Seen from the human perspective is the egoic lotus one of the key concepts presented in the Secret Wisdom Teaching. In the present contemplation shall this concept be given an overview.
In the Secret Wisdom Teaching the term ‘egoic lotus’ is used synonymously with terms such as ‘egoic vehicle’, ‘egoic body’, ‘soul vehicle’, ‘soul body’, ‘causal vehicle’, ‘causal body’, ‘twelve-petalled lotus’ and ‘karana sarira’.1, 2, 3 All these terms are indicative of the nature and of the characteristics of this referred to given (perhaps with the exception of the Sanskrit term ‘karana sarira’ which is indicated to be used inaccurately)4. Here also the metaphorical term of ‘temple of Solomon’ must be mentioned,5 however due to this term being used highly metaphorical shall it not be included in the consideration of terms under this paragraph. Now what the aforementioned in the present consideration included terms have in common is that they are composed of a noun and an adjective. Let us try to get a first glimpse of the nature of the egoic lotus by considering these nouns and adjectives.
The first that can be deduced from the referential nouns is that the egoic lotus is a lotus, is a vehicle, is a body. With a body being consistent of matter6 or substance is the egoic lotus a body because it consists of matter or substance of a certain (mental) kind.7 This body is also a vehicle because it is being used by a higher type of energy,8 because it is being used by a consciousness.9 And this body and vehicle is also (symbolically) a lotus because it is by clairvoyants seen as a lotus with flaming petals.10
The adjectives of the terms tell us that this lotus, vehicle and body is egoic, soulish, causal and twelve-petalled. The egoic vehicle is egoic and soulish because it is used as a vehicle by an ego or soul (both being exchangeable terms),11 which regards the in the above section mentioned consciousness12. This same causal body is also causal because it is the cause of individuality.13 And further is this same twelve-petalled lotus twelve-petalled because twelve whorls are located within this wheel of fire (of which the inner three are initially hidden).14
So basically the egoic lotus is a vehicle or body of the soul causing individuality and which is symbolized and seen by clairvoyants as a lotus with twelve (or nine) flaming petals.
‘The egoic lotus is a vehicle or body of the soul causing individuality and which is symbolized and seen by clairvoyants as a lotus with twelve (or nine) flaming petals.’ This definition can be divided into three sub-definitions. Of these the first says that the egoic lotus is a vehicle. The second says that it is the cause of individuality. And the third says that it is symbolized and seen by clairvoyants as a lotus with twelve (or nine) flaming petals. Each of these three sub-definitions shall be generally elucidated, starting with the first under this paragraph.
‘The egoic lotus is a vehicle or body of the soul.’ Basically it can be said that a given relates to another given as a vehicle when it is negatively charged towards it. Thus the egoic lotus can be seen as being negatively charged towards the soul (with the soul being positively charged towards the egoic lotus). In this do the soul and the egoic lotus relate to each other in analogy with life to form and consciousness in general to its vehicles.15
The egoic lotus however stands not only in direct relation with the soul but also with the threefold personality (consisting of a mental, an emotional and a physical body).16 And in this relation is the egoic lotus, being the cause and root of the personality,17 positively and the personality negatively charged. This becomes clear when it is taken in account that the buildup of the egoic lotus is the result of the soul acting on it and the personality reacting on it.18
The question may rise how it is possible that the egoic lotus can be the cause of the personality and being build up by the latter’s reaction to it at the same time. As a very short answer to that question it can be said that the personality is caused by the egoic lotus already when it is still a lotus bud and that by the reaction of the personality the egoic lotus is being build up to a full bloom lotus. The next two paragraphs should give more clarity.
When the sub-definition of the egoic lotus is postulated as the latter being the cause of individuality, and later the egoic lotus is asserted to be the cause of the personality, then one may get tempted to think of individuality and personality as being one and the same. This however cannot be logically deduced from the two assertions, and also it is not the case. Individuality and personality are not the same. For individuality belongs to the soul or ego, which, being the higher self, reflects itself in the personality, being the lower self.19 But although both being different is the egoic lotus nevertheless the cause of both.
The egoic lotus itself comes into being through the contact of the polar opposites of life and form.20 Having come into being as a sheath of mental substance it separates one unit of egoic consciousness from another such a unit.21 This separation of souls is what basically defines individualisation . And thus is the egoic lotus the cause of individuality.
Now within this egoic lotus are contained the two permanent atoms of the physical and astral body and the mental unit of the mental body.22, 23 These permanent atoms and mental unit are basically small centres of force around which the physical, astral and mental body of the threefold personality is built.24 As these personality bodies disappear after each incarnation do the permanent atoms and the mental unit however remain. This they do to later on gather around them new building atoms for new personality bodies when a new incarnation is due.25 Considering these permanent atoms and mental unit being part of the egoic lotus can it be understood how the egoic lotus through the aforementioned permanent atoms and mental unit is the cause of the personality.
