background image
Chapter 1
Doctrine of Esoteric
Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY is the science of mind; and the word esoteric signifies inner.
Esoteric Psychology, therefore, embraces the inner workings of the mind; not being
confined in its researches to the physical, or three-dimensional plane, but including
every plane and every type of life-form through which mind, or soul, expresses.
This does not exclude the findings of exoteric psychology, which confines its
attention to the physical world. Inner processes are largely recognized by their
external effects. Thus the better to understand the relationship of inner mental
factors, we can afford to ignore no demonstrated finding of laboratory psychology.
In fact, the experiments of the Behaviorist school of psychology, and those of the
psychoanalysts, afford us a vast fund of carefully checked evidence. Thousands of
such experiments conducted by specially trained men enable us to cite facts which
give us understanding of the processes of the unconscious mind.
Terminology
--Some fifty years ago Thomas J. Hudson, after observing various types of psychic
phenomena, came to the conclusion that man possesses, in addition to his ordinary
everyday consciousness, mental abilities and mental processes of which he is
unaware. In his Law of Psychic Phenomena he set forth the theory and apparently
demonstrated it by many examples of their workings, that each human being has two
minds. The common everyday one, of which we ordinarily are conscious, he called
the Objective Mind. The other, about the operations of which we usually have no
knowledge, he termed the Subjective Mind.
Then, after Hudson, there arose the school of experimental research, which exerted a
vast ingenuity and dogged perseverance in devising and applying tests by which they
hoped to determine, not merely if spiritistic phenomena took place as claimed by its
advocates, but if it all could be accounted for through the subjective mind, or as they
chose to term it, the Subconscious Mind.
background image
These found that there is a section of the human mind which functions while still
attached to a physical body much as Hudson said. Some of the greatest of these
scientific Psychial researchers, such as Sir Oliver Lodge and Sir William Crookes,
became convinced they had received evidence of the survival of the personality in an
unseen world. And about that time it was decided that another name was more
suitable for that which they had been calling the Subconscious Mind. They therefore
joined the Latin limen, meaning threshold, to sub, meaning under, to form the word
signifying those states of mind which are below the threshold of everyday
consciousness.
Up to the time of Freud, the Subliminal Mind was the current terminology for that
which Hudson had christened the Subjective Mind. It was coined as a strictly
descriptive term. But certain popular metaphysical writers jumped to the
unwarranted conclusion that it was used to denote sublime, in the sense of lofty, and
was therefore a very superior thing to the Subconscious Mind.
To their imaginations, but not to scientific men, nor to genuine occult students, there
existed three minds: the ordinary Objective Mind, the rather despised Subconscious
Mind, and the god-like Subliminal Mind to which they looked in demonstrating
whatever they desired; even to demonstrating into their own pockets, without giving
value received, money which other people had worked hard to acquire.
Not that they wished to be dishonest. They merely lost sight of the fact that wealth is
the product of labor applied to material, or its equivalent, and that even when wealth
is demonstrated by the power of the Subliminal Mind, someone works to produce it.
Money is not materialized out of thin air, but when one person acquires it, another
person is deprived of it. Which is just enough, if he is given its equivalent value in
return.
With the coming of Freud and the vast literature on psychoanalysis which followed
him, a new fashion in terminology developed, and what had once been called the
Subconscious Mind came to be recognized by psychologists as the Unconscious
Mind. Therefore, to keep step with the approved terminology as it exists at the
present moment, in these lessons that which once was called Subjective Mind,
Subconscious Mind, and Subliminal Mind--all meaning the same thing--will be
referred to as the Unconscious Mind.
