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The Secret Doctrine

By

H P Blavatsky

 

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THE SECRET DOCTRINE.

 


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HELENA PETROVNA BLAVATSKY

1831-1891

 


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THE SECRET DOCTRINE:

 

THE SYNTHESIS

OF

SCIENCE, RELIGION, AND PHILOSOPHY.

 

BY

 

H. P. BLAVATSKY,

 

AUTHOR OF "ISIS UNVEILED."

 

"There is no Religion higher than Truth."

 

VOL. I. -- COSMOGENESIS.

 

London:

THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY, LIMITED.

7, Duke Street, Adelphi, W.C.

WILLIAM Q. JUDGE,

117, Nassau Street, New York.

THE MANAGER OF THE THEOSOPHIST,

Adyar, Madras.

---

1888.

 


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"Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1888, by H. P. Blavatsky,

in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C."

 


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This Work

I Dedicate to all True Theosophists,

In every Country,

And of every Race,

For they called it forth, and for them it was recorded.

 


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PREFACE.

 

THE Author -- the writer, rather -- feels it necessary to apologise for the long delay which has occurred in the appearance of this work. It has been occasioned by ill-health and the magnitude of the undertaking. Even the two volumes now issued do not complete the scheme, and these do not treat exhaustively of the subjects dealt with in them. A large quantity of material has already been prepared, dealing with the history of occultism as contained in the lives of the great Adepts of the Aryan Race, and showing the bearing of occult philosophy upon the conduct of life, as it is and as it ought to be. Should the present volumes meet with a favourable reception, no effort will be spared to carry out the scheme of the work in its entirety. The third volume is entirely ready; the fourth almost so.

 

This scheme, it must be added, was not in contemplation when the preparation of the work was first announced. As originally announced, it was intended that the "Secret Doctrine" should be an amended and enlarged version of "Isis Unveiled." It was, however, soon found that the explanations which could be added to those already put before the world in the last-named and other works dealing with esoteric science, were such as to require a different method of treatment: and consequently the present volumes do not contain, in all, twenty pages extracted from "Isis Unveiled."

 

The author does not feel it necessary to ask the indulgence of her readers and critics for the many defects of literary style, and the imperfect English which may be found in these pages. She is a foreigner, and her knowledge of the language was acquired late in life. The English tongue is employed because it offers the most widely-diffused medium for conveying the truths which it had become her duty to place before the world.

 

These truths are in no sense put forward as a revelation; nor does the author claim the position of a revealer of mystic lore, now made public for the first time in the world's history. For what is contained in this work is to be found scattered throughout thousands of volumes embodying the scriptures of the great Asiatic and early European religions, hidden under glyph and symbol, and hitherto left unnoticed because of this veil. What is now attempted is to gather the oldest tenets together and to make of them one harmonious and unbroken whole. The sole advantage which the writer has over her predecessors, is that she need not resort to personal speculations and theories. For this work is a partial statement of what she herself has been taught by more advanced students, supplemented, in a few details only, by the results of her

 


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own study and observation. The publication of many of the facts herein stated has been rendered necessary by the wild and fanciful speculations in which many Theosophists and students of mysticism have indulged, during the last few years, in their endeavour to, as they imagined, work out a complete system of thought from the few facts previously communicated to them.

 

It is needless to explain that this book is not the Secret Doctrine in its entirety, but a select number of fragments of its fundamental tenets, special attention being paid to some facts which have been seized upon by various writers, and distorted out of all resemblance to the truth.

 

But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion, neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialised.

 

It is more than probable that the book will be regarded by a large section of the public as a romance of the wildest kind; for who has ever even heard of the book of Dzyan?

 

The writer, therefore, is fully prepared to take all the responsibility for what is contained in this work, and even to face the charge of having invented the whole of it. That it has many shortcomings she is fully aware; all that she claims for it is that, romantic as it may seem to many, its logical coherence and consistency entitle this new Genesis to rank, at any rate, on a level with the "working hypotheses" so freely accepted by modern science. Further, it claims consideration, not by reason of any appeal to dogmatic authority, but because it closely adheres to Nature, and follows the laws of uniformity and analogy.

 

The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not "a fortuitous concurrence of atoms," and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe; to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions; and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring; finally, to show that the occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.

 

If this is in any degree accomplished, the writer is content. It is written in the service of humanity, and by humanity and the future generations it must be judged. Its author recognises no inferior court of appeal. Abuse she is accustomed to; calumny she is daily acquainted with; at slander she smiles in silent contempt.

 

De minimis non curat lex.

 

H.P.B.

 

London, October, 1888.

 


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TABLE OF CONTENTS.

 

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PAGE.

 

INTRODUCTION ... xvii.

 

The Need of such a Book ... xix.

The Antiquity of Documents and MSS. ... xxiii.

What the Book is intended to do ... xxviii.

 

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VOLUME FIRST.

 

COSMOGENESIS.

 

PROEM ... 1

 

The Oldest MSS. in the world and its Symbolism ... 2

The One Life, Active and Passive ... 4

The Secret Doctrine -- Pantheism -- Atheism ... 6

"Space" in all Religions and in Occultism ... 9

Seven Cosmic Elements -- Seven Races of Mankind ... 12

The Three Postulates of the Secret Doctrine ... 14

Description of the Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan ... 20

 

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BOOK I. -- PART I.

COSMIC EVOLUTION.

 

SEVEN STANZAS FROM THE BOOK OF DZYAN ... 27

 

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STANZA I. -- THE NIGHT OF THE UNIVERSE... 35

 

The Seven Eternities ... 36

"Time" ... 37

The Universal Mind and the Dhyan Chohans ... 38

Nidana and Maya: The Causes of Misery ... 39

The Great Breath ... 43

Being and Non-Being ... 45

The Eye of Dangma ... 47

Alaya, the Universal Soul ... 49

 


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PAGE.

 

STANZA II. -- THE IDEA OF DIFFERENTIATION ... 53

 

The Absolute knows Itself not ... 55

The Germ of Life was not yet ... 57

The Universe was still concealed in the Divine Thought ... 61

 

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STANZA III. -- THE AWAKENING OF KOSMOS ... 62

 

The Great Vibration ... 63

Nature's Symbols ... 65

The Power of Numbers ... 67

The Logoi and the Dragon ... 73

The Astral Light ... 75

Primeval Radiations from Unity ... 79

The Web of Being ... 83

Conscious Electricity: Fohat ... 85

 

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STANZA IV. -- THE SEPTENARY HIERARCHIES ... 86

 

The Sons of the Fire ... 86

The Vehicle of the Universe -- the Dhyan Chohans ... 89

The Army of the Voice ... 93

Speech and Mind ... 95

The Ogdoad and the Heptad ... 99

The Stellar "Sons of Light" ... 103

 

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STANZA V. -- FOHAT: THE CHILD OF THE SEPTENARY HIERARCHIES ... 106

 

The Fiery Whirlwind and the Primordial Seven ... 106

They Produce Fohat ... 108

The Correlation of the "Gods" ... 113

Evolution of the "Principles" of Nature ... 119

The Mystery of the Fire ... 121

The Secret of the Elements ... 123

The Square of the Tabernacle ... 125

The Planetary Spirits and the Lipika ... 129

The Ring "Pass Not" ... 130

The Sidereal Book of Life ... 131

The Soul's Pilgrimage and its "Rest" ... 134

 

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STANZA VI. -- OUR WORLD, ITS GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT ... 136

 

The Logos ... 136

Mystery of the Female Logos ... 137

 


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PAGE.

 

The Seven Layu Centres ... 138

The "Elementary Germs" ... 139

The Evolution of the Elements ... 140

The Building of the Worlds ... 145

A Neutral Centre ... 147

"Dead" Planets -- The Moon ... 149

 

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THEOSOPHICAL MISCONCEPTIONS ... 152

 

The Planetary Divisions and the Human Principles ... 153

The Moon ... 155

Transmigrations of the Ego ... 159

The Septenary Chain ... 161

Relation of the other Planets to the Earth ... 163

 

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EXPLANATIONS CONCERNING THE GLOBES AND THE MONADS ... 170

 

The Lunar Chain and the Earth Chain ... 172

The Earth, the Child of the Moon ... 173

Classification of the Monads ... 175

The Monad Defined ... 177

The Lunar Monads -- the Pitris ... 179

A Triple Evolution in Nature ... 181

 

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STANZA VI. -- CONTINUED ... 191

 

"Creation" in the Fourth Round ... 191

The "Curse," "Sin," and "War" ... 193

The Struggle for Life and the Birth of the Worlds ... 202

The Adepts and the Sacred Island ... 207

 

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STANZA VII. -- THE PARENTS OF MAN ON EARTH ... 213

 

Divisions of the Hierarchies ... 214

Correlations of Beings ... 223

What incarnates in Animal Man ... 233

Formation of Man: the Thinker ... 238

Occult and Kabalistic Pneumatics ... 243

Akasa and Ether ... 257

The Invisible "Lives" ... 259

Occult Vital Chemistry and Bacteriology ... 261

 


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PAGE.

 

The Watcher and his Shadow ... 265

Earth peopled by the Shadows of the Gods ... 267

 

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SUMMING UP ... 269

 

The pith and marrow of the Secret Doctrine ... 273

Hermes in Christian Garb ... 285

Some Occult Aphorisms ... 289

The Seven Powers of Nature ... 293

 

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BOOK I. -- PART II.

THE EVOLUTION OF SYMBOLISM IN ITS APPROXIMATE ORDER.

 

§§

 

I. SYMBOLISM AND IDEOGRAPHS ... 303

 

Emblem and Symbol differ ... 305

Magic Potency of Sound ... 307

Mystery Language ... 309

 

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II. THE MYSTERY LANGUAGE AND ITS KEYS ... 310

 

Egypt's many Religions ... 311

The Jews and their System ... 313

Moses copied from Sargon ... 319

Identity of Ancient Symbols ... 323

 

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III. PRIMORDIAL SUBSTANCE AND DIVINE THOUGHT ... 325

 

Divine Thought, or Cineritious Matter? ... 327

Ether and Intelligence ... 330

The Seven Prakritis ... 335

The Mystic Fire ... 339

One Tree of Knowledge ... 341

 

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IV. CHAOS -- THEOS -- KOSMOS ... 342

 

The Union of Chaos and Spirit ... 343

The Birth of Mind ... 345

 

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V. THE HIDDEN DEITY, ITS SYMBOLS AND GLYPHS ... 349

 

The Gnostic Idea ... 351

International Correlation of Gods ... 355

 


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§§ PAGE.

 

VI. THE MUNDANE EGG ... 359

 

Egg-born Logoi ... 363

The Winged Globe ... 365

 

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VII. THE DAYS AND NIGHTS OF BRAHMA ... 368

 

Human Gods and Divine Men ... 369

The Rebirth of Gods ... 371

The Puranic Prophecy ... 377

 

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VIII. THE LOTUS AS A UNIVERSAL SYMBOL ... 379

 

Exoteric and Esoteric ... 381

The Purity of early Phallicism ... 383

The Egyptian Lotus ... 385

 

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IX. DEUS LUNUS ... 386

 

A Glance at the Lunar Myth ... 387

A Key-note to the Moon ... 389

Copies and Originals... 393

The Moon Bi-sexual ... 397

 

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X. TREE AND SERPENT AND CROCODILE WORSHIP ... 403

 

Degeneration of the Symbol ... 405

The Seven-headed Dragons ... 407

Dragon and Crocodile ... 409

 

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XI. DEMON EST DEUS INVERSUS ... 411

 

Death is Life ... 413

The Fall of the Angels ... 418

Transformation of the Legend ... 421

 

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XII. THE THEOGONY OF THE CREATIVE GODS ... 424

 

The Point within the Circle ... 426

The Logos or Verbum ... 429

The Factors of Creation ... 432

Identity of the Hierarchies in all Religions ... 438

Difference between the Aryan and Semitic Systems ... 444

 


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§§ PAGE.

 

XIII. THE SEVEN CREATIONS ... 445

 

The Gnostic and the Hindu Versions ... 449

The Seven Puranic "Creations" ... 450

 

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XIV. THE FOUR ELEMENTS. ... 460

 

The "Gods" and the "Elements" ... 463

The Language of the Elements ... 464

Pagan and Christian Worship of the Elements ... 467

 

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XV. ON KWAN-SHI-YIN AND KWAN-YIN ... 470

 

Kwan-Shi-Yin and Phallicism ... 471

The Real Meaning ... 472

 

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BOOK I. -- PART III.

SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE CONTRASTED.

 

§§

 

I. REASONS FOR THESE ADDENDA ... 477

 

Occultism versus Materialism ... 479

The Sabbath of the Mystic ... 481

 

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II. MODERN PHYSICISTS ARE PLAYING AT BLIND MAN'S BUFF ... 482

 

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III. AN LUMEN SIT CORPUS NEC NON? ... 483

 

The Hypothetical Ether ... 485

Scientific Theories of its Constitution ... 489

 

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IV. IS GRAVITATION A LAW? ... 490

 

Intelligences or Blind Forces? ... 493

The Cause of Attraction ... 498

 


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§§ PAGE.

 

V. THE THEORIES OF ROTATION SCIENCE ... 500

 

Conflicting Hypotheses ... 502

More Hypotheses ... 505

 

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VI. THE MASKS OF SCIENCE ... 506

 

What are the "Forces?" ... 508

The View of the Occultists ... 510

Scientific and Occult Theories on Heat ... 515

The Atoms of Science ... 519

 

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VII. AN ATTACK ON THE SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF FORCE BY A MAN OF SCIENCE ... 523

 

Ether and Atoms ... 527

 

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VIII. LIFE, FORCE, OR GRAVITY? ... 529

 

Dr. Richardson on Nervous Ether ... 531

The Senses and their Action ... 535

Too much "Life" may Kill ... 539

 

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IX. THE SOLAR THEORY ... 540

 

The Primordial Element ... 542

Elements and Meta-Elements ... 546

The Tree of Life and Being ... 549

Prof. Crookes on the Elements ... 552

 

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X. THE COMING FORCE ... 554

 

Mr. Keeley, an Unconscious Occultist ... 557

Inter-Etheric Waves ... 561

The Secrets of Sound and Odour ... 565

 

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Xl. ON THE ELEMENTS AND ATOMS ... 566

 

Metaphysical Chemistry ... 569

What are the Seven Planets? ... 575

The Cyclic Fall of the Gods ... 577

 


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§§ PAGE.

 

XII. ANCIENT THOUGHT IN MODERN DRESS ... 579

 

All-Potential Unity ... 583

The "Seventh" in Chemistry ... 585

 

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XIII. THE MODERN NEBULAR THEORY ... 588

 

Forces are Emanations ... 591

What is the Nebula? ... 595

 

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XIV. FORCES -- MODES OF MOTION OR INTELLIGENCES? ... 601

 

The Vital Principle ... 603

Occult and Physical Science ... 605

 

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XV. GODS, MONADS, AND ATOMS ... 610

 

The Gods of the Ancients -- the Monads ... 613

The Monad and the Duad ... 617

The Genesis of the Elements ... 621

Hermes and Huxley ... 625

The Teaching of Leibnitz ... 627

The Monads according to Occultism ... 632

 

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XVI. CYCLIC EVOLUTION AND KARMA ... 634

 

Karmic Cycles and Universal Ethics ... 637

Destiny and Karma ... 639

Karma-Nemesis ... 643

 

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XVII. THE ZODIAC AND ITS ANTIQUITY ... 647

 

The Jewish Patriarchs and the Signs of the Zodiac ... 651

Zodiacal Cycles ... 656

Hindu Astronomy ... 661

 

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XVIII. SUMMARY OF THE MUTUAL POSITION ... 668

 

Science Confesses her Ignorance ... 669

Materialism is leading Europe towards a catastrophe ... 675

 

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N.B. -- The Index and Glossary will be found at the close of Volume II.

 


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INTRODUCTORY.

 

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"Gently to hear, kindly to judge."

-- SHAKESPEARE.

 

SINCE the appearance of Theosophical literature in England, it has become customary to call its teachings "Esoteric Buddhism." And, having become a habit -- as an old proverb based on daily experience has it -- "Error runs down an inclined plane, while Truth has to laboriously climb its way up hill."

 

Old truisms are often the wisest. The human mind can hardly remain entirely free from bias, and decisive opinions are often formed before a thorough examination of a subject from all its aspects has been made. This is said with reference to the prevailing double mistake (a) of limiting Theosophy to Buddhism: and (b) of confounding the tenets of the religious philosophy preached by Gautama, the Buddha, with the doctrines broadly outlined in "Esoteric Buddhism." Any thing more erroneous than this could be hardly imagined. It has enabled our enemies to find an effective weapon against theosophy; because, as an eminent Pali scholar very pointedly expressed it, there was in the volume named "neither esotericism nor Buddhism." The esoteric truths, presented in Mr. Sinnett's work, had ceased to be esoteric from the moment they were made public; nor did it contain the religion of Buddha, but simply a few tenets from a hitherto hidden teaching which are now supplemented by many more, enlarged and explained in the present volumes. But even the latter, though giving out many fundamental tenets from the SECRET DOCTRINE of the East, raise but a small corner of the dark veil. For no one, not even the greatest living adept, would be permitted to, or could -- even if he would -- give out promiscuously, to a mocking, unbelieving world, that which has been so effectually concealed from it for long aeons and ages.

 

"Esoteric Buddhism" was an excellent work with a very unfortunate

 


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title, though it meant no more than does the title of this work, the "SECRET DOCTRINE." It proved unfortunate, because people are always in the habit of judging things by their appearance, rather than their meaning; and because the error has now become so universal, that even most of the Fellows of the Theosophical Society have fallen victims to the same misconception. From the first, however, protests were raised by Brahmins and others against the title; and, in justice to myself, I must add that "Esoteric Buddhism" was presented to me as a completed volume, and that I was entirely unaware of the manner in which the author intended to spell the word "Budh-ism."

 

This has to be laid directly at the door of those who, having been the first to bring the subject under public notice, neglected to point out the difference between "Buddhism" -- the religious system of ethics preached by the Lord Gautama, and named after his title of Buddha, "the Enlightened" -- and Budha, "Wisdom," or knowledge (Vidya), the faculty of cognizing, from the Sanskrit root "Budh," to know. We theosophists of India are ourselves the real culprits, although, at the time, we did our best to correct the mistake. (See Theosophist, June, 1883.) To avoid this deplorable misnomer was easy; the spelling of the word had only to be altered, and by common consent both pronounced and written "Budhism," instead of "Buddhism." Nor is the latter term correctly spelt and pronounced, as it ought to be called, in English, Buddhaism, and its votaries "Buddhaists."

 

This explanation is absolutely necessary at the beginning of a work like this one. The "Wisdom Religion" is the inheritance of all the nations, the world over, though the statement was made in "Esoteric Buddhism" (Preface to the original Edition) that "two years ago (i.e. 1883), neither I nor any other European living, knew the alphabet of the Science, here for the first time put into a scientific shape," etc. This error must have crept in through inadvertence. For the present writer knew all that which is "divulged" in "Esoteric Buddhism" -- and much more -- many years before it became her duty (in 1880) to impart a small portion of the Secret Doctrine to two European gentlemen, one of whom was the author of "Esoteric Buddhism"; and surely the present writer has the undoubted, though to her, rather equivocal, privilege of being a European, by birth and education. Moreover, a considerable part of the philosophy

 


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expounded by Mr. Sinnett was taught in America, even before Isis Unveiled was published, to two Europeans and to my colleague, Colonel H. S. Olcott. Of the three teachers the latter gentleman has had, the first was a Hungarian Initiate, the second an Egyptian, the third a Hindu. As permitted, Colonel Olcott has given out some of this teaching in various ways; if the other two have not, it has been simply because they were not allowed: their time for public work having not yet come. But for others it has, and the appearance of Mr. Sinnett's several interesting books is a visible proof of the fact. It is above everything important to keep in mind that no theosophical book acquires the least additional value from pretended authority.

 

In etymology Adi, and Adhi Budha, the one (or the First) and "Supreme Wisdom" is a term used by Aryasanga in his Secret treatises, and now by all the mystic Northern Buddhists. It is a Sanskrit term, and an appellation given by the earliest Aryans to the Unknown deity; the word "Brahma" not being found in the Vedas and the early works. It means the absolute Wisdom, and "Adi-bhuta" is translated "the primeval uncreated cause of all" by Fitzedward Hall. AEons of untold duration must have elapsed, before the epithet of Buddha was so humanized, so to speak, as to allow of the term being applied to mortals and finally appropriated to one whose unparalleled virtues and knowledge caused him to receive the title of the "Buddha of Wisdom unmoved." Bodha means the innate possession of divine intellect or "understanding"; "Buddha," the acquirement of it by personal efforts and merit; while Buddhi is the faculty of cognizing the channel through which divine knowledge reaches the "Ego," the discernment of good and evil, "divine conscience" also; and "Spiritual Soul," which is the vehicle of Atma. "When Buddhi absorbs our EGOtism (destroys it) with all its Vikaras, Avalokiteshvara becomes manifested to us, and Nirvana, or Mukti, is reached," "Mukti" being the same as Nirvana, i.e., freedom from the trammels of "Maya" or illusion. "Bodhi" is likewise the name of a particular state of trance condition, called Samadhi, during which the subject reaches the culmination of spiritual knowledge.

 

Unwise are those who, in their blind and, in our age, untimely hatred of Buddhism, and, by re-action, of "Budhism," deny its esoteric teachings (which are those also of the Brahmins), simply because the name

 


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suggests what to them, as Monotheists, are noxious doctrines. Unwise is the correct term to use in their case. For the Esoteric philosophy is alone calculated to withstand, in this age of crass and illogical materialism, the repeated attacks on all and everything man holds most dear and sacred, in his inner spiritual life. The true philosopher, the student of the Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of personalities, dogmatic beliefs and special religions. Moreover, Esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one of its outward, human garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with that of every other great religion. It proves the necessity of an absolute Divine Principle in nature. It denies Deity no more than it does the Sun. Esoteric philosophy has never rejected God in Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and abstract Ens. It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic religions, gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous and sorry caricature of the Ever Unknowable. Furthermore, the records we mean to place before the reader embrace the esoteric tenets of the whole world since the beginning of our humanity, and Buddhistic occultism occupies therein only its legitimate place, and no more. Indeed, the secret portions of the "Dan" or Jan-na"* ("Dhyan") of Gautama's metaphysics -- grand as they appear to one unacquainted with the tenets of the Wisdom Religion of antiquity -- are but a very small portion of the whole. The Hindu Reformer limited his public teachings to the purely moral and physiological aspect of the Wisdom Religion, to Ethics and MAN alone. Things "unseen and incorporeal," the mystery of Being outside our terrestrial sphere, the great Teacher left entirely untouched in his public lectures, reserving the hidden Truths for a select circle of his Arhats. The latter received their Initiation at the famous Saptaparna cave (the Sattapanni of Mahavansa) near Mount Baibhar (the Webhara of the Pali MSS.). This cave was in Rajagriha, the ancient capital of Mogadha, and was the Cheta cave of Fa-hian, as rightly suspected by some archaeologists.**

 

Time and human imagination made short work of the purity and philo-

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Dan, now become in modern Chinese and Tibetan phonetics ch'an, is the general term for the esoteric schools, and their literature. In the old books, the word Janna is defined as "to reform one's self by meditation and knowledge," a second inner birth. Hence Dzan, Djan phonetically, the "Book of Dzyan."

 

** Mr. Beglor, the chief engineer at Buddhagaya, and a distinguished archaeologist, was the first, we believe, to discover it.

 


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sophy of these teachings, once that they were transplanted from the secret and sacred circle of the Arhats, during the course of their work of proselytism, into a soil less prepared for metaphysical conceptions than India; i.e., once they were transferred into China, Japan, Siam, and Burmah. How the pristine purity of these grand revelations was dealt with may be seen in studying some of the so-called "esoteric" Buddhist schools of antiquity in their modern garb, not only in China and other Buddhist countries in general, but even in not a few schools in Thibet, left to the care of uninitiated Lamas and Mongolian innovators.

 

Thus the reader is asked to bear in mind the very important difference between orthodox Buddhism -- i.e., the public teachings of Gautama the Buddha, and his esoteric Budhism. His Secret Doctrine, however, differed in no wise from that of the initiated Brahmins of his day. The Buddha was a child of the Aryan soil; a born Hindu, a Kshatrya and a disciple of the "twice born" (the initiated Brahmins) or Dwijas. His teachings, therefore, could not be different from their doctrines, for the whole Buddhist reform merely consisted in giving out a portion of that which had been kept secret from every man outside of the "enchanted" circle of Temple-Initiates and ascetics. Unable to teach all that had been imparted to him -- owing to his pledges -- though he taught a philosophy built upon the ground-work of the true esoteric knowledge, the Buddha gave to the world only its outward material body and kept its soul for his Elect. (See also Volume II.) Many Chinese scholars among Orientalists have heard of the "Soul Doctrine." None seem to have understood its real meaning and importance.

 

That doctrine was preserved secretly -- too secretly, perhaps -- within the sanctuary. The mystery that shrouded its chief dogma and aspirations -- Nirvana -- has so tried and irritated the curiosity of those scholars who have studied it, that, unable to solve it logically and satisfactorily by untying the Gordian knot, they cut it through, by declaring that Nirvana meant absolute annihilation.

 

Toward the end of the first quarter of this century, a distinct class of literature appeared in the world, which became with every year more defined in its tendency. Being based, soi-disant, on the scholarly researches of Sanskritists and Orientalists in general, it was held scientific. Hindu, Egyptian, and other ancient religions, myths, and emblems were made to yield anything the symbologist wanted them to

 


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yield, thus often giving out the rude outward form in place of the inner meaning. Works, most remarkable for their ingenious deductions and speculations, in circulo vicioso, foregone conclusions generally changing places with premisses as in the syllogisms of more than one Sanskrit and Pali scholar, appeared rapidly in succession, over-flooding the libraries with dissertations rather on phallic and sexual worship than on real symbology, and each contradicting the other.

 

This is the true reason, perhaps, why the outline of a few fundamental truths from the Secret Doctrine of the Archaic ages is now permitted to see the light, after long millenniums of the most profound silence and secrecy. I say "a few truths," advisedly, because that which must remain unsaid could not be contained in a hundred such volumes, nor could it be imparted to the present generation of Sadducees. But, even the little that is now given is better than complete silence upon those vital truths. The world of to-day, in its mad career towards the unknown -- which it is too ready to confound with the unknowable, whenever the problem eludes the grasp of the physicist -- is rapidly progressing on the reverse, material plane of spirituality. It has now become a vast arena -- a true valley of discord and of eternal strife -- a necropolis, wherein lie buried the highest and the most holy aspirations of our Spirit-Soul. That soul becomes with every new generation more paralyzed and atrophied. The "amiable infidels and accomplished profligates" of Society, spoken of by Greeley, care little for the revival of the dead sciences of the past; but there is a fair minority of earnest students who are entitled to learn the few truths that may be given to them now; and now much more than ten years ago, when "Isis Unveiled," or even the later attempts to explain the mysteries of esoteric science, were published.

 

One of the greatest, and, withal, the most serious objection to the correctness and reliability of the whole work will be the preliminary STANZAS: "How can the statements contained in them be verified?" True, if a great portion of the Sanskrit, Chinese, and Mongolian works quoted in the present volumes are known to some Orientalists, the chief work -- that one from which the Stanzas are given -- is not in the possession of European Libraries. The Book of Dzyan (or "Dzan") is utterly unknown to our Philologists, or at any rate was never heard of by them under its present name. This is, of course, a great drawback

 


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to those who follow the methods of research prescribed by official Science; but to the students of Occultism, and to every genuine Occultist, this will be of little moment. The main body of the Doctrines given is found scattered throughout hundreds and thousands of Sanskrit MSS., some already translated -- disfigured in their interpretations, as usual, -- others still awaiting their turn. Every scholar, therefore, has an opportunity of verifying the statements herein made, and of checking most of the quotations. A few new facts (new to the profane Orientalist, only) and passages quoted from the Commentaries will be found difficult to trace. Several of the teachings, also, have hitherto been transmitted orally: yet even those are in every instance hinted at in the almost countless volumes of Brahminical, Chinese and Tibetan temple-literature.

 

However it may be, and whatsoever is in store for the writer through malevolent criticism, one fact is quite certain. The members of several esoteric schools -- the seat of which is beyond the Himalayas, and whose ramifications may be found in China, Japan, India, Tibet, and even in Syria, besides South America -- claim to have in their possession the sum total of sacred and philosophical works in MSS. and type: all the works, in fact, that have ever been written, in whatever language or characters, since the art of writing began; from the ideographic hieroglyphs down to the alphabet of Cadmus and the Devanagari.

 

It has been claimed in all ages that ever since the destruction of the Alexandrian Library (see Isis Unveiled, Vol. II., p. 27), every work of a character that might have led the profane to the ultimate discovery and comprehension of some of the mysteries of the Secret Science, was, owing to the combined efforts of the members of the Brotherhoods, diligently searched for. It is added, moreover, by those who know, that once found, save three copies left and stored safely away, such works were all destroyed. In India, the last of the precious manuscripts were secured and hidden during the reign of the Emperor Akbar.*

 

It is maintained, furthermore, that every sacred book of that kind, whose text was not sufficiently veiled in symbolism, or which had any

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Prof. Max Muller shows that no bribes or threats of Akbar could extort from the Brahmans the original text of the Veda; and boasts that European Orientalists have it (Lecture on the "Science of Religion," p. 23). Whether Europe has the complete text is very doubtful, and the future may have very disagreeable surprises in store for the Orientalists.

 


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direct references to the ancient mysteries, after having been carefully copied in cryptographic characters, such as to defy the art of the best and cleverest palaeographer, was also destroyed to the last copy. During Akbar's reign, some fanatical courtiers, displeased at the Emperor's sinful prying into the religions of the infidels, themselves helped the Brahmans to conceal their MSS. Such was Badaoni, who had an undisguised horror for Akbar's mania for idolatrous religions.*

 

Moreover in all the large and wealthy lamasaries, there are subterranean crypts and cave-libraries, cut in the rock, whenever the gonpa and the lhakhang are situated in the mountains. Beyond the Western Tsay-dam, in the solitary passes of Kuen-lun** there are several such hiding places. Along the ridge of Altyn-Toga, whose soil no European foot has ever trodden so far, there exists a certain hamlet, lost in a deep gorge. It is a small cluster of houses, a hamlet rather than a monastery, with a poor-looking temple in it, with one old lama, a hermit, living near by to watch it. Pilgrims say that the subterranean galleries and halls under it contain a collection of books, the number of which, according to the accounts given, is too large to find room even in the British Museum.***

 

All this is very likely to provoke a smile of doubt. But then, before

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Badaoni wrote in his Muntakhab at Tawarikh: "His Majesty relished inquiries into the sects of these infidels (who cannot be counted, so numerous they are, and who have no end of revealed books) . . . As they (the Sramana and Brahmins) surpass other learned men in their treatises on morals, on physical and religious sciences, and reach a high degree in their knowledge of the future, in spiritual power, and human perfection, they brought proofs based on reason and testimony, and inculcated their doctrines so firmly that no man could now raise a doubt in his Majesty even if mountains were to crumble to dust, or the heavens were to tear asunder." This work "was kept secret, and was not published till the reign of Jahangir." (Ain i Akbari, translated by Dr. Blochmann, p. 104, note.)

 

** Karakorum mountains, Western Tibet.

 

*** According to the same tradition the now desolate regions of the waterless land of Tarim -- a true wilderness in the heart of Turkestan -- were in the days of old covered with flourishing and wealthy cities. At present, hardly a few verdant oases relieve its dead solitude. One such, sprung on the sepulchre of a vast city swallowed by and buried under the sandy soil of the desert, belongs to no one, but is often visited by Mongolians and Buddhists. The same tradition speaks of immense subterranean abodes, of large corridors filled with tiles and cylinders. It may be an idle rumour, and it may be an actual fact.

 


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the reader rejects the truthfulness of the reports, let him pause and reflect over the following well known facts. The collective researches of the Orientalists, and especially the labours of late years of the students of comparative Philology and the Science of Religions have led them to ascertain as follows: An immense, incalculable number of MSS., and even printed works known to have existed, are now to be found no more. They have disappeared without leaving the slightest trace behind them. Were they works of no importance they might, in the natural course of time, have been left to perish, and their very names would have been obliterated from human memory. But it is not so; for, as now ascertained, most of them contained the true keys to works still extant, and entirely incomprehensible, for the greater portion of their readers, without those additional volumes of Commentaries and explanations. Such are, for instance, the works of Lao-tse, the predecessor of Confucius.*

 

He is said to have written 930 books on Ethics and religions, and seventy on magic, one thousand in all. His great work, however, the heart of his doctrine, the "Tao-te-King," or the sacred scriptures of the Taosse, has in it, as Stanislas Julien shows, only "about 5,000 words" (Tao-te-King, p. xxvii.), hardly a dozen of pages, yet Professor Max Muller finds that "the text is unintelligible without commentaries, so that Mr. Julien had to consult more than sixty commentators for the purpose of his translation," the earliest going back as far as the year 163 B.C., not earlier, as we see. During the four centuries and a half that preceded this earliest of the commentators there was ample time to veil the true Lao-tse doctrine from all but his initiated priests. The Japanese, among whom are now to be found the most learned of the priests and followers of Lao-tse, simply laugh at the blunders and hypotheses of the European Chinese scholars; and tradition affirms that the commentaries to which our Western Sinologues have access are not the real occult records, but intentional veils, and that the true commentaries, as well as almost all the texts, have long since disappeared from the eyes of the profane.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* "If we turn to China, we find that the religion of Confucius is founded on the Five King and the Four Shu-books, in themselves of considerable extent and surrounded by voluminous Commentaries, without which even the most learned scholars would not venture to fathom the depth of their sacred canon." (Lectures on the "Science of Religion," p. 185. Max Muller.) But they have not fathomed it -- and this is the complaint of the Confucianists, as a very learned member of that body, in Paris, complained in 1881.

