Hidden Hints in the Secret Doctrine
The Path, January, February, March, May, June, September, October, 1891
& January, February, 1892
From PAGES 1 TO 67, Vol. I
A PROPHECY. In the 20th century—1900—the scholars of our era will begin to recognize that the Secret Doctrine has neither been invented nor exaggerated, but simply outlined—Vol.I, Intro. p. xxxvii. In other places the author hints at surprises in store in the way of manuscripts, etc. It would seem that by 1900 some “discoveries” will be made by scholars that will support our author. “Once the door permitted to be kept a little ajar, it will be opened wider with every new century. The times are ripe for a more serious knowledge than hitherto permitted.” Vol, I, p. xxxviii, footnote. “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.” V. I, Intro. xliv.
AN ARCHAIC MANUSCRIPT. Some of the doctrines given out are found by her in a collection of palm-leaves made impervious to the elements by some unknown process. Proem V. I, p.I. It is well known that some of the most ancient eastern manuscripts are on palm-leaves which are cut in oblong, narrow form and tied with a string. How is this seen by her? Either in the astral light or objectively, being brought to her table. By whom or what?
CONTINUITY OF PLAN FROM ONE MANVANTARA TO ANOTHER. In this old MS. it is said (Proem) that during the pralaya the plan for the next manvantara slumbers until the dawn of the next evolution, when its potential power goes forth to action. There is, therefore a continuity from manvantara through pralaya to succeeding manvantara. Continued on pp. 4 and 5 of V. I.
THE BASIS OF AFFINITY, hence for all correlations of force. It is stated that Leucippus taught an occult law when he declared, 500 B.C., that the lateral motion of atoms is the root for affinity and correlation of force. V. I, p. 2.
EACH PERIOD OF EVOLUTION is sui generis. “Yet at each new manvantara, its organization [speaking of the cosmos] may be regarded as the first and the last of its kind, as it evolutes every time on a higher plane.” V. I, p. 3.
A NEW ELEMENT AT THE END OF OUR 4TH ROUND. “Occult science recognizes Seven Cosmical Elements, four entirely physical, the fifth -Ether-semi-material, as it will become visible in the air toward the end of our 4th Round, to reign supreme over the others during the whole of the 5th Round.” Vol. I, p. 12.
AKASA AND MANAS CORRESPOND. See footnote p. 13, Vol. I. “That Akasa, the fifth universal Cosmic Principle—to which corresponds and from which proceeds human Manas—is, cosmically, a radiant, cool, diathermanous, plastic matter, creative in its physical nature, correlative in its grossest aspects and portions, immutable in its higher principles.” It must therefore follow, under the law of correspondences, that manas in the seven-fold division is creative, correlative, and immutable in the same way and portions as stated for Akasa.
MANAS IN THE 5th ROUND. By following out the correspondence we find that as Ether, the lower form of Akasa, now semi-material, will become visible in the air at the end of this Round—the 4th-so manas, now only semi-developed in this race, will be further evolved in the 5th Round, at the same time with the parent source, and as the form of Ether spoken of will then be the superior element in nature, so at the same time the superior principle reigning in the septenary constitution of man will be manas. The full development of manas imposes full responsibility on the race, and thus we see how the turning point is reached and what it may mean, and also what is the meaning of the “moment of Choice.” With full responsibility the choice must be made by the race which thus has perfect manas. It is for and towards that period that the Masters of Wisdom are now working so as to prepare the present Egos for the momentous days when the choice of the good or evil path must be intelligently made.
And as in many places in the Secret Doctrine the author says that we are the same egos who were in the Atlantean bodies, and that they had a very weighty karma, we may perceive why it is that are those who will be compelled to make the great choice for good or evil destiny in the next Round.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EFFECT OF GREAT AND MINOR PRALAYA. The question “What happens to the planets during a minor pralaya or dissolution? is answered in footnote p. 18, V. I. They are dead, as it were, but not dissolved, for as, she says, “they remain intact as a huge animal caught and imbedded in the polar ice remains the same for ages.” After the great Pralaya no planets remain in corporibus, but all are dissolved, their akasic “photographs” alone remaining. This must be taken metaphorically, or else we will again make objective that which is subjective. But in a minor pralaya the “dead planets” are objective in space, but with all their active life and energy gone.
DHYAN CHOHANS NOT THE ONLY TERM FOR THE HIGHEST BEINGS. “Each of the various groups has its own designation in the Secret Doctrine.” V. I, p. 22, lines 8, 9. Nor are they personifications of powers in nature. Vol. I, p. 38, line 18.
