G. de P.— I am ready to answer questions.
Student — Recently one of us asked a question in regard to the highest point in a planetary cycle. You told us that the orbits of the planets gradually become smaller, until finally they become absorbed in the sun, at least so I understood it.
I believe, if I am not mistaken, that you told us at another meeting that beyond the sun there were other planetary chains. Perhaps planetary is not the correct word. But at least the sun was not the final point of everything. But now if it is the case that the planets shall finally become absorbed in the sun, is that the beginning of another chain or something corresponding, something still beyond our present order?
G. de P. — Yes, I think I see your point — that is to say I think I see the meaning of your question. Let me point out first, however, that when you speak of the highest point in the cycle of a planet, I don't quite understand what you mean, because apparently you are referring solely to the physical orbit of the planet. Are you referring to the mystical, or evolutionary orbit?
Student — I meant the evolutionary.
G. de P. — Yes. In other words, the path followed by a stream of light which at a certain point reaches its highest, spiritually speaking.
Answering your question then, it is quite true that the planets as the solar manvantara proceeds to its end are not exactly "absorbed" in the sun, but are dissipated and become part of the body corporate of the sun and its neighborhood for the time being, so that the entire solar system then passes out of manifested existence together with the life and individuality of the sun, into the inner and invisible realms of the nirvanic peace. In other words, every life-stream composed of hosts of entities collected around a planetary center or evolutionary heart, enters into the sun as the last stage in the long, long road of planetary evolution. What follows after the solar system has disappeared, and also when the long intersolar nirvana is ended, is not a new chain, but a new solar system. Do you understand me thus far?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — Just as our present solar system is the karmic consequence or fruitage of the solar system which preceded ours. The preceding solar system simply being the present solar system in its former imbodiment, precisely as a man's former life has produced the causes which make the man what he is in the present life — at least many of the causes.
Furthermore, every body of a solar system, ours for instance, is a planetary chain. The sun itself is a solar chain composed of seven suns. Every planet is a septenary planetary chain, composed of seven planetary globes. Every moon, which in every case is the body of a dead planet, likewise is a dead septenary chain. In other words, there are seven moons of which our present visible moon is the lowest and most material.
Student — But the others exist and we cannot see them?
G. de P. — What others?
Student — The other six.
G. de P. — Exactly. Only one globe of any septenary chain on the same plane of the cosmos as our earth's planetary chain can be seen by the men of earth who live in this fourth round of the earth's planetary chain. The fourth globe, the lowest globe of any chain, is that globe which can be sensed by the inhabitants of this fourth globe of the earth-chain, because all such visible globes are all on the same plane of material existence on which we are in this our fourth globe of the earth-chain. But there are other planetary chains in our solar system whose fourth globe even we cannot see because such chains are on higher planes than our earth planetary chain exists on. Consequently even the most material or fourth globe of these chains exists on a cosmic plane superior to our physical plane.
Student — Are the rest of the moons different? They have no connection with the other globes of this earth-chain?
G. de P. — Certainly they have.
Student — Is there a moon for each globe?
G. de P. — Now you are probing rather deeply: I think I can answer that question rather definitely, however. There are seven globes to the moon-chain as it presently exists. All these globes of the moon-chain are different because the entire moon-system or moon-chain is a different chain from the earth-chain; and all that remains of the moon-chain are the seven dead globes of the moon-chain. The moon that you see is the lowest globe of the moon-chain.
On the next plane superior to ours, that is to say the next solar plane superior to our present physical solar plane, our own earth planetary-chain has two globes existing thereon. And likewise there are two moon-globes existing on that same next solar plane superior to our physical solar plane.
And so on up the scale. But it would not be correct to say that the two moon-globes are restricted each one, and each to each solely, to the two globes of the earth-chain on the same solar plane; because the fact is that while each one of these two moon-globes of this superior plane to ours is the respective parent of one of the two earth-globes on the same plane, nevertheless the moon-chain as a whole affects the earth-chain as a whole, also.
