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Dec 21, 1993 06:51 PM
by Gerald Schueler

Eldon, your essay about the globes created a lot of questions in
my mind, which you could, perhaps, help me with.  I suspect at
least part of my problems are semantics.  I thought it would be
easiest if I quoted you first, and then commented.

<One of the early doctrines that we are introduced to in our
study of Theosophy is the seven princples. These are the various
ingredients that combine together to form a complete

Are you saying that consciousness is composite or an aggrate of
the 7 principles?  Could you perhaps mean self-consciousness here
instead of what Eastern schools call "pure" consciousness?  It
seems to me that consciousness is more fundamental than the 7
principles (which only exist on this planetary chain.

<We learn that the principles are not bodies, and they are not
selves. The selves are the Monads, with their corresponding Egos
and Souls, and they include the Divine Monad, the Spiritual,
Human, and Beast Monads. Each is a being in its own right, and of
them, we are the Human Monad, although not really, fully human
until the Fifth Round.>

This is fine as long as we agree that all of these "monads" are
mayavic.  Are they not the manifestations of pure consciousness?

<Another thing that we learn is of the illusory, deceptive nature
of the psychical realm. It is easy to be mislead, to see what our
thoughts and expectations would have us see, to populate our
experience with the content of our own personal consciousness. We
learn that the psychical senses mislead, and we should rely on
spiritual sight, which describes the mind directly beholding
something, as though by the sense of sight, a form of knowing
arrived at by directing the mind at the object of contemplation.>

Why does everyone always want to pick on the psychic realms as
being illusionary?  HPB taught that the astral was the most
illusionary plane (serpents behind every flower, etc).  And
surely our everyday physical world is as illusive as anything can
be.  It seems to me that all four cosmic planes below the Abyss
(ie those containing Globes A through G) are illusive and
deceptive (which is what the word maya implies).  I fear students
may get the idea that *only* the psychic is illusive.

<Anywhere that we man manifest our consciousness, where we can
come into being, we clothe ourselves in the seven principles.
That is, we take on the fabric of consciousness.>

I am confused by this paragraph.  The first sentence seems to be
saying what I said above, that the 7 principles are a reflection
of consciousness.  But the second sentence again implies that
consciousness is a product of the 7 principles.  I see no
difference in this idea than the scientist who says that
consciousness is the product of the brain.

<When we read of such a thing as a "astral body" or a "mental
body", it is something of a blind, since Kama and Kama-Manas are
not bodies, they are elements of consciousness, and bodies are
the lowest of a complete set of seven principles. The blind is
for the teaching of Monads, Egos, and Souls, which was interwoved
with that of the seven principles.>

Although Kama and Kama-Manas are not bodies, nevertheless we do,
in fact, have an astral body and a mental body.  Of course, we
can argue about what to call them.  It is a fact (proven by
individual experience throughout countless centuries) that we
have a body that functions on each cosmic plane.  You can call it
anything you want to, or define it any way you want to.  HPB
clearly distinguishes principles from bodies, and allows for
several subtle bodies including the "mayavi-rupa".  I adopted the
terms "astral body" and "mental body" from Besant/Leadbeater,
whom I know that you do not especially endorse.  Perhaps you can
come up with better names?

<The *places* that we can come into being are called the globes.
And these globes or worlds are on different planes.>

I think that the phrase "we can come into being" is somewhat
misleading.  We (or a part of us) already are existing on these
globes.  Your astral body (call it what you will) resides, right
now on the astral plane in either Globe C or Globe E or somewhere
along their connecting path.  It can be nowhere else any more
than your physical body can ever be anywhere else than on the
physical plane.  Each plane is a Ring-Pass-Not for its
corresponding body.

<Each globe is composed of astral light, condensed into solid
substance, and the difference in material existence between one
and the next is related to which principle sounds the keynote of
the nature of things on that globe. The substance of a globe may,
for example, be most responsive to thought, but it could not be
called "mental matter". That would be taking a figure of speech
as a literal reality.>

I am somewhat lost on this whole paragraph.  Somehow, what you
are trying to say is not coming through to me.  How can each
globe possibly be composed of Astral Light?  Do you have a
reference for this?  The astral light of the Qabalists was said
to contain Yesod, the 9th Sephiroth, which is located between the
physical and astral planes - probably on what is often called the
etheric plane.  The astral light exists only in regard to our
physical Earth, Globe D.  Each globe does have its own higher
atmosphere which corresponds to our astral light (as above so
below).  Perhaps this is what you mean here?  I am not sure, but
I think that Besant & Leadbeater do use the term "mental matter"
as well as "astral matter."  These seem as good as anything else
to me, but maybe you have better names?  If I understand you
right, I agree with what you seem to be saying, because when
located on the mental plane in a mental body (or whatever you
call it) you can still think thoughts, and those thoughts are not
experienced the same as bodies and "things."
In this sense, the term "mental matter" can be confusing.

