Meeting held at 17, Lansdowne Road, London, W., on February 7th, 1889; Mr. W. Kingsland in the chair.
STANZA II. (continued.)
Sloka (3). THE HOUR HAD NOT YET STRUCK; THE RAY HAD NOT YET FLASHED INTO THE GERM; THE MATRI-PADMA (mother lotus) HAD NOT YET SWOLLEN.
"The Ray of the 'ever-darkness' becomes, as it is emitted, a ray of effulgent life, and flashes into the 'germ' — the point in the Mundane Egg, represented by matter in its abstract sense."
Q. Is the Point in the Mundane Egg the same as the Point in the Circle, the Unmanifested Logos?
A. Certainly not: the Point in the Circle is the Unmanifested Logos, the Manifested Logos is the Triangle. Pythagoras speaks of the never manifested Monad which lives in solitude and darkness; when the hour strikes it radiates from itself ONE the first number. This number descending, produces TWO, the second number, and Two, in its turn, produces THREE, forming a triangle, the first complete geometrical figure in the world of form. It is this ideal or abstract triangle which is the Point in the Mundane Egg, which, after gestation, and in the third remove, will start from the Egg to form the Triangle. This is Brahma-Vach-Viraj in the Hindu Philosophy and Kether-Chochmah-Binah in the Zohar. The First Manifested Logos is the Potentia, the unrevealed Cause; the Second, the still latent Thought; the Third, the Demiurgus, the active Will evolving from its universal Self the active effect, which, in its turn, becomes the cause on a lower plane.
Q. What is Ever-Darkness in the sense used here?
A. Ever-Darkness means, I suppose, the ever-unknowable mystery, behind the veil — in fact, Parabrahm. Even the Logos can see only Mulaprakriti, it cannot see that which is beyond the veil. It is that which is the "Ever-unknowable Darkness."
Q. What is the Ray in this connection?
A. I will recapitulate. We have the plane of the circle, the face being black, the point in the circle being potentially white, and this is the first possible conception in our minds of the invisible Logos. "Ever-Darkness" is eternal, the Ray periodical. Having flashed out from this central point and thrilled through the Germ, the Ray is withdrawn again within this point and the Germ develops into the Second Logos, the triangle within the Mundane Egg.
Q. What, then, are the stages of manifestation?
A. The first stage is the appearance of the potential point in the circle — the unmanifested Logos. The second stage is the shooting forth of the Ray from the potential white point, producing the first point, which is called, in the Zohar, Kether or Sephira. The third stage is the production from Kether of Chochmah, and Binah, thus constituting the first triangle, which is the Third or manifested Logos — in other words, the subjective and objective Universe. Further, from this manifested Logos will proceed the Seven Rays, which in the Zohar are called the lower Sephiroth and in Eastern occultism the primordial seven rays. Thence will proceed the innumerable series of Hierarchies.
Q. Is the Triangle here mentioned that which you refer to as the Germ in the Mundane Egg?
A. Certainly it is. But you must remember that there are both the Universal and Solar Eggs (as well as others), and that it is necessary to qualify any statement made concerning them. The Mundane Egg is an expression of Abstract Form.
Q. May Abstract Form be called the first manifestation of the eternal female principle?
A. It is the first manifestation not of the female principle, but of the Ray which proceeds from the central point which is perfectly sexless. There is no eternal female principle, for this Ray produces that which is the united potentiality of both sexes but is by no means either male or female. This latter differentiation will only appear when it falls into matter, when the Triangle becomes a Square, the first Tetraktys.
Q. Then the Mundane Egg is as sexless as the Ray?
A. The Mundane Egg is simply the first stage of manifestation, undifferentiated primordial matter, in which the vital creative Germ receives its first spiritual impulse; Potentiality becomes Potency.
Matter, by convenience of metaphor, only, is regarded as feminine, because it is receptive of the rays of the sun which fecundate it and so produce all that grows on its surface, i.e., on this the lowest plane. On the other hand primordial matter should be regarded as substance, and by no means can be spoken of as having sex.
Thus the Egg, on whatever plane you speak of, means the ever-existing undifferentiated matter which strictly is not matter at all but, as we call it, the Atoms. Matter is destructible in form while the Atoms are absolutely indestructible, being the quintessence of Substances. And here, I mean by "atoms" the primordial divine Units, not the "atoms" of modern Science.
