The Seventh Aphorism
VII. “The Soul of Man is Sevenfold, yet but One in essence; Man’s Spiritual Unfoldment has as its end the Discovery of Himself beneath the Sevenfold Veil.”
In this Seventh Aphorism of Creation, the Rosicrucian is directed to apply his attention to the concept of the Sevenfold Soul—One in essence—of Man; which in the figurative language of the mystic constitutes the seven veils which conceal from (yet reveal to) Man his real Self. This concept is represented by the Rosicrucians by means of the symbol of the figure of a man surrounded by seven outlined shapes—the man, himself in his essence, is represented by the blank space disclosed by the inmost outline, and each one of the “concealing but revealing veils” is represented by an outlined figure, each being but one of the series of seven. The series of outlines, be it noted, is enclosed in the circle representing the Infinite Unmanifest.
The Symbol is interpreted as follows: (1) The Infinite Unmanifest manifests itself in the Elemental Soul; (2) the Elemental Soul takes upon itself the outward form of Mineral Substance; (3) The Mineral Soul evolves from itself the Plant Soul; (4) the Plant Soul evolves from itself the Animal Soul; (5) the Animal Soul evolves from itself the Human Soul; (6) the Human Soul unfolds into the Soul of the Demi-Gods; (7) the Soul of the Demi-Gods unfolds into the Soul of the Gods; and finally, the Soul of the Gods once more is resolved into Pure Spirit, which is represented by the blank space at the centre of the symbol. This statement will be more clearly apprehended by those who have carefully studied the preceding chapters conveying instruction concerning the Seven Planes of Consciousness, and much of the information contained in those chapters is to be taken into consideration in the study of the present chapter.
It will be noted that while these Seven Veils serve to conceal the Real Self—in the sense of imposing limitations and shape to it, yet at the same time it reveals the presence of Spirit by means of its outlines. The ancient teachers were wont to illustrate this concealing-revealment by means of a bit of thin gauzy drapery suspended across the space of an open door or open window into which the breeze is blowing. The drapery covers (and thus conceals) the moving wind, yet at the same time it shows a form representing the movement and presence of the wind, and thus reveals the latter. Another favorite illustration was that of an invisible hand, of itself impossible of being perceived, but upon which was placed seven gloves, one over the other. The gloves were filled, and the presence of the hand revealed; but each glove, in turn, is mistaken for the hand itself. The hand is able to feel but faintly, and to act clumsily when the gloves are all on it, but as each glove is taken off it feels more sensitively, and performs more delicate actions; but without at least one of the gloves it is not apparent at all, even to the eyes of its owner.
Let us now briefly consider each of these Veils with which Spirit is concealed, and yet revealed.
I. The Elemental Soul
There is only one REAL Soul, of course; and when the Rosicrucians speak of “The Elemental Soul” they mean simply the Soul clad in the garments of elemental substance—covered with the veil of elemental substance, which while concealing its real nature yet serves to reveal it in manifestation.
Following the terms of the symbol, it may be said that the Infinite Unmanifest involves itself first in the garment of Elemental Substance, or wraps itself in the veil thereof. Elemental Substance, in the sense in which the term is used by the Rosicrucians in this connection, is a very subtle, tenuous form of substance—a form of substance which may be regarded as the “ancestor” of the most subtle form of matter known to science today. It lies far back of the plane of the electrons, ions, or corpuscles of which matter (as commonly known) is composed.
The Elemental Soul, clad in the garments of Elemental Matter is the pattern upon which the ordinary physical body is built. It is the “ghost” of the physical body, and persists after the disintegration of the latter. The intelligence or consciousness manifesting in this garment of substance is quite simple and elementary, and performs merely the office of providing and sustaining a pattern or form upon which the ordinary physical body is built.
This Elemental Soul, embodied in elemental substance as stated, is that Something which to the race has been known as the “ghost,” “spirit” (in this case the term “spirit” is grossly misused and inappropriate), ethereal body, “fluidic body,” “double,” “wraith,” “doppelganger,” etc. It has sometimes been called “the astral body,” but this is a mistake, for what the occultists have long known as the true “astral body” is something very different.
