Copyright © 1979 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.
"The Sun is the heart of the Solar World (System) and its brain is hidden behind the (visible) Sun. From thence, sensation is radiated into every nerve-centre of the great body, and the waves of the life-essence flow into each artery and vein. . . . The planets are its limbs and pulses. (Commentary.) . . .
Thus, there is a regular circulation of the vital fluid throughout our system, of which the Sun is the heart — the same as the circulation of the blood in the human body — during the manvantaric solar period, or life; the Sun contracting as rhythmically at every return of it, as the human heart does. Only, instead of performing the round in a second or so, it takes the solar blood ten of its years, and a whole year to pass through its auricles and ventricles before it washes the lungs and passes thence to the great veins and arteries of the system.
. . . The universe (our world in this case) breathes, just as man and every living creature, plant, and even mineral does upon the earth; and as our globe itself breathes every twenty-four hours. . . .
. . . Space is the real world, while our world is an artificial one. It is the One Unity throughout its infinitude: in its bottomless depths as on its illusive surface; a surface studded with countless phenomenal Universes, systems and mirage-like worlds. Nevertheless, to the Eastern Occultist, who is an objective Idealist at the bottom, in the real world, which is a Unity of Forces, there is "a connection of all matter in the plenum," as Leibnitz would say. This is symbolized in the Pythagorean Triangle. — The Secret Doctrine, I, 541, 615
Intelligences are without beginning.
The Sphere hath an active Soul.
The heavens have neither rent nor seam. — The Desatir, "The Book of Shet Sasan the First," vv. 16, 17, 20 (Mulla Firuz Bin Kaus, trans.)
The heavy-moving stars are many, and each has an Intelligence, a Soul and a Body.
And in like manner every distinct division of the heavens and planets, hath its Intelligences and Souls. — Ibid., "The Book of the Prophet, the Great Abad," vv. 23, 24
THE PHYSIOLOGY of the universe which we have been studying during the last few meetings should be understood in its relation to the psychology of the universe; and, at the same time, we should remember that beyond the psychological aspect of the kosmic life there is the pneumatology of the universe; these giving rise in their respective fields to the three essential vehicles through and in which, from which, and back to which, the universal life plays and flows and is — the three thus being the fountainheads of and therefore corresponding in man to his three general divisions of body, soul, and spirit. The physiology of the universe comprises the totality of all the imbodied or envehicled entities thereof; the psychology of the universe comprises the various hierarchies of spiritual beings which work in those hosts of bodies; and the pneumatology of the universe comprises all those divine beings standing behind, ruling and inspiring, the intermediate classes. Now the doctrines with regard to this third and last division are extremely difficult, as we all know, and hitherto we have had occasion merely to allude to them. Our studies, so far, have comprised only an attempt to understand something of the psychology and of the physiology of the spaces of kosmos.
Now one — and perhaps one of the greatest — of the functions or operations of universal nature is that which is expressed by our word evolution; and we use it in strictly the etymological sense, meaning the unfolding or the unrolling, or the rolling outwards, of what is, or has been, impacted in the original seed or root. We do not use the word evolution as that word is misused in modern biological science. In fact, biologists do not teach evolution; they teach what the French very correctly call transformisme; and the difference between the two senses is immense. As, at a later date, we shall go into this study more in detail [lectures given in 1927-9 and later issued as Man in Evolution], we desire at present to call attention to this great difference of meaning merely in order to avoid a misunderstanding, that in using the words evolution or development as these are used in occultism, we use them in the sense used by modern biologists. Not at all. We employ the word evolution strictly in the etymological sense — the unfolding, the unrolling, the outgoing, of the forces lying latent, from its past karma, in the seed of the being or entity, whatever it may be, which enters upon a cycle of active existence.
