The chief object of the T.S. is not so much to gratify individual aspirations as to serve our fellow men. — The Mahatma Letters, Letter 2, pp. 7-8
G. de P. — You understand of course, that when this Katherine Tingley Memorial Group was first formed, it was a child of my heart in memory, in commemoration, of the life-work of our blessed KT, the greatest esotericist of the three leaders and teachers who have preceded me — a greater esotericist than HPB, a greater esotericist than Mr. Judge. This Group began in a small way, and now the Group has become large. Seeds of the noblest trees are usually small. My hope was that from this one seeding originally in your Point Loma joint Club-work, would grow a spiritual tree, whose branches would overspread the earth; and this is coming.
I have decided therefore to have a stenographic record made of these meetings, beginning with this evening, for the purpose of enabling Katherine Tingley Memorial Groups which are in process of formation in other parts of the world to receive these teachings, and thus be associated with us in thought.
Now, has anyone any questions to ask?
Student — When a person becomes a student of the ES [Esoteric Section], is it permissible for him to accept the OH [Outer Head] as his teacher in some respects, and disregard him in other respects?
To make my meaning clearer: can one accept from the teacher all he is entitled to have on deep but abstract lines, but when it comes to practical, everyday affairs, set aside, disregard, or criticize the teacher for his decisions, judgments, or acts?
I am asking this not as a question of abstract interest, but because I know, of my own personal knowledge, that one or two members criticize the teacher for acts which he does which they do not approve of.
G. de P. — I will say this: in entering the ES you take a pledge which it is supposed, as beings of adult years and of sound mind and of loyal heart, you had considered and understood before you pledged yourself. You cannot take a pledge and withdraw from it without incurring very serious responsibility. If anyone chooses to straddle, the ES is not the place for his straddling antics. He should stay in or go out. I am telling you truth, the archaic laws.
I do not want to know who this person is. What disturbs me, however, is the principle of the thing. So far as any member of the ES — and of this Katherine Tingley Memorial Group perhaps in particular, on account of the heart-atmosphere that surrounds its ideals and works — is concerned, all he needs to think of in connection with the OH is to obey, without cavil, without delay, any orders emanating from the OH in everything that concerns his ES or theosophical work. That is what the pledge recites. In things outside of all of this presumably he will act as a theosophist should act, and also presumably as a member of the ES should act; but he is not pledged to obedience in anything outside of his ES work and TS work.
Of course I understand Occidental human nature very well; I have been in this physical body a number of years, and I have learned to my cost and sorrow to know just what these Occidental ideals of personal liberty are worth — and not worth. I don't think they are worth much; but you may have a different opinion, and you are entitled to hold it. If you will consider that all the rules of the ES are based on ages of experience of human nature and of human life, you may understand the reason for the fact that the higher you go in the ES degrees, the more rigid and exacting become the rules, become the regulations, until finally (I can say this as a warning to you) in the highest degrees you become an absolutely willing, joyful, and devoted instrument of the Law.
The whole effort of the ES training is towards forgetfulness of self, for the universe. The training in these lower degrees is relatively easy. There is, on the part of the Teachers, much toleration and patience with human mistakes and failings and misunderstandings; but it is my duty to tell you, if you go on successfully, what you will meet with — and it ought to arouse joy in your hearts. Upon this ground of natural fact is based the statement that the mahatmas are the servants of the Law. You have heard in romances of the statement, "the slaves of love." The idea in both cases is the same; and in fact the gods are the slaves of cosmic love.
Now, so far as criticizing the OH is concerned, I have no objection to that. I certainly don't object in the slightest. To me it is a matter of perfect indifference; but it becomes a serious matter to me to see that, if this report be true, it shows a most unfortunate misunderstanding of duty.
There is no violation of our rule in criticizing and disregarding and setting aside and judging as much as you please, in all matters that don't concern the ES. Nevertheless, I will ask you if you admire the straddling attitude, if you think it is a beautiful attitude, either mentally or physically, and if you can admire a person who can come into these ES meetings and have his heart full of devotion for the Masters' truth and the Masters' representative and expecting to gain wisdom and knowledge from him — otherwise, why come? — and then when he is outside, criticize, disregard, set aside, and judge of what his teacher does in his capacity as Leader? I ask you what kind of a man or woman will do that? Is this explanation clear to you, and do you think it sufficient?
