Sharing the Light
John and Elizabeth Sell
Roselmo Z. Doval Santos
Quezon City, Philippines
© Theosophical Publishing House 2008
Theosophical Publishing House 1 Iba Street, Quezon City Philippines 1114 Tel: (63-2) 741-5740 Fax: (63-2) 740-3751
The Theosophical Publishing House is the publishing division of the Theosophical Society in the Philippines.
Printed in Thailand by Kyodo Nation Printing Services Co., Ltd.
After a few days in Australia, and a month each in Manila, Hong Kong and Viet Nam, we reached New Delhi. Up to that time all lectures had to be translated sentence by sentence. This precludes a free flow of thought and speech, but it does give one time to think over one’s next statement and prepare the words in which it will be clothed.
Two experiences amongst many others in Manila may be of interest. In one of the old churches in Manila there is a ‘bamboo organ’, all the pipes of which are made of bamboo stalks, hollowed out, of course, and carefully tuned. A nun received, explained and played for us and then allowed Sandra to play. It was lovely to hear ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Kyrie Eleison’ played on that fine old organ.
One of the members of the Philippine Section is Dr Benito Reyes, who at the time of our visit, with the Mayor of Manila and others, was planning a People’s University for Manila of which Dr Reyes was to be appointed Dean, which is an honour for our Society.
A tornado struck Hong Kong whilst we were there bringing both good and bad fortune. The heavy rain refilled the reservoirs but an excess of rain washed out the huts of the thousands of squatters, the refugees from Communist China who live in mere shacks. Efforts are being made to rehabilitate them and housing accommodation is going up in many parts of the island.
The President of the T.S. lodge there, Mr K. S. Fung, is a very distinguished citizen of Hong Kong. He is the President of the Buddhist Society there which is part of the reform movement established in many parts of the Buddhist world, Hong Kong, Viet Nam, Malaya, Burma and elsewhere, formed with the idea of removing the accretions of superstition from the popular Buddhist practice and restoring the original ideals and teachings of the Lord Buddha. One of the activities in which he and his colleagues are specially engaged is to provide more and more Buddhist schools, and I was interested to find that he is introducing yoga as part of the classwork of these schools. This consists partly, of course, of hatha yoga as physical culture, but leading in through the classes to a form of meditation in which, if they wished, the boys and girls could engage.
In the large hall of one of these schools where the lectures were held, we attended a ceremony performed by one of those strange human beings called a Living Buddha. This man had come from Mongolia, largely, I understood, to receive and ordain those people who wished to adopt the disciplines of the life of the Buddhist. The tests for acceptance and ordination as a Living Buddha, designed to demonstrate that he is a reincarnation of a great Lama, are quite severe, we found. When he is being selected, his family generally having been intimated previously, he must remember and describe the family of the preceding life, Buddhist doctrine and pick out a number of his former priestly possessions from other similar objects put before him. If he succeeds, he is acknowledged as a Living Buddha.
We also met a Taoist yogi who has apparently developed considerable yogic powers. Raja yoga, with modifications, was practiced, with emphasis on the raising of kundalini and the ability to direct it via the chakras into the head, and in his case through the hands for healing purposes. He is ready to teach the method, regarding success as a valuable contribution to human welfare, bestowing good health and longevity and spiritual awareness, the true goal of Yoga.
Children, he said, are more responsive than adults, and I found that the children of the families of our Theosophists, and others, were being taught the practice. Some of them claimed that they distinctly felt the flow of kundalini up their spines, and two families brought their children to see whether this was really desirable. Three Chinese girls, eight, nine or ten years old came, sat down before us, and immediately sank into meditation. Two of them were able to indicate successively the bodily positions which the vibrating energy had reached on its journey into the head. It is not really the full kundalini fire which they raise and feel, but perhaps an astro-etheric sheath or aspect of kundalini which they thus stimulate into activity. If later on in life, however, they wish to take up yoga in earnest, they will have received helpful preparation.
The ‘I Ching’ Philosophy
We met Mr Wei Tat, a member of our Society and a quite famous exponent of the ancient Chinese philosophy called 4I Ching’ or ‘Book of Changes’, referring partly to the fact that all things in cosmos, planet and man are undergoing changes, both in themselves and the relationship of the forces playing within and without them, and the laws under which these transformations may be brought about to the empowerment and exaltation of consciousness. The origin of ‘I Ching’ goes back to mythical antiquity, and has occupied the attention of the most eminent scholars. I found as I listened to Mr Wei Tat, that it includes the Law of Correspondences under which the whole cosmos is represented in terms of areas of mutual resonance in the seven bodies of man, in parts of each of them, the physical body being a synthesis of the whole. One part of the yoga of ‘I Ching’ is, I gather, to bring these correspondences harmoniously into mutual interaction within one’s consciousness. All of the great philosophers of old in China Lao Tzu, Confucius, Mencius and others, are said to have studied this philosophy and to use it in the expression of their ideas.
Masters in the Hills
Taoists, as of course Buddhists, firmly believe in the existence of the Masters and the Hierarchy, one exalted Adept being regarded as the Regent of China and guardian of the Mongolian people. They refer to them as ‘Masters in the Hills’. When you go into certain Pagodas, you see a small shrine carved in likeness of a mountain, and in it caves in which are seated Chinese figures representing ‘the Masters in the Hills’. They also believe in the Dark Forces, and that there are dark sorcerers and continual warfare between the forces of darkness and light.
In Viet Nam, one subject which interested us, was the recent self-immolation by burning of five Buddhist monks and one young nun. And so I took opportunity to ask about these martyrdoms from the heads of various Pagodas, including both the Vice-President of the Buddhist Society and the Spiritual Head of the Buddhist Association of Viet Nam. Since no other means had brought what they considered to be just treatment of the Buddhists during the Roman Catholic Diem regime, these six decided to bum themselves to death in public and did so. The question, amongst many others, which I asked all these leaders was that of pain, normally experienced whilst burning to death, dying whilst fully conscious amid the flames. I invariably received the same answer to my question ‘Did the martyrs suffer during this process?’ Without hesitation, all replied: ‘No, not at all’. This is supported apparently by photographs taken during the burning, in one or two of which the flames have blown aside and you can see the bodily posture and the faces. The bodies retained throughout the lotus posture, and upon the faces, there shows the serenity of meditation and not of pain. The explanations offered are that for two weeks or more previously, they had been engaged in a special practice of deep dhyana, which I found is taught secretly and only to monks and nuns. Indeed, they live their lives in contemplation of the Divine, and reach a stage where they can sink into that state so deeply, that they become totally unaware of their body. Thus, even during the burning to death, the lotus posture is retained until the body is dead, when it falls over, still partly holding the lotus posture.
An apparent miracle occurred in connection with the body of the first of these martyrs. After self-immolation, his body was cremated, being subjected for some eight hours to the extremely high temperature. Normally nothing but small fine ash would remain, but in this case, when they collected the ashes, they found that the heart still retained its form, though calcined and black. I saw this relic, for which a Shrine is to be erected in Saigon.
The Head of the Buddhist Institute for Higher Learning, who has a doctorate in Philosophy, and takes the monks and others into the depths of Buddhism, was very kind to discuss Buddhist doctrine with me — actually Theosophical teaching, of course. I asked him and others about the Anatta Sutra, in which the Lord Buddha in one of his sermons is reported to have said there was no enduring spirit or principle in the nature of man or ‘no Atman '. This Doctor answered that the physical body is more especially referred to and clearly, this vehicle does not have any spiritual ruler, being subject to pains and sorrows and sufferings of every other body, and therefore it is true to say that there is no enduring atma or spiritual principle in the physical body.
We were granted an audience with the Spiritual Head of Buddhism and the Buddhist Association in Viet Nam, in his beautiful old Pagoda in Hue, the ancient capital of Viet Nam. He gave me the same answers concerning the martyrs, assuring me that they would suffer no pain, all of them being taught to enter into deep contemplation to the exclusion of physical sensation. He is elderly now, calm and serene with a penetrating mind. I noticed as I talked to him, that there were contusions over his face, particularly under his right eye. I learned that with many other Buddhists he was arrested by the police, cast into prison and beaten brutally about the head. There was no resultant bitterness, but only a complete calm and ease.
In Viet Nam I witnessed a manifestation of the beauty of Nature. It was autumn, and the leaves of many trees had become luminously gold and yellow. One group of such trees stood against a background of dark pines. As we watched, a light wind arose, blowing large numbers of the golden leaves from their branches. The sunlight fell upon them as they slowly fell, and against the dark background of the pines, a ‘rain’ of fluttering golden leaves of entrancing beauty fell slowly to the ground.
One of the Vietnamese Theosophists, Dr Ba, holds the chair of Professor of ‘I Ching’ philosophy at the Saigon University. Evidently there is a revival of this ancient system of philosophy, and students can study it at college should they wish. I was fortunate to receive instruction from Dr Ba three or four times a week during our visit.
After a month in Viet Nam, we went to Bangkok, where one experience, amongst many others, stands out in our memory. Some years, ago, there was discovered a great statue in cement of the Lord Buddha, and whilst it was being transported to the city, parts of the cement broke away to reveal that it was a golden statue of the Lord Buddha. When all the concrete had been taken away, a more than life size statue of the Lord Buddha was found, covered with fine gold leaf, and this we visited.
In New Delhi, the outstanding experience was the unexpected privilege of an invitation to visit Dr Radhakrishnan at his Palace there. He received us graciously and joined us in afternoon tea, talking the while of our Society, Headquarters and our President, Brother Sri Ram, Rukmini Devi and others. Afterwards we were allowed to walk about the gardens and grounds of the Palace.
Also in New Delhi we met Mr Krishna Prasada, who is the retired Director of the Post and Telegraph service of the Government, and he is Adviser to the Government Planning Commission, the members of which invited me to address them, 300 or 400 being present, with himself in the chair. I found that he and one or two other Government officials are forming an Institute for Research into Psychological and Spiritual Phenomena, and they did me the honour to invite my collaboration.
In conclusion, I would like to express a personal belief. Rightly or wrongly, I believe that the activity of travelling about the world, teaching the Ageless Wisdom, is one of the highest callings and greatest privileges open to a human being. Whilst all the aspects of Theosophical administration are important, essential indeed and those who thus contribute are in their turn performing deeply significant services, perhaps the expounding of Theosophy and its application to the manifold problems of human life, bringing one into intimate touch with humanity, is the highest calling of all.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1965, p. 15
Do many of your charges recover their sanity?’ asked the visitor of the attendant, who was conducting him round the asylum wards.
‘Up till quite recently only a few’, was the reply. ‘Has there been a change then?’
‘Yes, quite a sudden change. From the beginning of May as many as ten patients a week have been discharged as cured. In the third week no less than twenty-eight recovered quite suddenly, and that in spite of the full moon’.
‘How wonderful! Has that state of things continued?’ ‘To some extent, yes; the numbers were less in June, but they increased again in July and August’.
They entered a private ward, in which was one bed, and some simple furniture. A patient lay fast asleep in the bed.
‘He does not seem to be giving you much trouble’, said the visitor.
‘Never has’, was the reply. ‘Just sleeps and sleeps’.
‘How comes he to be here?’
‘He was found wandering about outside asking for admission’.
‘Not often that happens, I should say’, said the visitor, hardly restraining a shudder at the sights, sounds and atmosphere of depression and fear of such a place.
‘He was well dressed, seems well educated, and had plenty of money in his pockets; but as he was evidently mad they took him in’.
‘What form do his delusions take?’
‘He thinks be is the Savior of the world; won’t give any name or address, seems to have no relatives or friends, and as I said lies there sleeping most of the time; loss of memory, I suppose, and hallucinations’.
The visitor had been gazing intently at the pale face on the pillow. ‘When did he come in?’ he asked.
‘End of April, or early in May, I think it was’, came the reply, ‘but what are you looking at him like that for? Think you know him?’
‘I believe I do’, came the answer almost in a whisper. ‘What’s his name then?’
At that moment the patient opened his eyes and smiled at the visitor, who stood as though transfixed.
‘Nirvana — and the Law’, he said haltingly, his soul in his eyes.
‘Nevada Andrew Law’, said the attendant. ‘An American, 1 suppose?’
‘No, not American; he belongs to the race of the Tathagatas’.
‘Oh, Indian you mean?’
‘Yes, Indian — for the most part, perhaps — but not all’.
‘Here, you had better come out of this place. You’ve had about as much as you can stand’.
‘Yes, I think — I have’, was the reply.
The great eyes were closed again. The patient slept.
As he went away, the visitor saw a group of people greeting a discharged patient with joy and thanksgiving. He passed on his way with wonder in his eyes.
‘The full moon of May’, he said to himself as he walked along the road.
The Theosophist, Vol. 50, July 1929, p. 359
The long continued affirmations from so very many sources of citings of strange objects in our skies obliges us, surely, to give considerable credence to the fact of their existence.
In addition, pronouncements have frequently been made by various groups of people here and elsewhere that Cosmic, Solar, and other Space-Intelligences, named and unnamed, are communicating with mankind. Despite the choice of channels and the nature of the communications themselves, resultant proclamations have received considerable acceptance.
Amongst supposed communications from lofty intelligences are the following statements:
‘By the joint efforts of Cosmic Hosts and planetary Hierarchies, the lower astral kingdoms on Earth have now been cleared of those souls who rebelled against divine order. All earth-bound discarnates have been removed from the astral plane which is now closed to humanity. Those who die will henceforth be transported to their assigned planets. The Supreme Commander of the Universe supported by Overlords of the System now awaits the approaching day for His arrival and external manifestation to all mankind on earth. Using entranced mediums, the Solar Logos, with Solar Lords of inconceivably lofty stature, including the Archangel Michael, are regularly communicating with groups of people in different parts of the world. A leader of one recipient group has been specially chosen to fulfil the exalted office of mouthpiece on Earth for an interplanetary parliament. Flying saucers are interplanetary space crafts used by the Cosmic Masters, and the Star of Bethlehem was a magnificent spacecraft from the planet Saturn. Saturnian Masters, Space-Intelligences, Venusian, Martian, and Jupiterian Sages, the great Lord of the World, Tibetan Adepts and Masters of the Wisdom’.
Students of occult science are in general advised to exercise the same extreme caution concerning such ideas as invariably characterizes the approach of the student of physical sciences. I therefore wish to utter a grave warning against the danger of undue credulity concerning flying saucers, Adepts as their crews, and communications from outer space from whomsoever they may be said to emanate and by whatever means they are received. An open mind can be valuable in the pursuit of truth, I submit, only if it is also a lucid mind, a logical mind, which judges the credibility of all statements by their reasonableness and general conformity with the discoveries of philosophy and science; for these are the products of rechecked observations and experiments objectively recorded with absolute honesty and without fear or favour.
The term ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ would seem still to be a correct description. Official investigation is now proceeding and may eventually provide acceptable evidence. Until that time, I suggest, a reservation of judgment is eminently desirable.
(Guest Editorial in The American Theosophist.)
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 39, No. 3, 1978, p. 61
Recently, in a conversation with a little girl of about eight years, she said to me ‘I love war’. My expostulations were without effect upon her. Indeed, they only evoked a further statement ‘I love watching war on television’.
A report released in Canberra on 26/8/75 said that regular television viewing can cause a condition resembling severe brain damage. The report was commissioned by the National Telecommunications Planners of the Australian Post Office. The 213 page study is the work of a team headed by Dr F. Emery, a senior research fellow in the department of sociology of the Australian National University.
The study found that:
Television is habit forming and can cause a condition resembling the destruction of important brain structures.
Viewers use television to escape from their psychological problems.
Television isolates the viewer from the real world.
Viewers are sometimes out of touch with the real world long after television is switched off.
Regular viewers become more aggressive and compulsive.
Television deprives viewers of the ability to dream — a vital biological need. This has profound psychological effects, including lowered self-esteem, a confused sense of identity, narcissism and momentary forgetfulness.
The study said television must not become a major educational tool because it cannot instructor enlighten. Summing up the study, Dr Emery said:
Tor a very large part of the next 30 years we will have to cope with the dragon’s teeth already sown. Our concern will not be with what new technologies might do, but with what they have already done. In a situation like this no person or corporate body, public or private, should bring yet another technical medium into existence, nor improve any existing medium on the grounds that it would be more of the same, only cheaper and better’. — [From the New Zealand Herald, 27/8/75]
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 37, No. 4, 1976, p. 88
By neglecting the principle of compassion especially where animals and children are concerned, we human beings generate continuous adversity and develop in ourselves as part of our character, the element of callousness and cruelty.
Like smog on the physical plane, cruelty is becoming increasingly established in the superphysical worlds of thought and feeling, and as areas in the auras of people, like those who go to enjoy bull fights and rodeos, for example, and are willing to gain pleasure and adornment from the fur trade.
On behalf of all human beings who suffer from cruelty at the hands of their fellow men, and all sentient, sub-human creatures regularly subjected to cruelty at the hands of man, let us as workers for human and animal welfare, appeal to all our fellow men and women at this time to collaborate for an immediate reduction and ultimate cessation of ALL INFLICTION’S OF CRUELTY, and pray that divine Love and Compassion may fill the hearts of all the peoples on our Earth, and that all mankind may increasingly become illumined by the interior LIGHT.
Can there become established on the mental plane of the Planet a sun-like centre of highly concentrated compassionate love-thought which perpetually radiates those qualities, just as the physical sun radiates energy? It is not necessary to think of a sun because world-thought currents on the subject will coalesce into a central thought-form over which angels could preside for its conservation.
One suitable and effective form of daily meditation would be:
“O hidden Life, vibrant in every atom,
O hidden Light, shining in every creature,
O hidden Love, embracing all in oneness,
May each who feels himself as one with Thee,
Know that he is, therefore, one with every other”.
We suggest also the Invocation that follows for daily use:
‘I (or we) invoke the spiritual benediction and healing grace of the Adepts of this Planet and the Orders of the Angelic Hosts upon the whole of mankind, that human hearts may be filled with universal, brotherly love, and that world peace may be attained; that healing grace may descend upon (names to be mentioned); that all cruelty and tendencies towards cruelty may be banished from the bodily life, hearts and minds of the whole of humanity and replaced by compassion towards all human beings and animals that hitherto have suffered at the hands of man.
‘And may all mankind become increasingly illumined by the Interior Light’.
The Theosophist, Vol. 93, August 1972, p. 315
I heard the soft singing of the school boy choir;
Looked down upon the shape beneath the pall;
Saw that same shape slide slowly to the fire,
Amidst a field of flowers I saw it all.
Among my mourners shone the blessed few who cared,
I knew who loved me, was no more deceived,
I wept with them and intimately shared
The anguish of the human heart bereaved.
T’was finished, they to their homes, I to mine,
The wide heavens and the open sea.
I paused, looked forth and saw the one Light shine
In all places, in all things and in me.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 6 December 1937, p. 19
There is no breath of wind
In the Garden
The tall blue gums
In peerless grace stand still.
Anon a light breeze
Stirs their leaves.
Lightly sway and swing
As if they danced
A stately measure
To an old, old tune
Stilted and slow.
To and fro
Sway the graceful heads
And shoulders to the waist,
As of fair ladies.
The wind dies.
The music ends.
Dancers move no more.
Leafy garments are still
As tall goddesses
The gums display their grace
And pattern decorative
And lovely curves
And cloudlike shapes.
Of leafed branch and twig
The long and slender stems
Yielding yet strong,
Seem to shoot upwards
From the ground
As rockets soar
And breaking into lovely leaf.
Display all colourful
Their inward fire
As sunshine on green leaf
And whitened stem.
The light breeze returns
The tall trees bow each unto each
And dance again.
Patterns grow more intricate,
Making and unmaking new designs.
‘Tis Nature, lovely Goddess
Who dances thus and sings
Robed in green beauty
In garments woven by the wind.
Of swaying trees
And waving fronds
Designed in infinite variety
Ever changing, ever new.
Thus the world over
Morning, noon and night
Dances the green-robed Goddess
To beautify the earth.
In rustling leaf and stem
She sings Her song.
Not Hers in truth
But His, Creator of All Worlds,
Parent of all beings,
The Master Artist
By Whose dance and voice
All things live and move and have their being.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 1 February 1938, p. 13
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If as you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-tossed
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minutes
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son.
Aries. Kipling takes the Sign Aries first — the key-note of this Sign is I AM and it rules the head.
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;”
This is a Fire Sign ruled by Mars, and the great test for people born under it is the control of the fiery emotions, especially anger.
Libra. The next Sign — Libra — the key-note I BALANCE.
“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;”
In other words the weighing up of all evidence, and seeking to walk between the pairs of opposites.
Taurus. The key-note is I HAVE.
“If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about don’t deal in lies”,
These people like to have and to hold, but their lesson is to learn to be able to wait for that which, under the Law, is to come to them.
Capricorn. The key-note is I USE.
“Or being hated don’t give way to hating
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise”.
This very truly portrays Capricorn people. The key-note is I USE, and they often create ill-feeling by using other people to gain their own ends. In the more evolved types however, they use their powers in the service of humanity.
Pisces. I UNDERSTAND; the key-note.
“If you can dream and not make dreams your master”,
These are the dreamers, perhaps of great things for mankind, but they have to learn to bring their dreams down to a practical basis — become realists.
Gemini. Key-note is I THINK.
“If you can think and not make thoughts your aim’,
That is self-explanatory.
Leo. Key-note is I WILL.
“If you can meet with triumph and disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same’.
Leos like to achieve and shine in all they do — ruler the sun — and here Kipling urges that they must be indifferent to success or failure.
Virgo. Key-note is I ANALYSE.
Ruling the mind. ‘If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools’.
These people analyse very keenly, and do not like to see what they consider to be the truth ‘twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.
Cancer. Key-note — I FEEL.
‘Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools’
These people feel things very deeply, so to have ‘the things you gave your life to broken’ could be a great blow — but they have to learn to get over it and start again.
Sagittarius. Key-note is I SEE. Ruled by Jupiter the planet of benevolence. They love financial ventures — especially perhaps where there is a risk at stake. They have to learn to lose and yet go on; that is one of the lessons of the planet of benevolence.
“If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;”
Scorpio. Key-note — I DESIRE. — Ruled by Mars, the God of War. They hold on under great difficulties. Hitler chose his shock troops from Arians and Scorpios.
“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve you long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them “Hold on!”
Aquarius. Key-note — I KNOW.
“If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you but none too much”
They have to learn to be all things to all men. Then finally the last four lines refer to any Sign.
“If you can fill the unforgiving minute,
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it,
And what is more you’ll be a man, my son!”
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 42, No. 4, 1981, p. 80
I am writing during the earthquake period which, though it has brought us no harm, has been unpleasant. The shocks began about 5.45 p.m. After dinner, during which many shocks were felt, we had to leave for Hollywood to lecture and it was here that the more unpleasant side of it all was experienced.
I was speaking to a study class of some fifty people in a house in Hollywood, which is a Theosophical lodge, when a major quake occurred. The house creaked and swayed, pictures swung and the peculiar rumbling sound of earthquakes was heard. This 8.30 p.m. shock on the first day was a very strong one and lasted a long time. News of the effect of the preceding quakes in the Long Beach district, only a few miles away, had come through on the radio — greatly exaggerated — and so people were very nervous. Many rose and a peculiar panic atmosphere was produced. I begged them to sit still and after the first quake they asked me to continue with my subject. I did, making strong efforts to hold their attention as fully as possible. This was difficult as several less severe quakes followed, and it was a relief when the questions were answered — and there were quite a number — and we were back in the car heading for home.
That night was unpleasant. Radio news was serious and strong waves of fear could be felt distinctly at each shock. These continued through the night and during Saturday and Sunday, there being some thirty-eight which were noticeable. They diminished in intensity during Sunday and seismologists assured the public that, judging from previous earthquakes, no more major shocks would come. They were wrong, however, for Sunday night in Los Angeles, much nearer to the centre of disturbance, in the middle of my lecture a major shock occurred. There were some four hundred people in the auditorium and for just a moment emotional panic gripped them. Remember, everyone was very strained and nervous by this time, indeed, we did not expect people to come into the city, the large audience being a surprise. The stewards had left wide aisles in case of a shake. Fortunately, the audience responded to an appeal to remain and the danger of a rush passed. But the fear power which swept throughout the city was a tangible force, a kind of concentrated panic and shock combined, and not easy to withstand. No more quakes followed and all were sufficiently controlled to close the meeting with a few minutes’ quiet thought directed towards the stricken areas. On getting to bed that night I found that this experience had been a great strain.
On Monday two major shocks occurred and just as I write this, Tuesday morning (March 14), a less severe tremor shakes the house. These repeated shocks no longer affect us here where we are beyond the danger line (we hope), but they are very disturbing to the people in the devastated regions. They are severely shaken, their morale is low; many of them have undamaged homes, but they dare not return to them, and remain in parks and vacant lots camping out and being cared for by the many relief organizations which are doing such splendid work.
Radio announcements consist of continual appeals for supplies of all kinds, especially of food, bedding and medical necessities. Each fresh major shock, and they now occur about twice in twenty-four hours, further upsets the morale of the sufferers.
We feel thankful that we were not in the centre of it all, as we might have been, having visited it several times recently to see boats in the Los Angeles harbour, which is there. It was most fortunate that the Navy was present at the time and that a complete plan of action had already been prepared against such a crisis three years ago by the Admiral in charge. Almost before the first tremor had ceased, orders were given and the plans were put into operation.
Remarkable, too, is the fact that a man here prophesied this and other events, which have occurred, a week previously in a letter to the
Los Angeles Times. Apparently the worst is over and with characteristic American speed, rebuilding on shock proof lines is already going on.
It is satisfactory to observe here that, despite both the moratorium and earthquake, both the numbers and the interest of the audiences in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Glendale have been sustained though financial returns are affected.
The Theosophist, Vol. 54, July 1933, p. 483
Our arrival at Rome Airport coincided with a strike of the ground staff. This necessitated, fortunately for us, an eighty-mile drive through the Italian countryside to Naples. On the way we passed Monte Cassino, on the summit of which we saw the rebuilt, historical Monastery. At Naples our hotel window and balcony looked out upon the beautiful Bay, with Mount Vesuvius in the distance and the Isle of Capri visible far out to sea. In order to ascend to the summit of Vesuvius one drives up the side of the volcano as far as possible and then is whisked — a word which justly describes the sudden launching high into the air — by chair-lift to the very rim of the great crater. From there we could look far down into its depths, from which fatal eruptions have arisen and from whence sulphurous fumes were coming up. This was a deeply impressive experience.
Our visit to Pompeii, and some hours spent in wandering throughout the ruined town, were full of interest. Some of the people of ancient times, as they were running to escape, were overwhelmed by the falling volcanic ash. In consequence their bodies formed moulds and into these plaster of Paris has been skilfully poured. One is therefore able to see from these ‘statues’ what the people looked like and the postures of terror in which they were trapped. In one case, a mother is seen clasping her child protectively in her arms, whilst dogs also were similarly caught and moulded. The ruts of the wheels of chariots and delivery carts, worn by long use, are clearly visible in the ancient roadways, and some of the shops and Inns can be seen much as they were when in use at the time of the sudden disaster. Naturally the so-called 4 Villa of the Mysteries’ interested us very much, particularly as some Masonic symbolism is discernible, and scenes supposedly from the ancient Rites, their colours still fresh, are painted upon the walls of one large hall.
A day’s drive took us to Amalfi and Sorrento, the outward journey being inland and the return one along the beautiful sea coast road, with its many ancient castles, villages and towns, and the Island of Capri visible across the blue water. This famous place of retreat, visited by the Roman Emperors, and by numerous holidaymakers ever since, fully lives up to its reputation for beauty and still available seclusion. We explored the lovely villa and gardens of the late Dr Axel Munthe, author of The Bridge of San Michele. We also sailed in a small boat through a cave in the rocks into the famous ‘Blue Grotto’, and saw from above the holiday resort established by Gracie Fields.
A member of the South African Section, a very old friend, gave us hospitality at her beautiful apartment in Rome. A student and lover of both ancient and modem Rome, she drove us day by day to visit most of the more notable remains of ‘the grandeur that was Rome’. These included, of course, the ancient Forum where, meditating quietly, the Akasha seemed to me still to give forth scenes from ancient days, and we rested there whilst I described what I could see. We also visited many Roman Temples, Arches of the Emperors and the Colosseum. Here, too, the Akasha seems still to be charged with the records of both the pageantry and the terrible cruelties perpetrated there before the Roman crowds. Indeed, the atmosphere was found to be so repellent to us both that our second visit was a rather short one, even though the great building itself and its historical association are naturally full of interest. Most of a day was spent amid the ruins at Hadrian’s wonderful villa near Tivoli, and in the beautiful Garden of Fountains of the Villa d’Este there. Lunch was taken on that day in the garden of a charming
Inn, long ago established close to the remains of an old, circular Roman Temple of the Vestal Virgins in the ancient in of Tivoli itself.
Much time was also spent in the Parks and Churches of Rome — especially, of course, at St Peter’s — and in the Vatican Library and Art Gallery, so rich with statuary, paintings and memorials of ancient and mediaeval Rome.
Members of the Rome lodges invited us to lecture, answer questions, and afterwards to dine with them. Almost all of them were either Co-Masons or Masculine Masons, and it became apparent that they considered Theosophy and Masonry as being intimately related.
We left our plane from Rome at Pisa, many miles from Florence, in order to see the leaning tower, the beautiful Churches nearby and the ruins of the Castle. The tower does indeed look as if it might fall over in the future. Thereafter we drove the remainder the journey to Florence, famous as one of great centres of the flowerings of the arts, science and culture known as the Renaissance. Many pleasurable and informative hours were spent there day by day in visits to the famous Churches, Galleries and Museums, including, of course, the famous and beautiful Ponte Vecchio, with its many shops of goldsmiths and silversmiths on either side of the road.
The central square known as the Piazza della Signoria, with its fountain, statues — including copies of Michaelangelo’s David and Perseus — the Medici Castle and the Uffici Galerie, was an irresistible attraction for us day by day. Here, also, one could not wholly escape from the sense of horror at some of cruelties perpetrated in olden days. For example, one may stand upon the memorial stone set in the pavement of this Piazzo recording the precise place and story of the martyrdom by burning of Savonarola, regarded as a heretic by the Inquisitors of the Middle Ages. The Pitti Palace with its wonderful Bobboli gardens, and the nearby ancient village of Fiesole, are places of great historical interest and scenic charm, and many hours were spent there under the guidance a learned member, Dr Schaffner.
Drives were also taken to San Geminiano and Sienna, during which we were captivated by the peculiar charm of the more northern Italian countryside with its farms, vineyards — where Chianti wine is made — and cypress trees pointing to the heavens, so characteristic of the regions of Tuscany and Lombardy.
In Florence, as in Rome, meetings with members were held, and a pleasant tea party was enjoyed at the house of the General Secretary of the Italian Section, Mr Hast. One must not omit reference to the wonderful paintings from the Rennaissance period by which Italy itself, and especially Florence and nearby cities, are immeasurably enriched. The old Masters, as they are called, chose both mythological and historical episodes and incidents from the Old and New Testaments as the subjects of their great genius in so many branches of the arts — especially their paintings.
The visit to Florence was also made memorable by my being called into consultation, after one of my talks to members, by the family of a remarkable Italian girl. Her profound occult experiences include a clear and living memory of an Initiation into the Egyptian Mysteries. She believes that a fellow and senior Initiate of those days guides and teaches her today in full waking consciousness. He told her some time before of my coming to her town, and advised her to consult me. When a little girl, she fell into a deep river. Her invisible teacher then instructed her how to walk on the bottom of the riverbed. This she did until she reached the bank and safety. Afterwards, she told her naturally shaken parents that she was at no time in danger, since her teacher told her exactly what to do and how to do it. She is able to see auras and other occult phenomena, and is continually conscious of the guidance and help of her former Egyptian Initiate and teacher. She accepted with expressed relief and gratitude the theosophical explanation of her experiences which I gave her, feeling that her pathway and purpose in life are now quite clear to her.
This island city, with its waterways instead of highways, more than lives up to its reputation for beauty and well preserved examples of the genius of the artists, architects and leaders of mediaeval times. These are so well known that space need hardly be taken to describe them. We went for frequent Gondola rides along the narrow waterways and out on to the broad Grand Canal. All travel is by water, and in these comfortable boats we visited beautiful Churches where again ceilings and walls are enriched by lovely mosaics, murals, altars, pictures and statues.
Quite frequently whilst we were visiting them, the Holy Eucharist was being Celebrated in Churches in Italy, sometimes at the High Altar and sometimes at side Chapels dedicated to Our Lady or one of the Saints. We were thus able to attend these ceremonies and receive the benediction for which we believe them to be vehicles. At one large Church in Venice a quite elaborate Venetian wedding was being celebrated and we watched this, eventually seeing the bride and bridegroom with their bridesmaids, all beautifully dressed, carried off in a special gondola with its gaily clad gondolieri and gilded appointments.
Fortunately a bi-annual Memorial Festival was performed during our visit and we were able to watch the procession of nobles, soldiers, Doges and fine ladies, mounted and on foot as it passed from St Mark’s Square down to the Grand Canal and into the wonderful Palace of the Doges. All this colourful pageantry, and the regatta that followed were watched from our own moored, and sometimes cruising, gondola. Crews from four Italian cities competed in boat races and the victory of the Venetian crew was loudly and joyously acclaimed by gondolieri and their passengers aboard, and by citizens ashore. Evening then fell and we were rowed slowly back to our hotel, the Cavalletto. This is an ancient Inn and has been used as an hotel for the last five hundred years. Its old steps lead direct from the lobby to the water and so on to the waiting gondolas themselves. St Mark’s Square is the great attraction and many hours were spent there wandering about, taking coffee, feeding the pigeons from one’s hands, and visiting the famous Cathedral — one of the wonders of the world, indeed — and the Doge’s Palace. One may cross the dread Bridge of Sighs — so well named — into the terrible prison and dungeons to which it leads. Here again the atmosphere of misery, prolonged suffering and terrible cruelty still remains, so that one is relieved to depart from the dark building. Compassion for the prisoners, and repulsion towards those who were responsible for their agonies, still remain in one’s mind.
Milan kept us for only three days, during which the famous Cathedral was visited, as also — and quite unforgettably — was the old Church on the inside wall of which Leonardo da Vinci painted his famous picture, The Last Supper’. Although the ravages of time are visible, the picture still arrests and holds one by its great beauty and by the artist’s use of perspective and vivid reproduction of the incident portrayed.
We had earlier accepted an invitation to spend five days in the alpine resort of Gressoney. There, amidst alpine scenery of the greatest beauty, we stayed in a large, old and typical mountain chalet or farmhouse belonging to a T.S. member and old friend of mine. On our last day in the valley we were driven to the ski-lift at Gressoney la Trinite, which took us 7,000 feet up towards the foot of the Mount Rosa Group, snow clad and gleaming under sunshine and blue sky — a scene of unforgettable Splendour. There we followed the mountain path, enjoyed a picnic lunch and took some photographs. In most of these Italian cities invitations to address members were accepted, pleasant times being spent with them socially, in conducted sightseeing and in study. Throughout it was noticeable that questions asked and subjects chosen concerned occult science, and particularly the natures and functions of the Angelic Hosts. Misconceptions were found to exist, and it became necessary to draw attention to the distinctions between the differing activities of the various Orders of the Angels. Landscape Angels, for example, including those associated with mountain ranges and peaks, were, I found, sometimes confused with the Orders of Healing and Guardian Angels. The former are not normally associated with man, but rather with the hidden, evolving life within the areas of the landscapes, including the great mountain masses themselves. The Archangels and Angels in charge of these activities function largely from the arupa (formless) planes, and not in the realm of conceptual thinking and individual, human embodiments of the One Life. The consciousness of Healing and Guardian Angels may also be established in the Causal and Buddhic worlds. I have come to think, however, that they can and do minister chiefly from and through the Lower Mental Plane.
This account is being written from Geneva, which was reached by a memorable drive of two hundred miles from Gressoney, through Aosta and under the Alps by the great St Bernhard Tunnel. We travelled past snow covered alpine ranges, winter resorts and beautiful green valleys dotted with farm-houses and villages, after which we arrived at Montreux and the famous Castle of Chillon on the shores of Lake Leman (Geneva).
Here, as everywhere, the members are showing us great kindness, extending hospitality and taking us for drives through the countryside and Geneva itself. There are three active lodges and a combined Meeting has been held at which numerous questions — nearly all concerning occultism — were asked and answers offered. The Palais des Nations, now Headquarters for the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations Organization, was visited and we had lunch on the balcony on the roof, from which one can enjoy superb views of the Lake and mountains beyond. Walks were taken through the beautiful gardens with their lake, fountain and many Cedars of Lebanon, which grow well in Switzerland. Shortly we leave for Salzburg and the International Congress, at which we are both called upon to speak.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 28, No. 1, 1967, p. 10
Last Night, Freed
from My Body
Last night, freed
from my body
I sped northwards towards the Himalayan heights.
There sustained on high by some inward power
I hovered, poised, at peace.
I entered the state
Of Tranquil Rest
And there abode throughout the night
Himalayan and the trans-Himalayan heights
Flowed upwards, peak by peak
Like petals of a lotus flower.
And I above was
still and calm as they
As if upon a lotus throne
Built of flowing power.
The long night
I dwelt in peace unshakeable
Then, as the
timeless “hours’ sped past
My bliss increasing into ecstasy
I knew another Self Surrounding and pervading me.
A mind ecstatic as I,
A Being, Buddha-like,
Poised also on a lotus throne,
With sun as heart.
This Self was me
in full self-consciousness.
I was that Self, but partially aware.
The night moved on
And sense of unity increased
The Self alone remained.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 2, June 1941, p. 83
After leaving New Delhi we spent a delightful week in Kashmir, living on a large houseboat on Dal Lake during that time. These boats are built with drawing room, dining room and three bedrooms, two of which have their own bathroom. The servants’ quarters and kitchen are in another boat moored astern of the one we lived in.
Many days were spent in most enjoyable ‘shikari’ rides in one of the comfortable little roofed-in boats paddled by the shikari who guides his craft quietly over the waters of the lake and along many of the waterways past temples, houses, small shops and the people themselves travelling by water to and from their homes. Indeed this region of this part of Srinagar has aptly been called the Venice of Kashmir.
In addition, we visited the famous gardens of former Emperors, including Shalimar itself. Here we were fortunate in seeing all the fountains and cascades in full operation because Shaik Abdullah was at the same time addressing a large group under a huge marquee in the garden. In consequence, we also saw many Kashmiris in their bright costumes, including lots of little children who posed happily for photographs.
We also visited the Theosophical Girls’ High School and Lodge in Srinagar, addressing large audiences at both of them. A really admirable work is being done by the Theosophists in Srinagar providing first class education for girls who otherwise would receive very little.
After Kashmir we spent three days in Karachi, gave some lectures, visited many friends and watched for a time the highly skilled performance of a team of Bavarian acrobats. Then at night we took off over the Arabian Sea for Beirut, stopping for an hour during the night at Teheran where there are many fine shops in the airport itself.
Historical Lebanon Visited
In Lebanon we visited almost all the historical places including Byblos, Sidon, Tyre and, of course, the famous Cedars of Lebanon high up in the mountains. This was an unforgettable experience, for the drive, taking different routes each way, took us through most beautiful scenery with deep valleys with rivers running through them, high mountains towering above and townships perched upon craggy hillsides with terraces being farmed wherever possible. The ancient Cedars themselves are now reduced to less than 300 in number, there once having been a great forest at the time, for example, when King Hiram of Tyre obtained a number for the building of King Solomon’s Temple.
Here we were privileged to meet at his village home high in the Lebanese hills, the religious Head of the Druse sect of Islam in Lebanon. We found him working in his garden from which he handed us some of his beautiful fruit. Quickly he changed from his working clothes, however, received us in his new home which is but partly built, regaled us with coffee and sweets, and talked for an hour or more about the history and beliefs of the Druses. These include the evolution of the human soul to the stature of perfected manhood by means of successive lives on earth under a compensatory Law of Cause and Effect. The founder of the Druse sect is referred to as an Adept who emerged as a Son of Light from Egypt some centuries ago and founded the Druse sect in Lebanon. There is a tradition that he still lives somewhere in secret in the mountains and bears the name of Hamsa, as we had learned from our studies.
From Beirut we flew direct to Cairo where again we were met by members of the Theosophical Society, conducted to our hotel and later driven to all the places of historical interest. These included of course the Pyramids at Gizeh and Sakara, the Sphinx, Heliopolis, the Moquattam hills and the famous Mosque of a Thousands Lights at the Citadel towering above Cairo. We also saw much of the modem city, and took coffee in one or other of the famous restaurants at different times. Our hotel window and balcony looked directly over the Nile to other parts of the city, some of which were floodlit every evening, making a beautiful spectacle.
The Egyptian Government has arranged really magnificent entertainment at the Pyramids and the Citadel. These are called ‘Son et Lumiere’ (Sound and Light) and consist of floodlighting all the monuments in different colours whilst loud speakers tell the history of Egypt from the earliest days, English actors narrating the historical events.
After eight days we flew 400 miles southwards to Luxor where again our hotel window and balcony looked out over the Nile towards the distant cliffs of Thebes. Here again we visited temples and tombs, notably those of Kamak, Luxor, Essna, Edfu and those over on the west bank of the Nile, including Valley of the Kings and several tombs there into which we descended. Our evenings were made very pleasant by quiet sails up and down the Nile in feluccas with their triangular sails.
Then followed a week or so in Athens, with many visits to the Acropolis and Agora and special trips full of deep interest to Thebes, Delphi, Corinth, ancient and modem, and other sites of the Pelopennesus of early Greek history and culture. We spent some hours amidst the ruins at Eleusis, noting with special interest the Sacred Way from the Acropolis which the Initiates and populace of old used to tread at the annual celebrations.
Our next week was spent on board M.V. ‘Rhodos’, a large and comfortable ship which took us on an Aegean cruise of many of the Greek isles. These included Rhodes, Crete, Patmos, Delos and Mykonos. At this last we fed and played with famous Peter the Pelican who was discovered by a fisherman in one of the bays when quite a young bird, brought to Mykonos harbour where the people have adopted him and is a great tourist attraction, being a very quaint creature indeed.
We also landed at Budrun and visited the ruins of ancient Halicarnassus. At Patmos we visited the ancient monastery and grotto where St John is said to have written the Book of Revelation.
The Holy Land
At last we were obliged, not without much regret, to take leave of Greece and the Aegean Isles to spend some eight days in both the Jordan and Israel parts of the Holy Land. Here we visited as many as possible of the ancient Biblical sites referred to in both the Old and the New Testaments. We drove down to Kirbet Qmram and wandered amidst the ruins of the ancient Essene monastery where the Dead Sea scrolls were written. We also saw some of the caves in which they were hidden and recently discovered. At the Hebrew University in Israel we also saw many of the scrolls themselves at the ‘Shrine of the Scrolls’ in the Library of the University. Some time was spent with a Rabbi Kabbalist with whom it was most interesting to talk about this system of the Theosophy of the Hebrews, as it is called.
At last our visit to the Middle East drew to a close, and with goodbye to our many Theosophical and other friends there, we flew eastward, spending a long weekend in Bornbay to participate in the Annual Conference of the Bornbay Theosophical Federation of Lodges.
This account is being written in the upper floor of Olcott Bungalow, Adyar, in which I lived and conducted the School of the Wisdom on former visits. When this reaches you, we will have at last drawn our long, and wonderful tour to a close, and be gratefully home again in Auckland, New Zealand.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 26, No. 2, 1965, p. 34
Evidence has been advanced recently by oceanographers which supports the possible existence beneath the Atlantic Ocean of the ancient island of Atlantis. Jacques Cousteau also refers to discoveries on the floor of the Atlantic of evidences of the use of architecture in the construction of edifices.
Soviet oceanographers say they have discovered the lost continent of Atlantis on the seabed hundreds of kilometres west of Portugal.
The director of research on board the Soviet vessel Academician Kurchatov, Dr Andrei Monin, said scientists based their theory on mysterious structures seen in 460 photographs taken of sunken Ampere mountain, 720 kilometres west of the Straits of Gibraltar.
‘In a number of pictures of the north-eastern part of the summit, researchers discerned rectangular structures. On one of the photos, we can see rectangular plates almost one metre wide rising from the bottom’, the Tass News Agency quoted Dr Monin as writing in the Soviet magazine Earth and Universe.
‘The position of plates, individual blocks, as well as the regular shape of the plates photographed . . . may testify to their artificial origin’, he said.
Describing the stonework, he said its surface was divided with equal seams. The photographs revealed a stone wall 45.72 centimetres wide, made out of blocks.
‘On other photos, one can see a plate having a regular form and joining rectangular blocks. All the plates and walls can be clearly seen on the photos’, Dr Monin said.
Two years ago, Soviet scientists said a diving bell lowered from the Academician Kurchatov took eight photographs of Ampere, which showed vestiges of walls and stair ways similar to those described by Dr Monin.
The Soviet researchers cautiously theorized then that the ruins might be of Atlantis, the sunken continent referred to by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. Plato’s works described; a highly developed civilization.
Dr Monin said his research ship made its most recent voyage to follow up similar evidence of Atlantis discovered in 1976 by the Soviet vessel Moscow University.
There are dozens of theories on the possible location of Atlantis and societies seeking to find it have formed in numerous countries and undertaken searches.
—[From the Auckland Star 4/4/81 ].
A study of this subject reveals that at least nineteen pieces of evidence exist which also support the existence of Atlantis. They are:
1. Dry Land Fossils have been brought up from the bed of the Atlantic.
2. The Dolphin Ridge, a plateau 9,000 feet above the ocean bed, extends from near the coast of Ireland to the coast line of South America near French Guiana.
3. Lava from this Plateau brought up by cable-laying vessels is demonstrably dry land lava erupted less than 15,000 years ago.
4. Mayan Literature contains flood and Genesis stories closely resembling those of Genesis, Egypt, India, Babylon and Chaldea.
5. Plato in The Timaeus tells that his great grandfather heard the description of Atlantis he gives from Solon, one of the wisest of the Ancient Greeks, who had it from an Egyptian Priest.
6. Egyptian Manuscripts, discovered by Dr Henry Schemann, discoverer of Troy, have convinced him that Atlantis existed. An expedition sent by a Pharoah was sent about 7,650 B.C. to seek traces of Motherland from whence Egyptians first came, but found no traces (Flood 10,000 B.C.).
7. A Papyrus found by Dr Schliemann, written by the priest-historian Manetho, gives reference to a period 13,900 years ago as the date of the Kings of Atlantis in Egypt.
8. Egyptian Civilisation has no root and no primitive period.
9. At Troy, Schliemann found an ‘owl vase’ bearing Phoenician hieroglyphics reading: ‘From King Chronos of Atlantis’. This peculiar owl vase was duplicated in a collection of objects from Tiahuanaco, South America.
10. Artifacts have been found in Honduras quite unlike any of Mayan or Inca origin. These are painted vases, figurines and flute-like musical instruments. Not a single object has its counterpart among Maya, Aztec or Toltec remains.
11. Pyramids, Monoliths and Semi-circles of stones like the Druid formations in England were found on the Island of Bonaco off South America.
The step pyramids of Egypt are duplicated in America.
12. In American Indian Languages there are over one hundred words that are similar to words of the same meaning in the Arabic and Greek languages.
The myths of Greece are repeated in Indian and Mayan tradition, e.g. that of Atlas.
13. The Close Correspondence between the flora of the Southern U.S.A. and that of Europe.
14. Lemmings Suicidally Migrate westwards, presumably in response to inherited instinct, to seek an ancient continent once existing but now submerged.
15. The Monk Seal does not frequent the open ocean. It is to be found in the Mediterranean and the West Indies.
16. Certain Ants are found in the Azores and U.S.A.
17. Moths & Butterflies of the Canary Islands are identical with those of America. None of these could cross the Atlantic.
18. Basque (Spain) Language has no affinity with other European languages but resembles aboriginal tongues of America in grammatical structure.
19. Cro-Magnon Skulls found in France resemble those found in Logoa Santa in Brazil.
These cannot all be coincidences.
There must have been a land connection.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 42, No. 3, 1981, p. 59
(A broadcast interview between Grisha Goluboff, the famous boy violinist, and Geoffrey Hodson — Station 2GB, Sydney, Australia.)
G.H.: At what age did you know that music was your vocation?
G.G.: I cannot actually say. But it is interesting that my father, also a violinist, even before his marriage conceived of having a son who would be free of his keenly felt limitations as a musician, would succeed as a great violinist and so fulfil his musical ideal. Later he married, I was born, and at two years old was found making different notes from various household utensils by filling them with water to different levels.
At the age of three my father found me handling his violin, and this reminded him of his prayer.
Unable to find a small enough instrument for me at that age, he had to wait until I was five years old, when he gave me my first violin and began to teach me.
Six months afterwards I made my first public appearance and at the age of six I appeared professionally as a guest artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Then I knew that music was my life’s mission.
G.H.: Since the average boy at that age is thinking largely of objective life, games, home, parents, friends, and perhaps adventure stories, how do you account for this difference between your self and them?
G.G.: I must be honest and say that at that early age and up to today I have always wanted all the fun that other boys enjoyed. But my father encouraged me to work hard at the violin and as a result I discovered what music really means to me and to the world. Looking back I now see that a deep love of music was inborn in me.
G.H.: And when did you become interested in mysticism and philosophy?
G.G.: When I was about eight years old. I met a friend who was a Theosophist and through him my interest developed. Very soon I intuitively knew that oriental philosophy was in no way strange to me; its basic ideas rang true to me and in some way seemed quite familiar.
G.H.: Which aspects of philosophy attract you most: Do you like the intellectual solution of life’s problems; or do you feel the fascination of the occult, or both?
G.G.: I like both. The philosophical explanation of life as a great school with experience as the teacher of the soul interests me greatly, and I am attracted equally towards occult science. But may I ask you a question, Mr Hodson?
G.H.: Certainly. What is it?
G.G.: What would your explanation be of this keen interest of mine when young in music and in philosophy? Whence came my natural facility for the violin? I wonder if you think as I do about this!
G.H.: I have been able to find only one rational explanation — only one that completely solves the problem. It is that of reincarnation — that in your preceding lives, you have concentrated upon the art of music. In consequence you reached a high degree of skill in your chosen art.
Now such faculties once developed are never lost to the soul, and though they may not show themselves in every succeeding life, they are within one as innate powers.
