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Title: The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1 of 4

Author: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

Release Date: June 1, 2017 [Ebook #54824]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


The Secret Doctrine

The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy


Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

Author of “Isis Unveiled.”

Third and Revised Edition.


There is no Religion higher than Truth.

Volume I.


The Theosophical Publishing House




Cover Art

[Transcriber's Note: The above cover image was produced by the submitter at Distributed Proofreaders, and is being placed into the public domain.]

[pg i]
This Work
I Dedicate to all True Theosophists,
In every Country,
And of every Race,
For they called it forth, and for them it was recorded.
[pg xix]

Preface To The First Edition.

The author—the writer, rather—feels it necessary to apologize for the long delay which has occurred in the appearance of this work. It has been occasioned by ill-health and the magnitude of the undertaking. Even the two volumes now issued do not complete the scheme, nor do these treat exhaustively of the subjects dealt with in them. A large quantity of material has already been prepared, dealing with the history of Occultism as contained in the lives of the great Adepts of the Âryan Race, and showing the bearing of Occult Philosophy upon the conduct of life, as it is and as it ought to be. Should the present volumes meet with a favourable reception, no effort will be spared to carry out the scheme of the work in its entirety.

This scheme, it must be added, was not in contemplation when the preparation of the work was first announced. As originally announced, it was intended that The Secret Doctrine should be an amended and enlarged version of Isis Unveiled. It was, however, soon found that the explanations which could be added to those already put before the world, in the last-named and other works dealing with Esoteric Science, were such as to require a different method of treatment; and consequently the present volumes do not contain, in all, twenty pages extracted from Isis Unveiled.

The author does not feel it necessary to ask the indulgence of her readers and critics for the many defects of literary style, and the [pg xx] imperfect English which may be found in these pages. She is a foreigner, and her knowledge of the language was acquired late in life. The English tongue is employed because it offers the most widely-diffused medium for conveying the truths which it had become her duty to place before the world.

These truths are in no sense put forward as a revelation; nor does the author claim the position of a revealer of mystic lore, now made public for the first time in the world's history. For what is contained in this work is to be found scattered throughout thousands of volumes embodying the Scriptures of the great Asiatic and early European religions, hidden under glyph and symbol, and hitherto left unnoticed because of this veil. What is now attempted is to gather the oldest tenets together and to make of them one harmonious and unbroken whole. The sole advantage which the writer has over her predecessors, is that she need not resort to personal speculations and theories. For this work is a partial statement of what she herself has been taught by more advanced students, supplemented, in a few details only, by the results of her own study and observation. The publication of many of the facts herein stated has been rendered necessary by the wild and fanciful speculations in which many Theosophists and students of Mysticism have indulged, during the last few years, in their endeavour, as they imagined, to work out a complete system of thought from the few facts previously communicated to them.

It is needless to explain that this book is not the Secret Doctrine in its entirety, but a select number of fragments of its fundamental tenets, special attention being paid to some facts which have been seized upon by various writers, and distorted out of all resemblance to the truth.

But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, [pg xxi] however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, do not belong to the Hindû, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldæan, or the Egyptian religion, nor to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism or Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialized.

It is more than probable that the book will be regarded by a large section of the public as a romance of the wildest kind; for who has ever even heard of the Book of Dzyan?

The writer, therefore, is fully prepared to take all the responsibility for what is contained in this work, and even to face the charge of having invented the whole of it. That it has many shortcomings she is fully aware; all that she claims for it is that, romantic as it may seem to many, its logical coherence and consistency entitle this new Genesis to rank, at any rate, on a level with the “working hypotheses” so freely accepted by Modern Science. Further, it claims consideration, not by reason of any appeal to dogmatic authority, but because it closely adheres to Nature, and follows the laws of uniformity and analogy.

The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not “a fortuitous concurrence of atoms,” and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe; to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions; to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring; finally, to show that the Occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.

If this is in any degree accomplished, the writer is content. It is [pg xxii] written in the service of humanity, and by humanity and the future generations it must be judged. Its author recognizes no inferior court of appeal. Abuse she is accustomed to; calumny she is daily acquainted with; at slander she smiles in silent contempt.

De minimis non curat lex.

H. P. B.

London, October, 1888.

[pg xxiii]

Preface To The Third And Revised Edition.

In preparing this edition for the press, we have striven to correct minor points of detail in literary form, without touching at all more important matters. Had H. P. Blavatsky lived to issue the new edition, she would doubtless have corrected and enlarged it to a very considerable extent. That this is not done is one of the many minor losses caused by the one great loss.

Awkward phrases, due to imperfect knowledge of English, have been corrected; most of the quotations have been verified, and exact references given—a work involving great labour, as the references in the previous editions were often very loose; a uniform system of transliteration for Sanskrit words has been adopted. Rejecting the form most favoured by Western Orientalists as being misleading to the general reader—we have given to the consonants not present in our English alphabet combinations that approximately express their sound-values, and we have carefully inserted quantities, wherever they occur, on the vowels. In a few instances we have incorporated notes in the text, but this has been very sparingly done, and only when they obviously formed part of it.

We have added a copious Index for the assistance of students, and have bound it separately, so that reference to it may be facilitated. For the great labour in this we, and all students, are the debtors of Mr. A. J. Faulding.

Annie Besant.
G. R. S. Mead.

London, 1893.

[pg 001]


Gently to hear, kindly to judge.

Since the appearance of Theosophical literature in England, it has become customary to call its teachings “Esoteric Buddhism.” And, having become a habit—as an old proverb based on daily experience has it—“Error runs down an inclined plane, while Truth has to laboriously climb its way up hill.”

Old truisms are often the wisest. The human mind can hardly remain entirely free from bias, and decisive opinions are often formed before a thorough examination of a subject from all its aspects has been made. This is said with reference to the prevailing double mistake (a) of limiting Theosophy to Buddhism; and (b) of confounding the tenets of the religious philosophy preached by Gautama, the Buddha, with the doctrines broadly outlined in Esoteric Buddhism. Any thing more erroneous than this could hardly be imagined. It has enabled our enemies to find an effective weapon against Theosophy, because, as an eminent Pâli scholar very pointedly expressed it, there was in the volume named “neither Esotericism nor Buddhism.” The esoteric truths, presented in Mr. Sinnett's work, ceased to be esoteric from the moment they were made public; nor did the book contain the religion of Buddha, but simply a few tenets from a hitherto hidden teaching, which are now explained and supplemented by many more in the present volumes. And even the latter, though giving out many fundamental tenets from the Secret Doctrine of the East, raise but a small corner of the dark veil. For no one, not even the greatest living Adept, would be permitted to, or could—even if he would—give out promiscuously to a mocking, unbelieving world that which has been so effectually concealed from it for long æons and ages.

Esoteric Buddhism was an excellent work with a very unfortunate title, though it meant no more than does the title of this work, The [pg 002]Secret Doctrine. It proved unfortunate, because people are always in the habit of judging things by their appearance rather than by their meaning, and because the error has now become so universal, that even most of the Fellows of the Theosophical Society have fallen victims to the same misconception. From the first, however, protests were raised by Brâhmans and others against the title; and, in justice to myself, I must add that Esoteric Buddhism was presented to me as a completed volume, and that I was entirely unaware of the manner in which the author intended to spell the word “Budh-ism.”

This has to be laid directly at the door of those who, having been the first to bring the subject under public notice, neglected to point out the difference between “Buddhism”—the religious system of ethics preached by the Lord Gautama, and so named from his title of Buddha, the “Enlightened”—and “Budhism,” from Budha, Wisdom, or Knowledge (Vidyâ), the faculty of cognizing, from the Sanskrit root Budh, to know. We Theosophists of India are ourselves the real culprits, although, at the time, we did our best to correct the mistake.1 To avoid this deplorable misnomer was easy; the spelling of the word had only to be altered, and by common consent both pronounced and written “Budhism,” instead of “Buddhism.” Nor is the latter term correctly spelt and pronounced, as it ought to be called, in English, Buddhaïsm, and its votaries “Buddhaïsts.”

This explanation is absolutely necessary at the beginning of a work like the present. The Wisdom-Religion is the inheritance of all the nations, the world over, in spite of the statement made in Esoteric Buddhism2 that “two years ago (i.e., in 1883), neither I, nor any other European living, knew the alphabet of the Science, here for the first time put into a scientific shape,” etc. This error must have crept in through inadvertence. The present writer knew all that is “divulged” in Esoteric Buddhism, and much more, many years before it became her duty (in 1880) to impart a small portion of the Secret Doctrine to two European gentlemen, one of whom was the author of Esoteric Buddhism; and surely the present writer has the undoubted, though to her, rather equivocal, privilege of being a European by birth and education. Moreover, a considerable part of the philosophy expounded by Mr. Sinnett was taught in America, even before Isis Unveiled was published, to two Europeans and to my colleague, Colonel H. S. Olcott. Of the three teachers the latter gentleman has had, the first was a Hungarian [pg 003] Initiate, the second an Egyptian, the third a Hindû. As permitted, Colonel Olcott has given out some of this teaching in various ways; if the other two have not, it has been simply because they were not allowed, their time for public work having not yet come. But for others it has, and the appearance of Mr. Sinnett's several interesting books is a visible proof of the fact. Moreover, it is above everything important to keep in mind that no Theosophical book acquires the least additional value from pretended authority.

Âdi, or Âdhi Budha, the One, or the First, and Supreme Wisdom, is a term used by Âryâsanga in his secret treatises, and now by all the mystic Northern Buddhists. It is a Sanskrit term, and an appellation given by the earliest Âryans to the Unknown Deity; the word “Brahmâ” not being found in the Vedas and the early works. It means the Absolute Wisdom, and Âdibhûta is translated by Fitzedward Hall, “the primeval uncreated cause of all.” Æons of untold duration must have elapsed, before the epithet of Buddha was so humanized, so to speak, as to allow of the term being applied to mortals, and finally appropriated to one whose unparalleled virtues and knowledge caused him to receive the title of the “Buddha of Wisdom Unmoved.” Bodha means the innate possession of divine intellect or understanding; Buddha, the acquirement of it by personal efforts and merit; while Buddhi is the faculty of cognizing, the channel through which divine knowledge reaches the Ego, the discernment of good and evil, also divine conscience, and the Spiritual Soul, which is the vehicle of Âtmâ. “When Buddhi absorbs our Ego-tism (destroys it) with all its Vikâras, Avalokiteshvara becomes manifested to us, and Nirvâna, or Mukti, is reached,” Mukti being the same as Nirvana, i.e., freedom from the trammels of Mâyâ or Illusion. Bodhi is likewise the name of a particular state of trance-condition, called Samâdhi, during which the subject reaches the culmination of spiritual knowledge.

Unwise are those who, in their blind and, in our age, untimely hatred of Buddhism, and, by reäction, of Budhism, deny its esoteric teachings, which are those also of the Brâhmans, simply because the name suggests what to them, as Monotheists, are noxious doctrines. Unwise is the correct term to use in their case. For in this age of crass and illogical materialism, the Esoteric Philosophy alone is calculated to withstand the repeated attacks on all and everything man holds most dear and sacred in his inner spiritual life. The true philosopher, the student of Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of personalities, [pg 004] dogmatic beliefs and special religions. Moreover, Esoteric Philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one of its outward human garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with that of every other great religion. It proves the necessity of a Divine Absolute Principle in Nature. It denies Deity no more than it does the sun. Esoteric Philosophy has never rejected God in Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and abstract Ens. It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic religions, gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous and sorry caricature of the Ever-Unknowable. Furthermore, the records we mean to place before the reader embrace the esoteric tenets of the whole world since the beginning of our humanity, and Buddhistic Occultism occupies therein only its legitimate place, and no more. Indeed, the secret portions of the Dan or Janna (Dhyâna)3 of Gautama's metaphysics—grand as they appear to one unacquainted with the tenets of the Wisdom-Religion of antiquity—are but a very small portion of the whole. The Hindû reformer limited his public teachings to the purely moral and physiological aspect of the Wisdom-Religion, to ethics and man alone. Things “unseen and incorporeal,” the mysteries of Being outside our terrestrial sphere, the great Teacher left entirely untouched in his public lectures, reserving the Hidden Truths for a select circle of his Arhats. The latter received their Initiation at the famous Saptaparna Cave (the Sattapanni of Mahâvansa) near Mount Baibhâr (the Webhâra of the Pâli MSS.). This cave was in Râjâgriha, the ancient capital of Magadha, and was the Cheta Cave of Fa-hian, as is rightly suspected by some archaeologists.4

Time and human imagination made short work of the purity and philosophy of these teachings, once that they were transplanted from the secret and sacred circle of the Arhats, during the course of their work of proselytism, into a soil less prepared for metaphysical conceptions than India; i.e., once they were transferred into China, Japan, Siam, and Burmah. How the pristine purity of these grand revelations was dealt with may be seen in studying some of the so-called “esoteric” Buddhist schools of antiquity in their modern garb, not only in China [pg 005] and other Buddhist countries in general, but even in not a few schools of Tibet, which have been left to the care of uninitiated Lamas and Mongolian innovators.

Thus the reader is asked to bear in mind the very important difference between orthodox Buddhism—i.e., the public teachings of Gautama, the Buddha—and his esoteric Budhism. His Secret Doctrine, however, differed in no wise from that of the initiated Brahmans of his day. The Buddha was a child of Âryan soil, a born Hindû, a Kshatriya and a disciple of the Twice-born (the initiated Brâhmans) or Dvîjas. His teachings, therefore, could not be different from their doctrines, for the whole Buddhist reform consisted merely in giving out a portion of that which had been kept secret from every man outside of the “enchanted” circle of ascetics and Temple-Initiates. Unable, owing to his pledges, to teach all that had been imparted to him, though the Buddha taught a philosophy built upon the ground-work of the true esoteric knowledge, he gave to the world only its outward material body and kept its soul for his Elect. Many Chinese scholars among Orientalists have heard of the “Soul-Doctrine.” None seem to have understood its real meaning and importance.

That doctrine was preserved secretly—too secretly, perhaps—within the sanctuary. The mystery that shrouded its chief dogma and aspiration—Nirvâna—has so tried and irritated the curiosity of those scholars who have studied it, that, unable to solve it logically and satisfactorily by untying its Gordian knot, they have cut it through by declaring that Nirvâna means absolute annihilation.

Toward the end of the first quarter of this century a distinct class of literature appeared in the world, which with every year became more defined in its tendency. Being based, soi-disant, on the scholarly researches of Sanskritists and Orientalists in general, it was considered scientific. Hindû, Egyptian, and other ancient religions, myths, and emblems were made to yield anything the symbologist wanted them to yield, and thus often the rude outward form was given out in place of the inner meaning. Works, most remarkable for their ingenious deductions and speculations, circulo vicioso—foregone conclusions generally taking the place of premisses in the syllogisms of more than one Sanskrit and Pâli scholar—appeared rapidly in succession, over-flooding the libraries with dissertations on phallic and sexual worship rather than on real symbology, and each contradicting the other.

This is the true reason, perhaps, why the outline of a few fundamental [pg 006] truths from the Secret Doctrine of the Archaic Ages is now permitted to see the light, after long millenniums of the most profound silence and secrecy. I say advisedly “a few truths,” because that which must remain unsaid could not be contained in a hundred such volumes, nor could it be imparted to the present generation of Sadducees. But even the little that is now given is better than complete silence upon these vital truths. The world of to-day, in its mad career towards the unknown, which the Physicist is too ready to confound with the unknowable, whenever the problem eludes his grasp, is rapidly progressing on the reverse plane to that of spirituality. It has now become a vast arena, a true valley of discord and of eternal strife, a necropolis, wherein lie buried the highest and the most holy aspirations of our Spirit-Soul. That soul becomes with every new generation more paralyzed and atrophied. The “amiable infidels and accomplished profligates” of Society, spoken of by Greeley, care little for the revival of the dead sciences of the past; but there is a fair minority of earnest students who are entitled to learn the few truths that may be given to them now; and now much more than ten years ago, when Isis Unveiled appeared, or even when the later attempts to explain the mysteries of esoteric science were published.

One of the greatest and perhaps the most serious objection to the correctness and reliability of the whole work will be the preliminary Stanzas. How can the statements contained in them be verified? True, though a great portion of the Sanskrit, Chinese, and Mongolian works quoted in the present volumes is known to some Orientalists, yet the chief work—that one from which the Stanzas are given—is not in the possession of European Libraries. The Book of Dzyan (or Dzan) is utterly unknown to our Philologists, or at any rate was never heard of by them under its present name. This is, of course, a great drawback to those who follow the methods of research prescribed by official Science; but to students of Occultism, and to every genuine Occultist, this will be of little moment. The main body of the doctrines given, however, is found scattered throughout hundreds and thousands of Sanskrit MSS., some already translated—disfigured in their interpretations, as usual—others still waiting their turn. Every scholar, therefore, has an opportunity of verifying the statements herein made, and of checking most of the quotations. A few new facts, new to the profane Orientalist only, and passages quoted from the Commentaries will be found difficult to trace. Several of the [pg 007] teachings also have hitherto been transmitted orally, yet even these in every instance are hinted at in the almost countless volumes of Brâhmanical, Chinese and Tibetan temple-literature.

However it may be, and whatsoever is in store for the writer through malevolent criticism, one fact is quite certain. The members of several esoteric schools—the seat of which is beyond the Himâlayas, and whose ramifications may be found in China, Japan, India, Tibet, and even in Syria, and also South America—claim to have in their possession the sum total of sacred and philosophical works in MSS. and print, all the works, in fact, that have ever been written, in whatever language or character, since the art of writing began, from the ideographic hieroglyphs down to the alphabet of Cadmus and the Devanâgari.

It has been constantly claimed that, ever since the destruction of the Alexandrian Library,5 every work of a character that might lead the profane to the ultimate discovery and comprehension of some of the mysteries of the Secret Science, owing to the combined efforts of the members of these Brotherhoods, has been diligently searched for. It is added, moreover, by those who know, that once found all such works were destroyed, save three copies of each which were preserved and safely stored away. In India, the last of these precious manuscripts were secured and hidden during the reign of the Emperor Akbar.

Prof. Max Müller shows that no bribes or threats of Akbar could extort the original text of the Vedas from the Brâhmans, and yet boasts that European Orientalists have it.6 That Europe has the complete text is exceedingly doubtful, and the future may have very disagreeable surprises in store for the Orientalists.

It is maintained, furthermore, that every sacred book of this kind, the text of which was not sufficiently veiled in symbolism, or which had any direct references to the ancient mysteries, was first carefully copied in cryptographic characters, such as to defy the art of the best and cleverest palæographer, and then destroyed to the last copy. During Akbar's reign, some fanatical courtiers, displeased at the Emperor's sinful prying into the religions of the infidels, themselves helped the Brâhmans to conceal their MSS. Such was Badáoní, [pg 008] who had an undisguised horror of Akbar's mania for idolatrous religions.

Badáoní, in his Muntakhab at Tawarikh, writes:

As they [the Shramana and Brâhmans] surpass other learned men in their treatises on morals and on physical and religious sciences, and reach a high degree in their knowledge of the future, in spiritual power, and human perfection, they brought proofs based on reason and testimony, ... and inculcated their doctrines so firmly ... that no man ... could now raise a doubt in his Majesty even if mountains were to crumble to dust, or the heavens were to tear asunder.... His Majesty relished inquiries into the sects of these infidels, who cannot be counted, so numerous they are, and who have no end of revealed books.7

This work “was kept secret and, was not published till the reign of Jahángír.”

Moreover in all the large and wealthy Lamasaries, there are subterranean crypts and cave-libraries, cut in the rock, whenever the Gonpa and Lhakhang are situated in the mountains. Beyond the Western Tsaydam, in the solitary passes of Kuen-lun there are several such hiding-places. Along the ridge of Altyn-tag, whose soil no European foot has ever trodden so far, there exists a certain hamlet, lost in a deep gorge. It is a small cluster of houses, a hamlet rather than a monastery, with a poor-looking temple in it, and one old Lama, a hermit, living near by to watch it. Pilgrims say that the subterranean galleries and halls under it contain a collection of books, the number of which, according to the accounts given, is too large to find room even in the British Museum.

According to the same tradition the now desolate regions of the waterless land of Tarim—a veritable wilderness in the heart of Turkestan—were in days of old covered with flourishing and wealthy cities. At present, a few verdant oases only relieve its dread solitude. One such, carpeting the sepulchre of a vast city buried under the sandy soil of the desert, belongs to no one, but is often visited by Mongolians and Buddhists. The tradition also speaks of immense subterranean abodes, of large corridors filled with tiles and cylinders. It may be an idle rumour, and it may be an actual fact.

All this will very likely provoke a smile of doubt. But before the reader rejects the truthfulness of the reports, let him pause and reflect over the following well-known facts. The collective researches of Orientalists, and especially of late years the labours of students of Comparative Philology and the Science of Religion, have enabled them [pg 009] to ascertain that an incalculable number of MSS., and even of printed works known to have existed, are now to be no more found. They have disappeared without leaving the slightest trace behind them. Were they works of no importance they might, in the natural course of time, have been left to perish, and their very names would have been obliterated from human memory. But this is not so, for, as now ascertained, most of them contained the true keys to works still extant, and now entirely incomprehensible, for the greater portion of their readers, without these additional volumes of commentaries and explanations.

Such, for instance, are the works of Lao-tse, the predecessor of Confucius. He is said to have written nine hundred and thirty books on ethics and religions, and seventy on magic, one thousand in all. His great work, however, the Tao-te-King, the heart of his doctrine and the sacred scripture of the Tao-sse, has in it, as Stanislas Julien shows, only “about 5,000 words,”8 hardly a dozen of pages; yet Professor Max Müller finds that “the text is unintelligible without commentaries, so that M. Julien had to consult more than sixty commentators for the purpose of his translation, the earliest going back as far as the year 163 b.c., and not earlier, as we see. During the four centuries and a half that preceded this “earliest” of the commentators there was ample time to veil the true Lao-tse doctrine from all but his initiated priests. The Japanese, among whom are now to be found the most learned of the priests and followers of Lao-tse, simply laugh at the blunders and hypotheses of European Chinese scholars; and tradition affirms that the commentaries to which our Western Sinologues have access are not the real occult records, but intentional veils, and that the true commentaries, as well as almost all the texts, have long disappeared from the eyes of the profane.

Of the works of Confucius we read:

If we turn to China, we find that the religion of Confucius is founded on the Five King and the Four Shu books—in themselves of considerable extent and surrounded by voluminous Commentaries, without which even the most learned scholars would not venture to fathom the depth of their sacred canon.9

But they have not fathomed it; and this is the complaint of the Confucianists, as a very learned member of that body, in Paris, complained in 1881.

[pg 010]

If our scholars turn to the ancient literature of the Semitic religions, to the Scriptures of Chaldea, the elder sister and instructress, if not the fountain-head of the Mosaic Bible, the basis and starting-point of Christianity, what do they find? To perpetuate the memory of the ancient religions of Babylon, to record the vast cycle of astronomical observations of the Chaldean Magi, to justify the tradition of their splendid and preëminently occult literature, what now remains? Only a few fragments, which are said to be by Berosus.

These, however, are almost valueless, even as a clue to the character of what has disappeared, for they passed through the hands of his Reverence, the Bishop of Cæsarea—that self-constituted censor and editor of the sacred records of other men's religions—and they doubtless to this day bear the mark of his eminently veracious and trustworthy hand. For what is the history of this treatise on the once grand religion of Babylon?

It was written in Greek for Alexander the Great, by Berosus, a priest of the temple of Belus, from the astronomical and chronological records preserved by the priests of that temple—records covering a period of 200,000 years—and is now lost. In the first century b.c. Alexander Polyhistor made a series of extracts from it, which are also lost. Eusebius (270-340 a.d.) used these extracts in writing his Chronicon. The points of resemblance—almost of identity—between the Jewish and the Chaldean scriptures,10 made the latter most dangerous to Eusebius, in his rôle of defender and champion of the new faith which had adopted the former scriptures and together with them an absurd chronology.

Now it is pretty certain that Eusebius did not spare the Egyptian synchronistic tables of Manetho—so much so that Bunsen11 charges him with mutilating history most unscrupulously, and Socrates, a historian of the fifth century, and Syncellus, vice-patriarch of Constantinople in the beginning of the eighth, denounce him as the most daring and desperate forger. Is it likely, then, that he dealt more tenderly with the Chaldean records, which were already menacing the new religion, so rashly accepted?

[pg 011]

So that, with the exception of these more than doubtful fragments, the entire Chaldean sacred literature has disappeared from the eyes of the profane as completely as the lost Atlantis. A few facts that were contained in the Berosian History are given later on, and may throw great light on the true origin of the Fallen Angels, personified by Bel and the Dragon.

Turning now to the oldest specimen of Âryan literature, the Rig Veda, the student if he strictly follows in this the data furnished by the Orientalists themselves, will find that although the Rig Veda contains only about 10,580 verses, or 1,028 hymns, yet in spite of the Brâhmanas and the mass of glosses and commentaries, it is not understood correctly to this day. Why is this so? Evidently because the Brâhmanas, “the scholastic and oldest treatises on the primitive hymns,” themselves require a key, which the Orientalists have failed to secure.

What, again, do the scholars say of Buddhist literature? Do they possess it in its completeness? Assuredly not. Notwithstanding the 325 volumes of the Kanjur and Tanjur of the Northern Buddhists, each volume, we are told, “weighing from four to five pounds,” nothing, in truth, is known of real Lamaïsm. Yet the sacred canon is said in the Saddharmâlankâra12 to contain 29,368,000 letters, or, exclusive of treatises and commentaries, five or six times the amount of the matter contained in the Bible, which, as Professor Max Müller states, rejoices in only 3,567,180 letters. Notwithstanding, then, these 325 volumes (in reality there are 333, the Kanjur comprising 108, and Tanjur 225 volumes), “the translators, instead of supplying us with correct versions, have interwoven them with their own commentaries, for the purpose of justifying the dogmas of their several schools.”13 Moreover, “according to a tradition preserved by the Buddhist schools, both of the South and of the North, the sacred Buddhist Canon comprised originally 80,000 or 84,000 tracts, but most of them were lost, so that there remained but 6,000”—as the Professor tells his audience. Lost, as usual—for Europeans. But who can be quite sure that they are likewise lost for Buddhists and Brâhmans?

Considering the reverence of the Buddhists for every line written upon Buddha and the Good Law, the loss of nearly 76,000 tracts does [pg 012] seem miraculous. Had it been vice versâ, every one acquainted with the natural course of events would subscribe to the statement that, of these 76,000, 5,000 or 6,000 treatises might have been destroyed during the persecutions in, and emigrations from, India. But as it is well ascertained that the Buddhist Arhats began their religious exodus, for the purpose of propagating the new faith beyond Kashmir and the Himâlayas, as early as the year 300 before our era,14 and reached China in the year 61 a.d.,15 when Kashyapa, at the invitation of the Emperor Ming-ti, went there to acquaint the “Son of Heaven” with the tenets of Buddhism, it does seem strange to hear the Orientalists speaking of such a loss as though it were really possible. They do not seem to allow for one moment the possibility that the texts may be lost only for the West and for themselves, or that the Asiatic people should have the unparalleled boldness to keep their most sacred records out of the reach of foreigners, thus refusing to deliver them to the profanation and misuse even of races so “vastly superior” to themselves.

Judging by the expressed regrets and numerous confessions of almost every one of the Orientalists,16 the public may feel sufficiently sure, (a) that the students of ancient religions have indeed very few data upon which to build such final conclusions as they generally do about the old faiths, and (b) that such lack of data does not in the least prevent them from dogmatizing. One would imagine that, thanks to the numerous records of the Egyptian theogony and mysteries, preserved in the classics and in a number of ancient writers, the rites and dogmas of Pharaonic Egypt, at least, ought to be well understood; better, at any rate, than the too abstruse philosophies and Pantheism of India, of whose religion and language Europe had hardly any idea before the beginning of the present century. Along the Nile and on the face of the whole country, there stand to this hour, yearly and daily exhumed, ever fresh relics which eloquently tell their own history. Still it is not so. The learned Oxford Philologist himself confesses the truth by saying:

We see still standing the pyramids, and the ruins of temples and labyrinths, their walls covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions, and with the strange pictures of gods and goddesses. On rolls of papyrus, which seem to defy the ravages of time, [pg 013]we have even fragments of what may be called the sacred books of the Egyptians. Yet, though much has been deciphered in the ancient records of the mysterious race, the mainspring of the religion of Egypt and the original intention of its ceremonial worship are far from being fully disclosed to us.17

Here again the mysterious hieroglyphic documents remain, but the keys by which alone they become intelligible have disappeared.

In fact so little acquainted are our greatest Egyptologists with the funerary rites of the Egyptians and the outward marks of the difference of sex on the mummies, that it has led to the most ludicrous mistakes. Only a year or two ago, one of this kind was discovered at Boulaq, Cairo. The mummy of what was considered the wife of an unimportant Pharaoh, has, thanks to an inscription found on an amulet hung round its neck, turned out to be that of Sesostris—the greatest King of Egypt!

Nevertheless, having found that “there is a natural connection between language and religion”; and that “there was a common Âryan religion before the separation of the Âryan race; a common Semitic religion before the separation of the Semitic race; and a common Turanic religion before the separation of the Chinese and the other tribes belonging to the Turanian class”; having, in fact, discovered only “three ancient centres of religion” and “three centres of language”; and though as entirely ignorant of those primitive religions and languages as of their origin—the Professor does not hesitate to declare “that a truly historical basis for a scientific treatment of the principal religions of the world” has been gained!

A “scientific treatment” of a subject is no guarantee for its “historical basis”; and with such scarcity of data on hand, no Philologist, even among the most eminent, is justified in giving out his own conclusions for historical facts. No doubt, the eminent Orientalist has thoroughly proved to the world's satisfaction that, according to the phonetic rules of Grimm's law, Odin and Buddha are two different personages, quite distinct from each other, and has proved it scientifically. When, however, he takes the opportunity of saying in the same breath that Odin “was worshipped as the supreme deity during a period long anterior to the age of the Veda and of Homer,”18 he has not the slightest “historical basis” for it, but makes history and fact subservient to his own conclusions, which may be very “scientific” in the sight of Oriental scholars, but yet very wide of the mark of actual [pg 014] truth. The conflicting views of the various eminent Philologists and Orientalists, from Martin Haug down to Prof. Max Müller himself, on the subject of chronology, in the case of the Vedas, are an evident proof that the statement has no “historical” basis to stand upon, “internal evidence” being very often a Jack-o'-lantern, instead of a safe beacon to follow. Nor has the Science of modern Comparative Mythology any better argument to bring forward to crush the contention of those learned writers who have insisted for the last century or so that there must have been “fragments of a primeval revelation, granted to the ancestors of the whole race of mankind ... preserved in the temples of Greece and Italy.” For this is what all the Eastern Initiates and Pandits have been proclaiming to the world from time to time. And while a prominent Singhalese priest assured the writer that it was well known that the most important tracts, belonging to the Buddhist sacred canon, were stored away in countries and places inaccessible to the European Pandits, the late Svâmi Dayanand Sarasvatî, the greatest Sanskritist of his day in India, assured some members of the Theosophical Society of the same fact with regard to ancient Brâhmanical works. When told that Professor Max Müller had declared to the audiences of his Lectures that the theory that there was a primeval preternatural revelation granted to the fathers of the human race, finds but few supporters at present”—the holy and learned man laughed. His answer was suggestive. “If Mr. ‘Moksh Mooller’ [as he pronounced the name], were a Brâhman, and came with me, I might take him to a gupa cave [a secret crypt] near Okhee Math, in the Himâlayas, where he would soon find out that what crossed the Kâlapani [the black waters of the ocean] from India to Europe were only the bits of rejected copies of some passages from our sacred books. There was a ‘primeval revelation,’ and it still exists; nor will it ever be lost to the world, but will reäppear; though the Mlechchhas will of course have to wait.”

Questioned further on the point, he would say no more. This was at Meerut, in 1880.

No doubt the mystification played by the Brâhmans upon Colonel Wilford and Sir William Jones, in the last century, at Calcutta, was cruel, but it had been well deserved, and no one was more to blame in that affair than the missionaries and Colonel Wilford himself. The former, on the testimony of Sir William Jones himself,19 were silly enough to maintain that “the Hindûs were even now almost Christians, [pg 015] because their Brahmâ, Vishnu and Mahesha were no other than the Christian trinity.”20 It was a good lesson. It made the Oriental scholars doubly cautious; but perchance it has also made some of them too shy and, in its reäction, has caused the pendulum of foregone conclusions to swing too much the other way. For “that first supply from the Brâhmanical market,” in answer to the demand of Colonel Wilford, has now created an evident necessity and desire in the Orientalists to declare nearly every archaic Sanskrit manuscript so modern as to give the missionaries full justification for availing themselves of their opportunity. That they do so and to the full extent of their mental powers, is shown by the absurd attempts of late to prove that the whole Purânic story about Krishna was plagiarized by the Brâhmans from the Bible! But the facts cited by the Oxford Professor in his Lectures concerning the now famous interpolations, for the benefit, and later on to the sorrow, of Colonel Wilford, do not at all interfere with the conclusions to which one who studies the Secret Doctrine must unavoidably come. For, if the results show that neither the New nor even the Old Testament borrowed anything from the more ancient religion of the Brâhmans and Buddhists, it does not follow that the Jews have not borrowed all they knew from the Chaldean records, the latter being mutilated later on by Eusebius. As to the Chaldeans, they assuredly got their primitive learning from the Brâhmans, for Rawlinson shows an undeniably Vedic influence in the early mythology of Babylon; and Colonel Vans Kennedy has long ago justly declared that Babylonia was, from her origin, the seat of Sanskrit and Brâhman learning. But all such proofs must lose their value, in the presence of the latest theory worked out by Prof. Max Müller. What it is everyone knows. The code of phonetic laws has now become a universal solvent for every identification and “connection” between the gods of many nations. Thus, though the Mother of Mercury (Budha, Thot-Hermes, etc.) was Maia, the mother of Gautama Buddha, also Mâyâ, and the mother of Jesus, likewise Mâyâ (Illusion, for Mary is Mare, the Sea, the great Illusion symbolically)—yet these three characters have no connection, nor can they have any, since Bopp has “laid down his code of phonetic laws.”

In their efforts to collect together the many skeins of unwritten [pg 016] history, it is a bold step for our Orientalists to take, to deny à priori everything that does not dove-tail with their special conclusions. Thus, while new discoveries are daily made of great arts and sciences having existed far back in the night of time, yet even the knowledge of writing is refused to some of the most ancient nations, and they are credited with barbarism instead of culture. Nevertheless traces of an immense civilization, even in Central Asia, are still to be found. This civilization is undeniably prehistoric. And how can there be civilization without a literature in some form, without annals or chronicles? Common sense alone ought to supplement the broken links in the history of departed nations. The gigantic and unbroken wall of the mountains that hem in the whole table-land of Tibet, from the upper course of the river Khuan-Khé down to the Karakorum hills, witnessed a civilization during millenniums of years, and should have strange secrets to tell mankind. The eastern and central portions of these regions—the Nan-chan and the Altyn-tag—were once upon a time covered with cities that could well vie with Babylon. A whole geological period has swept over the land, since those cities breathed their last, as the mounds of shifting sand and the sterile and now dead soil of the immense central plains of the basin of Tarim testify. The borderlands alone are superficially known to the traveller. Within those table-lands of sand there is water, and fresh oases are found blooming there, wherein no European foot has ever yet ventured, or trodden the now treacherous soil. Among these verdant oases there are some which are entirely inaccessible even to the profane native traveller. Hurricanes may “tear up the sands and sweep whole plains away,” they are powerless to destroy that which is beyond their reach. Built deep in the bowels of the earth, the subterranean stores are secure; and as their entrances are concealed, there is little fear that anyone would discover them, even should several armies invade the sandy wastes where—

Not a pool, not a bush, not a house is seen,
And the mountain-range forms a rugged screen
Round the parch'd flats of the dry, dry desert....

But there is no need to send the reader across the desert, when the same proofs of ancient civilization are found even in comparatively populated regions of the same country. The oasis of Tchertchen, for instance, situated about 4,000 feet above the level of the river Tchertchen-Darya, is now surrounded in every direction by the ruins [pg 017] of archaic towns and cities. There, some 3,000 human beings represent the relics of about a hundred extinct nations and races, the very names of which are now unknown to our ethnologists. An anthropologist would feel more than embarrassed to class, divide and subdivide them; the more so, as the respective descendants of all these antediluvian races and tribes themselves know as little of their own forefathers as if they had fallen from the moon. When questioned about their origin, they reply that they know not whence their fathers had come, but had heard that their first, or earliest, men were ruled by the great Genii of these deserts. This may be put down to ignorance and superstition, yet in view of the teachings of the Secret Doctrine, the answer may be based upon primeval tradition. Alone the tribe of Khoorassan claims to have come from what is now known as Afghanistan, long before the days of Alexander, and brings legendary lore to that effect in corroboration. The Russian traveller Colonel (now General) Prjevalsky found quite close to the oasis of Tchertchen the ruins of two enormous cities, the oldest of which, according to local tradition, was destroyed 3,000 years ago by a hero and giant, and the other by Mongolians in the tenth century of our era.

The emplacement of the two cities is now covered, owing to shifting sands and the desert wind, with strange and heterogeneous relics; with broken china and kitchen utensils and human bones. The natives often find copper and gold coins, melted silver ingots, diamonds, and turquoises, and what is the most remarkable—broken glass.... Coffins of some undecaying wood, or material, also, within which beautifully preserved embalmed bodies are found.... The male mummies are all extremely tall powerfully built men with long wavy hair.... A vault was found with twelve dead men sitting in it. Another time, in a separate coffin, a young girl was discovered by us. Her eyes were closed with golden discs, and the jaws held firm by a golden circlet running from under the chin across the top of the head. Clad in a narrow woollen garment, her bosom was covered with golden stars, the feet being left naked.21

To this, the famous traveller adds that all along their way on the river Tchertchen they heard legends about twenty-three towns buried ages ago by the shifting sands of the deserts. The same tradition exists on the Lob-nor and in the oasis of Kerya.

The traces of such civilization, and these and like traditions, give us the right to credit other legendary lore, warranted by well educated and learned natives of India and Mongolia who speak of immense libraries [pg 018] reclaimed from the sand, together with various relics of ancient Magic Lore, which have all been safely stowed away.

To recapitulate. The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world. Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence in every land, together with the teaching of all its great Adepts, exist to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging to the Occult Fraternity.

This statement is rendered more credible by a consideration of the following facts: the tradition of the thousands of ancient parchments saved when the Alexandrian library was destroyed; the thousands of Sanskrit works which disappeared in India in the reign of Akbar; the universal tradition in China and Japan that the true ancient texts with the commentaries, which alone make them comprehensible, amounting to many thousands of volumes, have long passed out of the reach of profane hands; the disappearance of the vast sacred and occult literature of Babylon; the loss of those keys which alone could solve the thousand riddles of the Egyptian hieroglyphic records; the tradition in India that the real secret commentaries which alone make the Vedas intelligible, though no longer visible to profane eyes, still remain for the Initiate, hidden in secret caves and crypts; and an identical belief among the Buddhists, with regard to their secret books.

The Occultists assert that all these exist, safe from Western spoliating hands, to reäppear in some more enlightened age, for which, in the words of the late Svâmi Dayanand Sarasvatî, “the Mlechchhas [outcasts, savages, those beyond the pale of Âryan civilization] will have to wait.”

For it is not the fault of the Initiates that these documents are now “lost” to the profane; nor was their policy dictated by selfishness, or any desire to monopolise the life-giving sacred lore. There were portions of the Secret Science that for incalculable ages had to remain concealed from the profane gaze. But this was because the imparting to the unprepared multitude secrets of such tremendous importance was equivalent to giving a child a lighted candle in a powder magazine.

The answer to a question which has frequently arisen in the minds of students, when meeting with statements such as this, may well be outlined here.

We can understand, they say, the necessity for concealing from the herd such secrets as the Vril, or the rock-destroying force, discovered [pg 019] by J. W. Keely, of Philadelphia, but we cannot understand how any danger could arise from the revelation of such a purely philosophical doctrine, for instance, as the evolution of the Planetary Chains.

The danger was that such doctrines as the Planetary Chain, or the seven Races, at once give a clue to the seven-fold nature of man, for each principle is correlated to a plane, a planet, and a race, and the human principles are, on every plane, correlated to seven-fold occult forces, those of the higher planes being of tremendous power. So that any septenary division at once gives a clue to tremendous occult powers, the abuse of which would cause incalculable evil to humanity; a clue which is, perhaps, no clue to the present generation—especially to Westerns, protected as they are by their very blindness and ignorant materialistic disbelief in the occult—but a clue which would, nevertheless, have been very real in the early centuries of the Christian era to people fully convinced of the reality of Occultism, and entering a cycle of degradation which made them rife for abuse of occult powers and sorcery of the worst description.

The documents were concealed, it is true, but the knowledge itself and its actual existence was never made a secret of by the Hierophants of the Temples, wherein the MYSTERIES have ever been made a discipline and stimulus to virtue. This is very old news, and was repeatedly made known by the great Adepts, from Pythagoras and Plato down to the Neo-Platonists. It was the new religion of the Nazarenes that wrought a change for the worse in the policy of centuries.

Moreover, there is a well-known fact—a very curious one, corroborated to the writer by a reverend gentleman attached for years to a Russian Embassy—that there are several documents in the St. Petersburg Imperial Libraries to show that, even so late as the days when Freemasonry and Secret Societies of Mystics flourished without hindrance in Russia, namely at the end of the last and the beginning of the present century, more than one Russian Mystic travelled to Tibet viâ the Ural Mountains in search of knowledge and initiation in the unknown crypts of Central Asia. And more than one returned years later, with a rich store of information such as could never have been given him anywhere in Europe. Several cases could be cited and well-known names brought forward, but for the fact that such publicity might annoy the surviving relatives of the late Initiates referred to. Let any one look over the annals and history of Freemasonry in the [pg 020] archives of the Russian metropolis, and he will assure himself of the fact above stated.

This is a corroboration of what has been stated many times before, unfortunately, too indiscreetly. Instead of benefiting humanity, the virulent charges of deliberate invention and imposture with a purpose, hurled at those who asserted a veritable, even if a little known fact, have only generated bad Karma for the slanderers. But now the mischief is done, and truth should no longer be denied, whatever the consequences.

Is Theosophy a new religion, we are asked? By no means; it is not a “religion,” nor is its philosophy “new”; for, as already stated, it is as old as thinking man. Its tenets are not now published for the first time, but have been cautiously given out to, and taught by, more than one European Initiate—especially by the late Ragon.

More than one great scholar has stated that there never was a religious founder, whether Âryan, Semitic or Turanian, who had invented a new religion, or revealed a new truth. These founders were all transmitters, not original teachers. They were the authors of new forms and interpretations, while the truths upon which their teachings were based were as old as mankind. Thus out of the many truths revealed orally to man in the beginning, preserved and perpetuated in the Adyta of the temples through initiation, during the Mysteries and by personal transmission, they selected one or more of such grand verities—actualities visible only to the eye of the real Sage and Seer, and revealed them to the masses. Thus every nation received in its turn some of the said truths, under the veil of its own local and special symbolism, which, as time went on, developed into a more or less philosophical cultus, a Pantheon in mythical disguise. Therefore is Confucius, a very ancient legislator in historical chronology, though a very modern sage in the world's history, shown by Dr. Legge22 to be emphatically a transmitter, not a maker. As he himself says, “I only hand on: I cannot create new things. I believe in the ancients and therefore I love them.”23

The writer loves them too, and therefore believes in these ancients, and the modern heirs to their Wisdom. And believing in both, she now transmits that which she has received and learnt herself, to all those who will accept it. As to those who may reject her testimony—the great majority—she will bear them no malice, for they will be as right in [pg 021] their way in denying, as she is right in hers in affirming, since they look at Truth from two entirely different stand-points. Agreeably with the rules of critical scholarship, the Orientalist has to reject à priori whatever evidence he cannot fully verify for himself. And how can a Western scholar accept on hearsay that which he knows nothing about? Indeed, that which is given in these volumes is selected from oral, as much as from written teachings. This first instalment of the esoteric doctrines is based upon Stanzas, which are the records of a people unknown to ethnology. They are written, it is claimed, in a tongue absent from the nomenclature of languages and dialects with which philology is acquainted; are said to emanate from a source repudiated by Science—to-wit, Occultism; and finally they are offered through an agency, incessantly discredited before the world by all those who hate unwelcome truths, or have some special hobby of their own to defend. Therefore, the rejection of these teachings may be expected, and must be expected beforehand. No one styling himself a “scholar,” in whatever department of exact Science, will permit himself to regard these teachings seriously. They will be derided and rejected à priori in this century, but only in this one. For in the twentieth century of our era scholars will begin to recognize that the Secret Doctrine has neither been invented nor exaggerated, but, on the contrary, simply outlined; and finally that its teachings antedate the Vedas. This is no pretension to prophecy, but simply a statement based on the knowledge of facts. Every century an attempt is being made to show the world that Occultism is no vain superstition. Once the door is permitted to remain a little ajar, it will be opened wider with every new century. The times are ripe for a more serious knowledge than hitherto permitted, though still, even now, very limited.

For have not even the Vedas been derided, rejected and called “a modern forgery” even so recently as fifty years ago? Was not Sanskrit proclaimed at one time the progeny of, and a dialect derived from, the Greek, according to Lemprière and other scholars? About 1820, as Prof. Max Müller tells us, the sacred books of the Brâhmans, of the Magians, and of the Buddhists, “were all but unknown, their very existence was doubted, and there was not a single scholar who could have translated a line of the Veda ... of the Zend Avesta, or ... of the Buddhist Tripitaka, and now the Vedas are proved to be the work of the highest antiquity, whose ‘preservation amounts almost to a marvel’.”

[pg 022]

The same will be said of the Secret Archaic Doctrine, when undeniable proofs are given of its existence and records. But it will be centuries before much more is given from it. Speaking of the keys to the Zodiacal Mysteries as being almost lost to the world, it was remarked by the writer some ten years ago in Isis Unveiled that: “The said key must be turned seven times before the whole system is divulged. We will give it but one turn, and thereby allow the profane one glimpse into the mystery. Happy he, who understands the whole!”

The same may be said of the whole Esoteric System. One turn of the key, and no more, was given in Isis Unveiled. Much more is explained in these volumes. In those days the writer hardly knew the language in which the work was written, and the disclosure of many things, freely spoken about now, was forbidden. In Century the Twentieth, some disciple more informed, and far better fitted, may be sent by the Masters of Wisdom to give final and irrefutable proofs that there exists a Science called Gupta Vidyâ; and that, like the once mysterious sources of the Nile, the source of all religions and philosophies now made known to the world has been for many ages forgotten and lost to men, but it is at last found.

Such a work as this has to be introduced with no simple preface, but with a volume rather—one that would give facts, not mere disquisitions, since The Secret Doctrine is not a treatise, or a series of vague theories, but contains all that can be given out to the world in this century.

It would be worse than useless to publish in these pages even those portions of the esoteric teachings that have now escaped from confinement, unless the genuineness and authenticity, or at any rate the probability, of the existence of such teachings were first established. Such statements as will now be made, have to be shown as warranted by various authorities, such as ancient philosophers, classical writers and even certain learned Church Fathers, some of whom knew these doctrines because they had studied them, had seen and read works written upon them; and some of whom had even been personally initiated into the ancient Mysteries, during the performance of which the arcane doctrines were allegorically enacted. The writer will have to give historical and trustworthy names, and to cite well-known authors, ancient and modern, of recognized ability, good judgment, and truthfulness, as also to name some of the famous proficients in the secret arts and science, together with the mysteries of the latter, as they [pg 023] are divulged, or rather partially presented before the public in their strange archaic form.

How is this to be done; what is the best way for achieving such an object, has been the ever-recurring question. To make our plan clearer, an illustration may be attempted. When a tourist, coming from a well-explored country, suddenly reaches the borderland of a terra incognita, hedged in, and shut out from view by a formidable barrier of impassable rocks, he may still refuse to acknowledge himself baffled in his exploratory plans. Ingress beyond is forbidden. But if he cannot visit the mysterious region personally, he may still find a means of examining it from as short a distance as can be arrived at. Helped by his knowledge of the landscapes left behind, he can get a general and pretty correct idea of the transmural view, if he will only climb to the loftiest summit of the altitudes in front of him. Once there, he can gaze at it at his leisure, comparing that which he dimly perceives with that which he has just left below, now that he is, thanks to his own efforts, beyond the line of the mists and the cloud-capped cliffs.

Such a point of preliminary observation, cannot in these two volumes be offered to those who would like to get a more correct understanding of the mysteries of the pre-archaic periods given in the texts. But if the reader has patience, and will glance at the present state of beliefs and creeds in Europe, compare and check it with what is known to history of the ages directly preceding and following the Christian era, then he will find all this in a future volume of the present work.

In the latter volume a brief recapitulation will be made of all the principal Adepts known to history, and the downfall of the Mysteries will be described, after which began the disappearance and the systematic and final elimination from the memory of men of the real nature of Initiation and the Sacred Science. From that time its teachings became occult, and Magic sailed but too often under the venerable but frequently misleading name of Hermetic Philosophy. As real Occultism had been prevalent among the Mystics during the centuries that preceded our era, so Magic, or rather Sorcery, with its Occult Arts, followed the beginning of Christianity.

However great and zealous the fanatical efforts, during these early centuries, to obliterate every trace of the mental and intellectual labour of the Pagans, they were a failure; but the same spirit of the dark demon of bigotry and intolerance has ever since systematically perverted every bright page written in the pre-Christian periods. Even [pg 024] history, in her uncertain records, has preserved enough of that which has survived to throw an impartial light upon the whole. Let, then, the reader tarry a little while with the writer on the spot of observation selected. He is asked to give all his attention to that millennium of the pre-Christian and the post-Christian periods, divided by the year One of the Nativity. This event—whether historically correct or not—has nevertheless been made to serve as a first signal for the erection of manifold bulwarks against any possible return of, or even a glimpse into, the hated religions of the Past; hated and dreaded, because throwing such a vivid light on the novel and intentionally veiled interpretation of what is now known as the “New Dispensation.”

However superhuman the efforts of the early Christian Fathers to obliterate the Secret Doctrine from the very memory of man, they all failed. Truth can never be killed; hence the failure to sweep away entirely from the face of the earth every vestige of that ancient Wisdom, and to shackle and gag every witness who testified to it. Let one only think of the thousands, perhaps millions, of MSS. burnt; of monuments, with their too indiscreet inscriptions and pictorial symbols, pulverized to dust; of the bands of early hermits and ascetics roaming about among the ruined cities of Upper and Lower Egypt, in desert and mountain, valley and highland, seeking for and eager to destroy every obelisk and pillar, scroll or parchment they could lay their hands on, if only it bore the symbol of the Tau, or any other sign borrowed and appropriated by the new faith—and he will then see plainly how it is that so little has remained of the records of the past. Verily, the fiendish spirit of fanaticism of early and mediæval Christianity and of Islam has loved from the first to dwell in darkness and ignorance; and both have made

... the sun like blood, the earth a tomb,
The tomb a hell, and hell itself a murkier gloom!

Both creeds have won their proselytes at the point of the sword; both have built their churches on heaven-kissing hecatombs of human victims. Over the gateway of Century I of our era, the ominous words The Karma of Israel,” fatally glowed. Over the portals of our own, the future seer may discern other words, that will point to the Karma for cunningly made-up history, for events purposely perverted, and for great characters slandered by posterity, mangled out of recognition, between the two cars of Jagannâtha—Bigotry and Materialism; one accepting too much, the other denying all. Wise is he who holds to the golden mid-point, who believes in the eternal justice of things. [pg 025] Says Faizi Díwán, the “witness to the wonderful speeches of a freethinker who belongs to a thousand sects”:

In the assembly of the day of resurrection, when past things shall be forgiven, the sins of the Ka'bah will be forgiven for the sake of the dust of Christian churches.

