The public must be made acquainted with the efforts of many World-adepts, of initiated poets, writers, and classics of every age, to preserve in the records of Humanity the Knowledge of the existence, at least, of such a philosophy, if not actually of its tenets. The Initiates of would indeed remain incomprehensible and ever 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 may be found mention 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 be shown, on semi-traditional and semi-historical authority, that knowledge of the Occult and the powers it confers on man, are not altogether fictions, but that they are as old as the world itself. 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. You can only ignore them, and no more.
We may close with a parting word concerning this Volume I. Every reader will inevitably judge the statements made from the stand-point of his own knowledge, experience, and consciousness, based on what he has already learnt. This fact the writer is constantly obliged to bear in mind: The errors of the day must be explained and swept away, yet it is more than probable—and in the present case it amounts to certitude—that once more the testimony of long ages and of history will fail to impress anyone 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 an algebraical process for the benefit of sceptics by certain mathematicians. If two persons give their evidence to. If three such evidences are joined together the certitude will become The Occultist may remain satisfied, and care for no more. A N Archaic Manuscript — a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific 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 to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before the re-awakening of still slumbering Energy, the emanation of the Word in later systems. The point in the hitherto immaculate Disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya, denotes the dawn of differentiation.
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 incognisable PRESENCE , and its plane, the Universal Soul, although the two are one. Only the face of the Disk being white and the ground all around black, shows clearly that its plane is the only knowledge, dim and hazy though it still is, that is attainable by man.
The "Unconscious," according to von Hartmann, arrived at the vast creative, or rather Evolutionary Plan, "by a clairvoyant wisdom superior to all consciousness," which in the Vedantic language would mean absolute Wisdom. Only those who realize how far Intuition soars above the tardy processes of ratiocinative thought can form the faintest conception of that absolute Wisdom which transcends the ideas of Time and Space. Mind, as we know it, is resolvable into states of consciousness, of varying duration, intensity, complexity, etc. Sensation, again, necessarily postulates limitation.
The personal God of orthodox Theism perceives, thinks, and is affected by emotion; he repents and feels "fierce anger. The conceptions of a Personal God as changeless and infinite are thus unpsychological and, what is worse, unphilosophical. 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.
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.
Leucippus, the instructor of Democritus, maintained that Space was filled eternally with atoms actuated by a ceaseless motion, the latter generating in due course of time, when those atoms aggregated, rotatory motion, through mutual collisions producing lateral movements.
Epicurus and Lucretius taught the same, only adding 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 in, the unrevealed Deity was recognized and considered under its only philosophical aspect — universal motion, the thrill of the creative Breath in Nature.
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Occultism sums up the "One Existence" thus: It is only with reference to the intra-cosmic soul, the ideal Kosmos in the immutable Divine Thought, that we may say: A few years ago only, it was stated that: The latter is either "awake" or "asleep. Is it a substance? Then you are believers in a Personal God? This will be answered farther on, in the Addendum to this Book; meanwhile, we claim our rights of Conceptionalists as against Roscelini's materialistic views of Realism and Nominalism. See " Science and the Emotions. The former will allow of no other God than the personified secondary powers which have worked out the visible universe, and which became with them the anthropomorphic God of the Christians — the male Jehovah, roaring amid thunder and lightning.
If we take a one-sided view of the philosophy of the latter, our materialists may be right in their own way. The Buddhists maintained 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. 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. This passage will be explained, as far as it is possible, in the present work.
Though, as it now stands, it contains nothing new to the Orientalist, its esoteric interpretation may contain a good deal which has hitherto remained entirely unknown to the Western student. The first illustration being a plain disc the second one in the Archaic symbol shows , a disc with a point in it — the first differentiation in the periodical manifestations of the ever-eternal nature, sexless and infinite "Aditi in THAT " Rig Veda , the point in the disc, or potential Space within abstract Space.
