Study Course on "The Secret Doctrine"

Blavatsky Study Center







[H.P. Blavatsky's magnum opus]



Conducted by

Pablo Sender & Juliana Cesano


 Adyar 2006

This webtext is also available in pdf



Notes and Abbreviations


      Contents of the SD

      About the SD


Section I: The Secret Doctrine and its Study

      How to study the SD

      The Nature and Method of Occult Teachings

      The Effects of Studying the SD


Section II: The Absolute Reality—The First Fundamental Proposition

      The Absolute Reality

      Its two (Absolute) Aspects

      Pre-cosmic Differentiation

      Cosmic Manifestation – The Duality

      Cosmic Manifestation – The Triad

      Manifested “Deity”



Section III: Cyclic Manifested Universe—The Second Fundamental Proposition

      Manifestation—A Cosmic Illusion

      Cyclic Manifestation


Section IV: Seven Planes of Consciousness


Section V: The Hierarchies

      The Inner Rulers of the Universe

      Their Consciousness and Intelligence

      No Omniscient Powers


Section VI: Septenary Constitution of the Human Being


Section VII: The Evolutionary Process—The Third Fundamental Proposition

      The Cycle of Necessity

      Rounds and Chains



Section VIII: Man—The Triple Evolutionary Scheme

      Evolution of Monads

      Root-Races and Physical Evolution

      Evolution of Manas

      An Endless Evolution






-         All the additions in square brackets are ours.

-         Some portions of the quotations have been carefully removed in order to simplify the understanding of the text. These omissions are not indicated in the extracts with three dots to make the reading smoother. We recommend the student to refer to the original text for further reference.





SD:      The Secret Doctrine. 3 Vol Ed.

CW:     The Collected Writings of HPB

KT:      Key to Theosophy

TG:      Theosophical Glossary

IGT:     The Inner Group Teachings of HPB

AT:      The Aquarian Theosophist, Vol. II, Supplement No. 9 September 17, 2002 (Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge)

HST:    How to Study Theosophy.

ML:      The Mahatma Letters. Chronological Edition

LMW:  Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom



a) Contents of The Secret Doctrine


i.1           The skeleton of Book I is formed by Seven Stanzas translated from the secret Book of Dzyan, the original of which is written in the sacred language of the Initiates—the Senzar. The stanzas and their commentaries and explanations form Part I of this First Book. Part II is devoted to the elucidation of the fundamental symbols contained in the great religions of the world, and the occult meaning of the hidden ideographs and glyphs.   Part III outlines the contrasting views of Science and the Secret Doctrine and meets probable scientific objections by anticipation. This Part serves as a connecting link between the two volumes.


The general arrangement of Volume II is similar to that of Volume I. It deals primarily with the Evolution of Man on this Planet. Part I is based on Twelve Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan describing the gradual evolution of humanity through many occult stages, the origin of the lower kingdoms of nature, the submergence of ancient continents, and presents a panoramic view of bygone civilizations. Part II deals with the Archaic Symbolism of the World-Religions, with special emphasis on the Sevenfold and Quaternary classifications of elements and forces. Part III contrasts again the teachings of the Wisdom-Religion with those of the then current Science, mainly in the domain of Anthropology and Geology. (Boris de Zirkoff “What is The Secret Doctrine”, Theosophia Vol. XXV, No. 1)



General Table of Contents of the Two Volumes

Volume I:



The Oldest MSS. in the world and its Symbolism

The One Life, Active and Passive

The Secret Doctrine—Pantheism—Atheism

Space in all Religions and in Occultism

Seven Cosmic Elements—Seven Races of Mankind

The Three Postulates of the Secret Doctrine

Description of the Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan


Part I. Cosmic Evolution

Seven Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan

Stanza I            The Night of the Universe

Stanza II           The Idea of Differentiation

Stanza III         The Awakening of Kosmos

Stanza IV         The Septenary Hierarchies

Stanza V          Fohat The Child of the Septenary Hierarchies

Stanza VI         Our World, its Growth and Development

Stanza VII        The Parents of Man on Earth

Summing Up


Part II. The Evolution of Symbolism in its Approximate Order

I           Symbolism and Ideographs

II          The Mystery Language and its Keys

III        Primordial Substance and Divine Thought

IV        Chaos—Theos—Kosmos

V         The Hidden Deity, its Symbols and Glyphs

VI        The Mundane Egg

VII       The Days and Nights of Brahma

VIII      The Lotus as a Universal Symbol

IX        Deus Lunus

X         Tree and Serpent and Crocodile Worship

XI        Demon Est Deus Inversus

XII       The Theogony of the Creative Gods

XIII      The Seven Creations

XIV     The Four Elements

XV       On Kwan-Shi-Yin and Kwan-Yin


Part III. Science and The Secret Doctrine Contrasted

I           Reasons for these Addenda

II          Modern Physicists are Playing at Blind Man’s Buff

III        An Lumen Sit Corpus Nec Non?

IV        Is Gravitation a Law?

V         The Theories of Rotation in Science

VI        The Masks of Science

VII       An Attack on the Scientific Theory of Force by a Man of Science

VIII      Life, Force, or Gravity?

IX        The Solar Theory

X         The Coming Force

XI        On the Elements and Atoms

XII       Ancient Thought in Modern Dress

XIII      The Modern Nebular Theory

XIV     Forces—Modes of Motion or Intelligences?

XV       Gods, Monads, and Atoms

XVI     Cyclic Evolution and Karma

XVII    The Zodiac and its Antiquity

XVIII   Summary of the Mutual Position






Preliminary Notes

On the Archaic Stanzas, and the Four Prehistoric Continents

The Imperishable Sacred Land

The Hyperborean



The Tropics at the Pole


Part I. Anthropogenesis

Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan

Stanza I            Beginnings of Sentient Life

Stanza II           Nature Unaided Fails

Stanza III         Attempts to Create Man

Stanza IV         Creation of the First Races

Stanza V          The Evolution of the Second Race

Stanza VI         The Evolution of the Sweat-Born

Stanza VII        From the Semi-Divine Down to the First Human Races

Stanza VIII       Evolution of the Animal Mammalians—the First Fall

Stanza IX         The Final Evolution of Man

Stanza X          The History of the Fourth Race

Stanza XI         The Civilization and Destruction of the Fourth and Fifth Races

Stanza XII        The Fifth Race and its Divine Instructors

Additional Fragments from a Commentary on the Verses of Stanza XII



Part II. The Archaic Symbolism of the World-Religions

Esoteric Tenets Corroborated in every Scripture

XVI     Adam-Adami

XVII    The “Holy of Holies”: Its Degradation

XVIII   On the Myth of the “Fallen Angel”, in its Various Aspects

XIX     Is Pleroma Satan’s Lair?

XX       Prometheus the Titan

XXI     Enoïchion-Henoch

XXII    The Symbolism of the Mystery Names Iao, and Jehovah

XXIII   The Upanishads in Gnostic Literature

XXIV   The Cross and the Pythagorean Decade

XXV    The Mysteries of the Hebdomad


Part III. Addenda. Science and The Secret Doctrine Contrasted

I           Archaic, or Modern Anthropology?

II          The Ancestors Mankind is offered by Science

III        The Fossil Relics of Man and the Anthropoid Ape

IV        Duration of the Geological Periods, Race Cycles, and the Antiquity of Man

V         Organic Evolution and Creative Centres

VI        Giants, Civilizations, and Submerged Continents Traced in History

VII       Scientific and Geological Proofs of the Existence of Several Submerged Continents


b) About the Secret Doctrine


i.2           The Secret Doctrine is the common property of the countless millions of men born under various climates, in times with which History refuses to deal, and to which esoteric teachings assign dates incompatible with the theories of Geology and Anthropology. The birth and evolution of the Sacred Science of the Past are lost in the very night of Time. (SD II, p. 794)


i.3           The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system. But such is the mysterious power of Occult symbolism, that the facts which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs [See Section 2]. It is useless to say that this system is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity. That for long ages, the “Wise Men” [Adept] of the Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in learning, not teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions—so obtained as to stand as independent evidence—of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences. (SD I, 272-3)


i.4           These truths are in no sense put forward as a revelation; nor does the author claim the position of a revealer of mystic lore, now made public for the first time in the world’s history. This work is a partial statement of what she herself has been taught by more advanced students, supplemented, in a few details only, by the results of her own study and observation. It is needless to explain that this book is not the Secret Doctrine in its entirety, but a select number of fragments of its fundamental tenets. (SD I, Preface)


i.5           The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not ‘a fortuitous concurrence of atoms’, and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe; to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions; and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all sprang; finally, to show that the occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization. (SD I, Preface)


i.6           And here, we must be allowed a remark. No true theosophist, from the most ignorant up to the most learned, ought to claim infallibility for anything he may say or write upon occult matters. The chief point is to admit that, in many a way, in the classification of either cosmic or human principles, in addition to mistakes in the order of evolution, and especially on metaphysical questions, those of us who pretend to teach others more ignorant than ourselves—are all liable to err. Thus mistakes have been made in “Isis Unveiled,” in “Esoteric Buddhism,” in “Man,” in “Magic: White and Black,” etc., etc.; and more than one mistake is likely to be found in the present work. This cannot be helped. For a large or even a small work on such abstruse subjects to be entirely exempt from error and blunder, it would have to be written from its first to its last page by a great adept, if not by an Avatar. Then only should we say, “This is verily a work without sin or blemish in it!” But, so long as the artist is imperfect, how can his work be perfect? “Endless is the search for truth!” Let us love it and aspire to it for its own sake, and not for the glory or benefit a minute portion of its revelation may confer on us. For who of us can presume to have the whole truth at his fingers’ ends, even upon one minor teaching of Occultism? (SD II, p. 640)


i.7           The SD must contain all that HPB knows herself, and a great deal more than that, seeing that much of it comes from men whose knowledge is immensely wider than hers. Furthermore, she implies unmistakably that another may well find knowledge in it which she does not possess herself. (R. Bowen, HST, p. 5)


i.8           The truths revealed to man by the “Planetary Spirits” (the highest Kumaras, those who incarnate no longer in the universe during this Mahamanvantara), who appear on earth as Avataras only at the beginning of every new human race, and at the junction or close of the two ends of the small and great cycle, were made in time to fade away from the memory of man as he became more animalized. Yet, though these Teachers remain with man no longer than the time required to impress upon the plastic minds of child-humanity the eternal verities they teach, the spirit of the teachings remains vivid though latent in mankind. As the Teachers say in the Occult Primer: “This is done so as to ensure them (the eternal truths) from being utterly lost or forgotten in ages hereafter by the forthcoming generations. . .” The mission of the Planetary Spirit is but to strike the keynote of Truth. Once he has directed the vibration of the latter to run its course uninterruptedly along the concatenation of the race to the end of the cycle––he disappears from our earth until the following Planetary Manvantara.[1] (CW 12, p. 600-1)


i.9           Knowledge comes in visions, first in dreams and then in pictures presented to the inner eye during meditation. Thus have I been taught the whole system of evolution, the laws of being and all else that I know—the mysteries of life and death, the workings of karma. Not a word was spoken to me of all this in the ordinary way, except, perhaps, by way of confirmation of what was thus given me—nothing taught me in writing. And knowledge so obtained is so clear, so convincing, so indelible in the impression it makes upon the mind, that all other sources of information, all other methods of teaching with which we are familiar dwindle into insignificance in comparison with this. One of the reasons why I hesitate to answer offhand some questions put to me is the difficulty of expressing in sufficiently accurate language things given to me in pictures, and comprehended by me by the pure Reason, as Kant would call it. (CW 13, p. 285)


i.10         The Book of Dzyan [is about] “Knowledge through meditation”. (SD I, p. 434)


i.11         The True Student of The Secret Doctrine is a Jnana Yogi, and this Path of Yoga is the True Path for the Western student. It is to provide him with sign posts on that Path that the Secret Doctrine has been written. (HST, p. 14)


i.12         These two volumes had to serve as a PROLOGUE, and prepare the reader’s mind for those which shall now follow. But our explanations are by no means complete, nor do they pretend to give out the full text, or to have been read by the help of more than three or four keys out of the sevenfold bunch of esoteric interpretation, and even this has only been partially accomplished. The work is too gigantic for any one person to undertake, far more to accomplish. Our main concern was simply to prepare the soil. This, we trust we have done. These two volumes only constitute the work of a pioneer who has forced his way into the well-nigh impenetrable jungle of the virgin forests of the Land of the Occult. A commencement has been made to fell and uproot the deadly up as trees of superstition, prejudice, and conceited ignorance, so that these two volumes should form for the student a fitting prelude for Volumes III and IV. Until the rubbish of the ages is cleared away from the minds of the Theosophists to whom these volumes are dedicated, it is impossible that the more practical teaching contained in the Third Volume should be understood. Consequently, it entirely depends upon the reception with which Volumes I and II will meet at the hands of Theosophists and Mystics, whether these last two volumes will ever be published, though they are almost completed. (SD II, pp. 797-8)


i.13         Since, as confessed before, this work withholds far more than it gives out, the student is invited to use his own intuitions. (SD I, p. 278)

Section I

The Secret Doctrine and its study


a) How to Study the SD

I.1           A work which compares several dozens of philosophies and over half-a-dozen of world-religions, a work which has to unveil the roots with the greatest precautions, as it can only hint at the secret blossoms here and there—cannot be comprehended at a first reading, nor even after several, unless the reader elaborates for himself a system for it. (CW 12, p. 235)


I.2           Reading the SD page by page as one reads any other book will only end in confusion. The first thing to do, even if it takes years, is to get some grasp of the ‘Three Fundamental Principles’ [Propositions] given in Proem. Follow that up by study of the Recapitulation—the numbered items in the Summing Up to Vol. I (Part I). Then take the Preliminary Notes (Vol. II) and the Conclusion (Vol. II). (HST, p. 6)


I.3           If one imagines that one is going to get a satisfactory picture of the constitution of the Universe from the SD one will get only confusion from its study. It is not meant to give any such final verdict on existence, but to Lead Towards The Truth. (HST, p. 8)


I.4           It is worse than useless going to those whom we imagine to be advanced students (HPB said) and asking them to give us an “interpretation” of the SD. They cannot do it. If they try, all they give are cut and dried exoteric renderings which do not remotely resemble the Truth. To accept such interpretation means anchoring ourselves to fixed ideas, whereas Truth lies beyond any ideas we can formulate or express. Exoteric interpretations are all very well, and she does not condemn them so long as they are taken as pointers for beginners, and are not accepted by them as anything more. (R. Bowen, HST, p. 8)


I.5           The Diagrams and Plates are intended to familiarize students with the leading ideas of occult correspondences only, the very genius of metaphysical, or macrocosmic and spiritual Occultism forbidding the use of figures or even symbols further than as temporary aids. Once define an idea in words, and it loses its reality; once figure a metaphysical idea, and you materialize its spirit. Figures must be used only as ladders to scale the battlements, ladders to be disregarded once the foot is set upon the rampart. Let the Esotericists, therefore, be very careful to spiritualize the Instructions and avoid materializing them; let them always try to find the highest meaning possible, confident that in proportion as they approach the material and visible in their speculations on the Instructions, so far are they from the right understanding of them. As in all true arts, so in Occultism, we must learn the theory before we are taught the practice. (CW 12, p. 600)


I.6           No matter what one may study in the SD let the mind hold fast, as the basis of its ideation to the following ideas:

(a) The Fundamental Unity of All Existence. Fundamentally there is One Being. Being absolute there is nothing outside it. It is indivisible, else it would not be absolute. The Atom, the Man, the God are each separately, as well as all collectively, Absolute Being in their last analysis, that is their Real Individuality. It is this idea which must be held always in the background of the mind to form the basis for every conception that arises from study of the SD. The moment one lets it go (and it is most easy to do so when engaged in any of the many intricate aspects of the Esoteric Philosophy) the idea of Separation supervenes, and the study loses its value.

