Studies in Occult Philosophy — G. de Purucker

Questions and Answers  (part 3)

The Ancient Language of Senzar

Many Theosophists seem to think that H. P. B. wrote The Secret Doctrine and The Voice of the Silence from two Senzar books, one called the Book of Dzyan and the other the Book of the Golden Precepts. Is this correct?

No, it is a mistake.  Senzar is not only a language, consisting of words, and once spoken as the tongue of the ancients all over the Oriental and archaic American world, but it is likewise a language of symbols or a language greatly addicted to the use of symbols.

To illustrate, as H. P. B. tried to in the opening part of The Secret Doctrine: In using Senzar, Initiate X, let us say, in China, writing to Initiate Z, let us say, in Peru, or anywhere else, about a certain cosmogonic problem, would start off with words, and then introduce a symbol, an empty circle or a circle with a dot in it, or a circle containing a cross, which would mean pages of explanation to the receiving Initiate Z. And the Initiate X would go on again in Senzar words, and perhaps in a moment use another symbol, and what he had to say would be ended, partly in symbol understood everywhere, and partly in words.

In a small way we have the same practice with us.  When we sometimes use the Arabic numerals instead of writing out the numbers in spelling, we would write 6 in the Arabic numeral, instead of writing six.  Or again, we would use the symbol &, instead of writing out the word and.  Or we would use etc., instead of writing out et cetera.  We are following just the same principle, using symbols, but we do it in a very small degree.  And yet if we remember how one of us, writing to a friend, might make a funny remark, and then put “etc.” or the symbol for and, we would immediately sense a whole humorous line of thinking back of that symbol, and we would know what the writer intended to convey.

Now, just carry this idea into the profoundest philosophical conceptions, and you will have an idea of the Senzar language.  It is not Sanskrit, although Sanskrit, I believe, is the closest extant living or dead language to the archaic Senzar.  I believe also that the ancient Zend of Persia comes from the same root we find in Senz-bar.

I do not think myself that even the archaic Senzar, or Zenzar — there are different or modified ways of spelling it — was ever an occult racial language in the same way that Russian is or English is or German is or Italian is.  It was more like the original Sanskrita compared with Prakrita.  I do not think actual Sanskrita, as we now have it, was ever a language spoken by a race of people.  I think its very name, Sanskrita, meaning composed or constructed or builded up, means that it was a priestly or initiate tongue, perfected by initiates as a means of communication among themselves, but founded more or less upon some great popular and widely diffused tongue.  In other words, I think that Sanskrit in a smaller way in the beginning was much like Senzar was, although Senzar always seemed to have been kept very secret, and Sanskrit for some unknown reason finally became practically public property.  Anybody, especially the Brahmanas, could learn it.  Books were written in it for public reading, etc., and I think this is the reason why H. P. B. once spoke of Sanskrit as the language of the gods, meaning, according to the occult way of speaking, that it was the original composed language of some of the highest initiates of the early Fifth or so-called aryan Root-Race, who, because of their great wisdom and knowledge and intellect, and divine life, were commonly called gods, though they were men of course, semi-divine men.

Origin of the Red Indian

What is the origin of the native Americans?

The origin of the native Americans, popularly called Indians, is one of the most difficult questions that could be asked, for the reason that while all are of late Atlantean extraction, the American continents, North and South, were populated by different migrations from different parts of Atlantis, both from the Atlantic and the Pacific.  The Pacific immigrations into the Americas were perhaps somewhat higher in type, and from these Pacific immigrations came most of the more civilized peoples of South and Central America and the Mayas.

But also there were civilized immigrations from the Orient, and this is what the ancient Mexicans of the Spaniards’ day meant when they said that their forefathers came from the east, which really means from different Atlantic islands.

I have never had much faith in the Bering Strait immigration idea, although I have no doubt that a certain trickling back and forth between Siberia and North America has taken place through many ages in the past, and not only from Siberia to America, but from America to Siberia.

It is evident to me, and always has been, that different Atlantis races populated the Americas, by different waves of immigration, some very small, some larger; for while there are close parallels and likenesses between the Red Indians of the United States, for instance, and the so-called Indians of South and Central America, and even of Mexico, there are equally great distinctions in physiological type.  The profile, for instance, of the Iroquois or of the Sioux or of the Cherokee, resembles somewhat the profile of the South American and Central American Indians, and yet there are distinct differences.  All this points to different waves from different peoples, although all these peoples were of Atlantis origin in the far distant past.

