The mask is of life, form in which are the five senses, and gross matter as sex and desire; he who wears the mask is the real man.
|Vol. 5||SEPTEMBER, 1907.||No. 6|
|Copyright, 1907, by ♏︎. W. PERCIVAL.|
AND now comes the distinct line of demarcation between mindless humanity (the bharishad) and humanity with mind (the agnishvatta). The time had now come for the incarnation of mind (agnishvatta) into animal humanity (of the bharishad). There were three classes of the beings called in the Secret Doctrine the “agnishvatta pitris,” or the Sons of Mind, whose duty it was to incarnate into animal humanity. These Sons of Mind, or Minds, were those of the humanity of the preceding evolution who had not attained to complete immortality of their individuality, and so it became necessary for them to finish their course of development by lighting up by their presence the nascent mind in the animal man. The three classes are represented by the signs scorpio (♏︎), sagittary (♐︎), and capricorn (♑︎). Those of the class of capricorn (♑︎), were those who it was mentioned in a former article on the zodiac had either attained full and complete immortality, but who preferred to wait with the less advanced of their kind to assist them, or those others who had not so attained but who were near attainment and who were conscious of and determined on the performance of their duty. The second class of minds were represented by the sign sagittary (♐︎), and partook of the nature of desire and aspiration. The third class were those whose minds had been controlled by desire, scorpio (♏︎), when the end of the last great evolution (manvantara) came.
Now when the physical-animal humanity had been developed to its highest form, it was time for the three classes of the Sons of Mind, or Minds, to enfold and enter them. This the first agnishvatta race (♑︎) did. Through the breath sphere they surrounded the bodies which they had selected and placed a portion of themselves into those human-animal bodies. The Minds who had thus incarnated lighted up and set on fire the desire principle in those forms and physical man was then no longer a senseless animal, but an animal with the creative principle of mind. He passed out of the world of ignorance in which he had been living, into the world of thought. The human animals into whom mind had thus incarnated, attempted to control the Minds, even as a wild steed might attempt to run away with its rider. But the minds who had incarnated were well experienced, and, being old warriors, they brought the human animal into subjection and educated it until it became a self-conscious entity, and they having performed their duty, thus became liberated from the necessity to reincarnate, and leaving the self-conscious entity in their places to carry on their own development and perform a like duty in the future day for entities similar to those which they had been, the Minds (♑︎) having attained full and complete immortality, passed on or remained at will.
Those of the second class, the minds of the class of sagittary (♐︎), not wishing to neglect their duty, but desiring also to be untrammeled by the limitations of the human body, made a compromise. They did not fully incarnate, but projected a portion of themselves into the physical bodies without enfolding them. The portion so projected, lit up the desire of the animal, and made it a thinking animal, which immediately conceived ways and means of enjoying itself as it was not able while only an animal. Unlike the first class of minds, this second class was unable to control the animal, and so the animal controlled it. At first the Minds who thus partially incarnated, were able to distinguish between themselves and the human animal into which they had incarnated, but gradually they lost this discriminative power, and while incarnate they were unable to distinguish between themselves and the animal.
The third and last class of Minds, the scorpio (♏︎) class, refused to incarnate into the bodies in which it was their duty to incarnate. They knew that they were superior to the bodies and desired to be as gods, but although refusing to incarnate, they could not withdraw entirely from animal man, so they overshadowed him. As this class of physical humanity had reached its fullness, and as its development was not carried on or guided by mind, they began to retrograde. They associated with a lower order of animal, and produced a different type of animal, a type between the human and the monkey. This third class of Minds realized that they would soon be without bodies if the remaining race of physical humanity were allowed to thus retrograde, and seeing that they were responsible for the crime thus allowed they at once incarnated and were entirely controlled by the desire of the animal. We, the races of the earth, are made up of a physical humanity, plus the second (♐︎) and third class of Minds (♏︎). The history of the races is re-enacted in foetal development and birth, and in the later development of man.
The male and female germs are the two aspects of the invisible physical germ from the world of the soul. What we have termed the world of the soul, is the breath sphere of the first humanity, which physical man enters at birth and in which “we live and move and have our being” and die. The physical germ is that which is preserved of the physical body from life to life. (See article on “Birth-Death—Death-Birth,” The Word, vol. 5, Nos. 2-3.)
The invisible germ does not come from either of the parents of the child to be; it is the residue of its personality which last lived on earth and it is now the seed-personality which comes into physical existence and expression through the instrumentality of physical parents.