(b) The second idea to hold fast to is that There Is No Dead Matter. Every last atom is alive. It cannot be otherwise since every atom is itself fundamentally Absolute Being. Therefore there is no such thing as “spaces” of Ether, or Akasha[2], or call it what you like, in which angels and elementals disport themselves like trout in water. That's the common idea. The true idea shows every atom of substance no matter of what plane to be in itself a Life.

(c) The third basic idea to be held is that Man is the Microcosm. As he is so, then all the Hierarchies of the Heavens exist within him. But in truth there is neither Macrocosm nor Microcosm but One Existence. Great and small are such only as viewed by a limited consciousness.

(d) Fourth and last basic idea to be held is that expressed in the Great Hermetic Axiom. It really sums up and synthesises all the others. As is the Inner, so is the Outer; as is the Great so is the Small; as it is above, so it is below; there is but One Life and Law; and he that worketh it is One. Nothing is Inner, nothing is Outer; nothing is Great, nothing is Small; nothing is High, nothing is Low, in the Divine Economy. (HST, pp. 9-12)


b) The Nature and Method of Occult Teachings

I.7           Your axioms of logic can be applied to the lower Manas [mind] only and it is from the perceptions of Kama-Manas [material mind] alone that you argue. But Occultism teaches only that which it derives from the cognition of the Higher Ego or the Buddhi-Manas [spiritual mind]. (CW 10, pp. 384-5)


I.8           [The Mahatma K.H. wrote to Sinnett:] “Especially is the case with occult study, in connection with which the traditional methods of teaching, generally followed, aim at impressing every fresh idea on the memory by provoking the perplexity it at last relieves.” (SD I, p. 164)


I.9           First let the student clearly realize that he cannot see things spiritual with the eyes of the flesh, and that in studying, he must use the eyes of the Spiritual Intelligence, else will he fail and his study will be fruitless. (CW12, p. 691)


I.10         Indeed, it must be remembered that all these Stanzas appeal to the inner faculties rather than to the ordinary comprehension of the physical brain. (SD I, p. 21)


I.11         The Infinite cannot be known to our reason, which can only distinguish and define; but we can always conceive the abstract idea thereof, thanks to that faculty higher than our reason—intuition, or the spiritual instinct. (CW 11, p. 258)


I.12         You cannot expect me to give everything; something must be left to the intuition and to human intelligence. If I had written everything I would have had to make 25 volumes and it would not have been enough. (AT, p. 17)


I.13         The foregoing are all mysteries which must be left to the personal intuition of the student for solution, rather than described. (SD II, p. 106)


I.14         To some extent, it is admitted that even the esoteric teaching is allegorical. To make the latter comprehensible to the average intelligence, requires the use of symbols cast in an intelligible form. Hence the allegorical and semi-mythical narratives in the exoteric, and the (only) semi-metaphysical and objective representations in the esoteric teachings. For the purely and transcendentally spiritual conceptions are adapted only to the perceptions of those who “see without eyes, hear without ears, and sense without organs,” according to the graphic expression of the Commentary. (SD II, p.81)


I.15         The whole essence of truth cannot be transmitted from mouth to ear. Nor can any pen describe it, unless man finds the answer in the sanctuary of his own heart, in the innermost depths of his divine intuitions. (SD II, p. 516)


I.16         Thus the mystical side of the interpretation must be left to the intuition of the student. (SD II, p. 579)


I.17         In using figurative language, as has been done in The Secret Doctrine, analogies and comparisons are very frequent. Darkness for instance, as a rule, applies only to the unknown totality, or Absoluteness. Contrasted with eternal darkness, the first Logos is certainly Light; contrasted with the second [Logos] or third, the manifested Logos, the first is Darkness, and the others are Light (CW 10, p. 368)


I.18         It may be a parable and an allegory within an allegory. Its solution is left to the intuition of the student, if he only reads that which follows with his spiritual eye. (SD II, p. 94)


I.19         The key of the riddle is left to the intuition of the disciple (CW 14, p. 405)


I.20         For a clearer comprehension of the extremely abstruse and at first incomprehensible theories of our occult doctrine, never allow the serenity of your mind to be disturbed during your hours of literary labour, nor before you set to work. It is upon the serene and placid surface of the unruffled mind that the visions gathered from the invisible find a representation in the visible world. Otherwise you would vainly seek those visions, those flashes of sudden light which have already helped to solve so many of the minor problems and which alone can bring the truth before the eye of the soul. It is with jealous care that we have to guard our mind-plane from all the adverse influences which daily arise in our passage through earth-life. (ML, No. 65)


I.21         The mind can be made to work with electric swiftness in a high excitement; but the Buddhi—never. To its clear region, calm must ever reign. (LMW 1, No. 30)


c) The Effects of Studying the SD

I.22         “Experience must be gained” of every evil as good passion mentally, and overcome in thought, by reflection. Love and longing for higher things on a Spiritual plane will thus leave no room for the lower animal longings. (CW12, p.32)


I.23         “The contemplation of celestial things will make man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs”—says Cicero. (CW 6, p. 347)


I.24         Come to the SD without any hope of getting the final Truth of existence from it, or with any idea other than seeing how far it may lead Towards the Truth. See in study a means of exercising and developing the mind never touched by other studies. (HST, p. 9)


I.25         The brain is the instrument of waking consciousness, and every conscious mental picture formed means change and destruction of the atoms of the brain. Ordinary intellectual activity moves on well beaten paths in the brain, and does not compel sudden adjustments and destructions in its substance. But this new kind of mental effort calls for something very different—the carving out of new “brain paths,” the ranking in different order of the little brain lives. If forced injudiciously it may do serious physical harm to the brain. This mode of thinking is what the Indians call Jnana Yoga. As one progresses in Jnana Yoga one finds conceptions arising which though one is conscious of them, one cannot express nor yet formulate into any sort of mental picture. As time goes on these conceptions will form into mental pictures. This is a time to be on guard and refuse to be deluded with the idea that the new found and wonderful picture must represent reality. It does not. As one works on one finds the once admired picture growing dull and unsatisfying, and finally fading out or being thrown away. This is another danger point, because for the moment one is left in a void without any conception to support one, and one may be tempted to revive the cast-off picture for want of a better to cling to. The true student will, however, work on unconcerned, and presently further formless gleams come, which again in time give rise to a larger and more beautiful picture than the last. But the learner will now know that no picture will ever represent the Truth. This last splendid picture will grow dull and fade like the others. And so the process goes on, until at last the mind and its pictures are transcended and the learner enters and dwells in the World of No Form, but of which all forms are narrowed reflections. (HST, pp. 12-4)


I.26         Try to see it with your third eye, and don’t look only with you two eyes, and try also to think with your spiritual brain. (AT, p. 21)


I.27         For growth is from within outwards, and always the inner remains the more perfect. Even the development of a physical sense is always preceded by a mental feeling, which proceeds to evolve a physical sense. (CW12, p. 691)


I.28         She [HPB] withheld the explanation because to know about it now, before being guarded by more advanced knowledge, would be dangerous. If instruction were given hereupon, that moment the mental force of students who worked upon the teaching would project their consciousness into that realm. For the mind and consciousness acting together have the power to separate or segregate the different planes one from the other; and this too in the case of the merest beginner. The danger lies in the possibility of evoking entities far too powerful and unspiritual for ordinary men and women to have any dealings with. (Note by AB and WQJ, CW 12, pp. 678-9)


I.29         While theoretical Occultism is harmless, and may do good, practical Magic is fraught with dangers and perils. If the student is unfit let him take our advice and leave this study alone; he will only bring on himself and on his family unexpected woes and sorrows, never suspecting whence they come, nor what are the powers awakened by his mind being bent on them. The mystic characters, alphabets and numerals found in the Kabalah, are, perhaps, the most dangerous portions in it, and especially the numerals. We say dangerous, because they are the most prompt to produce effects and results, and this with or without the experimenter’s will, even without his knowledge. (CW 14, pp. 59-60)


I.30         No figures and numbers could be given to the public, for figures and numbers are the key to the esoteric system. (SD I, p. 164)

Section II

The Absolute Reality—The First Fundamental Proposition


II.1          Before the reader proceeds to the consideration of the Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan which form the basis of the present work, it is absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted with the few fundamental conceptions which underlie and pervade the entire system of thought to which his attention is invited. These basic ideas are few in number, and on their clear apprehension depends the understanding of all that follows; therefore no apology is required for asking the reader to make himself familiar with them first, before entering on the perusal of the work itself. (SD I, p. 13)


a) The Absolute Reality

II.2          The Secret Doctrine establishes an Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable Principle on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought—in the words of Mandukya, “unthinkable and unspeakable”. (SD I, p. 14)


II.3          Hermes Trismegistos is made to say: “To speak of God is impossible. For corporeal cannot express the incorporeal . . . That which has not any body nor appearance, nor form, nor matter, cannot be apprehended by sense. I understand, Tatios, I understand, that which it is impossible to define—that is God”. (SD I, p. 286)


II.4          It is the omnipresent Reality: impersonal, because it contains all and everything. Its impersonality is the fundamental conception of the System. It is latent in every atom in the Universe, and is the Universe itself. (SD I, p. 273)


II.5          To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the postulate that there is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause is the rootless root of “all that was, is, or ever shall be”. It is of course devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is “Be-ness” rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all thought or speculation. (SD I, p. 14)


b) Its two (Absolute) Aspects

II.6          This “Be-ness” is symbolised in the Secret Doctrine under two aspects:

a) On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself. (SD I, p. 14)


II.7          The One All is like Space—which is its only mental and physical representation on this Earth, or our plane of existence—neither an object of, nor a subject to, perception. Space is neither a “limitless void”, nor a “conditioned fulness”, but both: being, on the plane of absolute abstraction, the ever-incognisable Deity, which is void only to finite minds, and on that of mayavic perception, the Plenum, the absolute Container of all that is, whether manifested or unmanifested: it is, therefore, that Absolute All. (SD I, p. 8)


II.8          “What is that which was, is, and will be, whether there is a Universe or not; whether there be gods or none?” asks the esoteric Senzar Catechism. And the answer made is—Space. (SD I, p. 9)


II.9          b) On the other hand [its second aspect, is] absolute Abstract Motion[3] representing Unconditioned Consciousness. This latter aspect of the one Reality is also symbolised by the term “The Great Breath”, a symbol sufficiently graphic to need no further elucidation. (SD I, p. 14)


II.10        The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured as an outbreathing and inbreathing of “the Great Breath”, which is eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the Absolute—Abstract Space and Duration being the other two. When the “Great Breath” is projected, it becomes the Kosmos. When the Divine Breath is inspired again the Universe disappears into the bosom of “the Great Mother”. (SD I, p. 43)


c) Pre-cosmic Differentiation

II.11        Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence. (SD I, p. 15)


II.12        If one could suppose the Eternal Infinite All, the Omnipresent Unity, instead of being in Eternity, becoming through periodical manifestation a manifold Universe or a multiple personality, that Unity would cease to be one. (SD I, p. 8)


II.13        But once that we pass in thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object.

Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective.

The great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation. It is the fons et origo of force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution.

On the other hand, precosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature. Just as pre-Cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual consciousness, so pre-Cosmic Substance is the substratum of matter in the various grades of its differentiation. (SD I, p. 15)


II.14        At the commencement of a great Manvantara, Parabrahm manifests as Mulaprakriti and then as the [First] Logos. This Logos is equivalent to the “Unconscious Universal Mind,” etc., of Western Pantheists. It constitutes the Basis of the Subject-side of manifested Being, and is the source of all manifestations of individual consciousness. Mulaprakriti or Primordial Cosmic Substance, is the foundation of the Object-side of things—the basis of all objective evolution and Cosmogenesis. Force, then, does not emerge with Primordial Substance from Parabrahmic Latency. It is the transformation into energy of the supra-conscious thought of the Logos, infused, so to speak, into the objectivation of the latter out of potential latency in the One Reality. Hence spring the wondrous laws of matter. Force thus is not synchronous with the first objectivation of Mulaprakriti. But as, apart from it, the latter is absolutely and necessarily inert—a mere abstraction—it is unnecessary to weave too fine a cobweb of subtleties as to the order of succession of the Cosmic Ultimates. Force succeeds Mulaprakriti; but, minus Force, Mulaprakriti is for all practical intents and purposes non-existent. (SD II, pp. 24-5)


d) Cosmic Manifestation – The Duality

II.15        The Universe is the periodical manifestation of this unknown Absolute Essence. Yet IT cannot be identified with a being of any kind that can be conceived by human intellect. IT is best described as neither Spirit nor matter, but both. “Parabrahmam and Mulaprakriti” are One, in reality, yet two in the Universal conception of the manifested, even in the conception of the One Logos [the Manifested “Deity”], its first manifestation, to which, IT appears from the objective standpoint of the One Logos as Mulaprakriti and not as Parabrahmam; as its veil and not the one Reality hidden behind, which is unconditioned and absolute. (SD I, pp. 273-4)


II.16        Cosmic Ideation is said to be non-existent during Pralayic periods, for the simple reason that there is no one, and nothing, to perceive its effects. There can be no manifestation of Consciousness except through the vehicle of matter. It is only through some molecular aggregation or fabric that Spirit wells up in a stream of individual or sub-conscious subjectivity. And as Matter existing apart from perception is a mere abstraction, both of these aspects of the Absolute—Cosmic Substance and Cosmic Ideation—are mutually inter-dependent. (SD I, pp. 328-9)


II.17        The contrast of these two aspects of the Absolute is essential to the existence of the “Manifested Universe”. Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as “I am I”, a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity. Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness could ensue. The “Manifested Universe”, therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its Ex-istence as “manifestation”. (SD I, p. 15)


II.18        It is on the right comprehension of the primeval Evolution of Spirit-Matter and its real essence that the student has to depend for the further elucidation in his mind of the Occult Cosmogony, and for the only sure clue which can guide his subsequent studies. (SD I, p. 277)


II.19        Though one and the same thing in their origin, Spirit and Matter, when once they are on the plane of differentiation, begin each of them their evolutionary progress in contrary directions—Spirit falling gradually into matter, and the latter ascending to its original condition, that of a pure spiritual substance. Both are inseparable, yet ever separated. (SD I, p. 247)


e) Cosmic Manifestation – The Triad

II.20        But just as the opposite poles of subject and object, spirit and matter, are but aspects of the One Unity in which they are synthesized, so, in the manifested Universe, there is “that” which links spirit to matter, subject to object.

