The Bridge between the three Aspects of the Mind

There is one point which I would like to clarify if I can, for – on this point – there is much confusion in the minds of aspirants, and this is necessarily so.

Let us for a moment, therefore, consider just where the aspirant stands when he starts consciously to build the antahkarana. Behind him lie a long series of existences, the experience of which has brought him to the point where he is able consciously to assess his condition and arrive at some understanding of his point in evolution. He can consequently undertake – in cooperation with his steadily awakening and focusing consciousness – to take the next step, which is that of accepted discipleship. In the present, he is oriented towards the soul; he, through meditation and the mystical experience, does have occasional contact with the soul, and this happens with increasing frequency; he is becoming somewhat creative upon the physical plane, both in his thinking and in his actions; at times, even if rarely, he has a genuine intuitive experience. This intuitive experience serves to anchor the “first tenuous thread spun by the Weaver in fohatic enterprise,” as the Old Commentary puts it. It is the first cable, projected from the Spiritual Triad in response to the emanation of the personality, and this is the result of the growing magnetic potency of both these aspects of the Monad in manifestation.

It will be obvious to you that when the personality is becoming adequately magnetized from the spiritual angle, its note or sound will go forth and will evoke response from the soul on its own plane. Later the personality note and the soul note in unison will produce a definitely attractive effect upon the Spiritual Triad. This Spiritual Triad in its turn has been exerting an increasingly magnetic effect upon the personality. This begins at the time of the first conscious soul contact. The response of the Triad is transmitted necessarily, in this early stage, via the sutratma and produces inevitably the awakening of the head center. That is why the heart doctrine begins to supersede the doctrine of the eye. The heart doctrine governs occult development; the eye doctrine – which is the doctrine of the eye of vision – governs the mystical experience; the heart doctrine is based upon the universal nature of the soul, conditioned by the Monad, the One, and involves reality; the eye doctrine is based on the dual relation between soul and personality. It involves the spiritual relationships, but the attitude of dualism or of the recognition of the polar opposites is implicit in it. These are important points to remember as this new science becomes more widely known.

The aspirant eventually arrives at the point where the three threads – of life, of consciousness and of creativity – are being focused, recognized as energy streams, and utilized deliberately by the aspiring disciple upon the lower mental plane. There – esoterically speaking – “he takes his stand, and looking upward sees a promised land of beauty, love and future vision.”

But there exists a gap in consciousness, though not in fact. The sutratmic strand of energy bridges the gap, and tenuously relates monad, soul and personality. But the consciousness thread extends only from soul to personality – from the involutionary sense. From the evolutionary angle (using a paradoxical phrase) there is only a very little conscious awareness existing between the soul and the personality, from the standpoint of the personality upon the evolutionary arc of the Path of Return. A man’s whole effort is to become aware of the soul and to transmute his consciousness into that of the soul, whilst still preserving the consciousness of the personality. As the fusion of soul and personality is strengthened, the creative thread becomes increasingly active, and thus the three threads steadily fuse, blend, become dominant, and the aspirant is then ready to bridge the gap and unite the Spiritual Triad and the personality, through the medium of the soul. This involves a direct effort at divine creative work. The clue to understanding lies perhaps in the thought that hitherto the relation between soul and personality has been steadily carried forward, primarily by the soul, as it stimulated the personality to effort, vision and expansion. Now – at this stage – the integrated, rapidly developing personality becomes consciously active, and (in unison with the soul) starts building the antahkarana – a fusion of the three threads and a projection of them into the “higher wider reaches” of the mental plane, until the abstract mind and the lower concrete mind are related by the triple cable.

It is to this process that our studies are related; earlier experience in relation to the three threads is logically regarded as having occurred normally. The man now stands, holding the mind steady in the light; he has some knowledge of meditation, much devotion, and also recognition of the next step. Knowledge of process gradually becomes clearer; a growing soul contact is established; occasional flashes of intuitive perception from the Triad occur. All these recognitions are not present in the case of every disciple; some are present; some are not. I am seeking to give a general picture. Individual application and future realization have to be worked out by the disciple in the crucible of experience.