In you, as in all people born with natural gifts, all men and women of genius, these developed powers show themselves both as a profound interest in the chosen subject and as special gifts in its pursuit. Actually the word ‘gift’ is philosophically unsound. All so called gifts, all natural capacities, are powers developed by the individual himself in preceding incarnations.
Do you believe that?
G.G.: I certainly do. For me it is the only logical explanation of special faculty. Heredity alone is for me not sufficient. Parents may provide the body with musical possibilities, but their development and full manifestation is only possible to those in whom the spirit of beauty is awake and who have gained the power to give it free expression.
That power, especially when manifest in young and untrained people, must have been developed in a preceding life.
G.H.: That is what I also have come to think.
Do you find that the occult plays any part in your art? Are you conscious of being uplifted to high levels of creative consciousness during a performance of great works?
G.G.: Definitely yes. My body is to my spirit what my violin is to me — an instrument for self-expression.
I know that the best performance is the impersonal performance. For then I pose no barriers of self to the pure expression of the spirit of beauty. I also know that under such conditions its power will reach my audience, and awaken in them the spirit of beauty which is in all of us.
Money, fame, power, these have no interest for me. I know that if I fall under their spell, such powers as I may have will fail of their highest expression and purpose.
G.H.: What is your purpose? What is your ideal of life, if that question is not too personal?
G.G.: My purpose is best expressed in this letter which I received from a young boy in Melbourne. (Here Mr Goluboff read part of a letter from a boy greatly inspired by his playing.)
If I can thus inspire one soul in each city which I visit, my mission will be fulfilled.
Through music I want to bring beauty to the world. I want to uplift my audiences to realization of the divine within themselves and all things — which for me is expressed as music.
If people can be awakened to this presence of God within us all, they will not be so much absorbed in purely material interests. They will then become conscious of their own divine nature. Then war would be impossible. Peace, harmony, love would prevail throughout the world.
G.H.: Thank you Mr Goluboff. You have indeed shown us a most noble ideal of life. You have already won success in Australia. May success continue to attend you everywhere. Good evening.
G.G.: Good evening, Mr Hodson.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, June 1939
The Theosophist, Vol. 61, September 1940, p. 457
The Self as Will
is stable, strong and true
As tempered steel is flawless through and through.
To high emprise, to deeds and word inspired;
Lifts those who in its flame are fired.
The Self as Love
is radiant like the sun
Shining on all alike, excluding none.
Not by destruction does it gain its ends;
Enemies, by love, are turned to friends.
The Self as Mind
is brilliant, corruscates,
Speaks with tongues, to genius elevates.
The intellect, receptive to its light,
And thus illumines the darkness of earth’s night.
Find thou the Self
as pilot of thy bark,
That fire and love and genius may mark
Thy passage o’er life’s dark and stormy sea;
Know that thou art the Self, the Self is thee.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 2 April 1937, p. 4
A black magician formed himself into a mighty bow, of which his spine and its super-physical extension above his head was the ‘string’. The anterior surface of his aura, temporarily hardened, was the bow. He did not draw back the ‘string’ to shoot, but pushed forward the bow.
His aura was almost filled with arrows pointed outward all around him. The black points were sharp, the red shafts barbed. He looked very evil as from time to time he paused in his shooting, mentally to constrict new arrows and to blacken their points with pitchlike substance from a portion of his aura.
His method of shooting was very strange. He fitted the arrows to the string where it passed through the middle of his head, so that the shafts protruded between his eyes. He fixed his thought upon the target a look of concentrated cruelty and evil appeared upon his face, and then the arrow sped.
His targets were human hearts and minds. Now some quite humble man, temporarily proud or bitter, received an arrow into his head, whereupon his pride or bitterness increased a hundredfold. Now one in deep grief received a shaft, whereupon his grief turned to rebellion and he cursed his God. A statesman, wrestling with great problems, received a wound, and as he sought solution, selfishness and greed, pride of place, desire for power marred the clarity of his vision. A dictator became the target for the poisoned missile, and he too sought self-aggrandizement, felt the temptation of power, forgot his country’s welfare in his own ambition.
A scientist, truly hit, felt exulting pride and self-gratulation in his discoveries, blinding himself to the light of intuition. A man dwelling in thought on sensual experience was struck; his craving was intensified, and aflame with passion, he succumbed. A woman, faced with poverty and conscious of great desire for luxury and pleasure next was wounded. Though loving virtue, she was temporarily blinded to it and sold herself for gold. A thief on the threshold of reform, struck by the devil’s arrow, turned once more to crime.
Thus the black magician laboured with fiendish joy, rejoicing at every hit and every fall, jeering mentally at the weakness in his victims, in each of whom existed the possibility of the error into which they fell.
The sight became unbearable, yet the monster was so strong in wickedness that I saw no way of either hindering or persuading him to cease. I thought of the Masters of the White Power and Their arrows of blessing and of love.
A Master of Light appeared before the dark bowman. I did not hear the Master’s words, but I saw Him very stem, yet not unkind.
Gradually the black magician was changed. His zest for evil disappeared. He looked down at his arrows, examined them and said: ‘I can shoot no more, my arrows have lost their point’.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 3 June 1938, p. 27
The beautiful words of my title are taken from the English poet, Spenser, who coined the phrase. In old English script and spelling, his words are carved round the dome of the central hall at the Royal Academy at Burlington House, London. The full quotation as it is carved is
“The hearts of men, which fondly here admyre
Fair seeming selves,
May lift themselves up hyer
And learn to love, with zealous humble dewty,
Th’ Eternal Fountaine of the heavenly Beauty”.
Very appropriate are these beautiful words, especially for those who, visiting the Academy, seek to penetrate beyond the various works of art there displayed to that indefinable quality to which we give the name of Beauty.
How elusive beauty is! Bacon truly said: ‘The best part of beauty is what a picture cannot express’ and Shakespeare: ‘Beauty itself doth persuade the eyes of men with out an orator’. Th’ Eternal Fountaine is Beauty itself, and he who drinks thereat is the lover of beauty, he who has learnt to love and reverence ‘the principle of beauty in all things’ (Keats). From this Fountaine and from its life giving and ever-rising stream, the modem world has strayed into the wild desert of ugliness and crudity.
All-important to the progress of the race is a return to the love and pursuit of the beautiful by modem man. Deep though the descent into ugliness, crudity, sensuality and the frank commercialization of art, a return to true beauty and the accentuation of all that is refined in the arts is still far from being impossible. This is demonstrated by the fact that the great artist in any branch of the arts is generally assured of large audiences.
I wonder if any of my readers have ever had the experience of changing from non-appreciation of an art form to his deep enjoyment, from repugnance, produced by the grotesque and the strange, to appreciation? I have had that experience and would like to describe it to you.
On a visit to India I once encountered a very strange figure of a man, a young Indian, probably about eighteen years old, who was travelling alone about India as Holy Men do. But he was no orthodox sannyasi. He was a public dancer, and he told me that his self-chosen mission was to revive the ancient classical Dravidian dance of India.
The personality of this man was somewhat repellent to me. He seemed effeminate, with a rather sensual face. His dancer’s dress was ugly to western eyes. For the dance, his face was heavily ‘made-up’. He had painted finger nails, and toe nails, wore many rings, armlets, bangles, necklaces, anklets, hair ornaments, and a leopard’s skin. His hair was long and dressed like a woman’s. He was a weird figure indeed. Although physically I felt averse to him, I was drawn by his sense of a mission and by his dedication to that mission, He had been invited to dance for us, and I took him to my room and asked if I might watch his preparations. He put on his ornaments and his ‘make-up’, until he resembled an animated statue from some old jungle-hidden temple.
Then he danced. Indian dancing consists far more of posture than of free movement in space. Yet the whole body seems to participate. Every finger, each toe, arms, legs, and the head upon the neck, all these move strangely, often grotesquely to occidental eyes, in the Indian dance, and especially in its Dravidian form.
As part of his performance, this man assumed a series of very difficult postures calling for wonderful balance and co-ordination of mind and muscle, the whole being extraordinarily fluidic. As I watched both posture and dance, I was at first repelled. Then, quite suddenly for me the whole performance changed, and came to life. I began to realize the purpose and meaning of this strange and ancient art. I saw that the dancer was portraying a great fundamental process, the process of the creation, involution, evolution, perfection and final disappearance of the universe.
The dance began in an ecstasy which seemed almost overcome the dancer; for he represented Brahma, the Creative Lord of All, in the beginning when ‘The Word was with God and the Word was God’, when all was heavenly bliss and peace. Then was portrayed the uttering of the Creative Word, the sending out of Creative Power and the great outpouring of the Divine Life and Consciousness into matter. Gradually the movements became more subdued, more difficult. The figure slowly sank to his knees and at last lay prone, as if almost lifeless, on the stage. Faintly the theme movements continued, until at last there followed a period of complete quiescence representing the deepest entombment of spirit in matter, the temporary mastery by form of consciousness and life. The dancer then began to stir. As if with great effort, he rose from his knees, gradually his facial expression, which had been severe, changed to a smile. His movements became freer. The dance grew more and more vivacious until it culminated in a returned to the laughing ecstasy of the beginning. This was the divine victory and coronation, the great cycle’s close.
I have seen many works of art, have been uplifted by many art forms in different parts of the world, but that dance by a Dravidian dancer gave me an ecstasy of a kind that I had not hitherto enjoyed, I realized his limitations, but I also realized for the first time what was behind all sacred dancing. The personality of the performer disappeared. Cosmic Truth and Beauty were revealed.
Back in my room to change, the dancer asked: ‘How did you like it?’ I told him what I had seen and known. He said ‘You are right. You see why seven bangles are on my wrists and ankles, why seven of these ornaments are in my hair; for seven is the ruling number. Every part of the dress, like every movement of the body, is symbolical’. Probably it was very poor art, and he but a third rate artist. Perhaps he was an unworthy individual. I did not presume to judge, for I saw that this man had dedicated his life to a great ideal, to the task of revealing a spiritual message through the medium of an ancient art. He said he was touring
India earning his living and his travelling expenses by this dance. He was visiting ancient shrines, studying ancient sculptures, and discovering from them the correct classical postures. And this was his religion, this his life. Later I watched him depart and join the motley multitude upon the Indian road. Eventually the distance and the throng absorbed him. Veritably he followed his light and pursued his quest, and I was profoundly grateful to him both for his art and for my enlightenment. I saw how utterly blind had been my first judgement, how actually every part of the dance conveyed a spiritual truth, every ornament held a symbolical meaning — all arranged in sevens as they were.
Shortly afterwards I had the great privilege of seeing, also for the first time, another Indian dance performed by a perfect artist, one whose thought and will extended into the actual levels of consciousness involved. This dancer undoubtedly had power, beauty, genius. In a perfect performance of the classical temple dance of India, I saw all and far more than the male dancer was trying to perform in the Dravidian tradition. This dance was performed, and is still being performed by Rukmini Devi, who has dedicated her talents to the preservation of the classical art known as the Nataraj, the kingly dance of the Kingly Dancer, who is the Supreme Lord of All, and to its restoration as one of the sacred art forms which preserves and reveals the Divine Wisdom to India and to the world.
As one watches this utterly dedicated Indian dancing, which originally was only performed in temples and with a sacred purpose by consecrated dancers, one realizes how close to each other are heaven and earth. One appreciates the Truth of the old philosophical doctrine, one of the oldest in the world, of the Macrocosm and the microcosm, the great world and the little world. The universe with its indwelling Divine Life is the Macrocosm. The human body with the Divine Life also within it is the microcosm, and these are not two Divinities, but one. The whole human body has therefore a deep symbolical significance, and its several parts represent and are in resonance with great spiritual powers and truths.
The process of the creation of a universe is seen as a dance. The human figure in the sacred Indian dance represents the Creator, reproduces by its movements, by the motions of the fingers, hands and arms, the head and the whole form, the birth and evolution of both
Macrocosm and microcosm. All these complex movements can and do portray spiritual truths and release mighty powers, and this, I believe, is part of the spiritual aspect of all Indian art, and especially of the sacred dance.
To us in the West it is rather a strange idea that God is a Divine Dancer and that all this visible universe, in perpetual motion from the smallest atom to the largest Solar System is really part of the movement of the One Great Dancer. The drift of universes through space, the spinning of planets on their orbits round the sun, the drifting clouds the waving trees, pulsing hearts, all in breathing and out breathing and the motion of all beings, are all part of the, rhythmic movement of the One Being, part of one great cosmic creative dance through which immortal beauty is ever revealed,
Most men have fleeting glimpses of that heaven with which earth is ‘crammed’. Great artists know it well. Beethoven wrote: ‘In the country it is as if every tree said to me “Holy, Holy”.’ Browning said ‘Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes’. Listen also to Francis Thompson:
Short arm needs
man to reach to Heaven,
So ready is Heaven to stoop to him.
The angels keep
their ancient places.
Turn hut a stone and start a wing.
T’is ye! T’is, your estranged faces
That miss the many-splendoured thing.
And Rousseau: ‘I have always believed that God is only beauty put into action’.
When once the vision dawns, all that was beautiful before seems more divinely beautiful than one had ever dreamed. Once the divine vision has been enjoyed, the physical senses are quickened. Music is more beautiful, colour is more vivid. All the world is more wonderful. Tennyson revealed this quickening power of the inward vision in these words:
Let no one ask me how it came to pass.
It seems that I am happy, that to me
A livelier emerald twinkles in the grass,
A purer sapphire melts into the sea.
In these days when we are forced to dwell in a world in which spiritual beauty and demoniacal ugliness dwell side by side, we cannot but ask ourselves — what can lovers of God, lovers of beauty, lovers of their fellow-men, do to help the great cause of the beautiful? How can the vision splendid be brought to man, and so save him from that devil whose name is ugliness?
Can this great ministry be performed through the medium of the arts? Yes, indeed, if that is one’s way, but also, and more surely, through the art of life itself. How, then, must we proceed? What is behind and within the achievement of every great artist? One word alone seems to answer that question. It is experience, for without interior experience of God as Beauty, lacking that vision within the soul, none can succeed greatly in bringing beauty to the world. First, then, we ourselves must find and drink at Th’ Eternal Fountaine. Then can we quench the thirst of others, then lead them to beauty’s source that they may drink thereat.
What, then, is beauty? We do not know. Where is it? Everywhere, one says, but that does not always help in its discovery. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, it is also said suggesting that, beauty is of the Inner Self and its perception an interior experience. Beauty is indeed an aspect the Divine, which is thus revealed not only as a Trinity but as a Quaternary — God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, and God the Beautiful. It would seem that He who is above every name, beyond and yet within all form, must indeed be fourfold, shining as Divine Will, Divine Wisdom, Divine Intelligence, and Divine Beauty. The true artist, then, is he who having discovered within himself the Divine Power, as Love, as Fire, and as Beauty, with the eyes of the God-Self sees the four-fold God in every form. Once having seen, he needs must portray his vision through thought, through word, and through deed. Life then becomes the practice of an art.
The Theosophist, Vol. 69, November 1947, p. 123
The chief purpose for which the modem spiritualist movement was brought into existence by the Masters was to challenge the scientific materialism of the nineteenth century. The phenomena of spiritualism constitute primarily a subject to be investigated scientifically, and secondarily a gateway from materialism to philosophy. For very few people, however, does the movement serve in this dual capacity. Millions of spiritualists refuse to use it either as a subject for research or as a way to comprehension of the profound truths of esoteric philosophy and religion. Apparently they prefer to remain in the gateway, interested only in the recurrent phenomena which may be thought of as the gateposts and the gate.
It would also appear that a great evil has crept in. I refer to commercialization, because of which the whole science has so deteriorated as to become in the main intellectually negligible. Two particular dangers beset every professional medium. One is the appeal to vanity — the desire to be looked up to and the other is desire for financial gain. Either of these is sufficient to reduce greatly the quality, the accuracy and the range of spiritual perception. To the great quest of spiritual vision, wisdom and power, the Spiritualist Movement and all spiritualists by their very name originally were called. Many splendid workers have loyally abided by the original ideals. The great majority, one fears, have not entirely succeeded in doing so.
What of those who approach mediums and attend spiritualistic seances and services? For the most part their motives are perfectly natural and good — the desire for knowledge of the hereafter and for contact with their beloved dead. A great service is being rendered to tens of thousands of people in the gratification of these two desires, and for this the world owes a debt of gratitude to the Spiritualist Movement. Its wonderful message of the immortality of the soul of man has the power to render the greatest possible service to the whole of Western humanity. But certain basic changes in spiritualist practice would seem to be necessary before this can be achieved.
Man needs to be taught how to control the powers of his own mind, emotion and body, not how to submit them to the control of another. He needs to be shown the way to his own interior light, to discover the Divine Truth which lies within the inner heart of every human being; he should not be encouraged constantly to depend upon others, even though invisible, for the guidance he needs. The Spiritualist Movement needs greatly to be spiritualised; and its leaders and workers throughout the world need to catch a glimpse both of the supreme spiritual value of the truth they have discovered and the responsibility laid upon them for its delivery to the world unsoiled by commercialization and untainted by unhealthy and not to say dangerous psychic practices.
The Theosophist, Vol. 59, September 1938, p. 516
This story has no special message to deliver, nor does it point to any moral. It is simply a record of a vivid experience of self-consciousness out of the body.
I dreamt that after putting my car in a garage, I saw a mechanic at a bench and a narrow passage in one comer with a stout chain across. I asked the mechanic whether it were possible to pass through. He said that it was, but it was very difficult, that it was not always easy to return, and that some who passed failed to do so. I pushed hard against the chain which slowly passed through me, and squeezing through the passage which was narrow and dark, I suddenly found myself in a large, light, airy room resembling an artist’s studio and conveying a suggestion of restful beauty.
On low seats a group of men and women occupied the centre of the room. Their grouping, distinctly sculptural, the colours of their clothes, and a certain poised immobility, though all quite natural, somehow suggested living statuary.
I joined them and immediately experienced a close and happy intimacy of thought and feeling with them all. Gradually I fell into a state of profound calm, still peace, perfect equipoise, which pervaded the whole subsequent experience and remains as a lasting impression.
Our auras were visible and tangible, much as are clothes on the physical plane. They consisted of steady, rhythmically flowing streams of force, all in colour, emanating from our bodies, the different colours being determined by and expressive of, primarily, our inner nature, our real character, and secondarily, of our interchanged thoughts and feelings. These last, though transient, were deep, calm and clear.
Auric blending occurred continually, producing the sense of intimate friendship, perfect understanding, close inner harmony.
For a time no one moved, no one spoke, yet the companionship was rich, full and completely satisfying. Different though we all were, we were perfectly blended, completely at one.
On my right was a lady of great beauty of character, of face and of aura. We had ‘conversed’ for a time when I observed a change in her; the facial expression became vacant, the form began to fade. My attention, thus drawn more definitely to her brought us into closer rapport and I heard the ringing of a bell. Through unity with her consciousness I saw a room on the physical plane as if far away below us. Her body was in bed and an alarm clock was ringing. Mentally I said to her: ‘It is eight o’clock and you will have to go back’. Almost as I spoke she disappeared.
Then it was that I realized that I was out of the body in full consciousness as were the rest of the group.
Some interchange of thought on the subject occurred, cantering chiefly round the possibility of using the passage at will.
I then moved over to the window and looked out. The studio proved to be on the first floor of an extension into a garden of the house which was one of a row. The others, which had no such extensions, were pretty houses each with its own flower filled garden, and I could see the brass number plate on each door; the next door was number 9 and presumably the studio was part of number 10.
At this point I was awakened by a noise in my bedroom and remembered the whole of the above distinctly, being especially interested in my self-conscious absence from the body. I passed the dream in review, could still feel the deep peace and poise, and then decided to find my way through the passage again. I visualized the garage, saw mentally the walls and the chain, pressed on and instantly I was asleep. This time I ‘awoke’ in the garden of the same house, fully conscious of the whole previous experience as of the physical interlude.
The garden, as were all the others, was full of flowers, all very beautiful and glowing slightly. I do not remember any fragrance, nor could I recognize varieties. White seemed to predominate and the general effect was of well-planned profusion.
Looking across the nine other gardens — I do not remember the opposite direction — I saw an open village green, with lovely old fashioned but new-looking houses on the far side. These were mostly of half-timbered Elizabethan architecture, though some were in the medieval German style. I remember noting the different kinds of architecture with interest and admiring the general effect.
The whole district was brightly and clearly lighted as if by the sun, and everything looked fresh and new. A sense of perfection, wonderfully satisfying; was conveyed, and this referred not only to the houses and gardens but to the life as well.
Then I saw people in the nearby gardens. One, a middle-aged man with white hair and drooping white moustache, was reading a book.
When I spoke he bent closer over his book as if to concentrate against my thought. I asked him mentally how he came there, if he used the passage and could come and go at will. He bent lower still over his book as if slightly embarrassed, and then I realized that he was deceased and could go back no more.
After this I remember little more, nor has the experience re-occurred, though an attempt to re-enter the passage has more than once sent me to sleep.
The Theosophist, Vol. 60, May 1939, p. 159
As is presumably well known, our tour began with visits to the five main cities of Australia, and culminated there with attendance at the Annual Convention held at Perth. The wise and gracious leadership of the new General Secretary, Miss Ruth Beringer, the enthusiasm of all present, and the attendance and vital interest of many Young Theosophists contributed to a very happy and inspiring Convention. Valued opportunities to record a number of broadcasts became available in Sydney and Melbourne, whilst in addition almost all talks were tape-recorded, copies being generously made available to the New Zealand Section. Active Youth Groups were addressed by us both and the importance of this activity was found to be clearly recognized in Australia, as it is in New Zealand.
Our visit to Adelaide coincided with the city’s Festival of the Arts, in which Rukmini Devi Arundale and a number of dancers from Kalakshetra had been invited to participate. We were able to attend one of their performances, given before a large and most appreciative audience. Later we met the whole party at an al fresco luncheon in the garden of an Adelaide member. We were also able to witness the first performance of the beautiful new ballet, Raimonda, presented by the Australian Ballet Company.
At Adyar we became members of a large New Zealand group, being especially happy to meet again and find most helpfully busy, Miss Clarice Gregory, Mr and Mrs Stuart Nicholls and Miss Daphne Darroch. Lectures were delivered in Adyar, richly beautiful with flowering trees and plants and as always seeming to be charged with spiritual power. At Bornbay, our next port of call after Adyar, two Public Lectures were delivered and a visit made to the Theosophical seaside colony at Juhu. Gracious hospitality was there received and a rehearsal witnessed of a dramatization of incidents in the life of the Lord Buddha, written and presented by Miss Jer Nussawallah, artist, playwright and Round Table Leader.
In both Australia and India, particularly at Convention and two Indian Federation gatherings, we were privileged to convey, as requested, the greetings of the New Zealand Section and to hear and deeply feel the happy response from everyone present. This is a continual experience wherever we go, proving that indeed we members of the Theosophical Society are as one large family.
Our plane carried us through the night from Bornbay to Israel, where we landed before dawn. A little later, standing on the balcony of our hotel room in Jerusalem, we watched the rising of the sun over the Mount of Olives and the gradual emergence from the shadows of the old City with its cupolas, towers and ancient walls. The tragic dividedness of the States of Jordan and Israel was dramatically illustrated by a visit to the bornb scarred area of the no-man’s-land between the two countries.
In addition to lectures and many fruitful discussions with both old and young members, visits were made to Biblical sites, one being to Ein Kerim, traditional birthplace of John the Baptist, where the Mother of Jesus presented her Child to the parents of John. This old village, like many others, seemed still to be pervaded with the influence of the events of those days of long ago.
The splendid new Hebrew University, the remarkable Museum with the special display of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the building known as the Shrine of the Book and the large (unfortunately) new hospital outside Jerusalem were also visited, whilst throughout our tour the successful irrigation, cultivation and afforestation of the hitherto arid land demonstrated the devotion, skill and enterprise of the immigrants. At long last many of them have found a homeland of their own, after some two thousand tragic years of suffering in exile.
A drive of two days included examination of the excavations at the ancient city of Meggido (Armageddon), scene of so much fighting throughout the centuries preceding the Christian era. Thereafter we drove on to the village of Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. We strolled through the streets of the old town mentally envisaging the miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana. Thence we journeyed to Tiberias, where a night was spent, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, the Mount of the Beatitudes and Nazareth. These are blessed regions of the Earth, one feels, part of a truly Holy Land, consecrated long ago by the presence and wondrous works of the Teacher of Angels and of Men. The Gospel story comes to life as one slowly and quietly wanders through the countryside so little changed since those ancient days.
As students of Kabbalism, we were much interested to visit the tomb of Rabbi Simeon Ben Yochai, reputed author of Zohar, ‘The Book of Splendour’ and also the great cave in which he traditionally dictated to his son, Eliazar, that famous kabbalistic treatise. Nearby is the City of Safed, and other caves. To this City a number of European Kabbalists withdrew in the Middle Ages and there formed a centre for the study and practice of this deeply esoteric wisdom, sometimes called the Theosophy of the Hebrews.
Our drive then took us to the sea coast cities. First came Acre, headquarters of the Crusaders, where descent into a recently excavated very large hall or crypt beneath the old castle vividly brought to mind the presence and life of those who attempted to rescue the Holy City from the Saracens. Our car then took us on to Caesaraea Phillipi, Mount Carmel, and further south to Tel Aviv and our airport Hotel in Lidda or Lud, where some occult traditions state that Jesus was born.
A World Academy of Art and Science
An account of our visit to the Holy Land would be incomplete without a reference to our meeting with the founder of the World Academy of Art and Science, Dr Hugo N. Boyko, present President and Honorary Secretary-General of the Academy. This remarkable movement became formulated after a Press conference in Jerusalem on the 24th of December, 1960. Forty Charter Members, all scientists well known the world over and living in many countries, presented a Declaration that the World Academy of Art and Science had been created to serve as a forum for distinguished scholars and artists. A stated objective is to discuss the vital problems of mankind, independent of political boundaries or limits, whether spiritual or physical. Already this promise is being fulfilled by the establishment of close scientific co-operation, not bound by geographical limitations of any kind. Thus a world wide network of co-operative Universities, becoming increasingly close-knit, is in process of formation. Dr Boyko kindly received us in his beautiful home in Rehovot, Israel and talked to us of the inception, formation, development and future activities of the great movement, for the existence of which he himself has been largely responsible. In making possible this visit to Dr Boyko, as on so many other occasions in Israel, the Presidential Agent, Mr Hans Zeuger, was the ever kind and helpful guide and friend.
Athens, Delphi, Eleusis, Corinth and Cape Sounion were all pleasurably and instructively revisited. An account of these historic places and of our earlier travels in this beautiful and historic land of Hellas has already appeared in this magazine. One new experience included a drive into a beautiful valley leading deeply into a ravine on the slopes of Mount Hymettus, traditional home of the gods of Ancient Greece. Here we found the well-preserved remains of a monastery which had long ago been built upon an ancient Greek temple, parts of which are visible today under the cypress and other trees, and amidst many beautiful and fragrant flowers. The place is now called Kaiseriana, and is still a place of peace and beauty to which those who know of it can retreat for a time from the noise and bustle of the modem world.
In Greece, also, the past still seems to live, especially where the ancient shrines and temples existed, notably Delphi, the Acropolis and of course, Eleusis, centre of the famous Mysteries — the Eleusinia. As ever, the Parthenon constantly drew us and much time was spent wandering and meditating amidst the noble remains of the splendid temples which were the scene of so much that has been called ‘the glory that was Greece’.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 27, No. 3, 1966, p. 82
I will share with the readers of The Theosophist some of the experiences that I have passed through. At this moment I confess that a big part of me is in Egypt, where I was a few weeks ago. It was full moon. I had arrived at Luxor and in the evening was walking along the banks of the sacred River Nile and close to the great columns of the Temple at Luxor. It was a wonderful experience — the bright, full moon, the pillars reflected in the waters of the Nile, the stillness, one or two feluccas with their white, triangular sails lit up by the brilliant moonlight, and the strange and wondrous past all about me. I seemed to slip back into those days and Egypt was now a familiar land.
For four days I visited Luxor and Kamak, crossed the Nile into ancient Thebes, passed along the Valley of the Kings where no less than 65 tombs of the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt had been opened and explored. Archaeological work is going on quite vigorously in Egypt. Archaeologists are not only seeking for new discoveries, but by collecting parts of the ruins and piecing them together again, they are reconstructing as much as possible of the Temples, tombs and Pyramids. The great Mortuary Temple at Thebes of Queen Hatshepsut, the Elizabeth I of Egypt, is being rebuilt and comparing it as I saw it then with early photographs which I have studied, I was astonished to see how successfully it was being restored.
It was wonderful to walk amongst these ruins and see the paintings, the colouring of which is as brilliant in many places as on the day on which it was done. This is especially true of the deep tombs where no light and very little air have penetrated. I visited the tombs of Seti I, Rameses VI, and Tutankhamen, and entered the galleries and the chambers built for the funerary articles, the foods and the treasures, as also for the great sarcophagi wherein the Kings’ mummies have lain. The hundreds of yards of walls and ceilings are all beautifully decorated in low or high relief, and some of them covered with wonderful paintings.
While the glory has obviously departed and it is a dead world, from some 3,000 to 6,000 years old, nevertheless in certain places — particularly the ‘Holy of Holies’ as they are called in the guide-books—I was struck by a sense of power, and even of Presences, where an altar still stood and ceremonials had been performed. These sacred rites are depicted on the walls and ceilings of the Temples, and the old vibrant hierophantic power seemed to be established for all time in the very rock itself. So, while in the main, ancient Egypt has gone, some of the power of the Egyptian Mysteries can, I think, still be felt.
At Kamak where, as you doubtless know, there is the finest ancient Temple, perhaps in the world, certainly in Egypt, the ruins are reflected in the Sacred Lake. I was fortunate to be there in the morning when the sun was behind me, there was no wind, and the great ruins, the fluted columns and ruined gateways, the pylons and the obelisks, were beautifully reflected in the waters of the lake. I observed, whilst studying the ancient monuments and arts of Egypt, that not anywhere throughout the whole vast region of temples and tombs and statuary and pyramids — not in any single place amongst them — does the name of the artist appear. No artist signed his name in Egypt. Only the name of the King is there. I took the lesson to heart and will try to remember that all our Theosophical work should bear, not the impress of the worker, but the sign and the power of the King.
‘Life Does Not Make Sense’
Throughout all my travels, one conviction has become deeper and deeper. It is that the whole world of mankind, whether consciously or unconsciously, is hungering for Theosophy and its power to bring logic into human life. How often, when talking to people, did I hear the cry; ‘Life does not make sense! ’ ‘There is no sense in life’, people say, and no wonder, for humanity is continually, decimated by floods, famines, pestilence, diseases and wars, whilst in addition a third world war is hanging over our heads like a sword of Damocles. Everywhere I encountered confusion of mind and doubt deepening to cynicism. When, however, Theosophy is discovered and accepted, people are able to say ‘At last life makes sense for me’ — and indeed, it is so.
The work of the Theosophical Society seems, therefore, to be abundantly clear. It is to make Theosophy available in as practical and acceptable a form as possible to the vast millions of mankind. I have come home more than ever convinced that our most useful contribution to world progress and human happiness consists of the plain, lucid, undiluted presentation of fundamental Theosophical teachings, without which life does not make sense, and their practical and flexible application to the problems of human life.
Adyar, the Masters’ Home
Of Adyar what shall I say, as it is so well known to Theosophists? Olcott Bungalow, in which I live and where, the School of the Wisdom meets, is a lovely two-storeyed house near to the sea. One gets any breeze there may be and the temperature there is generally five degrees lower than in other parts of the compound. Practically all the year round, Adyar is a blaze of colour. The flowering trees, shrubs and plants are in full bloom, adding their glory and beauty to the inner power and the Presences which undoubtedly are here. On the roof at Headquarters there is a framed card on which is written; ‘Work for Adyar; the Masters’ Home’; and I often find myself wondering what exactly is meant by the second phrase. Of course, Adyar is not the Masters’ home in the accepted sense of the word. They do not live here physically, but one does not have to be here very long before one discovers that there are two Adyars, the outer, physical Adyar, and its extensions — the fourth-dimensional Adyar, if you like — and the latter is the Masters’ home. Their Power and Their Blessing are noticeably both present and radiating upon the world. Our Movement is, I personally believe, Adept founded, Adept inspired, Adept vivified, but not Adept directed. The direction is human. Human, therefore are the errors and the limitations of the Movement. The inspiration and the wisdom, I feel, come from on high. We know that a number of the Great Ones assisted at the founding of the Theosophical
Society and visited Adyar in both Their physical and superphysical bodies. The original portraits painted by Schmiechen are here as channels for Their power and Their magnetism.
The Heart of India
As one lives in India, tries to touch her Soul and to absorb her wisdom, one finds, I think, a central thought, which is what might be called the doctrine of the Self, of the Spiritual Soul of the Universe and of Man. This, I believe, is the heart of Indian thought, that at the centre of all life and in the heart of all beings there is One Alone, One Spirit, One Presence, One Power, ‘The Inner Ruler Immortal, seated in the heart of all beings’. This is the Atman, the Innermost, the Highest Spiritual Self of the universe and man, and the supreme human objective is to discover first the Atma within oneself and then its unity and identity with the Atman in all. Thus the Yogi affirms; ‘The Self in me is one with the Self in all. I am that Self. That Self am I. The Atma and the Paramatman are one. I am That, That am I’. That seems to me to be the tremendous, dynamism and power at the heart of India and so it is said of the Yogi; ‘He peels the sheaths from the Atma, one by one’. The idea, is to disassociate consciousness from body, emotions and mind, from all that is unreal and temporary, and then find that which is eternal. This is the reality. All else is illusion, maya. Everything which is not eternal is illusion — and the great search is for the Real, for that which is universal, omnipresent, for ever free, the eternal Self. Indian philosophy approaches all problems from the centre within the universe and man. Everything is looked at from within, from the point of view of the Divine Centre, whilst we of the West rather tend to make observations from without and deductions from what we see. Our Theosophical Society is valuable because its teachings blend these two approaches.
Developments in Modern Thought
Whilst in Europe, I availed myself of opportunities to contact directly those who are carrying out investigations into the finer forces of Nature and the hidden powers in man.
There are three developments in modem thought which can be used to great advantage in the promulgation of Theosophy. They are first, the affirmation of belief by certain scientists in a Universal,
Directive Intelligence in Nature, of an inherent Life-Force which is imbued with purpose, aim, plan, according to which evolution proceeds. The second development concerns psychology, dianetics and psychoanalysis. Medical scientists now proclaim the Theosophical ideas that man is a very complex being, and that states of mind and emotion can influence the condition and the functions of the physical body. The third development, arises out of the researches of psychologists into the possession by man of super-sensory powers. Extra-sensory perception is now established as being ‘not only not rare, but quite common,’ as an investigator in this field, Dr J. B. Rhine, has recently written.
In a well-equipped laboratory in the city of Oxford, I was shown something of the experiments which are being carried out in the diagnosis of disease from the blood or portions of the tissue of sufferers. By means of delicate electrical measuring apparatus, and a certain sensitivity resembling radiesthesia or dowsing, possessed by some ‘operators’, as they are called, invisible radiations can be detected and measured. Amazing possibilities are being considered. These include diagnosis of the nature and bodily location of disease, the most suitable remedies, and the continuing results of their application; for, strangely, it is stated that the original blood spot itself changes with the changes in the body — no matter how far away it may be in space — produced by the remedies.
The broadcasting of radio treatment waves on the corrective frequencies revealed by these tests is also being carried out by practical men and women under scientific conditions. Their experiments have shown that the actual organs affected can appear on a photographic plate exposed to the radiations from the blood. The plate must, however, be developed by an ‘operator’ possessing the necessary mysterious characteristics. Time — past, present and future is also being especially investigated and I was shown actual photographs taken by such means of the wedding ceremony in 1930 of the principal investigators. These people, I repeat, are no mere visionaries, but practical scientists exploring and seeking to measure, treat, and even photograph, that which is normally invisible. ‘The theory’, the chief investigator told me, ‘we work on is that everything happens, whether it is a thought or an event, gives off a definite radiation or wave-length, that goes on all the time. Our equipment can be set to take in both the time and the place of that thought or event, and we get the radiation of it as clearly as a wireless set tuned in to Australia, say, picks up a Test Match broadcast. Then we photograph the radiation we pick up. It affects the emulsion of the photographic plate, and we get a picture in pretty much the ordinary way’.
In Amsterdam I met Professor Tenhaeff of the Psychology Department of the University of Utrecht. He told me the remarkable powers of one of his, subjects, a Mr Croiset. This man regularly aids the police in the discovery by means of extra-sensory perception of the bodies of drowned children. If he is given the number, row and place of a seat in a theatre and the name and the date of a performance to occur in a few days time, he can describe with 90 per cent accuracy the physical and psychological characteristics of the person who will occupy that seat, if it has been sold. If not sold, he will then say that he sees no one there.
Complex problems of the psychic powers of man, of free-will and determinism, inevitably present themselves and are being studied by workers in these fields, Professor Bender of the University of Freiburg in Germany, Dr J. Soal of the University of London, and Dr S. A. Thouless of the University of Cambridge, are also investigating these powers and finding proof of their existence. Those of us who write and speak on Theosophy will be well advised, I suggest, to keep ourselves informed about these developments, and to use such of the findings as are well-established — not otherwise — in the presentation of Theosophical ideas.
In London I also visited the British Museum, where I handled and read many of the originals of the Mahatma Letters, still vibrant with the power and magnetism of the Adepts, so it seemed to me. Fortunately These Letters have been most carefully bound, in four large beautiful volumes, and will thus be preserved, and are available to all who wish to see them. I also took out a volume of original Letters written by Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam and Viscount St Alban (1561-1626). They are beautifully written in his own handwriting and one of them is addressed to Queen Elizabeth 1. This experience, also, was of great interest, since Lord Bacon is regarded by some Theosophists as a former incarnation of the Adept Regent of Europe, the Master the Prince Rakoczi.
The Theosophist, Vol. 76, November 1954, p. 111
The National President has honoured me with the opportunity of taking her place in this number of The American Theosophist. I accept with pleasure and begin by expressing gratitude from Sandra and myself for the opportunity to carry out this tour of the American Section and for the great kindness with which we are being everywhere received. I am writing from Cincinnati, where devoted members have thoughtfully and efficiently planned our activities.
Whilst this is Sandra’s first visit to the United States, I have been privileged to tour the Section many times before. On this occasion, however, a noteworthy development has become apparent. To a greater extent than on previous visits, pronouncements are being made by various groups of people here and elsewhere that, through entranced mediums, Cosmic, Solar, and other Space-Intelligences, named and unnamed, are communicating with mankind. Despite the choice of channels and the nature of the communications themselves, resultant proclamations are receiving considerable acceptance.
The cautious and reasoned approach to the comprehension of the laws of being characteristic of students of Theosophy has not prevented some members of our Society — all being free — from associating themselves with groups formed to publicize these alleged interplanetary communications. Time will doubtless reveal where the truth lies, but since the welfare of the Society is thus involved, especially its public image before the world, it may prove both interesting and helpful to examine the phenomenon and to look for its possible causes. The stresses which humanity is experiencing at this time may lead people to accept the comforting thought that help is coming from extraterrestrial sources. Want, homelessness, and hunger amounting to famine can give rise to a continual pressure to take, possess, secure, and expand. Fear arising from the needs of neighbouring nations and the actions they inspire, and from the facts of history, also contribute to the present disturbed state of humanity. It is not perhaps surprising that promises of assistance from outer space should win acceptance. The weakening of faith in dogmatic religion, world unrest, military and industrial warfare, the existence and growing economic, military, and nuclear power of nations which appear to threaten human freedom may also be contributing to the acceptance of similar unverifiable statements from invisible sources.
Addressing the annual meeting of the Academy of Religion and Mental Health in Manhattan in 1966, Dr Viktor Frankl said in effect that psychoanalysts are more and more frequently encountering a new neurosis characterized by loss of interest and lack of initiative, against which conventional psychoanalysis is ineffective. Time and again, the psychiatrist is consulted by patients who doubt that life has any meaning, and this condition, said Dr Frankl, ‘I have called “an existential vacuum”’. For most members of our Society surely, Theosophy proves to be both preventive against and effective treatment for such a condition.
As one such member, I confess to a difficulty in preserving an open mind concerning communications supposedly received through entranced mediums. Such investigation of this process as I have been able to make has convinced me of the unreliability of this method, if only because the communicator is invisible and so beyond the reach of the scrutiny normally applied to those who propose to instruct. In addition, the statements themselves prove to be unacceptable. Since my arrival in this country, letters, books and leaflets proclaiming as profound truth the following items are now reaching me in some quantity: Tremendous messages’ are at this time regularly being received through mediums from lofty Intelligences residing on Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. During a battle fought at some unspecified time and locality, the whole of Earth’s civilization was almost destroyed. By the joint efforts of Cosmic Hosts and planetary Hierarchies, the lower astral kingdoms on Earth have now been cleared of those souls who rebelled against divine order. All earth-bound discamates have been removed from the Astral Plane which is now closed to humanity. Those who die will henceforth be transported to their assigned planets. The Supreme Commander of the Universe supported by Overlords of the System now awaits the approaching day for His arrival and external manifestation to all mankind on earth.
Using entranced mediums, the Solar Logos, with Solar Lords of inconceivably lofty stature, including the Archangel Michael, are regularly communicating with groups of people in different parts of the world. A leader of one recipient group has been specially chosen to fulfil the exalted office of ‘mouthpiece on Earth for an interplanetary parliament’. Flying saucers are interplanetary space crafts used by the Cosmic Masters, and the Star of Bethlehem was a magnificent spacecraft from the planet Saturn. Satumian Masters, Space-Intelligences, Venusian, Martian, and Jupiterian Sages, the great Lord of the World, Tibetan Adepts and those Masters of the Wisdom, including the Master Jesus, who have permitted their names to be known are now regularly communicating; tape recordings of teachings from the Master Jesus and other great Cosmic Masters speaking through an entranced medium have been made. A world wide, metaphysical society has been organized at the command of these Cosmic Masters working in conjunction with the Great White Brotherhood on Earth. Lecture material, and titles and subject matter for radio and television transmissions now being sent over various stations are now provided by ‘the people of Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn’. Whilst these statements are dismissed as being completely absurd by some of our members, others either claim to preserve an open mind or feel moved to accept them.
Students of occult science are in general advised to exercise the same extreme caution concerning ideas as invariably characterizes the approach of the student of physical sciences. I therefore wish to utter a grave warning against the danger of undue credulity concerning flying saucers, Adepts as their crews, and communications from outer space from whomsoever they may be said to emanate and by whatever means they are received. An open mind can be valuable in the pursuit of truth, I submit, only if it is also a lucid mind, a logical mind, which judges the credibility of all statements by their reasonableness and general conformity with the discoveries of philosophy and science; for these are the products of rechecked observations and experiments objectively recorded with absolute honesty and without fear or favour.
Personal experience will, however, always be the acid test. This can be achieved only after due obedience to the rules governing inquiry in any field. Self-training and the practice of research according to the laws of evidence also — and, more especially, I suggest — apply where superphysical phenomena are concerned. No generally available physical evidence exists for the presence of human beings in flying saucers or for messages from so-called Cosmic Masters. The only recourse open to the would-be investigator — by obedience to the laws and procedures which govern such development—is to arouse into activity and apply the appropriate occult instruments of research, always, of course, in a state of full waking consciousness.
Guidance from those said to have done this is, however, available and such information as has been granted to us concerning the powers (siddhis) of Adepts indicates that mediums are neither necessary to, nor customarily used by, them as channels of communication, whether to individuals or to humanity at large. The transmission of thought by perfected telepathy, of written documents by occult means, and self-manifestations at any desired part of the Earth are all possible to the Adept whether of this or any other planet in our Solar System. It would thus appear that the potentially uncertain process of speaking through an entranced medium would be neither necessary nor reliable as a means of communication. Exceptions may, however, exist, and such messages must therefore be carefully examined as to reasonableness and harmony with existing knowledge.
One example may suffice. In the year 1952, Cosmic and Solar beings are reported to have initiated specially effective action on behalf of humanity. In spite of the passage of some fifteen years, one fails to observe any marked effects of such ministrations said to be promised by relatively omnipotent and omniscient Intelligences. The world of men remains much the same today as it was at that time, the war in Viet Nam having become even more sanguinary and apparently more inconclusive. Crime and cruelty are on the increase in some countries, and the population explosion still threatens the food supply of mankind. Room for grave doubt, at least, of the authenticity of the fifteen year old proclamation of immediate Adept action thus exists, and harm could be done, I suggest, to our Society by its acceptance by known Theosophists. This damage would be increased and extended by affirmation in conversations, from our platforms, and in our magazines that such communications from outer space are indeed matters of fact.
In conclusion, whilst not forgetting for a moment the freedom of thought granted to all members of The Theosophical Society, I venture to utter a warning to all serious students of Theosophy against undue credulity concerning flying saucers and their supposed passengers.
The term ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ would seem still to describe them correctly. Official investigation is now proceeding and may provide acceptable evidence. Until that time, I suggest, a reservation of judgment is eminently desirable.
The American Theosophist, Vol. 55, Issue 6, June 1967, p. 133
‘Flying Saucers’; Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 29, No. 4, 1967, p. 78.
LEADING THEOSOPHISTS ANSWER
1. H. P. BLAVATSKY:
Theosophia (Greek) — Wisdom religion, or Divine Wisdom. The substratum and basis of all the world religions and philosophies, taught and practised by a few elect ever since man became a thinking being. In its practical bearing, Theosophy is purely Divine Ethics.
2. H. P. BLAVATSKY, in The Secret Doctrine, sets forth three terms involved in the universal process, namely, Theos, chaos and cosmos. In this classification Theos, which is part of a compound word, ‘Theosophy’, is in a category all its own, different from anything else in the cosmos, but present in every particle of it from its beginning to the end. Theos is essentially one with the God of the Koran, who is spoken of as incomparable, there being no substance, entity or force like Him; but it is not God as a person, as we are persons; it is to be regarded rather as a Principle, Presence or Truth. In this sense Theosophy has to be translated as divine or spiritual knowledge, or, more correctly, a Wisdom associated with such knowledge, rather than knowledge of the ordinary sort which can be used for good or ill, according to the will and disposition of the person who uses it.
3. ANNIE BESANT:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (‘An Epitome of Theosophy’)
The direct knowledge of God by man is Theosophy. The realisation of man’s identity of nature with God, as a fact in consciousness, and the subsequent realisation of his identity of nature with all around him, by a blending of his self with their self, a conscious dwelling in their forms as his own — these sum up Theosophy in its fullest and deepest sense.
4. ANNIE BESANT:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (Popular Lectures on Theosophy).
Theosophy gives great principles of conduct, principles capable of application to human life; it holds up great ideals which appeal to human thought and feeling, which will gradually raise humanity out of misery and sorrow — it makes all life intelligible, it explains the differences in men and society, it shows a way of collecting fresh facts from the illimitable storehouse of nature.
5. GEORGE S. ARUNDALE:
‘What Theosophy?’ (Theosophy as Beauty 208)
Theosophy is the great science of understanding, for it is all inclusive, demonstrates truth to be everywhere, and absent nowhere.
6. C. W. LEADBEATER:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (Advantages of Theosophy)
Theosophy puts before us, so far as we can know them, the facts about God and man and the relations between them; and then it instructs us to take these facts into account, and to act in relation to them with ordinary reason and common sense.
7. C. JINARAJADASA:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Theosophist, August, 1949)
Theosophy, the Divine Wisdom resides in all aspects of creation; what ancient and modem science has discovered, and has yet to discover of matter . . . contains a revelation of Truth. The Truth exists in all the religions and mysticisms throughout the ages. Every Holy One who has founded a religion with a gospel of Salvation throws one beam of light to chase away Life’s darknesses. The old philosophers of India were wise men when they proclaimed that the six systems of philosophy are all of them orthodox and within the pale of Hinduism. There is an ‘inmost, the One’, that holds throughout the ages the final secret for each and every one . . . Since the universe is changing from moment to moment, and is growing from more to most, the truths as to the universe must also grow.
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Theosophist, January, 1957)
Within Theosophy are to be found the explanations of all possible mysteries concerning the nature and ways of God; (2) the structure of the universe and the processes of evolution in it; (3) and the complex constitution of man as body, soul and Spirit. . . . Theosophy, the ‘Wisdom of God’, is a declaration of the laws of nature and the universe. Mankind has not discovered everything about the universe. The universe is still developing, and with its future transformations new truths will come into being. Some of these new truths may modify our old knowledge.
9. C. JINARAJADASA:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Theosophist, February, 1947)
Since the Adept Teachers who have given us the intellectual framework of modern Theosophy state that it is a Science based on facts, and not the result of philosophical speculations, it is obvious there can be no fundamental changes in what may be declared to be the ‘principles of Theosophy’.
10. J. EMILE MARCAULT:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Psychology of Intuition)
Theosophy is the philosophy of the new consciousness because it is the synthesis of all particular intuitions, the intuition of the total self.
11. L. W. ROGERS:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (What Theosophy Is)
While it is true that fully to understand Theosophy would be to comprehend the infinite, its great principles are applicable to every thought and act of every human being
12. ERNEST WOOD:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (Ancient Wisdom, December, 1947)
Theosophy is a voyage of discovery for each one of us. We are destined through experience to attain the realisation of Pure life... that untrammeled life, or God, or Theos. . . . God knowers in some degree . . . Theosophy is applied to a set of beliefs regarding the conditions under which this journey is made.
13. E. L. GARDNER:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (Discovery, September, 1953)
Theosophy gives to humanity a rational philosophy of the universe; a living science, a psychology that includes the past, present and the future of mankind; and a living ideal. Since all are part of one great fabric, it is only as each unit acknowledges its debt to the whole, and meets it by mutual service and understanding, that the great pattern can perfect itself.
14. JOSEPHINE RANSOM:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (Theosophical Fundamentals)
Knowledge of the great Laws or T ruths of Creation and Evolution are called Theosophy, the Wisdom of God — That fullness of Consciousness which must be supremely aware of everything — of the immeasurable regions of Time and Space which constitute one or many universes; One who knows or IS the profound mystery of Spirit-Matter.
15. THEODORE BESTERMAN:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (A Dictionary of Theosophy)
Divine wisdom, mysticism, but principally, the essential truth underlying all religious, ethical, philosophical and other teaching.