This something, at present unknown to Western speculation, is called by the occultists Fohat. It is the “bridge” by which the “Ideas” existing in the “Divine Thought” are impressed on Cosmic substance as the “laws of Nature”. Fohat is thus the dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation; or, regarded from the other side, it is the intelligent medium, the guiding power of all manifestation, the “Thought Divine” transmitted and made manifest through the Dhyan Chohans, the Architects of the visible World.

Thus from Spirit, or Cosmic Ideation, comes our consciousness; from Cosmic Substance the several vehicles in which that consciousness is individualised and attains to self—or reflective—consciousness; while Fohat, in its various manifestations, is the mysterious link between Mind and Matter, the animating principle electrifying every atom into life. (SD I, p. 16)


II.21        Manvantaric impulse commences with the re-awakening of Cosmic Ideation (the “Universal Mind”) concurrently with, and parallel to the primary emergence of Cosmic Substance—the latter being the manvantaric vehicle of the former—from its undifferentiated pralayic state. Then, absolute wisdom mirrors itself in its Ideation; which, by a transcendental process, superior to and incomprehensible by human Consciousness, results in Cosmic Energy (Fohat). Thrilling through the bosom of inert Substance, Fohat impels it to activity, and guides its primary differentiations on all the Seven planes of Cosmic Consciousness. (SD I, p. 328)


II.22        Fohat, being one of the most, if not the most important character in esoteric Cosmogony, should be minutely described. In the phenomenal and Cosmic World, he is that Occult, electric, vital power, which, under the Will of the Creative Logos, brings together the elemental atoms and makes them aggregate and combine. Fohat, running along the seven principles of Akasa, acts upon manifested substance or the One Element and by differentiating it into various centres of Energy, sets in motion the law of Cosmic Evolution, which, in obedience to the Ideation of the Universal Mind, brings into existence all the various states of being in the manifested Solar System. Fohat, then, is the personified electric vital power, the transcendental binding Unity of all Cosmic Energies, on the unseen as on the manifested planes. In his secondary aspect, Fohat is the Solar Energy, the electric vital fluid, and the Electricity[4]. (SD I, pp. 109-112)


II.23        He is One and Seven, and on the Cosmic plane is behind all such manifestations as light, heat, sound, adhesion, etc., etc., and is the “spirit of Electricity, which is the Life of the Universe. As an abstraction, we call it the One Life; as an objective and evident Reality, we speak of a septenary scale of manifestation, which begins at the upper rung with the One Unknowable Causality, and ends as Omnipresent Mind and Life immanent in every atom of Matter. Thus, while science speaks of its evolution through brute matter, blind force, and senseless motion, the Occultists point to intelligent Law and sentient Life, and add that Fohat is the guiding Spirit of all this. Yet he is no personal god at all. (SD I, p. 139)


II.24        Fohat, in his capacity of Divine Love (Eros), the electric Power of affinity and sympathy, is shown allegorically as trying to bring the pure Spirit, the Ray inseparable from the One absolute, into union with the Soul, the two constituting in Man the Monad, and in Nature the first link between the ever unconditioned and the manifested. (SD I, p. 119)


f) Manifested Deity

II.25        The Secret Doctrine teaches no Atheism, except in the Hindu sense of the word nastika, or the rejection of idols, including every anthropomorphic god. In this sense every Occultist is a Nastika. (SD I, p. 279)


II.26        The personal God of orthodox Theism perceives, thinks, and is affected by emotion; he repents and feels “fierce anger”. But the notion of such mental states clearly involves the unthinkable postulate of the externality of the exciting stimuli, to say nothing of the impossibility of ascribing changelessness to a Being whose emotions fluctuate with events in the worlds he presides over. The conceptions of a Personal God as changeless and infinite are thus unpsychological and, what is worse, unphilosophical. (SD I, p. 2)


II.27        When the Pantheists echo the Upanishads, which state, as in the Secret Doctrine that “this” [Parabrahm] cannot create, they do not deny a Creator, or rather a collective aggregate of creators, but only refuse, very logically, to attribute “creation” and especially formation, something finite, to an Infinite Principle. The Occultists are, therefore, at one with the Adwaita Vedantin philosophers as to the above tenet. They show the impossibility of accepting on philosophical grounds the idea of the absolute ALL creating or even evolving. (SD I, p. 7)


II.28        It is not this immutable and absolute Principle, which is only the potentiality of being, from which the gods, or active principles of the manifested world, emanate. As the absolute has no relation to the conditioned and the limited, and could not possibly have any, that from which the emanations proceed is the logos which Philo calls “the second God” and the Creator of forms. “But this logos, is an emanation nevertheless?” will be the objection. Not at all. First, this “nothing” is so because it is the absolute, consequently the ALL. The God is not the effect of a cause or of a premeditated act, of a deliberate and conscious will. It is merely the periodical effect[5] of an immutable and eternal law, beyond time and space, of which the logos or creative intelligence is the shadow or reflection. (CW 11, pp. 277-8)


II.29        [The Secret Doctrine] admits a [manifested] Logos or a collective “Creator” of the Universe; a Demi-urgos—in the sense implied when one speaks of an “Architect” as the “Creator” of an edifice, whereas that Architect has never touched one stone of it, but, while furnishing the plan, left all the manual labour to the masons; in our case the plan was furnished by the Ideation of the Universe, and the constructive labour was left to the Hosts of intelligent Powers and Forces. But that Demiurgos is no personal deity,—i.e., an imperfect extra-cosmic god,—but only the aggregate of the Dhyan-Chohans and the other forces. (SD I, pp. 279-80)


II.30     For MAHAT is the first product of Pradhâna[6], or Akâsa, and Mahat—Universal intelligence “whose characteristic property is Buddhi”—is no other than the Logos.  He is, in short, the “Creator” or the divine mind in creative operation, “the cause of all things.”


g) Summary

II.31        The following summary will afford a clearer idea to the reader.

1. The ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT, which is both Absolute Being and Non-Being. [Symbol: ]

2. The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, unmanifested [first] Logos, the precursor of the “manifested”. This is the “First Cause”, the “Unconscious” of European Pantheists. [Symbol: ]

3. Spirit-matter, Life; the “Spirit of the Universe”, the Purusha and Prakriti, or the [semi-manifested] second Logos. [Symbol: y]

4. Cosmic Ideation, Mahat or Intelligence [the manifested, third Logos], the Universal World-Soul. The basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature. [Symbol: Ċ] (SD I, p. 16)


II.32        AN Archaic Manuscript—a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific unknown process—is before the writer’s eye. On the first page is an immaculate white disk , within a dull black ground. On the following page, the same disk, but with a central point . The first, the student knows to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before the re-awakening of still slumbering Energy, the emanation of the Word in later systems. The point in the hitherto immaculate Disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya, denotes the dawn of differentiation. It is the germ within the latter which will become the Universe, the All, the boundless, periodical Kosmos, this germ being latent and active, periodically and by turns. The one circle is divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither all returns. Only the face of the Disk being white and the ground all around black, shows clearly that its plane is the only knowledge, dim and hazy though it still is, that is attainable by man. It is on this plane that the Manvantaric manifestations begin; for it is in this Soul that slumbers, during the Pralaya, the Divine Thought[7], wherein lies concealed the plan of every future Cosmogony and Theogony.

It is the One Life, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness[8]; unrealisable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, “a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason”. “Its one absolute attribute, which is Itself, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the “Great Breath”, which is the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present Space. Intra-Cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless; cosmic motion (the visible, or that which is subject to perception) is finite and periodical. It is only with reference to the intra-cosmic soul, the ideal Kosmos in the immutable Divine Thought, that we may say: “It never had a beginning nor will it have an end.” With regard to its body or Cosmic organization, though it cannot be said that it had a first, or will ever have a last construction, yet at each new Manvantara, its organization may be regarded as the first and the last of its kind, as it evolutes every time on a higher plane. The esoteric doctrine teaches, like Buddhism and Brahmanism, and even the Kabala, that the one infinite and unknown Essence exists from all eternity, and in regular and harmonious successions is either passive or active. In the poetical phraseology of Manu these conditions are called the “Days” and the “Nights” of Brahmâ. The latter is either “awake” or “asleep”.

Upon inaugurating an active period, says the Secret Doctrine, an expansion of this Divine essence occurs. In like manner, when the passive condition is resumed, a contraction of the Divine essence takes place, and the previous work of creation is gradually and progressively undone. The visible universe becomes disintegrated, its material dispersed; and “darkness” solitary and alone, broods once more over the face of the “deep”.

The first illustration being a plain disc , the second one in the Archaic symbol shows a disc with a point in it —the first differentiation in the periodical manifestations of the ever-eternal nature, sexless and infinite. In its third stage the point is transformed into a diameter y. It now symbolises a divine immaculate Mother-Nature within the all-embracing absolute Infinitude.

When the diameter line is crossed by a vertical one Ċ, it becomes the mundane cross—the first manifestation of creative (still passive, because feminine) Nature. The first shadowy perception of man connected with procreation is feminine, because man knows his mother more than his father. Hence female deities were more sacred than the male. Nature is therefore feminine, and, to a degree, objective and tangible, and the spirit Principle which fructifies it is concealed. Then comes the Svastica. (SD I, pp. 1-5)



II.33        The Svastica is the most philosophically scientific of all symbols, as also the most comprehensible. It is the summary in a few lines of the whole work of creation, or evolution, as one should rather say, from Cosmo-theogony down to Anthropogony, from the indivisible unknown Parabrahm to the humble moneron. The two lines forming the Svastica meaning Spirit and Matter, the four hooks suggesting the motion in the revolving cycles. Applied to the Microcosm, Man, it shows him to be a link between heaven and Earth: the right hand being raised at the end of a horizontal arm, the left pointing to the Earth. (SD II, pp. 98-99)


II.34        Few world-symbols are more pregnant with real occult meaning than the Swastica. It is the emblem of the activity of Fohat, of the continual revolution of the “wheels”, and of the Four Elements, the “Sacred Four”. One initiated into the mysteries of the meaning of the Swastica, say the Commentaries, “can trace on it, with mathematical precision, the evolution of Kosmos and the whole period of Sandhya.” Also “the relation of the Seen to the Unseen”, and “the first procreation of man and species”. (SD II, p. 587)


Section III

Cyclic Manifested Universe—The Second Fundamental Proposition


III.1        Further, the Secret Doctrine affirms: The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically “the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing”, called “the manifesting stars”, and the “sparks of Eternity”. “The Eternity of the Pilgrim”[9] is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence. “The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux.” This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe. (SD I, pp. 16-17)


III.2        The ancients divided time into endless cycles, wheels within wheels, all such periods being of various durations, and each marking the beginning or the end of some event either cosmic, mundane, physical or metaphysical. There were cycles of only a few years, and cycles of immense duration. (TG, Cycle, p. 91)


III.3        Even exoteric philosophy explains that these perpetual circles of time are ever returning on themselves, periodically, and intelligently in Space and Eternity. There are “Cycles of matter” and there are “Cycles of Spiritual evolution.” Racial, national, and individual cycles. (SD I, pp. 637-8)


III.4        As our planet revolves once every year around the sun, and at the same time turns once in every twenty-four hours upon its own axis, thus traversing minor circles within a larger one, so is the work of the smaller cyclic periods accomplished and recommenced, within the Great Saros. The revolution of the physical world, according to the ancient doctrine, is attended by a like revolution in the world of intellect—the spiritual evolution of the world proceeding in cycles, like the physical one.

Thus we see in history a regular alternation of ebb and flow in the tide of human progress. The great kingdoms and empires of the world, after reaching the culmination of their greatness, descend again, in accordance with the same law by which they ascended; till, having reached the lowest point, humanity reasserts itself and mounts up once more, the height of its attainment being, by this law of ascending progression by cycles, somewhat higher than the point from which it had before descended. They are called in the Eastern esotericism the Karmic cycles. (SD I, pp. 641-2)


a) Manifestation—A Cosmic Illusion

III.5        Three distinct representations of the Universe in its three distinct aspects are impressed upon our thought by the esoteric philosophy: the Pre-Existing (evolved from) the Ever-Existing; and the Phenomenal. (SD I, p. 278)



III.6        The active Power, the “Perpetual motion of the great Breath” only awakens Kosmos at the dawn of every new Period, setting it into motion by means of the two contrary Forces[10], and thus causing it to become objective on the plane of Illusion. In other words, that dual motion transfers Kosmos from the plane of the Eternal Ideal into that of finite manifestation, or from the Noumenal to the phenomenal plane. Everything that is, was, and will be, eternally Is, even the countless forms, which are finite and perishable only in their objective, not in their ideal Form. They existed as Ideas, in the Eternity[11]. Neither the form of man, nor that of any animal, plant or stone has ever been created, and it is only on this plane of ours that it commenced “becoming”, i.e., objectivising into its present materiality, or expanding from within outwards, from the most sublimated and supersensuous essence into its grossest appearance. (SD I, pp. 281-2)


III.7        Just as milliards of bright sparks dance on the waters of an ocean above which one and the same moon is shining, so our evanescent personalities—the illusive envelopes of the immortal Monad-Ego—twinkle and dance on the waves of Maya. They last and appear, as the thousands of sparks produced by the moon-beams, only so long as the Queen of the Night radiates her lustre on the running waters of life: the period of a Manvantara; and then they disappear, the beams—symbols of our eternal Spiritual Egos—alone surviving, re-merged in, and being, as they were before, one with the Mother-Source. (SD I, p. 237)


III.8        The Universe is called, with everything in it, Maya, because all is temporary therein, from the ephemeral life of a fire-fly to that of the Sun. Compared to the eternal immutability of the One, and the changelessness of that Principle, the Universe, with its evanescent ever-changing forms, must be necessarily, in the mind of a philosopher, no better than a will-o’-the-wisp. Yet, the Universe is real enough to the conscious beings in it, which are as unreal as it is itself. (SD I, p. 274)


