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It is necessary therefore to understand, that all the elements are in each of the celestial spheres, since in the sublunary elements also, each participates of the rest. For fire participates of earth; since being moved with facility, it would most rapidly perish, if it was entirely without stability. And earth participates of fire; for being moved with difficulty, it requires heat to resuscitate and restore it. As this therefore is the case in these sublunary elements, much more must all the elements be in each of the celestial spheres, though some of the heavenly bodies participate more of fire, others of air, others of water, and others of earth.
There is the teaching in brief: Just remember that each elemental, whether on the cosmic or microcosmic scale, is a learning, growing, evolving being. Its heart or core is a monad which, working through its spiritual elemental as its 'body,' produces from within itself its other veils. Man in a far past cosmic manvantara was such an elemental, and by gradual evolutionary growth he now has become a man; and as the human monad continues through the ages of future time to unfold from within its own essence its higher latent powers and faculties into self-expressive activity, man will evolve into becoming a god.
Exactly the same is it with all entities in the scale of cosmic life: The Tatwas stand in the same order as the seven macro- and micro-cosmic Forces; and as taught in Esotericism, are as follows:. It corresponds with the Auric Envelope or Brahma's Egg, which surrounds every globe, as well as every man, animal and thing. It is the vehicle containing potentially everything — Spirit and Substance, Force and Matter.
With the Occultists, this Force proceeds from the Second Logos. Akasa Tatwa is explained in them as Etheric Force, Ether. Hence Jupiter, the "highest" god, was named Pater Aether; Indra, once the highest god in India, is the etheric or heavenly expanse, and so with Uranus, etc.
All these correspond to our principles, and to the seven senses and forces in man. According to the Tatwa or Force generated or induced in us, so will our bodies act. This order of the cosmic tattwas is the one most generally given, yet occasionally vayu and taijasa are interchanged as regards position.
The reason for this is that each tattwa, being a cosmic plane or element, is septenary, and hence contains within itself all the other tattwas as subtattwas, otherwise subplanes; yet of course each cosmic tattwa is characterized by its own swabhava. For instance, certain mystic philosophers spoke of the very first sheath of adi-tattwa as being surrounded with its veil, just as Brahman is surrounded with its cosmic veil pradhana, Brahma with its veil prakriti, and so forth.
Furthermore, these Hindu philosophers called this veil, on account of its concretion relative to the monad which it surrounds, by the name earth, divine earth, divine prithivi. So we can look at anupapadaka-tattwa, second in the regular serial order, as a kind of divine prithivi or 'earth' for the consciousness which it surrounds, this earth being its body.
This is why the order of the tattwas is not always the same — one writer giving their serial order as the universe unrolls itself from divinity to the physical world; another considering a tattwa in its twofold aspect as both principle and veil; and still another exchanging one or two of the relative positions in the series in accordance with the viewpoint he holds when writing.
Thus, in one or two cosmogonies, such as those of the ancient Hebrews and of Thales, the Greek philosopher, the first appearance of things was the cosmic Waters, the Waters of Space, this prakriti or surrounding veil being regarded as aqueous in character; because when we look up into the vasty deeps of Space, we can figurate them as 'crystalline waters' as easily as we can 'air' or 'invisible fire.
In connection with the seven senses of man, each of which is derived from one of the seven elements or tattwas of which the universe is composed, H. These seven senses of ours correspond with every other septenate in nature and in ourselves. Physically, though invisibly, the human Auric Envelope the amnion of the physical man in every age of life has seven layers, just as Cosmic Space and our physical epidermis have. It is this aura which, according to our mental and physical state of purity or impurity either opens for us vistas into other worlds, or shuts us out altogether from anything but this three-dimensional world of matter.
Each of our seven physical senses two of which are still unknown to profane science , and also of our seven states of consciousness — viz: Each is also connected with, and under the direct influence of, one of the seven Sacred Planets. These belonged to the Lesser Mysteries, whose followers were called Mystai the veiled , seeing that they were allowed to perceive things only through a mist, as it were "with the eyes closed"; while the Initiates or "Seers" of the Greater Mysteries were called Epoptai those who see things unveiled.
Even the ordinary five senses that we have today are still imperfectly evolved. Each one is progressively growing more subtle, more capable of interpreting, through itself as a channel to the indwelling consciousness, the nature and functions of the universe outside. Remember that man is a stream of consciousness working in vehicles and building in those vehicles appropriate chambers and dwellings, doors and windows, so to speak, for manifesting its own powers and for receiving withinwards from the outside world the stimuli and the reactions which nature obliges it to receive.
