To begin with a definition of terms consciousness and life are identical, two names for one thing as regarded from within and from without. There is no life without consciousness; there is no consciousness without life. When our attention is fixed on unity we say life; when it is fixed upon multiplicity we say consciousness; and we forget that the multiplicity is due to, is the essence of, matter, the reflecting surface in which the One becomes the Many. The more or less awareness depends on the thickness, the density, of the enwrapping veil which makes it a living thing, separate from its fellows.
Annihilate in thought that veil and you annihilate in thought also life, and are in THAT into which all opposites are resolved, the ALL. This leads us to our next point: For you cannot hang up awareness in the void; awareness  implies something of which it is aware, a duality at the least. Otherwise it exists not. In the highest abstraction of consciousness, of awareness, this duality is implied; consciousness ceases if the sense of limitation be withdrawn, is dependent on limitation for existence.
Awareness is essentially awareness of limitation, and only secondarily awareness of others. Electricity manifests only as positive and negative; when these neutralise each other, electricity vanishes.
There are no such two separate somethings, but only two drawn-apart but inseparate aspects of THAT which, without both, is unmanifest, which cannot manifest in the one or the other alone, and is equally in both. There are no fronts without backs, no aboves without belows, no outsides without insides, no spirit without matter.
They affect each other because inseparable parts of a unity, manifesting as a duality in space and time. There is no spirit which is not matter-enveloped: To say this is not to materialise consciousness,  but only to recognise the fact that the two primary opposites, consciousness and matter, are straitly bound together, are never apart, not even in the highest Being.
Matter is limitation, and without limitation consciousness is not. The densest matter, the physical, has its core of consciousness; the gas, the stone, the metal, is living, conscious, aware. Let us now look out of consciousness from within, and see the meaning of the phrase: Hence, everything which is thought, is. To each universe, the Being who is its Lord gives a share of his own indefeasible Reality; but is ever himself limited and controlled by the thought of his superior, the Lord of the universe in which he exists as a form.
So long as He retains them as His body by declaring: When at the end of the Day of Manifestation He declares: Thus, as Spirits, we are inherently, indefensibly divine, with all the splendour and freedom implied in that word. But we are clothed in matter which is not ours, which is the thought-forms of the RULER of our system - controlled again by the RULERS of vaster systems in which ours is included - and we are only slowly learning to master and use it.
When we realise our oneness with our RULER, then the matter shall have no longer power over us, and we shall see it as the unreality it is, dependent on His will, which then we shall know as also ours.
Matter becomes dense or rare, and changes its combinations and forms, according to the thoughts of a consciousness active therein. Such experiences open the mind to the metaphysical conception of matter, and enable it to realise at once the borrowed reality and the nonentity of matter. The student is a little apt to figure consciousness  as a kind of rarefied gas enclosed in a material receptacle, a kind of bottle.
If he will think carefully he will realise that the resistant surface of the body is but a Logic thought-form, and it is there because thought there. Consciousness appears as conscious entities, because the LOGOS thinks such separations, thinks the enclosing walls, makes such thought limitations. A careful dwelling in mind on the distinctions above traced between Absolute Consciousness, Universal Consciousness, and Individual Consciousness, will prevent the student from asking the question so often heard: Why is there any universe?
Why does All-Consciousness limit itself? In this form the question is unanswerable, for it is founded on false premises.
Within  its infinity, as above said, is everything contained, every potentiality, as well as actuality, of existence. Only Itself knows Itself in its infinite unimaginable wealth of Being. Because it contains all pairs of opposites, and each pair, in affirming itself, to the eye of reason annihilates itself and vanishes, It seems a Void. But endless universes arising in It proclaim It a Plenum. This Perfect never becomes the imperfect; it becomes nothing; It as all Spirit and Matter, Strength and Weakness, Knowledge and Ignorance, Peace and Strife, Bliss and Pain, Power and Impotence; the innumerable opposites of manifestation merge into each other and vanish in non-manifestation.
The one no more requires explanation than the other; the one cannot be without the other. The puzzle arises because men assert separately one of the inseparate pair of opposites - Spirit, Strength, Knowledge,  Peace, Bliss, Power - and then ask: We have seen that by the action of the Third Logos a five-fold field has been provided for the development of Units of Consciousness, and that a Unit of Consciousness is a fragment, a portion of the Universal Consciousness, thought into separation as an individual entity veiled in matter, a Unit of the substance of the First Logos, to be sent forth on the second plane as a separate Being.
