Fellowship of Cosmic Fire
Commentary Semester I Section VIII
Version 1.4 VSK recontituted 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)
II. THE NATURE OF PRANA
In dealing with the subject of the etheric body and its functions as an assimilator and distributor of prana, we have dealt with it from the standpoint of its place in the scheme of things. We have considered this matter of etherics from the angle of correspondences, and have traced analogies in the system, the planet, and man. We have seen that it formed the foundation of the dense physical form, and in itself constituted a most important link between:
1. We are now speaking of context.
2. We remember the key function of the etheric body “as an assimilator and distributor of prana”.
3. Our study seems to be called by the interesting term “etherics”.
4. We are reminded that it is the etheric body which has produced the physical and that it substands that physical vehicle.
5. From time to time we notice the Tibetan offering a summary for educational purposes.
a. Physical man, and the emotional or astral plane.
b. Planetary Man, and essential emotional quality.
c. The Logos, the grand Heavenly Man, and the cosmic astral plane.
6. The role of the etheric body in relation to both the dense physical and emotional or astral planes must be remembered. Via the attenuated etheric vehicle, the influence of the astral vehicle can make its way into the physical brain consciousness.
We might now narrow the subject down to the consideration of the etheric body of the human being and not touch upon correspondences to things systemic or cosmic at all, though it may be necessary to remind ourselves that for the wise student the line along which wisdom [Page 88] comes is the interpretative one;
7. What is the ‘interpretive line’ to which the wise student adheres? May we say it is the means by which anything is always described not only as a thing-in-itself, but in relation to its embracing context?
he who knows himself (in objective manifestation, essential quality, and comprehensive development) knows likewise the Lord of his Ray, and the Logos of his system.
8. This is another way of saying that the one who knows himself, understands beings who are much higher (at least beings whose structure is analogous to his own).
9. The vista is quite amazing, as we are being offered a way (through analogy) to understand the life of great beings entirely beyond our normal ken.
It is only then a matter of application, conscious expansion, and intelligent interpretation, coupled to a wise abstention from dogmatic assertion, and a recognition that the correspondence lies in quality and method more than in detailed adherence to a specified action at any given time in evolution.
10. We are being advised how to proceed under the Law of Correspondences. The steps involved, in tabulation form are:
b. Conscious expansion
c. Intelligent interpretation
d. A wise abstention from dogmatic assertion
e. Recognizing correspondence primarily in quality more than in detailed attention to specified action
11. Analogies and even quite exact correspondences should not be pushed too far or they we break down. We are largely safe when we stick to qualitative similarities. If we look in detail at specific actions (as they occur in two entities being compared) there are liable to be specific differences which we can easily overlook, since we do not know enough through direct observation.
All that it is possible to give here is material which, if rightly pondered on, may result in more intelligent practical living in the occult sense of the term "living";
12. We note the great practicality of the Tibetan’s intention. The correspondences which He offers use are to “result in more intelligent practical living in the occult sense of the term ‘living’.” This should give pause to those who may consider that the complexities of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire mark it out as an impractical book.
which, if studied scientifically, religiously and philosophically, may lead to the furthering of the aims of the evolutionary process in the immediately coming lesser cycle.
13. The purpose of the writing is to “further the evolutionary process”.
14. The various ways of studying this treatise are given:
15. As we read through the book, we should be alert to the methods of doing this and to the sections which lend themselves most to one or other of these three methods.
Our aim, therefore, is to make the secondary body of man more real, and to show some of its functions and how it can eventually be brought consciously into the range of mental comprehension.
16. We note that the etheric body is called “the secondary body of man”. In some ways, it seems the primary body, for the entirety of the physical body is derived from it.
17. The next scientific and medical frontier is the study and understanding of the etheric body, to which TCF attempts to contribute.
Science, as we know, is fast reaching the point where it will be forced to admit the fact of the etheric body, because the difficulties of refusing to acknowledge it, will be far more insuperable than an admission of its existence.
