1. Listen, ye Sons of the Earth, to your instructors — the Sons of the Fire (a). Learn there is neither first nor last; for all is one number, issued from no number (b).
(a) These terms, the “Sons of the Fire,” the “Sons of the Fire-Mist,” and the like, require explanation. They are connected with a great primordial and universal mystery, and it is not easy to make it clear. There is a passage in the Bhagavatgita (ch. viii.) wherein Krishna, speaking symbolically and esoterically, says: “I will state the times (conditions) . . . at which devotees departing (from this life) do so never to return (be reborn), or to return (to incarnate again). The Fire, the Flame, the day, the bright (lucky) fortnight, the six months of the Northern solstice, departing (dying) in these, those who know the Brahman (Yogis) go to the Brahman. Smoke, night, the dark (unlucky) fortnight, the six months of the Southern solstice, (dying) in these, the devotee goes to the lunar light (or mansion, the astral light also) and returns (is reborn). These two paths, bright and dark, are said to be eternal in this world (or great kalpa, ‘Age’). By the one a man goes never to come back, by the other he returns.” Now these names, “Fire,” “Flame,” “Day,” the “bright fortnight,” etc., as “Smoke,” “Night,” and so on, leading only to the end of the lunar path are incomprehensible without a knowledge of Esotericism. These are all names of various deities which preside over the Cosmo-psychic Powers. We often speak of the Hierarchy of “Flames” (see Book II.), of the “Sons of Fire,” etc. Sankaracharya the greatest of the Esoteric masters of India, says that fire means a deity which presides over Time (kala). The able translator of Bhagavatgita, Kashinath Trimbak Telang, M.A., of Bombay, confesses he has “no clear notion of the meaning of these verses” (p. 81, footnote). It seems quite clear, on the contrary, to him who knows the occult doctrine. With these verses the mystic sense of the solar and lunar symbols are connected: the Pitris are lunar deities and our ancestors, because they created the physical man.
The Agnishwatha, the Kumara (the seven mystic sages), are solar deities, though the former are Pitris also; and these are the “fashioners of the Inner Man.” (See Book II.) They are: —
“The Sons of Fire” — because they are the first Beings (in the Secret Doctrine they are called “Minds”), evolved from Primordial Fire. “The Lord is a consuming Fire” (Deuteronomy iv. 24); “The Lord (Christos) shall be revealed with his mighty angels in flaming fire” (2 Thessal. i. 7, 8). The Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles like “cloven tongues of fire,” (Acts ii. v. 3); Vishnu will return on Kalki, the White Horse, as the last Avatar amid fire and flames; and Sosiosh will be brought down equally on a White Horse in a “tornado of fire.” “And I saw heaven open and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him . . . . is called the Word of God,” (Rev. xix. 13) amid flaming Fire. Fire is AEther in its purest form, and hence is not regarded as matter, but it is the unity of AEther — the second manifested deity — in its universality. But there are two “Fires” and a distinction is made between them in the Occult teachings. The first, or the purely Formless and invisible Fire concealed in the Central Spiritual Sun, is spoken of as “triple” (metaphysically); while the Fire of the manifested Kosmos is Septenary, throughout both the Universe and our Solar System. “The fire or knowledge burns up all action on the plane of illusion,” says the commentary. “Therefore, those who have acquired it and are emancipated, are called ‘Fires.’ ” Speaking of the seven senses symbolised as Hotris, priests, the Brahmana says in Anugita: “Thus these seven (senses, smell and taste, and colour, and sound, etc., etc.) are the causes of emancipation;” and the commentator adds: “It is from these seven from which the Self is to be emancipated. ‘I’ (am here devoid of qualities) must mean the Self, not the Brahmana who speaks.” (“Sacred Books of the East,” ed. by Max Muller, Vol. VIII., 278.)
(b) The expression “All is One Number, issued from No Number” relates again to that universal and philosophical tenet just explained in Stanza III. (Comm. 4). That which is absolute is of course No Number; but in its later significance it has an application in Space as in Time. It means that not only every increment of time is part of a larger increment, up to the most indefinitely prolonged duration conceivable by the human intellect, but also that no manifested thing can
be thought of except as part of a larger whole: the total aggregate being the One manifested Universe that issues from the unmanifested or Absolute — called Non-Being or “No-Number,” to distinguish it from Being or “the One Number.”
(2) Learn what we, who descend from the Primordial Seven, we, who are born from the Primordial Flame, have learned from our Fathers (a).
(a) This is explained in Book II., and this name, “Primordial Flame,” corroborates what is said in the first paragraph of the preceding commentary on Stanza IV.
The distinction between the “Primordial” and the subsequent seven Builders is this: The former are the Ray and direct emanation of the first “Sacred Four,” the Tetraktis, that is, the eternally Self-Existent One (Eternal in Essence note well, not in manifestation, and distinct from the universal one). Latent, during Pralaya, and active, during Manvantara, the “Primordial” proceed from “Father-Mother” (Spirit-Hyle, or Ilus); whereas the other manifested Quaternary and the Seven proceed from the Mother alone. It is the latter who is the immaculate Virgin-Mother, who is overshadowed, not impregnated, by the Universal Mystery — when she emerges from her state of Laya or undifferentiated condition. In reality, they are, of course, all one; but their aspects on the various planes of being are different. (See Part II., “Theogony of the Creative Gods.”)
