1. The Primordial Seven, the first seven Breaths of the Dragon of Wisdom, produce in their turn from their holy circumgyrating Breaths the Fiery Whirlwind (a).
(a) This is, perhaps, the most difficult of all the Stanzas to explain. Its language is comprehensible only to him who is thoroughly versed in Eastern allegory and its purposely obscure phraseology. The question will surely be asked, “Do the Occultists believe in all these ‘Builders,’ ‘Lipika,’ and ‘Sons of Light’ as Entities, or are they merely imageries?” To this the answer is given as plainly: “After due allowance for the imagery of personified Powers, we must admit the existence of these Entities, if we would not reject the existence of spiritual humanity within physical mankind. For the hosts of these Sons of Light and ‘Mind-born Sons’ of the first manifested Ray of the Unknown All, are the very root of spiritual man.” Unless we want to believe the unphilosophical dogma of a specially created soul for every human birth — a fresh supply of these pouring in daily, since “Adam” — we have to admit the occult teachings. This will be explained in its place. Let us see, now, what may be the occult meaning of this Stanza.
The Doctrine teaches that, in order to become a divine, fully conscious god, — aye, even the highest — the Spiritual primeval Intelligences must pass through the human stage. And when we say human, this does not apply merely to our terrestrial humanity, but to the mortals that inhabit any world, i.e., to those Intelligences that have reached the appropriate equilibrium between matter and spirit, as we have now, since the middle point of the Fourth Root Race of the Fourth Round was passed. Each Entity must have won for itself the right of becoming divine, through self-experience. Hegel, the great German thinker, must have known or sensed intuitionally this truth when saying, as he did, that the Unconscious evolved the Universe only “in the hope of attaining clear self-consciousness,” of becoming, in other words, man; for this is also the secret meaning of the usual Puranic phrase about
Brahma being constantly “moved by the desire to create.” This explains also the hidden Kabalistic meaning of the saying: “The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.” The Mind-born Sons, the Rishis, the Builders, etc., were all men — of whatever forms and shapes — in other worlds and the preceding Manvantaras.
This subject, being so very mystical, is therefore the most difficult to explain in all its details and bearings; since the whole mystery of evolutionary creation is contained in it. A sentence or two in it vividly recalls to mind similar ones in the Kabala and the phraseology of the King Psalmist (civ.), as both, when speaking of God, show him making the wind his messenger and his “ministers a flaming fire.” But in the Esoteric doctrine it is used figuratively. The “fiery Wind” is the incandescent Cosmic dust which only follows magnetically, as the iron filings follow the magnet, the directing thought of the “Creative Forces.” Yet, this cosmic dust is something more; for every atom in the Universe has the potentiality of self-consciousness in it, and is, like the Monads of Leibnitz, a Universe in itself, and for itself. It is an atom and an angel.
In this connection it should be noted that one of the luminaries of the modern Evolutionist School, Mr. A. R. Wallace, when discussing the inadequacy of “natural selection” as the sole factor in the development of physical man, practically concedes the whole point here discussed. He holds that the evolution of man was directed and furthered by superior Intelligences, whose agency is a necessary factor in the scheme of Nature. But once the operation of these Intelligences is admitted in one place, it is only a logical deduction to extend it still further. No hard and fast line can be drawn.
2. They make of him the messenger of their will (a). The Dzyu becomes Fohat; the Swift Son of the Divine Sons, whose sons are the Lipika,* runs circular errands. He is the steed, and
* The difference between the “Builders,” the Planetary Spirits, and the Lipika must not be lost sight of. (See Nos. 5 and 6 of this Commentary.)
the Thought is the rider (i.e., he is under the influence of their guiding thought). He passes like lightning through the fiery clouds (cosmic mists) (b); takes three, and five, and seven strides through the seven regions above and the seven below (the world to be). He lifts his voice, and calls the innumerable sparks (atoms) and joins them together (c).
(a) This shows the “Primordial Seven” using for their Vahan (vehicle, or the manifested subject which becomes the symbol of the Power directing it), Fohat, called in consequence, the “Messenger of their will” — the fiery whirlwind.
“Dzyu becomes Fohat” — the expression itself shows it. Dzyu is the one real (magical) knowledge, or Occult Wisdom; which, dealing with eternal truths and primal causes, becomes almost omnipotence when applied in the right direction. Its antithesis is Dzyu-mi, that which deals with illusions and false appearances only, as in our exoteric modern sciences. In this case, Dzyu is the expression of the collective Wisdom of the Dhyani-Buddhas.
(b) As the reader is supposed not to be acquainted with the Dhyani-Buddhas, it is as well to say at once that, according to the Orientalists, there are five Dhyanis who are the “celestial” Buddhas, of whom the human Buddhas are the manifestations in the world of form and matter. Esoterically, however, the Dhyani-Buddhas are seven, of whom five only have hitherto manifested,* and two are to come in the sixth and seventh Root-races. They are, so to speak, the eternal prototypes of the Buddhas who appear on this earth, each of whom has his particular divine prototype. So, for instance, Amitabha is the Dhyani-Buddha of Gautama Sakyamuni, manifesting through him whenever this great Soul incarnates on earth as He did in Tzon-kha-pa.† As the synthesis of the seven Dhyani-Buddhas, Avalokiteswara was the first Buddha (the Logos), so Amitabha is the inner “God” of Gautama, who, in China, is called Amita(-Buddha). They are, as Mr. Rhys Davids
* See A. P. Sinnett’s “Esoteric Buddhism,” 5th annotated edition, pp. 171-173.
† The first and greatest Reformer who founded the “Yellow-Caps,” Gyalugpas. He was born in the year 1355 a.d. in Amdo, and was the Avatar of Amitabha, the celestial name of Gautama Buddha.
correctly states, “the glorious counterparts in the mystic world, free from the debasing conditions of this material life” of every earthly mortal Buddha — the liberated Manushi-Buddhas appointed to govern the Earth in this Round. They are the “Buddhas of Contemplation,” and are all Anupadaka (parentless), i.e., self-born of divine essence. The exoteric teaching which says that every Dhyani-Buddha has the faculty of creating from himself, an equally celestial son — a Dhyani-Bodhisattva — who, after the decease of the Manushi (human) Buddha, has to carry out the work of the latter, rests on the fact that owing to the highest initiation performed by one overshadowed by the “Spirit of Buddha” — (who is credited by the Orientalists with having created the five Dhyani-Buddhas!), — a candidate becomes virtually a Bodhisattva, created such by the High Initiator.
(c) Fohat, being one of the most, if not the most important character in esoteric Cosmogony, should be minutely described. As in the oldest Grecian Cosmogony, differing widely from the later mythology, Eros is the third person in the primeval trinity: Chaos, Gaea, Eros: answering to the Kabalistic En-Soph (for Chaos is Space, [[Chaino]], “void”) the Boundless All, Shekinah and the Ancient of Days, or the Holy Ghost; so Fohat is one thing in the yet unmanifested Universe and another in the phenomenal and Cosmic World. In the latter, he is that Occult, electric, vital power, which, under the Will of the Creative Logos, unites and brings together all forms, giving them the first impulse which becomes in time law. But in the unmanifested Universe, Fohat is no more this, than Eros is the later brilliant winged Cupid, or Love. Fohat has naught to do with Kosmos yet, since Kosmos is not born, and the gods still sleep in the bosom of “Father-Mother.” He is an abstract philosophical idea. He produces nothing yet by himself; he is simply that potential creative power in virtue of whose action the Noumenon of all future phenomena divides, so to speak, but to reunite in a mystic supersensuous act, and emit the creative ray. When the “Divine Son” breaks forth, then Fohat becomes the propelling force, the active Power which causes the One to become Two and Three — on the Cosmic plane of manifestation. The triple One differentiates into the many, and then Fohat is transformed into that force which brings together the elemental atoms and makes them aggregate and combine. We find an echo of this primeval teaching
in early Greek mythology. Erebos and Nux are born out of Chaos, and, under the action of Eros, give birth in their turn to AEther and Hemera, the light of the superior and the light of the inferior or terrestrial regions. Darkness generates light. See in the Puranas Brahma’s “Will” or desire to create; and in the Phœnician Cosmogony of Sanchoniathon the doctrine that Desire, [[pothos]], is the principle of creation.
