Hierarchies: worlds visible and invisible


Abbreviations:
FEP Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, G. de Purucker, TUP, 2nd ed., 1979
FSO Fountain-Source of Occultism, G. de Purucker, TUP, 1974
HPBM    H.P. Blavatsky: The Mystery, G. de Purucker, PLP, 1974
OG Occult Glossary, G. de Purucker, TUP, 2nd ed., 1996
SD The Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky, TUP, 1977 (1888)
TG Theosophical Glossary, H.P. Blavatsky, Theos. Co., 1973 (1892)


    ‘The universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man – the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm – is the living witness to this universal law and to the mode of its action. We see that every external motion, act, gesture, whether voluntary or mechanical, organic or mental, is produced and preceded by internal feeling or emotion, will or volition, and thought or mind. As no outward motion or change, when normal, in man’s external body can take place unless provoked by an inward impulse, given through one of the three functions named, so with the external or manifested universe. The whole kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of hierarchies of sentient beings, each having a mission to perform, and who ... are the agents of karmic and cosmic Laws. They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence ... For each of these beings either was or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or a coming cycle (manvantara). They are perfected, when not incipient, men; and differ morally from the terrestrial human beings on their higher (less material) spheres, only in that they are devoid of the feeling of personality and of the human emotional nature – two purely earthly characteristics.’ (SD 1:274-5)

    ‘The word hierarchy ... is used by theosophists ... as signifying the innumerable degrees, grades, and steps of evolving entities in the kosmos, and as applying to all parts of the universe ..., because every different part of the universe ... is under the vital governance of a divine being, of a god, of a spiritual essence; and all material manifestations are simply the appearance on our plane of the workings and actions of these spiritual beings behind it.
    ‘The series of hierarchies extends infinitely in both directions. [M]an may consider himself at the middle point, from which extends above him an unending series of steps upon steps of higher beings of all grades – growing constantly less material and more spiritual, and greater in all senses ... And similar to this series, an infinitely great series of beings and states of beings descends downwards (to use human terms) ...
    ‘The summit ... of any series of animate and “inanimate” beings, whether we enumerate the stages or degrees of the series as seven or ten or twelve (according to whichever system we follow), is the divine unity for that series or hierarchy, and this hyparxis or higher being is again in its turn the lowest being of the hierarchy above it, and so extending onwards forever – each hierarchy manifesting one facet of the divine kosmic life ...
    ‘This hierarchical structure of nature is so fundamental, so basic, that it may be truly called the structured framework of being.’ (OG 57-9)

    ‘The gods are the higher inhabitants of nature ... its informing principles. They are as much subject to the wills and energies of still higher beings ... as we are, and as are the kingdoms of nature below us. The ancients put realities, living beings, in the place of laws which, as Occidentals use the term, are only abstractions ... signifying unerring action of conscious and semi-conscious energies in nature.’ (OG 53-4)

    ‘As used in occultism, the term [plane] denotes the range or extent of some state of consciousness, or of the perceptive power of a particular set of senses, or the action of a particular force, or the state of matter corresponding to any of the above.’ (TG 255)

    ‘[The word plane is] used in theosophy for the various ranges or steps of the hierarchical ladder of lives which blend into each other. ... The physical world grades off into the astral world, which grades off again into a world higher than it, ... and so it continues throughout the series of hierarchical steps which compose a universe such as our universe. [T]he boundless All is filled full with universes, some so much greater than ours that the utmost reach of our imagination cannot conceive of them.’ (OG 129)

    ‘The ancient wisdom teaches that the universe is not only a living organism, but that physical human beings live in intimate connection, in intimate contact, with invisible spheres, with invisible and intangible realms ... These inner realms interpenetrate our physical sphere, permeate it, so that in our daily affairs as we go about our duties we actually pass through the dwellings, through the mountains, through the lakes, through the very beings, mayhap, of the entities of and dwelling in these invisible realms. These invisible realms are built of matter just as this our physical world is, but of a more ethereal matter than ours is; but we cognize them not at all with our physical senses. The explanation is that it is all a matter of differing rates of vibration of substances. ...
    ‘Our senses tell us absolutely nothing of the far-flung planes and spheres which belong to the ranges and functionings of the invisible substances and energies of the universe; yet those inner and invisible planes and spheres are actually inexpressibly more important than what our physical senses tell us of the physical world, because these invisible planes are the causal realms, of which our physical world or universe, however far extended in space, is but the effectual or phenomenal or resultant production.
    ‘But while these inner and invisible worlds or planes or spheres are the fountainhead, ultimately, of all the energies and matters of the whole physical world, yet to an entity inhabiting these inner and invisible worlds or planes, these latter are as substantial and “real” ... to that entity as our own physical world is to us.’ (OG 70-1)

