The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky — Vol.
Vol. 1, Page 191 THE PRELIMINARY CREATION OF MAN.
STANZA VI. — Continued.
5. At the fourth (Round, or revolution of life and being around “the seven smaller wheels”) (a), the sons are told to create their images. One third refuses. Two (thirds) obey.
The full meaning of this sloka can be fully comprehended only after reading the detailed additional explanations in the “Anthropogenesis” and its commentaries, in Book II. Between this Sloka and the last, Sloka 4 in this same Stanza, extend long ages; and there now gleams the dawn and sunrise of another aeon. The drama enacted on our planet is at the beginning of its fourth act, but for a clearer comprehension of the whole play the reader will have to turn back before he can proceed onward. For this verse belongs to the general Cosmogony given in the archaic volumes, whereas Book II. will give a detailed account of the “Creation” or rather the formation, of the first human beings, followed by the second humanity, and then by the third; or, as they are called, “the first, second, and the third Root-Races.” As the solid Earth began by being a ball of liquid fire, of fiery dust and its protoplasmic phantom, so did man.
Vol. 1, Page 192 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
(a) That which is meant by the qualification the “Fourth” is explained as the “fourth Round” only on the authority of the Commentaries. It can equally mean fourth “Eternity” as “Fourth Round,” or even the fourth (our) Globe. For, as will repeatedly be shown, it is the fourth Sphere on the fourth or lowest plane of material life. And it so happens that we are in the Fourth Round, at the middle point of which the perfect equilibrium between Spirit and Matter had to take place.* Says the Commentary explaining the verse: —
“The holy youths (the gods) refused to multiply and create species after their likeness, after their kind. They are not fit forms (rupas) for us. They have to grow. They refuse to enter the chhayas (shadows or images) of their inferiors. Thus had selfish feeling prevailed from the beginning, even among the gods, and they fell under the eye of the Karmic Lipikas.”
They had to suffer for it in later births. How the punishment reached the gods will be seen in the second volume.
STANZA VI. — Continued.
6. The curse is pronounced (a): they will be born in the fourth (Race), suffer and cause suffering (b). This is the first war (c).
(a) It is a universal tradition that, before the physiological “Fall,” propagation of one’s kind, whether human or animal, took place through the will of the Creators, or of their progeny. It was the Fall of Spirit into generation, not the Fall of mortal man. It has already been stated that, to become a Self-Conscious Spirit, the latter must pass through every cycle of being, culminating in its highest point on earth in Man.
* It was, as we shall see, at this period — during the highest point of civilization and knowledge, as also of human intellectuality, of the fourth, Atlantean Race — that, owing to the final crisis of physiologico-spiritual adjustment of the races, humanity branched off into its two diametrically opposite paths: the right- and the left-hand paths of knowledge or of Vidya. “Thus were the germs of the White and the Black Magic sown in those days. The seeds lay latent for some time, to sprout only during the early period of the Fifth (our Race).” (Commentary.)
Vol. 1, Page 193 THE FIRST CAUSE OF SIN.
Spirit per se is an unconscious negative abstraction. Its purity is inherent, not acquired by merit; hence, as already shown, to become the highest Dhyan Chohan it is necessary for each Ego to attain to full self-consciousness as a human, i.e., conscious Being, which is synthesized for us in Man. The Jewish Kabalists arguing that no Spirit could belong to the divine hierarchy unless Ruach (Spirit) was united to Nephesh (living Soul), only repeat the Eastern Esoteric teaching. “A Dhyani has to be an Atma-Buddhi; once the Buddhi-Manas breaks loose from its immortal Atma of which it (Buddhi) is the vehicle, Atman passes into non-being, which is absolute Being.” This means that the purely Nirvanic state is a passage of Spirit back to the ideal abstraction of Be-ness which has no relation to the plane on which our Universe is accomplishing its cycle.
(b) “The curse is pronounced” does not mean, in this instance, that any personal Being, god, or superior Spirit, pronounced it, but simply that the cause which could but create bad results had been generated, and that the effects of a Karmic cause could lead the “Beings” that counteracted the laws of Nature, and thus impeded her legitimate progress, only to bad incarnations, hence to suffering.
(c) “There were many wars” refers to several struggles of adjustment, spiritual, cosmical, and astronomical, but chiefly to the mystery of the evolution of man as he is now. Powers — pure Essences — “that were told to create” is a sentence that relates to a mystery explained, as already said, elsewhere. It is not only one of the most hidden secrets of Nature — that of generation, over whose solution the Embryologists have vainly put their heads together — but likewise a divine function that involves that other religious, or rather dogmatic, mystery, the “Fall” of the Angels, as it is called. Satan and his rebellious host would thus prove, when the meaning of the allegory is explained, to have refused to create physical man, only to become the direct Saviours and the Creators of “divine Man.” The symbolical teaching is more than mystical and religious, it is purely scientific, as will be seen later on. For, instead of remaining a mere blind, functioning medium, impelled and guided by fathomless Law, the “rebellious” Angel claimed and enforced his right of independent judgment and will, his
Vol. 1, Page 194 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
right of free-agency and responsibility, since man and angel are alike under Karmic Law.*
“And there was war in Heaven. . . . Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And the Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.”