Furthermore, because in it resides the sum total of consciousness including that
which connects up with the physical brain to express as Objective Consciousness, it
should be understood that the Mind, the Soul, the Character and the Unconscious
Mind of an individual are one and the same thing. There are not two minds. What is
called Objective Consciousness, or Objective Mind, and about which there is a
growing tendency upon the part of some psychologists to call Clear Consciousness,
is merely a portion of the Mind, Soul, or Unconscious Mind--as you choose to term
it--manifesting through the physical brain. To do this it utilizes electric energies to
impart vibratory rates to the brain cells.
background image
How the astral substance of the four-dimensional realm in which most of the energies
of the Soul, or Unconscious Mind reside, exchanges energy with physical substance
through their mutual contact with the ether is explained in detail in Laws of Occultism
(Course1). That mind, in some degree is an associate of substance wherever found is
set forth at considerable length in Spiritual Alchemy (Course 3). And the steps and
processes of the Involution and Evolution of the soul are given detailed attention in
Astrological Signatures (Course 2). Therefore, it must be assumed that the reader is
somewhat familiar with these subjects, which afford the necessary background for
the comprehension of Esoteric Psychology.
Man's Highest Tendencies Are
Built From Low Desires
--The practice of psychoanalysis, for instance, has revealed to psychiatrists that
within man's Unconscious there lurks every tendency, impulse and desire
characteristic of lower forms of life on earth. Many of these traits have been
amalgamated to express man's higher tendencies, and in the normal human life find
little opportunity for their old expression. Nevertheless they are there, and under
certain pathological conditions they separate from the higher tendencies of which
they form a part and become dominant as bestial desires expressing in anti-social
forms of behavior. And even in the lives of normal men the presence of these
lower-than-human tendencies are revealed to the alert observer in the many little
unconscious actions of everyday life, and particularly in dreams, while the vigilance
of the higher mentality is dormant.
That such should be the case is to be expected when it is recognized that all the traits
and characteristics of the Unconscious Mind are derived from its previous
experiences, as conditioned, stored and fused into more complex organizations
within the four-dimensional astral form.
Every Soul is Called Into Existence
to Fill a Definite Cosmic Need
--Observing the operation of God's Great Plan, and how life-forms fit into it, each in
its proper niche, all marching forward under cyclic law to perform a higher destiny,
moving from the simple toward the more complex, brings conviction that souls are
not brought into existence--differentiated, as the occultist would say--willy, nilly;
but according to developing Cosmic Need.
background image
The ego, or potentiality which furnishes the energy to cause the soul, or mind,
ceaselessly to struggle forward to the accomplishment of its destiny, is a spark of the
divine fire, that is, pure spirit; an eternal atom of Deity. But until the moment of
differentiation, it has no special individuality. It has potentiality, but that potentiality
has not been released in the performance of any given activity. Under the stress of the
Cosmic Need for a special type of soul to perform a given function developing in the
future, the spirit atom is drawn into the creative vortex of angelic parents and given
that definite trend which becomes its individuality.
Needs and trends of the mental and physical worlds are mirrored by the positions of
the planets and zodiacal signs. These create tensions and set up pressures in astral
substance which have an influence upon life. Life-forms find it easy to move in the
direction of the prevailing four-dimensional currents; but difficult to face the astral
headwinds, or even to go cross-stream. Thus can activities on earth be foretold by
charting the heavens.
This Law of Correspondences, as the relation between entities or movements and
stellar positions is called, is universal in its application. And while the stresses in the
Cosmic Mind belong to a plane of dimensions far above that which can be charted,
we can assume that something similar obtains even in the most interior realm, and
that, were we on the six-dimensional plane, the so-called Celestial Realm, where the
ego receives its differentiation, that it would be quite possible to chart the stellar
influences there which resulted in any particular ego's differentiation.
Observation, if extended sufficiently far, convinces that the universe is not fortuitous
but exhibits the characteristics of intelligent design. And we must conclude, not
merely from the Law of Correspondences, but from witnessing the processes of
evolution, that the intelligent entities of which the universe consists, and which
perform its work, are not brought into existence unintelligently, but because the
completion of the universal design calls for the performance of the function for
which each is being educated.
Each ego is called from the realm of potential unspecialized spirit by the developing
need for a workman of a particular kind. And could we possess the stellar chart of the
moment when it is born of angelic parents--that is, differentiated--this celestial
birth-chart would furnish us with the design of the function the ego is called into
existence to fulfill. Such would be the ego's birth-chart.
