The law of seven shall be prefaced by that great occult principle known as the law of ANALOGY, which I refer to constantly as the law of CORRESPONDANCES. It derives from the Hermetic conclusion of the universal unity of the manifest world.
The classical formulation was set forth in the second verse of the EMERALD TABLET (in Latin, the TABULA SAMARGDINA and its Alchemical sybmol )attributed to the thrice great Hermes Trismegistus, as follows:
That which is above is like to that which is below and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the miracles of the one thing.
The oldest Western source for the Emerald Tablet was Albertus Magnus in the 13th. century. Later in the 15th. century, this was one of the ancient Greek texts brought by Gemistos Plethon to the Court of Cosimo de Medici for translation.
Arab sources go back to Jabir in the 9th. century and interestingly enough, another 9th. century text called the SECRET OF CREATION attributed to Apollonius of Tyana. Known to the Arabs as Balinas the Wise, this great reformer of the ancient mystery centers was a contempory and pole of Christ and has been said to have helped St. John write the APOCALYPSE while at the Isle of Patmos.
Nowhere is it better said about this great law than in MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT (1985 English edition):
"Since at the root of the diversity of phenomena their unity is found, in such a way that they are at one and the same time different and one, they are neither identical nor heterogeneous but are analagous in so far as they manifest their essential kinship...
The formula of analogy applied in space is the basis of TYPOLOGICAL symbolism, that is, of symbols expressing CORRESPONDANCES between PROTOTYPES above and their manisfestations below: the formula of analogy applied in time is the basis of MYTHOLOGICAL symbolism, that is, of symbols expressing correspondances between ARCHETYPES in the past and their manisfestations in the present. these two categories of symbolism, based on alalogy, constitute through their mutual relationship a cross".
In the next chapters, we will be dealing with the action of this law in SPACE, as topology, and not in time, as mythology. In space, this law manifests itself on levels of correspondance from the archetypal world down to the physical world. In space, this law manifests in a septenary evolution of periodicity, exoterically as sound, discoverable in the laws of music and esoterically, as light. The electromagnetic spectrum of the world ether manifests as sound and light in a broad range of sinusoidal curves. For a sine curve, in uniform motion, above the horizon is the same as below the horizon, only reversed in direction. The macrocosm above and the microcosm below. These esoteric light waves are the bearers of the activity of the Spirits of Form, also called Elohim, Exusiai or Powers, who create the forms of this manifest world.
As Goethe said in his THEORY OF COLOR,
"If only the divergence of the yellow and blue is properly grasped, and if especially the deepening into red, whereby the opposite colors lean together and unite in a third, is adequately studied, then assuredly a particularly mysterious manifestation will appear-a spiritual significance will be found underlying these two separated and opposed beings; and, if one sees them producing downwards the green and upwards the red, one can hardly refrain from thinking of the creative activity there on earth and here in heaven, of the ELOHIM"
The underlying form of the manifest world, esoterically as light from the Elohim, is reflected in the septenary of the visible spectrum, exoterically as sound, in the septenary of the musical scale. From the unity of the one, there is an evolution in space of the diffusion, thru the periodicity of the forces of the seven and the return to unity at a higher level in the twelve, the number of equilibrium. The conceptual model here is UNITY (1)--DIVERSITY (7) and a return to UNITY at a higher level (12).