Many Voices — Yes!
G. de P. — Does anyone object to it?
Many Voices — No!
G. de P. — Please speak. Remember that in our ES meetings we meet heart to heart; and I will admire the courage of the one who can rise and honestly express his or her opinion. I will be back of him, stand by his side in commendation. Has anyone anything to say?
Student — To me it seems that when one becomes an ES member, there is nothing that takes place on the Hill [Point Loma TS Headquarters] that is really outside of the ES work; and if we held this in heart and bore it in mind, there is no action that could be considered as outside of our work, and it should be held sacred accordingly.
G. de P. — That is very beautiful; and it is not a criticism or a disregard or anything of that sort.
Student — May I say a word? I was going to say that I think that in this case it is the same as with other rules: the people who really have the rule at heart do not have these difficulties. If there is anyone who wants a rule interpreted exactly and to know just when he may transgress it, and what are the exceptions, it is a sign that he does not really believe in the rule. Suppose that there were a rule of silence, and I was most anxious to keep silence. I could then be trusted never to break that rule except when it was absolutely necessary; but if I feel the rule of silence to be irksome, then I shall go about asking when I may break it. I think that the same thing applies here. I think that it is a question of verbal understanding rather a real understanding of the heart.
G. de P. — Very good. I think both of you have spoken admirably.
Student — I think that the person referred to as criticizing, etc., whoever it may be, seems to have quite clear in his or her mind that so and so refers to the esoteric work of the Teacher and so and so does not, and therefore the latter can be criticized. What right can that person have to judge in this way? Isn't it possible that an action done by the teacher is profoundly esoteric and appears to this particular person as something quite secondary and therefore capable of being criticized?
G. de P. — That is true. Now, I think that we can go on to the next question, unless someone has it on his or her heart to speak in a contrary way.
Student — I would like to say something, but it is not in a contrary way. As far as I understand the question as it was read, it was not the teacher's acts which were being criticized; but this ES member's trust in the teacher was so small, that he (or she) readily believed a report concerning the teacher's acts, which came to him (or her) from a non-ES member, instead of either having sufficient trust in his teacher to know that the report was false, or going to the teacher to ask for an explanation.
Student — When we know of such happenings among our own body, are we failing in our duty to the teacher by submitting to the presence of such members among us?
G. de P. — Well, forgive me for saying so; frankly I do not think it is a failure. There are so many things involved here. I do not think that it is the duty of one member of the ES to criticize, to judge, another ES companion. The only way to do is to report it to the teacher. That lovely word "report"! And yet it is your duty on this ground: every man and woman belonging to the ES forms one of an association, not of dilettanti come together for brain-mind study of more or less interesting things, with individual interests following in many and diverse and divers directions; but all come together as students of the ancient wisdom, also as students of each other's hearts.
I should say that the only thing to do is to report the matter to your Outer Head and then drop it; say no more; treat the companion, if you know him or her, with the same kindly consideration and thought as before. It is not the business of any other member to judge of what a fellow member does. You will be committing the same fault that you deprecate and condemn. Do you see the point?
Many Voices — Yes!
Student — This question is one of quite a different type. Do I understand correctly that the soul which filled the body of the one whom we have learned to know as Mr. Judge, was at the same time filling the body of the Raja? If this is so, how could it happen that this soul could be attracted to the two bodies at the same time? Also, I understand that the Raja died before Mr. Judge did. Was this not a relief to Mr. Judge? And why was it not a chance for his poor, tired, and sick body to pick up a bit? Please tell us more about this.
G. de P. — Well, as a matter of fact, a spiritual force-energy such as the monadic essence in anyone of us, is like a sun and is therefore frequently spoken of as the spiritual sun. Its rays, its energies, its forces, its powers, can manifest themselves actually in several bodies at the same time. That is a fact, just as the sun sends out its energies, its life powers, its vital forces, into all directions of space and continues to do so unceasingly through aeons.
