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as portrayed in The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky

as portrayed in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-conception by Max Heindel

as portrayed in The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune

as portrayed in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire by Alice A. Bailey


as portrayed in The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky.

The following comparative diagram shows the identity between the two systems, the Kabalistic and the Eastern. The three upper are the three higher planes of consciousness, revealed and explained in both schools only to the Initiates, the lower ones represent the four lower planes — the lowest being our plane, or the visible Universe.

These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three "seats" to life and activity. And how many are capable of bringing themselves to even a superficial comprehension of Atma-Vidya (Spirit-Knowledge), or what is called by the Sufis, Rohanee! ...................

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* The Arupa or "formless," there where form ceases to exist, on the objective plane.

† The word "Archetypal" must not be taken here in the sense that the Platonists gave to it, i.e., the world as it existed in the Mind of the Deity; but in that of a world made as a first model, to be followed and improved upon by the worlds which succeed it physically — though deteriorating in purity.

‡ These are the four lower planes of Cosmic Consciousness, the three higher planes being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present. The seven states of human consciousness pertain to quite another question.


as portrayed in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-conception by Max Heindel

Diagram 2 will give a comprehensive idea of the seven Worlds which are the sphere of our development, but we must carefully keep in mind that these Worlds are not placed one above another, as shown in the diagram. They inter-penetrate - that is to say, that as in the case where the relation of the Physical World and the Desire World was compared, where we likened the Desire World to the lines for force in freezing water and the water itself to the Physical World, in the same way we may think of the lines of force as being any of the seven Worlds, and the water, as in our illustration, would correspond to the next denser World in the scale.

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as portrayed in The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune.

The Ten Sephiroth are also conformed into Seven Palaces. In the First Palace are the Three Supernals; in the Seventh Palace are Yesod and Malkuth; and the rest of the Sephiroth each has a Palace to itself. The grouping is of interest as revealing the intimate relationship of Yesod and Malkuth, and enabling the tenfold scale of the Qabalah to be equated with the sevenfold scale of Theosophy.

as portrayed in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire by Alice A. Bailey.

For the sake of those who read this treatise, and because the sequential repetition of fact makes for clarity, let us here briefly tabulate certain fundamental hypotheses that have a definite bearing upon the matter in hand, and which may serve to clear up the present existing confusion concerning the matter of the solar system. Some of the facts stated are already well known, others are inferential, while some are the expression of old and true correspondences couched in a more modern form.

a. The lowest cosmic plane is the cosmic physical, and it is the only one which the finite mind of man can in any way comprehend.

b. This cosmic physical plane exists in matter differentiated into seven qualities, groups, grades, or vibrations.

c. These seven differentiations are the seven major planes of our solar system.

For purposes of clarity, we might here tabulate under the headings physical, systemic, and cosmic, so that the relationship and the correspondences may be apparent, and the connection to that which is above, and to that which is below, or included, may be plainly seen.
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Physical Plane

Systemic Plane

Cosmic Plane

1.    Atomic plane
       1st ether

Divine. Adi.
Primordial matter

Atomic plane
1st ether

2.    Sub-atomic         

Monadic. Anupadaka The Akasha

2nd ether

3.    Super-etheric

Spiritual. Atmic

3rd ether


4.    Etheric

Intuitional. Buddhic

4th Cosmic ether


5.    Gaseous

Mental. Fire

Gaseous Sub-etheric

6.    Liquid

Astral. Emotional


7.    Dense physical

Physical plane

Dense physical

d. These major seven planes of our solar system being but the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane, we can consequently see the reason for the emphasis laid by H. P. B. upon the fact that matter and ether are synonymous terms and that this ether is found in some form or other on all the planes, and is but a gradation of cosmic atomic matter, called when undifferentiated mulaprakriti or primordial pre-genetic substance, and when differentiated by Fohat (or the energising Life, the third Logos or Brahma) it is termed prakriti, or matter.

e. Our solar system is what is called a system of the fourth order; that is, it has its location on the fourth cosmic etheric plane, counting, as always, from above downwards.

f. Hence this fourth cosmic etheric plane forms the meeting ground for the past and the future, and is the present.

g. Therefore, also, the buddhic or intuitional plane (the correspondence in the system of this fourth cosmic ether) is the meeting ground, or plane of union, for that which is man and for that which will be superman, and links the past with that which is to be.

h. The following correspondences in time would repay careful meditation. They are based on a realisation of the relationship between this fourth cosmic ether, the buddhic plane, and the fourth physical etheric subplane.