16. EUROPEAN FEDERATION COMMITTEE ON FUNDAMENTALS:
Theosophy describes the evolution of the system to which we belong.
17. N. SRI RAM:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Theosophist, May, 1962)
If Theosophy is a statement of Truth in its fundamental aspects, and therefore ageless, there can be no question of modem or ancient with regard to it. Matter and Spirit are fundamental, and Theosophy must also be fundamental, being the truth of the whole universal process which is a play between these two poles of existence, a play we may perceive in ourselves as the movements of life and consciousness. The understanding of these movements is the same, whether in the modem or in the ancient world. Theosophy in this sense can never be outdated; it must be as new and fresh and up-to-date as life itself.
18. N. SRI RAM:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Theosophist, May, 1962)
Theosophy is knowledge of the self in all its aspects, as well as an understanding of the'world, the universe around us, not only of its physical rind or skin} .but of the whole, including the hidden factors.
19. N. SRI RAM:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Theosophist, July, 1963)
. . . Embracing the various levels of the cosmos, Theosophy may be regarded as the entirety of truth with regard to the whole process of the cosmos, comprehending every level of existence, and the significance of every phenomenon at each of these levels. It must include the phenomena of consciousness, every movement, nuance and subtlety of it, in addition to what is observable in the field of matter and the processes of life . . .
20. N. SRI RAM:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Theosophist, July, 1963)
If Theosophy is to be thought of as a comprehensive truth, it must include meanings which are purely spiritual, which transcend any formulation based upon our knowledge at lesser levels, although it may also include knowledge of laws, facts and hypotheses which come within the categories of our experience.
21. N. SRI RAM:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (The Theosophist, July, 1963)
Theosophy has never, at any time in the course of the history of the Society, been officially defined or crystallised. On the contrary, the General Council of the Society adopted in December 1950 ... a resolution explicitly calling it a ‘Wisdom undefined and unlimited’, and affirmed the freedom of each and every member to come to his own understanding of it. . . . The Wisdom has to remain undefined, partly because it is unlimited, and partly for the reason that it contains aspects and elements which are beyond the scope of words and our limited thinking.
22. JAMES S. PERKINS:
‘What is Theosophy?’ (Krotona School, September, 1969)
Theosophy is a synthesis of timeless knowledge that through its unique arrangement illumines the universal order and makes possible a grasp of wholeness or totality.
23. JAMES S. PERKINS:
(The Theosophist, March, 1968)
Theosophy is of the nature of long perspectives, and we must employ the right time in measuring our efforts.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 37, No. 3, 1976, p. 55
In three articles, published in The Theosophist during 1945, certain ideas were advanced concerning the work of Theosophical literature and lectures as means of popularising a knowledge of Theosophy. In this second series, the application of Theosophy to aspects of human life is considered. Clearly, it is of the utmost importance that the message of Theosophy to all the diverse types and classes of men in various walks of life be formulated and delivered. For Theosophy has a message of direction, counsel and inspiration to every man whatever his walk and way of life. The work of the Theosophical Society is to bring Theosophy in comprehensible and acceptable form to every human being on earth.
Many great Theosophists of our time have conceived and presented in lectures and literature their concepts of that message. From these and other sources I venture tentatively to suggest, not dogmatically to assert, in outline, the central part of the message of Theosophy to royalty, statesmen, economists, religious leaders, educators, scientists, artists, legislators and lawyers, reformers in every field, and especially humanitarians.
One central message Theosophy delivers to all men. It is that the place in which each finds himself is the right place for him. All are where they are because there, and only there, can the experience be gained from which alone the needed faculties can be developed. For, says Theosophy to mankind, the purpose of human effort and experience is the development of faculty and nothing else. Faculty constitutes the treasure in heaven. The attainment of faculty is therefore the supreme individual preoccupation of the wise man. Whether king or commoner, statesman or scholar, businessman or recluse, each is in the one position in life in which needed faculty can be developed.
This, however, is an anticipation. Before an unbiased examination of the message of Theosophy can be expected from the thoughtful, a clear and readily comprehensible definition of Theosophy itself must be advanced. H. P. Blavatsky has given the following:
‘Wisdom-Religion, or Divine Wisdom’. ‘The substratum and basis of all the world religions and philosophies, taught and practised by a few elect ever since man became a thinking being. In its practical bearing, Theosophy is purely ‘DIVINE ETHICS . . .’ ‘The one religion which underlies all the now existing creeds. That “faith” which, being primordial, and revealed directly to humankind by their progenitors and informing egos . . . required no “grace” nor blind faith to believe, for it was KNOWLEDGE. ... It is on this Wisdom-Religion that Theosophy is based’. ‘As within the word Sophia is implied Creative Art both in form and in life, which is the Supreme Wisdom, so Theosophy might be defined as the Art of God-Craft, that Ancient Wisdom which through every Mystery School of old taught its Initiates the Art of Arts — the release of the Shining Self. ‘Theosophia, or Divine Wisdom, Power and Knowledge’.
‘Theosophy, in its abstract meaning, is Divine Wisdom or the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe, the homogeneity of eternal Good; and in its concrete sense it is the sum total of the same as allotted to man by Nature, on this earth and no more . . .’ ‘Theosophy is Divine Nature, visible and invisible . . .’ ‘Theosophy is the fixed eternal sun.’... ‘It [Theosophy] is the essence of all religion and of absolute truth, a drop of which only underlies every creed’.
Component Theosophical ideas concerning man would appear to be:
The essential human unit of existence, the innermost human Spirit, the Monad, manifests as an Immortal Self or Ego and an outer mortal bodily man or Personality. The Inner Self manifests in and gains experience and knowledge through the outer man. Partly by that means and partly by interior unfoldment it unceasingly evolves, being immune from death. The outer physical man develops up to full bodily maturity and then declines, dies, disintegrates and disappears forever. The faculties and capacities of the outer self are received by and perpetually preserved in the Inner Self, there being but one consciousness and life, that of the Innermost Self, in both. The immediate objective of the Inner Self is development of faculty. The long term objective is all round genius or the development to the highest degree by the Inner Self of all possible human faculty. This attainment is termed Adeptship and is the goal of human existence.
The human Spirit, the Innermost Self, the Monad, is a fragment of Divinity, a concentration of Universal Spirit, with which in origin, nature, substance and potentiality it is identical. It is as a spark in a flame, a drop in an ocean, a microcosm within the Macrocosm. This is the highest truth concerning man. Its full realisation in consciousness is man’s greatest illumination.
At Adeptship, the identity of the Innermost Self of man with the Innermost Self of the Universe, the Atma with the Paramatma, is fully realized. Pseudo-Individuality has been dissolved. The Adept abides in perpetual experience of identity with Universal Spirit. This is Perfection, Nirvana, or Salvation from the illusion of separated Individuality. This is the highest human attainment, the spiritual ‘purpose’ of man’s existence.
The means of attainment consist of interior unfoldment and external experience. Interior unfoldment is continuous, and physical rebirth, or reincarnation, provides the necessary time, opportunity and external experience. A Cosmic law of compensation, partly operating upon man as cause and effect, ensures for him absolute justice. The places and condition in which individuals and races are born, as well as later entered, are exactly the ‘right’ places and conditions, for only in them can justice be done and the experience necessary for the attainment of Adeptship be received.
Men and women have already attained the state of Adeptship. Some of Them remain on earth as Members of a highly organized Fraternity of Agents of the purposes and laws of Life and as Directors of planetary evolution. Certain of These great Sages accept individual men and women for training in the mode of life and thought which increases the rate of evolutionary progress; this is called ‘the Path’, or the Path of Holiness.
The Adepts who teach and train pupils are known as Masters. They can be successfully approached by those who fulfil the necessary conditions and apply for admission to Their Presence in the appointed way. These conditions and the method of application are fully described in ancient, mediaeval and modem Theosophical literature.
Such is the essential Theosophia concerning man. Three laws and an ethical ideal remain to be stated.
They are: Increase follows renunciation of personal acquisition. Decrease follows the adoption and pursuit of the motive of personal acquisition alone. Enduring happiness is attainable only by merging the highest individual interests and aspirations in those of another individual, group, nation, race, Creation as a whole. Wisely directed service alone ensures lasting happiness.
The highest ethical ideal and greatest assurance of rapid progress on the Path of Holiness is fulfilment of duty.
The final test of the verity of all Theosophical ideas consists of their direct superphysical investigation and their experimental application to physical life. The student of Geography first takes information from teachers, books, maps and photographs, still and moving, but must visit the place studied for full knowledge. So also the student of Theosophy, after contacting, comprehending and applying to life its teachings must directly perceive and experience them, in order to become a knower.
The student thus passes through successive phases of discovery, examination, test by reason, application to life, and investigation by direct observation into full experience. This last phase is the most prized, and students of Theosophy, whether in Mystery Schools and occult communities or in the outer world are ever advised to seek that inner perception that individual experience and comprehension by which alone Truth may be known.
Theosophical exegesis, ancient and modem, is replete with guidance in successful passage through the early phases and in the development of the requisite powers and faculties for direct investigation of metaphysical and spiritual ideas. Theosophy is therefore a complete science and a complete philosophy. It also provides a satisfying religious ideal, doctrine and practice.
The Theosophist, Vol. 69, January 1948, p. 278
In essence, the message of Theosophy to all mankind is a revelation of the true meaning and purpose of life which is self-fulfilment.
Each individual, says Theosophy, is potentially a genius, an Adept, and a Director of the evolutionary process in worlds and spheres of increasing number, magnitude and complexity. Every man is destined to become an agent of that inherent will to fuller, freer and ever more beautiful self-expression which is the driving force behind all Creation. Theosophy thus gives to each individual, if he will receive it, a vision of himself, his powers and his destiny, and reveals them as being entirely without limit.
Throughout the unending series of successive Creations by, or external manifestations of, the One Life, man continues individually to unfold in parallel with the Universe of which he is a part. The attainment of awareness, self-manifestation, self-rule and evolutionary directorship in ever-widening fields is the motif of the symphony of human existence. The inherent potentiality is infinite. Infinite in consequence, also, is the degree of unfoldment.
This knowledge is the greatest of all gifts, for it not only gives to the recipient a clear plan of his own life and that of all Nature around him; it also bestows upon him the sense of dignity appropriate to one born spiritually to become a King, with Kingship as the basic attribute of his nature.
‘Become that which you are’ has ever been the message, the, counsel and the guidance given by Sages to their fellow men. Once a man accepts this counsel, directs his thinking and his life thereby, both his character and the conduct of his life become ennobled. Nobility, then, is the ideal of character and conduct presented by Theosophy to man. Theosophy ennobles as well as informs, inspires, and directs.
Theosophy further asserts that the several parts of which the whole Creation is apparently composed are interdependent. The fulfilment of the life of any one part depends upon that of every other. From this unity in multiplicity and its implications there is no escape. It is one of the fundamental facts of existence. Its recognition is, therefore, of the greatest importance. That which obtains throughout all Nature must be recognised by man and applied to every phase of human life.
The key, therefore, to happiness and to harmonious human relationships in terms of intellect, consists of recognition of this fact of unity amid multiplicity. If only for selfish motives, undesirable though they are, it pays every individual to assist the unfoldment of every other individual whom he can reach; for the giving of such aid increases and extends his own evolutionary development.
Yet the sense of separated selfhood is an illusion. A purely selfish motive for any action can only arise from sheer blindness, to, and ignorance of, two facts. The first is, that all units in the scheme of Nature are mutually interdependent for evolutionary progress, happiness and well being. The second fact is that the life, intelligence and inherent will to unfoldment is identical in all.
Once these two facts are realized, the greatest single cause of human suffering, unhappiness and seeming failure is removed. That cause is the delusion of Self-Individuality as a unit separated from every other, with a different life and a different objective from the rest.
Through successive ages the Sages have delivered to humanity this happiness-giving and health-giving truth, have taught that a recognition of the indivisible unity of all beings and the application of this truth to thought, motive and conduct are the only assurances of happiness and health. On the other hand, failure to recognise that unity, expressed as individualistic, separative thought, motive and conduct, brings unhappiness as inevitably as night follows day. This part of the message of Theosophy to mankind has been inescapably demonstrated by the course of events in the history of international relationships.
From this statement of basic component ideas of Theosophy the value of the message is immediately apparent: The individual who perceives their truth, and applies them to the conduct of life, will with absolute certainty enjoy ever increasing health, happiness and fulfilment. He will experience a growing sense of interior development of increasing spiritual and intellectual power, and will advance with relative swiftness to the human goal of Adeptship in which alone is perfect happiness and perfect peace.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 10, No. 2, 1949, p. 34
The speed of air travel can sharpen the contrasts with which the traveler is confronted as he moves from one country to another, or even from one part to another of the same country. Last year, in East, Central and South Africa, I found directly opposite approaches to the problem of colour. The right of Africans to Africa and the responsibility of non-Africans to educate and train Africans for the eventual administration in freedom of their own country are recognized in certain regions. Yet the determined perpetuation of white supremacy is the implemented political doctrine of the reigning government in another — a contrast indeed. In New Zealand, where one arrives after a relatively brief flight, the problem of colour does not exist. All citizens are New Zealanders, enjoying completely equal rights in any field which ability enables them to enter. Racial tension, bitterness, hate and fear between people of different complexions, amidst which one was living in one part of Africa, simply do not exist in New Zealand.
The fact of human brotherhood, although not its modes of expression, does not need, happily, to be argued in these pages which I am privileged to write. Those who read them recognize brotherhood as a ruling principle of life, effective not only in every country and among all peoples on this planet, but everywhere throughout creation. Unity and inter-harmonization are theosophical fundamentals. Indeed, the brotherhood of life is seen by many Theosophists as a cosmic fact. Man and universe are regarded as one. Man is in constant inward relationship with Cosmos, and realization of oneness with fellowmen, all Nature, all Creation, is found to transform human life, to pervade mind and heart with a deep, quiet, intuitive composure, even amidst the pressing problems confronting the individual and the race. This realization is attained by the regular practice of Raja Yoga, which can lead to the continuous experience of the close interrelation of Cosmos and man. When this oneness is recognized as ‘a basic feature of creation’ (Goethe), distinctions of ‘race, creed, sex, caste or colour’ lose their power either to perplex or to divide. This will surely prove to be the ultimate solution of all problems of human relationship-direct, continuing experience of the interior unity behind the external differences of races, nations, classes and individuals; for realization of oneness is the ultimate solution of two of modem man’s besetting problems — colour and war.
H. P. Blavatsky taught both the unity of all life and those interharmonisation’s between man and Cosmos called ‘Correspondences’. In The Secret Doctrine, she gives key charts showing some of these mutual resonances. Studying these charts, one finds, for example, that a particular type of tissue of man’s physical body, an organ therein, a chakra, a super-physical body, and its functions as a vehicle of consciousness are all in mutual resonance with a plane and a kingdom of Nature, a planet and a sign of the Zodiac. All of these, within and without man, are intimately unified, both by the presence within all of them of the same Aspect of Deity and the same Divine Life and by constant functional interaction between these parts of man and corresponding parts of Creation. Similarly, man’s pituitary gland and frontal brain tissue and functions, his brow chakra and his Causal Body vibrate on the same frequencies of oscillation as the Higher Mental Plane of the Earth, the planet Venus and its Star Angel, the Zodiacal Signs Taurus and Libra and their Archangelic Regents.
A Greek philosopher, as also Goethe, wrote in effect that man can only perceive the sun by virtue of the presence of the sun’s fire within his eyes. There is nothing without man, which is not at the same time within him, in terms both of unity of essence and power and of power to vibrate on the same frequencies. Each note of the musical scale, each colour, number, metal, jewel and occult, subtle element on earth is in mutual resonance with a corresponding part of man’s make-up and function, as also with a planet, a Sign and an Aspect of the Supreme Deity.
Theosophy also includes the idea that these inward relations of the universe and man can in fact be directly perceived and known by man, can, and ultimately will, become for all men direct experiences in consciousness. When this is achieved, when it is realized that man and universe are aspects of one and the same cosmic phenomenon, then the pressing problems of race, nation and complexion now besetting humanity, and even seeming to threaten continuing human physical existence, will not only be solved; they will disappear as problems, as the African racial problem is at this present time non-existent in New Zealand.
Slowly, all too slowly, the human Mind is awakening to this realization and we may, I think, justly consider that The Theosophical Society has played and will continue to play its enlightening and educative part in this development. By popularizing the principle and exemplifying the practice expressed in its First Object, The Theosophical Society has made and is making an important contribution to the problems of colour and war. Intellectual recognition of this master key to the universe, with its two wards of unity and interharmonization, must, however, eventually deepen into direct experience. This is occurring at this time and the establishment of the United Nations and the many co-operative movements for brotherhood, national and international, are evidences of the fact.
This relatively gradual development has, however, not proved sufficient to prevent two world, and various minor, wars in this century. At the present time, the problem of war is most urgent. The very survival of civilization, if not of the human race, on earth is in question. Man’s discovery of methods of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion and the fact that humanity is still divided into two powerfully armed groups, able at any moment to strike without warning and produce almost total destruction, constitute an acute and dangerous crisis in human life on this planet. While this is true, the very power of almost total annihilation is being regarded by many thinkers as a possible and even compulsive deterrent to any nation contemplating aggression.
The existence and the work of The Theosophical Society at this time are, therefore, of very great importance, as Those Who initiated them in the last century doubtless foresaw. Each of the Three Objects is of profound significance and must be promulgated. At this critical time, however, the First Object concerns continued human survival on this planet and so would appear to assume paramount importance. The oneness of Life, the brotherhood of man, and Einstein’s dictum, ‘Each man exists for the sake of other men’, are clearly truths which greatly need to be implanted, embedded as seed thoughts, in the mind of modem man. Humanity must be helped to realize that in truth there is ‘a burning oneness binding everything’. Then the two problems of colour and war will cease to exist because solved within the human mind.
The American Theosophist, Vol. 44, Issue 5, May 1956, p. 90
The word of my title is from the Greek language and literally means ‘first-molded or stamped’. The ideal, abstract or essential ‘idea’.A copy or image of a perfect original in the supra-sensual world. The Divine conceiving from which arises the divine ‘idea’ of the whole universe in time and space and the governing power in creation.
The same concept is to be found in Kabbalism where we read: ‘Indeed the whole creation is but a transcript, and God when He made the world, did but write it out of that copy which He had of it in His divine understanding from all eternity. The lesser worlds (mikrokosmos) or men, are but transcripts of the greater (the makrokosmos), as children and books are the copies of themselves’ (Isaac Myer, Qabbalah. Quoted from The Secret Wisdom of the Qabbalah, p. 39 J. F. C. Fuller).
The Zohar records that: ‘Simon ben Yohai [reputed author of the Zohar] stretched out his hands and cried:
‘Now ponder well upon all that I have this day revealed unto you! And know that none of these celestial palaces are light, nor are they spirits, nor are they souls, nor are they any form that may be seized hold of by any of the senses. Know that the Palaces are Thoughts — seen — through — curtains. Take away the thought, and the Palace becomes nothing that the mind can grasp nor the imagination picture! And know, finally, that all the mysteries of the Faith lie in this doctrine: that all that exists in the Upper World is the Light of Thought—the Infinite. Lift the curtain, and all matter appears immaterial! Lift another curtain, and the immaterial becomes even more spiritual and sublime! As each succeeding curtain is lifted we are transported to ever-higher planes of sublimity until the Highest is reached!’ (The Zohar, Bension, pp. 210-211.)
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 28, No. 1, 1967, p. 17
The Monadic Purpose
There are said to be seven races of Monads. Every human being belongs to one or other of them, though the attributes and powers of all Rays and of all other Monads exist potentially in every individual.
There is an unique Divine plan, Divine purpose, and Divine place or ‘mansion’ for every single Monad. Within each there is a special combination of powers, a particular genius, a highly individual potentiality nowhere repeated or reproduced anywhere in the whole Universe.
So each human individual is indeed an unique creation and if in our personal consciousness we can but discover our special Monadic genius, recognise its gradual self-revelation in and to the Ego and Personality, then by collaboration, we can both achieve our maximum progress and make our greatest contribution to our time.
The more we make manifest the Monad, the more of the Monad will there be to become manifest. As this ideal is lived, in the very highest — the Monadic sense — we shall see that ‘happy is the man who has found his work’. Recognition of ourselves as Monads, even if only in creative imagination at first, and realisation of the Monad’s supreme potential and purpose, bestow mental perspective. Purposeful and continuing activity is then more easily sustained through periods of karmic adversity, fatigue and aridity.
Discovery of one’s particular Monadic Ray and subrays — recognition of one’s evolutionary line as it were — provides an unfailing guidance in work, in self-training, choice of yoga and general strategic plan of action.
Human life may be likened to the voyage of a ship. The owners are represented by the Monad who knows and instructs the Captain Ego, (Atma-Buddhi-Manas) concerning both the whole voyage and the successive ports to be used and the most desirable routes thereto (incarnations).
The Captain of the ship human life (Ego) is on duty in the chart room (Causal Body) where the world’s oceans, shipping routes, landmarks, lighthouses and buoys are all charted from preceding experience (fruits of past lives). The ship itself is the physical body with brain-mind for quartermaster (steersman) and basic characteristics and developed capacities as crew. As on shipboard, acceptance of orders and complete co-ordination of effort by all concerned are essential to a successful voyage, so in life, co-ordinated action in recognition of Monadic purpose and Egoic direction are essential to maximum achievement.
Knowledge that there is a plan for every Monad, discovery of one’s own Monadic purpose and goal and a genuine attempt to follow and fulfil the true Monadic law, constitute the one assurance of happiness and success.
Even if through ignorance or wilfulness or under great stress we do go wrong, the Monad and life experience together are sure to bring us to the right road again. Even more good use can be made of the error, and its results prove to be educative.
The corrective process increases both vision and capacity.
A Persian aphorism says:
‘God writes straight on crooked lines’.
Many other writers have stated these truths, largely regarding the Monadic purpose as a pursuit of happiness.
Here are useful quotations:
Plotinus: Once a man is a sage, the means of happiness are within.
Thompson: Real glory springs from the quiet conquest of ourselves. And without that the conqueror is naught but the first slave.
Plato: He who is to be wise and to possess happiness draws his good from the Supreme, fixing his gaze on That, becoming like That, living by That.
Plotinus: To put happiness in actions is to put it in things that are outside virtue and outside the Soul. For the Soul’s expression is not in action but in Wisdom, in a contemplative operation within itself; and this, this alone, is happiness.
Horace Bushwell: Every human soul has a complete and perfect plan cherished for it in the heart of God — a Divine biography marked out which it enters into life to live. This life, rightly unfolded, will be a complete and beautiful whole, an experience led on by God and unfolded by His secret nurture of the world. We live in the Divine thought. We fill a place in the everlasting plan of God’s Intelligence. We never sink below His care — never drop out of His council.
The Monad is the seat of the will. From the Monad comes both the power to make and keep the irrevocable resolve to attain swiftly and the impulse to make that vow — the veritable Father in Heaven. To seek the Monadic Self, to surrender thereto and to ratify that surrender in thought, word, and deed, is to find happiness and fulfilment. The Monad is the true teacher, inspirer and redeemer. To embody and make manifest in daily life the irresistible Monadic will is to be enfired with one dominating purpose, which is Adeptship.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 44, No. 3, 1983, p. 57
Kabbalism includes the idea of the unity and interaction of the Macrocosm, or universe, and its transcendent and immanent Deity with the microcosm of man, material and spiritual, and the close similarity between the processes by which the powers within both become manifest and evolve. Eliphas Levi said: ‘The mystery of the earthly and mortal man is after the mystery of the supernal and immortal One’.
H. P. Blavatsky, referring in The Secret Doctrine to this identity between man and God, wrote: ‘To the learner who would study the Esoteric Sciences with their double object: (a) of proving Man to be identical in spiritual and physical essence with both the Absolute Principle and with God in Nature; and (b) of demonstrating the presence in him of the same potential powers as exist in the creative forces in Nature’.
According to this teaching, the whole universe with all its parts, from the highest plane of Adi to physical nature, is interlocked, interwoven, to make a single whole, one body, one organism, one life, one consciousness, cyclically evolving under one law.
All the ‘organs’ or parts of this Macrocosm, although apparently separated in space and by planes of manifestation, are in fact harmoniously interrelated and interacting. The whole Syrian Cosmos, which may include the Zodiac, many Solar Systems, planets, kingdoms of nature, planes of nature, elements, orders of beings, colours, rays, etc., is a co-ordinated whole, because all these parts of the Cosmos, and also their constituent parts, are in ‘correspondence’ or harmonious interaction or mutual resonance with each other. The basis for this grouping is numerical.
Certain ‘organs’ or parts are more intimately grouped together than others. They resonate harmoniously with each other like the notes of a chord, sharing a common, basic frequency of oscillation. In Occultism they are said to ‘correspond’, e.g., a zodiacal sign, a planet, an element, a colour, a principle of man, a chakra, a type of tissue, and a part of the physical body of man, will all be vibrating on a common frequency.
Knowledge of these correspondences provides a key to the understanding of the universe, or man’s place therein and relationship therewith, and of human development, and is therefore the key to the solution of human problems, such as health and disease, for example. It is the basic science behind all life and the key to all magic, revealing the rationale of both astrology and karma.
Kabbalism also enunciates the doctrine in its own somewhat peculiar language; for the Zohar (1 fol. 156 b. Soncino Ed. Vol. II) states that 'All that which is found [or exists] upon the Earth has its spiritual counterpart also to be found on High, and there does not exist the smallest thing in the world which is not itself attached to something on High, and is not found in dependence upon it. When the inferior part is influenced, and that which is set over it in the Superior world is equally [influenced], all are perfectly united together’.
Again and again is this idea repeated in different words, and from it is derived the Talmudic maxim, ‘If thou wilt know the invisible, have an open eye for the visible’, which means that this world is the true Bible which can lead us back to God or reality: ‘for all which is contained in the Lower World is also found in the Upper [in prototype]. The Lower and Upper reciprocally act upon each other’. Or, as it is written in the Sepher Shephathal:
‘All that which is on the earth is also found above [in perfect prototype], and there is not anything so insignificant in the world that does not depend upon another above: in such a manner, that if the lower moves itself the higher corresponding to it moves towards it. As to the number, therefore, of the different species of creatures, which are enumerated below, the same number is to be found in the upper roots’.
The American Theosophist, Vol. 55, Issue 10, October 1967, p. 242
DIVINE OR ADEPT INTERVENTION IN THE WORKING OUT OF KARMA
Motive is said to be a decisive factor in the effect produced by any action. This would seem to apply at the very highest levels of conduct. A person might endeavour to live a good life, wholly with a view to the attainment of everlasting bliss and the avoidance of future suffering. Such an aspirant might even think that some personal consideration would be given on account of the goodness in the mode of living, that some special personal credit might be given by someone of high authority. In Theosophy, as far as I understand it, the concept of a personal Deity who parcels out favours according to His own idea of things is not, I understand, very acceptable to the mind of the philosopher, who seems to prefer the concept of a strictly impersonal law. God, for the spiritual philosopher, is primarily law, so that it is not a question of credit being meted out or withheld — it is purely a matter of cause and effect. A ball thrown against a wall will bounce back, and the distance to which it will bounce, as also the direction and everything else that happens to it, is governed by certain laws of dynamics, which are strictly impersonal. So, also, as far as my understanding of it goes, is Karma or the law of action and reaction. To follow up the questioner’s thought, motive, it is truly said, does play a decisive part so far as effects of actions are concerned. Indeed, motive can be more decisive than the action itself.
Let us take for example, the case of Jack the Ripper, a criminal who many years ago went about certain districts in London at night attacking lonely wayfarers. With his knife he ripped the abdomens of a great number of people in a whole series of murders. Now, a surgeon performs that very action continually for most of his life, but how different the motive. The surgeon seeks to heal and to help, and it is that inner motive which is decisive in determining the karmic effect.
As to the process of doing good wholly with a view to personal spiritual reward, that selfish motive would reduce the beneficent effects of the good life and the good deeds. By example and precept, our Lord Christ called upon us to display the utter-most unselfishness, serving always without thought of reward. According to his teaching, if a person seeks to borrow something, give him twice what he asks; if he asks you to walk a mile with him, go two; if he wants your coat give him your cloak also, and selflessly, as a ministration of love. In this statement of the ideal, unselfishness is carried much further. Not only is there to be no motive of gain, but more than that, generous self-giving, even if it involves personal loss, is inculcated. So also, counselled the Lord Buddha. He taught that the first steps towards Buddhahood consisted of the birth within the mind of the thought of attaining enlightenment for the sake of others. Until that thought dawned in the mind, He taught, the possibility of reaching Nirvana did not actively exist, thought ever inherent within the Monad, the Divine Spark, the Dweller in the Innermost. All through both Buddhism and Hinduism one finds the teaching that one should never seek Nirvana— eternal blessedness — for personal benefit; for that very motive would bar the way to conscious absorption in the Spiritual Soul of the universe, the highest state of spiritual bliss in absolute immortality. Thus it would seem that the motive for action which brings the greatest credit, as you put it (I would rather say the most beneficent, long-term effects), is that of spontaneously doing good for good’s sake, for love’s sake, and without thought of return.
Great Masters of the Wisdom are said to inspire rather than direct. They are not rulers of fate in the sense of being almighty. They shed a Spiritualizing influence abroad and They direct only in the sense of offering inspiration. Even so, as in the Biblical story the rich young ruler was left free, so are all nations and all men. Furthermore, the Masters cannot violate karmic law. Even the Lord ‘could do no mighty work in certain cities because of their unbelief (Mark 6:5-6). If then, nations are helped by the Masters of the Wisdom, it is because their karma permits it. Profound and complex issues are however involved in the operation of karmic law. The receipt of proffered help, as also the capacity to respond, are two of them, but I cannot on this occasion go more fully into these aspects of the subject.
Presumably it is less a question of what an Adept could do than of the wisest course to follow and of the working out of the Law of Cause and Effect. These are amongst the decisive factors. Even in intervention in the affairs of the world, They the Mighty Ones cannot on behalf of others contravene the operation of the inviolable Law of Cause and Effect. If a third World War be within the karma of humanity, though every effort be made, it cannot by phenomenal means and force, as far as I understand it, be stayed. The great movement to produce a United Nations of the world is surely inspired by Them that is one of Their ways of trying to prevent a third world war. They inspire humanity to recognize Brotherhood and to unite for world peace. They flood the world-mind with a vision of light and life and beauty and unity. By such means, rather than by some occult phenomena, the Lord of the World and His Hierarchy of Adepts seek to save us from ourselves and it would appear, despite ourselves.
As far as man is concerned, this ministration by the Elder Brethren of Humanity thus takes many forms. Mankind is helped in every department of life individual, national, and international. Man’s deepest and most sacred aspirations are inspired and fostered by Them. The flash of inspiration which comes to the great scientist after years of patient experimenting, revealing to him the theory or the law he tried to find out; the illumination and experience of a great truth coming to the philosopher in the silence of his contemplation; the vision of beauty seen by the artist and embodied in his work; the purity of the saint and the power of the magician or priest, as also the fiery enthusiasm of the reformer all these receive stimulus and inspiration from appropriate Adept Officials. Superhuman Beings also influence world affairs in general by a ceaseless intellectual pressure towards idealism; the direct radiation of seed-thoughts, principles, ideas; perpetually shedding intellectual light, product of Their own illumination, into the thought world; strengthening, even stiffening, the morale of every good man and woman, and especially idealists and leaders of beneficent national and world movements; direct intervention whenever the evolutionary movement and the well-being of nations and individuals render it
desirable and possible; taking and training Disciples into Initiates, and Initiates into Adepts; by founding such movements as the Theosophical Society, designed to shed the light of knowledge into the mind of man.
The Fraternity is relatively small in number. Each Initiate and Adept is as a catalytic agent on the planes of pure will, wisdom, intuition and intellect. Moreover, when an Adept arises from the ranks of the Initiates of this planet, human evolution is quickened, the whole of humanity being then lifted nearer its goal. Indeed, the whole of manifested Life in the four Kingdoms of Nature receives an evolutionary quickening. The innumerable individual activities of Adepts designed to these ends differ according to the necessities of the times, the special tasks entrusted to the Elder Brothers of the race, and to the Office held in the Hierarchy of Initiates and Adepts.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 21, No. 3, 1960, p. 46
A carefully guarded scientific achievement of the greatest significance was made public on August 7th, 1945. It consisted of the discovery and practical application of means of liberating on a large scale the energy within the atom. The first use to which the knowledge was put took the form of a bornb of destructive power far surpassing that of the largest hitherto used.
In this article I do not propose to discuss the morality of the atomic bornb. To fully appreciate and share the feelings of those who fear its future military use and shrink from its recent release upon Japan. I can also follow the reasoning of those who decided to save lives by procuring a rapid victory. The perspective of time and the record of history will either justify or condemn those allied leaders who had to make the dread decision. The scope of this article is deliberately limited to an examination of the discovery of atomic energy and to suggestions concerning some of its possible implications.
A famous New Zealander contributed greatly to this great scientific advance. He was Baron Rutherford of Nelson, and his first discovery was that radioactivity, already discovered and demonstrated by Crookes, was due to the actual but natural disintegration of the atoms of radioactive substances such as uranium, and that as a result, transmutation of one element into another continually occur. Rutherford thus discovered in Nature the Master-Alchemist. Next he announced that the atom was in reality a miniature Solar System, that the infinitely small followed the same laws as the infinitely great. He showed that the central nucleus of an atom held satellites at proportional distances to those at which the Sun held its planets. Rutherford’s third great discovery was that the atom could be artificially disintegrated by a concentrated bornbardment of special rays. Such, in part, was the contribution to the advancement of human knowledge made by the great Baron Rutherford of Nelson.
From the continuance of these researches, successful bornbardment has so disturbed the equilibrium and altered the matter-energy relationship of the atom that a tremendous release or dispersion of atomic power has occurred. Yet to the scientist, the atom is far more a symbol than a comprehensible body with a tangible existence. A complex formula is required to represent the vortex of waves or the combined concept of a particle and waves of electrical energy which apparently constitutes the scientific concept.
Laymen may, however, think of the particle as a minute spherical hole in the ether, in the centre of which hole a central proton or concentration of atomic mass charged with positive electricity is established. This corpuscle of positive energy is surrounded by a throbbing mist of rapidly moving bodies. On investigation, these latter are found to the electrons or concentrations of negative electricity each having two motions. Each is revolving on its own axis and at the same time travelling with extreme rapidity on its orbit around the proton. At once the image of the Solar system forms in the mind. This comparison is justifiable, for, as Rutherford pointed out, the structure of the Solar System with its central Sun and surrounding planets is in fact reproduced throughout Nature.
Comprehension of the nature of the ‘force’ within the atom which makes and maintains ‘the hole in the ether’ can only he gained by a study of the teachings of Occult Science, founded as they are upon research as accurate, but far more penetrating and continued for far longer periods, than those of modem physical science. Through millennia of centuries, men and women have submitted themselves to the necessary self-discipline and self-training needed to awaken those interior powers of perception by the aid of which the normally invisible forces and states of matter of the Universe may be penetrated and explored.
Under the guidance of their evolutionary Elders, Who are the living Adepts of this planet, such occult students have continuously pursued their researches. As a result, a vast body of knowledge has been built up concerning the Universe, its Deific Intelligences, Man and the relation between these three. Most of this knowledge has been carefully, nay sedulously, preserved against misuse. Only men and women who take irrevocable vows of self-sacrifice and of service to the Divine Will have been permitted gradually to acquire this secret knowledge.
In the light of this unchanging rule that knowledge of the secret powers of Nature is granted to the worthy alone, it seems to me to be of immense significance that the modem scientist has been permitted to receive, or as he has the right to think, discover, a fraction of this knowledge and so gain access to a measure of the mighty power which knowledge bestows. This permission seems to be a clear indication of the evolutionary position of modem man. The fact of the discovery appears to demonstrate that mankind is now ready for a certain measure of knowledge and of power which hitherto has been withheld or enveiled in the greatest secrecy. Despite the danger, not wholly avoided, that man might turn the knowledge to destructive purposes, the Masters began long ago to turn the minds of certain scientists, especially Crookes, towards the possibility of etheric and super-etheric states of matter. They must have foreseen the possibility of misuse, but would seem to have judged that the ultimate benefits outweighed the disadvantages. Both the cyclotron and the atomic bornb were possibilities inherent in the original discovery. Whilst the Masters could not have aided the invention of the bornb, They do appear to have granted the premier discovery to the ‘safer’ nations and withheld it from those certain to turn it to destructive purposes.
The Adept Keepers of the Sacred Light throughout the ages have been criticized for Their protective secrecy and for the establishment of Mystery Schools open only to the elect. The revelation of the destructive power within the atom now, unhappily, unleashed for destructive purposes, answers finally all such criticism. I suggest that the fact that the discovery has now been permitted may be interpreted as a sign that humanity has been adjudged by its true Guardians and Teachers as ready to be safely entrusted with one of Nature’s mightiest powers. This is indeed a most heartening fact, a most encouraging conclusion to be drawn from current events.
The occult teaching concerning the force within the atom is that the root substance of space, or prakriti, from which Cosmoi are built, functions as a receptacle and vehicle for creative energy. The energizing and fructifying power is that of Spirit, or Purusha, from which emanates continuously an immeasurable volume of inconceivably potent electrical creative power or Fohat.
This force is drawn from an infinite Source or Parabrahman. During creative night, that Source is relatively quiescent. The Cosmic generators do not revolve. At creative dawn, the vast Cosmic powerhouse leaps into activity. The newly emanated First Logos, like a Cosmic Engineer, symbolically, turns the switch. Thereafter, hitherto quiescent virginal, but now energized, space begins to become Mother Nature in all Her fruitfulness. Her first fruits are primordial atoms, which constitute the root substance, the protyle, of a Solar System of Adi-Tattva. These first atoms become the parents of all successive atoms, the ‘mentally’ conceived Universe being densified plane by plane until the physical or densest state is reached.
We now come to the heart of the subject of atomic power. At each successive densification, the constriction and compression of the mighty original power increase. In consequence, in the physical atom, Cosmic Electricity exists at its greatest degree of concentration and compression. It is then held in that state by resistless Will, all-knowing Mind, and impersonal Law.
Under certain conditions, now discovered, the containing walls of the physical atom can be broken from without. The highly concentrated and compressed power within is then released. Greatly simplified, this is what the physical scientist has now done.
C. W. Leadbeater describing the ultimate physical atom says: ‘An atom is roughly heart-shaped and looks as though it were constructed of wires like a birdcage. Each wire is a spiral, made in turn of still finer spirals, which we call spirillae. The atom is in reality a vortex, formed by the flow of the divine life force. If that force were for a moment withdrawn, the atom would instantly disappear — would cease to be, just as a little column of dust and leaves whirling at a street comer falls to pieces when the wind drops’.
What is the nature of that Divine Source, Being, or Principle, from which so great a power emanates? Inconceivably mighty must that Conscious agent be Which brought into existence and continually maintains and sustains Universes and Cosmoi. For Cosmic Electricity is not only all atom forming power. It is also the power which is focussed as an electro-magnetic ball at the physical centre of our Universe and is known to us as the Sun. It is also that limitless, and ever-renewed energy which ceaselessly is being discharged into our System by and from the Sun, an energy by which the planets and their inhabitants are enabled to live. How mighty, then, must he that Divine Intelligence by which in one of His many Aspects, God begins now to he realized! As Master Engineer as well as Master Designer, of this powerhouse which is our Solar System must ‘God’ be conceived.
No human concept of that God-like Being, that immutable Law and vast Intelligence Which must be presumed to be at the heart of all creation can ever be adequate. We see now why the Sages and Teachers of Old, and the occult scientists throughout the ages, ever warn against limiting this Deific Principle to a man-made image of God, a personal Deity in human guise. Such personification must inevitably desecrate and belittle that Power Which is above every name and every human concept and is: ‘everywhere, in every atom of the visible as of the invisible Cosmos; in, over, and around every invisible atom and visible molecule; for it is the mysterious power of evolution and involution, the omnipresent, omnipotent and even omniscient creative potentiality — it is the one Law, giving the impulse to manifested, eternal, and immutable Laws’.
In what way then shall we puny yet potentially mighty men use this newly discovered power which seems destined to transform both our civilization and our lives. In Man: Whence How and Whither, published as long ago as 1913, before modem man had publicly begun to conceive of harnessing atomic power, C. W. Leadbeater, describing a centre of advanced civilization destined to come into existence some 700 years hence, wrote: ‘One feature which makes an enormous difference is the way in which power is supplied. There are no longer any fires anywhere, and therefore no heat, no grime, no smoke, and hardly any dust. The whole world has evolved by this time beyond the use of steam, or any other form of power which needs heat to generate it. There seems to have been an intermediate period when some method was discovered of transferring electrical power without loss for enormous distances, and at that time all the available water-power of the earth was collected and syndicated. . . Tremendous as was the power available in that way, it has now been altogether transcended, and all that elaborate arrangement has been rendered useless by the discovery of the best method to utilize the force concealed in every atom of physical matter’.
How great was the vision which as long ago as 1895 published the results of researches in occult chemistry and in 1913 foresaw and described man’s discovery and use of atomic energy.
Man’s present and future responsibilities must now be considered. Here a knowledge of Theosophy proves of the greatest value. For the well-instructed Theosophist will find no difficulty in believing that the original discovery in the last century of atomic energy was foreseen and even assisted by the Elder Brethren of humanity. For They are the Adept Directors of evolution upon our planet. They were the source of the guidance to the receipt of which so many world leaders have borne testimony and of which Mr Churchill more than once affirmed his realization. So also it must have been They Who prevented the German scientists from achieving atomic disintegration and Who at least permitted Allied scientists to do so.
If this really was the case, then the decision thus to intervene can only have been made after most careful consideration by the greatest of the Adepts. What, may we assume was the factor which proved decisive? Envisage with me, for a moment, the presumed position of the Adept Guardians of knowledge of Nature’s secrets when once the second World War broke out. It was most necessary to ensure that the Powers of Darkness should be decisively defeated in this second great conflict. The granting of permission for the discovery of the way to release atomic energy by the Allies, and its withholding from the Axis powers can, I think, be seen as an occult contribution to the great victory which has been won.
Despite the individualism characteristic of the age, mankind must have proved its right in the eyes of the Masters to this assistance and to this knowledge. What was the nature of that proof? It was, I submit, one great modem and recent achievement. This was the power and willingness of some forty nations on earth sacrificially to unite against aggression. The fact behind the phrase ‘The United Nations’ constituted the demonstration. Even though he did twice use it destmctively, man, having achieved a large measure of unity in the international field and definitely planning its postwar continuance, could safely be entrusted with atomic power.
Furthermore, the atomic bornb, decisive in both winning and shortening the war, is of immeasurable value as a deterrent to aggressors. Even the wickedest warmonger would fear now to go to war. For these considerations, it seems reasonable to assume, the trend of scientific research could safely be directed towards the discovery of the power within the atom.
Not for one moment do I wish to suggest that the Adepts directly inspired the atomic bornb with its appalling destructiveness. That is man’s application of the discovery. The cyclotron, or atom-splitting machine, may, however, have been within the range of legitimate research. The Adepts would never even remotely inspire the destmctive use of any of Nature’s energies. They inspire in general, open human minds to principles, offer perfect ethical counsel, but leave man to direct the energies he discovers. Never could an Adept be conceived of either as using such destruction as that of the atomic bornb for beneficent purposes, or as ever aiding man to do so.
After much thought, I venture to advance a further suggestion, however strange it may at first appear. Remembering the Divine
Source of the power, its inconceivable potency and the decisive influence that it has had in world affairs, one might almost conceive that a veritable, if impersonal, manifestation of the Divine had occurred. The mighty power hidden in the atom from the beginning of Creation and the dazzling light and fire in and by which it is now reveals might almost be described as a Divine descent amongst men, a Self-revelation of an Aspect of the Deity. Not by overshadowing a single human agent but by the gradual, illumination of scientific minds does this latest Avatara seem to have come about. Not as a Superhuman Being of divine wisdom and love, but as an impersonal manifestation of infinite power, not in its Second but in its First Aspect, the Threefold Deity might almost be said in these days to have manifested Itself to mankind. As irresistible fiery power, the modem Messiah may be thought of as appearing on earth to bring aid to Aryan man engaged in the development of his own fiery principle, the power of the mind. Almost it would seem that, like Zarathustra of old, the Lord cometh robed in flame!
In whatever guise the dynamic event be seen, it is clear that the Nations now have the grave responsibility of justifying the tmst and the power which have been bestowed upon them. Capacity for self-sacrifice and unity were displayed by the Allied peoples to whom the power itself and the victory it brought were vouchsafed. Sacrifice and unity, therefore, remain the essential qualities by which humanity can preserve itself from self-destruction and move forward into a new level of consciousness and a new order and mode of human life on earth.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 6, No. 4, 1945, p. 103
Now that space exploration by man has ceased to be theoretical, the theosophical teaching concerning the components of the Solar System may prove to be of interest to some students.
At once the terms Planetary Scheme, Chain, Round, Globe and Root Race are met with and need to be defined.
The Secret Doctrine tells of. . . the seven Globes of our Chain and that 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’. The quotation is from Esoteric Buddhism founded, in its turn, upon teaching received from the Mahatmas by Mr A. P. Sinnett.
According to this and some later expositions, a Solar System is said to consist of ten Planetary Schemes. One Scheme, generally named according to its physically visible representative, consists of seven Chains of Globes. In terms of time a Chain consists of the passage of the Life-wave seven times around its seven Globes. Each such passage is called a Round, the completion of the seventh ending the life of the Chain. The Globes of a Round are both superphysical and physical and are arranged in a cyclic pattern, three being on a descending arc, three on an ascending arc and the middle, the fourth Globe, being the densest of all and the turning point.
The active period of each of these units, from Solar System to Globe, called Manvantara, is succeeded by a passive period of equal duration, called Pralaya. The completion of the activity of the seventh Globe of the seventh Round of the seventh Chain brings to an end the activity of a Planetary Scheme. Our Earth’s Scheme is now in its fourth Round of its fourth Chain, and the Life-Wave is halfway through its period of activity on the fourth Globe, the physical Earth.
Thus, the densest possible field of activity is now occupied by Spirit, and so by the Monads or Spirits of men. The resistance of matter is at its greatest in this epoch, and this is the explanation of the difficulties of human life at this period. The occupation of a physical planet by man consists of seven racial epochs, and phases of evolutionary development. Throughout this work these are referred to as Root Races.
According to that portion of occult philosophy which is concerned with the evolution of both the Immortal Soul and the mortal Personality of man, an orderly progression is revealed. The basic rule is stated to be that the indwelling, conscious life in the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms of Nature advances to the kingdom above during a period of one Chain. Since each Chain is composed of seven Rounds, each Round is expected to be characterised by progress through subsidiary stages of the ultimate attainment for the Chain as a whole. Applied to man, the Monad has evolved Chain by Chain through mineral (First Chain), plant (Second Chain), and animal (Third Chain) into the individualised, self-conscious state characteristic of a human being of the Fourth Chain. This is man’s present position, and by the end of each of the remaining Rounds of this Fourth Chain a certain degree of development will be attained. These stages chiefly concern the further unfoldment of capacity for awareness and effective action — spiritual, intellectual, cultural and physical. Thus occult anthropology presents an orderly and systematic scheme of development for the life in all kingdoms of Nature.
At the end of the Seventh Root Race of this Fourth Round on Earth, the mass of humanity will have achieved the level now known as Initiateship or spiritual regeneration, characterised by Christ-consciousness which includes realisation of the unity of life and the resultant compassion for all living beings. At the end of the Seventh Round the human race now evolving on Earth is expected to achieve the stature of Adeptship or perfected manhood, ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 26, No. 2, 1965, p. 40
Whilst taking advantage of a brief period of respite from the conditions of city life in the quiet peace of the Ojai valley in California, I have been re-reading the Masters’ letters to A. P. Sinnett1 and others. So much (doubtless all) in these letters is of importance to us all, and those who follow us, and has its practical application today and tomorrow. The very fact of reading the letters can lead to great enlightenment; and since the spirit of the Authors shines through the words, and Their consciousness is behind the advice and teachings given, as one reads one draws very near to Them, seeming to touch Their consciousness, to hear Their voices and almost to see Their forms.
Important though the philosophical and occult teachings undoubtedly are — must be indeed — the priceless jewels for me are to be found in the letters on discipleship. Therein is a wealth of guidance for all who would find and tread ‘the razor edged Path’. Of these the following is, perhaps, most noteworthy:
‘Does it seem to you a small thing that the past year has been spent only in your “family duties”? Nay, but what better cause for reward, what better discipline, than the daily and hourly performance of duty? Believe me, my “pupil”, the man or woman who is placed by Karma in the midst of small plain duties and sacrifices and loving-kindness, will through these faithfully fulfilled rise to the larger measure of Duty, Sacrifice, and Charity to all Humanity — what better paths towards enlightenment you are striving after than the daily conquest of Self, the perseverance in spite of want of visible psychic progress, the bearing of ill-fortune with that serene fortitude which turns it to spiritual advantage — since good and evil are not measured by events on the lower, or physical, plane. Be not discouraged that your practice falls below your aspirations, yet be not content with admitting this, since you clearly recognize that your tendency is too often towards mental and moral indolence, rather inclining to drift with the currents of life, than to steer a direct course of your own. Your spiritual progress is far greater than you know or can realize, and you do well to believe that such development is in itself more important than its realization by your physical plane consciousness’.
Again, those true values upon which alone the occult life can be successfully founded, are beautifully stated by the Master K.H. [Kuthumi] as follows:
‘. . . they [the founders] have that in them (pardon the eternal repetition, but it is being as constantly overlooked), which we have but too rarely found elsewhere — UNSELFISHNESS, and an eager readiness for self-sacrifice for the good of others; what a “multitude of sins” does not this cover! It is but a truism, yet I say it, that in adversity alone can we discover the real man. It is true manhood when one boldly accepts one’s share of the collective Karma of the group one works with, and does not permit oneself to be embittered, and to see others in blacker colours than reality, or to throw all blame upon some one “black sheep”, a victim, specially selected. Such a true man as that we will ever protect, and despite his short comings, assist to develop the good he has in him. Such an one is sublimely unselfish; he sinks his personality in his cause, and takes no heed of discomforts or personal obloquy unjustly fastened upon him’.