    ‘[There are other worlds] blended with our world – interpenetrating it and interpenetrated by it. ... Although as invisible as if they were millions of miles beyond our solar system, they are yet with us, near us, within our own world, as objective and material to their respective inhabitants as ours is to us. ... [E]ach is entirely under its own special laws and conditions, having no direct relation to our sphere. [Their inhabitants] may be, for all we know, or feel, passing through and around us as if through empty space, their very habitations and countries being interblended with ours, though not disturbing our vision, because we have not yet the faculties necessary for discerning them. Yet by their spiritual sight the adepts, and even some seers and sensitives, are always able to discern, whether in a greater or smaller degree, the presence and close proximity to us of beings pertaining to other spheres of life. ...
    ‘[S]uch invisible worlds do exist. Inhabited as thickly as our own is, they are scattered throughout apparent space in immense number; some far more material than our own world, others gradually etherealizing until they become formless and are as “breaths.” ’ (SD 1:605-6)

    ‘[T]here is in both concrete and abstract space not a needle’s point which lacks life, substance, being and consciousness. [W]ithin our physical space there is a space more ethereal, with its worlds, its suns and planets, its comets and nebulae; celestial globes with their mountains and lakes, their forests and fields and their inhabitants. Within this second space, there is a still finer, a more ethereal and a more spiritual space, the cause of the two former, each inner space being a mother or producer of the outer space; and thus we carry these spaces within space onwards and upwards and inwards indefinitely.’ (FSO 77)

    ‘[T]hings and entities are in this, our own physical home-universe, what they are and as they are because all of them whatsoever are but reflections or mirrorings of what exists in the invisible spaces of Space ... The entities, beings and things inhabiting or existing in those other worlds or planes or spheres are as real as those which exist in our own physical universe – in fact, more so. They have their own sequences of time and space, and their own sequences of consciousness, all adapted to the respective spheres in which they inhere and which they verily themselves compose. ...
    ‘There is among all these various worlds or spheres or planes an unceasing and uninterrupted intercommunication of energies and forces and of substances passing from the ethereal into what we would call the physical and returning again into the ethereal realms. And this intercommunication we call the circulations of the universe. ...
    ‘These superior and inferior worlds ... have their own inhabitants, their own countries, and ... their own respective firmaments, in which move the celestial bodies appropriate thereto, even as all this occurs among us. ...
    ‘As the human host, or any other host indeed, passes on in its evolutionary course into what are now the invisible worlds, any one such invisible world which the human host then enters will be for the time being, its ‘physical’ cross-section of the universe. ... What we call a physical world is merely that world in which we happen to be sojourning at the time and cognize through the sense-apparatus of the vehicles in which we then are.
    ‘When we pass out of this present physical sphere, it will become invisible to us; and the world into which we shall pass will be the visible world. ...
    ‘Each ... hierarchy of course has its beginning and has its end, its highest and its lowest points ... But they are not real limits in the last analysis, because both the beginning and the end of any hierarchy may be considered the point of junction or union with a superior or an inferior hierarchy, respectively, thus continuing in both directions the endless ladder of life. ...
    ‘Nature, in the sense of the Boundless All, is per se frontierless and limitless in all directions; and through the All extends the illimitable network or web of cosmic being. It is these hierarchies which form the inner constitution of the universe ...
    ‘All these hierarchies are builded up of incomputably numerous multitudes or hosts of lives, and through them all and in them all lives and works and has its being ... the cosmic monad. [T]hese cosmic monads are as numerous in boundless infinitude as are the countless hosts of minor beings in which they live. Each one such minor entity, it matters not at all what its evolutionary stage may be, has its own monadic center, and therefore is a learning and evolving entity.
    ‘The general principle of cosmic cooperation ... is one of the phases of the doctrine of universal brotherhood, for this interlocking and interblending scheme extends everywhere, in the invisible worlds as well as in the worlds which are visible. ...
    ‘[Morals] are based on this hierarchical structure of nature itself. No man can live unto himself alone. ... The single human being is but one individual droplet in the vast and onrushing river of evolving entities.’ (HPBM 113-4, 125, 130, 140-2)