This great principle was well illustrated in the case of kosmic evolution by what the ancient Stoics taught with regard to the evolving or development or evolution, the rolling out, of the four (or five) elements of the ancients, as those elements were understood in their day. They taught, as we pointed out at a former study, that the fifth element, the fifth essence or quintessence, called aether — which is our akasa — held in its bosom before their manifestation or evolving the seeds of the lower four; and that when the time came for these four to evolve, when the Deity, when Zeus, wished to send forth the worlds again into manifestation after a period of repose, the first that appeared was the element fire, rolling out from aether (or akasa), evolving, unwrapping itself, from it. Not fire as we understand it, but, as it were, the seed of fire, the spirit of fire, that primary and elemental kosmic force of which fire on our plane, this low plane, is a feeble manifestation. Then, when fire had run through its course of cyclic evolution, in the same way that it had proceeded forth from the bosom of aether or akasa, so did air from fire, unrolling itself from the bosom of fire which had contained in itself this element air; containing not merely its own swabhava, or characteristic or quality of fieriness, as we say in Oriental thought, but containing in itself also the characteristic of its own parent aether, akasa. Then, next in sequence, from air rolled forth, was unwrapped, sprang forth in development, the element water. Not our water, which is absurd, but that which we might call the seed of water, the spirit of water, that which water or liquidity represents on our plane; and it held in its bosom somewhat of the quality or characteristic of air, its parent; and of fire, its grandparent; and also of aether or akasa. It contained also the forces, the potencies, and the powers, of these its predecessors, but feebler naturally in water than in their own respective realms; the qualities and potencies of each preceding one growing feebler as the evolution proceeds farther on, i.e., more largely into "matter." Then from water, from its bosom, evolved or rolled forth the seed of the element earth. When the turn of the cycle set in, when the evolution of these elements, when the building of globes and so forth, had come to an end, and Zeus wished to recall them all back to his bosom, then the reverse procedure began, and water took unto itself again its child, the element earth. Earth began to liquesce and to pass back into the element water. Then in its turn, in its due period, the element water began to aerify its particles and to pass into, or was gathered again into, the bosom of its parent, the element air. Then air in its turn began to ignify its nature and to pass into the bosom of its parent fire. Then, finally, fire aetherialized its nature and passed back into the bosom of the fifth essence or aether, its parent; and the cycle of kosmic evolution was ended for another period of repose.
Now we carry these five elements farther on at least to seven in number. But there is the principle of development inherent in the kosmos which we illustrate by using the word evolution as above outlined: the outgoing of the breath, the breathing forth, of Brahma, as the archaic Indian thinkers said. The work done, then ensued the inbreathing, the ingathering, the involution, of Brahma. Precisely the same illustration that we have just given from the Stoic philosophy you will find in the ancient Hindu literature, in the Upanishads, and more particularly in the Puranas.
Just so, after the same manner, with due changes made for circumstances and entities, are the globes of our planetary chain evolved. Globe A runs through its life cycle, and then evolves globe B, which in turn runs its life cycle, and then evolves globe C, which runs through its life cycle and evolves globe D, or our globe earth. Globe D runs through its life cycle and evolves globe E; and then are evolved globe F and then globe G, the last of the manifested seven, in the same manner. These globe-evolutions are the subject which we are now studying.
The questions that have been asked have been exceedingly helpful to the present speaker. They have shown him, for instance, that not enough has been said about the planes of kosmos and the principles of kosmos, and about the various ways and forces by which these twelve globes of our planetary chain are interrelated. Let us then illustrate these in the following diagram:
Here we have the seven kosmic planes represented by straight lines, and above them is shown a triangle, which will represent, if you please, the pneumatological or divine or superspiritual three planes about which it is needless now to speak, because even if anything were said about them it is very doubtful that it would be of assistance to us at the present time. The teachings with regard to them are too abstract. Below the triangle follow the three higher planes of the kosmic manifest seven, containing the five hid globes of our planetary chain; then below these follow the four lower planes of the kosmic manifest seven of the kosmos, containing our manifested seven globes, or what H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine usually called the planetary chain of the earth. We have numbered them as in former studies, A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. In addition, each one of these seven kosmic manifest planes or worlds is itself a septenary, i.e., divided into seven subplanes or worlds. This fact will come in as a very important subject in our later studies.
You will notice that these twelve globes are on seven planes. You will next notice that in the diagram only seven manifest kosmic planes, and a triangle representing three divine planes, are given, which make ten. Now why do we not here show twelve kosmic planes or worlds? We have drawn the diagram in this way in order to call attention, by an apparent lack of something, to a fact which we wish to emphasize. You may remember the Latin poet, Martianus Capella, speaking of the sun, "whose sacred head is encircled with twice six rays." Now these twice six rays encircling the head of the solar god represent the twice six powers or the twice six globes in the spiritual sun. Our visible physical sun is but the body of the sun. There are seven manifest suns; actually there are ten and two polar "links." We see but one sun, the lowest; that sun, as a matter of fact, nonetheless being on our highest physical plane; but, as the storyteller says, "that is again another story"!