This Elementary Soul survives the dissolution of the physical body of the individual to which it belonged, and under certain conditions and circumstances it may become visible to living persons as the “ghost” of the deceased person. When the Elementary Soul has been “sloughed off” by the higher vehicles of the Soul (after the physical “death”), and has also been released by the partial or complete disintegration of the physical body, it is really but
a “shell” having for form and shape of the latter, and is almost lifeless, although held together by the cohesive forces of the fast-dying vibrations. In such cases it possesses neither intelligence nor consciousness beyond that concerned in holding its substance together and to all intents and purposes can be regarded as nothing more than a mass of cloudy vapor assuming the form of a human being, and destined to become speedily disintegrated on its own plane.
II. The Mineral Soul
By the term “The Mineral Soul,” the Rosicrucians seek to indicate the Soul embodied in the Mineral or Chemical Substance of which the Physical Body is composed. The concept sought to be expressed is the physical body of man considered merely in its aspect of mineral or chemical substance and their atoms—rather than in its aspect of protoplasmic, living substance (using the term “living” in its popular, rather than in its esoteric sense).
The term “Mineral” of course means “inorganic substances having a definite chemical composition; neither animal nor vegetable substances.” We need scarcely to call the attention of the student to the fact that the substance of which the physical body is composed is, itself, composed of certain chemical or mineral substances, such as oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus, iron, and other chemical elements. Cremate a body and the greater part of it will disappear as the vapor of water (composed of oxygen and hydrogen), and other gases; the remainder being composed of other chemical or mineral elements. The physical body is built up of mineral and chemical elements transformed by the action of plant chemistry into protoplasm, and then absorbed by man as food in the form of vegetables or animal meat. The basis of all organic matter is chemical or mineral substance. Protoplasm, the basis of organic substance, vegetable or animal, was evolved from carbon—that same element which manifests as coal, diamond, graphite, etc. The physical basis of the bodies of animals and plants is solely mineral or chemical, and all such bodies are built up from the chemical material originally furnished by earth, air, and water.
The intelligence and consciousness manifested in and by the Mineral Soul is confined to that required for the purely chemical processes of the body, and the coordination and regulation of the chemical and mineral particles of which the body is composed. There are important chemical processes under way in the life of the physical body—many of them quite complicated, so complicated in fact that they cannot be reproduced or duplicated in the laboratory of man’s making and operation. These important processes are under the control and direction of the Mineral Soul—of Soul embodied in the chemical and mineral substance of which the body is composed. These processes are not merely mechanical—they are the product of intelligence and consciousness, and are impossible without the presence of these mental forces.
When the physical body is discarded by the soul at “death,” it proceeds to disintegrate; first the organic substances of which it is composed, i.e., the vegetable and animal organic material, become resolved into their mineral and chemical elements, and then these, in turn, become resolved into their more simple forms and conditions, and are used in supplying
material for the bodies of other forms of living creatures.
III. The Plant Soul
By the term “The Plant Soul,” the Rosicrucians seek to indicate the Soul embodied in the Vegetable Cellular Substance of which a very large proportion of the human physical body is composed. Apart from advanced scientists and advanced occultists, few realize how great proportion of the processes of the human and animal body is really vegetable in nature. The growth of bodily tissue, of parts and organs, is distinctively vegetable in character.
Recent discoveries in the biological laboratories and in the realms of surgery have shown us that not only portions of skin and bone may be “grafted” from one body to another, and made to grow as well in the new body as in the old; not only that portions of organs may be “transplanted” in a similar way and made to grow and perform their offices; but also that portions of the human body, and organs thereof, may be removed from the original body, and made to grow and perform their offices independent of the bodily general organism. And these processes are not merely chemical—they manifest all the characteristics of purely vegetable processes.
The chief distinction between the intelligence and consciousness of Plants and Animals is that the former manifest almost entirely along the lines of instinctive or unconscious mentation, while the latter manifest in a steadily increasing degree purpositive and deliberate conscious activity. In the processes of the human body we find a large proportion of those performed clearly along the lines of the instinctive, unconscious vegetable kingdom. These processes come under the control and direction of the Plant Soul. They are performed on the Plane of Plant Consciousness just as truly as are the processes of the ordinary types of plant life. Some of these processes are very complex—but so are the processes involved in the life of the ordinary plant.
The distinction between the plane of the Plant Soul and that of the Animal Soul will become more apparent and clear as we proceed to consider the phenomena of the latter.
