II -Universal Evolution: The Field of Unlimited Potentiality
2.) The Soul's Journey – The Courage to Create Our Destiny
( HPB, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, Page 634)
IT is the Spiritual evolution of the inner, immortal man that forms the fundamental tenet in the Occult Sciences. To realize even distantly such a process, the student has to believe (a) in the ONE Universal Life, independent of matter (or what Science regards as matter); and (b) in the individual intelligences that animate the various manifestations of this Principle. Mr. Huxley does not believe in "Vital Force," others do. Dr. J. H. Hutchinson Sterling's work "Concerning Protoplasm" has made no small havoc of this dogmatic negation. Professor Beale's decision is also in favour of a Vital Principle; and Dr. B. W. Richardson's lectures on the "Nervous Ether," have been sufficiently quoted from. Thus, opinions are divided.
(HPB, Articles, "Can The Mahatmas Be Selfish")
We are, by our constitution and state of evolution, placed in the "World of Relativity," but as we find that impersonality and non-duality is the ultimate end of cosmic evolution, we have to endeavor to work along with Nature, and not place ourselves in opposition to its inherent impulse which must ultimately assert itself. To oppose it, must necessitate suffering, since a weaker force, in its egotism, tries to array itself against the universal law.
(HPB, Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, Proem, p. 17)
Moreover, the Secret Doctrine teaches: --
(c) The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul -- a spark of the former -- through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term. In other words, no purely spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul) can have an independent (conscious) existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of the Universal Sixth principle, -- or the OVER-SOUL, -- has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric philosophy admits no privileges or special gifts in man, save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and reincarnations. This is why the Hindus say that the Universe is Brahma and Brahma, for Brahma is in every atom of the universe, the six principles in Nature being all the outcome -- the variously differentiated aspects -- of the SEVENTH and ONE, the only reality in the Universe whether Cosmical or micro-cosmical; and also why the permutations (psychic, spiritual and physical), on the plane of manifestation and form, of the sixth (Brahma the vehicle of Brahma) are viewed by metaphysical antiphrasis as illusive and Mayavic.
(HPB, "Spiritual Progress")
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI's well-known lines:
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Does the journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
are like an epitome of the life of those who are truly treading the path which leads to higher things. Whatever differences are to be found in the various presentations of the Esoteric Doctrine, as in every age it donned a fresh garment, different both in hue and texture to that which preceded; yet in every one of them we find the fullest agreement upon one point--the road to spiritual development. One only inflexible rule has been ever binding upon the neophyte, as it is binding now--the complete subjugation of the lower nature by the higher. From the Vedas and Upanishads to the recently published Light on the Path, search as we may through the bibles of every race and cult, we find but one only way,--hard, painful, troublesome, by which men can gain the true spiritual insight. And how can it be otherwise, since all religions and all philosophies are but the variants of the first teachings of the One Wisdom, imparted to men at the beginning of the cycle by the Planetary Spirit?
The true Adept, the developed man, must, we are always told, become--he cannot be made. The process is therefore one of growth through evolution, and this must necessarily involve a certain amount of pain.
Further Reading References:
HPB, Key To Theosophy, pg. 83 (Theos. Teaching As To Nature And Mind).
HPB, Secret Doctrine, vol. 1, Proem, pgs. 1-24.
HPB, The New Cycle.