When studying esoterics you should always aim at grasping essentials. You may ask yourself whether there is any study of the esoteric world view that is more essential than the one designed to explain consciousness development.
In the new age teachings, there is much talk of consciousness development, but the account given is neither continuous nor logical. Often too much attention is directed to purely physical or physiological issues, such as the human DNA structure, but very little is said about the nature of consciousness. (I realize the difficulty of criticizing the new age teachings on account of their great variation and considerable mutual inconsistencies. But I could cite as an instance here the Secret of the Flower of Life books by Drunvalo Melchizedek, which illustrate fairly well what I am saying.)
Theosophy – C.W. Leadbeater being its most important systematic exponent – and the teaching of Alice. A. Bailey afford many details on consciousness development, but they never explain the most basic fact of the process – the consciousness development of the self, of the monad – since the understanding of the fact that the self is a monad, a primordial atom, was absent from Oriental esoterics, which even Occidental esoterics made the basis of its presentation when appearing before the public after 1875.
Henry T. Laurency criticizes this deficiency of the theosophic teachings succinctly and to the point: ”Many students of theosophical literature have vainly searched for the ‘self’, wondering where it is. They are aware that they are ‘selves’, but to theosophists the self is always something else and somewhere else. Theosophists appear not to have understood that the self is a primordial atom, that the self is the monad, that the self is the individual, and that the self is the personality, that the self is centred in the lowest triad.” (Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life Three, 5.24.1)
Only Pythagorean hylozoics has explained the basic esoteric fact of the monad. This will of course be elucidated in the following. The present writer, being a Pythagorean, finds it very hard to digest that the theosophists and subsequently Alice A. Bailey confused the monad with the third triad. You will need an intellectual machete to clear a path of understanding through the jungle of esoteric terms grown thick since 1875. Two clarifications to begin with:
(1) Only monads can be conscious beings. By “conscious beings” we understand self-conscious ones. The cosmos is made up of monads and envelopes for monads. An envelope is always conscious in a lower degree than the monad for which the envelope is intended. If an envelope (man’s physical envelope, for instance) displays self-consciousness, it is only because the monad (or self) residing in it is self-conscious.
(2) It goes against logic and conflicts with reality to talk about someone’s “higher self”, for the lower (this someone) cannot possess the higher (the “higher self”), and the higher self must be the true self possessing (and by virtue of its possession using) the lower self, which therefore must be just an apparent self. The talk about someone’s “higher self” reveals a thoughtlessness of the same order as is manifest in such expressions as “my monad” instead of the only expression possible in this connection: “I, the monad”. Let us now proceed to
The Problem of the Self
The two hylozoic fundamental teachings on the three aspects of cosmic reality and the atomic structure of cosmic matter logically emanate from the Pythagorean teaching on the monad. Because the fact that everything in the cosmos is by nature atomic depends on the fact that everything in the cosmos ultimately is made up primordial atoms – monads. And the fact that everything in the cosmos is a trinity of matter, consciousness, and motion depends on the fact that the primordial atoms have those three aspects.
This monadology, this teaching on the monads, is part of the inmost essence of Pythagorean hylozoics, is part of what distinguishes hylozoics from all the other esoteric systems. It is to be seen that this teaching on the monads affords the explanation of a number of problems of the esoteric knowledge. Without monadology, these problems will remain unsolved, and in the absence of their solution fictions have arisen.
The first and foremost problem, the problem of the self, sums up the other four.
In the older esoterics, they avoided as much as possible to study the matter aspect. The object was to direct the disciples’ undivided attention to the consciousness aspect, since this makes it easier to acquire the higher kinds of consciousness and the essential qualities. Man’s attention to the material side of this process in himself – the exchange of lower molecular kinds for higher kinds in his envelopes, the activity of the various envelope centres (chakras), etc. – can only disturb (energy follows thought!) his natural evolution. Likewise, it is superstitious to believe, as do certain new age groups, that you develop your consciousness by working at “purifying your inner bodies” or “gaining control over your chakras” by meditating on them. It is superstitious because it is a confusion of cause and effect. You “purify your inner bodies” (that is to say, lower molecular kinds are replaced with higher ones in your envelopes) and you “gain control over your chakras” as results of your acquisition of a higher kind of consciousness with its stronger will or energy aspect (which has a purifying effect on the envelopes and a controlling effect on their chakras). However, this higher consciousness is an aspect of the life of unity. It can never be attained with egoistic motives of mere individual development but only on the path of unity: giving out love, sacrifice, service, work for mankind.