<On each globe, when we are fully-embodied, we have a physical
body of the corresponding type of matter. But when we speak of a
physical body, we're not talking about the matter that we see our
physical earth, Globe D, composed of. The other globes are not on
the physical plane, as we known it.>

I would certainly agree with this paragraph.

<When we look at the sky with our Globe D eyes, we see only the
matter of other planets and celestial bodies that our Globe D is
in relation to. All of space would be filled with worlds were we
to see all that really surrounds us! But when we look out into
space, it's incorrect to say that we gaze with our *physical*
eyes, because the sense of sight is astral, based upon the sixth
principle, the Linga Sharira, and not physical itself.>

The first two sentences here are clear, but you lost me in the
last sentence.  It seems to me that without physical eyes, we
could not "look out into space" at all (?).

<On other planes, we have unfolded from within our seven
principles, down through the senses, and then to the final step
of the making of the actual forms that contain us, the physical

This is only true with those planes that contain form (rupa, as
opposed to arupa).

<We can exist on a globe with less than our seven principles.
There are actually three basic seats or upadhis of existence, the
physical, the intermediate, and the causal. This might correspond
to the separation of the seven principles into the
Vital-Astral-Physical, the Kama-Manas, and Buddhi-Manas. The
principles can be separated by us at these points without a
resulting death.>

I think that this paragraph illustrates one of the problem that
today's theosophists are faced with - the over-abundance of names
and terms.  Where are principles separate from bodies?  Earlier
you said, "Anywhere that we man manifest our consciousness, where
we can come into being, we clothe ourselves in the seven
principles."  Now are you saying that we can get by with less
than seven?  Earlier you said that Kama-Manas was not a body.
Just exactly how does one go about separating his or her
principles anyway?  Shifting consciousness through the subtle
bodies is a well-known magical practice, but can we do this with
principles too?

<When we leave the physical behind, we have no personal form, no
body of any kind. When we leave the astral, the Linga Sharira
behind, we have lost our sensory imput of the external world
behind, and then only see what we ourselves populate our
surroundings with (e.g. images in the astral light). And when we
leave the life energy behind, the Prana, we have lost our power
to effect the external world and make karma, and are now in a
passive or subjective state of existence, a state of being rather
than a state of action. We are then in a state where, if we where
in the after-death states, would be called Kamaloka.>

I cannot agree with your first sentence.  I believe that when we
leave our physical body behind, we take on one of our subtle
bodies (the duality of body-consciousness remains with us).  The
astral and mental bodies do have a "personal form."   In fact, I
suspect that many who die take awhile to even realize that they
are dead.  The business of seeing our own projected surroundings
occurs in Devachan, not in Kamaloka which most of us will pass
through quickly with only a quasi-awareness of what is happening.
I also disagree with the idea that we will be in a "subjective
state of existence" if you mean that somehow we will lose all
sense of objectivity.  We are always in a condition with a
subjective self experiencing an objective world, all the way up
to Globe D-prime, where duality first starts.  When we dream, we
still retain a subjective sense of identity looking out at an
objective world, albeit a psychic projection.  The only real
difference between dream and death is the cutting of the "silver
cord" or sutratma.  Also, we do act in dreams.  I don't think
that we have to worry about being in a state of being as opposed
to a state of action until after we cross the Abyss because there
is no doing in the spiritual worlds, as we conceive of it.

<We can visit the other globes in our higher principles, and not
have to take on all the seven principles on them. We can visit
without becoming fully embodied thereon. This is what we do in
devachan between lives.>

You lost me here.  I thought you said earlier that we visit in
bodies, not principles(?).  A Devachanee will be focused in a
mental body (the astral and physical having been dropped) but
will still have all 7 principles; isn't this what you said
earlier as well as in several other articles?

<We can experience an influence of the other globes, and thereby
of their ruling sacred planets, without the lengthy process of
birth and childhood and growth to maturity thereon. That is, we
do not have to grown to maturity a fully developed personality on
any of the other globes, with the resulting karmic web of
involvements with other people living there.>

We will grow "a fully developed personality" on the other globes
as our lifewave passes through them as we slowly progress up the
Arc of Ascent.

<We do not need to evolve forth a Globe E personality, for
instance--with considerably more difficulty that our Globe D
personalities take, where we even able to know how to do it.  We
just, in our spiritual nature, partake of the inner nature of the
other globe, we experience it in our higher nature.>

True.  We will not evolve a Globe E personality for a few more
millions of years.

<Each such Monad is a seven-principled being on its own plane of
consciousness. And on each such Globe we also may fully clothe
our consciousness in the seven principles. We are not, though,
required to *fully* clothe our consciousness, and can pass
through the globes with just the higher principles. It is even
possible to pass a globe without *existing* at all thereon, that
that would be by only clothing ourselves in the highest triad
(principles eight, nine, and ten, the unmanifest ones).>

I think that this paragraph needs to be better defined.  I am not
sure what you want to say here.  Who is the "we" who exists on a

<The globes all interpenetrate and affect each other. And they
are paired up. Globes C & E are on the same plane, for instance,
and might, from one point of view, represent the dual nature of
the same being, and partake of the nature of the plane that the
two globes are one. One part of the nature is downward,
matter-seeking, which would be the nature of life on Globe C. The
other part is upward, spirit-seeking, the nature of life on Globe

This is an interesting concept, but according to HPB's figure on
page 200 of SD Vol I, the globes each relate to one of the
Sephiroth, and no one has every tried to suggest that they be
united or paired together into one globe.

