Modifications of Consciousness

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Modifications of Consciousness

By C.A. Bartzokas

Absolute Unconsciousness Is The Fount And Sustainer Of All Consciousness

We are dual aspects of an ultimate state of Unconsciousness, the One and Only Reality. “ . . . one eternal Truth, and one infinite changeless Spirit of Love, Truth and Wisdom in the Universe, as one Light for all, in which we live and move and have our Being. . . . ” 1

The Secret Doctrine asserts that out of a Perfect, Unconditioned, Unmanifested Consciousness, myriads of shortlived, bundles of individualised consciousnesses emerge, like sparks of a fire. 1. The ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahman 2 of the Vedantins, or the one Reality, SAT, which is, as Hegel 3 says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being. 
2. The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, unmanifested Logos,4 the precursor 5 of the “manifested.” This is the “First Cause,” the “Unconscious” of European pantheists. 
3. Spirit-matter, LIFE; the “Spirit of the Universe,” the Purusha and Prakriti, or the second Logos.
4. Cosmic ideation, Mahat or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the Cosmic Noumenon 6 of Matter, the basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called Maha-Buddhi.

That is how Unknowable Causality evolves to omnipresent mind and life immanent in every atom, For, “just as a human being is composed of seven principles, differentiated matter in the solar system exists in seven different conditions.” So does Fohat. He is One and Seven, and on the Cosmic plane is behind all such manifestations as light, heat, sound, adhesion, etc., etc., and is the “spirit” of ELECTRICITY, which is the LIFE of the Universe. As an abstraction, we call it the ONE LIFE; as an objective and evident Reality, we speak of a septenary scale of manifestation, which begins at the upper rung with the One Unknowable CAUSALITY, and ends as Omnipresent Mind and Life immanent in every atom of Matter. Thus, while science speaks of its evolution through brute matter, blind force, and senseless motion, the Occultists point to intelligent LAW and sentient LIFE, and add that Fohat is the guiding Spirit of all this. Yet he is no personal God at all.1

And keeps transferring informing principles from one planet to the other, It is Fohat 2 who guides the transfer of the principles from one planet to the other, from one star to another child-star. When a planet dies, its informing principles are transferred to a laya or sleeping centre, with potential but latent energy in it, which is thus awakened into life and begins to form itself into a new sidereal 3 body.4

from one eternity to another. . . . the one absolute, ever acting and never-erring law, which proceeds on the same lines from one eternity (or Manvantara 5 ) to the other — even furnishing an ascending scale for the manifested, or that which we call the great Illusion (Maha-Maya), but plunging Spirit deeper and deeper into materiality on the one hand, and then redeeming it through flesh and liberating it — this law . . . uses for these purposes the Beings from other and higher planes, men, or Minds (Manus), in accordance with their Karmic exigencies.6

Intelligent Law is an aspect of Cosmic Consciousness. It governs Universe, Man and All. KARMA is an Absolute and Eternal law in the World of manifestation; and as there can only be one Absolute, as One eternal ever-present Cause, believers in Karma cannot be regarded as Atheists or materialists — still less as fatalists: for Karma is one with the Unknowable, of which it is an aspect in its effects in the phenomenal world.1
The ONE LIFE is closely related to the one law which governs the World of Being — KARMA. Exoterically, this is simply and literally “action,” or rather an “effect-producing cause.” Esoterically it is quite a different thing in its far-fetching moral effects. It is the unerring LAW OF RETRIBUTION. . . . at the first flutter of renascent life, Svabhava, “the mutable radiance of the Immutable Darkness unconscious in Eternity,” passes, at every new rebirth of Kosmos, from an inactive state into one of intense activity; that it differentiates and then begins its work through that differentiation. This work is KARMA. 2

Consciousness, Universe, and Karman are one and the same, inseparable and interdependent. Karma is the unerring law which adjusts effect to cause, on the physical, mental and spiritual planes of being. As no cause remains without its due effect from greatest to least, from a cosmic disturbance down to the movement of your hand, and as like produces like, Karma is that unseen and unknown law which adjusts wisely, intelligently and equitably each effect to its cause, tracing the latter back to its producer. Though itself unknowable, its action is perceivable.3 . . . we, who are not Seers or Initiates, cannot know anything about the details of the working of the law of Karma.4