The Kabalistic version of the same story is given in the Codex Nazareus, the scripture of the Nazarenes, the real mystic Christians of John the Baptist and the Initiates of Christos. Bahak-Zivo, the “Father of the Genii,” is ordered to construct creatures (to create). But, as he is “ignorant of Orcus,” he fails to do so, and calls in Fetahil, a still purer spirit, to his aid, who fails still worse. This is a repetition of the failure of the “Fathers,” the lords of light who fail one after the other. (Book II, Sloka 17.)
We will now quote from our earlier Volumes: —
“Then steps on the stage of creation the spirit† (of the Earth so-called, or the Soul, Psyche, which St. James calls ‘devilish’) the lower portion the Anima Mundi or Astral Light. (See the close of this Sloka). With the Nazarenes and the Gnostics this Spirit was
* Explaining Kabalistic views, the author of the “New Aspects of Life” says of the Fallen Angels that, “According to the symbolical teaching, Spirit, from being simply a functionary agent of God, became volitional in its developed and developing action; and, substituting its own will for the Divine desire in its regard, so fell. Hence the Kingdom and reign of Spirits and spiritual action, which flow from and are the product of Spirit-volition, are outside, and contrasted with, and in contradiction to the Kingdom of Souls and Divine action.” So far, so good; but what does the Author mean by saying, “When man was created, he was human in constitution, with human affections, human hopes and aspirations. From this state he fell — into the brute and savage”? This is diametrically opposite to our Eastern teaching, and even to the Kabalistic notion so far as we understand it, and to the Bible itself. This looks like Corporealism and Substantialism colouring positive philosophy, though it is rather hard to feel quite sure of the Author’s meaning (see p. 235). A fall, however, “from the natural into the supernatural and the animal” — supernatural meaning the purely spiritual in this case — means what we suggest.
† On the authority of Irenaeus, of Justin Martyr and the “Codex” itself, Dunlap shows that the Nazarenes regarded “Spirit” as a female and Evil Power in its connection with our Earth. (Dunlap: “Sod,” the Son of the Man, p. 52).
Vol. 1, Page 195 THE CODEX REPEATS THE ALLEGORY.
feminine. Thus the spirit of the Earth perceiving that for Fetahil,* the newest man (the latest), the splendour was ‘changed,’ and that for splendour existed ‘decrease and damage,’ she awakes Karabtanos,† ‘who was frantic and without sense and judgment,’ and says to him: — ‘Arise, see, the splendour (light) of the newest man (Fetahil) has failed (to produce or create men), the decrease of this splendour is visible. Rise up, come with thy mother (the Spiritus) and free thee from limits by which thou art held, and those more ample than the whole world.’ After which follows the union of the frantic and blind matter, guided by the insinuations of the spirit (not the Divine breath but the Astral spirit, which by its double essence is already tainted with matter); and the offer of the mother being accepted, the Spiritus conceives “Seven Figures,” and the seven stellars (planets) which represent also the seven capital sins, the progeny of an astral soul separated from its divine source (spirit) and matter, the blind demon of concupiscence. Seeing this, Fetahil extends his hand towards the abyss of matter, and says: — ‘Let the Earth exist, just as the abode of the powers has existed.’ Dipping his hand in the chaos, which he condenses, he creates our planet.‡”
“Then the Codex proceeds to tell how Bahak-Zivo was separated from the Spiritus, and the Genii or angels from the rebels.§ Then Mano|| (the greatest), who dwells with the greatest ferho, call Kebar-Zivo (known also by the name of Nebat-Iavar bar Iufin Ifafin), Helm and Vine of the food of life,¶ he being the third life, and commiserating the rebellious and foolish Genii, on account of the magnitude of their ambition, says: ‘Lord of the Genii** (AEons), see what the Genii, the
* Fetahil is identical with the host of the Pitris who “created Man” as only a “shell.” He was, with the Nazarenes, the king of light, and the creator; but in this instance he is the unlucky Prometheus, who fails to get hold of the Living Fire necessary for the formation of the divine Soul, as he is ignorant of the secret name, the ineffable or incommunicable name of the Kabalists.
† The spirit of Matter and Concupiscence; “Kamarupa” minus “Manas,” Mind.
‡ See Franck’s “Codex Nazaraeus,” and Dunlap’s “Sod, the Son of the Man.”
§ Codex Nazaraeus, ii., 233.
|| This Mano of the Nazarenes strangely resembles the Hindu Manu, the Heavenly Man of the “Rig Vedas.”
¶ “I am the true Vine, and my father is the husbandman.” (John xv., 1.)
** With the Gnostics, Christ, as well as Michael who is identical with him in some respects, was the “Chief of the AEons.”
Vol. 1, Page 196 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
rebellious angels do, and about what they are consulting.* They say, ‘Let us call for the world, and let us call the ‘powers’ into existence.” The Genii are the Principes, the “Sons of Light,” but thou art the “Messenger of Life.”†
And in order to counteract the influence of the seven “badly disposed” principles, the progeny of Spiritus, cabar-zio, the mighty Lord of Splendor, produces seven other lives (the cardinal virtues) who shine in their own form and light “from on high”‡ and thus re-establish the balance between good and evil, light and darkness.
Here one finds a repetition of the early allegorical, dual systems, as the Zoroastrian, and detects a germ of the dogmatic and dualistic religions of the future, a germ which has grown into such a luxuriant tree in ecclesiastical Christianity. It is already the outline of the two “Supremes” — God and Satan. But in the Stanzas no such idea exists.