IV. The Animal Soul
By the term “The Animal Soul,” the Rosicrucians seek to indicate the Soul embodied in the Animal Organic Substance, both in the lower animals and in man. The Animal Soul is the animating spirit, or vital spirit, manifesting in the many activities of animal life, high and low. Its intelligence and consciousness are very high in comparison to those of the Vegetable Soul, but is limited to the requirements and needs of the purely animal life. In its lower manifestations it is but little if any higher than that of the higher manifestations of the Plant Life, and in its highest manifestations it is but little if any lower than that of the lowest manifestations of the Human Soul. In fact, as we have repeatedly said in this book, the various Planes of Consciousness (and hence the powers and limits of the several Souls) blend into those on each side of them, and with which they are linked.
The Animal Soul is the seat of the purely animal desires, and in the work of developing and satisfying the same it has built up out of the substance of which it is composed, and which it has absorbed from the substances of the vegetable and mineral plane beneath it, certain complex organs and groups of organs. Its intelligence and consciousness are concerned simply with the physical well-being of their owner, the man, just as in the animal they are concerned with the physical well-being of the animal owner. Moreover, certain of the purely vegetable processes, such as nutrition, reproduction, etc., are in part taken over by the Animal Soul and additional power and complexity bestowed upon them. The desires of man which we usually refer to as “purely physical” belong to the Animal Soul. The chief desires of the Animal Soul are concerned with the offices of nutrition and reproduction, and manifest respectively as Self Preservation and Sex Desire (on the physical plane, of course), and as Love of Offspring.
In its higher phases the Animal Soul develops and manifests certain higher qualities, such as the desire for Comradeship, Companionship, Mutual Sympathy, Affection, etc., which closely resembles similar feelings and emotions in the lower animals—this because the two Planes of Consciousness are linked together and are blended one with the other. The Animal Soul, however, never has the consciousness of “I Am”—at the most it may be conscious as “Am,” but the “I” consciousness is never present in its true form.
V. The Human Soul
The Human Soul is distinguished from the Animal Soul not only by its special aptitude for intellectual reasoning, and voluntary choice and action, but also by its consciousness of itself—of the “I am I.” This distinction has been fully explained in previous chapters of this book, and need not be gone into in further detail at this place. The following paragraph, however, quoted from a writer, may prove of interest in the consideration of this phase of the general subject before us. The writer says:
“Among the lower animals there is very little of what may be called Self Consciousness. In fact, the consciousness of the lowest forms of animal life is little more than mere sensation. Life in the early stages of animal life is almost automatic. The mentation there is almost entirely along subconscious lines, and the mental operations are only those which are concerned with the physical life of the animal—the satisfaction of its primitive wants. After a bit, this primitive consciousness developed into what psychologists call ‘simple consciousness,’ which is an awareness’ of outside things, and an apprehension of them as things.’ But there is no self-consciousness manifested at this point. The animal does not think of its hopes and fears, its aspirations, its plans, its thoughts, and then compare them with like thoughts of others of its kind. It cannot indulge in abstract thinking, or use symbols of thought. It simply takes things for granted and asks no questions. It does not seek to find answers to perplexing general questions, for it does not know that such questions exist. With the advent of Self-Consciousness, man begins to form a conception of the ‘I’. He begins to compare himself with others, and to reason about the result thereof. He takes mental stock of himself, and draws conclusions from what he finds in his mind. He begins to think for himself, to analyze, to classify, to separate, to deduce, to form judgments. He begins to create for himself, and is no longer a mere mental automaton.”
Another writer has said concerning the evolution of the consciousness of man: “For some hundreds of years, upon the general plane of self-consciousness, an ascent, to the human eye gradually, but from the point of view of cosmic evolution rapid, has been made. In a race, large-brained, walking erect, gregarious, brutal, but king of all other brutes, man in appearance but not in fact, was from the highest simple consciousness born the basic human faculty, Self Consciousness, and its twin, Language. From these and what went with these, through suffering, toil, and war; through bestiality, savagery, barbarism; through slavery, greed, effort; through conquest infinite, through defeats overwhelming, through struggle unending; through ages of aimless semi-brutal existence; through subsistence on berries and roots; through the use of the casually found stone or stick; through life in deep forests, with nuts and seeds, and on the shores of waters, with mollusks, crustaceans, and fish for food; through that greatest, perhaps, of human victories, the domestication and subjugation of fire; through the invention and art of bow and arrow; through the taming of animals and the breaking of them to labor; through the long learning which led to the cultivation of the soil; through the abode brick and the building of houses therefrom; through the smelting of metals and the slow birth of the arts which rest upon these; through the slow making of alphabets and the evolution of the written word; in short, through thousands of centuries of human life, of human aspiration, of human growth, sprang the world of men and women as it stands before us and within us today with all its achievements and possessions.”