THE LAW OF SEVEN
1. Septenary in Nature
The septenary principle is observed everywhere in cosmos and is the fundamental law of Periodicity. As observed by Peter Bongus in Mysticae Numerum Significationis (1585):
"The number Seven,' says this learned author, has a wonderful property, for it neither begets nor is begotten, as the rest are, by any of the numbers within ten, wherefore philosophers resemble it to the ruler or governor of all things, who neither moves nor is moved. Philolaus the Pythagorean, nor ignoble author, testifies thus, and writes that the eternal God is permanent, void of motion, similar to himself, and different from others; and Boetius has a passage much to the same purpose. The idea of virginity had such a relation to the number Seven, that it was also named Pallas; and the Pythagoreans, initiated in her rites, compare the virgin Minerva to that number, seeing she was not born, but sprung from the head of Jupiter. God rested on the Seventh day, wherefore it is named Sabbath, a word signifying rest. The Seventh petition of the Lord's Prayer is, deliver us from evil; because the number Seven denotes rest, and all evil being removed from man, he rests in good; and farther, the seventh day or sabbath represents death, or the rest of the soul from worldly labours. In Seven days after Noah entered the ark the flood began: in the Apocalypse Seven trumpets are mentioned: Job speaks of the visitation of six tribulations, which six succeeding days brought on him, but on the Seventh no harm could touch the just: God blessed only the Seventh day, wherefore the number Seven is attributed to the Holy Ghost, without whom there is no blessing. This St. John proves, when in the Apocalypse he calls the Seven horns and the Seven eyes the Seven spirits of God. The fever left the son of Regulas, according to St. John, at the Seventh hour. Elisha breathed Seven times on the dead man. Christ after his resurrection feasted with Seven disciples; and Seven brother were sent to baptise Cornelius. The Seven hairs of Sampson; Seven golden candlesticks: and in Leviticus command was given to sprinkle the blood and oil Seven times. The Seven stars in the bear; the Seven principal angels who rule the world under God, and have charge of the Seven planets, as namely, Horophiel the spirit of Saturn, Anael the spirit of Venus, Zachariel of Jupiter, Raphael of Mercury, Samael of Mars, Gabriel of the moon, and Michael the spirit of the sun. The moon changes its form Seven times, and completes its course in twenty-eight days, which is the sum of the number Seven, and all the numbers under it. Josephus writes that a certain river in Syria is dry for six days, and full on the Seventh. Farther, the great artist did not only dignify the heavens, but he also adorned with the number Seven his favourite creature man, who has seven inward parts, or bowels, stomach, heart, lungs, milt, liver, reins, and bladder; and seven exterior, as head, back, belly, two hands, and two feet. There are seven object of sight, as body, distance, figure, magnitude, colour, motion, and rest: and Seven species of colour, taking the two extremes of white and black, viz., yellow, sky-blue, green purple, and red. No one can without eating live after the Seventh day. Physicians reckon ten times Seven years to be the period of human life, which Hippocrates divides into Seven stages. The ancient lyre, used both by Orpheus and Amphion, had only Seven chords, answering, as it is said, to the Seven gates of Thebes. Every Seventh daughter, no son coming between, hath, by virtue of the number Seven as I imagine, a great power in easing the pains of child-birth: and every Seventh son, no daughter coming between, has the power of curing the scurvy and leprosy by the bare touch; so that diseases, incurable by physicians, are curable by the virtue contained in the number Seven. A right-angled triangle is constituted of the sides three, four, five, but three and four contain the right angle, which is perfection itself, and therefore their sum seven, must as a number be most perfect. Every active body has three dimensions, length, breadth, and thickness, and these have four extremes, point, line, surface, and solid, and these together make up the number Seven.
Gurdjieff was the first occultist to call the septenary principle, the Law of Seven. I have never seen the principle better explained than by him. (From In Search of the Miraculous).
"The next fundamental law of the universe is the law of seven or the law of octaves.
"In order to understand the meaning of this law it is necessary to regard the universe as consisting of vibrations. These vibrations proceed in all kinds, aspects, and densities of the matter which constitutes the universe, from the finest to the coarsest; they issue from various sources and proceed in various directions, crossing one another, colliding, strengthening, weakening, arresting one another, and so on.
