Impulse and Incarnation

Excerpted from:

“A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Division D – Thought Elementals and Fire Elementals”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Perhaps light upon this very difficult question of the incarnating jivas, of adepts and of avatars may come if the student remembers that:

  1. An ordinary man demonstrates the third aspect of intelligent activity in his personality life, and is evolving consciously the second aspect, or the egoic manifestation on the physical plane.
  2. An adept in incarnation is demonstrating fully the second aspect as well as the third, and in his own internal life is in process of evolving the first aspect, or is endeavoring to bring through the monadic life into conscious activity on the buddhic plane.
  3. An avatar demonstrates one of two things, according to his peculiar karma:
    1. The pure light of the Monad, brought through by means of the perfected Ego and personality on to the physical plane. The line of force extends straight through from monadic levels to the physical.
    2. The light of the Logos Himself in one or other aspect, this being transmitted consciously via the Monad straight through to the physical plane from the planetary Logos, or even from the solar Logos Himself.

In the first two cases, desire for sentient existence, or desire for service to humanity, are the factors which produce physical manifestation (one through the force of evolution itself, the other through a conscious act of the will). Desire for sentient existence is but the latent second aspect seeking expression by means of the Not-Self, and in the other case the manifested second aspect consciously utilizes form as a means to an end. In the case of all avatars it is the will aspect which is brought into play, and which produces appearance – either the will of the perfected adept, such as the Buddha Himself, or (as in the case of the true Avatar, Who is, and Who has not achieved) the will of the planetary Logos or of the solar Logos, taking form for a specific purpose. It involves a higher display of the creative faculty than that displayed by the Adept in the creation of His body of manifestation, the Mayavirupa. 52 The terms “appropriation of a physical body” and “creation of a physical body” must be extended to include all the planes of the solar system, and not just our physical plane, the seventh subplane of the cosmic physical.

The causes which combine to produce incarnation, are seen to be three:

  1. Egoic impulse.
  2. The activity of the solar and lunar Angels.
  3. Karma, or the place which antecedent action plays in producing manifestation.

We can hardly dissociate them in the consideration of our subject owing to the innate constitution of the egoic body itself and the factor the indwelling consciousness plays in producing appearance through an act of will. Let us briefly, therefore, reconsider what we have learned anent the egoic body and its constitution, and then take up the steps followed by the Ego in producing results in the three worlds.

We have seen that on the third level of the mental plane, the egoic lotus is found and the student should picture it to himself as follows:

Concealed at the very center or heart of the lotus is a brilliant point of electric fire of a blue-white hue (the jewel in the lotus) surrounded, and completely hidden, by three closely folded petals. Around this central nucleus, or inner flame, are arranged the nine petals in circles of three petals each, making three circles in all. These petals are formed out of the substance of the solar angels, as are the central three, – substance which is not only sentient as is the substance of the forms in the three worlds and the lunar bodies, but which has an added quality of “I-ness” or of self-consciousness, enabling the spiritual unity at the center (by means of it) to acquire knowledge, awareness, and self-realization. These nine petals are of a predominant orange hue, though the six other colors are found as secondary colors in a varying degree. The inner three petals are of a lovely lemon-yellow hue. At the base of the lotus petals are the three points of light which mark the position of the permanent atoms, and which are the medium of communication between the solar Angels and the lunar Pitris. By means of these permanent atoms the Ego, according to its state of evolution can construct his lunar bodies, acquire knowledge on the lower three planes, and thus buy his experience, and becomes aware. On a higher turn of the spiral, the Monad through the egoic petals, and thus with the aid of the solar Angels, acquires knowledge and equally on more exalted levels becomes aware.

The light within these permanent atoms has a dull red glow and we have, therefore, all the three fires demonstrating in the causal body – electric fire at the center, solar fire enclosing it as the flame encloses the central nucleus or essence in a candle flame, and fire by friction, this latter fire resembling the glowing red wick which lies at the base of the higher flame.

