Our World

Having an Eye for what is happening around Us

Fay van Ierlant – The Netherlands


In The Secret Doctrine we read that, as humans of this manifested Universe we belong to the Fifth Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race. The number five, points to the fifth principle in the sevenfold constitution of the human being, which is the mind. As a race, our possibilities to become more aware of our world lie in the nature of our mind.

The human mind, as HP Blavatsky explains in her Key to Theosophy, has a dual principle in its functions. One function, called the lower mind, “is the centre of the animal man, where lies the line of demarcation which separates the mortal man from the immortal entity.” The other function is “the higher human mind, whose radiation links the monad, the spiritual principle in man, for the lifetime, to the mortal man.”

HPB states that “The future state and the Karmic destiny of man depend on whether Manas [the mind] gravitates more downwards to Kama rupa, the seat of the lower mind and of the animal passions, or upwards to Buddhi, the Spiritual Ego.” 

From Robert Bowen’s brochure “Madame Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy,” we find more about the mind and how it uses the physical brain. Bowen, as many remember was a student of HP Blavatsky’s circle in London. He quotes HPB as saying:

“The brain is the instrument of waking consciousness and every conscious mental picture formed, means change and destruction of the atoms of the brain. Ordinary intellectual activity moves on well beaten paths in the brain, and does not compel sudden adjustments and destructions in the substance. But this new kind of mental effort calls for something very different – the carving out of ‘new brain paths’, the ranking in different order of the little brain lives. If forced injudiciously it may do serious physical harm to the brain. . .This mode of thinking (she says) is what the Indians call Jnana Yoga.”

Jnana means spiritual insight. Jnana yoga is the mental process in which the mind learns to transcend narrowed reflections and mental pictures until it can dwell in the “World of No Form but of which all forms are narrowed reflections.” Why do we have to go through the process of Jnana yoga to be able to become aware of the reality that lies beyond the narrowed reflections and beyond our own mind made pictures of our world?

The answer may be found in the second part of The Secret Doctrine, Anthropogenesis. Stanza X, sloka 42 mentions that during the Fourth Root-Race, “They built temples for the human body. Male and female they worshipped. Then the Third Eye acted no longer.” In the chapter “The Races with the ‘Third Eye,’” it is explained that the third eye acted no longer because humanity had sunk too deep into the mire of matter. That happened when the Fourth Race arrived at its middle age and the falling into matter began to dim their spiritual vision. The third eye, the organ of spiritual vision, petrified and disappeared inside the head and became the pineal gland. Since then insight into Reality can only be acquired through training and initiation. It is said that, “During the activity of the inner man (during trances and spiritual visions) the gland swells and expands”. What was once a natural human capacity now needs be developed through effort. We can read more about the third eye in the Collected Writings Vol. XII where the difference between Hatha and Raja Yoga is explained. HPB writes how the nadis (the channels along which the currents of prana, or vitality, flow) when struck in a proper way, awaken the sentries on both sides, the spiritual manas and the physical kama, and subdues the lower through the higher.

“We [Raja Yogis] begin with the mastery of that organ which is situated at the base of the brain, in the pharynx, and called by the Western anatomists the Pituitary Body. In the series of the objective cranial organs, [ ] it stands to the Third Eye (Pineal Gland) as Manas stands to Buddhi. . . The one is the Energizer of Will, the other that of Clairvoyant Perception” (p.616-617).

Exploring further we find Mahatma KH in his first letter to A.O. Hume writing about the evolution of the mind:

“You ask us to teach you true Science, the occult aspect of the known side of nature, and this you think can be easily done as asked. You do not seem to realize the tremendous difficulties in the way of imparting even the rudiments of our Science to those who have been trained in the familiar methods of yours. You do not see that the more you have of the one the less capable you are of intuitively comprehending the other, for a man can only think in his worn grooves, and unless he has the courage to fill up these and make new ones for himself, he must perforce travel on the old lines. . . 

The idea that I wish to convey is, that the result of the highest intellection in the scientifically occupied brain is the evolution of a sublimated form of spiritual energy, which, in the cosmic action, is productive of illimitable results, while the automatically acting brain holds or stores in itself only a certain quantum of brute force that is unfruitful of benefit for the individual or humanity. The human brain is an exhaustless generator of the most refined quality of cosmic force out of the low, brute energy of nature. . .”

The Mahatma mentions a mind being capable of comprehending intuitively. Intuition is knowledge by identity, all dualities are dissolved. It gives the vision of the whole, a unified vision of reality in which the individual and the universal are perceived as one.

The limitations of universal consciousness, when it is centralized and expressed through an individual’s center of consciousness, deprives the individual of the awareness of their divine nature. It is the delusion caused by this privation which makes a person run after all kinds of worldly objects and pursuits in a futile search for happiness. Under this delusion, as mentioned above in Stanza 10, sloka 42 of the Secret Doctrine (Anthropogenesis), that because of the loss of the original third eye, humans regard the divine power flowing through them as their own personal power that they are entitled to use in any way they like. It is this attitude that is really responsible for the almost universal misuse of power in this, our world, and the cause of most of its problems. This trend is becoming more and more pronounced and those who benefit from it, take it for granted and consider it a legitimate exercise of freedom and their right as a human being.

The blind pursuit of power is the indication that one is grossly involved in the illusions of the world and therefore inevitable. However, humans, that can use their minds to refine “the low, brute energy of nature” of the human brain to “an exhaustless generator” of cosmic consciousness will intuitively comprehend the truth that reality is an undivided whole of which they are an integrated part. Such a mind will be able to discern between separated delusions and the real sense of fundamental unity: the fundamental unity of universal brotherhood. This might be the challenge of the Fifth Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race going through matter in the Fourth Round.


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