The LOGOS is said to be born only metaphorically, as the Sun is born daily, or rather a beam of that Sun is born in the morning and is said to die when it disappears, whereas it is simply reabsorbed into the parent essence. Cosmic PRALAYA is for things visible, not for the ARUPA, formless, world. The Cosmic or Universal PRALAYA comes only at the end of one hundred years of Brahma, when the Universal dissolution is said to take place.
H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, page 69 fn.
By B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 257-59.]
The Will to live is a most tenacious power and manifests as the Lust for Living, then as the Love of Life, and then as the Love of Life Immortal. The great Buddha said that Tanha, the unquenchable thirst to live, by the way of the senses, and by the way of the mind, was a curse. Love for life created the fear of death. The great teaching is given:
Kill love of life; but if thou slayest Tanha, let this not be for thirst of life eternal but to replace the fleeting by the everlasting.
Desire nothing. Chafe not at Karma, nor at Nature's changeless laws. But struggle only with the personal, the transitory, the evanescent, and the perishable.
Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.
Man has debased the love of life into the lust for living. This is more due to false knowledge than ignorance. Most suffer from the lust for living. There is a struggle. While man craves to satisfy the flesh, the Native Soul, awake in the innermost recesses of his being, whispers, insists, when disregarded torments and when submerged afflicts the carnal nature. Evil and wickedness of sensuous life cause pain, decay, and death.
The passage from the life of greed, lust, and selfishness to the True, the Good, and the Beautiful is forced upon man by the God of Suffering, a servant of Yama, the God of Death and therefore of Renewal.
The man who passes from selfishness and evil to the good life experiences a clear perception of past errors and blunders. Committed unconsciously and in ignorance, these appear not as mistakes but as crimes and sins. He repents, but he repents in ignorance, or, because he has only false knowledge, repents in a wrong manner. The lust for living takes its revenge on him. It tempts him to his fall. He does impulsively what he did not mean to do. In its turn, this activates his conscience, which sometimes assumes an exaggerated tone that confuses and torments him. This is the stage of transition. Often it is long, lasting for years.
If ignorance and false knowledge create sin, ignorance of the modus operandi of the Law of Karma prolongs the period of Repentance that leads to permanent cure. The period is shortened by the blessed knowledge of Karma, which is just, and infallibly so, but which also is merciful, inasmuch as it shows us how to wipe out the evil effects of past misdemeanors and even of felonies.
This important theme is the basis of the remarkable new novel of Sholem Asch. He deals with the important psychological problem of sin and repentance in A PASSAGE IN THE NIGHT. The Voice of Conscience neglected in the committing of blunders exaggerates to the point of inducing morbidity and melancholia.
We draw the reader's attention to this novel. Below we quote a few sentences to attract him to self-examination. Unconsciously to himself, is he gliding into the sphere of sin? Aware of his past blunders, is he repenting in the wrong way? What is right repentance?
Says Sholem Asch:
Like you, I had to start earning my living early, and like every one of us, I encountered temptations and pitfalls. Well, I did certain things that I would certainly not do today. And yet, I don't let them tower up and overshadow my life.
Human beings like to torment themselves in order to appease their conscience. Man's conscience has an enormous appetite; give it a finger, it will swallow a hand.
Certainly one must repent, and determine not to sin again; but one must repent and dismiss the matter.
With your concentration on your sin, you sin greatly against God.
A man must not speak evil even of himself.
Sholem Asch does not give final or complete answers. His prescription will lead to that Soul-Discipline which the Sages of the Orient have always taught and teach today.
Do not believe that one can ever kill out lust by gratifying or satiating it. This is an abomination inspired by Mara. It is by feeding vice that it expands and waxes strong, like to the worm that fattens on the blossom's heart.
Kill in thyself all memory of past experiences. Look not behind or thou art lost.
By G. de Purucker
[From FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, pages 536-37.]
The human beings above us, I mean those who are the chelas of the Teachers, and the Teachers themselves, and the Teachers of the Teachers, are each one respectively a stage nearer than the preceding class to that Divine, a degree or a step higher in the Buddhic Hierarchy, in the Hierarchy of Compassion, of which we have so often spoken before in these meetings under the Teacher's direction.