These three types of fire on the mental plane – meeting and unified in the egoic body – produce in time a radiation or warmth which streams out from all sides of the lotus, and forms that spheroidal shape noted by investigators. The more fully developed the Ego may be, and the more the petals are unfolded, the greater the beauty of the surrounding sphere, and the more refined its coloring.


52 The Mayavirupa is literally the illusory form; it is the body of temporary manifestation which the Adept creates on occasion through the power of the will and in which He functions in order to make certain contacts on the physical plane and to engage in certain work for the race.

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At the early stages after individualization, the egoic body has the appearance of a bud. The electric fire at the center is not apparent, and all the nine petals are closed down upon the inner three; the orange color has a dead aspect and the three points of light at the base are just points and nothing more; the triangle which is later seen connecting the points is not demonstrated. The surrounding sphere is colorless and is only to be appreciated as undulatory vibrations (like waves in the air or ether) reaching barely beyond the petal outline.

By the time the third Initiation is reached, a wondrous transformation has transpired. The outer sphere is palpitating with every color in the rainbow, and is of wide radius; the streams of electrical energy circulating in it are so powerful that they are escaping beyond the periphery of the circle, resembling the rays of the sun. The nine petals are fully unfolded, forming a gracious setting for the central jewel, and their orange hue is now of a gorgeous translucence, shot with many colors, that of the egoic ray predominating. The triangle at the base is now quickened and scintillating, and the three points are small blazing fires, showing to the eye of the clairvoyant as sevenfold whorls of light, circulating their light from point to point of a rapidly moving triangle.

By the time the fourth Initiation is reached, the activity of this triangle is so great that it looks more like a wheel in rapid revolution. It has a fourth dimensional aspect. The three petals at the center are opening up, revealing the “blazing jewel.” At this initiation, through the action of the Hierophant wielding the electric Rod of Power, the three fires are suddenly stimulated by a downflow of electric, or positive force, from the Monad, and their blazing out in response produces that merging which destroys the entire sphere, dissipates all appearance of form, and produces a moment of equilibrium, or of suspension, in which the “elements are consumed with fervent heat.” The moment of highest radiation is known. Then – through the pronouncement of a certain Word of Power – the great solar Angels gather back into themselves the solar fire, thus producing the final dissipation of the form, and hence the separation of the life from the form; the fire of matter returns to the general reservoir, and the permanent atoms and the causal body are no more. The central electric fire becomes centralized in atma-buddhi. The Thinker or spiritual entity stands free of the three worlds, and functions consciously on the buddhic plane. Between these two stages of quiescent (though self-conscious) inertia and of that radiant activity which produces a balancing of forces, is a long series of lives.

In our consideration of the subject of the reincarnating jivas, we have touched upon three subjects:

  1. Avatars, with the intent of disposing of the confusion in the minds of students as to certain types of appearances. In our present study we shall deal only with the process followed by ordinary men.
  2. Pralayas, with the intent of arousing in the mind of the student the idea of interludes of quiescence dependent upon the intervening periods of activity.
  3. The appearance of the body egoic and its general conformation, with the intent of awakening the realization of the student to the fact that evolution affects that body also, and not only man’s forms in the three worlds. The effects of the process are interdependent, and as the lower self develops, or the personality becomes more active and intelligent, results are produced in the higher body. As these effects are cumulative, and not ephemeral as are the lower results, the egoic body becomes equally more active and its manifestation of energy is increased. Towards the close of the evolutionary period in the three worlds a constant interchange of energy is seen to be taking place; the lower forms become irradiated with light, and reflect the higher radiance; the egoic body is the Sun of the lower system, and its bodies reflect its rays, as the moon reflects the light of the solar sun. Similarly the egoic Sun, – through the interaction – shines with ever greater intensity and glory. On the higher levels a similar interaction takes place for a brief period between the Monad and its reflection the Ego, but only in the coming solar system will this interaction be carried to its logical conclusion.

Having, therefore, very briefly dealt with these three topics, we can now proceed to consider the process followed by the Ego when seeking manifestation in the three worlds. Let us endeavor in our thoughts to interpret all these processes in terms of energy and of force.