Now, I do not like to say much about Mr. Judge's case, for the reason that there is a mystery there, to which Mr. Judge himself has but faintly alluded. But the mere passing, the dying, of the Hindu prince called the Raja would not necessarily at all increase or better the state of health which Mr. Judge himself had, because that was another body entirely. A ray of sunlight failing upon you might comfort you with its warmth and light and in other ways be pleasing to you and helpful; but another ray of sunlight, another ray of light, from the same luminary, might have a very different effect upon one who is lying on a sick bed. That is what I mean.
Mr. Judge's weak body was a case of karmic consequences, and these consequences were allowed to work out in that way. It was better so than to dam them back until some later date, when even more would be required from the then body than was required from Mr. Judge in this last life.
I think that is all I would care to say about this question. The phrase "attracted to two bodies at the same time" — well, the attraction to a body is something which is experienced by the human ego alone and not by the monadic essence. Its action is rather one of choice and of compassion. It is not attracted to material existence at all; but the contrary.
Has anyone any other question to ask, not on this matter, unless you wish to, but on some other?
Student — What are the rings of Saturn; and did any other planets have rings at any time of their evolution?
G. de P. — You have asked a very interesting and very recondite question. The rings of Saturn are a resultant of the evolution of the planetary nebula, later of the comet which became the planet we now call by the name of Saturn.
Furthermore, these rings are very closely involved with the circulations of the cosmos. They are "stepping-stones" for entities imbodying themselves on the planet. Is there not an electrical expression "to step down"? Well, then, these rings serve as "steppers-down," modifying or changing the psychomagnetic energies of the entities which are approaching the planet Saturn for imbodiment there; and they serve likewise for "steppers-up," if I may coin this term, for disembodied entities leaving Saturn. Physically they are, as just pointed out, the remnants of the planetary nebula and of the later comet which Saturn once was.
Other planets have similar rings about them, but they are not visible to our physical eyes. And, as a matter of fact, every planet, visible or invisible, in our solar family, is surrounded by a veil. The Teachers have spoken of this veil as a "continent" of meteoric matter existing for each one of the planets. This veil or continent of meteoric substance serves a number of purposes outside of the physical one. It is a protection. It is also a veil against the titanic vital forces of the sun. You will understand these ideas better, perhaps, if you realize that the sun is not a body on fire, but is the heart of our system and is in itself a focus of titanic electric and magnetic energies, on account of which, if the planets were not protected, they would literally be consumed. Has anyone any other questions to ask?
Student — HPB, or the Master, in one letter speaks of the rings of Saturn, and calls Saturn a half-frank planet, meaning, I think, half-revealing something. She says nothing more. But that is in reference to the lokas and the talas; and many students have puzzled over the question of the spheres around the earth: whether those spheres around the earth are real spheres increasing in rarefaction the farther from the planet they are; and we might call them kama-loka or by other names, gradually growing more and more spiritual the farther they are from the earth. There are many hints in some of our literature, particularly in the esoteric literature, that there are degrees of distance in these lokas and talas. Master says in one place, that if you go up from eighteen to twenty thousand feet, the pure atmosphere permits certain things to be done up there that cannot be done below; and I have a feeling from reading several passages in our literature, that the earth is surrounded by rings — I don't mean physical, but rings of different grades of spirituality. Would that have any relation with this matter?
G. de P. — Is the question whether the earth is surrounded by rings or not? You have not specified your question.
Student — I was thinking more of spheres, coats like an onion's, or like kama-loka, ascending into higher states of devachanic consciousness. Are those spheres really far away from the earth or is that only an abstraction? Are they an abstract idea? Are they intermingled with the physical earth, or do the more and more spiritual spheres extend at greater distances from the earth?
G. de P. — By the spheres, do you mean the globes of the planetary chain?
Student — I meant the states that we call kama-loka and the seven degrees of devachan, and such things.