The whole Universe is the sum total of multifarious states of Consciousness. When my readers once realize the fact that this grand universe is in reality but a huge aggregation of various states of consciousness, they will not be surprised to find that the ultimate state of unconsciousness is considered as Parabrahman by the Advaiti. 5

The only Reality is Ultimate Unconsciousness within the bosom of Parabrahman. [According to the Advaitis 1 ] a conscious God cannot be the origin of the Universe, as his Ego would be the effect of a previous cause, if the word conscious conveys but its ordinary meaning. They cannot admit that the grand total of all the states of consciousness in the Universe is their deity, as these states are constantly changing, and as cosmic ideation ceases during Pralaya. There is only one permanent condition in the Universe, which is the state of perfect unconsciousness, bare Chidakasa (the field of consciousness) in fact.2

The Fire of Unconscious Intelligence reflects upon Itself through sparks of self-conscious mind

Cosmic Ideation and Cosmic Substance are inseparable, interdependent, and readily convertible into each other. Just as pre-cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual consciousness, so pre-cosmic Substance is the substratum of matter in the various grades of its differentiation. . . . the contrast of these two aspects of the Absolute is essential to the existence of the “Manifested Universe.” Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation 1 could not manifest as individual consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle 2 of matter that consciousness wells up as “I am I,” a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity. Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness could ensue.3 . . . For how can the absolute attain [Finite Self-Consciousness] otherwise than as simply an aspect, the highest of which known to us is human consciousness? 4

The Fire of Unconsciousness unfolds from within without and differentiates to sparks of self-consciousness. Our senses are progressive differentiations of That One Sense-Consciousness. . . . for the understanding of the Higher Triad it is needful that the Lower Quaternary shall be in some measure understood. And first let the student clearly realize that he cannot see things spiritual with the eyes of the flesh, and that in studying even the Body he must use the eyes of the Spiritual Intelligence, else will he fail and his study will be fruitless. For growth is from within outwards, and always the inner remains the more perfect. Even the development of a physical sense is always preceded by a mental feeling, which proceeds to evolve a physical sense. As said all senses are but differentiations of the one sense-consciousness, and become so differentiated on the Astral plane, where perceptive life proper begins; from that the differentiation is continued on to the lowest sub-plane of the Prakritic plane, to which the physical molecules of our Bodies belong.5

Beware! Impulses of Psychic Force, act from without-within. Noetic Force always acts from within-without. Indeed, every organ in our body has its own memory. For if it is endowed with a consciousness “of its own kind,” every cell must of necessity have also a memory of its own kind, as likewise its own psychic and noëtic action. Responding to the touch of both a physical and a metaphysical Force, the impulse given by the psychic (or psycho-molecular ) Force will act from without within; while that of the noëtic (shall we call it Spiritual-dynamical?) Force works from within without. For, as our body is the covering of the inner “principles,” soul, mind, life, etc., so the molecule or the cell is the body in which dwell its “principles,” the (to our senses and comprehension) immaterial atoms which compose that cell. The cell’s activity and behaviour are determined by its being propelled either inwardly or outwardly, by the noëtic or the psychic Force, the former having no relation to the physical cells proper. Therefore, while the latter act under the unavoidable law of the conservation and correlation of physical energy, the atoms — being psycho-spiritual, not physical units — act under laws of their own, just as Professor Ladd’s “UnitBeing,” which is our “Mind-Ego,” does, in his very philosophical and scientific hypothesis. Every human organ and each cell in the latter has a keyboard of its own, like that of a piano, only that it registers and emits sensations instead of sounds. Every key contains the potentiality of good or bad, of producing harmony or disharmony. This depends on the impulse given and the combinations produced; on the force of the touch of the artist at work, a “doublefaced Unity,” indeed.1

Spirit and Matter are illusionary aspects of One Consciousness which underpins and sustains All. But what is “Spirit” pure and impersonal per se? . . . why, such a Spirit is a nonentity, a pure abstraction, an absolute blank to our senses — even to the most spiritual. It becomes something only in union with matter — hence it is always something since matter is infinite and indestructible and non-existent without Spirit which, in matter is Life. Separated from matter it becomes the absolute negation of life and being, whereas matter is inseparable from it.2 . . . pure Spirit can have no consciousness per se. 3

