by the Rt. Rev. C.W. Leadbeater


What, then is the true man? He is in truth an emanation from the Logos, a spark of the Divine fire. The spirit within him is of the very essence of the Deity, and that spirit wears his soul as a vesture, a vesture which encloses and individualises it, and seems to our limited vision to separate it for a time from the rest of the Divine Life. The story of the original formation of the soul of man, and of the enfolding of the spirit within it, is a beautiful and interesting one, but too long for inclusion in a merely elementary work like this. It may be found in full detail in those of our books which deal with this part of the doctrine.

Suffice it here to say that all three aspects of the Divine Life have their part in its inception, and that its formation is the culmination of that mighty sacrifice of the Logos in descending into matter, which has been called the Incarnation. Thus the baby soul is born; and just as it is " made in the image of God" , threefold in aspect, as He is, and threefold in manifestation, as He is also, so is its method of evolution also a reflection of His descent into matter. The Divine Spark contains within it all potentiality, but it is only through long ages of evolution that all its possibilities can be realised.

The appointed method for the evolution of the man's latent qualities seems to be by learning to vibrate in response to the impacts from without. But at the level where he finds himself (that of the higher mental plane) the vibrations are far too fine to awaken this response at present; he must begin with those that are coarser and stronger, and having awakened his dormant sensibilities by their means he will gradually grow more and more sensitive until he is capable of perfect response at all levels to all possible rates of vibration.

That is the material aspect of his progress; but regarded subjectively, to be able to respond to all vibrations means to be perfect in sympathy and compassion. And that is exactly the condition of the developed man, the adept, the spiritual teacher, the Christ. It needs the development within him of all the qualities which go to make up the perfect man; and this is the real work of his long life in matter. In this chapter we have brushed the surface of many subjects of extreme importance. Those who wish to study them further will find many Theosophical books to help them.

On the constitution of man, we would refer readers to Mrs. Besant's works, Man and His Bodies, The Self And Its Sheaths, and The Seven Principles Of Man, and, also my own book, Man, Visible And Invisible, in which will be found many illustrations of the different vehicles of man as they appear to the clairvoyant sight. On the use of the inner faculties refer to Clairvoyance.

On the formation and evolution of the soul to Mrs. BesantÌs Birth and Evolution of the Soul, Mr. Sinnett's Growth of the Soul, and my own Christian Creed and Man, Visible and Invisible.

On the spiritual evolution of man, Mrs. Besant's In the Outer Court and The Path of Discipleship, and the concluding chapters of my own little book, Invisible Helpers.