These twelve forces of the sun represent and are the twelve forces of the Logos, who is the manifest solar god; and, naturally, being twelve forces they must have their own homes to live in, their own spheres of appropriate action. They must have the appropriate matters or substances in which to work. As a matter of fact, they are themselves their own homes! They build their own houses with a part of themselves, even as a snail builds its own shell, remaining notwithstanding apart; in it, controlling it, each one to each, but yet not of it, as the spirit and the soul of a man remain apart from his body, in it yet above it, and in a true sense not of it.
These twelve forces represent and are, therefore, the twelve planes of the universal solar system; yet there are but ten planes in a hierarchy. What about the extra two, the eleventh and the twelfth? Now here is the solution of the riddle. All manifested being is a continuum. This means that universal being extends itself infinitely in all directions, most especially we say inwards and outwards, without break of continuity, yet graded into innumerable parts or steps or planes or worlds; and this continuum is, so to say, broken up into hierarchies manifesting in seven, ten, or twelve divisions or parts. The lowest seven parts are the manifest portion of any hierarchy, that portion which is builded below a certain plane of materiality, and these seven are the rupa worlds or worlds of form; and of these seven, as a matter of fact, the three higher are relatively arupa or "formless" — to us, to our cognition, please understand. The truly arupa or so-called "formless" or divine worlds are the three highest above these manifest seven, thus making the ten worlds or planes or degrees.
Any hierarchy has of course its beginning and its end, its zenith and its nadir, its acme and its ground, its highest and its lowest, the first and the tenth counting downwards. But what is it that connects this first and this tenth with the other hierarchies, with the rest of the continuum? What is a hierarchy? It is an individualized entity. This entity is composed, in its turn, of hosts and multitudes of smaller or inferior entities, as man's body is an entity, and yet is composed of hosts of cells; and these cells again are entities, and in their turn are composed of molecules and of atoms; and the atoms in their turn are composite things; and yet they all live together, and function together, every one of them common to a hierarchy, within other hierarchies, and all interrelated and interlocking. But each one of these hierarchies nevertheless has its own acme or summit and its nether pole, its head and its foot, its beginning and its end.
That which connects a hierarchy, let us say at the acme or the beginning, with the rest of the continuum, is an intermediate or "critical" plane partaking of the nature both of the hierarchy beneath and of the hierarchy above it in the continuum, of which, of course, it is a part. With its foot, again, it is connected on an extra or twelfth plane, another intermediate or "critical" plane, with the highest plane of the hierarchy which is beneath it or follows it. Thus, then, we have a hierarchy consisting of ten, always ten, degrees or stages or planes or forces: seven manifest, and three hid or occult, or mystic — it matters not what word you use here; and these ten principles or planes, forming a hierarchy, are connected with the superior worlds and connected with the inferior worlds by two extra or intermediate planes, one below and one above, each to each.
Let us now take up our main study from the point where we left it last week. A very interesting question was asked last week, as to whether our planetary chain formed the seven principles of the earth. And the answer was: "They do not, because each one of the seven globes is itself a distinct and separate planet and is itself a septenary." But the planetary chain forms a hierarchy of globes. Please remember that hierarchy does not mean any one particular thing. It means any possible collection of entities to the number of ten, which form a unity. You will recall how much emphasis we laid in a former study upon the differences between a one, a monad, a unity, and a union. It was stressed in anticipation of questions on studies like our present subject. If we have not these elementary ideas clear in our minds, there is bound to be confusion. A union is a more or less fast or loose aggregate or assemblage of diverse entities. A unity, as we shall use it, is a union in which the bonds are so tight that it functions not as an assemblage, but as a single being, as an individual. A hierarchy is a unity. A monad is the root of a hierarchy, a pure and permanent individual, like the characteristic life-center in a seed from which a tree springs. The tree functions as a unity, but if you take its individual leaves and branches, and roots, and consider it as a mere assemblage, it is only a union. Considered as an entity, as a hierarchy of less lives, smaller lives, it is a unity; and the spiritual center or seed from which it springs, its indwelling characteristic swabhava, its peculiar life-seed, is the monad. And the one is that ultimate, purest, simplest, form of kosmic being which we call divine, and of which the old theologians sang: In which there is no shadow of turning, there is no manifestation or differences. It is pure being, as contrasted with differentiated substance. It is the one, in which are no opposites or no contrasts; pure being, pure bliss, pure consciousness — what the Upanishads call sat-chit-ananda; beness-consciousness-bliss.