III.9        Maya or illusion is an element which enters into all finite things, for everything that exists has only a relative, not an absolute, reality, since the appearance which the hidden noumenon assumes for any observer depends upon his power of cognition. To the untrained eye of the savage, a painting is at first an unmeaning confusion of streaks and daubs of colour, while an educated eye sees instantly a face or a landscape. Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute existence which contains in itself the noumena of all realities. The existences belonging to every plane of being, up to the highest Dhyan-Chohans, are, in degree, of the nature of shadows cast by a magic lantern on a colourless screen; but all things are relatively real, for the cogniser is also a reflection, and the things cognised are therefore as real to him as himself. Whatever reality things possess must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world; but we cannot cognise any such existence directly, so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities. As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached “reality;” but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya. (SD I, pp. 39-40)


b) Cyclic Manifestation

III.10      As the sun arises every morning on our objective horizon out of its (to us) subjective and antipodal space, so does the Universe emerge periodically on the plane of objectivity, issuing from that of subjectivity—the antipodes of the former. This is the "Cycle of Life." And as the sun disappears from our horizon, so does the Universe disappear at regular periods, when the "Universal night" sets in. The Hindoos call such alternations the "Days and Nights of Brahma," or the time of Manvantara and that of Pralaya (dissolution)[12]. The Westerns may call them Universal Days and Nights if they prefer. (KT, Section 6, The Unity Of All In All)


III.11      The [terrestrial] periods which bring around ever-recurring events, begin from the infinitesimally small—say of ten years—rotation and reach to cycles which require 250, 500 700, and 1000 years, to effect their revolution around themselves, and within one another. All are contained within the Mahâ-Yuga, the “Great Age”, which itself revolves between two eternities—the “Pralayas” or Nights of Brahmâ. (CW 2, p. 420)




Duration (years)

Krita Yuga


Treta Yuga


Dwapara Yuga


Kali Yuga


Maha-Yuga (the total of the said four Yugas)


One Day of Brahmâ, a Kalpa (1,000 Maha-Yugas)


One Day and Night of Brahmâ would contain


One Year of Brahmâ (360 of such days and nights)


One Age of Brahmâ, a Mahâ-Kalpa (100 such years)



These are the exoteric figures accepted throughout India, and they dovetail pretty nearly with those of the Secret works. The latter, moreover, amplify them by a division into a number of esoteric cycles, never mentioned in Brahmanical popular writings [see in Section 7] (SD II, pp. 69-70)


III.13      At the end of a thousand periods of four ages, which complete a Day of Brahmâ, the earth is almost exhausted. The eternal Avyaya (Vishnu) assumes then the character of Rudra (the destroyer, Siva) and re-unites all his creatures to himself. He enters the Seven rays of the Sun and drinks up all the waters of the globe; he causes the moisture to evaporate, thus drying up the whole Earth. Oceans and rivers, torrents and small streams, are all exhaled. (SD I, p. 370)


III.14      There are many kinds of Pralaya, but three chief ones are specially mentioned in old Hindu books. The first is called Naimittika [Planetary Pralaya] “occasional” or “incidental”, caused by the intervals of “Brahmâ’s Days”; it is the destruction of creatures, of all that lives and has a form, but not of the substance which remains in statu quo till the new Dawn in that “Night”. The other is called Prakritika [Solar Pralaya]—and occurs at the end of the Age or Life of Brahma, when everything that exists is resolved into the primal element, to be remodelled at the end of that longer night. But the third, Atyantika, does not concern the Worlds or the Universe, but only the individualities of some people; it is thus individual pralaya or Nirvana[13]; after having reached which, there is no more future existence possible, no rebirth till after the Maha Pralaya. (SD I, pp. 370-1)


III.15   Occultism divides the periods of Rest (Pralaya) into several kinds; there is the individual pralaya of each Globe, as humanity and life pass on to the next; seven minor Pralayas in each Round; the planetary Pralaya, when seven Rounds are completed [See Section VII]; the Solar Pralaya, when the whole system is at an end; and finally the Universal Maha—or Brahmâ—Pralaya at the close of the “Age of Brahmâ.” These are the three chief pralayas or “destruction periods.” There are many other minor ones, but with these we are not concerned at present. . (SD I, fn., p. 172)


III.16      Not even Esoteric philosophy can claim to know, except by analogical inference, that which took place before the reappearance of our Solar System and previous to the last Maha Pralaya. (SD I, p. 369)

Section IV

Seven Planes of Consciousness


IV.1        Plane. An extension of space or of something in it, whether physical or metaphysical, e.g., a “plane of consciousness”. As used in Occultism, the term denotes the range or extent of some state of consciousness, or of the perceptive power of a particular set of senses, or the action of a particular force, or the state of matter corresponding to any of the above. (TG, p. 255)


IV.2        Matter is Eternal. It is the Upadhi (the physical basis) for the One infinite Universal Mind to build thereon its ideations. Therefore, the Esotericists maintain that there is no inorganic or dead matter in nature. [As Paracelsus said] “Everything is the product of one universal creative effort ... There is nothing dead in Nature. Everything is organic and living, and therefore the whole world appears to be a living organism.” (SD I, pp. 280-1)


IV.3        Matter is eternal, for it is PRADHÂNA, yet atoms are born at every new manvantara, or reconstruction of the universe. It is not a contradiction as a materialist, who believes in nothing beyond the atom, might think. There is a difference between manifested and unmanifested matter, between pradhâna, the beginningless and endless cause, and prakriti, or the manifested effect. (SD I, p. 545)


IV.4        Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is Conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. We men must remember that because we do not perceive any signs—which we can recognise—of consciousness, say, in stones, we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there[14]. There is no such thing as either “dead” or “blind” matter, as there is no “Blind” or “Unconscious” Law. These find no place among the conceptions of Occult philosophy. The latter never stops at surface appearances, and for it the noumenal essences have more reality than their objective counterparts; it resembles therein the mediĉval Nominalists, for whom it was the Universals that were the realities and the particulars which existed only in name and human fancy. (SD I, p. 274)


IV.5        During the period of Universal Pralaya, Cosmic Ideation is non-existent; and the variously differentiated states of Cosmic Substance are resolved back again into the primary state of abstract potential objectivity. (SD I, p. 328)


IV.6        [When a Manvantara begins] the universe passes out of its homogeneous subjectivity on to the first plane of manifestation, of which planes there are seven. With each plane it becomes more dense and material until it reaches this, our plane. (KT, Section 6, Evolution and Illusion)


IV.7        Thrilling through the bosom of inert Substance, Fohat impels it to activity, and guides its primary differentiations on all the Seven planes of Cosmic Consciousness. There are thus Seven Protyles (as they are now called), while Aryan antiquity called them the Seven Prakriti, or Natures, serving, severally, as the relatively homogeneous basis[15], which in the course of the increasing heterogeneity (in the evolution of the Universe) differentiate into the marvellous complexity presented by phenomena on the planes of perception. (SD I, p. 328)


IV.8        Imagine, for illustration’s sake, the one homogeneous, absolute and omnipresent Essence, above the upper step of the “stair of the seven planes of worlds”, ready to start on its evolutionary journey. As its correlating reflection gradually descends, it differentiates and transforms into subjective, and finally into objective matter. Let us call it at its north pole Absolute Light; at its south pole (which to us would be the fourth or middle step, or plane) we know it esoterically as the One and Universal Life. Now mark the difference. Above, Light; below, Life. The former is ever immutable; the latter manifests under the aspects of countless differentiations. According to the occult law, all potentialities included in the higher become differentiated reflections in the lower. (CW 12, p. 629)


IV.9        Our philosophy teaches us that, as there are seven fundamental forces in nature, and seven planes of being, so there are seven states of consciousness in which man can live, think, remember and have his being. Believing in seven planes of Kosmic being and states of Consciousness, with regard to the Universe or the Macrocosm, we stop at the fourth plane, finding it impossible to go with any degree of certainty beyond. But with respect to the Microcosm, or man, we speculate freely on his seven states and principles. (KT, Section 6, On the Septenary Constitution of our Planet).


IV.10      Every plane being [in its turn] septenary, there are thus forty-nine mystical and physical forces. (CW 10, p. 376)


IV.11      (IGT, pp. 103-104)                                                      




II                The                        Unknown                                                        Diagram I




IV   Fohat                    Cosmic Kama-Manas


III   Jiva-Fohat             Cosmic Life Kama-Pranic

                                                                                                                            Prakritic Planes

II                                 Cosmic Astral                                                  

                                                                                                                                      7th Prakritic

I           Prakritic           Cosmic Body                                                     6th Alaya

                                      5th Mahat


                                                                                                              4th Fohat


                                                                                                              3rd Jiva


                                                                                                              2nd Astral


                                                                                                              1st Physical

                                                                                                        Auric Egg









IV.12      The student will observe that the study of the States of Consciousness is confined to Consciousness as manifesting in the solar system. Any attempt to figure Consciousness in KOSMOS would have deceived the student by inducing him to believe that such Kosmic Consciousness could be explained, whereas the whole of even the lowest plane of Kosmos transcends the highest Adept on earth. One thing alone we know of Kosmic Consciousness, viz. that it is absolutely outside all terms of earth consciousness. (CW 12, p. 657)


IV.13      Now it must always be borne in mind that diagrams can only show one aspect of a truth, and that they are only meant to help the student to an apprehension of the aspect symbolized. Let us remember we are dealing with Forces and States of Consciousness, and not with water-tight compartments. Thus Fohat, placed on the fourth plane, is, in reality, everywhere; it runs like a thread through all, and has its own seven divisions, each with its seven subdivisions. (CW 12, p. 657)


IV.14      The first of the seven sub-planes of the First, or Lowest, Prakritic plane.

1. Objective Sensuous Consciousness.––The consciousness that pertains to the five physical senses in man and rules in animals, birds, fishes, some insects, etc.

2. Astral Instinctual Consciousness.––On this plane is the consciousness of idiots. The common phrase, “he has lost his mind,” is an occult truth; for when the lower mind becomes paralyzed, then the consciousness acts on the astral plane. This may well be called the “nerve plane.” It is cognized by our “nervous senses”. Hence it is that a clairvoyant can read with the eyes bandaged, with the tips of the fingers, the pit of the stomach, etc. This consciousness is greatly developed in the deaf and dumb. On this plane everything is reversed, reflected upside down.

3. Kama-Pranic, or Physiological-Emotional Consciousness.––This is the general life-consciousness which belongs to the objective world, even to the stone. Affinity between chemical elements is a manifestation of this, Kama-Pranic consciousness. To this plane, also, belong the life-preservative instincts, as for instance that which prevents a kitten going into the water and getting drowned.

4. Kama-Manasic, or Psychic, or Passional-Emotional Consciousness. ––In animals and idiots the instinctual consciousness on the lower planes of sensation is in this state; in man these are rationalized. For instance, if a dog is shut up in a room, it has the instinct to get out, but is unable to do so because this instinct is not sufficiently rationalized to take the means necessary for its liberation. A man at once takes in the situation, and lets himself out.

5. Manasic or Mental-Emotional Consciousness.––From this plane Manas stretches up to Mahat.

6. Buddhic, or Spiritual Emotional Consciousness.––The plane of Buddhi or of the Auric Envelope. From this plane consciousness goes to the “Father in Heaven,” Atman, reflecting all that is in the Auric Envelope. The Manasic and Buddhic states cover the planes from the Noëtic to the Divine, but it is impossible at this stage to define them intelligibly. Call the highest plane x if you will. You can’t understand it. (CW 12, pp. 661-2)


IV.15      The three upper are the three higher planes of consciousness, revealed and explained only to the Initiates,[16] the lower represent the four lower planes—the lowest being our plane, or the visible Universe. These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three “seats” to life and activity. (SD I, p. 199)

Section V

The Hierarchies


a) The Inner Rulers of the Universe

V.1         The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man—the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm—is the living witness to this Universal Law and to the mode of its action. We see that every external motion, act, gesture, whether voluntary or mechanical, organic or mental, is produced and preceded by internal feeling or emotion, will or volition, and thought or mind. As no outward motion or change, when normal, in man’s external body can take place unless provoked by an inward impulse, given through one of the three functions named, so with the external or manifested Universe. (SD I, p. 274)


V.2         During the great mystery and drama of life known as the Manvantara, real Kosmos is like the object placed behind the white screen upon which are thrown the Chinese shadows, called forth by the magic lantern. The actual figures and things remain invisible, while the wires of evolution are pulled by the unseen hands; and men and things are thus but the reflections, on the white field, of the realities behind the snares of Mahamaya, or the great Illusion. This was taught in every philosophy, in every religion. (SD I, p. 278)


V.3         The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who—whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels—are “messengers” in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws. (SD I, p. 274)


V.4         In Esoteric philosophy the Demiurge or Logos, regarded as the Creator, is simply an abstract term, an idea, like “army”. As the latter is the all-embracing term for a body of active forces or working units—soldiers—so is the Demiurge the qualitative compound of a multitude of Creators or Builders. (SD I, p. 380)


b) Their Consciousness and Intelligence

V.5         The Secret Doctrine teaches that the whole universe is ruled by intelligent and semi-intelligent Forces and Powers. (SD I, p. 287)


V.6         The “Germ” of the Universe [differentiates] into the septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, who are the active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy. They are the framers, shapers, and ultimately the creators of all the manifested Universe, in the only sense in which the name “Creator” is intelligible; they inform and guide it; they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control evolution, embodying in themselves those manifestations of the One Law, which we know as “The Laws of Nature”. Generically, they are known as the Dhyan Chohans, though each of the various groups has its own designation in the Secret Doctrine. (SD I, pp. 21-22)


V.7         The Ah-Hi (Dhyan-Chohans) are the collective hosts of spiritual beings—the Angelic Hosts of Christianity, the Elohim and “Messengers” of the Jews—who are the vehicle for the manifestation of the divine or universal thought and will. They are the Intelligent Forces that give to and enact in Nature her “laws”, while themselves acting according to laws imposed upon them in a similar manner by still higher Powers; but they are not “the personifications” of the powers of Nature, as erroneously thought. This hierarchy of spiritual Beings, through which the Universal Mind comes into action, is like an army—a “Host”, truly—by means of which the fighting power of a nation manifests itself, and which is composed of army corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its separate individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and limited responsibilities; each contained in a larger individuality, to which its own interests are subservient, and each containing lesser individualities in itself. (SD I, p. 38)


V.8         There is but one indivisible and absolute Omniscience and Intelligence in the Universe. But the first differentiation of its reflection in the manifested World is purely Spiritual, and the Beings generated in it are not endowed with a consciousness that has any relation to the one we conceive of. They can have no human consciousness or Intelligence before they have acquired such, personally and individually. This may be a mystery, yet it is a fact, in Esoteric philosophy, and a very apparent one too. (SD I, p. 277)


