The Theosophical Forum – April 1941

LIFE BEGINS WITH THEOSOPHY — L. Gordon Plummer

It so happened, a long, long time ago (aeons b. c.) that there was a mathematical point. Not that there have not been mathematical points galore since that time, but this one commands our attention because he was representative of all mathematical points, and thus becomes the hero of our story.

Now he was nothing much to look at, having no size at all. You are not to think of him, however, as microscopically small, for to say that much of him would be to attach size to him, and we have stated that size was the one thing he lacked above all else. On the other hand, you might be inclined to imagine him to be very large, but again, though you conceive him to be larger than from here to Arcturus, you once more limit him by attaching size to him. Having no size, our hero was neither large nor small. He was at once nowhere and everywhere. Having thus definitely placed him, we discover that he was an idea in the Cosmic Mind.

Now he had heard that ideas rule the world, so he set out to find a world to rule, and was immediately snapped up by the mind of a man of that time. (The man didn't look like us, but we call him a man because he occupied a corresponding position in the evolutionary scale to what we do. Besides that, he could think.) The man was quite within his rights, for to think was his prerogative, and what is thinking but the clothing of ideas in mind-stuff, and sending them out again as thoughts? But this man was foolish and thought that the idea was his own, thereby mistaking his own thoughts for the idea itself. Thus, were it not that the man talked rather much, our story might have ended here. But it so happened that a Theosophist (there were Theosophists then as there are Theosophists now) heard him, and said "There's a grand idea behind what you say", after which he (the Theosophist) resurrected the idea, and brought it to light. Because he was a wise man, he was able to see clearly, and knew the idea for what it really was, and so was able to give to it the suitable mind-stuff clothing. The fact of the matter is, he wrote a book about it, and so the idea occupied a good many minds all at once.

This was a bit complicated, but the Idea soon got used to it, and when he discovered that men acted on the thoughts they thought about him, he was in a position to make two important discoveries. Firstly, that life for him began with Theosophy. Secondly that there were three essentials for life: (1) the idea, (2) the thought, and (3) the action. He discovered that these three essentials operated everywhere; that the existence of the universe was dependent upon them. From this grew the knowledge that within himself was forming the skeleton-outline of a seven-principled being. To wit: there was (1) the Cosmic Mind from which he had sprung, (2) himself as the idea, (3) the human agent who had given him birth, (4) the thoughts in which he had found himself clothed (5) and (6), the resulting actions which are in reality both cause and effect, and (7) the life which vitalizes and permeates the whole. Of course, it must be remembered that this was but the beginning of what was destined finally to become a sevenfold being like ourselves; it might be said that he was an entity in the embryonic stage of life.

And now he was really aware that the universe was alive with beings of all kinds, and with some of them he had direct dealings. For, at this time, he was engaged in helping certain classes of beings to shape themselves, for all things must become imbodied periodically, and there are certain nature forces that we call the elementals whose particular task it is to help build the vehicles in which all entities must manifest. And our aspiring mathematical point had become one of those busy elemental forces.

Do not think that he really knew what he was about. For at this early stage of his history, he worked quite automatically, and he was not conscious to the degree that he knew himself apart from all the other myriads of elemental lives working with him. As yet his consciousness was none other than the consciousness of the Cosmic Mind of which he was a part. Individuality for him was a mere potentiality. But little by little the need for individual existence became felt, and this hunger after growth finally lifted him out of the low level of life he had occupied, and he found that he could build bodies on his own account, and thus he turned into a monad.

As a monad, he went through all sorts of experiences, first, inhabiting mineral bodies, so that we could have said he was in the mineral kingdom, had we spoken of him at all, in those times. There wasn't much for him to do, and he rested mostly, until finally, the desire for individual expression asserted itself once more, and he passed into the plant world, or the vegetable kingdom. Sometimes he breathed out the fragrance of the rose, or the buckthorn, sometimes he was the lowly moss underfoot, again he would look mischievously through the eye of the forget-me-not, or sometimes sing to the wind in his mantle of pine needles. But ever the need for individuality urged him on, until ages later, he learned to climb the mountainous crags as the wild goat, or soar aloft on the pinions of the eagle. He was now in the animal world, and the germ of individuality was sprouting. Yet he was not satisfied. Then after further ages had rolled by, and worlds had lived and died, he became a man, and once a man, always a man. Now his individuality was complete. He could think for himself. He had ideas, as a certain other man of long ago had had ideas.

But he was a rather foolish man. He had some ridiculous notions, as for instance that until only a few thousand years before his time, there were no humans, also that his was the only planet that was inhabited with intelligent beings. He thought likewise that he had come from an ape, but to crown all, he thought that the human being was the acme in evolutionary development, and that there were no beings in all the spaces of space who were more intelligent than he. Wherefrom grew a colossal egotism, and he was an easy prey to the heresy of separateness. He was so intoxicated with his new-found and complete individuality that he thought of himself as different from other men, not to speak of the animals and plants.

But the skeletoned pattern of a sevenfold being that we had discovered in the life-atom of long ago, had now grown into what we call his seven human principles. He had a body, which was built around a definite pattern, which we call his astral, these two being held together and sustained by his vitality. This vital-astral-physical being was ruled by desires and emotions, which we call his Kama, and as such he was no better than the beasts themselves. However, being a man, he had a mind, his fifth principle. This sometimes asserted itself as cold dispassionate intellect, but again, it was sometimes warmed by the breath of the spiritual intelligence we call the Buddhic principle, which is the shrine of the holy flame of Atman, the essential self of the man, his divine nature. In time this divine self made itself felt in the man's heart, and after many reimbodiments, the need for something higher caused him to search deeper for the secret of existence. Thus it was that he finally met a Theosophist who gave him a new understanding of life. He was so intrigued with the new philosophy (not knowing that it was as old as Time itself) that he applied himself diligently to the study of its main postulates, to wit, Reincarnation, Karman, the Seven Jewels, and so on, until finally he learned for the second time that Life begins with Theosophy. He discovered how to live fully, completely, and to function in all parts of his nature.

And so a change came over him. It was an inner change that did not come about suddenly. It gradually dawned upon him that, though he was a completely individualized entity, he was aware of a universal consciousness permeating the whole of nature, excluding none, and that it was possible for him to ally himself with that universal consciousness, and that in time he might manifest it in himself. Whereupon he devoted several lives to Theosophical study and work in unselfish service to Humanity, so that in time he became a pupil of a spiritual Teacher, and received further instructions so that he joined a part of the ancient Brotherhood of Light. He himself became an Adept in the science of Life, and after ages of work in this field, he learned how to be conscious with the universal consciousness instead of with his own human consciousness, and with that initiation, for such it was, he stepped outside the boundaries of human existence, and became what it is common to call a demi-god. He was such as are told of in myths and legends, which recount the days when gods walked the earth in company with men. And so he grew apace until he entered the company of those gods who are so grandiose and lofty in their reaches of consciousness that instead of manifesting in human bodies such as we have, they require glowing bodies of solar energy. We men foolishly think they are stars, and try to measure their magnitudes, densities, speeds, and what not, never guessing what mighty beings they really are.

And this brings us now to the year 1940 a. d. I could not tell you just which of the stars this wanderer became. For all I know, he might be one of the multitudes of invisible stars which people the fields of space. But there he is, working in company with his fellow-gods, learning, growing, evolving.

And just where do we come into the story? We are heroes of similar tales, following our own evolutionary pathways, reaching out to claim the same bright destiny that the wandering monad of our story has achieved.

Moreover, each of us is, at this present time, a life-atom, a part of one of those beings we call the gods. What greater privilege can come to man than the responsibility of representing here on Earth, one of the Gods in Heaven? Who of us fulfils that divine charge laid upon us, to so live in every thought and deed, that we may be worthy of that God that in the inmost of ourselves we already are?


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