Now, then, the planetary chain being a unity or a hierarchy, functions as a single entity, and is a single entity; it is coadunated, because it is a unity; it is formed into one thing. Why? Because it is endowed with a soul and a spirit flowing forth from its generating monad. In other words, its consciousness is monadic.
Let us read from The Secret Doctrine, volume I, page 166, an extract as follows:
Hence it only stands to reason that the globes which overshadow our Earth must be on different and superior planes. In short, as Globes, they are in CO-ADUNITION but not IN CONSUBSTANTIALITY WITH OUR EARTH and thus pertain to quite another state of consciousness.
Coadunition, or rather coadunation, the forming into a unity, does not mean that the entity so unated is a single (noncomposite) being in the ordinary popular sense; otherwise its component parts would not be conjoined in a unation. It means that the coadunated entity is a unity or a hierarchy in the same way that man's body is a unity and a hierarchy, if we consider that body as the vehicle through which works the indwelling monadic soul of the man, governing and controlling the hosts of smaller lives of which the body is made.
Now we take up the method or process by which our manifest seven globes of the planetary chain are evolved or "born," let us say. When the thrill of the incoming life-waves — consisting of ten classes, after their long pralayic rest, coming over from the moon-globe A that was and now is not — inaugurates the new earth-manvantara, those life-waves begin to differentiate on the plane of the globe A of the earth planetary chain to be, and to gather into themselves magnetically or gravitationally the hosts of life-atoms belonging to that plane and which are hanging in space, and which have been transmigrating during the long pralayic rest of the higher principles — transmigrating into other beings on that particular plane and out of them. And here is the real meaning of the ancient doctrine of transmigration: the life-atoms which a man throws off during life, and which his body at any moment consists of during his life, and which are left behind him after his death, and while he himself is resting in devachan, transmigrate according to their respective natures; pass into and inform the beasts, and the vegetable world, and the mineral, and the elemental — the three elemental worlds or kingdoms; and similarly those of his intermediate principles. But when that man returns to incarnation, passing through the various planes downward into physical incarnation, he makes for himself, at first, garments of light formed of his former life-atoms belonging to the higher planes, that is, he gathers into himself again the same life-atoms that he shed and cast off when he passed through those respective planes on his way "upwards"; and so, on each plane on his way downwards into incarnation. Similarly, when he reaches this earth, he gathers the life-atoms of this plane into himself again, not merely by the magnetic pull unconsciously to himself active during his antenatal life, but even more so after his birth. And so do these planets, the various globes of the various planetary chains. The life-waves gather again to themselves, for each globe in turn, as they pass down and through the four lower planes of the kosmos, the life-atoms that belonged respectively to the former moon-globes on the four lower planes, which life-atoms help to build the new "physical" globes or bodies of the new planetary chain to be, which the incoming life-waves or the seven principles of each of the globes of the moon that was, form and shape, and in which they are now to work in the new manvantara.
What does each one of these globes of our planetary chain, or any other chain, consist of? It consists of these life-atoms, plus the indwelling vital forces, the life-waves; and together they actually construct the globe, and are that globe. Man likewise builds his own body from within. There are secrets even in nutrition that our scientists have not yet solved. Man builds his own body out of himself, as often said before. He first secretes, and then excretes his various vehicles on the different planes of his being. He excretes his own body and bodies or vehicles from the secretions that come from within himself. And the globes of our chain are built in precisely the same way.
