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Annie Besant

(1847 -1933)

 

 

 

The Seven Principles of Man

By

Annie Besant

 

 

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Principle IV

The Desire Body

 

In building up our man we have now reached the principle sometimes described as the animal soul, in Theosophical parlance Kâma Rűpa, or the desire-body. It belongs to in constitution, and functions on, the second or astral plane. It includes the whole body of appetites, passions, emotions, and desires which come under the head of instincts, sensations, feelings and emotions, in our Western psychological classification, and are dealt with as a subdivision of mind.

 

In Western psychology mind is divided – by the modern school – into three main groups, feelings, will, intellect. Feelings are again divided into sensations and emotions , and these are divided and subdivided under numerous heads. Kâma, or desire, includes the whole group of "feelings," and might be described as our passional and emotional nature.

 

All animal needs, such as hunger, thirst, sexual desire, come under it; all passions, such as love (in its lower sense), hatred, envy, jealousy. It is the desire for sentient experience, for experience of material joys – "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life".

 

This principle is the most material in our nature, it is the one that binds us fast to earthly life. "It is not molecularly constituted matter, least of all the human body, Sthula Sharira, that is the grossest of all our ‘principles’ but verily the middle principle, the real animal centre ; whereas our body is but its shell, the irresponsible factor and medium through which the beast in us acts all its life" ( Secret Doctrine, vol. I, p. 280-81).

 

United to the lower part of Manas, the mind, as Kâma-Manas, it becomes the normal human brain-intelligence, and that aspect of it will be dealt with presently. Considered by itself, it remains the brute in us, the "ape and tiger" of Tennyson, the force which most avails to keep us bound to earth and to stifle in us all higher longings by the illusions of sense.

 

Kâma joined to Prâna is, as we have seen, the "breath of life," the vital sentient principle spread over every particle of the body. It is, therefore, the seat of sensation, that which enables the organs of sensation to function. We have already noted that the physical organs of sense, the bodily instruments that come into immediate contact with the external world, are related to the organs of sensation in the etheric double (ante p. 14).

 

But these organs would be incapable of functioning did not Prâna make them vibrant with activity, and their vibrations would remain vibrations only, motion on the material plane of the physical body, did not Kâma, the principle of sensation translate the vibration into feeling. Feeling indeed, is consciousness on the kâmic plane, and when a man is under the domination of a sensation or a passion, the Theosophist speaks of him as on the kâmic plane, meaning thereby that his consciousness is functioning on that plane.

 

For instance, a tree may reflect rays of light, that is ethereal vibrations, and these vibrations striking on the outer eye will set up vibrations in the physical nerve-cells ; these will be propagated as vibrations to the physical and on to the astral centres, but there is no sight of the tree until the seat of the sensation is reached, and Kâma enables us to perceive.

 

Matter of the astral plane – including that called elemental essence – is the material of which the desire-body is composed, and it is the peculiar properties of this matter which enable it to serve as the sheath in which the Self can gain experience of sensation. (The constitution of the elemental essence would lead us too far from an elementary treatise).

 

The desire – body, or astral body, as it is often called, has the form of a mere cloudy mass during the earlier stages of evolution, and is incapable of serving as an independent vehicle of consciousness. During deep sleep it escapes from the physical body, but remains near it, and the mind within it is almost as much asleep as the body. It is, however, liable to be affected by forces of the astral plane akin to its own constitution, and gives rise to dreams of a sensuous kind.

 

In a man of average intellectual development the desire-body has become more highly organised, and when separated from the physical body is seen to resemble it is outline and features ; even then, however, it is not conscious of its surroundings on the astral plane, but encloses the mind as a shell, within which the mind may actively function, while not yet able to use it as an independent vehicle of consciousness.

 

Only in the highly evolved man does the desire-body become thoroughly organised and vitalised, as much the vehicle of consciousness on the astral plane as the physical body is on the physical plane.

 

After death, the higher part of man dwells for awhile in the desire-body, the length of its stay depending on the comparative grossness or delicacy of its constituents. When the man escapes from it, it persists for a time as a "shell" and when the departed entity is of a low type, and during earth life infused such mentality as it possessed into the passional nature, some of this remains entangled with the shell.