The goal towards which the average disciple has worked in the past has been soul contact, leading eventually to what has been called “hierarchical inclusion.” The reward of the disciple’s effort has been admittance into the Ashram of some Master, increased opportunity to serve in the world, and also the taking of certain initiations. The goal towards which higher disciples are working involves not only soul contact as its primary objective (for that has to some measure been attained), but the building of the bridge from the personality to the Spiritual Triad, with consequent monadic realization and the opening up to the initiate of the Way to the Higher Evolution in its various branches and with its differing goals and objectives. The distinction (I said not “difference,” and would have you note this) between the two ways can be seen in the following listed comparisons:

Desire – Aspiration Mind – Projection
The 1st an 2nd Initiations The 3rd and 4th Initiations
Universal Love and Intuition Universal Will and Mind
Path of Light The Way of the Higher Evolution
The Point of Contact The Antahkarana of Bridge
The Plan The Purpose
The Three Layers of
the Egoic Petals
The Spiritual Triad
The Hierarchy Shamballa
The Master’s Ashram The Council Chamber
The Seven Paths The Seven Paths

In reality, you have here the two major approaches to God or to the Divine Whole, both merging at the time of the fifth initiation in the one Way, which in itself combines all Ways. Forget not a statement which I have several times made, that the four minor rays must merge eventually into the third ray, and that all five must then finally merge into the second and the first rays; bear also in mind that all these rays or modes of Being are aspects or subrays of the second cosmic Ray of Love and of Fire.

I would like here also to point out some further relationships. You know well that upon the mental plane the three aspects of mind, or the three focal points of mental perception and activity, are to be found:

  1. The lower concrete mind. This expresses itself most completely through the fifth Ray of Concrete Science, reflecting the lower phase of the will aspect of divinity and summarizing within itself all knowledge as well as the egoic memory. This lower concrete mind is related to the knowledge petals of the egoic lotus and is capable of pronounced soul illumination, proving eventually to be the searchlight of the soul. It can be brought under control through the processes of concentration. It is transient in time and space. Through conscious, creative work, it can be related to the manasic permanent atom or to the abstract mind.
  2. The Son of Mind. This is the soul itself, governed by the second aspect of all the seven rays – a point I would ask you seriously to register. It reflects the lower phase of the love aspect of divinity and summarizes in itself the results of all accumulated knowledge which is wisdom, illuminated by the light of the intuition. Another way of expressing this is to describe it as love, availing itself of experience and knowledge. It expresses itself most fully through the love petals of its innate being. Through dedicated and devoted service it brings the divine Plan into activity in the three worlds of human accomplishment. It is therefore related to the second aspect of the Spiritual Triad and is brought into functioning activity through meditation. It then controls and utilizes for its own spiritual ends the consecrated personality, via the illumined mind, referred to above. It is eternal in time and space.
  3. The abstract mind. This reveals itself most completely under the influence of the first Ray of Will or Power, reflecting the higher aspect of the will of divinity or of the atmic principle; it summarizes in itself when fully developed the purpose of Deity, and thus becomes responsible for the emergence of the Plan. It energizes the will petals until such time as the eternal life of the soul is absorbed into that which is neither transient nor eternal but which is endless, boundless and unknown. It is brought into conscious functioning through the building of the antahkarana. This “radiant rainbow bridge” unites the illumined personality, focused in the mind body, motivated by the love of the soul, with the Monad or with the One Life, and thus enables the divine manifesting Son of God to express the significance of the words: God is Love and God is a consuming Fire. This fire, energized by love, has burnt out all personality qualities, leaving only a purified instrument, colored by the soul ray and no longer necessitating the existence of a soul body. The personality has by this time completely Absorbed the soul, or to put it perhaps more accurately, both soul and personality have been fused and blended into one instrument for the use of the One Life.

This is but a picture or a symbolic use of words in order to express the unifying goal of material and spiritual evolution, as it is carried to its conclusion – for this world cycle – through the development of the three aspects of mind upon the mental plane. The cosmic implications will not be lost to you, but it profits us not to dwell upon them. As this process is carried forward, three great aspects of divine manifestation emerge upon the theatre of world life and on the physical plane. These are Humanity, the Hierarchy and Shamballa.