Five senses hitherto have manifested themselves more or less perfectly; and they have been derived in the following order: Of all these, taste is the grossest and most material; but the faculty of smell and its reactions upon the stream of consciousness are even worse than those of taste. Two more senses will develop in us and express themselves with an appropriate physical apparatus before the manvantara of this present round on this globe has run its course. All these senses are functions of the indwelling consciousness.
From the Middle Ages on, in a minor cycle, we have been moving up out of the prithivi-tattwa, successively into the water or apas-tattwa, into the air or vayu-tattwa, then into the fire or taijasa-tattwa, and now we are entering gently, slowly, into the aether or akasa-tattwa — very imperfectly it is true, mere forecasting of what will happen in the seventh race; still we have been and are passing through small cycles of all these, and inventions correspond. Human productions keep pace; and it will all depend upon man's genius whether these new discoveries be used for the purposes of heaven or hell.
If for the latter, we shall go down, stifled and choked in our own evil effluvia. If they are used for purposes of beneficence, the whole of mankind will advance. The signs are all around us of a changing era, with the incoming of a new tide in human affairs.
After the downfall of the Roman Empire, men lived for the most part on land, in the prithivi-tattwa, scarcely going to sea at all.
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Then they began to travel more extensively and with greater cleverness over the waters — the apas-tattwa coming to the fore. Next they started to use steam vapor, 'air,' gas — the vayu-element; in later centuries taking to the air itself. Now with a rushing towards a culmination of airy experience, out of the air they are entering the more subtle tattwas. They are using, ever more extensively, fire the taijasa-element , electricity, explosives, including all the various kinds of igneous horrors — connected with the air because rising out of it.
Finally ether akasa is manifesting in the works of man as evidenced by wireless and the radio, etc. All of this shows that there are small cycles within greater cycles, repeating in general outline the processes of the greater ones. The two future senses are almost impossible to describe, because the one following the present fifth, smell, has not yet even manifested its presence, except by an occasional instinct of its functioning. It will partake somewhat of the nature of the faculty or sense belonging to touch; but instead of being physical touch, it will be an interior sense, and the intuition of it, or the instinct of it, is occasionally found even among men today — shadows of coming events.
Just as touch contacts the outer world, so will these two other senses on the ascending arc be on the same respective planes as hearing and touch; but, because they will exist in a more evolved entity, they will manifest themselves at first through an interior physical organ. An intimation of the sixth sense is what we call hunches that such and such a thing is right or wrong, or the thing to do or not to do.
This is not intuition, however, for it is lower than intuition: It might in one sense be spoken of as a form of clairvoyance. And the seventh sense, corresponding to hearing on the physical plane, will also be an akasic development. It will be the last sense to be brought forth by evolution in the physical body of man, and therefore will express an interior faculty, which will be awakened by contact with the lowest grades of the akasa.
The nearest approach that we can arrive at as to what this faculty will be, leaving aside the nature and locality of the organ through which it will work, is intuition, fully developed as far as it can be on this planet in this manvantara: Every faculty of sense, and therefore every sense organ as its expression in the body, is a faculty of our stream of consciousness; and no sense faculty can appear in evolution, and consequently no sense organ can show itself in the body, until that portion of the stream of consciousness has equivalently expressed itself.
The Atlanteans, for instance, had in their beginning but an instinct of what smell is. They used this faculty almost unconsciously, even as men today are using the sixth sense and the sixth faculty almost unconsciously, and only occasionally are vaguely aware of it and say, "I had a hunch. It might be as well to add a few words here about the gunas, because they are sometimes confused with the cosmic essences or tattwas. The gunas or 'qualities,' commonly enumerated as sattva, rajas and tamas, are the three fundamental and universally potent modes of consciousness of the armies of beings which make the universe.
From sattva flow forth the other two modes of consciousness, rajas or activity, and tamas or inactivity, generally speaking. Now the union of these two qualities, which do not neutralize each other but combine to form something superior to either, is what is meant by sattva — that which is 'real.
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When the universe is in manvantaric manifestation, it is the rajas quality which predominates, although of course the tamas and likewise the sattva are both present. When the universe is in pralaya with the unending peace and quiet that then prevail, the predominating quality is highest tamas, yet rajas is present, albeit relatively latent. Thus in the Vedas as well as in the Laws of Manu it is stated that before manifestation begins the universe is in the tamas condition, in utter repose.