We have passed briefly under consideration, in other studies, the three elemental kingdoms as regards their work in forming globe A of our chain. Let us now return to that. The elemental kingdom no. 1 has finished its work, let us say, on what is now the first foundation of globe A. That globe, therefore, has begun to take form. It is one-seventh (or one-tenth) formed, formed to the extent of the range of the first elemental kingdom. That first elemental kingdom has now passed through its seven periods of work, of evolution, and then goes into obscuration — one of Mr. Sinnett's words. A far better word would have been dormancy or sleep, because this word obscuration actually rather obscures the sense. A man is not obscured when he sleeps. The body may be so, in a sense; but it is better actually to state in more appropriate words just what the real condition is. It is that of sleep, or latency — of dormancy, rather.
But what happens now? Instantly that elemental kingdom no. 1 goes into dormancy, elemental kingdom no. 2 begins its work on the foundation just laid for it by elemental kingdom no. 1. Meanwhile, the surplus of life of elemental kingdom no. 1 passes on to globe B, and lays there the first foundation of globe B as it did for globe A. Now what do we mean by the "surplus of life," and what, furthermore, is it that is left behind as the sishta or remainder, of the elemental kingdom no. 1 now dormant on globe A? (Nevertheless, the active life of the life-waves, a part of it, passes on and forms the beginning of globe B.) What is the surplus of life, then? Surplus of life, as here used, is that to which we alluded a few moments ago, when we spoke of the unfolding or unrolling of the elements which, before manifestation, are involved in each other. This surplus of life contained or involved in the elemental kingdom no. 1, on globe A, is the 42 principles of all the other six globes of the manifest seven, as regards the first elemental kingdom, enwrapped, enfolded, involved and dormant therein, so to say, and not yet ready to manifest, because of not being appropriate and fit for globe A, and therefore spoken of as sleeping, resting in the bosom of elemental kingdom no. 1, but more truthfully overshadowing it and infilling it with life, with the 42 "fires." As this surplus of life is unfolded, or evolved, sleeping spheres, sleeping forces or potencies — which are really the overshadowing 42 fires — pass down to the plane below as surplus of life, the passing "down" being due to the gravitational attraction or pull of the lower plane, as felt by their inferior swabhava or inherent characteristic. Hence, as soon as they touch their own realms, so to say, the sleeping fires of the life-waves belonging by nature to those realms begin to awaken, the life-waves appropriate and belonging to that plane begin to work, and the elemental kingdom no. 1 on globe B begins its life cycle.
Let us go back to globe A. When the elemental kingdom no. 2 has finished its work on globe A, i.e., when it has run through its seven stock-races on globe A, then elemental kingdom no. 3 steps in as did no. 2, after no. 1. Immediately thereupon the gravitational pull on no. 2, after that elemental kingdom no. 2 on globe A has gone into dormancy, draws that surplus of life in elemental kingdom no. 2 down to globe B, where immediately no. 2 on globe B begins to awaken and to work, and to gather in the life-atoms belonging to it on that plane. Thus, on globe A we have elemental kingdoms 1 and 2 in dormancy, and no. 3 working out its life cycle on globe A. Elemental kingdom no. 1, when it has finished its sevenfold course of work on globe B, passes similarly on to globe C and begins to form it; while no. 2 coincidently is entering on its work on globe B; and no. 3 is on globe A, as said.
Thus, then, at the present stage we have elemental kingdom no. 1 beginning its work on globe C; elemental kingdom no. 1 in obscuration on globe B, where no. 2 is active; elemental kingdoms nos. 1 and 2 asleep, and elemental kingdom no. 3 active on globe A. After its — no. 3's — life cycle is completed on globe A, then comes the fourth or mineral kingdom on globe A, and there does precisely as did its predecessors, elemental kingdoms nos. 1, 2, and 3, i.e., it runs through its sevenfold stock-race or course on globe A. And instantly that this is finished, the mineral kingdom enters into dormancy or sleep or obscuration on globe A, and the vegetable kingdom begins to appear there. Meanwhile, when that happens, the mineral kingdom passes down to globe B, following the same rule or operation or function of nature as did the preceding kingdoms or life-waves. As the vegetable kingdom appears on globe A, elemental kingdom no. 3 passes on to globe C. No. 2 passes on to globe D, our earth; and no. 1 then passes on to globe E. Then, on globe A, appears the animal kingdom; and when it has run through its sevenfold course it passes down to globe B, and coincidently each of the five preceding kingdoms or life-waves makes a step forward to the next globe. Then, finally, comes the 7th, the human kingdom, on globe A. So that when the human on globe A appears, the first elemental kingdom is beginning its work on globe G — the last of the manifest seven. Thus, step by step, one kingdom or life-wave following the other in turn, the seven life-waves pass from globe A to globe G through all the intermediate globes; but when the 7th or human kingdom reaches globe G, the other kingdoms are also respectively completing their evolution there; the reason being the law of retardation operating to slow up the progress of the inferior kingdoms on the upward arc, because these inferior kingdoms ascend through the globes on the upward arc with more difficulty than the higher and more evolved kingdoms. The drag of matter holds them back.