Let us recollect that we are the outmost rank or ring of that Buddhic Hierarchy of Compassion, and it depends upon each one of us, not only upon the life that we live, but upon the ideas that we hold enshrined in our minds and in our hearts, to how great a degree we may become faithful transmitters and manifesters of the divine streams from that supernal source.
When we can transmit these in their native crystalline purity, when our minds become transmitters so limpid and clear, so high in their aspirations and so unadulterated in their natures that we can consciously receive and pass on these life-giving streams, the streams of understanding from the fountain of the Universal Life, then indeed we are saviors of men, saviors of our fellows; and this is the goal to which our Teachers call us.
This is the end and purpose of our meetings here in this our Temple of Peace in esoteric conclave, in order that, heart to heart and mind to mind, we may draw closer together in bonds of more strict and more stringent fraternal union, not merely welcoming with arms outstretched and with the ancient kiss of brotherhood the newcomers into our ranks, but by giving them an example of what we have had the opportunity ourselves to obtain.
Thus are we exemplars of the lessons we have learned here and through our aspirations and meditations in private; and thereby we begin that noblest of duties, the saving of our fellows through our own individual subordination to the laws of our Order and Universal Brotherhood.
For after all, is not this aim the one which the Teachers have told us is the lifework of themselves, and should be the lifework of us at the present time, their chelas farthest from them? It is. In some countries they speak of a Christ; in other countries they speak of a Buddha; elsewhere they speak of one who has found the Way, the Path, who has found Tao. And in each case the reference is to one who has so completely subordinated his individuality to the universe that he thereby becomes the faithful transmitter of the spiritual life of which we have spoken.
All these various names and titles mean the same thing. What is this meaning? It is that the mind and the heart, the understanding and the consciousness, and therefore the example and the life, are all at one, all in unity working along the same pathway leading to the sublime goal at which we have hinted; and this life so led brings not only to the heart of each one of us a peace and a joy which pass all ordinary human understanding, but it likewise enables us to give that peace and that joy to others.
It is through and by the lessons that we learn in our daily life that come to us the opportunities of setting our feet upon this pathway. As all of us know, who have been many years in the work of the Theosophical Movement, under our three Teachers, H.P. Blavatsky, and W.Q. Judge, and Katherine Tingley, the noblest aim that we can have is to fit ourselves for this lifework.
Now, how is it done? Is it by looking for mere mysteries and for weird tests and expected trials? What kind of a test or trial should such be, at a time when one is wrought up to a pitch of exaltation and high expectation so that in a certain sense he is temporarily abnormal and therefore has a transitory, but nevertheless an abnormal strength to meet such tests or trials?
Such would hardly be tests or trials at all and hence would be of very little profit and very little worth. The testing comes in the affairs of life that concern us daily, in the duties which we perform faithfully or perhaps unfaithfully, in never leaving the ranks for personal or selfish purposes; for here we are tested in every part of our being, and at every moment, and in the most unexpected and most unforeseen places, and at the most unexpected and most unforeseen times.
By Rick Nurrie-Stearns
[This article first appeared on PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION magazine's web site. For more information see:
The author is a long-time student of Theosophy and past publisher of that magazine. He is also the editor of the book SOULFUL LIVING and had published the magazines THEOSOPHICAL NETWORK and LOTUS: JOURNAL FOR PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION.]
NOTES FROM MY JOURNAL (Written almost three years after the initial experience.)
When the energy rose in my body that night, it changed the shape of my skull. Along the sagittal suture, a ridge formed in the skull bone from the crown to the forehead. In the first several months when I would sit in meditation, the skull would soften and feel somewhat pliable like a young baby's head. The bone of the skull would change shape with the ebb and flow of the energy.
I encountered my folks on my way to work one day. I mentioned my experience of bliss and my skull changing shape. They looked at me convinced I must have something serious wrong like a brain tumor, thinking bliss abnormal. They convinced my wife, Mary, that I should see a doctor.
After several days of nagging conversation, I agreed to see a doctor just to settle their concerns and to clear up any thought that that there maybe something physically wrong.
The doctor ordered a MRI and X-ray. Both showed no sign of dysfunction. The nurse at the X-ray lab was most helpful in commenting, "Honey, you are probably not going to find any answers here."
Later, I found that acupuncture helped my body adjust to the increased energy level. Physical labor and nature walks also helped greatly.
Some days after the experience, I went through a period where I grieved the death of what I was, the life that was lost. It was as if I was grieving the death of a close friend, myself. The grieving also felt rather odd as at the same time I was filled with joy.