Of course the highest principles of the universe are then in the sattva quality, while the rajas quality during pralaya is dormant. Hindu philosophy in connection with its Trimurti or triad of Brahma-Vishnu-Siva, usually ascribes the sattva guna or characteristic to Brahma; the quality of rajas to Vishnu; and the quality of tamas to Siva. Yet in both manvantara and pralaya the sattva quality runs throughout all. Thus the gods while eternally active are nevertheless peaceful because filled with wisdom, and their motions are effortless activity, and their actions are wondrously quiet and undisturbed.
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Furthermore, every one of the gunas — because the universe is fundamentally one, and all things in it are interblended and interacting — is itself threefold, otherwise we should have each of these three universal qualities existing absolutely separate and distinct from the other two, and this would make three absolutes.
They are not absolutes, but all three are relative; and both rajas and tamas, when united and balancing each other without loss of individuality in either, manifest the presence of their common originant, sattva. It has been customary among some Orientalists, who do not understand the esoteric meaning of these gunas, to speak of the tamas as being only sloth, darkness, evil, but this is quite wrong; for there is a sattva-tamas as well as a tamas-tamas; and the same type of observation may be made with regard to both the rajas and the sattva character or guna.
Thus it is that every one of the cosmic essences or tattwas is marked by the presence and inherent activity of the three gunas, each one acting in conjunction with the other twain. It should be the endeavor of all men to bring forth the sattva quality especially, for this means that instead of the frequent unbalance or bias of either rajas or tamas, both these qualities are in balance in the character and cooperating.
Hence it only stands to reason that the globes which overshadow our Earth must be on different and superior planes. Our planet like all those we see is adapted to the peculiar state of its human stock, that state which enables us to see with our naked eye the sidereal bodies which are co-essential with our terrene plane and substance, just as their respective inhabitants, the Jovians, Martians and others can perceive our little world: If he meaning the objector would perceive even the dim silhouette of one of such 'planets' on the higher planes, he has to first throw off even the thin clouds of the astral matter that stands between him and the next plane.
As each cosmic plane is divisible into seven or ten or twelve subplanes, there exists a close correspondence between the planes and the element-principles of the cosmos, the various cosmic planes being, in fact, worlds built of and in the corresponding element-principles. Every element-principle, being septenary or duodenary, contains within itself all the other element-principles; hence from each one of them can be ascertained in minor degree the nature and characteristics of all the others.
The evolutionary plan consists in the gradual and successive emanations of the various element-principles from each other as the aggregated life impulse cycles downwards from one cosmic plane to the next. This is perforce repeated on a minor scale on every one of the seven cosmic planes, in the gradual and successive appearance in each of what might be called the correspondential sub-element-principle, as the combined life impulse passes from one subplane to the next lower one.
It follows from this, that each one of the seven rounds of a planetary chain, each of the seven or twelve globes of that chain, and every one of the seven root-races of any globe thereof, has its predominating correspondence with one of the seven element-principles of the cosmos. Let us take globe D of our planetary chain as an illustration of the coming into being of any hierarchical unit through and in the seven cosmic planes. This globe is on the lowest or seventh of the manifested cosmic planes of our solar system, the prithivi plane; but this plane itself has seven or even twelve degrees of ethereality — its subplanes, which again are divisible into sub-subplanes after the same manner.
As an instance of how great are the differences between one subplane and the next, the matter or prakriti of our physical plane ranges from the utter invisibility of what we call ether to substances which our scientists assure us are more dense than lead. Now then, our globe D on this lowest cosmic plane, being itself sevenfold in the degrees of its substance, exists appears after various manners on all that plane. I do not mean to say that our physical globe infills it, but that every part of globe D is on its corresponding sub-subplane of the cosmic plane, each globe-phase corresponding to its own phase of that plane.
What applies to globe D applies of course to all the other globes of the planetary chain, each on its own cosmic plane. The question might arise as to how this series of correspondences comes to pass. The answer lies in the correct understanding of the manner in which the foundations of a planetary chain are built, globe after globe, in and during the first round.
This again can be illustrated by the case of globe D, because the process involved is identical for all the globes of the chain. Our globe D in the first round, in its highly ethereal aspect, is on the first, the uppermost, of the seven subplanes or phases of the prithivi cosmic plane. It evolves thereon in the highest, or the quasi-spiritual, phase of the prithivi cosmic element-principle.