A writer on the subject of the evolution of the soul has well given the following words of warning: “The awakening of the intellect in man does not necessarily make him a better being. While it is true that the unfolding of a higher faculty gives an upward tendency to man, it is also true that some men are so closely wrapped in the folds of the animal sheath—so steeped in the material side of things—that the awakened intellect only tends to give them increased powers to gratify their low desires and inclinations. Man, if he chooses, may excel the beasts in bestiality—he may descend to depths of which the beast never would have thought. The beast is governed solely by instinct, and his actions, so prompted, are perfectly natural and proper, and the animal is not to be blamed for following the impulses of his nature. But man, in whom intellect has unfolded, knows that it is contrary to his highest nature to descend to the level of the beasts—yea, lower by far. He adds to the brute desires the cunning and intelligence which have come to him, and deliberately prostitutes his higher principle to the task of carrying out the magnified animal propensities. Very few animals abuse their desires—it is left for some men to do so. The higher the degree of intellect unfolded in a man, the greater the depths of low passions, appetites, and desires possible to him. He may actually create new brute desires, or rather, build edifices of his own upon the brute foundations. It is unnecessary for us to state that all occultists know that such a course will bring certain consequences in its train, which will result in the soul having to spend many weary years in retracing its steps over the backward road it has trodden. Its progress has been retarded, and it will be compelled to retravel the road to freedom, in common with the beast like natures of undeveloped creatures whose proper state of the journey it is, having an additional burden in the shape of the horror of a consciousness of its surroundings, whereas its beast-companions have no such consciousness and suffer not therefrom. If you can imagine the feeling of a cultured, civilized man being compelled to dwell among the African Bushmen for many years, with a full recollection of his past living in civilization, you may form a faint idea of the fate in store for one who deliberately sinks his higher powers to the accomplishment of low ends and desires. But even for such a soul there is escape—in time.”
The Human Soul occupies a place of great trials and struggles between two conflicting forces. On the one hand is the force of the lower animal nature, striving to pull it downward into the plane of the Animal Soul and urging him to employ his newly awakened intellectual powers on the lower plane. On the other hand is the awakening forces of the higher spiritual nature, striving to draw him upward into a consciousness of his relationship to the All, and urging him to open his intellect to the inflow of the higher vibrations of spiritual consciousness and to turn his faculties to the carrying out of the dictates of the higher portion of himself.
VI. The Soul of the Demi-Gods
As has been said in the preceding chapters of this book, the Soul of the Demi-Gods has as its distinctive and characteristic consciousness the conscious realization of its relationship to the All—to the Universal Life. Its mental and spiritual horizon has expanded until, in its higher stages, it takes in All Life and feels itself identified therewith. All that has come to man of humanity, justice, kindness, sympathy, nobility and Human Brotherhood has come to him filtered through from this higher region of himself. Man feels sympathy for others because of his dawning sense of his relationship to, or Oneness with all the rest. With the coming of the flashes of the Cosmic Consciousness, all narrow feelings of distinction and caste fade away, and he feels the urge of Unity. Not only does he enjoy the thrill of Universal Life, but he also may suffer the World-Pain, at least until a fuller understanding of the latter comes to him.
A writer has well said of this stage of consciousness: “As man unfolds spiritually, he feels his relationship with all mankind, and he begins to love his fellow-man more and more. It hurts him to see others suffering, and when it hurts him enough he tries to do something to remedy it. As time goes on and man develops, the terrible suffering which many human beings undergo today will be impossible, for the reason that the unfolding spiritual consciousness of the race will make the pain be felt so severely by all that the race will not be able to stand it any longer, and it will rebel and insist that matters be remedied. From the inner recesses of the soul comes a protest against the following of the lower animal nature, and, although we may put it aside for a time, it will become more and more persistent, until finally we will be forced to heed it. The struggle between the higher and lower natures has been noticed by all careful observers of the human soul, and many theories have been advanced to account for it. In former times it was taught that man was being tempted by the devil on the one hand, and helped by a guardian angel on the other hand. But, as all occultists know, the struggle is between the two elements of man’s nature, not exactly warring, but each following its own line of effort, and the Ego is torn and bruised in its efforts to adjust itself. The Ego is in a transition stage of consciousness, and the struggle is quite painful at times, but the growing soul in time rises above the attraction of the lower nature, and its dawning spiritual consciousness enables to understand his real nature and his real place in the universe.”