Being the Road
Several days after the experience, I gathered up my courage to drive into town to pick up mail at our local post office. Driving a car with heightened awareness was a challenge. I found my being aware of many things at the same time demanding. It taxed my ability to drive.
Usually when I drive, I let go of awareness of certain functions and operate more mechanically. That morning, everything stayed present in my awareness. When something came into awareness, it remained there.
When I got in the car, I felt the skin on my back touching the shirt and seatback. I felt the sock on my foot as I pressed my shoe against the gas. Driving off, I watched the speedometer, at the same time, I felt my foot upon the gas pedal while keeping in the proper lane, looking for traffic, and keeping in mind where I was going.
I remained conscious of each additional ongoing experience, all experienced simultaneously. It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky. I listened to the air as it passed by the open window and felt the sun on my arm. Going 45 miles an hour was the best that I could manage. There was so much to take in. Thankfully, there were few cars on the road that day.
As I drove, everything became immediate. It all moved by as if I were viewing many more frames per second than normal. I particularly noticed the road ahead of me as I drove. I observed the texture and color of the road, seeing how the light made the asphalt shine a little.
While taking the whole driving experience in, I noticed cracks in the road ahead. They formed a dimpled indentation, the beginnings of a pothole. As I noticed them, I suddenly became one with the road, loosing all awareness of everything else. There was only road.
A moment later, I startled myself, remembering that I was driving the car. Instantly, my consciousness snapped back to being in the car and driving it.
The continuation of my car trip that morning was fraught with tension as I fought to steady my awareness so I would not drift into oneness with something else and crash.
Merging with the infinite had the definite experience of burning away karma. Afterwards, the old desires, dislikes, and obsessions no longer had impact on me. I found that they only affected me if I consciously invested energy into them.
Some weeks after my awakening in my enthusiasm, I spoke with family and friends about the experience. I quickly learned how strong the tendency is in our society to make spiritual experiences pathological. This seemed especially true when I spoke to them about the experience of "no-self."
I was dumfounded by their reaction at first. What I experienced was vastly more real and fulfilling than what I had previously known in life. Yet, I was met with the look that there must be something wrong with me, the look of disbelief.
Personally, I understand this doubt. In the past, I utilized skepticism in my work as publisher. I read hundreds of stories of personal transformation. Many sounded more like the individuals had a mental breakdown than as though they had experienced a breakthrough.
After the initial couple of months a friend, well-versed in both eastern philosophy and western psychology, told me a Chinese proverb. He said, "The difference between a wise man and a fool is the wise man knows when to speak and when not to." After hearing the proverb, I was more discreet about whom I spoke with about my experience.
A month or two after my awakening, I discovered that I had developed a morose persona to hide my buoyant joy and experience of bliss. In masking my joy, I attempted to sidestep the reaction of friends and family, whom saw it as pathological. Being depressed or down is more accepted in society than being light and buoyant.
I discovered that I had developed this persona one morning when I was feeling completely distressed. I was behind in my publication schedule and I had been unable to accomplish my work. I sat down to think over my situation and worded my discomfort back to myself. "I am distressed because I am completely overwhelmed with joy and bliss and unable to work." As I worded it out aloud it sounded so absurd that I burst out laughing at my biggest complaint in life!
Joy and Bliss
It took time to relax into experiencing the increased energy, joy, and bliss. As before, I had been content with less. After the opening, I realized how many strategies I developed to lower my energy level. In the past when my energy would start to go up, I would eat, sleep, have sex, do physically demanding work, stay up late, work longer, take hot showers, get moody, worry, read, watch TV, etc.
It has been three years since the awakening and I have been in near constant experience of bliss. In the first year after the awakening, the bliss energy completely blew me away. At times, it still washes me away. The experience of the energy washing me away has significantly reduced. Now I can stay present with it and not identify as much with the duality. (That is duality in the sense that there is someone having an experience).
For the first two years after the awakening, the bliss energy was most challenging to experience during times of extreme physical pain, like when I hit my finger with a sledgehammer accidentally. Over the last year, my experience has changed. I now experience both bliss and pain at the same time. I found it is a matter of where the attention resides. I admit the pain I experienced was not of the magnitude of having my leg cut off or of someone nailing me to a cross. I sense there is still much to integrate here.