Similarly the "Germ" is a figurative expression; the germ is everywhere, even as the circle whose circumference is nowhere and whose center is everywhere. It therefore means all germs, that is to say, unmanifested nature, or the whole creative power which will emanate, called by the Hindus Brahma, though on every plane it has a different name.
Q. Is the Matri-Padma the eternal or the periodical Egg?
A. The eternal Egg; it will become periodical only when the ray from the first Logos shall have flashed from the latent Germ in the Matri-Padma which is the Egg, the Womb of the Universe which is to be. By analogy, the physical germ in the female cell could not be called eternal, though the latent spirit of the germ concealed within the male cell in nature, may be so called.
Sloka (4). HER HEART HAD NOT YET OPENED FOR THE ONE RAY TO ENTER, THENCE TO FALL AS THREE INTO FOUR IN THE LAP OF MAYA.
"But, as the hour strikes and it becomes receptive of the Fohatic impress of the Divine Thought (the Logos, or the male aspect of the Anima Mundi, Alaya) — its heart opens." (Vol. I., p. 58.)
Q. Does not the Fohatic impress of the Divine Thought apply to a later stage of differentiation?
A. Fohat, as a distinct force or entity, is a later development. "Fohatic" is an adjective and may be used in a more wide sense; Fohat, as a substantive, or Entity, springs from a Fohatic attribute of the Logos. Electricity cannot be generated from that which does not contain an electric principle or element. The divine principle is eternal, the gods are periodical. Fohat is the Sakti or force of the divine mind; Brahma and Fohat are both aspects of the divine mind.
Q. Is it not the intention in the Commentaries to this Stanza to convey some idea of the subject by speaking of correspondences in a much later stage of evolution?
A. Exactly so; it has several times been stated that the Commentaries on the First Volume are almost entirely concerned with the evolution of the solar system only. The beauty and wisdom of the Stanzas consist in this, that they may be interpreted on seven different planes, the last reflecting, by the universal law of correspondences and analogy, in its most differentiated, gross and physical aspect, the process which takes place on the first or purely spiritual plane. I may state here once for all that the first Stanzas treat of the awakening from Pralaya and are not concerned with the Solar system alone, while Vol. II. deals only with our Earth.
Q. Can you say what is the real meaning of the word Fohat?
A. The word is a Turanian compound and its meanings are various. In China Pho, or Fo, is the word for "animal soul," the vital Nephesh or the breath of life. Some say that it is derived from the Sanskrit "Bhu," meaning existence, or rather the essence of existence. Now Swayambhu means Brahma and Man at the same time. It means self-existence and self-existing, that which is everlasting, the eternal breath. If Sat is the potentiality of Being, Pho is the potency of Being. The meaning, however, entirely depends upon the position of the accent. Again, Fohat is related to Mahat. It is the reflection of the Universal Mind, the synthesis of the "Seven" and the intelligences of the seven creative Builders, or, as we call them, Cosmocratores. Hence, as you will understand, life and electricity are one in our philosophy. They say life is electricity, and if so, then the One Life is the essence and root of all the electric and magnetic phenomena on this manifested plane.
Q. How is it that Horus and the other "Son-Gods" are said to be born "through an immaculate Mother"?
A. On the first plane of differentiation there is no sex — to use the term for convenience' sake — but both sexes exist potentially in primordial matter. Matter is the root of the word "mother" and therefore female; but there are two kinds of matter. The undifferentiated, primordial matter is not fecundated by some act in space and time, fertility and productiveness being inherent in it. Therefore that which emanates or is born out of that inherent virtue is not born from, but through, it. In other words, that virtue or quality is the sole cause that this something manifests through its vehicle; whereas on the physical plane, Mother-matter is not the active cause but the passive means and instrument of an independent cause.
In the Christian doctrine of the Immaculate Conception — a materializing of the metaphysical and spiritual conception — the mother is first fecundated by the Holy Ghost and the Child born from, and not through, her. "From" implies that there is a limited and conditioned source to start from, the act having to take place in Space and Time. "Through" is applicable to Eternity and Infinity as well as to the Finite. The Great Breath thrills through Space, which is boundless, and is in, not from, eternity.