Most of the Western Christian Kabalists — pre-eminently Eliphas Levi — in their desire to reconcile the Occult Sciences with Church dogmas, did their best to make of the “Astral Light” only and preeminently the Pleroma of early Church Fathers, the abode of the Hosts of the Fallen Angels, of the “Archons” and “Powers.” But the Astral Light, while only the lower aspect of the Absolute, is yet dual. It is the Anima Mundi, and ought never to be viewed otherwise, except for Kabalistic purposes. The difference which exists between its “light” and its “Living Fire” ought to be ever present in the mind of the Seer and the “Psychic.” The higher aspect, without which only creatures of matter from that Astral Light can be produced, is this Living Fire, and it is the Seventh Principle. It is said in “Isis Unveiled,” in a complete description of it: —
“The Astral Light or Anima Mundi is dual and bisexual. The (ideal) male part of it is purely divine and spiritual, it is the Wisdom, it is Spirit or Purusha; while the female portion (the Spiritus of the Nazarenes) is tainted, in one sense, with matter, is indeed matter, and therefore is evil already. It is the life-principle of every living creature, and furnishes the astral soul, the fluidic perisprit, to men, animals, fowls of the air, and everything living. Animals have only the latent germ of the highest immortal soul in them. . . . . This latter will develop
* Codex Nazaraeus, i., 135.
‡ See the Cosmogony of Pherecydes.
Vol. 1, Page 197 ILDA-BAOTH-JEHOVAH.
only after a series of countless evolutions; the doctrine of which evolution is contained in the Kabalistic axiom: ‘A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast; a beast, a man; a man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.’” (Vol. I., p. 301, note.)
The seven principles of the Eastern Initiates had not been explained when “Isis” was written, but only the three Kabalistic Faces of the semi-exoteric Kabala.* But these contain the description of the mystic natures of the first group of Dhyan Chohans in the regimen ignis, the region and “rule (or government) of fire,” which group is divided into three classes, synthesized by the first, which makes four or the “Tetraktis.” (See Comments on Stanza VII. Book I.) If one studies the Comments attentively he will find the same progression in the angelic natures, viz., from the passive down to the active, the last of these Beings being as near to the Ahamkara element (the region or plane wherein Egoship or the feeling of I-am-ness is beginning to be defined) as the first ones are near to the undifferentiated essence. The former are Arupa, incorporeal; the latter, Rupa, corporeal.
In Volume II. of Isis (p. 183 et seq.) the philosophical systems of the Gnostics and the primitive Jewish Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites, are fully considered. They show the views held in those days — outside the circle of Mosaic Jews — about Jehovah. He was identified by all the Gnostics with the evil, rather than with the good principle. For them, he was Ilda-Baoth, “the son of Darkness,” whose mother, Sophia Achamoth, was the daughter of Sophia, the Divine Wisdom (the female Holy Ghost of the early Christians) — Akasa;† while Sophia Achamoth personified the lower Astral Light or Ether. Ilda-Baoth,‡ or Jehovah, is simply one of the Elohim, the seven
* They are found, however, in the Chaldean Book of Numbers.
† The astral light stands in the same relation to Akasa and Anima Mundi, as Satan stands to the Deity. They are one and the same thing seen from two aspects: the spiritual and the psychic — the super-ethereal or connecting link between matter and pure spirit, and the physical. See for the difference between nous, the higher divine wisdom, and psyche, the lower and terrestrial (St. James iii. v. 15-17). Vide “Demon est Deus inversus,” Part II. of this volume.
‡ Ilda-Baoth is a compound name made up of Ilda, image_il, “a child,” and Baoth; both from image_il the egg, and image_il Baoth, “chaos,” emptiness, void, or desolation; or the child born in the egg of Chaos, like Brahma.
Vol. 1, Page 198 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
creative Spirits, and one of the lower Sephiroth. He produces from himself seven other Gods, “Stellar Spirits” (or the lunar ancestors*), for they are all the same.† They are all in his own image (the “Spirits of the Face”), and the reflections one of the other, and have become darker and more material as they successively receded from their originator. They also inhabit seven regions disposed like a ladder, as its rungs slope up and down the scale of spirit and matter.‡ With Pagans and Christians, with Hindus and Chaldeans, with the Greek as with the Roman Catholics — with a slight variation of the texts in their interpretations — they all were the Genii of the seven planets, as of the seven planetary spheres of our septenary chain, of which Earth is the lowest. (See Isis, Vol. II. p. 186.) This connects the “Stellar” and “Lunar” Spirits with the higher planetary Angels and the Saptarishis (the seven Rishis of the Stars) of the Hindus — as subordinate Angels (Messengers) to these “Rishis,” the emanations, on the descending scale, of the former. Such, in the opinion of the philosophical Gnostics, were the God and the Archangels now worshipped by the Christians! The “Fallen Angels” and the legend of the “War in Heaven” is thus purely pagan in its origin and comes from India via Persia and Chaldea. The only reference to it in the Christian canon is found in Revelations xii., as quoted a few pages back.
Thus “Satan,” once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious, dogmatic, unphilosophical spirit of the Churches, grows into the grandiose image of one who made of terrestrial a divine man; who gave him, throughout the long cycle of Maha-kalpa the law of the Spirit of Life, and made him free from the Sin of Ignorance, hence of death. (See the Section On Satan in Part II. Vol. II.)
* Jehovah’s connection with the moon in the Kabala is well known to students.
† About the Nazarenes see Isis, Vol. II. p. 131 and 132; the true followers of the true Christos were all Nazarenes and Christians, and were the opponents of the later Christians.