V.9         In sober truth, every “Spirit” so-called is either a disembodied or a future man. As from the highest Archangel (Dhyan Chohan) down to the last conscious “Builder” (the inferior class of Spiritual Entities), all such are men, having lived ĉons ago, in other Manvantaras, on this or other Spheres; so the inferior, semi-intelligent and non-intelligent Elementals—are all future men. That fact alone—that a Spirit is endowed with intelligence—is a proof to the Occultist that that Being must have been a man, and acquired his knowledge and intelligence throughout the human cycle. (SD I, p. 277)


V.10       They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence; and to call them all pure Spirits without any of the earthly alloy “which time is wont to prey upon” is only to indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either was, or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or a coming cycle (Manvantara). They are perfected, when not incipient, men; and differ morally from the terrestrial human beings on their higher (less material) spheres, only in that they are devoid of the feeling of personality and of the human emotional nature—two purely earthly characteristics. The former, or the “perfected”, have become free from those feelings, because (a) they have no longer fleshly bodies—an ever-numbing weight on the Soul; and (b) the pure spiritual element being left untrammelled and more free, they are less influenced by maya than man can ever be, unless he is an adept who keeps his two personalities—the spiritual and the physical—entirely separated. (SD I, p. 275)


V.11       The incipient monads, having never had terrestrial bodies yet, can have no sense of personality or Ego-ism. That term cannot of course be applied to non-human entities; but, as a fact insisted upon by generations of Seers, none of these Beings, high or low, have either individuality or personality as separate Entities, i.e., they have no individuality in the sense in which a man says, “I am myself and no one else”; in other words, they are conscious of no such distinct separateness as men and things have on earth. Individuality is the characteristic of their respective hierarchies, not of their units; and these characteristics vary only with the degree of the plane to which those hierarchies belong: the nearer to the region of Homogeneity and the One Divine, the purer and the less accentuated that individuality in the Hierarchy. They are finite, in all respects, with the exception of their higher principles—the immortal sparks reflecting the universal divine flame—individualized and separated only on the spheres of Illusion by a differentiation as illusive as the rest. It is the inner principle in them which belongs to the waters of immortality, while its differentiated clothing is as perishable as man’s body. Therefore Young was right in saying that “Angels are men of a superior kind” and no more. (SD I, p. 275)


V.12       They are neither “ministering” nor “protecting” angels; nor are they “Harbingers of the Most High” still less the “Messengers of wrath” of any God such as man’s fancy has created. To appeal to their protection is as foolish as to believe that their sympathy may be secured by any kind of propitiation; for they are, as much as man himself is, the slaves and creatures of immutable Karmic and Kosmic law. The reason for it is evident. Having no elements of personality in their essence they can have no personal qualities, such as attributed by men, in their exoteric religions, to their anthropomorphic God—a jealous and exclusive God who rejoices and feels wrathful, is pleased with sacrifice, and is more despotic in his vanity than any finite foolish man. (SD I, p. 276)


c) Not Omniscient Powers

V.13       The collective Mind—the Universal—composed of various and numberless Hosts of Creative Powers, however infinite in manifested Time, is still finite when contrasted with the unborn and undecaying Space in its supreme essential aspect. That which is finite cannot be perfect. Therefore there are inferior Beings among those Hosts, but there never were any devils or “disobedient Angels”, for the simple reason that they are all governed by Law. (SD II, p. 487)


V.14       [The universal forces] are dual in their character; being composed of (a) the irrational brute energy, inherent in matter, and (b) the intelligent soul or cosmic consciousness which directs and guides that energy, and which is the Dhyan-Chohanic thought reflecting the Ideation of the Universal mind. This results in a perpetual series of physical manifestations and moral effects on Earth, during manvantaric periods, the whole being subservient to Karma. That process is not always perfect; and, however many proofs it may exhibit of a guiding intelligence behind the veil, it still shows gaps and flaws, and even results very often in evident failures. (SD I, p. 280)


V.15       Every form, we are told, is built in accordance with the model traced for it in the Eternity and reflected in the Divine Mind. There are hierarchies of “Builders of form”, and series of forms and degrees, from the highest to the lowest. While the former are shaped under the guidance of the “Builders”, the gods “Cosmocratores”, the latter are fashioned by the Elementals or Nature Spirits. (CW 10, p. 387)


V.16       For, it is those terrestrial spirits of Nature, who form the aggregated Nature; which, if it fails occasionally in its design, is neither to be considered blind, nor to be taxed with the failure; since, belonging to a differentiated sum of qualities and attributes, it is in virtue of that alone conditioned and imperfect. (SD II, pp. 732-3)


V.17       Therefore, neither the collective Host (Demiurgos), nor any of the working powers individually, are proper subjects for divine honours or worship. All are entitled to the grateful reverence of Humanity, however, and man ought to be ever striving to help the divine evolution of Ideas, by becoming to the best of his ability a co-worker with nature in the cyclic task. The ever unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart—invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through “the still small voice” of our spiritual consciousness. Those who worship before it, ought to do so in the silence and the sanctified solitude of their Souls[17]; making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence. (SD I, p. 280)


V.18       The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature—from Star to mineral Atom, from the highest Dhyan Chohan to the smallest infusoria, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual, or physical worlds—this is the one fundamental law in Occult Science. (SD I, p. 120)

Section VI

Septenary Constitution of the Human Being


VI.1        Study well and know the principles of both the Kosmos and ourselves, dividing the group into the permanent and impermanent, the higher and immortal, and the lower and mortal; for thus only can we master and guide the lower cosmic and personal, then the higher cosmic and impersonal. (CW 12, p. 625)


VI.2        The Logos is the mirror reflecting Divine Mind, and the Universe is the mirror of the Logos, though the latter is the esse of that Universe. As the Logos reflects all in the Universe of Pleroma, so man reflects in himself all that he sees and finds in his Universe, the Earth. (SD II, p. 25)


VI.3        We divide man into seven principles, but this does not mean that he has, as it were, seven skins, or entities, or souls. These principles are all aspects of one principle, and even this principle is but a temporary and periodical ray of the One eternal and infinite Flame or Fire. (CW 10, p. 335)


Sanskrit Terms

Exoteric Meaning



(a) Rupa, or


Physical body

Is the vehicle of all the other “principles” during life.

(b) Prana

Life, or Vital principle

Necessary only to a, c, d, and the functions of the lower Manas, which embrace all those limited to the (physical) brain.

(c) Linga Sharira

Astral body[18]

The Double, the phantom body.

(d) Kama rupa

The seat of animal desires and passions[19]

This is the centre of the animal man, where lies the line of demarcation which separates the mortal man from the immortal entity.


(e) Manas -- a dual principle in its functions

Mind, Intelligence: which is the higher human mind, whose light, or radiation links the Monad, for the lifetime, to the mortal man

The future state and the Karmic destiny of man depend on whether Manas gravitates more downward to Kama rupa, the seat of the animal passions, or upwards to Buddhi, the Spiritual Ego. In the latter case, the higher consciousness of the individual Spiritual aspirations of mind (Manas), assimilating Buddhi, are absorbed by it and form the Ego.

(f) Buddhi

The Spiritual Soul

The vehicle of pure universal spirit.

(g) Atma


One with the Absolute, as its radiation.


(KT, Section 6, The Septenary Nature of Man)

VI.4        The whole trouble is to understand correctly that other mystery: that of the real fact, so abstruse and transcendental at first sight, about the “Seven Principles” in man, the reflections in man of the seven powers in Nature, physically, and of the seven Hierarchies of Being, intellectually and spiritually. (CW 14, p. 386)


VI.5        The “Monad” is the combination of the last two “principles” in man, the 6th and the 7th, and, properly speaking, the term “human monad” applies only to the dual soul (Atma-Buddhi), not to its highest spiritual vivifying Principle, Atma, alone. But since the Spiritual Soul, if divorced from the latter (Atma) could have no existence, no being, it has thus been called. (SD I, p. 178)


VI.6        The Monad of every living being is an individual Dhyan Chohan, distinct from others, a kind of spiritual individuality of its own, during one special Manvantara. Its Primary, the Spirit (Atman) is one, of course, with Paramâtma (the one Universal Spirit), but the vehicle (Vahan) it is enshrined in, the Buddhi, is part and parcel of that Dhyan-Chohanic Essence; and it is in this that lies the mystery of its ubiquity. “My Father, that is in Heaven, and I—are one,”—says the Christian Scripture; in this, at any rate, it is the faithful echo of the esoteric tenet. (SD I, p. 265)


VI.7        Atma, the “Higher Self, is neither your Spirit nor mine, but like sunlight shines on all. It is the universally diffused “divine principle”, and is inseparable from its one and absolute Meta-Spirit, as the sunbeam is inseparable from sunlight. Buddhi (the spiritual soul) is only its vehicle. Neither each separately, nor the two collectively, are of any more use to the body of man, than sunlight and its beams are for a mass of granite buried in the earth, unless the divine Duad is assimilated by, and reflected in, some consciousness. This consciousness or mind is, Manas. (KT, Section 8, On Individuality And Personality)


VI.8        Buddhi is the faculty of cognizing, the channel through which divine knowledge reaches the “Ego”, the discernment of good and evil, “divine conscience” also; and “Spiritual Soul”, which is the vehicle of Atma. (SD I, p. xix)


VI.9        The human Ego is neither Atman nor Buddhi, but the higher Manas: the intellectual fruition and the efflorescence of the intellectual self-conscious Egotism—in the higher spiritual sense. The ancient works refer to it as Karana Sarira on the plane of Sutratma, which is the golden thread on which, like beads, the various personalities of this higher Ego are strung. (SD II, p. 79)


VI.10      [There are] two principles or aspects of Manas, the higher and the lower; the former, the higher Manas, or the thinking, conscious EGO gravitating toward the spiritual Soul (Buddhi); and the latter, or its instinctual principle, attracted to Kama, the seat of animal desires and passions in man. (KT, Section 7, On the various "Principles" in Man)


VI.11      It is the Fifth and the Fourth principles –Manas and Kama rupa– that contain the dual personality: the real immortal Ego (if it assimilates itself to the two higher) and the false and transitory personality, the mayavi or astral body, so-called, or the animal-human Soul—the two having to be closely blended for purposes of a full terrestrial existence. (SD II, pp. 241-2)


VI.12      Some of our Theosophists have got into the habit of using the words “Self” and “Ego” as synonymous, of associating the term “Self” with only man's higher individual or even personal “Self” or Ego, whereas this term ought never to be applied except to the One universal Self. For even Buddhi, the “Spiritual Soul”, is not the Self, but the vehicle of Self.

To avoid henceforth such misapprehensions, I propose to translate literally from the Occult Eastern terms their equivalents in English, and offer these for future use.

The Higher Self is Atma the inseparable ray of the Universal and One Self. It is the God above, more than within, us. Happy the man who succeeds in saturating his inner Ego with it!

The Spiritual divine Ego is the Spiritual soul or Buddhi, in close union with Manas, the mind-principle, without which it is no EGO at all, but only the Atmic Vehicle.

The Inner, or Higher “Ego”; is Manas, the “Fifth” Principle, so called, independently of Buddhi. The Mind-Principle is only the Spiritual Ego when merged into one with Buddhi, no materialist being supposed to have in him such an Ego, however great his intellectual capacities. It is the permanent Individuality or the “Re-incarnating Ego”.

The Lower, or Personal “Ego” is the physical man in conjunction with his lower Self, i.e., animal instincts, passions, desires, etc. It is called the “false personality”, and consists of the lower Manas combined with Kama-rupa, and operating through the Physical body and its phantom or “double”.

The remaining “Principle”, “Prana”, or “Life”, is, strictly speaking, the radiating force or Energy of Atma –as the Universal Life and the One Self– Its lower or rather (in its effects) more physical, because manifesting, aspect. Prana or Life permeates the whole being of the objective Universe; and is called a “principle” only because it is an indispensable factor and the deus ex machina of the living man. (KT, Section 9, Definite Words For Definite Things)


VI.13      It is not the human body (sthulasarira) that is the grossest of all our “principles,” but verily the middle principle [kama], the real animal centre; whereas our body is but its shell, the irresponsible factor and medium through which the beast in us acts all its life. Every intellectual theosophist will understand my real meaning. (SD I, p. 260)


VI.14      Kama depends on Prana, without which there would be no Kama. Prana wakes the Kamic germs to life, and it makes all desires vital and living. (CW 12, p. 707)


VI.15      The Linga-Sarira, as often said before, is the vehicle of Prana, and supports life in the Body. It is the reservoir or sponge of life, gathering it up from all the natural kingdoms around, and it is the intermediary between the kingdoms of Pranic and physical life. Life cannot pass immediately and directly from the subjective to the objective, for nature passes gradually from sphere to sphere, overleaping none. The Linga-Sarira serves as the intermediary between Prana and Sthula-Sarira, drawing life from the ocean of Jiva, and pumping it in the physical Body as Prana. For life is, in reality, Divinity, Parabrahman, the Universal Deity. (CW 12, p. 704)


VI.16      Linga-Sarira is united to the physical Body by an umbilical cord, a material cord, and cannot therefore travel very far from it. (CW 12, p. 705)


VI.17      Man has his “double” or shadow, properly so called, around which the physical body of the foetus—the future man—is built. The imagination of the mother, or an accident which affects the child, will affect also the astral body. (CW 10, p. 218)


VI.18      It is first in the womb, and then comes the germ that fructifies it, from the male parent. It is the subjective image of the man that is to be, the model of the physical body in which the child is to be formed and developed. It is then clothed with matter. Up to the age of seven, it forms and moulds the Body; after that age, the Body forms the Linga-Sarira. The Mind and the Linga-Sarira mutually act and react on each other, and so is prepared a mould for the next incarnation. It is the perfect picture of the man, good or bad, according to his own nature. (CW 12, pp. 704-5)

Section VII

The Evolutionary Process—The Third Fundamental Proposition


VII.1       The first lesson taught in Esoteric philosophy is, that the incognizable Cause does not put forth evolution, whether consciously or unconsciously, but only exhibits periodically different aspects of itself to the perception of finite Minds. (SD II, p. 487)


a) The Cycle of Necessity

VII.2       The Secret Doctrine teaches the progressive development of everything, worlds as well as atoms; and this stupendous development has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end. Our “Universe” is only one of an infinite number of Universes, all of them “Sons of Necessity”, because links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes, each one standing in the relation of an effect as regards its predecessor, and being a cause as regards its successor. (SD I, p. 43)


VII.3       Moreover, The Secret Doctrine teaches:

The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul [Alaya], the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul—a spark of the former—through the Cycle of Incarnation (or “Necessity”) in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term. (SD I, p.17)