Q. How does the Triangle become the Square, and the Square the six-faced Cube?
A. In occult and Pythagorean geometry the Tetrad is said to combine within itself all the materials from which Kosmos is produced. The Point or One, extends to a Line — the Two; a Line to a Superficies, Three; and the Superficies, Triad or Triangle, is converted into a Solid, the Tetrad or Four, by the point being placed over it. Kabalistically Kether, or Sephira, the Point, emanates Chochmah and Binah, which two, are the synonym of Mahat, in the Hindu Puranas, and this Triad, descending into matter, produces the Tetragrammaton, Tetraktys, as also the lower Tetrad. This number contains both the productive and produced numbers. The Duad doubled makes a Tetrad and the Tetrad doubled forms a Hebdomad. From another point of view it is the Spirit, Will, and Intellect animating the four lower principles.
Q. Then how does the Square become the six-faced Cube?
A. The Square becomes the Cube when each point of the triangle becomes dual, male or female. The Pythagoreans said "Once One, Twice Two, and there ariseth a Tetrad, having on its top the highest Unit; it becomes a Pyramid whose base is a plane Tetrad; divine light resting on it, makes the abstract Cube."
The surface of the Cube is composed of six squares, and the Cube unfolded gives the Cross, or the vertical Four, barred by the horizontal Three; the six thus making Seven, the seven principles or the Pythagorean seven properties in man. See the excellent explanation given of this in Mr. R. Skinner's Source of Measures.
"Thus is repeated on Earth the mystery enacted, according to the Seers, on the divine plane. The 'Son' of the immaculate Celestial Virgin (or the undifferentiated cosmic protyle, Matter in its infinitude) is born again on Earth as the Son of the terrestrial Eve — our mother Earth, and becomes Humanity as a total — past, present, and future — for Jehovah or Jod-he-vau-he is androgyne, or both male and female. Above, the Son is the whole Kosmos; below, he is MANKIND. The triad or triangle becomes Tetraktys, the Sacred Pythagorean number, the perfect Square, and a 6-faced cube on Earth. The Macroprosopus (the Great Face) is now Microprosopus (the lesser face); or, as the Kabalists have it, the 'Ancient of Days,' descending on Adam Kadmon whom he uses as his vehicle to manifest through, gets transformed into Tetragrammaton. It is now in the 'Lap of Maya,' the Great Illusion, and between itself and the Reality has the Astral Light, the great Deceiver of man's limited senses, unless Knowledge through Paramarthasatya comes to the rescue." (Vol. I., p. 60.)
That is to say, the Logos becomes a Tetragrammaton; the Triangle, or the Three becomes the Four.
Q. Is the Astral Light used here in the sense of Maya?
A. Certainly. It is explained further on in the Secret Doctrine that practically there are only four planes belonging to the planetary chains. The three higher planes are absolutely Arupa and outside our comprehension.
Q. Then the Tetraktys is entirely different from Tetragrammaton?
A. The Tetraktys by which the Pythagoreans swore, was not the Tetragrammaton, but on the contrary, the higher or superior Tetraktys. In the opening chapters of Genesis we have a clue to the discovery of this lower Tetragrammaton. We there find Adam, Eve, and Jehovah who becomes Cain. The further extension of Humanity is symbolized in Abel, as the human conception of the higher. Abel is the daughter and not the son of Eve, and symbolizes the separation of the sexes; while the murder of Abel is symbolical of marriage. The still more human conception is found at the end of the fourth Chapter, when speaking of Seth, to whom was born a son Enos, after which men began — not, as translated in Genesis, to "call upon the Lord" — but to be called Jod-He-Vah, meaning males and females.
The Tetragrammaton, therefore, is simply Malkuth; when the bridegroom comes to the bride on Earth, then it becomes Humanity. The seven lower Sephiroth must all be passed through, the Tetragrammaton becoming more and more material. The Astral Plane lies between the Tetraktys and Tetragrammaton.
Q. Tetraktys appears to be used here in two entirely different senses?
A. The true Pythagorean Tetraktys was the Tetraktys of the invisible Monad, which produces the first Point, the second and the third and then retires into the darkness and everlasting silence; in other words the Tetraktys is the first Logos. Taken from the plane of matter, it is among other things, the lower Quaternary, the man of flesh or matter.