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FUNDAMENTALS 
OF THE
ESOTERIC 
PHILOSOPHY
By
G. de PURUCKER 
M.A., D.LITT.
 
Edited by
A. TREVOR BARKER

 

 

 

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The Secret Doctrine by H P Blavatsky

 

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RIDER & CO. 
 
Paternoster House, Paternoster Row, 
 
London, E.G. 4 
 
 
 
Printed in Great Britain at 
 
The Mayflower Pnss t Plymouth. William Brendon & Son, Ltd, 
1932 
 
 
 
PREFACE 
 
DR. DE PURUCKER, the present Leader of The 
Theosophical Society, which has its International 
Headquarters at Point Loma, California, delivered the 
lectures contained in this volume to members of the 
Esoteric Section during the years 1924-1927. They were given 
under the direction of Katherine Tingley, then Leader of The 
Theosophical Society, in fulfilment of a long cherished plan to 
give to the world a work which would serve not only as a com 
mentary upon The Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky, but at the 
same time would be the means of giving out certain esoteric 
keys, which would enable students to unlock for themselves the 
treasure of knowledge therein contained. Many are the educated 
men and women who have been forced to lay aside The Secret 
Doctrine as too abstruse and difficult, because they had no 
instruction and therefore no understanding of the fundamental 
conceptions upon which the Esoteric Philosophy is based. 
 
To those who hunger for truth and spiritual knowledge, and 
who bring an open mind to the study of this book, it is not too 
much to say that in asking they will receive, and in seeking 
they will find. 
 
The original stenographic report of these lectures was corrected 
by the Author, but he has not had the time to read the proofs, 
the reaffonsibility for which he left to the Editor. The book 
owes much to the collaboration of Dr. J. H. Fussell who, in 
addition to doing some of the preliminary work of preparing the 
MS. for publication, undertook the selection of the quotations 
which appear at the head of each chapter. It should be mentioned 
that all references to The Secret Doctrine are to the original 
Edition (1888) of that work. 
 
A certain amount of criticism was aroused among students of 
Theosophy by the announcement that Dr. de Purucker had given 
in these pages teaching which is not contained in the works of 
H. P. Blavatsky. Moreover, these critics appear to base their 
objections upon isolated quotations from Mme Blavatsky, in an 
endeavour to show that it is impossible at this time that further 
genuine teaching can be given, and ipso facto anything that is 
given must be false. But students will recognise that anything 
in the nature of dogmatism is contrary to the spirit of the Esoteric 
Philosophy, and for that reason should be avoided. Inevitable 
 
 
 
vi PREFACE 
 
child of crystallized thought, it begins its lethal work by laying 
a shadow on the mind, and ends by producing a sect. 
 
The tendency of the dogmatist is to read only those parts 
of the teaching which suit his own peculiar purpose, and 
the rest of the Teacher's writings are pushed into the back- 
ground and thus prevented from doing their beneficent vfbik. 
Shall we not see for ourselves how H. P. Blavatsky regardeft the 
problem ? In her Five Messages to the American Theosophists, 
she wrote : 
 
" Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. 
It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theo- 
sophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly 
features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence of a 
large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, 
such healthy divergencies would be impossible, and the Society woul d 
degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would 
take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever- 
growing Knowledge. 
 
According as people are prepared to receive it, so will new Theo- 
sophical teaching be given. But no more will be given than the 
world, on its present level of spirituality, can profit by. It depends 
on the spread of Theosophy the assimilation of what has been already 
given how much more will be revealed and how soon/ 1 
 
Again in the Introductory to The Secret Doctrine she 
wrote : 
 
" In Century the Twentieth some disciple more informed, and far 
better fitted, may be sent by the Masters of Wisdom to give final and 
irrefutable proofs that there exists a Science called Gupta-Vidya ; 
and that, like the once-mysterious sources of the Nile, the source of 
all religions and philosophies now known to the world has been for 
many ages forgotten and lost to men, but is at last found. " 
 
These statements are quite enough to show that Mme Blavatsky 
never meant it to be understood that under no circumstances 
would additional teaching be given. On the contrary she clearly 
indicated that although the two volumes of The Secret Doctrine 
contained all that could be given to the world in the nineteenth 
century, the giving of further teaching would depend necessarily 
upon the readiness of people to receive it. 
 
So far from claiming that her writings contain the whole of 
Theosophy she pointed out in her Introductory to The Secret 
Doctrine that she had raised " but a small corner of the dark 
veil " and " after long millenniums of silence and secrecy " had 
given but an " outline of a few fundamental truths ", " because 
that which must remain unsaid could not be contained in a 
hundred such volumes ". The Esoteric Doctrine in its totality 
has always existed in the keeping of The Adepts in The Sacred 
 
 
 
PREFACE vii 
 
science, and it is therefore a complete system of thought which 
does not evolve or change. But the whole of it never has and 
never will be given out publicly, and therefore since from time 
to time additional teaching is given, this does constitute for the 
public a further unfolding or evolution of the age-old Doctrine. 
In dther* words Theosophy the Wisdom of the Gods is eternal 
in Nature, but our understanding of it grows, and as " those who 
have ears to hear " become fit and ready to receive more teaching, 
more will be given. This fact is clearly brought out also by 
William Q. Judge : 
 
" If any persons regard H. P. B/s writings as the infallible oracles 
of Theosophy, they go directly against her own words and the works 
themselves ; they must be people who do not indulge in original 
thinking and cannot make much impression on the times. 
 
As for the Theosophical Society, the moment it makes a hard and 
fast definition of Theosophy it will mark the first hour of its decay. 
 
Inasmuch as Theosophy is the whole body of truth about man 
and nature, either known now or hereafter to be discovered, it 
has the ' power of growth, progress and advancement/ since every 
new truth makes it clearer. But among the truths will not be 
reckoned at any time the definitions, dogmas, creeds or beliefs laid 
down by man. 11 
 
None the less it is a fact, paradoxical though it may seem to 
some, that no teaching calling itself Theosophical will bear the 
test of a thoroughly impartial investigation, unless it is consistent 
with the teaching of H. P. Blavatsky ; and this precisely because 
her writings bear the stamp of consistency with the recorded 
teachings of all the great Sages and Seers of Antiquity. 
 
Herein lies the strength of Dr. de Purucker, not only in this 
work but in his other writings. True to the lines laid down by 
Mme Blavatsky, he makes no appeal to dogmatic authority, but 
claims his right to an impartial hearing on the ground that his 
teaching " closely adheres to Nature, and follows the laws of 
uniformity and analogy'*. "Proof," he defines, "as the pre- 
ponderance of evidence bringing conviction to the mind," and 
goes on to show that if Knowledge is to grow in us then it is 
necessary to check any tendency to crystallization of thought, 
i.e., to limit the understanding by closing the doors of the mind 
to further light upon any particular subject of study. The truth 
is that in the search for the Great Knowledge, progress is seen 
to be as endless as boundless Infinitude inwards and upwards 
for ever towards the Unutterable. Herein perhaps also is the 
secret of humility. 
 
The meaning of any part of this book is not to be understood 
by merely dipping into it here and there. A particular doctrine 
is touched upon in one chapter, outlined in another, then dealt 
 
 
 
viii PREFACE 
 
with in fuller detail until in some later chapter the key thougnt 
to the whole subject is revealed if the preceding ideas have been 
grasped. Thus the mind of the reader is opened gradually to 
receive teaching which becomes ever deeper with each succeeding 
chapter, unfolding before the inner eye a vision of the age-old 
Path that leads at last from darkness into Light. 
 
A. TREVOR BARKER 
70 QUEEN'S GATE, 
LONDON, S.W. 7, 
 
Dec. 2&th, 1931. 
 
 
 
INTRODUCTION 
 
WE sometimes lock ourselves in little boxes of opinion, 
and will not be free for fear. But still sun shines, 
winds blow, waves " boom and blanche on the 
precipices" ; and the winds and sun of the spirit, 
the waves of time. While some are busy proving that no 
Teacher can come, one has appeared among us who Teaches. 
 
The spirit will not be confined by rules that the petty mind 
dictates to it, and we can impose no Thou shalt nots upon 
inspiration. There are certain marks by which we may know 
what comes from the heights : a light to illumine life and the 
hidden things ; a sublimity to enlarge the Soul. Do you not 
see that what is ever-living cannot be cribbed and cabined 
within what was spoken in this year or that, even by Speakers 
with Authority ; because words are finite things : of value as 
carriers of the messages of the Spirit ; harmful and tyrannous 
when we bow our souls to them, and would make their finite- 
ness an absolute ? 
 
H. P. Blavatsky came not to shackle us with new creeds, but 
to bring greatness and freedom to our minds. She pointed the 
way to sublimity of life and thought : her keynote is sublimity. 
She never said, there is a place where evolution stops, or where 
knowledge stops. Because some have given out ridiculousness 
in place of her sublime, it does not mean that the great Lodge 
and its powers and wisdom are exhausted, or that there must 
be no advance in knowledge. 
 
As I understand the book, it makes this appeal : Turn your 
eyes to the mountain-tops of being ; feed your souls on the 
grandeur of Truth. Who has H. P. Blavatsky as a living 
power in his thought is not coffined in a creed, but judges each 
new idea that comes to him by its power to illumine life. 
 
KENNETH MORRIS 
 
LLWYNYPIA, 
 
Nov. 22nd, 1931. 
 
 
 
IX 
 
 
 
CONTENTS 
 
PART I 
CHAPTER I 
 
PAGE 
 
THE SELF : MAN'S INMOST LINK WITH THE UNUTTERABLE. THE ESOTERIC 
 
PHILOSOPHY : TAUGHT IN ALL THE ANCIENT RELIGIONS . . i 
 
CHAPTER II 
 
WHERE is REALITY ? TRUTH CAN BE KNOWN. MAN'S COMPOSITE NATURE 
ACCORDING TO DIFFERENT SYSTEMS '. THREEFOLD, FOURFOLD, FlVE- 
FOLD, OR SEVENFOLD 8 
 
CHAPTER III 
 
THE DOCTRINE OF MAYA : OBJECTIVE IDEALISM THE BASIS OF MORALS : 
ROOTED IN THE SPIRITUAL UNITY THE DIVINITY OF THE ALL. THE 
SELF AND THE "SELVES" 17 
 
CHAPTER IV 
 
FROM PRIMORDIAL POINT TO UNIVERSE AND MAN. How DOES MANIFESTA- 
TION ARISE ? MANVANTARA AND PR ALA Y A . . . . .26 
 
CHAPTER V 
 
THE ESOTERIC TEACHINGS AND THE NEBULAR THEORY. GODS BEHIND 
 
THE KOSMOS : WHY NATURE is IMPERFECT . . . . -37 
 
CHAPTER VI 
 
THE DAWN OF MANIFESTATION : LAYA-CENTERS. A CONSCIOUS UNIVERSE 
SPIRITUALLY PURPOSIVE. STOIC DOCTRINE OF THE INTERMINGLING 
OF ALL BEINGS : " LAWS OF NATURE." PHILOSOPHICAL POLYTHEISM 
AND THE DOCTRINE OF HIERARCHIES 48 
 
 
 
xii CONTENTS 
 
CHAPTER VII 
 
PAOB 
 
" HIERARCHIES " : ONE OF THE LOST KEYS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY. 
THE PYTHAGOREAN SACRED TETRACTYS. THE LADDER OF LIFE : 
THE LEGEND OF PADMAPANI 60 
 
CHAPTER VIII 
TRACES OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY IN GENESIS .... 73 
 
CHAPTER IX 
 
OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC COSMOGONY. GLOBES, ROUNDS AND RACES : 
 
COSMIC TIME-PERIODS 84 
 
CHAPTER X 
 
THE DOCTRINE OF SWABHAVA SELF-BECOMING CHARACTERISTIC INDI- 
VIDUALITY. MAN, SELF-EVOLVED, His OWN CREATOR. Monadologie OF 
 
LEIBNITZ CONTRASTED WITH TEACHINGS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 96 
 
 
 
CHAPTER XI 
 
THE COSMIC PILGRIMAGE FROM UN-SELF-CONSCIOUS GODSPARK TO FULLY 
 
SELF-CONSCIOUS GOD ......... 108 
 
CHAPTER XII 
PSYCHOLOGY : ACCORDING TO THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY. IMMORTALITY 
 
is CONDITIONAL : THE Loss OF THE SOUL . . . . .120 
 
CHAPTER XIII 
 
THE PROCESS OF EVOLUTION. SELF, EGO, AND SOUL : " I AM " AND " I 
 
AM I " 127 
 
CHAPTER XIV 
" HEAVENS " AND " HELLS " : TEACHINGS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, 
 
AND OF THE EXOTERIC RELIGIONS . . . . . J 37 
 
CHAPTER XV 
 
THE EVOLUTION OF THE " ABSOLUTE ". GENERALIZED PLAN OF EVOLUTION 
 
ON ALL PLANES. SEVEN KEYS TO WISDOM AND FUTURE INITIATIONS 147 
 
 
 
CONTENTS xiii 
 
CHAPTER XVI 
 
PACK 
 
ATMA-VIDYA : How THE ONE BECOMES THE MANY. " LOST SOULS " AND 
" SOULLESS BEINGS ". MAN, A COMPOSITE BEING : No ABIDING 
PRINCIPLE IN MAN 159 
 
CHAPTER XVII 
THE SILENT WATCHER 178 
 
CHAPTER XVIII 
 
THE SPIRITUAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL HIERARCHY OF ADEPTS. THE " WONDROUS- 
BEING ", THE BUDDHAS, NlRMANAKAYAS, DHYAN-CHOHANS . . IQI 
 
CHAPTER XIX 
THE SEVEN JEWELS AND THE SEVEN STAGES OF INITIATION . .213 
 
CHAPTER XX 
 
T^E HIGHER ASPECT OF HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY. INITIATION AND THE 
MYSTERIES : AVATARAS, BUDDHAS AND BODHISATTVAS, THEIR 
RELATION TO GLOBES, ROUNDS, AND RACES 230 
 
CHAPTER XXI 
 
INITIATIONS AND THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES. ROOT-RACES AND THEIR SUB- 
DIVISIONS. GLOBE-ROUNDS. PLANETARY ROUNDS. SOLAR KALPAS : 
How CALCULATED. RACIAL CATACLYSMS 243 
 
CHAPTER XXII 
THE HIERARCHY OF COMPASSION. THE INCARNATION OF THE MANASAPUTRAS 254 
 
CHAPTER XXIII 
THE SUN AND THE PLANETS : THEIR ROLE IN THE EVOLUTIONARY DRAMA 271 
 
 
 
PART II 
 
CHAPTER XXIV 
 
THE TEN STAGES OF BEING ACCORDING TO THE SYRIAN SYSTEM. ESOTERIC 
 
METHOD OF TEACHING : PARADOXES : INTUITION . . .285 
 
 
 
xiv CONTENTS 
 
CHAPTER XXV 
 
FAOB 
 
THE MYSTERIES OF SEPTENARY NATURE. CORRESPONDENCES : GLOBES, 
ELEMENTS, HUMAN PRINCIPLES. THE SEVEN SACRED PLANETS OF THE 
ANCIENTS. RACIAL TIME-PERIODS AND CATASTROPHES . . . 295 
 
CHAPTER XXVI 
 
THE MICROCOSM, A MIRROR OF THE MACROCOSM. ELEMENTS, PRINCIPLES. 
MANIFESTATIONS OF THE ONE LIFE. RELATIVITY : A FUNDAMENTAL 
CONCEPTION OF THE ANCIENT WISDOM 305 
 
CHAPTER XXVII 
 
THE Two FUNDAMENTAL KOSMICAL HIERARCHIES : MATTER AND SPIRIT- 
CONSCIOUSNESS. CHAOS-THEOS-KOSMOS. GODS-MONADS-ATOMS . 312 
 
CHAPTER XXVIII 
 
THE ADVENTURE OF AN ATOM. LAYA-CENTERS : SUN, COMETS, AND 
 
PLANETS : SOUL AND MONAD. THE KEYNOTE OF OCCULTISM . 321 
 
CHAPTER XXIX 
 
SPACE : THE BOUNDLESS ALL. INFILLED WITH INTERLOCKING, INTER- 
PENETRATING UNIVERSES. ONE ACTION, ONE HIERARCHICAL IN- 
TELLIGENCE, ONE COURSE OF OPERATION THROUGHOUT NATURE : 
ONE ORGANISM, ONE UNIVERSAL LIFE 328 
 
CHAPTER XXX 
 
THE INTERRELATION OF GODS, MONADS, ATOMS A KEY TO THE DOCTRINE 
OF EVOLUTION. SUCCESSIVE EMANATIONS : SHEATHS. HIGHER 
BEINGS EMANATING AND CLOTHING THEMSELVES IN HOSTS OF LOWER 
, BEINGS. MORALITY BASED ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSE . 336 
 
' CHAPTER XXXI 
 
THE BUILDING OF THE KOSMOS. THE SAME FUNDAMENTAL LAW THROUGH- 
OUT LIFE AND BEING : AN ENDLESS LADDER OF PROGRESS. ANA- 
LOGICAL PROCESSES OF COSMICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT. 
THE RIVER OF LIFE 344 
 
 
 
CONTENTS xv 
 
CHAPTER XXXII 
 
PAGE 
 
OUT OF THE INVISIBLE INTO THE VISIBLE. FROM THE VISIBLE INTO THE 
 
INVISIBLE. THE MAGNUM OPUS 356 
 
CHAPTER XXXIII 
 
THE LIFE- WAVE AND THE SEVEN ELEMENTS. THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
AS TAUGHT BY THE STOICS 365 
 
CHAPTER XXXIV 
 
THE SPACES OF SPACE. THE SECRET DOCTRINE, A UNIFIER : UNIVERSAL 
KEYS. DOCTRINES OF " THE VOID " AND OF " THE FULLNESS " 
CONTRASTED 373 
 
CHAPTER XXXV 
 
OCCULTISM AND THE MYSTERY-SCHOOLS. SEVEN DEGREES OF INITIATION : 
MAN BECOMES A GOD. SEVEN KOSMIC PLANES : OUR PLANETARY 
CHAIN OF SEVEN GLOBES ON THE FOUR LOWER PLANES : THE PASSAGE 
OF THE LIFE- WAVE THERETHROUGH 385 
 
CHAPTER XXXVI 
 
INTERPENETRATING SPHERES OF BEING. LOKAS AND TALAS : BI-POLAR 
COSMICAL PRINCIPLES AND ELEMENTS. THE " HERESY OF SEPARATE- 
NESS " ........... 396 
 
CHAPTER XXXVII 
 
THE FRAME- WORK OF THE KOSMOS. LOKAS AND TALAS : PRINCIPLES 
AND ELEMENTS : WORLDS NOT STATES MERELY. SPACE THE 
ULTIMATE REALITY 409 
 
CHAPTER XXXVIII 
 
DEGENERATION AND CLOSING OF THE SCHOOLS OF THE MYSTERIES. NEO- 
PYTHAGOREAN AND NEO-PLATONIC SYSTEMS : MAIN SOURCES OF 
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY. ESOTERIC AND EXOTERIC TEACHINGS : 
SYMBOLISM , 417 
 
 
 
xvi CONTENTS 
 
CHAPTER XXXIX 
 
THEOSOPHY AND OCCULTISM. OCCULTISM : THE QUINTESSENCE OF TRUTH, 
REALITY : A COMPLETE WHOLE. OCCULTISM AND MORAL RESPONSI- 
BILITY. OUR SOLAR SYSTEM: A KOSMIC ATOM : " EGG OF BRAHMA " 429 
 
CHAPTER XL 
 
DEFINITIONS OF DEITY : ATHEISM : PANTHEISM. Is THERE A SUPREME 
PERSONAL GOD ? KOSMIC ARCHITECTS AND BUILDERS. REALLY TO 
KNOW, ONE MUST BECOME 435 
 
CHAPTER XLI 
 
THE DOCTRINE OF THE SPHERES. THE UNIVERSAL SOLAR SYSTEM AND 
 
OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. THE SEVEN SACRED PLANETS : WHY " SACRED " ? 447 
 
CHAPTER XLII 
 
THE DOCTRINE OF THE SPHERES IN ITS FOUR ASPECTS. THE SEVEN SACRED 
PLANETS AND THEIR RECTORS : THEIR RELATION TO OUR EARTH- 
CHAIN. THE CIRCULATIONS OF THE KOSMOS : OUTER ROUNDS AND 
INNER ROUNDS : SISHTAS. ONE UNIVERSAL BASIC LAW : As ABOVE, 
so BELOW. THE " EYE " AND THE " HEART " DOCTRINES . . 458 
 
CHAPTER XLIII 
 
ANALOGY : THE LIFE OF MAN AND THE LIFE OF A PLANETARY CHAIN. 
OCCULTISM AND ETHICS : " LIVE THE LIFE IF THOU WOULDST KNOW 
THE DOCTRINE " 471 
 
CHAPTER XLIV 
 
PRINCIPLES OF THOUGHT AND STUDY : CAN OCCULTISM BE TAUGHT ? 
ANCIENT ASTROLOGY A TRUE SCIENCE. OUR EARTH-CHAIN OF GLOBES, 
THE SEVEN SACRED PLANETS, AND THE TWELVE ZODIACAL SIGNS. 
LIFE- ATOMS : THE BUILDING-BLOCKS OF THE UNIVERSE . .481 
 
CHAPTER XLV 
 
PHYSIOLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY, AND PNEUMATOLOGY OF THE UNIVERSE. TEN 
AND TWELVE PLANES OF THE UNIVERSAL SOLAR SYSTEM : INTERMEDI- 
ATE CRITICAL PLANES. ALL MANIFESTED BEING A GRADED CONTINUUM 
OF INTERRELATED, INTERLOCKED HIERARCHIES : EACH WITH ITS 
OWN BEGINNING AND END. SISHTAS AND THE "SURPLUS OF LIF*" 496 
 
 
 
CONTENTS xvii 
 
CHAPTER XLVI 
 
PAGE 
 
THE CHELA-LIFE. SEVEN AND TEN LIFE- WAVES : THE COURSE OF THE 
MONADS AROUND THE SEVEN GLOBES : LAWS OF " ACCELERATION " 
ON THE DOWNWARD AND OF " RETARDATION " ON THE UPWARD ARC. 
FIFTH AJJD SIXTH ROUNDERS. THE SACRED " WORD " . . .514 
 
CHAPTER XLVII 
TEACHER AND PUPIL. REQUISITES OF CHELASHIP .... 527 
 
CHAPTER XLVIII 
 
THE HEART OF THE UNIVERSE. THE WAY TO PEACE, BLISS, UNDERSTAND- 
ING, is WITHIN. THE GREAT QUEST : KNOW THYSELF : THE WHOLE 
SECRET OF INITIATION. OUR RESPONSIBILITY : ETHICAL VALUES AND 
THE LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE : HARMONY 535 
 
 
 
PART I 
 
 
 
FUNDAMENTALS OF 
f HE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
PART I 
 
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CHAPTER I 
 
THE SELF : MAN'S INMOST LINK WITH THE UNUTTERABLE. THE 
ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY : TAUGHT IN ALL THE ANCIENT 
RELIGIONS. 
 
. . . neither the collective Host (Demiurgos) , nor any of the working powers 
individually, are proper subjects for divine honors or worship. All are entitled 
to the grateful reverence of Humanity, however, and man ought to be ever 
striving to help the divine evolution of Ideas, by becoming to the best of his 
ability a co-worker with nature in the cyclic task. The ever unknowable and incog- 
nizable Kdrana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine 
and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart invisible, intan- 
gible, unmentioned, save through " the still small voice " of our spiritual con- 
sciousness. 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. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY), I, 280. 
 
FELLOW-STUDENTS of the Ancient Wisdom : 
We stand on holy ground. The Leader's call seems like 
the clarion voice of the Law, of the Ancient Wisdom, which, 
echoing down the ages, rings in our hearts at a moment 
like this, and seems to tell us in accents that we may interpret if 
we have the heart and the soul so to do : " Fideles, surswn cor da : 
Up hearts, ye faithful ones ! " And may we not answer in the 
same spirit which the Leader has shown, has manifested to us 
this evening : " Yea, verily, in the name of Truth, we lift our 
hearts to the shining god within each one of us " ? 
 
We are here this evening in the presence of the agent and the 
representative of the Exalted Men who form the Guardian-Body 
of the Esoteric Philosophy. We must feel called. The hour is a 
solemn one. It is time for us to rise above personality and, face 
to face with ourselves, search our hearts, and endeavor so to 
speak the words which we have learned that, as the Teacher has 
told us, others who have had less chance than ourselves may in 
their turn pass on these truths of the inner life. 
 
In our last two meetings we studied the Three Fundamental 
 
 
 
2 



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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
Postulates or Principles in H. P. Blavatsky's wonderful* work, 
The Secret Doctrine. I remember in particular the Teacher's words 
in comment after the meeting had ended. They struck me as very 
beautiful, profoundly suggestive. She said : 
 
" Thinking towards the unthinkable is a wonderful, spiritual- 
izing force ; one cannot think toward it without a dispcjsition 
either to think more or feel more without opening up the inner 
consciousness of man. And when that inner consciousness is 
awakened, the soul finds itself closer to the infinite laws, closer 
to THAT, or that Great Center that no words can express." 
 
We have endeavored to reach two planes, which we have to 
compare, to reach, by the appeal to the Inmost within ourselves. 
We are taught that there exists in man a link with the Unutter- 
able, a cord, a communication, that extends from It to the inner 
consciousness ; and that link such is the teaching as it has 
come down to us is the very Heart of Being. It arises in that 
super-sensory Principle, that Unutterable Mystery which H. P. 
Blavatsky defines in the first of the Three Fundamental Pro- 
positions as above human mind. Becoming one with that link, 
we can transcend the powers of ordinary human intellect, and 
reach (even if it be by striving out, upward, towards) that Uc- 
utterable, which is though it is beyond human power to express 
it in words, or beyond human thought which is, we know, the 
Concealed of the Concealed, the Life of Life, Truth of Truth, 
the ALL. 
 
Here is the thought, it seems to me, which illustrates so well 
the Teacher's words ; striving toward this inwards, towards the 
Inmost, we can attain to some conception, if not understanding, 
of the Infinite Principle of all that is. From It, in the course of 
endless duration, there spring into manifestation so the teaching 
runs at the end of the great universal or cosmic Pralaya, the 
beginnings of things. These beginnings eventuate in the forms 
of life and being that H. P. Blavatsky describes in the Second 
and Third Fundamental Propositions. 
 
This inmost link with the Unutterable was called in ancient 
India by the term SELF, which has been often mistranslated 
' Soul '. The Sanskrit word is Atman, and applies, in psychology, 
to the human entity. The upper end of the link, so to speak, to 
use human terms, was called Paramatman, or the ' Self Beyond ', 
the permanent SELF words which describe neatly and clearly 
to those who have studied this wonderful philosophy, somewhat 
of the nature and essence of the thing which man is, and the 
source from which, in that beginningless and endless duration, he 
sprang. Child of earth and child of heaven, he contains both in 
himself. 
 
We pass now from considering the First Proposition to the 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 3 
 
Secorfd and the Third. And in order that we may understand 
what we mean when we use certain words, it will be useful to 
illustrate our usages of such words. Let us take up the very 
interesting and remarkably well translated book entitled The 
Song Celestial, the work of Sir Edwin Arnold. It is a translation 
into ipngHsh verse of the Bhagavad-Gitd. That work is an episode 
or an interlude in the Mahdbhdmta, the greater of the two great 
Hindti epics. It is found in the sixth book of the Mahdbhdrata, 
i.e., the ' Great Bharata ' ; and in the style of the Hindti writings 
it comprises a dissertation on religious, philosophical, and mystical 
subjects. It has been several times translated, more or less 
successfully. Possibly the best has been that of our second 
Teacher, William Quan Judge. His work is a recension, rather, 
of a translation by Wilkins, modified by Cockburn, and in turn 
corrected, according to the Esoteric Philosophy, by Mr. Judge. 
Sir Edwin's Song Celestial, in book the second, has the following : 
 
... The soul which is not moved, 
 
The soul that with a strong and constant calm 
 
Takes sorrow and takes joy indifferently, 
 
Lives in the life undying ! That which is 
 
Can never cease to be ; that which is not 
 
Will not exist. To see this truth of both 
 
Is theirs who part essence from accident, 
 
Substance from shadow. Indestructible, 
 
Learn thou ! the Life is, spreading life through all ; 
 
It cannot anywhere, by any means, 
 
Be anywise diminished, stayed, or changed. 
 
But for these fleeting frames which it informs 
 
With spirit deathless, endless, infinite, 
 
They perish. .... 
 
Never the spirit was born ; the spirit shall cease to be never ; 
 
Never was time it was not ; End and Beginning are dreams ! 
 
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for ever ; 
 
Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems ! 
 
Now these words are exquisitely beautiful. They nevertheless 
contain a mistranslation, a misrendering of the text of this 
wonderful little work. In the first place, Sir Edwin translates 
the Sanskrit word TAT, which we explained in our last study, 
first by the word soul and next by the word spirit. Of course, 
analogically, it has a reference to the Soul and the Spirit of Man ; 
but the Sanskrit of it does not point particularly to the Soul of 
Man. I will read a translation in prose, of these same verses, 
made with no attempt at poetic thought, no attempt to use 
beautiful language, but simply to express the thought : 
 
The man whom these do not lead astray, Bull among men ! who 
is the same in pain and pleasure, and of steady soul, he partakes of 
immortality. 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
There is no existence for the unreal ; there is no non-existence for 
the Real. Moreover, the ultimate characteristic of both these is seen 
by those who perceive true principles. 
 
Know THAT to be indestructible by which this whole Universe was 
woven. 
 
The Sanskrit word for That is TAT ; and by that word the 
Vedic Sages described this Unutterable Principle, from which all 
sprang. The figure is that of the weaving of a web. 
 
The destruction of this Imperishable, none is able to bring about. 
 
These mortal bodies are said to be of the imbodied Eternal, Inde- 
structible, Immeasurable One. . . . 
 
He who knows It as the slayer, and he who thinks It to be the slain : 
both of them understand not. It slays not, nor is it slain. 
 
It is not born, nor does it ever die ; It was not produced, nor shall 
it ever be produced. 
 
It is unborn, constant, everlasting, primeval. It is unhurt when 
the body is slain. 
 
The application that the writer in the Bhagavad-Gitd makes, 
is to the link which we have spoken of, the deathless, undying 
principle within us ; and he describes it by the word THAT, and 
contrasts it with the manifested Universe, which, following t^e 
Ancient Teachings of India, was invariably spoken of as THIS : 
the Sanskrit word is ID AM. 
 