The first “Primordial” are the highest Beings on the Scale of Existence. They are the Archangels of Christianity, those who refuse — as Michael did in the latter system, and as did the eldest “Mind-born sons” of Brahma (Veddhas) — to create or rather to multiply.
3. From the effulgency of light — the ray of the ever-darkness — sprung in space the re-awakened energies (Dhyan Chohans): the one from the egg, the six and the five (a); then the three, the one,
the four, the one, the five — the twice seven, the sum total (b). And these are: the essences, the flames, the elements, the builders, the numbers, the arupa (formless), the rupa (with bodies), and the force or divine man — the sum total. And from the divine man emanated the forms, the sparks, the sacred animals, and the messengers of the sacred fathers (the Pitris) within the holy four.*
(a) This relates to the sacred Science of the Numerals: so sacred, indeed, and so important in the study of Occultism that the subject can hardly be skimmed, even in such a large work as the present. It is on the Hierarchies and correct numbers of these Beings invisible (to us) except upon very rare occasions, that the mystery of the whole Universe is built. The Kumaras, for instance, are called the “Four” though in reality seven in number, because Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-Kumara are the chief Vaidhatra (their patronymic name), as they spring from the “four-fold mystery.” To make the whole clearer we have to turn for our illustrations to tenets more familiar to some of our readers, namely, the Brahminical.
According to Manu, Hiranyagarbha is Brahma the first male formed by the undiscernible Causeless cause in a “Golden Egg resplendent as the Sun,” as states the Hindu Classical Dictionary. “Hiranyagarbha” means the golden, or rather the “Effulgent Womb” or Egg. The meaning tallies awkwardly with the epithet of “male.” Surely the esoteric meaning of the sentence is clear enough. In the Rig Veda it is said: — “That, the one Lord of all beings . . . . the one animating principle of gods and man,” arose, in the beginning, in the Golden Womb, Hiranyagarbha — which is the Mundane Egg or sphere of our Universe. That Being is surely androgynous, and the allegory of Brahma separating into two and recreating in one of his halves (the female Vach) himself as Viraj, is a proof of it.
“The One from the Egg, the Six and the Five,” give the number 1065, the value of the first-born (later on the male and female Brahma-Prajapati), who answers to the numbers 7, and 14, and 21 respectively. The Prajapati are, like the Sephiroth, only seven, including the
* The 4, represented in the Occult numerals by the Tetraktis, the Sacred or Perfect Square, is a Sacred Number with the mystics of every nation and race. It has one and the same significance in Brahmanism, Buddhism, the Kabala and in the Egyptian, Chaldean and other numerical systems.
synthetic Sephira of the triad from which they spring. Thus from Hiranyagarbha or Prajapati, the triune (primeval Vedic Trimurti, Agni, Vayu, and Surya), emanate the other seven, or again ten, if we separate the first three which exist in one, and one in three, all, moreover, being comprehended within that one “supreme” Parama, called Guhya or “secret,” and Sarvatma, the “Super-Soul.” “The seven Lords of Being lie concealed in Sarvatma like thoughts in one brain.” So are the Sephiroth. It is either seven when counting from the upper Triad headed by Kether, or ten — exoterically. In the Mahabharata the Prajapati are 21 in number, or ten, six, and five (1065), thrice seven.*
(b) “The Three, the One, the Four, the One, the Five” (in their totality — twice seven) represent 31415 — the numerical hierarchy of the Dhyan-Chohans of various orders, and of the inner or circumscribed world.† When placed on the boundary of the great circle of “Pass not” (see Stanza V.), called also the Dhyanipasa, the “rope of the Angels,” the “rope” that hedges off the phenomenal from the noumenal Kosmos, (not falling within the range of our present objective consciousness); this number, when not enlarged by permutation and expansion, is ever 31415 anagrammatically and Kabalistically, being both the number of the circle and the mystic Svastica, the twice seven once more; for whatever way the two sets of figures are counted, when added separately, one figure after another, whether crossways, from right or from left, they will always yield fourteen. Mathematically they represent the well-known calculation, namely, that the ratio of the diameter to the circumference of a circle is as 1 to 3.1415, or the value of the [[pi]] (pi), as this ratio is called — the symbol [[pi]] being always used in
* In the Kabala the same numbers are a value of Jehovah, viz., 1065, since the numerical values of the three letters which compose his name — Jod, Vau and twice He — are respectively 10 ( ), 6 ( ) and 5 ( ); or again thrice seven, 21. “Ten is the Mother of the Soul, for Life and Light are therein united,” says Hermes. “For number one is born of the Spirit and the number ten from matter (chaos, feminine); the unity has made the ten, the ten the unity” (Book of the Keys). By the means of the Temura, the anagrammatical method of the Kabala, and the knowledge of 1065 (21), a universal science may be obtained regarding Kosmos and its mysteries” (Rabbi Yogel). The Rabbis regard the numbers 10, 6, and 5 as the most sacred of all.
