- (3) When the one becomes two — the “ three-fold ” appears (a). The three are (linked into) one ; and it is our thread, O Lanoo, the heart of the man-plant, called Saptaparna (b).
(a) “ When the one becomes two, the three-fold appears ” : to wit, when the One Eternal drops its reflection into the region of Manifestation, that reflection, “ the Ray,” differentiates the “ Water of Space ” ; or, in the words of the “ Book of the Dead ” ; “ Chaos ceases, through the effulgence of the Ray of Primordial light dissipating total darkness by the help of the great magic power of the word of the (Central) Sun.” Chaos becomes male-female, and Water, incubated through Light, and the “ three-fold being issues as its First-born.” “ Osiris-Ptah (or ra) creates his own limbs (like Brahmâ) by creating the gods destined to personify his phases ” during the Cycle (xvii., 4). The Egyptian Ra, issuing from the deep, is the Divine Universal Soul in its manifested aspect, and so is Narâyana, the Purusha, “ concealed in Akâsa and present in Ether.” This is the metaphysical explanation, and refers to the very beginning of Evolution, or, as we should rather say, of Theogony. The meaning of the Stanza when explained from another standpoint in its reference to the mystery of man and his origin, is still more difficult to comprehend. In order to form a clear conception of what is meant by the One becoming two, and then being transformed into the “ three-fold,” the student has to make himself thoroughly acquainted with what we call “ Rounds.” If he refers to “ Esoteric Buddhism ” — the first attempt to sketch out an approximate outline of archaic Cosmogony — he will find that by a “ Round ” is meant the serial evolution of nascent material nature, of the seven globes of our chain * with their mineral,
* Several inimical critics are anxious to prove that no seven principles of man nor septenary constitution of our chain were taught in our earlier volume, “ Isis Unveiled.” Though in that work the doctrine could only be hinted at, there are many passages, nevertheless, in which the septenary constitution of both man and chain is openly mentioned. Speaking of the Elohim in Vol. II., page 420, it is said : “ They remain over the seventh heaven (or spiritual world), for it is they who, according to the Kabalists, formed in succession the six material worlds, or rather, attempts at worlds that preceded our own, which, they say, is the seventh.” Our globe is, of course, upon the diagram representing the “ chain,” the seventh and the lowest ; though,
vegetable, and animal kingdoms (man being there included in the latter and standing at the head of it) during the whole period of a life-cycle. The latter would be called by the Brahmins “ a Day of Brahmâ.” It is, in short, one revolution of the “ Wheel ” (our planetary chain), which is composed of seven globes (or seven separate “ Wheels,” in another sense this time). When evolution has run downward into matter, from planet A to planet G, or Z, as the Western students call it, it is one Round. In the middle of the Fourth revolution, which is our present “ Round ” : “ Evolution has reached its acme of physical development, crowned its work with the perfect physical man, and, from this point, begins its work spirit-ward.” All this needs little repetition, as it is well explained in “ Esoteric Buddhism.” That which was hardly touched upon, and of which the little that was said has misled many, is the origin of man, and it is upon this that a little more light may now be thrown, just enough to make the Stanza more comprehensible, as the process will be fully explained only in its legitimate place, in Book II.
Now every “ Round ” (on the descending scale) is but a repetition in a more concrete form of the Round which preceded it, as every globe — down to our fourth sphere (the actual earth) — is a grosser and more material copy of the more shadowy sphere which precedes it in their successive order, on the three higher planes. (See diagram in Stanza VI. Comm. 6). On its way upwards on the ascending arc, Evolution spiritualises and etherealises, so to speak, the general nature of all, bringing it on to a level with the plane on which the twin globe on the opposite side is placed ; the result being, that when the seventh globe is reached (in whatever Round) the nature of everything that is evolving returns to the condition it was in at its starting point — plus, every time, a new and superior degree in the states of consciousness. Thus it becomes clear that the “ origin of man,” so-called, on this our present
as the evolution on these globes is cyclic, it is the fourth in descending the arc of matter. And again, on page 367, Vol. II., it is written : “ In the Egyptian notions, as in those of all other faiths founded on philosophy, man was not merely . . . an union of soul and body ; he was a trinity when spirit was added to it ; and besides that doctrine made him consist of body, astral form, or shadow, the animal soul, the higher soul, and terrestrial intelligence and a sixth principle, etc., etc. — the seventh — Spirit.” So clearly are these principles mentioned, that even in the Index, one finds on page 683 : — “ Six principles of man ” — the seventh being the synthesis of the six, and not a principle but a ray of the Absolute All — in strict truth.
