Fellowship of Cosmic Fire
Commentary Semester VII Section XII
TCF 887-904 : S7S12 Part II
31 August – 15 September 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 Commentary
4. THE FIRE ELEMENTALS, THE LESSER BUILDERS.
1. We now begin one of the most important sections on the “deva Builders” found throughout the whole of Master DK’s writings.
2. The last three hundred pager or so have focussed largely on the Agnishvattas which might be considered the “greater Builders”.
It will be apparent now that in our consideration of the deva Builders, great and small, of the solar system, we have hitherto practically confined ourselves to those who are the functioning agents in the three worlds of human endeavour.
3. An “agent” is one who carries out the will of another. Even the “greater Builders” are Agents as they carry out the will of various Logoi, planetary and solar.
4. There are also Builders who serve as functioning agents upon the cosmic ethers—the higher levels of the cosmic physical plane.
We have dealt briefly with the Builders on the evolutionary arc,
5. Though far from all of the B/builders on the evolutionary arc are self-conscious…
the greater entities who either have passed through the human kingdom, and therefore have left that stage of evolution behind them in earlier cycles,
6. This would apply to the Solar Angels as well as to still greater Devas.
7. “Cycles” can be as large as mahamanvantaras.
or are at this time the "solar agents" of human manifestation.
8. This applies specifically to Solar Angels. They, too, have at least one mahamanvantara separating them from the human stage through which they have passed.
All these forms of divine existence represent—in their own place—aspects of positive force.
9. “Positive force” is directive and self-consciously influential.
We come now to the consideration of the lesser builders in the three worlds, those who represent the negative aspect of force, being on the involutionary arc, and who are, therefore, the recipients of energy and influences.
10. We will have to proceed cautiously in order to differentiate between those builders which are not yet individualized but are on the evolutionary arc and those who are far from individualized and on the involutionary arc—seeking (in the trajectory of their progress) to become more ‘material’ rather than less so.
11. We are dealing with the energy-force-entities who are almost totally receptive rather than positive, intelligent and instigative.
They are worked upon by energy,
12. In this context we are differentiating keenly between the terms “energy” and “force”. These lesser builders are, technically, more forces than energies.
13. We know, however, that the distinction between these terms is not thoroughly upheld throughout the course of this Teaching.
14. As we will see below, there are certain types of lesser builders who are entirely passive and whose fate it is only to respond, and there are others who both respond to higher devic energies and also act upon or manipulate the most passive class.
and through the activity of the greater Builders are forced into different directions in space, being built into the differing forms.
15. These lesser builders are operative in that which we call “time and space”.
16. The greater Builders build consciously according to the principles of divine geometry, and the lesser builders are directed by the greater Builders into those geometrical patterns in time and space.
17. We are impressed with the thought that the lesser builders are forced rather than forcing.
The energy that works upon them, as is well known, emanates from the second aspect,
18. This is the aspect which very largely qualifies the solar Beings (such as Solar Angels) Who direct the lesser builders and mould them into form.
19. Left to themselves the most passive of the lesser builders would not be gathered into forms but would remain as inchoate substance-force-matter.
20. We must not overlook, however, the activity of the first aspect in the directive process. This aspect is, however, relatively latent at this time.
and in their totality they form the great Mother.
21. The lesser builders in their totality form the great receptive, form-building Mother. From their very substance emerge those forms which are considered tangible—i.e., forms arising within the dense physical body of the Planetary Logos.
I would call to the attention of all students the fact that these lesser builders are literally a "sea of fire" upon which the great breath, or the AUM, takes effect.
22. Usually the term “
Sea of Fire” is reserved for the energy-substance of the systemic logoic plane. From the cosmic point of view, however, the lives who are the energy-substance of that plane might be considered numbered among the lesser builders.
23. Perhaps, in more ordinary terms, we should consider this “sea of fire” as a kind of ‘sea of fire by friction’, the aspect of fire most associated with the lesser builders.
24. We shall have to see if DK is signifying the great Primordial Ray working through the Great Architect of the Universe when He speaks about the AUM in relation to the great breath. The great breath seems to be far more than an agent of the third aspect of divinity and yet the AUM is often associated with that aspect.
25. We note that the AUM, though a “Word” is called here the “great breath”. This identifies the AUM with the life aspect rather than with the third aspect. It is certainly not, in its wholeness, representative of the second aspect.
26. In a broad study of spiritual traditions based upon the Wisdom of India, and in a more general sense, the AUM takes on the role as the greatest of all Words-of-Power and is not considered representative of only the third aspect.
27. Yet, since devas are closely associated with the third aspect, considering the Word, AUM, as representative of that aspect (and this is how the Tibetan usually treats it) is occultly fitting.
Each fiery spark, or atom, becomes (through the action of the Word), vitalised with new life, and impregnated with a different type of energy.
28. The effect of the AUM is to vitalize each atom with new life. The AUM is a great and fiery breath vitalizing the tiny fiery sparks.
29. Every time a new definition of the term “atom” arises, we should take note.
30. An atom is a “fiery spark” and a Monad is a “divine spark”. In some ways there is not so much difference between them.
31. If we wish to consider the term “Word” as representative of the formative second aspect, then this second aspect coming in contact with the fiery sparks through the “Word” vitalizes and impregnates the lesser builders with a different type of energy. They become “animated” (i.e., ensouled) in a new way and the word “impregnated” indicates that they will be made to give birth to that new aspect, the second, in form.
In the union of the life of atomic substance itself with that which causes the atoms to cohere, and to form vehicles of some kind or another, can be seen demonstrating the "Son of God."
32. It must always be remembered that the second aspect of divinity is the form-builder causing atoms to cohere and bringing about the formation of vehicles composed of those atoms.
33. It is the eventual function of the “Mother of God” to demonstrate in as full an expression as possible the “Son of God”.
Herein lies the essential duality of all manifestation; this duality is later supplemented by the life of the One Who sounds the Word.
34. We are initially speaking of the union between the second and third aspects.
35. The “One Who sounds the Word” is the first aspect of divinity.
36. Sometimes the term “WORD” is associated with the first aspect, just as “mantra” is associated with the second aspect and “formula” with the third aspect.a. The first aspect works through a Word of Power.b The second aspect works through mantric combinations.c. The third aspect works through mathematical formulas. (TCF 771)
Thus is the cosmic incarnation [Page 888] brought about with the three factors entering in. This has been sufficiently dealt with in earlier pages.
37. The “cosmic incarnation” (a somewhat vague term which could relate to the maximally stupendous event—i.e., the embodiment of the Universal Logos) arises through the union of all three aspects of divinity.
Much that will have to be said will be of a tabulatory nature, and the only way in which students can check up the approximate accuracy of that which is imparted will be through a careful meditation upon:
38. We see the use of one of DK’s main pedagogical methods—tabulation.
39. We note that it is not open to us to check accuracy, per se, but only approximate accuracy.
40. How can we become convinced of the truth of that which is to be offered?
a. The Law of Correspondences.
41. This is ever one of most powerful and exacting tools.
b. The realisable probabilities.
42. This requires the ability of the student to speculate intelligently based upon patterns of relationship which are presently understood or accepted.
c. The indications in occult literature of a corroborative nature.
43. Here we must study the extensive occult literature to see whether there are indications supportive of what DK will write.
44. We notice that direct vision is not given as one of the methods of corroboration though, ultimately, only such vision will bring the certain confirmation of knowledge.
Students should remember that we are dealing with involutionary substance, or atomic matter.
45. This is the case when we are speaking of the lowest of the lesser builders comprising monadic essence, elemental essence and the many types of atoms made therefrom. Monadic and atomic essence is also ‘atomic’ for it is comprised of aggregations of the “bubbles in the koilon”. Only on the very highest subplane of the cosmic physical plane do these bubbles exist in a de-aggregated condition.
46. Atomic matter, we must realize, exists upon all levels of the cosmic etheric planes as well as on the more dense levels of the cosmic physical plane.
47. Does the atomic structure of substance-matter extent to the cosmic astral plane and beyond? This we cannot know.
This atomic matter is living substance, each atom being a tiny life palpitating with the vitality of the third Logos.
48. At this point it is vital to recall the theory of Hylozoism which asserts that everything is alive, that there is no “inanimate matter”, that everything that is, is ensouled with consciousness and identity (even if the kind of consciousness to be found within the atom remains unaware of its internal identity).
49. All in cosmos is animate. That which animates living atomic substance is the Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World.
50. To palpitate or pulsate is evidence of life itself.
51. The “great breath” going forth as the AUM augments the vitality of this tiny, palpitating life.
52. It is, however, Fohat which has created the atoms and sustained them with palpitating life.
These lives, being negative energy, are responsive to their polar opposite,
53. Presumably the polar opposite of these negative, passive lives are the Energies of the first aspect of divinity.
and can (under the Law of Attraction and Repulsion) be built into forms which are the expression of the second aspect.