† The reader may be told that an American Kabalist has now discovered the same number for the Elohim. It came to the Jews from Chaldaea. See “Hebrew Metrology” in the Masonic Review, July, 1885, McMillan Lodge, No. 141.
mathematical formulae to express it. This set of figures must have the same meaning, since the 1 : 314,159, and then again 1 : 3 : 1,415,927 are worked out in the secret calculations to express the various cycles and ages of the “first born,” or 311,040,000,000,000 with fractions, and yield the same 13,415 by a process we are not concerned with at present. And it may be shown that Mr. Ralston Skinner, author of The Source of Measures, reads the Hebrew word Alhim in the same number values, by omitting, as said, the ciphers and by permutation — 13,514: since (a) is 1 : (l) is 3 (or 30); (h) is 5; (i) 1 for 10; and (m) is 4 (40), and anagrammatically — 31,415 as explained by him.
Thus, while in the metaphysical world, the circle with the one central Point in it has no number, and is called Anupadaka (parentless and numberless) — viz., it can fall under no calculation, — in the manifested world the mundane Egg or Circle is circumscribed within the groups called the Line, the Triangle, the Pentacle, the second Line and the Cube (or 13514); and when the Point having generated a Line, thus becomes a diameter which stands for the androgynous Logos, then the figures become 31415, or a triangle, a line, a cube, the second line, and a pentacle. “When the Son separates from the Mother he becomes the Father,” the diameter standing for Nature, or the feminine principle. Therefore it is said: “In the world of being, the one Point fructifies the Line — the Virgin Matrix of Kosmos (the egg-shaped zero) — and the immaculate Mother gives birth to the form that combines all forms.” Prajapati is called the first procreating male, and “his Mother’s husband.”* This gives the key-note to all the later divine sons from immaculate mothers. It is greatly corroborated by the significant fact that Anna (the name of the Mother of the Virgin Mary) now represented by the Roman Catholic church as having given birth to her daughter in an immaculate way (“Mary conceived without sin”), is derived from the Chaldean Ana, heaven, or Astral Light, Anima Mundi; whence Anaitia, Devi-durga, the wife of Siva, is also called Annapurna,
* We find the same expression in Egypt. Mout signifies, for one thing, “Mother,” and shows the character assigned to her in the triad of that country. “She was no less the mother than the wife of Ammon, one of the principle titles of the god being “the husband of his mother.” The goddess Mout, or Mut, is addressed as “our lady,” the “queen of Heaven” and of “the Earth,” thus “sharing these titles with the other mother goddesses, Isis, Hathor, etc.” (Maspero).
and Kanya, the Virgin; “Uma-Kanya” being her esoteric name, and meaning the “Virgin of light,” Astral Light in one of its multitudinous aspects.
(c) The Devas, Pitris, Rishis; the Suras and the Asuras; the Daityas and Adityas; the Danavas and Gandharvas, etc., etc., have all their synonyms in our Secret Doctrine, as well as in the Kabala and the Hebrew Angelology; but it is useless to give their ancient names, as it would only create confusion. Many of these may be also found now, even in the Christian hierarchy of divine and celestial powers. All those Thrones and Dominions, Virtues and Principalities, Cherubs, Seraphs and demons, the various denizens of the Sidereal World, are the modern copies of archaic prototypes. The very symbolism in their names, when transliterated and arranged in Greek and Latin, are sufficient to show it, as will be proved in several cases further on.
The “Sacred Animals” are found in the Bible as well as in the Kabala, and they have their meaning (a very profound one, too) on the page of the origins of Life. In the Sepher Jezirah it is stated that “God engraved in the Holy Four the throne of his glory, the Ophanim (Wheels or the World-Spheres), the Seraphim,* the Sacred Animals, and the ministering angels, and from these three (the Air, Water, and Fire or Ether) he formed his habitation.” Thus was the world made “through three Seraphim — Sepher, Saphar, and Sipur,” or “through Number, Numbers, and Numbered.” With the astronomical key these “Sacred Animals” become the signs of the Zodiac.
* This is the literal translation from the IXth and Xth Sections: “Ten numbers without what? One: the spirit of the living God . . . . who liveth in eternities! Voice and Spirit and Word, and this is the Holy Spirit. Two: Spirit out of Spirit. He designed and hewed therewith twenty-two letters of foundation, three Mothers and seven double and Twelve single, and one spirit out of them. Three: Water out of spirit; he designed and hewed with them the barren and the void, mud and earth. He designed them as a flowerbed, hewed them as a wall, covered them as a paving. Four: Fire out of water. He designed and hewed therewith the throne of glory and the wheels, and the seraphim and the holy animals and the ministering angels, and of the three He founded his dwelling, as it is said, He makes his angels spirits and his servants fiery flames!” Which words “founded his dwelling” show clearly that in the Kabala, as in India, the Deity was considered as the Universe, and was not, in his origin, the extra-cosmic God he is now.
4. This was the Army of the Voice — the Divine Septenary. The sparks of the seven are subject to, and the servants of, the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and the seventh of the seven (a). These (“sparks”) are called spheres, triangles, cubes, lines, and modellers; for thus stands the Eternal Nidana — the Oi-Ha-Hou (the permutation of Oeaohoo) (b).*
(a) This Sloka gives again a brief analysis of the Hierarchies of the Dhyan Chohans, called Devas (gods) in India, or the conscious intelligent powers in Nature. To this Hierarchy correspond the actual types into which humanity may be divided; for humanity, as a whole, is in reality a materialized though as yet imperfect expression thereof. The “army of the Voice” is a term closely connected with the mystery of Sound and Speech, as an effect and corollary of the cause — Divine Thought. As beautifully expressed by P. Christian, the learned author of “The History of Magic” and of “L’Homme Rouge des Tuileries,” the word spoken by, as well as the name of, every individual largely determine his future fate. Why? Because —
— “When our Soul (mind) creates or evokes a thought, the representative sign of that thought is self-engraved upon the astral fluid, which is the receptacle and, so to say, the mirror of all the manifestations of being.
