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The Question of G.

de Purucker
A Reply
Jon Fergus & Pierre Wouters

Contents
Opening Words.................................................................................................................................................... 2
Does Evolution Extend to Infinity?............................................................................................................... 3
Point #1: Are there One or Many Absolutes?............................................................................................ 7
Point #2: Are the Seven Principles Monads?............................................................................................. 8
Point #3: Animal Soul vs. Kama-Rupa....................................................................................................... 12
Point #4: What are the Manasaputras?.................................................................................................... 14
Point #5: Parabrahma vs. Brahma............................................................................................................. 18
Point #6: My Atman, Your Atman?............................................................................................................. 25
Point #7: The Meaning of AUM................................................................................................................... 28
Point #8: Esoteric Instructions................................................................................................................ 32
Point #9: 4th vs. 5th Sub-Race................................................................................................................. 34
Point #10: 7 or 12 (or 10 or 14 or...)?........................................................................................................ 40
Closing Words................................................................................................................................................... 44

Opening Words
The following is a response to an article that appeared on blavatskytheosophy.com titled:

The Question of G de Purucker


Let it be clear from the outset that we are not here to defend a particular person. Nor are
we here to debate or discuss successorship, leadership or the occult status of any
individual. It is to be understood that this reply is not the result of parroting G. de Purucker,
but simply the result of long independent study, besides the fact that the conceptual understanding of theosophical teachings is always open to interpretation and thus open to misunderstanding by any student.
In the above mentioned article, following a dissertation on the person of G. de Purucker,
the article moves on to select a handful of ideas drawn from his writings. In doing so, it is
suggested that these ideas are entirely at odds with the teaching in The Secret Doctrine.
We find this to be an incorrect conclusion, and believe it could mislead students of
Theosophy into believing a priori, without sufficient evidence or argument, that Puruckers
ideas entirely oppose those of H.P. Blavatsky (HPB) and her teachers. We will, therefore,
address each of these ideas in turn, providing references to Puruckers writings and those
of The Secret Doctrine (SD) and other writings of HPB. This, we believe, will illustrate that
the ten points of criticism in the article are generally mistaken and not actually in
opposition to what the authors refer to as genuine theosophy.

Does Evolution Extend to Infinity?


First, let us look at a very problematic statement quoted in the article.
Students of The Secret Doctrine may be disposed to question Dr de Puruckers view that
evolution is a process extending to infinity, rather than a cyclic process returning into itself
only to start over on the same level, and that Parabrahm, or the Absolute, is not really the
finality, but just one of many many stages, but by no means final and that the evolutionary
process goes on throughout eternity, ever higher and higher.1

This objection flies in the face of theosophical teachings. Nowhere do HPB or her
teachers indicate that cyclic processes return into themselves on the same level. In fact, the
exact opposite is true, and Puruckers instruction on this point, i.e. that evolution extends to
infinity, is exactly the theosophical teaching.
The cycles of theosophical teachings are spiral, like the threads of a screw (a helicoid):
cyclical yet progressive. The cycles of the seasons, for instance, move from winter through
to summer and again to winter, but there is progress, a marching forwards, from one
winter to the next: the cycle does not return to itself on the same level. No cycle does. To
quote from the SD:
This tracing of Spiral lines refers to the evolution of mans as well as Natures
principles; an evolution which takes place gradually as does everything else in nature. (SD
1:119)
Otherwise how could one account for and explain mathematically the evolutionary and
spiral progress of the Four Kingdoms? (SD 1:178)
The answer is difficult to comprehend, unless one is well acquainted with the philosophical metaphysics of a beginningless and endless series of Cosmic Re-births; and
becomes well impressed and familiarised with that immutable law of Nature which is
Eternal Motion, cyclic and spiral, therefore progressive even in its seeming retrogression.
(SD 2:80)
Only in relatively recent geological periods, has the spiral course of cyclic law swept
mankind into the lowest grade of physical evolutionthe plane of gross material causation.
(SD 2:157)
The Ogdoad or 8 symbolizes the eternal and spiral motion of cycles, the 8, , and is
symbolized in its turn by the Caduceus. (SD 2:580)
Were there no such thing as evolutionary cycles, an eternal spiral progress into matter
with a proportionate obscuration of spiritthough the two are onefollowed by an
inverse ascent into spirit and the defeat of matteractive and passive by turnhow
explain the discoveries of zoology and geology? (SD 2:732)

Indeed, this idea that evolution progresses cyclically is absolutely fundamental to the
1. In our correspondence with the author of the article, we have received the following clarification: The passage
you quote at the start of p. 3 is from H. N. Stokes and although I included it in my article I obviously disagree with
the idea that everything returns back to the point where it started as I'm well aware that this is not the Theosophical
teaching. Obviously I should have commented on that in the article itself, as now the readers of your response will be
given the impression that those are either my words or that I personally agree with and support them. Let the
reader understand, then, that our reply here is directed solely towards the mistaken idea put forward by Stokes.

theosophical philosophy. It is one of those ideas upon which a right comprehension of the
whole system hangs. HPB addresses it directly in the opening pages of the Proem:
Intra-Cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless; cosmic motion (the visible, or that which is
subject to perception) is finite and periodical. As an eternal abstraction it is the everpresent; as a manifestation, it is finite both in the coming direction and the opposite, the
two being the alpha and omega of successive reconstructions. Kosmosthe noumenon
has nought to do with the causal relations of the phenomenal World. It is only with
reference to the intra-cosmic soul, the ideal Kosmos in the immutable Divine Thought, that
we may say: It never had a beginning nor will it have an end. With regard to its body or
Cosmic organization, though it cannot be said that it had a first, or will ever have a last
construction, yet at each new Manvantara, its organization may be regarded as the first and
the last of its kind, as it evolutes every time on a higher plane . . . (SD 1:3)

Again:
The opening sentence of Stanza I., when mentioning Seven Eternities, is made to apply
both to the Maha-Kalpa or the (great) Age of Brahm, as well as to the Solar pralaya and
subsequent resurrection of our Planetary System on a higher plane. (SD 1:53)

Let us look at a diagram by HPB on the same general subject of cyclic progression.

It is clearly demonstrated in this diagram that the ascending cycle reaches upwards to
a point higher than the point at which the downward cycle began. That is, with the
passing of each cycle there is a progression made. The same is demonstrated in HPBs
treatment of the progress from one planetary chain to the next, when exploring the passage
from the moon chain to the earth (see SD 1:179, where it is clearly stated that the moon
chain is inferior to the earth chain, i.e. a progression has occurred through the full cycle of
the chain). These diagrams and explanations can be applied mutatis mutandis to any and all
evolutionary cycles: all progress, all are spirals, not circles.
Thus in no way is it described that the cycles return into themselves on the same level.
That idea would negate any real meaning to the theosophical philosophy; it would make a
joke of evolution and would render the Theosophical Path entirely pointless to tread, if all
one had to look forward to was a return on the same level and a restart of the exact same
cycle. No; progress is beginningless and endless and constant. It is the very law of motion
itself. If there was a cap or ceiling upon evolution, at any point, the entire idea of evolution
would fall apart. The only way in which the idea of evolution is upheld is if it indeed passes
to infinity.
It is but matter (or material man) which is compelled by its own weight to descend to
the very bottom of the "circle of necessity" to there assume animal form; as to the winner of
that race throughout the worldsthe Spiritual Ego, he will ascend from star to star, from
one world to another, circling onward to rebecome the once pure planetary Spirit, then
higher still, to finally reach its first starting point, and from thenceto merge into mystery.
No adept has ever penetrated beyond the veil of primitive Kosmic matter. The highest, the
most perfect vision is limited to the universe of Form and Matter. (Mahatma Letter 9)

In regards to the idea that the Absolute is surpassed at some point, the distinction must
be made between the Absolute as the APEX or hierarch of a system and the Absolute per se.
The life-wave does, indeed, eventually pass the apex of a system and moves on to the next
system, on a higher plane. In this sense what was Absolute to them during one cycle will
be relative to them during a higher cycle on a higher system. This will be explored further in
our reply to the questions of Parabrahma versus Brahma (neuter) and the question of
Atman. But let us see a quote from the Secret Doctrine on this point:
The day when "the spark will re-become the Flame (man will merge into his Dhyan
Chohan) myself and others, thyself and me," as the Stanza has itmeans this: In
Paranirvanawhen Pralaya will have reduced not only material and psychical bodies, but
even the spiritual Ego(s) to their original principlethe Past, Present, and even Future
Humanities, like all things, will be one and the same. Everything will have re-entered the
Great Breath. In other words, everything will be "merged in Brahma" or the divine unity.
Is this annihilation, as some think? Or Atheism, as other criticsthe worshippers of a
personal deity and believers in an unphilosophical paradiseare inclined to suppose?
Neither. It is worse than useless to return to the question of implied atheism in that which is
spirituality of a most refined character. To see in Nirvana annihilation amounts to saying of a
man plunged in a sound dreamless sleepone that leaves no impression on the physical
memory and brain, because the sleeper's Higher Self is in its original state of absolute
consciousness during those hoursthat he, too, is annihilated. The latter simile answers
only to one side of the questionthe most material; since re-absorption is by no means

such a "dreamless sleep," but, on the contrary, absolute existence, an unconditioned unity, or
a state, to describe which human language is absolutely and hopelessly inadequate. The
only approach to anything like a comprehensive conception of it can be attempted solely in
the panoramic visions of the soul, through spiritual ideations of the divine monad. Nor is
the individualitynor even the essence of the personality, if any be left behindlost,
because re-absorbed. For, however limitlessfrom a human standpointthe paranirvanic
state, it has yet a limit in Eternity. Once reached, the same monad will re-emerge
therefrom, as a still higher being, on a far higher plane, to recommence its cycle of
perfected activity. The human mind cannot in its present stage of development transcend,
scarcely reach this plane of thought. It totters here, on the brink of incomprehensible
Absoluteness and Eternity. (SD 1:265-66)

We believe this quote speaks fully for itself.


Let us continue with the article in question, then. The article continues on to give ten
points of teaching from Purucker which the authors feel to be grossly in error. We will
address each in turn.

Point #1: Are there One or Many Absolutes?


The first point that the authors of the article take issue with is the following:
His teaching that there are many Absolutes, which is a contradiction in terms, since the
Absolute is by its very definition the One Ultimate Reality and the statement occurs right at
the beginning of The Secret Doctrine that There can be neither two INFINITES nor two
ABSOLUTES in a Universe supposed to be Boundless.

Lets begin our reply with a quote from the Secret Doctrine Dialogues:
Mr. B. Keightley: To my mind this idea has become absolutely plain, that what we refer to
as non-being and non-manifestation is to be understood as only referring to our intelligence
and our intellect and to us. It is very evident you cannot speak of and you dont refer in The
Secret Doctrine to absolute non-being and absolute non-manifestation at all.
Mme. Blavatsky: I refer to absolute non-being from the standpoint of our finite and
relative intellects. This is what I do, but not at all what it would be, because that which is
for us absoluteness, perhaps if you go on the plane higher, it will be something
relative for those on the plane above.
Mr. B. Keightley: And if you go more above, it will become something more relative. In fact,
with our intellects we are in too great a hurry to get to the Absolute and so draw a line.
Mme. Blavatsky: You are all in too much of a hurry, and if you go on splitting hairs your
brains will become like a homogeneous jelly. It is a very dangerous thing, this. Try to go one
after the other and not miss any of the rungs of the ladder, or else it will lead you into some
very extraordinary places. (The Secret Doctrine Dialogues, pp. 213-214)

And again:
Q. What is really meant by the term "planes of non-being"?
A. In using the term "planes of non-being" it is necessary to remember that these planes
are only to us spheres of non-being, but those of being and matter to higher intelligences
than ourselves. The highest Dhyan-Chohans of the Solar System can have no conception of
that which exists in higher systems, i.e., on the second "septenary" Kosmic plane, which to
the Beings of the ever invisible Universe is entirely subjective. (Transactions, p. 106-107 )
Q. But are the planes of "non-being" also Septenary?
A. Most undeniably. That which in the Secret Doctrine is referred to as the unmanifested
planes, are unmanifested or planes of non-being only from the point of view of the finite
intellect; to higher intelligences they would be manifested planes and so on to infinity,
analogy always holding good. (Transactions, p. 111 )

The all-important distinction to be made here is between the Absolute as the Apex or
Hierarch of a given system, and the Absolute per se. There are, indeed, many absolutes in
the sense of hierarchs, while there is only one Absolute per se. This distinction seems to be
missed in the ten points of criticism, both in regards to this question and in regards to the
following questions on parabrahma/brahma and on atman. It is a critically important
distinction to be made if one is to understand the system and processes described in the
Secret Doctrine. This idea is also central to Puruckers approach and must be understood if
one is to correctly grasp the ideas he puts forth and the manner in which he presents them.
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Point #2: Are the Seven Principles Monads?


The second point of contention is:
His teaching that mans Seven Principles are in fact Seven Monads, which although true
from the perspective that everything can be considered a monad of sorts, is nevertheless
unnecessary and confusing when it comes to gaining a clear and accurate understanding of
the Theosophical teaching about the human constitution, since in our constitution the
Monad by its very definition is the primary, ultimate unit, and refers solely [?] to the
conjunction of Atma-Buddhi in the human constitution, the seventh and sixth Principles.

