Consciousness is the One and only Capacity of Perception, ever analysing and reflecting upon Itself. “The whole Cosmos must necessarily exist in the One Source of energy from which this light [Fohat] emanates.” Whether we count the principles in Kosmos and man as seven or only as four, the forces of, and in, physical Nature are Seven; and it is stated by the same authority that “Prajña, or the capacity of perception, exists in seven different aspects corresponding the seven conditions of matter.” For, “just as a human being is composed of seven principles, differentiated matter in the solar system exists in seven different conditions.” 1
Humanity is a periodic manifestation of Cosmic Consciousness. There is but one indivisible and absolute Omniscience and Intelligence in the Universe — and this thrills throughout every atom and infinitesimal point of the whole finite Kosmos — which hath no bounds, and which people call SPACE, considered independently of anything contained in it. But the first differentiation of its reflection in the manifested World is purely Spiritual, and the Beings generated in it are not endowed with a consciousness that has any relation to the one we conceive of. They can have no human consciousness or Intelligence before they have acquired such, personally and individually. 2
Spirit, Soul, and Matter are Consciousness’ three aspects integrated by Consciousness Itself. Esoteric philosophy teaches that everything lives and is conscious, but not that all life and consciousness are similar to those of human or even animal beings. Life we look upon as “the one form of existence,” manifesting in what is called matter; or, as in man, what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter. Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of the soul in this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all. The idea of universal life is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century as a consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic theology.3
Universal Consciousness is unlimited and beyond space and time. And while it can only be expressed through matter, it is not of matter, [Consciousness is] a Ray on the graduated scale of its manifested activity, of the one all-pervading, limitless Flame, the reflections of which alone can differentiate; and, as such, consciousness is ubiquitous, and can be neither localized nor centred on or in any particular subject, nor can it be limited. Its effects alone pertain to the region of matter, for thought is an energy that affects matter in various ways, but consciousness per se, as understood and explained by Occult philosophy, is the highest quality of the sentient spiritual principle in us, the Divine Soul (or Buddhi) and our Higher Ego, and does not belong to the plane of materiality. After the death of the physical man, if he be an Initiate, it becomes transformed from a human quality into the independent principle itself; the conscious Ego becoming Consciousness per se without any Ego, in the sense that the latter can no longer be limited or conditioned by the senses, or even by space or time. Therefore it is capable, without separating itself from or abandoning its possessor, Buddhi, of reflecting itself at the same time in its astral man that was, without being under any necessity for localizing itself. This is shown at a far lower stage in our dreams. For if consciousness can display activity during our visions, and while the body and its material brain are fast asleep — and if even during those visions it is all but ubiquitous — how much greater must be its power when entirely free from, and having no more connection with, our physical brain.1
It is our Sensing Principle. Whether science will ever be able to prove or not that thought, consciousness, etc., in short, the sensus internum has its seat in the brain, it is already demonstrated and beyond any doubt that under certain conditions our consciousness and even the whole batch of our senses, can act through other organs, e.g., the stomach, the soles of the feet, etc. The “sensing principle” in us is an entity capable of acting outside as inside its material body; and it is certainly independent of any organ in particular, in its actions, although during its incarnation it manifests itself through its physical organs.2
Other considerations of the intrinsic Intelligence of Consciousness include the Unity of Spirit and Trinity of Nature. . . . a partless and unbreakable unity in essence, and uniform in manifestation though varying endlessly, throughout the World-process, in degrees of unfoldment, parallel with the endless variations in the quantity, quality, and activity, the density or subtlety, peculiarity, simple or complex organisation, etc., of the vehicles of its manifestation, its sheaths or bodies.
But even apart from these considerations, the facts, established into the evolution of intelligence in the various kingdoms found on this earth, by themselves suffice to establish common features of consciousness in minerals, vegetables, animals and men, and to show that the differences are differences mainly of degrees of complexity and definiteness. Consciousness unfolds evenly in all three departments, cognition, desire and action, though, of course, one is generally predominant and the other two subordinate, in any given time, place, and circumstance, so that there is also an appearance of succession and consecutiveness in the development of the three.1
The great classics and philosophers felt this truth, when saying that “there must be something within us which produces our thoughts. Something very subtle; it is a breath; it is a fire; it is ether, it is quintessence; it is a slender likeness; it is an intellection; is a number; it is harmony . . . ” (Voltaire) 2
Can it be that Nature is cruel because she ensures the survival of the fittest? The whole order of nature evinces a progressive march towards a higher life. There is design in the action of the seemingly blindest forces. The whole process of evolution with its endless adaptations is a proof of this. The immutable laws that weed out the weak and feeble species, to make room for the strong, and which ensure the “survival of the fittest,” though so cruel in their immediate action — all are working toward the grand end. The very fact that adaptations do occur, that the fittest do survive in the struggle for existence, shows that what is called “unconscious Nature” is in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by semi-intelligent beings (Elementals) guided by High Planetary Spirits (DhyaniChohans), whose collective aggregate forms the man- ifested verbum of the unmanifested Logos, and constitutes at one and the same time the MIND of the Universe and its immutable LAW.
Myths and legends are the dream foundation of our collective consciousness. It has been often remarked by observant writers, that the “ . . . origin of nearly every popular myth and legend could be traced invariably to a fact in nature.”
In these fantastic creations of an exuberant subjectivism, there is always an element of the objective and real. The imagination of the masses, disorderly and ill-regulated as it may be, could never have conceived and fabricated ex nihilo so many monstrous figures, such a wealth of extraordinary tales, had it not had, to serve it as a central nucleus, those floating reminiscences, obscure and vague, which unite the broken links of the chain of time to form with them the mysterious, dream foundation of our collective consciousness.2
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