The Sages of Olden Times left on record the inner teaching of 
the religions of the peoples among whom they lived. This inner 
teaching was the Esoteric Philosophy, the Theosophy of the 
period. In Hindusthan this Theosophy is found in the Upanishads, 
a part of the Vedic literary cycle. The word itself implies ' Secret 
Doctrine ' or ' Secret Teachings '. From the Upanishads and 
from other parts of the wonderful Vedic literature, the ancient 
sages of India produced what is called to-day the Ved&nta a com- 
pound Sanskrit word meaning ' the End (or Completion) of the 
Veda ', that is to say, instruction in the final and most perfect 
exposition of the meaning of the Vedic tenets. 
 
In Ancient Greece there were various Schools and various 
Mysteries ; and the Theosophy of Ancient Greece was held very 
secret ; it was taught in the Mysteries and it was taught by 
different teachers to select bodies of their disciples. One of such 
great teachers was Pythagoras ; another was Plato ; and this 
Theosophy was more or less clearly outlined and imbodied, after 
the fall of the so-called Pagan religions, in what is to-day called 
the Neo-Platonic philosophy. It represents actually the inner 
teachings of Pythagoras, Plato, and the inner sense of those 
mystical doctrines which passed current in Greece under the name 
of the Orphic poems. 
 
Of the Theosophy of Egypt we have but scanty remainings 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 5 
 
such as exist in what is called ' The Book of the Dead '. Of the 
Theosophy of ancient America, of the Incan, the Mayan, empires 
we have next to nothing. The Theosophy of ancient Europe has 
passed away. All that remains to us is a certain number of 
mystical writings such as the Scandinavian Eddas, and the 
Germanic* books, which are represented, for instance, in the 
Sagas found written in the old High German and in the Anglo- 
Saxon tongues. 
 
A study which anyone can make of the doctrines contained in 
'the Upanishads, in ' The Book of the Dead ', in the Neo-Platonic 
philosophy, in the Scandinavian Eddas, and elsewhere, shows 
that they had one common basis, one foundation, one common 
truth. Various men in various ages at various times taught the 
same truth, using different words and different tropes, different 
figures, different metaphors ; but underneath always was the 
Ancient Doctrine, the Secret Wisdom. 
 
The Theosophy of the Jews was imbodied in what was later 
called the Qabbalah, from a Hebrew word meaning ' to receive ' ; 
that is to say, it was the traditional doctrine handed down, or 
received (according to the statements of the Qabbalah itself) 
through the prophets and the sages of Jewry ; and was said to 
have been first taught by " God Almighty to a select company of 
angels in Heaven ". 
 
We must understand, when we approach the teachings of the 
Ancient Wisdom, that the ancient teachers spoke and thought 
and taught anthropocentrically ; that is, that they all insisted on 
following the psychological laws of the human mind, and there- 
fore taught in human figures of speech, oft using quaint metaphors, 
very odd, and yet so instructive as figures of speech. How wise 
that was ! because they were able to carry on the Ancient Teach- 
ings, and did so in such fashion that least of all did this anthropo- 
centric system encourage the dogmatic rulings that have most 
truly blasted all that was best in the teachings of the Christian 
Church. These tropes, these metaphors, were so quaint that the 
mind understood almost instantly that they were but the vehicle 
imbodying the Truth. Let us remember this, and our work 
becomes immensely more easy. 
 
Now let us take the Qabbalah as a sample of the manner in 
which one Theosophy the Jewish approaches the mystery of 
how the Unmanifest produces the Manifest, how from that which 
is endless and beginningless duration, sprang forth matter, space 
in the sense of material extension, and time. But first let me 
quote from another Sanskrit work, one of the Upanishads, the 
Kena-Upanishad. Speaking of this Unutterable Mystery, it says : 
 
The eye reacheth it not, language reacheth it not, nor does thought 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
reach to it at all ; verily, we know not nor can we say how onff should 
teach it ; it is different from the known, it is beyond the unknown. 
Thus have we heard from the men of olden times, for they taught it 
to us. 
 
The great Sankaracharya, perhaps the most famous of Indian 
commentators on the Upanishads and the marvelously beautiful 
system of philosophy drawn from them called the Veddnta, says, 
commenting on the Aitareya-Upanishad : 
 
There is the One, sole, alone, apart from all duality, in which there 
appear not the multitudinous illusory presentments of unreal bodies 
and conditions of this universe of merely apparent reality ; passion- 
less, unmoving, pure, in utter peace ; knowable only by the lack of 
every adjective epithet ; unreachable by word or by thought. 
 
The Qabbalah is the traditionary teaching of the sages among 
the Jews. It is a wonderful teaching ; it contains in outline or in 
epitome every fundamental tenet or teaching that our own Secret 
Doctrine contains. The teachings of the Qabbalah are often 
couched in very quaint and sometimes amusing language ; some- 
times its language rises to the height of sublimity. What does the 
Z6har t the second of the great books that remain of the Jewish 
Qabbalah (the word ' Zohar ' itself meaning ' Splendor '), have to 
say of the manner in which the Jewish religious books should be 
studied ? It says this (iii, 152 a) : 
 
Woe be to the son of man who says that the Torah [the Hebrew 
Bible, especially the Pentateuch, or rather the first four books of the 
Bible excluding Deuteronomy, the fifth] contains common sayings 
and ordinary narratives. If this were the case we might in the present 
day compose a code of doctrines from profane writings which would 
excite greater respect. If the Law contains ordinary matter, then there 
are nobler sentiments in profane codes. Let us go and make a selection 
from them and we shall be able to compile a far superior code. No ! 
Every word of the Law has a sublime sense and a heavenly mystery. 
... As the spiritual angels had to put on earthly garments when 
they descended to this earth, and as they could neither have remained 
nor be understood on the earth without putting on such a garment, 
so it is with the Law. When it descended on earth, the Law had to 
put on an earthly garment, in order to be understood by us, and the 
narratives are its garment. . . . Those who have understanding do 
not look at the garment but at the body [the esoteric meaning] beneath ; 
whilst the wisest, the servants of the heavenly King, those who dwell 
on Mount Sinai, look at nothing but the soul, 
 
i.e., at the ultimate Secret Doctrine or sacred wisdom hid under 
the ' body ', under the exoteric narratives or stories of the Bible. 
 
In these days, when Modernists and Fundamentalists quarrel 
quarrel unnecessarily, quarrel about exoteric superficialities, 
quarrel about things which arise out of the egoism of men, quarrel 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 7 
 
about Ihe dogmatic teachings of the Christian Church, every one 
of them probably based on ancient Pagan Esoteric Philosophy 
it is an immense pity that they do not know and understand that 
this teaching of the Qabbalah as expressed in the Zohar is a 
true one ; it is the teaching of our three Leaders and Teachers ; 
for under every garment is the life. As Jesus taught in parables, 
so the Bible was written in tropes, in figures of speech, in 
metaphors. 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER II 
 
WHERE IS REALITY ? TRUTH CAN BE KNOWN. MAN'S COMPOSITE 
NATURE ACCORDING TO DIFFERENT SYSTEMS : THREEFOLD, 
FOURFOLD, FIVEFOLD, OR SEVENFOLD. 
 
The fundamental Law in that system [i.e., the Esoteric Philosophy], the central 
point from which all emerged, around and toward which all gravitates, and upon 
which is hung the philosophy of the rest, is the One homogeneous divine SUB- 
STANCE-PRINCIPLE, the one radical cause. 
 
..." Some few, whose lamps shone brighter, have been led, 
From cause to cause to nature's secret head, 
And found that one first Principle must be . . ." 
 
It is called " Substance-Principle," for it becomes " substance " on the plane 
of the manifested Universe, an illusion, while it remains a " principle " in the 
beginningless and endless abstract, visible and invisible SPACE. It is the omni- 
present Reality : impersonal, because it contains all and everything. Its 
impersonality is the fundamental conception of the System. It is latent in every 
atom in the Universe, and is the Universe itself. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY), I, 273. 
 
It is the True. It is the Self, and thou art It. 
 
Chhdndogya- Upanishad. 
 
The Tao which can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao ; the name 
which can be uttered is not its eternal name. Without a name, it is the Beginning 
of Heaven and Earth ; with a name, it is the Mother of all things. Only one 
who is eternally free from earthly passions can apprehend its spiritual essence ; 
he who is ever clogged by passions can see no more than its outer form. These 
two things, the spiritual and the material, though we call them by different 
names, in their origin are one and the same. This sameness is a mystery the 
mystery of mysteries. It is the gate of all spirituality. 
 
The Sayings of Lao Tzti (LIONEL GILES, Trans.). 
 
 
 
W 
 
 
 
E open Volume I of H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine 
this evening at page 13, and we read the second 
paragraph, which is as follows : 
 
 
 
The reader has to bear in mind that the Stanzas given treat only 
of the Cosmogony of our own planetary System and what is visible 
around it, after a Solar Pralaya. The secret teachings with regard to 
the Evolution of the Universal Kosmos cannot be given, since they 
could not be understood by the highest minds in this age, and there 
seem to be very few Initiates, even among the greatest, who are 
allowed to speculate upon this subject. Moreover the Teachers say 
openly that not even the highest Dhy&ni-Chohans have ever pene- 
trated the mysteries beyond those boundaries that separate the 
milliards of Solar systems from the " Central Sun/ 1 as it is called. 
Therefore, that which is given relates only to our visible Kosmos, 
after a " Night of Brahma/' 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 9 
 
We*choose this as the general text of our study this even- 
ing. Following the Teacher's instructions, as we understand 
them, it seems not only appropriate but necessary to open our 
study of the more secret matters of which The Secret Doctrine 
treats, by asking in what manner or by what method do we obtain 
an understanding and a realization of these doctrines ? Do they 
come to us as dogmatic teachings, or are they derived, following 
the definition that Webster gives of Theosophy in his dictionary, 
by inner spiritual communion with ' God ' ? There is something 
in Webster's definition which is true. The Theosophist does 
believe that he has within himself the faculty of approaching 
divine things, of raising the inner man so that he can thereby 
obtain a more accurate mental representation of things as they 
are, or of Reality. 
 
But on the other hand, if everyone did this, without proper and 
capable guidance and leading and teaching, extreme vanity and 
human conceit as well as many other forces in the human economy, 
would inevitably lead to an immense diversity of opinions and 
teachings and doctrines, each man believing that he had the 
truth and he only, and hence that those who followed him and 
preached his views should form with him a special ' church ' or 
' sect ' of their own. The words themselves would probably be 
avoided, but it would amount to that. 
 
Therefore, here we find the use, the benefit, the appositeness, of 
the Theosophical doctrines which our Teachers have given to us, 
to the effect that these teachings have come down to us from 
immemorial antiquity transmitted from one Teacher to another 
and that originally they were communicated to the nascent 
human race, when once it became self-conscious, by Beings from 
a higher sphere Beings who themselves were of divine origin ; 
and further, that this communication or emanation of their 
spiritual and higher intellectual selves into us, gave us our own 
higher principles. For the Teachers have told us that these 
doctrines have been checked or proved age after age, generation 
after generation, by innumerable spiritual seers, to use Helena 
Petrovna Blavatsky's own words checked in every respect, 
checked as to fact, checked as to origin, checked as to operation 
on the human mind. 
 
Now then, as the older students of this School many of whom 
are here present know well, the faculties by which man can 
attain a knowledge of truth, of the Real, can be called upon or 
evoked at any moment in any place, provided the right conditions 
are made, so that the striving soul may thus reach successfully 
upward or inward, and know. Sometimes, in the most simple 
teachings are found the most divine truths. And why ? Because 
the simple teachings are the fundamental ones. 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
Consider for a moment, therefore, the seven principles 8f man, 
in their connexion with the seven principles of the universe. The 
seven principles of man are a likeness or copy of the seven cosmic 
principles. They are actually the offspring of the seven cosmic 
principles, limited in their action in us by the workings of the 
Law of Karman, but running in their origin back "into That 
which is beyond : into that which is the Essence of the universe 
or the Universal ; in, beyond, within, to the Unmanifest, to the 
Unmanifestable, to that first Principle which Helena Petrovna 
Blavatsky enunciates as the leading thought of the Wisdom- 
Philosophy of The Secret Doctrine. 
 
These principles of man are reckoned as seven in the philosophy 
by which the human, spiritual, and psychical economy has been 
explained to us in the present age. In other ages these principles, 
or parts, of man were differently reckoned the Christian reckons 
them as Body, Soul, and Spirit, and does not know the difference 
between the soul and the spirit : he thinks there must be a 
difference but does not know what it is ; and many say that the 
soul and spirit are the same. 
 
Some of the Indian thinkers divided man into a basic fourfold 
entity, others into a fivefold. The Jewish philosophy, as found in 
the Qabbalah which is the esoteric tradition of the Jews, teaches 
that man is divided into four parts : 
 
1. The highest and most spiritual of all, that principle or art 
which is to us a mere breath of being, they called Neshdmdh. 
 
2. The second principle was called Ruahh or Spiritual Soul, 
spelled sometimes Ruach according to another method of trans- 
literation. 
 
3. The Astral Soul (or Vital Soul) was called Nefesh, the third 
next lower, which man has in common with the brutes. 
 
4. Then comes the Guf or physical vehicle, the house in which 
all these others dwell. 
 
Over all, and higher than all, higher than the Neshdmdh 
which is not an emanation of this Highest, not a creation, not an 
evolution, but of which it was the production in a sense which we 
shall later have to explain there is the Ineffable, the Boundless, 
called Ain Suf. 
 
The Sanskrit terms which have been given by our Teachers to 
the seven principles of man in our own Theosophical Philosophy, 
are as follows, and we can get much help from explaining the 
original Sanskrit meanings of them, and illustrating the sense in 
which those words were used, and why they were chosen. 
 
I. Sthula means coarse, gross, not refined, heavy, bulky, fat in 
the sense of bigness. Sartra comes from a root which can best be 
translated by saying that it is that which is easily dissolved, easily 
worn away ; the idea being something transitory, foam-like, full 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY ri 
 
of holes, as it were. Note the meaning hid in this : it is very im- 
portant. 
 
2. The second principle let us call the Linga-Sartra. Linga is 
a Sanskrit word which means characteristic mark ; hence model, 
pattern. It, as we all know, forms the model or pattern on which 
the physical body is built this physical body, composed mostly 
of porosity, if the expression be pardoned ; the most unreal thing 
we know, full of holes, foamy as it were. We will revert to this 
thought later. 
 
3. The third principle, commonly called the Life-Principle, is 
Prdna. Now this word is used here by our Philosophy in a general 
sense. There are, as a matter of fact, a number of life-currents, 
vital fluids. They have several names. One system gives the 
number as three ; another as five, which is the commonly accepted 
number ; another as seven ; another twelve, as is found in some 
Upanishads ; and one old writer even gives them as thirteen. 
 
4. Then there is the Kama-principle ; the word kdma means 
desire. It is the driving or impelling force in the human economy ; 
colorless, neither good nor bad, only such as the mind and soul 
direct its use. 
 
5. Then comes Manas ; the Sanskrit root of this word means to 
think, to cogitate, to reflect mental activity, in short. 
 
6. Then comes Buddhi, or the Spiritual Soul, the vehicle or 
carrier of the highest principle of all, the Atman. Now Buddhi 
comes from a Sanskrit root budh. This root is commonly trans- 
lated, to enlighten, but a better translation is to awaken and, hence, 
to understand ; Buddha, the past participle of this root is applied 
to one who is spiritually awakened, no longer living a living death, 
but awakened to the spiritual influence from within or from 
' above ' 9 Buddhi is the principle in us which gives us spiritual 
consciousness, and is the^ vehicle of the most high part of man. 
This highest part is the Atman. 
 
7. This principle (Atman) is a universal one ; but during in- 
carnations its lowest parts, if we can so express it, take on attri- 
butes, because it is linked with the Buddhi as the Buddhi is 
linked with the Manas, as the Manas is linked to the Kama, and 
so on down the scale. 
 
Atman is also sometimes used of the Universal Self or Spirit 
which is called in the Sanskrit writings Brahman (neuter), and the 
Brahman or Universal Spirit is also called the Paramatman, a 
compound Sanskrit term meaning the highest or most universal 
Atman. The root of Atman is hardly known. Its origin is un- 
certain, but the general meaning is that of self. 
 
Beyond Brahman is the Para-Brahman. Para is a Sanskrit 
word meaning beyond. Note the deep philosophical meaning of 
this; there is no attempt here to limit the Illimitable, the 
 
 
 
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Ineffable, by adjectives ; it simply means beyond the Br&hman. 
In the Sanskrit Vedas and in the works deriving therefrom and 
belonging to the Vedic literary cycle, this beyond is called That, 
as this world of manifestation is called This. Other very expres- 
sive terms are Sat, the Real ; and A sat, the Unreal or the mani- 
fested universe ; in another sense Asat means ' not Sat 4 ', i.e., even 
beyond (higher than) Sat. 
 
Now this Para-Brahman is intimately connected with Mula- 
prakriti a word we shall explain in a moment. Their interaction 
and intermingling cause the first nebulous thrilling, if the words 
will pass, of the Universal Life when spiritual desire first arose 
in it in the beginnings of things. Such is the old teaching, employ- 
ing of necessity the old anthropocentric tropes, clearly understood 
to be only human metaphors, human similes ; for the conceptions 
of the Seers of ancient times, their teachings, their doctrines, had 
to be told in human language to the human mind. 
 
Now then, a man can reach inward, going ' upward ' step by 
step, climbing higher as his spiritual force and power wax greater 
and more subtil, until he reaches beyond his normal faculties, 
and steps beyond the ' Ring Pass Not ', as Helena Petrovna Blavat- 
sky calls it in her Secret Doctrine. Where and what is this ' Ring 
Pass Not ' ? It is, at any period of man's consciousness, the 
utmost reach that his spirit can attain. There he stops, and looks 
into the Beyond into the Unmanifested from which we came. 
The Unmanifest is in us ; it is the Inmost of the inmost in our 
souls, in our spirits, in our essential beings. We can reach towards 
it. We can actually reach it never. 
 
Now, where is Reality ? Is the Real, is the True, to be found in 
these lower vestures of materiality ? Or is it to be found in the 
State of Being from which everything came ? 
 
The ancient Stoics in their really wonderful philosophy taught, 
and the same teaching originated in the esoteric philosophy of 
Hellas or Greece as found later in the Neo-Platonic teachings 
these ancient Stoics taught that Truth can be known ; that the 
most real thing, the greatest thing, was to be found in ever- 
receding vistas, as the Spirit of man strived inward, ^nd beyond, 
veil after veil falling away as the Wise Man (their technical term) 
advances in the evolution of his soul. They taught that the 
material universe was illusory precisely as our Teachers tell us of 
the Maya ; and the Stoic understood (and this teaching is our 
own) that this apparently dense, gross, heavy, material universe 
is phenomenally unreal, mostly built up of holes, so to say a 
teaching which is beginning to be re-echoed even to-day in the 
writings and thoughts of the more intuitional of our scientists. 
 
The Stoics taught that the ether was denser than the most dense 
material thing, fuller than the most full material thing using 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 13 
 
humar^ words, of course. To us, with our human eyes, trained 
only to see objects of illusion, it appears to be the most diaphanous, 
the thinnest, the most ethereal. What was the Reality, the Real, 
behind this All ? The real thing ? They said it was God, Life of 
Life, Truth of Truth, Root of Matter, Root of Soul, Root of Spirit. 
When the Stoic was asked : What is God ? he nobly answered l 
What is God not ? 
 
Turning now to the Ancient Wisdom of Hindusthan, to the 
Ufianishads, let us take from the Chhdndogya-Upanishad, mainly 
in the sixth lecture, a conversation between a father and his son. 
Hearken to the Ancient Wisdom, going back far beyond the time 
when the ancient Brahmanic teachings and the Brahmanas became 
what they are today to the time when real men taught real 
things. The son asks : 
 
" If a man who has slept in his own house, rises and goes to another 
village, he knows that he has come from his own house. Why then do 
people not know that they have come from the Sat ? " [A Sanskrit 
word meaning the Real, the Ineffable of which we have spoken.] 
 
And the father teaches his son as follows : 
 
" These rivers, my son, run, the eastern towards the east, the 
western towards the west. They go from sea to sea. They become 
indeed sea. And as those rivers, when they are in the sea, do not 
know, I am this or that river, 
 
" In the same manner, my son, all these creatures, when they have 
come from the True [that is the Real] know not that they have come 
from the True [on account of the Maya], Whatever these creatures 
are here, whether a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge, 
or a gnat, or a mosquito, that they become again and again." 
 
Now listen : 
 
" That which is that subtil essence, in it all that exists has its self. 
It is the True, It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it." " Please, 
Sir, inform me still more," said the son. " Be it so, my child," the 
father replied. 
 
Now the son is supposed to ask, " How is it that living beings, 
when in sleep or death they are merged again in the Sat [that is, 
the Real], are not destroyed ? Waves, foam, and bubbles arise 
from the water, and when they merge again in the water, they are 
gone/' 
 
" If someone were to strike at the root of this large tree, here," 
says the father, " it would bleed, but live. If he were to strike at its 
stem, it would bleed, but live. If he were to strike at its top, it would 
bleed, but live. Pervaded by the living Self that tree stands firm, 
drinking in its nourishment and rejoicing ; 
 
 
 
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? But if the life (the living Self) leaves one of its branches, that 
branch withers ; if it leaves a second, that branch withers ; if it 
leaves a third, that branch withers. If it leaves the whole tree, the 
whole tree withers. In exactly the same manner, my son, know this." 
Thus he spoke : 
 
" This (body) indeed withers and dies when the living self has left 
it ; the living Self dies not. That which is that subtil essence, in it 
all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, 
O Svetaketu, art it." 
 
" Please, Sir, inform me still more," said the son. " Be it so, my 
child I " the father replied. " Fetch me from thence a fruit of the 
Nyagrodha tree." " Here is one, Sir." " Break it." " It is broken, 
Sir." " What do you see there ? " " These seeds, almost infinitesimal." 
" Break one of them." " It is broken, Sir." " What do you see there ? " 
" Not anything, Sir." The father said : " My son, that subtil essence 
which you do not perceive there, of that very essence this great 
Nyagrodha tree exists. Believe it, my son. That which is the subtil 
essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, 
and thou, Svetaketu, art it." " Please, Sir, inform me still more," 
said the son. " Be it so, my child," the father replied. 
 
" Place this salt in water, and then wait on me in the morning." 
The son did as he was commanded. The father said to him : " Bring 
me the salt, which you placed in the water last night." The son having 
looked for it, found it not, for, of course, it was melted. The father, 
said : " Taste it from the surface of the water. How is it ? " The 
son replied : " It is salt." " Taste it from the middle. How is it ? " 
The son replied : "It is salt." " Taste it from the bottom, how is 
it ? " The son replied : " It is salt." The father said : " Throw it 
away and then wait on me." He did so ; but salt exists for ever. 
Then the father said : " Here also, in this body, forsooth, you do not 
perceive the True [Sat], my son ; but there indeed it is. 
 
" That which is the subtil essence [that is, the saltiness of the salt], 
in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, 
O Svetaketu, art it." " Please Sir, inform me still more," said the 
son. " Be it so, my child," the father replied. (Translation by Max 
Miiller). 
 
Let us turn to another part of this Upanishad, to the eighth 
lecture. And we read as follows : " Harih, Om." Hari is the 
name of several Deities of Siva, and Vishnu, but here, appar- 
ently, it is used for Siva, which, as our first Teacher has taught 
us, is pre-eminently the divine protector of the mystic occultist, 
' Om ' is a word considered very holy in the Brahmanical litera- 
ture. It is a syllable of invocation, and its general usage, as 
elucidated in the literature treating of it, which is rather volumin- 
ous, for this word ' Om ' has attained to almost divinity, is that 
it should never be uttered aloud, or in the presence of an out- 
sider, a foreigner, or a non-Initiate, but it should be uttered in 
the silence of one's heart, in the intimacy of one's inner closet. 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 15 
 
 
 
We a^ have reason to believe, however, that it was uttered, and 
uttered aloud in a monotone by the disciples in the presence of 
their Teacher. This word is always placed at the beginning of 
any scripture that is considered of unusual sanctity. 
 
The teaching is, that prolonging the uttering of this word, both 
of the and the Af, with the mouth closed (precisely as the 
Teacher has taught us to do it in this School), it re-echoes in and 
arouses vibration in the skull, and affects, if the aspirations be 
pure, the different nervous centers of the body for great good. 
 
The Brahmanas say that it is an unholy thing to utter this 
word in any place which is unholy. I now read : 
 
There is this city of Brahman [that is, the heart and the body], 
and in it the palace, the small lotus (of the heart), and in it that small 
ether. 
 
The Sanskrit word which Miiller, the translator, has not given 
here for ' small ether ', doubtless because he knew not how to 
translate it, is antardkdta, a compound Sanskrit word meaning 
within the Akdia. He called it ' small ether ', doubtless because he 
knew not how to translate it too difficult. I read again : 
 
Now what exists within that small ether, that it is to be sought for, 
that is to be understood. And if they should say to him : " Now 
with regard to that city of Brahman, and the palace in it, i.e., the 
small lotus of the heart, and the small ether within the heart, what 
is there within it that deserves to be sought for, or that is to be under- 
stood ? " 
 
Then he should say : " As large as this ether (all space) is, so large 
is that ether within the heart. Both heaven and earth are contained 
within it, both fire and air, both sun and moon, both lightning and 
stars ; and whatever there is of him (the Self) here in the world, and 
whatever is not [i.e., ' whatever has been or will be ' says Max Miiller], 
all that is contained within it." 
 
And if they should say to him : "If everything that exists is con- 
tained in that city of Brahman, all beings and all desires (whatever 
can be imagined or desired), then what is left of it, when old age 
reaches it and scatters it, or when it falls to pieces ? " 
 
Then he should say : " By the old age of the body, that (the ether, 
or Brahman within it) does not age ; by the death of the body, that 
(the ether, or the Brahman within it) is not killed. That (the Brahman) 
is the true Brahma-city (not the body). In it all [true] desires are 
contained. It is the Self, free from sin, free from old age, from death 
and grief, from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing but what it 
ought to desire, and imagines nothing but what it ought to imagine. 
Now as here on earth people follow as they are commanded, and 
depend on the object which they are attached to, be it a country or 
a piece of land, 
 
" And, as here on earth, whatever has been acquired by exertion, 
perishes, so perishes whatever is acquired for the next world by 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
sacrifices and other good actions performed on earth. THbse who 
depart from hence without having discovered the Self and those 
true desires, for them there is no freedom in all the worlds. But 
those who depart from hence, after having discovered the Self and 
those true desires, for them there is freedom in all the worlds." 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER III 
 
THE DOCTRINE OF MAYA : OBJECTIVE IDEALISM THE BASIS OF 
MORALS : ROOTED IN THE SPIRITUAL UNITY THE DIVINITY 
OF THE ALL. THE SELF AND THE " SELVES ". 
 
May& or illusion is an element which enters into all finite things, for everything 
that exists has only a relative, not an absolute, reality, since the appearance 
which the hidden noumenon assumes for any observer depends upon his power 
of cognition. To the untrained eye of the savage, a painting is at first an unmean- 
ing confusion of streaks and daubs of color, while an educated eye sees instantly 
a face or a landscape. Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute 
existence which contains in itself the noumena of all realities. The existences 
belonging to every plane of being, up to the highest Dhyan-Chohans, are, in 
degree, of the nature of shadows cast by a magic lantern on a colorless screen ; 
but all things are relatively real, for the cogniser is also a reflection, and the 
things cognised are therefore as real to him as himself. Whatever reality things 
possess must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash 
through the material world ; but we cannot cognise any such existence directly, 
so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into 
the field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting 
in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our 
only realities. As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during 
the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and 
the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each 
advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached " reality " ; 
but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our 
own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY), I, 39, 40. 
 
The Universe is called, with everything in it, MAYA, because all is temporary 
therein, from the ephemeral life of a fire-fly to that of the Sun. Compared to 
the eternal immutability of the ONE, and the changelessness of that Principle, the 
Universe, with its evanescent ever-changing forms, must be necessarily, in the 
mind of a philosopher, no better than a will-o'-the-wisp. Yet, the Universe is 
real enough to the conscious beings in it, which are as unreal as it is itself. 
 
Ibid., I, 274. 
 
IN taking up again this evening our study of The Secret 
Doctrine at the point we reached a fortnight ago, I open 
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's book, the first volume, at 
page 17, and read the third fundamental postulate at least 
a portion of it : 
 
The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, 
the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root ; and the obli- 
gatory pilgrimage for every Soul a spark of the former through the 
Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity ") in accordance with Cyclic and 
Karmic law, during the whole term. In other words, no purely 
spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul) can have an independent (conscious) 
existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of the 
Universal Sixth principle or the OVER-SOUL has (a) passed through 
 
17 
 
 
 
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every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, 
and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by 
self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus 
ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to 
the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel 
(Dhyani-Buddha). 
 
Paul, the Apostle of the Christians " to the Gentiles ", as they 
call him, according to the Christian Gospels in Acts, xvii, verses 
2^-28, spoke to an assembly of the Athenians on Mars Hill, com- 
monly called the Areopagus, and he said the following (the transla- 
tion being ours) : 
 
For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with 
this inscription : " To the Unknowable God." For in It we live and 
move and have our being, as certain also of your own poets have said, 
" For we are also of Its line. 1 ' 
 
The poets of whom Paul speaks were probably Cleanthes the 
Stoic, and Aratus. It is perhaps well to mention that the sense 
of ' Unknowable ', as used in connexion with this word Agnosias, 
is that employed by Homer, by Plato, and by Aristotle* This 
Greek word Agnostos also permits the translation 'unknown', 
but merely because the Unknown in this connexion is the 
Unknowable. 
 
The Athenians had raised an altar to the Ineffable, and with 
the true spirit of religious devotion they left it without further 
qualification ; and Paul, passing by and seeing it, thought he 
saw an excellent chance to ' make hay while the sun shone ', so 
to say, and claimed the Unknowable to which this altar had 
been raised, as the Jewish God, Jehovah. 
 
A fortnight ago, following the Teacher's instructions, we stated 
how it was that man could form some conception of that Ineffable 
Principle of which Helena Petrovna Blavatsky speaks on pages 
14-19 of her Secret Doctrine, as being the first of the three funda- 
mental postulates, necessary in order to understand the true 
teachings of the Esoteric Wisdom ; and we saw that man has in 
himself, as was then said, a faculty transcending the ordinary 
human intellectual power something in Jbdm by which he can 
raise himself upwards or, perhaps better, inwards, towards the 
Inmost Center of his own being, which in very truth is that 
Ineffable : from It we came, back to It we are journeying through 
the aeons of time. 
 