Strictly speaking, all the globes of the moon-chain are the kama-rupas of the globes of the original moon-chain that was. For instance, our present moon, although it is on the same fourth cosmical plane on which our present planet Terra is, is none the less a kama-rupa of the old fourth-plane moon that was. It is the Mr. Hyde, to use Robert Louis Stevenson's word, of the earth, the old kama-rupic phantom or spook that haunts us still. There are actually some planets in the solar system which have more than one kama-rupic moon. In these planetary cases, the planets are so material in character and evolution that their reimbodiments have taken place before the kama-rupic phantoms of their former imbodiments have had time to disintegrate into cosmic dust. In consequence they are haunted by two or even more kama-rupic spooks — something which also happens to human beings of grossly material characteristics. Such moons, therefore, and such kama-rupic phantoms in the cases of human beings, are instances of what H. P. Blavatsky meant when she spoke of planetary or human Dwellers of the Threshold. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes, thank you. I understand as far as you have gone, but it gives me a great deal more to think about.
G. de P. — Well, your questions are very intuitive indeed, and show deep thought and study. I like questions like that.
Student — What relation to these seven globes does the septenary constitution of man bear?
G. de P. — Do you mean to ask whether the seven globes of a chain, our earth-chain, for instance, are the seven principles of the earth?
Student — Well, possibly, yes. But I was thinking, do they bear a correspondence to the seven principles of man?
G. de P. — They do, and each to each.
Student — If that is the case, we speak of such and such a globe as the highest, and of another as not quite so high; but can you speak of human principles as such a one coming first, and another coming second? Does not the predominance of certain principles vary in individuals, according to which principle is the most pronounced in any individual?
G. de P. — Do you mean first and second, etc., in order of time of evolution, or first and second in order of quality?
Student — In time of evolution.
G. de P. — In other words, your question runs to this effect: are the seven principles of man produced from the monad one after the other in successive periods of time? Is that your question?
Student — That is it.
G. de P. — Yes, they are. The monad produces forth from itself, before any reincarnation begins, an aura or emanation of a spiritual and lofty character and type. This is the veil surrounding the monad and actually is the buddhi, or spiritual soul. From the buddhi in precisely similar manner there emanates or flows forth the next more material or lower principle of man, which you can call the higher manas or reincarnating ego. From this again there issues forth as an emanation, or as the child of the reincarnating ego, its veil surrounding it — or its body, or the vehicle surrounding it, its aura — the name matters not at all, if you have the idea. And this succeeding emanation just described is the human ego. It is the kama-manasic part. This series of emanations succeeding each other continues right down to the physical body, which is the last emanation or exudation from the vitality of the auric egg; and the auric egg is simply the living atmosphere or vital aura surrounding the monad. This auric egg therefore has its seven degrees of materiality or of ethereality extending from the most spiritual down to the physical body.
Student — These so-called principles, then, are made of the substance, in its varying grades, of the auric egg?
G. de P. — That is it. But don't forget at the same time that the human principles are cosmic in origin, because the substance of the auric egg is cosmic in origin. Now, any part of the constitution of man cannot be different from the universe in which it lives. Please get that idea very strongly fixed in your minds, because it destroys the heresy of separateness that human beings are so wont to feel and imagine on account of the deceiving illusion of personality.
Student — I believe you said, in speaking of the moon-chain, that any two globes on a given plane in the moon-chain were the parents of the two earth-globes on the same plane?
G. de P. — They are. They were the parents on the same plane of the corresponding globes of the earth-chain of that plane.
Student — But are not those earth-globes on a higher plane? For instance, is not the physical earth-globe on a plane one higher than the physical moon-globe which was its parent?
G. de P. — Yes, that is quite true.
Student — Well, that seems a contradiction.
G. de P. — Why?
Student — Because it seems that the parent-globe is one plane lower than the earth-globe.
G. de P. — I see your difficulty. You are confusing solar planes with the septenary grades or subplanes of any one solar plane. Now the earth is not on a higher solar plane than the moon, but one stage higher, or one subplane higher, in the same solar plane.
Student — I see.
G. de P. — Every cosmic or solar plane has, or is composed of, seven subsidiary planes; and the earth is on a subsidiary plane higher than the subsidiary plane on which the physical globe of the moon is.