G. de P. — I think that your confusion, if such it may be called, arises out of the fact that there is a mixing of ideas regarding the lokas and the talas with the purely physical atmosphere surrounding the earth. Every planet is surrounded, as the sun is, with its own atmospheres, its auras of different degrees of density. Its atmospheres, physically speaking, extend from the physical aura, the atmosphere which we breathe, to an etheric atmosphere; and these atmospheres represent, physically speaking, the auric egg of the earth, which exists in increasing degrees of ethereality as the distance from the center of the earth increases. In other words, they are the more material the closer they are to the earth; the farther they are from the earth the more ethereal they are.
Now, the lokas and the talas of which you have spoken, do not refer, except in the case of one of them, to material substance at all. The lokas and the talas are the realms, planes, spheres, kingdoms — call them what you like — of substance, which fill the solar system; and they range all the way from the material earth and indeed from beneath the physical earth, which latter are the talas, to higher states or conditions, etherealizing themselves as they pass the earth into the lokas progressively higher and most high. Both lokas and talas interpenetrate the earth. There is a system of seven lokas and seven talas for every globe of the planetary chain.
The planet Saturn has been spoken of as the only half-frank planet because, paradoxically, it is one of the most material planets in our solar system, although physically it is the most ethereal — the most material from the standpoint of psychic and soul substance, and the most ethereal from the standpoint of mere physical matter. Do you follow the idea? You have touched upon an exceedingly intricate and profound subject of thought.
I will tell you something more about the rings of Saturn. Saturn is very closely connected with the earth, historically and also psychologically, and in this fourth round it is the planet astrologically governing our earth — in this fourth round. The consequence is that our fourth round bodies have fourth round senses capable of sensing, that is to say receiving, sensory impressions from the planet most nearly connected with it and governing it in this round. That is why we see the so-called rings around the planet Saturn.
Let me explain what is meant by the outer rounds as contrasted with the inner rounds. Do you know what the inner rounds are? The inner rounds are the passing of the life-wave from globe to globe of a planetary chain. The earth planetary chain is an instance, which is, as you know, composed of seven globes, the lowest being on our physical plane, the earth. Such are the inner rounds. These particular circulations — the technical term — are the passing of the life-wave and of the individual human souls from globe to globe of this planetary chain. These are the inner rounds. There are seven such rounds.
The outer rounds are the passing or circulations of these hosts of entities, of which hosts the human host is one, from one planetary chain to another planetary chain — in other words, from one planet to another planet; and there are seven of these outer rounds. The Teacher Morya and the Master Kuthumi in writing to Mr. Sinnett and to Mr. Allan Hume in the early days in India concerning these matters, had great difficulty in conveying their meaning to these two men, precisely because neither Mr. Sinnett nor Mr. Hume could understand the difference between these two kinds of rounds; hence much confusion was caused and still remains in the minds of theosophical students, about the globes and the rounds. You older students may remember a passage in The Secret Doctrine where HPB speaks of the fact that the life-wave does not come to the Earth from the planet Mars, and then leave the Earth for the planet Mercury.
You are all acquainted with that passage of theosophical history. There was a deplorable confusion between the outer rounds and the inner rounds. How could HPB explain in public the difference between these two things — both belonging to esoteric matters? She was sworn to silence. She could not say that there was no truth in Sinnett's misunderstanding, because he had in fact been told some detail, some fact, about the outer rounds, which he had misunderstood. He had also been told many details and facts about the inner rounds of our own planetary chain; but not having been given the key, he confused the outer with the inner rounds. So HPB had to do the best she could in briefly explaining the matter in The Secret Doctrine. And it was a masterly explanation as far as it went. The subject is too intricate to understand without very careful preparatory study. Are there any other questions this evening?
Student — In meeting the problems that arise in a student's inner life of late, I find the presence of Katherine Tingley very markedly; and I wondered whether that could be explained somewhat, since it seems odd as she is not now the OH.