In the second round, globe D will have evolved to the point of finding itself on and in the next lower phase of the prithivi cosmic element-principle; otherwise stated, it will have materialized to the extent of finding itself on subplane the second, counting downwards.
This should not be misunderstood as meaning that globe D then is entirely on the second subplane of prithivi, having completely left the first subplane. It would be far closer to truth to speak of globe D as being in the second round in and on the second subplane of the prithivi plane, but containing within itself the qualities and attributes of the first subplane thereof. It has now evolved from within itself the substances and energies which make it fit to appear on the second subplane of the prithivi plane.
In the third round, globe D will have descended to the third subplane of the prithivi cosmic plane. It will have evolved to the point of finding itself on and expressing the next lower phase of the prithivi cosmic element-principle, and will be then manifesting on the lowest of these three subplanes, meanwhile imbodying within itself the attributes and characteristics of the two superior subplanes. In the fourth round in which we are at present, globe D has reached the fourth subplane of prithivi, our globe's grossest state of matter in its present imbodiment.
The downward cycling then ceases for our globe, and its reascent begins.
Theo Lawrence (Author of Mystic City)
I am compelled to add here a word of warning in this very intricate subject of the subplanes, and sub-subplanes, of any cosmic plane. In the foregoing, I have sketched a mere outline of the descent of our globe D during its first four rounds, without attempting to be exact in description. However, were I aiming at strict accuracy, I should say sub-subplane instead of subplane.
As a matter of fact, every imbodiment of a globe, which means the course of a period of seven rounds, takes place on one subplane of any cosmic plane such as the prithivi cosmic plane. Moreover, because each such subplane is itself septenary, therefore a round really is the touching and being in and on one of the subplanes of a subplane of the cosmic plane. In other words, in and on every cosmic plane, such as the prithivi cosmic plane, there are seven imbodiments of a globe, and consequently there will be seven respective moons.
What about subplanes 5, 6, 7? The diagrams given in The Secret Doctrine I, , of the globes of a chain on the different cosmic planes are excellent as suggestions, showing the descent into matter and reascent into spiritual realms; but these are graphs only, conveying ideas and evoking thoughts. If we were to take these diagrams as actual pictures, then we would have to say that subplanes 5, 6, and 7 are identical with subplanes 3, 2, and 1, each to each, and this is entirely wrong.
It has already been stated that every cosmic plane is septenary, or denary, or duodenary, according to the manner of viewing it; and hence each subplane thereof, in addition to being itself seven- or ten- or twelvefold, is quite different from all the planes which precede or follow it. Now when a globe has reached the fourth subplane — and the fourth in any series of planes or principles is always the grossest of the series — then the globe begins to ascend and thus to dematerialize itself, albeit very slowly.
This ascent takes place through subplanes 5, 6, and 7, but in their more ethereal or higher sub-subplanes, so that when a globe finally reaches subplane 7, it does so in the most ethereal part of that subplane, which already is quasi-spiritual. Studies in Occult Philosophy, pp. I am only too keenly aware of the difficult nature of this thought, and feel almost in despair at finding adequate words with which to describe the serial evolution of a globe 'downwards' and 'upwards.
The following correlation of element-principles, globes, rounds, etc. When we shall be on globes E, F, and G of the ascending arc, we shall then 'see' the corresponding globes of the descending arc, to wit, globes C, B, and A; but, as a matter of plain fact, we shall do so only when the globe or globes on which we happen to be on the ascending arc traverse the exact sub-subplane on which the globes of the descending are then are. There is one more point in connection with any fourth subplane in a series: What applies to globe D concerning rounds and globes, applies to every one of the globes of the planetary chain, each on its own cosmic plane.
Now the combined life-waves, in making their first round, pass through the highest subplane or sub-subplane of each one of the four lower cosmic planes of the solar system to which the planetary chain belongs. In each one of these four lower cosmic planes, the life-waves, aggregatively, lay the foundations of a globe, any one of the then-in-the-making twelve globes of the entire chain.
To put it in a different manner: In the first round also, the combined life-waves form the foundations of globe B on the highest or first subplane of the fifth cosmic plane. In the same round, the combined life-waves form the foundations of globe C on the highest or first subplane of the sixth cosmic plane; and finally, they form the foundations of globe D, our own planet Terra, on the highest subplane of this seventh or prithivi cosmic plane. On the ascending arc likewise, globes E, F, and G have their foundations formed by the combined life-waves.