All the ancient philosophers taught the truth concerning this 
same fundamental principle, each in his own way, each with 
different terms, each in the language of the country where it was 
promulgated, but always there was taught the central truth : 
that in the inmost being of man there lives a divinity, and this 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 19 
 
divinity is the offspring of the Highest, and that man can becdme 
a God in the flesh or he can sink as the Teacher's words have 
told us this evening lower even than the common average of 
humanity, so that he becomes at first obsessed or beset, and 
finally possessed by the daemons of his own lower nature and 
by those df the lower sphere ; and by these particular daemons 
we mean the elemental forces of life, of chaotic life, or of the 
material sphere of being. 
 
Again, how is it that man cannot see these truths intimately and 
immediately ? We all know the answer is, on account of the 
illusion under which his mind labors, the illusion which is a part 
of himself, not cast upon him from the outside : he sees, for 
instance, and his mind reacts to the vision, and the reaction is 
conducted along the lines of the illusion, which, taking the ancient 
Sanskrit word, our first Teacher has called Maya. 
 
This is a technical term in the ancient Brahmanical philosophy. 
Let us examine its root. What does the word Maya come from ? 
It comes from a Sanskrit root md ; the meaning of ma is to 
measure, and by a trope of speech that is by a figure of speech 
it comes to mean to effect, or to form, and hence to limit. There is 
an English word mete, meaning to measure out, from the same 
Indo-European root. It is found in the Anglo-Saxon as the root 
met, it is found in the Greek as med, and it is found in the Latin 
also in the same form. 
 
Now Maya, as a technical term, has come to mean ages ago 
in the wonderful Brahmanical philosophy it was understood very 
differently from what it is now usually understood to be the 
fabrication by man's mind of ideas derived from interior and 
exterior impressions, and hence the illusory aspect of man's 
thoughts as he considers and tries to interpret and understand 
life and his surroundings and thence was derived the sense 
which it technically bears, illusion. It does not mean that the 
exterior world is non-existent ; if it were, it obviously could not 
be illusory ; it exists, but ^'s not. It is ' measured out ' or it 
stands out to the human spirit as a mirage. In other words, we 
do not see clearly and plainly and in their reality the vision and 
the visions which our mind and senses present to the inner life 
and eye. 
 
The familiar illustrations of Maya in the Vedanta, which is the 
highest form that the Brahmanical teachings have taken, and 
which is so near to our own teaching in many respects, were such 
as follows : A man at eventide sees a coiled rope on the ground, 
and springs aside, thinking it a serpent. The rope is there, but 
no serpent. 
 
Another illustration is what is called the ' horns of the hare '. 
Now the animal called the hare has no horns, but when it also 
 
 
 
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is seen at eventide its long ears seem to project from its head in 
such fashion that it appears even to the seeing eye as being a 
creature with horns. The hare has no horns, but there is then 
in the mind an illusory belief that an animal with horns exists 
there. 
 
That is what Maya means: not that a thing seen does not 
exist, but that we are blinded and our mind perverted by our 
own thoughts and our own imperfections, and do not as yet 
arrive at the real interpretation and meaning of the world, of the 
universe around us. By ascending inwardly, by rising up, by 
inner aspiration, by an elevation of soul, we can reach upwards 
or rather inwards toward that plane where Truth abides in 
fullness. 
 
Bernard of Clairvaux, the French mystic of the Middle Ages, 
said that one way of doing this, and he spoke truly, was by 
' emptying the mind ', pouring out the trashy stuff it contains, 
the illusory beliefs, the false views, the hatreds, suspicions, care- 
lessness, etc., and that by emptying out all this trash, the temple 
within is cleansed, and the light from the God within streams 
forth into the soul a wonderful figure of thought for a Christian 
Mystic, but a true one. 
 
It may be asked : What relationship has our wonderful philo- 
sophy to the many so-called idealistic systems of Europe, par- 
ticularly in Germany, and represented by Bishop Berkeley in 
Britain ? The answer is that there are points of contact, naturally, 
because the men who evolved these systems of philosophy were 
earnest men, and no man can earnestly think and strive upwards 
without arriving at some visions of truth, some faint perceptions 
of the inner life but none of the systems of idealism which they 
taught is exactly the idealism ; which Theosophy is. Theosophy is 
not an absolute idealism, it does not teach that the external 
universe is absolutely non-existent and that all external phe- 
nomena merely exist in the mind. 
 
Theosophy is not exactly either the idealism of Kant nor the 
wonderful pessimistic idealism of Schopenhauer wonderful as 
this great thinker was, and wonderful precisely because he 
derived his knowledge (and confessed it openly) from the Orient. 
The idealism of Theosophy is nearest to the philosophy of the 
German philosopher, von Schelling, who taught (principally) that 
truth was to be perceived by receding inwards and taking it from 
the Spirit, and that the outward world is ' dead mind ' or perhaps 
rather inert mind not the mind of the thinker obviously, but 
the mind of the Deity. Now thi is called ' objective idealism ' 
because it recognises the external object as having existence : 
it is not non-existent, as absolute idealism would put it. Schell- 
ing's ideas come nearest but by no means equal the grandiose 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 21 
 
teaching which our great Teachers have taught us is the 
Truth. 
 
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky says on page 631 of the first volume 
of The Secret Doctrine : 
 
Esoteric ^philosophy, teaching an objective Idealism though it 
regards the objective Universe and all in it as Mdyd, temporary 
illusion draws a practical distinction between collective illusion, 
Mahdmdyd, from the purely metaphysical standpoint, and the objec- 
tive relations in it between various conscious Egos so long as this 
illusion lasts. 
 
The teaching, as all older students of the Esoteric School know 
and I believe that many of them are here present this evening 
is that Maya is thus called from the action of Mtilaprakriti, or 
root-nature, the co-ordinate principle of that other line of co- 
active consciousness which we call Parabrahman. We remember 
that we discussed these questions at our former meeting, and we 
say that from the moment when manifestation begins, it acts 
dualistically, that is to say, that everything in Nature from that 
point onwards is crossed by pairs of opposites, such as long and 
short, high and low, night and day, good and evil, consciousness 
and non-consciousness, etc., and that all these things are essen- 
tially mayic or illusory real while they last, but the lasting is 
not eternal. It is through and by these pairs of opposites that 
the self-conscious soul learns Truth. 
 
What is the basis of morals ? This is the most important ques- 
tion that can be asked of any system of thought. Is morality 
based on the dicta of man ? Is morality based on the conviction 
in most men's hearts that for human safety it is necessary to have 
certain abstract rules which it is merely convenient to follow ? 
Are we mere opportunists ? or is morality, ethics, based on Truth, 
which it is not merely expedient for man to follow, but needful, 
necessary ? Surely upon the latter ! 
 
And in the third Fundamental Postulate which we read at the 
opening of our study this evening, we find, as was before said, the 
very elements, the very fundamentals, of a system of morality 
greater than which, profounder than which, more persuasive than 
which, perhaps, it would be impossible to imagine anything. 
 
On what, then, is morality based ? And by morality I mean not 
merely the opinion which some pseudo-philosophers have, that 
morality is more or less that which is ' good for the community ', 
based on the mere meaning of the Latin word mores, ' good cus- 
toms ', as opposed to bad. No ! morality is that instinctive hunger 
of the human heart to do righteousness, to do good to every man 
because it is good and satisfying and ennobling to do so. 
 
When man realizes that he is one with all that is, inwards and 
outwards, high and low ; that he is one with them, not merely 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
as members of a community are one, not merely as individuals 
of an army are one, but like the molecules of our own flesh, like 
the atoms of the molecule, like the electrons of the atom, com- 
posing one unity not a mere union but a spiritual unity then he 
sees Truth. 
 
Everyone of us belongs to, and is an inhering part of, that 
Sublime and Ineffable Mystery the ALL which contains and 
is individual and spiritual unity. 
 
We have all of us one inward universal Self, and each one has 
also his individual ego. The ego springs from the Self and the 
Self is the Ineffable, the Inmost of the Inmost, one in all of us 
giving each one of us that sense of selfhood ; although by exten- 
sion of meaning we also speak, and properly speak, of the ' lower 
self ', because this is a tiny ray from the Highest. Even the evil 
man, as our present great Teacher has taught us, has in himself 
not merely the spark of the divine, but the very ray of divinity 
itself : he is both the selfish ego and the Universal Self. 
 
Why then are we taught that when we attain selflessness, we 
attain the Divine ? Precisely because selflessness is the attribute 
of the Paramatman, the Universal Self, where all personality 
vanishes. Paramatman is a Sanskrit compound, meaning highest 
or supreme self. 
 
If we examine our own spirits, if we reach inwards, if we stretch 
ourselves inwards, as it were, towards the Inmost, every one of us 
may know that as he goes farther, farther, farther in, the self 
becomes selfless, the light becomes pure glory. 
 
What a thought, that in the heart of each one of us there 
dwells, there lives, the Ever-Unfolding, the Constant, the Eternal, 
the Changeless, knowing no death, knowing no sorrow, the very 
divinity of all ! How it dignifies human life ! What courage does 
it give to us ! How does it clear away all of the old moldy super- 
stitions 1 What unspeakable visions of Reality, of the Truth, do 
we obtain when we go inwards, after having emptied the mind, 
as Bernard says, of all the mental trash that encumbers it 1 
 
These are the doctrines of our Teachers ; our present Outer 
Head is telling us it daily, hinting at it in this way and in that 
way, using these words and those words, taking the opportunity 
on every occasion that presents itself to awaken us, to instil these 
eternal truths into us. 
 
When man has reached the state where he realizes this and has 
so ' emptied his mind ' that it is filled only with the Self Itself, 
with the selfless selfhood of the Eternal what did the ancients 
call this state ? What did they call such a man himself ? They 
called the state, ' Bodhi ' ; and they called the human, ' Buddha ' ; 
and the organ in and by which it was manifested, 'Buddhi'. 
All these words came from a Sanskrit root, meaning to awaken. 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 23 
 
When rflan has awakened from the living death in which we live, 
when he has cast off the toils of mind and flesh and, to use the old 
Christian term, has put on the ' garments of eternity ', then he has 
awakened, he is a Buddha. And the ancient Brahmanical teachings, 
found today even in the Vedanta, state that he has become one 
with not * absorbed ' as is constantly translated but has become 
one with the Self of selves, with the Paramatman, the Supreme 
Self. 
 
Hearken a moment to the wisdom of the ancient Orient, not the 
voice of modern Brahmanism (excepting the Vedanta) but to a 
book which was ancient before our ancestors knew anything 
higher than the quasi-barbaric ideas which Europe had two 
thousand years ago. 
 
We read from the Chhdndogya-Upanishad, one of the most 
important of the 108 or more Upanishads. The very word 
'Upanishad' signifies 'Esoteric treatise'. We read from the 
eighth lecture, seventh, eighth, and ninth sections. They con- 
tain such truth that the Teacher has permitted us to take up our 
time in reading it. 
 
" Prajapati said " we interrupt by saying that Prajapati is a 
Sanskrit word meaning governor or lord or master of progeny. 
The word is applied to many of the Vedic gods, but in particular 
to Brahma that is to say the third step from Parabrahman the 
evolver-creator, the first and most recondite figure of the triad 
consisting of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. Brahma is the Emanator 
or Evolver, Vishnu the Sustainer or Preserver, and Siva, which 
may be translated euphemistically perhaps as ' beneficent ', the 
Regenerator. This name is very obscure. However : 
 
Praj^pati said : " The Self which is free from sin, free from old age, 
from death and grief, from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing 
but what it ought to desire, and imagines nothing but what it ought 
to imagine, that it is which we must search out, that it is which we 
must try to understand. He who has searched out that Self and 
understands it, obtains all worlds and all desires. 11 
 
We interrupt to ask why ? Because this Self of selves, this 
Inmost, is all worlds : it is All, it is Everything. Now to quote : 
 
The Devas [gods] and Asuras [demons] both heard these words, 
and said : " Well, let us search for that Self by which, if one has 
searched it out, all worlds and all desires are obtained/ 1 
 
Thus saying Indra went from the Devas, Virochana from the Asuras, 
and both, without having communicated with each other, approached 
Praj^pati, holding fuel in their hands, as is the custom for pupils 
approaching their master. 
 
They dwelt there as pupils for thirty-two years. Then 
asked them : " For what purpose have you dwelt here ? " 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
They replied: " A saying of yours is being repeated, Viz. 'the 
Self which is free from sin, free from old age, from death and grief, 
from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing but what it ought to 
desire, and imagines nothing but what it ought to imagine, that it is 
which we must search out, that it is which we must try to understand. 
He who has searched out that Self and understands it,, obtains all 
worlds and all desires/ Now we both have dwelt here because we 
wish for that Self/' 
 
Prajkpati said to them : " The person that is seen in the eye, that is 
the Self. This is what I have said. This is the immortal, the fearless, 
this is Brahman/ 1 
 
Interrupting : the Self that is seen in the eye is a figure of speech 
not infrequently found in the ancient Sanskrit writings ; it signi- 
fies that sense of an indwelling presence that one sees when he 
looks into the eyes of another. 
 
They asked : " Sir, he who is perceived in the water, and he who is 
perceived in a mirror, who is he ? " 
 
He replied : " He himself indeed is seen in all these/' 
 
(Eighth Section) " Look at your Self in a pan of water, and whatever 
you do not understand of your Self, come and tell me." 
 
They looked in the water-pan. Then Prajapati said to them: 
" What do you see ? " 
 
They said : " We both see the self thus altogether, a picture even 
to the very hairs and nails/' 
 
Prajapati said to them : " After you have adorned yourselves, look 
again into the water-pan." 
 
They, after having adorned themselves, having put on their best 
clothes and cleaned themselves, looked into the water-pan. 
 
Prajapati said : " What do you see ? " 
 
They said : " Just as we arc, well adorned, with our best clothes and 
clean, thus we are both there, Sir, well adorned, with our best clothes 
and clean." 
 
Prajapati said : " That is the Self, this is the immortal, the fearless, 
this is Brahman." 
 
Then both went away satisfied hv their hearts. 
 
And Prajipati, looking after them, said : " They both go away 
without having perceived and without having known the Self, and 
whoever of these two, whether Devas or Asuras, will follow this 
doctrine will perish." 
 
Interrupting : they saw Maya and not the Self. 
 
Now Virochana, satisfied in his heart, went to the Asuras and 
preached that doctrine to them, that the self (the body) alone is to be 
worshipped, that the self (the body) alone is to be served, and that 
he who worships the self, and serves the self, gains both worlds, this 
and the next. 
 
Therefore they call even now a man who does not give alms here, 
who has no faith, and offers no sacrifices, an Asura, for this is the 
doctrine of Asuras. They deck out the body of the dead with perfumes, 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 25 
 
flowers, and fine raiment by way of ornament, and think they will 
thus conquer that world. 
 
(Ninth Section) But Indra, before he had returned to the Devas, 
saw this difficulty. 
 
Interrupting : the difficulty now comes which Indra saw. 
 
As this self (the shadow in the water) is well adorned, when thet>ody 
is well adorned, well dressed, when the body is well dressed, well 
cleaned, if the body is well cleaned, that self will also be blind, if the 
body is blind, lame, if the body is lame, crippled if the body is crippled, 
and will perish in fact as soon as the body perishes. Therefore I see 
no good in this (doctrine). 
 
Taking fuel in his hand he came again as a pupil to Praj^pati. 
Praj&pati said to him : " Maghavat [Indra], as you went away with 
Virochana, satisfied in your heart, for what purpose did you come 
back ? " 
 
He said : " Sir, as this self (the shadow) is well adorned, when the 
body is well adorned, well dressed, when the body is well dressed, 
well cleaned, if the body is well cleaned, that self will also be blind, 
if the body is blind, lame if the body is lame, crippled if the body is 
crippled, and will perish in fact as soon as the body perishes. There- 
fore I see no good in this (doctrine)." 
 
" So it is indeed, Maghavat/' replied Praj^pati ; " but I shall explain 
him (the true Self) further to you. Live with me another thirty-two 
years. 1 ' 
 
Indra was able to see beyond the maya of the personal self, and 
therefore was searching for the Real, for the True, the Self Itself. 
 
The translation is Max Miiller's. It may be well to add in con- 
clusion that all translations which have been made and may 
hereafter be made are made by ourself, from any one of the 
ancient languages, and if any quotation is taken from another 
translator, his name will be given. 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER IV 
 
FROM PRIMORDIAL POINT TO UNIVERSE AND MAN. 'HOW DOES 
MANIFESTATION ARISE ? MANVANTARA AND PRALAYA. 
 
The Scintillas are the " Souls," and these Souls appear in the threefold form 
of Monads (units), atoms, and gods according to our teaching. " Every atom 
becomes a visible complex unit (a molecule), and once attracted into the sphere 
of terrestrial activity, the Monadic Essence, passing through the mineral, 
vegetable, and animal kingdoms, becomes man." (Esoteric Catechism.) Again, 
" God, Monad, and Atom are the correspondences of Spirit, Mind, and Body 
(Atma, Manas, and Sthula-Sarlra) in man." In their septenary aggregation they 
are the " Heavenly Man " (see Kabala for the latter term) ; thus, terrestrial man 
is the provisional reflection of the Heavenly. ..." The Monads (Jivas) are the 
Souls of the Atoms, both are a fabric in which the Chohans (Dhyanis, gods) clothe 
themselves when a form is needed." (Esoteric Catechism.) 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY), I, 619. 
 
Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute Conscious- 
ness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, and 
of which conscious existence is a conditioned symbol. But once that we pass 
in thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes in the contrast 
of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object. 
 
Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as 
independent realities, but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm) 
which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective. 
 
Hence it will be apparent that the contrast of these two aspects of the 
Absolute is essential to the existence of the " Manifested Universe." Apart from 
Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual conscious- 
ness, since it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as 
" I am I," a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind 
at a certain stage of complexity. Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic 
Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness 
could ensue. 
 
The " Manifested Universe," therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it 
were, the very essence of its EX-istence as " manifestation." But just as the 
opposite poles of subject and object, spirit and matter, are but aspects of the 
One Unity in which they are synthesized, so, in the manifested Universe, there 
is " that " which links spirit to matter, subject to object. 
 
This something, at present unknown to Western speculation, is called by the 
occultists Fohat. It is the " bridge " by which the " Ideas " existing in the 
" Divine Thought " are impressed on Cosmic substance as the " laws of Nature." 
 
Ibid.. I, 15, 16. 
 
BEFORE we open our study of The Secret Doctrine this 
evening, it should be said that the Teacher has asked 
me to repeat what was before stated with reference to 
the nature of these studies, that is, that they are a sim- 
plification of The Secret Doctrine in the sense of an explanation 
and unfolding of the meaning of the teachings that the book 
contains ; and in order to achieve these ends, it will be of course 
necessary to bring to bear upon these doctrines for comparison 
and in order to show analogy or identity, lines of thought from 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 27 
 
the great religions of the world and from the great minds of ancient 
times ; because these, in their essence, have sprung from the 
central source of men's thought and religion which we to-day 
call Theosophy. 
 
Yet before we can really embark upon the study of The Secret 
Doctrine itsfelf, as a book, it will be necessary during the course 
of our studies to clear from our path certain stumbling-blocks 
which are in the way of each of us ; certain ideas and so-called 
principles of thought which have been instilled into our minds 
from childhood, and which, on account of the psychological 
effect they have on our minds, really prevent us from grasping 
the truths of Being that Helena Petrovna Blavatsky has so 
masterly given us in The Secret Doctrine. 
 
In addition, it will be necessary to investigate certain very 
ancient principles of thought, and to penetrate more deeply into 
the real meaning of the ancient religions and philosophies than 
has ever been done in any modern books, because those books 
have been written by men who know nothing about the Esoteric 
Philosophy, men who were mostly rebels against the barren 
ecclesiasticism of the Christian Church; who, in order to gain 
freedom from those chains of ecclesiasticism, actually went too 
far the other way, and saw nothing but priestcraft and evil-doing 
in these old religions, and in the acts and teachings of the men 
who taught them, priests, philosophers, or scientists. 
 
We really, also, cannot understand The Secret Doctrine unless 
we have made these preliminary studies. We may read it as a 
book, as we would take down a book from the shelf in the public 
library and read it, but in doing so we do not get the essence, the 
heart, the core of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's meaning. 
 
Another point always to keep in mind is, that we are, as the 
Teacher has told us more than once in these meetings, actually 
assembled here as fellow-students and members of the Inner 
School we are undertaking the study of the very doctrines which 
formed the core of the heart of the teachings of the Mysteries 
of ancient days. These Mysteries were divided into two general 
parts, the Lesser Mysteries and the Greater. 
 
The Lesser Mysteries were very largely composed of dramatic 
rites or ceremonies, with some teaching ; the Greater Mysteries 
were composed of, or conducted almost entirely on the ground of, 
study, and later were proved by personal experience in initiation. 
In the latter was explained among other things the secret 
meaning of the mythologies of the old religions, as for instance 
the Greek. 
 
The active and nimble mind of the Greeks produced a mythology 
which for grace and beauty is perhaps without equal, but it 
nevertheless is very difficult to explain ; the Mysteries of Samo- 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
thrace and of Eleusis the greater ones explained amcfog other 
things what these myths meant. These myths formed the basis 
of the exoteric religions ; but note well that exotericism does 
not mean that the thing which is taught exoterically is in itself 
false, but merely that it is a teaching given without the key to it : 
such teaching is symbolic, illusory, touching on the truth : the 
truth is there, but without the key to it which is the esoteric 
meaning it yields no proper sense. 
 
We open our study of The Secret Doctrine, this evening, by 
reading from Vol. I, page 43, second and third paragraphs : 
 
The Secret Doctrine teaches the progressive development of every- 
thing, worlds as well as atoms ; and this stupendous development has 
neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end. Our " Universe " 
is only one of an infinite number of Universes, all of them " Sons of 
Necessity," because links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes, each 
one standing in the relation of an effect as regards its predecessor, and 
being a cause as regards its successor. 
 
The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured 
as an out breathing and inbreathing of "the Great Breath," which is 
eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the 
Absolute Abstract Space and Duration being the other two. When 
" the Great Breath " is projected, it is called the Divine Breath, and is 
regarded as the breathing of the Unknowable Deity the One Existence 
which breathes out a thought, as it were, which becomes the Kosmos. 
(See Isis Unveiled.) So also it is when the Divine Breath is inspired 
again the Universe disappears into the bosom of " the Great Mother," 
who then sleeps, " wrapped in her invisible robes." 
 
A fortnight ago we were studying the question of Maya and the 
relationship of the inner being of man to the Ineffable Essence ; 
it remains for us briefly to study how man, who has a personal 
element in him, sprang forth from the very essence of imperson- 
ality, if one may so call it. We can say at once that the Infinite 
and Impersonal never becomes finite and personal. How, then, 
does the spirit of man (already the first film over the face of the 
Absolute, as it were) come into being ? Let us remember that 
the manifestation of worlds, and, deductively, of the beings 
who inhabit those worlds, took place in the extension of matter 
popularly called ' space '. A center, first, is ' localized ' a very 
poor word to use ! and is, de facto, not infinite, not eternal ; if 
it were, it could neither manifest nor come into outward existence, 
for this is limitation. The Eternal, the Ineffable, the Infinite, 
does not ever manifest at all, either partially or in toto. Words 
themselves are misleading in treating of these subjects ; but what 
can we say ? We must use human expressions in order to convey 
our meaning. 
 
How then arose manifestation ? The Ancient Wisdom tells 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 29 
 
us the following : In the seeds of life remaining in space from a 
planet which had previously run its Manvantara and had passed 
into latency or Prakriti-Pralaya there came (when the hour 
struck for manifestation to begin again) into being in these seeds 
of life the activity called in Sanskrit trishnd (thirst, if you like, 
desire for manifestation), thus forming the center around which 
was to gather a new universe. It had by karmic necessity its 
particular place in space and was to produce its particular kind 
of progeny : gods, monads, atoms, men, and the three elementary 
or elemental kingdoms of the world as we see it around us : 
from the karmic seeds which were brought over and which were 
lying latent from the preceding Manvantara. 
 
The Universe reimbodies itself (it does not ' reincarnate ', which 
means coming into flesh), following precisely the analogical lines, 
mutatis mutandis, that the soul of man does in reincarnating, 
making the necessary allowances for varying conditions. As 
man is the product of his former life, or rather of his lives, so is a 
universe, a solar system, a planet, an animal, an atom the very 
great as well as the so-called infinitesimal the fruitage, the 
flower, of what went before. Each of these bears its load of 
karman precisely as the soul of man does. 
 
The teachings relating to the evolving of the inner planes of 
Being, which precede and produce the outer planes, are very 
esoteric, as our Teachers have told us, and belong to a study 
higher than we venture to approach at the present time, but we 
can form some general idea of how it is done, as has already been 
said, by analogy and by comparison with the life of man. 
 
When manifestation begins, what is called ' duality ' super- 
venes. It would seem to be a procession something like this, 
were we to symbolize it by a diagram. (See page 30). 
 
Consider this uppermost straight line a hypothetical plane : 
it may be, humanly speaking, immeasurable miles in depth or in 
extension, but mere extension has nothing to do with the general 
concept. Above it stretches the infinitude of the Boundless, and 
below the diagram is the Boundless, and inwards through it is the 
Boundless, interpenetrating everywhere ; but for purposes of 
our present illustration we will say that it is ' above '. 
 
Let us place anywhere we may please a point A, another one 
A 7 here, and a third A" there. We have now reached, after a long 
period of latency or pralaya has passed, a period of manifestation 
or manvantara ; such a point as A, or A" or A", we will call the 
Primordial Point, the first breaking-through into the cosmic 
plane below ; the spirit-force above arising into activity in the 
seeds of being and forcing its way down into the lower life of 
manifestation not pushed nor moved by anything outside of itself 
is driven into manifestation by the karmic life of its own essential 
D 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 31 
 
being, by the thirst of desire or blossoming forth, like a fresh 
upspringing in early summer of a flower, in which the tendency 
in manifestation is outward. This first appearance is conceived 
of in philosophy as the First or Primordial Point ; this is the 
name given to it in the Jewish Theosophy called the QabMllh. 
 
From the moment that the Point, as it were the seed of life, 
the germ of being all these are but names for the one thing, 
the spiritual atom, the spiritual monad, call it what you will 
from the moment that it bursts through into the lower life as it 
were, differentiation or duality sets in and continues thencefor- 
ward to the end of the Great Cycle, forming the two side-lines 
of the diagrammatic triangle. We may call one A B the Brahma 
(masculine), and the other A C the Prakriti or Nature (feminine). 
Brahm. is frequently also called Purusha, a Sanskrit word 
meaning Man, the Ideal Man, like the Qabbalistic Adam Qadmdn, 
the primordial entity of space, containing in Prakriti or Nature 
all the septenary scales of manifested being. 
 
At all times, from the very first instant when duality sets in, 
there is an unceasing attraction between these two lines or poles, 
and they join. Remember that this symbol is merely a paradigm, 
that it is merely a paradigmatic scheme or representation. 
Absolutely, it would be absurd to say that life and beings pro- 
ceed into manifestation as geometric triangles only ; but we can 
represent it symbolically to our minds in this fashion. When 
these two join, the Father and the Mother, spirit (or Reality) 
and illusion (or may a), Brahma (or Purusha) and Prakriti (or 
Nature), their union produces the Son. In the Christian scheme 
they give the spiritual or primordial Son the name of Christos ; 
in the Egyptian scheme Osiris and Isis (or her twin sister Neph- 
thys which is merely the more recondite side of Isis) produce 
their son Horus, the spiritual Sun, physically the sun or the 
Light-Bringer ; and so similarly in the different schemes that 
the ancient world has handed down to us. 
 
From the interaction of these three, by inter-polar action, by 
the spiritual forces working in and out, two other lines fall down- 
wards according to the mystical way in which this scheme of 
emanation is taught and they also join and form the square 
or the manifested Kosmos. 
 
Now from the Central or Primordial Point is born or proceeds 
the Sun of Life. By It and through It is our union with the 
Ineffable. Man may be down here a physical being on earth, 
or anywhere else a luminous, ethereal entity : but it matters not 
where he is or what his body : for once the seven principles of 
his being are in action, man the thinking entity, is produced, 
linked by his seventh principle, and his sixth, with that Sun of 
Life. 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
To every ' man ' of the unnamable multitudes of self-conscious 
beings belonging to this Kosmos or Universe, there extend 
respectively upwards or downwards, two natures : one of which 
is a ray of spirit connecting him with the divine of the Divinest, 
and from that extending upwards in all directions and linking us 
in every sense of the word with the Ineffable, the Boundless, 
which is, therefore, the core of our being, the center of our 
essence. 
 
The appearance and evolution of man as a human being on 
this planet Terra, follow the same line of Nature's wonderful 
analogical working that a planet does in space, or a sun does 
with its brothers of a solar system, the planets. Man, thus being 
in very truth a child of Infinity, the offspring of the Ineffable, 
has latent within himself the capacity of the Universe. 
 
And on this fact depends what we have so often been told of 
the getting of ' powers '. The very method by which we do not 
get them, the very way of missing and losing them, is to run after 
them, strange as it may sound, because this is the impulse of 
vanity and selfishness. If we, then, selfishly seek them, what do 
we get ? We get the action of the lower powers upon us ; it is a 
growing thirst for sensation which we do get, and this leads us 
towards and into the nether abyss of Matter, the opposite pole of 
the Boundless, if it is followed. 
 
But in the great Soul who has passed by and thrown off this 
thirst for personal acquisition, in whom the grasping spirit for 
self is no longer dominant, who feels his Oneness with everything 
that is, who feels that every human being, yea the very pismire 
that laboriously crawls up a sand-knob only to tumble down again, 
is himself no metaphor but an actuality : a different body, but 
the same life, the same essence, the same things latent in it as in 
him in him indeed lies the power of ascending the ladder of 
Being, drawn by the link with the Highest in his innermost 
nature. He and they are both filled full of latent powers and 
forces, and he and they may become in time very Gods, blazing, 
as it were, with power like the Sun ; and the only way is utter 
selflessness, because selflessness, paradoxical as it may sound, 
is the only way to the Self, the Self Universal. The personal 
self shuts the door before us. 
 
Of course we cannot crush out of our being the sense of self- 
hood, nor is that desirable ; but in the lowest aspect it takes upon 
itself the forms of all selfishness, until the being of the man 
who follows the ' left-hand path ', as they call it, or the path 
downwards, ends in what the early Christians stealing from the 
Greeks called Tartarus, the place of disintegration. 
 