What deep insight are we not given into the inner aspects of the occult life, the ‘tests’ and trials evoked by the adoption of a life of spiritual idealism, the innate resistance of the world, even of matter itself, to the fulfilment of the aspirations of the neophyte. The Master K.H. answers Mr Sinnett’s question: ‘Why is it that doubts and foul suspicions seem to beset every aspirant for chelaship?’
‘My friend, in the Masonic Lodges of old times the neophyte was subjected to a series of frightful tests of his constancy, courage and presence of mind. By psychological impressions supplemented by machinery and chemicals, he was made to believe himself falling down precipices, crushed by rocks, walking spider web bridges in midair, passing through fire, drowned in water and attacked by wild beasts. This was a reminiscence of and a program borrowed from the Egyptian Mysteries. The West, having lost the secrets of the East had, as I say, to resort to artifice. But in these days the vulgarization of science has rendered such trifling tests obsolete. The aspirant is now assailed entirely on the psychological side of his nature. His course of testing — in Europe and India — is that of Raj-yog and its result is — as frequently explained — to develop every germ, good and bad, in him in his temperament. The rule is inflexible, and not one escapes,... as the water develops the heat of caustic lime so does the teaching bring into fierce action every unsuspected potentiality latent in him’.
Profoundly moving revelations of the humanity of the Master K.H. are seen in page after page. He loved and admired Mr Sinnett, and seemed almost to suffer with him in his inability to understand the occult laws and rules binding even the Masters in Their relationship to the world. Yet in spite of His compassion and His personal wishes, duty comes first. How noble the lines explaining this, redolent of Pythagorean wisdom and spiritual idealism:
‘... my first duty is to my Master, and duty, let me tell you, is for us, stronger than any friendship or even love; as without this abiding principle, which is the indestructible cement that has held together for so many millenniums, the scattered custodians of nature’s grand secrets — our Brotherhood, nay, our doctrine itself — would have crumbled long ago into unrecognizable atoms’.
What guidance also to all aspirants, especially those in Western bodies, born and bred in the modem manasic spirit:
. . however great your purely human intellect, your spiritual intuitions are dim and hazy, having been never developed. Hence, whenever you find yourself confronted by an apparent contradiction, by a difficulty, a kind of inconsistency of occult nature, one that is caused by our time honoured laws and regulations — (of which you know nothing, for your time has not yet come) — forthwith your doubts are aroused, your suspicions bud out — and one finds that they have made mock of your better nature, which is finally crushed down by all these deceptive appearances of outward things! You have not the faith required to allow your Will to arouse itself in defiance and contempt against your purely worldly intellect, and give you a better understanding of things hidden and laws unknown. You are unable, I see, to force your better aspirations — fed at the stream of a real devotion to the Maya you have made yourself of me — (a feeling in you, that has always profoundly touched me) — to lift up the head against cold, spiritually blind reason; to allow your heart to pronounce loudly and proclaim that, which it has hitherto only been allowed to whisper: “Patience, patience. A great design has never been snatched at once”. You were told, however, that the path to Occult Sciences has to be trodden labouriously and crossed at the danger of life; that every new step in it leading to the final goal, is surrounded by pitfalls and cruel thorns; that the pilgrim who ventures upon it is made first to confront and conquer the thousand and one furies who keep watch over its adamantine gates and entrance — furies called Doubt, Scepticism, Scorn, Ridicule, Envy and finally Temptation — especially the latter; and that he who would see beyond had to first destroy this living wall; that he must be possessed of a heart and soul clad in steel, and of an iron, never failing determination and yet be meek and gentle, humble, and have shut out from his heart every human passion that leads to evil’.
The conditions of pupilhood are clearly set forth in the Master’s continuous attempt to help Mr Sinnett to perceive that intellect alone would not suffice:
‘... let him rid himself of the maya that any man living can set up “claims” upon Adepts. He may create irresistible attractions and compel their attention, but they will be spiritual, not mental or intellectual. And this bit of advice applies and is directed to several British theosophists, and it may be well for them to know it. Once separated from the common influences of Society nothing draws us to any outsider save his evolving spirituality’.
‘It is he alone who has the love of humanity at heart, who is capable of grasping thoroughly the idea of a regenerating practical Brotherhood who is entitled to the possession of our secrets…Such a man will never misuse his powers, as there will be no fear that he should turn them to selfish ends. A man who places not the good of mankind above his own good is not worthy of becoming our chela — he is not worthy of becoming higher in knowledge than his neighbour. If he craves for phenomena let him be satisfied with the pranks of spiritualism’.
How human, how humorous, and yet how revealing of deeper issues is the famous incident of the hungry and aged, goat of PariYong, destined through his hunger and his dilapidated teeth to literary immortality! Here is the story, inimitably told:
‘Your letter, enclosing that of C.C.M. was received by me on the morning following the date you had handed it over to the “little man”. I was then in the neighbourhood of PariYong, at the gun-pa of a friend, and was very busy with important affairs. When I received intimation of its arrival, I was just crossing the large inner courtyard of the monastery; bent upon listening to the voice of Lama Tondhub Gyatcho, I had no time to read the contents. So, after mechanically opening the thick packet, I merely glanced at it, and put it, as I thought, into the travelling bag I wear across the shoulder. In reality though, it had dropped on the ground; and since I had broken the envelope and emptied it of its contents, the latter were scattered in their fall. There was no one near me at the time, and my attention being wholly absorbed with the conversation, I had already reached the staircase leading to the library door, when I heard the voice of a young gyloong calling out from a window, and expostulating with someone at a distance. Turning round I understood the situation at a glance; otherwise your letter would never have been read by me for I saw a venerable old goat in the act of making a morning meal of it. The creature had already devoured part of C.C.M.’s letter, and was thoughtfully preparing to have a bite at yours, more delicate and easy for chewing with his old tooth than the tough envelope and paper of your correspondent’s epistle. To rescue what remained of it took but one short instant, disgust and opposition of the animal notwithstanding—but there remained mighty little of it! The envelope with your crest on had nearly disappeared, the contents of the letters made illegible — in short I was perplexed at the sight of the disaster. Now you know why I felt embarrassed: I had no right to restore, it, the letters coming from the “Eclectic” and connected directly with the hapless “Pelings” on all sides. What could I do, to restore the missing parts! I had already resolved to humbly crave permission from the Chohan to be allowed an exceptional privilege in this dire necessity, when I saw his holy face before me, with his eye twinkling in quite an unusual manner, and heard his voice: “Why break the rule? I will do it myself’. These simple words Kam me ts 'har — “I’ll do it”, contain a world of hope for me. He has restored the missing parts and done it quite neatly too; as you see, and even transformed a crumpled broken envelope, very much damaged into a new one — crest and all. Now I know what great power had to be used for such a restoration. All this leads me to hope for a relaxation of severity one of these days. Hence I thanked the goat heartily; and since he does not belong to the ostracized Peling race, to show my gratitude I strengthened what remained of teeth in his mouth, and set the dilapidated remains firmly in their sockets so that he may chew food harder than English letters for several years to come’.
The difficulties under which the Masters worked, in those days of the ‘original impulse’ are revealed many times in the letters, e.g., one letter closes with these words:
‘My dear friend, you must not feel surprised if I tell you, that I really feel weary and disheartened at the prospect I have before me. I am afraid you never will have the patience to wait for the day when I am permitted to satisfy you. Ages ago our people began to make certain rules, according to which they intended to live. All these rules have now become Law. Our predecessors had to learn everything they know by themselves, only the foundation was laid for them. We offer to lay for you such a foundation, but you will accept nothing short of the complete edifice, ready for you to take possession of. Do not accuse me of indifference or neglect when not receiving for days any reply from me. Very often I have nothing to say, for you ask questions which I have no right to answer’.
What would not any one of us give, to receive, and how would we not treasure the first letter of the Master K. H. on the completion of His ‘retreat’? To read it, is to be touched profoundly, to reach up within oneself to those Nirvanic heights from which He had just returned:
‘My Brother — I have been on a long journey after supreme knowledge, I took a long time to rest. Then, upon coming back, I had to give all my time to duty, and all my thoughts to the Great Problem. It is all over now: the New Year’s festivities are at an end and I am “Self’ once more. But what is Self! Only a passing guest, whose concerns are all like a mirage of the great desert’.
Interesting is the comparison between the then Arhat (now Master) Djual Khool and H.P.B. [Helena P. Blavatsky] as regards their occult powers:
‘She can and did produce phenomena, owing to her natural powers, combined with several long years of regular training, and her phenomena are sometimes better, more wonderful and far more perfect than those of some high, initiated chelas, whom she surpasses in artistic taste and purely western appreciation of art — as for instance in the instantaneous production of pictures: witness — her portrait of the “fakir” Tiravalla mentioned in Hints, and compared with my portrait by Djual Khool. Notwithstanding all the superiority of his powers, as compared with hers; his youth as contrasted with her old age: and the undeniable and important advantages he possesses of having never brought his pure unalloyed magnetism in direct contact with the great impurity of your world and society — yet do what he may, he will never be able to produce such a picture, simply because he is unable to conceive it in his mind and Tibetan thought’.
And yet, despite these powers, her continued humility; also her self-effacement and sacrifice described by the Master K.H. on the last line but one of the same page:
‘Thus, while fathering upon us all manner of foolish, often clumsy and suspected phenomena, she has most undeniably been helping us in many instances; saving us sometimes as much as two-thirds of the power used, and when remonstrated — for often we are unable to prevent her doing it on her end of the line — answering that she had no need of it, and that her only joy was to be of some use to us. And thus she kept on killing herself inch by inch ready to give for our benefit and glory, as she thought — her life blood drop by drop, and yet invariably denying before witnesses that she had anything to do with it’.
In conclusion, I would say that here is the ‘original impulse’ in all its purity, not in the words alone, but in the spirit shining through. The laws still stand, the plan still stands and the intent is the same. Those who know intimately the developments which have occurred since those days must recognize a steady progress quite along the original lines. New methods may be used, new terms required, but the essentials remain unchanged; the laws are immutable, the truths eternal. This present is an age in which good men abound. Such men, becoming servants of their race, draw nearer to that race its Elder Brethren.
To all who seek the prize of Their companionship and of service to the world under Their inspired leadership, the Elder Brethren say in effect:
Arise! Awaken! and become the Gods which you are, Live as Gods, pure, selfless, and strong. Amidst the impurity of your world, be clean; amidst, the selfishness of your brethren, serve; and amidst the weakness of humanity, be strong.
Live so that all who see you long to be like you. Serve so that others seeing you must needs also serve. Be strong, that others arise from their surrender to their weaknesses and show forth their strength.
The Theosophist, Vol. 53, March 1932, p. 669
A certain mystical experience is said to be entered into by every Initiate. This occurs not only in the Causal and Buddhic bodies, but also to Initiate-consciousness in the form worlds.
The three separate individuals in average man, mental, emotional and physical, are fused into one being in the Initiate. At Adeptship that unit of consciousness and action completes a process which began as an instinct during the pre-initiate stage and became self-conscious at the First Great Initiation.
This process consists of the gradual realisation of the intimate relationship of the essential life-principle in man, particularly at first in the individual concerned, and the life-principle in all Nature. The love of Nature, the response to its beauty, order, dawning sentience in the plant and intelligence in the animal all arise from realisation of kinship therewith. The same life-principle exists in every form, every kingdom, every individual.
The flashing many-coloured opal, the flower, shrub and tree, the gambolling lamb, or other playful young, the full grown product of each kingdom, the mountain, the varieties of trees and birds and beasts — all these delight because and when man sees in them something that is himself, a life that is his own.
Mystical experience, expansions of consciousness, which primarily occur in the higher vehicles, deepen the sense of unity with life instinctively felt in the lower and especially the physical. This growing knowledge of the oneness of life is one of the marks of evolutionary progress. It culminates in the Adept as full and continuous realisation of the unity of the life in every being in every kingdom of Nature.
This knowledge of oneness is then in no sense theoretical, nor is it founded only upon an intellectual recognition of a fact in Nature. The pulse of the One Life throughout all Creation is felt within and known by fully illumined man. Nature is a unit to him, and that in part is the secret of his power. All that appears phenomenally as outside of him is known in its noumena as part of himself and he a part of it. The life in him is not his life. It flows through him in its course, as it flows through all beings and all things, vivifying all as it vivifies him.
Although the One Life is so intimately a part of all living things it is nevertheless aloof, impersonal, free. It is the Omnipresent, One Alone. None can possess, retain or hoard it. It flows on its own courses on its own mission, doing its own work. It links all, yet binds none, and by none can it be bound. Eternally free, the One Life submits itself to the seeming limitation of temporary restriction as the life-principle of myriads of forms, none of which can exist or subsist without it. It is the substans of the Universe.
At Adeptship, that realisation of unity which gave to the purely human being his joy in Nature becomes conscious knowledge of identity with the ocean of the One Life and its Source which is Absolute Life or Life Transcendent.
At his First Initiation, the Initiate has begun to feel himself absorbed in the limitless ocean of life. The sense of I-am-ness begins to be outgrown. The real truth begins to dawn upon him, though only fully realized at Adeptship. Then, not only is he absorbed in the ocean of the One Life, but that boundless sea is absorbed in him. He himself is expanded to include the whole even though its limits are unknowable.
In the Supra-Euclidean, formless worlds consciousness, freed from limitation or become Adept, knows by experience that the seemingly lesser can contain the seemingly greater, that the apparent part can absorb the apparent whole. Indeed, lesser and greater, part and whole lose their significance as terms or reference at those levels and states of consciousness to which the liberated Adept ascends.
The ideas of centre, circumference and intervening area have also lost their significance. All is centre and centre is all. The liberated Individuality is the centre, therefore it is all. This is I-am-all-ness, Salvation, Moksha, Nirvana.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1947, p. 42
AVATARA, DIVINE ‘DESCENT’
The word Avatara (Sanskrit) means a Divine Incarnation or The Descent of a God, or some exalted Being, who has progressed beyond the necessity of Rebirths, into the body of a simple mortal. Sri Krishna, for example, is regarded as an Avatar of Vishnu. In Hinduism one finds that there are two kinds of Avatars. Those who use bodies born from woman and the ‘parentless’. Truly, divine incarnation or the Avatara doctrines constitute the Grandest Mystery of every old religious system. Those of Vishnu are recorded in the Hindu scriptures as: ‘boar Incarnation’; as the tortoise; the fish which brought Manu safely to land in the ship in which he had embarked during the flood; Nara-sinha, the man-lion in which form Vishnu delivered the world from the tyranny of a demon; and Vamana, ‘the dwarf.
These first five incarnations are recorded as purely mythological though deeply occult in reality. One interpretation is that they reveal the possession of knowledge by the early Hindu Sages of the evolution of life through the sub-human kingdoms. The sixth Avatara was Parasu-Rama — Rama with the axe. The body used by the Lord Vishnu was of the Brahmin caste and his story is told in the Mahabharata and the Puranas. He also appears in the Ramayana but chiefly as an opponent — doubtless mystically only — of the seventh Avatara, Rama-Chandra. His mother belonged to the royal race of the Kusikas who is stated by T. Subba Row now to have become a female Adept. Rama-Chandra is the hero of the wonderful allegorical epic, the Ramayana.
The Lord Shri Krishna was the eighth Avatara and the most popular and notable of all the incarnations, Krishna being regarded as a perfect manifestation of Vishnu. Some difference of opinion exists concerning the admission of the Lord Buddha to the list as the ninth Avatar, but the tenth is Kalki, ‘the white horse’. This incarnation of Vishnu is to appear at the end of the Kali Yuga or Iron Age. He will appear seated on a white horse with a drawn sword blazing like a comet for the final destruction of the wicked, the renovation of creation and the restoration of purity.
Orthodox Hinduism also believes that the incarnations of Vishnu are innumerable, like the rivulets flowing from an inexhaustible lake. All Rishis are thought of as portions of Him.
‘LIFE IS FULFILLED BY RENUNCIATION’
The passage of an advanced human being through psycho-spiritual regeneration and successive Initiations demands transcendence of the sense of self-separateness from the rest of humanity and the quality of possessiveness in human relationships. These are two of the most natural of human attributes, and therefore very difficult to eliminate. Nevertheless, the time does inevitably come when all the powers wrested with such difficulty from the experiences of life and developed or ‘born’ within the Soul must be renounced as individual possessions; for on the Path of Swift Unfoldment these must be outgrown and relinquished. Even the faintest trace of egoism can so greatly limit the manifestation of the faculties of abstract thought, intuition and spiritual will as almost to nullify them. No illusion of self-centred Individuality must remain and, above all, no personal pride of power and attainment must sully the perfect purity of mind and heart.
This necessity is made clear by such instances in the life of Jesus as His submissions to the divine Will in Gethsemane, the fact that He did not call upon either His own theurgic powers of the legions of angels which He stated were available to Him, and symbolically by the piercing of His skin by whips, nails and thorns. Only under such conditions of absolute surrender of individual selfhood and possessiveness can principles be perfectly perceived, knowledge of them conveyed to the mind and the aspirant, being ‘pure in heart’, see God.
A third and still greater renunciation is made, when even the Monadic centre of awareness disappears flame-like within the Great Flame. Then, and then only, may the One Will, the One Life and the One Law completely occupy the field of awareness, the illusion of Individuality having been finally dispelled. The fullness of unity is then known and this is the crown, the summit, the goal, of human evolution. No one need be deterred, however, from the great spiritual adventure. The achievement is said to be less difficult than it might seem, however, for as spiritual awareness with its deepening realization of unity with the life in all beings increases, so personal self-separateness naturally decreases.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 28, No. 3, 1967, p. 64
The great practical value of Theosophy consists in its revelation of the meaning and purpose of human existence, which without it is a hopeless puzzle defying solution. A puzzle may be solved by two methods. One is that of trial and error, of experimenting with various pieces in the hope that ultimately they will fit together. This is a slow and unsatisfactory method, particularly in the attempt to solve the problems of life. The other method, far more satisfactory, is based on pre-knowledge of the position of the various pieces in the complete design. Theosophy provides that knowledge, reveals the due place in an evolutionary plan of every individual and every event.
Life resembles somewhat a piece of tapestry. On the underside one sees little save incomprehensible tangles, knots, badly blended colours and a general confusion. Examination of the upper side, however, reveals the whole pattern, shows that the confusion is only apparent, since every juxtaposition is essential to the completion of the design. So, also, the apparent confusion in the lives of individuals and of nations. Theosophy reveals the plan of life, thereby bestowing mental serenity upon those who study it and making intelligent and purposeful living possible for them.
The Seven Rays
Theosophy ‘teaches’ that all manifested divine Power, Life and Consciousness, and so all human Monads or Spirits, radiate into manifested existence from the One Source and through the Three and the Seven Emanations of the Logos. In their passage through the Three and the Seven, Monadic Rays are impressed with the special quality of that One of the Three ‘Persons’ and of the seven Sephiroth through which they pass, are attuned to their vibratory frequency or chord and are ‘stained’ with their particular colour. The colour of the spectrum and divine attribute which each of these Sephiroths represents is accentuated in each projected Monadic Ray and thereafter preponderate over the other six.
These seven classifications are called the Seven Rays, or, in Hinduism, the Seven Roads to Bliss. For man, this means that whilst all of the seven deific powers and characteristics exist in all men, one of the seven aspects or qualities of life is accentuated, in every being, the other six being present but less pronounced. This accentuation shows itself in man as predominant character and capacity. One of the seven deific powers of the human Spirit predominates in every human being, and this preponderance influences both character and conduct. All powers are present in each and every man. There is nothing that one man has done that every man cannot do. In the end seven powers, qualities and faculties will be fully developed, but even then the basic quality or Ray will still predominate.
Ideals of the Rays
1st Ray: To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield. There is no religion higher than power, no achievement greater than victory.
2nd Ray: ‘Those who walk in light may wander far, but God will bring them where the blessed are’.
There is no religion higher than love, no achievement greater than effective service.
3rd Ray: ‘Give me understanding and I shall keep thy law, yea I shall observe it with my whole heart’ (Psalms 119:34).
There is no religion higher than truth and no attainment greater than comprehension of truth.
4th Ray: There is no religion higher than beauty and no attainment greater than its perception and portrayal in life and art.
5th Ray: The greatest thing in science is the scientific method, rechecking observances and experiments objectively, and recorded with absolute honesty and without fear or favour. There is no religion higher than knowledge, truth and fact; their attainment constitutes the supreme objective.
6th Ray: There is no religion higher than a living service to a cause.
7th Ray: The production of order from chaos is the ideal. There is no religion higher than ordered activity.
Knowledge of the 7 Rays is helpful in the comprehension of others, especially of those whose approach to life, methods of obtaining desired ends and ultimate destiny differ from one’s own. Such knowledge can bestow upon those who possess it one of the highest virtues. This is a wide tolerance, born of deep understanding, concerning the ideals and actions of other nations and of other individuals. This virtue is beautifully expressed in the words of the Lord Shri Krishna, who was speaking as an incarnation of Vishnu, the Second Aspect of the Blessed Trinity:
‘However men approach Me, even so do I welcome them, for the paths men take from every side are Mine’.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 31, No. 2, 1970, p. 41
COSMOS FROM CHAOS
The word ‘create’ has for the student of Theosophy its own particular significance. The production of something previously non-existent in any state is not understood or implied in this word. To emanate means to make manifest and this more truly describes the Cosmic creative process; for Cosmos is inherent in Chaos, the difference being not of substance but of condition. Formlessness and darkness describe Chaos which connotes not utter confusion, but the ‘Abyss’, the ‘Great Deep’, the primordial, pre-atomic condition in which matter existed before the first atoms and planes of Nature were ‘created’; primordial space; an infinite, formless void; the root of matter in its first remove from the unknown Absolute; the impenetrable veil between what can be seen by the cognizable eye and the invisible actuality of the first active Logos; the primeval ‘waters’ of life; the Virgin Mother of Cosmos. It is the divine substance which alone exists throughout all eternity, boundless and absolute.
Form and light describe Cosmos. Both conditions are inherent in pre-cosmic substance. The verses therefore should be translated as follows: ‘At the dawn of the return of Manvantara, the group of creative Intelligences resumed activity, with the result that the term of Cosmos inherent in Chaos commenced to unfold according to natural law’. This process is continuous throughout the period of manifestation, for the Universe is a perpetual becoming, not a static condition of being. This applies equally to the primordial ‘elements’, to the substances derived from them, to the forms of Nature and their ensouling life. All grows or expands from less to more from the dawn of the first ‘day’ of emanation to the evening of the last or seventh ‘day’.
The so called ‘Fall’ of Adam and Eve was followed by their expulsion from the Garden of Eden and this may be, in its turn, interpreted as an allegory describing the growing up process, or the passage of the child from the state of innocence, through adolescence into adult life. No sin is involved since the procedure is perfectly natural whether for the individual or the race.
The allegory refers to the change which occurred in the first human bodies during evolution from the androgynous to the single sexed state, with the consequent experience of sex desire and the present method of procreation. ‘Eden’ is then out-grown, childhood having been naturally followed by adolescence. Allegorically, Adam and Eve were ‘expelled’ from Eden, not directly by the decree of the Divine Principle and Emanator (Genesis 3:23-24), but by the action of the emitted irresistible, propellant power of which evolution is the result.
Adam alone thus aptly represents the human race at the first period of the encasement of the Monad in an androgynous, mentally torpid, human form. Newly enclosed in physical matter, first man was of the earth, earthy. His task was to accustom himself to imprisonment within relatively inert physical substance and gradually to overcome its resistance. At first he was androgynous and self-productive, but gradually one sex attribute predominated to produce the present single sexed human being and method of procreation. Thus the doctrine of original sin would appear to be completely erroneous.
All Monads, with their potentialities and developed powers and faculties, are preserved in a sublimated state during Pralaya. In this period all forms disintegrate and their substance, losing its individualized vibratory frequences, returns to the quiescent, pre-creative state symbolized in the Bible by the waters of the Flood. When Pralaya ends, the Seed Manu delivers his charges over to the corresponding Official of the new cycle. Then the great pilgrimage of involution and evolution (from unity through diversity and back to unity again) is repeated on a higher round of the spiral and so on and on throughout all eternity; for the Ageless Wisdom teaches that this cycle of evolutionary progression has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.
The term Manu is a generic word applied to Creators, Preservers and Fashioners. Manvantara means, literally, the period presided over by a Manu. According to their function and Office They are called Race Manus, Round Manus and Chain Manus and so on up to the Solar Logos Himself. Pralaya, on the other hand, is a period of obscuration or repose, whether planetary or universal the opposite of Manvantara and is symbolized in Genesis and all flood legends by their deluges.
The rainbow as a covenant with the Lord may symbolize the function of the seed Manu in bridging the two epochs or cycles of manifestation, whilst the return from simplicity to multiplicity, from the white light to the spectrum, from the one to the many, is also implied by the rainbow symbol.
In the Planetary interpretation Noah represents the Manu of a single Root Race, an Official in the Hierarchy of the Adepts, who is responsible for the evolution of a complete Race with its seven sub-races. At a certain phase in its evolution this Official receives from his predecessor of the preceding Race such of its more advanced and successful members as are to be employed as physical progenitors.
My studies suggest a negative answer to my title: for I find that Satan, by whose machinations Eve and then Adam partook of the fruits of the tree in the midst of the garden, in one interpretation may permissibly be regarded as a personification of an Order of the Elohim, the so called Inverse Sephiras of Kabbalism. He also personifies differentiated matter; the separative tendencies of the human mind; the drive towards self-indulgences resulting from the activity of the inherent creative life force; and the influences of all of these upon the human Personality.
Natural procedures in Cosmogenesis would seem to be allegorically described. At the dawn of a creative epoch, for example, when hitherto unified Spirit-matter becomes oppositely polarized and these two interact to produce a Universe of finite forms, awareness by Spirit of juxtaposition with matter awakens into activity the creative fire hitherto asleep within them both. In this awakening matter leads, and so may be said to ‘lure’ Spirit into material self-expression. Thus Eve, symbol of universal substance, answers to the play of the creative life force (the Devil) within her and tempts and seduces Adam (Spirit). Hence, doubtless, the occult axiom, Demon Deus Inversus Est.
If the beginning of human existence be considered, then a not dissimilar process occurs when man the microcosm emerges from the divine Consciousness and embarks upon the involutionary arc of his cyclic pilgrimage which is followed by evolution to ‘perfection’. These terms ‘involution’ and ‘evolution’ are here used to apply to the cyclic movement of Spirit-life after its emanation from the Absolute. This movement may be briefly described as a ‘descent’ (‘Fall’) or forthgoing into deeper and deeper manifestation in matter involution which is followed by an ‘ascent’ (Redemption) or return to the purely spiritual state from which the cyclic journey begins evolution. Occult philosophy suggests that the pure spiritual Essence of the human Monad, in order to develop innate powers, must be ‘lured’ or tempted into intimate association with the matter of the worlds of mind, emotion and physical substance. This ‘descent’ or misnamed ‘Fall’ is, as I have said, assisted by the Order of Intelligences referred to in esoteric Kabbalism as the Inverse Sephiras (Satan).
The strange, scriptural figure of the Devil is thus seen as a composite symbol of matter and its resistance to Spirit, of an Order of Intelligences, of natural processes and impulses, and of certain other forces and experiences acting upon and within mankind. Since the separative and prideful tendencies of the human mind and their deliberate expression, the surges of strong desire and the despiritualising effects of sexual excesses are all temporarily harmful to man, Satan has come to be regarded as being an evil Being, an enemy of mankind. He has also been described as ‘the shadow of himself which a man sees when he turns his back to the light’.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 27, No. 2, 1966, p. 55
A great Teacher has enunciated three Truths:
‘The soul of man is immortal and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
‘The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
‘Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser, of glory or gloom to himself: the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them — The Idyll of the White Lotus.
Many volumes have been written in exposition of these Truths which form the heart of the great world Faiths, and particularly of the spiritual philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism. In this article I concentrate upon the first of the three Truths, which states that the future growth and splendour of the Immortal Soul of man are without limit.
Similar utterances are to be found in the Christian Scriptures. St Paul defines the destiny of man in these words: ‘Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:13). Our Lord affirmed a still greater consummation of human life in His words: ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect’ (Matthew 5:48). In the Revised Version of the Bible, which is said to be a more accurate translation from the original Greek, the assurance of this lofty attainment is given in the words: ‘Ye shall be perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect’.
Theosophy teaches that perfection is only attained, in a relative sense, for any such development must give room for still further attainment, according to a yet higher standard of excellence, in the following period of activity. In the same way a perfect flower must cease to be a perfect flower, and die, but out of it grows a perfect fruit, if one may use such an analogy. ‘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 ... links in the great cosmic chain of Universes, each one standing in the relation of an effect as regards its predecessor, and of a cause as regards its successor’ (The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky, Adyar Edition, Vol. I, p. 115 [2-vol. ed.: Vol. 1, p. 43]).
A limitless progression of the human Soul, or Monad-Ego, is thus implied. Every human being will eventually become a leader of men, a saint, a seer, an occultist. Discipleship of a great Adept will one day be achieved by all. Stages of unfoldment which correspond to those of the Initiate, the Arhat and the Adept await every man. Higher degrees of Adepthood to the level of a Bodhisattva, of a Buddha, and of the inconceivably mighty Being who holds the Office of Lord of the World, will inevitably follow. Extra-planetary evolution then continues, bringing the Monad to the degree of unfoldment of a Seed-Logos or Manu, and thereafter to that of the Logos of a Round and of a Chain. Seven Rounds, during which the life wave travels seven times round seven Globes, complete a Chain, over which a Chain Logos presides. Seven such Chains complete a Planetary Scheme, which is under the direction of one of the seven Sephiroth, the Seven Mighty Spirits Before the Throne, the Seven Archangels of the Face. Although the immense stature of such Intelligences is beyond human conceiving, it could be said that They are the Power, the Life and the Consciousness of a Planetary Scheme from its beginning to its end, which includes the life and the form of everything which exists on each Globe in each Round and Chain. Every human Monad will one day pass through all of these stages of unfoldment.
The ladder of Life ascends still higher. The Planetary Schemes of a Solar System, and the Directing Lords thereof, are all synthesised in one Mighty Being known as the Solar Logos, the Supreme Splendour, the Eternal Sacrifice, the All-Wise Creator and King of Kings, Our Lord the Sun. To that degree of development every man will also attain.
Stupendous though this conception is, the ladder of human evolution reaches still higher. Solar Systems are grouped together round a central sun. A still mightier Being presides over this co-ordination of Solar Systems, the one to which we belong being named the Syrian Cosmos. According to the doctrine of limitless progression, every human Soul will one day achieve to the immensity of power, wisdom, knowledge and glory of the Presiding Deity of the Syrian Cosmos.
These groups in their turn must be presumed to be blended with others to form still greater groups, with an even mightier presiding Lord. Eventually, the stature will be attained of a Being who presides as Emanator, Architect and Director of the evolution of life and form of the totality of created worlds, beings and forms. What lies beyond is inconceivable, but we are assured that this orderly progression through alternations of Manvantara and Pralaya is eternal, having ‘neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end’. Thus, the future growth and splendour of the Monad of man are entirely without limit. The in-breathing and the out-breathing of the Great Breath is eternal and ceaseless. Evolution to higher and higher states is therefore inevitable for all that exists.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1955, p. 3
If a purpose may be imputed to Universal Mind, Universal Motion and Universal Law, as a result of whose combined activity involutionary and evolutionary cycles are initiated and completed, then that purpose could be defined as the development of germinal powers from the latent to ever increasingly active and potent states. Evolution from less to more is, at any rate, the result of the eternal progression through the ceaseless alternation of periods of quiescence and activity, or Pralaya and Manvantara.
The thought may here be interposed that, once the nature of this universal impulse to expand, to develop and to express with increasing effectiveness and beauty man’s inherent powers is realized, the intelligent individual co-operates to the best of his ability. Collaboration with the Cosmic Will, whole-hearted self-identification with the Life-force and the adoption, as if it were his own, of the vast programme of Nature these are the secret of happiness, health and well-being; for by this means the individual person becomes more and more closely attuned to the One Life and the One Energy, and reduces to a minimum the friction normally set up by self-centred thoughts, motives and actions. Two further results follow. One consists of a deepening serenity of heart and mind, and the other of the arising of circumstances which are most conducive to personal happiness, progress and the fulfilment of life. Adverse karma from the past must still be met, but opportunities for helping, when accepted, make it possible to endure adversity with growing equanimity.
Tranquility of mind amidst difficult circumstances and intensity of effort are also made possible by the knowledge that not one of the future stages of development, each with its appropriate powers and capacities, has to be created by man. The potentiality of the infinite development has always resided within the Monad, which thus resembles a seed. Just as the acorn, under proper conditions, will produce out of itself a complete reproduction of its parent tree, which itself can produce hundreds of thousands of further acorns, each similarly endowed, so the Monad of man contains within itself in a latent or seed-like state the full potentiality of its Divine Source.
A gardener or farmer plants his seeds underground and in due course the new plants appear and complete their cycle of growth, which is generally consummated in the production of more seeds. The One Life, the One Law and the One Energy, to which the name ‘God’ has been given, would seem similarly to provide for the Monads the conditions necessary for the germination of their seed-like, deific powers. These conditions have some analogy with those provided for the seed when it is planted in the soil; for the Monad projects a ray of its power, life and consciousness deeper and deeper into the material worlds, which constitute its evolutionary field. This has been previously prepared for it by the atom forming, and plane and sub-plane producing, activity of the Third Logos.
The deepest ‘planting’ in the Earth Planetary Scheme consists of incarnation in physical bodies on the fourth Globe of the Fourth Round of the Fourth Scheme. In this phase or arc of the great cycle, through which our humanity happens to be passing at this time — hence its difficulties — the deepest point of descent into matter is reached.
Thereafter the upturn begins, and since the Fifth Root Race has produced its Fifth sub-Race, and the sixth sub-Race is beginning to appear, the turning point has clearly been passed. From now on the spiritual will increasingly dominate the material, and humanity may be expected to move rapidly on to the greatest height of achievement of which the Fifth Root Race man is capable.
Whilst passage through the deeper and darker phases is inevitably accompanied by strain, stress and conflict, as stated above, the man or woman who has intelligently grasped the meaning, purpose and plan of human evolution, and has become a wholehearted collaborator in the fulfilment of that purpose, will have found the way to interior equipoise and serenity of mind and heart.
The Monads of men have been described as Sparks of the One Eternal Flame, Breaths of the Great Breath, Scintillae of the Spiritual Sun, Seeds of the Solar Tree of Life and Immortal Germs. All capacities are inherent within them and the effect, if not the purpose, of manifested existence is the germination of seed powers and their sprouting and development throughout unending ages to the highest degree possible in each given cycle of manifestation. The Logos-to-be is already present embryonically within every human being and it is this God within, this deific potency, which was presumably referred to by St Paul in his words:…Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Collosians 1:27) and…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you . . .’ (Philippians 2:12-13).
Progression through cycles of forth going and return is taught by allegory and parable in the Christian Scriptures. The so called fall and redemption of man; the descent of the Israelites into Egypt, the bondage there and the exodus to the Promised Land; the lowering of Joseph into the pit, his rescue and rise to fame and power; the capture of Samson and his imprisonment and enforced labour, and the ultimate destruction of the temple and its inhabitants; the parable of the Prodigal Son; the death and burial of the Christ in a rock tomb and His Resurrection and Ascension — these, as well as all other inspired stories of similar experiences of heroes and Saviours in the world’s Scriptures and myths, reveal under the veil of symbolism this master truth.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 15, No. 4, 1955 p. 4
‘THE LAW OF CORRESPONDENCES’
Man, during physical incarnation, is theosophically defined as 'that being in the universe... in whom highest Spirit and lowest Matter are joined together by Intelligence’ . . . Since highest Spirit, which implies the Monad and its projected Ray, contains potentially the full powers of the Solar Logos, including those which are as yet still only potential in that Supreme Splendour, and since that Ray is the core of man’s intellectual, emotional and physical existence, all powers are therefore locked up within him. For this reason man is described as a microcosm or little world, a reproduction in miniature of the Macrocosm or greater world, meaning the Universe and its indwelling Deity. As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, said: ‘The Universe is a man on a large scale’.
Theosophy teaches that all stellar, zodiacal, solar and planetary powers are present in every man, and adds that they are established there in an orderly and systematic manner. Indeed, as Eliphas Levi said: ‘The mystery of the earthly and mortal man is after the mystery of the supernal and immortal One’ (Clef des Mysteres). Similarly, the Bible affirms that at man’s creation the divine design was that man should be made in his Creator’s image. If the words: ‘And God said, Let us make man in our image’ (Genesis 1:26) are true, then indeed man is a mystery, since he contains within himself all his Creator’s manifested attributes and powers, and in addition those which will continue to become manifest.
H. P. Blavatsky thus refers to the orderly arrangement of the deific powers locked up in man: ‘To the learner who would study the Esoteric Sciences with their double object: (a) of proving Man to be identical in spiritual and physical essence with both the Absolute Principle and with God in Nature; and (b) of demonstrating the presence in him of the same potential powers as exist in the creative forces in Nature — to such a one a perfect knowledge of the correspondences between colours, Sounds, and Numbers is the first requisite... It is on the thorough knowledge and comprehension of the meaning and potency of these numbers, in their various and multiform combinations, and in their mutual correspondence with sounds or words, and colours or rates of motion (represented in physical science by vibrations), that the progress of a student in Occultism depends.
‘These seven senses of ours correspond with every other septenate in nature and in ourselves. Physically, though invisibly, the human Auric Envelope (the amnion of the physical man in every age of life) has seven layers, just as Cosmic Space and our physical epidermis have. It is this Aura which, according to our mental and physical state of purity or impurity, either opens for us vistas into other worlds, or shuts us out altogether from anything but this three-dimensional world of Matter.
‘Each of our seven physical senses (two of which are still unknown to profane science), and also of our seven states of consciousness — viz.: (1) waking; (2) waking-dreaming; (3) natural sleeping; (4) induced or trance-sleep; (5) psychic; (6) super-psychic; (7) and purely spiritual — corresponds with one of the seven Cosmic Planes, develops and uses one of the seven super-senses, and is connected directly, in its use on the terrestro-spiritual plane, with the cosmic and divine centre of force that gave it birth, and which is its direct creator. Each is also connected with, and under the direct influence of, one of the seven sacred Planets’ (The Secret Doctrine, Adyar Edition, Vol. V, p. 429 [Collected Writings, Vol. 12, p. 532]).
Four basic Theosophical ideas concerning the orderly presence of
Cosmic powers within man are presented to the student:
(1) The whole Universe with all its parts, from Adi to the physical, is interlocked, interwoven, to make a single whole, one body, one organism, one power, one life, one consciousness, ‘one stupendous whole’.
(2) All the component parts and ‘organs’ of this Macrocosm, though apparently separated in space and plane of manifestation, are in fact harmoniously inter-related and inter-acting.
For example, the whole Syrian Cosmos which includes Zodiac, Systems, Planets, Monads, Kingdoms of Nature, Planes of Nature, Elements, colours, Rays, Principles of man, chakras in the etheric and superphysical body, and organs and tissues in the physical body, is a co-ordinated whole, because all these parts are in ‘correspondence’ or harmonious interaction with each other. The basis for this grouping is numerical. God geometrizes. The governing number is seven.
(3) Certain parts and ‘organs’ in the Universe and in man are more intimately inter-related or grouped together than others. These resonate harmoniously with each other like the notes of a chord, share a common basic frequency of oscillation. In occultism they are said ‘to correspond’. For example, a Sign of the Zodiac, a Planet, an element, a colour, a Principle of man, a chakra, a type of physical tissue and an organ and function of the physical body may all be vibrating on a common frequency. In consequence they react upon each other continuously, changes in one affecting all the others.
(4) Knowledge of these correspondences provides a key to the understanding of man and of the Universe, and man’s place therein. Man. is indeed made in the image of his Creator, is a synthesis of the Universe.
Occultism is thus the basic science behind all life and the key to all magic. It explains the rationale of Astrology and Karma, of the cause of disease and the healing of the sick, of the making of talismans and of the ultimate mastery, through knowledge, of human life and destiny.
H. P. Blavatsky calls this mutual resonance between certain parts of the physical body, chakras in the super-physical bodies, planes, forces, Intelligences, Planets, Stars and Zodiacal Signs — ‘correspondences’. In the fifth Volume of the Adyar Edition of The Secret Doctrine, a number of such charts is given. From these it is possible to compile a major chart containing all of them. Such a list of correspondences is an alphabet of occult science and also a guide to life; for from such knowledge health and happiness may be maintained and intelligent service rendered to mankind. The student who grasps even the beginning of this science is sooner or later led to co-operate with the sublime purpose for which the Universe exists. That purpose is evolutionary ascent. As previously stated, in this co-operation resides the key to happiness, fulfilment, attainment.
A ‘correspondence’, in the occult sense, is a characteristic found repeating itself at another level, something on one plane which tallies with something on another plane, a power within man which also exists in the Universe. Between these two — the interior and the external — a dynamic relationship exists, so that by awakening and using interior powers, the corresponding forces and Intelligences of the world outside are called into activity.
The evolution of man may, in fact, be described as the gradual awakening from latency to activity of these inherent powers, organs and chakras, and their use as channels of communication and means of obtaining conscious collaboration with forces and Intelligences with which they are in mutual resonance.
Theosophy thus presents a profound fundamental truth concerning man: that in his spiritual, intellectual, psychical and physical nature he is indeed a miniature replica of the whole Order of created beings and things. Man is a model of the totality of Nature. Man contains within himself the collective aggregate of all that ever has existed, does at any time exist, and will ever exist throughout the eternity of eternities.
Man is as the waist of an hourglass, through which passes the sand (creative power) from the upper receptacle, or the past, into the lower, which represents the future. All must pass through man. All exists within him, whatever may be the degrees of latency.
However germinal the possibility of the creation of future Universes and Cosmoi may be in the present humanity, that possibility definitely exists within the nature of man as a latent vibratory power. Man is a microcosm, a miniature reproduction of the Macrocosm, and therefore is rightly said to be made in the image of his Creator. The words of Lao Tzu — ‘The Universe is a man on a large scale’ — may permissibly be reversed; for it is also true that man is a Universe on a small scale.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 16, No. 1, 1955, p. 11
Adeptic communications make quite clear that under no circumstances does an Adept ever use spiritualistic mediums as channels of communication. All suggestions to the contrary are false, as every true occultist is fully aware.
Their words to this effect are: —
‘Mediumship, as practice in our days, is a more undesirable gift than the robe of Nessus’.
H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled. Vol. 1, p. 488
(The blood of the centaur, Nessus, soaked into the shirt of Herakles, producing an agony, as though he were in a burning fire, and ultimately brought about his death. Greek Mythology.)
‘Imperator cannot preach the occult sciences and then defend mediumship... ’ — The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter IX.
The medium and the chela are diametrically dissimilar and the latter acts consciously . . .’ — The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter XCIII.
‘You may understand why we oppose so strongly spiritualism and mediumship . . The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter XVI.
In consequence, literature containing communications claimed to have been receive by entranced mediums from those Adepts who participated in the founding of the Theosophical Society, must therefore be recognized a spurious.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 37, No. 2, 1976, p. 40
The American Theosophist, Vol. 64, Issue 3, March 1976, p. 55
In addition to the seven principles of man there would appear to be an aspect of human nature, a quality of human character, the source and nature of which is ever invisible, undiscoverable. The presence of this quality introduces an indeterminate factor into all human thinking, feeling, and acting. No one, apparently not even an Adept, can foretell with absolute certainty the reactions of any individual to any set of circumstances. Because of this characteristic, man is at any time capable of every possible phase of conduct from the wildest eccentricity to the highest genius. Such conduct may appear sometimes to be utterly irrational, though on occasion it eventually proves to have been wise and prescient beyond all normal intellectual processes.
The presence of this strange and incalculable quality of character in man bestows upon him a most remarkable freedom, in that no one can either completely order his life or foretell exactly what he will do in any given circumstances. Apparently deep within the most stable character there is a quality of instability, within the most reasonable individual a quality utterly irrational, and within the most brilliant mind a possibility of dullness, staggering in its opacity.
This quality of indeterminism as regards the conduct of any individual unit, though not of a group, similarly exists throughout all
Nature. It would appear to be inherent in all things from the beginning, to be present in all Monads as they emerge or project their rays from the Divine Consciousness. Perchance this universal indeterminism is a manifestation of the divine principle of freedom innate in all creation, inherent in all beings, the Creator’s greatest gift to His creation. Though Himself apparently bound by the three laws of motion, of cycles and of cause and effect, He is none the less free by virtue of the presence within Him and all that He creates of the quality of indeterminism. Although both the Logos and His universe are the product of previous universes, it is probably always within His power to produce new combinations, to bring into existence that which might not logically follow from the past.
Perhaps this possibility of complete newness in the creative process makes possible that mode of manifestation or expression of the Self to which in man we give the name spontaneity. If this is true, then spontaneity should be man’s most highly prized power, and all human actions should be judged by the degree in which they spring, natural, free, unpremeditated and spontaneous from the Self within.
Such thought-free self-expression is probably the ideal of all human conduct. It can only find perfect expression when the physical, emotional, and mental nature has been so sublimated that all acts, feelings, and thoughts are naturally true to the Inner Self. When that state is reached, and only then, can the very lofty quality of spontaneity be given free rein.
This phenomenon is seen to some extent both in the animal and the child. One of the greatest charms of childhood surely is its spontaneity. In this case the physical body, the emotions, and the mind are not sufficiently developed to mar the thought-free expression of the Self. Only, we may now presume, when the individual returns to the child state may he also return to spontaneity. Perchance this is part of the significance of the mysterious words of the Christ: ‘Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child he shall not enter therein’.
The strange fact is that spontaneity cannot be developed. It must appear naturally. The moment the mind is turned upon it, it disappears into some undiscoverable hiding place of its own. Elusive, it ever evades pursuit. Springing from the very principle of Freedom innate in all creation, it can never be caught in the mesh of the mind. It is perchance the most wonderful thing about man. Indeed, if these thoughts are at all true, one might say that the acid test of individual conduct is spontaneity.
Here one might ask, ‘Wherein comes forethought, careful planning, and active use of the mind?’ The answer in the light of the above is ‘Nowhere! ’ That which we plan we generally spoil; when we apply the mind we mar the conduct of our lives.
Let us examine this strange concept. If it be true, then every individual can trust life completely. Life itself will provide all the openings and opportunities necessary for its own fulfilment in the individual. All that he has to do is to watch circumstances, learn to interpret them correctly, and in addition equip himself with the faculties necessary to take advantage of the opportunities which life provides.
Do we then sit still, thoughtless, actionless? Yes and no. Thoughtless and actionless as far as the process of forcing external circumstances are concerned; full of thought and constantly in action in all that concerns interior development. The wise, and therefore the happy man, is he who is without plans, without ambition, without desire. Quiet, serene, yet keenly alive, he knows that every step that he must take in life’s journey will be clearly indicated to him, that his way will open naturally before him. His one concern is that he shall be well prepared to take that step, to follow the lead which life itself will always give him. Such a man, and only such a man, may be said to be truly happy and truly free. Perchance this is the meaning of the words of the Christ: ‘Take no thought for the morrow’; and ‘Consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin, yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these’.
Whence comes failure in the conduct of life, whence all the human misery? In the light of the foregoing the answer must be: ‘from personal ambition, personal desire, which interfere with the plan of life, destroy the naturalness with which life, if left alone, will fulfil itself in every individual’. The mind is the root of all evil, the great ‘slayer of the real’ for it is the mind which produces the excessive sense of separated Individuality, possessiveness, worldly ambition, and desire, which are at the root of all human sorrow.
Man suffers, during a certain period of his evolution, because, as his name indicates, he is a thinker. If he will be still mentally, will let desire fall away, surrender his Individuality to life itself, become an impersonal embodiment of that life, then it will flower in him as beautifully and as surely as in the sub-human and in the superhuman kingdoms of Nature.
The cure for all human ills at once emerges. It is cessation from individualistic thought, self-liberation from the illusion of separated Individuality. ‘The dewdrop’ of individual awareness must ‘slip into the shining sea’ of the Consciousness of the whole.
Does all this imply mental stagnation? Most assuredly not, for when the mind is still it is constantly in receipt of new ideas which arise from within, as if from some interior source. The trained mind can then seize upon, analyse, and extract the intellectual nutriment from them. Thus, constantly fed, the mind as constantly expands, grows continually, not perhaps in an accumulated memory of facts or of the stored ideas of other people, but in its own wisdom and its own understanding of life. Browning expresses this beautifully as follows: ‘To know rather consists in opening out a way whence the imprisoned Splendor may escape, than in effecting an entry for a light supposed to be without’.
The study of other people’s ideas is valuable only up to a certain point. It definitely becomes harmful when, as in so many people today, it constitutes the whole mental activity. For the mind is then never receptive to its own interior light. This surely is the great fault of modem education, which consists of cramming in and not of drawing out. Study should be carefully regulated to leave room for periods of prolonged quiet, for brooding upon and working out the synthetic and basic ideas which present themselves to the quiet mind.
This process culminates in realization of the fact that mental Individuality is an illusion, that there is but one Major Mind of which all personal mentalities are but localized and temporarily insulated manifestations. When the mind is illumined from within these insulations are seen for what they are — barriers to the true knowledge which comes alone from conscious unity with the Major Mind and a consequent participation in Its omniscience.
‘Be still and know that I am God’ is less of an injunction than a statement of that law by which alone illumination becomes possible. Only in the silence can the Voice of the Silence be heard.
In considering and applying these ideas to external worldly life it is important to remember the two processes of involution and evolution. On the onward journey the concrete mind must be used and developed to the full. On the pathway of return spiritual ideals begin to rule. The disciple must ‘slay the slayer’. Excalibur (symbol of the mind) must be cast away and man must ‘grow unconsciously as the flower grows’.
The American Theosophist, Vol. 26, Issue 10, October 1938, p. 223
A STUDY NOTE
The question is sometimes asked, even by children: ‘If God made all things, who made God?’ Occult philosophy answers ‘No one’; for the creative Deity or active Logos is itself an emanation from the Immutable Infinite, the Boundless, the Absolute, which, it is to be presumed, cannot will, think, or act until it has ‘become’ at least partially manifest as finite.