Spirit can only cognise Itself through the flesh or “matter.” Cosmic Ideation is non-existent during Pralaya1 periods, for the simple reason that there is no one, and nothing, to perceive its effects. There can be no manifestation of Consciousness, semi-conscious-ness, or even “unconscious purposiveness,” except through the vehicle of matter.2

Matter is an aggregate of objects of possible perception. As Matter existing apart from perception is a mere abstraction, both of these aspects of the ABSOLUTE — Cosmic Substance and Cosmic Ideation — are mutually interdependent. In strict accuracy . . . the term “Matter” ought to be applied to the aggregate of objects of possible perception, and “Substance” to noumena; for inasmuch as the phenomena of our plane are the creation of the perceiving Ego — the modifications of its own subjectivity — all the “states of matter representing the aggregate of perceived objects” can have but a relative and purely phenomenal existence for the children of our plane. As the modern Idealists would say, the co-operation of Subject and Object results in the sense-object or phenomenon. 3

Endless worlds are set into motion by an unquenchable Desire for Self-Knowledge that burns silently in the bosom of Parabrahman. “The Causes of Existence” mean not only the physical causes known to science, but the metaphysical causes, the chief of which is the desire to exist, an outcome of Nidana and Maya. This desire for a sentient life shows itself in everything, from an atom to a sun, and is a reflection of the Divine Thought propelled into objective existence, into a law that the Universe should exist. According to esoteric teaching, the real cause of that supposed desire, and of all existence, remains for ever hidden, and its first emanations are the most complete abstractions mind can conceive. These abstractions must of necessity be postulated as the cause of the material Universe which presents itself to the senses and intellect; and they underlie the secondary and subordinate powers of Nature, which, anthropomorphized, have been worshipped as God and gods by the common herd of every age. It is impossible to conceive anything without a cause; the attempt to do so makes the mind a blank.4

When “the last vibration of the Seventh Eternity thrills through Infinitude,” the Fire of Desire becomes Fohat, or Light of Logos. It differentiates primordial matter into atoms, seeds of manifold Life, All the Kabbalists and Occultists, Eastern and Western, recognize: 
(a) The identity of “Father-Mother” with primordial Aether or Akasa, (Astral Light); and 
(b) Its homogeneity before the evolution of the “Son,” cosmically Fohat, for it is Cosmic Electricity. “Fohat hardens and scatters the seven brothers” (Book III, Dzyan); which means that the primordial Electric Entity — for the Eastern Occultists insist that Electricity is an Entity — electrifies into life, and separates primordial stuff or pregenetic matter into atoms, themselves the source of all life and consciousness.

The ancients represented it by a serpent, for “Fohat hisses as he glides hither and thither” (in zigzags). The Kabala figures it with the Hebrew letter Teth, whose symbol is the serpent which played such a prominent part in the Mysteries. 1

Ever-revealing latent, unmanifested, potentialities of Infinite Thought and Ideals to the perception of finite minds. In the ABSOLUTE or Divine Thought everything exists and there has been no time when it did not so exist; but Divine Ideation is limited by the Universal Manvantaras. The realm of Akasa is the undifferentiated noumenal and abstract Space which will be occupied by Chidakasham, the field of primordial consciousness. It has several degrees, however, in Occult philosophy; in fact, “seven fields.” The first is the field of latent consciousness which is coeval with the duration of the first and second unmanifested Logoi. It is the “Light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not” of St. John’s Gospel. When the hour strikes for the Third Logos to appear, then from the latent potentiality there radiates a lower field of differentiated consciousness, which is Mahat, or the entire collectivity of those Dhyani-Chohans of sentient life of which Fohat is the representative on the objective plane and the Manasaputras on the subjective. The Astral Light is that which mirrors the three higher planes of consciousness, and is above the lower, or terrestrial plane; therefore it does not extend beyond the fourth plane, where, one may say, the Akasa begins.2

Consciousness is septenary. Occultism teaches that physical man is one, but the thinking man septenary, thinking, acting, feeling, and living on seven different states of being or planes of consciousness, and that for all these states and planes the permanent Ego (not the false personality) has a distinct set of senses.1

Dreamless sleep is one of the seven states of consciousness known in Oriental esotericism. In each of these states a different portion of the mind comes into action; or as a Vedantin would express it, the individual is conscious in a different plane of his being. The term “dreamless sleep,” in this case is applied allegorically to the Universe to express a condition somewhat analogous to that state of consciousness in man, which, not being remembered in a waking state, seems a blank, just as the sleep of the mesmerized subject seems to him an unconscious blank when he returns to his normal condition, although he has been talking and acting as a conscious individual would.2

