The whole of the Infinite Universe, the visible
and the invisible, the known and the unknown, the objective and subjective, the
physical, astral, mental and spiritual, all constitute part of the ONE, the
Supreme Being. All these points of life, whether manifested as single atoms or
as countless atoms combined into heavenly constellations, have their own sphere
of radiation and therefore their own specific field of influence. Nevertheless
they all remain interrelated, being synthesized by divine Rays of Energy which
constitute the Etheric Universe, integrating all of creation into the One Whole.
The sphere of influence exerted by these
individual lives, whether considered as single or complex forms, will be
determined primarily by the nature and stage of development of their indwelling
Consciousness. It is the degree of such consciousness evinced which will render
these forms sensitive, responsive, receptive, radiating or repudiating.
The state of consciousness displayed will depend
on the development achieved by the manifested vehicles, and their ability of recognizing,
registering and identifying themselves with the energies and impulses to which
they are being subjected, and which have been emanating from the environment or
are arising from other external sources.
Spiritual evolution may be regarded as a process
of progressive awakening of the realms of consciousness, of a fusing and
coordinating of the higher and lower, the spiritual and material. It is for this
purpose that the Soul avails itself of a human form, which serves as a vehicle
by means of which the consciousness is step by step raised to its ultimate
Each human soul, whether incarnated or
temporarily abiding in the etheric worlds, forms part of the Divine
Consciousness, the One Soul. This individual spark of consciousness while
manifested in form, at some stage of its early development becomes aware of
something beyond the form, of something that distinguishes itself from the
material. The ultimate aim of all development is that man should achieve full
Self consciousness, not only on the physical plane but progressively also on the
emotional, mental and subsequently also on the successive spiritual planes,
until finally the as yet totally incomprehensible stage of cosmic consciousness
Consciousness is the relation between spirit and
matter, and results in the faculty of apprehension. It therefore concerns the
relation between the Soul and the personality, of the innate Self and its
instrument of manifestation, and therefore involves the principle of duality,
representing the product of fusion between these opposite poles of energy.
Awareness, knowledge, intelligence, lower mind and Higher Mind are all merely
facets of consciousness, reflecting various spheres of development of that inner
force manifesting itself as the thinking, discriminating and Self realizing
principle infusing the human being with Life. Sentient response and
consciousness are therefore closely related and both attributes of the Soul.
Although consciousness is as a rule associated
with the Self-consciousness which distinguishes man from the units of creation
in the lower kingdoms of nature, it should nevertheless be realized that all
forms of creation whether an atom occurring in the mineral kingdom, a plant in
the vegetable kingdom, or a planetary Being in the subjective spheres, are characterized
by Life, and therefore also dispose of some degree of consciousness.
Each atom or body formed by a multiple
association of atoms, whether considered small or large, simple or complicated,
is surrounded by an electro-magnetic field or etheric body, which is the product
of the energies which are constantly being radiated from the relative atom or
compounded organism. This etheric surround at the same time constitutes the
medium for conducting external influences, and therefore simultaneously serves
the dual function of radiation and reception of both the forces emanating from
the form, and those external energies which are acting upon it, thus determining
the degree of vitality, sensitivity and consciousness reflected by the enclosed
The classification into various kingdoms of
nature is largely artificial and based on the degree of consciousness displayed.
Thus although minerals may not reflect any signs of active life to the casual
observer, they do radiate energy and show signs of elementary consciousness by
reacting to variations in the environment, such as temperature and moisture.
Such response to environmental conditions is usually even more pronounced in the
vegetable kingdom, but as a rule is regarded to be purely instinctive and
This state of consciousness is, however, of a
most relative nature - by means of modern electronic equipment (galvanometers
etc.) it has been clearly proved that certain plants will for instance react
positively to etheric forces emanating from plant lovers, but will show a
negative reaction to those exhibiting no interest in plant life. The
consciousness of plants is also reflected by the influence exerted by the
environment on the growth, fruiting, coloring and general quality of the plants
As is the case in all biological populations, a
very wide range in measure of consciousness occurs not only amongst different
species, but also within a species. Such consciousness must however still mainly
be regarded as instinctive.