Humanity is already the dominant kingdom in nature; the fact of the Hierarchy and of its imminent approach into physical appearance is becoming well known to hundreds of thousands of people today. Its recognized appearance will later set the stage for the needed preparatory phases which will finally lead to the exoteric rule of the Lord of the World, emerging from His aeonial seclusion in Shamballa, and coming forth into outer expression at the end of this world cycle.

Here is the vast and necessary picture, presented in order to give reason and power to the next stage of human evolution.

The point which I seek to emphasize is that only when the aspirant takes his stand with definiteness upon the mental plane, and keeps his “focus of awareness” increasingly there, does it become possible for him to make real progress in the work of divine bridge building, the work of invocation, and the establishing of a conscious rapport between the Triad, the soul and the personality. The period covered by the conscious building of the antahkarana is that from the final stages of the Path of Probation to the third initiation.

In considering this process it is necessary, in the early stages, to recognize the three aspects of the mind as they express themselves upon the mental plane and produce the varying states of consciousness upon that plane. It is interesting here to note that, having reached the developed human stage (integrated, aspiring, oriented and devoted), the man stands firmly upon the lower levels of that mental plane; he is then faced by the seven subplanes of that plane with their corresponding states of consciousness. He is therefore entering upon a new cycle where – this time equipped with full self-consciousness – he has seven states of mental awareness to develop; these are all innate or inherent in him, and all (when mastered) lead to one or other of the seven major initiations. These seven states of consciousness are – beginning from the first or lowest:

Mental Plane

  1. Lower mental awareness. The development of true mental perception.
  2. Soul awareness or soul perception. This is not the perception of the soul by the personality, but the registering of that which the soul perceives by the soul itself. This is later registered by the lower mind. This soul perception is, therefore, the reversal of the usual attitude of mind.
  3. Higher abstract awareness. The unfoldment of the intuition and the recognition of intuitive process by the lower mind.

Buddhic Plane

  1. Persistent, conscious, spiritual awareness. This is the full consciousness of the buddhic or intuitional level. This is the perceptive consciousness which is the outstanding characteristic of the Hierarchy. The life focus of the man shifts to the buddhic plane. This is the fourth or middle state of consciousness.

Atmic Plane

  1. The consciousness of the spiritual will as it is expressed and experienced upon atmic levels or upon the third plane of divine manifestation. There is little that I can say about this condition of awareness; its state of nirvanic awareness can mean but little to the average disciple.

Monadic Plane

  1. The inclusive awareness of the Monad upon its own plane, the second plane of our planetary and solar life.

Logoic Plane

  1. Divine consciousness. This is the awareness of the whole on the highest plane of our planetary manifestation. This is also an aspect of solar awareness upon the same plane.

As we strive to arrive at some dim comprehension of the nature of the work to be done in building the antahkarana it might be wise, as a preliminary step, to consider the nature of the substance out of which the “bridge of shining mind stuff” has to be built by the conscious aspirant. The oriental term for this “mind stuff” is chitta; it exists in three types of substance, all basically identical but all qualified or conditioned differently. It is a fundamental law in this solar system, and therefore in our planetary life experience, that the substance through which divinity (in time and space) expresses itself is karmically conditioned; it is impregnated by those qualities and aspects which are the product of earlier manifestations of that Being in Whom we live and move and have our being. This is the basic fact lying behind the expression of that Trinity or Triad of Aspects with which all the world religions have made us familiar. This trinity is as follows:

Utilizes the sutratma:
1. The Father Aspect This is the underlying Plan of God
    The Will Aspect The essential Cause of Being
    Purpose Life purpose, motivating evolution
The note of synthetic sound
Utilizes the consciousness thread:
2. The Son Aspect The quality of sensitivity
    The Love Aspect The nature of relationship
    Wisdom. Understanding The method of evolution
    Consciousness. Soul The note of attractive sound
Develops the creative thread:
3. The Mother Aspect The intelligence of substance
    The Intelligence Aspect The nature of form
    The Holy Spirit Response to evolution
The note of Nature

The mental plane which must be bridged is like a great stream of consciousness or of conscious substance, and across this stream the antahkarana must be constructed. This is the concept which lies behind this teaching and behind the symbolism of the Path. Before a man can tread the Path, he must become that Path himself. Out of the substance of his own life he must construct this rainbow bridge, this Lighted Way. He spins it and anchors it as a spider spins a thread along which it can travel. Each of his three divine aspects contributes to that bridge, and the time of this building is indicated when his lower nature is:

  1. Becoming oriented, regulated and creative.
  2. Recognizing and reacting to soul contact and control.
  3. Sensitive to the first impression of the Monad. This sensitivity is indicated where there is:
    1. Submission to the “will of God” or of the greater Whole.
    2. Unfoldment of the inner spiritual will, overcoming all obstacles.
    3. Cooperation with the purpose of the Hierarchy, the interpreting will of God as expressed in love.