Microsomes and Centrosomes

(a) Is the action of the microsomes caused by the “inner soul of the physical cell” (H. P. B.) awakening the centrosome? (b) Does the nucleolus when it disappears pass to another plane of consciousness?

Answering your first question: In each cell there is a central pranic nucleus which is the life-germ of a life-atom, and all the rest of the cell is merely the carpentry of the cell builded around it by the forces flowing forth from the heart of this life-atom.  The modern cytologists see only the house, and do not discern the mystical dweller within, but the occultist looks to the mystical dweller within, or the life-atom.  From your description, I would say off-hand that the life-atom works through the two tiny dots or sparks in the centrosome which fall apart at the beginning of cell-division and its energies stream out from these two tiny dots, and each tiny dot, as it were, is already the beginning of a new cell; or, to put it in other words, one remains the central part of the mother-cell, while the other tiny dot becomes the central part of the daughter-cell, etc.

All these phenomena of mitosis or cell-division are simply the works of the inner soul of the physical cell awakening the nucleolus and thereafter the nucleus.  There is the strongest connection between these two tiny dots and the nucleolus of every cell, although this may not be immediately apparent.  Remember that it is the nucleolus which is the closest physical garment of the life-atom.

For the second question: The sudden apparent disappearance of the nucleolus, followed by the sudden re-appearance of the nucleolus in each one of the two cells resulting from the division of a cell, is simply the breaking into twain of the original nucleolus for the purposes of cellular growth.  But the original life-atom remains intact, and now works through the two new nucleoli, and thus the cell-division continues until the body is finally builded.  You may say that the nucleolus when it disappears passes to another plane of substance but this is a mere manner of expression.  It would be better to say that the creative life-atom disintegrates the original nucleolus and then re-integrates it into two new ones, and there again into four and so on.  No, it does not vanish in a laya center.  It is a case of disintegrating and reintegrating on the physical plane.  The whole gist of the matter is this: The heart of an original nucleolus in a cell is the life-atom, and the two tiny dots or spots in the centrosome are, as it were, extensions or fingers of its energy.  The energy of the original life-atom, which is the heart of a cell, works throughout the entire cellular framework or structure in general, but more particularly through the nucleolus and also through the two tiny dots.

Arctic Origin of Plant and Animal

In my studies I came across the following rather startling statement which I should like to ask you some Theosophical questions about.  It is from Edward Wilber Berry’s Tree Ancestors: A Glimpse into the Past.

The great frozen north of today had not yet been hinted at [referring to the Cretaceous Period], a warm climate prevailed even in the far north, and Greenland was the garden spot that its name implies.  On its western coast many plant-beds have been discovered, containing the remains of tree-ferns, cycads, incense cedars, figs, camphor trees, magnolias, and other natives of warmer climes.  This northern region with numerous land connections to lower latitudes was probably the original home of our modern floras and faunas, which spread southward in successive waves of migration.  We know that that Mid-Cretaceous witnessed the apparently sudden appearance of a host of new and higher types, and the basal Eocene witnessed a like sudden appearance of mammalian types and a second and more profound modernization of the floras.  It is in the frozen North or the unexplored heart of Asia that we look today, hopeful that in one or the other of those strategic regions we will find the fossils that will shed their light on our problems of descent and distribution.

With this quotation in mind would you answer the following questions:

1. Did the plant stocks coming in during the Cretaceous Period and the Eocene Period, and which are the dominant types of today, originate in the Arctic, sweeping southward in successive waves, as we are told is the case with civilizations?  This seems to be a fact, and yet there is evidence that at one time Antarctica furnished types of vegetation which passed northward into South America, the South Pacific Islands, and the East Indies.

2. Was Antarctica in the north at that time, due to the inversion or inclination of the poles?

3. Do both poles originate life forms which progress towards the equator?

4. Do some of the Tertiary deposits of the southern lands belong to another cycle than the Tertiary deposits of the north?

The quotation from Professor Berry’s book is extremely interesting, and generally what he says is true.  It is in the north that things originate and beings too, including humans.  But this is a very general statement, and should not be ridden to death.  There are always backwashes of both botanical and geological units.