This celestial birth-chart mirrors one portion of the Whole Cosmic Plan. It is that
section of the progressive Infinite Design which is the ego's special work and which
it can do better than any other; because it is called into existence under those
conditions which give its potentiality those special trends, which when developed
through education, fit it particularly for that work.
background image
As the Cosmic Temple is a very complex edifice there must be workers, so to speak,
in iron and workers in brass, workers in wood and workers in glass-- painters,
masons, decorators, lighters, heaters and a myriad others--on the faithfulness and
efficiency of all, each in his own line of endeavor, depending the perfection, utility
and beauty of the Temple. Yet the edifice never will be completed; for it is laid out as
a progressive plan, such that when one set of specifications is completely filled
another is imposed, outlining a finer, more exquisite, effect.
Such increasing perfection, and such expanding proportions, not only require a
continual addition of new workmen--egos with their attendant souls--but require in
those already at work, increasingly higher skill of execution. Thus must they
perpetually progress in the perfection of their abilities that they may handle the work
which it is their special mission to perform, and which assures them of immortal life.
Each ego, therefore, at the moment of its differentiation, under the influence of the
stresses that then mirror Cosmic Needs, is given a polarity--that is, attractive and
repulsive qualities--that determines broadly the trend of its future development.
This original polarity, could it be mapped, would constitute the ego's chart of birth,
affording a blue-print of its future work, and indicating the type of experiences
necessary to develop such abilities as are required in its performance.
The ego, when differentiated, however, cannot be said to have possessed either
feeling or knowledge-- Love or Wisdom--because, as set forth in full detail in "The
Mission of the Soul" (Course 2, Chapter 4), all knowledge and feeling are derived from
experience with environment. They are based upon perceptions of relations; and the
ego as yet had experienced no relations, awareness can be developed only through
repeated contacts with changing environment.
All Feeling and Intelligence Are
Due to Experience
--All intelligence and all feeling are developed through the recognition of the
differences that exist between things contacted. And the ego, due to its Original
polarity--attractive and repellent quality--at once started attracting experiences.
That is, it started having those experiences which are the basis of feeling and
intelligence--Love and Wisdom. And thus it gradually built around itself, of the
substance of the plane it occupied, a form which was sensitive to such contacts,
registering and reacting to them.
How the ego, that it might have wider contrast and variety of experiences, extended
the sphere of its influence to the fifth dimensional spiritual realm; and there, to still
further widen the scope of its training and ultimate usefulness divided the
soul-sphere which it had developed into two-monads, is explained more fully in
Astrological Signatures (Course 2). Each of these twin souls however, expresses the
birth-chart of the ego according to its masculine or feminine polarity.
background image
These two souls are impelled in their forward evolutionary movement by the same
spirit ego. There is the same potentiality, or driving power, behind each. These souls,
or minds thus developed by the ego, are organizations in substance which register
experiences derived from contacts with the environment. The kind of environment
attracted is determined by the polarity of the ego; that is, by its celestial birth-chart;
just as the experiences attracted by a man are determined by his physical birth-chart.
The ego at all times furnishes the divine driving power that urges the development of
both souls and gives to them that ineradicable longing for significance that becomes
the will to live and struggle. Nor can the soul lose its immortality so long as there
persists the connecting line between itself and its ego.
The ego furnishes the eternal divine energy. This energy acts upon the substance of
some plane of existence, and a form is gradually built. The form whether spiritual,
astral or physical, becomes organized in a particular way through its contacts with
environment. Its experiences are registered as feeling and intelligence. Feeling and
intelligence, however, are not registered by physical substance. Three dimensional
existence affords a means of contacting experiences of great contrast and wide
diversity, but in itself is too coarse to retain such impressions. But associated with all
physical substance (see Course 1) is both the ether--a transition substance--and the
four-dimensional astral, or stellar, substance. This four-dimensional substance is
frictionless, and retains indefinitely the motions imparted to it. And it is in this
fourth-dimensional substance that all physical and astral experiences are recorded.