In its third stage the point is transformed into a diameter, thus It now symbolises a divine immaculate Mother-Nature within the all-embracing absolute Infinitude. When the diameter line is crossed by a vertical one , it becomes the mundane cross. Humanity has reached its third root-race; it is the sign for the origin of human life to begin. When the circumference disappears and leaves only the it is a sign that the fall of man into matter is accomplished, and the FOURTH race begins. The Cross within a circle symbolises pure Pantheism; when the Cross was left uninscribed, it became phallic.
It had the same and yet other meanings as a TAU inscribed within a circle or as a "Thor's hammer," the Jaina cross, so-called, or simply Svastica within a circle. By the third symbol — the circle divided in two by the horizontal line of the diameter — the first manifestation of creative still passive, because feminine Nature was meant. 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 the male. Nature is therefore feminine, and, to a degree, objective and tangible, and the spirit Principle which fructifies it is concealed. It was the glyph of the third root-race to the day of its symbolical Fall — i.
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 Advaitee 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 Parabrahmam of the Hindus 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. Parabrahm is not "God," because It is not a God.
Parabrahm is simply, as a "Secondless Reality," the all-inclusive Kosmos — or, rather, the infinite Cosmic Space — in the highest spiritual sense, of course. Brahma neuter being the unchanging, pure, free, undecaying supreme Root, "the ONE true Existence, Paramarthika," and the absolute Chit and Chaitanya intelligence, consciousness cannot be a cognize, "for THAT can have no subject of cognition.
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. By certain Kabalistic transformations this name, androgynous in the first chapters of Genesis, becomes in its transformations entirely masculine, Cainite and phallic.
The fact of choosing a deity among the pagan gods and making of it a special national God, to call upon it as the "One living God," the "God of Gods," and then proclaim this worship Monotheistic, does not change it into the ONE Principle whose "Unity admits not of multiplication, change, or form," especially in the case of a priapic deity, as Jehovah now demonstrated to be. 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, but only refuse, very logically, to attribute "creation" and especially formation, something finite to an Infinite Principle.
With them, Parabrahmam 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 as reflected in man's perceptions ; and because Parabrahm, being the "Supreme ALL ," the ever invisible spirit and Soul of Nature, changeless and eternal, can have no attributes; absoluteness very naturally precluding any idea of the finite or conditioned from being connected with it.
And if the Vedantin postulates attributes as belonging simply to its emanation, calling it "Iswara plus Maya," and Avidya Agnosticism and Nescience rather than ignorance , it is difficult to find any Atheism in this conception. Narayana 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. Jacob; as also "The Aphorisms of S'andilya," translated by Cowell, p. For proof of this, see about Major Jacob's "Vedanta Sara.
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 Adwaita Vedantin philosophers as to the above tenet. 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 is like Space — which is its only mental and physical representation on this Earth, or our plane of existence — 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: For the root of one, Brahmam, or Brahm, is derived by some from the word Brih, "to grow" or "to expand" see Calcutta Review, vol.
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. Among many other works recently published, we would recommend one especially to students of theoretical Occultism who would not venture beyond the realm of our special human plane. It is full of esoteric dogmas and philosophy, the latter rather limited, in the concluding chapters, by what seems to be a spirit of conditioned positivism.
Nevertheless, what is said of Space as "the Unknown First Cause," merits quotation. And this incognisability has led to the error of supposing it to be a simple void, a mere receptive capacity. But, even viewed as an absolute void, space must be admitted to be either Self-existent, infinite, and eternal, or to have had a first cause outside, behind, and beyond itself. This is precisely what has been done by the believers in an anthropomorphic Creator, an extracosmic, instead of an intracosmic God. Many — most of Mr. Pratt's subjects, we may say — are old Kabalistic ideas and theories which he presents in quite a new garb: Still they are expressed very philosophically, and under many unusual aspects, in the work referred to.
