Theosophical University Press Online Edition
While studying these ancient ideas, we may as well prepare ourselves to have them clash with many long-accepted views. But since Science has very little save conjecture to offer when it attempts to solve the great problems of genesis and cosmogenesis, and, in the act of denying old dogmas, almost always starts with a hypothesis, the Theosophist may feel safe. In important matters, such as the heat of the sun or the history of the moon there is no agreement between scientists or astronomers. Newton, Pouillet, Zollner, Secchi, Fizeau, Waterston, Rosetti, and others all differ about the sun, the divergence between their estimates of its heat being as high as 8,998,600 degrees.
If we find the Adepts stating that the moon is not a mass thrown off from the earth in cooling, but, on the contrary, is the progenitor of this globe, we need not fear the jeers of a Science that is as uncertain and unsafe in many things as it is positive.
Had I to deal only with those learned men of the schools who abide by the last utterance from the mouths of the leaders of Science, I should never attempt the task of speaking of the beings and hierarchies who guide the lives of which I wrote in my last. My pen would drop from a hand paralyzed by negations. But the spiritual beliefs of the common people will still be in vogue when the learned materialist has passed away. The great Immanuel Kant said; "I confess I am much disposed to assert the existence of immaterial natures in the world, and to place my own soul in the class of these beings. It will hereafter, I know not where nor when, yet be proved that the human soul stands, even in this life, in indissoluble connection with all immaterial natures in the Spirit world, that it reciprocally acts upon these, and receives impressions from them." And the greater number of men think so also.
That there are hierarchies ruling in the universe is not a new idea. It can be easily found today in the Christian Church. The early fathers taught it, St. Paul spoke of it, and the Roman Catholic Church has it clearly now in the Book of Ritual of the Spirits of the Stars. The four archangels who guard the four cardinal points represent the groups of rulers in the ancient system, or the heads of each group. In that system the rulers are named Dhyan Chohans. Although the Theosophical philosophy does not postulate a personal God, whether extra- or intra-cosmic, it cannot admit that Nature is left unaided in her work, but asserts that the Dhyan Chohans aid her, and are constantly occupied in directing the all-pervading life in its evolutionary movement. Mme. Blavatsky, speaking on this subject in her Secret Doctrine, quotes from the old Book of Dzyan thus:
"An army of the Sons of Light stands at each angle, the Lipika in the middle wheel."
The four angles are the four quarters, and the "middle wheel" is the center of space; and that center is everywhere, because as space is illimitable, the center of it must be wherever the cognizing consciousness is. And the same author, using the Disciple's Catechism, writes:
"What is it that ever is? Space, the Anupadaka. What is it that ever was? The germ in the Root. What is it that is ever coming and going? The Great Breath. Then there are three eternals? No, the three are one. That which ever is is one; that which ever was is one; that which is ever being and becoming is also one; and this is space."
In this parentless and eternal space is the wheel in the center where the Lipika are, of whom I cannot speak; at the four angles are the Dhyan Chohans, and doing their will among men on this earth are the Adepts — the Mahatmas. The harmony of the spheres is the voice of the Law, and that voice is obeyed alike by the Dhyan Chohan and the Mahatma — on their part with willingness, because they are the law; on the part of men and creatures because they are bound by the adamantine chains of the law which they do not understand.
When I said that nothing could be spoken about the Lipika, I meant that, because of their mysterious nature and incomprehensible powers, it is not possible to know enough to say anything with either sense or certainty. But of the Dhyan Chohans and the Adepts we may know something, and are often given, as it were, tangible proof of their existence. For the Adepts are living men, using bodies similar to ours; they are scattered all over the earth in all nations; they know each other, but not according to mere forms and Masonic signs of recognition, unless we call natural, physical, and astral signs Masonic. They have times when they meet together and are presided over by some among their number who are more advanced in knowledge and power than the rest; and these higher Adepts again have their communications, at which that One who presides is the highest; from these latter begins the communication with the Dhyan Chohans. All in their several degrees do that work which pertains to their degree, and although only to the Highest can be ascribed any governance or guidance of nature and mankind, yet the very least occupies an important place in the whole scheme. Freemasons and the numerous mock-Rosicrucians of the day will probably not unanimously accept this view, inasmuch as these Adepts have not submitted to their ritual; but that there has always been a widespread — and, if you please, a sometimes sneaking — belief in such beings and orders, is not difficult to discern or prove.