So the picture is this: a big wave beginning in the north, sweeping through the ages southwards; but in all this big wave there are often smaller waves that temporarily turn back northwards for a way, last for a while, and then are swept southward again because of the greater force of the big wave.  In other words, there are smaller currents within the larger currents.

Thus, in answer to your question (1) the answer is Yes.  The plant-stocks, generally speaking, follow the southward march through long ages that the animal and human stocks follow.  But the little backwashes I have mentioned will account for any alleged plant-types that may have seemed to come out of Antarctica up northwards for a certain way.

In answer to your question (2) No, because there it is not so much a question of which way the poles point, due to inversion or inclination of the poles, as it is the geographical or rather climatological states of the poles, whether they are covered with ice or enjoy a mild climate.  Antarctica, so far as our earth is concerned, is always the south, has always been and as far as I know always will be; and the North Pole in the same way — both during this manvantara.  But north does not necessarily mean ice and snow, for there have been times when the North Pole enjoyed almost a mild climate; and the South Pole similarly.

Question (3) has already been covered in my previous remarks.  The North Pole and its regions are the originators of new life-forms which, through long ages, sweep south; and from the South Pole there are small backwashes.  Therefore there are no life-forms which regularly progress from Antarctica to the equator and still farther northwards.

Your question (4) is not very clear, but I think I understand it.  The so-called Tertiary deposits are geological deposits, depending upon the climate which in its turn depends upon many factors; but both the North and the South Hemispheres of the earth are pretty much the same, with minor differences as regards climatological matters.  Hence the Tertiary in both North and South Hemispheres belonged to the same cycle.

Heart, the Most Evolved Organ

As a physician of long practice I have come to the conclusion that the heart is the most evolved organ of the human body.  Does this agree with occult teaching?

Yes the heart is the chief organ of the human body, the hyparxis, physically speaking.  That is because the heart is the physical organ in the body of the spiritual ray.  And in exactly the same way, and just after the heart, the pineal gland is to be classed in identic fashion.  First the heart, then its organ of spiritual-intellectual activity in the head, the pineal gland.  Both these working together stimulate and throw into vibration the organ of the intellectual will, which is called the pituitary body.  Thus we trace the line of spiritual descent, touching the heart and inflaming it with invisible light, communicated in a manner I cannot here speak of, to the pineal gland, which in its turn thus thrown into rapid vibration, touches with its vital energy the pituitary.  This, being aroused, communicates the transmitted influence to the brain and nervous system, and the entire body thereafter feels the effects.

The Hindu doctrine of the chakras is closely connected with this process, but so much nonsense and indeed false knowledge has been said and written about the chakras that I do not care to bring them in except otherwise than by mention here.  Actually the chakras are esoteric and indeed physical points in the entire body; most of them working from power received through the spinal column from the heart and brain, and are thus the distributors to the body as a whole.

Teachings on Chakras Esoteric

Why do we not find more about the chakras of the human body in our Theosophical books?  I had always understood that they were an important aspect of occult study.

In our School we follow the ancient esoteric tradition, that the teachings of the Esoteric Wisdom dealing with the chakras and the very dangerous forces locked up in the human constitution form a topic of study highly improper for the uninitiated to have anything to do with.  As you will find in your study of H. P. B.’s books, she tells us that such study for the uninitiated or those untrained will lead definitely to the precipice of Black Magic and possibly to the loss of the soul.  No genuine occultist has ever given the real teachings about chakras and their development.

Recorded Life of Krishna an Allegory

From my theosophical study I have come to realize that the so-called historical lives of the world’s great avataras are in the main pure allegory.  Is this not likewise true of the life of the Hindu Teacher Krishna and the rather peculiar, even revolting, incidents which legend has woven around him?

Yes, practically all the tales told about Krishna, or indeed any other great man, excepting those rather pragmatic facts which commonsense can pick out, are allegory or even fiction.  If it is allegory, it was probably written by someone who knew the ropes, as it were, and was giving the religious public something for their religious thoughts to center upon, knowing that initiates would understand.  But there is generally also a lot of fiction, and today both allegory and fiction have become so entangled as to be inextricable.

