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G. de P. — Now, Companions, I am ready to answer any questions, according to our usual course of study.
Student — Are questions on the Mysteries of Eleusis in order?
G. de P. — Certainly, if you don't go too far.
Student — I would like to ask if the drinking of the kukeon had a significance like the drinking of the soma-juice?
G. de P. — Yes, the idea was exactly the same.
Student — Then there was an effect upon the neophyte more than just the simple symbolical significance?
G. de P. — You mean a magical effect, a psychological effect?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — Well, it was not so towards the downfall of the Mysteries. At about the time of the beginning of the Christian era, so called, the Mysteries of Eleusis had greatly degenerated; the whole thing had become a mere ceremonial. But in the early days, hundreds of years before that, the drinking from the cup, the "blood of the god" meant — don't you understand from the words I have just said? — becoming one with the god-life.
Student — Yes, thank you.
G. de P. — It was a communion which as a form passed into the Christian Church as the partaking of the cup and the partaking of the bread of the Eucharist — wine and the cereals standing respectively for spiritual life and intellectual teaching.
Student — One more question, if possible. It was said that the epopt gave to the neophyte the words katchka om paksha — according to the French version. Could you give the meaning of those words?
G. de P. — Those are words which have exercised the imagination of archaeological scholars for more than two hundred years: Knox ompax. These vocables have no particular meaning at all as words. They are actually passwords. I am awfully sorry that I cannot say more here. I wish I could tell you more. Perhaps sometime I will.
Student — Referring to the subject that was discussed at our last meeting about the moons and the planets: we know that our moon is dead. But are all the moons of all the other planets dead likewise?
G. de P. — No, they are not. Some of the so-called moons of other planets are really not moons at all, if we mean by the term moon a dead planet — the former imbodiment of the new planet around which that now dead moon revolves. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, Professor.
G. de P. — Our moon is a true moon. It was the parent of the earth. No planet can have more than one true moon at a time. Consequently the other moons, so called, are captures, such as the moons of Jupiter and the moons of Saturn.
Student — Yes, that was what puzzled me. Then each planet has one real moon, one dead moon?
G. de P. — No. Every planet does not now have a moon; but every planet has had a moon, and many also still have a moon. For instance, neither Venus nor Mercury has a moon now, but they once had moons just as the Earth has. They had parents just as the Earth had. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, thank you, Professor.
G. de P. — I do not think you do.
Student — I think I do.
G. de P. — Very well, if you are satisfied. I thought that I detected a note of doubt in your voice.
Student — I would like to think about it more. I may ask more at our next meeting.
G. de P. — I would like to add, Companions, that the reason why neither Mercury nor Venus has a moon is that the moons of these two planets have long since been dissipated into cosmic dust. These two planets are much older than the earth, both of them; and our moon, before the earth finishes its evolutionary period, will likewise have vanished into cosmic dust. In far past ages the moon was much larger than it now is, and also much closer to the earth than now it is.
Student — May I ask something about moons? There is always a big difficulty about the moons of Mars. They seem to be quite different from others, because they are so ridiculously small in proportion to Mars. They are almost invisible, one being not larger than Point Loma. There is a suggestion in The Secret Doctrine that they are captures also, and are not properly moons. Did Mars' real moon disappear too? Was it a large one?
G. de P. — No, the true moon of Mars has not disappeared yet. Mars is a much younger planet than the Earth is; much younger, as the planets now stand in evolutionary development at the present instant. In other words, Mars is not as far advanced along its own evolutionary journey as our Earth is. Similarly Venus and Mercury are much farther advanced along their evolutionary journey than the Earth is.
I was told a day or two ago that some recent idea of Mr. Leadbeater's is, that the Masters now on Earth have been invited by somebody or something or other to go and be the humanity or the overseers of the humanity on the planet Mercury, I think.
Student — Yes, that was in general what his statement was.
G. de P. — Evidently Mr. Leadbeater does not read HPB's Secret Doctrine; or, if he does, he does not believe in it, or perhaps he does not understand it.
Student — May I ask a question? What is the red spot on Jupiter?
G. de P. — You mean the red spot that caused so much discussion some few scores of years ago?
Student — Yes, Professor, that one.