G. de P. — Easily explained, dear Brother. She is here. All the best of Katherine Tingley is here and is still watching over the work. The monadic essence has not gone away. It is here; and that accounts for her "presence" with us, that so many of the companions have spoken of. In fact, I have received communications from a number of our fellows on the Hill, saying that Katherine Tingley seems nearer to us today than when she was with us in the body, that they felt her presence more clearly, more strongly, since her passing, than when she was here in the physical body. And naturally it is so, because the physical body cripples, hides, the spiritual part. The human part at the present moment is in devachan; but the stay there will be very short, simply a rest. The monadic essence is here and there also. Do you understand the idea? Are there any other questions?
Student — I have one. But it goes back a little to the former subject that we were talking about — the planets. The Voice of the Silence says:
Behold Migmar, as in his crimson veils his "Eye" sweeps over slumbering Earth. Behold the fiery aura of the "Hand" of Lhagpa extended in protecting love over the heads of his ascetics. Both are now servants to Nyima left in his absence silent watchers in the night. Yet both in Kalpas past were bright Nyimas, and may in future 'Days' again become two Suns. Such are the falls and rises of the Karmic Law in nature.
In the footnote it says that Migmar is the planet Mars, and the "Hand" of Lhagpa is Mercury, and Nyima is the Sun. It has always remained a sort of new idea to me that a planet could ever have been formerly a sun, and how could it have fallen from that high estate?
G. de P. — Here again we are touching upon the frontiers of forbidden things. You are touching upon astrology — real astrology, the science of the souls of the stars. Astronomy, as you will remember, means merely the science of the physical composition and of the movements of the stars and planets, whereas astrology means the science of the things themselves, the science of the souls of the stars.
What is a sun? A sun is an entity, the body of a god. Its body is composed of solar atoms. These atoms are of various sizes and of various capacities, and exist in various degrees of evolution, just as do the atoms of a human body. When the human body dies, it is either burnt or it decays or it is broken up in some other way. The atoms then pursue their transmigrations, their peregrinations, through the various kingdoms of nature as these kingdoms exist in the solar system. These atoms are also of various evolutionary degrees of advancement — high, low, and intermediate.
Similar are the atoms which compose the physical body of the sun. When the sun at the end of the solar manvantara reaches its time to go into pralaya, it dies. It is ensouled by a being, a quasi-divine entity. At the instant of the beginning of the solar pralaya the body of the sun vanishes like that [snaps fingers] and it is gone; the reason being that the inner controlling life and entity is withdrawn. Like the last throb of the heart in a human body, so is the golden cord snapped; and there being nothing remaining in the body of the sun to hold its atoms in coherent form, they are immediately dissipated, and thus the sun vanishes instantly, quicker than the wink of an eye. The sun was, and is now gone; but the atoms composing it, of many kinds, of many degrees of development, immediately begin their peregrinations through the kingdoms of cosmic space.
Now, some of these atoms are just ready to begin a life of their own, so to say, more or less away from the rigid control of the ensouling entity that is the god of the sun. These particular atoms, this class of atoms, I say, wander through space for aeons and aeons and aeons, until the time again strikes for the soul of the sun that was, the god of it in other words, to reimbody itself, to form thus a new solar system. Then these atom-entities are reattracted, are attracted back, to the magnetic center which this reimbodying sun forms or makes, and are drawn to this center from the deeps of interstellar space.
Such an atom — one of the kind I have spoken of as ready to pursue its own life-path — or aggregate of atoms first appears in the spacial deeps as a nebula. It is beginning then its descent into materialized existence or body. This nebula takes on various forms and finally begins to whirl and so continues until it becomes more or less materialized or compacted. It gathers to itself atoms of similar type of a lower degree, which strengthen the material character of its body. It then begins to wander and becomes a comet. It is attracted magnetically, electromagnetically, psychomagnetically, spiritually, to the center where the reimbodied or reimbodying sun is; and as the aeons pass, this comet settles from an erratic orbit around this sun, this new sun — the old sun that was which is now a sun again — until finally the comet acquires an elliptic orbit like a planet. It is now settled for life around the new sun, its former parent, of which it formerly was a part of the body; and thus settles in life as a planet.
Such was the history of our present planets — our Earth for instance, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Mercury, Venus. All planets begin naturally in an ethereal state.