*     *     *

    ‘Parabrahman means “beyond” Brahman, and Brahman is the Absolute, the hierarch of a universe, in other words, the highest divine-spiritual entity of a universe or cosmos. Thus, Parabrahman is no entity; it is Infinitude, THAT, the incomprehensible All ...
    ‘Absolute is a relative term. It is the philosophic One, the cosmic Originant ...; but it is not the mystic Zero, representing Infinitude. Consequently the Zero contains ... an infinite number of cosmic Ones, otherwise cosmic monads, and the multitudes of minor monads which are derivatives of any such cosmic One. ...
    ‘Every Absolute is the hierarch of its own hierarchy, the One from which all subsequent differentiations thereafter emanate to the limit of that hierarchy. Each such Absolute is a cosmic jivanmukta, signifying an entity which has reached a condition of relatively perfect liberation – the moksha or mukti of Brahmanism and the Latin word absolutum, both meaning set free, free from servitude to all the lower planes because master or originant thereof. Thus the Absolute is the highest divinity or Silent Watcher of the Hierarchy of Compassion which forms the light side of a universe or cosmic hierarchy. ...
    ‘[M]ulaprakriti ... is the other side of Parabrahman, but more particularly the root-matter of every hierarchical system. A universe is both; in its essence it is mulaprakriti as well as Parabrahman, because it is formed of hosts of individual monads. The heart of a monad is boundless Space; and boundless Space has two aspects, life or energy, and substance or form. You cannot separate the one from the other. Life or energy is what we may call Parabrahman; the substance side or vehicular side is mulaprakriti. ...
    ‘ “As above, so below” ... Every atom has its home in a molecule; every molecule has its home in a cell; every cell in a body; every body in a greater body; the greater body, in this case our earth, has its habitat in the solar ether; the solar system has its home in the galaxy; the galaxy in the universe; the universe has its home in a vaster universe; and so on, ad infinitum. And that ad infinitum is our way of saying Parabrahman – with this profound and radical difference, however, that the root-idea is the inner, invisible, spiritual worlds, which Western thought almost universally ignores.’ (FSO 89-91)

    ‘Emanation signifies the flowing forth of all the lower stages of the hierarchical structure which we call cosmic planes or spheres. All this flowing out is from cosmic consciousness centers, and every such cosmic monad is essentially a god, from whose essence there emanate the veils or garments in which it clothes itself. These garments are the multiplicity of beings and things which make up the universe that we see. And exactly the same rule of emanational unfolding produces the various hierarchical grades of the constitution of any individual being or entity, from a star to an atom. ...
    ‘It would be a mistake to say that Parabrahman by will or by an effort of its own consciousness emanates the universe or any hierarchical unit ... Parabrahman never acts, because Parabrahman is an abstraction. ... Every cosmic entity coming into manvantaric activity does so from forces and powers and substance inherent in itself ...
    ‘When a universe or any other entity begins its emanational unfoldment from pralayic paranirvana into manvantaric activity, the stages progress “downwards” into the ethereal and finally the material realms of encompassing space ... [F]irst the divine awakens from its paranirvanic rest and clothes itself with a spiritual veil, mulaprakriti or pradhana, which then through cosmic time periods clothes itself in its veil of manifestation; and this last throws around itself, partly from forces and substances flowing forth from within its heart, and partly by accretions from surrounding space, still another encompassing vehicle or garment. This process continues until the emanating and evolving entity reaches its lowest or most material stage, which for it is its physical body, whether of a sun, a man, or an atom. ...
    ‘When the physical plane is reached, the process of descent ceases, and immediately there begins the process of ascent or of return to spirit, which is for any cosmic entity the grand consummatum est. The unfolding is the arc of descent, and the infolding is the arc of ascent. ...
    ‘A universal solar system ... reproduces itself in the spaces of galactic space as a reimbodiment of all that it was in its last appearance therein, plus the enormous accumulation of experience gained before. This applies both in particular and in general to the reimbodiment of any individual cosmic body, such as a planetary chain, a globe or, on a smaller scale, to that of an inhabitant of a globe, or even of an atom.
    ‘All things take birth from within and express themselves outwards, run through the phases of their manvantaric cycles, and then are withdrawn and pass out of the realms of appearance or maya, inwards and upwards into the spirit where they again have their nirvanic repose.’ (FSO 172-4)