To this, Professor Max Müller replies:

The sins of Islam are as worthless as the dust of Christianity; on the day of resurrection both Muhammadans and Christians will see the vanity of their religious doctrines. Men fight about religion on earth; in heaven they shall find out that there is only one true religion—the worship of God's Spirit.24

In other words, There is No Religion [or Law] Higher Than Truth—(Satyât Nâsti Paro Dharmah)—the motto of the Mahârâjah of Benares, adopted by the Theosophical Society.

As already said in the Preface, The Secret Doctrine is not a version of Isis Unveiled, as originally intended. It is rather a volume explanatory of the latter, and, though entirely independent of the earlier work, an indispensable corollary to it. Much of what was in the former work could hardly be understood by Theosophists in those days. The Secret Doctrine will now throw light on many a problem left unsolved in the first work, especially on the opening pages, which have never been understood.

As it was concerned simply with the philosophies within historical times and the respective symbolism of the fallen nations, only a hurried glance could be thrown at the panorama of Occultism in the two volumes of Isis. In the present work, detailed cosmogony and the evolution of the four Races that preceded our fifth-race Humanity are given, and now two large volumes explain that which was stated only on the first page of Isis Unveiled alone, and in a few allusions scattered hither and thither throughout that work. Nor can the vast catalogue of the Archaic Sciences be attempted in the present volumes, before we have disposed of such tremendous problems as cosmic and planetary Evolution, and the gradual development of the mysterious humanities and races that preceded our Adamic Humanity. Therefore, the present attempt to elucidate some mysteries of the Esoteric Philosophy has, in truth, nothing to do with the earlier work. The writer must be allowed to illustrate what is said by an instance.

Volume I of Isis begins with a reference to an “old book”:

So very old that our modern antiquarians might ponder over its pages an indefinite time, and still not quite agree as to the nature of the fabric upon which it is written. It is the only original copy now in existence. The most ancient Hebrew [pg 026]document on occult learning—the Siprah Dzeniouta—was compiled from it, and that at a time when the former was already considered in the light of a literary relic. One of its illustrations represents the Divine Essence emanating from Adam25 like a luminous arc proceeding to form a circle; and then, having attained the highest point of its circumference, the ineffable Glory bends back again, and returns to earth, bringing a higher type of humanity in its vortex. As it approaches nearer and nearer to our planet, the Emanation becomes more and more shadowy, until upon touching the ground it is as black as night.

This very old book is the original work from which the many volumes of Kiu-ti were compiled. Not only the latter and the Siphrah Dzeniouta, but even the Sepher Jetzirah26—the work attributed by the Hebrew Kabalists to their Patriarch Abraham (!), the Shu-king, China's primitive Bible, the sacred volumes of the Egyptian Thoth-Hermes, the Purânas in India, the Chaldean Book of Numbers and the Pentateuch itself, are all derived from that one small parent volume. Tradition says, that it was taken down in Senzar, the secret sacerdotal tongue, from the words of Divine Beings, who dictated it to the Sons of Light, in Central Asia, at the very beginning of our Fifth Race; for there was a time when its language (the Senzar) was known to the Initiates of every nation, when the forefathers of the Toltec understood it as easily as the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis, who inherited it, in their turn, from the sages of the Third Race, the Mânushis, who learnt it direct from the Devas of the Second and First Races. The illustration spoken of in Isis relates to the evolution of these Races and of our fourth- and fifth-race Humanity in the Vaivasvata Manvantara, or Round; each Round being composed of the Yugas of the seven periods of Humanity; four of which are now passed in our Life-Cycle, the middle point of the fifth being nearly reached. This illustration is symbolical, as every one can well understand, and covers the ground from the beginning. The old book, having described cosmic evolution and explained the origin of everything on earth, including physical man, after giving the true history of the Races, from the First down to our own Fifth Race, goes no further. It stops short at the beginning of the Kali Yuga, just 4,989 years ago, at the death of Krishna, the bright Sun-god, the once living hero and reformer.

[pg 027]

But there exists another book. None of its possessors regard it as very ancient, as it was born with, and is only as old as the Black Age, namely, about 5,000 years. In about nine years hence, the first cycle of the first five millenniums, that began with the great cycle of the Kali Yuga, will end. And then the last prophecy contained in that book—the first volume of the prophetic record for the Black Age—will be accomplished. We have not long to wait, and many of us will witness the dawn of the New Cycle, at the end of which not a few accounts will be settled and squared between the races. Volume II of the prophecies is nearly ready, having been in preparation since the time of Buddha's grand successor, Shankarâchârya.

One more important point must be noticed, one that stands foremost in the series of proofs given of the existence of one primeval, universal Wisdom—at any rate for Christian Kabalists and students. The teachings were, at least, partially known to several of the Fathers of the Church. It is maintained, on purely historical grounds, that Origen, Synesius, and even Clemens Alexandrinus, had themselves been initiated into the Mysteries before adding to the Neo-Platonism of the Alexandrian school that of the Gnostics, under the Christian veil. More than this, some of the doctrines of the secret schools, though by no means all, were preserved in the Vatican, and have since become part and parcel of the Mysteries, in the shape of disfigured additions made to the original Christian programme by the Latin Church. Such is the now materialised dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This accounts for the great persecutions set on foot by the Roman Catholic Church against Occultism, Masonry, and heterodox Mysticism generally.

The days of Constantine were the last turning-point in history, the period of the supreme struggle, that ended in the Western world throttling the old religions in favour of the new one, built on their bodies. From thence the vista into the far distant past, beyond the Deluge and the Garden of Eden, began to be forcibly and relentlessly shut out by every fair and unfair means from the indiscreet gaze of posterity. Every issue was blocked up, every record upon which hands could be laid, destroyed. Yet there remains enough, even among such mutilated records, to warrant us in saying that there is in them every requisite evidence of the actual existence of a Parent Doctrine. Fragments have survived geological and political cataclysms, to tell the story; and every survival shows evidence that the now secret Wisdom was once the one fountain head, the ever-flowing perennial source, [pg 028] from which were fed all the streamlets—the later religions of all nations—from the first down to the last. This period, beginning with Buddha and Pythagoras at the one end and finishing with the Neo-Platonists and Gnostics at the other, is the only focus left in History wherein converge for the last time the bright rays of light streaming from the æons of times gone by, unobscured by the hand of bigotry and fanaticism.

This accounts for the necessity under which the writer has laboured of ever explaining the facts given from the hoariest past by evidence gathered from the historical period, even at the risk of being once more charged with a lack of method and system. No other means was at hand. The public must be made acquainted with the efforts of many world-adepts, of initiated poets and writers in the classics of every age, to preserve in the records of humanity the knowledge at least of the existence of such a philosophy, if not actually of its tenets. The Initiates of 1888 would indeed remain incomprehensible and even a seemingly impossible myth, were not like Initiates shown to have lived in every other age of history. This could be done only by naming chapter and verse where mention may be found of these great characters, who were preceded and followed by a long and interminable line of other famous antediluvian and postdiluvian Masters in the arts. Thus only could it be shown, on semi-traditional and semi-historical authority, that occult knowledge and the powers it confers on man, are not altogether fictions, but that they are as old as the world itself.

To my judges, past and future, therefore—whether they are serious literary critics, or those howling dervishes in literature who judge a book according to the popularity or unpopularity of the author's name, who, hardly glancing at its contents, fasten like lethal bacilli on the weakest points of the body—I have nothing to say. Nor shall I condescend to notice those crack-brained slanderers—fortunately very few in number—who, hoping to attract public attention by throwing discredit on every writer whose name is better known than their own, foam and bark at their very shadows. These, having first maintained for years that the doctrines taught in the Theosophist, and which culminated in Esoteric Buddhism, had been all invented by the present writer, have finally turned round, and denounced Isis Unveiled and the rest as a plagiarism from Éliphas Lévi (!), Paracelsus (!!), and, mirabile dictu, Buddhism and Brâhminism (!!!). As well charge Renan with having stolen his Vie de Jésus from the Gospels, and Max Müller his [pg 029] Sacred Books of the East or his Chips from the philosophies of the Brâhmans and of Gautama, the Buddha. But to the public in general and the readers of The Secret Doctrine I may repeat what I have stated all along, and which I now clothe in the words of Montaigne:

Gentlemen, I have here made only a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.

Pull the “string” to pieces and cut it up in shreds, if you will. As for the nosegay of facts—you will never be able to make away with these. You can only ignore them, and no more.

We may close with a parting word concerning this first volume. In an introduction prefacing chapters dealing chiefly with cosmogony, certain subjects brought forward may be deemed out of place, but one more consideration added to those already given has led me to touch upon them. Every reader will inevitably judge the statements made from the stand-point of his own knowledge, experience, and consciousness, basing his judgment on what he has already learnt. This fact the writer is constantly obliged to bear in mind; hence, also the frequent references in this first volume to matters which, properly speaking, belong to a later part of the work, but which could not be passed by in silence, lest the reader should look upon it as a fairy tale indeed—a fiction of some modern brain.

Thus, the Past shall help to realize the Present, and the latter to better appreciate the Past. The errors of the day must be explained and swept away, yet it is more than probable—nay in the present case it amounts to certitude—that once more the testimony of long ages and of history will fail to impress any but the very intuitional—which is equal to saying the very few. But in this as in all like cases, the true and the faithful may console themselves by presenting the sceptical modern Sadducee with the mathematical proof and memorial of his obdurate obstinacy and bigotry. There still exists somewhere in the archives of the French Academy, the famous law of probabilities worked out by certain mathematicians for the benefit of sceptics by an algebraical process. It runs thus: If two persons give their evidence to a fact, and thus impart to it each of them 5/6 of certitude; that fact will have then 35/36 of certitude; i.e., its probability will bear to its improbability the ratio of 35 to 1. If three such evidences are joined together the certitude will become 215/216. The agreement of ten persons giving each 1/2 of certitude will produce 1023/1024, etc., etc. The Occultist may remain satisfied with such certitude, and care for no more.

[pg 031]

Proem: Pages From A Pre-Historic Record.

An archaic Manuscript—a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific and unknown process—is before the writer's eye. On the first page is an immaculate white disk within a dull black ground. On the following page, the same disk, but with a central point. The first, the student knows, represents Kosmos in Eternity, before the reäwakening of still slumbering Energy, the Emanation of the World in later systems. The point in the hitherto immaculate disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya, denotes the dawn of differentiation. It is the Point in the Mundane Egg, the Germ within it which will become the Universe, the All, the boundless, periodical Kosmos—a Germ which is latent and active, periodically and by turns. The one circle is divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither all returns: its circumference—a forcibly limited symbol, in view of the limitation of the human mind—indicates the abstract, ever incognizable Presence, and its plane, the Universal Soul, although the two are one. Only, the face of the disk being white, and the surrounding ground black, clearly shows that its plane is the sole knowledge, dim and hazy though it still is, that is attainable by man. It is on this plane that the manvantaric manifestations begin; for it is in this Soul, that slumbers, during the Pralaya, the Divine Thought,27 wherein lies concealed the plan of every future cosmogony and theogony.

[pg 032]

It is the One Life, eternal, invisible, yet omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations—between which periods reigns the dark mystery of Non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness, unrealizable, yet the one self-existing Reality; truly, “a Chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason.” Its one absolute attribute, which is Itself, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the Great Breath,28 which is the perpetual motion of the Universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present Space. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the Universal Soul.

Almost five centuries b.c. Leucippus, the instructor of Democritus, maintained that Space was eternally filled with atoms actuated by a ceaseless motion, which, in due course of time, as they aggregated, generated rotatory motion, through mutual collisions producing lateral movements. Epicurus and Lucretius taught the same doctrine, adding however to the lateral motion of the atoms the idea of affinity—an Occult teaching.

From the beginning of man's inheritance, from the first appearance of the architects of the globe he lives on, the unrevealed Deity was recognized and considered under its only philosophical aspect—Universal Motion, the thrill of the creative Breath in Nature. Occultism sums up the One Existence thus: Deity is an arcane, living [or moving] Fire, and the eternal witnesses to this unseen Presence, are Light, Heat, Moisture,”—this trinity including, and being the cause of, every phenomenon in Nature.29 Intra-cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless; cosmic motion—the visible, or that which is subject to perception—is finite and periodical. As an eternal abstraction it is the Ever-Present; [pg 033] as a manifestation, it is finite both in the coming direction and the opposite, the two being the Alpha and Omega of successive reconstructions. Kosmos—the Noumenon—has nought to do with the causal relations of the phenomenal World. It is only with reference to the intra-cosmic Soul, the ideal Kosmos in the immutable Divine Thought, that we may say: “It never had a beginning nor will it have an end.” With regard to its body or cosmic organization, though it cannot be said that it had a first, or will ever have a last construction, yet at each new Manvantara, its organization may be regarded as the first and the last of its kind, as it evolves every time on a higher plane.

A few years ago only, it was stated that:

The esoteric doctrine, like Buddhism and Brâhmanism, and even Kabalism, teaches that the one infinite and unknown Essence exists from all eternity, and in regular and harmonious successions is either passive or active. In the poetical phraseology of Manu these conditions are called the Days and the Nights of Brahmâ. The latter is either awake or asleep. The Svâbhâvikas, or philosophers of the oldest school of Buddhism, which still exists in Nepaul, speculate only upon the active condition of this Essence, which they call Svabhâvat, and deem it foolish to theorize upon the abstract and unknowable power in its passive condition. Hence they are called Atheists by both Christian theologians and modern scientists, for neither of the two are able to understand the profound logic of their philosophy. The former will allow of no other God than the personified secondary powers which have worked out the visible universe, and which becomes with them the anthropomorphic God of the Christians—the male Jehovah, roaring amid thunder and lightning. In its turn, rationalistic science greets the Buddhists and the Svâbhâvikas as the Positivists of the archaic ages. If we take a one-sided view of the philosophy of the latter, our materialists may be right in their own way. The Buddhists maintain that there is no Creator, but an infinitude of creative powers, which collectively form the one eternal substance, the essence of which is inscrutable—hence not a subject for speculation for any true philosopher. Socrates invariably refused to argue upon the mystery of universal being, yet no one would ever have thought of charging him with atheism, except those who were bent upon his destruction. Upon inaugurating an active period, says the Secret Doctrine, an expansion of this Divine Essence from without inwardly and from within outwardly, occurs in obedience to eternal and immutable law, and the phenomenal or visible universe is the ultimate result of the long chain of cosmical forces thus progressively set in motion. In like manner, when the passive condition is resumed, a contraction of the Divine Essence takes place, and the previous work of creation is gradually and progressively undone. The visible universe becomes disintegrated, its material dispersed; and darkness solitary and alone, broods once more over the face of the deep. To use a metaphor from the secret books, which will convey the idea still more clearly, an out-breathing of the [pg 034] unknown essence produces the world; and an inhalation causes it to disappear. This process has been going on from all eternity, and our present universe is but one of an infinite series, which had no beginning and will have no end.30

This passage will be explained, as far as it is possible, in the present work. Though it contains nothing new to the Orientalist, as it now stands, its esoteric interpretation may contain a good deal which has hitherto remained entirely unknown to the Western student.

The first illustration is a plain disk, [circle]. The second in the archaic symbol shows a disk with a point in it, [circle with dot]—the first differentiation in the periodical manifestations of the ever-eternal Nature, sexless and infinite, “Aditi in That,”31 or potential Space within abstract Space. In its third stage the point is transformed into a diameter, [circle with line]. It now symbolizes a divine immaculate Mother-Nature within the all-embracing absolute Infinitude. When the horizontal diameter is crossed by a vertical one, [circle with cross], it becomes the Mundane Cross. Humanity has reached its Third Root-Race; it is the sign for the origin of human Life. When the circumference disappears and leaves only the [cross], it is a sign that the fall of man into matter is accomplished, and the Fourth Race begins. The cross within a circle symbolizes pure Pantheism; when the cross is left uninscribed, it becomes phallic. It had the same and yet other meanings as a Tau inscribed within a circle, [circle with lines (Tau)]; or as a Thor's Hammer—the so-called Jaina cross, or Svastika, within a circle, [circle with swastika].

By the third symbol—the circle divided in two by a horizontal diameter—was meant the first manifestation of creative Nature—still passive, because feminine. The first shadowy perception of man connected with procreation is feminine, because man knows his mother more than his father. Hence female deities were more sacred than male. Nature is therefore feminine, and, to a degree, objective and tangible, and the Spirit Principle which fructifies it, is concealed.32 By adding to the horizontal line in the circle, a perpendicular, the [pg 035] Tau was formed, [T], the oldest form of the letter. It was the glyph of the Third Root-Race to the day of its symbolical Fall—i.e., when the separation of sexes by natural evolution took place—when the figure became [circle with vertical line], or sexless life modified or separated—a double glyph or symbol. With the sub-races of our Fifth Race it became in symbology the Sacr', and in Hebrew N'cabvah, of the first-formed Races;33 then it changed into the Egyptian emblem of life, [Ankh], and still later into the sign of Venus, [female symbol]. Then comes the Svastika (Thor's Hammer, now the Hermetic Cross), entirely separated from its circle, thus becoming purely phallic. The esoteric symbol of Kali Yuga is the five-pointed star reversed, with its two points (horns) turned heavenward, thus [five-pointed star], the sign of human sorcery, a position every Occultist will recognize as one of the “left-hand,” and used in ceremonial magic.

It is hoped that during the perusal of this work the erroneous ideas of the public in general with regard to Pantheism will be modified. It is wrong and unjust to regard the Buddhists and Advaitin Occultists as Atheists. If not all of them philosophers, they are, at any rate, all logicians, their objections and arguments being based on strict reasoning. Indeed, if the Parabrahman of the Hindûs may be taken as a representative of the hidden and nameless deities of other nations, this absolute Principle will be found to be the prototype from which all the others were copied. Parabrahman is not “God,” because It is not a God. “It is that which is supreme, and not supreme (paravara).”34 It is supreme as cause, not supreme as effect. Parabrahman is simply, as a Secondless Reality, the all-inclusive Kosmos—or rather the infinite Cosmic Space—in the highest spiritual sense, of course. Brahman (neuter) being the unchanging, pure, free, undecaying supreme Root, the “One true Existence, Paramârthika,” and the absolute Chit and Chaitanya (Intelligence, Consciousness), cannot be a cognizer, “for That can have no subject of cognition.” Can the Flame be called the Essence of Fire? This Essence is “the Life and Light of the Universe, the visible fire and flame are destruction, death, and evil.” “Fire and Flame destroy the body of an Arhat, their essence makes him immortal.”35 “The knowledge of the absolute Spirit, like the effulgence [pg 036] of the sun, or like heat in fire, is naught else than the absolute Essence itself,” says Shankarâchârya. It—is “the Spirit of the Fire,” not Fire itself; therefore, “the attributes of the latter, Heat or Flame, are not the attributes of the Spirit, but of that of which that Spirit is the unconscious cause.” Is not the above sentence the true key-note of later Rosicrucian philosophy? Parabrahman is, in short, the collective aggregate of Kosmos in its infinity and eternity, the That and This to which distributive aggregates can not be applied.36 “In the beginning This was the Self, one only;”37 and the great Shankarâchârya explains that This refers to the Universe (Jagat); the words, “in the beginning,” meaning before the reproduction of the phenomenal Universe.

Therefore, when the Pantheists echo the Upanishads, which state, as in the Secret Doctrine, that “This” cannot create, they do not deny a Creator, or rather a collective aggregate of creators; they simply refuse, very logically, to attribute “creation” and especially formation—something finite—to an Infinite Principle. With them, Parabrahman is a passive because an absolute Cause, the unconditioned Mukta. It is only limited omniscience and omnipotence that are refused to the latter, because these are still attributes, reflected in man's perceptions; and because Parabrahman, being the Supreme All, the ever invisible Spirit and Soul of Nature, changeless and eternal, can have no attributes, the term Absoluteness very naturally precluding any idea of the finite or conditioned from being connected with it. And if the Vedântins postulate attributes as belonging simply to its emanation, calling it Îshvara plus Mâyâ, and Avidyâ (Agnosticism and Nescience rather than Ignorance), it is difficult to find any Atheism in this conception.38 Since there can be neither two Infinites nor two Absolutes in a Universe supposed to be boundless, this Self-Existence can hardly be conceived of as creating personally. To the senses and in the perceptions of finite beings, That is Non-Being, in the sense that it is the One Be-ness; for, in this All lies concealed its coëternal and coëval emanation [pg 037] or inherent radiation, which, becoming periodically Brahmâ (the male-female Potency), expands itself into the manifested Universe. “Nârâyana moving on the [abstract] Waters of Space,” is transformed into the Waters of concrete substance moved by him, who now becomes the manifested Word or Logos.

The orthodox Brâhmans, those who rise the most against the Pantheists and Advaitins, calling them Atheists, are forced, if Manu is any authority in this matter, to accept the death of Brahmâ, the Creator, at the expiration of every Age of this deity—100 Divine Years, a period which in our years requires fifteen figures to express. Yet no philosopher among them will view this “death” in any other sense than as a temporary disappearance from the manifested plane of existence, or as a periodical rest.

The Occultists are, therefore, at one with the Advaita Vedântin philosophers as to the above tenet. They show, on philosophical grounds, the impossibility of accepting the idea of the absolute All creating or even evolving the Golden Egg, into which it is said to enter in order to transform itself into Brahmâ, the Creator, who later expands himself into the Gods and all the visible Universe. They say that absolute Unity cannot pass to Infinity, for Infinity presupposes the limitless extension of something, and the duration of that something; and the One All—like Space, which is its only mental and physical representation on this earth, or our plane of existence—is neither an object of, nor a subject to, perception. If one could suppose the eternal infinite All, the omnipresent Unity, instead of being in Eternity, becoming through periodical manifestation a manifold Universe or a multiple Personality, that Unity would cease to be one. Locke's idea, that “pure space is capable of neither resistance nor motion,” is incorrect. Space is neither a “limitless void,” nor a “conditioned fulness,” but both. Being—on the plane of absolute abstraction—the ever-incognizable Deity, which is void only to finite minds,39 and on that of mâyâvic perception, the Plenum, the absolute Container of all that is, whether manifested or unmanifested, it is, therefore, that Absolute All. There is no difference between the Christian Apostle's “in Him we live and move and have our being,” and the Hindû Rishi's [pg 038] “the Universe lives in, proceeds from, and will return to, Brahmâ”: for Brahman (neuter), the unmanifested, is that Universe in abscondito, and Brahmâ, the manifested, is the Logos, made male-female40 in the symbolical orthodox dogmas, the God of the Apostle-Initiate and of the Rishi being both the Unseen and the Visible Space. Space is called, in esoteric symbolism, the “Seven-Skinned Eternal Mother-Father.” From its undifferentiated to its differentiated surface it is composed of seven layers.

What is that which was, is, and will be, whether there is a Universe or not; whether there be gods or none? asks the esoteric Senzar Catechism. And the answer made is—Space.”

It is not the One unknown ever-present God in Nature, or Nature in abscondito, that is rejected, but the “God” of human dogma, and his humanized “Word.” Man, in his infinite conceit and inherent pride and vanity, shaped it himself with his sacrilegious hand out of the material he found in his own small brain-fabric, and forced it upon his fellows as a direct revelation from the one unrevealed Space.41 The Occultist accepts revelation as coming from divine yet still finite Beings, the manifested Lives, never from the unmanifestable One Life; from those Entities, called Primordial Man, Dhyâni-Buddhas, or Dhyân Chohans, the Rishi-Prajâpati of the Hindus, the Elohim or [pg 039] Sons of God of the Jews, the Planetary Spirits of all nations, who have become Gods for men. The Occultist also regards the Âdi-Shakti—the direct emanation of Mûlaprakriti, the eternal Root of That, and the female aspect of the Creative Cause, Brahmâ, in her âkâshic form of the Universal Soul—as philosophically a Mâyâ, and cause of human Mâyâ. But this view does not prevent him from believing in its existence so long as it lasts, to wit, for one Mahâmanvantara; nor from applying Âkâsha, the radiation of Mûlaprakriti,42 to practical purposes, connected as this World-Soul is with all natural phenomena known or unknown to Science.

The oldest religions of the world—exoterically, for the esoteric root or foundation is one—are the Indian, the Mazdean, and the Egyptian. Next comes the Chaldean, the outcome of these, now entirely lost to the world, except in its disfigured Sabeanism as at present rendered by the archæologists. Then, passing over a number of religions that will be mentioned later, comes the Jewish, esoterically following in the line of Babylonian Magism, as in the Kabalah; exoterically, a collection of allegorical legends, as in Genesis and the Pentateuch. Read by the light of the Zohar, the four initial chapters of Genesis are the fragment of a highly philosophical page in the world's cosmogony. Left in their symbolical disguise, they are a nursery tale, an ugly thorn in the side of science and logic, an evident effect of Karma. To let them serve as a prologue to Christianity was a cruel revenge on the part of the Rabbis, who knew better what their Pentateuch meant. It was a silent protest against their spoliation, and the Jews have now certainly the better of their traditional persecutors. The above-named exoteric creeds will be explained in the light of the universal doctrine as we proceed.

The Occult Catechism contains the following questions and answers:

What is it that ever is?Space, the eternal Anupâdaka [Parentless]. What is it that ever was?—The Germ in the Root. What is it that is ever coming and going?—The Great Breath. Then, there are three Eternals?—No, [pg 040]the three are one. That which ever is is one, that which ever was is one, that which is ever being and becoming is also one: and this is Space.

Explain, O Lanoo [disciple].—The One is an unbroken Circle [Ring] with no circumference, for it is nowhere and everywhere; the One is the boundless Plane of the Circle, manifesting a Diameter only during the manvantaric periods; the One is the indivisible Point found nowhere, perceived everywhere during those periods; it is the Vertical and the Horizontal, the Father and the Mother, the summit and base of the Father, the two extremities of the Mother, reaching in reality nowhere, for the One is the Ring as also the Rings that are within that Ring. Light in Darkness and Darkness in Light: the Breath which is eternal. It proceeds from without inwardly, when it is everywhere, and from within outwardly, when it is nowhere—(i.e., Mâyâ,43 one of the Centres).44 It expands and contracts [exhalation and inhalation]. When it expands, the Mother diffuses and scatters; when it contracts, the Mother draws back and ingathers. This produces the periods of Evolution and Dissolution, Manvantara and Pralaya. The Germ is invisible and fiery; the Root [the Plane of the Circle] is cool; but during Evolution and Manvantara her garment is cold and radiant. Hot Breath is the Father who devours the progeny of the many-faced Element [heterogeneous], and leaves the single-faced ones [homogeneous]. Cool Breath is the Mother, who conceives, forms, brings forth, and receives them back into her bosom, to reform them at the Dawn [of the Day of Brahmâ, or Manvantara].

For clearer understanding on the part of the general reader, it must be stated that Occult Science recognizes seven Cosmic Elements—four entirely physical, and the fifth (Ether) semi-material, which will become visible in the Air towards the end of our Fourth Round, to reign supreme over the others during the whole of the Fifth. The remaining two are as yet absolutely beyond the range of human perception. They [pg 041] will, however, appear as presentments during the Sixth and Seventh Races of this Round, and will be fully known in the Sixth and Seventh Rounds respectively.45 These seven Elements with their numberless sub-elements, which are far more numerous than those known to Science, are simply conditional modifications and aspects of the One and only Element. This latter is not Ether,46 not even Âkâsha, but the source of these. The Fifth Element, now quite freely advocated by Science, is not the Ether hypothesized by Sir Isaac Newton—although he calls it by that name, having probably associated it in his mind with Æther, the “Father-Mother” of antiquity. As Newton intuitionally says, “Nature is a perpetual circulatory worker, generating fluids out of solids, fixed things out of volatile, and volatile out of fixed, subtile out of gross, and gross out of subtile.... Thus, perhaps, may all things be originated from Ether.”47

The reader has to bear in mind that the Stanzas treat only of the cosmogony of our own planetary system and of what is visible around it, after a Solar Pralaya. The secret teachings with regard to the evolution of the Universal Kosmos cannot be given, since they could not be understood by even the highest minds in this age, and there seem to be very few Initiates, even among the greatest, who are allowed to speculate upon this subject. Moreover the Teachers say openly that not even the highest Dhyâni-Chohans have ever penetrated the mysteries beyond those boundaries that separate the milliards of solar systems from the Central Sun, as it is called. Therefore, that which is given relates only to our visible Cosmos, after a Night of Brahmâ.

[pg 042]

Before the reader proceeds to the consideration of the Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan which form the basis of the present work, it is absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted with the few fundamental conceptions which underlie and pervade the entire system of thought to which his attention is invited. These basic ideas are few in number, but on their clear apprehension depends the understanding of all that follows; therefore no apology is required for asking the reader to make himself familiar with these first, before entering on the perusal of the work itself.

The Secret Doctrine then, establishes three fundamental propositions:

I. An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless and Immutable Principle, on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and can only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought—in the words of the Mândûkya, “unthinkable and unspeakable.”

To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the postulate that there is One Absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned Being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause—dimly formulated in the “Unconscious” and “Unknowable” of current European philosophy—is the Rootless Root of “all that was, is, or ever shall be.” It is of course devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is “Be-ness” rather than Being, Sat in Sanskrit, and is beyond all thought or speculation.

This Be-ness is symbolized in the Secret Doctrine under two aspects. On the one hand, absolute Abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself. On the other, absolute Abstract Motion representing Unconditioned Consciousness. Even our Western thinkers have shown that consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change, and motion best symbolizes change, its essential characteristic. This latter aspect of the One Reality, is also symbolized by the term the Great Breath, a symbol sufficiently graphic to need no further elucidation. Thus, then, the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical One Absolute Be-ness—symbolized by finite intelligence as the theological Trinity.

It may, however, assist the student if a few further explanations are here given.

[pg 043]

Herbert Spencer has of late so far modified his Agnosticism, as to assert that the nature of the “First Cause,”48 which the Occultist more logically derives from the Causeless Cause, the “Eternal,” and the “Unknowable,” may be essentially the same as that of the consciousness which wells up within us: in short, that the impersonal Reality pervading the Kosmos is the pure noumenon of thought. This advance on his part brings him very near to the Esoteric and Vedântin tenet.49

Parabrahman, the One Reality, the Absolute, is the field of Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious existence is a conditioned symbol. But once that we pass in thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object.

Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two symbols or aspects of the Absolute, Parabrahman, which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective.

Considering this metaphysical triad as the Root from which proceeds all manifestation, the Great Breath assumes the character of Pre-cosmic Ideation. It is the fons et origo of Force and of all individual Consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. On the other hand, Pre-cosmic Root-Substance (Mûlaprakriti) is that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature.

Just as Pre-cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual Consciousness, so Pre-cosmic Substance is the substratum of Matter in the various grades of its differentiation.

Hence it will be apparent that the contrast of these two aspects of the Absolute is essential to the existence of the Manifested Universe. Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual Consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle (upâdhi) of matter that consciousness wells up as “I am I,” a physical basis being necessary to focus a Ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity. Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance [pg 044] would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of Consciousness could ensue.

The Manifested Universe, therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its Ex-istence as Manifestation. But just as the opposite poles of Subject and Object, Spirit and Matter, are but aspects of the One Unity in which they are synthesized, so, in the Manifested Universe, there is “that” which links Spirit to Matter, Subject to Object.

This something, at present unknown to Western speculation, is called by Occultists Fohat. It is the “bridge” by which the Ideas existing in the Divine Thought are impressed on Cosmic Substance as the Laws of Nature. Fohat is thus the dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation; or, regarded from the other side, it is the intelligent medium, the guiding power of all manifestation, the Thought Divine transmitted and made manifest through the Dhyân Chohans,50 the Architects of the visible World. Thus from Spirit, or Cosmic Ideation, comes our Consciousness, from Cosmic Substance the several Vehicles in which that Consciousness is individualized and attains to self—or reflective—consciousness; while Fohat, in its various manifestations, is the mysterious link between Mind and Matter, the animating principle electrifying every atom into life.

The following summary will afford a clearer idea to the reader.

(1.) Absoluteness: the Parabrahman of the Vedântins or the One Reality, Sat, which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being.

(2.) The First Logos: the impersonal, and, in philosophy, Unmanifested Logos, the precursor of the Manifested. This is the “First Cause,” the “Unconscious” of European Pantheists.

(3.) The Second Logos: Spirit-Matter, Life; the “Spirit of the Universe,” Purusha and Prakriti.

(4.) The Third Logos: Cosmic Ideation, Mahat or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the Cosmic Noumenon of Matter, the basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called Mahâ-Buddhi.

The One Reality: its dual aspects in the conditioned Universe.

Further, the Secret Doctrine affirms:

II. The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically “the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing,” called the “Manifesting Stars,” and [pg 045] the “Sparks of Eternity.” The Eternity of the Pilgrim51 is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence,” as the Book of Dyzan puts it. The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux.

This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental Laws of the Universe.

Moreover, the Secret Doctrine teaches:

III. The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul—a spark of the former—through the Cycle of Incarnation, or Necessity, in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic Law, during the whole term. In other words, no purely spiritual Buddhi (Divine Soul) can have an independent conscious existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of the Universal Sixth Principle—or the Over-Soul—has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts, checked by its Karma, thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest Archangel (Dhyâni-Buddha). The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric Philosophy admits no privileges or special gifts in man, save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and reïncarnations. This is why the Hindûs say that the Universe is Brahman and Brahmâ, for Brahman is in every atom of the universe, the six Principles in Nature being all the outcome—the variously differentiated aspects—of the Seventh and One, the only Reality in the Universe whether cosmic or micro-cosmic; and also why the permutations, psychic, spiritual and physical, on the plane of manifestation [pg 046] and form, of the Sixth (Brahmâ the vehicle of Brahman) are viewed by metaphysical antiphrasis as illusive and mâyâvic. For although the root of every atom individually and of every form collectively, is that Seventh Principle or the One Reality, still, in its manifested phenomenal and temporary appearance, it is no better than an evanescent illusion of our senses.

In its absoluteness, the One Principle under its two aspects, Parabrahman and Mûlaprakriti, is sexless, unconditioned and eternal. Its periodical manvantaric emanation, or primal radiation, is also One, androgynous and phenomenally finite. When the radiation radiates in its turn, all its radiations are also androgynous, to become male and female principles in their lower aspects. After Pralaya, whether the Great or Minor Pralaya—the latter leaving the worlds in statu quo52—the first that reäwakes to active life is the plastic Âkâsha, Father-Mother, the Spirit and Soul of Ether, or the Plane of the Circle. Space is called the Mother before its cosmic activity, and Father-Mother at the first stage of reäwakening. In the Kabalah it is also Father-Mother-Son. But whereas in the Eastern Doctrine, these are the Seventh Principle of the Manifested Universe, or its Atmâ-Buddhi-Manas (Spirit-Soul-Intelligence), the Triad branching off and dividing into seven cosmical and seven human Principles, in the Western Kabalah of the Christian Mystics it is the Triad or Trinity, and with their Occultists, the male-female Jehovah, Jah-Havah. In this lies the whole difference between the Esoteric and the Christian Trinities. The Mystics and the Philosophers, the Eastern and Western Pantheists, synthesize their pregenetic Triad in the pure divine abstraction. The orthodox, anthropomorphize it. Hiranyagarbha, Hari, and Shankara—the three Hypostases of the manifesting “Spirit of the Supreme Spirit,” by which title Prithivî, the Earth, greets Vishnu in his first Avatâra—are the purely metaphysical abstract qualities of Formation, Preservation, and Destruction, and are the three divine Avasthâs (Hypostases) of that which “does not perish with created things,” Achyuta, a name of Vishnu; whereas the orthodox Christian separates his Personal Creative Deity into the three Personages of the Trinity, and admits of no higher Deity. The latter, in Occultism, is the abstract Triangle; with the orthodox, the perfect Cube. The creative [pg 047] god or the aggregate gods are regarded by the Eastern philosopher as Bhrântidarshanatah, “false appearances,” something “conceived of, by reason of erroneous appearances, as a material form,” and explained as arising from the illusive conception of the egotistic personal and human Soul (lower Fifth Principle). It is beautifully expressed in a revised translation in Fitzedward Hall's notes to Wilson's translation of the Vishnu Purâna. “That Brahma in its totality, has essentially the aspect of Prakriti, both evolved and unevolved [Mûlaprakriti], and also the aspect of Spirit and the aspect of Time. Spirit, O twice born, is the leading aspect of the Supreme Brahma.53 The next is a two-fold aspect,—Prakriti, both evolved and unevolved, and Time is the last.” Cronus is shown in the Orphic Theogony also as being a generated god or agent.

At this stage of the reäwakening of the Universe, the sacred symbolism represents it as a perfect Circle with the Point (Root) in the centre. This sign was universal, therefore we find it in the Kabalah also. The Western Kabalah, however, now in the hands of Christian Mystics, ignores it altogether, though it is plainly shown in the Zohar. These sectarians begin at the end, and give, as the symbol of pregenetic Kosmos, [cross], calling it the “Union of the Rose and Cross,” the great mystery of occult generation, from whence the name—Rosicrucian (Rose Cross)! This may be seen from one of the most important and best known of their symbols, one which has never been hitherto understood even by modern Mystics. It is that of the Pelican tearing open its breast to feed its seven little ones—the real creed of the Brothers of the Rosie-Cross and a direct outcome from the Eastern Secret Doctrine.

Brahman (neuter) is called Kâlahamsa, meaning, as explained by Western Orientalists, the Eternal Swan (or goose), and so is Brahmâ, the Creator. A great mistake is thus brought under notice; it is Brahman (neuter) which ought to be referred to as Hamsa-vâhana (that which uses the Swan as its Vehicle), and not Brahmâ, the Creator, who is the real Kâlahamsa; while Brahman (neuter) is Hamsa, and A-hamsa, as will be explained in the Commentaries. Let it be understood [pg 048] that the terms Brahmâ and Parabrahman are not used here because they belong to our Esoteric nomenclature, but simply because they are more familiar to the students in the West. Both are the perfect equivalents of our one, three, and seven vowelled terms, which stand for the One All, and the One “All in All.”

Such are the basic conceptions on which the Secret Doctrine rests.

It would not be in place here to enter upon any defence or proof of their inherent reasonableness; nor can I pause to show how they are, in fact, contained—though too often under a misleading guise—in every system of thought or philosophy worthy of the name.

Once that the reader has gained a clear comprehension of them and realized the light which they throw on every problem of life, they will need no further justification in his eyes, because their truth will be to him as evident as the sun in heaven. I pass on, therefore, to the subject matter of the Stanzas as given in this volume, adding a skeleton outline of them, in the hope of thereby rendering the task of the student more easy, by placing before him in a few words the general conception therein explained.

The history of Cosmic Evolution, as traced in the Stanzas, is, so to say, the abstract algebraical formula of that evolution. Hence the student must not expect to find there an account of all the stages and transformations which intervene between the first beginnings of Universal Evolution and our present state. To give such an account would be as impossible as it would be incomprehensible to men who cannot grasp the nature of even the plane of existence next to that to which, for the moment, their consciousness is limited.

The Stanzas, therefore, give an abstract formula which can be applied, mutatis mutandis, to all evolution: to that of our tiny Earth, to that of the Chain of Planets of which that Earth forms one, to the Solar Universe to which that Chain belongs and so on, in an ascending scale, till the mind reels and is exhausted in the effort.

The seven Stanzas given in this volume represent the seven terms of this abstract formula. They refer to, and describe, the seven great stages of the evolutionary process, which are spoken of in the Purânas as the “Seven Creations,” and in the Bible as the “Days” of Creation.

Stanza I describes the state of the One All during Pralaya, before the first flutter of reäwakening Manifestation.

A moment's thought shows that such a state can only be symbolized; to describe it is impossible. Nor can it be symbolized except in negatives; [pg 049] for, since it is the state of Absoluteness per se, it can possess none of those specific attributes which serve us to describe objects in positive terms. Hence that state can only be suggested by the negatives of all those most abstract attributes which men feel rather than conceive, as the remotest limits attainable by their power of conception.

Stanza II describes a stage which, to a Western mind, is so nearly identical with that mentioned in Stanza I, that to express the idea of its difference would require a treatise in itself. Hence it must be left to the intuition and the higher faculties of the reader to grasp, as far as he can, the meaning of the allegorical phrases used. Indeed it must be remembered that all these Stanzas appeal to the inner faculties rather than to the ordinary comprehension of the physical brain.

Stanza III describes the Reäwakening of the Universe to life after Pralaya. It depicts the emergence of the Monads from their state of absorption within the One, the earliest and highest stage in the formation of Worlds—the term Monad being one which may apply equally to the vastest Solar System or the tiniest atom.

Stanza IV shows the differentiation of the “Germ” of the Universe into the Septenary Hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, which are the active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy. They are the framers, shapers, and ultimately the creators of all the manifested Universe, in the only sense in which the name “creator” is intelligible; they inform and guide it; they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control evolution, embodying in themselves those manifestations of the One Law, which we know as the “Laws of Nature.”

Generically, they are known as the Dhyân Chohans, though each of the various groups has its own designation in the Secret Doctrine.

This stage of evolution is spoken of in Hindû mythology as the “Creation of the Gods.”

Stanza V describes the process of world-formation. First, diffused Cosmic Matter, then the “Fiery Whirlwind,” the first stage in the formation of a nebula. This nebula condenses, and after passing through various transformations, forms a Solar Universe, a Planetary Chain, or a single Planet, as the case may be.

Stanza VI indicates the subsequent stages in the formation of a “World” and brings the evolution of such a World down to its fourth great period, corresponding to the period in which we are now living.

Stanza VII continues the history, tracing the descent of life down to the appearance of Man; and thus closes the First Book of the Secret Doctrine.

[pg 050]

The development of “Man” from his first appearance on this earth in this Round to the state in which we now find him will form the subject of Book II.

The Stanzas which form the thesis of every section are given throughout in their modern translated version, as it would be worse than useless to make the subject still more difficult by introducing the archaic phraseology of the original, with its puzzling style and words. Extracts are given from the Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit translations of the original Senzar Commentaries and Glosses on the Book of Dzyan—now rendered for the first time into a European language. It is almost unnecessary to state that only portions of the seven Stanzas are here given. Were they published complete they would remain incomprehensible to all save a few high Occultists. Nor is there any need to assure the reader that no more than most of the profane, does the writer, or rather the humble recorder, understand those forbidden passages. To facilitate the reading, and to avoid the too frequent reference to foot-notes, it was thought best to blend together texts and glosses, using the Sanskrit and Tibetan proper names whenever these could not be avoided, in preference to giving the originals: the more so as the said terms are all accepted synonyms, the latter only being used between a Master and his Chelâs (or Disciples).

Thus, were one to translate into English, using only the substantives and technical terms as employed in one of the Tibetan and Senzar versions, shloka 1 would read as follows:

Tho-ag in Zhi-gyu slept seven Khorlo. Zodmanas zhiba. All Nyug bosom. Konch-hog not; Thyan-Kam not; Lha-Chohan not; Tenbrel Chugnyi not; Dharmakâya ceased; Tgenchang not become; Barnang and Ssa in Ngovonyidj; alone Tho-og Yinsin in night of Sun-chan and Yong-Grub [Paranishpanna], etc., etc.

This would sound like pure Abracadabra.

As this work is written for the instruction of students of Occultism, and not for the benefit of Philologists, we may well avoid such foreign terms wherever it is possible to do so. The untranslateable terms alone, incomprehensible unless their meanings are explained, are left, but all such terms are rendered in their Sanskrit form. Needless to remind the reader that these are, in almost every case, the late developments of the latter language, and pertain to the Fifth Root-Race. Sanskrit, as now known, was not spoken by the Atlanteans, and most of the philosophical terms used in the systems of the India of the [pg 051] Post-Mahâbhâratan period are not found in the Vedas, nor are they to be met with in the original Stanzas, but only their equivalents. The reader who is not a Theosophist, is once more invited to regard all that follows as a fairy tale, if he likes; at best as one of the yet unproven speculations of dreamers; and, at the worst, as an additional hypothesis to the many scientific hypotheses past, present and future, some exploded, others still lingering. It is not in any sense less scientific than are many of the so-called scientific theories; and it is in every case more philosophical and probable.

In view of the abundant comments and explanations required, the references to the footnotes are marked in the usual way, while the sentences to be commented upon are marked with letters. Additional matter will be found in the Chapters on Symbolism, which are often more full of information than the Commentaries.

[pg 053]

Part I. Cosmic Evolution.

Seven Stanzas From The “Book Of Dzyan,” With Commentaries.

[pg 054]
Nor Aught nor Nought existed; yon bright sky
Was not, nor heaven's broad roof outstretched above.
What covered all? What sheltered? What concealed?
Was it the water's fathomless abyss?
There was no death—yet there was nought immortal,
There was no confine betwixt day and night;
The only One breathed breathless by Itself,
Other than It there nothing since has been.
Darkness there was, and all at first was veiled
In gloom profound—an ocean without light.
The germ that still lay covered in the husk
Burst forth, one nature, from the fervent heat.
Who knows the secret? Who proclaimed it here?
Whence, whence this manifold creation sprang?
The Gods themselves came later into being—
Who knows from whence this great creation sprang?
That, whence all this great creation came,
Whether Its will created or was mute,
The Most High Seer that is in highest heaven,
He knows it—or perchance even he knows not.
Gazing into eternity
Ere the foundations of the earth were laid.
Thou wert. And when the subterranean flame
Shall burst its prison and devour the frame,
Thou shalt be still as thou wert before
And know no change, when time shall be no more.
O, endless thought, divine Eternity.

Rig Veda (Colebrooke).

[pg 055]

Seven Stanzas From The Book Of Dzyan

Stanza I.

1. The Eternal Parent, wrapped in her Ever-Invisible Robes, had slumbered once again for Seven Eternities.

2. Time was not, for it lay asleep in the Infinite Bosom of Duration.

3. Universal Mind was not, for there were no Ah-hi to contain it.

4. The Seven Ways to Bliss were not. The Great Causes of Misery were not, for there was no one to produce and get ensnared by them.

5. Darkness alone filled the Boundless All, for Father, Mother and Son were once more one, and the Son had not yet awakened for the new Wheel and his Pilgrimage thereon.

[pg 056]

6. The Seven Sublime Lords and the Seven Truths had ceased to be, and the Universe, the Son of Necessity, was immersed in Paranishpanna, to be outbreathed by that which is, and yet is not. Naught was.

7. The Causes of Existence had been done away with; the Visible that was, and the Invisible that is, rested in Eternal Non-Being—the One Being.

8. Alone, the One Form of Existence stretched boundless, infinite, causeless, in Dreamless Sleep; and Life pulsated unconscious in Universal Space, throughout that All-Presence, which is sensed by the Opened Eye of Dangma.

9. But where was Dangma when the Âlaya of the Universe was in Paramârtha, and the Great Wheel was Anupâdaka?

Stanza II.

1. ... Where were the Builders, the Luminous Sons of Manvantaric Dawn?... In the Unknown Darkness in their Ah-hi Paranishpanna. The Producers of Form from No-Form—the Root of the World—the Devamâtri and Svabhâvat, rested in the Bliss of Non-Being.

2. ... Where was Silence? Where the ears to sense it? No, there was neither Silence nor Sound; naught save Ceaseless Eternal Breath, which knows itself not.

[pg 057]

3. The Hour had not yet struck; the Ray had not yet flashed into the Germ; the Mâtripadma had not yet swollen.

4. Her Heart had not yet opened for the One Ray to enter, thence to fall, as Three into Four, into the Lap of Mâyâ.

5. The Seven were not yet born from the Web of Light. Darkness alone was Father-Mother, Svabhâvat; and Svabhâvat was in Darkness.

6. These Two are the Germ, and the Germ is One. The Universe was still concealed in the Divine Thought and the Divine Bosom.

Stanza III.

1. ... The last Vibration of the Seventh Eternity thrills through Infinitude. The Mother swells, expanding from within without, like the Bud of the Lotus.

2. The Vibration sweeps along, touching with its swift Wing the whole Universe and the Germ that dwelleth in Darkness, the Darkness that breathes over the slumbering Waters of Life.

3. Darkness radiates Light, and Light drops one solitary Ray into the Waters, into the Mother-Deep. The Ray shoots [pg 058] through the Virgin Egg, the Ray causes the Eternal Egg to thrill, and drop the non-eternal Germ, which condenses into the World-Egg.

4. The Three fall into the Four. The Radiant Essence becomes Seven inside, Seven outside. The Luminous Egg, which in itself is Three, curdles and spreads in milk-white Curds throughout the Depths of Mother, the Root that grows in the Depths of the Ocean of Life.

5. The Root remains, the Light remains, the Curds remain, and still Oeaohoo is One.

6. The Root of Life was in every Drop of the Ocean of Immortality, and the Ocean was Radiant Light, which was Fire, and Heat, and Motion. Darkness vanished and was no more; it disappeared in its own Essence, the Body of Fire and Water, of Father and Mother.

7. Behold, O Lanoo, the Radiant Child of the Two, the unparalleled refulgent Glory—Bright Space, Son of Dark Space, who emerges from the Depths of the great Dark Waters. It is Oeaohoo, the Younger, the ——. He shines forth as the Sun, he is the Blazing Divine Dragon of Wisdom; the Eka is Chatur, and Chatur takes to itself Tri, and the Union produces the Sapta, in whom are the Seven, which become the Tridasha, the Hosts and the Multitudes. Behold him lifting the Veil, and [pg 059] unfurling it from East to West. He shuts out the Above, and leaves the Below to be seen as the Great Illusion. He marks the places for the Shining Ones, and turns the Upper into a shoreless Sea of Fire, and the One Manifested into the Great Waters.

8. Where was the Germ, and where was now Darkness? Where is the Spirit of the Flame that burns in thy Lamp, O Lanoo? The Germ is That, and That is Light, the White Brilliant Son of the Dark Hidden Father.

9. Light is Cold Flame, and Flame is Fire, and Fire produces Heat, which yields Water—the Water of Life in the Great Mother.

10. Father-Mother spin a Web, whose upper end is fastened to Spirit, the Light of the One Darkness, and the lower one to its shadowy end, Matter; and this Web is the Universe, spun out of the Two Substances made in One, which is Svabhâvat.

11. It expands when the Breath of Fire is upon it; it contracts when the Breath of the Mother touches it. Then the Sons dissociate and scatter, to return into their Mother's Bosom, at the end of the Great Day, and re-become one with her. When it is cooling, it becomes radiant. Its Sons expand and contract through their own Selves and Hearts; they embrace Infinitude.

[pg 060]

12. Then Svabhâvat sends Fohat to harden the Atoms. Each is a part of the Web. Reflecting the “Self-Existent Lord,” like a Mirror, each becomes in turn a World.

Stanza IV.

1. ... Listen, ye Sons of the Earth, to your Instructors—the Sons of the Fire. Learn, there is neither first nor last; for all is One Number, issued from No-Number.

2. Learn what we, who descend from the Primordial Seven, we, who are born from the Primordial Flame, have learnt from our Fathers....

3. From the Effulgency of Light—the Ray of the Ever-Darkness—sprang in Space the reäwakened Energies; the One from the Egg, the Six, and the Five. Then the Three, the One, the Four, the One, the Five—the Twice Seven, the Sum Total. And these are the Essences, the Flames, the Elements, the Builders, the Numbers, the Arûpa, the Rûpa, and the Force or Divine Man, the Sum Total. And from the Divine Man emanated the Forms, the Sparks, the Sacred Animals, and the Messengers of the Sacred Fathers within the Holy Four.

4. This was the Army of the Voice, the Divine Mother of the Seven. The Sparks of the Seven are subject to, and the servants of, the First, the Second, the Third, the Fourth, the [pg 061] Fifth, the Sixth, and the Seventh of the Seven. These are called Spheres, Triangles, Cubes, Lines and Modellers; for thus stands the Eternal Nidâna—the Oi-Ha-Hou.

5. The Oi-Ha-Hou, which is Darkness, the Boundless, or the No-Number, Âdi-Nidâna Svabhâvat, the [circle]:

I. The Âdi-Sanat, the Number, for he is One.

II. The Voice of the Word, Svabhâvat, the Numbers, for he is One and Nine.

III. The “Formless Square.”

And these Three, enclosed within the [circle], are the Sacred Four; and the Ten are the Arûpa Universe. Then come the Sons, the Seven Fighters, the One, the Eighth left out, and his Breath which is the Light-Maker.