The recording of an experience, whether directly derived from the external
environment or from a mental process, causes a change to take place in the substance
where the recording is made. That is, the sum total of the organization in the finer
forms, all derived from experiences, constitutes the soul, the mind, the character, or
the unconscious mind, these four terms signifying identically the same thing.
What these experiences have been was determined by the birth-chart of the ego. Each
of its two souls or thought-organization, is moving forward under the impetus given
it by the ego, gathering those experiences, in association with various forms, which it
requires to develop the abilities indicated by the ego's birth-chart to be necessary to
perform the required function in realizing the Cosmic Plan. It is busy acquiring both
the experience and the power to be able to handle that section of Cosmic Work for
which the ego provided the blue-print.
The ego's chart is the blue-print to which both the female soul and the male soul
work. That is, in the division of the soul sphere in the higher state of the spiritual
realm, as a physical cell so often divides to form two, the original polarity of the ego
impressed itself equally upon each. But this quality of attracting certain events and
repelling others, because exerted in the one case from feminine relations and in the
other from those masculine, does not result in identical experiences for twin souls.
As the essential polarity of each is the same, in their broader outline the trains of
experience parallel each other. But in particulars there is wide variation. Yet both the
parallels and the variations in training tend to educate them so that they both desire,
and are fitted for, a given work, in which their abilities complement each other.
background image
Because through the long stretch of time since its formation a soul continues to
manifest attractive and repellent qualities similar to those of its ego's birth-chart,
even though these qualities have been given special twists and trends through contact
with environment, the birth-chart of an individual when he appears on earth in human
form bears, in a broad and general way the impress which indicates his Cosmic
Work. But from this we must not conclude that the birth-charts of twin souls must be
almost identical. In their broader aspect they show similarity; otherwise they would
not be fitted to work together in the performance of a common Cosmic Function. But
that their abilities should complement each other, each has had a variety of
experiences not undergone by the other; and a birth-chart is a map of all the
experiences a soul has had up to the time of human birth.
The Energy of
All Experiences is Retained
-- Experiments with subjects in a state of hypnosis, psychoanalytical practice, and a
wide variety of psychological phenomena all demonstrate that every experience,
even the slightest and most inconsequential, is registered and retained without loss
by the unconscious mind. The awareness of the experience by the unconscious mind
adds energy to its organization. As the astral substance of the finer body is
frictionless this energy is permanently retained; although it may unite with other
energies in the formation of a more complex organization. Yet at any time contact is
made with it by etheric energies that have the power to impress the cells of the
physical brain, it reproduces itself there and the experience is remembered.
No theory of material science has ever satisfactorily explained memory. It is
estimated that there are 1,200,000,000 cells in the gray matter of the human brain.
These are dynamos for the production of the electric energy used in objective
thinking, including objective memory. The white matter is a matrix on which are
recorded, through the development of interlacing nerve fibers, action patterns which
are established through etheric energy hookups. That is, etheric energies forced to
travel certain paths once, develop physical lines through the white brain substance
that permit them again to follow the same route with greater ease.
Such action patterns, making it easy for etheric energies to follow paths once
traveled, aid objective thinking. But what about the intelligent action of blood
corpuscles or of an intestinal loop, when removed from a human body, as cited
in Chapter 9 (How to Think Constructively)? Nerves and brain facilitate objective
consciousness, but many creatures have neither.
Yet memory is present, in some degree, in association with all life-forms. Goltz
found that frogs deprived of their cerebral hemispheres would get out of an inverted
jar by swimming under the bottom, and thus reach the air. And from such
experiments material science concluded: "All nerve centers have then in the first
instance one essential function, that of intelligent action." And Professor Ewald
background image
Hering after exhaustive research and experiments in the realms of biology was
forced to admit that memory of a kind resides in protoplasm. In his Memory:
Lectures on the Specific Energies of the Nervous System
, he says; "Thus every
organized being of our present time is the product of the unconscious memory of
organized matter."