54. The Law of Attraction and Repulsion is the Law which builds the tiny passive lives into form.
55. The energies and forces of the second aspect are responsive to the energies and forces of the first, and those of the third are initially responsive to the energies and forces of the second.
56. As each of the divine aspects is contained within every other (the great Trinity is really ninefold) there will be some degree of attraction and repulsion even within the third aspect proper (thus do the constituent particles of atoms cohere), but that type of interaction inherent in the third aspect will not build third aspect lives into forms. It is the second aspect which is the great form builder.
Eventually the forms themselves become in their turn negative, and responsive to still another type of force, becoming recipients of the life of the first Logos when the fourth or human kingdom is reached.
57. When we speak of the “first Logos”, we are speaking of the first Logos within our solar system.
58. At first the form-building aspect is positive to the negative substance of the lesser builders. Later, the forms, which arise from the union of the second and third aspects become receptive to the energies of the first aspect.
59. We see that the humanity becomes the point of application of the first aspect of divinity in relation to form. Before that, the first aspect of divinity is latent within the forms created by the second aspect of divinity.
60. It is important to investigate the relationship between the one and the four, both as regards the expression of the first aspect and also in relation to the later release of the first aspect from its imprisonment by the second and third aspects of divinity.
This Treatise seeks to prove, that in the fourth kingdom the three fires meet:
61. What an interesting statement of one of the main purposes of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire!
62. We find that the fourth kingdom is the meeting-ground for the primary three fires or energies. Man, therefore, is a four which is a three.
a. Fire by friction, or the negative Brahma Aspect, the third Aspect.
b. Solar Fire, or the positive negative Vishnu Aspect, the second Aspect.
63. We note that the second aspect of divinity is called “positive negative”. It represents a state of contrasting energies. This can be explained metaphorically by the idea that the Son, born of two Parents, represents both Parents.
64. The second aspect of divinity has the protracted and agonizing choice concerning the divine aspect with which to align. When consciousness continues to remain aligned with the third aspect of divinity (for in the beginning, it necessarily is so aligned) we have the inverted pentagram and regress upon the left hand path. When consciousness aligns with the first aspect (initially via the purity of its own nature, i.e., the pure second aspect) we have the upright pentagram.
c. Electric Fire, or the positive Shiva Aspect, the first Aspect.
65. We note how DK combines occult, scientific terminology with ancient Hindu terminology, and both with abstract terminology—numbering the aspects of divinity.
Man in the three worlds, consciously or unconsciously, recapitulates the logoic process, and becomes a creator, working in substance through the factor of his positive energy. He wills, he thinks, he speaks, and thought-forms eventuate.
66. Man is described as working magically in the three worlds and engaged with all three aspects of divinity.
67. We note that man will work in this way whether or not he is aware of it.
68. Our human task is to become aware of that to which logoic will forces us to conform.
69. The sequence; will, think, and speak deserves careful attention. It is so much a part of our normal process that we ignore its magical implications.
70. Thinking and speaking should be definite willed acts and not careless, habitual actions.
Atomic substance is attracted to the [Page 889] enunciator.
71. This is the Army of the Voice responding to the formulated sound of the enunciator.
The tiny lives which compose that substance are forced (through the energy of the thinker), into forms, which are themselves active, vitalised and powerful.
72. When we will, think and speak we have a forcing effect upon a multitude of tiny lives. With regard to the Army of the Voice, words compel.
73. We can extrapolate the idea, considering ourselves as tiny lives with respect to greater Logoi. We, too, are “forced into forms” and over this forcing process impelled by logoic will, we have no say. We are ‘configured’ whether we will or no.
74. We can see that we are building towards an understanding of the magical process later to be elaborated in this book and greatly expanded in A Treatise on White Magic.
What man builds is either a beneficent or a maleficent creation according to the underlying desire, motive, or purpose.
75. Man cannot help but build, yet eventually he has a choice about the quality of what he builds.
76. That quality is determined by desire, motive and will. Desire arises in the astral body; motive represents a mixture of astral and mental processes; purpose lies behind will and is expressed through the mind (the agent of the will).
It is essential that we endeavour to make practical what is here to be imparted, as it is useless for man to study the groups of lesser builders, their functions and their names, unless he realises that with many of them he has an intimate connection,
77. And in this “intimate connection” lies both the opportunity and the danger.
being himself one of the great builders, and a creator within the planetary scheme.
78. This presents an interesting perspective on man. He is self-conscious and must learn to build consciously. Man, however, is as much a destroyer as a builder, because he progresses, in the last analysis, through the destruction of imprisoning forms—i.e., forms which imprison his consciousness and spiritual essence.
The devas build and humanity breaks and through the shattering of the forms man learns through discontent. Thus is acquiescence in the work of the greater Builders achieved, (DINA I 677)
79. We must notice that man is numbered among the “great builders” but not among the “greater Builders”. Herein lies a distinction of importance. Man is on his way to becoming a “greater Builder”. When he becomes a Solar Angel he will have reached this status.
Men should remember that through the power of their thoughts and their spoken words they definitely produce effects upon other human beings functioning on the three planes of human evolution and upon the entire animal kingdom.
80. The plant kingdom is not mentioned, but experiments have shown that the thoughts and spoken words of human beings have their powerful effect on that kingdom as well.
81. As for an effect upon the mineral kingdom, some work has been done but far more is needed. In the Agni Yoga Teaching the necessity of using correct energy when talking to objects is emphasized.
82. We know that through our speech we have a powerful effect upon other human beings. Is this effect operative only within the three lower worlds or in higher worlds as well? For man, it would seem that the thought-speech effect is mostly confined to the three lower planes of the cosmic physical plane.
83. DK emphasizes that our thought and speech affect not only the animal kingdom but the “entire animal kingdom”. It would seem that caution is advised.
The separative and maleficent thoughts of man are largely responsible for the savage nature of wild beasts,
84. This is an extraordinary statement. What does it say about that period in Earth’s history when primitive man was destroyed in great numbers by predatory beasts? Was human thought at that such that it provoked such slaughter or were other causes involved?
85. Such thoughtforms—separative and maleficent—are governed by the planet Mars which also rules the animal kingdom. It would seem that we must approach that kingdom with the thoughts and speech generated under the influence of Venus.
and the destructive quality of some of nature's processes, including certain phenomena, such as plague and famine.
86. We have here some very occult indications which emphasize our responsibility to the lower kingdoms and to the elements.
87. What of storms—tornadoes and hurricanes. In the Bible we read of those who “reap the whirlwind” as a judgment upon their misdeeds.
It is of no value to man to know the names of some of the "army of the voice"
88. Presumably, through knowledge of the correct names of these lesser beings, they could be invoked into presence for either beneficent or maleficent purposes.
unless he comprehends his relationship to that army,
89. It is a relationship which must one day cease. “Let the army of the voice be no more heard and let the brothers onward move within the Sound”. (Rule X, R&I 22) Meanwhile, it is a relationship which is inescapable.
unless he apprehends the responsibility which is his to be a beneficent creator, working under the law of love, and not impelled to the creative act through selfish desire, or uncontrolled activity.
90. Here we encounter the ethical basis of occultism. Selfish or chaotic creativity will result unless the creator is motivated by beneficence.
91. To be a “beneficent creator” is to work under the influence of the second and third aspects united.
a. Physical Plane Elementals.
It should be remembered that the devas we have been considering are the originators of impulse, and the manipulators of energy in their own degree, and on their own plane.
92. We have been considering “greater Builders”—high self-conscious Beings Who think, impel and manipulate the lesser forces.
93. They are the impulsive factor in normal human evolution.
In connection with them are to be found, therefore, the recipients of force,
94. This is another way of considering the nature of the lowest of the lesser builders.
or the multitude of lives of an elemental nature which form the sumtotal of the matter of a plane.
95. When lives are “of an elemental nature”, it is suggested that their nature is more simple than complex, and that they are to be built into more complex structures.
96. We might consider them as ‘foundational constituents’, the “building blocks of form”.
These are swept on waves of energy,
97. The word “swept” is apt for describing the effect of greater and positive energies upon lesser, receptive and responsive forces.
through the impulse of the Breath,
98. Every magician (great and logoic or small and human) breathes or vitalizes the substances through which he creates. We are also being given a hint regarding how to marshal substance which is to be built into form.
99. We recall here the association of the creative Word, AUM with the “great breath” (here called the “Breath”) and its vitalizing power.
and as the result of [Page 890] vibratory action,
100. The vibratory characteristics of these lesser lives determines the type of form into which they will be built by the higher building agencies.
into all forms as we know them on the physical plane.
101. We must notice the importance of the “Breath” in all form-building. As well we must learn the vibratory nature of the constituents which are to be built into form. Average man, an unconscious builder, cannot yet do this. The advanced initiate and Master can.