When a personality is to be built up, the invisible physical germ is breathed out from its world of the soul, and, entering the womb through the breath sphere of the united couple, is the bond which causes conception. It then enfolds the two germs of the man and woman, to which it gives life. It causes to be put forth the uterine sphere¹ of life. Then within the uterine sphere of life, the foetus passes through all forms of vegetable and animal life, until the human form is reached and its sex is determined in form. Then it takes and absorbs an independent life from that of the parent in whose matrix (♍︎) it is being developed, and so continues until birth (♎︎). At birth, it dies from its physical matrix, the womb, and enters again the breath sphere, the world of the soul. The child lives over again the childhood of physical humanity in its innocence and ignorance. At first the child develops its form and natural desires. Then later, at some unexpected moment, puberty is known; desire is lifted up by the influx of creative mind. This marks the humanity of the third class (♏︎) of the Sons of Mind who incarnated. Now personality proper becomes apparent.
Man has forgotten his past history. The ordinary man seldom stops to think of who or what he is, aside from the name by which he is known and the impulses and desires which prompt his actions. The ordinary man is a mask through whom the real man endeavors to speak. This mask or personality is made up of life, form (linga sharira, in which are the five senses), gross physical matter in the form of sex, and desire. These make up the mask. But to make the personality complete mind is necessary, some one who wears the mask. The personality per se is the brain-mind acting through the five senses. The personality is held together by the form body (linga sharira) for a term usually determined at its inception. The same material, the same atoms, are used again and again. But at each building up of a body the atoms have transmigrated through the kingdoms of nature, and are used in a new combination.
But inasmuch as so many factors enter into the make-up of the personality, how are we to distinguish between each of the principles, the elements, the senses and all that goes to make up the personality? The fact is that all the early races are not merely things of the distant past, they are actualities of the very present. How may it be shown that beings of past races engage in the building and maintenance of composite man? The breath race (♋︎) is not encased in the flesh, but surges through it and gives it being. The life race (♌︎) is the atomic spirit-matter which pulses through every molecule of the body. The form race (♍︎), as the shadows or projections of the bharishad pitris, acts as the molecular part of the physical body, and enables physical man to sense matter on the physical plane. The physical body (♎︎) is that which is apparent to the five senses, which is subject to magnetic attraction or repulsion according to the affinity of sex (♎︎) polarity. The desire principle (♏︎) acts as gravitation through the organs of the body. Then comes the function of thought (♐︎) which is the result of the action of mind on desire. This thought is distinguished from the desire by the power of choice. The mind, the real individuality (♑︎), is known by the absence of desire, and the presence of reason, of right judgment.
One may distinguish his entity from the (♋︎) breath race by an assurance or sense (not intelligence) of his being, which comes in the ever-present coming and going of breath. It is a sense of ease and being and rest. We notice it when going into or coming out of a peaceful sleep. But the complete sensing of it is experienced in deep refreshing sleep only, or in a state of trance.
The life principle (♌︎) is to be distinguished from the others by a joyous outward impulse as though one could from the sheer joy of life rise out of himself and fly with delight. It might at first be perceived as a tingling sense of pleasurable unrest which pulses through the entire body that feels, if one is sitting or reclining, as though he could rise up without moving from his chair or expand while still reclining on his couch. According to temperament, it may act spasmodically, or make itself known by a sense of forcefulness, but a calm and gentle forcefulness.
The entity of the third race, the form (♍︎) entity, may be known as distinct from the physical body by the feeling of one’s form within the body and similar to the feeling of the hand in a glove as being distinct from the glove, although being the instrument by which the glove is made to move. It is difficult for a well-balanced robust body, where health prevails, to at once distinguish the astral form body within the physical, but anyone may do it nevertheless by a little practice. If one sits quietly without moving, certain parts of the body are not usually sensed, say for illustration, one toe as distinct from the others without moving it, but if the thought is placed on that particular toe the life will begin to pulsate there, and the toe will be felt in outline. The pulsating is the life, but the sensing of the pulse is the form body. In this manner any part of the body can be sensed without either moving that part itself or touching it with the hand. Especially is it so with the skin and extremities of the body. The hair even of the head may be distinctly sensed by turning the thought to the scalp, and thence feeling the magnetic waves flowing through the hair and around the head.