The oldest religions of the world — exoterically, for the esoteric root or foundation is one — are the Indian, the Mazdean, and the Egyptian. Matter is dual in religious metaphysics, and septenary in esoteric teachings, like everything else in the universe. As Mulaprakriti, it is undifferentiated and eternal; as Vyakta, it becomes differentiated and conditioned, according to Svetasvatara Upanishad , I.
Of course this Mulaprakriti is material to it, as any material object is material to us. Parabrahmam is an unconditioned and absolute reality, and Mulaprakriti is a sort of veil thrown over it. 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 have 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 certainly now the better of their traditional persecutors. The above-named exoteric creeds will be explained in the light of the Universal doctrine as we proceed with it. The Occult Catechism contains the following questions and answers: That which ever is is one, that which ever was is one, that which is ever being and becoming is also one: Light in darkness and darkness in light: The expression, therefore, "it proceeds from without inwardly, etc.
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, Manwantara and Pralaya. The Germ is invisible and fiery; the Root the plane of the circle is cool; but during Evolution and Manwantara 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.
For clearer understanding on the part of the general reader, it must be stated that Occult Science recognizes Seven Cosmical Elements — four entirely physical, and the fifth Ether semi-material, as it 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.
These latter will, however, appear as presentments during the 6th and 7th Races of this Round, and will become known in the 6th and 7th Rounds respectively. Herbert Spencer read and studied ancient Hindu philosophers when he wrote a certain passage in his "First Principles" p.
Apparently, the universally co-existent forces of attraction and repulsion which, as we have seen, necessitate rhythm in all minor changes throughout the Universe, also necessitate rhythm in the totality of its changes — produce now an immeasurable period during which the attracting forces predominating, cause universal concentration, and then an immeasurable period, during which the repulsive forces predominating, cause universal diffusion — alternate eras of Evolution and dissolution.
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," Hypoth, The reader has to bear in mind that the Stanzas given treat only of the Cosmogony of our own planetary System and 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 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 Dhyani-Chohans have ever penetrated the mysteries beyond those boundaries that separate the milliards of Solar systems from the "Central Sun," as it is called. 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, and 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 them first, before entering on the perusal of the work itself. In the former condition it is called the Sub-Root; and in conjunction with radiant heat, it recalls "dead worlds to life. The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions: It is beyond the range and reach of thought — in the words of Mandukya, "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 "Be-ness" rather than Being in Sanskrit, Sat , and is beyond all thought or speculation. This "Be-ness" is symbolised 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 symbolises change, its essential characteristic. This latter aspect of the one Reality, is also symbolised by the term "The Great Breath," a symbol sufficiently graphic to need no further elucidation. It may, however, assist the student if a few further explanations are given here.
The "first" cannot be the absolute , for it is a manifestation. This advance on his part brings him very near to the esoteric and Vedantin tenet. 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 facets or aspects of the Absolute Parabrahm , 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 precosmic 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, precosmic root-substance Mulaprakriti 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. Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance 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 the 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. Thus from Spirit, or Cosmic Ideation, comes our consciousness; from Cosmic Substance the several vehicles in which that consciousness is individualised 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. The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, unmanifested Logos, the precursor of the "manifested. 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 the "sparks of Eternity. It is the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an indivisible part of the integral whole — the Universal Spirit, from which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end of the cycle.
When it is said to emanate from the one spirit, an awkward and incorrect expression has to be used, for lack of appropriate words in English. The Vedantins call it Sutratma Thread-Soul , but their explanation, too, differs somewhat from that of the occultists; to explain which difference, however, is left to the Vedantins themselves.
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: 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 Dhyani-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 reincarnations. 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 of Parabrahmam and Mulaprakriti 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.
Space is called the "Mother" before its Cosmic activity, and Father-Mother at the first stage of re-awakening. See Comments, Stanza II.
