Terminology & Concepts from Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 3

This collection is gathered from a work of much greater proportions, The Secret Doctrine, set like a gem in the more than 14 volumes of H.P. Blavatsky's Collected Writings.   The Secret Doctrine is meant to be unlocked with at least seven terminological and classificational keys — not to speak of dimensions opened up by conceptual or intuitive insight.   It should be kept in mind that these quotes are wrested from longer passages treating the same or similar topic;   they are not intentionally wrenched out of context.
Feel free to read the original.

All references to The Esoteric Writings of H.P. Blavatsky are to the Theosophical Publishing House's 1980 ed.   All emphases (underlined) are the compiler's, as are comments (sometimes correlating A.A. Bailey's terminology) found in standard ([...]) brackets.

This compilation is part of a series available to members of the Theosophical Society in Boston (Besant Lodge), Inc., meant for the use of our weekly study groups, and representing both the insights and limitations of its compiler.   If it is used outside these immediate groups, he requests that you please exercise discernment.   Thank you for this consideration.

... We (i.e., our personalities) become immortal by the mere fact of our thinking moral nature being grafted on our divine Triune Monad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, the three in one and one in three (aspects).   For the Monad manifested on earth by the incarnating Ego is that which is called the Tree of Life Eternal, that can only be approached by eating the fruit of knowledge, the knowledge of good and evil, or of GNOSIS, divine Wisdom. [EW.410-1]

... the "seven principles" in man, the reflections in man of the seven powers in Nature, physically, and of the seven hierarchies of Being, intellectually and spiritually....

... The "seven principles" are, of course, the manifestation of one indivisible Spirit, but only at the end of the manvantara, and when they come to be reunited on the plane of the One Reality does the unity appear;   during the "Pilgrim's" journey the reflections of that indivisible One Flame, the aspects of the one eternal Spirit, have each the power of action on one of the manifested planes of existence...

... If asked:   "When the change described as the passage of a Buddha or a Jivanmukta into Nirvana takes place, where does the original consciousness which animated the body continue to reside — in the Nirvana or in the subsequent reincarnations of the latter 'remains' (the Nirmanakaya)?"   the answer is that imprisoned consciousness may be a "certain knowledge from observation and experience," as Gibbon puts it, but disembodied consciousness is not an effect, but a cause.   It is a part of the whole, or rather a ray on the graduated scale of its manifested activity, of the one all-pervading, limitless Flame... [EW.301-2]


    7.   Auric, Atmic, Alayic, sense or state.   One of full potentiality, but not of activity.

    6.   Buddhic;   the sense of being one with the universe;   the impossibility of imagining oneself apart from it.

(It was asked why the term Alayic was here given to the Atmic and not to the Buddhic state.   Ans.   These classifications are not hard and fast divisions.   A term may change places according as the classification is exoteric, esoteric or practical.   For students the effort should be to bring all things down to states of consciousness.... ) [EW.446]

The sun we see is a reflection of the true Sun:   this reflection, as an outward concrete thing, is a kama-rupa [our local KAMARUPA], all the suns forming the kama-rupa of Kosmos.   To its own system [as in physical system] the sun is Buddhi, as being the reflection and vehicle of the true Sun, which is Atma, invisible on this plane.   All the fohatic forces –electricity, etc.– are in this reflection. [EW.442]


Speaking metaphysically and philosophically, on strict esoteric lines man as a complete unit is composed of four basic principles and their three aspects on this earth.   In the semi-esoteric teachings, these four and three have been called seven principles, to facilitate the comprehension of the masses....

    1.   Atma, or Jiva, "the One Life," which permeates the Monadic Trio.   (One in three and three in One). [EW.392]

... The human principles, as given in Esoteric Buddhism, were tabulated for beginners, so as not to confuse their minds.   It was half a blind. [EW.379]

... Thus three of the ten [principles], containing in the archetypal world only ideative and paradigmatical potentiality, i.e., existing in possibility, not in action, are in fact one.   The potency of formative creation resides in the Logos, the synthesis of the seven forces or rays, which becomes forthwith the quaternary, the sacred Tetraktys.   This process is repeated in man... [EW.356]   [So this makes 8 principles —one three-fold unit plus seven principles— thus allowing a shift up or down by one principle, "according as the classification is exoteric, esoteric or practical" (EW.466)]


In the Kosmic Auric Envelope is all the karma of the manifesting Universe.   This is the Hiranyagarbha.   Jiva is everywhere, and so with the other principles. [EW.436]

... The Auric Egg is the limit of man as Hiranyagarbha of the Kosmos. [EW.441]

The Auric Egg, on account of its nature and manifold functions, has to be well studied.   As Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Womb or Egg, contains Brahm–, the collective symbol of the Seven Universal Forces, so the Auric Egg contains, and is directly related to, both the divine and the physical man.   In its essence, as said, it is eternal;   in its constant correlations and transformations, during the reincarnating progress of the Ego on this earth, it is a kind of perpetual motion machine. [EW.393]


Q.   If the physical body is no part of the real human septenary, is the physical material world one of the seven planes of the Kosmic septenary?

A.   It is.   The body is not a principle in esoteric parlance, because the body and the linga are both on the same plane;   then the Auric Egg makes the seventh.   The body is an upadhi rather than a principle.... [EW.430]

[In other words the Auric Egg is the Atom of the trinity God, Monad, and Atom mentioned above.   An Atom as well as the Auric Egg has 7 elements or principles, both within and without.]

The Auric Envelope takes up the light of Atma, and overshadows the coronal, circling round the head.

The Auric Fluid is a combination of the Life and Will principles, the life and the will being one and the same in Kosmos....

... Atma-Buddhi-Manas in man corresponds to the three Logoi in Kosmos.   They not only correspond, but each is the radiation from Kosmos to Microcosmos.   The third Logos, Mahat, becomes Manas in man, Manas being only Mahat individualized, as the sun-rays are individualized in bodies that absorb them....

... There are seven planes of Mahat, as of all else. [EW.440]   [As well as 7 subplanes of Manas.]

Mahat, single before informing the Universe, differentiates when informing it, as does Manas in man.

  Mahat as Divine Ideation
  Kosmic Substance - Manas
  Lower Manas
    7.   Auric or Atmic
    6.   Buddhi Manas
    5.   Manas Higher Ego
    4.   Kama-Manas Lower Manas
    3.   Kama-Prana
    2.   Astral
    1.   Objective [EW.437]


Our Manas is a ray from the World-Soul and is withdrawn at pralaya;   "it is perhaps the lower manas of Parabrahman," that is, of the Parabrahman of the manifested Universe.   The first film is energy, or motion on the manifested plane:   Alaya is the Third Logos, Maha-Buddhi, Mahat.   We always begin on the third plane;   beyond that all is inconceivable.   Atma is focused in Buddhi, but is embodied only in Manas, these being the spirit, soul and body of the Universe. [EW.458-9]   [And how is this different from God, Monad, and Atom?]

Source:   H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine Vol. 3, or The Esoteric Writings of H.P. Blavatsky.   Theosophical Publishing House, 1896, 1907, 1980.

AWE @ HTU (Harvard Theosophical Union) / TS in Boston 1992,   Compilation Draft 4/93,   Loaded to Webpage 12/24/98.