Monads and World Chains
Dec 27, 1993 08:35 AM
As we study the core concepts of Theosophy, such as the seven
principles, we quickly find that things do not fit together neatly,
that there are things that may not seem quite right, that there seems
to be many arbitrary distinctions and classifications.
If we are not fortunate, we learn the words, and without truly
exploring them, we become practiced in repeating them, but many seem
hard to explain. We can repeat what we've read, but could not sit down
and explain things in our own words, and give the meanings and purposes
for the various ideas that we've been given.
If, though, we've taken on our study directly, and treated the Teachings
as worthy of our contemplation, we find that there is a wealth of things
to consider. We get to a point where we think that we've really had a
brilliant insight, and everything is falling neatly into place, when
a new insight arives, throwing into disorder our neatly-arranged ideas.
If our study has been on the Teachings, though, the disorder does not
lead to arbitrary differences in our thinking, nor does it lead to
eventual apathy, exhaustion, and an unwillingness to go further. The
study, rather, leads to new and deeper levels of meaning that add
new perspectives to what has been learned before. The order is
reestablished, and it embraces what was there before, but something
new is added, and there is a deeper level of understanding than before.
What we find is that the established order of our thoughts is broken,
fractured, thrown into disarray, then a new insight comes in, through
the breaks or cracks. Then the order is established anew, with the
now disconnected thoughts woven back together to include the new
insight as an integral part of the new body of thought.
Early in our study of the core concepts, we find that the same terms
are used with different meanings. We only end up confused when we
try to equate the different things spoken of under the same terms, and
this confusion leads us to start, by necessity, to distinguish which
idea is being spoken of, when a particuar term is used.
This approach of teaching different things under the same words has
many reasons. First, there is not a sufficient richness in language
in English to describe the Mystery Teachings.
Second, the terminology was borrowed from English and the various
religions and philosophies of the world, and has not had centuries of
Third, the esoteric truths are often presented under a blind, where an
exoteric fact is presented, in order to divert attention from the
genuine Msytery Teaching that is also being revealed.
And fourth, the manner of teaching and training, proven to be the most
effective over countless generations of teaching, is to force the
student to learn from himself, to go beyond the words and gasp the
ideas on his own initative, and we find ourselves doing this when we
learn to pick out the meanings that are behind the words that we read.
Consider the core teaching of the seven principles of man. Under the
guise of the seven principles, there are a number of related but
different Teachings that are being presented.
One meaning has to do with the different planes and globes. The
connection is that the activities of a particular globe, the
characterictic behavior of the laws of nature on that globe, is
under the influence of one of the principles. That principle
predominates, out of it originates the activities of that globe.
A second meaning has to do with the different selves within us. Each
self has its own level of consciousness, and each self, in the
composite nature of our constitutions, plays the role of initiating
activities primarily from one of our principles. This deals with
the Teaching of Monads, Egos, and Souls.
A third meaning refers to the different influcences on us from the
seven sacred planes.
A fourth meaning refers to the elements or ingredients of consciousness,
and has nothing to do with bodies or planes or worlds, but describes
the fabric of consciousness itself.
And a fifth meaning refers to the living substances out of which
conscious existence is built up, the living attributes which we know
as our skandhas.
There are other meanings as well, it is not limited to five. All the
meanings are different things, that are related, that can be compared
by analogy or correspondence, but there is not a point-for-point
identity between them. The principles may be described under one
possible meaning, but really refer to an esoteric truth revealed under
yet another meaning.
Purucker, in his writings, is helpful, because he makes it clear that
this method of teaching is being used, and he gives frequent hints
that lead us to quite deep insights, and because he even goes to far as
to explain how we are being taught. An especially good book to start
with, after having read some of the introductory books, is his work
"Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy".
We must take care in our studies, to not grasp the words too tightly,
or they may mislead us. We have to fill ourselves with the proper
reverence of mind, and enter into the proper thought atmosphere, and
we can get around the words and approach the actual teachings that are
being presented to us.
Besides the seven principles, other word teachings, exoteric doctrines
we are presented are also rich with multiple meanings, and we shut
ourselves out from most of them if we try to pick a single meaning for
each term and leave it at that.
Each globe of our planetary chain is a world on which the human ego
is capable of existence. Each of these worlds is on a different plane
or part of a plane. Globes C and E, for instance, are on the same plane,
but C is on the lower part of its plane, and its life energies are
directed downward, whereas Globe E is on the upper part of its plane,
and its life energies are directed upwards.
There is, then, both the actual worlds to experience different planes
on, and a direction to the life energies, either downwards or upwards,
depending upon whether the globes are on the downward arc (A, B, C,
and a portion of D) or the upward arc (another portion of D, then E,
F, and G).
Some globes--depending upon which subplane they are on--are formless
in nature, or are on planes of form. When we say *formless plane*, we
are not talking about a plane where there are no objects, no forms,
no shapes to things, and we are also not talking about planes where
everything is amorphous, continually changing in shape.
*Formless* refers to the requirement that a single form, or body, be
present in and through which we exist as beings. We are not required
to act simply through a body, but our effects on the forms of the
world are made directly upon our surroundings. We still have a
locality, and there still are things there, but we are not a thing or
The purpose of the globe chain, then, is to provide places for us to
exist on the different planes. On the globe chain, the various kingdoms
of nature have their existences. These kingdoms range from the
Elementals, through the Human and Dhyani-Chohanic. As a Monad progresses
from one kingdom to the next, say from the Plant to the Animal
Kingdoms, it is said to be the corresponding type of Monad, to be a
Plant Monad, then an Animal Monad.