In the Kabala it is also Father-Mother-Son. But whereas in the Eastern doctrine, these are the Seventh Principle of the manifested Universe, or its "Atma-Buddhi-Manas" Spirit, Soul, Intelligence , the triad branching off and dividing into the seven cosmical and seven human principles, in the Western Kabala 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 Sankara — the three hypostases of the manifesting "Spirit of the Supreme Spirit" by which title Prithivi — the Earth — greets Vishnu in his first Avatar — are the purely metaphysical abstract qualities of formation, preservation, and destruction, and are the three divine Avasthas lit.
The latter, in Occultism, is the abstract Triangle; with the orthodox, the perfect Cube. The creative god or the aggregate gods are regarded by the Eastern philosopher as Bhrantidarsanatah — " false apprehension," 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.
Spirit, O twice born, is the leading aspect of the Supreme Brahma. At this stage of the re-awakening of the Universe, the sacred symbolism represents it as a perfect Circle with the root point in the Centre. This sign was universal, therefore we find it in the Kabala also. The Western Kabala, 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 show as the symbol of pregenetic Kosmos this sign , calling it "the Union of the Rose and Cross," the great mystery of occult generation, from whence the name — Rosicrucians Rose Cross!
As may be judged, however, from the most important, as the best known of the Rosicrucians' symbols, there is one which has never been hitherto understood even by modern mystics. 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 realised 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 even grasp the nature of 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: The seven Stanzas given in this volume represent the seven terms of this abstract formula. A moment's thought shows that such a state can only be symbolised; to describe it is impossible. Nor can it be symbolised except in negatives; 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.
The stage described in Stanza II. 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. 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.
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 Dhyan Chohans, though each of the various groups has its own designation in the Secret Doctrine. This stage of evolution is spoken of in Hindu mythology as the "Creation" of the Gods.
That nebula condenses, and after passing through various transformations, forms a Solar Universe, a planetary chain, or a single planet, as the case may be. The subsequent stages in the formation of a "World" are indicated in Stanza VI. 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.
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 the few higher 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 those cannot be avoided, in preference to giving the originals. The more so as the said terms are all accepted synonyms, the former only being used between a Master and his chelas 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, Verse I would read as follows: 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 explained in their meanings, 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 later 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 post- Mahabharatan 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 which follows as a fairy tale, if he likes; at best as one of the yet unproven speculations of. It is not in any sense worse 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 given in the usual way, while the sentences to be commented upon are marked with figures.
Was it the water's fathomless abyss? Who knows the secret? Whence, whence this manifold creation sprang? Ere the foundations of the earth were laid,. In Seven Stanzas translated from the Book of Dzyan. It was thought best to give them in English. The old text of this verse, having names entirely unknown to the Orientalists would give no clue to the student.
Thus ends this portion of the archaic narrative, dark, confused, almost incomprehensible. 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. It is, as taught in the esoteric catechism, 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 co-eternal and even one with Space in its abstract sense.
Root-nature is also the source of the subtile invisible properties in visible matter. The Hindus call it Mulaprakriti, and say that it is the primordial substance, which is the basis of the Upadhi or vehicle of every phenomenon, whether physical, mental or psychic. The word "Eternity," as understood in Christian theology, has no meaning to the Asiatic ear, except in its application to the ONE existence; nor is. These "Eternities" belong to the most secret calculations, in which, in order to arrive at the true total, every figure must be 7 x 7 to the power of x ; x varying according to the nature of the cycle in the subjective or real world; and every figure or number relating to, or representing all 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. In the Secret Doctrine the figure and number 4 are the male symbol only on the highest plane of abstraction; on the plane of matter the 3 is the masculine and the 4 the female: They "perish" not, but are re-absorbed.
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 that 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 the material form to its disappearance from the 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.
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: 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 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 " U NIVERSAL M IND " remains as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract absolute thought, of which mind is the concrete relative manifestation.
The A H-HI Dhyan-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 themselves acting 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.
