THE SECRET DOCTRINE
H P Blavatsky
ON THE SEVEN STANZAS AND THEIR TERMS, ACCORDING TO THEIR NUMERATION, IN STANZAS AND SLOKAS.
1. "THE ETERNAL PARENT (Space), WRAPPED IN HER EVER INVISIBLE ROBES, HAD SLUMBERED ONCE AGAIN FOR SEVEN ETERNITIES (a)."
The "Parent Space" is the eternal, ever present cause of all -- the incomprehensible DEITY, whose "invisible robes" are the mystic root of all matter, and of the Universe. Space is the one eternal thing that we can most easily imagine, immovable in its abstraction and uninfluenced by either the presence or absence in it of an objective Universe. It is without dimension, in every sense, and self-existent. Spirit is the first differentiation from THAT, the causeless cause of both Spirit and Matter. It is, as taught in the esoteric catechism, neither limitless void, nor conditioned fulness, but both. It was and ever will be. (See Proem pp. 2 et seq.)
Thus, the "Robes" stand for the noumenon of undifferentiated Cosmic Matter. It is not matter as we know it, but the spiritual essence of matter, and is co-eternal and even one with Space in its abstract sense. Root-nature is also the source of the subtile invisible properties in visible matter. It is the Soul, so to say, of the ONE infinite Spirit. The Hindus call it Mulaprakriti, and say that it is the primordial substance, which is the basis of the Upadhi or vehicle of every phenomenon, whether physical, mental or psychic. It is the source from which Akasa radiates.
(a) By the Seven "Eternities," aeons or periods are meant. The word "Eternity," as understood in Christian theology, has no meaning to the Asiatic ear, except in its application to the ONE existence; nor is the term sempiternity, the eternal only in futurity, anything better than a misnomer.* Such words do not and cannot exist in philosophical metaphysics, and were unknown till the advent of ecclesiastical Christianity. The Seven Eternities meant are the seven periods, or a period answering in its duration to the seven periods, of a Manvantara, and extending throughout a Maha-Kalpa or the "Great Age" -- 100 years of Brahma -- making a total of 311,040,000,000,000 of years; each year of Brahma being composed of 360 "days," and of the same number of "nights" of Brahma (reckoning by the Chandrayana or lunar year); and a "Day of Brahma" consisting of 4,320,000,000 of mortal years. These "Eternities" belong to the most secret calculations, in which, in order to arrive at the true total, every figure must be 7x (7 to the power of x); x varying according to the nature of the cycle in the subjective or real world; and every figure or number relating to, or representing all the different cycles from the greatest to the smallest -- in the objective or unreal world -- must necessarily be multiples of seven. The key to this cannot be given, for herein lies the mystery of esoteric calculations, and for the purposes of ordinary calculation it has no sense. "The number seven," says the Kabala, "is the great number of the Divine Mysteries;" number ten is that of all human knowledge (Pythagorean decade); 1,000 is the number ten to the third power, and therefore the number 7,000 is also symbolical. In the Secret Doctrine the figure and number 4 are the male symbol only on the highest plane of abstraction; on the plane of matter the 3 is the masculine and the 4 the female: the upright and the horizontal in the fourth stage of symbolism, when the symbols became the glyphs of the generative powers on the physical plane.
2. TIME WAS NOT, FOR IT LAY ASLEEP IN THE INFINITE BOSOM OF DURATION (a).
* It is stated in Book II., ch. viii., of Vishnu Purana: "By immortality is meant existence to the end of the Kalpa;" and Wilson, the translator, remarks in a footnote: "This, according to the Vedas, is all that is to be understood of the immortality (or eternity) of the gods; they perish at the end of universal dissolution (or Pralaya)." And Esoteric philosophy says: They "perish" not, but are re-absorbed.
TIME AND UNIVERSAL MIND
(a) Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced; but "lies asleep." The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we call the past. Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing remains without change -- or the same -- for the billionth part of a second; and the sensation we have of the actuality of the division of "time" known as the present, comes from the blurring of that momentary glimpse, or succession of glimpses, of things that our senses give us, as those things pass from the region of ideals which we call the future, to the region of memories that we name the past. In the same way we experience a sensation of duration in the case of the instantaneous electric spark, by reason of the blurred and continuing impression on the retina. The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in the material form to its disappearance from the earth. It is these "sum-totals" that exist from eternity in the "future," and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the "past." No one could say that a bar of metal dropped into the sea came into existence as it left the air, and ceased to exist as it entered the water, and that the bar itself consisted only of that cross-section thereof which at any given moment coincided with the mathematical plane that separates, and, at the same time, joins, the atmosphere and the ocean. Even so of persons and things, which, dropping out of the to-be into the has-been, out of the future into the past -- present momentarily to our senses a cross-section, as it were, of their total selves, as they pass through time and space (as matter) on their way from one eternity to another: and these two constitute that "duration" in which alone anything has true existence, were our senses but able to cognize it there.
3. . . . UNIVERSAL MIND WAS NOT, FOR THERE WERE NO AH-HI (celestial beings) TO CONTAIN (hence to manifest) IT (a).
(a) Mind is a name given to the sum of the states of Consciousness grouped under Thought, Will, and Feeling. During deep sleep, ideation ceases on the physical plane, and memory is in abeyance; thus for the time-being "Mind is not," because the organ, through which the Ego manifests ideation and memory on the material plane, has temporarily ceased to function. A noumenon can become a phenomenon on any plane of existence only by manifesting on that plane through an appropriate basis or vehicle; and during the long night of rest called Pralaya, when all the existences are dissolved, the "UNIVERSAL MIND" remains as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract absolute thought, of which mind is the concrete relative manifestation. The AH-HI (Dhyan-Chohans) are the collective hosts of spiritual beings -- the Angelic Hosts of Christianity, the Elohim and "Messengers" of the Jews -- who are the vehicle for the manifestation of the divine or universal thought and will. They are the Intelligent Forces that give to and enact in Nature her "laws," while themselves acting according to laws imposed upon them in a similar manner by still higher Powers; but they are not "the personifications" of the powers of Nature, as erroneously thought. This hierarchy of spiritual Beings, through which the Universal Mind comes into action, is like an army -- a "Host," truly -- by means of which the fighting power of a nation manifests itself, and which is composed of army corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its separate individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and limited responsibilities; each contained in a larger individuality, to which its own interests are subservient, and each containing lesser individualities in itself.
(a) There are seven "Paths" or "Ways" to the bliss of Non-Exist-
* Nippang in
** The "12" Nidanas (in Tibetan Ten-brel chug-nyi) the chief causes of existence, effects generated by a concatenation of causes produced (see Comment. II).
THE CAUSES OF BEING.
ence, which is absolute Being, Existence, and Consciousness. They were not, because the Universe was, so far, empty, and existed only in the Divine Thought. For it is . . .
(b) The twelve Nidanas or causes of being. Each is the effect of its antecedent cause, and a cause, in its turn, to its successor; the sum total of the Nidanas being based on the four truths, a doctrine especially characteristic of the Hinayana System.* They belong to the theory of the stream of catenated law which produces merit and demerit, and finally brings Karma into full sway. It is based upon the great truth that re-incarnation is to be dreaded, as existence in this world only entails upon man suffering, misery and pain; Death itself being unable to deliver man from it, since death is merely the door through which he passes to another life on earth after a little rest on its threshold -- Devachan. The Hinayana System, or School of the "Little Vehicle," is of very ancient growth; while the Mahayana is of a later period, having originated after the death of Buddha. Yet the tenets of the latter are as old as the hills that have contained such schools from time immemorial, and the Hinayana and Mahayana Schools (the latter, that of the "Great Vehicle") both teach the same doctrine in reality. Yana, or Vehicle (in Sanskrit, Vahan) is a mystic expression, both "vehicles" inculcating that man may escape the sufferings of rebirths and even the false bliss of Devachan, by obtaining Wisdom and Knowledge, which alone can dispel the Fruits of Illusion and Ignorance.
Maya or illusion is an element which enters into all finite things, for everything that exists has only a relative, not an absolute, reality, since the appearance which the hidden noumenon assumes for any observer depends upon his power of cognition. To the untrained eye of the savage, a painting is at first an unmeaning confusion of streaks and daubs of color, while an educated eye sees instantly a face or a landscape. Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute existence which contains in itself the noumena of all realities. The existences belonging to every plane of being, up to the highest Dhyan-Chohans, are, in degree, of the nature of shadows cast by a magic lantern on a colourless screen; but all things are relatively real, for the cogniser is also a reflection, and the things cognised are therefore as real to him as himself. Whatever reality things possess must be looked for in them
* See Wassilief on Buddhism, pp. 97-950.
before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world; but we cannot cognise any such existence directly, so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities. As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached "reality;" but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya.
5. DARKNESS ALONE FILLED THE BOUNDLESS ALL (a), FOR FATHER, MOTHER AND SON WERE ONCE MORE ONE, AND THE SON HAD NOT AWAKENED YET FOR THE NEW WHEEL* AND HIS PILGRIMAGE THEREON (b).
(a) "Darkness is Father-Mother: light their son," says an old Eastern proverb. Light is inconceivable except as coming from some source which is the cause of it; and as, in the instance of primordial light, that source is unknown, though as strongly demanded by reason and logic, therefore it is called "Darkness" by us, from an intellectual point of view. As to borrowed or secondary light, whatever its source, it can be but of a temporary mayavic character. Darkness, then, is the eternal
* That which is called "wheel" is the symbolical expression for a world or globe, which shows that the ancients were aware that our Earth was a revolving globe, not a motionless square as some Christian Fathers taught. The "Great Wheel" is the whole duration of our Cycle of being, or Maha Kalpa, i.e., the whole revolution of our special chain of seven planets or Spheres from beginning to end; the "Small Wheels" meaning the Rounds, of which there are also Seven.
WHAT IS DARKNESS IN PHILOSOPHY?
matrix in which the sources of light appear and disappear. Nothing is added to darkness to make of it light, or to light to make it darkness, on this our plane. They are interchangeable, and scientifically light is but a mode of darkness and vice versa. Yet both are phenomena of the same noumenon -- which is absolute darkness to the scientific mind, and but a gray twilight to the perception of the average mystic, though to that of the spiritual eye of the Initiate it is absolute light. How far we discern the light that shines in darkness depends upon our powers of vision. What is light to us is darkness to certain insects, and the eye of the clairvoyant sees illumination where the normal eye perceives only blackness. When the whole universe was plunged in sleep -- had returned to its one primordial element -- there was neither centre of luminosity, nor eye to perceive light, and darkness necessarily filled the boundless all.
(b) The Father-Mother are the male and female principles in root-nature, the opposite poles that manifest in all things on every plane of Kosmos, or Spirit and Substance, in a less allegorical aspect, the resultant of which is the Universe, or the Son. They are "once more One" when in "The Night of Brahma," during Pralaya, all in the objective Universe has returned to its one primal and eternal cause, to reappear at the following Dawn -- as it does periodically. "Karana" -- eternal cause -- was alone. To put it more plainly: Karana is alone during the "Nights of Brahma." The previous objective Universe has dissolved into its one primal and eternal cause, and is, so to say, held in solution in space, to differentiate again and crystallize out anew at the following Manvantaric dawn, which is the commencement of a new "Day" or new activity of Brahma -- the symbol of the Universe. In esoteric parlance, Brahma is Father-Mother-Son, or Spirit, Soul and Body at once; each personage being symbolical of an attribute, and each attribute or quality being a graduated efflux of Divine Breath in its cyclic differentiation, involutionary and evolutionary. In the cosmicophysical sense, it is the Universe, the planetary chain and the earth; in the purely spiritual, the Unknown Deity, Planetary Spirit, and Man -- the Son of the two, the creature of Spirit and Matter, and a manifestation of them in his periodical appearances on Earth during the "wheels," or the Manvantaras. -- (See Part II. §: "Days and Nights of Brahma.")
6. THE SEVEN SUBLIME LORDS AND THE SEVEN TRUTHS HAD CEASED TO BE (a), AND THE UNIVERSE, THE SON OF NECESSITY, WAS IMMERSED IN PARANISHPANNA (b) (absolute perfection, Paranirvana, which is Yong-Grub) TO BE OUT-BREATHED BY THAT WHICH IS AND YET IS NOT. NAUGHT WAS (c).
(a) The seven sublime lords are the Seven Creative Spirits, the Dhyan-Chohans, who correspond to the Hebrew Elohim. It is the same hierarchy of Archangels to which St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and others belong, in the Christian theogony. Only while St. Michael, for instance, is allowed in dogmatic Latin theology to watch over all the promontories and gulfs, in the Esoteric System, the Dhyanis watch successively over one of the Rounds and the great Root-races of our planetary chain. They are, moreover, said to send their Bhodisatvas, the human correspondents of the Dhyani-Buddhas (of whom vide infra) during every Round and Race. Out of the Seven Truths and Revelations, or rather revealed secrets, four only have been handed to us, as we are still in the Fourth Round, and the world also has only had four Buddhas, so far. This is a very complicated question, and will receive more ample treatment later on.
So far "There are only Four Truths, and Four Vedas" -- say the Hindus and Buddhists. For a similar reason Irenaeus insisted on the necessity of Four Gospels. But as every new Root-race at the head of a Round must have its revelation and revealers, the next Round will bring the Fifth, the following the Sixth, and so on.
(b) "Paranishpanna" is the absolute perfection to which all existences attain at the close of a great period of activity, or Maha-Manvantara, and in which they rest during the succeeding period of repose. In Tibetan it is called Yong-Grub. Up to the day of the Yogacharya school the true nature of Paranirvana was taught publicly, but since then it has become entirely esoteric; hence so many contradictory interpretations of it. It is only a true Idealist who can understand it. Everything has to be viewed as ideal, with the exception of Paranirvana, by him who would comprehend that state, and acquire a knowledge of how Non Ego, Voidness, and Darkness are Three in One and alone Self-existent and perfect. It is absolute, however, only in a relative
MOTIONS, THE "GREAT BREATH."
sense, for it must give room to still further absolute perfection, according to a higher standard of excellence in the following period of activity -- just as a perfect flower must cease to be a perfect flower and die, in order to grow into a perfect fruit, -- if a somewhat Irish mode of expression may be permitted.
The Secret Doctrine teaches the progressive development of everything, worlds as well as atoms; and this stupendous development has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end. Our "Universe" is only one of an infinite number of Universes, all of them "Sons of Necessity," because links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes, each one standing in the relation of an effect as regards its predecessor, and being a cause as regards its successor.
appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured as an outbreathing
and inbreathing of "the Great Breath," which is eternal, and which,
being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the Absolute -- Abstract Space and
Duration being the other two. When the "Great Breath" is projected,
it is called the Divine Breath, and is regarded as the breathing of the
Unknowable Deity -- the One Existence -- which breathes out a thought, as it
were, which becomes the Kosmos. (See "
(c) By "that which is and yet is not" is meant the Great Breath itself, which we can only speak of as absolute existence, but cannot picture to our imagination as any form of existence that we can distinguish from Non-existence. The three periods -- the Present, the Past, and the Future -- are in the esoteric philosophy a compound time; for the three are a composite number only in relation to the phenomenal plane, but in the realm of noumena have no abstract validity. As said in the Scriptures: "The Past time is the Present time, as also the Future, which, though it has not come into existence, still is"; according to a precept in the Prasanga Madhyamika teaching, whose dogmas have been known ever since it broke away from the purely esoteric schools.* Our ideas, in short, on duration and time are all derived from our
* See Dzungarian "Mani Kumbum," the "Book of the 10,000 Precepts." Also consult Wassilief's "Der Buddhismus," pp. 327 and 357, etc.
sensations according to the laws of Association. Inextricably bound up with the relativity of human knowledge, they nevertheless can have no existence except in the experience of the individual ego, and perish when its evolutionary march dispels the Maya of phenomenal existence. What is Time, for instance, but the panoramic succession of our states of consciousness? In the words of a Master, "I feel irritated at having to use these three clumsy words -- Past, Present, and Future -- miserable concepts of the objective phases of the subjective whole, they are about as ill-adapted for the purpose as an axe for fine carving." One has to acquire Paramartha lest one should become too easy a prey to Samvriti -- is a philosophical axiom.*
7. THE CAUSES OF EXISTENCE HAD BEEN DONE AWAY WITH (a); THE VISIBLE THAT WAS, AND THE INVISIBLE THAT IS, RESTED IN ETERNAL NON-BEING, THE ONE BEING (b).
(a) "The Causes of Existence" mean not only the physical causes known to science, but the metaphysical causes, the chief of which is the desire to exist, an outcome of Nidana and Maya. This desire for a sentient life shows itself in everything, from an atom to a sun, and is a reflection of the Divine Thought propelled into objective existence, into a law that the Universe should exist. According to esoteric teaching, the real cause of that supposed desire, and of all existence, remains for ever hidden, and its first emanations are the most complete abstractions mind can conceive. These abstractions must of necessity be postulated as the cause of the material Universe which presents itself to the senses and intellect; and they underlie the secondary and subordinate powers of Nature, which, anthropomorphized, have been worshipped as God and gods by the common herd of every age. It is impossible to conceive anything without a cause; the attempt to do so makes the mind a blank.
* In clearer words: "One has to acquire true Self-Consciousness in order to understand Samvriti, or the 'origin of delusion.'" Paramartha is the synonym of the Sanskrit term Svasam-vedana, or "the reflection which analyses itself." There is a difference in the interpretation of the meaning of "Paramartha" between the Yogacharyas and the Madhyamikas, neither of whom, however, explain the real and true esoteric sense of the expression. See further, sloka No. 9.
BEING AND NON-BEING.
This is virtually the condition to which the mind must come at last when we try to trace back the chain of causes and effects, but both science and religion jump to this condition of blankness much more quickly than is necessary; for they ignore the metaphysical abstractions which are the only conceivable cause of physical concretions. These abstractions become more and more concrete as they approach our plane of existence, until finally they phenomenalise in the form of the material Universe, by a process of conversion of metaphysics into physics, analogous to that by which steam can be condensed into water, and the water frozen into ice.
(b) The idea of Eternal Non-Being, which is the One Being, will appear a paradox to anyone who does not remember that we limit our ideas of being to our present consciousness of existence; making it a specific, instead of a generic term. An unborn infant, could it think in our acceptation of that term, would necessarily limit its conception of being, in a similar manner, to the intrauterine life which alone it knows; and were it to endeavour to express to its consciousness the idea of life after birth (death to it), it would, in the absence of data to go upon, and of faculties to comprehend such data, probably express that life as "Non-Being which is Real Being." In our case the One Being is the noumenon of all the noumena which we know must underlie phenomena, and give them whatever shadow of reality they possess, but which we have not the senses or the intellect to cognize at present. The impalpable atoms of gold scattered through the substance of a ton of auriferous quartz may be imperceptible to the naked eye of the miner, yet he knows that they are not only present there but that they alone give his quartz any appreciable value; and this relation of the gold to the quartz may faintly shadow forth that of the noumenon to the phenomenon. But the miner knows what the gold will look like when extracted from the quartz, whereas the common mortal can form no conception of the reality of things separated from the Maya which veils them, and in which they are hidden. Alone the Initiate, rich with the lore acquired by numberless generations of his predecessors, directs the "Eye of Dangma" toward the essence of things in which no Maya can have any influence. It is here that the teachings of esoteric philosophy in relation to the Nidanas and the Four Truths become of the greatest importance; but they are secret.
8. ALONE, THE ONE FORM OF EXISTENCE STRETCHED BOUNDLESS, INFINITE, CAUSELESS, IN DREAMLESS SLEEP (a); AND LIFE PULSATED UNCONSCIOUS IN UNIVERSAL SPACE, THROUGHOUT THAT ALL-PRESENCE WHICH IS SENSED BY THE "OPENED EYE"* OF THE DANGMA (b).**
The tendency of modern thought is to recur to the archaic idea of a homogeneous
basis for apparently widely different things -- heterogeneity developed from
homogeneity. Biologists are now searching for their homogeneous protoplasm and
chemists for their protyle, while science is looking for the force of which
electricity, magnetism, heat, and so forth, are the differentiations. The
Secret Doctrine carries this idea into the region of metaphysics and postulates
a "One Form of Existence" as the basis and source of all things. But
perhaps the phrase, the "One Form of Existence," is not altogether
correct. The Sanskrit word is Prabhavapyaya, "the place, or rather plane,
whence emerges the origination, and into which is the resolution of all
things," says a commentator. It is not the "Mother of the
World," as translated by
** Dangma means a purified soul, one who has become a Jivanmukta, the highest adept, or rather a Mahatma so-called. His "opened eye" is the inner spiritual eye of the seer, and the faculty which manifests through it is not clairvoyance as ordinarily understood, i.e., the power of seeing at a distance, but rather the faculty of spiritual intuition, through which direct and certain knowledge is obtainable. This faculty is intimately connected with the "third eye," which mythological tradition ascribes to certain races of men. Fuller explanations will be found in Book II.
THE EYE OF DANGMA.
whereas, it is on the contrary Buddhism (of Gautama, the Buddha) that was "evoked" and entirely upreared on the tenets of the Secret Doctrine, of which a partial sketch is here attempted, and on which, also, the Upanishads are made to rest.* The above, according to the teachings of Sri Sankaracharya,** is undeniable.
(b) Dreamless sleep is one of the seven states of consciousness known in Oriental esotericism. In each of these states a different portion of the mind comes into action; or as a Vedantin would express it, the individual is conscious in a different plane of his being. The term "dreamless sleep," in this case is applied allegorically to the Universe to express a condition somewhat analogous to that state of consciousness in man, which, not being remembered in a waking state, seems a blank, just as the sleep of the mesmerised subject seems to him an unconscious blank when he returns to his normal condition, although he has been talking and acting as a conscious individual would.
9. BUT WHERE WAS THE DANGMA WHEN THE ALAYA OF THE UNIVERSE (Soul as the basis of all, Anima Mundi) WAS IN PARAMARTHA (a) (Absolute Being and Consciousness which are Absolute Non-Being and Unconsciousness) AND THE GREAT WHEEL WAS ANUPADAKA (b)?
* And yet, one, claiming
authority, namely, Sir Monier Williams, Boden Professor of Sanskrit at
** It is even argued that all the Six Darsanas (Schools of philosophy) show traces of Buddha's influence, being either taken from Buddhism or due to Greek teaching! (See Weber, Max Muller, etc.) We labour under the impression that Colebrooke, "the highest authority" in such matters, had long ago settled the question by showing, that "the Hindus were in this instance the teachers, not the learners."
(a) Here we have before us the subject of centuries of scholastic disputations. The two terms "Alaya" and "Paramartha" have been the causes of dividing schools and splitting the truth into more different aspects than any other mystic terms. Alaya is literally the "Soul of the World" or Anima Mundi, the "Over-Soul" of Emerson, and according to esoteric teaching it changes periodically its nature. Alaya, though eternal and changeless in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men or Cosmic Gods (Dhyani Buddhas), alters during the active life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included. During that time not only the Dhyani-Buddhas are one with Alaya in Soul and Essence, but even the man strong in the Yoga (mystic meditation) "is able to merge his soul with it" (Aryasanga, the Bumapa school). This is not Nirvana, but a condition next to it. Hence the disagreement. Thus, while the Yogacharyas (of the Mahayana school) say that Alaya is the personification of the Voidness, and yet Alaya (Nyingpo and Tsang in Tibetan) is the basis of every visible and invisible thing, and that, though it is eternal and immutable in its essence, it reflects itself in every object of the Universe "like the moon in clear tranquil water"; other schools dispute the statement. The same for Paramartha: the Yogacharyas interpret the term as that which is also dependent upon other things (paratantra); and the Madhyamikas say that Paramartha is limited to Paranishpanna or absolute perfection; i.e., in the exposition of these "two truths" (out of four), the former believe and maintain that (on this plane, at any rate) there exists only Samvritisatya or relative truth; and the latter teach the existence of Paramarthasatya, the "absolute truth."* "No Arhat, oh mendicants, can reach absolute knowledge before he becomes one with Paranirvana. Parikalpita and Paratantra are his two great enemies" (Aphorisms of the Bodhisattvas). Parikalpita (in Tibetan Kun-ttag) is error, made by those unable to realize the emptiness and illusionary nature of all; who believe something to exist which does not -- e.g., the Non-Ego. And
* "Paramartha" is self-consciousness in Sanskrit, Svasamvedana, or the "self-analysing reflection" -- from two words, parama (above everything) and artha (comprehension), Satya meaning absolute true being, or Esse. In Tibetan Paramarthasatya is Dondampaidenpa. The opposite of this absolute reality, or actuality, is Samvritisatya -- the relative truth only -- "Samvriti" meaning "false conception" and being the origin of illusion, Maya; in Tibetan Kundzabchi-denpa, "illusion-creating appearance."
ALAYA, THE UNIVERSAL SOUL
Paratantra is that, whatever it is, which exists only through a dependent or causal connexion, and which has to disappear as soon as the cause from which it proceeds is removed -- e.g., the light of a wick. Destroy or extinguish it, and light disappears.
Esoteric philosophy teaches that everything lives and is conscious, but not that all life and consciousness are similar to those of human or even animal beings. Life we look upon as "the one form of existence," manifesting in what is called matter; or, as in man, what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter. Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all. The idea of universal life is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century, as a consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic theology. Science, it is true, contents itself with tracing or postulating the signs of universal life, and has not yet been bold enough even to whisper "Anima Mundi!" The idea of "crystalline life," now familiar to science, would have been scouted half a century ago. Botanists are now searching for the nerves of plants; not that they suppose that plants can feel or think as animals do, but because they believe that some structure, bearing the same relation functionally to plant life that nerves bear to animal life, is necessary to explain vegetable growth and nutrition. It hardly seems possible that science can disguise from itself much longer, by the mere use of terms such as "force" and "energy," the fact that things that have life are living things, whether they be atoms or planets.
But what is the belief of the inner esoteric Schools? the reader may ask. What are the doctrines taught on this subject by the Esoteric "Buddhists"? With them "Alaya" has a double and even a triple meaning. In the Yogacharya system of the contemplative Mahayana school, Alaya is both the Universal Soul (Anima Mundi) and the Self of a progressed adept. "He who is strong in the Yoga can introduce at will his Alaya by means of meditation into the true Nature of Existence." The "Alaya has an absolute eternal existence," says Aryasanga -- the rival of Nagarjuna.* In one sense it is Pradhana; which
* Aryasanga was a pre-Christian Adept and founder of a Buddhist esoteric school, though Csoma di Koros places him, for some reasons of his own, in the seventh century. There was another Aryasanga, who lived during the first centuries of our era and the Hungarian scholar most probably confuses the two.
is explained in Vishnu Purana as: "that which is the unevolved cause, is emphatically called by the most eminent sages Pradhana, original base, which is subtile Prakriti, viz., that which is eternal, and which at once is (or comprehends) what is and what is not, or is mere process." "Prakriti," however, is an incorrect word, and Alaya would explain it better; for Prakriti is not the "uncognizable Brahma."* It is a mistake of those who know nothing of the Universality of the Occult doctrines from the very cradle of the human races, and especially so of those scholars who reject the very idea of a "primordial revelation," to teach that the Anima Mundi, the One Life or "Universal Soul," was made known only by Anaxagoras, or during his age. This philosopher brought the teaching forward simply to oppose the too materialistic conceptions on Cosmogony of Democritus, based on his exoteric theory of blindly driven atoms. Anaxagoras of Clazomene was not its inventor but only its propagator, as also was Plato. That which he called Mundane Intelligence, the nous ([[nous]]), the principle that according to his views is absolutely separated and free from matter and acts on design,** was called Motion, the ONE LIFE, or Jivatma, ages before the year 500 B.C. in India. Only the Aryan philosophers never endowed the principle, which with them is infinite, with the finite "attribute" of "thinking."
This leads the reader naturally to the "Supreme Spirit" of Hegel and the German Transcendentalists as a contrast that it may be useful to point out. The schools of Schelling and Fichte have diverged widely from the primitive archaic conception of an ABSOLUTE principle, and have mirrored only an aspect of the basic idea of the Vedanta. Even the "Absoluter Geist" shadowed forth by von Hartman in his pessimistic philosophy of the Unconscious, while it is, perhaps, the closest approximation made by European speculation to the Hindu Adwaitee Doctrines, similarly falls far short of the reality.
* "The indiscreet cause which is uniform, and both cause and effect, and which those who are acquainted with first principles call Pradhana and Prakriti, is the incognizable Brahma who was before all" (Vayu Purana); i.e., Brahma does not put forth evolution itself or create, but only exhibits various aspects of itself, one of which is Prakriti, an aspect of Pradhana.
** Finite Self-consciousness, I mean. For how can the absolute attain it otherwise than as simply an aspect, the highest of which known to us is human consciousness?
CAN THE FINITE CONCEIVE THE INFINITE?
According to Hegel, the "Unconscious" would never have undertaken the vast and laborious task of evolving the Universe, except in the hope of attaining clear Self-consciousness. In this connection it is to be borne in mind that in designating Spirit, which the European Pantheists use as equivalent to Parabrahm, as unconscious, they do not attach to that expression of "Spirit" -- one employed in the absence of a better to symbolise a profound mystery -- the connotation it usually bears.
The "Absolute Consciousness," they tell us, "behind" phenomena, which is only termed unconsciousness in the absence of any element of personality, transcends human conception. Man, unable to form one concept except in terms of empirical phenomena, is powerless from the very constitution of his being to raise the veil that shrouds the majesty of the Absolute. Only the liberated Spirit is able to faintly realise the nature of the source whence it sprung and whither it must eventually return. . . . As the highest Dhyan Chohan, however, can but bow in ignorance before the awful mystery of Absolute Being; and since, even in that culmination of conscious existence -- "the merging of the individual in the universal consciousness" -- to use a phrase of Fichte's -- the Finite cannot conceive the Infinite, nor can it apply to it its own standard of mental experiences, how can it be said that the "Unconscious" and the Absolute can have even an instinctive impulse or hope of attaining clear self-consciousness?* A Vedantin would never admit this Hegelian idea; and the Occultist would say that it applies perfectly to the awakened MAHAT, the Universal Mind already projected into the phenomenal world as the first aspect of the changeless ABSOLUTE, but never to the latter. "Spirit and Matter, or Purusha and Prakriti are but the two primeval aspects of the One and Secondless," we are taught.
The matter-moving Nous, the animating Soul, immanent in every atom, manifested in man, latent in the stone, has different degrees of power; and this pantheistic idea of a general Spirit-Soul pervading all Nature is the oldest of all the philosophical notions. Nor was the Archaeus a discovery of Paracelsus nor of his pupil Van Helmont; for it is again the same Archaeus or "Father-Ether," -- the manifested basis
* See Schwegler's
"Handbook of the History of Philosophy" in
and source of the innumerable phenomena of life -- localised. The whole series of the numberless speculations of this kind are but variations on this theme, the key-note of which was struck in this primeval Revelation. (See Part II., "Primordial Substance.")
(b) The term Anupadaka, "parentless," or without progenitors, is a mystical designation having several meanings in the philosophy. By this name celestial beings, the Dhyan-Chohans or Dhyani-Buddhas, are generally meant. But as these correspond mystically to the human Buddhas and Bodhisattwas, known as the "Manushi (or human) Buddhas," the latter are also designated "Anupadaka," once that their whole personality is merged in their compound sixth and seventh principles -- or Atma-Buddhi, and that they have become the "diamond-souled" (Vajra-sattvas),* the full Mahatmas. The "Concealed Lord" (Sangbai Dag-po), "the one merged with the absolute," can have no parents since he is Self-existent, and one with the Universal Spirit (Svayambhu),** the Svabhavat in the highest aspect. The mystery in the hierarchy of the Anupadaka is great, its apex being the universal Spirit-Soul, and the lower rung the Manushi-Buddha; and even every Soul-endowed man is an Anupadaka in a latent state. Hence, when speaking of the Universe in its formless, eternal, or absolute condition, before it was fashioned by the "Builders" -- the expression, "the Universe was Anupadaka." (See Part II., "Primordial Substance.")
* Vajra -- diamond-holder. In Tibetan Dorjesempa; sempa meaning the soul, its adamantine quality referring to its indestructibility in the hereafter. The explanation with regard to the "Anupadaka" given in the Kala Chakra, the first in the Gyu(t) division of the Kanjur, is half esoteric. It has misled the Orientalists into erroneous speculations with respect to the Dhyani-Buddhas and their earthly correspondencies, the Manushi-Buddhas. The real tenet is hinted at in a subsequent Volume, (see "The Mystery about Buddha"), and will be more fully explained in its proper place.
** To quote Hegel again, who with Schelling practically accepted the Pantheistic conception of periodical Avatars (special incarnations of the World-Spirit in Man, as seen in the case of all the great religious reformers) . . . . "the essence of man is spirit . . . . only by stripping himself of his finiteness and surrendering himself to pure self-consciousness does he attain the truth. Christ-man, as man in whom the Unity of God-man (identity of the individual with the Universal consciousness as taught by the Vedantins and some Adwaitees) appeared, has, in his death and history generally, himself presented the eternal history of Spirit -- a history which every man has to accomplish in himself, in order to exist as Spirit." -- Philosophy of History. Sibree's English translation, p. 340.
THE STATE OF
1. . . . . WHERE WERE THE BUILDERS, THE LUMINOUS SONS OF MANVANTARIC DAWN (a)? . . . . IN THE UNKNOWN DARKNESS IN THEIR AH-HI (Chohanic, Dhyani-Buddhic) PARANISHPANNA, THE PRODUCERS OF FORM (rupa) FROM NO-FORM (arupa), THE ROOT OF THE WORLD -- THE DEVAMATRI* AND SVABHAVAT, RESTED IN THE BLISS OF NON-BEING (b).
The "Builders," the "Sons of Manvantaric Dawn," are the
real creators of the Universe; and in this doctrine, which deals only with our
Planetary System, they, as the architects of the latter, are also called the
"Watchers" of the Seven Spheres, which exoterically are the Seven
planets, and esoterically the seven earths or spheres (planets) of our chain
also. The opening sentence of
(b) Paranishpanna, remember, is the summum bonum, the Absolute, hence the same as Paranirvana. Besides being the final state it is that condition of subjectivity which has no relation to anything but the one absolute truth (Para-marthasatya) on its plane. It is that state which leads one to appreciate correctly the full meaning of Non-Being, which, as explained, is absolute Being. Sooner or later, all that now seemingly exists, will be in reality and actually in the state of Paranishpanna. But there is a great difference between conscious and unconscious "being." The condition of Paranishpanna, without Paramartha, the Self-analys-
"Mother of the Gods," Aditi, or Cosmic Space. In the Zohar, she is called Sephira the Mother of the Sephiroth, and Shekinah in her primordial form, in abscondito.
ing consciousness (Svasamvedana), is no bliss, but simply extinction (for Seven Eternities). Thus, an iron ball placed under the scorching rays of the sun will get heated through, but will not feel or appreciate the warmth, while a man will. It is only "with a mind clear and undarkened by personality, and an assimilation of the merit of manifold existences devoted to being in its collectivity (the whole living and sentient Universe)," that one gets rid of personal existence, merging into, becoming one with, the Absolute,* and continuing in full possession of Paramartha.
STANZA II. -- Continued.
2. . . . . WHERE WAS SILENCE? WHERE WERE THE EARS TO SENSE IT? NO! THERE WAS NEITHER SILENCE, NOR SOUND (a). NAUGHT SAVE CEASELESS, ETERNAL BREATH (Motion) WHICH KNOWS ITSELF NOT (b).
(a) The idea that things can cease to exist and still BE, is a fundamental one in Eastern psychology. Under this apparent contradiction in terms, there rests a fact of Nature to realise which in the mind, rather than to argue about words, is the important thing. A familiar instance of a similar paradox is afforded by chemical combination. The question whether Hydrogen and Oxygen cease to exist, when they combine to form water, is still a moot one, some arguing that since they are found again when the water is decomposed they must be there all the while; others contending that as they actually turn into something totally different they must cease to exist as themselves for the time being; but neither side is able to form the faintest conception of the real condition of a thing, which has become something else and yet has not ceased to be itself. Existence as water may be said to be, for Oxygen and Hydrogen, a state of Non-being which is "more real being" than their existence as gases; and it may faintly symbolise the
* Hence Non-being is "ABSOLUTE Being," in esoteric philosophy. In the tenets of the latter even Adi-Budha (first or primeval wisdom) is, while manifested, in one sense an illusion, Maya, since all the gods, including Brahma, have to die at the end of the "Age of Brahma"; the abstraction called Parabrahm alone -- whether we call it Ensoph, or Herbert Spencer's Unknowable -- being "the One Absolute" Reality. The One secondless Existence is ADWAITA, "Without a Second," and all the rest is Maya, teaches the Adwaita philosophy.
THE ABSOLUTE KNOWS ITSELF NOT.
condition of the Universe when it goes to sleep, or ceases to be, during the "Nights of Brahma" -- to awaken or reappear again, when the dawn of the new Manvantara recalls it to what we call existence.
(b) The "Breath" of the One Existence is used in its application only to the spiritual aspect of Cosmogony by Archaic esotericism; otherwise, it is replaced by its equivalent in the material plane -- Motion. The One Eternal Element, or element-containing Vehicle, is Space, dimensionless in every sense; co-existent with which are -- endless duration, primordial (hence indestructible) matter, and motion -- absolute "perpetual motion" which is the "breath" of the "One" Element. This breath, as seen, can never cease, not even during the Pralayic eternities. (See "Chaos, Theos, Kosmos," in Part II.)
But the "Breath of the One Existence" does not, all the same, apply to the One Causeless Cause or the "All Be-ness" (in contradistinction to All-Being, which is Brahma, or the Universe). Brahma (or Hari) the four-faced god who, after lifting the Earth out of the waters, "accomplished the Creation," is held to be only the instrumental, and not, as clearly implied, the ideal Cause. No Orientalist, so far, seems to have thoroughly comprehended the real sense of the verses in the Purana, that treat of "creation."
Therein Brahma is the cause of the potencies that are to be generated subsequently for the work of "creation." When a translator says, "And from him proceed the potencies to be created, after they had become the real cause": "and from IT proceed the potencies that will create as they become the real cause" (on the material plane) would perhaps be more correct? Save that one (causeless) ideal cause there is no other to which the universe can be referred. "Worthiest of ascetics! through its potency -- i.e., through the potency of that cause -- every created thing comes by its inherent or proper nature." If, in the Vedanta and Nyaya, nimitta is the efficient cause, as contrasted with upadana, the material cause, (and in the Sankhya, pradhana implies the functions of both); in the Esoteric philosophy, which reconciles all these systems, and the nearest exponent of which is the Vedanta as expounded by the Advaita Vedantists, none but the upadana can be speculated upon; that which is in the minds of the Vaishnavas (the Vasishta-dvaita) as the ideal in contradistinction to the real -- or Parabrahm and Isvara -- can find no room in published speculations, since
that ideal even is a misnomer, when applied to that of which no human reason, even that of an adept, can conceive.
To know itself or oneself, necessitates consciousness and perception (both limited faculties in relation to any subject except Parabrahm), to be cognized. Hence the "Eternal Breath which knows itself not." Infinity cannot comprehend Finiteness. The Boundless can have no relation to the bounded and the conditioned. In the occult teachings, the Unknown and the Unknowable MOVER, or the Self-Existing, is the absolute divine Essence. And thus being Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Motion -- to the limited senses of those who describe this indescribable -- it is unconsciousness and immoveableness. Concrete consciousness cannot be predicated of abstract Consciousness, any more than the quality wet can be predicated of water -- wetness being its own attribute and the cause of the wet quality in other things. Consciousness implies limitations and qualifications; something to be conscious of, and someone to be conscious of it. But Absolute Consciousness contains the cognizer, the thing cognized and the cognition, all three in itself and all three one. No man is conscious of more than that portion of his knowledge that happens to have been recalled to his mind at any particular time, yet such is the poverty of language that we have no term to distinguish the knowledge not actively thought of, from knowledge we are unable to recall to memory. To forget is synonymous with not to remember. How much greater must be the difficulty of finding terms to describe, and to distinguish between, abstract metaphysical facts or differences. It must not be forgotten, also, that we give names to things according to the appearances they assume for ourselves. We call absolute consciousness "unconsciousness," because it seems to us that it must necessarily be so, just as we call the Absolute, "Darkness," because to our finite understanding it appears quite impenetrable, yet we recognize fully that our perception of such things does not do them justice. We involuntarily distinguish in our minds, for instance, between unconscious absolute consciousness, and unconsciousness, by secretly endowing the former with some indefinite quality that corresponds, on a higher plane than our thoughts can reach, with what we know as consciousness in ourselves. But this is not any kind of consciousness that we can manage to distinguish from what appears to us as unconsciousness.
THE GERM OF LIFE.
STANZA II. -- Continued.
3. THE HOUR HAD NOT YET STRUCK; THE RAY HAD NOT YET FLASHED INTO THE GERM (a); THE MATRI-PADMA (mother lotus) HAD NOT YET SWOLLEN (b).*
(a) The ray of the "Ever Darkness" becomes, as it is emitted, a ray of effulgent light or life, and flashes into the "Germ" -- the point in the Mundane Egg, represented by matter in its abstract sense. But the term "Point" must not be understood as applying to any particular point in Space, for a germ exists in the centre of every atom, and these collectively form "the Germ;" or rather, as no atom can be made visible to our physical eye, the collectivity of these (if the term can be applied to something which is boundless and infinite) forms the noumenon of eternal and indestructible matter.
One of the symbolical figures for the Dual creative power in Nature (matter and
force on the material plane) is Padma, the water-lily of
The Lotus, or Padma, is, moreover, a very ancient and favourite
* An unpoetical term, yet still very graphic. (See foot-note to Stanza III.)
** Even in Christianity. (See Part II., "Primordial Substance and Divine Thought.")
*** Gross, "The Heathen Religion," p. 195.
simile for the Kosmos itself, and also for man. The popular reasons given are, firstly, the fact just mentioned, that the Lotus-seed contains within itself a perfect miniature of the future plant, which typifies the fact that the spiritual prototypes of all things exist in the immaterial world before those things become materialised on Earth. Secondly, the fact that the Lotus plant grows up through the water, having its root in the Ilus, or mud, and spreading its flower in the air above. The Lotus thus typifies the life of man and also that of the Kosmos; for the Secret Doctrine teaches that the elements of both are the same, and that both are developing in the same direction. The root of the Lotus sunk in the mud represents material life, the stalk passing up through the water typifies existence in the astral world, and the flower floating on the water and opening to the sky is emblematical of spiritual being.
STANZA II. -- Continued.
4. HER HEART HAD NOT YET OPENED FOR THE ONE RAY TO ENTER, THENCE TO FALL AS THREE INTO FOUR IN THE LAP OF MAYA (a).
(a) The Primordial Substance had not yet passed out of its precosmic latency into differentiated objectivity, or even become the (to man, so far,) invisible Protyle of Science. But, as the hour strikes and it becomes receptive of the Fohatic impress of the Divine Thought (the Logos, or the male aspect of the Anima Mundi, Alaya) -- its heart opens. It differentiates, and the THREE (Father, Mother, Son) are transformed into four. Herein lies the origin of the double mystery of the Trinity and the immaculate Conception. The first and Fundamental dogma of Occultism is Universal Unity (or Homogeneity) under three aspects. This led to a possible conception of Deity, which as an absolute unity must remain forever incomprehensible to finite intellects. "If thou wouldest believe in the Power which acts within the root of a plant, or imagine the root concealed under the soil, thou hast to think of its stalk or trunk and of its leaves and flowers. Thou canst not imagine that Power independently of these objects. Life can be known only by the Tree of Life. . . ." (Precepts for Yoga). The idea of Absolute Unity
ASTRAL LIGHT IS NOT THE ANIMA MUNDI.
would be broken entirely in our conception, had we not something concrete before our eyes to contain that Unity. And the deity being absolute, must be omnipresent, hence not an atom but contains IT within itself. The roots, the trunk and its many branches are three distinct objects, yet they are one tree. Say the Kabalists: "The Deity is one, because It is infinite. It is triple, because it is ever manifesting." This manifestation is triple in its aspects, for it requires, as Aristotle has it, three principles for every natural body to become objective: privation, form, and matter.* Privation meant in the mind of the great philosopher that which the Occultists call the prototypes impressed in the Astral Light -- the lowest plane and world of Anima Mundi. The union of these three principles depends upon a fourth -- the LIFE which radiates from the summits of the Unreachable, to become an universally diffused Essence on the manifested planes of Existence. And this QUATERNARY (Father, Mother, Son, as a UNITY, and a quaternary, as a living manifestation) has been the means of leading to the very archaic Idea of Immaculate Conception, now finally crystallized into a dogma of the Christian Church, which carnalized this metaphysical idea beyond any common sense. For one has but to read the Kabala and study its numerical methods of interpretation to find the origin of that dogma. It is purely astronomical, mathematical, and pre-eminently metaphysical: the Male element in Nature (personified by the male deities and Logoi -- Viraj, or Brahma; Horus, or Osiris, etc., etc.) is born through, not from, an immaculate source, personified by the "Mother"; because that Male having a Mother cannot have a "Father" -- the abstract Deity being sexless, and not even a Being but Be-ness, or Life itself. Let us render this in the mathematical language of the author of "The Source of Measures." Speaking of the "Measure of a Man" and his numerical (Kabalistic) value, he writes that in Genesis, ch. iv., v. 1, "It is called the 'Man even Jehovah'
* A Vedantin of the Visishtadwaita philosophy would say that, though the only independent Reality, Parabrahmam is inseparable from his trinity. That He is three, "Parabrahmam, Chit, and Achit," the last two being dependent realities unable to exist separately; or, to make it clearer, Parabrahmam is the SUBSTANCE -- changeless, eternal, and incognizable -- and Chit (Atma), and Achit (Anatma) are its qualities, as form and colour are the qualities of any object. The two are the garment, or body, or rather attribute (Sarira) of Parabrahmam. But an Occultist would find much to say against this claim, and so would the Adwaitee Vedantin.
Measure, and this is obtained in this way, viz.: 113 x 5 = 565, and the value 565 can be placed under the form of expression 56.5 x 10 = 565. Here the Man-number 113 becomes a factor of 56.5 x 10, and the (Kabalistic) reading of this last numbered expression is Jod, He, Vau, He, or Jehovah. . . . The expansion of 565 into 56.5 x 10 is purposed to show the emanation of the male (Jod) from the female (Eva) principle; or, so to speak, the birth of a male element from an immaculate source, in other words, an immaculate conception."
Thus is repeated on Earth the mystery enacted, according to the Seers, on the divine plane. The "Son" of the immaculate Celestial Virgin (or the undifferentiated cosmic protyle, Matter in its infinitude) is born again on Earth as the Son of the terrestrial Eve -- our mother Earth, and becomes Humanity as a total -- past, present, and future -- for Jehovah or Jod-he-vau-he is androgyne, or both male and female. Above, the Son is the whole KOSMOS; below, he is MANKIND. The triad or triangle becomes Tetraktis, the Sacred Pythagorean number, the perfect Square, and a 6-faced cube on Earth. The Macroprosopus (the Great Face) is now Microprosopus (the lesser face); or, as the Kabalists have it, the "Ancient of Days," descending on Adam Kadmon whom he uses as his vehicle to manifest through, gets transformed into Tetragrammaton. It is now in the "Lap of Maya," the Great Illusion, and between itself and the Reality has the Astral Light, the great Deceiver of man's limited senses, unless Knowledge through Paramarthasatya comes to the rescue.
STANZA II. -- Continued.
5. THE SEVEN (Sons) WERE NOT YET BORN FROM THE WEB OF LIGHT. DARKNESS ALONE WAS FATHER-MOTHER, SVABHAVAT, AND SVABHAVAT WAS IN DARKNESS (a).
(a) The Secret Doctrine, in the Stanzas given here, occupies itself chiefly, if not entirely, with our Solar System, and especially with our planetary chain. The "Seven Sons," therefore, are the creators of the latter. This teaching will be explained more fully hereafter. (See Part II., "Theogony of the Creative Gods.")
DIVINE THOUGHT, DIVINE THINKERS
Svabhavat, the "Plastic Essence" that fills the Universe, is the root of all things. Svabhavat is, so to say, the Buddhistic concrete aspect of the abstraction called in Hindu philosophy Mulaprakriti. It is the body of the Soul, and that which Ether would be to Akasa, the latter being the informing principle of the former. Chinese mystics have made of it the synonym of "being." In the Ekasloka-Shastra of Nagarjuna (the Lung-shu of China) called by the Chinese the Yih-shu-lu-kia-lun, it is said that the original word of Yeu is "Being" or "Subhava," "the Substance giving substance to itself," also explained by him as meaning " without action and with action," "the nature which has no nature of its own." Subhava, from which Svabhavat, is composed of two words: Su "fair," "handsome," "good"; Sva, "self"; and bhava, "being" or "states of being."
STANZA II. -- Continued.
6. THESE TWO ARE THE GERM, AND THE GERM IS -- ONE. THE UNIVERSE WAS STILL CONCEALED IN THE DIVINE THOUGHT AND THE DIVINE BOSOM.
The "Divine Thought" does not imply the idea of a Divine thinker. The Universe, not only past, present, and future -- which is a human and finite idea expressed by finite thought -- but in its totality, the Sat (an untranslateable term), the absolute being, with the Past and Future crystallized in an eternal Present, is that Thought itself reflected in a secondary or manifest cause. Brahma (neuter) as the Mysterium Magnum of Paracelsus is an absolute mystery to the human mind. Brahma, the male-female, its aspect and anthropomorphic reflection, is conceivable to the perceptions of blind faith, though rejected by human intellect when it attains its majority. (See Part II., "Primordial Substance and Divine Thought.")
Hence the statement that during the prologue, so to say, of the drama of Creation, or the beginning of cosmic evolution, the Universe or the "Son" lies still concealed "in the Divine Thought," which had not yet penetrated "into the Divine Bosom." This idea, note well, is at the root, and forms the origin of all the allegories about the "Sons of God" born of immaculate virgins.
1. THE LAST VIBRATION OF THE SEVENTH ETERNITY THRILLS THROUGH INFINITUDE (a). THE MOTHER SWELLS, EXPANDING FROM WITHIN WITHOUT LIKE THE BUD OF THE LOTUS (b).
(a) The seemingly paradoxical use of the sentence "Seventh Eternity," thus dividing the indivisible, is sanctified in esoteric philosophy. The latter divides boundless duration into unconditionally eternal and universal Time and a conditioned one (Khandakala). One is the abstraction or noumenon of infinite time (Kala); the other its phenomenon appearing periodically, as the effect of Mahat (the Universal Intelligence limited by Manvantaric duration). With some schools, Mahat is "the first-born" of Pradhana (undifferentiated substance, or the periodical aspect of Mulaprakriti, the root of Nature), which (Pradhana) is called Maya, the Illusion. In this respect, I believe, esoteric teaching differs from the Vedantin doctrines of both the Adwaita and the Visishtadwaita schools. For it says that, while Mulaprakriti, the noumenon, is self-existing and without any origin -- is, in short, parentless, Anupadaka (as one with Brahmam) -- Prakriti, its phenomenon, is periodical and no better than a phantasm of the former, so Mahat, with the Occultists, the first-born of Gnana (or gnosis) knowledge, wisdom or the Logos -- is a phantasm reflected from the Absolute NIRGUNA (Parabrahm, the one reality, "devoid of attributes and qualities"; see Upanishads); while with some Vedantins Mahat is a manifestation of Prakriti, or Matter.
(b) Therefore, the "last vibration of the Seventh Eternity" was "fore-ordained" -- by no God in particular, but occurred in virtue of the eternal and changeless LAW which causes the great periods of Activity and Rest, called so graphically, and at the same time so poetically, the "Days and Nights of Brahma." The expansion "from within without" of the Mother, called elsewhere the "Waters of Space," "Universal Matrix," etc., does not allude to an expansion from a small centre or focus, but, without reference to size or limitation or area, means the development of limitless subjectivity into as limitless objectivity. "The ever (to us) invisible and immaterial Substance present in eternity, threw its periodical shadow from its own plane into the lap
THE UNIVERSE, A FLITTING SHADOW.
of Maya." It implies that this expansion, not being an increase in size -- for infinite extension admits of no enlargement -- was a change of condition. It "expanded like the bud of the Lotus"; for the Lotus plant exists not only as a miniature embryo in its seed (a physical characteristic), but its prototype is present in an ideal form in the Astral Light from "Dawn" to "Night" during the Manvantaric period, like everything else, as a matter of fact, in this objective Universe; from man down to mite, from giant trees down to the tiniest blades of grass.
All this, teaches the hidden Science, is but the temporary reflection, the shadow of the eternal ideal prototype in Divine Thought -- the word "Eternal," note well again, standing here only in the sense of "AEon," as lasting throughout the seemingly interminable, but still limited cycle of activity, called by us Manvantara. For what is the real esoteric meaning of Manvantara, or rather a Manu-Antara? It means, esoterically, "between two Manus," of whom there are fourteen in every "Day of Brahma," such a "Day" consisting of 1,000 aggregates of four ages, or 1,000 "Great Ages," Mahayugas. Let us now analyse the word or name Manu. Orientalists and their Dictionaries tell us that the term "Manu" is from the root Man, "to think"; hence "the thinking man." But, esoterically, every Manu, as an anthropomorphized patron of his special cycle (or Round), is but the personified idea of the "Thought Divine" (as the Hermetic "Pymander"); each of the Manus, therefore, being the special god, the creator and fashioner of all that appears during his own respective cycle of being or Manvantara. Fohat runs the Manus' (or Dhyan-Chohans') errands, and causes the ideal prototypes to expand from within without -- viz., to cross gradually, on a descending scale, all the planes from the noumenon to the lowest phenomenon, to bloom finally on the last into full objectivity -- the acme of illusion, or the grossest matter.
STANZA III. -- continued.
2. THE VIBRATION SWEEPS ALONG, TOUCHING WITH ITS SWIFT WING (simultaneously) THE WHOLE UNIVERSE, AND THE GERM THAT DWELLETH IN DARKNESS: THE DARKNESS THAT BREATHES (moves) OVER THE SLUMBERING WATERS OF LIFE (a).
(a) The Pythagorean Monad is also said to dwell in solitude and darkness like the "germ." The idea of the "breath" of Darkness moving over "the slumbering Waters of life," which is primordial matter with the latent Spirit in it, recalls the first chapter of Genesis. Its original is the Brahminical Narayana (the mover on the Waters), who is the personification of the eternal Breath of the unconscious All (or Parabrahm) of the Eastern Occultists. The Waters of Life, or Chaos -- the female principle in symbolism -- are the vacuum (to our mental sight) in which lie the latent Spirit and Matter. This it was that made Democritus assert, after his instructor Leucippus, that the primordial principles of all were atoms and a vacuum, in the sense of space, but not of empty space, as "Nature abhors a vacuum" according to the Peripatetics, and every ancient philosopher.
