When I first read about the so-called Causal Body in the teaching/commentary of Master Djwhal Khul, I couldn't quite grasp it. It didn't make a lot of sense to me until I thoroughly immersed myself in His writings, so I can understand if others have the same imprecise understanding of the issue, and I seek to clarify.
Essentially, the Causal Body is the vehicle of manifestation of the Soul or Higher Self, also variously called the Solar Angel, the Manasadeva, the I Am Presence, the Indwelling Thinker, and the Divine Intermediary. It is the Soul Body (Egoic Body), which is to be found on the higher sub-planes of the Mental Plane (the 7 Major Planes of our solar system: Physical, Astral, Mental, Buddhic, Atmic, Monadic, and Logoic). There are Souls which never incarnate into the dense levels that we call physicality, and They remain as Foci of Consciousness and Intelligent Energy having no requirement for a Causal Body, but as soon as a Soul decides to enter into the incarnational cycle somewhere in the universe (or many somewheres), a Causal Body is created to be the repository of the experiences of all its incarnate extensions of Itself.
The Causal Body serves as a sort of Divine Storehouse for all of the thoughts and feelings and activities of all the incarnate personality fragments that are sent out into the Physical Realms of the Playground of Creation to expand the Soul's knowledge of Itself while doing the same for its Monad (Higher Self of the Soul) and The Creator of All. It is, more or less, ovoid in shape with variabilities toward elongation or spheroidal, depending on the predominant Ray of the Soul (one of the 7 Rays) and the qualities that It developes. At the outset of the incarnational experience, the Causal Body could be likened to the shell of an egg containing only the golden-yellow yolk of the Soul and devoid of anything else (except the 3 permanent atoms, written about below).
It is the task, the work, of the thousands of incarnations of that Soul to "fill in" the Ovoid Sheath of their Soul, to expand and to build and to beautify It, to construct the Temple of Solomon, as It is called. All of the thoughts and emotions and experiences of the incarnate personalities which would be considered as negative are not of a vibrational nature to be compatible with the lofty level of the Soul Body and, consequently, do not participate in its construction, but all that is good and noble and altruistic and creative and based on love becomes the building blocks of this Egoic Sheath. All of the good of all the lifetimes goes into the expansion and beautification of this Body.
From the perspective of the Soul, there is NO passage of time (see "Time Is An Illusion"), and all of its lifetimes are occurring simultaneously at different frequency levels of existence on different planetary schemes, but from the perspective of the personality immersed in the illusion, the lives are sequential and time passes linearly. For eons of "time" very little construction is going on; very little is being added to the Causal Body because of the primitive nature of the incarnate lifetimes and the lack of Soul contact and Soul influence in those lifetimes, but during the later phase of the incarnational cycle when the lives have entered the Probationary and then the Disciple's Path, the Temple construction is tremendously accelerated by the increasing altruistic goodness and love-based activity of the physical lives (see "The Only Path On Earth").
Concurrent to the rapid expansion of the Soul Body is the construction of the Bridge of Light between the brain of the personality and the Causal Body of the Soul, which is called the Antahkarana in Sanskrit. At the first incarnate opportunity, the Soul, once conscious contact can be made, nudges its personality toward some form of meditation which can open the channels of contact with the Soul. As the personality is building the Antahkarana up toward the Causal Body, the Soul is simultaneously building it downward to the aetheric brain of the personality. When this Bridge of Light is completed, the Soul has established control over its lower aspect, and the 3rd Initiation is taken (the Soul Merge or Transfiguration). The Causal Body has been enormously expanded and is brilliantly radiant with all the colors and qualities of the 7 Rays.
The Ray of the Soul remains the same (during any one of the 7 Rounds or Incarnations of Earth) throughout the cycle of incarnations, but each incarnate fragment has a different set of Ray influences to round out and balance and harmonize the nature of the Soul. The qualities and the virtues and the energies of each of the 7 Rays go into the composite make-up of the Soul Body. It is the Soul which chooses the Rays of its incarnate self, one each for the personality and the mental, emotional, and physical bodies, so that It will have the full spectrum of experience. The Causal Body becomes the repository for all of it which is vibrationally compatible with that Level (see "The Seven Rays Explained").