    ‘The entire physical universe, in all its ranges of extension and multi-myriad forms and substances, is but the outer garment of the illimitable ranges of the invisible spheres and planes, rising in hierarchical stages into the Boundless. ...
    ‘[T]he invisible worlds are simply those parts of the solar universe, and in a smaller degree of a planetary chain, which are invisible because composed of substances and forces either more ethereal or denser than are those which make up the physical plane. Our physical plane is but one out of twelve cosmic planes, each of which basically has its characteristic element-principle or swabhavic aether. In other words, every one of these cosmic element-principles gradually evolves a world structure from within its own substances and forces, and this world structure considered as a unitary whole is a cosmic plane. Now a cosmic plane, being its own cosmic element-principle unrolled into manifestation, has its spiritual, intermediate and physical-astral portions; and each such portion, when viewed as an individual minor world structure within the greater world structure of the cosmic plane itself, is a loka and a tala conjoined as a twin.
    ‘Briefly: the universe at the beginning of its manifestation unrolls itself from highest to lowest through all the intermediate grades as twelve elements or principles; then each element-principle unrolls itself into the different subplanes of a cosmic plane; and it is just these different subplanes which are the cosmic lokas and talas. ...
    ‘The cause of such manifesting into the varieties of differentiation lies in the fact that every cosmic element or principle is itself composed of unitary points of consciousness ... These monads (which we may rather loosely refer to as cosmic life-atoms) are called cosmic elementals, because they are the first offsprings born directly from the respective cosmic elements. Since there are twelve cosmic elements, there are twelve fundamental classes of monads, ranging from the divine to the physical. Of course, each monad or consciousness center is a living, growing, learning entity ... Beginning its career as an unself-conscious god-spark, a jiva – a cosmic elemental born from the cosmic element – its destiny is to pass through all intermediate stages of evolution and finally it becomes a full-blown god, a jivanmkuta.
    ‘The general idea is that the cosmic element-principles themselves are vast armies of cosmic elementals or original monads existing on all the twelve planes of the universe, visible and invisible, and forming in their immense interlocking and interacting substances and energies the marvelous scheme of the world structure ... Every greater contains within itself an army of the smaller; or, inversely, every smaller unit lives within a greater unit which in its turn is but a component part of a unit still more vast ...
    ‘These twelve great classes of evolving monads not only exist on the twelve cosmic planes and in and through all the lokas and talas thereof, but also, because of past evolutionary karmic unfolding, infill the world structure, thus producing the different hierarchies of living beings from the highest to the lowest. ...
    ‘A good analogy to the world structure may be found in the constitution of a human being. Here we have a septenary entity composed of substances and forces – which in the world structure we call planes – ranging from the divine to the physical, and on all intermediate grades; and each grade is a vast army of life-atoms presided over by its chief monad. Yet all parts of a man’s constitution work together and interlock, in substance and in action, in order to produce a sevenfold human being. ... The solar system, just like man, is an entity having its own individuality, which is its hierarch; and this hierarch lives in and through all the forces and substances, all the planes and lokas and talas, of the solar system which is its expression, its constitution.’ (FSO 223-6)