<There is danger though, of failure, where the turn is not made,
and we become lost to the planetary chain. Our physical plane, as
we know it, is *not* the lowest plane, and it is as possible to
fail and drop below our planetary chain as it is to one day to
transcend it for higher worlds.>

Although this is in accordance with the teachings, I doubt that
it happens very often.  Our physical plane is the lowest in our
*system*, but there are other systems.

<Now the Kamaloka of the Globe D personality is a state of
consciousness on Globe D itself, where we are functioning apart
from the lowest principles. We are still in existence, and still
interconnected with others in our essential natures, but we are
not in a causal state.>

Here again, I am at a loss.  It is my understanding that Kamaloka
is a purgative state that we go through after death - it takes
place on the astral plane between Globes C and E in order to
allow our consciousness (at the so-called Second Death) to rise
up to Globes B and F on the mental plane and into Devachan.  I am
not aware of any theosophist ever stating that Kamaloka is on
Globe D.  The name itself means "desire world" and thus is an apt
term for the astral plane.  Another thing that bothers me is,
what is a "Globe D personality?"  The personality is formed on
the mental plane and never (that I know of) manifests on Globe D
which is on the physical plane.  Do you mean the personality of
human beings now undergoing reincarnation on Globe D?

<We have, in this state, given up our participation in the
activities of life on the globe. We have given up our form, our
external sensory imput, and our ability to affect things, our
life energies. We are dead to the world, and have no body or form
thereon. We are blind to the world, and see only what we make
ourselves. We are impotent to act in the world, and can only
affect ourselves.>

I cannot agree with this.  Even after we lose our physical body,
nevertheless we can affect living people through our thoughts and
desires.  What about the Nirmanakaya?  The whole intent of the
Nirmanakaya teaching is that the disembodied can still effect
(for good or ill) the embodied.  I also believe that the
disembodied can meet and converse with the living while the
living are asleep or in trance, for a time.  It is only after the
disembodied go into Devachan, that such converse becomes

<Kamaloka is not accociated with other globes, but is one of
several states of consciousness that we have on this globe.>

I think that HPB is pretty clear that we only enter Kamaloka
after death.  At death we lose our physical body and thus leave
the physical plane altogether.  However, we can experience what
the Kamaloka is like while living in our physical body, through

<When we depart our physical body, in dream, vision, trance, the
typical experience is not to visit other realms of being, but
rather to just experience our intermediate principles here on
Globe D.>

When we depart the physical body, we visit another world.
Period.  A dream is just such a visitation.  What else could it
be?  There is no difference between a dream and an astral
traveling experience except that we generally have little control
over our dreams, while we are more conscious during astral
traveling.  Both involve shifting consciousness to the astral
body.  The "contents of our own consciousness" exist only on the
inner subtle planes - not on the physical plane.

<It is possible to have existences on the other globes. It is
possible if we are spiritually progressed, have undergone
initiation, and are assisted in the activity by the Mahatmas.>

I have to disagree with this as it is written.  It not only is
possible to "have existences" on other planes, but it is
impossible not to have such existences.  We have to go to sleep
sometime.  Everyone does.  Sleep itself is nothing more than
shifting the focus of consciousness to another plane.  Every one
of us has existences on other planes all the time.  The trick is
to be aware of it, and to be able to consciously control it. I
think you mean "have conscious existences."

<When we would exist on one of the other globes, we would have
that existence as our primary focus in life, and probably not
have incarnation on Globe D. We would be going through the
difficult process of fashioning ourselves a personality out of
the substance of a higher globe, a higher plane, and that would
be the central focus of our life for a period of time. >
It seems to me that the problem I am having is in how we define
the term "exist."  We all "exist" on all of the planes and

<We might read of the various globes and want to exist on them.
But not only is our progress not helped by seeking experience on
other planes (globes), it is often hindered, and that is why we
are taught as a general rule *to shut down the psychical side to
life* as an aspect of our spiritual training, as a prerequisite
to chelalife.>

I have a hard time with this paragraph.  Again, I am not sure
about what "exists" means.  How is our spiritual progress
"hindered" by accumulating information and experience?  How does
one "shut down the psychical side of life?"  Does this imply that
we must stop thinking?

<The training is one of consciousness, not of sense perception on
whatever plane, and it does not matter what place on earth we may
travel to, or whatever heavenworld or plane or globe we may
visit, if we haven't changed ourselves the visit has been in

While I certainly agree with the last part, I question whether
anyone can separate concsiousness from sense perception because
consciousness can focus on any plane with senses corresponding to
that plane.

Thats enough of this for now.

                              Jerry S.

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