It was several months after the experience before I was able to read again comfortably. During those early months, written material was exceedingly difficult to decipher. At work, it was taking me an hour to write a sentence. It took me less time to read but still it was difficult to use that part of my brain.
When able to read again, I spent a considerable amount of time studying books on consciousness and enlightenment in an effort to understand my experience further. I also contacted several spiritual teachers and authors for feedback.
The driving force for my search was to find out what to do. I felt as if I had one foot in the mundane world and one in the spiritual but that I was not fully in either. Even though part of me knew everything was ok, another part felt shattered. I also had an intellectual curiosity and need to name, understand, and verify what it was I had experienced.
Being a publisher was a great help in contacting spiritual teachers. Over the years, I had been in contact with several as I published their works. The spiritual teacher that I felt most connection to was from the Zen tradition. I felt immensely helped by his ability to mirror back my state of consciousness and to verify and confirm my experience of enlightenment.
In eastern spiritual terms, the experience of consciousness without an object or subject is nirvikalpa-samadhi, meaning enlightenment or nirvana.
By Madame Camille Lemaitre
[From a section entitled "Theosophical Activities" in the January 15, 1889 issue of LUCIFER, pages 429-435. H.P. Blavatsky and Mabel Collins co-edited the magazine.]
With our present social organizations, say ten men die of hunger. That is a trifle, for which the law of retribution will exact payment from the organizers and leaders of men and society. That does not prevent the globe's rolling on. What is of real serious importance and a hindrance to the march of evolution is that, through the faults of men calling himself or herself friends of humanity, SOULS should wither and die from want or insufficiency of nourishment.
Is it surprising that our world should advance so slowly? What numbers of motive powers are unused, what numbers of beneficent forces are left inactive from want of a fulcrum, from want of one true datum which could serve as the starting point for a whole series of actions that would strengthen the great movement of regeneration.
I repeatedly begged the "Isis Branch" to work in this direction, to print, for instance, the Abbe Roca's articles and your luminous and crushing replies. Nothing is better calculated to strike the mind of the French people and to assist it to find its orientation than the work you have there done.
Reference here is made to the late Isis, the Branch of the Theosophical Society in Paris, and a controversy in the LOTUS between the Abbe Roca and one of the Editors of LUCIFER.
-- Editor of LUCIFER
The same remark applies to the letter published in LUCIFER to the Primate of England. I should like to see it translated into all languages and distributed in millions in all Catholic and Protestant countries. Again, the same is true for THEOSOPHY OR JESUITISM, which I translated for the LOTUS. How much good could we already have done? So little concerned with propaganda has "Isis" been that it has twice returned the subscriptions sent by my husband and me. Thus, though we cannot accurse "Isis" of having done nothing and kept the money, yet the last thing its staff cared to do was to spread Theosophy broadcast.
What numbers of things might be used for the masses! Always on our system of spreading on all sides the glad tidings, how much might be taken from ESOTERIC BUDDHISM and MAGIC: WHITE AND BLACK. The most fruitful source to draw from will be THE SECRET DOCTRINE. For its spread, when translated, we regret that ESOTERIC BUDDHISM has not been published. For France, its translation would have aided the spread of the Theosophical movement far more than that of the OCCULT WORLD. Such was Dramard's opinion.
ESOTERIC BUDDHISM, its incompleteness notwithstanding, gives a far better general idea of the Doctrine. All are of the same opinion. It is necessary for our country to prepare the way for THE SECRET DOCTRINE, which throws light on just those points left in the shadow by ESOTERIC BUDDHISM, and amplifies its explanations by the way in which it states the truth.
Let us return to our idea of propaganda, which I want to explain to you thoroughly. I feel disgusted when I see that the "Salvation Army" manages, penny by penny, to draw millions into its coffers. It uses these millions to distribute bad tea, rancid cakes, and poisonous doctrines, while sincere Theosophists cannot manage to quit their own narrow circle and spread everywhere the flood of saving truths, which they have received for some time past.
To accomplish anything, we must understand each other. Should that be so impossible among co-thinkers who preach only UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD? Each should give financially, intellectually, morally, and spiritually according to his means. An annual subscription is a good thing, apart from the donations that those favored by fortune can give. This is always on condition, however, that for their few pounds the latter do not imagine that they have the right to hamper everything by their narrow views, their timid spirit, and their faint-hearted, mean-spirited, and cowardly character.
