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Esoteric Healing - Chapter VI - The Art of Elimination
The Devachan Experience

I would also point out that this conscious undertaking of the art of elimination, and this awareness of process and purpose, in reality constitute the state of consciousness which has been called devachan by the orthodox theosophist. There has been a great deal of misunderstanding of this experience. The general idea has been that, after the process of ridding himself of the astral and mental bodies, the man enters into a sort of dream state wherein he reexperiences and reconsiders past events in the light of the future and undergoes a sort of rest period, a kind of digestive process, in preparation for the undertaking of renewed birth. This somewhat erroneous idea has arisen because the concept of time still governs theosophical presentations of truth. If, however, it is realized that time is not known apart from physical plane experience, the entire concept of devachan clarifies. From the moment of complete separation from the dense physical and etheric bodies, and as the eliminative process is undertaken, the man is aware of past and present; when elimination is complete and the hour of [497] soul contact eventuates and the manasic vehicle is in process of destruction, he becomes immediately aware of the future, for prediction is an asset of the soul consciousness and in this the man temporarily shares. Therefore, past, present and future are seen as one; the recognition of the Eternal Now is gradually developed from incarnation to incarnation and during the continuous process of rebirth. This constitutes a state of consciousness (characteristic of the normal state of the advanced man) which can be called devachanic.

It is not my intention to elaborate the technique of the eliminative process. Humanity is at so many different stages - intermediate between the three already outlined - that it would be impossible to be definite or concise. Attrition is relatively easy to understand; the kamic body dies out because, there being no call from physical substance, evoking desire, there is nothing with which to feed this vehicle. The astral body comes into being through the reciprocal interplay between the physical plane, which is not a principle, and the principle of desire; in the process of taking rebirth, this principle is utilized with dynamic intent by the soul in the mental vehicle to reverse the call, and matter then responds to the call of the reincarnating man. Kamic man, after a long process of attrition, is left standing free within an embryonic mental vehicle, and this period of semi-mental life is exceedingly brief and is brought to an end by the soul who suddenly "directs his eye to the waiting one," and by the power of that directed potency instantaneously reorients the individual kamic man to the downward path of rebirth. The kama-manasic man practices a process of withdrawal and responds to the "pull" of a rapidly developing mental body. This withdrawal becomes increasingly rapid and dynamic until it reaches the state where the probationary disciple - under steadily growing soul contact - shatters the kama-manasic body, as a unit, by an act of the mental will, [498] implemented by the soul. You will note that the "devachanic" experience will necessarily be briefer in connection with this majority than with the kamic minority, because the devachanic technique of review and recognition of the implications of experience is slowly controlling the man on the physical plane so that he brings the significance of meaning and learns constantly through experience whilst incarnating. Thus you will realize also that continuity of consciousness is also being slowly developed, and the awareness of the inner man begin to demonstrate on the physical plane, through the medium of the physical brain at first, and then independently of that material structure. I have here conveyed a definite hint on a subject which will receive wide attention during the next two hundred years.

The manasic person, the integrated personality, works, as we have seen, in two ways which are necessarily dependent upon the integration achieved. This integration will be of two kinds:

  1. That of the integrated personality focused in the mind and achieving a constantly growing rapport with the soul.
  2. The disciple, whose integrated personality is now being rapidly integrated into and absorbed by the soul.

In this stage of mind development and of constant mental control (based on the fact that the man's consciousness is now definitely focused and permanently centered in the mental vehicle), the earlier processes of the destruction of the astral body through attrition and by "dynamic negation" are carried on whilst in physical incarnation. The incarnated man refuses to be ruled by desire; what is left of the illusory astral body is dominated now by the mind, and the urges towards the satisfaction of desire are refused with full and [499] conscious deliberation, either because of the selfish ambitions and mental intentions of the integrated personality, or under the inspiration of soul intention which subordinates the mind to its purposes. When this point in evolution is attained, the man can then dissolve the last remaining vestiges of all desire by means of illumination. In the early stages of purely manasic or mental life, this is done through the illumination which knowledge brings and involves mainly the innate light of mental substance. Later, when soul and mind are establishing a close rapport, the light of the soul hastens and supplements the process. The disciple now uses more occult methods, but upon these I may not here enlarge. The destruction of the mental body is no longer brought about by the destructive power of light itself, but is hastened by means of certain sounds, emanating from the plane of the spiritual will; these are recognized by the disciple, and permission to use them in their proper word-forms is given to him by some senior initiate within the Ashram or by the Master Himself, towards the close of the cycle of incarnation.

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