EACH ROUND has its special class of Dhyanis to watch over it. The same for races, p. 42, Vol. I. (a). The present round is watched especially by the Fourth Class of Dhyanis.
THE ABSOLUTE NOT UNDERSTOOD by the Dhyan Chohans. p. 51, Vol. I, line 16. And yet some theosophists ask to have definitions or explanations of the Absolute. We heard of one who claimed to have “communed with the Absolute.”
THE BREATH OF BRAHMA. This may be said to be the same as “The Eternal Breath” spoken of in the Secret Doctrine. It is motion, and proceeds through space ceaselessly. It does not stop during the pralayas. p. 55, Vol. I, line 11.
IDEALS AND TYPES IN THE ASTRAL LIGHT. The prototype is present in an ideal form in the Astral Light from dawn to night during the manvantaric period-everything from man to mite, from giant trees down to the tiniest blade of grass. p. 63, Vol. I, 1st para. There is a clear correspondence here with the formation of the astral man, which is the copy, plan, or prototype on which the corporeal man is formed.
THE PRIMORDIAL FORM of every manifested thing is like that of an egg. p. 65, Vol. I. A paramahansa once wrote for the Theosophist an article in which he said that theosophy was that Branch of Masonry which showed the universe in the form of an egg.
THE VERBUM, OR WORD, AND ITS FORCE. All religions speak of “the Word.” The Jews, from whom the Christians get their religion, say that the all-powerful name of God if pronounced will shake the Universe; the Freemasons speak of the lost word; the Hindus tell of the great word; it is the Greek logos. The question is often raised, “Supposing there be such a word, wherein is its force?” H.P.B. says it is in motion and not in number. Note I, p. 67, Vol. I. The Hebrew Kaballah leans more to number, as being the force of power of this word.
From PAGES 67 TO 128 Vol. I
MATTER DURING PRALAYA. It is in a state of great tenuity seen only by Bodhisatvas. When evolution begins again it appears like curds in space. V. I, p. 69.
ELECTRICITY AN ENTITY. V. I, p. 76, line 6; it is an emanation from an Entity of power, p. 111, footnote, and is coexistent with the one life, p. 81; it is primordial matter of a special nature, p. 82.
PULSATION OF THE HEART AND THE TIDES. Probably due to the universal expanding and contracting of the atoms, which in turn are caused by the expansion and contraction of matter of space. V. I, p. 84. “There is heat internal and heat external in every atom,” id.
TWO SORTS OF FIRE OR HEAT. One in the central Sun and the other in the manifested universe and solar system. V. I, p. 84, 87.
MAGICAL POTENCY OF WORDS is in the vowel sounds and not in the numbers. V. I, p. 94.
THE TERM “HUMAN” IS NOT TO BE CONFINED TO THIS GLOBE. It must be applied to all entities who have reached the fourth stage of development on any planet in space in its fourth round in any chain of planets. V. I, p. 106, 2d para.
BUDDHI AS COMPARED WITH SPIRIT is material, although for us and the highest conceptions we can form it is wholly beyond materiality. V. I, p. 119,line 7.
THE HUMAN MONAD is the union of the ray from the absolute with the soul. V. I, p. 119, para. I.
SYMBOLISM AND NUMBERS. They are intimately connected with the hosts of the Dhyan-Chohans. The basic numbers refer each to distinct groups of ideas which vary according to the group of Dhyan Chohans referred to. In other places the author says that, as the Dhyani are connected with evolution in all its intricacies and mysteries, it follows that symbolism is of the highest importance. V. I, p. 119 (b).
THE ONE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF OCCULT SCIENCE is “the radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature-from Star to mineral Atom, from the highest Dhyan Chohan to the smallest infusoria.” And this is to be applied spiritually, intellectually, and physically. V. I, p. 120, last para.
KARMA NEEDS MATERIAL AGENCIES to carry out its decrees. V. I, p. 123, line 2. The material agents spoken of here are not merely those that we class as such, but many others which are generally conceived of by us as spiritual. For, as said above, even Buddhi is material when compared with Atman of which it is the vehicle. The clue here given is in regard to the operations of Karma through the atoms that are used by the egos in their various incarnations. But in following this out it must not be forgotten that there is no particle or point of materiality which is not at the same time mixed with or in company with another principle-if the word may be used for this purpose-of spirit or the one life.
