standpoint, these same effects may be observed, functionally, this time in connection with the cosmic centre; organically, in connection with the sum total of the planetary systems; and statically, in connection with the solar or logoic ring-pass-not.
19. The three terms, “functionally”, “organically” and “statically” seem to relate to the first, second and third rays respectively.
a. The term “functionally” relates to vitalization from a greater cosmic center.
b. The term “organically” relates to the inclusive distribution of prana within the Solar Logos’ own system.
c. The term “statically” relates to the holding of a ring-pass-not between the Solar Logos’ physical solar system and His own astral body (or more widely, the cosmic astral plane).
20. What may be the cosmic centre from which our solar system receives the prana which it will then qualify? If analogy holds good, if will be from an Entity which comprises it as a chakra, and therefore from the cosmic Entity which expresses through seven sacred Suns (i.e., which expresses through the Seven Solar Systems of which ours is One—SSSOWOIO).
We might now, for purposes of clarity, take up these three groups separately and briefly touch upon them and hint (for more will not be possible) at methods of cure and of adjustment.
21. The three types of disorders are taken up separately, first in relation to the microcosm, man.
a. Microcosmic functional disorders. These have to do with the reception by man, via the necessary centres, of the pranic fluids.
22. Note again, the use of the words “fluids”. Probably this term will (to the physicist of the future) reveal the dynamics of pranic flows.
We must always bear in mind, and thus keep the distinction clear, that these emanations of prana have to do with the heat latent in matter; when received and functioning through the etheric body correctly, they co-operate with the natural latent bodily [Page 106] warmth, and (merging therewith) hold the body in a vitalised condition, imposing upon the matter of the body a certain rate of vibratory action that leads to the necessary activity of the physical vehicle, and the right functioning of its organs.
23. The cooperative interplay in the microcosm between pranic emanation and “the heat latent in matter” (the “natural latent bodily warmth”) is here discussed.
24. Without this interplay, the physical body would not be vitalized. This vitalization occurs through an imposition “upon the matter of the body a certain rate of vibratory action”.
25. We perhaps little suspect how dependent is the physical body upon vitalization from the etheric body.
It will, therefore, be apparent that the A. B. C. of bodily health is wrapped up in the right reception of prana, and that one of the basic changes that must be made in the life of the human animal (which is the aspect we are dealing with now) will be in the ordinary conditions of living.
26. When dealing with the fires of matter, we are dealing with the animal nature of man, not with his psyche.
27. Nothing could be more practical than what is here discussed. Upon humanity’s health depends much of its effectiveness within the Divine Plan.
The three fundamental centres whereby reception is brought about must be allowed to function with greater freedom, and with less restriction. Now, owing to centuries of wrong living, and to basic mistakes (originating in Lemurian days) man's three pranic centres are not in good working order. The centre between the shoulder blades is in the best receptive condition, though owing to the poor condition of the spinal column (which in so many is out of accurate alignment), its position in the back is apt to be misplaced. The splenic centre near the diaphragm is sub-normal in size and its vibration is not correct. In the case of the aboriginal dwellers in such localities as the South Seas, better etheric conditions will be found; the life they lead is more normal (from the animal standpoint) than in any other portion of the world.
28. Very practical adjustments are in order and the Tibetan becomes specific.
29. One wonders about the nature of these “basic mistakes” and why they are not elaborated here. Perhaps they concern clothing, carriage and food.
30. Since the center between the shoulder blades is presently in better working order than the other two centers in the pranic triangle, advantage should be taken of this fact.
31. We can see the importance of correct posture. Medical disciplines such as the chiropractic science attempt to address the misalignments of which the Tibetan speaks.
the aboriginal dwellers in the
The race suffers from certain incapacities, which may be described as follows:
33. There now follows a list of the liabilities from which the race suffers in relation to the health of the etheric body.
First. Inability to tap pranic currents, owing to the unhealthy lives passed by so many. This involves the cutting off of the source of supply, and the consequent atrophying and shrinkage of the receptive centres. This is seen in an exaggerated form in the children of the congested quarters of any great city, and in the vitiated anemic dwellers of the slums. The cure is apparent—the bringing about of better living conditions, the employment [Page 107] of more appropriate clothing, and the adoption of a freer and more salubrious mode of living. When the pranic rays can find free access to the shoulders, and to the diaphragm, the subnormal state of the average spleen will adjust itself automatically.
34. As the Tibetan sees it, the lives of very many human beings are judged unhealthy.
35. Because the source of pranic supply is cut off, the organs of reception, assimilation and distribution have shrunk and atrophied.