This is the first chain-round. From the second chain-round on, the process is different, and we shall have to study that difference in detail next week, perhaps, or at a later meeting. Meanwhile, please get this clear. The march of the life-waves through the spheres represents one detail of the circulations of the kosmos — the passing of the life-entities from sphere to sphere. Furthermore, we have been speaking mostly of globe A; and therefore when we say mineral and vegetable and animal and human, we do not mean those things as we know them on earth today, on this globe D in this fourth round, in their already more or less evolved condition now. We are speaking of the first round of and through the first planet, or globe A; and those kingdoms as they then were would be to our present perceptions, even at their fullest development on globe A during the first round, the mere filmy and invisible and wholly imperfect presentments of what they are to be in the future — i.e., they would seem to us to be spiritual entities. And yet to their own globe, and to themselves, even in that first round and on that first globe A, they were as physical as our globe is now to us, and we are to each other.
At our last meeting, you will remember that we discussed the question: What is the basis of proof upon which our esoteric teachings rest? Whence came they, and how old are they? Let us take the first part of this question: "What is the basis of proof?" The answer to that is simple. The basis of proof is the operations and functions of universal nature, as we have repeatedly said. By nature we mean not physical nature alone, but all that is, inner and outer, higher and lower — everything; for that is truth, that is, the reality of being. Now that is the basis. How do we gain an understanding and a knowledge of these things and facts of universal nature? So far as the understanding is concerned, the argument in proof is presented on the same grounds on which any fact or truth of nature is presented and by an appeal to intelligence and common sense.
"Science" in our days is a word to swear by. Call a thing scientific and people will swallow it without much pretense of close analysis. It does not matter much to the average man whether the scientific allegation be true or not per se. He rarely examines it. It may be a "scientific fact" today; and then tomorrow it is replaced by some other "scientific fact." No men in the world, I venture to say, have more real reverence for true science, i.e., for classified and coordinated knowledge, than have ourselves; but for the theories and hypotheses of scientific researchers we have no more respect than those hypotheses are intrinsically worth. The day when science begins to dogmatize through its representatives, it becomes nothing more than a peculiar kind of church. I know of nothing that kills dogmatism more quickly and easily and naturally than these studies in our ancient wisdom; for the simple reason that no sooner do we understand one thing, and think that we have seized a final truth, than we learn from the expansion of our faculties and our knowledge, the very wholesome lesson that it is but a baby's introduction to a truth still more sublime. We learn that lesson very, very quickly; and if we have any tendency to dogmatize or to worship mental idols of any kind, that tendency is quickly killed in us by further study.
Here is our point: ask any scientist for proof of one of the established theorems of his science; let us put it even more forcibly, for proof of one of the more recondite facts of nature, and he will probably say to you: "When you come to me, after having pursued an adequate course of study, and your mind has been disciplined to understand what you are asking about, then I may be able better to aid you, for then you will be able to understand what I shall have to say." And the man would be absolutely right in giving such an answer, which is exactly in substance what our Teachers tell us. That answer comprises the basis of the argument in proof. When the questioner or aspirant is willing to discipline himself and to study, not merely to read, but to give adequate thought and study to the subject — mental study and mental and moral discipline, including physical care for the body, and above all else showing deep spiritual aspiration — when he has thus truly disciplined himself, because "discipline precedes the Mysteries"; when his nature is thus opened up and trained, all exactly in principle as the scientist tells the inquirer to do, then he shall know, for, as the Masters tell us: "Live the life, and ye shall know the doctrine, because knowledge will come to you naturally." And this living the life, let us say in passing, means not merely one thing, it does not mean merely morality of sex alone, however important that truly is; it means, if anything, far more than that. It means the full training of the interior man to be true, right, clean, aspiring; in other words, the good old-fashioned word righteousness, acting rightly because you are thinking rightly; because such training opens wide the doors within to the light. The man — and woman, too, of course — who has envy or jealousy or hatred or selfish ambition corroding his soul, or who nourishes revenge in his heart, or any other and all others of these denizens of the inner infernal regions, these hellions of the inner man, is utterly unfit to understand the doctrine; and for a very simple reason. His intellect is befuddled and beclouded. His psychic nature is thickened and rendered gross. His inner nature is cut off from its spiritual sun and its inspiration; and his very brain-mind becomes opaque to the millions of rays of the higher nature.