    ‘At the commencement of any universal manvantara when differentiation and manifestation begin, the great cosmic drama opens by the arising in the dormant hierarchical originants of a yearning for self-expression. [T]he universe unrolls or develops from within itself its various essences – often referred to as principles or elements – and always beginning with the highest and thereafter proceeding in regular serial or hierarchical manner. ...
    ‘[I]n the course of the unrolling of the worlds at the beginning of a cosmic manvantara, it is the cosmic elements, or element-principles, which appear first; then, taking a cosmic plane as an illustration, such plane unfolds or expands into its different worlds, and it is precisely these worlds or subplanes which are the loka-tala twins. ...
    ‘The lokas may be called the principles or energies of a hierarchy and their corresponding talas its elements or substantial or material aspects. All seven lokas and talas are continuously interblending and interworking, and together form the universe with its various subordinate hierarchies. We may speak of a tala as the material aspect of the world where it predominates, just as we may consider a loka to be the spiritual aspect of the world where it is dominant. ...
    ‘[T]he cosmic essences, being formed as they are of incomputably vast hosts of monads, are themselves advancing in growth, because all their component monads are evolving. As one vast body of similar monads passes to higher things, their places are taken by other similar monads following in their train; and thus the cosmic essences of the universe are always there in their twelvefold stages, to unfold into new dramas of cosmic life – those monads which have graduated from one cosmic hierarchy passing onwards and upwards into the next hierarchy, and thus ad infinitum.’ (FSO 227, 256, 230-1)

    ‘[Paramatman, the primordial/supreme/universal self, is] the summit or flower of a hierarchy. ... The universal self is the heart of the universe ...; it is the source of our being; it is also the goal whither we are all marching, we and the hierarchies above us as well as the hierarchies and the entities which compose them inferior to us. All come from the same ineffable source, the heart of Being, the universal self, pass at one period of their evolutionary journey through the stage of humanity, gaining thereby self-consciousness or the ego-self, the “I am I,” and they find it, as they advance along this evolutionary path, expanding gradually into universal consciousness – an expansion which never has an end, because the universal consciousness is endless, limitless, boundless.
    ‘The paramatman is spiritually practically identical with ... the Absolute [or] Brahman. [T]he paramatman of one hierarchy or kosmos is but one of a multitude of other paramatmans of other hierarchies ...’ (OG 125)

    ‘[T]he highest or supreme hierarch of any hierarchy is the atman of that hierarchy. ... Just as we humans are composite entities composed of hosts of beings, just so is the hierarch. Although possessing its own individuality, it is an aggregate of all the entities composing its hierarchy, its family, ... and also the source and fountain and root and cause of all subordinates flowing from it. The hierarch or atman is an individual. It is an entity, it is the supreme self for all that hierarchy. Its vitality permeates all; its selfhood permeates all subordinate entities of its own hierarchical group, and thus composes for that hierarchical group the essential “I am” of all the entities it encloses. Although it is thus an individual, it is mystically divisible into all the beings of which it is the supreme self, the atman. ...
    ‘[It is] deathless at least for as long as that hierarchy endures in its cosmic manvantara. Hence the atman is the aggregate of the monadic essences of all the entities composing that hierarchy. Similarly on the physical plane, and following the law of analogy, my physical body is an individual and yet is composed of multitudes of life-atoms which build it ...’ (Dia 2:378-80)

    ‘The monas monadum, signifying the cosmic monad, is simply the aggregated monads of which it is at once the parent and final goal. It in its turn is but a minute monad in a supercosmic entity still more vast.’ (FSO 271)

    ‘The divine of one hierarchy is actually grossest matter to another far superior hierarchy; but within one and the other the repetitive rules apply very strictly, because kosmos or nature follows one general course and one law, and has one general and throughout-repeated course of action ...’ (FEP 231)