The fourth subplane of mind, the correspondence on the mental plane of the physical etheric, is likewise a point of transition from out of a lower into a higher, and is the transferring locality into a higher body.

The fourth subplane of the monadic plane is in a very real sense the place of transition from off the egoic ray (whichever that ray may be) on to the monadic ray; these three major rays are organised on the three higher subplanes of the monadic plane in the same way that the three abstract subplanes of the mental are the group of transference from off the personality ray on to the egoic.

The four lesser rays blend with the third major ray of active intelligence on the mental plane and on the atmic plane. The four Logoi or planetary Spirits work as one, on the atmic plane.

i. Another synthesis takes place on the synthetic second ray on the second subplane of the buddhic plane and the monadic plane, while the comparatively few Monads of will or power are synthesised on the atomic subplane of the atmic. All three groups of Monads work in triple form on the mental plane under the Mahachohan, the Manu, and the Bodhisattva, or the Christ; on the second or monadic plane they work as a unit, only demonstrating their dual work on the atmic plane, and their essential triplicity on the buddhic plane.

The fourth etheric plane holds the key to the dominance of matter, and it might be noted that:

On the fourth physical ether man begins to co-ordinate his astral, or emotional body, and to escape at ever more frequent intervals into that vehicle. Continuity of consciousness is achieved when a man has mastered the four ethers.

On the fourth subplane of the mental plane, man begins to control his causal or egoic body, and to polarise his consciousness therein until the polarisation is complete. He functions then consciously on it when he has mastered the correspondences to the ethers on the mental plane.

On the buddhic plane (the fourth cosmic ether) the Heavenly Men (or the grouped consciousness of the human and deva Monads) begin to function, and to escape eventually from the cosmic etheric planes. When these three cosmic ethers are mastered, the functioning is perfected, polarisation is centred in the monadic vehicles, and the seven Heavenly Men have achieved Their goal.

j. On these etheric levels, therefore, the Logos of our system repeats, as a grand totality, the experiences of His tiny reflections on the physical planes; He co-ordinates His cosmic astral body, and attains continuity of consciousness when He has mastered the three cosmic ethers.

k. It is to be observed that just as in man the dense physical body in its three grades—dense, liquid and gaseous—is not recognised as a principle, so in the cosmic sense the physical (dense) astral (liquid) and mental (gaseous) levels are likewise regarded as non-existing, and the solar system has its location on the fourth ether. The seven sacred planets are composed of matter of this fourth ether, and the seven Heavenly Men, whose bodies they are, function normally on the fourth plane of the system, the buddhic or the fourth cosmic ether. When man has attained the consciousness of the buddhic plane, he has raised his consciousness to that of the Heavenly Man in whose body he is a cell. This is achieved at the fourth Initiation, the liberating initiation. At the fifth Initiation he ascends with the Heavenly Man on to the fifth plane (from the human standpoint), the atmic, and at the sixth he has dominated the second cosmic ether and has monadic consciousness and continuity of function. At the seventh Initiation he dominates the entire sphere of matter contained in the lowest cosmic plane, escapes from all etheric contact, and functions on the cosmic astral plane.

The past solar system saw the surmounting of the three lowest cosmic physical planes viewed from the matter standpoint and the co-ordination of the dense threefold physical form in which all life is found, dense matter, liquid matter, gaseous matter. A correspondence may be seen here in the work achieved in the first three rootraces.






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