THE THREE GROUPS OF BUILDERS. These are as follows: The first is the group which constructs the entire system as a whole and which includes more than this globe system; the second is the group of builders who come in when the system as a great whole is ready and form the planetary chain of this earth; and the third is that group which builds or projects Humanity, as they are the great type of the microcosm-man. V. I, p. 128, second para.
THE LIPIKA AS COMPARED WITH THE BUILDERS are the great Spirits of the universe as a whole, the builders being of a special nature. The Lipika, like the others, are divided into three groups, but it is asserted that only the lowest of these three groups has to do with this system of ours and that the other two cannot be known, and also that those two are so high that it is doubtful if even the highest of the Adepts know about them. It may therefore be supposed that for the Adepts the Lipika of the higher degree are as great a mystery as the Mahatmas are for us, and that this ascending scale of greatness ever gives to the soul something still higher, no matter how far it may progress, to which to look and aspire. V. I, see whole of page 128.
But as each of the three groups is divided into seven others (p. 127), it may be the 21st sub-group which has to do with this globe; and it is said that as to the highest of the groups it is directly connected with our karma. V. I, p. 128, last line. Now as Karma rules the entire universe, it must follow, in order to make and keep harmony, that the “highest grade of Lipika” referred to on page 128 is not the highest of the last series of 21 sub-groups, but the highest of the whole three groups.
NOTE WELL. Whenever and “entity” is spoken of among the various “hosts” it is to be known as composed of many entities, just as man himself is similarly constituted, his total consciousness being that of the whole mass of beings who go to make up his intricate life.
From PAGES 128 TO 160, Vol. I
NIRMANAKAYAS. First reference to these on p. 132, note I, where they are called “the surviving spiritual principles of men,” and in the text they are those who reincarnate for the good of the world if they choose.
ELECTRICITY AGAIN is mentioned as Life, p. 137, 4th line; also p. 139, line 17; also a form of “Fohat”; also p. 145, (b).
ETHER only partially manifested, and not to be fully so until the 5th Round, p. 140.
THAT ENTITIES ARE CONSTITUTED of many units, each an entity. Thus that “Fohat,” elsewhere called “an Entity,” is not one undivided entity but is made up of others; and that there are as many Fohats as there are worlds. Note 2, p. 143, and p. 145 (b).
ELIXIR OF LIFE. A hint thereupon. Note 2, p. 144.
ELEMENTALS CONCERNED in all forces, e.g. that electricity, magnetism, cohesion, and the like are made up of elementals. These of course, are not all of one class, but of several, p. 146. Near the end of this pate it is inferentially stated that elementals are generated in millions by other beings. This must be, in fact, a transforming process in the atoms. By referring to p. 143 a broad hint will be found as to this in the remarks upon the “fate of an atom” once caught into any world sphere, and the means of getting through “a current of efflux.” Is this efflux through the transforming being?
THE MOON. In what sense dead? Only as to her inner principles. Her physical principles are not dead, but have a certain activity, p. 149, note I. And her spiritual principles have been transferred to this earth, p. 155, note, and p. 156, line 6.
DISAPPEARANCE OF THE MOON will have occurred before this earth has passed through her 7th human round, p. 155, note.
ARCHETYPAL MAN ON GLOBEA. p. 159, last para. Here is a most interesting hint not often referred to and opening up a vista of thought. In the 1st round of the monads in this chain of planets, the monads from the preceding chain of worlds-say the moon’s chain-become human beings on Globe A. But in the 2nd round the process alters, and it is in the 4th round that man appears on this earth, the 4th Globe. To quote: “on globe A man rebecomes a mineral, a plant, an animal, on globe B,C, etc. The process changes entirely from the 2d round, but-” This abruptness is to give the hint to intuitional investigators, and opens up as great a problem as the 8th sphere seemed once to be and still perhaps is. But we may ask if on Globe A-unseen by us-the archetypal process does not obtain?
From PAGES 160 TO 184, Vol. I
MARS AND MERCURY bear an occult relation to the earth which will not be explained. V. I., p. 163. This is not because no explanation exists, but because, as said (p. 164, footnote), these explanations belong to high grades of initiation.
FIGURES AND NUMBERS the key to the whole system. V. I., p. 164, last line. This has often been stated. Among the Jewish cabalists it is said that the Universe is built by number, weight, and measure, and that harmony is the law reigning over all.
Now is the hint given be true, that figures and numbers will not be given for the above reasons, then it is useless for students to bother their minds about the occult meaning of numbers, as so many now do; for this occult meaning cannot be found without assistance.