I have enumerated these three responses to the totality of the divine aspects because they are related to the antahkarana and must become defined and conditioned upon the mental plane. They are there to be found expressing themselves in substance:

  1. The lower concrete mind.
    The receptive common sense.
    The highest aspect of the form nature.
    The reflection of atma, the spiritual will.
    The throat center.
  2. The individualized mind.
    The soul or spiritual ego.
    The middle principle. Buddhi-manas.
    The reflection in mental substance of the Monad.
    Spiritual love-wisdom.
    The heart center.
  3. The higher abstract mind.
    The transmitter of buddhi.
    The reflection of the divine nature.
    Intuitive love, understanding, inclusiveness.
    The head center.

There are necessarily other arrangements of these aspects in manifestation, but the above will serve to indicate the relation of Monad-soul-personality as they express themselves through certain focused stations or points of power upon the mental plane.

In humanity, however, the major realization to be grasped at the present point in human evolution is the need to relate – consciously and effectively – the spiritual Triad, the soul on its own plane and the personality in its threefold nature. This is done through the creative work of the personality, the magnetic power of the Triad, and the conscious activity of the soul, utilizing the triple thread.

You can see, therefore, why so much emphasis is laid by esotericists upon fusion, unity or blending; only when this is intelligently realized can the disciple begin to weave the threads into a bridge of light which eventually becomes the Lighted Way across which he can pass into the higher worlds of being. Thus he liberates himself from the three worlds. It is – in this world cycle – pre-eminently a question of fusion and expressing (in full waking awareness) three major states of consciousness:

  1. The Shamballa Consciousness.
    Awareness of the unity and purpose of Life.
    Recognition and cooperation with the Plan.
    Will. Direction. Oneness.
    The influence of the Triad.
  2. The Hierarchical Consciousness.
    Awareness of the Self, the Soul.
    Recognition and cooperation with divinity.
    Love. Attraction. Relation.
    The influence of the Soul.
  3. The Human Consciousness.
    Awareness of the soul within the form.
    Recognition and cooperation with the soul.
    Intelligence. Action. Expression.
    The influence of the consecrated personality.

The man who finally builds the antahkarana across the mental plane connects or relates these three divine aspects, so that progressively at each initiation they are more closely fused into one divine expression in full and radiant manifestation. Putting it in other words, the disciple treads the path of return, builds the antahkarana, crosses the Lighted Way, and achieves the freedom of the Path of Life.

One of the points which it is essential that students should grasp is the deeply esoteric fact that this antahkarana is built through the medium of a conscious effort within consciousness itself, and not just by attempting to be good, or to express goodwill, or to demonstrate the qualities of unselfishness and high aspiration. Many esotericists seem to regard the treading of the Path as the conscious effort to overcome the lower nature and to express life in terms of right living and thinking, love and intelligent understanding. It is all that, but it is something far more. Good character and good spiritual aspiration are basic essentials. But these are taken for granted by the Master Who has a disciple under training; their foundation and their recognition and development are the objectives upon the Path of Probation.

But to build the antahkarana is to relate the three divine aspects. This involves intense mental activity; it necessitates the power to imagine and to visualize, plus a dramatic attempt to build the Lighted Way in mental substance. This mental substance is – as we have seen – of three qualities or natures, and the bridge of living light is a composite creation, having in it:

  1. Force, focused and projected from the fused and blended forces of the personality.
  2. Energy, drawn from the egoic body by, a conscious effort.
  3. Energy, abstracted from the Spiritual Triad.