Student — I would like, if I may, to ask four questions on the same subject. Is every entity, each of us, the sun, the earth, etc., a single life-atom evolved?
G. de P. — Do you mean the perfected, or rather relatively perfected, evolution of a center which at one phase of its journey manifested as a life-atom?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — The answer is, Yes.
Student — Now then, I want to ask, first of all, where the earth stands as compared with a human being in evolution. I mean the entity of the earth?
G. de P. — I cannot answer that question here. Please pass on to the next.
Student — With regard to the construction of the earth, is it like a bubble, taking the analogy of what you told us of the sun, matter as we know it one hundred or a few hundred miles thick, and the rest of the earth compressed ether, or akasa and forces?
G. de P. — Do you mean what is the nature of the earth's interior?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — I will try to answer that question, but I doubt very much if I can make myself understood. It is not merely compressed gas or ether. There is compressed gas there, but its nature belongs to the third or the lowest of the three elemental kingdoms. I am now talking more particularly of the center of the earth, and the region surrounding the center of the earth. It is elemental physical substance. Around this core of elemental physical substance there is an intermediate material phase, which, as one ascends towards the earth's surface, becomes rock and the various metallic bodies. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes, thank you.
G. de P. — Now, I simply could not undertake to explain to you what elemental material substance is because I have no words in which to express it. It is not exactly electrical. It is much more condensed than any electron of an atom is. It is physically speaking neither molten, nor solid, nor is it gaseous. It is not hot, nor is it cold. It is another kind of matter entirely, and the only way by which I can give you any idea of it at all is by saying, as I did before, that it is elemental physical substance — physical substance before it has reached the peculiar type of concretion which we call physical matter. I am afraid that is the best I can do for you.
Student — Thank you. One more question: where does the intelligence, the entity of the earth, reside?
G. de P. — That is very much like the other question that to my deep regret I was obliged to say I could not answer. Perhaps this question, however, I may answer in the following way, but don't take it too literally. The answer is true as far as I can express it. The intelligence of the earth resides in the akasa which permeates the earth through and through, and which also surrounds it as an akasic veil, precisely as human intelligence does not reside, or have its locus standi, in the physical brain and being of material substance, but permeates the physical brain and fills the skull and nevertheless radiates as an aura and thus surrounds the form. Do you understand the idea?
Student — Yes. Thank you very much.
G. de P. — The earth is soaked through and through, if I may use an easily understood expression, with this vital akasa, and therein resides, what you have — and you will forgive me — rather inaccurately alluded to as the intelligence of the earth.
Student — When the question was asked about the orbits of the planets becoming smaller and ultimately the planets becoming absorbed in the sun, I remembered that I have understood from HPB's calling the sun the elder brother of the planets that therefore the sun's evolution is farther advanced. Then, if that is right, the sun's period of manifestation in the solar system will have been finished ahead of the planets; and, if that is right, then does the sun remain as the life-giver for the rest of the planets, just as the Silent Watcher does on our earth-plane?
G. de P. — On the whole your question is admirably expressed with one exception. The sun is our elder brother, and not our parent. Our elder brother for two reasons: first, it is farther advanced along the evolutionary pathway — in fact the sun enspheres a living god; the other reason is that we are karmically and for eternity bound up with the vital essence of the sun, and as entities, both planets and the individual inhabitants of any planet, must live in that vital solar essence forever. But not necessarily always living in the same part of the solar system. The exception I have to note is that you are wrong in supposing that the sun's period of manifestation in the solar system will be completed ahead of the planets'. That is wrong. All the planetary vital, psychical, and spiritual energies — and this applies to all the planets — will be gathered into the sun before the sun's end comes. The sun is the first to appear in manifestation, and is thus our elder brother again. It is the last to vanish from this plane.