‡ Vide supra, the diagram of the lunar ring of seven worlds, where, as in our or any other chain, the upper worlds are spiritual, while the lowest, whether Moon, Earth, or any planet, is dark with matter.
Vol. 1, Page 199 THE SEVEN PLANES.
STANZA VI. — Continued.
6. The older wheels rotated downward and upward (a). . . . The Mother’s spawn filled the whole (Kosmos).* There were battles fought between the Creators and the Destroyers, and battles fought for Space; the seed appearing and reappearing continuously (b).†
(a) Here, having finished for the time being with our side-issues — which, however they may break the flow of the narrative, are necessary for the elucidation of the whole scheme — the reader must return once more to Cosmogony. The phrase “Older wheels” refers to the worlds or Globes of our chain as they were during the “previous Rounds.” The present Stanza, when explained esoterically, is found embodied entirely in the Kabalistic works. Therein will be found the very history of the evolution of those countless Globes which evolve after a periodical Pralaya, rebuilt from old material into new forms. The previous Globes disintegrate and reappear transformed and perfected for a new phase of life. In the Kabala, worlds are compared to sparks which fly from under the hammer of the great Architect — law, the law which rules all the smaller Creators.
The following comparative diagram shows the identity between the two systems, the Kabalistic and the Eastern. The three upper are the three higher planes of consciousness, revealed and explained in both schools only to the Initiates, the lower ones represent the four lower planes — the lowest being our plane, or the visible Universe.
These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three “seats” to life and activity. And how many are capable of bringing themselves to even a superficial comprehension of Atma-Vidya (Spirit-Knowledge), or what is called by the Sufis, Rohanee! In Section the VIIth of this Book, in Sub-section 3,
* The reader is reminded that Kosmos often means in our Stanzas only our own Solar System, not the Infinite Universe.
† This is purely astronomical.
Vol. 1, Page 200 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
the reader will find a still clearer explanation of the above in the Commentary upon Saptaparna — the man-plant. See also the Section of that name in Part II.
Footnote(s) to diagram ———————————————
* The Arupa or “formless,” there where form ceases to exist, on the objective plane.
† The word “Archetypal” must not be taken here in the sense that the Platonists gave to it, i.e., the world as it existed in the Mind of the Deity; but in that of a world made as a first model, to be followed and improved upon by the worlds which succeed it physically — though deteriorating in purity.
‡ These are the four lower planes of Cosmic Consciousness, the three higher planes being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present. The seven states of human consciousness pertain to quite another question.
(b) “The Seed appears and disappears continuously.” Here “Seed” stands for “the World-germ,” viewed by Science as material particles in a highly attenuated condition, but in Occult physics as “Spiritual particles,” i.e., supersensuous matter existing in a state of primeval
Vol. 1, Page 201 NO SHADOW, NO LIGHT.
differentiation.* In theogony, every Seed is an ethereal organism, from which evolves later on a celestial being, a God.
In the “beginning,” that which is called in mystic phraseology “Cosmic Desire” evolves into absolute Light. Now light without any shadow would be absolute light — in other words, absolute darkness — as physical science seeks to prove. That shadow appears under the form of primordial matter, allegorized — if one likes — in the shape of the Spirit of Creative Fire or Heat. If, rejecting the poetical form and allegory, science chooses to see in this the primordial Fire-Mist, it is welcome to do so. Whether one way or the other, whether Fohat or the famous force of Science, nameless, and as difficult of definition as our Fohat himself, that Something “caused the Universe to move with circular motion,” as Plato has it; or, as the Occult teaching expresses it:
“The Central Sun causes Fohat to collect primordial dust in the form of balls, to impel them to move in converging lines and finally to approach each other and aggregate.” (Book of Dzyan) . . . . . “Being scattered in Space, without order or system, the world-germs come into frequent collision until their final aggregation, after which they become wanderers (Comets). Then the battles and struggles begin. The older (bodies) attract the younger, while others repel them. Many perish, devoured by their stronger companions. Those that escape become worlds.”†
* To see and appreciate the difference — the immense gulf that separates terrestrial matter from the finer grades of supersensuous matter — every astronomer, every chemist and physicist ought to be a psychometer, to say the least; he ought to be able to sense for himself that difference in which he now refuses to believe. Mrs. Elizabeth Denton, one of the most learned, and also one of the most materialistic and sceptical women of her age — the wife of Professor Denton, the well-known American geologist and the author of “The Soul of Things” — was, nevertheless, one of the most wonderful psychometers some years ago. This is what she described in one of her experiments; with a particle of a meteorite placed on her forehead, in an envelope, the lady, not being aware of what it contained, said:
“What a difference between that which we recognise as matter here and that which seems like matter there! In the one, the elements are so coarse and so angular, I wonder that we can endure it all, much more that we can desire to continue our present relations to it; in the other, all the elements are so refined, they are so free from those great, rough angularities, which characterize the elements here, that I can but regard that as by so much the more than this, the real existence.” (Vol. III. p. 345-6.)
† When carefully analysed and reflected upon, this will be found as scientific as Science could make it, even at our late period.
