egos, planes, and making karma
Nov 24, 1993 01:23 PM
The mysteries of consciousness, of existence, of how and where we can
come into being, are of the deepest sort, they are things that are
extremely difficult to communicate. There are various levels of hints
at them in the theosophical literature, but nowhere do we find one of
our Teachers coming out and directly stating things.
These mysteries relate to karma and volition. Karma is not a magical
power, a magical force, apart from the laws of nature and the workings
of the universe, something that exists apart from life and somehow
regulates and directs it. Karma is a description, a view, a single
viewpoint on the functioning of the overall process of life, at its
deeper levels, at a level but one revmoed from self-annihilation, from
the very start of existence of individual being.
We are connected with all of life, and if we change ourselves, we
affect everyone, everywhere. Our being, ultimately, is their being,
and we all change. These changes that happen, though, are of our
root natures, of our inner selves, and do not show up in our outer
forms, in our personalities.
We must have some form of conscious interaction with another, a
two-way exchange, where we take an action and there is an effect on the
other, for individual, personal karma to be made. If we do something
that affects another, and there is not a conscious interchange, than
anything that may eventually come back to us will not have a known
source and we'll be unaware of why it happened.
It is important to note that we cannot make karma unless we exist. And
we cannot make karma with another, if that other person does not exist.
Both we and the other person must exist, must have clothed ourselves
in principles of consciousness on a plane, for us to interact and make
karma there. If we do not exist, there are no living bonds or links with
the other on a plane, and there is no way to interact with, to affect
In existence on a plane, we are clothed in at least Atman and Buddhi,
where upon we start interrelating with others and have some
connectedness with them, with the others as they likewise have clothed
themselves in Atman and Buddhi. Clothed in Atman alone, we cannot
have karma, since we only have a general awareness of the world, but
not of personally being there, not of our state of *being* on that
We cannot make karma on a plane that we do not exist on. If we are
functioning on another plane, that is where we have clothed ourselves
in the principles of consciousness, where we participate in the
co-creation of that world, where we interact with others and make
karma with them. When we are on another plane, and not on this one,
we make karma there, and not here. But even there, we only make karma
if we are sufficiently manifest to do so.
In the after-death states, we begin to drop the seven principles that
we have on this plane, that we clothe ourselves in on Globe D of the
earth planetary chain. We cast off the principles, one after the other.
After we've let go of the physical, we have no concrete form to interact
with others. But we still can affect them and have sensory input from
the world. Then we drop the senses, and no longer perceive the world,
but still can affect both ourselves and outer things. But when we
drop our third principle, Prana, we cannot affect things, we have given
up volition, action, motion, the ability to grow and change and affect
others on this plane, and enter into a state of withdrawal, a state of
static selfhood, as regards the outer world.
We still have to give up the desire to do things, which we do in the
state of kamaloka, and then in devachan the higher aspirations, their
unfulfilled, unspent energy. After dropping the higher principles, then,
we move on to Globe E in our after death states, with a brief stopping
at each station along the way, until at some future time, we find
ourselves coming back into birth again here on Globe D.
The external ability to change, the volition, the ability to interact
with the world, goes with the lowest three principles, the
vital-astral-physical portion of ourselves. They are all aspects of
consciousness, and the dropping of them must be done before we can go
onto another plane. They are all part of this plane on which our
Globe D exists.
When we have departed, and given up our seven principles, as they
were, for our Globe D ego or self, we no longer exist, for the time,
on this plane. There is no link with what happens there. There is no
manifested bond between us and the others of that world, except in
potential, and we do not affect others. We are gone. We do not exist
The only way, once departed, that we could continue to affect others
is if we could somehow start to come into being on Globe D again, and
clothe ourselves in our principles, at least through Prana, again. We
would have to direct our consciousness here again, to this plane, to
Globe D, to affect someone where, and that would be contrary to what
we are doing. We are travelling along the circulations of the cosmos,
the curents of being that sweep us along the Outer Rounds, in some
fashion, the process of the after-death states that to us is
unconscious, but is consciously followed by high Initates, at the
The *you* that exists here, on Globe D, the ego that makes karma here,
it is a separate *being* from each of the ones that you have on the
other globes, a separate self that you have evolved forth from within
for those worlds, appropriate to the type of experience that is had in
those worlds. These selves have their own karma and their own
interaction with the whole of live, and that interaction is through
*their* buddhic principle.
Going from one globe to the next, experiencing each in a self that is
appropriate to each globe, it is really *you* that is the experiencer,
the higher self, the individuality, that has a continunity of
consciousness that spans the experience in one ego, then the next.
Each ego, though, has a scope to its own karma, which is derives from
its atmic and buddhic principles, built up from experience in that
Shortly after our physical death, we make no more karma for our Globe D
ego, our personal self that we know and experience life through. His
karma does not carry over between planes, but is made uniquely for
our selves as they have been fashioned on each world, fashioned out of
the wholeness of life as experienced on each particular plane.
In the after-death states, we alternate between withdrawal from
existence--being unmanifest--and a brief, momentary, but not-fully
self-conscious existence on the other planes, on the other globes.
We make a brief visit to the other globes, but do not fully manifest
ourselves on them.
