“BEHOLD THE BEGINNING OF SENTIENT FORMLESS LIFE (a). FIRST, THE DIVINE (vehicle) (b). THE ONE FROM THE MOTHER SPIRIT (atman). THEN THE SPIRITUAL – (atman-buddhi, Spirit-soul) (c), (again) THE THREE FROM THE ONE (d), THE FOUR FROM THE ONE (e), AND THE FIVE (f), FROM WHICH THE THREE, THE FIVE AND THE SEVEN (g) – THESE ARE THE THREE-FORL AND THE FOUR-FOLD DOWNWARD, THE ‘MIND-BORN SONS OF THE FIRST LORD (Avalakiteswara) THE SHINING SEVEN (the ‘Builders’). IT IS THEY WHO ARE THOU, ME, HIM, O LANGO, THEY WHO WATCH OVER THEE AND THY MOTHER, BHUMI (the Earth).
“The hierarchy of creative powers is divided into seven (or 4 and 3) esoteric, within the twelve great Orders, recorded in the twelve signs of the Zodiac, the seven of the manifesting scale being connected, moreover, with the seven planets. All this is subdivided into numberless groups of divine Spiritual, semi-Spiritual, and ethereal Beings.
“The Chief Hierarchies among these are hinted at in the great Quaternary, or the ‘four bodies and the three faculties’ of Brahma exoterically. … The highest group is composed of the divine Flames, so-called, also spoken of as the ‘Fiery Lions’. ~H. P. Blavatsky
Beginning of Sentient Life
First, I need to explain the format of the quote. I have stayed with that used in Blavatsky’s own book. The portion in all caps represents her quoting from an ancient Hindu book called the Secret Doctrine. The rest is her commenting on the quote.
The quote says that in the creation of sentient life, the Divine came first, then the spiritual, and on downward through the semi-spiritual, the mostly material and the material. This is the opposite of what material science like to believe. The ancients had it correct. Sentient life didn’t evolve from one-celled animals. It devolved from divine beings. At the present time, man has sunk about as far into matter as possible, while still retaining a dull glimmer of spirit. If we fall another step, we will be pure matter and nonredeemable. The good news is that we can still turn around, and some are doing so. A growing number of us are taking that path less traveled the more difficult path, back to our Divine origins. Hopefully, you are one of those taking the path of redemption, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this.
Three then Four
There are many interpretations of the significance of the three and four. More than one may be correct. That is the beauty and mystery of spiritual allegory.
Three by itself is one of the most significant. We have the trilogy of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Christianity. Others say, Father, Mother, and Child. This division of the One God into three primary aspects is common. Blavatsky refers to the three and four as a hierarchy of creative powers. It can be that also. Together, they make seven, and we all know that in religious and spiritual writing, that number appears so often that it can’t be ignored. Blavatsky mentions seven planets. To me, that seems like a less important interpretation. They also represent the seven major energy centers (chakras) as taught in most schools, especially the Hindu and Buddhist. Here is a new meaning for most of you.
The sun, as it moves through its annual course above us, has many cycles connected with it. We won’t delve into all of them here. The important ones for this post are the three-year and four-year cycles. These are cycles that to us are those of growth and non-growth. In other words, a three-year period of growth will be followed by a four-year period of non-growth. Or it may be a four-year period of growth, then a three-year one of non-growth. Even if we don’t know when all of these periods start or end, it helps us to know that they exist. If you have been successful in some activity for two years, then have an inexplicable down-turn, it may be that you have entered a period of non-growth. During such periods, growth is nearly impossible. It is usually better to concentrate on holding your ground during those periods until a new growth period starts, then push ahead.
This applies to spiritual growth as well as material matters. If you felt you were making great progress for a time, then suddenly become stuck, don’t give up. You may simply have entered a three-year non-growth cycle. Continue to practice and don’t worry if you don’t seem to be getting results. It will be to your favor when the next growth cycle happens.
Just as a farmer knows that certain crops should be planted in the spring, and others in the fall, certain spiritual practices should begin at the beginning of a growth cycle if you want good results. If you start during a non-growth period, you will probably not accomplish much. The good news is that if you just finished a four-year cycle of growth, you only have a three-year one of non-growth to get through.