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The Secret Doctrine, Volume 1:120

Continuing with the Fifth Stanza, H.P. Blavatsky related a "Catechism" about a series of questions and answers between a Master and a pupil. The Master wanted to know whether the pupil saw "one" or "countless lights" in the "dark midnight sky." The pupil responded, "I sense one Flame, oh Gurudeva, I see countless undetached sparks shining in it." Then the Master asked whether, having seen this vision, the pupil felt that his own light was "different in anywise" from the light of his "Brother-men." The pupil replied, "It is in no way different."

In his vision, the pupil is perceiving the "bright star dropped from the heart of Eternity, the beacon of hope on whose Seven Rays hang the Seven Worlds of Being." The Seven Rays are the "Seven Lights whose reflections are the human immortal Monads--the Atma." So, the pupil beholds his own Atman, but this observation needs further clarification. A human being can discern the upper three logoi in a solar system. The upper three logoi in a solar system are Mahat, Alaya, and Paramatman (merely specks in the cosmical layers of the secondary Universe but nevertheless constructed of the same quality of substance in each layer of the larger whole). When an individual observes these cosmical principles, he seems himself in them and in relationship to them through his human principles. That is, he distinguishes the cosmical principles in himself as his own Manas, Buddha, and Atman. In G. de Purucker's diagrams in Fountain-Source on pages 435 and 437, the Atman in man correlates to the Paramatman in the Mundane Egg. The pupil detects one light (the Central Sun as the 7th cosmical principle within the heart of the solar Sun), but countless undetached sparks in it which are a myriad of Atman as the 7th human principles in a multiple number of individual evolving entities. A correlation can be drawn between the solar Atman in man and the Paramatman in the Cosmos, but this does not mean the solar system as a cosmical principle can be equated with Paramatman. The point is this: the pupil of the Master is tracing in his vision the upper three logoi of a solar system which culminates in the perception of a unified life in the Central Sun.

This vision of simultaneous individuality and wholeness in the solar system is fundamental to the process of Initiation. In addition to exploring the nuances of his own human consciousness, the initiate also relates that exploration to the cosmical principles of the solar universe. In theosophical literature, initiation is usually spoken of as a seven-fold process; in fact, it is a ten-fold process because there are ten main layers of the solar system. An individual on Earth undergoing the initiation process is directly experiencing the layers of the solar system. In the first three degrees of initiation, the candidate studies and prepares himself through the daily circumstances of life. In the 4th degree of initiation, the candidate leaves his physical body at the Winter Solstice to touch the "portals of the Sun," per G. de Purucker's The Four Sacred Seasons on page 4. With each subsequent degree of initiation, he dives deeper into the revelations of the solar universe, progressing up the evolutionary ladder from Avalokitesvara as the 5th cosmical principle to Alaya as the 6th cosmical principle to Amitabha as the 7th cosmical principle. With the 7th degree of initiation (which usually takes place at the Winter Solstice), the "individual must undergo the trial of identification with all spheres of being," per Grace. F. Knoche's The Mystery Schools on page 54. The Atman as the 7th human principle is awakened as the candidate comprehends the reality of the great "Catechism" in viewing the interrelationship between individuality and wholeness in the Central Sun. Grace F. Knoche suggested that the 4th degree of initiation is a "minor reflection" of the 7th degree. While the 4th degree Initiate touches the portals of the solar Sun, the 7th degree Initiate penetrates deep into the heart of the solar Sun to the spark of its Central Sun.


H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).

Grace F. Knoche, The Mystery Schools (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1999).

G. de Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1974).

G. de Purucker, The Four Sacred Seasons (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1979).

(Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)


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