Re: theos-talk Seven Rays
Apr 10, 2012 05:47 PM
by Cass Silva
Are you sure that the seven rays you refer to as definitive characteristics of the monad, are referenced by HPB? ÂIf so, could you please provide the link.
Esotericism and Symbolism
In the first book ofÂThe Secret DoctrineÂBlavatsky drew an "analogy between the Aryan or Brahmanical and the Egyptian esotericism." She said that the "seven rays of the Chaldean Heptakis or Iao, on the Gnostic stones" represent the seven large stars of the Egyptian "Great Bear" constellation, the seven elemental powers, and the Hindu "seven Rishis." Blavatsky saw the seven rays of the Vedic sun deity Vishnu as representing the same concept as the "astral fluid or 'Light' of the Kabalists," and said that the seven emanations of the lower sevenÂsephirothÂare the "primeval seven rays," and "will be found and recognized in every religion."
Theosophy holds that the manifested universe is ordered by the numberÂseven,Âa common claim amongÂEsotericÂandÂmysticalÂdoctrines and religions. Thus, the evolutionary "pilgrimage" proceeds cyclically through seven stages, the three first steps involving an apparent involution, the fourth one being one of equilibrium, and the last three involving a progressive development.
There are seven symbols of particular importance to the Society's symbology: 1) the seal of the Society, 2) a serpent biting its tail, 3) the gnostic cross (near the serpent's head), 4) the interlaced triangles, 5) the cruxansata (in the centre), 6) the pin of the Society, composed of cruxansata and serpent entwined, forming together "T.S.", and, 7)ÂOmÂ(orÂaum), the sacred syllable of theÂVedas. The seal of the Society contains all of these symbols, exceptÂaum, and thus contains, in symbolic form, the doctrines its members follow.
In the Theosophical view all major facets of existence manifest following a seven-fold model: "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."
Seven Cosmic Planes
Main article:ÂPlanes of existence
The Cosmos does not consist only of the physical plane that can be perceived with the five senses, but there is a succession of sevenÂCosmic planes of existence, composed of increasingly subtler forms of matter-energy, and in which states of consciousness other than the commonly known can manifest.ÂBlavatskyÂdescribed the planes according to these states of consciousness. In her system, for example, the plane of the material and concrete mind (lower mental plane) is classified as different from the plane of the spiritual and holistic mind (higher mental plane). Later Theosophists likeÂCharles Webster LeadbeaterÂandÂAnnie BesantÂclassified the seven planes according to the kind of subtle matter that compose them. Since both the higher and lower mental planes share the same type of subtle matter, they regard them as one single plane with two subdivisions. In this later view the seven cosmic planes include (from spiritual to material):
1. - Adi (the supreme, a divine plane not reached by human beings)
2. - Anupadaka (the parentless, also a divine plane home of the divine spark in human beings, theÂMonad)
3. - Atmic (the spiritual plane of Man's Higher Self)
4. - Buddhic (the spiritual plane of intuition, love, and wisdom)
5. - Mental (with a higher and lower subdivisions, this plane bridges the spiritual with the personal)
6. - Emotional (a personal plane that ranges from lower desires to high emotions)
7. - Physical plane (a personal plane which again has two subdivisions the dense one perceivable by our five senses, and an etheric one that is beyond these senses)
Seven Principles and Bodies
Main article:ÂSubtle body
Just as the Cosmos is not limited to its physical dimension, human beings have also subtler dimensions and bodies. The "Septenary Nature of Man" was described by Blavatsky in, among other works,ÂThe Key to Theosophy; in descending order, it ranges from a postulated purely spiritual essence (called a "Ray of the Absolute") to the physical body.
The Theosophical teachings about the constitution of human beings talk about two different, but related, things: principles and bodies. Principles are the seven basic constituents of the universe, usually described by Mme. Blavatsky as follows:
1. - Physical
2. - Astral (later called etheric)
3. - Prana (or vital)
4. - Kama (animal soul)
5. - Manas (mind, or human soul)
6. - Buddhi (spiritual soul)
7. - Atma (Spirit or Self)
These Principles in Man may or may not form one or more bodies. Mme. Blavatsky's teachings about subtle bodies were few and not very systematic. In an article she described three subtle bodies:
* Linga ShariraÂ- the Double orÂAstral body
* Mayavi-rupaÂ- the "Illusion-body."
* Causal BodyÂ- the vehicle of the higher Mind.
TheÂLinga ShariraÂis the invisible double of the human body, elsewhere referred to as theÂetheric bodyÂorÂdoppelgÃngerÂand serves as a model or matrix of the physical body, which conforms to the shape, appearance and condition of his "double". The linga sarira can be separated or projected a limited distance from the body. When separated from the body it can be wounded by sharp objects. When it returns to the physical frame, the wound will be reflected in the physical counterpart, a phenomenon called "repercussion." At death, it is discarded together with the physical body and eventually disintegrates or decomposes. This can be seen over the graves like a luminous figure of the man that was, during certain atmospheric conditions.
The mayavi-rupa is dual in its functions, being: "...the vehicle both of thought and of the animal passions and desires, drawing at one and the same time from the lowest terrestrial manas (mind) and Kama, the element of desire."
The higher part of this body, containing the spiritual elements gathered during life, merges after death entirely into the causal body; while the lower part, containing the animal elements, forms the Kama-rupa, the source of "spooks" orÂapparitionsÂof the dead.