As declared earlier does the egoic lotus have twelve petals. Of these are the inner three petals hidden. ‘Hidden’ means here that these three petals are closely folded into a bud. And within this bud of three folded petals then is found what is called ‘the jewel in the lotus’.26 (In the lower part of the bud, though not in the centre, are also found the permanent atoms and the mental unit).27 Because of the inner three petals being hidden is the egoic lotus also referred to as ‘the nine-petalled lotus’. These unhidden nine petals are arranged in three circles of three petals. Of these are the three outer petals called ‘knowledge petals’, the middle three ‘love petals’ and the inner three ‘sacrificial petals’.28 Let us have a closer look at all the aforementioned aspects of the twelve-petalled lotus.
We shall start with the earlier mentioned permanent atoms and the mental unit. These are found in the lower part of the bud centre and are seen (by the clairvoyant) as three points of light29 with a dull red glow.30
In the outer circle of the nine-petalled lotus we find three petals of knowledge. Petal one represents knowledge on the physical plane, petal two love and petal three sacrifice. In the middle we find three petals of love. Petal one represents higher knowledge applied through love on the physical and astral planes, petal two higher intelligent love and petal three loving intelligent sacrifice. In the inner circle of the nine-petalled lotus then we find three petals of sacrifice. Petal one represents the will to sacrifice through knowledge on the mental plane, petal two the will to sacrifice through love and petal three the utter sacrifice of all forever.31 Every single of the aforementioned petals is of a different color combination, although all nine have a predominant orange hue.32
The hidden petals of the twelve-petalled lotus are of a lemon-yellow hue.33 Where the permanent atoms and the mental unit concern the substance aspect of existence or becoming and the nine outer petals concern the psychical aspect or the development of consciousness there do the three inner petals embody the aspect of pure spirit.34
Hidden within the three enclosed inner petals then is found the jewel in the lotus, which can be seen as a brilliant point of electric fire of a blue-white hue.35 This jewel regards the spirit or life.36 It is the director of energy and window of the monad (as the spirit principle in man is called)37, and as such it is situated between manas and buddhi, linking these two planes.38 Eight streams of fire ray forth from this jewel to the tops of the four love and four sacrifice petals (the hidden knowledge, love and sacrifice petal included).39
Taking the above descriptions of the aspects of the egoic lotus in account, along with the mentioned colors in the corresponding notes, can an interpretative symbol as in figure 1 be visualized. Note that the visualized egoic lotus is interpretive, not visionary, and thus definitely not conclusive.
When describing and visualizing the egoic lotus here the latter must not be confused with the hearth centre which is twelve-petalled too.40 The heart centre consists in etheric substance41 while the egoic lotus consists in mental substance42. In this etheric substance is the heart centre also differently visualized. For the heart centre has twelve golden petals43 while the egoic lotus is visualized as described above.
There is however a correspondence between the egoic lotus and the heart centre. For the egoic lotus can be seen as the heart centre of the monad or spirit.44 And as such does a direct flow of energy exist between the twelve-petalled egoic lotus and the twelve-petalled heart centre.45
The heart centre however is not the only twelve-petalled centre to which the egoic lotus corresponds. For at the centre of the thousand-petalled lotus or the head centre is found also a twelve petalled-lotus. This lotus is intermediary between the egoic lotus and the head centre and also corresponds with the heart centre.46 This twelve-petalled lotus too should despite its correspondences not be confused with the egoic lotus (or the heart centre).
Having cleared possible confusions on different twelve-petalled lotuses the present contemplation may now be continued with a consideration of the evolution of the egoic lotus.
Two paragraphs back an interpretative symbol was visualized. Having done this the egoic lotus should however not be thought of as being static in its appearance. For it knows a coming to being, an unfoldment and a destruction. Under this paragraph a general overview of this evolution shall be given.
Coming to Being
The coming to being of the egoic lotus already has been touched upon. For it was mentioned that the egoic lotus comes to being at the moment of individualisation . In the process of becoming does this lotus first form nine, still tightly closed, petals under influence of an appropriation of impulsory and inherent vibrations on the third subplane of the mental plane.47 On this mental plane a triangle appears circulating between the manasic permanent atom on the first subplane, the mental unit on the fourth subplane and a point in the centre of the egoic lotus.48 Then a downflow of buddhi causes the appearance of the three inner petals, covering the central flame or ‘jewel in the lotus’. Also the mental unit and astral and physical permanent atoms are enclosed, the manasic triangle is withdrawn to the centre, and the egoic lotus,49 though still in budform, is now complete.50
When the egoic lotus has come to being a long period of organizing and unfolding of the nine outer petals starts. A symbolical number of 777 incarnations is mentioned for this period.51 The period is threefold whereby, again symbolically, the first period lasts for 700 incarnations,52 the second 7053 and the last 7.