When I say begin, I mean that a planet begins its planetary life in an exceedingly ethereal state, grows a little more material as it pursues its downward path into matter, until it attains the consistency, let us say, of the planet Saturn, the most ethereal of the planets in our present solar system. It continues its degree of materialization, until it becomes like Jupiter — somewhat less ethereal. The materializing process continues of course through ages. Meanwhile it is pursuing its elliptic course around the Sun, and finally it becomes as material as the planet Mars. Its materializing increases until it becomes heavy and rocky like our Earth. Our Earth will continue to grow more material in one sense until it becomes like Venus, which is more material in one sense than our Earth; but thereby hangs another story too. It will continue its materializing process until it becomes as material as and even more material in time than the planet Mercury, which is still more material, physically speaking, than our Earth is.
Paradoxically, the Earth, on the other hand, grows more refined, and, in a sense, more ethereal, after it has passed the middle point of its fourth round, which it actually already has passed.
When the lowest point of the seven planetary rounds of any planetary chain is reached, then the dematerializing process begins; and this dematerializing or etherealizing process continues until the planet whose history we have been tracing, reaches a certain stage of ethereality somewhat similar to that which it had when it was first attracted back to its old parent-sun, which was the new sun, as already described. Then the planet enters into its pralaya; and that is the end of the seven rounds — the seven planetary rounds.
But in future aeons, the general mass of egos, atoms, monads, lives — give them any name you like — which in their vast aggregate compose a planet, our earth for instance, shall all have reached a high degree of evolutionary spirituality; and then this planet, thus spiritualized, shall in its next imbodiment begin to be a sun; giving forth, too, in the far distant future, its own planetary children, just as our own present planets came from our own parent-sun in aeons past. Thus every entity in the universe follows the same evolutionary course, analogically speaking, that every other entity follows. It is the same evolutionary progress from a sun-atom to a planet; and then from a planet this atom itself becomes a sun.
Furthermore, you and I are incarnate monads; and it is the destiny of each one of us as a monadic essence, but not as men, not as bodies, not as human beings, but as a monadic essence, to become a sun. And the atoms of which our bodies are now composed will then be the hosts of lives forming the family attending on the sun. The most advanced and progressed of these atoms composing our bodies and our intermediate natures also will be planets.
Do you see the majestic outline of the thought? Can you follow it? Can you see the intricacies and complications of it? And how difficult it is to explain it! Do you see also the necessity of keeping these teachings private, because they never would be understood by the public, but would be simply ridiculed and abused and misused. People would unjustifiably make money out of the teachings, not for the Masters' Work, not for the work of human liberation, but for private profit and gain. Are there any more questions?
Student — Venus, we are told in the Instructions, in several places, is in its seventh round, and of course is therefore presumably very high in degree, which is very interesting in relation to its density; even the astronomers seem to know that Venus is becoming luminous, and they have seen its dark side luminous on several occasions. I have had the very good luck to see that once, which is a very unusually fortunate thing. Would that have anything to do with its being in its seventh round? Is it really becoming luminous in that way?
G. de P. — Yes; this matter is partly the matter to which I referred anon, when I said: "Thereby hangs another tale." Please do not confuse the physical planet Venus with the Venerean or Venus planetary chain. I was speaking of the planetary chain when I spoke of the planets. You are referring merely to the physical planet. Now, each planetary chain in any solar manvantara, that is, a manvantara of a solar system, has seven existences, seven planetary manvantaras. The beginning of such a planetary manvantara is ethereal; and the physical body, when it reaches its coarsest or most material point in this first planetary manvantara, is very ethereal. But when such a planetary chain has reached its fourth existence or planetary manvantara or fourth series of seven rounds, it has reached its most material form.
Now, Venus has reached that. That is why it is more material physically than the Earth is. Do you see again another complication? For instance, why is Saturn intrinsically a more material planet than Earth, which Saturn actually is; and yet is much more ethereal? Simply because it is in one of its manvantaric existences previous to its fourth manvantaric existence, the most material. The Earth intrinsically is a more spiritual planetary chain than the Saturnian chain is.
