The Word Foundation
Share this page

The breath that through the gates of cancer crossed the line into the manifested worlds has passed through them, and from the gates of capricorn returns as manas, the higher mind, the individuality, the thinker self-conscious, to the over-worlds.

—The Zodiac.



Vol. 2 JANUARY 1906 No. 4

Copyright 1906 by H. W. PERCIVAL


THE Zodiac is the great starry clock of infinite space which, inaudibly, mysteriously, tolls off the time of the birth of universes, their duration and decay, and at the same time determines the transformations of a blood cell in its circulation through the body.

The Zodiac is the bible of the infinite, the history and textbook of creation, preservation, and destruction of all things. It is the record of all past and present and of the destiny of the future.

The Zodiac is the path of the soul from the unknown through the known and into the infinite within and beyond. The Zodiac to be studied, and which is all this, is in its twelve signs represented in man.

The Zodiac with its circle of twelve signs gives a key to the unmanifested noumenal and to the manifested phenomenal universes. Draw a horizontal line from cancer to capricorn. Then the signs above the line represent the unmanifested universe; the signs below the horizontal line from cancer to capricorn represent the manifested universe in its spiritual and psychic and physical aspects. The signs cancer, virgo, and libra, represent the involution of breath into life and form, the development of form into sex, and the incarnation of the breath therein. The signs libra, scorpio, sagittary, and capricorn, represent the evolution of the breath through sex, desire, thought, and individuality, the cycle of manifestation, formation and development of the breath through the manifested phenomenal worlds, and the return to the ever invisible noumenal.

If the entity which begins to incarnate at cancer as breath does not succeed in reaching full and complete self-knowledge, as indicated by the sign capricorn, or individuality, while in and before the death of the personality—which personality is made up of the signs of life, form, sex, desire, and thought—then the personality dies and the individuality has a period of rest, and again begins with breath to build another personality. This continues life after life until the great work is at last accomplished and the individuality need incarnate no more, unless it so wills.

Breath was the first being to appear at the beginning of the involution of this our world; it brooded over the ocean of life and breathed into activity the germs of life; still brooding and breathing over the waters of life, breath caused them to precipitate into ethereal-astral form, later to concrete into physical form of sex, into which breath incarnated a portion of itself. Then desire in the human form responded to the breath of mind and fused into human thought. With thought began human responsibility; thought is karma. The breath, through thought, began to transmute life and form, sex and desire, into the vesture of the higher ego, which is the individuality. It cannot fully incarnate in man until man shall subject his personality to its diviner ends.

Individuality is not life, though as the breath it is the initial effort of the breath which breathes life into activity, determines life’s courses, and bounds the field of life’s operations. Individuality is not form, though in each of the incarnations of individuality it creates forms. Individuality creates the design-form for its next personality which is to be builded by life and born into the world through sex. Individuality is not sex, though it caused the once dual-sexed being to develop into one of the sexes that individuality might incarnate into it, so as to pass through the fires of sex and be tempered to the forces of the world, that in sex individuality might equilibrate the outward and inward swing of the breath, become invulnerable and able to steer its course safely through the astral storms, passions, and whirlpools of sex, through sex to perform the desires to family and the world, and through and while in bodies of sex to balance, harmonize, and unite into one being, that which appears as separate in its dual operation as breath and individuality, but which indeed, is one in its perfect action. Individuality is not desire, though it awakens desire from its latent state which then attracts and draws the individuality into manifested life. Then individuality works with desire, and overcomes the resistance which desire offers. Thereby mind grows strong and firm, and is the medium through which desire is transmuted into will (pisces).

Individuality is not thought, though it produces thought by its action through the breath on desire and thus brings about a process of divine torment, a process by which the individuality withstands pain and pleasure, poverty and wealth, victory and defeat, and emerges from the furnace of trial immaculate in its purity and tranquil in its immortality. The higher mind is the same as what is here called the individuality. It is the I-am-I principle, that which overshadows the personality and partially incarnates from life to life. The lower mind is the reflection of the higher mind on and into the personality and is that portion of the higher mind which incarnates. What is generally called the mind is the lower mind, which functions through the cerebellum and cerebrum, the outer brain.

The mind has now five functions. These have often been spoken of as smelling, tasting, hearing, seeing, and touching or feeling, but there are two other functions of the mind which are not generally known and seldom spoken of because they are not used or experienced by the many. They are used by the greatest sages only and their use completes the human being. These two senses and functions of the mind are the I-am-I and the I-am-thou-and-thou-art-I senses. The corresponding organs to be developed for these functions are the pituitary body and the pineal gland, now partially atrophied in the ordinary man. The faculties, now adumbrated only, will be knowledge and wisdom, knowing and being.

The lower mind must unite with something, either with the higher mind or else with the senses and desires. These two tendencies are the two phases of love. The one is usually connected with the senses and desires, and is what human beings call “love.” The higher love not generally so called, is of the higher mind. This love is disconnected from the senses and personality; its essence is the principle of sacrificing, giving up itself for abstract principles.

How is it that the mind becomes the slave of the senses, of the desires, of the body, though the mind-breath was their creator and ought to be their ruler? The answer is found in the past history of the incarnating mind. It is this: after the mind-breath had created the senses and had begun to use them, the illusion produced by the senses deluded the mind into identifying itself with the personality.

That portion of the individuality which is called the lower mind is breathed into the personality (an animal) at birth. The incarnation takes place ordinarily through the physical breath, that is, the lower mind gets into the body by means of the physical breath, but it is not the physical breath. The physical breath is caused by the mind-breath, and this mind-breath is the lower mind. That breath which is the higher mind, the individuality, is what is in the Bible called the holy pneuma, and is also sometimes called the spiritual breath. It will not incarnate until man is regenerate, and a man is regenerated because the pneuma, in other words the complete individuality, has fully incarnated.