A few actual facts are known about Krishna; as for instance that he was born in India, in a certain district there, that he had his friends and his enemies, and that from early life he showed marvelous abilities, although of course not anything like the perfectly exaggerated metaphors of the allegories.  He lived and taught and did his work, and his death was the beginning or introduction of the Kali-Yuga.  He was, in other words, the spiritual power which closed the Dvapara-Yuga, and opened the Kali.

All the other allegories about the sixteen and odd thousand wives, and his living with the Gopis or Cow-Girls, and many acts of apparent cruelty — these and a hundred other things can all be ascribed to allegory, with that fertility and richness of imagination for which the Hindu mind is so noted.

For instance, in one particular but very restricted sense, Krishna’s dancing with the Gopis, as H. P. B. said, symbolizes the Sun with the planets dancing around him or moving in their orbits around him; or it could likewise be applied to the spiritual Sun of the zodiacal constellations encircling the central Sun of our system.  But this interpretation is rather a restricted one.  Generally, the feminine friends of a great Teacher are allegorical representations of his spiritual powers.

Take even the case of the Buddha, who actually lived and had a wife and even a son Rahula.  Yet legend has so cleverly worked even here, that his mother’s name, for instance, was Mayadevi, or roughly, the Goddess Maya: the Buddha born from maya into Light.  Actually her real physical name may have been Mayadevi too.  I admit that as a possibility.

Radioactivity and the Rounds

In a recent scientific magazine Dr. A. Knopf of Yale discusses the minute spherical stones of radioactive origin called “pleochroic halos” which, he says, confirm the testimony given by the transformation of radioactive elements into helium and lead that a constant rate of transformation has been kept up throughout the ages.  By means of these evidences geologists believe that a reasonably accurate estimate has been attained of the ages of the principal strata of the earth’s surface.  How does this harmonize with the idea that etherealization of the earth did not begin till the middle of the Fourth Round?  These halos occur at a far earlier period.

One explanation that might be offered is that these halos are due to a radioactivity which took place at the end of the preceding or Third Round on this Globe, and which, despite the tremendous seismic and volcanic upset or overturn when the Fourth Round opened, might nevertheless have escaped destruction and remained to our day.  It is quite a possible explanation, even if hardly probable; which means that it can be the case but is unlikely.

There are two or three other explanations of the facts, if they are indeed facts and not mistakes of the geologists: (a) even on the Descending Arc, before radioactivity (which means disintegration or etherealizing of the grossest elements) could have begun on a grand scale over the earth, due to the cyclical or spiral character of evolution, even on the Descending Arc, certain parts of the Globe could have been on a temporary uprise towards etherealization, sinking later again into a deeper trough to accord with the general downwards current of the Descending Arc.

Now, such temporary uprise would almost certainly have brought about a temporary etherealizing of the grossest elements, but thereafter, when the wheel within the wheel rushed downwards again, such radioactivity would stop automatically, and condensation or materialization continue.  And (b), even if the rocks found by geologists were actually of pre-Cambrian or at any rate primordial origin, it is no proof — because radioactive halos may be found spotted here and there — that these halos actually signify radioactivity which took place when these pre-Cambrian rocks were first laid down, or perhaps for long ages afterwards.  In other words, I mean that even in Cambrian and pre-Cambrian rock-strata, there may have been localized nodules or particles of chemical compounds or elements still grosser than the rocks themselves, still heavier, and consequently after the middle point of this Round it would be these nodules or local bits of such grosser compounds or elements, which, feeling the general etherealization over the earth, would begin to disintegrate, which means to become more or less radioactive.  Such halos might well have been produced in actual pre-Cambrian rocks, but long after Atlantean days.

Thus, then, there are three perfectly good and probable explanations; and it would be impossible for me to give you any more light on the subject until and unless I could have all the data and feel perfectly assured that they are facts and not mere theories.

As an example: Are these particular rocks actually pre-Cambrian in fact and not in theory?  Are the halos of supposedly radioactive character found in these rocks of much later date, or co-eval with the pre-Cambrian era?  Or, is it just a relic or remnant, a happy survival from the end of the Third Round on this Globe D?  Until an exact answer to these questions can be given, it is more or less guess-work, because of lack of accurate information.

