THEOSOPHY, Vol. 53, No. 6, April, 1965
(Pages 177-178; Size: 6K)

MAN--GOD OR CREATURE?(1)

ESOTERIC philosophy teaches the existence of two Egos in man, the mortal or personal, and the Higher, the Divine and the Impersonal. Ego means, simply, "Self," the consciousness in man, the I am I or the feeling of "I-am-ship." From the remotest antiquity mankind as a whole have always been convinced of the existence of an impersonal spiritual entity within the personal man. Our Ego, that which lives and thinks and feels independently of us in our mortal casket, does more than believe. It knows that there exists a God in nature, for the sole and invincible Artificer of all lives in us as we live in Him. No dogmatic faith or exact science is able to uproot that intuitional feeling inherent in man, when he has once fully realized it in himself.

"Pilgrim" is the appellation given to our Monad (the two in one) during its cycle of incarnations. It is the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an indivisible part of the integral whole -- the Universal Spirit. The Higher Self is the Supreme Divine Spirit overshadowing man. It is the crown of the upper spiritual Triad in man -- Atman. The first self-made adept initiated but a select few, and kept silence with the multitudes. He recognized his God and felt the great Being within himself. The Atman, the Self, the mighty Lord and Protector, once that man knew him as the "I am," the "Ego Sum," the "Ahmi," showed his full power to him who could recognize the "still small voice." This idea of a divine Self, once expressed, everything else must acknowledge its supremacy.

The Earth gives Man his body, the gods (Dhyanis) his five inner principles, the psychic Shadow, of which those gods are often the animating principles. SPIRIT (Atman) is one -- and indiscrete. The Atman or Spirit (the Spiritual SELF) passing like a thread through the five subtle bodies (or principles, Koshas) is called "thread-soul," or Sutratman in Vedantic philosophy. The human Ego is neither Atman nor Buddhi, but the higher Manas: the intellectual fruition, and the efflorescence of the intellectual self-conscious Egotism --in the higher spiritual sense. The ancient works refer to it as Karana Sarira on the plane of Sutratma, which is the golden thread on which, like beads, the various personalities of the higher Ego are strung.

Like an actor, the Ego is forced to play during the cycle of necessity, up to the very threshold of Paranirvana, many parts such as may be unpleasant to it. It is a strange law of Nature that, on this plane, the higher (Spiritual) Nature should be, so to say, in bondage to the lower. Unless the Ego takes refuge in the Atman, the ALL-SPIRIT, and merges entirely into the essence thereof, the personal Ego may goad it to the bitter end. We say that we only allow the presence of the radiation of Spirit (or Atma) on the astral capsule, and so far only as that spiritual radiancy is concerned. We say that man and Soul have to conquer their immortality by ascending towards the Unity with which, if successful, they will be finally linked, and into which they are finally, so to speak, absorbed. The individualization of man after death depends on the Spirit, not on his Soul and body.

Manas is the fifth principle ... that portion of Manas which follows the two higher principles is the ancestral Soul, the bright, immortal thread of the higher Ego, to which clings the spiritual aroma of all the lives and births. For Sutratma is, literally "the thread of spirit," the Immortal Ego, the Individuality which incarnates in man one life after the other, and upon which are strung his countless personalities. Your spiritual "I" is immortal, but from your present self it can carry away into Eternity that only which has become worthy of immortality, namely, the aroma alone of the flower that has been mown by death. Your present "I" is not the body, nor yet is it Manas-Sutratma, but Sutratma Buddhi.

Spirituality is on its ascending arc, and the animal or physical impedes it from steadily progressing on the path of its evolution only when the selfishness of the personality has so strongly infected the real inner man with its lethal virus, that the upward attraction has lost all its power on the thinking reasonable man.


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