    ‘Not only is every being an expression of an individualized divinity, its inner god, but all these inner gods are under the sway of, and living in and forming a part of, some greater divinity, itself but a part of a superior host collectively aggregated within the life-sphere of some divinity still more sublime; and so on ad infinitum. At every step we may say with Paul of the Christians: “In It we live and move and have our being.” The supreme hierarch of the cosmic hierarchy includes within its body corporate this vast aggregate of inner gods, much as our body contains all the life-atoms which compose it. In boundless space, there are an infinite number of such cosmic hierarchies. ...
    ‘Gods or monadic essences, monads, egos, souls, life-atoms, atoms – these form a descending series. First, a monadic essence or god clothes itself with its monad, which in turn clothes itself with its ego; this again enwraps itself with its soul, which clothes itself with one particular life-atom around which are grouped by karmic attraction other minor life-atoms, likewise emanated by the originating monadic essence. ...
    ‘A monad entering our hierarchy starts its existence as an unself-conscious god-spark, and then flowering out through humanity it attains divinity and ends its career in that particular manvantara as a full-blown god. ...
    Evolution means a flowing out from within: the unrolling, the unfolding, of what is already within. ... The core of every entity ... is in essence a divinity.’ (FSO 383-5)

*     *     *

    ‘Every kosmic body or globe, be it sun or planet, nebula or comet, atom or electron, is a composite entity formed of or comprised of inner and invisible energies and substances and of an outer, to us, and often visible, to us, physical vehicle or body. ...
    ‘[E]very one of the physical globes that we see scattered over the fields of space is accompanied by six invisible and superior globes, forming what in theosophy is called a chain. This is the case with every sun or star, with every planet, and with every moon of every planet. It is likewise the case with the nebulae and the comets ...
    ‘Our own earth-chain is composed of seven (or twelve) globes, of which only one, our earth, is visible on this our earth plane to our physical sense apparatus ... But the populations of all the seven (or twelve) globes of this earth-chain pass in succession ... from globe to globe, thus gaining experience of energy and matter and consciousness on all the various planes and spheres that this chain comprises.’ (OG 129-30)



    ‘[In the above diagram] we have the seven kosmic planes represented by straight lines, and above them is shown a triangle, which will represent ... the pneumatological or divine or superspiritual three planes ... Below the triangle follow the three higher planes of the kosmic manifest seven, containing the five hid globes of our planetary chain; then below these follow the four lower planes ... containing our manifested seven globes ... In addition, each one of these seven kosmic manifest planes or worlds is itself a septenary, i.e., divided into seven subplanes or worlds. ...
    ‘All manifested being is a continuum. This means that universal being extends itself infinitely in all directions, most especially we say inwards and outwards, without break of continuity, yet graded into innumerable parts or steps or planes or worlds; and this continuum is, so to say, broken up into hierachies manifesting in seven, ten, or twelve divisions or parts. ...
    ‘[A] hierarchy consist[s] of ten, always ten, degrees or stages or planes or forces: seven manifest, and three hid or occult ...; and these ten principles or planes, forming a hierarchy, are connected with the superior worlds and connected with the inferior worlds by two extra or intermediate planes, one below and one above ...
    ‘[A] planetary chain forms a hierarchy of globes. [Hierarchy] means any possible collection of entities to the number of ten, which form a unity. ... A union is a more or less fast or loose aggregate or assemblage of diverse entities. A unity ... is a union in which the bonds are so tight that it functions not as an assemblage, but as a single being, as an individual. ... A monad is the root of a hierarchy, a pure and permanent individual, like the characteristic life-center in a seed from which a tree springs. The tree functions as a unity, but if you take its individual leaves and branches, and roots, and consider it as a mere assemblage, it is only a union. Considered as an entity, as a hierarchy of less lives, smaller lives, it is a unity; and the spiritual center or seed from which it springs, its indwelling characteristic swabhava, its peculiar life-seed, is the monad.’ (FEP 574-7)

    ‘When the astronomer looks into the ethery spaces and sees those starry clouds, those nebulous masses ... destined for the beginning of worlds, he sees there what has so far taken place in material manifestation of a hierarchy through the activity of the subseven degrees of the lowest or seventh principle of a divine entity or god informing an otherwise invisible life-center, informed by that god’s vital essence, which is the fundamental life of that hierarchy ... In such manner, then, the vital essence creates its own dwelling – a sun, a planet, which cycles down, as it were, into visible evolution. [E]ach head of a hierarchy retains its own place, powers, and nature; but its offspring thicken or condense, its offspring thus forming its garments on the several planes of being. Each of these garments is a host of living beings, atoms, souls ...
    ‘When this thickening and grossening of the fabric – which takes place from each entity shooting forth from itself, emanating from itself, other less entities, less meaning here inferior – reaches its lowest degree, then we have a sun and planets. ... When ... a planet has reached its lowest point of evolution driven by the karmic impulse inhering in it, which is at the middle point of its fourth round (which we on our planet have passed), then begins the reaction, the reversal of the kosmic operation, and the life-currents begin to withdraw inwards, thenceforth following the luminous arc “upwards”: not leaving its garments behind altogether, but as they were sent forth, so they are now withdrawn inwards. This, then, is an outline of the process of the evolution of spirit, and the involution of matter; just as the processes of projection or casting forth were the involution of spirit and the evolution of matter on the downward or shadowy arc. Thus is the kosmos built.’ (FEP 402-3)

