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perception and understanding

Nov 22, 1993 12:52 PM
by eldon

The sixth principle, counting down from Atman as the first, is the
Linga-Sharira, spoken of by Blavatsky as the "astral". It is, like
any of the higher principles, with the exception of the Sthula Sharira,
the lowest, not a "body."

The astral is the sensory input, like sight, touch, and taste. It comes,
for us, primarily through the physical body, with the sense of signt,
for instance, realized through the physical eyes. It is not limited,
though, to the physical body for imput.

Apart from the physical form, the Linga can provide a form or formless
awareness of happenings on a plane. If we are localized to a specific
place, we can, with the assistance of Prana, affect it and make things
happen there.

We can see without the physical eyes, and such sight is called
psychicalor clarivoyance. There is a higher and lower form of
such perception.  The higher form is allied with our higher
principles, and comes with penetrating insight. The lower is allied
with matter, and tends to be delusional, mayavic, based upon wish and
fancy rather than what is actually happening before our "eyes".

As with the other principles, it is an essential element of
consciousness; we are incomplete without it. Unfolding from Atman,
through the lower principles, we have not perceived the effects of
others until acquiring this faculty. We were not fully self-conscious
until now, in acquiring the Senses, because there was no material
feedback to what we do in life (via Prana).

As perception, this element of consciousness is passive, reflective,
receptive, impressionable. It is also a state of mind that a psychic
person can get into, one that is not so good to experience! We are
watching the effects of Prana on the outer world, and take them in.

The Linga Sharira is our *receptive* nature. It is the receptive
side of Self where we take on impressions of the outer world, and are
changed thereby. It is the passive side to Prana, where our effects
change others. We cannot have one principle without the other; Prana
and Linga-Shara are inseparable.

There are seven--actually ten--modes of perception, one per principle.
When we talk about sight, touch, and other physical senses, we are
really talking about aspects of but one mode, of the Linga Sharira as
realized through the physical world, through the lowest principle.

The Linga Sharira of the other principles is not *seeing* of things
on other planes. The other principles are not *bodies* on different
planes of being. Speaking of the Senses as applied to the other
principles is metaphorical speech, not something literally true.

As it related to the physical world, our lowest principle, we create
the world or bring into conscious being in our lives that part of the
world we choose to perceive. We cooperate in co-creating the events in
life that we give our attention to and conscious participation in.
This room, this table, this book is created before my eyes, and exists
at this moment partially due to my perception of it. I helped give it
its existence. The flowers and trees outside do not, to a certain
extent, exist at this moment, since I am not helping them be, I am
not gazing upon them and granting them the additional existence that
my awareness would add to them.

There are a multitude of physical senses, and they unfold in different
races and evolutionary periods in the history of mankind. Like the
seven principles on a grander scale, the seven senses are all contained
in one another.

We have sight, taste, smell, touch, and hearing. Other senses regard
different modes of perception of physical things. Paranormal sight or
hearing are not additional senses, but rather extensions of the sense
of sight or hearing. Different senses may include things such as
awareness of position in space and dimensionality to our physical
form, sensing the forms of other via bouncing light off them (like bats
seeing via radar), or other means of getting input on the shapes and
forms of the outer physical world.

Our senses and perceptions are not limited, though, to the physical
world about us. We have sensory input in terms of all the different
principles of consciousness. We perceive the feeling atmosphere about
us, and the thought currents about us (like "lodge force" in
theosophical meetings). There is a passive, perceptive aspect to each
of our principles.

Taken by itself, Linga-Sharira - Linga-Sharira is pure vision, pure
hering, pure perception unencumbereed by forms, by any type of
qualification, by any sense of self or egoity. It is passive, not
volitional, and provides its own unique way of manifesting ourselves,
pure, immaterial, eternal Monads, in manifestation.

It is the consciousness by which we directly perceive the material
forms, and is a living link to them. We are linked to all of manifest
existence through our power of perception, and even though we direct
our awareness here and there, from one object to the next, the link
still exists between us and what is, for the moment, unperceived. As
such, the Linga Shara is the flip side, the mirror image of Buddhi. In
Buddhi, we are inseparably linked to all *in being*, where in our
Senses we are linked to all *in materiality*.