The Higher Self of the Soul is called The Monad (The Father in Heaven). The Soul is the Extended Expression of The Monad, and while the Antahkarana is being built between the Soul and its lower self, The Monad is gradually spanning its portion of the Bridge toward the Soul. When the full extent of the Bridge of Antahkarana is completed, the 4th Initiation is taken. This is called The Great Renunciation, and one example would be the Crucifixion of Jesus on the Hill of Golgotha, the exteriorized form of His Inner 4th Initiation.
At the event of the Renunciation, for which The Hierophant is Sanat Kumara (see "Who Is Sanat Kumara?"), the now perfected Causal Body is shattered and dissipated and reabsorbed into The Monad. It has served its purpose well, is no longer needed, and mounts up triumphantly to its Father in Heaven. This is likewise what happens to the Soul at this same Initiation. The Divine Intermediary (between Monad and dense physicality) is no longer needed. The higher correspondence to fire descends from The Monad down through the Bridge of Light and consumes the Soul and its Causal Sheath. The Initiate-Adept stands serenely forth in Monadal Consciousness. From thenceforth all relationship of the Initiate is with The Monad. The Soul is no more and the separative personality no longer exists. I and my Father are one!
All of the experiences and achievements and creations of the thousands of lifetimes of the Soul cannot be said to have been lost in the return of the Prodigal Soul to its Father. They will remain forever a part of that Grand Gestalt of Consciousness as It journeys its way back to The Almighty Godhead from whence It originated, each of the 12 Extension-Souls of The Monad contributing thousands of invaluable lifetimes to the Master Portrait of The Monad-Spark of God.
1. As you can see, the Soul is not "eternal", nor is its vehicle of expression, the Causal Body. They have a very important intermediary purpose for The Monad (the true Spark of Divinity) to be able to acquire the experiences and lessons available at this very low level of existence called physicality. The Monad can come no lower (vibrationally) and so sends out its Reflections called Souls (12 of Them) onto the Mental Plane. They, in turn, send reflections of Themselves into all the levels of physicality to eventually bring back the golden harvest to The Father in Heaven.
2. All of the following evolutionary processes proceed simultaneously on this planet: the Path of Discipleship leading to the Path of Initiation, the building of the two-spanned Bridge of Antahkarana from the brain to The Monad, and the expansion and beautification of the Causal Body. This we call evolutionary advancement on Planet Earth, guided by The Lord of the World, Sanat Kumara.
3. There's a phrase used by The Heavy Hitters of The Hierarchy to describe the effect of the Rod of Initiation on the Causal Body of the Initiate during each of those profound and powerful Events: the Cracking of the Causal Egg. And it proceeds progressively through the Initiate Sojourn until its culmination at the Renunciation, when the Egg is consumed in the Fire of The Monad (for more on Initiation, go to "What Initiation Is Really About").
4. There are certain symbols which some of The Masters like to use with regard to these evolutionary processes of Mankind. Think of the Causal Body as a Lotus Flower with 12 Petals, that is, with 3 rows of petals with 3 petals in each row. At the center of the 9 petals is a central bud with 3 innermost petals, and contained within the heart of that central bud is the Jewel in the Lotus. The outer 3 petals are the petals of Knowledge; the middle 3 petals are the petals of Love; the inner 3 petals (of the 9) are the petals of Sacrifice, also called the petals of Will (the sacrifical Will of the Soul, which flows from The Monad).
They unfold sequentially from outer to inner. The sequence of unfolding for the individual aspirant mirrors and parallels the sequence of evolutionary unfoldment of the solar system and the Race of Man. Our Solar Logos (The Creator of this system of planets) will be undergoing a series of 3 incarnations which we call solar systems. The first solar system was designed for the perfection of the 3rd Aspect of Divinity, Active Intelligence, and, hence, was a 3rd Ray solar system (long gone and out of manifestation). Our current solar system is designed for the perfection of the 2nd Aspect of Divinity, The Love of God, in which the 2nd Ray dominates all in the system. The 3rd and final incarnation of our Solar Logos will be intended for the perfection of the 1st Aspect of Divinity, The Will of God, and will be a 1st Ray system. (Please refer to "The Seven Rays Explained".)
The sequence is 3, 2, 1, just as the Human Race must sequentially develope and perfect the higher abstract mind (3rd Aspect), unconditional Christ Love (2nd Aspect), and finally the Will/Power Aspect of Divinity (1st Aspect). The microcosm reflects the macrocosm. The petals of the Egoic Lotus Flower (the Causal Body) likewise open and unfurl in the 3, 2, 1 sequence (Knowledge, Love, and Will) before revealing the central bud of the Lotus.