 


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If one turns to the ancient literature of the Semitic religions, to the Chaldean Scriptures, the elder sister and instructress, if not the fountain-head of the Mosaic Bible, the basis and starting-point of Christianity, what do the scholars find? To perpetuate the memory of the ancient religions of Babylon; to record the vast cycle of astronomical observations of the Chaldean Magi; to justify the tradition of their splendid and eminently occult literature, what now remains? -- only a few fragments, said to be by Berosus.

 

These, however, are almost valueless, even as a clue to the character of what has disappeared. For they passed through the hands of his Reverence the Bishop of Caesarea -- that self-constituted censor and editor of the sacred records of other men's religions -- and they doubtless bear to this day the mark of his eminently veracious and trustworthy hand. For what is the history of this treatise on the once grand religion of Babylon?

 

Written in Greek by Berosus, a priest of the temple of Belus, for Alexander the Great, from the astronomical and chronological records preserved by the priests of that temple, and covering a period of 200,000 years, it is now lost. In the first century B.C. Alexander Polyhistor made a series of extracts from it -- also lost. Eusebius used these extracts in writing his Chronicon (270-340 A.D.). The points of resemblance -- almost of identity -- between the Jewish and the Chaldean Scriptures,* made the latter most dangerous to Eusebius, in his role of defender and champion of the new faith which had adopted the Jewish Scriptures, and with them an absurd chronology. It is pretty certain that Eusebius did not spare the Egyptian Synchronistic tables of Manetho -- so much so that Bunsen** charges him with mutilating history most unscrupulously. And Socrates, a historian of the fifth century, and Syncellus, vice-patriarch of Constantinople (eighth century), both denounce him as the most daring and desperate forger.

 

Is it likely, then, that he dealt more tenderly with the Chaldean records, which were already menacing the new religion, so rashly accepted?

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Found out and proven only now, through the discoveries made by George Smith (vide his "Chaldean account of Genesis"), and which, thanks to this Armenian forger, have misled all the civilized nations for over 1,500 years into accepting Jewish derivations for direct Divine Revelation!

 

** Bunsen's "Egypt's Place in History," vol. i. p. 200

 


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So that, with the exception of these more than doubtful fragments, the entire Chaldean sacred literature has disappeared from the eyes of the profane as completely as the lost Atlantis. A few facts that were contained in the Berosian History are given in Part II. of Vol. II., and may throw a great light on the true origin of the Fallen Angels, personified by Bel and the Dragon.

 

Turning now to the oldest Aryan literature, the Rig-Veda, the student will find, following strictly in this the data furnished by the said Orientalists themselves, that, although the Rig-Veda contains only "about 10,580 verses, or 1,028 hymns," in spite of the Brahmanas and the mass of glosses and commentaries, it is not understood correctly to this day. Why is this so? Evidently because the Brahmanas, "the scholastic and oldest treatises on the primitive hymns," themselves require a key, which the Orientalists have failed to secure.

 

What do the scholars say of Buddhist literature? Have they got it in its completeness? Assuredly not. Notwithstanding the 325 volumes of the Kanjur and the Tanjur of the Northern Buddhists, each volume we are told, "weighing from four to five pounds," nothing, in truth, is known of Lamaism. Yet, the sacred canon of the Southern Church is said to contain 29,368,000 letters in the Saddharma alankara,* or, exclusive of treatises and commentaries, "five or six times the amount of the matter contained in the Bible," the latter, in the words of Professor Max Muller, rejoicing only in 3,567,180 letters. Notwithstanding, then, these "325 volumes" (in reality there are 333, Kanjur comprising 108, and Tanjur 225 volumes), "the translators, instead of supplying us with correct versions, have interwoven them with their own commentaries, for the purpose of justifying the dogmas of their several schools."** Moreover, "according to a tradition preserved by the Buddhist schools, both of the South and of the North, the sacred Buddhist Canon comprised originally 80,000 or 84,000 tracts, but most of them were lost, so that there remained but 6,000," the professor tells his audiences. "Lost" as usual for Europeans. But who can be quite sure that they are likewise lost for Buddhists and Brahmins?

 

Considering the sacredness for the Buddhists of every line written

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Spence Hardy, "The Legends and Theories of the Buddhists," p. 66.

 

** "Buddhism in Tibet," p. 78.

 


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upon Buddha or his "Good Law," the loss of nearly 76,000 tracts does seem miraculous. Had it been vice versa, every one acquainted with the natural course of events would subscribe to the statement that, of these 76,000, five or six thousand treatises might have been destroyed during the persecutions in, and emigrations from, India. But as it is well ascertained that Buddhist Arhats began their religious exodus, for the purpose of propagating the new faith beyond Kashmir and the Himalayas, as early as the year 300 before our era,* and reached China in the year 61 A.D.** when Kashyapa, at the invitation of the Emperor Ming-ti, went there to acquaint the "Son of Heaven" with the tenets of Buddhism, it does seem strange to hear the Orientalists speaking of such a loss as though it were really possible. They do not seem to allow for one moment the possibility that the texts may be lost only for West and for themselves; or, that the Asiatic people should have the unparalleled boldness to keep their most sacred records out of the reach of foreigners, thus refusing to deliver them to the profanation and misuse of races even so "vastly superior" to themselves.

 

Owing to the expressed regrets and numerous confessions of almost every one of the Orientalists (See Max Muller's Lectures for example) the public may feel sufficiently sure (a) that the students of ancient religions have indeed very few data upon which to build such final conclusions as they generally do about the old religions, and (b) that such lack of data does not prevent them in the least from dogmatising. One would imagine that, thanks to the numerous records of the Egyptian theogony and mysteries preserved in the classics, and in a number of ancient writers, the rites and dogmas of Pharaonic Egypt ought to be well understood at least; better, at any rate, than the too abstruse philosophies and Pantheism of India, of whose religion and language Europe had hardly any idea before the beginning of the present century. Along the Nile and on the face of the whole country, there stand to this hour, exhumed yearly and daily, fresh relics which eloquently tell their own history. Still it is not so. The learned Oxford philologist himself confesses the truth by saying that "Though . . . we see still standing the Pyramids, and the ruins of temples and labyrinths, their walls

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Lassen, ("Ind. Althersumkunde" Vol. II, p. 1,072) shows a Buddhist monastery erected in the Kailas range in 137 B.C.; and General Cunningham, earlier than that.

 

** Reverend T. Edkins, "Chinese Buddhism."

 


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covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions, and with the strange pictures of gods and goddesses. . . . . On rolls of papyrus, which seem to defy the ravages of time, we have even fragments of what may be called the sacred books of the Egyptians; yet, though much has been deciphered in the ancient records of that mysterious race, the mainspring of the religion of Egypt and the original intention of its ceremonial worship are far from being fully disclosed to us."* Here again the mysterious hieroglyphic documents remain, but the keys by which alone they become intelligible have disappeared.

 

Nevertheless, having found that "there is a natural connection between language and religion"; and, secondly, that there was a common Aryan religion before the separation of the Aryan race; a common Semitic religion before the separation of the Semitic race; and a common Turanian religion before the separation of the Chinese and the other tribes belonging to the Turanian class; having, in fact, only discovered "three ancient centres of religion" and "three centres of language," and though as entirely ignorant of those primitive religions and languages, as of their origin, the professor does not hesitate to declare "that a truly historical basis for a scientific treatment of those principal religions of the world has been gained!"

 

A "scientific treatment" of a subject is no guarantee for its "historical basis"; and with such scarcity of data on hand, no philologist, even among the most eminent, is justified in giving out his own conclusions for historical facts. No doubt, the eminent Orientalist has proved thoroughly to the world's satisfaction, that according to Grimm's law of phonetic rules, Odin and Buddha are two different personages, quite distinct from each other, and he has shown it scientifically. When, however, he takes the opportunity of saying in the same breath that Odin "was worshipped as the supreme deity during a period long anterior to the age of the Veda and of Homer" (Compar. Theol., p. 318), he has not the slightest "historical basis" for it. He makes history and fact subservient to his

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* So little acquainted are our greatest Egyptologists with the funerary rites of the Egyptians and the outward marks of the difference of sexes made on the mummies, that it has led to the most ludicrous mistakes. Only a year or two since, one of that kind was discovered at Boulaq, Cairo. The mummy of what had been considered the wife of an unimportant Pharaoh, has turned out, thanks to an inscription found on an amulet hung on his neck, to be that of Sesostris -- the greatest King of Egypt!

 


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own conclusions, which may be very "scientific," in the sight of Oriental scholars, but yet very wide of the mark of actual truth. The conflicting views on the subject of chronology, in the case of the Vedas, of the various eminent philologists and Orientalists, from Martin Haug down to Mr. Max Muller himself, are an evident proof that the statement has no historical basis to stand upon, "internal evidence" being very often a jack-o'lantern, instead of a safe beacon to follow. Nor has the Science of modern Comparative Mythology any better proof to show, that those learned writers, who have insisted for the last century or so that there must have been "fragments of a primeval revelation, granted to the ancestors of the whole race of mankind . . . . preserved in the temples of Greece and Italy," were entirely wrong. For this is what all the Eastern Initiates and Pundits have been proclaiming to the world from time to time. While a prominent Cinghalese priest assured the writer that it was well known that the most important Buddhist tracts belonging to the sacred canon were stored away in countries and places inaccessible to the European pundits, the late Swami Dayanand Sarasvati, the greatest Sanskritist of his day in India, assured some members of the Theosophical Society of the same fact with regard to ancient Brahmanical works. When told that Professor Max Muller had declared to the audiences of his "Lectures" that the theory . . . . "that there was a primeval preternatural revelation granted to the fathers of the human race, finds but few supporters at present," -- the holy and learned man laughed. His answer was suggestive. "If Mr. Moksh Mooller, as he pronounced the name, were a Brahmin, and came with me, I might take him to a gupta cave (a secret crypt) near Okhee Math, in the Himalayas, where he would soon find out that what crossed the Kalapani (the black waters of the ocean) from India to Europe were only the bits of rejected copies of some passages from our sacred books. There was a "primeval revelation," and it still exists; nor will it ever be lost to the world, but will reappear; though the Mlechchhas will of course have to wait."

 

Questioned further on this point, he would say no more. This was at Meerut, in 1880.

 

No doubt the mystification played, in the last century at Calcutta, by the Brahmins upon Colonel Wilford and Sir William Jones was a cruel one. But it had been well deserved, and no one was more to be blamed

 


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in that affair than the Missionaries and Colonel Wilford themselves. The former, on the testimony of Sir William Jones himself (see Asiat. Res., Vol. I., p. 272), were silly enough to maintain that "the Hindus were even now almost Christians, because their Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesa were no other than the Christian trinity."* It was a good lesson. It made the Oriental scholars doubly cautious; but perchance it has also made some of them too shy, and caused, in its reaction, the pendulum of foregone conclusions to swing too much the other way. For "that first supply on the Brahmanical market," made for Colonel Wilford, has now created an evident necessity and desire in the Orientalists to declare nearly every archaic Sanskrit manuscript so modern as to give to the missionaries full justification for availing themselves of the opportunity. That they do so and to the full extent of their mental powers, is shown by the absurd attempts of late to prove that the whole Puranic story about Chrishna was plagiarized by the Brahmins from the Bible! But the facts cited by the Oxford Professor in his Lectures on the "Science of Religion," concerning the now famous interpolations, for the benefit, and later on to the sorrow, of Col. Wilford, do not at all interfere with the conclusions to which one who studies the Secret Doctrine must unavoidably come. For, if the results show that neither the New nor even the Old Testament borrowed anything from the more ancient religion of the Brahmans and Buddhists, it does not follow that the Jews have not borrowed all they knew from the Chaldean records, the latter being mutilated later on by Eusebius. As to the Chaldeans, they assuredly got their primitive learning from the Brahmans, for Rawlinson shows an undeniably Vedic influence in the early mythology of Babylon; and Col. Vans Kennedy has long since justly declared that Babylonia was, from her origin, the seat of Sanskrit and Brahman learning. But all such proofs must lose their value, in the presence of the latest theory worked out by Prof. Max Muller. What it is everyone knows. The code of phonetic laws has now become a universal solvent for every identification and "connection" between

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* See Max Muller's "Introduction to the Science of Religion." Lecture On False Analogies in comparative Theology, pp. 288 and 296 et seq. This relates to the clever forgery (on leaves inserted in old Puranic MSS.), in correct and archaic Sanskrit, of all that the Pundits of Col. Wilford had heard from him about Adam and Abraham, Noah and his three sons, etc., etc

 


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the gods of many nations. Thus, though the Mother of Mercury (Budha, Thot-Hermes, etc.), was Maia, the mother of Buddha (Gautama), also Maya, and the mother of Jesus, likewise Maya (illusion, for Mary is Mare, the Sea, the great illusion symbolically) -- yet these three characters have no connection, nor can they have any, since Bopp, has "laid down his code of phonetic laws."

 

In their efforts to collect together the many skeins of unwritten history, it is a bold step for our Orientalists to take, to deny, a priori, everything that does not dovetail with their special conclusions. Thus, while new discoveries are daily made of great arts and sciences having existed far back in the night of time, even the knowledge of writing is refused to some of the most ancient nations, and they are credited with barbarism instead of culture. Yet the traces of an immense civilization, even in Central Asia, are still to be found. This civilization is undeniably prehistoric. And how can there be civilization without a literature, in some form, without annals or chronicles? Common sense alone ought to supplement the broken links in the history of departed nations. The gigantic, unbroken wall of the mountains that hem in the whole table-land of Tibet, from the upper course of the river Khuan-Khe down to the Kara-Korum hills, witnessed a civilization during millenniums of years, and would have strange secrets to tell mankind. The Eastern and Central portions of those regions -- the Nan-Schayn and the Altyne-taga -- were once upon a time covered with cities that could well vie with Babylon. A whole geological period has swept over the land, since those cities breathed their last, as the mounds of shifting sand, and the sterile and now dead soil of the immense central plains of the basin of Tarim testify. The borderlands alone are superficially known to the traveller. Within those table-lands of sand there is water, and fresh oases are found blooming there, wherein no European foot has ever yet ventured, or trodden the now treacherous soil. Among these verdant oases there are some which are entirely inaccessible even to the native profane traveller. Hurricanes may "tear up the sands and sweep whole plains away," they are powerless to destroy that which is beyond their reach. Built deep in the bowels of the earth, the subterranean stores are secure; and as their entrances are concealed in such oases, there is little fear that any one should discover them, even should several armies invade the sandy wastes where --

 


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"Not a pool, not a bush, not a house is seen,

And the mountain-range forms a rugged screen

Round the parch'd flats of the dry, dry desert. . . . ."

 

But there is no need to send the reader across the desert, when the same proofs of ancient civilization are found even in comparatively populated regions of the same country. The oasis of Tchertchen, for instance, situated about 4,000 feet above the level of the river Tchertchen-D'arya, is surrounded with the ruins of archaic towns and cities in every direction. There, some 3,000 human beings represent the relics of about a hundred extinct nations and races -- the very names of which are now unknown to our ethnologists. An anthropologist would feel more than embarrassed to class, divide and subdivide them; the more so, as the respective descendants of all these antediluvian races and tribes know as little of their own forefathers themselves, as if they had fallen from the moon. When questioned about their origin, they reply that they know not whence their fathers had come, but had heard that their first (or earliest) men were ruled by the great genii of these deserts. This may be put down to ignorance and superstition, yet in view of the teachings of the Secret Doctrine, the answer may be based upon primeval tradition. Alone, the tribe of Khoorassan claims to have come from what is now known as Afghanistan, long before the days of Alexander, and brings legendary lore to that effect as corroboration. The Russian traveller, Colonel (now General) Prjevalsky, found quite close to the oasis of Tchertchen, the ruins of two enormous cities, the oldest of which was, according to local tradition, ruined 3,000 years ago by a hero and giant; and the other by the Mongolians in the tenth century of our era. "The emplacement of the two cities is now covered, owing to shifting sands and the desert wind, with strange and heterogeneous relics; with broken china and kitchen utensils and human bones. The natives often find copper and gold coins, melted silver, ingots, diamonds, and turquoises, and what is the most remarkable -- broken glass. . . . ." "Coffins of some undecaying wood, or material, also, within which beautifully preserved embalmed bodies are found. . . . . The male mummies are all extremely tall powerfully built men with long waving hair. . . . . A vault was found with twelve dead men sitting in it. Another time, in a separate coffin, a young girl was discovered by us. Her eyes were closed with golden discs, and the jaws held firm by a golden circlet running from under the chin across the top of the head. Clad in a narrow

 


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woollen garment, her bosom was covered with golden stars, the feet being left naked." (From a lecture by N. M. Prjevalsky.) To this, the famous traveller adds that all along their way on the river Tchertchen they heard legends about twenty-three towns buried ages ago by the shifting sands of the deserts. The same tradition exists on the Lob-nor and in the oasis of Kerya.

 

The traces of such civilization, and these and like traditions, give us the right to credit other legendary lore warranted by well educated and learned natives of India and Mongolia, when they speak of immense libraries reclaimed from the sand, together with various reliques of ancient MAGIC lore, which have all been safely stowed away.

 

To recapitulate. The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world. Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence in every land, together with the teaching of all its great adepts, exist to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging to the Occult Fraternity.

 

This statement is rendered more credible by a consideration of the following facts: the tradition of the thousands of ancient parchments saved when the Alexandrian library was destroyed; the thousands of Sanskrit works which disappeared in India in the reign of Akbar; the universal tradition in China and Japan that the true old texts with the commentaries, which alone make them comprehensible -- amounting to many thousands of volumes -- have long passed out of the reach of profane hands; the disappearance of the vast sacred and occult literature of Babylon; the loss of those keys which alone could solve the thousand riddles of the Egyptian hieroglyphic records; the tradition in India that the real secret commentaries which alone make the Veda intelligible, though no longer visible to profane eyes, still remain for the initiate, hidden in secret caves and crypts; and an identical belief among the Buddhists, with regard to their secret books.

 

The Occultists assert that all these exist, safe from Western spoliating hands, to re-appear in some more enlightened age, for which in the words of the late Swami Dayanand Sarasvati, "the Mlechchhas (outcasts, savages, those beyond the pale of Aryan civilization) will have to wait."

 

For it is not the fault of the initiates that these documents are now "lost" to the profane; nor was their policy dictated by selfishness, or

 


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any desire to monopolise the life-giving sacred lore. There were portions of the Secret Science that for incalculable ages had to remain concealed from the profane gaze. But this was because to impart to the unprepared multitude secrets of such tremendous importance, was equivalent to giving a child a lighted candle in a powder magazine.

 

The answer to a question which has frequently arisen in the minds of students, when meeting with statements such as this, may be outlined here.

 

"We can understand," they say, "the necessity for concealing from the herd such secrets as the Vril, or the rock-destroying force, discovered by J. W. Keely, of Philadelphia, but we cannot understand how any danger could arise from the revelation of such a purely philosophic doctrine, as, e.g., the evolution of the planetary chains."

 

The danger was this: Doctrines such as the planetary chain, or the seven races, at once give a clue to the seven-fold nature of man, for each principle is correlated to a plane, a planet, and a race; and the human principles are, on every plane, correlated to seven-fold occult forces -- those of the higher planes being of tremendous power. So that any septenary division at once gives a clue to tremendous occult powers, the abuse of which would cause incalculable evil to humanity. A clue, which is, perhaps, no clue to the present generation -- especially the Westerns -- protected as they are by their very blindness and ignorant materialistic disbelief in the occult; but a clue which would, nevertheless, have been very real in the early centuries of the Christian era, to people fully convinced of the reality of occultism, and entering a cycle of degradation, which made them rife for abuse of occult powers and sorcery of the worst description.

 

The documents were concealed, it is true, but the knowledge itself and its actual existence had never been made a secret of by the Hierophants of the Temple, wherein MYSTERIES have ever been made a discipline and stimulus to virtue. This is very old news, and was repeatedly made known by the great adepts, from Pythagoras and Plato down to the Neoplatonists. It was the new religion of the Nazarenes that wrought a change for the worse -- in the policy of centuries.

 

Moreover, there is a well-known fact, a very curious one, corroborated to the writer by a reverend gentleman attached for years to a Russian Embassy -- namely, that there are several documents in the St. Peters-

 


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burg Imperial Libraries to show that, even so late as during the days when Freemasonry, and Secret Societies of Mystics flourished unimpeded in Russia, i.e., at the end of the last and the beginning of the present century, more than one Russian Mystic travelled to Tibet via the Ural mountains in search of knowledge and initiation in the unknown crypts of Central Asia. And more than one returned years later, with a rich store of such information as could never have been given him anywhere in Europe. Several cases could be cited, and well-known names brought forward, but for the fact that such publicity might annoy the surviving relatives of the said late Initiates. Let any one look over the Annals and History of Freemasonry in the archives of the Russian metropolis, and he will assure himself of the fact stated.

 

This is a corroboration of that which has been stated many times before, and, unfortunately, too indiscreetly. Instead of benefiting humanity, the virulent charges of deliberate invention and imposture with a purpose thrown at those who asserted but a truthful, if even a little known fact, have only generated bad Karma for the slanderers. But now the mischief is done, and truth should no longer be denied, whatever the consequences. Is it a new religion, we are asked? By no means; it is not a religion, nor is its philosophy new; for, as already stated, it is as old as thinking man. Its tenets are not now published for the first time, but have been cautiously given out to, and taught by, more than one European Initiate -- especially by the late Ragon.

 

More than one great scholar has stated that there never was a religious founder, whether Aryan, Semitic or Turanian, who had invented a new religion, or revealed a new truth. These founders were all transmitters, not original teachers. They were the authors of new forms and interpretations, while the truths upon which the latter were based were as old as mankind. Selecting one or more of those grand verities -- actualities visible only to the eye of the real Sage and Seer -- out of the many orally revealed to man in the beginning, preserved and perpetuated in the adyta of the temples through initiation, during the MYSTERIES and by personal transmission -- they revealed these truths to the masses. Thus every nation received in its turn some of the said truths, under the veil of its own local and special symbolism; which, as time went on, developed into a more or less philosophical cultus, a Pantheon in mythical disguise. Therefore is Confucius, a very ancient

 


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legislator in historical chronology, though a very modern Sage in the World's History, shown by Dr. Legge* -- who calls him "emphatically a transmitter, not a maker" -- as saying: "I only hand on: I cannot create new things. I believe in the ancients and therefore I love them."** (Quoted in "Science of Religions" by Max Muller.)

 

The writer loves them too, and therefore believes in the ancients, and the modern heirs to their Wisdom. And believing in both, she now transmits that which she has received and learnt herself to all those who will accept it. As to those who may reject her testimony, -- i.e., the great majority -- she will bear them no malice, for they will be as right in their way in denying, as she is right in hers in affirming, since they look at TRUTH from two entirely different stand-points. Agreeably with the rules of critical scholarship, the Orientalist has to reject a priori whatever evidence he cannot fully verify for himself. And how can a Western scholar accept on hearsay that which he knows nothing about? Indeed, that which is given in these volumes is selected from oral, as much as from written teachings. This first instalment of the esoteric doctrines is based upon Stanzas, which are the records of a people unknown to ethnology; it is claimed that they are written in a tongue absent from the nomenclature of languages and dialects with which philology is acquainted; they are said to emanate from a source (Occultism) repudiated by science; and, finally, they are offered through an agency, incessantly discredited before the world by all those who hate unwelcome truths, or have some special hobby of their own to defend. Therefore, the rejection of these teachings may be expected, and must be accepted beforehand. No one styling himself a "scholar," in whatever department of exact science, will be permitted to regard these teachings seriously. They will be derided and rejected a priori in this century; but only in this one. For in the twentieth century of our era scholars will begin to recognize that the Secret Doctrine has neither been invented nor exaggerated, but, on the contrary, simply outlined; and finally, that its teachings antedate the Vedas.*** Have not the latter been derided, rejected, and

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Lun Yu (§ I a) Schott. "Chinesische Literatur," p. 7.

 

** "Life of Confucius," p. 96.

 

*** This is no pretension to prophecy, but simply a statement based on the knowledge of facts. Every century an attempt is being made to show the world that Occultism [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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called "a modern forgery" even so recently as fifty years ago? Was not Sanskrit proclaimed at one time the progeny of, and a dialect derived from, the Greek, according to Lempriere and other scholars? About 1820, Prof. Max Muller tells us, the sacred books of the Brahmans, of the Magians, and of the Buddhists, "were all but unknown, their very existence was doubted, and there was not a single scholar who could have translated a line of the Veda . . . of the Zend Avesta, or . . . of the Buddhist Tripitaka, and now the Vedas are proved to be the work of the highest antiquity whose 'preservation amounts almost to a marvel' (Lecture on the Vedas).

 

The same will be said of the Secret Archaic Doctrine, when proofs are given of its undeniable existence and records. But it will take centuries before much more is given from it. Speaking of the keys to the Zodiacal mysteries as being almost lost to the world, it was remarked by the writer in "Isis Unveiled" some ten years ago that: "The said key must be turned seven times before the whole system is divulged. We will give it but one turn, and thereby allow the profane one glimpse into the mystery. Happy he, who understands the whole!"

 

The same may be said of the whole Esoteric system. One turn of the key, and no more, was given in "Isis." Much more is explained in these volumes. In those days the writer hardly knew the language in which the work was written, and the disclosure of many things, freely spoken about now, was forbidden. 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.

 

Such a work as this has to be introduced with no simple Preface, but with a volume rather; one that would give facts, not mere disquisitions, since the SECRET DOCTRINE is not a treatise, or a series of vague theories, but contains all that can be given out to the world in this century.

 

It would be worse than useless to publish in these pages even those

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

[[Footnote continued from previous page]] is no vain superstition. Once the door permitted to be kept a little ajar, it will be opened wider with every new century. The times are ripe for a more serious knowledge than hitherto permitted, though still very limited, so far.

 


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portions of the esoteric teachings that have now escaped from confinement, unless the genuineness and authenticity -- at any rate, the probability -- of the existence of such teachings was first established. Such statements as will now be made, have to be shown warranted by various authorities: those of ancient philosophers, classics and even certain learned Church Fathers, some of whom knew these doctrines because they had studied them, had seen and read works written upon them; and some of whom had even been personally initiated into the ancient Mysteries, during the performance of which the arcane doctrines were allegorically enacted. The writer will have to give historical and trustworthy names, and to cite well-known authors, ancient and modern, of recognized ability, good judgment, and truthfulness, as also to name some of the famous proficients in the secret arts and science, along with the mysteries of the latter, as they are divulged, or, rather, partially presented before the public in their strange archaic form.

 

How is this to be done? What is the best way for achieving such an object? was the ever-recurring question. To make our plan clearer, an illustration may be attempted. When a tourist coming from a well-explored country, suddenly reaches the borderland of a terra incognita, hedged in, and shut out from view by a formidable barrier of impassable rocks, he may still refuse to acknowledge himself baffled in his exploratory plans. Ingress beyond is forbidden. But, if he cannot visit the mysterious region personally, he may still find a means of examining it from as short a distance as can be arrived at. Helped by his knowledge of landscapes left behind him, he can get a general and pretty correct idea of the transmural view, if he will only climb to the loftiest summit of the altitudes in front of him. Once there, he can gaze at it, at his leisure, comparing that which he dimly perceives with that which he has just left below, now that he is, thanks to his efforts, beyond the line of the mists and the cloud-capped cliffs.

 

Such a point of preliminary observation, for those who would like to get a more correct understanding of the mysteries of the pre-archaic periods given in the texts, cannot be offered to them in these two volumes. But if the reader has patience, and would glance at the present state of beliefs and creeds in Europe, compare and check it with what is known to history of the ages directly preceding and

 


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following the Christian era, then he will find all this in Volume III. of this work.

 

In that volume a brief recapitulation will be made of all the principal adepts known to history, and the downfall of the mysteries will be described; after which began the disappearance and final and systematic elimination from the memory of men of the real nature of initiation and the Sacred Science. From that time its teachings became Occult, and Magic sailed but too often under the venerable but frequently misleading name of Hermetic philosophy. As real Occultism had been prevalent among the Mystics during the centuries that preceded our era, so Magic, or rather Sorcery, with its Occult Arts, followed the beginning of Christianity.

 

However great and zealous the fanatical efforts, during those early centuries, to obliterate every trace of the mental and intellectual labour of the Pagans, it was a failure; but the same spirit of the dark demon of bigotry and intolerance has perverted systematically and ever since, every bright page written in the pre-Christian periods. Even in her uncertain records, history has preserved enough of that which has survived to throw an impartial light upon the whole. Let, then, the reader tarry a little while with the writer, on the spot of observation selected. He is asked to give all his attention to that millennium which divided the pre-Christian and the post-Christian periods, by the year ONE of the Nativity. This event -- whether historically correct or not -- has nevertheless been made to serve as a first signal for the erection of manifold bulwarks against any possible return of, or even a glimpse into, the hated religions of the Past; hated and dreaded -- because throwing such a vivid light on the new and intentionally veiled interpretation of what is now known as the "New Dispensation."

 

However superhuman the efforts of the early Christian fathers to obliterate the Secret Doctrine from the very memory of man, they all failed. Truth can never be killed; hence the failure to sweep away entirely from the face of the earth every vestige of that ancient Wisdom, and to shackle and gag every witness who testified to it. Let one only think of the thousands, and perhaps millions, of MSS. burnt; of monuments, with their too indiscreet inscriptions and pictorial symbols, pulverised to dust; of the bands of early hermits and ascetics roaming about among the ruined cities of Upper and Lower Egypt, in desert and

 


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mountain, valleys and highlands, seeking for and eager to destroy every obelisk and pillar, scroll or parchment they could lay their hands on, if it only bore the symbol of the tau, or any other sign borrowed and appropriated by the new faith; and he will then see plainly how it is that so little has remained of the records of the Past. Verily, the fiendish spirits of fanaticism, of early and mediaeval Christianity and of Islam, have from the first loved to dwell in darkness and ignorance; and both have made

 

"-------------- the sun like blood, the earth a tomb,

The tomb a hell, and hell itself a murkier gloom!"

 

Both creeds have won their proselytes at the point of the sword; both have built their churches on heaven-kissing hecatombs of human victims. Over the gateway of Century I. of our era, the ominous words "the KARMA OF ISRAEL," fatally glowed. Over the portals of our own, the future seer may discern other words, that will point to the Karma for cunningly made-up HISTORY, for events purposely perverted, and for great characters slandered by posterity, mangled out of recognition, between the two cars of Jagannatha -- Bigotry and Materialism; one accepting too much, the other denying all. Wise is he who holds to the golden mid-point, who believes in the eternal justice of things. Says Faigi Diwan, the "witness to the wonderful speeches of a free-thinker who belongs to a thousand sects": "In the assembly of the day of resurrection, when past things shall be forgiven, the sins of the Ka'bah will be forgiven for the sake of the dust of Christian churches." To this, Professor Max Muller replies: "The sins of Islam are as worthless as the dust of Christianity. On the day of resurrection both Muhammadans and Christians will see the vanity of their religious doctrines. Men fight about religion on earth -- in heaven they shall find out that there is only one true religion -- the worship of God's SPIRIT."*

 

In other words -- "THERE IS NO RELIGION (OR LAW) HIGHER THAN TRUTH" -- "SATYAT NASTI PARO DHARMAH" -- the motto of the Maharajah of Benares, adopted by the Theosophical Society.

 

As already said in the Preface, the Secret Doctrine is not a version of "Isis Unveiled" -- as originally intended. It is a volume explanatory of

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* "Lectures on the Science of Religion," by F. Max Muller, p. 257.

 


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it rather, and, though entirely independent of the earlier work, an indispensable corollary to it. Much of what was in Isis could hardly be understood by theosophists in those days. The Secret Doctrine will now throw light on many a problem left unsolved in the first work, especially on the opening pages, which have never been understood.

 

Concerned simply with the philosophies within our historical times and the respective symbolism of the fallen nations, only a hurried glance could be thrown at the panorama of Occultism in the two volumes of Isis. In the present work, detailed Cosmogony and the evolution of the four races that preceded our Fifth race Humanity are given, and now two large volumes explain that which was stated on the first page of ISIS UNVEILED alone, and in a few allusions scattered hither and thither throughout that work. Nor could the vast catalogue of the Archaic Sciences be attempted in the present volumes, before we have disposed of such tremendous problems as Cosmic and Planetary Evolution, and the gradual development of the mysterious Humanities and races that preceded our "Adamic" Humanity. Therefore, the present attempt to elucidate some mysteries of the Esoteric philosophy has, in truth, nothing to do with the earlier work. As an instance, the writer must be allowed to illustrate what is said.