"The principle of the discontinuity of vibration means the definite and necessary characteristic of all vibrations in nature, whether ascending or descending, to develop not uniformly but with periodical accelerations and retardations. This principle can be formulated still more precisely if we say that the force of the original impulse in vibrations does not act uniformly but, as it were, becomes alternately stronger and weaker. The force of the impulse acts without changing its nature and vibrations develop in a regular way only for a certain time which is determined by the nature of the impulse, the medium, the conditions, and so forth. But at a certain moment a kind of change takes place in it and the vibrations, so to speak, cease to obey it and for a short time they slow down and to a certain extent change their nature or direction; for example, ascending vibrations at a certain moment begin to ascend more slowly, and descending vibrations begin to descend more slowly. After this temporary retardation, both in ascending and descending, the vibrations again enter the former channel and for a certain time ascend or descend uniformly up to a certain moment when a check in their development again takes place. In this connection it is significant that the periods of uniform action of the momentum are not equal and that the moments of retardation of 'the vibrations are not symmetrical. One period is shorter, the other is longer.
"In order to determine these moments of retardation, or rather, the checks in the ascent and descent of vibrations, the lines of development of vibrations are divided into periods corresponding to the doubling or the halving of the number of vibrations in a given space of time.
"Let us imagine a line of increasing vibrations. Let us take them at the moment when they are vibrating at the rate of one thousand a second. After a certain time the number of vibrations is doubled, that is, reaches two thousand.
"It has been found and established that in this interval of vibrations, between the given number of vibrations and a number twice as large, there are two places where a retardation in the increase of vibrations takes place. One is near the beginning but not at the beginning itself. The other occurs almost at the end.
"The laws which govern the retardation or the deflection of vibrations from their primary direction were known to ancient science. These laws were duly incorporated into a particular formula or diagram which has been preserved up to our times. In this formula the period in which vibrations are doubled was divided into eight unequal steps corresponding to the rate of increase in the vibrations. The eighth step repeats the first step with double the number of vibrations. This period of the doubling of the vibrations, or the line of the development of vibrations, between a given number of vibrations and double that number, is called an octave, that is to say, composed of eight.
"In the guise of this formula ideas of the octave have been handed down from teacher to pupil, from one school to another.
"The seven-tone scale is the formula of a cosmic law which was worked out by ancient schools and applied to music.
"A study of the structure of the seven-tone musical scale gives a very good foundation for understanding the cosmic law of octaves.
"Let us again take the ascending octave, that is, the octave in which the frequency of vibrations increases. Let us suppose that this octave begins with one thousand vibrations a second. Let us designate these thousand vibrations by the note do. Vibrations are growing, that is, their frequency is increasing. At the point where they reach two thousand vibrations a second there will be a second do, that is, the do of the next octave.
"The period between one do and the next, that is, an octave, is divided into seven-unequal parts because the frequency of vibrations does not increase uniformly.
"The ratio of the pitch of the notes, or of the frequency of vibrations will be as follows:
"If we take do as 1 then re will be 9/8, mi 5/4, fa 4/3, sol 3/2, la 5/3, si l5/8, and do 2.
"The differences in the acceleration or increase in the notes or the difference in tone will be as follows:
between do and re 9/8 : 1 = 9/8
between re and mi 5/4 : 9/8 = 10/9
between mi and fa 4/3 : 5/4 = 16/15 increase retarded
between fa and sol 3/2 : 4/3 = 9/8
between sol and la 5/3 : 3/2 = 10/9
between la and si 15/8 : 5/3 = 9/8
between si and do 2 : 15/8 = 16/15 increase
"The differences in the notes or the differences in the pitch of the notes are called intervals. We see that there are three kinds of intervals in the octave: 9/8, 10/9, and 16/15, which in whole numbers correspond to 405, 400, and 384. The smallest interval 16/15 occurs between mi and fa and between si and do. These are precisely the places of retardation in the octave.
"In relation to the musical (seven-tone) scale it is generally considered (theoretically) that there are two semitones between each two notes, with the exception of the intervals mi-fa and si-do, which have only one semi-tone and in which one semitone is regarded as being left out.