36. Anemia (which is a low red blood cell count) is the result of this devitalization.
37. The cure is not difficult:
a. Better living conditions
b. More appropriate clothing
c. A freer and more healthy way of living
38. In considering these requirements, the influences of freedom promoting Jupiter and Uranus must take the place of the sometimes cramping effects of Saturn.
39. It is obvious that relating rightly to the Sun leads to vitalization.
Second. Over-ability to tap pranic currents. The first type of functional disorder is common and widespread. Its reverse can be found where conditions of life are such that the centres (through too direct and prolonged submittal to solar emanation) become overdeveloped, vibrate too rapidly, and receive prana in too great an amount.
40. Upon initial consideration, this would not appear to be a problem.
41. In any case, it is rarer than the first problem.
This is rarer, but is found in some tropical countries, and is responsible for much of the troublesome debility that attacks dwellers in these lands.
42. It is recognized that living in tropical climes can be enervating.
The etheric body receives prana or solar rays too rapidly, passes it through and out of the system with too much force, and this leaves the victim a prey to inertia and devitalisation.
43. This rapid passage of prana into and out of the system would give little opportunity for correct assimilation.
Putting it otherwise, the etheric body becomes lazy, is like an unstrung web, or (to use a very homely illustration) it resembles a tennis racket which has become too soft, and has lost its resilience.
44. We see that all aspects of the body must be made to work or they will lose their tone and functionality.
The inner triangle transmits the pranic emanations with too great rapidity, giving no time for the subsidiary absorption, [by the dense physical body] and the whole system is thereby the loser. Later it will be found that many of the ills that Europeans, living in India, fall heir to, originate in this way; and by attention, therefore, to the spleen, and by wise control of living conditions, some of the trouble may be obviated.
45. Those venturing to the tropics from northern countries and not used to the conditions they encounter, and suffer accordingly.
46. What sort of attention shall be given to the spleen? Shall it be protected from too great exposure?
47. We see that both these types of trouble are the result of excesses—either excessive privation or excessive exposure. A more balanced approach will lead to better health.
In touching upon similar conditions in the planet, both these types of trouble will be found. More cannot be said, but in the wise study of solar radiation upon the surface of the planet in connection with its rotary action, some of the group rules of health may be comprehended and followed.
48. The Tibetan only hints at similar problems on a planetary level, and the hint is obscure. The rotation of the Earth apparently does not vary in speed. Does the rotation of the various human vehicles vary according to the extent of pranic radiation received? Perhaps the circulation of energies and forces within the vehicles varies.
49. We do see that when discussing planetary conditions, we are not speaking so much of individual health as of group health (or as the Tibetan puts it, “group rules of health”).
The spirit of the planet (or the planetary entity) likewise has his cycles, and in the absorption of [Page 108] planetary prana, and in its correct distribution, lies the secret of fertility and equable vegetation.
50. When we consider the Earth’s vegetation, we note that there are many places of aridity and consequent infertility. The surface of the Earth is certainly not covered equably with vegetation. Probably analogies can be drawn in relation to the human body which in many cases has over- and under-vitalized areas.
51. We can conclude, therefore, that solar prana is neither correctly received not distributed by the etheric body of our planet. It may be justly said, that our planet is present not in good health.
52. The idea of “equable vegetation” suggests the influence of both Venus (the planet governing the vegetable kingdom) and the sign that it exoterically rules (Libra), the sign of balance and equability.
53. Libra, we are told, is growing in influence in the planetary horoscope, and will affect positively, the environmental movement, which seeks to restore a balance of energies and forces throughout the planet (and especially on the physical plane in relation to the four lower kingdoms of nature—mineral, vegetable, animal and human).
Much of this is hidden in the fabled story of the war between fire and water, which has its basis in the reaction of the fire latent in matter, to the fire emanating outside of matter, and playing upon it.
54. The fire latent in matter is more closely related to water and moisture than the radiatory fires “emanating outside of matter and playing upon it”.
55. We know that both moisture and Sun (water and fire) are necessary for the flourishing of vegetative life (affecting, of course, animal life). The maladjustment between solar radiation and the moisture/water, symbolically ruled by the Moon, contributes to conditions of insufficient fertility (and, perhaps, to the excessive fertility of the jungle).
In the interval that has to elapse while the two are in process of blending, come those periods where, through karmic inheritance, reception is unstable and distribution inequable.
56. Fire and water are in process of blending correctly, but there are transitional periods which are unstable and characterized by inequable distribution.