The old Commentary says:

“When the Spark is touched to the four wicks, and when spiritual Fire in its threefold essence meets with that which is combustible, the Flame bursts forth. Faint the flicker at the first appearing, and near to death it seems, but the wicks smolder and glow, and the heat is retained. This is cycle the first, and is called that of the glowing wheel.

The flicker grows into a tiny flame and the four wicks burn, but are not consumed, for the heat does not suffice. The light of these three fires is yet so small that the cave is not illumined. Nevertheless, the flame and the essential heat can be felt by the One Who approaches and watches. This is the second cycle, and is called that of the warming wheel.

The tiny flame becomes a lighted lamp. The fire flares up, but much smoke is there, for the wicks are burning fast, and the heat suffices for their quick destruction. The lamp, set in the midst of darkness, makes the thick blackness manifest itself; the light and warmth are felt. This, the third cycle, is called that of the lighted wheel.

The four wicks and the flame appear as one, and nearly all the smoke is gone, for flame is mostly seen. The cave itself is lighted up, though the lamp is yet apparent. Cycle the fourth is called the hour of the flaming wheel.

The final cycle comes when even the lamp itself is burned, destroyed through the intensity of heat. The One Who watches, seeing the work accomplished, fans the central point of fire and produces a sudden flaming. The wicks are naught – the flame is all. This, so the Sacred Science says, is called the cycle of the wheel consumed.”

Here in the arcane symbology is hid (in terms of energy and of radiant activity) the whole secret of egoic energy, and of impulse making its presence felt in the substance of the lower planes; the student should interpret the above sentences both macrocosmically and microcosmically. In all manifestation, the originating impulse comes from the first aspect which is hidden at the heart of the egoic lotus, but this hidden Identity works under law, and in the earlier stages (the first three cycles) the process goes on under the Law of Economy, which is the law of substance itself; in the final two cycles this law becomes merged (though not superseded, being still potent) with the Law of Attraction, which is the fundamental law of the divine Self. It is the failure to realize this which has resulted in the confusion existing in the minds of many metaphysicians as to which demonstrated first, desire or will, and as to the distinction between them, between impulse and purpose, and between instinct and intention. In the earlier stages man reincarnates under the Law of Economy, and though the will aspect lies back of the process, yet for a long time it is the pull of sensation and its reflex in consciousness, desire, which produces rebirth. Sensation, being a quality in matter or substance, the Self in the beginning identifies Itself with sensation. Later, when the Self is beginning to, identify Itself with Itself, and to recognize the nature of the Not-Self, the Law of Attraction and Repulsion becomes more active, and conscious will and purpose are displayed. Here it should be remembered that a profound difference in time and space exists between the Logos, or Macrocosm, and Man, the Microcosm. Average man comes into incarnation through egoic impulse, based on desire and on the relation of the second aspect to the third aspect or of the Self to the Not-Self. He will eventually bring about (through evolution) the revelation of the first aspect, and then egoic impulse (based on conscious mental apprehension of the purpose in view) will be the dominant factor, and will demonstrate through a definite will to act. In connection with the Logos, the first stage has been left far behind, and logoic manifestation is based on will and purpose and on conscious intelligent activity. The reason for this is that the Logos, and the planetary Logoi likewise, are on the path of cosmic initiation.

Therefore, though the originating impulse comes from the central point, it is not at first apparent. At the moment of individualization, the dim outline of a form such as earlier described has made its appearance on mental levels, and (which is a point not as yet recognized by students) it becomes apparent that a period on mental levels has transpired given over to a preparation for the imminent event. Through the activity of the solar Angels the twelve petals have gradually taken form, as the point of electric fire at the heart has begun to make itself felt even though not as yet localized. Then the first three petals take shape, and close down upon the vibrant point, or “jewel” under the potency of the Law of Attraction. One by one the nine other petals take shape as the vibrations begin to affect solar substance, the three types of petals being each under the influence of one or other of the major Rays; these, in their turn, come under the influence of force from cosmic centers.