But while material science, to account for the things observed in laboratory
experiments, insists all organized matter possesses an unconscious memory, it fails
to suggest its mechanism. Nor can it be explained until it is recognized that
associated with organized matter is a frictionless replica in four-dimensional
substance which has the property of retaining all the impressions it receives, and
through the intermediary of the electric energies which accompany all life processes,
of again imparting similar energies to the physical protoplasm.
The Astral Body is
Thought-Built
--For sake of convenience all states of awareness may be classified as thoughts. All
experiences of which the unconscious mind is aware, as well as those recognized by
objective consciousness, therefore, may be classified according to the kind of
thought-elements they contain. That is, the energies added to the four-dimensional
form, and which organize it, are those of definite thought-elements. In this sense the
astral form of every living thing is a thought-built body, built of the thought-elements
which on the four-dimensional plane serve a purpose similar to that served by the
chemical elements of the physical world.
These physical chemical elements combine in certain compounds to form the
protoplasm which is the substance of physical organic life. The body of man, for
instance, is chiefly composed of protoplasm and its secretions. And on the astral
plane the thought-elements also combine in certain compounds to form the chief
substance of the organic four-dimensional body; a substance called psychoplasm.
The protoplasm of the physical body exists in the form of cells. And in like manner
the psychoplasm of the astral body is not just a homogeneous mass, but exists in the
form of innumerable cells, which are called thought-cells or stellar-cells. They are
termed thought-cells, and the structures they form are called thought structures,
because they are thought formed; and they are also termed stellar-cells and stellar
structures, because both astral and stellar pertain to the stars, and the substance of the
four-dimensional plane is that not only of which the thought-cells are Composed, but
through which astrological energies exert their power.
background image
Keeping in mind that stellar-cells are the thought-cells of which the
four-dimensional body is formed, it's not difficult to understand that these enter into
the organization of definite structures. In the physical body there are muscular
structures, bony structures, membranous structures, nervous structures, etc., all
composed of protoplasm cells or their secretions. So also in the astral body there are
structures which lave been built up by active stellar-cells, organized by the energies
of thought processes into definite forms and each possessing its particular type of
energy and performing its particular function.
The elements of which the stellar cells are composed have entered into combination
according to the circumstances present at the time they were built, by experiences,
into the astral form. The conditions then present, and subsequent mental processes,
have arranged them according to a definite pattern, or have organized them into some
definite structure of the astral body. The more powerful and energetic of these
structures in the four-dimensional form are termed Dynamic Stellar Structures.
It should not be thought, however, that these thought-cells, thought-built stellar
structures, and thought organized dynamic stellar structures have been chiefly
acquired through experiences in human life. All life-forms on the astral plane and all
life-forms on the physical plane are constantly adding energies derived from their
various experiences to the cells and organizations of their astral bodies.
Neglecting consideration of the thought-cells built by the soul in five-dimensional
substances in its descent to the astral, let us consider that the unconscious mind, or
astral organizations, as the result of its experiences in one form, learns how to handle
its processes, and in time to build and function through a still more complex form.
Whatever experiences it had before it contacted the substance of three-dimensional
existence formed thought-cells within its structure. And as a result of these astral
experiences it finally was able to enter into the fertilized germ of some lowly form of
physical life.
When this single-celled organism died, the experiences it had had in connection with
it underwent further organization as it lived on the astral plane, and gave it the ability
to be attracted to, and to function through, a physical life-form still higher in the scale
of evolution. And this process continued until at last it had had experience enough to
build about itself the physical body of a human being.
Innumerable processes take place within the human physical body which are
undirected by the objective mind, about which the objective mind knows nothing,
and which if it did recognize them it would fail to understand. The manner in which
the blood corpuscles carry nutrition to the tissues, the processes of glandular
secretion, the assimilation of food from the digestive tract, and the work of the
various organs are all directed by the unconscious mind, the thought-cells of which,
and the thought-built structures of which, have learned how to do these things in
association with lower forms of life. That is, many thought organizations in the
human astral body were built in the past to enable some lower organism to perform its
function.
background image
Thus when the soul, or unconscious mind, is attracted to the fertilized seed of the
human species, it has back of it a long history of accomplishment, which has
developed the abilities it will be called upon to use as a human being. Innumerable
thought-cells fill the twelve distinct compartments of the astral body. Well built
thought structures, or stellar structures, some of them containing great energy, such
as the dynamic stellar structures that denote the natural abilities with which the child
will be born, are already present.
