4. THE FIRE ELEMENTALS, THE LESSER BUILDERS. - Part 3
First, their work is directed to the steady increase of the human physical vehicle, so that it may follow accurately the lines of growth of the two subtler bodies. This is carried on till maturity is reached. The next stage is that in which their work consists largely of repair work, and the preservation of the body during the years of full manhood so that it can measure up to the purpose of the subjective life. This purpose necessarily varies according to the stage of development of the man. Finally comes the stage when the work of building ceases. The vitality in the etheric body waxes dim, and the processes of destruction begin. The Ego begins to call in his forces. The "sound" becomes faint and dim; there is less and less volume for the transmitters to pass on, and the initial vibration gets fainter and fainter. The period of obscuration comes in. First the physical body waxes weak and useless; then the Ego withdraws from the centres, and functions for a few hours in the etheric double. This in turn is devitalised, and so the process is carried on till one by one the sheaths are discarded and the egoic "shadow" is dissipated.
The work of the building devas.
Let us now consider the work of the building devas on the three planes, dealing with them in two groups:
a. Those who are connected with the permanent atoms.
b. Those who are responsible for the building process.
The devas of the permanent atoms. This particular group of devas are the aggregate of the lives who form the mental unit and the two permanent atoms. They, as we know, have their place within the causal periphery, and are focal points of egoic energy. They are the very highest type of building devas, and form a group of lives which are closely allied to the solar Angels. They exist in seven groups connected with three of the spirillae of  the logoic physical permanent atom. These three spirillae are to these seven groups of lives what the three major rays are to the seven groups of rays on the egoic subplanes of the mental plane. This phrase will bear meditating upon, and may convey much information to the intuitional thinker. There is a correspondence between the three permanent atomic triads, and the appearance of man in the third root race. A curiously interesting sequence of the three lines of force can be seen in:
a. The triads of the involutionary group soul.
b. The appearance of triple natured man in the third root race.
c. The triads in the causal bodies of any self-conscious unit.
These building devas are the ones who take up the sound as the Ego sends it forth through certain of the transmitting deva agencies, and by the vibration which this sets up they drive into activity the surrounding deva essence in their two groups:
a. Those who build the form.
b. Those who are built into the form.
They only affect those of analogous vibration. The stages of the building of any of the four forms through which lower man (the Quaternary) functions, follow exactly analogous stages to the building of the dense physical body, for instance, of a planet, or of a solar system. This can be traced all the way from the nebulous and chaotic stages through the fiery to the solid, or to the relatively solid where a subtle body is concerned. There is no need for us further to enlarge. H. P. B. has outlined these stages in the Secret Doctrine, [cclxxxv]86 and they have been dealt with in an earlier part of this Treatise.
We have dealt at some length already with the work  of the transmitting devas upon the three planes in the three worlds, and with that of the devas connected with those relatively permanent focal points—the permanent atoms within the causal periphery. We can now consider the group of builders who, responding to the note of the transmitting agencies and to the initial vibration of the second group of builders concerned with the triple lower self, begin the work of aggregating and moulding the living substance necessary for egoic manifestation upon the lower planes.
We have seen that the first three stages of the egoic work are:
1. The sounding of the appropriate note, which note is indicative of man's place in evolution, and of the nature of his "psyche," or Ego.
2. The transmission of this note by the solar Angel, and the three groups of devas connected with the three permanent atoms.
3. The vibration set up within these atoms which is in line with the note sounded, and which becomes so strong as to make itself felt in the surrounding deva substance, thus awakening response.
These may be considered as the three primary stages, and we find demonstrated (in connection with the microcosm) the three factors of sound, colour and vibration, which, under the Law of Analogy, reflect the three aspects of the macrocosm. Here too is found a resemblance to the work of the first three Sephiroths of the Kabbalah,—the primary stage of manifestation finding its dim reflection in the work of the Ego in the three worlds.
The second stage now takes place, in which the work of building proceeds until the microcosm, man, makes his appearance upon the physical plane. This is succeeded by a third stage of evolution, in which the psychic nature of man is to demonstrate through the medium of the  created forms. Then the next two groups of Sephiroth are seen reproduced in man. He is demonstrated to be nine from another angle but we are only concerned in this section with the builders of the form.
These groups of builders are four in number:
1. The builders of the mental body.
2. The builders of the astral body.
3. The builders of the etheric body.
4. The builders of the dense physical.
Each of these groups can be subdivided into four or seven or three, according to the plane concerned. Students must remember that matter from the two lowest subplanes of the physical and of the astral planes are never built into the human body as now constituted; it is of too low a vibration, and too coarse a grade for even the lowest type of men on earth at this time. It must be pointed out also that in the average man, the matter of some subplane will preponderate according to the depth of his nature and his place on the ladder of evolution. The "builders" of the human body work under the direction of one of the Lords of Karma from the lowest group. These Lords are to be found in three groups, and a Lord out of the third group has the work of superintending the builders of the human being on the three planes. Under Him are to be found certain karmic agents, who again are divided into the following groups:
1. Three karmic agents responsible to the karmic Lords for the work on the three planes.
2. Five karmic Lords who work in close connection with the Manus of the various races, and who are responsible for the correct building of the varying race types.
3. Karmic agents responsible for the subrace types of the present time.
4. Certain intermediary agents who represent (within these three groups) the seven Ray types.
5. Those agents of the good Law who are connected specifically with the work of the etheric centres, and their response to the different planetary centres.
