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

Meeting 8

Meeting held at 17, Lansdowne Road, London, W., on February 28th, 1889; Mr. W. Kingsland in the chair.

STANZA III. (continued).

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

Q. What is meant by saying that these remain?

A. It means simply that whatever the plurality of manifestation may be, still it is all one. In other words these are all different aspects of the one element; it does not mean that they remain without differentiation.

"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'." (Vol. I., p. 69.)

Q. Is it to be supposed that the Milky Way is composed of matter in a state of differentiation other than that with which we are acquainted?

A. I thoroughly believe so. It is the store-house of the materials from which the stars, planets and other celestial bodies are produced. Matter in this state does not exist on earth; but that which is already differentiated and found on earth is also found on other planets and vice-versa. But, as I understand, before reaching the planets from its condition in the Milky Way matter has first to pass through many stages of differentiation. The matter, for instance, within the Solar system is in an entirely different state from that which is outside or beyond the system.

Q. Is there a difference between the Nebulae and the Milky Way?

A. The same, I should say, that there is between a highway road and the stones and mud upon that road. There must be, of course, a difference between the matter of the Milky Way and that of the various Nebulae, and these again must differ among themselves. But in all your scientific calculations and measurements it is necessary to consider that the light by which the objects are seen is a reflected light, and the optical illusion caused by the atmosphere of the earth renders it impossible that calculations of distances, etc., should be absolutely correct, in addition to the fact that it entirely alters observations of the matter of which the celestial bodies are composed, as it is liable to impose upon us a constitution similar to that of the earth. This is, at any rate, what the MASTERS teach us.

Sloka (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.

Q. What are the various meanings of the term "fire" on the different planes of Kosmos?

A. Fire is the most mystic of all the five elements, as also the most divine. Therefore to give an explanation of its various meanings on our plane alone, leaving all the other planes entirely out of the question, would be much too arduous, in addition to its being entirely incomprehensible for the vast majority. Fire is the father of light, light the parent of heat and air (vital air). If the absolute deity can be referred to as Darkness or the Dark Fire, the light, its first progeny, is truly the first self-conscious god. For what is light in its primordial root but the world-illuminating and life-giving deity? Light is that, which from an abstraction has become a reality. No one has ever seen real or primordial light; what we see is only its broken rays or reflections, which become denser and less luminous as they descend into form and matter. Fire, therefore, is a term which comprehends ALL. Fire is the invisible deity, "the Father," and the manifesting light is God "the Son," and also the Sun. Fire — in the occult sense — is aether, and aether is born of motion, and motion is the eternal dark, invisible Fire. Light sets in motion and controls all in nature, from that highest primordial aether down to the tiniest molecule in Space. MOTION is eternal per se, and in the manifested Kosmos it is the Alpha and Omega of that which is called electricity, galvanism, magnetism, sensation — moral and physical — thought, and even life, on this plane. Thus fire, on our plane, is simply the manifestation of motion, or Life.

All cosmic phenomena were referred to by the Rosicrucians as "animated geometry." Every polar function is only a repetition of primeval polarity, said the Fire-Philosophers. For motion begets heat, and aether in motion is heat. When it slackens its motion, then cold is generated, for "cold is aether, in a latent condition." Thus the principal states of nature are three positive and three negative, synthesized by the primeval light. The three negative states are (1) Darkness; (2) Cold; (3) Vacuum or Voidness. The three positive are (1) Light (on our plane); (2) Heat; (3) All nature. Thus Fire may be called the unity of the Universe. Pure cosmic fire (without, so to speak, fuel) is Deity in its universality; for cosmic fire, or heat which it calls forth, is every atom of matter in manifested nature. There is not a thing or a particle in the Universe which does not contain in it latent fire.