And when the human child is born, due to that mysterious sympathy which exists
between the soul and the stars, its birth-chart provides an accurate map of the most
important arrangements of thought-cells within its unconscious mind, their
composition, their energy, and particularly the type and activity of those most active
groups of thought-cells, the dynamic stellar structures.
I am not here so much interested in indicating that a birth-chart is a map of the soul
and its organization at the time of birth into human form, as in pointing out that the
abilities and tendencies thus mapped are simply a cross section of the soul's progress
through time. That is, centuries before birth its organization was different, and
centuries after birth its organization will be different. That with which it is endowed
at the time of birth represents the sum total of its experiences as organized at the time
of birth. Before birth it had fewer experiences, and after birth it will have had more
experiences, these adding new energy to the unconscious mind and changing its
organization. Thus the soul, or unconscious mind, is not static; but ever moving
forward, developing along the general line called for by its ego's blueprint; acquiring
those experiences which most it needs at any given time to develop the abilities it will
be called upon to use in Universal Construction.
The Justice of Each Soul's
Experiences
--At this point someone may inject the thought that it is unjust for one person to
suffer and for another apparently to escape hardship and to realize most of his heart's
desires with little effort on his part. Such a question, however, is based upon a narrow
and purely materialistic conception of universal processes. It assumes that justice
can be obtained only by material awards.
Yet even the materially minded must admit that the sense of satisfaction is a far better
measure of how life has treated an individual than is the possession of health, long
life and worldly goods. By worldly standards alone those who have less opportunity
and fewer material possessions, even though pain and hardship is their lot, often gain
more from life in the way of happiness than do those who apparently sit in the lap of
the gods yet grumble because they still are discontented.
background image
But to consider human life and the physical plane as the sole place and time from
which justice must be measured, even if the soul returned over and over again to
occupy a human form--which it does not-- is to narrow the judgment to trying to
appraise the whole value of a life which is illimitable in time by viewing a single
cross-section of it which is infinitesimal in duration in comparison to the whole. It is
less logical--because a day in proportion to the span of a man's physical life is far
longer--than trying to judge how fortunate a man is, that is, what his rewards are, by
estimating what befalls him on one day alone. Yet the particular day selected may not
be a fair average. It may be the day of his whole life on which he has a heavy financial
loss, takes down with a severe illness, has an accident, or on which he inherits money,
gets honorable mention for some service, or is victorious over an opponent.
Not only the physical plane can not be used to estimate the justice with which an
individual is treated by universal law, but even if the events stretching along the line
of life in innumerable life-forms before the soul was incarnated as a human, and the
myriad other events which are attracted after the soul has graduated from the physical
plane, be used in the appraisal, the method still is faulty, because it omits the factor of
satisfaction.
All life strives for satisfaction. And feels well treated or badly treated in the degree it
attains or misses the satisfaction for which it craves.
The greatest single craving of any life-form is directed toward significance. Much
will be said in subsequent lessons about this urge to be something, which is really the
motive power behind every life-form, causing it to cling to life and to struggle on,
even in the face of difficulties. Yet, because the ego's blue-print is different, each
pair of souls derives its ultimate sense of significance from attaining a different
objective. That is, each pair of souls gains its sense of satisfaction from filling in the
design furnished by its ego. Yet as the birth-chart, or blueprint, of each ego is
different from that of every other ego, the line of effort which gives maximum
significance and satisfaction to one pair of souls must be different than that of any
other pair of souls.
To bring the discussion back to the commonplace, what man having great talent for
watchmaking, and in love with his work, envies the locomotive engineer or the
statesman? When a man is performing his proper function, whatever that may be, he
has a sense of significance, and a happiness which he could gain in no other way.