The vital essence of the sun extends throughout the solar system, permeates it. If you could see the solar system from another plane, you would find that to your then vision on this other plane, what is now the empty space of the solar system would seem to be a relatively solid body of matter, because the entire solar system is filled full with the energies, and with the physical, psychic, and spiritual substances, emanating from the sun and returning to it in circulatory lines, or rivers or streams. These circulatory lines or rivers or streams are the circulations, so far as the solar system is concerned, which I have called the circulations of the cosmos. They are rivers of life, connected always during the manifestation period of any solar system with innumerable multitudes of entities passing backwards and forwards from the heart of the sun outwards, and from the boundaries of the solar system backwards to the heart of the sun. The beating of this solar heart, which beating is known to our astronomers as the solar spot period of eleven years, is one entire circulatory round. Do you understand what I mean?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — Is the answer responsive to your question?
Student — Thank you, very much so.
Student — In The Voice of the Silence it says that Mars and Mercury were once two luminous suns, and in future days they may become two luminous suns again. And I was wondering, does the sun reimbody itself in planetary substance?
G. de P. — I will answer your intuitive question. What you quote refers to a somewhat different fact. When the sun reaches the end of its manvantara or period of manifestation, it breaks up into innumerable billions of particles, is dissipated, much as the physical body of a human being, when left to decay, is dissipated into its component atoms. These particles during the entire period of the solar nirvana or pralaya wander through space, and when the next solar manvantara at the end of the solar pralaya begins, these wandering particles of the sun that was, are concreted together into the planets and help to form the future planetary bodies.
Thus every planet in a former period of its existence was a glorious sun — that is, a part of a glorious sun. As all the planets re-enter the solar body when the solar system nears the end of its manvantara, so will they re-issue forth again — the same life-atoms which compose the old planets — and form planets anew.
Is the answer intelligibly responsive to your question?
Student — Yes, thank you. But it is not the entity that composed the sun, but it is just the particles, the atomic particles, of the structure of the sun?
G. de P. — Yes. The reference there is to what we see and call the sun, the glorious vesture of light and psychomagnetic forces which in their aggregate compose the body of our physical sun. The ensouling entity of the sun, the divine being of which the physical sun is the body, is of course alluded to only inferentially.
Student — I have noticed before I have a sick spell that I have a tendency to let myself down and to overeat. If I can hold up, I can ward off from within that spell, and I can also ward it off sometimes by having an osteopathic or a magnetic treatment or something of that kind. But fundamentally it seems that karma is force, or forces; and if we understood how to handle forces, we should understand how to handle karma. Is that right?
G. de P. — That is correct. It is very fortunate that the average human being does not understand how to interfere with his karmic destiny. If he did, he would make for himself a karmic destiny incomparably worse than that which he in his ignorance in his present state makes for himself. You can indeed — or rather it is possible indeed to — stave off sickness and illness by damming sickness back into the constitution, as Mr. Judge has pointed out. But this is a very dangerous and unwise thing to do. Don't confuse that statement, however, with the other fact that it is perfectly proper to keep a bright, cheerful, and happy mind. Try to keep that state of mind, because it is a great help. It helps you to produce better karma and to avoid making karma similar to the one which we are suffering at the present time. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes. But still not as well as I am going to understand you later of course. Because it seems a very vast and profound subject that we will have to learn in regard to these forces within us. It seems that there must be a right way. For example, we read in the Bhagavad-Gita something about that, and about balancing the forces, and about acting without making karma.
G. de P. — Oh, certainly, that is the case. When a man becomes wise, he will no longer do evil deeds, and thus lay up for himself causes of suffering and pain. He will be always compassionate in action. Compassion is one of the greatest preventives of sickness that I know. He will always be forgiving. He will always be loving. His whole nature will become harmonious by having these magnificent and powerful forces active in his heart and mind. Therefore his body will reflect the harmony of his soul; and the acts that a man does when in such a spiritual state are acts the karma of which is health, vision, evolutionary growth — all the good things.
It is selfishness that produces disease, and I mean selfishness when you go to the root of it all, not necessarily selfishness in the present life. There is such a thing as old karma not yet worked out. This old karma, having originated in the last life or in two lives last past, or it may be ten lives agone, has not yet had an opportunity to come out and dissipate its energies. Diseases are old bad karma working themselves out through the physical body. As I have said before several times, the physicians of the distant future, who will be wise magicians of the right-hand path, will know how to lead diseases out of the body carefully, wisely, so that the body will not be injured or hurt, and thus the system will be cleared in nature's own way of the poisons that it contains.