Therefore, in connection with manifestation on the physical plane the devas may be divided into three groups:
102. Always note the context. We are classifying the devas, but only “in connection with manifestation on the physical plane”.
1. The transmitters of the will of God, the originators of activity in deva substance. These are the greater builders in their various groups.
103. These are great, self-conscious Devas. They are not deva substance as we normally understand such substance. They are higher. They convey the will of the Logos for Whom they act as agents.
104. Their work corresponds to the sounding of that “WORD of Power” which is connected with the first aspect.
2. The manipulators of the initiated energy. These are the myriads of workers with force who transmit the impulse in their turn to the elemental essence. They are the builders of lesser degree, but are on the evolutionary arc as are the first group.
105. This is a most important group and closer to the human being than the first group—the transmitters. We note that this group of manipulating devas was not mentioned in the foregoing text until this time. Attention was given to atomic substance.
106. It is very important that we distinguish this group of builders from “elemental essence”.
107. The will impulse reaches them and they, also, transmit it to involutionary elemental essence, i.e., to receptive substance.
108. It should be noted that these manipulating devas (though largely un-self-conscious) are still on the evolutionary arc. Some may have a degree of self-consciousness. We will have to proceed carefully in determining the extent and range of their consciousness.
109. We will have to discover the names of those who belong to this group and learn how to assess the degree of consciousness of the various groupings within the overall group of manipulating devas.
110. The first two categories of lunar pitris are found in this group. The third category of lunar pitri is roughly equivalent to elemental essence.
3. The recipients of force, the sumtotal of the living substance of a plane. These lives are passive in the hands of the builders of greater degree.
111. Here we have the true “lesser builders”—the lowest categories of lunar pitris.
112. They are unconscious, passive, receptive and relatively inert.
113. They are directed and are manipulated rather than manipulating.
The three groups to be considered are:1. The elementals of densest matter.2. The elementals of liquid matter.3. The elementals of gaseous matter.
114. Our consideration takes us to the lowest levels of the systemic physical plane.
115. When the term “elementals” is used, we must be careful to distinguish it from “elemental essence”. Elemental essence is the living substance of a plane. “Elementals” comprise a wide range of un-self-conscious and probably semi-self-conscious (as well as self-conscious) deva entities.
116. All these three are to be considered as manipulators of force and “recipients of force” from the transmitting devas, though they are not passive as are the lives comprising elemental essence.
117. As suggested, the degree of self-consciousness of these manipulating devas is a matter for careful investigation. Some indications point to the thought that they are not self-conscious. Other indications point in the direction of their self-consciousness.
We must bear in mind as we study these three groups that we are not concerned with the transmitters, but with the manipulators and with the recipients of energy.
118. Therefore, two categories of devas are coming under our consideration—the manipulators and the recipients of energy.
119. As human beings, our relationship to the “transmitters” involves obedience and conscious cooperation. Usually we are to direct the manipulators (once we learn to do so) and certainly direct the recipients of energy.
120. Our consideration takes us into the domains of the lunar lords and also into contact with monadic and elemental essence.
121. As we proceed through these descriptions, let us be cautious to differentiate when DK is speaking of “elementals” per se, and when of that living substance which is elemental essence.
The Elementals of Densest Matter. These are the workers and builders
122. The influence of the sign Virgo will never be far away from these considerations. Virgo is the sign of all “workers” and of those who discriminatively build under the will and direction of others.
which are concerned with the tangible and objective part of all manifestation.
123. We are speaking of the systemic dense physical plane, and not of the cosmic dense physical plane which includes the entirety of the systemic astral plane and the systemic mental plane.
In their totality they literally form that which can be touched, seen, and contacted physically by man.
124. Here Master DK leaves no doubt about our focus. We are speaking about that which the average human being calls “real”, that which the five normal senses reveal.
In considering these matters we must never dissociate the various groups in our minds in a too literal sense, for they all interpenetrate and blend, in the same manner as man's physical body is compounded of dense, liquid, gaseous, and etheric matter.
125. DK is advising us not to separate the physically dense from the physically liquid and gaseous subplanes and even from the etheric planes. We know that simple elevations of temperature may transform dense, crystallized matter in the liquid or gaseous states of matter. The reverse is also the case when temperature is lowered.
126. It bears repeating that, from the perspective of occultism, that which is systemically etheric is physical.
127. We have only to think of a human being’s dense physical body, and we will understand the interpenetration of solid, liquid and gas, as well, perhaps, as the interpenetration of the systemic ethers—at least the more sensitive human beings will realize the interpenetrating presence of the ethers.
Diversity, producing a unity, is everywhere to be seen; this fact must constantly be borne [Page 891] in mind by the occult student when studying the subhuman forms of existence.
128. It would not serve to become caught in the perception of diversity without realizing the underlying unity of all diverse factors. Training in occultism allows this unity to be perceived.
129. To perceive as the soul is to perceive unity.
There is a distinct danger in all tabulations, for they tend to the forming of hard and fast divisions, whereas unity pervades all.
130. DK understands how the tendency to classification characteristic of the fifth ray can be misused. It produces clarity but does not much allow for the principle of overlap.
131. The true spiritual occultist lives in the sense of the unity that pervades all.
Among the manipulating devas of the lowest level of the dense physical plane are to be found certain subterranean forms of existence, of which hints are to be found in the ancient and occult books.
132. Again, let us note, we are not speaking here of the devas which are purely recipients of energy and influence. We are not speaking of passive but living substance.
133. These are presumably semi-intelligent beings, but the degree to which they are self-conscious remains to be seen.
134. The factual information offered in TCF now finds itself approaching the realm of folklore. Master M. has stated that all legend is based on truth.
There is to be found in the very bowels of the earth, an evolution of a peculiar nature, with a close resemblance to the human. They have bodies of a peculiarly gross kind, which might be regarded as distinctly physical as we understand the term.
135. We must question whether the term “bowels of the earth” contains an anatomical hint.
136. VSK wonders whether “these are like dwarves or gnomes. Do they (can they) walk on the surface?”
137. She further asks: “What does ‘distinctly physical’ mean, in distinction to ‘physical’; e.g., not as much water or air?”
138. It is possible that these forms of life have a physical body more dense than has the human being. There would be great pressures to be withstood within the caverns of the Earth.
139. In some of the old stories they seem to live rather near the surface or, at least, to have access to the surface, but DK tells us that their habitat is miles below the Earth’s surface.
They dwell in settlements, or groups, under a form of government suited to their needs in the central caves several miles below the crust of the earth.
140. Here we have the a specific statement concerning the location of their habitat. Compared to the diameter of the Earth, several miles is not a very long distance, but if one imagines penetrating several miles beneath the crust of the Earth, there is as sense of those settlements as being ‘a long way down’.
141. VSK wonders: “Central caves?” Is the ‘hollow Earth theory” being suggested, or is DK speaking simply of a few or many deep underground caves.”
142. While estimates differ, the crust of the Earth, per se, is said to be some two miles thick. The Earth’s crust is to be differentiated from the Earth’s “mantle” which extends to a depth of some sixty miles. The caverns in which these existences live seems, therefore, to be within the mantle of the physical globe.
143. In any case, we can see that the settlements of these creatures would not be easily reached by surface dwellers and that is probably the way it is intended.
144. It is interesting that DK mentions their mode of “government”. Perhaps He is giving us this piece of information so that we can realize something about their consciousness and that they have a type of civilization with laws and rules.
145. Since they do have a “government”, we must probably view them as being at least somewhat self-conscious. One can speak of instinct where there is no self-conscious, but how can one speak of “government”? If, however, “government” is meant to mean strict regimentation of unthinking creatures, then they would not need to be self-conscious. Their “close resemblance to the human”, however, suggests some degree of self-consciousness.
146. We might ask what role the planet Vulcan might play in qualifying their type of government.
Their work is closely connected with the mineral kingdom, and the "agnichaitans" of the central fires are under their control.
147. Their work with the mineral kingdom relates them closely to Vulcan and to the seventh, first and fifth rays (considering the fifth ray as the ‘Ray of Concretion’).
148. It is often considered that the dwarves and gnomes work closely with the internal fire devas—the “Agnichaitans”.
149. Again, in speaking of “control”, we must speak of self-consciousness.
Their bodies are constituted so as to stand much pressure, and they are not dependent upon as free a circulation of air as man is, nor do they resent the great heat to be found in the earth's interior.
150. VSK muses: “Not dependent upon as free a circulation of air", at a minimum, involves some adaptation of the lungs, and perhaps a diminution of access to buddhi—the principle of which air is the symbol.
151. It definitely sounds as if the gaseous and liquid aspects of their bodies are reduced in relation to the dense aspect.
152. Yet, it does seem as if they do require air even if the air is not as freely circulating.
153. Their environment is entirely different from our own. We can wonder about their relationship to the Sun and to prana. By what means are they vitalized?