Therefore, the study of the consciousness aspect is the most important in hylozoics as well. There is an important difference from the older teaching, however. Today the study begins by explaining the matter aspect, the trinity of existence, the primordial atoms (the monads), etc., since it has been seen that incomprehension, absurdities, fictions are the result whenever one indispensable aspect of existence is neglected.
All the problems mentioned have their actual origin in the silence treatment given the primordial atoms, the monads. If when teaching elementary esoterics the theosophists had mentioned them, they had been forced to admit that everything has a matter aspect, everything in all worlds, since the monads, the least parts of matter, are the sole content of the cosmos, the necessary basis of consciousness and the medium of motion. But they preferred to think the matter aspect away. In so doing they deprived themselves of the possibility of explaining the self, since the self is the consciousness of the monad – of the primordial atom.
They could not avoid talking about the envelopes of the self, notwithstanding these are material things. But they led thought away from the fact of materiality by calling the envelopes “principles” and by simultaneously asserting (without explanation) that the organism “is no principle”. In the process they had created a concept covering both envelopes and envelope consciousnesses without forcing thought to touch ideas of “body” or anything material at all.
Problems pile up if you try to explain the human self on the basis of this teaching on “principles”. What is the self? Is it some one of the “lower principles”, namely the envelopes or incarnation – the mental, emotional, and etheric envelopes – and their consciousness? Our everyday experience commands us to answer this question in the affirmative, since our perception of being a self is bound up with those envelope consciousnesses almost exclusively. But if that is so, then that self must dissolve at the end of physical life, and that renders evolution impossible in any esoteric sense, that is: the continuous progressive consciousness development of a permanent self as distinguished from perishable envelopes. If we hold on to evolution and therefore the immortality of the self, we must equate the self with what has been called the Spiritual Triad or the three highest principles (in theosophical parlance: atma, buddhi, higher manas), in hylozoic terms: superessential or 45, essential or 46, and causal or 47:1-3. However, since at the present general stage in the consciousness development of mankind we are seldom self-conscious even at the causal level, we must conclude from this that we really do not have self-consciousness.
The solution of this problem given by traditional esoterics starts from the doctrine of the existence of two different selves in man: the higher self – 45, 46, 47:1-3 – and the lower self – 47:4-7, 48, 49:1-4 (49:5-7 not being a principle, mind you!). The higher self is described as an independent being with a superhuman consciousness capacity: “omniscient and omnipotent in the worlds of man”, “free from karma”, etc. The higher self is said to send down “a ray of itself” into the lower self to gain experience in the lower self’s worlds. Omniscience has something to learn in the worlds of life ignorance! At the same time, the lower self – which we human beings anyhow must associate with the idea of “self” – is said to have as its prime purpose to establish a contact with the higher self and to come under its influence.
Apart from the absurdities just mentioned it is also evident that this doctrine is incompatible with hylozoic evolutionism. The reasoning is as follows.
Can the life of a human being in the physical, emotional, and mental, his consciousness, experiences, toilsome work in these worlds have any meaning at all, if he already has another self, a higher self that is self-conscious, omniscient, omnipotent, etc., in superhuman worlds? And how can that self exist on its high level? There seem to be only two options: (1) Either the higher self is the result of a process of evolution; (2) or the higher self has not evolved from something lower but has always and “from the beginning” existed on its high level. If we opt for (2), then the only possible explanation will be something similar to the Old Testament Story of Creation, where an omnipotent god in the beginning creates all the higher and lower beings in all their classes, investing them at the same time with the kinds of consciousness, higher and lower, which they are to have for all time to come. This option is incompatible with the evolution of consciousness and therefore must be cancelled. Option (1), on the other hand, is compatible with evolution. If we opt for it, however, we must conclude, if we are consistent evolutionists, that whatever is now a higher self has evolved through all the lower developmental stages in succession. And then the higher self has once been such a lower self mentioned above (either in the human evolution or in some evolution parallel to the human). And if what is now a higher self was once a lower self, then it is exceedingly probable, not to say imperative according to the logic of evolution, that what is now a lower self will become a higher self sometime in the future. However, we must then conclude that it really is about two individuals, the one more advanced in its evolution, the other less so. This conclusion of course makes it quite impossible make the higher self a part of man, to call it “man’s higher self”, “our higher self”, “man’s divine soul”, “man’s spiritual Ego” or whatever in the same vein.