6. ... Then the Second Seven, who are the Lipika, produced by the Three. The Rejected Son is One. The “Son-Suns” are countless.

Stanza V.

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.

2. They make of him the Messenger of their Will. The Dzyu becomes Fohat: the swift Son of the Divine Sons, whose [pg 062] Sons are the Lipika, runs circular errands. Fohat is the Steed, and the Thought is the Rider. He passes like lightning through the fiery clouds; takes Three, and Five, and Seven Strides through the Seven Regions above, and the Seven below. He lifts his Voice, and calls the innumerable Sparks, and joins them together.

3. He is their guiding spirit and leader. When he commences work, he separates the Sparks of the Lower Kingdom, that float and thrill with joy in their radiant dwellings, and forms therewith the Germs of Wheels. He places them in the Six Directions of Space, and One in the middle—the Central Wheel.

4. Fohat traces spiral lines to unite the Sixth to the Seventh—the Crown. An Army of the Sons of Light stands at each angle; the Lipika, in the Middle Wheel. They say: “his is good.” The first Divine World is ready; the First, the Second. Then the “Divine Arûpa” reflects itself in Chhâyâ Loka, the First Garment of Anupâdaka.

5. Fohat takes five strides, and builds a winged wheel at each corner of the square for the Four Holy Ones ... and their Armies.

6. The Lipika circumscribe the Triangle, the First One, the Cube, the Second One, and the Pentacle within the Egg. It [pg 063] is the Ring called “Pass Not” for those who descend and ascend; who during the Kalpa are progressing towards the Great Day “Be With Us.”... Thus were formed the Arûpa and the Rûpa: from One Light, Seven Lights; from each of the Seven, seven times Seven Lights. The Wheels watch the Ring....

Stanza VI.

1. By the power of the Mother of Mercy and Knowledge, Kwan-Yin—the Triple of Kwan-Shai-Yin, residing in Kwan-Yin-Tien—Fohat, the Breath of their Progeny, the Son of the Sons, having called forth, from the lower Abyss, the Illusive Form of Sien-Tchan and the Seven Elements.

2. The Swift and the Radiant One produces the seven Laya Centres, against which none will prevail to the Great Day “Be With Us”; and seats the Universe on these Eternal Foundations, surrounding Sien-Tchan with the Elementary Germs.

3. Of the Seven—first One manifested, Six concealed; Two manifested, Five concealed; Three manifested, Four concealed; Four produced, Three hidden; Four and One Tsan revealed, Two and One-Half concealed; Six to be manifested, One laid [pg 064] aside. Lastly, Seven Small Wheels revolving: one giving birth to the other.

4. He builds them in the likeness of older Wheels, placing them on the Imperishable Centres.

How does Fohat build them? He collects the Fiery-Dust. He makes Balls of Fire, runs through them, and round them, infusing life thereïnto, then sets them into motion; some one way, some the other way. They are cold, he makes them hot. They are dry, he makes them moist. They shine, he fans and cools them. Thus acts Fohat from one Twilight to the other, during Seven Eternities.

5. At the Fourth, the Sons are told to create their Images. One-Third refuses. Two obey.

The Curse is pronounced. They will be born in the Fourth, suffer and cause suffering. This is the First War.

6. The Older Wheels rotated downward and upward.... The Mother's Spawn filled the whole. There were Battles fought between the Creators and the Destroyers, and Battles fought for Space; the Seed appearing and reäppearing continuously.

7. Make thy calculations, O Lanoo, if thou wouldst learn the correct age of thy Small Wheel. Its Fourth Spoke is our Mother. Reach the Fourth Fruit of the Fourth Path of Knowledge [pg 065] that leads to Nirvana, and thou shalt comprehend, for thou shalt see....

Stanza VII.

1. Behold the beginning of sentient formless Life.

First, the Divine, the One from the Mother-Spirit; then, the Spiritual; the Three from the One, the Four from the One, and the Five, from which the Three, the Five and the Seven. These are the Three-fold and the Four-fold downward; the Mind-born Sons of the First Lord, the Shining Seven. It is they who are thou, I, he, O Lanoo; they who watch over thee and thy mother, Bhûmî.

2. The One Ray multiplies the smaller Rays. Life precedes Form, and Life survives the last atom. Through the countless Rays the Life-Ray, the One, like a Thread through many Beads.

3. When the One becomes Two, the Threefold appears, and the Three are One; and it is our Thread, O Lanoo, the Heart of the Man-Plant called Saptaparna.

4. It is the Root that never dies; the Three-tongued Flame of the Four Wicks. The Wicks are the Sparks, that draw from the Three-tongued Flame shot out by the Seven—their Flame—the Beams and Sparks of one Moon reflected in the running Waves of all the Rivers of Earth.

[pg 066]

5. The Spark hangs from the Flame by the finest thread of Fohat. It journeys through the Seven Worlds of Mâyâ. It stops in the First, and is a Metal and a Stone; it passes into the Second, and behold—a Plant; the Plant whirls through seven changes and becomes a Sacred Animal. From the combined attributes of these, Manu, the Thinker, is formed. Who forms him? The Seven Lives and the One Life. Who completes him? The Fivefold Lha. And who perfects the last Body? Fish, Sin, and Soma....

6. From the First-born the Thread between the Silent Watcher and his Shadow becomes more strong and radiant with every Change. The morning Sunlight has changed into noon-day glory....

7. “This is thy present Wheel,” said the Flame to the Spark. “Thou art myself, my image and my shadow. I have clothed myself in thee, and thou art my Vâhan to the Day ‘Be With Us,’ when thou shalt re-become myself and others, thyself and me.” Then the Builders, having donned their first Clothing, descend on radiant Earth and reign over Men—who are themselves....

[Thus ends this portion of the archaic narrative, dark, confused, almost incomprehensible. An attempt will now be made to throw light into this darkness, to make sense out of this apparent non-sense.]

[pg 067]

Commentaries On The Seven Stanzas And Their Terms, According To Their Numeration, In Stanzas And Shlokas.

Stanza I.

1. The Eternal Parent,54 wrapped in her Ever-invisible Robes, had slumbered once again for Seven Eternities.

The “Parent,” Space, is the eternal, ever-present Cause of all—the incomprehensible Deity, whose “Invisible Robes” are the mystic Root of all Matter, and of the Universe. Space is the one eternal thing that we can most easily imagine, immovable in its abstraction and uninfluenced by either the presence or absence in it of an objective Universe. It is without dimension, in every sense, and self-existent. Spirit is the first differentiation from That,” the Causeless Cause of both Spirit and Matter. As taught in the Esoteric Catechism, it is neither “limitless void,” nor “conditioned fulness,” but both. It was and ever will be.

Thus, the “Robes” stand for the noumenon of undifferentiated Cosmic Matter. It is not matter as we know it, but the spiritual essence of matter, and is coëternal and even one with Space in its abstract sense. Root-Nature is also the source of the subtile invisible properties in visible matter. It is the Soul, so to say, of the One Infinite Spirit. The Hindûs call it Mûlaprakriti, and say that it is the primordial Substance, which is the basis of the Upâdhi or Vehicle of every phenomenon, whether physical, psychic or mental. It is the source from which Âkâsha radiates.

By the “Seven Eternities,” æons or periods are meant. The word Eternity, as understood in Christian theology, has no meaning to the [pg 068] Asiatic ear, except in its application to the One Existence; nor is the term “sempiternity,” the eternal only in futurity, anything better than a misnomer.55 Such words do not and cannot exist in philosophical metaphysics, and were unknown till the advent of ecclesiastical Christianity. The Seven Eternities mean the seven periods, or a period answering in its duration to the seven periods, of a Manvantara, extending throughout a Mahâkalpa or “Great Age” (100 Years of Brahmâ), making a total of 311,040,000,000,000 of years; each Year of Brahmâ being composed of 360 Days, and of the same number of Nights of Brahmâ (reckoning by the Chandrâyana or lunar year); and a Day of Brahmâ consisting of 4,320,000,000 of mortal years. These Eternities belong to the most secret calculations, in which, in order to arrive at the true total, every figure must be 7x, x varying according to the nature of the cycle in the subjective or real world; and every figure relating to, or representing, the different cycles—from the greatest to the smallest—in the objective or unreal world, must necessarily be multiples of seven. The key to this cannot be given, for herein lies the mystery of esoteric calculations, and for the purposes of ordinary calculation it has no sense. “The number seven,” says the Kabalah, “is the great number of the Divine Mysteries”; number ten is that of all human knowledge (the Pythagorean Decad); 1,000 is the number ten to the third power, and therefore the number 7,000 is also symbolical. In the Secret Doctrine the figure 4 is the male symbol only on the highest plane of abstraction; on the plane of matter the 3 is the masculine and the 4 the feminine—the upright and the horizontal in the fourth stage of symbolism, when the symbols become the glyphs of the generative powers on the physical plane.

2. Time was not, for it lay asleep in the Infinite Bosom of Duration.

“Time” is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through Eternal Duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced, [pg 069] but “lies asleep.” The Present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of Eternal Duration which we call the Future, from that part which we call the Past. Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing remains without change—or the same—for the billionth part of a second; and the sensation we have of the actuality of the division of Time known as the Present, comes from the blurring of the momentary glimpse, or succession of glimpses, of things that our senses give us, as those things pass from the region of ideals, which we call the Future, to the region of memories that we name the Past. In the same way we experience a sensation of duration in the case of the instantaneous electric spark, by reason of the blurred and continuing impression on the retina. The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in material form to its disappearance from earth. It is these “sum-totals” that exist from eternity in the Future, and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the Past. No one would say that a bar of metal dropped into the sea came into existence as it left the air, and ceased to exist as it entered the water, and that the bar itself consisted only of that cross-section thereof which at any given moment coincided with the mathematical plane that separates, and, at the same time, joins, the atmosphere and the ocean. Even so of persons and things, which, dropping out of the “to be” into the “has been,” out of the Future into the Past—present momentarily to our senses a cross-section, as it were, of their total selves, as they pass through Time and Space (as Matter) on their way from one eternity to another: and these two eternities constitute that Duration in which alone anything has true existence, were our senses but able to cognize it.

3. Universal Mind was not, for there were No Ah-hi56 to contain it.57

“Mind” is a name given to the sum of the States of Consciousness, grouped under Thought, Will and Feeling. During deep sleep ideation ceases on the physical plane, and memory is in abeyance; thus for the time-being “Mind is not,” because the organ, through which the Ego manifests ideation and memory on the material plane, has temporarily [pg 070] ceased to function. A noumenon can become a phenomenon on any plane of existence only by manifesting on that plane through an appropriate basis or vehicle; and during the long Night of rest called Pralaya, when all the Existences are dissolved, the “Universal Mind” remains as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract absolute Thought, of which Mind is the concrete relative manifestation. The Ah-hi (Dhyân Chohans) are the collective hosts of spiritual Beings—the Angelic Hosts of Christianity, the Elohim and “Messengers” of the Jews—who are the Vehicle for the manifestation of the Divine or Universal Thought and Will. They are the Intelligent Forces that give to, and enact in, Nature her “Laws,” while they themselves act according to Laws imposed upon them in a similar manner by still higher Powers; but they are not the “personifications” of the Powers of Nature, as erroneously thought. This Hierarchy of spiritual Beings, through which the Universal Mind comes into action, is like an army—a host, truly—by means of which the fighting power of a nation manifests itself, and which is composed of army-corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its separate individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and limited responsibilities; each contained in a larger individuality, to which its own interests are subservient, and each containing lesser individualities in itself.

4. The Seven Ways to Bliss58 were not (a). The Great Causes of Misery59 were not, for there was no one to produce and get ensnared by them (b).

(a) There are “Seven Paths” or “Ways” to the “Bliss” of Non-Existence, which is absolute Being, Existence and Consciousness. They were not, because the Universe, so far, was empty, and existed only in the Divine Thought.

(b) For it is ... the Twelve Nidânas, or Causes of Being. Each is the effect of its antecedent cause, and a cause, in its turn, to its successor; the sum total of the Nidânas being based on the Four Truths, a doctrine especially characteristic of the Hînayâna System.60 They belong to the [pg 071] theory of the stream of catenated law which produces merit and demerit, and finally brings Karma into full sway. It is a system based upon the great truth that reïncarnation is to be dreaded, as existence in this world entails upon man only suffering, misery and pain; death itself being unable to deliver man from it, since death is merely the door through which he passes to another life on earth after a little rest on its threshold—Devachan. The Hînayâna System, or School of the Little Vehicle, is of very ancient growth; while the Mahâyâna, or School of the Great Vehicle, is of a later period, having originated after the death of Buddha. Yet the tenets of the latter are as old as the hills that have contained such schools from time immemorial, and the Hînayâna and Mahâyâna Schools both teach the same doctrine in reality. Yâna, or Vehicle, is a mystic expression, both “Vehicles” inculcating that man may escape the sufferings of rebirth and even the false bliss of Devachan, by obtaining Wisdom and Knowledge, which alone can dispel the Fruits of Illusion and Ignorance.

Mâyâ, or Illusion, is an element which enters into all finite things, for everything that exists has only a relative, not an absolute, reality, since the appearance which the hidden noumenon assumes for any observer depends upon his power of cognition. To the untrained eye of the savage, a painting is at first an unmeaning confusion of streaks and daubs of colour, while an educated eye sees instantly a face or a landscape. Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute Existence which contains in itself the noumena of all realities. The Existences belonging to every plane of being, up to the highest Dhyân Chohans, are, comparatively, like the shadows cast by a magic lantern on a colourless screen. Nevertheless all things are relatively real, for the cognizer is also a reflection, and the things cognized are therefore as real to him as himself. Whatever reality things possess, must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world; for we cannot cognize any such existence directly, so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities. But as we rise in the scale of development, we perceive that in the stages through which we have passed, we mistook shadows for realities, and that the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached “reality”; but only [pg 072] when we shall have reached absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Mâyâ.

5. Darkness alone filled the Boundless All (a), for Father, Mother and Son were once more one, and the Son had not yet awakened for the new Wheel61 and his Pilgrimage Thereon (b).

(a) Darkness is Father-Mother: Light their Son,” says an old Eastern proverb. Light is inconceivable except as coming from some source which is the cause of it: and as, in the case of Primordial Light, that source is unknown, though so strongly demanded by reason and logic, therefore it is called “Darkness” by us, from an intellectual point of view. As to borrowed or secondary light, whatever its source, it can be only of a temporary mâyâvic character. Darkness, then, is the Eternal Matrix in which the Sources of Light appear and disappear. Nothing is added to darkness to make of it light, or to light to make it darkness, on this our plane. They are interchangeable; and, scientifically, light is but a mode of darkness and vice versâ. Yet both are phenomena of the same noumenon—which is absolute darkness to the scientific mind, and but a gray twilight to the perception of the average Mystic, though to that of the spiritual eye of the Initiate it is absolute light. How far we discern the light that shines in darkness depends upon our powers of vision. What is light to us is darkness to certain insects, and the eye of the clairvoyant sees illumination where the normal eye perceives only blackness. When the whole Universe was plunged in sleep—had returned to its one primordial element—there was neither centre of luminosity, nor eye to perceive light, and darkness necessarily filled the “Boundless All.”

(b) The “Father” and “Mother” are the male and female principles in Root-Nature, the opposite poles that manifest in all things on every plane of Kosmos—or Spirit and Substance, in a less allegorical aspect, the resultant of which is the Universe, or the “Son.” They are “once more one,” when in the Night of Brahmâ, during Pralaya, all in the objective Universe has returned to its one primal and eternal cause, to [pg 073] reäppear at the following Dawn—as it does periodically. Kârana—Eternal Cause—was alone. To put it more plainly: Kârana is alone during the Nights of Brahmâ. The previous objective Universe has dissolved into its one primal and eternal Cause, and is, so to say, held in solution in Space, to differentiate again and crystallize out anew at the following Manvataric Dawn, which is the commencement of a new Day or new activity of Brahmâ—the symbol of a Universe. In esoteric parlance, Brahmâ is Father-Mother-Son, or Spirit, Soul and Body at once; each personage being symbolical of an attribute, and each attribute or quality being a graduated efflux of Divine Breath in its cyclic differentiation, involutionary and evolutionary. In the cosmico-physical sense, it is the Universe, the Planetary Chain and the Earth; in the purely spiritual, the Unknown Deity, Planetary Spirit, and Man—the son of the two, the creature of Spirit and Matter, and a manifestation of them in his periodical appearances on Earth during the “Wheels,” or the Manvantaras.

6. The Seven Sublime Lords and the Seven Truths had ceased to be, (a) and the Universe, the Son of Necessity, was immersed In Paranishpanna,62 (b) To be outbreathed by that which is, and yet is not. naught was (c).

(a) The “Seven Sublime Lords” are the Seven Creative Spirits, the Dhyân Chohans, who correspond to the Hebrew Elohim. It is the same Hierarchy of Archangels to which St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and others belong, in Christian Theogony. Only while St. Michael, for instance, is allowed in dogmatic Latin Theology to watch over all the promontories and gulfs, in the Esoteric System the Dhyânis watch successively over one of the Rounds and the great Root-Races of our Planetary Chain. They are, moreover, said to send their Bodhisattvas, the human correspondents of the Dhyâni-Buddhas during every Round and Race. Out of the “Seven Truths” and Revelations, or rather revealed secrets, four only have been handed to us, as we are still in the Fourth Round, and the world also has had only four Buddhas, so far. This is a very complicated question, and will receive more ample treatment later on.

So far “there are only Four Truths, and Four Vedas—say the [pg 074] Buddhists and Hindûs. For a similar reason Irenæus insisted on the necessity of Four Gospels. But as every new Root-Race at the head of a Round must have its revelation and revealers, the next Round will bring the Fifth, the following the Sixth, and so on.

(b) “Paranishpanna” is the Absolute Perfection to which all Existences attain at the close of a great period of activity, or Mahâmanvantara, and in which they rest during the succeeding period of repose. In Tibetan it is called “Yong-Grub.” Up to the day of the Yogâchârya School the true nature of Paranirvâna was taught publicly, but since then it has become entirely esoteric; hence so many contradictory interpretations of it. It is only a true Idealist who can understand it. Everything has to be viewed as ideal, with the exception of Paranirvâna, by him who would comprehend that state, and acquire a knowledge of how Non-Ego, Voidness, and Darkness are Three in One, and alone self-existent and perfect. It is absolute, however, only in a relative sense, for it must give room to still further absolute perfection, according to a higher standard of excellence in the following period of activity—just as a perfect flower must cease to be a perfect flower and die, in order to grow into a perfect fruit, if such a mode of expression may be permitted.

The Secret Doctrine teaches the progressive development of everything, worlds as well as atoms; and this stupendous development has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end. Our “Universe” is only one of an infinite number of Universes, all of them “Sons of Necessity,” because links in the great cosmic chain of Universes, each one standing in the relation of an effect as regards its predecessor, and of a cause as regards its successor.

The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured as an outbreathing and inbreathing of the “Great Breath,” which is eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three symbols of the Absolute—Abstract Space and Duration being the other two. When the Great Breath is projected, it is called the Divine Breath, and is regarded as the breathing of the Unknowable Deity—the One Existence—which breathes out a thought, as it were, which becomes the Kosmos. So also is it that when the Divine Breath is inspired, the Universe disappears into the bosom of the Great Mother, who then sleeps “wrapped in her Ever-Invisible Robes.”

(c) By “that which is, and yet is not” is meant the Great Breath itself, which we can only speak of as Absolute Existence, but cannot picture [pg 075] to our imagination as any form of Existence that we can distinguish from Non-Existence. The three periods—the Present, the Past and the Future—are in Esoteric Philosophy a compound time; for the three are a composite number only in relation to the phenomenal plane, but in the realm of noumena have no abstract validity. As said in the Scriptures: “The Past Time is the Present Time, as also the Future, which, though it has not come into existence, still is,” according to a precept in the Prasanga Madhyamika teaching, whose dogmas have been known ever since it broke away from the purely esoteric schools.63 Our ideas, in short, on duration and time are all derived from our sensations according to the laws of association. Inextricably bound up with the relativity of human knowledge, they nevertheless can have no existence except in the experience of the individual Ego, and perish when its evolutionary march dispels the Mâyâ of phenomenal existence. What is time, for instance, but the panoramic succession of our states of consciousness? In the words of a Master, “I feel irritated at having to use these three clumsy words—Past, Present, and Future—miserable concepts of the objective phases of the subjective whole, they are about as ill-adapted for the purpose as an axe for fine carving.” One has to acquire Paramârtha lest one should become too easy a prey to Samvriti—is a philosophical axiom.64

7. The Causes of Existence had been done away with; (a) the Visible that was, and the Invisible that is, rested in Eternal Non-being—the One Being (b).

(a) “The Causes of Existence” mean not only the physical causes known to Science, but the metaphysical causes, the chief of which is the desire to exist, an outcome of Nidâna and Mâyâ. This desire for a sentient life shows itself in everything, from an atom to a sun, and is a reflection of the Divine Thought propelled into objective existence, into a law that the Universe should exist. According to Esoteric teaching, the real cause of that supposed desire, and of all existence, [pg 076] remains for ever hidden, and its first emanations are the most complete abstractions mind can conceive. These abstractions must of necessity be postulated as the cause of the material Universe which presents itself to the senses and intellect, and must underlie the secondary and subordinate powers of Nature, which have been anthropomorphized and worshipped as “God” and “gods” by the common herd of every age. It is impossible to conceive anything without a cause; the attempt to do so makes the mind a blank. This is virtually the condition to which the mind must come at last when we try to trace back the chain of causes and effects, but both Science and Religion jump to this condition of blankness much more quickly than is necessary, for they ignore the metaphysical abstractions which are the only conceivable causes of physical concretions. These abstractions become more and more concrete as they approach our plane of existence, until finally they phenomenalize in the form of the material Universe, by a process of conversion of metaphysics into physics, analogous to that by which steam can be condensed into water, and water frozen into ice.

(b) The idea of “Eternal Non-Being,” which is the “One Being,” will appear a paradox to anyone who does not remember that we limit our ideas of Being to our present consciousness of Existence; making it a specific, instead of a generic term. An unborn infant, could it think in our acceptation of that term, would necessarily in a similar manner limit its conception of Being to the intra-uterine life which alone it knows; and were it to endeavour to express to its consciousness the idea of life after birth (death to it), it would, in the absence of data to go upon, and of faculties to comprehend such data, probably express that life as “Non-Being which is Real Being.” In our case the One Being is the noumenon of all the noumena which we know must underlie phenomena, and give them whatever shadow of reality they possess, but which we have not the senses or the intellect to cognize at present. The impalpable atoms of gold scattered through the substance of a ton of auriferous quartz may be imperceptible to the naked eye of the miner, yet he knows that they are not only present there, but that they alone give his quartz any appreciable value; and this relation of the gold to the quartz may faintly shadow forth that of the noumenon to the phenomenon. Only the miner knows what the gold will look like when extracted from the quartz, whereas the common mortal can form no conception of the reality of things separated from the Mâyâ which [pg 077] veils them, and in which they are hidden. Alone the Initiate, rich with the lore acquired by numberless generations of his predecessors, directs the “Eye of Dangma” toward the essence of things on which no Mâyâ can have any influence. It is here that the teachings of Esoteric Philosophy in relation to the Nidânas and the Four Truths become of the greatest importance; but they are secret.

8. Alone, the One Form of Existence (a) stretched boundless, infinite, causeless, in Dreamless sleep (b); and Life pulsated unconscious in Universal Space, throughout that All-Presence, which is sensed by the Opened Eye of Dangma.65

(a) The tendency of modern thought is to recur to the archaic idea of a homogeneous basis for apparently widely different things—heterogeneity developed from homogeneity. Biologists are now searching for their homogeneous protoplasm and Chemists for their protyle, while Science is looking for the force of which electricity, magnetism, heat, and so forth, are the differentiations. The Secret Doctrine carries this idea into the region of metaphysics, and postulates a “One Form of Existence” as the basis and source of all things. But perhaps the phrase, the “One Form of Existence,” is not altogether correct. The Sanskrit word is Prabhavâpyaya, “the place [or rather plane] whence is the origination, and into which is the resolution of all things,” as a commentator says. It is not the “Mother of the World,” as translated by Wilson;66 for Jagad Yoni, as shown by Fitzedward Hall, is scarcely so much the “Mother of the World,” or the “Womb of the World,” as the “Material Cause of the World.” The Purânic commentators explain it by Kârana, “Cause,” but Esoteric Philosophy, by the ideal spirit of that cause. In its secondary stage, it is the Svabhâvat of the Buddhist philosopher, the Eternal Cause and Effect, omnipresent yet abstract, the self-existent plastic Essence and the Root of all things, viewed in the same dual light as the Vedântin views his Parabrahman [pg 078] and Mûlaprakriti, the one under two aspects. It seems indeed extraordinary to find great scholars speculating on the possibility of the Vedânta, and the Uttara Mîmânsâ especially, having been “evoked by the teachings of the Buddhists”; whereas, on the contrary, it is Buddhism, the teaching of Gautama Buddha, that was “evoked” and entirely upreared on the tenets of the Secret Doctrine, of which a partial sketch is here attempted, and on which, also, the Upanishads are made to rest.67 According to the teachings of Shrî Shankarâchârya our contention is undeniable.68

(b) “Dreamless Sleep” is one of the seven states of consciousness known in Oriental Esotericism. In each of these states a different portion of the mind comes into action; or as a Vedântin would express it, the individual is conscious in a different plane of his being. The term “Dreamless Sleep,” in this case, is applied allegorically to the Universe to express a condition somewhat analogous to that state of consciousness in man, which, not being remembered in a waking state, seems a blank, just as the sleep of the mesmerized subject seems to him an unconscious blank when he returns to his normal condition, although he has been talking and acting as a conscious individual would.

9. But where was Dangma when the Âlaya of the Universe69was in Paramârtha (a),70 and the Great Wheel was Anupâdaka (b)?

(a) Here we have before us the subject of centuries of scholastic disputations. The two terms “Âlaya,” and “Paramârtha,” have been the causes of dividing schools and splitting the truth into more [pg 079] different aspects than any other mystic words. Âlaya is the Soul of the World or Anima Mundi—the Over-Soul of Emerson—which according to esoteric teaching changes its nature periodically. Âlaya, though eternal and changeless in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men or cosmic gods (Dhyâni-Buddhas), changes during the active life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included. During that time not only the Dhyâni-Buddhas are one with Âlaya in Soul and Essence, but even the man strong in Yoga (Mystic Meditation) “is able to merge his soul with it,” as Aryâsanga, of the Yogâchârya school, says. This is not Nirvâna, but a condition next to it. Hence the disagreement. Thus, while the Yogâchâryas of the Mahâyâna School say that Âlaya (Nyingpo and Tsang in Tibetan) is the personification of the Voidness, and yet Âlaya is the basis of every visible and invisible thing, and that, though it is eternal and immutable in its essence, it reflects itself in every object of the Universe “like the moon in clear tranquil water”; other schools dispute the statement. The same for Paramârtha. The Yogâchâryas interpret the term as that which is also dependent upon other things (paratantra); and the Madhyamikas say that Paramârtha is limited to Paranishpanna or Absolute Perfection; i.e., in the exposition of these “Two Truths” of the Four, the former believe and maintain that, on this plane, at any rate, there exists only Samvritisatya or relative truth; and the latter teach the existence of Paramârthasatya, Absolute Truth.71 “No Arhat, O mendicants, can reach absolute knowledge before he becomes one with Paranirvâna. Parikalpita and Paratantra are his two great enemies.”72 Parikalpita (in Tibetan Kun-tag) is error, made by those unable to realize the emptiness and illusionary nature of all; who believe something to exist which does not—e.g., the Non-Ego. And Paratantra is that, whatever it is, which exists only through a dependent or causal connection, and which has to disappear as soon as the cause from which it proceeds is removed—e.g., the flame of a wick. Destroy or extinguish it, and light disappears.

Esoteric Philosophy teaches that everything lives and is conscious, but not that all life and consciousness are similar to those of human or even animal beings. Life we look upon as the One Form of [pg 080] Existence, manifesting in what is called Matter; or what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter in man. Matter is the Vehicle for the manifestation of Soul on this plane of existence, and Soul is the Vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of Spirit, and these three are a Trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all. The idea of Universal Life is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century, as a consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic Theology. Science, it is true, contents itself with tracing or postulating the signs of Universal Life, but has not yet been bold enough to even whisper “Anima Mundi”! The idea of “crystalline life,” now familiar to Science, would have been scouted half a century ago. Botanists are now searching for the nerves of plants; not that they suppose that plants can feel or think as animals do, but because they believe that some structure, bearing the same relation functionally to plant life that nerves bear to animal life, is necessary to explain vegetable growth and nutrition. It seems hardly possible that Science, by the mere use of terms such as “force” and “energy,” can disguise from itself much longer the fact that things that have life are living things, whether they be atoms or planets.

But what is the belief of the inner Esoteric Schools, the reader may ask. What are the doctrines taught on this subject by the Esoteric “Buddhists”? With them, we answer, Âlaya has a double and even a threefold meaning. In the Yogâchârya system of the contemplative Mahâyâna School, Âlaya is both the Universal Soul, Anima Mundi, and the Self of a progressed Adept. “He who is strong in the Yoga can introduce at will his Âlaya by means of meditation into the true nature of Existence.” “The Âlaya has an absolute eternal existence,” says Aryâsanga, the rival of Nâgârjuna.73 In one sense it is Pradhâna, which is explained in Vishnu Purâna as, “that which is the unevolved cause, is emphatically called, by the most eminent sages, Pradhâna, original base, which is subtile Prakriti, viz., that which is eternal, and which at once is [or comprehends what is] and [what] is not, or is mere process.”74 “The indiscrete cause which is uniform, and both cause and effect, and which those who are acquainted with first [pg 081] principles, call Pradhâna and Prakriti, is the incognizable Brahma who was before all,”75 i.e., Brahma does not put forth evolution itself or create, but only exhibits various aspects of itself, one of which is Prakriti, an aspect of Pradhâna. “Prakriti,” however, is an incorrect word, and Âlaya would explain it better; for Prakriti is not the “uncognizable Brahma.” It is a mistake of those who know nothing of the universality of the Occult doctrines from the very cradle of the human races, and especially so of those scholars who reject the very idea of a “primordial revelation,” to teach that the Anima Mundi, the One Life or Universal Soul, was made known only by Anaxagoras, or during his age. This philosopher brought the teaching forward simply to oppose the too materialistic conceptions of Democritus on cosmogony, based on the exoteric theory of blindly driven atoms. Anaxagoras of Clazomenæ, however, was not its inventor, but only its propagator, as was also Plato. That which he called Mundane Intelligence, Nous (Νοῦς), the principle that according to his views is absolutely separated and free from matter and acts with design, was called Motion, the One Life, or Jîvâtmâ, in India, ages before the year 500 b.c. Only the Âryan philosophers never endowed this principle, which with them is infinite, with the finite “attribute of thinking.”76

This leads naturally to the “Supreme Spirit” of Hegel and the German Transcendentalists—a contrast that it may be useful to point out. The schools of Schelling and Fichte have diverged widely from the primitive archaic conception of an Absolute Principle, and have mirrored an aspect only of the basic idea of the Vedânta. Even the “Absoluter Geist” shadowed forth by von Hartmann in his pessimistic philosophy of the “Unconscious,” while it is, perhaps, the closest approximation made by European speculation to the Hindû Advaitin doctrines, yet similarly falls far short of the reality.

According to Hegel, the “Unconscious” would never have undertaken the vast and laborious task of evolving the Universe, except in the hope of attaining clear Self-Consciousness. In this connection it is to be borne in mind that in designating Spirit, a term which the European Pantheists use as equivalent to Parabrahman, as Unconscious, they do not attach to the expression the connotation it usually bears. It is employed in the absence of a better term to symbolize a profound mystery.

[pg 082]

The “Absolute Consciousness behind phenomena,” they tell us, which is only termed unconsciousness in the absence of any element of personality, transcends human conception. Man, unable to form a single concept except in terms of empirical phenomena, is powerless from the very constitution of his being to raise the veil that shrouds the majesty of the Absolute. Only the liberated Spirit is able to faintly realize the nature of the source whence it sprung and whither it must eventually return. As the highest Dhyân Chohan, however, can but bow in ignorance before the awful mystery of Absolute Being; and since, even in that culmination of conscious existence—“the merging of the individual in the universal consciousness,” to use a phrase of Fichte's—the Finite cannot conceive the Infinite, nor can it apply to it its own standard of mental experiences, how can it be said that the Unconscious and the Absolute can have even an instinctive impulse or hope of attaining clear Self-Consciousness?77 A Vedântin, moreover, would never admit this Hegelian idea; and the Occultist would say that it applies perfectly to the awakened Mahat, the Universal Mind already projected into the phenomenal world as the first aspect of the changeless Absolute, but never to the latter. “Spirit and Matter, or Purusha and Prakriti, are but the two primeval aspects of the One and Secondless,” we are taught.

The matter-moving Nous, the animating Soul, immanent in every atom, manifested in man, latent in the stone, has different degrees of power; and this Pantheistic idea of a general Spirit-Soul pervading all Nature is the oldest of all the philosophical notions. Nor was the Archæus a discovery either of Paracelsus or of his pupil Van Helmont; for this same Archæus is “Father-Æther,” the manifested basis and source of the innumerable phenomena of life—localized. The whole series of the numberless speculations of this kind are but variations on the same theme, the key-note of which was struck in this “primeval revelation.”

(b) The term “Anupâdaka,” parentless, or without progenitors, is a mystical designation having several meanings in our philosophy. By this name Celestial Beings, the Dhyân Chohans or Dhyâni-Buddhas, are generally meant. These correspond mystically to the human Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, known as the Mânushi (Human) Buddhas, which latter are also designated Anupâdaka, once that their whole personality is merged in their compound Sixth and Seventh Principles, [pg 083] or Âtmâ-Buddhi, and they have become the “Diamond-Souled” (Vajrasattvas78), or full Mahâtmâs. The “Concealed Lord” (Sangbai Dag-po), “the one merged with the Absolute,” can have no parents since he is Self-Existent, and one with the Universal Spirit (Svayambhû),79 the Svabhâvat in its highest aspect. The mystery of the Hierarchy of the Anupâdaka is great, its apex being the universal Spirit-Soul, and the lower rung the Mânushi-Buddha: and even every soul-endowed man also is an Anupâdaka in a latent state. Hence—when speaking of the Universe in its formless, eternal, or absolute condition, before it was fashioned by the Builders—the expression, “the great Wheel [Universe] was Anupâdaka.”

Stanza II.

1. ... Where were the Builders, the Luminous Sons Of Manvantaric Dawn?... (a) In the Unknown Darkness in their Ah-hi80 Paranishpanna. The Producers of Form81 from No-Form82—the Root of the World—the Devâmatri83 and Svabhâvat, rested in the Bliss of Non-being (b).

(a) The “Builders,” the “Sons of Manvantaric Dawn,” are the real creators of the Universe; and in this doctrine, which deals only with our Planetary System, they, as the architects of the latter, are also called the “Watchers” of the Seven Spheres, which exoterically are the seven planets, and esoterically the seven earths or spheres (Globes) of our Chain also. The opening sentence of Stanza I, when mentioning “Seven Eternities,” applies both to the Mahâkalpa or “the (Great) [pg 084] Age of Brahmâ,” as well as to the Solar Pralaya and subsequent resurrection of our Planetary System on a higher plane. There are many kinds of Pralaya (dissolution of a thing visible), as will be shown elsewhere.

(b) “Paranishpanna,” remember, is the summum bonum, the Absolute, hence the same as Paranirvâna. Besides being the final state, it is that condition of subjectivity which has no relation to anything but the One Absolute Truth (Paramârthasatya) on its own plane. It is that state which leads one to appreciate correctly the full meaning of Non-Being, which, as explained, is Absolute Being. Sooner or later, all that now seemingly exists, will be in reality and actually in the state of Paranishpanna. But there is a great difference between conscious and unconscious Being. The condition of Paranishpanna, without Paramârtha, the Self-analysing Consciousness (Svasamvedâna), is no bliss, but simply extinction for Seven Eternities. Thus, an iron ball placed under the scorching rays of the sun will get heated through, but will not feel or appreciate the warmth, while a man will. It is only with a mind clear and undarkened by Personality, and an assimilation of the merit of manifold Existences devoted to Being in its collectivity [the whole living and sentient Universe],” that one gets rid of personal existence, merging into, becoming one with, the Absolute,84 and continuing in full possession of Paramârtha.

2. ... Where was Silence? Where the ears To Sense It? No, there was neither Silence nor Sound (a); naught save Ceaseless Eternal Breath,85 which knows itself not (b).

(a) The idea that things can cease to exist and still be, is a fundamental one in Eastern psychology. Under this apparent contradiction in terms, there rests a fact of Nature, to realize which in the mind, rather than to argue about words, is the important thing. A familiar instance of a similar paradox is afforded by chemical combination. The question whether hydrogen and oxygen cease to exist, when they [pg 085] combine to form water, is still a moot one; some arguing that since they are found again when the water is decomposed, they must be there all the while; others contending that as they actually turn into something totally different, they must cease to exist as themselves for the time being; but neither side is able to form the faintest conception of the real condition of a thing, which has become something else and yet has not ceased to be itself. Existence as water for oxygen and hydrogen may be said to be a state of Non-Being, which is more real Being than their existence as gases; and it may faintly symbolize the condition of the Universe when it goes to sleep, or ceases to be, during the Nights of Brahmâ—to awaken or reäppear again, when the dawn of the new Manvantara recalls it to what we call existence.

(b) The “Breath” of the One Existence is only used in application to the spiritual aspect of Cosmogony by Archaic Esotericism; in other cases, it is replaced by its equivalent on the material plane—Motion. The One Eternal Element, or element-containing Vehicle, is Space, dimensionless in every sense; coëxistent with which are Endless Duration, Primordial (hence Indestructible) Matter, and Motion—Absolute “Perpetual Motion,” which is the “Breath” of the One Element. This Breath, as seen, can never cease, not even during the Pralayic Eternities.

But the Breath of the One Existence does not, all the same, apply to the One Causeless Cause or the All-Be-ness, in contradistinction to All-Being, which is Brahmâ, or the Universe. Brahmâ, the four-faced god, who, after lifting the Earth out of the waters, “accomplished the creation,” is held to be only the Instrumental, and not, as clearly implied, the Ideal Cause. No Orientalist, so far, seems to have thoroughly comprehended the real sense of the verses in the Purânas, that treat of “creation.”

Therein Brahmâ is the cause of the potencies that are to be generated subsequently for the work of “creation.” For instance, in the Vishnu Purâna,86 the translation, “and from him proceed the potencies to be created, after they have become the real cause,” would perhaps be more correctly rendered, “and from IT proceed the potencies that will create as they become the real cause [on the material plane].” Save that One Causeless Ideal Cause there is no other to which the Universe can be referred. “Worthiest of ascetics, through its potency—i.e., through the potency of that cause—every created thing comes by its inherent or [pg 086] proper nature.” If, “in the Vedânta and Nyâya, nimitta is the efficient cause, as contrasted with upâdâna, the material cause, [and] in the Sânkhya, pradhâna implies the functions of both”; in the Esoteric Philosophy, which reconciles all these systems, and the nearest exponent of which is the Vedânta as expounded by the Advaita Vedântists, none but the upâdâna can be speculated upon. That which is, in the minds of the Vaishnavas (the Visishthadvaitas), as the ideal in contradistinction to the real—or Parabrahman and Îshvara—can find no room in published speculations, since that ideal even is a misnomer, when applied to that of which no human reason, even that of an Adept, can conceive.

To know itself or oneself, necessitates consciousness and perception to be cognized—both limited faculties in relation to any subject except Parabrahman. Hence the “Eternal Breath which knows itself not.” Infinity cannot comprehend Finiteness. The Boundless can have no relation to the Bounded and the Conditioned. In the Occult teachings, the Unknown and the Unknowable Mover, or the Self-Existing, is the Absolute Divine Essence. And thus being Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Motion—to the limited senses of those who describe this indescribable—it is unconsciousness and immovableness. Concrete consciousness cannot be predicated of abstract consciousness, any more than the quality wet can be predicated of water—wetness being its own attribute and the cause of the wet quality in other things. Consciousness implies limitations and qualifications; something to be conscious of, and someone to be conscious of it. But Absolute Consciousness contains the cognizer, the thing cognized and the cognition, all three in itself and all three one. No man is conscious of more than that portion of his knowledge which happens to be recalled to his mind at any particular time, yet such is the poverty of language that we have no term to distinguish the knowledge not actively thought of, from knowledge we are unable to recall to memory. To forget is synonymous with not to remember. How much greater must be the difficulty of finding terms to describe, and to distinguish between, abstract metaphysical facts or differences! It must not be forgotten, also, that we give names to things according to the appearances they assume for ourselves. We call Absolute Consciousness “unconsciousness,” because it seems to us that it must necessarily be so, just as we call the Absolute, “Darkness,” because to our finite understanding it appears quite impenetrable; yet we recognize fully that our perception [pg 087] of such things does not do them justice. We involuntarily distinguish in our minds, for instance, between unconscious Absolute Consciousness, and unconsciousness, by secretly endowing the former with some indefinite quality that corresponds, on a higher plane than our thoughts can reach, with what we know as consciousness in ourselves. But this is not any kind of consciousness that we can manage to distinguish from what appears to us as unconsciousness.

3. The Hour had not yet struck; the Ray had not yet Flashed into the Germ (a); the Mâtripadma87 had not yet swollen (b).88

(a) The “Ray” of the “Ever Darkness” becomes, as it is emitted, a Ray of effulgent Light or Life, and flashes into the “Germ”—the Point in the Mundane Egg, represented by Matter in its abstract sense. But the term “Point” must not be understood as applying to any particular point in Space, for a germ exists in the centre of every atom, and these collectively form the “Germ;” or rather, as no atom can be made visible to our physical eye, the collectivity of these (if the term can be applied to something which is boundless and infinite) forms the noumenon of eternal and indestructible Matter.

(b) One of the symbolical figures for the Dual Creative Power in Nature (matter and force on the material plane) is “Padma,” the water-lily of India. The Lotus is the product of heat (fire) and water (vapour or ether); fire standing in every philosophical and religious system, even in Christianity, as a representation of the Spirit of Deity, the active, male, generative principle; and ether, or the soul of matter, the light of the fire, for the passive female principle, from which everything in this Universe emanated. Hence, ether or water is the Mother, and fire is the Father. Sir William Jones—and before him archaic botany—showed that the seeds of the Lotus contain—even before they germinate—perfectly formed leaves, with the miniature shape of what one day, as perfect plants, they will become: nature thus giving us a specimen of the preformation of its production ... the seeds of all phanerogamous plants bearing proper flowers containing an embryo plantlet ready formed.89 This explains the sentence, “The [pg 088] Mâtri-Padma had not yet swollen”—the form being usually sacrificed to the inner or root idea in archaic symbology.

The Lotus, or Padma, is, moreover, a very ancient and favourite symbol for the Cosmos itself, and also for man. The popular reasons given are, firstly, the fact just mentioned, that the Lotus-seed contains within itself a perfect miniature of the future plant, which typifies the fact that the spiritual prototypes of all things exist in the immaterial world, before these things become materialized on earth. Secondly, the fact that the Lotus-plant grows up through the water, having its root in the Ilus, or mud, and spreading its flower in the air above. The Lotus thus typifies the life of man and also that of the Cosmos; for the Secret Doctrine teaches that the elements of both are the same, and that both are developing in the same direction. The root of the Lotus sunk in the mud represents material life, the stalk passing up through the water typifies existence in the astral world, and the flower floating on the water and opening to the sky is emblematical of spiritual being.

4. Her Heart had not yet opened for the One Ray to enter, thence to fall, as Three into Four, into the Lap of Mâyâ.

The Primordial Substance had not yet passed out of its precosmic latency into differentiated objectivity, or even become the (to man, so far) invisible Protyle of Science. 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. It differentiates, and the Three (Father, Mother, Son) are transformed into Four. Herein lies the origin of the double mystery of the Trinity and the Immaculate Conception. The first and fundamental dogma of Occultism is Universal Unity (or Homogeneity) under three aspects. This leads to a possible conception of Deity, which as an absolute Unity must remain forever incomprehensible to finite intellects.

If thou wouldest believe in the Power which acts within the root of a plant, or imagine the root concealed under the soul, thou hast to think of its stalk or trunk, and of its leaves and flowers. Thou canst not imagine that Power independently of these objects. Life can be known only by the Tree of Life....90

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The idea of Absolute Unity would be broken entirely in our conception, had we not something concrete before our eyes to contain that Unity. And the Deity being absolute, must be omnipresent; hence not an atom but contains It within itself. The roots, the trunk, and its many branches, are three distinct objects, yet they are one tree. Say the Kabalists: “The Deity is one, because It is infinite. It is triple, because It is ever manifesting.” This manifestation is triple in its aspects, for it requires, as Aristotle has it, three principles for every natural body to become objective: privation, form, and matter.91 Privation meant in the mind of the great philosopher that which the Occultists call the prototypes impressed in the Astral Light—the lowest plane and world of Anima Mundi. The union of these three principles depends upon a fourth—the Life which radiates from the summits of the Unreachable, to become a universally diffused Essence on the manifested planes of Existence. And this Quaternary (Father, Mother, Son, as a Unity, and a Quaternary—as a living manifestation) has been the means of leading to the very archaic idea of Immaculate Conception, now finally crystallized into a dogma of the Christian Church, which has carnalized this metaphysical idea beyond any common sense. For one has but to read the Kabalah and study its numerical methods of interpretation to find the origin of the dogma. It is purely astronomical, mathematical, and preëminently metaphysical: the Male Element in Nature (personified by the male deities and Logoi—Virâj, or Brahmâ, Horus, or Osiris, etc., etc.) is born through, not from, an immaculate source, personified by the “Mother,” for—the Abstract Deity being sexless, and not even a Being but Be-ness, or Life itself—that Male having a “Mother” cannot have a “Father.” Let us render this in the mathematical language of the author of The Source of Measures. Speaking of the “Measure of a Man” and his numerical (Kabalistic) value, he writes that in Genesis, iv. 1—

It is called the Man even Jehovah Measure, and this is obtained in this way, viz.: 113 x 5 = 565, and the value 565 can be placed under the form of expression 56.5 x 10 = 565. Here the Man-number 113 becomes a factor of 56.5 x 10, and the [pg 090](Kabalistic) reading of this last numbered expression is Jod, He, Vau, He, or Jehovah.... The expansion of 565 into 56·5 x 10 is purposed to show the emanation of the male (Jod) from the female (Eva) principle; or, so to speak, the birth of a male element from an immaculate source, in other words, an immaculate conception.

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-Hé-Vau-Hé, 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 six-faced Cube on earth. The Macroprosopus (the Great Face) is now Microprosopus (the Lesser Face); or, as the Kabbalists 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 Mâyâ,” the Great Illusion, and between itself and the Reality has the Astral Light, the Great Deceiver of man's limited senses, unless Knowledge through Paramârthasatya comes to the rescue.

5. The Seven92 were not yet born from the Web of Light, Darkness alone was Father-Mother, Svabhâvat; and Svabhâvat was in Darkness.

The Secret Doctrine, in the Stanzas here given, occupies itself chiefly, if not entirely, with our Solar System, and especially with our Planetary Chain. The “Seven Sons,” therefore, are the creators of the latter. This teaching will be explained more fully hereafter.

Svabhâvat, the “Plastic Essence” that fills the Universe, is the root of all things. Svabhâvat is, so to say, the Buddhistic concrete aspect of the abstraction called in Hindû philosophy Mûlaprakriti. It is the body of the Soul, and that which Ether would be to Âkâsha, the latter being the informing principle of the former. Chinese mystics have made of it the synonym of “Being.” In the Chinese translation of the Ekashloka-Shâstra of Nâgârjuna (the Lung-shu of China), called the Yih-shu-lu-kia-lun, it is said that the term “Being,” or “Subhâva,” [pg 091] (Yeu in Chinese) means “the Substance giving substance to itself”; it is also explained by him as meaning “without action and with action,” “the nature which has no nature of its own.” Subhâva, from which Svabhâvat, is composed of two words: su fair, handsome, good; sva, self, and bhâva, being or states of being.

6. These Two are the Germ, and the Germ is One. The Universe was still concealed in the Divine Thought and the Divine Bosom.

The “Divine Thought” does not imply the idea of a Divine Thinker. The Universe, not only past, present and future—a human and finite idea expressed by finite thought—but in its totality, the Sat (an untranslateable term), Absolute Being, with the Past and Future crystallized in an eternal Present, is that Thought itself reflected in a secondary or manifested cause. Brahman (neuter), as the Mysterium Magnum of Paracelsus, is an absolute mystery to the human mind. Brahmâ, the male-female, the aspect and anthropomorphic reflection of Brahman, is conceivable to the perceptions of blind faith, though rejected by human intellect when it attains its majority.

Hence the statement that during the prologue, so to say, of the drama of creation, or the beginning of cosmic evolution, the Universe, or the Son, lies still concealed “in the Divine Thought,” which had not yet penetrated into the “Divine Bosom.” This idea, note well, is at the root, and forms the origin, of all the allegories about the “Sons of God” born of immaculate virgins.

Stanza III.

1. ... The last Vibration of the Seventh Eternity thrills through Infinitude (a). The Mother swells, expanding from within without, like the Bud of the Lotus (b).

(a) The seemingly paradoxical use of the term, “Seventh Eternity,” thus dividing the indivisible, is sanctified in Esoteric Philosophy. The latter divides boundless Duration into unconditionally eternal and universal Time (Kâla); and conditioned Time (Khandakâla). One is the abstraction or noumenon of infinite Time, the other its phenomenon appearing periodically, as the effect of Mahat—the [pg 092] Universal Intelligence, limited by manvantaric duration. With some schools, Mahat is the first-born of Pradhâna (undifferentiated Substance, or the periodical aspect of Mûlaprakriti, the Root of Nature), which (Pradhâna) is called Mâyâ, Illusion. In this respect, I believe, Esoteric teaching differs from the Vedântin doctrines of both the Advaita and the Visishthadvaita schools. For it says that, while Mûlaprakriti, the noumenon, is self-existing and without any origin—is, in short, parentless, Anupâdaka, as one with Brahman—Prakriti, its phenomenon, is periodical and no better than a phantasm of the former; so Mahat, the first-born of Jñâna (or Gnôsis), Knowledge, Wisdom or the Logos—is a phantasm reflected from the Absolute Nirguna (Parabrahman), the One Reality, “devoid of attributes and qualities”; while with some Vedântins Mahat is a manifestation of Prakriti, or Matter.

(b) Therefore, the “last Vibration of the Seventh Eternity” was “fore-ordained”—by no God in particular, but occurred in virtue of the eternal and changeless Law which causes the great periods of Activity and Rest, called so graphically, and at the same time so poetically, the Days and Nights of Brahmâ. The expansion “from within without” of the Mother, called elsewhere the “Waters of Space,” “Universal Matrix,” etc., does not allude to an expansion from a small centre or focus, but means the development of limitless subjectivity into as limitless objectivity, without reference to size or limitation or area. The ever [to us] invisible and immaterial Substance present in eternity, threw its periodical Shadow from its own plane into the Lap of Mâyâ. It implies that this expansion, not being an increase in size—for infinite extension admits of no enlargement—was a change of condition. It expanded “like the Bud of the Lotus”; for the Lotus plant exists not only as a miniature embryo in its seed (a physical characteristic), but its prototype is present in an ideal form in the Astral Light from “Dawn” to “Night” during the manvantaric period, like everything else, as a matter of fact, in this objective Universe; from man to mite, from giant trees to the tiniest blades of grass.