As earlier said, these petals form a bud, each being closely folded. Only faint vibrations are to be seen pulsating in the bud, just enough to testify to its being a living organism. Shadowy and dim can the ring-pass-not be seen, the encircling limit of the activity of the coming Consciousness. It is an ovoid or sphere, and very small as yet. This process of forming the egoic lotus has gone on silently from the moment that the lower animal man, or the lower four principles, had reached a point where the energy (generated by him) could begin to make itself felt on mental levels. When the fire of the lower prepared sheaths (the threefold fire of substance itself) becomes radioactive, this nebulous appearance on the third subplane of the mental plane begins to be organized, as the result of the downward pull of the higher by the lower, and as the response of the Spirit aspect to the radiations, or attraction, of matter. But individualization as we understand it is not yet effected. This process of radioactivity on the part of the lower, and of a downflow of energy from the higher, covers a long period wherein the solar Angels are working on Their Own plane and the lower Pitris are also working on theirs; one group is producing the nucleus of the egoic body, and the other the receptacle for the life of God, or the Monad in the three worlds.

Then comes a set time in the life of the planetary Logos wherein His centers become active in a particular manner; this is coincident with the incarnation of the Monads, and their descent into the three worlds. A systemic triangle is formed (for ever the three produce the seven), and through this setting loose of threefold energy, the work of the solar and lunar Pitris is coordinated, and the three permanent atoms are appropriated by the jiva concerned, and appear at the base of the egoic lotus. Individualization has taken place and the work of at-one-ment is completed; the fourth kingdom in nature is a “fait accompli;” the Monad has clothed itself in material sheaths, and the self conscious unit appears on the physical plane. If all that H. P. B. has to say anent the first three rounds of our Earth scheme is read as dealing with the period of condensation of the causal body upon the mental level, and as covering the time leading up to the appearance in the fourth round of man as we now have him, some light may be thrown upon this difficult matter.

The egoic lotuses can be seen grouped together, and each of them forms part of a group. These groups in their turn form part of a vaster lotus which embodies the consciousness of a still greater Entity whose “jewel” may be found on the second subplane. All these in their turn may be divided into seven fundamental groups. These seven groups or aggregates of egoic lotuses form the seven types of consciousness of those Entities Who are the seven centers of force for our own planetary Logos. These seven in their turn will be synthesized on higher levels into the three higher centers, till the entire energy and force which they represent is gathered up, and absorbed by the center corresponding to the highest head center of the planetary Logos. Each Logos embodies one type of cosmic energy. Each of His centers embodies this type of energy in one of its seven differentiations. Each of these seven in turn manifests through egoic groups, and these again are composed of those points of energy we call Egos.

These multitudes of egoic groups form a radiant interlocking whole, though all are diverse and differing, both as to their point of development, and their secondary coloring. Just as the petals in the egoic lotus of the incarnating jivas unfold in differing order and at different periods, so the egoic groups also unfold diversely as to time and sequence. This produces a wonderful appearance. Again just as the Master can (by studying the group or larger lotus of which He is a part), ascertain the condition of the human units who go to its constitution, so the planetary Logos can ascertain through conscious identification (note the term) the condition of the various groups through whom His work must be accomplished.

It will now be apparent to the student that the appearance of the incarnating jivas on the physical plane will be governed by three things:

  • First of all, on impulse based on the will-purpose of the Life animating the aggregate of groups on any subray, or one of the seven larger groups.
  • Second, on impulse based on the will, tinged by desire, of the Life animating a man’s egoic group.
  • Third, on impulse, based on the desire of the Ego for physical plane manifestation.

As identification of a man with his group becomes matured the desire impulse becomes modified until it is eventually superseded by group will. If these facts are pondered upon it will be apparent that Egos come into incarnation therefore not singly but according to group urge, and thus collectively. This is the basis of collective karma, and of family karma. The individual urge, which is, of course, a reaction to group urge, is the result of personal karma. Hence, though we may by these reflections, have thrown some light upon this question of reincarnation, we have nevertheless said much to increase the magnitude of the question, and its complexity. Average man is confined to the use of the physical brain, and is, therefore, unable to think in group terms.

