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Esoteric Psychology I - Foreword
Foreword

"Matter is the Vehicle for the manifestation of Soul on this plane of existence, and Soul is the Vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of Spirit, and these three are a Trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all."
- The Secret Doctrine,  Vol. I., page 80. (Third Edition)

Three Souls, One Man

Three souls which make up one soul: first, to wit,
A soul of each and all the bodily parts,
Seated therein, which works, and is what Does,
And has the use of earth, and ends the man
Downward: but, tending upward for advice,
Grows into, and again is grown into
By the next soul, which, seated in the brain,
Useth the first with its collected use,
And feeleth, thinketh, willeth, - is what Knows:
Which, duly tending upward in its turn,
Grows into, and again is grown into
By the last soul, that uses both the first,
Subsisting whether they assist or no,
And, constituting man's self, is what Is -
And leans upon the former, makes it play,
As that played off the first: and, tending up,
Holds, is upheld by, God, and ends the man
Upward in that dread point of intercourse,
Nor needs a place, for it returns to Him.
What Does, what Knows, what Is; three souls, one man.

- Death in the Desert by Robert Browning [xvii]

The question arises, each time a book is written which is to be read by earnest aspirants: What line of instruction will carry forward their training with the most speed? - for speed is an essential factor, if the present day unfoldment is to be rightly utilized and the stress and strain in the world relieved. The teaching to be given must likewise increase their mental competency, and lead to that stabilization of the emotional body which will most rapidly set them free for service. It must be remembered that constant study (of papers), and the apprehension by the ear and eye of statements anent the Ageless Wisdom, serve only to increase responsibility, or produce brain fatigue and staleness, with subsequent revolt from instruction. Only that which is brought into use in the life is of practical value and retains its livingness. Sincerity is the first thing for which those of us who teach inevitably look.

Let me remind those I reach through these books that the main result I look for is one of group cooperation and understanding, and not that of individual benefit. By studying and reading with care, a group interplay is set up, the group becomes more closely integrated, the units in it more closely linked together and as a group more closely blended in the unfolding Plan of the Great Ones. We are building and planning for the future and for humanity, and not for the personal unfoldment of any particular aspirant. The individual growth is of no tremendous significance. The formation and development of a band of pledged aspirants, trained to work together and to respond in unison to a teaching, is of real moment [xviii] to those of us who are responsible for the training and for the preparation of the group of world disciples who will function with freedom and power in a later cycle. You see a tiny portion of the Plan. We see the Plan as it unfolds for a series of lives ahead, and we are today seeking those who can be taught to work in group formation and who can constitute one of the active units in the vast happenings that lie ahead, connected with that two-thirds of humanity who will stand upon the Path at the close of the age, and with that one-third who will be held over for later unfoldment. We are training men and women everywhere so that they can be sensitive to the Plan, sensitive to their group vibration, and thus able to cooperate intelligently with the unfolding purpose. It is a mistake to think that the Plan is to train aspirants to be sensitive to the vibration of a Master or to the Hierarchy. That is but incidental and of minor importance.

It is for the purpose of training aspirants so that group awareness may be developed that these books have been written. Recognize clearly that you personally do not count, but that the group most surely does. Teaching is not given only in order to train you or to provide you with opportunity. All life is opportunity, and individual reaction to opportunity is one of the factors which indicate soul growth. For this, the training school of the world itself suffices.

There should be in all impartation of truth no imposition of authority. Aspirants must be left free to avail themselves of the teaching or not, and spiritual work must go forward because of the free choice and self-initiated effort of the individual student.

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