They were not, because the Universe was, so far, empty, and existed only in the Divine Thought. It is based upon the great truth that re-incarnation is to be dreaded, as existence in this world only entails upon man 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. Yana, or Vehicle in Sanskrit, Vahan is a mystic expression, both "vehicles" inculcating that man may escape the sufferings of rebirths and even the false bliss of Devachan, by obtaining Wisdom and Knowledge, which alone can dispel the Fruits of Illusion and Ignorance.
Maya 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 color, 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 Dhyan-Chohans, are, in degree, of the nature of shadows cast by a magic lantern on a colourless screen; but all things are relatively real, for the cogniser is also a reflection, and the things cognised are therefore as real to him as himself.
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. As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and 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 when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya.
Light is inconceivable except as coming from some source which is the cause of it; and as, in the instance of primordial light, that source is unknown, though as 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 but of a temporary mayavic character. Nothing is added to darkness to make of it light, or to light to make it darkness, on this our plane.
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. To put it more plainly: In the cosmicophysical 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.
It is the same hierarchy of Archangels to which St. Gabriel, and others belong, in the Christian theogony. Michael, for instance, is allowed in dogmatic Latin theology to watch over all the promontories and gulfs, in the Esoteric System, the Dhyanis watch successively over one of the Rounds and the great Root-races of our planetary chain. They are, moreover, said to send their Bhodisatvas, the human correspondents of the Dhyani-Buddhas of whom vide infra 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 only had four Buddhas, so far.
This is a very complicated question, and will receive more ample treatment later on. 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. In Tibetan it is called Yong-Grub. It is only a true Idealist who can understand it.
Everything has to be viewed as ideal, with the exception of Paranirvana, 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. 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 being 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 aspects 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.
The three periods — the Present, the Past, and the Future — are in the 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: 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 Maya 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. 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, 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 they underlie the secondary and subordinate powers of Nature, which, anthropomorphized, have been 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.
See further, sloka No. 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 cause of physical concretions.
These abstractions become more and more concrete as they approach our plane of existence, until finally they phenomenalise 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 the water frozen into ice.
An unborn infant, could it think in our acceptation of that term, would necessarily limit its conception of being, in a similar manner, to the intrauterine 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. 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.
But 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 Maya which 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 in which no Maya can have any influence.
It is here that the teachings of esoteric philosophy in relation to the Nidanas and the Four Truths become of the greatest importance; but they are secret. 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 Prabhavapyaya, "the place, or rather plane, whence emerges the origination, and into which is the resolution of all things," says a commentator. His "opened eye" is the inner spiritual eye of the seer, and the faculty which manifests through it is not clairvoyance as ordinarily understood, i. This faculty is intimately connected with the "third eye," which mythological tradition ascribes to certain races of men.
Fuller explanations will be found in Book II. In each of these states a different portion of the mind comes into action; or as a Vedantin 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 mesmerised 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.
This is what he taught his audience, on June the 4th, , in his annual address before the Victoria Institute of Great Britain: It had no occult, no esoteric system of doctrine. When Gautama Buddha began his career, the later and lower form of Yoga seems to have been little known.
But the lecturer seems quite unaware that this kind of torture and self-maceration is precisely the lower form of Yoga, Hatha Yoga, which was "little known" and yet so " common " in Gautama's time. We labour under the impression that Colebrooke, "the highest authority" in such matters, had long ago settled the question by showing, that "the Hindus were in this instance the teachers, not the learners.
Alaya is literally the "Soul of the World" or Anima Mundi, the "Over-Soul" of Emerson, and according to esoteric teaching it changes periodically its nature. Alaya, though eternal and changeless in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men or Cosmic Gods Dhyani Buddhas , alters during the active life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included. During that time not only the Dhyani-Buddhas are one with Alaya in Soul and Essence, but even the man strong in the Yoga mystic meditation "is able to merge his soul with it" Aryasanga, the Bumapa school.