When man ascends beyond the reach of matter, he has cast off 
the bondage of Maya, or illusion. Let us remember that when 
 
 
 
FUNDAMENTALS OF HIE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 33 
 
manifestation opens, Prakriti becomes or rather is Maya ; and 
Brahma, the Father, is the spirit of the consciousness, or the 
Individuality. These two are really one, yet they are also the two 
aspects of the one Life-ray acting and reacting upon itself, much 
as a man himself can say, " I am I ". He has the faculty of self- 
analysis, or* self-division ; all of us know it, we can feel it in our- 
selves ; one side of us, in our thoughts, can be called the Prakriti 
or the material element, or the Mayavi element, or the element of 
illusion ; and the other, the spirit, the individuality, the God 
within. 
 
Yet as man sees life, as he runs his eye down the scale of beings, 
he sees it through Maya ; in fact, he is the child of Maya on one 
side, as he is of the Spirit on the other. Both are in him. His 
lesson is to learn that the two are one and that they are not 
separate ; then he no longer is deceived. His lesson is to under- 
stand that Maya, the great Deluder, is the famous snake or serpent 
of antiquity, which leads us out from the ' Garden of Eden ' 
(employing a Biblical metaphor), through experience and suffering 
to learn what illusion is and is not. 
 
Also matter, which is the mayavi manifestation of Prakriti on 
this plane (and I mean here physical matter), itself is not sub- 
stantial. The most dense and rigid things we can think of, per- 
haps, are the metals, and actually they are, perhaps, the most 
porous, the most foamlike, the most evanescent, as seen from the 
other or higher side of being, from the other side of the plane. 
So well is this now beginning to be understood that even our more 
intuitive scientists are telling us that ' space ', which seems to 
us so thin, and tenuous, is in reality more rigid than the hardest 
steel. Why is it that electricity prefers metals as a path, to 
common wood, or cotton-wool, or some other such thing ? 
 
Before we go further, it would seem necessary to study a 
little what we mean by the words Manvantara and Pralaya. Let 
us take Manvantara first. This word is a Sanskrit compound, 
and as such means nothing more than ' between two Manus ' ; 
more literally, ' Manu between '. ' Manu ', or Dhyani-Chohan, 
in the Esoteric System, is the entities collectively which appear 
first at the beginning of manifestation and from which, like a 
cosmic tree, everything is derived or born. Manu actually is the 
(spiritual) tree of life of any Planetary Chain, of manifested being. 
Manu is thus (in one sense) the third logos ; as the second is the 
Father-Mother, the Brahma and Prakriti ; and the first is what 
we call the Unmanifest Logos, or Brahman (neuter) and its cosmic 
veil Pradhana. 
 
Pradhana is also a Sanskrit compound, meaning that which 
is ' placed before ' ; and from this, it has become a technical 
term in philosophy, and means what we would call the first 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
filmy appearance of root-matter, ' placed before ', or rather* around, 
Brahman, as a Veil. Root-matter is m&la-prakriti, root-nature, 
and corresponding to it as the other or active pole, is Brahman 
(neuter). That from which the First or Unmanifest Logos pro- 
ceeds is called Para-Brahman, and Mulaprakriti is Its Kosmic 
Veil. Parabrahman is another Sanskrit compound, meaning 
' beyond Brahman '. Mtilaprakriti, again, as said above, is a 
Sanskrit compound meaning mtila root, prakriti nature. 
 
First, then, the Boundless, symbolized by the O I then Para- 
brahman, and Mulaprakriti its other pole ; then lower, Brahman 
and its Veil Pradhana ; then Brahma-Prakriti or Purusha- 
Prakriti (Prakriti being also maya) ; the manifested Universe 
appearing through and by this last : Brahma-Prakriti, Father- 
Mother. In other words, the second logos, Father-Mother, is the 
producing cause of manifestation through their son, which in a 
Planetary Chain is Manu. A Manvantara, therefore, is the period 
of activity between any two Manus, on any plane, since in any 
such period there is a root-Manu at the beginning of Evolution, 
and a seed-Manu at its close, preceding a Pralaya. 
 
Pralaya : this is also a Sanskrit compound, formed of laya, from 
a Sanskrit root lt t and the prefix pra. What does li mean ? It 
means to dissolve, to melt away, to liquefy, as when one pours 
water upon a cube of salt or of sugar. The cube of salt or of sugar 
vanishes in the water ; it dissolves, changes its form ; and this 
may be taken as a figure, as a symbol, of what Pralaya is : a 
crumbling away, a vanishing away of matter into something 
else which is yet in it, and surrounds it, and interpenetrates it. 
That is Pralaya, usually translated as the state of latency, state 
of rest, state of repose, between two manvantaras or life-cycles. 
If we remember distinctly the meaning of the Sanskrit word, our 
minds take a new bent in direction, follow a new thought ; we get 
new ideas ; we penetrate into the arcanum of the thing that takes 
place. 
 
Now there are many kinds of Manvantaras ; also many kinds of 
Pralayas. There are, for instance, the Universal Manvantara and 
the Universal Pralaya, and these are called Prakritika, because 
it is the pralaya or vanishing away, melting away, of Prakriti or 
Nature. Then there is the solar pralaya. Sun in Sanskrit is 
Sfirya, and the adjective from this is Saurya ; hence, the saurya- 
pralaya, or the pralaya of the solar system. Then, thirdly, there 
is the terrestrial or planetary pralaya. The Sanskrit word for 
earth is Bhflmi, and the adjective corresponding to this is Bhau- 
mika : hence, the bhaumika-pralaya. Then we can say that there 
is the pralaya or death of the individual man. Man is purusha ; 
the corresponding adjective is paurusha : hence, the paurusha- 
pralaya, or death of man. So, then, we have given examples of 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 35 
 
various praiayas : first of the Prakritika, or dissolution of Nature ; 
next the solar pralaya, the saurya ; next the bhaumika or the 
passing away of the earth ; and then the paurusha, or the death 
of man. And these adjectives apply equally well to the several 
kinds of Majivantaras, or life-cycles. 
 
There is another kind of Pralaya which is called Nitya. In its 
general sense, it means ' constant ' or ' continuous ', and can be 
exemplified by the constant or continuous change life and death 
of the cells of our bodies it is a state in which the entity, the 
indwelling and dominating entity, remains, but its different 
principles and rftpas undergo continuous change. Hence it is 
called Nitya. It applies to the body of man, to the outer sphere 
of earth, to the earth itself, to the solar system, and to all Nature. 
 
It is likewise represented by a symbol that our first great 
Teacher, H. P. Blavatsky, has given us from the Oriental Wisdom, 
the out-breathing and in-breathing of Brahman. This symbol, 
by the way, is not solely Indian. It is found in the ancient Egyp- 
tian texts, where one or another of the Gods, Khnumu, for in- 
stance, breathes forth from his mouth the cosmic egg. It is 
also found alluded to in the Orphic Hymns, where the cosmic 
serpent breathes forth as an egg the things which are to be, or 
the future universe. Everywhere, especially where ancient religion 
or philosophy has longest retained its hold, there do we find 
the symbol of the cosmic egg. Religions of less age and of less 
influence do not so often employ it. The cosmic egg was found as 
a symbol in Egypt ; it was found in Hindfisthan ; it was found 
in Peru, where the ' Mighty Man ', the Sanskrit Purusha, the Ideal 
Man, the Paradigmatic Man, was called Manco Capac, and his wife 
and sister was called Mama Oello, which means ' Mother-egg ' ; 
these brought the universe into being, becoming later the sun and 
the moon respectively. 
 
Why did the Ancients symbolize the beginning of manifestation 
under the form of an egg ? Let us ask : Is it not a fine symbol ? 
As the egg producing the chick contains the germ of life (laid by 
its mother, the hen, and fructified by the other pole of being) so 
the cosmic egg, which is the Primordial Point of which we spoke 
in the early part of our study this evening, also contains the germ 
of life. The egg itself also can be called the germ of life, and the 
germ of life within the egg can be called the inner germ that 
more subtil point which receives those impulses of which we have 
spoken before, coming down from the highest center of com- 
munication between the outward world and the inner, the lines 
of inner magnetic action and reaction. And when the chick within 
the egg is formed, it bursts its shell and comes forth into the light 
of day, precisely as we saw was the case with the Primordial Point. 
When the karmic hour had struck, it burst forth, as it were, into 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
other spheres of manifestation and activity. The Ancients, 
carrying the figure still farther, even spoke of Heaven as a dome- 
like affair, as the upper part of an egg-shell. 
 
Let us think more deeply of these ancient symbols. The 
Ancients were not fools. There is a deep meaning in these olden 
figures of speech. Why did Homer speak of his Olympus, the 
abode of Zeus and the Gods, as being brazen, like brass, one of the 
hardest and most intractable things that the Greeks knew ? Why 
did Hesiod speak of the same as made of iron ? Because they 
realized that the life here in matter and of matter, was based upon 
an evanescent substratum, and that the lower world of matter is, 
as has been so often said, evanescent, foamy, full of holes, as it 
were, and unreal. 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER V 
 
THE ESOTERIC TEACHINGS AND THE NEBULAR THEORY. 
GODS BEHIND THE KOSMOS : WHY NATURE IS IMPERFECT. 
 
To make of Science an integral whole necessitates, indeed, the study of spiritual 
and psychic, as well as physical, Nature. Otherwise it will ever be like the 
anatomy of man, discussed of old by the profane from the point of view of his 
shell-side and in ignorance of the interior work. . . . 
 
. . . The duty of the Occultist lies with the Soul and Spirit of Cosmic Space, 
not merely with its illusive appearance and behavior. That of official physical 
science is to analyse and study its shell the Ultima Thule of the Universe and 
man, in the opinion of Materialism. 
 
With the latter, Occultism has nought to do. It is only with the theories of 
such men of learning as Kepler, Kant, Oersted, and Sir W. Herschel, who believed 
in a Spiritual world, that Occult Cosmogony might treat, and attempt a satisfac- 
tory compromise. But the views of those physicists differed vastly from the 
latest modern speculations. Kant and Herschel had in their mind's eye specula- 
tions upon the origin and the final destiny, as well as the present aspect, of the 
Universe, from a far more philosophical and psychic standpoint ; whereas modern 
Cosmology and Astronomy now repudiate anything like research into the mys- 
teries of being. The result is what might be expected : complete failure and in- 
extricable contradictions in the thousand and one varieties of so-called scientific 
theories, and in this theory as in all others. 
 
The nebular hypothesis, involving the theory of the existence of a primeval 
matter, diffused in a nebulous condition, is of no modern date in astronomy as 
everyone knows. Anaximenes, of the Ionian school, had already taught that the 
sidereal bodies were formed through the progressive condensation of a primordial 
pregenetic matter, which had almost a negative weight, and was spread out 
through Space in an extremely sublimated condition. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY), I, 588-590. 
 
WITH the Teacher's permission there are three points 
which it would seem necessary to touch upon slightly, 
before we begin our evening's study. 
The first is with regard to the question of morals, 
that is to say, right conduct based upon right views, right think- 
ing. We have touched upon this matter at nearly every meeting 
of this Lodge, because the line, the path, of duty of right conduct 
based upon right views is the Path of all who would tread on- 
ward to the Ancient Wisdom and to the Ancient Mysteries. Our 
Teachers have told us this again and again, and the great thinkers, 
philosophers, and religious men, of all ages, have told us the same 
thing. 
 
These meetings, as our present Teacher has told us so often, 
are not for purposes of intellectual study only, nor to amuse 
ourselves with abstruse and mystic knowledge ; but mainly, firstly, 
principally, for the purpose of gaining a right foundation for right 
views, which shall govern human conduct. When we have this 
 
37 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
foundation we have the beginnings of all laws ; we can affect the 
world not only by our own views and by our own acts, but by 
those of other members who will come in and swell our number ; 
and, further, we shall be able in time to affect for good even the 
governments of the world, not directly and immediately perhaps, 
but at least indirectly and in the course of time. All the horrible 
things that perplex and confuse and distress mankind today arise 
wholly, almost, out of a lack of right views, and hence, a lack of 
right conduct. We have the testimony of the Greek and Roman 
initiates and thinkers that the Ancient Mysteries of Greece taught 
men, above everything else, to live rightly and to have a noble 
hope for the life after death. 
 
Next, the second point : in our last meeting we touched upon 
the Ancient Mysteries in the ancient Mystery-Schools, and we 
took as examples those of Greece, from which the Romans derived 
their own Mysteries but we touched upon one point only, the 
mythological aspect ; and this mythological aspect comprises 
only a portion a relatively small portion of what was taught 
in the Mystery- Schools, principally at Samothrace and at Eleusis. 
At Samothrace was taught the same Mystery-teaching that was 
current elsewhere in Greece, but here it was more developed and 
recondite ; and the foundation of these Mystery-teachings was 
morals. The noblest and greatest men of ancient times in Greece 
were initiates in the Mysteries of these two seats of esoteric 
knowledge. 
 
In other countries farther to the east they had other Mystery- 
Schools or " colleges ", and this word " college " by no means 
necessarily meant a mere temple or building ; it meant " associa- 
tion," as in our modern word colleague, " associate ". The Teu- 
tonic tribes of northern Europe, the Germanic tribes which 
included Scandinavia had their. Mystery-colleges also ; and 
teacher and neophytes stood on the bosom of Mother-Earth, under 
Father-Ether, the boundless sky, or in subterranean receptacles, 
and taught and learned. We state here at once that the core, the 
heart, the center, of the Ancient Mysteries was the abstruse 
problems dealing with Death. These teachings we still have, and 
when the Teacher says that it is time to give them out, they will be 
forthcoming ; she is the judge as to when this shall be. 
 
The third point is with regard to the paradigms or diagrams 
which we may find necessary to use from time to time in order to 
illustrate certain teachings. Remember that these paradigms are 
relative and changeable ; they are not hard and fast or absolute 
things ; this fact must be kept always clear in the mind, and 
around these diagrams or paradigms the mind should never be 
allowed to crystallize. Why ? Because any paradigm, any par- 
ticular combination of geometrical lines, can illustrate different 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 39 
 
thoughts or things, as, for instance, the paradigm of the triangle 
from which hangs the square (as used at our last meeting) can 
apply equally as well to the highest combined principle in man, the 
spiritual-mental monad, as to the lower principles into which the 
monad falls at the beginning of incarnation or manifestation, and 
from whichf it will resurrect when the first chimes of the pralayic 
bells are heard in the Aka6ic spaces. 
 
We will now resume our study. We take up, as our general 
theme, the same two paragraphs on p. 43 of Vol. I of The Secret 
Doctrine, which we read at our last meeting : paragraphs one and 
two : 
 
The Secret Doctrine teaches the progressive development of every- 
thing, worlds as well as atoms ; and this stupendous development has 
neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end. Our " Universe " 
is only one of an infinite number of Universes, all of them " Sons 
of Necessity," because links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes, 
each one standing in the relation of an effect as regards its predecessor, 
and being a cause as regards its successor. 
 
The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured as 
an outbreathing and inbreathing of " the Great Breath/' which is 
eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the 
Absolute Abstract Space and Duration being the other two. When 
the " Great Breath " is projected, it is called the Divine Breath, 
and is regarded as the breathing of the Unknowable Deity the One 
Existence which breathes out a thought, as it were, which becomes 
the Kosmos. (See Isis Unveiled.) So also is it when the Divine Breath 
is inspired again the Universe disappears into the bosom of "the 
Great Mother/' who then sleeps " wrapped in her invisible robes/' 
 
It was the intention to take up this evening the dawn of mani- 
festation as it is found in the " Hebrew Book of Beginnings", 
called Genesis, and to study this and to show its similarity and 
likeness, and the fundamental identity of truth on which it is 
based, as compared with the other religions of the world. But in 
view of the fact that we were obliged at our last study to touch 
upon the first coming-into-being of the veil cast over the face of 
the Ineffable, it would seem best this evening to undertake, if we 
have time, a short sketch of what in science is called the Nebular 
Theory, how far the esoteric teachings run with it, and where and 
when they part from it. 
 
The Nebular Theory, as originally taught in science by the 
Frenchman Laplace but derived by him from the great German 
thinker and philosopher, Immanuel Kant stated that the space 
which is now occupied by the planets of the solar system, was 
originally filled with a very tenuous form of matter, in a highly 
incandescent (or burning) state. Let us say just here that this 
particular theory of Laplace as regards incandescence, has never 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
been proved, that it is not subject in all respects to mathematical 
demonstration, and cannot be, and that it itself, if taken as a 
whole, forms one of the greatest proofs against the truth of the 
nebular theory as it was then stated, and as it has since been modi- 
fied in some degree by modern thinkers. 
 
Laplace further stated that this nebula was in a cbndition of 
slow rotation, or circular moving, in the same direction in which 
the planets now move around in their orbits, and in the same 
direction in which the planets and the sun now move around their 
axes. In other words, the present orbital revolution and rotation 
of the planets are derived from this mechanical, original, circular 
motion of the primal nebula. 
 
Laplace further stated that this hot, immense object cooled, 
and as it cooled it shrank, according to a certain law of heat, and 
this shrinking, according to a law of dynamics, increased the 
velocity of rotation, and the momentum of any point on its sur- 
face. Now, as everyone knows, the parts of a wheel which are 
nearest the periphery, the circumference, move with the greatest 
momentum, and the greatest speed, though no faster, in another 
sense, than do the particles at the hub. This increase of rapidity 
in whirling around grew so great that a time came when the 
centrifugal force overcame the centripetal or cohesive force, and 
then this whirling nebula threw off a ring, and this ring also con- 
tinued going around, and condensing, and finally formed a sphere 
or ball which became the outmost planet, Neptune. And so 
progressively the other planets came into being, the core of the 
nebula remaining as our sun. In brief, as the nebular body con- 
tracted and condensed its matter, the same phenomenon occurred 
again in the same way, and thus the second outermost planet, 
Uranus, was thrown oft, and so on until all the planets had come 
into being as spheres. Now some of these tenuous, still nebulous 
planets, by contracting and thus increasing their rotational 
velocity, themselves evolved rings around themselves, which in 
their turn were thrown off from their parent-planets, and following 
the same course as their parent-planets, became spheres, which 
thus became the satellites, the moons of the respective planets ; 
while the center of the original nebula condensed into the (sup- 
posedly) incandescent or fiery ball which is the sun. 
 
When H. P. Blavatsky first brought the Theosophical teachings 
to the Western world, questions of cosmogony, or the beginning 
and primal development of the universe, came much to the fore, 
and she was asked, and her Teachers were also asked through her, 
in what respect the nebular theory ran side by side with and 
" corroborated " the exposition of the theory of the occultists, 
the esoteric theory ; and the answer then given was called " an 
evasive answer "* It aroused criticism and some angry language. 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 41 
 
Why, i{ was asked, if the Teachers know these wonderful truths, 
had not they illuminated the world with the splendor of their 
teachings ? Why did they keep them and other things hid ? No 
teaching can be bad for man, if it is true, it was argued. Which 
was a very foolish argument, indeed, so far as it goes, because 
many teachings are true, and are yet utterly unfit for the average 
man to have. However, we are going to investigate that question 
to-night. 
 
The nebular theory, the Teachers said, was, in its main outlines, 
and in certain respects only, fairly representative of what the 
esoteric teaching was, but it yet, for all that, had vital defects ; 
and these defects they did not entirely specify nor did they fully 
outline them ; but they gave clear hints where the defects lay and 
what they were ; and they also gave a clear, logical, and concise 
reason for their reticence, which was obligatory and unavoidable. 
 
Now the main defect in the theory of Laplace was as probably 
the older students who are assembled here this evening know well 
enough that it was a purely mechanical, purely mechanistic, 
purely materialistic hypothesis, in some respects uncorroborable 
even by mathematics, and based upon nothing but the fact that 
in the vast abysses of space, astronomers, investigating wastes 
of stellar light, found nebulae and nebulosities, and, adopting 
Kant's idea, argued dogmatically upon it. But, nevertheless, 
there was truth in the nebular theory there was some truth. 
Now what is that truth ? And what was the most vital defect ? 
The most vital defect, first, was the fact as hinted above that it 
(the theory) omitted all action of spiritual beings in the universe 
as the drivers, the agents, the mechanics (or mechanicians) of 
the mechanism which undoubtedly exists. We are taught that 
the Esoteric Philosophy does not deny mechanical action in the 
Universe, but declares that where there is mechanical action there 
is government, or, specifically, mechanicians at work, producing 
the movements of the mechanism, in accordance with Karman. 
There must be " law "-givers or " law "-makers or " law "- 
impulsors, if the expression may be used ; and behind these there 
must be the Universal Life. In other words, the vital defect was 
that this nebular theory omitted the first truth of all Being 
that the Gods were behind the Kosmos, spiritual Beings, spiritual 
Entities the name matters nothing. Not God, but Gods. 
" Nature " is imperfect, hence of necessity makes " mistakes ", 
because its action derives from hosts of Entities at work. What we 
see around us all the time is proof of it. " Nature " is not perfect. 
If it had sprung from the " hands of the Immutable Deity ", 
hence perfect and immutable like its Parent, knowing no change, 
it would be a Perfect Work. It is much to the contrary, as we 
know, and its imperfections or " mistakes " arise from the fact 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
that the beings existing in and working in and controlling and 
making nature extend in endless hierarchies from the Inmost of 
the Inmost, from the Highest of the Highest, downwards for ever, 
upwards for ever, in all degrees of imperfection and of perfection, 
which is precisely what we see in the scenes of manifestation 
surrounding us. Our intuition tells us the truth concerning this, 
and we should trust it. 
 
This was well known to the ancients. The Stoics expressed it 
and taught it in their magnificent philosophy. The Stoics of 
Rome and of Greece originally expressed it by what they called 
Theocrasy. Theocrasy has a compound meaning Theos, a god, 
divine being, and krasis, meaning an intermingling an inter- 
mingling of everything in the universe, intermingling with every- 
thing else, nothing possibly separable from the rest, the Whole. 
It is the cardinal heresy of the Oriental religions to-day, notably 
in that of the Buddhists, if a man thinks that he is separate or 
separable from the universe. This is their cardinal heresy, the 
most fundamental error that man can make. The early Christians 
called it the " sin against the Holy Ghost ". If we look around us 
and if we look within, we realize that we are one entity, as it were, 
one great human host, one living tree of human life, woven in- 
separably into and from Nature, the ALL. 
 
The next defect of the nebular theory was that the nebula was 
declared to be in its earliest stages incandescent, burning. The 
esoteric teaching is that it is indeed glowing, but glowing with a 
cold light, the same as, or similar to, that of the firefly, if you like. 
There is no more heat in a nebula than there is in the light of the 
firefly. This light in the nebula, this luminosity, is not from com- 
bustion of any kind ; but, then, what is it from ? It is from the 
indwelling Daivl-Prakriti, " divine nature or light ", in its mani- 
festation on that plane, the same light which in sentient beings 
manifests in a higher form as consciousness in all its degrees, 
running from dull physical consciousness up through the soul and 
the ego : through the self up into the Selfless Self of the Paramat- 
man, or the " Supreme Self " a mere expression of convenience 
as meaning the acme or summit of a Hierarchy, because really 
there is no Supreme Self, which would mean a limit, hence finite- 
ness. If there were, there would be a lowest self. Self is boundless, 
endless, the very heart of being, the foundation and dimensionless 
core of all that is. 
 
Next, the third vital defect : The planets and the sun were not 
evolved or born in the manner stated by the nebular theory. How 
are the sun and the planets born ? (Let me say here by way of 
parenthesis, that this subject should come much later in our 
study, but there is a reason for referring to it now.) Every solar 
or planetary body, the sun and planets in our solar system, and 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 43 
 
analogically (that is, by analogy), everywhere else, is the child or 
rather the result or reimbodiment of a former cosmic entity, which, 
upon entering into its pralaya, its Prakritika-pralaya the dis- 
solution of its lower principles at the end of its long life-cycle, 
exists in space in the higher activity of its spiritual principles, and 
in the dispersion of its lowest principles, which latter latently 
exist in space as Skandhas, in what our Teachers have taught us 
is called in Sanskrit a toy0-condition, from the root It, referred to 
in our last meeting, meaning to dissolve or to vanish away ; hence, 
a laya-center is a " point of disappearance " which is the Sans- 
krit meaning, and even the dictionary meaning ; a laya-center 
is the mystical point where a thing disappears from one plane, if 
you like, and passes onwards to reappear on another plane. 
 
To repeat an illustration which we used in our last meeting : 
pour water on a cube of sugar or salt, and watch it dissolve 
vanish as a cube or discrete entity. It has entered its laya-state 
as a cube or entity of sugar or salt. The form of it has gone, and 
itself the sugar or salt has entered into something else. When 
the higher principles of a cosmic body enter into something else, 
what is that something else into which they enter ? They enter 
into the highest cosmic aether, first, and in due course go still 
higher into the intense activity of the spiritual planes ; there long 
aeons are passed in states and conditions to us almost unimagin- 
able. In due course of time, they begin their downward course 
into matter again, or re-imbodiment, and finally, by attraction, 
re-collect their old skandhas hitherto lying latent, and thus form 
for themselves a new body, by passing into manifestation through 
and by the laya-center where those skandhas were waiting. 
 
Those lower principles were meanwhile in Nirvana, what we 
would call Devachan after the death of man, for Devachan as a 
state applies not to the highest or heavenly or divine monad, but 
only to the middle principles of man, to the personal ego, or the 
personal soul, in man. Applied to us this condition is the state of 
Devachan the " land of the gods ", if you like ; but applied to 
a cosmic body it is the state of Nirvana. Nirvana is a Sanskrit 
compound, nir, out, and vdna the past-participle passive of the 
root vd, blow, i.e., literally " blown out ". 
 
So badly has the meaning of the ancient Indian thought (and 
even its language, the Sanskrit) been understood, that for many 
years very erudite European scholars were discussing whether 
being " blown out " meant actual entitative annihilation or not. 
I remember once talking with a Chinese savant he happened to 
be a Chinese Buddhist and he told me that the state of man after 
death was " like this " and he took up a lighted candle which was 
on the table and blew upon it, and the light went out. And he 
said, " That way ". He was right, because he was referring to the 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
lower principles in man. They (not we, our monadic or excitative 
essence), they are merely the vehicle in which we live ; and when 
we die, our physical body is " blown out ", breaks up, enters into 
its pralaya or dissolution, and its molecules, its particles, go into 
the laya-state, and pass a certain time there until Nature calls 
them forth again : or, to put it more accurately in another way, 
until the indwelling impulse in each physical monadic particle 
through the thirst for active being, rises forth into manifestation 
again, and it re-enters some body of appropriate kind and of 
similar evolutional degree. 
 
This is one and only one facet of the secret of the much mis- 
understood doctrine of transmigration into animals. The lower 
elements, the astral body and the astral dregs of the animal or 
physical man, become the principles not the latent higher, but the 
intermediate principles of the beast-world. They are human 
dregs cast off by man. 
 
Now, the cosmic dust resulting from the dissolution of a former 
world rests in a laya-center ; while the highest principles of that 
world or planetary chain are in their para-nirvana, and remain 
there until the divine thirst for active life on the highest plane of 
descent, which re-arises in the cosmic monad of a planet or sun, 
pulls, pushes, or urges, or impels, that monad to the spiritual 
frontiers of manifestation ; and when it arrives at those frontiers, 
it bursts through them as it were, or breaks through, or goes 
through, or cycles downward through, into the plane below it, 
and thus again and again through many planes, till finally the 
cycling monad reaches and touches or lightens all those lower 
elements which are remaining in the laya-center : awakens them, 
re-awakens them, revivifies them, recalls them into being, re- 
illuminates them from within ; and this produces the luminosity 
or nebulosity seen in so many parts of interstellar space. There- 
fore, it is, actually, daivi-prakriti, " divine Nature ", " divine 
light ", in one of its lowest forms the seventh, counting down- 
wards and this same light, or force, on this our plane (our 
Teachers have told us) in one of its very lowest forms, is electricity 
and magnetism. Our Teachers have also told us that the physical 
universe here in which we live the stones, metals, trees, etc. 
is corporealized light. They are all formed of atoms, and these 
atoms, so to speak, are the mystic atoms of this light, the corpus- 
cular part of light, because light is corpuscular : it is not a mere 
" mode of motion " or a wave or something else. Light (our 
light) is a body, as much a body as electricity one of its forms 
is a body, i.e., material, or subtil matter. 
 
Now, then, when this nebula of which we have been speaking 
let us give it the scientific name has attained the point of 
development or evolution downwards into manifestation where the 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 45 
 
re-imbodying principles of the former world or cosmos, or sun, or 
planet, as the case may be, have sufficiently entered into it, it 
begins to rotate by a characteristic energy, similar to electro- 
magnetism, inherent in itself. Plato tells us that circular motion 
is one of the first signs of entitative, free, existence a saying 
which is often laughed at by our young savants of science, and 
quondam bigwigs of a transitory era of dogmatic thinking. Plato 
defines being as a " body which is capable of acting and being 
acted upon ". It is a good definition to remember, for it implies 
both passive and active existence or manifestation : and he 
said that, with reference to the highest essence of the cosmos 
the Primal Principle of which our first great Teacher speaks as the 
Ineffable That, as the Sanskritists call it it is not " a " being, 
hence limited, possessing bounds, because neither does it act nor 
is it acted upon. It is All, eternally, endlessly All. 
 
So this cosmic nebula drifts from the place where it first was 
evolved, the guiding impulse of Karma directing here and direct- 
ing there, this luminous nebulosity moving circularly, and con- 
tracting, passing through other phases of nebular evolution, such 
as the spiral stage and the annular ; until it becomes spherical, 
or rather a nebular series of concentric spheres. The nebula in 
space, as just said, takes often a spiral form, and from the core, 
the center, there stream forth branches, spiral branches, and they 
look like whirling wheels within wheels, and they whirl during 
many ages. When the time has come when the whirling has 
developed pari passu with the indwelling lives and intelligences 
within the cosmic nebula then the annular form appears, a 
form like a ring or concentric rings, with a heart in the center, 
and after long seons, the central heart becomes the sun or central 
body of the new solar system, and the rings the planets. These 
rings condense into other bodies, and these other bodies are the 
planets circulating around their elder brother, the sun ; elder, 
because he was the first to condense into a sphere. 
 
The idea of modern scientists that the nebular sun threw off the 
planets, and that the earth after partial solidification threw off 
the moon, and that the other planets having moons did likewise, 
is not the teaching of the Esoteric Philosophy. It has never been 
proved, and it is criticized daily by men as eminent as those who 
propounded these theories. The nebular theory as propounded 
and ' modified from time to time, Science has never proved ; 
scientists have never been able to prove why so much heat could 
develop and be retained in so tenuous, so diaphanous an object. 
Why, if the luminosity arises from combustion of gaseous matter, 
does it not burn itself out ? It had billions of years, countless 
ages, in which to burn out, and the sky is dotted with nebulae 
which have not burned out yet ; and similarly with regard to the 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
sun. The sun is formed of the same matter as the nebtite, later 
becoming cometary matter. The sun does not burn ; it has no 
more heat in it than has a pane of glass which transmits the solar 
ray. 
 