*     *     *

    ‘[T]here are two interacting energy-substance lines in the kosmos, which together comprise the totality of all evolutionary processes: first, the lower, the kosmokratores, or world builders; and second, the higher, the intelligences impelling the former into action and overseeing their evolutionary ways. The second class is of course the higher and comprises ... the hierarchy of compassion.
    ‘Now these two lines of action, or classes, may also be called (a) the left-hand or matter-side, and (b) the right-hand or spirit-side, i.e., (a) the builders, the kosmokratores, who are in fact (in one sense) the lower principles of (b) the dhyani-buddhas, who are the right-hand, or spirit-side, of being, which latter are of the inner kosmos, while the kosmokratores or builders, also called planetary spirits or dhyani-chohans of a lower grade, are of the outer or material kosmos ...
    ‘We were, in former kalpas, or manvantaras, monads in a still lower state of evolution than that in which we are now, forming then the vehicles of those who are still ahead of us, and who now still work through us, through our higher and our personal egos, and who thus inspire us to progress upwards, and who are, in fact, our inner gods: our very selves, yet different!’ (FEP 334-5)

    ‘The hierarchy of compassion is divisible into almost innumerable minor hierarchies, running down the scale of cosmic being from the supreme hierarch of our solar system through all intermediate stages and infilling every one of its planets, until finally its representatives on this physical plane are found on the different globes of the planetary chains. It is built of divinities, demigods, buddhas, bodhisattvas, and great and noble men, who serve as a living channel for the spiritual currents coming to this and every other planet of our system from the heart of the solar divinity ...
    ‘At the summit of the hierarchy of compassion is the Silent Watcher. ... This Wondrous Being is the spiritual bond and link of the various bodhisattvas and buddhas of the hierarchy of light, both with superior worlds and with us and the lower beings of our round. He is the chief of the spiritual-psychological hierarchy of which the masters form a part. He is the ever-living human banyan from which they – and we too – hang as leaves and fruit. ... He can learn nothing more of this hierarchy, for all knowledge pertaining to it is his already; but he remains behind for aeons as the great inspirer and teacher. ...
    ‘Just as the hierarchies in the universe are virtually infinite in number, so are the Wondrous Beings or Silent Watchers, because every one is such only for the series of lives in its hierarchy. ... There is one for our globe, who is identic in this case with the hierarch of the Brotherhood of Compassion. There is one for our planetary chain, and one for each of its globes; there is likewise one for our solar system, whose habitat is the sun, and one for our own home-universe, and so forth forever. ...
    ‘[T]he Silent Watcher of our globe, who is a human demigod indeed, but yet a man, is the guardian of our humanity. ... He is the loftiest of the buddhas of compassion ... He is an actual imbodied being, although not necessarily possessing a body of flesh. ...
    ‘This Wondrous Being is the hierarchical Brotherhood of adepts of our planetary chain, begun in the fourth round at about the middle period of the third root-race – which was the period when humanity was beginning to be self-conscious and ready for the receiving of light. The descent of this being from a high plane, from globe A by way of globes B and C, was rather a projection of energy than a descent of an imbodied entity downwards. ...
    ‘[T]his Wondrous Being came from a “high region” as a visitor to us, living in what was to him the underworld, and dwelling for a time amongst us as the primal master-spirit of the human race – a being at once one and many – a mystery.’ (FSO 467-73)



compiled by David Pratt. September 2005.


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The mahatmas

Life on other worlds

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