Therefore, besides the dense physical body, the subtle bodies in a human being are:
* Etheric bodyÂ(vehicle ofÂprana)
* Emotional or astral bodyÂ(vehicle of desires and emotions)
* Mental bodyÂ(vehicle of the concrete or lower mind)
* Causal bodyÂ(vehicle of the abstract or higher mind)
These bodies go up to the higher mental plane. The two higher spiritual Principles of Buddhi and Atma do not form bodies proper but are something more like "sheaths".
Rounds and Races
Main article:ÂRoot race
It follows from the above that to Theosophy, all Evolution is basically the evolution of Consciousness, physical-biological evolution being only a constituent part.ÂAll evolutionary paths involve the serial immersion (orÂreincarnation) of basic units of consciousness calledÂMonadsÂinto forms that become gradually denser, and which eventually culminate in gross physical matter. At that point the process reverses towards a respiritualization of consciousness. The experience gained in the previous evolutionary stages is retained; and so consciousness inexorably advances towards greater completeness.
AllÂindividuatedÂexistence, regardless of stature, apparentÂanimation, or complexity, is thought to be informed by a Monad; in its human phase, the Monad consists of the two highest-ordered (out of seven) constituents or principles of human nature and is connected to the third-highest principle, that of mind and self-consciousness (seeÂSeptenaryÂabove).
Theosophy describes humanity's evolution on Earth in the doctrine ofÂRoot races.ÂThese are seven stages of development, during which every human Monad evolves alongside others in stages that last millions of years, each stage occurring mostly in a different super-continent â these continents are actually, according to Theosophy co-evolvingÂgeologicalÂandÂclimaticÂstages.ÂAt present, humanity's evolution is at the fifth stage, the so-calledÂAryan Root race, which is developing on its appointed geologic/climatic period.ÂThe continuing development of the Aryan stage has been taking place since about the middle of theÂCalabrianÂ(about 1,000,000 years ago).ÂThe previous fourth Root race was at the midpoint of the sevenfold evolutionary cycle, the point in which the "human" Monad became fully vested in the increasingly complex and dense forms that developed for it. A component of that investment was the gradual appearance of
contemporary humanÂphysiology, which finalized to the form known to early 21st century medical science during the fourth Root race.ÂThe current fifth stage is on the ascending arc, signifying the gradual reemergence of spiritualized consciousness (and of the proper forms, or "vehicles", for it) as humanity's dominant characteristic. The appearance of Root races is not strictly serial; they first develop while the preceding Race is still dominant. Older races complete their evolutionary cycle and die out; the present fifth Root race will in time evolve into the more advanced spiritually sixth.
Humanity's evolution is a subset of planetary evolution, which is described in the doctrine ofÂRounds, itself a subject of Theosophy'sÂEsoteric cosmology. Rounds may last hundreds of millions of years each. Theosophy states thatÂEarthÂis currently in the fourth Round of the planet's own sevenfold development.ÂHuman evolution is tied to the particular Round or planetary stage of evolution â the Monads informing humans in this Round were previously informing the third Round's animal class, and will "migrate" to a different class of entities in the fifth Round.
> From: Ramanujachary <srivirinchi@u59WVPg_YVsjh0wQA7F66wQcuT1p1gQ5UiUZPs1VveMLirX4THTurm0VRZtfhDPYYCA9y5foYVmmY4k_X7AcDw.yahoo.invalid>
>Sent: Tuesday, 10 April 2012 6:11 PM
>Subject: theos-talk Seven Rays
>Knowledge on "Seven Rays" is one of the many new points of learning that is revealed to us through that great book "The Secret Doctrine."
>Mr. Ernest Wood made out "The Seven Rays" (A theosophical Handbook), [first printed by TPH,Adyar in 1925 and available in many reprints and editions], and provided the basic knowledge for applying the concept in daily living. Let us look at the following statement (at p.57-9 of 1928 reprint):
>"When we speak of a man's ray, and thus think of his predominant principle, let us not forget this fact that he has also the other principles as well, and also that we are speaking of a༩>man, that is to say, of one who is the master of himself to such an extent at least that his life is guided from within his consciousness, and is not a mere set of reflex actions or obedient responses to environment. A man who is seeking God through his ideal is positive, not submerged in "Sat" and overcome by it, as are undeveloped men. He is using his powers of thought to discover truth, or of feeling to discover the goodness of things, or of will in work to find and reveal beauty. All these activities are quite different from the servitude and negativity of the embryo of man who lives to no purpose but to indulge in idle, careless and selfish pleasure. ---
>"In the common life of men, the rays are exhibited in the following general type:
>1.༯span>The man of will, seeking freedom through mastery of self and environment; the ruler.
>2.༯span>The man of love, seeking unity through sympathy; the philanthropist.
>3.༯span>The man of thought, seeking comprehension through the study of life; the philosopher.
>4.༯span>The man of imagination, seeking harmony in a threefold way; the magician, actor and symbolical artist or poet.
>5.༯span>The man of thought, seeking truth in the world; the scientist.
>6.༯span>The man of love, seeking God as goodness in the world; the devotee.
>7.༯span>The man of will, seeking the beauty that is God in the world; the artist and craftsman.
>"The expressions and activities of these general types are very varied; it will be seen in their more particular description (in Part II of the book) that they respectively include the characteristics that have been ascribed to the rays in different lists that have been issued to the world."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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