 

It then possesses consciousness of a very low order, has brute cunning, is without conscience – an altogether objectionable entity, often spoken of as a "spook." It strays about, attracted to all places in which animal desires are encouraged and satisfied, and is drawn into the currents of those whose animal passions are strong and unbridled.

 

Mediums of low type inevitably attract these eminently undesirable visitors, whose fading vitality is reinforced in their séance rooms, who catch astral reflections, and play the part of "disembodied spirits" of a low order. Nor is this all; if at such a séance there be present some man or woman of correspondingly low development, the spook will be attracted to that person, and may attach itself to him or to her, and thus may be set up currents between the desire-body of the living person and the dying desire-body of the dead person, generating results of the most deplorable kind.

 

The longer or shorter persistence of the desire-body as a shell or a spook depends on the greater or less development of the animal and passional nature in the dying personality. If during earth-life the animal nature was indulged and allowed to run riot, if the intellectual and spiritual parts of man were neglected or stifled, then, as the life-currents were set strongly in the direction of passion, the desire-body will persist for a long period after the body of the person is dead.

 

Or again, if earth-life has been suddenly cut short by accident or by suicide, the link between Kâma and Prâna will not be easily broken, and the desire-body will be strongly vivified. If, on the other hand, desire has been conquered and bridled during earth-life, if it has been purified and trained into subservience to man’s higher nature, then there is but little to energise the desire-body and it will quickly disintegrate and dissolve away.

 

There remains one other fate, terrible in its possibilities, which may befall the fourth principle, but it cannot be clearly understood until the fifth principle has been dealt with.

 

 

 

 

 

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Annie Besant with Mahatma Gandhi

 

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Quotes from the Writings of

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Blavatsky Quotation

 

That which is to be shunned is pain not yet come. The past cannot be changed or amended; that which belongs to the experience of the present cannot and should  not be shunned; but alike to be shunned are disturbing anticipations or fears of  the future, and every act or impulse that may cause present or future pain to ourselves or others.

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Blavatsky Quotation

 

Perfection, to be fully such, must be born out of imperfection, the incorruptible must grow out of the corruptible, having the latter as its vehicle and basis and contrast

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 2, Page 100

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

It is only by the attractive force of the contrasts that the two opposites — Spirit and Matter — can be cemented together on Earth, and, smelted in the fire of self-conscious experience and suffering, find themselves wedded in Eternity.

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 2, Page 108

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Strength to step forward is the primary need of him who has chosen his path. Where is this to be found? Looking round, it is not hard to see where other men find their strength. Its source is profound conviction.

Practical Occultism, Page 67

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

It is the motive, and the motive alone, which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic. It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness remaining in the operator .... The powers and forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and revengeful, as by the unselfish and the all-forgiving; the powers and forces of spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart — and this is Divine Magic.

Practical Occultism, Page 7

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Finite reason agrees with science, and says: “There is no God”. But, on the other hand, our Ego, that which lives and thinks and feels independently of us in our mortal casket, does more than believe. It knows that there exists a God in nature, for the sole and invincible Artificer of all lives in us as we live in Him. No dogmatic faith or exact science is able to uproot that intuitional feeling inherent in man, when he has once fully realised it in himself.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, Page 36

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

It may be a pleasant dream to attempt to conceive of the beauties of the spirit world; but the time can be spent more profitably in a study of the spirit itself, and it is not necessary that the subject for study should be in the spirit world.

Modern Panarion Page 70

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Physical existence is subservient to the spiritual, and all physical improvement and progress are only the auxiliaries of spiritual progress, without which there could be no physical progress.

Modern Panarion Page 78

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Mankind — the majority at any rate — hates to think for itself. It resents as an insult the humblest invitation to step for a moment outside the old well-beaten tracks and, judging for itself, to enter into a new path in some fresh direction.

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 3, Page 14

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Even ignorance is better than Head-learning with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it.

The Voice of the Silence, Page 43

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Many theosophists have had slight conscious relations with elementals, but always without their will acting, and upon trying to make elementals see, hear or act for them, a total indifference on the part of the nature spirit is all they have got in return. These failures are due to the fact that the elemental cannot understand the thought of the person; it can only be reached when the exact scale of being to which it belongs is vibrated, whether it be that of colour, form, sound, or whatever else

Annotation - The Path, May, 1888

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Parabrahman is not “God” because It is not a God. “It is that which is supreme, and not supreme”. ....It is supreme as cause, not supreme as effect.