In all Cosmogonies "Water" plays the same important part. It is the base and source of material existence. Scientists, mistaking the word for the thing, understood by water the definite chemical combination of oxygen and hydrogen, thus giving a specific meaning to a term used by Occultists in a generic sense, and which is used in Cosmogony with a metaphysical and mystical meaning. Ice is not water, neither is steam, although all three have precisely the same chemical composition.
STANZA III. -- Continued.
2. [[3.]] "DARKNESS" RADIATES LIGHT, AND LIGHT DROPS ONE SOLITARY RAY INTO THE WATERS, INTO THE MOTHER DEEP. THE RAY SHOOTS THROUGH THE VIRGIN-EGG; THE RAY CAUSES THE ETERNAL EGG TO THRILL, AND DROP THE NON-ETERNAL (periodical) GERM, WHICH CONDENSES INTO THE WORLD EGG (a).
(a) The solitary ray dropping into the mother deep may be taken as meaning Divine Thought or Intelligence, impregnating chaos. This, however, occurs on the plane of metaphysical abstraction, or rather the plane whereon that which we call a metaphysical abstraction is a reality. The Virgin-egg being in one sense abstract Egg-ness, or the power of becoming developed through fecundation, is eternal and for ever the same. And just as the fecundation of an egg takes place before it is dropped; so the non-eternal periodical germ which becomes later in
symbolism the mundane egg, contains in itself, when it emerges from the said symbol, "the promise and potency" of all the Universe. Though the idea per se is, of course, an abstraction, a symbolical mode of expression, it is a symbol truly, as it suggests the idea of infinity as an endless circle. It brings before the mind's eye the picture of Kosmos emerging from and in boundless space, a Universe as shoreless in magnitude if not as endless in its objective manifestation. The simile of an egg also expresses the fact taught in Occultism that the primordial form of everything manifested, from atom to globe, from man to angel, is spheroidal, the sphere having been with all nations the emblem of eternity and infinity -- a serpent swallowing its tail. To realize the meaning, however, the sphere must be thought of as seen from its centre. The field of vision or of thought is like a sphere whose radii proceed from one's self in every direction, and extend out into space, opening up boundless vistas all around. It is the symbolical circle of Pascal and the Kabalists, "whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere," a conception which enters into the compound idea of this emblem.
"Mundane Egg" is, perhaps, one of the most universally adopted
symbols, highly suggestive as it is, equally in the spiritual, physiological,
and cosmological sense. Therefore, it is found in every world-theogony, where
it is largely associated with the serpent symbol; the latter being everywhere,
in philosophy as in religious symbolism, an emblem of eternity, infinitude,
regeneration, and rejuvenation, as well as of wisdom. (See Part II. "Tree and Serpent and Crocodile Worship.") The
mystery of apparent self-generation and evolution through its own creative
power repeating in miniature the process of Cosmic evolution in the egg, both
being due to heat and moisture under the efflux of the unseen creative spirit,
justified fully the selection of this graphic symbol. The "Virgin
Egg" is the microcosmic symbol of the macrocosmic prototype -- the "Virgin
Mother" -- Chaos or the Primeval Deep. The male Creator (under whatever
name) springs forth from the Virgin female, the immaculate root fructified by
the Ray. Who, if versed in astronomy and natural sciences, can fail to see its
suggestiveness? Cosmos as receptive Nature is an Egg fructified -- yet left
immaculate; once regarded as boundless, it could have no other representation
than a spheroid. The Golden Egg was surrounded by seven natural elements
(ether, fire, air, water), "four ready, three
secret." It may be found stated in Vishnu Purana, where elements are
translated "Envelopes" and a secret one is added:
STANZA III. -- Continued.
4. (Then) THE THREE (triangle) FALL INTO THE FOUR (quaternary). THE RADIANT ESSENCE BECOMES SEVEN INSIDE, SEVEN OUTSIDE (a). THE LUMINOUS EGG (Hiranyagarbha), WHICH IN ITSELF IS THREE (the triple hypostases of Brahma, or Vishnu, the three "Avasthas"), CURDLES AND SPREADS IN MILK-WHITE CURDS THROUGHOUT THE DEPTHS OF MOTHER, THE ROOT THAT GROWS IN THE OCEAN OF LIFE (b).
The use of geometrical figures and the frequent allusions to figures in all ancient scriptures (see Puranas, Egyptian papyri, the "Book of the Dead" and even the Bible) must be explained. In the "Book of Dzyan," as in the Kabala, there are two kinds of numerals to be studied -- the figures, often simple blinds, and the Sacred Numbers, the values of which are all known to the Occultists through Initiation. The former is but a conventional glyph, the latter is the basic symbol of all. That is to say, that one is purely physical, the other purely metaphysical, the two standing in relation to each other as matter stands to spirit -- the extreme poles of the ONE Substance.
As Balzac, the unconscious Occultist of French literature, says somewhere, the Number is to Mind the same as it is to matter: "an incomprehensible agent;" (perhaps so to the profane, never to the Initiated mind). Number is, as the great writer thought, an Entity, and, at the same time, a Breath emanating from what he called God and what we call the ALL; the breath which alone could organize the physical Kosmos, "where naught obtains its form but through the Deity, which is an effect of Number." It is instructive to quote Balzac's words upon this subject:--
"The smallest as the most immense creations, are they not to be distinguished from each other by their quantities, their qualities, their dimensions, their forces and attributes, all begotten by the NUMBER? The infinitude of the Numbers is a fact proven to our mind, but of which no proof can be physically
THE POWER OF NUMBERS.
given. The mathematician will tell us that the infinitude of the numbers exists but is not to be demonstrated. God is a Number endowed with motion, which is felt but not demonstrated. As Unity, it begins the Numbers, with which it has nothing in common. . . . . The existence of the Number depends on Unity, which, without a single Number, begets them all. . . . . What! unable either to measure the first abstraction yielded to you by the Deity, or to get hold of it, you still hope to subject to your measurements the mystery of the Secret Sciences which emanate from that Deity? . . . . And what would you feel, were I to plunge you into the abysses of MOTION, the Force which organizes the Number? What would you think, were I to add that Motion and Number* are begotten by the WORD, the Supreme Reason of the Seers and Prophets, who, in days of old, sensed the mighty Breath of God, a witness to which is the Apocalypse?"
"The radiant essence curdled and spread throughout the depths" of
Space. From an astronomical point of view this is easy of explanation: it is
the "milky way," the world-stuff, or primordial matter in its first
form. It is more difficult, however, to explain it in a few words or even
lines, from the standpoint of Occult Science and Symbolism, as it is the most
complicated of glyphs. Herein are enshrined more than a dozen symbols. To begin
with, the whole pantheon of mysterious objects,**
every one of them having some definite Occult meaning, extracted from the
allegorical "churning of the ocean" by the Hindu gods. Besides
Amrita, the water of life or immortality, "Surabhi" the "cow of
plenty," called "the fountain of milk and curds," was extracted
from this "
* Number, truly; but never MOTION. It is Motion which begets the Logos, the Word, in occultism.
** The "Fourteen precious things." The narrative or allegory is found in the Satapatha Brahmana and others. The Japanese Secret Science of the Buddhist Mystics, the Yamabooshi, has "seven precious things." We will speak of them, hereafter.
Manu -- both preceding Vaivasvata's "deluge," that of the bulk of the Fourth Race -- mention this deluge, it is evident that it is not the "great" deluge, nor that which carried away Atlantis, nor even the deluge of Noah, which is meant here. This "churning" relates to a period before the earth's formation, and is in direct connection with that other universal legend, the various and contradictory versions of which culminated in the Christian dogma of the "War in Heaven," and the fall of the Angels (see Book II., also Revelations chap. xii.). The Brahmanas, reproached by the Orientalists with their versions on the same subjects, often clashing with each other, are pre-eminently occult works, hence used purposely as blinds. They were allowed to survive for public use and property only because they were and are absolutely unintelligible to the masses. Otherwise they would have disappeared from circulation as long ago as the days of Akbar.
STANZA III. -- Continued.
5. THE ROOT REMAINS, THE LIGHT REMAINS, THE CURDS REMAIN, AND STILL OEAOHOO (a) IS ONE (b).
(a) OEAOHOO is rendered "Father-Mother of the Gods" in the Commentaries, or the SIX IN ONE, or the septenary root from which all proceeds. All depends upon the accent given to these seven vowels, which may be pronounced as one, three, or even seven syllables by adding an e after the letter "o." This mystic name is given out, because without a thorough mastery of the triple pronunciation it remains for ever ineffectual.
(b) This refers to the Non-Separateness of all that lives and has its being, whether in active or passive state. In one sense, Oeaohoo is the "Rootless Root of All"; hence, one with Parabrahmam; in another sense it is a name for the manifested ONE LIFE, the Eternal living Unity. The "Root" means, as already explained, pure knowledge (Sattva),*
* The original for
Understanding is Sattva, which Sankara (acharya) renders antahkarana. "Refined," he says, "by sacrifices and other
sanctifying operations." In the Katha, at p. 148, Sattva is said by
Sankara to mean buddhi -- a common use of the word. ("The BHAGAVATGITA
with The Sanatsugatiya and The Anugita," translated
by Kashinath Trimbak Telang, M.A.; edited by Max Muller.) Whatever meaning
various schools may give the term, Sattva is the name given among Occult
students of the
THE BLOSSOM OF THE ROOT OF LIFE.
eternal (Nitya) unconditioned reality or SAT (Satya), whether we call it Parabrahmam or Mulaprakriti, for these are the two aspects of the ONE. The "Light" is the same Omnipresent Spiritual Ray, which has entered and now fecundated the Divine Egg, and calls cosmic matter to begin its long series of differentiations. The curds are the first differentiation, and probably refer also to that cosmic matter which is supposed to be the origin of the "Milky Way" -- the matter we know. This "matter," which, according to the revelation received from the primeval Dhyani-Buddhas, is, during the periodical sleep of the Universe, of the ultimate tenuity conceivable to the eye of the perfect Bodhisatva -- this matter, radical and cool, becomes, at the first reawakening of cosmic motion, scattered through Space; appearing, when seen from the Earth, in clusters and lumps, like curds in thin milk. These are the seeds of the future worlds, the "Star-stuff."
STANZA III. -- Continued.
THE ROOT OF LIFE WAS IN EVERY DROP OF THE
(a) The essence of darkness being absolute light, Darkness is taken as the appropriate allegorical representation of the condition of the Universe during Pralaya, or the term of absolute rest, or non-being, as it appears to our finite minds. The "fire," "heat," and "motion" here spoken of, are, of course, not the fire, heat, and motion of physical science, but the underlying abstractions, the noumena, or the soul, of the essence of these material manifestations -- the "things in themselves," which, as modern science confesses, entirely elude the instru-
* Amrita is "immortality."
** See Commentary No. 1 to this Stanza.
ments of the laboratory, and which even the mind cannot grasp, although it can equally little avoid the conclusion that these underlying essences of things must exist. Fire and Water, or Father* and Mother, may be taken here to mean the divine Ray and Chaos. "Chaos, from this union with Spirit obtaining sense, shone with pleasure, and thus was produced the Protogonos (the first-born light)," says a fragment of Hermas. Damascius calls it Dis in "Theogony" -- "The disposer of all things." (See Cory's "Ancient Fragments," p. 314.)
According to the Rosicrucian tenets, as handled and explained by the profane for once correctly, if only partially, so "Light and Darkness are identical in themselves, being only divisible in the human mind"; and according to Robert Fludd, "Darkness adopted illumination in order to make itself visible" (On Rosenkranz). According to the tenets of Eastern Occultism, DARKNESS is the one true actuality, the basis and the root of light, without which the latter could never manifest itself, nor even exist. Light is matter, and DARKNESS pure Spirit. Darkness, in its radical, metaphysical basis, is subjective and absolute light; while the latter in all its seeming effulgence and glory, is merely a mass of shadows, as it can never be eternal, and is simply an illusion, or Maya.
in the mind-baffling and science-harassing Genesis, light is created out of
darkness "and darkness was upon the face of the deep" (ch. i. v. 2.)
-- and not vice versa. "In him (in darkness) was life; and the life was
the light of men" (John i. 4). A day may come when the eyes of men will be
opened; and then they may comprehend better than they do now, that verse in the
Gospel of John that says "And the light shineth in darkness; and the
darkness comprehendeth it not." They will see then that the word
"darkness" does not apply to man's spiritual eyesight, but indeed to
"Darkness," the absolute, that comprehendeth not (cannot cognize)
transient light, however transcendent to human eyes. Demon est
Deus inversus. The devil is now called Darkness by the Church, whereas, in the
Bible he is called the "Son of God" (see Job), the bright star of the
early morning, Lucifer (see Isaiah). There is a whole philosophy of dogmatic
craft in the reason why the first
* See "Kwan-Shai-Yin." The real name from the text cannot be given.
LIGHT EMERGES FROM DARKNESS.
vantaric Dawn. He was transformed by the Church into Lucifer or Satan, because he is higher and older than Jehovah, and had to be sacrificed to the new dogma. (See Book II.)
STANZA III. -- Continued.
BEHOLD, OH LANOO!** THE RADIANT CHILD OF THE TWO, THE
UNPARALLELED REFULGENT GLORY, BRIGHT SPACE, SON OF DARK SPACE, WHO EMERGES FROM
THE DEPTHS OF THE GREAT DARK WATERS. IT IS OEAOHOO, THE YOUNGER, THE * * *
(whom thou knowest now as Kwan-Shai-Yin. -- Comment) (a).
"Bright Space, son of dark Space," corresponds to the Ray dropped at the first thrill of the new "Dawn" into the great Cosmic depths, from which it re-emerges differentiated as Oeaohoo the younger, (the "new LIFE"), to become, to the end of the life-cycle, the germ of all things. He is "the Incorporeal man who contains in himself the divine Idea," -- the generator of Light and Life, to use an expression of Philo Judaeus. He is called the "Blazing Dragon of Wisdom,"
** Lanoo is a student, a chela who studies practical Esotericism.
*** "Tri-dasa," or three times ten (30), alludes to the Vedic deities, in round numbers, or more accurately 33 -- a sacred number. They are the 12 Adityas, the 8 Vasus, the 11 Rudras, and 2 Aswins -- the twin sons of the Sun and the Sky. This is the root-number of the Hindu Pantheon, which enumerates 33 crores or over three hundred millions of gods and goddesses. because, firstly, he is that which the Greek philosophers called the Logos, the Verbum of the Thought Divine; and secondly, because in Esoteric philosophy this first manifestation, being the synthesis or the aggregate of Universal Wisdom, Oeaohoo, "the Son of the Son," contains in himself the Seven Creative Hosts (The Sephiroth), and is thus the essence of manifested Wisdom. "He who bathes in the light of Oeaohoo will never be deceived by the veil of Maya."
is identical with, and an equivalent of the Sanskrit Avalokiteshwara, and as such
he is an androgynous deity, like the Tetragrammaton and all the Logoi* of
antiquity. It is only by some sects in
* Hence all the higher
gods of antiquity are all "Sons of the Mother" before they become
those of the "Father." The Logoi, like Jupiter or Zeus, Son of
Kronos-Saturn, "Infinite Time" (or Kala), in their origin were
represented as male-female. Zeus is said to be the "beautiful
Virgin," and Venus is made bearded. Apollo is originally bisexual, so is
Brahma-Vach in Manu and the Puranas. Osiris is interchangeable with
** No religious symbol
can escape profanation and even derision in our days of politics and Science.
*** The Gnostic Sophia, "Wisdom" who is "the Mother" of the Ogdoad (Aditi, in a certain sense, with her eight sons), is the Holy Ghost and the Creator of all, as in the ancient systems. The "father" is a far later invention. The earliest manifested Logos was female everywhere -- the mother of the seven planetary powers.
**** See "Chinese Buddhism," by the Rev. J. C. Edkins, who always gives correct facts, although his conclusions are very frequently erroneous.
THE DRAGON AND THE LOGOI
(b) "The "Dragon of Wisdom" is the One, the "Eka" (Sanskrit) or Saka. It is curious that Jehovah's name in Hebrew should also be One, Echod. "His name is Echod": say the Rabbins. The philologists ought to decide which of the two is derived from the other -- linguistically and symbolically: surely, not the Sanskrit? The "One" and the Dragon are expressions used by the ancients in connection with their respective Logoi. Jehovah -- esoterically (as Elohim) -- is also the Serpent or Dragon that tempted Eve, and the "Dragon" is an old glyph for "Astral Light" (Primordial Principle), "which is the Wisdom of Chaos." Archaic philosophy, recognizing neither Good nor Evil as a fundamental or independent power, but starting from the Absolute ALL (Universal Perfection eternally), traced both through the course of natural evolution to pure Light condensing gradually into form, hence becoming Matter or Evil. It was left with the early and ignorant Christian fathers to degrade the philosophical and highly scientific idea of this emblem (the Dragon) into the absurd superstition called the "Devil." They took it from the later Zoroastrians, who saw devils or the Evil in the Hindu Devas, and the word Evil thus became by a double transmutation D'Evil in every tongue (Diabolos, Diable, Diavolo, Teufel). But the Pagans have always shown a philosophical discrimination in their symbols. The primitive symbol of the serpent symbolised divine Wisdom and Perfection, and had always stood for psychical Regeneration and Immortality. Hence -- Hermes, calling the serpent the most spiritual of all beings; Moses, initiated in the wisdom of Hermes, following suit in Genesis; the Gnostic's Serpent with the seven vowels over its head, being the emblem of the seven hierarchies of the Septenary or Planetary Creators. Hence, also, the Hindu serpent Sesha or Ananta, "the Infinite," a name of Vishnu, whose first Vahan or vehicle on the primordial waters is this serpent.* Yet they all made a difference between the good and the bad Serpent (the Astral Light of
* Like the logoi and the Hierarchies of Powers, however, the "Serpents" have to be distinguished one from the other. Sesha or Ananta, "the couch of Vishnu," is an allegorical abstraction, symbolizing infinite Time in Space, which contains the germ and throws off periodically the efflorescence of this germ, the manifested Universe; whereas, the gnostic Ophis contained the same triple symbolism in its seven vowels as the One, Three and Seven-syllabled Oeaohoo of the Archaic doctrine; i.e., the One Unmanifested Logos, the Second manifested, the triangle concreting into the Quaternary or Tetragrammaton, and the rays of the latter on the material plane.
the Kabalists) -- between the former, the embodiment of divine Wisdom in the region of the Spiritual, and the latter, Evil, on the plane of matter.* Jesus accepted the serpent as a synonym of Wisdom, and this formed part of his teaching: "Be ye wise as serpents," he says. "In the beginning, before Mother became Father-Mother, the fiery Dragon moved in the infinitudes alone" (Book of Sarparajni.) The Aitareya Brahmana calls the Earth Sarparajni, "the Serpent Queen," and "the Mother of all that moves." Before our globe became egg-shaped (and the Universe also) "a long trail of Cosmic dust (or fire mist) moved and writhed like a serpent in Space." The "Spirit of God moving on Chaos" was symbolized by every nation in the shape of a fiery serpent breathing fire and light upon the primordial waters, until it had incubated cosmic matter and made it assume the annular shape of a serpent with its tail in its mouth -- which symbolises not only Eternity and Infinitude, but also the globular shape of all the bodies formed within the Universe from that fiery mist. The Universe, as well as the Earth and Man, cast off periodically, serpent-like, their old skins, to assume new ones after a time of rest. The serpent is, surely, a not less graceful or a more unpoetical image than the caterpillar and chrysalis from which springs the butterfly, the Greek emblem of Psyche, the human soul. The "Dragon" was also the symbol of the Logos with the Egyptians, as with the Gnostics. In the "Book of Hermes," Pymander, the oldest and the most spiritual of the Logoi of the Western Continent, appears to Hermes in the shape of a Fiery Dragon of "Light, Fire, and Flame." Pymander, the "Thought Divine" personified, says: The Light is me, I am the Nous (the mind or Manu), I am thy God, and I am far older than the human principle which escapes from the shadow ("Darkness," or the concealed Deity). I am the germ of thought, the resplendent Word, the Son of God. All that thus sees and hears in thee is the Verbum of the Master, it is the Thought (Mahat) which is God, the Father.**
* The Astral Light, or the AEther, of the ancient pagans (for the name of Astral Light is quite modern) is Spirit-Matter. Beginning with the pure spiritual plane, it becomes grosser as it descends until it becomes the Maya or the tempting and deceitful serpent on our plane.
** By "God, the Father," the seventh principle in Man and Kosmos are here unmistakeably meant, this principle being inseparable in its Esse and Nature from the seventh Cosmic principle. In one sense it is the Logos of the Greeks and the Avalokiteswara of the esoteric Buddhists.
NOUMENAL AND PHENOMENAL LIGHT.
The celestial Ocean, the 'Ether . . . . is the Breath of the Father, the life-giving principle, the Mother, the Holy Spirit, . . . . for these are not separated, and their union is LIFE."
we find the unmistakeable echo of the Archaic Secret Doctrine, as now expounded.
Only the latter does not place at the head and Evolution of Life "the
Father," who comes third and is the "Son of the Mother," but the
"Eternal and Ceaseless Breath of the ALL." The Mahat (Understanding,
Universal Mind, Thought, etc.), before it manifests itself as Brahma or Siva,
appears as Vishnu, says Sankhya Sara (p. 16); hence Mahat has several aspects,
just as the logos has. Mahat is called the Lord, in the Primary Creation, and
is, in this sense, Universal Cognition or Thought Divine; but, "That Mahat
which was first produced is (afterwards) called Ego-ism, when it is born as
"I," that is said to be the second Creation" (Anugita, ch.
xxvi.). And the translator (an able and learned Brahmin, not a European
Orientalist) explains in a foot-note (6), "i.e., when Mahat develops into
the feeling of Self-Consciousness -- I -- then it assumes the name of
Egoism," which, translated into our esoteric phraseology, means when Mahat
is transformed into the human Manas (or even that of the finite gods), and becomes
Aham-ship. Why it is called the Mahat of the Second creation (or the ninth,
that of the Kumara in Vishnu Purana) will be explained in Book II. The "
* In the Egyptian as in the Indian theogony there was a concealed deity, the ONE, and the creative, androgynous god. Thus Shoo is the god of creation and Osiris is, in his original primary form, the "god whose name is unknown." (See Mariette's Abydos II., p. 63, and Vol. III., pp. 413, 414, No. 1122.)
the identity of "Father-Mother" with
primordial AEther or Akasa, (Astral Light)*; and (b) its homogeneity before the
evolution of the "Son," cosmically Fohat, for it is Cosmic
Electricity. "Fohat hardens and scatters the seven brothers" (Book
III. Dzyan); which means that the primordial Electric Entity -- for the Eastern
Occultists insist that Electricity is an Entity -- electrifies into life, and
separates primordial stuff or pregenetic matter into atoms, themselves the
source of all life and consciousness. "There exists an universal agent
unique of all forms and of life, that is called Od,**
(c) The ancients represented it by a serpent, for "Fohat hisses as he glides hither and thither" (in zigzags). The Kabala figures it with the Hebrew letter Teth [[hebrew]], whose symbol is the serpent which played such a prominent part in the Mysteries. Its universal value is nine, for it is the ninth letter of the alphabet and the ninth door of the fifty portals or gateways that lead to the concealed mysteries of being. It is the magical agent par excellence, and designates in Hermetic philosophy "Life infused into primordial matter," the essence that composes all things, and the spirit that determines their form. But there are two secret Hermetical operations, one spiritual, the other material-correlative, and for ever united. "Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the solid . . . that which ascends from earth to heaven and descends again from heaven to earth. It (the subtile light), is the strong force of every force, for it conquers every subtile thing and penetrates into every solid. Thus was the world formed" (Hermes).
It was not Zeno alone, the founder of the Stoics, who taught that the
* See next note.
** Od is the pure life-giving Light, or magnetic fluid;
DEITY IN SPACE AND TIME.
Universe evolves, when its primary substance is transformed from the state of fire into that of air, then into water, etc. Heracleitus of Ephesus maintained that the one principle that underlies all phenomena in Nature is fire. The intelligence that moves the Universe is fire, and fires is intelligence. And while Anaximenes said the same of air, and Thales of Miletus (600 years B.C.) of water, the Esoteric Doctrine reconciles all those philosophers by showing that though each was right the system of none was complete.
STANZA III. -- Continued.
8. WHERE WAS THE GERM, AND WHERE WAS NOW DARKNESS? WHERE IS THE SPIRIT OF THE FLAME THAT BURNS IN THY LAMP, OH LANOO? THE GERM IS THAT, AND THAT IS LIGHT; THE WHITE BRILLIANT SON OF THE DARK HIDDEN FATHER (a).
(a) The answer to the first question, suggested by the second, which is the reply of the teacher to the pupil, contains in a single phrase one of the most essential truths of occult philosophy. It indicates the existence of things imperceptible to our physical senses which are of far greater importance, more real and more permanent, than those that appeal to these senses themselves. Before the Lanoo can hope to understand the transcendentally metaphysical problem contained in the first question he must be able to answer the second, while the very answer he gives to the second will furnish him with the clue to the correct reply to the first.
In the Sanscrit Commentary on this Stanza, the terms used for the concealed and the unrevealed Principle are many. In the earliest MSS. of Indian literature this Unrevealed, Abstract Deity has no name. It is called generally "That" (Tad in Sanskrit), and means all that is, was, and will be, or that can be so received by the human mind.
Among such appellations, given, of course, only in esoteric philosophy, as the "Unfathomable Darkness," the "Whirlwind," etc. -- it is also called the "It of the Kalahansa, the Kala-ham-sa," and even the "Kali Hamsa," (Black swan). Here the m and the n are convertible, and both sound like the nasal French an or am, or, again, en or em (Ennui, Embarras, etc.) As in the Hebrew Bible, many a mysterious sacred name in Sanscrit conveys to the profane ear no more than some ordinary, and often vulgar word, because it is concealed anagrammatically or otherwise. This word of Hansa or esoterically "hamsa" is just such a case. Hamsa is equal to a-ham-sa, three words meaning "I am he" (in English), while divided in still another way it will read "So-ham," "he (is) I" -- Soham being equal to Sah, "he," and aham, "I," or "I am he." In this alone is contained the universal mystery, the doctrine of the identity of man's essence with god-essence, for him who understands the language of wisdom. Hence the glyph of, and the allegory about, Kalahansa (or hamsa), and the name given to Brahma neuter (later on, to the male Brahma) of "Hansa-Vahana," he who uses the Hansa as his vehicle." The same word may be read "Kalaham-sa" or "I am I" in the eternity of Time, answering to the Biblical, or rather Zoroastrian "I am that I am." The same doctrine is found in the Kabala, as witness the following extract from an unpublished MS. by Mr. S. Liddell McGregor Mathers, the learned Kabalist: "The three pronouns [[hebrew]], Hoa, Atah, Ani; He, Thou, I; are used to symbolize the ideas of Macroprosopus and Microprosopus in the Hebrew Qabalah. Hoa, "He," is applied to the hidden and concealed Macroprosopus; Atah, "Thou," to Microprosopus; and Ani, "I," to the latter when He is represented as speaking. (See Lesser Holy Assembly, 204 et seq.) It is to be noted that each of these names consists of three letters, of which the letter Aleph [[hebrew]], A, forms the conclusion of the first word Hoa, and the commencement of Atah and Ani, as if it were the connecting link between them. But [[hebrew]] is the symbol of the Unity and consequently of the unvarying Idea of the Divine operating through all these. But behind the [[hebrew]] in the name Hoa are the letters [[hebrew]] and [[hebrew]], the symbols of the numbers Six and Five, the Male and the Female, the Hexagram and the Pentagram. And the numbers of these three words, Hoa Atah Ani, are 12, 406, and 61, which are resumed in the key numbers of 3, 10, and 7, by the Qabalah of the Nine Chambers, which is a form of the exegetical rule of Temura."
It is useless to attempt to explain the mystery in full. Materialists and the men of modern Science will never understand it, since, in order
PRIMEVAL RADIATIONS FROM THE UNITY.
to obtain clear perception of it, one has first of all to admit the postulate of a universally diffused, omnipresent, eternal Deity in Nature; secondly, to have fathomed the mystery of electricity in its true essence; and thirdly, to credit man with being the septenary symbol, on the terrestrial plane, of the One Great UNIT (the Logos), which is Itself the Seven-vowelled sign, the Breath crystallized into the WORD.* He who believes in all this, has also to believe in the multiple combination of the seven planets of Occultism and of the Kabala, with the twelve zodiacal signs; to attribute, as we do, to each planet and to each constellation an influence which, in the words of Ely Star (a French Occultist), "is proper to it, beneficent or maleficent, and this, after the planetary Spirit which rules it, who, in his turn, is capable of influencing men and things which are found in harmony with him and with which he has any affinity." For these reasons, and since few believe in the foregoing, all that can now be given is that in both cases the symbol of Hansa (whether "I," "He," Goose or Swan) is an important symbol, representing, for instance, Divine Wisdom, Wisdom in darkness beyond the reach of men. For all exoteric purposes, Hansa, as every Hindu knows, is a fabulous bird, which, when given milk mixed with water for its food (in the allegory) separated the two, drinking the milk and leaving the water; thus showing inherent wisdom -- milk standing symbolically for spirit, and water for matter.
this allegory is very ancient and dates from the very earliest archaic period,
is shown by the mention (in Bhagavata Purana) of a certain caste named
"Hamsa" or "Hansa," which was the "one caste" par
excellence; when far back in the mists of a forgotten past there was among the
Hindus only "One Veda, One Deity, One Caste." There is also a range
* This is again similar to the doctrine of Fichte and German Pantheists. The former reveres Jesus as the great teacher who inculcated the unity of the spirit of man with the God-Spirit (the Adwaita doctrine) or universal Principle. It is difficult to find a single speculation in Western metaphysics which has not been anticipated by Archaic Eastern philosophy. From Kant to Herbert Spencer, it is all a more or less distorted echo of the Dwaita, Adwaita, and Vedantic doctrines generally.
Orientalists, it is quite a mistake. Brahma, the neuter, is called by them Kala-Hansa and Brahma, the male, Hansa-Vahana, because forsooth "his vehicle or Vahan is a swan or goose" (vide "the Hindu Classical Dictionary.") This is a purely exoteric gloss. Esoterically and logically, if Brahma, the infinite, is all that is described by the Orientalists, namely, agreeably with the Vedantic texts, an abstract deity in no way characterised by the description of any human attributes, and it is still maintained that he or it is called Kala-Hansa -- then how can it ever become the Vahan of Brahma, the manifested finite god? It is quite the reverse. The "Swan or goose" (Hansa) is the symbol of that male or temporary deity, as he, the emanation of the primordial Ray, is made to serve as a Vahan or vehicle for that divine Ray, which otherwise could not manifest itself in the Universe, being, antiphrastically, itself an emanation of "Darkness" -- for our human intellect, at any rate. It is Brahma, then, who is Kala-Hansa, and the Ray, the Hansa-Vahana.
As to the strange symbol chosen, it is equally suggestive; the true mystic significance being the idea of a universal matrix, figured by the primordial waters of the "deep," or the opening for the reception, and subsequently for the issue, of that one ray (the Logos), which contains in itself the other seven procreative rays or powers (the logoi or builders). Hence the choice by the Rosecroix of the aquatic fowl -- whether swan or pelican,* with seven young ones for a symbol, modified and adapted to the religion of every country. En-Soph is called the "Fiery Soul of the Pelican" in the Book of Numbers.** (See Part II. "The Hidden Deity and its Symbols and Glyphs.") Appearing with every Manvantara as Narayan, or Swayambhuva (the
* Whether the genus of the bird be cygnus, anser, or pelecanus, it is no matter, as it is an aquatic bird floating or moving on the waters like the Spirit, and then issuing from those waters to give birth to other beings. The true significance of the symbol of the Eighteenth Degree of the Rose-Croix is precisely this, though poetised later on into the motherly feeling of the Pelican rending its bosom to feed its seven little ones with its blood.
** The reason why Moses forbids eating the pelican and swan, classing the two among the unclean fowls, and permits eating "bald locusts, beetles, and the grasshopper after his kind" (Leviticus xi. and Deuteronomy xiv.) is a purely physiological one, and has to do with mystic symbology only in so far as the word "unclean," like every other word, ought not to be read and understood literally, as it is esoteric like all the rest, and may as well mean "holy" as not. It is a blind, very suggestive in connection with certain superstitions -- e.g., that of the Russian people who will not use the pigeon for food; not because it is "unclean," but because the "Holy Ghost" is credited with having appeared under the form of a Dove.
Self-Existent), and penetrating into the Mundane Egg, it emerges from it at the end of the divine incubation as Brahma or Prajapati, a progenitor of the future Universe into which he expands. He is Purusha (spirit), but he is also Prakriti (matter). Therefore it is only after separating himself into two halves -- Brahma-vach (the female) and Brahma-Viraj (the male), that the Prajapati becomes the male Brahma.
STANZA III. -- Continued.
9. LIGHT IS COLD FLAME, AND FLAME IS FIRE, AND THE FIRE PRODUCES HEAT, WHICH YIELDS WATER, THE WATER OF LIFE IN THE GREAT MOTHER (Chaos) (a).
(a) It must be remembered that the words "Light," "Fire," and "Flame" used in the Stanzas have been adopted by the translators thereof from the vocabulary of the old "Fire philosophers,"** in order to render better the meaning of the archaic terms and symbols employed in the original. Otherwise they would have remained entirely unintelligible to a European reader. But to a student of the Occult the terms used will be sufficiently clear.
All these -- "Light," "Flame," "Hot," "Cold," "Fire," "Heat," "Water," and the "water of life" are all, on our plane, the progeny; or as a modern physicist would say, the correlations of ELECTRICITY. Mighty word, and a still mightier symbol! Sacred generator of a no less sacred progeny; of fire -- the creator, the preserver and the destroyer; of light -- the essence of our divine ancestors; of flame -- the Soul of things. Electricity, the ONE Life at the upper rung of Being, and Astral Fluid, the Athanor of the Alchemists, at its lowest; GOD and DEVIL, GOOD and EVIL. . . .
** Not the Mediaeval Alchemists, but the Magi and Fire-Worshippers, from whom the Rosicrucians or the Philosophers per ignem, the successors of the theurgists borrowed all their ideas concerning Fire, as a mystic and divine element.
Now, why is Light called in the Stanzas "cold flame"? Because in the order of Cosmic evolution (as taught by the Occultist), the energy that actuates matter after its first formation into atoms is generated on our plane by Cosmic heat; and because Kosmos, in the sense of dissociated matter, was not, before that period. The first primordial matter, eternal and coeval with Space, "which has neither a beginning nor an end," is "neither hot nor cold, but is of its own special nature," says the Commentary (Book II). Heat and cold are relative qualities and pertain to the realms of the manifested worlds, which all proceed from the manifested Hyle, which, in its absolutely latent aspect, is referred to as the "cold Virgin," and when awakened to life, as the "Mother." The ancient Western Cosmogonic myths state that at first there was but cold mist which was the Father, and the prolific slime (the Mother, Ilus or Hyle), from which crept forth the Mundane snake-matter, (Isis, vol. i., p. 146). Primordial matter, then, before it emerges from the plane of the never-manifesting, and awakens to the thrill of action under the impulse of Fohat, is but "a cool Radiance, colourless, formless, tasteless, and devoid of every quality and aspect." Even such are her first-born, the "four sons," who "are One, and become Seven," -- the entities, by whose qualifications and names the ancient Eastern Occultists called the four of the seven primal "centres of Forces," or atoms, that develop later into the great Cosmic "Elements," now divided into the seventy or so sub-elements, known to science. The four primal natures of the first Dhyan Chohans, are the so-called (for want of better terms) "Akasic," "Ethereal," "Watery," and "Fiery," answering, in the terminology of practical occultism, to scientific definitions of gases, which, to convey a clear idea to both Occultists and laymen, must be defined as Parahydrogenic,* Paraoxygenic, Oxyhydrogenic, and Ozonic, or perhaps Nitr-ozonic; the latter forces or gases (in Occultism, supersensuous, yet atomic substances) being the most effective and active when energising on the plane of more grossly differentiated matter.** These are both electro-positive and electro-negative.
* [[para]], "beyond," outside.
** Each of these and many more are probably the missing links of chemistry. They are known by other names in Alchemy and to the Occultists who practise in phenomenal powers. It is by combining and recombining in a certain way (or dissociating) the "Elements" by means of astral fire that the greatest phenomena are produced.
THE WEB OF BEING.
STANZA III. -- Continued.
10. FATHER-MOTHER SPIN A WEB WHOSE UPPER END IS FASTENED TO SPIRIT (Purusha), THE LIGHT OF THE ONE DARKNESS, AND THE LOWER ONE TO MATTER (Prakriti) ITS (the Spirit's) SHADOWY END; AND THIS WEB IS THE UNIVERSE SPUN OUT OF THE TWO SUBSTANCES MADE IN ONE, WHICH IS SWABHAVAT (a).
(a) In the Mandukya (Mundaka) Upanishad it is written, "As a spider throws out and retracts its web, as herbs spring up in the ground . . . so is the Universe derived from the undecaying one" (I. 1. 7). Brahma, as "the germ of unknown Darkness," is the material from which all evolves and develops "as the web from the spider, as foam from the water," etc. This is only graphic and true, if Brahma the "Creator" is, as a term, derived from the root brih, to increase or expand. Brahma "expands" and becomes the Universe woven out of his own substance.
The same idea has been beautifully expressed by Goethe, who says:
"Thus at the roaring loom of Time I ply,
And weave for God the garment thou see'st Him by."
STANZA III. -- Continued.
11. IT (the Web) EXPANDS WHEN THE BREATH OF FIRE (the Father) IS UPON IT; IT CONTRACTS WHEN THE BREATH OF THE MOTHER (the root of Matter) TOUCHES IT. THEN THE SONS (the Elements with their respective Powers, or Intelligences) DISSOCIATE AND SCATTER, TO RETURN INTO THEIR MOTHER'S BOSOM AT THE END OF THE "GREAT DAY" AND REBECOME ONE WITH HER (a). WHEN IT (the Web) IS COOLING, IT BECOMES RADIANT, ITS SONS EXPAND AND CONTRACT THROUGH THEIR OWN SELVES AND HEARTS; THEY EMBRACE INFINITUDE. (b)
The expanding of the Universe under the breath of FIRE is very suggestive in the light of the "Fire mist" period of which modern science speaks so much, and knows in reality so little.
Great heat breaks up the compound elements and resolves the heavenly bodies into their primeval one element, explains the commentary. "Once disintegrated into its primal constituent by getting within the attraction and reach of a focus, or centre of heat (energy), of which many are carried about to and fro in space, a body, whether alive or dead, will be vapourised and held in "the bosom of the Mother" until Fohat, gathering a few of the clusters of Cosmic matter (nebulae) will, by giving it an impulse, set it in motion anew, develop the required heat, and then leave it to follow its own new growth.
The expanding and contracting of the Web -- i.e., the world stuff or atoms -- expresses here the pulsatory movement; for it is the regular contraction and expansion of the infinite and shoreless Ocean of that which we may call the noumenon of matter emanated by Swabhavat, which causes the universal vibration of atoms. But it is also suggestive of something else. It shows that the ancients were acquainted with that which is now the puzzle of many scientists and especially of astronomers: the cause of the first ignition of matter or the world-stuff, the paradox of the heat produced by the refrigerative contraction and other such Cosmic riddles. For it points unmistakeably to a knowledge by the ancients of such phenomena. "There is heat internal and heat external in every atom," say the manuscript Commentaries, to which the writer has had access; "the breath of the Father (or Spirit) and the breath (or heat) of the Mother (matter);" and they give explanations which show that the modern theory of the extinction of the solar fires by loss of heat through radiation, is erroneous. The assumption is false even on the Scientists' own admission. For as Professor Newcomb points out (Popular Astronomy, pp. 506-508), "by losing heat, a gaseous body contracts, and the heat generated by the contraction exceeds that which it had to lose in order to produce the contraction." This paradox, that a body gets hotter as the shrinking produced by its getting colder is greater, led to long disputes. The surplus of heat, it was argued, was lost by radiation, and to assume that the temperature is not lowered pari passu with a decrease of volume under a constant pressure, is to set at nought the law of Charles (Nebular Theory, Winchell). Contraction develops heat, it is true; but contraction (from cooling) is incapable of developing the whole amount of heat at any time existing in the mass, or even of maintaining a body at a constant temperature, etc. Professor Winchell tries to reconcile the paradox -- only a seeming one in fact, as
Homer Lanes proved, -- by suggesting "something besides heat." "May it not be," he asks, "simply a repulsion among the molecules, which varies according to some law of the distance?" But even this will be found irreconcileable, unless this "something besides heat" is ticketed "Causeless Heat," the "Breath of Fire," the all-creative Force Plus ABSOLUTE INTELLIGENCE, which physical science is not likely to accept.
However it may be, the reading of this Stanza shows it, notwithstanding its archaic phraseology, to be more scientific than even modern science.
STANZA III. -- Continued.
12. THEN SVABHAVAT SENDS FOHAT TO HARDEN THE ATOMS. EACH (of these) IS A PART OF THE WEB (Universe). REFLECTING THE "SELF-EXISTENT LORD" (Primeval Light) LIKE A MIRROR, EACH BECOMES IN TURN A WORLD.* . . .
"Fohat hardens the atoms"; i.e., by infusing energy into them: he scatters the atoms or primordial matter. "He scatters himself while scattering matter into atoms" (MSS. Commentaries.)
It is through Fohat that the ideas of the Universal Mind are impressed upon matter. Some faint idea of the nature of Fohat may be gathered from the appellation "Cosmic Electricity" sometimes applied to it; but to the commonly known properties of electricity must, in this case, be added others, including intelligence. It is of interest to note that modern science has come to the conclusion, that all cerebration and brain-activity are attended by electrical phenomena. (For further details as to "Fohat" See Stanza V. and Comments.")
* This is said in the sense that the flame from a fire is endless, and that the lights of the whole Universe could be lit at one simple rush-light without diminishing its flame.
1. LISTEN, YE SONS OF THE EARTH, TO YOUR INSTRUCTORS -- THE SONS OF THE FIRE (a). LEARN THERE IS NEITHER FIRST NOR LAST; FOR ALL IS ONE NUMBER, ISSUED FROM NO NUMBER (b).
These terms, the "Sons of the Fire," the "Sons of the
Fire-Mist," and the like, require explanation. They are connected with a
great primordial and universal mystery, and it is not easy to make it clear.
There is a passage in the Bhagavatgita (ch. viii.) wherein
THE SEVEN MYSTIC SENSES.
The Agnishwatha, the Kumara (the seven mystic sages), are solar deities, though the former are Pitris also; and these are the "fashioners of the Inner Man." (See Book II.) They are:--
"The Sons of Fire" -- because they are the first Beings (in the Secret Doctrine they are called "Minds"), evolved from Primordial Fire. "The Lord is a consuming Fire" (Deuteronomy iv. 24); "The Lord (Christos) shall be revealed with his mighty angels in flaming fire" (2 Thessal. i. 7, 8). The Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles like "cloven tongues of fire," (Acts ii. v. 3); Vishnu will return on Kalki, the White Horse, as the last Avatar amid fire and flames; and Sosiosh will be brought down equally on a White Horse in a "tornado of fire." "And I saw heaven open and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him . . . . is called the Word of God," (Rev. xix. 13) amid flaming Fire. Fire is AEther in its purest form, and hence is not regarded as matter, but it is the unity of Aether -- the second manifested deity -- in its universality. But there are two "Fires" and a distinction is made between them in the Occult teachings. The first, or the purely Formless and invisible Fire concealed in the Central Spiritual Sun, is spoken of as "triple" (metaphysically); while the Fire of the manifested Kosmos is Septenary, throughout both the Universe and our Solar System. "The fire or knowledge burns up all action on the plane of illusion," says the commentary. "Therefore, those who have acquired it and are emancipated, are called 'Fires.' " Speaking of the seven senses symbolised as Hotris, priests, the Brahmana says in Anugita: "Thus these seven (senses, smell and taste, and colour, and sound, etc., etc.) are the causes of emancipation;" and the commentator adds: "It is from these seven from which the Self is to be emancipated. 'I' (am here devoid of qualities) must mean the Self, not the Brahmana who speaks." ("Sacred Books of the East," ed. by Max Muller, Vol. VIII., 278.)
(b) The expression "All is One Number, issued from No Number" relates again to that universal and philosophical tenet just explained in Stanza III. (Comm. 4). That which is absolute is of course No Number; but in its later significance it has an application in Space as in Time. It means that not only every increment of time is part of a larger increment, up to the most indefinitely prolonged duration conceivable by the human intellect, but also that no manifested thing can
be thought of except as part of a larger whole: the total aggregate being the One manifested Universe that issues from the unmanifested or Absolute -- called Non-Being or "No-Number," to distinguish it from BEING or "the One Number."
STANZA IV. -- Continued.
(2) LEARN WHAT WE, WHO DESCEND FROM THE PRIMORDIAL SEVEN, WE, WHO ARE BORN FROM THE PRIMORDIAL FLAME, HAVE LEARNED FROM OUR FATHERS (a).
(a) This is explained in Book II., and this name, "Primordial Flame," corroborates what is said in the first paragraph of the preceding commentary on Stanza IV.
The distinction between the "Primordial" and the subsequent seven Builders is this: The former are the Ray and direct emanation of the first "Sacred Four," the Tetraktis, that is, the eternally Self-Existent One (Eternal in Essence note well, not in manifestation, and distinct from the universal ONE). Latent, during Pralaya, and active, during Manvantara, the "Primordial" proceed from "Father-Mother" (Spirit-Hyle, or Ilus); whereas the other manifested Quaternary and the Seven proceed from the Mother alone. It is the latter who is the immaculate Virgin-Mother, who is overshadowed, not impregnated, by the Universal MYSTERY -- when she emerges from her state of Laya or undifferentiated condition. In reality, they are, of course, all one; but their aspects on the various planes of being are different. (See Part II., "Theogony of the Creative Gods.")
The first "Primordial" are the highest Beings on the Scale of Existence. They are the Archangels of Christianity, those who refuse -- as Michael did in the latter system, and as did the eldest "Mind-born sons" of Brahma (Veddhas) -- to create or rather to multiply.
STANZA IV. -- Continued.
3. FROM THE EFFULGENCY OF LIGHT -- THE RAY OF THE EVER-DARKNESS -- SPRUNG IN SPACE THE RE-AWAKENED ENERGIES (Dhyan Chohans): THE ONE FROM THE EGG, THE SIX AND THE FIVE (a); THEN THE THREE, THE ONE,
89 THE VEHICLE OF THE UNIVERSE.
THE FOUR, THE ONE, THE FIVE -- THE TWICE SEVEN,
THE SUM TOTAL (b).
AND THESE ARE: THE ESSENCES, THE FLAMES, THE ELEMENTS, THE BUILDERS, THE
NUMBERS, THE ARUPA (formless), THE RUPA (with bodies), AND
THE FORCE OR DIVINE MAN -- THE SUM TOTAL. AND FROM THE DIVINE MAN EMANATED THE
(a) This relates to the sacred Science of the Numerals: so sacred, indeed, and so important in the study of Occultism that the subject can hardly be skimmed, even in such a large work as the present. It is on the Hierarchies and correct numbers of these Beings invisible (to us) except upon very rare occasions, that the mystery of the whole Universe is built. The Kumaras, for instance, are called the "Four" though in reality seven in number, because Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-Kumara are the chief Vaidhatra (their patronymic name), as they spring from the "four-fold mystery." To make the whole clearer we have to turn for our illustrations to tenets more familiar to some of our readers, namely, the Brahminical.
According to Manu, Hiranyagarbha is Brahma the first male formed by the undiscernible Causeless CAUSE in a "Golden Egg resplendent as the Sun," as states the Hindu Classical Dictionary. "Hiranyagarbha" means the golden, or rather the "Effulgent Womb" or Egg. The meaning tallies awkwardly with the epithet of "male." Surely the esoteric meaning of the sentence is clear enough. In the Rig Veda it is said:-- "THAT, the one Lord of all beings . . . . the one animating principle of gods and man," arose, in the beginning, in the Golden Womb, Hiranyagarbha -- which is the Mundane Egg or sphere of our Universe. That Being is surely androgynous, and the allegory of Brahma separating into two and recreating in one of his halves (the female Vach) himself as Viraj, is a proof of it.
"The One from the Egg, the Six and the Five," give the number 1065, the value of the first-born (later on the male and female Brahma-Prajapati), who answers to the numbers 7, and 14, and 21 respectively. The Prajapati are, like the Sephiroth, only seven, including the
* The 4, represented in the Occult numerals by the Tetraktis, the Sacred or Perfect Square, is a Sacred Number with the mystics of every nation and race. It has one and the same significance in Brahmanism, Buddhism, the Kabala and in the Egyptian, Chaldean and other numerical systems.
synthetic Sephira of the triad from which they spring. Thus from Hiranyagarbha or Prajapati, the triune (primeval Vedic Trimurti, Agni, Vayu, and Surya), emanate the other seven, or again ten, if we separate the first three which exist in one, and one in three, all, moreover, being comprehended within that one "supreme" Parama, called Guhya or " secret," and Sarvatma, the "Super-Soul." "The seven Lords of Being lie concealed in Sarvatma like thoughts in one brain." So are the Sephiroth. It is either seven when counting from the upper Triad headed by Kether, or ten -- exoterically. In the Mahabharata the Prajapati are 21 in number, or ten, six, and five (1065), thrice seven.*
(b) "The Three, the One, the Four, the One, the Five" (in their totality -- twice seven) represent 31415 -- the numerical hierarchy of the Dhyan-Chohans of various orders, and of the inner or circumscribed world.** When placed on the boundary of the great circle of "Pass not" (see Stanza V.), called also the Dhyanipasa, the "rope of the Angels," the "rope" that hedges off the phenomenal from the noumenal Kosmos, (not falling within the range of our present objective consciousness); this number, when not enlarged by permutation and expansion, is ever 31415 anagrammatically and Kabalistically, being both the number of the circle and the mystic Svastica, the twice seven once more; for whatever way the two sets of figures are counted, when added separately, one figure after another, whether crossways, from right or from left, they will always yield fourteen. Mathematically they represent the well-known calculation, namely, that the ratio of the diameter to the circumference of a circle is as 1 to 3.1415, or the value of the (pi), as this ratio is called -- the symbol being always used in
* In the Kabala the same numbers are a value of Jehovah, viz., 1065, since the numerical values of the three letters which compose his name -- Jod, Vau and twice He -- are respectively 10 ( [[hebrew]]), 6 ( [[hebrew]]) and 5 ( [[hebrew]]); or again thrice seven, 21. "Ten is the Mother of the Soul, for Life and Light are therein united," says Hermes. "For number one is born of the Spirit and the number ten from matter (chaos, feminine); the unity has made the ten, the ten the unity" (Book of the Keys). By the means of the Temura, the anagrammatical method of the Kabala, and the knowledge of 1065 (21), a universal science may be obtained regarding Kosmos and its mysteries" (Rabbi Yogel). The Rabbis regard the numbers 10, 6, and 5 as the most sacred of all.
** The reader may be told that an American Kabalist has now discovered the same number for the Elohim. It came to the Jews from Chaldaea. See "Hebrew Metrology" in the Masonic Review, July, 1885, McMillan Lodge, No. 141.
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTIONS.
mathematical formulae to express it. This set of figures must have the same meaning, since the 1 : 314,159, and then again 1 : 3 : 1,415,927 are worked out in the secret calculations to express the various cycles and ages of the "first born," or 311,040,000,000,000 with fractions, and yield the same 13,415 by a process we are not concerned with at present. And it may be shown that Mr. Ralston Skinner, author of The Source of Measures, reads the Hebrew word Alhim in the same number values, by omitting, as said, the ciphers and by permutation -- 13,514: since [[hebrew]] (a) is 1 : [[hebrew]] (l) is 3 (or 30); [[hebrew]] (h) is 5; [[hebrew]] (i) 1 for 10; and [[hebrew]] (m) is 4 (40), and anagrammatically -- 31,415 as explained by him.
Thus, while in the metaphysical world, the circle with the one central Point in it has no number, and is called Anupadaka (parentless and numberless) -- viz., it can fall under no calculation, -- in the manifested world the mundane Egg or Circle is circumscribed within the groups called the Line, the Triangle, the Pentacle, the second Line and the Cube (or 13514); and when the Point having generated a Line, thus becomes a diameter which stands for the androgynous Logos, then the figures become 31415, or a triangle, a line, a cube, the second line, and a pentacle. "When the Son separates from the Mother he becomes the Father," the diameter standing for Nature, or the feminine principle. Therefore it is said: "In the world of being, the one Point fructifies the Line -- the Virgin Matrix of Kosmos (the egg-shaped zero) -- and the immaculate Mother gives birth to the form that combines all forms." Prajapati is called the first procreating male, and "his Mother's husband."* This gives the key-note to all the later divine sons from immaculate mothers. It is greatly corroborated by the significant fact that Anna (the name of the Mother of the Virgin Mary) now represented by the Roman Catholic church as having given birth to her daughter in an immaculate way ("Mary conceived without sin"), is derived from the Chaldean Ana, heaven, or Astral Light, Anima Mundi; whence Anaitia, Devi-durga, the wife of Siva, is also called Annapurna,
* We find the same
and Kanya, the Virgin; "Uma-Kanya" being her esoteric name, and meaning the "Virgin of light," Astral Light in one of its multitudinous aspects.
(c) The Devas, Pitris, Rishis; the Suras and the Asuras; the Daityas and Adityas; the Danavas and Gandharvas, etc., etc., have all their synonyms in our Secret Doctrine, as well as in the Kabala and the Hebrew Angelology; but it is useless to give their ancient names, as it would only create confusion. Many of these may be also found now, even in the Christian hierarchy of divine and celestial powers. All those Thrones and Dominions, Virtues and Principalities, Cherubs, Seraphs and demons, the various denizens of the Sidereal World, are the modern copies of archaic prototypes. The very symbolism in their names, when transliterated and arranged in Greek and Latin, are sufficient to show it, as will be proved in several cases further on.
The "Sacred Animals" are found in the Bible as well as in the Kabala, and they have their meaning (a very profound one, too) on the page of the origins of Life. In the Sepher Jezirah it is stated that "God engraved in the Holy Four the throne of his glory, the Ophanim (Wheels or the World-Spheres), the Seraphim,* the Sacred Animals, and the ministering angels, and from these three (the Air, Water, and Fire or Ether) he formed his habitation." Thus was the world made "through three Seraphim -- Sepher, Saphar, and Sipur," or "through Number, Numbers, and Numbered." With the astronomical key these "Sacred Animals" become the signs of the Zodiac.
* This is the literal
translation from the IXth and Xth Sections: "Ten numbers without what?