Then when the life-waves have reached the highest globe of our chain, the first round is ended. After the nirvana at the end of the first round, the second round begins. From this point the life-waves are now individualized to a much greater extent, and therefore peregrinate as individual waves, each such wave being really a family of monads. A life-wave on globe A, at the beginning of the second round, finds itself on the second sub-subplane of the fourth cosmic plane; it passes in karmic time then to globe B and finds itself on the second sub-subplane of the fifth cosmic plane; in due course it passes to globe C and to the second sub-subplane of the sixth cosmic plane; then again in kosmic time to globe D and to the second sub-subplane of the seventh or prithivi cosmic plane.
Similarly, with respect to the ascending arc, each life-wave finds itself on the appropriate sub-subplane of the respective cosmic planes upon which are located globes E, F, and G of the chain. The same general scheme of emanational unfolding is followed in all subsequent rounds. Globe D is at present manifesting on the fourth sub-subplane of the fourth subplane of this prithivi cosmic plane, seeing that we are now in the fourth round.
It follows likewise that during the seven rounds the life-waves pass through 49 sub-subplanes, all told, and the beings composing these life-waves thereby have the chance of evolutional unfolding on these different subplanes and of working out the destiny for which they came into active manifestation.
The three upper are the three higher planes of consciousness, revealed and explained in both schools only to the Initiates, the lower ones represent the four lower planes — the lowest being our plane, or the visible Universe. These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos.
But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three "seats" to life and activity. Most people are inclined to look upon the seven planes or worlds in any universe as lying one on top of another like a pile of books on a table, or like the steps of a stair. This is, of course, an erroneous concept and has arisen because of the attempt to portray these cosmic planes in the form of a diagram, and thus as one on top of the other.
However, this is but a means of helping us to realize that the higher the plane the more ethereal it is, and finally the more spiritual; and that the lower the plane the grosser it is, and finally the more material. Actually, the cosmic planes interpenetrate each other, inwards especially, as well as outwards; and the truth of this should be clear when we remember the teaching concerning the auric egg, for instance, of a man.
Let us take the 'layers' of such an auric egg as being the exact correspondences of the planes in the cosmos. We immediately realize that these layers are not one on top of another and rising above man's head until they reach infinity, but are groups of life-atoms, all together composing the auric egg, and differing only in degree of spirituality or materiality.
Indeed, the analogy is extremely exact; for what the auric egg is in man, with its many layers of atoms vibrating at different rates of intensity, just that in the cosmos is the aggregate of the cosmic planes interpenetrating each other — one plane being different from another because of immense variations in vibrational rates, making one plane material, another ethereal, and so forth to the highest plane. Now from the very fact that the life-atoms are as units individuals, each with its own highest or atmic, and its own lowest or material or it may be ethereal vehicle, we see that a layer or plane is made by these life-atoms themselves; so that collectively, even the lowest of any such aggregate of life-atoms has likewise its atmic or inmost fundamental being.
Thus it is that the topmost layers of any cosmic plane are spiritual or divine; even the topmost subplane of the lowest cosmic plane, and this does not mean that it is spiritual-divine only when compared with all its own lower subplanes. In other words, the uppermost layers of any cosmic plane are spiritual per se; and as the succeeding layers unfold downwards, they thicken or grossen proportionally faster, the lower the cosmic plane is.
Despite all that has been stated, some may still picture the seven cosmic planes, or the seven principles of man, or again the different layers of the auric egg, as piled one on top of the other.
Of course, in one sense, there is some truth in this, for one plane is emanationally unfolded in time and space from its superior plane. It is really the time-illusion which causes us to look upon each cosmic plane as being below the one which gave it birth. The highest subplane of any cosmic plane is as high, in its essence, as the highest subplane of any other cosmic plane. Yet the lower the cosmic plane, the more rapidly concretion takes place as the hierarchy of that plane unfolds itself 'downwards.
In Other Worlds
Here is the reason why we speak of the heart of the sun, of globe D of the solar chain, for instance, as being a particle of mother-substance in the sixth or even seventh state of this mother-substance, a subject we shall take up in more detail later. This means that all the different planes, instead of being actually one on top of another, are interblended and interacting, and hence there is a progression of life-atoms or monads not only from top to bottom and up again, but horizontally, as it were, on each plane.
The first or highest cosmic plane is the first or highest layer of the auric egg of the cosmos, or what we may call the cosmic atman, the Paramatman. The second or next lower cosmic plane is in its highest in essence equal to the second atmic subplane of the first cosmic plane or great atmic plane.