Vol. 1, Page 202 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
We have been assured that there exist several modern works of speculative fancy upon such struggles for life in sidereal heaven, especially in the German language. We rejoice to hear it, for ours is an Occult teaching lost in the darkness of archaic ages. We have treated of it fully in “Isis Unveiled,” and the idea of Darwinian-like evolution, of struggle for life and supremacy, and of the “survival of the fittest” among the Hosts above as the Hosts below, runs throughout both the volumes of our earlier work, written in 1876 (See Index in “Isis Unveiled” at the words “Evolution” — “Darwin” — “Kapila” — “Battle of Life,” etc. etc.) But the idea was not ours, it is that of antiquity. Even the Puranic writers have ingeniously interwoven allegory with Cosmic facts and human events. Any symbologist may discern the astro-cosmical allusion even though he be unable to grasp the whole meaning. The great “Wars in Heaven,” in the Puranas; the wars of the Titans, in Hesiod and other classical writers; the “struggles,” also in the Egyptian legend between Osiris and Typhon, and even those in the Scandinavian legends, all refer to the same subject. Northern Mythology refers to it as the battle of the Flames, the sons of Muspel who fought on the field of Wigred. All these relate to Heaven and Earth, and have a double and often even a triple meaning, and esoteric application to things above as to things below. They relate severally to astronomical, theogonical and human struggles; to the adjustment of orbs, and the supremacy among nations and tribes. The “Struggle for Existence” and the “Survival of the Fittest” reigned supreme from the moment that Kosmos manifested into being, and could hardly escape the observant eye of the ancient Sages. Hence the incessant fights of Indra, the god of the Firmament, with the Asuras — degraded from high gods into Cosmic demons; and with Vritri or Ah-hi; the battles fought between stars and constellations, between Moon and planets — later on incarnated as kings and mortals. Hence also the War in Heaven of Michael and his Host against the Dragon (Jupiter and Lucifer-Venus), when a third of the stars of the rebellious host was hurled down into Space, and “its place was found no more in Heaven.” As said long ago — “This is the basic and fundamental stone of the secret cycles. It shows that the Brahmins and Tanaim . . . speculated on the creation and development of the world quite in a Darwinian way, both anticipating him and his school in the natural selection of species, the survival of the fittest,
Vol. 1, Page 203 THE BIRTH OF THE WORLDS.
and transformation. . . . There were old worlds that perished conquered by the new,” etc., etc. (“Isis Unveiled,” Vol. II., p. 260.) The assertion that all the worlds (Stars, planets, etc.) — as soon as a nucleus of primordial substance in the laya (undifferentiated) state is informed by the freed principles, of a just deceased sidereal body — become first comets, and then Suns to cool down to inhabitable worlds, is a teaching as old as the Rishis.
Thus the Secret Books distinctly teach, as we see, an astronomy that would not be rejected even by modern speculation could the latter thoroughly understand its teachings.
For, archaic astronomy, and the ancient, physical and mathematical sciences, expressed views identical with those of modern science, and many of far more momentous import. A “struggle for life” as a “survival of the fittest” in the worlds above, as on our planet here below, are distinctly taught. This teaching, however, although it would not be “entirely rejected” by Science, is sure to be repudiated as an integral whole. For it avers that there are only seven Self-born primordial “gods” emanated from the trinitarian one. In other words, it means that all the worlds or sidereal bodies (always on strict analogy) are formed one from the other, after the primordial manifestation at the beginning of the “Great Age” is accomplished. The birth of the celestial bodies in Space is compared to a crowd or multitude of “pilgrims” at the festival of the “Fires.” Seven ascetics appear on the threshold of the temple with seven lighted sticks of incense. At the light of these the first row of pilgrims light their incense sticks. After which every ascetic begins whirling his stick around his head in space, and furnishes the rest with fire. Thus with the heavenly bodies. A laya-centre is lighted and awakened into life by the fires of another “pilgrim,” after which the new “centre” rushes into space and becomes a comet. It is only after losing its velocity, and hence its fiery tail, that the “Fiery Dragon” settles down into quiet and steady life as a regular respectable citizen of the sidereal family. Therefore it is said: —
Born in the unfathomable depths of Space, out of the homogeneous Element called the World-Soul, every nucleus of Cosmic matter, suddenly launched into being, begins life under the most hostile circumstances. Through a series of countless ages, it has to conquer
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for itself a place in the infinitudes. It circles round and round between denser and already fixed bodies, moving by jerks, and pulling towards some given point or centre that attracts it, trying to avoid, like a ship drawn into a channel dotted with reefs and sunken rocks, other bodies that draw and repel it in turn; many perish, their mass disintegrating through stronger masses, and, when born within a system, chiefly within the insatiable stomachs of various Suns. (See Comm. to Stanza IV). Those which move slower and are propelled into an elliptic course are doomed to annihilation sooner or later. Others moving in parabolic curves generally escape destruction, owing to their velocity.
Some very critical readers will perhaps imagine that this teaching, as to the cometary stage passed through by all heavenly bodies, is in contradiction with the statements just made as to the moon being the mother of the earth. They will perhaps fancy that intuition is needed to harmonize the two. But no intuition is in truth required. What does Science know of Comets, their genesis, growth, and ultimate behaviour? Nothing — absolutely nothing! And what is there so impossible that a laya centre — a lump of cosmic protoplasm, homogeneous and latent, when suddenly animated or fired up — should rush from its bed in Space and whirl throughout the abysmal depths in order to strengthen its homogeneous organism by an accumulation and addition of differentiated elements? And why should not such a comet settle in life, live, and become an inhabited globe!