Kabbalism expresses this as follows: ‘There was a time when Heaven and Earth did not exist, but only an unlimited Space in which reigned absolute immobility. All the visible things and all that which possesses existence were born in that Space from a powerful principle which existed by Itself, and from Itself developed Itself, and which made the heavens revolve and preserved the universal life; a principle as to which philosophy declares we know not the name
The idea and name ‘God’ imply at least all of the following concepts: the totality of existence including physical nature; the power of self-production, self-reproduction, and the capacity to express these by the agency of the creative Intelligences — the Elohim — which direct the manifestations and the operations of that power; the divine thought or ideation of the whole Cosmos from its beginning to its end; and the sound of the creative ‘Voice’ (Logos) by which that ideation is impressed upon pre-cosmic substance.
These, together with all seeds, beings, forces, and laws — including expansion, alternation, cyclic progression, and harmonious equipoise — constitute that totality of existence which alone may be given with any measure of fitness the majestic and awe-inspiring title ‘God’. If so vast a synthesis may be designated a Being, then that Being is so complex, so all-inclusive, as to be beyond the comprehension of the human mind and the possibility of restriction to any single form, particularly as the idea of God also includes everlasting Law, everlasting Will, everlasting Life, and everlasting Mind.
In non-manifestation ‘God’ is quiescent. In manifestation ‘God’ is objectively active, and behind both quiescence and activity exist THAT which is eternal and unchanging, the Absolute, Self-Existent ALL. The creative Agent or Godhead referred to by various names in the world’s cosmogonies is the active expression of that eternal, incomprehensible One Alone.
If applied to the active Logos, the name ‘God’ is not singular but plural in its implications. Although the original directive Intelligence—the precursor and source of Universal Mind — arose in a unitary state from its root in precosmic space, the instant that agency became outward turned, the rule of number obtained. One alone cannot manifest; three are essential to the production of any result.
This is as true of cosmic manifestation as of microcosmic, or human creation whether intellectual or physical; for no germ is a unit, each at its simplest being a triplicity of potentials, namely the positive, the negative, and their productive interaction. So also, one may presume from analogy, the germ of Cosmos which, though a unit in Pralaya, displays a number at the outset of Manvantara.
The term ‘God’, therefore, as used in the Book of Genesis, is to be understood, as in Kabbalism, to refer to the group of intelligent, productive agencies inherent in and emanated from precosmic space. These are the Elohim, ‘a sevenfold power of Godhead’, the male-female hierarchies of creative Intelligences or potencies through which the Divine produces the manifested Universe or the unity of powers, the attributes and the creative activities of the Supreme Being.
In Hinduism, these beings are referred to as Dhyan-Chohans. The word ‘Dhyanf is the Sanskrit for ‘an expert in yoga’, but it is also a generic name for spiritual beings, Planetary Logoi, and hierarchies of archangels and angels. The terms ‘Dhyana’ signifies a state of profound contemplation during which the Dhyanin becomes united with the highest parts of his own constitution and communes therewith. Dhyan-Chohans, ‘Lords of Contemplation’, are members of the Host of Spiritual Beings who live in this exalted state and supervise the cyclic evolution of life and form in a Solar System. Monadically, man is an embryo Dhyan-Chohan, and at the close of the planetary age will himself have become a fully developed ‘Lord of Contemplation’.
The Deity and the Emanation of Universes
In occult philosophy, as we have seen, the term ‘God’ in its highest meaning refers to a supreme, eternal, and indefinable Reality. The Absolute is inconceivable, ineffable, and unknowable. Its revealed existence is postulated in three terms: an absolute Existence, an absolute Consciousness, and an absolute Bliss. Infinite Consciousness is regarded as inherent in the Supreme Being as a dynamic force that manifests the potentialities held in its own infinitude, and calls into being forms out of its own formless depths.
The emergence and subsequent development of a universe and its contents is regarded as being less the result of a single act of creation, followed by natural evolution, than a process of emanation guided by intelligent forces under immutable law. The creation of universes from nothing is not an acceptable concept, all being regarded as emanating from an all-containing, sourceless Source, the Absolute.
Let There Be Light
The illumined sages of old thus taught, concerning the emergence of Universes, that the Eternal One, which is potentially two-fold (Spirit-Matter), is subject to cyclic, rhythmic motion — a primordial Third which is also eternal. Attempting to express supra-mental principles in mental fashion, one may repeat that under certain conditions the relationship of the conjoined Spirit-Matter changes from passive unity into active duality — distinct positive and negative potencies. Thus, when ‘interior’ motion causes hitherto unified, quiescent Spirit-Matter to become oppositely polarised or creatively active, then there is activity, light, ‘Day’; for these two (Universal Spirit and Universal Matter) produce a third, a ‘Son’ which becomes the presiding Deity, the Logos, the Architect, of the resultant Universe.
A finite principle has now emerged from the Infinite. Universal Spirit-Matter-Motion has become focussed into a ‘Being’ who is beyond normal human comprehension. This is the One Alone, the ‘Only-begotten Son’ (when correctly translated, ‘Alone-begotten’ or ‘emanated from a unified, single Source), being of‘one substance with the Father’, which in this case is the Absolute, the Uncreated. By this ‘Son’, the Cosmic Christ, all the worlds are fashioned, ‘He’ being the Emanator, Architect, Sustainer, and Regenerator of Universes and all that they will ever contain.
This Supreme Deity, the formative Logos, H. P. Blavatsky writes in effect, is thus the first objective emanation of the Absolute, the principle of Divine Thought, now to be made manifest in an individual sense, first as the Logos of the whole Cosmos, second as the Solar Deity of a single Solar System, and third as the Logos of the Soul of every human being — the Dweller in the Innermost. These three are one, indivisible, identical, an integral part of each other, a whole. In the beginning, when newly formed, the First, the One Alone, is purely spiritual and intellectual. Ultimately, as we have seen, it becomes manifested as both Emanator (not Creator) of all that objectively exists and the indwelling and transforming divine life in all Nature, all beings, and all things.
The American Theosophist, Vol. 54, Issue 9, September 1966, p. 214
During our Workers Conference and the Convention itself, our thoughts were led by the lectures and by the discussions which followed them, to the problems in the world around us and the application of Theosophy to their solution.
In the Summer School, particularly in my own contribution, we shall withdraw our thoughts temporarily from the outer world and, guided by theosophical teachings, turn them to the emanation and the formation of universes. Our thoughts will go back to that pre-cosmic condition in which, as is said, in the Book of Genesis ‘Darkness was upon the face of the deep’. Then when the Cosmic Hour had struck, Divine creative energy was liberated and there was initiated the whole cosmic process of the emanation, formation and perfecting in orderly progression of universes and all that they contain. We shall turn our thoughts to that first dawn when ‘the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, the Morning Stars sang together and the Sons of God shouted for joy. In our study together we shall have a threefold objective. We shall first seek some partial comprehension of the creative Deity Itself; second, some understanding of the processes of the emanation of universes; and third, knowledge of man’s relationship to God and of his place in the Great Work, as it has been called.
This, surely, is an extremely interesting and important subject, for we shall seek knowledge of our spiritual source, our spiritual parentage, of the fountain and origin of our existence and our lives. We shall also be seeking knowledge of the purpose of our lives and of the laws governing the fulfilment of that purpose. We shall also seek the way of power, of full attainment for ourselves, and the way of happiness and peace for all mankind. At the very beginning, we shall reach up and outwards together in the realm of eternal and infinite thought. This in itself is valuable, no process being more important to man than contemplation of the Divine, no quest so essential to human happiness. For without a knowledge of our source, of our nature and our goal we cannot live intelligently, and unless we live intelligently, we cannot either obtain for ourselves or give to others enduring happiness.
So we are going to study together cosmic, creative processes. It is a difficult subject, yet man has always sought to understand it. The thought of man has always reached out towards his Divine Source and perhaps the most magnificent of all literature has been evoked by the contemplation of the Divine and the attempts of the authors, philosophers and poets to put into words the sublimate of that from which we all come forth. Yes, even children will ask us questions about God and who made God. The mother of two children of seven and five once told me that their thoughts were often turned toward the subject of God. On one occasion the younger child said, ‘Mother, did God make everything?’ ‘Yes, dear, of course He made everything’. ‘Well, then, Mother, who made God?’ came the natural question. Whereupon the elder child immediately said, ‘Mother, don’t answer him. He’ll only want to know who made who made who!’
We, in our turn in the days to follow, will try to understand who made who made who and by what means. The answer is strange, difficult to understand, metaphysical, abstract. St John in the first five verses of his Gospel leads into it in the most wonderful way, saying that ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not’. The first five verses of the Book of Genesis state: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light’: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day’. Evidently, then, at first there existed a duality, the Word which was God’s masculine creative spirit and the face of the deep, space, pre-cosmic matter, the feminine creative principle. At first and throughout creative night, Pralaya, there was darkness upon the face of the deep, the vast ocean of space, the Great Abyss.
Then the cosmic hour struck. The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters. The Great Breath was breathed upon the Great Deep. God spoke, saying ‘Let there be light’, and light shone forth. In this, all cosmogonies seem to agree, saying that sound, the Word of God, best describes the nature of the creative agency. Evidently, it is of the order, quality and form-producing potency of sound; so that by sound all things were said to be made. This, in part, is the Logos Doctrine which we will study together. We shall find many strange utterances, descriptive of creation, or rather emanation and formation, by the power of Divine Will—Thought—Sound. ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth’, sang the Psalmist. In Egypt the Creative Deity says, ‘I am the Great God Nu, who gave birth unto himself, and who made his name to become the company of the gods’. Again the Egyptians taught that Tehuti, as the Divine Intelligence, at the creation of the universe uttered the word, which resulted in the formation of the world. Tehuti was self-produced, was Lord of earth and air and sea and sky. Amen, the later active Deity, is called the hidden one of the mouth and it was the silence of his mouth whose uttered word is mystery, even the mouth of the ruler of the aeons which grasps the eternity of being which brought forth worlds. Similarly, Brahma, the Creative Deity in Hinduism, brings forth the universe as a result of marriage with His Consort, Vach, which means voice, sound, the active creative potency. There is a delightful story told of the childhood of the Lord Sri Krishna, who was an Avatara or ‘descent’ of Vishnu, the creative Deity. He was born of Devapi, his mother, in prison, and when she was freed and they were home, whilst in many ways he showed his strange divinity, his deific powers, in others he was a playful, even a naughty, little child. On one occasion, when he had been mischievous and she sought to reprove him, taking him upon her knee, he opened his mouth, and she saw the whole universe in the mouth of the child Sri Krishna. For a moment, she was lost therein, and thereafter she kneeled to this child who had been born of her, the Lord Himself, Creative Deity Who brings forth all things metaphorically from within His mouth or by the power of His voice.
Another wonderful description of creation is found in Egyptian cosmogony. The Egyptians believed at one time that the articulate word of the Voice of God, as of man, is amongst the most potent of creative forces and that the Voice of God did not remain immaterial on issuing from his lips. The Divine Voice condensed into tangible substance, into bodies, into gods and goddesses, who created in their turn. There is one striking description, in which the Deity, at the dawn of creation, stands as it were above the vast ocean of space and utters the creative cry, which was, ‘Come unto me’, whereupon the sun rose from the vast depths of space above a fully-opened lotus flower. God had opened His lips, and the voice which proceeded therefrom had become a universe. Sound had produced form.
These will be some of the ideas, which we shall think over quietly together on the four mornings when we study Creative Processes. As we do so, I hope we will remember that, ultimately, all theosophical doctrines must, and will, be translated into consciousness. Doctrines must eventually for us become living knowledge. Teachings must become gateways to direct experience. In order to achieve that, we begin with study, bringing the doctrines into clear focus in the mind and holding them there, living with them, meditating upon them, until, gradually, the doctrine begins to become assimilated knowledge, understood truth. The student then knows the doctrine, it belongs to him; it is part of him, his own. This full assimilation of fundamental ideas, it seems to me, is the goal. So, as we here study together, morning after morning, I shall enunciate the doctrines very slowly, sometimes repeating them and pausing between each repetition. We shall find, I hope, that in many cases, the sheer beauty of the language of the quotations will delight and uplift our minds as they move towards the ideas and finally comprehend them.
At the end of such study, we will turn to man, the microcosm, creator in the becoming, one day to bring forth universes, even larger than those that now exist; for, remember, that is our destiny. We are Creative Voices to be, Logoi in the becoming. One day it will be our task, or at least our stature, to bring forth universes in our turn. The power to do so is in us now. Within the Monad of each one of us resides the whole potency of the Cosmic Godhead. We do not have to create that power, we only liberate and exercise it. That is why the Monad in each one of us is called the ‘Immortal Germ’. Each one of us is at some stage in this becoming, some phase of our pilgrimage, the goal of which is described by our Lord, ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect’.
This is difficult to contemplate, as we think of ourselves as we are down here, mere mortal men and women, conscious of our limitations; but, if for a moment we contemplate and perhaps touch the Divinity within us, then the possibility of such attainment begins to be realized. ‘Become that which you are’, we are taught, indicating our destiny which is to bring to full manifestation that which from the beginning has been latent within us.
Man is described as a microcosm, a little world, a reproduction of the Macrocosm, the greater world. In terms of vibratory possibilities, all that is in this universe is present in man. The whole universe, with all its parts, from the plane of Adi, the first plane, down to the physical, is interlocked, interwoven to make a single whole, one body, one organism, one life, one consciousness.
All the organs of this Macrocosm, the universe, though apparently separated in space, and plane of manifestation, are, in fact, harmoniously interrelated and interacting. The whole Syrian Cosmos, for example, which includes the twelve signs of the zodiac, and all its component Solar Systems with their suns and their planets, and all their kingdoms and planes of nature, their elements, colours, Rays, notes, beings and Orders of Intelligences, all this is one co-ordinated whole. This is because all the parts are in correspondence or harmonious resonance and mutual interaction with each other.
Certain parts or organs of the universal body, certain signs, planets, planes, kingdoms, colours, metals, jewels, parts of man, physical and superphysical, are more intimately grouped together than others, and these parts resonate harmoniously with each other, like the notes of a chord. Various parts of the universe and of man share a common basic frequency of oscillation. In occultism, they are said to correspond. For example, one sign of the zodiac, its ruling planet, one of the elements, one of the colours in the spectrum, one of the principles or bodies of man, one of the chakras in the superphysical bodies, one of the glandular centres in the physical body, these are all co-ordinated and vibrating in mutual resonance.
Knowledge of these correspondences, as they are theosophically called, provides the key to the understanding of the universe, and of man’s place therein. This knowledge provides the key to the solution of many human problems; it is also the basic science behind all life and the key to magic. Magic has been described as the power to address the gods in their own tongue, meaning that human consciousness must be able to vibrate on the frequency of the hierarchical Orders of Gods whose collaboration is sought. Symbolically one must know their ‘names’ and since every ‘name’ of every being is within man, he can evoke it, especially if he knows various frequencies and correspondences. All, says Theosophy, which is outside of us is also within us, not only in general but like a perfectly adjusted piece of clockwork, every part of man is synchronized or geared to every corresponding part of the universe, the whole being one great and perfect mechanism turning together, as cycle follows cycle in that orderly progression which, as The Secret Doctrine says, is without conceivable beginning or imaginable end. These ideas of Theosophy we will think over together and, particularly, that man is made in the image of God, or as it is said, ‘Thou hast created man to be immortal and made him to be an image of Thine own eternity’. Old Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, said: ‘The universe is a man on a large scale’. I presume we might permissibly reverse the dictum and say that man is a universe on a small scale. Thus indeed as Pope said, ‘The proper study of mankind is man’, and, rightly, over the doorway of the Temple at Delphi in ancient Greece the words were inscribed, ‘Man know thyself.
So, as I said at the beginning of these introductory remarks, and now repeat at the end, during these few happy days together, in the beautiful surroundings and the seclusion of Olcott, and away from the noise and the roar of the traffic of the world amidst which so many of us have to live, we will give up our thoughts to the contemplation of the Divine. From our morning meditation at 7:30, and on throughout our studies and thoughts together, we will seek what Ruysbroeck describes as ‘the immediate contact with the Divine’.
(Introductory Remarks at the Opening of Summer School, 1953)
The American Theosophist, Vol. 44, Issue 5, May 1956, p. 90
The chief purpose for which the modem spiritualist movement was brought into existence by the Masters was to challenge the scientific materialism of the Nineteenth Century. The phenomena of spiritualism constitute primarily a subject to be investigated scientifically and secondarily a gateway from materialism to philosophy. For very few people, the author fears, does it serve in this dual capacity. Millions of spiritualists throughout the world refuse to use it either as a subject for research or as a gateway leading to comprehension of the profound Truths of esoteric philosophy and religion. Apparently they prefer to remain in the gateway itself interested only in the recurrent phenomena which may be thought of as the gateposts and the gate.
Unfortunately it would also appear that a great evil has crept in and marred the whole movement. I refer to commercialization as a result of which the whole science has deteriorated to become in the main intellectually negligible. It is an axiom that money cannot be associated with occultism. The superphysical worlds can only be safely and fruitfully entered by those whose hearts are free from all thought of personal gain. The moment monetary considerations enter into psychic and occult processes, purity of perception is dulled and purity of motive endangered.
Two particular dangers beset every professional medium. One consists of the appeal to vanity — the desire to be looked up to — and the other consists of desire for financial gain. Either of these are sufficient greatly to reduce the quality, the accuracy and the range of spiritual perception.
Success in the quest of spiritual vision, wisdom and power, depends almost entirely upon purity of heart. For purity of heart implies also singleness of mind, one-pointedness and freedom from every thought of self.
Purity of heart implies transcendence of all worldly desires. Only he who cares no longer for the wealth and glitter of the world of men can enter the world of the Supermen. Only he who is free of even the slightest thought of reward, material or spiritual, in return for his labours can ever tread the steep and narrow way which leads to eternal life and to power to help and heal the world.
Blessed indeed are the pure in heart, for not only shall they see and know that God which is their highest Self, but they shall bestow their powers of vision upon their fellow men.
To this great spiritual work the Spiritualist Movement and all spiritualists by their very name originally were called. Many splendid workers loyally abided by the original ideals. The great majority, one fears, have not entirely succeeded in doing so.
What of those who approach mediums and attend spiritualistic seances and services? For the most part their motives are perfectly natural and good. These are, in the main, the desire for knowledge of the hereafter and for contact with their beloved dead. A great service has been, and still is being rendered to tens of thousands of people in the gratifications of these two desires and for this the world owes a debt of gratitude to the Spiritualist Movement.
Unfortunately it so often happens that few are content with their first successful experiment. Having obtained the desired knowledge and enjoyed as they believe, contact with their loved ones — and therefore having completed their quest — instead of resting content, they continue the association.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 4 August 1938, p. 13
In Dr G. S. Arundale, a great representative and member of a spiritual dynasty has passed from human ken. His passing evokes reflections concerning two lines of dynastic succession which have always been carefully preserved. They are the spiritual and the temporal, the occult and the physical. Evidently, a fundamental principle is involved under which spiritual power and spiritual powers are handed on from the Logos of one Universe to the Logos of its successor and the Manus of Planetary Chains hand on Their power and Their office and the fruits of Their cycle to Their immediate Successors. The Manus of Rounds, the Lords of Worlds and the Manus of Races all similarly bestow upon Their Successors the power and the potentiality delivered to Them when They assumed Their office. Thus the dynastic line is preserved from Manvantara to Manvantara. Thus the seeds of life and the creative powers by which they are again fructified are preserved and passed on to the Lord of the next cycle.
The Hierophants of the Mystery Schools of old also obeyed this unchanging rule, and just as all Manus and all Logoi derive Their power from the central Source whether Solar or Cosmic Logos, so all Hierophants derive their official power and the initiatory creative fire which has been delivered to them by their Predecessors, from the One Hierophant of a planet. Thus, within the Mysteries, greater and lesser, the line of descent is preserved.
Traces of this everlasting rite of the transmission of creative fire have come down in Masonic rituals and in the choice and the ceremonial coronations of the successive Monarchs of Nations. In ancient Egypt, in the initiated Pharoahs, these two dynasties were frequently conjoined. The greatest of the Pharoahs were also the Hierophants of the Mysteries of their particular Temple, having derived their power from the supreme and reigning Hierophant of Egypt of that time. The coronation itself was a dual rite. A religious ceremony was performed in the sight of all the people and when the Pharoah was of the required occult stature, in a Lodge of the Greater Mysteries.
The preservation of this descent is markedly indicated in the deeply occult stories of the successions of the Jewish Patriarchs in the Old Testament. Each receives a blessing from his father and frequently some token as a covenant between the two. Rods, pillars, the root of the mysterious mandragora plant, and images of the Gods, the teraphim, are used as symbols of the transmitted energy and faculty. A birthright meaning transmitted creative faculty, tracts of land, flocks of sheep and herds of cattle are use as symbols of the Monads or spiritual ‘seeds’ which pass from one generation to the next. For thus the power of both the Jewish Mysteries and the Jewish race was handed down from father to son, from a Patriarch to his successor. From the chariot of fire in which he ascended the mantle of Elijah falls on to Elisha his successor.
The disciple John was made the adopted son of the Mother of Jesus by the ‘dying’ and passing Christos of one dispensation that the line might continue after His coronation and ascension to occupy a throne from which wider realms would be ruled. The Apostolic power, similarly was handed on and still is transmitted from bishop to priest down the centuries. Thus the special pentecostal fire is preserved and transmitted for the service of men; for hierophants, initiates, patriarchs, bishops and priests are all symbols of the Logoi of Solar System and their components, each of whom receives and in his turn transmits the solar creative fire appropriate to his office. Yet far more than mere symbols are they for, when the rites of the Greater and Lesser Mysteries are performed in a properly constituted manner, that creative fire descends and is handed on. Temporal monarchs, too, receive this privilege and at their coronations they are granted by the Supreme Hierophant of the Planet, its spiritual King, that due measure of the kingly power appropriate to their office and apportioned to their dynastic line.
The Theosophist, Vol. 67, November 1945, p. 66
This subject has been frequently presented during recent years, particularly by Dr Louis S. B. Leakey, the famous British Palaeontologist, whose discoveries of fossils in East Africa have provided interesting scientific information. Dr Leakey’s mother, Dr Mary Leakey, in her turn, found the skull of an extinct ape which thrived in tropical African forests up to twenty million years ago.
Special interest has recently been aroused by discovery of a set of footprints left by two man-like creatures more than three and a half million years ago in Northern Tanzania. These creatures walked upright, like modem human beings, and were judged to have been about four feet tall. A new species in man’s genesis has also been discovered in the region of Ethiopia; considered to be three and a half million years old and completely bipedal.
Occult Science in its turn gives the age of the earth in round figures to be about two thousand million years. The first ‘Dawn Men’ (First Root Race) then occupied a tropical continent at the North Pole. The Third Root Race, however, was in existence twenty-five million years ago and developed skin, flesh and bony structure and an upright stance. During this period men and apes developed from a common ancestor.
The Fourth Root Race was in existence twelve million years ago and was said partly to have inhabited the continent of Atlantis. The Fifth Root Race existed from one million years ago and constitutes the Aryan Race to which the Western and Indo-Aryan peoples belong. To a considerable extent, modern discoveries would thus appear to support the teachings of Theosophy; for the fossilized skull of an ape woman believed to be about two and a half million years old was found in a cave thirty miles west of Johannesburg.
One part of the great value of Theosophy is that it provides such basic philosophic ideas, or keys to the understanding of life, as:
(a) The Law of Periodicity, including evolutionary progression through successive cycles of involution and evolution.
(b) The existence of an indelible Akashic Record of every event from the beginning of manifestation.
(c) The existence of a clairvoyant faculty by which the Akashic Records may be read. Occult investigation permits a detailed study of every event which has occurred since the dawn of the life of our Solar System, and makes possible complete astronomical, ethnological and archeological sciences. This is due to the fact that every event is imprinted indelibly upon a principle in Nature named in Sanskrit the akash.
Recent fossil discoveries have thus produced a dramatic re-evaluation of one of science’s oldest questions: the origin of man.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 43, No. 1, 1982, p. 14
In approaching the subject of the possible existence of a Divine Being of Whom the Cosmos is an expression, the student of The Archaic Doctrine discovers that the idea of a wholly personal Deity must be relinquished. Indeed, the ultimate foundation, source and energizing and conserving Principle is far removed from the idea of a personal Godhead. Rather is it presented as a complete abstraction, a vast emptiness or void which contradictorily is described as also a plenum of fullness — at least so far as normal intelligence may comprehend the presented idea.
Evidently, the aspirant to understanding and illumination must transcend those limitations of the human mind and even of the abstract intellect which retain ideas of particular principles, laws, periodical procedures and all that could follow from them.
This uttermost, ultimate abstraction would seem, however — if my limited understanding is at all acceptable — to be either subject to, or inherently to express, a Principle. This might be regarded as that of alternation, under which the Cosmos and its components continuously emerge and withdraw.
To the human mind seeking to understand divine procedures under the guidance of the Dhyan-Chohans or Lords of Contemplation and the exalted Mahatmas from Whom knowledge is said to become available, the emergences or emanations from the Absolute in their turn appear to be under the dominion — if the term may be used — of two further precise principles.
One of these is that of the unfoldment of innate, germinal powers by means of the involvement of the Cosmic Life Principle in matter of deepening density, until a maximum is attained. Thereafter, a withdrawal of the unfolding Life commences and is continued until all is once more re-absorbed into its Source.
Developments have occurred during these procedures; for a second Principle becomes evident. This might be briefly defined as the operation of an irresistible Law which ordains that everything which objectively exists must evolve from less to more.
A Third Law apparently comes into operation as the finite emanates from the Infinite. This might perhaps be briefly described like this: throughout all regions of Cosmos, harmony must prevail. In The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 368 [2-vol. ed.: Vol. 1, p. 643], H.P.B. [Helena P. Blavatsky] writes:... ‘For the only decree of Karma — an eternal and immutable decree — is absolute Harmony in the world of Matter as it is in the world of Spirit’.
Such, briefly, and with recognition of grave limitation of understanding, are deductions to be made from a study of The Secret Doctrine.
The incompleteness of my exposition of Cosmology is forced upon me by the limitations of both time at my disposal and my understanding of so vast a subject.
The whole system of occult philosophy is based upon the most fundamental doctrine which asserts unequivocally that the manifested universe is derived from and is the expression of an Ultimate Reality, referred to as the Absolute Parabrahman.
This Reality in its highest aspect is a harmonized, balanced, integrated Whole, without beginning or end, beyond all opposites and differentiated states and therefore both a Void and a Plenum.
‘Sat is the immutable, the ever-present, changeless, and eternal Root, from and through which all proceeds. But it is far more than the potential force in the seed, which propels onward the process of development, or what is now called evolution. It is the ever becoming, though the never manifesting’.
H.P.B. in The Secret Doctrine writes: ‘Parabrahman 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, nor even Atma, but verily the one source of all manifestations and modes of existence’.
‘Parabrahman ... 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 Avalokiteshvara 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 Parabrahman at the time of Pralaya, and starts as a centre of conscious energy at the time of cosmic activity’.
The Deity may also be regarded, one learns, as the presiding Intelligence of a Solar System, a Solar Logos. Here, also, we must divest our minds of the idea of a personal God in human form and go back in thought to the First Cause, the Sourceless Source. Three Divine Existences are conceived:
1. A Causeless Cause, which is the Absolute, Eternal Existence, from which all things come forth and to which all return.
2. An emanation from that Causeless Cause of a manifested Cosmic, Deific Principle, Architect and Life-giver to all Creation, a Cosmic Logos. This being is a creative unit, is a source and synthesis of all powers, and yet is one. It is sometimes referred to as ‘The One Alone’.
3. A Solar Deity, a Spiritual Being of inconceivable power, wisdom, intelligence and glory, Who presides over one Solar System in that Cosmos. This Being is an active Logos and as such is a Trinity—Creator (or Emanator), Preserver and Transformer, or Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Thus, behind and beyond and within all is the Eternal and Infinite Parent from within which the temporary and the finite emerge, or are born. That Boundless Self-Existence is variously referred to as the Absolute, the Changeless, the Eternal All, the Causeless Cause, the Rootless Root. This is Non-Being, Negative Existence, No-Thing, Ain (as the Kabbalist says), an impersonal Unity without attributes conceivable by man.
In occult philosophy the term ‘God’ in its highest meaning thus refers to a Supreme, Eternal and Indefinable Reality. This Absolute is inconceivable, ineffable and unknowable. Its revealed existence is postulated in three terms: namely an absolute Existence, an absolute Consciousness and an absolute Bliss. Infinite Consciousness is regarded as inherent in the Supreme Being as a dynamic Force that manifests the potentialities held in its own infinitude, and calls into being forms out of its own formless depths. From THAT, the Absolute, emerged an active, creative Power and Intelligence to become formative Deity, the Demiurgos, of the Universe-to-be. The illumined Sages thus taught that the Eternal One, which is potentially twofold (Spirit-matter), is subject to cyclic, rhythmic Motion, a primordial Third, which is also eternal. Under certain conditions the relationship of the conjoined Spirit-matter changes from passive unity into active duality — distinct positive and negative potencies.
The Secret Doctrine admits a Logos, or a Collective ‘Creator’ of the Universe; a Demi-urgos, (Demiurge), in the sense implied when one speaks of an ‘Architect’, as the ‘Creator’ of an edifice, whereas that Architect has never touched one stone of it, but, furnishing the plan, has left all the manual labour to the masons — the Hierarchies of Creative Intelligences; in our case, the plan was furnished by the Ideation of the Universe, and the constructive labour was left to the Hosts of intelligent Powers and Forces. But that Demiurge is no personal Deity — i.e., an imperfect extra-cosmic God, but only the aggregate of the Dhyan-Chohans and the other Forces.
The Logos, Transcendent and Immanent
The Solar Logos is regarded as the mighty Being in Whom all Monads and all beings are synthesized to constitute one great Intelligence, ‘Our Lord the Sun’. He is in a somewhat similar relation to His Solar System as the Monad of man is to the seven vehicles, and the Ego is to the Personality — a source of Life, Light, Consciousness, Law and Beauty.
Just as the physical body has its organs which are components of the body as a whole, so the physical Solar System is as a physical body to the Solar Logos. The Sun is the physical heart, whilst the planets may provide an analogy for the organs, limbs and other members. All appear as a unit, one body, to the Solar Logos, just as man’s body is a unit to him: The trillions of bodily cells correspond to the millions of Monads.
Thus, behind and within Creation exists its Source, its Architect, ‘Ancient Progenitor before all things’. This, for our Solar System, is the Solar Logos, Transcendent and Immanent, Unmanifest and Manifest, the Infinite Glory beyond and within all Creation. The formative Logos is the first objective Emanation of the Absolute. It is the Principle of Divine Thought, to be made manifest in an individual sense, firstly as the Logos of the whole Cosmos and all that it contains, secondly as the Solar Deity of a single Solar System, and thirdly, as the Logos of the Soul of man, the Inner Ruler Immortal (The Secret Doctrine). These Three are one, indivisible, identical, an integral part of each other, a Whole.
Man is God. The next step in thought is that spiritually, man and God are one and identical. The Macrocosm and the microcosm are one. Man is an epitome in miniature of the whole Universe. The Solar System, physical, superphysical and spiritual, is all represented within man’s nature. The sun, planets, satellites, powers, kingdoms and intelligences of Nature are all potentially present within every man. If it were not so we could not respond to their influences, could not receive and relay their life, power and consciousness. This is the true secret of man’s power. He is perpetually preserved, empowered and sustained by virtue of the presence in him of all life and all being.
The Law of Correspondences — Kabbalism
‘In the chain of being everything is magically contained in everything else. Where you stand, there stand all the worlds’. Kabbalism adds to the Hermetic axiom — ‘What is below is above’, the statement that ‘what is inside is outside’ and that everything ‘acts upon everything else’. Man is portrayed ‘as a symbolic transparency through which the secret of the Cosmos could be discerned’. Kabbalists stress the interrelation of all worlds and levels of being, affirming that everything is connected with and interpenetrates everything else, ‘according to exact though unfathomable laws. Everything possesses its infinite depths which from every point may be contemplated’. This refers to the most profound fact about man — ourselves. Locked up, inherent, inborn within each one of us, however embryonic, is the whole potency of the Universe, its Supreme Deity and the Intelligences through which He is made manifest.
The Divine in Man
‘The ever unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart — invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through the ‘still small voice’ of our spiritual consciousness. Those who worship before it, ought to do so in the silence and the sanctified solitude of their Souls; making their Spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence’.
As at the beginning of my address, I referred to fundamental Principles underlying the manifestation of the Nameless, Eternal and Ever-Present Deity, so now at the close, I suggest one other.
This is, that man is possessed, whether embryonically or in various stages of developed activity and use, of the power in increasing measure to know, to commune with and ultimately to be absorbed in the One Eternal Essence from which all is said to have come forth. This is because he himself in his spiritual nature is a microcosm of that Macrocosm with its inherent Deific Life-Principle.
This Experience has been passed through by Seers and Mystics on Earth who have handed on descriptions of their intellectual and spiritual illumination. Here are some examples:
‘Beyond contemplation, mode of the mind; beyond ecstasy, mode of the enraptured feelings; beyond even intuition’s power to pierce to Reality, there is the Supreme Life whereinto the Spirit is led — a boundless, “unwalled world”, “the hill of the Lord. . . . His holy place’”.
‘This fruition of God is a still and glorious and essential Oneness beyond the differentiation of the Persons, where there “is neither an outpouring nor an indrawing” of God, but the Persons are still and one in fruitful love, in calm and glorious unity. . . . There is God our fruition and His own, in an eternal and fathomless bliss’.
Thus, the aspirant may know, with increasing fullness and depth and height, something of the mystery of the Supreme Deity and its Universe of Matter, of which every man is a manifestation and a part.
‘For I am the Eternal foundation, the inexhaustible bliss, the everlasting righteousness, supremest happiness’.
Up and down, and through and in and out of all this wanders Life— God — as Spirit. Not God Himself but His expanding Life as mind, passing into, and exploring, all the ramifications of His body. In the littlest, densest, most inert fragments of His garments, His consciousness is the steadfast guarantee of an eternal link. So it is said of Him: ‘God goes to school’.
An Eastern scripture says: — ‘The Supreme Brahman is the one Reality, without a second, it is pure wisdom, the stainless one, absolute peace without beginning and without end, void of action, and the essence of ceaseless bliss’.
‘The self, harmonized by Yoga, seeth the Self abiding in all beings, all beings in the Self; everywhere he seeth the same’.
‘He who seeth Me everywhere, and seeth everything in Me, of him will I never lose hold, and he will never lose hold of me’.
‘He Who, established in unity, worshippeth Me, abiding in all beings, that Yogi cometh to Me, whatever his mode of existence’.
‘The same am I to all beings; there is none hateful to Me nor dear. They verily who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me, and I also in them’.
The Lord Christ said similarly:— ‘I am in my Father and He in Me and I in you’.
Shri Krishna further said: ‘I, O Gudakesha, am the Self seated in the heart of all beings: I am the beginning, the middle, and also the end of all beings’.
‘And whatsoever is the seed of all beings, that am I, Arjuna; nor is there aught, moving or unmoving, that may exist bereft of Me’.
‘Whatsoever is glorious, good, beautiful and mighty, understand thou that to go forth from a fragment of My splendour’.
This Presence of the God in man is beautifully described in another Hindu scripture:
‘Unseen He sees, unheard He hears, unthought of He thinks, unknown He knows. None other than He is the Seer, none other than He is the Hearer, none other than He is the Thinker, none other than He is the Knower. He is the Self, the Inner Ruler Immortal. That which is other perishes’.
How this mystery of the Divine in man is accomplished is thus described:
‘A portion of Mine own Self, transformed in the world of life into an immortal Spirit, draweth round itself the senses of which the mind is the sixth, veiled in matter’.
Rabindranath Tagore told of the indwelling God in Nature and in man in a beautiful poem, in which a dewdrop and the sun converse.
‘The dewdrop speaks:
“What is there but the sky, O sun, which beholds thine image? I dream of thee but to serve thee I never can hope”.
‘The Dewdrop wept and said:
I am too small to take thee unto me, great Lord,
And thus my life is all tears’.
‘Then the sun answers:
‘I illumine the limitless sky,
Yet I can yield myself up to a tiny drop of dew’.
‘Thus said the sun and smiled:
“I will be a speck of sparkle and fill you,
And your tiny life will be a smiling orb”.
William Wordsworth told of:
... “Something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a Spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
and rolls through all things”.
William Blake wrote, ‘. . . To mount to God is to enter into one’s self. For he who inwardly entereth and intimately penetrateth into himself gets above and beyond himself and truly mounts up to God’.
Eternity and Time
‘In all of us there dwells a secret marvellous power of freeing ourselves from the changes of Time, of withdrawing our secret selves away from external things, and of discovering to ourselves the Eternal in us, in the form of unchangeability. This presentation of ourselves to ourselves is the most truly personal experience upon which depends everything that we know of the supersensual world. At that moment we annihilate Time and duration of Time: we are no longer in TIME, BUT TIME OR RATHER ETERNITY ITSELF, THE TIMELESS, IS IN US’.
Tennyson wrote: ‘. . . of waking trance, I have frequently had when I have been all alone. This has often come upon me through repeating my own name to myself silently till, all at once ... out of the intensity of the consciousness of Individuality the Individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being; and this is not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, the weirdest of the weirdest, utterly beyond words’ (‘Vision’)
Thus, in small part, have thought, spoken and written poets and mystics concerning the Divine Presence within all Nature and all mankind.
The Secret Doctrine also affirms that he or she who would make their maximum contribution to the welfare of their fellow men and fellow sentient creatures on Earth, will be enabled to do so by two means. One is that of serving to the full extent of their ability and freedom, and the other consists of regular, wisely-planned contemplation of the Divine, realizing Oneness therewith and in consequence drawing upon power, wisdom, intelligence and capacities far beyond those which they themselves may have as yet developed.
Such, I gather, is the immemorial Wisdom concerning our subject and such the age-old and unchanging pathway which, faithfully followed, will bring the human being to the very summit or maximum of human attainment and effectiveness in the service of his fellow men.
(A lecture given at the 97th International
Convention at Adyar, 1972.)
The Theosophist, Vol. 94, February 1973, p. 289
As I understand there may be some members of the public present this evening, and perhaps some new members of our Theosophical Society not fully aware of our teachings of the nature of man, I will begin by briefly advancing the view that man is at least seven-fold in his nature. These seven parts all occupy the same location in space; they are here and now from highest Spirit to the densest matter. The seven vestures are the physical body, the vital body, container and conserver of vitality, and the emotional and mental bodies. These four vehicles are sometimes called the Personality of man. This is mortal; it comes into existence as a vehicle of the indwelling Self during prenatal life. After the allotted span these four bodies at death gradually disintegrate, the real reincarnating Self having withdrawn from them. This Inner Self is three-fold, being a reflection of the three aspects of the Creative Logos, spiritual intelligence, intuitive wisdom and within these the Spirit-Essence, the Atma within, the real Self of man, the core of his existences. This, in its turn, is forever inseparably united with the one Spirit-Essence of all, the Paramatma.
I am now going to share with you some fruits of study and research into the condition of consciousness of that reincarnating Self, the unfolding spiritual unit, the Ego in the Causal Body. This research is possible because we do not need to remain imprisoned in the physical body whilst awake. By focusing attention in superphysical vehicles, we can learn to become aware in them and explore them.
What, then, is the life of the human Ego? I offer, quite undogmatically, some answers born of my studies of the subject, limiting myself to pure Causal consciousness, the spirit Self of a reasonably developed Ego in its Causal Body. Conditions will vary according to development and temperament, but, I think there will be certain common characteristics. At once I am faced with difficulties because words can and do falsify abstract ideals, and experiences in arupa worlds cannot be fully translated into terms of concrete thought and physical speech. Certain arupa [abstract] conditions contradict rupa [concrete] experience. For example, in Causal consciousness there are no negatives; only positives exist. There are no contrasts. All is light all the time and physically we can hardly imagine light without darkness in contrast.
Complete freedom of existence is another characteristic. There is no necessity to make any effort about anything. Entry into Causal consciousness brings at once complete ease as if all resistance, all restrictions, had vanished, leaving only pure being, the essential existence of the divine principle in man, his true integral Self, in a serene happiness in which doubt, worry and all other stresses cannot exist. The Ego dwells in smiling and unbroken ease and serenity.
No effort is ever needed and so no planning. Indeed no thought of a plan is possible, for to Causal consciousness, all exists and is perpetually available in its fullness. Any change is but a steady, unrecognized increase in the fullness of being. No action and therefore no fatigue, no exhaustion, no boredom can be experienced, no action being called for. There is only an increasing interior fullness and deepening of existence naturally occurring. The unfolding human Ego in its own world amongst its peers is simply pure being, without plan, spontaneous, thought-free, motiveless, complete.
Mystics and occultists have also borne testimony to the causal experience of entering into supernal, infinite light, of being light itself, a centre of light in an ocean of light, the ‘true light that never was on sea or land’ and ‘lighteth every man that cometh into the world’. The Causal Body is self-radiant, an outraying of light from its centre.
Another contrast with physical life is that there is no skin, no edge to this radiance of what has been called ‘The Robe of Glory’. Causal consciousness is virtually universal and the sense of division, of being separated from anyone or anything does not, cannot, exist in this state. One is light in a world of universal light. When once this state has been entered and particularly when dwelt in until it becomes part of consciousness, that same light can be seen in all beings and all things. The lower worlds are ‘seen’ to be bathed in and permeated by the vast ocean of spiritual light.
Another strange experience on entering this plane of existence is that the time sense is greatly changed, almost lost, as if the Inner Self were independent of time. Time is not a factor in existence and awareness. The Ego abides in duration or time without limits. Here we live amidst past, present and future. Of these it is said only the future is actually real, the past having gone and the present vanishing whilst we think of it. The future approaches all the time. Causally this is not so. All is in complete existence all the time. The Ego does not actually dwell in eternity, in the eternal now. That appertains to a far deeper state within universe and man, at the level of the Spirit-Essence, the Atma, within us. When we touch that deeper layer, our Monadic self, then perhaps we may know eternity and that all exists in uttermost fullness all the ‘time’. Processes of beginning, developing, evolving, achieving, have there little or no meaning; for all exists all at once. Physically, this is negated, is just not so. Egoic consciousness is somewhere between the two relatively independent of time, dwelling in time without limits.
Awareness there can bring strange phenomena into one’s experience; for example, physically, a swiftly moving body, a bullet fired through the air or, far more swiftly, a sub-atomic particle, an electron, perhaps, shot with great velocity passes invisibly. When one tries to examine with heightened vision these swiftly moving sub-atomic particles and perhaps the root particle, the anu, these are causally and even in some strange way, clairvoyantly, observed to be motionless — a contradiction of physical experience, and there are many others, all of which can nevertheless be living and repeatable experiences whilst in the physical body. A physically moving object, then, can be observed as if there were no such phenomenon as motion, there being nowhere to go, to come from, to reach, as if everything exists now, here and all at once.
What, then, is causal knowledge? Here, as we grow up, are educated and educate ourselves, we have the experience of receiving information, of considering it, meditatively, contemplatively in some cases, as if something external to ourselves had come to us. Physically, then, a process occurs of gaining knowledge from without. That is negated in causal consciousness. The principles of existence, of emanation, unfoldment in successive degrees, of an underlying harmony of the whole universe, and all other basic equations and formulae of life, Egoically are not received ideas. We grow up with them as part of the very nature of our existence. They are built increasingly as it were into the construction of consciousness in the higher worlds, after a certain level of development has been reached. Even those words are contradictions because suggesting time. Egoically, the processes of Nature operate all around and within and upon one. They are observed and known intuitively as beyond question or necessity of thought. All natural principles and processes are, in fact, continually lived and in no sense observed as if external. They are ‘parts’ of the unified fabric of being. Now those words have falsified what I want to say, and I find it extremely hard to bring these causal, arupa, concepts in their vital significance into terms of the concrete mind. The brain is especially limiting and still more so words.
Let me, then, deliberately provide some concrete ideas. We, Theosophists, are taught, we believe, and some of us know, that this Inner Self of universe and man gradually unfolds its inherent powers, reaches one standard of development after another by virtue of successive lives on earth, the whole process operating under a flexible Law of Cause and Effect. So in our thought, we say we have had past lives. We lived on earth in another body, for example, two, three, four, or five hundred years or so ago. That life came to an end. It finished. It is now a past life. Behind that again hundreds of other existences as personalities, lived their little day and, with the civilizations with which they were a part, have all gone into the past. Now, imagine a state of consciousness in duration or time without limit in which this simply is not so, those former existences still continuing here and now. If we were in Egypt once or twice in those lives, then they are still going on. A past life is, causally, not finished and done with. The whole procedure occurs here and now, very much as we attending this gathering have been all together a few minutes before it started when we found our seats and we waited for what had to be done and is now being done. Whilst physically all events were in succession, they are still present in our consciousness, still going on. We are here together in a continuing, non-temporal, process. Something like that, but far more subtle and extensive, obtains in causal consciousness. Thus the Ego dwells in timelessness.
A peculiarity of physical embodiment is that consciousness is continually snapped off, broken, lost. Every time we go to sleep, briefly, or for the night, consciousness is lost, put out like a candle that is extinguished. For us physically all then vanishes including ourselves. We, Theosophists, may believe that consciousness continues and there is activity in an inner world but, physically at any rate, consciousness is intermittent, being continually broken. This is not at all the case for the Ego in the Causal Body. There — a falsifying word — consciousness is unbroken, continuous as if the Ego dwells in continuity with everything going on all the time, without any break in awareness or any change. If there is any change, it is as of a perpetually unfolding sphere, which from within is ever unfolding; from a centre or germ within one there is welling up all the time more and more spirit-essence; more power, life, love, vital energies and awareness and understanding are perpetually increasing, like a sphere of light with continually increasing range.
Thus in causal consciousness there cannot ever be any sense of lack, of want, anything to be striven for. All is fully available all the time, and Egoic existence consists of a perpetual expansion due to the continuous up-welling from an infinite source of light, life and energizing, dynamic power. All that ever can be is already present in this sense of growing fullness in timeless experience. As I said in the beginning, the experience of causal consciousness in whatever degree is thus one of rest, peace, great and smiling ease.
Another contrast with physical awareness, a contradiction in fact of our three dimensional consciousness is that of infinite withinness. Physically, we know that all objects can be expanded limitlessly in size. Apart from obstructions on the physical plane, space is limitless, and so we are able to conceive of limitless outward expansion. Movement outward is for us without restriction, but when we try to penetrate limitlessly into the interior of things we come to the impassible centre. Now imagine a state where that impassibility does not exist, where there is also infinite withinness. This is applicable to both universe and man and if he so focuses his attention, he can indeed penetrate in consciousness deeper and deeper towards his inner nature without ever coming to a stop, a barrier, an absolutely resistant centre.
This is a very strange experience and again in examining sub-atomic particles, for example, one finds that deep within the minutest of them there is another kind of existence, penetrating into which one comes to another world from which the force that makes the object appear in the physical world is coming. This can be pursued into successive interior states until presumably you come to that centre which H.P.B. [Helena P. Blavatsky] says is everywhere with circumference nowhere — inconceivable physically. The brain cannot conceive it though it is good to meditate upon. Egoically it is a natural characteristic of consciousness in the causal world.
Then, again, the integrity of the Ego is unstained and unstainable—a wonderful state! Wholeness, actuality, of that which you are is a causal attribute. You are what you are. How difficult to attain down here, where we are continually shaped, moulded and conditioned by all sorts of external influences and uttermost trueness, integrity is almost impossible. But, causally, there are no external influences. All is within and part of the fabric of one’s being. There is nothing to attain, nothing to manoeuvre for, plot for, plan for, deceive for. The jewel of sincerity shines in the crown of the Inner
Self of Man
Imagine also a condition of consciousness in which not only time is not a factor in existence, but space also. To the Ego, space and distance hardly exist. The Ego of man is independent of location. There is no geography in the causal world. It does not matter where one is, existence not being in any way affected by position in space.
There is no going away because there is nowhere to go. There is no losing someone or something, because all is always here, all ever available. The only necessity for communion is attunement. If one can attune with any other being in the causal world or with great ideas and principles of existence then they are present in fullness. Death of course cannot exist, for the Inner Self is immune from death. Only the body dies. Having been born, it must die, but the shining Self of Light is virtually immortal. Egoically, for us all there is no death, no separation, no bereavements. Perhaps the analogy of radio might help us in this. It does not help to have the receiver close to the transmitting station. Receivers are generally fairly independent of location. If you can tune in adequately, all things being equal, you can pick up a chosen station. Carry that up into terms of pure consciousness and realize that distance, separation, other locations are not part of the content of such consciousness.
If that consciousness is blessed by knowledge of a Master, if there is a sense of having dedicated oneself and one’s life and being to a great Adept, then He is ever present and can never be lost as long as the power to attune with Him remains. So in this sense, the Guru, the Adept, the Master, is not away in an ashrama. He is here, an ever-present living Light and Presence and Power within one’s Inner Self. The Himalayan Ranges cannot separate the disciple from his Guru, for He is here and now and within one all the time — a blessed thought for the devotee! Even more blessed when it is a fully conscious experience as we are promised it can be.
I expect some of you are mentally asking: ‘How can we know some of this wondrous life, this serene content, this poised harmony, and tranquillity of soul and mind?’ Indeed this is the great question: How to know? Most of you know full well and will answer, by the practice of Yoga. May I simplify that and say, ‘by strong focusing of attention’. Awareness can be established at that point where your thought is focused. So we should focus our attention out of the unreal into the real, out of this relative darkness into the light and out of this death into immortality. By following the habit of living there in thought, of being often focused there, the doors, the double doorway, opens and we can pass in to the holy of holies of our inner nature where is enshrined the Atma, the immortal Spirit-Essence of our real selves. Simply put, it is done by thinking. Think constantly on the eternal and the eternal will become ours. I have written an affirmation with which I will close. Lifting consciousness above the physical, astral and mental levels, we may frequently affirm: ‘I am a divine and immortal being. I live for ever in radiance, in eternal youth, and in oneness with God’.
