The Nature of the Antahkarana
One of the difficulties connected with this study of the antahkarana is the fact that hitherto the work done upon the antahkarana has been entirely unconscious. Therefore, the concept in men’s minds relating to this form of creative work and this construction of the bridge meets at first with little response from the mind nature; also, in order to express these ideas, we have practically to create a new terminology, for there are no words suitable to define our meaning. Just as modern sciences have evolved a complete new terminology of their own during the past forty years, so this science must develop its own peculiar vocabulary. In the meantime, we must do the best we can with the words at our disposal.
The second point I would make is to ask those who are studying along these lines to realize that in time they will arrive at understanding, but that at present all that they can do is to depend upon the unalterable tendency of the subconscious nature to penetrate to the surface of consciousness as a reflex activity in the establishing of continuity of consciousness. This reflex activity of the lower nature corresponds to the development of continuity between the superconscious and the consciousness which develops upon the Path of Discipleship. It is all a part – in three stages – of the integrating process, proving to the disciple that all of life is (in terms of consciousness) one of revelation. Ponder on this.
Another of the difficulties in considering any of these esoteric sciences that deal with what has been called the “conscious unfoldment of the divine recognitions” (which is true awareness) is the ancient habit of humanity to materialize all knowledge. Everything man learns is applied – as the centuries pass – to the world of natural phenomena and of natural process, and not to the recognition of the Self, the Knower, the Beholder, the Observer. When, therefore, man enters upon the Path, he has to educate himself in the process of using knowledge in reference to the conscious self-aware Identity, or to the self-contained, self-initiating Individual. When he can do this, he is transmuting knowledge into wisdom.
Previously I spoke of “knowledge-wisdom” which are words synonymous with “force-energy.” Knowledge used is force expressing itself; wisdom used is energy in action. In these words you have the expression of a great spiritual law, one which you would do well to consider carefully. Knowledge-force concerns the personality and the world of material values; wisdom-energy expresses itself through the consciousness thread and the creative thread, as they constitute in themselves a woven dual strand. They are (for the disciple) a fusion of the past (consciousness thread) and the present (the creative thread), and together they form what is usually called, upon the Path of Return, the Antahkarana. This is not entirely accurate. The wisdom-energy thread is the sutratma or life thread, for the sutratma (when blended with the consciousness thread) is again also called the antahkarana. Perhaps it might clarify the issue somewhat if I pointed out that though these threads eternally exist in time and space, they appear distinct and separate until a man is a probationary disciple, and therefore becoming conscious of himself and not only of the not-self. There is the life thread or sutratma and the consciousness thread – the one anchored in the heart and the other in the head. Throughout all the past centuries, the creative thread, in one or other of its three aspects, has been slowly woven by the man; of this fact in nature his creative activity during the past two hundred years is an indication, so that today the creative thread is a unity, generally speaking, as regards humanity as a whole and specifically of the individual disciple, and forms a strong closely woven thread upon the mental plane.
These three major threads which are in reality six, if the creative thread is differentiated into its component parts, form the antahkarana. They embody past and present experience and are so recognized by the aspirant. It is only upon the Path itself that the phrase “building the antahkarana” becomes accurate and appropriate. It is in this connection that confusion is apt to arise in the mind of the student. He forgets that it is a purely arbitrary distinction of the lower analyzing mind to call this stream of energy the sutratma, and another stream of energy the consciousness thread and a third stream of energy the creative thread. They are essentially, all three of them together, the antahkarana in process of forming. It is equally arbitrary to call the bridge which the disciple builds from the lower mental plane – via the egoic, central vortex of force – the antahkarana. But for purposes of comprehending study and practical experience, we will define the antahkarana as the extension of the threefold thread (hitherto woven unconsciously, through life experimentation and the response of consciousness to environment) through the process of projecting consciously the triple blended energies of the personality as they are impulsed by the soul, across a gap in consciousness which has hitherto existed. Two events can then occur:
1. The magnetic response of the Spiritual Triad (atma-buddhi-manas), which is the expression of the Monad, is evoked. A triple stream of spiritual energy is slowly projected towards the egoic lotus and towards the lower man.
2. The personality then begins to bridge the gap which exists on its side between the manasic permanent atom and the mental unit, between the higher abstract mind and the lower mind.
Technically, and upon the Path of Discipleship, this bridge between the personality in its three aspects and the monad and its three aspects is called the antahkarana.
This antahkarana is the product of the united effort of soul and personality, working together consciously to produce this bridge. When it is completed, there is a perfect rapport between the monad and its physical plane expression, the initiate in the outer world. The third initiation marks the consummation of the process, and there is then a straight line of relationship between the monad and the lower personal self. The fourth initiation marks the complete realization of this relation by the initiate. It enables him to say: “I and my Father are one.” It is for this reason that the crucifixion, or the Great Renunciation, takes place. Forget not that it is the soul that is crucified. It is Christ Who “dies.” It is not the man; it is not Jesus. The causal body disappears. The man is monadically conscious. The soul-body no longer serves any useful purpose; it is no more needed. Nothing is left but the sutratma, qualified by consciousness – a consciousness which still preserves identity whilst merged in the whole. Another qualification is creativity; thus consciousness can be focused at will on the physical plane in an outer body or form. This body is will-created by the Master.
But in this task of unfoldment, of evolution and of development, the mind of man has to understand, analyze, formulate and distinguish; therefore the temporary differentiations are of profound and useful importance. We might therefore conclude that the task of the disciple is:
1. To become conscious of the following situations (if I may use such a word):
a. Process in combination with force.
b. Status upon the path, or recognition of the available qualifying agencies, or energies.
c. Fusion or integration of the consciousness thread with the creative thread and with the life thread.
d. Creative activity. This is essential, for it is not only through the development of creative ability in the three worlds that the necessary focal point is created, but this also leads to the building of the antahkarana, its “creation.”
To construct the antahkarana between the Spiritual Triad and the personality – with the cooperation of the soul. These three points of divine energy might be symbolized thus:
In this simple symbol you have a picture of the disciple’s task upon the Path.
Another diagram may serve to clarify:
In these you have the “nine of initiation” or the transmuting of nine forces into divine energies.