The hylozoic solution of this problem is the simplest conceivable one. Whatever we call the self in man is a primordial atom, a monad, which in the evolution of its consciousness has reached the level where man normally has his waking consciousness (emotional and mental consciousness).
Since “death” is he dissolution of composite forms into their component parts (also atoms dissolve; that is to say, atoms of lower kinds dissolve into atoms of higher kinds), the monad, being uncompounded, cannot dissolve or die in this manner. The monads are the sole immortals in the cosmos.
The monad can perceive the consciousness and matter of different worlds, can act in their reality by entering into envelopes made of the matter of those worlds and in so doing activate the passive consciousness of its envelopes. The monad subsequently identifies itself with this activated consciousness as its “self”.
The monad potentially apprehends the passive consciousness in all higher worlds, since this consciousness belongs to the different atomic kinds and these in the last analysis consist of primordial atoms – monads – having passive consciousness. All consciousness is consciousness in monads, actively or passively conscious monads.
However, the monad is actively self-conscious only in those kinds of consciousness which it has hitherto been able to activate through its evolution. This is of course true also of the monad in the human kingdom, the human self.
The highest envelope of the human self, of the human monad, is the causal envelope. This envelope will become a self-conscious being, when the monad at the end of its sojourn in the human kingdom, at the stage of ideality, centres itself in it. Before that stage, however, the causal envelope is a mere robot consisting of atoms and molecules with passive consciousness. In the causal envelope is stored the quintessence of all the experience the monad has had during its sojourn in the human kingdom. A momentary contact with this enormous storehouse of experience must certainly appear as a contact with a ”higher self”. In this case, however, it is not a contact with a self-conscious, independent, active being. This is a fact that must be stressed.
The Other Four Esoteric Problems
Hylozoic monadology alone affords the solution of the problem of the immortality of the self. This has sometimes been formulated as the immortality of the “soul” or of “spirit”. However, the “soul”, namely the causal envelope, is not immortal, because it is dissolved when the monad leaves the human kingdom definitively and enters the fifth natural kingdom. Nor is “spirit” immortal, for what is meant by that is the 45-envelope of the second self, and it is dissolved, at the very latest, as the monad passes to the seventh natural kingdom or first cosmic kingdom (worlds 36–42). But how does the self, the permanent individuality, survive these dissolutions? If the individual self, self-awareness, self-identity, the perception of one’s own presence, “I am”, has no material basis limiting it against the rest of existence, all other individuals, it must dissolve when its envelope dissolves, and merge with the all, thus be lost as an individual self with a self-identity. And such a “nirvana” is certainly what exoteric pantheism, knowing nothing of the monads, teaches. The “self’s merging with universal soul”, however, would imply the end and nullification of the self’s evolution. Only an indissoluble primordial atom can be a permanent material basis of self-consciousness. Moreover: since the monad is an atom of the highest kind in the cosmos, there is in the cosmos no limit to its potential consciousness expansion; it can embrace the consciousness bound up with all the lower kinds of atoms (2–49), or (which is about the same thing) it can extend its consciousness beyond all the envelopes that it must put off in succession. If we equate the self with any envelope whatsoever, we must also accept that no evolution beyond the capacity of that envelope is possible.
This leads us on to the next problem solved by monadology: god immanent and god transcendent. In esoterics, and also in new age mysticism, it is an axiom that “all is divine in essence” or “all is inherently divine”. Monadology explains this in the simplest manner. All is divine in essence, since all, in all worlds, is matter consisting of atoms and, in the last analysis, of indestructible primordial atoms. Every one of these primordial atoms – monads – possesses consciousness, always to some degree, even if still just potential. Since memory is indestructible, the monads cannot avoid collecting experience and thereby develop their consciousness and ability. Consciousness development of an indestructible self must, as time goes by, reach ever higher stages and finally the very highest one – cosmic omniscience and omnipotence. The monads that have already reached this highest stage collectively make up “god transcendent”. The monads that are still on their way to reach it – all of them, at all stages – collectively make up “god immanent”.
The third problem concerns the worlds of the cosmos (1–49). Esoterics teaches the existence of an invisible existence, as objective on its conditions as the visible reality is objective on its conditions. Esoterics teaches that invisible reality is divided into several different states. In mysticism, sharing a similar view, those states are one-sidedly described as levels of consciousness only, as “spiritual” in contradistinction to visible reality as “material”, whereas hylozoics affords an all-round description, clarifying that this “spiritual” reality has a matter aspect and motion aspect as well as a consciousness aspect.