Do not even disdain the poor man's farthing. On the contrary, a great step will be made when "the widow" will have understood that she can do no more useful work for Humanity than to give her mite towards relieving the great burden of ignorance under which that poor humanity is dying, whether clad in silken vesture or in rags, marching under the banners of Religion, of Science, Politics, and Society.
I say all this to you and you know it better than anyone does since you are the mouthpiece of the Teachers who keep on repeating it in their letters and writings. I only speak to you thus at length of this mode of organization, which belongs to the entirely practical domain, because such an organization tends to beget consequences on the "spiritual plane."
I have one word more on this subject. Francois de Salles, terrified at the progress of the Reformation, was seeking every means to combat it. In his letters to the ecclesiastics and bishops among his friends, he used to say, "Let us write Catholic novels," and they wrote Catholic novels, and these novels were in everybody's hands. They never ceased appearing except during the First Republic. After that had been crushed by Napoleon I, a revival of this kind of literature occurred, which became a regular avalanche after Napoleon III had crushed, in his turn, the Second Republic.
These books are everywhere today. They are in the libraries for children and women. They form the basis of the communal libraries and are still given as prizes in secondary schools. Thus in spite of Voltaire and the free thinkers, or those who think themselves so, "Francois" always wins the battle and Catholicism still possesses, as in the past, the heart of the woman. Through her, it holds the child and is master of the man, however emancipated he may fancy himself.
It is true that those who destroyed had nothing to put in its place. The soul's aspirations are no empty word. "Give us our daily bread," is a prayer uttered with constancy worthy of a better fate by these poor starving ones. "Give us our daily bread," cry in the desert of life those who know not that this bread is not something to give but must be earned, and that it is in ourselves.
Poor humanity repeats on every note, "Give us our daily bread." Some address themselves to the ministers of their religion, others to the leading lights of science; these to the philosophers, those to the politicians; these to the sociologists, who are no better off, those to any charlatan who claims TO KNOW.
Theosophy answers all desires and can fulfill all aspirations. All these needy ones are ignorant of the existence of this wisdom of wisdoms. It alone can restore strength, health, physical, and moral peace to all these troubled, excited beings, exhausted by centuries of political, economic, and religious despotism. It alone can show to each man that he himself is the way, and that in him alone are the truth and the life.
Let us then write Theosophical novels for the masses; i.e., novels in which, leaving aside the transcendental part of occultism, we seek only to express and to render intelligible by the action of the heroes the lofty meaning of its saving morality. We thus inculcate into men's hearts its all-embracing principles.
Let us write Theosophical novels, and if we know how, as Moleschott says, always to respect the law of cause and effect in the actions, the words, even the thoughts of the people we introduce, those novels will be interesting as well as instructive. The men will read them with pleasure, pleased by their independent and manly tone. They will charm and move the women by the sentiments they express and by their healthy psychism. They will appeal to the children by their simplicity, straightforwardness, and truth.
Is there anything we cannot do in this direction with the help of the light that the esoteric doctrine throws upon man, the worlds, life, and evolution in general? In the great humanitarian work, each has his lot. The task given to me, to my Highest Self, is to work thus, however difficult it may be. I throw my whole heart into it, knowing that all that a man wills that he can do.
A little will is my only possession. With this little, I work ceaselessly to learn so that I may be able to do things. This is so I may be able to start as many Egos as possible upon the path of final spiritual growth. By this reckoning, all healthy books, which quicken good feelings in man or assist their development, are books written with this end, even if unintentionally. Tolstoy's Socialist novels, for instance, are thus theosophical novels. The presence or absence of the word itself makes no difference.
I see in the October Number of LUCIFER that some members of the Theosophical Society desire to form "Lodges of Magic." Poor things! What are they thinking of? They waste their time. If the desire to progress on the spiritual plane torments them, let them first render healthy the physical and moral atmosphere in which they live to develop some spiritual faculties. To that end, let them enlighten the whole, let them employ their strength, their intelligence, their need of activity, THEIR MONEY, in pushing a propaganda such as I propose.
They ought to have the means, these people whom the DEVIL TEMPTS by suggesting to them thus to throw themselves haphazard, without training, without preparation, into a path so dangerous, so little trodden. Surely, the daily struggle for a livelihood must be unknown to them. If they have leisure, let them help to teach those who have none. It will be the first step on the road of Initiation.