All this, teaches the Hidden Science, is but the temporary reflection, the shadow of the eternal ideal prototype in Divine Thought; the word “Eternity,” note well again, standing here only in the sense of “Æon,” as lasting throughout the seemingly interminable, but still limited cycle of activity, called by us Manvantara. For what is the real esoteric meaning of Manvantara, or rather a Manu-antara? It means, literally, “between two Manus,” of whom there are fourteen in every [pg 093] Day of Brahmâ, such a Day consisting of 1,000 aggregates of four Ages, 1,000 “Great Ages” or Mahâyugas. Let us now analyse the word or name Manu. Orientalists in their dictionaries tell us that the term “Manu” is from the root man, “to think”; hence “the thinking man.” But, esoterically, every Manu, as an anthropomorphized patron of his special cycle (or Round), is but the personified idea of the “Thought Divine” (as the Hermetic Pymander); each of the Manus, therefore, being the special god, the creator and fashioner of all that appears during his own respective cycle of being or Manvantara. Fohat runs the Manus' (or Dhyân Chohans') errands, and causes the ideal prototypes to expand from within without—that is, to cross gradually, on a descending scale, all the planes, from the noumenal to the lowest phenomenal, to bloom finally on the last into full objectivity—the acme of Illusion, or the grossest matter.

2. The Vibration sweeps along, touching93 with its swift Wing the whole Universe and the Germ that dwelleth in Darkness, the Darkness that breathes94 over the slumbering Waters of Life.

The Pythagorean Monas is also said to dwell in solitude and “Darkness” like the “Germ.” The idea of the Breath of Darkness moving over “the slumbering Waters of Life,” which is Primordial Matter with the latent Spirit in it, recalls the first chapter of Genesis. Its original is the Brâhmanical Nârâyana (the Mover on the Waters), who is the personification of the Eternal Breath of the unconscious All (or Parabrahaman) of the Eastern Occultists. The Waters of Life, or Chaos—the female principle in symbolism—are the vacuum (to our mental sight), in which lie the latent Spirit and Matter. This it was that made Democritus assert, after his instructor Leucippus, that the primordial principles of all were atoms and a vacuum, in the sense of space, but not of empty space, for “Nature abhors a vacuum,” according to the Peripatetics and every ancient philosopher.

In all Cosmogonies “Water” plays the same important part. It is the base and source of material existence. Scientists, mistaking the word for the thing, understand by it the definite chemical combination of oxygen and hydrogen, thus giving a specific meaning to a term used [pg 094] by Occultists in a generic sense, and which is employed in Cosmogony with a metaphysical and mystical meaning. Ice is not water, neither is steam, although all three have precisely the same chemical composition.

3. Darkness radiates Light, and Light drops one solitary Ray into the Waters, into the Mother-Deep. The Ray shoots through the Virgin egg, the Ray causes the Eternal Egg to thrill, and drop the non-eternal Germ,95 which condenses into the World-Egg.

The “solitary Ray” dropping into the “Mother-Deep” may be taken to mean Divine Thought, or Intelligence, impregnating Chaos. This, however, occurs on the plane of metaphysical abstraction, or rather the plane whereon that which we call a metaphysical abstraction, is a reality. The “Virgin-Egg,” being in one sense the abstract of all ova, or the power of becoming developed through fecundation, is eternal and for ever the same. And just as the fecundation of an egg takes place before it is dropped; so the non-eternal periodical Germ, which later becomes in symbolism the Mundane Egg, contains in itself, when it emerges from the said symbol, “the promise and potency” of all the Universe. Though the idea per se is, of course, an abstraction, a symbolical mode of expression, it is a true symbol, for it suggests the idea of infinity as an endless circle. It brings before the mind's eye the picture of Kosmos emerging from and in boundless Space, a Universe as shoreless in magnitude, if not as endless in its objective manifestation. The symbol of an egg also expresses the fact taught in Occultism that the primordial form of everything manifested, from atom to globe, from man to angel, is spheroidal, the sphere being with all nations the emblem of eternity and infinity—a serpent swallowing its tail. To realize the meaning, however, the sphere must be thought of as seen from its centre. The field of vision, or of thought, is like a sphere whose radii proceed from one's self in every direction, and extend out into space, opening up boundless vistas all around. It is the symbolical circle of Pascal and the Kabalists, “whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere”—a conception which enters into the compound idea of this emblem.

The “World-Egg” is, perhaps, one of the most universally adopted [pg 095] symbols, highly suggestive as it is, equally in the spiritual, physiological, and cosmological sense. Therefore, it is found in every world-theogony, where it is largely associated with the serpent symbol, the latter being everywhere, in philosophy as in religious symbolism, an emblem of eternity, infinitude, regeneration, and rejuvenation, as well as of wisdom. The mystery of apparent self-generation and evolution through its own creative power, repeating in miniature, in the egg, the process of cosmic evolution—both due to heat and moisture under the efflux of the unseen creative spirit—fully justified the selection of this graphic symbol. The “Virgin-Egg” is the microcosmic symbol of the macrocosmic prototype, the “Virgin Mother”—Chaos or the Primeval Deep. The male creator (under whatever name) springs forth from the virgin female, the Immaculate Root fructified by the Ray. Who, if versed in astronomy and natural sciences, can fail to see its suggestiveness? Kosmos, as receptive Nature, is an egg fructified—yet left immaculate; for once regarded as boundless, it could have no other representation than a spheroid. The Golden Egg was surrounded by seven natural Elements, “four ready [ether, fire, air, water], three secret.” This may be found stated in Vishnu Purâna, where elements are translated “envelopes,” and a secret one is added—Ahamkâra.96 The original text has no Ahamkâra; it mentions seven Elements without specifying the last three.

4. The Three97 fall into the Four98. The Radiant Essence becomes Seven inside, Seven outside (a). The Luminous Egg,99which in itself is Three,100 curdles and spreads in milk-white Curds throughout the Depths of Mother, the Root that grows in the Depths of the Ocean of Life (b).

The use of geometrical figures and the frequent allusions to figures in all ancient scriptures, as in the Purânas, the Egyptian Book of the Dead and even the Bible—must be explained. In the Book of Dzyan, as in the Kabalah, there are two kinds of numerals to be studied—the Figures, often simple blinds, and the Sacred Numbers, the values of which are [pg 096] all known to the Occultists through Initiation. The former are but conventional glyphs; the latter, the basic symbols of all. That is to say, the one are purely physical, the other purely metaphysical, the two standing in relation to each other as Matter stands to Spirit—the extreme poles of the One Substance.

As Balzac, the unconscious Occultist of French literature, says somewhere, the Number is to Mind the same as it is to Matter, “an incomprehensible agent.” Perhaps so to the profane, never to the initiated mind. Number is, as the great writer thought, an Entity, and, at the same time, a Breath emanating from what he called God and what we call the All, the Breath which alone could organize the physical Cosmos, “where naught obtains its form but through the Deity, which is an effect of Number.” It is instructive to quote Balzac's words upon this subject:

The smallest as the most immense creations, are they not to be distinguished from each other by their quantities, their qualities, their dimensions, their forces and attributes, all begotten by Number? The infinitude of Numbers is a fact proven to our mind, but of which no proof can be physically given. The mathematician will tell us that the infinitude of Numbers exists but is not to be demonstrated. God is a Number endowed with motion, which is felt but not demonstrated. As Unity, it begins the Numbers, with which it has nothing in common.... The existence of Numbers depends on Unity, which without a single Number, begets them all.... What! unable either to measure the first abstraction yielded to you by the Deity, or to get hold of it, you still hope to subject to your measurements the mystery of the Secret Sciences which emanate from that Deity? .... And what would you feel, were I to plunge you into the abysses of Motion, the Force which organizes the Numbers? What would you think, were I to add that Motion and Number101 are begotten by the Word, the Supreme Reason of the Seers and Prophets, who, in days of old, sensed the mighty Breath of God, a witness to which is the Apocalypse?

(b) “The Radiant Essence curdles and spreads throughout the Depths” of Space. From an astronomical point of view this is easy of explanation: it is the Milky Way, the World-Stuff, or Primordial Matter in its first form. It is more difficult, however, to explain it in a few words, or even lines, from the standpoint of Occult Science and Symbolism, as it is the most complicated of glyphs. Herein are enshrined more than a dozen symbols. To begin with, it contains the whole pantheon of mysterious objects,102 every one of them having some [pg 097] definite Occult meaning, extracted from the Hindû allegorical “Churning of the Ocean” by the Gods. Besides Amrita, the water of life or immortality, Surabhi, the “cow of plenty,” called “the fountain of milk and curds,” was extracted from this “sea of milk.” Hence the universal adoration of the cow and bull, one the productive, the other the generative power in Nature: symbols connected with both the solar and the cosmic deities. The specific properties, for Occult purposes, of the “fourteen precious things,” being explained only at the Fourth Initiation, cannot be given here; but the following may be remarked. In the Shatapatha Brâhmana it is stated that the Churning of the Ocean of Milk took place in the Satya Yuga, the first Age which immediately followed the “Deluge.” As, however, neither the Rig Veda nor Manu—both preceding Vaivasvata's “Deluge,” that of the bulk of the Fourth Race—mention this Deluge, it is evident that it is neither the Great Deluge, nor that which carried away Atlantis, nor even the Deluge of Noah, which is here meant. This “Churning” relates to a period before the earth's formation, and is in direct connection with another universal legend, the various and contradictory versions of which culminated in the Christian dogma of the “War in Heaven,” and the “Fall of the Angels.” The Brâhmanas, reproached by the Orientalists with their versions on the same subjects often clashing with each other, are preëminently occult works, hence used purposely as blinds. They are allowed to survive for public use and property only because they were and are absolutely unintelligible to the masses. Otherwise they would have disappeared from circulation as long ago as the days of Akbar.

5. The Root remains, the Light remains, the Curds remain, and still Oeaohoo is One.

“Oeaohoo” is rendered “Father-Mother of the Gods” in the Commentaries, or the “Six in One,” or the Septenary Root from which all proceeds. All depends upon the accent given to these seven vowels, which may be pronounced as one, three, or even seven syllables, by adding an e after the final o. This mystic name is given out, because without a thorough mastery of the triple pronunciation it remains for ever ineffectual.

[pg 098]

“Is One” refers to the Non-Separateness of all that lives and has its being, whether in an active or passive state. In one sense, Oeaohoo is the Rootless Root of All; hence, one with Parabrahman: in another sense it is a name for the manifested One Life, the eternal living Unity. The “Root” means, as already explained, Pure Knowledge (Sattva),103 eternal (nitya) unconditioned Reality, or Sat (Satya), whether we call it Parabrahman or Mûlaprakriti, for these are but the two symbols of the One. The “Light” is the same Omnipresent Spiritual Ray, which has entered and now fecundated the Divine Egg, and calls cosmic matter to begin its long series of differentiations. The “Curds” are the first differentiation, and probably also refer to that cosmic matter which is supposed to be the origin of the Milky Way—the matter we know. This “matter,” which, according to the revelation received from the primeval Dhyâni-Buddhas, is, during the periodical Sleep of the Universe, of the ultimate tenuity conceivable to the eye of the perfect Bodhisattva—this matter, radiant and cool, becomes, at the first reawakening of cosmic motion, scattered through Space; appearing, when seen from the Earth, in clusters and lumps, like curds in thin milk. These are the seeds of the future worlds, the “star-stuff.”

6. The Root of Life was in every Drop of the Ocean of Immortality,104and the Ocean was Radiant Light, which was Fire, and Heat, and Motion. Darkness vanished and was no more; it disappeared in its own Essence, the Body of Fire and Water, of Father and Mother.

The Essence of Darkness being Absolute Light, Darkness is taken as the appropriate allegorical representation of the condition of the Universe during Pralaya, or the term of Absolute Rest, or Non-Being, as it appears to our finite minds. The “Fire, and Heat, and Motion,” here spoken of, are, of course, not the fire, heat, and motion of Physical Science, but the underlying abstractions, the noumena, or the soul, of [pg 099] the essence of these material manifestations—the “things in themselves,” which, as Modern Science confesses, entirely elude the instruments of the laboratory, and which even the mind cannot grasp, although it can equally as little avoid the conclusion that these underlying essences of things must exist. “Fire and Water, or Father and Mother,” may be taken here to mean the divine Ray and Chaos. “Chaos, from this union with Spirit obtaining sense, shone with pleasure, and thus was produced the Protogonos [the first-born Light],” says a fragment of Hermas. Damascius calls it Dis, the “disposer of all things.”105

According to the Rosicrucian tenets, as handled and explained by the profane for once correctly, if only partially, “Light and Darkness are identical in themselves, being only divisible in the human mind”; and according to Robert Fludd, “Darkness adopted illumination in order to make itself visible.”106 According to the tenets of Eastern Occultism, Darkness is the one true actuality, the basis and the root of Light, without which the latter could never manifest itself, nor even exist. Light is Matter, and Darkness pure Spirit. Darkness, in its radical, metaphysical basis, is subjective and absolute Light; while the latter in all its seeming effulgence and glory, is merely a mass of shadows, as it can never be eternal, and is simply an Illusion, or Mâyâ.

Even in the mind-baffling and science-harassing Genesis,107 light is created out of darkness—“and darkness was upon the face of the deep”—and not vice versâ. “In him [in darkness] was life; and the life was the light of men.”108 A day may come when the eyes of men will be opened; and then they may comprehend better than they do now the verse in the Gospel of John that says, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” They will see then that the word “darkness” does not apply to man's spiritual eyesight, but indeed to Darkness, the Absolute, that comprehendeth not (cannot cognize) transient Light, however transcendent to human eyes. Demon est Deus inversus. The Devil is now called “darkness” by the Church, whereas in the Bible, in the Book of Job, he is called the “Son of God,” the bright star of the early morning, Lucifer. There is a whole philosophy of dogmatic craft in the reason why the first Archangel, who sprang from the depths of Chaos, was called Lux (Lucifer), the luminous “Son of the Morning,” or Manvantaric Dawn. He has [pg 100] been transformed by the Church into Lucifer or Satan, because he is higher and older than Jehovah, and had to be sacrificed to the new dogma.

7. Behold, O Lanoo,109 the Radiant Child of the Two, the unparalleled refulgent Glory—Bright Space, Son of Dark Space, who emerges from the Depths of the great Dark Waters. It is Oeaohoo, the Younger, the —— 110 (a). He shines forth as the Sun, he is the Blazing Divine Dragon of Wisdom; the Eka111 is Chatur, and Chatur takes to itself Tri, and the Union produces the Sapta, in whom are the Seven, which become the Tridasha,112 the Hosts and the Multitudes (b). Behold him lifting the Veil, and unfurling it from East To West. He shuts out the Above, and leaves the Below to be seen as the Great Illusion. He marks the places for the Shining Ones,113and turns the Upper114 into a shoreless Sea of Fire (c), and the One Manifested115 into the Great Waters.

(a) “Bright Space, Son of Dark Space,” corresponds to the Ray dropped at the first thrill of the new Dawn into the great Cosmic Depths, from which it reëmerges differentiated as “Oeaohoo, the Younger” (the “New Life”), to be to the end of the Life-Cycle the Germ of all things. He is “the Incorporeal Man who contains in himself the Divine Idea,” the generator of Light and Life, to use an expression of Philo Judæus. He is called the “Blazing Dragon of Wisdom,” because, firstly, he is that which the Greek philosophers called the Logos, the Verbum of the Thought Divine; and secondly, because in Esoteric Philosophy this first manifestation, being the synthesis or the aggregate of Universal Wisdom, Oeaohoo, the “Son of the Sun,” contains in himself the Seven Creative Hosts (Sephiroth), [pg 101] and is thus the essence of manifested Wisdom. He who bathes in the Light of Oeaohoo will never be deceived by the Veil of Mâyâ.

“Kwan-Shai-Yin” is identical with, and an equivalent of the Sanskrit Avalokiteshvara, and as such is an androgynous deity, like the Tetragrammaton and all the Logoi of antiquity. It is only by some sects in China that he is anthropomorphized, and represented with female attributes; under his female aspect becoming Kwan-Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, called the “Divine Voice.”116 The latter is the patron deity of Tibet and of the island of Puto in China, where both deities have a number of monasteries.117

The higher gods of antiquity are all “Sons of the Mother” before they become “Sons of the Father.” The Logoi, like Jupiter or Zeus, son of Cronus-Saturn, “Infinite Time” (Kâla), in their origin were represented as male-female. Zeus is said to be the “beautiful virgin,” and Venus is made bearded. Apollo was originally bisexual, so is Brahmâ-Vâch in Manu and the Purânas. Osiris is interchangeable with Isis, and Horus is of both sexes. Finally in St. John's vision in Revelation, the Logos, who is now connected with Jesus, is hermaphrodite, for he is described as having female breasts. So also is Tetragrammaton, or Jehovah. But there are two Avalokiteshvaras in Esotericism; the First and the Second Logos.

No religious symbol can escape profanation and even derision in our days of politics and science. In Southern India the writer has seen a converted native making pûjâ with offerings before a statue of Jesus clad in woman's clothes and with a ring in its nose. On asking the meaning of this masquerade, we were answered that it was Jesu-Maria blended in one, and that it was done by the permission of the Padre, as the zealous convert had no money to purchase two statues, or “idols” as they, very properly, were called by a witness, another but a non-converted Hindû. Blasphemous this will appear to a dogmatic Christian, but the Theosophist and the Occultist must award the palm of logic to the converted Hindû. The esoteric Christos in the Gnôsis is, of course, sexless, but in exoteric Theology he is male and female.

[pg 102]

(b) The “Dragon of Wisdom” is the One, the “Eka” or Saka. It is curious that Jehovah's name in Hebrew should also be One, Achad. “His name is Achad,” say the Rabbins. The Philologists ought to decide which of the two is derived from the other, linguistically and symbolically; surely, not the Sanskrit. The “One” and the “Dragon” are expressions used by the ancients in connection with their respective Logoi. Jehovah—esoterically Elohim—is also the Serpent or Dragon that tempted Eve; and the Dragon is an old glyph for the Astral Light (Primordial Principle), “which is the Wisdom of Chaos.” Archaic philosophy, recognizing neither Good nor Evil as a fundamental or independent power, but starting from the Absolute All (Universal Perfection eternally), traces both through the course of natural evolution to pure Light condensing gradually into form, and hence becoming Matter or Evil. It was left with the early and ignorant Christian Fathers to degrade the philosophical and highly scientific idea of this emblem into the absurd superstition called the “Devil.” They took this from the later Zoroastrians, who saw Devils or Evil in the Hindû Devas, and the word Evil has become by a double transmutation D'Evil (Diabolos, Diable, Diavolo, Teufel). But the Pagans have always shown a philosophical discrimination in their symbols. The primitive symbol of the serpent symbolized divine Wisdom and Perfection, and has always stood for psychical Regeneration and Immortality. Hence, Hermes calling the serpent the most spiritual of all beings; Moses, initiated into the Wisdom of Hermes, following suit in Genesis; the Gnostic Serpent with the seven vowels over its head, being the emblem of the Seven Hierarchies of the Septenary or Planetary Creators. Hence, also, the Hindû serpent Shesha or Ananta, the Infinite, a name of Vishnu, and his first Vâhana, or Vehicle, on the Primordial Waters. Like the Logoi and the Hierarchies of Powers, however, these serpents have to be distinguished one from the other. Shesha or Ananta, the “Couch of Vishnu,” is an allegorical abstraction, symbolizing infinite Time in Space, which contains the Germ and throws off periodically the efflorescence of this Germ, the Manifested Universe; whereas, the Gnostic Ophis contains the same triple symbolism in its seven vowels as the one, three and seven-syllabled Oeaohoo of the archaic doctrine; i.e., the First Unmanifested Logos, the Second Manifested, the Triangle concreting into the Quaternary or Tetragrammaton, and the Rays of the latter on the material plane.

[pg 103]

Yet they all made a difference between the good and the bad Serpent (the Astral Light of the Kabalists)—between the former, the embodiment of divine Wisdom in the region of the Spiritual, and the latter, Evil, on the plane of Matter. For the Astral Light, or the Ether, of the ancient Pagans—the name Astral Light is quite modern—is Spirit-Matter. Beginning with the pure spiritual plane, it becomes grosser as it descends, until it becomes Mâyâ, or the tempting and deceitful Serpent on our plane.

Jesus accepted the serpent as a synonym of Wisdom, and this formed part of his teaching: “Be ye wise as serpents,” he says. In the beginning, before Mother became Father-Mother, the Fiery Dragon moved in the Infinitudes alone.118 The Aitareya Brahmana calls the Earth Sarparâjni, the “Serpent Queen,” and the “Mother of all that moves.” Before our globe became egg-shaped (and the Universe also), “a long trail of cosmic dust [or fire-mist] moved and writhed like a serpent in Space.” The “Spirit of God moving on Chaos” was symbolized by every nation in the shape of a fiery serpent breathing fire and light upon the primordial waters, until it had incubated cosmic matter and made it assume the annular shape of a serpent with its tail in its mouth—which symbolizes not only eternity and infinitude, but also the globular shape of all the bodies formed within the Universe from that fiery mist. The Universe, as also the Earth and Man, serpent-like, periodically cast off their old skins, to assume new ones after a time of rest. The serpent is surely not a less graceful or a more unpoetical image than the caterpillar and chrysalis from which springs the butterfly, the Greek emblem of Psyche, the human soul! The Dragon was also the symbol of the Logos with the Egyptians, as with the Gnostics. In the Book of Hermes, Pymander, the oldest and the most spiritual of the Logoi of the Western Continent, appears to Hermes in the shape of a Fiery Dragon of “Light, Fire, and Flame.” Pymander, the “Thought Divine” personified, says:

The Light is I, I am the Nous [the Mind or Manu], I am thy God, and I am far older than the human principle which escapes from the shadow [Darkness, or the concealed Deity]. I am the germ of thought, the resplendent Word, the Son of God. All that thus sees and hears in thee is the Verbum of the Master; it is the Thought [Mahat] which is God, the Father.119 The celestial Ocean, the Æther, [pg 104] ... is the Breath of the Father, the life-giving principle, the Mother, the Holy Spirit, ... for these are not separated, and their union is Life.

Here we find the unmistakable echo of the archaic Secret Doctrine, as now expounded. Only the latter does not place at the head of the Evolution of Life the “Father,” who comes third and is the “Son of the Mother,” but the “Eternal and Ceaseless Breath of the All.” Mahat (Understanding, Universal Mind, Thought, etc.), before it manifests itself as Brahmâ or Shiva, appears as Vishnu, says the Sânkhya Sâra.120 Hence it has several aspects, just as the Logos has. Mahat is called the Lord, in the Primary Creation, and is, in this sense, Universal Cognition or Thought Divine; but, “that Mahat which was first produced is (afterwards) called Ego-ism, when it is born as (the feeling itself) ‘I,’ that is said to be the Secondary Creation.”121 And the translator (an able and learned Brâhman, not a European Orientalist) explains in a foot-note, i.e., when Mahat develops into the feeling of Self-Consciousness—I—then it assumes the name of Egoism,” which, translated into our Esoteric phraseology, means—when Mahat is transformed into the human Manas (or even that of the finite gods), and becomes Aham-ship. Why it is called the Mahat of the Secondary Creation (or the Ninth, the Kaumâra in Vishnu Purâna), will be explained hereafter.

(c) The “Sea of Fire” is, then, the Super-Astral (i.e., Noumenal) Light, the first radiation from the Root Mûlaprakriti, Undifferentiated Cosmic Substance, which becomes Astral Matter. It is also called the “Fiery Serpent,” as above described. If the student bears in mind that there is but One Universal Element, which is infinite, unborn, and undying and that all the rest—as in the world of phenomena—are but so many various differentiated aspects and transformations (correlations, they are now called) of that One, from macrocosmical down to microcosmical effects, from super-human down to human and sub-human beings, the totality, in short, of objective existence—then the first and chief difficulty will disappear and Occult Cosmology may be mastered. Thus in the Egyptian also as in the Indian Theogony there was a Concealed Deity, the One, and a creative, androgynous god; Shoo being the god of creation, and Osiris in his original primary form, the god “whose name is unknown.”122

All the Kabalists and Occultists, Eastern and Western, recognize (a) [pg 105] the identity of “Father-Mother” with Primordial Æther, or Âkâsha (Astral Light); and (b) its homogeneity before the evolution of the “Son,” cosmically Fohat, for it is Cosmic Electricity. Fohat hardens and scatters the Seven Brothers;123 which means that the Primordial Electric Entity—for the Eastern Occultists insist that Electricity is an Entity—electrifies into life, and separates primordial stuff or pregenetic matter into atoms, themselves the source of all life and consciousness. “There exists a universal agent unique of all forms and of life, that is called Od, Ob, and Aour,124 active and passive, positive and negative, like day and night: it is the first light in Creation” (Éliphas Lévi)—the “first light” of the primordial Elohim, the Adam, “male and female,” or (scientifically) Electricity and Life.

The ancients represented it by a serpent, for Fohat hisses as he glides hither and thither,” in zigzags. The Kabalah figures it with the Hebrew letter Teth, ט, whose symbol is the serpent which played such a prominent part in the Mysteries. Its universal value is nine, for it is the ninth letter of the alphabet, and the ninth door of the fifty portals, or gateways, that lead to the concealed mysteries of being. It is the magical agent par excellence, and designates in Hermetic philosophy “Life infused into Primordial Matter,” the essence that composes all things, and the spirit that determines their form. But there are two secret Hermetical operations, one spiritual, the other material, correlative and for ever united. As Hermes says:

Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the solid ... that which ascends from earth to heaven and descends again from heaven to earth. It [the subtile light] is the strong force of every force, for it conquers every subtile thing and penetrates into every solid. Thus was the world formed.

It was not Zeno, the founder of the Stoics, alone, who taught that the Universe evolves, and its primary substance is transformed from the state of fire into that of air, then into that of water, etc. Heraclitus of Ephesus maintained that the one principle that underlies all phenomena in Nature is fire. The intelligence that moves the Universe is fire, and fire is intelligence. And while Anaximenes said the same of air, and Thales of Miletus (600 years b.c.) of water, the Esoteric Doctrine [pg 106] reconciles all these philosophers, by showing that though each was right, the system of none was complete.

8. Where was the Germ, and where was now Darkness? Where is the Spirit of the Flame that burns in thy Lamp, O Lanoo? The Germ is That, and That is Light, the White Brilliant Son of the Dark Hidden Father..

The answer to the first question, suggested by the second, which is the reply of the teacher to the pupil, contains in a single phrase one of the most essential truths of Occult Philosophy. It indicates the existence of things imperceptible to our physical senses which are of far greater importance, more real and more permanent, than those that appeal to these senses themselves. Before the Lanoo can hope to understand the transcendentally metaphysical problem contained in the first question, he must be able to answer the second; while the very answer he gives to the second will furnish him with the clue to the correct reply to the first.

In the Sanskrit Commentary on this Stanza, the terms used for the concealed and the unrevealed Principle are many. In the earliest MSS. of Indian literature this Unrevealed Abstract Deity has no name. It is generally called “That” (Tad, in Sanskrit), and means all that is, was, and will be, or that can be so received by the human mind.

Among such appellations given—of course, only in Esoteric Philosophy—as the “Unfathomable Darkness,” the “Whirlwind,” etc., it is also called the “It of the Kâlahansa,” the “Kâla-ham-sa,” and even the “Kâli Hamsa” (Black Swan). Here the m and the n are convertible, and both sound like the nasal French an or am. As in the Hebrew so also in the Sanskrit many a mysterious sacred name conveys to the profane ear no more than some ordinary, and often vulgar word, because it is concealed anagrammatically or otherwise. This word Hansa, or Hamsa, is just such a case. Hamsa is equal to “A-ham-sa”—three words meaning “I am He”; while divided in still another way it will read “So-ham,” “He [is] I.” In this single word is contained, for him who understands the language of wisdom, the universal mystery, the doctrine of the identity of man's essence with god-essence. Hence the glyph of, and the allegory about, Kâlahansa (or Hamsa), and the name given to Brahman (neuter), later on to the male Brahmâ, of [pg 107] Hamsa-vâhana, “he who uses the Hamsa as his vehicle.” The same word may be read “Kâlaham-sa,” or “I am I, in the eternity of time,” answering to the Biblical, or rather Zoroastrian, “I am that I am.” The same doctrine is found in the Kabalah, as witness the following extract from an unpublished MS. by Mr. S. Liddell McGregor Mathers, the learned Kabalist:

The three pronouns, הוא, אתה, אני, Hua, Ateh, Ani—He, Thou, I—are used to symbolize the ideas of Macroposopus and Microprosopus in the Hebrew Qabalah. Hua, He, is applied to the hidden and concealed Macroprosopus; Ateh, Thou,to Microprosopus; and Ani, I, to the latter when He is represented as speaking. (See Lesser Holy Assembly, 204 et seq.) It is to be noted that each of these names consists of three letters, of which the letter Aleph א, A, forms the conclusion of the first word Hua, and the commencement of Atah and Ani, as if it were the connecting link between them. But א is the symbol of the Unity and consequently of the unvarying Idea of the Divine operating through all these. But behind the א in the name Hua are the letters ו and ה, the symbols of the numbers Six and Five, the Male and the Female, the Hexagram and the Pentagram. And the numbers of these three words, Hua, Ateh, Ani, are 12, 406, and 61, which are resumed in the key numbers of 3, 10, and 7, by the Qabalah of the Nine Chambers which is a form of the exegetical rule of Temura.

It is useless to attempt to explain the mystery in full. Materialists and the men of Modern Science will never understand it, since, in order to obtain clear perception of it, one has first of all to admit the postulate of a universally diffused, omnipresent, eternal Deity in Nature; secondly, to have fathomed the mystery of electricity in its true essence; and thirdly, to credit man with being the septenary symbol, on the terrestrial plane, of the One Great Unit, the Logos, which is Itself the seven-vowelled sign, the Breath crystallized into the Word.125 He who believes in all this, has also to believe in the multiple combination of the seven planets of Occultism and of the Kabalah, with the twelve zodiacal signs; and attribute, as we do, to each planet and to each constellation an influence which, in the words of Mr. Ely Star (a French astrologer), “is proper to it, beneficent or maleficent, and this, after the planetary spirit which rules it, who, in his turn, is capable of influencing men and things which are found in harmony with him and with which he has any affinity.” For these reasons, and since few believe in the foregoing, all that can now be given is that in both cases [pg 108] the symbol of Hansa (whether I, He, Goose or Swan) is an important symbol, representing, among other things, Divine Wisdom, Wisdom in Darkness beyond the reach of men. For all exoteric purposes, Hansa, as every Hindû knows, is a fabulous bird which, when (in the allegory) given milk mixed with water for its food, separated the two, drinking the milk and leaving the water; thus showing inherent wisdom—milk standing symbolically for spirit, and water for matter.

That this allegory is very ancient and dates from the very earliest archaic period, is shown by the mention, in the Bhâgavata Purâna, of a certain caste named Hamsa or Hansa, which was the “one caste” par excellence; when far back in the mists of a forgotten past there was among the Hindûs only “One Veda, One Deity, One Caste.” There is also a range in the Himâlayas, described in the old books as being situated north of Mount Meru, called Hamsa, and connected with episodes pertaining to the history of religious mysteries and initiations. As to Kâlahansa being the supposed Vehicle of Brahmâ-Prajâpati, in the exoteric texts and translations of the Orientalists, it is quite a mistake. Brahman, the neuter, is called by them Kâla-hansa, and Brahmâ, the male, Hansa-vâhana, because, forsooth, “his vehicle is a swan or goose.”126 This is a purely exoteric gloss. Esoterically and logically, if Brahman, the infinite, is all that is described by the Orientalists, and, agreeably with the Vedântic texts, is an abstract deity, in no way characterized by the ascription of any human attributes, and at the same time it is maintained that he or it is called Kâlahansa—then how can it ever become the Vâhan of Brahmâ, the manifested finite god? It is quite the reverse. The “Swan or Goose” (Hansa) is the symbol of the male or temporary deity, Brahmâ, the emanation of the primordial Ray, which is made to serve as a Vâhan or Vehicle for the Divine Ray, which otherwise could not manifest itself in the Universe, being, antiphrastically, itself an emanation of Darkness—for our human intellect, at any rate. It is Brahmâ, then, who is Kâlahansa, and the Ray, Hansa-vâhana.

As to the strange symbol thus chosen, it is equally suggestive; the true mystic significance being the idea of a Universal Matrix, figured by the Primordial Waters of the Deep, or the opening for the reception, and subsequently for the issuing, of that One Ray (the Logos) which contains in itself the other Seven Procreative Rays or Powers (the Logoi or Builders). Hence the choice by the Rosecroix of the aquatic [pg 109] fowl—whether swan or pelican127—with seven young ones, for a symbol, modified and adapted to the religion of every country. Ain Suph is called the “Fiery Soul of the Pelican” in the Book of Numbers.128 Appearing with every Manvantara as Nârâyana, or Svâyambhuva, the Self-Existent, and penetrating into the Mundane Egg, it emerges from it at the end of the divine incubation as Brahmâ, or Prajâpati, the progenitor of the future Universe, into which he expands. He is Purusha (Spirit), but he is also Prakriti (Matter). Therefore it is only after separating itself into two halves—Brahmâ-Vâch (the female) and Brahmâ-Virâj (the male)—that the Prajâpati becomes the male Brahmâ.

9. Light is Cold Flame, and Flame is Fire, and Fire produces Heat, which yields Water—the Water of Life in the Great Mother.129

It must be remembered that the words “Light,” “Flame” and “Fire,” have been adopted by the translators from the vocabulary of the old “Fire Philosophers,”130 in order to render more clearly the meaning of the archaic terms and symbols employed in the original. Otherwise they would have remained entirely unintelligible to a European reader. To a student of the Occult, however, the above terms will be sufficiently clear.

All these—“Light,” “Flame,” “Cold,” “Fire,” “Heat,” “Water,” and “Water of Life”—are, on our plane, the progeny, or, as a modern Physicist would say, the correlations of Electricity. Mighty word, and a still mightier symbol! Sacred generator of a no less sacred progeny; of Fire—the creator, the preserver and the destroyer; of [pg 110] Light—the essence of our divine ancestors; of Flame—the soul of things. Electricity, the One Life at the upper rung of Being, and Astral Fluid, the Athanor of the Alchemists, at the lower; God and Devil, Good and Evil.

Now, why is Light called “Cold Flame”? In the order of Cosmic Evolution (as taught by the Occultist), the energy that actuates matter, after its first formation into atoms, is generated on our plane by Cosmic Heat; and before that period Cosmos, in the sense of dissociated matter, was not. The first Primordial Matter, eternal and coëval with Space, which has neither a beginning nor an end, [is] neither hot nor cold, but is of its own special nature,” says the Commentary. Heat and cold are relative qualities and pertain to the realms of the manifested worlds, which all proceed from the manifested Hyle, which, in its absolutely latent aspect, is referred to as the “Cold Virgin,” and when awakened to life, as the “Mother.” The ancient Western cosmogonic myths state that at first there was only cold mist (the Father) and the prolific slime (the Mother, Ilus or Hyle), from which crept forth the Mundane Snake (Matter).131 Primordial Matter, then, before it emerges from the plane of the never-manifesting, and awakens to the thrill of action under the impulse of Fohat, is but “a cool radiance, colourless, formless, tasteless, and devoid of every quality and aspect.” Even such are her First-born, the “Four Sons,” who “are One, and become Seven,”—the Entities, by whose qualifications and names the ancient Eastern Occultists called the four of the seven primal “Centres of Force,” or Atoms, that develop later into the great Cosmic “Elements,” now divided into the seventy or so sub-elements, known to Science. The four “Primal Natures” of the first Dhyân Chohans are the so-called (for want of better terms) Âkâshic, Ethereal, Watery and Fiery. They answer, in the terminology of practical Occultism, to the scientific definitions of gases, which—to convey a clear idea to both Occultists and laymen—may be defined as parahydrogenic,132 paraoxygenic, oxyhydrogenic, and ozonic, or perhaps nitrozonic; the latter forces, or gases (in Occultism, supersensuous, yet atomic substances), being the most effective and active when energizing on the plane of more grossly differentiated matter. These elements are both electro-positive and electro-negative. These and many more are probably the missing links of Chemistry. They are known by other names in Alchemy and to Occultists who practise phenomenal powers. It is by combining and recombining, or dissociating, the “Elements” [pg 111] in a certain way, by means of Astral Fire, that the greatest phenomena are produced.

10. Father-Mother spin a Web, whose upper end is fastened to Spirit,133 the Light of the One Darkness, and the lower one to its shadowy end, Matter;134 and this Web is the Universe spun out of the Two Substances made in One, which is Svabhâvat.

In the Mândukya Upanishad135 it is written, “As a spider throws out and retracts its web, as herbs spring up in the ground ... so is the Universe derived from the undecaying one,” Brahmâ, for the “Germ of unknown Darkness,” is the material from which all evolves and develops, “as the web from the spider, as foam from the water,” etc. This is only graphic and true, if the term Brahmâ, the “Creator,” is derived from the root brih, to increase or expand. Brahmâ “expands,” and becomes the Universe woven out of his own substance.

The same idea has been beautifully expressed by Goethe, who says:

Thus at the roaring loom of Time I ply,
And weave for God the garment thou see'st Him by.

11. It136 expands when the Breath of Fire137 is upon it; It contracts when the Breath of the Mother138 touches it. Then the Sons139 dissociate and scatter, to return into their Mother's Bosom, at the end of the Great Day, and re-become one with her. When it140 is cooling, it becomes radiant. Its Sons expand and contract through their own Selves and Hearts; they embrace Infinitude.

The expanding of the Universe, under the “Breath of Fire,” is very suggestive in the light of the fire-mist period, of which Modern Science speaks so much, and knows in reality so little.

Great heat breaks up the compound elements and resolves the [pg 112] heavenly bodies into their Primeval One Element, explains the Commentary.

Once disintegrated into its primal constituent, by getting within the attraction and reach of a focus, or centre of heat [energy], of which many are carried about to and fro in space, a body, whether alive or dead, will be vapourized, and held in the Bosom of the Mother, until Fohat, gathering a few of the clusters of Cosmic Matter [nebulæ], will, by giving it an impulse, set it in motion anew, develop the required heat, and then leave it to follow its own new growth.

The expanding and contracting of the “Web” i.e., the world-stuff, or atoms—express here the pulsatory movement; for it is the regular contraction and expansion of the infinite and shoreless Ocean, of that which we may call the noumenon of Matter, emanated by Svabhâvat, which causes the universal vibration of atoms. But it is also suggestive of something else. It shows that the ancients were acquainted with that which is now the puzzle of many Scientists and especially of Astronomers—the cause of the first ignition of matter, or world-stuff, the paradox of the heat produced by refrigerative contraction, and other such cosmic riddles—for it points unmistakably to a knowledge by the ancients of such phenomena. There is heat internal and heat external in every atom,” say the MSS. Commentaries, to which the writer has had access, the Breath of the Father [Spirit], and the Breath [or Heat] of the Mother [Matter]; and they give explanations which show that the modern theory of the extinction of the solar fires, by loss of heat through radiation, is erroneous. The assumption is false even on the Scientists' own admission. For, as Professor Newcomb141 points out, “by losing heat a gaseous body contracts, and the heat generated by the contraction exceeds that which it had to lose in order to produce the contraction.” This paradox, that a body gets hotter, as the shrinking produced by its getting colder is greater, has led to long disputes. The surplus of heat, it is argued, is lost by radiation, and to assume that the temperature is not lowered pari passu with a decrease of volume under a constant pressure, is to set at naught the law of Charles. Contraction develops heat, it is true; but contraction (from cooling) is incapable of developing the whole amount of heat at any time existing in the mass, or even of maintaining a body at a constant temperature, etc. Professor Winchell tries to reconcile the paradox—only a seeming one in fact, as J. Homer Lane142 proved—by suggesting “something [pg 113] besides heat.” “May it not be,” he asks, “simply a repulsion among the molecules, which varies according to some law of the distance”?143 But even this will be found irreconcilable, unless this “something besides heat” is ticketed “Causeless Heat,” the “Breath of Fire,” the all-creative Force plus Absolute Intelligence, which Physical Science is not likely to accept.

However it may be, the reading of this Stanza, notwithstanding its archaic phraseology, shows it to be more scientific than even Modern Science.

12. Then Svabhâvat sends Fohat to harden the Atoms. Each144is a part of the Web.145 Reflecting the Self-Existent Lord,146like a Mirror, each becomes in turn a World.147

Fohat hardens the Atoms; i.e., by infusing energy into them, he scatters the “Atoms,” or Primordial Matter. He scatters himself while scattering Matter into Atoms.”

It is through Fohat that the ideas of the Universal Mind are impressed upon Matter. Some faint idea of the nature of Fohat may be gathered from the appellation “Cosmic Electricity,” sometimes applied to it; but, in this case, to the commonly known properties of electricity, must be added others, including intelligence. It is of interest to note that Modern Science has come to the conclusion, that all cerebration and brain-activity are attended by electrical phenomena.

Stanza IV.

1. ... Listen, ye Sons of the Earth, to your Instructors—the Sons of the Fire (a). Learn there is neither first nor last; for all is One Number, issued from No-Number (b).

(a) The terms, the “Sons of the Fire,” the “Sons of the Fire-Mist,” and the like, require explanation. They are connected with a great primordial and universal mystery, and it is not easy to make it clear. There is a passage in the Bhagavadgîtâ, wherein Krishna, speaking symbolically and esoterically, says:

[pg 114]

I will state the times [conditions] ... at which devotees departing [from this life] do so never to return [be reborn], or to return [to incarnate again]. The fire, the flame, the day, the bright [lucky] fortnight, the six months of the northern solstice, departing [dying] ... in these, those who know the Brahman [Yogîs] go to the Brahman. Smoke, night, the dark [unlucky] fortnight, the six months of the southern solstice, (dying) in these, the devotee goes to the lunar light [or mansion, the Astral Light also] and returns [is reborn]. These two paths, bright and dark, are said to be eternal in this world [or Great Kalpa (Age)]. By the one (a man) goes never to return, by the other he comes back.148

Now these terms “fire,” “flame,” “day,” the “bright fortnight,” etc., “smoke,” “night,” and so on, leading only to the end of the Lunar Path, are incomprehensible without a knowledge of Esotericism. These are all names of various deities which preside over the cosmo-psychic Powers. We often speak of the Hierarchy of “Flames,” of the “Sons of Fire,” etc. Shankarâchârya, the greatest of the Esoteric Masters of India, says that Fire means a deity which presides over Time (Kâla). The able translator of the Bhagavadgîtâ, Kâshinâth Trimbak Telang, M.A., of Bombay, confesses he has “no clear notion of the meaning of these verses.” It seems quite clear, on the contrary, to him who knows the Occult doctrine. With these verses the mystic sense of the solar and lunar symbols are connected. The Pitris are Lunar Deities and our Ancestors, because they created the physical man. The Agnishvatta, the Kumâras (the Seven Mystic Sages), are Solar Deities, though they are Pitris also; and these are the “Fashioners of the Inner Man.” They are “The Sons of Fire,” because they are the first Beings, called “Minds,” in the Secret Doctrine, evolved from Primordial Fire. “The Lord ... is a consuming fire.”149 “The Lord shall be revealed ... with his mighty angels in flaming fire.”150 The Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles as “cloven tongues like as of fire”;151 Vishnu will return on Kalkî, the White Horse, as the last Avatâra, amid fire and flames; and Sosiosh will also descend on a White Horse in a “tornado of fire.” “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him ... and his name is called the Word of God,”152 amid flaming Fire. Fire is Æther in its purest form, and hence is not regarded as matter, but is the unity of Æther—the second, manifested deity—in its universality. But there [pg 115] are two “Fires,” and a distinction is made between them in the Occult teachings. The first, or the purely formless and invisible Fire, concealed in the Central Spiritual Sun, is spoken of as Triple (metaphysically); while the Fire of the Manifested Cosmos is Septenary, throughout both the Universe and our Solar System. The fire of knowledge burns up all action on the plane of illusion,” says the Commentary. Therefore, those who have acquired it and are emancipated, are called Fires. Speaking of the seven senses, symbolized as Hotris, or Priests, Nârada says in Anugitâ: “Thus these seven [senses, smell and taste, and colour, and sound, etc.,] are the causes of emancipation”; and the translator adds: “It is from these seven from which the Self is to be emancipated. ‘I’ [in the sentence, ‘I am ... devoid of qualities’] must mean the Self, not the Brâhmana who speaks.”153

(b) The expression, “all is One Number, issued from No-Number,” relates again to that universal and philosophical tenet just explained in the commentary on Shloka 4 of Stanza III. That which is absolute, is of course No-Number; but in its later significance it has an application both in Space and in Time. It means that not only every increment of time is part of a larger increment, up to the most indefinitely prolonged duration conceivable by the human intellect, but also that no manifested thing can be thought of except as part of a whole: the total aggregate being the One Manifested Universe that issues from the Unmanifested or Absolute—called Non-Being, or “No-Number,” to distinguish it from Being, or the “One Number.”

2. Learn what we, who descend from the Primordial Seven, we, who are born from the Primordial Flame, have learnt from our Fathers....

This is explained in Book II, and the term, “Primordial Flame,” corroborates what is said in the first paragraph of the preceding commentary on Stanza IV.

The distinction between the “Primordial” and the subsequent Seven Builders is that the former are the Ray and direct emanation of the first “Sacred Four,” the Tetraktys, that is, the eternally Self-Existent [pg 116] One—eternal in essence note well, not in manifestation, and distinct from the Universal One. Latent, during Pralaya, and active, during Manvantara, the “Primordial” proceed from “Father-Mother” (Spirit-Hyle, or Ilus); whereas the other Manifested Quaternary and the Seven proceed from the Mother alone. It is the latter who is the immaculate Virgin-Mother, who is overshadowed, not impregnated, by the Universal Mystery—when she emerges from her state of Laya, or undifferentiated condition. In reality, they are, of course, all one; but their aspects on the various planes of Being are different.

The first Primordial are the highest Beings on the Scale of Existence. They are the Archangels of Christianity, those who refuse to create or rather to multiply—as did Michael in the latter system, and as did the eldest “Mind-born Sons” of Brahmâ (Vedhâs).

3. From the Effulgency of Light—the Ray of the Ever-Darkness—sprang in Space the reäwakened Energies;154 the One from the Egg, the Six, and the Five (a). Then the Three, the One, the Four, the One, the Five—the Twice Seven, the Sum Total (b). And these are the Essences, the Flames, the Elements, the Builders, the Numbers (c), the Arûpa,155 the Rûpa,156 and the Force, or Divine Man—the Sum Total. And from the Divine Man emanated the Forms, the Sparks, the Sacred Animals (d), and the Messengers of the Sacred Fathers157within the Holy Four.158

(a) This relates to the Sacred Science of the Numerals; so sacred, indeed, and so important in the study of Occultism that the subject can hardly be skimmed, even in such a large work as the present. It is on the Hierarchies and the correct numbers of these Beings—invisible (to us) except upon very rare occasions—that the mystery of the whole Universe is built. The Kumâras, for instance, are called the “Four”—though in reality seven in number—because Sanaka, Sananda, Sanâtana and Sanatkumâra are the chief Vaidhâtra (their patronymic name), [pg 117] who sprang from the “four-fold mystery.” To make the whole clearer, we have to turn for our illustrations to tenets more familiar to some of our readers, namely the Brâhmanical.

According to Manu, Hiranyagarbha is Brahmâ, the first male, formed by the undiscernible Causeless Cause, in a “Golden Egg resplendent as the Sun,” as states the Hindû Classical Dictionary; Hiranyagarbha meaning the Golden, or rather the Effulgent, Womb or Egg. The meaning tallies awkwardly with the epithet “male.” Surely the esoteric meaning of the sentence is clear enough! In the Rig Veda it is said—That, the one Lord of all beings ... the one animating principle of gods and men,” arose, in the beginning, in the Golden Womb, Hiranyagarbha—which is the Mundane Egg, or Sphere of our Universe. That Being is surely androgynous, and the allegory of Brahmâ separating into two, and creating in one of his halves (the female Vâch) himself as Virâj, is a proof of it.

“The One from the Egg, the Six and the Five,” give the number 1065, the value of the First-born (later on the male and female Brahmâ-Prajâpati), who answers to the numbers 7, and 14, and 21 respectively. The Prajâpati, like the Sephiroth are only seven, including the synthetic Sephira of the Triad from which they spring. Thus from Hiranyagarbha, or Prajâpati, the Triune (the primeval Vedic Trimûrti, Agni, Vâyu, and Sûrya), emanate the other seven, or again ten, if we separate the first three which exist in one, and one in three; all, moreover, being comprehended within that one “Supreme,” Parama, called Guhya or “Secret,” and Sarvâtman, the “Super-Soul.” The seven Lords of Being lie concealed in Sarvâtman like thoughts in one brain.” So with the Sephiroth. They are either seven when counting from the upper Triad, headed by Kether, or ten—exoterically. In the Mahâbhârata, the Prajâpati are 21 in number, or ten, six, and five (1065), thrice seven.159

(b) “The Three, the One, the Four, the One, the Five,” in their total—Twice Seven, represent 31415—the numerical Hierarchy of the Dhyân [pg 118] Chohans of various orders, and of the inner or circumscribed world.160 Placed on the boundary of the great Circle, “Pass Not”—called also the Dhyânipâsha, the “Rope of the Angels,” the “Rope” that hedges off the phenomenal from the noumenal Cosmos, which does not fall within the range of our present objective consciousness—this number, when not enlarged by permutation and expansion, is ever 31415, anagrammatically and Kabalistically, being both the number of the Circle and the mystic Svastika, the “Twice Seven” once more; for whatever way the two sets of figures are counted, when added separately, one figure after another, whether crossways from right, or from left, they will always yield fourteen. Mathematically they represent the well-known mathematical formula, that the ratio of the diameter of a circle to the circumference is as 1 to 3.1415, or the value of π (pi), as it is called. This set of figures must have the same meaning, since the 1:314,159 and again 1:3.1415927 are worked out in the secret calculations to express the various cycles and ages of the “First-born,” or 311,040,000,000,000 with fractions, and yield the same 1.3415 by a process we are not concerned with at present. And it may be shown that Mr. Ralston Skinner, the author of The Source of Measures, reads the Hebrew word Alhim in the same number values—by omitting, as said, the ciphers, and by permutation—13514: since א (a) is 1; ל (l) is 3 (30); ה (h) is 5; י (i) is 1 (10); and מ (m) is 4 (40); and anagrammatically—31415, as explained by him.

Thus, while in the metaphysical world, the Circle with the one central Point in it has no number, and is called Anupâdaka—parentless and numberless, for it can fall under no calculation; in the manifested world, the Mundane Egg or Circle is circumscribed within the groups called the Line, the Triangle, the Pentagram, the second Line and the Square (or 13514); and when the Point has generated a Line, and thus becomes a diameter which stands for the androgynous Logos, then the figures become 31415, or a triangle, a line, a square, a second line, and a pentagram. When the Son separates from the Mother he becomes the Father,” the diameter standing for Nature, or the feminine principle. Therefore it is said: In the World of Being, the One Point fructifies the Line, the Virgin Matrix of Kosmos [the egg-shaped zero], and the immaculate Mother gives birth to the Form that combines all forms.” Prajâpati is called the first procreating male, and “his mother's [pg 119] husband.”161 This gives the key-note to all the later “Divine Sons” from “Immaculate Mothers.” It is strongly corroborated by the significant fact that Anna, the name of the Mother of the Virgin Mary, now represented by the Roman Catholic Church as having given birth to her daughter in an immaculate way (“Mary conceived without sin”), is derived from the Chaldean Ana, Heaven, or Astral Light, Anima Mundi; whence Anaitia, Devî-Durgâ, the wife of Shiva, is also called Annapurna, and Kanyâ, the Virgin; Umâ-Kanyâ being her esoteric name, and meaning the “Virgin of Light,” Astral Light in one of its multitudinous aspects.

(c) The Devas, Pitris, Rishis; the Suras and the Asuras; the Daityas and Âdityas; the Dânavas and Gandharvas, etc., etc., have all their synonyms in our Secret Doctrine, as well as in the Kabalah and Hebrew Angelology; but it is useless to give their ancient names, as it would only create confusion. Many of these may be now also found even in the Christian Hierarchy of divine and celestial Powers. All those Thrones and Dominions, Virtues and Principalities, Cherubs, Seraphs and Demons, the various denizens of the Sidereal World, are the modern copies of archaic prototypes. The very symbolism in their names, when transliterated and arranged, in Greek and Latin, are sufficient to show it, as will be proved in several cases further on.