One: the spirit of the living God . . . . who liveth
in eternities! Voice and Spirit and Word, and this is
the Holy Spirit. Two: Spirit out of Spirit. He designed and hewed therewith
twenty-two letters of foundation, three Mothers and seven double and Twelve single, and one spirit out of them. Three: Water out
of spirit; he designed and hewed with them the barren and the void, mud and
earth. He designed them as a flowerbed, hewed them as a wall, covered them as a paving. Four: Fire out of water. He
designed and hewed therewith the throne of glory and the wheels, and the
seraphim and the holy animals and the ministering angels, and of the three He
founded his dwelling, as it is said, He makes his angels spirits and his
servants fiery flames!" Which words "founded his dwelling" show
clearly that in the Kabala, as in
THE POTENCY OF SPEECH AND SOUND.
STANZA IV. -- Continued.
THIS WAS THE ARMY OF THE VOICE -- THE DIVINE SEPTENARY. THE
This Sloka gives again a brief analysis of the Hierarchies of the Dhyan
Chohans, called Devas (gods) in
-- "When our Soul (mind) creates or evokes a thought, the representative sign of that thought is self-engraved upon the astral fluid, which is the receptacle and, so to say, the mirror of all the manifestations of being.
"The sign expresses the thing: the thing is the (hidden or occult) virtue of the sign.
"To pronounce a word is to evoke a thought, and make it present: the magnetic potency of the human speech is the commencement of every manifestation in the Occult World. To utter a Name is not only to define a Being (an Entity), but to place it under and condemn it through the emission of the Word (Verbum), to the influence of one or more Occult potencies. Things are, for every one of us, that which it (the Word) makes them while naming them. The Word (Verbum) or the speech of every man is, quite unconsciously to himself, a BLESSING or a CURSE; this is why our present ignorance about the properties or attributes of the IDEA as well as about the attributes and properties of MATTER, is often fatal to us.
* The literal signification of the word is, among the Eastern Occultists of the North, a circular wind, whirlwind; but in this instance, it is a term to denote the ceaseless and eternal Cosmic Motion; or rather the Force that moves it, which Force is tacitly accepted as the Deity but never named. It is the eternal Karana, the ever-acting Cause.
"Yes, names (and words) are either BENEFICENT or MALEFICENT; they are, in a certain sense, either venomous or health-giving, according to the hidden influences attached by Supreme Wisdom to their elements, that is to say, to the LETTERS which compose them, and the NUMBERS correlative to these letters."
This is strictly true as an esoteric teaching accepted by all the Eastern Schools of Occultism. In the Sanskrit, as also in the Hebrew and all other alphabets, every letter has its occult meaning and its rationale; it is a cause and an effect of a preceding cause and a combination of these very often produces the most magical effect. The vowels, especially, contain the most occult and formidable potencies. The Mantras (esoterically, magical rather than religious) are chanted by the Brahmins and so are the Vedas and other Scriptures.
The "Army of the Voice," is the prototype of the "Host of the Logos," or the "WORD" of the Sepher Jezirah, called in the Secret Doctrine "the One Number issued from No-Number" -- the One Eternal Principle. The esoteric theogony begins with the One, manifested, therefore not eternal in its presence and being, if eternal in its essence; the number of the numbers and numbered -- the latter proceeding from the Voice, the feminine Vach, Satarupa "of the hundred forms," or Nature. It is from this number 10, or creative nature, the Mother (the occult cypher, or "nought," ever procreating and multiplying in union with the Unit "I," one, or the Spirit of Life), that the whole Universe proceeded.
In the Anugita a conversation is given (ch. vi., 15) between a Brahmana and his wife, on the origin of Speech and its occult properties.* The wife asks how Speech came into existence, and which was prior to the other, Speech or Mind. The Brahmana tells her that the Apana (inspirational breath) becoming lord, changes that intelligence, which does not understand Speech or Words, into the state of Apana, and thus opens the mind. Thereupon he tells her a story, a dialogue between Speech and Mind. "Both went to the Self of Being (i.e., to the individual Higher Self, as Nilakantha thinks, to Prajapati, according to the commentator Arjuna Misra), and asked him to destroy their doubts and decide which of them preceded and was superior to the
* Anugita forms part of the Asvamedha Parvan of the "Mahabharata." The translator of the Bhagavatgita, edited by Max Muller, regards it as a continuation of the Bhagavatgita. Its original is one of the oldest Upanishads.
SPEECH AND MIND.
other. To this the lord said: 'Mind is
This allegory is at the root of the Occult law, which prescribes silence upon the knowledge of certain secret and invisible things perceptible only to the spiritual mind (the 6th sense), and which cannot be expressed by "noisy" or uttered speech. This chapter of Anugita explains, says Arjuna Misra, Pranayama, or regulation of the breath in Yoga practices. This mode, however, without the previous acquisition of, or at least full understanding of the two higher senses, of which there are seven, as will be shown, pertains rather to the lower Yoga. The Hatha so called was and still is discountenanced by the Arhats. It is injurious to the health and alone can never develop into Raj Yoga. This story is quoted to show how inseparably connected are, in the metaphysics of old, intelligent beings, or rather "Intelligences," with every sense or function whether physical or mental. The Occult claim that there are seven senses in man, as in nature, as there are seven states of consciousness, is corroborated in the same work, chapter vii., on Pratyahara (the restraint and regulation of the senses, Pranayama being that of the "vital winds" or breath). The Brahmana speaks in it "of the institution of the seven sacrificial Priests (Hotris). He says: "The nose and the eyes, and the tongue, and the skin and the ear as the fifth (or smell, sight, taste, touch and hearing), mind and understanding are the seven sacrificial priests separately stationed"; and which "dwelling in a minute space (still) do not perceive each other" on this sensuous plane, none of them except mind. For mind says: "The nose smells not without me, the eye does not take in colour, etc., etc. I am the eternal chief among all elements (i.e., senses). Without me, the senses never shine, like an empty dwelling, or like fires the flames of which are extinct. Without me, all beings, like fuel half dried and half moist, fail to apprehend qualities or objects even with the senses exerting themselves."*
This, of course, with regard only to mind on the sensuous plane. Spiritual mind (the upper portion or aspect of the impersonal MANAS) takes no cognisance of the senses in physical man. How well the ancients were acquainted with the correlation of forces and all the recently discovered phenomena of mental and physical faculties and functions, with many more mysteries also -- may be found in reading chapters vii. and viii. of this (in philosophy and mystic learning) priceless work. See the quarrel of the senses about their respective superiority and their taking the Brahman, the lord of all creatures, for their arbiter. "You are all greatest and not greatest," or superior to objects, as A. Misra says, none being independent of the other. "You are all possessed of one another's qualities. All are greatest in their own spheres and all support one another. There is one unmoving (life-wind or breath, the 'Yoga inhalation,' so called, which is the breath of the One or Higher SELF). That is the (or my) own Self, accumulated in numerous (forms)."
This Breath, Voice, Self or "Wind" (pneuma?) is the Synthesis of the Seven Senses, noumenally all minor deities and esoterically -- the septenary and the "Army of the VOICE."
* This shows the modern metaphysicians, added to all past and present Haegels, Berkeleys, Schopenhauers, Hartmanns, Herbert Spencers, and even the modern Hylo-Idealists to boot, no better than the pale copyists of hoary antiquity.
NATURE, THE PERPETUAL MOTION.
(b) Next we see Cosmic matter scattering and forming itself into elements; grouped into the mystic four within the fifth element -- Ether, the lining of Akasa, the Anima Mundi or Mother of Kosmos. "Dots, Lines, Triangles, Cubes, Circles" and finally "Spheres" -- why or how? Because, says the Commentary, such is the first law of Nature, and because Nature geometrizes universally in all her manifestations. There is an inherent law -- not only in the primordial, but also in the manifested matter of our phenomenal plane -- by which Nature correlates her geometrical forms, and later, also, her compound elements; and in which there is no place for accident or chance. It is a fundamental law in Occultism, that there is no rest or cessation of motion in Nature.* That which seems rest is only the change of one form into another; the change of substance going hand in hand with that of form -- as we are taught in Occult physics, which thus seem to have anticipated the discovery of the "Conservation of matter" by a considerable time. Says the ancient Commentary** to Stanza IV.:--
"The Mother is the fiery Fish of Life. She scatters her spawn and the Breath (Motion) heats and quickens it. The grains (of spawn) are soon attracted to each other and form the curds in the Ocean (of Space). The larger lumps coalesce and receive new spawn -- in fiery dots, triangles and cubes, which ripen, and at the appointed time some of the lumps detach themselves and assume spheroidal form, a process which they effect only when not interfered with by the others. After which, law No. * * * comes into operation. Motion (the Breath) becomes the whirlwind and sets them into rotation."***
* It is the knowledge of this law that permits and helps the Arhat to perform his Siddhis, or various phenomena, such as disintegration of matter, the transport of objects from one place to another.
** These are ancient Commentaries attached with modern Glossaries to the Stanzas, as the Commentaries in their symbolical language are usually as difficult to understand as the Stanzas themselves.
*** In a polemical scientific work, "The Modern Genesis," the author, the Rev. W. B. Slaughter, criticising the position assumed by the astronomers, asks:-- "It is to be regretted that the advocates of this (nebular) theory have not entered more largely into the discussion of it (the beginning of rotation). No one condescends to give us the rationale of it. How does the process of cooling and contracting the mass impart to it a rotatory motion?" The question is amply treated in the Addendum. It is not materialistic science that can ever solve it. "Motion is eternal in the unmanifested, and periodical in the manifest," says an Occult teaching. It is "when heat caused by the descent of FLAME into primordial matter causes its particles to move, which motion becomes Whirlwind." A drop of liquid assumes a spheroidal form owing to its atoms moving around themselves in their ultimate, unresolvable, and noumenal essence; unresolvable for physical science, at any rate.
STANZA IV. -- Continued.
5. . . . . . WHICH IS:----
"DARKNESS," THE BOUNDLESS OR THE NO-NUMBER, ADI-NIDANA SVABHAVAT: THE [[diagram]] (for x, unknown quantity):
I. THE ADI-SANAT, THE NUMBER, FOR HE IS ONE (a).
II. THE VOICE OF THE WORD, SVABHAVAT, THE NUMBERS, FOR HE IS ONE AND NINE.*
III. THE "FORMLESS SQUARE." (Arupa.) (b).
AND THESE THREE ENCLOSED WITHIN THE [[diagram]] (boundless circle), ARE THE SACRED FOUR, AND THE TEN ARE THE ARUPA (subjective, formless) UNIVERSE (c); THEN COME THE "SONS," THE SEVEN FIGHTERS, THE ONE, THE EIGHTH LEFT OUT, AND HIS BREATH WHICH IS THE LIGHT-MAKER (Bhaskara) (d).
(a) "Adi-Sanat," translated literally is the First or "primeval" ancient, which name identifies the Kabalistic "Ancient of Days" and the "Holy Aged" (Sephira and Adam Kadmon) with Brahma the Creator, called also Sanat among his other names and titles.
Svabhavat is the mystic Essence, the plastic root of physical Nature -- "Numbers" when manifested; the Number, in its Unity of Substance, on the highest plane. The name is of Buddhist use and a Synonym for the four-fold Anima Mundi, the Kabalistic "Archetypal World," from whence proceed the "Creative, Formative, and the
* Which makes ten, or the perfect number applied to the "Creator," the name given to the totality of the Creators blended by the Monotheists into One, as the "Elohim," Adam Kadmon or Sephira -- the Crown -- are the androgyne synthesis of the 10 Sephiroth, who stand for the symbol of the manifested Universe in the popularised Kabala. The esoteric Kabalists, however, following the Eastern Occultists, divide the upper Sephirothal triangle from the rest (or Sephira, Chochmah and Binah), which leaves seven Sephiroth. As for Svabhavat, the Orientalists explain the term as meaning the Universal plastic matter diffused through Space, with, perhaps, half an eye to the Ether of Science. But the Occultists identify it with "FATHER-MOTHER" on the mystic plane. (Vide supra.)
THE OGDOAD AND HEPTAD.
Material Worlds"; the Scintillae or
(b) [[diagram]] This means that the "Boundless Circle" (Zero) becomes a figure or number, only when one of the nine figures precedes it, and thus manifests its value and potency, the Word or Logos in union with VOICE and Spirit* (the expression and source of Consciousness) standing for the nine figures and thus forming, with the Cypher, the Decade which contains in itself all the Universe. The triad forms within the circle the Tetraktis or Sacred Four, the Square within the Circle being the most potent of all the magical figures.
(c) The "One Rejected" is the Sun of our system. The exoteric version may be found in the oldest Sanskrit Scriptures. In the Rig Veda, Aditi, "The Boundless" or infinite Space, translated by Mr. Max Muller, "the visible infinite, visible by the naked eye (!!); the endless expanse beyond the Earth, beyond the clouds, beyond the sky," is the equivalent of "Mother-Space" coeval with "Darkness." She is very properly called "The Mother of the Gods," DEVA-MATRI, as it is from her Cosmic matrix that all the heavenly bodies of our system were born -- Sun and Planets. Thus she is described, allegorically, in this wise: "Eight Sons were born from the body of Aditi; she approached the gods with seven, but cast away the eighth, Martanda," our sun. The seven sons called the Aditya are, cosmically or astronomically, the seven planets; and the Sun being excluded from their number shows plainly that the Hindus may have known, and in fact knew of a seventh planet, without calling it Uranus.** But esoterically and theologically,
* "In union with the Spirit and the Voice," referring to the Abstract Thought and concrete Voice, or the manifestation thereof, the effect of the Cause. Adam Kadmon or Tetragrammaton is the Logos in the Kabala; therefore this triad answers in the latter to the highest triangle of Kether, Chochmah and Binah, the last a female potency and at the same time the male Jehovah, as partaking of the nature of Chochmah, or the male Wisdom.
** The Secret Doctrine teaches that the Sun is a central Star and not a planet. Yet the Ancients knew of and worshipped seven great gods, excluding the Sun and Earth. Which was that "Mystery God" they set apart? Of course not Uranus, discovered only by Herschel in 1781. But could it not be known by another name? Says the author of "Maconnerie Occulte":-- "Occult Sciences having discovered through astronomical calculations that the number of the planets must be seven, the ancients were led to introduce the Sun into the scale of the celestial harmonies, and make him occupy the vacant place. Thus, every time they perceived an influence that pertained to none of the six planets known, they attributed it to the Sun. The error only seems important, but was not so in practical results, if the ancient astrologers replaced Uranus by the Sun, which is a central Star relatively motionless, turning only on its axis and regulating time and measure; and which cannot be turned aside from its true functions." . . . . . . The nomenclature of the days of the week is thus faulty. "The Sun-Day ought to be Uranus-day (Urani dies, Urandi)," adds the learned writer, Ragon.
so to say, the Adityas are, in their primitive most ancient meanings, the eight, and the twelve great gods of the Hindu Pantheon. "The Seven allow the mortals to see their dwellings, but show themselves only to the Arhats," says an old proverb, "their dwellings" standing here for planets. The ancient Commentary gives an allegory and explains it:--
"Eight houses were built by Mother. Eight houses for her Eight Divine sons; four large and four small ones. Eight brilliant suns, according to their age and merits. Bal-ilu (Martanda) was not satisfied, though his house was the largest. He began (to work) as the huge elephants do. He breathed (drew in) into his stomach the vital airs of his brothers. He sought to devour them. The larger four were far away; far, on the margin of their kingdom.* They were not robbed (affected), and laughed. Do your worst, Sir, you cannot reach us, they said. But the smaller wept. They complained to the Mother. She exiled Bal-i-lu to the centre of her Kingdom, from whence he could not move. (Since then) he (only) watches and threatens. He pursues them, turning slowly around himself, they turning swiftly from him, and he following from afar the direction in which his brothers move on the path that encircles their houses.** From that day he feeds on the sweat of the Mother's body. He fills himself with her breath and refuse. Therefore, she rejected him."
Thus the "rejected Son" being our Sun, evidently, as shown above, the "Sun-Sons" refer not only to our planets but to the heavenly bodies in general. Himself only a reflection of the Central Spiritual Sun, Surya is the prototype of all those bodies that evolved after him. In the Vedas he is called Loka-Chakshuh, "the Eye of the World" (our
* Planetary System.
** "The Sun rotates on his axis always in the same direction in which the planets revolve in their respective orbits," astronomy teaches us.
FIRE, THE GREAT SYMBOL OF DEITY.
planetary world), and he is one of the three chief deities. He is called indifferently the Son of Dyaus and of Aditi, because no distinction is made with reference to, or scope allowed for, the esoteric meaning. Thus he is depicted as drawn by seven horses, and by one horse with seven heads; the former referring to his seven planets, the latter to their one common origin from the One Cosmic Element. This "One Element" is called figuratively "FIRE." The Vedas (Aitareya-Brahmana of Haug also; p. i) teach "that the fire verily is all the deities." (Narada in Anugita).
The meaning of the allegory is plain, for we have both the Dzyan Commentary and modern science to explain it, though the two differ in more than one particular. The Occult Doctrine rejects the hypothesis born out of the Nebular Theory, that the (seven) great planets have evolved from the Sun's central mass, not of this our visible Sun, at any rate. The first condensation of Cosmic matter of course took place about a central nucleus, its parent Sun; but our sun, it is taught, merely detached itself earlier than all the others, as the rotating mass contracted, and is their elder, bigger brother therefore, not their father. The eight Adityas, "the gods," are all formed from the eternal substance (Cometary matter* -- the Mother) or the "World-Stuff " which is both the fifth and the sixth COSMIC Principle, the Upadhi or basis of the Universal Soul, just as in man, the Microcosm, Manas** is the Upadhi of Buddhi.***
(d) There is a whole poem on the pregenetic battles fought by the growing planets before the final formation of Kosmos, thus accounting for the seemingly disturbed position of the systems of several planets, the plane of the satellites of some (of Neptune and Uranus, for instance, of which the ancients knew nothing, it is said) being tilted over, thus giving them an appearance of retrograde motion. These planets are called the warriors, the Architects, and are accepted by the
* This Essence of Cometary matter, Occult Science teaches, is totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which modern science is acquainted. It is homogeneous in its primitive form beyond the Solar Systems, and differentiates entirely once it crosses the boundaries of our Earth's region, vitiated by the atmospheres of the planets and the already compound matter of the interplanetary stuff, heterogeneous only in our manifested world.
** Manas -- the Mind-Principle, or the human Soul.
*** Buddhi -- the divine Soul.
Roman Church as the leaders of the heavenly Hosts, thus showing the same traditions. Having evolved from Cosmic Space, and before the final formation of the primaries and the annulation of the planetary nebula, the Sun, we are taught, drew into the depths of its mass all the Cosmic vitality he could, threatening to engulf his weaker "brothers" before the law of attraction and repulsion was finally adjusted; after which he began feeding on "The Mother's refuse and sweat"; in other words, on those portions of Ether (the "breath of the Universal Soul") of the existence and constitution of which science is as yet absolutely ignorant. A theory of this kind having been propounded by Sir William Grove (see "Correlation of the Physical Forces," 1843, p. 81; and "Address to the British Association, 1866"), who theorized that the systems "are gradually changing by atmospheric additions or subtractions, or by accretions and diminutions arising from nebular substances" . . . and again that "the Sun may condense gaseous matter as it travels in Space and so heat may be produced" -- the archaic teaching seems scientific enough, even in this age.* Mr. W. Mattieu Williams suggested that the diffused matter or Ether which is the recipient of the heat radiations of the Universe is thereby drawn into the depths of the solar mass. Expelling thence the previously condensed and thermally exhausted Ether, it becomes compressed and gives up its heat, to be in turn itself driven out in a rarified and cooled state, to absorb a fresh supply of heat, which he supposes to be in this way taken up by the Ether, and again concentrated and redistributed by the Suns of the Universe.**
is about as close an approximation to the Occult teachings as Science ever
imagined; for Occultism explains it by "the dead breath" given back
by Martanda and his feeding on the "sweat and refuse" of "Mother
Space." What could affect
* Very similar ideas in Mr. W. Mattieu Williams' "The Fuel of the Sun;" in Dr. C. William Siemens' "On the Conservation of Solar Energy" (Nature, XXV., p. 440-444, March 9, 1882); and also in Dr. P. Martin Duncan's "Address of the President of the Geological Society," London, May, 1877.
** See "Comparative Geology," by Alexander Winchell, LL.D., p. 56.
*** When we speak of
THE STELLAR "SONS OF LIGHT."
but little, would have killed such comparatively small "Houses" as Mercury, Venus and Mars. As Uranus was not known before the end of the eighteenth century, the name of the fourth planet mentioned in the allegory must remain to us, so far, a mystery.
"Breath" of all the "seven" is said to be Bhaskara
(light-making), because they (the planets) were all comets and suns in their
origin. They evolve into Manvantaric life from primaeval Chaos (now the
noumenon of irresolvable nebulae) by aggregation and accumulation of the
primary differentiations of the eternal matter, according to the beautiful
expression in the Commentary, "Thus the Sons of Light clothed themselves in the fabric of Darkness." They are called
allegorically "the Heavenly Snails," on account of their (to us)
formless INTELLIGENCES inhabiting unseen their starry and planetary homes, and,
so to speak, carrying them as the snails do along with themselves in their
revolution. The doctrine of a common origin for all the heavenly bodies and
planets, was, as we see, inculcated by the Archaic
astronomers, before Kepler,
STANZA IV. -- Continued.
6. . . . . THEN THE SECOND SEVEN, WHO ARE THE LIPIKA, PRODUCED BY THE THREE (Word, Voice, and Spirit). THE REJECTED SON IS ONE, THE "SON-SUNS" ARE COUNTLESS.
Lipi-ka, from the word lipi, "writing," means literally the "Scribes."*
Mystically, these Divine Beings are connected with Karma, the Law of
Retribution, for they are the Recorders or Annalists who impress on the (to us)
invisible tablets of the Astral Light, "the great picture-gallery of eternity"
-- a faithful record of every act, and even thought, of man, of all that was,
is, or ever will be, in the phenomenal Universe. As said in "
The forty "Assessors" who stand in the region of Amenti as the accusers of the Soul before Osiris, belong to the same class of deities as the Lipika, and might stand paralleled, were not the Egyptian gods so
* These are the four "Immortals" which are mentioned in Atharva Veda as the "Watchers" or Guardians of the four quarters of the sky (see ch. lxxvi., 1-4, et seq.).
** "Conflict between Religion and Science." -- Draper, pp. 132 and 133.
THE DIVINE RECORDERS.
little understood in their esoteric meaning. The Hindu Chitra-Gupta who reads out the account of every Soul's life from his register, called Agra-Sandhani; the "Assessors" who read theirs from the heart of the defunct, which becomes an open book before (whether) Yama, Minos, Osiris, or Karma -- are all so many copies of, and variants from the Lipika, and their Astral Records. Nevertheless, the Lipi-ka are not deities connected with Death, but with Life Eternal.
Connected as the Lipika are with the destiny of every man and the birth of every child, whose life is already traced in the Astral Light not fatalistically, but only because the future, like the PAST, is ever alive in the PRESENT -- they may also be said to exercise an influence on the Science of Horoscopy. We must admit the truth of the latter whether we will or not. For, as observed by one of the modern adepts of Astrology, "Now that photography has revealed to us the chemical influence of the Sidereal system, by fixing on the sensitized plate of the apparatus milliards of stars and planets that had hitherto baffled the efforts of the most powerful telescopes to discover them, it becomes easier to understand how our solar system can, at the birth of a child, influence his brain -- virgin of any impression -- in a definite manner and according to the presence on the zenith of such or another zodiacal constellation."**
** Les Mysteres de l'Horoscope, p. XI.
1. THE PRIMORDIAL SEVEN, THE FIRST SEVEN BREATHS OF THE DRAGON OF WISDOM, PRODUCE IN THEIR TURN FROM THEIR HOLY CIRCUMGYRATING BREATHS THE FIERY WHIRLWIND (a).
(a) This is, perhaps, the most difficult of all the Stanzas to explain. Its language is comprehensible only to him who is thoroughly versed in Eastern allegory and its purposely obscure phraseology. The question will surely be asked, "Do the Occultists believe in all these 'Builders,' 'Lipika,' and 'Sons of Light' as Entities, or are they merely imageries?" To this the answer is given as plainly: "After due allowance for the imagery of personified Powers, we must admit the existence of these Entities, if we would not reject the existence of spiritual humanity within physical mankind. For the hosts of these Sons of Light and 'Mind-born Sons' of the first manifested Ray of the UNKNOWN ALL, are the very root of spiritual man." Unless we want to believe the unphilosophical dogma of a specially created soul for every human birth -- a fresh supply of these pouring in daily, since "Adam" -- we have to admit the occult teachings. This will be explained in its place. Let us see, now, what may be the occult meaning of this Stanza.
The Doctrine teaches that, in order to become a divine, fully conscious god, -- aye, even the highest -- the Spiritual primeval INTELLIGENCES must pass through the human stage. And when we say human, this does not apply merely to our terrestrial humanity, but to the mortals that inhabit any world, i.e., to those Intelligences that have reached the appropriate equilibrium between matter and spirit, as we have now, since the middle point of the Fourth Root Race of the Fourth Round was passed. Each Entity must have won for itself the right of becoming divine, through self-experience. Hegel, the great German thinker, must have known or sensed intuitionally this truth when saying, as he did, that the Unconscious evolved the Universe only "in the hope of attaining clear self-consciousness," of becoming, in other words, MAN; for this is also the secret meaning of the usual Puranic phrase about
NO MAN -- NO GOD.
Brahma being constantly "moved by the desire to create." This explains also the hidden Kabalistic meaning of the saying: "The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god." The Mind-born Sons, the Rishis, the Builders, etc., were all men -- of whatever forms and shapes -- in other worlds and the preceding Manvantaras.
This subject, being so very mystical, is therefore the most difficult to explain in all its details and bearings; since the whole mystery of evolutionary creation is contained in it. A sentence or two in it vividly recalls to mind similar ones in the Kabala and the phraseology of the King Psalmist (civ.), as both, when speaking of God, show him making the wind his messenger and his "ministers a flaming fire." But in the Esoteric doctrine it is used figuratively. The "fiery Wind" is the incandescent Cosmic dust which only follows magnetically, as the iron filings follow the magnet, the directing thought of the "Creative Forces." Yet, this cosmic dust is something more; for every atom in the Universe has the potentiality of self-consciousness in it, and is, like the Monads of Leibnitz, a Universe in itself, and for itself. It is an atom and an angel.
this connection it should be noted that one of the luminaries of the modern
STANZA V. -- Continued.
2. THEY MAKE OF HIM THE MESSENGER OF THEIR WILL (a). THE DZYU BECOMES FOHAT; THE SWIFT SON OF THE DIVINE SONS, WHOSE SONS ARE THE LIPIKA,* RUNS CIRCULAR ERRANDS. HE IS THE STEED, AND
* The difference between the "Builders," the Planetary Spirits, and the Lipika must not be lost sight of. (See Nos. 5 and 6 of this Commentary.)
THE THOUGHT IS THE RIDER (i.e., he is under the influence of their guiding thought). HE PASSES LIKE LIGHTNING THROUGH THE FIERY CLOUDS (cosmic mists) (b); TAKES THREE, AND FIVE, AND SEVEN STRIDES THROUGH THE SEVEN REGIONS ABOVE AND THE SEVEN BELOW (the world to be). HE LIFTS HIS VOICE, AND CALLS THE INNUMERABLE SPARKS (atoms) AND JOINS THEM TOGETHER (c).
(a) This shows the "Primordial Seven" using for their Vahan (vehicle, or the manifested subject which becomes the symbol of the Power directing it), Fohat, called in consequence, the "Messenger of their will" -- the fiery whirlwind.
"Dzyu becomes Fohat" -- the expression itself shows it. Dzyu is the one real (magical) knowledge, or Occult Wisdom; which, dealing with eternal truths and primal causes, becomes almost omnipotence when applied in the right direction. Its antithesis is Dzyu-mi, that which deals with illusions and false appearances only, as in our exoteric modern sciences. In this case, Dzyu is the expression of the collective Wisdom of the Dhyani-Buddhas.
(b) As the reader is supposed not to be acquainted with the Dhyani-Buddhas, it is as well to say at once that, according to the Orientalists, there are five Dhyanis who are the "celestial" Buddhas, of whom the human Buddhas are the manifestations in the world of form and matter. Esoterically, however, the Dhyani-Buddhas are seven, of whom five only have hitherto manifested,* and two are to come in the sixth and seventh Root-races. They are, so to speak, the eternal prototypes of the Buddhas who appear on this earth, each of whom has his particular divine prototype. So, for instance, Amitabha is the Dhyani-Buddha of Gautama Sakyamuni, manifesting through him whenever this great Soul incarnates on earth as He did in Tzon-kha-pa.** As the synthesis of the seven Dhyani-Buddhas, Avalokiteswara was the first Buddha (the Logos), so Amitabha is the inner "God" of Gautama, who, in China, is called Amita(-Buddha). They are, as Mr. Rhys Davids
* See A. P. Sinnett's "Esoteric Buddhism," 5th annotated edition, pp. 171-173.
** The first and greatest Reformer who founded the "Yellow-Caps," Gyalugpas. He was born in the year 1355 A.D. in Amdo, and was the Avatar of Amitabha, the celestial name of Gautama Buddha.
THEOGONY OF THE CREATORS.
correctly states, "the glorious counterparts in the mystic world, free from the debasing conditions of this material life" of every earthly mortal Buddha -- the liberated Manushi-Buddhas appointed to govern the Earth in this Round. They are the "Buddhas of Contemplation," and are all Anupadaka (parentless), i.e., self-born of divine essence. The exoteric teaching which says that every Dhyani-Buddha has the faculty of creating from himself, an equally celestial son -- a Dhyani-Bodhisattva -- who, after the decease of the Manushi (human) Buddha, has to carry out the work of the latter, rests on the fact that owing to the highest initiation performed by one overshadowed by the "Spirit of Buddha" -- (who is credited by the Orientalists with having created the five Dhyani-Buddhas!), -- a candidate becomes virtually a Bodhisattva, created such by the High Initiator.
(c) Fohat, being one of the most, if not the most important character in esoteric Cosmogony, should be minutely described. As in the oldest Grecian Cosmogony, differing widely from the later mythology, Eros is the third person in the primeval trinity: Chaos, Gaea, Eros: answering to the Kabalistic En-Soph (for Chaos is SPACE, [[chaino]], "void") the Boundless ALL, Shekinah and the Ancient of Days, or the Holy Ghost; so Fohat is one thing in the yet unmanifested Universe and another in the phenomenal and Cosmic World. In the latter, he is that Occult, electric, vital power, which, under the Will of the Creative Logos, unites and brings together all forms, giving them the first impulse which becomes in time law. But in the unmanifested Universe, Fohat is no more this, than Eros is the later brilliant winged Cupid, or LOVE. Fohat has naught to do with Kosmos yet, since Kosmos is not born, and the gods still sleep in the bosom of "Father-Mother." He is an abstract philosophical idea. He produces nothing yet by himself; he is simply that potential creative power in virtue of whose action the NOUMENON of all future phenomena divides, so to speak, but to reunite in a mystic supersensuous act, and emit the creative ray. When the "Divine Son" breaks forth, then Fohat becomes the propelling force, the active Power which causes the ONE to become TWO and THREE -- on the Cosmic plane of manifestation. The triple One differentiates into the many, and then Fohat is transformed into that force which brings together the elemental atoms and makes them aggregate and combine. We find an echo of this primeval teaching in early Greek mythology. Erebos and Nux are born out of Chaos, and, under the action of Eros, give birth in their turn to Ether and Hemera, the light of the superior and the light of the inferior or terrestrial regions. Darkness generates light. See in the Puranas Brahma's "Will" or desire to create; and in the Phoenician Cosmogony of Sanchoniathon the doctrine that Desire, [[pothos]], is the principle of creation.
Fohat is closely related to the "ONE LIFE." From the Unknown One, the Infinite TOTALITY, the manifested ONE, or the periodical, Manvantaric Deity, emanates; and this is the Universal Mind, which, separated from its Fountain-Source, is the Demiurgos or the creative Logos of the Western Kabalists, and the four-faced Brahma of the Hindu religion. In its totality, viewed from the standpoint of manifested Divine Thought in the esoteric doctrine, it represents the Hosts of the higher creative Dhyan Chohans. Simultaneously with the evolution of the Universal Mind, the concealed Wisdom of Adi-Buddha -- the One Supreme and eternal -- manifests itself as Avalokiteshwara (or manifested Iswara), which is the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Heavenly Man of the Hermetic philosopher, the Logos of the Platonists, and the Atman of the Vedantins.* By the action of the manifested Wisdom, or Mahat, represented by these innumerable centres of spiritual Energy in the Kosmos, the reflection of the Universal Mind, which is Cosmic Ideation and the intellectual Force accompanying such ideation, becomes objectively the Fohat of the Buddhist esoteric philosopher. Fohat, running along the seven principles of AKASA, acts upon manifested substance or the One Element, as declared above, and by differentiating it into various centres of Energy, sets in motion the law of Cosmic Evolution, which, in obedience to the Ideation of the Universal Mind, brings into existence all the various states of being in the manifested Solar System.
The Solar System, brought into existence by these agencies, consists of Seven Principles, like everything else within these centres. Such is the teaching of the trans-Himalayan Esotericism. Every philosophy, however, has its own way of dividing these principles.
* Mr. Subba Row seems to identify him with, and to call him, the LOGOS. (See his four lectures on the "Bhagavadgita" in the Theosophist.)
THE PROTEAN SPIRIT-SUBSTANCE.
Fohat, then, is the personified electric vital power, the transcendental binding Unity of all Cosmic Energies, on the unseen as on the manifested planes, the action of which resembles -- on an immense scale -- that of a living Force created by WILL, in those phenomena where the seemingly subjective acts on the seemingly objective and propels it to action. Fohat is not only the living Symbol and Container of that Force, but is looked upon by the Occultists as an Entity -- the forces he acts upon being cosmic, human and terrestrial, and exercising their influence on all those planes respectively. On the earthly plane his influence is felt in the magnetic and active force generated by the strong desire of the magnetizer. On the Cosmic, it is present in the constructive power that carries out, in the formation of things -- from the planetary system down to the glow-worm and simple daisy -- the plan in the mind of nature, or in the Divine Thought, with regard to the development and growth of that special thing. He is, metaphysically, the objectivised thought of the gods; the "Word made flesh," on a lower scale, and the messenger of Cosmic and human ideations: the active force in Universal Life. In his secondary aspect, Fohat is the Solar Energy, the electric vital fluid,* and the preserving fourth
* In 1882 the President of the Theosophical Society, Col. Olcott, was taken to task for asserting in one of his lectures that Electricity is matter. Such, nevertheless, is the teaching of the Occult Doctrine. "Force," "Energy," may be a better name for it, so long as European Science knows so little about its true nature; yet matter it is, as much as Ether is matter, since it is as atomic, though several removes from the latter. It seems ridiculous to argue that because a thing is imponderable to Science, therefore it cannot be called matter. Electricity is "immaterial" in the sense that its molecules are not subject to perception and experiment; yet it may be -- and Occultism says it is -- atomic; therefore it is matter. But even supposing it were unscientific to speak of it in such terms, once Electricity is called in Science a source of Energy, Energy simply, and a Force -- where is that Force or that Energy which can be thought of without thinking of matter? Maxwell, a mathematician and one of the greatest authorities upon Electricity and its phenomena, said, years ago, that Electricity was matter, not motion merely. "If we accept the hypothesis that the elementary substances are composed of atoms we cannot avoid concluding that electricity also, positive as well as negative, is divided into definite elementary portions, which behave like atoms of electricity." (Helmholtz, Faraday Lecture, 1881). We will go further than that, and assert that Electricity is not only Substance but that it is an emanation from an Entity, which is neither God nor Devil, but one of the numberless Entities that rule and guide our world according to the eternal Law of KARMA. (See the Addendum to this Book.)
principle, the animal Soul of Nature, so to say,
or -- Electricity. In
The "three and seven" strides refer to the Seven spheres inhabited by man, of the esoteric Doctrine, as well as to the Seven regions of the Earth. Notwithstanding the frequent objections made by would-be Orientalists, the Seven Worlds or spheres of our planetary chain are distinctly referred to in the exoteric Hindu scriptures. But how strangely all these numbers are connected with like numbers in other Cosmogonies and with their symbols, can be seen from comparisons and parallelisms made by students of old religions. The "three strides of Vishnu" through the "seven regions of the Universe," of the Rig Veda, have been variously explained by commentators as meaning "fire, lightning and the Sun" cosmically; and as having been taken in the Earth, the atmosphere, and the sky; also as the "three steps" of the dwarf (Vishnu's incarnation), though more philosophically -- and in the astronomical sense, very correctly -- they are explained by Aurnavabha as being the various positions of the sun, rising, noon, and setting. Esoteric philosophy alone explains it clearly, and the Zohar laid it down very philosophically and comprehensively. It is said and plainly demonstrated therein that in the beginning the Elohim (Elhim) were called Echod, "one," or the "Deity is one in many," a very simple idea in a pantheistic conception (in its philosophical sense, of course). Then came the change, "Jehovah is Elohim," thus unifying the multiplicity and taking the first step towards Monotheism. Now to the query, "How is Jehovah Elohim?" the answer is, "By three Steps" from below.
* It is well known that sand, when placed on a metal plate in vibration assumes a series of regular curved figures of various descriptions. Can Science give a complete explanation of this fact?
THE CORRELATION OF THE GODS.
The meaning is plain.* They are all symbols, and emblematic, mutually and correlatively, of Spirit, Soul and Body (MAN); of the circle transformed into Spirit, the Soul of the World, and its body (or Earth). Stepping out of the Circle of Infinity, that no man comprehendeth, Ain-Soph (the Kabalistic synonym for Parabrahm, for the Zeroana Akerne, of the Mazdeans, or for any other "UNKNOWABLE") becomes "One" -- the ECHOD, the EKA, the AHU -- then he (or it) is transformed by evolution into the One in many, the Dhyani-Buddhas or the Elohim, or again the Amshaspends, his third Step being taken into generation of the flesh, or "Man." And from man, or Jah-Hova, "male female," the inner divine entity becomes, on the metaphysical plane, once more the Elohim.
The Kabalistic idea is identical with the Esotericism of the Archaic period. This esotericism is the common property of all, and belongs neither to the Aryan 5th Race, nor to any of its numerous Sub-races. It cannot be claimed by the Turanians, so-called, the Egyptians, Chinese, Chaldeans, nor any of the Seven divisions of the Fifth Root Race, but really belongs to the Third and Fourth Root Races, whose descendants we find in the Seed of the Fifth, the earliest Aryans. The Circle was with every nation the symbol of the Unknown -- "Boundless Space," the abstract garb of an ever present abstraction -- the Incognisable Deity. It represents limitless Time in Eternity. The Zeroana Akerne is also the "Boundless Circle of the Unknown Time," from which Circle issues the radiant light -- the Universal SUN, or Ormazd** -- and the latter
* The numbers 3, 5, and
7 are prominent in speculative masonry, as shown in "
** Ormazd is the Logos, the "First Born" and the Sun.
is identical with Kronos, in his AEolian form,
that of a Circle. For the circle is Sar, and Saros, or
cycle, and was the Babylonian god whose circular horizon was the visible symbol
of the invisible, while the sun was the
The Seven was a Sacred Number with every nation; but none applied it to more physiologically materialistic uses than the Hebrews. With these it was pre-eminently the generative number and 9 the male causative one, forming as shown by the Kabalists the [[hebrew with numbers above]] or otz -- "the Tree of the Garden of Eden,"* the "double hermaphrodite rod" of the fourth race. Whereas with the Hindus and Aryans generally, the significance was manifold, and related almost entirely to purely metaphysical
* This was the symbol of the "Holy of Holies," the 3 and the 4 of sexual separation. Nearly every one of the 22 Hebrew letters are merely phallic symbols. Of the two letters -- as shown above -- one, the ayin, is a negative female letter, symbolically an eye; the other a male letter, tza, a fish-hook or a dart.
and astronomical truths.* Their Rishis and gods, their Demons and Heroes, have historical and ethical meanings, and the Aryans never made their religion rest solely on physiological symbols, as the old Hebrews have done. This is found in the exoteric Hindu Scriptures. That these accounts are blinds is shown by their contradicting each other, a different construction being found in almost every Purana and epic poem. Read esoterically -- they will all yield the same meaning. Thus one account enumerates Seven worlds, exclusive of the nether worlds, also seven in number; these fourteen upper and nether worlds have
* We are told by a Kabalist, who in a work not yet published contrasts the Kabala and Zohar with Aryan Esotericism, that "The Hebrew clear, short, terse and exact modes far and beyond measure surpass the toddling word-talk of the Hindus -- just as by parallelisms the Psalmist says, 'My mouth speaks with my tongue, I know not thy numbers' (lxxi., 15). . . . The Hindu Glyph shows by its insufficiency in the large admixture of adventitious sides the same borrowed plumage that the Greeks (the lying Greeks) had, and that Masonry has: which in the rough monosyllabic (and apparent) poverty of the Hebrew, shows the latter to have come down from a far more remote antiquity than any of these, and to have been the source (!?), or nearer the old original source than any of them." This is entirely erroneous. Our learned brother and correspondent judges apparently the Hindu religious systems by their Shastras and Puranas, probably the latter, and in their modern translation moreover, which is disfigured out of all recognition, by the Orientalists. It is to their philosophical systems that one has to turn, to their esoteric teaching, if he would make a point of comparison. No doubt the symbology of the Pentateuch and even of the New Testament, comes from the same source. But surely the Pyramid of Cheops, whose measurements are all found repeated by Professor Piazzi Smythe in Solomon's alleged and mythical temple, is not of a later date than the Mosaic books? Hence, if there is any such great identity as claimed, it must be due to servile copying on the part of the Jews, not on that of the Egyptians. The Jewish glyphs -- and even their language, the Hebrew -- are not original. They are borrowed from the Egyptians, from whom Moses got his Wisdom; from the Coptic, the probable kinsman, if not parent, of the old Phoenician and from the Hyksos, their (alleged) ancestors, as Josephus shows in his "Against Apion," I., 25. Aye; but who are the Hyksos shepherds? And who the Egyptians? History knows nothing of the question, and speculates and theorizes out of the depths of the respective consciousnesses of her historians. (See Isis Unveiled, vol. II., p. 430-438.) "Khamism, or old Coptic," says Bunsen, "is from Western Asia, and contains some germ of the Semitic, thus bearing witness to the primitive cognate unity of the Aryan and Semitic races"; and he places the great events in Egypt 9,000 years B.C. The fact is that in archaic Esotericism and Aryan thought we find a grand philosophy, whereas in the Hebrew records we find only the most surprising ingenuity in inventing apotheoses for phallic worship and sexual theogony.
nothing to do with the classification of the septenary chain and belong to the purely aethereal, invisible worlds. These will be noticed elsewhere. Suffice for the present to show that they are purposely referred to as though they belonged to the chain. "Another enumeration calls the Seven worlds -- earth, sky, heaven, middle region, place of birth, mansion of the blest, and abode of truth; placing the 'Sons of Brahma' in the sixth division, and stating the fifth, or Jana Loka, to be that where animals destroyed in the general conflagration are born again." (see Hindu Classical Dictionary.) Some real esoteric teaching is given in the "Symbolism." He who is prepared for it will understand the hidden meaning.
STANZA V. -- Continued.
3. HE IS THEIR GUIDING SPIRIT AND LEADER. WHEN HE COMMENCES WORK, HE SEPARATES THE SPARKS OF THE LOWER KINGDOM (mineral atoms) THAT FLOAT AND THRILL WITH JOY IN THEIR RADIANT DWELLINGS (gaseous clouds), AND FORMS THEREWITH THE GERMS OF WHEELS. HE PLACES THEM IN THE SIX DIRECTIONS OF SPACE AND ONE IN THE MIDDLE -- THE CENTRAL WHEEL (a).
(a) "Wheels," as already explained, are the centres of force, around which primordial Cosmic matter expands, and, passing through all the six stages of consolidation, becomes spheroidal and ends by being transformed into globes or spheres. It is one of the fundamental dogmas of Esoteric Cosmogony, that during the Kalpas (or aeons) of life, MOTION, which, during the periods of Rest "pulsates and thrills through every slumbering atom"* (Commentary on Dzyan), assumes an evergrowing
* It may be asked, as also the writer has not failed to ask, "Who is there to ascertain the difference in that motion, since all nature is reduced to its primal essence, and there can be no one -- not even one of the Dhyani-Chohans, who are all in Nirvana -- to see it?" The answer to this is: "Everything in Nature has to be judged by analogy. Though the highest Deities (Archangels or Dhyani-Buddhas) are unable to penetrate the mysteries too far beyond our planetary system and the visible Kosmos, yet there were great seers and prophets in olden times who were enabled to perceive the mystery of Breath and Motion retrospectively, when the systems of worlds were at rest and plunged in their periodic sleep."
THE ANTIQUITY OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES.
tendency, from the first awakening of Kosmos to a new "Day," to circular movement. The "Deity becomes a WHIRLWIND." They are also called Rotae -- the moving wheels of the celestial orbs participating in the world's creation -- when the meaning refers to the animating principle of the stars and planets; for in the Kabala, they are represented by the Ophanim, the Angels of the Spheres and stars, of which they are the informing Souls. (See Kabala Denudata, "De Anima," p. 113.)
This law of vortical movement in primordial matter, is one of the oldest conceptions of Greek philosophy, whose first historical Sages were nearly all Initiates of the Mysteries. The Greeks had it from the Egyptians, and the latter from the Chaldeans, who had been the pupils of Brahmins of the esoteric school. Leucippus, and Democritus of Abdera -- the pupil of the Magi -- taught that this gyratory movement of the atoms and spheres existed from eternity.* Hicetas, Heraclides, Ecphantus, Pythagoras, and all his pupils, taught the rotation of the earth; and Aryabhata of India, Aristarchus, Seleucus, and Archimedes calculated its revolution as scientifically as the astronomers do now; while the theory of the Elemental Vortices was known to Anaxagoras, and maintained by him 500 years B.C., or nearly 2,000 before it was taken up by Galileo, Descartes, Swedenborg, and finally, with slight modifications, by Sir W. Thomson. (See his "Vortical Atoms.") All such knowledge, if justice be only done to it, is an echo of the archaic doctrine, an attempt to explain which is now being made. How men of the last few centuries have come to the same ideas and conclusions that were taught as axiomatic truths in the secrecy of the Adyta dozens of
* "The doctrine of
the rotation of the earth about an axis is taught by the Pythagorean Hicetas,
probably as early as 500 B.C. It was also taught by his pupil Ecphantus, and by
Heraclides, a pupil of Plato. The immobility of the Sun and the orbital
rotation of the earth were shown by Aristarchus of
millenniums ago, is a question that is treated separately. Some were led to it by the natural progress in physical science and by independent observation; others -- such as Copernicus, Swedenborg, and a few more -- their great learning notwithstanding, owed their knowledge far more to intuitive than to acquired ideas, developed in the usual way by a course of study.* (See "A Mystery about Buddha.")
By the "Six directions of Space" is here meant the "Double Triangle," the junction and blending together of pure Spirit and Matter, of the Arupa and the Rupa, of which the Triangles are a Symbol. This double Triangle is a sign of Vishnu, as it is Solomon's seal, and the Sri-Antara of the Brahmins.
STANZA V. -- (Continued.)
4. FOHAT TRACES SPIRAL LINES TO UNITE THE SIX TO THE SEVENTH -- THE CROWN (a); AN ARMY OF THE SONS OF LIGHT STANDS AT EACH ANGLE (and) THE LIPIKA -- IN THE MIDDLE WHEEL. THEY (the Lipika) SAY, "THIS IS GOOD" (b). THE FIRST DIVINE WORLD IS READY, THE FIRST (is now), THE SECOND (world), THEN THE "DIVINE ARUPA" (the formless Universe
* That Swedenborg, who could not possibly have known anything of the esoteric ideas of Buddhism, came independently near the Occult teaching in his general conceptions, is shown by his essay on the Vortical Theory. In Clissold's translation of it, quoted by Prof. Winchell, we find the following resume:-- "The first Cause is the Infinite or Unlimited. This gives existence to the First Finite or Limited." (The Logos in His manifestation and the Universe.) "That which produces a limit is analogous to motion. (See first Stanza, supra.) The limit produced is a point, the Essence of which is Motion; but being without parts, this Essence is not actual Motion, but only a connatus to it." (In our Doctrine it is not a "connatus," but a change from eternal vibration in the unmanifested, to Vortical Motion in the phenomenal or manifested World). . . "From this first proceed Extension, Space, Figure, and Succession, or Time. As in Geometry a point generates a line, a line a surface, and a surface a solid, so here the connatus of a point tends towards lines, surfaces and solids. In other words, the Universe is contained in ovo in the first natural point . . . the Motion toward which the connatus tends, is circular, since the circle is the most perfect of all figures . . . The most perfect figure of a Motion . . . must be the perpetually circular, that is to say, it must proceed from the centre to the periphery and from the periphery to the centre." (Quoted from Principia Rerum Naturalia.) This is Occultism pure and simple.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE PRINCIPLES.
of Thought) REFLECTS ITSELF IN CHHAYALOKA (the shadowy world of primal form, or the intellectual) THE FIRST GARMENT OF (the) ANUPADAKA (c).
(a) This tracing of "Spiral lines" refers to the evolution of man's as well as Nature's principles; an evolution which takes place gradually (as will be seen in Book II., on "The origin of the Human Races"), as does everything else in nature. The Sixth principle in Man (Buddhi, the Divine Soul) though a mere breath, in our conceptions, is still something material when compared with divine "Spirit" (Atma) of which it is the carrier or vehicle. Fohat, in his capacity of DIVINE LOVE (Eros), the electric Power of affinity and sympathy, is shown allegorically as trying to bring the pure Spirit, the Ray inseparable from the ONE absolute, into union with the Soul, the two constituting in Man the MONAD, and in Nature the first link between the ever unconditioned and the manifested. "The first is now the second" (world) -- of the Lipikas -- has reference to the same.
(b) The "Army" at each angle is the Host of angelic Beings (Dhyan-Chohans) appointed to guide and watch over each respective region from the beginning to the end of Manvantara. They are the "Mystic Watchers" of the Christian Kabalists and Alchemists, and relate, symbolically as well as cosmogonically, to the numerical system of the Universe. The numbers with which these celestial Beings are connected are extremely difficult to explain, as each number refers to several groups of distinct ideas, according to the particular group of "Angels" which it is intended to represent. Herein lies the nodus in the study of symbology, with which, unable to untie by disentangling it, so many scholars have preferred dealing as Alexander dealt with the Gordian knot; hence erroneous conceptions and teachings, as a direct result.
The "First is the Second," because the "First" cannot really be numbered or regarded as the First, as that is the realm of noumena in its primary manifestation: the threshold to the World of Truth, or SAT, through which the direct energy that radiates from the ONE REALITY -- the Nameless Deity -- reaches us. Here again, the untranslateable term SAT (Be-ness) is likely to lead into an erroneous conception, since that which is manifested cannot be SAT, but is something phenomenal, not everlasting, nor, in truth, even sempiternal. It is coeval and coexistent with the One Life, "Secondless," but as a manifestation it is still a Maya -- like the rest. This "World of Truth" can be described only in the words of the Commentary as "A bright star dropped from the heart of Eternity; the beacon of hope on whose Seven Rays hang the Seven Worlds of Being." Truly so; since those are the Seven Lights whose reflections are the human immortal Monads -- the Atma, or the irradiating Spirit of every creature of the human family. First, this septenary Light; then:--
(c) The "Divine World" -- the countless Lights lit at the primeval Light -- the Buddhis, or formless divine Souls, of the last Arupa (formless) world; the "Sum Total," in the mysterious language of the old Stanza. In the Catechism, the Master is made to ask the pupil:--
"Lift thy head, oh Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee, burning in the dark sky?"
"I sense one Flame, oh Gurudeva, I see countless undetached sparks shining in it."
"Thou sayest well. And now look around and into thyself. That light which burns inside thee, dost thou feel it different in anywise from the light that shines in thy Brother-men?"
"It is in no way different, though the prisoner is held in bondage by Karma, and though its outer garments delude the ignorant into saying, 'Thy Soul and My Soul.' "
The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature -- from Star to mineral Atom, from the highest Dhyan Chohan to the smallest infusoria, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual, or physical worlds -- this is the one fundamental law in Occult Science. "The Deity is boundless and infinite expansion," says an Occult axiom; and hence, as remarked, the name of Brahma.* There is a deep philosophy underlying the earliest worship in the world, that of the Sun and of Fire. Of all the Elements known to physical science, Fire is the one that has ever eluded definite analysis. It is confidently asserted that
* In the Rig Veda we find the names Brahmanaspati and Brihaspati alternating and equivalent to each other. Also see "Brihad Upanishad"; Brihaspati is a deity called "the Father of the gods."
THE MYSTERY OF THE FIRE.
Air is a mixture containing the gases Oxygen and Nitrogen. We view the Universe and the Earth as matter composed of definite chemical molecules. We speak of the primitive ten Earths, endowing each with a Greek or Latin name. We say that water is, chemically, a compound of Oxygen and Hydrogen. But what is FIRE? It is the effect of combustion, we are gravely answered. It is heat and light and motion, and a correlation of physical and chemical forces in general. And this scientific definition is philosophically supplemented by the theological one in Webster's Dictionary, which explains fire as "the instrument of punishment, or the punishment of the impenitent in another state" -- the "state," by the bye, being supposed to be spiritual; but, alas! the presence of fire would seem to be a convincing proof of its material nature. Yet, speaking of the illusion of regarding phenomena as simple, because they are familiar, Professor Bain says (Logic. Part II.): "Very familiar facts seem to stand in no need of explanation themselves and to be the means of explaining whatever can be assimilated to them. Thus, the boiling and evaporation of a liquid is supposed to be a very simple phenomenon requiring no explanation, and a satisfactory explanation of rarer phenomena. That water should dry up is, to the uninstructed mind, a thing wholly intelligible; whereas to the man acquainted with physical science the liquid state is anomalous and inexplicable. The lighting of a fire by a flame is a GREAT SCIENTIFIC DIFFICULTY, yet few people think so" (p. 125).
