Fellowship of Cosmic Fire
Commentary Semester VIII Section IV
TCF 958-963 : S8S4 Part I
November – 13 December 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
1. We now enter a very practical section of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire—one which touches on the development of the disciple as a worker in white magic.
I have a few more words to say anent this subject of man as a Creator in mental matter. The words are addressed to all those students who—through their ability to concentrate—have developed a certain measure of thought control, and who desire to understand the process of creation with greater scientific accuracy.
2. We see that the capacity to concentrate is the sine qua non of thought control. Who has not wrestled with the lower mind?
3. We are engaged with the science thoughtform building. We have build thoughts for millions of years—relatively unconsciously. We have not really understood what we were constantly doing.
We will, therefore, consider two factors in the process of thought-form building:
a. That of aligning with the Ego.88 [Alignment: See Letters on Occult Meditation, pp. 1-7.]
4. Man as “Ego” is considered to reside upon the third or second subplanes of the higher mental plane.
5. It can be questioned how many minutes or hours of the day we are actually aligned with the Ego. In a way, alignment is both the beginning and the end (as the prelude to absorption).
b. The process of impressing the egoic will, on the physical brain, or (to word it otherwise) the initial utilisation of egoic energy. [Page 959]
6. We note that the egoic will must make its way to the very lowest portion of the human apparatus. Matter of the dense physical plane must be impressed.
7. It is also significant that it is the will that must impress the brain. Will and brain are fundamentally related—one the power to direct, the other the physical organ of direction.
8. We note that this type of impression concerns the “initial” use of egoic energy. There must be other and subsequent uses.
Let us take them one by one:
a. Alignment with the Ego. This, as we know, is only possible to the man who has reached the Probationary Path, or a certain very definite point in evolution.
9. It appears, in this sentence, that the “certain very definite point in evolution” is equivalent to the Probationary Path.
10. If it is so “definite”, one wonders exactly what the Masters ‘see’ to confirm that this point in evolution has been reached. Perhaps there are certain activation in the fifth petal of the egoic lotus which reveal the status.
11. The obvious implication is by far the vast majority of human beings are not aligned with the Ego, much less directed or consciously directed by that Ego.
12. We also realize that alignment with the Ego is certainly possible before a man has taken the first initiation, as the Probationary Path begins before the first degree is consummated.
13. A the initial reversal of the wheel, some degree of alignment with the Ego occurs.
Through knowledge and practice, the power has been acquired of automatically and scientifically utilising the sutratma (or channel) as a means of contact.
14. We note it is the “life thread” by means of which the personality contacts the Ego. DK is not here speaking of even the lower portion of the antahkarana connecting the mental unit with the causal body, though such a link is implied. Yet, since he is speaking of “power” to contact the Ego, it is understandable why the sutratma is necessary for such contact. The power to achieve certain levels of consciousness precedes the achievement of consciousness itself.
15. It is the ‘energy presence’ of the Ego which is utilized to achieve contact.
16. Without practice, knowledge alone will not provide the necessary contact.
17. Apparently, even upon the Probationary Path, the contact is to be automatic and scientifically executed.
When to this ability is added that of utilising with equal ease the antaskarana (or bridge between the Triad and the personality) then we have a powerful agent of the Hierarchy on the earth.
18. To be a true and powerful “agent of the Hierarchy on earth” necessitates contact with the spiritual triad. Power (the will aspect) descends via the antahkarana. True hierarchical workers are triadally focussed.
19. For those of us who may find the process of building and utilising the antahkarana somewhat vague, DK assures us that utilization of this more subtle “inner organ” is to become as easy as utilizing one’s contact with the causal body (the vehicle of the soul)—i.e., utilizing the lower portion of the “bridge”.
20. The antahkarana gives access to the true Ego—the spiritual triad. That which we call the Ego on the two lower subplanes of the higher mental plane is the Ego ‘enshrouded’ in the causal body.
We might generalise in the following manner as to the stages of growth and consequent ability to become the agent of ever increasing powers,
21. The “powers” are resident ‘above’ and descend when proper contact is established.
22. Ponder on the thought—“ever-increasing powers”.
tapping the resources of dynamic energy in the three worlds.
23. Dynamic energy is of the will, of the Spirit and to a lesser extent of the Triad.. Dynamic energy is capable of creating ‘movements’ within the lower three worlds. In addition there are energies within the lower three worlds which contact with higher sources (for instance, the Ego or Triad) will set loose.
