The Theosophical Forum – July 1947

STUDIES IN THEOSOPHIC PSYCHOLOGY: 1 — Marion O. French

[Note: page numbers cited for The Esoteric Tradition are to the 2-vol. Second Edition and do not correspond to the 1-vol. 3rd & Revised Edition.]

Consciousness

Psychology is defined as "the science of the human mind or soul and its operations." Since Occidental psychology is not based upon a clear concept of the nature of the mind and soul, its conclusions regarding the operations thereof cannot be considered as scientific. To clarify the subject, a series of studies will present the basic theosophic concepts. The text will set forth the fundamental factors in a logical sequence for practical application. For a comprehensive understanding, students are referred to The Esoteric Tradition by Dr. G. de Purucker. As stated therein, "Consciousness, or mind, if the word be better liked, comes first, and out of it flows everything else into manifestation." (p. 228, Vol. I) No other available treatise on the nature and operation of the consciousness is comparable in clarity or in scope to these profound volumes by G. de Purucker.

As a premise, it is obvious that consciousness is the only fact that we can study directly, since all others are perceived through it. As an implied corollary, numbers may be regarded as the concepts which all manifestation follows in evolution and devolution, or integration and disintegration. "Foreknowledge and Reason," said Nichomachus the Greek mathematician and Pythagorean, "created all according to Number, conceivable to mind only and therefore wholly immaterial; yet real, indeed, the really real, the eternal." Geometrical forms may be regarded as numerals solidified. They are, thus, the first and clearest images which reflect creative thought. Or, as Plato declared and H. P. Blavatsky quoted (Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 506) "God geometrizes." Therefore, mathematical postulates may be utilized, as in physics, to determine tenable psychological hypotheses. In physics, the former obstacle to progress was the assumption that matter consisted of discrete stable elements and force was an operative energy distinct from the matter on which it operated. (See The Mahatma Letters, p. 164.)

In psychology, the great heresy is, still, that individuals are assumed to be wholly separate entities who react to motivating factors, either subjective or objective, much in the same manner that matter was supposed to react to force. This mechanistic concept is as untenable for organic life as it was for inorganic matter. To cling to it is to assume that the motivating factors exist as an inherent sum total in the universe under the old interpretation of the "law of the conservation of energy." An innate sense of its inadequacy is what leads many to seek for the influences that affect them in astrology. The instinct is correct, but "Occidental astrology is but . . . a few tattered remnants of the ancient astrological Wisdom . . ." as G. de P. states. (E. T., V. I, p. 191) Correctly, individuals should be viewed as constituent parts of aggregations and as participants in the production of all actuating agencies. The individuals, the aggregations and the factors that motivate them have the same source. It is the inexhaustible fount of universal consciousness.

That source, as we may infer by astronomical observation, consists of innumerable aggregates, or congeries of many in one. Each particular One, however, is, at once, an individual and the sum of its components. This is, in no wise, different from the fact that a man is both an entity and the sum total of the living and subconsciously thinking cells and organs that compose his body. As the ancient wisdom of mankind indicates, the Empyrean that surrounds us is the abode of countless conscious entities, great and small. The great Ones outline sublime mural designs upon the immense rotundas of the celestial spaces. The little journeymen painters who serve their apprenticeships under this divine guidance are occupied in filling in the details. When the days of labor have ceased and the night of rest has come, that structure will represent the work of all of them. Its indelible imprint upon the akasic record that is the universal memory will remain forever as their memorial and as a model for the more beautiful and perfect edifices of the future.

Upon the Smaragdine Tablet of Hermes was engraved the essence of the one law: "What is below is like that which is above; and what is above is similar to that which is below to accomplish the wonders of the one thing."

"As all things were produced by the meditation of one being, so all things were produced from this one by adaptation." (Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 507) The adaptive method is that of using numerals as determinants for the harmonic proportions of all phenomenal forms. We may visualize them as the Digits of Divinity, the creative Fingers of Deity that mould matter into formative existence. There are five regular geometrical solids, or six if the transitory parallelo-piped that is analogous to the binding carbon atom be included. They are the models for all the infinite variety of mineral, vegetable, animal and human organisms. All the incessant mutations, variations, combinations and interrelations thereof are determined numerically. They constitute the observable, objective, phenomenal manifestation of noumenal, subjective thought upon the planes of existence. Literally, it is a process of reflecting the self to the self in order to attain to complete individual self-consciousness. This is the meaning of the aphorism "Man, Know Thyself" that was carved above the portal of the temple of the Delphic Oracle.

In his mathematical instruction, Pythagoras sought "to free the soul from the fetters of sense and force it to realize its powers." (Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 7) In essence, this is the same as to emancipate the mind from the toils of time, or from the logical chronometric sequence of what we call events. They are the effects that follow causes in accordance with the Karman that we, ourselves, have generated. The filaments, spun into that seemingly interminable thread which extends from the past into the future, are those causes. As Plato puts it, the spinners of the threads are the three Fates enthroned around the distaff of Necessity. Upon it is wound the flax of Universal Life, the "Kosmic Consciousness-Force-Substance" that G. de P. discusses (E. T., V. I, p. 199). From it, the filaments come that are twisted into thread upon the spinning wheel. Those Fates are the daughters of Necessity, and Lachesis sings of the past, Clotho of the present and Atropos of the future. Their song is accompanied by the harmony of the Music of the Spheres intoned by the Sirens seated upon those orbs. (The Republic, Book X, p. 499) The adjustments of timing in the motion of the spindle made by the Fates can be compared to what would occur in a rotating planet as it revolved upon its orbit. The equations are those of an epicycloid as a point on the circumference of a circle that rolls on the outside of a fixed circle, which will make 7 cusps if the radii are as 1:7. Astronomically, the problem becomes complicated because the fixed circle, or orbit around the sun, advances spirally as the sun describes its orbital course. For reference see The Mahatma Letters, p. 46 and Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, p. 91.

We may imagine the threads that are spun upon the "Wheels" of life as being woven into tapestries on the warp of space with the weft of time, to form a recording cyclorama in the astronomical structures of infinitude. In each, we may sense a dynamic symmetry of space and time relations in the conformity of all to sublime Deific Concepts. By understanding its processus, we may become conscious collaborators in that creative design rather than unconscious ones. Hegemony is exercised through mathematical laws in this Universe that "actually is embodied consciousness," as G. de P. states. (E. T., V. I, p. 258) This, then, is the basic aspect of real psychology. The development of the thesis thereon will be carried forward through the next Study No. 2 on Hierarchies of Consciousness. Succeeding studies will seek to elucidate the operation of the individual consciousness within that of its Hierarchy.


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