While in a state of revery, the form entity, which is the exact duplicate of the physical body, may, as a whole or in part only, pass out of the physical body, and the two may seem side by side, or as an object and its reflection in a mirror. But such an occurrence is to be avoided rather than encouraged. One’s astral hand may leave its physical vehicle or counterpart and be raised to one’s face, a matter of frequent occurrence though not always noticed by the person. When the astral form of the hand leaves its counterpart and is extended elsewhere, it feels as though, like a soft or yielding form, it is pressing gently or passing through the object. All the senses are centered in the astral form body, and one may distinguish this form body while walking, by considering that he is making it, the astral form, move the physical body, even as it makes the physical body move the clothes in which it is encased. The form body is then felt to be distinct from the physical even as the physical is distinct from the clothes. By it one may sense his physical in the same manner as he is now able with his physical body to sense his clothes.
The desire (♏︎) principle is readily distinguished from the others. It is that which surges as passion, and lusts after objects and gratification with the tyranny of unreasoning force. It reaches out and yearns after all things of the appetites and pleasures of the senses. It wants, and would satisfy its wants by drawing that which it wants into itself like a roaring whirlpool, or by consuming it like a burning fire. Extending from the mild form of natural hunger, it reaches along the line of all the senses and emotions, and culminates in the gratification of sex. It is blind, unreasoning, without shame or remorse, and will have nothing except the particular gratification of the craving of the moment.
Uniting with all these entities, or principles, yet distinct from them, is the thought (♐︎) entity. This thought entity in contact with desire-form (♏︎–♍︎) is the personality. It is that which the ordinary man calls himself, or “I,” whether as a principle distinct from or united with his body. But this thought entity which speaks of itself as “I,” is the false “I,” the reflection in the brain of the real “I” or individuality.
The real entity, the individuality or mind, manas (♑︎), is distinguished by the immediate and correct cognition of the truth concerning any thing, without using the ratiocinative process. It is the reason itself without the process of reasoning. Each of the entities referred to have their particular way of speaking to us, somewhat as described. But those with which we are most concerned, are the entities of the three signs, scorpio (♏︎), sagittary (♐︎) and capricorn (♑︎). The two first make up the great bulk of humanity.
The desire entity, as such, has no definite form, but acts as a seething vortex through forms. It is the beast in man, which possesses extraordinary though blind force. In common humanity it is the mob spirit. If it dominates the personality entirely at any moment, it causes him for the time being to lose all sense of shame, of the moral sense. The personality acting as the brain mind through the senses by desire, has the faculty of thought and reasoning. This faculty it may use for two purposes: either to think and reason about things of the senses, which are of the desires, or else to think and reason concerning subjects which are higher than the senses. When the personality uses the faculty for either purpose, it speaks of itself as the real I, though as a matter of fact it is only the impermanent I, the reflection of the real ego. The difference between the two can readily be discerned by anyone. The personality uses the reasoning faculty and speaks to others through the senses, and experiences things through the senses. The personality is the sensitive being who is proud, who is selfish, who is offended, who becomes passionate, and would revenge himself for fancied wrongs. When one feels hurt by the word or action of another, it is the personality who feels the hurt. The personality delights in flattery of a gross or refined character, according to its disposition and temperament. It is the personality which educates the senses, and through them delights in their enjoyment. Through all this the personality may be discerned by its moral code. It, the personality, is the entity which formulates a code of morals for its own and others’ actions, according to the high or low development of the personality, and it is the personality which decides the course of action according to its acknowledged code. But all the idea of right action comes by way of reflection from its higher and divine ego into this false ego, and this light reflected as personality, is often disturbed by the turbulent restless motion of desire. Hence the confusion, doubt, and hesitancy in action.
The real ego, the individuality (♑︎), is different and distinct from all this. It is not proud, nor is it offended at anything that may be said and done. Revenge has no place in the individuality, no feeling of pain in it results from spoken words or thoughts, no delight is felt by it from flattery, or experienced through the senses. For it knows of its immortality, and the passing things of sense are in no way attractive to it. There exists no code of morals as to the individuality. There is but one code, that is the knowledge of right and its action follows naturally. It is in the world of knowledge, hence the uncertain and shifting things of sense have no allurements. The individuality speaks to the world through the personality, through the higher faculties of the personality, as its duty is to make of the personality a self-conscious being instead of leaving it the reflective self-conscious being which the personality is. The individuality is fearless, as nothing can injure it, and it would teach the personality fearlessness through right action.
The voice of the individuality in the personality is conscience: the single voice which speaks silently amidst the uproar of the voices of sense, and is heard amidst this roar when the personality wishes to know the right and will pay attention. This silent voice of the individuality speaks only to prevent wrongdoing, and is heard by and may become quite familiar to the personality, if the personality learns its sound and obeys its behests.