Lower types of humanity use the sutratma as it passes through the etheric body.
24. The sutratma always supports of empowers the consciousness of the vibratory field through which it passes. There can be no consciousness without life support.
25. Such people (“lower types of humanity”) are basically physically polarized, recognizing that the etheric body is essentially a physical vehicle.
26. The first personality vehicle to become fully activated is the etheric-physical body. This is literally and symbolically a Lemurian activation.
Average men utilise almost entirely that part of the sutratma which passes through the astral plane. Their reactions are largely based on desire, and are emotional.
27. Average man is definitely emotional in his responses. Average man is rather Atlantean in consciousness. Yet average men, also think (though that thinking be kama-manasic). Thus, the use of the term, “almost entirely”.
28. The sutratma (being the “life thread”) naturally passes through all personality vehicles, without which they could not be sustained in livingness.
Intellectual men utilise the sutratma as it passes through the lower levels of the mental plane, down through the astral to the physical in its two sections.
29. At each successive stage, the progressing man does not lose the sutratma function that demonstrates in the previous stage or stages.
30. Intellectual man is definitely focussed in his lower concrete mind. If a human being were focussed any higher upon the mental plane, he would no longer be strictly “intellectual”.
Their activities are energised by mind and not by desire, as in the earlier cases.
31. Still very few human beings are those whose activities are energized principally by mind. It is not said that no desire is involved in this higher type of energizing.
32. Have you checked the sources of your own motivation? Have mental motivations superseded emotionally-based motivations?
Aspirants on the physical plane
33. DK seems to be hinting that there are effective aspirants on the subtler planes.
use the sutratma as it passes through the two lower subplanes of the abstract levels of the mental plane, and are beginning gradually to build the antaskarana, or the bridge between the Triad and the Personality. The power of the Ego can begin to make itself felt
34. Technically, the aspirant has advanced to a higher stage of development than the strictly intellectual man, though many aspirants have preserved their intellectual orientation.
35. We might ask whether the stage of aspiration begins before the Ego is focussed on the second subplane of the mental plane. Apparently this is the case. Even though the Ego of average man and even of intellectual man is polarized on the third subplane of the mental plane, the sutratma does not activate the third level of the abstract mental plane until the man has become an aspirant.
36. Here the antahkarana is defined as the “bridge between the Triad and the Personality”. In other contexts, the entire triangle connecting the mental unit, the Jewel in the Lotus and the manasic permanent atom is seen as the antahkarana.
37. We have here the implication that for the aspirant some degree of abstract or higher mental thought is present for the higher mental plane is involved in their internal energy dynamics.
38. An aspirant is definitely subject to egoic influence whereas a strictly intellectual man is not.
39. Even as an aspirant, one can begin to build the antahkarana.
40. The term “aspirant” covers a wide range of development as even an initiate of the second degree can be considered an aspirant.
41. From what is said below we may gather that the term “aspirant” (as just used above) indicates one who has stepped upon the Probationary Path but is not necessarily an initiate of the first degree. The Ego refocuses its polarization onto the second subplane of the mental plane when the individual becomes an aspirant. Such re-polarization may even be true of an “advanced man”. In this case “advanced man” would indicate a stage higher than strictly intellectual man.
42. Some types of intellectual men (at least we call them that) have access also to the abstract mind. DK speaks of intellectual man as if he were only capable of thinking concretely. The higher types of intellectual men have the capacity for abstract thought. Perhaps, in DK’s terminology, we would have to call them “aspirants”.
Applicants for initiation and initiates up to the third initiation use both the sutratma and the antaskarana, employing them as a unit.
43. The antahkarana is employed as the human being becomes increasingly conscious.
44. When DK speaks of “applicants for initiation” it seems He is including even applicants for the first initiation. He seems to discriminate between aspirants/probationers and those who are truly “applicants” even for the first degree.
45. It might be that the type of “applicant” which Master DK has in mind is no lower than the applicant to the second degree, at which time the antahkarana is built to a noticeable extent.
46. To use the sutratma and antahkarana simultaneously suggests an empowered penetration into higher worlds. This simultaneous usage reminds one of the phase of projection in the sixfold method of building the antahkarana.
The power of the Triad begins to pour through, thus energising all human [Page 960] activities upon the physical plane, and vitalising in ever increasing degree the man's thought forms.