Consciousness being the product of the interplay
between Spirit and matter, is manifested in its broader sense as the soul or
life which qualifies every form of creation. It therefore represents the source
of awareness and responsiveness to the forces which constitute the surrounding,
resulting in attraction and repulsion and the many attributes qualifying each
specific form, and determining its position, functions and vibratory activity in
the complexity of nature. It represents that factor which reacts to the forces
constituting the environment.
Different stages of Consciousness
This consciousness, to some extent present in all
forms, will therefore vary considerably in accordance with the state of
development attained by the form concerned. These different stages of awareness
might be broadly classified into:
(a) Sentient consciousness, as manifested in the
mineral and vegetable kingdoms.
(b) Animal consciousness, still closely related
to the sentient aspects, but functioning on a somewhat higher level, and already
being increasingly influenced by emotional aspects. In the case of more advanced
animals, the first traces of mental unfoldment may already be discerned.
(c) Self-consciousness - this is the state of
awareness achieved by human beings. As in the previous instances, the extent to
which this form of consciousness is evinced, will vary between wide extremes
depending on the degree to which the Soul has succeeded in gaining dominance
over the animal nature of the body.
(d) There is, however, no end to spiritual
development, and as the individual progresses along his evolutionary path, the
stage will be reached where self-concern and self consciousness will no longer
remain of primary interest, because the needs of fellow men and of the community
as a whole will become of more decisive importance. This phase might be referred
to as that of group or race consciousness, and this will in turn and with the
course of time be superseded by spiritual - and eventually by what is known as
cosmic consciousness. These latter phases are, however, still relatively
meaningless to the average person, as these concepts actually range beyond
normal human understanding.
In man's early stage of development it is the
divine Energy of Love which at first is brought to expression as Self
consciousness or love of the Self, and which with the course of time and after
many incarnations and the gaining of endless experience, evolves into group
consciousness or love of the fellow man. With further progress along the Path of
Life, and with the eventual bridging of the gap between the Soul and its more
exalted counterpart, the Higher Self, there is a growing awareness of the links
of Love uniting every form of creation into the One Whole. This culminating
stage may be called God consciousness.
Thread of Consciousness
All human existence is dependent on two vital
channels of energy. The first is the Thread of Life which ensures immortality,
and which conveys the Energy of Life from its source, the Monad, via the Soul to
its temporary vehicle of expression, the individual personality. The Life
Thread, anchored in the heart and carried by the bloodstream, is the direct flow
of Life uniting the phenomenal aspect with its Source. It therefore serves to
vivify the form and to link it with the surrounding Whole.
The second is the Thread of Consciousness, seated
in the brain and utilizing the nervous system as the medium for providing
continuity of existence, embodying the principle of consciousness within the
form by reacting to the many stimulants from the environment and the surrounding
etheric realm. This thread, also referred to as the "Bridge of Light"
performs three main functions:
(a) It brings the lower mind and brain into
alignment, thereby eventually leading to the integration of the physical,
emotional and mental aspects of the personality.
(b) It serves to bridge the gap between the
physical brain, the lower mind and the Soul, thus producing the Soul infused
(c) Eventually it will provide the final
"Bridge of Light" between the personality, the Soul and the Higher
Mind, thereby furnishing the longed for illumination.
Symbolically speaking divine energy is directed
downwards through the Life Thread to its vehicle of manifestation, whereas the
Thread of Consciousness, which has its origin in the lower bodies through the
interaction between matter and the primary Energy of Life, works upwards
constructing the Path of Return from the phenomenal to the subjective. During
the early stages of unfoldment the thread of consciousness is used in the first
instance for satisfying selfish interests. With the gaining of experience a
steady expansion of consciousness will, however, take place, resulting finally
in producing the higher forms of consciousness, which will mainly be enlisted
for altruistic purposes while man gradually comes to the realization that the
individual merely forms a minute part of the larger corporate whole. The
persistent aspirant will eventually reach the stage where he can at will focus
his consciousness either in the Soul or in some aspect of the form, depending on
the objective to be realized and the act of service to be rendered.