It vibrates and illumines the seven brains of the heart as it does the seven divisions or rays around the pineal gland. The special organ of consciousness is of course the brain, and is located in the aura of the pineal gland in the living man. During the process of mind or thought manifesting to consciousness, constant vibrations of light take place. If one could see clairvoyantly in the brain of a living man one could almost count (see with the eye) the seven shades of the successive scales of light, from the dullest to the brightest.
What consciousness is can never be defined psychologically. We can analyse and classify its work and effects — we cannot define it, unless we postulate an Ego distinct from the body. The septenary scale of states of consciousness is reflected in the heart, or rather its area, 3 which vibrates and illumines the seven brains of the heart as it does the seven divisions or rays around the pineal gland.
Every one of the five recognized senses was primarily a mental sense.4

For the heart is the abode of Spiritual Consciousness. The Consciousness which is merely the animal Consciousness is made up of the Consciousness of all the cells in the Body, except those of the Heart. For the Heart is the organ of the Spiritual Consciousness; it corresponds indeed to Prana, but only because Prana and the Auric Envelope are essentially the same, and because again as Jiva it is the same as the Universal Deity (p. 672). The Heart represents the Higher Triad, while the Liver and Spleen represent the Quaternary, taken as a whole. The heart is the abode of the Spiritual Man, whereas the PsychoIntellectual Man dwells in the Head with its seven gateways. It has its seven brains, the upadhis and symbols of the seven Hierarchies, and this is the exoterically four, but esoterically seven, leaved Lotus, the “Saptaparna,” the “Cave of Buddha” with its seven compartments. . . . The Heart of the king of the Body, its most important organ.1

The Higher Mind or Manas is Spiritual Self-Consciousness, itself; Divine Consciousness, when united with Buddhi. In its purely metaphysical aspect, Manas, being again one remove (on the downward plane) from Buddhi, is still so immeasurably higher than the physical man, that it cannot enter into direct relation with the personality, except through its reflection, the lower mind. Manas is Spiritual SelfConsciousness, in itself, and Divine Consciousness when united with Buddhi, which is the true “producer” of that “production” (vikara), or Self Consciousness, through Mahat. Buddhi-Manas, therefore, is entirely unfit to manifest during its periodical incarnations, except through the human mind, or lower Manas. Both are linked together and are inseparable, and can have as little to do with the lower Tanmatras (rudimentary atoms) as the homogeneous with the heterogeneous. 2
The “principles” . . . save the body, the life, and the astral eidolon, all of which disperse at death, are simply aspects and states of consciousness. There is but one real man, enduring through the cycle of life and immortal in essence, if not in form, and this is Manas, the Mind-man or embodied Consciousness.3

The Lower Mind with its seven gateways is the organ of animal or terrestrial consciousness. . . . the human brain is simply the canal between two planes — the psycho-spiritual and the material — through which every abstract and metaphysical idea filters from the Manasic down to the lower human consciousness. Therefore, the ideas about the infinite and the absolute are not, nor can they be, within our brain capacities. They can be faithfully mirrored only by our Spiritual consciousness, thence to be more or less faintly projected onto the tables of our perceptions on this plane. Thus while the records of even important events are often obliterated from our memory, not the most trifling action of our lives can disappear from the “Soul’s” memory, because it is no MEMORY for it, but an ever present reality on the plane which lies outside our conceptions of space and time. “Man is the measure of all things,” said Aristotle; 1 and surely he did not mean by man, the form of flesh, bones and muscles! . . . at the moment of the great change that man calls death — that which we call “memory” seems to return to us in all its vigour and freshness.2

Every single cell in our body is gifted with a brain and a consciousness of its own. The brain, or thinking machinery, is not only in the head and skull, but, as every physiologist who is not quite a materialist, will tell you, every organ in man, heart, liver, lungs, etc., down to every nerve and muscle, has, so to speak, its own distinct brain, or thinking apparatus. As our brain has naught to do in the guidance of the collective and individual work of every organ in us, what is that which guides each so unerringly in its incessant functions, that makes these struggle and that too with disease, throw it off and act, each of them even to the smallest not in a clock-work manner, as alleged by some materialists (for, at the slightest disturbance or breakage the clock stops), but as an entity endowed with instinct? To say that it is Nature is to say nothing, if not a fallacy; for Nature, after all, is but a name for these very same functions, the sum of the qualities and attributes, physical, mental, etc., in the universe and man, the total of agencies and forces guided by intelligent laws.3