This problem is about how to explain, on the one hand, the fact that each world has matter, consciousness, motion (series of vibrations, will), space and time perception of its own characteristic kind, which is totally different from those of the other worlds; on the other hand, the fact that all the worlds together make up a continuum, a unity held together, the cosmos. This unity is most clearly manifested in the fact that all the kinds of consciousness belonging to the ever higher worlds embrace and include all the lower kinds.
This problem is solved by explaining that all the worlds of the cosmos are material and of an atomic nature, just like the physical world. Every world is made up of its own atoms, which are different from all the others. Consciousness and motion are always limited in their possibilities and modes of expression by the matter that is the necessary basis of these two aspects. The coarser, more massive the atoms, the more sluggish the motion, the slower the vibrations, and the duller, more mechanical the consciousness. The finer the atoms, the swifter, more intensive the vibrations, and the clearer and more purposive the consciousness developing in the atoms.
Every atom of a certain kind consists of a number of atoms of the next higher kind, each one of these atoms is in its turn made up of a number of atoms of the next higher kind in the series, etc. in the direction of the primordial atoms. This of course implies that each atomic kind contains all the higher kinds or, expressed differently, higher atoms penetrate all the lower atoms and the monads therefore penetrate and build all matter in the cosmos. In consequence, all the atomic kinds have an inner connection with one another. Energies of a higher atomic kind affect all the lower kinds. Atoms of the same atomic kind have the same kind of consciousness, and from the consciousness point of view they form a collective with a common consciousness. This collective also includes the collective consciousnesses of all the lower atomic kinds, since atoms of lower kinds consist of nothing but atoms of higher kinds. On the other hand, lower consciousness cannot apprehend higher, a fact that we can all realize when we ascertain that by sense perceptions (49) such as vision, hearing, touch, etc. we cannot apprehend desires and feelings (48) or thoughts (47), and by desires and feelings we cannot grasp thoughts; whereas by desires and feelings we can apprehend sense perceptions, so that we can, for instance, sort them into agreeable and disagreeable ones, and by thoughts we can grasp (understand, judge) desires and feelings as well as sense perceptions.
The fourth problem concerns the genesis of the cosmos, the original formation of the atomic kinds, etc. Theology solves the problem conveniently by handing it all over to an omnipotent and eternal god. Hylozoics cannot avail itself of that recourse, since it does not admit of the existence of other gods than such monads as have reached the various cosmic divine kingdoms, and particularly the seventh and highest divine kingdom (1–7) after having passed all the preceding, lower stages in the process of manifestation, including involution, evolution, and expansion. Our cosmos has existed for so long that monads have already managed to achieve this and in so doing have made the cosmos a perfect organization. But how was it in the beginning of cosmic existence? Were all those monads then as unconscious as the ones created in primordial matter right now? How could an accumulation of primordial atoms ever form those composite atomic kinds and forms that are expedient for the evolution of consciousness? It would be exceedingly difficult to solve this problem, if there were only one cosmos. There are countless cosmic globes, however, and there have always been. Thus they exist simultaneously and everywhere in the universe, and there are such cosmic globes at all the stages of manifestation from the recently formed to the fully constructed and those in the process of being dismantled. The monads that have reached the highest (seventh) divine kingdom of their cosmos make up collectives that perform the function of supreme guardians of the law, supervisors of evolution, and shapers of matter where that globe is concerned. According as younger monads reach up to the highest kingdom (1–7), the older ones are set free for other tasks. The latter can, if they so desire, leave their cosmos in a collective formation in order to build a new cosmos somewhere in primordial matter with its infinite store of unconscious primordial atoms, in so doing affording countless monads the experience of life. They received this gift of life themselves from other cosmos builders once in an immensely distant past, and now they are carrying the baton. And so it goes on without beginning and without end. The cosmos builders thus do not create the monads – this supreme omnipotence is reserved for eternally unconscious, “blind” dynamis – but they make them enter into a cosmos, compose them to form the 48 lower atomic kinds. Thanks to the cosmos builders, the cosmos receives from the very beginning the highest degree of finality possible with its primordial atoms, still only potentially conscious.