(d) The “Sacred Animals” are found in the Bible as well as in the Kabalah, and they have their meaning—a very profound one, too—on the page of the origins of Life. In the Sepher Jetzirah it is stated that: “God engraved in the Holy Four the Throne of his Glory, the Auphanim [the Wheels or World-Spheres], the Seraphim, and the Sacred Animals, as Ministering Angels, and from these [Air, Water, and Fire or Ether] he formed his habitation.”

The following is the literal translation from the IXth and Xth Sections:

Ten numbers without what? One: the Spirit of the living God ... who liveth in eternities! Voice and Spirit and Word, and this is the Holy Spirit. Two: Air out of Spirit. He designed and hewed therewith twenty-two letters of foundation, three mothers, and seven double and twelve single, and one Spirit out of them. Three: Water out of Spirit; he designed and hewed with them the barren and the void, mud and earth. He designed them as a flower-bed, hewed them as a [pg 120]wall, covered them as a paving. Four: Fire out of Water. He designed and hewed therewith the throne of glory and the wheels, and the seraphim and the holy animals as ministering angels, and of the three He founded his dwelling, as it is said, He makes his angels spirits, and his servants fiery flames!

The words “founded his dwelling” show clearly that in the Kabalah, as in India, the Deity was considered as the Universe, and was not, in his origin, the extra-cosmic God he now is.

Thus was the world made “through Three Seraphim—Sepher, Saphar, and Sipur,” or “through Number, Numbers, and Numbered.” With the astronomical key, these “Sacred Animals” become the signs of the Zodiac.

4. This was the Army of the Voice, the Divine Mother of the Seven. The Sparks of the Seven are subject to, and the servants of, the First, the Second, the Third, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Sixth, and the Seventh of the Seven (a). These162 are called Spheres, Triangles, Cubes, Lines and Modellers; for thus stands the Eternal Nidâna—the Oi-Ha-Hou (b).163

(a) This Shloka gives again a brief analysis of the Hierarchies of the Dhyân Chohans, called Devas (Gods) in India, or the Conscious Intelligent Powers in Nature. To this Hierarchy correspond the actual types into which Humanity may be divided; for Humanity, as a whole, is in reality a materialized, though as yet imperfect, expression thereof. The “Army of the Voice” is a term closely connected with the mystery of Sound and Speech, as an effect and corollary of the Cause—Divine Thought. As beautifully expressed by P. Christian, the learned author of Histoire de la Magie and L'Homme Rouge des Tuileries, the words spoken by, as well as the name of, every individual largely determine his future fate. Why? Because:

When our soul [mind] creates or evokes a thought, the representative sign of that thought is self-engraved upon the astral fluid, which is the receptacle and, so to say, the mirror of all the manifestations of being.

[pg 121]

The sign expresses the thing: the thing is the [hidden or occult] virtue of the sign.

To pronounce a word is to evoke a thought, and make it present: the magnetic potency of human speech is the commencement of every manifestation in the Occult World. To utter a Name is not only to define a Being [an Entity], but to place it under, and condemn it through the emission of the Word [Verbum] to the influence of, one or more Occult potencies. Things are, for every one of us, that which it [the Word] makes them while naming them. The Word [Verbum] or the speech of every man is, quite unconsciously to himself, a blessing or a curse; this is why our present ignorance about the properties and attributes of the idea, as well as about the attributes and properties of matter, is often fatal to us.

Yes, names [and words] are either beneficent or maleficent; they are, in a certain sense, either venomous or health-giving, according to the hidden influences attached by Supreme Wisdom to their elements, that is to say, to the letters which compose them, and the numbers correlative to these letters.

This is strictly true as an esoteric teaching accepted by all the Eastern Schools of Occultism. In the Sanskrit, as also in the Hebrew and all other alphabets, every letter has its occult meaning and its rationale: it is a cause and an effect of a preceding cause, and a combination of these very often produces the most magical effect. The vowels, especially, contain the most occult and formidable potencies. The Mantras (magical rather than religious invocations, esoterically) are chanted by the Brâhmans, and so are the rest of the Vedas and other Scriptures.

The “Army of the Voice” is the prototype of the “Host of the Logos,” or the “Word,” of the Sepher Jetzirah, called in the Secret Doctrine the “One Number issued from No-Number”—the One Eternal Principle. The Esoteric Theogony begins with the One Manifested (therefore not eternal in its presence and being, if eternal in its essence), the Number of the Numbers and Numbered—the latter proceeding from the Voice, the feminine Vâch, “of the hundred forms,” Shatarûpâ, or Nature. It is from this Number, 10, or Creative Nature, the Mother (the Occult cypher, or “0,” ever procreating and multiplying in union with the unit “1,” or the Spirit of Life), that the whole Universe proceeds.

In the Anugîtâ,164 a conversation is given between a Brâhmana and his wife on the origin of Speech and its Occult properties. The wife asks how Speech came into existence, and which was prior to the other, Speech or Mind. The Brâhmana tells her that the Apâna (inspirational [pg 122]breath) becoming lord, changes that intelligence, which does not understand Speech or Words, into the state of Apâna, and thus opens the Mind. Thereupon he tells her a story, a dialogue between Speech and Mind. Both went to the Self of Being (i.e., to the individual Higher Self, as Nîlakantha thinks; to Prajâpati, according to the commentator Arjuna Mishra), and asked him to destroy their doubts, and decide which of them preceded and was superior to the other. To this the Lord said: “Mind (is superior).” But Speech answered the Self of Being, by saying: “I verily yield (you) your desires,” meaning that by Speech he acquired what he desired. Thereupon again, the Self told her that there are two Minds, the “movable” and the “immovable.” “The immovable is with me,” he said, “the movable is in your dominion” (i.e. of Speech), on the plane of matter. “To that you are superior.”

But inasmuch, O beautiful one, as you came personally to speak to me (in the way you did, i.e. proudly), therefore, O Sarasvatî! you shall never speak after (hard) exhalation. The goddess Speech [Sarasvatî, a later form or aspect of Vâch, the goddess also of secret learning, or Esoteric Wisdom], verily, dwelt always between the Prâna and the Apâna. But, O noble one! going with the Apâna wind [vital air], though impelled, ... without the Prâna [expirational breath], she ran up to Prajâpati [Brahmâ], saying, Be pleased, O venerable sir! Then the Prâna appeared again nourishing Speech. And, therefore, Speech never speaks after (hard) exhalation. It is always noisy or noiseless. Of these two, the noiseless is the superior to the noisy (Speech).... The (Speech) which is produced in the body by means of the Prâna, and which then goes [is transformed] into Apâna and then becoming assimilated with the Udâna [physical organs of Speech] ... then finally dwells in the Samâna [at the navel in the form of sound, as the material cause of all words, says Arjuna Mishra]. So Speech formerly spoke. Hence the Mind is distinguished by reason of its being immovable, and the Goddess (Speech) by reason of her being movable.

The above allegory is at the root of the Occult law, which prescribes silence upon the knowledge of certain secret and invisible things, perceptible only to the spiritual mind (the sixth sense), and which cannot be expressed by “noisy” or uttered speech. This chapter of Anugîtâ explains, says Arjuna Mishra, Prânâyâma, or regulation of the breath in Yoga practices. This mode, however, without the previous acquisition of, or at least full understanding of, the two higher senses (of which there are seven, as will be shown), pertains rather to the lower Yoga. The Hatha so called was and still is discountenanced by the Arhats. It is injurious to the health, and alone can never develop [pg 123] into Râja Yoga. This story is quoted to show how inseparably connected in the metaphysics of old, are intelligent beings, or rather “intelligences,” with every sense or function, whether physical or mental. The Occult claim that there are seven senses in man, and in nature, as there are seven states of consciousness, is corroborated in the same work, Chapter vii, on Pratyâhâra (the restraint and regulation of the senses, Prânâyâma being that of the “vital winds” or breath). The Brâhmana, speaking of the institution of the seven sacrificial Priests (Hotris), says: “The nose and the eye, and the tongue, and the skin and the ear as the fifth [or smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing], mind and understanding are the seven sacrificial priests separately stationed,” which “dwelling in a minute space (still) do not perceive each other,” on this sensuous plane, none of them except mind. For mind says: “The nose smells not without me, the eye does not take in colour, etc., etc. I am the eternal chief among all elements [i.e., senses]. Without me, the senses never shine, like an empty dwelling, or like fires the flames of which are extinct. Without me, all beings, like fuel half dried and half moist, fail to apprehend qualities or objects even with the senses exerting themselves.”165

This, of course, only with regard to mind on the sensuous plane. Spiritual Mind, the upper portion or aspect of the impersonal Manas, takes no cognizance of the senses in physical man. How well the ancients were acquainted with the correlation of forces, and all the recently discovered phenomena of mental and physical faculties and functions, and with many more mysteries also—may be found in reading Chapters vii and viii of this priceless work in philosophy and mystic learning. See the quarrel of the senses about their respective superiority and their taking the Brahman, the Lord of all creatures, for their arbiter. “You are all greatest and not greatest [or superior to objects, as Arjuna Mishra says, none being independent of the other]. You are all possessed of one another's qualities. All are greatest in their own spheres and all support one another. There is one unmoving [life-wind or breath, the yoga-inhalation, so called, which is the breath of the One or Higher Self]. That one is my own Self, accumulated in numerous (forms).”

This Breath, Voice, Self or Wind (Pneuma?), is the Synthesis of the [pg 124] Seven Senses, noumenally all minor deities, and esoterically—the Septenary and the “Army of the Voice.”

(b) Next we see Cosmic Matter scattering and forming itself into Elements; grouped into the mystic Four within the fifth Element—Ether, the “lining” of Âkâsha, the Anima Mundi, or Mother of Cosmos. “Dots, Lines, Triangles, Cubes, Circles” and finally “Spheres”—why or how? Because, says the Commentary, such is the first law of Nature, and because Nature geometrizes universally in all her manifestations. There is an inherent law—not only in the primordial, but also in the manifested matter of our phenomenal plane—by which Nature correlates her geometrical forms, and later, also, her compound elements, and in which also there is no place for accident or chance. It is a fundamental law in Occultism, that there is no rest or cessation of motion in Nature.166 That which seems rest is only the change of one form into another, the change of substance going hand in hand with that of form—so at least we are taught in Occult physics, which thus seem to have anticipated the discovery of the “conservation of matter” by a considerable time. Says the ancient Commentary167 to Stanza IV:

The Mother is the fiery Fish of Life. She scatters her Spawn and the Breath [Motion] heats and quickens it. The Grains [of Spawn] are soon attracted to each other and form the Curds in the Ocean [of Space]. The larger lumps coalesce and receive new Spawn—in fiery Dots, Triangles and Cubes, which ripen, and at the appointed time some of the lumps detach themselves and assume spheroidal form, a process which they effect only when not interfered with by the others. After which, Law No. —— comes into operation. Motion [the Breath] becomes the Whirlwind and sets them into rotation.168

[pg 125]

5. The Oi-Ha-Hou, which is Darkness, the Boundless, or the No-Number, Âdi-Nidâna Svabhâvat, the [circle]:169

I. The Âdi-Sanat, the Number, for he is One (a).

II. The Voice of the Word, Svabhâvat, the Numbers, for he is One and Nine.170

III. The Formless Square.171

And these Three, enclosed within the [circle],172 are the Sacred Four; and the Ten are the Arûpa 173 Universe (b). Then come the Sons, the Seven Fighters, the One, the Eighth left out, and his Breath which is the Light-Maker (c).174

(a) “Âdi-Sanat,” translated literally, is the First or “Primeval Ancient,” a name which identifies the Kabalistic “Ancient of Days” and the “Holy Aged” (Sephira and Adam Kadmon) with Brahmâ, the Creator, called also Sanat among his other names and titles.

“Svabhâvat” is the mystic Essence, the plastic Root of physical Nature—“Numbers” when manifested; the “Number,” in its Unity of Substance, on the highest plane. The name is of Buddhist use and a synonym for the four-fold Anima Mundi, the Kabalistic Archetypal World, from whence proceed the Creative, Formative, and Material Worlds; and the Scintillæ or Sparks—the various other worlds contained in the last three. The Worlds are all subject to Rulers or Regents—Rishis and Pitris with the Hindûs, Angels with the Jews and Christians, Gods with the Ancients in general.

(b) “[circle].” This means that the “Boundless Circle,” the zero, becomes a number, only when one of the other nine figures precedes it, and thus manifests its value and potency; the “Word” or Logos, in union with “Voice” and Spirit175 (the expression and source of Consciousness), [pg 126] standing for the nine figures, and thus forming, with the cypher, the Decad which contains in itself all the Universe. The Triad forms the Tetraktys, or “Sacred Four,” within the Circle, the Square within the Circle being the most potent of all the magical figures.

(c) The “One Rejected” is the Sun of our system. The exoteric version may be found in the oldest Sanskrit Scriptures. In the Rig Veda, Aditi, the “Boundless” or Infinite Space—translated by Prof. Max Müller, “the visible infinite, visible by the naked eye (!!); the endless expanse beyond the earth, beyond the clouds, beyond the sky”—is the equivalent of “Mother-Space,” coëval with “Darkness.” She is very properly called the “Mother of the Gods,” Deva-Mâtri, as it is from her cosmic matrix that all the heavenly bodies of our system were born—sun and planets. Thus she is described, allegorically, in this wise: Eight sons were born from the body of Aditi; she approached the gods with seven, but cast away the eighth, Mârttânda,” our sun. The seven sons called the Adityas are, cosmically or astronomically, the seven planets; and the sun being excluded from their number shows plainly that the Hindûs may have known, and in fact knew, of a seventh planet, without calling it Uranus.176 But esoterically and theologically, so to say, the Adityas, in their primitive most ancient meanings, are the eight, and twelve great gods of the Hindû Pantheon. “The Seven allow the mortals to see their dwellings, but show themselves only to the Arhats,” says an old proverb; “their dwellings” standing here for the planets. The ancient Commentary gives the following allegory and explains it:

Eight houses were built by Mother: eight houses for her eight Divine Sons; four large and four small ones. Eight brilliant Suns, according to their age and merits. Bal-i-lu [Mârttânda] was not satisfied, though his house was the largest. He began [to work] as the huge elephants do. He breathed [drew in] into his stomach the vital airs of his brothers. He sought to devour them. The larger four were far away; far, on the margin [pg 127]of their kingdom.177 They were not robbed [affected], and laughed. Do your worst, Sir, you cannot reach us, they said. But the smaller wept. They complained to the Mother. She exiled Bal-i-lu to the centre of her kingdom, from whence he could not move. [Since then] he [only] watches and threatens. He pursues them, turning slowly round himself; they turning swiftly from him, and he following from afar the direction in which his brothers move on the path that encircles their houses.178 From that day he feeds on the sweat of the Mother's body. He fills himself with her breath and refuse. Therefore, she rejected him.

Thus the “Rejected Son” being our Sun, evidently, as shown above, the “Son-Suns” refer not only to our planets but to the heavenly bodies in general. Sûrya, himself only a reflection of the Central Spiritual Sun, is the prototype of all those bodies that evolved after him. In the Vedas he is called Loka-Chakshuh, the “Eye of the World” (our planetary world), and he is one of the three chief deities. He is called indifferently the Son of Dyaus or of Aditi, because no distinction is made with reference to, or scope allowed for, the esoteric meaning. Thus he is depicted as drawn by seven horses, and by one horse with seven heads; the former referring to his seven planets, the latter to their one common origin from the One Cosmic Element. This “One Element” is called figuratively “Fire.” The Vedas teach that “fire verily is all the deities.”179

The meaning of the allegory is plain, for we have both the Dzyan Commentary and Modern Science to explain it, though the two differ in more than one particular. The Occult Doctrine rejects the hypothesis born of the Nebular Theory, that the (seven) great planets have evolved from the Sun's central mass, of this our visible Sun, at any rate. The first condensation of cosmic matter of course took place about a central nucleus, its parent Sun; but our Sun, it is taught, merely detached itself earlier than all the others, as the rotating mass contracted, and is their elder, bigger “brother” therefore, not their “father.” The eight Adityas, the “gods,” are all formed from the eternal substance (cometary matter180—the Mother), or the “world-stuff,” [pg 128] which is both the fifth and the sixth Cosmic Principle, the Upâdhi, or Basis, of the Universal Soul, just as in man, the Microcosm, Manas181 is the Upâdhi of Buddhi.182

There is a whole poem on the pregenetic battles fought by the growing planets before the final formation of Cosmos, thus accounting for the seemingly disturbed position of the systems of several planets; the plane of the satellites of some (of Neptune and Uranus, for instance, of which the ancients knew nothing, it is said) being tilted over, thus giving them an appearance of retrograde motion. These planets are called the Warriors, the Architects, and are accepted by the Roman Church as the leaders of the heavenly Hosts, thus showing the same traditions. Having evolved from Cosmic Space, the Sun, we are taught—before the final formation of the primaries and the annulation of the planetary nebulæ—drew into the depths of his mass all the cosmic vitality he could, threatening to engulf his weaker “Brothers,” before the law of attraction and repulsion was finally adjusted; after which, he began feeding on “the Mother's refuse and sweat”; in other words, on those portions of Æther (the “Breath of the Universal Soul”), of the existence and constitution of which Science is as yet absolutely ignorant. As a theory of this kind has been propounded by Sir William Grove,183 who theorizes that the systems “are gradually changing by atmospheric additions or subtractions, or by accretions and diminutions arising from nebular substance,” and again that “the sun may condense gaseous matter as it travels in space, and so heat may be produced”—the archaic teaching seems scientific enough, even in this age.184 Mr. W. Mattieu Williams suggested that the diffused matter or Ether, which is the recipient of the heat radiations of the Universe, is thereby drawn into the depths of the solar mass; expelling thence the previously condensed and thermally exhausted Ether, it becomes compressed and gives up its heat, to be in turn itself driven out in a rarefied and cooled state, to absorb a fresh supply of heat, which he supposes to be in this way taken up by the Ether, and again concentrated and redistributed by the Suns of the Universe.

This is about as close an approximation to the Occult teachings as [pg 129] Science ever imagined; for Occultism explains it by the “dead breath,” given back by Mârttânda, and his feeding on the “sweat and refuse” of “Mother Space.” What could affect Neptune,185 Saturn and Jupiter, but little, would have killed such comparatively small “Houses” as Mercury, Venus and Mars. As Uranus was not known before the end of the eighteenth century, the name of the fourth planet mentioned in the allegory must remain to us, so far, a mystery.

The “Breath” of all the “Seven” is said to be Bhâskara, the Light-Maker, because they (the planets) were all comets and suns in their origin. They evolve into manvantaric life from Primeval Chaos (now the noumenon of irresolvable nebulæ), by aggregation and accumulation of the primary differentiations of eternal Matter, according to the beautiful expression in the Commentary, Thus the Sons of Light clothed themselves in the fabric of Darkness.” They are called allegorically the “Heavenly Snails,” on account of their (to us) formless Intelligences inhabiting unseen their starry and planetary homes, and so to speak, carrying them, as the snails do, along with themselves in their revolution. The doctrine of a common origin for all the heavenly bodies and planets was, as we see, inculcated by the archaic astronomers, before Kepler, Newton, Leibnitz, Kant, Herschel and Laplace. Heat (the “Breath”), Attraction and Repulsion—the three great factors of Motion—are the conditions under which all the members of this primitive family are born, develop, and die; to be reborn after a Night of Brahmâ, during which eternal Matter relapses periodically into its primary undifferentiated state. The most attenuated gases can give no idea of its nature to the modern Physicist. Centres of Forces at first, the invisible Sparks, or primordial Atoms, differentiate into Molecules, and become Suns—passing gradually into objectivity—gaseous, radiant, cosmic, the one “Whirlwind” (or Motion) finally giving the impulse to the form, and the initial motion, regulated and sustained by the never-resting “Breaths”—the Dhyân Chohans.

6. ... Then the Second Seven, who are the Lipika, produced by the Three.186 The Rejected Son is One. The Son-Sunsare countless.

[pg 130]

The “Lipika,” from the word lipi, “writing,” means literally the “Scribes.”187 Mystically, these Divine Beings are connected with Karma, the Law of Retribution, for they are the Recorders, or Annalists, who impress on the (to us) invisible tablets of the Astral Light, “the great picture-gallery of eternity”—a faithful record of every act, and even thought, of man; of all that was, is, or ever will be, in the phenomenal Universe. As said in Isis Unveiled, this divine and unseen canvas is the Book of Life. As it is the Lipika who project into objectivity from the passive Universal Mind the ideal plan of the Universe, upon which the “Builders” reconstruct the Kosmos after every Pralaya, it is they who stand parallel to the Seven Angels of the Presence, whom the Christians recognize in the Seven “Planetary Spirits,” or the “Spirits of the Stars”; and thus it is they who are the direct amanuenses of the Eternal Ideation—or, as Plato calls it, the “Divine Thought.” The Eternal Record is no fantastic dream, for we meet with the same records in the world of gross matter. As Dr. Draper says:

A shadow never falls upon a wall without leaving thereupon a permanent trace which might be made visible by resorting to proper processes.... The portraits of our friends or landscape-views may be hidden on the sensitive surface from the eye, but they are ready to make their appearance as soon as proper developers are resorted to. A spectre is concealed on a silver or a glassy surface, until, by our necromancy, we make it come forth into the visible world. Upon the walls of our most private apartments, where we think the eye of intrusion is altogether shut out, and our retirement can never be profaned, there exist the vestiges of our acts, silhouettes of whatever we have done.188

Drs. Jevons and Babbage believe that every thought displaces the particles of the brain and, setting them in motion, scatters them throughout the universe: they also think that “each particle of the existing matter must be a register of all that has happened.”189 Thus the ancient doctrine has begun to acquire rights of citizenship in the speculations of the scientific world.

The forty “Assessors,” who stand in the region of Amenti as the accusers of the Soul before Osiris, belong to the same class of deities as the Lipika, and might stand as parallels, were not the Egyptian gods so little understood in their esoteric meaning. The Hindû Chitragupta who reads out the account of every Soul's life from his register, called [pg 131] Agra-Sandhânî; the Assessors who read theirs from the Heart of the Defunct, which becomes an open book before either Yama, Minos, Osiris, or Karma—are all so many copies of, and variants from, the Lipika and their Astral Records. Nevertheless, the Lipika are not deities connected with Death, but with Life Eternal.

Connected as the Lipika are with the destiny of every man, and the birth of every child, whose life is already traced in the Astral Light—not fatalistically, but only because the Future, like the Past, is ever alive in the Present—they may also be said to exercise an influence on the Science of Horoscopy. We must admit the truth of the latter whether we will or not. For, as observed by one of the modern professors of Astrology:

Now that photography has revealed to us the chemical influence of the sidereal system, by fixing on the sensitized plate of the apparatus milliards of stars and planets that had hitherto baffled the efforts of the most powerful telescopes to discover, it becomes easier to understand how our solar system can, at the birth of a child, influence his brain—virgin of any impression—in a definite manner and according to the presence on the zenith of such or another zodiacal constellation.190

Stanza V.

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.

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 imagery? 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, the 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 meaning of this Occult Stanza.

[pg 132]

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, ever 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 he said, that the Unconscious evolved the Universe only “in the hope of attaining clear self-consciousness,” in other words, of becoming Man; for this is also the secret meaning of the oft recurring Purânic phrase, of Brahmâ 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 in preceding Manvantaras.

This subject being so very mystical, it is most difficult to explain it in all its details and bearings; for the whole mystery of evolutionary creation is contained therein. A sentence or two in the Shloka vividly recalls to mind similar sentences in the Kabalah and the phraseology of the King Psalmist.191 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 Whirl-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 [pg 133] 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,192 runs circular errands. Fohat is the Steed, and the Thought is the Rider.193 He passes like lightning through the fiery clouds194 (b); takes Three, and Five, and Seven Strides through the Seven Regions above, and the Seven below.195 He lifts his Voice, and calls the innumerable Sparks,196 and joins them together (c).

(a) This shows the “Primordial Seven” using for their Vehicle, (Vâhana, 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.”

(b) “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 Dhyâni-Buddhas.

As the reader is supposed not to be acquainted with the Dhyâni-Buddhas, it is as well to say at once that, according to the Orientalists, there are five Dhyânis who are the Celestial Buddhas, of whom the Human Buddhas are the manifestations in the world of form and matter. Esoterically, however, the Dhyâni-Buddhas are seven, of whom five only have hitherto manifested,197 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 [pg 134] his particular divine prototype. So, for instance, Amitâbha is the Dhyâni-Buddha of Gautama Shâkyamuni, manifesting through him whenever this great Soul incarnates on earth as He did in Tzonkha-pa.198 As the synthesis of the seven Dhyâni-Buddhas, Avalokiteshvara was the first Buddha (the Logos), and Amitâbha is the inner “God” of Gautama, who, in China, is called Amida (Buddha). They are, as Prof. Rhys Davids 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 Mânushi-Buddhas appointed to govern the Earth in this Round. They are the “Buddhas of Contemplation,” and are all Anupâdaka (parentless), i.e., self-born of the divine essence. The exoteric teaching—which says that every Dhyâni-Buddha has the faculty of creating from himself an equally celestial son, a Dhyâni-Bodhisattva, who, after the decease of the Mânushi-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 Dhyâni-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, which differed widely from the later mythology, Eros is the third person in the primeval trinity, Chaos, Gæa, Eros—answering to the Kabalistic Trinity, Ain Suph, the Boundless All (for Chaos is Space, from χαίνω, to open wide, to be void), 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 in time becomes 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 Cosmos yet, since Cosmos 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 [pg 135] 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. Erebus and Nux are born out of Chaos, and, under the action of Eros, give birth in their turn to Æther and Hemera, the light of the superior and the light of the inferior, or terrestrial, regions. Darkness generates light. Compare in the Purânas Brahmâ's Will or “Desire” to create; and in the Phœnician cosmogony of Sanchuniathon the doctrine that Desire, πόθος, 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 Demiurge or the Creative Logos of the Western Kabalists, and the Four-faced Brahmâ of the Hindû religion. In its totality, viewed, in the Esoteric doctrine, from the standpoint of manifested Divine Thought, it represents the Hosts of the higher Creative Dhyân Chohans. Simultaneously with the evolution of the Universal Mind, the Concealed Wisdom of Adi-Buddha—the One Supreme and Eternal—manifests itself as Avalokiteshvara (or Manifested Îshvara), which is the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Heavenly Man of the Hermetic philosophers, the Logos of the Platonists, and the Âtman of the Vedântins.199 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 Âkâsha, 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.

[pg 136]

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-Himâlayan Esotericism. Every philosophy, however, has its own way of dividing these principles.

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 it acts upon being cosmic, human and terrestrial, and exercising their influence on all these planes respectively. On the earthly plane, its 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, in the formation of things—from the planetary system down to the glow-worm and simple daisy—carries out the plan in the mind of Nature, or in the Divine Thought, with regard to the development and growth of a particular thing. It is, metaphysically, the objectivized Thought of the Gods, the “Word made flesh” on a lower scale, and the messenger of cosmic and human Ideation; the active force in Universal Life. In its secondary aspect, Fohat is the Solar Energy, the electric vital fluid, and the preserving Fourth Principle, the Animal Soul of Nature, so to say, or—Electricity.

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 better names 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 indeed several removes from Ether. 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 [pg 137] 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.”200 We will go further than this, 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.

To return to Fohat, it is connected with Vishnu and Sûrya in the early character of the former 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.201 In the sacred texts of the Rig Veda, Vishnu is also “a manifestation of the Solar Energy, and 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, in 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 Hindû scriptures. But how strangely all these numbers are connected with like numbers in other cosmogonies and with their symbols, can be seen from the 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; more philosophically—and in the astronomical sense, very correctly—they are explained by Aurnavâbha as being the various positions of the sun, rising, noon, and setting. Esoteric Philosophy alone explains it clearly, though the Zohar has laid it down very philosophically and comprehensively. It is plainly demonstrated therein that in the beginning the Elohim (Alhim) were called Achad, “One,” or the “Deity, One in Many,” a very simple idea [pg 138] in a pantheistic conception—pantheistic 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. The meaning is plain. The Steps are 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 Suph—the Kabalistic synonym for Parabrahman, for the Zeroâna Akerne, of the Mazdeans, or for any other “Unknowable”—becomes “One” (the Achad, the Eka, the Ahu); then he (or it) is transformed by evolution into the “One in Many,” the Dhyâni-Buddhas or the Elohim, or again the Amshaspends, his third Step being taken into the generation of the flesh, or Man. And from Man, or Jah-Hovah, “male-female,” the inner divine entity becomes, on the metaphysical plane, once more the Elohim.

The numbers 3, 5, and 7 are prominent in speculative Masonry, as shown in Isis Unveiled. 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 7535/2 = 3817.5, and the ratio of 20612/6561 feet for cubit measure gives the Great Pyramid measures.

Three, five and seven are mystical numbers, and the last and the first are as greatly honoured by Masons as by Parsis—the Triangle being a symbol of Deity everywhere.202 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 [triangle], in the archaic Occultism and Symbology of the Heathen. 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.

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 Âryan Fifth Race, nor to any of its numerous sub-races. It cannot be claimed by the Turanians, so-called, the Egyptians, Chinese, Chaldeans, or by any of the seven divisions of the Fifth Root Race, but really belongs to the Third and Fourth Root Races, [pg 139] whose descendants we find in the Seed of the Fifth, the earliest Âryans. The Circle was with every nation the symbol of the Unknown—“Boundless Space,” the abstract garb of an ever present abstraction—the Incognizable Deity. It represents limitless Time in Eternity. The Zeroâna Akerne is also the “Boundless Circle of Unknown Time,” from which Circle issues the radiant Light—the Universal Sun, or Ormazd203—and the latter is identical with Cronus, in his Æolian form, that of a Circle. For the Circle is Sar and Saros, or Cycle. It 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, of which he was considered the leader. Zeroâna, 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 reënter 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 Dhyân 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 Commentary 4 of Stanza IV, the reader now will understand why, while the Trans-Himâlayan Chakra has inscribed within it [triangle] [square] [5-point star with middle dot]—triangle, first line, square, second line, and a pentacle with a point in the centre, either thus [5-point star with middle dot] or some other variation—the Kabalistic Circle of the Elohim reveals, when the letters of the word אלהים (Alhim or Elohim) are read numerically, the famous numerals 13514, or anagrammatically 31415—the astronomical π (pi), or the hidden meaning of the Dhyâni-Buddhas, of the Gebers, the Giburim, the Kabeiri, and the Elohim, all signifying “Great Men,” “Titans,” “Heavenly Men,” and, on earth, “Giants.”

The Seven was a Sacred Number with every nation; but none applied it to more physiologically materialistic uses than the Hebrews. With them 7 was preëminently the generative number, and 9 the male causative one, forming as shown by the Kabalists the otz, עצ (90, 70), or “the Tree of the Garden of Eden,” the “double hermaphrodite rod” [pg 140] of the Fourth Race. 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 the other a male letter, tzâ, a fish-hook or dart. Whereas with the Hindûs and Âryans generally, the significance was manifold, and related almost entirely to purely metaphysical and astronomical truths. Their Rishis and Gods, their Demons and Heroes, have historical and ethical meanings.

Yet we are told by a Kabalist, who, in a work not yet published, contrasts the Kabalah and Zohar with Âryan Esotericism, that:

The Hebrew clear, short, terse and exact, modes far and beyond measure surpass the toddling word-talk of the Hindûs—just as by parallelisms the Psalmist says, My mouth speaks with my tongue, I know not thy numbers (lxxi., 15).... The Hindû 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 the Hindû religious systems apparently by their Shâstras and Purânas, probably the latter, and in their modern translations moreover, which disfigure them out of all recognition. It is to their philosophical systems that we have to turn, to their esoteric teaching, if we 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, by Professor Piazzi Smyth, repeated 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 is claimed, it must be due to servile copying on the part of the Jews, not on that of the Egyptians. The glyphs of the Jews—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.204 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 [pg 141] of her historians.205 “Khamism, or old Coptic, is from Western Asia, and contains some germ of the Semitic, thus bearing witness to the primitive cognate unity of the Âryan and Semitic races,” says Bunsen, who places the great events in Egypt 9,000 years b.c. The fact is that in archaic Esotericism and Âryan 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.

That the Âryans never made their religion rest solely on physiological symbols, as the old Hebrews have done, may be seen in the exoteric Hindû Scriptures. That these accounts, also, are blinds is shown by their contradicting each other, a different explanation being found in almost every Purâna and epic poem. Read esoterically, however, 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 nothing to do with the classification of the Septenary Chain and belong to the purely ethereal, invisible worlds. These will be noticed elsewhere. Suffice it 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 Brahmâ in the sixth division, and stating the fifth, or Jana-loka, to be that where animals destroyed in the general conflagration are born again.”206 Some real Esoteric teaching is given in the subsequent chapters on 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,207 That float and thrill with joy in their radiant dwellings,208 and forms therewith the Germs of Wheels. He places them in the Six Directions of Space, and One in the middle—the Central Wheel.

“Wheels,” as already explained, are the centres of force, around which primordial cosmic matter expands, and, passing through all the [pg 142] 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 Æons) of Life, Motion, which, during the periods of Rest, pulsates and thrills through every slumbering atom—assumes an evergrowing tendency, from the first awakening of Kosmos to a new “Day,” to circular movement. “The Deity becomes a Whirlwind.” It may be asked, as 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 Dhyâni-Chohans, who are all in Nirvâna—to see it? The answer to this is: Everything in Nature has to be judged by analogy. Though the highest Deities (Archangels or Dhyâni-Buddhas) are unable to penetrate the mysteries which lie too far beyond our Planetary System and the visible Cosmos, 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.

The Wheels are also called Rotæ—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 Kabalah, they are represented by the Auphanim, the Angels of the Spheres and Stars, of which they are the informing Souls.209

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 Brâhmans 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.210 Hicetas, Heraclides, Ecphantus, Pythagoras, and all his pupils, taught the rotation of the earth; and Âryabhata of India, Aristarchus, Seleucus, and Archimedes [pg 143] calculated its revolution as scientifically as the Astronomers do now; while the theory of 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.211 All such knowledge, if justice be only done, 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 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. That Swedenborg, who could not possibly have known anything of the esoteric ideas of Buddhism, independently came 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,212 we find the following résumé:

The first cause is the infinite or unlimited. This gives existence to the first finite or limited. [The Logos in its manifestation and the Universe.] That which produces a limit is analogous to motion. [See Stanza I 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 conatus to it. [In our doctrine it is not a conatus, 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 conatus of the 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 conatus tends is circular, since the circle is the most perfect of all figures.... The most perfect figure of the motion above described 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.213

This is Occultism pure and simple.

By the “Six Directions of Space” is here meant the “Double Triangle,” the junction and blending together of pure Spirit and Matter, of the Arûpa and the Rûpa, of which the Triangles are a Symbol. This Double Triangle is a sign of Vishnu; it is Solomon's Seal, and the Shrî-Antara of the Brâhmans.

[pg 144]

4. Fohat traces spiral lines to unite the Sixth to the Seventh—the Crown (a). An Army of the Sons of Light stands at each angle; the Lipika, in the Middle Wheel (b). They214say: This is good. The first Divine World is ready; the First, the Second.215 Then the Divine Arûpa216 reflects itself in Chhâyâ Loka,217 the First Garment of Anupâdaka (c).

(a) This tracing of “spiral lines” refers to the evolution of Man's as well as of Nature's Principles; an evolution which takes place gradually, 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 (Âtmâ), 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, 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 (Dhyân Chohans), appointed to guide and watch over each respective region, from the beginning to the end of a 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 so many scholars, unable to untie it, have preferred dealing as Alexander dealt with the Gordian knot; hence erroneous conceptions and teachings, as a direct result.

(c) The “First is the Second,” because the “First” cannot really be numbered or regarded as such, for the First 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 [pg 145] Nameless Deity—reaches us. Here again, the untranslateable term Sat (Be-ness) is likely to lead to an erroneous conception, since that which is manifested cannot be Sat, but is something phenomenal, not everlasting, nor, in truth, even sempiternal. It is coëval and coëxistent with the One Life, “Secondless,” but as a manifestation it is still a Mâyâ—like the rest. This “World of Truth,” in the words of the Commentary, can be described only 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 these are the Seven Lights whose reflections are the human immortal Monads—the Âtmâ, or the irradiating Spirit of every creature of the human family. First, this Septenary Light; then the “Divine World”—the countless lights lit at the primeval Light—the Buddhis, or formless Divine Souls, of the last Arûpa (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, O Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee, burning in the dark midnight sky?

I sense one Flame, O 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 Dhyân Chohan to the smallest infusorium, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual, or physical worlds—this unity is the one fundamental law in Occult Science. “The Deity is boundless and infinite expansion,” says an Occult axiom: hence, the name of Brahmâ, as previously remarked.218

There is a deep philosophy underlying the earliest worship in the world, the worship of the Sun and of Fire. Of all the Elements known to Physical Science, Fire is that which has ever eluded definite analysis. [pg 146] It is confidently asserted that 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 a 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:

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.219

What says the Esoteric teaching with regard to Fire? Fire 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 Parsi, 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.” Among the Mystics and Kabalists, the Rosicrucians were those who defined Fire in the 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 an eternal and infinite Substance never consumed (“the Lord thy God is a consuming fire”), [pg 147] then it does not seem reasonable that the Occult teaching should be held as unphilosophical when it says: “Thus were formed the Arûpa and Rûpa [Worlds]: from One Light Seven Lights; from each of the Seven, seven times Seven” etc., etc.

5. Fohat takes five strides220 (a), and builds a winged wheel at each corner of the square for the Four Holy Ones ... and their Armies221 (b).

(a) The “Strides,” as already explained in the last Commentary, 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.222 Those who have studied Mr. Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism will easily grasp the nomenclature. There are two Esoteric schools beyond the Himâlayas, or rather one school, divided into two sections—one for the inner Lanoos, the other for the outer or semi-lay Chelâs; the first teaching a septenary, the other a six-fold division of the 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 Mahârâjahs,” or great Kings, of the Dhyân 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, 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 its 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 the Roman Catholic doctrine which traces the various public calamities, such as epidemics of disease, [pg 148] 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, when applied to the Jewish nation, sounds like an undeniable prophecy. And this accounts also for St. Ambrose223 declaring that it is precisely for this 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 Mahârâjahs—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 case? Says the scholarly Vossius:

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 [Pagan] philosophers they were gods.224

Considering the Ritual for the “Spirits of the Stars,” established by the Roman Catholic Church, these look suspiciously like “gods,” but they were no more honoured or worshipped by the ancient, nor are they by the modern, Pagan rabble than they are now at Rome by the highly cultured Catholic Christians.

Following Plato, Aristotle explained that the term στοιχεῖα 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 Christians do Pagans adore and worship the Elements and the (imaginary) cardinal points, but the “gods” that respectively rule over them. For the Church, there are two kinds of Sidereal Beings, Angels and Devils. For the Kabalist and Occultist, there is but one class, and neither Occultist nor Kabalist makes any difference between the “Rectors of Light” and the “Rectores Tenebrarum,” or Cosmocratores, whom the Roman Church imagines and discovers in the “Rectors of Light,” as soon as any one of them is called by another name than the one she addresses him by. It is not the Rector, or [pg 149] Mahârâjah, 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 are magnetically and irresistibly attracted to—and reäct upon—those who produce such causes; whether such persons are practically the evil-doers, or simply “thinkers” who brood mischief. For 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 Messrs. Jevons and Babbage in their Principles of Science tell the profane. Modern Science is every day drawn more into the maëlstrom of Occultism; unconsciously, no doubt, still very sensibly.

“Thought is matter”: not of course, however, in the sense of the German Materialist Moleschott, who assures us that “thought is the movement of matter”—a statement of almost unparalleled 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.225

The two main theories of Science as to 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 German Pantheistic schools.

The views of our present-day scientific thinkers as to the relations between mind and matter may be reduced to the following 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 materialism.” This doctrine, which commands a [pg 150] very wide assent, counting among its upholders such men as Lewes, Spencer, Ferrier, and others, while positing thought and mental phenomena generally as radically contrasted with matter, regards them as 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.

To return to the commentary on the Four Mahârâjahs, however, 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), symbolizing 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 cognizant 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.226 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 ... 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.”227 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 were the same as those raised at Tyre to the four elements, which were placed on pedestals whose four [pg 151] angles faced the four cardinal points; adding that “the angles of the pedestals had the four figures of the Zodiac” on them, which represented the same orientation.228

The idea may be traced in the Zoroastrian caves, in the rock-cut temples of India, and 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 Mahârâjahs were the regents and directors.

If the student would know more of them, he has but to compare the Vision of Ezekiel (ch. i.) with what is known of Chinese Buddhism, even in its exoteric teachings, and examine the outward shape of these “Great Kings of the Devas.” In the opinion of the Rev. Joseph Edkins, “they preside each over one of the four continents into which the Hindûs divide the world.... Each leads an army of spiritual beings to protect mankind and Buddhism.”229 With the exception of favouritism towards Buddhism, the four Celestial Beings are precisely this. The Hindûs, however, happen to divide the world into seven continents, exoterically as well as esoterically; and their four Cosmic Devas are eight, presiding over the eight points of the compass and not over the continents.

The “Four” 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 vision, called by the translators of the Bible, “Cherubim,” “Seraphim,” etc.; by the Occultists, “Winged Globes,” “Fiery Wheels”; and in the Hindû Pantheon, by a number of different names. All these Gandharvas, the “Sweet Songsters,” the Asuras, Kinnaras, and Nâgas, are the allegorical descriptions of the Four Mahârâjahs. 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 Christian bible-interpreters say of the Cherubim. “The word signifies [pg 152] in Hebrew, fulness 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 Hindû 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. Ezekiel, moreover, plainly describes the four Cosmic Angels:

I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind, ... a ... cloud and a 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,230 and the face of a lion ... the face of an ox, and ... the face of an eagle.... 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 spirit of the living creature was in the wheel.231

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-Prajâpati; also of the Seven great Gods of Egypt, of which Osiris is the chief; of the Seven Amshaspends of the Zoroastrians, with Ormazd at their head; of the “Seven Spirits of the Face”; of the Seven Sephiroth separated from the first Triad, etc., etc.232 They build, [pg 153] 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 Hindû 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 Lokapâlas, “Supporters or Guardians of the World” (in our visible Cosmos), of which Indra (East), Yama (South), Varuna (West), and Kuvera (North) are the chief; their elephants and 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 Commentary 6 of Stanza IV, 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 rather incline to the latter supposition. Of its highest grade one thing only is taught: the Lipika are connected with Karma—being its direct Recorders. The Symbol for Sacred and Secret Knowledge in antiquity was universally a Tree, by which a Scripture or a Record was also meant. Hence the word Lipika, the 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 Serpents. Juno's giving Jupiter, on her marriage, a Tree with golden fruit, is another form of Eve offering Adam the apple from the Tree of Knowledge.

6. The Lipika circumscribe the Triangle, the First One,233 the Cube, the Second One, and the Pentacle within the Egg234 (a).

[pg 154]

It is the Ring called Pass Not for those who descend and ascend;235 who during the Kalpa are progressing towards the Great Day Be With Us (b).... Thus were formed the Arûpa and the Rûpa:236 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 the Angelic Hierarchy. From the Group of Four and Seven emanates the Mind-Born Groups of Ten, of Twelve, of Twenty-one, etc., all these divided again into sub-groups of Heptads, Enneads, Dodecads, 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 Cosmos during its existence.

(a) The Esoteric meaning of the first sentence of the Shloka 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 objective symbol 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 Achad, “One” again, but masculine. The Monotheists have taken, and are still taking, advantage of the profound esotericism of the Kabalah, 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 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 it. The sentence in the Sepher Yetzirah 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, Achath (or Echath) is feminine, and Achad (or Echad) masculine, both meaning One.

Moreover, in Occult metaphysics, there are, properly speaking, two “Ones”—the One on the unreachable plane of Absoluteness and Infinity, [pg 155] 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; but the second, being, so to speak, the reflection of the first One (for it is the Logos, or Îshvara, in the Universe of Illusion), can do so. It emanates from itself—as the upper Sephirothal Triad emanates the lower seven Sephiroth—the seven Rays or Dhyân 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. This metaphysical tenet can hardly be better described than in T. Subba Row's Bhagavadgîtâ Lectures:

Mûlaprakriti [the veil of Parabrahman] acts as the one energy through the Logos [or Îshvara]. Now Parabrahman ... 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 Avalokiteshvara 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 Parabrahman at the time of Pralaya, and starts as a centre of conscious energy at the time of cosmic activity....237

For, as the lecturer premised by saying, Parabrahman 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, nor even Âtmâ, but verily the one source of all manifestations and modes of existence.

Thus in 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 “Pass Not,” only on the Day “Be With Us”; that day when man, freeing himself from the trammels of ignorance, and recognizing 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 round “the Triangle, the First One, the Cube, the Second One, and the Pentacle,” to [pg 156] circumscribe these figures, is thus again shown to contain the symbols of 31415, or the coëfficient constantly used in mathematical tables, the value π (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 nebulæ in astronomy. But this is as erroneous a conception as that of the topography and descriptions, given in Purânic and other exoteric Scriptures, about the 1008 worlds of the Deva-loka 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, though it has only just reached our modern “Chaldees,” may have left its luminary long before the day on which the words, “Let there be Light,” were pronounced; but these are not worlds on the Devalokic plane, but in our Cosmos.

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 billions of miles beyond the nebulæ, and then he also stops short. The semi-initiated Occultist also 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-metaphysical.” In using the word “down,” essential depth—“nowhere and everywhere”—is meant, not depth of physical matter.

If one carefully searches through the exoteric and grossly anthropomorphic allegories of popular religions, even in these the doctrine embodied in the Circle of “Pass Not,” guarded by the Lipika, may be dimly perceived. Thus one finds it even in the teachings of the Vedântin sect of the Visishthadvaita, 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 Paramapada, which place is not material, but made of Suddasattva, the essence, of which the body of Îshvara—the “Lord”—is formed. There, Muktas or Jîvâtmâs (Monads) who have attained Moksha, are never again subject to the qualities of either matter or Karma. “But if they choose, for the [pg 157]sake of doing good to the world, they may incarnate on earth.”238 The way to Paramapada, or the immaterial worlds, from this world, is called Devayâna. When a person has attained Moksha and the body dies:

The Jîva (Soul) goes with Sûkshma Sharira239 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 (Sûryamandala) through the solar rays. Then it goes, through a dark spot in the Sun, to Paramapada.... The Jîva is directed on its way ... by the Supreme Wisdom acquired by Yoga.240 The Jîva thus proceeds to Paramapada by the aid of Athivâhikas (bearers in transit), known by the names of Archi Ahas ... Âditya, ... Prajâpati, etc. The Archis, etc., here mentioned, are certain pure Souls, etc., etc.241

No Spirits except the “Recorders” (Lipika) have ever crossed the forbidden line of this Ring, 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 are loosely called “Celestial Beings.” But they are, in fact, nothing of the kind. They are Entities of higher worlds in the Hierarchy of Being, so immeasurably high that, to us, they must appear as Gods, and collectively—God. But so must we, mortal men, 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, under the impulse of mischief, destroys, in one moment, its ant-hill, the labour of many weeks—long years in the chronology of insects. The ant, feeling it acutely, may also, like man, attribute the undeserved calamity to a combination of providence and sin, and 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 than ourselves on the human plane, is the greatest conceit [pg 158] 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 conditions totally different to those that constitute the nature of our world; nor can it deny that there may be a certain limited communication between some of these worlds and our own. The greatest philosopher of European birth, Emmanuel 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.242

To the highest of these worlds, 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 that do communicate with their progeny of the Earth; a progeny which is indissolubly linked with them, each Principle in man having its direct source in the nature of these great Beings, who furnish us respectively with the 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 organic vehicles. Nevertheless, all that will ever be accomplished in this direction has already been done, and Science can go no farther. She is before a dead wall, on the face of which she traces, as she imagines, great physiological and psychic discoveries, every one of which will be shown later on to be no better than 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, which purposely ignores and rejects the Occult Sciences. 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 Büchner, Vogt, and others, that [pg 159] thought is molecular motion, necessitates the fact of our subjective consciousness being made a complete abstraction.

The Great Day “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 “Come To Us,” which is identical with the former—though the word “be,” in this sense, might be still better replaced with either of the two terms “remain” or “rest with us,” as it refers to that long period of Rest which is called Paranirvâna. “Le Jour de ‘Viens à nous’! C'est le jour où Osiris a dit au Soleil: Viens! Je le vois rencontrant le Soleil dans l'Amenti.”243 The Sun here stands for the Logos (or Christos, or Horus), as the central Essence synthetically, and as a diffused essence of radiated Entities, different in substance, but not in essence. As expressed by the Bhagavadgîtâ lecturer, “it must not be supposed that the Logos is but a single centre of energy which is manifested by Parabrahman. There are innumerable others. Their number is almost infinite, in the bosom of Parabrahman.” 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—Tetraktys—so the Circle shows the boundary within the Infinity that no man, even in spirit, or Deva or Dhyân Chohan can cross. 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 Paranirvâna. If they reach it, they will rest in the bosom of Parabrahman, or the “Unknown Darkness,” which shall then become for all of them Light, during the whole period of Mahâpralaya, the “Great Night,” namely, 311,040,000,000,000 years of absorption in Brahman. The Day of “Be With Us” is this period of Rest, or Paranirvâna. It corresponds to the Day of the Last Judgment of the Christians, which has been sorely materialized in their religion.244

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 (the Secret Doctrine, however, [pg 160] teaching 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 Paranirvâna, it reässumes its primeval Essence and becomes the Absolute once more.

Stanza VI.

1. By the power of the Mother of Mercy and Knowledge (a), Kwan-Yin—the Triple of Kwan-Shai-Yin, residing in Kwan-Yin-Tien (b)—Fohat, the Breath of their Progeny, the Son of the Sons, having called forth, from the lower Abyss,245the Illusive Form of Sien-Tchan246 and the Seven Elements.

This Stanza is translated from the Chinese text, and the names given as the equivalents of the original terms are preserved. The real Esoteric nomenclature cannot be given, as it would only confuse the reader. The Brâhmanical doctrine has no equivalents for these. Vâch seems, in many an aspect, to approach the Chinese Kwan-Yin, but there is no regular worship of Vâch under this name in India, as there is of Kwan-Yin in China. No exoteric religious system has ever adopted a female Creator, and thus, from the first dawn of popular religions, woman has been regarded and treated as inferior to man. It is only in China and Egypt that Kwan-Yin and Isis are placed on a par with the male gods. Esotericism ignores both sexes. Its highest Deity is as sexless as it is formless, neither Father nor Mother; and its first manifested beings, celestial and terrestrial alike, become only gradually androgynous to finally separate into distinct sexes.