A Convention Lecture delivered at Adyar on 26 December 1950
What is the supreme Theosophical revelation? What is the highest Truth, the ultimate fact, the ‘Royal Secret’? What can we, Theosophists, say to a world of men perplexed, confused., frightened, disillusioned, cynical, trusting, if in anything, in physical science alone? The answer can be given in one three-lettered Sanskrit word, which must of course be translated into the language of the people addressed. This, I conceive, is our task to translate that one essential word, and to convey convincingly that translation to humanity.
What is that short word which reveals all, solves all, satisfies all? It is the name of God given to the Aryan Race by the Rishis of old! It is spelt AUM and pronounced OM. One translation into English of this three-lettered word which is pronounced in one syllable is ‘The Divine Source is threefold in manifestation and one in essence’. This divine essence constitutes the essential Self in every human being. There are not two essences, but one. Such is the one truth, the Atma Vidya, the Supreme Wisdom.
Why is this apparently simple and not unfamiliar idea so important and so potent? Because it solves man’s two greatest problems — those of religion and human relationships. Applied to a religion, AUM directs man’s thoughts to his Divine Source, and links him therewith when meditated upon and correctly chanted as a Mantram. AUM leads, therefore, to the vital religious experience of conscious union in ecstasy with the Source of all Life. After that experience, or even the foreshadowing of it in the mind, neither temples nor priests are needed any more for that particular person.
The worshipper thus illumined has found that the Light of the World is within himself, as also in everyone and there alone may it be found. ‘I and my Father are One’, the Christ translated the AUM, thereby summing up all religion and describing the highest religious life.
AUM solves problems of human relationships, by affirming the truth about every man. The same Divine Essence constitutes the reality of every human being. All belong spiritually to one race, which is without divisions of any kind. So the beginning and the end of every reform and of every benefit and every human relationship consists of the single truth— 4We are one’. When any human problem is faced by all parties with that fact uppermost in the mind, and in the forefront of all discussions, then the solution is found. It is ‘Do that which is best for the greatest number, for we are all one’.
Those who drew up the Objects of the Theosophical Society knew this truth of oneness, and they produced the First Object as their translation and application of AUM. As soon as AUM is realized, even intellectually, philosophy, occult science and religion assume their natural places in human life. Statecraft, education, science and the closer human relationships become illumined and beautified, when firmly based upon AUM and its significance to man. Spiritually realized, AUM becomes TAD BRAHMAN. TAD ASM1, ‘The Atma and the Paramatma are one’, ‘I am That. That am I’.
This is the Royal Secret, the one panacea. Its correct applications to human problems constitutes the greatest spiritual and intellectual gift which any society or any individual can give to another. AUM was the word which shone above the cradle of the infant Aryan Race revealing the highest truth and pointing to the dharma and destiny of that Race. Proclamation of the divinity and the unity of all men is the Aryan dharma, as their realisation in consciousness is its destiny.
In this Fifth Cycle of development, when Mind is accentuated, the word with its significance to man is almost lost. Our work as Theosophists, as I conceive it, is, with the aid of the Rishis, to restore to mankind the lost word, to reveal in acceptable, logical terms, the fact of unity and its applications to every phase of human life.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 38, No. 2, 1977, p. 27
Fellow members: I am very happy to be granted this opportunity to study some of the deeper teachings of Theosophy with you, and I have chosen as my subject the ever-interesting topic of the emanation from the Absolute of a universe, and all that it contains. As this includes the human race, you and I as human beings will be included in our study. Guided by theosophical teachings, but in no sense expressing an orthodoxy, we will carry out a leisurely study of the emanation and formation of our own universe, the Solar System. You will note that at the very beginning I do not use the word ‘creation’ but rather ‘emanation’ of a universe.
Our thoughts will lead back to that pre-cosmic condition in which, as is said in the Book of Genesis, Chapter I, Verse 1, ‘Darkness was upon the face of the deep’. Then, when the cosmic hour had struck, divine creative energy was liberated and there was initiated the whole cosmic process of the emanation, formation and perfecting in orderly progression of universes and all that they were to contain.
As you will already see, we will be called upon, particularly in this first part of our studies, very usefully to exercise the higher mind, the abstract intellect, which is capable of what is called objectless thought, can conceive of principles, formulae and archetypal ideas. What, for example, could be more formless, more abstract, than that first verse of the Gospel of St John, which begins, you will remember, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’. Then in Genesis we read: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters’.
The Hindu scriptures state:
‘There was neither existence, nor non-existence,
The kingdom of air, nor the sky beyond.
What was there to contain, to cover in —
Was it but vast, unfathomed depths of water?
There was no death there, nor Immortality.
No sun was there, dividing day from night.
Then was there only that, resting within itself.
Apart from it, there was not anything.
At first within the darkness veiled in darkness,
Chaos unknowable, the All lay hid.
Till straightway from the formless void made manifest
By the great power of heat was born that germ’.
Wonderful words, are they not, and doubtless far more wonderful in the original Sanskrit.
The First Dawn
Aided by such references we are going to turn our thoughts to that first dawn when the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, as Job puts it.
In this study of cosmogenesis we will have a three-fold objective; we first will seek comprehension, however partial, of the creative Deity itself, the one Source of all; then understanding of the process of the emanation of universes will be sought. As I have said, the true philosopher does not generally use the word ‘creation’ in this context, FOR THAT WOULD SUGGEST THE APPEARANCE OR MAKING OF SOMETHING OUT OF nothing, which is not acceptable. Out of the Absolute, universes cyclically emanate, The Secret Doctrine teaches. Finally, man’s relationship to God and of his place in the Great Work, as it has been called, will be considered.
The first five verses of the first Chapter of the Gospel according to St John, full of cosmic symbolism as it is, associates and even identifies the Lord Christ with the Supreme Deity, the great creative power, the Logos or Word. Rather like a great composer, St John enunciates his theme at the beginning of his Gospel, saying:
1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2. The same was in the beginning with God.
3. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
I have already quoted in part, but may here repeat the first five verses of the Book of Genesis, which in very allegorical and symbolic form presents a Hebraic cosmogony:
1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
We are thus taught that there was first a duality in unity, the Word which was the Spirit of God, the masculine creative Spirit on the one hand, and on the other the face of the Deep, the feminine creative principle — pre-cosmic Matter or space — thus positive and negative existed, the eternal poles, the dual principles — Spirit-Matter conjoined as one.
Upon the vast ocean of space, the Great Abyss, as it is sometimes called, during non-creative ‘night’, there was darkness which brooded upon the face of the Deep. All slept. The whole of boundless space was quiescent to any finite intelligence. As we learn in our theosophical studies, this is Maha-Pralaya, ‘the great rest’.
Then, strangely, within the darkness and the quiescence a change occurred. The Spirit of God emerged from absolute or negative existence and moved upon the waters of Space. Metaphorically, the Great Breath breathed upon the Great Deep. In Biblical terms, God spake, saying, ‘Let there be light! ’ And there was light. Maha-Pralaya, rest, gave way to Maha-Manvantara, cosmic activity.
The Nameless Source
Let us at this point think of that nameless attributeless Source from which all emerged. Actually words entirely fail; for this is a subject for profound contemplation in silence. Words and the thoughts they express may, however, help us at least to approach the boundary of the Infinite. Apparently, then, behind and beyond and within all which exists, is that eternal and infinite Parent from within which the temporary and finite emerge, are ‘born’, emanate. That boundless Self-Existence, forever unknowable and unknown, is called the Absolute, the changeless, the infinite, eternal All, the self-existent, causeless Cause, the rootless Root. This refers to the eternally Unmanifest, to non-being or negative existence, No-thing, as the Kabbalist says, an impersonal Unity without attributes conceivable by man.
From within the Absolute, when the cosmic hour strikes, creative power and intelligence emerge to become the formative Deity, or as the Freemasons say, the Great Architect of the universe to be.
Perhaps at this point you may find yourselves asking the question: since up to that time no one was in existence, how can this Procedure be known? It is a natural question. The answer given in The Secret Doctrine is that certain very high Adept Intelligences, Dhyan-Chohans, Lords of Contemplation, have been able to push their consciousness back towards the very threshold of the Absolute. From that lofty level, or state of being and consciousness, these Great Beings have been able to view retrospectively, look back towards, very early procedures in cosmogenesis. They have been able to view retrospectively the process of the emanation from the Absolute of finite universes. They have been able to go back in consciousness to the dawn of life, to the very threshold of the Absolute and observe the emanation of the finite from the infinite. From the teachings of these great Ones, the world’s cosmogonies have been given to man, and from them these teachings have been received. If you will read the cosmogonies of the various religious Scriptures of the world, you will notice a certain uniformity, a certain sameness, even though the actual language and symbology may differ.
In plain English, so to say, the Dhyan-Chohans, the highest spiritual Beings in touch with our Earth, who have approached this condition existing on the threshold of the Absolute and primeval being, all tell of the eternal existence, the duality in unity, of universal Spirit and universal Matter. These are called the Great Breath and the Great Deep, the primordial Father-Mother of all creation. We must be careful, however, not to give them any form, because we are in the presence only of archetypal principles, the formulae of cosmogenesis, so to say.
Let us now move on in thought, however gradually. This primeval duality in unity possesses the property or power of self-generation. When in obedience to a mysterious cyclic law this power becomes active, something happens which without changing the Absolute, causes the finite to emerge. This eternal One which is potentially two is evidently subject to cyclic, rhythmic motion — a cosmic third — which is also eternal, and which — under certain conditions — changes the relationship of these two from passive unity into active duality, distinct and separative positive and negative polarities. Thus we perceive the very first, the primordial Trinity, a triple Principle of which all other trinities are reflections at later phases of the emanative procedure. That first Trinity is, as we have seen, Spirit-Matter-Motion.
The ancient teaching tells in effect that when interior motion causes hitherto unified, quiescent Spirit-Matter to awaken and become oppositely polarized or creatively active, then there is activity or cosmic ‘Light’ which is called ‘Day’. Otherwise static, these two — universal Spirit and universal Matter — now active produce a third, a ‘Son’ if you like, which becomes the presiding Deity, the Logos or Architect of the resultant universe. We have now proceeded in thought towards something finite, for a finite Principle, a presumably objective Being, has emerged from the infinite. Universal Spirit-Matter-Motion have become focused into a Being, an emanated creative Agency, but one which is nevertheless beyond our normal human comprehension.
How wonderful must be the vision perceived by the lofty Dhyan-Chohans as, exalted to the threshold of the Absolute, They watch the change from boundless night to cosmic dawn, from absoluteness to finiteness, and then the emanation, appearance perhaps, of that first Deific Power and Presence, by which all things were made.
One part of the value of such studies as this is that they are really meditations, enlarging one’s consciousness, helping one to use both abstract intellect and intuition, and so to develop them.
Can we positively imagine what the vision would be if we were watching the darkness and the quiescence of pre-cosmic night? We would see the wonder of cosmic dawn, movement stirring within the boundless ocean of space. Light would begin to shine and a ripple to flow, or perhaps — as some cosmogonies say — a vortex or a whirlpool begins to form within that which was hitherto dark and still. Then there would emerge universal Mind, the Logos to be.
The Egyptians pictured this first divine creative Intelligence as the sun-disk — I describe from memory only — snake-crowned, hovering above an opening lotus which in its turn is floating on the boundless waters of space. This sometimes is personified as the Sky Horns, a youth seated, or rather floating, above an opening lotus and pointing to his mouth with his forefinger. This Son of Heaven is the Cosmic Christ, by Whom all things are made, all universes fashioned. In our prayer books we read: ‘Yea, all things both in heaven and in earth. With Him as the Indwelling Life do all things exist, and in Him as the Transcendent Glory all things live and move and have their being’.
This then is the Emanator — we should not say Creator, though we are very tempted to do so — the Fashioner, Architect, Sustainer and Regenerator of universes and all that they contain. In Sanskrit this is Mahat, the major Universal Mind, the directive Intelligence in Nature, an existence which is suspected by some scientists. From Hindu writings we read: ‘God is in and above all, the Soul and Source and Goal of all, who creates all as a play with the aid of His own power. Formless, He is yet seen through form. He has all the qualities of infinite perfection. He manifests as Deity, as descended Incarnation, as Divine Image, and the Inner Ruler, Immortal, seated in the heart of all things’.
This, our first study, must now draw to a close. We may well contemplate those words which describe Deity as both the one Creator of all and the Inner Ruler, Immortal, seated in the hearts of all beings. In the heart of each and every one of us, we are thus taught, the One Alone, the Creative Logos, the nameless One has His sanctuary and shrine. The Deity is not separate from but verily part of us, and we are part of Him, sharing in the vast creative processes, however far down in the evolutionary scale we may be.
Many beautiful terms have been applied for this mysterious Power and Presence, and with some of them I will close. He is called, for example, the Unconquered Sun of Heavenly Light, medial between earth and heaven, friendly to Souls. He is also named the Eternal, Omnipresent Being of Law, the Ineffable Source and Goal, Who spontaneously works for universal good.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 5 October 1963, p. 4
Two profound ideas among many others are contained within the teachings of Theosophy. The first of these affirms the oneness of the universe and its transcendent and immanent Deity with man, divine and human; the second states that there is a close similarity between the processes by which the powers within both universe and man evolve and become manifest.
Man, in very truth, was created in the image of God. Madame H. P. Blavatsky writes in Isis Unveiled: ‘Man is a little world — a microcosm inside the great universe. Like a foetus, he is suspended, by all his three spirits, in the matrix of the macrocosmos; and while his terrestrial body is in constant sympathy with its parent earth, his astral soul lives in unison with the sidereal anima mundi. He is in it, as it is in him, for the world-pervading element fills all space, and is space itself, only shoreless and infinite’. Eliphas Levi wrote that ‘The mystery of the earthly and mortal man is after the mystery of the supernal and immortal One’, while the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu taught that ‘The Universe is a man on a large scale’. The German philosopher, Goethe, echoed this idea: ‘The eye could not see the sun if it did not contain the sun within itself and how would Divine things enrapture us if we did not carry the power of God within us?’ In the Book of The
Proverbs we read: ‘The Spirit of man is the candle of the Lord’, while The Bhagavad Gita teaches that ‘the Light of all lights is said to be beyond darkness. Wisdom, the object of Wisdom, by Wisdom to be reached, is seated in the hearts of all’. The Secret Doctrine, referring to this identity between man and God, tells us that ‘The evolution of man, the microcosm, is analogous to that of the universe, the macrocosm’.
In philosophy, this teaching, referred to as the Law of Correspondences, shows that man is identical in his spiritual and physical essence with both the Absolute Principle — Deity Itself — and with God in Nature. This subject is of great importance, particularly to those who seek to expand and transform received ideas into experienced knowledge; for the Law of Correspondences also refers to the harmonious co-ordination or mutual resonance between the many apparently separate parts of the Universe and corresponding parts of the constitution of man. Occult philosophy affirms that all the components of both macrocosm and microcosm are interwoven and interactive according to a universal system of vibrational interchange. One learns that in their spiritual, intellectual, psychical and physical make-up, human beings are miniature replicas or epitomes of the whole order of creation — models of the totality of Nature. Furthermore, they are said to contain within themselves the aggregate of all that has ever existed, exists now, and will ever exist throughout the eternity of eternities.
This knowledge is universal and has existed from the earliest times. Sir Thomas Browne affirmed that ‘Life is a pure flame and we are lit by an invisible sun within us’. The Philosopher Ruysbroeck expressed the same idea in the following words: ‘Up and down and through and in and out of all this, wanders Life God as Spirit. Not God Himself, but His expanding life as mind, passing into, and exploring, all the ramifications of His body. In the littlest, densest, most inert fragments of His garment, His consciousness is the steadfast guarantee of an eternal link.... The experience of the manifold are His and ours. So all things are living, are intelligent with one primal urge — to know, and in knowing to be free, free to know God.... These, so simply put, are the fundamentals of a universe that runs its vast, slow, sure course. God withdraws and His myriad-hued garment fades away into Himself.
In his book Supernature Lyall Watson writes: ‘An intricate web of inter-action connects all life into one vast self-maintaining system. Each part is related to every other part and we are all parts of the whole. . . . Life on earth is united into what amounts to a single super organism, and this in turn is only part of the cosmic community’.
Theosophy advances at least four basic ideas upon which the concept of Correspondences is established:
1. The whole universe with all its parts from Adi (the subtlest and highest) to the physical (the lowest) is interlocked and interwoven to make a single whole — one body, one organism, one life, one consciousness.
2. All the ‘organs’ of the macrocosm or universe, though apparently separated in space and planes of manifestation are, in fact, harmoniously inter-related. For example, the cosmos, which includes the zodiac, Solar Systems, planets, kingdoms and planes of nature, the elements and colours, is one co-ordinated whole. This is because all these parts are in ‘correspondence’ or harmonious interaction with each other, the basis for this grouping being numerical.
3. Certain ‘organs’ are more intimately grouped together than others. These vibrate in resonance with each other like the notes of a chord and share a common basic frequency of oscillation. In occultism they are said to ‘correspond’. Thus, a sign, a planet, an element, a colour, a principle of man or a part of the physical body all vibrate on a common frequency.
4. A knowledge of these correspondences provides a key to the understanding of the universe and of man’s place therein. In The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky further states: ‘From Gods to men, from Worlds to atoms, from a Star to a rush-light, from the Sun to the vital heat of the meanest organic being — the world of Form and Existence is an immense chain, the links of which are all connected’.
In these days, certain parts only of the ‘Grand System of Correspondences’ have been given to mankind by the Adept Teachers of the Race; for knowledge is power and only the more innocuous aspects of the Science can safely be put before humanity at this stage of its evolution. While this reservation would appear to be a limitation, it is, in fact, a challenge to the intellect and intuition of those students in whom the determination to know has awakened; for to those organs of consciousness all knowledge lies open, and in seeking to fill in the gaps in the present revelation the student exercises, and so develops, his powers of intellection and perception.
The Lord Buddha is reported to have said: ‘In this very body, six feet in length, with its sense impressions and its thoughts and ideas, is the world, and the origin of the world, and the ceasing of the world, and likewise the Way that leadeth to the ceasing thereof.
Thus, because of the underlying unity of this tremendous pattern of unfoldment, man contains in himself every element that is found in the universe. In the chain of being, everything is magically contained in everything else. Where you stand, there stand all the worlds. Kabbalism — the Theosophy of the Hebrews — adds to the Hermetic axiom — ‘what is below is above’ — the statement that what is inside is outside, and also acts upon everything else. Man himself is portrayed as a symbolic transparency through which the secret of the Cosmos may be discerned. Kabbalists stress the interrelation of all worlds and levels of being, affirming that everything is connected with and interpenetrates everything else according to exact though unfathomable laws. Everything possesses its infinite depths which from every point may be contemplated.
The Theosophist, Vol. 103, November 1981, p. 46
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY?
We, theosophists, have discovered within ourselves a wellspring of life, of happiness, of inspiration. Theosophy has led us to this discovery. If we choose to become active theosophists — and happily we are quite free in this choice — our task is to lead humanity to its own truth as we have been led. Our work is to re-establish the Wisdom-Religion on earth.
Before we can effectively fulfil this function, we must answer to our own satisfaction the question: ‘What is Theosophy?’ The usual answer is based upon the Greek words from which the name is derived — Theo-Sophia, meaning divine wisdom. Madame Blavatsky’s definition is: ‘Theosophy in its abstract meaning is Divine Wisdom, or the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe — the homogeneity of eternal good; and in its concrete sense it is the sum total of the same as allotted to man by Nature, on this earth and no more’.
I wish to draw attention to one phrase in this definition: ‘Theosophy’, says Madame Blavatsky, ‘is the aggregate of the knowledge and the wisdom that underlie the Universe ... it is the sum total of the same as allotted to man by Nature, on this earth, and no more’. What may we assume is meant here by the phrase ‘as allotted to man by Nature?’ In what sense may Nature be said to have allotted Theosophy to man?
In seeking an answer, we at once perceive that according to this definition Theosophy is not a wisdom, a knowledge, a power separate from or outside of man. It is something allotted to man by Nature. It is therefore part of man. Being divine, it is therefore eternal. In consequence, Theosophy must be regarded not only as a science of life studied and partly comprehended by the lower quaternary, the mortal man. Theosophy must also be regarded as an attribute of the higher Triad, the immortal Self. Thus Theosophy is not only a divine wisdom which by study and practice becomes incorporated into man as an enrichment of his mind, an enlargement of his concrete knowledge. Theosophy, being eternal, appertains to the eternal Self of man.
Since that Self is triple in Its nature, we have a threefold definition of Theosophy. In its wisdom aspect, Theosophy is an attribute or manifestation of the Buddhic Self of man. In its intellectual aspect, it is an attribute or manifestation of the higher Manasic Self of man. In its power aspect Theosophy is an attribute and manifestation of the Atmic Self of man. In a phrase: Theosophy is the innate wisdom, knowledge and power of the inner Self of man, latent or active in varying degrees.
Before proceeding to examine this concept and its implications, let us consider a question which arises out of it. If Theosophy is within you what is the place, value, of the externally propounded doctrines through which most of us first learn of the existence of Theosophy? What is the relation between the Theosophy of the inner Self and the Ancient Wisdom in its concrete form delivered to humanity age by age by the Adept Teachers of the race?
The value of doctrinal Theosophy is, I think, abundantly clear. Apart from its great practical usefulness as a guide to intelligent living and therefore to happiness, it constitutes a pathway or gateway leading from concrete to abstract levels of consciousness, from an externally perceived scientific philosophy to an interior illumination, from time-conditioned exposition to eternal truth.
Theosophy as it exists in our books and is taught in our lodges is therefore in no sense an end in itself. As must ever be remembered, external Theosophy can never possess the attribute of finality. However brilliantly grasped and expounded it will ever remain unfinished and its concepts of truth entirely relative. The marvellous collection of doctrine, of knowledge of ideas — Theosophy-of-the-books — whilst of the greatest value as a practical philosophy of life, is of infinitely greater value as a bridge leading ‘from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality’. Recognition of this fact in no way decreases one’s appreciation of the doctrines-in-time. Indeed, if anything their value is enhanced; for is it not far more valuable to exist and function as a gateway leading to wider fields than to be the end of a road?
Returning to the main theme, we may ask: Of what practical value is this concept of ‘Theosophy as interior wisdom, knowledge and power?’ What are the implications for Fellows of The Theosophical Society? This concept can be of the greatest help to all of us and especially to the teacher of Theosophy. Throughout his expositions he is, or should be, continually aware that whilst he is imparting to his hearers doctrines as guides to life down here, he is also pointing out to them a road leading from external Theosophy to the wisdom, the knowledge and the power which are the very essence of the interior Self.
The function of the theosophical teacher is now seen to be at least dual. Whilst he expounds doctrines pointing out their intellectual and their practical implications, he also leads his students to the discovery of their own truth. Here at once we are face to face with one of the great difficulties of our work. It is the relative scarcity of teachers who are able to fill this dual role. This difficulty exists partly because we are a society of men and women who are active out in the world. Nearly all of us have worldly duties which prevent us from giving ourselves wholly to the study and exposition of Theosophy. Very few of us are in circumstances which permit either prolonged study or the regular practice of yoga.
Even to those free of temporal activities and obligations, fulfilment of the dual role of teacher and spiritual leader demands the highest qualifications. Expositions of doctrinal Theosophy may not be difficult for those who have the interest, the education, the leisure and the intellectual capacity required. For them success depends upon self-application, upon effort. Successfully to impart the main theosophical teachings and in addition to elevate the consciousness, truly to illumine the minds and hearts of listeners and students inspiring them to set forth on the great quest of their own inner Light — such a task is indeed difficult of fulfilment.
Why is this so? Is it not due to the operation of a natural law? According to this law only the self-illumined can illumine another. Spiritually, no man can give to another that which he does not possess himself. He who has not found his own inner Light cannot be a light in another’s darkness.
Thus we are led to one conclusion. Since Theosophy is within each one of us and our task is to lead our fellow men to their own Theosophy, practical, intellectual and spiritual, we must each one of us, first discover our own Theosophy. We must find that Theosophy which is the knowledge and the power of the inner Ruler Immortal.
How shall this discovery be made?
First: I submit, by a recognition of its necessity, hence this address of mine. Second: by an application both to our daily lives and to our intellectual and spiritual evolution of the theosophical teachings concerning the way of self-illumination.
With regard to necessity, in my Convention address of last year I stated that Discipleship whether of a great Being or of a great Ideal was the hope of the world. I repeat that affirmation now. For the events of the past, twelve months have abundantly demonstrated the failure of a statesmanship, the principles of which emanate from the concrete analytical mind. The crying need is still more painfully evident now for a statesmanship in the conduct of life individual, national and international, the principles of which emanate from minds illumined by the light of wisdom and established upon the limitless power of the spiritual Self.
Theosophy completely meets this need. As I have already stated, it is the bridge between the lower and the higher, the mortal and the immortal, the time-imprisoned and the eternal Self of man.
Mere contemplation of a bridge, however intelligent and complete, will not carry the traveller across the stream. The study alone of a gate and a gateway, however comprehensive and exact, will not lead the student to the fields beyond. The bridge must be crossed.
The gate must be opened and the traveller must move forward. So with ourselves, if we would become teachers of the Wisdom, we must pass from the intellectual grasp of doctrinal Theosophy into living experience of Theosophy itself, the interior light, life and power of our inner Selves.
What shall we find when the bridge is crossed?
What is the Theosophy of the Ego?
My own interior experience is admittedly limited, but in answer to those questions I propose to share a part of it with you. Ideally I ought first to say something concerning the means whereby the bridge may be crossed, the gate opened and passed through. An interesting subject, attempted exposition of which I must however reserve for a future occasion.
Meantime many books on yoga exist, some of them valuable as guides on the pathway of self-illumination.
Come with me, if only in imagination, through the twin portals of feeling and thought into that temple of light which is theosophically termed the Causal Body of man. Let us perform together an act of yoga. Physically relaxed, affirm with me: —
“I am not the physical body. I am the spiritual Self within.
I am not the emotional body. I am the spiritual Self within.
I am not the mental body. I am the spiritual Self within. (Pause).
I am the divine Self.... Eternal .... Immortal .... Indestructible.
Radiant with divine Light, shining throughout the universe.
I am that Light,
That Light am I”.
Thought ceases. The mind is still, the centre of awareness having been transferred from it into the Self within. Consciousness now consists no more of effort, of speculation, of analysis. These are displaced by effortless, thought-free certitude and by a vivid awareness of freedom. No longer now do we think of the Causal Body, the shining Augoiedes, as a kind of captive balloon floating somewhere above and partly within the physical, astral and mental bodies, connected thereto by a silver cord. We know it now as the ‘home’ of the Self, the centre of our existence, the bodies its appendages.
Consciousness is focussed now in the heart of our existence. We abide in, are surrounded by a great radiance, a robe of light richly hued. Each brilliant colour is also delicate, the whole aureole of light irradiating the personal vehicles and shining forth on every side. Looking outwards at the other Selves, within this radiance perchance a form is visible, a face perhaps, a highly spiritualised representation of the physical face, the eyes alight with spiritual power, expressing ecstasy, bliss, yet strong with the assurance of immortality and indestructibility.
In what state or condition of consciousness do we find the inner Self? Upon what activity, if any, is it engaged?
The first impression which one generally receives on entering Egoic consciousness as I have said is that of light, of being at the centre of a great radiance, indeed of being light itself. One discovers one's Light-Self and perceives something of the glory of that everlasting Light in which all Egos are bathed. Later, through meditation upon the Light aspect of the Self, the inner or ‘true’ Light of the Solar System, begins to be more fully perceived. This light pervades all substance which is transparent to it. In it there is no differentiation and no form. There is only a shining sea of light with gradually-realized light-centres of varying degrees of brightness within it, representing the Egos of other beings. Sometimes the experience is less of light alone than of fire. The universe appears as flame-like, as if one were at the heart of the sun as fire and conscious in every electron of its flame. The student himself is that light. No sense of duality is present, the universe being penetrated everywhere with the one everlasting light.
Sudden entry into this state can at first produce a certain shock which flings one back into brain consciousness. By practice however the condition can be sustained. One becomes steadier and can to some extent investigate the experience and explore the field of his inner consciousness. Whilst at first too high in frequency safely to be sustained in brain consciousness for long periods it is quite normal at the causal level where there is no slightest sense of strain. Actually, in order to bring the impressions into the brain the frequency must be greatly slowed down, a process which is constantly occurring in ordinary awareness. The experience of genius is a direct manifestation in the brain of this play or movement of consciousness at super-mental frequencies, of the temporary descent from the Ego unimpeded and at its own intensity into the brain of the divine fire of the Self. For the Ego is found to exist in a state of white-hot genius, of overmastering inspiration, of capacity raised to the nth degree.
Next is the experience of intensity of existence, of life at an enormously increased voltage. If one imagines the condition at the centre of a terrific explosion at the moment of its occurrence and conceives of that condition being normal and continuous, then one may realize somewhat the exaltation and vividness of Egoic life. One must however remember that this analogy but partly applies. In Egoic consciousness there is no resistance, though the intensity of life resembles that of sudden release of highly compressed energy. Actually a further experience is that of the complete absence of all resistance, indeed of that duality of power and mechanism, consciousness and vehicle, will and resistant matter ever present in personal life. The ascent into Egoic consciousness might perhaps be compared to the sudden releasing of a balloon which for long has been straining at its moorings in a high wind.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 3 June 1939, p. 3
This is not infrequently accompanied by an indescribable inner happiness, mounting even to ecstasy, not unlike but almost infinitely greater than that produced by the realization of reciprocated love. This sense of joy also resembles that experienced at the sudden grasp of a new aspect of truth, the discovery of a philosophic principle or on being greatly inspired in the execution of some piece of creative work. Afterwards a divine bliss and gentleness may pervade the whole nature. All past suffering seems wiped away. The soul is healed and abides in a state of absolute harmony.
At other times the predominating sense is of immense power, of being a veritable giant of spiritual strength, omnipotent within the field of one’s own manifestation.
At all times the immortality of the Self is known. The fear of death, though not necessarily of dying, vanishes forever after the first experience of Egoic consciousness.
There is also a sense of standing alone — not in loneliness but alone-ness. One enjoys an entrancing solitude in which all fullness is impersonally present. One is not swallowed up in light or life. One begins to realize that one IS the Boundless All, always has been and always will be. There is no sense for example of an external watching Deity. But the interior existence of a divine principle throughout all Nature comes to be realized and brings with it a sense of the sacredness of all things.
Amidst all this there is a region of Egoic consciousness which is in silence. When you enter there you find yourself dark. Yet the darkness seems pregnant with light, the utter stillness charged with the potentiality of all sound. For this inner centre of stillness is not empty. Paradoxically, it is rich and full as if within one there were an abyss of truth.
Emerging, the mind is filled with a sense of freshness, newness, of perpetual spring, of harmony, of light, of power.
Strangely, physical sensory power is sometimes enhanced. Nature appears to be more beautiful, radiant, alive. Tennyson’s words are fully appreciated:
“Let no one ask me how it came to pass
1 only know it happened, that to me
A livelier emerald twinkles in the grass
A purer sapphire melts into the sea”.
There speaks one who had known the exaltation of the higher consciousness experienced the enhancement of sensory powers which results.
THE EGO AND REINCARNATION
From this elementary study of the nature and the interior life of the immortal Self of man as it is lived in formless worlds, let us now turn to the ‘external’ experiences, of the Ego. For we know that one aspect of the Ego is concerned with, temporarily limited by and sharply focussed in, the process of evolution through reincarnation, contact with and experience of the worlds of form. Let us try to look, for example, at reincarnation, karma and astrological influences as the Ego experiences them.
When a new incarnation begins the Ego as it were throws itself open to experience in the three lower worlds, the mental, astral and the physical. In the period between incarnations, save for the temporarily dormant thread of life and three permanent atoms, the Causal Body is self-contained or closed as far as the lower worlds are concerned.
Forces are constantly welling up within it or, diagrammatically, are descending into it from still higher worlds. In inter-incarnation periods these flow through and beyond the Causal Body in all directions but only on the Higher Mental Plane.
When incarnation is to begin the Ego may be thought of as opening a funnel leading from the centre or heart of the Causal Body into the Lower Mental world. This creative act permits a certain measure of the forces from the planes of Atma, Buddhi, Manas to flow as a threefold ‘ray’ through and from the Ego into the form worlds.
This funnel, which closes again or is withdrawn after devachan, has its point or apex in the very centre of the Causal Body at the point at which the inner forces continually arrive. Some of these continue to empower, vivify and irradiate the whole Causal Body thereby maintaining individualized causal life or Ego-hood. Some of them however flow down the funnel as the creative forces, which pass through the resistant barrier of the fourth sub-plane of the mental plane and in the course of time bring the new set of vehicles into existence.
The width of this funnel is of great significance. In a savage it is very narrow; in civilized man it is wider; in the man on the Path it is wider still. In the active and conscious Initiate it consists of at least half of the Causal Body and in the Adept there is no funnel because the whole Causal Body is itself a funnel leading from still higher worlds. Naturally — karma apart — the degree of Egoic manifestation in the Personality depends upon evolutionary stature which decides the amount of higher forces available. Only in the Adept can the maximum possible degree of Egoic-Monadic manifestation in the body occur.
What does the Ego experience when incarnation opens and the funnel is formed? An added fullness of life, a sense of heightened expectancy and of vernal joy at the opening of a new cycle of activity. The inner powers are felt to be pouring rhythmically through the Causal Body. Their compression in the funnel causes their presence and rhythmic flow to become far more apparent than when flowing free throughout the Causal Body. For when between incarnations the forces flow undirected and uninterrupted throughout the whole Causal Body their presence and rhythm are scarcely observable.
This sense of added life, of joy, together with the experience of expansion, growth, enrichment resulting from life’s experiences continues throughout the whole five-fold life cycle of incarnation. By contrast a distinct feeling of quiescence, of reduced vitality is experienced when at the end of the life cycle the funnel is closed again and the directed rhythmic flow of power, life and consciousness into the lower worlds comes to an end.
As far as external awareness on its own plane at this time is concerned, the Ego is in causal communication with the many other Egos with whom it has links from the past — links which will draw the new personalities together. Thus there is an inter-communion between such Egos, some of whom may have already incarnated as the parents, elder relations and friends. Others will incarnate at about the same time and others later on perchance as offspring or younger friends. Between such groups of Egos there is an intense harmony, a very close mutual comradeship which brings joy to them all.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 4 August 1939, p. 12
THE EGO AS ALCHEMIST
The Ego may also be thought of as constantly engaged in a process of distillation of power, wisdom and knowledge from life’s experiences. Thus the Ego resembles somewhat a great chemist, or rather alchemist, who experiments perpetually with life’s experience, blending similar varieties of experiences and their fruits and where possible fusing them in the fire of the higher mind. As a result, certain experiences and the powers resulting from them are accentuated, enlarged and established as permanent qualities where desirable.
As the stock of the chemist consists of chemicals appropriately preserved each in its chosen place upon its proper shelf, so in the Causal Body there is carefully preserved as capacity to vibrate again at the same rates the distilled essence, the sweet attars, of every experience, the fruits of every experiment.
These varied powers as I have said are visible as streams or rays of colour playing in and through the Causal Body. The effects of the impact of adverse astrological influences would seem to be to accentuate, to diminish the temporary manifestation or to damp out or neutralize for a time certain of these powers. Astrological influences may produce a fusion of several of them, inducing in the Ego tendencies to manifest for a term strongly and even exclusively along certain lines both in its own Egoic life and through the Personality.
In the average man this whole process of distillation, blending, sublimation, storing the harvest of life’s experiences and of response to astrological and other influences is relatively unconscious and automatic. In consequence, for most people the power of resistance to astrological influences is not very great. Indeed, one sign of Egoic development consists of the ability both self-consciously to carry out these processes and to make use of zodiacal, stellar, solar and planetary influences and past experiences for purposes of self-enrichment, of karmic adjustment and of self-education. Such an Ego will, for example, go back into a past mistake of the Personality — a fall, a crime or an error of judgement — and relive the whole experience seeking in the process to discover and bring about the ideal judgement and conduct. For in Egoic consciousness the past is far less final, fixed and separated from the actor than is the case in brain consciousness. The advanced Ego seems to have the power to undo its own misdeeds as far as their effects both upon itself and upon others are concerned. In the akashic records however one imagines them to be ineffaceable.
Such an Ego also experiments with the development of faculty, of qualities and capacities which as yet exist only in small measure. These by concentrated attention can be expanded and to some extent increased, particularly as regards the area occupied in the Causal Body by the coloured light force by which they are represented therein. Such expansion however inevitably dilutes the colour; but as a result of it the Ego’s ability to develop that quality is increased.
This development, it would seem, can be achieved by at least four means. One is by Egoic meditation on the quality. A second consists of personal experience deliberately chosen and entered into when in incarnation. A third is close observation of the experiences of others and the fourth is employed vicariously, by means of intimate self-unification with others who are passing through the needed experiences.
When karma and other factors permit, the Personality is directed into an environment, human association and opportunities which draw out and permit the expression of the desired quality and therefore its further actual development. To digress for a moment, it follows from this that without knowledge of the Egoic intention, indeed of the future and the mission of the individual, it is hardly possible either fully to understand or accurately to judge the character and conduct of another human being. Men and women are so often moved by motives beyond the ken of another person. They may be active in reparation for some act in a past life or in preparation for powers and activities of future incarnations.
ALL IS WITHIN
Returning to our consideration of Egoic life and consciousness an advanced Ego experiments not only with the development of powers but also with karma and with astrological agencies. In this connection it is interesting to observe that neither of these is thought of or felt by the Ego as arising from an external source. This is because an advanced Ego includes within the range of its consciousness first as an intellectual concept, later as a living experience, the fact of the oneness of all life and of all beings. To the Ego the great zodiacal stellar and planetary Angels from whom astrological influences emanate are not purely external Beings. An advanced Ego knows that its ‘own’ power, life and consciousness are universal, feels at one with all manifestations and expressions of that primordial and universal triplicity however far away in physical space.
The star-angel of Mars for example is not only an Elder Brother stationed on another planet. It is recognized as another cell within the one great egg which is the Solar System. The divine threefold protoplasm is the same in all cells, is as it were a fluid which flows constantly through and about them all, gathering and conveying influences as it flows. Thus the sense of separateness is reduced to a minimum in causal consciousness. All influences which appear to the Personality to have an external source, tend egoically to be experienced as interior movement and change in the condition of the Self. Nothing can come or happen to consciousness which is not already present germinally within that consciousness. An advanced Ego occupies itself with these seeds of universal power, life and light within itself. It invokes, which means attunes itself to or causes itself to vibrate at the wave lengths of those solar and planetary forces which will hasten the germination and subsequent development of the seeds into active powers.
One effect of entry upon the Path of Discipleship, for example, consists of the hastened germination and development of such seeds or roots of future powers. The Adept-Master is as the sun to His disciple. He constantly directs streams of vivifying energy upon these seeds of Egoic power and faculty in the Causal Body of the disciple. At acceptance and sonship where the unity between Master and disciple becomes exceedingly intimate, the quickening effect of the play of the Master’s fully manifested powers can be enormous.
Naturally Egos vary in their powers of response to these influences as also in the aspects of their nature, seedlike or active, through which they are able to respond. It may be that changes of relationship in which a disciple is lent or handed for a time to a Master other than his own or works along rays and lines of activity other than those of his basic ray and faculties, are valuable on this account. Entry into the Great White Brotherhood (which means a merging of the consciousness of the Initiate with the vast sea of the consciousness of the whole Hierarchy of Initiates and Adepts) for those who can respond must, one assumes, bring about a remarkable quickening of evolutionary progress.
Thus we have a concept of the Ego as a centre of awareness, actively, and in advanced man self-consciously, engaged in the process of self-unfoldment as if the seed of a plant could be aware of all the mysterious powers and potentialities locked up within it, knew of every type of tissue, form, texture, colour and fragrance and was consciously engaged in their development and external manifestation — a thrilling existence indeed.
THE EGO AS THEOSOPHY INCARNATE
Thus Egoic existence may be thought of as Theosophy in perpetual action, in continual experience, in ever increasing fullness of expression.
The Ego is self-consciously concerned not only with substance but with force, not only with form but with life and rhythm, not only with vehicles but with consciousness. Remembering this, it should be possible to extend these elementary studies of mine and look at all theosophical teachings from the Egoic point of view. Theosophy would then no longer be regarded as a collection of interesting ideas, intellectual concepts and philosophic theories. It would become known both as power and as living experience. For to Egoic consciousness, its philosophic concepts are known as facts in Nature as familiar noumena, the realities upon which its existence is founded.
In conclusion may I suggest that there is a great value in this somewhat abstract or meditational approach to Theosophy. For by such methods of study, theory is displaced by living experience, doctrines become translucent to the light of the eternal verities of which they are intellectual concepts. Furthermore the whole mighty philosophic system which we know as Theosophy is seen increasingly, as a unity. Its several aspects perceived as composing the one great Wisdom inherent in the whole process of the creation, evolution and perfection of the universe. The student is drawn near to the centre and the source of creation. He begins to see life as it were from its own heart and from within. Instead of wandering somewhat aimlessly and often disconsolate about the circumference, conscious of the futility of his wanderings and yet unable intelligently to direct them, he knows and learns to live from the centre of his being.
Theosophy tells us that it is possible to advance from the circumference to the centre, from the form to the life, from the external material epidermis of the universe to the universal and solar power which is its heart.
Brethren, we, theosophists, throughout the world are all drawn together by our common love of truth, by our united aspiration for understanding, by an intuitive recognition of certain great basic truths particularly that of the Oneness of all life.
Many of us, though now separated, physically, throughout the world, are bound to each other by a deep-seated love of the Ancient Wisdom, by service in many lives to the great Sages Who Themselves have found the centre and live therein for evermore.
Strong are these links which bind us, especially as Egos, in the pursuit of truth and in the service of the Elder Brethren. As Egos we know and acknowledge this. Down here in our personal consciousness and activity shall we not try always to acknowledge and reflect increasingly in action our Egoic unity? For we can best march from the circumference to the centre together; and as we go we shall take with us our human brethren throughout the world.
I have come to regard the completion of this mental journey from the circumference to the centre, from Personality to Ego, as the only hope for the survival of modem civilization and the solution of the present acute problems of national and international life. Aggressive war is unthinkable, impossible when once the Egoic point of view has been attained. The unity of life, the brotherhood of man are living facts to the Egos of humanity.
This I conceive to be an essential part of our message to a world constantly threatened by war.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 5 October 1939, p. 8
The Master Plan
The second World War is now behind us. Reconstruction, the building of a New World Order, fills our thoughts. In this process the possession of a guiding principle is all-important, especially for those who aspire individually to play an effective part. Theosophy provides that knowledge, for a study of Theosophy mentally lifts one to great heights from which a panoramic view of human life on earth is possible. Theosophy reveals the master plan.
When, in the light of Theosophy, we study the evolution of nations, four great thoughts, like mental mountain peaks, present themselves to our vision. The first of these is that the purpose of life in our Solar System, and so on our planet, is evolution. Our Solar System is an evolving organism. Second, Theosophy teaches that human evolution is ordered according to a Divine Plan, which is numerical. Seven is the governing number. Humanity advances through seven races and sub-races in ordered, harmonious progression. This evolution according to numerical law is dual, consisting of the enfoldment of consciousness and the development of vehicles as instruments of consciousness. So the second thought is that of numerically ordered, harmonious progression of both consciousness and form.
The third peak of knowledge concerns the seven Races of men.
Five Races have already appeared. Two lie in the future. Five sub-races of the fifth, the Aryan Race, have also come and a sixth is now on the horizon. From this third Theosophical teaching we learn that we are more than halfway through our planet’s life, are in the fifth of its seven races.
The fourth mountain of thought is double peaked. Racial evolution is guided by the Inner Government of the World, with the Lord Christ as Teacher and the Lord Manu as Leader of the Races, whilst, furthermore, man is called to collaborate in this mighty scheme of evolution but is perfectly free to decline to do so. The secret of happiness, we are told, consists of willing collaboration with the Divine Plan and Those Great Ones by Whom its fulfilment is directed.
Such are four basic Theosophical teachings concerning racial evolution. What, then, is the place of New Zealand in this great design, and what is the destiny of its peoples? Simply put, the answer is that the Mother Race is at this time producing a sixth sub-race, and New Zealand is one of the places of its birth and development. The sixth sub-race, type of man is to be produced by emigrations to new racial homes, chiefly from Britain. Four of such homes are now producing four variants of the new type. They are America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The two great Wars have been both death throes of an old dispensation and birth pangs of a new.
As it is but forty years since the title ‘Dominion of New Zealand’ was conferred upon the Colony and one hundred and eight years since the British Government decided to extend British sovereignty to New Zealand, the progress made in political, cultural and social development is truly remarkable. Although distinct ethnological and psychological characteristics can hardly be expected to have appeared as yet, nevertheless a New Zealand way of life, and even type of human being, are beginning to be recognisable.
New Zealand progresses wonderfully in the fulfilment of her part of the great design. Settled only one hundred years or so, she has enacted social legislation especially designed to provide security for all citizens. New Zealand has already produced a number of famous reformers, statesmen, scientists and artists. Her soldiers have earned undying glory and the graphic designations, ‘ball of fire’ and ‘finest shock troops in the world’. From these splendid beginnings further characteristic advances are assured. Although but one hundred years old as a people, already New Zealand is producing her own distinctive type of social structure and of human being.
New Sub-Race Type
What, may we assume, will the men and women of the new Race type look like when still further developed? From a study of the views of Theosophical leaders, ethnologists, psychologists and teachers, combined with a close Theosophical observation of the finest types of young people in the United States, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, a composite image of the type to which the sixth sub-race appears to be developing can already be made.
Here is the young man. He is essentially virile and independent, both mentally and physically, yet he is neither coarse nor rough. He is sensitive and refined. He is responsive to beauty, humane, and possessed of both independence and breadth of outlook. The desire for and the readiness to give complete personal freedom is most marked. Yet as soon as that freedom is accorded, no type of human being proves so willing and able to co-operate. Physically, in Australia, he is tall, wiry and somewhat slender of form.
In New Zealand, the build has perhaps been somewhat shorter, though here, too, increase in height is occurring. The facial features are everywhere much the same. They are finely modelled and straight. The nose tends to be long and, in one variant, the chin is pointed and the forehead broad, making the face somewhat triangular. A certain eagerness, a vivid alertness, is stamped upon the whole face. The New Age man will clearly be very vital, handsome, chivalrous, strong, courageous, yet kindly.
The women will especially display the quality of grace. They, too, will be slender and athletic, and the ideal of physical beauty and perfection will make great appeal to them. They will take extreme care of their persons, their appearance, their dress. Again the face will be triangular, the head pear-shaped, the features becoming clear cut, regular and more and more refined as the racial type is established. The texture of the skin is notably fine. Hands and feet are already beautifully formed and they move with a grace and dignity all their own. There will be a certain aura of vitality shining about them. Lovers of beauty and of all the Arts, and successful artists in many cases, dancing will probably be one of their favourite and most successful modes of expression.
Even now you may see these young people of the New Age, if you know what to look for. Their photographs are in the papers and you see them on the sports grounds and beaches, in the shops and in the streets, for in very truth the four new racial homes are already producing each its own particular and splendid variant of the new racial type. The faces of some contestants, for the title of ‘Miss New Zealand’ show the characteristics of pointed chin and broad, high forehead.
The psychological characteristics may also be discerned by a study of advanced people throughout the world: for this new race is not to be born in a single place, not to belong to a single nation. It is the type of the new humanity which will seek unity and co-operation between free individuals and nations. The very essence of all action in the sixth sub-race will he the one of many to achieve a single object, and not the dominance of one who compels others to his will. To advance together in freedom, to a goal that all realise as desirable of attainment will ultimately become the method.
Despite grave difficulties at present appearing, signs are not wanting that this development is actually occurring. There is distinctly discernible, amid the welter of conflicting peoples, national aims and ideologies, a subtle yet powerful change in the outlook of mankind upon the planet, the growth of one dominating idea with tremendous possibilities for the future. This change has been described as ‘a hunger for wholeness’, and it is indeed revolutionary. It is almost comparable with a geological cataclysm, like the tilting of the earth’s axis or a descent of an ice cap. It must culminate I suggest, in an irresistible will to world unity. This recognition of and determination to achieve unity will be not only physical and racial, but mental and spiritual as well. It will also not only he local, but world-wide. It is discernible now in the world and constitutes a definite sign of the emergence of the sixth sub-race.
If one is looking for a sign that an individual is beginning to show the marks of that sixth sub-race today, in addition to the physical marks, it may be found in capacity to lead by love, sympathy and comprehension, and not by the dominance of an imperious will. To advanced humanity, dominance is anathema; freedom is a veritable religion. What however, is the test of greatness in an individual or a race? It is, I submit, realisation and ready acceptance of the individual’s own tremendous responsibility in the great evolutionary process. Such realisation, and of course action thereon, is the mark of a highly evolved individual and nation.
The destiny of mankind is incomparably great. The fulfilment of that destiny depends upon the will of the individual to collaborate in the transcendental task. Each individual can, if he will, both hasten his own evolution and come closer to the Creative Deity by showing readiness, nay eagerness, to work with Nature and for Nature in the fulfilment of the ‘one far-off divine event, to which the whole creation moves’, the evolution of ever higher types of beings. This knowledge can be used by those who desire to take part in the building of the new civilisation. They should deliberately develop the power to work with others rather than against them, to set others free rather than bend them to their will, and so, by a continual common effort, to replace with unity the all too prevalent spirit of antagonism and competition.
A synthesising spirit will be found in the forerunners of the sixth sub-race. They will be able to encourage and also unite diversity of opinion and of character; to gather round them the most unlike elements and blend them, whilst still free, into a common whole. Those show forth already the desired characteristics who have the capacity for taking into themselves diversities and sending them out again as unities, and for utilising the most different individualities, finding for each its place in freedom, and welding all together into a strong whole. That is one of the characteristics which mark the type of being out of whom this sixth sub-race will gradually develop. The ideal is not a universalised set of conditions and a uniformity of human Personality but full individual development with readiness to combine.
Such, physically and mentally, is the apparent trend of human evolution, such the new type which is appearing and such the model for all who would collaborate.