G. de P. — Naturally that red spot has interested astronomers and bothered them a good deal, because they do not know what caused it; but it is nothing of particular importance. It is due to two things: first, to a phase in the evolution of the planet Jupiter; and also to the effect, the karmic effect, on that planet of one of the raja-stars. I do not know whether you know what a raja-star is.
Student — You have spoken of it before.
G. de P. — A raja-star, or king-star, is one which on account of the enormous spiritual and psychical influences that it exercises on surrounding space, is given that name.
You might call it a central sun around which other suns and satellites revolve. A raja-star may or may not be accompanied by planets.
As a matter of fact, cosmic space has millions of these raja-stars scattered through it. Some of them are connected with our solar system karmically, and others are not.
Jupiter is a very interesting planet in some ways. The planets outside the orbit of the earth, those farther from the sun than the earth is, are at one and the same time more ethereal than are the planets nearer the sun beginning with the earth, and yet in one or two cases are of a more material quality. Now that statement sounds like a contradiction, but it is not. They are more ethereal because they are younger than the earth is, less materially consolidated. But the character of them, their intrinsic swabhava or characteristic quality, will lead them into a grosser and more material development even than that of the earth.
Saturn, for instance, is at present less dense than water, much less dense actually, and yet it is a much more material planet in swabhavic characteristic even than our earth is. I do not mean physically material, I mean more material in quality.
Now this red spot on Jupiter — if you can imagine a collection or aggregate, or group of psychical-material entities swarming like bees in or rather on a young planet, and on account of certain peculiar karmic conditions closely connected with a raja-sun which actually has produced that collecting together, then you will understand perhaps what the red spot is. Jupiter is inhabited, but by beings of its own kind or type, or quality. They are inhabitants of a Jovian type, just as the inhabitants of earth are inhabitants of an Earth type.
Are there any other questions?
Student — Is it not said in The Mahatma Letters that Jupiter hides a raja-star, or raja-sun rather? And may it be that sun causing the red spot shining through the etherealized material of Jupiter, but only visible to us as a red spot?
G. de P. — Yes, the first part of the statement is quite correct. I believe one of the Masters in The Mahatma Letters speaks of this. But it would not be the raja-sun shining through the material of Jupiter and producing this red spot, because this raja-sun you could not see; it does not produce light that our eyes could take in and vision as light. It is an invisible star — that is, invisible to our eyes. It exists on a superior plane. It is nevertheless a sun.
Actually, this raja-star, so far as this our own cosmic plane is concerned, is a nucleus of matter in its seventh or highest stage, just as the heart of our own sun is. It is therefore utterly invisible to merely physical eyes. It is, in fact, energy — what the scientists would call a ball of energy. Nevertheless it is a star on its downward path, that is, on its descending arc of its own particular solar round. Stars themselves have their rounds, just as planets have. Beginning in the invisible worlds, they gradually descend through the intermediate worlds down into more concrete and material existence until they reach the bottom, each one, of its own individual cycle of descent; and then they begin the rise again on the luminous arc, or ascending arc. This particular raja-star behind Jupiter — and it does not mean so much "behind" it physically — is in just that period of its evolution.
There is an interesting point of thought here. The influence of raja-suns is not derived solely from size and volume, but from the intensity of the spiritual and psychical currents pouring through them — pouring through each one as an individual. The raja-sun here spoken of in connection with the planet Jupiter is actually a mere physical point, atom-size; and yet its influence over its own realms, or in its own realms, is enormously greater than that of our own sun in its realm.
Do you understand?
Student — Yes, thoroughly.
Student — Already some of our members have been presented with the problems of meeting Adyar members holding very strong views about Krishnamurti, the new race forming in California, astral experiences, etc. Suggestions as to the way in which to handle this matter without giving them offense would be very welcome.
G. de P. — Kindliness, listening rather than talking. But if you are asked questions, then tell the truth. State frankly that Mr. Krishnamurti according to his own public declarations is not a theosophist, and that consequently our business is not with him. You can say — if it is true, of course — that you have respect for him as an honest young man. I would say that if I were asked the question. I don't think that he is very wise; I don't think that he is very farsighted; but I believe him to be honest and kindly. I think that he wants to do good; but as he is not a theosophist I cannot take precious time to give to him and to his teaching. In general I would answer: my work is among theosophists, I want to work with theosophists — for genuine theosophy.