"In this manner twenty notes are obtained, eight of which are fundamental:
do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do
and twelve intermediate: two between each of the following two notes:
and one between each of the following two notes:
"But in practice, that is, in music, instead of twelve intermediate semi-tones only five are taken, that is one semitone between:
"Between mi and fa and between si and do the semitone is not taken at all.
"In this way the structure of the musical seven-tone scale gives a scheme of the cosmic law of 'intervals,' or absent semitones. In this respect when octaves are spoken of in a 'cosmic' or in a 'mechanical' sense, only those intervals between mi-fa and si-do are called 'intervals.'
"What precisely does happen at the moment of the retardation of vibrations? A deviation from the original direction takes place.
"All this and many other things can be explained with the help of the law of octaves together with an understanding of the role and significance of 'intervals' which cause the line of the development of force constantly to change, to go in a broken line, to turn round, to become its 'own opposite' and so on.
"Such a course of things, that is, a change of direction, we can observe, in everything.
"The law of octaves explains many phenomena in our lives which are incomprehensible.
"First is the principle of the deviation of forces.
"Second is the fact that nothing in the world stays in the same place, or remains what it was, everything moves, everything is going somewhere, is changing, and inevitably either develops or goes down, weakens or degenerates, that is to say, it moves along either an ascending or a descending line of octaves.
"And third, that in the actual development itself of both ascending and descending octaves, fluctuations, rises and falls are constantly taking place."
The laws of music are a mathematical analysis of the laws of vibrations. Modern science says that energy is matter moving at a vibration rate of the velocity of light squared. Thus, a study of music is the study of the universe of vibrations. The esoteric study of music is the law of seven consisting of tones, semi-tones, and absent semi-tones or intervals.
In this explanation of the esoteric law, Gurdjieff also states (about year 1915) that this law is everywhere the same and that light, heat, chemical, magnetic and other vibrations are subject to the law of seven. Has this esoteric observation been proved correct by modern science?
For example, look at the visible light spectrum seen through the dispersing prism of Sir Newton. The prism deflects the seven colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Newton, himself, observed the correlation between the musical scale and the visible light spectrum. but, he went no further in exoteric publication than his Optics.
Taking a typical base note such as a C, the ratios of the frequencies of D, E, F, etc., may be taken in the musical scale (first formulated by Pythagoras) as set forth above as 9:8, 5:4, 4:3, etc. The correspondence between the visible light scale and the musical scale is as set forth below:
Using C as a base note of DO, the Pythagorean musical ratios produce the visible light spectrum.
Do - C
|1 : 1||Cycle / Sound
4.40 x 10'4
|Re - D||9 : 8||4.95 x 10'4||Orange|
|Mi - E||5 : 4||5.5 x 10'4||Yellow|
|Fa - F||4 : 3||5.86 x 10'4||Green|
|Sol- G||3 : 2||6.60 x 10'4||Blue|
|La - A||5 : 3||7.33 x 10'4||Indigo|
|Ti - B||15 : 8||8.25 x 10'4||Violet|
|Do||2 : 1||Invisible|
One should observe that the correspondence holds up quite well. If valid for the visible light spectrum, the correspondence should also hold up for the non-visible electromagnetic spectrum from gamma rays to radio waves. In fact, ours is a cosmos of radiation, the lengths of its waves continuously varying in length from very short (gamma) to very long (radio). However, radiation is not distributed continuously in a given region, but is concentrated into pellets called photons which have both wave and particle properties. Until the discovery of the prism by (Newton), our science did not conceive of visible light consisting of seven independent wave lengths of light, which in unity is white light. However, the occult scientists did and this correspondence is reflected in the seven notes of the musical scale.
Another example of the correspondence of the septenary principle is in the atomic world of the chemical elements. Each atom is enclosed, like the layers of an onion, with SEVEN electron shells. As each successive shell fills with free electrons, the chemical properties of the elements depend upon the number of electrons in the outermost shell available for the chemical bonds.