The sun is not in combustion : it is the generator and storehouse 
of the mighty ocean of force and forces which feed our entire 
solar system. Matter is corporealized or crystallized Force ; 
Force, inversely, may be called subtil Matter or matter in its 
fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh states, for Force and Matter are 
One. The sun is a storehouse and generator of Forces, and is 
itself Force in its first and second states i.e., matter in its sixth and 
seventh states, counting upward. We shall study this subject more 
fully in a later lecture. 
 
These are a bare outline of the teachings that we have received 
on the subjects treated of. The moon comprises another subject, 
which will merit in due time very particular study, indeed. 
 
First a nebula ; then a comet ; then a planet ; but the above 
sketch outlines the state of a solar system in the first era of 
the solar manvantara. Now let us take any one planet and 
shortly, briefly, touch upon the nature of a planetary manvantara. 
The sun, of course, remains throughout the solar manvantara. 
It began with it, and when the solar system comes to an end, its 
(the sun's) pralaya will also come. But the planets are different 
in certain respects. They have their manvantara also, each one 
of them, lasting usually many billions of years ; and when a 
planetary chain or body has reached its term, when its hour strikes 
for going into rest, or into pralaya or dissolution, the manvantara 
ends, and pralaya begins, but in this case it is not a Prakritika- 
pralaya, which, you remember, we alluded to in our last meeting 
it signifies or means the dissolution of Nature. The planetary 
body remains dead, as is now the moon itself, but it sends its 
principles (precisely as the former solar system did which we 
were studying) into a laya-center in space, and they remain there 
for "innumerable ages". Meanwhile the other planets of that 
solar system go through their cycles ; but the planet which we 
have picked out for illustration, when its time comes again to 
descend into manvantara, follows its line of development in 
precisely the same way as outlined before. It descends again into 
manifestation through the inner divine planetary thirst for active 
life and is directed to the same solar system, and to the same 
spot, relatively speaking, that its predecessor (its former self) 
had, attracted thither by magnetic and other forces on the lower 
planes. It forms, in the beginning of its course, or journey, down- 
wards, a planetary nebula ; after many aeons, it becomes a comet, 
following ultimately an elliptic orbit, around the sun of our solar 
system, thus being " captured ", as our scientists wrongly say, 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 47 
 
by the sun ; and finally condenses into a planet in its earliest 
physical condition. The comets of short periodic time are on their 
way to rebecoming planets in our solar system, provided they 
successfully elude the many dangers that beset such ethereal 
bodies before^ condensation and hardening of their matter shield 
them from destruction. 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER VI 
 
THE DAWN OF MANIFESTATION : LAYA-CENTERS. A CONSCIOUS 
UNIVERSE SPIRITUALLY PURPOSIVE. STOIC DOCTRINE OF 
THE INTERMINGLING OF ALL BEINGS : " LAWS OF NATURE." 
PHILOSOPHICAL POLYTHEISM AND THE DOCTRINE OF 
HIERARCHIES. 
 
(a) The hierarchy of Creative Powers is divided into seven (or 4 and 3) 
esoteric, within the twelve great Orders, recorded in the twelve signs of the 
Zodiac ; the seven of the manifesting scale being connected, moreover, with the 
Seven Planets. All this is subdivided into numberless groups of divine Spiritual, 
semi-Spiritual, and ethereal Beings. 
 
The Chief Hierarchies among these are hinted at in the great Quaternary, 
or the " four bodies and the three faculties " of Brahma exoterically, and the 
Panchasyam, the five Brahmas, or the five Dhyani-Buddhas in the Buddhist 
system. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY), I, 213. 
 
. . . The refusal to admit in the whole Solar system of any other reasonable 
and intellectual beings on the human plane, than ourselves, is the greatest conceit 
of our age. All that science has a right to affirm is that there are no invisible 
Intelligences living under the same conditions as we do. It cannot deny point- 
blank the possibility of there being worlds within worlds, under totally different 
conditions to those that constitute the nature of our world ; nor can it deny that 
there may be a certain limited communication between some of those worlds 
and our own. To the highest, we are taught, belong the seven orders of the purely 
divine Spirits, to the six lower ones belong hierarchies that can occasionally be 
seen and heard by men, and who do communicate with their progeny of the 
Earth, which progeny is indissolubly linked with them, each principle in man 
having its direct source in the nature of those great Beings who furnish us with 
the respective invisible elements in us. 
 
Ibid., I, 133. 
 
WE open our study this evening by reading from 
H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, page 258, 
the second paragraph : 
 
" Whatsoever quits the Laya State, becomes active 
life ; it is drawn into the vortex of MOTION (the alchemical solvent of 
Life) ; Spirit and Matter are the two States of the ONE, which is neither 
Spirit nor Matter, both being the absolute life, latent." (Book of Dzyan, 
Comm. iii, par. 18). ..." Spirit is the first differentiation of (and in) 
SPACE : and Matter the first differentiation of Spirit. That, which is 
neither Spirit nor Matter that is IT the Causeless CAUSE of Spirit 
and Matter, which are the Cause of Kosmos. And THAT we call the 
ONE LIFE or the Intra-Cosmic Breath." 
 
In our study of a week ago, we embarked upon a brief dis- 
cussion, or rather a short excursus, with regard to certain 
astronomical factors which enter very largely into the occult or 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 49 
 
Esoteric teaching which leads to a proper comprehension of 
Cosmogony or World-Building, and also of Theogony or the 
Genesis of the Gods or Divine Intelligences who initiate and 
direct Cosmogony, as these are outlined in The Secret Doctrine. 
Within the time at our disposal we shortly reviewed the Esoteric 
formulae in which the ancient wisdom is imbodied, and the 
effectual agencies which act at the Dawn of Manifestation ; and 
this evening we shall undertake briefly to review the causal 
agencies or aspects of the same subject. 
 
The dawn of manifestation, as The Secret Doctrine tells us, 
begins in and with the awakening of a laya-center. The Sanskrit 
word laya t as we saw before, signifies in Esotericism that point 
or spot any point or any spot in space, which, owing to karmic 
law, suddenly becomes the center of active life, first on a higher 
plane and later descending into manifestation through and by 
the lower planes. In one sense it (such a /oya-center) may be 
conceived of as a canal, a channel, through which the vitality 
of the superior spheres is pouring down into, and inspiring, 
inbreathing into, the lower planes or states of matter, or rather 
of substance. But behind all this vitality there is a driving 
force, as was before remarked. There are mechanics in the 
universe, mechanics of many degrees of consciousness and power. 
But behind the pure mechanic stands the spiritual mechanician. 
 
It would seem absolutely necessary first to soak our minds 
through and through with the thought that everything in our 
cosmical universe, i.e., the stellar universe, is alive, is directed 
by will and governed by intelligence. Behind every cosmic 
body that we see, there is a directing intelligence and a guiding 
will. 
 
If Theosophy has one natural enemy against which it has 
fought and will always fight it is the materialistic view of life, 
the view that nothing exists except dead unconscious matter, 
and that the phenomena of life and thought and consciousness 
spring from it. This is not merely unnatural and therefore 
impossible ; it is absurd as a hypothesis. 
 
On the contrary, as we may read in The Secret Doctrine, the 
main, fundamental, and basic postulate of being is that the 
universe is driven by will and consciousness, guided by will and 
consciousness, and is spiritually purposive. When a laya-center 
is fired into action by the touch of these two on their downward 
way, becoming the imbodying life of a solar system, or of a 
planet of a solar system, the center manifests first on its highest 
plane. The Skandhas (which, as it will be remembered, we 
described in a former study) are awakened into life one after 
another : first the highest ones, next the intermediate ones, and 
lastly the inferior ones, cosmically and qualitatively speaking. 
 
 
 
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In such laya-centers the imbodying life shows itself tirst to 
our physical' human eyes as a luminous nebula matter, which 
we may describe as being of course on the fourth plane of Nature 
or Prakriti, but nevertheless in the second (counting downwards) 
of the seven principles or states of the material universe. It is a 
manifestation in that universe of Daivi-Prakriti, i.e., " shining " 
Prakriti, or " divine " Prakriti. As the aeons pass, this laya- 
center now manifesting as a nebula, remains in space steadily 
though slowly developing and condensing (following the impulses 
of the forces that have awakened it into action on this plane) 
as the aeons pass, I say, it is drawn towards that part or locality 
in space if we are speaking of a solar system or towards that 
sun, if we are describing the coming into being of a planet, with 
which it has karmic skandhic affinities, or magnetic attraction, 
and eventually manifests in the latter case as a comet, the matter 
of which, by the way, is entirely different from the matter we 
have any knowledge of on earth, and which it is impossible to 
reproduce under any physical conditions in our laboratories, 
because this matter, while on the fourth plane of manifestation 
(otherwise we should not sense it with our fourth-plane eyes), is 
matter in another state than any known to us probably in the 
sixth state, counting from below, or the second state counting 
from above. 
 
Of such matter is the sun, or rather the solar body, in its 
outward form, composed. It is physical matter in the sixth state, 
counting upwards, or in the second state counting downwards or 
outward ; and its nucleus, which, as H. P. Blavatsky tells us in 
The Secret Doctrine, is a particle or a solar atom of primal matter- 
stuff, or spirit-stuff , is matter in the seventh state counting upwards, 
or the fii;st or highest, counting downwards. 
 
This comet in time, if it succeed in pursuing its way towards 
becoming what it is destined to be, becomes finally a planet ; it 
so becomes unless it meet with some disaster, as when it is 
swallowed up by one or another of the suns which it may pass 
in its far-flung orbit. Some comets have already, in our solar 
system, so nearly reached the planetary state in its first stages, on 
the way to becoming a full-grown planet of the solar system, 
that their orbits lie within the confines or limits of this system. 
Such, for instance, is Encke's comet, having an elliptical orbit, 
and moving around the sun in a closed curve in the space of two 
and a half or three years. Another one is Biela's, which, I 
believe, has not been seen again, after it appeared to break into 
two, I think in the 'fifties of last century. Another one was 
Faye's, having the largest orbit of all these three. Two others 
are de Vico's and Brorsen's. 
 
It would seem as if all those comets which are drawn into 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 51 
 
elliptical orbits around our sun, were so drawn because they were 
karmically destined ultimately to become planets of our system ; 
but others, again, suffer another fate. They perish, absorbed 
or torn to pieces by the inexpressibly active influences which 
surround not merely our own but all other suns, because each 
sun, while being the center of its own system of planets, and their 
life-giver, from another aspect is a cosmical vampire. 
 
There is much more on this subject that must be said, but it 
is very doubtful whether, at the present stage of our study, it 
would be wise to embark upon a wider exposition now ; and also 
because we know not whether the Teacher would approve of 
our going into the matter more fully at present. 
 
If possible, we desire this evening to return to the point where 
we were, before embarking upon this excursus, and to take up 
again the same thread of thought then interrupted, continuing 
it this evening with a study of the beginning of things as outlined 
in the Jewish book of Genesis, or " Beginning ", and as illustrated 
more particularly by the Jewish Theosophy called the Qabbalah. 
If the time allotted to us be insufficient to do so this evening, we 
hope to begin that study at our next meeting. 
 
Nothing in the universe is separate from any other thing. All 
things hang together not merely sympathetically and magnetic- 
ally but because all beings are fundamentally one. We have one 
self, one Self of selves, manifesting in the inmost of the Inmost 
being of all. But we have many egos, and the study of the ego 
in that branch of our thought which is embraced under the head 
of psychology, is one of the most inherently necessary and one 
of the most interesting and important that can be undertaken. 
 
Around the ego center, so far as we humans are concerned, 
some of the most important teachings of the Esoteric Wisdom. 
Without going into this study at some length, it is impossible 
for us to understand certain of the teachings in The Secret 
Doctrine. The ancient Stoics (the very wonderful philosophy 
originating with some of the Greek philosophers, and which 
became so deservedly popular among the deeper thinkers of 
Rome) taught that everything in the universe is intermingled, 
or interwoven, not by fundamentally distinct essences or entities 
interpenetrating each other, nor in what we theosophists today 
call " planes of being ", merely, but by various aspects or differ- 
entiations of one common substance, the Root of all, and they 
expressed the principle through the three Greek words, Krasis 
di 'holou, a mingling through everything, an intermingling of all the 
essences in the Cosmos, arising out of, and differentiated from, 
the Root-substance common to all. This is also the teaching of 
our own Esoteric Wisdom. It is the manifestation, in other 
words, of all beings, of all thinking, unthinking, and senseless 
 
 
 
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beings, and of all the gods giving direction and purpose to the 
complex universe, which we see around us today ; and in this 
varied life was placed the primal cause of all the beauty, the 
concord, as well as the strife and discord that do exist in Nature, 
and which is the cause of the so-called mistakes that Nature 
makes. The origin, in other words, of what some people and 
some Christians call the " insolvable riddle " of the " Origin of 
evil ". What is the " origin of evil " ? The Ancient Wisdom says 
that it is merely the conflict of wills of evolving beings an 
inevitable and necessary phase of evolution. 
 
Properly to understand this Intermingling involves another 
important subject of study which we shall take up at a later 
date, and this is the doctrine of Hierarchies. Hierarchy, of 
course, merely means that a scheme or system or state of delegated 
directive power and authority exists in a self-contained body, 
directed, guided, and taught by one having supreme authority, 
called the Hierarch. The name is used by us, by extension of 
meaning, as signifying the innumerable degrees, grades, and 
steps of evolving entities in the Kosmos, and as applying to all 
parts of the universe ; and rightly so, because every different 
part of the universe and their number is simply countless is 
under the vital governance of a Divine Being, of a God, of a 
Spiritual Essence, and all material manifestations are simply the 
appearances on our plane of the workings and actions of these 
Spiritual Beings behind it. The series of Hierarchies extends 
infinitely in both directions. Man may, if he so choose, for 
purposes of thought, consider himself at the middle point, from 
which extends above him an unending series of steps upon steps 
of higher beings of all grades growing constantly less material 
and more spiritual, and greater in all senses towards an ineffable 
point, and there the imagination stops ; not because the series 
itself stops, but because our thought can reach no farther out 
nor in. And similar to this series, an infinitely great series of 
beings and states of beings descends downwards (to use human 
terms) downwards and downwards, until there again the 
imagination stops merely because our thought can go no farther. 
 
The eternal action and interaction or what the Stoics also 
called the intermingling of these beings produce eternally the 
various so-called " planes of being ", and the action of the will 
of these beings on matter or substances is the manifestation of 
what we call the " laws of Nature ". This is a very inaccurate 
and misleading phrase ; but it seems justifiable in a metaphorical 
sense, because as a human legislator or a human law-giver will 
set forth or set down certain rules of conduct, certain schemes of 
action, which are to be obeyed, so the Intelligences behind the 
actions of Nature do the same thing, not in a legislative way, but 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 53 
 
by the action of their own spiritual economy. So man himself, in 
similar fashion, lays down the " laws " for the less lives which 
compose his essences the principles under the center which he 
governs and which comprise even the physical body, and the 
lives building it. Each one of these lives, as was said before, is 
a microcosmic universe or cosmos, that is to say, an ordered 
entity, an entity ruled by inescapable or ineluctable habit, which 
the scientists of our own race, applying the rule to universal 
cosmical action, call the " laws " of Nature. 
 
And they in turn, these less lives, have similar universes under 
them. It is unthinkable that the series can stop or have an end, 
because if it did, we should have an infinity that ends, an un- 
thinkable proposition. It is merely the paucity of our ideas and 
the feebleness of our imagination which make us to suppose that 
there may be a stop at certain points ; and it is this feebleness 
of thought which has given birth to and promoted the rise of 
the different religious systems ; in one case the monotheism of the 
Christian Church, and in another case the monotheism of the 
Mohammedan peoples, and in another case still the monotheism 
of the Jewish people. Of these three, the Jews have had the 
longest history and the wisest history, for the Jews originally 
were never a monotheistic people. In their early history they 
were convinced polytheists using the term in the philosophical 
sense, lest people imagine when they hear of Polytheism that it 
means our absurd modern Western misconception of what we 
think the cultured Romans and Greeks thought about their gods 
and goddesses, or what we think they ought to have believed, 
which is conceited nonsense. 
 
The popular mythology of the Greeks and Romans, as also 
that of ancient Egypt or of Babylonia, and that of the Germanic 
or Celtic tribes of Europe, was understood in a different way 
from our gross misconception of it ; and conceived of in a different 
way by the wise men in those days, who understood perfectly 
well all the usual symbols and allegories by which the esoteric 
teachings were outlined and taught in the popular mythologies. 
And we must remember that " exoteric " does not necessarily 
mean false. It means only that in exoteric teachings the keys 
to the esoteric teachings have not been given out. 
 
We often hear the claim made by monotheistic believers, that 
the great " prophets " of Israel, the so-called wise men of that 
people, knew better than their ancient predecessors what their 
people ought to know and believe. They these prophets 
taught monotheism, we are assured, and redirected the thoughts 
of the people away from the ancient beliefs indeed, the multi- 
plicity of beliefs towards one tribal God whom they called 
Jehovah, a word, by the way, which the later orthodox Jewish 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
religionists held and still hold so sacred that tney would 
not even pronounce it aloud, but in reading aloud substituted 
for it another word, when this word " Jehovah " occurred in a 
sentence in the Jewish Bible. Now this substitute word is 
" Adonai ", and means " my Lords " in itself a tru confession 
of polytheistic thought. Judaism is replete in its Law, or Bible, 
at least, with polytheism ; and so prone is the human heart to 
follow the instincts of its spirit, that when the Christian Church 
in its blindness overthrew philosophical Polytheism, as an error 
in religion, the reaction, fully to be expected as a consequence, 
finally and, indeed, very soon set in, and that Church answered 
the cry of the human heart by substituting " saints " for the 
injured and banished Gods and Goddesses, thus inaugurating a 
cultural adoration of dead men and women for Powers, Intelli- 
gences, in Nature ! They had to give them saints in order to 
supply the places of the forgotten Deities ; and even gave to 
these saints more or less the same powers that the ancient gods 
and goddesses were reputed to have exercised and to have had. 
They had a saint as a patron or protector of city, state, or 
country St. George for England, St. James for Spain, St. Denis 
for France, and so on. The same thought, the same function, 
the same desire satisfied the instincts of the human heart 
cannot be ignored or violated with impunity. But how greatly 
different was the initiate view of the Wise Men in " Pagan " 
times I 
 
Now when the Ancients spoke of the multiplicity of Gods they 
did so with wisdom, understanding, and reverence. Is it con- 
ceivable that the great men of the ancient days who then dis- 
covered and established the canons of belief followed by us 
usually ignorant of our great debt to them even to-day in all 
our lines of thought, and which we value like little children and 
have valued since the rebirth of literature in our Western world, 
is it conceivable, I say, that they had no conception of cosmical 
or of divine unity, something which even the average man of 
intelligence to-day will come to ? How absurd I No ! They 
could think and they knew as well as we do, but they also knew, 
yea, even the degenerated thinkers in the early ages of the 
Christian era, that if " God " made the world, being a perfect 
and infinite Being, his work (or Its work) could be only a perfect 
and infinite work, worthy of its perfect and infinite Maker, free 
from vanity, free from limitations, free from sin, free from decrepi- 
tude and ceaseless, gnawing change. Yet, as we see and consider 
the things around us, as we know that the world, being an 
exemplar of change and hence of limitations and decay, therefore 
cannot be and is not infinite, we know the instincts of our being 
tell us that it is the work of less beings, of minor and limited 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 55 
 
Powers, however exalted spiritually ; and as we penetrate into 
our own thoughts and study the life of the beings and of the nature 
around us, we see also that there is life within life, wheel within 
wheel, purpose within purpose, and that behind the outward 
manifestations or action (the " laws of Nature ") of the so-called 
Gods, there are still more subtil Powers, still more exalted Intelli- 
gences at work : verily, wheels within wheels, lives within lives, 
and so on for ever : an unending and boundless Unity in Multi- 
plicity, and Multiplicity limitless and unbounded in Unity. So, 
as said before, when we speak of the unity of Life, or of the 
" divine unity ", we merely mean that here our penetrating 
spirit has reached the limit of its present powers, a point at 
which human thought can go no farther. It has run to its 
utmost limits, and from the feebleness of it, we are bound in 
truth to say, Here is as far as our thought can go. It is our 
present " Ring called ' Pass Not ! ' " But this honest confession 
of human limitation does not mean that there is " nothing " 
beyond. On the contrary, it is a proof that Life and space are 
endless. 
 
Now the Neo-Platonists who first came into prominence in the 
early centuries of the Christian era and who, with the Stoics, 
provided Christianity with all that it had that was philosophically 
good and spiritual and true taught that the summit, the acme, 
the flower, the highest point (that they called the " hyparxis ") 
of any series of animate and " inanimate " beings, whether we 
enumerate the stages or degrees of the series as seven or ten or 
twelve (according to whichever system we follow), was the 
" divine unity "for that series or Hierarchy, and that this hyparxis 
or flower or summit or beginning or highest being was again in 
its turn the lowest being of the Hierarchy above it, and so extending 
onwards for ever. 
 
Change within change, wheel within wheel, each Hierarchy 
manifesting one facet, as it were, of the divine cosmic Life, each 
Hierarchy showing forth one thought, as it were, of the divine 
thinkers. Good and evil are relative, and rigidly offset and equili- 
brate each other. There is no absolute good, there is no absolute 
evil ; these are mere human terms, only. " Evil " in any sphere 
of life, is imperfection, for it. " Good " in any sphere of life, is 
perfection, for it. But the good of one is the evil of another, 
because the latter is the shadow of something higher above it. 
 
Just as " light " and " darkness " are not absolute but relative 
things. What is " darkness " ? Darkness is absence of light, 
and the light that we know is itself the manifestation of life in 
matter hence a material phenomenon. Each is (physically) a 
form of vibration, each is, therefore, a form of life. 
 
Various names were given to these Hierarchies considered as 
 
 
 
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series of beings. For instance, let us take the standard and 
generalized Greek Hierarchy as shown by writers in periods 
preceding the rise of Christianity, though the Neo-Platonists, as 
we have seen, had their own Hierarchies, and gave the stages or 
degrees thereof special names. It is often asserted by those 
people who know everything I mean the bigwigs of the modern 
day, who even believe that they know better what the ancients 
believed than the ancients did themselves that Neo-Platonism 
was evolved merely to oppose and overthrow, and to take the 
place of the wonderful, soul-saving, spiritual doctrines of 
Christianity, forgetting that from Neo-Platonism and Neo- 
Pythagoreanism, and Stoicism, early Christianity drew nearly 
everything of religious and philosophic good that it had in it. 
But the Neo-Platonic doctrine was, in sober fact, actually the 
setting forth to a certain degree only of the esoteric doctrine of the 
Platonic school, and was, in its esoteric reach, the teaching which 
Plato and the early Pythagoreans taught secretly to their 
disciples. 
 
We now resume our thread. The hyparxis, as we showed, 
means the summit or beginning of a Hierarchy. The scheme 
started with the divine, the highest point of the series or its 
Divinity : 
 
(i) Divine. (2) Gods, or the spiritual. (3) Demi-gods, some- 
times called divine heroes, involving a very mystical doctrine. 
(4) Heroes proper. (5) Men. (6) Beasts or animals. (7) Vegetable 
world. (8) Mineral world. (9) Elemental world, or what was 
called the realm of Hades. As said, the Divinity (or aggregate 
Divine Lives) itself was the hyparxis of this series of Hierarchies, 
because each of these nine stages was itself a subordinate Hier- 
archy. The names mean little, you may give them other names ; 
the name itself matters not much ; the important thing is to get 
the thought. Now, as said before, remember that this Esoteric 
Wisdom taught that this (or any other) Hierarchy of nine, hangs 
like a pendant jewel from the lowest Hierarchy above it, which 
made the tenth counting upwards, which we can call, if you like, 
the Super-Divine, the Hyper-Heavenly, and that this tenth was 
the lowest stage (or the ninth, counting downwards) of still 
another Hierarchy extending upwards ; and so on, indefinitely. 
 
Now when the Christians finally overthrew the ancient 
religion ; when the karmic cycle had brought about an era of 
what Plato called spiritual barrenness and we remember to 
divide the work of evolution into two parts, epochs of barrenness 
and epochs of fertility when the Christian religion came in as 
part of an epoch of barrenness, the Christians took over very 
much of this ancient thought, as was only to be expected ; 
history merely repeated itself. And they derived it, as was said 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 57 
 
before, mainly from the Stoics and the Neo-Pythagoreans and 
the Neo-Platonists, but mostly from the Neo-Platonists. This was 
done in very large part, at Alexandria, the great center of Greek 
or Hellenistic culture at that time ; the chiefest thinkers of the 
Neo-Platoqists also lived in Alexandria. This Neo-Platonic 
stream of beautiful thought in the Christian religion, entered into 
it with special force around the fifth century, through the writings 
of a man who was called Dionysius the Areopagite, from the 
" Hill of Ares ", or Mars, at Athens. The Christian legend runs 
that when Paul preached at Athens, he did so on Mars Hill, or 
the Areopagus, and that one of his first converts was a Greek 
called Dionysius ; and Christian tradition goes on to say that 
he was, later, the first Christian Bishop of Athens. Now this 
may all be fable. However, the Christians claimed it as a 
fact. 
 
Now in the fifth or sixth century, five hundred years more or 
less after Paul is supposed to have preached in Athens, there 
appeared in the Greek world a work calling itself the writings of 
Dionysius, the Areopagite claiming authorship from this same 
man. It is evidently the work of a Neo-Platonist-Christian. 
That is to say, of a Christian, who for reasons of his own, perhaps 
policy (social or financial), remained within the Christian Church, 
but was more or less a Greek pagan, a Neo-Platonist at heart. 
This work, by coming out under the name of the first (alleged) 
Bishop of Athens, Dionysius, almost immediately began to have 
immense vogue in the Christian Church ; and it remains to this 
day, not indeed one of the canonical works, but one of the works 
which the Christians consider among the greatest they have on 
mystical lines, and perhaps their most spiritual work ; it very 
deeply affected Christian theological thought from the time of 
its appearance. 
 
One of the works comprised in this book, attributed by the 
Christians themselves to Dionysius, Paul's first convert in 
Athens, is a treatise on the Divine Hierarchies, in which the 
teaching is that God is infinite and therefore did the work of 
creation through less abstract and spiritual beings ; and a scheme 
of Hierarchies is here set forth, one lower than another, one 
derived from the other ; which is exactly the teaching in the 
Qabbalah, the Theosophy of the Jews ; which also is exactly 
the teaching of the Neo-Platonists and essentially that of the 
Stoics, and of the old Greek mythology. It is a " pagan " teaching 
throughout, and merely became Christianized because adapted 
to the new religion, and because Christian names are used : and, 
instead of saying and enumerating gods, divine heroes, demi-gods or 
heroes, men, animals, etc., the names are God, Archangels, Thrones, 
Powers, etc. But the schematic or essential thought is the same : 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
and, furthermore, there are actually passages in the works of 
this Dionysius which are taken word for word wholesale 
from the writings of the Neo-Platonist Plotinus, who lived and 
flourished and wrote voluminously on Neo-Platonic subjects in 
the third century. 
 
Now this work, particularly in the field of dogmatic ecclesias- 
tical thought, formed the basis of much of the theology of the 
Greek and Roman Churches ; we may even say that on it their 
mediaeval theology was actually based. It formed the main 
source of the studies and writings of the Italian Thomas Aquinas 
(i3th century), one of the greatest mediaeval doctors of the 
Christian religion, and of Johannes Scotus, called Erigena, an 
Irishman (gth century), and probably of Duns Scotus (i3th 
century), a remarkable Scot ; and of many more. Spenser, 
Shakespeare, and Milton, to speak only of English literature, 
are full of the spirit of these writings. They provided much of the 
mystical thought of the Dark Ages, and ultimately in a degener- 
ate form helped to give rise to the hair-splitting and quibbling 
and squabbles of the quasi-religious writers known as the School- 
men. But these men had lost the inner sense or heart of the thing 
through the ecclesiastical growth and political power of the 
Christian Church, and they began to argue about things of no 
spiritual consequence whatever ; such as the query, Which came 
first : the hen or the egg ? or, How many angels can dance on the 
point of a needle ? or, If an irresistible force meets an immovable 
obstacle, what then happens ? These most pragmatical and 
useful diversions and intellectual vagaries lasted for a certain 
time, and then, with the renaissance of thought in Europe, due 
largely to the labors of the devotees of Science and natural 
Philosophy, the European world gradually began to pull out of 
this mental slough, and brought in an era, which is now in full 
and strong current, and which has inaugurated and continued, 
for good or for ill (perhaps both), the streams of human thinking 
as we see it today. Do we Theosophists presume vainly to 
interpret the lessons of universal history when we say that we 
are the forerunners and the makers of the new era a far nobler 
and more spiritual cycle which is to come, and is even now 
dawning, albeit coming to being in no little sorrow and tribulation 
of both soul and intellect ? 
 
In conclusion, we may call attention to the fact that just about 
the time when the first 5000 years of the Hindu cycle called the 
Kaliyuga (lasting 432,000) came to an end, there also came to 
an end a certain " Messianic " cycle of twenty-one hundred 
years (actually, if we come to exact figures, 2160), which is, 
note well, just one half of the Hindti-Babylonian root-cycle of 
4320 years. 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 59 
 
In our next evening of study we hope to take up, with the 
Teacher's permission, the outline of Cosmogony and Theogony 
from the Polytheistic standpoint, as found in the Book of Genesis, 
the first of the Jewish Bible. 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER VII 
 
" HIERARCHIES " : ONE OF THE LOST KEYS OF THE ESOTERIC 
PHILOSOPHY. THE PYTHAGOREAN SACRED TETRACTYS. THE 
LADDER OF LIFE : THE LEGEND OF PADMAPANI. 
 