If people talk to you about psychic experiences, then listen kindly to them and of course draw your own conclusions. Do not be unkind or harsh or, as the saying goes, 'slap the face' of people who do not know better; but by kindly words and hints point to statements in our books and in our teachings that will give them a more proper view of things, a more sane view.
Nevertheless — and this is not only honest, but it is wise — when it comes to matters of principle, then declare yourself positively, but do so kindly. Don't do so abruptly and rudely, do it kindly and fraternally. Try to understand their view, and if you need to talk to them, then explain. Do so, if you need to do so; but try to teach them rather in the silence and with a kindly heart.
Sometimes a mere little gesture of the hand is much more effective in causing the other man to think than is an angry answer, or than is an answer which makes the other man think that you look upon him as a fool. People are not helped that way, you know. In other words, use common sense, let your heart speak with your brain wide awake and alert. Be wise, be kindly. Wisdom and love, the serpent and the dove: the initiate and the neophyte.
Is the answer enough do you think, to give a clue to what I would suggest as a proper answer?
Student — Yes, I am very much obliged. But I was just thinking of some cases. I heard one the other day say: "Oh, I visit Point Loma in the astral very often, and I know every detail of your place." Well, one can smile and pass it off, I suppose?
G. de P. — Yes, I would. Just smile kindly, and pass it off in that way, and you can add a little touch of humor to your smile too. Why not say: "By Jove, isn't that interesting. Do tell me, what did I do this morning?"
Student — May I ask one more question? We are taught that man being the microcosm of universal forces, each part of his body represents the effect or reflection on the physical plane of some intelligent creative force-consciousness expressing itself in matter. Does this apply to men — intelligent beings possessing mind — on other planets, although they may differ from us in shape? Do they also represent, though under dissimilar forms, the same seven or ten primary creative forces, or do other unknown forces come into play in the formation of men on other planets?
G. de P. — No, the same forces exactly, because the same forces are fundamental and ubiquitous in the universe. But remember that because the seven cosmic planes have each one seven subordinate planes, and each of these subplanes can again be subdivided, the interminglings of these planes are very numerous indeed, and thus produce the vast variety and diversity that we see all around us. Consequently, on another planet where conditions are different, the same forces would be working but would be expressing themselves in different and differing ways.
But here is a most important point which our theosophists continually lose sight of, I do believe: the originating causes of all things, and therefore of all diversities and differences, are from within. Do you get the idea? Back of the swabhava, back of the individuality, or monadic essence of every entity or thing, there is infinitude. Consequently upon this inner, inmost, reservoir you can always draw. All the various phenomena of manifestation ultimately spring forth from within. This 'within' contains all things, and all varieties of things; and the one phase of the eternity-long movements of this inmost stage, or nature or characteristic, which is now developed in the case of us, is manhood. In the case of the gods it is godhood. We shall also in time evolve forth godhood, just as we have evolved forth manhood.
Consequently, the inhabitants of other planets, and the spiritual inhabitants of the stars which bestrew space, live fundamentally in the same essential cosmic energies and substances; but in each individual instance these fundamental substances or elements and energies express themselves according to the particular phase which any entity at the time is passing through.
Student — May that idea be used in writing at all, without being too explicit? Because it is very important if it can be.
G. de P. — Certainly you can. HPB speaks of it again and again in a rather veiled form in The Secret Doctrine. But this idea of the inner god as the fountain of what any entity is, is a most wonderful key if you will allow your mind to dwell upon it, ponder on it, brood upon it.
Student — Out in the world there is the common idea that man is the victim of his environment, that his environment makes him. Of course as theosophists we do not believe that, but we have to meet that sophistry. And yet it seems to me that there is some truth in it, because it is very difficult for weak souls to come into a world that has such hard social conditions. You see, we meet those two ideas: one, that man is the victim of his environment; and the other that it is his karma.
G. de P. — Well, you have very neatly and well set forth the essential difference between evolution as expressed in modern scientific circles based upon the idea originating with Darwin, and the theosophical teaching of evolution. It is practically true that environment does influence entities; but it must be remembered that the entity enters such or another environment because it is his karma to do so. He himself so lived in past existences as to bring about the present new existence in this environment; and that same entity — and similarly so with all other entities involved — is a part of that environment, an integral part, and thus helps to form the same environment for all other entities which in their turn likewise help to form that environment. It is all action and interaction, mingling and intermingling, locking and interlocking.