Q. Fire, then, may be regarded as the first Element?

A. When we say that fire is the first of the Elements, it is the first only in the visible universe, the fire that we commonly know. Even on the highest plane of our universe, the plane of Globe A or G, fire is in one respect only the fourth. For the Occultist, the Rosecroix of the Middle Ages, and even the mediaeval Kabalists, said that to our human perception and even to that of the highest "angels," the universal Deity is darkness, and from this Darkness issues the Logos in the following aspects, (1) Weight (Chaos which becomes aether in its primordial state); (2) Light; (3) Heat; (4) Fire.

Q. In what relation does the Sun, the highest form of Fire we can recognize, stand to Fire as you have explained it?

A. The Sun, as on our plane, is not even "Solar" fire. The Sun, we see, gives nothing of itself, because it is a reflection; a bundle of electro-magnetic forces, one of the countless milliards of "Knots of Fohat." Fohat is called the "Thread of primeval Light," the "Ball of thread" of Ariadne, indeed, in this labyrinth of chaotic matter. This thread runs through the seven planes tying itself into knots. Every plane being septenary, there are thus forty-nine mystical and physical forces, larger knots forming stars, suns and systems, the smaller planets, and so on.

Q. In what respect is the Sun an illusion?

A. The electro-magnetic knot of our Sun is neither tangible nor dimensional, nor even as molecular as the electricity we know. The Sun absorbs, "psychizes" and vampirizes its subjects within its system. Further than this it gives out nothing of itself. It is an absurdity, therefore, to say that the solar fires are being consumed and gradually extinguished. The Sun has but one distinct function; it gives the impulse of life to all that breathes and lives under its light. The sun is the throbbing heart of the system; each throb being an impulse. But this heart is invisible: no astronomer will ever see it. That which is concealed in this heart and that which we feel and see, its apparent flame and fires, to use a simile, are the nerves governing the muscles of the solar system, and nerves, moreover, outside of the body. This impulse is not mechanical but a purely spiritual, nervous impulse.

Q. What connection has "weight," as you use it, with gravity?

A. By weight, gravity in the occult sense of attraction and repulsion is meant. It is one of the attributes of differentiation, and is a universal property. By attraction and repulsion between matter in various states it is possible, in most cases, to explain (whereas the "law of gravitation" is insufficient to do so) the relation which the tails of the comets assume when nearing the sun; seeing that they manifestly act contrary to this hypothesis.

Q. What is the meaning of water in this connection?

A. As Water, according to its atomic weight, is composed of one-ninth of Hydrogen (a very inflammable gas, as you know, and without which no organic body is found), and of eight-ninths of Oxygen (which produces combustion when too rapidly combined with any body), what can it be but one of the forms of primordial force or fire, in a cold or latent and fluidic form? Fire bears the same relation to Water as Spirit to Matter.

Sloka (7). BEHOLD, O 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). 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. 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.

Kwan-Shai-Yin and Kwan-Yin are synonymous with fire and water. The two deities in their primordial manifestation are the dyadic or dual god, bi-sexual nature, Purusha and Prakriti.

Q. What are the terms corresponding to the three Logoi among the words Oeaohoo, the younger, Kwan-Shai-Yin, Kwan-Yin, Father-Mother, Fire and Water, Bright Space and Dark Space?

A. Everyone must work this out for himself, "Kwan-Shai-Yin marks the places for the shining ones, the stars, and turns the upper space into a shoreless sea of fire, and the one manifested into the great Waters." Think well over this. Fire here stands for the concealed Spirit, Water is its progeny, or moisture, or the creative elements here on earth, the outer crust, and the evolving or creative principles within, or the innermost principles. Illusionists would probably say "above."

Q. What is the veil which Oeaohoo, the youngest, lifts from East to West?

A. The veil of reality. It is the curtain which disappears in order to show the spectator the illusions on the stage of Being, the scenery and actors, in short, the universe of MAYA.