The third cosmic plane is in its highest in essence equal to the third atmic subplane of the first cosmic plane; and so forth down the scale. Thus the atmic subplane of the seventh or lowest cosmic plane is in its essence the same as the seventh or lowest subplane of the highest or atmic hierarchy of the cosmos.
It is, as it were, a reflection of the lowest sub-atmic plane of the first cosmic plane. This is why every little life-atom, even on this physical plane, is a sevenfold entity, because possessing at its heart the essence of the first cosmic plane or highest atman of the cosmos, plus the essences of all the intermediate five cosmic planes. The highest atmic plane of the cosmos therefore contains infolded within itself all the other lower atmic degrees of the unfolded cosmos. For the highest unrolls itself into seven or twelve , and out of these roll all the other atmic essences of the lower cosmic planes.
The atmic subplane of the second cosmic plane we can call a derivative from the buddhi-atman of the first cosmic plane; the atman of the third cosmic plane would be a manas-atman derivative of the first cosmic plane; and so on down the line of the unfolded cosmic hierarchy. It may be of interest here to mention that the ancient Buddhist initiates divided the cosmic worlds and planes of any structural unit into three generalized groups or dhatus: Suppose we take our planetary chain and try to divide the seven cosmic planes on which its twelve globes are distributed into the threefold division of the dhatus.
Then the lowest of the dhatus, the kama-dhatu, can be looked upon as being the seven manifest globes, and the rupa-dhatu as corresponding with the five higher globes of the twelve of our chain. The arupa-dhatu or formless worlds would correspond to the three highest planes above the seven on which these twelve globes are, thus making the full number of the ten planes of the solar system. As a matter of fact, however, this allocation of the dhatus is somewhat arbitrary, because different distributions could be given with equal logic. All such divisions of the universe should be considered somewhat like diagrams: The Secret Doctrine, I, The kama-dhatu or desire-world refers to the planes and globes which are the worlds of more or less concreted materialization; the rupa-dhatu or form-world refers to those planes of the solar system or of the chain and the globes on them, which are more ethereal; again the arupa-dhatu or formless world comprises the planes which to us are not concreted matter, whether coarse or ethereal, but are purely spiritual and therefore to us formless.
All these dhatus refer as much to the states of consciousness of the beings therein as they do to the planes and globes themselves. Viewed from another angle, these three groups of cosmic planes may be described briefly as follows: Thus the kama-dhatu system comprises our own physical cosmic plane with three others invisible to us, rising along an ethereal scale, and all together forming an aggregate of four planes of the cosmos on which we may place the seven globes of the planetary chain.
Then follows upwards the next system of worlds or planes which comprises the rupa-dhatu, a group system likewise seven in number, and graduating in ethereality and spirituality until the highest of this intermediate scale blends with the lowest of the arupa-dhatu, which again is a group system of seven worlds or planes. These three dhatus, ascending in steadily more ethereal ranges, form all the cosmic planes in any universal solar system; yet above them, there are other planes still more spiritual reaching into the divine, and in these last ranges of being are found those entities who have attained the nirvana.
On the cosmic scale, the higher principles of a universal solar system reach these spiritual-divine ranges of being at the end of the Maha-Saurya manvantara, and thus enter their paranirvana. Now the outbreathings of Brahma are from these paranirvanic spiritual-divine ranges of the galaxy, these outbreathings slowly descending through all intermediate planes until our physical world appears in the beginning of its manvantara as, first, a cosmic comet evolving to become a nebula, and ending as a universal solar system.
When the Maha-Saurya pralaya approaches, the reverse process of infolding or inbreathing begins to take place. The beings and energies and substances, commencing with the lowest cosmic plane, all gradually disappear within, like an infolding scroll as the general life force of the universal solar system retreats ever higher and more inwards through all the planes of the trailokya 7 , ingathering each such plane and all beings on and in it, and thus finally attaining the imageless or paranirvanic realms of the divine principles of the galaxy.
What is nirvana or paranirvana for one class of entities may not necessarily be such for another class superior to it. In other words, the Ring-pass-not is not one particular plane or sphere, but varies with different classes of entities. These are the four lower planes of Cosmic Consciousness, the three higher planes being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present. The seven states of human consciousness pertain to quite another question.
Each one of us is Infinitude in the core of the core of the god within. Yet as a human entity, even with the loftiest and most sublimely developed human understanding, we cannot rise in thought and comprehension above the fourth macrocosmic plane.