The only way to meet inquirers along this line and to answer their questions properly is by teaching theosophy, by explaining, by working, and by hammering at the truth; trying not to be discouraged by the dull minds that one meets, but keeping at it all the time — teaching, teaching, teaching through the years.
Just look at ourselves, how long it has taken many of us to assimilate the majestic theosophical doctrines. Remember how simple they appeared at first, and then came the mental difficulties when we began to know a little more about them. But those difficulties were just the things that we needed in order to stimulate a livelier interest to probe more deeply into them. Then came a newer and stronger and brighter light.
Do you understand me?
Student — Yes, thank you. But it seems awfully hard for those young souls.
G. de P. — Yes, in a way it may be so, but isn't that the case with all of us? It is the way by which we learn. When you think about it, in this wonderful universe the highest god in highest heaven as compared with eternity and infinity is but an embryo-entity just beginning to learn, beginning to grow, because it is always entering upon a new phase of illumination and progress. Growth is endless, and in one sense is but a continuous unending expansion of consciousness flowing forth from within.
Student — It is customary with us in thinking of inhabitants to associate them entirely with the various heavenly bodies; but is it also true that there are just as many inhabitants in the spaces between the heavenly bodies? There is much more room there.
G. de P. — Why of course. And of course also is it true that what human beings popularly call empty space is filled full with entities; but nevertheless — and this should be carefully noted — all exist in some home, in some sphere, on some globe.
Let me tell you something. Interstellar space and interplanetary space is packed full with interpenetrating globes. On any one plane like our physical plane, the globes are spaced rather widely apart. But there are planes within planes, wheels within wheels, realms within realms, all interpenetrating. There is not a point, a mathematical point, in infinitude which is not a monad.
Student — This is on another subject. I have often wondered how it is that the religion that was started by the Buddha should have deteriorated to its present state; and I wonder, is there not the same danger for the theosophical movement to crystallize into a religion? The messenger in the first case was the Buddha; he was perhaps the highest messenger who has come to the earth for millions of years.
G. de P. — True.
Student — And in the second place it was H. P. Blavatsky, who was not as high as the Buddha. Was the coming to this earth of the one less momentous than that of the other?
G. de P. — Yes, it was less momentous. That statement is quite true. But with regard to the second or rather the intermediate part of your remarks: it is precisely the danger of the degeneration of theosophy into a sectarian religion that we must prevent, and that fate has already begun and is proceeding apace in the largest of the Theosophical Societies, so called, existing today. I don't care to point more particularly. It was because of this danger being imminent that the need for checking things, for separating the sheep from the goats, has become so great at the present time. The theosophical movement must be kept pure and inspired by the original unadulterated teachings derived from the flow of inspiration from the Great Lodge. The theosophical movement must not be allowed to degenerate into a dogmatic religion, into a sectarian faith.
It matters not what happens to individual theosophists. It matters not what happens to the messengers. The work of safety and purification must be done, and it will be done. I will tell you frankly that I was sent to do that work more than anything else — to rescue genuine theosophists in the other societies, and to keep our own Society in the purity, in the theosophical purity, that at present distinguishes it, and this is due more than anything else to KT's masterly esoteric training. That saved the situation even in the earlier days when she first came into office. You should know this fact. One less strong than she would have failed. It was her very strength, her willpower, her vision, that brought upon her devoted head the hatred and misrepresentations regarding her and her character and her work that exist in the world today outside of our Society.
Now coming to the first part of your question regarding the religion of the Buddha: it is true that in certain doctrinal aspects it has not retained the crystalline purity that it had as long as the great master lived. But granting that, nevertheless this also should be said, that it is the most theosophical in the proper sense of the word of any religion or religious philosophy on the earth today. It is the cleanest, the purest, the loftiest religion on earth today, and the least degenerated of them all.
Student — My question is regarding thoughts. It has been partly answered in speaking of the monadic essence in which lies the fountain of all we receive, and in speaking of the will, of which we partake, being universal.
I do not quite understand how it is, but a thought comes to us and it becomes good or evil as we use it. Is it that a thought coming to us from the monadic essence in its purity is colored by our lower rays, egos, veils?
G. de P. — You are speaking of thought?
Student — Yes, thought.