In the first period the petals of knowledge are organized and unfolded in what is called ‘the Hall of Ignorance’.54 This period is characterized by identification with the phenomenal world.55 It is the period of the personality.56 With the petals of knowledge being three in number can this period be divided into three sub-periods. In the first the knowledge petal for the physical plane unfolds through (hurtful) experiences on the physical plane.57 In the second the love petal for the physical plane unfolds through relationships on the physical plane.58 In the third the sacrifice petal for the physical plane unfolds through (involuntary) offering up of the physical body on the altar of desire and aspiration.59 This unfoldment cumulates in the full revelation of the knowledge petals at the first initiation,60 bringing about awareness of the third aspect of the soul; active intelligence.61 At this first initiation also the corresponding petal of the three inner petals surrounding the jewel in the lotus opens up.62 With the unfoldments in this first period does the physical permanent atom become radioactive and a radiant light.63
In the second period the petals of love are organized and unfolded in what is called ‘the Hall of Learning’.64 This period is characterized by satiety, restlessness and a search for the knowledge of the soul.65 This is the period of the mystic.66 With the petals of love being too three in number can again this period be divided into three sub-periods. In the first the knowledge petal for the astral plane unfolds through the conscious balancing of the (emotional) pairs of opposites and a beginning comprehension of causes.67 In the second the love petal for the astral plane unfolds through the strive to turn attention to the love of reality within.68 In the third the sacrifice petal for the astral plane unfolds through a conscious attempt to give up own desires for group sake.69 The unfoldment of these petals cumulates in the full revelation of the love petals at the second initiation,70 bringing about awareness of the second aspect of the soul; love-wisdom.71 At this second initiation also the corresponding petal of the three inner petals surrounding the jewel in the lotus opens up.72 With the unfoldments in this second period does the astral permanent atom become as radiant as the physical.73
In the third period the petals of sacrifice are organized and unfolded in what is called ‘the Hall of Wisdom’.74 This period is characterized by realization, expansion of consciousness and identification with the spiritual man.75 This is the period of the occultist.76 With also the petals of sacrifice being three in number can again this period be divided into three sub-periods. In the first the knowledge petal for the mental plane unfolds through the utilization of all that was gained for the benefit of humanity.77 In the second the love petal for the mental plane unfolds through application of the soul powers to the selfless service of humanity.78 In the third the sacrifice petal for the mental plane unfolds through lives spent with the soul as predominant bias.79 The unfoldment of these petals cumulates in the full revelation of the sacrifice petals at the third initiation,80 bringing about awareness of the first aspect of the soul; will.81 At this third initiation also the corresponding petal of the three inner petals surrounding the jewel in the lotus opens up.82 With the unfoldments in this third period does the mental unit become too a radiant point of light.83
The unfoldment of the egoic lotus is now complete. It should be noted here that the description of unfoldment given in this paragraph is a general one, and that unfoldment of individual petals may not take place as chronologically as sketched.84
In the previous subparagraph a general description has been given of the unfoldment of the egoic lotus up to the third initiation. In this has the process towards the fourth initiation not been described. At the fourth initiation is the egoic lotus destroyed,85 and thus it seems more suitable to treat the process towards this destruction under the present subparagraph.
The previous subparagraph was left at the third initiation when the egoic lotus has completely unfolded its petals of knowledge, love and sacrifice. Also with each initiation the jewel in the lotus is increasingly displayed by the inner bud petals.86 Towards the fourth initiation does the intensity of the light, heat and force ever increase,87 until at the fourth initiation they break through the bud petals and destroy the entire egoic lotus.88 With this is the essence of the personality (stored up in the now disintegrating permanent atoms and mental unit) being abstracted into the monad.89 The fire of substance of the permanent atoms is burned up by the fire of consciousness of the nine outer petals, which in turn blends with the fire of spirit of the jewel and thus disappear out of manifestation too.90, 91
We set out this contemplation to give an overview of the egoic lotus as one of the key concepts in the Secret Wisdom Teaching and started with a consideration of terms. On base of this consideration the egoic lotus was defined as a vehicle or body of the soul causing individuality and which is symbolized and seen by clairvoyants as a lotus with twelve (or nine) flaming petals. The egoic lotus was found to be a vehicle of the soul due to it being negatively charged towards the soul. And being itself positively charged toward the threefold personality was the egoic lotus considered as the cause of the personality. This personality however was set apart from individuality (which too is caused by the egoic lotus). For individuality belongs to the higher self whereas personality belongs to the lower self. This individuality was seen as caused by the egoic lotus by the separation of one soul from another.
The egoic lotus was also considered in its symbolic form of a twelve-petalled lotus. This lotus was seen consisting of three knowledge petals, three love petals, three sacrifice petals, three inner bud petals, two permanent atoms and a mental unit, and a jewel. A visualization of this was given. Further was this twelve-petalled egoic lotus differentiated from the twelve-petalled heart centre and the twelve-petalled centre in the head.
Finally the evolution of the egoic lotus was sketched in three periods; a coming to being, an unfoldment and a destruction. Along with the coming to being of the egoic lotus man is individualized, at the first initiation the knowledge petals are fully unfolded, at the second the love petals and at the third the sacrifice petals. At the fourth initiation the egoic lotus was described to be destroyed, abstracting all stored up experiences and gained qualities into the spirit or monad.
May thus our egoic lotuses unfold and come to full bloom.