“The abodes of Fohat are many,” it is said. “He places his four fiery (electro-positive) Sons in the “Four circles”; these Circles are the Equator, the Ecliptic, and the two parallels of declination, or the tropics — to preside over the climates of which are placed the Four mystical Entities. Then again: “Other seven (sons) are commissioned to preside over the seven hot, and seven cold lokas (the hells of the orthodox Brahmins) at the two ends of the Egg of Matter (our Earth and its poles). The seven lokas are also called the “Rings,” elsewhere, and the “Circles.” The ancients made the polar circles seven instead of two, as Europeans do; for Mount Meru, which is the North Pole, is said to have seven gold and seven silver steps leading to it.
The strange statement made in one of the Stanzas: “The Songs of Fohat and his Sons were radiant as the noon-tide Sun and the Moon combined;” and that the four Sons on the middle four-fold
Vol. 1, Page 205 SEEING SOUND, HEARING COLOURS.
Circle “saw their father’s songs and heard his Solar-selenic radiance;” is explained in the Commentary in these words: “The agitation of the Fohatic Forces at the two cold ends (North and South Poles) of the Earth which resulted in a multicoloured radiance at night, have in them several of the properties of Akasa (Ether) colour and sound as well.” . . . . . . “Sound is the characteristic of Akasa (Ether): it generates air, the property of which is Touch; which (by friction) becomes productive of Colour and Light.” . . . . . . (Vishnu Purana.)
Perhaps the above will be regarded as archaic nonsense, but it will be better comprehended, if the reader remembers the Aurora Borealis and Australis, both of which take place at the very centres of terrestrial electric and magnetic forces. The two poles are said to be the store-houses, the receptacles and liberators, at the same time, of Cosmic and terrestrial Vitality (Electricity); from the surplus of which the Earth, had it not been for these two natural “safety-valves,” would have been rent to pieces long ago. At the same time it is now a theory that has lately become an axiom, that the phenomenon of polar lights is accompanied by, and productive of, strong sounds, like whistling, hissing, and cracking. (But see Professor Trumholdt’s works on the Aurora Borealis, and his correspondence regarding this moot question.)
STANZA VI. — Continued.
7. Make thy calculations, O Lanoo, if thou wouldst learn the correct age of thy small wheel (chain). Its fourth spoke is our mother (Earth) (a). Reach the fourth “fruit” of the fourth path of knowledge that leads to Nirvana, and thou shalt comprehend, for thou shalt see (b).
(a) The “small wheel” is our chain of spheres, and the fourth spoke is our Earth, the fourth in the chain. It is one of those on which the “hot (positive) breath of the Sun” has a direct effect.*
* The seven fundamental transformations of the globes or heavenly spheres, or rather of their constituent particles of matter, is described as follows: (1) The homogeneous; (2) the aeriform and radiant (gaseous); (3) Curd-like (nebulous); (4) Atomic, Ethereal [[Footnote continued on next page]]
Vol. 1, Page 206 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
To calculate its age, however, as the pupil is asked to do in the Stanza, is rather difficult, since we are not given the figures of the Great Kalpa, and are not allowed to publish those of our small Yugas, except as to the approximate duration of these. “The older wheels rotated for one Eternity and one half of an Eternity,” it says. We know that by “Eternity” the seventh part of 311,040,000,000,000 years, or an age of Brahma is meant. But what of that? We also know that, to begin with, if we take for our basis the above figures, we have first of all to eliminate from the 100 years of Brahma (or 311,040,000,000,000 years) two years taken up by the Sandhyas (twilights), which leaves 98, as we have to bring it to the mystical combination 14 x 7. But we have no knowledge at what time precisely the evolution and formation of our little earth began. Therefore it is impossible to calculate its age, unless the time of its birth is given — which the teachers refuse to do, so far. At the close of this Book and in Book II., however, some chronological hints will be given. We must remember, moreover, that the law of Analogy holds good for the worlds, as it does for man; and that as “The one (Deity) becomes Two (Deva or Angel) and Two becomes Three (or man),” etc., etc., so we are taught that the Curds (world-stuff) become wanderers, (Comets), these become stars, and the stars (the centres of vortices) our sun and planets — to put it briefly.*
(b) There are four grades of initiation mentioned in exoteric works, which are known respectively in Sanskrit as “Scrotapanna,” “Sagardagan,” “Anagamin,” and “Arhan” — the four paths to Nirvana, in this, our fourth Round, bearing the same appellations. The Arhan, though he can see the Past, the Present, and the Future, is not yet the highest Initiate; for the Adept himself, the initiated candidate, becomes chela (pupil) to a higher Initiate. Three further higher grades have to be conquered by the Arhan who would reach the apex of the ladder of Arhatship. There are those who have reached it even in this fifth race of ours, but the faculties necessary for the attainment of these higher
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] (beginning of motion, hence of differentiation); (5) Germinal, fiery, (differentiated, but composed of the germs only of the Elements, in their earliest states, they having seven states, when completely developed on our earth); (6) Four-fold, vapoury (the future Earth); (7) Cold and depending (on the Sun for life and light).
* This cannot be so very unscientific, since Descartes thought also that “the planets rotate on their axes because they were once lucid stars, the centres of Vortices.”
Vol. 1, Page 207 THE TREE FROM WHICH THE ADEPTS GROW.
grades will be fully developed in the average ascetic only at the end of this Root-Race, and in the Sixth and Seventh. Thus there will always be Initiates and the Profane till the end of this minor Manvantara, the present life-cycle. The Arhats of the “fire-mist” of the 7th rung are but one remove from the Root-Base of their Hierarchy — the highest on Earth, and our Terrestrial chain. This “Root-Base” has a name which can only be translated by several compound words into English” — “the ever-living-human-Banyan.” This “Wondrous Being” descended from a “high region,” they say, in the early part of the Third Age, before the separation of the sexes of the Third Race.