The Monad itself is above manifestation, and is untouched by this
progression through the kingdoms. It is its ray of consciousness, the
Ego, that grows and evolves throught the kingdoms. So, in one sense, we
could speak of a Monad with an animal Ego, then a Monad with a human
Ego, rather than of an Animal Monad becoming a Human Monad. Speaking of
it in different ways, though, allows us slightly different ways of
thinking of it, and we need to avoid being locked into a single point
of view or a single way of considering any of the Teachings!
Considering us as Human Monads, on each of the globes, we have a
personal or human Ego, each of a different type, each specifically
evolved forth for that particular home. Each ego is composed of a
karmic web of interactions established with the other beings that we
know and have mixted destinies with that ego's globe.
Even on the very highest globes, we have human Egos that belong to
those globes. The nature of the Egos is different, though, and one
cannot understand another. We go from one to the next by shifting
our consciousness, by releasing the one ray of consciousness and
entering into the other, by effectively becoming an entirely different
self. But that self is us, is ourselves, as we have made ourselves on
that other globe on which that self calls its home.
Now there are higher ranges of being, vaster worlds than the globes of
our planetary chain. They are not higher in quantity of physical mass
or energy output. They are not suns, as compared to planets.
The higher worlds are composed of bigger ranges of planes, a wider
spectrum of the spaces of space. When we consider each globe being on
a different plane, we could also consider all those planes as being
subplanes of a yet bigger plane. And it is that bigger plane on which
a single *globe* or world of a greater chain would exist.
To distinguish between these *globes* and what we commonly know to be
the globes, we could use the term *world*, and speak of *world chains*.
All the globes of the earth planetary chain exist on subplanes of
a single plane, on which a single world, in a world chain exists.
This does not mean that such a world is a composite plane, consisting
of seven or twelve globes somehow pasted together. It is a single
place, a single world, but the range of consciousness that it embraces
includes everything that our entire globe chain encompasses.
Any of our globes has a laya center that leads inwards and upwards to
one such world. The connection is analogous to the different lower human
or personal Egos that we have on the globes, each with a link within
to the higher self, the higher human Ego, which has a consciousness
that spans the globe chain.
This *world* is the home of the Planetaries. When we speak of them as
spanning the globes in their consciousness, it is just that: spanning
in consciousness, which is the range or extent of consciousness in this
higher world. It is not spanning in the sense of running back and
forth, from one globe to the next, as visiting the globes.
When we speak of the Spiritual Monad having a wider range of
consciousness than the Human Monad, and the Divine Monad a still wider
range, we are talking about the planes that their *worlds* or
theaters of existence take in. One such grand range, for instance,
includes the Universal Solar System, which reaches far beyond what we
know of as our solar system, far more than our visible sun and the
planets that we know it to have.
When we enter a *world*, leaving beind the globe chain, we have departed
existence on all the globes of the chain. We have not raced through
the globes, from one to the next, and we have not merely transferred
ourselves to a higher globe. We have left behind all the globes, and
could later emerge into existence on a particular globe, though our
human Ego that corresponds to that globe.
Considering our existence on the globe chain, we cycle through the
seven or twelve globes, making a complete circuit of the planes. All
the kingoms of nature, including the Dhyani Chohanic as well, as
Monads, go through the globes in succession, as their life waves
sweep along during the seven Rounds.
For each globe, regardless of our kingdom, we have an Ego that is
especially evolved forth for that globe. We have a different self
waiting for us on each of these globes or planes that we visit. This
is true be we Elemental Monads, or even Dhyani-Chohanic Monads.
Note, though, the word *Monads*. It represents a certain stage of
development, a stage ligher than Atoms, but lesser than Gods. The
higher level to existence, as Gods, involves interaction with the
*world* behind the globes of our chain, and involves the Outer Rounds,
where we visit other planets.
The atoms stay put, on a single globe. The Monads circle the globes.
And the Gods visit higher *worlds*. The Gods have a greater range of
experience, and do rounds of the planets. But Dhyani Chohanic Monads
are not yet Gods, and still are part of the monadic kingdoms. They
still have Egos for each of the globes, and visit them in succession.
One problem, as we go further in our exploration of the Wisdom
Tradition, is that the more we uncover, the more we have left
unexplained. The more we explore an subject, the less neatly wrapped
up it is. The deeper our penetration into the Teachings, the more
unanswered questions that we have. It is a never ending process, that
results not in confusion and bewilderment, but rather in an on-going
dialog with one's inner teacher and in a broadening and deepening of
ones ties with the spiritual.
We have to be willing to throw aside or upturn our well-ordered
thinking many times as we go over and contemplate the Teachings. These
upheavals can almost be expected as a regular experience, almost
periodic in nature, if we are turn to our studies, and following the
This refashioning of our thoughts, this ever-expanding change to our
thought life, is not just changes in our thoughts, but also changes in
our self-nature, both of which are Manas, that which makes us unique
as individuals and distinct from others. We broaded and uplift and
evolve our thought life, and we have raised ourselves as well.
When we have our theosophical thoughts too nicely organized, too
neatly compartmentalized, too thoroughtly defined, we will find
ourselves out of touch with our inner teacher, apart from the thought
current of the Mysteries, adrift without our spiritual anchor. We
need to avoid the molds of mind, we need to give new, different,
fresh expression to our inner natures, we need to shake loose of any
too-rigid thought lest it become a barrier to thinking!
Eldon Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application