Fohat is closely related to the “one life.” From the Unknown One, the Infinite totality, the manifested one, or the periodical, Manvantaric Deity, emanates; and this is the Universal Mind, which, separated from its Fountain-Source, is the Demiurgos or the creative Logos of the Western Kabalists, and the four-faced Brahma of the Hindu religion. In its totality, viewed from the standpoint of manifested Divine Thought in the esoteric doctrine, it represents the Hosts of the higher creative Dhyan Chohans. Simultaneously with the evolution of the Universal Mind, the concealed Wisdom of Adi-Buddha — the One Supreme and eternal — manifests itself as Avalokiteshwara (or manifested Iswara), which is the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Heavenly Man of the Hermetic philosopher, the Logos of the Platonists, and the Atman of the Vedantins.* By the action of the manifested Wisdom, or Mahat, represented by these innumerable centres of spiritual Energy in the Kosmos, the reflection of the Universal Mind, which is Cosmic Ideation and the intellectual Force accompanying such ideation, becomes objectively the Fohat of the Buddhist esoteric philosopher. Fohat, running along the seven principles of Akasa, acts upon manifested substance or the One Element, as declared above, and by differentiating it into various centres of Energy, sets in motion the law of Cosmic Evolution, which, in obedience to the Ideation of the Universal Mind, brings into existence all the various states of being in the manifested Solar System.
The Solar System, brought into existence by these agencies, consists of Seven Principles, like everything else within these centres. Such is the teaching of the trans-Himalayan Esotericism. Every philosophy, however, has its own way of dividing these principles.
* Mr. Subba Row seems to identify him with, and to call him, the Logos. (See his four lectures on the “Bhagavadgita” in the Theosophist.)
Fohat, then, is the personified electric vital power, the transcendental binding Unity of all Cosmic Energies, on the unseen as on the manifested planes, the action of which resembles — on an immense scale — that of a living Force created by will, in those phenomena where the seemingly subjective acts on the seemingly objective and propels it to action. Fohat is not only the living Symbol and Container of that Force, but is looked upon by the Occultists as an Entity — the forces he acts upon being cosmic, human and terrestrial, and exercising their influence on all those planes respectively. On the earthly plane his influence is felt in the magnetic and active force generated by the strong desire of the magnetizer. On the Cosmic, it is present in the constructive power that carries out, in the formation of things — from the planetary system down to the glow-worm and simple daisy — the plan in the mind of nature, or in the Divine Thought, with regard to the development and growth of that special thing. He is, metaphysically, the objectivised thought of the gods; the “Word made flesh,” on a lower scale, and the messenger of Cosmic and human ideations: the active force in Universal Life. In his secondary aspect, Fohat is the Solar Energy, the electric vital fluid,* and the preserving fourth
* In 1882 the President of the Theosophical Society, Col. Olcott, was taken to task for asserting in one of his lectures that Electricity is matter. Such, nevertheless, is the teaching of the Occult Doctrine. “Force,” “Energy,” may be a better name for it, so long as European Science knows so little about its true nature; yet matter it is, as much as Ether is matter, since it is as atomic, though several removes from the latter. It seems ridiculous to argue that because a thing is imponderable to Science, therefore it cannot be called matter. Electricity is “immaterial” in the sense that its molecules are not subject to perception and experiment; yet it may be — and Occultism says it is — atomic; therefore it is matter. But even supposing it were unscientific to speak of it in such terms, once Electricity is called in Science a source of Energy, Energy simply, and a Force — where is that Force or that Energy which can be thought of without thinking of matter? Maxwell, a mathematician and one of the greatest authorities upon Electricity and its phenomena, said, years ago, that Electricity was matter, not motion merely. “If we accept the hypothesis that the elementary substances are composed of atoms we cannot avoid concluding that electricity also, positive as well as negative, is divided into definite elementary portions, which behave like atoms of electricity.” (Helmholtz, Faraday Lecture, 1881). We will go further than that, and assert that Electricity is not only Substance but that it is an emanation from an Entity, which is neither God nor Devil, but one of the numberless Entities that rule and guide our world according to the eternal Law of Karma. (See the Addendum to this Book.)
principle, the animal Soul of Nature, so to say, or — Electricity. In India, Fohat is connected with Vishnu and Surya in the early character of the (first) God; for Vishnu is not a high god in the Rig Veda. The name Vishnu is from the root vish, “to pervade,” and Fohat is called the “Pervader” and the Manufacturer, because he shapes the atoms from crude material.* In the sacred texts of the Rig Veda, Vishnu, also, is “a manifestation of the Solar Energy,” and he is described as striding through the Seven regions of the Universe in three steps, the Vedic God having little in common with the Vishnu of later times. Therefore the two are identical in this particular feature, and one is the copy of the other.
The “three and seven” strides refer to the Seven spheres inhabited by man, of the esoteric Doctrine, as well as to the Seven regions of the Earth. Notwithstanding the frequent objections made by would-be Orientalists, the Seven Worlds or spheres of our planetary chain are distinctly referred to in the exoteric Hindu scriptures. But how strangely all these numbers are connected with like numbers in other Cosmogonies and with their symbols, can be seen from comparisons and parallelisms made by students of old religions. The “three strides of Vishnu” through the “seven regions of the Universe,” of the Rig Veda, have been variously explained by commentators as meaning “fire, lightning and the Sun” cosmically; and as having been taken in the Earth, the atmosphere, and the sky; also as the “three steps” of the dwarf (Vishnu’s incarnation), though more philosophically — and in the astronomical sense, very correctly — they are explained by Aurnavabha as being the various positions of the sun, rising, noon, and setting. Esoteric philosophy alone explains it clearly, and the Zohar laid it down very philosophically and comprehensively. It is said and plainly demonstrated therein that in the beginning the Elohim (Elhim) were called Echod, “one,” or the “Deity is one in many,” a very simple idea in a pantheistic conception (in its philosophical sense, of course). Then came the change, “Jehovah is Elohim,” thus unifying the multiplicity and taking the first step towards Monotheism. Now to the query, “How is Jehovah Elohim?” the answer is, “By three Steps” from below.
* It is well known that sand, when placed on a metal plate in vibration assumes a series of regular curved figures of various descriptions. Can Science give a complete explanation of this fact?
The meaning is plain.* They are all symbols, and emblematic, mutually and correlatively, of Spirit, Soul and Body (man); of the circle transformed into Spirit, the Soul of the World, and its body (or Earth). Stepping out of the Circle of Infinity, that no man comprehendeth, Ain-Soph (the Kabalistic synonym for Parabrahm, for the Zeroana Akerne, of the Mazdeans, or for any other “Unknowable”) becomes “One” — the Echod, the Eka, the Ahu — then he (or it) is transformed by evolution into the One in many, the Dhyani-Buddhas or the Elohim, or again the Amshaspends, his third Step being taken into generation of the flesh, or “Man.” And from man, or Jah-Hova, “male female,” the inner divine entity becomes, on the metaphysical plane, once more the Elohim.