154. Recently, the film “Lord of the Rings” (based on a novel written by a Capricornian individual) offered a glimpse of this kind of creature and its environs.
Little can here be communicated anent these existences, for they are connected with the lesser vital portions of the physical body of the planetary Logos, finding their microcosmic correspondence in the feet and legs of a man.
155. VSK comments: “This is similar to esoteric Maori lore, perhaps, in that the Maoris also have seven planes; however the match is only of the ‘lower five’ (i.e., atmic, buddhic, mental, astral, and etheric/physical) – as symbolism is similar. The Maoris also have two planes below, which may well equate to these lower centers, of knees, or legs and feet, etc.”
156. According to DK the feet and legs of man (not the arms and hands) are named “the lesser vital portions of the physical body”. We may remark that it is possible to live without feet and legs but not without those functions which are included in the ‘greater vital portions of the physical body’ found in the torso and head.
157. This means that these creatures are not central to the planetary energy system, though their role, no doubt, is important in its own way.
158. In some manner, these existences must provide support and mobility, just as legs and feet do.
159. We can wonder about the relation of these groups to earth tremors and earthquakes.
They are one of the factors which make possible the revolutionary progressive activity of a planet.
160. VSK asks: “Does this refer to the earth rotating on its axis?”
161. Usually the term “rotation” is used to indicate the turning of the Earth on its axis. (It was interesting when visiting a display given to Santa Claus and his workers and on the arctic circle, that a great wooden ratcheted pole was placed in the center of the display. The implication was that Santa and his helpers—all rather gnome-like—were somehow responsible for turning the Earth on its axis!)
162. When we speak of “revolution”, however, it usually signifies the circling of a body around a more central body, such as the Earth around the Sun.
163. As well, the term “revolutionary progressive activity” suggests spiral-cyclic motion related to the second ray. When discussing the elementals of the lowest systemic subplanes, we are not dealing with particularly second ray existences.
164. It seems more reasonable to associate such existences with the rotary motion of the third aspect of divinity, so identified are they with the material aspect.
165. We should note that these existences are only one of the factors which makes “revolutionary progressive activity” possible.
166. May it be that they tend certain internal fires which make the rotation of the Earth upon its axis possible?
Allied with them are several other groups of low class entities, whose place in the scheme of things can only be described as having relation to the grosser planetary functions.
167. We can imagine that such beings as here mentioned are associated with the excretory functions of the planet. Every E/entity in cosmos intakes nourishment and excretes waste. What this waste may be, we do not know. May such entities and their processes be related to the eighth sphere, which is said to trail in the wake of Earth like a giant “dust hole—a place where all its garbage and filth are consumed”.
Little is gained by enlarging upon these lives and their work; it is not possible for man in any way to contact them, nor would it be desirable.
168. DK is emphatic about the point because He uses the phrase “in any way”.
169. One wonders, given the increasingly deep penetration into the crust and mantle of the Earth now technologically possible, whether some form of contact is not possible now, however undesirable. It would seem that man now has the power to disturb the habitats of such existences.
170. The human race is not yet renown for its wisdom. Probably such existences would be considered almost as aliens and wrong relations might result.
171. The value of this knowledge is to expand man’s understanding of the amazing Earth on which he lives and in which others live!
When they have pursued their evolutionary cycle, they will take their place in a later cycle in the ranks of certain deva bodies that are related to the animal kingdom. [Page 892]
172. VSK reflects: “Could be like worms, or bacteria involved with the breaking down of waste in the bowels of man. Certainly it would profit us little, in development of soul consciousness, to have a play with (the necessary function of) feces, and perhaps this is too literal of a correspondence, but what would be the analogy to grosser planetary functions, if not this?
173. We return to the question of whether such existences (the ones dwelling in settlements and groups and living under a type of government) and are self-conscious, especially since their dense physical bodies resemble those of man.
174. If they are self-conscious (as the mention of government would suggest) then their progressive development would not likely see a regression into un-self-consciousness.
175. Thus we may tentatively infer that these “certain deva bodies” related to the animal kingdom would exhibit some degree of self-consciousness.
176. The matter if the nature and quality of their consciousness is still shrouded in obscurity and we must remain alert to the solution.
It is commonly supposed that all the fairies, gnomes, elves, and like nature spirits are to be found solely in etheric matter, but this is not so.
177. DK is clarifying our understanding of the manipulating devas, especially those which are found prominently in the folklore of many lands.
178. Apparently, fairies, gnomes and elves and other similar nature spirits are to be found in etheric matter but not solely so.
They are to be found in bodies of gaseous and liquid substance likewise, …
179. DK is suggesting that the bodies of fairies, gnomes and elves may also be composed of gaseous and liquid substance. He does not go so far as to say that their bodies can be grossly physical as are the bodies of the kinds of intra-terrestrial existences which live several miles beneath the Earth’s crust.
180. From this perspective, would we be going too far to name those with gross, pressure-resistant bodies as fairies, gnomes, elves or nature spirits? Because of their dense physicality, the first mentioned group of elementals seem distinct.
… but the mistake has arisen for the reason that the basis of all that which can be objectively seen is the etheric structure, and these little busy lives frequently protect their dense physical activities through the agency of glamour, and cast a veil over their objective manifestation.
181. What we gather is that fairies, gnomes and elves are “little busy lives” and they do have physical activities which they can conceal if they wish to.
182. Had we thought that glamor could cast a veil over objective manifestation?
183. It appears that they can manipulate the forces of glamor at their will.
184. But do they wield glamor purposefully? Does the word “protect” suggest self-consciousness? We must remember that there are animals in nature who protect themselves in many ways (camouflage among them) and that these animals are not at all self-conscious.
185. We must still be cautious as their degree of self-conscious is yet to be proven.
186. We might additionally ask whether, when they use glamor as a veil, the veil is cast over only their physical activities or also over their etheric activities?
187. In light of what DK says below, the first possibility seems more probable.
When etheric vision is present then they can be seen, for the glamour, as we understand it, is only a veil over that which is tangible.
188. VSK speculates about etheric vision: “We recall that etheric vision is a function of the physical eye. What is it that inhibits or accelerates the development of etheric vision? And WHERE is the physical visual portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum activated? If etheric vision, using the physical eye, is not activated by (physical) light waves (and hence locatable on the spectrum), what may it be? (Could there be a ‘parallel etheric spectrum’?)
189. In the section of text above, the answer is given. It seems that the glamor which is under their control can only prevent objective vision or evade objective detection, but cannot mislead genuine etheric vision.
190. Some of these little existences have been associated with thievery. Is it possible that missing objects may not be missing at all, but may simply be concealed by a veil of glamor cast over them?
191. The true magician must be aware of the modus operandi of such methods.
Students must at this juncture remember that all dense physical forms, whether of a tree, an animal, a mineral, a drop of water, or a precious stone, are in themselves elemental lives constructed of living substance by the aid of living manipulators, acting under the direction of intelligent architects.
192. It seems that all three types of devic lives are mentioned in this section of text.
193. The elemental lives (in this context) are the receptive forces or true lesser builders who are “living substance” itself.
194. The “living manipulators” are the interim group, such as those we have been discussing and they aid in the construction of these elemental lives.
195. Can the “transmitting devas” be associated with those which DK here calls the “intelligent architects”? It would seem so.
196. In fact, if we look closely at this paragraph, we may find that four kinds of deva lives are indicated:a. Living substanceb. Elemental lives constructed of living substancec. Manipulating devas who aid in the construction of the elemental livesd. Intelligent architects who direct the entire process
It will immediately become apparent why it is not possible in any way to tabulate in connection with this particular lowest group.
197. We are speaking of the combination of “elemental lives” and “living substance”.
198. The variety would be immense.
A beautiful diamond, a stately tree, or a fish in the water are but devas after all.
199. Devas of very different kinds but devas nonetheless…
200. It is interesting that the fish is mentioned. In some of the theosophical books, the fish is mentioned along with the bird as being on the path of entry into the
Deva Kingdom. This is not the case with the amphibian, the reptile and the mammal.
It is the recognition of this essential livingness which constitutes the basic fact in all occult investigation, and is the secret of all beneficent magic.
201. At the center of every form, even the tiniest, is a point of “essential livingness”. Beneficent magic respects this point and seeks to draw it forth into expression. Black magic seeks to confine and imprison it.
202. Planetarily, “beneficent magic” represents a union of the energies of Jupiter and Uranus.
203. True occult investigation names nothing as “inanimate”. The essential livingness of all things is the object of search.
204. VSK states: “This also re-emphasizes the seventh ray and plane aspect of magic, and is reminiscent of the daily ritual of Sanat Kumara”
It is not my purpose, therefore, to deal more specifically with these lowest forms of divine life,
205. Presumably DK must mean elemental lives (composed of living substance) and not the manipulating devas.
except to impart two facts, and thus give indication of the solution of two problems which have oft disturbed the average student;
206. DK hints at the solution of two problems which average students may not even have detected.
these are, first, the problem as to the purpose of all reptilian life, and, secondly, the specific connection of the bird evolution with the deva kingdom.
