The word “Elementary” has been so loosely used that it has given rise to a good deal of confusion. It is thus defined by H. P. Blavatsky:
Properly, the disembodied souls of the depraved; these souls having, at some time prior to death, separated from themselves their divine spirits, and so lost their chance for immortality. But at the present stage of learning it has been thought best to apply the term to the spooks or phantoms of disembodied persons, in general to those whose temporary habitation is the Kamaloka. … Once divorced from their higher Triads and their bodies, these souls remain in their Kama Rupic envelopes, and are irresistibly drawn to the earth amid elements congenial to their gross natures. Their stay in the Kamaloka varies as to its duration; but ends invariably in disintegration, dissolving like a column of mist, atom by atom, in the surrounding elements. [ "Theosophical Glossary" - Elementaries, 1892 Edition - Posthumous publication - edited by G.R.S. Mead ] [Page 50]
Students of this series of Manuals know that it is possible for the lower Manas to so entangle itself with Kama as to wrench itself away from its source, and this is spoken of in Occultism as “the loss of the Soul" [ See The Seven Principles of Man, pages 44 to 46 ] It is, in other words, the loss of the personal self, which has separated itself from its Parent, the Higher Ego, and has thus doomed itself to perish. Such a Soul, having thus separated itself from the Immortal Triad during its earth-life, becomes a true Elementary, after it has quitted the dense and etheric bodies. Then, clad in its desire body, it lives for awhile, for a longer or shorter time according to the vigour of its vitality, a wholly evil thing, dangerous and malignant, seeking to renew its fading vitality by any means laid open to it by the folly or ignorance of still embodied souls. Its ultimate fate is, indeed, destruction, but it may work much evil on its way to its self-chosen doom.
The word Elementary is, however, very often used to describe the lower Manas in its garment the desire body, not broken away from the higher Principles, but not yet absorbed into its Parent, the higher Manas. Such Elementaries may be in any stage of progress, harmless or mischievous. [Page 51]
Some writers, again, use Elementary as a synonym for Shell, and so cause increased confusion. The word should at least be restricted to the desire body plus lower Manas, whether the lower Manas be disentangling itself from the kamic elements, in order that it may be re-absorbed into its source, or separated from the Higher Ego, and therefore on the road to destruction.
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