VENUS IN HER 7TH ROUND.See italicized para.. on. p. 165, where it is said that that planet is in her last round. This must be her 7th. Hence the men there are as gods to us, and, if the argument from analogy is to be relied on, some of her great light must emanate from those beings and not all be from the sun.
MARS WITH TWO MOONS NOT HIS OWN. See p. 165, ital. para.. This is taken from the letter by a Master who, replying to the query as to why Mercury and Venus have no satellites, says: “It is because Mars has two to which he has no right and-for other reasons.” That is, we infer that Mars absorbed these moons or dragged them off into his orbit at some time enormously distant and still keeps them. They cannot therefore stand to him in the same relation as our moon does to us. One of the “other reasons” may be that, Venus being in her 7th round, all vestiges of old moons have been sublimated and absorbed into her atmosphere.
ESOTERIC METAPHYSICS must be understood. V. I, p. 169 last para. This rule is laid down by the Adepts and is therefore of greater weight than if formulated by a student. It is useless to attempt to master the system on the lines of modern research, which at best are empirical, very faulty, and leading almost always to a materialization of the whole system. Metaphysics deal with the real because the ideal, and physical science with the phenomenal and therefore illusory and changeable.
EVOLUTION OF THE MONAD A BASIC PRINCIPLE. p. 171, Ist line, V. I. This is laid down with extreme clearness and should not be forgotten. It is not expanded so that inattentive minds may get it through much repetition, but it is postulated once for all. It is still altogether too customary for students to separate the Monads, first from the globes and then from the beings thereon. They cannot be thus divided off. All the globes and their objects are and ever will be monads in stages of evolution, just as we who now study the question are monads ourselves in other stages. The false notion should at once be discarded that there was a time when there were no monads on the globe but that there was here in waiting this ball of earth coming from no one know where, and that later on monads arrived to occupy it.
If we carry out the principle laid down, then the globe is the creation of the monad; and when the globe is evolved, at once monads needing that experience enter into it corporeality to continue its existence. These later monads are those far behind in the race who will, in some succeeding period of evolution, be in a position to evolve on their own account some new globe in ages yet far distant, for the carrying on of the same process eternally. For, as a material object cannot spring out of nothing, neither can education or knowledge or ability to plan arise out of nothing, but must be based upon and flow from a prior experience or education. So it must be that even now there are monads encased in the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms which have never been farther than that, and will during the remainder of the race evolution continue their education in those lower kingdoms until their time shall come when, the door opening for their exit, they will pass out and higher to make room for others.
LIMIT TO NUMBER OF MONADS. Although there can be no such thing as a metaphysical limit to the monads, yet practically, for the purpose of any one manvantara, there must be a limited number of monads included within its evolutionary sweep. Since a manvantara, however vast and inconceivable by us, is wholly a finite period, it sets its own limits-within the illimitable absolute-for the monads attracted to it. This of necessity must be, since the natural world which makes experience possible, being finite because material, sets the limits by reason of its capacity being bounded. See 1st para. p. 171, V. I.
THE FATE OF THE ANTHROPOID APES. This interesting question is raised first on pp. 173 and 175 V. I. and not disposed of. There, in describing the course of the evolution of the monad, it is said that the laggards will not be men at all in this cycle save one exception. On p. 184, 2d para. it seems to be answered. “In this Round…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 Seventh Races, and then into lowest human forms in the fifth Round . . .” These descendants of men through union with animals will thus be karmically rewarded in the next round after this, instead of having to wait until another manvantara.
From PAGES 184 TO 192, Vol. I
THE IMPULSE OF EVOLUTION is found in the force of the spiritual breath. It is not to be supposed because “human monads” cease to come into this chain of globes that therefore there is no impulse. The term “human monad” means that monad which having been through all lower experiences is fitted to inform the so-far perfected human body.
MAN FIRST IN THE 4TH ROUND. p. 187. The flow of human monad is at an end, except that those still incarcerated in the anthropoids have yet to come in. Full blown-or rather those that have been through all lower experiences-must proceed in their order through the strictly human evolution. The necessities of evolution demands this, and the turning point is reached in the fourth round which represents the square figure or number, and all monads in the lower kingdoms have to go on with the work of evolution in those until the next manvantara. At that time the monads now in human forms will have progressed beyond, thus leaving room for those below to come up higher.
OUR NATURES FROM WHAT.p. 189. In the note it is distinctly pointed out that the quotation from Shakespeare about our natures being marvelously mixed refers to the part which the Hierarchies of progressed souls throughout the system to which this globe belongs play in giving us our different combinations.