The Secret Doctrine , Proem [Volume 1], Page 35

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

The ancients ..... fully realised the fact that the reciprocal relations between the planetary bodies is as perfect as those between the corpuscles of the blood, which float in a common fluid; and that each one is affected by the combined influence of all the rest, as each in its turn affects each of the others.

Isis, Volume 1, Page 275

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Strength to step forward is the primary need of him who has chosen his path. Where is this to be found? Looking round, it is not hard to see where other men find their strength. Its source is profound conviction.

Practical Occultism, Page 67

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

There are two kinds of magnetic attraction: sympathy and fascination; the one holy and natural, the other evil and unnatural.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, Page 210

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

In the phenomenal and Cosmic World Fohat is that occult, electric, vital power, which, under the Will of the Creative Logos, unites and brings together all forms, giving them the first impulse, which in time becomes law.

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 1, Page 134

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Oaths will never be binding till each man will fully understand that humanity is the highest manifestation on earth of the Unseen Supreme Deity, and each man anincarnation of his God; and when the sense of personal responsibility will be so developed in him that he will consider forswearing the greatest possible insult to himself, as well as to humanity. No oath is now binding, unless taken by one who, without any oath at all, would solemnly keep his simple promise of honour.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 2, Page 374

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

It is the motive, and the motive alone, which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic. It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness remaining in the operator .... The powers and forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and revengeful, as by the unselfish and the all-forgiving; the powers and forces of spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart — and this is Divine Magic.

Practical Occultism, Page 7

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Woe to those who live without suffering. Stagnation and death is the future of all that vegetates without change. And how can there be any change for the better without proportionate suffering during the preceding stage?

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 2, Page 498

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

The person who is endowed with this faculty of thinking about even the most trifling things from the higher plane of thought has, by virtue of that gift which he possesses, a plastic power of formation, so to say, in his very imagination. Whatever such a person may think about, his thought will be so far more intense than the thought of an ordinary person, that by this very intensity it obtains the power of creation.

Lucifer, December, 1888

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Finite reason agrees with science, and says: “There is no God”. But, on the other hand, our Ego, that which lives and thinks and feels independently of us in our mortal casket, does more than believe. It knows that there exists a God in nature, for the sole and invincible Artificer of all lives in us as we live in Him. No dogmatic faith or exact science is able to uproot that intuitional feeling inherent in man, when he has once fully realised it in himself.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, Page 36

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Our voice is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement  from all tyranny, whether of Science of Theology.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, I2.

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

If through the Hall of Wisdom thou wouldst reach the Vale of Bliss, Disciple, close fast thy senses against the great dire heresy of Separateness that weans thee from the rest.

Voice of the Silence, Page 23

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

From strength to strength, from the beauty and perfection of one plane to the greater beauty and perfection of another, with accessions of new glory, of fresh knowledge and power in each cycle, such is the destiny of every Ego, which thus becomes its own saviour in each world and incarnation.

The Key to Theosophy, Page 105

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

The assertion that “Theosophy is not a Religion” , by no means excludes the fact that “Theosophy is Religion” itself. A religion in the true and only correct sense is a bond uniting men together — not a particular set of dogmas and beliefs. Now Religion, per se, in its widest meaning is that which binds not only all Men but also all Beings and all things in the entire Universe into one grand whole.

Lucifer, November, 1888

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

The Present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of Eternal Duration which we call the Future from that part which we call the Past

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 1, Page 69

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

The mind receives indelible impressions even from chance acquaintance or persons encountered but once. As a few seconds' exposure of the sensitized photographic plate is all that is requisite to preserve indefinitely the image of the sitter, so is it with the mind.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, Page 311

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

 “Beneficent Magic” , so called, is divine magic, devoid of selfishness, love of power, of ambition or lucre, and bent only on doing good, to the world in general and one's neighbour in particular. The smallest attempt to use one's abnormal powers for the gratification of self makes of these powers sorcery or black magic.