The Kabalistic idea is identical with the Esotericism of the Archaic period. This esotericism is the common property of all, and belongs neither to the Aryan 5th Race, nor to any of its numerous Sub-races. It cannot be claimed by the Turanians, so-called, the Egyptians, Chinese, Chaldeans, nor any of the Seven divisions of the Fifth Root Race, but really belongs to the Third and Fourth Root Races, whose descendants we find in the Seed of the Fifth, the earliest Aryans. The Circle was with every nation the symbol of the Unknown — “Boundless Space,” the abstract garb of an ever present abstraction — the Incognisable Deity. It represents limitless Time in Eternity. The Zeroana Akerne is also the “Boundless Circle of the Unknown Time,” from which Circle issues the radiant light — the Universal Sun, or Ormazd† — and the latter
* The numbers 3, 5, and 7 are prominent in speculative masonry, as shown in “Isis.” A mason writes: — “There are the 3, 5, and 7 steps to show a circular walk. The three faces of 3, 3; 5, 3; and 7, 3; etc., etc. Sometimes it comes in this form — 753/2 = 376.5 and 7635/2 = 3817.5 and the ratio of 20612/6561 feet for cubit measure gives the Great Pyramid measures,” etc., etc. Three, five and seven are mystical numbers, and the last and the first are as greatly honoured by Masons as by the Parsis — the triangle being a symbol of Deity everywhere. (See the Masonic Cyclopedia, and “Pythagorean Triangle,” Oliver.) As a matter of course, doctors of divinity (Cassel, for instance) show the Zohar explaining and supporting the Christian trinity (!). It is the latter, however, that had its origin from the of the Heathen, in the Archaic Occultism and Symbology. The three strides relate metaphysically to the descent of Spirit into matter, of the Logos falling as a ray into the Spirit, then into the Soul, and finally into the human physical form of man, in which it becomes Life.
† Ormazd is the Logos, the “First Born” and the Sun.
is identical with Kronos, in his Æolian form, that of a Circle. For the circle is Sar, and Saros, or cycle, and was the Babylonian god whose circular horizon was the visible symbol of the invisible, while the sun was the one Circle from which proceeded the Cosmic orbs, and of which he was considered the leader. Zero-ana, is the Chakra or circle of Vishnu, the mysterious emblem which is, according to the definition of a mystic, “a curve of such a nature that as to any, the least possible part thereof, if the curve be protracted either way it will proceed and finally re-enter upon itself, and form one and the same curve — or that which we call the circle.” No better definition could thus be given of the natural symbol and the evident nature of Deity, which having its circumference everywhere (the boundless) has, therefore, its central point also everywhere; in other words, is in every point of the Universe. The invisible Deity is thus also the Dhyan Chohans, or the Rishis, the primitive seven, and the nine, without, and ten, including, their synthetical unit; from which it steps into Man. Returning to the Commentary (4) of Stanza IV. the reader will understand why, while the trans-Himalayan Chakra has inscribed within it (triangle, first line, cube, second line, and a pentacle with a dot in the centre thus: , and some other variations), the Kabalistic circle of the Elohim reveals, when the letters of the word (Alhim or Elohim) are numerically read, the famous numerals 13514, or by anagram 31415 — the astronomical π (pi) number, or the hidden meaning of Dhyani-Buddhas, of the Gebers, the Geborim, the Kabeiri, and the Elohim, all signifying “great men,” “Titans,” “Heavenly Men,” and, on earth, “the giants.”
The Seven was a Sacred Number with every nation; but none applied it to more physiologically materialistic uses than the Hebrews. With these it was pre-eminently the generative number and 9 the male causative one, forming as shown by the Kabalists the or otz — “the Tree of the Garden of Eden,”* the “double hermaphrodite rod” of the fourth race. Whereas with the Hindus and Aryans generally, the significance was manifold, and related almost entirely to purely metaphysical
* This was the symbol of the “Holy of Holies,” the 3 and the 4 of sexual separation. Nearly every one of the 22 Hebrew letters are merely phallic symbols. Of the two letters — as shown above — one, the ayin, is a negative female letter, symbolically an eye; the other a male letter, tza, a fish-hook or a dart.
and astronomical truths.* Their Rishis and gods, their Demons and Heroes, have historical and ethical meanings, and the Aryans never made their religion rest solely on physiological symbols, as the old Hebrews have done. This is found in the exoteric Hindu Scriptures. That these accounts are blinds is shown by their contradicting each other, a different construction being found in almost every Purana and epic poem. Read esoterically — they will all yield the same meaning. Thus one account enumerates Seven worlds, exclusive of the nether worlds, also seven in number; these fourteen upper and nether worlds have
* We are told by a Kabalist, who in a work not yet published contrasts the Kabala and Zohar with Aryan Esotericism, that “The Hebrew clear, short, terse and exact modes far and beyond measure surpass the toddling word-talk of the Hindus — just as by parallelisms the Psalmist says, ‘My mouth speaks with my tongue, I know not thy numbers’ (lxxi., 15). . . . The Hindu Glyph shows by its insufficiency in the large admixture of adventitious sides the same borrowed plumage that the Greeks (the lying Greeks) had, and that Masonry has: which in the rough monosyllabic (and apparent) poverty of the Hebrew, shows the latter to have come down from a far more remote antiquity than any of these, and to have been the source (!?), or nearer the old original source than any of them.” This is entirely erroneous. Our learned brother and correspondent judges apparently the Hindu religious systems by their Shastras and Puranas, probably the latter, and in their modern translation moreover, which is disfigured out of all recognition, by the Orientalists. It is to their philosophical systems that one has to turn, to their esoteric teaching, if he would make a point of comparison. No doubt the symbology of the Pentateuch and even of the New Testament, comes from the same source. But surely the Pyramid of Cheops, whose measurements are all found repeated by Professor Piazzi Smythe in Solomon’s alleged and mythical temple, is not of a later date than the Mosaic books? Hence, if there is any such great identity as claimed, it must be due to servile copying on the part of the Jews, not on that of the Egyptians. The Jewish glyphs — and even their language, the Hebrew — are not original. They are borrowed from the Egyptians, from whom Moses got his Wisdom; from the Coptic, the probable kinsman, if not parent, of the old Phœnician and from the Hyksos, their (alleged) ancestors, as Josephus shows in his “Against Apion,” I., 25. Aye; but who are the Hyksos shepherds? And who the Egyptians? History knows nothing of the question, and speculates and theorizes out of the depths of the respective consciousnesses of her historians. (See Isis Unveiled, vol. II., p. 430-438.) “Khamism, or old Coptic,” says Bunsen, “is from Western Asia, and contains some germ of the Semitic, thus bearing witness to the primitive cognate unity of the Aryan and Semitic races”; and he places the great events in Egypt 9,000 years B.C. The fact is that in archaic Esotericism and Aryan thought we find a grand philosophy, whereas in the Hebrew records we find only the most surprising ingenuity in inventing apotheoses for phallic worship and sexual theogony.
nothing to do with the classification of the septenary chain and belong to the purely aethereal, invisible worlds. These will be noticed elsewhere. Suffice for the present to show that they are purposely referred to as though they belonged to the chain. “Another enumeration calls the Seven worlds — earth, sky, heaven, middle region, place of birth, mansion of the blest, and abode of truth; placing the ‘Sons of Brahma’ in the sixth division, and stating the fifth, or Jana Loka, to be that where animals destroyed in the general conflagration are born again.” (see Hindu Classical Dictionary.) Some real esoteric teaching is given in the “Symbolism.” He who is prepared for it will understand the hidden meaning.
3. He is their guiding spirit and leader. When he commences work, he separates the sparks of the lower kingdom (mineral atoms) that float and thrill with joy in their radiant dwellings (gaseous clouds), and forms therewith the germs of wheels. He places them in the six directions of space and one in the middle — the central wheel (a).
(a) “Wheels,” as already explained, are the centres of force, around which primordial Cosmic matter expands, and, passing through all the six stages of consolidation, becomes spheroidal and ends by being transformed into globes or spheres. It is one of the fundamental dogmas of Esoteric Cosmogony, that during the Kalpas (or aeons) of life, motion, which, during the periods of Rest “pulsates and thrills through every slumbering atom”* (Commentary on Dzyan), assumes an evergrowing
* It may be asked, as also the writer has not failed to ask, “Who is there to ascertain the difference in that motion, since all nature is reduced to its primal essence, and there can be no one — not even one of the Dhyani-Chohans, who are all in Nirvana — to see it?” The answer to this is: “Everything in Nature has to be judged by analogy. Though the highest Deities (Archangels or Dhyani-Buddhas) are unable to penetrate the mysteries too far beyond our planetary system and the visible Kosmos, yet there were great seers and prophets in olden times who were enabled to perceive the mystery of Breath and Motion retrospectively, when the systems of worlds were at rest and plunged in their periodic sleep.”
tendency, from the first awakening of Kosmos to a new “Day,” to circular movement. The “Deity becomes a whirlwind.” They are also called Rotae — the moving wheels of the celestial orbs participating in the world’s creation — when the meaning refers to the animating principle of the stars and planets; for in the Kabala, they are represented by the Ophanim, the Angels of the Spheres and stars, of which they are the informing Souls. (See Kabala Denudata, “De Anima,” p. 113.)