This is not Nirvana, but a condition next to it. Parikalpita and Paratantra are his two great enemies" Aphorisms of the Bodhisattvas. Parikalpita in Tibetan Kun-ttag is error, made by those unable to realize the emptiness and illusionary nature of all; who believe something to exist which does not — e.
The opposite of this absolute reality, or actuality, is Samvritisatya — the relative truth only — "Samvriti" meaning "false conception" and being the origin of illusion, Maya; in Tibetan Kundzabchi-denpa, "illusion-creating appearance. Paratantra is that, whatever it is, which exists only through a dependent or causal connexion, and which has to disappear as soon as the cause from which it proceeds is removed — e. 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 existence," manifesting in what is called matter; or, as in man, what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter. 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 motive and attitude with which we approach the book is of vital importance, as also is the fact that we stand no chance of clearly comprehending and fully appreciating its invaluable teachings as long as we attempt to read it through the lens and filter of other teachings. Leadbeater, and Annie Besant. The differences between genuine Theosophy and pseudo-Theosophy are manifold and irreconcilable and have been explored and demonstrated at some length in other articles on this site.
More has been said about this in the article titled How to successfully study the Teachings of H. For example, halfway through the Proem, HPB tells us that:. These basic ideas are few in number, and 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 them first, before entering on the perusal of the work itself.
They can be found expressed from pages 14 to 20 of the book but here we can attempt to give a brief overview and explanation. It is unmanifested and unmanifestable but is the Source from which everything comes. It IS all and IN all. On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity … On the other, absolute Abstract Motion representing Unconditioned Consciousness. This is the teaching, well known in Hinduism, that the Universe appears and disappears on a cyclic basis and also that within one of its periods of appearance there are numerous periodical disappearances and reappearances of some of its lesser contents, such as galaxies, solar systems, and planets.
This cyclic appearance and disappearance of the Universe and everything in it is all according to the universal law of reincarnation, which is really the law of evolution. A period of appearance, manifestation, and activity, is known as a manvantara and a period of disappearance, dissolution, and inactivity is called pralaya. 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. 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.
This simply means that all life is perfectly and purely divine and that in our innermost spiritual being we are completely, totally, and utterly ONE with the Divine. It is the case that each divine spark, each one of us, is on an indescribably lengthy journey, a pilgrimage truly, through the cycle of incarnation birth, death, and rebirth and that this cycle or journey is governed by the Law of Karma, which is the law of self-created destiny. It is man who plans and creates causes, and Karmic law adjusts the effects; which adjustment is not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position, like a bough, which, bent down too forcibly, rebounds with corresponding vigour.
No theory or concept other than this will satisfy such intelligent and analytical thinkers. It is in fact more than a theory or a concept; it is a universally present and ever active LAW and it cannot be denied. For those who can — and it is almost definite than anyone who has bothered to read to this point in the article has the ability to do so — the rest of the book will be much more comprehensible and inspiring.
Once that the reader has gained a clear comprehension of them and realised 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. There is nothing which is actually inconsequential or outdated in the writings of HPB, as those who have studied them in the form that she originally wrote them will unhesitatingly affirm.
All of it is still very relevant today and some of it even moreso than when originally written. These are available at more or less the same price as one another, the only real difference between the two being that the Theosophy Company edition contains both volumes bound together in one big book while the Theosophical University Press edition publishes them as two separate books but which are sold together.
Blavatsky, as has been shown in part in the article Praise for H. The Secret Doctrine is a book to be read and studied, not only to be referred to. It is a book by which the student can and should evaluate other teachings, but he should not use it to amplify or advertise the views and opinions of other books. Then, it has been said that The Secret Doctrine is too profound, too deep, too complex and intricate a book to be read and studied by the ordinary man.
The alarm thus caused is false. Let not the student be glamoured or daunted either by the false estimate of the book, or by the false sense of alarm roused. Blavatsky is in fact nothing of the sort. Click here to learn more about this.