18. Physicists have dismissed the ether because, in their theories, they saw no need for it. It would appear that an adjustment of thought in this regard is imminent.
Scientists admit already the fact of etheric matter; the success of photographic endeavor has demonstrated the reality of that which has hitherto been considered unreal, because (from the standpoint of the physical) intangible.
19. Perhaps there are some scientists who do, and other who emphatically do not.
20. Photography has, however, revealed many ‘invisibilities’. There is a branch of photography called “spirit photography” which has revealed that which the eye does not normally see.
Phenomena are occurring all the time which remain in the domain of the supernatural unless accounted for through the medium of etheric matter, and in their anxiety to prove the spiritualists wrong, scientists have aided the cause of the true and higher spiritism by falling back on reality, and on the fact of the etheric body, even though they consider it a body of [Page 89] emanative radiation—being concerned with the effect and not having yet ascertained the cause.
21. Truth advances through the fight against truth.
22. We note the use of the term “anxiety”; people adhere to their world views emotionally and are personally threatened if their world views are threatened. This is true even of those who, like scientists, should be more objective.
23. What does the Tibetan mean by “truer and higher spiritism”? Probably the detection and understanding of planes higher than the physical.
24. In the scientific endeavor, it seems that the study of effects always precedes the study of causes.
Medical men are beginning to study (blindly as yet) the question of vitality, the effect of solar rays upon the physical organism, and the underlying laws of inherent and radiatory heat. They are beginning to ascribe to the spleen functions hitherto not recognised, to study the effect of the action of the glands, and their relation to the assimilation of the vital essences by the bodily frame.
25. All this was written in the 1920’s and so DK had to be talking about progressive medical thinkers and researchers. What was true then, is a much more focused endeavor at this time (2005).
26. Within the etheric body are “vital essences” which, to be useful to the dense physical body, must be assimilated. Exposure to pranic sources is one thing but it is assimilation that must be facilitated.
They are on the right road, and before long (perhaps within this century) the FACT of the etheric body and its basic function will be established past all controversy, and the whole aim of preventive and curative medicine will shift to a higher level.
27. The century of which Master DK spoke is now over. It can be questioned whether the existence of the etheric body and its basic function has been established past all controversy. In certain progressive circles it is established, but these circles are by far the minority. The shift, however, is taking place.
All we can do here is to give simply, and in a condensed form, a few facts which may hasten the day of recognition, and further the interest of the true investigator. Let me, therefore, briefly state what will be dealt with in our remaining three points:
28. The few points here given are still of use, as for the majority, there is no true recognition of this field within the human constitution.
The functions of the etheric body.
Its relation to the physical during life.
The ills or diseases of the etheric body (taking care to retain the original meaning of the word "disease.")
Its after death condition.
This will embody all that is as yet of practical use. More may later be forthcoming for our helping if that which is now given to the public is carefully followed up, and if investigators wisely, sanely and broadly study this important matter.
29. The principle is enunciated: there must first be assimilation of that which is given before more will be given.
30. When new information arises it can be used unwisely, insanely and narrowly. This, the Tibetan (whose attitudes reflect a “sanctified normality”) seeks to avoid.
As the nature and functions of the etheric body of man assume their rightful place in the thought of the world and as it is realised that the etheric is the most important of the two physical bodies, man will be brought into closer conscious contact with the other evolutions [Page 90] that evolve in etheric matter just as he does in a dense physical body.
31. Here is direct discussion of “two physical bodies”. Their relative importance is set forth.
32. The study of the etheric body will be an open door to contact with “other evolutions”. For now, most are blind to these evolutions.
33. It is clear that members of the deva kingdom are not to be found on the dense physical level.
There are certain large groups of devas, called "the devas of the shadows," or the violet devas, who are closely allied with the evolutionary development of man's etheric body, and who transmit to him solar and planetary radiation.
34. The function and importance of the “devas of the shadows” are given. It is important to note that these violet devas transmit to man both solar and planetary radiation.
