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The Seven Principles

Sep 05, 1994 03:22 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is by Eldon Tucker


Clothed in the Seven Principles

    The question is sometimes posed: What purpose is there
to gradual evolution if we can leave behind space-time and
be perfect? Why go on, through the grind of evolution, if it
all comes to the same end, to homogenous, unmanifest
perfection? If we just end up where we've started, why go
through the process in the first place?
    We are taught that the process of evolution does
produce results, there is something that is attained, even
when manifestation is left behind at the close of some great
Manvantara. There is self-consciousness, the aroma or
essence of the wisdom acquired through the process of
evolution. This self-consciousness is akin to the lighting
of a fire, it is an insight, an awareness, a sensitivity to
the vastness of life.
    As part of our spiritual practice, we are taught to
become unselfconscious, to forget our personal selves. This
involves the gradual raising of the seat of our awareness from
the personal self, from the lower human Ego, to the
higher Self within. We learn to forget the fact that we are
such-and-such a person--perhaps overweight, with a big nose,
fond of pizza, wanting a better job. We come to dwell in
grand, universal thoughts and sentiments. We learn to live
for others, rather than for ourselves, and our awareness
shifts from our personal needs to the bigger needs of
humanity in general.
    The spark of self-consciousness, imprisoned in the
personality, is gradually freed. It is enabled to rise one
step higher within our constitution, one step closer to our
inner source, one step towards liberation. This is the
treasure of existence, the prize that we are seeking to
claim through our evolutionary journey. We must nurture this
spark, and take it with it, upward and inward. By the time
that we have brought it back to the threshold of Nirvana, it
is not merely a spark, but a fire of unimaginable
    We first awaken the higher principles, and bring them
into activity in our outer lives: Higher Manas, Buddhi-
Manas, Buddhi, Atma-Buddha, Atma, then Auric Egg-Atma. There
are many steps of opening them, many flowerings of our inner
natures that await us.
    After the initial awakenings, the principles grow to
full strength and maturity. They become positively enflamed
with the radiance of our inner spirituality. Manas becomes
Manas-enflamed, Manas-Taijas, Buddhi becomes Buddhi-
enflamed, Buddhi-Taijas, etc.
    As the Manvantara approaches its close, and the vast
period of evolution prepares to end, we leave behind our
attributes of existence, our Skandhas, and withdraw the
flame inward, into the unmanifest. We take it with us.
    But what is the unmanifest? Where is it? How is it part
of us? There are levels to it as well, levels that are a
logical necessity arising out of the relation of the
Unknowable to the manifest universe, of the relation of
That, Tat, the Ultimate Mystery, to This, Idam, the Outward,
Apparent Nature of Things.
    This relationship fits in neatly with the tenfold or
twelvefold principles of being, the fabric of consciousness.

