The Energy of Our Spiritual Soul Does Not Always
Have Immediate Effects on Lower and Denser Planes
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Maine de Biran (left), Félix Ravaisson and  Helena P. Blavatsky
Cosmic cycles are somehow present in daily life. Sleep is the equivalent to a brief pralaya, a pause in one’s private universe of physical life.
Each night, as we pass through deep sleep and perhaps experience some other aspect of that higher existence which takes place beyond the realm of our lower self, we are able to transcend (in part, and for a moment) the circle of Maya or Illusion.
Yet we do not always bring much of that life into the daily “waking” consciousness.
Both Maine de Biran, in his “Nouveaux Essais D’Anthropologie”, [1] and H.P. Blavatsky have shown that Karma, or Action, develops in lines inter-related but relatively independent from each other, in different levels of reality, with varying degrees of density.
Félix Ravaisson, one of the French philosophers who were influenced by Maine de Biran, had these words quoted by H.P. Blavatsky:
“The real existence, the life of which every other life is but an imperfect outline, a faint sketch, is that of the Soul.” [2]
Indeed the life of our spiritual Soul does not always have short term consequences on lower and denser planes.
It takes time for the learner to solve the septenary mystery of being really awake.  Progress is gradual, and more than one incarnation is certainly necessary for life to get immediately septenary in its multi-layered consciousness.
This must be taken into consideration when we see limitations and shortcomings in fellow-students of philosophy, or in ourselves.
Provided they are sincere, once we see they are making an effort, and as long as we ourselves are trying our best, it is wise to remember that there is an active, but subtle and not immediate relationship among the karmic lines of different planes.
Robert Crosbie wrote:
“When we consider – as we must – that our individual lives stretch back for untold ages, and have an illimitable future, and that the present bodily existence is but one small aspect of that great continuous Being, we rise above the temporary, while acting in it, and, seeing more of the right proportions and relativities, [we] are less involved or troubled by ‘what may come to pass.’ This of itself is much to have gained; it gives the steadiness of the warrior in the fight. ‘Forget not this lesson, the spiritual man is in this world to get rid of defects. His external life is for this only, hence we are all seen at a disadvantage.’ Looking at life from this point of view, everything that comes is an opportunity to be taken advantage of by that ‘spiritual man,’ and in everything we find that ‘glorious unsought fight that only fortune’s favored soldiers may obtain’.”
Events may occur in higher planes of consciousness which are not remembered in one’s waking consciousness.  Even some initiate, perhaps, may be unaware of them, as Crosbie writes:
“You will remember what W. Q. J.[3] wrote: ‘None of us, and especially those who have heard of the Path, or of Occultism, or of the Masters, can say with confidence that he is not already one who has passed through some initiations, with knowledge of them. We may already be initiated into some higher degree than our present attainment would suggest, and are undergoing a new trial unknown to ourselves. It is better to consider that we are, being sure to eliminate all pride of that unknown advance we have made.’ We may all take comfort and encouragement from what is there said, for it may be especially true of those who are fired with zeal for Master’s work.” [4]
Although the idea of being some sort of initiate is potentially harmful for most of us, it is a fact that not long ago we all have had direct experiences of higher levels of consciousness.  Devachan – the long blissful experience between one physical life and another – is probably the best instance of that.  Its chronological proximity to our present “waking” life – less than a century – makes it possible to understand the substance of Higher life. There are also equivalents to Devachan in every good night’s sleep, and William Q. Judge wrote:
“In dreams we see the truth and taste the joys of heaven. In waking life it is ours to gradually distill that dew into our normal consciousness.” [5]
It is easier to grasp the deeper aspects of life if we adopt the right point of view to look at the enduring mystery of “what does it mean to be really awake”.  Some individuals are more awakened to spiritual realities while their bodies sleep. And the other way around:  in the present stage of human evolution, in order to be “physically awake”, most people need to be “spiritually asleep”.
If we do not pay full attention to life, our “waking consciousness” becomes a misleading sort of dream. So-called physical life is often a form of somnambulism.  It implies the practice of day-dreaming.
True reality is more subtle and more stable than the ever-changing and dreamy conditions of “outer” life.
By continuously observing our relation to sleep, to dream and to the waking state, we make gradual progress in the art of being Vigilant across the daily cycle of 24 hours.
[1] “Oeuvres de Maine de Biran”, Tome XIV, Introductions par Pierre Tisserand et Henri Gouhier, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1949, 440 pages, see pp.195-402.
[2] “Memory in the Dying”, an article by H.P.B. included in “Theosophical Articles”, H.P. Blavatsky, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, volume II, 1981. See p. 378.  There is a previous mention to Ravaisson a few paragraphs earlier.
[3] W.Q.J.:  William Q. Judge.
[4] “The Friendly Philosopher”, Robert Crosbie, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, 1945, 415 pp., see p. 149.
[5] “Letters That Have Helped Me”, William Q. Judge, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, 1946, 300 pp., see p. 37.