Now these are old reflections; we all know them; we have read them time and time again. But let us take home into our hearts this illustration: just as the scientist tells his inquirer, When you have studied and are prepared, then come to me, and we will begin investigation, for then you will be able to understand; so do our Teachers tell us. When you are disciplined and are ready, when you are prepared and trained, then come to us and we will investigate nature's secrets, and you will then have firsthand proof; because you yourself, your inner nature, will not merely have been so quickened that knowledge will come to you naturally and intuitionally, and you will know, but your soul, or rather spirit-soul, through the methods of training of the ancient wisdom, and of the ancient schools, will be sent into the very heart of being, of universal nature, and you will discover firsthand knowledge for yourself — a knowledge that will endure unchanged for aye!
This answer simply imbodies facts that we all know. Our teachings are based on, or rather are the codified expression, the formulated expression of, the fundamental operations or functions of nature, of universal nature. The argument in proof, or the demonstration, takes exactly the same form, and rests upon exactly the same grounds, as does the argument or proof of a fact in natural physical science. Fulfill the conditions, and you will have the knowledge, says the one; and so says the other.
Now as regards the whence. These teachings came to the first conscious human race on our globe in this round from semidivine beings who brought them over from a previous manvantara; and these semidivine beings were once men, as we now are. These beings or revealers are what we shall in our turn be when the sevenfold manvantara of our planetary chain shall have ended its course; and we shall then become the teachers and instructors on the future planetary chain, the child and offspring of this chain, of those vast hosts of less progressed entities who are now trailing along behind us on this chain.
This form of instruction was first communicated to the original thinking human race by direct passing; and then, as time went on, and the races of men sank more deeply into matter, there were established leaders of the people, priest-kings of the so-called divine dynasties, a fact which was the original source of what has now become a mere legend, the so-called divine right of kings, which was then an actual fact. There were then true priest-kings, leaders of men; spiritual souls, in other words, consciously working among men. Then, still later, when the races sank still more deeply into matter, these priest-kings, great and noble beings, geniuses of the first water, spiritual luminaries in every sense, were replaced by the priest-colleges, depositories of the primeval revelation; and then the Mysteries were inaugurated, to which chosen ones were taken from the masses of the people for initiation and for spiritual and intellectual training, in an era still more engrossed in matter.
This last happened at about the middle period of the fourth root-race, the race which preceded ours; and this system of the Mysteries has descended even to our own day.
But there is still one fact most difficult to explain, but which must be gone into at least shortly in order to complete our survey; and that is, that from the very beginning of our round on this earth, from the very beginning of the first race, a race of empty and mentally senseless "shells" — in the sense that the beasts are "shells," not being enlightened by the inner intellectual light, the inner rays, the manasaputras — from the very beginning of human race-life on this earth in this round certain entities, of far higher grade than man will be even aeons upon aeons hence, had come to earth and had watched over and guided the evolution of the first and second and early third races. During the third stock-race they created, by the power of will and yoga, by kriyasakti, a mystic body of high adepts and seers, a body which is the most secret and hid; and this body has functioned and worked even down to our own times, and it is what we today call the Lodge of the Masters, its representative among men on earth today. Those beings "created" by will and yoga, by kriyasakti, were they who carried on the mystic knowledge, the wisdom of the gods, from age to age during the aeons that dropped, one after the other, into the background of the past, passing that knowledge on to their successors in turn, until it at present has reached our own day.
