Secret Doctrine Commentary (Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge) by H. P. Blavatsky

Meeting 10

Meeting held at 17, Lansdowne Road, London, W., on March 14th, 1889; Mr. W. Kingsland in the chair.

STANZA IV.

Sloka (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.

Q. Are the sons of the Fire, the Rays of the Third Logos?

A. The "Rays" are the "Sons of the Fire-Mist," produced by the Third Creation, or Logos. The actual "Sons of the Fire" of the Fifth Race and Sub-races are so called simply because they by their wisdom belong, or are nearer to, the hierarchy of the divine "Sons of the Fire-Mist," the highest of the planetary Chohans or Angels. But the Sons of the Fire here spoken of as addressing the Sons of the Earth are, in this case, the King-Instructors who incarnated on this earth to teach nascent Humanity. As "Kings" they belong to the divine dynasties of which every nation, India, Chaldea, Egypt, Homeric Greece, etc., has preserved a tradition or record in some form or other. The name "Sons of the Fire-Mist" was also given to the Hierophants of old. They are certainly sub-divisions of the Third Logos. They are the Fire-Chohans or Angels, the Ether Angels, the Air and Water Angels, and the Angels of the Earth. The seven lower Sephiroth are the earthly angels and correspond to the seven hierarchies of the seven elements, five of which are known, and two unknown.

Q. Do they, then, correspond to the Races?

A. They do. Otherwise where would be the intellectual Races with brains and thought, if it was not for these hierarchies that incarnated in them?

Q. What is the distinction between these various Hierarchies?

A. In reality these fires are not separate, any more than are the souls or monads to him who sees beyond the veil of matter or illusion.

He who would be an occultist must not separate either himself or anything else from the rest of creation or non-creation. For, the moment he distinguishes himself from even a vessel of dishonor, he will not be able to join himself to any vessel of honor. He must think of himself as an infinitesimal something, not even as an individual atom, but as a part of the world-atoms as a whole, or become an illusion, a nobody, and vanish like a breath leaving no trace behind. As illusions, we are separate distinct bodies, living in masks furnished by Maya. Can we claim one single atom in our body as distinctly our own? Everything, from spirit to the tiniest particle, is part of the whole, at best a link. Break a single link and all passes into annihilation; but this is impossible. There is a series of vehicles becoming more and more gross, from spirit to the densest matter, so that with each step downward and outward we get more and more the sense of separateness developed in us. Yet this is illusory, for if there were a real and complete separation between any two human beings, they could not communicate with, or understand each other in any way.

Thus with these hierarchies. Why should we separate their classes in our mind, except for purposes of distinction in practical Occultism, which is but the lowest form of applied Metaphysics. But if you seek to separate them on this plane of illusion, then all I can say is, that there exists between these Hierarchies the same abysses of distinction as between the "principles" of the Universe or those of man, if you like, and the same "principles" in a bacillus.

"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).'" (Vol. I., p. 86.)

Q. What is the explanation of this passage?

A. It means that the devotees are divided into two classes, those who reach Nirvana on Earth, and either accept or refuse it (though never to be born again, in this Mahakalpa, or age of Brahma); and those who do not reach this state of bliss as Buddha and others did.

"The Fire, the Flame, the day, the bright fortnight of the moon," are all symbols of the highest absolute deity. Those who die in such a state of absolute purity, go to Brahman, i.e., have a right to Moksha or Nirvana. On the other hand "Smoke, night, the dark fortnight, etc., are all symbolical of matter, the darkness of ignorance. Those who die in such a state of incomplete purification, must of course be reborn. Only the homogeneous, the absolutely purified unalloyed spirit, can be re-united to the Deity or go to Brahma.

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

"The first 'Primordial' are the highest Beings on the Scale of Existence. The 'Primordial' proceed from 'Father-Mother.'" (Vol. I., p. 88.)

Q. Is Father-Mother here synonymous with the Third Logos?

A. The first primordial seven are born from the Third Logos. This is before it is differentiated into the Mother, when it becomes pure primordial matter in its first primitive essence, Father-Mother potentially. Mother becomes the immaculate mother only when the differentiation of spirit and matter is complete. Otherwise there would exist no such qualification. No one would speak of pure spirit as immaculate, for it cannot be otherwise. The mother is, therefore, the immaculate matter before it is differentiated under the breath of the pre-cosmic Fohat, when it becomes the "immaculate mother" of the "Son" or the manifested Universe, in form. It is the latter which begins the hierarchy that will end with Humanity or man.

Sloka (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; 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 (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.