“The sign expresses the thing: the thing is the (hidden or occult) virtue of the sign.
“To pronounce a word is to evoke a thought, and make it present: the magnetic potency of the human speech is the commencement of every manifestation in the Occult World. To utter a Name is not only to define a Being (an Entity), but to place it under and condemn it through the emission of the Word (Verbum), to the influence of one or more Occult potencies. Things are, for every one of us, that which it (the Word) makes them while naming them. The Word (Verbum) or the speech of every man is, quite unconsciously to himself, a blessing or a curse; this is why our present ignorance about the properties or attributes of the idea as well as about the attributes and properties of matter, is often fatal to us.
* The literal signification of the word is, among the Eastern Occultists of the North, a circular wind, whirlwind; but in this instance, it is a term to denote the ceaseless and eternal Cosmic Motion; or rather the Force that moves it, which Force is tacitly accepted as the Deity but never named. It is the eternal Karana, the ever-acting Cause.
“Yes, names (and words) are either beneficent or maleficent; they are, in a certain sense, either venomous or health-giving, according to the hidden influences attached by Supreme Wisdom to their elements, that is to say, to the letters which compose them, and the numbers correlative to these letters.”
This is strictly true as an esoteric teaching accepted by all the Eastern Schools of Occultism. In the Sanskrit, as also in the Hebrew and all other alphabets, every letter has its occult meaning and its rationale; it is a cause and an effect of a preceding cause and a combination of these very often produces the most magical effect. The vowels, especially, contain the most occult and formidable potencies. The Mantras (esoterically, magical rather than religious) are chanted by the Brahmins and so are the Vedas and other Scriptures.
The “Army of the Voice,” is the prototype of the “Host of the Logos,” or the “word” of the Sepher Jezirah, called in the Secret Doctrine “the One Number issued from No-Number” — the One Eternal Principle. The esoteric theogony begins with the One, manifested, therefore not eternal in its presence and being, if eternal in its essence; the number of the numbers and numbered — the latter proceeding from the Voice, the feminine Vach, Satarupa “of the hundred forms,” or Nature. It is from this number 10, or creative nature, the Mother (the occult cypher, or “nought,” ever procreating and multiplying in union with the Unit “I,” one, or the Spirit of Life), that the whole Universe proceeded.
In the Anugita a conversation is given (ch. vi., 15) between a Brahmana and his wife, on the origin of Speech and its occult properties.* The wife asks how Speech came into existence, and which was prior to the other, Speech or Mind. The Brahmana tells her that the Apana (inspirational breath) becoming lord, changes that intelligence, which does not understand Speech or Words, into the state of Apana, and thus opens the mind. Thereupon he tells her a story, a dialogue between Speech and Mind. “Both went to the Self of Being (i.e., to the individual Higher Self, as Nilakantha thinks, to Prajapati, according to the commentator Arjuna Misra), and asked him to destroy their doubts and decide which of them preceded and was superior to the
* Anugita forms part of the Asvamedha Parvan of the “Mahabharata.” The translator of the Bhagavatgita, edited by Max Muller, regards it as a continuation of the Bhagavatgita. Its original is one of the oldest Upanishads.
other. To this the lord said: ‘Mind is superior.’ But Speech answered the Self of Being, by saying: ‘I verily yield (you) your desires,’ meaning that by speech he acquired what he desired. Thereupon again, the Self told her that there are two minds, the ‘movable’ and the ‘immovable.’ ‘The immovable is with me,’ he said, ‘the movable is in your dominion’ (i.e. of Speech) on the plane of matter. To that you are superior. But inasmuch, O beautiful one, as you came personally to speak to me (in the way you did, i.e. proudly), therefore, O, Sarasvati! you shall never speak after (hard) exhalation.” “The goddess Speech” (Sarasvati, a later form or aspect of Vach, the goddess also of secret learning or Esoteric Wisdom), “verily, dwelt always between the Prana and the Apana. But O noble one! going with the Apana wind (vital air), though impelled, without the Prana (expirational breath), she ran up to Prajapati (Brahma), saying, ‘Be pleased, O venerable sir!’ Then the Prana appeared again, nourishing Speech. And, therefore, Speech never speaks after (hard or inspirational) exhalation. It is always noisy or noiseless. Of these two, the noiseless is the superior to the noisy (Speech) . . . . The (speech) which is produced in the body by means of the Prana, and which then goes (is transformed) into Apana, and then becoming assimilated with the Udana (physical organs of Speech) . . . then finally dwells in the Samana (‘at the navel in the form of sound, as the material cause of all words,’ says Arjuna Misra). So Speech formerly spoke. Hence the mind is distinguished by reason of its being immovable, and the Goddess (Speech) by reason of her being movable.”