What says the esoteric teaching with regard to fire? "Fire," it says, "is the most perfect and unadulterated reflection, in Heaven as on Earth, of the ONE FLAME. It is Life and Death, the origin and the end of every material thing. It is divine 'SUBSTANCE.' " Thus, not only the FIRE-WORSHIPPER, the Parsee, but even the wandering savage tribes of America, which proclaim themselves "born of fire," show more science in their creeds and truth in their superstitions, than all the speculations of modern physics and learning. The Christian who says: "God is a living Fire," and speaks of the Pentecostal "Tongues of Fire" and of the "burning bush" of Moses, is as much a fire-worshipper as any other "heathen." The Rosicrucians, among all the mystics and Kabalists, were those who defined Fire in the right and most correct way. Procure a sixpenny lamp, keep it only supplied with oil, and you will be able to light at its flame the lamps, candles, and fires of the whole globe without diminishing that flame. If the Deity, the radical One, is eternal and an infinite substance ("the Lord thy God is a consuming fire") and never consumed, then it does not seem reasonable that the Occult teaching should be held as unphilosophical when it says: "Thus were the Arupa and Rupa worlds formed: from ONE light seven lights; from each of the seven, seven times seven," etc., etc.
STANZA V. -- Continued.
5. FOHAT TAKES FIVE STRIDES (having already taken the first three) (a), AND BUILDS A WINGED WHEEL AT EACH CORNER OF THE SQUARE FOR THE FOUR HOLY ONES . . . . . AND THEIR ARMIES (hosts) (b).
(a) The "strides," as already explained (see Commentary on Stanza IV.), refer to both the Cosmic and the Human principles -- the latter of which consist, in the exoteric division, of three (Spirit, Soul, and Body), and, in the esoteric calculation, of seven principles -- three rays of the Essence and four aspects.* Those who have studied Mr. Sinnett's "Esoteric Buddhism" can easily grasp the nomenclature. There are two esoteric schools -- or rather one school, divided into two parts -- one for the inner Lanoos, the other for the outer or semi-lay chelas beyond the Himalayas; the first teaching a septenary, the other a six-fold division of human principles.
From a Cosmic point of view, Fohat taking "five strides" refers here to the five upper planes of Consciousness and Being, the sixth and the seventh (counting downwards) being the astral and the terrestrial, or the two lower planes.
(b) "Four winged wheels at each corner . . . . . for the four holy ones and their armies (hosts)" . . . . . These are the "four Maharajahs" or great Kings of the Dhyan-Chohans, the Devas who preside, each over one of the four cardinal points. They are the Regents or Angels who rule over the Cosmical Forces of North, South,
* The four aspects are the body, its life or vitality, and the "Double" of the body, the triad which disappears with the death of the person, and the Kama-rupa which disintegrates in Kama-loka.
THE SECRET OF THE ELEMENTS.
East and West, Forces having each a distinct occult property. These BEINGS are also connected with Karma, as the latter needs physical and material agents to carry out her decrees, such as the four kinds of winds, for instance, professedly admitted by Science to have their respective evil and beneficent influences upon the health of Mankind and every living thing. There is occult philosophy in that Roman Catholic doctrine which traces the various public calamities, such as epidemics of disease, and wars, and so on, to the invisible "Messengers" from North and West. "The glory of God comes from the way of the East" says Ezekiel; while Jeremiah, Isaiah, and the Psalmist assure their readers that all the evil under the Sun comes from the North and the West -- which proposition, when applied to the Jewish nation, sounds like an undeniable prophecy for themselves. And this accounts also for St. Ambrose (On Amos, ch. iv.) declaring that it is precisely for that reason that "we curse the North-Wind, and that during the ceremony of baptism we begin by turning towards the West (Sidereal), to renounce the better him who inhabits it; after which we turn to the East."
Belief in the "Four Maharajahs" -- the Regents of the Four cardinal points -- was universal and is now that of Christians,* who call them, after St. Augustine, "Angelic Virtues," and "Spirits" when enumerated by themselves, and "Devils" when named by Pagans. But where is the difference between the Pagans and the Christians in this cause? Following Plato, Aristotle explained that the term [[stoicheia]] was understood only as meaning the incorporeal principles placed at each of the four great divisions of our Cosmical world to supervise them. Thus, no more than the Christians did, do they adore and worship the Elements and the cardinal (imaginary) points, but the "gods" that ruled these respectively. For the Church there are two kinds of Sidereal beings, the
* Says the scholarly
Vossius, in his Theol. Cir. I. VII.: "Though St. Augustine has said that
every visible thing in this world had an angelic virtue as an overseer near it,
it is not individuals but entire species of things that must be understood,
each such species having indeed its particular angel to watch it. He is at one
in this with all the philosophers . . . For us these angels are spirits
separated from the objects . . . whereas for the philosophers (pagan) they were
gods." Considering the Ritual established by the Roman Catholic Church for
"Spirits of the Stars," the latter look suspiciously like
"Gods," and were no more honoured and prayed to by the ancient and
modern pagan rabble than they are now at
Angels and the Devils. For the Kabalist and Occultist there is but one; and neither of them makes any difference between "the Rectors of Light" and the Cosmocratores, or "Rectores tenebrarum harum," whom the Roman Church imagines and discovers in a "Rector of Light" as soon as he is called by another name than the one she addresses him by. It is not the "Rector" or "Maharajah" who punishes or rewards, with or without "God's" permission or order, but man himself -- his deeds or Karma, attracting individually and collectively (as in the case of whole nations sometimes), every kind of evil and calamity. We produce CAUSES, and these awaken the corresponding powers in the sidereal world; which powers are magnetically and irresistibly attracted to -- and react upon -- those who produced these causes; whether such persons are practically the evil-doers, or simply Thinkers who brood mischief. Thought is matter,* we are taught by modern Science; and "every particle of the existing matter must be a register of all that has happened," as in their "Principles of Science" Messrs. Jevons and Babbage tell the profane. Modern Science is drawn more every day into the maelstrom of Occultism; unconsciously, no doubt, still very sensibly. The two main theories of science -- re the relations between Mind and Matter -- are Monism and Materialism. These two cover the whole ground of negative psychology with the exception of the quasi-occult views of the pantheistic German schools.**
* Not of course in the sense of the German Materialist Moleschott, who assures us that "Thought is the movement of matter," a statement of almost unequalled absurdity. Mental states and bodily states are utterly contrasted as such. But that does not affect the position that every thought, in addition to its physical accompaniment (brain-change), exhibits an objective -- though to us supersensuously objective -- aspect on the astral plane. (See "The Occult World," pp. 89, 90.)
** The views of our present-day scientific thinkers as to the relations between mind and matter may be reduced to two hypotheses. These show that both views equally exclude the possibility of an independent Soul, distinct from the physical brain through which it functions. They are:--
(1.) MATERIALISM, the theory which regards mental phenomena as the product of molecular change in the brain; i.e., as the outcome of a transformation of motion into feeling (!). The cruder school once went so far as to identify mind with a "peculiar mode of motion" (!!), but this view is now happily regarded as absurd by most of the men of science themselves.
(2.) MONISM, or the Single Substance Doctrine, is the more subtle form of negative psychology, which one of its advocates, Professor Bain, ably terms "guarded Materialism." This doctrine, which commands a very wide assent, counting among its upholders such men as Lewis, Spencer, Ferrier, and others, while positing thought and mental phenomena generally as radically contrasted with matter, regards both as equal to the two sides, or aspects, of one and the same substance in some of its conditions. Thought as thought, they say, is utterly contrasted with material phenomena, but it must be also regarded as only "the subjective side of nervous motion" whatever our learned men may mean by this.
THE REAL MEANING OF THE TABERNACLE.
In the Egyptian temples, according to Clemens Alexandrinus, an immense curtain separated the tabernacle from the place for the congregation. The Jews had the same. In both, the curtain was drawn over five pillars (the Pentacle) symbolising our five senses and five Root-races esoterically, while the four colours of the curtain represented the four cardinal points and the four terrestrial elements. The whole was an allegorical symbol. It is through the four high Rulers over the four points and Elements that our five senses may become cognisant of the hidden truths of Nature; and not at all, as Clemens would have it, that it is the elements per se that furnished the Pagans with divine Knowledge or the knowledge of God.* While the Egyptian emblem was spiritual, that of the Jews was purely materialistic, and, indeed, honoured only the blind Elements and the imaginary "Points." For what was the meaning of the square tabernacle raised by Moses in the wilderness, if it had not the same cosmical significance? "Thou shalt make an hanging . . . of blue, purple, and scarlet" and "five pillars of shittim wood for the hanging . . . four brazen rings in the four corners thereof . . . boards of fine wood for the four sides, North, South, West, and East . . . of the Tabernacle . . . with Cherubims of cunning work." (Exodus, ch. xxvi., xxvii.) The Tabernacle and the square courtyard, Cherubim and all, were precisely the same as those in the Egyptian temples. The square form of the Tabernacle meant just the same thing as it still means, to this day, in the exoteric worship of the Chinese and Tibetans -- the four cardinal points signifying that which the four sides of the pyramids, obelisks, and other such square erections mean. Josephus takes care to explain the whole thing. He declares that the Tabernacle pillars are the same
* Thus the sentence, "Natura Elementorum obtinet revelationem Dei," (In Clemens's Stromata, R. IV., para. 6), is applicable to both or neither. Consult the Zends, vol II., p. 228, and Plutarch De Iside, as compared by Layard, Academie des Inscriptions, 1854, Vol. XV.
as those raised at
idea may be traced in the Zoroastrian caves, in the rock-cut temples of
the student would know more of them, he has but to compare the Vision of
Ezekiel (chap. i.) with what is known of Chinese Buddhism (even in its exoteric
teachings); and examine the outward shape of these "Great Kings." In
the opinion of the Rev. Joseph Edkins, they are "the Devas who preside
each over one of the four continents into which the Hindus divide the
world."* Each leads an army of spiritual beings to protect mankind and
Buddhism. With the exception of favouritism towards Buddhism, the four
celestial beings are precisely this. They are the protectors of mankind and
also the Agents of Karma on Earth, whereas the Lipika are concerned with
Humanity's hereafter. At the same time they are the four living creatures
"who have the likeness of a man" of Ezekiel's visions, called by the
translators of the Bible, "Cherubim," "Seraphim," etc.; and
by the Occultists, "the winged Globes," the "Fiery Wheels,"
and in the Hindu Pantheon by a number of different names. All these Gandharvas,
the "Sweet Songsters," the Asuras, Kinnaras, and Nagas, are the
allegorical descriptions of the "four Maharajahs." The Seraphim are
the fiery Serpents of Heaven which we find in a passage describing
Their mission and character being explained, let us see what the
* The Hindus happen to divide the world into seven continents, exoterically as esoterically; and their four cosmic Devas are eight, presiding over the eight points of the compass and not the Continents. (Compare "Chinese Buddhism," p. 216.)
THE DRAGONS OF SECRET WISDOM.
Christian Bible-interpreters say of the Cherubim:-- "The word signifies in Hebrew, fullness of knowledge; these angels are so called from their exquisite Knowledge, and were therefore used for the punishment of men who affected divine Knowledge." (Interpreted by Cruden in his Concordance, from Genesis iii., 24.) Very well; and vague as the information is, it shows that the Cherub placed at the gate of the garden of Eden after the "Fall," suggested to the venerable Interpreters the idea of punishment connected with forbidden Science or divine Knowledge -- one that generally leads to another "Fall," that of the gods, or "God," in man's estimation. But as the good old Cruden knew nought of Karma, he may be forgiven. Yet the allegory is suggestive. From Meru, the abode of gods, to Eden, the distance is very small, and from the Hindu Serpents to the Ophite Cherubim, the third out of the seven of which was the Dragon, the separation is still smaller, for both watched the entrance to the realm of Secret Knowledge. But Ezekiel plainly describes the four Cosmic Angels: "I looked, and behold, a whirlwind, a cloud and fire infolding it . . . also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures . . . they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces and four wings . . . the face of a man, and the face of a lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle . . . " ("Man" was here substituted for "Dragon." Compare the "Ophite Spirits."*) . . . "Now as I beheld the living creatures behold one wheel upon the Earth with his four faces . . . as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel . . . for the support of the living creature was in the wheel . . . their appearance was like coals of fire . . ." etc. (Ezekiel, ch. i.)
There are three chief groups of Builders and as many of the Planetary Spirits and the Lipika, each group being again divided into Seven sub-groups. It is impossible, even in such a large work as this, to enter into a minute examination of even the three principal groups, as it would demand an extra volume. The "Builders" are the representatives of the first "Mind-Born" Entities, therefore of the primeval Rishi-Prajapati: also of the Seven great Gods of Egypt, of which Osiris is the chief: of the Seven Amshaspends of the Zoroastrians, with
* The Angels recognised by the Roman Catholic Church who correspond to these "Faces" were with the Ophites:-- Dragon -- Raphael; Lion -- Michael; Bull, or ox -- Uriel; and Eagle -- Gabriel. The four keep company with the four Evangelists, and preface the Gospels.
Ormazd at their head: or the "Seven Spirits of the Face": the Seven Sephiroth separated from the first Triad, etc., etc.*
They build or rather rebuild every "System" after the "Night." The Second group of the Builders is the Architect of our planetary chain exclusively; and the third, the progenitor of our Humanity -- the Macrocosmic prototype of the microcosm.
The Planetary Spirits are the informing spirits of the Stars in general, and of the Planets especially. They rule the destinies of men who are all born under one or other of their constellations; the second and third groups pertaining to other systems have the same functions, and all rule various departments in Nature. In the Hindu exoteric Pantheon they are the guardian deities who preside over the eight points of the compass -- the four cardinal and the four intermediate points -- and are called Loka-Palas, "Supporters or guardians of the World" (in our visible Kosmos), of which Indra (East), Yama (South), Varuna (West), and Kuvera (North) are the chief; their elephants and their spouses pertaining of course to fancy and afterthought, though all of them have an occult significance.
The Lipika (a description of whom is given in the Commentary on Stanza IV. No. 6) are the Spirits of the Universe, whereas the Builders are only our own planetary deities. The former belong to the most occult portion of Cosmogenesis, which cannot be given here. Whether the Adepts (even the highest) know this angelic order in the completeness of its triple degrees, or only the lower one connected with the records of our world, is something which the writer is unprepared to say, and she would incline rather to the latter supposition. Of its highest grade one thing only is taught: the Lipika are connected with Karma -- being its direct Recorders.**
* The Jews, save the
Kabalists, having no names for East, West, South, and North, expressed the idea
by words signifying before, behind, right and left, and very often confounded
the terms exoterically, thus making the blinds in the Bible more confused and
difficult to interpret. Add to this the fact that out of the forty-seven
translators of King James I. of England's Bible "only three understood
Hebrew, and of these two died before the Psalms were translated" (Royal
Masonic Cyclopaedia), and one may easily understand what reliance can be placed
on the English version of the Bible. In this work the
** The Symbol for Sacred
and Secret Knowledge was universally in antiquity, a Tree, by which a Scripture
or a Record was also meant. Hence the word Lipika, the"writers"
or scribes; the "Dragons," symbols of wisdom, who guard the Trees of
Knowledge; the "golden" apple Tree of the Hesperides; the
"Luxuriant Trees" and vegetation of
STANZA V. -- Continued.
6. THE LIPIKA CIRCUMSCRIBE THE TRIANGLE, THE FIRST ONE (the vertical line or the figure 1.), THE CUBE, THE SECOND ONE, AND THE PENTACLE WITHIN THE EGG (circle) (a). IT IS THE RING CALLED "PASS NOT," FOR THOSE WHO DESCEND AND ASCEND (as also for those) WHO, DURING THE KALPA, ARE PROGRESSING TOWARD THE GREAT DAY "BE WITH US" (b). . . . THUS WERE FORMED THE ARUPA AND THE RUPA (the Formless World and the World of Forms); FROM ONE LIGHT SEVEN LIGHTS; FROM EACH OF THE SEVEN SEVEN TIMES SEVEN LIGHTS. THE "WHEELS" WATCH THE RING.
The Stanza proceeds with a minute classification of the Orders of Angelic Hierarchy. From the group of Four and Seven emanates the "mind-born" group of Ten, of Twelve, of Twenty-one, etc., all these divided again into sub-groups of septenaries, novenaries, duodecimals, and so on, until the mind is lost in this endless enumeration of celestial hosts and Beings, each having its distinct task in the ruling of the visible Kosmos during its existence.
(a) The esoteric meaning of the first sentence of the Sloka is, that those who have been called Lipikas, the Recorders of the Karmic ledger, make an impassible barrier between the personal EGO and the impersonal SELF, the Noumenon and Parent-Source of the former. Hence the allegory. They circumscribe the manifested world of matter within the RING "Pass-Not." This world is the symbol (objective) of the ONE divided into the many, on the planes of Illusion, of Adi (the "First") or of Eka (the "One"); and this One is the collective aggregate, or totality, of the principal Creators or Architects of this visible universe. In Hebrew Occultism their name is both Achath, feminine, "One," and Achod, "One" again, but masculine. The monotheists have taken (and are still taking) advantage of the profound esotericism of the Kabala to apply the name by which the One Supreme Essence is known to ITS manifestation, the Sephiroth-Elohim, and call it Jehovah. But this is quite arbitrary and against all reason and logic, as the term Elohim is a plural noun, identical with the plural word Chiim, often compounded with the Elohim.* Moreover, in Occult metaphysics there are, properly speaking, two "ONES" -- the One on the unreachable plane of Absoluteness and Infinity, on which no speculation is possible, and the Second "One" on the plane of Emanations. The former can neither emanate nor be divided, as it is eternal, absolute, and immutable. The Second, being, so to speak, the reflection of the first One (for it is the Logos, or Eswara, in the Universe of Illusion), can do all this.** It emanates from itself -- as the upper Sephirothal Triad emanates the lower seven Sephiroth -- the seven Rays or Dhyan Chohans; in other words, the Homogeneous becomes the Heterogeneous, the "Protyle" differentiates into the Elements. But these, unless they return into their primal Element, can never cross beyond the Laya, or zero-point.
Hence the allegory. The Lipika separate the world (or plane) of pure spirit from that of Matter. Those who "descend and ascend" -- the incarnating Monads, and men striving towards purification and "ascending," but still not having quite reached the goal -- may cross the "circle of the Pass-Not," only on the day "Be-With-Us"; that day when man, freeing himself from the trammels of ignorance, and recog-
* The sentence in the Sepher Jezirah and elsewhere: "Achath-Ruach-Elohim-Chiim" denotes the Elohim as androgynous at best, the feminine element almost predominating, as it would read: "ONE is She the Spirit of the Elohim of Life." As said above, Echath (or Achath) is feminine, and Echod (or Achod) masculine, both meaning ONE.
** This metaphysical tenet can hardly be better described than Mr. Subba Row's in "Bhagavadgita" lectures: "Mulaprakriti (the veil of Parabrahmam) acts as the one energy through the Logos (or 'Eswara'). Now Parabrahmam, is the one essence from which starts into existence a centre of energy, which I shall for the present call the Logos. . . . It is called the Verbum . . . by the Christians, and it is the divine Christos who is eternal in the bosom of his father. It is called Avalokiteshwara by the Buddhists. . . . In almost every doctrine, they have formulated the existence of a centre of spiritual energy which is unborn and eternal, and which exists in the bosom of Parabrahmam at the time of Pralaya, and starts as a centre of conscious energy at the time of Cosmic activity. . . ." For, as the lecturer premised by saying, Parabraham is not this or that, it is not even consciousness, as it cannot be related to matter or anything conditioned. It is not Ego nor is it Non-ego, not even Atma, but verily the one source of all manifestations and modes of existence.
THE SIDEREAL BOOK OF LIFE.
nising fully the non-separateness of the Ego within his personality -- erroneously regarded as his own -- from the UNIVERSAL EGO (Anima Supra-Mundi), merges thereby into the One Essence to become not only one "with us" (the manifested universal lives which are "ONE" LIFE), but that very life itself.
Astronomically, the "Ring PASS-NOT" that the Lipika trace around the Triangle, the First One, the Cube, the Second One, and the Pentacle to circumscribe these figures, is thus shown to contain the symbol of 31415 again, or the coefficient constantly used in mathematical tables (the value of, pi), the geometrical figures standing here for numerical figures. According to the general philosophical teachings, this ring is beyond the region of what are called nebulae in astronomy. But this is as erroneous a conception as that of the topography and the descriptions, given in Puranic and other exoteric Scriptures, about the 1008 worlds of the Devaloka worlds and firmaments. There are worlds, of course, in the esoteric as well as in the profane scientific teachings, at such incalculable distances that the light of the nearest of them which has just reached our modern Chaldees, had left its luminary long before the day on which the words "Let there be Light" were pronounced; but these are no worlds on the Devaloka plane, but in our Kosmos.
The chemist goes to the laya or zero point of the plane of matter with which he deals, and then stops short. The physicist or the astronomer counts by billions of miles beyond the nebulae, and then they also stop short; the semi-initiated Occultist will represent this laya-point to himself as existing on some plane which, if not physical, is still conceivable to the human intellect. But the full Initiate knows that the ring "Pass-Not" is neither a locality nor can it be measured by distance, but that it exists in the absoluteness of infinity. In this "Infinity" of the full Initiate there is neither height, breadth nor thickness, but all is fathomless profundity, reaching down from the physical to the "para-para-metaphysical." In using the word "down," essential depth -- "nowhere and everywhere" -- is meant, not depth of physical matter.
one searches carefully through the exoteric and grossly anthropomorphic
allegories of popular religions, even in these the doctrine embodied in the
circle of "Pass-Not" thus guarded by the Lipika, may be dimly
perceived. Thus one finds it even in the teachings of the Vedantin sect of the
Visishtadwaita, the most tenaciously anthropomorphic in all
After reaching Moksha (a state of bliss meaning "release from Bandha" or bondage), bliss is enjoyed by it in a place called PARAMAPADHA, which place is not material, but made of Suddasatwa (the essence, of which the body of Iswara -- "the Lord" -- is formed). There, Muktas or Jivatmas (Monads) who have attained Moksha, are never again subject to the qualities of either matter or Karma. "But if they choose, for the sake of doing good to the world, they may incarnate on Earth."* The way to Paramapadha, or the immaterial worlds, from this world, is called Devayana. When a person has attained Moksha and the body dies:--
"The Jiva (Soul) goes with Sukshma Sarira** from the heart of the body, to the Brahmarandra in the crown of the head, traversing Sushumna, a nerve connecting the heart with the Brahmarandra. The Jiva breaks through the Brahmarandra and goes to the region of the Sun (Suryamandala) through the solar Rays. Then it goes, through a dark spot in the Sun, to Paramapadha. The Jiva is directed on its way by the Supreme Wisdom acquired by Yoga.*** The Jiva thus proceeds to Paramapadha by the aid of Athivahikas (bearers in transit), known by the names of Archi-Ahas . . . Aditya, Prajapati, etc. The Archis here mentioned are certain pure Souls, etc., etc." (Visishtadwaita Catechism, by Pundit Bhashyacharya, F.T.S.)
No Spirit except the "Recorders" (Lipika) has ever crossed its forbidden line, nor will any do so until the day of the next Pralaya, for it is the boundary that separates the finite -- however infinite in man's sight -- from the truly INFINITE. The Spirits referred to, therefore, as those who "ascend and descend" are the "Hosts" of what we loosely call "celestial Beings." But they are, in fact, nothing of the kind.
* These voluntary re-incarnations are referred to in our Doctrine as Nirmanakayas (the surviving spiritual principles of men).
** Sukshma-sarira, "dream-like" illusive body, with which are clothed the inferior Dhyanis of the celestial Hierarchy.
*** Compare this
esoteric tenet with the Gnostic doctrine found in "Pistis-Sophia"
(Knowledge = Wisdom), in which treatise Sophia Achamoth is shown lost in the
waters of Chaos (matter), on her way to Supreme Light, and Christos delivering
and helping her on the right Path. Note well, "Christos" with the
Gnostics meant the impersonal principal, the Atman of the Universe, and the
Atma within every man's soul -- not Jesus; though in the old Coptic MSS. in the
THE GOD OF MAN AND THE
GOD OF THE
are Entities of the higher worlds in the hierarchy of Being, so immeasurably
high that, to us, they must appear as Gods, and collectively -- GOD. But so we,
mortal men, must appear to the ant, which reasons on the scale of its special
capacities. The ant may also, for all we know, see the avenging finger of a
personal God in the hand of the urchin who, in one moment, under the impulse of
mischief, destroys its anthill, the labour of many weeks -- long years in the
chronology of insects. The ant, feeling it acutely, and attributing the
undeserved calamity to a combination of
* The greatest philosopher of European birth, Imanuel Kant, assures us that such a communication is in no way improbable. "I confess I am much disposed to assert the existence of Immaterial natures in the world, and to place my own soul in the class of these beings. It will hereafter, I know not where, or when, yet be proved that the human soul stands even in this life in indissoluble connection with all immaterial natures in the spirit-world, that it reciprocally acts upon these and receives impressions from them." (Traume eines Geistersehers, quoted by C. C. Massey, in his preface to Von Hartmann's "Spiritismus.")
She is before a dead wall, on the face of which she traces, as she imagines, great physiological and psychic discoveries, but every one of which will be shown later on to be no better than the cobwebs spun by her scientific fancies and illusions. The tissues of our objective framework alone are subservient to the analysis and researches of physiological science.* The six higher principles in them will evade for ever the hand that is guided by an animus that purposely ignores and rejects the Occult Sciences.
The "Great Day of BE-WITH-US," then, is an expression the only merit of which lies in its literal translation. Its significance is not so easily revealed to a public, unacquainted with the mystic tenets of Occultism, or rather of Esoteric Wisdom or "Budhism." It is an expression peculiar to the latter, and as hazy for the profane as that of the Egyptians who called the same the "Day of COME-TO-US,"** which
* E.g., all that modern physiological research in connection with psychological problems has, and owing to the nature of things, could have shown, is, that every thought, sensation, and emotion is attended with a re-marshalling of the molecules of certain nerves. The inference drawn by scientists of the type of Buchner, Vogt, and others, that thought is molecular motion, necessitates a complete abstraction being made of the fact of our subjective consciousness.
** See "Le Livre des Morts," by Paul Pierret; "Le Jour de 'Viens a nous' . . . c'est le jour ou Osiris a dit au Soleil: Viens! Je le vois rencontrant le Soleil dans l'Amenti." (Chap. xvii., p. 61.) The Sun here stands for the Logos (or Christos, or Horus) as central Essence synthetically, and as a diffused essence of radiated Entities, different in substance, but not in essence. As expressed by the Bhagavadgita lecturer, "it must not be supposed that the Logos is but a single centre of energy manifested from Parabrahmam; there are innumerable other centres . . . and their number is almost infinite in the bosom of Parabrahmam." Hence the expressions, "The Day of Come to us" and "The Day of Be with us," etc. Just as the square is the Symbol of the Four sacred Forces or Powers -- Tetraktis -- so the Circle shows the boundary within the Infinity that no man can cross, even in spirit, nor Deva nor Dhyan Chohan. The Spirits of those who "descend and ascend" during the course of cyclic evolution shall cross the "iron-bound world" only on the day of their approach to the threshold of Paranirvana. If they reach it -- they will rest in the bosom of Parabrahmam, or the "Unknown Darkness," which shall then become for all of them Light -- during the whole period of Mahapralaya, the "Great NIGHT," namely, 311,040,000,000,000 years of absorption in Brahm. The day of "Be-With-Us" is this period of rest or Paranirvana. See also for other data on this peculiar expression, the day of "Come-To-Us," The Funerary Ritual of the Egyptians, by Viscount de Rouge. It corresponds to the Day of the Last Judgment of the Christians, which has been sorely materialised by their religion.
THE SOUL'S PILGRIMAGE.
is identical with the former, though the verb "be" in this sense, might be still better replaced with either of the two words "Remain" or "Rest-with-us," as it refers to that long period of REST which is called Paranirvana. As in the exoteric interpretation of the Egyptian rites the soul of every defunct person -- from the Hierophant down to the sacred bull Apis -- became an Osiris, was Osirified, though the Secret Doctrine had always taught, that the real Osirification was the lot of every Monad only after 3,000 cycles of Existences; so in the present case. The "Monad," born of the nature and the very Essence of the "Seven" (its highest principle becoming immediately enshrined in the Seventh Cosmic Element), has to perform its septenary gyration throughout the Cycle of Being and forms, from the highest to the lowest; and then again from man to God. At the threshold of Paranirvana it reassumes its primeval Essence and becomes the Absolute once more.
1. BY THE POWER OF THE MOTHER OF MERCY AND KNOWLEDGE (a), KWAN-YIN,* THE "TRIPLE" OF KWAN-SHAI-YIN, RESIDING IN KWAN-YIN-TIEN (b), FOHAT, THE BREATH OF THEIR PROGENY, THE SON OF THE SONS, HAVING CALLED FORTH FROM THE LOWER ABYSS (chaos) THE ILLUSIVE FORM OF SIEN-TCHAN (our Universe) AND THE SEVEN ELEMENTS:--
(a.) The Mother of Mercy and Knowledge is called "the triple" of Kwan-Shai-Yin because in her correlations, metaphysical and cosmical, she is the "Mother, the Wife and the Daughter" of the Logos, just as in the later theological translations she became "the Father, Son and (the female) Holy Ghost" -- the Sakti or Energy -- the Essence of the three. Thus in the Esotericism of the Vedantins, Daiviprakriti, the Light manifested through Eswara, the Logos,** is at one and the same time the Mother and also the Daughter of the Logos or Verbum of Parabrahmam; while in that of the trans-Himalayan teachings it is -- in the hierarchy of allegorical and metaphysical theogony -- "the MOTHER" or abstract, ideal matter, Mulaprakriti, the Root of Nature; -- from the metaphysical standpoint, a correlation of Adi-Bhuta, manifested in the Logos, Avalokiteshwara; -- and from the purely occult and
* This stanza is
translated from the Chinese text, and the names, as the equivalents of the
original terms, are preserved. The real esoteric nomenclature cannot be given,
as it would only confuse the reader. The Brahmanical doctrine has no equivalent
to these. Vach seems, in many an aspect, to approach the Chinese Kwan-yin, but
there is no regular worship of Vach under this name in
** The "Theosophist" of February, 1887, p. 305, first lecture on the Bhagavadgita.
THE MYSTERY OF THE FEMALE LOGOS.
Cosmical, Fohat,* the "Son of the Son," the androgynous energy resulting from this "Light of the Logos," and which manifests in the plane of the objective Universe as the hidden, as much as the revealed, Electricity -- which is LIFE.
(b) Kwan-Yin-Tien means the "melodious heaven of Sound," the abode of Kwan-Yin, or the "Divine Voice" literally. This "Voice" is a synonym of the Verbum or the Word: "Speech," as the expression of thought. Thus may be traced the connection with, and even the origin of the Hebrew Bath-Kol, the "daughter of the Divine Voice," or Verbum, or the male and female Logos, the "Heavenly Man" or Adam Kadmon, who is at the same time Sephira. The latter was surely anticipated by the Hindu Vach, the goddess of Speech, or of the Word. For Vach -- the daughter and the female portion, as is stated, of Brahma, one "generated by the gods" -- is, in company with Kwan-Yin, with Isis (also the daughter, wife and sister of Osiris) and other goddesses, the female Logos, so to speak, the goddess of the active forces in Nature, the Word, Voice or Sound, and Speech. If Kwan-Yin is the "melodious Voice," so is Vach; "the melodious cow who milked forth sustenance and water" (the female principle) -- "who yields us nourishment and sustenance," as Mother-Nature. She is associated in the work of creation with the Prajapati. She is male and female ad libitum, as Eve is with Adam. And she is a form of Aditi -- the principle higher than Ether -- in Akasa, the synthesis of all the forces in Nature; thus Vach and Kwan-Yin are both the magic potency of Occult sound in Nature and Ether -- which "Voice" calls forth Sien-Tchan, the illusive form of the Universe out of Chaos and the Seven Elements.
Thus in Manu Brahma (the Logos also) is shown dividing his body into two parts, male and female, and creating in the latter, who is Vach, Viraj, who is himself, or Brahma again -- it is in this way a learned Vedantin Occultist speaks of that "goddess," explaining the reason why Eswara (or Brahma) is called Verbum or Logos; why in fact it is called Sabda Brahmam:--
* Says the lecturer on p. 306: "Evolution is commenced by the intellectual energy of the Logos, not merely on account of the potentialities locked up in Mulaprakriti. This light of the Logos is the link . . . between objective matter and the subjective thought of Eswara (or Logos). It is called in several Buddhist books Fohat. It is the one instrument with which the Logos works."
explanation I am going to give you will appear thoroughly mystical; but if
mystical, it has a tremendous significance when properly understood. Our old
writers said that Vach is of four kinds (see Rig Veda and the Upanishads).
Vaikhari-Vach is what we utter. Every kind of Vaikhari-Vach exists in its
Madhyama, further in its Pasyanti, and ultimately in its
STANZA VI. -- (Continued.)
2. THE SWIFT AND THE RADIANT ONE PRODUCES THE SEVEN Layu** (a) CENTRES, AGAINST WHICH NONE WILL PREVAIL TO THE GREAT DAY "BE WITH US" -- AND SEATS THE UNIVERSE ON THESE ETERNAL FOUNDATIONS, SURROUNDING SIEN-TCHAN WITH THE ELEMENTARY GERMS (b).
(a.) The seven Layu centres are the seven Zero points, using the term Zero in the same sense that Chemists do, to indicate a point at which, in Esotericism, the scale of reckoning of differentiation begins. From the Centres -- beyond which Esoteric philosophy allows us to perceive the dim metaphysical outlines of the "Seven Sons" of Life and Light, the Seven Logoi of the Hermetic and all other philosophers -- begins
* Madhya is said of something whose commencement and end are unknown, and Para means infinite. These expressions all relate to infinitude and to division of time.
** From the Sanskrit Laya, the point of matter where every differentiation has ceased.
FROM NO-NUMBER TO NUMBER SEVEN.
the differentiation of the elements which enter into the constitution of our Solar System. It has often been asked what was the exact definition of Fohat and his powers and functions, as he seems to exercise those of a Personal God as understood in the popular religions. The answer has just been given in the comment on Stanza V. As well said in the Bhagavadgita Lectures, "The whole Kosmos must necessarily exist in the One Source of energy from which this light (Fohat) emanates." Whether we count the principles in Kosmos and man as seven or only as four, the forces of, and in, physical Nature are Seven; and it is stated by the same authority that "Pragna, or the capacity of perception, exists in seven different aspects corresponding to the seven conditions of matter" (Personal and impersonal God). For, "just as a human being is composed of seven principles, differentiated matter in the Solar System exists in seven different conditions" (ibid). So does Fohat.* He is One and Seven, and on the Cosmic plane is behind all such manifestations as light, heat, sound, adhesion, etc., etc., and is the "spirit" of ELECTRICITY, which is the LIFE of the Universe. As an abstraction, we call it the ONE LIFE; as an objective and evident Reality, we speak of a septenary scale of manifestation, which begins at the upper rung with the One Unknowable CAUSALITY, and ends as Omnipresent Mind and Life immanent in every atom of Matter. Thus, while science speaks of its evolution through brute matter, blind force, and senseless motion, the Occultists point to intelligent LAW and sentient LIFE, and add that Fohat is the guiding Spirit of all this. Yet he is no personal god at all, but the emanation of those other Powers behind him whom the Christians call the "Messengers" of their God (who is in reality only the Elohim, or rather one of the Seven Creators called Elohim), and we, the "Messenger of the primordial Sons of Life and Light."
(b.) The "Elementary Germs" with which he fills Sien-Tchan (the "Universe") from Tien-Sin (the "Heaven of Mind," literally, or that which is absolute) are the Atoms of Science and the Monads of Leibnitz.
* "Fohat" has several meanings. (See Stanza V., Commentary et infra). He is called the "Builder of the Builders," the Force that he personifies having formed our Septenary chain.
STANZA VI. -- Continued.
3. OF THE SEVEN (elements) -- FIRST ONE MANIFESTED, SIX CONCEALED; TWO MANIFESTED -- FIVE CONCEALED; THREE MANIFESTED -- FOUR CONCEALED; FOUR PRODUCED -- THREE HIDDEN; FOUR AND ONE TSAN (fraction) REVEALED -- TWO AND ONE HALF CONCEALED; SIX TO BE MANIFESTED -- ONE LAID ASIDE (a). LASTLY, SEVEN SMALL WHEELS REVOLVING; ONE GIVING BIRTH TO THE OTHER (b).
(a.) Although these Stanzas refer to the whole Universe after a Mahapralaya (universal destruction), yet this sentence, as any student of Occultism may see, refers also by analogy to the evolution and final formation of the primitive (though compound) Seven Elements on our Earth. Of these, four elements are now fully manifested, while the fifth -- Ether -- is only partially so, as we are hardly in the second half of the Fourth Round, and consequently the fifth Element will manifest fully only in the Fifth Round. The Worlds, including our own, were of course, as germs, primarily evolved from the ONE Element in its second stage ("Father-Mother," the differentiated World's Soul, not what is termed the "Over-Soul" by Emerson), whether we call it, with modern Science, Cosmic dust and Fire Mist, or with Occultism -- Akasa, Jivatma, divine Astral Light, or the "Soul of the World." But this first stage of Evolution was in due course of time followed by the next. No world, as no heavenly body, could be constructed on the objective plane, had not the Elements been sufficiently differentiated already from their primeval Ilus, resting in Laya. The latter term is a synonym of Nirvana. It is, in fact, the Nirvanic dissociation of all substances, merged after a life-cycle into the latency of their primary conditions. It is the luminous but bodiless shadow of the matter that was, the realm of negativeness -- wherein lie latent during their period of rest the active Forces of the Universe. Now, speaking of Elements, it is made the standing reproach of the Ancients, that they "supposed their Elements simple and undecomposable."* Once more this is an unwarrantable state-
* The shades of our pre-historical ancestors might return the compliment to modern physicists, now that new discoveries in chemistry have led Mr. Crookes, F.R.S., to admit that Science is yet a thousand leagues from the knowledge of the compound nature of the simplest molecule. From him we learn that such a thing as a really simple molecule entirely homogeneous is terra incognita in chemistry. "Where are we to draw the line?" he asks; "is there no way out of this perplexity? Must we either make the elementary examinations so stiff that only 60 or 70 candidates can pass, or must we open the examination doors so wide that the number of admissions is limited only by the number of applicants?" And then the learned gentleman gives striking instances. He says: "Take the case of yttrium. It has its definite atomic weight, it behaved in every respect as a simple body, an element, to which we might indeed add, but from which we could not take away. Yet this yttrium, this supposed homogeneous whole, on being submitted to a certain method of fractionation, is resolved into portions not absolutely identical among themselves, and exhibiting a gradation of properties. Or take the case of didymium. Here was a body betraying all the recognised characters of an element. It had been separated with much difficulty from other bodies which approximated closely to it in their properties, and during this crucial process it had undergone very severe treatment and very close scrutiny. But then came another chemist, who, treating this assumed homogeneous body by a peculiar process of fractionation, resolved it into the two bodies praseodymium and neodymium, between which certain distinctions are perceptible. Further, we even now have no certainty that neodymium and praseodymium are simple bodies. On the contrary, they likewise exhibit symptoms of splitting up. Now, if one supposed element on proper treatment is thus found to comprise dissimilar molecules, we are surely warranted in asking whether similar results might not be obtained in other elements, perhaps in all elements, if treated in the right way. We may even ask where the process of sorting-out is to stop -- a process which of course pre-supposes variations between the individual molecules of each species. And in these successive separations we naturally find bodies approaching more and more closely to each other." (Presidential address before the Royal Society of Chemists, March, 1888.)
WERE THE ANCIENTS IGNORANT OF THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES?
ment; as, at any rate, their initiated philosophers can hardly come under such an imputation, since it is they who have invented allegories and religious myths from the beginning. Had they been ignorant of the Heterogeneity of their Elements they would have had no personifications of Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and AEther; their Cosmic gods and goddesses would never have been blessed with such posterity, with so many sons and daughters, elements born from and within each respective Element. Alchemy and occult phenomena would have been a delusion and a snare, even in theory, had the Ancients been ignorant of the potentialities and correlative functions and attributes of every element that enters into the composition of Air, Water, Earth, and even Fire -- the latter a terra incognita to this day to modern Science, which is obliged to call it Motion, evolution of light and heat, state of ignition, -- defining it by its outward aspects in short, and remaining ignorant of its nature. But that which molecule entirely homogeneous is terra incognita in chemistry. "Where are we to draw the line?" he asks; "is there no way out of this perplexity? Must we either make the elementary examinations so stiff that only 60 or 70 candidates can pass, or must we open the examination doors so wide that the number of admissions is limited only by the number of applicants?" And then the learned gentleman gives striking instances. He says: "Take the case of yttrium. It has its definite atomic weight, it behaved in every respect as a simple body, an element, to which we might indeed add, but from which we could not take away. Yet this yttrium, this supposed homogeneous whole, on being submitted to a certain method of fractionation, is resolved into portions not absolutely identical among themselves, and exhibiting a gradation of properties. Or take the case of didymium. Here was a body betraying all the recognised characters of an element. It had been separated with much difficulty from other bodies which approximated closely to it in their properties, and during this crucial process it had undergone very severe treatment and very close scrutiny. But then came another chemist, who, treating this assumed homogeneous body by a peculiar process of fractionation, resolved it into the two bodies praseodymium and neodymium, between which certain distinctions are perceptible. Further, we even now have no certainty that neodymium and praseodymium are simple bodies. On the contrary, they likewise exhibit symptoms of splitting up. Now, if one supposed element on proper treatment is thus found to comprise dissimilar molecules, we are surely warranted in asking whether similar results might not be obtained in other elements, perhaps in all elements, if treated in the right way. We may even ask where the process of sorting-out is to stop -- a process which of course pre-supposes variations between the individual molecules of each species. And in these successive separations we naturally find bodies approaching more and more closely to each other." (Presidential address before the Royal Society of Chemists, March, 1888.) modern Science seems to fail to perceive is that, differentiated as may have been those simple chemical atoms -- which archaic philosophy called "the creators of their respective Parents," fathers, brothers, husbands of their mothers, and those mothers the daughters of their own sons, like Aditi and Daksha, for example -- differentiated as these elements were in the beginning, still, they were not the compound bodies known to science, as they are now. Neither Water, Air, Earth (synonym for solids generally) existed in their present form, representing the three states of matter alone recognised by Science; for all these are the productions already recombined by the atmospheres of globes completely formed -- even to fire -- so that in the first periods of the earth's formation they were something quite sui generis. Now that the conditions and laws ruling our solar system are fully developed; and that the atmosphere of our earth, as of every other globe, has become, so to say, a crucible of its own, Occult Science teaches that there is a perpetual exchange taking place in space of molecules, or of atoms rather, correlating, and thus changing their combining equivalents on every planet. Some men of Science, and those among the greatest physicists and chemists, begin to suspect this fact, which has been known for ages to the Occultists. The spectroscope only shows the probable similarity (on external evidence) of terrestrial and sidereal substance; it is unable to go any farther, or to show whether atoms gravitate towards one another in the same way and under the same conditions as they are supposed to do on our planet, physically and chemically. The scale of temperature, from the highest degree to the lowest that can be conceived of, may be imagined to be one and the same in and for the whole Universe; nevertheless, its properties, other than those of dissociation and reassociation, differ on every planet; and thus atoms enter into new forms of existence, undreamt of, and incognizable to, physical Science. As already expressed in "Five Years of Theosophy," the essence of Cometary matter, for instance, "is totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which the greatest chemists and physicists of the earth are acquainted" (p. 242). And even that matter, during rapid passage through our atmosphere, undergoes a certain change in its nature. Thus not alone the elements of our planets, but even those of all its sisters in the Solar System, differ as widely from each other in their combinations, as from the Cosmic elements beyond our
THE SLEEP OF THE ETERNAL MOTHER.
Solar limits.* Therefore, they cannot be taken as a standard for comparison with the same in other worlds.** Enshrined in their virgin, pristine state within the bosom of the Eternal Mother, every atom born beyond the threshold of her realm is doomed to incessant differentiation. "The Mother sleeps, yet is ever breathing." And every breath sends out into the plane of manifestation her Protean products, which, carried on by the wave of the efflux, are scattered by Fohat, and driven toward and beyond this or another planetary atmosphere. Once caught by the latter, the atom is lost; its pristine purity is gone for ever, unless Fate dissociates it by leading it to "a current of EFFLUX" (an occult term meaning quite a different process from that which the ordinary term implies); when it may be carried once more to the borderland where it had perished, and taking its flight, not into Space above but into Space within, it will be brought under a state of differential equilibrium and happily re-absorbed. Were a truly learned Occultist-alchemist to write the "Life and Adventures of an Atom" he would secure thereby the eternal scorn of the modern chemist, perchance also his subsequent
* This is again corroborated by the same man of science in the same lecture, who quotes Clerk Maxwell, saying "that the elements are not absolutely homogeneous." He writes: "It is difficult to conceive of selection and elimination of intermediate varieties, for where can these eliminated molecules have gone to, if, as we have reason to believe, the hydrogen, &c. of the fixed stars is composed of molecules identical in all respects with our own." And he adds: "In the first place we may call in question this absolute molecular identity, since we have hitherto had no means for coming to a conclusion save the means furnished by the spectroscope, while it is admitted that, for accurately comparing and discriminating the spectra of two bodies, they should be examined under identical states of temperature, pressure, and all other physical conditions. We have certainly seen, in the spectrum of the sun, rays which we have not been able to identify."
** "Each world has its Fohat, who is omnipresent in his own sphere of action. But there are as many Fohats as there are worlds, each varying in power and degree of manifestations. The individual Fohats make one Universal, Collective Fohat -- the aspect-Entity of the one absolute Non-Entity, which is absolute Be-Ness, 'SAT.' "Millions and billions of worlds are produced at every Manvantara" -- it is said. Therefore there must be many Fohats, whom we consider as conscious and intelligent Forces. This, no doubt, to the disgust of scientific minds. Nevertheless the Occultists, who have good reasons for it, consider all the forces of Nature as veritable, though supersensuous, states of Matter; and as possible objects of perception to Beings endowed with the requisite senses.
gratitude.* However it may be, "The Breath of the Father-Mother issues cold and radiant and gets hot and corrupt, to cool once more, and be purified in the eternal bosom of inner Space," says the Commentary. Man absorbs cold pure air on the mountain-top, and throws it out impure, hot and transformed. Thus -- the higher atmosphere being the mouth, and the lower one the lungs of every globe -- the man of our planet breathes only the refuse of "Mother"; therefore, "he is doomed to die on it."**
(b) The process referred to as "the small wheels giving birth, one to the other," takes place in the sixth region from above, and on the plane of the most material world of all in the manifested Kosmos -- our terrestrial plane. These "Seven Wheels" are our planetary chain (see Commentary Nos. 5 and 6). By "Wheels" the various spheres and centres of forces are generally meant; but in this case they refer to our septenary ring.
STANZA VI. -- Continued.
4. HE BUILDS THEM IN THE LIKENESS OF OLDER WHEELS (worlds), PLACING THEM ON THE IMPERISHABLE CENTRES (a).
HOW DOES FOHAT BUILD THEM? HE COLLECTS THE FIERY DUST. HE MAKES BALLS OF FIRE, RUNS THROUGH THEM AND ROUND THEM, INFUSING LIFE THEREINTO; THEN SETS THEM INTO MOTION, SOME ONE, SOME THE OTHER WAY. THEY ARE COLD -- HE MAKES THEM HOT. THEY ARE DRY -- HE MAKES THEM MOIST. THEY SHINE -- HE FANS AND COOLS THEM (b).
THUS ACTS FOHAT FROM ONE Twilight TO THE OTHER DURING SEVEN ETERNITIES.***
(a) The Worlds are built "in the likeness of older Wheels" -- i.e., those that existed in preceding Manvantaras and went into Pralaya,
* Indeed, if such an imaginary Chemist happened to be intuitional, and would for a moment step out of the habitual groove of strictly "Exact Science," as the Alchemists of old did, he might be repaid for his audacity.
** He who would allotropise sluggish oxygen into Ozone to a measure of alchemical activity, reducing it to its pure essence (for which there are means), would discover thereby a substitute for an "Elixir of Life" and prepare it for practical use.
*** A period of 311,040,000,000,000 years, according to Brahminical calculations.
THE COSMIC PLANE, AN ILLUSION.
because the LAW for the birth, growth, and decay of everything in Kosmos, from the Sun to the glow-worm in the grass, is ONE. It is an everlasting work of perfection with every new appearance, but the Substance-Matter and Forces are all one and the same. But this LAW acts on every planet through minor and varying laws. The "imperishable Laya Centres" have a great importance, and their meaning must be fully understood if we would have a clear conception of the Archaic Cosmogony, whose theories have now passed into Occultism. At present, one thing may be stated. The worlds are built neither upon, nor over, nor in the Laya centres, the zero-point being a condition, not any mathematical point.
(b) Bear in mind that Fohat, the constructive Force of Cosmic Electricity, is said, metaphorically, to have sprung like Rudra from Brahma "from the brain of the Father and the bosom of the Mother," and then to have metamorphosed himself into a male and a female, i.e., polarity, into positive and negative electricity. He has seven sons who are his brothers; and Fohat is forced to be born time after time whenever any two of his son-brothers indulge in too close contact -- whether an embrace or a fight. To avoid this, he binds together and unites those of unlike nature and separates those of similar temperaments. This, of course, relates, as any one can see, to electricity generated by friction and to the law involving attraction between two objects of unlike, and repulsion between those of like polarity. The Seven "Sons-brothers," however, represent and personify the seven forms of Cosmic magnetism called in practical Occultism the "Seven Radicals," whose co-operative and active progeny are, among other energies, Electricity, Magnetism, Sound, Light, Heat, Cohesion, etc. Occult Science defines all these as Super-sensuous effects in their hidden behaviour, and as objective phenomena in the world of senses; the former requiring abnormal faculties to perceive them -- the latter, our ordinary physical senses. They all pertain to, and are the emanations of, still more supersensuous spiritual qualities, not personated by, but belonging to, real and conscious CAUSES. To attempt a description of such ENTITIES would be worse than useless. The reader must bear in mind that, according to our teaching which regards this phenomenal Universe as a great Illusion, the nearer a body is to the UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE, the more it approaches reality, as being removed the farther from this world of Maya. Therefore, though the molecular constitution of their bodies is not deducible from their manifestations on this plane of consciousness, they nevertheless (from the standpoint of the adept Occultist) possess a distinctive objective if not material structure, in the relatively noumenal -- as opposed to the phenomenal -- Universe. Men of science may term them Force or Forces generated by matter, or "modes of its motion," if they will; Occultism sees in the effects "Elemental" (forces), and, in the direct causes producing them, intelligent DIVINE Workmen. The intimate connection of those Elementals (guided by the unerring hand of the Rulers) -- their correlation we might call it -- with the elements of pure Matter, results in our terrestrial phenomena, such as light, heat, magnetism, etc., etc. Of course we shall never agree with the American Substantialists* who call every Force and Energy -- whether Light, Heat, Electricity or Cohesion -- an "Entity"; for this would be equivalent to calling the noise produced by the rolling of the wheels of a vehicle an Entity -- thus confusing and identifying that "noise" with the driver outside, and the guiding Master Intelligence within the vehicle. But we certainly give that name to the "drivers" and to these guiding Intelligences -- the ruling Dhyan Chohans, as shown. The "Elementals," the Nature-Forces, are the acting, though invisible, or rather imperceptible, secondary Causes and in themselves the effects of primary Causes behind the Veil of all terrestrial phenomena. Electricity, light, heat, etc., have been aptly termed the "Ghost or Shadow of Matter in Motion," i.e., supersensuous states of matter whose effects only we are able to cognize. To expand, then, the simile given above. The sensation of light is like the sound of the rolling wheels -- a purely phenomenal effect, having no existence outside the observer; the proximate exciting cause of the sensation is comparable to the driver -- a supersensuous state of matter in motion, a Nature-Force or Elemental. But, behind even this, stand -- just as the owner of the carriage directs the driver from within -- the higher and noumenal causes, the Intelligences from whose essence radiate these States of "Mother," generating the countless milliards of Elementals or psychic Nature-Spirits, just as every drop of water generates its physical
* See "Scientific
Arena," a monthly Journal devoted to current philosophical teaching and
its bearing upon the religious thought of the Age.
PRIMORDIAL SUBSTANCE, A REALITY.
infinitesimal Infusoria. (See "Gods, Monads, and Atoms," in Part III.) It is Fohat who guides the transfer of the principles from one planet to the other, from one star to another -- child-star. When a planet dies, its informing principles are transferred to a laya or sleeping centre, with potential but latent energy in it, which is thus awakened into life and begins to form itself into a new sidereal body. (Vide infra, "A Few Theosophical Misconceptions, etc.")
It is most remarkable that, while honestly confessing their entire ignorance of the true Nature of even terrestrial matter -- primordial substance being regarded more as a dream than as a sober reality -- the physicists should set themselves up as judges, nevertheless, of that matter, and claim to know what it is able and is not able to do, in various combinations. Scientists know it (matter) hardly skin-deep, and yet they will dogmatise. It is "a mode of motion" and nothing else. But the force that is inherent in a living person's breath, when blowing a speck of dust from the table, is also, and undeniably, "a mode of motion"; and it is as undeniably not a quality of the matter, or the particles of that speck, and it emanates from the living and thinking Entity that breathed, whether the impulse originated consciously or unconsciously. Indeed, to endow matter -- something of which nothing is known so far -- with an inherent quality called Force, of the nature of which still less is known, is to create a far more serious difficulty than that which lies in the acceptation of the intervention of our "Nature-Spirits" in every natural phenomenon.
Occultists, who do not say -- if they would express themselves correctly --
that matter, but only the substance or essence of matter, is indestructible and
eternal, (i.e., the Root of all, Mulaprakriti): assert that all the so-called
Forces of Nature, Electricity, Magnetism, Light, Heat, etc., etc., far from
being modes of motion of material particles, are in esse, i.e., in their
ultimate constitution, the differentiated aspects of that Universal Motion
which is discussed and explained in the first pages of this volume (See Proem).
When Fohat is said to produce "Seven Laya Centres," it means that for
formative or creative purposes, the GREAT LAW (Theists may call it God) stops,
or rather modifies its perpetual motion on seven invisible points within the
area of the manifested Universe. "The great Breath digs through Space
seven holes into Laya to cause them to circumgyrate during Manvantara"
(Occult Catechism). We have said that Laya is what Science may call the
Zero-point or line; the realm of absolute negativeness, or the one real
absolute Force, the NOUMENON of the Seventh State of that which we ignorantly
call and recognise as "Force"; or again the Noumenon of
Undifferentiated Cosmic Substance which is itself an unreachable and unknowable
object to finite perception; the root and basis of all states of objectivity
and subjectivity too; the neutral axis, not one of the many aspects, but its
centre. It may serve to elucidate the meaning if we attempt to imagine a
neutral centre -- the dream of those who would discover perpetual motion. A
"neutral centre" is, in one aspect, the limiting point of any given
set of senses. Thus, imagine two consecutive planes of matter as already
formed; each of these corresponding to an appropriate set of perceptive organs.