The Race says Madame Montessori marches forward on the feet of little children. The youth of today is the citizen of tomorrow, and for these reasons education is the life-blood of a nation. The present generation of fathers, mothers and teachers have, amongst many others, one special task before them in this connection. This task is to inspire the children of the nation with the highest ideals of nationhood. Character building and nation building begin at home and continue at school. Parents and teachers, especially of the four sixth sub-race countries, have a great responsibility and a unique opportunity. Ruskin truly said of parents everywhere: ‘A child’s father should be his spiritual strength, his mother his sanctification, and both his tower and refuge in all the danger and amazement of his young life’.
A Nation in the Becoming
The New Zealand nation of the future will arise from the New Zealand homes and schools of today. As parents recognise increasingly their responsibility, and teachers their opportunity, the new Race will more swiftly arise and the evolutionary wave be carried to its crest. New Zealanders, a great new nation in the becoming, with so many signs of greatness now apparent, will make their unique contribution to the progress of mankind.
The considerable measure of social security which New Zealand was first amongst the Dominions to grant to her citizens has been widely acclaimed. It may well prove to be a splendid first step to provision for every worthy member of the nation of a fully satisfactory share of the available goods and services. An economic system freed from subservience to individual profit, which does not divide but unites the human family, which does not degrade but elevates the race, does not encourage hate, bitterness and conflict but brings about co-operation and mutual sharing — that is the system under which individual and racial progress can best be made. Under such conditions of freedom from fear, the physical, cultural, intellectual and spiritual development and unfoldment of the individual can receive the full attention which national and racial progress demand.
Fervently is it to be hoped that all the peoples of New Zealand, and especially the young people, will become powerfully imbued with this great vision of themselves as nation builders. Then, joining with other nations, they will play their part in building the new world order that is to be.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1948, p. 12
(Mrs Valerie Gould, of the Christchurch Lodge, has most generously and effectively lent her considerable talent for the production of picture-diagrams representing different phases of the process of Creation. In this picture of Kalahamsa Mrs Gould has produced for us, not only an accurate portrayal of her subject, but also a work of art, mentally stimulating and strangely beautiful.)
In its Cosmic significance the swan has ever been regarded in Esoteric philosophy as the symbol of the Unknowable Deity, ‘the Swan in Darkness’. The two wings represent the two Aspects of the One Eternal Source of All, Parabrahman. These two Aspects are Primordial Spirit and Primordial Matter, the Great Breath and the Great Deep, the Father-Mother from ‘Whom’, all things come forth, to ‘Whom’ all things return.
The first emergence of a Universe-to-be is sometimes described as the Great Whirlwind in Space, a sphere of circumgyrating, fructified root-substance, the ‘seething clay’. In Hinduism this potential Universe is described as a Brahmanda or egg of Brahma, or again as Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Egg. Over this egg as it rests upon the waters of the Great Deep, broods the Dark Swan in Time and Space. Within it, the three-fold Cosmic Kundalini stirs and flows creatively.
‘The nest of the Eternal Bird, the flutter of whose wings produces Life, is boundless Space’ (The Secret Doctrine 3:294 [2-vol. ed.: Vol. 2, p. 293]). This Space is always defined as Watery, and this explains the choice of aquatic birds such as the swan and the pelican as symbols of the Primordial Source or Parent of the manifested Cosmos.
In The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, page 145 [2-vol. ed.: Vol. 1, pp. 79-80], we read: ‘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 (in the allegory) given milk mixed with water for its food, separated the two, drinking the milk and leaving the water; thus showing inherent wisdom — milk standing symbolically for spirit and water for matter.
‘That this allegory is very ancient and dates from the very earliest archaic period is shown by the mention, in the 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 in the Himalayas, described in the old books as being situated north of Mount Meru, called Hamsa, and connected with episodes pertaining to the history of religious mysteries and Initiations…Esoterically and logically, if Brahman, the infinite, is all that is described by the Orientalists, and, agreeably with the Vedantic texts, is an abstract deity, in no way characterized by the ascription of any human attributes, and at the same time it is maintained that he or it is called Kalahansa — 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 the male or temporary deity; Brahma, the emanation of the primordial Ray, which is made to serve as a Vahan or Vehicle for the Divine Ray, which otherwise could not manifest itself in the Universe, being, antiphrastically, itself an emanation of Darkness….
‘As to the strange symbol thus 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 issuing, 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 (whether the genus of the bird be cygnus, anser, or Pelicanus, it is no matter, as it is an aquatic bird floating or moving on the face of 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 Rosecroix is precisely this, though it was later on poetised into the motherly feeling of the pelican rending her bosom to feed its seven little Ones with its blood) with seven young ones, for a symbol, modified and adapted to the religion of every country’.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1943, p. 8
The Deific Power of the universe is not a personal God. Although imbued with intelligence, It is not an Intellect. Although using the One Life as vehicle, It is not Itself a Life. Deity is an inherent Principle in Nature, having Its extensions beyond the realm of manifested forms, however tenuous.
The Immanence of God is not personal, neither is the Transcendence. Each is an expression in time, space and motion of an impersonal Principle, which of Itself is eternal, omnipresent and at rest.
Finiteness is essential to the manifestation of That which is Infinite. Ideas, rhythms and forms are essential for the expression of That which is Absolute. God, then, may best be defined as Infinity and Absoluteness made manifest through finite forms. Such manifestation can never be singular or even dual alone; it must always be primarily threefold and secondarily sevenfold. Point, circumference and radii: power, receiver and conveyer: knower, known and knowledge: these must ever constitute the basic triplicity without which Absoluteness can never produce finiteness, at however lofty a level.
Creation, therefore, involves a change from a unity to a triplicity. In order to become the many, the one must first become the three. The possible combinations of three are seven. Continuance of advance from unity to diversity inevitably involves passage through seven modes of the manifestation and expression of that which essentially is one. Thus divisions arise in the One Alone. Thus beings arise within the One Life and intelligences appear within Universal Mind, all inherent within the Whole.
Of the Trinity, the point is the highest because the Source. Of the Seven, the Trinity is the highest because the parent. Thus hierarchy exists when manifestation occurs. Parent hierarchies give birth to offspring in a descending scale of nearness to the original Source. Emanated beings in hierarchical order inevitably come into existence when movement first occurs in That which of Itself is still.
Absolute stillness implies absolute motion, the two terms being synonymous. The Absolute, therefore, can be both still and in motion whilst retaining absoluteness. The finite is therefore contained within the Absolute, which in its turn enfolds and permeates the finite. Because of this, finite beings have regarded the Absolute as divine and have named it God.
The worship of the all-enfolding and all-permeating Source of all is true religion. To reverence the omnipresent Source and to conform to its laws of manifestation is true religious practice. To conceive the Source of all as a person, however exalted, and to give it human attributes, is not true religion. To reverence that false conception and live in fear of its vengeance is not true religious practice.
Absolute existence and absolute law — these are the highest existences and therefore are worthy of man’s study, and reverence. Finite existence and finite law are not the highest existences and therefore are not worthy of the title ‘God’. They are offspring and not parent, secondary and not primary, and their elevation to primary rank can only lead to confusion and dismay.
Modem man needs to emancipate himself from the delusion and worship of a personal, and therefore finite, God, and to substitute therefore an impersonal and infinite Deific Power and Law, with Deific Life as the essential Third.
Deific Life is the vehicle of Deific Power, and Deific Law rules their combined expression. By the instrumentation of Life, therefore, all things truly were made. Life is the Creator, Sustainer and Transformer of the cosmos. Life should be reverenced in all its manifestations and such reverence of omnipresent, ever-active Life is true religion.
What, then, is Life to the human intellect? How, may Deific Life be conceived, perceived and worshipped — that is the supreme problem. Life may be conceived as the soul of form, its relationship to which is comparable to that of the sun to the Solar System. The difference between the two relationships is that Life is omnipresent and the sun has a fixed location, even though its rays pervade the universe. Life does not send forth rays; for as the interior source of existence, Life is all-pervading and all-penetrating.
Life is beneficent in that by it all things are sustained. Without it, nothing can exist that does exist. It is the Thought-Soul, the Spirit-Intelligence, of all Creation. Vehicle for Power imbued with ideative thought, Life is the one essential to existence, to evolution and to transfiguration. Life, then, is God and God is Life. All concepts concerning Deity below that level of truth are false concepts, and their adoption as final can be productive only of confusion.
If witness be needed of this fact, the modern world in dire confusion, and modem religion largely impotent in the face of world evils, suffice. If witness be needed and symbol desired of the sole Deific Principle worthy of man’s highest reverence, then the physical sun is adequate; for the sun displays to the material universe all the attributes which Life displays to the whole universe, spiritual and material, superphysical and physical. If religious practice and rule are needed, then obedience to and conformity with the laws of Life will be all sufficing. Just as the sun’s rays rightly and intelligently received and employed by man are life-giving, and wrongfully employed are death dealing, so the laws by which Life is manifest in form constitute an unfailing guide to human conduct, and obedience to them a perfect religious life. To enunciate those laws is to describe Life and its attributes. Life is a unit without divisions, an all-embracing, all-pervading, all-sustaining, homogeneous ocean of thought-imbued, vital power.
The first article of faith in the religion of Life is recognition of unity. Unifying thoughts and acts are religious, virtuous. Dis-unifying thoughts and acts are irreligious, sinful.
The second article of faith is that Life exists and manifests according to immutable laws. Obedience to those laws brings harmony, happiness and health. Disobedience brings their opposites.
The third article of faith is that man, being endowed with intelligence and will, is free either to obey or disobey. No law binds him, save that reaction inevitably follows action. This is the only external compulsion to which man is ever subjected.
The fourth article of faith is that, being free, man can either co-operate with or resist the fulfilment of the thought-impulse or creative ideation with which Life is imbued. That impulse is to the greater fullness, beauty and perfection of Life’s expression in form; it is the source of the evolutionary urge throughout all creation.
If man co-operates, he ensures for himself a harmonious relationship with Life. Then he is happy and he prospers spiritually, in that as an individual he travels more swiftly to his goal. If he resists, he creates for himself a discordant relationship with Life. He is therefore unhappy and cannot prosper spiritually, in that as an individual he travels more slowly to his goal. Thus, harmony with Life and intelligent participation in its inherent purpose is the surest way to happiness, to mental peace and so to serenity.
Life and law, these are the two omnipotences whose rule the wise man obeys. Life creates and sustains. Law disciplines and directs. Life and law are as the right and the left hand of existence and for man their message is love and purity. To live as a lover of Life is to live as a lover of God and of all created beings. To dwell in purity and self-control is to live in reverence of God and of all created beings. This is true religion, the heart and core of all World Faiths.
Stripped of excrescence’s and embellishments, the religions of the world, as first delivered to man by their superhuman Founders, were religions of love and of purity, and the highest principles to which men’s minds were turned were Life and law. Modem man, therefore, needs greatly to return to the basic simplicities of religion, which are reverence for divine Life and obedience to spiritual law.
The Theosophist, Vol. 76, October 1954, p. 13
Perhaps my title could be linked with the Convention theme by changing it to ‘The Unfolding Spirit in Universe and Man’ and as we shall see as I go on these are not two spirits but one. However, I am going ahead of my subject which is an important one today when the loss of faith is a modem characteristic. You are doubtless aware of the existence of the philosophy of despair which is Existentialism. Jean Paul Sartre writes as follows: ‘Man can count on no one but himself: He is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth’. And he has in another place gone further and said ‘God is now dead’.
My task is to try and present to you the theosophical contribution to this great subject. Whilst our opinion and opinions are entirely free here and we can come to our own conclusions, reading Theosophical literature one seems to be advised against the idea of a personal, masculine, human-form, capricious, extra-cosmic ruler of the Universe, to be placated, petitioned, adored through fear, potent to destroy. That, I suppose, is the one most of us have been brought up with. Theosophy doesn’t seem to support it though we are all free to choose our own concept of Deity.
Let me tell you a little story which dates back to the days of the suffragette activities. It appears that amongst the ardent feminists of those days arrested during the suffragette movement in England there was an elderly crusader, often in jail for the cause, and with her was a young thing sentenced for the first time and taking it very hard. They were assigned to adjoining cells and ever and anon the elder woman heard the younger one sobbing her heart out. So she rapped energetically on the dividing wall and she called: There, there, dear, don’t cry! Put your trust in God — She will protect you!’
Well, what does Theosophy say? It is abstruse and I must prepare you for that, I cannot avoid something of the kind. Theosophy contains the idea that behind and within Creation there exists its Source, its Architect, ‘Supreme and Ancient Progenitor before all things’. And this Nameless One is Transcendent and Immanent, Unmanifest and Manifest, the Infinite Glory, the Supreme Splendour, beyond and within all Creation.
In our universe we may suppose this is the presiding Deity Whom we generally call the Solar Logos, Who is referred to as an Emanation from the Unmanifest, and the mighty Being in whom all Monads are synthesised, and this vast synthesis constitutes an Intelligence which has been beautifully named, ‘Our Lord the Sun’. Perhaps our understanding may be helped if we think of the Solar Logos as being in a somewhat similar relationship to his Solar System as is the Monad of man to its seven vehicles, and also somewhat as the Ego is to its four personal vehicles — as the source of power, of life, of light, and of consciousness.
As Deity is to His universe, so is Monad to Man. Perhaps we might follow this analogy a little further to help our halting minds. Just as the physical body has its organs which are components of his body as a whole, so the Solar System is somewhat as a physical body to the Solar Logos. And accepting this analogy the sun would be God’s physical heart, whilst the planets might be thought of as the organs, the limbs and the other members of this vast solar organism.
Furthermore, to the Solar Logos, one may presume, all these separate parts appear as a unit, one body, just as man’s body is similarly a unit for him. And the trillions of cells of the body may perhaps correspond to the millions of Monads within the universe. So ever as we study we always have our thoughts lifted into unity — from diversity into unity, from the unreal to the changeless reality, from time into eternity.
Admittedly this is a somewhat formless, abstract and so difficult idea of God, but the less we tend to think of Him in easily comprehensible forms to our minds, the nearer to the truth we shall be.
Though a mighty individual, the Solar Logos is also a Trinity in Unity — a Trinity only in so far as referring to functions, one in essence, threefold in action, we may presume. In His first aspect He is the Architect-Emanator. Do you notice that word — Emanator? In occult philosophy the words Creator and Creation are not used, everything is regarded as an emanation out of an infinite source, and so the three aspects are Architect-Emanator, Preserver-Sustainer and Destroyer-Regenerator. Three in one. As the Spiritual Parent of all beings the Logos is regarded as the apotheosis and the summation into Unity of the Unfolding Spiritual Selves in all beings, including humanity, super-humanity, all the Angelic Hosts, and the Hosts of the Logos as they are called, the Creative Logoi, the Dhyan-Chohans. The Monads of all of them are synthesised in and form as it were the body at the highest level of the Solar Deity.
Concept of Deity
Thus Theosophy presents a concept of Deity which includes all Nature at all levels, includes also the evolutionary impulse imparted to Nature, and the irresistible Creative Force operative throughout all Nature at all levels, which bestows the attributes of self-reproduction and evolution upon all that exists and gives the capacity to express them. All this wonder beyond our conceiving emanates from a single Source, outwards through three activities to provide Nature and all things with a faculty of self-reproduction, unfoldment or evolution and the capacity to express them. One and yet a multitude.
This concept of the Deity thus includes the Creative Intelligences by whom the universe is fashioned. It is conceived that the first thing that happens, when a Solar Logos re-emanates at the dawn of a Manvantara as the Deity of the Universe-to-be, is that there leap full-formed from Him the Dhyan-Chohans, the mighty creative beings, who as it were take up their stations in the great lodge of the Solar System and perform His work in the building of all nature. In the Bible, in the Hebrew original, and in Hebraism these are called the ‘Elohim’, Who direct the manifestations and the operations of this Creative Force.
Now, it might be helpful here to look at this Hebrew word ‘Elohim’, because it will help us to an understanding of that Nameless One of which they are expressions. Actually, you know, the fourth word in the first sentence of the Bible, of the Book of Genesis, is mistranslated for us. We have it ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ...’ but the original Hebrew is ‘Elohim’, a plural word meaning the totality of the Spiritual Intelligences by whose agency all worlds and all beings are conceived in the Major Mind and objectively made manifest. These are the fashioners of the universe, the objective activities and potencies of the Logos.
This Hebrew word, ‘Elohim’, denotes several principles — the male-female Hierarchies of creative Intelligence to which I have just referred; the Potencies through which the Divine produces the manifested universe; also the unity of the Divine powers and the attributes and the creative activities of the Supreme Being. ‘Elohim’ includes all that; it is a plural name. The singular is ‘Eloha’, which means ‘a god’. ‘Elohim’, as a plural name, literally means ‘gods’, or personifications of Divine attributes and forces at work in nature. These are the real fashioners of the objective universe, according to the archetype in the Divine Mind.
The ‘Elohim’ are also conceived in Hebraism as a unity in the sense that they all work together as one, expressing one Will, one Purpose, one Harmony. Thus their activities may be regarded as the manifestation of the Eternal One, the Absolute. They are ‘the unity of gods’, the ‘Activities of the Eternal One’, namely God omnipresent and revealing Himself outwardly in creative activity.
Inevitably we have thought our way onwards to the Eternal One, and I presume that no attempted exposition of the Supreme Deity could omit some reference to this. What is the Eternal One in occult philosophy? We know it in English as the Absolute. The supreme, eternal and indefinable Reality. It is inconceivable, ineffable and unknowable. But it has to be postulated. Its revealed existence is postulated in three terms: an absolute Existence, an absolute Consciousness, and absolute Bliss. Infinite Consciousness is regarded as inherent in the Supreme Being, in the Solar Logos for example. There it exists and manifests itself as a dynamic power, with all the potentialities held in its own infinitude, and it calls forth forms out of its own formless depths.
Spiritually man and Solar Logos are one and identical. The Macrocosm or Great World and the microcosm or little world, man, are one. Each man is an epitome in miniature of the whole universe.
Law of Correspondences
The Solar System, physical, superphysical and spiritual, is all represented within man’s nature. The sun, planets, satellites, powers, kingdoms and intelligences in nature are all potentially present within every man. They are there as potential powers to vibrate similarly. It must be so otherwise we could not respond to their influences, could not receive and relay their life, their power and consciousness if we were not the same. Thus man is perpetually preserved, empowered and sustained by virtue of the presence within him of all life and all being. This, according to H. P. Blavatsky, whom I am largely quoting, is the law of correspondences. Eliphas Levi puts it like this, ‘The mystery of the earthly and mortal man is after the mystery of the supernal and immortal One’. I often think the finest literature, the finest sentences we have in the whole world of the treasure of literature belonging to man, arises from man’s attempt to penetrate into the impenetrable and to state the results.
The occult philosophy teaches that the whole universe with all its parts, from the highest plane to physical nature, is regarded as being interlocked, interwoven, to make a single whole — one body, one organism, one power, one life, one consciousness, all cyclically evolving under one law. The ‘organs’ or parts of the Macrocosm, the universe, though apparently separated in space and plane of manifestation, are in fact harmoniously interrelated, intercommunicative, and continually interactive. They are continually radiating, all the planets and the Zodiac, to separate parts of our nature.
While in so far as those parts are becoming spiritually alive and active we return the compliment, so that man standing here is in continual interactive relationship with the universe as a whole.
In Kabbalism, the philosophy of the Hebrews, they say these wonderful words: ‘In the chain of being everything is magically contained within everything else. Where one stands, there stand all the worlds, what is below is above, what is inside is outside, and, in addition, ceaselessly interacts upon all that exists’. Kabbalism, the Theosophy of the Hebrews, thus stresses the interrelation of all worlds and levels of being, according to exact though unfathomable laws. Here is another wonderful Kabbalistic sentence, ‘All things possess their infinite depths which from every point may be contemplated’. Simply put, all that is without us is also within us.
How may we begin to know as a direct experience in consciousness this sublime truth that man’s spirit and God’s spirit are in fact one Spirit? The answer is always the same, in Silence. ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Here we are above words, we are above thoughts, especially above forms, in a realm of complete mental tranquillity and stillness. It is the contemplative silence of the mind. After studying the Triune Deity with the highest powers of our mind, which is incurably objective, it is then necessary to allow the mind to become still, to allow the mind to fall still, whilst the inner consciousness rises to higher and more divine aspects of human nature. Then, and then alone, the mystics tell us, may the profound mystery of both Deity and the Unfolding Spirit of man begin to be understood. The old Persian poet, Kabir, thus speaks of God, ‘How difficult it is to know, how easy to love thee. We debate and argue and the vision passes us by. We try to prove, and kill it in the laboratory of our minds, when on the altar of our souls it will dwell for ever’. Saint Augustine wrote: ‘Too late have I loved Thee, O Beauty, ever ancient yet ever new! And Behold, Thou wert within me and I abroad and there I searched for Thee, and, deformed as I was, I pursued the beauties that Thou hast made. Thou wert with me, but I was not with Thee. Those things kept me far from Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, could have had no being’.
I am really going to leave the subject there for your own consideration, but just to sum up a little: In manifestation the Supreme Deity thus conceived is objectively active. In non-manifestation, the Supreme Deity is quiescent. And behind both activity and quietude is THAT which is Eternal and unchanging, the Absolute, Self-Existent Self. I close with a few lines from that great cosmic consciousness poet, Walt Whitman, from his Leaves of Grass, and from that part called ‘Passage to India’: he is addressing the Solar Logos, I imagine:
O Thou transcendent,
Nameless, the fibre and the breath,
Light of the light, shedding forth universes, thou centre of them,
Thou mightier centre of the true, the good, the loving,
Thou moral, spiritual fountain — affection’s source — thou reservoir. . .
Thou pulse — thou motive of the stars, suns, systems,
That, circling, move in order, safe, harmonious.
Theosophy in Australia, 3, 3 June 1966, p. 5
The Heritage of Man
In this study we are concerned neither with the group of doctrines by which Theosophy is represented in the world at any particular epoch, nor with the presentations made at different times by various individuals and groups. We are concerned with the Eternal Wisdom, with abstract Truth, with pure theosophia. We are concerned with that Ancient Wisdom which Madame Blavatsky defines as follows:
Theosophy in its abstract meaning is Divine Wisdom or the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the universe — the homogeneity of eternal good; in its concrete sense it is the sum total and the same as allotted to man by Nature on this earth and no more. From this definition and from a study of the history of man’s mental development we realize that Theosophy as ‘the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe’ is first received by humanity as revelation from evolutionary Elders. These Teachers in Their turn first received and later Themselves discovered Divine Wisdom within the Divine Mind in Nature, with which They became consciously self-unified. After its revelation to man by superman, Theosophy gradually begins to be perceived direct by advanced human minds, and in due course by the majority of human beings. Finally, though still more gradually and much later, it is fully acknowledged and applied to every phase of human life, and the establishment of a golden age of brotherhood and peace is the natural result. Thereafter, deeper and deeper layers of truth are discovered, and the humanity of a planet moves on to the attainment of super-humanity.
Such, it may be assumed, are the stages in the process by which the Wisdom Religion takes its full and rightful place upon a planet. It first comes as revelation, is later self-discovered and fully acknowledged. Eventually it takes its natural place as the dominant factor in the life of illumined humanity. For our planet, the last and culminating phase is still far off. As yet we are in a stage of revelation, though perhaps beginning to emerge therefrom. Intuitive perception is bringing a very small minority of the humanity of our globe to recognition and acknowledgement of the main teachings. The days of direct discovery and application by the race as a whole are not yet.
The Mission of Theosophists
Our part as Theosophists today is in consequence quite clear. It is essentially that of pioneers, and our task, in our turn, is to offer Theosophy in its most acceptable and practical forms to our contemporaries. By so doing we are privileged to share in the work of the Elder Brethren, and we help to bring nearer the day of general acknowledgement by mankind of the Ancient Wisdom, and so hasten both the coming of the golden age of world unity and the attainment of perfection by man. For this, it would seem, is the general purpose of the Adept Teachers of the race, and therefore of all our work in Their name as Fellows of The Theosophical Society. Every truly Theosophical thought, conversation, study class and lecture, every Theosophical letter, article and book, every act of Theosophical service brings nearer humanity’s third and self-attained golden age, hastens humanity’s attainment of the Christ Consciousness and later of Adeptship or Christhood. This, for humanity as a whole, is our supreme objective. This is the sublime purpose for everything we, Theosophists, are trying to do. This is our planetary and racial mission.
Since we, Theosophists, today are thus called to participate in the age long and continuing labours of our Elder Brethren, it will repay us to analyse, still further our great task, to examine the various factors involved. Let us therefore try to understand the process by which the humanity of a planet in its Fourth Chain and Fourth Round gradually becomes illumined with the light of Divine Wisdom, imbued with the Spirit of Theosophy.
At least three factors are involved in the process of the projection of Theosophy from the Divine Mind into the human mind and by man to its full physical manifestation.
The first factor is Theosophy itself as abstract Truth ever available to all minds as they are able to receive, perceive and eventually assimilate and apply it to life.
The second factor consists of the great Revealers, who, early in a world period, bring Truth to the young humanity of a man-bearing globe. In the case of our planet, these Revealers were, and still are in great part, the ever-to-be-revered and glorious Beings, who, some six and a half million years ago, brought Theosophy to earth from the planet Venus.
The third factor consists of the recipients of this ministration. In our case, this is earth’s humanity, at first in Adamic sleep and Eden innocence, but gradually awakening, and, being free, knowing and practising both good and evil.
The Great Revealers
Madame Blavatsky has defined for us the first of these three factors, which is Theosophy, abstract and concrete. Concerning the second, the great Revealers, we are informed that the Lords of the Flame, as They have been called, brought with Them from Venus certain precious gifts. Greatest amongst these is Their own living Presence upon our earth; for by Their exalted nature They are great leavening and awakening Centres of spiritual power and life. As long as They remain, They perpetually quicken from within it the world soul and the world mind.
With Them, physically, They are said to have brought science, the arts, certain cereals, notably wheat, and certain insects, including the ants and the bees. Culturally They brought the power to awaken and develop in man the capacity to express himself through the medium of the arts and sciences. Mentally They brought the fire of Their own awakened and highly developed Intellects. That is partly why They Are known as the ‘Lords of the Flame’. Directing the fire of mind into the embryo mental bodies of Third and Fourth Race man, as well as by a process of induction, the Lords of the Flame awakened man’s sleeping powers of thought. Intellectually and spiritually They brought and taught Their knowledge of the Wisdom Religion, Theosophia, and the wondrous power of Their own fully awakened intuitional and spiritual faculties. Thus equipped, thus empowered, these Mighty Ones Arrived on our planet, and throughout long ages of unbroken ministration They have transmitted Their various gifts to mankind.
We are informed that most of these Divine Visitants have departed, though at least Four are said to remain. These are known and revered as the Four Kumaras. Theosophically They are regarded as the most divine and sacred Beings on our planet, the supreme Rulers and Directors of the evolution of life and form upon our globe. Of these Four, One is said to be greatest. His title is Sanat Kumara, and He is referred to, ever with the utmost reverence, as the Lord of the World, and sometimes as The King.
Such in part are the first great Revealers of the Wisdom Religion to man. The Lords of the Flame from Venus also performed another known service to mankind. Throughout successive ages, under Their guidance and inspiration, a considerable number of disciples, Initiates and Adepts have arisen from earth’s humanity. For They also opened for man on this earth the Way of Holiness, the Path of Discipleship. The Greater and Lesser Mysteries were instituted, transmitting the esoteric wisdom and bestowing the great Initiations upon those men and women who from that day to this prove worthy to pass through them. Certain of these advanced members of earth’s humanity later attained Adeptship, and some, though not all, of these Adepts have elected to remain upon the planet, and some of these to retain physical bodies. Throughout long ages, They have been the direct spiritual Teachers of mankind. It is these Great Ones and Their Initiated Disciples who now form the Inner Government of our world, the Occult Hierarchy, the Great White Brotherhood which exists from eternity to eternity.
The Great Conflict
Humanity owes a debt of undying and eternal gratitude to these its Elder Brethren. For all the real advances which it has made in every department of life mankind owes to Them. The present war has brought to light other immeasurable benefits bestowed upon humanity by the August Company of the Adepts. Evil, bestial and unashamed, has found unbridled expression throughout the present war. Man has shown and man has seen the depths to which man can descend under influences which evoke the sleeping animal and awake to vivid life the relatively dormant devil within him.
These evils have long existed upon earth. On certain occasions, as in Atlantis, they are said to have found modes of expression even more dreadful and degenerate than those of today. Ceaselessly and with varying success demoniacal evil has tended to rise to the surface of human life. Ceaselessly the spiritual will in man, the Divine A tma, has opposed its arising.
In this great conflict, this perpetual Armageddon, the Initiates and Adepts of the planet have ever fought against the primordial evil inherent as a possibility in matter and in man. Not for one moment or one hour have They, the Guardians of Humanity, rested from Their labours. Without intermission through innumerable ages, unthanked, unknown save by a few, They, from whom all evil has been extirpated and in whom all weakness has been overcome, have faced, fought and held at bay the evil forces and evil beings which sought the downfall and decay of the human race. Continuously through vast periods of time, They, the Self-perfected Ones, have evoked and quickened all that is highest in mankind. But for this ministration, but for this unbroken sacrificial service to the soul of man, far more sombre would have been the lives of all men. The periods of darkness, dark as they have been and are, would have been black as night, with no light to relieve the awful gloom. The periods of relative light would have been much less illumined and far shorter in duration, had it not been for Their Presence on earth, Their regular visitations to successive Races, and the steady and ever growing pressure upwards to the Light, which in every possible way the Members of the Inner Government of the world have not ceased to exert.
Under this inspiration, guidance and protection of its Elder Brethren, humanity has gradually developed during the past six and a half million years from primitive and almost senseless Lemurian giants, as partly represented by the statues on Easter Island, to its present state. Since the beginning of the Atlantean Race, through cycles of darkness and of light, no less than twelve sub-races have been evolved, twelve types of human beings, at least twelve major civilisations, and innumerable nations have by Their aid been developed on our earth.
Continents have sunk beneath the waters and are rising again, mighty mountain ranges have been upthrust towards the sky, vast seas have been drained dry and replaced by desert sands, thrice at least the ice-caps have advanced from the Poles towards the equator and receded, the axis of the earth has tilted, virile savage races have overrun more civilised nations and wiped out their effete populations; yet the ceaseless forward pressure of the spirit of man has continued to produce nations and individuals of higher and higher types. Demoniacally evil men have arisen as scourges of their contemporaries. Great sages, pure saints and fiery prophets by example and precept have brought the light of Truth and Beauty to the world, and behind this orderly progression has been the directing and inspiring influence of the Occult Hierarchy founded and directed upon earth by the great Venusian Adepts. Their presence and Their influence are with us now in this great day of scourging, purifying and nation building. As far as human blindness, selfishness and waywardness permit, They still direct the processes of human development including especially those of racial evolution.
In recent years we have been permitted and privileged to know something of the work of the Inner Government of the world and how it is carried out. Students of Theosophy now know that Their activity is at least four-fold. One great department is concerned with the development of ethnological types through racial blendings and racial emigrations. These vast planetary operations, carried out unceasingly and with unbroken continuity for millions of years, are all directed by a great Official known as the Lord Manu. National building occurs under His direction and all nation builders serve under Him.
The second department of Adept activity is concerned with the unfoldment of the life and consciousness with the gradually improving forms. This process is presided over and assisted by the great World Teachers, who, in close collaboration with the Racial Manus, both deliver to man age by age an aspect of Theosophy in the form of a great spiritual message and strike an ethical keynote for the guidance of the humanity of Their age. As a result world religions arise, each with its mystery or esoteric teachings for the guidance of the few.
The third great Official in the Inner Government of the world is known by His title of Maha-Chohan (great Lord). Under Him all cultural, political and scientific progress is said to be directed and inspired.
Through and within the influence of the great Heads of these three departments in the Inner Government of the world and of Their Adept and Initiate collaborators, is the influence of the Feminine Aspect of the Deity. This mighty conserving, protective and awakening Power is said to have Its Representation on earth in and through a great Personage who is generally an Archangel Adept in feminine form. This wondrous Being is known as the World Mother, and, amongst many other activities, solar and planetary, She is said to preside over the processes of both national and individual gestation and birth.
Such are Those who constitute the second factor in the arrival and acceptance of Theosophy upon a planet, the great Revealers. Such are four of the modes of ministration included in the vast operations of the Inner Government of the world. Such, briefly, and very partially, is the organized assistance given to earth’s humanity by the Great White Brotherhood of Adepts.
In the great creative and dynamic periods of planetary life such as is the present, when nation-building is the order of the day, like the fingers of one hand, these four great Officials and Their Adept Lieutenants direct Their power and Their inspiration upon all the members of the nation-to-be.
This brings us to the third factor in the process of the illumination of the human mind with the light of Theosophy. This factor consists of the recipient who is man himself. As we have seen, one important and essential aspect of the ministration of the Adept is that of awakening the human mind to the Wisdom Religion. This gives us the key to the general significance in the world of The Theosophical Society and its members; for, despite our limitations, we Fellows of The Theosophical Society are offered the opportunity, the inexpressible privilege of collaboration with the Masters of Wisdom in these Their labours.
If we study, by means of such historical information, physical and occult, as is available to us, the birth and rise of nations and civilisations, we perceive that, by the World Teacher in person, to each there has been delivered certain aspects of the Wisdom Religion. Although this teaching ultimately becomes crystallised into a set of dogmas and tends to degenerate into priestcraft and superstition, nevertheless, at the heart of every successive World Faith, there is to be found the true Theosophia delivered to the civilisation by the World Teacher and His inspired successors.
Thus it is clearly part of the Plan that humanity in both its racial and its individual evolution, and especially in its work of nation building, should unfailingly have placed at its disposal the light of the Ancient Wisdom.
(A Convention Lecture, delivered in New Zealand.)
The Theosophist, Vol. 65, November 1943, p. 89
SOME THOUGHTS ON ADEPTS FROM VENUS
The degree of diligence and zeal with which the hidden meaning is sought by the student, is generally the test — how far he is entitled to the possession of the so buried treasure’. — K.H. [Mahatma Kuthumi, see The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India]
Theosophical literature teaches that before the humanity of this earth had produced its own Adepts, a number of such highly evolved Beings came to earth from the planet Venus, which is more advanced than our own. At least four of these great Adepts have stayed on the earth, as also have some of the human Beings who accompanied them. When the Earth humanity began to produce its own Initiates and Adepts, as it did in the Fourth Root Race, the work performed by the August Visitors was handed over to them. Some of those Beings from another planet then gradually withdrew, possibly to undertake similar work on other planets. So we learn that from that first group of Adepts Who came here from Venus over six million years ago, there has gradually developed the present Occult Hierarchy of Adepts and Initiates Who constitute the Inner or Spiritual Government of the World.
So far as Their physical bodies are concerned, as I have just said, the Adepts of our Earth live in retreat either in the fastnesses of mountain chains or with Their residences protected from a humanity which, through lack of understanding, might render more difficult Their ministrations to mankind. Their consciousness is completely free of Their physical bodies, which They can leave and re-enter at will. It does not matter, therefore, where the body is, for the Adept Who uses it can be aware, active and, if desirable, physically visible at any place on the planet as becomes necessary for the fulfilment of His task.
In Space Ships or Spirit?
‘Did they come to the Earth from home, the planet Venus, in spirit only or physical space ships?’, is a question that is often asked. They are said to have come in Their superphysical bodies and the greatest of Them formed perfect physical bodies using Their power of will and thought, whilst others took incarnation amongst the humanity, of that time, which greatly helped the evolution of the Race. I am aware this must sound strange to those for whom it is new, but please remember that Theosophical teaching is only offered to us for consideration, as food for thought.
The very highest of the Venusian Adepts Who were able to create bodies by the action of Their will and Their thought, YOGA, in fact, are, in consequence sometimes referred to in occult books, notably The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky, as ‘The Sons of Will and Yoga’. Their bodies never change, are not subject to birth and death, always retaining Their original youthful appearance. Such hidden powers of the mind, and the capacity of the mind to influence physical matter, are now being investigated. Some scientists are examining extra-sensory perception — chiefly telepathy, clairvoyance and clairaudience — while others are studying what is called telekinesis, or the power of the mind to influence physical matter. One of tests which has given evidence of the existence of this power in man concerned the capacity to influence the fall of dice by concentrated thought.
A power can and will be developed by later Races which will enable man to move and shape primeval matter by the action of his thought alone. Even today, some people can make suspended needles swing by the power of their thought, and there is mention of such powers in the great Scriptures of the world. Elisha, for example, made an axe-head float. Christ walked on the water and stilled a storm by the sheer power of His conjoined will and thought and voice. Thus, it is not altogether incredible that the extremely highly evolved Beings of Whom we have been thinking could materialize bodies by the power of Will-Thought, or kriyashakti, as it is called in Sanskrit by Hindu occultists.
They came, as I have been saying, from the planet Venus, whose Planetary Scheme is almost one and a half Chains in advance of the one to which we belong, namely, the Earth Planetary Scheme. The average humanity of Venus must therefore be presumed to be at least at the level of our Initiates, and the more advanced at the level of Earth’s Adepts. To those who wish to study this subject in detail, I would recommend the books, Man: Whence, How and Whither by Dr [Annie] Besant and C. W. Leadbeater, and The Solar System by A. E. Powell. There you will find much information about evolution on other planets, the arrival on Earth many ages ago of the Lords of the Flame from Venus and the different Races of men on this, our Globe.
Ourselves in Former Lives
When considering racial evolution upon Earth it should be remembered that the same spiritual individuals, the same human Egos, incarnate in successive Races. The Atlanteans, Egyptians and other ancient peoples were none other than ourselves in our former lives. Similarly, the Sixth sub-Race of our Aryan, Fifth Root Race and the Sixth and Seventh Root Races will only be new reincarnations of the same family of Egos, ourselves, for whom this Earth has been appointed as the evolutionary field.
The Passage of Life from Planet to Planet
Students may encounter some difficulty in understanding how the Monads and the Monad-life bearing wave are transferred from one planet in a Round and Chain to its successor. Theosophy teaches that the life on each planet is in charge of a very mighty Intelligence, an Adept Member of the Solar Hierarchy of both Superhuman and Archangelic and Angelic Officers and servants of the Supreme Will and Law. The life of a single Round, during which the Life wave travels round the seven globes of a Planetary Chain, is in charge of a very great Being called a Round Manu. He holds the Round within His consciousness and through His subordinates, directs the whole process of involution and evolution that occurs in His Round. It is He, this very high Official, Who absorbs into His aura all the seeds of Life and all the Monad-Egos of men at the end of a World Period, and conveys them through the superphysical worlds to the next Globe, Round or Chain at the end of an epoch.
The Solar Logos
All these great processes are under the direction of high Officials, and the Solar Logos is in charge of the evolution of Life and form throughout the whole Solar System. One of the Seven Mighty Spirits before the Throne, also referred to as the Archangels of the Face, is in charge of one of the seven Planetary Schemes. Within each Scheme, Lords of Chains and Rounds preserve and transfer Life and Consciousness from one Chain, Round or Globe to its successor.
Noah and His Ark
This is hinted at in the Bible, if under an allegorical veil. In one meaning, Noah and his Ark is a symbol or glyph of a great Being Who, at the end of a period — onset of the Flood — receives into His aura — His ‘ark’ — the seeds of Life and living beings. There He preserves them during a period of quiescence — the Flood — and then transfers them to the next and higher system of manifestation — Mount Ararat, the dry land after the flood had receded and the post-diluvian epoch.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 17, No. 1 & 2, 1956, p. 10
A three-fold objective is before us. We shall first study some Theosophical ideas concerning the formative Agency whether called Brahma, the Great Breath, the Logos or Word, or the spirit of God which first broods upon the face of the deep and then moves upon the face of the waters. The emanation and formation of a universe and the functions of the Creative Intelligences in Nature will then be considered. I shall use the word Logos in both a cosmic sense to denote an active, formative Principle and Power, more locally as the Spiritual Presence and Power behind the sun, the Solar Logos, and also as the core of man’s nature, the God within him, the Logos of the Soul. The title, Logos, or Word, implies the emanation and formation of the universe by an energy of the order or quality of sound, a soniferous creative force; for one translation of Logos from the Greek is Word, referring to the process by which the universe is fashioned through the agency of the Voice or Word of a Creative Deity. This procedure is not conceived as being either external or enforced. Rather is it an emergence from within a creative centre by a natural process like that of the germination and development of a seed or an egg, an expansion from within outwards, an unfoldment or growth of that which is inherent in the very nature of things.
Creative is really a misnomer, the word emanation being more acceptable to describe the process of the emergence, unfoldment and perfecting from within of universes and all they contain, an emergence from a cosmic seed, germ, metaphorically, from the egg of Brahma. The Hierarchies of Intelligences associated with this process are the Devarajas and the Devas, the Archangels and the angelic hosts, the armies of the Logos. They are the Sephiras of Hebraism, the Prajapatis of Hinduism, the Gods of Egypt, Greece and Rome, and the Mighty Spirits before the Throne of Christianity.
The Scriptures of the world contain cosmogonies, heavily veiled beneath allegory and symbol, which suggest that sound was the formative power. In the Book of Genesis (1:1-5), we read:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
This description implies that at the dawn of a near Manvantara, there first emanates from the Absolute a duality in Unity, the Spirit of God, the Word which was God, the masculine creative potency, the Great Breath, Purusha, and the face of the deep, the feminine creative potency, the Great Deep, pre-cosmic matter, the vast ocean of virgin space, the Great Abyss, Prakriti. Before this emergence, darkness brooded upon the face of the deep. Then the Spirit of God moves upon the face of the waters; the laws of number, alternation and cycles come into operation, and the processes of the emanation and formation of a universe are again initiated.
In the New Testament, St John also indicates the soniferous nature of that Power which ushers in the new day, writing in his first chapter:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness.
Theosophical cosmogony unveils the symbolism, stating that behind and beyond and within all existence is that Eternal, and Infinite Parent from which the temporary and the finite are born. This is Boundless Self-existence, ever unknowable and unknown, This is the Absolute. It is the changeless, Infinite, Eternal All, the self-existent Causeless Cause, the Rootless Root, the Unmanifest. This is an impersonal Unity, with no attributes conceivable by man. In Kabbalism it is referred to as negative existence, Ain or Nothing. During Maha-Pralaya, Ain is all, yet nothing. It is darkness, boundless night in relation to finite consciousness. Periodically, Creative Energy imbued with Divine Thought, Adam Kadmon of the Kabbalists, is emanated from the Absolute to become the active, formative, Deific Principle of the universe-to-be. Thus, out of the Infinite, if such an expression may be permitted, a finite formative Power, however vast, and lofty, emerges as the Cosmic Creative Logos. This is the ‘only Begotten Son’ of Christianity, who is really the ‘alone Begotten’ and is described as being of ‘one substance with the Father’, which is the absolute uncreated All. This first Emanation in its objective aspect, is called the Cosmic Christos and Christians are taught that by Him are all things made; ‘yea, all things both in heaven and earth; with Him as the indwelling Life, do all things exist and in Him as the transcendent Glory all beings live and move and have their being’. Such is the active, manifested Creative Deity, the Logos or Word of St John. This is the emanated Architect, Sustainer and Transformer of the universe which is about to be ‘born’.
The Secret Doctrine affirms the eternity of the universe in toto as a boundless plane, periodically the playground of numberless universes incessantly manifested and disappearing called the manifesting stars and the sparks of Eternity. This appearance and disappearance of worlds is like a regular tidal flow. The law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of Nature is universal. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so perfectly universal and without exception that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe. This alternation is stated to be eternal, without conceivable beginning and without imaginable end.
The Logos Doctrine appears in the Scriptures of many World Faiths.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth (Psalms, 33:6).
I am the great God Nu, who gave birth unto himself, and who made his name to become the company of the Gods (Book of the Dead, Budge, Ch. XVII).
Thoth, (as) the divine intelligence which at the Creation uttered the words which resulted in the formation of the world. He was self-produced and was Lord of earth, air, sea and sky (Book of the Dead).
I-AM is the Hidden One of the mouth; it is the silence of his mouth whose uttered word is mystery, even the mouth of the Ruler of the Aeon, which grasps the eternity of ‘being in Peace’ (Book of the Dead).
In Hinduism, Devaki sees the whole universe in the mouth of the child Sri Krishna. The Creative Power or Voice is personified as a woman named Vach, meaning speech or the sound of the voice. She is the female Logos, being one with Brahma, who created her out of one-half of His body. She is the female Creator and associated with Brahma in the work of creation. This is an allegory of the union of power, Brahma, and intelligence, Vach, to operate the work of creation by sound. Vach is really the intelligent Creative force which, emanating from the Creative Deity, becomes manifested as the metaphysical Word or Logos. Thus the Great Breath sets up vibrations in primordial substance which becomes soniferous or capable of emitting audible energies. These form shapes according to the divine thought which is expressed by the motif and variations of the great Symphony of Creation. The emitted, creative agency is the outbreathed Breath of the Logos and is of the order of sound. It is the creative power of Vach, the active, manifested Logos or Word. It is God at Work and behind God at Work is God the conceiving Power.
The concept is thus presented of the Logos as Musician, and the process of creation as the composition and performance of a symphony. A Divine Voice enunciates the motif of the new universe. This is heard or responded to, by pre-cosmic Matter, and the planes of Nature with their forms and inhabitants gradually appear. Into these the Logos pours forth perpetually His Life that they may live, this being His continuous sacrifice, His everlasting oblation. Metaphorically, He is voluntarily self-crucified upon the Cross of the material universe with its four directions of space, four streams of creative energy, four subtle elements and four Hierarchies of Creative Intelligences. Such in part are the Crucified Logos, the four-headed Brahma, and every other four-headed, four-armed Deity.
The Universal Word when uttered becomes manifest as myriads of chords, each a coherent, self-existent sound with its force and light manifestations. Each chord appears in the higher, causal worlds of planets as a relatively changeless abstract form, an Archetype or divine idea, the pattern on the Mount of the Old Testament. These Archetypes in their turn sound their words relaying (in radio terms) into the lower worlds, the primal Word-force. Magnetic fields are set up therein, matter is drawn into them and, with the aid of the Creative Hierarchies, is moulded into evolving forms. These forms, vivified by Divine Life, become the abode of intelligences, the Monads, in the mineral, plant, animal, human and superhuman phases of development. As a result of experience in the forms, these intelligences, assisted by the Angelic Hosts, gradually unfold their innate faculties and powers until the degree of development set both for them and for the forms has been attained. Ultimately, at the eve of creative Day, all is withdrawn back into its source. Cosmic Night then falls, Darkness broods once more upon the face of the Deep. As Omar Khayyam says, ‘Lo! the phantom caravan reaches that no thing which it set out from’.
The Gods or Creative Hierarchies are thus conceived to be builders of form and I now offer purely personal views concerning them and their functions. In doing so, I recognise that when an abstract idea, a continuing process and an ever-flowing force, are defined in term of time and form, limitation and even error are almost inevitable. The creative energies of which all forms are the product are first emitted as sound by the utterance of the Word and may be thought of as arising from a central, spiritual source. These primal, formative energies of the Word have tremendous potency and, from one point of view, the whole race of the Gods, from the universal Solar Creative
Hierarchies to the relatively local planetary archangels and their hosts, collectively known as the Elohim in Kabbalism, serve somewhat as electrical transformers. They receive into themselves the primordial, creative power and, as if by resistance to its flow, reduce its voltage, as it were. From them it passes through their lesser brethren, rank upon rank, until it reaches the physical worlds. There, with the assistance of the nature spirits it draws and moulds matter into the geometrical shapes conceived by the Creative Mind.
The members of the higher ranks in the Order of the Builders — one race of which would seem to correspond to the Devas known to Hinduism as the Gandharvas or Gods of Music, again the suggestion of sound — are aware of the creative intent, perceive and know the Archetypes or divine ideas. Within the Order of the Builders are Hierarchies which are themselves as a whole, and as individuals, Deva manifestations of those chords in the creative Word of which the Archetypes and Nature’s forms are objective expressions. By self-unification with the ‘descending’ Word-force, particularly with Branch streams as are vibrating at frequencies which are identical with those of their own nature, they amplify them and this augments their form-producing power.
Mutual resonance or affinity of vibration draw the particular Hierarchy of Devas into its appropriate field of work as form-builders in the four kingdoms of Nature. There is a hierarchy of Devas the chord of whose nature is identical with that of gold, for example. They might be described as ‘Deva-gold’ or the divine idea and spirit essence of gold manifest as an Order of living beings. Members of this Hierarchy are drawn by vibratory affinity into the streams of Gold force which are constantly descending — in a diagrammatic sense only, all occurs from within outwards — from the creative source into the physical world. The presence of the Gods of gold amplifies the creative energy, intensifies the component frequencies, and thereby augments the form-producing capacity of the thought-imbued Word-force. This, as far as my limited understanding goes, is part of the function of the Gods of gold as also of all Gods of the Order of the Builders. By self-unification with the formative force, they assist in the process of the production physical substances and forms by emitted Divine will-thought-sound or word.
The ultimate fashioners of physical forms are the nature spirits mainly of the element of earth assisted by those of air. Earth nature spirits are associated with mineral forms, air elementals with plant forms. Unconsciously they aid the designer, Universal Thought, by playing in the geometrically flowing fields of force set up by the impact of creative energy as sound upon responsive, fructified matter, chiefly at the etheric level. This form producing sound establishes fields of force of varied geometrical designs, not at first in dense solid substance, but in the ether, which is both mould and matrix of all forms, Mother Nature’s womb.
If we enter the magical and beautiful world of the nature-spirit builders of etheric and physical forms, and watch their lives, we see that pleasure is gained by them in moving, dancing and flying along the lines of force of which the forms first consist. This repeated fairy movement accentuates these lines in the ether, as does a pencil line drawn again and again on paper. Nature spirits thus assume considerable significance in Nature’s processes. Through play and movement along the lines of force, elementals of earth and air unconsciously play their part in the production of forms in etheric and solid matter and in all the processes of generation and regeneration in the organic kingdoms. The little workmen are everywhere present and ceaselessly at work. No smallest form of any kind appears unassociated with a builder of form, in none of whom can the thought of self arise; for Individuality is not born in them. Inwardly moved by the action within them of Universal Thought, which is their Mother Source, and of their Devic senior and overseer, the life of nature-spirits is one of thought-free, spontaneous play within the currents of creative energy which set up lines of force in the ether and also flow through them and their subtle element.