It is essentially, however, an activity of the integrated and dedicated personality. Esotericists must not take the position that all they have to do is to await negatively some activity by the soul which will automatically take place after a certain measure of soul contact has been achieved, and that consequently and in time this activity will evoke response both from the personality and the Triad. This is not the case. The work of the building of the antahkarana is primarily an activity of the personality, aided by the soul; this in time evokes a reaction from the Triad. There is far too much inertia demonstrated by aspirants at this time.

One might also look at this matter from another angle. The personality is beginning to transmute knowledge into wisdom, and when this takes place the focus of the personality life is then upon the mental plane, because the transmutation process (with its stages of understanding, analysis, recognition and application) is fundamentally a mental process. The personality is also beginning to comprehend the significance of love and to interpret it in terms of the group well-being, and not in terms of the personal self, of desire or even of aspiration. True love is rightly understood only by the mental type who is spiritually oriented. The personality is also arriving at the realization that there is in reality no such thing as sacrifice. Sacrifice is usually only the thwarted desire of the lower nature, willingly endured by the aspirant, but – in this phase – a misinterpretation and limitation. Sacrifice is really complete conformity to the will of God because the spiritual will of the man and the divine will (as he recognizes it in the Plan) is his will. There is a growing identification in purpose. Therefore, self-will, desire and those intelligent activities which are dually motivated are seen and recognized as only the lower expression of the three divine aspects, and the effort is to express these in terms of the soul and not, as hitherto, in terms of a dedicated and rightly oriented personality. This becomes possible in its true sense only when the focus of the life is in the mental vehicle and the head as well as the heart is becoming active. In this process, the stages of character building are seen as essential and effective, and are willingly and consciously undertaken. But – when these foundations of good character and intelligent activity are firmly established – something still higher and more subtle must be erected on the substructure.

  • • Knowledge-wisdom must be superseded by intuitive understanding; this is, in reality, inclusive participation in the creative activity of divinity. The divine idea must become the possible ideal, and this ideal must become unfolded and manifested in substance upon the physical plane. The creative thread, now somewhat ready, must be brought into conscious functioning and activity.
  • • Desire-love must be interpreted in terms of divine attraction, involving the right use or misuse of energies and forces. This process puts the disciple in touch with divinity as a progressively revealed Whole. The part, through the magnetic development of its own nature, comes into touch gradually with all that Is. The disciple becomes aware of this sum total in increasingly vivid expansions of consciousness, leading to initiation, realization and identification. These are the three stages of initiation.
    The consciousness thread, in cooperation with the creative thread and the life thread, awakens to a fully aware process of participation in the divine creative Plan – a Plan which is motivated by love and intelligently carried forward.
  • • Direction-Will (which are words describing the orientation produced by the understanding of the two processes of knowledge-wisdom and desire-love) must produce the final orientation of the personality and the soul, fused and blended and at-one, towards the freedom of the Spiritual Triad; then the conscious attempt to use these three energies eventuates in creating the antahkarana upon the mental plane. You will note that at this early stage of the process I am emphasizing the words “orientation” and “attempt.” They simply indicate the final control of substance by the initiate.

One of the indications that a man is no longer upon the Probationary Path is his emerging from the realm of aspiration and devotion into the world of the focused will. Another indication is that he begins to interpret life in terms of energy and forces, and not in terms of quality and desire. This marks a definite step forward. There is too little use of the spiritual will, as the result of right orientation, in the life of disciples today.

In the future, this Science of the Antahkarana and its lower correspondence, the Science of Social Evolution (which is the joint or united antahkarana of humanity as a whole), will be known as the Science of Invocation and Evocation. It is in reality the Science of Magnetic Rapport, in which right relationship is brought about by mutual invocation, producing a responsive process which is one of evocation. It is this science which lies behind all conscious awakening of the centers and their interrelation; it lies behind the rapport between man and man, group and group, and eventually between nation and nation. It is this invocation, and the consequent evocation, which eventually relate soul and personality and soul and monad. It is the outstanding objective of humanity’s appeal to God, to the Hierarchy and to the Spiritual Powers of the cosmos, no matter by what name you call them. The appeal goes forth. The invocation of humanity can and will and must evoke response from the spiritual Hierarchy and give the first demonstration upon a large scale of this new esoteric science – esoteric because it is based upon sound. Hence the use of the OM. Into this science I cannot here go; we must confine our attention to our theme, which is the Science of the Antahkarana. 


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