Theophilosophy proceeds on broader lines. From the very beginning of ;Eons 
in time and space in our Round and Globe the Mysteries of Nature (at any 
rate, those which it is lawful for our races to know) were recorded by the pupils 
of those same now invisible " heavenly men," in geometrical figures and symbols. 
The keys thereto passed from one generation of " wise men " to the other. Some 
of the symbols, thus passed from the east to the west, were brought therefrom 
by Pythagoras, who was not the inventor of his famous " Triangle." The latter 
figure, along with the plane cube and circle, are more eloquent and scientific 
descriptions of the order of the evolution of the Universe, spiritual and psychic, 
as well as physical, than volumes of descriptive Cosmogonies and revealed 
" Geneses." The ten points inscribed within that " Pythagorean triangle " are 
worth all the theogonics and angelologies ever emanated from the theological 
brain. For he who interprets them on their very face, and in the order given 
will find in these seventeen points (the seven Mathematical Points hidden) the 
uninterrupted series of the genealogies from the first Heavenly to terrestrial man. 
And, as they give the order of Beings, so they reveal the order in which were 
evolved the Kosmos, our earth, and the primordial elements by which the latter 
was generated. Begotten in the invisible Depths, and in the womb of the same 
" Mother " as its fellow-globes he who will master the mysteries of our Earth 
will have mastered those of all others. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY), I, pp. 612, 613. 
 
" It is that LIOBT which condenses into the forms of the ' Lords of Being ' 
the first and the highest of which are t collectively, JIVATMA, or Pratyagdtmd 
(said figuratively to issue from Paramatma. It is the Logos of the Greek 
philosophers appearing at the beginning of every new Manvantara). From 
these downwards formed from the ever-consolidating waves of that light, which 
becomes on the objective plane gross matter proceed the numerous hierarchies of the 
Creative Forces, some formless, others having their own distinctive form, others, again, 
the lowest (Elementals) , having no form of their own, but assuming every form 
according to the surrounding conditions." 
 
Ibid., II, pp. 33, 34- 
 
W' 
The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated 
by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, 
each having a mission to perform, and who whether we give to them 
one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels are 
" messengers " in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic 
and Cosmic Laws. They vary infinitely in their respective degrees 
of consciousness and intelligence ; and to call them all pure Spirits 
without any of the earthly alloy " which time is wont to prey upon " 
is only to indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either was, 
 
60 
 
 
 
*E open our study this evening by reading from The 
Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, page 274 : 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 61 
 
or prepa&s to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or 
a coming cycle (Manvantara). 
 
When we ended our study last week, because of the short time 
that the Teacher has set for us in which to speak, we left un- 
mentioned a number of very important things, which we shall 
have to take up this evening before we can proceed to the particu- 
lar study that was to follow in proper course the excursus which 
we embarked upon three weeks ago. 
 
First a few words more concerning the Nebular Theory or 
Hypothesis and the Planetary Theory deriving from it, as con- 
sidered from the Theosophical standpoint, and consequently a 
further explanation or rather development of the doctrine of 
Hierarchies, which will lead us to the study towards which we 
have aimed, that is to say, the consideration of Cosmogony or the 
beginning of worlds as outlined in the Jewish Book of Genesis or 
" Beginnings ". 
 
About one hundred years ago, more or less within a few years 
of each other, there died three remarkable men, namely Kant, 
perhaps the greatest philosopher that Europe has produced ; 
Sir William Herschel, the astronomer ; and the Marquis de 
Laplace ; the first a German, the second a German-Englishman, 
or an Anglo-German, and the third a Frenchman. All these three 
men in some degree were responsible for the enunciation and the 
development of the theory of world-beginning which eventuated 
in the Nebular Hypothesis of Laplace. It is interesting also to 
note that all three men were of humble birth, and by the force 
of their own intelligence and character became, all three of them, 
remarkable men. Kant was, I believe, the son of a saddler ; Sir 
William Herschel was also of humble origin, and was in youth an 
oboist in the Hanoverian Guards ; and Pierre Simon Laplace 
was the son of a farmer ; Laplace was ennobled, and upon him 
was conferred the nobiliary title of Marquis. 
 
Now the Nebular Theory really originated with Kant ; he it 
was who laid down the basic lines, the fundamental ground, as it 
were, upon which the Nebular Theory was later developed 
mathematically by Laplace. Coincident with Kant's work and 
writings was the astronomical work of Herschel in England, 
and those two men were responsible for the fundamentals of the 
Nebular Theory. Laplace took it up after they had more or less 
laid down the main lines, developed it into what is called the 
" Nebular hypothesis or theory of Laplace ", and on account of 
its explaining in mathematical form the mechanism of the 
universe, that is to say, of the solar system and the planets, and 
their satellites, it has been called a " magnificently audacious " 
hypothesis. It was Laplace who carried the theory a good deal 
farther than the work of Kant and Herschel than the point 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
where Kant and Herschel had left it ; and, in a sense/ Laplace 
materialized it. As H. P. Blavatsky tells us, if the nebular 
theory had remained at the point where Kant and Herschel had 
left it, there would be little for the Theosophical writers and 
thinkers to do except to develop it and explain it in accordance 
with the Esoteric Philosophy. 
 
It is very interesting to note that another great man, Sweden- 
borg in Sweden, also worked upon the same theory and apparently 
had very nearly the same ideas that Kant and Herschel had as 
regards a nebular genesis of cosmical systems. Now these two 
latter men had a spiritual idea back of the theory which they 
enunciated, and it was the abandonment of that spiritual idea 
by Laplace, and the substitution by him of a mechanico-mathe- 
matical theory in its place, which furnished those influences which 
directed the nebular hypothesis away from the line and thought 
and teachings as laid down in the Esoteric Philosophy, as taught 
by the ancient Teachers. 
 
The nebular hypothesis has in some respects been much changed 
since the day of Laplace ; scientists have thought more about it, 
a fact which was also true in 1887 or 1888 when H. P. Blavatsky 
wrote The Secret Doctrine. There has been an attempt by later 
astronomers of our own day, Sir Norman Lockyer, and the 
American astronomer and mathematician See, to replace a 
nebular origin of cosmical bodies at least in part with what has 
been called a planetesimal hypothesis or a planetesimal origin 
that is to say, that the bodies of the solar system have been built 
up of and by cosmic dust and tiny planets drawn together by the 
force of gravitation. Now this theory is, philosophically speaking, 
at an immense distance from the teachings of the Esoteric Philos- 
ophy, although this Philosophy does admit and teach that at a 
later stage in the evolution of cosmical bodies, collection and 
concretion of stellar dust is, actually, one of the phases in the 
growth of worlds. 
 
Theosophy admits that a planet or a solar system, in the course 
of its formation, does gather to itself " star-dust " and vagrant 
bodies dispersed in space ; but this factor in its growth is not its 
origin. The origin of a sun, of a solar system and of the planets 
in it, and consequently of the entire universe within the encircling 
zone of the Milky Way, has a spiritual background, has spiritual 
essences or gods behind it, who form such a system, and direct it, 
and are the mechanicians in it and of it. Their work is carried on 
(more or less) along the main lines of the nebular theory as 
enunciated by Kant and Herschel : that is to say, space is etern- 
ally filled with matter in a certain state or condition of being, 
and when this matter, as Kant and Herschel would have said, 
receives the divine impulse, it is concreted and becomes luminous, 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 63 
 
and this* concretion is further (and later) strengthened by its 
drawing into itself, from the immense spacial expanse in which 
it is, material " star-dust " and larger bodies. 
 
Now, when we look up at the sky we see material bodies, 
fourth-plane bodies seen with our fourth-plane eyes, but behind 
these fourth-plane bodies there are spiritual intelligences, which 
are called in the Esoteric Philosophy, Dhyan-Chohans, or " Lords 
of Meditation ". As the Ancients put it, every celestial body 
is an " animal ". Now the word animal comes from the Latin, 
and means a living being. Commonly, in speech, we speak of 
" animals " when we should say " beasts " or " brutes " ; that 
is to say, a " brute " is an entity which has not yet been raised 
to the level of a self-conscious entity ; it is brute in the original 
Latin sense, i.e., " heavy ", " gross ", hence irrational and incom- 
plete ; it is not yet finished. But an animal really means a 
living being, and in that sense the word applies to men ; also, 
in the view of the Ancients, it applies to the stellar, solar, and 
planetary bodies they are " animals " in the sense of being 
living things, with a physical corpus or body, but nevertheless 
animate or insouled : in the mystical teachings of the Esoteric 
Philosophy they are insouled things, as indeed every atom is, 
every tiny universe, or tiny cosmos. 
 
Now this insouling is done by (or is the action of) what is 
commonly called Hierarchies. There is not for every individual 
entity in Kosmos, whether atom, beast, man, god, planet, or sun, 
one concreted soul, as it were, derived from the universal World- 
Soul, with nothing no connecting links above it and nothing 
below it not at all. There are no true vacancies in Nature, 
physical, astral, or spiritual : there are no vacuums. Everything 
is linked on to everything else, by literally countless bonds of 
union, which is another master-key to the teachings of the 
Esoteric Philosophy. As in man, so in every other unit of being, 
in every other entity, the universal life manifests through a 
Hierarchy ; the multiform and varied qualities of beings are 
but the life-rays of a Hierarchy, that is to say, grades or steps of 
consciousness and matter, ascending from below upward, or if 
you like, coming downwards from above, through all of which 
the center of consciousness call it soul or ego for the moment 
must pass in its evolution towards godhood. 
 
Now this teaching of Hierarchies is fundamental. It is one of 
the present-day " lost keys " of the Esoteric Philosophy. Nothing 
can be understood adequately without a clear comprehension of 
it. As man is in our ordinary psychology considered to be a 
triad, or a triform entity body, soul, and spirit so he may be 
considered from another point of view as a four-fold entity, or 
as a five-fold, or a six-fold, or a seven-fold, or (the most esoteric 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
of all) as a ten-fold entity. Why ten ? Because ten, the*Teachers 
have told us, is the key-number which explains the compound 
fabric of the universe. The universe is built on a denary scale, 
that is, on a scale counting by tens. In a few moments we shall 
develop in outline the philosophical import of seven and ten. 
Let us say now that man is septenary in our view (5nly because 
we reckon in as principles, two elements of his being which are 
not, strictly speaking, human principles ; one the physical 
body which really is not a " principle " at all : it is merely a 
house, his " carrier " in another sense, and no more belongs to 
man except that he has excreted it, thrown it out from himself 
this physical body, we say, is no more himself than is the 
house in which his body lives. He is a complete human being 
without it. 
 
The second strictly non-human principle is the highest of all 
the seven, the Higher Self, the Atman, the seventh non-human 
because it is universal. The Self no more belongs to me than 
to you or to anyone else. Selfhood is the same in all beings. But 
beyond the Atman, there is the Paramatman, which we have 
briefly studied before, the Supreme Self. The Atman is, as it 
were, the star of our own self-issue, the Root of our selfhood, the 
point where we cling, as it were, to the " Highest ". If we can 
conceive of an ocean of superspiritual ether, so to speak, and in 
that ocean call it consciousness a vortex, a laya-center, a 
point, a Primordial Point, whence the six principles below it 
flow forth into concrete manifestation through its vehicles the 
souls or egos we obtain a very crude conception of the Root of 
our being. It is the Atman, the channel or spiritual point where 
the superspiritual breaks, as it were, from and through a barrier 
downwards into individualized life. This process we shall 
more fully explain later, and shall then illustrate it by 
diagram. 
 
Now this matter of Hierarchies as dealt with in the different 
world-religions virtually in the same manner but under different 
names and in different paradigmatic schemes. For instance, you 
can think of the ten parts or grades or steps of a Hierarchy as one 
under the other, like the floors in a house, or like the flats in an 
apartment-house, a very gross simile, it is true, but having the 
advantage of suggesting steps or planes, and of suggesting high 
and low. We can think of a Hierarchy in another, more subtil, 
manner, as consisting in triads of spheres, or living centers, three 
triads hanging from the tenth or highest point ; and that highest 
center is, as already explained, the point beyond which our 
thought and imagination can soar no higher, and we merely say 
that this center is the highest that the human intellect can reach. 
But we know that beyond it, this tenth which is our highest, 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 65 
 
there is also the lowest center or plane of another Hierarchy still 
higher from which our Hierarchy hangs as a pendant ; and so 
on endlessly. We cannot say of Infinity, that the Infinite begins 
here and ends there : if this were so, it would not be infinite, it 
would not >e boundless. Our doctrine of Universal Life, of 
Universal Consciousness, of one Universal " Law " working 
everywhere, means that that " Law " manifests in every atom, 
and in every part of Universal Being, and in all directions, 
and for all duration, and in the same manner everywhere ; 
because it cannot manifest in radically diverse ways ; if 
so, it would be many fundamental " laws " and not one 
" Law ". 
 
For instance as regards Hierarchies in our last study we 
considered the Hierarchy of the Neo-Platonic philosophy, which 
is really the esoteric teaching of ancient Greece in the form that 
Plato gave to it. And there were nine stages, nine degrees, 
hanging, as it were, from the topmost, the spiritual sun or the 
central sun. We can conceive of these Hierarchies as seven con- 
centric circles around and deriving from a central point, the 
Highest Triad, which we can call the infinite or the Primordial 
Point ; or, again, we can call this primordial point the At man 
or Self of the thinking entity, man, and then the other spheres 
or circles of being around him, will stand for his six other 
principles, somewhat in this fashion : 
 
 
 
 
This is one way of representing a human individual Hierarchy, 
the different spheres or concentric circles, six of them, all flowing 
forth from the center, or seventh element, the Self. All Hier- 
archies are divided into seven, nine, or ten. The reason for this 
is a question that we shall have to go into by and by. There is 
no need to represent all these methods or paradigmatic schemes, 
but the idea is the same in all. Another way of representing a 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
Hierarchy by paradigm is, as said before, by like lines, ten of 
them, in this way : 
 
 
 
. 5 
.6 
 
. 7 
 
.8 
 
 
 
or by representing the nine stages or spheres as three triads on 
three planes, and the tenth on its own fourth plane : 
 
 
 
We have studied the system of the Neo-Platonic Hierarchies 
in brief outline ; and, if we have time, we shall take up this 
evening two other paradigmatic schemes by which Hierarchies 
are variously represented. Let us call earnest attention here to 
the important fact, before going farther, that these schemes, 
these paradigmatic representation^ on a flat surface, do not 
mean that the grades or steps or planes of being are either flat 
surfaces, or are like " nests " of boxes ; they merely show by 
analogy, by hints, the relations and the functions of the grades 
among themselves. 
 
It is obvious to any thinking man that the Hierarchies of being 
do not rise one above another like the floors of a house ; it is 
perhaps true that all over the world they are so represented by 
different systems ; but this is merely to show that there is a high 
and a low, a series of conditions or states of spirit and matter. 
Just as we would teach children, so the ancient Teachers taught 
us, in simple ways. Nor are we to imagine that the Hierarchies 
actually extend somewhere in space in the form of triangles or 
circles. We represent them in this way in order to show their 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 67 
 
intermingling relations and their interpenetrating functions 
among each other. Why, however, do we separate the grades 
into triads ? Because certain ones of these grades or planes are 
more nearly related, intermingle more easily, function more 
easily together, since their conditions or states are more closely 
akin, (i) the first triad, the highest ; (2) the intermediate ; 
(3) the lowest triad ; and all overshadowing the corpus, the 
physical body. Or we can take another scheme, and have the 
three lowest centers forming the bottom triad ; the three inter- 
mediate centers next ; and then the three highest ; all the three 
triads hanging from a point, the Primordial Point, " God ", if 
you like. 
 
Now let us consider the question : Have the Christians a 
Hierarchy in their theology ? They have ; and by this I mean 
that the Christians had one, apparently from the earliest times, 
till the natural resiliency of the human mind began to exert 
itself in rebellion against the dogmatism and materialization of 
the Christian teaching which reached its climax in the epoch 
preceding the Renaissance of thought, when the discoveries of 
science freed the human mind from its dogmatic shackles. 
Nevertheless, up till that time this teaching of Hierarchies con- 
trolling living beings flourished in the Christian Church, and it 
originated in the form it then had, as we pointed out in our last 
study, in the writings of Dionysius, " the Areopagite ". One of 
his works was called On the Celestial Hierarchy, and it showed 
how all spiritual being was divided into a Hierarchy of ten degrees 
or stages, the tenth or highest being God. This mystic writer 
followed this work with another called On the Ecclesiastical 
Hierarchy, and he claimed as a good Christian, or in order to 
please his good Christian friends there is every reason to 
believe that he copied the hierarchical scheme of the Neo- 
Platonic philosophy, which was purely pagan, of course that 
on earth the celestial Hierarchy was re-enacted or reflected or 
repeated in an ecclesiastical Hierarchy, which was the Christian 
Church, topped by Jesus as the highest representative thereof 
and as the " Logos of God " ! 
 
Now what were the names that Dionysius gave to the grades 
or stages of his Hierarchy ? First, God, as the summit, the 
Divine Spirit ; then came the Seraphim ; then the Cherubim ; 
then the Thrones, forming the first triad. Then Dominations, 
Virtues, Powers, forming the second triad. Then Principalities, 
then Archangels, then Angels, the third triad counting down- 
ward. 
 
It is interesting to note that this Hierarchy is syncretistic, 
that is, composite, taken from different sources, and built up into 
a unity. Seraphim and Cherubim are from the Hebrew. This 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
plural word Seraphim comes from a Hebrew root meaning to 
" burn with fire ", hence, to be inflamed with love. Cherubim 
is a curious -word, but scholars generally think that it means 
" forms ". The Seraphim are mystically believed to be red in 
color, and the Cherubim dark blue. The Thrones, the Domina- 
tions, the Virtues, the Powers, the Principalities, are all taken 
from the Christian teachings of Paul in the Epistles, Ephesians 
i, 21, and Colossians i, 16, and are distinctly mystic. The two last, 
the archangels and the angels, are not at all Christian in their 
origin, but are derived in indirect and tortuous descent from the 
ancient Greek and Asiatic especially old Persian system of 
thought which recognized messengers or ministers or transmitters 
between man and the spiritual world ; the Greek word angel 
originally meant " messenger ", and the highest type of these 
were called archangels, or angels of the highest degree. 
 
Now the fault, or rather inadequacy, of this Christian system 
is that its highest point reached no higher than this god here, a 
modification on Greek lines of the Jewish Jehovah ; and it went 
no farther below in reach or extent than man himself. The 
Ineffable, Unthinkable, on the one hand, and the immeasurable 
spheres of beings below man, on the other hand, are ignored. It 
was merely a chapter torn out of the Ancient Wisdom and taken 
over into Christianity ; but small and imperfect as it was, it 
provided Christianity with all the mysticism and spiritualizing 
thought that saved it from utter materialism in religion during 
the Middle Ages. 
 
Let us now take up another Hierarchy, the Jewish scheme of 
the Qabbalah. You see that there are nine degrees here, nine 
degrees all pendant from the Supreme Self or God. Now the 
Jewish Qabbalistic Hierarchy, or Hierarchies, or system of Hier- 
archies, is an outgrowth of the teachings and thinkings of the 
Jewish doctors or Rabbis, from a time very far back, and is 
actually a reflexion of esoteric Babylonian teachings. 
 
As the Book of Genesis (the first few chapters of it at least) is 
very largely taken from the Babylonians, so the Jews derived 
their Angelology, or system of angels or angelical Hierarchies, 
from that same source. Now this teaching found its finest 
expression in the Jewish Theosophy, called the Qabbalah (this 
word, as said before, meaning to receive i.e., traditionary lore 
handed down from teacher to teacher), and the teaching of the 
Hierarchies in the Qabbalah is fundamental, the whole system 
being based on it : it implies the intermingling and the inter- 
change of all life and all beings, between low and high, in this 
regard exactly as in our own teaching. Hence the Qabbalah is, 
so far as it goes, a faithful reflexion of the Esoteric Philosophy. 
The Qabbalah, as outlined in the book Zohar a word meaning 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 69 
 
splendor , this book is often called the " Bible of the Qabbalists " 
is in large part exoteric from the Theosophical viewpoint, 
because all our teachings, with regard to certain things, 
are in the Zohar, but not all the explanations are there, and 
this fact makes the book exoteric, in so far as the keys are 
lacking. 
 
Now the teaching in the Qabbalah with regard to the Hierarchies 
and the Ladder of Life, is, that from the Boundless, or Ain Suph, 
down to infinity below, the Ladder of Life consists of steps, or 
degrees, or grades, of consciousness and of consciousnesses, and 
of being and of beings, and that there is a constant interchange, 
an interflow of communication, between these innumerable 
grades of the various Hierarchies or worlds. Precisely our teach- 
ing naturally ! The Qabbalistic Hierarchy consists of, or more 
accurately is typified by, nine grades or planes or spheres hanging 
from a tenth (or a first, if you like) , all together making ten. They 
bore the following names. The first is called the Crown, the 
Primordial Point, the first and highest of the Sefiroth (sometimes 
spelt Sephiroth) or the grades, steps, planes, spheres, before 
spoken of. The next Sephira is called Wisdom. (We have no 
time now to give the Hebrew words here ; they may be found 
in any book on the Qabbalah.) 1 The next, the third, is called 
Understanding, or, perhaps better, Intelligence. These form the 
head and two shoulders of the Adam Qadmon, or Archetypal Man, 
or Ideal Man. According to the thinking of the Qabbalists, as 
these Hierarchies are particularly and sympathetically related to 
certain respective parts of the human body, so these three just 
spoken of have each its respective relation : certain parts about 
the crown of the head, or in the head, or from the head, or 
belonging to the head, for the first Sephira ; the right shoulder 
to Wisdom ; the left to Understanding. The right arm is called 
Greatness, or sometimes Love ; the left arm is called Power, or 
sometimes Justice, and is considered a feminine quality ; the 
breast or region of the chest or heart is called Beauty. The right 
leg (remember I am speaking generally of the Archetypal Man) 
is called Subtility ; the left leg is called Majesty, and is con- 
sidered a feminine quality. The generative organs are called 
Foundation. 
 
Now these make nine. Each of these grades is assumed to 
emanate from the one above it. First the Crown ; from the Crown, 
Wisdom ; from the Crown and Wisdom, Understanding ; from the 
three Crown, Wisdom, and Understanding comes the fourth ; 
from the four all together comes the fifth ; from the five all 
together comes the sixth ; and so on down to the ninth ; and 
 
1 See I sis Unveiled, II, 213; and Theosophical Glossary. 
 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
the ninth, with all the forces and qualities of the others behind it, 
produces this round being, an egg-shaped container or 
" carrier ", or vehicle, an auric egg, and this auric 
egg, as the tenth, is called Kingdom, or sometimes 
Dwelling-Place, because it is the fruit or result or 
emanation, or field of action of all the others,' manifesting 
through these different planes of being. 
 
Now why should the Hierarchies sometimes be numbered or 
reckoned as seven, and sometimes as ten ? Because ten is the 
most sacred fundamental number in occultism. It is that upon 
which the universe is built. The fabric of being is built along the 
lines of the decad or ten. The Pythagoreans, members of one of 
the most mystic of the ancient Greek schools of thinking, had 
what they called the sacred Tetractys, a word referring to the 
number four ; and how did they represent this Tetractys ? In 
this fashion : First a point above and alone, the Monad ; then 
two points below that, or the Dyad ; then three points below 
these, or the Triad ; and then four points below these, or 
the Tetrad ten points altogether. 
They had an oath which they con- 
sidered the most sacred adjuration 
of the Pythagorean School, which 
they uttered when they swore by 
the " Holy Tetractys ". What is 
this oath? It is worth remem- 
bering : " Yea, by the Tetraktys, 
which has supplied to our soul 
the fountain containing the roots 
of everflowing nature ". This 
is just full of profound thought. Finally, the tetraktys em- 
blematized (among other things) the procession of beings into 
manifestation. First the Primordial point, then the line, then 
the superficies, then the cube i +2 +3 +4=10. 
 
Now what, finally, is the difference between the system of 
seven and that of ten ? The seven is the fundamental number 
of the manifested universe ; but over the seven hovers eternally 
the infinite and immortal Triad, the Unmanifest. This is the key. 
Some religions specialize in sevens ; but all religions have the 
ten, also, in their various numerical schemes. 
 
As H. P. Blavatsky says we have not time to read her words 
in full to-night, although I had intended to read, after finishing 
this explanation, her own words on this very subject from her 
esoteric Instructions No. i (we must remember that this is an 
esoteric gathering) and also from The Secret Doctrine the 
number ten is the secret or sephirical principle of the universe, 
because on and through this denary system the universe is 
 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 71 
 
formed and built. Man (as a whole) is tenfold, the universe (as 
a whole) is tenfold, but both are septenary in manifestation. 
Every atom, every living being, and every universe is a complete 
Hierarchy of ten degrees : three highest considered as the Root, 
and seven lower in active manifestation. This Root, or Highest 
Triad, is a mystery-teaching, concerning which very little open 
explanation is to be found even in the ancient literatures. 
 
In The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, page 98, H. P. Blavatsky 
first enumerates certain things which you can see for yourself 
in the Stanza there printed, to wit : " The Voice of the Word, 
Svabhavat, the Numbers, for he is One and Nine " ; to which 
she joins the following as a foot-note : 
 
Which makes ten, or the perfect number applied to the " Creator," 
the name given to the totality of the Creators blended by the Mono- 
theists into One, as the " Elohim," Adam Kadmon or Sephira the 
Crown are the androgyne synthesis of the 10 Sephiroth, who stand 
for the symbol of the manifested Universe in the popularised Kabala. 
The esoteric Kabalists, however, following the Eastern Occultists, 
divide the upper Sephirothal triangle from the rest (or Sephira, 
Chochmah and Binah [that is, the Crown, Wisdom and Understand- 
ing]) which leaves seven Sephiroth. . . . 
 
Then on page 360 (very unfortunately we did not have time 
to refer to this at our last meeting) she says here in relation to 
other matters : " The 10, being the sacred number of the universe, 
was secret and esoteric . . . " ; and on page 362 : "... the 
whole astronomical and geometrical portion of the secret sacer- 
dotal language was built upon the number 10. . . ." 
 
It may be interesting and well worth while to point out here, 
that these quotations give the reason why the numerical com- 
putations of the Esoteric Philosophy have not yet been satis- 
factorily solved by students with a mathematical turn of mind 
because they will persist in working with the number seven, 
alone, in spite of Madame Blavatsky's open hints to the contrary, 
for she says openly that the number seven must be used in 
calculations in a manner hitherto unknown to Western mathe- 
matics. The hint ought to be sufficient in itself alone, because 
the seven, considered as a basis for computation, is a very 
unwieldy and awkward number with which to calculate. The 
subject is alluded to in veiled manner in Instructions No. I, 
page 9, in speaking of Padmapani, or the " Lotus-handed " one 
of the names in Tibetan mysticism of the Bodhisattwa Avalo- 
kitewara. H. P. Blavatsky says, after narrating a legend 
concerning this character : 
 
He vowed to perform the feat before the end of the Kalpa, adding 
that in case of failure he wished that his head would split into number- 
 
 
 
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less fragments. The Kalpa closed ; but Humanity felt him not within 
its cold, evil heart. Then Padmapani's head split and was shattered 
into a thousand fragments. Moved with compassion, the Deity re- 
formed the pieces into ten heads, three white and seven of various 
colors. And since that day man has become a perfect number, or Ten. 
In this allegory the potency of SOUND, COLOR, AND NUMBER is so 
ingeniously introduced as to veil the real esoteric meaning. To the 
outsider it reads like one of the many meaningless fairy-tales of 
creation ; but it is pregnant with spiritual and divine, physical and 
magical, meaning. From Amitabha no color or the white glory are 
born the seven differentiated colors of the prism. These each emit a 
corresponding sound, forming the seven of the musical scale. As 
Geometry among the Mathematical Sciences is specially related to 
Architecture, and also proceeding to Universals to Cosmogony, 
so the ten Jods of the Pythagorean Tetrad, or Tetraktys, being made 
to symbolize the Macrocosm, the Microcosm, or man, its image, had 
also to be divided into ten points. For this Nature herself has pro- 
vided, as will be seen. 
 
One more citation, in order to finish the subject. On page 15, 
H. P. Blavatsky writes shortly as follows : 
 
As the Universe, the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, arc ten, why 
should we divide Man into seven " principles " ? This is the reason why 
the perfect number ten is divided into two, a reason which cannot be 
given out publicly : In their completeness, i.e., super-spiritually and 
physically, the forces are TEN : to wit, three on the subjective and 
inconceivable, and seven on the objective plane. Bear in mind that 
I am now giving you the description of the two opposite poles : (a) the 
primordial triangle, which as soon as it has reflected itself in the 
" Heavenly Man/' the highest of the lower seven disappears, returning 
into " Silence and Darkness " ; and (b) the astral paradigmatic man, 
whose Monad (Atma) is also represented by a triangle, as it has to 
become a ternary in conscious Devachanic interludes. 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER VIII 
 
TRACES OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY IN GENESIS. 
 
The oldest religions of the world exoterically, for the esoteric root or founda- 
tion is one are the Indian, the Mazdean, and the Egyptian. Then comes- the 
Chaldaean, the outcome of these entirely lost to the world now, except in its 
disfigured Sabaeanism as at present rendered by the archaeologists ; then, passing 
over a number of religions that will be mentioned later, comes the Jewish, 
esoterically, as in the Kabala, following in the line of Babylonian Magism ; 
exoterically, as in Genesis and the Pentateuch, a collection of allegorical legends. 
Read by the light of the Zohar, the initial four chapters of Genesis are the frag- 
ment of a highly philosophical page in the World's Cosmogony. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY), I, 10. 
 
The first lesson taught in Esoteric philosophy is, that the incognisable Cause 
does not put forth evolution, whether consciously or unconsciously, but only 
exhibits periodically different aspects of itself to the perception of finite Minds. 
Now the collective Mind the Universal composed of various and numberless 
Hosts of Creative Powers, however infinite in manifested Time, is still finite when 
contrasted with the unborn and undecaying Space in its supreme essential aspect. 
That which is finite cannot be perfect. . . . 
 
The Hebrew Elohini, called in the translations " God," and who create 
" light," are identical with the Aryan Asuras. They are also referred to as the 
" Sons of Darkness " as a philosophical and logical contrast to light immutable 
and eternal. . . . The Zoroastrian Amshaspends create the world in six days or 
periods also, and rest on the Seventh ; whereas that Seventh is the first period 
or " day," in esoteric philosophy (Primary creation in the Aryan cosmogony). 
It is that intermediate /Eon which is the Prologue to creation, and which stands 
on the borderland between the uncreated eternal Causation and the produced 
finite effects ; a state of nascent activity and energy as the first aspect of the 
eternal immutable Quiescence. In Genesis, on which no metaphysical energy 
has been spent, but only an extraordinary acuteness and ingenuity to veil tho 
esoteric Truth, " Creation " begins at the third stage of manifestation. " God " 
or the Elohim are the " Seven Regents " of Pymander. They are identical with 
all the other Creators. 
 
Ibid., II, pp. 487-8. 
 