Q. Can you explain these numbers and give their meaning?

A. As said in the Commentary, we are not at present concerned in the process, that is to say, it cannot at present be made public. Some few hints, however, may be given. The Rabbins call the Circle (or as some say, the first Point in it) Echod, the ONE, or Ain-Soph. On a lower plane, the fourth, it becomes Adam Kadmon, the manifested seven and the unmanifested ten, or the complete Sephirothal Tree. The Sephiroth, therefore, are the same as the Elohim. Now the name of the latter written in Hebrew, Alhim, is composed of five letters; and these letters in their values in numerals, being placed round a circle can be transmuted at will, as they could not be were they applied to any other geometrical figure. The circle is endless, that is to say, has neither beginning nor end. Now the literal Kabala is divided into three parts or methods, the third of which is called Temura or permutation. According to certain rules one letter or numeral is substituted for another. The Kabalistic alphabet is divided into two equal parts, each letter or numeral of one part corresponding to a like number or letter in the other part. By changing the letters alternately, twenty-two permutations or combinations are produced, which process is called Tziruph. The footnote on pages 90 and 91 (Vol. I, Secret Doctrine), makes my meaning quite clear.

Sloka (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, THE SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH AND THE SEVENTH OF THE SEVEN. THESE ("sparks") ARE CALLED SPHERES, TRIANGLES, CUBES, LINES, AND MODELLERS; FOR THUS STANDS THE ETERNAL NIDANA — THE OI-HA-HOU (the permutation of Oeaohoo).

Q. What are the "Life-Winds" in the commentary (page 96)?

A. The Life-Winds are the various modes of out-breathing and in-breathing, changing thereby the polarity of the body and states of consciousness. It is Yoga practice, but beware of taking the exoteric works on Yoga literally. They all require a key.

Q. What is the meaning of the sentence beginning "The Sparks, etc." (vide supra)?

A. The sparks mean the Rays as well to the lower intelligence as to the human sparks or Monads. It relates to the circle and the digits, and is equivalent to saying that the figures 31415 as given on pages 90 and 91, are all subject to the circumference and diameter of the circle.

Q. Why is Sarasvati (the goddess of speech) also called the goddess of esoteric wisdom? If the explanation lies in the meaning of the word Logos, why is there a distinction between the immovable mind and movable speech? Is mind equivalent to Mahat, or to the Higher and Lower Manas?

A. The question is rather a complicated one. Saraswati, the Hindu goddess, is the same as Vach, whose name means Speech and who is the female Logos, esoterically. The second question seems rather involved. I believe it is because the Logos or Word is called the incarnate wisdom, "Light shining in darkness." The distinction lies between the immovable or eternal immutable ALL, and the movable Speech or Logos, i.e., the periodical and the manifested. It can relate to the Universal, and to the individual mind, to Mahat, or to the Higher Manas, or even to the lower, the Kama Manas or Brain-Mind. Because that which is desire, instinctive impulse in the lower, becomes thought in the Higher. The former finds expression in acts, the latter in words. Esoterically, thought is more responsible and punishable than act. But exoterically it is the reverse. Therefore, in ordinary human law, an assault is more severely punished than the thought or intention, i.e., the threat, whereas Karmically it is the contrary.

Q. "God geometrizes" says Plato, but seeing that there is no personal God, how is it that the process of formation is by Dots, Lines, Triangles, Cubes, Circles, and finally Spheres? And how when the sphere leaves the static state, does the inherent force of Breath set it whirling?

A. The term "God" — unless referring to the Unknown Deity or Absoluteness, which can hardly be supposed acting in any way — has always meant in ancient philosophies the collectivity of the working and intelligent Forces in nature. The word "Forest" is singular, yet it is the term to express the idea of thousands or even millions of trees of different kinds. Materialists have the option of saying "Nature," or still better — "Law geometrizes" if they so prefer. But in the days of Plato, the average reader would hardly have understood the metaphysical distinction and real meaning. The truth, however, of Nature ever "geometrizing" is easily ascertained. Here is an instance: Heat is the modification of the motions or particles of matter. Now, it is a physical and mechanical law that particles or bodies in motion on themselves, assume a spheroidal form — this, from a globular planet down to a drop of rain. Observe the snowflakes, which along with crystals exhibit to you all the geometrical forms existing in nature. As soon as motion ceases, the spheroidal shape alters; or, as Tyndall tells us, it becomes a flat drop, then the drop forms an equilateral triangle, a hexagon and so on. In observing the breaking up of ice-particles in a large mass, through which he passed heat rays, he observed that the first shape the particles assumed, was triangular or pyramidal, then cubical and finally hexagonal, etc. Thus, even modern physical science, corroborates Plato and justifies his proposition.

