The Inner Life, v. I/Fourth Section/II
THE TRIPLE SPIRIT
The Monads are clearly all centres of force in the LOGOS, and yet each possesses a very distinct individuality of his own. In the average man the monad is but little in touch with the ego and the lower personality, which are yet somehow expressions of him. He knows from the first what is his object in evolution and he grasps the general trend of it, but until that portion of him which expresses itself in the ego has reached a fairly high stage, he is scarcely conscious of the details of life down here, or at any rate takes little interest in them. He seems at that stage not to know other monads, but rests in indescribable bliss without any active consciousness of surroundings. As evolution progresses, however, he grasps matters on the lower lane much more fully, and finally takes them entirely into his own hands, and at that stage he knows both himself and others, and his voice within us becomes for us the Voice of the Silence. That voice differs for us at different stages. For us now in this lower consciousness it is the voice of the ego; when we identify ourselves with the ego it is the voice of the spirit; when we reach the spirit it is the voice of the monad, and when in the far-away future we identify ourselves wholly with the monad it ill be the voice of the LOGOS; but in every case we have to subject the lower and rise above it, before the voice of the higher can be heard.
This monad resides permanently upon the second of our planes, and when he descends upon the third, the plane of nirvana, he manifests himself as the triple spirit, and this triple spirit is a reflection or (even more truly) an expression of the LOGOS as He manifests Himself in our set of planes. His first manifestation on our highest plane is also triple. In the first of these three aspects He does not manifest Himself on any plane below the highest, but in the second He descends to the second plane and draws round Himself a garment of its matter, thus making a quite separate expression of Him. In the third aspect He descends to the upper portion of the third plane, and draws round Himself matter of that level, thus making a third manifestation. These three are the “three persons in one God,” of which Christianity teaches, telling us in its Athanasian creed that we should worship “One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance” — that is to say, never confusing in our minds the work and function of the three separate manifestations, each on its own plane, yet never for a moment forgetting the eternal unity of the “substance,” that which lives behind all alike on the highest plane, at the level where these three are one.
Now an exact repetition of this process takes place in the case of man, who is in very truth made in the image of God. The spirit is triple upon the third plane, and the first of its three manifestations does not descend below that level. The second manifestation descends one stage, on to the fourth plane, and clothes itself with its matter, and then we call it buddhi. Just as before, the third aspect descends two planes, and shrines itself in matter of the highest level of the mental plane, and we call that manas, and this trinity of atma-buddhi-manas, manifesting in the causal body, is what we call the ego.
Never forget that the ego is not the manas only, but the spiritual triad; at our present stage of evolution he rests in his causal body on the higher levels of the mental plane, but as he passes onwards his consciousness will be centred on the buddhic plane, and afterwards, when he attains adeptship; on the nirvanic. But it must not be supposed that when this further development takes place the manas is in any way lost. When the ego draws himself up into the buddhic plane, he draws up manas with him into that expression of manas which has all the time existed on the buddhic plane, but has not been fully vivified until now. In the same way when he draws himself up into the nirvanic plane, manas and buddhi exist within him just as fully as ever, so that now the triple spirit is in full manifestation on its own plane in all its three aspects. Therefore the spirit is truly seven-fold, for he is triple on his own plane, dual on the buddhic, and single on the mental, and the unity which is his synthesis makes seven. Though he draws back into the higher he retains the definiteness of the lower.
This is probably what Madame Blavatsky meant when she spoke of the auric egg, but she surrounded this idea with great mystery, and it seems likely that she was under some pledge not to write freely about it. She never clearly explained the triple spirit, but evidently endeavored to suggest the idea without clearly expressing it, for she laid great stress upon the fact that, just as the astral plane may be said to be a reflection of the buddhic, so may the physical be said to be a reflection of the nirvanic, and then she furthermore emphasized the fact that there are three bodies or vehicles of man on the physical plane — apparently going out of her way to make this agree, and for that purpose dividing the physical body of man into two parts, the dense and the etheric, and adding as a third principle the vitality which flows through them. Now as this vitality exists on all the planes, and might just as well be made into additional principles on the astral and mental planes as on the physical, it would seem that some reason is required for her rather peculiar arrangement, and perhaps this reason may be found in her desire to indicate the triple spirit without actually mentioning it. I think the President has said that when Blavatsky spoke about the sacred auric egg she meant the four permanent atoms within an envelope of matter of the nirvanic plane.