III. THE EGOIC LOTUS
We must now deal with the subject of the causal body on its own plane from the point of view of FIRE. We have studied it briefly from the more ordinary angle, and in materialistic terms, considering it as a vehicle of rarefied substance, containing within itself the seventh principle of each of the two lower sheaths of the microcosm, and the mental unit. This latter is that which embodies the first aspect in manifestation, and which is analogous to the first logoic aspect—one that in this solar system does not come to full demonstration.
I would like to point out here that in studying the solar system as the physical manifestation of a solar Logos, we are investigating:
a. The physical permanent atom of a solar Logos as contained within the logoic causal body on its own plane.
b. The seven types of force, or the seven logoic spirillae within that permanent atom. This, if realised,  gives a new outlook upon the subject of plane vibration.
c. The close correspondence between the planes and the seven spirillae in the permanent atom of a solar Logos.
We have touched upon these spirillae and their function very briefly, and can now approach the question of the egoic Ray and the fire of mind from the subjective point of view, or in terms of fire.
1. Centres or Wheels of Energy.
a. Centres of force. We shall again reach the clarity of vision desirable if we study the subject of monadic development from the angle of vision of the human unit. It has been taught in many occult text books that man has seven centres of force (or ten, according to some calculations); that three of these centres are paramount, and eventually synthesise the other four, or absorb their force or energy. This produces their eventual obscuration, or their passing out of manifestation; they occultly 'die.' This is paralleled in the logoic centres, the planetary schemes, which also in due course of time pass into obscuration, and transmit their energy to the major three schemes. The three main centres in the Microcosm are the Head, the Heart and the Throat.
1. The Head centre
2. The Heart centre
3. The Throat centre
It will, therefore, be apparent that just as in man these centres are related to the threefold spiritual man in his total development, so the three types of centres—microcosmic or macrocosmic—come gradually more and more under the vitalising power of one of the three aspects of the Logos. These centres are recognised also as focal points of active force, manifesting to the vision  of the clairvoyant as fiery wheels or the flaming petals of a lotus.
b. The causal body . . . monadic heart centre. In studying the egoic body it should be remembered that the causal body is the correspondence in the monadic manifestation to the heart centre. It is a flaming wheel of fire within the monadic auric egg, which embraces the five planes of monadic manifestation; it is also seen as the twelve-petalled Lotus. Of these twelve petals, the innermost three are unrevealed, or are embryonic, and hence the causal body is frequently considered as a nine-petalled Lotus, or as a wheel of fire with only nine spokes or whorls. This is essentially true as regards the evolutionary process, but when a man has succeeded in awakening or unfolding the nine petals, or in arousing the fire of the nine spokes or whorls (which is practically consummated at the three major Initiations) the inner three are revealed. They respond to the monadic vibration, to the aspect of pure Spirit; it is the stimulation or revelation of these inner petals, by the One Initiator at the third and fourth Initiations which brings about the final conflagration and the blazing up of the causal body with the subsequent liberation of the central positive Life or Fire.
2. The Twelve-Petalled Egoic Lotus
Solar Fire is dual. It is the fire of matter or substance and the fire of mind blended. This makes man the six-pointed Star of Light, for each of these fires is triple. The fire of mind is also in essence dual, bringing in another triplicity, thus making the nine. When a man has awakened the nine fires, and has unfolded the nine petals, and when he has received the stimulus which is imparted at initiation, through being brought into conscious contact with the electric spark of his own particular Heavenly Man, they all blend and merge. The  inner three which complete the twelve, and which are concerned with the final, and essentially spiritual stages, of his evolution, are really related more intimately to the evolution of the Heavenly Man, and are connected with the stimulus which He receives Himself in contacting the logoic electric spark, or the pure Spirit aspect of the Logos.
It should here be noted that this ninefold development is hinted at in the Secret Doctrine in the various places where H. P. B. deals with the Kumaras [clxxviii]77 or the Heavenly Men, of Whom the microcosm is a reflection. She calls Them the Lords of Knowledge, the Lords of Love and the Lords of Sacrifice. Each of Them is a nine-petalled Lotus in the logoic body. They are the flaming Wheels, and in Their various names, as found in the Secret Doctrine, may be discovered the clue to the mystery. Let us realise this clearly, nevertheless, as regards the microcosm, and later extend the idea to the Heavenly Men. Let us picture the nine-petalled egoic lotus, the heart centre in the monadic consciousness, unfolding each of its petals in groups of three upon the three subplanes of the higher mental. Their unfoldment is worked out through the evolutionary process, undergone on the three planes in the three worlds, or within the three Halls of Ignorance, of Learning, and of Wisdom.
a. First Group of Petals—Knowledge Petals:
1. The Petal of Knowledge for the physical plane. Through the breaking of the Law and the ensuing suffering the price of ignorance is paid and knowledge is achieved. This unfoldment is brought about through physical plane experience.