Consciousness is the essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself “I,” — a breath of Heaven. [Theosophy] teaches, as foremost of all virtues, altruism and self-sacrifice, brotherhood and compassion for every living creature, without, for all that, worshipping Man or Humanity. . . . For that alone which constitutes the real Man is, in the words of Carlyle,1 “the essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself ‘I’ . . . a breath of Heaven; the Highest Being reveals himself in man.” 2 This denied, man is but an animal — “the shame and scandal of the Universe,” as Pascal puts it.3

One day, when our true individuality is withdrawn in the Unconscious Immateriality of its Divine Counterpart, it will regain the true happiness of non-being. But “the seed is not quickened, except it die.” 4
Absolute Non-Being, which is equivalent to absolute Being or “Be-ness,” [is] the state reached by the human Monad at the end of the great cycle.5
“This state of unconscious immateriality . . . is the true or eternal state of every being, for saving it there can be found no other true existence; therefore, every rational being’s dharma or natural duty and Religion is first to acquire the dhyana (knowledge) or vidya of its real Self, the Paramatma, and then by the annihilation of its atma, or worldly self or soul to experience the infinity of Happiness prevalent in its unconscious Immateriality.” 6

The whole world is nothing but Consciousness

Everything in the Universe, throughout its kingdoms, is conscious, i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind, . . . and on its own plane of perception. We men must remember that because we do not perceive any signs — which we can recognize — of consciousness, say, in stones, we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there. There is no such thing as either “dead” or “blind” matter, as there is no “Blind” or “Unconscious” Law. These find no place among the conceptions of Occult philosophy. The latter never stops at surface appearances, and for it the noumenal essences have more reality than their objective counterparts; 1

A kind we do not always understand. Nature taken in its abstract sense, cannot be “unconscious,” as it is the emanation from, and thus an aspect (on the manifested plane) of the ABSOLUTE consciousness. Where is that daring man who would presume to deny to vegetation and even to minerals a consciousness of their own. All he can say is, that this consciousness is beyond his comprehension. 2 . . . Since no single atom in the entire Kosmos is without life and consciousness, how much more then its mighty globes? — though they remain sealed books to us men who can hardly enter even into the consciousness of the forms of life near us? 3

Every World emanates from a single Unevolved Cause. And like all else, our World has a Soul. The “Alaya has an absolute eternal existence,” says Aryasanga 4 — the rival of Nagarjuna. 5 In one sense it is Pradhana; which is explained in Vishnu Purana as:
That which is the unevolved cause is emphatically called, by the most eminent sages, Pradhana, original base, which is subtile Prakriti, viz., that which is eternal, and which at once is [or comprehends what is] and [what] is not, → or is mere process. 
“Prakriti,” however, is an incorrect word, and Alaya would explain it better; for Prakriti is not the “incognisable Brahma.” 1

Though eternal and changeless in Its inner essence, the Soul of the World alters during its outer manifestations. This has been the subject of centuries of scholastic disputations. The two terms “Alaya” and “Paramartha” have been the causes of dividing schools and splitting the truth into more different aspects than any other mystic terms. Alaya is literally the “Soul of the World” or Anima Mundi, the “Over-Soul” of Emerson, and according to esoteric teaching it changes periodically its nature. Alaya, though eternal and changeless in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men or Cosmic Gods (DhyaniBuddhas), alters during the active life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included. During that time not only the Dhyani-Buddhas are one with Alaya in Soul and Essence, but even the man strong in the Yoga (mystic meditation) “is able to merge his soul with it” (Aryasanga, of Bumapa school). This is not Nirvana, but a condition next to it. Hence the disagreement. Thus, while the Yogacharas (of the Mahayana school) say that Alaya is the personification of the Voidness, and yet Alaya (Nying-po and Tsang in Tibetan) is the basis of every visible and invisible thing, and that, though it is eternal and immutable in its essence, it reflects itself in every object of the Universe “like the moon in clear tranquil water,” other schools dispute the statement. The same for Paramartha. 2



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