THEOSOPHY, Vol. 88, Issue 1, November/December 1999
(Pages 27-31; Size: 9K)


(collated from the writings of H. P. Blavatsky)

THE fall of the angels is the symbolic representation of the great struggles between divine wisdom, nous, and its earthly reflection, Psuche, or between Spirit and Soul, in Heaven and on Earth. In Heaven -- because the divine MONAD voluntarily exiled itself therefrom, to descend, for incarnating purposes, to a lower plane and thus transform the animal of clay into an immortal god. For Eliphas Levi(1) tells us, "the angels aspire to become men; for the perfect man, the man-god, is above even the angels."

The symbolic teaching is more mystical than religious, it is purely scientific. ... For, instead of remaining a mere blind, functioning medium, impelled and guided by fathomless LAW, the "rebellious" Angel claimed and enforced his right of independent judgment and will, his right of free-agency and responsibility, since man and angel are alike under Karmic Law. "And there was war in Heaven" .... The supposed "rebels" were simply those who, compelled by Karmic law to drink the cup of gall to its last bitter drop, had to incarnate anew, and thus make responsible thinking entities of the astral statues projected by their inferior brethren. Some are said to have refused, because they had not in them the requisite materials -- i.e., an astral body -- since they were arupa [without form]. The refusal of others had reference to their having been Adepts and Yogis of long past preceding Manvantaras; another mystery. But, later on, as Nirmanakayas,(2) they sacrificed themselves for the good and salvation of the Monads which were waiting for their turn, and which otherwise would have had to linger for countless ages as irresponsible, animal-Like, though in appearance human, forms.

There is more than one interpretation, for there are seven keys to the mystery of the Fall. Moreover there are two "Falls" in Theology: rebellion of the Archangels and their Fall, and the "Fall" of Adam and Eve. Thus the lower as well as the higher Hierarchies are charged with a supposed crime. The word "supposed" is the true and correct term, for in both cases it is founded on misconception. Both are considered in Occultism as Karmic effects, and both belong to the law of Evolution: intellectual and spiritual on the one hand, physical and psychic on the other. The "Fall" is a universal allegory. It sets forth at one end of the ladder of Evolution the "rebellion," i.e., the action for differentiating intellection or consciousness of its various planes, seeking union with matter; and at the other, the lower end, the rebellion of matter against Spirit, or of action against spiritual inertia. And here lies the germ of an error which has had such disastrous effects on the intelligence of civilized societies for over 1,800 years. In the original allegory it is matter, hence the more material angels, which was regarded as the conqueror of Spirit, or the Archangels who "fell" on this plane. "They of the flaming sword (or animal passions) had put to flight the Spirits of Darkness." Yet it is the latter who fought for the supremacy of the conscious and divine spirituality on Earth and failed, succumbing to the power of matter.

The Secret Doctrine teaches that the Fire-Devas, the Rudras, and Kumaras, the "Virgin-Angels," (to whom Michael and Gabriel, the Archangels, both belong), the divine "Rebels" -- preferred the curse of incarnation and the long cycles of terrestrial existence and rebirths, to seeing the misery (even if unconscious) of the beings (evolved as shadows out of their Brethren) through the semi-passive energy of their too spiritual Creators.

If "man's uses of life should be such as neither to animalize nor to spiritualize, but humanize Self," before he can do so he must be born human not angelic. Hence the tradition shows the celestial Yogis offering themselves as voluntary victims in order to redeem with human affections and aspirations. To do this they had to give up their natural status and, descending on our globe, take up their abode on it for the whole cycle of the Mahayuga, thus exchanging their impersonal individualities for the individual personalities -- the bliss of sidereal existence for the curse of terrestrial life. This voluntary sacrifice of the Fiery Angels, whose nature was Knowledge and Love, was construed by the exoteric theologies into a statement that shows "The rebel angels hurled down from heaven into the darkness of Hell" -- our Earth. Hindu philosophy hints at the truth by teaching that the Asuras hurled down by Siva, are only in an intermediate state in which they prepare for higher degrees of purification and redemption from their wretched condition.

To express it in (still) clearer form, limiting the explanation to this earth only, it was the duty of the first "differentiated Egos" -- the Church calls them Archangels -- to imbue primordial matter with the evolutionary impulses and guide its formative powers in the sentences, both in the Eastern and Western tradition -- "the Angels were commanded to create." After the Earth has been made ready by the lower and more material powers, and its three Kingdoms fairly started on their way to be "fruitful and multiply," the higher powers, the archangels or Dhyanis, were compelled by evolutionary Law to descend on Earth, in order to construct the crown of evolution -- MAN. Thus the "Self-created and Self-existent" projected their pale shadows; but group the Third, the Fire Angels, rebelled and refused to join their fellow Devas. Agreeably to esoteric interpretation, it was a self-sacrifice for the benefit of mankind. The "Rebels" would not create will-less irresponsible men, as the "obedient" angels did; nor could they endow human beings with only the temporary reflections of their own attributes; for even the latter, belonging to another and a so-much higher plane of consciousness, would leave man still irresponsible, hence interfere with any possibility of a higher progress. No spiritual and psychic evolution is possible on earth -- the lowest and most material plane -- for one who on that plane, at all events, is inherently perfect and cannot accumulate either merit or demerit. Man remaining the pale shadow of the inert, immutable, and motionless perfection, the one negative and passive attribute of the real I am that I am, would have been doomed to pass through life on earth as in a heavy dreamless sleep; hence a failure on this plane.

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(1) A learned Kabalist who wrote five major works between 1861 and 1865. [Editors]
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(2) Lit. -- a transformed body, yet also a Being -- a Master of Compassion. "...A Nirmanakaya is ever a protecting, compassionate, verily a guardian angel, to him who becomes worthy of his help" (Theosophical Glossary). [Editors]
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