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A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - Section One - Division E - Motion on the Physical and Astral Planes
a. Hearing. This, very appropriately, is the first sense to be manifested; the first aspect of manifestation is that of sound, and necessarily therefore we would expect sound to be the first thing noticed by man on the physical plane, the plane of densest manifestation, and of the most marked effects of sound, regarding it as a creating factor. Pre-eminently the physical plane is the plane of hearing and hence the sense ascribed to the lowest plane of evolution, and of each of the five planes. On this seventh or lowest plane man has to come to full cognizance of the effect of the Sacred Word as it is in process of sounding forth. As it reverberates throughout the system, it drives matter into its appointed place, and on the physical plane finds its point of deepest materiality and of most concrete demonstration. The key for man to discover and turn, concerns itself with the revealing of the mystery of:
  1. His own sound.
  2. His brother's sound.
  3. His group sound.
  4. The sound of that one of the Heavenly Men with whom he is connected.
  5. The sound of the Logos, or the sound of nature; of the solar system, of the Grand Man of the Heavens.

Therefore, we note that on the physical plane a man has to find his own note, finding it in spite of the density of the form.

  1. On the physical plane he finds his own note.
  2. On the astral plane he finds his brothers note; through identity of emotion he comes to the recognition of his brother's identity. [191]
  3. On the mental plane he begins to find his group note.
  4. On the buddhic plane, or the plane of wisdom, he begins to find the note of his planetary Logos.
  5. On the atmic, or spiritual plane the note logoic begins to sound within his consciousness.

I am differentiating thus for the sake of clarity. In evolution itself, due to the parallelism of nature, the distinctions are not so sharply made, and a man's ray, point of development, the work earlier accomplished, his temporary limitations, and other causes create a seeming confusion, but in the great scheme as seen from above downwards, the work proceeds as described.

Hearing on the astral plane is commonly called clairaudience, and means the ability to hear the sounds of the astral plane. It is a faculty that demonstrates throughout the entire astral body, and a man hears all over his vehicle and not only through the specialized organs, the ears, the product of physical plane action and reaction. This would necessarily be so, owing to the fluidic nature of the astral body. Man on the physical plane hears at the same time a certain range of sounds, and only a small and particular gamut of vibrations impinges upon his ears. There are many of the lesser sounds of nature which entirely escape him, while the major group sounds are not differentiated at all. As evolution proceeds and the inner sense of hearing becomes acute, these other physical plane sounds will likewise swing into his ken, and he will be acutely conscious of all sounds on the astral, and the physical plane - a thing, which if possible now, would result in the shattering of the body. If the note of nature, for instance, were to strike but once upon the ear of a man (a note made up of the totality of vibrations produced by all dense material forms) his physical body would be completely disrupted. [192] He is not ready yet for such a happening; the inner ear is not duly prepared. Only when the threefold hearing is consummated will completed hearing on the physical plane be likewise permitted.

Hearing on the mental plane is simply an extension of the faculty of differentiating sound. The hearing dealt with on all these planes is the hearing that has to do with the form, that concerns the vibration of matter, and that is occupied with the not-self. It has not to do with the psyche, or the telepathic communication that proceeds from mind to mind, but with the sound of the form or that power whereby one separated unit of consciousness is aware of another unit who is not himself. Bear this carefully in mind. When the extension of hearing becomes such that it concerns the psyche, then we call it telepathy or that wordless communication that is the synthesis of hearing on all the three lower planes and which is known by the Ego in the causal body on the formless levels of the mental plane.

On the buddhic plane, hearing (now of the synthetic quality called telepathy) demonstrates as complete comprehension, for it has involved two things:

  1. A knowledge and recognition of individual sound,
  2. A similar knowledge of group sound,

and their complete unification. This causes the most perfect comprehension, and is the secret of the Master's power.

On the atmic plane this perfected hearing is seen as beatitude. Sound, the basis of existence; sound, the method of being; sound, the final unifier; sound therefore realized as the raison d'Ítre, as the method of evolution, and therefore as beatitude.80 [193]


80 ..."the chief agency by which Nature's wheel is moved in a phenomenal direction is sound. Sound is the first aspect of the manifested pentagon since it is a property of ether called Akas and as I already said Vedic recitation is the highest Yagnam containing in itself all minor Yagnams and tending to preserve the manifested pentagon in the proper order. In the opinion of our old philosophers sound or speech is next to thought the highest karmic agent used by man.

Of the various karmic agencies wielded by man in the way of molding himself and surroundings, sound or speech is the most important, for, to speak is to work in ether which of course rules the lower quaternary of elements, air, fire, water and earth. Human sound or language contains therefore all the elements required to move the different classes of Devas and those elements are of course the vowels and the consonants. The details of the philosophy of sound in its relation to the devas who preside over the subtle world, belong to the domain of true Mantra Sastra which of course is in the hands of the knowers." - Some Thoughts on the Gita, p. 72.

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