35. Their color violent allies them to the seventh ray just as the etheric body is generically allied to the seventh ray.
36. Solar and planetary radiations are necessary for the health of the dense physical vehicle and so these devas of the shadows uphold an invaluable function.
The etheric body of man receives prana in different ways and of different kinds, and all these ways bring him into touch with varying entities.
37. The study of the reception of prana has its complexities and into these we will enter to a degree.
38. Each channel for the reception of prana brings man in touch with the entities associated with that channel.
1. Solar prana.
This is that vital and magnetic fluid which radiates from the sun, and which is transmitted to man's etheric body through the agency of certain deva entities of a very high order, and of a golden hue.
39. We note that solar prana is both vital and magnetic. In all cases of magnetism we must ask what is attracted.
40. The “golden hue” of the transmitting devas is also to be noted. Perhaps more will be said of the degree of elevation of these devas.
41. It is not said whether these deva entities are extra-planetary or intra-planetary.
It is passed through their bodies and emitted as powerful radiations, which are applied direct through certain plexi in the uppermost part of the etheric body, the head and shoulders, and passed down to the etheric correspondence of the physical organ, the spleen, and from thence forcibly transmitted into the spleen itself.
42. Something important about the functioning of the deva kingdom is given: energy is passed through their bodies in order to reach its destination. This description suggests that the devas under discussion live within the ring-pass-not of the Earth.
43. The passage of solar prana is hereby given. The “pranic triangle” is involved:
“1. The pranic triangle.
a. The shoulder centre.
b. The centre near the diaphragm.
c. The spleen.” (EA 88)
44. Other centers are probably involved and the term “uppermost” may give a hint as to their location, but the Tibetan is not being entirely specific.
45. The word “forcibly” is not without significance when stating the means of transmission of prana to the physical spleen.
46. This description entails a knowledge of occult physiology which is not yet in our possession.
These golden hued pranic entities are in the
air above us, and are specially active in such parts of the world as
47. This statement confirms that the “golden hued pranic entities” are related to Earth and even to the atmosphere in certain terrestrial location.
48. We note the necessary that they work in areas where the air is “pure and dry”, and not in strong humidity. “Humidity” (unprecipitated moisture in the air) is a condition related to the astral plane, and these devas are not so related.
49. There are also areas of the Earth where the Sun’s rays are almost violent in their intensity. Can it be assumed that these “golden hued pranic entities” are not active under such circumstances? Or that they are excessively active? It would seem that they may be active in desert climes, but in the desert the rays of the sun are not recognised as specially beneficial.
Relations between man and this group of devas are very close, but fraught as yet with much danger to man. These devas are of a very powerful order, and, along their own line, are further evolved than man himself. Unprotected man lies at their mercy, and in this lack of protection, and man's failure to understand the laws of magnetic resistance, or of solar repulsion comes, for instance, the menace of sunstroke.
50. The group of devas here discussed have a close relationship with man. It is inherent in many people to “seek the Sun”.
51. It is interesting to note that, in terms of their own evolution, they are “further evolved than man himself”. This would suggest that such devas are self-conscious.
52. During the last number of decades increasing attention has been paid to protection from the rays of the Sun. These methods are, of course, external, involving “Sun screens” and “sun blocks”.
53. The Tibetan suggests occultly energic means of protection using—
a. Magnetic resistance
b. Solar repulsion
54. We are learning that certain maladies which overtake man are specifically related to the action of certain members of the deva kingdom, and especially to human ignorance concerning such devas.
When the etheric body and its assimilative processes are comprehended scientifically, man will then be immune from dangers due to solar radiation. He will protect himself by the application of the laws governing [Page 91] magnetic repulsion and attraction, and not so much by clothing and shelter.
55. A more salutary future relation between man and such devas is given. Man’s immunity will lie in an understanding and application of “the laws governing magnetic repulsion and attraction”. These laws will be understood during the Aquarian Age the culture of which will be much related to the Sun and to the etheric body. The sign Leo, in which the Sun is so prominent, is the polar opposite of Aquarius.