Q. What is the "upper space" and "shoreless sea of fire"?

A. The "upper space" is the space "within," however paradoxical it may seem, for there is no above as no below in the infinitude; but the planes follow each other and solidify from within without. It is in fact, the universe as it first appears from its laya or "zero" state, a shoreless expanse of spirit, or "sea of fire."

Q. Are the "Great Waters" the same as those on which the Darkness moved?

A. It is incorrect in this case, to speak of Darkness "moving." Absolute Darkness, or the Eternal Unknown, cannot be active, and moving is action. Even in Genesis it is stated that Darkness was upon the face of the deep, but that which moved upon the face of the waters, was the "Spirit of God." This means esoterically that in the beginning, when the Infinitude was without form, and Chaos, or the outer Space, was still void, Darkness (i.e., Kalahansa Parabrahm) alone was. Then, at the first radiation of Dawn, the "Spirit of God" (after the First and Second Logos were radiated, the Third Logos, or Narayan) began to move on the face of the Great Waters of the "Deep." Therefore the question to be correct, if not clear, should be, "Are the Great Waters the same as the Darkness spoken of?" The answer would then be in the affirmative. Kalahansa has a dual meaning. Exoterically it is Brahma who is the Swan, the "Great Bird," the vehicle in which Darkness manifests itself to human comprehension as light, and this Universe. But esoterically, it is Darkness itself, the unknowable Absolute which is the Source, firstly of the radiation called the First Logos, then of its reflection, the Dawn, or the Second Logos, and finally of Brahma, the manifested Light, or the Third Logos. Let us remember, that under this illusion of manifestation, which we see and feel, and which, as we imagine, comes under our sensuous perceptions, is simply and in sober reality, that which we neither hear, see, feel, taste nor touch at all. It is a gross illusion and nothing else.

Q. To return to an early question, in what sense can electricity be called an "entity"?

A. Only when we refer to it as Fohat, its primordial Force. In reality there is only one force, which on the manifested plane appears to us in millions and millions of forms. As said, all proceeds from the one universal primordial fire, and electricity is on our plane one of the most comprehensive aspects of this fire. All contains, and is, electricity, from the nettle which stings to the lightning which kills, from the spark in the pebble to the blood in the body. But the electricity which is seen, for instance, in an electric lamp, is quite another thing from Fohat. Electricity is the cause of the molecular motion in the physical universe, and hence also here, on earth. It is one of the "principles" of matter; for generated as it is in every disturbance of equilibrium, it becomes, so to say, the Kamic element of the object in which this disturbance takes place. Thus Fohat, the primeval cause of this force in its millions of aspects, and as the sum total of universal cosmic electricity, is an "entity."

Q. But what do you mean by this term? Is not electricity an entity also?

A. I would not call it so. The word Entity comes from the Latin root ent, "being," of esse, "to be"; therefore everything independent of any other thing, is an entity, from a grain of sand up to God. But in our case Fohat is alone an entity, electricity having only a relative significance, if taken in the usual, scientific sense.

Q. Is not cosmic electricity a son of Fohat, and are not his "Seven Sons" Entities?

A. I am afraid not. Speaking of the Sun, we may call it an Entity but we would hardly call a sunbeam that dazzles our eyes, also an Entity. The "Sons of Fohat" are the various Forces having fohatic, or cosmic electric life in their essence or being, and in their various effects. An example: rub amber — a Fohatic Entity — and it will give birth to a "Son" who will attract straws: an apparently inanimate and inorganic object thus manifesting life! But rub a nettle between your thumb and finger and you will also generate a Son of Fohat, in the shape of a blister. In these cases, the blister is an Entity, but the attraction which draws the straw, is hardly one.

