Thought Forms & Creation

This article about thought forms and creation is an excerpt from A Treatise On Cosmic Fire by the Ascended Master Djwhal Khul as channeled by Alice Bailey. 

Most of the thought forms created by average man are only relatively effective, and this within great limitations, and having but a restricted radius.  When man is learning consciously to create, which he does through the organisation of thought, concentration and meditation, he proceeds more slowly, for he has two primary things to do before the creative process can be carried through:

a. To contact or communicate with the Ego, or solar Angel.

b. To study the process of creation and to make it conform step by step with natural evolutionary law.

The above is necessarily but another way of defining meditation and its objective.

Later on, when a man is an expert in meditation, the work of thought creation proceeds with ever increasing rapidity, until he surpasses (on a higher turn of the spiral) the activity of the earlier unconscious period.

Starting, therefore, with the recognition of the egoic intent in the physical brain, the man proceeds to build the form for his idea.  He begins first to organise the material required upon the mental plane.  It is on that plane that the impulse takes to itself its primary form.  On the desire or astral plane, the process of vitalisation is largely pursued, for the length of the life of any thought form (even such an one as our solar system) is dependent upon the persistence of desire, and the strength of the desire.

thought forms and creation

The Etheric Level

On the etheric levels of the physical plane the process of physical concretion takes place; as the physical vehicle assumes the necessary proportions, the thought form becomes divorced from the one who is giving it form.  Any idea of enough strength will inevitably materialise in dense physical matter, but the main work of its creator ceases when he has worked with it on mental, astral and etheric levels.  The dense physical response is automatic and inevitable.  Some ideas of a large and important nature, which have arisen in the consciousness of the Guides of the race, reach full manifestation only through the medium of many agents, and the dynamic impulses of many minds.  A few work consciously, when this is the case, at the production of the necessitated [970] form; many more are swept into activity and lend their aid through the very negativity of their natures; they are “forced” to be interested in spite of themselves, and are “swept into the movement,” not through any mental apprehension or “vital desire,” but because it is the thing to do.  In this may be seen an instance of the ability of the Great Ones to utilise conditions of apparent inertia and negativity (due to little development), and thus produce good results.

Conscious Man

We will here only deal with the man who is learning consciously to build, and will not consider the process as pursued by the adept, or the chaotic attempts of the little evolved.  Having grasped the idea, and having with care discriminated the motive underlying the idea, thus ascertaining its utilitarian purposes, and its value to the group in the service of humanity, the man has certain things to do which, for the sake of clarity, we might sum up in certain statements:

He has, first of all, to hold the idea sufficiently long for it to be faithfully registered in the physical brain.  Frequently the Ego will “get through” to the brain some concept, some portion of the plan, and yet will have to repeat the process continuously over quite a long period before the physical response is such that the solar Angel can rest assured that it is intelligently registered and recorded.  It is perhaps unnecessary to say that the entire process is greatly facilitated if the “shadow,” or the man, pursues regular meditation, cultivates the habit of a daily and hourly recollectedness of the higher Self, and before retiring at night endeavours to “hold the thought” of bringing through at the time of awakening as much as possible of any egoic impress.  When the reaction between the two factors, the Ego and the receptive physical brain, is established, the interplay is reciprocal, and the two are keyed or tuned to each other, the second stage is entered upon.  The idea is conceived.


A period of gestation is then pursued, itself divided into various stages.  The man broods over the idea; he ponders upon it, thereby setting up activity in mental matter, and attracting to his germ thought the material necessary for its clothing.  He pictures to himself the contour of the thought form, clothing it with colour, and painting in its details.  Hence will be seen the great value of a true imagination, and its ordered scientific use.  Imagination is kama-manasic in origin, being neither pure desire nor pure mind, and is a purely human product, being superseded by the intuition in perfected men, and in the higher Intelligences of Nature.

When his will, or the initial impulse is sufficiently strong, and when the imagination, or power of visualisation, is adequately vivid, the second part of the gestation period is entered upon, and the vitalisation by desire is begun.  The interplay of mental impulse and desire produce what might be called a pulsation in the organising form of the idea, and it becomes alive.  It is yet but nebulous and its tenuosity is great, but it shows signs of organisation and the outline of its form.  Students must remember that this entire process is being carried on now during this stage which we are considering from within the brain.  There is thus a definite correspondence to the work of the nine Sephiroth:

The initial three correspond to the egoic impulse with which we have earlier dealt.