First, let us briefly address the idea that monad refers solely to the conjunction of
Atma-Buddhi, with three quotes showing the flexibility of this term in Occultism:
Atm (or Atman) (Sk.). The Universal Spirit, the divine Monad, the 7th Principle, socalled, in the septenary constitution of man. The Supreme Soul.
Jiva (Sk.). Life, as the Absolute; the Monad also or Atma-Buddhi.
Monad (Gr.). The Unity, the one; but in Occultism it often means the unified triad, AtmaBuddhi-Manas, or the duad, Atma-Buddhi, that immortal part of man which reincarnates in
the lower kingdoms, and gradually progresses through them to Man and then to the final
goalNirvna. (Theosophical Glossary)

This is a fairly flexible use of the term in reference to Man. And let us not forget that: the
term Monad [is] one which may apply equally to the vastest Solar System or the tiniest
atom (SD 1:21)
Now, in order to understand Puruckers approach to the principles as monads, one must
study carefully two sections in the SD (Vol 1, p. 170 etc. and p. 610 etc.). The exploration
there shows the connection between the monads circling round the planetary chain with
the elements and kingdoms, and from there with the principles in man. A salient quote,
shedding much light, is the following:
It now becomes plain that there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the
formation of the three periodical Upadhis; or rather three separate schemes of evolution,
which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are
the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. These three are the
finite aspects or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of ATMA, the seventh, the ONE
REALITY.
1. The Monadic is, as the name implies, concerned with the growth and development into
still higher phases of activity of the Monad in conjunction with:
2. The Intellectual, represented by the Manasa-Dhyanis (the Solar Devas, or the Agnishwatta Pitris) the "givers of intelligence and consciousness" to man and:
3. The Physical, represented by the Chhayas of the lunar Pitris, round which Nature has
concreted the present physical body. This body serves as the vehicle for the "growth" (to use
a misleading word) and the transformations through Manas andowing to the accumulation of experiencesof the finite into the INFINITE, of the transient into the Eternal and
Absolute.
Each of these three systems has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of

the highest Dhyanis or "Logoi." Each is represented in the constitution of man, the
Microcosm of the great Macrocosm; and it is the union of these three streams in him which
makes him the complex being he now is. (SD 1:181)

Now, if you flip to the diagram on p. 157 of volume 1 in the Secret Doctrine, you will see
that each of these three upadhis is correlated with principles in the sevenfold division of
our human constitution. The Seven Primordial Hierarchies (the rulers of the sacred
planets) are each responsible for a kingdom and a principle in man by emanating into them.
What else are those Hierarchies but monads?
The Natures of the seven hierarchies or classes of Pitris and Dhyan Chohans which
compose our nature and Bodies are here meant (SD 1:189fn*)
To the highest, we are taught, belong the seven orders of the purely divine Spirits; [. . .]
each principle in man having its direct source in the nature of those great Beings , who
furnish us with the respective invisible elements in us (SD 1:133)
Now, it must be remembered that the Monads cycling round any septenary chain are
divided into seven classes or hierarchies according to their respective stages of evolution,
consciousness, and merit. (SD 1:171)
Besides which, every kingdom (and we have sevenwhile you have but three) is subdivided into seven degrees or classes. Man (physically) is a compound of all the kingdoms
(Mahatma Letter 13)

This perception of the teaching adds enormous value to our understanding of the
mechanism of emanation that applies throughout the whole system of cosmogenesis, while
confusion tends to arise if and when we take the philosophy in a too literal sense such as do
the literalists in bible studies, instead of looking at the spirit or subjective element within a
teaching.
Theosophy teaches that every kingdom moves up one stage at the commencement of a
new planetary chain. We are here not talking of the human monad coming from the moon
chain moving through all the kingdoms on a single planetary globe or round, but the
monadic flux in every kingdom. So the monads (sometimes just referred to as elementals
see SD 1:610) that now occupy the vegetable kingdom will move into the animal kingdom
in the next planetary chain and so on for every kingdom. This is in exact correspondence
with the evolution of the human monads on every globe and in every round. If each one of
the kingdoms corresponds with one of our principles, then by analogy the monad of every
principle in man moves up one stage after every planetary round as well.
There are many further references that shed light on the relation between monads and
principles; the important thing here seems to be to keep our mind open and flexible and not
to dismiss too quickly the ideas of Purucker or others about this relation.
As to the statement that although true from the perspective that everything can be
considered a 'monad' of sorts, is nevertheless unnecessary and confusing when it comes to
gaining a clear and accurate understanding, we may say then that the following reference
from HPB would also fall under the definition of unnecessary and confusing, where the
monad is corresponded with mind or Manas!
The Scintillas are the "Souls," and these Souls appear in the three-fold form of Monads

(units), atoms and godsaccording to our teaching. "Every atom becomes a visible complex
unit (a molecule), and once attracted into the sphere of terrestrial activity, the Monadic
Essence, passing through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, becomes man."
(Esot. Catechism.) Again, "God, Monad, and Atom are the correspondences of Spirit, Mind,
and Body (Atma, Manas and Sthula Sarira) in man." In their septenary aggregation they are
the "Heavenly Man" (see Kabala for the latter term); thus, terrestrial man is the provisional
reflection of the Heavenly. . . . . "The Monads (Jivas) are the Souls of the Atoms, both are the
fabric in which the Chohans (Dhyanis, gods) cloth themselves when a form is needed."
(Esot. Cat.). (SD 1:619)

Further, note the use of astral monad and, in many other places, the use of terms like
divine monad, spiritual monad, human monad, animal monad, mineral monad, etc.
and we will see that the teaching is far from one dimensional.
The "astral monad" is the "personal Ego," and therefore, it never reincarnates, as the
French Spirites, will have it, but under "exceptional circumstances;" in which case, reincarnating, it does not become a shell but, if successful in its second reincarnation will become
one, and then gradually lose its personality, after being so to say emptied of its best and
highest spiritual attributes by the immortal monad or the "Spiritual Ego," during the last
and supreme struggle. (Mahatma Letter 24b)

See also Isis 1:351 for more on the astral monad.


Whether or not some students find these ideas unnecessary and confusing does not
imply that all students of theosophy will find them to be such. Some may find it extremely
helpful to attempt to discover what exactly is a principle: is it a something? and if so, what
kind of something is it? Is it a being? Is it a monad? The teaching seems to be that our
entire constitution is a conglomeration of individualities, or monads, of a vast range of
development, all working and living together, all undergoing processes of evolution, and yet
giving rise to the (ultimately illusory) notion that I have principles that belong to me.
The AH-HI (Dhyan-Chohans) are the collective hosts of spiritual beings . . . This hierarchy
of spiritual Beings, through which the Universal Mind comes into action, is like an armya
"Host," trulyby means of which the fighting power of a nation manifests itself, and which
is composed of army corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its
separate individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and limited responsibilities;
each contained in a larger individuality, to which its own interests are subservient, and each
containing lesser individualities in itself. (SD 1:38)

This quote also goes towards the distinction between the absolute as apex versus the
absolute per se. Here we have an infinite series of individualities, which are actually
collectives, each contained in a larger individuality, and so on and so on until the mind
reels, as HPB says (for how can there ever be a final or largest or highest of these individualities?, for that would be a personal God!). What are those individualities, then, if not
monads? and what are their principles if not monads of varying degrees of development?
If, as theosophy teaches, each principle is in turn sevenfold (as are rounds, globes, races
analogy always holding true), then what can the highest sub-principle of each principle be
but a monad developing on its own plane?
For those who study the above references, the following two statement may remove all
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doubt as to the presence of the monad in every principle:


Seventh principle always there as a latent force in every one of the principleseven body.
As the macrocosmic Whole it is present even in the lower sphere, but there is nothing there
to assimilate it to itself. . . .
All is one Law. Man has his seven principles, the germs of which he brings with him at his
birth. So has a planet or a world. From first to last every sphere has its world of effects, the
passing through which will afford a place of final rest to each of the human principlesthe
seventh principle excepted. (Mahatma Letter 13)

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Point #3: Animal Soul vs. Kama-Rupa


The third point of contention is:
His taking literally of the symbolically descriptive term animal soul for the Kama
principle in man and teaching that the individuals Kama principle is in fact a Monad which
in the distant future will become an actual animal.

This is akin to the proverbial searching for a needle in a haystack:


In Mr. Sinnett's "Esoteric Buddhism" d, e, and f, [kama rupa, manas and buddhi] are
respectively called the Animal, the Human, and the Spiritual Souls, which answers as well.
Though the principles in Esoteric Buddhism are numbered, this is, strictly speaking, useless.
The dual Monad alone (Atma-Buddhi) is susceptible of being thought of as the two highest
numbers (the 6th and 7th). As to all others, since that "principle" only which is predominant in man has to be considered as the first and foremost, no numeration is possible as a
general rule. In some men it is the higher Intelligence (Manas or the 5th) which dominates
the rest; in others the Animal Soul (Kama-rupa) that reigns supreme, exhibiting the most
bestial instincts, etc. (Key to Theosophy, Section 6, p. 92fn*)
Now what does Plato teach? He speaks of the interior man as constituted of two
partsone immutable and always the same, formed of the same substance as Deity, and the
other mortal and corruptible. These "two parts" are found in our upper Triad, and the lower
Quaternary (vide Table). He explains that when the Soul, psuche, "allies herself to the Nous
(divine spirit or substance), she does everything aright and felicitously"; but the case is
otherwise when she attaches herself to Anoia, (folly, or the irrational animal Soul). Here,
then, we have Manas (or the Soul in general) in its two aspects: when attaching itself to
Anoia (our Kama rupa, or the "Animal Soul" in "Esoteric Buddhism,") it runs towards entire
annihilation, as far as the personal Ego is concerned; when allying itself to the Nous (AtmaBuddhi) it merges into the immortal, imperishable Ego, and then its spiritual consciousness
of the personal that was, becomes immortal. (Key to Theosophy, Section 6, pp. 92-93)

HPB very well knew the proper use of Anoia as proven in her adding a glossary to the
2nd edition of The Key to Theosophy where the term Anoia is described as:
Anoia (Gr.) is "want of understanding folly"; and is the name applied by Plato and others
to the lower Manas when too closely allied with Kama, which is characterised by
irrationality (agnoia). The Greek agnoia is evidently a derivative of the Sanskrit ajnana
(phonetically agnyana), or ignorance, irrationality, and absence of knowledge. (Key to
Theosophy, Glossary)

We dont see why a student of theosophy ought to stumble over the use of such terminology when the teacher herself (HPB) doesnt seem to be making a big deal out of it.
Besides, she allies herself clearly with some of the main Greek philosophers of antiquity
such as Pythagoras and Plato and doesnt have a negative word to say when the animal soul
is referred to in relation to the body (!) as in the following fragment:
Now this composition of the soul (psuche) with the understanding (nous) makes reason;
and with the body (or thumos, the animal soul) passion; of which the one is the beginning
or principle of pleasure and pain, and the other of virtue and vice. Of these three parts
conjoined and compacted together, the earth has given the body, the moon the soul, and the

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sun the understanding to the generation of man." This last sentence is purely allegorical,
and will be comprehended only by those who are versed in the esoteric science of correspondences and know which planet is related to every principle. (Key to Theosophy,
Section 6, pp. 97-98)

The use of the term animal soul in relation to Anoia (in the sense of kama-rupa) came
in very handy for HPB to describe the distinction between the passively irrational soul
(buddhi) and the actively irrational soul (kama) by contrasting the distinction, whereas
manas per se is looked upon as the rational part in between:
ENQUIRER. I laboured under the impression that the "Animal Soul" alone was irrational,
not the Divine.
THEOSOPHIST. You have to learn the difference between that which is negatively, or
passively "irrational," because undifferentiated [buddhi], and that which is irrational
because too active and positive [kama]. (Key p. 103)
Irrational in the sense that as a pure emanation of the Universal mind it [buddhi] can
have no individual reason of its own on this plane of matter, but like the Moon, who borrows
her light from the Sun and her life from the Earth, so Buddhi, receiving its light of Wisdom
from Atma, gets its rational qualities from Manas. Per se, as something homogeneous, it
[buddhi] is devoid of attributes. (Key to Theosophy, Section 7, p. Key p. 102 fn)

One could blame HPB of the same incongruity as in the alleged case of Purucker and ask
of her why she insisted upon using the word kama-rupa instead of kama when she, in many
other places, clearly states (as does W. Q. Judge) that kama-rupa is only applicable to the
state after death!
As to teaching that the individuals Kama principle is in fact a Monad which in the
distant future will become an actual animal, this has basically been dealt with in the references to the previous question (#2).
Seventh principle always there as a latent force in every one of the principleseven body.
As the macrocosmic Whole it is present even in the lower sphere, but there is nothing there
to assimilate it to itself. (Mahatma Letter 13)

If, as weve indicated, each principle is, in its highest aspect, a monad developing on its
own plane, and if, as HPB makes clear, every monad (pilgrim) must pass through every
kingdom at some point in its journey, Puruckers claim seems sound, even if perhaps a bit
abstract to the general reader. There are also teachings in regards to Transmigration that
may shed light on aspects of this question, which the curious student may also wish to
investigate.

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Point #4: What are the Manasaputras?


The fourth point of contention is:
His definition and explanation in Studies in Occult Philosophy of what the Manasaputras or Solar Angels are, which is entirely at odds with the teaching in The Secret
Doctrine on this subject even though he maintained that everything he taught was in accordance with The Secret Doctrine.