We are forced to admit that between these two planes of matter an incessant
circulation takes place; and if we follow the atoms and molecules of (say) the
lower in their transformation upwards, these will come to a point where they
pass altogether beyond the range of the faculties we are using on the lower
plane. In fact, to us the matter of the lower plane there vanishes from our
perception into nothing -- or rather it passes on to the higher plane, and the
state of matter corresponding to such a point of transition must certainly
possess special and not readily discoverable properties. Such "Seven
Neutral Centres,"* then, are produced by Fohat, who, when, as
"Fair foundations (are) laid whereon to build . . ."
quickens matter into activity and evolution.
The Primordial Atom (anu) cannot be multiplied either in its pregenetic state, or its primogeneity; therefore it is called "SUM TOTAL," figuratively, of course, as that "SUM TOTAL" is boundless. (See Addendum to this Book.) That which is the abyss of nothingness to the physicist, who knows only the world of visible causes and effects, is the boundless Space of the Divine Plenum to the Occultist. Among many other objections to the doctrine of an endless evolution and re-involution (or re-absorption) of the Kosmos, a process which, according to the Brahminical and Esoteric Doctrine, is without a beginning or an end, the Occultist is told that it cannot be, since "by all the admissions of
* Such, we believe, is the name applied by Mr. Keely, of Philadelphia, the inventor of the famous "Motor" -- destined, as his admirers have hoped, to revolutionise the motor power of the world -- to what he again calls the "Etheric Centres."
THE MOON IS NOT DEAD, BUT ONLY SLEEPETH.
modern scientific philosophy it is a necessity of Nature to run down." If the tendency of Nature "to run down" is to be considered so forcible an objection to Occult Cosmogony, "How," we may ask, "do your Positivists and Free-thinkers and Scientists account for the phalanx around us of active stellar systems?" They had eternity to "run down" in; why, then, is not the Kosmos a huge inert mass? Even the moon is only hypothetically believed to be a dead planet, "run down," and astronomy does not seem to be acquainted with many such dead planets.* The query is unanswerable. But apart from this it must be noted that the idea of the amount of "transformable energy" in our little system coming to an end is based purely on the fallacious conception of a "white-hot, incandescent Sun" perpetually radiating away his heat without compensation into Space. To this we reply that nature runs down and disappears from the objective plane, only to re-emerge after a time of rest out of the subjective and to reascend once more. Our Kosmos and Nature will run down only to reappear on a more perfect plane after every PRALAYA. The matter of the Eastern philosophers is not the "matter" and Nature of the Western metaphysicians. For what is Matter? And above all, what is our scientific philosophy but that which was so justly and so politely defined by Kant as "the Science of the limits to our Knowledge"? Where have the many attempts made by Science to bind, to connect, and define all the phenomena of organic life by mere physical and chemical manifestations, brought it to? To speculation generally -- mere soap-bubbles, that burst one after the other before the men of Science were permitted to discover real facts. All this would have been avoided, and the progress of knowledge would have proceeded with gigantic strides, had only Science and its philosophy abstained from accepting hypotheses on the mere one-sided Knowledge of their Matter.**
* The moon is dead only so far as regards her inner "principles" -- i.e., psychically and spiritually, however absurd the statement may seem. Physically, she is only as a semi-paralysed body may be. She is aptly referred to in Occultism as the "insane mother," the great sidereal lunatic.
** The instance of
Uranus and Neptune, whose satellites, four and one respectively, revolved, it
was thought, in their orbits from East to West, whereas all the other
satellites rotate from West to East, is a very good one, as showing how
unreliable are all a priori speculations even when based on the strictest
mathematical analysis. The famous hypothesis of the formation of our Solar
System out of the nebulous rings, put forward by Kant and Laplace, was chiefly
based on the above fact that all the planets revolved in the same direction. It
is on this fact, mathematically demonstrated during the time of Laplace, that
this great astronomer, calculating on the theory of probabilities, offered to
bet three milliards to one that the next planet discovered would have in its
system the same peculiarity of motion Eastward. The immutable laws of scientific
mathematics got "worsted by further experiments and observations," it
was said. This idea of
If no physical intellect is capable of counting the grains of sand covering a few miles of sea-shore; or to fathom the ultimate nature and essence of those grains, palpable and visible on the palm of the naturalist, how can any materialist limit the laws changing the conditions and being of the atoms in primordial chaos, or know anything certain about the capabilities and potency of their atoms and molecules before and after their formation into worlds? These changeless and eternal molecules -- far thicker in space than the grains on the ocean shore -- may differ in their constitution along the line of their planes of existence, as the soul-substance differs from its vehicle, the body. Each atom has seven planes of being or existence, we are taught; and each plane is governed by its specific laws of evolution and absorption. Ignorant of any, even approximate, chronological data from which to start in attempting to decide the age of our planet or the origin of the solar system, astronomers, geologists, and physicists are drifting with each new hypothesis farther and farther away from the shores of fact into the fathomless depths of speculative ontology.* The Law of Analogy in the plan of structure between the trans-Solar systems and the intra-Solar planets, does not necessarily bear upon the finite conditions to which every visible body is subject, in this our plane of being. In Occult Science this law is the first and most important key to Cosmic physics; but it has to be studied in its minutest details and, "to be
* The Occultists, having most perfect faith in their own exact records, astronomical and mathematical, calculate the age of Humanity, and assert that the latter (as separate sexes) has existed in this Round just 18,618,727 years, as the Brahmanical teachings and even some Hindu calendars declare.
NATURE CAN NEVER CEASE.
turned seven times," before one comes to understand it. Occult philosophy is the only science that can teach it. How, then, can anyone hang the truth or the untruth of the Occultist's proposition that "the Kosmos is eternal in its unconditioned collectivity, and finite but in its conditioned manifestations" on this one-sided physical enunciation that "it is a necessity of Nature to run down?"
With these verses -- the 4th Sloka of Stanza VI. -- ends that portion of
the Stanzas which relates to the Universal Cosmogony after the last Mahapralaya
or Universal destruction, which, when it comes, sweeps out of Space every
differentiated thing, Gods as atoms, like so many dry leaves. From this verse
onwards, the Stanzas are concerned only with our Solar System in general, with
the planetary chains therein, inferentially, and with the history of our globe
(the 4th and its chain) especially. All the Stanzas and verses which follow in
But before entirely new and rather startling theories are presented to the reader, they must be prefaced by a few words of explanation. This is absolutely necessary, as these theories clash not only with modern science, but contradict, on certain points, earlier statements made by other Theosophists, who claim to base their explanations and renderings of these teachings on the same authority as we do.*
This may give rise to the idea that there is a decided contradiction between the expounders of the same doctrine; whereas the difference, in reality, arises from the incompleteness of the information given to earlier writers, who thus drew some erroneous conclusions and indulged in premature speculations, in their endeavour to present a complete system to the public. Thus the reader, who is already a student of Theosophy, must not be surprised to find in these pages the rectification of certain statements made in various Theosophical works, and also the explanation of certain points which have remained obscure, because they were necessarily left incomplete. Many are the questions upon which even the author of "Esoteric Buddhism" (the best and
* "Esoteric Buddhism" and "Man."
most accurate of all such works) has not touched. On the other hand, even he has introduced several mistaken notions which must now be presented in their true mystic light, as far as the present writer is capable of doing so.
Let us then make a short break between the Slokas just explained and those which follow, for the Cosmic periods which separate them are of immense duration. This will afford us ample time to take a bird's eye view of some points pertaining to the Secret Doctrine, which have been presented to the public under a more or less uncertain and sometimes mistaken light.
A FEW EARLY THEOSOPHICAL MISCONCEPTIONS CONCERNING PLANETS, ROUNDS, AND MAN.
Among the eleven Stanzas omitted* there is one which gives a full description of the formation of the planetary chains one after another, after the first Cosmic and Atomic differentiation had commenced in the primitive Acosmism. It is idle to speak of "laws arising when Deity prepares to create" for (a) laws or rather LAW is eternal and uncreated; and (b) that Deity is Law, and vice versa. Moreover, the one eternal LAW unfolds everything in the (to be) manifested Nature on a sevenfold principle; among the rest, the countless circular chains of worlds, composed of seven globes, graduated on the four lower planes of the world of formation (the three others belonging to the Archetypal Universe). Out of these seven only one, the lowest and the most material of those globes, is within our plane or means of perception, the six others lying outside of it and being therefore invisible to the terrestrial eye. Every such chain of worlds is the progeny and creation of another, lower, and dead chain -- its reincarnation, so to say. To make it clearer: we are told of the planets -- of which seven only were held as sacred, as being ruled by the highest regents or gods, and not at all because the ancients knew nothing of the others** -- that each of these, whether known or unknown, is a septenary, as is the chain to which the Earth belongs (see "Esoteric
* See the note which follows the Commentary on the preceding page, and also the summary of the Stanzas in the Proem, page 22.
** Many more planets are enumerated in the Secret Books than in modern astronomical works.
DESCENDING AND RE-ASCENDING STATES.
Buddhism"). For instance, all such
planets as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, etc., etc., or our Earth, are
as visible to us as our globe, probably, is to the inhabitants of the other
planets, if any, because they are all on the same plane; while the superior
fellow-globes of these planets are on other planes quite outside that of our
terrestrial senses. As their relative position is given further on, and also in
the diagram appended to the Comments on Verse 7 of Stanza VI., a few words of
explanation is all that is needed at present. These invisible companions
correspond curiously to that which we call "the principles in
Vehicle of Spirit
(4) Animal Soul
Upadhi of Mind
(6) Astral Body
Upadhi of Life
(7) Physical Body**
The Upadhi of all the 6 Princ.
Descending into matter
4 D Our Earth or any (Visible) Planet
Ascending to Spirit
4 D Our Earth or any (Visible) Planet
[[above is in diagram format in the original text]]
* As we are proceeding here from Universals to Particulars, instead of using the inductive or Aristotelean method, the numbers are reversed. Spirit is enumerated the first instead of seventh, as is usually done, but, in truth, ought not to be done.
** Or as usually named after the manner of Esoteric Buddhism and others: 1, Atma; 2, Buddhi (or Spiritual Soul); 3, Manas (Human Soul); 4, Kama Rupa (Vehicle of Desires and Passions); 5, Linga Sarira; 6, Prana; 7, Sthula Sarira.
The dark horizontal lines of the lower planes are the Upadhis in one case, and the planes in the case of the planetary chain. Of course, as regards the human principles, the diagram does not place them quite in order, yet it shows the correspondence and analogy to which attention is now drawn. As the reader will see, it is a case of descent into matter, the adjustment -- in both the mystic and the physical senses -- of the two, and their interblending for the great coming "struggle of life" that awaits both the entities. "Entity" may be thought a strange term to use in the case of a globe; but the ancient philosophers, who saw in the earth a huge "animal," were wiser in their generation than our modern geologists are in theirs; and Pliny, who called the Earth our kind nurse and mother, the only element which is not inimical to man, spoke more truly than Watts, who fancied that he saw in her the footstool of God. For Earth is only the footstool of man in his ascension to higher regions; the vestibule --
". . . . . . . to glorious mansions,
Through which a moving crowd for ever press."
But this only shows how admirably the occult philosophy fits everything in Nature, and how much more logical are its tenets than the lifeless hypothetical speculations of physical science.
Having learned thus much, the mystic will be better prepared to understand the occult teaching, though every formal student of modern science may, and probably will, regard it as preposterous nonsense. The student of occultism, however, holds that the theory at present under discussion is far more philosophical and probable than any other. It is more logical, at any rate, than the theory recently advanced which made of the moon the projection of a portion of our Earth extruded when the latter was but a globe in fusion, a molten plastic mass.*
It is said that the planetary chains having their "Days" and their
* Says the author of "Modern Science and Modern Thought," Mr. Samuel Laing: "The astronomical conclusions are theories based on data so uncertain, that while in some cases they give results incredibly short, like that of 15 millions of years for the whole past process of formation of the solar system, in others they give results almost incredibly long, as in that which supposes the moon to have been thrown off when the Earth was rotating in three hours, while the utmost actual retardation obtained from observation would require 600 millions of years to make it rotate in twenty-three hours instead of twenty-four" (p. 48). And if physicists persist, why should the chronology of the Hindus be laughed at as exaggerated?
EXCHANGE OF LIFE-PRINCIPLES.
"Nights" -- i.e., periods of activity or life, and of inertia or death -- and behave in heaven as do men on Earth: they generate their likes, get old, and become personally extinct, their spiritual principles only living in their progeny as a survival of themselves.
Without attempting the very difficult task of giving out the whole process in all its cosmic details, enough may be said to give an approximate idea of it. When a planetary chain is in its last Round, its Globe 1 or A, before finally dying out, sends all its energy and "principles" into a neutral centre of latent force, a "laya centre," and thereby informs a new nucleus of undifferentiated substance or matter, i.e., calls it into activity or gives it life. Suppose such a process to have taken place in the lunar "planetary" chain; suppose again, for argument's sake (though Mr. Darwin's theory quoted below has lately been upset, even if the fact has not yet been ascertained by mathematical calculation) that the moon is far older than the Earth. Imagine the six fellow-globes of the moon -- aeons before the first globe of our seven was evolved -- just in the same position in relation to each other as the fellow-globes of our chain occupy in regard to our Earth now. (See in "Esoteric Buddhism," "The Constitution of Man," and the "Planetary Chain.") And now it will be easy to imagine further Globe A of the lunar chain informing Globe A of the terrestrial chain, and -- dying; Globe B of the former sending after that its energy into Globe B of the new chain; then Globe C of the lunar, creating its progeny sphere C of the terrene chain; then the Moon (our Satellite*) pouring forth into
* She is the satellite,
undeniably, but this does not invalidate the theory that she has given to the
Earth all but her corpse. For
lowest globe of our planetary ring -- Globe D, our Earth -- all its life,
energy and powers; and, having transferred them to a new centre becoming
virtually a dead planet, in which rotation has almost ceased since the birth of
our globe. The Moon is now the cold residual quantity, the shadow dragged after
the new body, into which her living powers and "principles" are transfused.
She now is doomed for long ages to be ever pursuing the Earth, to be attracted
by and to attract her progeny. Constantly vampirised by her child, she revenges
herself on it by soaking it through and through with the nefarious, invisible,
and poisoned influence which emanates from the occult side of her nature. For she is a dead, yet a living body. The particles of her
decaying corpse are full of active and destructive life, although the body
which they had formed is soulless and lifeless. Therefore its emanations are at
the same time beneficent and maleficent -- this circumstance finding its
parallel on earth in the fact that the grass and plants are nowhere more juicy and thriving than on the graves; while at the
same time it is the graveyard or corpse-emanations, which kill. And like all
ghouls or vampires, the moon is the friend of the sorcerers and the foe of the
unwary. From the archaic aeons and the later times of the witches of
Such is the moon from the astronomical, geological, and physical standpoints. As to her metaphysical and psychic nature it must remain an occult secret in this work, as it was in the volume on "Esoteric Buddhism," notwithstanding the rather sanguine statement made therein on p. 113 (5th edition) that "there is not much mystery left now in the riddle of the eighth sphere." These are topics, indeed, "on which the adepts are very reserved in their communications to uninitiated pupils," and since they have, moreover, never sanctioned or permitted any published speculations upon them, the less said the better.
Yet without treading upon the forbidden ground of the "eighth sphere," it may be useful to state some additional facts with regard to ex-monads of the lunar chain -- the "lunar ancestors" -- as they play a
OPINIONS DIFFER AND YET AGREE.
leading part in the coming Anthropogenesis. This
brings us directly to the septenary constitution of man; and as some discussion
has arisen of late about the best classification to be adopted for the division
of the microcosmic entity, two systems are now appended with a view to
facilitate comparison. The subjoined short article is from the pen of Mr. T.
Subba Row, a learned Vedantin scholar. He prefers the Brahmanical division of
the Raja Yoga, and from a metaphysical point of view he is quite right. But, as
it is a question of simple choice and expediency, we hold in this work to the
"time-honoured" classification of the trans-Himalayan "
SEPTENARY DIVISION IN DIFFERENT INDIAN SYSTEMS.
"We give below in a tabular form the classifications adopted by the Buddhist and Vedantic teachers of the principles of man:--
CLASSIFICATION IN ESOTERIC BUDDHISM.
1. Sthula Sarira.
3. The vehicle of Prana.***
4. Kama Rupa.
(a) Volitions and feelings, etc.
6. Spiritual Soul.*****
[[1.]] Annamaya kosa.*
[[2., 3.]] Pranamaya kosa.
[[4., 5.(a)]] Manomaya kosa.
[[5.(b)]] Vignanamaya kosa.
[[6.]] Anandamaya kosa.
CLASSIFICATION IN TARAKA RAJA YOGA
[[1., 2.]] Sthulopadhi.****
[[5.(a), (b)]] Sukshmopadhi.
[[above is in table format in the original text.]]
* Kosa (kosha) is "Sheath" literally, the sheath of every principle.
*** The astral body or Linga Sarira.
**** Sthula-Upadhi, or basis of the principle.
From the foregoing table it will be seen that the third principle in the Buddhist classification is not separately mentioned in the Vedantic division, as it is merely the vehicle of Prana. It will also be seen that the Fourth principle is included in the third Kosa (Sheath), as the same principle is but the vehicle of will-power, which is but an energy of the mind. It must also be noticed that the Vignanamaya Kosa is considered to be distinct from the Manomaya Kosa, as a division is made after death between the lower part of the mind, as it were, which has a closer affinity with the fourth principle than with the sixth; and its higher part, which attaches itself to the latter, and which is, in fact, the basis for the higher spiritual individuality of man.
We may also here point out to our readers that the classification mentioned in the last column is, for all practical purposes, connected with Raja Yoga, the best and simplest. Though there are seven principles in man, there are but three distinct Upadhis (bases), in each of which his Atma may work independently of the rest. These three Upadhis can be separated by an Adept without killing himself. He cannot separate the seven principles from each other without destroying his constitution."
student will now be better prepared to see that between the three Upadhis of
the Raja Yoga and its Atma, and our three Upadhis, Atma, and the additional
three divisions, there is in reality but very little difference. Moreover, as
every adept in cis-Himalayan or trans-Himalayan
For the benefit of those who may not have read, or, if they have, may not have clearly understood, in Theosophical writings, the doctrine of the septenary chains of worlds in the Solar Kosmos, the teaching is briefly thus:--
1. Everything in the metaphysical as in the physical Universe is septenary. Hence every sidereal body, every planet, whether visible
THE TRANSMIGRATIONS OF THE EGO.
or invisible, is credited with six companion globes. (See Diagram No. 3, after verse 6 of this commentary.) The evolution of life proceeds on these seven globes or bodies from the 1st to the 7th in Seven ROUNDS or Seven Cycles.
2. These globes are formed by a process which the Occultists call the "rebirth of planetary chains (or rings)." When the seventh and last Round of one of such rings has been entered upon, the highest or first globe "A," followed by all the others down to the last, instead of entering upon a certain time of rest -- or "obscuration," as in their previous Rounds -- begins to die out. The "planetary" dissolution (pralaya) is at hand, and its hour has struck; each globe has to transfer its life and energy to another planet. (See diagram No. 2 infra, "The Moon and the Earth.")
3. Our Earth, as the visible representative of its invisible superior fellow globes, its "lords" or "principles" (see diagram No. 1), has to live, as have the others, through seven Rounds. During the first three, it forms and consolidates; during the fourth it settles and hardens; during the last three it gradually returns to its first ethereal form: it is spiritualised, so to say.
4. Its Humanity develops fully only in the Fourth -- our present Round. Up to this fourth Life-Cycle, it is referred to as "humanity" only for lack of a more appropriate term. Like the grub which becomes chrysalis and butterfly, Man, or rather that which becomes man, passes through all the forms and kingdoms during the first Round and through all the human shapes during the two following Rounds. Arrived on our Earth at the commencement of the Fourth in the present series of life-cycles and races, MAN is the first form that appears thereon, being preceded only by the mineral and vegetable kingdoms -- even the latter having to develop and continue its further evolution through man. This will be explained in Book II. During the three Rounds to come, Humanity, like the globe on which it lives, will be ever tending to reassume its primeval form, that of a Dhyan Chohanic Host. Man tends to become a God and then -- GOD, like every other atom in the Universe.
"Beginning so early as with the 2nd round, Evolution proceeds already on quite a different plan. It is only during the 1st round that (heavenly) man becomes a human being on globe A (rebecomes) a mineral, a plant, an animal, on globe B and C, etc. The process changes entirely from the second round -- but you have learned prudence . . . and I advise you to say nothing before the time for saying it has come. . ." (Extract from the Teacher's letters on various topics.)
5. Every life-cycle on Globe D (our Earth)* is composed of seven root-races. They commence with the Ethereal and end with the spiritual on the double line of physical and moral evolution -- from the beginning of the terrestrial round to its close. (One is a "planetary round" from Globe A to Globe G, the seventh; the other, the "globe round," or the terrestrial).
This is very well described in "Esoteric Buddhism" and needs no further elucidation for the time being.
6. The first root-race, i.e., the first "men" on earth (irrespective of form) were the progeny of the "celestial men," called rightly in Indian philosophy the "Lunar Ancestors" or the Pitris, of which there are seven classes or Hierarchies. As all this will be sufficiently explained in the following sections and in Book II., no more need be said of it here.
But the two works already mentioned, both of which treat of subjects from the occult doctrine, need particular notice. "Esoteric Buddhism" is too well known in Theosophical circles, and even to the outside world, for it to be necessary to enter at length upon its merits here. It is an excellent book, and has done still more excellent work. But this does not alter the fact that it contains some mistaken notions, and that it has led many Theosophists and lay-readers to form an erroneous conception of the Secret Eastern Doctrines. Moreover it seems, perhaps, a little too materialistic.
"MAN," which came later, was an attempt to present the archaic doctrine from a more ideal standpoint, to translate some visions in and from the Astral Light, to render some teachings partly gathered from a Master's thoughts, but unfortunately misunderstood. This work also speaks of the evolution of the early Races of men on Earth, and contains some excellent pages of a philosophical character. But so far it is only an interesting little mystical romance. It has failed in its mission, because the conditions required for a correct translation of these visions were not present. Hence the reader must not wonder if our Volumes contradict these earlier descriptions in several particulars.
* We are not concerned with the other Globes in this work except incidentally.
A RE-ADJUSTMENT OF FACTS.
Esoteric "Cosmogony" in general, and the evolution of the human Monad especially, differ so essentially in these two books and in other Theosophical works written independently by beginners, that it becomes impossible to proceed with the present work without special mention of these two earlier volumes, for both have a number of admirers -- "Esoteric Buddhism" especially. The time has arrived for the explanation of some matters in this direction. Mistakes have now to be checked by the original teachings and corrected. If one of the said works has too pronounced a bias toward materialistic science, the other is decidedly too idealistic, and is, at times, fantastic.
From the doctrine -- rather incomprehensible to western minds -- which deals with the periodical "obscurations" and successive "Rounds" of the Globes along their circular chains, were born the first perplexities and misconceptions. One of such has reference to the "Fifth-" and even "Sixth-Rounders." Those who knew that a Round was preceded and followed by a long Pralaya, a pause of rest which created an impassable gulf between two Rounds until the time came for a renewed cycle of life, could not understand the "fallacy" of talking about "fifth and sixth Rounders" in our Fourth Round. Gautama Buddha, it was held, was a Sixth-Rounder, Plato and some other great philosophers and minds, "Fifth-Rounders." How could it be? One Master taught and affirmed that there were such "Fifth-Rounders" even now on Earth; and though understood to say that mankind was yet "in the Fourth Round," in another place he seemed to say that we were in the Fifth. To this an "apocalyptic answer" was returned by another Teacher:-- "A few drops of rain do not make a Monsoon, though they presage it." . . . "No, we are not in the Fifth Round, but Fifth Round men have been coming in for the last few thousand years." This was worse than the riddle of the Sphinx! Students of Occultism subjected their brains to the wildest work of speculation. For a considerable time they tried to outvie OEdipus and reconcile the two statements. And as the Masters kept as silent as the stony Sphinx herself, they were accused of inconsistency, "contradiction," and "discrepancies." But they were simply allowing the speculations to go on, in order to teach a lesson which the Western mind sorely needs. In their conceit and arrogance, as in their habit of materializing every metaphysical conception and term without allowing any margin for Eastern metaphor and allegory, the Orientalists have made a jumble of the Hindu exoteric philosophy, and the Theosophists were now doing the same with regard to esoteric teachings. To this day it is evident that the latter have utterly failed to understand the meaning of the term "Fifth and Sixth Rounders." But it is simply this: every "Round" brings about a new development and even an entire change in the mental, psychic, spiritual and physical constitution of man, all these principles evoluting on an ever ascending scale. Thence it follows that those persons who, like Confucius and Plato, belonged psychically, mentally and spiritually to the higher planes of evolution, were in our Fourth Round as the average man will be in the Fifth Round, whose mankind is destined to find itself, on this scale of Evolution, immensely higher than is our present humanity. Similarly Gautama Buddha -- Wisdom incarnate -- was still higher and greater than all the men we have mentioned, who are called Fifth Rounders, while Buddha and Sankaracharya are termed Sixth Rounders, allegorically. Thence again the concealed wisdom of the remark, pronounced at the time "evasive" -- that a few drops of rain do not make the Monsoon, though they presage it."
And now the truth of the remark made in "Esoteric Buddhism" by its author will be fully apparent:--
"It is impossible, when the complicated facts of an entirely unfamiliar science are being presented to untrained minds for the first time, to put them forward with all their appropriate qualifications . . . and abnormal developments. . . . We must be content to take the broad rules first and deal with the exceptions afterwards, and especially is this the case with study, in connection with which the traditional methods of teaching, generally followed, aim at impressing every fresh idea on the memory by provoking the perplexity it at last relieves."
As the author of the remark was himself, as he says, "an untrained mind" in Occultism, his own inferences, and his better knowledge of modern astronomical speculations than of archaic doctrines led him quite naturally, and as unconsciously to himself, to commit a few mistakes of detail rather than of any "broad rule." One such will now be noticed. It is a trifling one, still it is calculated to lead many a beginner into erroneous conceptions. But as the mistaken notions of the earlier editions were corrected in the annotations of the fifth edition, so the sixth may be revised and perfected. There were several reasons
LIKE QUESTIONS, LIKE ANSWERS.
for such mistakes. (1) They were due to the necessity under which the teachers laboured of giving what were considered as "evasive answers": the questions being too persistently pressed to be left unnoticed, while, on the other hand, they could only be partially answered. (2) This position notwithstanding, the confession that "half a loaf is better than no bread" was but too often misunderstood and hardly appreciated as it ought to have been. As a result thereof gratuitous speculations were sometimes indulged in by the European lay-chelas. Among such were (a) the "Mystery of the Eighth Sphere" in its relation to the Moon; and (b) the erroneous statement that two of the superior Globes of the terrestrial chain were two of our well-known planets: "besides the Earth . . . there are only two other worlds of our chain which are visible. . . . Mars and Mercury. . . ." (Esoteric Buddhism; p. 136.)
This was a great mistake. But the blame for it is to be attached as much to the vagueness and incompleteness of the Master's answer as to the question of the learner itself, which was equally vague and indefinite.
It was asked: "What planets, of those known to ordinary science, besides Mercury, belong to our system of worlds?" Now if by "System of Worlds" our terrestrial chain or "string" was intended in the mind of the querist, instead of the "Solar System of Worlds," as it should have been, then of course the answer was likely to be misunderstood. For the reply was: "Mars, etc., and four other planets of which astronomy knows nothing. Neither A, B, nor YZ are known nor can they be seen through physical means however perfected." This is plain: (a) Astronomy as yet knows nothing in reality of the planets, neither the ancient ones, nor those discovered in modern times. (b) No companion planets from A to Z, i.e., no upper globes of any chain in the Solar System, can be seen.* As to Mars, Mercury, and "the four other planets," they bear
* With the exception of course of all the planets which come fourth in number, as our earth, the moon, etc., etc. Copies of all the letters ever received or sent, with the exception of a few private ones -- "in which there was no teaching" the Master says -- are with the writer. As it was her duty, in the beginning, to answer and explain certain points not touched upon, it is more than likely that notwithstanding the many annotations on these copies, the writer, in her ignorance of English and her fear of saying too much, may have bungled the information given. She takes the whole blame for it upon herself in any and every case. But it is impossible for her to allow students to remain any longer under erroneous impressions, or to believe that the fault lies with the esoteric system.
a relation to Earth of which no master or high Occultist will ever speak, much less explain the nature.*
Let it now be distinctly stated, then, that the theory broached is impossible, with or without the additional evidence furnished by modern Astronomy. Physical Science can supply corroborative, though still very uncertain, evidence, but only as regards heavenly bodies on the same plane of materiality as our objective Universe. Mars and Mercury, Venus and Jupiter, like every hitherto discovered planet (or those still to be discovered), are all, per se, the representatives on our plane of such chains. As distinctly stated in one of the numerous letters of Mr. Sinnett's "Teacher," "there are other and innumerable Manvantaric chains of globes which bear intelligent Beings both in and outside our solar system." But neither Mars nor Mercury belong to our chain. They are, along with the other planets, septenary Units in the great host of "chains" of our system, and all are as visible as their upper globes are invisible.
If it is still argued that certain expressions in the Teacher's letters were liable to mislead, the answer comes:-- Amen; so it was. The author of "Esoteric Buddhism" understood it well when he wrote that such are "the traditional modes of teaching . . . by provoking the perplexity" . . . they do, or do not relieve -- as the case may be. At all events, if it is urged that this might have been explained earlier, and the true nature of the planets given out as they now are, the answer comes that: "it was not found expedient to do so at the time, as it would have opened the way to a series of additional questions which could never be answered on account of their esoteric nature, and thus would only become embarrassing." It had been declared from the first and has been repeatedly asserted since that (1st) no Theosophist, not even as an accepted chela -- let alone lay students -- could expect to have the secret teachings explained to him thoroughly and completely, before he had irretrievably pledged himself to the Brotherhood and passed through at least one initiation, because no figures and numbers could be given to the public, for figures and numbers are the key to the esoteric system. (2.) That
* In this same letter the impossibility is distinctly stated:-- . . . "Try to understand that you are putting me questions pertaining to the highest initiation; that I can give you (only) a general view, but that I dare not nor will I enter upon details . . ." wrote one of the Teachers to the author of "Esoteric Buddhism."
AN AUTHORITATIVE LETTER.
what was revealed was merely the esoteric lining of that which is contained in almost all the exoteric Scriptures of the world-religions -- pre-eminently in the Brahmanas, and the Upanishads of the Vedas and even in the Puranas. It was a small portion of what is divulged far more fully now in the present volumes; and even this is very incomplete and fragmentary.
When the present work was commenced, the writer, feeling sure that the speculation about Mars and Mercury was a mistake, applied to the Teachers by letter for explanation and an authoritative version. Both came in due time, and verbatim extracts from these are now given.
. . . . It is quite correct that Mars is in a state of obscuration at present,
and Mercury just beginning to get out of it. You might add that Venus is in her
last Round. . . . . . . . . . . If neither Mercury nor Venus have satellites,
it is because of the reasons . . . (vide footnote supra, where those reasons
are given), and also because Mars has two satellites to which he has no right.
. . . . Phobos, the supposed INNER satellite, is no satellite at all. As
remarked long ago by
'. . . . . . . . . . . knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own. . . .'
You can never impress it too profoundly on the minds of those to whom you impart some of the esoteric teachings. . ."
Again, here are more extracts from another letter written by the same authority. This time it is in answer to some objections laid before the Teachers. They are based upon extremely scientific, and as futile, reasonings about the advisability of trying to reconcile the Esoteric theories with the speculations of Modern Science, and were written by a young Theosophist as a warning against the "Secret Doctrine" and in reference to the same subject. He had declared that if there were such companion Earths "they must be only a wee bit less material than our globe." How then was it that they could not be seen? The answer was:--
". . . . Were psychic and spiritual teachings more fully understood, it would become next to impossible to even imagine such an incongruity. Unless less trouble is taken to reconcile the irreconcileable -- that is to say, the metaphysical and spiritual sciences with physical or natural philosophy, 'natural' being a synonym to them (men of science) of that matter which falls under the perception of their corporeal senses -- no progress can be really achieved. Our Globe, as taught from the first, is at the bottom of the arc of descent, where the matter of our perceptions exhibits itself in its grossest form. . . . . . . Hence it only stands to reason that the globes which overshadow our Earth must be on different and superior planes. In short, as Globes, they are in CO-ADUNITION but not IN CONSUBSTANTIALITY WITH OUR EARTH and thus pertain to quite another state of consciousness. Our planet (like all those we see) is adapted to the peculiar state of its human stock, that state which enables us to see with our naked eye the sidereal bodies which are co-essential with our terrene plane and substance, just as their respective inhabitants, the Jovians, Martians and others can perceive our little world: because our planes of consciousness, differing as they do in degree but being the same in kind, are on the same layer of differentiated matter. . . . . What I wrote was 'The minor Pralaya concerns only our little STRINGS OF GLOBES.' (We called chains 'Strings' in those days of lip-confusion.) . . . 'To such a string our Earth belongs.' This ought to have shown plainly that the other planets were also 'strings' or CHAINS. . . If he (meaning the objector) would perceive even the dim silhouette of one of such 'planets' on the higher planes, he has to first throw off even the thin clouds of the astral matter that stands between him and the next plane. . . . ."
It becomes patent why we could not perceive, even with the help of the best earthly telescopes, that which is outside our world of matter. Those alone, whom we call adepts, who know how to direct their mental vision and to transfer their consciousness -- physical and psychic both --
PRICELESS ADVICE, NEGLECTED.
to other planes of being, are able to speak with authority on such subjects. And they tell us plainly:--
"Lead the life necessary for the acquisition of such knowledge and powers, and Wisdom will come to you naturally. Whenever your are able to attune your consciousness to any of the seven chords of 'Universal Consciousness,' those chords that run along the sounding-board of Kosmos, vibrating from one Eternity to another; when you have studied thoroughly 'the music of the Spheres,' then only will you become quite free to share your knowledge with those with whom it is safe to do so. Meanwhile, be prudent. Do not give out the great Truths that are the inheritance of the future Races, to our present generation. Do not attempt to unveil the secret of being and non-being to those unable to see the hidden meaning of Apollo's HEPTACHORD -- the lyre of the radiant god, in each of the seven strings of which dwelleth the Spirit, Soul and Astral body of the Kosmos, whose shell only has now fallen into the hands of Modern Science. . . . . . Be prudent, we say, prudent and wise, and above all take care what those who learn from you believe in; lest by deceiving themselves they deceive others . . . . . for such is the fate of every truth with which men are, as yet, unfamiliar. . . . Let rather the planetary chains and other super- and sub-cosmic mysteries remain a dreamland for those who can neither see, nor yet believe that others can. . . ."
It is to be regretted that few of us have followed the wise advice; and that many a priceless pearl, many a jewel of wisdom, has been cast to an enemy unable to understand its value and who has turned round and rent us.
" 'Let us imagine,' wrote the same Master to his two 'lay chelas,' as he called the author of 'Esoteric Buddhism' and another gentleman, his co-student for some time -- 'let us imagine THAT OUR EARTH IS ONE OF A GROUP OF SEVEN PLANETS OR MAN-BEARING WORLDS. . . . . . (The SEVEN planets are the sacred planets of antiquity, and are all septenary.) Now the life-impulse reaches A, or rather that which is destined to become A, and which so far is but cosmic dust (a "laya centre") . . etc.' "
In these early letters, in which the terms had to be invented and words coined, the "Rings" very often became "Rounds," and the "Rounds" life-cycles, and vice versa. To a correspondent who called a "Round" a "World-Ring," the Teacher wrote: "I believe this will lead to a further confusion. A Round we are agreed to call the passage of a monad from Globe A to Globe G or Z. . . The 'World-Ring' is correct. . . Advise Mr. . . . strongly, to agree upon a nomenclature before going any further. . . "
this agreement, many mistakes, owing to this confusion, crept into the earliest
teachings. The Races even were occasionally mixed up with the
"Rounds" and "Rings," and led to similar mistakes in "
"Not being permitted to give you the whole truth, or divulge the number of isolated fractions . . . I am unable to satisfy you."
This in answer to the questions, "If we are right, then the total existence prior to the man-period is 637," etc., etc. To all the queries relating to figures, the reply was, "Try to solve the problem of 777 incarnations. . . . Though I am obliged to withhold information . . . yet if you should work out the problem by yourself, it will be my duty to tell you so."
But they never were so worked out, and the results were -- never-ceasing perplexity and mistakes.
Even the teaching about the Septenary constitution of the sidereal bodies and of the macrocosm -- from which the septenary division of the microcosm, or Man -- has until now been among the most esoteric. In olden times it used to be divulged only at the Initiation and along with the most sacred figures of the cycles. Now, as stated in one of the Theosophical journals,* the revelation of the whole system of Cosmogony had not been contemplated, nor even thought for one moment possible, at a time when a few bits of information were sparingly given out in answer to letters written by the author of "Esoteric Buddhism," in which he put forward a multiplicity of questions. Among these were questions on such problems as no MASTER, however high and independent he might be, would have the right to answer, thus divulging to the world the most time-honoured and archaic of the mysteries of the ancient college-temples. Hence only a few of the doctrines were revealed in their broad outlines, while details were constantly withheld, and all the efforts made to elicit more information about them were systematically eluded from the beginning. This is perfectly natural. Of the four Vidyas -- out of the seven branches of Knowledge mentioned in the Puranas -- namely, "Yajna-Vidya" (the performance of religious rites in order to
* "Lucifer," May, 1888.
THE SEVEN BRANCHES OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE.
produce certain results); "Maha-Vidya," the great (Magic) knowledge, now degenerated into Tantrika worship; "Guhya-Vidya," the science of Mantras and their true rhythm or chanting, of mystical incantations, etc. -- it is only the last one, "Atma-Vidya," or the true Spiritual and Divine wisdom, which can throw absolute and final light upon the teachings of the three first named. Without the help of Atma-Vidya, the other three remain no better than surface sciences, geometrical magnitudes having length and breadth, but no thickness. They are like the soul, limbs, and mind of a sleeping man: capable of mechanical motions, of chaotic dreams and even sleep-walking, of producing visible effects, but stimulated by instinctual not intellectual causes, least of all by fully conscious spiritual impulses. A good deal can be given out and explained from the three first-named sciences. But unless the key to their teachings is furnished by Atma-Vidya, they will remain for ever like the fragments of a mangled text-book, like the adumbrations of great truths, dimly perceived by the most spiritual, but distorted out of all proportion by those who would nail every shadow to the wall.
Then, again, another great perplexity was created in the minds of students by the incomplete exposition of the doctrine of the evolution of the Monads. To be fully realised, both this process and that of the birth of the Globes must be examined far more from their metaphysical aspect than from what one might call a statistical standpoint, involving figures and numbers which are rarely permitted to be broadly used. Unfortunately, there are few who are inclined to handle these doctrines only metaphysically. Even the best of the Western writers upon our doctrine declares in his work that "on pure metaphysics of that sort we are not now engaged," when speaking of the evolution of the Monads ("Esoteric Buddhism," p. 46). And in such case, as the Teacher remarks in a letter to him, "Why this preaching of our doctrines, all this uphill work and swimming in adversum flumen? Why should the West . . . learn . . . from the East . . . that which can never meet the requirements of the special tastes of the aesthetics?" And he draws his correspondent's attention "to the formidable difficulties encountered by us (the Adepts) in every attempt we make to explain our metaphysics to the Western mind."
And well he may; for outside of metaphysics no occult philosophy, no esotericism is possible. It is like trying to explain the aspirations and affections, the love and hatred, the most private and sacred workings in the soul and mind of the living man, by an anatomical description of the chest and brain of his dead body.
Let us now examine two tenets mentioned above and hardly alluded to in "Esoteric Buddhism," and supplement them as far as lies in our power.
ADDITIONAL FACTS AND EXPLANATIONS CONCERNING THE GLOBES AND THE MONADS.
Two statements made in "Esoteric Buddhism" must be noticed and the author's opinions quoted. On p. 47 (fifth edition) it is said:--
" . . . the spiritual monads . . . do not fully complete their mineral existence on Globe A, then complete it on Globe B, and so on. They pass several times round the whole circle as minerals, and then again several times round as vegetables, and several times as animals. We purposely refrain for the present from going into figures," etc., etc.
This was a wise course to adopt in view of the great secrecy maintained with regard to figures and numbers. This reticence is now partially relinquished; but it would perhaps have been better had the real numbers concerning Rounds and evolutional gyrations been either entirely divulged at the time, or as entirely withheld. Mr. Sinnett understood this difficulty well when saying (p. 140) that: "For reasons which are not easy for the outsider to divine, the possessors of occult knowledge are especially reluctant to give out facts relating to Cosmogony, though it is hard for the uninitiated to understand why they should be withheld."
That there were such reasons is evident. Nevertheless, it is to this reticence that most of the confused ideas of some Eastern as well as Western pupils are due. The difficulties in the way of the acceptance of the two particular tenets under consideration seemed great, just because of the absence of any data to go upon. But there it was. For the figures belonging to the Occult calculations cannot be given -- as the Masters have many times declared -- outside the circle of pledged chelas, and not even these can break the rules.
To make things plainer, without touching upon the mathematical aspects of the doctrine, the teaching given may be expanded and some obscure
THE MYSTERY OF THE MOON, UNVEILED.
points solved. As the evolution of the Globes and that of the Monads are so closely interblended, we will make of the two teachings one. In reference to the Monads, the reader is asked to bear in mind that Eastern philosophy rejects the Western theological dogma of a newly-created soul for every baby born, as being as unphilosophical as it is impossible in the economy of Nature. There must be a limited number of Monads evolving and growing more and more perfect through their assimilation of many successive personalities, in every new Manvantara. This is absolutely necessary in view of the doctrines of Rebirth, Karma, and the gradual return of the human Monad to its source -- absolute Deity. Thus, although the hosts of more or less progressed Monads are almost incalculable, they are still finite, as is everything in this Universe of differentiation and finiteness.
As shown in the double diagram of the human "principles" and the ascending Globes of the world-chains, there is an eternal concatenation of causes and effects, and a perfect analogy which runs through, and links together, all the lines of evolution. One begets the other -- globes as personalities. But, let us begin at the beginning.
The general outline of the process by which the successive planetary chains are formed has just been given. To prevent future misconceptions, some further details may be offered which will also throw light on the history of humanity on our own chain, the progeny of that of the Moon.
In the diagrams on p. 172, Fig. 1 represents the "lunar-chain" of seven planets at the outset of its seventh or last Round; while Fig. 2 represents the "earth-chain" which will be, but is not yet in existence. The seven Globes of each chain are distinguished in their cyclic order by the letters A to G, the Globes of the Earth-chain being further marked by a cross -- + -- the symbol of the Earth.
Now, it must be remembered that the Monads cycling round any septenary chain are divided into seven classes or hierarchies according to their respective stages of evolution, consciousness, and merit. Let us follow, then, the order of their appearance on planet A, in the first Round. The time-spaces between the appearances of these hierarchies on any one Globe are so adjusted that when Class 7, the last, appears on Globe A, Class 1, the first, has just passed on to Globe B, and so on, step by step, all round the chain.
Again, in the Seventh Round on the Lunar chain, when Class 7, the last, quits Globe A, that Globe, instead of falling asleep, as it had done in previous Rounds, begins to die (to go into its planetary pralaya);* and in dying it transfers successively, as just said, its "principles," or life-elements and energy, etc., one after the other to a new "laya-centre," which commences the formation of Globe A of the Earth Chain. A similar process takes place for each of the Globes of the "lunar chain" one after the other, each forming a fresh Globe of the "earth-chain." Our Moon was the fourth Globe of the series, and was
D+ (Our Earth)
D (Our Moon)
[[above is in diagram format in the original text]]
on the same plane of perception as our Earth. But Globe A of the lunar chain is not fully "dead" till the first Monads of the first class have passed from Globe G or Z, the last of the "lunar chain," into the Nirvana
* Occultism divides the periods of Rest (Pralaya) into several kinds; there is the individual pralaya of each Globe, as humanity and life pass on to the next; seven minor Pralayas in each Round; the planetary Pralaya, when seven Rounds are completed; the Solar Pralaya, when the whole system is at an end; and finally the Universal Maha -- or Brahma -- Pralaya at the close of the "Age of Brahma." These are the three chief pralayas or "destruction periods." There are many other minor ones, but with these we are not concerned at present.
THE EARTH, THE CHILD OF THE MOON.
which awaits them between the two chains; and similarly for all the other Globes as stated, each giving birth to the corresponding globe of the "earth-chain."
Further, when Globe A of the new chain is ready, the first class or Hierarchy of Monads from the Lunar chain incarnate upon it in the lowest kingdom, and so on successively. The result of this is, that it is only the first class of Monads which attains the human state of development during the first Round, since the second class, on each planet, arriving later, has not time to reach that stage. Thus the Monads of Class 2 reach the incipient human stage only in the Second Round, and so on up to the middle of the Fourth Round. But at this point -- and on this Fourth Round in which the human stage will be fully developed -- the "Door" into the human kingdom closes; and henceforward the number of "human" Monads, i.e., Monads in the human stage of development, is complete. For the Monads which had not reached the human stage by this point will, owing to the evolution of humanity itself, find themselves so far behind that they will reach the human stage only at the close of the seventh and last Round. They will, therefore, not be men on this chain, but will form the humanity of a future Manvantara and be rewarded by becoming "Men" on a higher chain altogether, thus receiving their Karmic compensation. To this there is but one solitary exception, for very good reasons, of which we shall speak farther on. But this accounts for the difference in the races.
It thus becomes apparent how perfect is the analogy between the processes of Nature in the Kosmos and in the individual man. The latter lives through his life-cycle, and dies. His "higher principles," corresponding in the development of a planetary chain to the cycling Monads, pass into Devachan, which corresponds to the "Nirvana" and states of rest intervening between two chains. The Man's lower "principles" are disintegrated in time and are used by Nature again for the formation of new human principles, and the same process takes place in the disintegration and formation of Worlds. Analogy is thus the surest guide to the comprehension of the Occult teachings.
This is one of the "seven mysteries of the Moon," and it is now revealed. The seven "mysteries" are called by the Japanese Yamaboosis, the mystics of the Lao-Tze sect and the ascetic monks of Kioto, the Dzenodoo -- the "seven jewels." Only the Japanese and the Chinese Buddhist ascetics and Initiates are, if possible, even more reticent in giving out their "Knowledge" than are the Hindus.
But the reader must not be allowed to lose sight of the Monads, and must be enlightened as to their nature, as far as permitted, without trespassing upon the highest mysteries, of which the writer does not in any way pretend to know the last or final word.
The Monadic Host may be roughly divided into three great classes:--
1. The most developed Monads (the Lunar Gods or "Spirits," called, in India, the Pitris), whose function it is to pass in the first Round through the whole triple cycle of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms in their most ethereal, filmy, and rudimentary forms, in order to clothe themselves in, and assimilate, the nature of the newly formed chain. They are those who first reach the human form (if there can be any form in the realm of the almost subjective) on Globe A in the first Round. It is they, therefore, who lead and represent the human element during the second and third Rounds, and finally evolve their shadows at the beginning of the Fourth Round for the second class, or those who come behind them.
2. Those Monads that are the first to reach the human stage during the three and a half Rounds, and to become men.*
* We are forced to use here the misleading word "Men," and this is a clear proof of how little any European language is adapted to express these subtle distinctions.
It stands to reason that these "Men" did not resemble the men of to-day, either in form or nature. Why then, it may be asked, call them "Men" at all? Because there is no other term in any Western language which approximately conveys the idea intended. The word "Men" at least indicates that these beings were "MANUS," thinking entities, however they differed in form and intellection from ourselves. But in reality they were, in respect of spirituality and intellection, rather "gods" than "Men."
The same difficulty of language is met with in describing the "stages" through which the Monad passes. Metaphysically speaking, it is of course an absurdity to talk of the "development" of a Monad, or to say that it becomes "Man." But any attempt to preserve metaphysical accuracy of language in the use of such a tongue as the English would necessitate at least three extra volumes of this work, and would entail an amount of verbal repetition which would be wearisome in the extreme. It stands to reason that a MONAD cannot either progress or develop, or even be affected by the changes of states it passes through. It is not of this world or plane, and may be compared only to an indestructible star of divine light and fire, thrown down on to ourEarth as a plank of salvation for the personalities in which it indwells. It is for the latter to cling to it; and thus partaking of its divine nature, obtain immortality. Left to itself the Monad will cling to no one; but, like the "plank," be drifted away to another incarnation by the unresting current of evolution.
THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE MONADS.
3. The laggards; the Monads which are retarded, and which will not reach, by reason of Karmic impediments, the human stage at all during this cycle or Round, save one exception which will be spoken of elsewhere as already promised.
Now the evolution of the external form or body round the astral is produced by the terrestrial forces, just as in the case of the lower kingdoms; but the evolution of the internal or real MAN is purely spiritual. It is now no more a passage of the impersonal Monad through many and various forms of matter -- endowed at best with instinct and consciousness on quite a different plane -- as in the case of external evolution, but a journey of the "pilgrim-soul" through various states of not only matter but Self-consciousness and self-perception, or of perception from apperception. (See "Gods, Monads and Atoms.")
The MONAD emerges from its state of spiritual and intellectual unconsciousness; and, skipping the first two planes -- too near the ABSOLUTE to permit of any correlation with anything on a lower plane -- it gets direct into the plane of Mentality. But there is no plane in the whole universe with a wider margin, or a wider field of action in its almost endless gradations of perceptive and apperceptive qualities, than this plane, which has in its turn an appropriate smaller plane for every "form," from the "mineral" monad up to the time when that monad blossoms forth by evolution into the DIVINE MONAD. But all the time it is still one and the same Monad, differing only in its incarnations, throughout its ever succeeding cycles of partial or total obscuration of spirit, or the partial or total obscuration of matter -- two polar antitheses -- as it ascends into the realms of mental spirituality, or descends into the depths of materiality.
To return to "Esoteric Buddhism." It is there stated with regard to the enormous period intervening between the mineral epoch on Globe A, and the man-epoch,* that: "The full development of the
* The term "Man epoch" is here used because of the necessity of giving a name to that fourth kingdom which follows the animal. But in truth the "Man" on Globe A during the First Round is no Man, but only his prototype or dimensionless image from the astral regions.
mineral epoch on Globe A, prepares the way for the vegetable development, and, as soon as this begins, the mineral life-impulse overflows into Globe B. Then, when the vegetable development on Globe A is complete and the animal development begins, the vegetable life-impulse overflows to Globe B, and the mineral impulse passes on to Globe C. Then finally comes the human life-impulse on Globe A." (Page 49.)
And so it goes on for three Rounds, when it slackens, and finally stops at the threshold of our Globe, at the Fourth Round; because the human period (of the true physical men to be), the seventh, is now reached. This is evident, for as said, " . . . there are processes of evolution which precede the mineral kingdom, and thus a wave of evolution, indeed several waves of evolution, precede the mineral wave in its progress round the spheres" (ibid).
And now we have to quote from another article, "The Mineral Monad" in "Five Years of Theosophy," p. 273 et seq.
"There are seven kingdoms. The first group comprises three degrees of elementals, or nascent centres of forces -- from the first stage of differentiation of (from) Mulaprakriti (or rather Pradhana, primordial homogeneous matter) to its third degree -- i.e., from full unconsciousness to semi-perception; the second or higher group embraces the kingdoms from vegetable to man; the mineral kingdom thus forming the central or turning point in the degrees of the "Monadic Essence," considered as an evoluting energy. Three stages (sub-physical) on the elemental side; the mineral kingdom; three stages on the objective physical* side -- these are the (first or preliminary) seven links of the evolutionary chain."
"Preliminary" because they are preparatory, and though belonging in fact to the natural, they yet would be more correctly described as sub-natural evolution. This process makes a halt in its stages at the Third, at the threshold of the Fourth stage, when it becomes, on the plane of the natural evolution, the first really manward stage, thus forming with the three elemental kingdoms, the ten, the Sephirothal number. It is at this point that begins:--
"A descent of spirit into matter equivalent to an ascent in physical
* "Physical" here means differentiated for cosmical purposes and work; that "physical side," nevertheless, if objective to the apperception of beings from other planes, is yet quite subjective to us on our plane.
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW, IS THE LAW.
evolution; a re-ascent from the deepest depths of materiality (the mineral) towards its status quo ante, with a corresponding dissipation of concrete organism -- up to Nirvana, the vanishing point of differentiated matter." ("Five Years of Theosophy," p. 276.)
Therefore it becomes evident why that which is pertinently called in Esoteric Buddhism "Wave of Evolution," and mineral-, vegetable-, animal- and man-"impulse," stops at the door of our Globe, at its Fourth cycle or Round. It is at this point that the Cosmic Monad (Buddhi) will be wedded to and become the vehicle of the Atmic Ray, i.e., it (Buddhi) will awaken to an apperception of it (Atman); and thus enter on the first step of a new septenary ladder of evolution, which will lead it eventually to the tenth (counting from the lowest upwards) of the Sephirothal tree, the Crown.
Everything in the Universe follows analogy. "As above, so below"; Man is the microcosm of the Universe. That which takes place on the spiritual plane repeats itself on the Cosmic plane. Concretion follows the lines of abstraction; corresponding to the highest must be the lowest; the material to the spiritual. Thus, corresponding to the Sephirothal Crown (or upper triad) there are the three elemental Kingdoms, which precede the Mineral (see diagram on p. 277 in Five Years of Theosophy), and which, using the language of the Kabalists, answer in the Cosmic differentiation to the worlds of Form and Matter from the Super-Spiritual to the Archetypal.
Now what is a "Monad?" And what relation does it bear to an Atom? The following reply is based upon the explanations given in answer to these questions in the above-cited article: "The Mineral Monad," written by the author.
"None whatever," is answered to the second question, "to the atom or molecule as existing in the scientific conception at present. It can neither be compared with the microscopic organism, once classed among polygastric infusoria, and now regarded as vegetable, and classed among Algae; nor is it quite the Monas of the Peripatetics. Physically or constitutionally the mineral monad differs, of course, from the human monad, which is neither physical nor can its constitution be rendered by chemical symbols and elements." In short, as the spiritual Monad is One, Universal, Boundless and Impartite, whose rays, nevertheless, form what we, in our ignorance, call the "Individual Monads" of men, so the Mineral Monad -- being at the opposite point of the circle -- is also One -- and from it proceed the countless physical atoms, which Science is beginning to regard as individualized.