Round, or life-cycle on this planet, must occupy the same place in the same order — save details based on local conditions and time — as in the preceding Round. Again, it must be explained and remembered that, as the work of each Round is said to be apportioned to a different group of so-called “ Creators ” or “ Architects,” so is that of every globe ; i.e., it is under the supervision and guidance of special “ Builders ” and “ Watchers ” — the various Dhyan-Chohans.
The group of the hierarchy which is commissioned to “ create ” * men is a special group, then ; yet it evolved shadowy man in this cycle just as a higher and still more spiritual group evolved him in the Third Round. But as it is the Sixth — 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. It becomes the task of the fifth Hierarchy — the mysterious beings that preside over the constellation Capricornus, Makara, or “ Crocodile ” in India as in Egypt — 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. It is a mystery, truly but only to him who is prepared to reject the existence of intellectual and conscious spiritual Beings in the Universe, limiting full Consciousness to man alone, and that only as a “ function of the Brain.” Many are those among the Spiritual Entities, who have incarnated bodily in man, since the beginning of his appearance, and who, for all that, still exist as independently as they did before, in the infinitudes of Space. . . .
To put it more clearly : the invisible Entity may be bodily present on earth without abandoning, however, its status and functions in the supersensuous regions. If this needs explanation, we can do no better than remind the reader of like cases in Spiritualism, though such cases are very rare, at least as regards the nature of the Entity incarnating, †
* Creation is an incorrect word to use, as no religion, not even the sect of the Visishta Adwaitees in India — one which anthropomorphises even Parabrahmam — believes in creation out of nihil as Christians and Jews do, but in evolution out of preexisting materials.
† The so-called “ Spirits ” that may occasionally possess themselves of the bodies of mediums are not the Monads or Higher Principles of disembodied personalities. Such a Spirit ” can only be either an Elementary, or — a Nirmânakâya.
or taking temporary possession of a medium. Just as certain persons — men and women, reverting to parallel cases among living persons — whether by virtue of a peculiar organization, or through the power of acquired mystic knowledge, can be seen in their “ double ” in one place, while the body is many miles away ; so the same thing can occur in the case of superior Beings.
Man, philosophically considered, is, in his outward form, simply an animal, hardly more perfect than his pithecoid-like ancestor of the third round. He is a living body, not a living being, since the realisation of existence, the “ Ego-Sum,” necessitates self-consciousness, and an animal can only have direct consciousness, or instinct. This was so well understood by the Ancients that the Kabalist even made of soul and body two lives, independent of each other. * The soul, whose body vehicle is the Astral, ethero-substantial envelope, could die and man be still living on earth — i.e., the soul could free itself from and quit the tabernacle for various reasons — such as insanity, spiritual and physical depravity, etc. † Therefore, that which living men (Initiates)
* On p. 340-351 (Genesis of the Soul) in the “ New Aspects of Life,” the Author states the Kabalistic teaching : “ They held that, functionally, Spirit and Matter of corresponding opacity and density tended to coalesce ; and that the resultant created Spirits, in the disembodied state, were constituted on a scale in which the differing opacities and transparencies of Elemental or uncreated Spirit were reproduced. And that these Spirits in the disembodied state attracted, appropriated, digested and assimilated Elemental Spirit and Elemental Matter whose condition was conformed to their own.” “ They therefore taught that there was a wide difference in the condition of created Spirits ; and that in the intimate association between the Spirit-world and the world of Matter, the more opaque Spirits in the disembodied state were drawn towards the more dense parts of the material world, and therefore tended towards the centre of the Earth, where they found the conditions most suited to their state ; while the more transparent Spirits passed into the surrounding aura of the planet, the most rarified finding their home in its satellite.”
This relates exclusively to our Elementary Spirits, and has naught to do with either the Planetary, Sidereal, Cosmic or Inter-Etheric Intelligent Forces or “ Angels ” as they are termed by the Roman Church. The Jewish Kabalists, especially the practical Occultists who dealt with ceremonial magic, busied themselves solely with the spirits of the Planets and the “ Elementals ” so-called. Therefore this covers only a portion of the Esoteric Teaching.