The same writer has said: “The higher planes of the soul are also the source of the ‘inspiration’ which certain poets, painters, sculptors, writers, preachers, orators, and others have received in all times and in all lands. This is the source from which the seer obtains his vision—the prophet his insight and foresight. Many have concentrated themselves upon high ideals in their work, and have received rare knowledge from this source, attributing it to beings of another world—but the inspiration came from within: it was the voice of the Higher Self speaking to the Ego.”
The writer aforesaid, informs us as follows concerning the experiences of Inspiration and Illumination coming to the Ego from the regions of this Higher Self: “These experiences, of course, vary materially according to the degree of unfoldment of the individual, his previous training, his temperament, etc., but there are certain characteristics common to all. The common features are as follows: (1) A conviction of a sense of actual being—of immortality; this apart from faith or religious conviction, and coming seemingly from a deeper source than these—it has been described as ‘the faith that knows.’ (2) A total slipping away of all fear and the acquirement of a feeling of trust, certainty, and confidence, which is beyond the comprehension of those who have never experienced it. (3) A feeling of universal Love which sweeps over one—a Love which includes all Life, from those near to one in the flesh to those at the furthest parts of the universe; from those whom we hold as pure and holy, to those whom we have regarded as vile, wicked, and utterly unworthy. All feelings of self-righteousness and condemnation seem to slip away, and one’s love, like the light of the sun, falls upon all alike, irrespective of their degree of development or ‘goodness.’ (4) A feeling of the utmost bliss and joy, the memory of which abides long after the actual experience. (5) A feeling of exalted knowledge and wisdom, in which all doubt disappears and a sense of understanding the deeper meaning of all things takes its place, for the time of the experience at least. To some these experiences have come as a deep reverent mood or feeling, which took possession of them for a time, while others have seemed to be in a dream and have become conscious of a spiritual uplifting accompanied by a sensation of being surrounded by a brilliant and all-pervading light or glow. To some, certain truths have become manifest in the form of symbols, the full meaning of which in some cases have not become apparent until long after the actual experience.
“These experiences, when they have come to one, have left him in a new state of mind, and he has never been the same man afterward. Although the keenness of the recollection has worn off, there remains a certain memory which long afterward proves a source of comfort and strength to him, especially when he feels faint of faith and is shaken like a reed by the winds of conflicting opinions and speculations. The memory of such an experience is a source of renewed strength—a haven of refuge to which the weary soul flies for shelter from the outside world which understands it not. From the writings of the ancient philosophers of all races, from the songs of the great poets of all peoples, from the preachings of the prophets of all religions and times we can gather traces of this illumination which has come to them—this unfoldment of spiritual consciousness. One tells the story in one way, the other in other terms, but all tell practically the same essential story. All who have recognized this illumination, even in a faint degree, recognize the like experience in the tale, song, or preaching of another, though centuries may roll between them. It is the song of the Soul, which when once heard is never forgotten. Though it be sounded by the crude instruments of the semi-barbarous races, or the finished instruments of the talented musician of today, its strains are plainly recognized. From Old Egypt comes the song—from India of all ages—from Ancient Greece and Rome—from the early Christian saint—from the Quaker Friend—from the Catholic monasteries—from the Mohammedan Mosque—from the Chinese Philosopher—from the legends of the American Indian hero-prophet—it is always the same strain, and it is swelling louder and louder, as many more are taking it up and adding their voices or the sounds of their instruments to the grand chorus.”
The student must remember that in the experiences noted above, the individual simply has flashes, or period of dawning consciousness on this Sixth Plane of Consciousness, and is not to be regarded as having entered fully and completely into its manifestations, much less as having evolved into a state in which he functions normally and habitually on this high plane. There are beings—once men—who have evolved into the higher state in which they function normally and habitually on this plane of conscious being; but these individuals are no more than mere men, and have earned the right to be called “Demi-Gods.” But, even as they once were men, so all men become as they now are by the unfoldment of this higher region of Self. These flashes of consciousness from this high plane are prophetic signs and messages indicating the awakening of the higher faculties, and giving assurance of further growth and unfoldment.
