To thoroughly comprehend the idea underlying every ancient cosmology necessitates the study, in a comparative analysis, of all the great religions of antiquity; as it is only by this method that the root idea will be made plain. Exact science — could the latter soar so high, while tracing the operations of nature to their ultimate and original sources — would call this idea the hierarchy of Forces. The original, transcendental and philosophical conception was one. But as systems began to reflect with every age more and more the idiosyncracies of nations; and as the latter, after separating, settled into distinct groups, each evolving along its own national or tribal groove, the main idea gradually became veiled with the overgrowth of human fancy. While in some countries the Forces, or rather the intelligent Powers of nature, received divine honours they were hardly entitled to, in others — as now in Europe and the civilized lands — the very thought of any such Force being endowed with intelligence seems absurd, and is proclaimed unscientific. . . . — The Secret Doctrine, I, 424
I wonder how many of us really know what we mean when we speak of the "Forces of the Universe." You will be sure to be wrong if you think that by using the term "Forces of the Universe," we mean to signify the so-called scientific energies of the world. We do not. Why? Because the energies of science are soulless, without life, without intelligence, working haphazard, fortuitously, which means by chance; and how on earth these big-brained men can reconcile harmony, symmetry, mathematical perfection, in the Universe, with chance, is something utterly beyond me to attempt to explain! I do not think they have thought about it.
When we speak of "Forces of the Universe," we mean living beings, as much alive as we humans are alive. Just as any one of you is a living being, a composite entity, with an inner life, with a spirit, a soul, and all your inner faculties working through a physical vehicle or sheath; just exactly so is there a supreme divinity, a hierarch, who is the informing principles of our Galaxy or Home-Universe. But he or it is only one of a host of others informing other similar galaxies in frontierless infinitude. The gods are infinite in number; and we are embryo-gods. If you want to understand the Universe, try to understand yourself, because you copy the Universe. The Universe repeats itself in every one of its atoms, which means in every one of its composite elements, in every one of its building bricks.
Just as man is informed by the divinity within or above him — both; so is the Universe informed by the divinity within or above it — both. And just as man is more than one, as he is a whole host of entities, all deriving their essence and being from his inmost heart of hearts, his divine Monad; just exactly so are all the Forces of the Universe derived from the cosmic divine Entity.
Take my body as an instance. It is alive, as your bodies are. It is alive because it is formed of living things, living cells. In the first place, these cells are formed of aggregates of atoms, which if they were dead would produce a dead aggregate; but the fact that they produce a living aggregate is a proof that they themselves live, are alive. The atoms, therefore, are alive, and they are alive because the building-bricks composing them are alive: the electrons and protons.
Now, that is what we mean when we speak of the Forces of the Universe. In the last analysis we mean gods, living gods which express themselves in the manner that we have some conception of when we look at the starry sky, or look at the sun in the daytime, or consider the world around us, and all the actions that take place there, the growing plants and beasts and rocks. They are all alive.
What is an earthquake? Something that happens fortuitously, by chance? To believe that is simply symptomatic either of intellectual laziness, or lack of intellectual penetration. I don't believe there is a single chance action in Infinity. I cannot reconcile chance with law, because chance means the negation of law, and law means order, symmetry, harmony, mathematical relations. The Universe is alive because it is infilled with living things, with gods. The physical universe is the body of the god, as my body is the body of me. The idea has nothing to do whatsoever with the modern scientific theory of energies. Scientists are now even discarding the term "forces." It is too mysterious, too superstitious.
The way to handle these scientific thinkers is to pin them down to facts. Don't let your minds be led away by talk. Demand an explanation of why you are a living being. Don't be satisfied with talk about chemical action and reaction. It does not mean anything. Show me any chemical compound that man can make in the laboratory that moves and thinks and feels! And here we are, living and moving and thinking and feeling, demonstrating that everything we do, that every thought we think, that every feeling we have, is consciousness. This is so much so that the greater scientific thinkers today are talking about consciousness as being the fundamental essence of the Universe, coming at last to admit it. What does that mean? That these so-called energies that they keep in one compartment of their brains are simply examples of what they keep in the other water-tight compartment of their brains — consciousness, consciousnesses.
The very fact that the Universe is formed of aggregates of individuals is a proof of Polytheism, which means simply that the Universe is infilled with gods; and any Universe has at its head a supreme Divinity; as man, a microcosm or small universe, has at its head his own divine Hierarch, his essential, fundamental Self. But any such universe is only one among an infinitude of others. That is what we mean by the Forces of the Universe. I call them gods, because gods they are. When the sun rises tomorrow morning, look at Father-Sun, and remember that that brilliant divinity is a living being, the source of your own being in one sense, and that you are in your essence equally great, because both are manifestations of an indwelling divinity, the spirit of boundless infinity, the essence of boundless infinity, expressing a portion of itself in that sun, in those stars, in the planets, and all the entities that infill space, high, low, intermediate.