Let us now examine somewhat how the evolution of the human self is explained in some of the esoteric works published in the name of Alice A. Bailey. And let us then begin with an introductory survey of the terminology used. There will be some repetitions, but they are quite intentional and designed to make it easier for the reader to follow the reasoning.
“Man’s Three Aspects” According to Alice A. Bailey
Man’s three aspects are said to be (I have not retained the capitalization of certain words):
1. Spirit, life, energy.
2. Soul, the mediator, or the middle principle.
3. The body, the phenomenal appearance. (WM 23–50)
1. The monad, or pure spirit, the father in heaven
2. The ego, the higher self, or individuality .
3. The personality, or lower self, physical plane man. (LOM, Introduction; CF 608f)
Also, each one of these three aspects (in CF 608 also called “fires”) is threefold, so that nine aspects in all are obtained (CF 608).
In hylozoics, these three “aspects” of man are called the three triads of man:
the third triad (43:4, 44:1, 45:1)
the second triad (45:4, 46:1, 47:1)
the first triad (47:4, 48:1, 49:1)
As you see they are numbered from “below”, from the physical world up, since they are activated from “below” by the monad during its evolution.
In CF there are numerous references to “fire by friction”, “solar fire” and “electric fire”.
fire by friction = the energies of the first triad
solar fire = the energies of the second triad
electric fire = the energies of the third triad. (CF 38)
In CF other terms for the three triad energies are also used. “Fire of matter” (CF 35) is the energies of the first triad, “fire of mind” (CF 221) denotes second triad energies in general (thus not just causal-mental energy, although this is what is generally intended), and the “electric fire of spirit” (CF 1227) is the energies of the third triad.
In WM 525f we find the following terms as well: “spiritual energy” = third triad energy, “sentient energy” = second triad energy, and “pranic energy” = first triad energy. The use of the last term intimates that the etheric envelope is the most important of the envelopes of incarnation from the energy point of view.
What Bailey calls “man’s three aspects” are three triads, three material units, not just consciousness and energy units. Each one of them consists of two atoms and one molecule, a fact that is not generally known to esoteric students. In the theosophical terminology, which Bailey largely adopted without revision, this fact was obscured by using the term “triad” only for the second triad, whereas the first triad was called the quaternary (CF 48) or the “personality” (numerous occurrences, The Rays and the Initiations, 115, for instance), and the third triad “the One” or the “Monad”. The last term is especially remarkable. It must be considered exceedingly inappropriate to call the third triad the “Monad”. Monad, meaning “unity” in Greek, was the term used by Pythagoras for the primordial atom, the self, and must not be used for any composite atom of lower kind, least of all for anything that is not a unity but a compound of three. There is no disputing the fact that monad is an original Pythagorean term. Therefore it should be used in the original Pythagorean sense or not at all.
Nowhere in the vast Bailey literature is there any unambiguous explanation of the fact that the evolution of man within the solar system is effected through three atomic triads. There are allusions and hints in CF, however, and there is in just one place a bare mention of the fact without further explanation. Since this important information is scattered here and there in CF and put in between less important data, probably only those readers who have a previous knowledge of Pythagorean hylozoics will perceive it. In all likelihood, the majority of readers have passed it by without noticing it.
Thus the “higher triad” mentioned in CF 884 is obviously the third triad (which Bailey usually calls the “Monad”), and the same is true of the “Upper Triad” referred to in CF 1101 (point 5.), because it is clear from the context that the second triad (Bailey’s “spiritual triad”) is not meant in these two places. The first triad (which Bailey generally terms the “quaternary”) is actually called the “lower triad” in CF 1000.
And most important, there is indeed a mention of “three permanent atomic triads” in CF 940.
The “Soul” in Alice A. Bailey: Introduction
“Soul” is a word used in everyday speech as well as in theology, mysticism, and esoterics to denote consciousness in general but also consciousness of some specific kind. Everybody has his own idea of what is meant by “soul”. If such an over-used term is to be utilized as an esoteric term, it must be given an unambiguous sense that is clearly stated; or, if used in many senses, it must be defined in each particular case where it occurs. If not, the vast majority of readers simply will not understand what is intended, will misunderstand it and be confused. The result will not be clear insight but fictionalism.
In the extensive Bailey literature, “soul” is a term frequently used. Regrettably, it is a term used in many different senses without clear indications that this is the case. The results are obscurity, vagueness, and sometimes obvious contradictions. These undesirable results could have been prevented with a more reflective and expedient choice of terms. A few examples, all of them taken from WM, will suffice to show these incongruities.