In concluding our consideration of this high plane, let us glance at the following words from the pen of Sir Oliver Lodge, the great English scientist, who has given the world startling corroboration of some important ancient truths known to the occultists and esoteric teachers; he says: “Let us imagine, then, as a working hypothesis, that our subliminal self—the other and greater part of us—is in touch with another order of existence, and that it is occasionally able to communicate, or somehow, perhaps unconsciously, transmit to the fragment in the body something of the information accessible to it. We should then be like icebergs floating in an ocean, with only a fraction exposed to the sun and air and observation; the rest, by far the greater bulk, eleven-twelfths—submerged in a connecting medium, submerged and occasionally in subliminal or sub-aqueous contact with others, while still the peaks, the visible bergs, are far separate. Such an iceberg, glorying in its crisp solidity and sparkling pinnacles, might resent attention paid to its submerged subliminal supporting region, or to the saline liquid out of which it arose, and to which in due course it will some day return. ‘We feel that we are greater than we know.’ Or, reversing the metaphor, we might liken our present state to that of the hulls of ships submerged in a dim ocean among strange beasts, propelled in a blind manner through space; proud, perhaps, of accumulating many barnacles of decoration: only recognizing our destination by bumping against the dock wall; and with no cognizance of the deck, and the cabins, and spars, and sails, no thought of the sextant and the compass and the captain, no perception of the lookout on the mast, of the distant horizon, no vision of objects far ahead, dangers to be avoided, destinations to be reached, other ships to be spoken with by means other than by bodily contact—a region of sunshine and cloud, of space, of perception, and of intelligence, utterly inaccessible to those parts below the water line.”
VII. The Soul of the Gods
It must be apparent to every careful student that it is practically impossible to speak in ordinary terms of the expression and manifestation of the Self which is known to the Rosicrucians as “The Soul of the Gods.” It is sufficient for the purpose to merely indicate its existence as a phase of the Ego—existing in a latent state in most individuals, but affording occasional flashes of its presence to a few, and destined to become the normal plane of conscious functioning to the whole race in the course of spiritual evolution. Moreover, on certain planes of life and being, even today, there exist beings to whom this phase of consciousness is habitual and normal, even as is the plane of human consciousness normal and habitual to the majority of our race today.
To such beings, separated from the Infinite Unmanifest—the Eternal Parent—but by the most tenuous and subtle substance serving as the veil, the whole process of the Universe must appear merely as a great moving picture show of shadow forms, magnificent phantasmagoria having apparent substance and form but having no actual reality when viewed from the aspect of the Eternal. Such beings are, indeed, Gods as compared with the rest of living creatures. Close up to the very heart of the Eternal, these exalted beings are conscious of the very heartthrobs of the Eternal Parent.
As almost incredible as it may seem, however, there are among us on earth today certain advanced souls in whom this consciousness has already begun to manifest itself; and their number is growing. Such souls have experienced an actual conscious realization of the truth that the One is All, and that other than the One there is nothing—the entire array of the Cosmic Phantasmagoria being perceived as Illusion, Mirage, Maya, Glamour, Unreality. Into such, the Soul of the Gods is beginning to manifest itself.
No more can be said here on this particular subject.
The student must not fall into the error of supposing that man really has seven separate and distinct souls, either tied together like a bundle of twigs, or else worn as one would wear seven overcoats, one over the other. The symbol is only figurative, and must not be construed literally. There are not seven selves in man—but only One Self concealed by seven veils, each of which while serving to conceal the real nature of the Self yet serves to disclose the presence and power thereof to some degree. It is as if seven planes of variously colored glass, ranging from the darkest to the almost-transparent and colorless, were to be placed before a brilliant light. The darker glass would almost entirely obscure the Light, though yet revealing its presence in some of its rays; the next lighter would reveal more, and obscure less; and so on to the last in which the obscuration was but slight, and the revelation almost perfect. All illustrations of this ineffable fact of the Eternal are, by the very nature of things, imperfect, faulty, and misleading if taken too literally.
The lesson to the student is that in every man there lie concealed the potentiality of Godhood, and stages less than Godhood though above that of ordinary Manhood; and that in every man also abide the lower phases of manifested existence, even the very lowest of all. The wise man uses the lower, but does not allow the lower to use him; he maintains a positive, masterful mental attitude toward the lower planes of being, while opening himself receptively to the influences of the higher planes of his Self.
In conclusion, you are asked to once more consider the Seventh Aphorism: “The Soul of Man is Sevenfold, yet but One in essence: Man’s spiritual Unfoldment has as its end the Discovery of Himself beneath the Seven-fold Veil.”