VII.4       To accomplish the cycle of necessity, rather, explains the doctrine; to progress on their task of evolution, from which task none of us can be freed, neither by death nor suicide, for each of us have to pass through the “Valley of Thorns” before he emerges into the plains of divine light and rest. And thus men will continue to be born in new bodies: “. . . till they become sufficiently pure to enter a higher form of existence.” This means only that Mankind, from the First down to the last, or Seventh Race [see next Section], is composed of one and the same company of actors, who have descended from higher spheres to perform their artistic tour on this our planet, Earth. Starting as pure spirits on our downward journey around the world (verily!) with the knowledge of truth—now feebly echoed in the Occult Doctrines—inherent in us, cyclic law brings us down to the reversed apex of matter, which is lost down here on earth and the bottom of which we have already struck; and then, the same law of spiritual gravity will make us slowly ascend to still higher, still purer spheres than those we started from. (CW 14, p. 303)


VII.5       In other words, no purely spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul) can have an independent (conscious) existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of the Universal Sixth principle,—or the Over-Soul [Alaya],—has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric philosophy admits no privileges or special gifts in man, save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and reincarnations. (SD I, p. 17)


VII.6       [a] The Whole order of nature evinces a progressive march towards a higher life. There is design in the action of the seemingly blindest forces. The whole process of evolution with its endless adaptations is a proof of this. The immutable laws that weed out the weak and feeble species, to make room for the strong, and which ensure the “survival of the fittest”, though so cruel in their immediate action—all are working toward the grand end. The very fact that adaptations do occur, that the fittest do survive in the struggle for existence, shows that what is called “unconscious Nature” is in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by semi-intelligent beings (Elementals) guided by High Planetary Spirits, (Dhyan Chohans), whose collective aggregate forms the manifested verbum of the unmanifested Logos, and constitutes at one and the same time the Mind of the Universe and its immutable Law. (SD I, pp. 277-8)


VII.7       Nature (in man) must become a compound of Spirit and Matter before he becomes what he is; and the Spirit latent in Matter must be awakened to life and consciousness gradually. The Monad has to pass through its mineral, vegetable and animal forms, before the Light of the Logos is awakened in the animal man. Therefore, till then, the latter cannot be referred to as “Man”, but has to be regarded as a Monad imprisoned in ever changing forms. (SD II, p. 42)


VII.8       [b] The Doctrine teaches that, in order to become a divine, fully conscious god,—aye, even the highest—the Spiritual primeval Intelligences must pass through the human stage. And when we say human, this does not apply merely to our terrestrial humanity, but to the mortals that inhabit any world, i.e., to those Intelligences that have reached the appropriate equilibrium between matter and spirit, as we have now, since the middle point of the Fourth Root Race of the Fourth Round was passed [see below]. Each Entity must have won for itself the right of becoming divine, through self-experience. Hegel, the great German thinker, must have known or sensed intuitionally this truth when saying, as he did, that the Unconscious evolved the Universe only “in the hope of attaining clear self-consciousness”, of becoming, in other words, Man. This explains also the hidden Kabalistic meaning of the saying: “The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.” (SD I, pp. 106-7)


VII.9       Every form on earth, and every speck (atom) in Space strives in its efforts towards self-formation to follow the model placed for it in the ‘Heavenly Man’ . . . Its (the atom’s) involution and evolution, its external and internal growth and development, have all one and the same object—man; man, as the highest physical and ultimate form on this earth; the Monad, in its absolute totality and awakened condition—as the culmination of the divine incarnations on Earth. (SD I, p. 183)


VII.10     Eastern wisdom teaches that spirit has to pass through the ordeal of incarnation and life, and be baptised with matter before it can reach experience and knowledge. After which only it receives the baptism of soul, or self-consciousness, and may return to its original condition of a god, plus experience, ending with omniscience. In other words, it can return to the original state of homogeneity of primordial essence only through the addition of the fruitage of Karma, which alone is able to create an absolute conscious deity, removed but one degree from the absolute All. (CW 8, p. 117)


VII.11     A Dhyan Chohan has to become one; he cannot be born or appear suddenly on the plane of life as a full-blown angel. The Celestial Hierarchy of the present Manvantara will find itself transferred in the next cycle of life into higher, superior worlds, and will make room for a new hierarchy, composed of the elect ones of our mankind. (SD I, p. 221)


b) Rounds and Chains

VII.12     The one eternal Law unfolds everything in the (to be) manifested Nature on a sevenfold principle; among the rest, the countless circular chains of worlds, composed of seven globes, graduated on the four lower planes of the world of formation (the three others belonging to the Archetypal Universe). Out of these seven only one, the lowest and the most material of those globes, is within our plane or means of perception, the six others lying outside of it and being therefore invisible to the terrestrial eye. Every such chain of worlds is the progeny and creation of another, lower, and dead chain—its reincarnation, so to say. (SD I, p. 152)

Diagram II


The Earth Chain                                                                     Prakritic Planes


I                      The Divine and

II                  Formless (Arupa)

III                    World of Spirit

IV                                                        Fohatic

V                                                         Jaivic

VI                                                        Astral

VII        The Earth                                 Physical


VII.13     [About] the doctrine of the septenary chains of worlds in the Solar Kosmos, the teaching is briefly thus:

1. Everything in the metaphysical as in the physical Universe is septenary. Hence every sidereal body, every planet, whether visible or invisible, is credited with six companion globes (see diagram). The evolution of life proceeds on these seven globes or bodies from the A to the G in Seven Rounds or Seven Cycles.

2. These globes are formed by a process which the Occultists call the “rebirth of planetary chains (or rings)”. When the seventh and last of one of such rings has been entered upon, the highest or first globe “A”, followed by all the others down to the last, instead of entering upon a certain time of rest—or “obscuration”, as in their previous Rounds—begins to die out. The “planetary” dissolution (pralaya) is at hand, and its hour has struck; each globe has to transfer its life and energy to another planet.

3. Our Earth, as the visible representative of its invisible superior fellow globes, its “lords” or “principles”, has to live, as have the others, through seven Rounds. During the first three, it forms and consolidates; during the fourth it settles and hardens during the last three it gradually returns to its first ethereal form: it is spiritualised, so to say.

4. Its Humanity develops fully only in the Fourth—our present Round. Up to this fourth Life-Cycle, it is referred to as “humanity” only for lack of a more appropriate term. Like the grub which become chrysalis and butterfly, Man, or rather that which becomes man, passes through all the forms and kingdoms during the first Round and through all the human shapes during the two following Rounds. During the three Rounds to come, Humanity, like the globe on which it lives, will be ever tending to reassume its primeval form, that of a Dhyan Chohanic Host. (SD I, pp. 158-9)


VII.14     The student hardly needs any further explanation on the part played by the fourth Globe and the fourth Round in the scheme of evolution. From the preceding diagrams, which are applicable, mutatis mutandis, to Rounds, Globes or Races, it will be seen that the fourth member of a series occupies a unique position. Unlike the others, the Fourth has no “sister” Globe on the same plane as itself, and it thus forms the fulcrum of the “balance” represented by the whole chain. It is the sphere of final evolutionary adjustments, the world of Karmic scales, the Hall of Justice, where the balance is struck which determines the future course of the Monad during the remainder of its incarnations in the cycle. (SD I, p. 182)


VII.15     Thus, in the first Round, the globe, having been built by the primitive fire-lives, i.e., formed into a sphere—had no solidity, nor qualifications, save a cold brightness, nor form nor colour; it is only towards the end of the First Round that it developed one Element which from its inorganic, so to say, or simple Essence became now in our Round the fire we know throughout the system. The Earth was in her first rupa, the essence of which is the Akâsic principle, that which is now known as, and very erroneously termed, Astral Light.

The Second Round brings into manifestation the second element—AIR, that element, the purity of which would ensure continuous life to him who would use it. “From the second Round, Earth—hitherto a fœtus in the matrix of Space—began its real existence: it had developed individual sentient life, its second principle. The second corresponds to the sixth (principle); the second is life continuous, the other, temporary.”

The Third Round developed the third Principle—WATER; while the Fourth transformed the gaseous fluids and plastic form of our globe into the hard, crusted, grossly material sphere we are living on. “Bhumi” [the Earth] has reached her fourth principle. Earth will reach her true ultimate form—(inversely in this to man)—her body shell—only toward the end of the manvantara after the Seventh Round. Our globe is, so far, in its Kamarupic state—the astral body of desires of Ahamkara, dark Egotism, the progeny of Mahat, on the lower plane. . . . (SD I, pp. 259-60)


VII.16     Our Fourth Round is the cycle of the turning-point, after which, matter, having reached its lowest depths, begins to strive onward and to get spiritualized with every new Race and with every fresh cycle. Then [in the earlier Rounds] it was the work of formation; now it is that of reformation and evolutionary perfection. (SD I, pp. 185-6)


VII.17     Every “Round” brings about a new development and even an entire change in the mental, psychic, spiritual and physical constitution of man, all these principles evoluting on an ever ascending scale. (SD I, p. 162)


VII.18     In each of the rounds he [man] makes one of the principles develop fully. In the first round his consciousness on our earth is dull and but feeble and shadowy, something like that of an infant. When he reaches our earth in the second round he has become responsible in a degree, in the third he becomes so entirely. At every stage and every round his development keeps pace with the globe on which he is. (ML, No. 67)


VII.19     At the close of the seventh Race of the Seventh Round, the Monad will find itself as free from matter and all its qualities as it was in the beginning; having gained in addition the experience and wisdom, the fruition of all its personal lives, without their evil and temptations. (SD II, pp. 180-1)


VII.20     The exoteric Brahmanical works give 4,320,000,000 years as the duration of a great Kalpa, a “Day of Brahma”. This includes all the seven “Rounds” of our Planetary Chain, i.e., the period of human existence on different planets in different Rounds together, with what are called “Obscurations” or the period of rest for humanity between two planets, in its passage from the one to the other, after its seven Races are evolved on that planet [see next Section]. It also includes the period of Sandhi (twilight) which is equal to one Satya Yuga. If we take the above figure, as our basis, according to certain mathematical series, explained further on, we obtain the following results:





First Round


Second Round


Third Round


Fourth Round


Fifth Round


Sixth Round


Seventh Round





We have thus 617,142,856 years as the period of our Fourth Round. And as the “Night of Brahma” or period of Rest, is always equal to the “Day of Brahma” or the period of activity on each planet, the period of activity in this 4th Round equals—308,571,428 years.


The following is the duration of humanity on each Planet in our fourth Round, during the period of its activity:




Planet A


Planet B


Planet C


Planet D


Planet E


Planet F


Planet G





The reader will observe that in the above calculations we have given the key to the understanding of these different periods. (CW 13, pp. 302-4)


c) Nirvana

VII.21     Ordinarily, a man is said to reach Nirvana when he evolutes into a Dhyan Chohan. The condition of a Dhyan Chohan is attained in the ordinary course of Nature, after the completion of the 7th Round in the present planetary chain. (CW 6, p. 248)


VII.22     The “full” remembrance of our lives (collective lives) will return back at the end of all the seven Rounds, at the threshold of the long, long Nirvana that awaits us after we leave [the last] Globe. (ML, No. 93b)


VII.23     The thread of radiance which is imperishable and dissolves only in Nirvana, re-emerges from it in its integrity on the day when the Great Law calls all things back into action. (SD II, p. 80)


VII.24     Is this annihilation, as some think? To see in Nirvana annihilation amounts to saying of a man plunged in a sound dreamless sleep—one that leaves no impression on the physical memory and brain, because the sleepers Higher Self is in its original state of absolute consciousness during those hours—that he, too, is annihilated. The latter simile answers only to one side of the question—the most material; since re-absorption is by no means such a “dreamless sleep”, but, on the contrary, absolute existence, an unconditioned unity, or a state, to describe which human language is absolutely and hopelessly inadequate. The only approach to anything like a comprehensive conception of it can be attempted solely in the panoramic visions of the soul, through spiritual ideations of the divine monad. Nor is the individuality—nor even the essence of the personality, if any be left behind—lost, because re-absorbed. For, however limitless—from a human standpoint—the paranirvanic state, it has yet a limit in Eternity. Once reached, the same monad will re-emerge therefrom, as a still higher being, on a far higher plane, to recommence its cycle of perfected activity. The human mind cannot in its present stage of development transcend, scarcely reach this plane of thought. It totters here, on the brink of incomprehensible Absoluteness and Eternity. (SD I, p. 266)


VII.25     Paranishpanna, remember, is the summum bonum, the Absolute, hence the same as Paranirvana[20]. It is that state which leads one to appreciate correctly the full meaning of Non-Being, which, as explained, is absolute Being. Sooner or later, all that now seemingly exists, will be in reality and actually in the state of Paranishpanna. But there is a great difference between conscious and unconscious “being”. The condition of Paranishpanna, without Paramârtha, the Self-analysing consciousness (Svasamvedana)[21], is no bliss, but simply extinction (for Seven Eternities). Thus, an iron ball placed under the scorching rays of the sun will get heated through, but will not feel or appreciate the warmth, while a man will. It is only “with a mind clear and undarkened by personality, and an assimilation of the merit of manifold existences devoted to being in its collectivity (the whole living and sentient Universe),” that one gets rid of personal existence, merging into, becoming one with, the Absolute, and continuing in full possession of Paramârtha. (SD I, pp. 53-4)


VII.26     Paranishpanna” is the absolute perfection to which all existences attain at the close of a great period of activity, or Maha-Manvantara, and in which they rest during the succeeding period of repose. Up to the day of the Yogâchârya school the true nature of Paranirvana was taught publicly, but since then it has become entirely esoteric; hence so many contradictory interpretations of it.  It is only a true Idealist who can understand it. Everything has to be viewed as ideal, with the exception of Paranirvana, by him who would comprehend that state, and acquire a knowledge of how Non Ego, Voidness, and Darkness are Three in One and alone Self-existent and perfect. It is absolute, however, only in a relative sense, for it must give room to still further absolute perfection, according to a higher standard of excellence in the following period of activity. (SD I, pp. 42-3)


Section VIII

Evolution of Man – The Triple Evolutionary Scheme


VIII.1      There exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the formation of the three periodical Upadhis [vehicles of consciousness]; or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. These three are the finite aspects or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of Atma, the seventh, the One Reality.

1. The Monadic is, as the name implies, concerned with the growth and development into still higher phases of activity of the Monad in conjunction with:

2. The Intellectual, represented by the Manasa-Dhyanis (the Solar Devas, or the Agnishwatta Pitris) the “givers of intelligence and consciousness” to man, and:

3. The Physical, represented by the Chhayas of the lunar Pitris, round which Nature has concreted the present physical body. This body serves as the vehicle for the “growth” (to use a misleading word) and the transformations through Manas and—owing to the accumulation of experiences—of the finite into the Infinite, of the transient into the Eternal and Absolute.