The Key to Theosophy, Page 228

 

Blavatsky Quotation

 

Believing in a spiritual and invisible Universe, we cannot conceive of it in any other way than as completely dovetailing and corresponding with the material, objective Universe; for logic and observation alike teach us that the latter is the outcome and visible manifestation of the former, and that the laws governing both are immutable.

Modern Panarion Page 137

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tabernacle, Efail Isaf,

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Elementary Theosophy

An Outstanding Introduction to Theosophy

By a student of Katherine Tingley

 

Elementary Theosophy Who is the Man?  Body and Soul

 

Body, Soul and Spirit  Reincarnation  Karma

 

The Seven in Man and Nature

 

The Meaning of Death

 

Coleg Menai Performing Art students

as ‘human statues’ in Bangor High Street.

This idea began in Covent Garden and spread

round Britain.

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A Text Book of Theosophy

Charles Webster Leadbeater

 

What Theosophy Is  From the Absolute to Man

 

The Formation of a Solar System  The Evolution of Life

 

The Constitution of Man  After Death  Reincarnation

 

The Purpose of Life  The Planetary Chains

 

The Result of Theosophical Study

 

 

An Outline of Theosophy

Charles Webster Leadbeater

 

Theosophy - What it is  How is it Known?  The Method of Observation

 

General Principles  The Three Great Truths  The Deity

 

Advantage Gained from this Knowledge  The Divine Scheme

 

The Constitution of Man  The True Man  Reincarnation

 

The Wider Outlook  Death  Man’s Past and Future

 

Cause and Effect  What Theosophy does for us

 

The Ancient Wisdom

Annie Besant

 

The Unity Underlying all Religions

 

The Physical Plane  The Astral Plane

 

Kamaloka  The Mental Plane  Devachan

 

The Buddhic and Nirvanic Planes  Reincarnation  Karma

 

The Three Kinds of Karma  Collective Karma

 

The Law of Sacrifice  Man’s Ascent  Building a Cosmos

 

 

 

Esoteric Buddhism

Alfred Percy Sinnett

Annotated Edition Published 1885 

 

Preface to the Annotated Edition  Preface to the Original Edition

 

Esoteric Teachers  The Constitution of Man  The Planetary Chain

 

The World Periods  Devachan  Kama Loca

 

The Human Tide-Wave  The Progress of Humanity

 

Buddha  Nirvana  The Universe  The Doctrine Reviewed

 

 

A Juggler in action on Colwyn Bay beach

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held on the pier.

 

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The Theosophy Wales Guide

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Your Own Theosophy Group Starts Here

A Guide to starting your own Theosophy Group

 

These are suggestions and pointers for forming

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larger Theosophical Organisation.

 

The subject of affiliation to a larger body is

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that decision entirely up to you

 

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Tekels Park

 

Tekels Park to be Sold to a Developer

Concerns are raised about the fate of the wildlife as

The Spiritual Retreat, Tekels Park in Camberley,

Surrey, England is to be sold to a developer.

 

Tekels Park is a 50 acre woodland park, purchased

 for the Adyar Theosophical Society in England in 1929.

In addition to concern about the park, many are

 worried about the future of the Tekels Park Deer

as they are not a protected species.

 

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Cardiff Bay at Sunset

 

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The Menai Bridge

The Menai Bridge links the Island of Anglesey

with the North Wales coast

 

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WALES

 

Pages about Wales

General pages about Wales, Welsh History

and The History of Theosophy in Wales

 

Wales is a Principality within the United Kingdom and has an eastern

border with England. The land area is just over 8,000 square miles.

Snowdon in North Wales is the highest mountain at 3,650 feet.

The coastline is almost 750 miles long. The population of Wales

as at the 2001 census is 2,946,200.

 

 

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Hey Look!

Theosophy in Cardiff

 

Theosophy Wales

 

Theosophy UK

 

 

Bangor Conwy & Swansea Lodges are members

of the Welsh Regional Association (Formed 1993).

Theosophy Cardiff separated from the Welsh Regional

Association in March 2008 and became an independent

body within the Theosophical Movement in March 2010

 

 

High Drama & Worldwide Confusion

as Theosophy Cardiff Separates from the

Welsh Regional Association (formed 1993)

 

Theosophy Cardiff cancels its Affiliation

to the Adyar Based Theosophical Society

 

 

 

theosophycardiff.org