Thus, the creative idea is first conceived within Universal Thought and then expressed as form-producing energy of the quality or order of sound. Geometrical designs and patterns based on the platonic solids are formed in the super-physical worlds and the physical ether. Creative Hierarchies of Devas amplify the Word-force and nature spirits play along the lines of force or dance to the divine symphony of creation, and thus assist in the building of Nature’s physical forms according to the Word.
One of the most profound of all the profound truths contained within the esoteric teachings are those of the unity of the Macrocosm or great world with the microcosm or individual man and of the close similarity between the processes by which both become manifest and evolve. Man, in very truth, was created in the image of God. The mystery of the earthly and mortal man is after the mystery of the supernal and immortal one. The universe is the manifestation of a Supreme, Deific Power, a ray of which is present in every man. Realisation of this presence as the true human Individuality, the real Self, behind the bodily veil leads to the further realisation that the Dweller in the innermost is itself forever at one with the Supreme Lord, is inseparably united with the eternal Source of light and life and power.
The Theosophist, Vol. 75, January 1954, p. 249
You will remember how, in the days of the first World War, Dr Besant frequently used such words as these: ‘Let us remember that over our darkness there ever shines the Star of the King, the Oriflamme of Victory’. Following that inspiring thought and those words of hers, I have chosen for our thought together those four inconceivably Mighty Beings on our earth Who are called the Lords of the Flame. One of these, as we know, is named the King and it is to His Star, the Star of the Spiritual Ruler of our Earth and the Director of its evolution, that Dr Besant was referring.
From our theosophical studies we learn that there are now four Kumar as on earth, and that They came from the planet Venus during the Third Root Race, after the separation of the sexes, which occurred some eighteen million years ago. The Secret Doctrine says: ‘Out of the seven Virgin-men [Kumara] four sacrificed themselves for the sins of the world and the instruction of the ignorant. At once we are in the presence of an occult principle, which is that of the ministration of the elder to the younger, which evidently obtains throughout the whole Solar System. Everyone who, in however small a way, ministers to someone weaker or less informed than himself, becomes part of a universal principle of loving, compassionate service to others which is finding expression through them.
This expression of love is indeed universal, for it obtains from star to star and planet to planet. The Secret Doctrine also says: 6Every world has its parent Star and sister Planet. Thus Earth is the adopted child and younger brother of Venus.
Since Venus is in its Seventh Round and Fifth Chain, its Planetary Scheme is far in advance of ours and its humanity, even its ordinary humanity, is far more developed than are we of the Earth Planetary Scheme in its Fourth Chain and Fourth Round.
When this principle came into operation on behalf of the young humanity of our, Earth, that mighty descent occurred which Dr Besant describes so graphically in one of her writings: ‘Then, with the mighty roar of swift descent from incalculable heights, surrounded by blazing masses of fire which filled the sky with shooting tongues of flame, flashed through the aerial spaces the chariot of the Sons of the Fire, the Lords of the Flame from Venus; it halted, hovering over the ‘White Island’, which lay smiling in the bosom of the Gobi Sea; green was it, and radiant with masses of fragrant many coloured blossoms, Earth offering her best and fairest to welcome her coming King’.
It was evidently springtime and the White Island was then an island in the Gobi Sea, now an oasis hidden from the eyes of mortal men in the Gobi Desert, though there are legends about travelers who have had strange visions and experiences there.
Then, with her matchless gift of words, Dr Besant continues: ‘There He stood, “the Youth of sixteen summers”, Sanat Kumara, the “Eternal Virgin-Youth”, the new Ruler of Earth, come to His kingdom, His Pupils, the three Kumaras, with Him, His Helpers around Him; thirty mighty Beings were there, great beyond Earth’s reckoning, though in graded order, clothed in the glorious bodies They had created by Kriyashakti, the first Occult Hierarchy, branches of the one spreading Banyan Tree, the nursery of future Adepts, the centre of all occult life. Their dwelling place was and is the Imperishable Sacred Land, on which ever shines down the Blazing Star, the symbol of Earth’s Monarch, the changeless Pole around which the life of our Earth is ever spinning’.
Our literature tells us in considerable detail about this descent and this arrival of the four Kumaras. We are told that there came the Lord of the World Himself, the three Lieutenants Who are the other three Lords of the Flame now remaining, twenty-five Adepts as assistants, and then about one hundred ordinary human beings especially linked with these Great Ones.
Since the Venusian Planetary Scheme is in the Seventh Round of its Fifth Chain of Manasic and Buddhic development, the intellectual capacity of its humanity will have reached a very high degree of development. Fire is one symbol of the mind and its occult power, therefore the Venusian Adepts are called the Lords of the Flame. One part of Their mission was to project the spark of mind in the infant humanity, to awaken its nascent mental faculty. The germinal power of the intellect was there, of course, but asleep. The Mental Body and the primitive brain were like a musical instrument, the strings of which were silent. By direct action, doubtless, and probably by a process of induction resulting from Their very presence, the Sons of Mind, as They are also called, awoke the inherent but as yet unawakened mental power and thereby started humanity on its great evolutionary journey, which involved the development of the seven human principles, and particularly that of the mind.
None of the Lords of the Flame incarnated. They made bodies by Their occult power, which (translating the Sanskrit word) is called Will-thought, Kriyashakti. This is the same power, by the way, by which H.P.B. [H. P. Blavatsky] brought about the phenomenal appearance of some objects and changes in others, as told in Old Diary Leaves. It is said that these bodies of the Lords of the Flame resemble the highest ideal of human form in appearance, and that they do not undergo any change, being indestructible. The Great Lords therefore look now just as They did several million years ago, when their forms were first made. As great Monads in Causal Bodies — one hardly dares to say Egos, because They have long transcended the faintest possible limitation of Ahamkara, being completely universalised — Their great Causal Auras, particularly that of the King, are said to be so vast as to enfold the whole of our planet. Literally, therefore, ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’; and ‘He is closer to us than breathing and nearer than hands and feet’. We do well to think of Him, to try to conceive of Him, as a tremendous reality, as the incarnation of the Divine Atma of our planet, the focus of the First Aspect of the Blessed Trinity, the Solar Logos, and as the direct Representative on earth of the Sephirothal, Planetary Logos of our Earth Scheme, one of the Archangels of the Face, a Mighty Spirit before the Throne.
‘Seven originally’, says H.P.B., and then quotes a catechism in which a Master addresses a Disciple or Lanoo, saying: ‘Out of the seven Virgin-men [Kumara] four sacrificed themselves for the sins of the world and the instruction of the ignorant, to remain till the end of the present Manvantara’.
She then names them wonderfully: ‘These are the Head, the Heart, the Soul, and the Seed of undying Knowledge [Jnana]. Thou shalt never speak, O Lanoo, of these great ones [Maha . . .] before a multitude, mentioning them by their names. The wise alone will understand’.
And there is added these words: ‘Higher than the “Four” is only ONE on Earth as in Heavens — that still more mysterious and solitary Being described in Volume 1 ’. Thus H.P.B., and the Masters Whose amanuensis she was, lift our thoughts to lofty spiritual levels and ideas.
We are also taught that He, the Great Lord of the World, established the Occult Hierarchy upon our planet. Thus was initiated on Earth the process of drawing ardent Aspirants from amongst the human family nearer to Themselves, giving them special counsel, special training, special guidance, until there came into existence what might be called the Mystery System whereby those who are pressing forward ahead of the Race may be drawn into an Occult School. . .
In olden days the preliminary Grades were open to the public. Then, as the higher Grades of the Lesser Mysteries were passed through, the First Great Initiation became a possibility. In consequence, a continual stream of human beings of our Earth started to flow towards the occult and spiritual heights on which the great Adepts are now standing. One result of this has been that our planet now has provided its own Occult Hierarchy from its own humanity. The Sacred Four and the Silent Watcher still remain, however, an assurance of safety and of the continuity of the development and unfoldment of form and life, however dark the successive dark ages, however deep and terrible the dangers. We in our lifetime have seen some of those dangers. They still exist potentially, and if they ever become realities it would seem possible that the evolution of the Race might be held up, delayed, as humanity came under the enslavement of a dictatorial regime. We have been tried twice in our lifetime by the terrible enemies of These Lords of Light, Who are called, in contradistinction, the Lords of the Dark Face Humanity will not be wiped out, however, no matter how dreadful the weapons which might be used against us. ‘Over our Earth shines the Star of the King, the Oriflamme of Victory’. Thus, like an undercurrent beneath this outer life, with its recurrent cycles of darkness and light on the surface of our globe, there exists the occult life of our planet which is unchanged and largely unaffected by outer changes and circumstances. This is the ‘Stream’, the river of the occult life of our globe, which unfailingly throughout all ages ever continues to flow. Men and women have continually experienced spiritual and intellectual awakenings and have set out determinedly upon that search which will bring them to direct, interior illumination, to their own knowledge, and to the solution of the problems and the mysteries of life.
The Lords of the Flame still guard all life on earth, and especially the Aspirants, and that is why They are called ‘the one spreading Banyan-Tree’ from Whose ‘branches’ air roots descend, as it were, and when they touch the earth, take root, so that the Banyan may go on growing and spreading.
Three Mighty Lords in turn rule throughout a World Period. The present Holder of that office is said to be the Third. The tremendous task of the Third Lord of the World is to round off satisfactorily that period of evolution and to deliver over the countless millions of evolving creatures into the hands of the Seed Manu. Having fulfilled that duty, the Third Lord of the World takes another Initiation entirely outside of our world and its Hierarchy and attains the level of the Silent Watcher.
The Silent Watcher remains on guard for the whole period of the Round and it is only when the Life Wave has again occupied our planet and is again ready to leave it that He, the Silent Watcher, abandons His strange, self-imposed task and hands it over to His successor. Little is taught us of that office, but it is supposed that the Silent Watcher is the Direct Agent for the power of the Solar Logos. Should the Lord of the World and His Hierarchy of Adepts of any planet find a situation developing which might possibly be beyond His and Their power to control (inconceivable though that might be), then through the Silent Watcher additional Solar Force may be added to the planetary reservoir of power and the situation restored. I do not know whether the conditions in Atlantis at the time of its darkest and deepest cycle was such an occasion but I would hardly think so. The amount of occult power required to cause a tidal wave to overwhelm a continent in a night must have been tremendous.
The Sanskrit word Kumar a means Virgin Youth and the Lords of the Flame appear as four Youths, being also referred to as the Chaste Ascetics. Actually there were seven Kumaras and there are various lists of them in Hinduism and in The Secret Doctrine. There were many Kapilas, which is generic title for the great Sages who appeared in India, though there was One Who was the Lord of the Flame. He is identified with the Second Aspect of the Blessed Trinity, with Vishnu. And seventh, there was one Kumar a known as PANCHASHIKHA.
One of these Great Ones incarnated as Shri Shankaracharya in the year 510 B.C., 51 years and 2 months after the date of the Lord Buddha’s Nirvana (Vide, Five Years of Theosophy). There is a mystery about Him. It was mistakenly thought that He was a reincarnation of the Lord Buddha, but the occult explanation given is that He used certain of the Lord Buddha’s superphysical bodies, the physical being naturally born in Southern India. He, this Great Lord of the Flame, appeared as Shri Shankaracharya to correct certain erroneous conceptions and He taught the Vedanta Philosophy. One of His great literary works is very important in the occult life. It is called Viveka Chudamani. Viveka means discrimination by wisdom, Chudamani means crest jewel; THE CREST JEWEL OF WISDOM. One of the early Theosophists, Mohini Chatterji translated it very beautifully. Those of you who have not read it might find it very helpful — a second Bhagavad Gita.
All the Kumaras have left save the Sacred Four and Their home is Shamballa, from a Sanskrit root sham, meaning Quiet, Tranquility, and so Shamballa means the place of tranquility. H.P.B. says 6 Out of the seven Virgin-men [Kumara]four sacrificed themselves for the sins of the world and the instruction of the ignorant, to remain till the end of the present Manvantara’. . . . Tt is the spirit of Divine Wisdom and chaste Asceticism itself which incarnates in these Elect’ [2-vol. ed.: Vol. 2, p. 282]. ‘This “Root-Base”,’ she goes on, ‘has a name which can only be translated into English by several compound words — the “Ever-Living-Human-Banyan”.’
Finally, what were and are the motives of a Great One? Here is the answer ‘Because the lonely, sore-footed Pilgrims, on their journey 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’.
The last thought, my Brothers. Theosophy teaches us that the same power of attainment resides within each one of us and that the seeds of Christhood, Buddhahood, Lordship and Kingship are inherent within us as part of our very nature.
Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1954, p. 6
A STUDY IN CREATIVE PROCESSES
(From the cosmic dawn, ‘when the morning stars sang together and all the Sons of God shouted for joy’, Mr Hodson traces the evolution of a Solar System, and then, having built up a mental conception of it, describes how the full possibilities of macrocosmic self-expression are contained in microcosmic man, who is the Universe in epitome.)
No one who has had even the slightest glimpse of the great processes of creation, has peered however blindly into the great Laboratory of the Master Chemist, heard only too dimly the ever-uttered World of the Master Musician, could but be humble, realizing the profundity of his ignorance in the presence of the mightiest of all creative works, that which brings into being, sustains and ultimately perfects a Universe and all that it contains.
Yet because man is a microcosmic God, a Logos-in-the-becoming, he dares to look, he presumes to try and comprehend, infinitesimally perhaps, some of the laws and processes governing the divine creative art. So it is as Gods-in-the-becoming, one day to be Gods-who-have-become, uttering Our Word, and bringing Our Solar Systems into being, that we study the Science of Creation.
Rising above the phenomenal to the noumenal, we are lifted, as we study, nearer to the realm of the Real, we breathe under new heavens and we return enlightened and inspired, more nobly and effectively to play our essential part in the great drama of creation.
Christian Cosmogenesis states that ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’. Later we are told that God spake saying: ‘Let there be light’, and there was Light. Our starting point therefore is the Word.
Solar Systems Rise and Wane
Actually the word ‘creation’ is a misnomer, for the present Solar System is a cyclic reappearance of that which preceded it, the new ‘body’ in which the Solar Logos reincarnates. In the pre-Solar System, archetypes, modeled on the fruits of its predecessor, were projected perfectly at the close of its seventh cycle and sub-cycles. During the creative ‘night’ which followed, seeds of further developments and relatively new concepts must be presumed to have germinated in the, consciousness of the Solar Logos. Thus an archetypal concept, divine ‘idea’, gradually develops, and occupies divine consciousness at the dawn of a new creative ‘day’. The Solar System which is the manifestation of that ‘idea’ is not new. It is the reappearance at a higher level of that which preceded it.
In this we observe the operation of the universal law known to physical science as the Law of Periodicity. This Law is found to operate throughout both the physical universe and its superphysical extension. Under the operation of this law, Solar Systems, their physical suns and planets, and their psychical, intellectual and spiritual content, cyclically emerge into material manifestation, exist objectively for a time, and then, passing into obscuration, return to the subjective state.
This Law of Periodicity may be likened to a force which maintains the ceaseless swing of a pendulum. It continues to operate on the Solar System and all that it contains, at every point of the swing, even though the system be reduced to its finest essence in the subjective unmanifest condition, which is the opposite extreme of full objective manifestation. According to occult science, the Solar System has thus its major night and day, its subjective and objective states, between which it oscillates continuously.
When, therefore, Cosmogenesis says Tn the beginning’, the statement must be taken to mean, ‘the beginning of a period of objective manifestation’, or ‘At the dawn of a new creative day’.
To this concept of perpetual oscillation must be added one further and exceedingly important principle. Unlike that of the pendulum, the universal swing is not back and forth along the same path. It is both ellipsoid and spiral. Any particular manifestation is not an exact duplicate of its predecessor; on the contrary, while the substance and content are similar, the condition is different. There is an ascent, or, in a word, there is growth. The Solar System, being alive, grows.
The Logos Utters the Word
The divine ‘idea’ of the Solar System is in this sense new; it probably includes one major creative concept as the central theme, as also every possible variation, digression and development.
We must now go back to the ‘beginning’, to that ‘dawn when the morning stars sang together and the Sons of God shouted for joy’. The divine ‘hour’ strikes. The cosmic ‘moment’ arrives at which the silence of creative ‘night’ is broken by the utterance of the Word. The Logos begins to chant the mighty mantram of His being. Creative energy pours forth. The One becomes the Three, and then the Seven appear, the Sephiroth, the first fruits of the preceding Solar System. Creative energy is released, passing from the one Source, the Point, into and through the Three, the Triangle, and the Seven, the Sphere. Thence it impinges or is ‘breathed’ upon the ‘waters’ of primordial space.
Space consists of matter unpolarised. It is called chaotic, formless, void and virginal, because within it order, form, fullness and fertility are subjective. Under the influence of the creative ‘breath’ or
Word, these become objective, whereupon from chaos, cosmos is born, Time and the Cycles immediately reign. According to Egyptian cosmogony the seven planes of Nature are gradually formed by the seven peals of laughter by which Thoth created the Universe.
Chaos is perceived as the great opponent of Order, and there is ceaseless conflict between them during manifestation. They are negative and positive poles, and yet in the One Root the Two are one. Actually, manifestation is a ceaseless war between these two great antagonists.
At the dawn of creation Chaos reigns, master of the fields of space. At high noon the conflict is at its height, for then the opposing forces are equal in their power. Then follows the gradual defeat of chaos, which at solar nightfall is complete. Then Order reigns, and into it Chaos — in no sense destroyed — has been absorbed, its forces united and harmoniously working with those of Law.
War in Heaven
The war in Heaven is an everlasting war, waged continuously by the Great Opponents, Chaos and Order, Spirit and Matter, Life and Form, Universality and Individuality, Consciousness and Vehicle. Matter and Spirit share the victory equally, for Matter may be said to conquer in the sense that no permanent impress of the Spirit may be made upon it; though captured for a time, eventually it escapes. Spirit appears to conquer in that, in gradually increasing degree, matter becomes its servant; yet Spirit loses continually in that no final victory is ever attained. Only THAT, the One Alone, wins permanent victory and receives the victor’s crown. THAT which is beyond the conflict, yet is the conflict’s cause: THAT which is neither spirit nor matter yet is the essence of both: THAT from which both life and form emerge: THAT to which both return — THAT achieves completely its predetermined goal.
In Christian symbology the Virgin Mare or sea of space divinely conceives, becomes pregnant with the Solar System which She continuously brings forth, Herself ever remaining immaculate. The creative energy is the Word which was ‘in the beginning’ and which ‘God spake’.
The Word must be regarded as an energy-on-frequencies expression of the divine ‘idea’. It is therefore a chord, the keynote of which is part of a chord completed by the keynotes of the other Solar Systems in its group. The Word of that group, itself a chord, is in its turn a note in the chord which is the penultimate or cosmic Word, of which the whole sidereal system is a partial manifestation.
The Solar Word-Force, relayed from cosmic servers, causes the matter of space to assume or produce at the causal level a ‘form’ which is the primordial archetype, probably a combined series of seven magnetic centres or points with radiating lines as fields. At each of these seven centres Divine Thought is focused or incarnate; from within each it governs the direction and range of the radiations and through them all subsequent development of form. For all ultimate expansion and development in the form worlds is expressive of the divine ‘idea’ centred in each of the seven centres of the archetype. Each of the seven centres or vortices is a manifestation of the creative power of the Logos, modified by transmission through one of the Sephiroth. These seven streams of power produce the vortices in the solar archetype and later the chakras — solar, scheme, chain, planetary, human and sub-human. Accordingly all chakras of the same type are linked, each being a manifestation at its own level of the same stream of creative energy, ray or note in the Word. The heart chakram of man, for example, is one with, even part of, the heart chakras of the planetary, chain, scheme and Solar Logoi.
The seven vortices in the archetype are the basic ‘forms’ in the formless worlds, form-producing agencies, essences or formulae of form in the form-worlds they are represented by the Platonic Solids.
Chakras differ in colour and number of petals, and the Platonic Solids differ in number of points and lines, because each is a product of one of the seven different groups of frequencies, types or Rays into which the one creative energy is divided by passage through the Three and Seven.
Universe Based on Number
Thus Creation is based on numerical principles; thus God geometrizes.
Systemic archetypes are in no sense separate from their Creator; they are objective manifestations of His consciousness, incarnations of His Creative intent. Nor are they separate from their material expressions, the evolving forms. They are the links between the consciousness of the Great Designer and its objective expression as Nature’s varied forms; syntheses of the essence of both; modified manifestations of creative intent as expressed in the intermediate realm of abstract thought.
As transmitters of the Word-Force, the archetypes serve as relay stations between the Source and the physical plane; or as storage batteries continually discharging into the form-worlds and as constantly recharged from the formless.
The archetype therefore is far more than a passive model copied by the Deva builders. It is also a positive form-producing agency. Creative energy, on the group of frequencies expressive of the divine ‘idea’ is focused in it on its way outwards or downwards to the form worlds. Its impact, first upon the fourth sub-plane of the mental plane, sets up a magnetic field therein, with radiating lines of force, the arrangement, direction of flow, and shape of which is governed by the frequencies on which the force is flowing, namely those of the archetype.
This field, with its magnetic centre and radiating lines, is the basic form throughout Nature. Surrounded by an astro-mental envelope in the form-worlds it constitutes the first form: i.e. the ‘line’ and ‘pudding bag’ body of early cycles, the animalculae of later.
Matter of the plane in which the magnetic field is set up is drawn into the field and gradually a dense body is built. Thus, plane by plane, the Word-Force eventually reaches the physical world. Being related to sound and therefore form-producing, there it also causes etheric and later dense matter to assume shapes expressive of the archetype and divine ‘idea’.
The Deva Builders
In this process of the production of concrete evolving forms by the utterance of the Word, the Great Designer and Creator is assisted by those orders of beings among the Devic Hosts known as the
Builders. The members of the higher ranks in this order are aware of the creative intent, perceive and know the archetype, and by self-unification with the descending Word-Force, particularly with those groups of frequencies which are identical with those of their own nature, thereby augment its form-producing power. Representing as they do the feminine Aspect of the Logos, their presence within the magnetic fields accentuates Its influence. They unify themselves with the descending Creative Word-Force, the masculine Aspect, and blend themselves with its various rays; intensifies the component frequencies of those Rays and, as above stated, augments their power to produce form.
Within the order of Deva Builders are Hierarchies which are themselves as a whole and as individuals, manifestations of those chords in the Word of which the archetypes and concrete forms are an expression. This affinity of vibration brings the particular hierarchy into the appropriate field of work as form builders in the four kingdoms of Nature.
Gold for example may be regarded as the physical manifestation or end-product of the gold frequencies in the archetype, the ‘gold’ notes in the Word, and of the gold aspect of the Logos. Creative energy on gold wavelengths entering the form-worlds, by processes already described, causes matter to assume the particular molecular arrangement, crystalline form, and colour of gold.
Gold nature spirits at the etheric and astral levels and Devas above, in an ascending hierarchy right up to the Source, respond, when the Word is uttered to the gold ‘call’, because it is that of their own inherent nature; for they are themselves devic gold, manifestations in their kingdom of the gold aspect of the Supreme.
In addition to their assistance from within the stream of force and the magnetic fields, the play of their consciousness and auric energies from without, all on gold wave lengths, increases the tendency of matter to respond to the Word and under its influence more readily to assume the gold atomic construction, gold molecular and crystalline arrangement, gold colour and consistency.
The nature spirits perform their astro-etheric part of this work instinctively, the Devas consciously, and from within the Force aspect of Nature. This fact gives significance to the statement in Hindu philosophy that all natural scenery is the materialized aura of the Gods; for all the varied forms of Nature owe their existence and appearance to these creative processes and to the constant labours of the Gods. When we look upon Nature in Her varied aspects, Her metals and jewels, Her great landscapes, Her waterfalls, and Her rivers, when we gaze in awe upon Her great mountain ranges — God’s most glorious gesture, as they have been called, we are gazing indeed not only upon the Gods, but upon God himself.
For Nature is but God revealed, God’s dream made manifest with the assistance of the Gods.
The Symphony of Creation
Before moving on to the end portion of this address, which is concerned with the creative processes as manifest by man the microcosm, let us briefly recapitulate. A concept has been presented of the Logos as Musician, of the act of creation as the performance of a composition which He conceived and developed in earlier creative ‘days’ and perchance perfected in the silence and darkness of intervening creative ‘nights’. When once more there is to be Light, He utters the Word, and that Word brings all things into being. This first sounding forth of the ‘motif of the new Universe is ‘heard’ by virgin matter, which under certain laws responds. Gradually, as a result, the archetypes and the planes of Nature with their forms appear.
This universal motif becomes manifest as myriads of chords, each a coherent self-existent sound with its force and light manifestation. Each chord appears as a relatively changeless abstract form, or archetype, in the Higher Mental world of a particular globe. These archetypes in their turn sound their ‘words’, relaying into the form worlds the primal Word-Force; magnetic fields are thereby set up, matter is drawn into and round them, and evolving forms appear. These forms become the abode of intelligences at varying stages of evolution, which, through experience in them, gradually unfold their innate faculties and powers and cause the forms to develop until the standard of development set for consciousness and forms has been attained. Thus ‘the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us’.
When under the Law of Cycles the time limit of objective manifestation has been reached the whole Solar System is withdrawn into the subjective state in which it remains until, under the same law, it is to reappear and continue the process of development or ascent from the point reached at the close of the preceding ‘days’.
We may now proceed to study these processes as they occur in microcosmic creation by man.
Perhaps the most profound of all the profound truths contained within the arcane teachings is that of the unity and identity of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, and of the similarity between the processes by which both become manifest and evolved.
Man the Microcosm
The Logos and man are one; all that is in the Logos, which includes the Solar System, is innate in man. Their constitution is precisely similar, that is to say sevenfold. Each, as Ego, is both immanent within and transcendent beyond their respective fields of manifestation.
The creative processes by which a Solar System comes into being and is sustained also govern procreation by man and his descent into material vehicles. True, therefore, is the statement that ‘the proper study of mankind is man’. Wise the injunction of the mystery schools of old: ‘Man, know thyself, for when man truly knows himself, he knows all.
As in the study of macrocosmic creative processes the starting place was the Word, so consideration must be given here to the opening of a new human incarnation and the microcosmic utterance of his ‘Word’ by the incarnating Ego.
At conception, the Ego about to incarnate is attached by a Deva through his physical permanent atom to the twin cell then formed. Down the thread of life connecting the Causal Body with the mental, astral and physical permanent atoms, descends the microcosmic Word-force, or Egoic power, life and consciousness. This triple stream of creative energy — the Neptunian trident — vibrates on frequencies expressive of the Egoic ray, evolutionary standing, qualities of character and consciousness already developed, karma, both happy and unhappy in its outworking, and such future powers as are already being foreshadowed in the time-synthesising Causal Body. This Egoic
Word is the spiritual name. All these are expressed as notes in the chord of the Egoic Word, and modify greatly the parental characteristics originally transmitted by ovum and spermatozoon. In normal humanity the Chord is incomplete, because certain qualities are still but germinal, consequently, in each of us there is the latent unstruck music of the soul, the notes not yet sounding forth. In the Adept the full chord is heard in all its beauty and its power.
The Monadic Word
This creative power of the Ego originates in the Monad, by which the Word is primarily uttered. This Monadic word is a chord in the macrocosmic Verbum. This is in its turn a note in the chord of a larger unit, that also being a note in the cosmic Word of the whole sidereal system. Between that highest and this lowest in man there is a direct link; both are part of one great creative process.
The Causal Body in this case may be thought of as the microcosmic archetype, the vehicle for and expression of Monadic creative power, which it relays into the form worlds to initiate a new descent into incarnation. The permanent atom on each plane would seem to correspond fairly closely to chaos or virgin space, for the permanent atom is the storehouse of the skandhas, and in inter-incarnation periods is in a relatively static subjective state — it is awakened by the descending Word-force from the relatively subjective, original condition of inter-incamation periods, to become the focus for and transmitter of the relayed creative energy. Magnetic fields are then set up, and matter capable of response to the emitted wavelengths is drawn into that field. The type of matter attracted, especially as to the preponderance of one or other of the three Gunas, is that which corresponds to the primary rays on Monad and Ego. Thus in the very matter of which man’s bodies are built, as also in every other particular, perfect justice is automatically meted out to him regarding the equipment with which life’s journey is begun.
This stage immediately following conception may perhaps be compared to that in macrocosmic processes at which the Word has produced the archetype, and through that the magnetic centres with their lines of force and fields, which constitute skeletal adumbrations of forms at the mental, astral and physical levels. The next step, therefore, is to trace the process of the gradual materialization of these forms at each level into the present human bodies. The foetus is known to pass through stages repetitive of mammalian, reptilian, invertebrate and simple-celled stages, each corresponding to stages in racial form-evolution, through the Rounds and Chains, with numerical relationship between them and the months of gestation.
The presence of the permanent atom attached to the newly formed twin-cell by the Deva at the moment of germination, vivified as it is by the descending Egoic creative energy, bestows upon the twin-celled organism its ordered biological impetus; causes it, in fact, to grow ‘according to the word’.
The creative energy now emitted into and through the permanent atom and twin-cell at the physical level and its counterparts above into the surrounding ether, is found to produce (as far as my own studies have shown me) at least four results.
First, the establishment of a field or sphere of influence within which the building is to occur. This corresponds to the Ring-pass-not of the Solar System in macrocosmic creation, represents the range of the emitted rays, and serves to insulate an area against foreign vibrations and substances.
Second, the magnetization or attunement of the matter within this field. The play of creative energy brings surrounding matter more closely into vibrational harmony with the individual about to reincarnate.
Third, the production of a form. This form, which might be regarded as the etheric mould into which the physical body will be built, must at this point be described in some detail, though delaying reference to the fourth effect of the emitted Word-force. Clairvoyantly examined, the etheric mould resembles a baby body built of etheric matter, somewhat self-luminous, vibrating slightly, a living being, the etheric projection of the archetype.
Looking inside this etheric mould, there is seen in terms of flowing energy or lines of force, each on its specific wave-length, a sketch plan of the whole body. Each type of tissue is represented there, different from other types because the energy of which it is an end-product is itself on a different frequency. Thus the bony structure, muscular and vascular tissues, the nerves, the cortex of the brain and the rest, are all represented in the mould in terms of energy by their own specific frequencies.
The play of the emitted vibrations on the free surrounding matter may possibly be the factor which causes atoms to enter into differing molecular combinations to produce different types of tissues. These molecules are attracted towards the lines of force and ‘settle’ into their appropriate place by sympathetic vibration or mutual resonance. Thus again every part of the physical body in substance and in form exactly fits the incarnating Ego. Karmic deficiencies, which are to work out in terms of malformation, weakness and disease, are represented in the mould by dissonances or even breaks in the particular lines of force of the tissues concerned.
Building the Bodies
Fourth of the effects of germination is the evocation of the devic builders of form. The class or order of these which is evoked is also determined by resonance. Thus nature spirits which are in vibrational attunement with the individual and therefore with the emitted rays which constitute the call, alone respond. Arriving on the scene they enter the sphere of influence and find themselves in an atmosphere utterly congenial to them because ruled by their own inherent chord. They then proceed instinctually to absorb into themselves, and thereby further to specialize, the free matter, after which they assist in its vibrationally governed deposition into its appropriate place in the growing structure of the body.
The devas concerned at the astral and mental levels, in addition to the supervision of these processes through the instinctual response of the nature spirits to their consciousness, concern themselves also with the construction and extremely delicate adjustment of the mechanism of consciousness. This consists physically of the body itself with the seven nerve and glandular centres, situated at the sacrum, spleen, solar plexus, heart, throat, the pituitary and pineal glands; at the etheric level, of the etheric counterparts of these centres and glands, and in addition the etheric chakras, which must be perfectly attuned to each other and adjusted to the physical organs, whose health and efficiency they govern. Similarly in the astral and mental bodies, the seven chakras in their turn must be perfectly attuned to each other and perfectly adjusted to the etheric and physical parts of the mechanism. In this way is provided for the Ego by the chakras and physical centres a sevenfold mode of manifestation in his body, seven channels through which he can gain experience in the body. These human chakras are projections of the seven vortices in the archetype and are produced by the play of Word-force from them through the Causal Body into the growing bodies of man.
Egoic Word-force is continuously emitted through the permanent atoms until the bodies are fully formed, when delivery occurs. Thereafter, up to the moment of the death of the physical and withdrawal into the superphysical, the Ego continually utters the Word. The disordered cell and bacterial activity known as decay is due to the absence of the controlling influence of the word.
As the astral and mental bodies are in their turn laid aside, the Word becomes silent and the Ego is withdrawn into the subjective condition of Egoic creative night. From this in due course it awakens again, utters the Word, and a new incarnation begins.
Since man is an epitome of the Solar System, a microcosmic manifestation of the Macrocosm, we find in him close parallels to the creative processes of the Cosmos. In man the microcosm and the Macrocosm meet. In man the full possibilities of macrocosmic self-expression are contained. The purpose of his existence is his unfoldment from within of his latent macrocosmic powers that he may in his turn become the Logos of a Solar System, ‘perfect as His Father in Heaven is perfect’. He will become manifest on the higher planes, by the same principles which govern his incarnation in a human Personality. One might almost assume that since the same principles govern macrocosmic and microcosmic creative processes, repeated incarnation provides the training and practice necessary for the later macrocosmic manifestation of creative power.
Man is indeed a Logos-in-the-becoming, a pilgrim God, destined one day to become the Creator, Preserver and Transformer of a Solar System of his own, he reigning as the Sun, physical and spiritual, he immanent throughout the whole of the solar fields, he also transcendent as the Logos which, having pervaded his universe with a fragment of himself, also remains.
The Theosophist, Vol. 57, Pt. 2, 1936, p. 185
A psychedelic experience has been described as a journey to new realms of consciousness, some characteristic features of which are transcendence of verbal concepts, of space-time dimensions, and of the Ego, or limiting self-identity. Students of Theosophy in the widest meaning of the word know that such experiences of expanded consciousness can occur in a variety of other ways, among them yoga exercises, disciplined meditation, and religious, or aesthetic ecstasy. Such experiences may also come spontaneously, often quite unsought and quite unexpected. Recently, through the ingestion of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline, they have become available to anyone at any time and without effort. Psychologists assert, however, that the hallucinogens do not themselves produce the experience of transcendence but merely act as chemical keys opening the mind and freeing the nervous system from its ordinary patterns and structures.
Here we may ask the question: ‘Deep down in the minds of drug-takers, what motive could there possibly be for seeking the psychedelic pathway to reality, or even reality itself?’ An answer may perhaps be found in the recognition of the fact that all human beings belong to one or another of two main categories. What are these? In the book, At the Feet of the Master, it is stated that there are two kinds of people, those who know and those who do not know. Another possible classification might be the awakened and the unawakened, or the seekers and the non-seekers. What, then, are the seekers looking for, and what is the difference between the awakened and the unawakened mind? It may be that the seekers, the awakened people, are looking for reason, sense, in man’s existence and experiences. Non-seekers, on the other hand, do not experience a pressing need for these. It does not seem to bother the majority of humanity that life does not appear to make sense at all, whereas for others this is an urgent question which must be answered; and so they seek.
A further reason for the search is to gain understanding of man’s possible place in the scheme of things, on earth and amid the cosmos and the stars. Again, the non-seekers are not at all interested in this kind of knowledge, but the really awakened person feels an imperative urge to know, and the more he is awakened, the deeper his need to discover the causes of things and to find safety or a means of survival, not only here on earth but also after death, and in any future that there may be still further beyond. Another need is to find a pathway through life upon which to walk with a measure of security and stability, knowing where one is going and why one is travelling that path at all. This applies also to human relationships and the need for someone or something to take the place of the sure guide once possessed but now lost — to so many — the God of the Old Testament, to be adored through fear, potent to destroy.
Awakened persons also seek mastery of self and of environment, so that they need no longer be at the mercy of every wind of destiny that blows. In other words, seekers are searching for self-knowledge, self-understanding, and for hope, beauty, mortal and immortal love. In general, I think it might be true to say that spiritually and intellectually awakening and awakened people experience that divine discontent which has been described as an inexpressible longing of the inner man for the Infinite. Non-seekers, on the other hand, feel no pressing need for any of these. Awakened people not only search for and find what is truth for them, but they can never be content with partial, surface knowledge alone. Like Oliver Twist, they always ask for more. They continue to probe ever deeper into the depths of reality, of truth, of wisdom. They cannot vegetate; they must know more and more fully in order to understand more and more completely. They aspire and they work hard, seeking for the highest attainment before their present life closes, and for still greater achievements in the ages which lie ahead. The unawakened, on the other hand, do not wonder or care about these things at all. If they have a philosophy of life it is: ‘Live today and let tomorrow take care of itself.’
All that I have just said is by way of introduction to our subject, here advanced because whatever one may think of LSD takers, their varied motives and their methods, one must in fairness recognise that in certain cases — but definitely not in all — they may be awakening, aware of a feeling of discontent, and that, however gravely mistaken in their choice of method, they have undertaken a genuine search for reality. They are hopeful that the psychedelic drugs will solve their personal problems, provide them with deep religious insight, and break down the barriers of communication between individuals, thus providing them with a deeper love for mankind. According to published accounts, some of them do attain to this, if only temporarily, while with others the reverse is true.
Who Are the Drug Takers?
What kind of people are those who resort to hallucinatory drugs? According to an article in The Stanford Observer, California, March 1967, many of them are the children of soldiers who came back from World War II. They were born in the midst of a boom, at a time of affluence, and did not have to worry about where the next dollar would come from. There was no war in progress and they went to new and more permissive types of schools where they were told that the function of education is to think critically, to question, and to ask for proof. So they think, they look, and they see poverty, discrimination, war, and misery. They feel that the loss of Individuality brought on by automation and the computer age is almost unbearable. What is more they have never had to work for a living and do not acknowledge any need to do so. For the most part they show little or no willingness to contribute constructively to the welfare and progress of the people of their neighbourhood, of their country, of the world.
Then LSD came on the scene, along with its handmaiden marijuana. There is little doubt that these drugs alter one’s perception of the world. People who are unable to make good in a world which seems to have no room for them can suddenly ‘take a trip’ which answers for them the questions ‘Who am I?’ ‘Where am I?’ ‘Why am I here?’
One sociologist calls these young people ‘the Freudian proletariat’. Another observer sees them as ‘expatriates living on our shores but beyond our society’. Historian Arnold Toynbee describes them as ‘a red warning light for the American way of life’. And ‘to their deeply worried parents throughout the country they seem more like dangerously deluded drop-outs, candidates for a very sound spanking and a cram course in civics — if only they would return home to receive either’.
How many psychedelics are there in the United States? Their own estimate of their nation wide number runs to some 300,000. Disinterested officials generally reduce that figure, but even the most sceptical admit that there are countless thousands of part-time, or ‘plastic’ hippies, who may ‘drop out’ only for a night or two each week. By all estimates the cult is a growing phenomenon that has not yet reached its peak and may not do so for years to come.
San Francisco’s public health director, Dr Ellis D. Sox has said that the 10,000 hard-core hippies already in San Francisco are costing the city $35,000 a month for treatment of drug abuse. He warned that with a summer influx there was serious danger of epidemics in infectious hepatitis (from needles exchanged in shooting amphetamines), venereal disease (already up six times from the city’s 1964 rate), and other illnesses ranging from typhus to malnutrition.
Writing in the Daily News, David Brestid stated:‘A Federal drug official testified... that the Mafia is moving in for a cut in “staggering” profits in the LSD trade’.
The following extract is taken from the book LSD:
One of the all too few hopeful signs in the present LSD mess is that a handful of heavy users are beginning to say that LSD cannot do it all. They have either discontinued its use or have spaced the intervals between their LSD days to a half year or so.
It must be recalled that spontaneous self-transcendence may not have taken place without internal chemical changes. Nevertheless, the element of proper life preparation is more likely to be present. The person is more apt to be ready for it. He is more likely to come back humbled from the awesome event rather than over inflated. The LSD shortcut has its pitfalls for the unprepared. The shortcut may get you to the same summit. The view may be the same, but what a difference between the one who sweated and struggled to get there, and the one who rode to the top on the back of a chemical carrier. So if it’s self-transcendence you are after, consider the hard way, the non-chemical route. Furthermore, no one will ever be able to take that freedom away. In the catalogue of LSD ‘trips’ there appears to be mainly an infinity of alternatives. One taker reports: ‘The greatest experience of my creative life’. Others have said: ‘A living hell I’ll never forget’; ‘restoring my vision of the infinite’; and ‘a shattering nightmare’. Dr Timothy Leary maintains — and many other psychologists agree — that the quality of the LSD experience is largely conditioned by the expectations of the person who takes it and the setting in which the drug is taken.
The LSD Experience
Let us now take a ‘trip’ vicariously, and only so, happily for our health’s sake. I have selected a few from the hundreds of available descriptions of what drug-takers go through. These also are taken from the book LSD.
‘Acid can be a beautiful nuclear reaction lighting up cities or it can be Hiroshima, an event that you must live with forever…‘It is like being in a snake pit . . .’; ‘My God, my body is disappearing!’; ‘Under LSD one has the overwhelming feeling that it is the real reality. . ‘Under LSD the world looks as it did on the morning of Creation. Every paradox is resolved and each opposite is so neatly reconciled. Every moment is expanded to infinity. One enlarges to encompass the All or contracts into nothingness. . . ‘In large amounts, the discriminating, critical capacity is lost. The ability to observe oneself, to evaluate the validity of one’s ideas and swift flowering fantasies, is lost... profound feelings of interpersonal communion and unity, which endow every action with beauty and significance . . .’; ‘It was so packed with intensity of feeling, ecstasy, light, colour, movement, laughter, tears and visions that I cannot describe it or remember much more than the overwhelming effect it had on me. It was indescribable, glorious, ineffable. . . .’; ‘As your body lies there in its sleeping bag, your soul is free, loses all sense of time, alert as it never was before, living an eternity in a night, seeing infinity in a grain of sand. What you have seen and heard is cut as with a burin in your memory, never to be effaced. At last you know what the ineffable is, and what ecstasy means. Ecstasy! The mind harks back to the origin of that word. For the Greeks ekstasis meant the flight of the soul from the body. Can you find a better word than that to describe the bemushroomed state?’
Here, however, are some very adverse experiences drawn from The LSD Story by John Cashman:
‘I began to turn in on myself, to loop through my own flesh. I swirled and involuted and squirmed and tried to keep from screaming at the glory and the terror of it all. Then the eye appeared, a great shining eye suspended in space. The eye pulsated and shot rays of burning, sweet-sounding light through my body. But it wasn’t my body. Suddenly I was the great eye and I was everything there is to see. It was ecstasy and it was horrible and I saw it all and understood it all. . . g
A man sits stunned for six hours and then says: T saw God. I don’t wish to talk about it! ’ A college girl is brought writhing and screaming into a California hospital convinced that she is shedding her skin like a snake. A psychiatrist shakes his head and explains why he will never take LSD again: ‘I saw things no man should ever see’. An alcoholic quits drinking cold one day, saying: ‘I saw myself and all the worms and I died and I knew everything was different’. A young man is pulled from under a train and claims he was pushed there ‘by my other, evil self. A woman with terminal cancer smiles and says: ‘My extinction is not of great consequence at this moment, not even for me. ... I could die nicely now’. A man in New York City stabbed his mother-in-law to death, claiming he was high on LSD for three days. Two children, one in New York, the other in Chicago, accidentally swallowed LSD and were rushed to hospitals in what was called ‘critical’ condition. Both recovered quickly. A young high school co-ed in Sherman Oaks, California, was found unconscious on a street. Police said she had taken LSD. And there have been other reports, some documented, some not. There was a Harvard student who was left helpless for four days, convinced he was only six inches tall. There was a Long Island couple, hospitalised for psychiatric treatment because the husband thought he was Christ and the wife believed him. And there was the woman in Los Angeles who ripped off her clothes and ran naked through the streets looking for absolution.
The following report is taken from the Los Angeles Times of February 1, 1967:
LSD victim felt he was Devil stealing soulsl An 18-year-old musician who apparently shot himself to death after suffering LSD hallucinations believed ‘he was the devil stealing souls’, according to his roommate. ... He thought ‘whenever he talked with anyone he’d steal his soul and any time he ate he devoured someone’s soul’. (His roommate said) he had been ‘confused about everything’ since taking LSD last summer. . . . [His older brother commented] ‘My brother was on a terrible trip’, and explained that the youth had been hysterical for several days after taking the drug. ‘He spent four days in the General Hospital psychiatric ward and showed great improvement’, the brother said. ‘But he never got back to normal’, he added. ‘He was in mental anguish. He felt as if he were of no use in the world. His ego was gone and he had confidence in nothing. . . .’ A family friend said that after taking the drug the youth ‘saw his head part from his body in a mirror.
He saw milk pouring from his eyes. He felt he could float out of himself and look back at himself. John’s principal emotion was self-hatred. He thought the only answer to his snatching of souls was to destroy himself.
The next case was published in The Stanford Observer in April 1967:
Dr Allan Cohen, a former researcher with Timothy Leary and now a staff psychologist at the University of Califomia-Berkeley, said he stopped taking LSD a year and a half ago when he realized it was 4 a fake’. While LSD is ‘powerful and dramatic’ in its effects, Dr Cohen said, ‘it did not develop me spiritually one bit and had no application to everyday life’.
‘In actuality’, he said, ‘LSD leads to spiritual egotism, not listening to others. Users think they’re transcending egos, when they’re actually extending them’. Dr Cohen added, ‘They’re very rarely willing to accept any master’.
Dr William McGlothlin (Ph.D.) who also serves as a research associate at the University of Southern California, disclosed that young LSD users . . . often fail to realize the satisfaction of achievement. ‘If you don’t have a discipline, a way to be creative, you won’t get it through the drug experience’, he declared. Dr McGlothlin also criticised ‘the very unrealistic attitude toward economic responsibility’ of young LSD users. ‘Neither the individual nor society can prove viable unless everyone pulls his own weight.
Los Angeles Times (May 2, 1967) published the following report:
Four LSD Users Suffer Serious Eye Damage — Santa Barbara.
Four college students have suffered permanent impairment of vision as a result of staring at the sun while under the influence of LSD, according to a spokesman for the Santa Barbara Ophthalmological Society. One of the youths told his doctor he was ‘holding a religious conversation with the sun’. Another said he had gazed at the sun ‘to produce unusual visual displays’. The students, all males, suffered damage to the retina, the sensory membrane which receives the image formed by the lens. As a result, the victims have lost their reading vision completely and forever, the ophthalmological spokesman said. The four had no awareness of pain or discomfort while the sun was burning through the eye tissue, the spokesman said. The damage is permanent, because tissue so damaged does not regenerate itself.
The following extracts are taken from an article by Warren R. Young, published in The Readers Digest for September 1966:
THE TRUTH ABOUT LSD: LSD has its users and its fans on campuses and city streets all across the country who promise a new world of flashing lights, colourful patterns, memories out of a past, sharpened insights into the nature of humanity. A ‘trip’ to this fabulous land can be taken simply by chewing an inexpensive ($1 to $10) cube of sugar impregnated with a speck of the mysterious brain-affecting chemical.. . . Some of the less well known facts about LSD are simply horrifying. . . . The fact that LSD does not cause lethal poisoning itself made little difference to one student in Los Angeles, who ‘turned on’ with it two years ago to expand his outlook on life. As often happens, the drug gave him an overpowering sense of omnipotence. He strode directly in front of a fast-approaching car on Wilshire Boulevard and raised his hands in the obvious belief that he could ‘will’ the speeding vehicle to an instantaneous halt. He was wrong, and died — an ‘indirect’ casualty. At Bellevue, in fact, as at many other hospitals, a steady procession of persons in an intolerable state of panic appear for admission, after deliberately taking LSD and then finding themselves on a ‘bad trip’.
The excerpts below are from The Telegram, Toronto, June 3, 1967:
‘It’s a bad risk’, says Dr Heinz Lehmann, an internationally known authority on psycho-pharmacology who is director of research at Douglas Memorial Hospital in Verdun, a Montreal suburb. ‘About one per cent of all persons who take it have lasting bad effects that may never subside. Or else they might remain disturbed and require treatment for months. Some take it and beat people up. Others take it and commit suicide. Another 20 per cent have had bad trips that can require treatment and others have relapses several days after taking it. To take it is to deliberately unstructure your mind (italics mine G.H.), not a very good thing when you consider our minds are our proudest possessions’, he says. To take the drug without having a qualified psychiatrist present — and that is the way it is being used in most cases today — is unthinkable, according to Dr Lehmann. ‘It is difficult enough to control in a laboratory environment with experts present’, he says, ‘let alone in somebody’s apartment where your guide is a young inexperienced college student.
‘Some take it and become so anxious and terrified they cannot stay alone for a second. They are like infants. Their minds are in pieces. If that happens in a hospital we know what to do. We can give them something to counteract the LSD. But what happens when it occurs with college students? What happens if the guide panics and leaves the person alone? Suicide can and has been the result of these cases’.
Dr Lehmann admits the drug can increase awareness, but is quick to add the gains are not worth the risk. Furthermore, he believes that LSD can’t do anything for you that you can’t get through other and safer ways (Yoga — G.H.).
‘The misuse of LSD today reflects the way we live’, he says. ‘We want awareness but it has to be an instant do-it-yourself kind of awareness. You don’t need LSD to appreciate the beauty of flowers. Just take time out to enjoy them. If you want to improve your mind, study. Work, hard work; that’s the answer. Not LSD (Yoga — G.H.). People who use it are guilty of unclear thinking, if not downright ignorance. They want their awareness on a silver platter’. Dr Lehmann says it is difficult to convince young persons of the dangers because ‘the drug will not make you less intelligent. You don’t become a slob and you may well become a nicer person by being less aggressive’. But he says it may turn you into ‘an utter parasite’.
The book LSD on Campus contains the following statement:
By the late summer of 1963 the American Medical Association requested an editorial on LSD from Harvard’s campus physician, Dr Dana L. Farnsworth. In it he recounted some of the lamentable LSD experiences taken by Harvard students and said, in effect, that legal restrictions should be imposed. Dr Farnsworth warned: ‘Our accumulating day-to-day experience with patients suffering the consequences of the hallucinogens demonstrates beyond question that these drugs have the power to damage the individual psyche, indeed to cripple it for life’.
Such testimony evokes in one’s mind the question: How many of these drug-takers will be wasted by the time they find themselves?
The American Theosophist, Vol. 56, Issue 3, March 1968, p. 53
(The next report is from The Province Vancouver, B.C.):