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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Some Problems of Psychology
It is interesting to note that practically all the teaching given anent rebirth or reincarnation has emphasized the material phenomenal side though there has always been a more or less casual reference to the spiritual and mental gains acquired in the school of life upon this planet, from incarnation to incarnation. The true nature of the unfolding awareness and the growth in the inner consciousness of the true man have been little noted; the gain of each life in added grasp of [433] the mechanism of contact, and the result of increased sensitivity to the environment (which are the only values with which the self concerns itself), are seldom, if ever, stressed. Details of living conditions, statements about possible material situations, descriptions of places, clothes, and of personality human relations are imaginatively displayed, and the "recovery of past incarnations" has usually been the so-called recovery of dramatic episodes which feed the innate sense of individuality of the reincarnating man, and usually feed his vanity as well. This curious presentation has been due to several things. First of all, to the fact that the world of illusion is the dominating factor as yet in the lives of the best of men; secondly, that the point in evolution has been such that the writer or speaker has not been able to view the life cycle from the angle of the soul, detached and undeluded, for had he done so, the material phenomenal descriptions would have been omitted and probably not even perceived, and only the values - spiritual and mental - and those matters which concern the group interior life would have been emphasized. The methods used to present this age-old doctrine of rebirth, and the false emphasis laid upon the form aspect to the exclusion of the soul values, have brought about a bad reaction to the whole subject in the minds of intelligent people and of the scientific investigator. Yet, in spite of this, real good has been accomplished, for the whole theory has been seeping steadily into the racial consciousness, becoming an integral part of it and, therefore, moving on to popular and finally scientific recognition.

In considering the inner structure of man and those factors which produce the outer appearance and quality and condition it, thus producing the resultant behavior and conduct, psychologists will have to study the following subjects, [434] beginning with the lowest aspect and expanding their ideas to include the highest possible. These might be grouped and listed as follows:

  1. The outer response apparatus, acting under impulses received from the outer environment and the inner subjective realms. These come, according to the esoteric theories, via
    1. The brain, from whence certain aspects of the nervous system are directed and controlled, first by mental influence and then by conscious soul direction.
    2. The endocrine or glandular system, acting under impulses entering the physical body via the seven centers in the etheric body; of these centers, the glandular system is simply the externalization, or physical counterpart. The glands condition the man through the blood stream, being in their turn conditioned by the centers.
    3. The solar plexus, directing and controlling certain aspects of the nervous system, and which is in large part the instinctual or animal brain.
    4. The heart, the center of life.
  2. The astral or etheric body. This is the major energizing factor and is an exact replica or counterpart of the outer form, being the true intermediary between the inner worlds and the outer man. The nadis (lines or threads of force) underlie every nerve in the human body and the centers which they form at certain points of inter-section or juncture are the background or motivating agency of every ganglion or plexus found in the human body. Certain of these centers, major and minor, are of unique evolutionary importance. These are as follows: [435]
    1. The head center is the seat of soul energy, or the center through which the conscious, spiritual man functions.
    2. The heart center is the seat of life, of the highest principle which expresses itself through man.
    3. The solar plexus center is the seat of the instinctual life, of the animal soul, and of the highly developed emotional nature.
    4. The center at the base of the spine is the major integrating center and comes into functioning activity when two major fusions have been effected: that of the fusions of the three bodies into one coordinated personality, and when soul and body are at-oned.
  3. The emotional or sentient body, which is often called the astral body. From this vehicle emanate the desires, impulses, aspirations and those conflicts of duality which so oft afflict and hinder the disciple. It is the seat also of the creative, imaginative life of man. It also possesses centers of force which are counterparts of those to be found in the etheric body, but for the majority of people it is energized mainly from the world of illusion and from the astral plane. It is from this plane of illusory awareness, that the advanced man has to learn to withdraw himself.
  4. The mind nature, which works through four centers and only four.
  5. The soul itself, or the true spiritual man, the self in manifestation; working through or seeking to work through, its phenomenal appearance, the fourfold lower man.
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