207. VSK calls our attention to the following: “One thing we can note with both reptiles and birds is that they are egg-bearers (non mammals). They bear young in shells.”
208. Scientists have noticed what they believe to be evolutionary links between reptiles and birds—certain bird-like reptiles and reptile-like birds which emerged within the evolutionary panorama towards the close of the Age of Reptiles. What shall we say of birds with teeth and scales instead of feathers?
209. We also have the tradition of the “Feathered Serpent” Quetzalquatal.
The secret of the reptile kingdom is one of the mysteries of the second round, and there is a profound significance connected with the expression "the serpents of wisdom" which is applied to all adepts of the good law. [Page 893]
210. There are many thoughts to put together in this regard. Sources like Draco, the Pleiades, Sirius and Venus are all connected with the dragon or serpent tradition. The Planetary Logoi, Themselves, are called “Dragons of Wisdom”.
211. The four sources mentioned—Draco, the Pleiades, Sirius and Venus also have a profound second ray associated with them on some level of their energy system. The second ray and the second round are numerically connected.
212. The “serpents of wisdom” are reflections of the Dragons of Wisdom Who are the Planetary Logoi.
213. The Solar Angels, themselves, can be viewed under the guise of serpents as represented in the lore of many ancient civilizations.
214. The Secret Doctrine informs us that the Solar Angels or Agnishvattas “looked in” (during the second round of our fourth chain) on the forms which were to become human forms and decided that these forms were as yet unprepared for their immersion in them.
215. Sanat Kumara also can be considered as a ‘Great Serpent’ or Naga. His closest Co-Workers (the three Buddhas of Activity) were Planetary Logoi in the previous solar system and, thus, were Dragons of Wisdom.
The reptile kingdom has an interesting place in all mythologies, and all ancient forms of truth impartation, and this for no arbitrary reason.
216. We remember the serpent in the “Tree of Knowledge” found in the biblical “Garden of Eden”. This serpent has been much abused for the knowledge it imparted.
217. The impartation of knowledge in the Garden of Eden can be considered symbolic of individualization. After that momentous happening (when Eve, following the serpent’s advice, took from the tree the ‘Fruit of Knowledge’ and tasted of it, proffering it also to Adam) it was impossible for human consciousness to return to its primitive “participation mystique”.
218. The Dragons of Wisdom (the Planetary Logoi Who are great spiritual ‘Serpents’) are already endowed with a powerful manas (and love). The Solar Angels represent them and are also as serpents.
219. One learns to be “as wise as serpents” by listening carefully to the ‘Inner Serpent’, the Solar Angel, Who will reveal to man the secret of the “Serpent Power”, or the liberating kundalini.
It is not possible to enlarge upon the underlying truth which is hidden in the karmic history of our planetary Logos,
220. This history probably relates to our Planetary Logos’ relationship to the planet Venus, in relation to which the serpent mythology is very strong.
221. A relationship with still greater Beings (who endowed the fire of manas to the Planetary Logoi and to the Solar Logos, Himself) is also probably indicated here.
and is revealed as part of the teaching given to initiates of the second degree.
222. Presumably, it is revealed in the chamber of initiation to those are taking the second degree. Such revelation could also occur through instruction on the inner planes to those who have passed through this initiation. Perhaps even now there are physical-plane instances of instruction in these matters for such initiates.
223. Note the connection to the second round, to the solar serpents or Angels (strongly qualified by the second ray), and to the influence of Venus which is strongly conditioned by the second ray.
224. It is at the second degree that one can earnestly being the process of becoming “as wise as serpents”.
225. The serpent sign, Scorpio, is involved, as is serpentine Mercury (the hierarchical ruler in Scorpio) with the building of the ‘serpentine’ antahkarana.
226. At the second degree, via the antahkarana, one is building the “tree of knowledge” to the triadal realms.
The second great life impulse, or life wave, initiated by our planetary Logos, when brought in conjunction with the first, was the basis of that activity which we call evolutionary energy; it resulted in a gradual unrolling, or revelation, of the divine form.
227. We are speaking of the union of the second and third aspects. Each of these aspects can be connected with serpent mythology. The sinuosity of the serpent is associated with the third aspect. The revelatory power of the serpent is connected with the second aspect as is its wave-like, undulatory movement.
228. Life waves are initiated by the Solar Logos but also by our Planetary Logos.
229. The first life wave relates to the preparation and conditioning of matter and expresses the third aspect of divinity. The second life wave relates to the building of form out of the prepared matter and relates, naturally, to the second aspect of divinity.
230. That aspect of will which is associated with the third aspect is called the Will to Evolve.
231. The process of unrolling, or unfolding towards revelation of the divine form is under the influence of the progressively revelatory second aspect which holds the energy pattern upon which evolutionary unfoldment is based.
232. When the Solar Angel asserts its influence over the human being, we have a union of the second and third aspects of divinity.
233. The unrolling of the divine pattern occurs in a serpentine manner. DK speaks of diamond design on the back of a serpent when discussing the interweaving of ray cycles.
234. The dynamic of weaving (the motion of the third ray) suggests the sinuous motion of the serpent.These coloured rings do not follow a straight unimpeded course, but interweave in a most curious manner, blending with each other, absorbing each other in stated cycles, and grouping themselves in groups of threes or fives, yet ever moving onwards. This is the real foundation to the diamond pattern upon the back of the serpent of wisdom. Three major lines of colour should be portrayed as forming the lattice work on the serpent's skin, with the four other colours interweaving. Some day some student of colour and of the Divine Wisdom should compile a large chart of the seven planes, and superimposed upon those planes should be placed a seven-coloured serpent of wisdom. If correctly drawn to scale some interesting geometrical patterns will be found as the circles cut across the planes, and some impression will be conveyed occularly of the complexity of the matter of the seven rays...... (LOM 212)
235. The second ray holds hid the great revelation. The third ray uncoils, unrolls or unfolds this revelation. The two aspects are working closely together especially on our planet.
236. When the second and third aspects unite, we have spiral cyclic motion reconditioning rotary motion.
The heavenly serpent manifested, being produced out of the egg, and began its convolutions, gaining in strength and majesty, and producing through its immense fecundity millions of lesser "serpents."
237. This is the great Serpent which emerges from the World Egg. Through the process of emanation, the “heavenly serpent” produces many other versions of itself, each mind-born.
238. The serpent and the egg is a symbol applicable to a wide range of creative processes—from the Ego’s creation of a man, to the creation of a planetary scheme, a solar system, and still greater creative processes.
239. In a way the “serpent power” is “fire from Heaven”.
240. One must research the relationship of the serpent to solar fire. From one perspective, the serpent is the symbol of duality expressed through the ‘positive-negative’ second aspect, the Vishnu aspect.
The reptile kingdom is the most important part of the animal kingdom in certain aspects, if such an apparently contradictory statement can be made.
241. Surely this is a mysterious statement. Dragons and serpents can be understood as immensely good, but also as deeply evil. The battle is on between the two dragons or serpents resident within every man, and crocodiles play their part as well.
242. The reptile in man suggests the mode of his redemption. It also suggests all in him that resists redemption—his crocodilian nature (negatively understood).
For all animal life can be seen passing through it during the prenatal stage, or returning to it when the form is in advanced decomposition.
243. Man and all animals (in all animal groupings more advanced than the reptile—for instance, mammals) replicate the appearance of the reptile prenatally and in the post mortem state (when not cremated). The reptile represents transitions through which man (and mammalian life) must pass when entering the world and leaving it.
244. Does embryology reveal, as well, the replication of still earlier forms of life in the embryo? It would seem so.
245. Profundities concerning the origin and influence of the true inner man are symbolized by the reptile kingdom.
246. On a macrocosmic level, the relationship between Venus and the Earth can be expressed as the interplay between higher and lower members of the reptile kingdom. The story of the origin, struggles and redemption of man can be expressed in terms of dragons, serpents and crocodiles.
The connection is not purely a physical one, but it is also psychic.
247. The true psyche is the soul. The soul is, in one respect, the “solar serpent”, the conveyer of fire emanating from the cosmic mental plane (whereon the vast Solar Angel ensouling the causal body of the Solar Logos may be conceived as the solar systemic “Solar Serpent”).
248. Man must discover his higher serpent nature (the soul) so as to redeem his lower serpent nature (his lunar nature, lower “Satan”, the “serpent of illusion”) through the arousal of the “serpent power”, the kundalini.
When the real nature and method of the kundalini, or serpent fire, is known, this relation will be better understood, and the history of the second round assume a new importance.
249. DK gives us an occult hint which will not be easy to follow.
250. Let us say that the higher serpent in man arouses the serpent fire according to law. The rising of kundalini (the serpent coiled at the base of the spine) is inspired from above by the downflow of the energy of the higher serpent.