This allegory is at the root of the Occult law, which prescribes silence upon the knowledge of certain secret and invisible things perceptible only to the spiritual mind (the 6th sense), and which cannot be expressed by “noisy” or uttered speech. This chapter of Anugita explains, says Arjuna Misra, Pranayama, or regulation of the breath in Yoga practices. This mode, however, without the previous acquisition of, or at least full understanding of the two higher senses, of which there are seven, as will be shown, pertains rather to the lower Yoga. The Hatha so called was and still is discountenanced by the Arhats. It is injurious to the health and alone can never develop into Raj Yoga. This story is quoted to show how inseparably connected are, in the metaphysics of old, intelligent beings, or rather “Intelligences,” with every sense or
function whether physical or mental. The Occult claim that there are seven senses in man, as in nature, as there are seven states of consciousness, is corroborated in the same work, chapter vii., on Pratyahara (the restraint and regulation of the senses, Pranayama being that of the “vital winds” or breath). The Brahmana speaks in it “of the institution of the seven sacrificial Priests (Hotris). He says: “The nose and the eyes, and the tongue, and the skin and the ear as the fifth (or smell, sight, taste, touch and hearing), mind and understanding are the seven sacrificial priests separately stationed”; and which “dwelling in a minute space (still) do not perceive each other” on this sensuous plane, none of them except mind. For mind says: “The nose smells not without me, the eye does not take in colour, etc., etc. I am the eternal chief among all elements (i.e., senses). Without me, the senses never shine, like an empty dwelling, or like fires the flames of which are extinct. Without me, all beings, like fuel half dried and half moist, fail to apprehend qualities or objects even with the senses exerting themselves.”*
This, of course, with regard only to mind on the sensuous plane. Spiritual mind (the upper portion or aspect of the impersonal manas) takes no cognisance of the senses in physical man. How well the ancients were acquainted with the correlation of forces and all the recently discovered phenomena of mental and physical faculties and functions, with many more mysteries also — may be found in reading chapters vii. and viii. of this (in philosophy and mystic learning) priceless work. See the quarrel of the senses about their respective superiority and their taking the Brahman, the lord of all creatures, for their arbiter. “You are all greatest and not greatest,” or superior to objects, as A. Misra says, none being independent of the other. “You are all possessed of one another’s qualities. All are greatest in their own spheres and all support one another. There is one unmoving (life-wind or breath, the ‘Yoga inhalation,’ so called, which is the breath of the One or Higher Self). That is the (or my) own Self, accumulated in numerous (forms).”
This Breath, Voice, Self or “Wind” (pneuma?) is the Synthesis of the Seven Senses, noumenally all minor deities and esoterically — the septenary and the “Army of the Voice.”
* This shows the modern metaphysicians, added to all past and present Haegels, Berkeleys, Schopenhauers, Hartmanns, Herbert Spencers, and even the modern Hylo-Idealists to boot, no better than the pale copyists of hoary antiquity.
(b) Next we see Cosmic matter scattering and forming itself into elements; grouped into the mystic four within the fifth element — Ether, the lining of Akasa, the Anima Mundi or Mother of Kosmos. “Dots, Lines, Triangles, Cubes, Circles” and finally “Spheres” — why or how? Because, says the Commentary, such is the first law of Nature, and because Nature geometrizes universally in all her manifestations. There is an inherent law — not only in the primordial, but also in the manifested matter of our phenomenal plane — by which Nature correlates her geometrical forms, and later, also, her compound elements; and in which there is no place for accident or chance. It is a fundamental law in Occultism, that there is no rest or cessation of motion in Nature.* That which seems rest is only the change of one form into another; the change of substance going hand in hand with that of form — as we are taught in Occult physics, which thus seem to have anticipated the discovery of the “Conservation of matter” by a considerable time. Says the ancient Commentary† to Stanza IV.: —
“The Mother is the fiery Fish of Life. She scatters her spawn and the Breath (Motion) heats and quickens it. The grains (of spawn) are soon attracted to each other and form the curds in the Ocean (of Space). The larger lumps coalesce and receive new spawn — in fiery dots, triangles and cubes, which ripen, and at the appointed time some of the lumps detach themselves and assume spheroidal form, a process which they effect only when not interfered with by the others. After which, law No. * * * comes into operation. Motion (the Breath) becomes the whirlwind and sets them into rotation.”‡
* It is the knowledge of this law that permits and helps the Arhat to perform his Siddhis, or various phenomena, such as disintegration of matter, the transport of objects from one place to another.
† These are ancient Commentaries attached with modern Glossaries to the Stanzas, as the Commentaries in their symbolical language are usually as difficult to understand as the Stanzas themselves.
‡ In a polemical scientific work, “The Modern Genesis,” the author, the Rev. W. B. Slaughter, criticising the position assumed by the astronomers, asks: — “It is to be regretted that the advocates of this (nebular) theory have not entered more largely into the discussion of it (the beginning of rotation). No one condescends to give us the rationale of it. How does the process of cooling and contracting the mass impart to it a rotatory motion?” The question is amply treated in the Addendum. It is not materialistic science that can ever solve it. “Motion is eternal in the unmanifested, and periodical in the manifest,” says an Occult teaching. It is “when heat caused [[Footnote continued on next page]]
5. . . . . . which is: —
“Darkness,” the Boundless or the No-Number, Adi-Nidana Svabhavat: the (for x, unknown quantity):
And these three enclosed within the (boundless circle), are the sacred four, and the ten are the Arupa (subjective, formless) Universe (c); then come the “Sons,” the seven Fighters, the One, the eighth left out, and his Breath which is the Light-Maker (Bhaskara) (d).