Personality begins to speak in the human being when it as a child first considers itself as “I,” separate from and independent of others. Usually there are two periods in the life of the personality which are especially marked. The first dates from the moment it came to conscious memory, or its first recognition of itself. The second period is when in it awakens the knowledge of puberty. There are other periods, such as gratification by flattery, the gratification of pride and power, yet these are not such landmarks as are the two named, even though these two are forgotten or are seldom remembered in later life. There is a third period which is the exception in the life of the personality. It is that period which sometimes comes in a moment of intense aspiration toward the divine. This period is marked as if by a flash of light which illuminates the mind and brings with it a sense or prescience of immortality. Then the personality realizes its frailties and its weaknesses and is conscious of the fact that it is not the real I. But this knowledge brings with it the power of humility, which is the strength as of a child whom no one will injure. Its sense of impermanence is supplanted by the conscious presence of its true ego, the real I.
The life of the personality extends from its first memory to the death of its body, and for a period after in proportion to its thoughts and actions during life. When the hour for death comes, the individuality withdraws its light as the setting sun its rays; the breath entity withdraws its presence and life follows. The form body is unable to co-ordinate with the physical, and it rises from its body. The physical is left an empty shell to decay or be consumed. The desires have left the form body. Where is the personality now? The personality is only a memory in the lower mind and as a memory partakes of desire or partakes of mind.
That portion of memories which relates entirely to things of the senses and of sensuous gratification, remains with the desire entity. That portion of the memory which partook of aspiration toward immortality or the real ego, is preserved by the ego, the individuality. This memory is the heaven of the personality, the heaven alluded to or pictured on a gorgeous background by religious denominations. This memory of the personality is the efflorescence, the glory of a life, and is preserved by the individuality, and spoken of in the religions of the world under many symbols. Though this is the usual history of personality, it is not so in every case.
There are three courses possible for every personality. Only one of these can be followed. The usual course has already been outlined. Another course is the complete loss of personality. If in any life that form which was projected is born and develops into personality by the ray of light of the mind, and should center all its thought on things of the senses, should engage all its thought on self-gratification, either of a sensual nature or for love of selfish power, should center all its faculties on itself without regard for others, and further, should it avoid, deny and condemn all things of a divine nature, then that personality by such action will not respond by aspiration to the divine influence of the real ego. By refusing such aspiration, the soul-centers in the brain will become deadened, and by a continued deadening process, the soul-centers and the soul-organs in the brain will be killed, and the ego will have no avenues open through which it may contact the personality. So it withdraws its influence entirely from the personality and that personality is thereafter either an intellectual animal or a sense-loving brute, according as it has gratified itself by its work for power through the faculties, or by mere enjoyment through the senses. If the personality is then only a sense-loving brute, it is disinclined toward intellectual pursuits, except in so far as they may excite the senses and afford enjoyment through them. When death comes for this kind of a personality, it has no memory for anything higher than the senses. It takes the form indicated by its ruling desire, after death. If it is weak it will die out or at best may be reborn as an idiot, which idiot will at death fade out entirely or only last for a time as a senseless shadow.
This is not the case with the personality of the intellectual animal. At death the personality persists for a time and remains as a vampire and curse on humanity, and then is reborn a human animal (♍︎–♏︎), a curse and a scourge in human form. When this curse has reached the limit of its life it cannot again be born in this world, but it may live for a time on the magnetism and life of such ignorant human beings as will allow it to obsess them and vampirize them, but it finally dies out of the world of desire, and only its picture is preserved, in the rogues’ gallery of the astral light.
The loss of personality is far more serious a matter than the death of a thousand mortals, for death only destroys the combination of the principles into form, while the efflorescence of their lives is preserved, each in its own individuality. But the loss or death of personality is terrible because, it has taken ages to work up that essence, which exists as the germ of personality, and which is reproduced from life to life.
For though no human personality as such does reincarnate, there is nevertheless a seed or germ of personality which does. We have called this germ or seed of personality the invisible physical germ from the world of the soul. As has been shown, it is projected from the breath sphere (♋︎), and is the bond for the two germs of sex to unite and produce a physical body. This has gone on for ages, and must continue until in some life the personality shall be raised by the true ego which ensouls it, to a conscious immortal existence. Then that personality (♐︎) is no longer limited to one life, but is raised to capricorn (♑︎), to a knowledge of immortal life. But the loss or death of the personality does not alone affect the breath sphere, the bharishad pitri (♋︎), it also retards the individuality (♑︎), the mind. For it is the duty of the agnishvatta pitri to immortalize the representative of the bharishad, known as the personality. As it took ages for the cancer (♋︎) race to develop the virgo-scorpio (♍︎–♏︎) race, so it may take ages again for that entity to build up another entity through which its corresponding agnishvatta pitri may come in contact with it.