57. Earth appears to be in precisely just such a period.
As the point of race equilibrium is reached, so planetary equilibrium will likewise be attained, and in planetary attainment will come the equilibrium that must mutually take place between the solar planets. When they attain a mutual balance and interaction then the system is stabilised and perfection reached. The even distribution of prana will parallel this balancing in the man, in the race, in the planet and in the system. This is but another way of saying that uniform vibration will be achieved.
58. Equilibrium in the lower groupings leads to eventual equilibrium in the higher groupings which include the lower. In this way, the achievement of equilibrium works from below to above.
59. It is interesting that, astrologically, the Sun has a certain relationship to Libra (the sign of equilibrium) known as a “fall”. The Sun falls in Libra, for assertive, self-centered solar tendencies are moderated, equilibrated and decentralized. Under this influence, there arises a tendency towards distribution rather than centralization. It is precisely this distribution which, ecologically, we are attempting to achieve.
60. Some of this more even distribution will be achieved during the Aquarian Age (Aquarius is the sign of distribution), in which the sign Libra (like Aquarius an air sign) will be strengthened.
b. Microcosmic organic disorders. These are basically two in number:
Troubles due to congestion.
Destruction of tissue due to over-absorption of prana, or its too rapid blending with latent physical fire.
61. These two problems are closely related.
We have a curious illustration of both of these forms of trouble in sun stroke and in heat stroke. Though supposedly understood by physicians, they are nevertheless altogether etheric disorders.
62. A useful medical hint is given—one that should direct physicians who treat these maladies towards a study of the etheric body.
When the nature of the etheric body is better understood, and its wise care followed both these types of disease will be prevented. They are due to solar pranic emanation; in one case the effect of the emanation is to bring about death or serious illness through the congestion of an etheric channel, while in the other the same result is brought about by destruction of etheric matter.
63. Death and serious illness can be brought about by either congestion or the destruction of etheric matter.
64. Usually, in esotericism, the Moon is considered to be the bringer of death and disease:
When the building energies of the soul are active in the body, then there is health, clean interplay and right activity. When the builders are the lunar lords and those who work under the control of the moon and at the behest of the lower Personal self, then you have disease, ill health and death. (EH 191)
We see, however, that the energies of the Sun, poorly understood and wrongly appropriated can equally bring disease and death.
The above illustration has been used with definite intent, [Page 109] but it should be pointed out that etheric congestion may lead to many forms of disease and of mental incompetence.
65. Etheric congestion, therefore, is not only to be found in relation to the mal-appropriation of solar pranic currents. It is a general problem with many attendant difficulties.
Etheric congestion leads to the thickening of the web to an abnormal extent, and this thickening may prevent, for instance, contact with the higher Self or principles and its resultants, idiocy and mental unbalance.
66. A very interesting explanation of some forms of mental disorder or imbalance. Excommunication from the higher Self and higher principles leave the remaining immersed consciousness in a relatively subhuman state.
67. As DK has emphasized in other books (notably EP II), cleavage is at the root of many human ailments.
It may lead to abnormal fleshy development, to the thickening of some internal organ, and consequent undue pressure; one portion of the etheric body being congested may lead to the entire physical condition being upset, resulting in diverse complaints.
68. Some specifics regarding the consequences of etheric congestion are given.
69. The general effect is “thickening” creating pressure and lack of balance. Any undue concentration of force (or undue lack) leads to a condition of imbalance and improper circulation.
Destruction of tissue may lead to insanity of many kinds, especially those kinds deemed incurable. The burning of the web may let in extraneous astral currents against which man is helpless; the brain tissue may be literally destroyed by this pressure, and serious trouble be caused through the etheric ring-pass-not having been destroyed in some one place.
70. Here DK discusses the premature destruction of the etheric web.
71. The admission of “extraneous astral currents” can lead to insanity—thought, feeling and action which are interrupted and rendered chaotic. The result—an uncontrolled life.
72. The insanity is incurable because the disruptive intrusion cannot be stopped.
73. It appears that brain tissue is destroyed not so much by the burning of the web but by the pressure of the admitted astral currents.
74. Those who eagerly seek communication with the astral plane should take these thoughts into consideration.
In connection with the planet a similar state of affairs may be found. Later information may be forthcoming, which is at present withheld; this will show that whole races have been influenced, and certain kingdoms of nature troubled by planetary etheric congestion, or the destruction of planetary etheric tissue.
75. On a planetary level, we have the disruption of the lives of “whole races”, but the specific information is withheld. We do know of astrally obsessed groups. The German people, for instance, with its vulnerable Pisces personality, may have been one such group (during the Second World War).
76. The point to be gathered is that the problem of congestion or destruction is not simply an individual problem, but can affect planetary groups with very difficult results.