THIS evening we open our study with the following 
citation from the first volume of The Secret Doctrine, 
page 224 : 
Mankind in its first prototypal, shadowy form, is the 
offspring of the Elohim of Life (or Pitris) ; in its qualitative and 
physical aspect it is the direct progeny of the "Ancestors/ 1 the lowest 
Dhyinis, or Spirits of the Earth ; for its moral, psychic, and spiritual 
nature, it is indebted to a group of divine Beings, the name and charac- 
teristics of which will be given in Book II. Collectively, men are the 
handiwork of hosts of various spirits"; distributively, the tabernacles of 
those hosts ; and occasionally and singly, the vehicles of some of them. 
 
And on page 225, second paragraph : 
 
Man is not, nor could he ever be, the complete product of the " Lord 
God " ; but he is the child of the Elohim, so arbitrarily changed into 
 
73 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
the singular masculine gender. The first Dhy&iis, commissioned to 
" create " man in their image, could only throw off their shadows, like 
a delicate model for the Nature Spirits of matter to work upon. (See 
Book II.) Man is, beyond any doubt, formed physically out of the 
dust of the Earth, but his creators and fashioners were many. 
 
In opening our study this evening it seems advisable first to 
speak of two things, a less thing and a greater thing ; we take 
the less thing first. As has been seen from the beginning of our 
studies, as outlined by the Teacher, we have been bringing 
forward for our consideration at every one of our meetings, 
teachings found in the great religions of the world, mostly of the 
past, which are similar to or identical with our own. This has 
been done in order to join all these teachings, as found in the old 
religions, with the teachings as given by H. P. Blavatsky today, 
that is, with Theosophy. This shows the universality of thought 
in religions and thereby induces a spirit of kindliness and brother- 
hood, and leads to the accentuation of the moral sense which so 
greatly lacks in the comparative religious study of the doctrines 
of the predominant ancient religions by the mass of scholars in 
the Occident today. It does away at one sweep with the egoistic 
opinion that " we are more perfect and morally better than you 
are ", with the idea that we Occidentals are a superior people, 
and with the idea that a certain race and a certain religion are, 
by the fiat of the Deity, the chosen receptacles or vehicles for the 
only truth : that all the other religions are false, and that those 
who professed them in ancient times were merely brands prepared 
for the burning ! 
 
The second thing and the greater, is this. We have constantly 
been bringing forward certain religious or philosophical analogies 
and certain points of view thereupon which are veritable doctrinal 
touch-stones ; our aim being that those who may read these 
studies, as outlined by the Teacher, shall be enabled to have at 
hand, and through the thoughts therein expressed to have 
clear-set in their own minds, keys by which to test the truth and 
reality of the essential or fundamental doctrines of these ancient 
religions ; because all these doctrines in their essence and in their 
inner meaning, in those old religions, are true. In this sense 
Brahmanism is true, in this sense Buddhism is true, likewise 
Confucianism, and the doctrines of Laotse called Taoism. They 
are all true in that sense. 
 
But all of them have been, in greater or less degree, subject to 
the influences of certain creations of human fancy ; and for one 
who has not been trained in these studies, it is often difficult to 
separate the merely human fancies from the Nature-true teachings 
of the ancient Wisdom- Religion. All the ancient religions sprang 
from that same source Theosophy, as it is called today. But 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 75 
 
it is, as said before, sometimes difficult to know what is the 
original teaching and what the merely human accretion or 
creation. These creations of human phantasy and irreligious 
fear are very evident in the two modern monotheistic religions, 
which have sprung from Judaism, that is to say in Christianity 
and in Islam. In these two the human accretions of phantasy 
are very marked ; but in both of them there exists a solid sub- 
stratum of mystical thought based on the ancient teachings of 
the Wisdom-Religion. 
 
In Christianity it is particularly in the Neo-Pythagorean and 
the Neo-Platonic forms, as Christianized somewhat and as 
manifested in the teachings of Dionysius, called " the Areo- 
pagite " ; and in the later Mohammedan religion it is manifested 
somewhat more distantly in the borrowings from Greek thought 
mainly, though also from other sources, as we find them outlined 
by the Mohammedan doctors and thinkers, such as Ibn Sina, 
commonly called Avicenna in Europe, a Persian, who lived and 
wrote at the end of the tenth century ; by Averroes in Cordova, 
Spain, properly called Roshd, who flourished during the twelfth 
century ; and by another eminent Mohammedan scholar (mention- 
ing these three out of many) Al Farabi, of the tenth century, by 
descent a Turk. The Ancient Wisdom also affected the teachings 
of Mohammed in a highly mystical form, though greatly changed, 
as shown in the Sufi doctrines, which are particularly and mani- 
festly of Persian origin, owing their rise to that spiritual-minded 
and subtil people, the Persians. These doctrines are a very 
welcome contrast with the hard and mechanical religious beliefs 
which arose out of the egoism of the crude Arabian tribes of that 
period. 
 
Now the main theme of our study this evening is the considera- 
tion of the opening verses of the " Book of Beginnings ", called 
Genesis the first book in the Law of the Jews. We shall first 
read the English translation of these verses as found in the so- 
called " authorized version ", and of the same chapters we shall 
make a translation for ourselves, in which you will be enabled to 
see the difference from the former ; and we will explain what the 
difference is, and how it comes to be, and for this purpose we 
shall have to go into a brief exposition of certain peculiarities of 
the ancient Hebrew tongue. 
 
In the " authorized version " of the English Bible, called the 
version of King James, the Book of Genesis opens as follows, 
Chapter I, verse I : 
 
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. 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
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. 
 
6. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the 
waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 
 
7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which 
were under the firmament from the waters which were above the 
firmament : and it was so. 
 
8. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and 
the morning were the second day. 
 
9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered 
together unto one place, and let the dry land appear : and it was so. 
 
10. And God called the dry land Earth ; and the gathering together 
of the waters called he Seas : and God saw that it was good. 
 
VERSE 26. 
 
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness : 
and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl 
of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every 
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 
 
27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God 
created he him ; male and female created he them. 
 
Now, in the first place, Hebrew is a Semitic tongue, one of the 
company of languages of which Arabic and Ethiopic and Ara- 
maean (or Aramaic) and Phoenician and Assyrian are other 
members. The Hebrew in which the Bible is written is called 
the Biblical Hebrew. It is ancient Hebrew. The language spoken 
in Palestine at the time when Jesus is supposed to have lived 
upon the earth in Jerusalem and around that district, was 
Aramaean, and not Hebrew, which was then extinct as a spoken 
language, and of course when he spoke to his disciples he spoke 
to them in Aramaean. 
 
The Hebrew language as found in the ancient manuscripts of 
the Bible none earlier, probably, than the ninth century of the 
Christian era is written with " points ", taking the place of 
vowels, because Hebrew writing is a consonantal system its 
alphabet is wholly consonantal. It has the alef, or " a ", which 
is nevertheless reckoned as a consonant. It has the waw, or 
" w ", and it also is reckoned as a consonant ; and it has the 
yod, or " y ", also reckoned as a consonant, but it has no vowel- 
signs proper. 
 
Thus, the language is written without true vowels. Further- 
more, in the most ancient manuscripts and certainly it was so 
in the original or pre-Christian era texts the letters are all " run 
together ", following one after another, without separation of 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 77 
 
words. There were some marks possibly, by which certain things 
in the text were pointed out as of particular importance ; but 
the letters followed one another interminably, with no separa- 
tion into words, and without vowels. So, you see, there is an 
open field for many kinds of speculation, even for very able 
Hebrew scholars, as to what any certain combination of letters 
found in this endless stream may have originally meant. This 
way of writing was universal, practically, in ancient times ; the 
earliest Greek and Latin manuscripts of the New Testament are 
written in this fashion, which merely followed the ancient custom, 
as may still be seen on the ruins of public buildings in Greece and 
Rome. Obviously, interpretation, or correct reading, was often 
dubious : the reader might be very doubtful of the original sense 
of a passage in a manuscript so written. 
 
So much was this the case that there arose in Palestine at an 
undetermined date but we know that it may go back to about 
the time of the fall of Jerusalem before Titus, or, say, about the 
beginning of the Christian era a school of interpreters, who 
interpreted by what they were pleased to call " tradition ", 
Masorah, that is to say, " traditional " knowledge, how the 
Hebrew Bible should be read, how these streams of consonants 
should be divided up in reading into words, and what vowel- 
points should be put there in order to fix the pronunciation in 
accordance therewith. This system of " points " was probably 
not introduced into the text till the seventh century. This school 
was called the School of the Masorah, and its expounders and 
followers were called Massoretes. 
 
This school of the Masorah reached its fullest development and 
completion probably in the ninth century of the Christian era. 
But while this school depended upon what it called " tradition ", 
there is no certainty of proof that their interpretations of their 
own combinations of letters into words were always correct. 
They seemed to have got, however, and to have passed down to 
posterity, some knowledge of the general original sense. 
 
In order to illustrate this matter, let us take the first five 
English words of Genesis : we drop all the vowels, retaining only 
the consonants, and we have this : Nthbgnnnggdcrtd. You 
could here insert vowels almost ad libitum, in seeking a meaning. 
" In the beginning God created ", and now imagine endless lines 
of such consonants ! 
 
Add to it the fact that Hebrew writing begins at the right 
hand and runs to the left. Furthermore, it begins at what we 
would call the end of the book, and runs to the front, as writings 
in other Semitic tongues do. This fashion of writing was not 
uncommon with other peoples in ancient days. Greek and Latin 
writing in ancient times sometimes followed this system, but 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
later, as you can see today if you have been in Greece or in 
Rome, in the old inscriptions on the temples and elsewhere, it 
usually began at the left and went to the right, usually with no 
breaks for words. In the very old Greek writings (and elsewhere 
too) they also had what they called boustrophedon, from two 
Greek words meaning ox-turning, taken from the path followed 
by the plowing ox : when it starts, let us say, from one end of a 
field it goes to the other end and then turns and goes back and 
over it, in the opposite direction, but aside and parallel with 
the other line, in plowing its furrows. This method is not followed 
in the Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible that we possess. 
 
Now, in beginning our translation of the first verses of Genesis, 
we are met, in the very first two words, by a difficulty. These 
words can be translated in two or three different ways. The 
translation as given in the European Bibles, and as found in the 
" authorized " English version, is a fairly correct rendering so 
far as mere words go ; but anyone who has undertaken transla- 
tions from a foreign tongue and particularly from a dead tongue, 
and more especially again from a tongue which is a religious 
tongue and evidently written more or less in cipher, can realize 
the difficulties there lie in picking out the various meanings which 
any one word may have, in choosing which is the word that is 
best for the translation, which word carries the meaning nearest 
to the intention of the writer. The first two words as usually 
read are " be " and " rshith " ; and so divided, their meanings 
are as here follow : Be means in, reshith means beginning, this 
second word being a feminine form, and coming originally from 
the masculine word Resh, or Rosh, meaning (among several other 
things) head, chief part, first part. Hence we may translate Be 
reshith as " In first part ", or " In highest part ", etc. 
 
But this same combination of letters Brashith could also be 
translated (by dividing differently) as Bore, one word, a verb, and 
shtth, another word, a noun ; meaning Bore, or " forming ", and 
shtth, an " institution ", " establishment ", " arrangement ". 
" Forming the establishment (or arrangement) " of what ? 
The text goes on to say what is arranged or established By 
arranging " formed the Elohim Heaven and Earth/ 1 
 
Furthermore, the word resh, or rosh, above selected, may also 
mean " head " as before said, signifying " wisdom ", or " know- 
ledge " : hence, " In wisdom the Elohim formed Heavens and 
Earth ". Remember, it is permissible to put in vowels almost at 
choice, because vowels do not exist in the original text of the 
book, in the Bible, itself ; hence the opening for more than 
merely one interpretation. 
 
Resh, or r6sh, then, also means " head " ; it also means 
" wisdom " ; it also means " host " or " multitude ". So here 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 79 
 
we may select still another a fourth translation : Bertsh, " in 
multitude ", or " by multitude ". Yithbdre would then be the 
next word, " formed Elohim ". Here comes again another 
remarkable change in meaning and I am making these remarks 
in order to point out how the Hebrew text of the Bible may bear 
many translations. Supposing then that we divide the first 
fourteen Hebrew letters of the text into the following word- 
combinations : Be-resh yithbdre Elohtm, we get (by using yithbdre, 
which is one of the forms of the Hebrew verb, called the reflexive 
form, meaning action upon oneself) the following translation : 
" By multitude ", " Through multitude, the Gods formed them- 
selves ". What follows in the text ? " into the heavens and the 
earth ". That is : " In a host (or multitude) the gods formed 
(made) themselves into the Heavens and the Earth ". See the 
vast difference in meaning from the " authorized version ". This 
last translation we believe is the best ; it shows at once the 
identity of thought with all other ancient cosmogonic systems. 
 
" By multitude formed " (or " evolved " : this word Bdrd 
means to " fatten ", to " shape ", to " become heavy or gross ", 
to " cut ", to " form ", to " be born ", to " evolve ") ' ' by (or 
in) multitude " or " through (or in) multitude evolved Elohim 
themselves into the heavens and the earth ". 
 
Now the fourth word, Elohtm. This is a very curious word. 
The first part of it alone is el, meaning God, divinity, from which 
comes the second, a feminine form, eloh, Goddess. 1m is merely 
the masculine plural. So, if we translate every element in this 
single word, it would mean, " God, Goddess, plural " showing 
the androgynous essence of the divinities, as it were : the polar 
opposites of the Hierarchy ; the essential duality in life. 
 
Verse 2. " And the earth became ethereal ". Now the second 
word a verb in the Hebrew text of the second verse answers 
to two Latin verbs : esse, to be, and fieri, to become ; but almost 
always its original sense is fieri, to become, like the Greek 
gignomai, meaning to become, to grow into a new state of some- 
thing. " And the earth became " or " grew into ethereality ". 
The two next words (" tohti " and " bohu ") of the text, which we 
here translate " ethereality ", are very difficult words rightly to 
interpret. They both mean " emptiness ", " waste ", " Immateri- 
ality", hence " dissolution " ; the fundamental idea means 
something unsubstantial, not materially gross. We continue our 
translation : " And darkness upon the face of the ethers. And 
the Rtiahh (the spirit-soul) of the Gods (of Elohim) (fluttered, 
hovered) brooding/ 1 The word we translate " brooded " is 
derived from and means the action of a hen which flutters, and 
hovers, and broods over the eggs in its nest. How graphic, how 
significant is this figure of speech ! 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
You see the same thought here that you see in practically all 
the ancient teachings ; the figure or symbol of the cosmic soul 
brooding over the waters of space, preparing the world-egg : that 
of the cosmic egg and the divine bird laying the cosmic egg. 
" And the spirit-soul of Elohim brooding upon the face of the 
waters ", says the Hebrew text. Now " waters ", as we have 
shown before, was a common expression or symbol for space, the 
ethereal expansion, as it were. We continue our translation : 
" And said (the) Elohim (The Gods) Light, come-into-being ! 
and Light came-into-being. And saw (the) Gods the light, that 
(it was) good. And divided Elohim between the light and 
between the darkness. And called Elohim the light day, and 
the darkness called they night. And (there) came-into-being eve, 
and (there) came-into-being morn. Day one. And said Elohim 
(let there) come-into-being an expanse in (the) midst of the 
waters, and let it be a separator (divider) between waters and 
waters. And made Elohim (or the Gods) the expanse, and they 
separated between the waters which (were) below the expanse, 
and between the waters which (were) above the expanse, and (it) 
came-to-be so. And called Elohim (the Gods) the expanse 
heavens, and (there) came-into-being eve, and (there) came-into- 
being morn. Day second. And said Elohim (the Gods) " (let 
there) be-gathered-together (i.e., solidified, condensed) the 
waters above the heavens into one place, and (let there) be-seen 
the dry-part (the solidified or manifested part) " (the word means 
" dry ", in opposition to humidity. Humidity means water, 
standing for space. It means, therefore, the collected matter 
of a planet to be, of a solar system to be, or a universe to be), 
" and (it) came-to-be so. And called the Gods the dry-part earth, 
and the solidification (gathering-together) of the waters called 
they seas. And saw Elohim (the Gods) that (it was) good." 
 
Now turn to verses 26, 27, 28 of the same, the first, chapter. 
" And said (the Gods) Elohtm, Let us make humanity (the word 
is Adam) in our shadowy image (in our shadow, in our phantom. 
The word is tselem), according to our pattern (or model). And 
let them descend into the fish of the sea and into the flying 
creatures of the heavens, and into the beast, and into all the 
earth, and into all moving creatures which move upon the earth. 
And formed (or shaped or evolved, the same verb as above, 
Bdrd) Elohim (the Gods) humanity in their phantom, in the 
shadowy image of Elohtm, formed (or evolved) they him." 
 
Now come two very interesting words, usually translated 
" male and female ", which are two of the meanings respectively 
found in the dictionaries ; but the root-meanings of these words 
are the following : " thinker and receiver " (or receptacle) : 
" thinker and receptacle evolved they them. And blessed them 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 81 
 
the Elohim ", that is, the Elohim blessed them, " and said to them 
the Elohim, ' be fruitful, increase, and fill the earth '/' and so forth. 
You see, therefore, that here, merely by using other words 
than those usually chosen by Christian translators, or later 
Jewish translators, and yet recognised dictionary words, and by 
forcing no meanings, we have found the identical meanings of the 
Esoteric teachings as outlined in The Secret Doctrine when treat- 
ing of these subjects. First the Hierarchy and its manifested 
divinities evolving the universe or Kosmos out of themselves, 
using the reflexive form of the Hebrew verb bard, as shown 
above. Furthermore, a study of the first verse of Genesis will 
show us that the evolution treated in it has no relation solely 
and especially to the creation of this earth or of any other par- 
ticular earth, but is a general doctrine having reference rather to 
the first manifestation of material being in ethereal space, and that 
the fowls of the air and the fish of the sea and the beasts, which 
are spoken of, do not necessarily refer (although they could) to the 
particular animals which we know under those names on earth, 
but do also refer (in accord with a well known fact of ancient 
mythology) to the " animals of the heavens " of which we spoke 
in our last study, i.e., to every globe of the starry spheres, to 
every nebula and to every comet, all such being considered in the 
ancient teachings to be a living being, an " animal " having its 
physical corpus or body, and having behind it its Director, or 
Governor, or Divine Essence, or Spirit. 
 
Furthermore, we see that the Elohim evolved Man, Humanity, 
out of themselves, and told them to become, then to enter into 
and inform these other creatures. Indeed, these sons of the 
Elohim are, in our teachings, the children of light, the sons of 
light, which are we ourselves, and yet different from ourselves, 
because higher, yet they are our own very selves inwardly ; for, 
in fact, the Elohim, became, evolved into, their own offspring, 
remaining in a sense still always the inspiring Light, within or 
rather above according to the interpretation authorized by the 
very words chosen from the dictionary and flaunting no rule of 
Hebrew grammar. For, following the ancient teachings of the 
Esoteric Philosophy, and strengthened by exactly similar thought 
in the Babylonian religious teachings from which these Hebrew 
teachings originally came, we see that the Elohim projected 
themselves into the nascent forms of the then " humanity ", 
which thenceforward were " men, 1 ' however imperfect their 
development still was. 
 
What were these Elohim, these divinities, these Gods ? In the 
hierarchical system of the Qabbalah they are the sixth in deriva- 
tion from above, from the first or the Crown, and thus are by no 
means the highest. They were, cosmogonically, the manifested 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
Formers, or Weavers, of the Web of the Universe. Jehovah, 
spoken of in the second chapter of Genesis, is the third angelic 
potency, counting downwards from the Crown the summit of 
the Hierarchy of the Qabbalah. 
 
In chapter five of Genesis, verses i and 2, there is ap interesting 
expression. We translate : " This (the) book of the generations 
of humanity (Adam) . In the day of Elohim (of the Gods) evolving 
humanity, in the pattern (or model) of the Elohim, made they 
him. Thinker-and-receptacle made they them, and blessed them 
and called their name humanity (or Adam) in the day of their 
making." Evidently, it is not here question of a single human 
pair, of a man and a woman in our sense, but of nascent androgy- 
nous humanity, and they had one name, Adam, and their attributes 
were thinker and casket (or receptacle) : ethereal beings 
children of the Elohim who are themselves capable of thinking 
and of receiving and understanding and developing under the 
lessons which were to follow from their incarnations in the lower 
fleshly beings they themselves evolved, and signified under the 
terms as set forth here the " fowls " of the " air ", and the 
" fish " of the " sea ", and every living thing which moveth 
upon the face of the earth. 
 
These ancient writings have more than one mystical or esoteric 
application, or, as H. P. Blavatsky says, they have more than 
one key. But, again, what or who were these Elohim ? They 
were our theosophical monads. It is curious, by the way, that 
Leibnitz, the great Slavic-German philosopher, evolved a theory 
of monadic evolution which is singularly like our own in some 
respects. For him, the universe was replete with progressing 
entities, which he called " monads ", spiritual beings which 
evolved through the forces innate in themselves, yet acting and 
reacting upon each other a faithful echo, in so far as it goes, of 
the Ancient Wisdom-Religion. 
 
Again, what do we mean when we speak respectively of 
emanation, evolution, and creation ? Emanation and evolution are 
closely similar in meaning. Emanation is from a Latin word 
meaning " flowing out ", and in all the ancient teachings of 
importance the idea was that the Gods actively, transitively, 
" flowed out " from themselves their offspring or children. 
Evolution is also a Latin word and means " rolling out ", 
" unfolding ", something which is unfolded ; and obviously a 
thing which is " flowed out ", using the words " flowed out " 
transitively, is also unrolled out, unfolded out. 
 
Now creation originally in its Latin sense meant practically 
the same as does this Hebrew word Bard. It meant " making ", 
" shaping ", " carving ", " cutting " of course out of pre- 
existing material or matter, and the Christian theory (which was 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 83 
 
more or less that of the Jews in their later days) that God made 
the world " out of nothing ", is preposterous, absurd, both 
historically and linguistically. It is founded on no ancient 
teaching whatever, and it arose naturally enough, in a sense, 
from the monotheistic mania, which endeavored to make God 
extra-cosmic, apart from the universe, and above it, a pure spirit, 
having no relation of ineluctable union with his creatures, God 
the " Father and Maker " of them, and yet an absolute personal 
non-entity having no " body, parts, or passions ", yet a Person 
withal ! ! Of course the two concepts are contradictory and 
mutually destructive, and had we the time it would be easy to 
dilate further the preposterous absurdity of which we speak. 
 
We can see, therefore, in closing our study this evening, that 
it is very difficult to say which of these three : Emanation, 
Evolution, Creation, is first in the order of procession. Was it 
emanation, followed by evolution, followed by creation ; or was 
it evolution, followed by emanation, followed by creation ? Cer- 
tainly, creation in its original sense of shaping, forming comes 
the last of the three, as is easily shown. The difficulty lies in the 
fact that in every cosmic act of emanation we immediately 
perceive an act of evolution or unfolding ; and in every act of 
evolution we immediately perceive an act of emanation. Every 
monad pari passu passes from one into the other, just as all 
mankind evolved pari passu from one into the other. We should, 
probably, say that emanation, evolution, creation, work simul- 
taneously and co-ordinately, during manifestation. 
 
But taking the question from a purely philosophical standpoint, 
it is probably accurate and best to say that the first step from 
what we call the Unmanifest into the Manifest is emanation, a 
flowing out from its source of a monad or rather a host of monads, 
which, as they in turn follow the pattern set for them by their 
source and their Karmic past, grow darker, and more material, 
proportionately as they recede from their central fount of life ; 
and, again, as they emanate, they also evolve, bringing out from 
within that which they innately are or have, and they do this in 
accordance with the karmic lines or patterns upon which we have 
faintly touched in previous studies, when speaking of the Skan- 
dhas, because every act of emanation and of evolution begins a 
new life-cycle following the pralaya or rest-period of a former life- 
period or manvantara. Then finally, when the period of self- 
consciousness is reached in the cyclical progression of evolution, 
comes a period of will, conscious choice, when man begins to 
" create " or fashion voluntarily ; that is, through the exercise 
of his will and his intuition and his intellect, he carves his own 
destiny and likewise affects the world creationally which exists 
around him. 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER IX 
 
OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC COSMOGONY. GLOBES, ROUNDS AND 
RACES ! COSMIC TIME-PERIODS. 
 
Can one fail to recognise in Creuzer great powers of intuition, when, being 
almost unacquainted with the Aryan Hindu philosophies, little known in his day, 
he wrote : 
 
" We modern Europeans feel surprised when hearing talk of the Spirits of the 
Sun, Moon, etc. But we repeat again, the natural good sense and the upright 
judgment of the ancient peoples, quite foreign to our entirely material ideas upon 
celestial mechanics and physical sciences . . . could not see in the stars and 
planets only that which we see : namely, simple masses of light, or opaque bodies 
moving in circuits in sidereal space, merely according to the laws of attraction 
or repulsion ; but they saw in them living bodies, animated by spirits as they saw 
the same in every kingdom of nature. . . . This doctrine of spirits, so consistent 
and conformable to nature, from which it was derived, formed a grand and unique 
conception, wherein the physical, the moral, and the political aspects were all 
blended together. ..." (gypte, pp. 450 to 455.) 
 
It is such a conception only that can lead man to form a correct conclusion 
about his origin and the genesis of everything in the universe of Heaven and 
Earth, between which he is a living link. Without such a psychological link, 
and the feeling of its presence, no science can ever progress, and the realm of 
knowledge must be limited to the analysis of physical matter only. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (IT. P. BLAVATSKY), II, pp. 369-70. 
 
E open our study tonight by reading once again 
from page 224 and page 225 of The Secret Doctrine, 
Vol. I, as follows : 
 
Mankind in its first prototypal, shadowy form, is the 
offspring of the E16him of Life (or Pitris) ; in its qualitative and 
physical aspect it is the direct progeny of the "Ancestors/' the lowest 
Dhy&nis, or Spirits of the Earth ; for its moral, psychic, and spiritual 
nature it is indebted to a group of divine Beings, the name and charac- 
teristics of which will be given in Book II. Collectively, men are the 
handiwork of hosts of various spirits ; distributively, the tabernacles 
of those hosts ; and occasionally and singly, the vehicles of some of 
them. 
 
And the second paragraph on page 225 : 
 
Man is not, nor could he ever be, the complete product of the 
" Lord God " ; but he is the child of the Eldhim, so arbitrarily changed 
into the singular masculine gender. The first Dhyllnis, commissioned 
to " create " man in their image, could only throw off their shadows, 
like a delicate model, for the Nature-Spirits of matter to work upon. 
(See Book II.) Man is, beyond any doubt, formed physically out of 
the dust of the Earth, but his creators and fashioners were many. 
 
In our last study we called attention to the first chapter of 
 
8 4 
 
 
 
w 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 85 
 
the Hebrew Book of Genesis, and translated verses I to 10, and 
verses 25, 26, and 27 thereof. The intention was to show that 
the Ancient Wisdom was outlined even in the Jewish Book of 
Beginnings, even as it is elsewhere found in the scriptures of the 
other great world-religions. Of course, in all meetings where the 
time at one's disposal is limited, such as it is in these meetings, 
it is impossible adequately to treat every point of interest, and to 
deal with every phase of the subject at once ; for this reason the 
Teacher has instructed me first to sketch an outline of a subject 
under discussion, and in later studies to return to the details. 
 
Now in continuation of our study of the esoteric sense under- 
lying this first chapter of Genesis, we must point out that this 
chapter does not deal with man as we now know him. The 
" man " spoken of in this first chapter is the spiritual being 
which descended into matter in the first Round of this man- 
vantara, as a spiritual, or rather ethereal, being ; and consequently, 
when in verse 27 we translated the peculiar phrase, " Thinker 
and receiver formed (or evolved) they him ", we must understand 
that this allusion does not refer to sexual man and woman of the 
present time. These words, thinker and receiver, refer to the 
spiritual nature of the then ethereal vehicles of humanity, not to 
our present day man or woman ; and the word receiver can also 
be translated receptacle, the vehicle or house of the higher nature. 
Also, at the period dealt with in this verse 27 of the first chapter 
of Genesis, man in the general sense humanity was of double 
sex, or androgyne ; hence, obviously, there was no " woman " 
then. This first chapter practically ignores the first, purely 
sexless, state of ethereal Adam ; and enters upon its description of 
" man " when the latter was already sinking into material 
existence as a semi-self-conscious ethereal androgyne. In other 
words, the first chapter does not detail the separation of the 
sexes, which occurred far later. This general statement is plainly 
shown by even the exoteric rendering of the teaching but let us 
read from another chapter of Genesis, verse 5 of Chapter II : 
 
And every plant of the field BEFORE IT WAS IN THE EARTH, and 
every herb of the field BEFORE IT GREW : for the Lord God had not 
caused it to rain upon the earth, and there WAS NOT A MAN to till the 
ground. 
 
" Man " had not yet come. Let me preface future explanations 
by saying that this second chapter of Genesis deals with the third 
and the fourth Rounds of our Manvantara, the latter or fourth 
being our present round ; and more particularly with the Third 
Root-Race of our Fourth Round ; whereas chapter first is a highly 
generalized and succinct Jewish epitome of early cosmogony, and 
ends with a similarly brief allusion to Rounds first and second. 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
And in verses 19, 20, 21, and 22, we find the following : 
 
19. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the 
field, and every fowl of the air ; and brought them unto Adam to see 
what he would call them : and whatsoever Adam called every living 
creature, that was the name thereof. 
 
20. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, 
and to every beast of the field ; but for Adam there was not found a 
helpmeet for him. 
 
21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and 
he slept ; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead 
thereof ; 
 
22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he 
a woman, and brought her unto the man. 
 
As in verse 5 above, I use here the ordinary English translation 
of the so-called " Authorized Version ", although, as a matter of 
fact, a very luminously different translation could be made of 
these verses. It would lead us too far from our main point to 
do so now. 
 
Now, in the first place, this second chapter records a different 
method from that recorded in Chapter I, and a change as regards 
the evolving of the ethereal being from the Elohim, having 
reference to the making of physical humanity, or " man ", from 
the " dust of the ground " (verse 7). In the second place, this 
English word rib of verses 21 and 22 should be translated side, the 
allusion being to the separation of the androgyne or dual-sexed 
humanity of Race the Third of our Fourth Round into sexed 
humanity as now existent. 
 
Now Plato in his Banquet, page 189, alludes to this same 
historical physiological fact of pre-history, and says that (one of) 
the early races of mankind was bi-sexually formed ; that they 
had great and terrible powers, and that their wickedness and 
ambition waxed very great, so that Zeus grew angry at their 
wickedness, and decided to cut them in two, as one would divide 
an egg with a hair. This Zeus did ; and bade Apollo to render 
the two halves more shapely, etc. Apollo so did, and he closed 
up the flesh of the two halves. Since then all mankind was man 
and woman. A typically Platonic tale, imbodying actual facts 
of forgotten history. 
 
