“Enq: But what is the difference between the two? I confess that I am still in the dark. Indeed it is just that difference, then, that you cannot impress too much on our minds.
Theo: I try to; but alas, it is harder with some than to make them feel a reverence for childish impossibilities, only because they are orthodox, and because orthodoxy is respectable.
To understand the idea well, you have to first study the dual sets of “principles”: the spiritual, or those which belong to the imperishable Ego; and the material, or those principles which make up the ever-changing bodies or the series of personalities of that Ego.
Let us fix permanent names to these, and say that:
I. Atma, the “Higher Self”, is neither your Spirit nor mine, but like sunlight shines on all. It is the universally diffused “divine principle”, and is inseparable from its one and absolute Meta-Spirit, as the sunbeam is inseparable from sunlight.
II. Buddhi (the spiritual soul) is only its vehicle. Neither each separately, nor the two collectively, are of any more use to the body of man, than sunlight and its beams are for a mass of granite buried in the earth, unless the divine Duad is assimilated by, and reflected in, some consciousness.
Neither Atma nor Buddhi are ever reached by Karma, because the former is the highest aspect of Karma, its working agent of ITSELF in one aspect, and the other is unconscious on this plane.
This consciousness is our mind,
(MAHAT or the “Universal Mind” is the source of Manas. The latter is Mahat, i.e., mind, in man. Manas is also called Kshetrajna, “embodied Spirit”, because it is, according to our philosophy, the Manasa-putras, or “Sons of the Universal Mind”, who created, or rather produced, the thinking man, “manu”, by incarnating in the third Race mankind in our Round. It is Manas, therefore, which is the real incarnating and permanent Spiritual Ego, the INDIVIDUALITY, and our various and numberless personalities only its external masks.)
the derivation or product in a reflected form of Ahamkara, “the conception of I”, or EGO-SHIP.
It is, therefore, when inseparably united to the first two, called the SPIRITUAL EGO, and Taijasi (the radiant). This is the real Individuality, or the divine man.
It is this Ego which – having originally incarnated in the senseless human form animated by, but unconscious (since it had no consciousness) of, the presence in itself of the dual monad – made of that human-like form a real man.
It is that Ego, that “Casual Body”, which overshadows every personality Karma forces it to incarnate into; and this Ego which is held responsible for all the sins committed through, and in, every new body or personality – the evanescent masks which hide the true Individual through the long series of rebirths.
Enq: But is this just? Why should this EGO receive punishment as the result of deeds which it has forgotten?
Theo: It has not forgotten them; it knows and remembers its misdeeds as well as you remember what you have done yesterday. It is because the memory of that bundle of physical compounds called “body” does not recollect what its predecessor (the personality that was) did, that you imagine that the real Ego has forgotten them?
As well say it is unjust that the new boots on the feet of a boy, who is flogged for stealing apples, should be punished for that which they know nothing of.”
H. P. Blavatsky