This Third Race is sometimes called collectively “the Sons of Passive Yoga,” i.e., it was produced unconsciously by the second Race, which, as it was intellectually inactive, is supposed to have been constantly plunged in a kind of blank or abstract contemplation, as required by the conditions of the Yoga state. In the first or earlier portion of the existence of this third race, while it was yet in its state of purity, the “Sons of Wisdom,” who, as will be seen, incarnated in this Third Race, produced by Kriyasakti a progeny called the “Sons of Ad” or “of the Fire-Mist,” the “Sons of Will and Yoga,” etc. They were a conscious production, as a portion of the race was already animated with the divine spark of spiritual, superior intelligence. It was not a Race, this progeny. It was at first a wondrous Being, called the “Initiator,” and after him a group of semi-divine and semi-human beings. “Set apart” in Archaic genesis for certain purposes, they are those in whom are said to have incarnated the highest Dhyanis, “Munis and Rishis from previous Manvantaras” — to form the nursery for future human adepts, on this earth and during the present cycle. These “Sons of Will and Yoga” born, so to speak, in an immaculate way, remained, it is explained, entirely apart from the rest of mankind.
The “Being” just referred to, which has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., etc., have branched off. As objective man, he is the mysterious (to the profane — the ever invisible) yet ever present Personage about whom legends are rife in the East, especially among the Occultists and the students of the Sacred Science. It is he who changes form, yet remains ever the same. And it is he again who holds spiritual sway over the
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initiated Adepts throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the “Nameless One” who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the “Initiator,” called the “great sacrifice.” For, sitting at the threshold of light, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know — aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth-Life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, though but a few Elect may profit by the great sacrifice.
It is under the direct, silent guidance of this Maha — (great) — Guru that all the other less divine Teachers and instructors of mankind became, from the first awakening of human consciousness, the guides of early Humanity. It is through these “Sons of God” that infant humanity got its first notions of all the arts and sciences, as well as of spiritual knowledge; and it is they who have laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that puzzle so sorely our modern generation of students and scholars.*
* Let those who doubt this statement explain the mystery of the extraordinary knowledge possessed by the ancients — alleged to have developed from lower and animal-like savages, the cave-men of the Palaeolithic age — on any other equally reasonable grounds. Let them turn to such works as those of Vitruvius Pollio of the Augustan age, on architecture, for instance, in which all the rules of proportion are those taught anciently at initiations, if he would acquaint himself with the truly divine art, and understand the deep esoteric significance hidden in every rule and law of proportion. No man descended from a Palaeolithic cave-dweller could ever evolve such a science unaided, even in millenniums of thought and intellectual evolution. It is the pupils of those incarnated Rishis and Devas of the third Root Race, who handed their knowledge from one generation to another, to Egypt and Greece with its now lost canon of proportion; as it is the Disciples of the Initiates of the 4th, the Atlanteans, who handed it over to their Cyclopes, the “Sons of Cycles” or of the “Infinite,” from whom the name passed to the still later generations of Gnostic priests. “It is owing to the divine perfection [[Footnote continued on next page]]
Vol. 1, Page 209 THE SACRED ISLAND.
Although these matters were barely hinted at in “Isis Unveiled,” it will be well to remind the reader of what was said in Vol. I., pp. 587 to 593, concerning a certain Sacred Island in Central Asia, and to refer him for further details to the chapter in Book II. on “The Sons of God and the Sacred Island.” A few more explanations, however, though thrown out in a fragmentary form, may help the student to obtain a glimpse into the present mystery.
To state at least one detail concerning these mysterious “Sons of God” in plain words. It is from them, these Brahmaputras, that the high Dwijas, the initiated Brahmins of old justly claimed descent, while the modern Brahmin would have the lowest castes believe literally that they issued direct from the mouth of Brahma. This is the esoteric teaching, which adds moreover that, although these descendants (spiritually of course) from the “sons of Will and Yoga,” became in time divided into opposite sexes, as their “Kriyasakti” progenitors did themselves, later on; yet even their degenerate descendants have down to the present day retained a veneration and respect for the creative
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] of those architectural proportions that the Ancients could build those wonders of all the subsequent ages, their Fanes, Pyramids, Cave-Temples, Cromlechs, Cairns, Altars, proving they had the powers of machinery and a knowledge of mechanics to which modern skill is like a child’s play, and which that skill refers to itself as the ‘works of hundred-handed giants.’ ” (See “Book of God,” Kenealy.) Modern architects may not altogether have neglected those rules, but they have superadded enough empirical innovations to destroy those just proportions. It is Vitruvius who gave to posterity the rules of construction of the Grecian temples erected to the immortal gods; and the ten books of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio on Architecture, of one, in short, who was an initiate, can only be studied esoterically. The Druidical circles, the Dolmen, the Temples of India, Egypt and Greece, the Towers and the 127 towns in Europe which were found “Cyclopean in origin” by the French Institute, are all the work of initiated Priest-Architects, the descendants of those primarily taught by the “Sons of God,” justly called “The Builders.” This is what appreciative posterity says of those descendants. “They used neither mortar nor cement, nor steel nor iron to cut the stones with; and yet they were so artfully wrought that in many places the joints are not seen, though many of the stones, as in Peru, are 18 ft. thick, and in the walls of the fortress of Cuzco there are stones of a still greater size.” (Acosta, vi., 14.) “Again, the walls of Syene, built 5,400 years ago, when that spot was exactly under the tropic, which it has now ceased to be, were so constructed that at noon, at the precise moment of the solar solstice, the entire disc of the Sun was seen reflected on their surface — a work which the united skill of all the astronomers of Europe would not now be able to effect.” — (Kenealy, “Book of God.”)