CORRESPONDENCE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION with the nebular evolution and condensation is to be found on these last lines of p. 191: “as the solid earth began by being a ball of liquid fire, of fiery dust and its protoplasmic phantom, so did man.”
ORIGIN OF WHITE AND BLACK MAGIC.See not on p. 192, where it is stated that at the highest point of development of the Atlantean race-the fourth-the separation into right and left-hand magic, or consciously good and evil thoughts, took place. Under the action of Karmic law and by the reincarnation over and over again of those engaged in these thoughts, the thoughts were preserved in the realm of mind in the double form of mental deposits and astral impressions. The mental deposits were brought back again and again to earth life, and the astral impressions affected all others who came under their influence. In this way not only were seeds sown in individual minds through their own thoughts, but a vast reservoir of good and bad impressions or pictures has been created in the ethereal medium about us by which sensitive persons are impelled to good and bad acts. And all repetitions of evil thoughts have added to the stock of evil thus remaining to affect and afflict mankind . But as the good also remains, the earnest friends of mankind are able to produce good effects and impressions which in their turn are added to the sum of good. There need be no feeling of injustice on the ground that sensitive persons are affected by evil pictures in the astral light, because such possibility of being thus impressed could not have arisen except through sympathetic attractions for them set up in former lives.
From PAGES 192 TO 200, Vol. I
THE ASTRAL LIGHT is not in its nature truth revealing or “good.” Note 2. p. 197. “It stands in the same relation to Akasa and Anima Mundi as Satan stands to the Deity. They are one and the same things seen from two aspects.” It may be said that the astral light is the next step above material concerns. It is the first field into which the seer steps in his progress, but it is dangerous because misleading, and misleading because it reverses all things, as well as being the chief reservoir for the bad or material deeds and thoughts of men. Because it is strange, new, and extraordinary, it influences those who see in it, since it presents images of a weird character, and just from its newness and vividness those who see in it are apt to consider it to be of consequence. It is to be studied but not depended upon. Somewhat as the brain has to accustom itself to the reversed imaged on the retina-turning it straight by effort-so the inner sense have to become accustomed to the reversals made by the Astral Light.
THE FALL INTO GENERATION is explained from p. 192 to p. 198, Stanza VI. Necessarily this raises the question “Why any fall whatever?” The author says: “It was the Fall of Spirit into generation, not the fall of mortal man.” Hence if this be true, man has not fallen, but is, for this period of evolution, on the way upward. Spirit in order “to become a 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, to become the highest Dhyan 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.” (192-193) So the question, why any fall if it was purely originally, is based on the assumption that to remain in a state of unconscious abstraction if better. This cannot, however, be so. When a period of evolutions begins, with spirit at one end of the pole and matter at the other, it is absolutely necessary for spirit to proceed through experience in matter in order that self-consciousness may be acquired. It is a “fall” into matter so far as the fact is concerned, but so far as the result and the object in view it is neither fall nor rise, but the carrying out of the immutable law of the nature of spirit and matter. We ignorantly call it a fall or a curse, because our lower consciousness does not see the great sweep of the cycles nor apprehend the mighty purpose entertained. Following the lines of the philosophy elsewhere laid down, we see that at the close of each grand period of evolution some Egos will have failed to attain the goal, and thus some spirit-if we may say-is left over to be again at a new period differentiated into Egos who shall, helped by Egos of the past now become Dhyan Chohans, once more struggle upward. Such is the immense and unending struggle.
STATES AND PLANES OF CONSCIOUSNESS in Kosmos and Man. p. 192, 2nd and 3d para. It is here stated that of the seven planes of consciousness three are above the entire chain of globes to which the earth belongs, and that the earth is in the lowest of the lower four. But in man, as said here, there are seven states of consciousness which correspond to these seven cosmical planes. He is to “attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos.” Necessarily he must have in him centres or seats of energy correspondingly, and, as the author points out, he must awaken those seats to activity, to life, before he can attune them to the higher planes. They are dormant, asleep as it were.