† The possibility of the “ Soul ” (i.e., the eternal Spiritual Ego) dwelling in the unseen worlds, while its body goes on living on Earth, is a pre-eminently occult doctrine, especially in Chinese and Buddhist philosophy. See “ Isis Unveiled,” vol. i.,
can do, the Dhyanis, who have no physical body to hamper them, can do still better. This was the belief of the Antediluvians, and it is fast becoming that of modern intellectual society, in Spiritualism, besides the Greek and Roman Churches, which teach the ubiquity of their angels. The Zoroastrians regarded their Amshaspends as dual entities (Ferouers), applying this duality — in esoteric philosophy, at any rate — to all the spiritual and invisible denizens of the numberless worlds in space which are visible to our eye. In a note of Damascius (sixth century) on the Chaldean oracles, we have a triple evidence of the universality of this doctrine, for he says : “ In these oracles the seven Cosmocratores of the world, (‘ The World-Pillars,’) mentioned likewise by St. Paul, are double — one set being commissioned to rule the superior worlds the spiritual and the sidereal, and the other to guide and watch over the worlds of matter.” Such is also the opinion of Jamblichus, who makes an evident distinction between the archangels and the “ Archontes.” (See “ De Mysteriis,” sec. ii., ch. 3.) The above may be applied, of course, to the distinction made between the degrees or orders of spiritual beings, and it is in this sense that the Roman Catholic Church tries to interpret and teach the difference ; for while the archangels are in her teaching divine and holy, their doubles are denounced by her as devils. * But the word “ ferouer ” is not to be understood in this sense, for it means simply the reverse or the opposite side of some attribute or quality. Thus when the Occultist says that the “ Demon is the lining of God ” (evil, the reverse of the medal), he does not mean two separate
p. 602, for an illustration. Many are the Soulless men among us, for the occurrence is found to take place in wicked materialists as well as in persons “ who advance in holiness and never turn back.” (See ibid and also “ Isis,” vol. ii., p. 369.)
* This identity between the Spirit and its material “ double ” (in man it is the reverse) explains still better the confusion, alluded to already in this work, made in the names and individualities, as well as the numbers, of the Rishis and the Prajâpatis ; especially between those of the Satyayuga and the Mahabhâratan period. It also throws additional light on what the Secret Doctrine teaches with regard to the Root and the Seed Manus (see Book ii. “ On the primitive Manus of humanity ”). Not only those progenitors of our mankind, but every human being, we are taught, has its prototype in the Spiritual Spheres ; which prototype is the highest essence of his seventh principle. Thus the seven Manus become 14, the Root Manu being the Prime Cause, and the “ Seed-Manu ” its effect ; and when the latter reach from Satyayuga (the firs stage) to the heroic period, these Manus or Rishis become 21 in number.
actualities, but the two aspects or facets of the same Unity. Now the best man living would appear, side by side with an Archangel — as described in Theology — a fiend. Hence a certain reason to depreciate a lower “ double,” immersed far deeper in matter than its original. But there is still as little cause to regard them as devils, and this is precisely what the Roman Catholics maintain against all reason and logic.
(b) The concluding sentence of this sloka shows how archaic is the belief and the doctrine that man is seven-fold in his constitution. The thread of being which animates man and passes through all his personalities, or rebirths on this Earth (an allusion to Sutratma), the thread on which moreover all his “ Spirits ” are strung — is spun from the essence of the “ threefold,” the “ fourfold ” and the “ fivefold ” ; which contain all the preceding. Panchâsikha, agreeably to Bhâgavata Purâna (V. XX. 25-28), is one of the seven Kumâras who go to Sveta-Dvipa to worship Vishnu. We shall see further on, what connection there is between the “ celibate ” and chaste sons of Brahmâ, who refuse “ to multiply,” and terrestrial mortals. Meanwhile it is evident that “ the Man-Plant,” Saptaparna, thus refers to the seven principles, and man is compared to the seven-leaved plant of this name * so sacred among Buddhists.
For further details as to Saptaparna and the importance of the number seven in occultism, as well as in symbology, the reader is referred to Part II., Book II., on Symbolism : Sections on “ Saptaparna,” “ The Septenary in the Vedas,” etc. etc.
* The Egyptian allegory in the “ Book of the Dead ” already mentioned, the hymn that relates to the reward “ of the Soul,” is as suggestive of our Septenary Doctrine as it is poetical. The deceased is allotted a piece of land in the field of Aanroo, wherein the Manes, the deified shades of the dead, glean, as the harvest they have sown by their actions in life, the corn seven cubits high, which grows in a territory divided into 14 and 7 portions. This corn is the food on which they live and prosper, or that will kill them, in Amenti, the realm of which the Aanroo field is a domain. For, as said in the hymn, (see chap. xxxii. 9) the deceased is either destroyed therein, or becomes pure spirit for the Eternity, in consequence of the “ Seven times seventy-seven lives ” passed or to be passed on Earth. The idea of the corn reaped as the “ fruit of our ctions ” is very graphic