Before the Heavens and the Earth were made — naught was. And Humpty Dumpty was the first to come into being!
To understand how this extraordinary event was brought about, we must first turn our minds in the direction of symbolism. Everywhere we find symbolism; it would appear at times to be the very garment of thought. Thought itself is the making of a picture in the mind, and when the subject under consideration is of a very abstruse nature, some pictorial language or fairy tale may convey an understanding of something intangible to which it refers, as for instance, How did the universe come into being?
We all know the old nursery rhyme:
Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again!
Now this is a symbolic fairy tale telling how the universe first began in manifested existence — a very difficult subject for the mind to grasp.
The great secret was, of course, that Humpty Dumpty was an Egg. All things begin as an egg — even the Universe; and our own Solar System was called by the ancient Hindus, the "Egg of Brahma," containing within its crystalline sphere all the substances and the lives that go to sustain the beings within it.
But the questions arise, Before there was any manifestation at all, what was there? and, How does anything or everything come into existence at all? It is obvious that from nothing, nothing can come; and we must find some way of regarding infinite Space as that from which all things come. Now, there must be movement before manifestation can take place; and the simplest movement that can be imagined is contraction and expansion: contraction produces the center or point from which ray out lines of force from that center, forming the sphere or Egg (of Brahma) or — Humpty Dumpty!
The birth of a universe, or of a solar system, may be compared to our own waking from sleep, and on a smaller scale, we awake and start a new day with all the causes of the past producing the effects of the present; the changing state from deep sleep to the fully awake state corresponding to Brahma, and to Humpty Dumpty in the fairy tale.
Now then, "Humpty Dumpty had a great fall." The great fall means the descent into the lower material condition of separateness — from the one into the many, all life becoming more varied and complex, the details of the pattern showing up, and the greater and the lesser beings moving out into their arena of activity and development, as the cycle advances.
Then what is the meaning of "All the King's horses and all the King's men" trying to put Humpty Dumpty together again? To understand who, and what, were all these King's horses and men, we must remember that the universe is a reimbodiment of a former one with all its beings in many grades from low to high; also we must remember that all these beings are on their way back, eventually, to the spiritual oneness from which they started out at the beginning of their cycle of experience. Putting Humpty Dumpty together again, means then the end of the cycle, when once more all beings are at one in the spiritual realms. But this cannot be brought about until the proper time comes for the cycle to end, when all the beings of all the kingdoms shall have finished that chapter in their evolution. Those who belong to the highest grade, the great ones, are those who are active in bringing humanity back to a sense of its spiritual origin. There is a tendency amongst the lesser leaders of men, those great in science, religion, and government, likewise to guide the race to a knowledge of its real destiny, and to peace; and all beings in their daily struggles are doing their part to bring about the Great Ideal, helping to put Humpty Dumpty together again.
(From Sunrise magazine, October 1951; copyright © 1951 Theosophical University Press)