Since the article does not indicate which aspects of Puruckers explanation of the manasaputras are mistaken, it is quite difficult to give a full reply here. The difficulty is increased
when one recognizes that these teachingsi.e. on the nature of the manasaputras, lunar
pitris, etc.are exceedingly complex and nowhere in theosophical literature are they given
in full, directly and simply. Like many theosophical teachings, we are each left to work it out
for ourselves. Because of this, it benefits us little to cast stones at the interpretations or
understandings of other students of theosophy on these subjects.
What we will do here is simply provide a selection of quotes from Purucker,
H. P. Blavatsky and W. Q. Judge, and allow the reader to decide for themselves if the former
is entirely at odds with the latter. But each student will need to explore these ideas in
depth, likely for many many years, before they can be in any position to determine if other
students have erred in their interpretations, including ourselves.
First, here is Purucker on the Manasaputras, from the above referenced book Studies in
Occult Philosophy. We have underlined certain salient statements.
The Lunar Pitris or the Barhishads, to use a Hindu name by which they are sometimes
called, were those beings who on the moon, when we were all there and it was a living
planet, were the animal monads of the lunar men; and the Agnishwitta-Pitris, the Solar
Pitris, because under the direct governing inspiration of the sun, yet lunar also because they
came from the moon, were the thinking, intellectual men on the moon-chain. But when they
had reached the culmination of their spiritual and intellectual evolution on the moon, at the
end of the moon's seventh or last Round, they left it no longer as mere men but as Manasa putras, Sons of Mind, pure intellectual Dhyanis, spirits of intellect and spirits of thought;
and it was these who became or were the Manasaputras who inspired humanity on this
chain, on this earth that is, during what we call the Third Root-Race. We are now in the Fifth
Root-Race.
And what were the beings that they inspired, called variously Barhishads or Lunar Pitris,
pitris being a Sanskrit word which means fathers or progenitors? Who were they whom
these Manasaputras, or the men who were men on the moon, inspiredwho were these
Lunar Pitris, these mindless ones, senseless in the intellectual meaning, but who were yet
purely human and not animal at all, belonging to the human kingdom? These Lunar Pitris
were those animal monads of the men on the moon who had attained human status when
the last Round on the moon ended. To attain human status merely means having entered
the very lowest ranks of the human kingdom. The Lunar Pitris, then, as they appear on our
globe, were the animal monads in the human constitution of those who were men on the
moon; and those thinking intellectual men on the moon at the end of the moon's Seventh
Round, the highest evolution attainable then, reached the point of the Dhyanis, the Manasaputras, and became our Manasaputras here on this earth. (Studies in Occult Philosophy)

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Now let us compare this with two quotes from HPB. As weve said, these ideas are
complex and are not given in explicit terms, but the previous statements from Purucker and
the following from HPB would seem to accord quite well with one another.
The "Lunar Monads" or Pitris, the ancestors of man, become in reality man himself. They
are the "Monads" who enter on the cycle of evolution on Globe A, and who, passing round
the chain of planets, evolve the human form as has just been shown. At the beginning of the
human stage of the Fourth Round on this Globe, they "ooze out" their astral doubles from
the "ape-like" forms which they had evolved in Round III. And it is this subtle, finer form,
which serves as the model round which Nature builds physical man. These "Monads" or
"divine sparks" are thus the "Lunar" ancestors, the Pitris themselves. For these "Lunar
Spirits" have to become "Men" in order that their "Monads" may reach a higher plane of
activity and self-consciousness, i.e., the plane of the Manasa-Putras, those who endow the
"senseless" shells, created and informed by the Pitris, with "mind" in the latter part of the
Third Root-Race. (SD 1:180-81)
For the "Fathers," the lower Angels, are all Nature-Spirits and the higher Elementals also
possess an intelligence of their own; but this is not enough to construct a THINKING man.
"Living Fire" was needed, that fire which gives the human mind its self-perception and selfconsciousness, or Manas; and the progeny of Prvaka and Suchi are the animal electric and
solar fires, which create animals, and could thus furnish but a physical living constitution to
that first astral model of man. The first creators, [lunar pitris] then, were the Pygmalions of
primeval man: they failed to animate the statueintellectually.
This Stanza we shall see is very suggestive. It explains the mystery of, and fills the gap
between, the informing principle in manthe HIGHER SELF or human Monadand the
animal Monad, both one and the same, although the former is endowed with divine intelligence, the latter with instinctual faculty alone. How is the difference to be explained, and
the presence of that HIGHER SELF in man accounted for?
"The Sons of MAHAT [manasaputras] are the quickeners of the human Plant.
They are the Waters falling upon the arid soil of latent life, and the Spark that
vivifies the human animal. They are the Lords of Spiritual Life eternal." . . . . "In the
beginning (in the Second Race) some (of the Lords) only breathed of their essence
into Manushya (men); and some took in man their abode."
This shows that not all men became incarnations of the "divine Rebels," but only a few
among them. The remainder had their fifth principle simply quickened by the spark thrown
into it, which accounts for the great difference between the intellectual capacities of men
and races. Had not the "sons of Mahat," speaking allegorically, skipped the intermediate
worlds, in their impulse toward intellectual freedom, the animal man would never have
been able to reach upward from this earth, and attain through self-exertion his ultimate
goal. (SD 2:102-103)

Take note also of the use of the terms human monad and animal monad here, and
refer back to questions #2 and 3.
In regards to the Manasaputras being the thinking, intellectual men on the moon-chain,
or in other words, the Egos of the moon-chain, let us now look at a key explanation from
HPB, and statements from WQJ's Ocean of Theosophy. First from HPB:
We now come to an important point with regard to the double evolution of the human
race. The Sons of Wisdom, or the spiritual Dhyanis, had become "intellectual" through their

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contact with matter, because they had already reached, during previous cycles of incarnation, that degree of intellect which enabled them to become independent and self-conscious entities, on this plane of matter. They were reborn only by reason of Karmic effects.
They entered those who were "ready," and became the Arhats, or sages, alluded to above.
This needs explanation.
It does not mean that Monads entered forms in which other Monads already were. They
were "Essences," "Intelligences," and conscious spirits; entities seeking to become still more
conscious by uniting with more developed matter. Their essence was too pure to be distinct
from the universal essence; but their "Egos," or Manas (since they are called Manasaputra,
born of "Mahat," or Brahm) had to pass through earthly human experiences to become allwise, The varieties of character and capacity which subsequently appear in man's history
are the forthcoming of the variations which were induced in the Egos in other and long
anterior periods of evolution upon other chains of globes. (SD 2:167)

And now, from WQJ:


But to all kingdoms below man except the anthropoids, the door is now closed for entry
into the human stage, and the Egos in the subordinate forms must all wait their turn in the
succeeding great Cycle [next round]. And as the delayed Egos of the Anthropoid family will
emerge into the man stage later on, they will thus be rewarded for the long wait in that
degraded race. All the other monkeys are products in the ordinary manner of the evolutionary processes.
As man came to this globe from another planet, though of course then a being of very
great power before being completely enmeshed in matter, so the lower kingdoms came
likewise in germ and type from other planets, and carry on their evolution step by step
upward by the aid of man, who is, in all periods of manifestation, at the front of the wave of
life. The Egos in these lower kingdoms could not finish their evolution in the preceding
globe-chain before its dissolution, and coming to this they go forward age after age,
gradually approaching nearer the man stage. (Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter 15)

All these go to support the idea that these Egos, whether higher or lower, came over from
the moon-chain, and their interactions here on this planet in this round make Man the
complex being that he currently is (see SD 1:181).
While we see little use in going more deeply into these ideas, as they are exceedingly
complex and widely open to differing interpretations, well share a series of quotes here
from HPB to close our reply. These may give the reader some further sense of the nature of
the mansaputras.
Q. Have the Ah-hi been men in previous Manvantaras, or will they become so?
A. Every living creature, of whatever description, was, is, or will become a human being in
one or another Manvantara.
Q. But do they in this Manvantara remain permanently on the same very exalted plane
during the whole period of the life-cycle?
A. If you mean by "life cycle" a duration of time which extends over fifteen figures, then
my answer is most decidedlyno. The "Ah-hi" pass through all the planes, beginning to
manifest on the third. Like all other Hierarchies, on the highest plane they are arupa, i.e.,
formless, bodiless, without any substance, mere breaths. On the second plane, they first
approach to Rupa, or form. On the third, they became Manasa-putras, those who became

16

incarnated in men. With every plane they reach they are called by different namesthere is
a continual differentiation of their original homogeneous substance; we call it substance,
although in reality it is no substance of which we can conceive. Later, they become Rupa
ethereal forms.
Q. Then the Ah-hi of this Manvantara . . . ?
A. Exist no longer; they have long ago become Planetary, Solar, Lunar, and lastly, incarnating Egos, for, as said, "they are the collective hosts of spiritual beings." (Transactions,
p. 22-23 )

One may deeply contemplate here the idea that the Ah-hi not only become the manasa putras, but also Planetary, Solar, Lunar and incarnating Egos. And if they were such for the
moon-chain, lighting up Man there and then, and are now here lighting up Man on
earth, can we not say that though they are under the direct governing inspiration of the
sun [i.e. solar], yet lunar also because they came from the moon, were the thinking, intellectual men on the moon-chain [i.e. the incarnating Egos of the moon-chain]? These ideas
are well worth deep consideration and contemplation. More from HPB:
The difference between Manas and Buddhi in man is the same as the difference between
the Manasa-putra and the Ah-hi in Kosmos. (Transactions, p. 27)
Q. But do not our minds receive their illuminations direct from the Higher Manas
through the Lower? And is not the former the pure emanation of divine Ideationthe
"Manasa-Putras," which incarnated in men?
A. They are. Individual Manasa-Putras or the Kumaras are the direct radiations of the
divine Ideation"individual" in the sense of later differentiation, owing to numberless
incarnations. In sum they are the collective aggregation of that Ideation, become on our
plane, or from our point of view, Mahat, as the Dhyan-Chohans are in their aggregate the
WORD or "Logos" in the formation of the World. Were the Personalities (Lower Manas or
the physical minds) to be inspired and illumined solely by their higher alter Egos there
would be little sin in this world. But they are not; and getting entangled in the meshes of the
Astral Light, they separate themselves more and more from their parent Egos. (Transactions, p. 64-65)
The Secret Doctrine shows that the Manasa-Putras or incarnating EGOS have taken upon
themselves, voluntarily and knowingly, the burden of all the future sins of their future
personalities. (Transactions, p. 64-65)
The Moon being an inferior body to the Earth even, to say nothing of other planets, the
terrestrial men produced by her sons the lunar men or "ancestors"from her shell or
body, cannot be immortal. They cannot hope to become real, self-conscious and intelligent
men, unless they are finished, so to say, by other creators. (SD 2:45)

For those interested in more detailed explanations of the Manasaputras from Purucker,
they may look to his Occult Glossary, where there are several entries addressing the topic in
depth. These can be further compared to the teachings found in the SD. We believe that the
careful and sincere student will find much in common between Puruckers explanations
and those of HPB and her teachers, certainly far more in common than differing, and we
would be surprised if the careful student would come to the conclusion that Puruckers
ideas are entirely at odds with those of the SD.

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Point #5: Parabrahma vs. Brahma


The fifth point of contention is:
His teaching that Brahman and Parabrahman are not one and the same thing but that
Parabrahman is higher than Brahman and means Beyond Brahman. In fact it means
Beyond Brahm and also Supreme Brahman, not implying that there is a supreme
Brahman and a less supreme Brahman, but that Brahman IS the Supreme. Brahman and
Parabrahm (or Parabrahman) are synonymous terms belonging to Hindu philosophy and
are used by HPB and the Masters in the same sense in which Hinduism uses them, which
was apparently misunderstood or disagreed with by de Purucker.

First, let us begin with a few notes on the Sanskrit use of these terms. Both terms,
brahm and brahma, come from the same undeclined word, brahman. When declined in the
nominative neuter, it is brahma. When declined in the nominative masculine, it is brahm.
There are two ways we find parabrahma in Sanskrit, 1. the term parabrahma, and 2. the
phrase param brahma. Neither of these use the nominative masculine. Thus, if we understand para to mean beyond, then parabrahma would necessarily mean beyond brahma
(neuter). However, the term para is, in these cases, understood by some modern scholars
to indicate simply supreme or highest, and thus, to them, in the Sanskrit and exoteric
hindu philosophy, parabrahma does, as the article claims, indicate the supreme brahma. It
is thus therein used rather synonymously with brahma (neuter).
Thus, strictly speaking, and according to these Sanskrit scholars, parabrahma would
not mean beyond brahma but neither would it mean beyond brahm. This latter
definition is what appears in the Theosophical Glossary, but let us remember that HPB was
not alive to give a final proof-run through this book before it was finalized. In Judges
rendition of the Bhagavad Gita, he uses the supreme or supreme brahma or supreme
spirit when translating brahma or parabrahma. Only once does he indicate the idea of
beyond brahmain the first footnote of chapter 10and when he does he uses brahma
not brahm. However, there is a lack of consistency in Judges use of the a or in his
rendition, as originally printed, and there are obvious errors in his usage (at least, in a
strictly linguistic sense). Though valuable in many ways, neither of these sources (the
Glossary or Judges Gita) can be solely relied upon to give entirely accurate definitions of
parabrahma, neither from a common exoteric point of view nor as used in theosophy.
Now, in searching for the meaning of Sanskrit terms it is often helpful to look to the roots
involved, and when one searches for para ( ) one will certainly find the idea of beyond
as an acceptable meaning. See, for instance, the definitions given by Monier-Williams, Apte
and McDonnell in their Sanskrit-English Dictionaries. Here's a taste of their definitions
(underlining is ours for emphasis):
: far , distant , remote (in space) , opposite , ulterior , farther than , beyond , on the
other or farther side of , extreme.Monier-Williams
: 1 Other, different, another; -2 Distant, removed, remote; -3 Beyond, further, on the
other side of; -4 Subsequent, following, next to, future, after (usually with abl.); -5 Higher,
superior; etc.Apte

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pr-a [leading beyond: 2. pri], 1. of place: farther, than ; remoter, ulterior; opposite
(shore); next (life); 2. of time: past, previous; future, subsequent; following (ab.); latest,
extreme (age), high (time); 3. of amount: exceeding, more than ; remaining over; 4. of
sequence: following, coming next after ; repeated: each successive; 5. of degree: superior,
higher, better, worse, than ; supreme, pre-eminent, best; utmost, deepest, greatest; 6. of
range: transcending ; etc.McDonnell

We can see that the idea of beyond does have its place, and can thus be a completely
acceptable meaning in some compound Sanskrit terms beginning with para. While this
may not be the common interpretation of its use in the term parabrahma, we may accept it
in the theosophical philosophy for the same reason we may accept uniquely theosophical
definitions of other Sanskrit terms: i.e. we must look to the philosophy itself for the
meaning and try to discover if beyond makes more sense philosophically and theosophically than supreme.
Now that we have a grasp on the common use of the terms in Sanskrit and exoteric
hinduism, lets hear how Purucker defines the terms. Here is Purucker on the distinction
between parabrahman and brahman (neuter):
Atman is also sometimes used of the universal self or spirit which is called in the Sanskrit
writings Brahman (neuter), and the Brahman or universal spirit is also called the
Paramatman, a compound Sanskrit term meaning the "highest" or most universal atman. . . .
Beyond Brahman is the Parabrahman: para is a Sanskrit word meaning "beyond." Note the
deep philosophical meaning of this: there is no attempt here to limit the Illimitable, the
Ineffable, by adjectives; it simply means "beyond the Brahman." In the Sanskrit Vedas and in
the works deriving therefrom and belonging to the Vedic literary cycle, this beyond is called
That, as this world of manifestation is called This. (Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy)