You remember what the old Hebrew poet said: There are wheels within wheels. Here you have an instance: truth within truth. And it is these complications of one truth within another truth, which make our esoteric studies so difficult to understand. But really they are very simple. If you follow the key of analogical reasoning you will always come out right. It is the master key to understanding everything; and the reason is, as I have often tried to point out in the Temple, that there is one underlying, fundamental law, one underlying fundamental, all-permeant life, in the boundless universe; and consequently every atom of that life, whether in a home-universe or in our solar system, or in a sun or in a planet, as the case may be, is infilled with the same fundamental law. That is the root of the teaching of analogy: that what one goes through all go through ultimately. Is this thought clear? If it is not, you may ask questions about it.
Student — We understand that each of these globes and the sun is infilled with a being, a god; is this god running, metaphorically speaking, like a thread through all seven globes of each chain, or is it individually going from one to the other of the seven globes of a chain?
G. de P. — It is like the monadic essence in a human being. It permeates all and every atom of the human being. But, as the human being consists of body, and soul, and mind, and spiritual soul, and spirit, and monad, and the divine spark, all in various stages or degrees of ethereality, just so it is with the god, who is in and back of and beyond and above the sun, according to the way you look at it. The physical sun is its body as this is my body. But as it is a god's body, its physical body is energy, force, substance-energy, light. Is the thought clear?
Student — It does not have to decay?
G. de P. — Indeed it does. The sun has its own period, has its own term. Even a spiritual body has its terms and reaches its end. It must be so. Everything that is composite, whether it be spiritually composite or materially composite, is an aggregate. That is a fundamental thought, and do not forget it. Every aggregate is a composite thing. I will tell you a secret: that our very monads, which to us are homogeneous, and everlasting, actually are groups of monadic lives. I cannot tell you more, except to point out that the universal consciousness streams through all. Is there another question?
Student — Is there any truth in the pronouncements of Einstein concerning the curvature of space? I am referring especially to his words to the effect that he believes, and thinks he can demonstrate it mathematically, that a ray of light by traveling some 500 million years, will come back to its place of origin. Is there any truth in it?
G. de P. — I think there is. The so-called curvature of space is Einstein's mathematical way of expressing an archaic conception, which Plato puts as follows: the most perfect form in the universe is the circular form. Consequently divinity is circular in form, as much as the sun or the planets or the dome of space; and consequently any energy inhering in, and a part of any entity, must of necessity, if it pursues a course for a long enough time, return to its starting point, because it rounds the circle. And this actual truth, which Einstein thus has adumbrated in mathematical words, is at the basis, the natural basis, of what is called the law of cycles, the law of circulating; that we return to the point from which we set out, ultimately. We return "to God, who is our home," for the progress of a monad, which is a body of light, pursues (to adopt the Einsteinian phrase) a curved path in spiritual space. The conception appears to be fundamentally the same.
Student — I understand from The Secret Doctrine that the planets Uranus and Neptune do not properly belong to us, but were "loaned" to us, as it were. Could you give any more information on that?
G. de P. — Yes; they are captures. Uranus is karmically connected with the solar system, just the same; whereas Neptune is not. The modern chemists have evolved a very interesting theory about the disintegration of the atom in connection with the atomic structure: that an atom becomes stable or unstable, according to the electron which it may lose or capture. How they caught this true idea is one of the exceedingly interesting mysteries of human psychology. The idea was in the air. Doubtless the thought currents emanating from Sambhala, our spiritual home, the home of the great teachers, must be permeating the world in greater intensity than perhaps we realize. Neptune is a capture; and it changed (considering our solar system as a cosmic atom) — it changed (to use human terms, chemical terms) the electromagnetic polarity of our solar system. Do you understand what I mean? The time will come when Neptune will again be lost; and very strange things will happen in the solar system when that takes place.
There are many more planets in the solar system than the eight or nine that the astronomers count; many, many more. Most of them are invisible; and five of the eight which we see and call the planets of the solar system are our sister-planets: these are the planets which are intimately connected by karmic bonds with our earth, and are the planets which are concerned or involved in the outer rounds, of which I have spoken. The time will come when we shall have so evolved, together with our own planet earth, that we shall see many more planets in our solar system. There actually are scores of planets, indeed hundreds, each one a planetary chain, each one a child of the former sun, but a brother of the present sun — brothers because they came into being from the same origin in the womb of space and collected together at the present time, and formed our solar system.
