The Seven Principles of Man by Annie Besant

The Seven Principles of Man
ISBN 1402162618
  • Author:
    Annie Besant
  • Title:
    The Seven Principles of Man
  • Category:
  • Subcategory:
    Religious Studies
  • ISBN13:
  • Publisher:
    Adamant Media Corporation (September 27, 2001)
  • Pages:
  • Size PDF version
    1854 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1618 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1476 kb
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This Elibron Classics book is a facsimile reprint of a 1892 edition by Theosophical Publishing Society, London etc..

Annie Besant writes that the Spirit, our true Self, is clothed in garment after garment. The four lower principles -- physical body, etheric double, life force and desire-body -- form our transitory, mortal, animalistic nature. The etheric double is formed of subtle physical matter that is imperceptible to the physical senses. It is an exact replica of the physical body, united to it by a slender thread. It slowly disintegrates after death. Present in each organism is the breath of life (Prana), a life force that permeates the whole universe. The desire-body (Kama) is our passional and emotional nature that keeps us bound to earthly life.

The fifth principle is the mind, which transforms the beast into a man, a thinker. Entities that had previously evolved some mental faculties in distinct evolutionary cycles were ready to undertake the human stage of evolution. So a class of already individualized souls entered the human race. Man has a dual mind: a heaven-aspiring mind (the higher Manas) and a thinking mind (the lower Manas), with the physical brain as its organ. The adequacy or inadequacy of the human brain is karmic. As long as the mind is tainted with the desire for fame, power or selfish intellectual achievement, the individual is bound to terrestrial life.

The sixth and seventh principles are Atma, the God above and within, and Buddhi, the divine Ego. Fundamentally, the seven principles are manifestations of Atma on different planes.

After death, the astral body is the vehicle of the soul until, following a period of assimilation of earthly experiences, the soul moves on to a higher plane. After a period of blissful rest, the soul reincarnates in order to pursue its evolutionary cycle. Life after life, the soul rids itself of deceptive and coarse elements. The lower nature gradually becomes attuned to the higher. In the end, the wheel of birth and death is over.

NOTE: The difference between the etheric double and the astral body is not clear to me. Annie Besant does not include the astral body in the principles of man. Why? She describes the etheric double as a mere shell that stays close to the physical body, and the astral body as conscious and able to travel to the astral plane. It is well know that human beings travel astrally during sleep. What is more is Adepts can do it consciously. Go figure!
I am going to return it the. book is not complete. the most important information is at the end which it does not have
Besant lays forth in clear and precise terms the theosophic tenets of our multidimensional being. Astounding information for its time as well as for those today embarking on the esoteric path.