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The DK Foundation

Getting Real 3
‘Shortcomings are your road to power’ - understanding the function of the separated self.

In the Theosophical tradition, the personality is defined as the unit of consciousness created from a man’s physical, astral and mental bodies.

The personality

knows itself on the mental plane and

knows its connection with the soul through the egoic body that is constructed over lifetimes on the upper subplanes of the mental plane.

In all the devotional traditions, this unit of consciousness, whichever name it bears, is the reviled lower self, the seat of sin and selfishness, the obstacle on the path of return. We will look at the reason for this later in this article.

Although the language used his been less vehement than that used, for example, by Pauline Christianity, this perception of the personality as an obstacle has lived on into and through those New Age ideas that have been culled from eastern devotional traditions. Unhelpfully from the point of view of Theosophy which understands something quite different by the term, the personality consciousness is often called ‘ego’(as in ‘going beyond ego’).

In the occult traditions, by contrast, the concern has ever been to make the mental body the master of the two lower bodies of the personality, and to make the disciplined personality the agent of higher powers. But occultism has always been a minority spiritual route, until now, when the base of those with a working understanding principles has been broadened significantly by the theosophically inspired branch of New Age thinking, and a significant proportion of humanity is approaching a level of awareness when, with the right kind of encouragement, the head centres can be activated.

This development offers the personality a meaningful place in contemporary western spirituality for the first time.

To understand why this is we must place the personality in its context.

The flow of force through the seven levels (planes) of the Universe describes a series of loops. This idea will be familiar to those who have studied The D.K Foundation’s Transitional Astrology course.

The highest level, that for the sake of this exercise we will simply call level 1, distributes to level 3.

Level 3 transforms it through conscious activity, a process that raises it to level 2.

Level 2 returns it, refined by consciousness, to level 3 from whence it is passed down to level 5.

Level 5 transforms it through conscious activity, a process that raises it to level 4.

Level 4 returns it, refined by consciousness, to level 5 from whence it is passed to level 7 which is the synthesis of all the higher levels.

The diagram below shows the triads of life, quality and appearance created by this process. These triads underpin everything in creation. As P.D. Ouspensky put it: ‘When three forces meet together things happen. If they do not come together nothing happens.’

The outflowing from levels 1, 3 & 5 is Life

The return through conscious activity to levels 2, 4 & 6 is Quality

The manifestation on levels 3, 5 & 7 is Appearance.

It will be noted that levels 3 and 5 are levels of appearance in the higher triad in which they appear and the force of Life in the lower triad.

The human personality occupies levels 5, 6 & 7 i.e., the mental (life) the astral (quality) and the physical (appearance) planes.

The mental plane on which the human personality knows itself is the lower correspondence of Logos and Atma

The human ego when it has been constructed, occupies the upper planes of level 5. We will call this level 5E to distinguish it from level 5M, the lower mental plane. When there is a flow from 5E to 5M there is soul-personality alignment.

Level 4 is the level of the soul on its own plane.

Level 3 is the level of spiritual soul.

levels of density in descending order Names in Theosophical tradition
level 1 Logoic

level 2

level 3 m Atmic
level 4 m Buddhic
level 5:5E m (causal body or ego)
5M n

Mental: upper

level 6 n
Astral: upper
level 7 n
Physical: etheric
dense physical

key: m planes of human soul

n planes of human personality

The spirituality of the Piscean Age was concerned with the transformation of energy from 6 to 4 via 5E . The centres involved have been principally the solar plexus and the heart. This focus remains in contemporary mysticism and devotional practices which are expressive of Rays II & VI.

The focus of the spirituality of the age of Aquarius is the flow from 3 to 5M, the transformative process that raises it to 5E from where energy is sent via the aligned personality to level 7, the physical plane. This equips the personality to be both an agent of spiritual will and active on the physical plane. This shift in emphasis requires the head centres to be activated to be receptive to level 3 and for the personality, through egoic consciousness, to be aware of its connection with level 4.

In this distribution and transformation of energy, the role of the personality that knows its relationship to the soul is pivotal: it is the agent of spiritual will, and the purposeful distributor of energy to the lower kingdoms and to all the other beings on levels 6 & 7 that the five senses of man cannot apprehend.

As was stated at the beginning of this article: the personality knows itself on level 5. The spiritual traditions that have by-passed level 5 and focused on level 6 have not allowed the personality to develop this kind of self-awareness because they have not needed it, but in not developing it they have not been able or inclined to harness the full creative potential of the personality. It remained the unredeemed obstacle between levels 4 and 6, the soul plane and the astral plane.

As noted earlier, Occultist has always known and used the power of the disciplined personality but the effects of a broadening base of people with this awareness, with their throat centres open, and their personalities disciplined and soul aligned, will unleash new capacity within our planetary sphere. This is the preparatory stage for the accessing of spiritual will which can occur the head centres are opened, and it is the focus of all Foundation teaching activity.

The time has come for an increasing proportion of spiritually aware people to prepare their personalities so that they can be used in this pivotal way. This preparation involves engaging with everyday life and making intelligent choices in line with the developmental purpose of the personality.

A person who understands the significance and implications of his or her natal Saturn, and who has enough understanding of his developmental purpose (the horoscope read in a certain way will delineate both these things) to be able to ascertain what, in any given situation is a positive outcome, and who has the determination and motivation to push through fears and difficulties in order to see his decisions through will release himself from fate and become an agent of destiny.

This is why our shortcomings are our road to power: they provide us with the circumstances and means to discipline our minds, and free them from astral control. Then they are able to receive from level 3

For many people this approach will not sound sensational, glamorous or exotic enough to be spirituality. But for those who have realised the developmental potential in trying to overcome those weaknesses that we indulge everyday of our lives and that send our lives in directions that we do not want to go and sabotage our goals, know that the intelligent use of choice is the cornerstone upon which a purposeful life is built. Yet to make intelligent choices is a very difficult thing to do because it involves challenging the emotional reactions and moving beyond the comfort zone. This is why making intelligent decisions is transformative. In these days of feel-good spirituality the necessity of challenge is often forgotten.

A spirituality that does not equip us to address the everyday difficulties whether they be with parents, partners, children or employees and that makes us turn away in revulsion from the boredom and sordidness of our everyday lives which, after all, are nothing but our own creations and our own responsibilities, is escapism.

One of the affirmations used in The Course in Miracles is I have invented the world I see. Let none of us forget that.

In the next series of articles we will be examining Saturn by sign and house position because it is primarily Saturn that conditions the world that each of us sees.


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