G. de P. — No. Thought originates in the ego. Thought is really thoughts. Thought is merely an abstraction. There is, strictly speaking, no such thing as thought, per se, any more than there is such a thing as length, per se, or breadth, or depth. But there are long things, broad things, deep things. There is no such thing as thought, but there are thoughts, and thoughts are born in the egoic part of the human constitution. It is consciousness which flows forth from the monadic essence; and this consciousness builds for itself mansions out of its own stuff, much as a cocoon is built out of the very stuff of the entity within it; and it is this ego thus builded which thinks thoughts.
Now as regards the will. Will is a part of what I have called consciousness. It is an impersonal energy, just like electricity for instance. Electricity can be used for evil purposes or for good purposes. In itself it is impersonal. The will likewise, when passing through the egoic center, through an ego, can be used for evil purposes or good purposes — evil and good meaning respectively against nature's evolutionary river, or flowing with it, with the Law, or against the Law.
Do you understand?
Student — Yes, Professor.
Student — I would like to ask whether the time has come in the evolution of the race when it will be possible with great care to keep this movement pure, so that never again it need fall into the same mistakes that other movements have made in the past.
G. de P. — Yes, Doctor, it is possible. The time has arrived in the racial evolution when this last effort made by the Masters can be kept as it was given to us, pure and unadulterated. And that is what we are here for. Please remember, Companions, that it is not mere numbers of adherents to which the Masters look as the distinguishing quality.
The Christian Church, for instance, as compared with our own small Theosophical Society, is a giant, and yet see how weak it is in spiritual things. It is quality that we are striving for; and although, as I have written again and again, one of our first duties is to increase our membership by every means in our power, nevertheless we should never forget that at the same time what we really want is not only members but first, and above all other things, quality in the members that we have. This quality shows in those who love theosophy so that it fills their lives, and thus there is an instinct in them to live for it, and to die for it, if needs be. That is the chela-spirit.
As long as that spirit can be kept alive, the Theosophical Society will live on into the future, pure and undefiled, and nothing in the universe can prevail against it, or will, because a spiritual movement such as this was intended to be — and in our own Society even yet is — is allied to the very heart of the universe, which heart is the fountain of light.
If it fails, if the theosophical movement fails, we shall be responsible — you and I. The theosophical movement is humanity's hope, and this is no grandiloquent phrase, no vain boast. It is holy truth. Nothing matters in comparison. Nothing matters at all — what happens to you or to me — if we can keep the Society as it was given to us. As we have received it we must hand it on; and, please the Immortal Gods, we will!
There are millions of people in the world who, when they know something of genuine theosophy, will be drawn to it and will join us. The great difficulty is in destroying the cobwebby veils which becloud people's brain-minds; trying to open their eyes so that they will see and understand what the theosophical movement is, what the Theosophical Society is, what we are working for. To use an old expression, "God and one man can conquer the world."
Student — May I ask one more question? I would like to know if the pratyeka buddhas have a Lodge and are working to gain adherents among humanity, and so in a sense are working against us. I mean to say, are they interested in trying to bring humanity to their views instead of ours?
G. de P. — Yes, in a sense they are. And yet they are very pure and holy beings. They have no Lodge, at least as far as I know. The very name pratyeka means "for himself alone." The pratyeka buddha is a buddha, one who has become at one with the god within, more or less, because there are pratyeka buddhas of different degrees — but note well that they are not buddhas of compassion. They are great and noble, highly evolved, spiritual men, whose whole strength is concentrated on gaining "salvation," but for themselves alone. They would like the world to be where they are; they have great love and sympathy for the world. They do no harm at all, could not be buddhas if they did, but they are solitary; the whole strength of their being is concentrated on evolution for themselves, to attain nirvana for themselves.
Whereas the buddhas of compassion give up, resign, renounce, the gain for self in order to help mankind — more than that, in order to help the world, all things both great and small. In order to do this, to achieve their sublime work more easily, they found schools, they institute societies, orders, among men, like our own theosophical movement. As I have already told you, our own holy Order is headed by a buddha of compassion, who is often spoken of as the Maha-chohan.
Student — May I ask if there are any pratyeka buddhas in history or known to the world, or would they just seem ordinary people to us, perhaps all around us?