(a) “The Mother of Mercy and Knowledge” is called the “Triple” of Kwan-Shai-Yin, because in her correlations, metaphysical and cosmical, she is the “Mother, the Wife and the Daughter” of the Logos, just as in the later theological translations she became the “Father, Son and (female) Holy Ghost”—the Shakti or Energy—the Essence of the Three. Thus in the Esotericism of the Vedântins, Daiviprakriti, the Light manifested through Îshvara, the Logos,247 is at one and the same time the Mother and also the Daughter of the Logos, or Verbum of Parabrahman; while in that of the Trans-Himâlayan [pg 161] teachings, it is—in the Hierarchy of their allegorical and metaphysical theogony—the “Mother,” or abstract ideal Matter, Mûlaprakriti, the Root of Nature; from the metaphysical standpoint, a correlation of Adi-Budha, manifested in the Logos, Avalokiteshvara; and from the purely Occult and cosmical, Fohat, the “Son of the Son,” the androgynous energy resulting from this “Light of the Logos,” which manifests in the plane of the objective Universe as the hidden, as much as the revealed, Electricity—which is Life. Says T. Subba Row:

Evolution is commenced by the intellectual energy of the Logos, ... not merely on account of the potentialities locked up in Mûlaprakriti. This Light of the Logos is the link ... between objective matter and the subjective Thought of Îshvara [or Logos]. It is called in several Buddhist books Fohat. It is the one instrument with which the Logos works.248

(b) “Kwan-Yin-Tien” means the “Melodious Heaven of Sound,” the Abode of Kwan-Yin, or the “Divine Voice.” This “Voice” is a synonym of the Verbum or Word, “Speech,” as the expression of Thought. Thus may be traced the connection with, and even the origin of, the Hebrew Bath-Kol, the “Daughter of the Divine Voice,” or Verbum, or the male and female Logos, the “Heavenly Man,” or Adam Kadmon, who is at the same time Sephira. The latter was surely anticipated by the Hindû Vâch, the goddess of Speech, or of the Word. For Vâch—the daughter and the female portion, as is stated, of Brahmâ, one “generated by the gods”—is, in company with Kwan-Yin, with Isis (also the daughter, wife and sister of Osiris) and other goddesses, the female Logos, so to speak, the goddess of the active forces in Nature, the Word, Voice or Sound, and Speech. If Kwan-Yin is the “Melodious Voice,” so is Vâch “the melodious cow who milked forth sustenance and water [the female principle] ... who yields us nourishment and sustenance,” as Mother-Nature. She is associated in the work of creation with Prajâpati. She is male and female ad libitum, as Eve is with Adam. And she is a form of Aditi—the principle higher than Æther—of Âkâsha, the synthesis of all the forces in Nature. Thus Vâch and Kwan-Yin are both the magic potency of Occult Sound in Nature and Æther—which “Voice” calls forth Sien-Tchan, the illusive form of the Universe out of Chaos and the Seven Elements.

Thus, in Manu, Brahmâ (the Logos also) is shown dividing his body into two parts, male and female, and creating in the latter, who is [pg 162] Vâch, Virâj, who is himself, or Brahmâ again. A learned Vedântin Occultist speaks of this “goddess” as follows, explaining the reason why Îshvara (or Brahmâ) is called Verbum or Logos; why in fact it is called Sabda Brahman:

The explanation I am going to give you will appear thoroughly mystical; but if mystical, it has a tremendous significance when properly understood. Our old writers said that Vâch is of four kinds. [See Rig Veda and the Upanishads.] Vaikharî Vâch is what we utter. Every kind of Vaikharî Vâch exists in its Madhyama, further in its Pashyanti, and ultimately in its Para form.249 The reason why this Pranava is called Vâch is this, that the four principles of the great cosmos correspond to these four forms of Vâch. Now the whole manifested solar system exists in its Sûkshma form in the light or energy of the Logos, because its energy is caught up and transferred to cosmic matter ... the whole cosmos in its objective form is Vaikharî Vâch, the light of the Logos is the Madhyama form, and the Logos itself the Pashyanti form, and Parabrahman the Para aspect of that Vâch. It is by the light of this explanation that we must try to understand certain statements made by various philosophers to the effect that the manifested cosmos is the Verbum manifested as cosmos.250

2. The Swift and the Radiant One produces the seven Laya251Centres (a), against which none will prevail to the Great Day Be With Us; and seats the Universe on these Eternal Foundations, surrounding Sien-Tchan with the Elementary Germs (b).

(a) The seven Laya Centres are the seven zero-points, using the term zero in the same sense that Chemists do. It indicates, in Esotericism, a point at which the reckoning of differentiation begins. From these Centres—beyond which Esoteric Philosophy allows us to perceive the dim metaphysical outlines of the “Seven Sons” of Life and Light, the Seven Logoi of the Hermetic and all other philosophers—begins the differentiation of the Elements which enter into the constitution of our Solar System. It has often been asked what is the exact definition of Fohat and his powers and functions, for he seems to exercise those of a Personal God as understood in the popular religions. The answer has just been given in the Commentary on Stanza V. As well said in the Bhagavadgîtâ Lectures, “The whole cosmos must necessarily exist in the one source of energy [pg 163] from which this light [Fohat] emanates.” Whether we count the principles in cosmos and man as seven or only as four, the forces of, and in, physical Nature are Seven; and it is stated by the same authority that, “Prajnâ, or the capacity of perception, exists in seven different aspects corresponding to the seven conditions of matter.” For, “just as a human being is composed of seven principles, differentiated matter in the solar system exists in seven different conditions.”252 So does Fohat. Fohat has several meanings, as already shown. He is called the “Builder of the Builders,” the Force that he personifies having formed our Septenary Chain. He is One and Seven, and on the cosmic plane is behind all such manifestations as light, heat, sound, adhesion, etc., etc., and is the “spirit” of electricity, which is the Life of the Universe. As an abstraction, we will call it the One Life; as an objective and evident Reality, we speak of a septenary scale of manifestation, which begins at the upper rung with the One Unknowable Causality, and ends as Omnipresent Mind and Life, immanent in every atom of Matter. Thus, while Science speaks of its evolution through brute matter, blind force, and senseless motion, the Occultists point to Intelligent Law and Sentient Life, and add that Fohat is the guiding Spirit of all this. Yet he is no personal god at all, but the emanation of those other Powers behind him, whom the Christians call the “Messengers” of their God (in reality, of the Elohim, or rather one of the Seven Creators called Elohim), and we the Messenger of the primordial Sons of Life and Light.

(b) The “Elementary Germs,” with which he fills Sien-Tchan (the Universe) from Tien-Sin (the “Heaven of Mind,” or that which is absolute), are the Atoms of Science and the Monads of Leibnitz.

3. Of the Seven253—first One manifested, Six concealed; Two manifested, Five concealed; Three manifested, Four concealed; Four produced, Three hidden; Four and One Tsan254revealed, Two and One Half concealed; Six to be manifested, One laid aside (a). Lastly, Seven Small Wheels revolving; one giving birth to the other (b).

(a) Although these Stanzas refer to the whole Universe after a [pg 164] Mahâpralaya (Universal Dissolution), yet this sentence, as any student of Occultism may see, refers also by analogy to the evolution and final formation of the primitive (though compound) seven Elements on our Earth. Of these, four Elements are now fully manifested, while the fifth—Ether—is only partially so, as we are hardly in the second half of the Fourth Round, and consequently the fifth Element will manifest fully only in the Fifth Round. The Worlds, including our own, as germs, were of course primarily evolved from the One Element in its second stage—“Father-Mother,” the Differentiated World's Soul, not what is termed the “Over-Soul” by Emerson—whether we call it, with Modern Science, cosmic dust and fire-mist, or with Occultism, Âkâsha, Jîvâtmâ, Divine Astral Light, or the “Soul of the World.” But this first stage of Evolution was in due course of time followed by the next. No World, and no heavenly body, could be constructed on the objective plane, had not the Elements been already sufficiently differentiated from their primeval Ilus, resting in Laya. The latter term is a synonym of Nirvâna. It is, in fact, the Nirvânic dissociation of all substances, merged after a Life-Cycle into the latency of their primary conditions. It is the luminous but bodiless shadow of the Matter that was, the realm of negativeness—wherein lie latent during their period of rest the active Forces of the Universe.

Now, speaking of Elements, it is made the standing reproach of the Ancients, that they “supposed their elements simple and undecomposable.” The shades of our pre-historic ancestors might return the compliment to modern Physicists, now that new discoveries in Chemistry have led Mr. W. Crookes, F.R.S., to admit, that Science is yet a thousand leagues from a knowledge of the compound nature of the simplest molecule. From him we learn that such a thing as a really simple molecule entirely homogeneous is terra incognita in Chemistry. “Where are we to draw the line?” he asks; “is there no way out of this perplexity? Must we either make the elementary examinations so stiff that only 60 or 70 candidates can pass, or must we open the examination doors so wide that the number of admissions is limited only by the number of applicants?” And then the learned chemist gives striking instances. He says:

Take the case of yttrium. It has its definite atomic weight, it behaved in every respect as a simple body, an element, to which we might indeed add, but from which we could not take away. Yet this yttrium, this supposed homogeneous whole, on being submitted to a certain method of fractionation, is resolved into [pg 165]portions not absolutely identical among themselves, and exhibiting a gradation of properties. Or take the case of didymium. Here was a body betraying all the recognized characters of an element. It had been separated with much difficulty from other bodies which approximated closely to it in their properties, and during this crucial process it had undergone very severe treatment and very close scrutiny. But then came another chemist, who, treating this assumed homogeneous body by a peculiar process of fractionation, resolved it into the two bodies praseodymium and neodymium, between which certain distinctions are perceptible. Further, we even now have no certainty that neodymium and praseodymium are simple bodies. On the contrary, they likewise exhibit symptoms of splitting up. Now, if one supposed element on proper treatment is thus found to comprise dissimilar molecules, we are surely warranted in asking whether similar results might not be obtained in other elements, perhaps in all elements, if treated in the right way. We may even ask where the process of sorting-out is to stop—a process which of course presupposes variations between the individual molecules of each species. And in these successive separations we naturally find bodies approaching more and more closely to each other.255

Once more this reproach against the Ancients is an unwarrantable statement. Their initiated philosophers at any rate, can hardly come under such an imputation, since it is they who have invented allegories and religious myths from the beginning. Had they been ignorant of the Heterogeneity of their Elements they would have had no personifications of Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Æther; their cosmic gods and goddesses would never have been blessed with such posterity, with so many sons and daughters, elements born from and within each respective Element. Alchemy and Occult phenomena would have been a delusion and a snare, even in theory, had the Ancients been ignorant of the potentialities and correlative functions and attributes, of every element that enters into the composition of Air, Water, Earth, and even Fire—the latter a terra incognita to this day to Modern Science, which is obliged to call it motion, evolution of light and heat, state of ignition—defining it by its outward aspects in short, in ignorance of its nature.

But what Modern Science seems to fail to perceive, is that, differentiated as may have been those simple chemical atoms—which archaic philosophy called “the creators of their respective parents,” fathers, brothers, husbands of their mothers, and these mothers the daughters of their own sons, like Aditi and Daksha, for example—differentiated as these elements were in the beginning, still, they were not the compound bodies known to Science, as they are now. Neither Water, Air, [pg 166] nor Earth (a synonym for solids generally) existed in their present form, representing the only three states of matter recognized by Science; for all these and even Fire are productions already recombined by the atmospheres of completely formed globes, so that in the first periods of the earth's formation they were something quite sui generis. Now that the conditions and laws ruling our Solar System are fully developed, and that the atmosphere of our earth, as of every other globe, has become, so to say, a crucible of its own, Occult Science teaches that there is a perpetual exchange taking place, in space, of molecules, or rather of atoms, correlating, and thus changing their combining equivalents on every planet. Some men of Science, and these among the greatest Physicists and Chemists, begin to suspect this fact, which has been known for ages to the Occultists. The spectroscope shows only the probable similarity (on external evidence) of terrestrial and sidereal substance; it is unable to go any farther, or to show whether or not atoms gravitate towards one another in the same way, and under the same conditions, as they are supposed to do on our planet, physically and chemically. The scale of temperature, from the highest degree to the lowest that can be conceived of, may be imagined to be one and the same in and for the whole Universe; nevertheless, its properties, other than those of dissociation and reässociation, differ on every planet; and thus atoms enter into new forms of existence, undreamed of, and incognizable to, Physical Science. As already expressed in Five Years of Theosophy,256 the essence of cometary matter, for instance, “is totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which the greatest Chemists and Physicists of the earth are acquainted.” And even that matter, during rapid passage through our atmosphere, undergoes a certain change in its nature.

Thus not only the elements of our planet, but even those of all its sisters in the Solar System, differ in their combinations as widely from each other, as from the cosmic elements beyond our solar limits. This is again corroborated by the same man of Science in the lecture referred to above, who quotes Clerk Maxwell, saying “that the elements are not absolutely homogeneous.” He writes:

It is difficult to conceive of selection and elimination of intermediate varieties, for where can these eliminated molecules have gone to, if, as we have reason to believe, the hydrogen, etc., of the fixed stars is composed of molecules identical in [pg 167]all respects with our own.... In the first place we may call in question this absolute molecular identity, since we have hitherto had no means for coming to a conclusion save the means furnished by the spectroscope, while it is admitted that, for accurately comparing and discriminating the spectra of two bodies, they should be examined under identical states of temperature, pressure, and all other physical conditions. We have certainly seen, in the spectrum of the sun, rays which we have not been able to identify.

Therefore, the elements of our planet cannot be taken as a standard for comparison with the elements in other worlds. In fact each world has its Fohat, which is omnipresent in its own sphere of action. But there are as many Fohats as there are worlds, each varying in power and degree of manifestation. The individual Fohats make one universal, collective Fohat—the aspect-entity of the one absolute Non-Entity, which is absolute Be-ness, Sat. “Millions and billions of worlds are produced at every Manvantara”—it is said. Therefore there must be many Fohats, whom we consider as conscious and intelligent Forces. This, no doubt, to the disgust of scientific minds. Nevertheless the Occultists, who have good reasons for it, consider all the forces of Nature as veritable, though supersensuous, states of Matter; and as possible objects of perception to beings endowed with the requisite senses.

Enshrined in its pristine, virgin state within the Bosom of the Eternal Mother, every atom born beyond the threshold of her realm is doomed to incessant differentiation. The Mother sleeps, yet is ever breathing.” And every breath sends out into the plane of manifestation her protean products, which, carried on by the wave of efflux, are scattered by Fohat, and driven toward or beyond this or another planetary atmosphere. Once caught by the latter, the atom is lost; its pristine purity is gone for ever, unless fate dissociates it by leading it to a “current of efflux” (an Occult term meaning quite a different process from that which the ordinary word implies), when it may be carried once more to the borderland where it had previously perished, and taking its flight, not into Space above but into Space within, be brought under a state of differential equilibrium and happily reabsorbed. Were a truly learned Occultist-Alchemist to write the “Life and Adventures of an Atom,” he would secure thereby the supreme scorn of the modern Chemist, though perchance also his subsequent gratitude. Indeed, if such an imaginary Chemist happened to be intuitional, and would for a moment step out of the habitual groove of strictly “Exact Science,” as the Alchemists of old did, he might be repaid [pg 168] for his audacity. However it may be, The Breath of the Father-Mother issues cold and radiant, and gets hot and corrupt, to cool once more and be purified in the eternal bosom of inner Space,” says the Commentary. Man absorbs cold pure air on the mountain-top, and throws it out impure, hot and transformed. Thus, the higher atmosphere of every globe, being its mouth, and the lower its lungs, the man of our planet breathes only the “refuse of Mother;” therefore, “he is doomed to die thereon.” He who would allotropize sluggish oxygen into ozone to a measure of alchemical activity, reducing it to its pure essence (for which there are means), would discover thereby a substitute for an “Elixir of Life” and prepare it for practical use.

(b) The process referred to as the “Small Wheels, one giving birth to the other,” takes place in the sixth region from above, and on the plane of the most material world of all in the manifested Kosmos—our terrestrial plane. These “Seven Wheels” are our Planetary Chain. By “Wheels” the various spheres and centres of forces are generally meant; but in this case they refer to our septenary Ring.

4. He builds them in the likeness of older Wheels,257 Placing them on the Imperishable Centres (a).

How does Fohat build them? He collects the Fiery-Dust. He makes Balls of Fire, runs through them, and round them, infusing life thereinto, then sets them into motion; some one way, some the other way. They are cold, he makes them hot. They are dry, he makes them moist. They shine, he fans and cools them (b). Thus acts Fohat from one Twilight to the other, during Seven Eternities.258

(a) The Worlds are built “in the likeness of older Wheels”i.e., of those that had existed in preceding Manvantaras and went into Pralaya; for the Law for the birth, growth, and decay of everything in Kosmos, from the Sun to the glow-worm in the grass, is One. There is an everlasting work of perfection with every new appearance, but the Substance-Matter and Forces are all one and the same. And this Law acts on every planet through minor and varying laws.

The “Imperishable [Laya] Centres” have a great importance, and [pg 169] their meaning must be fully understood, if we would have a clear conception of the Archaic Cosmogony, whose theories have now passed into Occultism. At present, one thing may be stated. The Worlds are built neither upon, nor over, nor in the Laya Centres, the zero-point being a condition, not a mathematical point.

(b) Bear in mind that Fohat, the constructive Force of Cosmic Electricity, is said, metaphorically, to have sprung, like Rudra from the head of Brahmâ, from the Brain of the Father and the Bosom of the Mother,” and then to have metamorphosed himself into a male and a female, i.e., polarized himself into positive and negative electricity. He has Seven Sons who are his Brothers. Fohat is forced to be born, time after time, whenever any two of his “Son-Brothers” indulge in too close contact—whether an embrace or a fight. To avoid this, he unites and binds together those of unlike nature, and separates those of similar temperaments. This, as any one can see, relates, of course, to electricity generated by friction, and to the law of attraction between two objects of unlike, and repulsion between those of like polarity. The Seven Son-Brothers, however, represent and personify the seven forms of cosmic magnetism, called in Practical Occultism the “Seven Radicals,” whose coöperative and active progeny are, among other energies, Electricity, Magnetism, Sound, Light, Heat, Cohesion, etc. Occult Science defines all these as super-sensuous effects in their hidden behaviour, and as objective phenomena in the world of sense; the former requiring abnormal faculties to perceive them, the latter cognizable by our ordinary physical senses. They all pertain to, and are the emanations of, still more supersensuous spiritual qualities, not personated by, but belonging to, real and conscious Causes. To attempt a description of such Entities would be worse than useless. The reader must bear in mind that, according to our teaching which regards this phenomenal Universe as a Great Illusion, the nearer a body is to the Unknown Substance, the more it approaches Reality, as being the farther removed from this world of Mâyâ. Therefore, though the molecular constitution of these bodies is not deducible from their manifestations, on this plane of consciousness, they nevertheless, from the standpoint of the Adept Occultist, possess a distinctive objective if not material structure, in the relatively noumenal—as opposed to the phenomenal—Universe. Men of science may term them force or forces generated by matter, or “modes of its motion,” if they will; Occultism sees in these effects Elementals (Forces), and, in the direct causes [pg 170] producing them, intelligent Divine Workmen. The intimate connection of these Elementals, guided by the unerring hand of the Rulers, with the elements of pure Matter—their correlation we might call it—results in our terrestrial phenomena, such as light, heat, magnetism, etc., etc. Of course we shall never agree with the American Substantialists259 who call every force and energy—whether light, heat, electricity or cohesion—an “entity”; for this would be equivalent to calling the noise produced by the rolling of the wheels of a vehicle an entity—thus confusing and identifying that “noise” with the “driver” outside, and the guiding “Master Intelligence” within the vehicle. But we do certainly give that name to the “drivers” and to these guiding “Intelligences,” the ruling Dhyân Chohans, as has been shown. The Elementals, the Nature-Forces, are the acting, though invisible, or rather imperceptible, secondary causes, and in themselves the effects of primary causes behind the veil of all terrestrial phenomena. Electricity, light, heat, etc., have been aptly termed the “Ghosts or Shadows of Matter in Motion,” i.e., supersensuous states of Matter whose effects only we are able to cognize. To expand, then, the simile given above. The sensation of light is like the sound of the rolling wheels—a purely phenomenal effect, having no existence outside the observer. The proximate exciting cause of the sensation is comparable to the driver—a supersensuous state of matter in motion, a Nature-Force or Elemental. But, behind this—just as the owner of the carriage directs the driver from within—stands the higher and noumenal cause, the Intelligence from whose essence radiate these States of “Mother,” generating the countless milliards of Elementals, or Psychic Nature-Spirits, just as every drop of water generates its physical infinitesimal Infusoria. It is Fohat who guides the transfer of the principles from one planet to the other, from one star to another child-star. When a planet dies, its informing principles are transferred to a laya or sleeping centre, with potential but latent energy in it, which is thus awakened into life and begins to form itself into a new sidereal body.

It is most remarkable that, while honestly confessing their entire ignorance of the true nature of even terrestrial matter—primordial substance being regarded more as a dream than as a sober reality—the [pg 171] Physicists should, nevertheless, set themselves up as judges of that matter, and claim to know what it is able and is not able to do, in various combinations. Scientists know this matter hardly skin-deep, and yet they will dogmatize. It is “a mode of motion” and nothing else! But the “force” that is inherent in a living person's breath, when blowing a speck of dust from the table, is also, undeniably, “a mode of motion.” It is as undeniably not a quality of the matter, or the particles of the speck, and it emanates from the living and thinking Entity that breathed, whether the impulse originated consciously or unconsciously. Indeed, to endow matter—something of which nothing is so far known—with an inherent quality called force, of the nature of which still less is known, is to create a far more serious difficulty than that which lies in the acceptation of the intervention of our “Nature-Spirits” in every natural phenomenon.

The Occultists—who, if they would express themselves correctly, do not say that matter, but only the substance or essence of matter, (i.e., Mûlaprakriti, the Root of all) is indestructible and eternal—assert that all the so-called Forces of Nature, electricity, magnetism, light, heat, etc., etc., far from being modes of motion of material particles, are in esse, i.e., in their ultimate constitution, the differentiated aspects of that Universal Motion which is discussed and explained in the first pages of this volume. When Fohat is said to produce Seven Laya Centres, it means that, for formative or creative purposes, the Great Law—Theists may call it God—stays, or rather modifies, its perpetual motion on seven invisible points within the area of the Manifested Universe. The Great Breath digs through Space seven holes into Laya, to cause them to circumgyrate during Manvantara,” says the Occult Catechism. We have said that Laya is what Science may call the zero-point or line; the realm of absolute negativeness, or the one real absolute Force, the noumenon of the Seventh State of that which we ignorantly call and recognize as “Force”; or again the noumenon of Undifferentiated Cosmic Substance, which is itself an unreachable and unknowable object for finite perception; the root and basis of all states of objectivity and also subjectivity; the neutral axis, not one of the many aspects, but its centre. It may serve to elucidate the meaning, if we try to imagine a “neutral centre”—the dream of those who would discover perpetual motion. A “neutral centre” is, in one aspect, the limiting point of any given set of senses. Thus, imagine two consecutive planes of matter; each of these corresponding to an appropriate [pg 172] set of perceptive organs. We are forced to admit that between these two planes of matter an incessant circulation takes place; and if we follow the atoms and molecules of, say, the lower in their transformation upwards, they will come to a point where they pass altogether beyond the range of the faculties we are using on the lower plane. In fact, for us the matter of the lower plane there vanishes from our perception—or rather, it passes on to the higher plane, and the state of matter corresponding to such a point of transition must certainly possess special, and not readily discoverable, properties. Seven such “Neutral Centres,”260 then, are produced by Fohat, who, when, as Milton has it:

Fair foundations (are) laid whereon to build ...

quickens matter into activity and evolution.

The Primordial Atom (Anu) cannot be multiplied either in its pregenetic state, or its primogeneity; therefore it is called the “Sum Total,” of course, figuratively, as that “Sum Total” is boundless. That which is the abyss of nothingness to the Physicist, who knows only the world of visible causes and effects, is the boundless Space of the Divine Plenum to the Occultist. Among many other objections to the doctrine of an endless evolution and involution, or reäbsorption of the Kosmos, a process which, according to the Brâhmanical and Esoteric Doctrine, is without beginning or end, the Occultist is told that it cannot be, since “by all the admissions of modern scientific philosophy it is a necessity of nature to run down.” If the tendency of nature “to run down” is to be considered so forcible an objection to Occult Cosmogony, how, we may ask, do your Positivists and Free-thinkers and Scientists account for the phalanx of active stellar systems around us? They had eternity to “run down” in; why, then, is not the Kosmos a huge inert mass? Even the moon is only hypothetically believed to be a dead planet, “run down,” and Astronomy does not seem to be acquainted with many such dead planets.261 The query is unanswerable. But apart from this, it must be noted that the idea of the amount of “transformable energy” in our [pg 173] little system coming to an end, is based purely on the fallacious conception of a “white-hot, incandescent sun,” perpetually radiating away its heat without compensation into space. To this we reply that nature runs down and disappears from the objective plane, only to reëmerge after a time of rest out of the subjective, and to reäscend once more. Our Kosmos and Nature will run down only to reäppear on a more perfect plane after every Pralaya. The Matter of the Eastern philosophers is not the “matter” and Nature of the Western metaphysicians. For what is Matter? And above all, what is our scientific philosophy but that which was so justly and so politely defined by Kant as the “science of the limits to our knowledge?” To what have the many attempts made by Science to bind, connect, and define all the phenomena of organic life, by mere physical and chemical manifestations, brought it? To speculation generally—mere soap-bubbles, that have burst one after the other before the men of Science were permitted to discover real facts. All this would have been avoided, and the progress of knowledge would have proceeded with gigantic strides, had only Science and its philosophy abstained from accepting hypotheses merely on the one-sided knowledge of their “matter.” The behaviour of Uranus and Neptune—whose satellites, four and one in number respectively, revolved, it was thought, in their orbits from East to West, whereas all the other satellites rotate from West to East—is a very good instance, as showing how unreliable are all à priori speculations, even when based on the strictest mathematical analysis. The famous hypothesis of the formation of our Solar System out of nebulous rings, put forward by Kant and Laplace, was chiefly based on the assumed fact that all the planets revolved in the same direction. Laplace, relying on this mathematically demonstrated fact in his own time, and calculating on the theory of probabilities, offered to bet three milliards to one that the next planet discovered would have in its system the same peculiarity of motion eastward. The immutable laws of scientific mathematics got “worsted by further experiments and observations.” This idea of Laplace's mistake prevails generally to this day; but some Astronomers have finally succeeded in demonstrating (?) that the error has been in accepting Laplace's assertion for a mistake; and steps to correct the bévue, without attracting general attention, are now being taken. Many such unpleasant surprises are in store for hypotheses of even a purely physical character. What further disillusions, then, may there not be [pg 174] in questions concerning a transcendental, Occult Nature? At any rate, Occultism teaches that the so-called “reverse rotation” is a fact.

If no physical intellect is capable of counting the grains of sand covering a few miles of sea-shore, or of fathoming the ultimate nature and essence of these grains, when palpable and visible on the palm of the Naturalist, how can any Materialist limit the laws which govern the changes in the conditions and being of the atoms in Primordial Chaos, or know anything certain about the capabilities and potency of the atoms and molecules, before and after their formation into worlds? These changeless and eternal molecules—far more numberless in space than the grains on the ocean shore—may differ in their constitution along the lines of their planes of existence, as the soul-substance differs from its vehicle, the body. Each atom has seven planes of being or existence, we are taught; and each plane is governed by its specific laws of evolution and absorption. Ignorant of any, even approximate, chronological data from which to start, in attempting to decide the age of our planet or the origin of the solar system, Astronomers, Geologists, and Physicists, with each new hypothesis, are drifting farther and farther away from the shores of fact into the fathomless depths of speculative ontology.262 The Law of Analogy, in the plan of structure between the trans-solar systems and the solar planets, does not necessarily bear upon the finite conditions, to which every visible body is subject, in this our plane of being. In Occult Science, this Law of Analogy is the first and most important key to cosmic physics; but it has to be studied in its minutest details, and “turned seven times,” before one comes to understand it. Occult Philosophy is the only science that can teach it. How, then, can anyone hang the truth or the untruth of the Occultist's proposition, “the Kosmos is eternal in its unconditioned collectivity, and finite only in its conditioned manifestations,” on this one-sided physical enunciation that “it is a necessity of Nature to run down”?263

A Digression.

With this Shloka ends that portion of the Stanzas relating to the [pg 175] cosmogony of the Universe after the last Mahâpralaya, or Universal Dissolution, which, when it comes, sweeps out of Space every differentiated thing, gods as well as atoms, like so many dry leaves. From this verse onwards, the Stanzas are only concerned with our Solar System in general, with the Planetary Chains therein inferentially, and with the history of our Globe (the Fourth and its Chain) especially. All the verses which follow in this Volume refer only to the evolution of, and on, our Earth. With regard to the latter, a strange tenet—strange from the modern scientific standpoint only, of course—is held, which ought to be made known.

But before entirely new and somewhat startling theories are presented to the reader, they must be prefaced by a few words of explanation. This is absolutely necessary, as these theories clash not only with Modern Science, but, on certain points, contradict earlier statements264 made by other Theosophists, who claim to base their explanations and renderings of these teachings on the same authority as we do.

This may give rise to the idea that there is a decided contradiction between the expounders of the same doctrine; whereas the difference, in reality, arises from the incompleteness of the information given to earlier writers, who thus drew some erroneous conclusions and indulged in premature speculations, in their endeavour to present a complete system to the public. Thus the reader, who is already a student of Theosophy, must not be surprised to find in these pages the rectification of certain statements made in various Theosophical works, and also the explanation of certain points which have remained obscure, because they were necessarily left incomplete. Many are the questions upon which even the author of Esoteric Buddhism, the best and most accurate of all such works, has not touched. On the other hand, even he has introduced several mistaken notions, which must now be presented in their true mystic light, as far as the present writer is capable of so doing.

Let us then make a short break between the Shlokas just explained and those which follow, for the cosmic periods which separate them are of immense duration. This will afford us ample time to take a bird's-eye view of some points pertaining to the Secret Doctrine, which [pg 176] have been presented to the public under a more or less uncertain and sometimes mistaken light.

A Few Early Misconceptions Concerning Planets, Rounds, And Man.

Among the eleven Stanzas omitted, there is one which gives a full description of the formation of the Planetary Chains one after another, after the first cosmic and atomic differentiation had commenced in the primitive Acosmism. It is idle to speak of “laws arising when Deity prepares to create,” for “laws,” or rather Law, are eternal and uncreated; and again Deity is Law, and vice versà. Moreover, the one eternal Law unfolds everything in the (to be) manifested Nature on a sevenfold principle; among the rest, the countless circular Chains of Worlds, composed of seven Globes, graduated on the four lower planes of the World of Formation, the three others belonging to the Archetypal Universe. Out of these seven only one, the lowest and the most material of these Globes, is within our plane or means of perception, the six others lying outside it and being therefore invisible to the terrestrial eye. Every such Chain of Worlds is the progeny and creation of another, lower, and dead Chain—its reïncarnation, so to say. To make it clearer: we are told that each of the planets—of which seven only were called sacred, as being ruled by the highest Regents or Gods, and not at all because the Ancients knew nothing of the others265—whether known or unknown, is a septenary, as also is the Chain to which the Earth belongs. For instance, all such planets as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, etc., etc., or our Earth, are as visible to us as our Globe, probably, is to the inhabitants, if any, of the other planets, because they are all on the same plane; while the superior fellow-globes of these planets are on other planes quite outside that of our terrestrial senses. As their relative positions are given further on, and also in the diagram appended to the comments on Shloka 6 of Stanza VI, a few words of explanation is all that is needed at present. These invisible companions correspond curiously to that which we call the “principles” in man. The seven are on three material planes and one spiritual plane, answering to the three Upâdhis (Material Bases), and one spiritual Vehicle (Vâhana), of our seven Principles in the human division. If, for the sake of a clearer mental conception, we imagine [pg 177] the human Principles to be arranged as in the following scheme, we shall obtain the following diagram of correspondences:

Diagram I

As we are proceeding here from Universals to Particulars, instead of using the inductive or Aristotelean method, the numbers are reversed. Spirit is enumerated the first instead of seventh, as is usually done, but in truth, ought not to be done.

The Principles, as usually named after the manner of Esoteric Buddhism and other works, are: 1, Âtmâ; 2, Buddhi (Spiritual Soul); 3, Manas (Human Soul); 4, Kâma Rûpa (Vehicle of Desires and Passions); 5, Prâna; 6, Linga Sharîra; 7, Sthûla Sharîra.

The dark horizontal lines of the lower planes are the Upâdhis in the case of the human Principles, and the planes in the case of the Planetary Chain. Of course, as regards the Human Principles, the diagram does not place them quite in order, yet it shows the correspondence and analogy to which attention is now drawn. As the reader will see, it is a case of descent into matter, the adjustment—in both the mystic [pg 178] and the physical sense—of the two, and their interblending for the great coming “struggle for life” that awaits both Entities. “Entity” may be thought a strange term to use in the case of a Globe, but the ancient philosophers, who saw in the Earth a huge “animal,” were wiser in their generation than our modern geologists are in theirs; and Pliny, who called the Earth our kind nurse and mother, the only Element which is not inimical to man, spoke more truly than Watts, who fancied that he saw in her the footstool of God. For Earth is only the footstool of man in his ascension to higher regions; the vestibule—

... to glorious mansions,
Through which a moving crowd for ever press.

But this only shows how admirably Occult Philosophy fits every thing in Nature, and how much more logical are its tenets than the lifeless hypothetical speculations of Physical Science.

Having learned thus much, the Mystic will be better prepared to understand the Occult teaching, though every formal student of Modern Science may, and probably will, regard it as preposterous nonsense. The student of Occultism, however, holds that the theory at present under discussion is far more philosophical and probable than any other. It is more logical, at any rate, than the theory recently advanced which made of the Moon the projection of a portion of our Earth, extruded when the latter was a globe in fusion, a molten plastic mass.

Says Mr. Samuel Laing, the author of Modern Science and Modern Thought:

The astronomical conclusions are theories based on data so uncertain, that while in some cases they give results incredibly short, like that of 15 millions of years for the whole past process of formation of the solar system, in others they give results almost incredibly long, as in that which supposes the moon to have been thrown off when the earth was rotating in three hours, while the utmost actual retardation obtained from observation would require 600 millions of years to make it rotate in twenty-three hours instead of twenty-four.266

And if Physicists persist in such speculations, why should the chronology of the Hindûs be laughed at as exaggerated?

It is said, moreover, that the Planetary Chains having their Days and their Nights—i.e., periods of activity or life, and of inertia or death—behave in heaven as do men on earth: they generate their likes, grow old, and become personally extinct, their spiritual principles only living in their progeny as a survival of themselves.

[pg 179]

Without attempting the very difficult task of giving out the whole process in all its cosmic details, enough may be said to give an approximate idea of it. When a Planetary Chain is in its last Round, its Globe A, before finally dying out, sends all its energy and principles into a neutral centre of latent force, a laya centre, and thereby informs a new nucleus of undifferentiated substance or matter, i.e., calls it into activity or gives it life. Suppose such a process to have taken place in the Lunar Planetary Chain; suppose again, for argument's sake—though Mr. Darwin's theory quoted below has lately been upset, even if the fact has not yet been ascertained by mathematical calculation—that the Moon is far older than the Earth. Imagine the six fellow-globes of the Moon—æons before the first Globe of our seven was evolved—just in the same position in relation to each other as the fellow-globes of our Chain now occupy in regard to our Earth.267 And now it will be easy to imagine further Globe A of the Lunar Chain informing Globe A of the Terrestrial Chain, and—dying; next Globe B of the former sending its energy into Globe B of the new Chain; then Globe C of the Lunar creating its progeny Sphere C of the Terrene Chain; then the Moon (our satellite) pouring forth into the lowest Globe of our Planetary Chain—Globe D, our Earth—all its life, energy and powers; and, having transferred them to a new centre, becoming virtually a dead planet, in which since the birth of our Globe rotation has almost ceased. The Moon is the satellite of our Earth, undeniably, but this does not invalidate the theory that she has given to the Earth all but her corpse. For Darwin's theory to hold good, besides the hypothesis just upset, other still more incongruous speculations had to be invented. The Moon, it is said, has cooled nearly six times as rapidly as the Earth.268 “The Moon, if the earth is 14,000,000 years old since its incrustation, is only eleven and two-thirds millions of years old since that stage ...” etc. And if our Moon is but a splash from our Earth, why can no similar inference be established for the Moons of other planets? The Astronomers “do not know.” Why should Venus and Mercury have no satellites, and by what, when they exist, were they formed? The Astronomers do not know, because, we say, Science has only one key—the key of matter—to open the mysteries of Nature, while Occult Philosophy has seven keys and explains that which Science fails to see. Mercury and [pg 180] Venus have no satellites, but they had “parents” just as the Earth had. Both are far older than the Earth, and, before the latter reaches her Seventh Round, her mother Moon will have dissolved into thin air, as the Moons of the other planets have, or have not, as the case may be, since there are planets which have several Moons—a mystery again which no Œdipus of Astronomy has solved.

The Moon is now the cold residual quantity, the shadow dragged after the new body, into which her living powers and principles are transfused. She now is doomed for long ages to be ever pursuing the Earth, to be attracted by and to attract her progeny. Constantly vampirized by her child, she revenges herself on it, by soaking it through and through with the nefarious, invisible and poisoned influence which emanates from the occult side of her nature. For she is a dead, yet a living body. The particles of her decaying corpse are full of active and destructive life, although the body which they had formed, is soulless and lifeless. Therefore its emanations are at the same time beneficent and maleficent—a circumstance finding its parallel on earth, in the fact that the grass and plants are nowhere more juicy and thriving than on graves; while at the same time it is the graveyard, or corpse-emanations, which kill. And like all ghouls or vampires, the Moon is the friend of the sorcerers and the foe of the unwary. From the archaic æons and the later times of the witches of Thessaly, down to some of the present Tântrikas of Bengal, her nature and properties have been known to every Occultist, but have remained a closed book for Physicists.

Such is the Moon from the astronomical, geological, and physical standpoints. As to her metaphysical and psychic nature, it must remain an occult secret in this work, as it was in the volume entitled Esoteric Buddhism, notwithstanding the rather sanguine statement made therein, that “there is not much mystery left now in the riddle of the eighth sphere.”269 These are topics, indeed, “on which the Adepts are very reserved in their communications to uninitiated pupils,” and since they have, moreover, never sanctioned or permitted any published speculations upon them, the less said the better.

Yet, without treading upon the forbidden ground of the “eighth sphere,” it may be useful to state some additional facts with regard to the ex-monads of the Lunar Chain—the “Lunar Ancestors”—as they play a leading part in the coming Anthropogenesis. This brings us [pg 181] directly to the Septenary Constitution of man; and as some discussion has arisen of late about the best classification to be adopted for the division of the microcosmic entity, two systems are now appended with a view to facilitate comparison. The subjoined short article is from the pen of Mr. T. Subba Row, a learned Vedântin scholar. He prefers the Brâhmanical division of the Râja Yoga, and from a metaphysical point of view he is quite right. But, as it is a question of simple choice and expediency, we hold in this work to the time-honoured classification of the Trans-Himâlayan “Arhat Esoteric School.” The following table and its explanatory text are reprinted from the Theosophist, and are also contained in Five Years of Theosophy.270

The Septenary Division In Different Indian Systems.

We give below in a tabular form the classifications adopted by the Buddhist and Vedântic teachers of the principles of man:

“Esoteric Buddhism.” Vedânta. Târaka Râja Yoga.
1. Sthûla Sharîra. Annamayakosha.271 Sthûlopâdhi.272
2. Prâna.273 Prânamayakosha. Sthûlopâdhi.
3. The Vehicle of Prâna.274 Prânamayakosha. Sthûlopâdhi.
4. Kâma Rûpa. Mânomayakosha. Sûkshmopâdhi.
5. Mind (Volitions and feelings); Vijñânam. Mânomayakosha. Sûkshmopâdhi.
6. Spiritual Soul.275 Ânandamayakosha. Kâranopâdhi.
7. Âtmâ. Âtmâ. Âtmâ.

From the foregoing table it will be seen that the third principle in the Buddhist classification is not separately mentioned in the Vedântic division, as it is merely the vehicle of Prâna. It will also be seen that the fourth principle is included in the third Kosha (Sheath), as the same principle is but the vehicle of will-power, which is but an energy of the mind. It must also be noticed that the Vijñânamayakosha is considered to be distinct from the Mânomayakosha, as a division is made [pg 182] after death between the lower part of the mind, as it were, which has a closer affinity with the fourth principle than with the sixth and its higher part, which attaches itself to the latter, and which is, in fact, the basis for the higher spiritual individuality of man.

We may also here point out to our readers that the classification mentioned in the last column is, for all practical purposes, connected with Râja Yoga, the best and simplest. Though there are seven principles in man, there are but three distinct Upâdhis (Bases), in each of which his Âtmâ may work independently of the rest. These three Upâdhis can be separated by an Adept without killing himself. He cannot separate the seven principles from each other without destroying his constitution.

The student will now be better prepared to see that between the three Upâdhis of the Râja Yoga and its Atmâ, and our three Upâdhis, Âtmâ, and the additional three divisions, there is in reality but very little difference. Moreover, as every Adept in Cis-Himâlayan or Trans-Himâlayan India, of the Patanjali, the Âryâsanga or the Mahâyâna schools, has to become a Râja Yogî, he must, therefore, accept the Târaka Râja classification in principle and theory, whatever classification he resorts to for practical and Occult purposes. Thus, it matters very little whether one speaks of the three Upâdhis, with their three Aspects, and Âtmâ, the eternal and immortal synthesis, or calls them the “Seven Principles.”

For the benefit of those who may not have read, or, if they have, may not have clearly understood, in Theosophical writings, the doctrine of the septenary Chains of Worlds in the Solar Cosmos, the teaching is briefly as follows.

1. Everything in the metaphysical as in the physical Universe is septenary. Hence every sidereal body, every planet, whether visible or invisible, is credited with six companion Globes. The evolution of life proceeds on these seven Globes or bodies, from the First to the Seventh, in Seven Rounds or Seven Cycles.

2. These Globes are formed by a process which the Occultists call the “rebirth of Planetary Chains (or Rings).” When the Seventh and last Round of one of such Rings has been entered upon, the highest or first Globe, A, followed by all the others down to the last, instead of entering upon a certain time of rest—or “Obscuration,” as in the previous Rounds—begins to die out. The Planetary Dissolution (Pralaya) is at hand, and its hour has struck; each Globe has to transfer its life and energy to another planet.276

[pg 183]

3. Our Earth, as the visible representative of its invisible superior fellow-globes, its “Lords” or “Principles,” has to live, as have the others, through seven Rounds. During the first three, it forms and consolidates; during the fourth, it settles and hardens; during the last three, it gradually returns to its first ethereal form: it is spiritualized, so to say.

4. Its Humanity develops fully only in the Fourth—our present Round. Up to this Fourth Life-Cycle, it is referred to as “Humanity” only for lack of a more appropriate term. Like the grub which becomes chrysalis and butterfly, Man, or rather that which becomes Man, passes through all the forms and kingdoms during the First Round, and through all the human shapes during the two following Rounds. Arrived on our Earth at the commencement of the Fourth, in the present series of Life-Cycles and Races, Man is the first form that appears thereon, being preceded only by the mineral and vegetable kingdoms—even the latter having to develop and continue its further evolution through man. This will be explained in Volume II. During the three Rounds to come, Humanity, like the Globe on which it lives, will be ever tending to reässume its primeval form, that of a Dhyân Chohanic Host. Man tends to become a God and then—God, like every other Atom in the Universe.

Beginning so early as with the Second Round, Evolution proceeds already on quite a different plan. It is only during the first Round that (Heavenly) Man becomes a human being on Globe A, (rebecomes) a mineral, a plant, an animal, on Globe B and C, etc. The process changes entirely from the Second Round; but you have learned prudence ... and I advise you to say nothing before the time for saying it has come....277

5. Every Life-Cycle on Globe D (our Earth)278 is composed of seven Root-Races. They commence with the ethereal and end with the spiritual, on the double line of physical and moral evolution—from the beginning of the Terrestrial Round to its close. One is a “Planetary Round” from Globe A to Globe G, the seventh; the other, the “Globe Round,” or the Terrestrial.

This is very well described in Esoteric Buddhism, and needs no further elucidation for the time being.

6. The First Root-Race, i.e., the first “Men” on earth (irrespective of form), were the progeny of the “Celestial Men,” rightly called in Indian [pg 184] philosophy the “Lunar Ancestors” or the Pitris, of which there are seven Classes or Hierarchies. As all this will be sufficiently explained in the following sections and in Volume II, no more need be said of it here.

But the two works already mentioned, both of which treat of subjects from the Occult doctrine, need particular notice. Esoteric Buddhism is too well known in Theosophical circles, and even to the outside world, for it to be necessary to enter at length upon its merits here. It is an excellent book, and has done still more excellent work. But this does not alter the fact that it contains some mistaken notions, and that it has led many Theosophists and lay-readers to form an erroneous conception of the Eastern Secret Doctrine. Moreover it seems, perhaps, a little too materialistic.

Man, which came later, was an attempt to present the archaic doctrine from a more ideal standpoint, to translate some visions in and from the Astral Light, to render some teachings partly gathered from a Master's thoughts, but unfortunately misunderstood. This work also speaks of the evolution of the early Races of men on Earth, and contains some excellent pages of a philosophical character. But so far it is only an interesting little mystical romance. It has failed in its mission, because the conditions required for a correct translation of these visions were not present. Hence the reader must not wonder if our volumes contradict these earlier descriptions in several particulars.

Esoteric cosmogony in general, and the evolution of the human Monad especially, differ so essentially in these two books, and in other Theosophical works written independently by beginners, that it becomes impossible to proceed with the present work without special mention of these two earlier volumes, for both have a number of admirers—Esoteric Buddhism especially. The time has arrived for the explanation of some matters in this direction. Mistakes have now to be checked by the original teachings, and corrected. If one of the said works has too pronounced a bias toward materialistic Science, the other is decidedly too idealistic, and at times is fantastic.

From the doctrine—rather incomprehensible to Western minds—which deals with the periodical Obscurations and successive Rounds of the Globes, along their circular Chains, were born the first perplexities and misconceptions. One of such has reference to the “Fifth-” and even “Sixth-Rounders.” Those who knew that a Round was preceded [pg 185] and followed by a long Pralaya, a pause of rest, which created an impassable gulf between two Rounds until the time came for a renewed cycle of life, could not understand the “fallacy” of talking about Fifth and Sixth-Rounders” in our Fourth Round. Gautama Buddha, it was held, was a “Sixth-Rounder,” Plato and some other great philosophers and minds, “Fifth-Rounders.” How could it be? One Master taught and affirmed that there were such “Fifth-Rounders” even now on Earth; and though understood to say that mankind was yet in the Fourth Round, in another place he seemed to say that we were in the Fifth. To this an “apocalyptic answer” was returned by another Teacher: “A few drops of rain do not make a monsoon, though they presage it.”... “No, we are not in the Fifth Round, but Fifth Round men have been coming in for the last few thousand years.” This was worse than the riddle of the Sphinx! Students of Occultism subjected their brains to the wildest work of speculation. For a considerable time they tried to outvie Œdipus and reconcile the two statements. And as the Masters kept as silent as the stony Sphinx herself, they were accused of “inconsistency,” “contradiction,” and “discrepancies.” But they were simply allowing the speculations to go on, in order to teach a lesson which the Western mind sorely needs. In their conceit and arrogance, and in their habit of materializing every metaphysical conception and term, without allowing any margin for Eastern metaphor and allegory, the Orientalists had made a jumble of the Hindû exoteric philosophy, and the Theosophists were now doing the same with regard to Esoteric teachings. To this day it is evident that the latter have utterly failed to understand the meaning of the term “Fifth and Sixth-Rounders.” But it is simply this: every Round brings about a new development, and even an entire change, in the mental, psychic, spiritual and physical constitution of man; all these principles evolving on an ever ascending scale. Hence it follows that those persons who, like Confucius and Plato, belonged psychically, mentally and spiritually to the higher planes of evolution, were in our Fourth Round as the average man will be in the Fifth Round, whose mankind is destined to find itself, on this scale of evolution, immensely higher than is our present humanity. Similarly, Gautama Buddha—Wisdom incarnate—was still higher and greater than all the men we have mentioned who are called “Fifth-Rounders,” and so Buddha and Shankarâchârya are termed “Sixth Rounders,” allegorically. Hence again the concealed wisdom of the remark, pronounced at the time [pg 186] “evasive”“a few drops of rain do not make a monsoon, though they presage it.”

And now the truth of the following remark, in Esoteric Buddhism, will be fully apparent:

It is impossible, when the complicated facts of an entirely unfamiliar science are being presented to untrained minds for the first time, to put them forward with all their appropriate qualifications ... and abnormal developments.... We must be content to take the broad rules first and deal with the exceptions afterwards, and especially is this the case with a study, in connection with which the traditional methods of teaching, generally followed, aim at impressing every fresh idea on the memory by provoking the perplexity it at last relieves.

As the author of the remark was himself, as he says, “an untrained mind” in Occultism, his own inferences, and his better knowledge of modern astronomical speculations than of archaic doctrines, led him, quite naturally, and unconsciously to himself, to commit a few mistakes of detail rather than of any “broad rule.” One such will now be noticed. It is a trifling one, still it is calculated to lead many a beginner into erroneous conceptions. But as the mistaken notions of the earlier editions were corrected in the annotations of the fifth edition, so the sixth may be revised and perfected. There were several reasons for such mistakes. They were due to the necessity, under which the Teachers laboured, of giving what were considered as “evasive answers”; the questions being too persistently pressed to be left unnoticed, while, on the other hand, they could only be partially answered. This position notwithstanding, the confession that “half a loaf is better than no bread” was but too often misunderstood, and hardly appreciated as it ought to have been. As a result thereof gratuitous speculations were sometimes indulged in by the European lay-chelâs. Among such were the “Mystery of the Eighth Sphere” in its relation to the Moon, and the erroneous statement that two of the superior Globes of the Terrestrial Chain were two of our well-known planets; “besides the earth ... there are only two other worlds of our chain which are visible ... Mars and Mercury....”279

This was a great mistake. But the blame for it is to be attached as much to the vagueness and incompleteness of the Master's answer as to the question of the learner itself, which was equally vague and indefinite.

It was asked: “What planets, of those known to ordinary Science, [pg 187] besides Mercury, belong to our system of worlds?” Now if by “system of worlds” our Terrestrial Chain, or “String,” was intended, in the mind of the querist, instead of the “Solar System of Worlds,” as it should have been, then of course the answer was likely to have been misunderstood. For the reply was: Mars, etc., and, four other planets of which Astronomy knows nothing. Neither A, B, nor Y, Z, are known, nor can they be seen through physical means, however perfected.” This is plain: (a) Astronomy as yet knows nothing in reality of the planets, neither the ancient ones, nor those discovered in modern times. (b) No companion planets from A to Z, i.e., no upper Globes of any Chain in the Solar System, can be seen; with the exception of course of all the planets which come fourth in number, as our Earth, the Moon, etc., etc. As to Mars, Mercury, and “the four other planets,” they bear a relation to Earth of which no Master or high Occultist will ever speak, much less explain the nature.

In this same letter the impossibility is distinctly stated by one of the Teachers to the author of Esoteric Buddhism: Try to understand that you are putting me questions pertaining to the highest Initiation; that I can give you (only) a general view, but that I dare not, nor will I, enter into details....” Copies of all the letters ever received, or sent, with the exception of a few private ones—in which there was no teaching,” the Master says—are with the writer. As it was her duty, in the beginning, to answer and explain certain points not touched upon, it is more than likely that, notwithstanding the many annotations on these copies, the writer, in her ignorance of English and her fear of saying too much, may have bungled the information given. She takes the whole blame for it upon herself in any and every case. But it is impossible for her to allow students to remain any longer under erroneous impressions, or to believe that the fault lies with the Esoteric system.

Let it then be now distinctly stated that the theory broached is impossible, with or without the additional evidence furnished by modern Astronomy. Physical Science can supply corroborative, though still very uncertain, evidence, but only as regards heavenly bodies on the same plane of materiality as our objective Universe. Mars and Mercury, Venus and Jupiter, like every hitherto discovered planet, or those still to be discovered, are all, per se, the representatives on our plane of such Chains. As distinctly stated in one of the numerous letters of Mr. Sinnett's Teacher: there are other and innumerable [pg 188]manvantaric Chains of Globes which bear intelligent Beings, both in and outside our Solar System.” But neither Mars nor Mercury belong to our Chain. They are, along with other planets, septenary Units in the great host of Chains of our System, and all are as visible as their upper Globes are invisible.