In addition, the chemical elements show a septenary relation in the periodic table of Mendeleev (1869). As observed several years earlier in 1864 by J. Newlands, "the difference between the number of the lowest member of a group (of the periodic table) and that immediately above it is 7; in other words, the eighth element starting from a given one is a king of repetition of the first, like the eighth note of an octave in music". So close yet so far.
Going beyond the atomic world of correspondence to the molecular world of correspondence, we again find the septenary principle evident in the mineral kingdom of nature. Crystals are a three dimensional periodic arrangement of atoms in molecular form dispersed symmetrically at a given point of space. There are 230 possible space groups of three dimensional crystal structure in symmetry. This number of total possible arrangements in space can be reduced to thirty-two crystal classes, which consists of structural forms such as prism, pyramid, dome, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, etc. All crystal classes can be further reduced to SEVEN crystal systems which contain all crystal classes as follows:
Isometric 5 classes
Tetragonal 7 classes
Hexagonal 7 classes
Trigonal 5 classes
Orthorhombic 3 classes
monoclinic 3 classes
triclinic 2 classes
32 crystal classes
Thus, the shape and structure of our solid earth shows a septenary periodicity. The universality of the law of seven shows itself in the vibrations of visible light, the invisible light of the electromagnetic spectrum, sound, color, atomic world of chemical elements, periodic table of chemical elements and molecular world of mineral structure. The number of correspondence is as infinite as the cosmos itself and unimportant. What is important is to see this principle at work, in everything around us in the manifested world, unlike the law of three which operates in the first instance in the unmanifested world and is more difficult to recognize.
2. SEPTENARY IN MAN
If there is any gnosis that a human should depart with in death from this planet, none is more important than the principle of the law of seven as applied to man.
The Madame H.P.B. in the Secret Doctrine shows beyond a doubt the septenary in man is a fundamental esoteric doctrine of antiquity.
The Egyptians divided the sky by night into seven parts, the heaven into seven parts, the forces of nature into seven parts, the invisible forces of nature into seven elementals and also, seven elements or souls to man (from Gerald Massey).
1. KHAT - body
2. BA - soul of breath
3. KHABA - the shade
4. AKHU - intelligence or perception
5. SEB - ancestral soul
6. PUTAH - first intellectual father
7. ATMU - divine or eternal soul
Another esoteric division given by H.P.B. is by F. Lambert (1887) and taken from hieroglyphics and The Egyptian Book of the Dead:
1. KHAT - physical body
2. ANKH - vital force
3. KA - astral body - sidereal man
4. ABHATY - animal soul - heart
5. BA - intellectual soul - intelligence
6. KHAIBIT - spiritual soul
7. KHU - divine spirit
In reference to the Persian-Zoroastrian cultural epoch and system of knowledge, an article appeared in the early Theosophist, reprinted in Five Years of Theosophy setting forth the seven principles in their man as follows:
1. TANWAS - body
2. USHTANAS - vital force
3. KEHERAS - aerial form
4. TEVISHIS - will, sentient consciousness
5. BOADHAS - animal soul
6. VRWANEM - soul, that is judged often death
7. FRAWASHEM - spirit - divinity
The source is taken from the holy hymn book Avesta whose initiates were called the Magi.
A footnote in the article is written by the editors declares that the ancient Chinese text I Ching written some 1,200 years B.C. also references a septenary nature in man as follows:
3. KWEI SHAN
With the founding of the Theosophical Society in 1875, the occult doctrines of the Buddhist and Hindu East began to be published in the English language for the first time. Madame H.P.B. as messenger of the trans-Himalayan Arhats decided it was the time in the Kaliyuga cycle to make exoteric many of the former esoteric tenants of the Secret Doctrine.