(a) “Adi-Sanat,” translated literally is the First or “primeval” ancient, which name identifies the Kabalistic “Ancient of Days” and the “Holy Aged” (Sephira and Adam Kadmon) with Brahma the Creator, called also Sanat among his other names and titles.
Svabhavat is the mystic Essence, the plastic root of physical Nature — “Numbers” when manifested; the Number, in its Unity of Substance, on the highest plane. The name is of Buddhist use and a Synonym for the four-fold Anima Mundi, the Kabalistic “Archetypal World,” from whence proceed the “Creative, Formative, and the
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] by the descent of flame into primordial matter causes its particles to move, which motion becomes Whirlwind.” A drop of liquid assumes a spheroidal form owing to its atoms moving around themselves in their ultimate, unresolvable, and noumenal essence; unresolvable for physical science, at any rate.
* Which makes ten, or the perfect number applied to the “Creator,” the name given to the totality of the Creators blended by the Monotheists into One, as the “Elohim,” Adam Kadmon or Sephira — the Crown — are the androgyne synthesis of the 10 Sephiroth, who stand for the symbol of the manifested Universe in the popularised Kabala. The esoteric Kabalists, however, following the Eastern Occultists, divide the upper Sephirothal triangle from the rest (or Sephira, Chochmah and Binah), which leaves seven Sephiroth. As for Svabhavat, the Orientalists explain the term as meaning the Universal plastic matter diffused through Space, with, perhaps, half an eye to the Ether of Science. But the Occultists identify it with “father-mother” on the mystic plane. (Vide supra.)
Material Worlds”; the Scintillae or Sparks, — the various other worlds contained in the last three. The Worlds are all subject to Rulers or Regents — Rishis and Pitris with the Hindus, Angels with the Jews and Christians, Gods, with the Ancients in general.
(b) This means that the “Boundless Circle” (Zero) becomes a figure or number, only when one of the nine figures precedes it, and thus manifests its value and potency, the Word or Logos in union with voice and Spirit* (the expression and source of Consciousness) standing for the nine figures and thus forming, with the Cypher, the Decade which contains in itself all the Universe. The triad forms within the circle the Tetraktis or Sacred Four, the Square within the Circle being the most potent of all the magical figures.
(c) The “One Rejected” is the Sun of our system. The exoteric version may be found in the oldest Sanskrit Scriptures. In the Rig Veda, Aditi, “The Boundless” or infinite Space, translated by Mr. Max Muller, “the visible infinite, visible by the naked eye (!!); the endless expanse beyond the Earth, beyond the clouds, beyond the sky,” is the equivalent of “Mother-Space” coeval with “Darkness.” She is very properly called “The Mother of the Gods,” Deva-Matri, as it is from her Cosmic matrix that all the heavenly bodies of our system were born — Sun and Planets. Thus she is described, allegorically, in this wise: “Eight Sons were born from the body of Aditi; she approached the gods with seven, but cast away the eighth, Marttanda,” our sun. The seven sons called the Aditya are, cosmically or astronomically, the seven planets; and the Sun being excluded from their number shows plainly that the Hindus may have known, and in fact knew of a seventh planet, without calling it Uranus.† But esoterically and theologically,
* “In union with the Spirit and the Voice,” referring to the Abstract Thought and concrete Voice, or the manifestation thereof, the effect of the Cause. Adam Kadmon or Tetragrammaton is the Logos in the Kabala; therefore this triad answers in the latter to the highest triangle of Kether, Chochmah and Binah, the last a female potency and at the same time the male Jehovah, as partaking of the nature of Chochmah, or the male Wisdom.
† The Secret Doctrine teaches that the Sun is a central Star and not a planet. Yet the Ancients knew of and worshipped seven great gods, excluding the Sun and Earth. Which was that “Mystery God” they set apart? Of course not Uranus, discovered only by Herschel in 1781. But could it not be known by another name? Says the [[Footnote continued on next page]]
so to say, the Adityas are, in their primitive most ancient meanings, the eight, and the twelve great gods of the Hindu Pantheon. “The Seven allow the mortals to see their dwellings, but show themselves only to the Arhats,” says an old proverb, “their dwellings” standing here for planets. The ancient Commentary gives an allegory and explains it: —
“Eight houses were built by Mother. Eight houses for her Eight Divine sons; four large and four small ones. Eight brilliant suns, according to their age and merits. Bal-ilu (Marrtanda) was not satisfied, though his house was the largest. He began (to work) as the huge elephants do. He breathed (drew in) into his stomach the vital airs of his brothers. He sought to devour them. The larger four were far away; far, on the margin of their kingdom.* They were not robbed (affected), and laughed. Do your worst, Sir, you cannot reach us, they said. But the smaller wept. They complained to the Mother. She exiled Bal-i-lu to the centre of her Kingdom, from whence he could not move. (Since then) he (only) watches and threatens. He pursues them, turning slowly around himself, they turning swiftly from him, and he following from afar the direction in which his brothers move on the path that encircles their houses.† From that day he feeds on the sweat of the Mother’s body. He fills himself with her breath and refuse. Therefore, she rejected him.”