The secondary group of Sephiroth find their analogy in the work pursued in the stage we are now dealing with, or the impulse of mind-desire, emanating consciously from man’s brain.

The work of the final three is accomplished when the thought form, being clothed in mental and astral matter, passes into objectivity on the physical plane.

Astral Plane

A later stage in the gestation period is pursued when the thought form, being clothed in mental matter, and having become vitalised by desire, takes to itself a layer of substance of astral matter, and is consequently enabled to function on the astral plane as well as the mental.  Here its growth is rapid.  It should be carefully borne in mind that the process of building in mental matter proceeds simultaneously, and that the development is now twofold.  Here the conscious builder must be careful to hold the balance, and not to let imagination unduly assume too large proportions.  The manasic element and the kamic element must be justly proportioned, or else will be seen that too common manifestation, an idea wrongly conceived and nurtured, and therefore impossible of playing its just part in the evolutionary plan, being but a grotesque distortion.

The idea now is reaching a critical stage, and should be ready for the assumption of physical matter and to take to itself an etheric form.  When on etheric levels, it receives that final impulse which will lead to what may be called its “actuating,” or its reception of that motivating impulse which will lead to its dissociation from its originator, and the sending out to assume

  1. A dense form.
  2. A separate existence.

It should be remembered that the thought form has now passed from the mental plane, taken to itself an astral sheath, and likewise is gathering to itself a body of etheric matter.  When it has reached this stage its vitalisation is proceeding apace, and the hour of its separated existence is drawing near.

This vitalisation is consciously carried out by the man who—according to the original intent or initial impulse—directs to the thought form energy of some kind.  This energy is directed from one or other of the three higher centres, according to the quality of the embodied idea, and will be seen pouring towards the rapidly objectivising idea from the particular centre involved.  We must not forget that we are considering the thought form of the conscious builder.  The thought forms of the majority of human beings are energised from no such high source, but find their active impulse emanating from either the solar plexus, or the still lower organs of generation.

Energy Stream

It is this constant stream of emotional or sexual energy which is responsible for the chaotic conditions of the present; the balance is not preserved, the interaction between the two, and the myriads of thought forms consequently produced of a low order and vibration are producing a condition which is going to require all the efforts of mental workers eventually to negate, offset, and transmute.  These forms, which scarce merit the prefix “thought,” being largely kamic with an admixture of the lowest grade of mental matter, are responsible for the heavy, slow vibrating or pulsating fog or cloak which envelops the human family, and which produces much of the present evil, crime and mental lethargy.  People are mainly polarised in the astral body, as we know, and the lower centres are the most active; when an atmosphere or environment of thought-forms of a low key and vitalised by all the baser forms of astral energy is coupled to this, it will become apparent how stupendous is the task of lifting humanity to a clearer, purer and better atmosphere, and how easy it is for the lower aspects and appetites to flourish and to grow.

As the vitalisation is pursued and the energy is poured from one or other of the centres into the thought-form, the conscious builder begins to extend this influence in order to send it forth from him to perform its mission, whatever that may be, to make it occultly “radiant” so that its vibrations will emanate, and make themselves felt, and finally to make it magnetic, so that something [974] in the thought form will call forth response from other thought forms or from the minds it may contact.

When these three objectives have been reached, the life of the form itself is now so strong that it can pursue its own little life cycle and fulfil its work, being only linked to its creator by a tiny thread of radiant substance, which is a correspondence to the sutratma.  All forms have such a sutratma.  It links a man’s bodies to the inner Identity, or to that magnetic current which, emanating from the true Identity, the solar Logos, connects the Creator of the solar system with His great thought form by a stream of energy from the central Spiritual Sun to a point in the centre of the physical Sun.