FIRST AND SEVENTH GLOBES of the chain are in the Archetypal plane. Page 200, note to diagram. That is, that on the first globe of the chain -A-the whole model of the succeeding globes is made or laid down, and upon that evolution proceeds up to the 7th, where, all having reached the highest stage of perfection after seven rounds, the complete model is fully realized. This is distinctly hinted in the note, for she says: “not the world as it existed in the Mind of the Deity, but a world made as a first model to be followed and improved upon by the worlds which succeed it physically-though deteriorating in purity.” The reader will remember that in another place it is plainly said that on Globe A man appears, but that in the second round the process changes. If we assume, as we must, conscious Beings at work in the scheme of evolution, they have to create the mental model, as it were, of the whole planetary chain, and this has to be done at the time of the first globe. The plan is impressed on all the atoms or particles which are to take part in the evolution, and is preserved intact in that plane. The seventh globe is the receiver of the entire result of evolution is each round, and transfers it once more to Globe A, where it proceeds as before, and again the whole mass of evoluting beings is impressed with the original plan. This is repeated for every round.
THE THREE HIGHER PLANES OF CONSCIOUSNESS spoken of in third note to diagram on page 200 as being inaccessible to human consciousness as yet, does not involve a contradiction. For the attuning of our three higher states of consciousness to the three higher planes is possible, although attainment to those planes is impossible for ordinary human consciousness. The attempt has to be made so as to come into harmony in ourselves with those planes, so that the potentialities may be made active and development of new faculties made possible.
From PAGES 200 TO 212, Vol. I
FUNCTION OF COMETS. Comets are the wanderers who, in the great struggle and rush of matter in any place where a system of worlds is to come into existence, act as aggregators or collectors of the cosmic matter until at last sufficient collections are made to cause the beginning of globes. Italics on p. 201, V. I.
CYCLES. There is always much discussion respecting this vast and interesting subject, not only in theosophical circles but outside as well. Indeed, the discussion was begun ages before our T.S. was formed. It will hardly be finished in our life. The dispute or difficulty has not been as to whether there are cycles governing men and affairs, for the most materialistic are wont to talk of the cycles of recurrence of diseases, wars, and the like, but about when any cycle begins, and especially the larger ones. One of the Moon’s cycles is known, and that of the great sidereal vault is approximated, but when we come to such as the latter there is considerable vagueness as to what was the state of things 25,000 years ago. On p. 202 of Vol. I, the hint is given that the fundamental basis controlling number and ground-work of the cycles is laid in the very beginning of the cosmic struggle anterior to the aggregation of matter into globes and suns, for (at foot p. 202) “This is the basic and fundamental stone of the secret cycles…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-becomes first comets, and then suns, to cool down to inhabitable worlds, is a teaching as old as the Rishis.”
Now in each system to “struggle” is different from every other, a different proportion arises, and, the percentage of loss or remainder being variable, the cyclic bases in each system differ from others. It is very plain, then, that our present-day scientists can know nothing of these original differences and must remain ignorant of the true cycles. Only the eagle eye of the high Adept can see these numbers as they are written upon the great screen of time, and in the whispers that reach us from the ancient mysteries can be found the information we are seeking. Who shall hear aright?
THE VERY BEGINNING. Definitely as to the very beginning of manifestation-not of this little system of ours, but of the one vast whole-it is not possible nor permissible to speak. But a hint of seductive nature is thrown out on p. 203, 3d para., where, taking us back to the first act in the great drama of which our puny play is but a short sentence, H.P.B. says that the secret science declares that when the one great all has been thrown out into manifestation seven special differentiations of IT appear, and from those seven all the countless fires, suns, planets, and stars are lighted and go forth. So that, although in various systems of worlds the cycles and the numbers and bases may differ and be any whole number or fractional number, the great and perfect number is still seven. But no man now among us can understand that great seven when it includes all numbers the mind may reach by chance or by calculation.
From PAGES 212 TO 252, Vol. I
From p. 212 to 221 the reader can for himself find all that the author of the Secret Doctrine desired to give out in those pages.
WHAT ARE ELEMENTALS? In describing the groups of the Hierarchies the 6th and 7th groups are touched on at p. 221, where it is said that elementals are a part of the numberless side groups “shot out like the boughs of a tree form the first central group of the four.” And they are all subject to Karma (19th line, p. 221), which they have to work out during every cycle. As it is said, lower on the page, “A Dhyan Chohan has to become” such, it must follow that even a Dhyan Chohan was once at work in the planes of being where elementals are, and from that rose up to the higher place; this must be under the laws of evolution, of Karma, of Reincarnation.
MAN’S GREAT DESTINY. Following the argument hinted at about elemental, on p. 221, it is said that the celestial Hierarchy of this Manvantara will be transferred in the next cycle of life to higher, superior worlds, in order to make room for a new hierarchy, of the same order, which will be composed of the elect ones of our own human race. Such is our destiny, and such the path up which we climb; and when that point is reached, we must work still on for the benefit of those below us. This is the basis of altruism, and without altruism the consummation cannot be reached.