The only reason that science has been misled from seeing the truth in the past has been the fact that men were miseducated in religion for hundreds of years, fed not on truth — although the Christian religion is founded on truth — but on men's ideas about truth, theologians' ideas as to Reality. Then when men began to think and began to investigate the Universe around us, they found that those ideas could not be harmonized with what they found to be the facts of the Universe. So they lost confidence in all religious thought. They did not know of any other religious philosophies or philosophical religions that they had any respect for. And instead of thinking for themselves, each man following his own intuition, the spirit of the living god within his breast, they said: "That will introduce all kinds of anarchy into scientific thought. Cling to the only things we know to be facts, the facts of the physical universe." Because they could not find a soul within living flesh (and in fact they did not know what they were looking for), they said: "Man is but an animate mechanism." But what is an animate mechanism, a living machine? Explain it. Those are mere words.
We are living in the life-sphere, the fohatic sphere, the prank sphere, of the divinity of our solar system, which divinity is the fountain-head of all the Christs and Buddhas that the human race from time to time brings forth. All movements of the world that we see around us: the earthquakes, the meteorological phenomena, rains, lightning, moving of clouds, thunder-storms, hail-storms, sunny, bright days, and over-clouded days — all are movements of the vital essence of the planetary spirit working in and with the cooperation of the solar spirit or divinity, as that solar spirit or divinity moves within the life-sphere of an entity still greater, the galactic divinity, which in its turn moves within the life-sphere of a divinity still vaster — all precisely as the living cells which make a man's body live and move and have their being within his body, which is the vehicle of the holy presence which his spirit is, the god, the hierarch, of his constitution. It is a wonderful thought, and fills man's mind with reverence for the symmetry and harmony and majesty and beauty of the Universe. It makes him reverent, it makes him respect his fellow-men; for what the human race has brought forth in the matter of great men once, it will reproduce many times.
Remember that on every occasion when you see the action of a natural force, you are seeing the automatic workings of the vitality of our own particular Planetary, or it may be Solar, Divinity. The only reason we cannot connect it with the human emotions and human thoughts that are familiar to us, is because its action is on a cosmic scale, so far beyond our understanding that we can only see, as it were, a small portion of it. The small portion of the web or pattern of our minds cannot take in the rest, and therefore we see what we think is purely mechanical action.
I will illustrate this: An entity living on an electron, helping to form one of the atoms of my body, would have no understanding or conception of my raising my hand, or of a movement of my leg, and even less of my intent when I speak; nevertheless all the interrelated forces giving my body life affect every molecule, every atom, every electron, in my body, destroy millions of them, bring millions of them into birth. In precisely the same way the gods, the Forces of Nature, have a range of action so vast and an intellect so far-reaching, and a vitality whose sweep is so all-inclusive, and a time-period — there is the key — so immense, that our understandings cannot take it in; and we search, as the scientists have done, looking for human consciousness in the movements of the planets and the suns, looking for human actions or causes, like human functions, in earthquakes and thunder-storms and the lightning-bolt. The scale is too vast, just as the scale of my speaking, my walking, the raising of my hand, is too vast for an inhabitant on an electron of one of the atoms of my body to comprehend. It perceives it, if at all vaguely, as an affection of matter.
As the great Greek Pythagoras said of the Music of the Spheres, the planets chiming and choiring together in celestial harmony as they circle around the sun: the march is too great for human ear to take it in, because the human ear has been builded by evolution to take in only a very short range of sound; and to right and to left of that range is virtual infinitude. The vibrations on either side, our ears are utterly incognisant of; and the same with our organ of sight. How small a fraction of the rays which produce vision in our optics, how small a fraction of the entire range of vibration, are we conscious of through the eye!
To illustrate again the vast range in which the Universe is builded: There are certain stars in which matter, and therefore the consequent play of energies and forces, is so tremendously dense, that it is a million times denser than anything we can produce or find in our laboratories. And in either direction also, in the fields of cosmic space, there are nebulae so tenuous and ethereal, that they are a million times less dense, in other words a million times more tenuous, than the most tenuous stuff that we can know or produce in our physical laboratories. A million times a million makes a trillion — a million millions; and we have one trillionth of this scale which we can investigate in our chemical laboratories — physical matter, gas, etc. Think of it, one in a trillion! Enormous density on one hand, tremendous tenuity, ethereality on the other hand. And matter as we know it on this earth in all its forms occupies just a tiny fraction; and that is our entire range of investigation.
Now then: that is what I mean by a scale so vast that our human minds cannot take it in. The intellect cognises that these extremes exist. Very good. Then let your thought go out into those extremes. Remember that they are as much a portion of the Universe as is this little bit which we can test in the laboratory. Remember that we know of only one portion in a trillion; and then be modest! Outside of anything else, it has always seemed an amazing thing to me that it has only recently come to be recognised that man is an integral part of the Universe in which he lives and moves and has his being, and from which he derives everything that he is. Theologians and scientists and philosophers alike have always in some inexplicable way based their intellectual researches on the utterly preposterous foundation that man was something essentially different from the Universe; and this false concept runs throughout all the terms of our thought: subject, object.
This is an example of the Great Heresy, because it misleads you at every turn — the disjoining of or ungearing of yourself in your thought and feeling from the Universe in which you live, of which you are a component, inseparable part. Man cannot ever know an object if that object is essentially different from himself. There cannot be any union. He can only know what he himself is or becomes. True knowledge, true wisdom, comes when, to use the ridiculous phrase of Occidental philosophy (though the deduction drawn is true): "the subject becomes identified with the object," and finds itself to be not twain but one.