Who shall say that his real reward is smaller than another's; and by what standard
shall it be judged that the born watchmaker is being unjustly treated because he was
not born with talent as a physician or with a flair for law?
background image
Each soul, at every stage of its cyclic journey, is striving toward the realization of the
blue-print of its own spiritual ego. Such realization is only possible through the
exercise of highly specialized talents; through the use of abilities that are not the
same in detail as those of any other soul. The only possible way such abilities can be
acquired is through a suitable education. And the original polarity imparted to it by
its ego was such as to attract to it whatever experiences might be necessary to develop
the essential abilities.
All life-forms on the physical plane and astral plane have obstacles to overcome,
suffer pain, enjoy pleasure, and must struggle to adjust themselves to an
ever-changing environment. But the type of experience attracted by either a man or a
worm is not determined by the moral worth, not meted out as reward or punishment:
but is attracted because that man or that worm requires that particular experience to
teach it something which it must know if it is to fulfill its eternal destiny.
If the lesson is not learned from one experience of a kind, it will continue to attract
that type of experience until it does learn. Thus, whatever the experiences which a
life-form undergoes at any particular time may be--however pleasurable or however
painful--they are attracted because the soul has need of them in its education. The
only way largely to escape painful experiences, therefore, is for the soul to learn how
to acquire its essential lessons from experiences that are chiefly lacking in pain.
The Three Psychological Levels
--The soul that now molds the form of a man developed the ability to handle
chemicals--chemical selectivity--from its experiences in the mineral realm. Its
progressive experiences in the vegetable kingdom, recorded in the thought-cells of
the four-dimensional form, gave it those experiences which developed its power to
mold a form which has sensitiveness. Passing through the varied range of animal life,
from the simplest to the highly complex, gave it experiences which finally enabled it
to express Simple Consciousness. And because its experiences in such forms
afforded it opportunity to learn how to handle a still more complex organism, it
finally was attracted to the fertilized seed which under the intelligence stored in the
cells and structures of the astral form, grew into a man, endowed with a still higher
type of mental expression, called Self-Consciousness.
Experimental psychologists say that animal reactions, especially those of man, may
be considered as occurring at three levels. The oldest is what they call the
physiochemical level, through which the unconscious mind directs such functions as
circulation, digestion and growth. On this level the thought-cells of the astral body
exercise control through the chemical regulators of metabolism, the endocrine
glands and the sympathetic and autonomic nervous system. Such processes were
learned by the thought-cells in forms of life lower in the scale than vertebrate
animals.
background image
The next level of experimental psychologists is that of the reflex, the sensory-motor
level integrated by the peripheral nerves, spinal cord and brain stem. Its processes
were learned by the thought-cells in forms of life lower than man which had
advanced far enough to possess a well differentiated nervous system, such as all
vertebrate creatures use.
The highest level considered by experimental psychologists, the third, is the
so-called psychic level commonly made use of by man, in which there is no problem
of leverage, hydrodynamics or temperature; with acids, bases or hormones; nor even
with simple or compound reflexes or nerve cells, nerve fibers or synapses. Instead,
the reactions arise from the use of symbols. To a limited degree certain of the higher
animals seem capable of handling symbols in their mental processes, but at least
those more complex, such as are called concepts and ideas, only emerge as the
implements by which the organism adjusts itself to its environment when the soul,
having graduated from forms lower in the evolutionary scale, reaches the estate
called man.
Man, however, does not function exclusively on the symbolical level. It is merely the
latest superstructure added to the edifice of his acquired abilities. And because so
lately acquired, he has as yet learned to use it but imperfectly. More of his various
reactions, therefore, still take place at the physiochemical and the reflex level; the
symbolical, in so far as it takes part, merely acting as a stimulus to set these other
processes into motion.
This symbolical level of reacting to conditions does not imply the process of
reasoning or even the activity of a physical brain such as is called Objective
Consciousness; for the dream life, conducted by the unconscious mind, in higher
animals is almost exclusively on this level. So let us examine now the processes and
functions of that limited field of mental activity called the Objective Mind.