THAT HIGH SPIRITS WORK ON EARTH in bodies of men, while those spirits are still in the highest spheres, see V. I. p. 233-234 and notes, also note p. 235. On p. 235 it is clearly explained that the author does not mean that which is called among the spiritualists “control” of mediums by a spirit but the actual continuance of the status and function of the incarnated spirit in the supersensous regions, while actually using as its own and working in a mortal envelope on earth. So that, according to her, there are certain persons on this earth, living and working as ordinary human beings and members of society, whose informing divine part is so immeasureably high in development that they as such high beings have a definite status and function in the “supersensous regions.” We should say-assuming the correctness of the author’s statement-that she herself was such a case, and that “H.P.B.” whether hourly in the day or night when all around was still had a “status and function” in other spheres where she consciously carried on the work of that high station, whatever it was. There were many events in her daily life know to those who were intimate with her that this hint may ravel, or at least shed much light upon. And in one of her letters this sentence appears-in substance-“The difference between you and me is that your are not conscious except at day, while I am conscious day and night, and have much to do and to endure in both of these existences from which you, being thus half-conscious, are happily saved.”
In the Hindu books and teachings there is a reference to this when they speak of high gnanees-that is, persons full of knowledge and spiritual power-being attracted to this earth by certain acts and at certain times i the history of nation, race, or city.
LOSS OF THE SOUL. The possibility of the abandonment of the body by the soul is outlined on page 234, V. I, thus: “The soul could free itself from and quit the tabernacle [of the body] for various reasons, such as insanity, spiritual and physical depravity, etc.” And at the end of the note on p. 235 it is hinted broadly that such freeing of the soul from the body, leaving the latter to run out its course, is not confined to the case of those who are insane or depraved, but may occur with those who make great advance in knowledge and such consequent alteration in the constitution of the soul, as it we, that they no longer can dwell on earth, using the old body. It does not appear, however, that this subject is carried any further than this hint, found, as is so usual with H.P.B., in a note. In this the words are: “For the occurrence is found to take place in wicked materialists as well as in persons ‘who advance in holiness and never turn back.'” From my knowledge of her methods I regard this note as a deliberate reverse of sentence, in which the object of it is found in the words which are used in the underlined part.
THE NECESSITY FOR INDIVIDUAL EFFORT. This is very emphatically put, and in precisely the style of H.P.B., in the 3d paragraph on page 244, in the parallelisms, where Atma is spoken of. Here she shows that Atma is not subject to change or improvement, but is the “ray of light eternal which shines upon and through the darkness of matter-when the latter is willing.” [Italics are mine. (WQJ)] If matter, in the human being, the personal self, the body, and the astral body, with passions and desires, is not willing to be fully informed by the Spirit, then Atma will not shine through it because it cannot, in as much as matter then does not submit itself to the Divine behests. The willingness can only be shown by individual effort toward goodness and purification. It would seem that this ought to do away with that negation and supineness indulged in by even theosophists who talk of “not interfering with Karma.”
ONLY THREE DIMENSIONS OF MATTER. The “fourth dimension” is combatted on pages 251-252 et seq.: “So long as there are foot-rulers within the resources of Kosmos, to apply to matter, so long will they be able to measure it in three ways and no more.”
From PAGES 252 TO 260, Vol. I
ORDER OF THE ELEMENTS ESOTERICALLY is, Fire, air, water, earth. (2nd para.). Counting up from the earth, the order for the elementals, or the nature spirits in the elements, is: earth elementals, water elementals, air elementals, fire elementals. And it has always been said that those of the fire are the wisest and most distant so far as cognition of or by us is concerned, that the airy ones are also wise, and those of the water dangerous. Those of the earth have been described by seers in the form of gnomes sometimes seen by clairvoyant miners in the depths under us, and of this class also are those that have given rise to the superstition among the Irish respecting the fairies.
FIRE IN THE PRECEDING ROUNDS. She says (p. 253), “For all we know, FIRE may have been pureAKASA, the first Matter of the Magnum Opus of the Creators and ‘Builders,’ . . .” The phrase “For all we know” is sometimes to be translated “Thus it was.”
THE FIFTH ELEMENT IN THE FIFTH ROUND. This, as said before in these notes, will be “The gross body of Akasa”… (257) and “will, by becoming a familiar fact of Nature to all men, as air is familiar to us now, cease to be as at present hypothetical.”