It is largely a question of polarisation.
56. The protection here discussed may relate to the focus of man’s attention (i.e., his polarisation). At the moment, he is much focussed on his physical nature and not upon and within his etheric nature.
One hint might here be given: When men understand the deva evolution somewhat more correctly and recognise their work along certain lines in connection with the Sun and realise that they represent the feminine pole as they themselves represent the masculine (the fourth Creative Hierarchy being male)39 they will comprehend the mutual relationship, and govern that relationship by law.
57. An important concept is here set forth. The deva evolution is, in relation to “man”, the “feminine pole”, even as man is the “masculine” or “male”. Just as the relationship between the sexes is, under a growing Libran influence, to be governed increasingly by law, so is the relationship between man and devas.
58. The principle of mutuality based on respect and understanding must govern. We are dealing here with the harmonization of the human and deva kingdoms. The in-cycling of the fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict (and its buddhic associations) will assist with this harmonization under law.
59. In these days of relatively ignorant experimentation by man as he enters into fuller association with the devas, he is not governed in his approach by law.
(39: S. D., I, 232-238. The whole cosmos is guided, controlled and animated by an almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform.—S. D., I, 295. Among these the Hierarchy of human Monads has a place.)
60. On pp. 34 and 35 of Esoteric Astrology we are given a tabulation listing twelve Creative Hierarchies. Obviously, judging from the statement above, there are many, many more. The planes do not end at the third subplane of the cosmic astral plane (as the tabulation of Hierarchies ends). The ascending Hierarchies are virtually limitless as far as man is concerned. There are also many orderly subdivisions within the Hierarchies listed
These solar devas take the radiatory rays of the sun which reach from its centre to the periphery along one of the three channels of approach, pass them through their organism and focalise them there. They act almost as a burning glass acts.
61. Earlier we dealt with the “three channels of approach” found in every atom (human, planetary, solar or the atom of substance).
62. It is to be noted that the triple channel reaches from the centre to the periphery of the being concerned.
63. The golden hued pranic devas receive the diffuse surface radiation of the Sun and focalize those rays. This focussing is likened to the action of a magnifying glass, or “burning glass”.
These rays are then reflected or transmitted to man's etheric body, and caught up by him and again assimilated.
64. The devas transmit the focalized prana directly to man’s etheric body.
65. The entire process is a chain of transmission and assimilation and, again, transmission.
When the etheric body is in good order and functioning correctly, enough of this prana is absorbed to keep the form organised.
66. This suggests that a poorly functioning etheric body may not absorb prana as it should.
This is the whole object of the etheric body's functioning, and is a point which cannot be sufficiently emphasised.
67. DK emphasizes again the major function of the etheric body and its relation to healthful physical continuity.
The remainder is cast off in the form of animal radiation, or physical magnetism—all terms expressing the same idea. Man therefore repeats on a lesser scale the work of the great solar devas, and in his turn adds his quota of repolarised or remagnetised emanation to the sumtotal of the planetary aura.
68. Unassimilated prana, when cast off, goes by the names “animal radiation” or “physical magnetism”. Some of this may well be used in the healing process.
69. The analogy holds good and man acts to a lesser sphere as the “great solar devas” have acted in relation to o him.
70. That prana which is cast off from man (due to non-absorption) has been “repolarised or remagnetised”, and is an emanation adding to the “sumtotal of the planetary aura”. The receiving entity requalifies that which is received. For instance, the first ray passing through Saturn and then emanated is qualified differently from the first ray passing through Vulcan and then emanated. A quality of the recipient organism is added.
71. In the flow of life, there is no unnecessary retention of energy. Health demands circulation.
2. Planetary prana.
This is the vital fluid emanated from any planet, which constitutes its basic coloring or quality, and is produced by a repetition within the planet of the same process [Page 92] which is undergone in connection with man and solar prana.
72. DK continues the analogy. We note that the pranic flows are “vital fluid(s)” which are magnetic. Prana flows.
73. Just as the pranic planetary emanation has its own “basic coloring or quality”, the same may be predicated of the pranic emanation of from the Sun or from man.
The planet (the Earth, or any other planet) absorbs solar prana, assimilates what is required, and radiates off that which is not essential to its well-being in the form of planetary radiation.
74. We see there is no waste. That which cannot be assimilated “radiates off” or is “cast off”. Any entity can only receive according to its capacity. One of the greatest cosmic ‘sins’ is to hoard energy/force, and it has its dire consequences to the one who unlawfully retains.
Planetary prana, therefore, is solar prana which has passed throughout the planet, has circulated through the planetary etheric body, has been transmitted to the dense physical planet, and has been cast off thence in the form of a radiation of the same essential character as solar prana, plus the individual and distinctive quality of the particular planet concerned.
75. Another important idea is given, equating two kinds of prana—showing that there is no essential difference between them. In a way, all prana is one prana of a universal kind.
76. We note that before any casting off occurs, the received prana is circulated and, in proper measure, transmitted to the dense physical body.
77. It is the “individual and distinctive quality” of the receiving entity which is added to the prana it has received from a superior radiating entity.
78. Whatever passed through us or any entity is qualified according to the nature of the receiver.
79. A question arises as to whether all the received prana must be circulated and transmitted to the physical body before it can be cast off. Perhaps the received prana must be sent in the direction of the dense physical body before it can be cast off as excessive or inassimilable.
This again repeats the process undergone in the human body. The physical radiations of men differ according to the quality of their physical bodies. So it is with a planet.
80. The analogy is extended to man.
81. What is meant here by “their physical bodies”? Shall we say that the quality of both the dense physical and the etheric bodies is meant?
Planetary emanative prana (as in the case of solar prana) is caught up and transmitted via a particular group of devas, called the "devas of the shadows," who are ethereal devas of a slightly violet hue. Their bodies are composed of the matter of one or other of the four ethers, and they focalise and concentrate the emanations of the planet, and of all forms upon the planet.
82. It is clear that man depends upon or lives by means of planetary emanative prana as well as solar prana—really the same thing, the former having passed through the etheric (and physical?) bodies of the planet where it has been repolarised and re-qualified.
83. The role of the “devas of the shadows” is stated. Here they are said to have a “slightly violet hue”. Elsewhere, greater delineation is given:
“As the two planes, astral and physical, merge and blend, and continuity of consciousness is experienced upon the two, it will be difficult for human beings to differentiate at first between devas of the astral plane, and those of the physical. At the beginning of this period of recognition, men will principally contact the violet devas, for those of the higher ranks amongst them are definitely making the attempt to contact the human. These devas of the shadows are of a dark purple on the fourth etheric level, of a lighter purple, much the same colour as violet, on the third etheric level, a light violet on the second, whilst on the atomic subplane they are of a glorious translucent lavender.”(TCF 912)
84. The violet devas are related in some symbolical way to the Moon, as they carry a crescent moon on their foreheads.
85. We are seeing, therefore, a cooperation between golden solar devas who catch and transmit the solar pranic emanations and ‘lunar’ violet devas who catch and transmit planetary pranic emanations.
They have a specially close connection with human beings owing to the fact of the essential resemblance of their bodily substance to man's etheric substance, and because they transmit to him the magnetism of "Mother Earth" as it is called.
86. These violet devas are another group closely related to man. We have just read that the solar pranic devas are also closely related (i.e., “Relations between man and this group of devas are very close”—TCF 90)
87. We note that close relations between entities may arise if within their bodies there is a close similarity of substance. These violet devas are not within man’s etheric body but have bodies with substance very similar to the substance of man’s etheric bodies.
88. Earlier, of the violet devas, we were told that they transmit to man both solar and planetary radiation.
89. Our pranic nurturance from the Earth considered as “Mother” comes through these violet devas.
90. In considering this fact, the relations between Earth, Moon, Cancer, Sun, Leo, Taurus and the color violet is to be considered.
91. Below is a summary helpful to us in gathering our thoughts.
Therefore we see that there are two groups of devas working in connection with man:
a. Solar devas, who transmit the vital fluid which circulates in the etheric body.
b. Planetary devas of a violet color, who are allied to man's etheric body, and who transmit earth's prana, or the prana of whichever planet man may be functioning upon during a physical incarnation.
reading this summary the following must also be borne in mind:
There are certain large groups of devas, called "the devas of the shadows," or the violet devas, who are closely allied with the evolutionary development of man's etheric body, and who transmit to him solar and planetary radiation. (TCF 90)
The violet devas transmit more that “earth’s prana”
93. We conclude that symbolically, the Sun and the Moon work in closest cooperation ensuring the vitalization of man. (Technically, however, we realize that the Moon is a dead planet and has no vital radiation.)
A very pertinent question might here be asked, and though we may not fully explain the mystery, a few suggestive [Page 93] hints may be possible. We might ask: What causes the apparent deadness of the Moon? Is there deva life upon it? Does solar prana have no effect there? What constitutes the difference between the apparently dead Moon, and a live planet, such as the Earth?40 [40: S. D., I, 170-180.]
94. DK enters a brief discussion of the mystery of the Moon taken up a various points throughout this book and Esoteric Astrology.
95. Is the Moon only “apparently dead” or truly dead?
Here we touch upon a hidden mystery, of which the solution lies revealed for those who seek, in the fact that human beings and certain groups of devas are no longer found upon the Moon.
96. The deadness of the Moon is related to the absence of human being and certain groups of devas (devas who transmit solar prana).
Man has not ceased to exist upon the Moon because it is dead and cannot therefore support his life, but the Moon is dead because man and these deva groups have been removed from off its surface and from its sphere of influence.41 [41: S. D., I, 179.]
97. This removal, which effectively ‘killed’ the Moon, was due to the intervention of the Solar Logos in the affairs of a planet in which lawlessness had developed beyond the possibility of redemption.
Man and the devas act on every planet as intermediaries, or as transmitting agencies. Where they are not found, then certain great activities become impossible, and disintegration sets in.
98. Here the reason is given directly. Man and devas transmit life. Where they are not found, animating life cannot reach that which is to be animated, and death supervenes.
The reason for this removal lies in the cosmic Law of Cause and Effect, or cosmic karma, and in the composite, yet individual, history of that one of the Heavenly Men Whose body, the Moon or any other dead planet at any time happened to be.
99. DK hints at cosmic causes for this removal of man and deva from the Moon.
100. If the karma is “cosmic” it concerns more than strictly planetary beings. As the intervention of the Solar Logos occurred (in relation to the Moon’s process), that great solar being must also have been karmically involved. Perhaps the life informing the Moon had become response to certain negative cosmic influences which could not be allowed to have influence within the Earth-scheme.
101. Another hint is given. There are other dead planets and they have been the bodies of Heavenly Men (or Planetary Logoi).
102. As far as we can tell, the Moon was the body of a Chain-lord within the Earth-scheme (an entity informing an entire planetary chain) and, from one perspective, could also be considered a vehicle of manifestation for the Planetary Logos of the Earth-scheme.
103. Did the physical Earth exist at the time the physical Moon existed? Did the Moon-chain and the Earth-chain exist simultaneously? (A number of references in TCF seem to indicate they did.) Why within the Earth-scheme should there be two physical planets—even if sequential? (This is not the case for any other planetary scheme in our solar system.) Is it only because of the failure of the first of these planets? If the precipitation of the physical Earth followed sequentially upon the ‘death’ of the Moon, was it even planned that there would be a physical Earth?
104. There are many mysteries here—mysterious to us, at least.