This deals with the earliest portion of the Fourth Root-Race, 
and much more especially with the middle period of the Third 
Root-Race of the Fourth or present Round on this planet. Up 
to the present time we have not had the need to set forth the 
teaching regarding the Rounds and Races ; but we are fast 
approaching the time when we shall have to develop that subject. 
 
We will now leave, for the present, with a few more words of 
explanation, the outline of emanation and evolution as found in 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 87 
 
the Jewish Bible and as outlined by us at our last study and thus 
far this evening ; and therefore first, before leaving it, it will be 
well to say a few words on the question of the Elohim, a subject 
upon which we touched last week. 
 
Elohim is a word frequently found in the Jewish Bible, and is, 
as stated in our last preceding lecture, in itself an evidence of 
the polytheistic bias, teachings, and beliefs of the ancient Jewish 
people. The Bible itself shows it. Usually this word a plural 
common noun is to be translated as " Gods ". But in most 
places where it occurs in the Hebrew text it is translated in the 
English " Authorized Version " as God. There is no true or 
solid reason for such a translation ; the proper rendering is 
Gods ; but the monotheistic and Christian tendencies of the 
translators made them set the translation for what they considered 
to be the best interests of the Christian Church, and their God 
Almighty ; so they translated it in various places by various 
names, as for instance, it is translated as " Judges " in Exodus 
xxi, 6 ; xxii, 8, 9 ; and in many other places ; but the essen- 
tial, intrinsic meaning is always Gods, or beings having divine 
standing. 
 
We now approach in our studies very difficult and, indeed, 
highly esoteric matters. In the first place, let us never forget that 
the Elohim, the Gods, who are spoken of under various names 
in the various religions of the ancient world as the creators or 
rather evolvers or parents of mankind, are spiritual beings who 
are ourselves. And the key to this apparent riddle is found in 
the doctrine and exposition of the Hierarchies of individualized 
life, as outlined in a former study. 
 
A Hierarchy can be considered as an aggregate unit, as a 
collective entity in the same sense that an army is ; neverthe- 
less, an army is composed of units ; and yet, again, this army of 
beings in any one Hierarchy is indeed from another aspect more 
than a mere collective entity, because it is united in its apex, in 
what is actually the fount of that Hierarchy. This fount is the 
hyparxis or spiritual sun from which all the other nine planes or 
classes of the Hierarchy emanate and evolve down to the lowest, 
thence beginning a new Hierarchy ; even as the hyparxis of any 
one Hierarchy is the lowest class or plane of a superior Hierarchy, 
and so practically ad infinitum. 
 
Man is a spiritual being throughout, through and through and 
through. Matter itself is but one manifestation of spirit. We live 
in a universe of spirit, and although matter exists it exists as 
Maya, illusion ; not as a mere illusionary nothing, but as some- 
thing, as a modality, so to say, of spirit ; but as we grow higher 
into the upper planes of the hierarchical scale, the maya, for the 
sphere of life embraced by that Hierarchy, fades away from 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
before our eyes, -and we see truth in greater degree and pro- 
gressively more widely the higher we go. 
 
With regard to the descent into matter, or falling into matter, 
of mankind, that is to say the descent into manifested being of 
the spiritual entities, the spiritual hierarchy which man actually 
and properly is, we must remember that we cannot understand 
this profound subject very well without undertaking an outline 
or sketch, more or less complete, of what are the Rounds and 
Races ; yet before doing this, we must clear away from our minds 
certain scientific conceptions, or rather misconceptions, which 
have been implanted in us by intensive teaching from childhood, 
and which have for that reason become a part of our mental life. 
 
Two main pillars of our modern science are the following : 
first, the doctrine of the Conservation of Energy : that is to say, 
that the amount of force or of energy in the universe is constant, 
and no increase can be created to add unto it, and no amount can 
be taken away from it ; the second great pillar is the doctrine 
of the Correlation, or the Convertibility, of Forces : that is to 
say, that any force can, at least theoretically, be converted into 
some other force, as mechanical motion into electrical and 
electrical into mechanical, and so forth as regards the other 
forces working in matter. 
 
Now these two theories or doctrines of science do make an 
approach in certain respects to the esoteric conception of the 
wonderful element back of and causative of all the changes in 
Nature, but nevertheless the conception of the Esoteric Philosophy, 
as our Teachers have shown it to us, cannot accept either of these 
two doctrinal pillars of science as thus conceived. First, the 
doctrine of the Conservation of Energy. It is perfectly true that 
no " new " force can be " created ", and it is likewise perfectly 
true that no energy or force can ever be utterly lost. Forces are 
not converted or transformed, as the twin doctrine of science has 
it ; it is possible, however, for a force to pass from one plane of 
being into another to come into one plane from a higher, or, 
indeed, from a lower. In other words, it is possible for a force- 
or energy-element outside of some plane to enter into being and 
manifestation upon it. Hence, the materialistic doctrine of a 
universe of dead, lifeless, non-vital matter nothing above it 
or beyond it or below it or through it cannot be accepted by 
the students of the Esoteric Philosophy. 
 
As regards the correlation or Convertibility of Energy. It is 
true, in one sense, that all the forces in the universe are correlated. 
It is a fundamental axiom of Theosophy that the Universe, our 
Universe, any Universe, is a living organism, and hence that its 
energies or forces, and all of them, are correlated ; but this does 
not mean that one force can become another. The idea offends the 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 89 
 
very essence, the very foundation of the Esoteric teaching with 
regard to manifestation, its Hierarchies, and individual lives 
all offspring of the ONE LIFE. What happens is rather this : 
That one force is not turned into or converted into another, but 
evokes or calls forth or arouses into active life or manifestation 
a "force " which was not " latent" a curious contradiction of 
sense but which was in equilibrium. When the modern scientist 
speaks of latent or potential energy, it is to the Occultist a con- 
summate logical absurdity, the very name energy or force meaning 
activity, and to talk about a " latent force " is like talking about 
" latent activity " or " dead life ", or a square triangle, or a flat 
sphere. It is impossible as long as we base our conception on 
the scientific postulates. But and note this well, please : a 
Theosophist, an Occultist, could use this phrase " latent force ", 
because in his mouth the phrase has a meaning and sense. 
 
For instance, a spiritual hence latent or non-material force 
is not " converted " into matter ; a material force is not " con- 
verted " into spirit. Why ? Because spirit and matter, or force 
and matter, are not two, but fundamentally and essentially ONE. 
Throughout the long period of manvantaric time there is a gradual 
evolution of one thing into another, but this procession of life is 
not accomplished along the lines or by the methods of the scientific 
theories which apply in the doctrine called the Convertibility of 
material Energy. The latter is a dream to us : it does not 
exist. 
 
This is, in fact, a subject which we shall have to develop more 
fully at a later period of our study, but we come now to the 
question of the descent of spiritual and then ethereal man into 
matter, down the ten steps of the Hierarchical scale. We saw in 
a former study that this descent was begun by the entrance 
through a laya-center of the spiritual entities seeking mani- 
festation on lower planes, the time having struck for them to 
open their great Maha-Manvantara or the world-period which 
was to follow. As soon as the spiritual essences touched the high- 
est degree of the lower plane, our fourth-matter plane, it stirred 
the particular laya-center therein to which they were directed 
by karmic energy, into corresponding activity or sympathetic 
life. Ths first manifestation thereof as seen from the same plane 
was the nebula, a cloudy nebula ; the second stage, aeons later, 
was a spiral nebula ; and the third, aeons still later, was an annular 
nucleated nebula, like a ring with a globe in the center ; the 
latest stage, before the evolving body settled into life as a planet, 
was a comet, directed or drawn to that particular solar system or 
sun to which it was karmically related in the former Planetary 
Manvantara. 
 
Now the Life-Cycle, or Manvantara, of a planet, consists 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
objectively of seven Rounds, or smaller manvantaras, around 
seven globes ; but this is preceded by three elemental cycles 
ten in all. The first three stages or cycles, call them the three 
elemental Rounds, if you will, are on the three archetypal planes 
above the seven ; this period is not yet really ethereal mani- 
festation : it is the first descent of the Arupa (or bodiless) beings, 
of spiritual nature, into sub-spiritual manifestation ; but when 
the third or lowest of the three archetypal planes has been 
traversed, by that time the life-wave or life-essence has con- 
solidated sufficiently in ethereal matter to form an airy shape 
or ethereal globe. This globe thence starts on the manvantaric 
cycle down into matter, a cycle which proceeds in several stages, 
actually seven, and upon and in seven globes, as already stated. 
 
During the first Round, upon the first globe, the life-wave has 
to complete a Ring consisting of seven Root-Races on that 
globe ; after, or rather at, the end of the evolution of each Root- 
Race, respectively, its (the Root-Race's) surplus energy is there- 
upon exploded or protruded into the sphere lower and there 
forms the first, second, third, etc., element of the second globe 
of the first Round ; the life-energy or life-wave has to run a ring 
of seven Root-Races in and upon that second globe, and when 
each such Root-Race has reached its end there, its surplus energy 
is thereupon exploded or protruded exactly as before into a 
magnetic center below it, and the seven there, after all have 
arrived, form the third globe, and so on till the seven globes are 
formed. This is the first Round. Beginning with the second 
Round on the seven globes, the process is altered in important 
particulars, because all the seven globes are already formed, as 
globes. 
 
At the end of the first Round there is a planetary Obscuration 
or Rest-Period, when the entities leave the last globe, the seventh, 
and enter into a (lower) nirvanic period of manvantaric repose, 
answering to the devachanic or between-life-states of the human 
entity between its respective lives. And so also at the end of 
the second Round, and of the third, when we reach the fourth, 
which is our present Round. 
 
As the Life- Wave cycles down into matter, it grows with every 
yuga (or Age) grosser, and more material, until the middle of the 
fourth Round (ours), when it begins to ascend. Every Round is 
grosser than its preceding one until the present, our fourth, the 
most material, is reached. This descent is called the " Shadowy 
Arc ", or " Cycle of Darkness ". We have, already, passed the 
lowest or middle period of the fourth Round, and in consequence 
now have begun the ascending arc, or the " Luminous Arc " ; 
we have three and a half more rounds to run before we reach the 
and of the Kalpa, or Planetary Manvantara, when the gr$at 
 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 91 
 
Nirvana or para-Nirvana of the entire septenary Planetary 
Chain of the seven globes takes place. 
 
Now as regards the geometrical outline of the course followed 
by this descent into matter, we may consider it to be in the form 
of an epicycloid. Let me try to explain diagramatically what is 
here meant by an epicycloid. An epicycloid is formed when a 
point on a small circle, which runs around and upon the convex 
side of the circumference of a larger circle, traces a curve which 
touches the circumference of the larger circle at the beginning and 
end of each revolution of the smaller circle thereupon, as at 
A and B in the figure. The curve 
A-B is the epicycloid. For instance, 
this figure shows the two circles : we 
will say that the point on the smaller 
circle begins its curve at A, rolling 
upwards to the left ; at B, the point 
on the smaller circle has completed 
a full revolution ; the curve A-B is 
the epicycloid. 
 
Any point on this smaller circle 
as the latter rolls along the out- 
side of the circumference of the larger circle will describe or 
generate a curve, which is an epicycloid ; and as there is a geo- 
metrical relation between the commensurable radii of any two 
circles : for instance, if the radius of this smaller circle is one 
and the radius of the larger circle is seven, the proportion being 
1:7, the rolling point will describe or generate seven arcs or cusps 
around and upon the circumference of the larger circle. 
 
Now each one of these seven arcs represents here, geometrically, 
a globe of a Round. (Equally well does it represent geometrically 
one of the seven Root-Races on each globe during any Round.) 
In the first Round, the Life- Wave, starting from the seventh or 
highest plane, after its third full elemental cycle of and in the 
arupa world, begins to form the rupa or form-world ; and as the 
smaller circle rolls along the circumference of the greatest cycle, 
so to say, the Life- Wave (or globe) progressively grows more 
material, each one of these arcs which the cycling smaller circle 
makes on the circumference of the greater, representing a sphere 
of being, and also geometrically represents the Life-Wave of the 
planet beginning the evolution of material existence, " rising 
upward " (or increasing in material density) until it reaches 
its maximum of materiality, and then " descending " or decreasing 
in materiality until it again touches the plane of departure, the 
circumference of the greater circle (or cycle). 
 
The process by which the spirit descends into matter is called 
in Sanskrit Pravritti (which we may paraphrase into English as 
 
 
 
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"earth-birth", or "earth-day' 1 ), practically the same word as 
evolution or emanation, in our modern tongues ; the process of 
entering upon or ascending along the " luminous arc ", ultimately 
to find itself home again in the spiritual world, is called Nirvritti. 
Both words are from the Sanskrit root vrit, meaning to revolve, 
or to roll. The prefix pra answers to the preposition forth or 
forward, and the prefix nirto the prepositional phrases " out of ", 
" away from ", hence backwards, or reverse action. Pravritti is 
therefore used to mean the evolution or emanation of matter, which 
is equivalent to the involution of spirit ; Nirvritti, the evolution of 
spirit the reverse process. 
 
What are the durations of the time-periods during which the 
Life-Wave manifests in the Manvantara of seven Rounds, and in 
the seven respective planets of each Round ? As our first great 
Teacher, H. P. Blavatsky, has told us, the doctrines concerning 
the time-periods have been from immemorial time considered too 
esoteric to be given to the outward world in anything at all 
approaching fulness of teaching or detail, but throughout the 
teachings that have been openly given there are many hints of 
immense value. For instance, the time required for one Round 
that is the cycle from globe A to the last globe of the seven (we 
will call it Z), starting from the Root-Manu or collective " human- 
ity " of globe A and ending with the Seed-Manu or collective 
" humanity " of globe Z is called a Round-manvantara, and its 
period is 306,720,000 years. It is called " manvantara " because 
it is the " reign of one Manu " say a certain quality of Humanity. 
Now this word " manvantara " is Sanskrit and means between 
manus, i.e., between a Root-Manu on globe A and the Seed-Manu 
on globe Z, for a JRowwd-Manvantara. Now to this period of 
306,720,000 years must be added the length of the Sandhi, 
meaning " connexion ", or " junction ", or interval, according to a 
certain method of calculation, necessary in order fully to complete 
the evolution of the planet for the Round ; this sandhi is of the 
length of a krita-yuga, or 1,728,000 years, which brings the com- 
plete period or term of a I?0*md-Manvantara to 308,448,000 years 
of mortals. 
 
As has already been stated, there is, after the end of every 
round, an obscuration which also lasts for a certain period which 
we do not here specify ; but this can be found by any reader of 
these studies who cares to give the subject thought, and to be 
guided by the teachings already given. 
 
But how long a period do the seven Rounds take for their 
course ? What is the period of a maha-manvantara, or great 
manvantara, sometimes called a Kalpa, after which the globes 
no longer go into mere obscuration or repose, but die utterly ? 
The period of the Maha-Manvantara or Kalpa is also called a 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 93 
 
" Day of Brahma ", and its length is 4,320,000,000 ; and the 
" Night of Brahma ", the planetary rest-period, which is also 
called the para-nirvanic period, is of equal length. Seven Rounds, 
as said, form a Day of Brahma. 
 
These figures are the Brahmanical figures, and they are also 
the figures of esoteric Buddhism (for we insist that Buddhism 
has an esoteric doctrine) ; the root-number 432, as any student 
knows, is also found in the chronological doctrines of ancient 
Babylonia ; it is likewise the real meaning in the chronological 
line of the Pythagorean Tetraktys, 1-2-3-4, the 432 springing 
from the unity or monad, a subject of which we spoke in our last 
study. 
 
We are also told that the duration of a planet's life, i.e., of a 
planetary chain of seven globes, is one of 360 divine days, corre- 
sponding to a divine year, and that Brahma's life (or the life of the 
universal system) is one hundred of those divine years expressed 
in 15 figures of years of mortals. A planetary manvantara is also 
related to the duration of life of a solar system ; a planetary 
manvantara (or seven Rounds) is a " day " of Brahma, as already 
said ; each of these days lasting 4,320,000,000 years of mortals, 
which really means the life-time of a planet during its seven rounds, 
and corresponding to one incarnation of a human life on earth. 
 
How long, then, does Brahma live in any one of his manifested 
universes, which we know are called the " out -breathings of the 
Self-Existent " ? We can calculate it 4,320,000,000 times 100, 
times 360, or in other words, 36,000, lives has any planet to live 
before the prakritika-pralaya (or the elemental pralaya) sets in, 
the end of that life (or pravritti) of the Universal system. 
 
What happens when comes the end of a solar system ? At a 
former meeting we spoke of the " bells of pralaya ". It was with 
no intention of attempting to be rhetorical, or of employing 
oratorical phraseology that we used this phrase. We have no 
such ambition. We chose the words because the teachings are 
that when the great (or maha-) pralaya comes upon the planets 
of any system, and their sun, then strange noises of various 
kinds are heard in the air of a planet belonging to such a solar 
system ; and these noises are repeated in miniature, so to say, 
not only at the end of the planetary manvantara (or the life-time 
of the planet), but also in still smaller miniature at the end of 
every Round. These phenomena are likewise alluded to in other 
religions than the Indian, as for instance in the Christian and Jewish: 
in Revelation, vi, 14 ; and in Isaiah, xxxiv, 4. The Christian 
writers speak of the time, 2 Peter, iii, 10, 12, when the " elements 
shall melt with the fervent heat ", and " the heavens shall pass 
away with a great noise ", but they " look for new heavens and a 
new earth " or a new planetary manvantara and allude to 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
pralayas as the- time when "the heaven departed as a scroll 
when it is rolled together", etc. These allusions to pralayic 
disintegration are figurative to a certain extent, but are suffi- 
ciently along the lines of the ancient Eastern thought to show us 
whence they came from the archaic Wisdom-Religion (Theo- 
sophy) of the Orient. We are told that some of the strange 
Noises that will occur towards the end of the prakritika-manvan- 
tara, before the cosmic or prakritika-pralaya sets in, are strange 
hollow boomings, strange cracklings as of musketry-fire, strange 
bell-like ringings as of the snapping of immense metallic belts. 
 
Now the sun is both the heart and the brain of our solar system, 
and sends seven-faceted life into every atom of its universe, the 
solar universe of which we and our planet Terra are a part. The 
sun itself is in some respects a vampire, but it is also pre-eminently 
and essentially a life-giver ; it is, cosmogonically, our Elder 
Brother, and not at all our physical parent as modern scientific 
wiseacres would have it ; it is also in a vital sense our Father- 
Mother, because through it, from planes superior to our own, 
come down the life-streams from worlds (systems) above ours 
yet our planet as all the other planets also in a relative degree 
receives these life-streams, as every individual atom and every 
human being, in the smallest miniature thereof, receives the same 
individually from the Inmost of the Inmost within itself or him- 
self. This is, as you will remember was stated in former studies, 
the same spiritual life ; but cosmically, that is to say, with regard 
to the universe, the sun is the brain and heart of our system, 
vitalizing and informing the endless hosts of beings under its 
systemic sway. 
 
We do not see the (true) sun. The sun is not burning, or 
incandescent. Heat exists around the sun, but it is not from 
burning gases or incandescence. We see the sun's robes, or 
reflexion, but we do not see the sun itself. It is, in very truth, a 
spiritual thing, and we think we receive our entire supply of heat 
and light from it because the forces flowing from the sun act in 
conjunction and reactively with the forces on our own earth 
forces working in the universal nature around us. If most of our 
light is due to the sun, this is not the case with 75 per cent of the 
heat which we receive, which comes most of it from our own 
globe and its forces, and especially from the immensely thick 
clouds of cosmic dust which fills all space. The electro-magnetic 
forces at work between this cosmic dust and our earth furnish 
most of the terrestrial heat. 
 
I wish this evening, before closing, to call your attention to 
the fact that the ancient initiate-astronomers, when speaking of the 
seven sacred spheres of our universe, the seven or nine in which 
the bodies of the solar system and the stars were set beyond 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 95 
 
which was the Empyrean or the fiery sphere desired to convey a 
meaning which is now lost for the masses. There was a meaning 
of deep and wide significance also in their geocentric teachings. 
They knew as well as do we (and we have proofs of it), that the 
earth and the other planets whirl around the sun in elliptical 
orbits, but they had a reason for teaching the geocentric doctrines 
in public, and some day we shall have need to go into an analysis 
and proof of this assertion. 
 
Let us close our evening's study in calling attention to the fact 
that Theosophy is a doctrine of hope ; it is a doctrine of spiritu- 
ality ; it is a doctrine which refines and elevates man ; it is a 
doctrine in which there is room for the humblest to understand 
something and for the brightest and highest and most spiritual 
of us to put their feet on the lowest steps of that spiritual stair 
along which they may climb in hierarchical ascendings up to the 
highest, not only in our own planet, hand in hand with the great 
Buddhas of former times, and of the times to come, but beyond 
our planet and beyond our own solar system into those illimitable 
spiritual spheres in which the solar system now exists, and through 
which we derive our life spiritual, mental, psychical, pranic, and 
physical. 
 
 
 
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CHAPTER X 
 
THE DOCTRINE OF SWABIiAvA SELF-BECOMING CHARACTERISTIC 
INDIVIDUALITY. MAN, SELF-EVOLVED, HIS OWN CREATOR. 
" MONADOLOGIE " OF LEIBNITZ CONTRASTED WITH TEACHINGS 
OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY. 
 
The MONAD emerges from its state of spiritual and intellectual unconscious- 
ness ; and, skipping the first two planes too near the ABSOLUTE to permit of any 
correlation with anything on a lower plane it gets direct into the plane of 
Mentality. But there is no plane in the whole universe with a wider margin, 
or a wider field of action in its almost endless gradations of perceptive and 
apperceptive qualities, than this plane, which has in its turn an appropriate 
smaller plane for every " form," from the " mineral " monad up to the time 
when that monad blossoms forth by evolution into the DIVINE MONAD. But all 
the time it is still one and the same Monad, differing only in its incarnations, 
throughout its ever succeeding cycles of partial or total obscuration of spirit, or 
the partial or total obscuration of matter two polar antitheses as it ascends 
into the realms of mental spirituality, or descends into the depths of materiality. 
 
The Secret Doctrine (H. P. BLAVATSKY) I, p. 175. 
 
.... In other words, no purely spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul) can have an 
independent (conscious) existence before the spark which issued from the pure 
Essence of the Universal Sixth principle or the OVER-SOUL has (a) passed 
through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and 
(b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and 
self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees 
of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, 
up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). The pivotal doctrine of the 
Esoteric philosophy admits no privileges or special gifts in man, save those won 
by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of 
metempsychoses and reincarnations. 
 
Ibid., I, p. 17. 
 
HE general text of our study this evening is found in 
The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, page 83, stanza 3, 
verse 10 : 
 
 
 
T 
 
 
 
10. FATHER-MOTHER SPIN A WEB WHOSE UPPER END IS 
FASTENED TO SPIRIT (Purusha), THE LIGHT OF THE ONE DARKNESS, 
AND THE LOWER ONE TO MATTER (Prakriti) ITS (the Spirit's) SHADOWY 
END ; AND THIS WEB IS THE UNIVERSE SPUN OUT OF THE TWO SUB- 
STANCES MADE IN ONE, WHICH IS SWABHAVAT. 
 
(a) In the Mndukya (Mundaka) Upanishad it is written, " As a 
spider throws out and retracts its web, as herbs spring up in the 
ground ... so is the Universe derived from the undecaying one " 
(I, i, 7). Brahma, as " the germ of unknown Darkness," is the material 
from which all evolves and develops " as the web from the spider, as 
foam from the water," etc. This is only graphic and true, if Brahmi 
the " Creator " is, as a term, derived from the root brih, to increase 
or expand. Brahm& " expands " and becomes the Universe woven 
out of his own substance. 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 97 
 
The same idea has been beautifully expressed by Goethe, who 
says : 
 
" Thus at the roaring loom of Time I ply, 
And weave for God the garment thou see'st Him by." 
 
In the course of our studies we have been advancing stage by 
stage, step by step, from general principles, and our course has 
been always towards that point of emanation and evolution which 
finds itself at the dawn of manifestation, or the opening of Man- 
vantara. We have touched upon many subjects but lightly, 
because the intricacy of the theme did not at the time permit us 
to go into and to follow side-avenues of thought, however attrac- 
tive and important they might be ; but these avenues we shall 
have to explore as time and opportunity bring once more before 
us, in the course of our study, the portals which we have passed 
and perhaps have merely glanced into. 
 
As the Teacher has directed, we have brought to the attention 
of those who will read these studies certain fundamental natural 
principles, as fundamental and important in their respective 
bearings as the two foundation-stones of popular Theosophy 
today, called Reincarnation and Karman. One of these principles 
is the doctrine of Hierarchies, upon which much more could and 
should be said than has hitherto been said, and it will be said in 
due time. 
 
Another such fundamental principle or doctrine a true key 
opening the very heart of being, and, besides other things, reaching 
into the root-meaning of the so-called " origin of evil " and of the 
inner urge towards right and righteousness, which man calls his 
moral sense is that which flows forth from the philosophical 
conceptions behind the word Swabhava, meaning, generally, the 
essential characteristic of anything ; the mediaeval scholastics 
spoke of this essentiality of things as their Quidditas, or Quiddity, 
the whatness of anything : that which is its heart, its essential 
nature, its characteristic essentiality. The word Swabhava (a noun) 
itself is derived from the Sanskrit root BM, meaning " to become ", 
or " to be ", and the prefix of the word, the three preceding 
letters, sva, is also of course Sanskrit and means " self/ 1 The 
word thus translated means " self-becomingness ", a technical 
term, a key-word, in which philosophical conceptions of immense 
and wide-reaching import inhere. We shall develop some of these 
more fully as we proceed with our studies. 
 
In the quotation from the stanzas which we have read this 
evening, you will have noticed the word Swabhavat, from the 
same elements as is Swabhava, from the same Sanskrit root. 
Swabhavat is the present participle of the verb bhu, meaning 
that which becomes itself, or develops from within outwardly its 
 
 
 
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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 
 
essential self by emanation, evolution ; in other words, that which 
by self-urge develops the potencies latent in its nature, in its self, 
in its Being of being. We have often spoken of the " Inmost of the 
Inmost ", as implying that " inmost " link or root by which we 
(and all other things) flow forth from the very essence of the heart 
of things, which is our UTTER SELF, and we have spoken of it 
sometimes with the hand placed upon the breast ; but we must 
be exceedingly careful not to think that this Inmost of the Inmost 
is in the physical body. Let me explain just what I mean. 
The Qabbalists divide the planes of nature into which the ten 
Sephiroth became queer English, this, but very accurately and 
correctly expressing the thought into four during manifestation, 
and they were called the four 'Oldm, a word having originally the 
meaning of " concealed " or " hid " or " secret ", but also used 
for time, likewise used almost exactly in the sense of the Gnostic 
teaching of " Aions ", (aeons) as spheres, Lokas in Sanskrit. The 
highest of the Qabbalistic 'olams, or spheres, was 'Oldm Atsiloth, 
meaning the " seon " or " age " or the " loka " of " condensation/' 
The second was called 'Oldm Hab-Beriah, meaning the aeon or age 
or loka of " creation ". The third in descent and increasing 
materiality was called 'Oldm Ha-Yetstrah or loka of Form. The 
fourth, last, most material and grossest, was called 'Oldm Ha- 
'Asiah, meaning the seon or world of " action " or "causes ". 
This last plane or sphere or world is the lowest of the four, and is 
sometimes called the world of Matter, or, again, of " shells ", 
man (and other physical entities) sometimes being considered 
a shell in the sense of being the garment or the vehicle or " shell " 
or corpus of the indwelling spirit. 
 
Now psychologically these four spheres were considered as being 
copied, or reflected, or as having a locus (place) in the human 
body ; and, in order to correspond with the four basic principles 
into which the Jewish Qabbalistic philosophers divided man, 
Neshdmdh (or spirit) was supposed to have its locus in the head, 
or rather hovering thereover ; the second, RAahh (or Soul), was 
supposed to have its locus or center in the breast or chest ; the 
third, the lowest of the active principles, called Nefesh (or the 
animal-astral soul), was supposed to have its locus or center in 
the abdomen. The fourth vehicle was Guf, or the inclosing shell 
of the physical body. The "Neshdmdh, the highest of all, from 
which the others emanated stage by stage, the Rtiahh from the 
Neshamah, the Nefesh from the Rtiahh, and the Guf from the 
Nefesh (the Guf actually is the linga-Sarira, esoterically, and 
secretes the human physical body) should not be considered so 
much in the head as over-shadowing as it were the head and body. 
It may be likened to a solar ray, or to an electric ray, or again 
to the so-called " golden chain " of the great Greek poet Homer 
 
 
 




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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY 99 
 
and the far later Neo-Platonic philosophers, which connects Zeus 
and all lower entities ; or to the chain of beings in a Hierarchy 
linked by their hyparxis with the lowest plane of the next higher 
Hierarchy. 
 
Now this " Inmost of the Inmost " is in that part of us which 
overshadows us, which is above us physically, rather than in us. 
And it really is our spiritual Monad. Therefore, before we can 
know what we mean by the Swabhava, and the wonderful 
doctrine fundamentally emanating therefrom, we must under- 
stand what we mean by Monad and the sense in which the word 
Monad is used. Those who were students of H. P. Blavatsky 
while she was alive with us, and who have studied under our 
two other Teachers, W. Q. Judge, and the present one, Katherine 
Tingley, will realise the necessity of making our sense clear by 
choosing words which shall convey clearly and sensibly, and 
without possibility of misconception, the thoughts which lie 
behind the words. In European philosophy, monad, as a philo- 
sophical word, seems to have been first employed by the great 
Italian philosopher, the noted Giordano Bruno, in thought a 
Neo-Platonist, who derived his inspiration from the philosophy 
of Greece, now called Neo-Platonism ; a more modern use of the 
word monad, in a spiritual-philosophical sense, was that of the 
Slavic-German philosopher, Leibnitz. Monadism formed the heart 
of all his teachings, and he said that the universe was composed, 
built up, of monads : that is to say, he conceived them to be 
spiritual centers having no extension, but having an inner and 
inherent energy of development, the respective hosts of monads 
being of various degrees and each one achieving its own develop- 
ment by an innate characteristic nature (or Swabhava). The 
essential meaning of this, as it is at once seen, is characteristic 
Individuality, which is Self, pursuing its own unfoldment and 
growing by stages higher and higher through self-unfolding or 
self-becoming (or Swabhava). Leibnitz taught that these monads 
were connected, spiritually, psychically, and physically, by a