Let us leave this, and take up the third point of query. How old is the esoteric wisdom? We have already answered that question in the foregoing observations; but we might add this, that its age is incomputable per se — it is, rather, ageless. Can you tell me, please, how old are the functions and operations of universal nature? Tell me that, and then I will tell you how old the ancient wisdom is! It is ageless. This wisdom of universal nature, the reality of being, is the same to an inhabitant of a planet circling around Sirius or any other great or small star, as it is to us. It is that wisdom which is in our day truly called theosophy, god-wisdom, the wisdom of the gods — that which they themselves study, we may say.
There was another question which came in a letter, and it alludes to what is an apparent misunderstanding with regard to the planet Mars. This questioner seems to have misunderstood, or at least to be disturbed by, the fact that the planet Mars was reckoned as one of the planets overseeing one of the globes on the ascending chain of our system; in other words, the sixth globe of the manifest seven of our chain, and also as overseeing one of the globes of the hid five; and she asks: "Why is this, if Mars represents the principle of desire or kama?" Let us point out first that we are not alluding to the physical planet Mars. We are alluding to the hierarchy Mars, when we speak of it as being the overseer or controller of two of our twelve globes.
Furthermore, as representing the principle of kama or desire, please bear in mind that Mars is also a septenary; that it has its own seven, ten, or twelve globes, and that these globes are divine, and spiritual, and psychic, and one of them physical, as is our globe earth. Desire is dual. There is a divine desire as well as an evil desire. What is aspiration, for instance? Obviously, the globes correspond in the Martian chain to those which it affects in our chain, and it exercises on the globes of those two planes a corresponding influence, a noble one.
Whence comes that impulse in a man's nature which makes him eagerly desire to do good? Yes, remember the old Greek cosmogonic mythos, that the first divinity to stir in the bosom of Chaos, was Eros, divine desire. Everything has its opposite, desire included.
And this questioner further asks about Mars, Mercury, and the "four other planets," quoting H. P. Blavatsky that they "bear a relation to Earth, of which no master or high Occultist will ever speak, much less explain the nature." But I might say this, perhaps, that this special septenary represents a particular group whose function is to act in building another planetary chain.
There is another question that has been asked on the subject of man's entire inner constitution: whether this is also twelvefold, as is the complete constitution of the planetary chain. We have said that man has seven manifest principles, which make of him a complete man. He also has three higher principles which, when they become manifest in him, make of him a divine being, a dhyan-chohan. In addition to all these, he has two more "links." I have avoided speaking of them as "principles," in order to avoid creating confusion. But he has two more links — one in his higher nature, and one beneath him — along one or the other of which it is his destiny to travel. Now you may call these two extra links principles if you like. I do not think that they should be so called because man is a self-conscious hierarchy. His entire nature is a denary, or composed of ten fundamental principles; and really this higher link is the root by which he is rooted into divinity. It is so high above him, that to say that it is one of man's principles sounds to me like a desecration of thought, or a blasphemy.
On the other hand, in the nadir of his being, beneath him, he has the other link, or the twelfth, if you like, counting downwards. This other link, this other body or field of matter or force, or both, or force-matter or energy-substance, along which it may be his awful destiny to travel, is his link with absolute matter, and is the opposite of his divine root.
The further question comes up: Can you call these two links principles or not? I can only say that if you call them principles, then man's twelve principles correspond in a general way each to each to the twelve globes of our chain. But otherwise we may say this, that the first (or the last) of these twelve globes symbolizes man's link with the divine; and our earth-globe, the lowest in the diagram on page 574, which is the copy in gross matter of the highest globe, is his link going downwards into absolute matter.
You remember what H. P. Blavatsky says in one of her beautiful works, The Voice of the Silence, where she speaks of the "men of Myalba." Now, Myalba is our earth, and it is also called a hell. It is so considered in the esoteric wisdom; and we have pointed out before and now once more say in concluding this answer, that of these hells some are described as being quite pleasant and agreeable to the beings who inhabit them; but to the beings who live on the superior globes above them they would be awful. The description of a globe as a hell must be properly understood, in order to get the meaning of this truly profound fact. "Hell" means the limitations and sorrows inevitable to spiritual entities passing through a globe of gross matter, such as our earth-globe is.
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