This law of vortical movement in primordial matter, is one of the oldest conceptions of Greek philosophy, whose first historical Sages were nearly all Initiates of the Mysteries. The Greeks had it from the Egyptians, and the latter from the Chaldeans, who had been the pupils of Brahmins of the esoteric school. Leucippus, and Democritus of Abdera — the pupil of the Magi — taught that this gyratory movement of the atoms and spheres existed from eternity.* Hicetas, Heraclides, Ecphantus, Pythagoras, and all his pupils, taught the rotation of the earth; and Aryabhata of India, Aristarchus, Seleucus, and Archimedes calculated its revolution as scientifically as the astronomers do now; while the theory of the Elemental Vortices was known to Anaxagoras, and maintained by him 500 years b.c., or nearly 2,000 before it was taken up by Galileo, Descartes, Swedenborg, and finally, with slight modifications, by Sir W. Thomson. (See his “Vortical Atoms.”) All such knowledge, if justice be only done to it, is an echo of the archaic doctrine, an attempt to explain which is now being made. How men of the last few centuries have come to the same ideas and conclusions that were taught as axiomatic truths in the secrecy of the Adyta dozens of
* “The doctrine of the rotation of the earth about an axis is taught by the Pythagorean Hicetas, probably as early as 500 B.C. It was also taught by his pupil Ecphantus, and by Heraclides, a pupil of Plato. The immobility of the Sun and the orbital rotation of the earth were shown by Aristarchus of Samos as early as 281 B.C. to be suppositions accordant with facts of observation. The Heliocentric theory was taught about 150 B.C., by Seleucus of Seleucia on the Tigris. — [It was taught 500 B.C. by Pythagoras. — H.P.B.] It is said also that Archimedes, in a work entitled Psammites, inculcated the Heliocentric theory. The sphericity of the earth was distinctly taught by Aristotle, who appealed for proof to the figure of the Earth’s shadow on the moon in eclipses (Aristotle, De Cœlo, lib. II., cap. XIV.). The same idea was defended by Pliny (Nat. Hist., II., 65). These views seem to have been lost from knowledge for more than a thousand years. . . .” (Comparative Geology, Part IV., “Pre-Kantian Speculation,” p. 551, by Alex. Winchell, LL.D.).
millenniums ago, is a question that is treated separately. Some were led to it by the natural progress in physical science and by independent observation; others — such as Copernicus, Swedenborg, and a few more — their great learning notwithstanding, owed their knowledge far more to intuitive than to acquired ideas, developed in the usual way by a course of study.* (See “A Mystery about Buddha.”)
By the “Six directions of Space” is here meant the “Double Triangle,” the junction and blending together of pure Spirit and Matter, of the Arupa and the Rupa, of which the Triangles are a Symbol. This double Triangle is a sign of Vishnu, as it is Solomon’s seal, and the Sri-Antara of the Brahmins.
4. Fohat traces spiral lines to unite the six to the seventh — the Crown (a); an Army of the Sons of Light stands at each angle (and) the Lipika — in the middle wheel. They (the Lipika) say, “This is good” (b). The first Divine World is ready, the first (is now), the second (world), then the “Divine Arupa” (the formless Universe
* That Swedenborg, who could not possibly have known anything of the esoteric ideas of Buddhism, came independently near the Occult teaching in his general conceptions, is shown by his essay on the Vortical Theory. In Clissold’s translation of it, quoted by Prof. Winchell, we find the following resume: — “The first Cause is the Infinite or Unlimited. This gives existence to the First Finite or Limited.” (The Logos in His manifestation and the Universe.) “That which produces a limit is analogous to motion. (See first Stanza, supra.) The limit produced is a point, the Essence of which is Motion; but being without parts, this Essence is not actual Motion, but only a connatus to it.” (In our Doctrine it is not a “connatus,” but a change from eternal vibration in the unmanifested, to Vortical Motion in the phenomenal or manifested World). . . “From this first proceed Extension, Space, Figure, and Succession, or Time. As in Geometry a point generates a line, a line a surface, and a surface a solid, so here the connatus of a point tends towards lines, surfaces and solids. In other words, the Universe is contained in ovo in the first natural point . . . the Motion toward which the connatus tends, is circular, since the circle is the most perfect of all figures . . . The most perfect figure of a Motion . . . must be the perpetually circular, that is to say, it must proceed from the centre to the periphery and from the periphery to the centre.” (Quoted from Principia Rerum Naturalia.) This is Occultism pure and simple.
of Thought) reflects itself in Chhayaloka (the shadowy world of primal form, or the intellectual) the first garment of (the) Anupadaka (c).
(a) This tracing of “Spiral lines” refers to the evolution of man’s as well as Nature’s principles; an evolution which takes place gradually (as will be seen in Book II., on “The origin of the Human Races”), as does everything else in nature. The Sixth principle in Man (Buddhi, the Divine Soul) though a mere breath, in our conceptions, is still something material when compared with divine “Spirit” (Atma) of which it is the carrier or vehicle. Fohat, in his capacity of Divine Love (Eros), the electric Power of affinity and sympathy, is shown allegorically as trying to bring the pure Spirit, the Ray inseparable from the one absolute, into union with the Soul, the two constituting in Man the Monad, and in Nature the first link between the ever unconditioned and the manifested. “The first is now the second” (world) — of the Lipikas — has reference to the same.
(b) The “Army” at each angle is the Host of angelic Beings (Dhyan-Chohans) appointed to guide and watch over each respective region from the beginning to the end of Manvantara. They are the “Mystic Watchers” of the Christian Kabalists and Alchemists, and relate, symbolically as well as cosmogonically, to the numerical system of the Universe. The numbers with which these celestial Beings are connected are extremely difficult to explain, as each number refers to several groups of distinct ideas, according to the particular group of “Angels” which it is intended to represent. Herein lies the nodus in the study of symbology, with which, unable to untie by disentangling it, so many scholars have preferred dealing as Alexander dealt with the Gordian knot; hence erroneous conceptions and teachings, as a direct result.
The “First is the Second,” because the “First” cannot really be numbered or regarded as the First, as that is the realm of noumena in its primary manifestation: the threshold to the World of Truth, or Sat, through which the direct energy that radiates from the one reality — the Nameless Deity — reaches us. Here again, the untranslateable term Sat (Be-ness) is likely to lead into an erroneous conception, since that which is manifested cannot be Sat, but is something phenomenal, not everlasting, nor, in truth, even sempiternal. It is coeval and
coexistent with the One Life, “Secondless,” but as a manifestation it is still a Maya — like the rest. This “World of Truth” can be described only in the words of the Commentary as “A bright star dropped from the heart of Eternity; the beacon of hope on whose Seven Rays hang the Seven Worlds of Being.” Truly so; since those are the Seven Lights whose reflections are the human immortal Monads — the Atma, or the irradiating Spirit of every creature of the human family. First, this septenary Light; then: —
(c) The “Divine World” — the countless Lights lit at the primeval Light — the Buddhis, or formless divine Souls, of the last Arupa (formless) world; the “Sum Total,” in the mysterious language of the old Stanza. In the Catechism, the Master is made to ask the pupil: —
“Lift thy head, oh Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee, burning in the dark midnight sky?”
“I sense one Flame, oh Gurudeva, I see countless undetached sparks shining in it.”
“Thou sayest well. And now look around and into thyself. That light which burns inside thee, dost thou feel it different in anywise from the light that shines in thy Brother-men?”