Otherwise how could one account for and explain mathematically the evolutionary and spiral progress of the Four Kingdoms? The "Monad" is the combination of the last two "principles" in man, the 6th and the 7th, and, properly speaking, the term "human monad" applies only to the dual soul (Atma-Buddhi), not to its highest spiritual vivifying Principle, Atma, alone. But since the Spiritual Soul, if divorced from the latter (Atma) could have no existence, no being, it has thus been called . . . . Now the Monadic, or rather Cosmic, Essence (if such a term be permitted) in the mineral, vegetable, and animal, though the same throughout the series of cycles from the lowest elemental up to the Deva Kingdom, yet differs in the scale of progression. It would be very misleading to imagine a Monad as a separate Entity trailing its slow way in a distinct path through the lower Kingdoms, and after an incalculable series of transformations flowering into a human being; in short, that the Monad of a Humboldt dates back to the Monad of an atom of horneblende. Instead of saying a "Mineral Monad," the more correct phraseology in physical Science, which differentiates every atom, would of course have been to call it "the Monad manifesting in that form of Prakriti called the Mineral Kingdom." The atom, as represented in the ordinary scientific hypothesis, is not a particle of something, animated by a psychic something, destined after aeons to blossom as a man. But it is a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy which itself has not yet become individualized; a sequential manifestation of the one Universal Monas. The ocean (of matter) does not divide into its potential and constituent drops until the sweep of the life-impulse reaches the evolutionary stage of man-birth. The tendency towards segregation into individual Monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost to the point. The Peripatetics applied the word Monas to the whole Kosmos, in the pantheistic sense; and the Occultists, while accepting this thought for convenience sake, distinguish the progressive stages of the evolution of the concrete from the abstract by terms of which the "Mineral, Vegetable, Animal, (etc.), Monad" are examples. The term merely means that the tidal wave of spiritual evolution is passing through that arc of its circuit. The "Monadic
THE LUNAR MONADS.
Essence" begins to imperceptibly differentiate towards individual consciousness in the Vegetable Kingdom. As the Monads are uncompounded things, as correctly defined by Leibnitz, it is the spiritual essence which vivifies them in their degrees of differentiation, which properly constitutes the Monad -- not the atomic aggregation, which is only the vehicle and the substance through which thrill the lower and the higher degrees of intelligence.
conceived of the Monads as elementary and indestructible units endowed with the
power of giving and receiving with respect to other units, and thus of
determining all spiritual and physical phenomena. It is he who invented the
term apperception, which together with nerve- (not perception, but rather) --
sensation, expresses the state of the Monadic consciousness through all the
Kingdoms up to
Thus it may be wrong on strictly metaphysical lines to call Atma-Buddhi a MONAD, since in the materialistic view it is dual and therefore compound. But as Matter is Spirit, and vice versa; and since the Universe and the Deity which informs it are unthinkable apart from each other; so in the case of Atma-Buddhi. The latter being the vehicle of the former, Buddhi stands in the same relation to Atma, as Adam-Kadmon, the Kabalistic Logos, does to En-Soph, or Mulaprakriti to Parabrahm.
A few words more of the Moon.
What, it may be asked, are the "Lunar Monads," just spoken of? The description of the seven classes of Pitris will come later, but now some general explanations may be given. It must be plain to everyone that they are Monads, who, having ended their life-cycle on the lunar chain, which is inferior to the terrestrial chain, have incarnated on this one. But there are some further details which may be added, though they border too closely on forbidden ground to be treated of fully. The last word of the mystery is divulged only to the adepts, but it may be stated that our satellite is only the gross body of its invisible principles. Seeing then that there are 7 Earths, so there are 7 Moons, the last one alone being visible; the same for the Sun, whose visible body is called a Maya, a reflection, just as man's body is. "The real Sun and the real Moon are as invisible as the real man," says an occult maxim.
And it may be remarked en passant that those ancients were not so foolish after all who first started the idea of "the seven moons." For though this conception is now taken solely as an astronomical measure of time, in a very materialised form, yet underlying the husk there can still be recognised the traces of a profoundly philosophical idea.
In reality the Moon is only the satellite of the Earth in one respect, viz., that physically the Moon revolves round the Earth. But in every other respect it is the Earth which is the satellite of the Moon, and not vice versa. Startling as the statement may seem it is not without confirmation from scientific knowledge. It is evidenced by the tides, by the cyclic changes in many forms of disease which coincide with the lunar phases; it can be traced in the growth of plants, and is very marked in the phenomena of human gestation and conception. The importance of the Moon and its influence on the Earth were recognized in every ancient religion, notably the Jewish, and have been remarked by many observers of psychical and physical phenomena. But, so far as Science knows, the Earth's action on the Moon is confined to the physical attraction, which causes her to circle in her orbit. And should an objector insist that this fact alone is sufficient evidence that the Moon is truly the Earth's satellite on other planes of action, one may reply by asking whether a mother, who walks round and round her child's cradle keeping watch over the infant, is the subordinate of her child or dependent upon it; though in one sense she is its satellite, yet she is certainly older and more fully developed than the child she watches.
It is, then, the Moon that plays the largest and most important part, as well in the formation of the Earth itself, as in the peopling thereof with human beings. The "Lunar Monads" or Pitris, the ancestors of man, become in reality man himself. They are the "Monads" who enter on the cycle of evolution on Globe A, and who, passing round the chain of planets, evolve the human form as has just been shown. At the beginning of the human stage of the Fourth Round on this Globe, they "ooze out" their astral doubles from the "ape-like" forms which they had evolved in Round III. And it is this subtle, finer form, which serves as the model round which Nature builds physical man. These "Monads" or "divine sparks" are thus the "Lunar" ancestors, the Pitris themselves. For these "Lunar Spirits" have to become "Men" in order that their "Monads" may reach a higher plane of activity and self-consciousness, i.e., the plane of the Manasa-Putras, those who
A TRIPLE EVOLUTION IN NATURE.
endow the "senseless" shells, created and informed by the Pitris, with "mind" in the latter part of the Third Root-Race.
In the same way the "Monads" or Egos of the men of the seventh Round of our Earth, after our own Globes A, B, C, D, et seq., parting with their life-energy, will have informed and thereby called to life other laya-centres destined to live and act on a still higher plane of being -- in the same way will the Terrene "Ancestors" create those who will become their superiors.
It now becomes plain that there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the formation of the three periodical Upadhis; or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. These three are the finite aspects or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of ATMA, the seventh, the ONE REALITY.
1. The Monadic is, as the name implies, concerned with the growth and development into still higher phases of activity of the Monad in conjunction with:--
2. The Intellectual, represented by the Manasa-Dhyanis (the Solar Devas, or the Agnishwatta Pitris) the "givers of intelligence and consciousness"* to man and:--
3. The Physical, represented by the Chhayas of the lunar Pitris, round which Nature has concreted the present physical body. This body serves as the vehicle for the "growth" (to use a misleading word) and the transformations through Manas and -- owing to the accumulation of experiences -- of the finite into the INFINITE, of the transient into the Eternal and Absolute.
Each of these three systems has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of the highest Dhyanis or "Logoi." Each is represented in the constitution of man, the Microcosm of the great Macrocosm; and it is the union of these three streams in him which makes him the complex being he now is.
"Nature," the physical evolutionary Power, could never evolve intelligence unaided -- she can only create "senseless forms," as will be seen in our "ANTHROPOGENESIS." The "Lunar Monads" cannot progress, for they have not yet had sufficient touch with the forms
* Vide CONCLUSION in Part II. of this Book.
created by "Nature" to allow of their accumulating experiences through its means. It is the Manasa-Dhyanis who fill up the gap, and they represent the evolutionary power of Intelligence and Mind, the link between "Spirit" and "Matter" -- in this Round.
Also it must be borne in mind that the Monads which enter upon the evolutionary cycle upon Globe A, in the first Round, are in very different stages of development. Hence the matter becomes somewhat complicated. . . . Let us recapitulate.
The most developed Monads (the lunar) reach the human germ-stage in the first Round; become terrestrial, though very ethereal human beings towards the end of the Third Round, remaining on it (the globe) through the "obscuration" period as the seed for future mankind in the Fourth Round, and thus become the pioneers of Humanity at the beginning of this, the Fourth Round. Others reach the Human stage only during later Rounds, i.e., in the second, third, or first half of the Fourth Round. And finally the most retarded of all, i.e., those still occupying animal forms after the middle turning-point of the Fourth Round -- will not become men at all during this Manwantara. They will reach to the verge of humanity only at the close of the seventh Round to be, in their turn, ushered into a new chain after pralaya -- by older pioneers, the progenitors of humanity, or the Seed-Humanity (Sishta), viz., the men who will be at the head of all at the end of these Rounds.
The student hardly needs any further explanation on the part played by the fourth Globe and the fourth Round in the scheme of evolution.
From the preceding diagrams, which are applicable, mutatis mutandis, to Rounds, Globes or Races, it will be seen that the fourth member of a series occupies a unique position. Unlike the others, the Fourth has no "sister" Globe on the same plane as itself, and it thus forms the fulcrum of the "balance" represented by the whole chain. It is the sphere of final evolutionary adjustments, the world of Karmic scales, the Hall of Justice, where the balance is struck which determines the future course of the Monad during the remainder of its incarnations in the cycle. And therefore it is, that, after this central turning-point has been passed in the Great Cycle, -- i.e., after the middle point of the Fourth Race in the Fourth Round on our Globe -- no more Monads can enter the human kingdom. The door is closed for this Cycle and the balance struck. For were it otherwise -- had there been a new soul
MAN, THE OLDEST SON OF THE EARTH.
created for each of the countless milliards of human beings that have passed away, and had there been no reincarnation -- it would become difficult indeed to provide room for the disembodied "Spirits;" nor could the origin and cause of suffering ever be accounted for. It is the ignorance of the occult tenets and the enforcement of false conceptions under the guise of religious education, which have created materialism and atheism as a protest against the asserted divine order of things.
The only exceptions to the rule just stated are the "dumb races," whose Monads are already within the human stage, in virtue of the fact that these "animals" are later than, and even half descended from man, their last descendants being the anthropoid and other apes. These "human presentments" are in truth only the distorted copies of the early humanity. But this will receive full attention in the next Book.
As the Commentary, broadly rendered, says:--
1. "Every form on earth, and every speck (atom) in Space strives in its efforts towards self-formation to follow the model placed for it in the ' HEAVENLY MAN.' . . . Its (the atom's) involution and evolution, its external and internal growth and development, have all one and the same object -- man; man, as the highest physical and ultimate form on this earth; the MONAD, in its absolute totality and awakened condition -- as the culmination of the divine incarnations on Earth."
2. "The Dhyanis (Pitris) are those who have evolved their BHUTA (doubles) from themselves, which RUPA (form) has become the vehicle of monads (seventh and sixth principles) that had completed their cycle of transmigration in the three preceding Kalpas (Rounds). Then, they (the astral doubles) became the men of the first Human Race of the Round. But they were not complete, and were senseless."
This will be explained in the Books that follow. Meanwhile man -- or rather his Monad -- has existed on the earth from the very beginning of this Round. But, up to our own Fifth Race, the external shapes which covered those divine astral doubles changed and consolidated with every sub-race; the form and physical structure of the fauna changing at the same time, as they had to be adapted to the ever-changing conditions of life on this globe during the geological periods of its formative cycle. And thus shall they go on changing with every Root Race and every chief sub-race down to the last one of the Seventh in this Round.
3. "The inner, now concealed, man, was then (in the beginnings) the external man. The progeny of the Dhyanis (Pitris), he was 'the son like unto his father.' Like the lotus, whose external shape assumes gradually the form of the model within itself, so did the form of man in the beginning evolve from within without. After the cycle in which man began to procreate his species after the fashion of the present animal kingdom, it became the reverse. The human foetus follows now in its transformations all the forms that the physical frame of man had assumed throughout the three Kalpas (Rounds) during the tentative efforts at Plastic formation around the monad by senseless, because imperfect, matter, in her blind wanderings. In the present age, the physical embryo is a plant, a reptile, an animal, before it finally becomes man, evolving within himself his own ethereal counterpart, in his turn. In the beginning it was that counterpart (astral man) which, being senseless, got entangled in the meshes of matter."
this "man" belongs to the fourth Round. As shown, the MONAD had
passed through, journeyed and been imprisoned in, every transitional form
throughout every kingdom of nature during the three preceding Rounds. But the
monad which becomes human is not the
The last human Monad incarnated before the beginning of the 5th
* Nature never repeats herself, therefore the anthropoids of our day have not existed at any time since the middle of the Miocene period; when, like all cross breeds, they began to show a tendency, more and more marked as time went on, to return to the type of their first parent, the black and yellow gigantic Lemuro-Atlantean. To search for the "Missing Link" is useless. To the scientists of the closing sixth Root-race, millions and millions of years hence, our modern races, or rather their fossils, will appear as those of small insignificant apes -- an extinct species of the genus homo.
** These "Elementals" will become human Monads, in their turn, only at the next great planetary Manvantara.
THE MAN, OR THE APE; WHICH THE FIRST?
Root-Race.* The cycle of metempsychosis for the human monad is closed, for we are in the Fourth Round and the Fifth Root-Race. The reader will have to bear in mind -- at any rate one who has made himself acquainted with "Esoteric Buddhism" -- that the Stanzas which follow in this Book and Book II speak of the evolution in our Fourth Round only. The latter is the cycle of the turning-point, after which, matter,
* Such anthropoids form
an exception because they were not intended by Nature, but are the direct
product and creation of "senseless" man. The Hindus give a divine
origin to the apes and monkeys because the men of the Third Race were gods from
another plane who had become "senseless" mortals. This subject had
already been touched upon in "
Moreover, a German scientific work is mentioned in a footnote on the same page. It says that a Hanoverian scientist had recently published a Book entitled "Ueber die Auflosung der Arten durch Naturliche Zucht-wahl," in which he shows, with great ingenuity, that Darwin was wholly mistaken in tracing man back to the ape. On the contrary, he maintains that it is the ape which is evolved from man. He shows that, in the beginning, mankind were morally and physically the types and prototypes of our present Race, and of our human dignity, by their beauty of form, regularity of feature, cranial development, nobility of sentiments, heroic impulses, and grandeur of ideal conception. This is a purely Brahmanic, Buddhistic and Kabalistic philosophy. The Book is copiously illustrated with diagrams, tables, etc. It asserts that the gradual debasement and degradation of man, morally and physically, can be readily traced throughout the ethnological transformation down to our time. And, as one portion has already degenerated into apes, so the civilized man of the present day will at last, under the action of the inevitable law of necessity, be also succeeded by like descendants. If we may judge of the future by the actual Present, it certainly does seem possible that so unspiritual and materialistic a body should end as Simia rather than as Seraphs. But though the apes descend from man, it is certainly not the fact that the human Monad, which has once reached the level of humanity, ever incarnates again in the form of an animal.
having reached its lowest depths, begins to strive onward and to get spiritualized with every new Race and with every fresh cycle. Therefore the student must take care not to see contradiction where there is none, as in "Esoteric Buddhism" Rounds are spoken of in general, while here only the Fourth, or our present Round, is meant. Then it was the work of formation; now it is that of reformation and evolutionary perfection.
Finally, to close this chapter anent various, but unavoidable misconceptions, we must refer to a statement in "Esoteric Buddhism" which has produced a very fatal impression upon the minds of many Theosophists. One unfortunate sentence from the work just referred to is constantly brought forward to prove the materialism of the doctrine. On p. 48, 5th Edition, the Author, referring to the progress of organisms on the Globes, says that "the mineral kingdom will no more develop the vegetable . . . than the Earth was able to develop man from the ape, till it received an impulse."
Whether this sentence renders literally the thought of the author, or is simply (as we believe it is) a lapsus calami, may remain an open question.
It is really with surprise that we have ascertained the fact that "Esoteric Buddhism" was so little understood by some Theosophists, as to have led them into the belief that it thoroughly supported Darwinian evolution, and especially the theory of the descent of man from a pithecoid ancestor. As one member writes: "I suppose you realise that three-fourths of Theosophists and even outsiders imagine that, as far as the evolution of man is concerned, Darwinism and Theosophy kiss one another." Nothing of the kind was ever realised, nor is there any great warrant for it, so far as we know, in "Esoteric Buddhism." It has been repeatedly stated that evolution as taught by Manu and Kapila was the groundwork of the modern teachings, but neither Occultism nor Theosophy has ever supported the wild theories of the present Darwinists -- least of all the descent of man from an ape. Of this, more hereafter. But one has only to turn to p. 47 of "Esoteric Buddhism," 5th edition, to find there the statement that "Man belongs to a kingdom distinctly separate from that of the animals." With such a plain and unequivocal statement before him, it is very strange that any careful student should have been so misled unless he is prepared to charge the author with a gross contradiction.
AN ERRONEOUS OPINION.
Every Round repeats on a higher scale the evolutionary work of the preceding Round. With the exception of some higher anthropoids, as just mentioned, the Monadic inflow, or inner evolution, is at an end till the next Manvantara. It can never be too often repeated, that the full-blown human Monads have to be first disposed of, before the new crop of candidates appears on this Globe at the beginning of the next cycle. Thus there is a lull; and this is why, during the Fourth Round, man appears on Earth earlier than any animal creation, as will be described.
But it is still urged that the author of "Esoteric Buddhism" has "preached Darwinism" all along. Certain passages would undoubtedly seem to lend countenance to this inference. Besides which the Occultists themselves are ready to concede partial correctness to the Darwinian hypothesis, in later details, bye-laws of Evolution, and after the midway point of the Fourth Race. Of that which has taken place, physical science can really know nothing, for such matters lie entirely outside of its sphere of investigation. But what the Occultists have never admitted, nor will they ever admit, is that man was an ape in this or in any other Round; or that he ever could be one, however much he may have been "ape-like." This is vouched for by the very authority from whom the author of "Esoteric Buddhism" got his information.
Thus to those who confront the Occultists with these lines from the above-named volume: "It is enough to show that we may as reasonably -- and that we must, if we would talk about these matters at all -- conceive a life-impulse giving birth to mineral form, as of the same sort of impulse concerned to raise a race of apes into a race of rudimentary men." To those who bring this passage forward as showing "decided Darwinism," the Occultists answer by pointing to the explanation of the Master (Mr. Sinnett's "teacher") which would contradict these lines, were they written in the spirit attributed to them. A copy of this letter was sent to the writer, together with others, two years ago (1886), with additional marginal remarks, to quote from, in the "Secret Doctrine." It begins by considering the difficulty experienced by the Western student, in reconciling some facts, previously given, with the evolution of man from the animal, i.e., from the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, and advises the student to hold to the doctrine of analogy and correspondences. Then it touches upon the mystery of the Devas, and even Gods, having to pass through states which it was agreed to refer to as "Inmetallization, Inherbation, Inzoonization and finally Incarnation," and explains this by hinting at the necessity of failures even in the ethereal races of Dhyan Chohans. Concerning this it says:
"Still, as these 'failures' are too far progressed and spiritualized to be thrown back forcibly from Dhyan Chohanship into the vortex of a new primordial evolution through the lower kingdoms. . . . ." After which only a hint is given about the mystery contained in the allegory of the fallen Asuras, which will be expanded and explained in Book II. When Karma has reached them at the stage of human evolution, "they will have to drink it to the last drop in the bitter cup of retribution. Then they become an active force and commingle with the Elementals, the progressed entities of the pure animal kingdom, to develop little by little the full type of humanity."
These Dhyan Chohans, as we see, do not pass through the three kingdoms as do the lower Pitris; nor do they incarnate in man until the Third Root Race. Thus, as the teaching stands:
"Man in the First Round and First Race on Globe D, our Earth, was an ethereal being (a Lunar Dhyani, as man), non-intelligent but superspiritual; and correspondingly, on the law of analogy, in the First Race of the Fourth Round. In each of the subsequent races and sub-races . . . he grows more and more into an encased or incarnate being, but still preponderatingly ethereal. . . . He is sexless, and, like the animal and vegetable he develops monstrous bodies correspondential with his coarser surroundings.
"II. Round. He (Man) is still gigantic and ethereal but growing firmer and more condensed in body, a more physical man. Yet still less intelligent than spiritual (1), for mind is a slower and more difficult evolution than is the physical frame . . .
"III. Round. He has now a perfectly concrete or compacted body, at first the form of a giant-ape, and now more intelligent, or rather cunning, than spiritual. For, on the downward arc, he has now reached a point where his primordial spirituality is eclipsed and overshadowed by nascent mentality (2). In the last half of the Third Round his gigantic stature decreases, and his body improves in texture, and he becomes a more rational being, though still more an ape than a
A MASTER'S LETTER.
Deva. . . . (All this is almost exactly repeated in the third Root-Race of the Fourth Round.)
"IV. Round. Intellect has an enormous development in this Round. The (hitherto) dumb races acquire our (present) human speech on this globe, on which, from the Fourth Race, language is perfected and knowledge increases. At this half-way point of the Fourth Round (as of the Fourth Root, or Atlantean, race) humanity passes the axial point of the minor Manvantara cycle . . . . the world teeming with the results of intellectual activity and spiritual decrease . . . ."
This is from the authentic letter; what follows are the later remarks and additional explanations traced by the same hand in the form of footnotes.
(1.) " . . . The original letter contained general teaching -- a 'bird's eye view' -- and particularized nothing. . . . To speak of 'physical man' while limiting the statement to the early Rounds would be drifting back to the miraculous and instantaneous 'coats of skin.' . . . The first 'Nature,' the first 'body,' the first 'mind' on the first plane of perception, on the first Globe in the first Round, is what was meant. For Karma and evolution have --
' . . . centred in our make such strange extremes!
From different Natures* marvellously mixed . . .'
(2.) "Restore: he has now reached the point (by analogy, and as the Third Root Race in the Fourth Round) where his ("the angel"-man's) primordial spirituality is eclipsed and overshadowed by nascent human mentality, and you have the true version on your thumb-nail. . . ."
These are the words of the Teacher -- text, words and sentences in brackets, and explanatory footnotes. It stands to reason that there must be an enormous difference in such terms as "objectivity" and "subjectivity," "materiality" and "spirituality," when the same terms are applied to different planes of being and perception. All this must be taken in its relative sense. And therefore there is little to be wondered at, if, left to his own speculations, an author, however eager to learn, yet quite inexperienced in these abstruse teachings, has fallen
* The Natures of the seven hierarchies or classes of Pitris and Dhyan Chohans which compose our nature and Bodies are here meant.
into an error. Neither was the difference between the "Rounds" and the "Races" sufficiently defined in the letters received, nor was there anything of the kind required before, as the ordinary Eastern disciple would have found out the difference in a moment. Moreover, to quote from a letter of the Master's (188-), "the teachings were imparted under protest. . . . They were, so to say, smuggled goods . . . and when I remained face to face with only one correspondent, the other, Mr. . . . ., had so far tossed all the cards into confusion, that little remained to be said without trespassing upon law." Theosophists, "whom it may concern," will understand what is meant.
outcome of all this is that nothing had ever been said in the
"letters" to warrant the assurance that the Occult doctrine has ever
taught, or any Adept believed in, the preposterous modern theory of the descent
of man from a common ancestor with the ape -- an anthropoid of the actual animal
kind, unless metaphorically. To this day the world is more
full of "ape-like men" than the woods are of "men-like
apes." The ape is sacred in
These "Men" of the Third Race -- the ancestors of the Atlanteans -- were just such ape-like, intellectually senseless giants as were those beings, who, during the Third Round, represented Humanity. Morally irresponsible, it was these third Race "men" who, through promiscuous connection with animal species lower than themselves, created that missing link which became ages later (in the tertiary period only) the remote ancestor of the real ape as we find it now in the pithecoid family.*
* And if this is found clashing with that other statement which shows the animal later than man, then the reader is asked to bear in mind that the placental mammal only is meant. In those days there were animals of which zoology does not even dream in our own; and the modes of reproduction were not identical with the notions which modern physiology has upon the subject. It is not altogether convenient to touch upon such questions in public, but there is no contradiction or impossibility in this whatever.
THE PRELIMINARY CREATION OF MAN.
Thus the earlier teachings, however unsatisfactory, vague and fragmentary, did not teach the evolution of "man" from the "ape." Nor does the author of "Esoteric Buddhism" assert it anywhere in his work in so many words; but, owing to his inclination towards modern science, he uses language which might perhaps justify such an inference. The man who preceded the Fourth, the Atlantean race, however much he may have looked physically like a "gigantic ape" -- "the counterfeit of man who hath not the life of a man" -- was still a thinking and already a speaking man. The "Lemuro-Atlantean" was a highly civilized race, and if one accepts tradition, which is better history than the speculative fiction which now passes under that name, he was higher than we are with all our sciences and the degraded civilization of the day: at any rate, the Lemuro-Atlantean of the closing Third Race was so.
And now we may return to the Stanzas.
STANZA VI. -- Continued.
5. AT THE FOURTH (Round, or revolution of life and being around "the seven smaller wheels") (a), THE SONS ARE TOLD TO CREATE THEIR IMAGES. ONE THIRD REFUSES. TWO (thirds) OBEY.
The full meaning of this sloka can be fully comprehended only after reading the detailed additional explanations in the "Anthropogenesis" and its commentaries, in Book II. Between this Sloka and the last, Sloka 4 in this same Stanza, extend long ages; and there now gleams the dawn and sunrise of another aeon. The drama enacted on our planet is at the beginning of its fourth act, but for a clearer comprehension of the whole play the reader will have to turn back before he can proceed onward. For this verse belongs to the general Cosmogony given in the archaic volumes, whereas Book II. will give a detailed account of the "Creation" or rather the formation, of the first human beings, followed by the second humanity, and then by the third; or, as they are called, "the first, second, and the third Root-Races." As the solid Earth began by being a ball of liquid fire, of fiery dust and its protoplasmic phantom, so did man.
(a) That which is meant by the qualification the "Fourth" is explained as the "fourth Round" only on the authority of the Commentaries. It can equally mean fourth "Eternity" as "Fourth Round," or even the fourth (our) Globe. For, as will repeatedly be shown, it is the fourth Sphere on the fourth or lowest plane of material life. And it so happens that we are in the Fourth Round, at the middle point of which the perfect equilibrium between Spirit and Matter had to take place.* Says the Commentary explaining the verse:--
"The holy youths (the gods) refused to multiply and create species after their likeness, after their kind. They are not fit forms (rupas) for us. They have to grow. They refuse to enter the chhayas (shadows or images) of their inferiors. Thus had selfish feeling prevailed from the beginning, even among the gods, and they fell under the eye of the Karmic Lipikas."
They had to suffer for it in later births. How the punishment reached the gods will be seen in the second volume.
STANZA VI. -- Continued.
6. THE CURSE IS PRONOUNCED (a): THEY WILL BE BORN IN THE FOURTH (Race), SUFFER AND CAUSE SUFFERING (b). THIS IS THE FIRST WAR (c).
It is a universal tradition that, before the physiological "Fall," propagation of one's kind, whether human or
animal, took place through the WILL of the Creators, or of their progeny. It
was the Fall of Spirit into generation, not the Fall
of mortal man. It has already been stated that, to become a Self-Conscious
Spirit, the latter must pass through every cycle of being, culminating in its
highest point on earth in
* It was, as we shall see, at this period -- during the highest point of civilization and knowledge, as also of human intellectuality, of the fourth, Atlantean Race -- that, owing to the final crisis of physiologico-spiritual adjustment of the races, humanity branched off into its two diametrically opposite paths: the RIGHT- and the LEFT-hand paths of knowledge or of Vidya. "Thus were the germs of the White and the Black Magic sown in those days. The seeds lay latent for some time, to sprout only during the early period of the Fifth (our Race)." (Commentary.)
THE FIRST CAUSE OF SIN.
Spirit per se is an unconscious negative ABSTRACTION. Its purity is inherent, not acquired by merit; hence, as already shown, to become the highest Dhyan Chohan it is necessary for each Ego to attain to full self-consciousness as a human, i.e., conscious Being, which is synthesized for us in Man. The Jewish Kabalists arguing that no Spirit could belong to the divine hierarchy unless Ruach (Spirit) was united to Nephesh (living Soul), only repeat the Eastern Esoteric teaching. "A Dhyani has to be an Atma-Buddhi; once the Buddhi-Manas breaks loose from its immortal Atma of which it (Buddhi) is the vehicle, Atman passes into NON-BEING, which is absolute Being." This means that the purely Nirvanic state is a passage of Spirit back to the ideal abstraction of Be-ness which has no relation to the plane on which our Universe is accomplishing its cycle.
(b) "The curse is pronounced" does not mean, in this instance, that any personal Being, god, or superior Spirit, pronounced it, but simply that the cause which could but create bad results had been generated, and that the effects of a Karmic cause could lead the "Beings" that counteracted the laws of Nature, and thus impeded her legitimate progress, only to bad incarnations, hence to suffering.
"There were many wars" refers to several struggles of adjustment,
spiritual, cosmical, and astronomical, but chiefly to the mystery of the
evolution of man as he is now. Powers -- pure Essences -- "that were told
to create" is a sentence that relates to a mystery explained, as already
said, elsewhere. It is not only one of the most hidden secrets of Nature --
that of generation, over whose solution the Embryologists have vainly put their
heads together -- but likewise a divine function that involves that other
religious, or rather dogmatic, mystery, the "Fall" of the Angels, as
it is called. Satan and his rebellious host would thus prove, when the meaning
of the allegory is explained, to have refused to create physical man, only to
become the direct Saviours and the Creators of "divine
"And there was war in Heaven. . . . Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And the Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world."
The Kabalistic version of the same story is given in the Codex Nazareus, the scripture of the Nazarenes, the real mystic Christians of John the Baptist and the Initiates of Christos. Bahak-Zivo, the "Father of the Genii," is ordered to construct creatures (to create). But, as he is "ignorant of Orcus," he fails to do so, and calls in Fetahil, a still purer spirit, to his aid, who fails still worse. This is a repetition of the failure of the "Fathers," the lords of light who fail one after the other. (Book II, Sloka 17.)
We will now quote from our earlier Volumes:--
"Then steps on the stage of creation the spirit** (of the Earth so-called, or the Soul, Psyche, which St. James calls 'devilish') the lower portion the Anima Mundi or Astral Light. (See the close of this Sloka). With the Nazarenes and the Gnostics this Spirit was
* Explaining Kabalistic
views, the author of the "New Aspects of Life" says of the Fallen
Angels that, "According to the symbolical teaching, Spirit, from being
simply a functionary agent of God, became volitional in its developed and
developing action; and, substituting its own will for the Divine desire in its
regard, so fell. Hence the Kingdom and reign of Spirits and spiritual action,
which flow from and are the product of Spirit-volition, are outside, and
contrasted with, and in contradiction to the
** On the authority of Irenaeus, of Justin Martyr and the "Codex" itself, Dunlap shows that the Nazarenes regarded "Spirit" as a female and Evil Power in its connection with our Earth. (Dunlap: "Sod," the Son of the Man, p. 52).
THE CODEX REPEATS THE ALLEGORY.
feminine. Thus the spirit of the Earth perceiving that for Fetahil,* the newest man (the latest), the splendour was 'changed,' and that for splendour existed 'decrease and damage,' she awakes Karabtanos,** 'who was frantic and without sense and judgment,' and says to him:-- 'Arise, see, the splendour (light) of the newest man (Fetahil) has failed (to produce or create men), the decrease of this splendour is visible. Rise up, come with thy MOTHER (the Spiritus) and free thee from limits by which thou art held, and those more ample than the whole world.' After which follows the union of the frantic and blind matter, guided by the insinuations of the spirit (not the Divine breath but the Astral spirit, which by its double essence is already tainted with matter); and the offer of the MOTHER being accepted, the Spiritus conceives "Seven Figures," and the seven stellars (planets) which represent also the seven capital sins, the progeny of an astral soul separated from its divine source (spirit) and matter, the blind demon of concupiscence. Seeing this, Fetahil extends his hand towards the abyss of matter, and says:-- 'Let the Earth exist, just as the abode of the powers has existed.' Dipping his hand in the chaos, which he condenses, he creates our planet.***"
"Then the Codex proceeds to tell how Bahak-Zivo was separated from the Spiritus, and the Genii or angels from the rebels.**** Then Mano***** (the greatest), who dwells with the greatest FERHO, call Kebar-Zivo (known also by the name of Nebat-Iavar bar Iufin Ifafin), Helm and Vine of the food of life,****** he being the third life, and commiserating the rebellious and foolish Genii, on account of the magnitude of their ambition, says: 'Lord of the Genii******* (AEons), see what the Genii, the
* Fetahil is identical with the host of the Pitris who "created Man" as only a "shell." He was, with the Nazarenes, the king of light, and the creator; but in this instance he is the unlucky Prometheus, who fails to get hold of the Living Fire necessary for the formation of the divine Soul, as he is ignorant of the secret name, the ineffable or incommunicable name of the Kabalists.
** The spirit of Matter and Concupiscence; "Kamarupa" minus "Manas," Mind.
*** See Franck's
"Codex Nazaraeus," and Dunlap's "Sod, the Son of the
**** Codex Nazaraeus, ii., 233.
***** This Mano of the Nazarenes strangely resembles the Hindu Manu, the Heavenly Man of the "Rig Vedas."
****** "I am the true Vine, and my father is the husbandman." (John xv., 1.)
******* With the Gnostics, Christ, as well as Michael who is identical with him in some respects, was the "Chief of the AEons."
rebellious angels do, and about what they are
consulting.* They say, 'Let us call for the world, and let us call the 'powers'
into existence." The Genii are the
And in order to counteract the influence of the seven "badly disposed" principles, the progeny of Spiritus, CABAR-ZIO, the mighty Lord of Splendor, produces seven other lives (the cardinal virtues) who shine in their own form and light "from on high"*** and thus re-establish the balance between good and evil, light and darkness.
Here one finds a repetition of the early allegorical, dual systems, as the Zoroastrian, and detects a germ of the dogmatic and dualistic religions of the future, a germ which has grown into such a luxuriant tree in ecclesiastical Christianity. It is already the outline of the two "Supremes" -- God and Satan. But in the Stanzas no such idea exists.
Most of the Western Christian Kabalists -- pre-eminently Eliphas Levi -- in their desire to reconcile the Occult Sciences with Church dogmas, did their best to make of the "Astral Light" only and preeminently the Pleroma of early Church Fathers, the abode of the Hosts of the Fallen Angels, of the "Archons" and "Powers." But the Astral Light, while only the lower aspect of the Absolute, is yet dual. It is the Anima Mundi, and ought never to be viewed otherwise, except for Kabalistic purposes. The difference which exists between its "light" and its "Living Fire" ought to be ever present in the mind of the Seer and the "Psychic." The higher aspect, without which only creatures of matter from that Astral Light can be produced, is this Living Fire, and it is the Seventh Principle. It is said in "Isis Unveiled," in a complete description of it:--
"The Astral Light or Anima Mundi is dual and bisexual. The (ideal) male part of it is purely divine and spiritual, it is the Wisdom, it is Spirit or Purusha; while the female portion (the Spiritus of the Nazarenes) is tainted, in one sense, with matter, is indeed matter, and therefore is evil already. It is the life-principle of every living creature, and furnishes the astral soul, the fluidic perisprit, to men, animals, fowls of the air, and everything living. Animals have only the latent germ of the highest immortal soul in them. . . . . This latter will develop
* Codex Nazaraeus, i, 135.
*** See the Cosmogony of Pherecydes.
only after a series of countless evolutions; the doctrine of which evolution is contained in the Kabalistic axiom: 'A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast; a beast, a man; a man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.'" (Vol. I., p. 301, note.)
The seven principles of the Eastern Initiates had not been explained when "Isis" was written, but only the three Kabalistic Faces of the semi-exoteric Kabala.* But these contain the description of the mystic natures of the first group of Dhyan Chohans in the regimen ignis, the region and "rule (or government) of fire," which group is divided into three classes, synthesized by the first, which makes four or the "Tetraktis." (See Comments on Stanza VII. Book I.) If one studies the Comments attentively he will find the same progression in the angelic natures, viz., from the passive down to the active, the last of these Beings being as near to the Ahamkara element (the region or plane wherein Egoship or the feeling of I-am-ness is beginning to be defined) as the first ones are near to the undifferentiated essence. The former are Arupa, incorporeal; the latter, Rupa, corporeal.
In Volume II. of
* They are found, however, in the Chaldean Book of Numbers.
** The astral light stands in the same relation to Akasa and Anima Mundi, as Satan stands to the Deity. They are one and the same thing seen from two aspects: the spiritual and the psychic -- the super-ethereal or connecting link between matter and pure spirit, and the physical. See for the difference between nous, the higher divine wisdom, and psyche, the lower and terrestrial (St. James iii. v. 15-17). Vide "Demon est Deus inversus," Part II. of this volume.
*** Ilda-Baoth is a compound name made up of Ilda, [[hebrew]], "a child," and Baoth; both from [[hebrew]] the egg, and [[hebrew]] Baoth, "chaos," emptiness, void, or desolation; or the child born in the egg of Chaos, like Brahma.
creative Spirits, and one of the lower Sephiroth.
He produces from himself seven other Gods, "Stellar Spirits" (or the
lunar ancestors*), for they are all the same.** They
are all in his own image (the "Spirits of the Face"), and the
reflections one of the other, and have become darker and more material as they
successively receded from their originator. They also inhabit seven regions
disposed like a ladder, as its rungs slope up and down the scale of spirit and
matter.*** With Pagans and Christians, with Hindus and
Chaldeans, with the Greek as with the Roman Catholics -- with a slight
variation of the texts in their interpretations -- they all were the Genii of
the seven planets, as of the seven planetary spheres of our septenary chain, of
which Earth is the lowest. (See Isis, Vol. II. p. 186.)
This connects the "Stellar" and "Lunar" Spirits with the
higher planetary Angels and the Saptarishis (the seven Rishis of the Stars) of
the Hindus -- as subordinate Angels (Messengers) to these "Rishis,"
the emanations, on the descending scale, of the former. Such, in the opinion of
the philosophical Gnostics, were the God and the Archangels now worshipped by
the Christians! The "Fallen Angels" and the legend of the "War
in Heaven" is thus purely pagan in its origin and comes
Thus "SATAN," once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious, dogmatic, unphilosophical spirit of the Churches, grows into the grandiose image of one who made of terrestrial a divine MAN; who gave him, throughout the long cycle of Maha-kalpa the law of the Spirit of Life, and made him free from the Sin of Ignorance, hence of death. (See the Section On Satan in Part II. Vol. II.)
* Jehovah's connection with the moon in the Kabala is well known to students.
** About the Nazarenes see Isis, Vol. II. p. 131 and 132; the true followers of the true Christos were all Nazarenes and Christians, and were the opponents of the later Christians.
*** Vide supra, the diagram of the lunar ring of seven worlds, where, as in our or any other chain, the upper worlds are spiritual, while the lowest, whether Moon, Earth, or any planet, is dark with matter.
THE SEVEN PLANES.
STANZA VI. -- Continued.
6. THE OLDER WHEELS ROTATED DOWNWARD AND UPWARD (a). . . . THE MOTHER'S SPAWN FILLED THE WHOLE (Kosmos).* THERE WERE BATTLES FOUGHT BETWEEN THE CREATORS AND THE DESTROYERS, AND BATTLES FOUGHT FOR SPACE; THE SEED APPEARING AND REAPPEARING CONTINUOUSLY (b).**
(a) Here, having finished for the time being with our side-issues -- which, however they may break the flow of the narrative, are necessary for the elucidation of the whole scheme -- the reader must return once more to Cosmogony. The phrase "Older wheels" refers to the worlds or Globes of our chain as they were during the "previous Rounds." The present Stanza, when explained esoterically, is found embodied entirely in the Kabalistic works. Therein will be found the very history of the evolution of those countless Globes which evolve after a periodical Pralaya, rebuilt from old material into new forms. The previous Globes disintegrate and reappear transformed and perfected for a new phase of life. In the Kabala, worlds are compared to sparks which fly from under the hammer of the great Architect -- LAW, the law which rules all the smaller Creators.
The following comparative diagram shows the identity between the two systems, the Kabalistic and the Eastern. The three upper are the three higher planes of consciousness, revealed and explained in both schools only to the Initiates, the lower ones represent the four lower planes -- the lowest being our plane, or the visible Universe.
These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three "seats" to life and activity. And how many are capable of bringing themselves to even a superficial comprehension of Atma-Vidya (Spirit-Knowledge), or what is called by the Sufis, Rohanee! In Section the VIIth of this Book, in Sub-section 3,
* The reader is reminded that Kosmos often means in our Stanzas only our own Solar System, not the Infinite Universe.
** This is purely astronomical.
the reader will find a still clearer explanation of the above in the Commentary upon Saptaparna -- the man-plant. See also the Section of that name in Part II.
The Three higher Planes of the Septenary Kosmos
The Divine & Formless World of Spirit*
Eastern Gupta Vidya [[--]] Chaldean Kabala
1st P The Archetypal World**
Globe A [[/]] G [[--]] Geburah A [[/]] Chesed G or Z
[[--]] Tephireth F
2nd Plane The Intellectual World
B [[/]] F [[--]] Hod B [[/]] Netzah E
3rd Plane The Substantial or Formative World
C [[/]] E [[--]] Yesod C
4th Plane The Material*** World
The Earth Globe D [[--]] The Earth Malkuth D
[[above is in diagram format in the original text]]
* The Arupa or "formless," there where form ceases to exist, on the objective plane.
** The word "Archetypal" must not be taken here in the sense that the Platonists gave to it, i.e., the world as it existed in the Mind of the Deity; but in that of a world made as a first model, to be followed and improved upon by the worlds which succeed it physically -- though deteriorating in purity.
*** These are the four lower planes of Cosmic Consciousness, the three higher planes being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present. The seven states of human consciousness pertain to quite another question.
(b) "The Seed appears and disappears continuously." Here "Seed" stands for "the World-germ," viewed by Science as material particles in a highly attenuated condition, but in Occult physics as "Spiritual particles," i.e., supersensuous matter existing in a state of primeval
NO SHADOW, NO LIGHT.
differentiation.* In theogony, every Seed is an ethereal organism, from which evolves later on a celestial being, a God.
In the "beginning," that which is called in mystic phraseology "Cosmic Desire" evolves into absolute Light. Now light without any shadow would be absolute light -- in other words, absolute darkness -- as physical science seeks to prove. That shadow appears under the form of primordial matter, allegorized -- if one likes -- in the shape of the Spirit of Creative Fire or Heat. If, rejecting the poetical form and allegory, science chooses to see in this the primordial Fire-Mist, it is welcome to do so. Whether one way or the other, whether Fohat or the famous FORCE of Science, nameless, and as difficult of definition as our Fohat himself, that Something "caused the Universe to move with circular motion," as Plato has it; or, as the Occult teaching expresses it:
"The Central Sun causes Fohat to collect primordial dust in the form of balls, to impel them to move in converging lines and finally to approach each other and aggregate." (Book of Dzyan) . . . . . "Being scattered in Space, without order or system, the world-germs come into frequent collision until their final aggregation, after which they become wanderers (Comets). Then the battles and struggles begin. The older (bodies) attract the younger, while others repel them. Many perish, devoured by their stronger companions. Those that escape become worlds."**
* To see and appreciate the difference -- the immense gulf that separates terrestrial matter from the finer grades of supersensuous matter -- every astronomer, every chemist and physicist ought to be a psychometer, to say the least; he ought to be able to sense for himself that difference in which he now refuses to believe. Mrs. Elizabeth Denton, one of the most learned, and also one of the most materialistic and sceptical women of her age -- the wife of Professor Denton, the well-known American geologist and the author of "The Soul of Things" -- was, nevertheless, one of the most wonderful psychometers some years ago. This is what she described in one of her experiments; with a particle of a meteorite placed on her forehead, in an envelope, the lady, not being aware of what it contained, said:
"What a difference between that which we recognise as matter here and that which seems like matter there! In the one, the elements are so coarse and so angular, I wonder that we can endure it all, much more that we can desire to continue our present relations to it; in the other, all the elements are so refined, they are so free from those great, rough angularities, which characterize the elements here, that I can but regard that as by so much the more than this, the real existence." (Vol. III. p. 345-6.)
** When carefully analysed and reflected upon, this will be found as scientific as Science could make it, even at our late period.
We have been assured that there exist several modern works of speculative fancy upon such struggles for life in sidereal heaven, especially in the German language. We rejoice to hear it, for ours is an Occult teaching lost in the darkness of archaic ages. We have treated of it fully in "Isis Unveiled," and the idea of Darwinian-like evolution, of struggle for life and supremacy, and of the "survival of the fittest" among the Hosts above as the Hosts below, runs throughout both the volumes of our earlier work, written in 1876 (See Index in "Isis Unveiled" at the words "Evolution" -- "Darwin" -- "Kapila" -- "Battle of Life," etc. etc.) But the idea was not ours, it is that of antiquity. Even the Puranic writers have ingeniously interwoven allegory with Cosmic facts and human events. Any symbologist may discern the astro-cosmical allusion even though he be unable to grasp the whole meaning. The great "Wars in Heaven," in the Puranas; the wars of the Titans, in Hesiod and other classical writers; the "struggles," also in the Egyptian legend between Osiris and Typhon, and even those in the Scandinavian legends, all refer to the same subject. Northern Mythology refers to it as the battle of the Flames, the sons of Muspel who fought on the field of Wigred. All these relate to Heaven and Earth, and have a double and often even a triple meaning, and esoteric application to things above as to things below. They relate severally to astronomical, theogonical and human struggles; to the adjustment of orbs, and the supremacy among nations and tribes. The "Struggle for Existence" and the "Survival of the Fittest" reigned supreme from the moment that Kosmos manifested into being, and could hardly escape the observant eye of the ancient Sages. Hence the incessant fights of Indra, the god of the Firmament, with the Asuras -- degraded from high gods into Cosmic demons; and with Vritri or Ah-hi; the battles fought between stars and constellations, between Moon and planets -- later on incarnated as kings and mortals. Hence also the War in Heaven of Michael and his Host against the Dragon (Jupiter and Lucifer-Venus), when a third of the stars of the rebellious host was hurled down into Space, and "its place was found no more in Heaven." As said long ago -- "This is the basic and fundamental stone of the secret cycles. It shows that the Brahmins and Tanaim . . . speculated on the creation and development of the world quite in a Darwinian way, both anticipating him and his school in the natural selection of species, the survival of the fittest,
THE BIRTH OF THE WORLDS.
and transformation. . . . There were old worlds that perished conquered by the new," etc., etc. ("Isis Unveiled," Vol. II., p. 260.) The assertion that all the worlds (Stars, planets, etc.) -- as soon as a nucleus of primordial substance in the laya (undifferentiated) state is informed by the freed principles, of a just deceased sidereal body -- become first comets, and then Suns to cool down to inhabitable worlds, is a teaching as old as the Rishis.
Thus the Secret Books distinctly teach, as we see, an astronomy that would not be rejected even by modern speculation could the latter thoroughly understand its teachings.
For, archaic astronomy, and the ancient, physical and mathematical sciences, expressed views identical with those of modern science, and many of far more momentous import. A "struggle for life" as a "survival of the fittest" in the worlds above, as on our planet here below, are distinctly taught. This teaching, however, although it would not be "entirely rejected" by Science, is sure to be repudiated as an integral whole. For it avers that there are only seven Self-born primordial "gods" emanated from the trinitarian ONE. In other words, it means that all the worlds or sidereal bodies (always on strict analogy) are formed one from the other, after the primordial manifestation at the beginning of the "Great Age" is accomplished. The birth of the celestial bodies in Space is compared to a crowd or multitude of "pilgrims" at the festival of the "Fires." Seven ascetics appear on the threshold of the temple with seven lighted sticks of incense. At the light of these the first row of pilgrims light their incense sticks. After which every ascetic begins whirling his stick around his head in space, and furnishes the rest with fire. Thus with the heavenly bodies. A laya-centre is lighted and awakened into life by the fires of another "pilgrim," after which the new "centre" rushes into space and becomes a comet. It is only after losing its velocity, and hence its fiery tail, that the "Fiery Dragon" settles down into quiet and steady life as a regular respectable citizen of the sidereal family. Therefore it is said:--
Born in the unfathomable depths of Space, out of the homogeneous Element called the World-Soul, every nucleus of Cosmic matter, suddenly launched into being, begins life under the most hostile circumstances. Through a series of countless ages, it has to conquer for itself a place in the infinitudes. It circles round and round between denser and already fixed bodies, moving by jerks, and pulling towards some given point or centre that attracts it, trying to avoid, like a ship drawn into a channel dotted with reefs and sunken rocks, other bodies that draw and repel it in turn; many perish, their mass disintegrating through stronger masses, and, when born within a system, chiefly within the insatiable stomachs of various Suns. (See Comm. to Stanza IV). Those which move slower and are propelled into an elliptic course are doomed to annihilation sooner or later. Others moving in parabolic curves generally escape destruction, owing to their velocity.
Some very critical readers will perhaps imagine that this teaching, as to the cometary stage passed through by all heavenly bodies, is in contradiction with the statements just made as to the moon being the mother of the earth. They will perhaps fancy that intuition is needed to harmonize the two. But no intuition is in truth required. What does Science know of Comets, their genesis, growth, and ultimate behaviour? Nothing -- absolutely nothing! And what is there so impossible that a laya centre -- a lump of cosmic protoplasm, homogeneous and latent, when suddenly animated or fired up -- should rush from its bed in Space and whirl throughout the abysmal depths in order to strengthen its homogeneous organism by an accumulation and addition of differentiated elements? And why should not such a comet settle in life, live, and become an inhabited globe!
abodes of Fohat are many," it is said. "He places his four fiery
(electro-positive) Sons in the "Four circles"; these Circles are the
Equator, the Ecliptic, and the two parallels of declination, or the tropics --
to preside over the climates of which are placed the Four
mystical Entities. Then again: "Other seven (sons) are commissioned to
preside over the seven hot, and seven cold lokas (the hells of the orthodox
Brahmins) at the two ends of the Egg of Matter (our Earth and its poles). The
seven lokas are also called the "Rings," elsewhere, and the
"Circles." The ancients made the polar circles seven instead of two,
as Europeans do; for
The strange statement made in one of the Stanzas: "The Songs of Fohat and his Sons were radiant as the noon-tide Sun and the Moon combined;" and that the four Sons on the middle four-fold
SEEING SOUND, HEARING COLOURS.
Circle "saw their father's songs and heard his Solar-selenic radiance;" is explained in the Commentary in these words: "The agitation of the Fohatic Forces at the two cold ends (North and South Poles) of the Earth which resulted in a multicoloured radiance at night, have in them several of the properties of Akasa (Ether) colour and sound as well." . . . . . . "Sound is the characteristic of Akasa (Ether): it generates air, the property of which is Touch; which (by friction) becomes productive of Colour and Light." . . . . . . (Vishnu Purana.)
Perhaps the above will be regarded as archaic nonsense, but it will be better comprehended, if the reader remembers the Aurora Borealis and Australis, both of which take place at the very centres of terrestrial electric and magnetic forces. The two poles are said to be the store-houses, the receptacles and liberators, at the same time, of Cosmic and terrestrial Vitality (Electricity); from the surplus of which the Earth, had it not been for these two natural "safety-valves," would have been rent to pieces long ago. At the same time it is now a theory that has lately become an axiom, that the phenomenon of polar lights is accompanied by, and productive of, strong sounds, like whistling, hissing, and cracking. (But see Professor Trumholdt's works on the Aurora Borealis, and his correspondence regarding this moot question.)
STANZA VI. -- Continued.
7. MAKE THY CALCULATIONS, O LANOO, IF THOU WOULDST LEARN THE CORRECT AGE OF THY SMALL WHEEL (chain). ITS FOURTH SPOKE IS OUR MOTHER (Earth) (a). REACH THE FOURTH "FRUIT" OF THE FOURTH PATH OF KNOWLEDGE THAT LEADS TO NIRVANA, AND THOU SHALT COMPREHEND, FOR THOU SHALT SEE (b).
(a) The "small wheel" is our chain of spheres, and the fourth spoke is our Earth, the fourth in the chain. It is one of those on which the "hot (positive) breath of the Sun" has a direct effect.*
* The seven fundamental transformations of the globes or heavenly spheres, or rather of their constituent particles of matter, is described as follows: (1) The homogeneous; (2) the aeriform and radiant (gaseous); (3) Curd-like (nebulous); (4) Atomic, Ethereal (beginning of motion, hence of differentiation); (5) Germinal, fiery, (differentiated, but composed of the germs only of the Elements, in their earliest states, they having seven states, when completely developed on our earth); (6) Four-fold, vapoury (the future Earth); (7) Cold and depending (on the Sun for life and light).
To calculate its age, however, as the pupil is asked to do in the Stanza, is rather difficult, since we are not given the figures of the Great Kalpa, and are not allowed to publish those of our small Yugas, except as to the approximate duration of these. "The older wheels rotated for one Eternity and one half of an Eternity," it says. We know that by "Eternity" the seventh part of 311,040,000,000,000 years, or an age of Brahma is meant. But what of that? We also know that, to begin with, if we take for our basis the above figures, we have first of all to eliminate from the 100 years of Brahma (or 311,040,000,000,000 years) two years taken up by the Sandhyas (twilights), which leaves 98, as we have to bring it to the mystical combination 14 x 7. But we have no knowledge at what time precisely the evolution and formation of our little earth began. Therefore it is impossible to calculate its age, unless the time of its birth is given -- which the TEACHERS refuse to do, so far. At the close of this Book and in Book II., however, some chronological hints will be given. We must remember, moreover, that the law of Analogy holds good for the worlds, as it does for man; and that as "The ONE (Deity) becomes Two (Deva or Angel) and Two becomes Three (or man)," etc., etc., so we are taught that the Curds (world-stuff) become wanderers, (Comets), these become stars, and the stars (the centres of vortices) our sun and planets -- to put it briefly.*
(b) There are four grades of initiation mentioned in exoteric works, which are known respectively in Sanskrit as "Srotapanna," "Sagardagan," "Anagamin," and "Arhan" -- the four paths to Nirvana, in this, our fourth Round, bearing the same appellations. The Arhan, though he can see the Past, the Present, and the Future, is not yet the highest Initiate; for the Adept himself, the initiated candidate, becomes chela (pupil) to a higher Initiate. Three further higher grades have to be conquered by the Arhan who would reach the apex of the ladder of Arhatship. There are those who have reached it even in this fifth race of ours, but the faculties necessary for the attainment of these higher
* This cannot be so very unscientific, since Descartes thought also that "the planets rotate on their axes because they were once lucid stars, the centres of Vortices."
THE TREE FROM WHICH THE ADEPTS GROW.
grades will be fully developed in the average ascetic only at the end of this Root-Race, and in the Sixth and Seventh. Thus there will always be Initiates and the Profane till the end of this minor Manvantara, the present life-cycle. The Arhats of the "fire-mist" of the 7th rung are but one remove from the Root-Base of their Hierarchy -- the highest on Earth, and our Terrestrial chain. This "Root-Base" has a name which can only be translated by several compound words into English" -- "the ever-living-human-Banyan." This "Wondrous Being" descended from a "high region," they say, in the early part of the Third Age, before the separation of the sexes of the Third Race.