The Objective Mind Was
Developed to Take Care of
New Situations
--Life-forms if they are to survive must make repeated adaptations to their
environment. They must replenish the energy which is expended in their life
processes. Furthermore, conditions surrounding them are never static; changes take
place, and they must take appropriate action to prevent these changes causing their
destruction.
Their actions must be different in the heat of the day, for instance, than in the cool of
the night; different in the summer than in the winter; different when in the presence of
an enemy than when that enemy is absent.
background image
These experiences of the forms it occupies at various times are retained in the
thought-cells and thought structures of the unconscious mind and increase its ability
to meet still other situations successfully. It learns how to do many things, and as
soon as it has had enough experiences of a certain kind, the energies of the
thought-cells involved become so accustomed to acting together in the manner
required to meet that situation that the adaptation becomes habitual. That is, it
requires no close attention to the details of its performance. Such actions are then said
to be directed by the soul, or unconscious mind.
But when a new situation is present, toward which no habitual reaction has been
established, a problem is presented which taxes the intelligence of the organism to
solve. And to insure the organism of being fully aware of such changes in the
environment, and to afford a keener tool to cut into the new problems thus presented,
evolution--that is, accumulated and organized experience--has developed the
nerve structures of the physical body, and as life progressed, grouped these nerves
into a system, with ganglion, or centers, the highest type of which is the brain.
The brain of an animal was not designed to be aware of all the various states of
consciousness, nor to direct all the activities of the body. It was evolved for the
clearer apprehension of the external environment, and to direct more effectively
those actions which were made necessary by new conditions.
The habitual responses of the organism to situations which it had encountered many
times before are better taken care of by the unconscious mind. But to grasp all the
implications of a new situation, and determine how they should be met, something
more than the uncontrolled feeling which prompts habit became necessary. And to
meet this demand for an additional implement for appraising reality, the cortex of the
brain was evolved, which permits of feeling and wishing being to some extent
subordinated to an intelligence which examines, compares, relates and finally
decides. Exercising this and other functions through the brain is termed Objective
Consciousness.
Objective Consciousness is not something apart from the Unconscious Mind. It is
present when the unconscious mind is able to impart the energy of some of its
thought-cells and thought groups to the electric energies which flow over the nervous
system in such a volume that it sets up similar vibratory disturbances in the cells of
the physical brain. The variety of thought-energies that the brain at one time can thus
receive and handle is quite limited. That is, the consciousness which is associated
with the physical brain can attend to but a few things at a time. Furthermore, in order
to connect up the energy of the thought-cells of the astral body with the physical cells
of the brain, a chain of relations must be stimulated by some environmental
condition.
background image
Objective Consciousness it may thus be seen not only was not designed to embrace
more than a limited field, but by the nature of the forces under which it developed, it
becomes active only at the point of conflict of the organism with its environment.
That is, Objective Consciousness is chiefly concerned with new physical and mental
adjustments. And it concentrates the mental energies in such a way as the better to
overcome the resistances of situations not before contacted.
We may expect, therefore, Objective Consciousness always to be engaged with some
special situation or condition or the problems which it suggests. The
thought-energies in the unconscious mind related to the particular thing which at the
moment engages it are connected up, through the etheric energies which
interpenetrate the physical body, with the cells of the brain. In sleep, because the
thought-energies of the unconscious mind are largely disconnected from the cells of
the physical brain, the Objective Consciousness does not function. Dreams, which
are activities of the unconscious mind, are remembered only to the extent their
energies are connected up with the physical brain, and thus brought up into the region
of Objective Consciousness.
Objective Consciousness has its important and special function to perform in life.
But it cannot be considered as the action of a different mind. No more so than the
animal soul and the divine soul are separate entities within the domain of man. The
Animal Soul merely embraces those thought-cells and thought organizations that are
concerned only with the interests of the individual. Divine Soul merely embraces
those that relate to universal welfare. Yet both groups of thought-cells and thought
structures are interblended into the single organization called the unconscious mind.
The soul, character, mind, or Unconscious Mind thus embraces all the states of
consciousness of the organism. But the Objective Mind embraces only those that
communicate their energies from the unconscious mind to the cells of the physical
brain in a manner to be recognized.