This may not match the common exoteric use of the terms in Hinduism, or the common
understanding of some modern Sanskrit scholars, but we must disagree with the
conclusion in the article that HPB and the Masters [used these terms] in the same sense in
which Hinduism uses them. Like most terms, HPB and the Masters used them in a specifically theosophical sense, which may or may not match exactly the exoteric use in the
systems from which the terms were borrowed. Furthermore, HPB makes it clear (SD 1:20)
that these terms are not the ones used in the genuine esoteric philosophy, but are used in
the SD simply because they are more well known to students. They are substitute terms
terms drawn from exoteric philosophy and utilized to explain esoteric philosophy, and thus
it is not outrageous to expect them to be given a particularly theosophical twist or to have
certain distinctions that may not be easily apparent in exoteric works. The same general
rule applies to HPBs use of many terms from many systems of thought (take the Logos,
for example): we cannot make the assumption that she is using such terms exactly as the
exoteric systems use them. Instead, we must be careful to consider when such terms are
being used in uniquely theosophical ways. And this, we believe, is the case with parabrahma
and brahma (neuter), as we intend to demonstrate.
Now, throughout the SD, the terms parabrahma and brahma (neuter) can and are at
times used almost interchangeably or synonymously. Many terms from various traditions
are also used in nearly synonymous ways in some instances while in other instances
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important distinctions are made. Philosophic terms in the SD are often used in such a
variety of ways as to leave the (lower) mind altogether uncertain of their exact meaning.
HPB seems to have loved this kind of flexibility with words, and likely for very good reason.
But there is an important distinction to be made, generally, between the ideas represented
by terms parabrahman and brahma (neuter) in the Secret Doctrine.
So lets explore this idea of Parabrahman, Brahma and Brahm. First, three quotes from
the Secret Doctrine:
1. Parabrahm is not God, because It is not a God. It is that which is supreme, and not
supreme (paravara), explains Mandukya Upanishad (2.28). IT is Supreme as CAUSE, not
supreme as effect. Parabrahm is simply, as a Secondless Reality, the all-inclusive Kosmos
or, rather, the infinite Cosmic Spacein the highest spiritual sense, of course.
2. Brahma (neuter) being the unchanging, pure, free, undecaying supreme Root, the
ONE true Existence, Paramarthika, and the absolute Chit and Chaitanya (intelligence,
consciousness) cannot be a cognize, for THAT can have no subject of cognition.
3. In the sense and perceptions of finite Beings, THAT is Non-being, in the sense that it
is the one BE-NESS; for, in this ALL lies concealed its coeternal and coeval emanation or
inherent radiation, which, upon becoming periodically Brahm (the male-female Potency)
becomes or expands itself into the manifested Universe. (SD 1:6-7)

So we have here the three terms, first, Parabrahma, the secondless reality, the all-inclusive Kosmos; second, Brahma (neuter), the undecaying supreme Root; and third
brahm, the male-female Potency.
What is the relation between Parabrahma, Brahma (neuter), and Brahm?
Parabraham is not this or that, it is not even consciousness, as it cannot be related to
matter or anything conditioned. It is not Ego nor is it Non-ego, not even Atma, but verily the
one source of all manifestations and modes of existence. (SD 1:130 fn)
Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that
Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious
existence is a conditioned symbol. (SD 1:15)
Parabrahm, being the Supreme all, the ever invisible spirit and Soul of Nature,
changeless and eternal, can have no attributes; absoluteness very naturally precluding any
idea of the finite or conditioned from being connected with it. (SD 1:7)

Yet in the SD it is clearly stated that brahm is the vehicle of brahma (neuter) (see the
explanations of kala-hamsa and hamsa-vahana). That is: there is a direct
relation/connection between the manifested, hence conditioned brahm and the unmanifested brahma (neuter)for both are the Logos, one unmanifested, one manifested. But
there cannot be a relation between the conditioned brahm and parabrahma, which must
place parabrahma per se beyond even the unmanifested logos, brahma (neuter). If the
manifested Brahm is a manifestation from Brahma (neuter) and the Absolute per se does
not put forward anything and is not related to or connected to anything manifested, then
there has to be a distinction between parabrahma and brahma (neuter).
To clarify this distinction between Parabrahma and Brahma (neuter), consider the
following:
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. . . if we turn to the Hindu cosmogonies, we find that Parabrahm is not even mentioned
therein, but only Mulaprakriti. The latter is, so to speak, the lining or aspect of Parabrahm in
the invisible universe. Mulaprakriti means the Root of Nature or Matter. But Parabrahm
cannot be called the "Root," for it is the absolute Rootless Root of all. (Transactions, p. 2)

So Brahman (neuter) is the undecaying supreme Root, but Parabrahm cannot be


called the root. In regards to this terminology we have a very important commentary on
the Asvattha Tree from HPB that clarifies greatly the distinctions between the rootless
root and the root, including a translation by her of a critical verse from the Bhagavad
Gita:
". . . in the beginning of their joint existence as a glyph of Immortal Being, the Tree and
Serpent were divine imagery, truly. The tree was reversed, and its roots were generated in
Heaven and grew out of the Rootless Root of all-being. Its trunk grew and developed,
crossing the planes of Pleroma, it shot out crossways its luxuriant branches, first on the
plane of hardly differentiated matter, and then downward till they touched the terrestrial
plane. Thus, the Asvattha, tree of Life and Being, whose destruction alone leads to immortality, is said in the Bhagavatgita to grow with its roots above and its branches below (ch.
xv.). The roots represent the Supreme Being, or First Cause, the LOGOS; but one has to go
beyond those roots to unite oneself with Krishna, who, says Arjuna (XI.), is "greater than
Brahman, and First Cause . . . the indestructible, that which is, that which is not, and what
is beyond them." Its boughs are Hiranyagharba (Brahm or Brahman in his highest
manifestations, say Sridhara and Madhusudana), the highest Dhyan Chohans or Devas." (SD
1:406)

So here we find a direct description of the first cause as the roots of the tree, which
grew out of the rootless root, that which is beyond those roots, that which is greater than
brahman. There is thus: 1. the rootless root, 2. the roots (first cause, brahma (neuter)) and
3. the boughs (brahm) or even brahman in his highest manifestations.
Again, using the Secret Doctrine, lets explore the very important distinction between the
causeless cause and the first cause:
Herbert Spencer has of late so far modified his Agnosticism, as to assert that the nature of
the First Cause,* which the Occultist more logically derives from the Causeless Cause, the
Eternal, and the Unknowable, may be essentially the same as that of the Consciousness
which wells up within us: in short, that the impersonal reality pervading the Kosmos is the
pure noumenon of thought. This advance on his part brings him very near to the esoteric
and Vedantin tenet.
* The "first" presupposes necessarily something which is the "first brought forth, the first
in time, space, and rank"and therefore finite and conditioned. The "first" cannot be the
absolute, for it is a manifestation. Therefore, Eastern Occultism calls the Abstract All the
"Causeless One Cause," the "Rootless Root," and limits the "First Cause" to the Logos, in the
sense that Plato gives to this term. (SD 1:14-15 & fn*)

Again the first cause is not Parabrahm, for the latter is the ALL CAUSE, and cannot be
referred to as the "First Cause," (SD 2:108)
The Absolute is again, in this case, the Rootless Root. Brahma (neuter) is this first cause
(or Logos), the Root (of all manifestation). Well return to this in a moment.

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Again, the distinction between brahma (neuter) and brahm:


The Universe lives in, proceeds from, and will return to, Brahma (Brahm)": for Brahma
(neuter), the unmanifested, is that Universe in abscondito, and Brahm, the manifested, is
the Logos, made male-female in the symbolical orthodox dogmas. (SD 1:8-9)

Brahm is the Logos made male-female, i.e. made manifest, i.e. the third logos, the
manifested universe, while the unmanifested is the Logos prior to being made malefemale, or the first Logos. This is the all-important distinction between brahma (neuter)
and brahm: both are the Logos: one unmanifested, the other manifested. Beyond the
Logos, whether unmanifested or manifested, is Parabrahman. Keep in mind here these
terms the unmanifested and the manifested. Well return to this in a moment.
One may also look to the term Brahma in the Theosophical Glossary, which seems to be
a sound definition:
Brahma (Sk.). The student must distinguish between Brahma the neuter, and Brahm, the
male creator of the Indian Pantheon. The former, Brahma or Brahman, is the impersonal,
supreme and uncognizable Principle of the Universe from the essence of which all
emanates, and into which all returns, which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal,
beginningless and endless. It is all-pervading, animating the highest god as well as the
smallest mineral atom. Brahm on the other hand, the male and the alleged Creator, exists
periodically in his manifestation only, and then again goes into pralaya, i.e., disappears and
is annihilated. (p. 62)

Here Brahma or Brahman, is the impersonal, supreme and uncognizable Principle of the
Universe; it is that from which all emanates, not that which is out of all connection to
manifestationnot the Absolute but the principle (the first or chief) of the universe to
which the Absolute has absolutely no relation, as it represents both being and non-being
(SD 1:16). Thus Brahman is the First Logos (and sometimes also the Second).
Neither brahma or brahm can be perfectly synonymous with parabrahman in the
theosophical philosophy, because of the impossibility of accepting on philosophical grounds
the idea of the absolute ALL creating or even evolving the Golden Egg, into which it is said to
enter in order to transform itself into Brahm (SD 1:8), while this is exactly what brahma
(neuter) does. When differentiation occurs, it (Brahma, not the Absolute) manifests as
Brahm. Parabrahma must therefore always be beyond both brahma (neuter), as the first
cause, and brahm (male-female) as the effect, because it is both cause and effectas the
Gita says, both that which is, that which is not, (SD 1:406), i.e. both Absolute Being and
Non-Being (SD 1:16), or in other words, Parabrahm is Be-ness (SD 1:14).
Q. But surely "Be-ness" has some connection with the word "to be"?
A. Yes; but "Be-ness" is not being, for it is equally non-being. We cannot conceive it, for
our intellects are finite and our language far more limited and conditioned even than our
minds. How, therefore, can we express that which we can only conceive of by a series of
negatives? (Transactions, p. 17)
The following summary will afford a clearer idea to the reader.
(1.) The ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT, which is, as

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Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being.


(2.) The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, unmanifested Logos, the
precursor of the "manifested." This is the "First Cause," the "Unconscious" of European
Pantheists. [brahma (neuter), non-being]
(3.) Spirit-matter, LIFE; the "Spirit of the Universe," the Purusha and Prakriti, or the
second Logos. [brahm (male-female potency), being]
(4.) Cosmic Ideation, MAHAT or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the Cosmic
Noumenon of Matter, the basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called
MAHA-BUDDHI. [brahm (male and female), conditioned being]
The ONE REALITY; its dual aspects in the conditioned Universe. (SD 1:16)

To summarize this threefold distinction we might say, generally speaking:


Parabrahma = both being and non-being
Brahma = non-being but not being
Brahm = being but not non-being
The following ought to make this distinction absolutely clear:
True enough, Ain-Soph, the ABSOLUTE ENDLESS NO-THING, uses also the form of the
ONE, the manifested "Heavenly man" (the FIRST CAUSE) as its chariot (Mercabah, in
Hebrew; Vahan, in Sanskrit) or vehicle to descend into, and manifest through, in the
phenomenal world. But the Kabalists neither make it plain how the ABSOLUTE can use
anything, or exercise any attribute whatever, since, as the Absolute, it is devoid of attributes;
nor do they explain that in reality it is the First Cause (Plato's Logos) the original and
eternal IDEA, that manifests through Adam Kadmon, the Second Logos, so to speak. In the
"Book of Numbers" it is explained that EN (or Ain, Aior) is the only self-existent, whereas its
"Depth" (Bythos or Buthon of the Gnostics, called Propator) is only periodical. The latter is
Brahm as differentiated from Brahma or Parabrahm. It is the Depth, the Source of Light, or
Propator, which is the unmanifested Logos or the abstract Idea, and not Ain-Soph, whose
ray uses Adam-Kadmon or the manifested Logos (the objective Universe) "male and
female"as a chariot through which to manifest. (SD 1:214)

The distinction here between 1. Ain-Soph, 2. the unmanifested Logos, and 3. the
manifested Logos, is the very same distinction as between 1. Parabrahma, 2. Brahma
(neuter), and 3. Brahm (male-female).
There is a cyclical process by which the manifested arises from the unmanifested and then
returns to it, and thus there is an ever-eternal relation between the two. The One Logos is,
during manifestation, threefold: the first, second and third Logos. The first logos is brahma
(neuter) proper; the second may be viewed as both brahma (neuter) and brahm, from
certain points of view, as it first gives rise to duality in the sense of subject-object, or spiritmatter; the third is the truly manifested logos (brahm as the conditioned universe, as
divided into male and female). The latter (the second and third) return into the former, so to
speak, when manvantara passes to pralaya. The Logos then is once more one. During pralaya,
then, the One Logos is indistinguishable from the Absolute from the point of view of finite
intelligence, and this is the case when we may view the terms brahma (neuter) and
parabrahman as more-or-less synonymous. But during manvantara there are important
distinctions to be made here, as HPB shows in her summary given above. Parabrahman per se
23

is not the Logos. It is neither brahma (neuter) nor brahm (male-female), neither the unmanifested nor the manifested, though it is also both, or rather, both are in IT. So Parabrahman
per se represents that which is beyond even that unmanifested brahmabeyond the whole
cyclic scheme, beyond the Logos itselfthe Rootless Root and Causeless Cause.
The approach by HPB is to keep us from becoming static on a particular term, to help us
understand the meaning and "process" behind the literal sense. Sometimes, for instance,
the Monad is the Pythagorean Monas Monadum, then singularly Atma, then Atma-Buddhi,
then Atma-Buddhi-Manas, then mind, then a Dhyan Chohan, and even an elemental. Idem
ditto for the Universal Mind, which she refers to as the Absolute and in another place as just
Mahat, the cosmic manifested mind; or again, see the indifferent use of the Absolute vs
Absoluteness, etc., for all of which one can find references in the SD or Transactions.
Therefore the teachings of Theosophy can be looked upon as a contextual philosophy. This
flexibility must always be kept in mind when studying any theosophical material.
There is no cause in the manifested universe without its adequate effects, whether in
space or time; nor can there be an effect without its primal cause, which itself owes its
existence to a still higher onethe final and absolute cause having to remain to man for
ever an incomprehensible CAUSELESS CAUSE. But even this is no solution, and must be
viewed, if at all, from the highest philosophical and metaphysical standpoints, otherwise the
problem had better be left unapproached. It is an abstraction, on the verge of which human
reasonhowever trained to metaphysical subtletiestrembles, threatening to collapse.
(SD 1:569-570)