47. We are speaking of the process of thoughtform vitalization as it occurs for those who are applicants for initiation.
48. Where there is triadal contact, all aspects of human nature are energized.
49. Can we discriminate within ourselves between—
a. Thoughtforms energized from the lower levels of the mental plane
b. Thoughtforms energized from the Ego on the third and second subplane of the mental plane
c. Thoughtforms energized body the power of the Triad
The key to the formation of the Mayavirupa is found in the right comprehension of the process.
50. It is clear that the mayavirupa is formed from an impulse originating within the spiritual triad. It may be supposed that the impact of triadal energy upon the lower mental field creates the mental thoughtform on which the mayavirupa is to be built. As the mayavirupa cannot be formed until after the fourth initiation, and as, following the fourth initiation there is no mental unit, per se, the triadal energy must recreate a kind of mental unit through which to work on the lower mental plane in carrying forward this act of creation.
If students will study carefully the above differentiations, much light will be thrown upon the quality of the energy employed in thought-form building.
51. Our immediate task is to understand the levels from which our thoughtforms are impulsed. Probably for all, there is a mixture of effective impulses. Perhaps our thoughtforms are more concrete than we may have supposed?
In the early stages of alignment, it has to be concisely and carefully brought about through concentration and meditation.
52. This is the method of “practice” which DK mentioned above.
53. We learn that alignment is not a natural process but rather an achievement hardly won. This we can verify for ourselves if we have become sensitive to the times when we are truly aligned and the many moments when we may not be.
Later, when the right rhythm has been set up in the bodies, and the purification of the sheaths has been rigidly pursued, the dual activity will become practically instantaneous,
54. Concentration and meditation become practically instantaneous.
55. Notice the requirements—right rhythm and purification. It would seem that each body must be rendered rhythmic, rather than characterized by disjointed activity or even chaos, and that the rhythm in one vehicle must correlate relatively harmoniously with the rhythm in the other two.
56. What comes to mind when you think of submitting your three personality vehicles to “right rhythm”? Perhaps it is not so difficult when thinking of the physical body, but what of the astral vehicle or the lower mental vehicle?
57. Perhaps giving due attention to cycles of activity and of receptivity/passivity will give a necessary clue.
and the student can then turn his attention to the work of conscious building and vitalisation; his point of concentration will not then be given to the attainment of alignment.
58. Let us tabulate the sequence:
c. Conscious building
59. If there is to be conscious building and vitalization, then concentration cannot be constantly expended on the attainment of alignment.
60. We can see why it is so important to achieve alignment before any really creative work can be accomplished. One must not leap into supposed creativity before one is sure that alignment is established.
Accurate alignment entails,
Mental quiescence, or stable vibration,
61. The contents of the mind cannot be ‘leaping about’ or it will disturb the energy which seeks to descend.
62. Steady, long breaths will assist in the quieting of the mind.
Emotional stability, resulting in limpid reflection,
63. Eventually, the emotional body is to be a reflector of the intuition or buddhi.
64. We all know that it is impossible to meditate properly in a state of emotional agitation. One must first calm down.
65. What would be the quality of thoughtforms built while in an emotional state? They would hardly reflect the Ego.
66. The type of meditation we are studying is not kama-manasic.
Etheric poise, producing a condition in the head centre which would permit of the direct application of force to the physical brain via the centre.
67. This is a poised quiescence of the ethers. Again, long, steady breaths will facilitate this. Both aspects of the physical apparatus (the etheric and the dense physical) must be quieted.
68. We are given the mode through which the dense physical brain can be impacted from the etheric levels. The line of transmission seems to be from the head center above the head, through the etheric brain and thence to the dense physical brain.
69. We have examined alignment and now take up the question of “physical brain impression”.
c. Physical brain impression. The accurate realisation by the physical brain of what the Ego is seeking to convey concerning the work to be done only becomes possible when two things are realised:
70. Within the dense physical brain there must be accurate egoic impression. This means that we, in our normal, waking consciousness, must know what it is that the Ego intends. Are we truly aware of such impression? And if so, with accuracy?
71. Direct, unimpeded alignment is required, and the meditator must realize that it is occurring.
The transmission of the egoic energy or will to one or other of the three physical centres in the head:
72. These glands are definitely involved in the process of transmission. Note, however, that DK speaks of the alta major center and not of the carotid gland. Yet, what is the meaning of the term “centre”?
The pineal gland.
The pituitary body.
The alta major centre, or that nerve centre at the top of the spine, where the cranium and the spine make approximate contact.
73. Perhaps His use of the word “center” does not signify an etheric center but, rather, a physical center. The term “center” can indicate either.