Thus the “rejected Son” being our Sun, evidently, as shown above, the “Sun-Sons” refer not only to our planets but to the heavenly bodies in general. Himself only a reflection of the Central Spiritual Sun, Surya is the prototype of all those bodies that evolved after him. In the Vedas he is called Loka-Chakshuh, “the Eye of the World” (our
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] author of “Maconnerie Occulte”: — “Occult Sciences having discovered through astronomical calculations that the number of the planets must be seven, the ancients were led to introduce the Sun into the scale of the celestial harmonies, and make him occupy the vacant place. Thus, every time they perceived an influence that pertained to none of the six planets known, they attributed it to the Sun. The error only seems important, but was not so in practical results, if the ancient astrologers replaced Uranus by the Sun, which is a central Star relatively motionless, turning only on its axis and regulating time and measure; and which cannot be turned aside from its true functions.” . . . . . . The nomenclature of the days of the week is thus faulty. “The Sun-Day ought to be Uranus-day (Urani dies, Urandi),” adds the learned writer, Ragon.
* Planetary System.
† “The Sun rotates on his axis always in the same direction in which the planets revolve in their respective orbits,” astronomy teaches us.
planetary world), and he is one of the three chief deities. He is called indifferently the Son of Dyaus and of Aditi, because no distinction is made with reference to, or scope allowed for, the esoteric meaning. Thus he is depicted as drawn by seven horses, and by one horse with seven heads; the former referring to his seven planets, the latter to their one common origin from the One Cosmic Element. This “One Element” is called figuratively “Fire.” The Vedas (Aitareya-Brahmana of Haug also; p. i) teach “that the fire verily is all the deities.” (Narada in Anugita).
The meaning of the allegory is plain, for we have both the Dzyan Commentary and modern science to explain it, though the two differ in more than one particular. The Occult Doctrine rejects the hypothesis born out of the Nebular Theory, that the (seven) great planets have evolved from the Sun’s central mass, not of this our visible Sun, at any rate. The first condensation of Cosmic matter of course took place about a central nucleus, its parent Sun; but our sun, it is taught, merely detached itself earlier than all the others, as the rotating mass contracted, and is their elder, bigger brother therefore, not their father. The eight Adityas, “the gods,” are all formed from the eternal substance (Cometary matter* — the Mother) or the “World-Stuff” which is both the fifth and the sixth cosmic Principle, the Upadhi or basis of the Universal Soul, just as in man, the Microcosm, Manas† is the Upadhi of Buddhi.‡
(d) There is a whole poem on the pregenetic battles fought by the growing planets before the final formation of Kosmos, thus accounting for the seemingly disturbed position of the systems of several planets, the plane of the satellites of some (of Neptune and Uranus, for instance, of which the ancients knew nothing, it is said) being tilted over, thus giving them an appearance of retrograde motion. These planets are called the warriors, the Architects, and are accepted by the
* This Essence of Cometary matter, Occult Science teaches, is totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which modern science is acquainted. It is homogeneous in its primitive form beyond the Solar Systems, and differentiates entirely once it crosses the boundaries of our Earth’s region, vitiated by the atmospheres of the planets and the already compound matter of the interplanetary stuff, heterogeneous only in our manifested world.
† Manas — the Mind-Principle, or the human Soul.
‡ Buddhi — the divine Soul.
Roman Church as the leaders of the heavenly Hosts, thus showing the same traditions. Having evolved from Cosmic Space, and before the final formation of the primaries and the annulation of the planetary nebula, the Sun, we are taught, drew into the depths of its mass all the Cosmic vitality he could, threatening to engulf his weaker “brothers” before the law of attraction and repulsion was finally adjusted; after which he began feeding on “The Mother’s refuse and sweat”; in other words, on those portions of Ether (the “breath of the Universal Soul”) of the existence and constitution of which science is as yet absolutely ignorant. A theory of this kind having been propounded by Sir William Grove (see “Correlation of the Physical Forces,” 1843, p. 81; and “Address to the British Association,1866”), who theorized that the systems “are gradually changing by atmospheric additions or subtractions, or by accretions and diminutions arising from nebular substances” . . . and again that “the Sun may condense gaseous matter as it travels in Space and so heat may be produced” — the archaic teaching seems scientific enough, even in this age.* Mr. W. Mattieu Williams suggested that the diffused matter or Ether which is the recipient of the heat radiations of the Universe is thereby drawn into the depths of the solar mass. Expelling thence the previously condensed and thermally exhausted Ether, it becomes compressed and gives up its heat, to be in turn itself driven out in a rarified and cooled state, to absorb a fresh supply of heat, which he supposes to be in this way taken up by the Ether, and again concentrated and redistributed by the Suns of the Universe.†
This is about as close an approximation to the Occult teachings as Science ever imagined; for Occultism explains it by “the dead breath” given back by Marttanda and his feeding on the “sweat and refuse” of “Mother Space.” What could affect Neptune,‡ Saturn and Jupiter,
* Very similar ideas in Mr. W. Mattieu Williams’ “The Fuel of the Sun;” in Dr. C. William Siemens’ “On the Conservation of Solar Energy” (Nature, XXV., p. 440-444, March 9, 1882); and also in Dr. P. Martin Duncan’s “Address of the President of the Geological Society,” London, May, 1877.
† See “Comparative Geology,” by Alexander Winchell, LL.D., p. 56.
