“Enq: It is just that which is so difficult to understand.
Theo: It seems to me very easy, on the contrary, once that you have seized the main idea, i.e., that man acts on this or another plane of consciousness, in strict accordance with his mental and spiritual condition.
But such is the materialism of the age that the more we explain the less people seem capable of understanding what we say.
Divide the terrestrial being called man into three chief aspects, if you like, and unless you make of him a pure animal you cannot do less.
Take his objective body; the thinking principle in him – which is only a little higher than the instinctual element in the animal – or the vital conscious soul; and that which places him so immeasurably beyond and higher than the animal – i.e., his reasoning soul or “spirit”.
Well, if we take these three groups or representative entities, and subdivide them, according to the occult teaching, what do we get?
First of all, Spirit (in the sense of the Absolute, and therefore, indivisible ALL), or Atma.
As this can neither be located nor limited in philosophy, being simply that which IS in Eternity, and which cannot be absent from even the tiniest geometrical or mathematical point of the universe of matter or substance, it ought not to be called, in truth, a “human” principle at all.
Rather, and at best, it is Metaphysics, that point in space which the human Monad and its vehicle man occupy for the period of every life.
Now that point is imaginary as man himself, and in reality is an illusion, a maya; but then for ourselves, as for other personal Egos, we are a reality during that fit of illusion called life, and we have to take ourselves into account, in our own fancy at any rate, if no one else does.
To make it more conceivable to the human intellect, when first attempting the study of Occultism, and to solve the A B C of the mystery of man, Occultism calls this seventh principle the synthesis of the sixth, and gives it for vehicle the Spiritual Soul, Buddhi.
Now the latter conceals a mystery, which is never given to any one, with the exception of irrevocably pledged chelas, or those, at any rate, who can be safely trusted.
Of course, there would be less confusion, could it only be told; but, as this is directly concerned with the power of projecting one’s double consciously and at will, and as this gift, like the “ring of Gyges”, would prove very fatal to man at large and to the possessor of that faculty in particular, it is carefully guarded.
But let us proceed with the “principles”.
This divine soul, or Buddhi, then, is the vehicle of the Spirit. In conjunction, these two are one, impersonal and without any attributes (on this plane, of course), and make two spiritual “principles”.
If we pass on to the Human Soul, Manas or mens, every one will agree that the intelligence of man is dual to say the least: e.g., the high-minded man can hardly become low-minded; the very intellectual and spiritual-minded man is separated by an abyss from the obtuse, dull, and material, if not animal-minded man.”
H. P. Blavatsky