“It is in no way different, though the prisoner is held in bondage by Karma, and though its outer garments delude the ignorant into saying, ‘Thy Soul and My Soul.’ ”
The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature — from Star to mineral Atom, from the highest Dhyan Chohan to the smallest infusoria, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual, or physical worlds — this is the one fundamental law in Occult Science. “The Deity is boundless and infinite expansion,” says an Occult axiom; and hence, as remarked, the name of Brahma.* There is a deep philosophy underlying the earliest worship in the world, that of the Sun and of Fire. Of all the Elements known to physical science, Fire is the one that has ever eluded definite analysis. It is confidently asserted that
* In the Rig Veda we find the names Brahmanaspati and Brihaspati alternating and equivalent to each other. Also see “Brihad Upanishad”; Brihaspati is a deity called “the Father of the gods.”
Air is a mixture containing the gases Oxygen and Nitrogen. We view the Universe and the Earth as matter composed of definite chemical molecules. We speak of the primitive ten Earths, endowing each with a Greek or Latin name. We say that water is, chemically, a compound of Oxygen and Hydrogen. But what is Fire? It is the effect of combustion, we are gravely answered. It is heat and light and motion, and a correlation of physical and chemical forces in general. And this scientific definition is philosophically supplemented by the theological one in Webster’s Dictionary, which explains fire as “the instrument of punishment, or the punishment of the impenitent in another state” — the “state,” by the bye, being supposed to be spiritual; but, alas! the presence of fire would seem to be a convincing proof of its material nature. Yet, speaking of the illusion of regarding phenomena as simple, because they are familiar, Professor Bain says (Logic. Part II.): “Very familiar facts seem to stand in no need of explanation themselves and to be the means of explaining whatever can be assimilated to them. Thus, the boiling and evaporation of a liquid is supposed to be a very simple phenomenon requiring no explanation, and a satisfactory explanation of rarer phenomena. That water should dry up is, to the uninstructed mind, a thing wholly intelligible; whereas to the man acquainted with physical science the liquid state is anomalous and inexplicable. The lighting of a fire by a flame is a great scientific difficulty, yet few people think so” (p. 125).
What says the esoteric teaching with regard to fire? “Fire,” it says, “is the most perfect and unadulterated reflection, in Heaven as on Earth, of the One Flame. It is Life and Death, the origin and the end of every material thing. It is divine ‘Substance.’ ” Thus, not only the Fire-Worshipper, the Parsee, but even the wandering savage tribes of America, which proclaim themselves “born of fire,” show more science in their creeds and truth in their superstitions, than all the speculations of modern physics and learning. The Christian who says: “God is a living Fire,” and speaks of the Pentecostal “Tongues of Fire” and of the “burning bush” of Moses, is as much a fire-worshipper as any other “heathen.” The Rosicrucians, among all the mystics and Kabalists, were those who defined Fire in the right and most correct way. Procure a sixpenny lamp, keep it only supplied with oil, and you will be able to light at its flame the lamps, candles,
and fires of the whole globe without diminishing that flame. If the Deity, the radical One, is eternal and an infinite substance (“the Lord thy God is a consuming fire”) and never consumed, then it does not seem reasonable that the Occult teaching should be held as unphilosophical when it says: “Thus were the Arupa and Rupa worlds formed: from One light seven lights; from each of the seven, seven times seven,” etc., etc.
5. Fohat takes five strides (having already taken the first three) (a), and builds a winged wheel at each corner of the square for the four holy ones . . . . . and their armies (hosts) (b).
(a) The “strides,” as already explained (see Commentary on Stanza IV.), refer to both the Cosmic and the Human principles — the latter of which consist, in the exoteric division, of three (Spirit, Soul, and Body), and, in the esoteric calculation, of seven principles — three rays of the Essence and four aspects.* Those who have studied Mr. Sinnett’s “Esoteric Buddhism” can easily grasp the nomenclature. There are two esoteric schools — or rather one school, divided into two parts — one for the inner Lanoos, the other for the outer or semi-lay chelas beyond the Himalayas; the first teaching a septenary, the other a six-fold division of human principles.
From a Cosmic point of view, Fohat taking “five strides” refers here to the five upper planes of Consciousness and Being, the sixth and the seventh (counting downwards) being the astral and the terrestrial, or the two lower planes.
(b) “Four winged wheels at each corner . . . . . for the four holy ones and their armies (hosts)” . . . . . These are the “four Maharajahs” or great Kings of the Dhyan-Chohans, the Devas who preside, each over one of the four cardinal points. They are the Regents or Angels who rule over the Cosmical Forces of North, South,
* The four aspects are the body, its life or vitality, and the “Double” of the body, the triad which disappears with the death of the person, and the Kama-rupa which disintegrates in Kama-loka.
East and West, Forces having each a distinct occult property. These beings are also connected with Karma, as the latter needs physical and material agents to carry out her decrees, such as the four kinds of winds, for instance, professedly admitted by Science to have their respective evil and beneficent influences upon the health of Mankind and every living thing. There is occult philosophy in that Roman Catholic doctrine which traces the various public calamities, such as epidemics of disease, and wars, and so on, to the invisible “Messengers” from North and West. “The glory of God comes from the way of the East” says Ezekiel; while Jeremiah, Isaiah, and the Psalmist assure their readers that all the evil under the Sun comes from the North and the West — which proposition, when applied to the Jewish nation, sounds like an undeniable prophecy for themselves. And this accounts also for St. Ambrose (On Amos, ch. iv.) declaring that it is precisely for that reason that “we curse the North-Wind, and that during the ceremony of baptism we begin by turning towards the West (Sidereal), to renounce the better him who inhabits it; after which we turn to the East.”
Belief in the “Four Maharajahs” — the Regents of the Four cardinal points — was universal and is now that of Christians,* who call them, after St. Augustine, “Angelic Virtues,” and “Spirits” when enumerated by themselves, and “Devils” when named by Pagans. But where is the difference between the Pagans and the Christians in this cause? Following Plato, Aristotle explained that the term [[stoicheia]] was understood only as meaning the incorporeal principles placed at each of the four great divisions of our Cosmical world to supervise them. Thus, no more than the Christians did, do they adore and worship the Elements and the cardinal (imaginary) points, but the “gods” that ruled these respectively. For the Church there are two kinds of Sidereal beings, the
* Says the scholarly Vossius, in his Theol. Cir. I. VII.: “Though St. Augustine has said that every visible thing in this world had an angelic virtue as an overseer near it, it is not individuals but entire species of things that must be understood, each such species having indeed its particular angel to watch it. He is at one in this with all the philosophers . . . For us these angels are spirits separated from the objects . . . whereas for the philosophers (pagan) they were gods.” Considering the Ritual established by the Roman Catholic Church for “Spirits of the Stars,” the latter look suspiciously like “Gods,” and were no more honoured and prayed to by the ancient and modern pagan rabble than they are now at Rome by the highly cultured Catholic Christians.
Angels and the Devils. For the Kabalist and Occultist there is but one; and neither of them makes any difference between “the Rectors of Light” and the Cosmocratores, or “Rectores tenebrarum harum,” whom the Roman Church imagines and discovers in a “Rector of Light” as soon as he is called by another name than the one she addresses him by. It is not the “Rector” or “Maharajah” who punishes or rewards, with or without “God’s” permission or order, but man himself — his deeds or Karma, attracting individually and collectively (as in the case of whole nations sometimes), every kind of evil and calamity. We produce causes, and these awaken the corresponding powers in the sidereal world; which powers are magnetically and irresistibly attracted to — and react upon — those who produced these causes; whether such persons are practically the evil-doers, or simply Thinkers who brood mischief. Thought is matter,* we are taught by modern Science; and “every particle of the existing matter must be a register of all that has happened,” as in their “Principles of Science” Messrs. Jevons and Babbage tell the profane. Modern Science is drawn more every day into the maelstrom of Occultism; unconsciously, no doubt, still very sensibly. The two main theories of science — re the relations between Mind and Matter — are Monism and Materialism. These two cover the whole ground of negative psychology with the exception of the quasi-occult views of the pantheistic German schools.†
* Not of course in the sense of the German Materialist Moleschott, who assures us that “Thought is the movement of matter,” a statement of almost unequalled absurdity. Mental states and bodily states are utterly contrasted as such. But that does not affect the position that every thought, in addition to its physical accompaniment (brain-change), exhibits an objective — though to us supersensuously objective — aspect on the astral plane. (See “The Occult World,” pp. 89, 90.)