It is growing late. I can answer one or two more questions of whatever type you like — of an ethical or spiritual type, perhaps.
Student — There is a rock-cut inscription that reads: "Shining Venus trembles afar, earth's higher self, and with but one finger touches us." Would it be possible for you to say something about the truths which lie behind this figure?
G. de P. — Venus is perhaps more intimately connected with our Earth than any other one of the planets; and for this reason: that it is the planet from which we last came on the outer round; and is, in view of its own evolutionary development, closely connected with the development of our own manasic body, manasic portion. It touches us "with but one finger," meaning the finger of its own characteristic. "Touches us with but one finger" is a figure of speech.
On the outer round the planet immediately preceding ours, I mean the planet from which we came before we came to Earth on the outer round — I am not here referring to the inner rounds — was the planet Venus; and the planet to which we shall next go on the outer round is the planet Mercury. All this refers to the circulations of the outer rounds. Please do not confuse them with the inner rounds, which do not appertain to one planetary chain alone, but every planetary chain has its own inner rounds along the seven globes belonging to (or forming) its planetary chain.
Now, before we close I ask you to carry away with you one thought, which has already been mentioned this evening: and that is the fact that Katherine Tingley is actually more with us now than when she was here in the body. Her monadic essence is brooding over our work and over us in particular. Her spiritual being is mothering, if I may use that human expression, our efforts at the present time; and this is the reason why those who are sensitive among us feel the presence of that fiery soul whom we knew in the body as Katherine Tingley — feel it or her more intimately than we did when she was here physically. This is not a metaphor; it is a fact, an unveiled fact.
I have tried to state in human words a most difficult thing, and to state it correctly and briefly. I mean that the monadic essence, instead of pursuing its course among the stars or instead of being gathered into Sambhala, into the home of the greatest of the teachers, is still infusing energy, its spiritual vitality, into our own vitality, into our own thought-life, and doing this deliberately.
Please understand, it is not Katherine Tingley the woman who is doing this — that was a mere physical apparatus; but the monadic essence, the fiery spirit, the queenly soul, whose manifestations in the physical presence were called Katherine Tingley, is with us. For how long, I do not know. It is not for me to say. I can guess. I can think. I can have my opinions about it; but I don't know. I believe it will be for quite a long time.
Student — Is her life, then, similar to that of a nirmanakaya?
G. de P. — No, a nirmanakaya is quite a different thing. The nirmanakaya is a great initiate, a Master, a Mahatma, who remains to work for mankind with every one of his principles present except the physical body. I was speaking of the monadic essence, of the spiritual part, which, please remember, is energy-substance directed by consciousness and will inherent in the energy. If you will take the time to think over what you mean by the words you use, you may get some conception of what the two words monadic essence signify.
Figure to yourself the sun, if you like, continually sending forth streams of light and energy and everything that is noble, great, high, sublime. Why, I feel Katherine Tingley very near me sometimes: I feel her all the time, as a matter of fact. I cannot go from one room to another in the house here without feeling her presence; I cannot sit in a chair without feeling the same; I cannot go into her own room or into my own office, without sometimes having an almost uncanny feeling that she is there — the natural human reaction to a spiritual presence. I am sensitive to this because I know.
You see, one who does not know anything about it, who has never heard of it, at the utmost would probably say, "Well, how queer! I feel just as if Katherine Tingley were here." It would mean to him nothing more than that. But once you have been told of the fact, it helps to sensitize you, to make you still more sensitive. You become cognizant of little things that happen, which would have passed unnoticed had you not been told.
What is the reason why her chair remains in its place in the Temple? Simply from a feeling of reverence I have not been able to make up my heart to have it moved. She is so truly present. This is a human feeling, I admit; but I think it is a beautiful one. I have no doubt that others feel as I do; that not one of us yet would like to see her chair removed or put aside. Is it not so?
Many Voices — Yes.