Q. When Tyndall took a large block of ice and threw a powerful ray upon it and thence on to a screen, there were to be seen the forms of ferns and plants in it. What is the reason of this?

A. This question ought really to be addressed first to Professor Tyndall, who would give a scientific explanation of it — and perhaps he has already done so. But Occultism would explain it by saying either that the ray helped to show the astral shapes which were preparing to form future ferns and plants, or that the ice had preserved the reflection of actual ferns and plants that had been reflected in it. Ice is a great magician, whose occult properties are as little known as those of Ether. It is occultly connected with the astral light, and may under certain conditions, reflect certain images from the invisible astral region, just as light and a sensitized plate may be made to reflect stars that cannot be perceived even by the telescope. This is well known to learned Yogis who dwell on the eternal ice of Bodrinath and the Himalayas. At any rate, ice has certainly the property of retaining images of things impressed on its surface under certain conditions of light, images which it preserves invisibly until it is melted. Fine steel has the same property, though it is of a less occult nature. Were you to observe the ice from the surface, these forms would not be seen. But once that in decomposing the ice with heat you deal with the forces and the things that were impressed on it, then you find that it throws off these images and the forms appear. It is but one link leading to another link. All this is not modern science of course, yet it is fact and truth.

Q. Do numbers and geometrical figures represent to human consciousness the laws of action in the Divine Mind?

A. They do, most assuredly. There is no chance evolution or formation, nor is any so-called abnormal appearance or cosmic phenomenon due to haphazard circumstances.

Sloka (5.) "DARKNESS," THE BOUNDLESS OR THE NO-NUMBER, ADI-NIDANA SVABHAVAT: THE {circle} (for x, unknown quantity):

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

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

III. THE "FORMLESS SQUARE" (Arupa).

AND THESE THREE ENCLOSED WITHIN THE {circle} (Boundless Circle), ARE THE SACRED FOUR, AND THE TEN ARE THE ARUPA (subjective, formless) UNIVERSE; THEN COME THE "SONS," THE SEVEN FIGHTERS, THE ONE, THE EIGHTH LEFT OUT, AND HIS BREATH WHICH IS THE LIGHT-MAKER (Bhaskara).

Q. The "One Rejected" is the sun of our system. Astronomically is there any explanation of Marttanda's rejection?

A. The sun is older than any of its planets — though younger than the moon. Its "rejection" means that when bodies or planets began to form, helped by its rays, magnetic radiance or heat, and especially by its magnetic attraction, it had to be stopped, otherwise it would have swallowed all the younger bodies like as Saturn is fabled to have treated his progeny. This does not mean that all the planets are thrown out from the sun, as modern Science teaches, but simply that under the Rays of the sun they acquire their growth. Aditi is the ever-equilibrizing mother-nature on the purely spiritual and subjective plane. She is the Sakti, the female power or potency of the fecundating spirit; and it is for her to regulate the behavior of the sons born in her bosom. The Vedic allegory is very suggestive.

Q. Were all the planets in our solar system first comets and then suns?

A. They were not suns in our, or their present solar systems, but comets in space. All began life as wanderers over the face of the infinite Kosmos. They detached themselves from the common storehouse of already prepared material, the Milky Way (which is nothing more or less than the quite developed world-stuff, all the rest in space being the crude material, as yet invisible to us); then, starting on their long journey they first settled in life where conditions were prepared for them by Fohat, and gradually became suns. Then each sun, when its Pralaya arrived, was resolved into millions and millions of fragments. Each of these fragments moved to and fro in space collecting fresh materials, as it rolled on, like an avalanche, until it came to a stop through the laws of attraction and repulsion, and became a planet in our own, as in other systems, beyond our telescopes. The sun's fragments will become just such planets after the Solar pralaya. It was a comet once upon a time, in the beginning of Brahma's Age. Then it came to its present position, whence it will burst asunder, and its atoms will be whirled into space for aeons and aeons like all other comets and meteors, until each, guided by Karma, is caught in the vortex of the two forces, and fixed in some higher and better system.

Thus the Sun will live in his children as a portion of the parents lives in their offspring. When that day comes, the semblance or reflection of the Sun which we see, will first fall off like a veil from the face of the true Sun. No mortal will see it, for no mortal eye could bear its radiance. Were this veil once removed for even a second, all the planets of its system would be instantaneously reduced to ashes, as the sixty thousand of King Sagara's Sons were destroyed by a glance of Kapila's eye.