G. de P. — The pratyeka buddhas do not found schools. The very name means "each for himself," therefore solitaries. They are often called in the mystic literature of the Orient rhinoceroses, because they live alone as that beast does. They retire from the world. They go into retreats and attain nirvana in peace and happiness for themselves. But they are very holy simply because they have reached the sublime state of true spirituality, but nevertheless for themselves alone. In other words, they are human beings who have advanced so far along the evolutionary pathway that they are like men-gods, at least in the highest grades of them; whereas the buddhas of compassion remain in the world, teach, help, guard humanity, save, as far as they can, and found schools, institute sacred orders such as ours at different times in history, and live in the world for the world, not for themselves. But both classes are buddhas.
Student — May I ask a question? We have been told of course that we are entering kali yuga, a period of enormous extent.
G. de P. — We have entered it.
Student — Yes, we have entered it. And that the depths of that cycle are still to come. As I understand it, we shall sink lower and lower, pass through much more material experiences is that correct — than we have known thus far?
G. de P. — That is correct, yes.
Student — And that in this great cycle there are numberless or several small rises, and that at the present time we are at the beginning of one of those rises? Now if theosophy is kept pure, is it possible to carry it through? We can readily understand that it might be carried pure through the extent or period of this one rise, but could it be carried pure over the great fall or descents that are to come? And also I have another question in connection with that which I shall ask later.
G. de P. — Well, what is the question?
Student — The present question: is it possible for theosophy to be kept continually pure throughout the entire kali yuga, no matter what the descent may be?
G. de P. — Certainly. You have forgotten, or at any rate you have not stated it, one most important fact of the spiritual psychological equation that you have just spoken of: that all things on our earth's planetary chain are now on the ascending or luminous arc. Therefore all things are constantly ascending, although it may be at present with extreme slowness because there is little momentum behind us, which nevertheless means that we have back of us an enormous spiritual force.
Student — Yes, that was never clear in my mind how you could combine the two.
G. de P. — We are steadily going up the mountain, so that kali yuga means a deep descent into a valley, although the descent itself is on the steady upward rise. Remember also that any deep descent is composed of an up-and-down pathway, but with the general tendency rising. Do you see the picture?
Student — Oh, yes. May I ask another question? What constitutes or makes the terror, the force, of this descent? Is it the coming into incarnation of evil beings that are not with us now; or the falling upon us of old karma? Or is it something that we could avoid, and pass through without the experience under the wheel, as it were?
G. de P. — In other words not have any kali yuga?
Student — No. We might say that the world, humanity as a whole, is underneath the wheel. But those who have the light of this philosophy, though we may experience the same sorrows, are not under the wheel. We are on top. We are as powers above it.
G. de P. — That is true.
Student — Now is it possible for humanity to pass through the terrible experiences — as seen from the higher viewpoint — that are coming?
G. de P. — It is possible, but the average humanity won't do it. And I will tell you the reason why in a moment or two. But first let me say that in order to minimize the evil as far as possible, in order to render great and substantial spiritual and intellectual help in the coming dark periods, the theosophical movement, a spiritual movement, was founded. The reason why the bulk of humanity will not remain on top but will deliberately go down into kali yuga until the next rise begins, is the fact that all these four yuga periods succeeding each other regularly through time are cyclical periods arising in nature's own processes. They are like a wheel, a rapidly whirling wheel of life. You cannot go up unless you have come down previously, and if you go up, that wheel will turn you down. But for individuals or for any collection or aggregate of individuals, while the downward turn will undoubtedly take place, even so they can call upon their inner divine powers, so that although the physical body and the mentality, as they certainly will, will be affected by the descent of the wheel, nevertheless interiorly they can be on higher planes. The figure is involved, the picture is rather obscure, perhaps, but likewise it may help you to understand. Do you?
Student — Thank you, yes, fully I think. And I have one more question.
G. de P. — For instance, the Masters of Compassion and Wisdom and Peace, when they incarnate, have to take physical bodies belonging to this gross earth, because it is a material earth. It is almost at the lowest point of the descent, but yet they are Masters of Wisdom and Compassion and Peace even now. Similarly is it with the buddhas of compassion. When they incarnate they have to take fourth-round bodies, because there are none others on this planet, but they nevertheless remain buddhas of compassion. Is that clear?
Student — Perfectly clear.