The Third Eye

As long as the attention of the creator of any thought form, great or small, is turned towards it, that magnetic link persists, the thought form is vitalized, and its work carried on. When the work has been accomplished, and the thought-form has served its purpose, every creator, consciously or unconsciously, turns his attention elsewhere, and his thought form disintegrates. Hence the occult significance of all the processes occultly involved in sight, can be seen.

As long as the eye of the Creator is upon that which is created, just so long does it persist; let the Creator withdraw “the light of his countenance” and the death of the thought form ensues, for vitality or energy follows the line of the eye. When, therefore, a man, in meditation, considers his work and builds his thought form for service, he is occultly looking, and consequently energizing; he begins to use the third eye in its secondary aspect.

The third or spiritual eye has several functions. Amongst others, it is the organ of illumination, the unveiled eye of the soul, through which light and illumination comes into the mind, and thus the entire lower life becomes irradiated. It is also the organ through which pours the directing energy which streams out from the conscious creating adept to the instruments of service, his thought-forms.

The little evolved do not, of course, employ the third eye for the stimulating of their thought-forms. The energy used by them in the majority of cases originates in the solar plexus, and works in two directions, either via the organs of generation, or through the physical eyes. In many people these three points – the lower organs, the solar plexus, and the physical eyes – form a triangle of force, around which the stream of energy flows before going out to the objectivised thought form. In the aspirant, and the man who is intellectual, the triangle may be from the solar plexus, to the throat center and thence to the eyes.

Later, as the aspirant grows in knowledge and purity of motive, the triangle of energy will have the heart for its lowest point instead of the solar plexus, and the third eye will begin to do its work, though as yet very imperfectly.Just as long as the “Eye” is directed to the created form, the current of force will be transmitted to it, and the more one-pointed the man may be the more this energy will be centralized and effective.

Much of the ineffectiveness of people is due to the fact that their interests are not centralized but very diffuse, and no one thing engrosses their attention. They scatter their energy and are attempting to satisfy every wandering desire, and to dabble in everything which comes their way. Therefore, no thought they think ever assumes a proper form, or is ever duly energized. They are consequently surrounded by a dense cloud of half-formed disintegrating thought forms and clouds of partially energized matter in process of dissolution. This produces occultly a condition similar to the decay of a physical form, and is equally unpleasant and unwholesome. It accounts for much of the diseased condition of the human family at this time.

Creative Ineffectiveness

Failure in thought creation is due also to the fact that the laws of thought are not taught, and men do not know how, through meditation, to create those children of their activity to carry on their work. Results on the physical plane are much more quickly achieved through scientific thought creation than through the directly physical plane means. This is becoming more realized, but until the race has reached a point of greater purity and unselfishness, the more detailed explanation of the process must necessarily be withheld.

Another reason for creative ineffectiveness is owing to the currents which emanate from the majority of people being of such a low order that the thought forms never reach the point of independent action, except through cumulative group work. Until matter of the three higher subplanes of the astral and physical planes finds its place in the thought form, it has to be energized principally by mob energy. When the higher substance begins to find its way into the form, then it can be seen acting independently, for the individual Ego of the man concerned can begin to work through the matter – a thing before impossible. The Ego cannot work freely in the personality until third subplane matter is found in his bodies; the correspondence consequently holds good.

Once the thought form has been vitalized and its etheric form is completed or “sealed” as it is called, it can attain the dense physical form if desired. This does not mean that the individual thought forms of every man take dense substance upon the etheric, but they will eventuate in activity upon the physical plane. A man, for instance, is thinking a kindly thought; he has built it up and vitalized it; it is objective to the clairvoyant and exists in etheric matter close to the man. It will, therefore, find physical expression in an act of kindness or a physical caress. When the act is over, the caress consummated, the interest of the man in that particular thought form fades out and it dies. Similarly with a crime – the thought form has been built up and inevitably it will find its physical expression in some deed of one kind or another.

All activity of every kind is the result:

a. Of thought forms built consciously or unconsciously.

b. Of self-initiated thought forms or of the effect of the thought forms of others.

c. Of responsiveness to one’s own inner impulses, or of responsiveness to the impulses of others, and therefore to group thought forms.

It will be apparent, therefore, how vital is this matter, and how influenced men and women are by the thought forms they themselves create, or the mental children of other men.

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