    Consider first the manifest universe. We begin with a
sense of Being, a sense that existence is happening, a sense
that life is starting again. There is no separateness, no
sense of me-and-him, all is One. This is the consciousness
of the first principle of manifest consciousness: Atman.
Even with this, though, there is a slight flavor to things,
derived from the essential nature of the great Being who
plays host to the world to be, the Being whose embodiment
allows for the creation of the new world or universe.
    Picture a fish tank. Even if the fish tank is
uninhabited, it has its own unique shape, and there is a
certain unique color and flavor to its water, which is
different than any other tank. This is the Dharmakaya
vesture, where there is absolutely no sense of there being
more than one person, one individual, one Self to all that
    Even with but the Atmic principle, thought, there is
something more than just the darkness of the unmanifest.
There has been added the sense of Being, the sense of an
essential nature, the sense of connectedness to that plane
on which the world is in formation.
    The second step in taking on concrete existence, in
further differentiating our consciousness, comes with
Buddhi. With this principle, we being to manifest individual
differences in our awareness and perception. We see
ourselves as composed of a karmic web, as consisting of a
bundle of relationships with others. This is the level of
consciousness where there first is a sense of cocreation, of
jointly participating in the creation of the world to be. We
see ourselves as not just being in relation to others, but
as *being those relationships.* At this level, we have taken
on our body of causes, our Karanopadhi, our bundle of living
relationships with others. These relationships, which
compose a dynamic interplay between us and others, define
the karmic give and take between us and them. Karma is not
some exterior force, not some outside agency making sure
that we are punished for being bad. It is rather the living,
dynamic bonds of life between us and others that makes us
(and them) what we are. And it is through these living bonds
that we cocreate the world to be.
    The third step is to separate ourselves from these
bonds of relationship, to perceive ourselves as apart from
them. We take on a sense of personal selfhood in Manas. With
higher Manas, which gravitates upwards, we have a higher
Self. With lower Manas, gravitating downwards, we have the
lower self. With this further separation off from the
unmanifest, from the unity of life, we now have a sense of
Ego, a sense that we are a different being from the others
in the world.
    It should be noted that we are talking about our coming
into being, about our taking on of the fabric of
consciousness in a particular world or universe. We are
talking about coming into manifestation, as individuals, on
a particular plane, on a particular Globe. This does not
deal with the entirety of us. It involves looking at how we
take on manifest existence; but it does not address the
imperishable, timeless, perfect nature of our innermost
core, something rooted in the Grand Unknowable. This
rootedness is not dependent upon our being in existence, nor
being out of existence. It is unchanging and independent of
anything we may do, or anywhere we may be.
    Having taken on the sense of Ego, with Manas, we now
have taken on a sense of selfhood. We have taken on that
kind of experience in the world. We are aware of ourselves
existing, as separate individuals, with our own personal
natures, in a particular world. This sense of selfhood,
though, does not necessarily imply the fire of self-
consciousness. That light of consciousness, that radiance,
must work its way through the principles, over vast
evolutionary time periods. That principle where it resides
is the one that we call our "seat of consciousness." And we
are always at work seeking to shift it upward and inward.
    Now that we have a sense of personal selfhood, we are
getting closer to the point where we are ready to engage in
activity. The next stage, with Kama, is the desire to do
things. We need to care about activity. There needs to be
meaning and purpose to our existence. We need to have
particular things to care about, things to do in life. These
things could be ignoble, if Kama takes on that direction, or
they could be acts of heroic compassion, if Kama is directed
at the highest. Without Kama to ensnare us in outer
existence, we would remain in Manas, in a sense of contented
personal selfhood, disinterested in outer life. (It is in
just this very state, that we pass through the other Globes,
when dead, as we live out our Devachan in the bosom of the
Spiritual Monad.)
    Having taken on Kama, and truly caring to do things,
what do we need next? Life-energies, the power or force or
ability to take on motion, to engage in activity, to change.
This is Prana, and before we take it on, we are in a
*static* state, where we desire to do things, but do not
have the capability to take on motion, to change ourselves
and the outside world, to live out what we would do. We draw
on the surrounding life energies of the world, Jiva, and
what we are able to contain and direct become our personal
life energies, our Prana, and we are able now to not only
*want* things, but also to *effect changes* on them.
    To this point, we have been dealing with consciousness,
with life energies, with our experience of things. This is
the life side. But to actually do things, we need to engage
the form side of things as well. And with the next
principle, the Astral or Linga-Sharira, we take on *sense
perception.* We see, touch, taste, and smell. We take on
sensory perception of the outer world. We come into
relationship with others in terms of form, the mirror
opposite of Buddhi, where we come into relationship with
others in terms of life.
    At this stage, we have all our principles, minus but
the physical body. Were we fully consciousness in this
state, we could see and observe everything happening in the
world--and change things as well, via Prana--but there was
no living, organic, physical body anchoring us as being in a
particular place, acting as our proxy in the world. One must
be a Bodhisattva to function  in this state, even the
Mahatmas have physical bodies. But apart from this state, it
is possible to exist in a temporary, mind-created form, of
semi-physical nature, somewhat more material than the state
of pure perception of the Nirmanakaya. This mind-created
form is the Mayavi-Rupa, and Masters and advanced Chelas are
able to exist apart from their physical bodies in such
    The last principle, as mentioned, is the Sthula-Sharira
or physical body. This principle is the lowest that we go in
materiality, the lowest of the sevenfold or tenfold
principles. With it, we reach the ultimate state of
concreteness, where we take on a specific locality, and take
on a form as the proxy and channel for our consciousness.
(There *is* one lower state, in the twelvefold scheme, which
is related to avitchi or hell-consciousness, but it's a bit
too complicated to get into in this discussion.)
    To this point, we have been discussing the coming into
manifest existence, through the process of clothing
ourselves in the seven principles. We take on the fabric of
consciousness, from the storehouse of the world or universe
in which we would exist. We gather our Shandkas or bundles
of attributes, and engaged in the process of life in that
arena of existence.
    What about the rest of us? What about the part of us
that is unmanifest, that goes beyond existence, that dwells
in the Silence behind outward things? I try a few words on
that topic in a later posting. (I'm already up to four
pages!) That part of us consists of the higher of the *ten*
or *twelve* principles, that make up the totality of us, as

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