† The views of our present-day scientific thinkers as to the relations between mind and matter may be reduced to two hypotheses. These show that both views equally exclude the possibility of an independent Soul, distinct from the physical brain through which it functions. They are: —
(1.) Materialism, the theory which regards mental phenomena as the product of molecular change in the brain; i.e., as the outcome of a transformation of motion into feeling (!). The cruder school once went so far as to identify mind with a “peculiar mode of motion” (!!), but this view is now happily regarded as absurd by most of the men of science themselves.
(2.) Monism, or the Single Substance Doctrine, is the more subtle form of negative psychology, which one of its advocates, Professor Bain, ably terms “guarded [[Footnote continued on next page]]
In the Egyptian temples, according to Clemens Alexandrinus, an immense curtain separated the tabernacle from the place for the congregation. The Jews had the same. In both, the curtain was drawn over five pillars (the Pentacle) symbolising our five senses and five Root-races esoterically, while the four colours of the curtain represented the four cardinal points and the four terrestrial elements. The whole was an allegorical symbol. It is through the four high Rulers over the four points and Elements that our five senses may become cognisant of the hidden truths of Nature; and not at all, as Clemens would have it, that it is the elements per se that furnished the Pagans with divine Knowledge or the knowledge of God.* While the Egyptian emblem was spiritual, that of the Jews was purely materialistic, and, indeed, honoured only the blind Elements and the imaginary “Points.” For what was the meaning of the square tabernacle raised by Moses in the wilderness, if it had not the same cosmical significance? “Thou shalt make an hanging . . . of blue, purple, and scarlet” and “five pillars of shittim wood for the hanging . . . four brazen rings in the four corners thereof . . . boards of fine wood for the four sides, North, South, West, and East . . . of the Tabernacle . . . with Cherubims of cunning work.” (Exodus, ch. xxvi., xxvii.) The Tabernacle and the square courtyard, Cherubim and all, were precisely the same as those in the Egyptian temples. The square form of the Tabernacle meant just the same thing as it still means, to this day, in the exoteric worship of the Chinese and Tibetans — the four cardinal points signifying that which the four sides of the pyramids, obelisks, and other such square erections mean. Josephus takes care to explain the whole thing. He declares that the Tabernacle pillars are the same
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] Materialism.” This doctrine, which commands a very wide assent, counting among its upholders such men as Lewis, Spencer, Ferrier, and others, while positing thought and mental phenomena generally as radically contrasted with matter, regards both as equal to the two sides, or aspects, of one and the same substance in some of its conditions. Thought as thought, they say, is utterly contrasted with material phenomena, but it must be also regarded as only “the subjective side of nervous motion” — whatever our learned men may mean by this.
* Thus the sentence, “Natura Elementorum obtinet revelationem Dei,” (In Clemens’s Stromata, R. IV., para. 6), is applicable to both or neither. Consult the Zends, vol II., p. 228, and Plutarch De Iside, as compared by Layard, Academie des Inscriptions, 1854, Vol. XV.
as those raised at Tyre to the four Elements, which were placed on pedestals whose four angles faced the four cardinal points: adding that “the angles of the pedestals had equally the four figures of the Zodiac” on them, which represented the same orientation (Antiquities I., VIII., ch. xxii.).
The idea may be traced in the Zoroastrian caves, in the rock-cut temples of India, as in all the sacred square buildings of antiquity that have survived to this day. This is shown definitely by Layard, who finds the four cardinal points, and the four primitive elements, in the religion of every country, under the shape of square obelisks, the four sides of the pyramids, etc., etc. Of these elements and their points the four Maharajahs were the regents and the directors.
If the student would know more of them, he has but to compare the Vision of Ezekiel (chap. i.) with what is known of Chinese Buddhism (even in its exoteric teachings); and examine the outward shape of these “Great Kings.” In the opinion of the Rev. Joseph Edkins, they are “the Devas who preside each over one of the four continents into which the Hindus divide the world.”* Each leads an army of spiritual beings to protect mankind and Buddhism. With the exception of favouritism towards Buddhism, the four celestial beings are precisely this. They are the protectors of mankind and also the Agents of Karma on Earth, whereas the Lipika are concerned with Humanity’s hereafter. At the same time they are the four living creatures “who have the likeness of a man” of Ezekiel’s visions, called by the translators of the Bible, “Cherubim,” “Seraphim,” etc.; and by the Occultists, “the winged Globes,” the “Fiery Wheels,” and in the Hindu Pantheon by a number of different names. All these Gandharvas, the “Sweet Songsters,” the Asuras, Kinnaras, and Nagas, are the allegorical descriptions of the “four Maharajahs.” The Seraphim are the fiery Serpents of Heaven which we find in a passage describing Mount Meru as: “the exalted mass of glory, the venerable haunt of gods and heavenly choristers . . . . not to be reached by sinful men . . . . because guarded by Serpents.” They are called the Avengers, and the “Winged Wheels.”
Their mission and character being explained, let us see what the
* The Hindus happen to divide the world into seven continents, exoterically as esoterically; and their four cosmic Devas are eight, presiding over the eight points of the compass and not the Continents. (Compare “Chinese Buddhism,” p. 216.)
Christian Bible-interpreters say of the Cherubim: — “The word signifies in Hebrew, fullness of knowledge; these angels are so called from their exquisite Knowledge, and were therefore used for the punishment of men who affected divine Knowledge.” (Interpreted by Cruden in his Concordance, from Genesis iii., 24.) Very well; and vague as the information is, it shows that the Cherub placed at the gate of the garden of Eden after the “Fall,” suggested to the venerable Interpreters the idea of punishment connected with forbidden Science or divine Knowledge — one that generally leads to another “Fall,” that of the gods, or “God,” in man’s estimation. But as the good old Cruden knew nought of Karma, he may be forgiven. Yet the allegory is suggestive. From Meru, the abode of gods, to Eden, the distance is very small, and from the Hindu Serpents to the Ophite Cherubim, the third out of the seven of which was the Dragon, the separation is still smaller, for both watched the entrance to the realm of Secret Knowledge. But Ezekiel plainly describes the four Cosmic Angels: “I looked, and behold, a whirlwind, a cloud and fire infolding it . . . also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures . . . they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces and four wings . . . the face of a man, and the face of a lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle . . . ” (“Man” was here substituted for “Dragon.” Compare the “Ophite Spirits.”*) . . . “Now as I beheld the living creatures behold one wheel upon the Earth with his four faces . . . as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel . . . for the support of the living creature was in the wheel . . . their appearance was like coals of fire . . .” etc. (Ezekiel, ch. i.)
There are three chief groups of Builders and as many of the Planetary Spirits and the Lipika, each group being again divided into Seven sub-groups. It is impossible, even in such a large work as this, to enter into a minute examination of even the three principal groups, as it would demand an extra volume. The “Builders” are the representatives of the first “Mind-Born” Entities, therefore of the primeval Rishi-Prajapati: also of the Seven great Gods of Egypt, of which Osiris is the chief: of the Seven Amshaspends of the Zoroastrians, with
* The Angels recognised by the Roman Catholic Church who correspond to these “Faces” were with the Ophites: — Dragon — Raphael; Lion — Michael; Bull, or ox — Uriel; and Eagle — Gabriel. The four keep company with the four Evangelists, and preface the Gospels.
Ormazd at their head: or the “Seven Spirits of the Face”: the Seven Sephiroth separated from the first Triad, etc., etc.*
They build or rather rebuild every “System” after the “Night.” The Second group of the Builders is the Architect of our planetary chain exclusively; and the third, the progenitor of our Humanity — the Macrocosmic prototype of the microcosm.
The Planetary Spirits are the informing spirits of the Stars in general, and of the Planets especially. They rule the destinies of men who are all born under one or other of their constellations; the second and third groups pertaining to other systems have the same functions, and all rule various departments in Nature. In the Hindu exoteric Pantheon they are the guardian deities who preside over the eight points of the compass — the four cardinal and the four intermediate points — and are called Loka-Palas, “Supporters or guardians of the World” (in our visible Kosmos), of which Indra (East), Yama (South), Varuna (West), and Kuvera (North) are the chief; their elephants and their spouses pertaining of course to fancy and afterthought, though all of them have an occult significance.