This egoic impulse in any group or any group unit makes itself felt as a pulsation, or access of energy, emanating from the central point. This central activity is produced by the action of the planetary Logos working through the groups in His centers, and according to the center under stimulation so will the groups concerned be affected. Beyond mentioning this fact, we cannot enlarge, for the subject is stupendous, and beyond a man’s comprehension; it is only necessary for him to appreciate his dependence in this matter upon the planetary Logos.

From the group center, therefore, emanates an urge to renewed activity, and this spreads throughout the group lotus until the units who respond to that particular ray vibration occultly “awaken.” All this time (as far as the jivas are concerned) this aspect of force has been that of the first aspect, and has passed from the central points to other central points. The positive nuclei in each case are affected by this flashing forth of electric fire, or energy. Each point concerned responds by a primary contraction followed by an outgoing or expansive display of energy. Each Identity concerned proceeds to sound a WORD. This sound expands into a mantram and the solar angels vibrate in response. There is a point of interest to be noted here.

  1. The first aspect works through a Word of Power.
  2. The second aspect works through mantric combinations.
  3. The third aspect works through mathematical formulas.

Having sounded the Word the first aspect, represented by the electric fire at the center of the lotus, sinks back into quiescence, and becomes an abstraction as far as the self-conscious unit is concerned. The work has been begun, the necessary vibration has been set up, and the whole process then proceeds under law. The solar angels have begun their activity, and until their work has reached a very high stage, the Spirit aspect must become, in the causal body, an analogy to the Silent Watcher. As the solar Angels continue sounding out the mantram, which is the basis of their work, the lunar Pitris respond to certain sounds in that mantram (not to all by any means at first) and gather out of those sounds the formula under which their work must proceed. So the Word is the basis of the mantram, and the mantram is the basis of the formula.

At each incarnation, finer forms are required, and the formulas therefore grow more complicated, and the sounds on which they are based become more numerous. In time, the formulas are completed, and the lunar Pitris respond no more to the sounds or mantrams chanted on the mental plane. This is indicative of the stage of perfection, and shows that the three worlds have no more a downward pull for the jiva concerned. Desire for lower manifestation and experience has no more sway, and only conscious purpose is left. Then, and only then, can the true Mayavirupa be constructed; the Master then sounds the mantram for Himself, and builds without formulas in the three worlds. At the time too that man begins to tread the Probationary Path, the mantrams of the solar Angels begin to die down, and slowly (as the petals of the inner circle open up) the true Word emerges until the three enshrining petals burst open, and the central spark is revealed. Then the Word is fully known, and mantrams and formulas have no further use. Thus is the beauty of the scheme revealed. When the planetary Logos is concerned, the Word sounded on cosmic levels is being resolved into mantrams on the cosmic etheric planes, for He is in a position to create consciously on those levels; He works nevertheless through formulas on the dense physical planes of His scheme, our three worlds of endeavor.

To return to the reincarnating jivas: When the initiatory impulse has been given, the vibration thrills through the petals, and activity starts in those of them which respond to the note of that Word. The solar Angels direct the vibration, and the mantram for that particular type of Ego is begun. Finally the vibration reaches the mental unit at the base of the lotus bud, and the lunar Pitris are called into activity. They begin to work out their formulas for the particular type of vehicle which is required.

Empty Paths

beyond the point

of primal,

causal origination,

no cognition

nor perception

 

a void awakens

shimmering the nothing

into becoming

empty and yet Dao,

no re-cognition

 

before the void

no time

no place

no recollection

or, any memory

 

wide empty paths

towards the infinite

have no ending

nor any start,

the essence of being

 

a Soul alone,

sole and soular

radiates into space

a single spark

of a cosmic fire

 

beyond the point

of primal,

causal origination,

no cognition

nor perception

 

at the point before mind

bodhi svāhā