Student — I know I am selfish. I analyze and study these things, and I see that when I want to overeat it is selfishness. It is selfish for me to want things that are nice to the taste and that appeal to my desire-body, and I want to overcome that. I must overcome that selfishness.
G. de P. — That is quite right, and the very fact that you recognize it shows that you have already begun to climb. It is very creditable to you, I think, that you have made so frank a statement; and when I spoke of selfishness in answering your question, I was not alluding to you personally. It is the same with all of us. All our troubles, and sorrows and pains — psychical, mental, astral, and physical — originate in the fierce selfishness of the lower part of us, the grasping, acquisitive nature of us, the hunger for sensations of various kinds, which in order to gratify we do things and think thoughts which in their essence are selfishness imbodied.
Student — Is it not wise to feel that the body, which is the temple of the divinity that is within, should always be in perfect condition to house that divinity; and that when one feels the slightest inclination to do the least ill, the thought should be continuously held that the house should be perfectly clean for the divinity? Is that a good idea?
G. de P. — It is a most excellent idea. It is picturing and imaging the glorious Master within, and it produces a longing and a yearning to live up to the ideal which the mind thus holds.
Student — This is another question on the subject that was begun about the revolution of the planets. I understand that as they advance in their evolution their orbits become nearer and nearer the sun. Now the earth is, we might say, a reincarnation of the moon, and I imagine from what you have said that it is not this earth whose orbit changes and comes nearer to the sun, but when this earth passes away it will reincarnate as another planet. Now does that imply that as each reincarnation takes place the orbits become a little nearer to the sun? And will that mean the same thing, that the orbit of the moon is farther from the sun than the orbit of the earth is at present? Is that clear?
G. de P. — Quite clear. Let me say first, Doctor, that it is not correct to speak of the reincarnation of the earth. You mean the reimbodiment of the earth. You will remember of course that "reincarnation" means the reinfleshing, and thus this word reincarnation can be used only of men or of beasts which have houses of flesh.
Student — Thank you. You have corrected that before. I am sorry I made the mistake.
G. de P. — Now the question that you have asked is one that again touches upon very dangerous ground. Let me give the answer in the following way, and then you will make your own deductions. As I have already told you this evening, every planet of the solar system will re-enter the sun before the end of the solar manvantara. Is the answer sufficiently responsive to your question?
Student — Yes, I think so, thank you.
Student — You have told us, as I understand it, at different times that the sun and the moon stand for two planets which are very near to them, but which we cannot see. Now when we speak of these planets gradually being absorbed in the sun, does that mean the sun itself or the planet for which the sun stands?
G. de P. — It means that it is the sun which receives the planets of the solar system. But you use the wrong word when you say absorbed. They are not absorbed. They do not become part of the individuality of the sun. They merely enter the sun and then leave it afterwards; again to re-enter the sun, again to leave it. It is so with the life-atoms of our own physical plane. Any human body is constantly casting forth hosts of life-atoms — every day, every moment. These life-atoms leave the body, they peregrinate into other bodies — not necessarily of flesh. They may go into plants, they may go into the mineral world, they may go into beasts, may go into other humans; and they return to the body from which they came, pass a certain time there, and then move forth again on a new cycle of peregrinations. There is a constant stream of circulations all the time. But it is not the mystery-planets, or the mystery-planet for which the sun stands in symbolic astrology, into which the other planets enter, but it is the sun into which they enter.
As a matter of fact, the planets of the solar system, our solar system, are one class of highly evolved life-atoms originating from the substance of the sun; and therefore by nature's fundamental laws must, at certain periods of their evolution, return to the sun. In the bosom of the sun they pass a nirvana precisely as the more highly evolved reincarnating egos, the evolved life-atoms of the spiritual monad, pass their devachanic interludes in the bosom of the monad. The fact is the same in both cases, and the law is the same. In the one case it is the sun and the planets, in the other case it is human beings; and this is a striking example of how wonderfully the law of analogical reasoning will correctly guide your thoughts in these studies. "As above so below; as below so above." What takes place in one part of the cosmos is duplicated in other parts of the cosmos. That, I think, answers your question.