When this congery of nerves is fully developed,
74. DK is definitely speaking in physical terms. He is not indicating, in this reference, an etheric center.
it forms a centre of communication between the vital energy of the spinal column (the kundalini fire) and the energy of the two head centres above enumerated.
75. This is a most important piece of occultism. We see that there can be no true connection between the kundalini and the higher centers in the head unless the alta major center, physically considered, plays its role.
It is the physical correspondence to the antaskarana on higher levels. [Page 961]
76. There is also an etheric correspondence to the antahkarana at this anatomical location, but DK seems to be referencing the alta major nerve center or congery of nerves as a kind of lower correspondence to the antahkarana.
CHART X — THE SCIENCE OF MEDITATION
77. We can learn certain things of importance by studying this chart.
78. Note that the spiritual triad (atma/buddhi/manas) is directly reflected in the Ego on the higher mental plane. We might consider the sacrifice petals the reflection of atma; the love petals the reflection of buddhi; and the knowledge petals as the reflection of manas.
79. We also notice that there is a direct alignment with atma (as it is reflected within the Ego on the higher mental plane) and the mental unit. Obviously, then, the mental unit is an instrument for conveying the will.
80. The mental unit is the only permanent atom (of a kind) that is directly connected to the reflection of atma, buddhi or manas within the Ego.
81. The manasic portion of the Ego does, however, connect with the alta major center. The buddhic portion of the Ego connects with the pituitary body. The atmic portion of the ego does, also, connect with the pineal gland.
82. We notice, by studying the vertical dotted line, that the atmic portion extends its influence through all members of the atomic triangle, but the line is only solid in relation to the mental unit.
83. Since the members of the atomic triangle are directing centers with respect to the three lower vehicles, we can understand why they are all connected to the atmic portion of the Ego.
84. In this particular map, however, we do not see the permanent atoms of the spiritual triad represented as connected to the atmic, buddhic, and manasic portions of the Ego on the higher mental plane. Other charts seem to show this connection.
The pituitary body (in all cases of correct normal development) forms the centre which receives the threefold vitalisation pouring through the sutratma from the lower mental, the astral, and the etheric planes.
85. The pituitary body is particularly connected with the personality composed of the mental, astral and etheric-physical bodies.
86. Notice, however, that the Tibetan speaks of “planes” and not of bodies, per se. Reception within the pituitary body from planes, and not just from within the personality vehicles, is suggested.
87. One wonders what may befall the pituitary body in cases of abnormal development.
88. Notice that, in this context, we are speaking of the sutratma and of vitalization and not of consciousness, per se.
89. The sutratma is really the attenuated presence of the Monad in all phases of personality life. With this attenuated presence comes attenuated monadic awareness. The presence of life supports the presence of consciousness.
The pineal gland comes into activity when this action is enhanced by the pouring through of energy from the Ego on its own plane.
90. We learn that there is a direct connection between the Ego “on its own plane” and the pineal gland.
91. Usually, “on its own plane” represents the higher mental plane, but the planes of the spiritual triad (characterized by will—thus relating to the pineal gland) may also be indicated.
When the antaskarana is in process of utilisation the alta major centre is likewise employed,
92. This seems to be a later development, even as the full activation of the base of the spine center comes well after all the other centers (perhaps with the exception of the crown center) are very unfolded.
93. It is one thing for the antahkarana to be built and yet another for it to be utilized. The full activation of the alta major center seems to follow the activation of the pituitary body.
and the three physical head centres begin to work as a unit, thus forming a kind of triangle.
94. The interactivity of these three physical centers is paralleled on the etheric plane by the interactivity of the crown center, the ajna center and the alta major center considered etherically.
By the time the third Initiation is reached, this triangle is fully awakened and the fire (or energy) is circulated freely.
95. VSK notes: “This triangle is implicated in Stanza 1.”
96. Fire or energy circulates through the physical triangle and also through the etheric triangle.
It will be apparent, therefore, that man's ability to create in mental matter grows as he treads the Path.
97. Higher impulsive sources can be accessed as he evolves.
He needs to remember that (from the angle from which we are studying) we are not considering the power of the Ego to produce forms on the mental plane,
98. That is a higher type of ability…
99. The personality of man is just such a creation, beginning with an Ego-created mental vehicle.
but the ability of physical plane man to create upon the mental plane those vehicles for energy which—when set in motion by his conscious will—will produce certain specific effects upon the physical plane.