If it is still argued that certain expressions in the Teacher's letters were liable to mislead, the answer comes: Amen; so they were. The author of Esoteric Buddhism understood it well when he wrote that such are “the traditional modes of teaching ... by provoking the perplexity,” they do or do not relieve—as the case may be. At all events, if it is urged that this might have been explained earlier, and the true nature of the planets given out as they now are, the answer comes that: It was not found expedient to do so at the time, as it would have opened the way to a series of additional questions which could never be answered on account of their Esoteric nature, and thus would only become embarrassing. It had been declared from the first, and has been repeatedly asserted since: (1) That no Theosophist, not even as an accepted Chelâ, let alone lay students, could expect to have the secret teachings explained to him thoroughly and completely, before he had irretrievably pledged himself to the Brotherhood and passed through at least one Initiation, because no figures and numbers could be given to the public, for figures and numbers are the key to the Esoteric system. (2) That what was revealed was merely the Esoteric lining of that which is contained in almost all the exoteric scriptures of the world-religions—preëminently in the Brâhmanas and the Upanishads of the Vedas, and even in the Purânas. It was a small portion of what is divulged far more fully now in the present volumes; and even this is very incomplete and fragmentary.

When the present work was commenced, the writer, feeling sure that the speculation about Mars and Mercury was a mistake, applied to the Teachers by letter for an explanation and an authoritative version. Both came in due time, and verbatim extracts from these are now given.

“... It is quite correct that Mars is in a state of obscuration at present, and Mercury just beginning to get out of it. You might add that Venus is in her last Round.... If neither Mercury nor Venus have satellites, it is because of the reasons ... and also because Mars has two satellites to which he has no right.... Phobos, the supposed inner satellite, is no satellite at all. Thus, this remark of long ago by Laplace and now by Faye do not agree, you see. (Read Comptes Rendus, [pg 189]Tome XC, p. 569.) Phobos keeps a too short periodic time, and therefore there must exist some defect in the mother idea of the theory, as Faye justly observes.... Again, both [Mars and Mercury] are septenary Chains, as independent of the Earth's sidereal lords and superiors as you are independent of the principles of Däumling [Tom Thumb]—which were perhaps his six brothers, with or without night-caps.... Gratification of curiosity is the end of knowledge for some men, was said by Bacon, who was as right in postulating this truism, as those who were familiar with it before him, were right in hedging off Wisdom from Knowledge, and tracing limits to that which is to be given out at one time.... Remember:

... knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own....

You can never impress it too profoundly on the minds of those to whom you impart some of the Esoteric teachings.”

Here are more extracts from another letter written by the same authority. This time it is in answer to some objections laid before the Teachers. They are based upon extremely scientific, and as futile, reasonings about the advisability of trying to reconcile the Esoteric theories with the speculations of Modern Science, were written by a young Theosophist as a warning against the “Secret Doctrine,” and in reference to the same subject. He had declared that if there were such companion Earths, “they must be only a wee bit less material than our globe.” How then was it that they could not be seen? The answer was:

“... Were psychic and spiritual teachings more fully understood, it would become next to impossible to even imagine such an incongruity. Unless less trouble is taken to reconcile the irreconcilable—that is to say, the metaphysical and spiritual sciences with physical or natural philosophy, natural being a synonym to them [men of Science] of that matter which falls under the perception of their corporeal senses—no progress can be really achieved. Our Globe, as taught from the first, is at the bottom of the arc of descent, where the matter of our perceptions exhibits itself in its grossest form.... Hence it only stands to reason that the Globes which overshadow our Earth, must be on different and superior planes. In short, as Globes, they are in coädunition but not in consubstantiality with our Earth, and thus pertain to quite another state of consciousness. Our planet (like all those we see) is adapted to the peculiar state of its human stock, that state which enables us to see with our naked eye the sidereal bodies [pg 190]which are coëssential with our terrene plane and substance, just as their respective inhabitants, the Jovians, Martians and others, can perceive our little world; because our planes of consciousness, differing as they do in degree, but being the same in kind, are on the same layer of differentiated matter.... What I wrote was: The minor Pralaya concerns only our little Strings of Globes. (We called Chains Strings in those days of lip-confusion.)... To such a String our Earth belongs. This ought to have shown plainly that the other planets were also Strings, or Chains.... If he [meaning the objector] would perceive even the dim silhouette of one of such planets on the higher planes, he has to first throw off even the thin clouds of the astral matter that stand between him and the next plane.”

It thus becomes patent why we could not perceive, even with the help of the best telescopes, that which is outside our world of matter. Those alone, whom we call Adepts, who know how to direct their mental vision and to transfer their consciousness—both physical and psychic—to other planes of being, are able to speak with authority on such subjects. And they tell us plainly:

Lead the life necessary for the acquisition of such knowledge and powers, and Wisdom will come to you naturally. Whenever you are able to attune your consciousness to any of the seven chords of Universal Consciousness,those chords that run along the sounding-board of Kosmos, vibrating from one Eternity to another; when you have studied thoroughly the Music of the Spheres, then only will you become quite free to share your knowledge with those with whom it is safe to do so. Meanwhile, be prudent. Do not give out the great Truths that are the inheritance of the future Races, to our present generation. Do not attempt to unveil the secret of Being and Non-Being to those unable to see the hidden meaning of Apollo's Heptachord, the lyre of the radiant god, in each of the seven strings of which dwelleth the Spirit, Soul and Astral Body of the Kosmos, whose shell only has now fallen into the hands of modern Science.... Be prudent, we say, prudent and wise, and above all take care what those who learn from you believe in; lest by deceiving themselves they deceive others, ... for such is the fate of every truth with which men are, as yet, unfamiliar.... Let rather the Planetary Chains and other super- and sub-cosmic mysteries remain a dreamland for those who can neither see, nor yet believe that others can.”

It is to be regretted that few of us have followed the wise advice, and that many a priceless pearl, many a jewel of wisdom, has been [pg 191] cast to an enemy, unable to understand its value, who has turned round and rent us.

Let us imagine—wrote the same Master to his two “lay chelâs,” as he called the author of Esoteric Buddhism and another gentleman, his co-student for some time—let us imagine that our earth is one of a group of seven planets or man-bearing worlds.... [The seven planets are the sacred planets of antiquity, and are all septenary.] Now the life-impulse reaches A, or rather that which is destined to become A, and which so far is but cosmic dust [a laya-centre] ...” etc.

In these early letters, in which terms had to be invented and words coined, the “Rings” very often became “Rounds,” and the “Rounds,” “Life-Cycles,” and vice versâ. To a correspondent who called a “Round” a “World-Ring,” the Teacher wrote: I believe this will lead to a further confusion. A Round we are agreed to call the passage of a Monad from Globe A to Globe G or Z.... The World-Ring is correct.... Advise Mr. ... strongly, to agree upon a nomenclature before going any further.”

Notwithstanding this agreement, many mistakes, owing to this confusion, crept into the earliest teachings. The “Races” even were occasionally mixed up with the “Rounds” and “Rings,” and led to similar mistakes in Man: Fragments of Forgotten Truth. From the first the Master had written:

Not being permitted to give you the whole truth, or divulge the number of isolated fractions, ... I am unable to satisfy you.”

This in answer to the questions: “If we are right, then the total existence prior to the man-period is 637,” etc., etc. To all the queries relating to figures, the reply was: Try to solve the problem of 777 incarnations.... Though I am obliged to withhold information, ... yet if you should work out the problem by yourself, it will be my duty to tell you so.”

But it never was so worked out, and the results were—never-ceasing perplexity and mistakes.

Even the teaching about the septenary constitution of the sidereal bodies and of the macrocosm—from which the septenary division of the microcosm, or man—has until now been among the most esoteric. In olden times it used to be divulged only at Initiation together with the most sacred figures of the cycles. Now, as stated in one of the Theosophical journals,280 the revelation of the whole system of cosmogony had not been contemplated, nor even thought for one moment possible, [pg 192] at a time when a few scraps of information were sparingly given out, in answer to letters, written by the author of Esoteric Buddhism, in which he put forward a multiplicity of questions. Among these were questions on such problems as no Master, however high and independent he might be, would have the right to answer, and thus divulge to the world the most time-honoured and archaic of the mysteries of the ancient college-temples. Hence only a few of the doctrines were revealed in their broad outlines, while details were constantly withheld, and all the efforts made to elicit more information about them were systematically eluded from the beginning. This was perfectly natural. Of the four Vidyâs, out of the seven branches of Knowledge mentioned in the Purânas—namely, Yajna Vidyâ, the performance of religious rites in order to produce certain results; Mahâ Vidyâ, the great (magic) knowledge, now degenerated into Tântrika worship; Guhya Vidyâ, the science of Mantras and their true rhythm or chanting, of mystical incantations, etc.; Âtmâ Vidyâ, or the true spiritual and divine Wisdom—it is only the last which can throw final and absolute light upon the teachings of the three first named. Without the help of Âtmâ Vidyâ, the other three remain no better than surface sciences, geometrical magnitudes having length and breadth, but no thickness. They are like the soul, limbs and mind of a sleeping man, capable of mechanical motions, of chaotic dreams and even sleep-walking, of producing visible effects, but stimulated only by instinctual not intellectual causes, least of all by fully conscious spiritual impulses. A good deal can be given out and explained from the three first-named sciences. But unless the key to their teachings is furnished by Âtmâ Vidyâ, they will remain for ever like the fragments of a mangled text-book, like the adumbrations of great truths, dimly perceived by the most spiritual, but distorted out of all proportion by those who would nail every shadow to the wall.

Then, again, another great perplexity was created in the minds of students by the incomplete exposition of the doctrine of the evolution of the Monads. To be fully realized, both this process and that of the birth of the Globes must be examined far more from their metaphysical aspect, than from what one might call a statistical standpoint, involving figures and numbers which are rarely permitted to be widely used. Unfortunately, there are few who are inclined to handle these doctrines only metaphysically. Even the best of the Western writers upon our doctrine declares in his work, when speaking of the evolution of the [pg 193] Monads, that “on pure metaphysics of that sort we are not now engaged.”281 And in such case, as the Teacher remarks in a letter to him: Why this preaching of our doctrines, all this uphill work and swimming in adversum flumen? Why should the West ... learn ... from the East ... that which can never meet the requirements of the special tastes of the æsthetics? And he draws his correspondent's attention to the formidable difficulties encountered by us [the Adepts] in every attempt we make to explain our metaphysics to the Western mind.

And well he may; for outside of metaphysics, no Occult philosophy, no Esotericism is possible. It is like trying to explain the aspirations and affections, love and hatred, the most private and sacred workings in the soul and mind of a living man, by an anatomical description of the thorax and brain of his dead body.

Let us now examine two tenets mentioned above, but hardly alluded to in Esoteric Buddhism, and supplement them as far as lies in our power.

Additional Facts And Explanations Concerning The Globes And The Monads.

Two statements made in the above work must be noticed and the author's opinions quoted. The first is as follows:

The spiritual Monads ... do not fully complete their mineral existence on Globe A, then complete it on Globe B, and so on. They pass several times round the whole circle as minerals, and then again several times round as vegetables, and several times as animals. We purposely refrain for the present from going into figures, etc., etc.282

That was a wise course to adopt in view of the great secrecy maintained with regard to figures and numbers. This reticence is now partially relinquished; but it would perhaps have been better had the real numbers concerning Rounds and evolutional gyrations been either entirely divulged at the time, or entirely withheld. Mr. Sinnett understood this difficulty well when saying:

For reasons which are not easy for the outsider to divine, the possessors of Occult knowledge are especially reluctant to give out numerical facts relating to cosmogony, though it is hard for the uninitiated to understand why they should be withheld.283

[pg 194]

That there were such reasons is evident. Nevertheless, it is to this reticence that most of the confused ideas of some Eastern as well as Western pupils are due. The difficulties in the way of the acceptance of the particular tenets under consideration seemed great, just because of the absence of any data to go upon. But there it was. For, as the Masters have many times declared, the figures belonging to the Occult calculations cannot be given—outside the circle of pledged Chelâs, and not even these can break the rules.

To make things plainer, without touching upon the mathematical aspects of the doctrine, the teaching given may be expanded and some obscure points solved. As the evolution of the Globes and that of the Monads are so closely interblended, we will make of the two teachings one. In reference to the Monads, the reader is asked to bear in mind that Eastern philosophy rejects the Western theological dogma of a newly-created soul for every baby born, a dogma as unphilosophical as it is impossible in the economy of Nature. There must be a limited number of Monads, evolving and growing more and more perfect, through their assimilation of many successive Personalities, in every new Manvantara. This is absolutely necessary in view of the doctrines of Rebirth and Karma, and of the gradual return of the human Monad to its source—Absolute Deity. Thus, although the hosts of more or less progressed Monads are almost incalculable, they are still finite, as is everything in this Universe of differentiation and finiteness.

As shown in the double diagram of the human Principles and the ascending Globes of the World-Chains,284 there is an eternal concatenation of causes and effects, and a perfect analogy which runs through, and links together, all the lines of evolution. One begets the other—Globes as Personalities. But, let us begin at the beginning.

The general outline of the process by which the successive Planetary Chains are formed has just been given. To prevent future misconceptions, some further details may be offered which will also throw light on the history of Humanity on our own Chain, the progeny of that of the Moon.

In the accompanying diagram, Fig. 1 represents the Lunar Chain of seven Globes at the outset of its seventh or last Round; while Fig. 2 represents the Earth Chain which will be, but is not yet in existence. The seven Globes of each Chain are distinguished in their cyclic order [pg 195] by the letters A to G, the Globes of the Earth Chain being further marked by a cross, the symbol of the Earth.

Diagram II

Now, it must be remembered that the Monads cycling round any septenary Chain are divided into seven Classes or Hierarchies, according to their respective stages of evolution, consciousness and merit. Let us follow, then, the order of their appearance on Globe A, in the First Round. The time-spaces between the appearances of these Hierarchies on any one Globe are so adjusted, that when Class 7, the last, appears on Globe A, Class 1, the first, has just passed on to Globe B; and so on, step by step, all round the Chain.

Again, in the Seventh Round of the Lunar Chain, when Class 7, the last, quits Globe A, that Globe, instead of falling asleep, as it had done in previous Rounds, begins to die (to go into its Planetary Pralaya);285 and in dying it transfers successively, as just said, its principles, or life-elements and energy, etc., one after the other, to a new laya-centre, which commences the formation of Globe A of the Earth Chain. A similar process takes place for each of the Globes of the Lunar Chain, one after the other, each forming a fresh Globe of the Earth Chain. [pg 196] Our Moon was the fourth Globe of the series, and was on the same plane of perception as our Earth. But Globe A of the Lunar Chain is not fully “dead,” till the first Monads of the first Class have passed from Globe G or Z, the last of the Lunar Chain, into the Nirvâna which awaits them between the two Chains; and similarly for all the other Globes as stated, each giving birth to the corresponding Globe of the Earth Chain.

Further, when Globe A of the new Chain is ready, the first Class or Hierarchy of Monads from the Lunar Chain incarnate upon it in the lowest kingdom, and so on successively. The result of this is, that it is only the first Class of Monads which attains the human state of development during the first Round, since the second Class, on each Globe, arriving later, has not time to reach that stage. Thus the Monads of Class 2 reach the incipient human stage only in the Second Round, and so on up to the middle of the Fourth Round. But at this point—and on this Fourth Round in which the human stage will be fully developed—the “door” into the human kingdom closes; and henceforward the number of “human” Monads, i.e., Monads in the human stage of development, is complete. For the Monads which had not reached the human stage by this point, will, owing to the evolution of Humanity itself, find themselves so far behind, that they will reach the human stage only at the close of the Seventh and last Round. They will, therefore, not be men on this Chain, but will form the Humanity of a future Manvantara, and be rewarded by becoming “men” on a higher Chain altogether, thus receiving their Karmic compensation. To this there is but one solitary exception, and for very good reasons, of which we shall speak farther on. But this accounts for the difference in the Races.

It thus becomes apparent how perfect is the analogy between the processes of Nature in the cosmos and in the individual man. The latter lives through his life-cycle, and dies. His higher principles, corresponding in the development of a Planetary Chain to the cycling Monads, pass into Devachan, which corresponds to the Nirvâna and states of rest intervening between two Chains. The man's lower principles are disintegrated in time, and are used by Nature again for the formation of new human principles; the same process also taking place in the disintegration and formation of Worlds. Analogy is thus the surest guide to the comprehension of the Occult teachings.

This is one of the “seven mysteries of the moon,” and it is now [pg 197] revealed. The seven “mysteries” are called by the Japanese Yamabooshis, the mystics of the Lao-Tze sect and the ascetic monks of Kioto, the Dzenodoo—the “Seven Jewels”; only, the Japanese and the Chinese Buddhist ascetics and Initiates are, if possible, even more reticent in giving out their “Knowledge” than are the Hindûs.

But the reader must not be allowed to lose sight of the Monads, and must be enlightened as to their nature, as far as permitted, without trespassing upon the highest mysteries, of which the writer does not in any way pretend to know the last or final word.

The Monadic Host may be roughly divided into three great Classes:

1. The most developed Monads—the Lunar Gods or “Spirits,” called, in India, the Pitris—whose function it is to pass in the First Round through the whole triple cycle of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, in their most ethereal, filmy, and rudimentary forms, in order to clothe themselves in, and assimilate, the nature of the newly formed Chain. They are those who first reach the human form—if there can be any form in the realm of the almost subjective—on Globe A, in the First Round. It is they, therefore, who lead and represent the human element during the Second and Third Rounds, and finally evolve their shadows at the beginning of the Fourth Round for the second Class, or those who come behind them.

2. Those Monads that are the first to reach the human stage during the three and a half Rounds, and to become “men.”

3. The laggards, the Monads which are retarded, and which will not reach, by reason of Karmic impediments, the human stage at all during this Cycle or Round, save one exception which will be spoken of elsewhere, as already promised.

We are forced to use above the misleading word “men,” and this is a clear proof of how little any European language is adapted to express these subtle distinctions.

It stands to reason that these “men” did not resemble the men of to-day, either in form or nature. Why then, it may be asked, call them “men” at all? Because there is no other term, in any Western language, which approximately conveys the idea intended. The word “men” at least indicates that these beings were manus,” thinking entities, however they differed in form and intellection from ourselves. But in reality they were, in respect of spirituality and intellection, rather “gods” than “men.”

The same difficulty of language is met with in describing the [pg 198] “stages” through which the Monad passes. Metaphysically speaking, it is of course an absurdity to talk of the “development” of a Monad, or to say that it becomes “man.” But any attempt to preserve metaphysical accuracy of language, in the use of such a tongue as the English, would necessitate at least three extra volumes of this work, and would entail an amount of verbal repetition which would be wearisome in the extreme. It stands to reason that a Monad cannot either progress or develop, or even be affected by the changes of state it passes through. It is not of this world or plane, and may only be compared to an indestructible star of divine light and fire, thrown down on to our Earth, as a plank of salvation for the Personalities in which it indwells. It is for the latter to cling to it; and thus partaking of its divine nature, obtain immortality. Left to itself the Monad will cling to no one; but, like the plank, be drifted away to another incarnation, by the unresting current of evolution.

Now the evolution of the external form, or body, round the astral, is produced by the terrestrial forces, just as in the case of the lower kingdoms; but the evolution of the internal, or real, Man is purely spiritual. It is now no more a passage of the impersonal Monad through many and various forms of matter—endowed at best with instinct and consciousness on quite a different plane—as in the case of external evolution, but a journey of the “Pilgrim-Soul” through various states of not only matter, but of self-consciousness and self-perception, or of perception from apperception.

The Monad emerges from its state of spiritual and intellectual unconsciousness; and, skipping the first two planes—too near the Absolute to permit of any correlation with anything on a lower plane—it gets directly into the plane of Mentality. But there is no plane in the whole universe with a broader margin, or a wider field of action, in its almost endless gradations of perceptive and apperceptive qualities, than this plane, which has in its turn an appropriate smaller plane for every “form,” from the Mineral Monad up to the time when that Monad blossoms forth by evolution into the Divine Monad. But all the time it is still one and the same Monad, differing only in its incarnations, throughout its ever succeeding cycles of partial or total obscuration of spirit, or partial or total obscuration of matter—two polar antitheses—as it ascends into the realms of mental spirituality, or descends into the depths of materiality.

To return to Esoteric Buddhism. The second statement is with [pg 199] regard to the enormous period intervening between the mineral epoch, on Globe A, and the man epoch, the term “man epoch” being used because of the necessity of giving a name to that fourth kingdom which follows the animal, though in truth the “man” on Globe A, during the First Round, is no man, but only his prototype, or dimensionless image, from the astral regions. The statement runs as follows:

The full development of the mineral epoch on Globe A, prepares the way for the vegetable development, and, as soon as this begins, the mineral life-impulse overflows into Globe B. Then, when the vegetable development on Globe A is complete and the animal development begins, the vegetable life-impulse overflows to Globe B, and the mineral impulse passes on to Globe C. Then finally comes the human life impulse on Globe A.286

And so it goes on for three Rounds, when it slackens, and finally stops at the threshold of our Globe, in the Fourth Round; because the human period (of the true physical men to be), the seventh, is now reached. This is evident, for as said:

... There are processes of evolution which precede the mineral kingdom, and thus a wave of evolution, indeed several waves of evolution, precede the mineral wave in its progress round the spheres.287

And now we have to quote from another article, “The Mineral Monad,” in Five Years of Theosophy:

There are seven kingdoms. The first group comprises three degrees of elementals, or nascent centres of forces—from the first stage of differentiation of [from] Mûlaprakriti [or rather Pradhâna, Primordial Homogeneous Matter] to its third degree—i.e., from full unconsciousness to semi-perception; the second or higher group embraces the kingdoms from vegetable to man; the mineral kingdom thus forming the central or turning point in the degrees of the Monadic Essence, considered as an evolving energy. Three stages [sub-physical] on the elemental side; the mineral kingdom; three stages on the objective physical288 side—these are the [first or preliminary] seven links of the evolutionary chain.289

“Preliminary” because they are preparatory, and though belonging in fact to the natural, they would be more correctly described as the sub-natural evolution. This process makes a halt in its stages at the third, at the threshold of the fourth stage, when it becomes, on the plane of natural evolution, the first really manward stage, thus forming [pg 200] with the three elemental kingdoms, the ten, the Sephirothal number. It is at this point that begins:

A descent of spirit into matter equivalent to an ascent in physical evolution; a reäscent from the deepest depths of materiality (the mineral) towards its status quo ante, with a corresponding dissipation of concrete organism—up to Nirvâna, the vanishing point of differentiated matter.290

Therefore it becomes evident, why that which is pertinently called in Esoteric Buddhism “wave of evolution,” and “mineral, vegetable, animal and man-impulse,” stops at the door of our Globe, at its Fourth Cycle or Round. It is at this point that the Cosmic Monad (Buddhi) will be wedded to, and become the vehicle of, the Âtmic Ray; i.e., Buddhi will awaken to an apperception of it (Âtman), and thus enter on the first step of a new septenary ladder of evolution, which will lead it eventually to the tenth, counting from the lowest upwards, of the Sephirothal Tree, the Crown.

Everything in the Universe follows analogy. “As above, so below”; Man is the microcosm of the Universe. That which takes place on the spiritual plane, repeats itself on the cosmic plane. Concretion follows the lines of abstraction; corresponding to the highest must be the lowest; the material to the spiritual. Thus, corresponding to the Sephirothal Crown, or Upper Triad, there are the three elemental kingdoms, which precede the mineral,291 and which, using the language of the Kabalists, answer in the cosmic differentiation to the Worlds of Form and Matter, from the Super-Spiritual to the Archetypal.

Now what is a Monad? And what relation does it bear to an Atom? The following reply is based upon the explanations given in answer to these questions in the above-cited article, “The Mineral Monad,” written by the author. To the second question it is answered:

None whatever to the atom or molecule as at present existing in the scientific conception. It can neither be compared with the microscopic organisms, once classed among polygastric infusoria, and now regarded as vegetable, and classed among algæ; nor is it quite the monas of the Peripatetics. Physically or constitutionally the Mineral Monad differs, of course, from the Human Monad, which is not physical, nor can its constitution be rendered by chemical symbols and elements.292

In short, as the Spiritual Monad is One, Universal, Boundless and Impartite, whose Rays, nevertheless, form what we, in our ignorance, call the “Individual Monads” of men, so the Mineral Monad—being at the opposite curve of the circle—is also One, and from it proceed the [pg 201] countless physical atoms, which Science is beginning to regard as individualized.

Otherwise how could one account for, and explain mathematically, the evolutionary and spiral progress of the four kingdoms? The Monad is the combination of the last two principles in man, the sixth and the seventh, and, properly speaking, the term Human Monad applies only to the Dual Soul (Âtmâ-Buddhi), not to its highest spiritual vivifying principle, Âtmâ, alone. But since the Spiritual Soul, if divorced from the latter (Âtmâ), could have no existence, no being, it has thus been called.... Now the Monadic, or rather Cosmic, Essence, if such a term be permitted, in the mineral, vegetable and animal, though the same throughout the series of cycles, from the lowest elemental up to the Deva kingdom, yet differs in the scale of progression. It would be very misleading to imagine a Monad as a separate Entity, trailing its slow way in a distinct path through the lower kingdoms, and after an incalculable series of transformations flowering into a human being; in short, that the Monad of a Humboldt dates back to the Monad of an atom of hornblende. Instead of saying a Mineral Monad, the more correct phraseology in Physical Science, which differentiates every atom, would of course have been to call it the Monad manifesting in that form of Prakriti called the Mineral Kingdom.The atom, as represented in the ordinary scientific hypothesis, is not a particle of something, animated by a psychic something, destined after æons to blossom into a man. But it is a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy, which itself has not yet become individualized; a sequential manifestation of the one Universal Monas. The Ocean of Matter does not divide into its potential and constituent drops, until the sweep of the life-impulse reaches the evolutionary stage of man-birth. The tendency towards segregation into individual Monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost to the point. The Peripatetics applied the word Monas to the whole Kosmos, in the pantheistic sense; and the Occultists, while accepting this thought for convenience sake, distinguish the progressive stages of the evolution of the concrete from the abstract, by terms of which the Mineral, Vegetable, Animal Monad, etc., are examples. The term merely means that the tidal wave of spiritual evolution is passing through that arc of its circuit. The Monadic Essence begins to imperceptibly differentiate towards individual consciousness in the vegetable kingdom. As the Monads are uncompounded things, as correctly defined by Leibnitz, it is the Spiritual Essence which vivifies them in their degrees of differentiation, which properly constitutes the Monad—not the atomic aggregation, which is only the vehicle and the substance through which thrill the lower and the higher degrees of intelligence.293

Leibnitz conceived of the Monads as elementary and indestructible units, endowed with the power of giving and receiving with respect to other units, and thus of determining all spiritual and physical phenomena. It is he who invented the term apperception, which together with nerve- (not perception, but rather) sensation, expresses the [pg 202] state of the Monadic consciousness through all the kingdoms up to Man.

Thus it may be wrong, on strictly metaphysical lines, to call Âtmâ-Buddhi a Monad, since in the materialistic view it is dual and therefore compound. But as Matter is Spirit, and vice versâ; and since the Universe and the Deity which informs it are unthinkable apart from each other; so in the case of Âtmâ-Buddhi. The latter being the vehicle of the former, Buddhi stands in the same relation to Âtmâ, as Adam-Kadmon, the Kabalistic Logos, does to Ain Suph, or Mûlaprakriti to Parabrahman.

And now a few words more on the Moon.

What, it may be asked, are the “Lunar Monads,” just spoken of? The description of the seven Classes of Pitris will come later, but now some general explanations may be given. It must be plain to everyone that they are Monads, who, having ended their Life-Cycle on the Lunar Chain, which is inferior to the Terrestrial Chain, have incarnated on the latter. But there are some further details which may be added, though they border too closely on forbidden ground to be treated of fully. The last word of the mystery is divulged only to Adepts, but it may be stated that our satellite is only the gross body of its invisible principles. Seeing then that there are seven Earths, so there are seven Moons, the last alone being visible; the same for the Sun, whose visible body is called a Mâyâ, a reflection, just as man's body is. The real Sun and the real Moon are as invisible as the real man,” says an Occult maxim.

And it may be remarked, en passant, that those Ancients were not so foolish after all who first started the idea of “Seven Moons.” For though this conception is now taken solely as an astronomical measure of time, in a very materialized form, yet underlying the husk there can still be recognized the traces of a profoundly philosophical idea.

In reality the Moon is the satellite of the Earth in one respect only, viz., that physically the Moon revolves round the Earth. But in every other respect, it is the Earth which is the satellite of the Moon, and not vice versâ. Startling as the statement may seem, it is not without confirmation from scientific knowledge. It is evidenced by the tides, by the cyclic changes in many forms of disease, which coincide with the lunar phases; it can be traced in the growth of plants, and is very marked in the phenomena of human conception and gestation. The importance of the Moon and its influence on the Earth were recognized in every ancient religion, notably the Jewish, and have been remarked [pg 203] by many observers of psychical and physical phenomena. But, so far as Science knows, the Earth's action on the Moon is confined to the physical attraction, which causes her to circle in her orbit. And should an objector insist, that this fact alone is sufficient evidence that the Moon is truly the Earth's satellite on other planes of action, one may reply by asking whether a mother, who walks round and round her child's cradle, keeping watch over the infant, is the subordinate of her child or dependent upon it? Though in one sense she is its satellite, yet she is certainly older and more fully developed than the child she watches.

It is, then, the Moon that plays the largest and most important part, as well in the formation of the Earth itself, as in the peopling thereof with human beings. The Lunar Monads, or Pitris, the ancestors of man, become in reality man himself. They are the Monads, who enter on the cycle of evolution on Globe A, and who, passing round the Chain of Globes, evolve the human form, as has just been shown. At the beginning of the human stage of the Fourth Round on this Globe, they “ooze out” their astral doubles, from the “ape-like” forms which they had evolved in the Third Round. And it is this subtle, finer form, which serves as the model round which Nature builds physical man. These Monads, or Divine Sparks, are thus the Lunar Ancestors, the Pitris themselves; for these Lunar Spirits have to become “men,” in order that their Monads may reach a higher plane of activity and self-consciousness, i.e., the plane of the Mânasa-Putras, those who endow the “senseless” shells, created and informed by the Pitris, with “mind,” in the latter part of the Third Root-Race.

In the same way, the Monads, or Egos, of the men of the Seventh Round of our Earth, after our own Globes A, B, C, D, etc., parting with their life-energy, will have informed, and thereby called to life, other laya-centres, destined to live and act on a still higher plane of being—in the same way will the Terrene Ancestors create those who will become their superiors.

It now becomes plain, that there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme for the formation of the three periodical Upâdhis; or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are the Monadic (or Spiritual), the Intellectual, and the Physical Evolutions. These three are the finite aspects, or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion, of Âtmâ, the seventh, the One Reality.

[pg 204]

1. The Monadic, as the name implies, is concerned with the growth and development into still higher phases of activity of the Monads, in conjunction with:

2. The Intellectual, represented by the Mânasa-Dhyânis (the Solar Devas, or the Agnishvatta Pitris), the “givers of intelligence and consciousness” to man, and:

3. The Physical, represented by the Chhâyâs of the Lunar Pitris, round which Nature has concreted the present physical body. This body serves as the vehicle for the “growth,” to use a misleading word, and the transformations—through Manas, and owing to the accumulation of experiences—of the Finite into the Infinite, of the Transient into the Eternal and Absolute.

Each of these three systems has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of the highest Dhyânis or Logoi. Each is represented in the constitution of Man, the Microcosm of the great Macrocosm; and it is the union of these three streams in him, which makes him the complex being he now is.

Nature, the physical evolutionary Power, could never evolve Intelligence unaided; she can only create “senseless forms,” as will be seen in our Anthropogenesis. The Lunar Monads cannot progress, for they have not yet had sufficient touch with the forms created by “Nature,” to allow of their accumulating experiences through its means. It is the Mânasa-Dhyânis who fill up the gap, and they represent the evolutionary power of Intelligence and Mind, the link between Spirit and Matter—in this Round.

Also it must be borne in mind that the Monads which enter upon the evolutionary cycle upon Globe A, in the first Round, are in very different stages of development. Hence the matter becomes somewhat complicated. Let us recapitulate.

The most developed, the Lunar Monads, reach the human germ-stage in the First Round; become terrestrial, though very ethereal, human beings towards the end of the Third Round, remaining on the Globe through the “obscuration” period, as the seed for future mankind in the Fourth Round, and thus become the pioneers of Humanity at the beginning of this, the present Fourth Round. Others reach the human stage only during later Rounds, i.e., in the second, third or first half of the Fourth Round. And finally the most retarded of all—i.e., those still occupying animal forms after the middle turning-point of the Fourth Round—will not become men at all during this Manvantara. [pg 205] They will reach to the verge of Humanity only at the close of the Seventh Round, to be, in their turn, ushered into a new Chain, after Pralaya, by older pioneers, the progenitors of Humanity, or the Seed-Humanity (Shishta), viz., the men who will be at the head of all at the end of these Rounds.

The student scarcely needs any further explanation on the part played by the Fourth Globe and the Fourth Round in the scheme of evolution.

From the preceding diagrams, which are applicable, mutatis mutandis, to Rounds, Globes or Races, it will be seen that the fourth member of a series occupies a unique position. Unlike the others, the Fourth has no “sister” Globe on the same plane as itself, and it thus forms the fulcrum of the “balance” represented by the whole Chain. It is the sphere of final evolutionary adjustments, the world of the Karmic scales, the Hall of Justice, where the balance is struck which determines the future course of the Monad during the remainder of its incarnations in the Cycle. And therefore is it that, after this central turning-point has been passed in the Great Cycle—i.e., after the middle point of the Fourth Race in the Fourth Round on our Globe—no more Monads can enter the human kingdom. The door is closed for this Cycle, and the balance struck. For were it otherwise—had there been a new soul created for each of the countless milliards of human beings that have passed away, and had there been no reïncarnation—it would become difficult indeed to provide room for the disembodied “spirits”; nor could the origin and cause of suffering ever be accounted for. It is the ignorance of the Occult tenets, and the enforcement of false conceptions under the guise of religious education, which have created Materialism and Atheism as a protest against the asserted divine order of things.

The only exceptions to the rule just stated are the “dumb races,” whose Monads are already within the human stage, in virtue of the fact that these “animals” are later than, and even half descended from, man; their last descendants being the anthropoid and other apes. These “human presentments” are in truth only the distorted copies of the early humanity. But this will receive full attention in the next volume.

As the Commentary, broadly rendered, says:

1. Every Form on earth, and every Speck [atom] in Space strives in its efforts towards self-formation to follow the model placed for it in the Heavenly Man.... Its (the atom's) involution and evolution, its [pg 206]external and internal growth and development, have all one and the same object—Man; Man, as the highest physical and ultimate form on this Earth; the Monad, in its absolute totality and awakened condition—as the culmination of the divine incarnations on Earth.

2. The Dhyânis [Pitris] are those who have evolved their Bhuta [Doubles] from themselves, which Rûpa [Form] has become the vehicle of Monads [Seventh and Sixth principles] that had completed their cycle of transmigration in the three preceding Kalpas [Rounds]. Then, they [the Astral Doubles] became the men of the first Human Race of the Round. But they were not complete, and were senseless.

This will be explained in the sequel. Meanwhile man—or rather his Monad—has existed on Earth from the very beginning of this Round. But, up to our own Fifth Race, the external shapes which covered those divine Astral Doubles, have changed and consolidated with every sub-race; the form and physical structure of the fauna changing at the same time, as they had to be adapted to the ever-changing conditions of life on this Globe, during the geological periods of its formative cycle. And thus will they go on changing with every Root-Race, and every chief sub-race, down to the last one of the Seventh in this Round.

3. The inner, now concealed, man, was then [in the beginnings] the external man. The progeny of the Dhyânis [Pitris], he was the son like unto his father. Like the lotus, whose external shape assumes gradually the form of the model within itself, so did the form of man in the beginning evolve from within without. After the cycle in which man began to procreate his species after the fashion of the present animal kingdom, it became the reverse. The human fœtus follows now in its transformations all the forms that the physical frame of man assumed, throughout the three Kalpas [Rounds], during the tentative efforts at plastic formation around the Monad, by senseless, because imperfect, matter, in her blind wanderings. In the present age, the physical embryo is a plant, a reptile, an animal, before it finally becomes man, evolving within himself his own ethereal counterpart, in his turn. In the beginning it was that counterpart [astral man] which, being senseless, got entangled in the meshes of matter.

But this “man” belongs to the Fourth Round. As shown, the Monad had passed through, journeyed and been imprisoned in, every transitional form, throughout every kingdom of nature, during the three preceding Rounds. But the Monad which becomes human, is not the Man. In this Round—with the exception of the highest mammals after man, [pg 207] the anthropoids destined to die out in this our race, when their Monads will be liberated and pass into the astral human forms, or the highest elementals, of the Sixth and the Seventh Races, and then into the lowest human forms in the Fifth Round—no units of any of the kingdoms are animated any longer by Monads destined to become human in their next stage, but only by the lower elementals of their respective realms. These “elementals” will become human Monads, in their turn, only at the next great planetary Manvantara.

And in fact the last human Monad incarnated before the beginning of the Fifth Root-Race. Nature never repeats herself; therefore the anthropoids of our day have not existed at any time since the middle of the Miocene period, when, like all cross breeds, they began to show a tendency, more and more marked as time went on, to return to the type of their first parent, the gigantic black and yellow Lemuro-Atlantean. To search for the “missing link” is useless. To the Scientists of the closing Sixth Root-Race, millions and millions of years hence, our modern races, or rather their fossils, will appear as those of small insignificant apes—an extinct species of the genus homo.

Such anthropoids form an exception because they were not intended by Nature, but are the direct product and creation of “senseless” man. The Hindûs attribute a divine origin to the apes and monkeys, because the men of the Third Race were gods from another plane, who had become “senseless” mortals. This subject had already been touched upon in Isis Unveiled, twelve years ago, as plainly as was then possible. The reader is there referred to the Brâhmans, if he would know the reason of the regard they have for the monkeys.

He [the reader] would perhaps learn—were the Brâhman to judge him worthy of an explanation—that the Hindû sees in the ape but what Manu desired he should: the transformation of species most directly connected with that of the human family—a bastard branch engrafted on their own stock before the final perfection of the latter. He might learn, further, that in the eyes of the educated heathenthe spiritual or inner man is one thing, and his terrestrial physical casket another. That physical nature, that great combination of correlations of physical forces, ever creeping on towards perfection, has to avail herself of the material at hand; she models and remodels as she proceeds, and, finishing her crowning work in man, presents him alone as a fit tabernacle for the overshadowing of the Divine Spirit.294

Moreover, a German scientific work is mentioned in a footnote on the same page. It says that:

A Hanoverian Scientist has recently published a work entitled, Ueber die [pg 208]Auflösung der Arten durch Natürliche Zucht-wahl, in which he shows, with great ingenuity, that Darwin was wholly mistaken in tracing man back to the ape. On the contrary, he maintains that it is the ape which is evolved from man. He shows that, in the beginning, mankind were, morally and physically, the types and prototypes of our present race and of our human dignity, by their beauty of form, regularity of feature, cranial development, nobility of sentiments, heroic impulses, and grandeur of ideal conceptions. This is a purely Brâhmanic, Buddhistic and Kabalistic doctrine. His book is copiously illustrated with diagrams, tables, etc. It asserts that the gradual debasement and degradation of man, morally and physically, can be readily traced throughout ethnological transformations down to our time. And, as one portion has already degenerated into apes, so the civilized man of the present day will at last, under the action of the inevitable law of necessity, be also succeeded by like descendants. If we may judge of the future by the actual present, it certainly does seem possible that so unspiritual and materialistic a race should end as Simia rather than as Seraphs.

But though the apes descend from man, it is certainly not the fact that the human Monad, which has once reached the level of humanity, ever incarnates again in the form of an animal.

The cycle of “metempsychosis” for the human Monad is closed, for we are in the Fourth Round and the Fifth Root-Race. The reader will have to bear in mind—at any rate one who has made himself acquainted with Esoteric Buddhism—that the Stanzas which follow in this volume and the next speak of the evolution in our Fourth Round only. The latter is the cycle of the turning-point, after which, matter, having reached its lowest depths, begins to strive onward and to become spiritualized, with every new race and with every fresh cycle. Therefore the student must take care not to see contradiction where there is none, for in Esoteric Buddhism Rounds are spoken of in general, while here only the Fourth, or our present Round, is meant. Then it was the work of formation; now it is that of reformation and evolutionary perfection.

Finally, to close this digression anent various, but unavoidable, misconceptions, we must refer to a statement in Esoteric Buddhism, which has produced a very fatal impression upon the minds of many Theosophists. One unfortunate sentence, from the work just referred to, is constantly brought forward to prove the materialism of the doctrine. The author, referring to the progress of organisms on the Globes, says that:

The mineral kingdom will no more develop the vegetable ... than the Earth was able to develop man from the ape, till it received an impulse.295

[pg 209]

Whether this sentence renders the thought of the author literally, or is simply, as we believe it is, a lapsus calami, may remain an open question.

It is really with surprise that we have ascertained the fact, that Esoteric Buddhism was so little understood by some Theosophists, as to have led them into the belief that it thoroughly supported Darwinian evolution, and especially the theory of the descent of man from a pithecoid ancestor. As one member writes: “I suppose you realize that three-fourths of Theosophists and even outsiders imagine that, as far as the evolution of man is concerned, Darwinism and Theosophy kiss one another.” Nothing of the kind was ever realized, nor is there any great warrant for it, so far as we know, in Esoteric Buddhism. It has been repeatedly stated, that evolution as taught by Manu and Kapila was the groundwork of the modern teachings, but neither Occultism nor Theosophy has ever supported the wild theories of the present Darwinists—least of all the descent of man from an ape. Of this, more hereafter. But one has only to turn to p. 47 of the work named, to find the statement that:

Man belongs to a kingdom distinctly separate from that of the animals.

With such a plain and unequivocal statement before him, it is very strange that any careful student should have been so misled, unless he is prepared to charge the author with a gross contradiction.

Every Round repeats the evolutionary work of the preceding Round, on a higher scale. With the exception of some higher anthropoids, as just mentioned, the Monadic inflow, or inner evolution, is at an end till the next Manvantara. It can never be too often repeated that the full-blown human Monads have to be first disposed of, before the new crop of candidates appears on this Globe at the beginning of the next Cycle. Thus there is a lull; and this is why, during the Fourth Round, man appears on Earth earlier than any animal creation, as will be described.

But it is still urged that the author of Esoteric Buddhism has “preached Darwinism” all along. Certain passages would undoubtedly seem to lend countenance to this inference. Besides which, the Occultists themselves are ready to concede partial correctness to the Darwinian hypothesis, in later details, bye-laws of evolution, and after the midway point of the Fourth Race. Of that which has taken place, Physical Science can really know nothing, for such matters lie entirely outside of its sphere of investigation. But what the Occultists have never admitted, nor will they ever admit, is that man was an ape in [pg 210]this or any other Round; or that he ever could be one, however much he may have been “ape-like.” This is vouched for by the very authority from whom the author of Esoteric Buddhism got his information.

Thus to those who confront the Occultists with these lines from the above-named volume:

It is enough to show that we may as reasonably—and that we must, if we would talk about these matters at all—conceive a life-impulse giving birth to mineral forms, as of the same sort of impulse concerned to raise a race of apes into a race of rudimentary men.

To those who bring this passage forward as showing “decided Darwinism,” the Occultists answer by pointing to the explanation of the Master, Mr. Sinnett's Teacher, which would contradict these lines, were they written in the spirit attributed to them. A copy of this letter was sent to the writer, together with others, two years ago (1886), with additional marginal remarks, to quote from, in the Secret Doctrine.

It begins by considering the difficulty experienced by the Western student, in reconciling some facts, previously given, with the evolution of man from the animal, i.e., from the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, and advises the student to hold to the doctrine of analogy and correspondences. Then it touches upon the mystery of the Devas, and even Gods, having to pass through states, which it was agreed to refer to as “Immetallization, Inherbation, Inzoönization and finally Incarnation,” and explains this by hinting at the necessity of failures even in the ethereal races of Dhyân Chohans. Concerning this it says:

These failures are too far progressed and spiritualized to be thrown back forcibly from Dhyân Chohanship into the vortex of a new primordial evolution through the lower kingdoms....”

After which, a hint only is given about the mystery contained in the allegory of the fallen Asuras, which will be expanded and explained in Volume II. When Karma has reached them at the stage of human evolution:

They will have to drink it to the last drop in the bitter cup of retribution. Then they become an active force and commingle with the elementals, the progressed entities of the pure animal kingdom, to develop little by little the full type of humanity.

These Dhyân Chohans, as we see, do not pass through the three kingdoms as do the lower Pitris; nor do they incarnate in man until the Third Root Race. Thus, as the teaching stands:

Round I. Man in the First Round and First Race on Globe D, our [pg 211]Earth, was an ethereal being (a Lunar Dhyâni, as man), non-intelligent but super-spiritual; and correspondingly, on the law of analogy, in the First Race of the Fourth Round. In each of the subsequent races and sub-races, ... he grows more and more into an encased or incarnate being, but still preponderatingly ethereal.... He is sexless, and, like the animal and vegetable, he develops monstrous bodies correspondential with his coarser surroundings.

Round II. He [man] is still gigantic and ethereal, but growing firmer and more condensed in body; a more physical man yet still less intelligent than spiritual (1), for mind is a slower and more difficult evolution than is the physical frame....

Round III. He has now a perfectly concrete or compacted body, at first the form of a giant-ape, and now more intelligent, or rather cunning, than spiritual. For, on the downward arc, he has now reached a point where his primordial spirituality is eclipsed and overshadowed by nascent mentality (2). In the last half of the Third Round, his gigantic stature decreases, and his body improves in texture, and he becomes a more rational being, though still more an ape than a Deva.... [All this is almost exactly repeated in the Third Root-Race of the Fourth Round.]

Round IV. Intellect has an enormous development in this Round. The [hitherto] dumb races acquire our [present] human speech on this Globe, on which, from the Fourth Race, language is perfected and knowledge increases. At this half-way point of the Fourth Round [as of the Fourth, or Atlantean, Root-Race], humanity passes the axial point of the minor manvantaric cycle ... the world teeming with the results of intellectual activity and spiritual decrease....

This is from the authentic letter; what follows are the later remarks and additional explanations traced by the same hand in the form of footnotes.

(1) ... The original letter contained general teaching—a bird's-eye view—and particularized nothing.... To speak of physical man,while limiting the statement to the early Rounds, would be drifting back to the miraculous and instantaneous coats of skin.... The first Nature, the first body, the first mind on the first plane of perception, on the first Globe in the first Round, is what was meant. For Karma and evolution have:

... centred in our make such strange extremes,
From different Natures296 marvellously mixed ...

(2) Restore: he has now reached the point [by analogy, and as the [pg 212]Third Root Race in the Fourth Round], where his [the angel-man's] primordial spirituality is eclipsed and overshadowed by nascent human mentality, and you have the true version on your thumb-nail....

These are the words of the Teacher; text, words and sentences in brackets, and explanatory footnotes. It stands to reason that there must be an enormous difference in such terms as “objectivity” and “subjectivity,” “materiality” and “spirituality,” when the same terms are applied to different planes of being and perception. All this must be taken in its relative sense. And therefore there is little to be wondered at, if, left to his own speculations, an author who, however eager to learn, was yet quite inexperienced in these abstruse teachings, has fallen into an error. Nor was the difference between the Rounds and the Races sufficiently defined in the letters received, since nothing of the kind had been required before, as the ordinary Eastern disciple would have found out the difference in a moment. Moreover, to quote from a letter of the Master:

The teachings were imparted under protest.... They were, so to say, smuggled goods ... and when I remained face to face with only one correspondent, the other, Mr. ... had so far tossed all the cards into confusion, that little remained to be said without trespassing upon law.

Theosophists “whom it may concern” will understand what is meant.

The outcome of all this is, that nothing had ever been said in the letters to warrant the assurance, that the Occult doctrine has ever taught, or any Adept believed in, unless metaphorically, the preposterous modern theory of the descent of man from a common ancestor with the ape—an anthropoid of the actual animal kind. To this day the world is more full of ape-like men than the woods are of men-like apes. The ape is sacred in India because its origin is well known to the Initiates, though concealed under a thick veil of allegory. Hanumâna is the son of Pavana (Vâyu, “God of the wind”) by Anjanâ, wife of a monster called Kesarî, though his genealogy varies. The reader who bears this in mind, will find in Volume II, passim, the whole explanation of this ingenious allegory. The “men” of the Third Race (who separated) were “Gods,” by their spirituality and purity, though senseless, and as yet destitute of mind, as men.

These “men” of the Third Race, the ancestors of the Atlanteans, were just such ape-like, intellectually senseless, giants as were those beings, who, during the Third Round, represented Humanity. Morally irresponsible, it was these Third Race “men” who, through promiscuous [pg 213] connection with animal species lower than themselves, created that missing link which became ages later (in the Tertiary period only), the remote ancestor of the real ape, as we find it now in the pithecoid family.

And if this is found clashing with the statement which shows the animal later than man, then the reader is asked to bear in mind that the placental mammal only is meant. In those days, there were animals of which Zoölogy does not even dream in our own; and the modes of reproduction were not identical with the notions which modern Physiology has upon the subject. It is not altogether convenient to touch upon such questions in public, but there is no contradiction or impossibility in this whatever.

Thus the earlier teachings, however unsatisfactory, vague and fragmentary, did not teach the evolution of “man” from the “ape.” Nor does the author of Esoteric Buddhism assert it anywhere in his work in so many words; but, owing to his inclination towards Modern Science, he uses language which might perhaps justify such an inference. The man who preceded the Fourth, the Atlantean, Race, however much he may have looked physically like a “gigantic ape”“the counterfeit of man who hath not the life of a man”—was still a thinking and already a speaking man. The Lemuro-Atlantean was a highly civilized Race, and if one accepts tradition, which is better history than the speculative fiction which now passes under that name, he was higher than we are with all our sciences and the degraded civilization of the day: at any rate, the Lemuro-Atlantean of the closing Third Race was so.

And now we may return to the Stanzas.

Stanza VI.—Continued.

5. At the Fourth297 (a), the Sons are told to create their Images. One Third refuses. Two298 obey.

The Curse is pronounced (b); they will be born in the Fourth,299 suffer and cause suffering. This is the First War (c).

The full meaning of this Shloka can only be fully comprehended after reading the additional detailed explanations, in the Anthropogenesis and its Commentaries, in Volume II. Between this Shloka and Shloka 4, extend long ages; and there now gleams the dawn and [pg 214] sunrise of another æon. The drama enacted on our planet is at the beginning of its fourth act; but for a clearer comprehension of the whole play the reader will have to turn back before he can proceed onward. For this verse belongs to the general Cosmogony given in the archaic volumes, whereas Volume II will give a detailed account of the “creation,” or rather formation, of the first human beings, followed by the second humanity, and then by the third; or, as they are called, the First, Second, and the Third Root-Races. As the solid Earth began by being a ball of liquid fire, of fiery dust and its protoplasmic phantom, so did man.

(a) That which is meant by the qualification the “Fourth,” is explained as the Fourth Round, only on the authority of the Commentaries. It can equally mean Fourth Eternity as Fourth Round, or even our Fourth Globe. For, as will repeatedly be shown, the latter is the fourth sphere, on the fourth or lowest plane of material life. And it so happens that we are in the Fourth Round, at the middle point of which the perfect equilibrium between Spirit and Matter had to take place.

It was, as we shall see, at this period—during the highest point of civilization and knowledge, and also of human intellectuality, of the Fourth, Atlantean Race—that, owing to the final crisis of the physiologico-spiritual adjustment of the races, humanity branched off into two diametrically opposite paths: the Right- and the Left-hand Paths of Knowledge or Vidyâ. In the words of the Commentary:

Thus were the germs of the White and the Black Magic sown in those days. The seeds lay latent for some time, to sprout only during the early period of the Fifth [our Race].

Says the Commentary explaining the Shloka:

The Holy Youths [the Gods] refused to multiply and create species after their likeness, after their kind. They are not fit Forms [Rûpas] for us. They have to grow. They refuse to enter the Chhâyâs [Shadows or Images] of their inferiors. Thus had selfish feeling prevailed from the beginning, even among the Gods, and they fell under the eye of the Karmic Lipikas.

They had to suffer for it in later births. How the punishment reached the Gods will be seen in Volume II.