The personality who has severed itself from its higher ego, has no belief in immortality. But it fears death, knowing inherently that it will cease to be. It will sacrifice any number of lives to save its own, and holds on most tenaciously to life. When death comes it uses almost unnatural means to avoid it, but at last it must succumb. For death has more than one function; it is the inevitable and inexorable leveler, the self-decreed destiny of the wilfully ignorant, the wicked and the unjust; but it also ushers the personality into the ideal reward which it has earned by its work in the world; or, through death, man, rising by aspiration and right action above all fear of punishment or hope of reward, may learn the secret and power of death—then death teaches its great mystery and bears man above its realm where age is in immortal youth and youth the fruition of age.
The personality has no means of remembering a former life, because it as a personality is a new combination of many parts, each part of which combination is quite new in the combination, and therefore no memory of a former existence can be had by that personality. The memory or knowledge of an existence prior to the present personality is in the individuality, and the particular memory of a particular life or personality is in the efflorescence or spiritual essence of that life which is retained in the individuality. But the memory of a past life may be reflected from the individuality into the mind of the personality. When this does occur it is usually when the present personality has aspired to its true self, the individuality. Then, if the aspiration coincides with any particular former personality, this memory is reflected in the personality from the individuality.
If the personality is trained and is conscious of its higher ego, it may learn of the previous lives or personalities connected with its individuality. But this is possible only after long training and study, and a life given to divine ends. The organ which is used by the personality, especially in the higher functions and faculties, is the pituitary body, which lies behind the eyes in a hollow cavity near the center of the skull.
But people who remember the lives of former personalities do not usually communicate the facts, as it would be of no real benefit to do so. Those who speak of past lives usually imagine them. It is, however, possible for some personalities to see a picture or to have a flash of knowledge concerning a past life. When this is genuine it is usually due to the fact that the astral form or desire principle of a previous life has not entirely faded out, and that portion on which was impressed a memory or the picture of some event is drafted or becomes attached to the corresponding part of the present personality, or else enters the sphere of its brain mind. It then is vividly impressed by the picture, and builds up a series of events around it, by the association of ideas with the picture.
Not one of the races or principles, in itself, is evil or bad. The evil lies in allowing the lower principles to control the mind. Each one of the principles is necessary to the development of man, and as such it is good. The physical body cannot be disregarded or ignored. If one keeps the physical body healthy, strong and pure, it is not his enemy, it is his friend. It will furnish him much of the material needed for the building of the immortal temple.
Desire is not a force or principle to be killed or destroyed, for it can neither be killed nor destroyed. If there is evil in desire, the evil comes from allowing the blind brute force to compel the mind to gratify the whims and cravings of desire. But this is in most cases unavoidable, because the mind who thus allows himself to be deceived, has not had the experience and knowledge, nor acquired the will to overcome and control the animal. It must therefore go on until it fails or it conquers.
The personality is not a mask which may be abused and thrown aside. Personality after personality is built up by the breath and individuality, that through it the mind may come in contact with the world, and the forces of the world, and overcome and educate them. Personality is the most valuable thing the mind has to work with, and must not, therefore, be neglected.
But personality, however great and self-important and imposing and proud and powerful it may appear to be, is only as a whimsical child compared with the serene self-knowing individuality; and the personality must be treated as a child. It cannot be blamed for things beyond its comprehension, though as with a child its evil tendencies must be restrained, and gradually it must be brought to see as does the child that life is not a house of play or pleasure, with toys and the tasting of sweetmeats, but that the world is for earnest work; that all phases of life have a purpose, and this purpose it is the duty of the personality to discover and to perform, even as the child discovers the purpose of the lessons which it learns. Then learning, the personality becomes interested in the work, and in the purpose, and strives mightily to overcome its whims and faults, as does the child when made to see the necessity. And gradually the personality reaches up in aspiration to its higher ego, even as the growing youth desires to become a man.
Constantly restraining its faults, improving its faculties, and aspiring to conscious knowledge of its divine self, the personality discovers the great mystery—that to save itself it must lose itself. And becoming illuminated from its father in heaven, it loses itself from the world of its limitations and finiteness, and finds itself at last in the immortal world.
¹ The uterine sphere of life includes, in medical parlance, the allantois, amniotic fluid and the amnion.