Each of these three systems has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of the highest Dhyanis or “Logoi”. Each is represented in the constitution of man, the Microcosm of the great Macrocosm; and it is the union of these three streams in him which makes him the complex being he now is. (SD I, p. 181)


a) Evolution of Monads

VIII.2      The Monadic, or rather Cosmic, Essence (if such a term be permitted) in the mineral, vegetable, and animal, though the same throughout the series of cycles from the lowest elemental up to the Deva Kingdom, yet differs in the scale of progression. It would be very misleading to imagine a Monad as a separate Entity trailing its slow way in a distinct path through the lower Kingdoms, and after an incalculable series of transformations flowering into a human being. The atom is a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy which itself has not yet become individualized; a sequential manifestation of the one Universal Monas. The ocean (of matter) does not divide into its potential and constituent drops until the sweep of the life-impulse reaches the evolutionary stage of man-birth. The tendency towards segregation into individual Monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost to the point. The “Monadic Essence” begins to imperceptibly differentiate towards individual consciousness in the Vegetable Kingdom. (SD I, pp. 178-9)


VIII.3      The Monad or Jiva is, first of all, shot down by the law of Evolution into the lowest form of matter—the mineral. After a sevenfold gyration encased in the stone (or that which will become mineral and stone in the Fourth Round), it creeps out of it, say, as a lichen. Passing thence, through all the forms of vegetable matter, into what is termed animal matter, it has now reached the point in which it has become the germ, so to speak, of the animal, that will become the physical man. All this, up to the Third Round, is formless, as matter, and senseless, as consciousness. For the Monad or Jiva per se cannot be even called spirit: it is a ray, a breath of the Absolute, or the Absoluteness rather, and the Absolute Homogeneity, having no relations with the conditioned and relative finiteness, is unconscious on our plane. Therefore, besides the material which will be needed for its future human form, the monad requires (a) a spiritual model, or prototype, for that material to shape itself into; and (b) an intelligent consciousness to guide its evolution and progress, neither of which is possessed by the homogeneous monad, or by senseless though living matter. (SD I, pp. 246-7)


VIII.4      The sixth and seventh principles apart from the rest constitute the eternal, imperishable, but also unconscious “Monad”. To awaken in it to life the latent consciousness, especially that of personal individuality, requires the monad plus the highest attributes of the fifth [Manas] (ML No. 68)


VIII.5      Buddhi becomes conscious by the accretions it gets from Manas after every new incarnation and the death of man. (SD I, p. 244)


VIII.6      Unless the fruition, the spiritual aroma of the Manas—or all these highest aspirations and spiritual qualities and attributes that constitute the higher SELF of man, become united to its monad, the latter becomes as Non-existent; since it is in esse “impersonal” and per se Ego-less, so to say, and gets its spiritual colouring or flavour of Ego-tism only from each Manas during incarnation and after it is disembodied, and separated from all its lower principles. (CW 7, p. 180)


VIII.7      The human Monads are gradually formed and strengthened during their incarnation-cycle by constant additions of individuality from the personalities in which incarnates that androgynous, half-spiritual, half-terrestrial principle, called by the Occultists the Manas (mind); that, in short, which uniting itself partially with the Monad, incarnates in each new birth. In perfect unity with its (seventh) Principle, the Spirit unalloyed, it is the divine Higher Self, as every student of Theosophy knows. After every new incarnation Buddhi-Manas culls, so to say, the aroma of the flower called personality, the purely earthly residue of which–its dregs–is left to fade out as a shadow. This is the most difficult–because so transcendentally metaphysical–portion of the doctrine. (CW 14, p. 49)


VIII.8      The difference between personality and individuality. The latter, to run successfully its seven-fold downward and upward course, has to assimilate to itself the eternal life-power residing but in the seventh and then blend the three (fourth, fifth and seventh) [principles] into one—the sixth. Those who succeed in doing so become Buddhas, Dhyan Chohans, etc. The chief object of our struggles and initiations is to achieve this union while yet on this earth. (ML, No. 44)


VIII.9      “When Buddhi absorbs our Ego-tism (destroys it) Nirvana, or Mukti, is reached,” “Mukti” being the same as Nirvana, i.e., freedom from the trammels of “Maya” or illusion. (SD I, p. xix)


b) Root-Races and Physical Evolution

VIII.10    Every life-cycle on Globe D (our Earth) is composed of seven root-races [of Human Beings]. They commence with the Ethereal and end with the spiritual on the double line of physical and moral evolution—from the beginning of the terrestrial round to its close. (One is a “planetary round” from Globe A to Globe G, the seventh; the other, the “globe round”, or the terrestrial). (SD I, p. 160)


VIII.11    Neither the form of man, nor that of any animal, plant or stone has ever been created, and it is only on this plane of ours that it commenced “becoming”, i.e., objectivising into its present materiality, or expanding from within outwards, from the most sublimated and supersensuous essence into its grossest appearance. Therefore our human forms have existed in the Eternity as astral or ethereal prototypes; according to which models, the Spiritual Beings (or Gods) whose duty it was to bring them into objective being and terrestrial Life, evolved the protoplasmic forms of the future Egos from their own essence. After which, when this human Upadhi, or basic mould was ready, the natural terrestrial Forces began to work on those supersensuous moulds. (SD I, p. 282)


VIII.12    The first root-race, i.e., the first “men” on earth (irrespective of form) were the progeny of the “celestial men,” called rightly in Indian philosophy the “Lunar Ancestors” or the Pitris, of which there are seven classes or Hierarchies. (SD I, p. 160)


VIII.13    “Seven Lords created Seven [kind of] men [during the First Race]; three Lords (Dhyan Chohans or Pitris) were holy and good, four less heavenly and full of passion . . .  The chhayas (phantoms) of the Fathers were as they.”

This accounts for the differences in human nature, which is divided into seven gradations of good and evil. There were seven tabernacles ready to be inhabited by Monads under seven different Karmic conditions. The Commentaries explain on this basis the easy spread of evil, as soon as the human Forms had become real men. (SD II, p. 212)


VIII.14    The group of the hierarchy which is commissioned to “create” [physical] men is a special group, then; yet it evolved shadowy man in this cycle. But as it is the Sixth [Hierarchy] on the downward scale of Spirituality—the last and seventh being the terrestrial Spirits (elementals) which gradually form, build, and condense his physical body—this Sixth group evolves no more than the future man’s shadowy form, a filmy, hardly visible transparent copy of themselves. (SD I, p. 233)


VIII.15    The first Dhyanis, commissioned to “create” man in their image, could only throw off their shadows, like a delicate model for the Nature Spirits of matter to work upon. (SD I, p. 225)


VIII.16    [This birth was called] Chhaya-birth, that primeval mode of sexless procreation, the first Race having oozed out, so to say, from the bodies of the Pitris. (SD I, p. 174)


VIII.17    The First Race are the (astral) shadows of their Progenitors [Pitris Barishads]. The body was devoid of all understanding (mind, intelligence, and will). (SD II, p. 164)


VIII.18    Mankind in its first prototypal, shadowy form, is the offspring of the Elohim of Life (or Pitris); in its qualitative and physical aspect it is the direct progeny of the “Ancestors”, the lowest Dhyanis, or Spirits of the Earth; for its moral, psychic, and spiritual nature, it is indebted to a group of divine Beings [See “Evolution of Manas”]. (SD I, p. 224)


VIII.19    It is, then, the Moon that plays the largest and most important part, as well in the formation of the Earth itself, as in the peopling thereof with human beings. The “Lunar Monads” or Pitris, the ancestors of man, become in reality man himself. They are the “Monads” who enter on the cycle of evolution on Globe A, and who, passing round the chain of planets, evolve the human form as has just been shown. At the beginning of the human stage of the Fourth Round on this Globe, they “ooze out” their astral doubles from the “ape-like” forms which they had evolved in Round III. And it is this subtle, finer form, which serves as the model round which Nature builds physical man. These “Monads” or “divine sparks” are thus the “Lunar” ancestors, the Pitris themselves.


VIII.20    Man in the First Race on Globe D, our Earth, was an ethereal being, non-intelligent but super-spiritual. In each of the subsequent races and sub-races . . . he grows more and more into an encased or incarnate being, but still preponderatingly ethereal. He is sexless, and, like the animal and vegetable, he develops monstrous bodies correspondential with his coarser surroundings.

[Second Race]. He (Man) is still gigantic and ethereal but growing firmer and more condensed in body, a more physical man. Yet still less intelligent than spiritual, for mind is a slower and more difficult evolution than is the physical frame.

[Third Race]. He has now a perfectly concrete or compacted body, at first the form of a giant-ape, and now more intelligent, or rather cunning, than spiritual. For, on the downward arc, he has now reached a point where his primordial spirituality is eclipsed and overshadowed by nascent mentality. In the last half of the Third [Race] his gigantic stature decreases, and his body improves in texture, and he becomes a more rational being, though still more an ape than a Deva. (SD I, p. 188)


VIII.21    It is in the Third Race that the separation of sexes occurred. From being previously a-sexual, Humanity became distinctly hermaphrodite or bi-sexual; and finally the man-bearing eggs began to give birth, gradually and almost imperceptibly in their evolutionary development, first, to Beings in which one sex predominated over the other, and, finally, to distinct men and women. (SD II, p. 132)


VIII.22    After the Third Race (the Lemurians) “Men decreased considerably in stature, and the duration of their lives was diminished.” (SD II, p. 331)


VIII.23    [Fourth Race]. Intellect has an enormous development. The (hitherto) dumb races acquire our (present) human speech on this globe, on which, from the Fourth Race, language is perfected and knowledge increases. At this half-way point of the Fourth Round (as of the Fourth Root, or Atlantean, race) humanity passes the axial point of the minor Manvantara cycle . . . the world teeming with the results of intellectual activity and spiritual decrease. (SD I, p. 189)


VIII.24    After this central turning-point has been passed in the Great Cycle,—i.e., after the middle point of the Fourth Race in the Fourth Round on our Globe—no more Monads can enter the human kingdom. The door is closed for this Cycle and the balance struck. (SD I, p. 182)


VIII.25    Now, we at present living on this earth—the great bulk of humanity, that is to say, for there are exceptional cases to be considered later—are now going through the fifth race of our present fourth round. And yet the evolution of that fifth race began about a million of years ago. (EB, p. 58)


VIII.26    There are seven Rounds in every manvantara; this one is the Fourth, and we are in the Fifth Root-Race, at present. Each Root-Race has seven sub-races. Our Fifth Root-Race has already been in existence—as a race sui generis and quite free from its parent stem—about 1,000,000 years. (SD II, pp. 434-5)


VIII.27    The Fifth will overlap the Sixth Race for many hundreds of millenniums, changing with it slower than its new successor, still changing in stature, general physique, and mentality, just as the Fourth overlapped our Aryan race, and the Third had overlapped the Atlanteans. This process of preparation for the Sixth great Race must last throughout the whole sixth and seventh sub-races [of the Fifth].



VIII.28    Duration of each Race in our Round on our Planet.




First Race


Second Race


Third Race


Fourth Race


Fifth Race


Sixth Race


Seventh Race




(CW 13, pp. 304)


VIII.29    In our present all-material Fifth Race, the earthly Spirit of the Fourth is still strong in us; but we are approaching the time when the pendulum of evolution will direct its swing decidedly upwards, bringing Humanity back on a parallel line with the primitive third Root-Race in Spirituality. The “tabernacles” have improved in texture and symmetry of form, growing and developing with the globe that bore them; but the physical improvement took place at the expense of the spiritual inner man and nature. The three middle principles in earth and man became with every race more material; the Soul stepping back to make room for the physical intellect; the essence of elements becoming the material and composite elements now known. (SD I, pp. 224-5)


VIII.30    As we are in the manasa period of our cycle of races, or in the Fifth, we have, therefore, crossed the meridian point of the perfect adjustment of Spirit and Matter—or that equilibrium between brain intellect and Spiritual perception. Our race then has, as a Root-race, crossed the equatorial line and is cycling onward on the Spiritual side; but some of our sub-races still find themselves on the shadowy descending arc of their respective national cycles; while others again—the oldest—having crossed their crucial point, which alone decides whether a race, a nation, or a tribe will live or perish, are at the apex of spiritual development as sub-races. (SD II, pp. 300-1)


VIII.31    One important point has, however, to be borne in mind. We are only in the Fourth Round, and it is in the Fifth [Round] that the full development of Manas, as a direct ray from the Universal Mahat—a ray unimpeded by matter—will be finally reached. (SD II, pp. 300-1)


VIII.32    There was a day when all that which in our modern times is regarded as phenomena—such as thought transference, clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc.; in short, all that which is called now “wonderful and abnormal”—all that and much more belonged to the senses and faculties common to all humanity. We are, however, cycling back and cycling forward; i.e., having lost in spirituality that which we acquired in physical development until almost the end of the Fourth Race, we (mankind) are as gradually and imperceptibly losing now in the physical all that we regain once more in the spiritual re-evolution. This process must go on until the period which will bring the Sixth Root-Race on a parallel line with the spirituality of the Second, long extinct mankind. (SD I, pp. 536-7)


VIII.33    Those persons who, like Confucius and Plato, belonged psychically, mentally and spiritually to the higher planes of evolution, were in our Fourth Round as the average man will be in the Fifth Round, whose mankind is destined to find itself, on this scale of Evolution, immensely higher than is our present humanity. Similarly Gautama Buddha—Wisdom incarnate—was still higher and greater than all the men we have mentioned, who are called Fifth Rounders, while Buddha and Sankaracharya are termed Sixth Rounders, allegorically. (SD I, p. 162)


VIII.34    After all that is understandable. Disciples and Brothers and Adepts cannot be people of the every day Fifth Sub-Race, for the race is a state of evolution. (R. Bowen, HST, p. 7)


VIII.35    We men of the fourth round are already reaching the latter half of the fifth race of our fourth round humanity, while the men (the few earlier comers) of the fifth round, though only in their first race (or rather class), are yet immeasurably higher than we are — spiritually if not intellectually; since with the completion or full development of this fifth principle (intellectual soul) they have come nearer than we have, are closer in contact with their sixth principle Buddhi. (ML, No. 67)


VIII.36    The mankind of the First Root-Race is the mankind of the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. To the last it forms a cyclic and constant reincarnation of the Monads belonging to the Dhyan Chohans of our Planetary chain. (SD II, fn., p. 146)


c) Evolution of Manas

VIII.37    Into the forms projected by the Lha (Pitris) the two letters (the Monad, called also the “Double Dragon”) descend from the spheres of expectation. But they are like a roof with no walls, nor pillars to rest upon. For the “Double Dragon” has no hold upon the mere form. It is like the breeze where there is no tree or branch to receive and harbour it. It cannot affect the form where there is no agent of transmission (Manas, “Mind”) and the form knows it not. (SD II, p. 57)


VIII.38    The body [of the First Race] was devoid of all understanding (mind, intelligence, and will). The inner being (the higher self or Monad), though within the earthly frame, was unconnected with it. The link, the Manas, was not there as yet. (SD II, p. 164)


VIII.39    “Nature,” the physical evolutionary Power, could never evolve intelligence unaided—she can only create “senseless forms” (SD I, p. 181)