If our mind is not trembling and ready to collapse from the effort, we are likely not even
close to a solution to the problems at hand, and we must be ever careful not to concretize or
materialize or simplify these incredibly abstract conceptions.
Let us wrap up this particularly lengthy reply with the following, which is the complete
definition given by G de Purucker, and which, while it may not match the exoteric definitions of various schools of eastern thought, we believe to be quite philosophically sound.
The all-important distinction between the Absolute as the summit or apex or hierach of a
hierarchy and the Absolute per se is directly given here.
Parabrahman (Sanskrit) Parabrahman [from para beyond + brahman (neuter) universal
self or spirit] That which is beyond Brahman; the self-enduring, eternal, self-sufficient cause
of all, the one essence of everything in the kosmos. It is before all things in the kosmos, and
is the one sole limitless life-consciousness-substance from which starts into existence a
center of force which may be called the Logos. In the Vedic cycle of writing it is referred to
as tat (that) as opposed to the world of manifestation called idam (this).
Parabrahman is intimately connected with Mulaprakriti. Their interaction and intermingling cause the first nebulous thrilling, if the words will pass, of the Universal Life when
spiritual desire first arose in it in the beginnings of things. . . . Parabrahman is no entity, is
no individual, or individualized being. It is a convenient technical word with conveniently
vague philosophical significancy, implying whatever is beyond the Absolute or Brahman of
any hierarchy. Just as Brahman is the summit of a kosmic Hierarchy, so, following the same
line of thought, the Parabrahman is whatever is beyond Brahman. (Occult Glossary).
Parabrahman is identical with the eyn-soph [ain soph] of the Chaldean Qabbalah
(Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary, Parabrahman)

24

Point #6: My Atman, Your Atman?


The sixth point of contention is:
His teaching that the Atman is something individual for each person and can be spoken of
in terms of my Atman and your Atman, something which HPB expressly criticises and
denies in The Key to Theosophy and The Secret Doctrine Commentaries and which is
also a misinterpretation of a Hindu philosophical term.

This assertion couldnt be further from the truth. We will share selections from Purucker
on Atman and the supposed crime of using the term my atman, which clearly illustrate
that he taught the exact opposite of this criticism: i.e. he taught that there is no eternally
abiding and unchanging principle of individuality in man, not that each person has an
individual or personal atman!
Let us also point out that if one does a word search throughout the entire website of the
Theosophical University Press, which contains the whole of the writings of G. de Purucker,
one will find mention of my atman but twice and your atman but once, always as a mere
turn of phrase. But let us go straight to Puruckers explanations.
There is no such abiding and eternally unchanging ego or soul or even spirit in man, an
ego or soul or spirit which is different in essence in each man from what it is in any other
man, nor is there any such abiding and unchanging individuality which is different in some
god from what it is in some other god. (Studies in Occult Philosophy)

This ought to settle the point on its own, but lets see more fully what G. de Purucker has
to say. Some of what he says hereafter may also shed further light on his approach to the
question of Brahman (neuter) versus Parabrahman.
This principle (atman) is a universal one; but during incarnations its lowest parts, if we
can so express it, take on attributes, because it is linked with the buddhi as the buddhi is
linked with the manas, as the manas is linked to the kama, and so on down the scale. Atman
is also sometimes used of the universal self or spirit which is called in the Sanskrit writings
Brahman (neuter), and the Brahman or universal spirit is also called the Paramatman, a
compound Sanskrit term meaning the "highest" or most universal atman. (Fundamentals of
the Esoteric Philosophy)
StudentIs the atman also an aggregate of entities, of living entities?
G. de p.It isif you are keen enough to understand this affirmative reply.
StudentIn that case there must be something higher than atman. Is that so?
G. de p.It is so. And it is just this matter that I have tried so often to explain when I have
spoken of the hierarchies succeeding each other on the endless ladder of life. I have tried to
point out that the highest or supreme hierarch of any hierarchy is the atman of that
hierarchy; but that hierarch, although the highest of his own hierarchy, is nevertheless
lower than the hierarch of the succeeding hierarchy. The hierarch is the atman of his
hierarchy. Just as we human beings 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, of which the hierarch is the supreme head, and
also the source and fountain and root and cause of all subordinates flowing from it. The

25

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.
You have asked one of the most difficult questions of occultism, one of the most sublime
and great; one, for that very reason, very difficult to understand. For instance, I am an ego.
At the heart of this ego is my I AM, my atman, a stream of consciousness permeating me
from the hierarch of this hierarchy; and yet, what am I as an entity? A composite, an
aggregate of life-atoms of many degrees, existent on many stages of consciousness, and all
following the evolutionary path. My body, again, is but an aggregate of physical-astral lifeatoms, and yet my body is an individual. Every one of these life-atoms composing my body
is per se a learning entity, destined in future aeons to be a human being, and in still more
distant aeons of time to be a god. We human beings were such life-atoms, each one of us,
and even of the physical body in some other entity in some far bygone cosmic manvantara.
What wonderful and yet what mysterious doctrines these of occultism are, so inspiring, so
comforting; and how they save us from the worst sin of allthe sense of personalism!
The atman is indivisible in the sense that it is the being or entity of the hierarch of our
hierarchy, therefore permeating and manifesting in all things and entities as their essential
Self: the essential sense of I AM, 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 the life-atoms which build
it, make it, form it. (The Dialogues of G. de Purucker, Meeting of November 11, 1930)
My Atmanto illustrate because we are now speaking of the worlds of differentiation
my Atman will some day grow to be the divinity of a solar system; and all the various
monads now forming my constitution manifesting here as a human being will then be the
archangels and the angels, to use the Christian terms, of that future solar system: the
Dhyani-Chohans in their various grades, to use our own Theosophical phrasing. These
various unevolved monads which help to compose even my physical constitution live in
their various cells, and these various cells are builded up of life-atoms on different planes;
and in that far distant future of which I have just spoken, if I make the race successfully and
become the divinity of a solar system in the spaces of Space, all these cells and life-atoms
which now compose my physical 'me' will be the component elements of that solar system,
each one having evolved to take its own particular and definite place and work therein; and
I, the divinity in me, will be the then presiding godhead of that solar system, just as we here
are component elements of former life-atoms of Father Sun in a vastly distant epoch of the
Cosmic Past.
Thus, as I have hereinbefore explained, there is no eternally abiding and unchanging
principle of individuality or 'soul' in 'man.' Yes, an absolute truth: no abiding separate and
unchanging principle in man, separate from the similar principle in you, my brother, or in
any other being. This is the heresy that the Lord Buddha fought against and that our own
Masters so powerfully teach against. There is no such immortal, unchanging, and therefore
perduring and abiding 'soul'; yet the very essence of man is immortality itself. Every last
atom in his constitution, in its heart of hearts is an immortal divinity because of its essence,
the Essence of the Kosmic Divinity. I know no doctrine in all our School of Teaching which
so cleanses our human hearts of pride, which so quickly purges the human mind of illusion,
as just these beautiful thoughts that I have been attempting to speak of. You will never fully

26

realize the glory that is within you until you become infilled with the most beautiful thought
of them all. What is it? I am one with Divinity, and there is no abiding, unchanging, and
hence separating personal soul in me; for I am THAT. This doctrine is the teaching of the
utter solidarity, the utter oneness, of everything that is, from god to atom, with the Heart of
Things. (Studies in Occult Philosophy)

The student is free to move from these quotes to the writings of HPB, and the teachings
of Buddha, to determine for themselves if Purucker is entirely opposing her and her
teachers. One may also bear in mind what he says here about Atman and the hierarch of a
hierarchy, and reflect back on what was said about Brahman.
Lastly, let us note that while throughout her writings HPB incessantly hammers in the
notion that there is no such thing as a personal anthropomorphic deityfor example:
It is the same, only still more metaphysical idea, as that of the Christian Trinity"Three
in One"i.e., the Universal "over-Spirit," manifesting on the two higher planes, those of
Buddhi and Mahat; and these are the three hypostases, metaphysical, but never personal.
(SD 1:574fn)

yet she does not hesitate to occasionally throw in a curve-ball by applying the word
personal, or using the personal possessive pronoun, when it suits her:
The Monad becomes a personal ego when it incarnates; and something remains of that
personality through Manas, when the latter is perfect enough to assimilate Buddhi. (SD
1:245)
The closer the approach to one's Prototype, "in Heaven," the better for the mortal whose
personality was chosen, by his own personal deity (the seventh principle), as its terrestrial
abode. For, with every effort of will toward purification and unity with that "Self-god," one
of the lower rays breaks and the spiritual entity of man is drawn higher and ever higher to
the ray that supersedes the first, until, from ray to ray, the inner man is drawn into the one
and highest beam of the Parent-SUN. (SD 1:638-639)

What is that personal deity if not his seventh principle or Atma?


. . . the Atman or seventh principle merged in the Universal, perceived by, or the object of
perception to, Buddhi, the sixth principle or divine Soul in man. (SD 1:471)

27

Point #7: The Meaning of AUM


The seventh point of contention is:
His teaching that there is nothing inherently sacred or special whatsoever about OM or
AUM, despite HPBs teachings and also the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism regarding
it as the Sacred Word.

The section being referred to here is no doubt from Studies in Occult Philosophy, a section
titled The Meaning of Aum. Here is a selection:
Will you explain the meaning of the passage in THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE referring to
Kala-Hansa: The syllable A is considered to be its (the bird Hansa's) right wing, U, its left, M,
its tail, and the Ardha-Matra (half metre) is said to be its head. It is the Ardha-Matra (half
metre) which puzzles me.
Here again you have picked out one of the less important things, which I dare say you
realize yourself. Just as in all religions there is always a certain class who are seeing
wonderful mystic meaning in this or that or some minor detail, which may be quite interesting and important in a small way, but it does not rank among the fundamental, or
topnotch, or through-and-through important, thingssuch is the case with the simply
reams of stuff that have been written not only by Hindus through centuries, but even by
Europeans, about the so-called sacred syllable Om or Aum. It is simply amazing how this
one word has exercised the ingenuity and mystical feelings of literally centuries and
centuries of generations of Hindus belonging to almost all Schools.

The less important thing is clearly that the student is missing the grander teachings of
the Voice of the Silence in favor of looking into minute teachings on the half meter,
missing the forest for the trees, so to sayand it is clear that Purucker is more specifically
dismissing the reams of stuff that have been written on Aum over the centuries, rather
than Aum itself. But yes, perhaps we do find here a relatively low opinion of the importance
of Aum. Yet, immediately following this statement Purucker adds:
The word is a sacred name on account of its vibrational quality, and used to be used in
ceremonial magic, pronounced aloud, although in most secret privacy.

Further, in Fundmentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, he explains that:


Om is a word considered very holy in the Brahmanical literature. It is a syllable of
invocation, and its general usageas elucidated in the literature treating of it, which is
rather voluminous for this word Om has attained to almost divinityis that it should never
be uttered aloud, or in the presence of an outsider, a foreigner, or a non-initiate, but it
should be uttered in the silence of one's heart. We also have reason to believe, however, that
it was uttered, and uttered aloud in a monotone by the disciples in the presence of their
teacher. This word is always placed at the beginning of any scripture that is considered of
unusual sanctity. The teaching is, that prolonging the uttering of this word, both of the O
and the M, with the mouth closed, it re-echoes in and arouses vibration in the skull, and
affects, if the aspirations be pure, the different nervous centers of the body for great good.

What does HPB say about Aum? From the Theosophical Glossary:

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Om or Aum (Sk.). A mystic syllable, the most solemn of all words in India. It is an
invocation, a benediction, an affirmation and a promise; and it is so sacred, as to be indeed
the word at low breath of occult, primitive masonry. No one must be near when the syllable
is pronounced for a purpose.