The Book of Dzyan

Can you tell me something about the antiquity of the Book of Dzyan, upon which H. P. Blavatsky based her Commentaries in The Secret Doctrine? Does it date back to Atlantean times?

The Book of Dzyan, as a physical roll or book or manuscript, or Tibetan type-print, call it what you like, as a physical thing, is, as H. P. B. says, not very old, probably about a thousand years, and is part of a well-known, more or less common Tibetan series of works, well-known even exoterically, called Kiu-ti as a general title for all these volumes; just as The Secret Doctrine is in two volumes, etc.

The substance, however, of the Book of Dzyan, which is simply the Tibetan or Mongolian way of pronouncing the Sanskrit Dhyana, is very ancient, even highly archaic, goes right back into Atlantean times, and even beyond as regards the doctrine taught.

This original doctrine, the original Theosophy of the spiritual beings or Manasaputras of higher type who brought it to ancient mankind in this Round, has percolated all over the earth, and is found, or could have been found, in many languages.  Some of these have vanished, been destroyed.  A few have been preserved.  The Masters of course have records of all, samples that is, in their secret libraries or cave-temples, call them what you like.

The Book of Dzyan was especially selected by H. P. B. to write from because it contains the original archaic teaching, admittedly covered up in the Kiu-ti scriptures with a lot of extraneous material, legendary stuff, marvels and miracles which the Tibetan populace delights in, etc.  But she had been taught to read underneath these things to find the thread of pure gold among all the exoteric and devotional trash.

The Book of Dzyan, one of the first of the Kiu-ti series, deals with the cosmogonic building of the worlds and of our planetary chain, especially, and to a certain extent deals with the first appearances of man or of the Root-Races, just about as H. P. B. has dealt with the matter, generalizing it all, in her two volumes of The Secret Doctrine.

There was another famous Commentary, famous throughout all Tibet, written by Tsong-kha-pa, a great Tibetan Buddhist reformer and the founder of the so-called Yellow-Caps or Gelugpas, as the Tibetans call them, the reformed Buddhist Tibetan Church, and today the most powerful in the country and the purest.  This Commentary is called Lam Rim, sometimes written Lam Rin.

This is a remarkable Commentary, partly exoteric, partly esoteric, on various matters, written under the guise of the reformed Buddhism which Tsong-kha-pa brought about, but actually containing a lot of genuinely esoteric or actual teachings.  Very few people have ever seen a copy of the Lam Rim; I do not know why, but it seems to be the case.  I have never seen a copy, which does not mean anything because I do not live in Tibet.  I have never heard of a traveler who got hold of a copy, though I have heard of several claims.  For some reason, up to the present, Lam Rim has been guarded carefully.  Perhaps in the future it won’t be so.

Thus, to summarize: The Book of Dzyan is written in Tibetan, at least part of it or most of it, is interspersed with a lot of exoteric stuff, but the real occult part of the Book of Dzyan is one of the first of the Kiu-ti volumes and deals mainly with cosmogony, and later on to a less extent, I believe, with anthropogony or the beginnings of mankind.

The Delphic Oracle

Could a deeper light be shed on the real significance of the Delphic Oracle?

The Delphic Oracle was one of several in Greece.  They were all cases of human beings in an abnormal state, usually consisting in a quasi-paralysis of the lower quaternary partly brought about by artificial means, such as vapors, sulphureous; or otherwise, or possibly relatively harmless drugs.  Then the Oracle found herself, for the Oracle was usually a woman, in a state which is recognized today, and commonly spoken of, as a highly sensitive psychic state in which the mind can receive truth, but quite as often merely distorted psychic vision.

Now the Delphic Oracle was one of the best in Greece, because one of the most carefully guarded.  In these cases when the Delphic Oracle delivered its dicta, or statements, they usually came from the inspiration of the priestess’s own inner divinity impressing the sensitive psychic nature, which in turn spoke through the human mouth.  The fact that the Oracles were usually delivered either in metaphor, or in ambiguous terms, is one of the phenomena of the working on this plane of the higher psychical apparatus of man.  It is only the lower brain-mind that pays any attention to points of accuracy like number of steps, or the correct page of a book, or the exact length of a skirt, or how many times a man lifted his arms in an hour, or whether when a priest returned home he would have curds and barley for supper or boiled mutton and thin wine.  All these are matters of the lower brain-mind.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition