Fellowship of Cosmic Fire

Commentary Semester VII Section I

TCF 732-747 : S7S1

22 March – 6 April 2008

(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)

It is suggested that this Commentary be read with the TCF book handy, for the sake of continuity. As analysis of the text is pursued, many paragraphs are divided, and the compact presentation in the book, itself, will convey the overall meaning of the paragraph. So please read an entire paragraph and then study the analysis.

1.                  We now undertake the great theme of incarnation, but on a cosmic and planetary scale as well as the human scale.

c. On Incarnation.

(a.) Cosmic, Planetary and Human.  We leave now the consideration of self-consciousness, as it is produced through the medium of the particular type of deva substance which the Agnishvattas provided for the body of the Ego, and pass on to the study of incarnation, cosmic, planetary and human.

2.                  If we study these words carefully, certain points emerge.

a.                  Self-consciousness is produced through the medium of a particular type of deva substance. Self-consciousness is a modification of consciousness per se, and without this type of deva substance (inducing the quality of “I-ness”), the resultant consciousness would not be Self-consciousness.

b.                  The Agnishvattas provided this type of substance.

c.                  The substance provided is part of the body of the Ego.

d.                  The Ego is, therefore, not (as usually understood) an Agnishvatta or a collection of Agnishvattas, but is something which uses the substance provided by the Agnishvattas for its body.

e.                  The Ego, in fact, is the consciousness indwelling the body provided for it by the Agnishvattas. The Ego, really, is the spiritual triad which is an extension of the Monad but is often considered to be that which (as an extension of the Monad/Triad) expresses itself on the higher mental plane through the vehicle which the Agnishvattas have provided.

 A hint as to the constitution of these solar Pitris and Manasadevas may come to the student who ponders upon the place of the egoic unit in the body of the planetary Logos, and in the particular centre of which it forms a com­ponent part.

3.                  Are we to consider Agnishvattas as distinct from Manasadevas? The use of the word “and” strongly suggests this possibility.

4.                  Monads are as cells within the centers of a Planetary Logos. Egoic units are also constituents of the centers of a Planetary Logos, but the centers are of a different (and, probably, lower) order.

5.                  Whereas Monads may form centers found upon the monadic plane, egoic units are constituents of lower centers (on the higher mental plane) which are but reflections of the higher or monadic centers.

 These Manasadevas and Dhyan Chohans who produce self-consciousness in man are indeed the energy and substance of the cosmic Heavenly Man.

6.      A Heavenly Man is a cosmic Being.

7.      Since Solar Angels, Manasadevas and Dhyan Chohans all produce self-consciousness in man, these three terms must (in this context) refer to the same type of being. We know little, however, about hierarchical rank within the Fifth Creative Hierarchy, so some of the terms we usually think of as identical may indicate beings of differing spiritual status within the same Creative Hierarchy.

8.      As the Solar Angels, Manasadevas and Dhyan Chohans all came into our planet from Venus and from the Heart of the Sun, we must question, “for which of the Heavenly Men are they energy and substance?” If for the Planetary Logos of the Earth-scheme, then it would seem that they would be appropriated energy and substance originating, for instance, within Venus or the Heart of the Sun.

9.      The origin (from within the Sun) of these great Beings is well established. The Solar Angels are Beings essentially more solar than planetary even though, after emanation from the Sun, they function as energy and substance within a Planetary Logos or “cosmic Heavenly Man”).

The word "incarnation" in its root meaning conveys the fundamental truth involved in the taking of a dense physical body, and should technically be applied only to that period of manifestation which concerns the three lower subplanes of the:

10.             DK places certain limitations upon our understanding of the word “incarnation”. The terms always relates to the taking of a dense physical body within the lower three subplanes of a particular kind of etheric-physical plane.

a.   Cosmic physical plane, in relation to a solar Logos and to a planetary Logos.

11.             For a Solar Logos, we would be dealing with the lower twenty-one subplanes.

12.             For a Planetary Logos, we would be dealing with the lower eighteen subplanes.

b. Systemic physical plane, in relation to man.

13.             In this case, we are speaking of the lower three systemic subplanes—the densest systemic physical subplane, the liquid systemic physical subplane, and the gaseous systemic physical subplane.

This connotation has been preserved where the cosmic entities are concerned, but when man is under consideration the term [incarnation] has been applied to the unification of the etheric double with the dense physical body, or to the appropriation by man of the vehicle composed of the [Page 733] substance of the lowest subplane of the cosmic physical plane in its lowest aspects.

14.             The meaning of the term “incarnation” as it applies to man is slightly different from the meaning of the term when applied to a Solar Logos or Planetary Logos.

15.             According to this understanding, man is in incarnation when his consciousness is immersed in both the lower three (or densest) subplanes of the cosmic physical plane and the four etheric subplanes of the physical subplane of the cosmic physical plane.

 This distinction has a certain significance and should be remembered.  This appropriation is governed by the same laws which governed the appropriation by the Logos of His physical vehicle.

16.             We are to remember that man’s incarnation includes the systemic ethers, but that the incarnation of the Solar Logos or Planetary Logos does not include the cosmic ethers.

In order to get an idea of what the procedure is, it might be of value if we considered the different kinds of pralaya, and pondered upon those periods which ensue between incarnations.

17.             There are many such pralayas, the vast majority beyond our range of comprehension. How shall we speak of the pralaya of a Cosmic Logos or of a Super-Cosmic Logos, or of a Galactic Logos, and beyond?

18.             Fortunately, we do not have to consider such vast periods.

 From the point of view of any unit involved, a pra­laya is a period of quiescence, of cessation from a particular type of activity, involving objectivity, yet from the point of view of the great whole with which the unit may be involved, a pralaya may be considered merely as a transference of force from one direction into another

19.             A pralaya may be no quiescence at all. During pralaya there may be a cessation of objective activity, but what of subjective activity?

Though the unit may be temporarily devitalised as regards its form, yet the greater Entity persists, and is still active.

20.             And the lesser entity who has experienced a transference of force may be active in a new way within that “greater Entity”.

21.             Pralaya and the dynamic of ‘objective devitalization’ go hand in hand.

Let us take up the matter first from the human standpoint, and study pralaya as it affects the Monad in incarnation.

22.             We recall that “incarnation” (as regards the human unit) includes expression within the systemic ethers as well as through the three lowest of the systemic physical subplanes.

Footnote 44 (See S. D., I, 397-398.)
There are fundamentally three kinds of Pralaya. 

1. Solar pralaya.         This comes at the end of one hundred years of Brahma.  It marks reabsorption into unity.  It marks end of manifestation of solar system.  Concerns the solar Logos.

23.             From the human perspective, this is a pralaya of vast duration, but from the truly cosmic perspective, it is a the blinking of an eye.

24.             We can see that in this type of occultism, the period known as “one hundred years of Brahma” is taken very seriously. It is hard to conceive of it as a symbolic figure.

25.             One the solar system has disappeared, it may be said that solar pralaya has begun, but perhaps the solar pralaya is not completed until the consciousness of the Solar Logos has returned to the solar logoic causal body.

2. Incidental pralaya.    This succeeds the days of Brahma.  It marks periods between manvantaras.  Temporary form ceases but duality remains.  Concerns a planetary Logos.

26.             We must wonder why the period known as the “year of Brahma” is not mentioned. From this perspective, “manvantaras” are “days of Brahma”.

27.             Although the “day of Brahma” concerns a Planetary Logos, it is virtually impossible to think of the duration of a Planetary Logos as being less than a “year of Brahma”. In fact, it would seem that most Planetary Logoi must endure for many years of Brahma.

28.             Later, there is a discussion of the interval between globes as a “manvantara”. From this perspective, we must link what is here said about “incidental pralaya” with what is later said concerning the interval between globe activity.

3. Individual pralaya. Achieved by a man at the fifth initiation.  Marks attainment of perfection.  Concerns the monad.

29.             Mastership is here equated with “perfection”. What of Chohanship?

30.             What may the individual pralaya here discussed really be? May we say that it is the pralaya following the great cycle of incarnation in the fourth or human kingdom? Following this type of pralaya there would certainly be no need for incarnation in the fourth kingdom (and, thus, the idea of “devitalization” with respect to the lower three worlds). We may wonder why this type of pralaya would not begin at the fourth initiation. Perhaps only when there has been a ‘clearing of the debris’ remaining from the ‘fourth-initiation supernova’ is a man truly liberated from the lower twenty-one systemic subplanes.

31.             Is much time spent in this particular type of pralaya? If so, how can we incorporate the idea that the duration between the fifth and sixth initiation may not be lengthy, though perhaps it may last a thousand years or two thousand years?

32.             Or, does this type of pralaya simply indicate that, for the human Monad, life has now begun in earnest on the cosmic etheric planes and that life expression within the dense physical body of the Planetary Logos (and even Solar Logos) is no longer necessary. With respect to these lower subplanes, a kind of ‘death’ has ensued.

33.             Some speculate that Master DK, Who took the fifth initiation in 1875 has already taken the sixth initiation. If this is the case, then the duration between the fifth and sixth initiations could be short, indeed. We may, however, speculate that the type of pralaya here discussed does not end with the onset of the sixth initiation or seventh, etc.

34.             In any case, what is the nature of a pralaya in which there is, apparently, no ‘rest’? If we are to consider the period following the fifth initiation as a pralayic period, we can see that within that pralaya there is a great deal of very useful activity, for a Master or Chohan is extremely busy on the cosmic etheric planes, though, perhaps, not so apparently active within the lower three worlds from which the fourth and fifth initiation have freed Him. Thus, He achieves a certain ‘rest’ with respect to the lower eighteen or twenty-one systemic subplanes.

35.             Is this an example of the transference of energy from a sphere of objectivity to one of far deeper subjectivity? It would seem so.

36.             One cannot specify too many details on these matters which are, at this time, beyond our ken.

There is also the pralaya in connection with human evolution which we call devachanic.  It concerns the personality.

37.             It seemed curious that, when individual pralaya was mentioned, it was not the pralaya which occurs between human incarnations. We see that the name for such a pralaya is called “devachanic”.

38.             May we, in a sense, assume that the true “Individual” is the Monad?

39.             Presumably, if a disciple foregoes the type of experience called “devachan”, he does not experience this fourth type of pralaya. Once He is truly “on the Path”, ‘devachanic pralaya’ may become rare of non-existent.

There are five types of pralaya with which we may legitimately concern ourselves.

40.             Thus far, four types have been mentioned.

41.             We note the use of the word “legitimately”. Apparently there are types of pralaya which would be speculatively interesting, but our interest in them would not be spiritually profitable and, thus, legitimate.

  We should notice first the fact that this condition is primarily one that concerns the relation­ship between Spirit and matter, in which a condition in substance is brought about through the action of the energising factor, the Spirit.

42.             Here is a rather abstract definition of pralaya. Pralaya is a condition of abstraction from one condition of substance into another and higher, and this abstraction is brought about by the relation between Spirit and matter, and, more specifically, by the relationship of Spirit to matter.

 It has, therefore, to do with the relation of the greater devas as They carry out Their work of form-building [Page 734] under the Law of Will of God to the lesser devas who represent living substance.

43.             This is certainly an unusual angle on the subject. It is as if the “greater devas” are responsible for the abstraction of the Monad from the influence of the lesser devas.

44.             We have to understand what it means to “represent” living substance. This is not necessarily the same as being living substance.

45.             Are the “greater devas” not, themselves, also working through living substance on the cosmic etheric planes?

46.             From one perspective, the Solar Angel is a “greater deva”, and this Angel is (through the death process) responsible for cyclically abstracting the human consciousness from engagement with the lesser devas.

47.             What we call the human personality is, in a way, produced by the engagement of the Solar Angels with the Lunar Lords—i.e., the engagement of “greater devas” with lesser devas.

 It will be apparent to the student that it concerns the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Mother in the production of the Son, and then the relation of the Son to the Mother.

48.             The Holy Spirit, when compared to the energy or force of the Mother, is etheric.

49.             By means of the Holy Spirit, it becomes possible for the Son to manifest through the Mother.

50.             The Holy Spirit acts as a bridge of energy preparing the way for the coming of the Son.

51.             We should be alert to the fact that the subject of pralaya is being treated from a  devic perspective, which is unusual.

52.             From another perspective, the Holy Spirit energy is that of the cosmic ethers. When the energy of these ethers engages with the Mother energy (the energy of the lower eighteen systemic subplanes) the vehicle for the “Son” (the egoic lotus on the higher mental plane) is produced.

53.             From one perspective, the human physical body is a “son” caused by the interaction of systemic ether and the systemic dense subplanes.. From another perspective, the production of the egoic lotus is a “Son”.

54.             There would be no physical body unless the etheric body engaged with Mother substance.

55.             Analogously, it would seem that there would be no causal body unless cosmic etheric substance engaged with the Mother substance of the higher mental plane. We should perhaps recollect that the “true plane” of the Solar Angels is not the higher mental plane but that the Solar Angels are much more at home in the cosmic ethers. They are said, for instance, to embody the buddhic energy.

56.             Spirit (as it manifests on the cosmic physical plane) is represented by the higher ethers (the energy of the “Holy Spirit” cosmically considered) and Matter by the lower twenty-one subplanes  (the dense physical body of the Solar Logos). The causal “Son”/Sun arises through this interaction expedited by the Solar Angels.

If the ideas formulated in this treatise have been carefully followed, it will be obvious that in studying the question of pralaya, we are studying the relation (in time and space) of the positive energy of the solar Logos, the planetary Logos, and of Man to the substance through which alone manifest­ation is possible.

57.             In studying pralaya, we are studying a relationship.

58.             We appear to be discussing the relationship between the etheric energy/substance and dense matter. In the case of the section of text above, dense matter (cosmically considered) is named as “substance”.

59.             The positive energy of a Solar Logos, Planetary Logos (if we confine our consideration to the cosmic physical plane) or of man (if we confine ourselves to the systemic physical plane) is etheric. In this context, however, the “substance through which alone manifestation is possible” is densely material. Technically, however, substance is that which substands the more material or objective force we know as dense matter.

60.             A pralaya is usually (and initially) a withdrawal from out that which is materially dense into that which is etheric in nature.

  Through this relation, existence on the objective planes can be brought about.

61.             We are saying that through the relationship between etheric substance and dense physical matter, existence upon the objective planes can be brought about.

62.             There will be no existence on the dense physical planes without the engagement of etheric substance with dense physical matter.

63.             The ethers are ultimately the vehicles for the first aspect, for life or Spirit.

64.             The systemic and cosmic dense subplanes are vehicles for the third aspect.

(b.) The Nature of Pralaya.  We can view pralaya as the work of "abstraction," and as the method which brings the form under the Destroyer aspect of Spirit, working ever under the Law of Attraction, of which the Law of Synthesis is but a branch. 

65.             We are given some significant relationships and a sense of priorities:

a.                  The “work of abstraction” brings the form under the  “Destroyer aspect of Spirit”.

b.                  The destroyer aspect is under the control of the Law of Attraction

c.                  The Law of Synthesis is but a “branch” of the Law of Attraction

d.                  It would seem that the “Destroyer aspect of Spirit” is directly related to the Law of Synthesis and that both are related to the “work of abstraction”.

e.                  Could the hierarchy be as follows?:

                                            i.                        The Law of Attraction is preeminent

                                          ii.                        The Law of Synthesis is a branch of the Law of Attraction

                                        iii.                        The work of abstraction, bringing the form under the influence of the destroyer aspect, is actually working under the Law of Synthesis (as a branch of the Law of Attraction).

                                         iv.                        Death and destruction are essentially caused by the urge towards synthesis which arises under the great Law of Attraction

66.             The planet Jupiter is here implicated. Jupiter is the planet, in our solar system, through which the Law of Attraction largely expresses. As the ruler of the monadic plane, Jupiter is also expressive of the Law of Synthesis. The Monad is the synthetic factor in the constitution of man.

The basic law of the system is that which governs the relation of all atoms to the aggregate of atoms, and of the Self to the Not-self.

67.             DK is speaking, principally of the Law of Attraction, a great Law of Magnetism.

It is (from the occult standpoint) the most powerful force-demonstration in the system, and should the law inconceivably cease to work, instantaneously the system and all forms therein, planetary, human and other would cease to be.

68.             Cosmic and systemic laws sustain and substand the solar systemic form through which a Solar Logos expresses. Such laws are great ‘sustainers of relationship and without them, all that is related in a particular way would cease to be related.

 By an act of will the planetary schemes persist, by an act of will the system IS;

69.             Laws are acts of will. Divine Will sustains Divine Relationship. Should will cease, law would cease. Should law cease, then relationship would cease and chaos ensue.

70.             That which sustains planetary schemes in existence is the will of the Solar Logos.

 by an act of the egoic will man appears.

71.             This “egoic will” can be considered the will of the Monad through the spiritual triad, both expressive through the vehicle which the Solar Angel provides, so that monadic will (thus meditated) can create the personality of man.

72.             Of course, the Solar Angel is involved in the generation of “egoic will”.

  When the Will of the Logos, of the Heavenly Man, and of the human divine Ego is turned to other ends, the substance of Their vehicles is affected, and disintegration sets in.

73.             From this perspective, pralaya can be considered a redirection of attention. The will of any entity reaches the field upon which that will is to be imposed through the medium of directed attention.

74.             Will sustains relationship. There is no manifestation without relationship. The withdrawal of will is the removal of that which sustains relationship and “disintegration sets in”.

The five types of pralaya which concern the human unit are as follows:

75.             Now we enter a more detailed description of the kinds of pralaya which the human unit can experience.

76.             We might as well list all five types of pralaya at the outset:

a.                  The period of pralaya between two incarnations

b.                  The period between egoic cycles

c.                  The period wherein the man has attained freedom

d.                  Planetary pralaya

e.                  The Great Pralaya

(1) The period of pralaya between two incarnations.

77.             This, we remember, is the least of the four types of pralaya originally mentioned:

a.                  Solar pralaya (concerning occult centuries)

b.                  Planetary pralaya (concerning manvantaras)

c.                  Individual pralaya (appearing at the time of the fifth initiation).

d.                  Finally, “devachanic” pralaya

This is of a triple nature and affects the substance of the three vehicles, physical, astral and mental, reducing the form to its primitive substance, and dissipating its atomic structure.

78.             The nature of this type of pralaya is “triple” because of the three types of personality vehicles which must undergo disintegration.

79.             Pralaya seems a very complete process if all substance composing the personality vehicles is to be reduce to “primitive substance”.

80.             By primitive substance, do we mean “atomic substance”?

81.             There are many types of atoms to be found on the six subsidiary or molecular subplanes of any systemic plane. Are we to suppose that all matter composing the personality vehicles is reduced to atomic matter (characteristic of the plane in question) and then returned to the “great reservoir”. Or are we to suppose that the atoms of each vehicle are reduced to their original subplane nature and thence returned to the great reservoir as atoms of a particular subplane?

82.             If the substance of the three vehicles is to have its atomic structure dissipated, how thorough-going is this dissipation? Every subplane of the etheric, astral and lower mental plane (for instance) has its characteristic atomic structure. Is there any reason to suppose that the various types of subplane matter which went to the constitution of the personality vehicles of the human being should be reduced beyond its subplane identity?

83.             The clue may lie in the fact that matter on the physical plane, for instance, is composed of vast aggregates of atoms—there are molecules, complex molecules, cells, etc. Such aggregations may also be found on the astral and lower mental plane, and may (through the processes of pralaya) be subjected to a de-aggregation to subplane substance (i.e., to atoms characteristic of the various subplanes) or, in the most drastic case, to the atomic matter of that particular systemic plane.

84.             The degree to which the atoms characteristic of any particular subplane  may be de-aggregated will require further investigation. Clearly the types of atomic structures which define the various subplanes of the etheric, astral and lower mental plane do not disappear when the human being experiences inter-incarnational pralaya. These subplanes and their unique atomic structure exist independently of the vehicles which are composed of such subplane matter.

85.             A close study of pertinent chapters in Occult Chemistry and First Principles of Theosophy is recommended.

 The energy of the second aspect (that of the form-builder) is withdrawn by the will of the Ego, [Page 735] and the atoms composing the form become dissociated from each other, and are resolved into the reservoir of essence to be re-collected again when the hour strikes.

86.             There is reason to believe that the same atoms associated with the human being during incarnation are regathered for building the vehicles of his next incarnation.

87.             The following quotation points to this regathering:

The lesser lives (which are governed by the Moon) have been dispersed.  They no longer respond to the ancient call of the reincarnating soul, which again and again has gathered to itself the lives which it has touched and coloured by its quality in the past.  (R&I 101)

88.             It seems logical to assume that the “reservoir of essence” includes atoms of all kinds—not just atoms of the kind which exist on the atomic subplane.

89.             Ever since the Second Logos at the Second Outpouring did His work, atoms for each systemic plane have been built into six types subsidiary to the atoms of the first or atomic subplane (of any particular systemic plane) which Fohat differentiated.

90.             We are speaking of the death process. The “will of the Ego” is involved in inducing that dissociation of atoms, which we call “death”, by withdrawing the magnetic or second aspect of divinity.

91.             It is as if the “will to cohesion” ceases, the subtle energy relationships which are the form in essence also cease and the form falls apart.

This condition is brought about gradually by stages of which we are aware:

92.             DK is beginning a preliminary discussion of the “death” process. As we know, He elaborates on this extensively in Esoteric Healing.

        The first stage is the withdrawal of the life force in the etheric vehicle from the threefold (dense, liquid and gaseous) dense physical body and the consequent "falling into corruption," and becoming "scattered to the elements."

93.             This is what we (given our present level of ignorance of the esoteric facts) usually call “death”. There has been a great search in the occult and spiritual literature for the “body incorruptible”. The dense physical body has no part in the manifestation of this incorruptible inner body.

94.             The strictly physical matter is, by one means or another, “scattered to the elements”. Clearly the process of cremation is mores successful at accomplishing this than burial in the earth. Mummification works in the opposite direction.

 Objective man fades out, and is no more seen by the physical eye, though still in his etheric body.  When etheric vision is developed, the thought of death will assume very different proportions.

95.             The development of etheric vision, we are told, is imminent, and so a great change in the attitude to death is also imminent.

96.             If the thought of death “will assume very different proportions” then, speaking in terms of proportionality, it will not loom so large in the consciousness of man.

97.             Much fear will be eliminated and with this elimination will come an effective change in human values.

 When a man can be seen functioning in his etheric physical body by the majority of the race, the dropping of the dense body will be considered just a "release."

98.             We are suffering from a major ‘inversion of thought’ when it comes to our attitude towards death. We consider it annihilation, whereas etheric vision will reveal it as “release”. Already, there are many who understand it to be thus.

        The next stage is the withdrawal of the life force from the etheric body or coil, and its devitalisation.  The etheric coil is but an extension of one aspect of the sutratma or thread, and this thread is spun by the Ego from within the causal body much as a spider spins a thread.

99.             Important ideas are here expressed. The etheric body is of one piece.

100.         We must not think of the sutratma as completely homogeneous; it has, so we see, more than one aspect.

101.         Who or what is the “Ego” which spins this thread (which must already be an extension of the life thread emanating from the Monad?) Is this the real man (in the spiritual triad) working within the causal body and under the direction of the Solar Angel?

102.         The Ego within the causal body is certainly vitalized from above, for the Monad is, through the Jewel in the Lotus, present within the causal body, and the Solar Angel (whether considered singular or plural) is/are ever sustaining that vehicle.

103.         We see that the etheric body is really an extension of the life within the causal body and that this life is part of a greater sutratma, ultimately emanating from the Monad.

104.         It would not be surprising to consider this portion of the sutratma as an extension of the energy and presence of the Jewel in the Lotus which, itself, is an extension of the energy and presence of the Monad.

105.         It is when dealing with the term “Ego” that we find it to deal with a number of structures and centers. The term is, thus, very much “blinded”, occultly.

 It can be shortened or extended at will,

106.         What is it that can be “shortened or extended at will”? Are we not speaking of the vitalization or devitalization of the etheric body? Of the vitalization or devitalization of the “coil”?

107.         We must consider well whose will is involved in this shortening or extension.

108.         A life can be shortened or extended. A “thread”, too can be shortened or extended.

109.         Is the ‘shortening’ of the thread another way of speaking of the withdrawal of vitality from the dense physical body?

110.         We may judge that the will of the soul has a significant role to play in the shortening or extension of human life upon the physical plane.

and when the period of pralaya has been decided upon,

111.         Who is it that decides this? Is it the Monad through the true and the shrouded Ego (i.e., the spiritual triad and the Ego within the causal body)? Is it the Solar Angel who decides or is the decision performed in spiritual consultation with the supervising Solar Angel? Is man the personality (and his personality will) involved to some extent, especially as the personality consciousness begins to identify as the egoic consciousness?

112.         We can see that the matter has the potential of being subtle and complex. This is why the ‘appointed time’ of death seems to be rather elastic.

 this thread of light, or of solar fire (note the word "solar") is withdrawn, and gathered back to the atomic subplane where it will still vitalise the permanent atom and hold it connected within the causal body.

113.         Some really important occult detail is given here. The sutratma is to be considered as a “thread of light”—not only a thread of life. Vibratorily, “light” and “life” may be considered equivalent. With regard to manifestation, all is vibration.

114.         We note that, this aspect of the sutratma is composed of “solar fire” and not of electric fire.

115.         So it is solar fire that vitalizes the etheric body principally and makes of it an extension of that solar vehicle we call the egoic lotus or causal body.

116.         The “thread of light”, once withdrawn, is to vitalize the physical permanent atom. The permanent atom is not only connected to the causal body but is, in many respects, within the causal body. This “thread of light” plays a role, it seems, in sustaining this connection between the physical permanent atom and the causal body.

 The life impulses are then—as far as the physical plane is concerned — centralised within the atomic sphere.

117.         There are “life impulses”—not just a single life impulse. These impulses have reference to all the planes and not just the physical. We are, at present however, speaking of a portion of the withdrawal process which concerns the physical plane.

118.         The “thread of light”, that portion of the sutratma which is made of solar fire, is withdrawn from the strictly physical body and is centralized in the physical permanent atom or atomic sphere where it continues to vitalize that atom.

        The third stage is the withdrawal of the life force from the astral form so that it disintegrates in a similar manner and the life is centralised within the astral permanent atom.

119.         It is of significance that whenever the life force is withdrawn from a vehicle, the withdrawn life force is centralized in the permanent atom which is responsible for sustaining that particular vehicle.

120.         Presumably, the withdrawn life force plays its part in sustaining the connection between the astral permanent atom and the causal body.

 It has gained an increase of vitality through physical plane existence, and added colour through astral experience.

121.         We are speaking of how the life force is modified by its expression through the various vehicles of the personality. It appears that the vitality of the life force is always increasing as a result of expression through the physical-etheric vehicle and that it gains colour through its astral expression.

122.         What really is this gain of color? Perhaps it is the ability to respond and to express itself in a variety of contrasting ways.

        The final stage for the human atom is its withdrawal [Page 736] from the mental vehicle.

123.         Here we are speaking of the lower manasic vehicle.

 The life forces after this fourfold abstraction are centralised entirely within the egoic sphere;

124.         If we follow the analogy thus far established, we would expect some centralization (at least temporary) in the mental unit. Would this not be necessary for the devachanic experience?

125.         Of course, we must remember that the physical permanent atom, the astral permanent atom and the mental unit have an occult ‘location’ entirely within the egoic sphere.

 contact with the three lower planes is still inherently possible by means of the permanent atoms, the force centres of the three personality aspects.

126.         We see that the Tibetan calls all three points of force by the name “permanent atoms”. Technically, the mental unit is not a permanent atom.

127.         Each permanent atom represents, as we have been taught, the seventh principle of that particular vehicle which it controls.

In each incarnation the life forces have gained through the utilisation of the vehicles,

128.         We are speaking of the intensification of the life forces through the utilization of the personality vehicles.

a. An increased activity, which is stored in the physical permanent atom.

b. An added colouring, which is stored in the astral permanent atom.

c. A developed quality of strength, or purpose in action, which is stored in the mental unit.

129.         Here, we see that DK does speak of the life force abstracted from the lower mental body as centralized in the mental unit (which is, of course, within the confines of the causal body).

130.         It is very interesting to see how DK describes the nature of the energy or the quality of the energy which is centralized in the three constituents of the atomic triangle:

a.                  Activity or vitality is stored in the physical permanent atom

b.                  Added coloring (presumably the ability to respond to contrasts and express sentient contrasts) is stored in the astral permanent atom

c.                  Strength or purpose in action (qualities related to the will) are stored in the mental unit. The mental unit is, in fact, a vehicle for the personal will and with added soul infusion, for the egoic will.

These are wrought into faculty in devachan.

131.         This is a sentence of real importance. It is not that devachan is a period of idle, pleasure-full enjoyment. It has a definite occult purpose—to develop the vitalized, colored, or will-enhanced life force, stored in the members of the atomic triangle, into an increase of faculty.

132.         That increase of faculty can be expressed in the next incarnation. Without the devachanic processes, such expression would not be possible.

133.         This calls attention to the sacrifice which disciples undertake when they forego devachan in order to more rapidly re-enter their sphere of service on the dense physical subplane through the process of incarnation.

Devachan 45,46 is a state of consciousness, reflecting, in [Page 737] the life of the Personality, that higher state which we call nirvanic consciousness, and which is brought about by egoic action.

134.         Here is an excellent definition of devachan. We see that devachan is not really an egoic state even though it is brought about by egoic action.

135.         If the atmic plane is the “nirvanic plane”, then the devachanic state in some manner reflects it. There is a definite connection between the atmic and mental planes.

136.         Devachan occurs on the lower mental plane (still within the lower three worlds) just below the level of the Ego in the causal body; the atmic plane (still within the lower five worlds) is a sphere of consciousness found just ‘below’ the level of the Monad within the monadic vehicle.

 It is but a dim reflection in the separated units (and therefore tinged with selfishness and separative pleasure) of the group condition called nirvanic.

137.         We learn that for all its value (in the preparation of personal faculty), the devachanic experience is still tinged with selfness and separative pleasure, which is one of the reasons why true disciples forego the experience.

138.         We learn, as well, that Nirvana is a group experience. It is not just a condition of individual release, though it is often discussed in that manner.

 In this high state of consciousness each separate identity, though self-realising, shares in the group realisation, and therein lies bliss for the unit.  Separation is no longer felt, only unity and essential oneness is known.

139.         Here is an excellent description of nirvanic consciousness. Nirvana is a state of both Self-realization and group realization. It takes tremendous individual effort to achieve Nirvana, but unless the individual is growing in group consciousness at the same time as he attains individually, Nirvana will not be achieved.

140.         The state of consciousness in which we know there is “no my soul and thine” is a forerunner of the nirvanic consciousness.

141.         In Nirvana, one realizes oneself, one’s essential unity with others and the whole as well.

142.         Group consciousness is the prelude to bliss-consciousness (the consciousness of oneness).

Footnote 45:
Deva-Chan. "(3) 'Who goes to Deva Chan?'  The personal Ego, of course, but beatified, purified, holy.

143.         It is significant to realize that devachan is not a state of consciousness of the transpersonal Ego, still less of the transcendental Ego (i.e., the Monad).

 Every Ego—the combi­nation of the sixth and seventh principles—which, after the period of unconscious gestation is reborn into the Deva-Chan, is of necessity as innocent and pure as a new-born babe.

144.         Egos are combinations of atma and buddhi (the seventh and sixth principles, respectively). In this respect the Ego is very much the soul of the human being as it expresses on the levels of the cosmic ethers.

145.         We note the word “Deva-Chan” suggesting a ‘location’ in which the higher devic forces are very strong.’

146.         We note that entrance into devachan is a kind of “birth”. The lower ego has been purified through its passage through what the Catholics call “Purgatory”—probably a post-mortem astral state involving the purification of desire..

147.         Every entrance into a new field of experience is a kind of “birth”. The human being who has died to the dense physical subplanes is faced with a number of births into higher vibratory realms.

 The fact of his being reborn at all shows the preponderance of good over evil in his old personality.

148.         The suggestion is that if evil preponderated over good, there would be no rebirth into devachan.

  And while the Karma (of evil)

149.         And, presumably not the karma of good…

 steps aside for the time being

150.         i.e., is held in abeyance…

 to follow him in his future earth-reincarnation, he brings along with him but the Karma of his good deeds, words, and thoughts into this Deva-Chan.

151.         A beautiful system of compensation is here described. The effects of evil actions temporarily do not reach the ‘deceased’ in this devachanic condition conducive to the augmentation of faculty and quality.

152.         Thus, it is the goodness in any man that expressed in this relatively blissful state upon the lower mental plane—probably the fourth level of the lower mental plane.

3. The fourth mental sub-plane is the plane of devachan. (TWM 374)

153.         We note, however, that the effect of “evil” still remains and awaits the reincarnating personal ego in the lower worlds

 'Bad' is a relative term for us—as you were told more than once before, —and the Law of Retribution is the only law that never errs.

154.         Is it being suggested that there are other laws which do err?

155.         Sinnett suggests the infallible accuracy of this law. Perhaps such accuracy is the result of the extraordinary mathematical acumen of the Lords of Karma, and of the Lipika Lords especially.

 Hence all those who have not slipped down into the mire of unredeemable sin and bestiality—go to the Deva-Chan.

156.         Sinnett seems to be suggesting that those who are not firmly upon the left hand path go to Deva-Chan. It is not clear however that those who tread the left hand path slip into the mire of “bestiality”, nor that that their sins astral elemental “unredeemable”. Perhaps, of true black magicians, it could be sad that their sins are “unredeemable”—at least temporarily so.

157.         Is there any sin which is utterly unredeemable? Redemption depends upon time. It would seem that all sin is redeemable in a sufficient length of time. Certainly before the final Universal Pralaya, all sin must be redeemable. This conclusion is based upon philosophical thought which necessitates that no one and nothing can be excluded from a universe’s Final Pralaya.

 They will have to pay for their sins, voluntary and involuntary, later on.  Meanwhile they are rewarded; receive the effects of the causes produced by them.

158.         Thus, Deva-Chan is a condition of spiritual reward or compensation. From this perspective, we can think of it as very much under the influence of Jupiter with some admixture of Venusian energy.

"Of course it is a state, one, so to say, of intense selfishness during which an Ego reaps the reward of his unselfishness on earth.

159.         This is a paradoxical thought. It becomes clear that in the state of Deva-Chan, one’s higher desires are fulfilled, but altruism does not play a big part.

 He is completely engrossed in the bliss of all his per­sonal earthly affections, preferences, thoughts, and gathers in the fruit of his meritorious actions.

160.         We may say that the essential selfishness of Deva-Chan lies in the idea of engrossment.

 No pain, no grief nor even the shadow of a sorrow comes to darken the bright horizon of his unalloyed happiness; for, it is a state of perpetual 'Maya.' ..

161.         The term “Maya” is being used in a general rather than specific sense. In a general sense, the term “Maya” means “Illusion” rather than referring to the chaotic patterning of the etheric-physical plane.

162.         Because there are, in Deva-Chan, no obstacles to fulfillment of one’s personal earthly affections, preferences, thoughts and enjoyments, we might think of it as a condition in which the influence of the planet Saturn (the major planetary Lord of Karma) has little of its usual effects.

. Since the conscious perception of one's personality on earth is but an evanescent dream that sense will be equally that of a dream in the Deva-Chan—only a hundredfold intensified."

163.         Life upon the physical plane is as a dream. We learn that Deva-Chan is as a much intensified dream state—far more enjoyable than the often painful ‘dreams’ of earthly life which are confused with realities.

"'Bardo' is the period between death and rebirth—and may last from a few years to a kalpa.

164.         What an extraordinary statement! For what type of being may the period between death and rebirth last a kalpa? A human being? It would not usually seem so.

165.         However, if a kalpa is equal to a manvantara, and a manvantara is designated as a period between the activity of two globes, or even more expansively, as the period between two chains, then we must remember that some human beings who incarnated on the Moon-chain did not reincarnate until they reached the Earth-chain. Under such circumstances, the duration of a kalpa between incarnations would be reasonable

166.         As well, we must define the true duration of a kalpa. HPB gives precise figures for the duration of the kalpa but we learn that such units as a kalpa or manvantara can have several meanings. The figure given on TCF 39 is 4,320,000,000 years.

167.         We should also remember that the term “manvantara” may not only equal a period between globes but can be considered the duration of an entire chain round.

 It is divided into three sub-periods

168.         We are here speaking of the divisions of a the Bardo period.

(1) when the Ego delivered of its mortal coil enters into Kama-Loka (the abode of Elementaries);

169.         We are being told that the astral plane is the abode of the earth-bound souls of certain types of deceased human beings. Such souls are called Elementaries.

170.         If we remember what DK said about the etheric body as a “coil”, the term “mortal coil” becomes very interesting. The coiled thread of energy we understand as the etheric body also becomes ‘chains’ of a kind or “coils”.

171.         It would seem, however, that stage (1) may include astral experience, since the abode of “Elementaries” is mentioned.

(2) when it enters into 'Gestation State';

172.         It is hinted that this state may be an unconscious one.

173.         We may imagine that this gestation period occurs either upon the higher astral plane or upon the lower three subplanes of the mental plane.

174.         We gather, from what is said below, that the ‘Gestation State’ can be a long one.

(3) when it is reborn in the Rupa-Loka of Deva-Chan.

175.         A “Rupa-Loka” is still a state of form—the meaning of the word “Rupa”.

176.         Not much is made of the personal ego’s experience within the etheric body, which is still, relatively, a very physical state. Yet, delivery from the “mortal coil” will necessarily involve etheric experience, however brief.

Sub-period (1) may last from a few minutes

177.         This would be an ideal delivery and may be expected when cremation is practiced.

 to a number of years —

178.         One thinks of hauntings when the disembodied ego hovers near the dense physical plane and within the etheric worlds and the lower astral worlds.

179.         It is not entirely clear, however, whether the experience upon the astral plane is meant to be included in period (1). Probably it is since the “abode of the Elementaries” is mentioned. There are some souls who can make short work of the astral experience because their consciousness is so little focussed astrally.

 the phrase 'a few years' becoming puzzling and utterly worthless without a more complete explanation;

180.         This explanation is not here given.

181.         If sub-period (1) includes the astral plane, we can speak of “wandering in the wilderness”, for forty symbolic ‘days’.

Sub-period 2nd is 'very long'; as you say, longer sometimes than you may even imagine, yet proportionate to the Ego's spiritual stamina;

182.         This second period occurs presumably upon the astral plane or upon the lower three subplanes of the mental plane.

183.         The comment about the Ego’s “spiritual stamina” is very interesting.  We might understand this as meaning that the greater and stronger the personal ego’s aspiration and power of thought, the longer the period of preparation for the devachanic period. If this is the case, we are not told why it should be.

184.         One must wonder whether it is really a question of the higher Ego’s spiritual stamina or whether the acquired strength of the higher Ego influences the stamina of the lower personal ego.

185.         The Teaching of Master DK through AAB corrected a number of theosophical misconceptions. Theosophists had begun to think that the more spiritually developed they were, the longer they would spend in Deva-Chan. DK has informed us that the most spiritually developed human beings forego the Deva-Chan experience for the sake of applied service upon the physical plane. If Deva-Chan is essentially a ‘selfish’ state, it is inconceivable that those who are highly developed spiritually would desire to spend prolonged periods in a state of blissful self-absorption.

186.         We are, however, discussing a period of ‘Gestation’ which is rarely mentioned in descriptions of the progress of the human soul after physical plane death.

 Sub-period 3rd lasts in proportion to the good Karma, after which the monad is again reincarnated."

187.         Here we are speaking of Deva-Chan proper. The role of the Ego’s “spiritual stamina” in relation to the period of ‘gestation’ remains, for the moment, uncertain, however, it is clear that the greater the “good Karma”, the higher the human soul’s aspirations, the greater the wealth of thought generated by human being, the greater the potential length of the devachanic period.

188.         The remaining mystery concerns the ‘Period of Gestation’ and the exact meaning of the Ego’s “spiritual stamina” in relation to this ‘Period of Gestation’.

..."Every effect must be proportionate to the cause.  And, as man's terms of incarnate existence bear but a small proportion to his periods of inter-natal existence in the manvantaric cycle, so the good thoughts, words, and deeds of any one of these 'lives' on a globe are causative of effects, the working out of which requires far more time than the evolution of the causes occupied."

189.         The idea is clear. It takes a certain amount of time to generate causes and a far greater time (during the period of “inter-natal existence”) to work out the effects of those generated causes.

190.         The following excerpt suggests that when a human being begins to achieve triadal consciousness (which could mean, when the human being cannot only build but use the antahkarana) then the devachanic period is transcended.

The "devachan" of the occult books is connected with the consciousness of the logoic planetary body, and with the gaseous subplane of the cosmic physical plane.  It is, consequently, transcended the moment a man begins to function in the cosmic ethers, such as the fourth cosmic ether, the buddhic plane. (TCF 1108)

191.         We must establish what it means to “function in the cosmic ethers”. One can be impressionable to the energy of the cosmic ethers before one can truly function in them. The building of the antahkarana seems a definite necessity if one is to “function in the cosmic ethers”.

—From Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, pp. 100, 105-106.

192.         These “Letters”, we have been told, contain much of value and yet DK suggests that many of them were penned by HPB, herself. Therefore, it is important to examine their contents very carefully.

Footnote 46:
Devachan.  A state intermediate between two earth lives into which the Ego enters after its separation from its lower aspects or sheaths.

193.         What do we mean by “the lower aspects or sheaths”. Apparently, all subplanes with the exception of the fourth subplane of the mental plane are included in this description.

194.         We notice that the term “Ego”, as here used, does not distinguish between the Ego in incarnation (the human soul) and the Ego on the higher mental plane. From this perspective, the soul in incarnation may also be considered the “Ego”.

Therefore, as might be naturally deduced, there is no deva­chan for the savage or little evolved man, as they merit it not, and have not the mentality to realise it;

195.         We are reminded that the ‘bliss’ of devachan is based upon mentality and the fulfillment of what we might call mental aspirations and objectives.

 hence, therefore, the rapidity of their incarnations, and the brevity of the pralayic period.  There is little in their case for the Ego, on its own plane, to assimilate in the residue of incarnations,

196.         In this case “the Ego on its own plane” is the Ego within the causal body. We could even speak of the ‘Ego within the egoic lotus’. The egoic lotus, however, is not the Ego.

197.         The brevity of the intervals between incarnations for those who are little evolved serves the purpose of more rapidly conferring experiences from the three lower worlds upon such souls in incarnation.

198.         Assimilation of the residue of experience occurs, as we can realized, upon the higher mental plane.

 and hence the life principle withdraws rapidly from out of the mental form,

199.         Even for such relatively primitive human beings, there is a “mental form”.

 with the resulting impulse of the Ego to reincarnate almost immediately.

200.         In the case of all human beings, the life principle withdraws into the Ego demonstrating on the higher mental plane. It is from the Ego on the higher mental plane that the impulse towards incarnation arises.

201.         This impulse is associated with the sign Aries, the mantram of which is “I come forth and from the plane of mind, I rule*.

When the life of the personality has been full and rich, yet has not reached the stage wherein the personal self can consciously co-operate with the ego, periods of personality nirvana are undergone, their length depending upon the interest of the life, and the ability of the man to meditate upon experience. 

202.         We are told something of great importance: devachan is foregone when the personal self can consciously cooperate with the ego (Ego). This means that when the Spiritual Kingdom is entered, the man foregoes devachan.

203.         May we then say that when a personality can consciously cooperate with the Ego he can also function in the cosmic ethers? This link needs close examination.

204.         The “personal self” and the “ego” (Ego) are distinct, yet both are projections of the one Monad.

205.         An aspect of the Solar Angel is present within the Ego with which the personal self must learn to cooperate.

206.         We notice the important statement about the length of the devachanic experience. It depends upon—

a.                  The “interest of the life”—presumably, that which has interested the human being whilst in incarnation

b.                  The ability of the human being when focussed on the fourth subplane of the mental plane to meditate upon the experience he has undergone in the previous incarnation.

Later, when the Ego dominates the personality life, the interest of the man is raised to higher levels, and the nirvana of the soul becomes [Page 738] his goal.

207.         “Nirvana”, we see, is a generic term. The ‘nirvana’ of the personality is devachan. The “nirvana of the soul” is presumably that state of consciousness which exists on the higher mental plane.

208.         The Ego dominates the personality life as the antahkarana becomes functional—and we remember that there are two stages to the antahkarana—the first uniting the personality with the Ego in the causal body and the second uniting the soul-infused personality with the spiritual triad.

209.         This domination increases during the period from the first to the fourth initiation. We would expect a third degree initiate to have no interest in devachan. We must remember, however, that the buddhic energy is increasing significantly in the human consciousness from the time of the first initiation.

210.         The third degree initiate can consciously focus on the higher mental plane and, presumably, can, therefore, consciously cooperate with the Ego.

211.         Progress towards this achievement begins, however, at the first initiation.

He has no interest in devachan.

212.         This, of course, reverses the usual position taken in the standard literature of the Theosophical Society.

Therefore, those upon the Path (either the probationary Path, or the Path of Initiation) do not, as a rule, go to devachan, but immediate incarnation becomes the rule in the turning of the wheel of life;

213.         DK suggests that the period of foregoing devachan begins even before the period of the first initiation—in fact, upon the Probationary Path.

214.         Of course, the use of the term “Path” can signify the first initiation and, in a sense, a man is said to be on the Probationary Path until the time he becomes an accepted disciple. As one rarely becomes an accepted disciple until several incarnations after the taking of the first initiation, we could again say that conscious cooperation with the Ego cannot really begin before the first initiation, even it is definite and achieved at will at the third.

215.         Given what is said, we may suppose that for persistent students of the books of the Tibetan, entry into devachan is not the rule.

216.         When we focus on the words “as a rule”, it may still be possible that some quite advanced people may take a devachanic interlude.

 this time it is brought about by the conscious co-operation of the personal Self with the divine Self or Ego.

217.         We gather that most incarnations are not brought about by the conscious cooperation of the personal self with the divine Self or Ego.

218.         As a man becomes capable of registering the impulses of the Solar Angel and carrying out those impulses, we can say that the cooperation of the personal self with the “divine Self or Ego” begins.

219.         For persistent students of the AAB books this will probably mean that they foresaw the purpose and conditions of their present incarnation and worked (on the inner planes) with the Solar Angel, and in reflection of their own Monad, to plan and engineer the incarnation.

220.         We must realize the implication of the section of text above. The “personal Self” still exists during the period before incarnation. We can think of it as that portion of the higher consciousness which will descend and which is sometimes called “the soul in incarnation”.

221.         With whom or with what does this “personal Self” work to plan the next incarnation? May we say that it works in cooperation with the reflection of the Monad/Triad within the etheric body and also in consultation with the supervising Solar Angel which has pervaded the causal body with a fragment of itself.

222.         In this process the advanced man intending to reincarnate has two Masters—his own higher monadic/triadal nature and the Solar Angel, itself.

        (2) The period between egoic Cycles.

223.         May we say that the period between personality cycles can be likened to the period between globes in a chain and that the period between egoic cycles can be likened to the period between chains in a scheme. The Monads, it would seem, it related to the planetary scheme itself.

 Herein is hid the mystery of the 777 incarnations and concerns the rela­tion of the unit to his group on the egoic plane,

224.         We should recognize that we are not speaking of those cycles called personality incarnations.

225.         The number 777, while indicative of duration of the entire series of incarnations in the fourth kingdom, is to be considered symbolical. This is, perhaps, one of the reasons why the number 777 is considered a “mystery”.

226.         Every egoic unit is part of a group of egos on the higher mental plane. What, at any one time, is the relation of any egoic unit to that group. Will such a group contain Egos at many different stages of development?

prior to the unfoldment of the fifth petal.

227.         When the fifth petal is unfolding, the Solar Angel takes an active interest in the developing human personality.

The Ego takes no active interest in the development until the second petal in the second series is beginning to open.  (TCF 543)

228.         In this case we must consider the Solar Angel’s role in creating the manifestation of the Ego on the higher mental plane.

229.         During the unfoldment of the fourth and fifth petal, DK tells us that the human unit is in process of entering the fifth or spiritual kingdom.

The fifth or spiritual kingdom is entered when the units of the fourth kingdom have succeeded in vitalizing the fifth spirilla in all the atoms of the threefold lower man; when they [Page 698] have unfolded three of the egoic petals and are in process of unfolding the fourth and fifth and when they are becoming conscious of the pranic force of the Heavenly Man.     (TCF 697-698)

230.         Note in regard to this excerpt, that while the fourth and fifth petals are unfolding, the human being may, in fact, we working at vitalizing and organizing the petals within the sacrifice tier, even if they have not yet been unfolded through the process of the initiation ceremony.

231.         The complete unfoldment of the fifth petal may signal the taking of the first initiation at which point a man becomes a true disciple.

On the buddhic plane, when flashing forth at initiation, this number signifies the full development of the fifth principle or quality, the completed cycle of the Ego upon the five Rays under the Mahachohan, and the assimilation of all that is to be learned upon them, and the attainment—not only of full self-consciousness, but also of the consciousness of the group wherein a man is found.  It infers the full unfoldment of five of the egoic petals, leaving four to open before the final initiation. (TCF 696)

232.         In this context, that “final initiation” must necessarily be the fourth. After that, there are no more petals to open; they have been destroyed.

 It concerns man in the period between the savage stage and that of the disciple, when he is an average man but still in the two Halls.

233.         We are speaking of those periods of human unfoldment to which the 777 incarnations are relevant.

234.         The stage of consciousness immediately above must be closely studied as some apparent contradictions may emerge.

235.         Later we will see that the “7 incarnations” are implicated in the processes of the Probationary Path and yet here we are told that all of the 777 incarnations concern a period before man becomes a disciple.

236.         What we may gather from the above is that the man treading the Probationary Path is still, in a sense, considered an “average man” or, at least, not a disciple.

237.         Any developmental period preceding the stage of “disciple” is to be considered “average man”, yet the term “average man” usually implies some reasonable degree of mental/emotional development.

238.         In this context, the disciple is definitely being distinguished from the probationer.

239.         From the above we may also gather that a disciple is no longer in the “two Halls—either of Ignorance or of Learning.

240.         Just how many petals have to be organized, awakened and in the process of unfolding before one can be considered as having stepped upon the Probationary Path is a matter for close scrutiny as different references indicate different possibilities. Here is one possibility:

“…pass on to the probationary path, having unfolded one tier of petals, and organised the second.” (TCF 842)

  The mystery of all root races lies here,

241.         The number 777 concerns egoic cycles, but there are further divisions of such cycles than are expressed in this number.

242.         If we divide the number 777 into the suggested categories of 700, 70 and 7, we shall see that there are three such cycles, coinciding with divisions given in the excerpt below.

The egoic cycles proceed in groups of sevens and of threes, and not in groups of fours and sevens as do the personality cycles, and the same ratio must be predicated of the central cycles of a Heavenly Man and of a solar Logos (TCF 304)

 and the egoic cycles coincide with the building of racial forms, and civilisations.

243.         We have been told that egoic cycles occur in sevens and threes.

244.         It is clear that egoic cycles are connected with the emergence with the rootraces of man (the “lesser seven” as distinct from the “greater seven” and the “planetary seven”).

The causal cycles or the egoic cycles, which include all the groups of lesser cycles in the three worlds correspond to a complete round in the cycles of a Heavenly Man.  There are seven such cycles, but the number of lesser cycles (included within the seven) is one of the secrets of Initiation. (TCF 303-304)

245.         DK is drawing a correspondence between the seven rounds (whether chain rounds or scheme rounds) experienced by a Planetary Logos and the seven major cycles experienced by an Ego in the higher mental plane.

  A man will reincarnate again and again in the various subraces of a root race until a certain cycle has been covered

246.         We can look at such a cycle as a developmental cycle.

247.         May we consider the “cycle” here referenced as composed of the entirety of seven sub-cycles, with each sub-cycle consisting of a number of incarnations in each sub-race of a rootrace? This is probable.

248.         Or shall we consider the words “a certain cycle” as pertaining only to a particular sub-race?

249.         No doubt there are many incarnations taken in each of the subraces, and the conclusion of each series in each sub-race can be considered a cycle of a kind.

 then he may undergo a pralayic condition until in a later (and sometimes much later) root race he will respond to its vibratory call, and the egoic impulse to incarnate will again be felt.

250.         DK seems to be suggesting that after the completion of all sub-race cycles within a rootrace, a long interval (“a pralayic condition”) may elapse before incarnation is again taken, but this time in a succeeding rootrace.

251.         It may be necessary to pay attention to the unusual wording in this excerpt. If we do so, we may perhaps wonder whether there comes a time when a man, now incarnating in a later rootrace, feels the vibratory call to incarnate again in an earlier rootrace. This happens, no doubt, from time to time, but is probably not the major meaning DK means to convey in the above section of text.

In illustration of this, we should bear in mind that the more advanced humanity of today did not incarnate until the fourth root race.

252.         In the example DK uses, He seems to emphasize the possibility of a very long interval between incarnations in a earlier type of rootrace and those taken in a much later one—one so ‘late’, in fact, that it occurs on the chain which succeeds the chain in which the earlier rootrace incarnations occurred.

 These cycles are one of the mysteries of initiation,

253.         Hence, the obscurity surrounding the subject.

 though one of the earlier mysteries,

254.         As obscure as the truth of these cycles may be to us, they are still considered relatively early revelations.

 and are revealed at the second initiation as they enable the initiate to comprehend his position, to see somewhat the nature of the karmic impulse, and to read his own record in the astral light.

255.         It may reasonably be surmised that much conveyed in the chamber of initiation is not clearly remembered in the brain-consciousness.

256.         At the second initiation one must express the Plan. Therefore, we can see why the following achievements are important at that initiation and why reception of information concerning rootrace cycles allows the initiate to--

a.                  Comprehend his position

b.                  See somewhat the nature of the karmic impulse

c.                  Read his own record in the astral light

257.         As souls we know somewhat of our own record. It is obvious that in the case of even quite advanced human beings, this record is ‘forgotten’ in the brain consciousness though, subliminally at least, access to it may certainly exist.

258.         We can imagine why, at the second initiation and following, life becomes much more purposeful and directed—according to the Divine Plan.

These might be considered the two lesser pralayic periods and concern primarily life in the three worlds.

259.         We are speaking of: (1) the period between two incarnations and (2) the period between two egoic cycles.

260.         In relation to this latter type of pralaya, it would seem that we must also consider not only pralayas between rootraces, but, perhaps, minor pralayas between subraces before incarnation occurs in the succeeding sub-race of the same rootrace.

261.         Of course, if certain groups of human beings transfer from an earlier chain to a later one (i.e., one activated later in time), there will naturally be a lengthy pralaya. We could call this an ‘inter-chain pralaya’.

262.         As well, there are some human beings who transferred from an earlier solar system to the present one. Between these two periods of solar manifestation there will be a very long pralaya, relatively speaking. We could call this type of pralaya an ‘inter-systemic pralaya’.

263.         When we consider human pralayas, it is clear that between the rootraces and, perhaps, subraces through which man passes, there will exist pralayas. Are there also pralayas of some kind between the 700, the 70 and the 7 incarnations?

264.         It becomes difficult to chart a man’s developmental course over millions of years because we are not at all certain concerning the number of intervals of ‘rest’ or pralaya and their duration.

        (3) Next comes the period wherein the man has attained freedom.

265.         During the 777 incarnations he has not yet attained freedom. So the number 777 does not indicate all of a human being’s incarnations.

266.         We remember that his incarnations as a true disciple or initiation are not included in the 777.

 A man has at this stage succeeded, under law, in "abstracting" himself, the freed soul, from out of the matter of the three worlds.

267.         We may consider the “freed soul” as the spiritual triad or as the unit of consciousness focussed successfully within the spiritual triad.

268.         If we consider all the “matter of the three worlds”, we must include the higher mental plane.

269.         The consciousness of the MONAD (in a way, the truest soul) is not yet “freed” when confined to the higher mental plane.

 He has used and worked with deva substance and has gained all the vibratory [Page 739] contact possible, and has secured all the intended "realisations" and "revelations";

270.         These are the realizations and revelations intended to be gathered from experience within the lower three worlds.

he can no longer be held imprisoned by the devas.

271.         Here we are speaking only of the devas of these lower three worlds.

272.         For the soul of man, all the four lunar elementals and the evolutionary devas which tend them, provide a temporary prison.

273.         All these are symbolically ruled by the Moon and the Moon, in esoteric astrology, represents the “prison of the soul”

  He is free until, consciously and willingly, and in another round, he can return as a member of a Hierarchy to continue His work of service for the little evolved humanity of that distant time.

274.         This is an interesting idea. Elsewhere we gather that a man who has achieved the fourth initiation may go on to Mastership and Chohanship, and leave the Earth far behind as he treads the Path of Higher Evolution.

275.         Normally, there seems to be no need to wait for another round in order to serve humanity as a member of the Hierarchy.

276.         Will the man of whom we are speaking come forth to serve as a Solar Angel? We cannot be sure this is possible as, when the “returning Nirvanis” are discussed, we are told that they achieved human status in an earlier mahamanvantara. The duration of one round, however, is not sufficient to make a Solar Angel out of a man.

277.         Interestingly, we are not told whether the future service here mentioned is to be service in relation to our planet, Earth.

278.         We also note that the liberated human being can return. It does not necessarily say that he will.

279.         The words “as a member of a Hierarchy” may also give us pause. “A Hierarchy” is, perhaps, a Creative Hierarchy higher than the present Human Creative Hierarchy. Yet the next higher Creative Hierarchy is the Hierarchy of Solar Angels and it may require an interval between solar systems to train a human being as a Solar Angel.

280.         In any case, we gather the idea that a liberated human being may be free of involvement with humanity for a very long time—perhaps even until the next round—whether a chain round or a scheme round we are not told.

As this concerns the seven paths of opportunity for a Master we will not deal with it here.47

281.         In this context we are speaking of the Path of Higher Evolution.

282.         There are probably a number of ways that a liberated human being can ‘return’ to the field of Earth-service in a future round. To return as a Solar Angel is only one possibility and may require ‘schooling’ in the stellar system of Sirius. Such re-entry may not occur until the advent of the next mahamanvantara.

283.         It is possible that one may tread one of the Seven Paths and make sufficient progress on that Path to return to help a future humanity well before the present solar system has finished its cycle.

284.         Concerning the Seven Paths, we may have been told something of ‘ultimate destinations’, but we have not been told of all the various substance-periods upon such Paths, nor of the possibility of intermittent ‘returns’ for the sake of service.

This is the great human pralaya.

285.         The pralaya here under discussion is still a human pralaya. It does not concern rootraces or their subraces. It concerns an interval between rounds. This interval can, however, be many millions of years.

286.         The “great human pralaya” does not concern intervals between incarnations as a human being; it does not concern intervals between various egoic cycles; rather, it concerns release from the human kingdom at the fourth and fifth initiations.

Footnote 47: The seven Paths upon one of which all must pass:—

Path 1.  The Path of Earth Service.

Path 2.  The Path of Magnetic Work.

Path 3.  The Path of the Planetary Logoi.

Path 4.  The Path to Sirius.

Path 5.  The Ray Path.

Path 6.  The Path of the Solar Logos.

Path 7.  The Path of Absolute Sonship.

287.         These Seven Cosmic Paths are discussed in IHS as well as later in TCF and in R&I. It seems that the Tibetan was given permission to reveal more and more about these Seven Paths.

288.         While it is a Master Who is concerned with which of the Seven Paths to tread, the idea of the Seven Paths offers a great incentive to those of us who, as disciples, are struggling along the way.

289.         Later in The Rays and the Initiations, we learn that two more Paths have been added to the seven, though their names are not given.

“…the supreme Directors of the seven cosmic Paths are today in the same position as was the Hierarchy then; the word has gone forth to our three Great Lords—the Manu, the Christ and the Mahachohan—via the three Buddhas of Activity, to act in order to tighten up on requirements, to make the sixth initiation and not the fifth, the decisive one, and to present those on the seven rays with [Page 412] a wider range of choices and a greater diversity of choice.  Thus the Masters will have nine choices to face when They face Their decision; there will then be no need for Those on certain rays to pass to certain already determined Paths, but They can move forward under Their Own inspiration and with greater freedom.  The cosmic mental plane is not barred to Them, as has hitherto been the case. (R&I 411-412)

(4) Planetary Pralaya.  Man, after these cyclic happen­ings, is now a conscious part of his group, and a vibrant point in a centre in the body of a Heavenly Man, consciously alive and consciously aware of his place in the great whole.

290.         At this point we might conclude that man has become a conscious Monad.

291.         The normal centers of the Planetary Logos are not to be found on the systemic monadic plane, yet there are centers in the Planetary Logos there to be found (follow the inference from TCF, Chart V, 344). What is their nature? Are they to be considered, perhaps, as seven head centers?

292.         In this context, we might also ask the relation between the seven stars of the Great Bear and the seven higher centers of the Planetary Logos to be found upon the systemic monadic plane.

293.         With respect to man, his etheric centers are to be found upon all the four systemic ethers. This is probably true of the Solar Logos with respect to the cosmic ethers.

294.         But what of the Planetary Logos? The structure of man is more directly analogous to the structure of the Solar Logos than to the Planetary Logos. May it be that the etheric centers of the Planetary Logos extend no higher than the second cosmic ether—i.e., the systemic monadic plane?

295.         Since the seven head centers are, in a sense, incorporated within the major head center (itself found for man on the systemic atomic ether), it may be that these seven human head centers are located precisely on this systemic atomic ether.

296.         From the point of view of the Planetary Logos, it may be that His head center is located on the systemic monadic plane and that the seven head centers ‘within’ (the aura of) that major head center are also there to be located.

297.         A little thought about these matters will reveal to us how little we really know about the occult location of these planetary (and solar) energy centers.

  This involves a realisation as to the centre of which he is a point of energy,

298.         This will involve, initially, three major centres and eventually the possibility of involvement in any of seven subsidiary centers.

299.         The Monad may reasonable be considered the “point of energy” here discussed.

300.         From another perspective, man-as-Triad (in any one of his triadal vehicles) can be considered to express himself within one of the centers located on at least three of the cosmic ethers of the cosmic physical plane.

301.         Just as in the body of a human being there are greater and lesser chakras (seven major chakras and seven superior head centers) so this should, analogously be the case of the Planetary Logos and the Solar Logos.

a knowledge of the type of force he is to transmit, and to manipulate from cosmic levels, and a con­scious relation with the six other centres in the planetary Life with which he is associated.

302.         We seem to be speaking of ‘man-the-Monad’.

303.         Man as a Monad awakens to the knowledge of that center within a Planetary Logos of which he forms a constituent part.

304.         Thus man, in a state of high spiritual realization realizes:

a.                  The center within his Planetary Logos in which he has the greatest part to play

b.                  Knowledge of the force which he is to transmit and manipulate from cosmic levels. What are these “cosmic levels”? May we say that we are speaking of the manipulation of force from levels of the cosmic ethers?

c.                  A conscious relation with the six other centers in the planetary Life with which he is associated.

305.         We see that even though a liberated human being functions primarily through one or other centers of his Planetary Logos, he still has a relation to the other six centers of that Logos.

306.         A human being, having achieved monadic consciousness, is not encapsulated in only one center.

307.         According to his monadic ray, man may have a specific focus within his spiritual triad, and through this focus, he may express through one or other of the chakras of his Planetary Logos. We are approaching speculatively and the matter is intricate.

This period of conscious activity in etheric substance (of which the planetary body is formed) persists according to the karma of the planetary Lord, for the unit is now consciously associated with planetary karma,

308.         We are speaking of the human unit.

309.         The man is associated with planetary karma because he is in process of becoming a “Planetary Life”—a member of the sixth kingdom.

310.         A man may spend a long time working in the cosmic ethers of his particular Planetary Logos.

 and is a participant in the working out of the will and purpose of the Lord of His Ray.

311.         The “Lord of His Ray” may, from one perspective, be considered the Planetary Logos. From another perspective, each type of human Monad is related to one or other of the seven major Ray Lords (Beings ‘resident’ in Shamballa and attuned to the still greater Ray Lords Who ensoul the seven sacred planets).

312.         A liberated human being works within the “etheric substance” of a Planetary Logos—i.e., within the cosmic ethers, perhaps with the exception of the first cosmic ether which can be considered more solar than planetary.

313.         Such an advanced human being is no longer personal. His entire purpose is to carry out the will and purpose of the Lord of his Ray. We are speaking here of the impersonal life of the liberated Arhat, Master or Chohan.

314.         We are speaking of activity following the “great human pralaya”. The term of such activity is at least partially determined by the life-span of a Planetary Logos and the onset of His pralaya. Of course, we remember that incarnation for a Planetary Logos does not include expression on the cosmic ethers, but only expression through His dense physical body. Therefore, when a Planetary Logos withdraws from His dense physical body and focussed instead through His cosmic etheric body, He is technically considered in pralaya or at least in the beginning phases of pralaya.

On the higher planes of the system, this stage persists for the length of the life of a scheme;

315.         We are being told of the field of expression of a liberated human being. The cosmic ethers may provide the focus for such a being for the duration of that scheme in which he achieved liberation.

316.         It may be, however, that this is the case only when the human unit is treading the Path of Earth Service. How long this Path lasts we do not know. Some human units may, perhaps, take one or other of the other six Cosmic Paths and then return in a later round for service to that group of lives which has become the humanity of that future period.

 to which a period of pralaya succeeds that has its beginning towards the end of the seventh round in any scheme

317.         It is evident, is it not, that we are speaking of scheme rounds and not of chain rounds.

318.         Venus seems exempt from this rule, having achieved in five scheme rounds what most other Planetary Logoi usually require seven to achieve.

319.         We are speaking of a scheme pralaya. How many times can this happen during a single mahamanvantara or occult century? The answer is probably once.

or of the fifth if the Law of Persistence of a scheme is working out through cycles of five.

320.         We are given the name of a new law—the “Law of Persistence”. It is unclear whether this Law working through Venus, for instance, was intended to work out “through cycles of five”, or whether the completion of the term of manifestation in five scheme rounds instead of seven occurred as a result of the stupendous and successful effort of the Logos of that scheme.

321.         The pralaya which occurs usually following the seventh scheme round may endure until the following mahamanvantara. It is not indicated whether a scheme can manifest more than once in a mahamanvantara. Since a scheme is, essentially, a solar logoic chakra, manifestation more than once would be highly doubtful. The obscuration of lower chakras, however, occurring but once, is highly probable.

I am [Page 740] here generalising and speaking in broad terms; the karma of the units differ and a man—according to the path he chooses after the fifth initiation

322.         And, as it now stands, presumably at the time of the sixth initiation…

323.         The “units” of which we are speaking are human beings.

—stays and works within his own scheme,

324.         Is this the case even if the man is not on the Path of Earth Service?

325.         While it is probably the case that a man continues to work within his own scheme following the fifth initiation, it cannot be said that this is necessarily so following the sixth.

 but changes may occur through the following factors:

a. Planetary karma.

326.         This is variable and beyond our ken.

327.         Sanat Kumara, for instance, reserves the right to chose for the Path of Earth Service only those human units which He truly needs.

b. The will of the Lord of his Ray.

328.         Each human being belongs principally to one or other of the Logoi of the seven sacred planets (which Logoi are reflected in the seven Ray Lords found within any planetary scheme).

329.         A human unit may function, for instance, within the planetary scheme of Earth and yet be even more directly under the supervision of the Logos of one or other of the seven sacred planets.

c. Orders emanating from the solar Logos which are conveyed to him after liberation via the planetary Logos and through the medium of the chohan of his Ray.

330.         The “chohan of his Ray” is the Head of an entire Ray Ashram.

331.         It appears that the Solar Logos reserves the right to intervene in the direction to be taken by a newly made Master.

332.         We may assume that a Chohan is a solar Being and is receptive to the direction of the Solar Logos (via the Planetary Logos in question and especially that Planetary Logos Who expresses both the ray of the Chohan and of the human unit in question).

333.         We have here another way of saying that ‘Shamballa is solar’.

He is then "abstracted" under a mysterious planetary law which only works on cosmic etheric levels, and is transferred to his destination.

334.         Under the direction of the Solar Logos, the man is abstracted.

335.         We are speaking of those conditions under which a Master of the fifth degree may not stay to work in relation to His particular planetary scheme, but may be transferred, perhaps, to another due the conditions and interventions dealt with above.

336.         We are gathering that the cosmic ethers are usually the scene of much prolonged work of the newly made Master.

 If we interpret all the above in terms of energy and of radioactivity and thus avoid the dangers of materialistic interpretation, the meaning will become clearer.

337.         DK ever seeks to have us think in terms of energy and not personally.

338.         We can gather that the destiny and destination of a human unit who has become a Master is not necessarily with His own planetary scheme, though most often it will be—if, planetary karma, the will of the Lord of His Ray or the Solar Logos do not indicate otherwise.

        (5) The Great Pralaya. 

339.         We have been reviewing different types of pralayas—human (of several varieties), planetary, though, not until this point, solar.

This interval comes at the close of every one hundred years of Brahma, and sweeps into dissolution forms of every kind—subtle and dense—throughout the entire system.

340.         Whereas it may be philosophically necessary to think that all units of consciousness complete their task before the onset of the absolutely Universal Pralaya, we need not think so in relation to that pralaya which occurs between two mahamanvantaras or occult centuries.

341.         The interval between solar systems is still very minor when compared to the interval between universes.

  It is a period analogous to that dealt with when we considered the abstraction of man from his etheric vehicle, and his ability then to function on the astral plane, dissociated from his dual physical form.

342.         A solar pralaya signifies the withdrawal of the Solar Logos from His dual physical-etheric vehicle. We remember, however, that for such a great Being, incarnation is a matter of informing a dense physical vehicle and that release from the dense vehicle indicates the onset of pralaya.

343.         In the case of such a pralaya, an occult century will elapse before the Solar Logos again incarnates on the cosmic etheric-physical plane.

Within the system a process similar to that undergone when man withdraws the etheric body out of the dense physical vehicle, will be seen towards the close of the mahamanvantara.

344.         This will signify the physical-etheric ‘death’ of the Solar Logos:

 It will cover the period wherein the lesser four Rays merge and blend, seeking duality, and their polar opposites.  Eventually the four become two, the two become one, and all are then synthesised into the third major Ray.

345.         DK is describing the process of obscuration.

346.         We might enquire—“What of the two higher Rays?” Since these Rays manifest through the major planets Uranus and Neptune (and these planets are in physical incarnation) why are these Rays and their planets not included in the description of the ‘death’ of the solar system?

347.         When DK uses the word “all”, He does not appear to include the two highest Rays of Aspect.

348.         Perhaps this is so because we are speaking in cosmic physical terms. Saturn (the vehicle of the third ray) is the correspondence to the physical permanent atom of the Solar Logos and is thus related directly to the cosmic physical plane. Uranus and Neptune may have closer correspondences to the cosmic mental plane and the cosmic astral plane respectively. The solar system ends, in a way, once the cosmic astral plane is reached.

The time is not yet, but lies countless aeons ahead.

349.         And how long is an “aeon”? From this description we can understand that it is a unit far smaller in duration than a mahamanvantara (when this term means “occult century”—as it only mostly does)..

350.         Perhaps an aeon is a round or manvantara.

  It is the first appearance of the destroyer aspect in connection with the planetary schemes, and marks the beginning of the [Page 741] time when the "Heavens will melt with fervent heat," and the Sun becomes seven suns.48 [See S. D., II, 746, 747.]

351.         The wording used is important. We are told of the “first” appearance of the destroyer aspect in connection with the planetary schemes. This suggests that there may be subsequent appearances of this aspect.

352.         When we speak of the “seven suns”, we do not know whether we are speaking of the major solar orb or of seven of the planets considered as chakras or of some scintillating demonstration related to the seven systemic planes. We can see (in relation to the second option) from the Chart VI (TCF 373) that, associated with ‘Greater Saturn’, there are seven planets.

353.         From this way of viewing “suns” we will have to state that there are nine suns and not only seven, i.e., if we count Uranus and Saturn.

The microcosmic correspondence can be seen in the follow­ing process.  The physical permanent atom absorbs the entire life force of the physical body,

354.         We remember that Saturn, the monadic and perhaps egoic Lord of the Third Ray, is a correspondence to the physical permanent atom of the Solar Logos.

 and its inherent heat and light is thereby increased until at the fourth initiation the seven spirillae are fully vitalised, and vibrant.

355.         Herein lies an important hint, thought there is a suggestion that full vibrancy of the physical permanent atom occurs once the first tier of petals in the egoic lotus are fully opened (which is well before the fourth initiation).

It must be remembered that the three lower petals when fully unfolded affect, through their vitality, the three major spirillae in the physical permanent atom.  As the second ring of petals gradually opens, the astral permanent atom undergoes a similar process, leading up to the full arousing of the spirillae within the mental unit. (TCF 545-546)

356.         The necessary clarification enters when we realize that at these earlier stages of unfoldment, only five of the spirillae of the physical permanent atom and astral permanent atom are open when petal tiers one and two are fully unfolded.

357.         At the fourth degree, however, all seven spirillae of these permanent atoms are stimulated.

The astral permanent atom comes into full activity and radiance, as regards five of its spirillae, and the two atoms of the physical and the astral planes are equally vibrant. (TCF 541)

358.         The following reference is of importance when we think of the meaning of that which has just been imparted:

The Personality Ray deals with the first four spirillae, and is the source of their stimulation.  Note here the correspondence to the lower quaternary and its stimulation by the ego.  The Egoic Ray concerns itself with the fifth spirilla and with the sixth, and is the cause of their emerging from latency and potentiality into power and activity.  The Monadic Ray is the source of the stimulation of the seventh spirilla. (TCF 71-72)

359.         The key lies in the idea of “fully vibrant and active”.

360.         This full vibrancy and activation may occur by the time the fourth initiation is achieved, but the source of the stimulation is, according to the above excerpt, the “Monadic Ray”. We can infer that by the time of the fourth initiation, the monadic ray is very potent and active.

361.         We have to wonder whether the seven spirillae of the astral permanent atom are also fully vibrant and vitalized by the time of the fourth initiation. It would seem so.

The internal heat of the atom, plus the external heat of the egoic body wherein it has its place, produces then that which destroys the permanent atom.

362.         How is a permanent atom destroyed? Both internal heat and the heat of the egoic body have their role to play.

363.         When we ask how the causal body is destroyed, we may find a similar method—destruction by both internal and external heat.

 Temporarily, and just prior to destruction, it becomes a tiny sevenfold sun owing to the radiation and activity of the spirillae.

364.         If every permanent atom becomes a sevenfold sun just before destruction, with the seven spirillae serving as source of those seven tiny suns, then the planes of the solar system (each of them as a spirilla to our Solar Logos) must be involved in the manifestation of the “seven suns” just as the Sun is about to be destroyed.

 So with the physical sun of the system; it will in a similar manner become seven suns, when it has absorbed the life essence of the fully evolved planes, and of the planetary schemes thereon.

365.         We recall that to the Solar Logos, the planes are as spirillae to the tiny atom.

366.         What is DK telling us about the ‘location’ of the planetary schemes?

367.         Just as the seven spirillae of an atom have to be fully vitalized and, so to say, ‘evolved’, the same is true of the seven systemic planes (before the fourth initiation of the Solar Logos can be taken). The central atom absorbs the life essence of the full evolved spirillae and the physical sun absorbs the life essence of the fully evolved planes.

368.         The life essence of the planetary schemes are also being absorbed.

369.         We are led to consider the vibratory ‘height’ and ‘depth’ of the planetary schemes. Perhaps they differ more in ‘depth’ than in ‘height’ as each of them is the expression of a Being Who must necessarily express on the highest systemic planes. Their degree of densification may differ however.

370.         We gather that before the “seven suns” blaze forth, the life essence of all planes and all Planetary Logoi must have been absorbed by the Logos.

The ensuing conflagration is the final work of the Destroyer aspect.

371.         The first aspect of divinity expresses through ‘sevenness’.

 It marks the moment of the highest development of deva substance in the system, the consummation of the work of Agni and his fire angels, and the initiation of Brahma.

372.         We are speaking of the conflagration which occurs at the fourth initiation, for whatever B/being that fourth initiation applies.

373.         We still speak in terms of Brahma, as the subject is the absorption of the four Rays of Attribute into the lowest of the Rays of Aspect (the Ray of Brahma).

374.         When considering the subject in terms of the Solar Logos, we are speaking of the withdrawal from the entire cosmic physical plane. From this perspective, the cosmic physical plane is Brahmic; the cosmic astral plane is an expression of Vishnu and the cosmic mental plane of Shiva.

375.         At the fourth initiation of man, there is achieved the highest development of deva substance in the tiny human energy system. This is, we are here told, also true of the Solar Logos with respect to His solar system.

376.         Who are the “fire angels” of Agni? In this case, it may be necessary to consider Agni in a much larger context, with the Raja Deva Lord of the cosmic physical plane and all the Deva Lords of the cosmic physical subplanes as “fire devas”. We remember that the term Agni can be applied to the ruler of the systemic mental plane, and also the lower cosmic mental plane, but, as well, as the entire personality of the Solar Logos.

377.         Brahma, as here conceived, and Whose initiation we are discussing, must be considered as one of the Three Logoi (Who are the aspects of the Solar Logos). Brahma, then, will be particularly related to the cosmic physical plane which will be His major area of expression within the logoic personality, just as Vishnu expresses through the cosmic astral body of the Solar Logos and Agni especially through the cosmic mental body (presumably, the lower cosmic mental vehicle).

Atomic substance will then individualise (which, as we know, is the goal for the atom)

378.         The individualization of the “atom” presents a great philosophical problem if a pyramidal view of the universe is accepted. Does the atom (as a tiny unit) in itself achieve individualization or does a great congery of atoms achieve this self-defining moment? Does the single atom, per se, become the single man? Does a single Solar Angel become a Planetary Logos?

379.         Rather, it seems that groupings of various beings are together raised into a higher level of consciousness. The problem is not easily solved.

 and after the great pralaya the next solar system will start with the threefold Spirit manifesting through substance which is essentially distinguished by active intelligent love.

380.         The quality of substance is (through progressive solar systems) continually adding divine attributes. Substance which was impressed by intelligence in the first major solar system will, by the close of this solar system, be impressed by love as well. By the end of the third major solar system, that substance will be impressed by will.

 This is necessarily incomprehensible to our fourth round minds.

381.         We may use seemingly suitable words to describe what will happen, but we know nothing of what all this really means. Perhaps the real meaning has something to do with the receptivity of such substance to the three divine aspects. Probably the mode of relation of the units of that substance will be affected by the progressive impression.

382.         But we do have, as DK states, “fourth round minds” and so are limited in our appreciation of that which is to transpire later in our solar system and in the next.

We have thus considered the various types of pralaya, in so far as they affect the human unit;

383.         Again, let us list the pralayas we have considered:

a.                  The period of pralaya between two incarnations

b.                  The period between egoic cycles

c.                  The period wherein the man has attained freedom

d.                  Planetary pralaya

e.                  The Great Pralaya

384.         Of course there is, as well, an effect upon an entire ladder of greater and lesser lives, and there are many more types of pralaya than the five we have considered.

 each unit finds its ways eventually into one of the cosmic astral centres of the partic­ular cosmic Entity Who is the Lord of his Ray, and therefore at the great pralaya those human units who have achieved, and who have not passed to other distant cosmic centres, will find their place there.

385.         DK is telling us of the destination of human units as solar pralaya supervenes.

386.         It would seem that at the end of the last major solar system this did not happen for all human units. Some remained, it seems, to incarnate in this solar system.

387.         It also seems that if human units are to re-emerge in a succeeding solar system, the cosmic Entities Who are the Lords of the Rays (and into which the human units are extracted), must also re-emerge.

388.         The extraction of human units is only partial and deals with but one aspect of the ‘death’ of a Solar Logos between incarnations.

389.         We are speaking of “cosmic” Entities and, therefore, minimally, of Planetary Logoi.

390.         Each Planetary Logos (we are here speaking principally of the sacred Planetary Logoi) has astral chakras just as a man has. Following the analogy, it can be presumed that as the human being dies, the energy invested in his etheric chakras is abstracted into his astral chakras.

391.         It is interesting to note that some human units are to remain within the subtle nature of our Solar Logos, but that others may pass to “distant cosmic centers” (presumably as they pursue one or other of the seven or nine Cosmic Paths).

392.         It would seem that as obscuration in our solar system proceeds, the units of life (we are speaking here of human beings) find their way into the energy system of the planetary Ray Lord with which they are attuned, and, temporarily at least, into the astral chakras of that Ray Lord (i.e., Planetary Logos).

393.         When we think of those “returning Nirvanis) Who are now called Solar Angels, it is very likely that They were extracted in the solar logoic centers on the cosmic astral plane. The Solar Angels, it would seem, have a definite connection to the cosmic astral plane. They took, apparently, the Path to Sirius at that distant time when the previous solar system dissolved, and that Path (we are now told) leads to the cosmic astral plane.

Before we take up planetary and cosmic pralaya, we might here consider the relationship of the Agnishvattas [Page 742] (who caused the individualisation of animal man on this planet), to other and previous cycles of evolution, and why we have only dealt with them from the point of view of a mahamanvantara, and of a kalpa.

394.         Is DK here distinguishing between a mahamanvantara and a kalpa. It is clear that HPB does so and that a kalpa (in the ordinary sense of the term) is a much shorter time span—namely a “Day of Brahma” compared to an “occult century”.

395.         Later in this text we will learn that a mahamanvantara is not necessarily the immense span we call an occult century, but may have a planetary chain significance—i.e., as the duration between the activation of two planetary chains.

396.         We remember that the Agnishvattas for different planets have their differences and similarities. The only ones about which we can learn very much are those who individualized animal man on our planet.

The reason we have not considered specifically the group of Agnishvattas, Kumaras and Rudras connected with the Earth has been because we have handled the entire subject from the planetary standpoint, and not from that of the human family.

397.         Master DK has enlarged the consideration giving us a view of the Agnishvattas related to the planetary schemes and to the solar system.

398.         Reading The Secret Doctrine for the details of the ‘agnishvattic’ process as it applies to our particular chain and globe is indispensable.

 The student who seeks detailed information as to the Agnishvattas of the Earth chain has but to study the Secret Doctrine.

399.         To do so is strongly recommended to all students of the Tibetan through AAB. Profound students of AAB embrace all the best that HPB has offered.

We have attempted to carry the thought of the student beyond his own tiny sphere to the consideration of the work of the Manasadevas in the solar system.

400.         It is always philosophically salubrious to do this. To live within a tiny world view can breed many illusions, leading to actions based upon those illusions.

  In every scheme They have Their place, but in some—as in the Jupiter scheme—They are just beginning Their work,

401.         We might wonder what other planets keep Jupiter company. Does Saturn? What about Uranus and Neptune—two planets beyond the Saturnian sphere?

402.         When studying the physical planets we note that Jupiter is focussed in its third chain as is Saturn, but, then, so is Vulcan on which the Agnishvattas are said to have almost completed Their work.

403.         We are not, however, told which scheme round is in process within these schemes. We have a pretty good idea that Venus is in its fifth scheme round and the Earth in its fourth. Beyond this, it is hard to say.

 and in others—as in the Vulcan and Venus schemes—Their work is nearly completed.

404.         We must wonder about this statement with respect to Vulcan as on that planet only two-fifths of human units have achieved transmutation.

405.         It would seem that the Mercury scheme should have been listed instead of Vulcan.

When three fifths of the units (deva and human) that go to the composition of the vehicles of any planetary Logos are entering upon the Path, then the process of transmutation is entered upon. (TCF 403)

Again, it must be noted that Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Vulcan are as yet developing manas, and the stage achieved in each varies, and is not for exoteric publication.  The Heavenly Men of these schemes have not yet succeeded in bringing Their bodies to the stage where transmutation on a large scale is possible.  They are approaching it, and when the necessary three fifths is reached, then They will begin to transmute on a larger scale.  The Earth scheme has about one fifth in process of transmutation in one or other of the globes at this time and Vulcan has very nearly two fifths. (TCF 403)

406.         It is difficult to understand how the work of the Agnishvattas on Vulcan could be completed if only two-fifths of its human and deva units have entered upon the Path or are undergoing transmutation.

 Venus is in her last round,

407.         The fifth scheme round, we may reasonably presume. We see that if we are told that “Venus is in her last round” it must necessarily be a scheme round to which we are referring, otherwise we would speak of a certain chain in the Venus-scheme being in a particular round.

 and has nearly developed her fourth kingdom to perfection, or as much as it is possible in the system.

408.         We are being told that the humanity to be found on Venus is nearly perfected—at least in terms of this solar system.

409.         Significantly we learn that a type of humanity does, indeed, exist on Venus.

410.         Actually, this is true or will be true of all planets.

In the Earth scheme, They are in full tide of work, and only in the next round will They demonstrate the height of Their activity. 

411.         This is fitting, as the Agnishvattas are members of the Fifth Creative Hierarchy and the next round is the fifth.

412.         Again, we do not know whether we are speaking of the fifth round in relation to the fourth chain or of the fifth scheme round for the Earth-scheme.

413.         One has to be cautious in this question of chain and scheme rounds. There are many who are unaware of the fact that there even are scheme rounds. But, if there were not, many processes within planetary development would remain unexplained.

They pass cyclically through the schemes and under Law—the Law of Karma for the planetary Logos, for They are essentially concerned with His Life as it actuates His centres.

414.         The Solar Angels are not essentially concerned with the development of man as he emerges from the animal kingdom, but with the Life of the Planetary Logos as that life actuates His centers.

415.         The Solar Angels emanate originally from Sirius, which system imposes the Law of Karma on our solar system. It makes sense that they would cycle thought the systems of the various Planetary Logoi according to the Law of Karma.

416.         Where are the “centres” of a Planetary Logos to be found? In one sense, the egoic groups on the higher mental plane are centres. It is with these egoic groups that the Solar Angels definitely have a relation.

417.         If they have any relation to the higher etheric centers of a Planetary Logos, the mechanism by which this is accomplished has not be discussed.

They come into a scheme on a wave of manasic energy from the head centre of the Logos,

418.         From that portion of the head center which is connected with the heart center.

 and in the pro­cess of passing through his Heart centre three things occur:

419.         Some very important information about Agnishvattas is being offered.

420.         The Logos to which this section of text refers is the Solar Logos.

421.         We have been told that some Agnishvattas emanate from the head center of the Logos and some from the heart center. Here it seems the point of emanation is the logoic head center.

422.         But let us compare another reference:

They are connected in their highest groups with that portion of the logoic head centre which corresponds to the heart, and here is the clue to the mystery of kama-manas.  The kamic angels are vitalised from the "heart" centre and the manasic angels from the logoic head centre, via the point within that centre connected with the heart.  These two dominating groups are the sumtotal of kama-manas in all its manifestations.  The solar angels exist in three groups, all of which are concerned with the self-consciousness aspect, all of which are energised and connected with the fifth spirilla of the logoic permanent atom, and all of which work as a unit. (TCF 698)

1. They become differentiated into seven groups.

423.         We are speaking of seven groups of Solar Angels. These groupings may (at least potentially) be discriminated in various ways:

a.                  According to ray

b.                  According to function. We have, for instance, seen that there are Solar Angels connected with the manasic permanent atom, some with the petals of the egoic lotus and others with the members of the atomic triangle. We have also seen that there are those who incarnate and mould the racial form; those who implant the spark of mind in animal man and those who fan the latent germ of mentality in animal man.

c.                  According to a particular planetary scheme to which they are directed or direct Themselves.

2. They direct Themselves as streams of energy to some particular scheme.

424.         How interesting that the Solar Angels “direct Themselves” to some particular planetary scheme. Of course, such Self-direction has to be part of a larger Plan.

425.         Let us always remember that Solar Angels are energy. We may, perhaps, personalize them too much. But then every entity is also an energy.

3. Their contact with a scheme is that which produces the manifestation of the fourth Creative Hierarchy, and leads to the Monads taking form in the three worlds.

426.         And this, apparently, occurs in all planetary schemes at some point in the development of the Planetary Logos concerned. This is another way of saying that in the expression of all Planetary Logoi, the human kingdom must one day emerge.

[Page 743]

These entities who sacrifice Themselves for the human Hierarchy (and we must note here the accuracy of the fact that They emanate from the logoic head centre, or from the will aspect), are the true Saviours who give Their lives for the good of the race.

427.         Here it is firmly established that these Beings (the Solar Angels) emanate from the logoic head center.

428.         It is clear that the Solar Angels are distinct from the Fourth Creative Hierarchy. In other references They seem to be identified with the human Ego in its higher aspects (either within the causal body or considering the spiritual triad as the true Ego).

429.         In what sense do the Solar Angels give their “lives” for the good of the race? To what degree do They sacrifice? Are They unable to do other than supervise man or is the supervision of man but one small part of what They do?

430.         The fact that They are “Saviours” is only possible because of their superior development, achieved in large measure in the last major solar system.

 They stand in relation to the totality of the schemes as the Occult Hierarchy of any particular planet stands to men upon that planet.

431.         Here we have another amazing statement. It is as if the Solar Angels or Agnishvattas are a Solar-Systemic Occult Hierarchy in relation to the totality of planetary schemes.

432.         These Beings are definitely in advance of the Members of any particular planetary Hierarchy. The analogy gives an astonishing sense of proportion. We must remember that Solar Angels are, indeed, solar, and have a place within the “council of the solar Logos”..

Perfected men are in the councils of the planetary Logos of their particular ray; the solar Pitris are in the council of the solar Logos.69 (TCF 843)

433.         Considering Their exalted rank, it is difficult to imagine how They can involve themselves directly with a tiny human unit. There is, it seems, a mystery here concealed.

 During pralaya They are withdrawn (as all else), from manifestation, and return to a cosmic centre of which the logoic head centre is but a dim reflection; they return the richer for experience.

434.         Can this “cosmic centre” be Sirius? Sirius was, after all, Their emanating point, from whence They were “breathed out”.

Those who become solar Pitris, being the bulk of humanity, return to Sirius to be breathed out again into activity. (TCF 844)

435.         It is not unreasonable to identify Sirius as a head center within the "Seven Solar Systems of Which Ours is One". Thus, the head center of our Solar Logos would be a reflection of that greater head center.

436.         Some, however, identify Sirius as an ajna center and there is justification for such an identification.

437.         From another perspective, the Central Spiritual Sun of our Solar Logos (i.e., His monadic nature) can be considered prototypical of the logoic head center.

The old Commentary says:

"The deva shineth with added light when the virtue of the will hath entered.

438.         The “deva” here mentioned is a Solar Angel.

439.         One may imagine that as the human being becomes more responsive to the Spiritual Will, the causal body shines more brightly.

 He garnereth colour as the reaper garners wheat, and storeth it up for the feeding of the multitude.

440.         The storage occurs, from the human point of view, in the causal body.

  Over all this deva host the mystic Goat presideth.

441.         We may presume that the “mystic Goat” is the Constellational Lord of Capricorn.

Makara is, and is not, yet the link persisteth."

442.         The final sentence is enigmatical. The egoic lotus or causal body is, in a way, the “Middle One” which both is (temporarily) and is not (finally).

443.         Capricorn conceals and reveals the “Secret of the Soul” and is directly linked with these Beings (the Members of the Fifth Creative Hierarchy) through Whose agency the soul of man is expressed on the higher mental plane.

Rounds come and go but (except from the standpoint of a particular planet), the Manasadevas are forever present, but their influence is not forever felt.

444.         It is being said that throughout the solar system, the Manasadevas are forever present. From the perspective of a particular planet, They may not be present at all times. Within the solar system considered as a unit, the Manasadevas are always present.

445.         There is a certain point in the development of each Planetary Logos when the influence of the Manasadevas is felt—not before and not after.

In considering planetary pralaya we might briefly enumerate the following periods of quiescence:

446.         Pralaya is “quiescence”, especially from the perspective of that sphere of activity from which the life essence has been abstracted.

447.         Although it may appear that much of a factual nature is offered below, we will have to be careful lest we jump to conclusions.

Between Two Globes in a Chain.

448.         We appear to be speaking of the sequential activation of two contiguous globes in a chain.

449.         Must we suppose that each globe is only activated sequentially, or may it be supposed that all globes are simultaneously active, though in differing degrees? The latter supposition seems more correct (especially if we conceive of globes as chakras).

 This covers the period of abstraction of the seeds of all life, and its transference from one sphere to another.

450.         Is all life transferred from one globe to another? Or does some life remain on a globe when the majority of life is transferred to another and succeeding globe?

  The seed manu of a globe gathers all the life forces into Himself, as does the Logos at the close of a system, and as also transpires at the close of a chain, and holds them quiescent in His aura.

451.         There is an analogy between three types of Beings:

a.                  A Solar Logos

b.                  A Chain Manu

c.                  A seed manu of a globe

452.         Every sphere of experience has its type of abstracting center

  This covers a period of a manvantara, or of one day of Brahma.

453.         We recall that one “day of Brahma” is a “kalpa” and endures, according to the chronology given, some 4,320,000,000 years.

454.         We could say that the interval between the activation of every globe within a chain is some four billion, three hundred twenty million years.

455.         We will proceed in this manner and see what kinds of figures arise, all the time knowing that there are at least two different kinds of “manvantaras” and that the interval between globes is very unlikely to be of this length. An entire chain round is also a “manvantara” and the figure which HBP gives for such a period is some three hundred million years and does not number in the billions.

456.         Given seven rounds (in the average planet) and seven globes (usually) we would have (if we remain strictly linear—which may or may not be justified) some 211,680,000,000 years for the duration of a planetary chain. It would be twice as long if we allow for a pralaya after every round, or about 423,360,000,000 years. (Of course, our figure cannot really be correct, as we are not calculating the globe periods during the round, but only the intervals between globes.) If we assume that the globe period (during which the life wave passes through any of the seven globes) is the same as the period between globes, then we start to get a figure for a round which is even more at odds with the figure presented by HPB.

457.         Continuing nonetheless, if we assume that each of seven chains endures for the same number of years, we will have 2,963,520,000,000—years numbering in the trillions. And if we assume that there will be a pralaya after every scheme round, it is possible that the figure may be 2,963,520,000,000 x 7 or 20,744,640,000,000—almost twenty-one trillion years.          

458.         We would multiply this entire figure by two if we were to assume that globe periods and chain periods were of equal length to the intervals between globes and the intervals between chains. Our figure would then be 41,489,280,000,000 or more that forty-one trillion hears.

459.         Of course, we cannot assume strict sequentiality in any of these calculations. They are meant to be indications of magnitude but, given what we presently know, there is no hope for their strict accuracy.

460.         In fact, our exercise here, is meant to demonstrate the probability of gross inaccuracy and to reveal to us how little we really know.

461.         Further, we are told that some planets last throughout the entire mahamanvantara of 311,040,000,000,000 Earth-years. Therefore, our figure, in excess of twenty trillion (or, doubled, forty-one trillion), is still much too small for the duration of such planets.

462.         And we must keep firmly in mind that the term “manvantara” may mean an entire chain round and not just a period between two globes in a chain.

463.         The duration of such cycles is tremendously blinded. We can realize this if we consider that in The Secret Doctrine, duration of a chain round is some three hundred million (plus) years. How can an entire round, moving from  globe to globe be far less than the period between globes—over four billions years (i.e., a “manvantara” when that term is equivalent to a kalpa)?

464.         It is unquestionably illegitimate to assign the same figure to both kinds of “manvantaras”. We are given figures for only one kind of manvantara—a full Day of Brahma—more than four billion years. The manvantara between globes is undoubtedly a period much shorter.

465.         But if we use some shorter figure to define that manvantara which is the period between globes, the duration of a planetary scheme (even if we include scheme rounds) becomes much shorter than our figures of twenty trillion or forty-one trillion years—perhaps as much as twelve times shorter. As a result we would have planetary schemes lasting a very short time during the 311,040,000,000,000 years in a occult century. This would contradict what DK had said about such planets as Venus (enduring throughout the mahamanvantara). We must also remember that in The Secret Doctrine, a number of the planets came to birth physically at the same time as did our Sun. So, they were in manifestation (as comets) at the beginning. As we are some half way through our solar systemic process, and they have not disappeared, figures which indicate for them a short duration must not be accurate.

466.         The only value of this line of thought is to reveal many things we do not know.

467.         To our type of intellect, the calculations are impenetrable. We can only assume that we are not working with the correct figures, that figures many figures have been withheld and that the figures presented to us may be quite symbolic, and that even if we knew the correct figures, we do not know enough about planetary dynamics and solar-systemic dynamics to apply them correctly.

468.         For instance, there may be dynamics in planetary and solar-systemic development which demand accelerating and decelerating cycles. We would have no idea of the formulas for such cyclic dynamics.

Between Two Chains.  This covers the period of a mahamanvantara, or of one year of Brahma.

469.         If we consider what is said elsewhere about mahamanvantaras and occult centuries, we see that this use of the term “mahamanvantara” makes it a period of far less duration than an occult century (the duration of an entire solar system).

470.         We can, however, proceed somewhat as in the last example and see what kinds of figures arise.

471.         If we preserve the strictly sequential approach and assume seven years of Brahma for each complete scheme round (and an equal measure of rest), then we have some fourteen years of Brahma for each scheme round and its appropriate pralaya. If we multiply 14 x 7, we arrive at the figure 98 years of Brahma which is very close to an occult century. (HPB has given us no figure for a scheme round and did not, as far as I know, discuss the possibility of such a cycle).

472.         If the duration of a planetary scheme is some 98 years of Brahma, we are in the vicinity of an occult century. Some attention should be paid to this alternate type of mahamanvantara or “year of Brahma”, as the collection of 98 of them will equate almost to a mahamanvantara considered as an occult century.

473.         We should note that if we keep to the measure of a day to a year (1/360), we shall not find in the usual planetary process a way to spend 360 Brahmic-day periods (when dealing with globes in a chain) to build up to a “year of Brahma” (a figure here associated with chains as a whole, or more specifically, the period between chains.

474.         One could begin to wonder whether the term “Brahma” is not somewhat elastic—referring not only to the Solar Logos (as we have been shown in ftn. 6 on TCF 39) and also to the various Planetary Logoi, each of them to be considered as “Brahma”. Within the system of any particular Planetary Logos, the term “year” or “day” would, therefore, have variable meanings. The only solution would be to understand exactly how long each planetary scheme endured during an occult century.

475.         One other very significant problem is that the duration of an occult century may be grossly exaggerated—at least this is what Yogananda’s Teacher, SRI Yukteswar believes. Again, given our present knowledge, we have no way to resolve the issue. HPB says one thing and Yukteswar (presumably one who is a Master or almost so) says another.

476.         We have all probably noticed that the occult figures offered for the duration of our solar system and its planets are extremely long when compared to modern scientific estimates.. The scientific figures naturally do not take into account subjective processes. Even so, the problems of reconciliation are presently insuperable, as the proposed duration of the entire universe is far, far less that the occult proposals regarding the duration of our solar system or of the planetary schemes within it. For the time being we have no choice but to recognize these astonishing discrepancies without being able to solve the apparent contradictions.

There are many ways of arriving at the greater cycles,

477.         Of these ways we know very little if anything, but a hint is given warning us to retain mental flexibility and not to adhere rigidly to any figure with which we have been presented.

 but there is no need to confuse with the intricacies of figures.

478.         This, unfortunately, has already been accomplished!

479.         Yet, the hints are given and from them, something of value may emerge.

 The ten Prajapatis or Rishis, or [Page 744] the ten planetary Logoi, manifest through Their ten schemes in time and space, the hour of Their appearing differing.

480.         We are given the hint that the duration within the solar system of the different Planetary Logoi is distinctive because They emerge at different times, and none can endure beyond the occult century given to a Solar Logos in which these Planetary Logoi form chakras.

481.         Another problem arises as, as we have stated, The Secret Doctrine shows Martanda (the Sun) and His seven Brothers arising at the same time.

  Each likewise manifests as does the Logos through a septenate and a triad, making again a ten of perfection.

482.         The figure of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life has relevance to the manifestation of both the Planetary Logoi and the Solar Logos.

483.         When it comes to describing the Solar Logos and the Planetary Logoi, the number ten is frequently used. We must not forget, however, that there are twelve signs of the zodiac and that each of them will eventually be shown to have its own ruling planet. As well, we have been assured that within our solar system there are many more than ten or twelve Planetary Logoi.

Between Two Solar Systems.  This covers the period of one hundred years of Brahma, and through the study of the planetary cycles comprehension of these greater cycles may come.

484.         DK has already told us something of the planetary cycles—of periods between globes and between chains.

485.         It is very difficult, however, to move from one level of magnitude to another. As we begin to sum the durations of chain rounds and the given durations between globes in a chain, we cannot easily arrive at a figure which equals the pralayic period assigned to the period between chains.

486.         We have been given a general principle, however—a period of activity should be equaled by a comparable period of rest, but any period of “days of Brahma” which we can gather in relation to the activity on a planetary chain always falls far short of the 360 “days of Brahma” which DK says must exist between the activation of each chain within a string of seven chains

487.         In other words, unless we can spend 360 kalpas on the development of any chain, the period between chains (stated to be 360 kalpas or a Brahmic Year) will be far greater than the time spent in developing the chain in question. This would also apply even if the term “manvantara” (when used in relation to globes) does not equal a full kalpa. If such were the case, then a “year of Brahma” (in relation to chains) would also not equal 360 kalpas. Given what we know about globe and chain dynamics, the numbers just do not add up.

488.         BUT—are pralayas longer than the incarnate period preceding them. If so, a solution might be found, and yet, when discussing the occult century, DK seems to suggest that the period of solar systemic manifestation (an occult century) is just the same as the interval between two such manifestations (also an occult century). This must be solved.

489.         Obviously, there is a gross deficiency in our understanding of globe and chain dynamics, and scheme and system dynamics as well.

 Complication comes to the student

490.         As if there were not already sufficient complication!

 nevertheless in the fact that two of the schemes cover their cyclic periods in five rounds,

491.         One of these is Venus. Is Mercury the other?

 while others have seven;

492.         The Earth was meant, it seems, to have a number of scheme rounds equal to the scheme rounds of Venus. But it is still uncertain whether it was solar logoically ordained that Venus have only five scheme rounds or whether the prodigious progress of the Planetary Logos of Venus made it possible to complete the series of rounds in five rather than seven.

one scheme has but three rounds,

493.         May we assume this to be one of the synthesizing planets?

 but a mystery is hidden here:  on the inner round one planet has nine cycles to run before the purpose of its Lord is completed.

494.         How many planets are involved in the “inner round”? We know of Mercury’s involvement, but are there others?

495.         There are so many different kinds of cycles that we cannot be sure which cycles are meant.

496.         When we encounter such statements, we must remember that the number of chains in manifestation in any planetary scheme at any given time are variable.

497.         Do we gather the sense that we are in the presence of some of the most profound secrets of the initiatory process?

Certain lesser periods of pralaya do not concern man at all, but concern the atom of matter as it is released from form of any kind in the subhuman kingdoms.  Pralaya is the result of radioactivity carried to a conclusion.

498.         Here we have a very technical definition of pralaya. Without radioactivity there will never be a destruction of the confining wall and the liberation of the life into a higher dimension (pralaya).

499.         Another way of saying this is that there is no ‘rest’ without achievement.

(c.) Types of Human Rebirth.  In our study of the building of thoughtforms

500.         We have been working ourselves up to a consideration of the magical process.

 and the agencies for their construction, we have considered:

1. The deva substance out of which they are constructed.

501.         We are dealing mostly with the lower devas.

2. The energy which animates them and its source.

502.         Devas are associated with various planes and various Raja Deva Lords.

3. Their appearance in time and space, or their incarnation.

503.         We are dealing with the appearance of various E/entities in time and space. These E/entities are human, planetary and solar. The manifestation of a man, planet or solar system is, from the occult perspective, a thoughtform.

4. Their disappearance or pralaya.

504.         We have considered some of the different forms of pralaya.

5. The constructing entities who in a threefold manner produce these forms, utilising the process of:

a. Meditation, which is ever the preliminary to construction.

505.         All of the constructing E/entities (whether man, Planetary Logos or Solar Logos) utilize meditation to prepare for manifestation.

b. Dynamic force, or the positive energy which seizes upon its polar opposite (negative substance), and utilises it.  [Page 745]

506.         This is the necessary descent of the Spirit aspect and its engagement with matter.

c. The impartation of colour or quality, which moulds that which has been prepared.

507.         Here we speak of the egoic aspect or the middle principle shaping the prepared form and gradually enduing it with quality.

508.         Let us think of the role of Vulcan as it represents the power of the soul to mould the form.

d. A secondary vitalisation, which sets in separate motion the thoughtform thus created.

509.         We may consider this the personal impulse. It is related to the Brahmic aspect.

510.         From another perspective, the soul or Ego provides (at each rebirth) a fresh impulse to galvanize the thoughtform it is using to manifest.

We will now consider the mystery of rebirth, or the incarnation of those lives which exist in subtler matter, and yet which seek form according to law, and touch upon their specific intent on dense physical levels.

511.         The lives which exist in subtler matter are human, planetary and solar (and beyond). Subtler matter may be etheric, but astral, mental and causal as well.

  We can consider this in connection with the cosmic entities who seek exis­tence on the physical plane of the cosmos, our solar systemic planes,

512.         Such are Planetary Logoi and Solar Logoi and, perhaps, Beings greater still

 or the reincarnating jivas who are driven by the Law towards earthly manifestation in order to become fully conscious, and acquire (by means of sentient existence), added faculty and power.

513.         DK alerts us to the wide range of possibilities. We can consider the rebirth of Planetary Logoi and Solar Logoi or human beings.

514.         He is telling us why we (as jivas) are seeking incarnation:

a.                  We are doing so to become fully conscious (presumably on the lower planes)

b.                  We are doing this to achieve added faculty and power

c.                  Our method is to experience sentient existence in the lower three worlds

H. P. B. [49:  See S.D., III, 364, 365, 367] has said that rebirths may be divided into three classes:

a. Those of Avatars.

b. Those of Adepts.

c. Those of jivas seeking development.

515.         The first two types of rebirth are voluntary. The third type is compelled.

516.         Rebirth is a cyclic entry into either a lower or higher field of experience.

To those who are endeavouring to grasp somewhat the mystery of rebirth and its laws and purpose, and who are confused when considering the mystery of the Buddha, and the secret purpose of that mysterious Entity, the Silent Watcher; to those who find the problem of understanding the position of the Kumaras and Their relation to the planetary Logos almost an insuperable one,

517.         We will find ourselves in this category.

518.         We are given a number of mysteries. Let us tabulate them for clarity:

a                    The mystery of rebirth

b.                  The mystery of the Buddha

c.                  The secret purpose of the Silent Watcher

d.                  The mystery of the position of the Kumaras and Their relation to the Planetary Logos

 it might be wise to say:  Study and meditate upon the difference existing between the lower principles and the higher three; study and meditate upon the place and position of these lower principles in the body of the planetary Logos and ponder upon the correspondence between:

a. The devachan of the reincarnating jiva.

519.         This concerns the mystery of rebirth

b. The nirvana of the Adept.  [Page 746]

520.         This concerns the mystery of the Buddha. Is this mystery closely connected with the nirvanic interval?

c. pralaya of a cosmic Entity, such as the Lord of a chain, the Lord of a scheme, and the Lord of a Ray.

521.         These concern the “Silent Watcher” and the Kumaras. Sanat Kumara is now in incarnation. Are we to expect some sort of pralaya for this great Entity following the "Judgment Day"?

522.         Apparently there are three intervals to be considered: devachan, nirvana and the pralaya of a cosmic Entity. Had we considered “nirvana” to be an interval?

523.         Usually, the “Lord of a scheme” is considered to be a Ray Life or “Lord of  a Ray”. Perhaps, in this listing, DK is giving the “Lord of a Ray” an even greater status than that of a Planetary Logos. After all, our Solar Logos is a Lord of a Ray and so is our Cosmic Logos.

I say correspondence in its esoteric significance, and do not seek to infer analogy in detail, but only in purpose and in experience.  It may be said of all three states that they are periods of development, long cycles of meditation, and interludes between stages of activity.

524.         This is an important statement about devachan, nirvana and a cosmic pralaya. Are they all, in a sense, illusory?

525.         Let us list the three factors involved in each of these three states:

a.                  They are periods of development

b.                  They are long cycles of meditation

c.                  They are interludes between stages of activity

526.         DK is doing much to counter the idea that pralayic periods are periods of nullity.

Hence the emphasis laid in the East and in all occult schools of development upon meditation, for it is the means of bring­ing to the unit under development the capacity which will produce:

a. Abstraction, or liberation from form.

b. Creative power.

c. Direction of energy, through an act of the will.

d. Future constructive activity.

527.         We are given four virtues of meditation, whether for a man or a Logos. There are four factors listed. Two of them correlate with the first ray and one each with the second and third rays.

528.         Final abstraction through meditation is not to be pursued before creativity, construction and direction have been somewhat mastered.

529.         It seems that as we learn the art and science of meditation, we are preparing for the periods of pralaya of different kinds which we will inevitably encounter through our aeons of unfoldment. Pralaya is a meditative period!

By means of meditation, a man finds freedom from the delusion of the senses, and their vibratory lure;

530.         Meditation frees from delusion.

 he finds his own positive centre of energy and becomes consciously able to use it;

531.         Through meditation man finds and employs his true Self.

 he becomes, therefore, aware of his real Self, func­tion­ing freely and consciously beyond the planes of sense;

532.         This Self can be construed as the higher Ego on causal levels, that Ego on triadal levels and finally the true Self on monadic levels.

 he enters into the plans of the greater Entity within Whose radiatory capacity he has a place; he can then consciously proceed to carry out those plans as he can grasp them at varying stages of realisation; and he becomes aware of essential unity.

533.         Through meditation, increasing identification with a greater and inclusive Being is achieved.

534.         Meditation, rightly pursued, leads to identification and synthetic realization.

But when a man has thus freed himself from the objects of sense in the three worlds he again becomes aware of the need of further meditation, and it is this (to man in the three worlds), inconceivable form of meditation that engrosses the attention of the Adept,

535.         Such would have been the meditation of the Buddha.

536.         Each union achieved reveals unions yet to be achieved. The method of achievement is meditation, even if we do not understand the nature of the meditation of an Adept, Chohan or Planetary Logos.

 and which is undertaken by Him in two great stages, each preceding the two final Initiations, the sixth and the seventh.

537.         DK is telling us that meditation as practiced by the Chohans of the sixth and seventh degree is inconceivable to us.

  I refer not here only to Adepts who "make the sacrifice," and choose rebirth for service on the planet, but to all adepts.

538.         DK is illustrating the universal value of meditation.

539.         His use of the word “rebirth” is interesting, for we know that an Adept does not take “rebirth” in the conventional manner. Perhaps any re-entry for service purposes into a field of vibration formerly transcended can be considered rebirth.

Freedom to work on any Path must be gained by occult [Page 747] meditation;

540.         From this perspective, the liberated Master meditates Himself onto one of the seven cosmic Paths and pursued His work on one of those Paths through the method of meditation.

 freedom to escape beyond the ring-pass-not is also thus attained,

541.         If we wish to know how to break through the barriers with which we are presented, meditation is the method.

542.         Meditation is the method of dynamic growth and of achieving freedom.

 and likewise the curious state of quiescence which is achieved by Those Who have offered for service as the occult Hierarchy in the next round.

543.         This does not mean that They offer Themselves as Solar Angels, because they probably have not yet had time to achieve that status.

544.         We usually do not think of service in the next round. There are so many Earth-years remaining in the present round that most service of which we can conceive could easily be offered in the millions of years remaining to the present round.

545.         Is DK telling us that Masters Who achieve presently may offer Themselves for service (presumably in relation to this planet) in the next round?

546.         There is suggestion of a pralayic period of preparation for such service.

In Them have to be stored the psychic seeds of knowledge which will be available in the fifth round;

547.         Presumably, DK is speaking of the fifth chain round of our present fourth chain.

548.         We are not told, however, whether the service for which They are offering Themselves is to occur only in relation to our present globe.

 this necessitates for Them an attitude of receptivity to occurrences at the close of each root-race, when there is, on subtler levels, a gathering in of psychic force, and its storing with Those prepared for its reception.

549.         In our present round and through attentiveness to the various rootraces, and the absorption of rootrace quality, these Masters are preparing for the future round.

550.         Tremendous attentiveness in the present is needed for Them to prepare for Their hierarchical function in the future.

551.         We have been speaking very much of the synthetic process of ingathering.

552.         Earlier we referred to the “Gestation Period” in the Bardo. Are these ingathering Masters involved in such a gestation as they prepare for future service?

553.         Perhaps we gather some sense of the vast periods of preparation required for future activity.

Their work is analogous to that of the Seed-Manu, Who Him­self works through a septenate as do these storers of the psychic life-forces.

554.         Both types of ingatherers participate in a sevenfold gathering. For the “storers” there are seven rootraces which require their absorptive attention.

555.         The period to be spent before the onset of their future service is a meditative one.

556.         We see that there are many types of possible service in the future, types which are to us, inconceivable.

Again for such cosmic Entities as the planetary Logoi periods of meditation transpire, but these concern Them on the cosmic planes, and only the effects are felt on this.

557.         These periods of mediation probably concern globe and chain cycles.

558.         If a Planetary Logos meditates in His mind, that meditation will occur on the cosmic mental plane. But there are lower cosmic planes on which meditation can also occur, as we see below.

559.         We are being informed that pralayic periods are most necessary meditative periods linked to future service and future progress.

560.         We have seen this to be the case even in regard to the devachan of the tiny unit, man.

  They meditate in Their physical brains, and therefore in substance as does man, but the process is carried on in the etheric brain.  This should be pondered on, for it holds the mystery hid.

561.         DK brings the process more “down to earth”—cosmically speaking.

562.         The physical brains of these great Entities will be found in the lower three worlds and, in the case of the Solar Logos, within the lower twenty-one subplanes.

563.         The real process (physically speaking) occurs within the cosmic ethers.

564.         It would seem by analogy that man, too, must learn to carry on a meditative process within his etheric brain.

Also, the fact that some of these Lords of the Rays are more proficient in meditation than others, and thus achieve differing results which work out in Their schemes, should be carefully borne in mind.

565.         In this reference, the Lords of the Rays are given an equivalence with Planetary Logoi. Earlier it seemed that the Lord of a Scheme and a Lord of a Ray were being differentiated. The term “Lord of a Ray” is, as we have indicated,

566.         The various Planetary Logoi have differing abilities, and, overall, a differing spiritual status. This spiritual status depends largely on Their proficiency in meditation.