We have dealt with the functional and organic ills of the etheric, giving certain indications for the extension of the concept to other realms than the purely human. In the human kingdom lies the key, but the turning of that key opens up a door to a wider interpretation as it admits one into the mysteries of nature.
77. It would seem that in the hands of humanity lie important developments for the planet as a whole.
78. The key that humanity may turn will have more than individual implications; the turning will lead to an possible apprehension of larger wholes.
Though that key has to be turned seven times, yet even one turn reveals untold avenues of eventual comprehension.47,48
79. We begin to understand why AAB considered A Treatise on Cosmic Fire but the ABC of occult knowledge.
80. Interestingly, below there is mention of seven key to the Secret Doctrine, but as many as ten keys are listed.
(47: The keys to the Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky. See S. D., I, 343; note; II, 551.
1. Every symbol and allegory has seven keys.—S. D., II, 567; III, 3.
81. A “key” in this case is that which will reveal the Ancient Mysteries according to a particular perspective.
82. Probably, there is one master key that will reveal the entirety of the Wisdom from all perspectives.
2. Only three keys available in the nineteenth century.—S. D., II, 543. Compare II, 617, 842.
83. By these three keys are probably meant the physiological, astronomical and metaphysical keys.
3. There are seven keys to the Entrance door to the Mysteries.—S. D., III, 178. Compare I, 346; II, 330; II, 668, II, 731.
4. The keys, as hinted by H. P. B., are:
a. Psychological.—S. D., II, 25, note; I, 389.
84. Dealing with the qualitative relationship between earthly, systemic and cosmic entities and the means by which they know each other.
b. Astronomical.—S. D., II, 25, note; I, 389; III, 198.
85. Dealing with the cycles and physical interplay of the major (for us) planets, stars and constellations.
c. Physical or physiological.—S. D., II, 25, note; III, 198.
86. Revealing the reflection in matter of archetypal patterns, and the secret powers contained within the physical mechanism.
d. Metaphysical.—S. D., II, 25, note; II, 394.
87. Dealing with the philosophical understanding of all Earthly, systemic and cosmic relations, and the Divine Creative Process. The universe is considered as Will and Idea.
e. Anthropological.—S. D., I, 389; III, 198.
88. Dealing with the formal, physiological, psychological and spiritual aspects of the various races of human beings and the manner in which these races, developmentally, reveal the intended unfoldments of the Divine Plan (in relation to Earth).
f. Astrological.—S. D., II, 343.
89. Dealing with the qualities of the major (for us) planets, stars and constellations their qualitative interplay and the physical, psychological and spiritual meaning of their cycles.
g. Geometrical.—S. D., II, 494; III, 176.
91. Revealing the manner in which the Grand Geometrician geometrizes in both matter and form.
h. Mystical.—S. D., I, 401.
92. Dealing with the experienced fusion or union of cosmic entities with the entities which include them; man in relation to the soul, the soul in relation to the monad, the monad in relation to the Planetary Logos, etc.
i. Symbolical.—S. D., II, 561.
93. Dealing with the manner in which the greatest Truths are not literally conveyed but symbolically represented.
j. Numerical.—S. D., II, 198.
94. Dealing with the Divine Numerology on the principle of which all things are built and organized—since the Primary Entities in cosmos are Numbers.
5. Each key must be turned seven times.—S. D., I, 22.
95. At the very least, this means, one turn for each plane and in relation to each of the seven major principles. Each turning of the key admits the enquirer more deeply into an understanding of and participation in the mysteries of the Divine Process.
6. The Jews availed themselves of two keys out of the seven.
96. Presumably (from what HPB has said elsewhere) one of these was the physical or physiological key. Another may have been the astronomical key (cf. SD II 631, note). Both of these would correlate with the number three which is closely related to the origin of the Jews in the first solar system (governed by the third ray), and to the personality nature of the Jews colored by the third ray. But the astronomical key is not listed as “available” (i.e., the physiological, psychological, astrological, metaphysical and geometrical), and elsewhere DK speaks of attempting to give some of the astrological key, so the Jews cannot have discovered it in its entirety.