Adeptship, i.e., knowledge and the power it gives, is what turns the heads of weak mortals and keeps them back from the goal for long. In their haste, full of covetousness and egoism, they completely lose their way.
For this reason in such novels as I suggest, it is not the Adept in his power and glory that I would see represented. I see the Adept unconscious even of being so, in course of preparation. I see the Adept who WILL be, in his toilsome, difficult, impossible, unceasing struggle against himself, against all the evil and opposing wills, against all the elements. He struggles against all the previous causes whose effects he has to destroy by labors of which those of Hercules are only a pale symbol. It is this Adept whom I would have shown in every phase of his arduous ascent to fire men's souls and raise their courage.
What is true is touching. The Initiate or Adept is no myth. The Mahatma simply IS. Edgard Quinet, in his splendid book CREATION, wherein he thinks and has the intuition of so many truths about evolution, states the fact as a self-evident truth, when he says:
A soul that holds straight on to the highest point of human nature is upon the plane of universal nature; it finds the truths upon which the world rests. Before experience has torn them from him, Nature confides her secrets to the great and good man.
Let the Theosophists who want to found a lodge of Magic meditate upon these words, and let them make themselves able to FIND the truths upon which the world is based, and there will be no further danger for them in gratifying their desire.
It is to preserve Theosophists from such dangers that the "Esoteric Section" of the Theosophical Society has been founded. Its PRELIMINARY RULES and Bylaws prove that the way to the acquisition of occult powers and the conquest of the secrets of Nature leads through the Golgotha and the Crucifixion of the personal Self. The selfish and the faint-hearted need not apply.
-- Editor of LUCIFER
By Esme Wynne-Tyson
[From THE ARYAN PATH, June 1951, pages 253-57.]
All reformers throughout the ages, from the first tent-planners to Karl Marx, have looked on everything that man has made and beheld that it was far from good. Whereupon they have labored at blueprints for its betterment, altering here a style of building, there a form of government or a financial system, and imposing these upon their fellowmen by anything from force of argument to bloody revolution. Only a few of their more enlightened critics observe that PLUS CA CHANGE, PLUS C'EST LA MEME CHOSE; while still fewer realize the implications of that observation.
The chief implication being that, fundamentally, nothing has ever been changed by the most revolutionary of social reformers, for the simple reason that they have always merely manipulated effects, trying to put right this and that aspect of a world that is rotten to its foundations. And, until this fact is perceived, until the old foundations are abandoned and new ones established, there will never be an essentially different world; arrows will merely have given place to atom bombs, the Star Chamber to the Gestapo, and the slave galley to the concentration camp. The attitude of mind which made any and all of these things possible remains unchanged by materialistic manipulation, however thorough or widespread this may have been.
It is here that the spiritual seers of the ages have shown themselves to be wiser and more realistic than the reformers; for they have all taught that the world can never be better than the individuals composing it. Every visible detail of civilization is the direct result of the thought and ingenuity of some man. Obviously, then, say the seers, if the world-visible is imperfect, the imperfection lies in that which has projected it, i.e., in the thinking of mankind. Therefore, true reformation cannot be brought about by trying to improve and manipulate the effects, but by purifying, reforming, spiritualizing the cause -- the thought behind the appearance.
And it is always from this point that the greatest Teachers have started. From the Zoroastrian who warned, "Thou should not be too much arranging the world; for the world-arranging man becomes spirit destroying," to Jesus of Nazareth who taught that "the Kingdom of God" (or the rule of universal harmony) "cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, 'Lo here!' or, 'lo there!' for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you," all have realized that there can be a regenerate world only when there is a regenerate man, since the outward is forever a projection of the inward.
But this, the one and only solution to the problem of life, has always been considered altogether too hard a saying for the majority of mankind, whose all-too-frail flesh shrinks from such spiritual purgation; and so, through the constant rejection of the cure, the disease has become worse and more deeply rooted, until, in these days, the crisis has been reached, and mankind must either suffer the purge -- or extinction.
The writer of the first chapter of Genesis postulated a Divine Mason. He saw that if a wholly good Mind projected, or fathered, a creation, that creation must be "very good." This elementary logic seems always to have been taken into account on the highest level of thought, and from this premise has been deduced the conclusion that the visible world, with all its evident imperfections, cannot be the world divinely based.