As the spider’s world is limited to the web of its own spinning, so a man’s world is limited to the thoughts of his own weaving. The world of the individuality is a net-work of thoughts in which the weaver moves and continues to weave. The spider throws out its silken thread and fastens it to some object, and another, and another, and on these lines it builds its world. The mind extends its lines of thought and fastens them to persons, places, and ideals, and on these, with these, through these thoughts it builds its world. For the world of each man is subjective; his universe is limited by himself; his loves and likes, his ignorance and his knowledge are centered in him. He lives in his own universe, the confines of which he builds. And what he believes to be realities are the thought pictures with which he fills it. As the web may be swept away and the spider remains to build another, so in each life the individuality causes to be built for itself a new universe, though most often the personality knows it not.

Personality and individuality are used interchangeably as will be found on consulting the most approved lexicons where both are given as meaning the habits and characteristics of mind and body. The derivations of these words, however, are opposite in their meanings. Personality is derived from per-sonus, through-sound, or sounding through. Persona was the mask which ancient actors wore in their plays, and which came to mean the entire costume worn by an actor while impersonating any character. Individuality comes from in-dividuus, not divisible. The meaning and relation of these words is thus made clear and distinct.

Individuality is only a name. It may be applied to a universe, a world, or the human, or to any being that represents fully the principle of self-consciousness.

The personality is the mask, cloak, costume which is worn by the individuality. The individuality is the indivisible permanent ego which thinks, speaks, and acts through its mask or personality. Like an actor the individuality identifies itself with its costume and part when the play begins, and, usually, continues to identify itself with the part and play throughout the acts of the waking life. The personality is made up of life and form and sex and desire which, when properly adjusted and attuned, comprise the thinking machine into which the individuality breathes and through which it thinks.

In the personality there is a tree from which, if the individuality, the gardener, will nourish and prune it, he may gather and eat of its twelve fruits, and so grow into a consciously immortal life. The personality is a form, a costume, a mask, in which the individuality appears and takes its part in the divine tragedy-drama-comedy of the ages now being again played on the stage of the world. The personality is an animal which the individuality, the traveller of the ages, has bred for service and which if nourished, guided and controlled, will carry its rider through desert plains and jungle growths, across dangerous places, through the wilderness of the world to the land of safety and peace.

The personality is a kingdom, wherein the individuality, the king, is surrounded by his ministers, the senses. The king holds court in the royal chambers of the heart. By granting only the just and useful petitions of his subjects the king will bring order out of confusion, lawful and concerted action out of riot and rebellion, and have an orderly and well regulated country where each living creature performs its part for the common good of the country.

In the reconstruction of the personality before birth and in the endowment of it with the treasures of its heredity after birth, there is regularly enacted the formation and development of the universe from its incipient stage, together with the history of every age. In this personality there dwells then the individuality—creator, preserver, and re-creator of the universe—in the alchemical workshop of the body. In this workshop there is the magic library with its records of the ages and its horoscopes of the future, there are its alembics and crucibles in which the alchemist magician may extract from the foods of the body the quintessence which is the elixir of life, the nectar of the gods. In this alchemical chamber the alchemist may subject the appetites and lusts and desires of the personality to the purgations, transformations, and sublimations, known to the magic art. Here he transmutes the baser metals of the passions and of his lower nature in the smelter’s crucible into pure gold.

Here the alchemist magician consummates the great work, the mystery of the ages—of changing an animal into a man and a man into a god.

The personality is of very great value. If personality should now be destroyed why was it ever built and why allowed to grow? If now in our present state, personality were to be destroyed then one would fall back into the grey dreams of inactive night, the night of the world, or would slumber through the rolling sound of an eternity, or be fixed an immortal prisoner in the midst of time, having knowledge but without the power to use it; a sculptor without marble or chisel; a potter without his wheel or clay; a breath without desire, body or form; a god without his universe.

The gardener would get no fruit without his tree; the actor could not play his part without his costume; the traveller could not journey without his animal; the king would be no king without his kingdom; the alchemist magician could work no magic without his laboratory. But the tree would bear bitter or useless fruit, or no fruit at all, without the gardener to prune it; the costume would be without form or part in the play without the actor to wear it; the animal would not know where to go without the traveller to guide it; the kingdom would cease to be a kingdom without a king to rule it; the laboratory would remain useless without the magician to work in it.

The tree is life, the costume form, the animal desire; these take on a physical body of sex. The entire body is the laboratory; individuality is the magician; and thought is the process of transmutation. Life is the builder, form is the plan, sex is the balance and equalizer, desire is the energy, thought the process, and individuality the architect.

We may easily distinguish between the individuality and personality. When thinking of some important ethical and moral subject many voices will be heard, each trying to claim attention and drown the others. These are the voices of the personality, and the one which speaks the loudest will usually prevail. But when the heart asks humbly for the truth, that instant a single voice is heard so gentle that it stills dispute. This is the voice of one’s inner god—the higher mind, the individuality.

It is reason, but not the process called reasoning. It speaks but once on each subject. If its behests are acted on there comes a feeling of strength and power and the assurance of having done the right. But if one stops to argue and listens to the voices of the reasoning lower mind, then he becomes bewildered and confused, or deceives himself into the belief that one of the many voices is the single voice. If one contends against the single voice or refuses to listen when it speaks, it will cease to speak and he will have no means of really knowing right from wrong. But if one listens with fixed attention and will strictly follow what it says, then he may learn to commune with his god on every important act, and walk in peace through every storm of life until he will become self-conscious individuality, I-am-I Consciousness.