The Path – February 1892

HIDDEN HINTS IN THE SECRET DOCTRINE — William Q. Judge

(From p. 252 to p. 260, Vol. I.)

ORDER OF THE ELEMENTS ESOTERICALLY is, Fire, air, water, earth. (2nd para). Counting up from the earth, the order for the elementals, or the nature spirits in the elements, is: earth elementals, water elementals, air elementals, fire elementals. And it has always been said that those of the fire are the wisest and most distant so far as cognition of or by us is concerned, that the airy ones are also wise, and those of the water dangerous. Those of the earth have been described by seers in the form of gnomes sometimes seen by clairvoyant miners in the depths under us, and of this class also are those that have given rise to the superstition among the Irish respecting the fairies.

FIRE IN THE PRECEDING ROUNDS. She says (p. 253), "For all we know, fire may have been pure akasa, the first matter of the builders". The phrase "For all we know" is sometimes to be translated "Thus it was".

THE FIFTH ELEMENT IN THE FIFTH ROUND. This, as said before in these notes, will be "The gross body of akasa" (257), and "by becoming a familiar fact in nature to all men as air is familiar to us now, will cease to be hypothetical".

WHAT IS THE SIXTH SENSE TO BE? In the first paragraph of page 258 she says that at first there will be a partial familiarity with a characteristic of matter to be known then as permeability, which will be perceived when certain new senses have been developed, and after that this singular characteristic will be fully known, as it will be developed concurrently with the sixth sense. We may therefore argue that she means to describe the sixth sense as one which will (among other things) give to us the power to permeate matter with ourselves. Let some one else now carry this idea further, as it is no doubt correct. It would seem that both the matter-characteristic and the power in man are being here and there exhibited, or else some of the phenomena seen at spiritualistic seances could never have happened; but alas! we need not look for aid there so long as the beloved "spirits from the summerland" continue to hold sway over their votaries.

THE EARTH IN ITS EARLY PERIODS. Some students have thought that this globe in its early times when, following the statements in Esoteric Buddhism, the human life-wave and so on had not come, there was no life on it, supposing in a vague way that there was, say in the fire-mist time, a mass of something devoid of life. This is contradicted and explained on page 258 in the second para, for: "Thus Occultism disposes of the Azoic age of science, for it shows that there never was a time when the earth was without life upon it". This is asserted for no matter what form or sort of matter thus, "Wherever there is an atom of matter, a particle or a molecule even in its most gaseous state, there is life in it, however latent or unconscious".

OF SPIRIT AND MATTER. In the commentary on p. 258 the author plainly writes, "Spirit is the first differentiation of and in space; and matter is the first differentiation of Spirit". This is a clear statement of what she desired to teach respecting spirit and matter, and as in other places it is said that spirit and matter are the opposite poles of the One — the Absolute — an agreement has to be made between the two. There is no real disagreement, since it is evident that differentiation must proceed in a definite order, from which it results that there must be always one state, plane, place, power, and idea in nature that is above and different from and beyond all others. And when we go beyond spirit, the highest we may speak of is the Absolute, which is the container of the next two — spirit and matter, the latter following the first in order of differentiation. These are said to be coeternal, and, indeed, are so, as far as our minds are concerned, for the reason that we cannot grasp either the first or the second differentiation of the absolute. But because this doctrine of the coeternalness of spirit and matter has been taught, there never being the one without the other also present, some students have fallen into a materialistic view, probably because matter is that which being near to us is most apparent, and others, remaining somewhat vague, do not define the doctrine at all. Spirit and matter are coeternal because they exist together in the absolute, and when the first differentiation spoken of above takes place, so does the second immediately. Hence, except when we are dealing with metaphysic, they must be regarded as the two poles of the one absolute. And the Bhagavad Gita does not support the contrary, for it only says there is no spirit without also matter, as it is dealing through the words of Krishna with things as they are after the differentiation has taken place.

There is another class of theosophists who speak of the "superpersonal god", asserting at the same time that they do not mean "a personal God", and they are opposed by still another class who point to the well-known denial by H. P. B. of the existence of a personal god. It is in the sentence quoted that both of these may come to an agreement, for the believers in the superpersonal deity can without doubt find support in the lines on p. 258. For if spirit is the first, then matter is a grade below it, however fine and imperceptible that distinction maybe.

If further we say, as many of us do, that the great inherent ideas of man were given to him by the first great teachers whose descendants and pupils the Adepts are, then we here also see how it is that there is such a wide and universal belief in a God. It must also be the origin of that universal optimism which may be found also in the ranks of the theosophists, who, while for present days are pessimistic, must be called the greatest optimists on the face of the earth. There are many other matters in this sentence. Many a student has puzzled his head very often in trying to discover from where come the impulse and the plan as well as the idea of perfection, for it must as a first thing reside somewhere, whether abstractly or concretely. Perhaps it is here; those students can look here at any rate.

A MYSTERIOUS PRINCIPLE MENTIONED. After going for a little space into the formation of this globe by the first builders, she speaks (page 259) of a certain akasic principle to which no name is given but left in hiatus. But in the note on that page we see, and I am violating nothing in referring to it, that very clearly it is pointed out that the primordial substance of which she then writes "is the very body of those spirits themselves and their very essence". Now in many places in her writings, and also in those of other knowing ones through all time, this primordial substance is said to be one that, once controlled, gives him who has power over it the most transcendent abilities, — sway alike over mind and matter.

She and all of us are quite safe in speaking of it, since there are but few indeed who will see anything in it at all. Yet the few can have the hint if they never got it before. This, however, should always remain as a hint, and there ought to be no attempt to make it clear to science, for nothing will be gained except ridicule and maybe worse.

 


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