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function, and still regard it in the light of a religious ceremony, whereas the more civilized nations consider it as a mere animal function. Compare the western views and practice in these matters with the Institutions of Manu in regard to the laws of Grihasta and married life. The true Brahmin is thus indeed “he whose seven forefathers have drunk the juice of the moon-plant (Soma),” and who is a “Trisuparna,” for he has understood the secret of the Vedas.
And, to this day, such Brahmins know that, during its early beginnings, psychic and physical intellect being dormant and consciousness still undeveloped, the spiritual conceptions of that race were quite unconnected with its physical surroundings. That divine man dwelt in his animal — though externally human — form; and, if there was instinct in him, no self-consciousness came to enlighten the darkness of the latent fifth principle. When, moved by the law of Evolution, the Lords of Wisdom infused into him the spark of consciousness, the first feeling it awoke to life and activity was a sense of solidarity, of one-ness with his spiritual creators. As the child’s first feeling is for its mother and nurse, so the first aspirations of the awakening consciousness in primitive man were for those whose element he felt within himself, and who yet were outside, and independent of him. Devotion arose out of that feeling, and became the first and foremost motor in his nature; for it is the only one which is natural in our heart, which is innate in us, and which we find alike in human babe and the young of the animal. This feeling of irrepressible, instinctive aspiration in primitive man is beautifully, and one may say intuitionally, described by Carlyle. “The great antique heart,” he exclaims, “how like a child’s in its simplicity, like a man’s in its earnest solemnity and depth! heaven lies over him wheresoever he goes or stands on the earth; making all the earth a mystic temple to him, the earth’s business all a kind of worship. Glimpses of bright creatures flash in the common sunlight; angels yet hover, doing God’s messages among men . . . . . Wonder, miracle, encompass the man; he lives in an element of miracle* . . . . A great law of duty, high as these two infinitudes (heaven and hell), dwarfing all else, annihilating all else — it was a reality, and it is one: the garment
* That which was natural in the sight of primitive man has become only now miracle to us; and that which was to him a miracle could never be expressed in our language.
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only of it is dead; the essence of it lives through all times and all eternity!”
It lives undeniably, and has settled in all its ineradicable strength and power in the Asiatic Aryan heart from the Third Race direct through its first “mind-born” sons, — the fruits of Kriyasakti. As time rolled on the holy caste of Initiates produced but rarely, and from age to age, such perfect creatures: beings apart, inwardly, though the same as those who produced them, outwardly.
While in the infancy of the third primitive race: —
“A creature of a more exalted kind
Was wanting yet, and therefore was designed;
Conscious of thought, of more capacious breast
For empire formed and fit to rule the rest. . . . .”
It was called into being, a ready and perfect vehicle for the incarnating denizens of higher spheres, who took forthwith their abodes in these forms born of Spiritual will and the natural divine power in man. It was a child of pure Spirit, mentally unalloyed with any tincture of earthly element. Its physical frame alone was of time and of life, as it drew its intelligence direct from above. It was the living tree of divine wisdom; and may therefore be likened to the Mundane Tree of the Norse Legend, which cannot wither and die until the last battle of life shall be fought, while its roots are gnawed all the time by the dragon Nidhogg; for even so, the first and holy Son of Kriyasakti had his body gnawed by the tooth of time, but the roots of his inner being remained for ever undecaying and strong, because they grew and expanded in heaven not on earth. He was the first of the First, and he was the seed of all the others. There were other “Sons of Kriyasakti” produced by a second Spiritual effort, but the first one has remained to this day the Seed of divine Knowledge, the One and the Supreme among the terrestrial “Sons of Wisdom.” Of this subject we can say no more, except to add that in every age — aye, even in our own — there have been great intellects who have understood the problem correctly.
How comes our physical body to the state of perfection it is found in now? Through millions of years of evolution, of course, yet never through, or from, animals, as taught by materialism. For, as Carlyle says: — “. . . The essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself ‘I,’ — what words have we for such things? — it is a breath of Heaven,
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the highest Being reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for the unnamed?”
The breath of heaven, or rather the breath of life, called in the Bible Nephesh, is in every animal, in every animate speck as in every mineral atom. But none of these has, like man, the consciousness of the nature of that highest Being,* as none has that divine harmony in its form which man possesses. It is, as Novalis said, and no one since has said it better, as repeated by Carlyle: —
“There is but one temple in the universe, and that is the body of man. Nothing is holier than that high form . . . . We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!” “This sounds like a mere flourish of rhetoric,” adds Carlyle, “but it is not so. If well meditated it will turn out to be a scientific fact; the expression . . . of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles, — the great inscrutable Mystery.”
* There is no nation in the world in which the feeling of devotion or of religious mysticism is more developed and prominent than in the Hindu people. See what Max Muller says of this idiosyncracy and national feature in his works. This is direct inheritance from the primitive conscious men of the Third Race.