Student — Yes, but another one comes to mind. What is the relationship or the connection of this mysterious planet?
G. de P. — With what?
Student — With these planets that we have spoken of.
G. de P. — I think I see what you have in your mind. These mystery-planets are simply planets and no more. Just as our visible planets are planets and no more. You will understand that matter better when I add that our solar system contains scores of planets, which are perfectly invisible to us because our eyes have not been trained through evolution to catch and interpret the vibrations of the reflected light coming to us from them.
Student — But these are not just simply planets, are they? They are connected with something else; they are linked up with something.
G. de P. — With the solar system and with the sun. But not more so than our Earth, or Venus or Jupiter or Mars or Saturn or the Moon that was. These two mystery-planets, for which the sun and moon respectively are astrological substitutes for purposes of convenience only, are simply planets in the same way that the visible planets of the solar system are. They are simply invisible to us because our senses of perception cannot take them in; our eyes do not see them. And the scores of planets which are invisible to our eyes are some of them much higher than our earth. Others are much lower than our earth. The mere fact of their being invisible does not of necessity mean that they are superior either in quality or ahead of us on the evolutionary pathway.
For instance, absolute matter is invisible to us, and yet it is matter so dense or gross that nothing in our solar system can be denser or grosser. Therefore we humans speak of it as absolute matter. Do you understand me?
Student — I think I do. I will have to think about it.
Student — In speaking of health, the matter of accidents has caused me and many others a good deal of consideration, because in the many years we have been here we have noticed that accidents come in cycles. The medical authorities here will say that it is so, as it is with other things. Now accidents come in groups, and we have had several singular illustrations of that — the same kind of accidents happening to people quite independently situated at about the same time. Is there any way to minimize this or check that cycle? Or must it come? Or can we spread it out in some way more thinly? Or what is really at the bottom of that cycle of accidents? We can understand a cycle of contagious diseases, but a cycle of accidents seems a less simple thing.
G. de P. — I do not know what cycle of accidents you refer to.
Student — I mean three or four times when there have been similar accidents to members on the Hill; cases of broken bones, coming always within a few weeks or months of each other. And then long periods of none at all.
G. de P. — Is not that the same elsewhere? And are diseases in any way different from the standpoint of karma from what you call accidents, as when an epidemic breaks out and sweeps over the country, as the great influenza epidemic of some years ago did? It seems to me that accidents are merely more noteworthy to us because they are more sudden, and when several of them come along in the course of a few months we think that there is a cycle of them. Well, perhaps there is a cycle in a certain way. Of course, it is all a matter of karma, but I do not think that there is anything of particular importance about it.
I have noticed in my own life that sometimes I have caught myself passing through periods of mental and physical inattention — phases of my karma which I have noticed sometimes to last for days or even weeks. During those periods of abstract thought or concentration upon something that I have in mind, I am continually in danger of bruising myself, or stubbing my toe or knocking my head or hammering my thumb or something like that. We can speak of this as a cycle of accidents, I suppose, and so it is, but I do not see anything of particular import about it all.
Student — I am afraid I didn't make it quite clear. I did not mean accidents to one single person, I meant to a dozen people, and accidents of a similar kind. For instance, several of us all fell down from bicycles within a few weeks, and one or two broke a jaw.
G. de P. — Well, I had the same thought at the time that you did; but it is quite possible for a body of people to have collective periods of enthusiasm or collective phases of mental depression, or very often it is the weather that is largely accountable for such states. Heat and sultry weather make one a little more negligent perhaps, and when the morning is cool and bracing, the nerves are alert. I do not think that there is any particular matter of spiritual or psychical import about it.
Student — May I come back to the sun again?
G. de P. — I am afraid you are a Son of the Sun — and it is verily so!
Student — I hope so.
G. de P. — Pardon me, let me change that: I am very happy to see that you are a Son of the Sun.
Student — Of course we all know that a planet dies and becomes a moon, and for a great number of ages must revolve around its child-globe. Now when the whole solar manvantara is ended, does the sun die and become what you might call a sun-moon to the next sun, its child?