Just as A Treatise on Cosmic Fire endeavoured to give the psychological key to The Secret Doctrine and to interpret the underlying consciousness which the Beings (considered in The Secret Doctrine) express, so in A Treatise on the Seven Rays, I am carrying on the same idea and, at the same time, seeking to give the needed key to modern exoteric psychology and also some indications as to the astrological key to The Secret Doctrine to which H.P.B. refers. (EA 290)
The Ancient Wisdom teaches that "space is an entity." It is with the life of this entity and with the forces and energies, the impulses and the rhythms, the cycles and the times and seasons that esoteric astrology deals. H.P.B. stated this in The Secret Doctrine. I would remind you that there is an astrological key to The Secret Doctrine which cannot yet be given in completeness. (EA 7)
97. We are learning that a key may be partially turned, but not necessarily turned in completeness.
7. The Metaphysical key is available.—S. D., I, 338. Compare III, 198.)
98. Is The Secret Doctrine itself, the “Metaphysical Key”? It certainly deals with divine theogony and philosophical cosmogony, which are both metaphysical themes.
(48: "The seven keys open the mysteries, past and future, of the seven great rootraces and of the seven kalpas." Every occult book, symbol and allegory can be subjected to seven interpretations. There are three locks to be opened. [Each related to one of the three great Divine Aspects] Seven keys. Every book can be read exoterically, subjectively and spiritually. [According to the three Divine Aspects] All the keys are not yet available. (See Secret Doctrine, I, 330, 343.) There is the physiological key, the psychological, the astrological and the metaphysical. The fifth key is the geometrical.)
99. HPB is here speaking of available keys: physiological, psychology, astrological, metaphysical and geometrical (whether or not completely available).
100. We have often been told that A Treatise on Cosmic Fire is the “psychological key” to the “The Secret Doctrine”. Is the book meant, or that body of knowledge known as The Secret Doctrine?
We have considered the reception and distribution of pranic emanations in man, the planet, and the system, and have seen what produces temporary disorders, and the devitalisation or the over-vitalisation of the organic form. Now we can look at the subject from a third angle and therefore study:
c. Microcosmic static disorders, or a consideration of the etheric body in connection with its work of providing a ring-pass-not from the purely physical to the astral. As has been said, both here and in the books of H. P. B., the ring-pass-not48a is that confining barrier which acts as a separator or a division between a system and that which is external to that system. This, as may well be seen, has its interesting correlations when the subject is viewed (as we must consistently endeavour to view it) from the point of view of a human being, a planet and a system, remembering always that in dealing with the [Page 111] etheric body we are dealing with physical matter. This must ever be borne carefully in mind.
101. DK reminds us again of the physical nature of the etheric body.
(48a: "Ring-pass-not. The circumference of the sphere of influence of any centre of positive life. This includes the fire sphere of magnetic work of the solar orb, viewing it as the body of manifestation of a solar Logos and inclusive of an entire solar system. This term is also applied to the sphere of activity of a planetary Logos or to a planetary scheme and could equally well be applied to the sphere of activity of the human Ego."—S. D., I, 346.)
102. A very interesting term is given for the body of manifestation of the Solar Logos: “fire sphere is magnetic work”. We see that this fire sphere is not simply the fiery sphere of the Sun, but includes the entire solar system.
103. The “centre of positive life” is the monad in its physical manifestation. It is also known as the “central nucleus”.
104. The idea of the ring-pass-not seems particularly related to that which is manifested physically. We might also ask about the extension of other parts of the aura.
105. A centre of positive life may be influential beyond the sphere usually considered as a ring-pass-not. We might consider such a sphere as the matter of all kinds magnetically gathered to act as an instrument of expression for the positive life. The influence, per se, may extend greatly beyond that material sphere (considering matter to be of many possible grades).
Therefore, one paramount factor will be found in all groups and formations, and this is the fact that the ring-pass-not acts only as a hindrance to that which is of small attainment in evolution, but forms no barrier to the more progressed.
106. This is an extremely important point. We realize (even on the relatively human level) that a Master can be influential anywhere on the globe, regardless of the material He has gathered to be immediately instrumental in His life expression.
107. The ring-pass-not counteracts the tendency towards dispersion, and thus creates a focus which leads to development. This is one of its primary functions. There is also a protective function.
The whole question depends upon two things, which are the karma of the man, the planetary Logos, and the solar Logos, and the dominance of the spiritual indwelling entity over its vehicle.
108. The ring-pass-not (considered as a hindrance) is a karmic factor, and Saturn (‘Lord of Containment’) is the greatest of the planetary Lords of Karma. Karma works often through the prevention of expansion until the necessary patterns are built and harmonized (with each other and with the environment).
109. When the “spiritual indwelling entity” achieves dominance over its vehicle, the influence of the nucleus (the indwelling entity) easily extends beyond the usual boundaries created by the physical vehicle and the etheric web (considered as a barrier to contact with more subjective planes).
110. The way through the ring-pass-not is the cultivation and empowerment of the central nucleus.