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Esoteric Healing - Chapter VIII - The Laws and Rules Enumerated and Applied
One of the things which frequently puzzle students is the statement that the dense physical body is not a principle. H.P.B. states this fact with emphasis; people are apt to think (unless they are theosophical fanatics) that he was incorrect or was intentionally misleading students. One of the points, little understood, is the nature of a principle. Yet only by understanding what a principle is can the beauty and accuracy of his statement be grasped. What, in the last analysis, is a principle? A principle is that which, macrocosmically speaking, is being developed upon each plane of our seven planes - the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane. It is the germ or the seed on each subplane which embodies some aspect of the divine unfolding consciousness; [612] it is that which is fundamentally related to some form of sensitivity; it is that to which the bodies, as they evolve, find that they can respond. A principle is a germ of awareness, carrying all the potentiality of full consciousness on some particular level of divine activity. It is that which makes knowledge and conscious response to environment possible; it is that which connotes a sequential and "unrolling" sensitive activity, resulting in divine understanding, possible and inevitable.

The physical body, and to a far less extent the astral and mental bodies, are automatic in their activity as aspects of a divine response apparatus, of a mechanism which enables the Heavenly Man, the planetary Logos and the spiritual man to register conscious response to that which is to be contacted under the divine plan and through the medium of a mechanism. At present, the physical body is the only one which is as yet so fully developed that it has in this planetary scheme of ours no further evolutionary development, except in so far as the spiritual man can affect it - and most of the effect is produced in the etheric body and not in the dense physical. This is a point little grasped but of major importance.

The dense physical body reached its high point of development and of interest (from the angle of mental attention and of hierarchical action) in the previous solar system. It was then the divine goal of the entire evolutionary process. This is not an easy point for humanity today to grasp. It is not possible or advisable for me to indicate the evolutionary stages through which this divine mechanism passed in preparation for the task to be undertaken in the present solar system. In this divine incarnation of our planetary Logos through the medium of this little planet, the Earth, the physical body is not a goal, but simply something which exists and must be accepted, and which must be adapted and [613] incorporated into the general evolutionary plan. That plan has to do entirely with consciousness. The physical body is simply (no more and no less) the vehicle of consciousness upon the physical plane, but the emphasis of attention is the etheric body as an expression of the subtler vehicles and their state of embodied consciousness. The physical body is important because it has to house and respond to every type of conscious response, from that of the lowest type of human being up to and inclusive of the consciousness of an initiate of the third degree. The bodies and forms of the indwelling conscious life in the three subhuman kingdoms have an analogous but less difficult problem; I am here, however, considering only the physical body of a human being, which is not a principle because it is not in any way a goal; it is not the seed or germ of anything. Any changes wrought in the physical body are secondary to the goal of conscious response to the revelation of an emerging divinity. I have felt it necessary to emphasize this because of the confusion in men's minds anent the subject.

To sum up: the physical body is not a principle; it is not a main object of attention of the aspirant; it automatically responds to the slowly unfolding consciousness in all the kingdoms of nature; it constantly remains that which is worked upon and not that which has an innate influence of its own; it is not important in the active process, for it is a recipient and not that which initiates activity. That which is important is the unfolding consciousness, the response of the indwelling spiritual man to life, circumstances, events and environment. The physical body responds. When the physical body becomes, in error, the object of attention, retrogression is indicated; and this is why all profound attention to the physical disciplines, to vegetarianism, to diet and to fasting, and to the present modes of (so-called) mental and divine healing, are [614] undesirable and not in line with the projected plan. Therefore undue consideration and excessive emphasis upon the physical body is reactionary and is like the worship of the golden calf by the children of Israel; it is reversion to that which at one time was of importance but today should be relegated to a minor position and below the threshold of consciousness.

I have dealt with this here because in Law VII the fact of the endocrine glands is brought to our attention, and it is necessary that we approach this subject from the right point of view. The endocrine glands are a tangible part of the physical body; they are therefore a part of that created manifestation which is not regarded as a principle. They are, however, effective and potent and may not be ignored. It is essential that students regard these glands as effects and not causes of events and happenings and conditions in the body. The physical body - no matter what its victims may believe and declare - is always conditioned by inner causes; it is never, intrinsically, itself a cause. It is, in this solar system and on our planet, automatic and affected by causes generated on the inner planes or by the action of the soul. Please note the importance of this statement. The physical body has no true life of its own, but is simply - in this cycle - responsive to impulses emanating from elsewhere. Its achievement and its triumph is that it is an automaton. If you can grasp this adequately, we can safely proceed to the consideration of Law VII and Rule Four.

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