When an Ego is re-incarnating, he broods over the human mother in whom his future body is a building, the vehicle he will one day inhabit. That body is slowly built up of the substance of the mother, and the Ego can do little as to its shaping: But during that slow evolution, with  its infantile helplessness, its childish follies, pleasures and pains, the Ego to whom it belongs is carrying on his own wider, richer, life, and is gradually coming into nearer and nearer touch with this body, in which alone he can work in the physical world, his touch being manifested as the growth of the brain-consciousness.
The condition of the Monad in relation to the evolution of his consciousness in a universe resembles that of the Ego in relation to his new physical body. Let us try to see the stages through which he passes. He is first a spark in a flame: The Flame is the First Logos, the undetached sparks the Monads.
His Will to manifest is also theirs, for they are the germ-cells in His  body, that will presently have a separate life in His coming universe. Blavatsky speaks of, the dawning separateness.
This leads them to the second stage in the life of the Second Logos, and to the Third. This aspect of consciousness, the Will, is dealt with in later chapters of this book, and here we need only emphasise the fact that the Monads are Self-moved, Self-determined, in their entry into the lower planes of matter, the field of manifestation, the five-fold universe.
To their vehicles in it, they remain as the Ego to his physical body, with their radiant divine life in loftier spheres, but brooding over their lower vehicles and manifesting more and more in them as they become more plastic.
The seed, buried in the ground, pushes its growing  point upwards to the light. The bud fettered in its sheathing calyx bursts its prison and expands in the sunshine. The chick within the egg splits its confining shell in twain.
See the painter, the sculptor, the poet, with creative genius struggling within him; to create yields the subtlest pleasure, the keenest savour of exquisite delight. Therein is but another instance of the omnipresent nature of life, whether in the LOGOS, the genius, or in the ephemeral creature of a day; all joy in the bliss of living, and feel most alive when they multiply themselves by creation.
Some of the Monads, willing to live through the toils of the five-fold universe, in order to master matter and in turn to create a universe therein, enter into it to become a developed God therein, a Tree of Life, another Fount of Being. The shaping of a universe is the Day of  Forth-going; living is becoming; life knows itself by change.
Those who will not to become masters of matter, creators, remain in their static bliss, excluded from the five-fold universe, unconscious of its activities. He will evolve his consciousness on these by taking from each plane some of its matter, veiling himself in this matter and forming it into a sheath by which he can come into contact with  that plane, gradually organising this sheath of matter into a body capable of functioning on its own plane as an expression of himself, receiving vibrations from the plane and transmitting them to him, receiving vibrations from him and transmitting them to the plane.
As he veils himself in the matter of each successive plane he shuts away some of his consciousness, that of it which is too subtle for receiving or setting up vibrations in the matter of that plane. He has within him seven typical vibratory powers - each capable of producing an indefinite number of sub-vibrations of its own type - and these are shut off one by one as he endues veil after veil of grosser matter.
Speaking thus of Monads, we may feel as if we were dealing with something far away. Yet is the Monad very near to us, our SELF, the very root of our being, the innermost source of our life, the one Reality. Hidden, unmanifest, wrapt in silence and darkness is our Self, but our consciousness is the limited manifestation of that Self, the manifested God in the kosmos of our bodies, which are His garments.
As above, so below. It is this which gives the subtle sense of unity  that ever persists in us amid all changes; the sense of identity has here its source, for this is the ETERNAL in us.
The three out-streaming rays which come from the Monad - to be dealt with presently - are his three aspects, or modes of being, or hypostases, reproducing the Logoi of a universe, the Will, Wisdom, and Activity which are the three essential expressions of embodied consciousness, the familiar Atma-Buddhi-Manas of the Theosophist. This consciousness ever works as a unit on the various planes, but shows out its triplicity on each.
The third aspect, Activity, revealed as the creative mind, as the gatherer of knowledge, is the first to perfect its vehicles, and show forth its full energies. The second aspect, Wisdom, revealed as the Pure and Compassionate Reason, is the second to shine forth, the Krishna, the Buddha, the Christ, in man.
The third aspect, Will, is the last to reveal itself, the divine Power of the Self, that which in its impregnable fulness is Beatitude, is Peace.