251. The Planetary Logos is a Dragon of Wisdom and man-as-Master is a lesser or minor Dragon of Wisdom. When we express as a Monad we are expressing the dragon power of our Planetary Logos, in one of Whose centers of force the Monad holds place.
252. It is true that the serpent power is particularly related to the soul (which is animated principally by the undulatory, bi-polar second ray), however, it is possible to see the Monad as a representative of the Planetary Logos (the Dragon of Wisdom) and, thus, again as a dragon or serpent of lesser degree.
The secret of life lies hidden in the serpent stage,—not the life of the Spirit, but the life of the soul, and this will be revealed as the "serpent of the astral light" is truly approached, and duly studied.
253. VSK asks: “Could we reword this and still be accurate? Thus, e.g.: The secret of the life of the soul is hidden in the serpent stage, and may be revealed by studying the astral light, in its serpentine nature.”
254. VSK continues with a number of illuminating points. “This is again evocative of the first Stanza, (and its three instances, of ‘the secret of fire”, i.e., TCF, 11, 172, and 1231.) Below are these six references to this phrase, “the secret of life”, whether the life of the spirit or the life of the soul, or what else may have a secret of life?”
a. The mystery of manas is hidden in existence itself, and holds the secret of life and conceals and veils those Entities Whose outstanding quality and characteristic it is. (TCF 394)
b. The secret of life lies hidden in the serpent stage,—not the life of the Spirit, but the life of the soul, and this will be revealed as the "serpent of the astral light" (TCF 893)
c. In man, God the Father has hidden the secret of life; (EPI, 312)
d. The secret (so-called) of the Cardinal Cross is the secret of Life itself, just as that of the Fixed Cross is that of the soul or the mystery of self-conscious entity, whilst the Mutable Cross holds hid the mystery of form. (EA, 314)
e. a. The unknown, unseen and unheard purpose of Sanat Kumara. It is the secret of life itself and is known only to Him alone. In its initial phase of this new expression, it works through the Manu and the Master Morya; it is that which veils the central mystery which all esoteric schools—if true to their inaugurating impulse—will eventually reveal. What that is we do not yet know, but it is hinted at in Rule XIII. (R&I, 242)
f. The Christ did not rise out of a rocky sepulchre and re-assume His discarded body. He passed through the great seventh initiation which we will consider today, and knew the secret of life, of which immortality is only one of its many attributes. (R&I, 730)
255. The “serpent of the astral light” must come to reflect the “serpent of the soul”. The pulsations of the soul are to be registered in the undulations of the astral light.
256. We are dealing here with the overcoming of the serpent of illusion by the ‘Serpent of Wisdom’.
One of the four Lipika Lords, Who stand nearest to our planetary Logos, is called "The Living Serpent," and His emblem is a serpent of blue with one eye, in the form of a ruby, in its head.
257. VSK wisely suggests: “Blue is the colour of the love or second solar system and thus blue (dual, indigo-blue) is the colour of spiral-cyclic motion (a likely result of the electrical and magnetic waves of light). This is the serpent in living movement. His eye, being ruby-red, can be construed as related to the first aspect, a single eye, the eye of Shiva, as explained below, and to be opened during the final, or first aspect or red solar system to come.”
258. She continues: “Pertinent question is, which Lipika Lord is this? Who stands nearest our Logos?”
259. The Lipika Lords are Sirian Beings. May this Lipika Lord be one that works most closely with the Solar Angels of Earth in their role as karmic Agents?
260. Spiral-cyclic motion suggests an ascending serpent.
261. The red eye is the eye of synthesis—the first aspect being correlated with the color red as stated.
262. Through the agency of this Living Serpent, perhaps the Ego can ascend towards the Spirit.
263. We know that the Lipika Lords are (outwardly at least) great first ray Beings Who are motivated by the second ray, and in order to achieve second ray objectives utilize third and fifth ray methods along with methods of the first ray.
264. Our Planetary Logos has a first ray Monad, and “The Living Serpent” is strongly correlated in purpose and objective with the first ray, symbolized by His red eye.
265. On our planet, a fusion will eventually be sought between the second and first rays. This Serpent may be involved in promoting this fusion which will occur when the kundalini of our planet is fully aroused under the impression of His first ray Monad.
266. The Four Lipika Lords (also called the “Four Maharajas”) are positioned within the solar system, in the form of a great Cross.. Some, it seems, stand closer to certain Planetary Logoi than others.
267. The one nearest our Planetary Logos has primary second and first ray characteristics. It seems as if the third ray personality of our Planetary Logos is already a factor being overcome and is not related so much to His future:
Students who care to carry the symbology a little further can connect this idea with the "eye of Shiva" which sees and knows all, and records all,
268. The “Lipika Lords” are the “Recorders”. This is the meaning of the word “Lipika”.
269. The ‘Eye of Synthesis” is all-seeing. Nothing escapes it.
270. Obviously, nothing escapes the Eye of a major Lipika Lord.
271. In a way, the One Eye is many eyes. That Observer is found within every being.
272. The time of karmic freedom is approaching when the third initiation is taken and the “eye of Shiva” begins to open.
as [Page 894] does the human eye in lesser degree;
273. All experience which the human eye witnesses is seen and recorded even if not consciously registered. Hypnotism proves this.
all is photographed upon the astral light, as the human eye receives impressions upon the retina.
274. This is an important piece of occultism. It would appear that that “astral light” is not “astral” at all, but rather etheric, since the ethers are physical and the human eye, in its subtle aspect, can reasonably be connected to them.
275. We are told, in similar vein, that the ability to see the ethers is an ability of the rightly focussed physical human eye.
276. What a Lord of Karma has developed in great measure, we have developed in small. Something within us ‘sees’ everything we do and such doings are registered with accuracy in the astral light and ‘read’ by karmic agents.
277. VSK asks several interesting questions: “See the astral light above. What could it be about the astral light that is serpent like? Does it rotate, spiral, cyclic. It is related to the motion of time and space, and, thus, how time itself must be unrolled?
278. We gather that the astral light is as a great receptive film or plate, registering all that has transpired. It is also the medium through which the future can be created when it is impressed by thought. It is a magical agent or instrument.
279. This ‘light’ can be viewed somewhat in a semi-dark room when the ethers are highly activated. When viewing this phenomenon, one sees how difficult it would be to control this ever-moving ‘serpent’. The power of mental fixation is strongly needed.
The same thought is frequently conveyed in the Christian Bible, in the Hebrew and Christian recognition of the all-seeing eye of God.
280. We have the equivalence of the "eye of Shiva", the ‘Serpent Eye’ and the “all-seeing eye of God”, so strongly promoted in Masonic ritual.
281. Can we see how the cultivation of the attitude of the Observer leads eventually to the cultivation of the lesser “all-seeing eye” within man, the third eye, the “eye of Shiva”?
The application and value of the hints here given may be apparent if the subject of the third eye is studied, and its relation to the spine, and the spinal currents investigated.
282. DK is suggesting that the third eye is awakened by the rising serpent power.
283. The one who has awakened the third eye is like the “The Living Serpent”, the ‘Lipika Serpent’ with the ruby-red ‘Eye of Synthesis’. We human beings can become as serpents with the single eye. As we become so, we reflect our individual ‘Serpent in Heaven’, the Solar Angel.
This third eye is one of the objects of kundalinic vivification,
284. Note that it is not the only object of kundalinic vivification.
and in the spinal territory there is first the centre at the base of the spine, the home of the sleeping fire.
285. The center at the base of the spine is a first ray center and the "eye of Shiva" is a first ray evocation—it is the “eye of synthesis”—really a blend of first and second ray attributes, for synthesis conveys the second aspect of the first ray.
286. DK is connecting for us the base of the spine center and the third eye. We can see that the kundalini serpent must rise with power if the third eye is to be opened. This requires the conservation of the energies of the body, purification and a general disciplining of the energy system.
287. VSK continues her speculations on the ‘Lipika Serpent’: “This third eye, is like that ruby eye of the blue serpent. Who is our kundalinic-like Lipika Lord, who is ‘the closest’ to our Logos? Could this be literal, that he is near is proximity, as if the Planetary Logos is a localized center? If a Logos is Head Center (heart in head), then is the pineal and pituitary relationship a decent analogy for the Logos and the Lipika Lord, with one ruby red eye, and a lovely blue serpent?”
288. Interestingly, however, the third eye may also be called the ‘eye of blue’.
The "Eye of Shiva," when perfected, is blue in colour, and as our solar Logos is the "Blue Logos" so do His children occultly resemble Him; but this colour must be interpreted esoterically. (TCF 1011)
289. Thus the first ray/second ray nature of this ‘Wisdom Eye’ is revealed.
290. It would seem that man must perfect the blue before moving to the red. The powerful Lipika Lord under discussion, long ago perfected the second aspect symbolized by blue.