G. de P. — That is a most intuitive question that you have asked. And the answer in a general way is, yes. There is such a thing in nature as solar Dwellers of the Threshold, just as there are lunar Dwellers of the Threshold, or human kama-rupa Dwellers of the Threshold. Remember this, however, that the sun stands on a very high plane as contrasted with the lower entities of the solar system such as the gross physical planets, and the more or less gross entities inhabiting a planet like our earth.
The term solar Dweller of the Threshold is rather one of explanation, than of actual fact. It would be more truthful, I think, to say that what you might, for purposes of comparison only, call the kama-rupa of the sun that was, is rather the etheric atoms which once composed that sun, and which surround the new sun in the process of developing a solar system, as its field, as its electromagnetic field of activity.
Student — Thank you. That is very clear.
G. de P. — Somewhat as the ground into which a sower sows his seed — the sun being the sower and the ground being the electromagnetic particles. Strange as that term may sound to modern physicists, it is yet true.
Student — I would like to ask if you can tell us something about the summer solstice initiation?
G. de P. — Very little that I feel would be right to speak of. It is the least important of the four main periods of the year, and the least important also from the standpoint of initiations. Nevertheless it is important, very. Initiation can take place really at any time; but the greatest of the initiations take place at these four periods of the year: the winter solstice, the spring equinox, the summer solstice, and the autumnal equinox.
The autumnal equinox is the most mystical of them all, but perhaps not the greatest. The spring equinoctial initiation, if I may so speak of it, is perhaps the loftiest. The winter solstitial initiation is perhaps the easiest to understand because it is the time when a high chela has the opportunity of meeting his own inner god face to face, and becoming at one with it. The summer solstitial initiation is the period of initiation which is the least important, but only in the sense that it does not necessarily mean a step forward for the individual; yet from one standpoint it is I think the holiest of all the four because it means a sublime sacrifice of the individual. I do not know whether I make my meaning clear. It is very dangerous ground to touch upon.
The winter solstice, the spring equinox, and the autumnal equinox, are all initiation periods when enormous benefit accrues to the neophyte — and anyone who is initiated is a neophyte no matter how high he may be. Whereas the initiation that takes place at the time of the summer solstice is one in which the neophyte renounces self-progress for the benefit of others, and therefore this is why I called it the holiest. I cannot go farther into this: it is too sacred a matter. But I have given you perhaps a few ideas.
Student — Yes, thank you.
G. de P. — It is not the highest initiation, if you look upon mere rank, and I will try to elucidate that idea. Two men will enter a room. One is a General, the other is a Lieutenant. The General has a rank higher than the other, but the man of the minor rank as man may be incomparably farther along the path than his ranking superior.
Student — At one of the earlier meetings I understood you to say that when H. P. Blavatsky left this life, she spent a very short time in devachan, and since then she has been working consciously, protected, or held or guarded, by an akasic veil. Is it permitted to know more of what is meant by consciously, and if it necessarily implies incarnation?
G. de P. — Yes, the statement is quite correct except for one small phrase: guarded by an akasic veil. That was the fact only when HPB was in her last physical body, and a certain portion of her inner constitution was removed and held under guard for its own protection, you understand. HPB has finished her very short devachanic period and is working consciously. She is not incarnated in the West, but she is in a physical body and I am not authorized to say here whether that body is a child's body growing through natural processes, or whether it is an adult body into which she passed.
It is quite possible for an adept or for a chela with the help of an adept to leave his own body to die, and to pass into another adult body, which in certain circumstances is waiting and ready for it. You can draw your own conclusions.
Student — I wish to ask if the historical character Gautama the Buddha was the same as the ninth Vaishnavic incarnation of the avatara cycle. As I understand it, the ninth Vaishnavic avatara was called the Buddha. Is that the same character as Gautama the Buddha?
