How marvelously does our Theosophy, the ancient God-Wisdom of mankind, reduce all the phenomena of Nature to a majestic generalization, so that all things fall within the compass of a single law understandable to human beings: for our God-Wisdom shows us that just as we are born and live our little sphere of life and die, so do the worlds likewise, and the suns in those worlds, and the planets and the various kingdoms of the different suns, and the atoms which compose all things, and the electrons in the atoms. All are periodic, not only in the sense of being cyclic but in the sense of having periods: beginnings, culminations, endings, and, rounding out the cycle of the worlds invisible, beginning a new beginning, a second culmination, a subsequent passing merely to vanish again into the worlds invisible, there to experience new and vastly greater adventures than those that our smaller solar system can give to us.
All things function alike because Nature has one Law, one fundamental law which is at its source, a divine source, all energy; and habits, courses, procedures, all are governed by the same cosmic powers and intelligence, which simply means that all things follow these same fundamental laws in similar manners, all under the governance of the cosmic life, ringing all the possible changes that Nature so lavishly provides for our admiration and utmost reverence. For while all things, all beings, follow the same fundamental laws and courses; every unit, precisely because it is a unit and an individual, has its own modicum of will — call it free will if you wish — and therefore can more or less change, modify, its own courses, but always within the encompassing energy of the universe.
This means that while all beings follow these general rules, or what we Theosophists call analogical procedures — analogy being therefore the master key of life — yet all beings, precisely because they are beings, by their own innate power drawn from the cosmic source, more or less modify the details of the procedures and movements. Thus the sun is born as a child is born, but the details are different. Details are not so important as the main fact. The birth, the growth, the death, the invisible worlds, the new adventures, the coming again to a new imbodiment, a new culmination on a plane somewhat higher, a new death to be succeeded by the same round on the wheel of life — but always advancing, always growing, always enlarging. Step by step all things progress.
Thus actually, as our occultism, our God-Wisdom, points out, if you wish to know the destiny, the birth, the origin, and the temporary ending of a sun, study a man from birth to death. And if you can, study him after death in his adventures, and you will see what the solar divinity undergoes, but of course on enlarged and higher planes in the worlds invisible. Why, this visible world of ours is but a shell, is but the body, the exterior carapace, the skin of things. The life, the individuality, the power, the will, the thought, the real entity, is not this outer shell. Whether a man, or sun, or solar system, or galaxy, or an entire universe: the reality is within. And the body more or less expresses, although feebly expresses, what the inner powers produce on this outer plane.
Those of you who have followed the experiments undertaken in scientific ways will understand this more clearly than those who have not studied them. But all of you, if you think a moment, will know that you shed your strength from hour to hour, physical strength and mental strength. The man who produces a great thought shakes the foundations of civilization. The man who produces a majestic system of cosmic philosophy and definitely guides mankind — does not his vitality move men? These are facts. The only difference between a sun and a man is in the details, some of them majestic, very admittedly majestic; but it is only in the details that the procedure differs. The main principle of fundamental law is the same for all. Every man in fact is but an embryo sun, a sun in the making for the distant future — not his body, for that is not the man. His body is but the skin of him, the clothing of skins spoken of in the Genesis of the Hebrew Bible. A man is the power within, the spirit or the monad; and it is this energy or power which makes the man be the same from birth till death, which makes the sun retain its form and follow its functions from its birth to its death. An atom, a flower, a tree, or a beast — all are subject to the same cosmic law of similarities if not positive identities. It is but the detail that changes.
The wisest and greatest men of antiquity pointed out that Father Sun was indeed Father Sun, but likewise our elder brother; our parent and yet our brother. The beast and the plant are in a sense our children because they look up to us as we look up to the Gods. They are, in a sense, our children and they follow in our footsteps towards mankind, towards the status and stature of humanity. The beasts are slowly crawling up towards us, as we look unto the Gods, our parents and grandparents; and when we find our souls infilled and inspirited with their life-force and a spark of their shining intelligence, then we become on this earth like God-men, because our thoughts are godlike, and our feelings are godlike, and our actions following our thoughts and feelings become godlike too.
Thus the atoms of the body and the molecules and protons and electrons that make up the physical stuff of the body, are in a sense its children, and they feel the impact of our thought and of our feeling. They suffer for our sins in proportion, and they are raised by our virtues, so closely are all things knitted together, a web of life of which each strand is a production of spiritual magic.
I tell you that we are responsible for the very atoms which compose our bodies, whether we dirty their faces or cleanse them. Some day, if we dirty the faces of the atoms composing us, they will return to us to be washed, washed clean of the sin we put upon them. And so with all the interior realms of man's constitution, the vehicles of his mind and of his feeling and of his thought.
Birth and death: what are these changes? A birth in the body is a death to the soul, for it leaves its own inner spheres, its own inner arrangements of its life there, and as it were descends or falls like a star to earth, and is born in the physical body of a helpless human babe, tasting for the time being the karmic retribution for all its past. And when we die, aye, when we die, then are we released, then we spring forth and upwards and onwards on the wings of our soul, those strong pinions carrying us through all the planetary habitations to the very throne of Father Sun. It is rebirth to the soul, as rebirth on this earth is death to the soul. So with the sun, so with the worlds which are born and which die. The sun when he imbodies on this plane is shorn of greatly much of his splendor. When the sun's hour shall strike and he passes from this plane, he springs like a divine thought right into the invisible realms, taking off into grandeurs only very dimly imagined by us. The flower expressing its soul in scent and beauty but repeats the same cosmic law in its birth from the seed. Little brothers of men are the flowers. Some of them are to us venomous. In some way in past time we envenomed them. Now in karmic retribution they envenom us.
The birth of a man from ordinary manhood into mahatmahood is an interior birth. The growth of the mahatman into Buddhahood or Bodhisattvahood, or as the Vedantists say, the becoming one with the Atman: this growth is in your hands to achieve, and in the hands of none else. You have it in your power to become god-men on this earth; or you have it in your power, every one of us has it in his power, so to ruin and blast his life that he shall become like the fury-driven victim of Greek legendary story, driven by unspeakable remorse and haunted by the feeling: I have played my play and I have lost. Too late, it is too late! But Theosophy says: Never too late. If you have played your game awry, re-assemble your cards and play like a man, play with the devil for the salvation of your own soul, the devil of your lower self, and win! If you win, divinity lies ahead of you. Over the peaks of that mystic East, the East in the heart of every human being, dawns the sun of truth which carries healing in its bosom. The truth shall make you free!