This disclosure was desperately needed because western occultism suffered from schism and persecution from the Catholic Church since the beginning of the Christian Councils in the third century. The essences were exterminated by the Romans the school and library of Alexandria after repeated razing, met its final demise in the year 641 by the Calif Omar. The only remains of the Gnostics is the Pistis Sophia. The Cathars burned at the stake by the Albigensian Crusade and the Knights Templar burned at the stake by King Philip of France. After the horrible death of Jacques de Molay in year 1314, the Temple of Solomon was finally destroyed and western occultists went underground. The medieval Kabbalists and Alchemists, the esoteric Christian Rosicrucians and the masonic lodges were all secret organizations hiding from the torture, vivisection and death by the Church. When these groups did go exoteric, only a shell remained of their spiritual impulse and their revealed knowledge was in symbolic or mandala form, inaccessible to the common man. Thank God and not the Church for the spiritual revival lead by the Theosophical Society of the Nineteenth Century.
First in the series of disclosures of the ARHAT doctrines was A.P. Sinnett's book Esoteric Buddhism which set forth the principles as follows:
1. Body - RUPA
2. Vitality - PRANA or JIVA
3. Astral Body - LINGA SARIRA
4. Animal Soul - KAMA RUPA
5. Human Soul - MANAS
6. Spiritual Soul - BUDDHI
7. Universal Spirit - ATMA
This division separates the seven principles into a lower quaternary which function on the astral and physical planes and a higher triad of undeveloped principles representing the future evolution of spirit in mankind. As explained by Sinnett, the second principle of man, vitality, consists of Prana or life force as matter in its aspect as force. Bury the body after death, and its Jiva will attach itself to the vegetation which springs above or the lower animal forms which evolves from its substance. Burn the body, and indestructible Jiva flies back to the planet itself from which it was originally borrowed.
The astral body is the etheric duplicate of the physical body, a sort of original design or template for organic development and differentiation. It never leaves the body except at death when it is disembodied for several days, and disperses into the astral world.
The forth principle is translated as the body of desire in its earthly aspect and vehicle of will in its spiritual aspect. Traditionally, this principle was the animal soul as seat of animal desires which include the whole range of human passions and was the last earthly principle.
Starting with the fifth principle, we see the first of the spiritual qualities in man which are not yet fully developed. This human soul is the seat of mind or intelligence. Sinnett relates the sixth principle is still in embryo and the seventh principle is the spark of the divine or god in all of us, which is the same for all humanity. The sixth principle may be called the vehicle of the seventh as well as the fourth principle is the vehicle of the fifth.
Sinnett goes the further step in declaring that all principles, even the three finer spiritual principles "are material and molecular in their constitution." Unknown to him at the time, this was probably his greatest achievement when this book hit the bookstands in Europe. Every spiritualists came out of the closest and decried him the ultimate "materialist". Of course, this declaration is exactly the same as that of Gurdjieff when 40 years later he said that "Everything in the universe can be weighed and measured. The absolute is as material, as weighable and measurable, as the moon or as man. If the absolute is God, it means that God can be weighed and measured." Thus, a great debate ensued which only helped the cause of revealing more esoteric doctrine to mankind.
R. Steiner did a series of lectures in 1915 later published as The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century in which he calls Sinnett "a journalist whose brain tended entirely to materialism" and that Madame H.P.B. "had been driven into the one-sided sphere of left-wing Indian occultists." In these lectures, R. Steiner correctly declares that the teachings of repeated earth-lives, a basic tenant of Buddhist and Brahman theology of karma and reincarnation, has been deliberately withheld from Christian esoteric teachings. Likewise, the teachings of the septenary nature of man been intentionally withheld from Christian sources. This is because the doctrine of the septenary nature of man pre-supposes a life after death, an ascent through the spiritual worlds to cleanse the palate of animal desires and sins, a re-birth on earth as a human to forward the evolution of the three higher principles of mankind towards spiritual perfection and ultimate union with the seventh principle, Atma.