‡ When we speak of Neptune it is not as an Occultist but as a European. The true Eastern Occultist will maintain that, whereas there are many yet undiscovered planets in our system, Neptune does not belong to it, his apparent connection with our sun and the influence of the latter upon Neptune notwithstanding. This connection is mayavic, imaginary, they say.
but little, would have killed such comparatively small “Houses” as Mercury, Venus and Mars. As Uranus was not known before the end of the eighteenth century, the name of the fourth planet mentioned in the allegory must remain to us, so far, a mystery.
The “Breath” of all the “seven” is said to be Bhaskara (light-making), because they (the planets) were all comets and suns in their origin. They evolve into Manvantaric life from primaeval Chaos (now the noumenon of irresolvable nebulae) by aggregation and accumulation of the primary differentiations of the eternal matter, according to the beautiful expression in the Commentary, “Thus the Sons of Light clothed themselves in the fabric of Darkness.” They are called allegorically “the Heavenly Snails,” on account of their (to us) formless intelligences inhabiting unseen their starry and planetary homes, and, so to speak, carrying them as the snails do along with themselves in their revolution. The doctrine of a common origin for all the heavenly bodies and planets, was, as we see, inculcated by the Archaic astronomers, before Kepler, Newton, Leibnitz, Kant, Herschel and Laplace. Heat (the Breath), attraction and repulsion — the three great factors of Motion — are the conditions under which all the members of all this primitive family are born, developed, and die, to be reborn after a “Night of Brahma,” during which eternal matter relapses periodically into its primary undifferentiated state. The most attenuated gases can give no idea of its nature to the modern physicist. Centres of Forces at first, the invisible sparks of primordial atoms differentiate into molecules, and become Suns — passing gradually into objectivity gaseous, radiant, cosmic, the one “Whirlwind” (or motion) finally giving the impulse to the form, and the initial motion, regulated and sustained by the never-resting Breaths — the Dhyan Chohans.
6. . . . . Then the Second Seven, who are the Lipika, produced by the three (Word, Voice, and Spirit). The rejected Son is One, the “Son-Suns” are countless.
The Lipi-ka, from the word lipi, “writing,” means literally the
“Scribes.”* Mystically, these Divine Beings are connected with Karma, the Law of Retribution, for they are the Recorders or Annalists who impress on the (to us) invisible tablets of the Astral Light, “the great picture-gallery of eternity” — a faithful record of every act, and even thought, of man, of all that was, is, or ever will be, in the phenomenal Universe. As said in “Isis,” this divine and unseen canvas is the Book of Life. As it is the Lipika who project into objectivity from the passive Universal Mind the ideal plan of the universe, upon which the “Builders” reconstruct the Kosmos after every Pralaya, it is they who stand parallel to the Seven Angels of the Presence, whom the Christians recognise in the Seven “Planetary Spirits” or the “Spirits of the Stars;” for thus it is they who are the direct amanuenses of the Eternal Ideation — or, as called by Plato, the “Divine Thought.” The Eternal Record is no fantastic dream, for we meet with the same records in the world of gross matter. “A shadow never falls upon a wall without leaving thereupon a permanent trace which might be made visible by resorting to proper processes,” says Dr. Draper. . . . “The portraits of our friends or landscape-views may be hidden on the sensitive surface from the eye, but they are ready to make their appearance as soon as proper developers are resorted to. A spectre is concealed on a silver or a glassy surface, until, by our necromancy, we make it come forth into the visible world. Upon the walls of our most private apartments, where we think the eye of intrusion is altogether shut out, and our retirement can never be profaned, there exist the vestiges of all our acts, silhouettes of whatever we have done.”† Drs. Jevons and Babbage believe that every thought, displacing the particles of the brain and setting them in motion, scatters them throughout the Universe, and they think that “each particle of the existing matter must be a register of all that has happened.” (Principles of Science, Vol. II. p. 455.) Thus the ancient doctrine has begun to acquire rights of citizenship in the speculations of the scientific world.
The forty “Assessors” who stand in the region of Amenti as the accusers of the Soul before Osiris, belong to the same class of deities as the Lipika, and might stand paralleled, were not the Egyptian gods so
* These are the four “Immortals” which are mentioned in Atharva Veda as the “Watchers” or Guardians of the four quarters of the sky (see ch. lxxvi., 1-4, et seq.).
† “Conflict between Religion and Science.” — Draper, pp. 132 and 133.
little understood in their esoteric meaning. The Hindu Chitra-Gupta who reads out the account of every Soul’s life from his register, called Agra-Sandhani; the “Assessors” who read theirs from the heart of the defunct, which becomes an open book before (whether) Yama, Minos, Osiris, or Karma — are all so many copies of, and variants from the Lipika, and their Astral Records. Nevertheless, the Lipi-ka are not deities connected with Death, but with Life Eternal.
Connected as the Lipika are with the destiny of every man and the birth of every child, whose life is already traced in the Astral Light — not fatalistically, but only because the future, like the past, is ever alive in the present — they may also be said to exercise an influence on the Science of Horoscopy. We must admit the truth of the latter whether we will or not. For, as observed by one of the modern adepts of Astrology, “Now that photography has revealed to us the chemical influence of the Sidereal system, by fixing on the sensitized plate of the apparatus milliards of stars and planets that had hitherto baffled the efforts of the most powerful telescopes to discover them, it becomes easier to understand how our solar system can, at the birth of a child, influence his brain — virgin of any impression — in a definite manner and according to the presence on the zenith of such or another zodiacal constellation.”†
† Les Mysteres de l’Horoscope, p. XI.