WHAT IS THE SIXTH SENSE TO BE? In the first paragraph of page 258 she says that at first there will be a partial familiarity with a characteristic of matter to be known then as permeability, which will be perceived when certain new senses have been developed, and after that this singular characteristic will be fully known, as it will be developed concurrently with the sixth sense. We may therefore argue that she means to describe the sixth sense as one which will (among other things)give to us the power to permeate matter with ourselves. Let some one else now carry this idea further, as it is no doubt correct. It would seem that both the matter-characteristic and the power in man are being here and there exhibited, or else some of the phenomena seen at spiritualistic seances could never have happened; but alas! we need not look for aid there so long as the beloved “spirits from the summerland” continue to hold sway over their votaries.
THE EARTH IN ITS EARLY PERIODS. Some students have thought that this globe in its early times when, following the statements in Esoteric Buddhism, the human life-wave and so on had not come, there was no life on it, supposing in a vague way that there was, say in the fire-mist time, a mass of something devoid of life. This is contradicted and explained on page 258 in the second para. for: “Thus Occultism disposes of the so-called Azoic age of Science, for it shows that there never was a time when the Earth was without life upon it.” This is asserted for no matter what form or sort of matter, thus, “Wherever there is an atom of matter, a particle or a molecule, even in its most gaseous condition, there is life in it, however latent and unconscious.”
OF SPIRIT AND MATTER. In the commentary on p. 258 the author plainly writes, “Spirit is the first differentiation of (and in ) SPACE; and Matter the first differentiation of Spirit.” This is a clear statement of what she desired to teach respecting spirit and matter, and as in other places it is said that spirit and matter are the opposite poles of the One-the Absolute-an agreement has to be made between the two. There is no real disagreement, since it is evident that differentiation must proceed in a definite order, from which it results that there must be always one state, plane, place, power, and idea in nature that is above and different from and beyond all others. And when we go beyond spirit, the highest we may speak of is the Absolute, which is the container of the next two-spirit and matter, the latter following the first in order of differentiation. These are said to be coeternal, and, indeed, are so, as far as our minds are concerned, for the reason that we cannot grasp either the first or the second differentiation of the Absolute. But because this doctrine of the coeternalness of spirit and matter has been taught, there never being the one without the other also present, some students have fallen into a materialistic view, probably because matter is that which being near to us is most apparent, and others, remaining somewhat vague, do not define the doctrine at all. Spirit and matter are coeternal because they exist together in the Absolute, and when the first differentiation spoken of above takes place, so does the second immediately. Hence, except when we are dealing with metaphysics, they must be regarded as the two poles of the one Absolute. And the Bhagavad Gita does not support the contrary, for it only says there is no spirit without also matter, as it is dealing through the words of Krishna with things as they are after the differentiation has taken place.
There is another class of theosophists who speak of the “superpersonal god,” asserting at the same time that they do not mean “a personal God,” and they are opposed by still another class who point to the well-known denial by H.P.B. of the existence of a personal god. It is in the sentence quoted that both of these may come to an agreement, for the believers in the superpersonal deity can without doubt find support in the lines on p. 258. For if spirit is the first, then matter is a grade below it, however fine and imperceptible that distinction may be.
If further we say, as many of us do, that the great inherent ideas of man were given to him by the first great teachers whose descendants and pupils the Adepts are, then we here also see how it is that there is such a wide and universal belief in a God. It must also be the origin of that universal optimism which may be found also in the ranks of the theosophists, who, while for present days are pessimistic, must be called the greatest optimists on the face of the earth. There are many other matters in this sentence. Many a student has puzzled his head very often in trying to discover from where come the impulse and the plan as well as the idea of perfection, for it must as a first thing reside somewhere, whether abstractly or concretely. Perhaps it is here; those students can look here at any rate.
A MYSTERIOUS PRINCIPLE MENTIONED. After going for a little space into the formation of this globe by the first builders, she speaks (page 259) of a certain akasic principle to which no name is given but left in hiatus. But in the note on that page we see, and I am violating nothing in referring to it, that very clearly it is pointed out that the primordial substance of which she then writes “is the body of those Spirits themselves, and their very essence.” Now in many places in her writings, and also in those of other knowing ones through all time, this primordial substance is said to be one that , once controlled, gives him who has power over it the most transcendent abilities,—sway alike over mind and matter.
She and all of us are quite safe in speaking of it, since there are but few indeed who will see anything in it at all. Yet the few can have the hint if they never got it before. This, however, should always remain as a hint, and there ought to be no attempt to make it clear to science, for nothing will be gained except ridicule and maybe worse.