6. The keepers of the records.
These various intelligences manipulate the building forces through the medium of streams of energy, which streams are set in motion when the Ego sounds his note. It must be remembered that in more or less degree upon his own plane the Ego is aware of his karma, and of what must be done to promote growth during the coming incarnation. He works, therefore, in connection with these Lords, but is only directly in touch with an agent of the sixth group and of the fourth. Through these two the work proceeds as far as the Ego is individually concerned, and they set in motion for him (after he has sounded his note) the machinery of the Law.
The builders of the human personality again are divided into seven main groups; all devas, just as is the case with the human Monads, come under one or other of the seven Rays, and are responsive to one or other of the seven logoic streams of fiery energy. According to a man's egoic Ray, so will be the type of deva substance influenced.
These builders work with certain elementals, but it is only upon the physical plane that any idea can be given as to their nature and work. These elementals are the little entities who, adhering to the plan as embodied by the builders, blindly construct the fabric of the body, and form the sheaths through which the Ego is to express himself. On the etheric planes they build the real "form" out of etheric substance, and produce the sheath of intricate lines of interlacing fiery strands, which is in  reality an extension of the sutratma, or life thread. As it is woven and interlaced it becomes vitalised with the life energy sent down from the Ego, just as Shiva, the Father, gives to the Son the real "bios" or life, while the Mother warms, builds, and nourishes the body. The work of the etheric elementals reaches its primary consummation when the sutratma is connected with the three centres of the physical nature within the cranium—the pineal gland, the pituitary body, and the alta major centre. Occultly, the most important connection is the entrance of the sutratma into the centre at the top of the head, that through which the life of the etheric body withdraws at the moment of death. This is the vital point. The "thread" of life there, by the time the seventh year is reached, has divided itself into three branches, reaching out to the three centres. The realisation of this fact will eventually prove of much interest to scientists. A good deal of imbecility, or of arrested development will be found to have its origin in the etheric connection with these three centres. The etheric web is literally the fine network of fiery threads which spreads itself over the centre, and forms an area of fairly large dimensions. It separates the two bodies, astral and physical. A similar corresponding area will be found in the solar system. Through it the cosmic forces must pass to the different planetary schemes.
The elemental groups of the dense physical plane who are swept into activity by the builders, are three in number:
a. The gaseous elementals.
b. The liquid elementals.
c. The strictly dense elementals.
One group concerns itself with the fiery channels, with the fires of the human body, and with the different gases to be found within the human periphery. Another group  is to be seen working in connection with the circulatory system, and with all the liquids, juices, and waters of the body; whilst the third is largely involved in the construction of the frame, through the right apportioning of the minerals and chemicals. A hint in connection with medicine is here to be found; it is occultly true that just as the liquid devas and elementals are closely related to the vegetable kingdom, and both to the plane of the emotions, the logoic liquid body, so the ills of men which affect the circulatory system, the kidneys, the bladder, and the lubrication of the joints, will find a CURE in vegetable constituents and above all in the right adjustment of the emotional nature.
Several influences other than those mentioned have to be considered when the subject of the work of these builders of man's body is under discussion. Not only are they affected by:
a. A man's note,
b. The colour poured forth by the transmitting agents,
c. The karmic agents,
but they come under:
d. Group karma and vibration which will sweep in another group of agencies and builders, and thus affect a man's bodies,
e. Racial karma, an extension of the above,
f. Forces playing upon the planet from another scheme, or through the formation of a systemic triangle,
g. A cosmic triangle of force of some specific kind which may bring in entities and energies of any particular scheme incident upon the karma of the planetary Logos.
It will, therefore, be apparent to the student how intricate this subject is and how truly each man is the outcome of force of some kind—egoic primarily, but also  planetary, and even systemic. Yet withal, no man is ever put into circumstances which are insurmountable, once he has reached the point where he has intelligently put himself on the side of evolution, or of God. Prior to that he may, and will, be driven by the gales of circumstance; the press of group and racial karma will force him into situations necessary for the process of awakening him to his own innate possibilities. Once he becomes the conscious builder himself, seeking to control the forces and builders of his lower nature, and to construct the Temple of Solomon, then he is no longer subject to the earlier conditions. He becomes a ruler, a builder, and a transmitter, until the time comes when he is one with the solar Angels, and the work of human evolution is accomplished.
What has been said above is very superficial, and only that has been imparted which has a profound significance for man at this time. Much must be inferred, and more must be arrived at under the Law of Correspondences. It must ever be borne in mind likewise that our basic conception is one of fiery energy, of force centres set in motion, and kept in active vibration, by the pulsation of still greater centres. Every form is built of fiery atoms, or energetic lives, through the agency of greater lives, and is held in coherent form within the still greater sheaths,—that greater sheath being to the lesser what the macrocosm is to the microcosm. All these groups of building lives may be divided into three groups of energy units, and their nature deduced from the phrases:
1. Groups of lives animated by dynamic energy.
2. Groups of lives animated by radiant energy.
3. Groups of lives animated by atomic energy.
These again are the sumtotal of the three fires, electric fire, solar fire and fire by friction. In terms of the cosmic  physical plane, the correspondence to the systemic plane can be seen in the following tabulation:
1. Dynamic energy...electric fire.....atomic subplane. First etheric substance. Plane adi.
2. Radiant energy...solar fire........three cosmic etheric levels. Logoic etheric body.
3. Atomic energy...fire by friction...three planes of the three worlds. Logoic dense vehicle.
Each plane will be found to reflect this order in an interesting manner.