Steiner as a Christian esotericist made a deliberate attempt to unite Eastern teachings about incarnation and karma into Christian occult theology. His septenary elements of the man is as follows:
l. Physical body
2. Etheric Body
3. Astral Body
4. Ego (thinking, willing and feeling)
5. Spirit - Self (Manas)
6. Life - Spirit (Buddhi)
7. Spirit - Man (Atma)
Please note the two changes from the Eastern occult set forth by Sinnett and the Theosophists. First, Steiner re-names the higher triad according to his spiritual science doctrine of Anthroposophy. For the years 1902 from 1913, Steiner was the head of the German Chapter of the Theosophical Society in Europe. During these years he gave thousands of public lectures using the Theosophical terminology of Manas-Buddhi and Atma for the higher triad. However, he was fired by Annie Besant, the head of the Theosophical Society which maintained its headquarters in Adyar, India to preserve its Eastern influence, which Steiner was trying to unite into an East-West occult theology. In addition, Steiner flatly rejected the contention of A. Besant and C.W. Leadbeater for the Theosophical Society that a young Indian boy named Krishnamurti would bear the reincarnation of Jesus Christ at the end of the second millennium, an event more than one religious group expected. In the end, Krishnamurti rejected the mantle of Christ consciousness and Steiner's rejection proved valid. However, after leaving the Theosophical Society, he founded his own Western version called Anthroposophy. It was probably in an effort to distinguish his Anthrosophic group from the Theosophic group, that he changed the traditional Eastern occult terms for the higher triad.
Second, he drops the traditional Eastern occult name for the fourth principle - Kamarupa or animal soul and substitutes the term Ego. He further attributes to the ego the functions of kama rupa as thinking - willing - feeling. This was a good change so as to eliminate the controversy and confusion existing over the fourth principle in dealing with higher and lower manas (mind) and calling as Sinnett did, the fourth principle as vehicle of the fifth (manas). Now, for Western occultism, the fourth principle is simply the human I or ego in its three animal soul functions of thinking (mind), feeling (emotions) and willing (desire) or the three soul forces in which the ego emerges, sentient soul, mind soul and consciousness soul.
Lastly, Steiner names the second principle the etheric body, a term which has taken hold in the Twentieth Century to distinguish the life body, etheric double from the astral body or body of animal desires. Sinnett often confused the astral body with the etheric double.
Personally my classification of the septenary principles would name the lower quaternary from Steiner as physical, etheric, astral and ego and keep the Eastern occult terms for the higher triad as Manas, Buddhi and Atma. This blends East and West occult terminology and since so much more is written about the three higher principles in the East than the West, keeping the Eastern terms allows one when studying the higher principles to have consistent terminology.
Steiner described the higher triad as follows:
"We have often mentioned that today man consists of four members - physical, etheric and astral bodies, and an "I" or ego. This is the key to all spiritual science. We also know about man's future development, how the "I" working from within gradually transforms the astral body so that it finally gains complete mastery over it. When the astral body has been thus transformed, we say that it contains Spirit Self or Manas. An astral body ruled by the ego is the Spirit Self or Manas. The same applies to the ether body. When the ego works still more powerfully, it can overcome the opposing forces of the ether body. The transformed ether body then becomes Life Spirit or Buddhi. Finally, when the ego gains mastery over the physical body, when the most powerfully opposing forces of the physical body are also overcome, man bears in him Spirit Man or Atman. Thus, in transforming his physical body into Atman or Spirit Man, he becomes sevenfold. Outwardly, the physical body appears as a physical body, but inwardly it is completely controlled and permeated by the ego. At this stage, the physical body is both physical body and Atman. The ether body is both ether body and Life Spirit or Buddhi, and the astral body is both astral body and Spirit Self or Manas. The ego has now become ruler of the other members. Thus, man evolves to higher stages of development out of his own forces. He strives toward his own deification, as Dionysius the Areopagite, the friend and pupil of St. Paul, called it."