291. The name of one of the four Karmic Lords is “Pain”(cf. Externalization of the Hierarchy 116-117). Could this be the Lord most closely related to our Planetary Logos?
Next we have the triple channel along which that fire will travel in due course of evolution, and finally we find at the summit of the column, and surmounting all, that small organ called the pineal gland, which when vivified causes the third eye to open, and the beauties of the higher, subtler planes to stand revealed.
292. It must be evident that, in the occult anatomy depicted, we have the living structure upon which the Rod of Initiation is modelled.
293. The diamond atop the Rod of Initiation can be construed as the pineal gland.
294. The triple channel suggests the structure of that particular Rod of Initiation called the “Flaming Diamond”.
The Rod of Sanat Kumara is far more intricate, and instead of the central Rod, or Serpent, standing on the tip of its tail, all the three serpents are interwoven in a spiral fashion, and the Flaming Diamond which surmounts it is of such radiance that the effect is produced of a spheroidal aura, cast around the interlaced serpents, typifying the form-building nature of the Vishnu activity. (TCF 1035-1036)
295. We will suspect that the application of the Rod of Initiation (especially at the third initiation) does much to open the third eye.
296. That part of the third eye correlated with synthesis and with the first ray is stimulated by the conscious touch of the Monad which occurs at that initiation.
All this physico-psychical occurrence is possible to man owing to certain events which happened to the Heavenly Serpent in the second, or serpent, round.
297. We can see the profound hint offered even if it is difficult to understand.
298. It would seem that the entire program of initiation now possible to man had its origin (as far as our planetary chain is concerned) in events occurring during the second round of our Earth-chain.
299. Was it then that the Sirian influence was particularly potent, as it is the Sirian influence which impels the entire program of initiation, not only on this planet but in our solar system as well?
300. Initiation is both physical and psychical—DK calls it a “physico-psychical occurrence”.
301. Is the “Heavenly Serpent” that particular great Solar Angel associated with our particular Planetary Logos upon the cosmic mental plane? Planetary Logoi have associated with them such Solar Angels (building and sustaining their egoic structure) as do Solar Logoi.
302. When we think of the motion of a round, we can easily envision the serpent swallowing its tail.
These happenings necessitated the formation and evolution of that peculiar and mysterious family we call the reptilian.
303. It would seem that, as far as promoting the relationship between our Planetary Logos and the Planetary Logos of Venus (in relation to our Earth-chain), the second round of our chain would have offered a particularly propitious opportunity.
304. Different types of animals originated in different rounds. The implication here is that the reptilian family originated in the second round.
305. We could begin to wonder whether the reptile kingdom came into being as a result of the soul (the “Heavenly Serpent”) influence of our Planetary Logos and as a result of His interplay with the Planetary Logos of the Venus-scheme.
306. According to contemporary scientific theory, that period for the arising of the reptile family may have been too many millions of years ago to be reasonable, for each round seems to take more than 300 million years, with the length of the earlier rounds being probably greater rather than equal or lesser. This could suggest a second round occurring more than 600 million years ago. As far as science is concerned, the reptiles arose much more recently.
307. Yet, we can ask whether there might not have been a reptile family in the second round, the third round and in the fourth—all three. In such a case, the arising of the reptile family in our fourth round would simply be linked to predecessor reptile families in the third and second rounds.
308. The mystery, really, is profound. Perhaps some deep meditation is needed to consider ourselves as a congery of serpents/reptiles of different kinds. The battle between the serpents (between the “Devil” and the “Angels”) is surely the predominating issue of human living.
These forms of divine life [the reptile family] are very intimately connected with the second planetary scheme,
309. That planetary scheme is Venus. The “Feathered Serpent”, Quetzalquatal, may be considered Venusian in origin, and the coming of the ‘solar serpents’ (HPB calls this host “Satan” in the higher sense of the word) are strongly impulsed from Venus.
310. Quetzalquatal is, in one manner of interpretation, the Christ and Christ is uniquely related to Venus, just as Buddha is to Mercury.
311. We might say that Venus rules the second or serpent round in which, ostensibly, the reptiles emerged.
312. We might think that Scorpio (the serpent sign) was very influential in that round. In Scorpio occurs the great battle between the lesser serpents and the greater.
313. The entire battle between the Black Lodge and the White Lodge is the battle between two types of serpents or dragons, and this battle is waged strongly under the influence of Scorpio (in which, interestingly, Venus is detrimented).
314. Our image of Venus would not usually support the idea that it was connected with the reptilian family, but so it appears to be.
being responsive to energy emanating from that scheme, and reaching the earth via the second globe in the second chain.
315. We must meditate upon the relationship of Venus to the reptile kingdom or family. We know already that Venus rules that Creative Hierarchy called the “Crocodiles”. Interestingly, Lakshmi (Venus) rides on the back of a crocodile! This is the symbol of the conquest of the lower reptile by the ‘Greater Serpent’, the soul.
316. Those who would become Solar Angels are on the ‘Serpent Path’ and will be treading their way to Sirius (a star closely related to serpent symbolism just as Venus is).
A group of special devas (connected with a particular open sound in the planetary Word), work with the reptile evolution.
317. Simply amazing information. We are not yet in a position to do much with it.
318. We note that the sound is “open” which means that it is not a consonant, nor is it likely to be a vowel produced through a small aperture. DK is hinting at much when calling the sound “open”.
319. We could associate this sound with the letter “O” which is particularly open and can be seen as the serpent swallowing its tail.
320. The letter would have to represent the second aspect.
321. We do not know the Planetary Word. Even the Masters of the Wisdom do not. The OM, however, is a symbol of this Word, and the
OM is the word of the second aspect.
322. Interestingly, the letter “O” is a Jupiterian sound and Jupiter is a expression on the soul level of the second ray.
323. From another perspective, the letter A in AUM, is pronounced “ah” which, according to Rudolf Steiner, is the sound associated with Venus (and is surely the most “open” of sounds). Yet, in a way, the A is connected to the first aspect rather than the second.
324. When thinking about the “U”, although a vowel sound, it is rather constrained and not particularly open.
325. VSK offers her opinion regarding DK’s hints: “This is the “U”. (Again, similar to the ‘secret of fire lies hid in the second letter of the sacred word’.) Thus, how dissimilar is the secret of the life of the soul from that of the spirit as this ‘open sound’, O of OM, or U of AUM?”
326. We can definitely connect the “U” with the second aspect, but, again, it is not a particularly ‘open’ sound. Its aperture is smaller and it is more constrained.
327. The “U”, however, does signify descent and re-ascent. When a dome is placed atop the “U”, capping it, the “U” becomes an oval suggesting the “O” but in a less rounded manner. When domed, the “U” becomes the symbol of the Egg out of which the ‘Heavenly Serpent” is hatched.
It should be noted here that this evolution on the etheric planes has a closer effect upon man than on the physical.
328. The etheric planes are most probably the planes of the astral light. The undulatory motion of the ethers suggest the serpent and the stronger influence of the reptilian evolution on the ethers than on the physical plane.
If students will apply themselves to the consideration of these facts, to the investigation of the serpent lore in all lands, mythologies and scriptures, and if they will link up all this knowledge with that concerning those heavenly constellations which have a serpent appellation (such as, for instance, the Dragon), much [Page 895] illumination may come.
329. VSK suggests that “This requires a full course”.
330. She is correct. It suggests a full book or thesis that could be written. Vast will be the research required, but great mysteries will be revealed. The serpent is surely (to man) the most mysterious of creatures.
If the intuition suffices, knowledge may then be imparted which will make clearer the connection between the physical bodies with their centres, and the psychic nature.
331. We are looking for the relationship between the soul nature (the true psychic nature) and the various vehicles of the personality with their chakras.
332. It would appear that influence from the psychic nature travels to the centers in serpentine waves.
333. Interestingly, some early depictions of the antahkarana (passed among the early groupings of students of Master DK) showed it to be a serpentine structure representing the letter “S”.
The bird kingdom is specifically allied to the deva evolution.
334. This is shown graphically in Jinarajadasa’s First Principles of Theosophy.
335. In the charts he presents, fishes and birds are destined to become devas.
336. Interestingly, amphibians, reptiles and mammals are destined to become men.
337. The common denominator between these two kingdoms is the possession of wings.
It is the bridging kingdom between the purely deva evolution and two other manifestations of life.
338. These two other manifestations of life are the human kingdom and the animal kingdom.
First. Certain groups of devas who desire to pass into the human kingdom, having developed certain faculties, can do so via the bird kingdom,
339. We note that only those devas who have “developed certain faculties” can pass into the human kingdom. It seems that there are not a great number of devas who undergo this type of transition.
340. Are these devas self-conscious? It would seem not, as birds are not self-conscious. And yet the factor of desire is present. If they are not self-conscious, then the desire cannot be conscious desire. Animals have desire but not conscious desire, so that while they do desire, they do not know they desire.