G. de P. — What then is your next question?
Student — It is this: what you have just said seems to be an explanation of that stanza in The Voice of the Silence which asks the question, "Shalt thou divert the stream for thine own sake, or send it back to its prime source along the crests of cycles?" Now that "along the crests of cycles" was in my mind; and is it not what you have just explained?
G. de P. — Yes, the reference actually is to the fact that cycles exist, and that their periods of flowering will be on the crests, along — it is "along" there I believe — crest after crest. It does not mean that they will jump, so to say, from crest to crest. They must follow the wheel of life because they are karmically bound to it. You have clearly set forth also, in using that quotation, the essential difference between the pratyeka buddhas and the buddhas of compassion. The one diverts the stream of the spirit for his own ends; but as those ends are very pure and lofty, they are buddhas.
Pratyeka buddhas are not evil; just the contrary, they are very pure and holy men. But judged from the standpoint of the buddhas of compassion, there is a spiritual selfishness there, a concentration on self. Do you understand? The time will come in the distant aeons of the far future when karma, having written the record, will expose the entries on the books, and then the buddhas of compassion, having laid up treasures in heaven, to use the figure of Jesus, will draw upon those treasures, and will be aeons ahead of the pratyeka buddhas in an evolutionary sense. I think that I have tried to explain this matter at some former meeting.
Now, Companions, I will answer two or three more questions, if there are any to be asked.
Student — Was Moses a messenger sent out also? When he took the Jews from Egypt?
G. de P. — Yes, I understand what you mean. I am trying to think how best to answer your question so as not to mislead you. Moses was a type-figure, but was actually founded on a real man who as a messenger was sent to the Jews. The stories told about him in the Old Testament are allegorical stories. I think that this answers your question.
Student — Yes, thank you.
Student — In thinking over our relation with our own inner god it seems to dawn upon one's consciousness that we are really not inhabitants of a physical world, but rather inhabitants, if you could put it in that way, of a being. If that is so, would there not be what you might call a geography of that being, just as there is a physical geography of the world? Is it not possible to know it with great exactitude?
G. de P. — Yes, it is. It is perfectly true that we humans are life-atoms in the physical vehicle of some cosmic entity. It is exactly like the atoms of our body which are inhabitants of us. There is furthermore what you might call a topography of this divine being, or a cosmography, and you see it in the skies above you in its physical aspect. A solar system is an atom of this cosmic being. Our own home-universe, which means everything comprised within the bounds of the Milky Way, is a cell of this cosmic being. And all other outlying universes are other cells.
As I have tried to tell you on other occasions, my dear Companions, the entities inhabiting some of the atoms of our physical bodies — and this is a fact — are as incognizant of us, except intuitively, spiritually, as we are as men incognizant of this cosmic entity "in whom we live and move and have our being," as Paul of the Christians said. We live in its life. That life is our spiritual fountainhead. It is the source of our being. To it we shall ultimately return in consciousness. This cosmic entity in its turn is but a life-atom in the being of some other entity still more incomprehensibly vast.
What pictures, what thoughts, our sublime philosophy gives to us! Do you know that every human being is destined in the future not only to become a solar system, but at some later date in eternity, if I can use such an expression — is destined to become a universe? And then ascend still higher?
Student — May I ask a question? Do the electrons in an atom have their origin in the proton in the same way that the planets have their origin in the sun?
G. de P. — In the same way as the planets have their origin in the sun?
Student — Well, by that I mean that they are children of the sun, they belong to the sun; and don't I understand that they come into being from the remnants of the old sun that was in the previous manvantara?
G. de P. — Now that you have explained yourself, your remarks are all right. And it is so in the atom. But remember that the sun, while our parent, is nevertheless only our elder brother, paradoxical as that sounds. The reason being that we are just as old as the sun is. The sun is simply an aggregate of such life-atoms manifesting as a ball or bundle of cosmic forces, energies. We enter the sun and then we leave the sun.
Planets are of the body of the sun, and yet are themselves entities pursuing their own lines of evolution. They are co-eternal with the sun, and yet because they pass through the sun at certain periods — enter the sun and leave it — it is also appropriate to say that the sun is our parent; just as the life-atom of a child at one time existed in its father's body. The father therefore is the elder brother of his son, and also his parent. These expressions sound quaint, but simply because we have no words in which rightly to express these thoughts.
I think, Companions, that we had better close the meeting for tonight.
[The sounding of the gong. Silence.]