2. The Petal of Love for the physical plane. Unfolds through physical relationships, and the gradual growth of love from love of self to love of others.
3. The Petal of Sacrifice for the physical plane. This unfoldment is brought about through the driving force of circumstances, and not of free will. It is the offering up of the physical body upon the altar of desire—low desire to begin with, but aspiration towards the end, though still desire. As man in the early stages of his evolution is polarised on the physical, much of this is undergone unconsciously and without any realisation of what is being consummated, but the result in the causal body is seen in a twofold increase of heat or of activity:
The physical permanent atom becomes radioactive or a radiant point of fire.
The lower three petals become vibrant and begin to unfold until fully developed.
b. Second Group of Petals—Love Petals:
1. The Petal of Knowledge, for the astral plane; unfoldment is brought about by the conscious balancing of the pairs of opposites, and the gradual utilisation of the Law of Attraction and Repulsion. The man passes out of the Hall of Ignorance where, from the egoic point of view, he works blindly and begins to appreciate the effects of his physical plane life; by a realisation of his essential duality he begins to comprehend causes.
2. The Petal of Love for the astral plane; unfoldment is brought about through the process of gradually transmuting the love of the subjective nature or of the Self within. This has a dual effect and works through on to the physical plane in many lives of turmoil, of endeavour and of failure as a man strives to turn his attention to the love of the Real.
3. The Petal of Sacrifice for the astral plane; unfoldment is brought about by the attitude of man as he  consciously endeavours to give up his own desires for the sake of his group. His motive is still somewhat a blind one, and still coloured by the desire for a return of that which he gives and for love from those he seeks to serve, but it is of a much higher order than the blind sacrifice to which a man is driven by circumstances as is the case in the earlier unfoldment. As this threefold enlightenment or unfoldment proceeds, again a dual result is seen:
The astral permanent atom comes into full activity and radiance, as regards five of its spirillae, and the two atoms of the physical and the astral planes are equally vibrant.
The three petals of the central ring of the egoic lotus come also into full unfoldment, and the heart centre of the Monad is seen as a wheel of fire with six of its spokes in full display of energy and rapidly rotating.
c. Third Group of Petals—Sacrifice Petals:
1. The Petal of Knowledge for the mental plane; its unfoldment marks the period wherein the man consciously utilizes all that he has gained or is gaining under the law for the definite benefit of humanity.
Each of the groups of petals is distinguished by a predominant colouring; Knowledge, on the physical plane, with the colouring of the other two subsidiary; Love, on the astral plane, with the light of sacrifice weaker in tone than the other two, which practically show forth in equal brilliancy. On the mental plane, the light of sacrifice comes to its full display, and all that is seen is coloured by that light.
2. The Petal of Love on the mental plane is unfolded  through the conscious steady application of all the powers of the soul to the service of humanity with no thought of return nor any desire for reward for the immense sacrifice involved.
3. The Petal of Sacrifice for the mental plane: demonstrates as the predominant bias of the soul as seen in a series of many lives spent by the initiate prior to his final emancipation. He becomes in his sphere the "Great Sacrifice."
This stage can be seen objectively to the eye of the clairvoyant as dual in effect:
a. The mental unit becomes a radiant point of light; its four spirillae transmit force with intense rapidity.
b. The three higher petals unfold, and the nine-petalled lotus is seen perfected.
The causal body is then (expressed in terms of fire) a blazing centre of heat, radiating to its group warmth and vitality. Within the periphery of the egoic wheel can be seen the nine spokes rotating with intense rapidity and—after the third Initiation—becoming fourth dimensional, or the wheels "turn upon" themselves. [clxxix]78 In the midst forming a certain geometrical triangle (differing according to the ray of the Monad) can be seen three points of fire, or the permanent atoms and the mental unit, in all their glory; at the centre can be seen a central blaze of glory growing in intensity as the three inner petals respond to the stimulation. When the fire of matter, of "fire by friction," becomes sufficiently intense; when the fire of mind of solar fire (which vitalises the nine petals) becomes equally fierce, and when the electric spark at the innermost centre blazes out and can be seen, the  entire causal body becomes radioactive. Then the fires of substance (the vitality of the permanent atoms) escape from the atomic spheres, and add their quota to the great sphere in which they are contained; the fire of mind blends with its emanating source, and the central life escapes. This is the great liberation. The man, in terms of human endeavour, has achieved his goal. He has passed through the three Halls and in each has transferred that which he gained therein to the content of his consciousness; he has in ordered sequence developed and opened the petals of the lotus—first opening the lower three, which involves a process covering a vast period of time. Then the second series of petals are opened, during a period of time covering his participation intelligently in world affairs until he enters the spiritual kingdom at the first Initiation; and a final and briefer period wherein the three higher or inner ring of petals are developed and opened.
