Sevenfold Spiritual Constitution of Man – Part 2
We are all familiar with the term “Holism” which as we know derives from the Greek word “holos” meaning: all, entire, total. The central insight here is that all the properties of a given system: physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental etc must be taken into account, because no organism or system can be fully understood by referring to its component parts alone. The system as a whole determines in an essential and important way how the parts function.
Any individual who believes that they can take the ‘parts they like’ from various spiritual and religious sources and combine them in a purely subjective and personal way without any underlying guiding holistic understanding is bound to fail to make any real spiritual progress or to develop their being in a wholesome and beneficial way.
The Sevenfold Spiritual nature of the Human being is a holistic approach, which dates back to ancient times and can be found in various forms and guises in many spiritual and philosophical traditions. Some of the terminology used by theosophy reflects and illuminates these ancient traditions. In every case here we have provided a ‘best fit’ English language translation of these ancient terms which derive from many spiritual languages and many philosophical traditions. At the same time we have retained the original terms so that their classical meanings can be traced by those wishing to do so.
In Part One: we saw how the human being is composed of a Lower self and a Higher self and how these are integrated in a dynamic awareness enhancing way in the incarnated Individual:
 Atma: Spirit Man:
 Buddhi: Spiritual Soul:
 Manas: Mind Fully Awakened:
 Lower Manas: Mind in the World: Conditioned consciousness: Conditioned Desire.
 Astral Soul: The entire personal and psychological emotional make up of the person.
 Etheric Body: The self regenerating energy body dependent on air and sustenance.
This is sometimes called the Prana Body which suffuses the entire Sevenfold nature on its different levels.
 Physical Body: The entire physical form of a human being:
The central question here is: How does the transformation of the lower four come about; so that, the awakening of the higher self cam take place within it? In other words how does real spiritual development actually happen?
As you can see from the above graph the fulcrum and pivotal focus of the sevenfold spiritual nature of the human being is the 4th principle. Here at the 4th is where the Higher Self and Lower self intersect and self consciousness/awareness lights up.
We will go into the meaning of this Graph in great detail in the next article in this series. For the time being you should regard this Graph as an overview providing you with significant Key Words revealing the Holistic Sevenfold nature of the Human Being.
Counting from the bottom up the 3rd principle the Astral/Psyche in combination with the 4th Personal/Desire Mind is where most of the human beings internal subjective conscious experience is going on. Mind combined with Desire accounts for most of our actions, experiences and relationships in the world.
At this moment as you read this you will easily observe that your consciousness propelled by the desire to know about spirituality is reading this. Naturally if your lower mind is healthy you will be able to remember what you read here compare it to other knowledge you are able to remember and add this to your store of information about the spiritual in general and theosophy in particular.
As we look at the graph we can see that anyone can understand and identify within themselves and their own experience, the states being described in the first 4 principles or levels. Readers with a science or philosophical background will easily understand the objective knowledge and clarity of mind of which the ‘lower 5th’ of Higher Mind is capable. Indeed anyone who is called upon to live a fact and reason based existence can comprehend the significance of Higher Mind and the advantages inherent in further developing it.
When a sound objective capacity for living thinking turns itself inward, it discovers that thinking about the spiritual grounds of being is the most natural and compelling mental activity. This stage of inner awakening is often called within the traditions “self remembering” and leads to “self realisation”. When this awakening takes place it becomes possible to think about the whole of life and its meaning in a radicalised and insightful way. Confusion about the meaning and purpose of existence gives way to a growing confidence and sense of meaningful purpose.
Any intelligent and thoughtful individual must be wary of such claims, seeing in them the grave danger of being led astray by compelling and seductive illusions. A naturally critical and objective thinker will be less prone to illusion than a needy person looking for something to believe in. Theosophy has little to offer people who have religious needs or the desire to find a ‘truth’ they can believe in. Theosophy is absolutely ruthless towards every and any form of superstition, and delusional supernaturalism
Theosophy in its modern form is predicated upon the path of objective spiritual knowledge also described as Wisdom [Jnana] Yoga the path of Wisdom Meditation. The central insight here is that if you acquire enough accurate spiritual knowledge and awareness that you will awaken within your higher self within the 4th principle. As self remembering and self realisation unfold you should be able to take it from there by yourself. This is called the path of the “self initiated”. There is one central danger in this approach which has derailed the theosophical path to spiritual emancipation for decades, and it is this: In the absence of concerted Wisdom Path Meditation, the accumulation of spiritual information actually obstructs authentic spiritual development.
In the absence of concerted Meditation, and the honest struggle with karmic conditioning, accumulation of spiritual information actually obstructs authentic spiritual development.
Theosophy demands a complete transformation of the individuals thinking, awareness and being. The only way to accomplish this is through careful study and sustained meditation
There must be meditation or all the Theosophical reading in the world will avail you nothing. What do we mean by Meditation? There are many practices calling themselves Meditation. Naturally real Meditation is both a specific set of practices and a way of life.
In these two posts the reader will find the Meditation Diagram of HPB, the meaning and purpose of Wisdom Path Meditation.
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