Now consider the following:


There [Fargard XI] are given various words to employ for different acts of cleansing. But
the WORD, the one most potentthe Name which, so says Proclus in his treatise upon the
Chaldean Oraclesrushes into the infinite worlds, is not written there. Though properly
the WORD or the NAME is neither a word nor a name, in the sense in which we use either
expression. Nor can it be written, nor is it ever pronounced above the breath, nor, indeed, is
its nature known except to the highest initiates. The efficacy of all words used as charms
and spells lies in what the Aryans call the Vach, a certain latent power resident in Akasa.
Physically, we may describe it as the power to set up certain measured vibrations, not in the
grosser atmospheric particles whose undulations beget light, sound, heat and electricity,
but in the latent spiritual principle or Forceabout the nature of which modern Science
knows scarcely anything. No words whatever have the slightest efficacy unless uttered by
one who is perfectly free from all weakening doubt or hesitancy, who is for the moment
wholly absorbed in the thought of uttering them, and has a cultivated power of will which
makes him send out from himself a conquering impulse.Col. Olcott, The Spirit of the
Zoroastrian Religion, from a Lecture given in Bombay, 1882. [note: the text of this speech
and its later publication were, it seems, largely supplied by HPB (see CW 3:449)]

There is no evidence so far that the word is identical with AUM, certainly not with what
the world at large calls AUM or OM, which may well be the substitute HPB refers to in the
following quotes (See ref. to Isis 2:388 below). Consider that if the word cannot be
written, nor is it really even a word in the common meaning, and yet AUM is written at the
beginning of nearly every Indian textsurely that written word is but a substitute. If the
word is never pronounced above the breath, and if no one must be near when the
syllable is pronounced for a purpose, and the real nature of this word is only known to
the high initiates, then certainly this cannot be the OM regularly and flippantly chanted by
millions all over the world? Although it goes without saying that even the substitute has its
own meaning and application, it is quite surely not the real word and thus, as Purucker
says, may not be all that important in and of itself.
In the following quotes we have further evidence that the word known to the world is
but a substitute.
On account of its being known that he [Rabbi Simeon Ben-Iocha] was in possession of this
knowledge, and of the Mercaba, which insured the reception of the "Word," his very life was
endangered, and he had to fly to the wilderness, where he lived in a cave for twelve years,
surrounded by faithful disciples, and finally died there amid signs and wonders. (Isis 2:348)
Therefore, without the final initiation into the Mercaba the study of the Kabala will be
ever incomplete, and the Mercaba can be taught only in "darkness, in a deserted place, and
after many and terrific trials." Since the death of Simeon Ben-Iochai this hidden doctrine has
remained an inviolate secret for the outside world. Delivered only as a mystery, it was
communicated to the candidate orally, "face to face and mouth to ear."
This Masonic commandment, "mouth to ear, and the word at low breath," is an inheri-

29

tance from the Tanaim and the old Pagan Mysteries. Its modern use must certainly be due to
the indiscretion of some renegade kabalist, though the "word" itself is but a "substitute" for
the "lost word," [see SD 1:408] and is a comparatively modern invention, as we will further
show. The real sentence has remained forever in the sole possession of the adepts of various
countries of the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Only a limited number among the chiefs
of the Templars, and some Rosicrucians of the seventeenth century, always in close relations
with Arabian alchemists and initiates, could really boast of its possession. From the seventh
to the fifteenth centuries there was no one who could claim it in Europe; and although there
had been alchemists before the days of Paracelsus, he was the first who had passed through
the true initiation, that last ceremony which conferred on the adept the power of travelling
toward the "burning bush" over the holy ground, and to "burn the golden calf in the fire,
grind it to powder, and strow it upon the water." Verily, then, this magic water, and the "lost
word," resuscitated more than one of the pre-Mosaic Adonirams, Gedaliahs, and Hiram
Abiffs. The real word now substituted by Mac Benac and Mah was used ages before its
pseudo-magical effect was tried on the "widow's sons" of the last two centuries. (Isis 2:349)
Those of the Fourth World (race) lost AUMsay the Commentaries. (SD 1:408)
And when we find the "one like unto the Son of man" saying (chap. ii. 17): "To him that
overcometh, will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a WHITE STONE, and in
the stone a new name written"the wordwhich no man knoweth saving he that receiveth
it, what Master Mason can doubt but it refers to the last head-line of this chapter? (Isis
2:351)
The potency contained in the Mantras and the Vch of the Brahmans is as much believed
in at this day as it was in the early Vedic period. The "Ineffable Name" of every country and
religion relates to that which the Masons affirm to be the mysterious characters emblematic
of the nine names or attributes by which the Deity was known to the initiates. The Omnific
Word traced by Enoch on the two deltas of purest gold, on which he engraved two of the
mysterious characters, is perhaps better known to the poor, uneducated "heathen" than to
the highly accomplished Grand High Priests and Grand Z.'s of the Supreme Chapters of
Europe and America. Only why the companions of the Royal Arch should so bitterly and
constantly lament its loss, is more than we can understand. This word of M. M. is, as they
will tell themselves, entirely composed of consonants. Hence, we doubt whether any of
them could ever have mastered its pronunciation, had it even been "brought to light from
the secret vault," instead of its several corruptions. However, it is to the land of Mizraim that
the grandson of Ham is credited with having carried the sacred delta of the Patriarch Enoch.
Therefore, it is in Egypt, and in the East alone that the mysterious "Word" must be sought.
(Isis 2:371)
Such also is the case in the Blue Lodge, where the Master, representing King Solomon,
agrees with King Hiram that the Word * * * "shall be used as a substitute for the Master's
word, until wiser ages shall discover the true one." What Senior Deacon, of all the thousands
who have assisted in bringing candidates from darkness to light; or what Master who has
whispered this mystic "word" into the ears of supposititious Hiram Abiffs, while holding
them on the five points of fellowship, has suspected the real meaning of even this substitute,
which they impart "at low breath"? (Isis 2:388)
Such is the respect of the Brahmans for the sacrificial mysteries, that they hold that the
world itself sprang into creation as a consequence of a "sacrificial word" pronounced by the

30

First Cause. This word is the "Ineffable name" of the kabalists, fully discussed in the last
chapter. [VIII] (Isis 2:409)

Perhaps we may summarize thus:


1. AUM is the word at low breath of occult primitive masonry that should
not be spoken aloud, etc.
2. The word is but a substitute these days.
3. The AUM (whatever it really is) was lost by the fourth race (SD 1:408).
4. The real sentence has remained forever in the sole possession of the
adepts of various countries of the Eastern and Western hemispheres.
The view (whether or not it was held by Purucker) that there is nothing inherently
sacred in the word AUM may have a firm foundation, then, from a certain point of view. As a
symbol, it is no doubt a valuable one, as is any triple-symbol, giving us a gateway to understand the basics of the idea of the trinity. As a vibratory quality it may also have some
deeper meaning and use. But, it may also be but a substitute, or a blind, for the real word
or sentence that represents the real power. The voluminous writings on AUM may, then, be
somewhat as Purucker says, distractions from the higher and more important teachings. It
is true that W. Q. Judge wrote about AUM/OM and gave many interesting thoughts about its
significance, along with his opinion that the word is highly significant. HPB, however, left
the term relatively untouched. In the Secret Doctrine, AUM or OM plays almost no role
whatsoever, even though there is mention repeatedly of one, three and seven vowelled
terms, or terms like Oeaohoo, with its specific pronunciation, and so on. This in itself is
rather interesting.
In any case, we do not feel that this criticism of Purucker is warranted, nor is it particularly meaningful. There is room, even among very learned theosophists, even among chelas
it would seem, for a wide variety of opinions on such matters.

31

Point #8: Esoteric Instructions


The eighth point of contention is:
His incorporation of HPBs private Esoteric Instructionswhich were never meant for
publication by any meansinto his public teachings and writings and attempting to expand
upon them and provide many further additions to them, thus showing a lack of appreciation
or respect for HPBs clearly expressed wishes and the sacredness of the pledge of secrecy.

This, we feel, can generally be a fair point of criticism towards some early theosophists.
Vows seem to have been broken in regards to these materials early on in the life of the
Esoteric Section of the TS, and there are likely degrees of fault involved in the choices of ES
and former ES students at that time, though it also must be admitted by all of us today that a
great deal of the truth on this subject is necessarily veiled in mystery and silence. In regards
to Purucker, it must also be remembered that these materials had been published and widely
circulated by theosophists long before Purucker made use of them, whether with his private
students or publicly. They had, for all intents and purposes, become public, for better or for
worse. This may not excuse the use of materials not meant for publication, but then we must
also consider that several such collections of materials not meant for publication are
generally and openly studied by most theosophists of today, including the Mahatma Letters,
which were instructions given privately from Masters to a lay chela, and which were also
explicitly instructed to remain private and never be given to the public.
In regards to the original publication of such materials, we quote the following:
In Mrs. Besant's "Third Volume" [of The Secret Doctrine, 1897] are incorporated the
private papers originally issued by H.P.B. to the E.S., and in reprinting these Mrs. Besant . . .
broke the seventh clause of her solemn pledge as a member of the Esoteric School. . . . (The
Theosophical Movement 1875-1925, pp. 571-572.) [underline is added]

In a letter written to the members of the E.S.T. on December 3rd, 1894, Mr. Judge had
pointed to an order directly received from the Master as follows:
To the members of the E.S.T.
COMPANIONS AND FRIENDS:In accordance with order received from the Master, I
hereby declare that [H. P. Blavatsky's] Instructions I, II and III of this School are no longer
secret, with the following exceptions:
[we purposely refrain from including these]
The above four are not relieved from privacy and cannot be discussed with non-members.
The books should not be shown to non-members. Members of the E.S.T. who have not
accepted Order No. I of November 3d, may be made aware of this release of secresy whenever
it may seem fit to you. Freedom of use or discussion of Instructions I, II and III should not go
publicly to the extent of giving out the books or reading from them; but references to them
and their contents, with absolute regard to the exceptions noted, is permissible.
If the source of statements or ideas derived directly from those three Instructions be
asked for, it may be stated that they are from the teachings given out in the E.S.T. which it is
now permitted to make public.
Fraternally yours,
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE.

32

Now, it is clearly stated here that such materials are not to be directly published, nor
read directly from, and such instructions were binding on all members of the ES, but it is
stated that references may be made to certain materials, and it may be stated where the
references originate. There are fine lines here, and it is up to each student to decide how
they feel about these materials and their use by various individuals and organizations over
the past century and a quarter. It should also be noted that much of the writings of
Purucker that are available today were not written directly by him or made public during
his life, but were originally records of talks given to his private students; other materials
were directly transcribed, and it should be noted that the Theosophical Society (Pasadena)
has not published the ES Papers, nor can they be found on their website. Care and consideration seems to have been taken in the handling of such materials.
Once again we must all be willing to admit that we do not have all the information
necessary to know who violated any vows or trusts, who belonged to which school or was
bound by which oaths or even orders. To imagine that any of us can see so clearly into
the past (or present, for that matter) is folly.

33

Point #9: 4th vs. 5th Sub-Race


The ninth point of contention is:
His teaching that humanity is still only in the 4th sub-race of the 5th root race, whereas
The Secret Doctrine and the other original teachings of Theosophy make it extremely
clear and state specifically that we are in the 5th sub-race and that the 6th sub-race will
begin to take form in the not too distant future.

Let us address this carefully, without the intention of defending Puruckers conclusions,
but without blindly accepting the conclusions of the article either.
First, Purucker et al on our position in the races:
During evolution on each of the globes of the earth-chain, the human life-wave passes
through seven evolutionary stages called root-races, of which we are at present in the fifth
root-race of the fourth round on the fourth globe. Each root-race is divided into seven
subraces, of which we are now in the fourth of the fifth root-race. (ETG: Race(s))

As to the position of humanity in regard to the fifth root-race:


we are in the mid-point of our sub-race of the Fifth Root Racethe acme of materiality in
each . . . (SD 1:610). This is interpreted by de Purucker as meaning the middle point of the
fourth of any cyclical series: for instance, the fourth Primary Subrace; the fourth subrace of
the fourth primary subrace of the fifth root-race (Fund 281). Thus we have at present
nearly reached the middle period of the fifth root-race, and are therefore in our fourth
primary subrace, but in a smaller sub-subrace which is the fifth of its own cycle. (ETG:
Subrace)

For the most complete treatment of the races and sub-races by Purucker, which give his
reasoning in detail, see Studies in Occult Philosophy: Sub-Races of the Fifth Root-Race, and
also Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, chapter 21. It is highly recommended that the
student read these passages before moving on.
And now, the Secret Doctrine on Sub-Races:
To avoid confusion, let the reader remember that the term Root-Race applies to one of
the seven great Races, sub-Race to one of its great Branches, and Family-Race to one of the
sub-divisions, which include nations and large tribes. (SD 2:198fn)

This would seem to be a clear-cut statement that we can follow in all instances of these
terms, but as well see, the term sub-race is used much more liberally than this.
First, our position in the fifth root-race:
Nevertheless, as every sub-race and nation have their cycles and stages of developmental evolution repeated on a smaller scale, it must be the more so in the case of a RootRace. Our race then has, as a Root-race, crossed the equatorial line and is cycling onward on
the Spiritual side; . . . (SD 2:301)

This would seem to indicate that we are at least in or past the mid-point of the fourth
sub-race of this root-race.

34

Now, our position in our sub-race:


But as we are in the mid-point of our sub-race of the Fifth Root Racethe acme of
materiality in eachtherefore the animal propensities, though more refined, are not the
less developed for that: and they are so chiefly in civilized countries. (SD 1:610)

So, whichever sub-race is meant here by our sub-race, we are at around the mid-point
of it. This, the student will find great difficulty in, as there are many other statements (see
the following quotes) that would put us past the mid-point of our sub-race.
For instance:
Historyor what is called historydoes not go further back than the fantastic origins of
our fifth sub-race, a "few thousands" of years (SD 2:351)

So heres an issue. If we are at the mid-point of the our sub-race in the preceding quote
and yet our fifth sub-race is only a few thousands of years old. . . . that makes for a very
short lifespan for our subrace. How long is a sub-race supposed to last in our fifth rootrace?
Nevertheless, the meaning [of certain Zodiacal symbols] is plain, as the three Zodiacs
belong to three different epochs: namely, to the last three family races of the fourth Sub-race
of the Fifth Root-race, each of which must have lived approximately from 25 to 30,000
years. The first of these (the "Aryan-Asiatics") witnessed the doom of the last of the populations of the "giant Atlanteans" who perished some 850,000 years ago (the Ruta and Daitya
Island-Continents) toward the close of the Miocene Age. The fourth sub-race witnessed
the destruction of the last remnant of the Atlanteansthe Aryo-Atlanteans in the last
island of Atlantis, namely, some 11,000 years ago. In order to understand this the reader
is asked to glance at the diagram of the genealogical tree of the Fifth Root-Racegenerally,
though hardly correctly, called the Aryan race, and the explanations appended to it. . . . Now
our Fifth Root-Race has already been in existenceas a race sui generis and quite free from
its parent stemabout 1,000,000 years; therefore it must be inferred that each of the four
preceding Sub-Races has lived approximately 210,000 years; thus each Family-Race
has an average existence of about 30,000 years. Thus the European "Family Race" has
still a good many thousand years to run, although the nations or the innumerable spines
upon it, vary with each succeeding "season" of three or four thousand years. It is somewhat
curious to mark the comparative approximation of duration between the lives of a "FamilyRace" and a "Sidereal year."