 

Volume I. of "Isis" begins with a reference to "an old book" --

 

"So very old that our modern antiquarians might ponder over its pages an indefinite time, and still not quite agree as to the nature of the fabric upon which it is written. It is the only original copy now in existence. The most ancient Hebrew document on occult learning -- the Siphrah Dzeniouta -- was compiled from it, and that at a time when the former was already considered in the light of a literary relic. One of its illustrations represents the Divine Essence emanating from ADAM* like a luminous arc proceeding to form a circle; and then, having attained the highest point of its circumference, the ineffable glory bends back again, and returns to earth, bringing a higher type of humanity in its vortex. As it approaches nearer and nearer to our planet, the Emanation becomes more and more shadowy, until upon touching the ground it is as black as night."

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* The name is used in the sense of the Greek word [[anthropos]].

 


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The "very old Book" is the original work from which the many volumes of Kiu-ti were compiled. Not only this latter and the Siphrah Dzeniouta but even the Sepher Jezirah,* the work attributed by the Hebrew Kabalists to their Patriarch Abraham (!), the book of Shu-king, China's primitive Bible, the sacred volumes of the Egyptian Thoth-Hermes, the Puranas in India, and the Chaldean Book of Numbers and the Pentateuch itself, are all derived from that one small parent volume. Tradition says, that it was taken down in Senzar, the secret sacerdotal tongue, from the words of the Divine Beings, who dictated it to the sons of Light, in Central Asia, at the very beginning of the 5th (our) race; for there was a time when its language (the Sen-zar) was known to the Initiates of every nation, when the forefathers of the Toltec understood it as easily as the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis, who inherited it, in their turn, from the sages of the 3rd Race, the Manushis, who learnt it direct from the Devas of the 2nd and 1st Races. The "illustration" spoken of in "Isis" relates to the evolution of these Races and of our 4th and 5th Race Humanity in the Vaivasvata Manvantara or "Round"; each Round being composed of the Yugas of the seven periods of Humanity; four of which are now passed in our life cycle, the middle point of the 5th being nearly reached. The illustration is symbolical, as every one can well understand, and covers the ground from the beginning. The old book, having described Cosmic Evolution and explained the origin of everything on earth, including physical man, after giving the true history of the races from the First down to the Fifth (our) race, goes no further. It stops short at the beginning of the Kali Yuga just 4989 years ago at the death of Krishna, the bright "Sun-god," the once living hero and reformer.

 

But there exists another book. None of its possessors regard it as very ancient, as it was born with, and is only as old as the Black Age,

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Rabbi Jehoshua Ben Chananea, who died about A.D. 72, openly declared that he had performed "miracles" by means of the Book of Sepher Jezireh, and challenged every sceptic. Franck, quoting from the Babylonian Talmud, names two other thaumaturgists, Rabbis Chanina and Oshoi. (See "Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin," c. 7, etc.; and "Franck," pp. 55, 56.) Many of the Mediaeval Occultists, Alchemists, and Kabalists claimed the same; and even the late modern Magus, Eliphas Levi, publicly asserts it in print in his books on Magic.

 


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namely, about 5,000 years. In about nine years hence, the first cycle of the first five millenniums, that began with the great cycle of the Kali-Yuga, will end. And then the last prophecy contained in that book (the first volume of the prophetic record for the Black Age) will be accomplished. We have not long to wait, and many of us will witness the Dawn of the New Cycle, at the end of which not a few accounts will be settled and squared between the races. Volume II. of the Prophecies is nearly ready, having been in preparation since the time of Buddha's grand successor, Sankaracharya.

 

One more important point must be noticed, one that stands foremost in the series of proofs given of the existence of one primeval, universal Wisdom -- at any rate for the Christian Kabalists and students. The teachings were, at least, partially known to several of the Fathers of the Church. It is maintained, on purely historical grounds, that Origen, Synesius, and even Clemens Alexandrinus, had been themselves initiated into the mysteries before adding to the Neo-Platonism of the Alexandrian school, that of the Gnostics, under the Christian veil. More than this, some of the doctrines of the Secret schools -- though by no means all -- were preserved in the Vatican, and have since become part and parcel of the mysteries, in the shape of disfigured additions made to the original Christian programme by the Latin Church. Such is the now materialised dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This accounts for the great persecutions set on foot by the Roman Catholic Church against Occultism, Masonry, and heterodox mysticism generally.

 

The days of Constantine were the last turning-point in history, the period of the Supreme struggle that ended in the Western world throttling the old religions in favour of the new one, built on their bodies. From thence the vista into the far distant Past, beyond the "Deluge" and the Garden of Eden, began to be forcibly and relentlessly closed by every fair and unfair means against the indiscreet gaze of posterity. Every issue was blocked up, every record that hands could be laid upon, destroyed. Yet there remains enough, even among such mutilated records, to warrant us in saying that there is in them every possible evidence of the actual existence of a Parent Doctrine. Fragments have survived geological and political cataclysms to tell the story; and every survival shows evidence that the now Secret Wisdom was once the

 


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one fountain head, the ever-flowing perennial source, at which were fed all its streamlets -- the later religions of all nations -- from the first down to the last. This period, beginning with Buddha and Pythagoras at the one end and the Neo-Platonists and Gnostics at the other, is the only focus left in History wherein converge for the last time the bright rays of light streaming from the aeons of time gone by, unobscured by the hand of bigotry and fanaticism.

 

This accounts for the necessity under which the writer has laboured to be ever explaining the facts given from the hoariest Past by evidence gathered from the historical period. No other means was at hand, at the risk even of being once more charged with a lack of method and system. The public must be made acquainted with the efforts of many World-adepts, of initiated poets, writers, and classics of every age, to preserve in the records of Humanity the Knowledge of the existence, at least, of such a philosophy, if not actually of its tenets. The Initiates of 1888 would indeed remain incomprehensible and ever a seemingly impossible myth, were not like Initiates shown to have lived in every other age of history. This could be done only by naming Chapter and Verse where may be found mention of these great characters, who were preceded and followed by a long and interminable line of other famous Antediluvian and Post-diluvian Masters in the arts. Thus only could be shown, on semi-traditional and semi-historical authority, that knowledge of the Occult and the powers it confers on man, are not altogether fictions, but that they are as old as the world itself.

 

To my judges, past and future, therefore -- whether they are serious literary critics, or those howling dervishes in literature who judge a book according to the popularity or unpopularity of the author's name, who, hardly glancing at its contents, fasten like lethal bacilli on the weakest points of the body -- I have nothing to say. Nor shall I condescend to notice those crack-brained slanderers -- fortunately very few in number -- who, hoping to attract public attention by throwing discredit on every writer whose name is better known than their own, foam and bark at their very shadows. These, having first maintained for years that the doctrines taught in the Theosophist, and which culminated in "Esoteric Buddhism," had been all invented by the present writer, have finally turned round, and denounced "Isis Unveiled" and the rest as a plagiarism from Eliphas Levi (!), Paracelsus (!!), and, mirabile

 


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dictu, Buddhism and Brahmanism (!!!) As well charge Renan with having stolen his Vie de Jesus from the Gospels, and Max Muller his "Sacred Books of the East" or his "Chips" from the philosophies of the Brahmins and Gautama, the Buddha. But to the public in general and the readers of the "Secret Doctrine" I may repeat what I have stated all along, and which I now clothe in the words of Montaigne: Gentlemen, "I HAVE HERE MADE ONLY A NOSEGAY OF CULLED FLOWERS, AND HAVE BROUGHT NOTHING OF MY OWN BUT THE STRING THAT TIES THEM."

 

Pull the "string" to pieces and cut it up in shreds, if you will. As for the nosegay of FACTS -- you will never be able to make away with these. You can only ignore them, and no more.

 

We may close with a parting word concerning this Volume I. In an INTRODUCTION prefacing a Part dealing chiefly with Cosmogony, certain subjects brought forward might be deemed out of place, but one more consideration added to those already given have led me to touch upon them. Every reader will inevitably judge the statements made from the stand-point of his own knowledge, experience, and consciousness, based on what he has already learnt. This fact the writer is constantly obliged to bear in mind: hence, also the frequent references in this first Book to matters which, properly speaking, belong to a later part of the work, but which could not be passed by in silence, lest the reader should look down on this work as a fairy tale indeed -- a fiction of some modern brain.

 

Thus, the Past shall help to realise the PRESENT, and the latter to better appreciate the PAST. The errors of the day must be explained and swept away, yet it is more than probable -- and in the present case it amounts to certitude -- that once more the testimony of long ages and of history will fail to impress anyone but the very intuitional -- which is equal to saying the very few. But in this as in all like cases, the true and the faithful may console themselves by presenting the sceptical modern Sadducee with the mathematical proof and memorial of his obdurate obstinacy and bigotry. There still exists somewhere in the archives of the French Academy, the famous law of probabilities worked out by an algebraical process for the benefit of sceptics by certain mathematicians. It runs thus: If two persons give their evidence to

 


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a fact, and thus impart to it each of them 5/6 of certitude; that fact will have then 35/36 of certitude; i.e., its probability will bear to its improbability the ratio of 35 to 1. If three such evidences are joined together the certitude will become 215/216. The agreement of ten persons giving each 1/2 of certitude will produce 1023/1024, etc., etc. The Occultist may remain satisfied, and care for no more.

 


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PROEM.

 

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PAGES FROM A PRE-HISTORIC PERIOD.

 

AN Archaic Manuscript -- a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific unknown process -- is before the writer's eye. On the first page is an immaculate white disk within a dull black ground. On the following page, the same disk, but with a central point. The first, the student knows to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before the re-awakening of still slumbering Energy, the emanation of the Word in later systems. The point in the hitherto immaculate Disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya, denotes the dawn of differentiation. It is the Point in the Mundane Egg (see Part II., "The Mundane Egg"), the germ within the latter which will become the Universe, the ALL, the boundless, periodical Kosmos, this germ being latent and active, periodically and by turns. The one circle is divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither all returns. Its circumference -- a forcibly limited symbol, in view of the limitation of the human mind -- indicates the abstract, ever incognisable PRESENCE, and its plane, the Universal Soul, although the two are one. Only the face of the Disk being white and the ground all around black, shows clearly that its plane is the only knowledge, dim and hazy though it still is, that is attainable by man. It is on this plane that the Manvantaric manifestations begin; for it is in this SOUL that slumbers, during the Pralaya, the Divine Thought,* wherein lies concealed the plan of every future Cosmogony and Theogony.

 

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* It is hardly necessary to remind the reader once more that the term "Divine Thought," like that of "Universal Mind," must not be regarded as even vaguely shadowing forth an intellectual process akin to that exhibited by man. The "Unconscious," according to von Hartmann, arrived at the vast creative, or rather Evolutionary Plan, "by a clairvoyant wisdom superior to all consciousness," which in the Vedantic language would mean absolute Wisdom. Only those who realise how far Intuition soars above the tardy processes of ratiocinative thought can form the faintest conception of [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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It is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; unrealisable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, "a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason." Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the "Great Breath,"* which is the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul.

 

Almost five centuries B.C. Leucippus, the instructor of Democritus, maintained that Space was filled eternally with atoms actuated by a ceaseless motion, the latter generating in due course of time, when those atoms aggregated, rotatory motion, through mutual collisions producing lateral movements. Epicurus and Lucretius taught the same, only adding to the lateral motion of the atoms the idea of affinity -- an occult teaching.

 

From the beginning of man's inheritance, from the first appearance of the architects of the globe he lives in, the unrevealed Deity was recognised and considered under its only philosophical aspect -- universal motion, the thrill of the creative Breath in Nature. Occultism sums up the "One Existence" thus: "Deity is an arcane, living (or moving) FIRE, and the eternal witnesses to this unseen Presence are Light, Heat, Moisture," -- this trinity including, and being the cause of, every

 

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[[Footnote continued from previous page]] that absolute Wisdom which transcends the ideas of Time and Space. Mind, as we know it, is resolvable into states of consciousness, of varying duration, intensity, complexity, etc. -- all, in the ultimate, resting on sensation, which is again Maya. Sensation, again, necessarily postulates limitation. The personal God of orthodox Theism perceives, thinks, and is affected by emotion; he repents and feels "fierce anger." But the notion of such mental states clearly involves the unthinkable postulate of the externality of the exciting stimuli, to say nothing of the impossibility of ascribing changelessness to a Being whose emotions fluctuate with events in the worlds he presides over. The conceptions of a Personal God as changeless and infinite are thus unpsychological and, what is worse, unphilosophical.

 

* Plato proves himself an Initiate, when saying in Cratylus that [[theos]] is derived from the verb [[theein]], "to move," "to run," as the first astronomers who observed the motions of the heavenly bodies called the planets [[theoi]], the gods. (See Book II., "Symbolism of the Cross and Circle.") Later, the word produced another term, [[aletheia]] -- "the breath of God."

 


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phenomenon in Nature.* Intra-Cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless; cosmic motion (the visible, or that which is subject to perception) is finite and periodical. As an eternal abstraction it is the EVER-PRESENT; as a manifestation, it is finite both in the coming direction and the opposite, the two being the alpha and omega of successive reconstructions. Kosmos -- the NOUMENON -- has nought to do with the causal relations of the phenomenal World. It is only with reference to the intra-cosmic soul, the ideal Kosmos in the immutable Divine Thought, that we may say: "It never had a beginning nor will it have an end." With regard to its body or Cosmic organization, though it cannot be said that it had a first, or will ever have a last construction, yet at each new Manvantara, its organization may be regarded as the first and the last of its kind, as it evolutes every time on a higher plane . . . .

 

A few years ago only, it was stated that:--

 

"The esoteric doctrine teaches, like Buddhism and Brahminism, and even the Kabala, that the one infinite and unknown Essence exists from all eternity, and in regular and harmonious successions is either passive or active. In the poetical phraseology of Manu these conditions are called the "Days" and the "Nights" of Brahma. The latter is either "awake" or "asleep." The Svabhavikas, or philosophers of the oldest school of Buddhism (which still exists in Nepaul), speculate only upon the active condition of this "Essence," which they call Svabhavat, and deem it foolish to theorise upon the abstract and "unknowable" power in its passive condition. Hence they are called atheists by both Christian theologians and modern scientists, for neither of the

 

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* Nominalists, arguing with Berkeley that "it is impossible . . . to form the abstract idea of motion distinct from the body moving" ("Prin. of Human Knowledge," Introd., par. 10), may put the question, "What is that body, the producer of that motion? Is it a substance? Then you are believers in a Personal God?" etc., etc. This will be answered farther on, in the Addendum to this Book; meanwhile, we claim our rights of Conceptionalists as against Roscelini's materialistic views of Realism and Nominalism. "Has science," says one of its ablest advocates, Edward Clodd, "revealed anything that weakens or opposes itself to the ancient words in which the Essence of all religion, past, present, and to come, is given; to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly before thy God?" Provided we connote by the word God, not the crude anthropomorphism which is still the backbone of our current theology, but the symbolic conception of that which is Life and Motion of the Universe, to know which in physical order is to know time past, present, and to come, in the existence of successions of phenomena; to know which, in the moral, is to know what has been, is, and will be, within human consciousness. (See "Science and the Emotions." A Discourse delivered at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, London, Dec. 27th, 1885.)

 


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two are able to understand the profound logic of their philosophy. The former will allow of no other God than the personified secondary powers which have worked out the visible universe, and which became with them the anthropomorphic God of the Christians -- the male Jehovah, roaring amid thunder and lightning. In its turn, rationalistic science greets the Buddhists and the Svabhavikas as the "positivists" of the archaic ages. If we take a one-sided view of the philosophy of the latter, our materialists may be right in their own way. The Buddhists maintained that there is no Creator, but an infinitude of creative powers, which collectively form the one eternal substance, the essence of which is inscrutable -- hence not a subject for speculation for any true philosopher. Socrates invariably refused to argue upon the mystery of universal being, yet no one would ever have thought of charging him with atheism, except those who were bent upon his destruction. Upon inaugurating an active period, says the Secret Doctrine, an expansion of this Divine essence from without inwardly and from within outwardly, occurs in obedience to eternal and immutable law, and the phenomenal or visible universe is the ultimate result of the long chain of cosmical forces thus progressively set in motion. In like manner, when the passive condition is resumed, a contraction of the Divine essence takes place, and the previous work of creation is gradually and progressively undone. The visible universe becomes disintegrated, its material dispersed; and 'darkness' solitary and alone, broods once more over the face of the 'deep.' To use a Metaphor from the Secret Books, which will convey the idea still more clearly, an out-breathing of the 'unknown essence' produces the world; and an inhalation causes it to disappear. This process has been going on from all eternity, and our present universe is but one of an infinite series, which had no beginning and will have no end." -- (See "Isis Unveiled"; also "The Days and Nights of Brahma" in Part II.)

 

This passage will be explained, as far as it is possible, in the present work. Though, as it now stands, it contains nothing new to the Orientalist, its esoteric interpretation may contain a good deal which has hitherto remained entirely unknown to the Western student.

 

The first illustration being a plain disc [[diagram]] the second one in the Archaic symbol shows [[diagram]], a disc with a point in it -- the first differentiation in the periodical manifestations of the ever-eternal nature, sexless and infinite "Aditi in THAT" (Rig Veda), the point in the disc, or potential Space within abstract Space. In its third stage the point is transformed into a diameter, thus [[diagram]] It now symbolises a divine immaculate Mother-Nature within the all-embracing absolute Infinitude.

 


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When the diameter line is crossed by a vertical one [[diagram]], it becomes the mundane cross. Humanity has reached its third root-race; it is the sign for the origin of human life to begin. When the circumference disappears and leaves only the [[diagram]] it is a sign that the fall of man into matter is accomplished, and the FOURTH race begins. The Cross within a circle symbolises pure Pantheism; when the Cross was left uninscribed, it became phallic. It had the same and yet other meanings as a TAU inscribed within a circle [[diagram]] or as a "Thor's hammer," the Jaina cross, so-called, or simply Svastica within a circle [[diagram]]

 

By the third symbol -- the circle divided in two by the horizontal line of the diameter -- the first manifestation of creative (still passive, because feminine) Nature was meant. The first shadowy perception of man connected with procreation is feminine, because man knows his mother more than his father. Hence female deities were more sacred than the male. Nature is therefore feminine, and, to a degree, objective and tangible, and the spirit Principle which fructifies it is concealed. By adding to the circle with the horizontal line in it, a perpendicular line, the tau was formed -- [[diagram]] -- the oldest form of the letter. It was the glyph of the third root-race to the day of its symbolical Fall -- i.e., when the separation of sexes by natural evolution took place -- when the figure became [[diagram]], the circle, or sexless life modified or separated -- a double glyph or symbol. With the races of our Fifth Race it became in symbology the sacr', and in Hebrew n'cabvah, of the first-formed races;* then it changed into the Egyptian [[diagram]] (emblem of life), and still later into the sign of Venus, [[diagram]] Then comes the Svastica (Thor's hammer, or the "Hermetic Cross" now), entirely separated from its Circle, thus becoming purely phallic. The esoteric symbol of Kali Yuga is the five-pointed star reversed, thus [[diagram]] -- the sign of human sorcery, with its two points (horns) turned heavenward, a position every

 

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* See that suggestive work, "The Source of Measures," where the author explains the real meaning of the word "sacr'," from which "sacred," "sacrament," are derived, which have now become synonyms of "holiness," though purely phallic!

 


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Occultist will recognise as one of the "left-hand," and used in ceremonial magic.*

 

It is hoped that during the perusal of this work the erroneous ideas of the public in general with regard to Pantheism will be modified. It is wrong and unjust to regard the Buddhists and Advaitee Occultists as atheists. If not all of them philosophers, they are, at any rate, all logicians, their objections and arguments being based on strict reasoning. Indeed, if the Parabrahmam of the Hindus may be taken as a representative of the hidden and nameless deities of other nations, this absolute Principle will be found to be the prototype from which all the others were copied. Parabrahm is not "God," because It is not a God. "It is that which is supreme, and not supreme (paravara)," explains Mandukya Upanishad (2.28). IT is "Supreme" as CAUSE, not supreme as effect. Parabrahm is simply, as a "Secondless Reality," the all-inclusive Kosmos -- or, rather, the infinite Cosmic Space -- in the highest spiritual sense, of course. Brahma (neuter) being the unchanging, pure, free, undecaying supreme Root, "the ONE true Existence, Paramarthika," and the absolute Chit and Chaitanya (intelligence, consciousness) cannot be a cogniser, "for THAT can have no subject of cognition." Can the flame be called the essence of Fire? This Essence is "the LIFE and LIGHT of the Universe, the visible fire and flame are destruction, death, and evil." "Fire and Flame destroy the body of an Arhat, their essence makes him immortal." (Bodhi-mur, Book II.) "The knowledge of the absolute Spirit, like the effulgence of the sun, or like heat in fire, is naught else than the absolute Essence itself," says Sankaracharya. IT -- is "the Spirit of the Fire," not fire itself; therefore, "the attributes of the latter, heat or flame, are not the attributes of the Spirit, but of that of which that Spirit is the unconscious cause." Is not the above sentence the true key-note of later Rosicrucian

 

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* We are told by the Western mathematicians and some American Kabalists, that in the Kabala also "the value of the Jehovah name is that of the diameter of a circle." Add to this the fact that Jehovah is the third Sephiroth, Binah, a feminine word, and you have the key to the mystery. By certain Kabalistic transformations this name, androgynous in the first chapters of Genesis, becomes in its transformations entirely masculine, Cainite and phallic. The fact of choosing a deity among the pagan gods and making of it a special national God, to call upon it as the "One living God," the "God of Gods," and then proclaim this worship Monotheistic, does not change it into the ONE Principle whose "Unity admits not of multiplication, change, or form," especially in the case of a priapic deity, as Jehovah now demonstrated to be.

 


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philosophy? Parabrahm is, in short, the collective aggregate of Kosmos in its infinity and eternity, the "THAT" and "THIS" to which distributive aggregates can not be applied.* "In the beginning THIS was the Self, one only" (Aitareya Upanishad); the great Sankaracharya, explains that "THIS" referred to the Universe (Jagat); the sense of the words, "In the beginning," meaning before the reproduction of the phenomenal Universe.

 

Therefore, when the Pantheists echo the Upanishads, which state, as in the Secret Doctrine, that "this" cannot create, they do not deny a Creator, or rather a collective aggregate of creators, but only refuse, very logically, to attribute "creation" and especially formation, something finite to an Infinite Principle. With them, Parabrahmam is a passive because an Absolute Cause, the unconditioned Mukta. It is only limited Omniscience and Omnipotence that are refused to the latter, because these are still attributes (as reflected in man's perceptions); and because Parabrahm, being the "Supreme ALL," the ever invisible spirit and Soul of Nature, changeless and eternal, can have no attributes; absoluteness very naturally precluding any idea of the finite or conditioned from being connected with it. And if the Vedantin postulates attributes as belonging simply to its emanation, calling it "Iswara plus Maya," and Avidya (Agnosticism and Nescience rather than ignorance), it is difficult to find any Atheism in this conception.** Since there can be neither two INFINITES nor two ABSOLUTES in a Universe supposed to be Boundless, this Self-Existence can hardly be conceived of as creating personally. In the sense and perceptions of finite "Beings," THAT is Non-"being," in the sense that it is the one BE-NESS; for, in this ALL lies concealed its coeternal and coeval emanation or inherent radiation, which, upon becoming periodically Brahma (the male-female Potency) becomes or expands itself into the manifested Universe. Narayana moving on the (abstract) waters of Space, is transformed into the Waters of concrete substance moved by him, who now becomes the manifested WORD or Logos.

 

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* See "Vedanta Sara," by Major G. A. Jacob; as also "The Aphorisms of S'andilya," translated by Cowell, p. 42.

 

** Nevertheless, prejudiced and rather fanatical Christian Orientalists would like to prove this pure Atheism. For proof of this, see about Major Jacob's "Vedanta Sara." Yet, the whole Antiquity echoes this Vedantic thought:--

 

"Omnis enim per se divom natura necesse est

Immortali aevo summa cum pace fruatur."

 


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The orthodox Brahmins, those who rise the most against the Pantheists and Adwaitees, calling them Atheists, are forced, if Manu has any authority in this matter, to accept the death of Brahma, the creator, at the expiration of every "Age" of this (creative) deity (100 Divine years -- a period which in our years requires fifteen figures to express it). Yet, no philosopher among them will view this "death" in any other sense than as a temporary disappearance from the manifested plane of existence, or as a periodical rest.

 

The Occultists are, therefore, at one with the Adwaita Vedantin philosophers as to the above tenet. They show the impossibility of accepting on philosophical grounds the idea of the absolute ALL creating or even evolving the "Golden Egg," into which it is said to enter in order to transform itself into Brahma -- the Creator, who expands himself later into gods and all the visible Universe. They say that Absolute Unity cannot pass to infinity; for infinity presupposes the limitless extension of something, and the duration of that "something"; and the One All is like Space -- which is its only mental and physical representation on this Earth, or our plane of existence -- neither an object of, nor a subject to, perception. If one could suppose the Eternal Infinite All, the Omnipresent Unity, instead of being in Eternity, becoming through periodical manifestation a manifold Universe or a multiple personality, that Unity would cease to be one. Locke's idea that "pure Space is capable of neither resistance nor Motion" -- is incorrect. Space is neither a "limitless void," nor a "conditioned fulness," but both: being, on the plane of absolute abstraction, the ever-incognisable Deity, which is void only to finite minds,* and on that of mayavic perception, the Plenum, the absolute Container of all that is, whether manifested or unmanifested: it is, therefore, that ABSOLUTE ALL. There is no difference between the Christian Apostle's "In Him we live and move and have our being," and the Hindu Rishi's "The Universe lives in, proceeds from, and will

 

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* The very names of the two chief deities, Brahma and Vishnu, ought to have long ago suggested their esoteric meanings. For the root of one, Brahmam, or Brahm, is derived by some from the word Brih, "to grow" or "to expand" (see Calcutta Review, vol. lxvi., p. 14); and of the other, Vishnu, from the root Vis, "to pervade," to enter in the nature of the essence; Brahma-Vishnu being this infinite SPACE, of which the gods, the Rishis, the Manus, and all in this universe are simply the potencies, Vibhutayah.

 


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return to, Brahma (Brahma)": for Brahma (neuter), the unmanifested, is that Universe in abscondito, and Brahma, the manifested, is the Logos, made male-female* in the symbolical orthodox dogmas. The God of the Apostle-Initiate and of the Rishi being both the Unseen and the Visible SPACE. Space is called in the esoteric symbolism "the Seven-Skinned Eternal Mother-Father." It is composed from its undifferentiated to its differentiated surface of seven layers.

 

"What is that which was, is, and will be, whether there is a Universe or not; whether there be gods or none?" asks the esoteric Senzar Catechism. And the answer made is -- SPACE.

 

It is not the One Unknown ever-present God in Nature, or Nature in abscondito, that is rejected, but the God of human dogma and his humanized "Word." In his infinite conceit and inherent pride and vanity, man shaped it himself with his sacrilegious hand out of the material he found in his own small brain-fabric, and forced it upon mankind as a direct revelation from the one unrevealed SPACE.** The Occultist

 

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* See Manu's account of Brahma separating his body into male and female, the latter the female Vach, in whom he creates Viraj, and compare this with the esotericism of Chapters II., III., and IV. of Genesis.

 

** Occultism is indeed in the air at the close of this our century. Among many other works recently published, we would recommend one especially to students of theoretical Occultism who would not venture beyond the realm of our special human plane. It is called "New Aspects of Life and Religion," by Henry Pratt, M.D. It is full of esoteric dogmas and philosophy, the latter rather limited, in the concluding chapters, by what seems to be a spirit of conditioned positivism. Nevertheless, what is said of Space as "the Unknown First Cause," merits quotation. "This unknown something, thus recognised as, and identified with, the primary embodiment of Simple Unity, is invisible and impalpable" -- (abstract space, granted); "and because invisible and impalpable, therefore incognisable. And this incognisability has led to the error of supposing it to be a simple void, a mere receptive capacity. But, even viewed as an absolute void, space must be admitted to be either Self-existent, infinite, and eternal, or to have had a first cause outside, behind, and beyond itself.

 

"And yet could such a cause be found and defined, this would only lead to the transferring thereto of the attributes otherwise accruing to space, and thus merely throw the difficulty of origination a step farther back, without gaining additional light as to primary causation." (p. 5.)

 

This is precisely what has been done by the believers in an anthropomorphic Creator, an extracosmic, instead of an intracosmic God. Many -- most of Mr. Pratt's subjects, we may say -- are old Kabalistic ideas and theories which he presents in quite a new garb: "New Aspects" of the Occult in Nature, indeed. Space, however, viewed as a "Substantial Unity" -- the "living Source of Life" -- is as the "Un- [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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accepts revelation as coming from divine yet still finite Beings, the manifested lives, never from the Unmanifestable ONE LIFE; from those entities, called Primordial Man, Dhyani-Buddhas, or Dhyan-Chohans, the "Rishi-Prajapati" of the Hindus, the Elohim or "Sons of God," the Planetary Spirits of all nations, who have become Gods for men. He also regards the Adi-Sakti -- the direct emanation of Mulaprakriti, the eternal Root of THAT, and the female aspect of the Creative Cause Brahma, in her A'kasic form of the Universal Soul -- as philosophically a Maya, and cause of human Maya. But this view does not prevent him from believing in its existence so long as it lasts, to wit, for one Mahamanvantara; nor from applying Akasa, the radiation of Mulaprakriti,* to practical purposes, connected as the World-Soul is with all natural phenomena, known or unknown to science.

 

The oldest religions of the world -- exoterically, for the esoteric root or foundation is one -- are the Indian, the Mazdean, and the Egyptian. Then comes the Chaldean, the outcome of these -- entirely lost to the world now, except in its disfigured Sabeanism 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 fragment

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

[[Footnote continued from previous page]] known Causeless Cause," is the oldest dogma in Occultism, millenniums earlier than the Pater-AEther of the Greeks and Latins. So are the "Force and Matter, as Potencies of Space, inseparable, and the Unknown revealers of the Unknown." They are all found in Aryan philosophy personified by Visvakarman, Indra, Vishnu, etc., etc. Still they are expressed very philosophically, and under many unusual aspects, in the work referred to.

 

* In contradistinction to the manifested universe of matter, the term Mulaprakriti (from Mula, "the root," and prakriti, "nature"), or the unmanifested primordial matter -- called by Western alchemists Adam's Earth -- is applied by the Vedantins to Parabrahmam. Matter is dual in religious metaphysics, and septenary in esoteric teachings, like everything else in the universe. As Mulaprakriti, it is undifferentiated and eternal; as Vyakta, it becomes differentiated and conditioned, according to Svetasvatara Upanishad, I. 8, and Devi Bhagavata Purana. The author of the Four Lectures on the Bhagavad Gita, says, in speaking of Mulaprakriti: "From its (the Logos') objective standpoint, Parabrahmam appears to it as Mulaprakriti. . . . Of course this Mulaprakriti is material to it, as any material object is material to us. . . . Parabrahmam is an unconditioned and absolute reality, and Mulaprakriti is a sort of veil thrown over it." (Theosophist, Vol. VIII., p. 304.)

 


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of a highly philosophical page in the World's Cosmogony. (See Book III., Gupta Vidya and the Zohar.) Left in their symbolical disguise, they are a nursery tale, an ugly thorn in the side of science and logic, an evident effect of Karma. To have let them serve as a prologue to Christianity was a cruel revenge on the part of the Rabbis, who knew better what their Pentateuch meant. It was a silent protest against their spoliation, and the Jews have certainly now the better of their traditional persecutors. The above-named exoteric creeds will be explained in the light of the Universal doctrine as we proceed with it.

 

The Occult Catechism contains the following questions and answers:

 

"What is it that ever is?" "Space, the eternal Anupadaka."* "What is it that ever was?" "The Germ in the Root." "What is it that is ever coming and going?" "The Great Breath." "Then, there are three Eternals?" "No, the three are one. That which ever is is one, that which ever was is one, that which is ever being and becoming is also one: and this is Space."

 

"Explain, oh Lanoo (disciple)." -- "The One is an unbroken Circle (ring) with no circumference, for it is nowhere and everywhere; the One is the boundless plane of the Circle, manifesting a diameter only during the manvantaric periods; the One is the indivisible point found nowhere, perceived everywhere during those periods; it is the Vertical and the Horizontal, the Father and the Mother, the summit and base of the Father, the two extremities of the Mother, reaching in reality nowhere, for the One is the Ring as also the rings that are within that Ring. Light in darkness and darkness in light: the 'Breath which is eternal.' It proceeds from without inwardly, when it is everywhere, and from within outwardly, when it is nowhere -- (i.e., maya,** one of the centres***). It expands and

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Meaning "parentless" -- see farther on.

 

** Esoteric philosophy, regarding as Maya (or the illusion of ignorance) every finite thing, must necessarily view in the same light every intra-Cosmic planet and body, as being something organised, hence finite. The expression, therefore, "it proceeds from without inwardly, etc." refers in the first portion of the sentence to the dawn of the Mahamanvantaric period, or the great re-evolution after one of the complete periodical dissolutions of every compound form in Nature (from planet to molecule) into its ultimate essence or element; and in its second portion, to the partial or local manvantara, which may be a solar or even a planetary one.

 

*** By "centre," a centre of energy or a Cosmic focus is meant; when the so-called "Creation," or formation of a planet, is accomplished by that force which is designated by the Occultists LIFE and by Science "energy," then the process takes place [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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contracts (exhalation and inhalation). When it expands the mother diffuses and scatters; when it contracts, the mother draws back and ingathers. This produces the periods of Evolution and Dissolution, Manwantara and Pralaya. The Germ is invisible and fiery; the Root (the plane of the circle) is cool; but during Evolution and Manwantara her garment is cold and radiant. Hot Breath is the Father who devours the progeny of the many-faced Element (heterogeneous); and leaves the single-faced ones (homogeneous). Cool Breath is the Mother, who conceives, forms, brings forth, and receives them back into her bosom, to reform them at the Dawn (of the Day of Brahma, or Manvantara). . . . ."