In closing what may be said on this subject of the egoic Ray and fire of mind, I would request the student to bear the following points in mind:
First. That the order of the development of the petals and the stimulation of the fires depends upon the Ray of the Monad, and the subray upon which the causal body finds itself. This thought would bear expansion, and would prove a fruitful source of study to the occult investigator.
Second. That this unfoldment proceeds slowly in the early stages, and only proceeds with rapidity as the man himself works at it with conscious effort.
The Ego takes no active interest in the development until the second petal in the second series is beginning to open. Before that time, the work proceeds under the  law of its being and through the inherent life of the second Logos which is the life of the petals of the lotus. The life of the first Logos, working through the SELF (who dwells in a form built by the life or energy of the second Logos out of force-substance animated by the life of the third Logos) only responds to opportunity when the above mentioned stage is reached.
Finally: The ceremony of initiation is only undergone when the causal body is in a condition to respond to the Will aspect of the Heavenly Man (the first aspect) and to do this through the glad co-operation of the fully conscious self.
More on this is not now possible, but enough has here been indicated to open up various lines of study. These, if followed, will lead the student to much of practical value and application.
Our next subject concerns itself with the elementals of the mental plane, with the thought forms they animate, and with the consideration of them as force centres, capable of producing results—constructive, if rightly directed; destructive, if left blindly to follow their own course. Before taking up this matter, however, I want to gather together some threads of thought in connection with the matter just dealt with. If we have carefully followed the data given about the egoic manifestation on its own plane, and the fires of the causal body, we shall have noted the close resemblance between that egoic body, viewed as a force centre, and certain aspects of logoic manifestation.
The causal body has been seen as a wheel of fire, containing within its periphery three focal points of energy, the permanent atoms. They are analogous, as earlier pointed out, to the seventh principle of each of the three aspects—will or power, love-wisdom, and active intelligence.  Each of these focal points has its own internal economy, as seen in the spirillae, which are essentially streams of force, responding to stimulation and vibration, aroused within and without their limiting ring-pass-not. The internal life of the permanent atom, and that which animates and produces its activity, is the life of the third aspect; the force playing upon it and through it is the life of the second aspect. As evolution proceeds the intensity of the life forces from within and those which affect it from without, grows gradually stronger and stronger, and the light of the permanent atoms increases, the petals of the lotus unfold, and the spokes of the radiatory fire come into action. Bear in mind here, that the permanent atoms are concerned with the substance aspect of Existence or Becoming, while the petals of the lotus, or the fiery spokes of the wheel, deal specifically with the psychical aspect, or the development of consciousness; the central nucleus, or the three inner petals, embodies the aspect of pure Spirit.
All three lines of evolution are proceeding simultaneously, and have a reflex action the one upon the other; it is this which produces the consequent perfection of unfoldment. It is neither possible nor desirable to follow each line of this threefold evolution separately, nor to consider them as dissociated from each other. The interplay is too accurate, and the mutual stimulation too important to be neglected by the student of egoic evolution.
It is, as stated elsewhere, through the permanent atoms that the Ego comes en rapport with his objective world; he works upon and through his environment successfully or blindly just in so far as he can energise his permanent atoms, and bring the spirillae out of latency into potency. This only becomes possible as he unfolds the petals of the lotus. It must be remembered that the three lower petals when fully unfolded affect, through  their vitality, the three major spirillae in the physical permanent atom. As the second ring of petals gradually opens, the astral permanent atom undergoes a similar process, leading up to the full arousing of the spirillae within the mental unit.
Here I would point out that there is a slight difference in the case of the mental unit, for the four spirillae of the mental unit are aroused to full activity when the knowledge petal of the final three opens. The opening of the remaining two reveal the glowing threefold flower which lies at the centre of egoic manifestation.