This Third Race is sometimes called collectively "the Sons of Passive Yoga," i.e., it was produced unconsciously by the second Race, which, as it was intellectually inactive, is supposed to have been constantly plunged in a kind of blank or abstract contemplation, as required by the conditions of the Yoga state. In the first or earlier portion of the existence of this third race, while it was yet in its state of purity, the "Sons of Wisdom," who, as will be seen, incarnated in this Third Race, produced by Kriyasakti a progeny called the "Sons of Ad" or "of the Fire-Mist," the "Sons of Will and Yoga," etc. They were a conscious production, as a portion of the race was already animated with the divine spark of spiritual, superior intelligence. It was not a Race, this progeny. It was at first a wondrous Being, called the "Initiator," and after him a group of semi-divine and semi-human beings. "Set apart" in Archaic genesis for certain purposes, they are those in whom are said to have incarnated the highest Dhyanis, "Munis and Rishis from previous Manvantaras" -- to form the nursery for future human adepts, on this earth and during the present cycle. These "Sons of Will and Yoga" born, so to speak, in an immaculate way, remained, it is explained, entirely apart from the rest of mankind.
The "BEING" just referred to, which has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., etc., have branched off. As objective man, he is the mysterious (to the profane -- the ever invisible) yet ever present Personage about whom legends are rife in the East, especially among the Occultists and the students of the Sacred Science. It is he who changes form, yet remains ever the same. And it is he again who holds spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the "Nameless One" who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the "Initiator," called the "GREAT SACRIFICE." For, sitting at the threshold of LIGHT, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know -- aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth-Life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, though but a few Elect may profit by the GREAT SACRIFICE.
It is under the direct, silent guidance of this MAHA -- (great) -- GURU that all the other less divine Teachers and instructors of mankind became, from the first awakening of human consciousness, the guides of early Humanity. It is through these "Sons of God" that infant humanity got its first notions of all the arts and sciences, as well as of spiritual knowledge; and it is they who have laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that puzzle so sorely our modern generation of students and scholars.*
* Let those who doubt this statement explain the mystery of the extraordinary knowledge possessed by the ancients -- alleged to have developed from lower and animal-like savages, the cave-men of the Palaeolithic age -- on any other equally reasonable grounds. Let them turn to such works as those of Vitruvius Pollio of the Augustan age, on architecture, for instance, in which all the rules of proportion are those taught anciently at initiations, if he would acquaint himself with the truly divine art, and understand the deep esoteric significance hidden in every rule and law of proportion. No man descended from a Palaeolithic cave-dweller could ever evolve such a science unaided, even in millenniums of thought and intellectual evolution. It is the pupils of those incarnated Rishis and Devas of the third Root Race, who handed their knowledge from one generation to another, to Egypt and Greece with its now lost canon of proportion; as it is the Disciples of the Initiates of the 4th, the Atlanteans, who handed it over to their Cyclopes, the "Sons of Cycles" or of the "Infinite," from whom the name passed to the still later generations of Gnostic priests. "It is owing to the divine perfection of those architectural proportions that the Ancients could build those wonders of all the subsequent ages, their Fanes, Pyramids, Cave-Temples, Cromlechs, Cairns, Altars, proving they had the powers of machinery and a knowledge of mechanics to which modern skill is like a child's play, and which that skill refers to itself as the 'works of hundred-handed giants.'" (See "Book of God," Kenealy.) Modern architects may not altogether have neglected those rules, but they have superadded enough empirical innovations to destroy those just proportions. It is Vitruvius who gave to posterity the rules of construction of the Grecian temples erected to the immortal gods; and the ten books of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio on Architecture, of one, in short, who was an initiate, can only be studied esoterically. The Druidical circles, the Dolmen, the Temples of India, Egypt and Greece, the Towers and the 127 towns in Europe which were found "Cyclopean in origin" by the French Institute, are all the work of initiated Priest-Architects, the descendants of those primarily taught by the "Sons of God," justly called "The Builders." This is what appreciative posterity says of those descendants. "They used neither mortar nor cement, nor steel nor iron to cut the stones with; and yet they were so artfully wrought that in many places the joints are not seen, though many of the stones, as in Peru, are 18 ft. thick, and in the walls of the fortress of Cuzco there are stones of a still greater size." (Acosta, vi., 14.) "Again, the walls of Syene, built 5,400 years ago, when that spot was exactly under the tropic, which it has now ceased to be, were so constructed that at noon, at the precise moment of the solar solstice, the entire disc of the Sun was seen reflected on their surface -- a work which the united skill of all the astronomers of Europe would not now be able to effect." -- (Kenealy, "Book of God.")
these matters were barely hinted at in "Isis Unveiled," it will be
well to remind the reader of what was said in Vol. I., pp. 587 to 593,
concerning a certain
To state at least one detail concerning these mysterious "Sons of God" in plain words. It is from them, these Brahmaputras, that the high Dwijas, the initiated Brahmins of old justly claimed descent, while the modern Brahmin would have the lowest castes believe literally that they issued direct from the mouth of Brahma. This is the esoteric teaching, which adds moreover that, although these descendants (spiritually of course) from the "sons of Will and Yoga," became in time divided into opposite sexes, as their "Kriyasakti" progenitors did themselves, later on; yet even their degenerate descendants have down to the present day retained a veneration and respect for the creative
function, and still regard it in the light of a religious ceremony, whereas the more civilized nations consider it as a mere animal function. Compare the western views and practice in these matters with the Institutions of Manu in regard to the laws of Grihasta and married life. The true Brahmin is thus indeed "he whose seven forefathers have drunk the juice of the moon-plant (Soma)," and who is a "Trisuparna," for he has understood the secret of the Vedas.
And, to this day, such Brahmins know that, during its early beginnings, psychic and physical intellect being dormant and consciousness still undeveloped, the spiritual conceptions of that race were quite unconnected with its physical surroundings. That divine man dwelt in his animal -- though externally human -- form; and, if there was instinct in him, no self-consciousness came to enlighten the darkness of the latent fifth principle. When, moved by the law of Evolution, the Lords of Wisdom infused into him the spark of consciousness, the first feeling it awoke to life and activity was a sense of solidarity, of one-ness with his spiritual creators. As the child's first feeling is for its mother and nurse, so the first aspirations of the awakening consciousness in primitive man were for those whose element he felt within himself, and who yet were outside, and independent of him. DEVOTION arose out of that feeling, and became the first and foremost motor in his nature; for it is the only one which is natural in our heart, which is innate in us, and which we find alike in human babe and the young of the animal. This feeling of irrepressible, instinctive aspiration in primitive man is beautifully, and one may say intuitionally, described by Carlyle. "The great antique heart," he exclaims, "how like a child's in its simplicity, like a man's in its earnest solemnity and depth! heaven lies over him wheresoever he goes or stands on the earth; making all the earth a mystic temple to him, the earth's business all a kind of worship. Glimpses of bright creatures flash in the common sunlight; angels yet hover, doing God's messages among men . . . . . Wonder, miracle, encompass the man; he lives in an element of miracle* . . . . A great law of duty, high as these two infinitudes (heaven and hell), dwarfing all else, annihilating all else -- it was a reality, and it is one: the garment
* That which was natural in the sight of primitive man has become only now miracle to us; and that which was to him a miracle could never be expressed in our language.
THE SONS OF WISDOM.
only of it is dead; the essence of it lives through all times and all eternity!"
It lives undeniably, and has settled in all its ineradicable strength and power in the Asiatic Aryan heart from the Third Race direct through its first "mind-born" sons, -- the fruits of Kriyasakti. As time rolled on the holy caste of Initiates produced but rarely, and from age to age, such perfect creatures: beings apart, inwardly, though the same as those who produced them, outwardly.
While in the infancy of the third primitive race:--
"A creature of a more exalted kind
Was wanting yet, and therefore was designed;
Conscious of thought, of more capacious breast
For empire formed and fit to rule the rest. . . . ."
It was called into being, a ready and perfect vehicle for the incarnating denizens of higher spheres, who took forthwith their abodes in these forms born of Spiritual WILL and the natural divine power in man. It was a child of pure Spirit, mentally unalloyed with any tincture of earthly element. Its physical frame alone was of time and of life, as it drew its intelligence direct from above. It was the living tree of divine wisdom; and may therefore be likened to the Mundane Tree of the Norse Legend, which cannot wither and die until the last battle of life shall be fought, while its roots are gnawed all the time by the dragon Nidhogg; for even so, the first and holy Son of Kriyasakti had his body gnawed by the tooth of time, but the roots of his inner being remained for ever undecaying and strong, because they grew and expanded in heaven not on earth. He was the first of the FIRST, and he was the seed of all the others. There were other "Sons of Kriyasakti" produced by a second Spiritual effort, but the first one has remained to this day the Seed of divine Knowledge, the One and the Supreme among the terrestrial "Sons of Wisdom." Of this subject we can say no more, except to add that in every age -- aye, even in our own -- there have been great intellects who have understood the problem correctly.
How comes our physical body to the state of perfection it is found in now? Through millions of years of evolution, of course, yet never through, or from, animals, as taught by materialism. For, as Carlyle says:-- ". . . The essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself 'I,' -- what words have we for such things? -- it is a breath of Heaven, the highest Being reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for the UNNAMED?"
The breath of heaven, or rather the breath of life, called in the Bible Nephesh, is in every animal, in every animate speck as in every mineral atom. But none of these has, like man, the consciousness of the nature of that highest Being,* as none has that divine harmony in its form which man possesses. It is, as Novalis said, and no one since has said it better, as repeated by Carlyle:--
"There is but one temple in the universe, and that is the body of man. Nothing is holier than that high form . . . . We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!" "This sounds like a mere flourish of rhetoric," adds Carlyle, "but it is not so. If well meditated it will turn out to be a scientific fact; the expression . . . of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles, -- the great inscrutable Mystery."
* There is no nation in the world in which the feeling of devotion or of religious mysticism is more developed and prominent than in the Hindu people. See what Max Muller says of this idiosyncracy and national feature in his works. This is direct inheritance from the primitive conscious men of the Third Race.
THE CREATIVE POWERS.
1. BEHOLD THE BEGINNING OF SENTIENT FORMLESS LIFE (a).
FIRST, THE DIVINE (vehicle) (b), THE ONE FROM THE MOTHER-SPIRIT (Atman); THEN THE SPIRITUAL -- (Atma-Buddhi, Spirit-soul)* (c); (again) THE THREE FROM THE ONE (d), THE FOUR FROM THE ONE (e), AND THE FIVE (f), FROM WHICH THE THREE, THE FIVE AND THE SEVEN (g) -- THESE ARE THE THREE-FOLD AND THE FOUR-FOLD DOWNWARD; THE "MIND-BORN SONS OF THE FIRST LORD (Avalokiteswara) THE SHINING SEVEN (the "Builders").** IT IS THEY WHO ARE THOU, ME, HIM, O LANOO; THEY WHO WATCH OVER THEE AND THY MOTHER, BHUMI (the Earth).
(a) The hierarchy of Creative Powers is divided into seven (or 4 and 3) esoteric, within the twelve great Orders, recorded in the twelve signs of the Zodiac; the seven of the manifesting scale being connected, moreover, with the Seven Planets. All this is subdivided into numberless groups of divine Spiritual, semi-Spiritual, and ethereal Beings.
The Chief Hierarchies among these are hinted at in the great Quaternary, or the "four bodies and the three faculties" of Brahma exoterically, and the Panchasyam, the five Brahmas, or the five Dhyani-Buddhas in the Buddhist system.
The highest group is composed of the divine Flames, so-called, also spoken of as the "Fiery Lions" and the "Lions of Life," whose esotericism is securely hidden in the Zodiacal sign of Leo. It is the nucleole of the superior divine World (see Commentary in first pages of Addendum). They are the formless Fiery Breaths, identical in one aspect with the upper Sephirothal TRIAD, which is placed by the Kabalists in the "Archetypal World."
The same hierarchy, with the same numbers, is found in the Japanese system, in the "Beginnings" as taught by both the Shinto and the Buddhist sects. In this system, Anthropogenesis precedes Cosmogenesis, as the Divine merges into the human, and creates --
* This relates to the Cosmic principles.
** The seven creative Rishis now connected with the constellation of the Great Bear
midway in its descent into matter -- the visible Universe. The legendary personages -- remarks reverentially Omoie -- "having to be understood as the stereotyped embodiment of the higher (secret) doctrine, and its sublime truths." To state it at full length, however, would occupy too much of our space, but a few words on this old system cannot be out of place. The following is a short synopsis of this Anthropo-Cosmogenesis, and it shows how closely the most separated notions echoed one and the same Archaic teaching.
When all was as yet Chaos (Kon-ton) three spiritual Beings appeared on the stage of future creation: (1) Ame no ani naka nushi no Kami, "Divine Monarch of the Central Heaven"; (2) Taka mi onosubi no Kami, "Exalted, imperial Divine offspring of Heaven and the Earth"; and (3) Kamu mi musubi no Kami, "Offspring of the Gods," simply.
These were without form or substance (our arupa triad), as neither the celestial nor the terrestrial substance had yet differentiated, "nor had the essence of things been formed."
In the Zohar -- which, as now arranged and re-edited by Moses de Leon, with the help of Syrian and Chaldean Christian Gnostics in the XIIth century, and corrected and revised still later by many Christian hands, is only a little less exoteric than the Bible itself -- this divine "Vehicle" no longer appears as it does in the "Chaldean Book of Numbers." True enough, Ain-Soph, the ABSOLUTE ENDLESS NO-THING, uses also the form of the ONE, the manifested "Heavenly man" (the FIRST CAUSE) as its chariot (Mercabah, in Hebrew; Vahan, in Sanskrit) or vehicle to descend into, and manifest through, in the phenomenal world. But the Kabalists neither make it plain how the ABSOLUTE can use anything, or exercise any attribute whatever, since, as the Absolute, it is devoid of attributes; nor do they explain that in reality it is the First Cause (Plato's Logos) the original and eternal IDEA, that manifests through Adam Kadmon, the Second Logos, so to speak. In the "Book of Numbers" it is explained that EN (or Ain, Aior) is the only self-existent, whereas its "Depth" (Bythos or Buthon of the Gnostics, called Propator) is only periodical. The latter is Brahm as differentiated from Brahma or Parabrahm. It is the Depth, the Source of Light, or Propator, which is the unmanifested Logos or the abstract Idea, and not Ain-Soph, whose ray uses Adam-Kadmon or the manifested Logos (the objective Universe) "male and female" -- as a chariot through which to manifest. But in the Zohar we read the following incongruity: "Senior
ONE PARENT FLAME, COUNTLESS FLAMES.
occultatus est et absconditus; Microprosopus manifestus est, et non manifestus." (Rosenroth; Liber Mysterii, IV., 1.) This is a fallacy, since Microprosopus or the microcosm, can only exist during its manifestations, and is destroyed during the Maha-Pralayas. Rosenroth's Kabala is no guide, but very often a puzzle.
As in the Japanese system, in the Egyptian, and every old cosmogony -- at this
divine FLAME, The "One," are lit the three
descending groups. Having their potential being in the higher group, they now
become distinct and separate Entities. These are called the "Virgins of
Life," the "Great Illusion," etc., etc., and collectively the
"Six-pointed Star." The latter is the symbol, in almost every
religion, of the Logos as the first emanation. It is that of Vishnu in
* Indeed, the Microprosopus -- who is, philosophically speaking, quite distinct from the unmanifested eternal Logos "one with the Father," -- has been finally brought, by centuries of incessant efforts, of sophistry and paradoxes, to be considered as one with Jehovah, or the ONE living God (!), whereas Jehovah is no better than Binah, a female Sephiroth. This fact cannot be too frequently impressed upon the reader.
** The Microprosopus is, as just said, the Logos manifested, and of such there are many.
*** Sephira is the Crown, KETHER, in the abstract principle only, as a mathematical x (the unknown quantity). On the plane of differentiated nature she is the female counterpart of Adam Kadmon -- the first Androgyne. The Kabala teaches that the word "Fiat Lux" (Genesis ch. i.) referred to the formation and evolution of the Sephiroth, and not to light as opposed to darkness. Rabbi Simeon says: "Oh companions, companions, man as an emanation was both man and woman, Adam Kadmon verily, and this is the sense of the words 'Let there be Light, and it was Light.' And this is the two-fold man." (Auszuge aus dem Zohar, pp. 13-15.)
Sephira-Adam-Kadmon. In its Unity, primordial light is the seventh, or highest, principle, Daivi-prakriti, the light of the unmanifested Logos. But in its differentiation it becomes Fohat, or the "Seven Sons." The former is symbolised by the Central point in the double-Triangle; the latter by the hexagon itself, or the "six limbs" of the Microprosopus the Seventh being Malkuth, the "Bride" of the Christian Kabalists, or our Earth. Hence the expressions:
"The first after the 'One' is divine Fire; the second, Fire and AEther; the third is composed of Fire, AEther and Water; the fourth of Fire, AEther, Water, and Air."* The One is not concerned with Man-bearing globes, but with the inner invisible Spheres. "The 'First-Born' are the LIFE, the heart and pulse of the Universe; the Second are its MIND or Consciousness,"**
as said in the Commentary.
(c) The second Order of Celestial Beings, those of Fire and AEther (corresponding to Spirit and Soul, or the Atma-Buddhi) whose names are legion, are still formless, but more definitely "substantial." They are the first differentiation in the Secondary Evolution or "Creation" -- a misleading word. As the name shows, they are the prototypes of the incarnating Jivas or Monads, and are composed of the Fiery Spirit of Life. It is through these that passes, like a pure solar beam, the ray which is furnished by them with its future vehicle, the Divine Soul, Buddhi. These are directly concerned with the Hosts of the higher world of our system. From these twofold Units emanate the threefold.
In the cosmogony of Japan, when, out of the chaotic mass, an egglike nucleus appears, having within itself the germ and potency of all the universal as well as of all terrestrial life, it is the "three-fold" just named, which differentiates. "The male aethereal" (Yo) principle
* See next footnote. These elements of Fire, Air, etc., are not our compound elements.
** This "Consciousness" has no relation to our consciousness. The consciousness of the "One manifested," if not absolute, is still unconditioned. Mahat (the Universal Mind) is the first production of the Brahma-Creator, but also of the Pradhana (undifferentiated matter).
ascends and the female grosser or more material principle (In) is precipitated into the Universe of substance, when a separation occurs between the celestial and the terrestrial. From this the female, the mother, the first rudimentary objective being is born. It is ethereal, without form or sex, and yet it is from this and the mother that the Seven Divine Spirits are born, from whom will emanate the seven creations, just as in the Codex Nazaraeus from Karabtanos and the Mother Spiritus the seven evilly disposed (material) spirits are born. It would be too long to give here the Japanese names, but once translated they stand in this order:--
(1.) The "Invisible Celibate," which is the creative logos of the noncreating "father," or the creative potentiality of the latter made manifest.
(2.) "The Spirit (or the God) of the rayless depths" (of Chaos); which becomes differentiated matter, or the world-stuff; also the mineral realm.
(3.) "The Spirit of the Vegetable Kingdom," of the "Abundant Vegetation."
(4.) This one is of dual nature, being at the same time "The Spirit of the Earth" and "the Spirit of the Sands," the former containing the potentiality of the male element, the latter that of the female element, the two forming a combined nature.
These two were ONE; yet unconscious of being two.
In this duality were contained (a) the male, dark and muscular Being, Isu no gai no Kami; and (b) Eku gai no Kami, the female, fair and weaker or more delicate Being. Then, the:--
(5th and 6th.) Spirits who were androgynous or dual-sexed, and, finally:--
(7.) The Seventh Spirit, the last emanated from the "mother," appears as the first divine human form distinctly male and female. It was the seventh creation, as in the Puranas, wherein man is the seventh creation of Brahma.
These, Tsanagi-Tsanami, descended into the Universe by the celestial Bridge (the milky way), and "Tsanagi, perceiving far below a chaotic mass of cloud and water, thrust his jewelled spear into the depths, and dry land appeared." Then the two separated to explore Onokoro, the newly-created island-world; etc., etc. (Omoie).
Such are the Japanese exoteric fables, the rind that conceals the kernel of the same one truth of Turning back to the esoteric explanations in every cosmogony:--
(d) The Third order corresponds to the Atma-Buddhi-Manas: Spirit, Soul and Intellect, and is called the "Triads."
(e) The Fourth are substantial Entities. This is the highest group among the Rupas (Atomic Forms*). It is the nursery of the human, conscious, spiritual Souls. They are called the "Imperishable Jivas," and constitute, through the order below their own, the first group of the first septenary** host -- the great mystery of human conscious and
* It is worthy of notice that, while rejecting as a superstition of Occultism, and religion too, the theory of substantial and invisible Beings called Angels, Elementals, etc. -- without, of course, having ever looked into the philosophy of these incorporeal Entities, or thought over them -- modern chemistry, owing to observation and discovery, should have unconsciously been forced to adopt and recognize the same ratio of progression and order in the evolution of chemical atoms as Occultism does, both for its Dhyanis and Atoms -- analogy being its first law. As seen above, the very first group of the Rupa Angels is quaternary, an element being added to each in descending order. So are the atoms, adopting the phraseology of chemistry, monatomic, diatomic, and tetratomic, progressing downwards. Let it be remembered that Fire, Water, and Air, or the "Elements of primary Creation" so-called, are not the compound Elements they are on Earth, but noumenal homogeneous Elements -- the Spirits thereof. Then follow the septenary groups or hosts. Placed on parallel lines in a diagram with Atoms, the Natures of those Beings would be seen to correspond in their downward scale of progression to composite elements in a mathematically identical manner, as to analogy. This refers, of course, only to diagrams made by the Occultists; for were the scale of Angelic Beings to be placed on a parallel line with the scale of the chemical atoms of Science -- from the hypothetical Helium down to Uranium -- they would of course be found to differ. For these have, as correspondents on the Astral plane, only the four lowest orders -- the higher three principles in the atom, or rather molecule or chemical element, being perceptible only to the initiated Dangma's eye. But then, if Chemistry desired to find itself on the right path, it would have to correct its tabular arrangement by that of the Occultists -- which it may refuse to do. In Esoteric Philosophy, every physical particle corresponds to and depends on its higher noumenon -- the Being to whose essence it belongs; and above as below, the Spiritual evolves from the Divine, the psycho-mental from the Spiritual -- tainted from its lower plane by the astral -- the whole animate and (seemingly) inanimate Nature evolving on parallel lines, and drawing its attributes from above as well as from below.
** The number seven does not imply only seven Entities, but seven groups or Hosts, as explained before. The highest group, the Asuras born in Brahma's first body which turned into "Night" -- are septenary, i.e., divided like the Pitris into seven classes, three of which are arupa (bodiless) and four with bodies. (See Vishnu Purana, Book I.) They are in fact more truly our Pitris (ancestors) than the Pitris who projected the first physical men. (See Book II.)
THE HIERARCHIES OF SPIRITS.
intellectual Being. For the latter are the field wherein lies concealed in its privation the germ that will fall into generation. That germ will become the spiritual potency in the physical cell that guides the development of the embryo, and which is the cause of the hereditary transmission of faculties and all the inherent qualities in man. The Darwinian theory, however, of the transmission of acquired faculties, is neither taught nor accepted in Occultism. Evolution, in it, proceeds on quite other lines; the physical, according to esoteric teaching, evolving gradually from the spiritual, mental, and psychic. This inner soul of the physical cell -- this "spiritual plasm" that dominates the germinal plasm -- is the key that must open one day the gates of the terra incognita of the Biologist, now called the dark mystery of Embryology. (See text and note infra.)
The Fifth group is a very mysterious one, as it is connected with the
Microcosmic Pentagon, the five-pointed star representing man. In
Says the defunct "Osirified" in ch. lxxxviii., "Book of the Dead," or the Ritual, under the glyph of a mummiform god with a crocodile's head:--
(1) "I am the god (crocodile) presiding at the fear . . . at the arrival of his Soul among men. I am the god-crocodile brought for destruction" (an allusion to the destruction of divine spiritual purity when man acquires the knowledge of good and evil; also to the "fallen" gods, or angels of every theogony).
(2) "I am the fish of the great Horus (as Mankara is the "crocodile," the vehicle of Varuna). I am merged in Sekten."
This last sentence gives the corroboration of, and repeats the doctrine of, esoteric Buddhism, for it alludes directly to the fifth principle (Manas), or the most spiritual part of its essence rather, which merges into, is absorbed by, and made one with Atma-Buddhi after the death of man. For Se-khen is the residence or loka of the god Khem (Horus-Osiris, or Father and Son), hence the "Devachan" of Atma-Buddhi. In the Ritual of the Dead the defunct is shown entering into Sekhem with Horus-Thot and "emerging from it as pure spirit" (lxiv., 29). Thus the defunct says (v. 130): "I see the forms of (myself, as various) men transforming eternally . . . I know this (chapter). He who knows it . . . takes all kinds of living forms." . . .
And in verse 35, addressing in magic formula that which is called, in Egyptian esotericism, the "ancestral heart," or the re-incarnating principle, the permanent EGO, the defunct says:--
"Oh my heart, my ancestral heart necessary for my transformations, . . . . . . do not separate thyself from me before the guardian of the Scales. Thou art my personality within my breast, divine companion watching over my fleshes (bodies). . . . . . ."
It is in Sekhem that lies concealed "the Mysterious Face," or the real man concealed under the false personality, the triple-crocodile of Egypt, the symbol of the higher Trinity or human Triad, Atma, Buddhi and Manas.* In all the ancient papyri the crocodile is called Sebek (Seventh), while the water is the fifth principle esoterically; and, as already stated, Mr. Gerald Massey shows that the crocodile was "the Seventh Soul, the supreme one of seven -- the Seer unseen." Even exoterically Sekhem is the residence of the god Khem, and Khem is Horus avenging the death of his father Osiris, hence punishing the Sins of man when he becomes a disembodied Soul. Thus the defunct
* One of the explanations of the real though hidden meaning of this Egyptian religious glyph is easy. The crocodile is the first to await and meet the devouring fires of the morning sun, and very soon came to personify the solar heat. When the sun arose, it was like the arrival on earth and among men "of the divine soul which informs the Gods." Hence the strange symbolism. The mummy donned the head of a crocodile to show that it was a soul arriving from the earth.
CORRELATION OF BEINGS.
"Osirified" became the god Khem, who "gleans the field of Aanroo," i.e., he gleans either his reward or punishment, as that field is the celestial locality (Devachan) where the defunct is given wheat, the food of divine justice. The fifth group of the celestial Beings is supposed to contain in itself the dual attributes of both the spiritual and physical aspects of the Universe; the two poles, so to say, of Mahat the Universal Intelligence, and the dual nature of man, the spiritual and the physical. Hence its number Five, multiplied and made into ten, connecting it with Makara, the 10th sign of Zodiac.
(g) The sixth and seventh groups partake of the lower qualities of the Quaternary. They are conscious, ethereal Entities, as invisible as Ether, which are shot out like the boughs of a tree from the first central group of the four, and shoot out in their turn numberless side groups, the lower of which are the Nature-Spirits, or Elementals of countless kinds and varieties; from the formless and unsubstantial -- the ideal THOUGHTS of their creators -- down to the Atomic, though, to human perception, invisible organisms. The latter are considered as the "Spirits of Atoms" for they are the first remove (backwards) from the physical Atom -- sentient, if not intelligent creatures. They are all subject to Karma, and have to work it out through every cycle. For, as the doctrine teaches, there are no such privileged beings in the universe, whether in our or in other systems, in the outer or the inner worlds,* as the angels of the Western Religion and the Judean. A Dhyan Chohan has to become one; he cannot be born or appear suddenly on the plane of life as a full-blown angel. The Celestial Hierarchy of the present Manvantara will find itself transferred in the next cycle of life into higher, superior worlds, and will make room for a new hierarchy, composed of the elect ones of our mankind. Being is an endless cycle within the one absolute eternity, wherein move numberless inner cycles finite and conditioned. Gods, created as such, would evince no personal merit in being gods. Such a class of beings, perfect only by virtue of the special immaculate nature inherent in them, in the face of suffering and struggling humanity, and even of the lower creation, would be the
* A world when called "a higher world" is not higher by reason of its location, but because it is superior in quality or essence. Yet such a world is generally understood by the profane as "Heaven," and located above our heads.
symbol of an eternal injustice quite Satanic in character, an ever present crime. It is an anomaly and an impossibility in Nature. Therefore the "Four" and the "Three" have to incarnate as all other beings have. This sixth group, moreover, remains almost inseparable from man, who draws from it all but his highest and lowest principles, or his spirit and body, the five middle human principles being the very essence of those Dhyanis.* Alone, the Divine Ray (the Atman) proceeds directly from the One. When asked how that can be? How is it possible to conceive that those "gods," or angels, can be at the same time their own emanations and their personal selves? Is it in the same sense in the material world, where the son is (in one way) his father, being his blood, the bone of his bone and the flesh of his flesh? To this the teachers answer "Verily it is so." But one has to go deep into the mystery of BEING before one can fully comprehend this truth.
STANZA VII. -- Continued.
2. THE ONE RAY MULTIPLIES THE SMALLER RAYS. LIFE PRECEDES FORM, AND LIFE SURVIVES THE LAST ATOM (of Form, Sthula-sarira, external body). THROUGH THE COUNTLESS RAYS THE LIFE-RAY, THE ONE, LIKE A THREAD THROUGH MANY BEADS (pearls) (a).
(a) This sloka expresses the conception -- a purely Vedantic one, as already explained elsewhere -- of a life-thread, Sutratma, running through successive generations. How, then, can this be explained? By resorting to a simile, to a familiar illustration, though necessarily imperfect, as all our available analogies must be. Before resorting to it, however, I would ask whether it seems unnatural, least of all "supernatural," to any one of us, when we consider that process known as the growth and development of a foetus into a healthy baby weighing several pounds evolves from what? From the segmentation of an infinitesimally small ovum and a spermatozoon; and afterwards we see that baby develop into a six-foot man! This refers to the atomic and physical
* Paracelsus calls them the Flagae; the Christians, the "Guardian Angels;" the Occultist, the "Ancestors, the Pitris;" they are the sixfold Dhyan Chohans, having the six spiritual Elements in the composition of their bodies -- in fact, men, minus the physical body.
THE MYSTERY OF BEING.
expansion from the microscopically small into something very large, from the -- to the naked eye -- unseen, into the visible and objective. Science has provided for all this; and, I dare say, her theories, embryological, biological, and physiological, are correct enough so far as exact observation of the material goes. Nevertheless, the two chief difficulties of the science of embryology -- namely, what are the forces at work in the formation of the foetus, and the cause of "hereditary transmission" of likeness, physical, moral or mental -- have never been properly answered; nor will they ever be solved till the day when scientists condescend to accept the Occult theories.* But if this physical pheno-
* The materialists and
the evolutionists of the Darwinian school would be ill-advised to accept the
newly worked-out theories of Professor Weissmann, the author of Beitrage zur
Descendenzlehre, with regard to one of the two mysteries of Embryology, as
above specified, which he seems to have solved -- as he thinks. For, when it is
solved, Science will have stepped over into the domain of the truly occult, and
stepped for ever out of the realm of transformation, as taught by
menon astonishes no one, except in so far as it puzzles the Embryologists, why should our intellectual and inner growth, the evolution of the human-spiritual to the Divine-Spiritual, be regarded as, or seem, more impossible than the other? Now to the simile.
Complete the physical plasm, mentioned in the last foot-note, the "Germinal Cell" of man with all its material potentialities, with the "spiritual plasm," so to say, or the fluid that contains the five lower principles of the six-principled Dhyan -- and you have the secret, if you are spiritual enough to understand it.
"When the seed of the animal man is cast into the soil of the animal woman, that seed cannot germinate unless it has been fructified by the five virtues (the fluid of, or the emanation from the principles) of the six-fold Heavenly man. Wherefore the Microcosm is represented as a Pentagon, within the Hexagon Star, the "Macrocosm." ("[[Anthropos]],") a work on Occult Embryology, Book I.). Then: "The functions of Jiva on this Earth are of a five-fold character. In the mineral atom it is connected with the lowest principles of the Spirits of the Earth (the six-fold Dhyanis); in the vegetable particle, with their second -- the Prana (life); in the animal, with all these plus the third and the fourth; in man, the germ must receive the fruition of all the five. Otherwise he will be born no higher than an animal"; namely, a congenital idiot. Thus in man alone the Jiva is complete. As to his seventh principle, it is but one of the Beams of the Universal Sun. Each rational creature receives only the temporary loan of that which has to return to its source; while his physical body is shaped by the lowest terrestrial lives, through physical, chemical, and physiological evolution. "The Blessed Ones have nought to do with the purgations of matter." (Kabala, Chaldean Book of Numbers).
It comes to this: Mankind in its first prototypal, shadowy form, is the offspring of the Elohim of Life (or Pitris); in its qualitative and physical aspect it is the direct progeny of the "Ancestors," the lowest Dhyanis, or Spirits of the Earth; for its moral, psychic, and spiritual nature, it is indebted to a group of divine Beings, the name and characteristics of which will be given in Book II. Collectively, men are the handiwork of hosts of various spirits; distributively, the tabernacles of those hosts; and occasionally and singly, the vehicles of some of them. In our present all-material Fifth Race, the earthly Spirit of the
SPIRIT FALLING INTO MATTER.
Fourth is still strong in us; but we are approaching the time when the pendulum of evolution will direct its swing decidedly upwards, bringing Humanity back on a parallel line with the primitive third Root-Race in Spirituality. During its childhood, mankind was composed wholly of that Angelic Host, who were the indwelling Spirits that animated the monstrous and gigantic tabernacles of clay of the Fourth Race built by (as they are now also) and composed of countless myriads of lives.* This sentence will be explained later on in the present Commentary. The "tabernacles" have improved in texture and symmetry of form, growing and developing with the globe that bore them; but the physical improvement took place at the expense of the spiritual inner man and nature. The three middle principles in earth and man became with every race more material; the Soul stepping back to make room for the physical intellect; the essence of elements becoming the material and composite elements now known.
Man is not, nor could he ever be, the complete product of the "Lord God"; but he is the child of the Elohim, so arbitrarily changed into the singular masculine gender. The first Dhyanis, commissioned to "create" man in their image, could only throw off their shadows, like a delicate model for the Nature Spirits of matter to work upon. (See Book II.) Man is, beyond any doubt, formed physically out of the dust of the Earth, but his creators and fashioners were many. Nor can it be said that the "Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," unless that God is identified with the "ONE LIFE," Omnipresent though invisible, and unless the same operation is attributed to "God" on behalf of every living Soul -- or Nephesch, which is the vital Soul, not the divine Spirit or Ruach, which ensures to man alone a divine degree of immortality, that no animal, as such, could ever attain in this cycle of incarnation. It is the inadequate distinctions made by the Jews, and now by our Western metaphysicians, who, not knowing of, and being unable to understand, hence to accept, more than a triune man -- Spirit, Soul,
* Science, dimly perceiving the truth, may find Bacteria and other infinitesimals in the human body, and see in them but occasional and abnormal visitors to which diseases are attributed. Occultism -- which discerns a life in every atom and molecule, whether in a mineral or human body, in air, fire or water -- affirms that our whole body is built of such lives, the smallest bacteria under the microscope being to them in comparative size like an elephant to the tiniest infusoria.
Body -- thus confuse the "breath of life" with immortal Spirit.* This applies also directly to the Protestant theologians, who, in translating verse 8 of Ch. III. in the Fourth Gospel, have entirely perverted the meaning. Indeed the verse is made to say "The wind bloweth where it listeth," instead of "the Spirit goeth where it willeth," as in the original and also in the translation of the Greek Eastern Church.
Thus the philosophy of psychic, spiritual, and mental relations with man's physical functions is in almost inextricable confusion. Neither the old Aryan, nor the Egyptian psychology are now properly understood. Nor can they be assimilated without accepting the esoteric septenary, or, at any rate, the Vedantic quinquepartite division of the human inner principles. Failing which, it will be for ever impossible to understand the metaphysical and purely psychic and even physiological relations between the Dhyan-Chohans, or Angels, on the one plane, and humanity on the other. No Eastern (Aryan) esoteric works are so far published, but we possess the Egyptian papyri which speak clearly
* The learned and very philosophical author of "New Aspects of Life" would impress upon his reader that the Nephesh chaiah (living soul), according to the Hebrews, "proceeded from, or was produced by, the infusion of the Spirit or Breath of Life into the quickening body of man, and was to supersede and take the place of that spirit in the thus constituted self, so that the spirit passed into, was lost sight of, and disappeared in the living Soul." The human body, he thinks, ought to be viewed as a matrix in which, and from which, the Soul (which he seems to place higher than the spirit) is developed -- considered functionally and from the standpoint of activity, the Soul stands undeniably higher in this finite and conditioned world of Maya -- the Soul, he says, "is ultimately produced from the animated body of man." Thus the author identifies "Spirit" (Atma) simply with "the breath of life." The Eastern Occultists will demur to this statement, for it is based on the erroneous conception that Prana and Atma or Jivatma are one and the same thing. The author supports the argument by showing that with the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and even Latins, Ruach, Pneuma and Spiritus -- with the Jews undeniably, and with the Greeks and Romans very probably -- meant Wind; the Greek word Anemos (wind) and the Latin Anima "Soul" having a suspicious relation.
This is very far fetched. A legitimate battle-field for deciding this question is hardly to be found, since Mr. Pratt seems to be a practical, matter-of-fact metaphysician, a kind of Kabalist-Positivist, and the Eastern metaphysicians, especially the Vedantins, are all Idealists. The Occultists are also of the extreme esoteric Vedantin school, and they call the One Life (Parabrahm), the Great Breath and the Whirlwind; but they disconnect the seventh principle entirely from matter or any relation to, or connection with it.
THE EGYPTIAN SYSTEM.
of the seven principles or the "Seven Souls of Man."* The Book of the Dead gives a complete list of the "transformations" that every defunct undergoes, while divesting himself, one by one, of all those principles -- materialised for the sake of clearness into ethereal entities or bodies. We must, moreover, remind those who try to prove that the ancient Egyptians knew nothing of and did not teach Reincarnation, that the "Soul" (the Ego or Self) of the defunct is said to be living in Eternity: it is immortal, "co-eval with, and disappearing with the Solar boat," i.e., for the cycle of necessity. This "Soul" emerges from the Tiaou (the realm of the cause of life) and joins the living on Earth by day, to return to Tiaou every night. This expresses the periodical existences of the Ego. (Book of the Dead, cvxliii.)
The shadow, the astral form, is annihilated, "devoured by the Uraeus" (cxlix., 51), the Manes will be annihilated; the two twins (the 4th and 5th principles) will be scattered; but the Soul-bird, "the divine Swallow -- and the Uraeus of Flame" (Manas and Atma-Buddhi) will live in the eternity, for they are their mother's husbands.**
Like alone produces like. The Earth gives Man his body, the gods (Dhyanis) his five inner principles, the psychic Shadow, of which those gods are often the animating principle. SPIRIT (Atman) is one -- and indiscrete. It is not in the Tiaou.
For what is the Tiaou? The frequent allusion to it in the "Book of the Dead" contains a mystery. Tiaou is the path of the Night Sun, the inferior hemisphere, or the infernal region of the Egyptians, placed by them on the concealed side of the moon. The human being, in their
* Vide in Part II., Book II., "The Seven Souls of Man," the divisions made respectively by Messrs. Gerald Massey and Franz Lambert.
** Another suggestive
analogy between the Aryan or Brahmanical and the Egyptian esotericism. The
former call the Pitris "the lunar ancestors" of men; and the
Egyptians made of the Moon-God, Taht-Esmun, the first
human ancestor. This "moon-god" "expressed the Seven
nature-powers that were prior to himself, and were summed up in him as his
seven souls, of which he was the manifestor as the eighth one (hence the eighth
sphere). The seven rays of the Chaldean Heptakis or Iao, on the Gnostic stones
indicate the same septenary of souls." . . . "The first form of the
mystical SEVEN was seen to be figured in heaven, by the seven large stars of the
Great Bear, the constellation assigned by the Egyptians to the Mother of Time,
and of the seven elemental powers." (See The Seven Souls, etc.) As well
known to every Hindu, this same constellation represents in
esotericism, came out from the moon (a triple
mystery -- astronomical, physiological, and psychical at once); he crossed the
whole cycle of existence and then returned to his birth-place before issuing
from it again. Thus the defunct is shown arriving in the West, receiving his
judgment before Osiris, resurrecting as the god Horus, and circling round the
sidereal heavens, which is an allegorical assimilation to Ra, the Sun; then
having crossed the Noot (the celestial abyss), returning once more to Tiaou: an
assimilation to Osiris, who, as the God of life and reproduction, inhabits the
moon. Plutarch (Isis and Osiris, ch. xliii.) shows the Egyptians celebrating a
festival called "The Ingress of Osiris into the moon." In chapter xli. life is promised
after death; and the renovation of life is placed under the patronage of
Osiris-Lunus, because the moon was the symbol of life-renewals or
reincarnations, owing to its growth, waning, dying, and reappearance every
month. In the Dankmoe, (iv. 5) it is said:-- "Oh,
Osiris-Lunus! That renews to thee thy renewal." And Safekh says to
Osiris was "God manifest in generation," because the ancients knew, far better than the moderns, the real occult influences of the lunar body upon the mysteries of conception.* Later on, when the moon became connected with female goddesses** -- with Diana, Isis, Artemis,
* In the oldest systems we find the Moon always male. Thus Soma is, with the Hindus, a kind of sidereal Don Juan, a "King," and the father, albeit illegitimate, of Buddha -- Wisdom, which relates to Occult Knowledge, a wisdom gathered through a thorough acquaintance with lunar mysteries including those of sexual generation. (See "Holy of Holies.")
** If instead of being
taught in Sunday Schools useless lessons from the Bible, the armies of the
ragged and the poor were taught Astrology -- so far, at any rate, as the occult
properties of the Moon and its hidden influences on generation are concerned,
then there would be little need to fear increase of the population nor to resort
to the questionable literature of the Malthusians for its arrest. For it is the Moon and her conjunctions that regulate conceptions,
and every astrologer in
MANY STREAMS, BUT ONE SOURCE.
etc., that connection was due to a thorough knowledge of physiology and female
nature, physical as much as psychic. But, primarily, the Sun and Moon were the
only visible and, so to say, tangible [by their effects] psychic and
physiological deities -- the Father and the Son, while
Space and air in general, or that expanse of Heaven called Noot by the
Egyptians, was the concealed Spirit or Breath of the two. These "Father
and Son" were interchangeable in their functions and worked harmoniously
together in their effects upon terrestrial nature and humanity; hence they were
regarded as ONE, though TWO in personified Entities. They were both males, and
both had their distinct and also collaborative work in the causative generation
of Humanity. So much from the astronomical and cosmic standpoints viewed and
expressed in symbolical language -- which became in our last races theological
and dogmatic. But behind this veil of Cosmic and Astrological symbols, there
were the Occult mysteries of Anthropography and the primeval genesis of man.
And in this, no knowledge of symbols -- or even the key to the post-diluvian
symbolical language of the Jews -- will, or can help, save only with reference
to that which was laid down in national scriptures for exoteric uses; the sum
of which, however cleverly veiled, was only the smallest portion of the real
primitive history of each people, often relating, moreover, -- as in the Hebrew
Scriptures -- merely to the terrestrial human, not divine life of that nation.
That psychic and spiritual element belonged to MYSTERY and INITIATION. There
were things never recorded in scrolls, but, as in
Nevertheless, there was a time when the whole world was "of one lip and of one knowledge," and Man knew more of his origin than he does now, and thus knew that the Sun and Moon, however large a part they do play in the constitution, growth and development of the human body, were not the direct causative agents of his appearance on Earth;
these agents being, in truth, the living and intelligent Powers which the Occultists call Dhyan Chohans.
As to this, a very learned admirer of the Jewish Esotericism tells us that "the Kabala says expressly that Elohim is a 'general abstraction'; what we call in mathematics 'a constant co-efficient' or a 'general function' entering into all construction, not particular; that is, by the general ratio 1 to 31415, (the astro-Dhyanic and) Elohistic figures." To this the Eastern Occultist replies: Quite so, it is an abstraction to our physical senses. To our spiritual perceptions, however, and to our inner spiritual eye, the Elohim or Dhyanis are no more an abstraction than our soul and spirit are to us. Reject the one and you reject the other -- since that which is the surviving Entity in us is partly the direct emanation from, and partly those celestial Entities themselves. One thing is sure; the Jews were perfectly acquainted with sorcery and various maleficent forces; but, with the exception of some of their great prophets and seers like Daniel and Ezekiel (Enoch belonging to a far distant race and not to any nation but to all, as a generic character), they knew little of, nor would they deal with, the real divine Occultism, their national character being averse to anything which had no direct bearing upon their own ethnical, tribal, and individual benefits -- witness their own prophets, and the curses thundered by them against the "stiff-necked race." But even the Kabala plainly shows the direct relation between the Sephiroth, or Elohim, and men.
Therefore, when it is proved to us that the Kabalistic identification of Jehovah with Binah, a female Sephiroth, has still another, a sub-occult meaning in it, then and then only the Occultist will be ready to pass the palm of perfection to the Kabalist. Until then, it is asserted that, as Jehovah is in the abstract sense of a "one living God," a single number, a metaphysical figment, and a reality only when put in his proper place as an emanation and a Sephiroth -- we have a right to maintain that the Zohar (as witnessed by the BOOK OF NUMBERS, at any rate), gave out originally, before the Christian Kabalists had disfigured it, and still gives out the same doctrine that we do; i.e., it makes Man emanate, not from one Celestial MAN, but from a Septenary group of Celestial men or Angels, just as in "Pymander, the Thought Divine."
THE DIFFERENTIATION OF THE "ONE."
STANZA VII. -- Continued.
(3) WHEN THE ONE BECOMES TWO -- THE "THREE-FOLD" APPEARS (a). THE THREE ARE (linked into) ONE; AND IT IS OUR THREAD, O LANOO, THE HEART OF THE MAN-PLANT, CALLED SAPTAPARNA (b).
(a) "When the ONE becomes two, the three-fold appears": to wit, when the One Eternal drops its reflection into the region of Manifestation, that reflection, "the Ray," differentiates the "Water of Space"; or, in the words of the "Book of the Dead"; "Chaos ceases, through the effulgence of the Ray of Primordial light dissipating total darkness by the help of the great magic power of the WORD of the (Central) Sun." Chaos becomes male-female, and Water, incubated through Light, and the "three-fold being issues as its First-born." "Osiris-Ptah (or RA) creates his own limbs (like Brahma) by creating the gods destined to personify his phases" during the Cycle (xvii., 4). The Egyptian Ra, issuing from the DEEP, is the Divine Universal Soul in its manifested aspect, and so is Narayana, the Purusha, "concealed in Akasa and present in Ether."
This is the metaphysical explanation, and refers to the very beginning of Evolution, or, as we should rather say, of Theogony. The meaning of the Stanza when explained from another standpoint in its reference to the mystery of man and his origin, is still more difficult to comprehend. In order to form a clear conception of what is meant by the One becoming two, and then being transformed into the "three-fold," the student has to make himself thoroughly acquainted with what we call "Rounds." If he refers to "Esoteric Buddhism" -- the first attempt to sketch out an approximate outline of archaic Cosmogony -- he will find that by a "Round" is meant the serial evolution of nascent material nature, of the seven globes of our chain* with their mineral,
* Several inimical
critics are anxious to prove that no seven principles of man
nor septenary constitution of our chain were taught in our earlier
vegetable, and animal kingdoms (man being there included in the latter and standing at the head of it) during the whole period of a life-cycle. The latter would be called by the Brahmins "a Day of Brahma." It is, in short, one revolution of the "Wheel" (our planetary chain), which is composed of seven globes (or seven separate "Wheels," in another sense this time). When evolution has run downward into matter, from planet A to planet G, or Z, as the Western students call it, it is one Round. In the middle of the Fourth revolution, which is our present "Round": "Evolution has reached its acme of physical development, crowned its work with the perfect physical man, and, from this point, begins its work spirit-ward." All this needs little repetition, as it is well explained in "Esoteric Buddhism." That which was hardly touched upon, and of which the little that was said has misled many, is the origin of man, and it is upon this that a little more light may now be thrown, just enough to make the Stanza more comprehensible, as the process will be fully explained only in its legitimate place, in Book II.
Now every "Round" (on the descending scale) is but a repetition in a more concrete form of the Round which preceded it, as every globe -- down to our fourth sphere (the actual earth) -- is a grosser and more material copy of the more shadowy sphere which precedes it in their successive order, on the three higher planes. (See diagram in Stanza VI. Comm. 6). On its way upwards on the ascending arc, Evolution spiritualises and etherealises, so to speak, the general nature of all, bringing it on to a level with the plane on which the twin globe on the opposite side is placed; the result being, that when the seventh globe is reached (in whatever Round) the nature of everything that is evolving returns to the condition it was in at its starting point -- plus, every time, a new and superior degree in the states of consciousness. Thus it becomes clear that the "origin of man," so-called, on this our present
WHAT INCARNATES IN ANIMAL MAN.
Round, or life-cycle on this planet, must occupy the same place in the same order -- save details based on local conditions and time -- as in the preceding Round. Again, it must be explained and remembered that, as the work of each Round is said to be apportioned to a different group of so-called "Creators" or "Architects," so is that of every globe; i.e., it is under the supervision and guidance of special "Builders" and "Watchers" -- the various Dhyan-Chohans.
group of the hierarchy which is commissioned to "create"* men is a
special group, then; yet it evolved shadowy man in this cycle just as a higher
and still more spiritual group evolved him in the Third Round. But as it is the
Sixth -- on the downward scale of Spirituality -- the last and seventh being
the terrestrial Spirits (elementals) which gradually form, build, and condense his physical body -- this Sixth group evolves no
more than the future man's shadowy form, a filmy, hardly visible transparent
copy of themselves. It becomes the task of the fifth Hierarchy -- the
mysterious beings that preside over the constellation Capricornus, Makara, or
To put it more clearly: the invisible Entity may be bodily present on earth without abandoning, however, its status and functions in the supersensuous regions. If this needs explanation, we can do no better than remind the reader of like cases in Spiritualism, though such cases are very rare, at least as regards the nature of the Entity incarnating,**
* Creation is an incorrect word to use, as no religion, not even the sect of the Visishta Adwaitees in India -- one which anthropomorphises even Parabrahmam -- believes in creation out of nihil as Christians and Jews do, but in evolution out of preexisting materials.
** The so-called "Spirits" that may occasionally possess themselves of the bodies of mediums are not the Monads or Higher Principles of disembodied personalities. Such a "Spirit" can only be either an Elementary, or -- a Nirmanakaya.
or taking temporary possession of a medium. Just as certain persons -- men and women, reverting to parallel cases among living persons -- whether by virtue of a peculiar organization, or through the power of acquired mystic knowledge, can be seen in their "double" in one place, while the body is many miles away; so the same thing can occur in the case of superior Beings.
Man, philosophically considered, is, in his outward form, simply an animal, hardly more perfect than his pithecoid-like ancestor of the third round. He is a living body, not a living being, since the realisation of existence, the "Ego-Sum," necessitates self-consciousness, and an animal can only have direct consciousness, or instinct. This was so well understood by the Ancients that the Kabalist even made of soul and body two lives, independent of each other.* The soul, whose body vehicle is the Astral, ethero-substantial envelope, could die and man be still living on earth -- i.e., the soul could free itself from and quit the tabernacle for various reasons -- such as insanity, spiritual and physical depravity, etc.** Therefore, that which living men (Initiates)
* On p. 340-351 (Genesis of the Soul) in the "New Aspects of Life," the Author states the Kabalistic teaching: "They held that, functionally, Spirit and Matter of corresponding opacity and density tended to coalesce; and that the resultant created Spirits, in the disembodied state, were constituted on a scale in which the differing opacities and transparencies of Elemental or uncreated Spirit were reproduced. And that these Spirits in the disembodied state attracted, appropriated, digested and assimilated Elemental Spirit and Elemental Matter whose condition was conformed to their own." "They therefore taught that there was a wide difference in the condition of created Spirits; and that in the intimate association between the Spirit-world and the world of Matter, the more opaque Spirits in the disembodied state were drawn towards the more dense parts of the material world, and therefore tended towards the centre of the Earth, where they found the conditions most suited to their state; while the more transparent Spirits passed into the surrounding aura of the planet, the most rarified finding their home in its satellite."
This relates exclusively to our Elementary Spirits, and has naught to do with either the Planetary, Sidereal, Cosmic or Inter-Etheric Intelligent Forces or "Angels" as they are termed by the Roman Church. The Jewish Kabalists, especially the practical Occultists who dealt with ceremonial magic, busied themselves solely with the spirits of the Planets and the "Elementals" so-called. Therefore this covers only a portion of the Esoteric Teaching.
** The possibility of
the "Soul" (i.e., the eternal Spiritual Ego) dwelling in the unseen
worlds, while its body goes on living on Earth, is a pre-eminently occult
doctrine, especially in Chinese and Buddhist philosophy. See "
DII SUNT DEMONES INVERSI.
can do, the Dhyanis, who have no physical body to
hamper them, can do still better. This was the belief of the Antediluvians, and
it is fast becoming that of modern intellectual society, in Spiritualism,
besides the Greek and
* This identity between the Spirit and its material "double" (in man it is the reverse) explains still better the confusion, alluded to already in this work, made in the names and individualities, as well as the numbers, of the Rishis and the Prajapatis; especially between those of the Satyayuga and the Mahabharatan period. It also throws additional light on what the Secret Doctrine teaches with regard to the Root and the Seed Manus (see Book ii. "On the primitive Manus of humanity"). Not only those progenitors of our mankind, but every human being, we are taught, has its prototype in the Spiritual Spheres; which prototype is the highest essence of his seventh principle. Thus the seven Manus become 14, the Root Manu being the Prime Cause, and the "Seed-Manu" its effect; and when the latter reach from Satyayuga (the first stage) to the heroic period, these Manus or Rishis become 21 in number.
actualities, but the two aspects or facets of the
same Unity. Now the best man living would appear, side by
side with an
(b) The concluding sentence of this sloka shows how archaic is the belief and the doctrine that man is seven-fold in his constitution. The thread of being which animates man and passes through all his personalities, or rebirths on this Earth (an allusion to Sutratma), the thread on which moreover all his "Spirits" are strung -- is spun from the essence of the "threefold," the "fourfold" and the "fivefold"; which contain all the preceding. Panchasikha, agreeably to Bhagavata Purana (V. XX. 25-28), is one of the seven Kumaras who go to Sveta-Dvipa to worship Vishnu. We shall see further on, what connection there is between the "celibate" and chaste sons of Brahma, who refuse "to multiply," and terrestrial mortals. Meanwhile it is evident that "the Man-Plant," Saptaparna, thus refers to the seven principles, and man is compared to the seven-leaved plant of this name* so sacred among Buddhists.