The Lipika (a description of whom is given in the Commentary on Stanza IV. No. 6) are the Spirits of the Universe, whereas the Builders are only our own planetary deities. The former belong to the most occult portion of Cosmogenesis, which cannot be given here. Whether the Adepts (even the highest) know this angelic order in the completeness of its triple degrees, or only the lower one connected with the records of our world, is something which the writer is unprepared to say, and she would incline rather to the latter supposition. Of its highest grade one thing only is taught: the Lipika are connected with Karma — being its direct Recorders.†
* The Jews, save the Kabalists, having no names for East, West, South, and North, expressed the idea by words signifying before, behind, right and left, and very often confounded the terms exoterically, thus making the blinds in the Bible more confused and difficult to interpret. Add to this the fact that out of the forty-seven translators of King James I. of England’s Bible “only three understood Hebrew, and of these two died before the Psalms were translated” (Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia), and one may easily understand what reliance can be placed on the English version of the Bible. In this work the Douay Roman Catholic version is generally followed.
† The Symbol for Sacred and Secret Knowledge was universally in antiquity, a Tree, by which a Scripture or a Record was also meant. Hence the word Lipika, the [[Footnote continued on next page]]
6. The Lipika circumscribe the triangle, the first one (the vertical line or the figure I.), the cube, the second one, and the pentacle within the egg (circle) (a). It is the ring called “Pass not,” for those who descend and ascend (as also for those) who, during the Kalpa, are progressing toward the great day “Be with us” (b). . . . Thus were formed the Arupa and the Rupa (the Formless World and the World of Forms); from one light seven lights; from each of the seven seven times seven lights. The “Wheels” watch the Ring.
The Stanza proceeds with a minute classification of the Orders of Angelic Hierarchy. From the group of Four and Seven emanates the “mind-born” group of Ten, of Twelve, of Twenty-one, etc., all these divided again into sub-groups of septenaries, novems, duodecimals, and so on, until the mind is lost in this endless enumeration of celestial hosts and Beings, each having its distinct task in the ruling of the visible Kosmos during its existence.
(a) The esoteric meaning of the first sentence of the Sloka is, that those who have been called Lipikas, the Recorders of the Karmic ledger, make an impassible barrier between the personal Ego and the impersonal Self, the Noumenon and Parent-Source of the former. Hence the allegory. They circumscribe the manifested world of matter within the Ring “Pass-Not.” This world is the symbol (objective) of the One divided into the many, on the planes of Illusion, of Adi (the “First”) or of Eka (the “One”); and this One is the collective aggregate, or totality, of the principal Creators or Architects of this visible universe. In Hebrew Occultism their name is both Achath, feminine, “One,” and Achod, “One” again, but masculine. The monotheists have taken (and are still taking) advantage of the profound esotericism of the Kabala to apply the name by which the One Supreme Essence is known to its manifestation, the Sephiroth-Elohim, and call it Jehovah. But this is
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] “writers” or scribes; the “Dragons,” symbols of wisdom, who guard the Trees of Knowledge; the “golden” apple Tree of the Hesperides; the “Luxuriant Trees” and vegetation of Mount Meru guarded by a Serpent. Juno giving to Jupiter, on her marriage with him, a Tree with golden fruit is another form of Eve offering Adam the apple from the Tree of Knowledge.
quite arbitrary and against all reason and logic, as the term Elohim is a plural noun, identical with the plural word Chiim, often compounded with the Elohim.* Moreover, in Occult metaphysics there are, properly speaking, two “Ones” — the One on the unreachable plane of Absoluteness and Infinity, on which no speculation is possible, and the Second “One” on the plane of Emanations. The former can neither emanate nor be divided, as it is eternal, absolute, and immutable. The Second, being, so to speak, the reflection of the first One (for it is the Logos, or Eswara, in the Universe of Illusion), can do all this.† It emanates from itself — as the upper Sephirothal Triad emanates the lower seven Sephiroth — the seven Rays or Dhyan Chohans; in other words, the Homogeneous becomes the Heterogeneous, the “Protyle” differentiates into the Elements. But these, unless they return into their primal Element, can never cross beyond the Laya, or zero-point.
Hence the allegory. The Lipika separate the world (or plane) of pure spirit from that of Matter. Those who “descend and ascend” — the incarnating Monads, and men striving towards purification and “ascending,” but still not having quite reached the goal — may cross the “circle of the Pass-Not,” only on the day “Be-With-Us”; that day when man, freeing himself from the trammels of ignorance, and recog-
* The sentence in the Sepher Jezirah and elsewhere: “Achath-Ruach-Elohim-Chiim” denotes the Elohim as androgynous at best, the feminine element almost predominating, as it would read: “One is She the Spirit of the Elohim of Life.” As said above, Echath (or Achath) is feminine, and Echod (or Achod) masculine, both meaning One.
† This metaphysical tenet can hardly be better described than Mr. Subba Row’s in “Bhagavadgita” lectures: “Mulaprakriti (the veil of Parabrahmam) acts as the one energy through the Logos (or ‘Eswara’). Now Parabrahmam, is the one essence from which starts into existence a centre of energy, which I shall for the present call the Logos. . . . It is called the Verbum . . . by the Christians, and it is the divine Christos who is eternal in the bosom of his father. It is called Avalokiteshwara by the Buddhists. . . . In almost every doctrine, they have formulated the existence of a centre of spiritual energy which is unborn and eternal, and which exists in the bosom of Parabrahmam at the time of Pralaya, and starts as a centre of conscious energy at the time of Cosmic activity. . . .” For, as the lecturer premised by saying, Parabraham is not this or that, it is not even consciousness, as it cannot be related to matter or anything conditioned. It is not Ego nor is it Non-ego, not even Atma, but verily the one source of all manifestations and modes of existence.
nising fully the non-separateness of the Ego within his personality — erroneously regarded as his own — from the Universal Ego (Anima Supra-Mundi), merges thereby into the One Essence to become not only one “with us” (the manifested universal lives which are “one” life), but that very life itself.
Astronomically, the “Ring Pass-Not” that the Lipika trace around the Triangle, the First One, the Cube, the Second One, and the Pentacle to circumscribe these figures, is thus shown to contain the symbol of 31415 again, or the coefficient constantly used in mathematical tables (the value of [[pi]], pi), the geometrical figures standing here for numerical figures. According to the general philosophical teachings, this ring is beyond the region of what are called nebulae in astronomy. But this is as erroneous a conception as that of the topography and the descriptions, given in Puranic and other exoteric Scriptures, about the 1008 worlds of the Devaloka worlds and firmaments. There are worlds, of course, in the esoteric as well as in the profane scientific teachings, at such incalculable distances that the light of the nearest of them which has just reached our modern Chaldees, had left its luminary long before the day on which the words “Let there be Light” were pronounced; but these are no worlds on the Devaloka plane, but in our Kosmos.
The chemist goes to the laya or zero point of the plane of matter with which he deals, and then stops short. The physicist or the astronomer counts by billions of miles beyond the nebulae, and then they also stop short; the semi-initiated Occultist will represent this laya-point to himself as existing on some plane which, if not physical, is still conceivable to the human intellect. But the full Initiate knows that the ring “Pass-Not” is neither a locality nor can it be measured by distance, but that it exists in the absoluteness of infinity. In this “Infinity” of the full Initiate there is neither height, breadth nor thickness, but all is fathomless profundity, reaching down from the physical to the “para-para-metaphysical.” In using the word “down,” essential depth — “nowhere and everywhere” — is meant, not depth of physical matter.
