What is the Self ?: Part Three:
What is the Self Part Three
You are outside late in the clear and cloudless night far from the lights of the city; you gaze up into the vast reaches of the star filled night, wonder awe and gratitude well up spontaneously from within you. A heartfelt longing reaches out into the vast light-filled indigo heavens; you know where you really come from and where you will one day return and you are at peace.
Something has awakened deep within you and now you remember who you really are. If you are otherwise thoughtful and given to self reflection and contemplation you will know how easily you will forget this state of Self remembering and wonder if you can cultivate this awakened awareness state. This is the awakening of the higher Self while you yet live in this world. You have realized that your awareness is capable of engaging all space and with it all time. The perfume of immortality fills the fresh night air.
You have an intuited sense of identification with the feeling of belonging in all space and time and this is the awakening of what theosophy calls Spiritual Soul or Buddhi; at the same time you know that all the wonders of space and time are there to be understood as real knowledge and this is the awakening of the Spirit Self or Manas.
We must not make the mistake of believing that the awakening of Manas is a purely intellectual affair. After all what does it mean to actually and really know something? When we look more deeply into Manas we discover the the word itself is from the Sanskrit verbal root: Man the thinker. It is the ground of mentation and the individuation of egoic self consciousness. Ultimately self consciousness must embrace and utilize every level and capacity on the entire Seven Fold human spiritual nature.
This Manas is the third principle in the descending scale of the sevenfold spiritual constitution of the human being. It is the fifth in the ascending scale. Manas is the human person, the reincarnating ego, immortal in essence, enduring in its higher aspects through the entire great age or cycle of necessity.
When incarnated fully in the body or four lower principles , manas is dual, gravitating toward buddhi – spiritual soul in its higher aspects and in its lower aspects it becomes integrated with kama or desire hence the designation desire-mind. Manas grounded in spiritual soul buddhi, is intuitive mind, as desire-mind it is the the animal, rationalistic consciousness, the lower mentality and passions of the personality.
“ ‘Manas is dual — lunar in the lower, solar in its upper portion’ . . . and herein is contained the mystery of an adept’s as of a profane man’s life, as also that of the post-mortem separation of the divine from the animal man” (SD 2:495-6).
In this current stage of human spiritual evolution Manas remains very far from fully developed in humanity. We still show a marked tendency to rationalize dominated by personal desires, in this way we take many wrong turns and introduce disturbances into our lives and the lives of others. In the distant future during a time theosophists call “the fifth round” Manas will be fully active and developed in the entire human race.
This is significant because it means that humanity has not yet arrived at the time of making a fully conscious choice about where we really stand within the greater life and what path we will take into the future. During “the fifth round” each and every individual Self will be compelled by the immense pressure of accumulated individual and collective karma to choose. That choice which is already being made in embryo, by each and everyone of us will be final to everything that then follows.
The fifth round decision will be clear and inescapable either choose the Right hand of Ascent or the Left hand path of Descent. The Right hand path leads directly to the consummation of a complete and conscious union with Atma or Spirit Man and a universe of even higher possibilities.
Those human beings who cannot rise to the Spirit Self [higher manasic] and Spiritual Soul [buddhic] aspects of themselves in the fifth round will fall into their nirvanic rest for the remainder of this embodiment of the earth-chain, to re-emerge at the beginning of the next embodiment of the earth to pick up their evolutionary journey.
The Self is obviously a work in progress each and everyone of us is involved in this work. You could even say that the purpose of life from an individual point of view is the development of a self capable of relating to the whole of life as it really is. Awakening Manas incarnates ever deeper into the Four outer forms; as this occurs the Psyche [astral body] is transformed to a radical degree and becomes a highly evolved and sensitive faculty of perception and awareness. Relationships take on their true meaning as authentic spiritual paths in their own right. Every relationship is a karmic relationship which includes heightened awareness, higher emotions, and creativity in love, wisdom and freedom.
When Spirit Self [manas] awakens in the appropriate way so too does Spiritual Soul [buddhi]. This awakening and incarnation of Spiritual Soul has the Energy or Etheric for its vehicle or form in this world. The individual is awakened to the the most subtle shifts in energy and the information and awareness contained in these energetic movements. The body is at one with the larger awareness organism of the Earth. This is real Deep Ecological Awareness.
Lower Mind/self [kama manas] is definitely a ‘head centred faculty’ but Spiritual Self [higher manas] along with Spiritual Soul [buddhi] transcends the head and has the entire awareness organism for its ‘brain’, not only that it has access to Akasha in a fully conscious way. This is an important part of what we mean by “The Heart Doctrine”, and the journey of the Self.
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