This, on the surface, may seem clear-cut, but lets look at it closely. HPB starts off talking
about the last three family races of the "fourth sub-race" 850,000 years ago, even though our
root-race is only 1,000,000 years old! Then all of a sudden she's talking about the "fourth
sub-race" 11,000 years ago! And, if "the first of these" last three family races "witnessed the
doom of the giant Atlaneans who perished 850,000 years ago" but each of those familyraces only lasted 30,000 years, well that's a lot of bad math! Then, suddenly we're 11,000
years ago with that very same fourth sub-race!!?? Hmm . . .
The difficulties here are solved (at least in part) when we realize that the term sub-race
is not solely used to refer to the sub-race of a root-race, but to the sub-race of any race.
Thus, family-races are often called sub-races in the Secret Doctrine. Any race is a subdivision of another race, so every race is, in a sense, a sub-race, and that term is used
35

liberally enough to leave us in need of sorting things out for ourselves and not in a position
to simply point to the use of the term fifth sub-race as though that settles it all (which is
all too often the case among theosophists).
So lets break this down if we can:
Fifth root-race: 1,000,000 +/- years old
Each sub-race: 210,000 +/- years life-span
Each family-race: 25-30,000 +/- years life-span
HPB plays around with terms here to make us figure it out.
1,000,000 minus 850,000 = 150,000 (i.e. 150,000 years into the first sub-race is when
the doom of the Atlanteans happened)
150,000 divided by 30,000 = 5 family races of that first sub-race having passed at
850,000 years ago.
So, the fourth sub-race who witnessed the doom of the Atlanteans, had to have been
the fourth family race of the first sub-race of the fifth root-race.
Now, another, different fourth sub-race witnessed the sinking of the final island 11,000
years ago. Neither of these two different fourth sub-races is actually a sub-race of the
root-race, but rather they are family-races of different sub-races.
It does seem from the 210,000 year calculation that we would thus be in the fifth sub-race
of the fifth root-race, but this seems to be the only place where such a straightforward calculation can be made. Nothing is really clearly and explicitly stated, as the following will show.
Now, the following is a quote often given, and often referenced, that supposedly clearly
states that were in the fifth sub-race.
Thus the Americans have become in only three centuries a "primary race," pro tem.,
before becoming a race apart, and strongly separated from all other now existing races.
They are, in short, the germs of the Sixth sub-race, and in some few hundred years more,
will become most decidedly the pioneers of that race which must succeed to the present
European or fifth sub-race, in all its new characteristics. After this, in about 25,000 years,
they will launch into preparations for the seventh sub-race; until, in consequence of
cataclysmsthe first series of those which must one day destroy Europe, and still later the
whole Aryan race (and thus affect both Americas), as also most of the lands directly
connected with the confines of our continent and islesthe Sixth Root-Race will have
appeared on the stage of our Round. (SD 2:444-445)

But here it is clear that the term sub-race is again actually being used for familyraces, each of which lasts about 25,000 years (or as in the previous quote, 25-30,000
years). When HPB is referring to the fifth sub-race (the Europeans) and the sixth subrace (the Americans), she is speaking of family-races, not the 210,000 year long sub-races
of our fifth root-race.
It would thus make sense that the fourth sub-race that witnessed the sinking of the
island 11,000 years ago was the sub-race that preceded this our fifth sub-race. . . . all of
these actually being 25-30,000 year long family-races. There is a gap, then, between these
fifth, sixth and seventh family-races and the arrival of the Sixth root-race. These three
36

family races (the European, American and then ???) actually only bring us to the coming of
the next primary sub-race, not to the coming of the sixth root-race, which will arrive still
later.
So when the article we are critiquing states that The Secret Doctrine and the other
original teachings of Theosophy make it extremely clear and state specifically that we are in
the 5th sub-race and that the 6th sub-race will begin to take form in the not too distant
future, we believe that this conclusion arises from the all too common mistake about the
flexible use of the term sub-race. What will arrive in the not too distant future is but a
new 25-30,000 year long family-race.
There are additional problems with the math when one goes through the SD in search of
the lifespan of the previous root-races, and compares those to the lifespan of this our fifth
root-race, but that we leave to students to explore for themselves.
Now, HPBs treatment of the semitic race might help us see the use of family and subraces a little clearer.
The Aryan Hindu belongs to the oldest races now on earth; the Semite Hebrew to the
latest. One is nearly million years old; the other is a small sub-race some 8,000 years old
and no more.*
* Strictly speaking, the Jews are an artificial Aryan race, born in India, and belonging to
the Caucasian division. . . . Considering that our Race has reached its Fifth Sub-race, how can
it be otherwise? (SD 2:470-71 & fn)
The little Semitic tribeone of the smallest branchlets from the commingling of the 4th
and 5th sub-races (the Mongolo-Turanian and the Indo-European, so-called, after the
sinking of the great Continent). (SD 1:319)
All races have their own cycles, which fact causes a great difference. For instance, the
Fourth Sub-Race of the Atlanteans was in its Kali-Yug, when destroyed, whereas the Fifth
was in its Satya or Krita Yuga. The Aryan Race is now in its Kali Yuga, and will continue to be
in it for 427,000 years longer, while various "family Races," called the Semitic, Hamitic, etc.,
are in their own special cycles. The forthcoming 6th Sub Racewhich may begin very soon
will be in its Satya (golden) age while we reap the fruit of our iniquity in our Kali Yuga.
(SD 2:147fn)

So here we have the semitic race (or tribe) described as the commingling of the 4th and
5th sub-races, yet it is only 8000 years old. It becomes fairly obvious that the 4th and 5th
sub-races here spoken of are again the 4th and 5th family-races of a longer sub-race. They
are not the 210,000 year long sub-races. So this 5th sub-race that is part of its commingling is the european fifth-sub race from our previous quote. (it is also interesting to note
that the 427,000 year long kali yuga is applied here only to the Aryan Race, and not the
coming 6th Sub Race, but that is but a side note in the present discussion).
Lets try to clear some of this up, if we can.
The fourth family-race witnessed the sinking of the island 11,000 years ago. 8000 years
ago the Semitic tribe or race is born, a commingling of the fourth and fifth family-races
remember HPBs statement about the origins of our fifth sub-race, a "few thousands" of
37

years. This fifth family-race is the Europeans, who are now passing the torch to the sixth
family-race, who are the Americans. 25,000-30,000 years later this will give rise to the
seventh family-race, and thus on to the next sub-race.
From all this it would seem that we are in the Fifth root-race, perhaps in its fifth sub-race
(based on the 210,000 year math), or perhaps in its fourth sub-race (based on other statements); and depending on who we are (European, American, Indian, Semitic, Egyptian,
Chinese, etc.), we may belong to any one of the family-races of the current sub-race, or we
may belong to races that reach back even before the fifth root-race, one of the many familyraces still present on Earth.
So, Purucker may be mistaken, or, his interpretation may be valid. The main thing is: all
this is left for each of us to explore and decide for ourselves. Nothing is given out clearly
or explicitly in the SD or by the Masters! Thats not their style. We should always be
careful not to take too literally certain terms, for instance, to read the term fourth subrace or fifth sub-race and imagine that we know automatically which fourth or fifth race
is being spoken of. Everything is given in such a way as to encourage us to figure it out for
ourselves and use our intuitions. There is little use, then, in attempting to claim this or that
as clearly stated in order to dismiss someone elses conclusions. Perhaps Purucker was
guilty of too strongly putting forth his own conclusions as fact, while the article we are
critiquing may be equally guilty of dismissing his ideas based on differing opinions, which
seem also to be put forward as fact. Perhaps it is best to leave it to each student to decide.
Now, if one wants to see how confusing the story of races, sub-races, family-races,
nations, etc., can be, have a look at how the information was given to A. P. Sinnett!!
Our fourth Round Humanity has its one great cycle, and so have her races and sub-races.
The "curious rush" is due to the double effect of the formerthe beginning of its downward
course;and of the latter (the small cycle of your "sub-race") running on to its apex.
Remember, you belong to the fifth Race, yet you are but a Western sub-race. . . . Your subraces are now running toward the apex of their respective cycles, and that History goes no
further back than the periods of decline of a few other sub-races belonging most of them to
the preceding fourth Race. . . . As every other race you had your ups and downs, your
periods of honour and dishonour, your dark midnight andyou are now approaching your
brilliant noon. The youngest of the fifth race family you were for long ages the unloved and
the uncared for, the Cendrillon in your home. And now, when so many of your sisters have
died; and others still are dying, while the few of the old survivors, now in their second
infancy, wait but for their Messiahthe sixth raceto resurrect to a new life and start
anew with the coming stronger along the path of a new cycle . . . Yes; the fifth raceours
began in Asia a million years ago. What was it about for the 998,000 years preceding the
last 2,000? . . . Of course the 4th race had its periods of the highest civilization. Greek and
Roman and even Egyptian civilization are nothing compared to the civilizations that began
with the 3rd race. Those of the second were not savages but they could not be called
civilized. And now, reading one of my first letters on the races (a question first touched by
M.) pray, do not accuse either him or myself of some new contradiction. Read it over and
see, that it leaves out the question of civilizations altogether and mentions but the degenerate remnants of the fourth and third races, and gives you as a corroboration the latest
conclusions of your own Science. Do not regard an unavoidable incompleteness as inconsistency. You now ask me a direct question, and, I answer it. Greeks and Romans were small

38

sub-races, and Egyptians part and parcel of our own "Caucasian" stock. Look at the latter
and at India. Having reached the highest civilization and what is more: learningboth went
down. Egypt as a distinct sub-race disappearing entirely (her Copts are a hybrid remnant).
Indiaas one of the first and most powerful off-shoots of the mother Race, and composed
of a number of sub-raceslasting to these times, and struggling to take once more her
place in history some day. . . . What would you say then to our affirmation that the Chinese
I now speak of the inland, the true Chinaman, not of the hybrid mixture between the
fourth and the fifth Races now occupying the thronethe aborigines, who belong in their
unallied nationality wholly to the highest and last branch of the fourth Race, reached their
highest civilization when the fifth had hardly appeared in Asia, and that its first off-shoot
was yet a thing of the future. . . . When was it? Calculate. You cannot think that we, who have
such tremendous odds against the acceptance of our doctrine would deliberately go on
inventing Races and sub-races (in the opinion of Mr. Hume) were not they a matter of
undeniable fact. . . . I told you before now, that the highest people now on earth (spiritually)
belong to the first sub-race of the fifth root Race; and those are the Aryan Asiatics; the
highest race (physical intellectuality) is the last sub-race of the fifthyourselves the white
conquerors. The majority of mankind belongs to the seventh sub-race of the fourth Root
race,the above mentioned Chinamen and their off-shoots and branchlets (Malayans,
Mongolians, Tibetans, Javanese, etc., etc., etc.) and remnants of other sub-races of the fourth
and the seventh sub-race of the third race. All these, fallen, degraded semblances of
humanity are the direct lineal descendants of highly civilized nations neither the names nor
memory of which have survived except in such books as Popalvul and a few others
unknown to Science. . . . (Mahatma Letter 23b)

Can anyone claim to grasp the full picture after having read this passage?
To close, here is an indirect corroboration of the difficulty with regard to the subject of
the races from Robert Bowens Madame Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy:
H. P. B. seems pretty definite about the importance of the teaching (in the Conclusion)
relating to the times of coming of the Races and Sub-Races. She put it more plainly than
usual that there is really no such thing as a future coming of races. There is neither
COMING nor PASSING, but eternal BECOMING, she says. The Fourth Root Race is still alive.
So are the Third and Second and Firstthat is, their manifestations on our present plane of
substance are present. I know what she means, I think, but it is beyond me to get it down in
words. So likewise the Sixth Sub-Race is here, and the Sixth Root Race, and the Seventh, and
even people of the coming ROUNDS. After all thats understandable. Disciples and Brothers
and Adepts cant be people of the every day Fifth Sub-Race, for the race is a state of
evolution.
But she leaves no question but that, as far as humanity at large goes, we are hundreds of
years (in time and space) from even the Sixth Sub-Race. I thought H. P. B. showed a peculiar
anxiety in her insistence on this point. She hinted at dangers and delusions coming
through ideas that the New Race had dawned definitely on the World. According to her the
duration of a Sub-Race for humanity at large coincides with that of the Sidereal Year (the
circle of the earths axisabout 25,000 years). That puts the new race a long way off.

39

Point #10: 7 or 12 (or 10 or 14 or...)?


The tenth, and final, point of contention is:
His claim that the higher esoteric teaching follows the pattern and system of the number
12 rather than 7, with there actually being 12 sacred planets, 12 kingdoms of nature, 12
classes of Monads, 12 globes in a planetary chain, and more besides.

Let us begin with a quote from HPB:


Q. Is the Point in the Mundane Egg the same as the Point in the Circle, the Unmanifested
Logos?
A. Certainly not: the Point in the Circle is the Unmanifested Logos, the Manifested Logos
is the Triangle. Pythagoras speaks of the never manifested Monad which lives in solitude
and darkness; when the hour strikes it radiates from itself ONE the first number. This
number descending, produces TWO, the second number, and Two, in its turn, produces
THREE, forming a triangle, the first complete geometrical figure in the world of form. It is
this ideal or abstract triangle which is the Point in the Mundane Egg, which, after gestation,
and in the third remove, will start from the Egg to form the Triangle. This is Brahma-VachViraj in the Hindu Philosophy and Kether-Chochmah-Binah in the Zohar. (Transactions,
p. 83 )

In other words, when you add up all the numbers in the diagram of SD 1:200, first the
abstract triangle or triad (The apex of the triangle on the arupa planes in the diagram), or
Shekinah, representing the first 3, then you add Chochmah and Binah representing 2,
making 5 in total and then add the 7 globes, we have 12!
(a) The hierarchy of Creative Powers is divided into seven (or 4 and 3) esoteric, within
the twelve great Orders, recorded in the twelve signs of the Zodiac; the seven of the
manifesting scale being connected, moreover, with the Seven Planets. All this is subdivided
into numberless groups of divine Spiritual, semi-Spiritual, and ethereal Beings. (SD 1:213)

Obviously each of these hierarchies relate to the 12 numbers indicated above, corresponding with the triangle on the arupa planes and the seven globes and represent the
evolution of monads, thus 12 hierarchies of evolving monads. Purucker's division gives just
this, when dealing with the zodiac: he divides the twelve into 7 manifest, 5 unmanifest (see,
for instance, Section 4 of Fountain-Source of Occultism, with it's opening diagram). The
seven of the manifesting scale are there corresponded to the seven globes and the seven
sacred planets.
The highest group [of the hierarchy of creative powers] is composed of the divine Flames,
so-called, also spoken of as the "Fiery Lions" and the "Lions of Life," whose esotericism is
securely hidden in the Zodiacal sign of Leo. It is the nucleole of the superior divine World.
They are the formless Fiery Breaths, identical in one aspect with the upper Sephirothal
TRIAD, which is placed by the Kabalists in the "Archetypal World." (SD 1:213)
Occultism divides the "Creators" into twelve classes; of which four have reached liberation to the end of the "Great Age," the fifth is ready to reach it, but still remains active on
the intellectual planes, while seven are still under direct Karmic law. These last act on the
man-bearing globes of our chain. (SD 2:77)

