A Myth of Creation: The Three Outpourings … by the Theosophists

Revised and reposted from 1 December 2013

Dear Ones,

This is the first of a four-part series on an amazing myth of creation described in the writings of the Theosophists.

Below are excerpts regarding ‘the three outpourings’ that comprise creation, from “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell. (1)

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars


“Recapitulating briefly, we see that the Logos sends forth three mighty waves of His Life, through His three Aspects in succession: the first shapes and ensouls matter; the second imparts qualities and builds forms; the third carries down the human Monad to unite with the forms prepared by the second….



Image: “Diagram XXI.–The Three Outpourings,” in “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, “Ch XIII. Individualisation: Its Mechanism and Purpose,” public domain, available from http://www.lulu.com and http://www.amazon.com. Also at: http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/theosophy/Arthur_E_Powell_-_The_Causal_Body___The_Ego.pdf ..

Image: “Diagram XXI.–The Three Outpourings,” in “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, “Ch XIII. Individualisation: Its Mechanism and Purpose,” public domain, available from www.lulu.com and www.amazon.com. Also at: http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/theosophy/Arthur_E_Powell_-_The_Causal_Body___The_Ego.pdf ..

“The action of the three Outpourings in producing an individual human being is graphically represented in the well-known diagram opposite page 38 in Man Visible and Invisible, and on page 16 of The Chakras. This diagram we have ventured to modify slightly (see Diagram XXI), in accordance with the further information given in The Chakras, and in The Masters and the Path.

“The explanation of Diagram XXI is as follows: —

“The First Life Wave or Outpouring, from the Third Logos or Aspect, plunges straight down into matter, the line in the drawing, indicating this, growing heavier and darker as it descends , showing how the Holy Spirit vivifies the matter of the various planes, first building the atoms, and then aggregating the atoms into elements (as described in Chapter V).

“Into that matter so vivified, the Second Life Wave, or Outpouring, from the Second Logos or Aspect, God the Son, descends through the First, Second, and Third Elemental Kingdoms, down to the mineral kingdom; then it ascends through the vegetable and animal to the human kingdom, where it meets the downward reaching power of the First Logos—the Third Outpouring, from the First Logos, or Aspect.

“Meanwhile the force of the Third Logos, the First Outpouring, from the Third Aspect, after touching its lowest point, also rises again. On this path of return, or ascent, it is Kundalini, and it works in the bodies of evolving creatures, in intimate contact with the Primary or Life- Force, the two acting together, to bring the creature to the point where it can receive the Outpouring, of the First Logos, and become an ego, a human being, and still carry on the vehicles even after that. Thus we may say that we draw God’s mighty power from the earth beneath as well as from heaven above, and are children of the earth as well as the sun.The two forces meet in us, and work together for our evolution. We cannot have one without the other, but if one is greatly in excess there are serious dangers. Hence, incidentally, the risk of any development of the deeper layers of Kundalini before the life in man is pure and refined.

“Whilst all three Outpourings are truly the actual Life of God Himself, yet there is a vital and important distinction between the First and Second Outpourings, on the one hand and the Third Outpouring on the other hand. For the First and Second Outpourings have come down slowly and gradually through all the sub-planes, drawing round themselves the matter of each of these, and enmeshing themselves in it so thoroughly that it is scarcely possible, to discern them for what they are, to recognise them as Divine Life at all.

“But the Third Outpouring flashes straight down from its source without involving itself in any way in the intermediate matter. It is the pure white light uncontaminated by anything through which it has passed….”


“The Soul or Ego we may consider as that which individualises the Universal, Spirit, which focusses the Universal Light into a single point; which is as it were, a receptacle into which is poured the Spirit; so that which in Itself is universal, poured into this receptacle appears as separate: always identical in its essence, but separated in its manifestation. The purpose of this separation is, as we have seen, that an individual may develop and grow; that there may be an individualised life potent on every plane of the Universe; that it may know on the physical and other planes as it knows on the spiritual planes, and have no break in consciousness; that it may make for itself the vehicles that it needs for acquiring consciousness beyond its own plane, and then may gradually purify them one by one until they no longer act as blinds or as hindrances, but as pure and translucent media through which all knowledge on every plane may come.

“The process of individualisation, however, should not be conceived as merely the making of a form or receptacle, and then pouring something into it, so that that which is poured at once  takes the definite outline and shape of the vessel.The real phenomenon is more analogous to the building of a solar system from a nebula. Out of the primeval matter of space, a slight mist appears too delicate almost to be called even a mist: the mist grows gradually denser as the particles aggregate more closely together; eventually shapes are formed within the mist, which, as time goes on, become more definite, until a system is formed, with a central sun and planets around it.

“So is the coming of Spirit into individualisation. It is like the faint appearance of a shadow in the universal void; the shadow becomes a mist, which grows clearer and more definite, until eventually an individual comes into existence. The Soul, or individual, is thus not a thing complete at first, plunging like a diver into the ocean of matter: rather is it slowly densified and builded, until out of the Universal it becomes the individual, which ever grows as its evolution proceeds.

“Thus the Third Outpouring makes within each man that distinctive ‘spirit of the man which goeth upward’, in contradistinction to ‘the spirit of the beast which goeth downward’–which, being interpreted, means that while the soul of the animal pours back after death of the body into the Group-Soul to which it belongs, the divine spirit in man cannot so fall back again, but rises ever onward and upward towards the Divinity from Whom it came.”


“If we consider the phases of involution and evolution in broad outline, we may think of them as consisting of seven stages. During three the Spirit descends. As it descends, it broods over Matter, imparting qualities, powers and attributes. The fourth stage stands alone, for in it Matter, now imbued with various powers and attributes, comes into manifold relations with the informing Spirit, which now enters it. This is the great battle of the universe, the conflict between Spirit and Matter, the battle of Kurukshetra, of the vast hosts of the opposing armies.

“In this part of the field is the point of balance. The Spirit, coming into innumerable relations with Matter, is at first overpowered; then comes the point of balance, when neither has the advantage over the other; then slowly the Spirit begins to triumph over Matter, so that, when the fourth stage is over, Spirit is master of Matter, and is ready for his ascent through the three stages that complete the seven.

“In these, the Spirit organises the Matter which he has mastered and ensouled, turns it to his own purposes, shapes it for his own expression, so that Matter may become the means whereby all the powers of the Spirit shall be made manifest and active. The last three stages are thus taken up by the spiritual ascent.”

–from “The Causal Body and the Ego,” Ch XIII. Individualisation: Its Mechanism and Purpose,” by Arthur E. Powell (1)


(1) from “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, “Ch XIII. Individualisation: Its Mechanism and Purpose,” public domain, available from www.lulu.com and www.amazon.com. Also at: http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/theosophy/Arthur_E_Powell_-_The_Causal_Body___The_Ego.pdf ..


Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


myths of creation, Theosophy, Arthur E. Powell, outpourings,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.