FOOTNOTE TO “THEOSOPHY AND THE AVESTA”
[The Theosophist, Vol. IV, No. 1, October, 1882, p. 22]
[The writer, a Parsi F.T.S., discusses the septenary division of man’s constitution, as contained in the ancient Zoroastrian Scriptures. H. P. B. appends to his article the following footnote:]
Our Brother has but to look into the oldest sacred books of China—namely the Yi King, or Book of Changes (translated by James Legge) written 1200 B.C., to find that same Septenary division of man mentioned in that system of Divination. Zing, which is translated correctly enough “essence,” is the more subtle and pure part of matter—the grosser form of the elementary ether; Khien, or “spirit,” is the breath, still material but purer than the Zing and is made of the finer and more active form of ether. In the Hwân, or soul (animus), the Khien predominates, and the Zing in
the Pho or animal soul. At death the Hwân (or spiritual soul) wanders away, ascending, and the Pho (the root of the Tibetan word Pho-hat), descends and is changed into a ghostly shade (the shell). Dr. Medhurst thinks that “the Kwei Shins” (See A Dissertation on the Theology of the Chinese, pp. 10-11) are “the expanding and contracting principles of human life”! The Kwei Shins are brought about by the dissolution of the human frame, and consist of the expanding and ascending Shin which rambles about in space, and of the contracted and shrivelled Kwei, which reverts to earth and nonentity. Therefore, the Kwei is the physical body; the Shin is the vital principle; the Kwei-Shin the linga-śarira, or the vital soul; Zing the fourth principle or Kama-Rupa, the essence of will; Pho (the animal soul); Khien the spiritual soul; and Hwân the pure spirit— the seven principles of our occult doctrine!