40

Again we see the 12 divided into 5 unmanifested and 7 manifested, so to speak, with
the 7 directly linked to our seven globes.
To the question of whether the higher esoteric teaching follows the pattern and system
of the number 12 rather than 7, can be added the same question of whether the higher
esoteric teaching follows the pattern and system of the number 10 rather than the number
7, which ought to be quite obvious to any serious student of the esoteric wisdom that this is
the case. HPB started off in Isis Unveiled with a representation of the standard approach in
antiquity of a threefold divisionspirit, soul and bodywith occasional hints as to a
sevenfold system. In The Secret Doctrine we have a definite move towards a sevenfold
division (thus not esoteric anymore!) with occasional hints (and not even very subtle!) as to
a tenfold system that most likely leads us to an esoteric understanding!
"Ten is the Mother of the Soul, for Life and Light are therein united," says Hermes. "For
number one is born of the Spirit and the number ten from matter (chaos, feminine); the
unity has made the ten, the ten the unity" (Book of the Keys). (SD 1: 90 fn*)
The Deity is like the Sea from which outflows a stream called WISDOM, the waters of
which fall into a lake named Intelligence. From the basin, like seven channels, issue the
Seven Sephiroth. . . . . For ten equal seven: the Decade contains four Unities and three
Binaries." The ten Sephiroth correspond to the limbs of MAN. (SD 1:239)

10 equals 7!
The contention thus lies actually between 12 and 10 rather than 12 and 7. That problem
had already been several times discussed by HPB, for instance in Isis Unveiled 2:457 and
also the section on Ezekiels Wheel, where she discusses the problem of whether there are
10 or 12 zodiacal signs and how those two extra signs came into being. It is not a far stretch
by applying correspondencethat this same problem extends to all other occurrences of
12 vs 10. In this sense, twelve may be actually just an extension of ten, depending on the
context in which it needs to be used in occult parlance.
In the magic of the old Syro-Chaldeans both are conjoint in the zodiacal sign of the
androgyne of Virgo-Scorpio, and may be divided or separated whenever needed. (Isis 2:449)
The patriarchs are not only euhemerized godsthe prediluvian answering to the twelve
great gods of Berosus, and to the ten Pradjpati, and the postdiluvian to the seven gods of
the famous tablet in the Ninevean Library, but they stand also as the symbols of the Greek
ons, the kabalistic Sephiroth, and the zodiacal signs, as types of a series of human races.
This variation from ten to twelve will be accounted for presently, and proved on the very
authority of the Bible. Only, they are not the first gods described by Cicero, which belong to
a hierarchy of higher powers, the Elohimbut appertain rather to the second class of the
"twelve gods," the Dii minores, and who are the terrestrial reflections of the first, among
whom Herodotus places Hercules. (Isis 2:450-451)

Thus 10 equals 12!


In SD 2:384fn one will find a reference where HPB is referring to the six rajamsi of a
planetary chain when quoting from the Vendidad, each being dual as pointed out by the
Mahatma in the next quote. That gives 12! Our seventh globe is often not taken into account
as it is the maya of mayas, just as the physical body in some sevenfold representations of
41

man is not taken into account.


The "Seven Karshvares of the Earth"the seven spheres of our planetary chain, the seven
worldsalso mentioned in the Rig-Vedaare fully referred to elsewhere. There are six
rajamsi (worlds) above prithivithe earth, or "this" (idam), as opposed to that which is
yonder (the six globes on the three other planes). (See Rig-Veda, I., 34; III., 56; VII., 10411,
and V., 60, 6. See on Chronology.) (SD 2:384fn)

Nevertheless the Mahatma includes the seventh in the following statement:


There are seven objective and seven subjective globes (I have been just permitted for the
first time to give you the right figure), the worlds of causes and of effects. The former have
our earth occupying the lower turning point where spirit-matter equilibrates. But do not
trouble yourself to go into calculations even on this correct basis for it will only puzzle you,
since the infinite ramifications of the number seven (which is one of our greatest mysteries)
being so closely allied and interdependent with the seven principles of Nature and man
this figure is the only one I am permitted (so far) to give you. (Mahatma Letter 14)

In relation to this statement, see Puruckers treatment of the lokas and talas and the way
in which he correlates them with the globes. There is much to ponder therein.
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/fso/fso6b.htm
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/fso/fso7b.htm
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/fund/fund-42.htm
If we pay particular attention to the way the 12 globes are outlined by Purucker, we can
see that we could easily label 7 of them objective and 7 subjective, because two of the
globes lie right on the dividing line between arupa (formless) and rupa (form) planes.
Thus we can say that there are 7 objective globes and 5 subjective globes, as Purucker says,
or we can also say that there are 7 of each. Our count, for the very same system, can thus be
either 12 or 14, with but a minor shift in perspective. Occult numerology is full of these
kinds of perspective dependent equations.
The above reference to Isis 2:450-451 also indicates that 12 is equally applicable to the 7
planes of the diagram in SD 1:200 as to the 7 globes:
. . . the second class of the "twelve gods," the Dii minores, and who are the terrestrial
reflections of the first.
Like the Indian Rishis, the Patriarchs are all convertible in their numbers, as well as interchangeable. According to the subject to which they relate they become ten, twelve, seven or
five, and even fourteen, and they have the same esoteric meaning as the Manus or Rishis.
(SD 2:129)

Thus 7 equals 12 and 12 in a different context can be 5, 7, 10 or 14!


If we think of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale, containing 7 whole and 5 half notes, it
is perhaps not a far stretch to imagine that intermediate stages of anything relating to 7 or
12 may be involved, even in the kingdoms. HPB does not want us to parrot her, but wants us
to think for ourselves when approaching these kinds of problems.
The said key must be turned seven times before the whole system is divulged. We will

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give it but one turn, and thereby allow the profane one glimpse into the mystery. Happy he,
who understands the whole! (Isis 2:461)

Perhaps the key needs 10 or 12 or even 14 turns!


So, are there 5 globes on the arupa planethe triad of the apex of the triangle plus
Chochmah and Binah? Well, there is a general tendency in the mind of studentswhich
needs to be overcometo materialize metaphysical concepts, which is something HPB
tried to avoid; therefore she most likely did not refer to them as globes but rather as
forces or higher intelligences. But that doesnt imply that there is no matter on those
planes, of which we cannot conceive (see the following quotes). There may occasionally be
a certain tendency with Purucker to seemingly materialize such metaphysical concepts
or to leave the concepts open to materialization in the mind of the studentbut the general
division of 12 into 7 and 5, even when applied to globes is an idea well worth consideration by all serious students of theosophy.
See Purucker on the 7 + 5 globes (7 manifest, 5 hid) here:
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/fund/fund-42.htm
More now from HPB:
Q. We can conceive of no matter which is not extended, no extension which is not
extension of something. Is it the same on higher planes? And if so, what is the substance
which fills absolute space, and is it identical with that space?
A. If your "trained intellect" cannot conceive of any other kind of matter, perhaps one less
trained but more open to spiritual perceptions can. It does not follow, because you say so,
that such a conception of Space is the only one possible, even on our Earth. ( Transactions,
p. 13)
Q. What is really meant by the term "planes of non-being"?
A. In using the term "planes of non-being" it is necessary to remember that these planes
are only to us spheres of non-being, but those of being and matter to higher intelligences
than ourselves. ( Transactions, p. 106-107 )
Q. What are the higher powers which condition the Ah-hi?
A. They cannot be called powers; power or perhaps Potentiality would be better. (Transactions p. 21)
Deity or Absoluteness, which can hardly be supposed acting in any wayhas always
meant in ancient philosophies the collectivity of the working and intelligent Forces in
nature. (Transactions, p. 143 )

If one holds the above ideas in mind, while reflecting back on the quotes shared earlier
in regards to the Ah-hi becoming Planetary, Solar, Lunar, and even Egos, one may find a
clearer picture begin to emerge. In any case, if the above reply illustrates nothing else, it
certainly demonstrates the flexibility needed when approaching occult numerology. We
ought not to be so quick to dismiss the use of varying numbers in relation to the same ideas.
If we keep our minds flexible, we may find many appropriate uses for the numbers 3, 5, 7,
10, 12, 14 etc.

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Closing Words
To conclude, we apologize for the copious references and have tried to keep our own
statements and opinionsunless unavoidableto a minimum so as to let the teachings
largely speak for themselves, but when students criticize the perception of other students,
it follows that a minimum of courtesy would involve backing up their own perceptions with
relevant material from the original teachings.
Undoubtedly, the material we have been given for study by the teachers falls within the
realm of the conceptual mind and thus is always open to interpretation. This is applicable to
any and every student. Even HPB or the Adepts cannot avoid this predicament, as that is the
plane on which we operate at present, and that is where they must meet us. Because of this,
HPB persistently advises us to use our intuition or inner faculties:
Hence it must be left to the intuition and the higher faculties of the reader to grasp, as far
as he can, the meaning of the allegorical phrases used. Indeed it must be remembered that
all these Stanzas appeal to the inner faculties rather than to the ordinary comprehension of
the physical brain. (SD 1:21)
Only those who realise how far Intuition soars above the tardy processes of ratiocinative
thought can form the faintest conception of that absolute Wisdom which transcends the
ideas of Time and Space. (SD 1:1fn*)
To some extent, it is admitted that even the esoteric teaching is allegorical. To make the
latter comprehensible to the average intelligence, requires the use of symbols cast in an
intelligible form. Hence the allegorical and semi-mythical narratives in the exoteric, and the
(only) semi-metaphysical and objective representations in the esoteric teachings. For the
purely and transcendentally spiritual conceptions are adapted only to the perceptions of
those who "see without eyes, hear without ears, and sense without organs," according to the
graphic expression of the Commentary. (SD 2:81)

Therefore, nothing of what has been brought forward needs to be swallowed whole by
anyone, as each individual student must learn to come to his or her own conclusions.
Nevertheless, we hope to have contributed in a sensible manner to the conversation, as
many of the criticisms towards G. de Puruckers conceptions in the 10 points brought
forward have been verbalized for many years without having received due process as to his
claims.
We would once more like to reiterate that our purpose for this essay was not to defend
or absolve G. de Purucker with regard to his conceptions as represented in these 10 points,
but to point out both the lack of conclusions presented as an alternative to his statements
and some of the flaws involved in such views as are commonly put forward as a means to
dismiss his. We can only conclude that in essence the majority of Puruckers conceptions
here are not that different from what we perceive to be the true theosophical teachings.
Therefore the copious references have been an unavoidable necessity to prove our point.
It seems to us that most of the criticisms leveled against Puruckers ideas come from two
main issues: 1. an attempt to find and cling to definite terms for definite things, and 2. a
failure to recognize the relativity of the theosophical philosophy, i.e. that the theosophical
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philosophy represents a kind of formula that can be applied mutatis mutandis to that
which is above and that which is below, in an endless series of greater and lesser systems
(see SD 1:20-22); that because of this, even the absolute, to us, can be relative! There must
be a flexibility in our approach to the theosophical philosophy if we are to move beyond the
lower mind, or ratiocinative reasoning and awaken our intuitions.
In regards to definite terms: no doubt there are definite terms for definite things, but
we, as common students, are certainly not in possession of those termsthey belong to the
real esoteric language, whatever it is. All the terms we have (with perhaps some exceptions,
like oeaohoo etc.) are substitute terms drawn from exoteric systems and used by HPB, WQJ
and others in a wide variety of ways in order to point our intuitions towards the esoteric
system. That variety and flexibility in their use is seemingly purposeful and we think we
would all be wise not to concretize them too much, or to assume strict and inflexible
meanings for this or that term because of their use in one place, or their use in exoteric
systems of thought. Least of all should we try to disregard another theosophists conceptions based solely on our own (limited) understanding of the terminology or the
philosophy. That, in itself, is far from the theosophical spirit. As Robert Bowen paraphrases
in his notes from studies with HPB:
One must not be a fool (she said) and drive oneself into the madhouse by attempting too
much at first. 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 its substance. But this new kind of mental effort calls for
something very differentthe 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. As one
progresses in Jnana Yoga one finds conceptions arising which though one is conscious of
them, one cannot express nor yet formulate into any sort of mental picture. As time goes on
these conceptions will form into mental pictures. This is a time to be on guard and refuse to
be deluded with the idea that the new found and wonderful picture must represent reality.
It does not. As one works on one finds the once admired picture growing dull and unsatis fying, and finally fading out or being thrown away. This is another danger point, because for
the moment one is left in a void without any conception to support one, and one may be
tempted to revive the cast-off picture for want of a better to cling to. The true student will,
however, work on unconcerned, and presently further formless gleams come, which again
in time give rise to a larger and more beautiful picture than the last. But the learner will
now know that no picture will ever represent the Truth. This last splendid picture will grow
dull and fade like the others. And so the process goes on, until at last the mind and its
pictures are transcended and the learner enters and dwells in the World of no form, but of
which all forms are narrowed reflections.

No theosophists conceptions are sure enough to dismiss another theosophists conceptions outright, and no theosophist or group of theosophists ought to claim sole ownership
of genuine theosophy. All of our conceptions are temporary pictures of reality, that, if we
push forwards, will be transcended in due time.
We can do no better than to conclude this essay with a reference from an article by Mr.
Judge:
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The exoteric Indian philosophies call the Universe Brahma, [sic] consisting of (Sat)
absolute existence, (Chit) absolute intelligence and (nanda) absolute bliss with two other
divisions called (Nma) name and (Rpa) form. The Esoteric doctrine does not content
itself with a mere metaphysical juggling with these terms, but goes to the length of claiming
to explain the method of universal evolution and the hidden things in nature. (article on
Esoteric Buddhism by WQJ)

Let us seek to understand that method and not get too hung up on the use of this or that
term, and let us not get too hung up on trying to cast down other theosophists, even if we
think they are in err; casting them down does not raise us up.

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