For further details as to Saptaparna and the importance of the number seven in occultism, as well as in symbology, the reader is referred to Part II., Book II., on Symbolism: Sections on "Saptaparna," "The Septenary in the Vedas," etc. etc.
* The Egyptian allegory in the "Book of the Dead" already mentioned, the hymn that relates to the reward "of the Soul," is as suggestive of our Septenary Doctrine as it is poetical. The deceased is allotted a piece of land in the field of Aanroo, wherein the Manes, the deified shades of the dead, glean, as the harvest they have sown by their actions in life, the corn seven cubits high, which grows in a territory divided into 14 and 7 portions. This corn is the food on which they live and prosper, or that will kill them, in Amenti, the realm of which the Aanroo field is a domain. For, as said in the hymn, (see chap. xxxii. 9) the deceased is either destroyed therein, or becomes pure spirit for the Eternity, in consequence of the "Seven times seventy-seven lives" passed or to be passed on Earth. The idea of the corn reaped as the "fruit of our actions" is very graphic.
THE IMMORTAL ROOT.
STANZA VII. -- Continued.
4. IT IS THE ROOT THAT NEVER DIES, THE THREE-TONGUED FLAME OF THE FOUR WICKS* (a) . . . THE WICKS ARE THE SPARKS, THAT DRAW FROM THE THREE-TONGUED FLAME (their upper triad) SHOT OUT BY THE SEVEN, THEIR FLAME; THE BEAMS AND SPARKS OF ONE MOON REFLECTED IN THE RUNNING WAVES OF ALL THE RIVERS OF THE EARTH ("Bhumi," or "Prithivi")** (b).
(a) The "Three-tongued flame" that never dies is the immortal spiritual triad -- the Atma-Buddhi and Manas -- the fruition of the latter assimilated by the first two after every terrestrial life. The "four wicks" that go out and are extinguished, are the four lower principles, including the body.
"I am the three-wicked Flame and my wicks are immortal," says the defunct. "I enter into the domain of Sekhem (the God whose arm sows the seed of action produced by the disembodied soul) and I enter the region of the Flames who have destroyed their adversaries," i.e., got rid of the sin-creating "four wicks." (See chap. i., vii., "Book of the Dead," and the "Mysteries of Ro-stan.")
(b) Just as milliards of bright sparks dance on the waters of an ocean above which one and the same moon is shining, so our evanescent personalities -- the illusive envelopes of the immortal MONAD-EGO -- twinkle and dance on the waves of Maya. They last and appear, as the thousands of sparks produced by the moon-beams, only so long as the Queen of the Night radiates her lustre on the running waters of life: the period of a Manvantara; and then they disappear, the beams -- symbols of our eternal Spiritual Egos -- alone surviving, re-merged in, and being, as they were before, one with the Mother-Source.
* The three-tongued flame of the four wicks corresponds to the four unities and the three Binaries of the Sephirothal tree (see Commentary on Stanza VI.).
** Useless to repeat again that the terms given here are Sanskrit translations; for the original terms, unknown and unheard of in Europe, would only puzzle the reader more, and serve no useful purpose.
STANZA VII. -- Continued.
(5) THE SPARK HANGS FROM THE FLAME BY THE FINEST THREAD OF FOHAT. IT JOURNEYS THROUGH THE SEVEN WORLDS OF MAYA (a). IT STOPS IN THE FIRST (Kingdom), AND IS A METAL AND A STONE; IT PASSES INTO THE SECOND (Kingdom), AND BEHOLD -- A PLANT; THE PLANT WHIRLS THROUGH SEVEN FORMS AND BECOMES A SACRED ANIMAL; (the first shadow of the physical man) (b).
FROM THE COMBINED ATTRIBUTES OF THESE, MANU (man), THE THINKER, IS FORMED.
WHO FORMS HIM? THE SEVEN LIVES; AND THE ONE LIFE (c). WHO COMPLETES HIM? THE FIVEFOLD LHA. AND WHO PERFECTS THE LAST BODY? FISH, SIN, AND SOMA (the moon) (d).
(a) The phrase "through the seven Worlds of Maya" refers here to the seven globes of the planetary chain and the seven rounds, or the 49 stations of active existence that are before the "Spark" or Monad, at the beginning of every "Great Life-Cycle" or Manvantara. The "thread of Fohat" is the thread of life before referred to.
This relates to the greatest problem of philosophy -- the physical and substantial nature of life, the independent nature of which is denied by modern science because that science is unable to comprehend it. The reincarnationists and believers in Karma alone dimly perceive that the whole secret of Life is in the unbroken series of its manifestations: whether in, or apart from, the physical body. Because if --
"Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity" --
yet it is itself part and parcel of that Eternity; for life alone can understand life.
What is that "Spark" which "hangs from the flame?" It is JIVA, the MONAD in conjunction with MANAS, or rather its aroma -- that which remains from each personality, when worthy, and hangs from Atma-Buddhi, the Flame, by the thread of life. In whatever way interpreted, and into whatever number of principles the human being is divided, it may easily be shown that this doctrine is supported by all the ancient
religions, from the Vedic to the Egyptian, from the Zoroastrian to the Jewish. In the case of the last-mentioned, the Kabalistic works offer abundant proof of this statement. The entire system of the Kabalistic numerals is based on the divine septenary hanging from the Triad (thus forming the Decade) and its permutations 7, 5, 4, and 3, which, finally, all merge into the ONE itself: an endless and boundless Circle.
"The Deity (the ever Invisible Presence)," says the Zohar, "manifests itself through the ten Sephiroth which are its radiating witnesses. The Deity is like the Sea from which outflows a stream called WISDOM, the waters of which fall into a lake named Intelligence. From the basin, like seven channels, issue the Seven Sephiroth. . . . . For ten equal seven: the Decade contains four Unities and three Binaries." The ten Sephiroth correspond to the limbs of MAN. "When I framed Adam Kadmon," the Elohim are made to say, "the Spirit of the Eternal shot out of his Body like a sheet of lightning that radiated at once on the billows of the Seven millions of skies, and my ten splendours were his limbs." But neither the Head nor the shoulders of Adam-Kadmon can be seen; therefore we read in the Sephra Dzenioutha (the "Book of the Concealed Mystery"):--
"In the beginning of Time, after the Elohim (the "Sons of Light and Life," or the "Builders") had shaped out of the eternal Essence the Heavens and the Earth, they formed the worlds six by six, the seventh being Malkuth, which is our Earth (see Mantuan Codex) on its plane, and the lowest on all the other planes of conscious existence. The Chaldean Book of Numbers contains a detailed explanation of all this. "The first triad of the body of Adam Kadmon (the three upper planes of the seven*) cannot be seen before the soul stands in the presence of the Ancient of Days." The Sephiroth of this upper triad are:-- "1, Kether (the Crown) represented by the brow of Macroprosopos; 2, Chochmah (Wisdom, a male Principle) by his right shoulder; and 3, Binah (Intelligence, a female Principle) by the left shoulder." Then come the seven limbs (or Sephiroth) on the planes of manifestation, the totality of these four planes being represented by Microprosopus (the
* The formation of the "living Soul" or man, would render the idea more clearly. "A Living Soul" is a synonym of man in the Bible. These are our seven "Principles."
lesser Face) or Tetragrammaton, the "four-lettered" Mystery. "The seven manifested and the three concealed limbs are the Body of the Deity."
Thus our Earth, Malkuth, is both the Seventh and the Fourth world, the former when counting from the first globe above, the latter if reckoned by the planes. It is generated by the sixth globe or Sephiroth called Yezod, "foundation," or as said in the Book of Numbers "by Yezod, He (Adam Kadmon) fecundates the primitive Heva" (Eve or our Earth). Rendered in mystic language this is the explanation why Malkuth, called "the inferior Mother," Matrona, Queen, and the Kingdom of the Foundation, is shown as the Bride of Tetragrammaton or Microprosopus (the 2nd Logos) the Heavenly Man. When free from all impurity she will become united with the Spiritual Logos, i.e., in the 7th Race of the 7th Round -- after the regeneration, on the day of "SABBATH." For the "seventh day" has again an occult significance undreamt of by our theologians.
"When Matronitha, the Mother, is separated and brought face to face with the King, in the excellence of the Sabbath, all things become one body," says verse 746, in chapter xxii. of "Ha Idra Zuta Kadisha." "Becomes one body" means that all is reabsorbed once more into the one element, the spirits of men becoming Nirvanees and the elements of everything else becoming again what they were before -- protyle or undifferentiated substance. "Sabbath" means rest or Nirvana. It is not the seventh day after six days but a period the duration of which equals that of the seven "days" or any period made up of seven parts. Thus a pralaya is equal in duration to the manwantara, or a night of Brahma is equal to this "day." If the Christians will follow Jewish customs they ought to adopt the spirit and not the dead letter thereof: i.e., to work one week of seven days and rest seven days. That the word "Sabbath" had a mystic significance is shown in the contempt shown by Jesus for the Sabbath day, and by what is said in Luke xviii. 12. Sabbath is there taken for the whole week. (See Greek text where the week is called Sabbath. "I fast twice in the Sabbath.") Paul, an Initiate, knew it well when referring to the eternal rest and felicity in heaven, as Sabbath; "and their happiness will be eternal, for they will ever be (one) with the Lord and will enjoy an eternal Sabbath." (Hebrew iv. 2.)
THE TRUE AND THE FALSE KABALA.
The difference between the two systems, taking the Kabala as contained in the Chaldean Book of Numbers, not as misrepresented by its now disfigured copy, the Kabala of the Christian mystics --the Kabala and the archaic esoteric Vidya, is very small indeed, being confined to unimportant divergences of form and expression. Thus Eastern occultism refers to our earth as the fourth world, the lowest of the chain, above which run upward on both its sides the six globes, three on each side. The Zohar, on the other hand, calls the earth the lower, or the Seventh, adding that upon the six depend all things which are in it, "Microprosopus." The "smaller face," smaller because manifested and finite, "is formed of six Sephiroth," says the same work. "Seven kings come and die in the thrice-destroyed world" -- (Malkuth our earth, destroyed after each of the three rounds which it has gone through). "And their reign (of the seven kings) will be broken up." (Book of Numbers, 1. viii., 3.) This relates to the Seven Races, five of which have already appeared, and two more have still to appear in this Round.
Shinto allegorical accounts of Cosmogony and the origin of man in
C. Pfoundes studied for nearly nine years in the monasteries of
It will be shown (Vol. II. Pt. II.) that the number seven, as well as the doctrine of the septenary constitution of man, was pre-eminent in all the secret systems. It plays as important a part in Western Kabala as in Eastern Occultism. Eliphas Levi calls the number seven "the key to the Mosaic creation and the symbols of every religion." He shows the Kabala following faithfully even the septenary division of man, as the diagram he gives in his "Clef des Grands Mysteres" is septenary. This may be seen at a glance on page 389, "Une prophetic et diverses pensees de Paracelse," however cleverly the correct thought is veiled. One needs also only to look at the diagram (Plate VII. in Mr. Mathers' Kabala) "the formation of the Soul"* from the same "Key of the Great Mysteries" by Levi to find the same, though with a different interpretation.
Thus it stands with both the Kabalistic and the Occult names attached:--
7 Neschanah [[--]] Pure Spirit [[--]] Atma
6 Ruach [[--]] Spiritual Soul [[--]] Buddhi
5 Nephesch [[--]] Plastic Mediator [[--]] Manas
N. B. -- Please remark that this triad is disconnected with the lower Quaternary, as it disconnects itself always after death.
THE UPPER TRIAD [[--]] The Immortal. E. Levi calls Nephesch what we name Manas, and vice versa.*
Samael [[--]] Seat of Passion & Animal Desires [[--]]
3 Mikael [[--]] the Sun Principle [[--]] whence Life Prana
2 Image of man [[--]] Astral Body [[--]] or Linga Sarira
1 Image of the Creators [[--]] Physical Body [[--]] Sthula Sarira [[--]] Rupa
The lower Quarternary: the Transitory and the mortal.
Nephesch. -- The Breath of animal life in man -- the breath of life instinctual in the animal: and Manas is the 3rd Soul -- the human in its light side, -- animal, in its connection with Samaelor Kama.
* Nephesch is the "breath of (animal) life" breathed into Adam, the man of dust; it is consequently the Vital Spark, the informing element. Without Manas, or what is miscalled in Levi's diagram Nephesch instead of Manas, "the reasoning Soul," or mind, Atma-Buddhi are irrational on this plane and cannot act. It is Buddhi which is the plastic mediator, not Manas, "the intelligent medium between the upper Triad and the lower Quaternary." But there are many such strange and curious transformations to be found in the Kabalistic works -- a convincing proof that its literature has become a sad jumble. We do not accept the classification except in this one particular, in order to show the points of agreement.
OCCULT AND KABALISTIC DOCTRINES.
We will now give in tabular form what the very cautious Eliphas Levi says in explanation of his diagram, and what the Esoteric Doctrine teaches -- and compare the two. Levi, too, makes a distinction between Kabalistic and Occult Pneumatics. (See "Histoire de la Magic," pp. 388, 389.)
Says Eliphas Levi, the Kabalist:--
1. The Soul (or EGO) is a clothed light; and this light is triple.
2. Neschamah -- "pure Spirit."
3. Ruach -- the Soul or Spirit.
4. Nephesch -- plastic mediator.**
5. The garment of the Soul is the rind (body) of the image (astral Soul).
6. The image is double, because it reflects the good as the bad.
7. Imago, body.
As given by Eliphas Levi.
1. Nephesh is immortal because it renews its life by the destruction of forms.
[But Nephesh, the "breath of
[[first column continued on next page]]
Say the Theosophists:--
1. Ditto, for it is Atma-Buddhi-Manas.
3. Spiritual Soul.
4. Mediator between Spirit and its Man, the Seat of Reason, the Mind, in man.
6. Too uselessly apocalyptic. Why not say that the astral reflects the good as well as the bad man; man, who is ever tending to the upper triangle, or else disappears with the Quaternary.
7. Ditto, the earthly image.
As given by the Occultists.
1. Manas is immortal, because after every new incarnation it adds to Atma-Buddhi something of itself, and
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* Eliphas Levi has, whether purposely or otherwise, confused the numbers: with us his No. 2 is No. 1. (Spirit); and by making of Nephesch both the plastic mediator and Life, he thus makes in reality only six principles, because he repeats the first two.
** Esotericism teaches the same. But Manas is not Nephesch; nor is the latter the astral, but the 4th principle, if also the 2nd prana, for Nephesch is the "breath of life" in man, as in beast or insect, of physical, material life, which has no spirituality in it.
[[first column continued from previous page]]
life," is a misnomer and a useless puzzle to the student.]
2. Ruach progresses by the evolution of ideas (! ?).
3. Neschamah is progressive without oblivion and destruction.
4. The soul has three dwellings.
5. These dwellings are: the plane of the mortals: the Superior Eden; and the Inferior Eden.
6. The image (man) is a sphinx that offers the riddle of birth.
7. The fatal image (the astral) endows Nephesch with its aptitudes; but Ruach is able to substitute for this (vitiated) Nephesch the image
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[[second column continued from previous page]]
thus, assimilating itself to the Monad, shares its immortality.
2. Buddhi becomes conscious by the accretions it gets from Manas after every new incarnation and the death of man.
3. Atma neither progresses, forgets, nor remembers. It does not belong to this plane: it is but the ray of light eternal which shines upon and through the darkness of matter -- when the latter is willing.
4. The Soul (collectively, as the upper Triad) lives on three planes, besides its fourth, the terrestrial sphere; and it exists eternally on the highest of the three.
5. These dwellings are: Earth for the physical man, or the animal Soul; Kama-loka (Hades, the Limbo) for the disembodied man, or his Shell; Devachan for the higher Triad.
The astral through
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OCCULTISTS AND KABALISTS DIFFER.
[[first column continued from previous page]]
conquered in accordance with the inspirations of Neschamah.
[[second column continued from previous page]]
or Manas tries to escape the fatal attraction and turns its aspirations to Atma -- Spirit -- then Buddhi (Ruach) conquers, and carries Manas with it to the realm of eternal Spirit.
It is very evident that the French Kabalist either did not know sufficiently the real tenet, or distorted it to suit himself and his object. Thus he says again, treating upon the same subject, and we, Occultists, answer the late Kabalist and his admirers:--
1. The body is the mould of Nephesch; Nephesch the mould of Ruach; Ruach the mould of the garments of Neschamah.
2. Light (the Soul) personifies in clothing itself (with a body); and personality endures only when the garment is perfect.
3. The angels aspire to become men; a perfect man, a man-god is above all the angels.
4. Every 14,000 years the soul rejuvenates and rests in the jubilean sleep of oblivion.
1. The body follows the whims, good or bad, of Manas; Manas tries to follow the light of Buddhi, but often fails. Buddhi is the mould of the "garments" of Atma, because Atma is no body, or shape, or anything, and because Buddhi is its vehicle only figuratively.
2. The Monad becomes a personal ego when it incarnates; and something remains of that personality through Manas, when the latter is perfect enough to assimilate Buddhi.
4. Within a period, "a great age" or a day of Brahrna, 14 Manus reign; after which comes Pralaya when all the Souls rest in Nirvana. (Souls = Egos).
Such are the distorted copies of the esoteric doctrine in the Kabala. But see also "The Primeval Manus of Humanity" in Book II.
To return to Stanza VII.
(b) The well-known Kabalistic aphorism runs:-- "A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast; the beast, a man; a man a spirit; and the spirit a god." The "spark" animates all the kingdoms in turn before it enters into and informs divine man, between whom and his predecessor, animal man, there is all the difference in the world. Genesis begins its anthropology at the wrong end (evidently for a blind) and lands nowhere.* Had it begun as it ought, one would have found in it, first, the celestial Logos, the "Heavenly Man," which evolves as a Compound Unit of Logoi, out of whom after their pralayic sleep -- a sleep that gathers the cyphers scattered on the Mayavic plane into One, as the separate globules of quicksilver on a plate blend into one mass -- the Logoi appear in their totality as the first "male and female" or Adam Kadmon, the "Fiat Lux" of the Bible, as we have already seen. But this transformation did not take place on our Earth, nor on any material plane, but in the Spacial Depths of the first differentiation of the eternal Root-matter. On our nascent globe things proceed differently. The Monad or Jiva, as said in "Isis Unveiled," vol. i., p. 302, is, first of all, shot down by the law of Evolution into the lowest form of matter -- the mineral. After a sevenfold gyration encased in the stone (or that which will become mineral and stone in the Fourth Round), it creeps out of it, say, as a lichen. Passing thence, through all the forms of vegetable matter, into what is termed animal matter, it has now reached the point in which it has become the germ, so to speak, of the
* The introductory
chapters of Genesis were never meant to represent even a remote allegory of the
creation of our Earth. They embrace a metaphysical conception of some
indefinite period in the eternity, when successive attempts were being made by
the law of evolution at the formation of universes. The idea is plainly stated
in the Zohar: "There were old worlds, which perished as soon as they came
into existence, were formless, and were called
SPIRIT ALONE IS HELPLESS ON EARTH.
animal, that will become the physical man. All this, up to the Third Round, is formless, as matter, and senseless, as consciousness. For the Monad or Jiva per se cannot be even called spirit: it is a ray, a breath of the ABSOLUTE, or the Absoluteness rather, and the Absolute Homogeneity, having no relations with the conditioned and relative finiteness, is unconscious on our plane. Therefore, besides the material which will be needed for its future human form, the monad requires (a) a spiritual model, or prototype, for that material to shape itself into; and (b) an intelligent consciousness to guide its evolution and progress, neither of which is possessed by the homogeneous monad, or by senseless though living matter. The Adam of dust requires the Soul of Life to be breathed into him: the two middle principles, which are the sentient life of the irrational animal and the Human Soul, for the former is irrational without the latter. It is only when, from a potential androgyne, man has become separated into male and female, that he will be endowed with this conscious, rational, individual Soul, (Manas) "the principle, or the intelligence, of the Elohim," to receive which, he has to eat of the fruit of Knowledge from the Tree of Good and Evil. How is he to obtain all this? The Occult doctrine teaches that while the monad is cycling on downward into matter, these very Elohim -- or Pitris, the lower Dhyan-Chohans -- are evolving pari passu with it on a higher and more spiritual plane, descending also relatively into matter on their own plane of consciousness, when, after having reached a certain point, they will meet the incarnating senseless monad, encased in the lowest matter, and blending the two potencies, Spirit and Matter, the union will produce that terrestrial symbol of the "Heavenly Man" in space -- PERFECT MAN. In the Sankhya philosophy, Purusha (spirit) is spoken of as something impotent unless he mounts on the shoulders of Prakriti (matter), which, left alone, is -- senseless. But in the secret philosophy they are viewed as graduated. Though one and the same thing in their origin, Spirit and Matter, when once they are on the plane of differentiation, begin each of them their evolutionary progress in contrary directions -- Spirit falling gradually into matter, and the latter ascending to its original condition, that of a pure spiritual substance. Both are inseparable, yet ever separated. In polarity, on the physical plane, two like poles will always repel each other, while the negative and the positive are mutually attracted, so do Spirit and Matter stand to each other -- the two poles of the same homogeneous substance, the root-principle of the universe.
Therefore, when the hour strikes for Purusha to mount on Prakriti's shoulders for the formation of the Perfect Man -- rudimentary man of the first 2 1/2 Races being only the first, gradually evolving into the most perfect of mammals -- the Celestial "Ancestors" (Entities from preceding worlds, called in India the Sishta) step in on this our plane, as the Pitris had stepped in before them for the formation of the physical or animal-man, and incarnate in the latter. Thus the two processes -- for the two creations: the animal and the divine man -- differ greatly. The Pitris shoot out from their ethereal bodies, still more ethereal and shadowy similitudes of themselves, or what we should now call "doubles," or "astral forms," in their own likeness.* This furnishes the Monad with its first dwelling, and blind matter with a model around and upon which to build henceforth. But Man is still incomplete. From Swayambhuva Manu (in Manu, Book I.), from whom descended the seven primitive Manus or Prajapati, each of whom gave birth to a primitive race of men, down to the Codex Nazareus, in which Karabtanos or Fetahil (blind concupiscent matter) begets on his Mother, "Spiritus," seven figures, each of which stands as the progenitor of one of the primaeval seven races -- this doctrine has left its impress on every Archaic Scripture.
"Who forms Manu (the Man) and who forms his body? The LIFE and the LIVES. Sin** and the MOON." Here Manu stands for the spiritual, heavenly man, the real and non-dying EGO in us, which is the direct emanation of the "One Life" or the Absolute Deity. As to our outward physical bodies, the house of the tabernacle of the Soul, the Doctrine teaches a strange lesson; so strange that unless thoroughly explained and as rightly comprehended, it is only the exact Science of the future that is destined to vindicate the theory fully.
It has been stated before now that Occultism does not accept anything inorganic in the Kosmos. The expression employed by Science, "inorganic substance," means simply that the latent life slumbering in the molecules of so-called "inert matter" is incognizable. ALL IS LIFE, and every atom of even mineral dust is a LIFE, though beyond our comprehension and perception, because it is outside the range of the
* Read in
** The word "Sin" is curious, but has a particular Occult relation to the Moon, besides being its Chaldean equivalent.
MATTER, LIFE AND SUBSTANCE.
laws known to those who reject Occultism. "The very Atoms," says Tyndall, "seem instinct with a desire for life." Whence, then, we would ask, comes the tendency "to run into organic form"? Is it in any way explicable except according to the teachings of Occult Science?
"The worlds, to the profane," says a Commentary, "are built up of the known Elements. To the conception of an Arhat, these Elements are themselves collectively a divine Life; distributively, on the plane of manifestations, the numberless and countless crores of lives.* Fire alone is ONE, on the plane of the One
* Is Pasteur unconsciously taking the first step toward Occult Science in declaring that, if he dared express his full idea upon this subject, he would say that the Organic cells are endowed with a vital potency that does not cease its activity with the cessation of a current of Oxygen towards them, and does not, on that account, break off its relations with life itself, which is supported by the influence of that gas? "I would add," goes on Pasteur, "that the evolution of the germ is accomplished by means of complicated phenomena, among which we must class processes of fermentation"; and life, according to Claude Bernard and Pasteur, is nothing else than a process of fermentation. That there exist in Nature Beings or Lives that can live and thrive without air, even on our globe, was demonstrated by the same men of science. Pasteur found that many of the lower lives, such as Vibriones, and some microbes and bacteria, could exist without air, which, on the contrary, killed them. They derived the oxygen necessary for their multiplication from the various substances that surround them. He calls them AErobes, living on the tissues of our matter when the latter has ceased to form a part of an integral and living whole (then called very unscientifically by science "dead matter"), and Anaerobes. The one kind binds oxygen, and contributes vastly to the destruction of animal life and vegetable tissues, furnishing to the atmosphere materials which enter later on into the constitution of other organisms; the other destroys, or rather annihilates finally, the so-called organic substance; ultimate decay being impossible without their participation. Certain germ-cells, such as those of yeast, develop and multiply in air, but when deprived of it, they will adapt themselves to life without air and become ferments, absorbing oxygen from substances coming in contact with them, and thereby ruining the latter. The cells in fruit, when lacking free oxygen, act as ferments and stimulate fermentation. "Therefore the vegetable cell manifests in this case its life as an anaerobic being. Why, then, should an organic cell form in this case an exception"? asks Professor Bogolubof. Pasteur shows that in the substance of our tissues and organs, the cell, not finding sufficient oxygen for itself, stimulates fermentation in the same way as the fruit-cell, and Claude Bernard thought that Pasteur's idea of the formation of ferments found its application and corroboration in the fact that Urea increases in the blood during strangulation: LIFE therefore is everywhere in the Universe, and, Occultism teaches us, it is also in the atom. Also see infra, at the close of this Section.
Reality: on that of manifested, hence illusive, being, its particles are fiery lives which live and have their being at the expense of every other life that they consume. Therefore they are named the "DEVOURERS." . . . "Every visible thing in this Universe was built by such LIVES, front conscious and divine primordial man down to the unconscious agents that construct matter." . . . "From the ONE LIFE formless and Uncreate, proceeds the Universe of lives. First was manifested from the Deep (Chaos) cold luminous fire (gaseous light?) which formed the curds in Space." (Irresolvable nebulae, perhaps?). . . . . . ." . . . These fought, and a great heat was developed by the encountering and collision, which produced rotation. Then came the first manifested MATERIAL, Fire, the hot flames, the wanderers in heaven (comets); heat generates moist vapour; that forms solid water (?); then dry mist, then liquid mist, watery, that puts out the luminous brightness of the pilgrims (comets?) and forms solid watery wheels (MATTER globes). Bhumi (the Earth) appears with six sisters.* These produce by their continuous motion the inferior fire, heat, and an aqueous mist, which yields the third World-Element -- WATER; and from the breath of all (atmospheric) AIR is born. These four are the four lives of the first four periods (Rounds) of Manvantara. The three last will follow."
This means that every new Round develops one of the Compound Elements, as now known to Science, -- which rejects the primitive nomenclature, preferring to subdivide them into constituents. If Nature is the "Ever-becoming" on the manifested plane, then those Elements are to be regarded in the same light: they have to evolve, progress, and increase to the Manvantaric end. Thus the First Round, we are taught, developed but one Element, and a nature and humanity in what may be called one aspect of Nature -- called by some, very unscientifically, though it may be so de facto, "One-dimensional Space."
* It is a Vedic teaching that "there are three Earths corresponding to three Heavens, and our Earth (the fourth) is called Bhumi." This is the explanation given by our exoteric Western Orientalists. But the esoteric meaning and allusion to it in the Vedas is that it refers to our planetary chain, three "Earths" on the descending arc, and three "heavens" which are the three Earths or globes also, only far more ethereal, on the ascending or spiritual arc: by the first three we descend into matter, by the other three we ascend into Spirit; the lower one, Bhumi, our Earth, forming the turning point, so to say, and containing potentially as much of Spirit as it does of Matter. We shall treat of this hereafter.
THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF SPACE.
The Second Round brought forth and developed two Elements -- Fire and Earth -- and its humanity, adapted to this condition of Nature, if we can give the name Humanity to beings living under conditions unknown to men, was -- to use again a familiar phrase in a strictly figurative sense (the only way in which it can be used correctly) -- "a two-dimensional species." The processes of natural development which we are now considering will at once elucidate and discredit the fashion of speculating on the attributes of the two, three, and four or more "dimensional Space;" but in passing, it is worth while to point out the real significance of the sound but incomplete intuition that has prompted -- among Spiritualists and Theosophists, and several great men of Science, for the matter of that* -- the use of the modern expression, "the fourth dimension of Space." To begin with, of course, the superficial absurdity of assuming that Space itself is measurable in any direction is of little consequence. The familiar phrase can only be an abbreviation of the fuller form -- the "Fourth dimension of MATTER in Space."** But it is an unhappy phrase even thus expanded, because while it is perfectly true that the progress of evolution may be destined to introduce us to new characteristics of matter, those with which we are already familiar are really more numerous than the three dimensions. The faculties, or what is perhaps the best available term, the characteristics of matter, must clearly bear a direct relation always to the senses of man. Matter has extension, colour, motion (molecular motion), taste, and smell, corresponding to the existing senses of man, and by the time that it fully develops the next characteristic -- let us call it for the moment PERMEABILITY -- this will correspond to the next sense of man -- let us call it "NORMAL CLAIRVOYANCE;" thus, when some bold thinkers have been thirsting for a fourth dimension to explain the passage of matter through matter, and the production of knots upon an endless cord, what they were really in want of, was a sixth characteristic of matter. The three dimensions belong really but to one attribute or characteristic of matter -- extension; and
* Professor Zollner's
theory has been more than welcomed by several Scientists --who are
Spiritualists -- Professors Butlerof and Wagner, of
** "The giving reality to abstractions is the error of Realism. Space and Time are frequently viewed as separated from all the concrete experiences of the mind, instead of being generalizations of these in certain aspects." (Bain, Logic, Part II., p. 389.)
popular common sense justly rebels against the idea that under any condition of things there can be more than three of such dimensions as length, breadth, and thickness. These terms, and the term "dimension" itself, all belong to one plane of thought, to one stage of evolution, to one characteristic of matter. So long as there are foot-rules within the resources of Kosmos, to apply to matter, so long will they be able to measure it three ways and no more; and from the time the idea of measurement first occupied a place in the human understanding, it has been possible to apply measurement in three directions and no more. But these considerations do not militate in any way against the certainty that in the progress of time -- as the faculties of humanity are multiplied -- so will the characteristics of matter be multiplied also. Meanwhile, the expression is far more incorrect than even the familiar one of the "Sun rising or setting."
We now return to the consideration of material evolution through the Rounds. Matter in the second Round, it has been stated, may be figuratively referred to as two-dimensional. But here another caveat must be entered. That loose and figurative expression may be regarded -- in one plane of thought, as we have just seen -- as equivalent to the second characteristic of matter corresponding to the second perceptive faculty or sense of man. But these two linked scales of evolution are concerned with the processes going on within the limits of a single Round. The succession of primary aspects of Nature with which the succession of Rounds is concerned, has to do, as already indicated, with the development of the "Elements" (in the Occult sense) -- Fire, Air, Water,* Earth. We are only in the fourth Round, and our catalogue so far stops short. The centres of consciousness (destined to develop into humanity as we know it) of the third Round arrived at a perception of the third Element Water.** Those of the fourth Round have added
* The order in which these Elements are placed above is the correct one for esoteric purposes and in the Secret Teachings. Milton was right when he spoke of the "Powers of Fire, Air, Water, Earth"; the Earth, such as we know it now, had no existence before the 4th Round, hundreds of million years ago, the commencement of our geological Earth. The globe was "fiery, cool and radiant as its ethereal men and animals during the first Round," says the Commentary, uttering a contradiction or paradox in the opinion of our present Science; "luminous and more dense and heavy during the second Round; watery during the Third!" Thus are the elements reversed.
** If we had to frame our conclusions according to the data furnished to us by the geologists, then we would say that there was no real water -- even during the Carboniferous period. We are told that gigantic masses of carbon, which existed formerly spread in the atmosphere as Carbonic Acid, were absorbed by plants, while a large proportion of that gas was mixed in the water. Now, if this be so, and we have to believe that all the Carbonic Acid which went to compose those plants that formed bituminous coal, lignite, etc., and went towards the formation of limestone, and so on, that all this was at that period in the atmosphere in gaseous form, then, there must have been seas and oceans of liquid carbonic acid? But how then could the carboniferous period be preceded by the Devonian and Silurian ages -- those of Fishes and Molluscs -- on that assumption? Barometric pressure, moreover, must have exceeded several hundred times the pressure of our present atmosphere. How could organisms, even so simple as those of certain fishes and molluscs, stand that? There is a curious work by Blanchard, on the Origin of Life, wherein he shows some strange contradictions and confusions in the theories of his colleagues, and which we recommend to the reader's attention.
THE GREAT ARCHAEUS.
earth as a state of matter to their stock as well as the three other elements in their present transformation. In short, none of the so-called elements were, in the three preceding Rounds, as they are now. For all we know, FIRE may have been pure AKASA, the first Matter of the Magnum Opus of the Creators and "Builders," that Astral Light which the paradoxical Eliphas Levi calls in one breath "the body of the Holy Ghost," and in the next "Baphomet," the "Androgyne Goat of Mendes"*; AIR, simply
* Eliphas Levi shows it very truly "a force in Nature," by means of which "a single man who can master it . . . might throw the world into confusion and transform its face"; for it is the "great Arcanum of transcendent Magic." Quoting the words of the great Western Kabalist in their translated form (see The Mysteries of Magic, by A. E. Waite), we may explain them perhaps the better by the occasional addition of a word or two to show the difference between Western and Eastern explanations of the same subject. The Author says of the great Magic Agent -- "This ambient and all-penetrating fluid, this ray detached from the (Central or 'Spiritual') Sun's splendour . . . fixed by the weight of the atmosphere (?!) and the power of central attraction . . . the Astral Light, this electromagnetic ether, this vital and luminous caloric, is represented on ancient monuments by the girdle of Isis which twines round two poles and in ancient theogonies by the serpent devouring its own tail, emblem of prudence and of Saturn" -- emblem of infinity, immortality, and Kronos -- "Time" -- not the god Saturn or the planet. "It is the winged dragon of Medea, the double serpent of the caduceus, and the tempter of Genesis; but it is also the brazen snake of Moses encircling the Tau lastly, it is the devil of exoteric dogmatism, and is really the blind force (it is not blind, and Levi knew it), which souls must conquer in order to detach themselves from the chains of Earth; 'for if they should not,' they will be absorbed by the same power which first produced them and will return to the central and eternal fire." This great archaeus is now discovered by, and only for one man -- Mr. J. W. Keeley, of
All the above is as practical as it is correct, save one error, which we will explain in the text further on. Eliphas Levi commits a great blunder in always identifying the Astral Light with what we call Akasa. What it really is will be given in Part II. of Vol. II.
Nitrogen, "the breath of the Supporters of the Heavenly Dome," as the Mohammedan mystics call it; WATER, that primordial fluid which was required, according to Moses, to make a living soul with. And this may account for the flagrant discrepancies and unscientific statements found in Genesis. Separate the first from the second chapter; read the former as a scripture of the Elohists, and the latter as that of the far younger Jehovists; still one finds, if one reads between the lines, the same order in which things created appear -- namely, Fire (light), Air, Water, and MAN (or the Earth). For the sentence: "In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth" is a mistranslation; it is not "Heaven and Earth," but the duplex or dual Heaven, the upper and the lower Heavens, or the separation of primordial substance that was light in its upper and dark in its lower portions -- or the manifested Universe -- in its duality of the invisible (to the senses) and the visible to our perceptions. God divided the light from the Darkness (v. 4); and then made the firmament, air (5), "a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters," (6), i.e., "the waters which were under the firmament (our manifested visible Universe) from the waters above the firmament," or the (to us) invisible planes of being. In the second chapter (the Jehovistic), plants and herbs are created before water, just as in the first, light is produced before the Sun. "God made the Earth and the Heavens and every plant of the field before it was in the Earth and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Elohim ('gods') had not caused it to rain upon the earth, etc." (v. 5) -- an absurdity unless the esoteric explanation is accepted. The plants were created before they were in the earth -- for there was no earth then such as it is now; and the herb of the field was in existence before it grew as it does now in the fourth Round.
Discussing and explaining the nature of the invisible Elements and the "primordial fire" mentioned above, Eliphas Levi calls it invariably the "Astral Light." It is the "grand Agent Magique" with him; undeniably it is so, but -- only so far as Black Magic is concerned, and
BUT WHY SLANDER THE INDIAN HIEROPHANTS?
on the lowest planes of what we call Ether, the noumenon of which is Akasa; and even this would be held incorrect by orthodox Occultists. The "Astral Light" is simply the older "sidereal Light" of Paracelsus; and to say that "everything which exists has been evolved from it, and it preserves and reproduces all forms," as he writes, is to enunciate truth only in the second proposition. The first is erroneous; for if all that exists was evolved through (or via) it, it is not the astral light. The latter is not the container of all things but only the reflector, at best, of this all. Eliphas Levi writes:--
"The great Magic agent is the fourth emanation of the life principle (we say -- it is the first in the inner, and the second in the outer (our) Universe), of which the Sun is the third form . . . for the day-star (the sun) is only the reflection and material shadow of the Central Sun of truth, which illuminates the intellectual (invisible) world of Spirit and which itself is but a gleam borrowed from the ABSOLUTE."
far he is right enough. But when the great authority of the Western Kabalists
adds that nevertheless, "it is not the immortal Spirit as the Indian
Hierophants have imagined" -- we answer that he slanders the said
Hierophants, as they have said nothing of the kind; while even the Puranic
exoteric writings flatly contradict the assertion. No Hindu has ever mistaken Prakriti
-- the Astral Light being only above the lowest plane of Prakriti, the material
Kosmos -- for the "immortal Spirit." Prakriti is ever called Maya,
illusion, and is doomed to disappear with the rest, the gods included, at the
hour of the Pralaya; for it is shown that Akasa is not even the Ether, least of
all then, we imagine, can it be the Astral Light. Those unable to penetrate
beyond the dead letter of the Puranas, have
occasionally confused Akasa with Prakriti, with Ether, and even with the visible
Sky! It is true also that those who have invariably translated the term Akasa
by "Ether" (
Now, what is Pradhana, if it is not Mulaprakriti, the root of all, in another aspect? For Pradhana, though said further on to merge into the Deity as everything else does, in order to leave the ONE absolute during the Pralaya, yet is held as infinite and immortal. The Commentator describes the Deity as: "One Pradhanika Brahma Spirit: THAT, was," and interprets the compound term as a substantive, not as a derivative word used attributively, i.e., like something conjoined with Pradhana.* Hence Pradhana even in the Puranas is an aspect of Parabrahmam, not an evolution, and must be the same as the Vedantic Mulaprakriti. "Prakriti in its primary state is Akasa," says a Vedantin scholar (see "Five Years of Theosophy," p. 169). It is almost abstract Nature.
Akasa, then, is Pradhana in another form, and as such cannot be Ether, the ever-invisible agent, courted even by physical Science. Nor is it Astral Light. It is, as said, the noumenon of the seven-fold differentiated Prakriti** -- the ever immaculate "Mother" of the fatherless Son, who becomes "Father" on the lower manifested plane. For MAHAT is the first product of Pradhana, or Akasa, and Mahat -- Universal intelligence "whose characteristic property is Buddhi" -- is no other than the Logos, for he is called "Eswara" Brahma, Bhava, etc. (See Linga Purana, sec. lxx. 12 et seq.; and Vayu Purana, but especially the former Purana -- prior, section viii., 67-74). He is, in short, the "Creator" or the divine mind in creative operation, "the cause of all things." He is
* The student has to note, moreover, that the Purana is a dualistic system, not evolutionary, and that, in this respect, far more will be found, from an esoteric standpoint, in Sankhya, and even in the Manava-dharma-Sastra, however much the latter differs from the former.
** In the Sankhya philosophy, the seven Prakritis or "productive productions" are Mahat, Ahamkara, and the five tanmatras. See "Sankhya-karika," III., and the Commentary thereon.
AKASA IS NOT ETHER.
the "first-born" of whom the Puranas tell us that "Mahat and matter are the inner and outer boundaries of the Universe," or, in our language, the negative and the positive poles of dual nature (abstract and concrete), for the Purana adds: "In this manner -- as were the seven forms (principles) of Prakriti reckoned from Mahat to Earth -- so at the time of pralaya (pratyahara) these seven successively re-enter into each other. The egg of Brahma (Sarva-mandala) is dissolved with its seven zones (dwipa), seven oceans, seven regions, etc." (Vishnu Purana, Book vi., ch. iv.)*
These are the reasons why the Occultists refuse to give the name of Astral Light to Akasa, or to call it Ether. "In my Father's house are many mansions," may be contrasted with the occult saying, "In our Mother's house there are seven mansions," or planes, the lowest of which is above and around us -- the Astral Light.
The elements, whether simple or compound, could not have remained the same since the commencement of the evolution of our chain. Everything in the Universe progresses steadily in the Great Cycle, while incessantly going up and down in the smaller cycles. Nature is never stationary during manvantara, as it is ever becoming,** not simply being; and mineral, vegetable, and human life are always adapting their organisms to the then reigning Elements, and therefore those Elements were then fitted for them, as they are now for the life of present humanity. It will only be in the next, or fifth, Round that the fifth Element, Ether -- the gross body of Akasa, if it can be called even that --
* No use to say so to the Hindus, who know their Puranas by heart, but very useful to remind our Orientalists and those Westerns who regard Wilson's translations as authoritative, that in his English translation of the Vishnu Purana he is guilty of the most ludicrous contradictions and errors. So on this identical subject of the seven Prakritis or the seven zones of Brahma's egg, the two accounts differ totally. In Vol. 1, page 40, the egg is said to be externally invested by seven envelopes -- Wilson comments: "by Water, Air, Fire, Ether, and Ahamkara" (which last word does not exist in the Sanskrit texts); and in vol. v., p. 198, of the same Vishnu Purana it is written, "in this manner were the seven forms of nature (Prakriti) reckoned from Mahat to Earth" (?). Between Mahat or Maha-Buddhi and "Water, etc.," the difference is very considerable.
** According to the great metaphysician Hegel also. For him Nature was a perpetual becoming. A purely esoteric conception. Creation or Origin, in the Christian sense of the term, is absolutely unthinkable. As the above-quoted thinker said: "God (the Universal Spirit) objectivises himself as Nature, and again rises out of it."
will, by becoming a familiar fact of Nature to all men, as air is familiar to us now, cease to be as at present hypothetical, and also an "agent" for so many things. And only during that Round will those higher senses, the growth and development of which Akasa subserves, be susceptible of a complete expansion. As already indicated, a partial familiarity with the characteristic of matter -- permeability -- which should be developed concurrently with the sixth sense, may be expected to develop at the proper period in this Round. But with the next element added to our resources in the next Round, permeability will become so manifest a characteristic of matter, that the densest forms of this will seem to man's perceptions as obstructive to him as a thick fog, and no more.
Let us return to the life-cycle now. Without entering at length upon the description given of the higher LIVES, we must direct our attention at present simply to the earthly beings and the earth itself. The latter, we are told, is built up for the first Round by the "Devourers" which disintegrate and differentiate the germs of other lives in the Elements; pretty much, it must be supposed, as in the present stage of the world, the aerobes do, when, undermining and loosening the chemical structure in an organism, they transform animal matter and generate substances that vary in their constitutions. Thus Occultism disposes of the so-called Azoic age of Science, for it shows that there never was a time when the Earth was without life upon it. Wherever there is an atom of matter, a particle or a molecule, even in its most gaseous condition, there is life in it, however latent and unconscious. "Whatsoever quits the Laya State, becomes active life; it is drawn into the vortex of MOTION (the alchemical solvent of Life); Spirit and Matter are the two States of the ONE, which is neither Spirit nor Matter, both being the absolute life, latent." (Book of Dzyan, Comm. III., par. 18). . . . "Spirit is the first differentiation of (and in) SPACE; and Matter the first differentiation of Spirit. That, which is neither Spirit nor matter -- that is IT -- the Causeless CAUSE of Spirit and Matter, which are the Cause of Kosmos. And THAT we call the ONE LIFE or the Intra-Cosmic Breath."
Once more we will say -- like must produce like. Absolute Life cannot produce an inorganic atom whether single or complex, and there is life
ATOMS ARE INVISIBLE LIVES.
even in laya just as a man in a profound cataleptic state -- to all appearance a corpse -- is still a living being.
When the "Devourers" (in whom the men of science are invited to see, with some show of reason, atoms of the Fire-Mist, if they will, as the Occultist will offer no objection to this); when the "Devourers," we say, have differentiated "the fire-atoms" by a peculiar process of segmentation, the latter become life-germs, which aggregate according to the laws of cohesion and affinity. Then the life-germs produce lives of another kind, which work on the structure of our globes. * * * *
Thus, in the first Round, the globe, having been built by the primitive fire-lives, i.e., formed into a sphere -- had no solidity, nor qualifications, save a cold brightness, nor form nor colour; it is only towards the end of the First Round that it developed one Element which from its inorganic, so to say, or simple Essence became now in our Round the fire we know throughout the system. The Earth was in her first rupa, the essence of which is the Akasic principle named *** "that which is now known as, and very erroneously termed, Astral Light, which Eliphas Levi calls "the imagination of Nature,"** probably to avoid giving it its correct name, as others do.
is through and from the radiations of the seven bodies of the seven orders of
Dhyanis, that the seven discrete quantities (Elements), whose motion and
** Speaking of it in his Preface to the "History of Magic" Eliphas Levi says: "It is through this Force that all the nervous centres secretly communicate with each other; from it -- that sympathy and antipathy are born; from it -- that we have our dreams; and that the phenomena of second sight and extra-natural visions take place. . . . . Astral Light, acting under the impulsion of powerful wills, destroys, coagulates, separates, breaks, gathers in all things. . . . God created it on that day when he said: Fiat Lux, and it is directed by the Egregores, i.e., the chiefs of the souls who are the spirits of energy and action." Eliphas Levi ought to have added that the astral light, or primordial substance, if matter at all, is that which, called Light, LUX, esoterically explained, is the body of those Spirits themselves, and their very essence. Our physical light is the manifestation on our plane and the reflected radiance of the Divine Light emanating from the collective body of those who are called the "LIGHTS" and the "FLAMES." But no other Kabalist has ever had the talent of heaping up one contradiction on the other, of making one paradox chase another in the same sentence and in such flowing language, as Eliphas Levi. He leads his reader through the most lovely, gorgeously blooming valleys, to strand him after all on a desert and barren rocky island.
Second Round brings into manifestation the second element AIR, that element,
the purity of which would ensure continuous life to him who would use it. There
have been two occultists only in
The Third Round developed the third Principle -- WATER; while the Fourth transformed the gaseous fluids and plastic form of our globe into the hard, crusted, grossly material sphere we are living on. "Bhumi" has reached her fourth principle. To this it may be objected that the law of analogy, so much insisted upon, is broken. Not at all. Earth will reach her true ultimate form -- (inversely in this to man) -- her body shell -- only toward the end of the manvantara after the Seventh Round. Eugenius Philalethes was right when he assured his readers on his word of honour that no one had yet seen the Earth (i.e., MATTER in its essential form). Our globe is, so far, in its Kamarupic state -- the astral body of desires of Ahamkara, dark Egotism, the progeny of Mahat, on the lower plane. . . .
It is not molecularly constituted matter -- least of all the human body (sthulasarira) -- that is the grossest of all our "principles," but verily the middle principle, the real animal centre; whereas our body is but its shell, the irresponsible factor and medium through which the beast in us acts all its life. Every intellectual theosophist will understand my real meaning. Thus the idea that the human tabernacle is built by countless lives, just in the same way as the rocky crust of our Earth was, has nothing repulsive in it for the true mystic. Nor can Science oppose the occult teaching, for it is not because the microscope will ever fail to detect the ultimate living atom or life, that it can reject the doctrine.
(c) Science teaches us that the living as well as the dead organism of both man and animal are swarming with bacteria of a hundred various
THE OCCULT CHEMISTRY.
kinds; that from without we are threatened with the invasion of microbes with every breath we draw, and from within by leucomaines, aerobes, anaerobes, and what not. But Science never yet went so far as to assert with the occult doctrine that our bodies, as well as those of animals, plants, and stones, are themselves altogether built up of such beings; which, except larger species, no microscope can detect. So far, as regards the purely animal and material portion of man, Science is on its way to discoveries that will go far towards corroborating this theory. Chemistry and physiology are the two great magicians of the future, who are destined to open the eyes of mankind to the great physical truths. With every day, the identity between the animal and physical man, between the plant and man, and even between the reptile and its nest, the rock, and man -- is more and more clearly shown. The physical and chemical constituents of all being found to be identical, chemical science may well say that there is no difference between the matter which composes the ox and that which forms man. But the Occult doctrine is far more explicit. It says:--- Not only the chemical compounds are the same, but the same infinitesimal invisible lives compose the atoms of the bodies of the mountain and the daisy, of man and the ant, of the elephant, and of the tree which shelters him from the sun. Each particle -- whether you call it organic or inorganic -- is a life. Every atom and molecule in the Universe is both life-giving and death-giving to that form, inasmuch as it builds by aggregation universes and the ephemeral vehicles ready to receive the transmigrating soul, and as eternally destroys and changes the forms and expels those souls from their temporary abodes. It creates and kills; it is self-generating and self-destroying; it brings into being, and annihilates, that mystery of mysteries -- the living body of man, animal, or plant, every second in time and space; and it generates equally life and death, beauty and ugliness, good and bad, and even the agreeable and disagreeable, the beneficent and maleficent sensations. It is that mysterious LIFE, represented collectively by countless myriads of lives, that follows in its own sporadic way, the hitherto incomprehensible law of Atavism; that copies family resemblances as well as those it finds impressed in the aura of the generators of every future human being, a mystery, in short, that will receive fuller attention elsewhere. For the present, one instance may be cited in illustration. Modern science begins to find out that ptomaine (the alkaloid poison generated by decaying matter and corpses -- a life also) extracted with the help of volatile ether, yields a smell as strong and equal to that of the freshest orange-blossoms; but that free from oxygen, these alkaloids yield either a most sickening, disgusting smell, or the most agreeable aroma which recalls that of the most delicately scented flowers. And it is suspected that such blossoms owe their agreeable smell to the poisonous ptomaine; the venomous essence of certain mushrooms (fungi) being nearly identical with the venom of the cobra of India, the most deadly of serpents.* Thus, having discovered the effects, Science has to find their PRIMARY CAUSES; and this it can never do without the help of the old sciences, of alchemy, occult botany and physics. We are taught that every physiological change, in addition to pathological phenomena; diseases -- nay, life itself -- or rather the objective phenomena of life, produced by certain conditions and changes in the tissues of the body which allow and force life to act in that body; that all this is due to those unseen CREATORS and DESTROYERS that are called in such a loose and general way, microbes.** Such
* The French savants Arnaud, Gautier, and Villiers, have found in the saliva of living men the same venomous alkaloid as in that of the toad, the salamander, the cobra, and the trigonocephalus of Portugal. It is proven that venom of the deadliest kind, whether called ptomaine, or leucomaine, or alkaloid, is generated by living men, animals, and plants. The same savant, Gautier, discovered an alkaloid in the fresh meat of an ox and in its brains, and a venom which he calls Xanthocreatinine similar to the substance extracted from the poisonous saliva of reptiles. It is the muscular tissues, as being the most active organ in the animal economy, that are suspected of being the generators or factors of venoms, having the same importance as carbonic acid and urea in the functions of life, which venoms are the ultimate products of inner combustion. And though it is not yet fully determined whether poisons can be generated by the animal system of living beings without the participation and interference of microbes, it is ascertained that the animal does produce venomous substances in its physiological or living state.
** It might be supposed that these "fiery lives" and the microbes of science are identical. This is not true. The "fiery lives" are the seventh and highest subdivision of the plane of matter, and correspond in the individual with the One Life of the Universe, though only on that plane. The microbes of science are the first and lowest sub-division on the second plane -- that of material prana (or life). The physical body of man undergoes a complete change of structure every seven years, and its destruction and preservation are due to the alternate function of the fiery lives as "destroyers" and "builders." They are "builders" by sacrificing themselves in the form of vitality to restrain the destructive influence of the microbes, and, by supplying the microbes with what is necessary, they compel them under that restraint to build up the material body and its cells. They are "destroyers" also when that restraint is
removed and the microbes, unsupplied with vital constructive energy, are left to run riot as destructive agents. Thus, during the first half of a man's life (the first five periods of seven years each) the "fiery lives" are indirectly engaged in the process of building up man's material body; life is on the ascending scale, and the force is used in construction and increase. After this period is passed the age of retrogression commences, and, the work of the "fiery lives" exhausting their strength, the work of destruction and decrease also commences.
An analogy between cosmic events in the descent of spirit into matter for the first half of a manvantara (planetary as human) and its ascent at the expense of matter in the second half, may here be traced. These considerations have to do solely with the plane of matter, but the restraining influence of the "fiery lives" on the lowest sub-division of the second plane -- the microbes -- is confirmed by the fact mentioned in the foot-note on Pasteur (vide supra) that the cells of the organs, when they do not find sufficient oxygen for themselves, adapt themselves to that condition and form ferments, which, by absorbing oxygen from substances coming in contact with them, ruin the latter. Thus the process is commenced by one cell robbing its neighbour of the source of its vitality when the supply is insufficient; and the ruin so commenced steadily progresses.
PARACELSUS DIED TOO EARLY.
experimenters as Pasteur are the best
friends and helpers of the Destroyers and the worst enemies of the Creators --
if the latter were not at the same time destroyers too. However it may be, one
thing is sure in this: The knowledge of these primary causes and of the
ultimate essence of every element, of its lives, their functions, properties,
and conditions of change -- constitutes the basis of MAGIC. Paracelsus was,
perhaps, the only Occultist in
(d) But what has the Moon to do in all this? we may be asked. What have "Fish, Sin and Moon" in the apocalyptic saying of the Stanza to do in company with the "Life-microbes"? With the latter nothing, except availing themselves of the tabernacle of clay prepared by them; with divine perfect man everything, since "Fish, Sin and Moon" make conjointly the three symbols of the immortal Being.
This is all that can be given. Nor does the writer pretend to know more of this strange symbol than may be inferred about it from exoteric religions; from the mystery perhaps, which underlies the Matsya (fish) Avatar of Vishnu, the Chaldean Oannes -- the Man-Fish, recorded in the imperishable sign of the Zodiac, Pisces, and running throughout the two Testaments in the personages of Joshua "Son of the Fish (Nun)" and Jesus; the allegorical "Sin" or Fall of Spirit into matter, and the Moon -- in so far as it relates to the "Lunar" ancestors, th