If one searches carefully through the exoteric and grossly anthropomorphic allegories of popular religions, even in these the doctrine embodied in the circle of “Pass-Not” thus guarded by the Lipika, may be dimly perceived. Thus one finds it even in the teachings of
the Vedantin sect of the Visishtadwaita, the most tenaciously anthropomorphic in all India. For we read of the released soul that: —
After reaching Moksha (a state of bliss meaning “release from Bandha” or bondage), bliss is enjoyed by it in a place called Paramapadha, which place is not material, but made of Suddasatwa (the essence, of which the body of Iswara — “the Lord” — is formed). There, Muktas or Jivatmas (Monads) who have attained Moksha, are never again subject to the qualities of either matter or Karma. “But if they choose, for the sake of doing good to the world, they may incarnate on Earth.”* The way to Paramapadha, or the immaterial worlds, from this world, is called Devayana. When a person has attained Moksha and the body dies: —
“The Jiva (Soul) goes with Sukshma Sarira† from the heart of the body, to the Brahmarandra in the crown of the head, traversing Sushumna, a nerve connecting the heart with the Brahmarandra. The Jiva breaks through the Brahmarandra and goes to the region of the Sun (Suryamandala) through the solar Rays. Then it goes, through a dark spot in the Sun, to Paramapadha. The Jiva is directed on its way by the Supreme Wisdom acquired by Yoga.‡ The Jiva thus proceeds to Paramapadha by the aid of Athivahikas (bearers in transit), known by the names of Archi-Ahas . . . Aditya, Prajapati, etc. The Archis here mentioned are certain pure Souls, etc., etc.” (Visishtadwaita Catechism, by Pundit Bhashyacharya, F.T.S.)
No Spirit except the “Recorders” (Lipika) has ever crossed its forbidden line, nor will any do so until the day of the next Pralaya, for it is the boundary that separates the finite — however infinite in man’s sight — from the truly Infinite. The Spirits referred to, therefore, as those who “ascend and descend” are the “Hosts” of what we loosely call “celestial Beings.” But they are, in fact, nothing of the kind.
* These voluntary re-incarnations are referred to in our Doctrine as Nirmanakayas (the surviving spiritual principles of men).
† Sukshma-sarira, “dream-like” illusive body, with which are clothed the inferior Dhyanis of the celestial Hierarchy.
‡ Compare this esoteric tenet with the Gnostic doctrine found in “Pistis-Sophia” (Knowledge = Wisdom), in which treatise Sophia Achamoth is shown lost in the waters of Chaos (matter), on her way to Supreme Light, and Christos delivering and helping her on the right Path. Note well, “Christos” with the Gnostics meant the impersonal principal, the Atman of the Universe, and the Atma within every man’s soul — not Jesus; though in the old Coptic MSS. in the British Museum “Christos” is almost constantly replaced by “Jesus.”
They are Entities of the higher worlds in the hierarchy of Being, so immeasurably high that, to us, they must appear as Gods, and collectively — God. But so we, mortal men, must appear to the ant, which reasons on the scale of its special capacities. The ant may also, for all we know, see the avenging finger of a personal God in the hand of the urchin who, in one moment, under the impulse of mischief, destroys its anthill, the labour of many weeks — long years in the chronology of insects. The ant, feeling it acutely, and attributing the undeserved calamity to a combination of Providence and sin, may also, like man, see in it the result of the sin of its first parent. Who knows and who can affirm or deny? The refusal to admit in the whole Solar system of any other reasonable and intellectual beings on the human plane, than ourselves, is the greatest conceit of our age. All that science has a right to affirm, is that there are no invisible Intelligences living under the same conditions as we do. It cannot deny point-blank the possibility of there being worlds within worlds, under totally different conditions to those that constitute the nature of our world; nor can it deny that there may be a certain limited communication* between some of those worlds and our own. To the highest, we are taught, belong the seven orders of the purely divine Spirits; to the six lower ones belong hierarchies that can occasionally be seen and heard by men, and who do communicate with their progeny of the Earth; which progeny is indissolubly linked with them, each principle in man having its direct source in the nature of those great Beings, who furnish us with the respective invisible elements in us. Physical Science is welcome to speculate upon the physiological mechanism of living beings, and to continue her fruitless efforts in trying to resolve our feelings, our sensations, mental and spiritual, into functions of their inorganic vehicles. Nevertheless, all that will ever be accomplished in this direction has already been done, and Science will go no farther.
* The greatest philosopher of European birth, Imanuel Kant, assures us that such a communication is in no way improbable. “I confess I am much disposed to assert the existence of Immaterial natures in the world, and to place my own soul in the class of these beings. It will hereafter, I know not where, or when, yet be proved that the human soul stands even in this life in indissoluble connection with all immaterial natures in the spirit-world, that it reciprocally acts upon these and receives impressions from them.” (Traume eines Geistersehers, quoted by C. C. Massey, in his preface to Von Hartmann’s “Spiritismus.”)
She is before a dead wall, on the face of which she traces, as she imagines, great physiological and psychic discoveries, but every one of which will be shown later on to be no better than the cobwebs spun by her scientific fancies and illusions. The tissues of our objective framework alone are subservient to the analysis and researches of physiological science.* The six higher principles in them will evade for ever the hand that is guided by an animus that purposely ignores and rejects the Occult Sciences.
The “Great Day of Be-with-us,” then, is an expression the only merit of which lies in its literal translation. Its significance is not so easily revealed to a public, unacquainted with the mystic tenets of Occultism, or rather of Esoteric Wisdom or “Budhism.” It is an expression peculiar to the latter, and as hazy for the profane as that of the Egyptians who called the same the “Day of Come-to-us,”† which
* E.g., all that modern physiological research in connection with psychological problems has, and owing to the nature of things, could have shown, is, that every thought, sensation, and emotion is attended with a re-marshalling of the molecules of certain nerves. The inference drawn by scientists of the type of Buchner, Vogt, and others, that thought is molecular motion, necessitates a complete abstraction being made of the fact of our subjective consciousness.
† See “Le Livre des Morts,” by Paul Pierret; “Le Jour de ‘Viens a nous’ . . . c’est le jour ou Osiris a dit au Soleil: Viens! Je le vois rencontrant le Soleil dans l’Amenti.” (Chap. xvii., p. 61.) The Sun here stands for the Logos (or Christos, or Horus) as central Essence synthetically, and as a diffused essence of radiated Entities, different in substance, but not in essence. As expressed by the Bhagavadgita lecturer, “it must not be supposed that the Logos is but a single centre of energy manifested from Parabrahmam; there are innumerable other centres . . . and their number is almost infinite in the bosom of Parabrahmam.” Hence the expressions, “The Day of Come to us” and “The Day of Be with us,” etc. Just as the square is the Symbol of the Four sacred Forces or Powers — Tetraktis — so the Circle shows the boundary within the Infinity that no man can cross, even in spirit, nor Deva nor Dhyan Chohan. The Spirits of those who “descend and ascend” during the course of cyclic evolution shall cross the “iron-bound world” only on the day of their approach to the threshold of Paranirvana. If they reach it — they will rest in the bosom of Parabrahmam, or the “Unknown Darkness,” which shall then become for all of them Light — during the whole period of Mahapralaya, the “Great Night,” namely, 311,040,000,000,000 years of absorption in Brahm. The day of “Be-With-Us” is this period of rest or Paranirvana. See also for other data on this peculiar expression, the day of “Come-To-Us,” The Funerary Ritual of the Egyptians, by Viscount de Rouge. It corresponds to the Day of the Last Judgment of the Christians, which has been sorely materialised by their religion.
is identical with the former, though the verb “be” in this sense, might be still better replaced with either of the two words “Remain” or “Rest-with-us,” as it refers to that long period of Rest which is called Paranirvana. As in the exoteric interpretation of the Egyptian rites the soul of every defunct person — from the Hierophant down to the sacred bull Apis — became an Osiris, was Osirified, though the Secret Doctrine had always taught, that the real Osirification was the lot of every Monad only after 3,000 cycles of Existences; so in the present case. The “Monad,” born of the nature and the very Essence of the “Seven” (its highest principle becoming immediately enshrined in the Seventh Cosmic Element), has to perform its septenary gyration throughout the Cycle of Being and forms, from the highest to the lowest; and then again from man to God. At the threshold of Paranirvana it reassumes its primeval Essence and becomes the Absolute once more.