We are not fully ourselves on those other globes, and cannot make
karma on them, at this time in our development, since we are unable to
clothe ourselves in the seven principles on those globes. We go as far
as static selfhood or egoity, Atman-Buddhi-Manas, but not into desire
(Kama), volition and the ability to make karma (Prana), sense
perception (Linga-Sharira), nor taking on a physical form (Sthula
We pass through the other globes just in the higher Triad, and
experience our selfhood, in terms of the qualities of those globes,
but do not enter into interaction with other beings on those globes.
We have now thrown out from ourselves the lower principles, that part
of ourselves needed to experience growth, change, interaction with
others, and the acquisition of new karma.
We experience things in terms of a dream, a self-created world fashioned
out of our own consciousness, with no external restrictions imposed by
the participation in it by other beings. Our full consciousness is
not manifest, and we do not interact with others.
In order to avoid confusion, it's important to not try to recouncil
this worldview, this description of how things work, with the typical
view found in the spiritualist and new age literature. There are a
few correspondences, but there are also some distinct differences.
We must not carry analogies too far or we find them break.
It is not necessary for someone in reading this, though, to have to
*believe in it*. There are many levels of understanding to the
Teachings, and we all find the one that most satisfies ourselves. The
scheme now being written about is only intended for people who may find
it of value, or who might derive some benefit from some of the ideas.
When we die, it is not as simple as to say that we drop a physical body,
then later an astral body, then a lower mental body, and so forth.
The seven principles are not planes, nor are they "bodies" on any plane,
with the exception of the physical principle, Sthula Sharira.
The planes where we can exist are defined by the location, in the
cosmos, of the globes of our planetary chain. When we are on Globe D,
we are on the plane whereon it, the globe, resides. When on Globe E,
we are on the plane that Globe E is on. And the same is true of all the
other globes. Each globe is on a different plane and provides for us
a place whereon we can come into existence.
(And half of the globes have a downwards flow of life, the descending
arc, and the other half an upwards flow of life, the ascending arc.
This qualifies the type of experience that can be had on the globes.
This, though, is another story.)
The seven principles are an necessary ingredient to manifest
consciousness, and must *all be present* for us to exist and make
individual karma, in the regular, ordinary way that we understand karma.
Shortly after the death of the physical body, when we've lost Prana and
the Linga-Sharira, we stop making karma because we have given up the
ability to change and grow. We enter into a static state of being.
The globes, like our world, Globe D, are called spheres of causes,
as contrasted with spheres of effects, because it is on the globes that
we clothe ourselves in our seven principles, that we manifest ourselves,
that we enter into interaction with other beings and thereby make karma.
We both produce new causes as well as experience the effects of the
causes that we've engendered.
As we depart active live on a globe, we drop the principles. We
quickly reach a point where we have lost our external volition and
the ability to make karma. The experiences that we have at this time,
where we are dropping our skandhas, where we are letting go, where we
are exhausting the built-up energies that we carry within ourselves--
these experiences are in what would be called a sphere of effects.
We experience and work out the effects of the life energies that we've
set into motion within ourselves, in the process of going out of
Between globes, there is a brief rest, when we are not clothed in
any of the seven principles. We are unmanifest, dwelling in the highest
Triad, the three unmanifest principles. The solitary state that we
find ourselves in, one of static but absolute perfection, as far as
we are able to experience it, is yet a third state, different from
the sphere of causes and that of effects. It might be called the
sphere of solitude, if we can make up a term for it.
Now the very purpose of coming into manifestation, of leaving our
solitude and coming into existence, is to grow and change and
acquire additional self-consciousness, to change from a solitary god
to a *being* emerced in the flux of life and to then withdraw into
solitude again, with a treasury of additional self-consciousness, and
a new content of consciousness as well.
The literal view of the world, where the higher planes are simply
places where we do things through "higher bodies" is an exoteric
blind, a veil that conceals or hides deeper truths. We should try to
penetrate behind the veil and see what hides concealed from untrained
Do not take the common idea of an "astral plane" too literally. There
is not an objective astral plane for our earth, something that is part
of Globe D. Surrounding Globe D is a continuous spectrum of
materiality, of substance, a spectrum of astral light that reaches
from physical forms up through the highest reaches of Akasha, but there
is no separate world, peopled by the newly-dead humanity, as part of
our Globe D earth.
There is no such place for the bulk of humanity, the only ones awake
and aware, apart from their physical bodies, are adepts or sorcerers.
The astral plane that we read of, that new age literature writes about,
that some theosophical psychics may think that they've experienced, is
but an image in the astral light, a reflection of Globe E experience,
a presentiment of what the life for humanity might be like when it
moves on to Globe E, many millions of years in the future.
Much of what we see psychically has a basis in fact, but care must be
taken to not take it too literally. We may see or experience things,
apart from our bodies, but when our senses depart the physical world,
they gaze into the astral light, and untrained, they mislead. There is
a vast storehouse of images in the astral light, and apart from direct
training under the direction of a Master, a Mahatman, we really can't
say, with certainity, what we see.
The true source of wisdom, though, of understanding the inner workings
of life, come not from the senses, be they physical or psychical, but
from the small voice with in, the inner Teacher, the faculty that we
have within wherein we can *know* directly, where we can take the ideas
that we've studied in the Teachings and *push* them further, into
deep understandings of the workings of life. Look within, study,
contemplate, meditate, dwell in the highest and noblest part of your
nature, and you'll Know.
Eldon Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application