It is said on the one hand that the soul is omniscient (“as the omniscience of the soul is tapped…”, WM 291), but on the other hand that it “may lack knowledge in the three worlds [the worlds of man, 47–49] and in this way be deficient” (WM 180).
It is moreover said that the soul is omnipotent (WM 153, 231), but nevertheless that “the soul is organising itself for effort, re-orienting its forces, and preparing for a fresh and powerful impulse,” (WM 89).
It is said that “only the soul has a direct and clear understanding of the creative purpose and of the plan,” “only the soul, whose nature is intelligent love can be trusted with the knowledge, the symbols and the formulas which are necessary to the correct conditioning of the magical work,” “only the soul has power to work in all three worlds at once, and yet remain detached, and therefore karmically free from the results of such work,” etc. (WM 126). At the same time, however, “it is at first almost impossible for the onlooking soul to dissociate its own astral mechanism from the astral mechanism of humanity as a whole, and from the astral mechanism of the world.” (WM 222)
From the quotations cited in the last paragraph it is clear that “soul” sometimes denotes an entirely superhuman consciousness level (with freedom from karma, etc.) and sometimes quite normal and everyday human consciousness. The fact that “soul” thus has reference to two quite different levels of consciousness, belonging to two different natural kingdoms (the human kingdom, 47:4 – 49:7, and the fifth natural kingdom, 45 – 47:3) is commented upon in one place: “It must be remembered that none of these names and these activities refer to the soul on its own plane but only to human souls in incarnation on the physical plane. This must be stressed, for on its [sic! – substitute their for its] own plane the souls of all men stand free from illusion, and neither can be destroyed, deluded nor manipulated. It is only ‘the souls in prison’ who are subject to the activities of the forces of evil and only for a term.” (WM 241)
It is evident, therefore, that the term “soul” is used in the Bailey literature in several widely different meanings. But which are they? And even if we could state them in a general sense, out of context, how can we know what is meant by “soul” in context, in each individual place throughout the Bailey books? As will be demonstrated below, this is no trifling problem but one that is essential to the clear understanding of the whole teaching given through this literature. It is nevertheless a problem that can be solved with hylozoic knowledge and method.
If you cast a glance again at the tables in the beginning of the chapter “Man’s Three Aspects According to Alice A. Bailey”, you will see that “soul” is a term for the “second aspect”, that is: the second triad. Thus we can make a distinction between
(1) “soul” in the sense of consciousness in general and of any kind, and
(2) “soul” in the sense of consciousness at the level of the second triad (45–47).
The first sense of soul is not common in the Bailey literature. The second sense, consciousness on the second triad level, is far more common.
In the following, we shall examine the Bailey use of “soul”, in the first sense to begin with, and then in the second sense.
“Soul” in the Sense of Consciousness in General and of Any Kind
Hylozoics teaches that “The thing most essential for understanding the consciousness aspect of existence is to know that there is only one consciousness in the cosmos, the cosmic total consciousness, of which every monad has an inalienable part. This consciousness is an amalgamation of the consciousness of all monads in the cosmos.” KofR 2.4.1
Therefore, it is important to realize that different kinds of collective consciousness are meant in the following statements:
“It should be borne in mind that the soul of matter, the anima mundi, is the sentient factor in substance itself. It is the responsiveness of matter throughout the universe and that innate faculty in all forms, from the atom of the physicist, to the solar system of the astronomer, which produces the undeniable intelligent activity which all demonstrate. It can be called attractive energy, coherency, sentiency, aliveness, awareness or consciousness, but perhaps the most illuminating term is the quality which every form manifests.” (WM 33; italics by L.A.)
“This soul manifests differently in the various kingdoms of nature, but its function is ever the same,” (WM 35)
“Students must not get confused by the complexity of the subject. They must learn certain large generalisations, and remember that as the omniscience of the soul is tapped, the more detailed knowledge will gradually fall into place.” (WM 291)
In the quotation last cited, “soul” means the same as the “universal soul” or anima mundi, that is, the planetary collective consciousness in atomic worlds (not molecular worlds) 46–49. There is an explicit reference to the “universal soul” in WM 47.
Hylozoics teaches us that “The collective consciousness is the primary and common one; the individual self-consciousness the individual must acquire by himself throughout ever higher natural kingdoms, this being possible because of his very participation in the collective consciousness.” (KofR 2.4.2)