Q. Then Fohat is cosmic electricity and the "Son" is also electricity?

A. Electricity is the work of Fohat, but as I have just said, Fohat is not electricity. From an occult standpoint, electric phenomena are very often produced by the abnormal state of the molecules of an object or of bodies in space: electricity is life and it is death: the first being produced by harmony, the second by disharmony. Vital electricity is under the same laws as Cosmic electricity. The combination of molecules into new forms, and the bringing about of new correlations and disturbance of molecular equilibrium is, in general, the work of, and generates, Fohat. The synthesized principle, or the emanation of the seven cosmic Logoi is beneficent only there where harmony prevails.

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

Q. Is the spirit of the flame that burns in the lamp of every one of us, our Heavenly Father, or Higher Self?

A. Neither one nor the other; the sentence quoted is merely an analogy and refers to a real lamp which the disciple may be supposed to be using.

Q. Are the elements the bodies of the Dhyan-Chohans, and are Hydrogen, Oxygen, Ozone and Nitrogen, the primordial elements on this plane of matter?

A. The answer to the first part of this question will be found by studying the symbolism of the Secret Doctrine.

With regard to the four elements named it is the case; but bear in mind that on a higher plane even volatile ether would appear to be as gross as mud. Every plane has its own denseness of substance or matter, its own colors, sounds, dimensions of space, etc., which are quite unknown to us on this plane; and as we have on earth intermediary beings, the ant for instance, a kind of transitional entity between two planes, so on the plane above us there are creatures endowed with senses and faculties unknown to the inhabitants of that plane.

There is a remarkable illustration of Elihu Vedder to the Quatrains of Omar Khayyam, which suggests the idea of the Knots of Fohat. It is the ordinary Japanese representation of clouds, single lines running into knots both in drawings and carvings. It is Fohat the "knot-tier," and from one point of view it is the "world-stuff."

Q. If the Milky Way is a manifestation of this "World-stuff" how is it that it is not seen over the whole sky?

A. Why should it not be the more contracted, and therefore, its condensed part which alone is seen? This forms into "knots" and passes through the sun-stage, the cometary and planetary stages, until finally it becomes a dead body, or a moon. There are also various kinds of suns. The sun of the solar system is a reflection. At the end of the solar manvantara, it will begin to get less and less radiant, giving less and less heat, owing to a change in the real sun, of which the visible sun is the reflection. After the solar Pralaya, the present sun will, in a future Manvantara, become a cometary body, but certainly not during the life of our little planetary chain. The argument drawn from spectrum star-analysis is not solid, because no account is taken of the passage of light through cosmic dust. This does not mean to say that there is no real difference in the spectra of stars, but that the proclaimed presence of iron or sodium in any particular star may be owing to the modification of the rays of such a star by the cosmic dust with which the earth is surrounded.

Q. Does not the perceptive power of the ant — for instance, the way in which its perceptive faculties differ from our perceptive powers of color — simply depend upon physiological conditions?

A. The ant can certainly appreciate the sounds that we do, and it can also appreciate sounds that we can never hear, therefore evidently, physiology has nothing whatever to do with the matter. The ant and ourselves possess different degrees of perception. We are on a higher scale of evolution than the ant, but, comparatively speaking, we are the ants to the plane above.

Q. When electricity is excited by rubbing amber, is there anything corresponding to an emanation from amber?

A. There is: the electricity which is latent in the amber, exists in everything else, and will be found there if given the appropriate conditions necessary for its liberation. There is one error which is commonly made, than which there can be no greater error in the views of an occultist. A division is made between what you call animate and inanimate objects, as if there could be such a thing as a perfectly inanimate object on earth!

In reality, even that which you call a dead man is more alive than ever. From one point of view, the distinguishing mark between what is called the organic and the inorganic is the function of nutrition, but if there were no nutrition how could those bodies which are called inorganic undergo change? Even crystals undergo a process of accretion, which for them answers the function of nutrition. In reality, as Occult philosophy teaches us, everything which changes is organic; it has the life principle in it, and it has all the potentiality of the higher lives. If, as we say, all in nature is an aspect of the one element, and life is universal, how can there be such a thing as an inorganic atom!


Meeting 9

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