 

For clearer understanding on the part of the general reader, it must be stated that Occult Science recognises Seven Cosmical Elements -- four entirely physical, and the fifth (Ether) semi-material, as it will become visible in the air towards the end of our Fourth Round, to reign supreme over the others during the whole of the Fifth. The remaining two are as yet absolutely beyond the range of human perception. These latter will, however, appear as presentments during the 6th and 7th Races of this Round, and will become known in the 6th and 7th Rounds respectively.* These seven elements with their numberless Sub-Elements

 

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[[Footnote continued from previous page]] from within outwardly, every atom being said to contain in itself creative energy of the divine breath. Hence, whereas after an absolute pralaya, or when the pre-existing material consists but of ONE Element, and BREATH "is everywhere," the latter acts from without inwardly: after a minor pralaya, everything having remained in statu quo -- in a refrigerated state, so to say, like the moon -- at the first flutter of manvantara, the planet or planets begin their resurrection to life from within outwardly.

 

* It is curious to notice how, in the evolutionary cycles of ideas, ancient thought seems to be reflected in modern speculation. Had Mr. Herbert Spencer read and studied ancient Hindu philosophers when he wrote a certain passage in his "First Principles" (p. 482), or is it an independent flash of inner perception that made him say half correctly, half incorrectly, "motion as well as matter, being fixed in quantity (?), it would seem that the change in the distribution of Matter which Motion effects, coming to a limit in whichever direction it is carried (?), the indestructible Motion thereupon necessitates a reverse distribution. Apparently, the universally co-existent forces of attraction and repulsion which, as we have seen, necessitate rhythm in all minor changes throughout the Universe, also necessitate rhythm in the totality of its changes -- produce now an immeasurable period during which the attracting forces predominating, cause universal concentration, and then an immeasurable period, during which the repulsive forces predominating, cause universal diffusion -- alternate eras of Evolution and dissolution."

 


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far more numerous than those known to Science) are simply conditional modifications and aspects of the ONE and only Element. This latter is not Ether,* not even A'kasa but the Source of these. The Fifth Element, now advocated quite freely by Science, is not the Ether hypothesised by Sir Isaac Newton -- although he calls it by that name, having associated it in his mind probably with the AEther, "Father-Mother" of Antiquity. As Newton intuitionally says, "Nature is a perpetual circulatory worker, generating fluids out of solids, fixed things out of volatile, and volatile out of fixed, subtile out of gross, and gross out of subtile. . . . . Thus, perhaps, may all things be originated from Ether," (Hypoth, 1675).

 

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 Dhyani-Chohans have ever penetrated the mysteries beyond those boundaries that separate the milliards of Solar systems from the "Central Sun," as it is called. Therefore, that which is given, relates only to our visible Kosmos, after a "Night of Brahma."

 

Before the reader proceeds to the consideration of the Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan which form the basis of the present work, it is absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted with the few fundamental conceptions which underlie and pervade the entire system of thought to which his attention is invited. These basic ideas are few in number, and on their clear apprehension depends the understanding of all that follows; therefore no apology is required for asking the reader to make himself familiar with them first, before entering on the perusal of the work itself.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Whatever the views of physical Science upon the subject, Occult Science has been teaching for ages that A'kasa -- of which Ether is the grossest form -- the fifth universal Cosmic Principle (to which corresponds and from which proceeds human Manas) is, cosmically, a radiant, cool, diathermanous plastic matter, creative in its physical nature, correlative in its grossest aspects and portions, immutable in its higher principles. In the former condition it is called the Sub-Root; and in conjunction with radiant heat, it recalls "dead worlds to life." In its higher aspect it is the Soul of the World; in its lower -- the DESTROYER.

 


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The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions:--

 

(a) An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought -- in the words of Mandukya, "unthinkable and unspeakable."

 

To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the postulate that there is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause -- dimly formulated in the "Unconscious" and "Unknowable" of current European philosophy -- is the rootless root of "all that was, is, or ever shall be." It is of course devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is "Be-ness" rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all thought or speculation.

 

This "Be-ness" is symbolised in the Secret Doctrine under two aspects. On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself. On the other, absolute Abstract Motion representing Unconditioned Consciousness. Even our Western thinkers have shown that Consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change, and motion best symbolises change, its essential characteristic. This latter aspect of the one Reality, is also symbolised by the term "The Great Breath," a symbol sufficiently graphic to need no further elucidation. Thus, then, the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical ONE ABSOLUTE -- BE-NESS -- symbolised by finite intelligence as the theological Trinity.

 

It may, however, assist the student if a few further explanations are given here.

 

Herbert Spencer has of late so far modified his Agnosticism, as to assert that the nature of the "First Cause,"* which the Occultist more logically derives from the "Causeless Cause," the "Eternal," and the "Unknowable," may be essentially the same as that of the Consciousness which wells up within us: in short, that the impersonal reality pervading

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* The "first" presupposes necessarily something which is the "first brought forth, the first in time, space, and rank" -- and therefore finite and conditioned. The "first" [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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the Kosmos is the pure noumenon of thought. This advance on his part brings him very near to the esoteric and Vedantin tenet.*

 

Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute Consciousness, 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.

 

Considering this metaphysical triad as the Root from which proceeds all manifestation, the great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation. It is the fons et origo of force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. On the other hand, precosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature.

 

Just as pre-Cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual consciousness, so pre-Cosmic Substance is the substratum of matter in the various grades of its differentiation.

 

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 consciousness, 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."

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

[[Footnote continued from previous page]] cannot be the absolute, for it is a manifestation. Therefore, Eastern Occultism calls the Abstract All the "Causeless One Cause," the "Rootless Root," and limits the "First Cause" to the Logos, in the sense that Plato gives to this term.

 

* See Mr. Subba Row's four able lectures on the Bhagavad Gita, "Theosophist," February, 1887.

 

** Called in Sanskrit: "Upadhi."

 


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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." Fohat is thus the dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation; or, regarded from the other side, it is the intelligent medium, the guiding power of all manifestation, the "Thought Divine" transmitted and made manifest through the Dhyan Chohans,* the Architects of the visible World. Thus from Spirit, or Cosmic Ideation, comes our consciousness; from Cosmic Substance the several vehicles in which that consciousness is individualised and attains to self -- or reflective -- consciousness; while Fohat, in its various manifestations, is the mysterious link between Mind and Matter, the animating principle electrifying every atom into life.

 

The following summary will afford a clearer idea to the reader.

 

(1.) The ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT, which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being.

 

(2.) The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, unmanifested Logos, the precursor of the "manifested." This is the "First Cause," the "Unconscious" of European Pantheists.

 

(3.) Spirit-matter, LIFE; the "Spirit of the Universe," the Purusha and Prakriti, or the second Logos.

 

(4.) Cosmic Ideation, MAHAT or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the Cosmic Noumenon of Matter, the basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called MAHA-BUDDHI.

 

The ONE REALITY; its dual aspects in the conditioned Universe.

 

Further, the Secret Doctrine affirms:--

 

(b.) The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically "the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing," called "the manifesting stars," and the "sparks of Eternity." "The Eternity of the Pilgrim"** is like a wink

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Called by Christian theology: Archangels, Seraphs, etc., etc.

 

** "Pilgrim" is the appellation given to our Monad (the two in one) during its cycle of incarnations. It is the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an indivisible part of the integral whole -- the Universal Spirit, from which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end of the cycle. When it is said to emanate from the one [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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of the Eye of Self-Existence (Book of Dzyan.) "The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux." (See Part II., "Days and Nights of Brahma.")

 

This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.

 

Moreover, the Secret Doctrine teaches:--

 

(c) The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory 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 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. This is why the Hindus say that the Universe is Brahma and Brahmâ, for Brahma is in every atom of the universe, the six principles in Nature being all the outcome -- the variously differentiated aspects -- of the SEVENTH and ONE, the only reality in the Universe whether Cosmical or micro-cosmical; and also why the permutations (psychic, spiritual and physical), on the plane of manifestation and form, of the sixth (Brahmâ the vehicle of Brahma) are viewed by metaphysical

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

[[Footnote continued from previous page]] spirit, an awkward and incorrect expression has to be used, for lack of appropriate words in English. The Vedantins call it Sutratma (Thread-Soul), but their explanation, too, differs somewhat from that of the occultists; to explain which difference, however, is left to the Vedantins themselves.

 


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antiphrasis as illusive and Mayavic. For although the root of every atom individually and of every form collectively, is that seventh principle or the one Reality, still, in its manifested phenomenal and temporary appearance, it is no better than an evanescent illusion of our senses. (See, for clearer definition, Addendum "Gods, Monads and Atoms," and also "Theophania," "Bodhisatvas and Reincarnation," etc., etc.)

 

In its absoluteness, the One Principle under its two aspects (of Parabrahmam and Mulaprakriti) is sexless, unconditioned and eternal. Its periodical (manvantaric) emanation -- or primal radiation -- is also One, androgynous and phenomenally finite. When the radiation radiates in its turn, all its radiations are also androgynous, to become male and female principles in their lower aspects. After Pralaya, whether the great or the minor Pralaya (the latter leaving the worlds in statu quo*), the first that re-awakes to active life is the plastic A'kasa, Father-Mother, the Spirit and Soul of Ether, or the plane on the surface of the Circle. Space is called the "Mother" before its Cosmic activity, and Father-Mother at the first stage of re-awakening. (See Comments, Stanza II.) In the Kabala it is also Father-Mother-Son. But whereas in the Eastern doctrine, these are the Seventh Principle of the manifested Universe, or its "Atma-Buddhi-Manas" (Spirit, Soul, Intelligence), the triad branching off and dividing into the seven cosmical and seven human principles, in the Western Kabala of the Christian mystics it is the Triad or Trinity, and with their occultists, the male-female Jehovah, Jah-Havah. In this lies the whole difference between the esoteric and the Christian trinities. The Mystics and the Philosophers, the Eastern and Western Pantheists, synthesize their pregenetic triad in the pure divine abstraction. The orthodox, anthropomorphize it. Hiranyagarbha, Hari, and Sankara -- the three hypostases of the manifesting "Spirit of the Supreme Spirit" (by which title Prithivi -- the Earth -- greets Vishnu in his first Avatar) -- are the purely metaphysical abstract qualities of formation, preservation, and destruction, and are the three divine Avasthas (lit. hypostases) of that which "does

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* It is not the physical organisms that remain in statu quo, least of all their psychical principles, during the great Cosmic or even Solar pralayas, but only their Akasic or astral "photographs." But during the minor pralayas, once over-taken by the "Night," the planets remain intact, though dead, as a huge animal, caught and embedded in the polar ice, remains the same for ages.

 


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not perish with created things" (or Achyuta, a name of Vishnu); whereas the orthodox Christian separates his personal creative Deity into the three personages of the Trinity, and admits of no higher Deity. The latter, in Occultism, is the abstract Triangle; with the orthodox, the perfect Cube. The creative god or the aggregate gods are regarded by the Eastern philosopher as Bhrantidarsanatah -- "false apprehension," something "conceived of, by reason of erroneous appearances, as a material form," and explained as arising from the illusive conception of the Egotistic personal and human Soul (lower fifth principle). It is beautifully expressed in a new translation of Vishnu Purana. "That Brahma in its totality has essentially the aspect of Prakriti, both evolved and unevolved (Mulaprakriti), and also the aspect of Spirit and the aspect of Time. Spirit, O twice born, is the leading aspect of the Supreme Brahma.* The next is a twofold aspect, -- Prakriti, both evolved and unevolved, and is the time last." Kronos is shown in the Orphic theogony as being also a generated god or agent.

 

At this stage of the re-awakening of the Universe, the sacred symbolism represents it as a perfect Circle with the (root) point in the Centre. This sign was universal, therefore we find it in the Kabala also. The Western Kabala, however, now in the hands of Christian mystics, ignores it altogether, though it is plainly shown in the Zohar. These sectarians begin at the end, and show as the symbol of pregenetic Kosmos this sign [[diagram]], calling it "the Union of the Rose and Cross," the great mystery of occult generation, from whence the name -- Rosicrucians (Rose Cross)!

 

As may be judged, however, from the most important, as the best known of the Rosicrucians' symbols, there is one which has never been hitherto understood even by modern mystics. It is that of the "Pelican" tearing open its breast to feed its seven little ones -- the real creed of the Brothers of the Rosie-Cross and a direct outcome from the Eastern

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Thus Spencer, who, nevertheless, like Schopenhauer and von Hartmann, only reflects an aspect of the old esoteric philosophers, and hence lands his readers on the bleak shore of Agnostic despair -- reverently formulates the grand mystery; "that which persists unchanging in quantity, but ever changing in form, under these sensible appearances which the Universe presents to us, is an unknown and unknowable power, which we are obliged to recognise as without limit in Space and without beginning or end in time." It is only daring Theology -- never Science or philosophy -- which seeks to gauge the Infinite and unveil the Fathomless and Unknowable.

 


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Secret Doctrine. Brahma (neuter) is called Kalahansa, meaning, as explained by Western Orientalists, the Eternal Swan or goose (see Stanza III., Comment. 8), and so is Brahma, the Creator. A great mistake is thus brought under notice; it is Brahma (neuter) who ought to be referred to as Hansa-vahana (He who uses the swan as his Vehicle) and not Brahma the Creator, who is the real Kalahansa, while Brahma (neuter) is hamsa, and "A-hamsa," as will be explained in the Commentary. Let it be understood that the terms Brahma and Parabrahmam are not used here because they belong to our Esoteric nomenclature, but simply because they are more familiar to the students in the West. Both are the perfect equivalents of our one, three, and seven vowelled terms, which stand for the ONE ALL, and the One "All in all."

 

Such are the basic conceptions on which the Secret Doctrine rests.

 

It would not be in place here to enter upon any defence or proof of their inherent reasonableness; nor can I pause to show how they are, in fact, contained -- though too often under a misleading guise -- in every system of thought or philosophy worthy of the name.

 

Once that the reader has gained a clear comprehension of them and realised the light which they throw on every problem of life, they will need no further justification in his eyes, because their truth will be to him as evident as the sun in heaven. I pass on, therefore, to the subject matter of the Stanzas as given in this volume, adding a skeleton outline of them, in the hope of thereby rendering the task of the student more easy, by placing before him in a few words the general conception therein explained.

 

Stanza I. The history of cosmic evolution, as traced in the Stanzas, is, so to say, the abstract algebraical formula of that Evolution. Hence the student must not expect to find there an account of all the stages and transformations which intervene between the first beginnings of "Universal" evolution and our present state. To give such an account would be as impossible as it would be incomprehensible to men who cannot even grasp the nature of the plane of existence next to that to which, for the moment, their consciousness is limited.

 

The Stanzas, therefore, give an abstract formula which can be applied, mutatis mutandis, to all evolution: to that of our tiny earth, to

 


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that of the chain of planets of which that earth forms one, to the solar Universe to which that chain belongs, and so on, in an ascending scale, till the mind reels and is exhausted in the effort.

 

The seven Stanzas given in this volume represent the seven terms of this abstract formula. They refer to, and describe the seven great stages of the evolutionary process, which are spoken of in the Puranas as the "Seven Creations," and in the Bible as the "Days" of Creation.

 

---------------------

 

The First Stanza describes the state of the ONE ALL during Pralaya, before the first flutter of re-awakening manifestation.

 

A moment's thought shows that such a state can only be symbolised; to describe it is impossible. Nor can it be symbolised except in negatives; for, since it is the state of Absoluteness per se, it can possess none of those specific attributes which serve us to describe objects in positive terms. Hence that state can only be suggested by the negatives of all those most abstract attributes which men feel rather than conceive, as the remotest limits attainable by their power of conception.

 

The stage described in Stanza II. is, to a western mind, so nearly identical with that mentioned in the first Stanza, that to express the idea of its difference would require a treatise in itself. Hence it must be left to the intuition and the higher faculties of the reader to grasp, as far as he can, the meaning of the allegorical phrases used. Indeed it must be remembered that all these Stanzas appeal to the inner faculties rather than to the ordinary comprehension of the physical brain.

 

Stanza III. describes the Re-awakening of the Universe to life after Pralaya. It depicts the emergence of the "Monads" from their state of absorption within the ONE; the earliest and highest stage in the formation of "Worlds," the term Monad being one which may apply equally to the vastest Solar System or the tiniest atom.

 

Stanza IV. shows the differentiation of the "Germ" of the Universe

 


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into the septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, who are the active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy. They are the framers, shapers, and ultimately the creators of all the manifested Universe, in the only sense in which the name "Creator" is intelligible; they inform and guide it; they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control evolution, embodying in themselves those manifestations of the ONE LAW, which we know as "The Laws of Nature."

 

Generically, they are known as the Dhyan Chohans, though each of the various groups has its own designation in the Secret Doctrine.

 

This stage of evolution is spoken of in Hindu mythology as the "Creation" of the Gods.

 

In Stanza V. the process of world-formation is described:--- First, diffused Cosmic Matter, then the fiery "whirlwind," the first stage in the formation of a nebula. That nebula condenses, and after passing through various transformations, forms a Solar Universe, a planetary chain, or a single planet, as the case may be.

 

The subsequent stages in the formation of a "World" are indicated in Stanza VI., which brings the evolution of such a world down to its fourth great period, corresponding to the period in which we are now living.

 

Stanza VII. continues the history, tracing the descent of life down to the appearance of Man; and thus closes the first Book of the Secret Doctrine.

 

The development of "Man" from his first appearance on this earth in this Round to the state in which we now find him will form the subject of Book II.

 

---------------------

 

NOTE.

 

The Stanzas which form the thesis of every section are given throughout in their modern translated version, as it would be worse

 


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than useless to make the subject still more difficult by introducing the archaic phraseology of the original, with its puzzling style and words. Extracts are given from the Chinese Thibetan and Sanskrit translations of the original Senzar Commentaries and Glosses on the Book of DZYAN -- these being now rendered for the first time into a European language. It is almost unnecessary to state that only portions of the seven Stanzas are here given. Were they published complete they would remain incomprehensible to all save the few higher occultists. Nor is there any need to assure the reader that, no more than most of the profane, does the writer, or rather the humble recorder, understand those forbidden passages. To facilitate the reading, and to avoid the too frequent reference to foot-notes, it was thought best to blend together texts and glosses, using the Sanskrit and Tibetan proper names whenever those cannot be avoided, in preference to giving the originals. The more so as the said terms are all accepted synonyms, the former only being used between a Master and his chelas (or disciples).

 

Thus, were one to translate into English, using only the substantives and technical terms as employed in one of the Tibetan and Senzar versions, Verse I would read as follows:--- "Tho-ag in Zhi-gyu slept seven Khorlo. Zodmanas zhiba. All Nyug bosom. Konch-hog not; Thyan-Kam not; Lha-Chohan not; Tenbrel Chugnyi not; Dharmakaya ceased; Tgenchang not become; Barnang and Ssa in Ngovonyidj; alone Tho-og Yinsin in night of Sun-chan and Yong-grub (Parinishpanna), &c., &c.," which would sound like pure Abracadabra.

 

As this work is written for the instruction of students of Occultism, and not for the benefit of philologists, we may well avoid such foreign terms wherever it is possible to do so. The untranslateable terms alone, incomprehensible unless explained in their meanings, are left, but all such terms are rendered in their Sanskrit form. Needless to remind the reader that these are, in almost every case, the late developments of the later language, and pertain to the Fifth Root-Race. Sanskrit, as now known, was not spoken by the Atlanteans, and most of the philosophical terms used in the systems of the India of the post-Mahabharatan period are not found in the Vedas, nor are they to be met with in the original Stanzas, but only their equivalents. The reader who is not a Theosophist, is once more invited to regard all that which follows as a fairy tale, if he likes; at best as one of the yet unproven speculations of

 


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dreamers; and, at the worst, as an additional hypothesis to the many Scientific hypotheses past, present and future, some exploded, others still lingering. It is not in any sense worse than are many of the so called Scientific theories; and it is in every case more philosophical and probable.

 

In view of the abundant comments and explanations required, the references to the footnotes are given in the usual way, while the sentences to be commented upon are marked with figures. Additional matter will be found in the Chapters on Symbolism forming Part II., as well as in Part III., these being often more full of information than the text.

 

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PART I.

 

COSMIC EVOLUTION.

 

---------------------

 

SEVEN STANZAS TRANSLATED WITH COMMENTARIES

FROM THE

SECRET BOOK OF DZYAN.

 


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Nor Aught nor Nought existed; yon bright sky

Was not, nor heaven's broad roof outstretched above.

What covered all? what sheltered? what concealed?

Was it the water's fathomless abyss?

There was not death -- yet there was nought immortal,

There was no confine betwixt day and night;

The only One breathed breathless by itself,

Other than It there nothing since has been.

Darkness there was, and all at first was veiled

In gloom profound -- an ocean without light --

The germ that still lay covered in the husk

Burst forth, one nature, from the fervent heat.

 

. . . . . . . .

 

Who knows the secret? who proclaimed it here?

Whence, whence this manifold creation sprang?

The Gods themselves came later into being --

Who knows from whence this great creation sprang?

That, whence all this great creation came,

Whether Its will created or was mute,

The Most High Seer that is in highest heaven,

He knows it -- or perchance even He knows not."

 

"Gazing into eternity . . .

Ere the foundations of the earth were laid,

 

. . . . .

 

Thou wert. And when the subterranean flame

Shall burst its prison and devour the frame . . .

Thou shalt be still as Thou wert before

And knew no change, when time shall be no more.

Oh! endless thought, divine ETERNITY."

 


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COSMIC EVOLUTION.

 

In Seven Stanzas translated from the Book of Dzyan.

 

---------------------

 

STANZA I.

 

1. THE ETERNAL PARENT WRAPPED IN HER EVER INVISIBLE ROBES HAD SLUMBERED ONCE AGAIN FOR SEVEN ETERNITIES.

 

2. TIME WAS NOT, FOR IT LAY ASLEEP IN THE INFINITE BOSOM OF DURATION.

 

3. UNIVERSAL MIND WAS NOT, FOR THERE WERE NO AH-HI TO CONTAIN IT.

 

4. THE SEVEN WAYS TO BLISS WERE NOT. THE GREAT CAUSES OF MISERY WERE NOT, FOR THERE WAS NO ONE TO PRODUCE AND GET ENSNARED BY THEM.

 

5. DARKNESS ALONE FILLED THE BOUNDLESS ALL, FOR FATHER, MOTHER AND SON WERE ONCE MORE ONE, AND THE SON HAD NOT AWAKENED YET FOR THE NEW WHEEL, AND HIS PILGRIMAGE THEREON.

 

6. THE SEVEN SUBLIME LORDS AND THE SEVEN TRUTHS HAD CEASED TO BE, AND THE UNIVERSE, THE SON OF NECESSITY, WAS IMMERSED IN PARANISHPANNA, TO BE OUTBREATHED BY THAT WHICH IS AND YET IS NOT. NAUGHT WAS.

 

7. THE CAUSES OF EXISTENCE HAD BEEN DONE AWAY WITH; THE VISIBLE THAT WAS, AND THE INVISIBLE THAT IS, RESTED IN ETERNAL NON-BEING -- THE ONE BEING.

 

8. ALONE THE ONE FORM OF EXISTENCE STRETCHED BOUNDLESS, INFINITE, CAUSELESS, IN DREAMLESS SLEEP; AND LIFE PULSATED UNCONSCIOUS IN UNIVERSAL SPACE, THROUGHOUT THAT ALL-PRESENCE WHICH IS SENSED BY THE OPENED EYE OF THE DANGMA.

 

9. BUT WHERE WAS THE DANGMA WHEN THE ALAYA OF THE UNIVERSE WAS IN PARAMARTHA AND THE GREAT WHEEL WAS ANUPADAKA?

 


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STANZA II.

 

1. . . . WHERE WERE THE BUILDERS, THE LUMINOUS SONS OF MANVANTARIC DAWN? . . . IN THE UNKNOWN DARKNESS IN THEIR AH-HI PARANISHPANNA. THE PRODUCERS OF FORM FROM NO-FORM -- THE ROOT OF THE WORLD -- THE DEVAMATRI AND SVABHAVAT, RESTED IN THE BLISS OF NON-BEING.

 

2. . . . WHERE WAS SILENCE? WHERE THE EARS TO SENSE IT? NO, THERE WAS NEITHER SILENCE NOR SOUND; NAUGHT SAVE CEASELESS ETERNAL BREATH, WHICH KNOWS ITSELF NOT.

 

3. THE HOUR HAD NOT YET STRUCK; THE RAY HAD NOT YET FLASHED INTO THE GERM; THE MATRIPADMA HAD NOT YET SWOLLEN.

 

4. HER HEART HAD NOT YET OPENED FOR THE ONE RAY TO ENTER, THENCE TO FALL, AS THREE INTO FOUR, INTO THE LAP OF MAYA.

 

5. THE SEVEN SONS WERE NOT YET BORN FROM THE WEB OF LIGHT. DARKNESS ALONE WAS FATHER-MOTHER, SVABHAVAT; AND SVABHAVAT WAS IN DARKNESS.

 

6. THESE TWO ARE THE GERM, AND THE GERM IS ONE. THE UNIVERSE WAS STILL CONCEALED IN THE DIVINE THOUGHT AND THE DIVINE BOSOM. . . .

 

-------

 

STANZA III.

 

1. . . . THE LAST VIBRATION OF THE SEVENTH ETERNITY THRILLS THROUGH INFINITUDE. THE MOTHER SWELLS, EXPANDING FROM WITHIN WITHOUT, LIKE THE BUD OF THE LOTUS.

 

2. THE VIBRATION SWEEPS ALONG, TOUCHING WITH ITS SWIFT WING THE WHOLE UNIVERSE AND THE GERM THAT DWELLETH IN DARKNESS: THE DARKNESS THAT BREATHES OVER THE SLUMBERING WATERS OF LIFE. . .

 

3. DARKNESS RADIATES LIGHT, AND LIGHT DROPS ONE SOLITARY RAY INTO THE MOTHER-DEEP. THE RAY SHOOTS THROUGH THE VIRGIN EGG, THE RAY CAUSES THE ETERNAL EGG TO THRILL, AND DROP THE NON-ETERNAL GERM, WHICH CONDENSES INTO THE WORLD-EGG.

 


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4. THEN THE THREE FALL INTO THE FOUR. THE RADIANT ESSENCE BECOMES SEVEN INSIDE, SEVEN OUTSIDE. THE LUMINOUS EGG, WHICH IN ITSELF IS THREE, CURDLES AND SPREADS IN MILK-WHITE CURDS THROUGHOUT THE DEPTHS OF MOTHER, THE ROOT THAT GROWS IN THE DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN OF LIFE.

 

5. THE ROOT REMAINS, THE LIGHT REMAINS, THE CURDS REMAIN, AND STILL OEAOHOO IS ONE.

 

6. THE ROOT OF LIFE WAS IN EVERY DROP OF THE OCEAN OF IMMORTALITY, AND THE OCEAN WAS RADIANT LIGHT, WHICH WAS FIRE, AND HEAT, AND MOTION. DARKNESS VANISHED AND WAS NO MORE; IT DISAPPEARED IN ITS OWN ESSENCE, THE BODY OF FIRE AND WATER, OR FATHER AND MOTHER.

 

7. BEHOLD, OH LANOO! THE RADIANT CHILD OF THE TWO, THE UNPARALLELED REFULGENT GLORY: BRIGHT SPACE SON OF DARK SPACE, WHICH EMERGES FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE GREAT DARK WATERS. IT IS OEAOHOO THE YOUNGER, THE * * * HE SHINES FORTH AS THE SON; HE IS THE BLAZING DIVINE DRAGON OF WISDOM; THE ONE IS FOUR, AND FOUR TAKES TO ITSELF THREE,** AND THE UNION PRODUCES THE SAPTA, IN WHOM ARE THE SEVEN WHICH BECOME THE TRIDASA (OR THE HOSTS AND THE MULTITUDES). BEHOLD HIM LIFTING THE VEIL AND UNFURLING IT FROM EAST TO WEST. HE SHUTS OUT THE ABOVE, AND LEAVES THE BELOW TO BE SEEN AS THE GREAT ILLUSION. HE MARKS THE PLACES FOR THE SHINING ONES, AND TURNS THE UPPER INTO A SHORELESS SEA OF FIRE, AND THE ONE MANIFESTED INTO THE GREAT WATERS.

 

8. WHERE WAS THE GERM AND WHERE WAS NOW DARKNESS? WHERE IS THE SPIRIT OF THE FLAME THAT BURNS IN THY LAMP, OH LANOO? THE GERM IS THAT, AND THAT IS LIGHT, THE WHITE BRILLIANT SON OF THE DARK HIDDEN FATHER.

 

9. LIGHT IS COLD FLAME, AND FLAME IS FIRE, AND FIRE PRODUCES HEAT, WHICH YIELDS WATER: THE WATER OF LIFE IN THE GREAT MOTHER.

 

10. FATHER-MOTHER SPIN A WEB WHOSE UPPER END IS FASTENED TO SPIRIT -- THE LIGHT OF THE ONE DARKNESS -- AND THE LOWER ONE TO ITS SHADOWY END, MATTER; AND THIS WEB IS THE UNIVERSE SPUN OUT OF THE TWO SUBSTANCES MADE IN ONE, WHICH IS SVABHAVAT.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

** In the English translation from the Sanskrit the numbers are given in that language, Eka, Chatur, etc., etc. It was thought best to give them in English.

 


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11. IT EXPANDS WHEN THE BREATH OF FIRE IS UPON IT; IT CONTRACTS WHEN THE BREATH OF THE MOTHER TOUCHES IT. THEN THE SONS DISSOCIATE AND SCATTER, TO RETURN INTO THEIR MOTHER'S BOSOM AT THE END OF THE GREAT DAY, AND RE-BECOME ONE WITH HER; WHEN IT IS COOLING IT BECOMES RADIANT, AND THE SONS EXPAND AND CONTRACT THROUGH THEIR OWN SELVES AND HEARTS; THEY EMBRACE INFINITUDE.

 

12. THEN SVABHAVAT SENDS FOHAT TO HARDEN THE ATOMS. EACH IS A PART OF THE WEB. REFLECTING THE "SELF-EXISTENT LORD" LIKE A MIRROR, EACH BECOMES IN TURN A WORLD.

 

-------

 

STANZA IV.

 

1. . . . LISTEN, YE SONS OF THE EARTH, TO YOUR INSTRUCTORS -- THE SONS OF THE FIRE. LEARN, THERE IS NEITHER FIRST NOR LAST, FOR ALL IS ONE: NUMBER ISSUED FROM NO NUMBER.

 

2. LEARN WHAT WE WHO DESCEND FROM THE PRIMORDIAL SEVEN, WE WHO ARE BORN FROM THE PRIMORDIAL FLAME, HAVE LEARNT FROM OUR FATHERS. . . .

 

3. FROM THE EFFULGENCY OF LIGHT -- THE RAY OF THE EVER-DARKNESS -- SPRUNG IN SPACE THE RE-AWAKENED ENERGIES; THE ONE FROM THE EGG, THE SIX, AND THE FIVE. THEN THE THREE, THE ONE, THE FOUR, THE ONE, THE FIVE -- THE TWICE SEVEN THE SUM TOTAL. AND THESE ARE THE ESSENCES, THE FLAMES, THE ELEMENTS, THE BUILDERS, THE NUMBERS, THE ARUPA, THE RUPA, AND THE FORCE OF DIVINE MAN -- THE SUM TOTAL. AND FROM THE DIVINE MAN EMANATED THE FORMS, THE SPARKS, THE SACRED ANIMALS, AND THE MESSENGERS OF THE SACRED FATHERS WITHIN THE HOLY FOUR.

 

4. THIS WAS THE ARMY OF THE VOICE -- THE DIVINE MOTHER OF THE SEVEN. THE SPARKS OF THE SEVEN ARE SUBJECT TO, AND THE SERVANTS OF, THE FIRST, THE SECOND, THE THIRD, THE FOURTH, THE FIFTH, THE SIXTH, AND THE SEVENTH OF THE SEVEN. THESE "SPARKS" ARE CALLED SPHERES, TRIANGLES, CUBES, LINES, AND MODELLERS; FOR THUS STANDS THE ETERNAL NIDANA -- THE OEAOHOO, WHICH IS:

 


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5. "DARKNESS" THE BOUNDLESS, OR THE NO-NUMBER, ADI-NIDANA SVABHAVAT:--

 

I. THE ADI-SANAT, THE NUMBER, FOR HE IS ONE.

 

II. THE VOICE OF THE LORD SVABHAVAT, THE NUMBERS, FOR HE IS ONE AND NINE.

 

III. THE "FORMLESS SQUARE."

 

AND THESE THREE ENCLOSED WITHIN THE [[diagram]] ARE THE SACRED FOUR; AND THE TEN ARE THE ARUPA UNIVERSE. THEN COME THE "SONS," THE SEVEN FIGHTERS, THE ONE, THE EIGHTH LEFT OUT, AND HIS BREATH WHICH IS THE LIGHT-MAKER.

 

6. THEN THE SECOND SEVEN, WHO ARE THE LIPIKA, PRODUCED BY THE THREE. THE REJECTED SON IS ONE. THE "SON-SUNS" ARE COUNTLESS.

 

-------

 

STANZA V.

 

1. THE PRIMORDIAL SEVEN, THE FIRST SEVEN BREATHS OF THE DRAGON OF WISDOM, PRODUCE IN THEIR TURN FROM THEIR HOLY CIRCUMGYRATING BREATHS THE FIERY WHIRLWIND.

 

2. THEY MAKE OF HIM THE MESSENGER OF THEIR WILL. THE DZYU BECOMES FOHAT, THE SWIFT SON OF THE DIVINE SONS WHOSE SONS ARE THE LIPIKA, RUNS CIRCULAR ERRANDS. FOHAT IS THE STEED AND THE THOUGHT IS THE RIDER. HE PASSES LIKE LIGHTNING THROUGH THE FIERY CLOUDS; TAKES THREE, AND FIVE, AND SEVEN STRIDES THROUGH THE SEVEN REGIONS ABOVE, AND THE SEVEN BELOW. HE LIFTS HIS VOICE, AND CALLS THE INNUMERABLE SPARKS, AND JOINS THEM.

 

3. HE IS THEIR GUIDING SPIRIT AND LEADER. WHEN HE COMMENCES WORK, HE SEPARATES THE SPARKS OF THE LOWER KINGDOM THAT FLOAT AND THRILL WITH JOY IN THEIR RADIANT DWELLINGS, AND FORMS THEREWITH THE GERMS OF WHEELS. HE PLACES THEM IN THE SIX DIRECTIONS OF SPACE, AND ONE IN THE MIDDLE -- THE CENTRAL WHEEL.

 

4. FOHAT TRACES SPIRAL LINES TO UNITE THE SIXTH TO THE SEVENTH -- THE CROWN; AN ARMY OF THE SONS OF LIGHT STANDS AT EACH ANGLE, AND THE LIPIKA IN THE MIDDLE WHEEL, THEY SAY: THIS IS GOOD, THE

 


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FIRST DIVINE WORLD IS READY, THE FIRST IS NOW THE SECOND. THEN THE "DIVINE ARUPA" REFLECTS ITSELF IN CHHAYA LOKA, THE FIRST GARMENT OF THE ANUPADAKA.

 

5. FOHAT TAKES FIVE STRIDES AND BUILDS A WINGED WHEEL AT EACH CORNER OF THE SQUARE, FOR THE FOUR HOLY ONES AND THEIR ARMIES.

 

6. THE LIPIKA CIRCUMSCRIBE THE TRIANGLE, THE FIRST ONE, THE CUBE, THE SECOND ONE, AND THE PENTACLE WITHIN THE EGG. IT IS THE RING CALLED "PASS NOT" FOR THOSE WHO DESCEND AND ASCEND. ALSO FOR THOSE WHO DURING THE KALPA ARE PROGRESSING TOWARDS THE GREAT DAY "BE WITH US." THUS WERE FORMED THE RUPA AND THE ARUPA: FROM ONE LIGHT SEVEN LIGHTS; FROM EACH OF THE SEVEN, SEVEN TIMES SEVEN LIGHTS. THE WHEELS WATCH THE RING. . . . .

 

-------

 

STANZA VI.

 

1. BY THE POWER OF THE MOTHER OF MERCY AND KNOWLEDGE -- KWAN-YIN -- THE "TRIPLE" OF KWAN-SHAI-YIN, RESIDING IN KWAN-YIN-TIEN, FOHAT, THE BREATH OF THEIR PROGENY, THE SON OF THE SONS, HAVING CALLED FORTH, FROM THE LOWER ABYSS, THE ILLUSIVE FORM OF SIEN-TCHANG AND THE SEVEN ELEMENTS:*

 

2. THE SWIFT AND RADIANT ONE PRODUCES THE SEVEN LAYA CENTRES, AGAINST WHICH NONE WILL PREVAIL TO THE GREAT DAY "BE-WITH-US," AND SEATS THE UNIVERSE ON THESE ETERNAL FOUNDATIONS SURROUNDING TSIEN-TCHAN WITH THE ELEMENTARY GERMS.

 

3. OF THE SEVEN -- FIRST ONE MANIFESTED, SIX CONCEALED, TWO MANIFESTED, FIVE CONCEALED; THREE MANIFESTED, FOUR CONCEALED; FOUR PRODUCED, THREE HIDDEN; FOUR AND ONE TSAN REVEALED, TWO AND ONE HALF CONCEALED; SIX TO BE MANIFESTED, ONE LAID ASIDE. LASTLY, SEVEN SMALL WHEELS REVOLVING; ONE GIVING BIRTH TO THE OTHER.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Verse 1 of Stanza VI. is of a far later date than the other Stanzas, though still very ancient. The old text of this verse, having names entirely unknown to the Orientalists would give no clue to the student.

 


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4. HE BUILDS THEM IN THE LIKENESS OF OLDER WHEELS, PLACING THEM ON THE IMPERISHABLE CENTRES.

 

HOW DOES FOHAT BUILD THEM? HE COLLECTS THE FIERY DUST. HE MAKES BALLS OF FIRE, RUNS THROUGH THEM, AND ROUND THEM, INFUSING LIFE THEREINTO THEN' SETS THEM INTO MOTION; SOME ONE WAY, SOME THE OTHER WAY. THEY ARE COLD, HE MAKES THEM HOT. THEY ARE DRY, HE MAKES THEM MOIST. THEY SHINE, HE FANS AND COOLS THEM. THUS ACTS FOHAT FROM ONE TWILIGHT TO THE OTHER, DURING SEVEN ETERNITIES.

 

5. AT THE FOURTH, THE SONS ARE TOLD TO CREATE THEIR IMAGES. ONE THIRD REFUSES -- TWO OBEY.

 

THE CURSE IS PRONOUNCED; THEY WILL BE BORN ON THE FOURTH, SUFFER AND CAUSE SUFFERING; THIS IS THE FIRST WAR.

 

6. THE OLDER WHEELS ROTATED DOWNWARDS AND UPWARDS. . . . THE MOTHER'S SPAWN FILLED THE WHOLE. THERE WERE BATTLES FOUGHT BETWEEN THE CREATORS AND THE DESTROYERS, AND BATTLES FOUGHT FOR SPACE; THE SEED APPEARING AND RE-APPEARING CONTINUOUSLY.

 

7. MAKE THY CALCULATIONS, LANOO, IF THOU WOULDEST LEARN THE CORRECT AGE OF THY SMALL WHEEL. ITS FOURTH SPOKE IS OUR MOTHER. REACH THE FOURTH "FRUIT" OF THE FOURTH PATH OF KNOWLEDGE THAT LEADS TO NIRVANA, AND THOU SHALT COMPREHEND, FOR THOU SHALT SEE . . . . .

 

-------

 

STANZA VII.

 

1. BEHOLD THE BEGINNING OF SENTIENT FORMLESS LIFE.

 

FIRST THE DIVINE, THE ONE FROM THE MOTHER-SPIRIT; THEN THE SPIRITUAL; THE THREE FROM THE ONE, THE FOUR FROM THE ONE, AND THE FIVE FROM WHICH THE THREE, THE FIVE, AND THE SEVEN. THESE ARE THE THREE-FOLD, THE FOUR-FOLD DOWNWARD; THE "MIND-BORN" SONS OF THE FIRST LORD; THE SHINING SEVEN.

 

IT IS THEY WHO ARE THOU, ME, HIM, OH LANOO. THEY, WHO WATCH OVER THEE, AND THY MOTHER EARTH.

 


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2. THE ONE RAY MULTIPLIES THE SMALLER RAYS. LIFE PRECEDES FORM, AND LIFE SURVIVES THE LAST ATOM OF FORM. THROUGH THE COUNTLESS RAYS PROCEEDS THE LIFE-RAY, THE ONE, LIKE A THREAD THROUGH MANY JEWELS.

 

3. WHEN THE ONE BECOMES TWO, THE THREEFOLD APPEARS, AND THE THREE ARE ONE; AND IT IS OUR THREAD, OH LANOO, THE HEART OF THE MAN-PLANT CALLED SAPTASARMA.

 

4. IT IS THE ROOT THAT NEVER DIES; THE THREE-TONGUED FLAME OF THE FOUR WICKS. THE WICKS ARE THE SPARKS, THAT DRAW FROM THE THREE-TONGUED FLAME SHOT OUT BY THE SEVEN -- THEIR FLAME -- THE BEAMS AND SPARKS OF ONE MOON REFLECTED IN THE RUNNING WAVES OF ALL THE RIVERS OF EARTH.

 

5. THE SPARK HANGS FROM THE FLAME BY THE FINEST THREAD OF FOHAT. IT JOURNEYS THROUGH THE SEVEN WORLDS OF MAYA. IT STOPS IN THE FIRST, AND IS A METAL AND A STONE; IT PASSES INTO THE SECOND AND BEHOLD -- A PLANT; THE PLANT WHIRLS THROUGH SEVEN CHANGES AND BECOMES A SACRED ANIMAL. FROM THE COMBINED ATTRIBUTES OF THESE, MANU, THE THINKER IS FORMED. WHO FORMS HIM? THE SEVEN LIVES, AND THE ONE LIFE. WHO COMPLETES HIM? THE FIVE-FOLD LHA. AND WHO PERFECTS THE LAST BODY? FISH, SIN, AND SOMA. . . . .

 

6. FROM THE FIRST-BORN THE THREAD BETWEEN THE SILENT WATCHER AND HIS SHADOW BECOMES MORE STRONG AND RADIANT WITH EVERY CHANGE. THE MORNING SUN-LIGHT HAS CHANGED INTO NOON-DAY GLORY. . . . .

 

7. THIS IS THY PRESENT WHEEL, SAID THE FLAME TO THE SPARK. THOU ART MYSELF, MY IMAGE, AND MY SHADOW. I HAVE CLOTHED MYSELF IN THEE, AND THOU ART MY VAHAN TO THE DAY, "BE WITH US," WHEN THOU SHALT RE-BECOME MYSELF AND OTHERS, THYSELF AND ME. THEN THE BUILDERS, HAVING DONNED THEIR FIRST CLOTHING, DESCEND ON RADIANT EARTH AND REIGN OVER MEN -- WHO ARE THEMSELVES. . . .

 

Thus ends this portion of the archaic narrative, dark, confused, almost incomprehensible. An attempt will now be made to throw light into this darkness, to make sense out of this apparent NON-SENSE.

 


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COMMENTARIES

 

ON THE SEVEN STANZAS AND THEIR TERMS, ACCORDING TO THEIR NUMERATION, IN STANZAS AND SLOKAS.

 

STANZA I.

 

1. "THE ETERNAL PARENT (Space), WRAPPED IN HER EVER INVISIBLE ROBES, HAD SLUMBERED ONCE AGAIN FOR SEVEN ETERNITIES (a)."

 

The "Parent Space" is the eternal, ever present cause of all -- the incomprehensible DEITY, whose "invisible robes" are the mystic root of all matter, and of the Universe. Space is the one eternal thing that we can most easily imagine, immovable in its abstraction and uninfluenced by either the presence or absence in it of an objective Universe. It is without dimension, in every sense, and self-existent. Spirit is the first differentiation from THAT, the causeless cause of both Spirit and Matter. It is, as taught in the esoteric catechism, neither limitless void, nor conditioned fulness, but both. It was and ever will be. (See Proem pp. 2 et seq.)

 

Thus, the "Robes" stand for the noumenon of undifferentiated Cosmic Matter. It is not matter as we know it, but the spiritual essence of matter, and is co-eternal and even one with Space in its abstract sense. Root-nature is also the source of the subtile invisible properties in visible matter. It is the Soul, so to say, of the ONE infinite Spirit. The Hindus call it Mulaprakriti, and say that it is the primordial substance, which is the basis of the Upadhi or vehicle of every phenomenon, whether physical, mental or psychic. It is the source from which Akasa radiates.

 

(a) By the Seven "Eternities," aeons or periods are meant. The word "Eternity," as understood in Christian theology, has no meaning to the Asiatic ear, except in its application to the ONE existence; nor is

 


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the term sempiternity, the eternal only in futurity, anything better than a misnomer.* Such words do not and cannot exist in philosophical metaphysics, and were unknown till the advent of ecclesiastical Christianity. The Seven Eternities meant are the seven periods, or a period answering in its duration to the seven periods, of a Manvantara, and extending throughout a Maha-Kalpa or the "Great Age" -- 100 years of Brahma -- making a total of 311,040,000,000,000 of years; each year of Brahma being composed of 360 "days," and of the same number of "nights" of Brahma (reckoning by the Chandrayana or lunar year); and a "Day of Brahma" consisting of 4,320,000,000 of mortal years. These "Eternities" belong to the most secret calculations, in which, in order to arrive at the true total, every figure must be 7x (7 to the power of x); x varying according to the nature of the cycle in the subjective or real world; and every figure or number relating to, or representing all the different cycles from the greatest to the smallest -- in the objective or unreal world -- must necessarily be multiples of seven. The key to this cannot be given, for herein lies the mystery of esoteric calculations, and for the purposes of ordinary calculation it has no sense. "The number seven," says the Kabala, "is the great number of the Divine Mysteries;" number ten is that of all human knowledge (Pythagorean decade); 1,000 is the number ten to the third power, and therefore the number 7,000 is also symbolical. In the Secret Doctrine the figure and number 4 are the male symbol only on the highest plane of abstraction; on the plane of matter the 3 is the masculine and the 4 the female: the upright and the horizontal in the fourth stage of symbolism, when the symbols became the glyphs of the generative powers on the physical plane.

 

-------

 

STANZA I. -- Continued.

 

2. TIME WAS NOT, FOR IT LAY ASLEEP IN THE INFINITE BOSOM OF DURATION (a).

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* It is stated in Book II., ch. viii., of Vishnu Purana: "By immortality is meant existence to the end of the Kalpa;" and Wilson, the translator, remarks in a footnote: "This, according to the Vedas, is all that is to be understood of the immortality (or eternity) of the gods; they perish at the end of universal dissolution (or Pralaya)." And Esoteric philosophy says: They "perish" not, but are re-absorbed.

 


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(a) Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced; but "lies asleep." The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we call the past. Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing remains without change -- or the same -- for the billionth part of a second; and the sensation we have of the actuality of the division of "time" known as the present, comes from the blurring of that momentary glimpse, or succession of glimpses, of things that our senses give us, as those things pass from the region of ideals which we call the future, to the region of memories that we name the past. In the same way we experience a sensation of duration in the case of the instantaneous electric spark, by reason of the blurred and continuing impression on the retina. The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in the material form to its disappearance from the earth. It is these "sum-totals" that exist from eternity in the "future," and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the "past." No one could say that a bar of metal dropped into the sea came into existence as it left the air, and ceased to exist as it entered the water, and that the bar itself consisted only of that cross-section thereof which at any given moment coincided with the mathematical plane that separates, and, at the same time, joins, the atmosphere and the ocean. Even so of persons and things, which, dropping out of the to-be into the has-been, out of the future into the past -- present momentarily to our senses a cross-section, as it were, of their total selves, as they pass through time and space (as matter) on their way from one eternity to another: and these two constitute that "duration" in which alone anything has true existence, were our senses but able to cognize it there.

 

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STANZA I. -- Continued.

 

3. . . . UNIVERSAL MIND WAS NOT, FOR THERE WERE NO AH-HI (celestial beings) TO CONTAIN (hence to manifest) IT (a).

 


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(a) Mind is a name given to the sum of the states of Consciousness grouped under Thought, Will, and Feeling. During deep sleep, ideation ceases on the physical plane, and memory is in abeyance; thus for the time-being "Mind is not," because the organ, through which the Ego manifests ideation and memory on the material plane, has temporarily ceased to function. A noumenon can become a phenomenon on any plane of existence only by manifesting on that plane through an appropriate basis or vehicle; and during the long night of rest called Pralaya, when all the existences are dissolved, the "UNIVERSAL MIND" remains as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract absolute thought, of which mind is the concrete relative manifestation. The AH-HI (Dhyan-Chohans) are the collective hosts of spiritual beings -- the Angelic Hosts of Christianity, the Elohim and "Messengers" of the Jews -- who are the vehicle for the manifestation of the divine or universal thought and will. They are the Intelligent Forces that give to and enact in Nature her "laws," while themselves acting according to laws imposed upon them in a similar manner by still higher Powers; but they are not "the personifications" of the powers of Nature, as erroneously thought. This hierarchy of spiritual Beings, through which the Universal Mind comes into action, is like an army -- a "Host," truly -- by means of which the fighting power of a nation manifests itself, and which is composed of army corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its separate individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and limited responsibilities; each contained in a larger individuality, to which its own interests are subservient, and each containing lesser individualities in itself.

 

-------

 

STANZA I. -- Continued.

 

4. THE SEVEN WAYS TO BLISS (Moksha* or Nirvana) WERE NOT (a). THE GREAT CAUSES OF MISERY (Nidana** and Maya) WERE NOT, FOR THERE WAS NO ONE TO PRODUCE AND GET ENSNARED BY THEM (b).

 

(a) There are seven "Paths" or "Ways" to the bliss of Non-Exist-

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Nippang in China; Neibban in Burmah; or Moksha in India.

 

** The "12" Nidanas (in Tibetan Ten-brel chug-nyi) the chief causes of existence, effects generated by a concatenation of causes produced (see Comment. II).

 


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ence, which is absolute Being, Existence, and Consciousness. They were not, because the Universe was, so far, empty, and existed only in the Divine Thought. For it is . . .

 

(b) The twelve Nidanas or causes of being. Each is the effect of its antecedent cause, and a cause, in its turn, to its successor; the sum total of the Nidanas being based on the four truths, a doctrine especially characteristic of the Hinayana System.* They belong to the theory of the stream of catenated law which produces merit and demerit, and finally brings Karma into full sway. It is based upon the great truth that re-incarnation is to be dreaded, as existence in this world only entails upon man suffering, misery and pain; Death itself being unable to deliver man from it, since death is merely the door through which he passes to another life on earth after a little rest on its threshold -- Devachan. The Hinayana System, or School of the "Little Vehicle," is of very ancient growth; while the Mahayana is of a later period, having originated after the death of Buddha. Yet the tenets of the latter are as old as the hills that have contained such schools from time immemorial, and the Hinayana and Mahayana Schools (the latter, that of the "Great Vehicle") both teach the same doctrine in reality. Yana, or Vehicle (in Sanskrit, Vahan) is a mystic expression, both "vehicles" inculcating that man may escape the sufferings of rebirths and even the false bliss of Devachan, by obtaining Wisdom and Knowledge, which alone can dispel the Fruits of Illusion and Ignorance.

 

Maya or illusion is an element which enters into all finite things, for everything that exists has only a relative, not an absolute, reality, since the appearance which the hidden noumenon assumes for any observer depends upon his power of cognition. To the untrained eye of the savage, a painting is at first an unmeaning confusion of streaks and daubs of color, while an educated eye sees instantly a face or a landscape. Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute existence which contains in itself the noumena of all realities. The existences belonging to every plane of being, up to the highest Dhyan-Chohans, are, in degree, of the nature of shadows cast by a magic lantern on a colourless screen; but all things are relatively real, for the cogniser is also a reflection, and the things cognised are therefore as real to him as himself. Whatever reality things possess must be looked for in them

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* See Wassilief on Buddhism, pp. 97-950.

 


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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.

 

-------

 

STANZA I. -- Continued.

 

5. DARKNESS ALONE FILLED THE BOUNDLESS ALL (a), FOR FATHER, MOTHER AND SON WERE ONCE MORE ONE, AND THE SON HAD NOT AWAKENED YET FOR THE NEW WHEEL* AND HIS PILGRIMAGE THEREON (b).

 

(a) "Darkness is Father-Mother: light their son," says an old Eastern proverb. Light is inconceivable except as coming from some source which is the cause of it; and as, in the instance of primordial light, that source is unknown, though as strongly demanded by reason and logic, therefore it is called "Darkness" by us, from an intellectual point of view. As to borrowed or secondary light, whatever its source, it can be but of a temporary mayavic character. Darkness, then, is the eternal

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* That which is called "wheel" is the symbolical expression for a world or globe, which shows that the ancients were aware that our Earth was a revolving globe, not a motionless square as some Christian Fathers taught. The "Great Wheel" is the whole duration of our Cycle of being, or Maha Kalpa, i.e., the whole revolution of our special chain of seven planets or Spheres from beginning to end; the "Small Wheels" meaning the Rounds, of which there are also Seven.

 


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matrix in which the sources of light appear and disappear. Nothing is added to darkness to make of it light, or to light to make it darkness, on this our plane. They are interchangeable, and scientifically light is but a mode of darkness and vice versa. Yet both are phenomena of the same noumenon -- which is absolute darkness to the scientific mind, and but a gray twilight to the perception of the average mystic, though to that of the spiritual eye of the Initiate it is absolute light. How far we discern the light that shines in darkness depends upon our powers of vision. What is light to us is darkness to certain insects, and the eye of the clairvoyant sees illumination where the normal eye perceives only blackness. When the whole universe was plunged in sleep -- had returned to its one primordial element -- there was neither centre of luminosity, nor eye to perceive light, and darkness necessarily filled the boundless all.

 

(b) The Father-Mother are the male and female principles in root-nature, the opposite poles that manifest in all things on every plane of Kosmos, or Spirit and Substance, in a less allegorical aspect, the resultant of which is the Universe, or the Son. They are "once more One" when in "The Night of Brahma," during Pralaya, all in the objective Universe has returned to its one primal and eternal cause, to reappear at the following Dawn -- as it does periodically. "Karana" -- eternal cause -- was alone. To put it more plainly: Karana is alone during the "Nights of Brahma." The previous objective Universe has dissolved into its one primal and eternal cause, and is, so to say, held in solution in space, to differentiate again and crystallize out anew at the following Manvantaric dawn, which is the commencement of a new "Day" or new activity of Brahma -- the symbol of the Universe. In esoteric parlance, Brahma is Father-Mother-Son, or Spirit, Soul and Body at once; each personage being symbolical of an attribute, and each attribute or quality being a graduated efflux of Divine Breath in its cyclic differentiation, involutionary and evolutionary. In the cosmicophysical sense, it is the Universe, the planetary chain and the earth; in the purely spiritual, the Unknown Deity, Planetary Spirit, and Man -- the Son of the two, the creature of Spirit and Matter, and a manifestation of them in his periodical appearances on Earth during the "wheels," or the Manvantaras. -- (See Part II. §: "Days and Nights of Brahma.")

 


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STANZA I. -- Continued.

 

6. THE SEVEN SUBLIME LORDS AND THE SEVEN TRUTHS HAD CEASED TO BE (a), AND THE UNIVERSE, THE SON OF NECESSITY, WAS IMMERSED IN PARANISHPANNA (b) (absolute perfection, Paranirvana, which is Yong-Grub) TO BE OUT-BREATHED BY THAT WHICH IS AND YET IS NOT. NAUGHT WAS (c).

 

(a) The seven sublime lords are the Seven Creative Spirits, the Dhyan-Chohans, who correspond to the Hebrew Elohim. It is the same hierarchy of Archangels to which St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and others belong, in the Christian theogony. Only while St. Michael, for instance, is allowed in dogmatic Latin theology to watch over all the promontories and gulfs, in the Esoteric System, the Dhyanis watch successively over one of the Rounds and the great Root-races of our planetary chain. They are, moreover, said to send their Bhodisatvas, the human correspondents of the Dhyani-Buddhas (of whom vide infra) during every Round and Race. Out of the Seven Truths and Revelations, or rather revealed secrets, four only have been handed to us, as we are still in the Fourth Round, and the world also has only had four Buddhas, so far. This is a very complicated question, and will receive more ample treatment later on.

 

So far "There are only Four Truths, and Four Vedas" -- say the Hindus and Buddhists. For a similar reason Irenaeus insisted on the necessity of Four Gospels. But as every new Root-race at the head of a Round must have its revelation and revealers, the next Round will bring the Fifth, the following the Sixth, and so on.

 

(b) "Paranishpanna" is the absolute perfection to which all existences attain at the close of a great period of activity, or Maha-Manvantara, and in which they rest during the succeeding period of repose. In Tibetan it is called Yong-Grub. Up to the day of the Yogacharya school the true nature of Paranirvana was taught publicly, but since then it has become entirely esoteric; hence so many contradictory interpretations of it. It is only a true Idealist who can understand it. Everything has to be viewed as ideal, with the exception of Paranirvana, by him who would comprehend that state, and acquire a knowledge of how Non Ego, Voidness, and Darkness are Three in One and alone Self-existent and perfect. It is absolute, however, only in a relative

 


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sense, for it must give room to still further absolute perfection, according to a higher standard of excellence in the following period of activity -- just as a perfect flower must cease to be a perfect flower and die, in order to grow into a perfect fruit, -- if a somewhat Irish mode of expression may be permitted.

 

The Secret Doctrine teaches the progressive development of everything, worlds as well as atoms; and this stupendous development has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end. Our "Universe" is only one of an infinite number of Universes, all of them "Sons of Necessity," because links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes, each one standing in the relation of an effect as regards its predecessor, and being a cause as regards its successor.

 

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."

 

(c) By "that which is and yet is not" is meant the Great Breath itself, which we can only speak of as absolute existence, but cannot picture to our imagination as any form of existence that we can distinguish from Non-existence. The three periods -- the Present, the Past, and the Future -- are in the esoteric philosophy a compound time; for the three are a composite number only in relation to the phenomenal plane, but in the realm of noumena have no abstract validity. As said in the Scriptures: "The Past time is the Present time, as also the Future, which, though it has not come into existence, still is"; according to a precept in the Prasanga Madhyamika teaching, whose dogmas have been known ever since it broke away from the purely esoteric schools.* Our ideas, in short, on duration and time are all derived from our

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* See Dzungarian "Mani Kumbum," the "Book of the 10,000 Precepts." Also consult Wassilief's "Der Buddhismus," pp. 327 and 357, etc.

 


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sensations according to the laws of Association. Inextricably bound up with the relativity of human knowledge, they nevertheless can have no existence except in the experience of the individual ego, and perish when its evolutionary march dispels the Maya of phenomenal existence. What is Time, for instance, but the panoramic succession of our states of consciousness? In the words of a Master, "I feel irritated at having to use these three clumsy words -- Past, Present, and Future -- miserable concepts of the objective phases of the subjective whole, they are about as ill-adapted for the purpose as an axe for fine carving." One has to acquire Paramartha lest one should become too easy a prey to Samvriti -- is a philosophical axiom.*

 

-------

 

STANZA I. -- Continued.

 

7. THE CAUSES OF EXISTENCE HAD BEEN DONE AWAY WITH (a); THE VISIBLE THAT WAS, AND THE INVISIBLE THAT IS, RESTED IN ETERNAL NON-BEING, THE ONE BEING (b).

 

(a) "The Causes of Existence" mean not only the physical causes known to science, but the metaphysical causes, the chief of which is the desire to exist, an outcome of Nidana and Maya. This desire for a sentient life shows itself in everything, from an atom to a sun, and is a reflection of the Divine Thought propelled into objective existence, into a law that the Universe should exist. According to esoteric teaching, the real cause of that supposed desire, and of all existence, remains for ever hidden, and its first emanations are the most complete abstractions mind can conceive. These abstractions must of necessity be postulated as the cause of the material Universe which presents itself to the senses and intellect; and they underlie the secondary and subordinate powers of Nature, which, anthropomorphized, have been worshipped as God and gods by the common herd of every age. It is impossible to conceive anything without a cause; the attempt to do so makes the mind a blank.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* In clearer words: "One has to acquire true Self-Consciousness in order to understand Samvriti, or the 'origin of delusion.'" Paramartha is the synonym of the Sanskrit term Svasam-vedana, or "the reflection which analyses itself." There is a difference in the interpretation of the meaning of "Paramartha" between the Yogacharyas and the Madhyamikas, neither of whom, however, explain the real and true esoteric sense of the expression. See further, sloka No. 9.

 


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This is virtually the condition to which the mind must come at last when we try to trace back the chain of causes and effects, but both science and religion jump to this condition of blankness much more quickly than is necessary; for they ignore the metaphysical abstractions which are the only conceivable cause of physical concretions. These abstractions become more and more concrete as they approach our plane of existence, until finally they phenomenalise in the form of the material Universe, by a process of conversion of metaphysics into physics, analogous to that by which steam can be condensed into water, and the water frozen into ice.

 

(b) The idea of Eternal Non-Being, which is the One Being, will appear a paradox to anyone who does not remember that we limit our ideas of being to our present consciousness of existence; making it a specific, instead of a generic term. An unborn infant, could it think in our acceptation of that term, would necessarily limit its conception of being, in a similar manner, to the intrauterine life which alone it knows; and were it to endeavour to express to its consciousness the idea of life after birth (death to it), it would, in the absence of data to go upon, and of faculties to comprehend such data, probably express that life as "Non-Being which is Real Being." In our case the One Being is the noumenon of all the noumena which we know must underlie phenomena, and give them whatever shadow of reality they possess, but which we have not the senses or the intellect to cognize at present. The impalpable atoms of gold scattered through the substance of a ton of auriferous quartz may be imperceptible to the naked eye of the miner, yet he knows that they are not only present there but that they alone give his quartz any appreciable value; and this relation of the gold to the quartz may faintly shadow forth that of the noumenon to the phenomenon. But the miner knows what the gold will look like when extracted from the quartz, whereas the common mortal can form no conception of the reality of things separated from the Maya which veils them, and in which they are hidden. Alone the Initiate, rich with the lore acquired by numberless generations of his predecessors, directs the "Eye of Dangma" toward the essence of things in which no Maya can have any influence. It is here that the teachings of esoteric philosophy in relation to the Nidanas and the Four Truths become of the greatest importance; but they are secret.

 


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STANZA I. -- Continued.

 

8. ALONE, THE ONE FORM OF EXISTENCE STRETCHED BOUNDLESS, INFINITE, CAUSELESS, IN DREAMLESS SLEEP (a); AND LIFE PULSATED UNCONSCIOUS IN UNIVERSAL SPACE, THROUGHOUT THAT ALL-PRESENCE WHICH IS SENSED BY THE "OPENED EYE"* OF THE DANGMA (b).**

 

(a) The tendency of modern thought is to recur to the archaic idea of a homogeneous basis for apparently widely different things -- heterogeneity developed from homogeneity. Biologists are now searching for their homogeneous protoplasm and chemists for their protyle, while science is looking for the force of which electricity, magnetism, heat, and so forth, are the differentiations. The Secret Doctrine carries this idea into the region of metaphysics and postulates a "One Form of Existence" as the basis and source of all things. But perhaps the phrase, the "One Form of Existence," is not altogether correct. The Sanskrit word is Prabhavapyaya, "the place, or rather plane, whence emerges the origination, and into which is the resolution of all things," says a commentator. It is not the "Mother of the World," as translated by Wilson (see Book I., Vishnu Purana); for Jagad Yoni (as shown by FitzEdward Hall) is scarcely so much "the Mother of the World" or "the Womb of the World" as the "Material Cause of the Universe." The Puranic Commentators explain it by Karana -- "Cause" -- but the Esoteric philosophy, by the ideal spirit of that cause. It is, in its secondary stage, the Svabhavat of the Buddhist philosopher, the eternal cause and effect, omnipresent yet abstract, the self-existent plastic Essence and the root of all things, viewed in the same dual light as the Vedantin views his Parabrahm and Mulaprakriti, the one under two aspects. It seems indeed extraordinary to find great scholars speculating on the possibility of the Vedanta, and the Uttara-Mimansa especially, having been "evoked by the teachings of the Buddhists,"

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* In India it is called "The Eye of Siva," but beyond the great range it is known as "Dangma's opened eye" in esoteric phraseology.

 

** Dangma means a purified soul, one who has become a Jivanmukta, the highest adept, or rather a Mahatma so-called. His "opened eye" is the inner spiritual eye of the seer, and the faculty which manifests through it is not clairvoyance as ordinarily understood, i.e., the power of seeing at a distance, but rather the faculty of spiritual intuition, through which direct and certain knowledge is obtainable. This faculty is intimately connected with the "third eye," which mythological tradition ascribes to certain races of men. Fuller explanations will be found in Book II.

 


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whereas, it is on the contrary Buddhism (of Gautama, the Buddha) that was "evoked" and entirely upreared on the tenets of the Secret Doctrine, of which a partial sketch is here attempted, and on which, also, the Upanishads are made to rest.* The above, according to the teachings of Sri Sankaracharya,** is undeniable.

 

(b) Dreamless sleep is one of the seven states of consciousness known in Oriental esotericism. In each of these states a different portion of the mind comes into action; or as a Vedantin would express it, the individual is conscious in a different plane of his being. The term "dreamless sleep," in this case is applied allegorically to the Universe to express a condition somewhat analogous to that state of consciousness in man, which, not being remembered in a waking state, seems a blank, just as the sleep of the mesmerised subject seems to him an unconscious blank when he returns to his normal condition, although he has been talking and acting as a conscious individual would.

 

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STANZA I. -- Continued.

 

9. BUT WHERE WAS THE DANGMA WHEN THE ALAYA OF THE UNIVERSE (Soul as the basis of all, Anima Mundi) WAS IN PARAMARTHA (a) (Absolute Being and Consciousness which are Absolute Non-Being and Unconsciousness) AND THE GREAT WHEEL WAS ANUPADAKA (b)?

 

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* And yet, one, claiming authority, namely, Sir Monier Williams, Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, has just denied this fact. This is what he taught his audience, on June the 4th, 1888, in his annual address before the Victoria Institute of Great Britain: "Originally, Buddhism set its face against all solitary asceticism . . . to attain sublime heights of knowledge. It had no occult, no esoteric system of doctrine . . . withheld from ordinary men" (!!) And, again: " . . . When Gautama Buddha began his career, the later and lower form of Yoga seems to have been little known." And then, contradicting himself, the learned lecturer forthwith informs his audience that "We learn from Lalita-Vistara that various forms of bodily torture, self-maceration, and austerity were common in Gautama's time." (!!) But the lecturer seems quite unaware that this kind of torture and self-maceration is precisely the lower form of Yoga, Hatha Yoga, which was "little known" and yet so "common" in Gautama's time.

 

** It is even argued that all the Six Darsanas (Schools of philosophy) show traces of Buddha's influence, being either taken from Buddhism or due to Greek teaching! (See Weber, Max Muller, etc.) We labour under the impression that Colebrooke, "the highest authority" in such matters, had long ago settled the question by showing, that "the Hindus were in this instance the teachers, not the learners."

 


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(a) Here we have before us the subject of centuries of scholastic disputations. The two terms "Alaya" and "Paramartha" have been the causes of dividing schools and splitting the truth into more different aspects than any other mystic terms. Alaya is literally the "Soul of the World" or Anima Mundi, the "Over-Soul" of Emerson, and according to esoteric teaching it changes periodically its nature. Alaya, though eternal and changeless in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men or Cosmic Gods (Dhyani Buddhas), alters during the active life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included. During that time not only the Dhyani-Buddhas are one with Alaya in Soul and Essence, but even the man strong in the Yoga (mystic meditation) "is able to merge his soul with it" (Aryasanga, the Bumapa school). This is not Nirvana, but a condition next to it. Hence the disagreement. Thus, while the Yogacharyas (of the Mahayana school) say that Alaya is the personification of the Voidness, and yet Alaya (Nyingpo and Tsang in Tibetan) is the basis of every visible and invisible thing, and that, though it is eternal and immutable in its essence, it reflects itself in every object of the Universe "like the moon in clear tranquil water"; other schools dispute the statement. The same for Paramartha: the Yogacharyas interpret the term as that which is also dependent upon other things (paratantra); and the Madhyamikas say that Paramartha is limited to Paranishpanna or absolute perfection; i.e., in the exposition of these "two truths" (out of four), the former believe and maintain that (on this plane, at any rate) there exists only Samvritisatya or relative truth; and the latter teach the existence of Paramarthasatya, the "absolute truth."* "No Arhat, oh mendicants, can reach absolute knowledge before he becomes one with Paranirvana. Parikalpita and Paratantra are his two great enemies" (Aphorisms of the Bodhisattvas). Parikalpita (in Tibetan Kun-ttag) is error, made by those unable to realize the emptiness and illusionary nature of all; who believe something to exist which does not -- e.g., the Non-Ego. And

 

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* "Paramartha" is self-consciousness in Sanskrit, Svasamvedana, or the "self-analysing reflection" -- from two words, parama (above everything) and artha (comprehension), Satya meaning absolute true being, or Esse. In Tibetan Paramarthasatya is Dondampaidenpa. The opposite of this absolute reality, or actuality, is Samvritisatya -- the relative truth only -- "Samvriti" meaning "false conception" and being the origin of illusion, Maya; in Tibetan Kundzabchi-denpa, "illusion-creating appearance."

 


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Paratantra is that, whatever it is, which exists only through a dependent or causal connexion, and which has to disappear as soon as the cause from which it proceeds is removed -- e.g., the light of a wick. Destroy or extinguish it, and light disappears.

 

Esoteric philosophy teaches that everything lives and is conscious, but not that all life and consciousness are similar to those of human or even animal beings. Life we look upon as "the one form of existence," manifesting in what is called matter; or, as in man, what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter. Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all. The idea of universal life is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century, as a consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic theology. Science, it is true, contents itself with tracing or postulating the signs of universal life, and has not yet been bold enough even to whisper "Anima Mundi!" The idea of "crystalline life," now familiar to science, would have been scouted half a century ago. Botanists are now searching for the nerves of plants; not that they suppose that plants can feel or think as animals do, but because they believe that some structure, bearing the same relation functionally to plant life that nerves bear to animal life, is necessary to explain vegetable growth and nutrition. It hardly seems possible that science can disguise from itself much longer, by the mere use of terms such as "force" and "energy," the fact that things that have life are living things, whether they be atoms or planets.

 

But what is the belief of the inner esoteric Schools? the reader may ask. What are the doctrines taught on this subject by the Esoteric "Buddhists"? With them "Alaya" has a double and even a triple meaning. In the Yogacharya system of the contemplative Mahayana school, Alaya is both the Universal Soul (Anima Mundi) and the Self of a progressed adept. "He who is strong in the Yoga can introduce at will his Alaya by means of meditation into the true Nature of Existence." The "Alaya has an absolute eternal existence," says Aryasanga -- the rival of Nagarjuna.* In one sense it is Pradhana; which

 

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* Aryasanga was a pre-Christian Adept and founder of a Buddhist esoteric school, though Csoma di Koros places him, for some reasons of his own, in the seventh century [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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is explained in Vishnu Purana as: "that which is the unevolved cause, is emphatically called by the most eminent sages Pradhana, original base, which is subtile Prakriti, viz., that which is eternal, and which at once is (or comprehends) what is and what is not, or is mere process." "Prakriti," however, is an incorrect word, and Alaya would explain it better; for Prakriti is not the "uncognizable Brahma."* It is a mistake of those who know nothing of the Universality of the Occult doctrines from the very cradle of the human races, and especially so of those scholars who reject the very idea of a "primordial revelation," to teach that the Anima Mundi, the One Life or "Universal Soul," was made known only by Anaxagoras, or during his age. This philosopher brought the teaching forward simply to oppose the too materialistic conceptions on Cosmogony of Democritus, based on his exoteric theory of blindly driven atoms. Anaxagoras of Clazomene was not its inventor but only its propagator, as also was Plato. That which he called Mundane Intelligence, the nous ([[nous]]), the principle that according to his views is absolutely separated and free from matter and acts on design,** was called Motion, the ONE LIFE, or Jivatma, ages before the year 500 B.C. in India. Only the Aryan philosophers never endowed the principle, which with them is infinite, with the finite "attribute" of "thinking."

 

This leads the reader naturally to the "Supreme Spirit" of Hegel and the German Transcendentalists as a contrast that it may be useful to point out. The schools of Schelling and Fichte have diverged widely from the primitive archaic conception of an ABSOLUTE principle, and have mirrored only an aspect of the basic idea of the Vedanta. Even the "Absoluter Geist" shadowed forth by von Hartman in his pessimistic philosophy of the Unconscious, while it is, perhaps, the closest approximation made by European speculation to the Hindu Adwaitee Doctrines, similarly falls far short of the reality.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

[[Footnote continued from previous page]] A.D. There was another Aryasanga, who lived during the first centuries of our era and the Hungarian scholar most probably confuses the two.

 

* "The indiscreet cause which is uniform, and both cause and effect, and which those who are acquainted with first principles call Pradhana and Prakriti, is the incognizable Brahma who was before all" (Vayu Purana); i.e., Brahma does not put forth evolution itself or create, but only exhibits various aspects of itself, one of which is Prakriti, an aspect of Pradhana.

 

** Finite Self-consciousness, I mean. For how can the absolute attain it otherwise than as simply an aspect, the highest of which known to us is human consciousness?

 


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According to Hegel, the "Unconscious" would never have undertaken the vast and laborious task of evolving the Universe, except in the hope of attaining clear Self-consciousness. In this connection it is to be borne in mind that in designating Spirit, which the European Pantheists use as equivalent to Parabrahm, as unconscious, they do not attach to that expression of "Spirit" -- one employed in the absence of a better to symbolise a profound mystery -- the connotation it usually bears.

 

The "Absolute Consciousness," they tell us, "behind" phenomena, which is only termed unconsciousness in the absence of any element of personality, transcends human conception. Man, unable to form one concept except in terms of empirical phenomena, is powerless from the very constitution of his being to raise the veil that shrouds the majesty of the Absolute. Only the liberated Spirit is able to faintly realise the nature of the source whence it sprung and whither it must eventually return. . . . As the highest Dhyan Chohan, however, can but bow in ignorance before the awful mystery of Absolute Being; and since, even in that culmination of conscious existence -- "the merging of the individual in the universal consciousness" -- to use a phrase of Fichte's -- the Finite cannot conceive the Infinite, nor can it apply to it its own standard of mental experiences, how can it be said that the "Unconscious" and the Absolute can have even an instinctive impulse or hope of attaining clear self-consciousness?* A Vedantin would never admit this Hegelian idea; and the Occultist would say that it applies perfectly to the awakened MAHAT, the Universal Mind already projected into the phenomenal world as the first aspect of the changeless ABSOLUTE, but never to the latter. "Spirit and Matter, or Purusha and Prakriti are but the two primeval aspects of the One and Secondless," we are taught.

 

The matter-moving Nous, the animating Soul, immanent in every atom, manifested in man, latent in the stone, has different degrees of power; and this pantheistic idea of a general Spirit-Soul pervading all Nature is the oldest of all the philosophical notions. Nor was the Archaeus a discovery of Paracelsus nor of his pupil Van Helmont; for it is again the same Archaeus or "Father-Ether," -- the manifested basis

 

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* See Schwegler's "Handbook of the History of Philosophy" in Sterling's translation, p. 28.

 


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and source of the innumerable phenomena of life -- localised. The whole series of the numberless speculations of this kind are but variations on this theme, the key-note of which was struck in this primeval Revelation. (See Part II., "Primordial Substance.")

 

(b) The term Anupadaka, "parentless," or without progenitors, is a mystical designation having several meanings in the philosophy. By this name celestial beings, the Dhyan-Chohans or Dhyani-Buddhas, are generally meant. But as these correspond mystically to the human Buddhas and Bodhisattwas, known as the "Manushi (or human) Buddhas," the latter are also designated "Anupadaka," once that their whole personality is merged in their compound sixth and seventh principles -- or Atma-Buddhi, and that they have become the "diamond-souled" (Vajra-sattvas),* the full Mahatmas. The "Concealed Lord" (Sangbai Dag-po), "the one merged with the absolute," can have no parents since he is Self-existent, and one with the Universal Spirit (Svayambhu),** the Svabhavat in the highest aspect. The mystery in the hierarchy of the Anupadaka is great, its apex being the universal Spirit-Soul, and the lower rung the Manushi-Buddha; and even every Soul-endowed man is an Anupadaka in a latent state. Hence, when speaking of the Universe in its formless, eternal, or absolute condition, before it was fashioned by the "Builders" -- the expression, "the Universe was Anupadaka." (See Part II., "Primordial Substance.")

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Vajra -- diamond-holder. In Tibetan Dorjesempa; sempa meaning the soul, its adamantine quality referring to its indestructibility in the hereafter. The explanation with regard to the "Anupadaka" given in the Kala Chakra, the first in the Gyu(t) division of the Kanjur, is half esoteric. It has misled the Orientalists into erroneous speculations with respect to the Dhyani-Buddhas and their earthly correspondencies, the Manushi-Buddhas. The real tenet is hinted at in a subsequent Volume, (see "The Mystery about Buddha"), and will be more fully explained in its proper place.

 

** To quote Hegel again, who with Schelling practically accepted the Pantheistic conception of periodical Avatars (special incarnations of the World-Spirit in Man, as seen in the case of all the great religious reformers) . . . . "the essence of man is spirit . . . . only by stripping himself of his finiteness and surrendering himself to pure self-consciousness does he attain the truth. Christ-man, as man in whom the Unity of God-man (identity of the individual with the Universal consciousness as taught by the Vedantins and some Adwaitees) appeared, has, in his death and history generally, himself presented the eternal history of Spirit -- a history which every man has to accomplish in himself, in order to exist as Spirit." -- Philosophy of History. Sibree's English translation, p. 340.

 


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STANZA II.

 

COMMENTARY.

 

1. . . . . WHERE WERE THE BUILDERS, THE LUMINOUS SONS OF MANVANTARIC DAWN (a)? . . . . IN THE UNKNOWN DARKNESS IN THEIR AH-HI (Chohanic, Dhyani-Buddhic) PARANISHPANNA, THE PRODUCERS OF FORM (rupa) FROM NO-FORM (arupa), THE ROOT OF THE WORLD -- THE DEVAMATRI* AND SVABHAVAT, RESTED IN THE BLISS OF NON-BEING (b).

 

(a) The "Builders," the "Sons of Manvantaric Dawn," are the real creators of the Universe; and in this doctrine, which deals only with our Planetary System, they, as the architects of the latter, are also called the "Watchers" of the Seven Spheres, which exoterically are the Seven planets, and esoterically the seven earths or spheres (planets) of our chain also. The opening sentence of Stanza I., when mentioning "Seven Eternities," is made to apply both to the Maha-Kalpa or "the (great) Age of Brahma," as well as to the Solar pralaya and subsequent resurrection of our Planetary System on a higher plane. There are many kinds of pralaya (dissolution of a thing visible), as will be shown elsewhere.

 

(b) Paranishpanna, remember, is the summum bonum, the Absolute, hence the same as Paranirvana. Besides being the final state it is that condition of subjectivity which has no relation to anything but the one absolute truth (Para-marthasatya) on its plane. It is that state which leads one to appreciate correctly the full meaning of Non-Being, which, as explained, is absolute Being. Sooner or later, all that now seemingly exists, will be in reality and actually in the state of Paranishpanna. But there is a great difference between conscious and unconscious "being." The condition of Paranishpanna, without Paramartha, the Self-analys-

 

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"Mother of the Gods," Aditi, or Cosmic Space. In the Zohar, she is called Sephira the Mother of the Sephiroth, and Shekinah in her primordial form, in abscondito.

 


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ing consciousness (Svasamvedana), is no bliss, but simply extinction (for Seven Eternities). Thus, an iron ball placed under the scorching rays of the sun will get heated through, but will not feel or appreciate the warmth, while a man will. It is only "with a mind clear and undarkened by personality, and an assimilation of the merit of manifold existences devoted to being in its collectivity (the whole living and sentient Universe)," that one gets rid of personal existence, merging into, becoming one with, the Absolute,* and continuing in full possession of Paramartha.

 

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STANZA II. -- Continued.

 

2. . . . . WHERE WAS SILENCE? WHERE WERE THE EARS TO SENSE IT? NO! THERE WAS NEITHER SILENCE, NOR SOUND (a). NAUGHT SAVE CEASELESS, ETERNAL BREATH (Motion) WHICH KNOWS ITSELF NOT (b).

 

(a) The idea that things can cease to exist and still BE, is a fundamental one in Eastern psychology. Under this apparent contradiction in terms, there rests a fact of Nature to realise which in the mind, rather than to argue about words, is the important thing. A familiar instance of a similar paradox is afforded by chemical combination. The question whether Hydrogen and Oxygen cease to exist, when they combine to form water, is still a moot one, some arguing that since they are found again when the water is decomposed they must be there all the while; others contending that as they actually turn into something totally different they must cease to exist as themselves for the time being; but neither side is able to form the faintest conception of the real condition of a thing, which has become something else and yet has not ceased to be itself. Existence as water may be said to be, for Oxygen and Hydrogen, a state of Non-being which is "more real being" than their existence as gases; and it may faintly symbolise the

 

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* Hence Non-being is "ABSOLUTE Being," in esoteric philosophy. In the tenets of the latter even Adi-Budha (first or primeval wisdom) is, while manifested, in one sense an illusion, Maya, since all the gods, including Brahma, have to die at the end of the "Age of Brahma"; the abstraction called Parabrahm alone -- whether we call it Ensoph, or Herbert Spencer's Unknowable -- being "the One Absolute" Reality. The One secondless Existence is ADWAITA, "Without a Second," and all the rest is Maya, teaches the Adwaita philosophy.

 


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condition of the Universe when it goes to sleep, or ceases to be, during the "Nights of Brahma" -- to awaken or reappear again, when the dawn of the new Manvantara recalls it to what we call existence.

 

(b) The "Breath" of the One Existence is used in its application only to the spiritual aspect of Cosmogony by Archaic esotericism; otherwise, it is replaced by its equivalent in the material plane -- Motion. The One Eternal Element, or element-containing Vehicle, is Space, dimensionless in every sense; co-existent with which are -- endless duration, primordial (hence indestructible) matter, and motion -- absolute "perpetual motion" which is the "breath" of the "One" Element. This breath, as seen, can never cease, not even during the Pralayic eternities. (See "Chaos, Theos, Kosmos," in Part II.)

 

But the "Breath of the One Existence" does not, all the same, apply to the One Causeless Cause or the "All Be-ness" (in contradistinction to All-Being, which is Brahma, or the Universe). Brahma (or Hari) the four-faced god who, after lifting the Earth out of the waters, "accomplished the Creation," is held to be only the instrumental, and not, as clearly implied, the ideal Cause. No Orientalist, so far, seems to have thoroughly comprehended the real sense of the verses in the Purana, that treat of "creation."

 

Therein Brahma is the cause of the potencies that are to be generated subsequently for the work of "creation." When a translator says, "And from him proceed the potencies to be created, after they had become the real cause": "and from IT proceed the potencies that will create as they become the real cause" (on the material plane) would perhaps be more correct? Save that one (causeless) ideal cause there is no other to which the universe can be referred. "Worthiest of ascetics! through its potency -- i.e., through the potency of that cause -- every created thing comes by its inherent or proper nature." If, in the Vedanta and Nyaya, nimitta is the efficient cause, as contrasted with upadana, the material cause, (and in the Sankhya, pradhana implies the functions of both); in the Esoteric philosophy, which reconciles all these systems, and the nearest exponent of which is the Vedanta as expounded by the Advaita Vedantists, none but the upadana can be speculated upon; that which is in the minds of the Vaishnavas (the Vasishta-dvaita) as the ideal in contradistinction to the real -- or Parabrahm and Isvara -- can find no room in published speculations, since

 


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that ideal even is a misnomer, when applied to that of which no human reason, even that of an adept, can conceive.

 

To know itself or oneself, necessitates consciousness and perception (both limited faculties in relation to any subject except Parabrahm), to be cognized. Hence the "Eternal Breath which knows itself not." Infinity cannot comprehend Finiteness. The Boundless can have no relation to the bounded and the conditioned. In the occult teachings, the Unknown and the Unknowable MOVER, or the Self-Existing, is the absolute divine Essence. And thus being Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Motion -- to the limited senses of those who describe this indescribable -- it is unconsciousness and immoveableness. Concrete consciousness cannot be predicated of abstract Consciousness, any more than the quality wet can be predicated of water -- wetness being its own attribute and the cause of the wet quality in other things. Consciousness implies limitations and qualifications; something to be conscious of, and someone to be conscious of it. But Absolute Consciousness contains the cognizer, the thing cognized and the cognition, all three in itself and all three one. No man is conscious of more than that portion of his knowledge that happens to have been recalled to his mind at any particular time, yet such is the poverty of language that we have no term to distinguish the knowledge not actively thought of, from knowledge we are unable to recall to memory. To forget is synonymous with not to remember. How much greater must be the difficulty of finding terms to describe, and to distinguish between, abstract metaphysical facts or differences. It must not be forgotten, also, that we give names to things according to the appearances they assume for ourselves. We call absolute consciousness "unconsciousness," because it seems to us that it must necessarily be so, just as we call the Absolute, "Darkness," because to our finite understanding it appears quite impenetrable, yet we recognize fully that our perception of such things does not do them justice. We involuntarily distinguish in our minds, for instance, between unconscious absolute consciousness, and unconsciousness, by secretly endowing the former with some indefinite quality that corresponds, on a higher plane than our thoughts can reach, with what we know as consciousness in ourselves. But this is not any kind of consciousness that we can manage to distinguish from what appears to us as unconsciousness.

 


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STANZA II. -- Continued.

 

3. THE HOUR HAD NOT YET STRUCK; THE RAY HAD NOT YET FLASHED INTO THE GERM (a); THE MATRI-PADMA (mother lotus) HAD NOT YET SWOLLEN (b).*

 

(a) The ray of the "Ever Darkness" becomes, as it is emitted, a ray of effulgent light or life, and flashes into the "Germ" -- the point in the Mundane Egg, represented by matter in its abstract sense. But the term "Point" must not be understood as applying to any particular point in Space, for a germ exists in the centre of every atom, and these collectively form "the Germ;" or rather, as no atom can be made visible to our physical eye, the collectivity of these (if the term can be applied to something which is boundless and infinite) forms the noumenon of eternal and indestructible matter.

 

(b) One of the symbolical figures for the Dual creative power in Nature (matter and force on the material plane) is Padma, the water-lily of India. The Lotus is the product of heat (fire) and water (vapour or Ether); fire standing in every philosophical and religious system as a representation of the Spirit of Deity,** the active, male, generative principle; and Ether, or the Soul of matter, the light of the fire, for the passive female principle from which everything in this Universe emanated. Hence, Ether or Water is the Mother, and Fire is the Father. Sir W. Jones (and before him archaic botany) showed that the seeds of the Lotus contain -- even before they germinate -- perfectly formed leaves, the miniature shape of what one day, as perfect plants, they will become: nature thus giving us a specimen of the preformation of its production . . . the seed of all phanerogamous plants bearing proper flowers containing an embryo plantlet ready formed.*** (See Part II., "The Lotus Flower as an Universal Symbol.") This explains the sentence "The Mother had not yet swollen" -- the form being usually sacrificed to the inner or root idea in Archaic symbology.

 

The Lotus, or Padma, is, moreover, a very ancient and favourite

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* An unpoetical term, yet still very graphic. (See foot-note to Stanza III.)

 

** Even in Christianity. (See Part II., "Primordial Substance and Divine Thought.")

 

*** Gross, "The Heathen Religion," p. 195.

 


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simile for the Kosmos itself, and also for man. The popular reasons given are, firstly, the fact just mentioned, that the Lotus-seed contains within itself a perfect miniature of the future plant, which typifies the fact that the spiritual prototypes of all things exist in the immaterial world before those things become materialised on Earth. Secondly, the fact that the Lotus plant grows up through the water, having its root in the Ilus, or mud, and spreading its flower in the air above. The Lotus thus typifies the life of man and also that of the Kosmos; for the Secret Doctrine teaches that the elements of both are the same, and that both are developing in the same direction. The root of the Lotus sunk in the mud represents material life, the stalk passing up through the water typifies existence in the astral world, and the flower floating on the water and opening to the sky is emblematical of spiritual being.

 

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STANZA II. -- Continued.

 

4. HER HEART HAD NOT YET OPENED FOR THE ONE RAY TO ENTER, THENCE TO FALL AS THREE INTO FOUR IN THE LAP OF MAYA (a).

 

(a) The Primordial Substance had not yet passed out of its precosmic latency into differentiated objectivity, or even become the (to man, so far,) invisible Protyle of Science. But, as the hour strikes and it becomes receptive of the Fohatic impress of the Divine Thought (the Logos, or the male aspect of the Anima Mundi, Alaya) -- its heart opens. It differentiates, and the THREE (Father, Mother, Son) are transformed into four. Herein lies the origin of the double mystery of the Trinity and the immaculate Conception. The first and Fundamental dogma of Occultism is Universal Unity (or Homogeneity) under three aspects. This led to a possible conception of Deity, which as an absolute unity must remain forever incomprehensible to finite intellects. "If thou wouldest believe in the Power which acts within the root of a plant, or imagine the root concealed under the soil, thou hast to think of its stalk or trunk and of its leaves and flowers. Thou canst not imagine that Power independently of these objects. Life can be known only by the Tree of Life. . . ." (Precepts for Yoga). The idea of Absolute Unity

 


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would be broken entirely in our conception, had we not something concrete before our eyes to contain that Unity. And the deity being absolute, must be omnipresent, hence not an atom but contains IT within itself. The roots, the trunk and its many branches are three distinct objects, yet they are one tree. Say the Kabalists: "The Deity is one, because It is infinite. It is triple, because it is ever manifesting." This manifestation is triple in its aspects, for it requires, as Aristotle has it, three principles for every natural body to become objective: privation, form, and matter.* Privation meant in the mind of the great philosopher that which the Occultists call the prototypes impressed in the Astral Light -- the lowest plane and world of Anima Mundi. The union of these three principles depends upon a fourth -- the LIFE which radiates from the summits of the Unreachable, to become an universally diffused Essence on the manifested planes of Existence. And this QUATERNARY (Father, Mother, Son, as a UNITY, and a quaternary, as a living manifestation) has been the means of leading to the very archaic Idea of Immaculate Conception, now finally crystallized into a dogma of the Christian Church, which carnalized this metaphysical idea beyond any common sense. For one has but to read the Kabala and study its numerical methods of interpretation to find the origin of that dogma. It is purely astronomical, mathematical, and pre-eminently metaphysical: the Male element in Nature (personified by the male deities and Logoi -- Viraj, or Brahma; Horus, or Osiris, etc., etc.) is born through, not from, an immaculate source, personified by the "Mother"; because that Male having a Mother cannot have a "Father" -- the abstract Deity being sexless, and not even a Being but Be-ness, or Life itself. Let us render this in the mathematical language of the author of "The Source of Measures." Speaking of the "Measure of a Man" and his numerical (Kabalistic) value, he writes that in Genesis, ch. iv., v. 1, "It is called the 'Man even Jehovah'

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* A Vedantin of the Visishtadwaita philosophy would say that, though the only independent Reality, Parabrahmam is inseparable from his trinity. That He is three, "Parabrahmam, Chit, and Achit," the last two being dependent realities unable to exist separately; or, to make it clearer, Parabrahmam is the SUBSTANCE -- changeless, eternal, and incognizable -- and Chit (Atma), and Achit (Anatma) are its qualities, as form and colour are the qualities of any object. The two are the garment, or body, or rather attribute (Sarira) of Parabrahmam. But an Occultist would find much to say against this claim, and so would the Adwaitee Vedantin.

 


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Measure, and this is obtained in this way, viz.: 113 x 5 = 565, and the value 565 can be placed under the form of expression 56.5 x 10 = 565. Here the Man-number 113 becomes a factor of 56.5 x 10, and the (Kabalistic) reading of this last numbered expression is Jod, He, Vau, He, or Jehovah. . . . The expansion of 565 into 56.5 x 10 is purposed to show the emanation of the male (Jod) from the female (Eva) principle; or, so to speak, the birth of a male element from an immaculate source, in other words, an immaculate conception."

 

Thus is repeated on Earth the mystery enacted, according to the Seers, on the divine plane. The "Son" of the immaculate Celestial Virgin (or the undifferentiated cosmic protyle, Matter in its infinitude) is born again on Earth as the Son of the terrestrial Eve -- our mother Earth, and becomes Humanity as a total -- past, present, and future -- for Jehovah or Jod-he-vau-he is androgyne, or both male and female. Above, the Son is the whole KOSMOS; below, he is MANKIND. The triad or triangle becomes Tetraktis, the Sacred Pythagorean number, the perfect Square, and a 6-faced cube on Earth. The Macroprosopus (the Great Face) is now Microprosopus (the lesser face); or, as the Kabalists have it, the "Ancient of Days," descending on Adam Kadmon whom he uses as his vehicle to manifest through, gets transformed into Tetragrammaton. It is now in the "Lap of Maya," the Great Illusion, and between itself and the Reality has the Astral Light, the great Deceiver of man's limited senses, unless Knowledge through Paramarthasatya comes to the rescue.

 

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STANZA II. -- Continued.

 

5. THE SEVEN (Sons) WERE NOT YET BORN FROM THE WEB OF LIGHT. DARKNESS ALONE WAS FATHER-MOTHER, SVABHAVAT, AND SVABHAVAT WAS IN DARKNESS (a).

 

(a) The Secret Doctrine, in the Stanzas given here, occupies itself chiefly, if not entirely, with our Solar System, and especially with our planetary chain. The "Seven Sons," therefore, are the creators of the latter. This teaching will be explained more fully hereafter. (See Part II., "Theogony of the Creative Gods.")

 


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Svabhavat, the "Plastic Essence" that fills the Universe, is the root of all things. Svabhavat is, so to say, the Buddhistic concrete aspect of the abstraction called in Hindu philosophy Mulaprakriti. It is the body of the Soul, and that which Ether would be to Akasa, the latter being the informing principle of the former. Chinese mystics have made of it the synonym of "being." In the Ekasloka-Shastra of Nagarjuna (the Lung-shu of China) called by the Chinese the Yih-shu-lu-kia-lun, it is said that the original word of Yeu is "Being" or "Subhava," "the Substance giving substance to itself," also explained by him as meaning " without action and with action," "the nature which has no nature of its own." Subhava, from which Svabhavat, is composed of two words: Su "fair," "handsome," "good"; Sva, "self"; and bhava, "being" or "states of being."

 

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STANZA II. -- Continued.

 

6. THESE TWO ARE THE GERM, AND THE GERM IS -- ONE. THE UNIVERSE WAS STILL CONCEALED IN THE DIVINE THOUGHT AND THE DIVINE BOSOM.

 

The "Divine Thought" does not imply the idea of a Divine thinker. The Universe, not only past, present, and future -- which is a human and finite idea expressed by finite thought -- but in its totality, the Sat (an untranslateable term), the absolute being, with the Past and Future crystallized in an eternal Present, is that Thought itself reflected in a secondary or manifest cause. Brahma (neuter) as the Mysterium Magnum of Paracelsus is an absolute mystery to the human mind. Brahma, the male-female, its aspect and anthropomorphic reflection, is conceivable to the perceptions of blind faith, though rejected by human intellect when it attains its majority. (See Part II., "Primordial Substance and Divine Thought.")

 

Hence the statement that during the prologue, so to say, of the drama of Creation, or the beginning of cosmic evolution, the Universe or the "Son" lies still concealed "in the Divine Thought," which had not yet penetrated "into the Divine Bosom." This idea, note well, is at the root, and forms the origin of all the allegories about the "Sons of God" born of immaculate virgins.

 


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STANZA III.

 

COMMENTARY.

 

1. THE LAST VIBRATION OF THE SEVENTH ETERNITY THRILLS THROUGH INFINITUDE (a). THE MOTHER SWELLS, EXPANDING FROM WITHIN WITHOUT LIKE THE BUD OF THE LOTUS (b).

 

(a) The seemingly paradoxical use of the sentence "Seventh Eternity," thus dividing the indivisible, is sanctified in esoteric philosophy. The latter divides boundless duration into unconditionally eternal and universal Time and a conditioned one (Khandakala). One is the abstraction or noumenon of infinite time (Kala); the other its phenomenon appearing periodically, as the effect of Mahat (the Universal Intelligence limited by Manvantaric duration). With some schools, Mahat is "the first-born" of Pradhana (undifferentiated substance, or the periodical aspect of Mulaprakriti, the root of Nature), which (Pradhana) is called Maya, the Illusion. In this respect, I believe, esoteric teaching differs from the Vedantin doctrines of both the Adwaita and the Visishtadwaita schools. For it says that, while Mulaprakriti, the noumenon, is self-existing and without any origin -- is, in short, parentless, Anupadaka (as one with Brahmam) -- Prakriti, its phenomenon, is periodical and no better than a phantasm of the former, so Mahat, with the Occultists, the first-born of Gnana (or gnosis) knowledge, wisdom or the Logos -- is a phantasm reflected from the Absolute NIRGUNA (Parabrahm, the one reality, "devoid of attributes and qualities"; see Upanishads); while with some Vedantins Mahat is a manifestation of Prakriti, or Matter.

 

(b) Therefore, the "last vibration of the Seventh Eternity" was "fore-ordained" -- by no God in particular, but occurred in virtue of the eternal and changeless LAW which causes the great periods of Activity and Rest, called so graphically, and at the same time so poetically, the "Days and Nights of Brahma." The expansion "from within without" of the Mother, called elsewhere the "Waters of Space," "Universal Matrix," etc., does not allude to an expansion from a small centre or focus, but, without reference to size or limitation or area, means the development of limitless subjectivity into as limitless objectivity. "The ever (to us) invisible and immaterial Substance present in eternity, threw its periodical shadow from its own plane into the lap

 


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of Maya." It implies that this expansion, not being an increase in size -- for infinite extension admits of no enlargement -- was a change of condition. It "expanded like the bud of the Lotus"; for the Lotus plant exists not only as a miniature embryo in its seed (a physical characteristic), but its prototype is present in an ideal form in the Astral Light from "Dawn" to "Night" during the Manvantaric period, like everything else, as a matter of fact, in this objective Universe; from man down to mite, from giant trees down to the tiniest blades of grass.

 

All this, teaches the hidden Science, is but the temporary reflection, the shadow of the eternal ideal prototype in Divine Thought -- the word "Eternal," note well again, standing here only in the sense of "AEon," as lasting throughout the seemingly interminable, but still limited cycle of activity, called by us Manvantara. For what is the real esoteric meaning of Manvantara, or rather a Manu-Antara? It means, esoterically, "between two Manus," of whom there are fourteen in every "Day of Brahma," such a "Day" consisting of 1,000 aggregates of four ages, or 1,000 "Great Ages," Mahayugas. Let us now analyse the word or name Manu. Orientalists and their Dictionaries tell us that the term "Manu" is from the root Man, "to think"; hence "the thinking man." But, esoterically, every Manu, as an anthropomorphized patron of his special cycle (or Round), is but the personified idea of the "Thought Divine" (as the Hermetic "Pymander"); each of the Manus, therefore, being the special god, the creator and fashioner of all that appears during his own respective cycle of being or Manvantara. Fohat runs the Manus' (or Dhyan-Chohans') errands, and causes the ideal prototypes to expand from within without -- viz., to cross gradually, on a descending scale, all the planes from the noumenon to the lowest phenomenon, to bloom finally on the last into full objectivity -- the acme of illusion, or the grossest matter.

 

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STANZA III. -- continued.

 

2. THE VIBRATION SWEEPS ALONG, TOUCHING WITH ITS SWIFT WING (simultaneously) THE WHOLE UNIVERSE, AND THE GERM THAT DWELLETH IN DARKNESS: THE DARKNESS THAT BREATHES (moves) OVER THE SLUMBERING WATERS OF LIFE (a).

 


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(a) The Pythagorean Monad is also said to dwell in solitude and darkness like the "germ." The idea of the "breath" of Darkness moving over "the slumbering Waters of life," which is primordial matter with the latent Spirit in it, recalls the first chapter of Genesis. Its original is the Brahminical Narayana (the mover on the Waters), who is the personification of the eternal Breath of the unconscious All (or Parabrahm) of the Eastern Occultists. The Waters of Life, or Chaos -- the female principle in symbolism -- are the vacuum (to our mental sight) in which lie the latent Spirit and Matter. This it was that made Democritus assert, after his instructor Leucippus, that the primordial principles of all were atoms and a vacuum, in the sense of space, but not of empty space, as "Nature abhors a vacuum" according to the Peripatetics, and every ancient philosopher.

 

In all Cosmogonies "Water" plays the same important part. It is the base and source of material existence. Scientists, mistaking the word for the thing, understood by water the definite chemical combination of oxygen and hydrogen, thus giving a specific meaning to a term used by Occultists in a generic sense, and which is used in Cosmogony with a metaphysical and mystical meaning. Ice is not water, neither is steam, although all three have precisely the same chemical composition.

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

2. [[3.]] "DARKNESS" RADIATES LIGHT, AND LIGHT DROPS ONE SOLITARY RAY INTO THE WATERS, INTO THE MOTHER DEEP. THE RAY SHOOTS THROUGH THE VIRGIN-EGG; THE RAY CAUSES THE ETERNAL EGG TO THRILL, AND DROP THE NON-ETERNAL (periodical) GERM, WHICH CONDENSES INTO THE WORLD EGG (a).

 

(a) The solitary ray dropping into the mother deep may be taken as meaning Divine Thought or Intelligence, impregnating chaos. This, however, occurs on the plane of metaphysical abstraction, or rather the plane whereon that which we call a metaphysical abstraction is a reality. The Virgin-egg being in one sense abstract Egg-ness, or the power of becoming developed through fecundation, is eternal and for ever the same. And just as the fecundation of an egg takes place before it is dropped; so the non-eternal periodical germ which becomes later in

 


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symbolism the mundane egg, contains in itself, when it emerges from the said symbol, "the promise and potency" of all the Universe. Though the idea per se is, of course, an abstraction, a symbolical mode of expression, it is a symbol truly, as it suggests the idea of infinity as an endless circle. It brings before the mind's eye the picture of Kosmos emerging from and in boundless space, a Universe as shoreless in magnitude if not as endless in its objective manifestation. The simile of an egg also expresses the fact taught in Occultism that the primordial form of everything manifested, from atom to globe, from man to angel, is spheroidal, the sphere having been with all nations the emblem of eternity and infinity -- a serpent swallowing its tail. To realize the meaning, however, the sphere must be thought of as seen from its centre. The field of vision or of thought is like a sphere whose radii proceed from one's self in every direction, and extend out into space, opening up boundless vistas all around. It is the symbolical circle of Pascal and the Kabalists, "whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere," a conception which enters into the compound idea of this emblem.

 

The "Mundane Egg" is, perhaps, one of the most universally adopted symbols, highly suggestive as it is, equally in the spiritual, physiological, and cosmological sense. Therefore, it is found in every world-theogony, where it is largely associated with the serpent symbol; the latter being everywhere, in philosophy as in religious symbolism, an emblem of eternity, infinitude, regeneration, and rejuvenation, as well as of wisdom. (See Part II. "Tree and Serpent and Crocodile Worship.") The mystery of apparent self-generation and evolution through its own creative power repeating in miniature the process of Cosmic evolution in the egg, both being due to heat and moisture under the efflux of the unseen creative spirit, justified fully the selection of this graphic symbol. The "Virgin Egg" is the microcosmic symbol of the macrocosmic prototype -- the "Virgin Mother" -- Chaos or the Primeval Deep. The male Creator (under whatever name) springs forth from the Virgin female, the immaculate root fructified by the Ray. Who, if versed in astronomy and natural sciences, can fail to see its suggestiveness? Cosmos as receptive Nature is an Egg fructified -- yet left immaculate; once regarded as boundless, it could have no other representation than a spheroid. The Golden Egg was surrounded by seven natural elements (ether, fire, air, water), "four ready, three secret." It may be found

 


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stated in Vishnu Purana, where elements are translated "Envelopes" and a secret one is added: "Aham-kara" (see Wilson's Vishnu Purana, Book I., p. 40). The original text has no "Aham-kara;" it mentions seven Elements without specifying the last three (see Part II. on "The Mundane Egg").

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

4. (Then) THE THREE (triangle) FALL INTO THE FOUR (quaternary). THE RADIANT ESSENCE BECOMES SEVEN INSIDE, SEVEN OUTSIDE (a). THE LUMINOUS EGG (Hiranyagarbha), WHICH IN ITSELF IS THREE (the triple hypostases of Brahma, or Vishnu, the three "Avasthas"), CURDLES AND SPREADS IN MILK-WHITE CURDS THROUGHOUT THE DEPTHS OF MOTHER, THE ROOT THAT GROWS IN THE OCEAN OF LIFE (b).

 

The use of geometrical figures and the frequent allusions to figures in all ancient scriptures (see Puranas, Egyptian papyri, the "Book of the Dead" and even the Bible) must be explained. In the "Book of Dzyan," as in the Kabala, there are two kinds of numerals to be studied -- the figures, often simple blinds, and the Sacred Numbers, the values of which are all known to the Occultists through Initiation. The former is but a conventional glyph, the latter is the basic symbol of all. That is to say, that one is purely physical, the other purely metaphysical, the two standing in relation to each other as matter stands to spirit -- the extreme poles of the ONE Substance.

 

As Balzac, the unconscious Occultist of French literature, says somewhere, the Number is to Mind the same as it is to matter: "an incomprehensible agent;" (perhaps so to the profane, never to the Initiated mind). Number is, as the great writer thought, an Entity, and, at the same time, a Breath emanating from what he called God and what we call the ALL; the breath which alone could organize the physical Kosmos, "where naught obtains its form but through the Deity, which is an effect of Number." It is instructive to quote Balzac's words upon this subject:--

 

"The smallest as the most immense creations, are they not to be distinguished from each other by their quantities, their qualities, their dimensions, their forces and attributes, all begotten by the NUMBER? The infinitude of the Numbers is a fact proven to our mind, but of which no proof can be physically

 


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given. The mathematician will tell us that the infinitude of the numbers exists but is not to be demonstrated. God is a Number endowed with motion, which is felt but not demonstrated. As Unity, it begins the Numbers, with which it has nothing in common. . . . . The existence of the Number depends on Unity, which, without a single Number, begets them all. . . . . What! unable either to measure the first abstraction yielded to you by the Deity, or to get hold of it, you still hope to subject to your measurements the mystery of the Secret Sciences which emanate from that Deity? . . . . And what would you feel, were I to plunge you into the abysses of MOTION, the Force which organizes the Number? What would you think, were I to add that Motion and Number* are begotten by the WORD, the Supreme Reason of the Seers and Prophets, who, in days of old, sensed the mighty Breath of God, a witness to which is the Apocalypse?"

 

(b) "The radiant essence curdled and spread throughout the depths" of Space. From an astronomical point of view this is easy of explanation: it is the "milky way," the world-stuff, or primordial matter in its first form. It is more difficult, however, to explain it in a few words or even lines, from the standpoint of Occult Science and Symbolism, as it is the most complicated of glyphs. Herein are enshrined more than a dozen symbols. To begin with, the whole pantheon of mysterious objects,** every one of them having some definite Occult meaning, extracted from the allegorical "churning of the ocean" by the Hindu gods. Besides Amrita, the water of life or immortality, "Surabhi" the "cow of plenty," called "the fountain of milk and curds," was extracted from this "Sea of Milk." Hence the universal adoration of the cow and bull, one the productive, the other the generative power in Nature: symbols connected with both the Solar and the Cosmic deities. The specific properties, for occult purposes, of the "fourteen precious things," being explained only at the fourth Initiation, cannot be given here; but the following may be remarked. In the "Satapatha Brahmana" it is stated that the churning of the "Ocean of Milk" took place in the Satya Yug, the first age which immediately followed the "Deluge." As, however, neither the Rig-Veda nor

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Number, truly; but never MOTION. It is Motion which begets the Logos, the Word, in occultism.

 

** The "Fourteen precious things." The narrative or allegory is found in the Satapatha Brahmana and others. The Japanese Secret Science of the Buddhist Mystics, the Yamabooshi, has "seven precious things." We will speak of them, hereafter.

 


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Manu -- both preceding Vaivasvata's "deluge," that of the bulk of the Fourth Race -- mention this deluge, it is evident that it is not the "great" deluge, nor that which carried away Atlantis, nor even the deluge of Noah, which is meant here. This "churning" relates to a period before the earth's formation, and is in direct connection with that other universal legend, the various and contradictory versions of which culminated in the Christian dogma of the "War in Heaven," and the fall of the Angels (see Book II., also Revelations chap. xii.). The Brahmanas, reproached by the Orientalists with their versions on the same subjects, often clashing with each other, are pre-eminently occult works, hence used purposely as blinds. They were allowed to survive for public use and property only because they were and are absolutely unintelligible to the masses. Otherwise they would have disappeared from circulation as long ago as the days of Akbar.

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

5. THE ROOT REMAINS, THE LIGHT REMAINS, THE CURDS REMAIN, AND STILL OEAOHOO (a) IS ONE (b).

 

(a) OEAOHOO is rendered "Father-Mother of the Gods" in the Commentaries, or the SIX IN ONE, or the septenary root from which all proceeds. All depends upon the accent given to these seven vowels, which may be pronounced as one, three, or even seven syllables by adding an e after the letter "o." This mystic name is given out, because without a thorough mastery of the triple pronunciation it remains for ever ineffectual.

 

(b) This refers to the Non-Separateness of all that lives and has its being, whether in active or passive state. In one sense, Oeaohoo is the "Rootless Root of All"; hence, one with Parabrahmam; in another sense it is a name for the manifested ONE LIFE, the Eternal living Unity. The "Root" means, as already explained, pure knowledge (Sattva),*

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* The original for Understanding is Sattva, which Sankara (acharya) renders antahkarana. "Refined," he says, "by sacrifices and other sanctifying operations." In the Katha, at p. 148, Sattva is said by Sankara to mean buddhi -- a common use of the word. ("The BHAGAVATGITA with The Sanatsugatiya and The Anugita," trans- [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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eternal (Nitya) unconditioned reality or SAT (Satya), whether we call it Parabrahmam or Mulaprakriti, for these are the two aspects of the ONE. The "Light" is the same Omnipresent Spiritual Ray, which has entered and now fecundated the Divine Egg, and calls cosmic matter to begin its long series of differentiations. The curds are the first differentiation, and probably refer also to that cosmic matter which is supposed to be the origin of the "Milky Way" -- the matter we know. This "matter," which, according to the revelation received from the primeval Dhyani-Buddhas, is, during the periodical sleep of the Universe, of the ultimate tenuity conceivable to the eye of the perfect Bodhisatva -- this matter, radical and cool, becomes, at the first reawakening of cosmic motion, scattered through Space; appearing, when seen from the Earth, in clusters and lumps, like curds in thin milk. These are the seeds of the future worlds, the "Star-stuff."

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

6. THE ROOT OF LIFE WAS IN EVERY DROP OF THE OCEAN OF IMMORTALITY (Amrita)* AND THE OCEAN WAS RADIANT LIGHT, WHICH WAS FIRE AND HEAT AND MOTION. DARKNESS VANISHED AND WAS NO MORE.** IT DISAPPEARED IN ITS OWN ESSENCE, THE BODY OF FIRE AND WATER, OF FATHER AND MOTHER (a).

 

(a) The essence of darkness being absolute light, Darkness is taken as the appropriate allegorical representation of the condition of the Universe during Pralaya, or the term of absolute rest, or non-being, as it appears to our finite minds. The "fire," "heat," and "motion" here spoken of, are, of course, not the fire, heat, and motion of physical science, but the underlying abstractions, the noumena, or the soul, of the essence of these material manifestations -- the "things in themselves," which, as modern science confesses, entirely elude the instru-

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

[[Footnote continued from previous page]] lated by Kashinath Trimbak Telang, M.A.; edited by Max Muller.) Whatever meaning various schools may give the term, Sattva is the name given among Occult students of the Aryasanga School to the dual Monad or Atma-buddhi, and Atma-buddhi on this plane corresponds to Parabrahm and Mulaprakriti on the higher plane.

 

* Amrita is "immortality."

 

** See Commentary No. 1 to this Stanza.

 


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ments of the laboratory, and which even the mind cannot grasp, although it can equally little avoid the conclusion that these underlying essences of things must exist. Fire and Water, or Father* and Mother, may be taken here to mean the divine Ray and Chaos. "Chaos, from this union with Spirit obtaining sense, shone with pleasure, and thus was produced the Protogonos (the first-born light)," says a fragment of Hermas. Damascius calls it Dis in "Theogony" -- "The disposer of all things." (See Cory's "Ancient Fragments," p. 314.)

 

According to the Rosicrucian tenets, as handled and explained by the profane for once correctly, if only partially, so "Light and Darkness are identical in themselves, being only divisible in the human mind"; and according to Robert Fludd, "Darkness adopted illumination in order to make itself visible" (On Rosenkranz). According to the tenets of Eastern Occultism, DARKNESS is the one true actuality, the basis and the root of light, without which the latter could never manifest itself, nor even exist. Light is matter, and DARKNESS pure Spirit. Darkness, in its radical, metaphysical basis, is subjective and absolute light; while the latter in all its seeming effulgence and glory, is merely a mass of shadows, as it can never be eternal, and is simply an illusion, or Maya.

 

Even in the mind-baffling and science-harassing Genesis, light is created out of darkness "and darkness was upon the face of the deep" (ch. i. v. 2.) -- and not vice versa. "In him (in darkness) was life; and the life was the light of men" (John i. 4). A day may come when the eyes of men will be opened; and then they may comprehend better than they do now, that verse in the Gospel of John that says "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not." They will see then that the word "darkness" does not apply to man's spiritual eyesight, but indeed to "Darkness," the absolute, that comprehendeth not (cannot cognize) transient light, however transcendent to human eyes. Demon est Deus inversus. The devil is now called Darkness by the Church, whereas, in the Bible he is called the "Son of God" (see Job), the bright star of the early morning, Lucifer (see Isaiah). There is a whole philosophy of dogmatic craft in the reason why the first Archangel, who sprang from the depths of Chaos, was called Lux (Lucifer), the "Luminous Son of the Morning," or man-

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* See "Kwan-Shai-Yin." The real name from the text cannot be given.

 


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vantaric Dawn. He was transformed by the Church into Lucifer or Satan, because he is higher and older than Jehovah, and had to be sacrificed to the new dogma. (See Book II.)

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

7. BEHOLD, OH LANOO!** THE RADIANT CHILD OF THE TWO, THE UNPARALLELED REFULGENT GLORY, BRIGHT SPACE, SON OF DARK SPACE, WHO EMERGES FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE GREAT DARK WATERS. IT IS OEAOHOO, THE YOUNGER, THE * * * (whom thou knowest now as Kwan-Shai-Yin. -- Comment) (a). HE SHINES FORTH AS THE SUN. HE IS THE BLAZING DIVINE DRAGON OF WISDOM. THE EKA IS CHATUR (four), AND CHATUR TAKES TO ITSELF THREE, AND THE UNION PRODUCES THE SAPTA (seven) IN WHOM ARE THE SEVEN WHICH BECOME THE TRIDASA*** (the thrice ten) THE HOSTS AND THE MULTITUDES (b). BEHOLD HIM LIFTING THE VEIL, AND UNFURLING IT FROM EAST TO WEST. HE SHUTS OUT THE ABOVE AND LEAVES THE BELOW TO BE SEEN AS THE GREAT ILLUSION. HE MARKS THE PLACES FOR THE SHINING ONES (stars) AND TURNS THE UPPER (space) INTO A SHORELESS SEA OF FIRE, AND THE ONE MANIFESTED (element) INTO THE GREAT WATERS (c).

 

"Bright Space, son of dark Space," corresponds to the Ray dropped at the first thrill of the new "Dawn" into the great Cosmic depths, from which it re-emerges differentiated as Oeaohoo the younger, (the "new LIFE"), to become, to the end of the life-cycle, the germ of all things. He is "the Incorporeal man who contains in himself the divine Idea," -- the generator of Light and Life, to use an expression of Philo Judaeus. He is called the "Blazing Dragon of Wisdom,"

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

** Lanoo is a student, a chela who studies practical Esotericism.

 

*** "Tri-dasa," or three times ten (30), alludes to the Vedic deities, in round numbers, or more accurately 33 -- a sacred number. They are the 12 Adityas, the 8 Vasus, the 11 Rudras, and 2 Aswins -- the twin sons of the Sun and the Sky. This is the root-number of the Hindu Pantheon, which enumerates 33 crores or over three hundred millions of gods and goddesses.

 


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because, firstly, he is that which the Greek philosophers called the Logos, the Verbum of the Thought Divine; and secondly, because in Esoteric philosophy this first manifestation, being the synthesis or the aggregate of Universal Wisdom, Oeaohoo, "the Son of the Son," contains in himself the Seven Creative Hosts (The Sephiroth), and is thus the essence of manifested Wisdom. "He who bathes in the light of Oeaohoo will never be deceived by the veil of Maya."

 

Kwan-Shai-Yin is identical with, and an equivalent of the Sanskrit Avalokiteshwara, and as such he is an androgynous deity, like the Tetragrammaton and all the Logoi* of antiquity. It is only by some sects in China that he is anthropomorphized and represented with female attributes,** when, under his female aspect, he becomes Kwan-Yin, the goddess of mercy, called the "Divine Voice."*** The latter is the patron deity of Thibet and of the island of Puto in China, where both deities have a number of monasteries.**** (See Part II. Kwan-Shai-Yin and Kwan-yin.)

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Hence all the higher gods of antiquity are all "Sons of the Mother" before they become those of the "Father." The Logoi, like Jupiter or Zeus, Son of Kronos-Saturn, "Infinite Time" (or Kala), in their origin were represented as male-female. Zeus is said to be the "beautiful Virgin," and Venus is made bearded. Apollo is originally bisexual, so is Brahma-Vach in Manu and the Puranas. Osiris is interchangeable with Isis, and Horus is of both sexes. Finally St. John's vision in Revelation, that of the Logos, who is now connected with Jesus -- is hermaphrodite, for he is described as having female breasts. So is the Tetragrammaton = Jehovah. But there are two Avalokiteshwaras in Esotericism; the first and the second Logos.

 

** No religious symbol can escape profanation and even derision in our days of politics and Science. In Southern India the writer has seen a converted native making pujah with offerings before a statue of Jesus clad in woman's clothes and with a ring in his nose. When asking the meaning of the masquerade we were answered that it was Jesu-Maria blended in one, and that it was done by the permission of the Padri, as the zealous convert had no money to purchase two statues or "idols" as they, very properly, were called by a witness -- another but a non-converted Hindu. Blasphemous this will appear to a dogmatic Christian, but the Theosophist and the Occultist must award the palm of logic to the converted Hindu. The esoteric Christos in the gnosis is, of course, sexless, but in exoteric theology he is male and female.

 

*** The Gnostic Sophia, "Wisdom" who is "the Mother" of the Ogdoad (Aditi, in a certain sense, with her eight sons), is the Holy Ghost and the Creator of all, as in the ancient systems. The "father" is a far later invention. The earliest manifested Logos was female everywhere -- the mother of the seven planetary powers.

 

**** See "Chinese Buddhism," by the Rev. J. C. Edkins, who always gives correct facts, although his conclusions are very frequently erroneous.

 


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(b) "The "Dragon of Wisdom" is the One, the "Eka" (Sanskrit) or Saka. It is curious that Jehovah's name in Hebrew should also be One, Echod. "His name is Echod": say the Rabbins. The philologists ought to decide which of the two is derived from the other -- linguistically and symbolically: surely, not the Sanskrit? The "One" and the Dragon are expressions used by the ancients in connection with their respective Logoi. Jehovah -- esoterically (as Elohim) -- is also the Serpent or Dragon that tempted Eve, and the "Dragon" is an old glyph for "Astral Light" (Primordial Principle), "which is the Wisdom of Chaos." Archaic philosophy, recognizing neither Good nor Evil as a fundamental or independent power, but starting from the Absolute ALL (Universal Perfection eternally), traced both through the course of natural evolution to pure Light condensing gradually into form, hence becoming Matter or Evil. It was left with the early and ignorant Christian fathers to degrade the philosophical and highly scientific idea of this emblem (the Dragon) into the absurd superstition called the "Devil." They took it from the later Zoroastrians, who saw devils or the Evil in the Hindu Devas, and the word Evil thus became by a double transmutation D'Evil in every tongue (Diabolos, Diable, Diavolo, Teufel). But the Pagans have always shown a philosophical discrimination in their symbols. The primitive symbol of the serpent symbolised divine Wisdom and Perfection, and had always stood for psychical Regeneration and Immortality. Hence -- Hermes, calling the serpent the most spiritual of all beings; Moses, initiated in the wisdom of Hermes, following suit in Genesis; the Gnostic's Serpent with the seven vowels over its head, being the emblem of the seven hierarchies of the Septenary or Planetary Creators. Hence, also, the Hindu serpent Sesha or Ananta, "the Infinite," a name of Vishnu, whose first Vahan or vehicle on the primordial waters is this serpent.* Yet they all made a difference between the good and the bad Serpent (the Astral Light of

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Like the logoi and the Hierarchies of Powers, however, the "Serpents" have to be distinguished one from the other. Sesha or Ananta, "the couch of Vishnu," is an allegorical abstraction, symbolizing infinite Time in Space, which contains the germ and throws off periodically the efflorescence of this germ, the manifested Universe; whereas, the gnostic Ophis contained the same triple symbolism in its seven vowels as the One, Three and Seven-syllabled Oeaohoo of the Archaic doctrine; i.e., the One Unmanifested Logos, the Second manifested, the triangle concreting into the Quaternary or Tetragrammaton, and the rays of the latter on the material plane.

 


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the Kabalists) -- between the former, the embodiment of divine Wisdom in the region of the Spiritual, and the latter, Evil, on the plane of matter.* Jesus accepted the serpent as a synonym of Wisdom, and this formed part of his teaching: "Be ye wise as serpents," he says. "In the beginning, before Mother became Father-Mother, the fiery Dragon moved in the infinitudes alone" (Book of Sarparajni.) The Aitareya Brahmana calls the Earth Sarparajni, "the Serpent Queen," and "the Mother of all that moves." Before our globe became egg-shaped (and the Universe also) "a long trail of Cosmic dust (or fire mist) moved and writhed like a serpent in Space." The "Spirit of God moving on Chaos" was symbolized by every nation in the shape of a fiery serpent breathing fire and light upon the primordial waters, until it had incubated cosmic matter and made it assume the annular shape of a serpent with its tail in its mouth -- which symbolises not only Eternity and Infinitude, but also the globular shape of all the bodies formed within the Universe from that fiery mist. The Universe, as well as the Earth and Man, cast off periodically, serpent-like, their old skins, to assume new ones after a time of rest. The serpent is, surely, a not less graceful or a more unpoetical image than the caterpillar and chrysalis from which springs the butterfly, the Greek emblem of Psyche, the human soul. The "Dragon" was also the symbol of the Logos with the Egyptians, as with the Gnostics. In the "Book of Hermes," Pymander, the oldest and the most spiritual of the Logoi of the Western Continent, appears to Hermes in the shape of a Fiery Dragon of "Light, Fire, and Flame." Pymander, the "Thought Divine" personified, says: The Light is me, I am the Nous (the mind or Manu), I am thy God, and I am far older than the human principle which escapes from the shadow ("Darkness," or the concealed Deity). I am the germ of thought, the resplendent Word, the Son of God. All that thus sees and hears in thee is the Verbum of the Master, it is the Thought (Mahat) which is God, the Father.**

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* The Astral Light, or the AEther, of the ancient pagans (for the name of Astral Light is quite modern) is Spirit-Matter. Beginning with the pure spiritual plane, it becomes grosser as it descends until it becomes the Maya or the tempting and deceitful serpent on our plane.

 

** By "God, the Father," the seventh principle in Man and Kosmos are here unmistakeably meant, this principle being inseparable in its Esse and Nature from the seventh Cosmic principle. In one sense it is the Logos of the Greeks and the Avalokiteswara of the esoteric Buddhists.

 


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The celestial Ocean, the 'Ether . . . . is the Breath of the Father, the life-giving principle, the Mother, the Holy Spirit, . . . . for these are not separated, and their union is LIFE."

 

Here we find the unmistakeable echo of the Archaic Secret Doctrine, as now expounded. Only the latter does not place at the head and Evolution of Life "the Father," who comes third and is the "Son of the Mother," but the "Eternal and Ceaseless Breath of the ALL." The Mahat (Understanding, Universal Mind, Thought, etc.), before it manifests itself as Brahma or Siva, appears as Vishnu, says Sankhya Sara (p. 16); hence Mahat has several aspects, just as the logos has. Mahat is called the Lord, in the Primary Creation, and is, in this sense, Universal Cognition or Thought Divine; but, "That Mahat which was first produced is (afterwards) called Ego-ism, when it is born as "I," that is said to be the second Creation" (Anugita, ch. xxvi.). And the translator (an able and learned Brahmin, not a European Orientalist) explains in a foot-note (6), "i.e., when Mahat develops into the feeling of Self-Consciousness -- I -- then it assumes the name of Egoism," which, translated into our esoteric phraseology, means when Mahat is transformed into the human Manas (or even that of the finite gods), and becomes Aham-ship. Why it is called the Mahat of the Second creation (or the ninth, that of the Kumara in Vishnu Purana) will be explained in Book II. The "Sea of Fire" is then the Super-Astral (i.e., noumenal) Light, the first radiation from the Root, the Mulaprakriti, the undifferentiated Cosmic Substance, which becomes Astral Matter. It is also called the "Fiery Serpent," as above described. If the student bears in mind that there is but One Universal Element, which is infinite, unborn, and undying, and that all the rest -- as in the world of phenomena -- are but so many various differentiated aspects and transformations (correlations, they are now called) of that One, from Cosmical down to microcosmical effects, from super-human down to human and sub-human beings, the totality, in short, of objective existence -- then the first and chief difficulty will disappear and Occult Cosmology may be mastered.* All the Kabalists and Occultists, Eastern and Western, recognise (a)

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* In the Egyptian as in the Indian theogony there was a concealed deity, the ONE, and the creative, androgynous god. Thus Shoo is the god of creation and Osiris is, in his original primary form, the "god whose name is unknown." (See Mariette's Abydos II., p. 63, and Vol. III., pp. 413, 414, No. 1122.)

 


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the identity of "Father-Mother" with primordial AEther or Akasa, (Astral Light)*; and (b) its homogeneity before the evolution of the "Son," cosmically Fohat, for it is Cosmic Electricity. "Fohat hardens and scatters the seven brothers" (Book III. Dzyan); which means that the primordial Electric Entity -- for the Eastern Occultists insist that Electricity is an Entity -- electrifies into life, and separates primordial stuff or pregenetic matter into atoms, themselves the source of all life and consciousness. "There exists an universal agent unique of all forms and of life, that is called Od,** Ob, and Aour, active and passive, positive and negative, like day and night: it is the first light in Creation" (Eliphas Levi's Kabala):--- the first Light of the primordial Elohim -- the Adam, "male and female" -- or (scientifically) ELECTRICITY AND LIFE.

 

(c) The ancients represented it by a serpent, for "Fohat hisses as he glides hither and thither" (in zigzags). The Kabala figures it with the Hebrew letter Teth [[hebrew]], whose symbol is the serpent which played such a prominent part in the Mysteries. Its universal value is nine, for it is the ninth letter of the alphabet and the ninth door of the fifty portals or gateways that lead to the concealed mysteries of being. It is the magical agent par excellence, and designates in Hermetic philosophy "Life infused into primordial matter," the essence that composes all things, and the spirit that determines their form. But there are two secret Hermetical operations, one spiritual, the other material-correlative, and for ever united. "Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the solid . . . that which ascends from earth to heaven and descends again from heaven to earth. It (the subtile light), is the strong force of every force, for it conquers every subtile thing and penetrates into every solid. Thus was the world formed" (Hermes).

 

It was not Zeno alone, the founder of the Stoics, who taught that the

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* See next note.

 

** Od is the pure life-giving Light, or magnetic fluid; Ob the messenger of death used by the sorcerers, the nefarious evil fluid; Aour is the synthesis of the two, Astral Light proper. Can the Philologists tell why Od -- a term used by Reichenbach to denominate the vital fluid -- is also a Tibetan word meaning light, brightness, radiancy? It equally means "Sky" in an occult sense. Whence the root of the word? But Akasa is not quite Ether, but far higher than that, as will be shown.

 


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Universe evolves, when its primary substance is transformed from the state of fire into that of air, then into water, etc. Heracleitus of Ephesus maintained that the one principle that underlies all phenomena in Nature is fire. The intelligence that moves the Universe is fire, and fires is intelligence. And while Anaximenes said the same of air, and Thales of Miletus (600 years B.C.) of water, the Esoteric Doctrine reconciles all those philosophers by showing that though each was right the system of none was complete.

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

8. WHERE WAS THE GERM, AND WHERE WAS NOW DARKNESS? WHERE IS THE SPIRIT OF THE FLAME THAT BURNS IN THY LAMP, OH LANOO? THE GERM IS THAT, AND THAT IS LIGHT; THE WHITE BRILLIANT SON OF THE DARK HIDDEN FATHER (a).

 

(a) The answer to the first question, suggested by the second, which is the reply of the teacher to the pupil, contains in a single phrase one of the most essential truths of occult philosophy. It indicates the existence of things imperceptible to our physical senses which are of far greater importance, more real and more permanent, than those that appeal to these senses themselves. Before the Lanoo can hope to understand the transcendentally metaphysical problem contained in the first question he must be able to answer the second, while the very answer he gives to the second will furnish him with the clue to the correct reply to the first.

 

In the Sanscrit Commentary on this Stanza, the terms used for the concealed and the unrevealed Principle are many. In the earliest MSS. of Indian literature this Unrevealed, Abstract Deity has no name. It is called generally "That" (Tad in Sanskrit), and means all that is, was, and will be, or that can be so received by the human mind.

 

Among such appellations, given, of course, only in esoteric philosophy, as the "Unfathomable Darkness," the "Whirlwind," etc. -- it is also called the "It of the Kalahansa, the Kala-ham-sa," and even the "Kali Hamsa," (Black swan). Here the m and the n are convertible, and

 


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both sound like the nasal French an or am, or, again, en or em (Ennui, Embarras, etc.) As in the Hebrew Bible, many a mysterious sacred name in Sanscrit conveys to the profane ear no more than some ordinary, and often vulgar word, because it is concealed anagrammatically or otherwise. This word of Hansa or esoterically "hamsa" is just such a case. Hamsa is equal to a-ham-sa, three words meaning "I am he" (in English), while divided in still another way it will read "So-ham," "he (is) I" -- Soham being equal to Sah, "he," and aham, "I," or "I am he." In this alone is contained the universal mystery, the doctrine of the identity of man's essence with god-essence, for him who understands the language of wisdom. Hence the glyph of, and the allegory about, Kalahansa (or hamsa), and the name given to Brahma neuter (later on, to the male Brahma) of "Hansa-Vahana," he who uses the Hansa as his vehicle." The same word may be read "Kalaham-sa" or "I am I" in the eternity of Time, answering to the Biblical, or rather Zoroastrian "I am that I am." The same doctrine is found in the Kabala, as witness the following extract from an unpublished MS. by Mr. S. Liddell McGregor Mathers, the learned Kabalist: "The three pronouns [[hebrew]], Hoa, Atah, Ani; He, Thou, I; are used to symbolize the ideas of Macroprosopus and Microprosopus in the Hebrew Qabalah. Hoa, "He," is applied to the hidden and concealed Macroprosopus; Atah, "Thou," to Microprosopus; and Ani, "I," to the latter when He is represented as speaking. (See Lesser Holy Assembly, 204 et seq.) It is to be noted that each of these names consists of three letters, of which the letter Aleph [[hebrew]], A, forms the conclusion of the first word Hoa, and the commencement of Atah and Ani, as if it were the connecting link between them. But [[hebrew]] is the symbol of the Unity and consequently of the unvarying Idea of the Divine operating through all these. But behind the [[hebrew]] in the name Hoa are the letters [[hebrew]] and [[hebrew]], the symbols of the numbers Six and Five, the Male and the Female, the Hexagram and the Pentagram. And the numbers of these three words, Hoa Atah Ani, are 12, 406, and 61, which are resumed in the key numbers of 3, 10, and 7, by the Qabalah of the Nine Chambers, which is a form of the exegetical rule of Temura."

 

It is useless to attempt to explain the mystery in full. Materialists and the men of modern Science will never understand it, since, in order

 


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to obtain clear perception of it, one has first of all to admit the postulate of a universally diffused, omnipresent, eternal Deity in Nature; secondly, to have fathomed the mystery of electricity in its true essence; and thirdly, to credit man with being the septenary symbol, on the terrestrial plane, of the One Great UNIT (the Logos), which is Itself the Seven-vowelled sign, the Breath crystallized into the WORD.* He who believes in all this, has also to believe in the multiple combination of the seven planets of Occultism and of the Kabala, with the twelve zodiacal signs; to attribute, as we do, to each planet and to each constellation an influence which, in the words of Ely Star (a French Occultist), "is proper to it, beneficent or maleficent, and this, after the planetary Spirit which rules it, who, in his turn, is capable of influencing men and things which are found in harmony with him and with which he has any affinity." For these reasons, and since few believe in the foregoing, all that can now be given is that in both cases the symbol of Hansa (whether "I," "He," Goose or Swan) is an important symbol, representing, for instance, Divine Wisdom, Wisdom in darkness beyond the reach of men. For all exoteric purposes, Hansa, as every Hindu knows, is a fabulous bird, which, when given milk mixed with water for its food (in the allegory) separated the two, drinking the milk and leaving the water; thus showing inherent wisdom -- milk standing symbolically for spirit, and water for matter.

 

That this allegory is very ancient and dates from the very earliest archaic period, is shown by the mention (in Bhagavata Purana) of a certain caste named "Hamsa" or "Hansa," which was the "one caste" par excellence; when far back in the mists of a forgotten past there was among the Hindus only "One Veda, One Deity, One Caste." There is also a range in the Himalayas, described in the old books as being situated north of Mount Meru, called "Hamsa," and connected with episodes pertaining to the history of religious mysteries and initiations. As to the name of Kala-Hansa being the supposed vehicle of Brahma-Prajapati, in the exoteric texts and translations of the

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* This is again similar to the doctrine of Fichte and German Pantheists. The former reveres Jesus as the great teacher who inculcated the unity of the spirit of man with the God-Spirit (the Adwaita doctrine) or universal Principle. It is difficult to find a single speculation in Western metaphysics which has not been anticipated by Archaic Eastern philosophy. From Kant to Herbert Spencer, it is all a more or less distorted echo of the Dwaita, Adwaita, and Vedantic doctrines generally.

 


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Orientalists, it is quite a mistake. Brahma, the neuter, is called by them Kala-Hansa and Brahma, the male, Hansa-Vahana, because forsooth "his vehicle or Vahan is a swan or goose" (vide "the Hindu Classical Dictionary.") This is a purely exoteric gloss. Esoterically and logically, if Brahma, the infinite, is all that is described by the Orientalists, namely, agreeably with the Vedantic texts, an abstract deity in no way characterised by the description of any human attributes, and it is still maintained that he or it is called Kala-Hansa -- then how can it ever become the Vahan of Brahma, the manifested finite god? It is quite the reverse. The "Swan or goose" (Hansa) is the symbol of that male or temporary deity, as he, the emanation of the primordial Ray, is made to serve as a Vahan or vehicle for that divine Ray, which otherwise could not manifest itself in the Universe, being, antiphrastically, itself an emanation of "Darkness" -- for our human intellect, at any rate. It is Brahma, then, who is Kala-Hansa, and the Ray, the Hansa-Vahana.

 

As to the strange symbol chosen, it is equally suggestive; the true mystic significance being the idea of a universal matrix, figured by the primordial waters of the "deep," or the opening for the reception, and subsequently for the issue, of that one ray (the Logos), which contains in itself the other seven procreative rays or powers (the logoi or builders). Hence the choice by the Rosecroix of the aquatic fowl -- whether swan or pelican,* with seven young ones for a symbol, modified and adapted to the religion of every country. En-Soph is called the "Fiery Soul of the Pelican" in the Book of Numbers.** (See Part II. "The Hidden Deity and its Symbols and Glyphs.") Appearing with every Manvantara as Narayan, or Swayambhuva (the

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* Whether the genus of the bird be cygnus, anser, or pelecanus, it is no matter, as it is an aquatic bird floating or moving on the waters like the Spirit, and then issuing from those waters to give birth to other beings. The true significance of the symbol of the Eighteenth Degree of the Rose-Croix is precisely this, though poetised later on into the motherly feeling of the Pelican rending its bosom to feed its seven little ones with its blood.

 

** The reason why Moses forbids eating the pelican and swan, classing the two among the unclean fowls, and permits eating "bald locusts, beetles, and the grasshopper after his kind" (Leviticus xi. and Deuteronomy xiv.) is a purely physiological one, and has to do with mystic symbology only in so far as the word "unclean," like every other word, ought not to be read and understood literally, as it is esoteric like all the [[Footnote continued on next page]]

 


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Self-Existent), and penetrating into the Mundane Egg, it emerges from it at the end of the divine incubation as Brahma or Prajapati, a progenitor of the future Universe into which he expands. He is Purusha (spirit), but he is also Prakriti (matter). Therefore it is only after separating himself into two halves -- Brahma-vach (the female) and Brahma-Viraj (the male), that the Prajapati becomes the male Brahma.

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

9. LIGHT IS COLD FLAME, AND FLAME IS FIRE, AND THE FIRE PRODUCES HEAT, WHICH YIELDS WATER, THE WATER OF LIFE IN THE GREAT MOTHER (Chaos) (a).

 

(a) It must be remembered that the words "Light," "Fire," and "Flame" used in the Stanzas have been adopted by the translators thereof from the vocabulary of the old "Fire philosophers,"** in order to render better the meaning of the archaic terms and symbols employed in the original. Otherwise they would have remained entirely unintelligible to a European reader. But to a student of the Occult the terms used will be sufficiently clear.

 

All these -- "Light," "Flame," "Hot," "Cold," "Fire," "Heat," "Water," and the "water of life" are all, on our plane, the progeny; or as a modern physicist would say, the correlations of ELECTRICITY. Mighty word, and a still mightier symbol! Sacred generator of a no less sacred progeny; of fire -- the creator, the preserver and the destroyer; of light -- the essence of our divine ancestors; of flame -- the Soul of things. Electricity, the ONE Life at the upper rung of Being, and Astral Fluid, the Athanor of the Alchemists, at its lowest; GOD and DEVIL, GOOD and EVIL. . . .

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

[[Footnote continued from previous page]] rest, and may as well mean "holy" as not. It is a blind, very suggestive in connection with certain superstitions -- e.g., that of the Russian people who will not use the pigeon for food; not because it is "unclean," but because the "Holy Ghost" is credited with having appeared under the form of a Dove.

 

** Not the Mediaeval Alchemists, but the Magi and Fire-Worshippers, from whom the Rosicrucians or the Philosophers per ignem, the successors of the theurgists borrowed all their ideas concerning Fire, as a mystic and divine element.

 


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Now, why is Light called in the Stanzas "cold flame"? Because in the order of Cosmic evolution (as taught by the Occultist), the energy that actuates matter after its first formation into atoms is generated on our plane by Cosmic heat; and because Kosmos, in the sense of dissociated matter, was not, before that period. The first primordial matter, eternal and coeval with Space, "which has neither a beginning nor an end," is "neither hot nor cold, but is of its own special nature," says the Commentary (Book II). Heat and cold are relative qualities and pertain to the realms of the manifested worlds, which all proceed from the manifested Hyle, which, in its absolutely latent aspect, is referred to as the "cold Virgin," and when awakened to life, as the "Mother." The ancient Western Cosmogonic myths state that at first there was but cold mist which was the Father, and the prolific slime (the Mother, Ilus or Hyle), from which crept forth the Mundane snake-matter, (Isis, vol. i., p. 146). Primordial matter, then, before it emerges from the plane of the never-manifesting, and awakens to the thrill of action under the impulse of Fohat, is but "a cool Radiance, colourless, formless, tasteless, and devoid of every quality and aspect." Even such are her first-born, the "four sons," who "are One, and become Seven," -- the entities, by whose qualifications and names the ancient Eastern Occultists called the four of the seven primal "centres of Forces," or atoms, that develop later into the great Cosmic "Elements," now divided into the seventy or so sub-elements, known to science. The four primal natures of the first Dhyan Chohans, are the so-called (for want of better terms) "Akasic," "Ethereal," "Watery," and "Fiery," answering, in the terminology of practical occultism, to scientific definitions of gases, which, to convey a clear idea to both Occultists and laymen, must be defined as Parahydrogenic,* Paraoxygenic, Oxyhydrogenic, and Ozonic, or perhaps Nitr-ozonic; the latter forces or gases (in Occultism, supersensuous, yet atomic substances) being the most effective and active when energising on the plane of more grossly differentiated matter.** These are both electro-positive and electro-negative.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* [[para]], "beyond," outside.

 

** Each of these and many more are probably the missing links of chemistry. They are known by other names in Alchemy and to the Occultists who practise in phenomenal powers. It is by combining and recombining in a certain way (or dissociating) the "Elements" by means of astral fire that the greatest phenomena are produced.

 


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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

10. FATHER-MOTHER SPIN A WEB WHOSE UPPER END IS FASTENED TO SPIRIT (Purusha), THE LIGHT OF THE ONE DARKNESS, AND THE LOWER ONE TO MATTER (Prakriti) ITS (the Spirit's) SHADOWY END; AND THIS WEB IS THE UNIVERSE SPUN OUT OF THE TWO SUBSTANCES MADE IN ONE, WHICH IS SWABHAVAT (a).

 

(a) In the Mandukya (Mundaka) Upanishad it is written, "As a spider throws out and retracts its web, as herbs spring up in the ground . . . so is the Universe derived from the undecaying one" (I. 1. 7). Brahma, as "the germ of unknown Darkness," is the material from which all evolves and develops "as the web from the spider, as foam from the water," etc. This is only graphic and true, if Brahma the "Creator" is, as a term, derived from the root brih, to increase or expand. Brahma "expands" and becomes the Universe woven out of his own substance.

 

The same idea has been beautifully expressed by Goethe, who says:

 

"Thus at the roaring loom of Time I ply,

And weave for God the garment thou see'st Him by."

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

11. IT (the Web) EXPANDS WHEN THE BREATH OF FIRE (the Father) IS UPON IT; IT CONTRACTS WHEN THE BREATH OF THE MOTHER (the root of Matter) TOUCHES IT. THEN THE SONS (the Elements with their respective Powers, or Intelligences) DISSOCIATE AND SCATTER, TO RETURN INTO THEIR MOTHER'S BOSOM AT THE END OF THE "GREAT DAY" AND REBECOME ONE WITH HER (a). WHEN IT (the Web) IS COOLING, IT BECOMES RADIANT, ITS SONS EXPAND AND CONTRACT THROUGH THEIR OWN SELVES AND HEARTS; THEY EMBRACE INFINITUDE. (b)

 

The expanding of the Universe under the breath of FIRE is very suggestive in the light of the "Fire mist" period of which modern science speaks so much, and knows in reality so little.

 

Great heat breaks up the compound elements and resolves the

 


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heavenly bodies into their primeval one element, explains the commentary. "Once disintegrated into its primal constituent by getting within the attraction and reach of a focus, or centre of heat (energy), of which many are carried about to and fro in space, a body, whether alive or dead, will be vapourised and held in "the bosom of the Mother" until Fohat, gathering a few of the clusters of Cosmic matter (nebulae) will, by giving it an impulse, set it in motion anew, develop the required heat, and then leave it to follow its own new growth.

 

The expanding and contracting of the Web -- i.e., the world stuff or atoms -- expresses here the pulsatory movement; for it is the regular contraction and expansion of the infinite and shoreless Ocean of that which we may call the noumenon of matter emanated by Swabhavat, which causes the universal vibration of atoms. But it is also suggestive of something else. It shows that the ancients were acquainted with that which is now the puzzle of many scientists and especially of astronomers: the cause of the first ignition of matter or the world-stuff, the paradox of the heat produced by the refrigerative contraction and other such Cosmic riddles. For it points unmistakeably to a knowledge by the ancients of such phenomena. "There is heat internal and heat external in every atom," say the manuscript Commentaries, to which the writer has had access; "the breath of the Father (or Spirit) and the breath (or heat) of the Mother (matter);" and they give explanations which show that the modern theory of the extinction of the solar fires by loss of heat through radiation, is erroneous. The assumption is false even on the Scientists' own admission. For as Professor Newcomb points out (Popular Astronomy, pp. 506-508), "by losing heat, a gaseous body contracts, and the heat generated by the contraction exceeds that which it had to lose in order to produce the contraction." This paradox, that a body gets hotter as the shrinking produced by its getting colder is greater, led to long disputes. The surplus of heat, it was argued, was lost by radiation, and to assume that the temperature is not lowered pari passu with a decrease of volume under a constant pressure, is to set at nought the law of Charles (Nebular Theory, Winchell). Contraction develops heat, it is true; but contraction (from cooling) is incapable of developing the whole amount of heat at any time existing in the mass, or even of maintaining a body at a constant temperature, etc. Professor Winchell tries to reconcile the paradox -- only a seeming one in fact, as

 


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Homer Lanes proved, -- by suggesting "something besides heat." "May it not be," he asks, "simply a repulsion among the molecules, which varies according to some law of the distance?" But even this will be found irreconcileable, unless this "something besides heat" is ticketed "Causeless Heat," the "Breath of Fire," the all-creative Force Plus ABSOLUTE INTELLIGENCE, which physical science is not likely to accept.

 

However it may be, the reading of this Stanza shows it, notwithstanding its archaic phraseology, to be more scientific than even modern science.

 

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STANZA III. -- Continued.

 

12. THEN SVABHAVAT SENDS FOHAT TO HARDEN THE ATOMS. EACH (of these) IS A PART OF THE WEB (Universe). REFLECTING THE "SELF-EXISTENT LORD" (Primeval Light) LIKE A MIRROR, EACH BECOMES IN TURN A WORLD.* . . .

 

"Fohat hardens the atoms"; i.e., by infusing energy into them: he scatters the atoms or primordial matter. "He scatters himself while scattering matter into atoms" (MSS. Commentaries.)

 

It is through Fohat that the ideas of the Universal Mind are impressed upon matter. Some faint idea of the nature of Fohat may be gathered from the appellation "Cosmic Electricity" sometimes applied to it; but to the commonly known properties of electricity must, in this case, be added others, including intelligence. It is of interest to note that modern science has come to the conclusion, that all cerebration and brain-activity are attended by electrical phenomena. (For further details as to "Fohat" See Stanza V. and Comments.")

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* This is said in the sense that the flame from a fire is endless, and that the lights of the whole Universe could be lit at one simple rush-light without diminishing its flame.

 

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STANZA IV.

 

COMMENTARY.

 

1. LISTEN, YE SONS OF THE EARTH, TO YOUR INSTRUCTORS -- THE SONS OF THE FIRE (a). LEARN THERE IS NEITHER FIRST NOR LAST; FOR ALL IS ONE NUMBER, ISSUED FROM NO NUMBER (b).

 

(a) These terms, the "Sons of the Fire," the "Sons of the Fire-Mist," and the like, require explanation. They are connected with a great primordial and universal mystery, and it is not easy to make it clear. There is a passage in the Bhagavatgita (ch. viii.) wherein Krishna, speaking symbolically and esoterically, says: "I will state the times (conditions) . . . at which devotees departing (from this life) do so never to return (be reborn), or to return (to incarnate again). The Fire, the Flame, the day, the bright (lucky) fortnight, the six months of the Northern solstice, departing (dying) in these, those who know the Brahman (Yogis) go to the Brahman. Smoke, night, the dark (unlucky) fortnight, the six months of the Southern solstice, (dying) in these, the devotee goes to the lunar light (or mansion the astral light also) and returns (is reborn). These two paths, bright and dark, are said to be eternal in this world (or great kalpa, 'Age'). By the one a man goes never to come back, by the other he returns." Now these names, "Fire," "Flame," "Day," the "bright fortnight," etc., as "Smoke," "Night," and so on, leading only to the end of the lunar path are incomprehensible without a knowledge of Esotericism. These are all names of various deities which preside over the Cosmo-psychic Powers. We often speak of the Hierarchy of "Flames" (see Book II.) of the "Sons of Fire," etc. Sankaracharya the greatest of the Esoteric masters of India, says that fire means a deity which presides over Time (kala). The able translator of Bhagavatgita, Kashinath Trimbak Telang, M.A., of Bombay, confesses he has "no clear notion of the meaning of these verses" (p. 81, footnote). It seems quite clear, on the contrary, to him who knows the occult doctrine. With these verses the mystic sense of the solar and lunar symbols are connected: the Pitris are lunar deities and our ancestors, because they created the physical man.

 


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The Agnishwatha, the Kumara (the seven mystic sages), are solar deities, though the former are Pitris also; and these are the "fashioners of the Inner Man." (See Book II.) They are:--

 

"The Sons of Fire" -- because they are the first Beings (in the Secret Doctrine they are called "Minds"), evolved from Primordial Fire. "The Lord is a consuming Fire" (Deuteronomy iv. 24); "The Lord (Christos) shall be revealed with his mighty angels in flaming fire" (2 Thessal. i. 7, 8). The Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles like "cloven tongues of fire," (Acts ii. v. 3); Vishnu will return on Kalki, the White Horse, as the last Avatar amid fire and flames; and Sosiosh will be brought down equally on a White Horse in a "tornado of fire." "And I saw heaven open and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him . . . . is called the Word of God," (Rev. xix. 13) amid flaming Fire. Fire is AEther in its purest form, and hence is not regarded as matter, but it is the unity of Aether -- the second manifested deity -- in its universality. But there are two "Fires" and a distinction is made between them in the Occult teachings. The first, or the purely Formless and invisible Fire concealed in the Central Spiritual Sun, is spoken of as "triple" (metaphysically); while the Fire of the manifested Kosmos is Septenary, throughout both the Universe and our Solar System. "The fire or knowledge burns up all action on the plane of illusion," says the commentary. "Therefore, those who have acquired it and are emancipated, are called 'Fires.' " Speaking of the seven senses symbolised as Hotris, priests, the Brahmana says in Anugita: "Thus these seven (senses, smell and taste, and colour, and sound, etc., etc.) are the causes of emancipation;" and the commentator adds: "It is from these seven from which the Self is to be emancipated. 'I' (am here devoid of qualities) must mean the Self, not the Brahmana who speaks." ("Sacred Books of the East," ed. by Max Muller, Vol. VIII., 278.)

 

(b) The expression "All is One Number, issued from No Number" relates again to that universal and philosophical tenet just explained in Stanza III. (Comm. 4). That which is absolute is of course No Number; but in its later significance it has an application in Space as in Time. It means that not only every increment of time is part of a larger increment, up to the most indefinitely prolonged duration conceivable by the human intellect, but also that no manifested thing can

 


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be thought of except as part of a larger whole: the total aggregate being the One manifested Universe that issues from the unmanifested or Absolute -- called Non-Being or "No-Number," to distinguish it from BEING or "the One Number."

 

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STANZA IV. -- Continued.

 

(2) LEARN WHAT WE, WHO DESCEND FROM THE PRIMORDIAL SEVEN, WE, WHO ARE BORN FROM THE PRIMORDIAL FLAME, HAVE LEARNED FROM OUR FATHERS (a).

 

(a) This is explained in Book II., and this name, "Primordial Flame," corroborates what is said in the first paragraph of the preceding commentary on Stanza IV.

 

The distinction between the "Primordial" and the subsequent seven Builders is this: The former are the Ray and direct emanation of the first "Sacred Four," the Tetraktis, that is, the eternally Self-Existent One (Eternal in Essence note well, not in manifestation, and distinct from the universal ONE). Latent, during Pralaya, and active, during Manvantara, the "Primordial" proceed from "Father-Mother" (Spirit-Hyle, or Ilus); whereas the other manifested Quaternary and the Seven proceed from the Mother alone. It is the latter who is the immaculate Virgin-Mother, who is overshadowed, not impregnated, by the Universal MYSTERY -- when she emerges from her state of Laya or undifferentiated condition. In reality, they are, of course, all one; but their aspects on the various planes of being are different. (See Part II., "Theogony of the Creative Gods.")

 

The first "Primordial" are the highest Beings on the Scale of Existence. They are the Archangels of Christianity, those who refuse -- as Michael did in the latter system, and as did the eldest "Mind-born sons" of Brahma (Veddhas) -- to create or rather to multiply.

 

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STANZA IV. -- Continued.

 

3. FROM THE EFFULGENCY OF LIGHT -- THE RAY OF THE EVER-DARKNESS -- SPRUNG IN SPACE THE RE-AWAKENED ENERGIES (Dhyan Chohans): THE ONE FROM THE EGG, THE SIX AND THE FIVE (a); THEN THE THREE, THE ONE,

 


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THE FOUR, THE ONE, THE FIVE -- THE TWICE SEVEN, THE SUM TOTAL (b). AND THESE ARE: THE ESSENCES, THE FLAMES, THE ELEMENTS, THE BUILDERS, THE NUMBERS, THE ARUPA (formless), THE RUPA (with bodies), AND THE FORCE OR DIVINE MAN -- THE SUM TOTAL. AND FROM THE DIVINE MAN EMANATED THE FORMS, THE SPARKS, THE SACRED ANIMALS, AND THE MESSENGERS OF THE SACRED FATHERS (the Pitris) WITHIN THE HOLY FOUR.*

 

(a) This relates to the sacred Science of the Numerals: so sacred, indeed, and so important in the study of Occultism that the subject can hardly be skimmed, even in such a large work as the present. It is on the Hierarchies and correct numbers of these Beings invisible (to us) except upon very rare occasions, that the mystery of the whole Universe is built. The Kumaras, for instance, are called the "Four" though in reality seven in number, because Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-Kumara are the chief Vaidhatra (their patronymic name), as they spring from the "four-fold mystery." To make the whole clearer we have to turn for our illustrations to tenets more familiar to some of our readers, namely, the Brahminical.

 

According to Manu, Hiranyagarbha is Brahma the first male formed by the undiscernible Causeless CAUSE in a "Golden Egg resplendent as the Sun," as states the Hindu Classical Dictionary. "Hiranyagarbha" means the golden, or rather the "Effulgent Womb" or Egg. The meaning tallies awkwardly with the epithet of "male." Surely the esoteric meaning of the sentence is clear enough. In the Rig Veda it is said:-- "THAT, the one Lord of all beings . . . . the one animating principle of gods and man," arose, in the beginning, in the Golden Womb, Hiranyagarbha -- which is the Mundane Egg or sphere of our Universe. That Being is surely androgynous, and the allegory of Brahma separating into two and recreating in one of his halves (the female Vach) himself as Viraj, is a proof of it.

 

"The One from the Egg, the Six and the Five," give the number 1065, the value of the first-born (later on the male and female Brahma-Prajapati), who answers to the numbers 7, and 14, and 21 respectively. The Prajapati are, like the Sephiroth, only seven, including the

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* The 4, represented in the Occult numerals by the Tetraktis, the Sacred or Perfect Square, is a Sacred Number with the mystics of every nation and race. It has one and the same significance in Brahmanism, Buddhism, the Kabala and in the Egyptian, Chaldean and other numerical systems.

 


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synthetic Sephira of the triad from which they spring. Thus from Hiranyagarbha or Prajapati, the triune (primeval Vedic Trimurti, Agni, Vayu, and Surya), emanate the other seven, or again ten, if we separate the first three which exist in one, and one in three, all, moreover, being comprehended within that one "supreme" Parama, called Guhya or " secret," and Sarvatma, the "Super-Soul." "The seven Lords of Being lie concealed in Sarvatma like thoughts in one brain." So are the Sephiroth. It is either seven when counting from the upper Triad headed by Kether, or ten -- exoterically. In the Mahabharata the Prajapati are 21 in number, or ten, six, and five (1065), thrice seven.*

 

(b) "The Three, the One, the Four, the One, the Five" (in their totality -- twice seven) represent 31415 -- the numerical hierarchy of the Dhyan-Chohans of various orders, and of the inner or circumscribed world.** When placed on the boundary of the great circle of "Pass not" (see Stanza V.), called also the Dhyanipasa, the "rope of the Angels," the "rope" that hedges off the phenomenal from the noumenal Kosmos, (not falling within the range of our present objective consciousness); this number, when not enlarged by permutation and expansion, is ever 31415 anagrammatically and Kabalistically, being both the number of the circle and the mystic Svastica, the twice seven once more; for whatever way the two sets of figures are counted, when added separately, one figure after another, whether crossways, from right or from left, they will always yield fourteen. Mathematically they represent the well-known calculation, namely, that the ratio of the diameter to the circumference of a circle is as 1 to 3.1415, or the value of the (pi), as this ratio is called -- the symbol being always used in

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* In the Kabala the same numbers are a value of Jehovah, viz., 1065, since the numerical values of the three letters which compose his name -- Jod, Vau and twice He -- are respectively 10 ( [[hebrew]]), 6 ( [[hebrew]]) and 5 ( [[hebrew]]); or again thrice seven, 21. "Ten is the Mother of the Soul, for Life and Light are therein united," says Hermes. "For number one is born of the Spirit and the number ten from matter (chaos, feminine); the unity has made the ten, the ten the unity" (Book of the Keys). By the means of the Temura, the anagrammatical method of the Kabala, and the knowledge of 1065 (21), a universal science may be obtained regarding Kosmos and its mysteries" (Rabbi Yogel). The Rabbis regard the numbers 10, 6, and 5 as the most sacred of all.

 

** The reader may be told that an American Kabalist has now discovered the same number for the Elohim. It came to the Jews from Chaldaea. See "Hebrew Metrology" in the Masonic Review, July, 1885, McMillan Lodge, No. 141.

 


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mathematical formulae to express it. This set of figures must have the same meaning, since the 1 : 314,159, and then again 1 : 3 : 1,415,927 are worked out in the secret calculations to express the various cycles and ages of the "first born," or 311,040,000,000,000 with fractions, and yield the same 13,415 by a process we are not concerned with at present. And it may be shown that Mr. Ralston Skinner, author of The Source of Measures, reads the Hebrew word Alhim in the same number values, by omitting, as said, the ciphers and by permutation -- 13,514: since [[hebrew]] (a) is 1 : [[hebrew]] (l) is 3 (or 30); [[hebrew]] (h) is 5; [[hebrew]] (i) 1 for 10; and [[hebrew]] (m) is 4 (40), and anagrammatically -- 31,415 as explained by him.

 

Thus, while in the metaphysical world, the circle with the one central Point in it has no number, and is called Anupadaka (parentless and numberless) -- viz., it can fall under no calculation, -- in the manifested world the mundane Egg or Circle is circumscribed within the groups called the Line, the Triangle, the Pentacle, the second Line and the Cube (or 13514); and when the Point having generated a Line, thus becomes a diameter which stands for the androgynous Logos, then the figures become 31415, or a triangle, a line, a cube, the second line, and a pentacle. "When the Son separates from the Mother he becomes the Father," the diameter standing for Nature, or the feminine principle. Therefore it is said: "In the world of being, the one Point fructifies the Line -- the Virgin Matrix of Kosmos (the egg-shaped zero) -- and the immaculate Mother gives birth to the form that combines all forms." Prajapati is called the first procreating male, and "his Mother's husband."* This gives the key-note to all the later divine sons from immaculate mothers. It is greatly corroborated by the significant fact that Anna (the name of the Mother of the Virgin Mary) now represented by the Roman Catholic church as having given birth to her daughter in an immaculate way ("Mary conceived without sin"), is derived from the Chaldean Ana, heaven, or Astral Light, Anima Mundi; whence Anaitia, Devi-durga, the wife of Siva, is also called Annapurna,

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* We find the same expression in Egypt. Mout signifies, for one thing, "Mother," and shows the character assigned to her in the triad of that country. "She was no less the mother than the wife of Ammon, one of the principle titles of the god being "the husband of his mother." The goddess Mout, or Mut, is addressed as "our lady," the "queen of Heaven" and of "the Earth," thus "sharing these titles with the other mother goddesses, Isis, Hathor, etc." (Maspero).

 


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and Kanya, the Virgin; "Uma-Kanya" being her esoteric name, and meaning the "Virgin of light," Astral Light in one of its multitudinous aspects.

 

(c) The Devas, Pitris, Rishis; the Suras and the Asuras; the Daityas and Adityas; the Danavas and Gandharvas, etc., etc., have all their synonyms in our Secret Doctrine, as well as in the Kabala and the Hebrew Angelology; but it is useless to give their ancient names, as it would only create confusion. Many of these may be also found now, even in the Christian hierarchy of divine and celestial powers. All those Thrones and Dominions, Virtues and Principalities, Cherubs, Seraphs and demons, the various denizens of the Sidereal World, are the modern copies of archaic prototypes. The very symbolism in their names, when transliterated and arranged in Greek and Latin, are sufficient to show it, as will be proved in several cases further on.

 

The "Sacred Animals" are found in the Bible as well as in the Kabala, and they have their meaning (a very profound one, too) on the page of the origins of Life. In the Sepher Jezirah it is stated that "God engraved in the Holy Four the throne of his glory, the Ophanim (Wheels or the World-Spheres), the Seraphim,* the Sacred Animals, and the ministering angels, and from these three (the Air, Water, and Fire or Ether) he formed his habitation." Thus was the world made "through three Seraphim -- Sepher, Saphar, and Sipur," or "through Number, Numbers, and Numbered." With the astronomical key these "Sacred Animals" become the signs of the Zodiac.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* This is the literal translation from the IXth and Xth Sections: "Ten numbers without what? One: the spirit of the living God . . . . who liveth in eternities! Voice and Spirit and Word, and this is the Holy Spirit. Two: Spirit out of Spirit. He designed and hewed therewith twenty-two letters of foundation, three Mothers and seven double and Twelve single, and one spirit out of them. Three: Water out of spirit; he designed and hewed with them the barren and the void, mud and earth. He designed them as a flowerbed, hewed them as a wall, covered them as a paving. Four: Fire out of water. He designed and hewed therewith the throne of glory and the wheels, and the seraphim and the holy animals and the ministering angels, and of the three He founded his dwelling, as it is said, He makes his angels spirits and his servants fiery flames!" Which words "founded his dwelling" show clearly that in the Kabala, as in India, the Deity was considered as the Universe, and was not, in his origin, the extra-cosmic God he is now.

 


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STANZA IV. -- Continued.

 

4. THIS WAS THE ARMY OF THE VOICE -- THE DIVINE SEPTENARY. THE SPARKS OF THE SEVEN ARE SUBJECT TO, AND THE SERVANTS OF, THE FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH, AND THE SEVENTH OF THE SEVEN (a). THESE ("sparks") ARE CALLED SPHERES, TRIANGLES, CUBES, LINES, AND MODELLERS; FOR THUS STANDS THE ETERNAL NIDANA -- THE OI-HA-HOU (the Permutation of Oeaohoo) (b).*

 

(a) This Sloka gives again a brief analysis of the Hierarchies of the Dhyan Chohans, called Devas (gods) in India, or the conscious intelligent powers in Nature. To this Hierarchy correspond the actual types into which humanity may be divided; for humanity, as a whole, is in reality a materialized though as yet imperfect expression thereof. The "army of the Voice" is a term closely connected with the mystery of Sound and Speech, as an effect and corollary of the cause -- Divine Thought. As beautifully expressed by P. Christian, the learned author of "The History of Magic" and of "L'Homme Rouge des Tuileries," the word spoken by, as well as the name of, every individual largely determine his future fate. Why? Because --

 

-- "When our Soul (mind) creates or evokes a thought, the representative sign of that thought is self-engraved upon the astral fluid, which is the receptacle and, so to say, the mirror of all the manifestations of being.

 

"The sign expresses the thing: the thing is the (hidden or occult) virtue of the sign.

 

"To pronounce a word is to evoke a thought, and make it present: the magnetic potency of the human speech is the commencement of every manifestation in the Occult World. To utter a Name is not only to define a Being (an Entity), but to place it under and condemn it through the emission of the Word (Verbum), to the influence of one or more Occult potencies. Things are, for every one of us, that which it (the Word) makes them while naming them. The Word (Verbum) or the speech of every man is, quite unconsciously to himself, a BLESSING or a CURSE; this is why our present ignorance about the properties or attributes of the IDEA as well as about the attributes and properties of MATTER, is often fatal to us.

 

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

 

* The literal signification of the word is, among the Eastern Occultists of the North, a circular wind, whirlwind; but in this instance, it is a term to denote the ceaseless and eternal Cosmic Motion; or rather the Force that moves it, which Force is tacitly accepted as the Deity but never named. It is the eternal Karana, the ever-acting Cause.

 


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http://www.theosophycardiff.org[[Vol. 1, Page]] 94 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.

 

"Yes, names (and words) are either BENEFICENT or MALEFICENT; they are, in a certain sense, either venomous or health-giving, according to the hidden influences attached by Supreme Wisdom to their elements, that is to say, to the LETTERS which compose them, and the NUMBERS correlative to these letters."

 

This is strictly true as an esoteric teaching accepted by all the Eastern Schools of Occultism. In the Sanskrit, as also in the Hebrew and all other alphabets, every letter has its occult meaning and its rationale; it is a cause and an effect of a preceding cause and a combination of these very often produces the most magical effect. The vowels, especially, contain the most occult and formidable potencies. The Mantras (esoterically, magical rather than religious)