Allied with Prana, we have our life energies affected by what we
perceive. We have a flavor or quality to our life energies, a mood.
This is our feeling nature, as opposed to our desire nature, where we
are not creating objects of desire (via Kama) and not particularly
engaging in action with that object (via Prana), but rather a quality,
a coloring, a tone is set to our life energies (Prana), based upon the
effects on it of what we experience in life (Linga Sharira). There is
a coloring of the life energies that we perceive, that flow through
us, that result in our feelings, moodes, ways we enjoy or dislike what
happens to us in life. This is the interaction of the Senses with our
Prana, our life energies.

When in relation to Kama, our will, we perceive and are affected by
the reults of the desires of others upon us. We perceive their Kama in
action, as it impacts us. What they would have us do and be does have
an influence, and in our receptive nature we sense, we perceive, we
take it in.

Allied with Manas, we have images or sounds that represent ideas, like
the word that we "speak" in our minds as we think something. When
reading, we have the perception of imagination, creating images within
ourselves. Our visualizations, our clothing of thoughts in words and
forms in the mind, are related to this. Those ideas that originate
within, created in us via self-origination, where we first have them
within rather than being told them by someone else, are created by
Manas-Prana, then perceived by Manas - Linga-Sharira. Those that are
received from another person, not yet our ideas, not yet understood and
made a part of ourselves, are just manasic perceptions, just Manas -
Linga-Sharira by itself.

In combination with Buddhi, the Senses allow us to understand the
nature of being of others in the world. We feel and receive impressions
of their essential natures. We experience empathy and compassion by
seeing things from the point of view of the other people, through our
inseparable, living links to them.

And in combination with Atman, the Senses provide for a perception of
the nature of existence, *as qualified by the world or universe into
which we are manifesting ourselves.* We take in the effect on us,
timeless, eternal Monads, of the nature of participation in life and
being *in and through that particular world.*

The Senses are an essential element of our consciousness. They are not
a mere by-product of existence, something cast off or thrown out by
the higher principles, in the sense of being something lower, something
inferior, something less worth of being a part of ourselves. They are
as essential and needed as the higher Triad, including Atman itself, and
we are not complete, whole, fully-manifest without them.

Taking the seven principles, they all are essential and needed. Any one
of them could be considered *the top* and all the others as coming
down from them, even the Linga Sharira.

The usual ordering, enumeration of the principles has them starting
with Atman, the Self, as the top, and coming down into various degrees
of increasing concrete selfhoold. We could, though, take other
approaches and start the list differently.

The basic nature of the principles is independent of order. They may
be described in various orders in order to teach some basic truth about
the nature of consciousness, but all are needed for consciousness to be
active, functional, present in life. Without some of them, we cannot
participate in the world, we cannot act in full consciousness, we cannot
make new karma, as we know and understand it.

It might very well be possible to enumerate the seven principles
starting with the Linga Sharira, or, in deed, any of them, besides our
usual starting point of Atman. We could, for instance, take one of the
Platonic Solids, one with twelve points, lines, or faces, and assign
the twelve to the names of the principles. See how they are ordered
starting with Atman. Then turn the solid, and look at the new ordering
when starting with another of the principles. The ten (or twelve)
principles, taken together, form something bigger than any individual
one of them, and this *bigger thing* is represented by the solid.
Perhaps different solids help describe different *bigger things* within

We have to be careful with the taking of such an approach. There is
the danger of pushing an analogy too far and going off into falsehood.
We don't want an analogy to lock a concrete model of things in our
thinking, to create another mold of thinking that we'll have to later
come back to and break apart. And we are dealing with uncharted waters,
unknown territories, areas where we are taking the Teachings and going
beyond what we have been taught, trying to *push* our knowledge a bit
farther and some away with new insights into life.

We should adventure with caution, with care taken at each step, as we
move into the exploration of the Unknown, taking the Teachings we have
received and moving onto deeper understandings, moving into the unknown.
But this adventure is the very process of inner growth, of the
awakening of the mind's eye, of the flowering of the inner voice or
Teacher within, as we ally our mind with the knowledge of the universe
and come to learn by association with Mahat itself, by directly tapping
into the wisdom and understanding of the very world we live in.

                                Eldon Tucker (

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