G. de P. — Well, you have asked a question bearing upon a very intricate problem. The Hindus of his time, and later Brahmanists, admit that the Buddha was a Vaishnavic incarnation, but say that he came as a karmic retribution in order to sow confusion into the minds of the people among whom he came. That is not the fact. The Buddha was the greatest of the sons of men in historic periods — covered by the last several million years. In only one sense was Gautama the Buddha an avatara. Not an avatara in the sense that Jesus was or Sankaracharya. In other words, the Buddha incarnated in the Prince Siddhartha of Kapilavastu, as the Buddha who was the next one to come in the line of the Buddhas of Compassion. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes, thank you. I was just going, if possible, to bring that in with the line of buddhas.
G. de P. — To bring what in?
Student — As I understand the teaching, there is a line of buddhas for every minor manvantara, and I wanted to ask whether he was one.
G. de P. — He was. He was the human incarnation of a celestial buddha. He was what is called the manushya-buddha, or human buddha, the representative on earth of a celestial buddha.
Let me tell you that esoteric Brahmanism and esoteric Buddhism are one and the same thing, the same body of doctrines exactly; but the Brahmanic hierarchy — that is, the religious organization of Brahmanism — is afflicted, although less so, with the same ecclesiastically narrow spirit that you will find in the Christian Church.
So consequently when the Buddha Gautama came, and by his teachings opened the doors of the initiation chambers a little as he did do, he immediately aroused the antagonism of the entire Brahmanical hierarchy who were the only ones at that time in India who had the keys to the truth, and who found it convenient, and in their vision wise, to keep those keys in their own possession, and not to let the people have a greater light than that which their ecclesiastical organization could give to them.
This the Buddha opposed. He said: "My message is for all mankind." Therefore did the members of the ecclesiastical Brahmanical hierarchy say: "He was an incarnation of a portion of Vishnu, but on account of the sins of the world, the teachings that this incarnation gave came as a retribution and a chastisement." Do you understand their idea?
I will answer one or two questions more, and then I think that we had better close the meeting.
Student — Among the questions that have been asked tonight were many that might be described as cosmic in a sense, because they were not personal; and others would be personal in the sense of touching upon selfishness and unselfishness in conduct. Is it not true that in order to understand the real inwardness of the study of unselfishness, we must raise our minds to that difficult, extremely difficult, study of the cosmic side of being?
G. de P. — Yes, you are quite right. And precisely because such questions as the genesis of worlds and their nature and their destiny bear very strongly upon questions of ethics, do the great teachers lay so much stress on the necessity of a proper understanding of the philosophy of theosophy, of its cosmic philosophy, of the scientific aspect, and the philosophical aspect, as well as the religious aspect.
It may not seem immediately apparent to many students in what manner or after what fashion the study of the seven principles of man or of the universe bears upon morals; but yet they do. They show the fundamental oneness of all things; they show how things are knitted together; they show how nothing can live unto itself alone — that what one does is felt and reflected by all others. These bear directly and powerfully upon the reasons for ethical conduct. Such teachings show the need of ethics. They discover, that is uncover, lay bare, the truths of Being. Ethics thus become a sublime study, a need and a duty, and are no longer a study of mere human conventions. It is much better to study the seven principles of man and the seven globes of the planetary chain or of any other chain, and similar subjects, than to sit down and write merely flapdoodle articles: "It is good to be good, because being good is good." Unquestionably true, but it tells you nothing. It lights no fires of inspiration in your heart. You see no reason for being good. No truth is thereby uncovered.
Student — I think it was a week ago that you spoke of HPB as the latest of the avataras. Can you give us more light on this subject?
G. de P. — Yes, I did say something like that, but just what I did say I don't recollect just now. I did then use the word avatara, but in a more restricted sense that I would have used it had I been speaking of Krishna, or of Sankaracharya, or of Jesus. I used it as descriptive of the fact that, like these three just named, so also was it in the case of HPB — she was an imbodiment of a spiritual-divine power working through her and apart from the powers of her own inner god. In that sense she was an avatara, or the representative on earth in human shape of at least some of the powers, energies, faculties, capacities, capabilities, of at least a portion of some lofty sublime entity. Added to the fact — and here also comes in the avataric aspect — that her intermediate nature as a messenger was often not her own, which had been withdrawn, but was that of a superior temporarily dwelling in her and working and teaching through her. That is the avataric idea, and therefore I said what I did about her being in a restricted sense an example of an avatara.