VIII.40    To complete the septenary man, to add to his three lower principles and cement them with the spiritual Monad—which could never dwell in such a form otherwise than in an absolutely latent state—two connecting principles are needed: Manas and Kama. (SD II, p. 79)


VIII.41    Up to the Fourth Round, and even to the later part of the Third Race in this Round, Man is, so far, only an animal intellectually. It is only in the actual midway Round that he develops in himself entirely the fourth principle [Kama] as a fit vehicle for the fifth [Manas]. (SD II, pp. 161-2)


VIII.42    The two higher principles can have no individuality on Earth, cannot be man, unless there is (a) the Mind, the Manas-Ego, to cognize itself, and (b) the terrestrial false personality, or the body of egotistical desires and personal Will, to cement the whole, as if round a pivot (which it is, truly), to the physical form of man. Incarnate the Spiritual Monad of a Newton grafted on that of the greatest saint on earth—in a physical body the most perfect you can think of—i.e., in a two or even a three-principled body composed of its Sthula Sarira, prana (life principle), and linga sarira—and, if it lacks its middle and fifth principles [kama and manas], you will have created an idiot—at best a beautiful, soul-less, empty and unconscious appearance. (SD II, pp. 241-2)


VIII.43    That divine man [the Monad] dwelt in his animal—though externally human—form; and, if there was instinct in him, no self-consciousness came to enlighten the darkness of the latent fifth principle [until] when, moved by the law of Evolution, the Lords of Wisdom infused into him the spark of consciousness. (SD I, p. 210)


VIII.44    It becomes the task of the fifth Hierarchy to inform the empty and ethereal animal form and make of it the Rational Man. This is one of those subjects upon which very little may be said to the general public. (SD I, p. 233)


VIII.45    The Adam of dust [the physical man] requires the Soul of Life to be breathed into him: the two middle principles, which are the sentient life of the irrational animal [Kama] and the Human Soul [Manas], for the former is irrational without the latter. It is only when, from a potential androgyne, man has become separated into male and female [during the Third Race], that he will be endowed with this conscious, rational, individual Soul, (Manas) “the principle, or the intelligence, of the Elohim”, to receive which, he has to eat of the fruit of Knowledge from the Tree of Good and Evil. How is he to obtain all this? The Occult doctrine teaches that while the monad is cycling on downward into matter, these Pitris, the lower Dhyan-Chohans—are evolving pari passu with it on a higher and more spiritual plane, descending also relatively into matter on their own plane of consciousness, when, after having reached a certain point, they will meet the incarnating senseless monad [Spirit], encased in the lowest matter [the physical form], and blending the two potencies, Spirit and Matter, the union will produce that terrestrial symbol of the “Heavenly Man” in space—Perfect Man. (SD I, p. 247)


VIII.46    The Third Race—the Root-Race which separated into sexes, and which was the first to be endowed with reason. (SD II, p. 248)


VIII.47    “The Sons of Wisdom [Dhyanis], ready for re-birth, came down. They saw the (intellectually) vile forms of the first Third [Race, still under-undeveloped human forms]. “We can choose”, said the Lords, “We have Wisdom”. [i] Some entered the Chhayas [the “empty” human forms]. Those who entered became Arhats. [ii] Some projected a spark. From their own rupa they filled the Kama. [iii] Some deferred till the Fourth (Race). Those who received but a spark remained destitute of (higher) Knowledge. The spark burnt low. The Third [group] remained mindless. Their Jivas (Monads) were not ready. They (became the) narrow-headed. (Stanza VII, Sloka 24)


VIII.48    The Sons of Wisdom, or the spiritual Dhyanis had already reached, during previous cycles of incarnation, that degree of intellect which enabled them to become independent and self-conscious entities, on this plane of matter. They were “Essences”, “Intelligences”, and conscious spirits; entities seeking to become still more conscious by uniting with more developed matter. Their “Egos”, or Manas (since they are called Manasaputra, born of “Mahat”, or Brahmâ) had to pass through earthly human experiences to become all-wise, and be able to start on the returning ascending cycle.

Thus, those [human forms] who were “half ready”, who received “but a spark”, constitute the average humanity which has to acquire its intellectuality during the present Manvantaric evolution. While those which “were not ready” at all, the latest Monads, which had hardly evolved from their last transitional and lower animal forms, remained the “narrow-brained” of the Stanza. This explains the otherwise unaccountable degrees of intellectuality among the various races of men—the savage Bushman and the European—even now. Those tribes of savages, whose reasoning powers are very little above the level of the animals, are not the unjustly disinherited, or the unfavoured, as some may think—nothing of the kind. They are simply those latest arrivals among the human Monads, which were not ready: which have to evolve during the present Round. (SD II, pp. 167-8)


VIII.49    The Sons of Mahat are the quickeners of the human Plant. They are the Waters falling upon the arid soil of latent life, and the Spark that vivifies the human animal. They are the Lords of Spiritual Life eternal. (SD II, p. 103)


VIII.50    That which propels towards, and forces evolution, i.e., compels the growth and development of Man towards perfection, is (a) the Monad, or that which acts in it unconsciously through a force inherent in itself; and (b) the lower astral body or the personal Self. The Monad is all-potent on the Arupa, or formless plane. On our plane, its essence being too pure, it remains all-potential. Unless the higher Self or Ego gravitates towards its Sun—the Monad—the lower Ego, or personal Self, will have the upper hand in every case. (SD II, pp. 109-110)


VIII.51    The body follows the whims, good or bad, of Manas; Manas tries to follow the light of Buddhi, but often fails. (SD I, p. 245)


VIII.52    The Astral through Kama (desire) is ever drawing Manas down into the sphere of material passions and desires. But if the better man or Manas tries to escape the fatal attraction and turns its aspirations to Atma—Spirit—then Buddhi conquers, and carries Manas with it to the realm of eternal Spirit. (SD I, pp. 244-5)


VIII.53    The Spiritual Ego [Buddhi-Manas], is eternally reincarnating under the influence of its lower personal Selves, changing with every re-birth, full of Tanha or desire to live. Unless the Ego takes refuge in the Atman, the All-Spirit, and merges entirely into the essence thereof, the personal Ego may goad it to the bitter end. This cannot be thoroughly understood unless the student makes himself familiar with the mystery of evolution, which proceeds on triple lines—spiritual, psychic and physical. (SD II, p. 109)


VIII.54    The Atman alone warms the inner man; i.e., it enlightens it with the ray of divine life and alone is able to impart to the inner man, or the reincarnating Ego, its immortality. Thus, as we shall find, for the first three and a half Root-Races, up to the middle or turning point, it is the astral shadows of the “progenitors”, the lunar Pitris, which are the formative powers in the Races, and which build and gradually force the evolution of the physical form towards perfection—this, at the cost of a proportionate loss of spirituality. Then, from the turning point, it is the Higher Ego, or incarnating principle, the nous or Mind, which reigns over the animal Ego, and rules it whenever it is not carried down by the latter. In short, Spirituality is on its ascending arc, and the animal or physical impedes it from steadily progressing on the path of its evolution only when the selfishness of the personality has so strongly infected the real inner man with its lethal virus, that the upward attraction has lost all its power on the thinking reasonable man. In sober truth, vice and wickedness are an abnormal, unnatural manifestation, at this period of our human evolution—at least they ought to be so. The fact that mankind was never more selfish and vicious than it is now, civilized nations having succeeded in making of the first an ethical characteristic, of the second an art, is an additional proof of the exceptional nature of the phenomenon. (SD II, p. 110)


VIII.55    Man, being a compound of the essences of all those celestial Hierarchies may succeed in making himself, as such, superior, in one sense, to any hierarchy or class, or even combination of them. By paralyzing his lower personality, and arriving thereby at the full knowledge of the non-separateness of his higher Self from the One absolute Self, man can, even during his terrestrial life, become as “One of Us”. Thus it is, by eating of the fruit of knowledge which dispels ignorance, that man becomes like one of the Elohim or the Dhyanis; and once on their plane the Spirit of Solidarity and perfect Harmony, which reigns in every Hierarchy, must extend over him and protect him in every particular. (SD I, p. 276)


d) An Endless Evolution

VIII.56    The “Lunar Spirits” have to become “Men” in order that their “Monads” may reach a higher plane of activity and self-consciousness, i.e., the plane of the Manasa-Putras, those who endow the “senseless” shells, created and informed by the Pitris, with “mind” in the latter part of the Third Root-Race.

In the same way the “Monads” or Egos of the men of the seventh Round of our Earth, after our own Globes A, B, C, D, et seq., parting with their life-energy, will have informed and thereby called to life other laya-centres destined to live and act on a still higher plane of being—in the same way will the Terrene “Ancestors” create those who will become their superiors. (SD I, pp. 180-1)


VIII.57    Ordinarily, a man is said to reach Nirvana when he evolutes into a Dhyan Chohan. The condition of a Dhyan Chohan is attained in the ordinary course of Nature, after the completion of the 7th Round in the present planetary chain. After becoming a Dhyan Chohan, a man does not, according to the Law of Nature, incarnate in any of the other planetary chains of this Solar system. The whole Solar system is his home. He continues to discharge his duties in the Government of this Solar system until the time of Solar Pralaya, when his monad, after a period of rest, will have to overshadow in another Solar system a particular human being during his successive incarnations, and attach itself to his higher principles when he becomes a Dhyan Chohan in his turn. There is progressive spiritual development in the innumerable Solar systems of the infinite cosmos. Until the time of Cosmic Pralaya, the Monad will continue to act in the manner above indicated, and it is only during the inconceivable period of cosmic sleep which follows the present period of activity, that the highest condition of Nirvana is realized. (CW 6, pp. 248-9)


VIII.58    The Secret Doctrine says that the Dhyani-Buddhas of the two higher groups, namely, the “Watchers” or the “Architects”, furnished the many and various races with divine kings and leaders. It is the latter who taught humanity their arts and sciences, and the former who revealed to the incarnated Monads that had just shaken off their vehicles of the lower Kingdoms—and who had, therefore, lost every recollection of their divine origin—the great spiritual truths of the transcendental worlds.

Thus, as expressed in the Stanza, the Watchers descended on Earth and reigned over men—“who are themselves”. The reigning kings had finished their cycle on Earth and other worlds, in the preceding Rounds. In the future manvantaras they will have risen to higher systems than our planetary world; and it is the Elect of our Humanity, the Pioneers on the hard and difficult path of Progress, who will take the places of their predecessors. The next great Manvantara will witness the men of our own life-cycle becoming the instructors and guides of a mankind whose Monads may now yet be imprisoned—semi-conscious—in the most intellectual of the animal kingdom, while their lower principles will be animating, perhaps, the highest specimens of the Vegetable world. (SD I, p. 267)




[1] The vibrations of the Primitive Truth are what your philosophers name “innate ideas.” (ML, No. 18)

[2] The subtle, supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space; the primordial substance erroneously identified with Ether. But it is to Ether what Spirit is to Matter (TG, p. 13)

[3] The “motion” here spoken of, is, of course, not the motion of physical science, but the underlying abstractions, the noumena, or the soul, of the essence of this material manifestation—the “things in themselves,” which the mind cannot grasp. (SD I, pp. 69-70)

[4] In reality there is only one force, which on the manifested plane appears to us in millions and millions of forms. As said, all proceeds from the one universal primordial fire, and electricity is on our plane one of the most comprehensive aspects of this fire. All contains, and is, electricity, from the nettle which stings to the lightning which kills, from the spark in the pebble to the blood in the body. But the electricity which is seen, for instance, in an electric lamp is quite another thing from Fohat. (CW 10, p. 379)

[5] At least for him who believes in an uninterrupted succession of “creations,” which we call the “days and nights” of Brahmâ, or the manvantaras and the pralayas (dissolutions)

[6] Pradhâna (Sk.). Undifferentiated substance, called elsewhere and in other schools—Akâsa; and Mulaprakriti or Root of Matter by the Vedantins. In short, Primeval Matter. (TG, p. 259)

[7] It is hardly necessary to remind the reader once more that the term “Divine Thought”, like that of “Universal Mind”, must not be regarded as even vaguely shadowing forth an intellectual process akin to that exhibited by man. Only those who realise how far Intuition soars above the tardy processes of ratiocinative thought can form the faintest conception of that absolute Wisdom which transcends the ideas of Time and Space. Mind, as we know it, is resolvable into states of consciousness, of varying duration, intensity, complexity, etc.—all, in the ultimate, resting on sensation, which is again Maya. Sensation, again, necessarily postulates limitation.

[8] It is unconsciousness only to our finite consciousness. Verily may we paraphrase verse V, in the 1st chapter of St. John, and say "and (Absolute) light (which is darkness [to us]) shineth in darkness (which is illusionary material light); and the darkness comprehendeth it not." This absolute light is also absolute and immutable law. (KT, Section 6, Evolution and Illusion)

[9] “Pilgrim” is the appellation given to our Monad during its cycle of incarnations. It is the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an indivisible part of the integral whole—the Universal spirit, from which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end of the cycle.

[10] The centripetal and the centrifugal forces, which are male and female, positive and negative, physical and spiritual, the two being the one Primordial Force.

[11] Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist on the subjective plane. More than this; that no such form or shape can possibly enter man’s consciousness, or evolve in his imagination, which does not exist in prototype, at least as an approximation.

[12] One referring to the active periods of the Universe, the other to its times of relative and complete rest—according to whether they occur at the end of a “Day”, or an “Age” (a life) of Brahmâ [see below]. (SD I, p. 368)

[13] When man has identified himself with the One Absolute—a synonym of Nirvâna (TG, Nitya Pralaya, p. 233). It is the identification of the embodied with the incorporeal Supreme spirit—Mahatmic state, whether temporary or until the following Maha Kalpa. (SD II, fn., p. 309)

[14] Where is that daring man who would presume to deny to vegetation and even to minerals a consiousness of their own. All he can say is, that this consciousness is beyond his comprehension. (SD I, p. 277)

[15] Such matter is homogeneous only for those who are on the same plane of perception; so that if the Protyle of modern science is ever discovered, it will be homogeneous only to us. (CW 10, p. 306)

[16] The three higher planes being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present.

[17] “When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are. . . but enter into thine inner chamber and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.” Matt. vi.), Our Father is within us “in Secret”, our 7th principle, in the “inner chamber” of our Soul perception. “The Kingdom of Heaven” and of God “is within us” says Jesus, not outside.

[18] [In later theosophical literature this is usually named “Etheric double”]

[19] [In later theosophical literature this is usually named “Astral Body or “Emotional Body”]

[20] Absolute Non-Being, which is equivalent to absolute Being or “Be-ness”, the state reached by the human Monad at end of the great cycle. (TG, pp. 249-50)

[21] “Paramârtha” is self-consciousness in Sanskrit;  Svasamvedana, or the “self-analysing reflection”. (SD I, p. 48)