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The Secret Doctrine, Volume 1:17-20

In her Third Fundamental Proposition, H.P. Blavatsky narrowed her focus to the Mundane Egg beneath the upper triad. One of the most overlooked passages in The Secret Doctrine is her description of the upper triad "branching off and dividing into the seven cosmical and seven human principles." That is, the immaculate white disk, the dull black ground, and the central point unroll from themselves the seven-fold Cosmos and its evolving intelligences. The theosophical language varies based on whether the author is referring to the cosmical or the human principles. G. de Purucker's diagram on page 437 in Fountain-Source outlined the cosmical principles whereas his diagram on page 435 in Fountain-Source outlined the human principles. In one sense, the cosmical principles correlate with the human principles: Paramatman correlates with Atman, Adi-Buddhi correlates with Buddhi, Mahat correlates with Manas, and so forth. But G. de Purucker warned on page 438 that readers must not make "false analogies" which merely "project upon the cosmic unit" an "image of ourselves as we are at the present stage of our evolutionary pilgrimage"--the "cosmic unit" is not simply an "immensely enlarged man." Thus, while the cosmical principles correlate with the human principles, they do not correspond with the evolutionary ladder of those evolving intelligences in the Cosmos.

When H.P. Blavatsky discussed the "obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul" within the "Universal Over-Soul (cosmically, Adi-Buddha) through the "Cycle of Incarnation" from the "elemental" to the "mineral" to the "plant" and up to the "holiest archangel" or "Dhyani-Buddha," one must turn to G. de Purucker's diagram on page 435 to understand the evolutionary ladder of evolving intelligences in the Cosmos and it is very different than the Cosmic structure presented on page 437. Viewed from the perspective of the seven-layered human constitution, the "Elemental" and the "Vital Astral Soul" correspond to the mineral and plant energies within a man. The "Elementary Ego" corresponds to the animal propensities within a man. The "Astral Personal Ego" corresponds to the ordinary human thinking within a man. The "Higher Manas" corresponds to the Manasaputra within a man. The "Buddhi" corresponds to the planetary Spirit within a man. The "Atman" or "Divine Monad" corresponds to the solar Spirit within a man. This is the ladder of intelligences, as opposed to the Cosmic structure, within the Mundane Egg.

The reason that H.P. Blavatsky closed her depiction of the evolutionary ladder with the Dhyani-Buddha is because the Dhyani-Buddha is at the heart of our solar Sun, per Fountain-Source on page 294. On the evolutionary ladder, the solar Sun is at the pinnacle of the seven-fold human constitution within the Mundane Egg. But in the Cosmic structure, the solar Sun is only at the equator of the Mundane Egg. In the Cosmic structure, Paramatman correlates to Atman, but on the evolutionary ladder of evolving intelligences Paramatman transcends Atman. Therefore, in reference to the evolutionary ladder outlined on page 435, G. de Purucker wrote, "Atman is cosmic or appurtenant to the solar system" whereas "Paramatman is cosmic or galactic." In the Cosmic structure, Mahat, Adi-Buddhi, and Paramatman are the layers of the Equatorial Sun, the Polar Sun, and the Central Sun. On the evolutionary ladder, Manas, Buddhi, and Atman are merely the evolving intelligences of the Manasaputras, planetary Spirits, and solar Spirits. There are two levels of instruction going on in The Secret Doctrine at once, and until the reader can tell one level from the other its mysteries remain a closed book.

For example, G. de Purucker in Studies in Occult Philosophy on page 61 outlined the human principles in relation to the death of a man. When a man dies, his "four lowest principles" disappear into his fifth principle or Manasaputra. When a planet dies, this fifth principle disappears into his sixth principle or planetary Spirit. When a sun dies, this sixth principle disappears into his seven principle or solar Spirit, the Atman. This seventh principle as the solar Sun (in terms of the evolutionary ladder of evolving intelligences) does not correspond to the seventh principle of the Cosmos or Paramatman, which is the Central Sun. Therefore, G. de Purucker placed Paramatman above Atman in the diagram on page 435 and yet also asserted the equivalency of Paramtman with Atman elsewhere in his theosophical writings. In this passage, G. de Purucker discussed the Mundane Egg from the perspective of the evolutionary ladder of evolving intelligences, not from the perspective of the Cosmic structure.

H.P. Blavatsky herself hinted at the different ways that the cosmical principles and the human principles were presented in The Secret Doctrine. On page 1:527, she elucidated three distinct methods. First, regarding the Cosmic structure, she wrote, "in Kosmos all the suns are the Kama rupa of Akasa and so is ours." This passage confirms G. de Purucker's placement of our solar Sun as Cosmic Kama in his Diagram in Fountain-Source on page 437. Second, regarding the evolutionary ladder of evolving intelligences within the Mundane Egg, she wrote, "It is only when regarded as an individual Entity in his own Kingdom that Surya (the sun) is the 7th principle of the great body of matter." This passage confirms G. de Purucker's placement of our solar Sun as Atman or the Divine Monad (below Paramatman) at the summit of the Mundane Egg in his diagram in Fountain-Source on page 435. Third, H.P. Blavatsky offered an alternative means of presenting the "Vehicle" of higher consciousness as the "6th principle" (or Buddhi) and the higher consciousness itself as the 7th principle (or Atman). We see this technique used often in The Secret Doctrine. It explains why the central point can be interchangeably referred to as the 2nd Logos instead of the 3rd Logos since it is the direct Vehicle of the immaculate white disk (where the 1st Logos corresponds to its reflection of Paramatman, or the 7th principle, and the 2nd Logos corresponds to its reflection of Adi-Buddhi, or the 6th principle, in the Cosmic structure of the Mundane Egg). In her example of Brahma (the "6th" principle) as the vehicle of Brahman (the 7th principle) on page 1:17 and 1:20, she had this third alternative method in mind when she labelled Brahman (the immaculate white disk, in this case) as the "one who uses the swan as his Vehicle" where the Swan of Time is the central point or Brahma (the source from which time begins) that he uses to glide throughout the darkness of Space.

Finally, in theosophical literature, it must be remembered that the entire upper triad can be collapsed onto the highest of the seven cosmical or human principles in such a way that it is only implied but never explicitly stated. H.P. Blavatsky followed this procedure in her Secret Doctrine Commentary and explained the Stanzas of Dzyan from a seven-fold perspective. When this maneuver is performed in theosophical literature, the seventh cosmical principle of Paramatman or the seventh human principle of Atman implicitly possesses the Great Breath of the immaculate white disk, the dull black ground, and the central point within it. In a ten-fold system, the "higher Deity" is not collapsed onto the 7th Principle and therefore remains an "abstract Triangle." But in a simplified seven-fold system the higher Deity is collapsed onto the 7th principle, thereby making it a four-fold Unity, or "perfect Cube," and a more "orthodox" presentation of the mysteries.


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

H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine Commentary (Pasadena, Theosophical University Press, 1994).

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

G. de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1973).

(Photo by Karsten Winegart on Unsplash)

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