341. VSK asks: “What sort of implication are here monadically. Are there not separate Human Monads and Deva Monads. How does the Monad ‘change’ kingdoms at this level? Curious. If it’s a buddhic level change (sub-monadic) then that may offer some changeover where ‘men and deva ‘meet’ on the buddhic? What does that mean? Are the birds most representative of the buddhic or plane of air, and that of messengers, Mercury (the ruler of the Buddhic Hierarchy)?”
342. The implication in this first point seems to contradict that which Jinarajadasa tabulated—that birds enter the deva kingdom and not the human kingdom. From what DK here suggests, it would be possible to become a human being via the bird kingdom.
343. In answer to VSK’s query, while there are human Monads and deva Monads, there is nothing in the lore which tells us that no crossover is possible. Whether a Monad manifests as a deva or a human depends upon the quality of the vehicle, and the vehicle can change.
344. The highest type of Beings are consciously both deva and ‘man’ (for instance, Heavenly Man and Grand Heavenly Man). In this they are Hermaphrodites.
345. Monads are pure spirit. Pure spirit can manifest through any kind of vehicle provided it is suitably refined and strong.
and certain devas who wish to get in communication with human beings can do so via the bird kingdom.
346. This type of communication would come under the category of ‘bird omens’. Black birds are considered ominous. Other birds, perhaps, more fortunate.
347. Presumably the types of devas who wish to get in communication with human beings would be transmitting devas, highly self-conscious and intelligent.
348. It must be that birds are especially sensitive to devic currents.
This truth is hinted at in the Christian Bible and Christian religious representations by angels or devas being frequently represented as having wings.
349. Both birds and angels, therefore, are closely related to the buddhic plane or “plane of air”.
350. Devas are “winged messengers”(Mercury) and, to a lesser degree, this can be true of responsive birds.
These cases are not many, as the usual method is for the devas gradually to work themselves towards individualisation through expansive feeling,
351. This is such an important statement and reveals to us the devic nature of great artists and their art.
352. The statement also confirms that which was suggested above—that not many devas become self-conscious in this manner (i.e., reaching participation in the human kingdom through the kingdom of birds).
353. Any experience of unusual intensity calls attention to itself as being other than the customary experiences within the environment in which the experiencer is imbedded—and, thus, calls attention to the experiencer as a center within the field of experience. This calling of attention to itself is an intensification of attention promoting that state of self-realization or self-centering called “individualization”.
but in the cases which do occur these devas pass several cycles in the bird kingdom, building in a response to a vibration which will ultimately swing them into the human family.
354. One could wonder whether such devas transiting to the human kingdom as birds become those birds which have a close relation to man—parrots, falcons, carrier pigeons, parrots, songbirds of the domesticated type.
355. It is clear from DK writes that the human kingdom can be reached via the bird kingdom.
356. When dealing with birds, one wonders which ones are particularly an expression of deva life and which are more normal.
357. While most birds cannot be as easily trained or domesticated as the usual domesticated mammals, there are many instances in which this does occur.
358. We are led to ask about the duration of these “several cycles”. A cycle is not necessarily the same as a incarnation. In fact, a cycle may be of very long duration.
In this way they become accustomed to the use of a gross form without the limitations, and impurities, which the animal kingdom engenders.
359. DK is telling us about passageways into the human kingdom. The passage way via the animal kingdom is of lesser purity than the passageway via the bird kingdom.
360. It is interesting that birds, in this context, are not really considered to be members of the animal kingdom.
361. The form of birds is less gross than the animal.
362. VSK reflects: “Well, what limitations and impurities do other animals give that the bird has not? They both have digestive systems, and birds of prey are certainly carnivorous. Is this only certain birds in ‘the bird kingdom’. Only those that fly? Not ostriches? Kiwi’s? Parrots and blackbirds alike? Song birds? Birds of prey? Or, only those domesticated and living near to man? (I mean, are we going to have past life recall with, “When I was a budgie.”)
363. What vibration swings (devas in) birds into the human family?
364. May it be suggested that domestication is the royal road into the human kingdom? A form of life seeking to enter a higher kingdom must undergo sufficient exposure to that kingdom via at least a few of its members. This is undergone through association and domestication.
Second. Many devas pass out of the group of passive lives in the effort to become manipulating lives via the bird kingdom, and before becoming fairies, elves, gnomes, or other sprites, pass a certain number of cycles in the bird realm.
365. VSK explains: “This means, that lesser devas who are the elemental lives called “passive lives”, FIRST experience the bird lives and THEN become fairies or elves and gnomes or other sprites. So, we could say that any of these nature spirits or sprites may have been birds in their history. Passive devas become birds, and then become fairies, elves, gnomes and other sprites.
366. VSK continues: “Elves and gnomes and fairies manipulate matter. As devas do they not have direct-enough contact?”
367. The Tibetan offers some very interesting thoughts. We are still not told whether fairies, elves, gnomes and other sprites are to be considered self-conscious. However, lives which are their equivalent (found far under the Earth’s crust) have forms of government—a fact which seems to require them to be self-conscious and intelligent.
368. We must infer that since certain birds are almost on the point of entry into the human kingdom (which implies individualization), their passage into the kingdom of sprites could bring with it a type of self-awareness—unless we assume that it requires a very highly developed bird to pass into the human kingdom (where self-consciousness is achieved) and that most birds (for instance, those who become sprites) are not sufficiently developed.
369. What we have learned so far is that certain devas become human by passage of several cycles through the bird kingdom. Also, certain lesser devas become manipulating devas via incarnation in the bird kingdom. Does this not suggest that the manipulating devas are at least ‘semi-self-conscious’ or vaguely self-conscious?
370. Of course, to answer this, we would have to understand something about the relative degrees of consciousness to be found within the bird kingdom, as surely such consciousness is distributed over a range, just as in any other kingdom of grouping of lives.
Why the two above events occur will not be apparent to the casual reader, nor will the true connection between the birds and the devas be accurately realised by the occult student unless he applies himself to the consideration of the "bird or swan out of time and space,"
371. Here we have mention of Hamsa (the “bird or swan out of time and space”) We have three constellational “gates” associated with the three Stymphalian Birds—Cygnus (the Swan related to Aquarius)
Aquila (the Eagle related to Capricorn) and the “Falling Gryfe” related to Sagittarius (the sign in which Hercules kills the Stymphalian Birds).
372. We have an implication here that some human beings are more bestial, having arisen from the animal kingdom, and some (far fewer) more refined having entered via the bird kingdom.
373. Are the constellational gates active when such passage occurs from the bird kingdom into the human and from the lowest deva lives, via the bird kingdom, into the realm of manipulating sprites?
and the place that birds play in the mysteries. Herein lies for him the clue.
374. VSK offers: “This swan is Hamsa. HPB refers to the Swan-man (Stanzas, VI, 22. SD Vol. II.)”
He must remember likewise the fact that every life of every degree, from a god to the most [Page 896] insignificant of the lesser devas, or builders, must at some time or another pass through the human family.
375. This is an extraordinary statement. One could wonder whether this passage through the human family will be done by each lesser life singly or in group formation.
376. If in group formation, we must wonder about the extent to which the human being is a group being even now.
377. When looking at the lunar lords and Solar Lords who compose him, his group nature stands out.
378. DK’s statement may seem obvious, but it is problematic. It is like saying that ever human being must become a planet or a star. Will each human being do this singly or in groups? Solar Angels become Planetary Logoi in groups!
379. VSK asks: “Does passing through the human family not make one (or require one to be) a human monad?
380. May it be suggested that Monads are essentially unrelated to any kingdoms through which they may be manifesting. All Monads are, essentially, identical. What distinguishes them is the vehicles and the planes through which they manifest at any one time.
381. We have to remember that the “human family” can be traversed without the use of that which we on Earth recognize as the human form. The “human family” is a state of consciousness arising from the union of an animal plus a living god.H.P.B. defines man accurately as an "animal plus a God". (TWM 38)
As H.P.B. has pointed out,80 [S.D., Section X, Vol. I, 384, 435; II, 306] birds and serpents are closely connected with wisdom, and therefore with the psychic nature of God, of men, and of devas.
382. Wisdom, buddhi, wings, devas and serpents are all related. There are “winged serpents” which suggests the adding of buddhi to manas.
383. Gods, men and devas all have a psychic nature.
384. Wings and wisdom are intimately related. Mercury, God of Wisdom (in one respect) is winged and is a ruler of the buddhic plane—the plane of Wisdom.
The study of mythology should reveal certain stages and relationships which will make this matter clearer.
385. We see why a study of HPB is so important. She is so well attuned to the mythologies of various civilizations and cultures, both extant and long defunct.
386. The fourth ray (the ray which interprets the symbolism of mythology) is needed in this study. This ray is the ray of winged Mercury and a ray intimately related to buddhi (Wisdom) and the buddhic plane.