As the 9 petals unfold from outer to inner, the innermost central petals are stimulated uniquely by the unfoldment of each row of the 9 petals, and they slowly unfold as the Initiate advances on the Path, gradually revealing the Jewel in the heart of the Lotus. Knowledge, Love, and Sacrifice allow the aspirant to take the first 3 Initiations and to become totally Soul-dominated, the central petals representing the Initiatory Events of the Birth, Baptism, and Transfiguration.
Once they are unfolded, the central Jewel may be revealed, the Soul-merged Initiate Who has become a server of the Human Race but yet a Jewel still in its casket, a Jewel still wrapped in the Causal Body of the Soul. That Jewel may be removed from its protective confines and returned to its rightful Owner (The Monad) when the 4th Initiation is taken (the Renunciation) . The Jewel in the Lotus has gone home. The Jewel/Adept is transferred to the "Crown", that is, He is centered in Monadic Consciousness. The casket is no longer needed and is incinerated in the down-pouring fire from The Monad.
5. The essence of the Causal Sheath (the outer shell of the egg) is composed of very tiny elementals from the sun (The Solar Logos) called solar pitris. These are returned to the sun when the Soul is taken into the bosom of its Father. These pitris are part of the sub-human lower deva evolution of this system and are, admittedly, hard to understand. The Tibetan offers little explanation except to say that the physical and subtle bodies of the personality are also formed and composed of tiny elementals, these being called lunar pitris. These aren't going to be seen by any kind of microscope, by the way.
6. The Causal Body contains the 3 permanent atoms which are used in each physical incarnation to create and form the physical, the astral, and the mental bodies, serving as a nidus for the beginning of the aggregation of atoms and molecules at those 3 levels of the new personality, and the permanent atoms are encased within a mental essence issued by the Soul. The so-called permanent atoms exist for the entirety of the incarnational cycle, held within the Causal Body, and are the means of initiating the body formation for the thousands of 3-fold personalities projected by the Soul.
7. The Causal Body is also called the Karana Sarira and is the medium through which the Soul expresses Itself on the Mental Plane (the higher sub-levels of the Plane), and it is the mind principle which brings into manifestation this 12-petalled Lotus. In other words, It is said to be enclosed in mental substance because the Soul uses the 3rd Ray Energies of The Universal Mind on the Mental Planes to project it forth into being and the 2nd Ray Energies of Universal Love to help form it. Its formation comes about by the conjunction of Buddhi and Manas, Christ-Love and Higher Mind (2nd & 3rd Rays). Then the building of It proceeds as a direct effect of the use of the 1st Ray Energy of Spiritual Will (Atma) by the aspirant. Thus the 3 Divine Aspects of the Spiritual Triad of The Monad reflect Themselves in the Causal Body of the Soul. Triangulation is mirrored from Triune Godhead to Monad to Soul Body to personality and the 3 permanent atoms of body formation.
8. The Rainbow Bridge of Antahkarana becomes the channel of communication from the higher to the lower when the Causal Body is gone.
The Causal Body serves as the link between the lower concrete mind and the higher abstract mind as the incarnations are striving to develope the mental body. The link is formed in meditation, and only when the higher mind is reached can there be contact with one's Master. Polarization (habitual focus of attention) in higher mind is achieved by way of the Causal Body.
The Plane of the Causal Body is the 3rd sub-plane of the Mental Plane (out of 7), counting downward from the highest sub-plane. True abstract thought is only possible after an unimpeded light channel is established to the Causal Body and Soul.
Once created by the Soul in its sacrifical act of severely limiting Itself by physical incarnation, the Causal Body becomes the central focus of the Soul Consciousness.
9. The Temple of Solomon is erected stone after stone after stone over eons of lifetimes by the aspiring stonemason who quarries the goodness of each life under the inspiration of the Divine Architect. Meditation lays the foundation. Discipline sets the cornerstone. Steadfastness mortars the building blocks, and Service to Humanity raises the phenomenal structure. The Path of Initiation (see "The Only Path On Earth") assures completion of the work, until the Momentous Event of the Personal Crucifixion (4th Initiation) rents the Veil of the Temple in twain from the top to the bottom and utterly destroys the Temple by the withdrawal of the Shekinah. The Temple has served its purpose, and the apprentice has entered mastery. Works of greater grandeur lie ahead.