It would be wise to sound a note of warning here in connection with this question of egoic unfoldment. What has been said here has been but the formulation of the general plan of egoic unfoldment as interpreted in terms of consciousness or of fire. In studying the subject with due personal application, the student should bear in mind the following facts:
First, that according to the Ray of the Monad, so will the petals unfold. For instance, if the Ray of the Monad is the second Ray, the knowledge petal will be the first to open, but the second petal of love will almost parallel its development, being for that particular type of Ego the line of easiest unfoldment; the knowledge petal will be for it the most difficult to open.
Second, that the effects of one circle of petals opening will be felt within the next circle at an early stage and will cause a vibratory response, hence the greater rapidity of the later stages of unfoldment as compared with the first.
Third, that there exist many cases of uneven or unequal unfoldment. Quite frequently people are found with perhaps two petals unfolded in the first circle and one still in latency, while a petal within the central or second ring may be in full development. This is the explanation frequently of the power in service along  certain lines displayed by some, coupled with a comparatively low stage of development or of consciousness (egoically speaking). This is due to varying causes, such as the karma of the Monad itself on its high plane and the strength of the monadic grip upon the ego; many lives given to a particular line of action, resulting in the setting up of a strong vibration—one so strong that it renders the development of response to subsidiary vibrations difficult of attainment; certain peculiar conditions hidden in the evolution of any particular Lord of a Ray, and the effect of that condition upon a particular group of cells; the group karma of a collection or congery of causal bodies, and their mutual interplay. Every egoic unit or monadic force centre has a definite effect upon the group or community of Egos in which it may have a place, and as the interaction proceeds results are sometimes produced of a temporarily unexpected nature.
These points should be carefully borne in mind by the student of egoic evolution. This whole subject is of interest in that it is the next step ahead for the students of occult psychology. Much will be eventually ascertained which will throw new light upon the possibility of work upon the physical plane for man. The whole secret of success in any endeavour or enterprise is primarily based on two things:
First, the ability of the Ego to work through the personality, using it simply as the medium of expression.
Second, the karma of the egoic group as it becomes more apparent on the physical plane. Hitherto, much has been said and taught about individual karma. Group karma in the future will slowly assume its rightful place in the thought of students, and this will lead to more intelligent co-operation, to a more sympathetic understanding of group responsibilities, and to a more adequate solution of group problems.
The study of occult psychology involves a true conception of the nature of the Ego, or the arousing of the Ego to full activity in manifestation; it will necessitate the sound formulation of the laws of egoic unfoldment, of the methods whereby, petal by petal, the lotus may be brought to perfection, and of the triple nature of its evolution; it will bring about an eventual apprehension of the true meaning of force, and of energy in its dual aspect—internal vibration and external radiation; it will produce the centering of the attention of all advanced students upon the centres—in this case not the physical centres on etheric levels but upon the psychical centres, such as the Ego in the causal body and egoic groups. This will produce later a better comprehension of the effect of one consciousness upon another consciousness on the physical plane, and this knowledge will be scientifically utilised to produce specific results in group evolution, and thus some of the world problems will find solution. Finally, the laws of fire will be studied, the nature of heat, of radiation and of flame will be occultly investigated, and the action of one fire upon another fire, the result of radiation from one conscious sphere to another will be realised; the method of arousing consciousness on the different planes by action upon the fires of the causal body and their stimulation will be gradually revealed.
The whole question is slowly, very slowly, coming to the fore in human thought (even though this is little realised) through the study of vocational education, business efficiency, and the place of the human unit in any trade or enterprise. Men are being spoken of and considered in terms of potential force factors, and this is a step in the right direction.
Approaching the same question from the personality standpoint and not the egoic, the time is fast approaching when the emphasis will be laid in education upon  how best the young can be taught to contact their own ego or higher energy; how best they can be led to appropriate the knowledge and ability of their higher self for use on the physical plane; how best they can ascertain their group formation, and thus work along with their group, and in unison with the total energy of that group; how best their threefold lower self—physical, astral, and mental—can be brought into direct alignment with their higher centre of force, and thus draw down a continuous supply of energy for the strengthening of their three vehicles, and their wise manipulation; how best the various spirillae can be awakened and the energy within their own cells released for action. All this will be a thing of gradual evolution, but I have here outlined the trend of the future study, as in the formulation of possibility lies its eventual realisation. Such a process must necessarily be slow. The powers of the ego are stupendous and if released now through the agency of an unready personality would lead to dire disaster. But the time will come, and in the meantime a due apprehension of inherent capacity will profit all who have the intuition to recognise the goal.