It is a universal tradition that, before the physiological “Fall,” propagation of one's kind, whether human or animal, took place through the Will of the Creators, or of their progeny. This was the [pg 215] Fall of Spirit into generation, not the Fall of mortal Man. It has already been stated that, to become self-conscious, Spirit must pass through every cycle of being, culminating in its highest point on earth in Man. Spirit per se is an unconscious negative abstraction. Its purity is inherent, not acquired by merit; hence, as already shown, to become the highest Dhyân Chohan, it is necessary for each Ego to attain to full self-consciousness as a human, i.e., conscious, being, which is synthesized for us in Man. The Jewish Kabalists, arguing that no Spirit can belong to the divine Hierarchy unless Ruach (Spirit) is united to Nephesh (Living Soul), only repeat the Eastern Esoteric teaching:

A Dhyâni has to be an Âtmâ-Buddhi; once the Buddhi-Manas breaks loose from the immortal Âtmâ, of which it (Buddhi) is the vehicle, Âtman passes into Non-Being, which is Absolute Being.

This means that the purely Nirvânic state is a passage of Spirit back to the ideal abstraction of Be-ness, which has no relation to the plane on which our Universe is accomplishing its cycle.

(b) “The Curse is pronounced” does not mean, in this instance, that any Personal Being, God, or Superior Spirit, pronounced it, but simply that the cause, which could but create bad results, had been generated; and that the effects of this Karmic cause could lead the Beings that counteracted the laws of Nature, and thus impeded her legitimate progress, only to bad incarnations, hence to suffering.

(c) “There were many Wars,” all referring to struggles of adjustment, spiritual, cosmical and astronomical, but chiefly to the mystery of the evolution of man, as he is now. The Powers or pure Essences that were “told to create,” relate to a mystery explained, as already said, elsewhere. It is not only one of the most hidden secrets of Nature—that of generation, over whose solution the Embryologists have vainly put their heads together—but likewise a divine function which involves that great religious, or rather dogmatic, mystery, the so-called “Fall” of the Angels. Satan and his rebellious host, when the meaning of the allegory is explained, will thus prove to have refused to create physical man, only to become the direct Saviours and Creators of divine Man. The symbolical teaching is more than mystical and religious, it is purely scientific, as will be seen later on. For, instead of remaining a mere blind functioning medium, impelled and guided by fathomless Law, the “rebellious” Angel claimed and enforced his right of independent judgment and will, his right of free-agency [pg 216] and responsibility, since Man and Angel are alike under Karmic Law.

Explaining Kabalistic views, the author of New Aspects of Life says of the Fallen Angels that:

According to the symbolical teaching, Spirit, from being simply a functionary agent of God, became volitional in its developed and developing action; and, substituting its own will for the divine desire in its regard, so fell. Hence the kingdom and reign of spirits and spiritual action, which flow from and are the product of spirit-volition, are outside, and contrasted with, and in contradiction to, the kingdom of souls and divine action.300

So far, so good; but what does the author mean by saying:

When man was created, he was human in constitution, with human affections, human hopes and aspirations. From this state he fell—into the brute and savage.

This is diametrically opposite to our Eastern teaching, and even to the Kabalistic notion, so far as we understand it, and to the Bible itself. This looks like Corporealism and Substantialism colouring Positive Philosophy, though it is rather difficult to feel quite sure of the author's meaning. A fall, however, “from the natural into the supernatural and the animal”—supernatural meaning the purely spiritual in this case—implies what we suggest.

The New Testament speaks of one of these “Wars,” as follows:

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.301

The Kabalistic version of the same story is given in the Codex Nazaræus, the scripture of the Nazarenes, the real mystic Christians of John the Baptist, and the Initiates of Christos. Bahak Zivo, the “Father of the Genii,” is ordered to construct creatures—to “create.” But, as he is “ignorant of Orcus,” he fails to do so, and calls in Fetahil, a still purer spirit, to his aid, who fails still worse. This is a repetition of the failure of the “Fathers,” the Lords of Light, who fail one after the other.302

We will now quote from our earlier volumes:303

Then steps on the stage of creation the Spirit304 (of the Earth so-called, or the [pg 217]Soul, Psyche, which St. James calls devilish), the lower portion of the Anima Mundi or Astral Light. [See the close of this Shloka.] With the Nazarenes and the Gnostics this Spirit was feminine. Thus the Spirit of the Earth, perceiving that for Fetahil,305 the newest man (the latest), the splendour was changed, and that for splendour existed decrease and damage, she awakes Karabtanos,306 who was frantic and without sense and judgment, and says to him: Arise, see, the Splendour (Light) of the Newest Man (Fetahil) has failed (to produce or create men), the decrease of this Splendour is visible. Rise up, come with thy Mother (the Spiritus) and free thee from limits by which thou art held, and those more ample than the whole world. After which, follows the union of the frantic and blind matter, guided by the insinuations of the Spirit (not the Divine Breath but the AstralSpirit, which by its double essence is already tainted with matter); and the offer of the Mother being accepted, the Spiritus conceives Seven Figures, and the Seven Stellars (Planets), which represent also the seven capital sins, the progeny of an Astral Soul, separated from its divine source (spirit), and matter, the blind demon of concupiscence. Seeing this, Fetahil extends his hand towards the abyss of matter, and says: Let the earth exist, just as the abode of the Powers has existed. Dipping his hand in the chaos, which he condenses, he creates our planet.

Then the Codex proceeds to tell how Bahak Zivo was separated from the Spiritus, and the Genii or Angels from the Rebels.307 Then (the greatest) Mano,308 who dwells with the greatest Ferho, calls Kebar Zivo (known also by the name of Nebat Iavar bar Iufin Ifafin), the Helm and Vine of the Food of Life309—he being the third Life, and commiserating the rebellious and foolish Genii, on account of the magnitude of their ambition, says: Lord of the Genii310 (Æons), see what the Genii (the Rebellious Angels) do, and about what they are consulting.311 They say: Let us call forth the world, and let us call the Powers into existence. The Genii are the Princes (Principes), the Sons of Light, but Thou art the Messenger of Life.

And in order to counteract the influence of the seven badly disposed principles the progeny of Spiritus, Kebar Zivo (or Cabar Zio), the mighty Lord of Splendour, produces seven other lives (the cardinal virtues), who shine in their own form and light from on high,312 and thus reëstablish the balance between good and evil, light and darkness.

Here one finds a repetition of the early allegorical dual systems, such [pg 218] as the Zoroastrian, and detects a germ of the dogmatic and dualistic religions of the future, a germ which has grown into such a luxuriant tree in ecclesiastical Christianity. It is already the outline of the two “Supremes”—God and Satan. But in the Stanzas no such idea exists.

Most of the Western Christian Kabalists—preëminently Éliphas Lévi—in their desire to reconcile the Occult Sciences with Church Dogmas, did their best to make of the “Astral Light” only and preeminently the Plerôma of the early Church Fathers, the abode of the Hosts of the Fallen Angels, of the Archôns and Powers. But the Astral Light, though only the lower aspect of the Absolute, is still dual. It is the Anima Mundi, and ought never to be viewed otherwise, except for Kabalistic purposes. The difference which exists between its “Light” and its “Living Fire,” ought ever to be present in the mind of the Seer and the Psychic. The higher aspect of this “Light,” without which only creatures of matter can be produced, is this Living Fire, and its Seventh Principle. It is stated in Isis Unveiled, in a complete description of it:

The Astral Light or Anima Mundi is dual and bi-sexual. The (ideal) male part of it is purely divine and spiritual, it is Wisdom, it is Spirit or Purusha; while the female portion (the Spiritus of the Nazarenes) is tainted, in one sense, with matter, is indeed matter, and therefore is evil already. It is the life-principle of every living creature, and furnishes the astral soul, the fluidic perisprit, to men, animals, fowls of the air, and everything living. Animals have only the latent germ of the highest immortal soul in them. This latter will develop only after a series of countless evolutions; the doctrine of which evolutions is contained in the Kabalistic axiom: A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast; a beast, a man; a man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.313

The seven principles of the Eastern Initiates had not been explained when Isis Unveiled was written, but only the three Kabalistic Faces of the semi-exoteric Kabalah.314 But these contain the description of the mystic natures of the first Group of Dhyân Chohans in the regimen ignis, the region and “rule (or government) of fire,” divided into three classes, synthesized by the first, which makes four or the “Tetraktys.” If one studies the commentaries attentively, he will find the same progression in the angelic natures, viz., from the passive down to the active; the last of these Beings are as near to the Ahamkâra Element—the region or plane wherein Egoship, or the feeling of I-am-ness, is beginning to be defined—as the first are near to the undifferentiated [pg 219] Essence. The former are Arûpa, incorporeal; the latter, Rûpa, corporeal.

In Volume II of the same work,315 the philosophical systems of the Gnostics and the primitive Jewish Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites, are fully considered. They show the views held in those days, outside the circle of Mosaic Jews, about Jehovah. He was identified by all the Gnostics with the evil, rather than with the good principle. For them, he was Ilda-Baoth, the “Son of Darkness,” whose mother, Sophia Achamôth, was the daughter of Sophia, the Divine Wisdom—the female Holy Ghost of the early Christians—Âkâsha; Sophia Achamôth personifying the Lower Astral Light or Ether. The Astral Light stands in the same relation to Âkâsha and Anima Mundi, as Satan stands to the Deity. They are one and the same thing seen from two aspects, the spiritual and the psychic—the super-ethereal, or connecting link between matter and pure spirit—and the physical.316 Ilda-Baoth—a compound name, made up of Ilda (ילד), child, and Baoth; the latter from בהוצ an egg, and בהות, chaos, emptiness, void, or desolation; or the Child born in the Egg of Chaos, like Brahmâ—or Jehovah, is simply one of the Elohim, the Seven Creative Spirits, and one of the lower Sephiroth. Ilda-Baoth produces from himself seven other Gods, “Stellar Spirits,” or the Lunar Ancestors,317 for they are all the same.318 They are all in his own image, the “Spirits of the Face,” and the reflections one of the other, who become darker and more material, as they successively recede from their originator. They also inhabit seven regions disposed like a stair, for its steps mount and descend the scale of spirit and matter.319 With Pagans and Christians, with Hindûs and Chaldeans, with Greek as with Roman Catholics—the texts varying slightly in their interpretations—they all were the Genii of the seven planets, and of the seven planetary spheres of our septenary Chain, of which Earth is the lowest. This connects the “Stellar” and “Lunar” Spirits with the higher planetary Angels, and the Saptarshis, the Seven Rishis of the Stars, [pg 220] of the Hindûs—as subordinate Angels, or Messengers, to these Rishis, their emanations, on the descending scale. Such, in the opinion of the philosophical Gnostics, were the God and the Archangels now worshipped by the Christians! The “Fallen Angels” and the legend of the “War in Heaven” are thus purely pagan in their origin, and come from India, viá Persia and Chaldea. The only reference to them in the Christian canon is found in Revelation xii, as quoted a few pages back.

Thus “Satan,” once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious, dogmatic, unphilosophical spirit of the Churches, grows into the grandiose image of one who makes of a terrestrial, a divine Man; who gives him, throughout the long cycle of Mahâkalpa, the law of the Spirit of Life, and makes him free from the Sin of Ignorance, hence of Death.

6. The Older Wheels rotated downward and upward (a).... The Mother's Spawn filled the whole.320 There were Battles fought between the Creators and the Destroyers, and Battles fought for Space; the Seed appearing and reäppearing continuously (b).321

(a) Here, having finished for the time being with our side-issues—which, however they may break the flow of the narrative, are necessary for the elucidation of the whole scheme—we must return once more to Cosmogony. The phrase “Older Wheels” refers to the Worlds, or Globes, of our Chain as they were during the previous Rounds. The present Stanza, when explained esoterically, is found embodied entirely in Kabalistic works. Therein will be found the very history of the evolution of those countless Globes, which evolve after a periodical Pralaya, rebuilt from old material into new forms. The previous Globes disintegrate and reäppear, transformed and perfected for a new phase of life. In the Kabalah, worlds are compared to sparks which fly from under the hammer of the great Architect—Law, the Law which rules all the smaller Creators.

The following comparative diagram shows the identity between the two systems, the Kabalistic and the Eastern. The three upper are the three higher planes of consciousness, revealed and explained in both [pg 221] schools only to the Initiates; the lower represent the four lower planes—the lowest being our plane, or the visible Universe.

Diagram III

These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three “seats” to life and activity. And how many are capable of bringing themselves to even a superficial comprehension of Âtmâ Vidyâ (Spirit-Knowledge), or what is called by the Sufis, Rohanee!322

[pg 222]

(b) “The Seed appearing and reäppearing continuously.” Here “Seed” stands for the “World-Germ,” viewed by Science as material particles in a highly attenuated condition, but in Occult Physics as “spiritual particles,” i.e., supersensuous matter existing in a state of primeval differentiation. To see and appreciate the difference—the immense gulf that separates terrestrial matter from the finer grades of supersensuous matter—every Astronomer, every Chemist and Physicist ought to be a Psychometer, to say the least; he ought to be able to sense for himself that difference in which he now refuses to believe. Mrs. Elizabeth Denton, one of the most learned, and also one of the most materialistic and sceptical women of her age—the wife of Professor Denton, the well-known American Geologist, and the author of The Soul of Things—was, in spite of her scepticism, one of the most wonderful psychometers. This is what she describes in one of her experiments. A particle of a meteorite was placed on her forehead, in an envelope, and the lady, not being aware of what it contained, said:

What a difference between that which we recognize as matter here and that which seems like matter there! In the one, the elements are so coarse and so angular, I wonder that we can endure it at all, much more that we can desire to continue our present relations to it; in the other, all the elements are so refined, they are so free from those great, rough angularities, which characterize the elements here, that I can but regard that as by so much the more than this the real existence.323

In Theogony, every Seed is an ethereal organism, from which evolves later on a celestial Being, a God.

In the “Beginning,” that which is called in mystic phraseology “Cosmic Desire” evolves into Absolute Light. Now light without any shadow would be absolute light; in other words, absolute darkness, as Physical Science tries to prove. This “shadow” appears under the form of primordial matter, allegorized—if you will—in the shape of the Spirit of Creative Fire or Heat. If, rejecting the poetical form and allegory, Science chooses to see in this the primordial “fire-mist,” it is welcome to do so. Whether one way or the other, whether Fohat or the famous Force of Science, nameless and as difficult of definition as our Fohat himself, that Something “caused the Universe to move with circular motion,” as Plato has it; or, as the Occult teaching expresses it:

The Central Sun causes Fohat to collect primordial dust in the form of balls, to impel them to move in converging lines and finally to approach [pg 223]each other and aggregate.... Being scattered in Space, without order or system, the World-Germs come into frequent collision until their final aggregation, after which they become Wanderers [Comets]. Then the battles and struggles begin. The older [bodies] attract the younger, while others repel them. Many perish, devoured by their stronger companions. Those that escape become worlds.324

When carefully analyzed and reflected upon, this will be found as scientific as Science can make it, even at our late period.

We have been assured, that there exist several modern works of speculative fancy upon such struggles for life in sidereal heaven, especially in the German language. We rejoice to hear it, for ours is an Occult teaching lost in the darkness of archaic ages. We have treated of it fully in Isis Unveiled,325 and the idea of Darwinian-like evolution, of struggle for life and supremacy, and of the “survival of the fittest,” among the Hosts above as of the Hosts below, runs throughout both the volumes of our earlier work, written in 1876. But the idea is not ours, it is that of antiquity. Even the Purânic writers have ingeniously interwoven allegory with cosmic facts and human events. Any symbologist may discern their astro-cosmical allusions, even though he be unable to grasp the whole meaning. The great “wars in heaven,” in the Purânas; the wars of the Titans, in Hesiod and other classical writers; the “struggles” also between Osiris and Typhon, in the Egyptian myth; and even those in the Scandinavian legends; all refer to the same subject. Northern Mythology refers to it as the battle of the Flames, the sons of Muspel who fought on the field of Wigred. All these relate to Heaven and Earth, and have a double, and often even a triple, meaning and esoteric application to things above as to things below. They severally relate to astronomical, theogonical and human struggles; to the adjustment of orbs, and the supremacy among nations and tribes. The “struggle for existence” and the “survival of the fittest” reigned supreme from the moment that Kosmos manifested into being, and could hardly escape the observant eye of the ancient Sages. Hence the incessant fights of Indra, the God of the Firmament, with the Asuras—degraded from high Gods into cosmic Demons—and with Vritra or Ahi; the battles fought between stars and constellations, between moons and planets—later on incarnated as kings and mortals. Hence also the War in Heaven of Michael and his Host against the Dragon—Jupiter and Lucifer Venus—when [pg 224] a third of the stars of the rebellious Host was hurled down into Space, and “its place was found no more in Heaven.” As we wrote long ago:

This is the basic and fundamental stone of the secret cycles. It shows that the Brâhmans and Tanaïm ... speculated on the creation and development of the world quite in a Darwinian way, both anticipating him and his school in the natural selection, gradual development and transformation of species.326

There were old worlds that perished, conquered by the new, etc., etc. The assertion that all the worlds (stars, planets, etc.)—as soon as a nucleus of primordial substance, in the laya (undifferentiated) state, is informed by the freed principles of a just deceased sidereal body—become first comets, and then suns, to cool down to inhabitable worlds, is a teaching as old as the Rishis.

Thus the Secret Books, as we see, distinctly teach an astronomy that would not be rejected even by modern speculation, could the latter thoroughly understand its teachings.

For archaic astronomy and the ancient physical and mathematical sciences expressed views identical with those of Modern Science, and many of far more momentous import. A “struggle for life” and a “survival of the fittest,” in the worlds above and on our planet here below, are distinctly taught. This teaching, however, although it would not be entirely rejected by Science, is sure to be repudiated as an integral whole. For it avers that there are only seven self-born primordial “Gods,” emanated from the trinitarian One. In other words, it means that all the worlds, or sidereal bodies—always on strict analogy—are formed one from the other, after the primordial manifestation at the beginning of the Great Age is accomplished.

The birth of the celestial bodies in space is compared to a multitude of pilgrims at the Festival of the Fires. Seven ascetics appear on the threshold of the temple with seven lighted sticks of incense. At the light of these the first row of pilgrims light their incense sticks. After which, every ascetic begins whirling his stick around his head in space, and furnishes the rest with fire. Thus with the heavenly bodies. A laya-centre is lighted and awakened into life by the fires of another “pilgrim,” after which, the new “centre” rushes into space and becomes a comet. It is only after losing its velocity, and hence its fiery tail, that the Fiery Dragon settles down into quiet and steady life, as a regular respectable citizen of the sidereal family. Therefore it is said:

[pg 225]

Born in the unfathomable depths of Space, out of the homogeneous Element called the World-Soul, every nucleus of cosmic matter, suddenly launched into being, begins life under the most hostile circumstances. Through a series of countless ages, it has to conquer for itself a place in the infinitudes. It circles round and round, between denser and already fixed bodies, moving by jerks, and pulling towards some given point or centre that attracts it, and, like as a ship drawn into a channel dotted with reefs and sunken rocks, trying to avoid other bodies that draw and repel it in turn. Many perish, their mass disintegrating through stronger masses, and, when born within a system, chiefly within the insatiable stomachs of various Suns. Those which move slower, and are propelled into an elliptic course, are doomed to annihilation sooner or later. Others, moving in parabolic curves, generally escape destruction, owing to their velocity.

Some very critical readers will perhaps imagine that this teaching, as to the cometary stage passed through by all heavenly bodies, is in contradiction with the statements just made as to the Moon being the mother of the Earth. They will perhaps fancy that intuition is needed to harmonize the two. But no intuition is in truth required. What does Science know of comets, their genesis, growth, and ultimate behaviour? Nothing—absolutely nothing! And what is there so impossible in that a laya-centre—a lump of cosmic protoplasm, homogeneous and latent—when suddenly animated or fired up, should rush from its bed in space, and whirl throughout the abysmal depths, in order to strengthen its homogeneous organism by an accumulation and addition of differentiated elements? And why should not such a comet settle in life, live, and become an inhabited globe?

The abodes of Fohat are many—it is said. He places his Four Fiery [electro-positive] Sons in the Four Circles; these Circles are the equator, the ecliptic, and the two parallels of declination, or the tropics, to preside over the climates of which are placed the Four Mystical Entities. Then again: Other Seven [Sons] are commissioned to preside over the seven hot, and seven cold Lokas [the Hells of the orthodox Brâhmans] at the two ends of the Egg of Matter [our Earth and its poles]. The seven Lokas are elsewhere also called the “Rings” and the “Circles.” The Ancients made the polar circles seven instead of two, as do the Europeans; for Mount Meru, which is the North Pole, is said to have seven gold and seven silver steps leading to it.

The strange statements, in one of the Stanzas, that The Songs of [pg 226]Fohat and his Sons were radiant as the noon-tide Sun and the Moon combined,” and that the Four Sons, on the middle Four-fold Circle, SAW their Father's Songs and heard his solar-selenic Radiance,” are explained, in the Commentary, in these words: The agitation of the Fohatic Forces at the two cold ends [North and South Poles] of the Earth, which results in a multicoloured radiance at night, has in it several of the properties of Âkâsha [Ether], Colour and Sound as well.”

“Sound is the characteristic of Âkâsha [Ether]: it generates Air, the property of which is Touch; which [by friction] becomes productive of Colour and Light.”327

Perhaps the above will be regarded as archaic nonsense, but it will be better comprehended, if the reader remembers the Aurora Borealis and Australis, both of which take place at the very centres of terrestrial electric and magnetic forces. The two Poles are said to be the store-houses, the receptacles and liberators, at the same time, of cosmic and terrestrial Vitality (Electricity), from the surplus of which the Earth, had it not been for these two natural safety-valves, would have been rent to pieces long ago. At the same time it is a theory that has lately become an axiom, that the phenomenon of the polar lights is accompanied by, and productive of, strong sounds, like whistling, hissing and cracking. See Professor Humboldt's works on the Aurora Borealis, and his correspondence regarding this moot question.

7. Make thy calculations, O Lanoo, if thou wouldst learn the correct age of thy Small Wheel.328 Its Fourth Spoke is our Mother329 (a). Reach the Fourth Fruit of the Fourth Path of Knowledge that leads to Nirvâna, and thou shalt comprehend, for thou shalt see (b)....

(a) The “Small Wheel” is our Chain of Spheres, and the “Fourth Spoke” is our Earth, the fourth in the Chain. It is one of those on which the “hot [positive] breath of the Sun” has a direct effect.

The seven fundamental transformations of the Globes or heavenly Spheres, or rather of their constituent particles of matter, are described as follows: (1) homogeneous; (2) aëriform and radiant—gaseous; (3) curd-like (nebulous); (4) atomic, ethereal—beginning of motion, hence of differentiation; (5) germinal, fiery—differentiated, but composed of the [pg 227] germs only of the Elements, in their earliest states, they having seven states, when completely developed on our earth; (6) four-fold, vapoury—the future Earth; (7) cold—and depending on the Sun for life and light.

To calculate its age, however, as the pupil is asked to do in the Stanza, is rather difficult, since we are not given the figures of the Great Kalpa, and are not allowed to publish those of our small Yugas, except as to the approximate duration of these. The older Wheels rotated for one Eternity and one-half of an Eternity,” it says. We know that by “Eternity” the seventh part of 311,040,000,000,000 years, or an Age of Brahmâ is meant. But what of that? We also know that, to begin with, if we take for our basis the above figures, we have first of all to eliminate from the 100 Years of Brahmâ, or 311,040,000,000,000 years, two Years taken up by the Sandhyâs (Twilights), which leaves 98, as we have to bring it to the mystical combination 14 x 7. But we have no knowledge at what time precisely the evolution and formation of our little Earth began. Therefore, it is impossible to calculate its age, unless the time of its birth is given—which the Teachers refuse to do, so far. At the close of this Volume and in Volume II, however, some chronological hints will be given. We must remember, moreover, that the law of analogy holds good for the worlds, as it does for man; and that as The One [Deity] becomes Two [Deva or Angel], and Two becomes Three [or Man],” etc., so we are taught that the Curds (World-Stuff) become Wanderers (Comets); these become stars; and the stars (the centres of vortices), our sun and planets—to put it briefly. This cannot be so very unscientific, since Descartes also thought that “the planets rotate on their axes, because they were once lucid stars, the centres of vortices.”

(b) There are four grades of Initiation mentioned in exoteric works, which are known respectively in Sanskrit as Srotâpanna, Sakridâgâmin, Anâgâmin, and Arhan; the Four Paths to Nirvâna, in this our Fourth Round, bearing the same appellations. The Arhan, though he can see the Past, the Present and the Future, is not yet the highest Initiate; for the Adept himself, the initiated candidate, becomes Chelâ (Pupil) to a higher Initiate. Three higher grades have still to be conquered by the Arhan who would reach the apex of the ladder of Arhatship. There are those who have reached it even in this Fifth Race of ours, but the faculties necessary for the attainment of these higher grades will be fully developed, in the average ascetic, only at the end of this Root-Race, and in the Sixth and Seventh. Thus, there will always [pg 228] be Initiates and the Profane until the end of this minor Manvantara, the present Life-Cycle. The Arhats of the “Fire-Mist,” of the Seventh Rung, are but one remove from the Root-Base of their Hierarchy, the highest on Earth and our Terrestrial Chain. This “Root-Base” has a name which can only be translated into English by several compound words—the “Ever-Living-Human-Banyan.” This “Wondrous Being” descended from a “high region,” they say, in the early part of the Third Age, before the separation of sexes in the Third Race.

This Third Race is sometimes called collectively the “Sons of Passive Yoga,” i.e., it was produced unconsciously by the Second Race, which, as it was intellectually inactive, is supposed to have been constantly plunged in a kind of blank or abstract contemplation, as required by the conditions of the Yoga state. In the first or earlier portion of the existence of this Third Race, while it was yet in its state of purity, the “Sons of Wisdom,” who, as will be seen, incarnated in this Root-Race, produced by Kriyâshakti a progeny, called the “Sons of Ad,” or of the “Fire-Mist,” the “Sons of Will and Yoga,” etc. They were a conscious production, as a portion of the Race was already animated with the divine spark of spiritual, superior intelligence. This progeny was not a race. It was at first a Wondrous Being, called the “Initiator,” and after him a group of semi-divine and semi-human Beings. “Set apart” in archaic genesis for certain purposes, they are those in whom are said to have incarnated the highest Dhyânis—“Munis and Rishis from previous Manvantaras”to form the nursery for future human Adepts, on this Earth and during the present Cycle. These “Sons of Will and Yoga,” born, so to speak, in an immaculate way, remained, it is explained, entirely apart from the rest of mankind.

The “Being” just referred to, who has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., have branched off. As objective man, he is the mysterious (to the profane—the ever invisible, yet ever present) Personage, about whom legends are rife in the East, especially among the Occultists and the students of the Sacred Science. It is he who changes form, yet remains ever the same. And it is he, again, who holds spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the “Nameless One” who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the “Initiator,” called the Great Sacrifice.” For, sitting at the Threshold [pg 229] of Light, he looks into it from within the Circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last Day of this Life-Cycle. Why does the Solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does he sit by the Fountain of Primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, for he has naught to learn which he does not know—aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its Heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed Pilgrims, on their journey back to their Home, are never sure, to the last moment, of not losing their way, in this limitless desert of Illusion and Matter called Earth-Life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of Mankind, though but a few elect may profit by the Great Sacrifice.

It is under the direct, silent guidance of this Mahâ-Guru that all the other less divine Teachers and Instructors of Mankind became, from the first awakening of human consciousness, the guides of early Humanity. It is through these “Sons of God” that infant Humanity learned its first notions of all the arts and sciences, as well as of spiritual knowledge; and it is They who laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that so sorely puzzle our modern generation of students and scholars.

Let those who doubt this statement, explain, on any other equally reasonable grounds, the mystery of the extraordinary knowledge possessed by the Ancients—who, some pretend, developed from lower and animal-like savages, the “cave-men” of the palæolithic age! Let them turn, for instance, to such works as those of Vitruvius Pollio of the Augustan age, on architecture, in which all the rules of proportion are those anciently taught at Initiations, if they would acquaint themselves with this truly divine art, and understand the deep esoteric significance hidden in every rule and law of proportion. No man descended from a palæolithic cave-dweller could ever evolve such a science unaided, even in millenniums of thought and intellectual evolution. It is the pupils of those incarnated Rishis and Devas of the Third Root Race who handed on their knowledge, from one generation to another, to Egypt and to Greece with her now lost canon of proportion; just as the disciples of the Initiates of the Fourth, the Atlanteans, handed it over to their Cyclopes, the “Sons of Cycles” or of the “Infinite,” from whom the name passed to the still later generations of Gnostic priests.

[pg 230]

It is owing to the divine perfection of these architectural proportions that the Ancients could build these wonders of all the subsequent ages, their Fanes, Pyramids, Cave-Temples, Cromlechs, Cairns, Altars, proving they had the powers of machinery and a knowledge of mechanics to which modern skill is like a child's play, and which that skill refers to itself as the works of hundred-handed giants.330

Modern architects may not have altogether neglected these rules, but they have superadded enough empirical innovations to destroy the just proportions. It is Vitruvius who gave to posterity the rules of construction of the Grecian temples erected to the immortal Gods; and the ten books of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio on Architecture, of one, in short, who was an Initiate, can only be studied esoterically. The Druidical Circles, the Dolmens, the Temples of India, Egypt and Greece, the Towers, and the 127 towns in Europe which were found “Cyclopean in origin” by the French Institute, are all the work of initiated Priest-Architects, the descendants of those first taught by the “Sons of God,” and justly called the “Builders.” This is what appreciative posterity says of these descendants:

They used neither mortar nor cement, nor steel, nor iron to cut the stones with; and yet they were so artificially wrought that in many places the joints are hardly seen, though many of the stones, as in Peru, are 38 feet long, 18 feet broad, and 6 feet thick, and in the walls of the fortress of Cuzco there are stones of a still greater size.331


The well of Syene, made 5,400 years ago, when that spot was exactly under the tropic, which it has now ceased to be, was ... so constructed, that at noon, at the precise moment of the solar solstice, the entire disk of the sun was seen reflected on its surface—a work which the united skill of all the astronomers in Europe would not now be able to effect.332

Although these matters were barely hinted at in Isis Unveiled, it will be well to remind the reader of what was said there333 concerning a certain Sacred Island in Central Asia, and to refer him for further details to the Section, entitled “The Sons of God and the Sacred Island,” attached to Stanza IX of Volume II. A few more explanations, however, though thrown out in a fragmentary form, may help the student to obtain a glimpse into the present mystery.

To state at least one detail concerning these mysterious “Sons of God” in plain words: it is from them, these Brahmaputras, that the high Dvijas, the initiated Brâhmans of old, claimed descent, while the modern Brâhman would have the lower castes believe literally that they (the Brâhmans) issued direct from the mouth of Brahmâ. Such is [pg 231] the Esoteric teaching; and it adds moreover that, although those descended (spiritually, of course) from the “Sons of Will and Yoga” became in time divided into opposite sexes, as their “Kriyâshakti” progenitors did themselves later on; yet even their degenerate descendants have, down to the present day, retained a veneration and respect for the creative function, and still regard it in the light of a religious ceremony, whereas the more civilized nations consider it as a mere animal function. Compare the Western views and practice in these matters with the Institutions of Manu, in regard to the laws of Grihastha, or married life. The true Brâhman is, thus, indeed “he whose seven forefathers have drunk the juice of the Moon-plant (Soma),” and who is a “Trisuparna,” for he has understood the secret of the Vedas.

And, to this day, such Brâhmans know that, during the early beginnings of this Race, psychic and physical intellect being dormant and consciousness still undeveloped, its spiritual conceptions were quite unconnected with its physical surroundings; that divine man dwelt in his animal—though externally human—form; that, if there was instinct in him, no self-consciousness came to enlighten the darkness of the latent Fifth Principle. When the Lords of Wisdom, moved by the law of evolution, infused into him the spark of consciousness, the first feeling it awoke to life and activity was a sense of solidarity, of one-ness with his spiritual creators. As the child's first feeling is for its mother and nurse, so the first aspirations of the awakening consciousness in primitive man were for those whose element he felt within himself, and who were yet outside, and independent of him. Devotion arose out of that feeling, and became the first and foremost motor in his nature; for it is the only one which is natural in his heart, which is innate in him, and which we find alike in the human babe and the young of the animal. This feeling of irrepressible, instinctive aspiration in primitive man is beautifully, and one may say intuitionally, described by Carlyle, who exclaims:

The great antique heart—how like a child's in its simplicity, like a man's in its earnest solemnity and depth! Heaven lies over him wheresoever he goes or stands on the earth; making all the earth a mystic temple to him, the earth's business all a kind of worship. Glimpses of bright creatures flash in the common sunlight; angels yet hover, doing God's messages among men.... Wonder, miracle, encompass the man; he lives in an element of miracle.334... A great law of [pg 232]duty, high as these two infinitudes (heaven and hell), dwarfing all else, annihilating all else—it was a reality, and it is one: the garment only of it is dead; the essence of it lives through all times and all eternity!

It lives undeniably, and has settled in all its ineradicable strength and power in the Asiatic Âryan heart, from the Third Race direct, through its first Mind-born Sons, the fruits of Kriyâshakti. As time rolled on, the holy caste of Initiates produced, but rarely, from age to age, such perfect creatures; beings apart, inwardly, though the same as those who produced them, outwardly.

In the infancy of the Third primitive Race:

A creature of a more exalted kind
Was wanting yet, and therefore was designed;
Conscious of thought, of more capacious breast,
For empire formed and fit to rule the rest.

It was called into being, a ready and perfect vehicle for the incarnating denizens of higher spheres, who took forthwith their abodes in these forms, born of Spiritual Will and the natural divine power in man. It was a child of pure spirit, mentally unalloyed with any tincture of earthly element. Its physical frame alone was of time and of life, for it drew its intelligence direct from above. It was the Living Tree of Divine Wisdom; and may therefore be likened to the Mundane Tree of the Norse Legends, which cannot wither and die until the last battle of life shall be fought, while its roots are all the time gnawed by the dragon Nidhogg. For even so, the first and holy Son of Kriyâshakti had his body gnawed by the tooth of time, but the roots of his inner being remained for ever undecaying and strong, because they grew and expanded in heaven, and not on earth. He was the first of the First, and he was the Seed of all the others. There were other Sons of Kriyâshakti produced by a second spiritual effort, but the first one has remained to this day the Seed of Divine Knowledge, the One and the Supreme among the terrestrial “Sons of Wisdom.” Of this subject we can say no more, except to add that in every age—aye, even in our own—there have been great intellects who have understood the problem correctly.

But how comes our physical body to the state of perfection it is now found in? Through millions of years of evolution, of course, yet never through, or from, animals, as taught by Materialism. For, as Carlyle says:

... The essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself I,—ah, what words have we for such things?—is a breath of Heaven; the Highest Being [pg 233]reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for that Unnamed?

The “breath of Heaven,” or rather the breath of Life, called in the Bible Nephesh, is in every animal, in every animate speck and in every mineral atom. But none of these has, like man, the consciousness of the nature of that “Highest Being,”335 as none has that divine harmony in its form, which man possesses. It is, as Novalis said, and no one since has said it better, as repeated by Carlyle:

There is but one temple in the Universe, and that is the Body of Man. Nothing is holier than that high form.... We touch Heaven when we lay our hand on a human body! This sounds like a mere flourish of rhetoric; but it is not so. If well meditated, it will turn out to be a scientific fact; the expression ... of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles—the great inscrutable Mystery....336

Stanza VII.

1. Behold the beginning of sentient formless Life (a).

First, the Divine337 (b), the One from the Mother-Spirit;338then, the Spiritual339 (c); 340the Three from the One (d), the Four from the One (e), and the Five (f), from which the Three, the Five and the Seven (g). These are the Three-fold and the Four-fold downward; the Mind-born Sons of the First Lord,341 the Shining Seven.342 It is they who are thou, I, he, O Lanoo; they who watch over thee and thy mother, Bhûmi.343

(a) The Hierarchy of Creative Powers is divided esoterically into Seven (four and three), within the Twelve great Orders, recorded in the twelve signs of the Zodiac; the Seven of the manifesting scale being connected, moreover, with the Seven Planets. All these are subdivided into numberless Groups of divine spiritual, semi-spiritual, and ethereal Beings.

[pg 234]

The chief Hierarchies among these are hinted at in the great Quaternary, or the “four bodies and the three faculties,” exoterically, of Brahmâ and the Panchâsya, the five Brahmâs, or the five Dhyâni-Buddhas in the Buddhist system.

The highest Group is composed of the Divine Flames, so called, also spoken of as the “Fiery Lions” and the “Lions of Life,” whose esotericism is securely hidden in the zodiacal sign of Leo. It is the nucleole of the superior Divine World. They are the Formless Fiery Breaths, identical in one aspect with the upper Sephirothal Triad, which is placed by the Kabalists in the Archetypal World.

The same Hierarchy, with the same numbers, is found in the Japanese system, in the “Beginnings,” as taught by both the Shinto and the Buddhist sects. In this system, Anthropogenesis precedes Cosmogenesis, as the divine merges into the human, and creates—midway in its descent into matter—the visible Universe; the legendary personages, remarks reverentially Omoie, “having to be understood as the stereotyped embodiment of the higher [secret] doctrine, and its sublime truths.” To state this old system at full length would occupy too much of our space; a few words on it, however, cannot be out of place. The following is a short synopsis of this Anthropo-Cosmogenesis, and shows how closely the most separated nations echoed one and the same archaic teaching.

When all was as yet Chaos (Kon-ton), three spiritual Beings appeared on the stage of future creation: (1) Ame no ani naka nushi no Kami, “Divine Monarch of the Central Heaven”; (2) Taka mi onosubi no Kami, “Exalted, Imperial Divine Offspring of Heaven and Earth”; and (3) Kamu mi musubi no Kami, “Offspring of the Gods,” simply.

These were without form or substance—our Arûpa Triad—as neither the celestial nor the terrestrial substance had yet differentiated, “nor had the essence of things been formed.”

(b) In the Zohar—which, as now arranged and reëdited by Moses de Leon, with the help of Syrian and Chaldean Christian Gnostics, in the XIIIth century, and corrected and revised still later by many Christian hands, is only a little less exoteric than the Bible itself—this “Divine [Vehicle]” no longer appears as it does in the Chaldean Book of Numbers. True enough, Ain Suph, the Absolute Endless No-thing, uses also the form of the One, the manifested “Heavenly Man” (the First Cause), as its Chariot (Mercabah, in Hebrew; Vâhana, in Sanskrit) or Vehicle, to descend into, and manifest itself in, the phenomenal [pg 235] world. But the Kabalists neither make it plain how the Absolute can use anything, or exercise any attribute whatever, since, as the Absolute, it is devoid of attributes; nor do they explain that in reality it is the First Cause (Plato's Logos), the original and eternal Idea, that manifests through Adam Kadmon, the Second Logos, so to speak. In the Book of Numbers, it is explained that Ain (En, or Aiôr) is the only self-existent, whereas its “Depth,” the Bythos of the Gnostics, called Propatôr, is only periodical. The latter is Brahmâ, as differentiated from Brahman or Parabrahman. It is the Depth, the Source of Light, or Propatôr, which is the Unmanifested Logos, or the abstract Idea, and not Ain Suph, whose Ray uses Adam Kadmon—“male and female”—or the Manifested Logos, the objective Universe, as a Chariot, through which to manifest. But in the Zohar we read the following incongruity: Senior occultatus est, et absconditus; Microprosopus manifestus est, et non manifestus.”344 This is a fallacy, since Microprosopus, or the Microcosm, can only exist during its manifestations, and is destroyed during the Mahâpralayas. Rosenroth's Kabbala is no guide, but very often a puzzle.

The First Order are the Divine. As in the Japanese system, in the Egyptian, and every old cosmogony—at this divine Flame, the “One,” are lit the Three descending Groups. Having their potential being in the higher Group, they now become distinct and separate Entities. These are called the Virgins of Life, the Great Illusion, etc., etc., and collectively the six-pointed star. The latter, in almost every religion, is the symbol of the Logos as the first emanation. It is the sign of Vishnu in India, the Chakra, or Wheel; and the glyph of the Tetragrammaton, “He of the Four Letters,” in the Kabalah, or metaphorically the “Limbs of Microprosopus,” which are ten and six respectively.

The later Kabalists, however, especially the Christian Mystics, have played sad havoc with this magnificent symbol. Indeed, the Microprosopus—who is, philosophically speaking, quite distinct from the unmanifested eternal Logos, “one with the Father”—has finally been brought, by centuries of incessant efforts of sophistry and of paradoxes, to be considered as one with Jehovah, or the one living God (!), whereas Jehovah is no better than Binah, a female Sephira. This fact cannot be too frequently impressed upon the reader. For the “Ten Limbs” of the Heavenly Man are the ten Sephiroth; but the first Heavenly Man [pg 236] is the unmanifested Spirit of the Universe, and ought never to be degraded into Microprosopus, the Lesser Face or Countenance, the prototype of man on the terrestrial plane. The Microprosopus is, as just said, the Logos manifested, and of such there are many. Of this, however, later on. The six-pointed star refers to the six Forces or Powers of Nature, the six planes, principles, etc., etc., all synthesized by the seventh, or the central point in the star. All these, the upper and lower Hierarchies included, emanate from the Heavenly or Celestial Virgin, the Great Mother in all religions, the Androgyne, the Sephira Adam Kadmon. Sephira is the Crown, Kether, in the abstract principle only, as a mathematical x, the unknown quantity. On the plane of differentiated nature, she is the female counterpart of Adam Kadmon, the first Androgyne. The Kabalah teaches that the words Fiat Lux345 referred to the formation and evolution of the Sephiroth, and not to light as opposed to darkness. Rabbi Simeon says:

O companions, companions, man as an emanation was both man and woman, Adam Kadmon verily, and this is the sense of the words, Let there be Light, and there was Light. And this is the two-fold man.346

In its Unity, Primordial Light is the seventh, or highest, principle, Daiviprakriti, the Light of the Unmanifested Logos. But in its differentiation, it becomes Fohat, or the “Seven Sons.” The former is symbolized by the central point in the Double Triangle; the latter by the Hexagon itself, or the “Six Limbs” of Microprosopus, the Seventh being Malkuth, the “Bride” of the Christian Kabalists, or our Earth. Hence the expressions:

The first after the One is Divine Fire; the second, Fire and Ether; the third is composed of Fire, Ether and Water; the fourth of Fire, Ether, Water, and Air. The One is not concerned with Man-bearing Globes, but with the inner, invisible Spheres. The First-Born are the Life, the Heart and Pulse of the Universe; the Second are its Mind or Consciousness.

These Elements of Fire, Air, etc., are not our compound elements; and this “Consciousness” has no relation to our consciousness. The Consciousness of the “One Manifested,” if not absolute, is still unconditioned. Mahat, the Universal Mind, is the first production of the Brahmâ-Creator, but also of Pradhâna, Undifferentiated Matter.

(c) The Second Order of Celestial Beings, those of Fire and Ether, corresponding to Spirit and Soul, or Âtmâ-Buddhi, whose names are legion, are still formless, but more definitely “substantial.” They are [pg 237] the first differentiation in the Secondary Evolution or “Creation”—a misleading word. As the name shows, they are the Prototypes of the incarnating Jîvas or Monads, and are composed of the Fiery Spirit of Life. It is through these that passes, like a pure solar beam, the Ray which is furnished by them with its future Vehicle, the Divine Soul, Buddhi. These are directly concerned with the Hosts of the higher World of our System. From these Two-fold Units emanate the “Three-fold.”

In the cosmogony of Japan, when, out of the chaotic mass, an egg-like nucleus appears, having within itself the germ and potency of all universal as well as of all terrestrial life, it is the Three-fold just named, which differentiate. The male ethereal principle (Yo) ascends, and the female grosser or more material principle (In) is precipitated into the universe of substance, when a separation occurs between the celestial and the terrestrial. From this, the female, the Mother, the first rudimentary objective being is born. It is ethereal, without form or sex, and yet it is from it and the Mother that the Seven Divine Spirits are born, from whom will emanate the seven “creations”; just as in the Codex Nazaræus from Karabtanos and the Mother Spiritus the seven “evilly disposed” (material) spirits are born. It would be too long to give here the Japanese names, but in translation they stand in this order:

(1.) The “Invisible Celibate,” which is the Creative Logos of the non-creating “Father,” or the creative potentiality of the latter made manifest.

(2.) The “Spirit [or God] of the rayless Depths [Chaos],” which becomes differentiated matter, or the world-stuff; also the mineral realm.

(3.) The “Spirit of the Vegetable Kingdom,” of the “Abundant Vegetation.”

(4.) The “Spirit of the Earth” and “the Spirit of the Sands”; a Being of dual nature, the former containing the potentiality of the male element, the latter that of the female element. These two were one, as yet unconscious of being two.

In this duality were contained (a) Isu no gai no Kami, the male, dark and muscular Being; and (b) Eku gai no Kami, the female, fair and weaker or more delicate Being. Then:

(5 and 6.) The Spirits who were androgynous or dual-sexed.

(7.) The Seventh Spirit, the last emanated from the “Mother,” appears as the first divine human form distinctly male and female. [pg 238] It was the seventh “creation,” as in the Purânas, wherein man is the seventh creation of Brahmâ.

These, Tsanagi-Tsanami, descended into the Universe by the Celestial Bridge, the Milky Way, and “Tsanagi, perceiving far below a chaotic mass of cloud and water, thrust his jewelled spear into the depths, and dry land appeared. Then the two separated to explore Onokoro, the newly-created island-world.” (Omoie.)

Such are the Japanese exoteric fables, the rind that conceals the kernel of the same one truth of the Secret Doctrine.

(d) The Third Order correspond to Âtmâ-Buddhi-Manas, Spirit, Soul and Intellect; and are called the “Triads.”

(e) The Fourth Order are substantial Entities. This is the highest Group among the Rûpas (Atomic Forms). It is the nursery of the human, conscious, spiritual Souls. They are called the “Imperishable Jîvas,” and constitute, through the Order below their own, the first Group of the first Septenary Host—the great mystery of human, conscious and intellectual Being. For the latter is the field wherein lies concealed, in its privation, the Germ that will fall into generation. That Germ will become the spiritual potency in the physical cell, that guides the development of the embryo, and that is the cause of the hereditary transmission of faculties, and all the inherent qualities in man. The Darwinian theory, however, of the transmission of acquired faculties is neither taught nor accepted in Occultism. Evolution, in the latter, proceeds on quite other lines; the physical, according to Esoteric teaching, evolving gradually from the spiritual, mental, and psychic. This inner soul of the physical cell—the “spiritual plasm” that dominates the germinal plasm—is the key that must open one day the gates of the terra incognita of the Biologist, now called the dark mystery of Embryology. It is worthy of notice that Modern Chemistry, while rejecting, as a superstition of Occultism and Religion as well, the theory of substantial and invisible Beings, called Angels, Elementals, etc.—without, of course, having ever looked into the philosophy of these incorporeal Entities, or thought over them—should, owing to observation and discovery, have been unconsciously forced to recognize and adopt the same ratio of progression and order, in the evolution of chemical atoms, as Occultism does for both its Dhyânis and Atoms—analogy being its first law. As seen above, the very first Group of the Rûpa Angels is quaternary, an element being added to each in descending order. So also are the atoms, in the phraseology of [pg 239] Chemistry, monatomic, diatomic, triatomic, tetratomic, etc., progressing downwards.

Let it be remembered that the Fire, Water, and Air of Occultism, or the “Elements of Primary Creation” so-called, are not the compound elements they are on earth, but noumenal homogeneous Elements—the Spirits of the former. Then follow the Septenary Groups or Hosts. Placed on parallel lines with the atoms in a diagram, the natures of these Beings would be seen to correspond, in their downward scale of progression, to composite elements in a mathematically identical manner as to analogy. This refers, of course, only to diagrams made by Occultists; for were the scale of Angelic Beings to be placed on parallel lines with the scale of the chemical atoms of Science—from the hypothetical Helium down to Uranium—they would of course be found to differ. For the latter have, as correspondents on the Astral Plane, only the four lowest orders—the three higher principles in the atom, or rather molecule, or chemical element, being perceptible to the initiated Dangma's eye alone. But then, if Chemistry desired to find itself on the right path, it would have to correct its tabular arrangement by that of the Occultists—which it might refuse to do. In Esoteric Philosophy, every physical particle corresponds to, and depends on, its higher noumenon—the Being to whose essence it belongs; and, above as below, the Spiritual evolves from the Divine, the Psycho-mental from the Spiritual—tainted from its lower plane by the Astral—the whole animate and (seemingly) inanimate Nature evolving on parallel lines, and drawing its attributes from above as well as below.

The number seven, as applied to the term Septenary Host, above mentioned, does not imply only seven Entities, but seven Groups or Hosts, as explained before. The highest Group, the Asuras born in Brahmâ's first body, which turned into “Night,” are septenary, i.e., divided like the Pitris into seven Classes, three of which are bodiless (arûpa) and four with bodies.347 They are in fact more truly our Pitris (Ancestors) than the Pitris who projected the first physical man.

(f) The Fifth Order is a very mysterious one, as it is connected with the microcosmic pentagon, the five-pointed star, representing man. In India and Egypt, these Dhyânis were connected with the Crocodile, and their abode is in Capricornus. But these are convertible terms in Indian Astrology, for the tenth sign of the Zodiac, which is called Makara, is loosely translated “Crocodile.” The word itself is occultly [pg 240] interpreted in various ways, as will be shown further on. In Egypt, the Defunct—whose symbol is the pentagram, or the five-pointed star, the points of which represent the limbs of a man—was shown emblematically transformed into a crocodile. Sebekh, or Sevekh (or “Seventh”), as Mr. Gerald Massey says, showing it to be the type of intelligence, is a dragon in reality, not a crocodile. He is the “Dragon of Wisdom,” or Manas, the Human Soul, Mind, the Intelligent Principle, called in our Esoteric Philosophy the Fifth Principle.

Says the defunct “Osirified,” in the Book of the Dead, or Ritual, under the glyph of a mummiform God with a crocodile's head:

I am the crocodile presiding at the fear, I am the God-crocodile, at the arrival of his Soul among men. I am the God-crocodile brought for destruction.

An allusion to the destruction of divine spiritual purity when man acquires the knowledge of good and evil; also to the “fallen” Gods, or Angels of every theogony.

I am the fish of the great Horus. [As Makara is the Crocodile, the Vehicle of Varuna.] I am merged in Sekhem.348

This last sentence gives the corroboration, and repeats the doctrine of esoteric “Buddhism,” for it alludes directly to the Fifth Principle (Manas), or the most spiritual part of its essence rather, which merges into, is absorbed by, and made one with Âtmâ-Buddhi, after the death of man. For Sekhem is the residence, or Loka, of the God Khem (Horus-Osiris, or Father and Son); hence the Devachan of Âtmâ-Buddhi. In the Book of the Dead, the Defunct is shown entering into Sekhem, with Horus-Thot, and “emerging from it as pure spirit.” Thus the Defunct says:

I see the forms of [myself, as various] men transforming eternally.... I know this [chapter]. He who knows it ... takes all kinds of living forms.349

And addressing in magic formula that which is called, in Egyptian Esotericism, the “ancestral heart,” or the reïncarnating principle, the permanent Ego, the Defunct says:

O my heart, my ancestral heart, necessary for my transformations, ... do not separate thyself from me before the guardian of the scales. Thou art my personality within my breast, divine companion watching over my fleshes [bodies].350

It is in Sekhem that lies concealed the “Mysterious Face,” or the real Man concealed under the false personality, the triple-crocodile of Egypt, the symbol of the higher Trinity, or human Triad, Âtmâ, Buddhi and Manas.

One of the explanations of the real though hidden meaning of this [pg 241] Egyptian religious glyph is easy. The crocodile is the first to await and meet the devouring fires of the morning sun, and very soon came to personify the solar heat. When the sun arose, it was like the arrival on earth, and among men, of the “divine soul which informs the Gods.” Hence the strange symbolism. The mummy donned the head of a crocodile to show that it was a Soul arriving from the earth.

In all the ancient papyri, the crocodile is called Sebekh (Seventh); water also symbolizes