Sloka (6.) THEN THE SECOND SEVEN, WHO ARE THE LIPIKA, PRODUCED BY THE THREE (Word, Voice, and Spirit). THE REJECTED SUN IS ONE, THE "SON-SUNS" ARE COUNTLESS.

Q. What is the relation of the Lipika, the "Second Seven" to the "Primordial Seven" and to the first "Sacred Four"?

A. If you believe that any, save the highest Initiates, can explain this to your satisfaction, then you are greatly mistaken. The relation can be better understood, or rather, shown to be above all understanding, by first studying the Gnostic systems of the early centuries of Christianity, from that of Simon Magus down to the highest and noblest of them, the so-called PISTIS-SOPHIA. All these systems are derived from the East. That which we call the "Primordial Seven" and the "Second Seven" are called by Simon Magus the Aeons, the primeval, the second and the third series of Syzygies. They are the graduated emanations, ever descending lower and lower into matter, from that primordial principle which he calls Fire, and we, Svabhavat. Behind that Fire, the manifested but silent Deity, stands with him as it does with us, that "which is, was, and ever will be." Let us compare his system with ours.

In a passage quoted from his works by the author of Philosophumena, we read: — "From this permanent Stability and Immortality of this first manifested principle 'Fire' (the third Logos) which immutability does not preclude activity, as the second from it is endowed with intelligence and reason (Mahat), it (the Fire) passed from the potentiality of action to action itself. From this series of evolutions were formed six beings, or the emanation from the infinite potency; they were formed in Syzygies, i.e., they radiated out of the flame two by two, one being active, the other the passive principle." These Simon named Nous and Epinoia, or Spirit and Thought, Phone and Onoma, Voice and Name, and Logismos and Enthumesis, Reasoning and Reflection. And again: — "In each of these six primitive Beings the Infinite Potency was in its totality; but it was there in potentiality and not in act. It had to be established therein through an image (that of the paradigm), in order that it should appear in all its essence, virtue, grandeur and effects; for only then could it become like unto the Parent Potency infinite and eternal. If, on the contrary, it was not conformed by or through the Image, that Potentiality could never become Potency or pass into action, but was lost for lack of use, as it happens to a man who having an aptitude for grammar or geometry does not exercise it; it gets lost for him just as if he never had it" (Philosophumena, p. 250).

He shows that whether these AEons belong to the superior, middle or lower world, they are all one, except in material density, which determines their outward manifestations and the result produced, not their real essence which is one, or their mutual relations which, as he says, are established from eternity by immutable laws.

Now the first, the second, third or primordial seven or Lipika, are all one. When they emanate from one plane to another, it is a repetition of — "as above, so below." They are all differentiated in matter or density, not in qualities; the same qualities descend on to the last plane, our own, where man is endowed with the same potentiality, if he but knew how to develop it, as the highest Dhyan-Chohans.

In the hierarchies of AEons, Simon gives three pairs of two each, the seventh being the fourth which descends from one plane to another.

The Lipika proceed from Mahat and are called in the Kabala the four Recording Angels; in India, the four Maharajahs, those who record every thought and deed of man; they are called by St. John in the Revelation, the Book of Life. They are directly connected with Karma and what the Christians call the Day of Judgment; in the East it was called the Day after Mahamanvantara, or the "Day-Be-With-Us." Then everything becomes one, all individualities are merged into one, yet each knowing itself, a mysterious teaching indeed. But then, that which to us now is non-consciousness or the unconscious, will then be absolute consciousness.

Q. What relation have the Lipika to Mahat?

A. They are a division, four taken from one of the Septenates that emanates from Mahat. Mahat corresponds with the Fire of Simon Magus, the secret and the manifested Divine Ideation, made to witness to itself in this objective Universe through the intelligent forms we see around us, in what is called creation. Like all other emanations, they are "Wheels within Wheels." The Lipika are on the plane corresponding to the highest plane of our chain of globes.

Q. What is the difference between Spirit, Voice and Word?

A. The same as between Atma, Buddhi and Manas, in one sense. Spirit emanates from the unknown Darkness, the mystery into which none of us can penetrate. That Spirit — call it the "Spirit of God" or Primordial Substance — mirrors itself in the Waters of Space — or the still undifferentiated matter of the future Universe — and produces thereby the first flutter of differentiation in the homogeneity of primordial matter. This is the Voice, pioneer of the "Word" or the first manifestation; and from that Voice emanates the Word or Logos, that is to say, the definite and objective expression of that which has hitherto remained in the depths of the Concealed Thought. That which mirrors itself in Space is the Third Logos. We may express this Trinity also by the terms Color, Sound, and Numbers.


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