100. Here DK is dealing specifically with the white magical process. Man’s lesser and often personal creativity upon the lower mental plane is a reflection of the Ego’s creativity on the higher.
101. Thoughtforms are those “vehicles of energy which…will produce certain specific effects upon the physical plane”.
102. The magical creator utilizes the “conscious will”. We remember in the chart above how the atmic portion of the Ego on the higher mental plane is directly connected with the mental unit.
This is brought about by egoic energy passed down the sutratma to the physical brain, and retransmitted back to the mental plane, plus or minus that which has been gained or lost in the process.
103. This is a most interesting piece of information. In it we can see the modus operandi of soul-mind-brain coordination.
104. This process of touching all points, then refocussing in a higher point that has already been touched, is found in several references and seems to be a customary process.
105. The method is one which moves towards increasing integration.
The true Adept, through knowledge, conserves all energy while in process of transmission, and augments it with the energy contacted.
106. We can see how the Adept works with the Law of Economy—a law closely related to the atmic plane whereon the Adept is focussed.
107. The Adept works with the energy of the planet Saturn, conserving and augmenting where possible.
108. All energies are to be wisely used and the Adept knows how. For ourselves, and at our present stage of evolution, an eye to the wise expenditure of energy would be useful.
It is, therefore, the energy of will, plus that of desire, fed by the energy of the physical brain.
109. It is as if the two higher energies, of will and desire, are augmented or fed by the lower energy—that of the physical brain.
110. We know little of the additive nature of energies, but as wave can be added to wave, so different forms of energy, when added, may lead to an augmentation of wave amplitude.
111. The egoic energy, it would seem, does not descend directly to the physical brain without engaging the higher energies during the descent.
Literally, therefore, it is a small resume of the creative process of the Godhead, being the [Page 963] energy of the three persons unified, and considered from the standpoint of the physical.
112. We have been given an analogy. The greater Creative Process is reflected in the creative process utilized by the microcosm as it creates thoughtforms.
113. We can practice this type of descent and reascent to see if we notice the unification of energies and their augmentation.
114. There is something about this process of descent and reascent which suggest the curvature of the Second Outpouring—the Outpouring of form-building.
It is the at-one-ment of the three fires in man, being in fact:
a. That much of the fire of spirit, or electric fire, which any particular Ego is embodying (relatively little prior to the third Initiation) or is able to transmit, coupled with,
115. This is a most interesting angle on the subject. Not all Egos on the higher mental plane embody the same quantity of electric fire. The Spirit within the Jewel in the Lotus is not much released except in and through the Egos of those who have taken the third initiation.
116. We note that the magical creative process requires the union of three fires, though not very much of ‘Spirit-fire’ is to be found until the creator is a true initiate.
b. That much of the fire of the solar Angel (solar fire) or the egoic aspect which the Ego is able to transmit. This is but little in average man, a good deal in the man on the probationary path, and a full downpour by the time the third Initiation is reached.
117. Here we are speaking of the transmission of solar fire. While there is a full downpour of solar fire at the third initiation, the flow is Spirit-fire is much less.
118. The fire of the Ego is essentially the fire of the Solar Angel which has invested an aspect of itself within the egoic form, the causal body.
119. It seems that Egos are differentiated regarding how much of the fire of the Solar Angel they are able to transmit (or bear?).
120. We are given three stages: one for the average man; one for the probationer; and another for the initiate of the third degree. Each is characterized by a different degree of soul-infusion.
121. Can we, in our own lives, sense what DK here calls the “downpour”?
c. That much of the fire of substance in its purified state which can penetrate. This is dependent upon the purity of the three sheaths, and in the case of a highly advanced man is the kundalinic fire as it swells the blaze produced by the other two.
122. The lower augments the higher. Just as the energy of the physical brain feeds the energy of will and desire, so does the fire of kundalini swell the blaze produced by the union of solar fire and electric fire.
123. We note that if the “fire of substance” is to be involved in the creative process it must be in a purified state—a state which can “penetrate”. Is this penetration related to the ascent of the lower fire once it is touched by the descent of the higher fire? It would seem so.
When, therefore, the alignment is corrected, and the physical head centres are awakening, it becomes possible for man to become a conscious creator in mental matter.
124. This is the summary statement.
125. What is the sequence?
b. Activation of the head centers—notice the plural
c. Conscious creation in mental matter.
126. The foregoing section has dealt largely with the processes of alignment and of impression of higher or egoic energies upon the physical brain.