Unlike the reformers, the Seers have not flattered, or willfully or ignorantly deceived, mankind by saying that everything would be all right if this or that section of it would act differently, or if this or that social reform or financial system could be brought about; they have faced the situation squarely and declared that the thinking and living of mankind as a whole is false and deluded, and is therefore necessarily objectified in a false and delusive environment.
But, although there are sometimes a few converts to this radical point of view, humanity in general has turned in panic from the thought of any essential VOLTE-FACE, and demanded some form of compromise, usually in the shape of the teachings of an established Church which takes the responsibility for salvation upon itself and does not exact a too fundamental reorientation in the lives of its members.
It harps on their frailty and helplessness and evolves theories of vicarious atonement to be gained by the comparatively easy means of loyalty to, and financial support of, the Church organization. And, so deeply rooted is the fear of any radical change of the status quo, that people will endure the greatest possible tyranny and domination of the Church rather than suffer the all-essential purgation. And so we find the Church and priesthood of all creeds standing between the masons and the ideal world that they alone can build; craven masons, they who agree to this "protection" in order to evade their only reason for living!
But there are a great number today, stirred by the terrible pass to which mankind has been brought. They are not willing to suffer this reactionary "protection." The need for building has become too obvious and too urgent, and if they do not glimpse the need for new foundations, they can still insist on new buildings being erected on the old. They can follow the reformers even though they reject the Seers, hence the outbreak of Communism and all other forms of materialistic totalitarianism. At least our modern ideologists see the need of doing SOMETHING about it; but when that something is the wrong thing it only results in confusion worse confounded.
About 400 years B.C., Plato, a great Master-Builder, called for a spiritual Freemasonry to build a world on the lines of his Republic. In detail this Republic was far from being the Ideal State such as would have been conceived by, say, the consecrated Buddhist or Christian; but it had one great merit. Its conceiver clearly stated the way in which it -- or any still higher concept of life -- might be built, or brought into being: by, and in, the consciousness of the individual.
You speak of the city whose foundation we have been describing, which has its being in words; for there is no spot on earth, I imagine, where it exists.
No ... but perhaps it is laid up in Heaven as a pattern for him who wills to see and, seeing, to found a city in himself. Whether it exists anywhere or ever will exist, is no matter. HIS CONDUCT WILL BE AN EXPRESSION OF THE LAWS OF THAT CITY ALONE, AND OF NO OTHER.
Here not only is it clearly shown how the outward and visible world is made by the quality of the inward and invisible man, but the important and startling pronouncement is made that the Ideal State already exists in Heaven; and that it has, therefore, to be realized rather than made.
If Heaven has unfortunate, localized associations in many people's thought, it may convey the idea better to say that, inasmuch as we can conceive of perfection, that perfection already exists if only as an ideal in thought. It has not to be CREATED but brought forth into the visible, as has every idea that has ever been externalized.
It is this that the materialist finds so difficult: a thing exists for him only when he sees it expressed three-dimensionally in some material form. He does not see that before anything -- airplane, church, or atom bomb -- is made visible. It must clearly exist in every detail in thought. Otherwise, it could never be objectified.
This is so in ordinary things and even certain in matters of conduct. No man can be better than his highest concept of good, and therefore until a perfect concept of the Good is maintained in the consciousness of mankind, there can never be a perfect man. And until a perfect world, governed by unerring, divine Mind and influenced by perfect, Good-governed men is mentally conceived, we shall never experience perfection or anything approaching it.
For, owing to the limitations of materiality, the ideal always exceeds the manifestation. The perfect airplane or motor-car remains in theory and, because it does so, there are constantly improved models in manifestation. In precisely the same way, if the conception of the perfect Good and a perfect universe were held in the world-consciousness, the outward manifestation would be a constantly improving world, not an immediately perfect one. But, without that conception, the world, though mechanistically improving, is spiritually degenerating; for, in its capacity for evil-doing, the atom bomb is a degeneration of the arrowhead or the primitive axe, even as Hitler, in the vastness of his evil conceiving, was a degeneration of Julius Cesar.
But, although Plato so clearly indicated the "means," his ends, or his visualized Republic, were not ideal enough to ensure that State depicted as "new heavens and a new earth." Gautama Buddha, who is reputed to have lived a hundred years earlier than Plato, could have provided him with a far more foundational and ideal blueprint. And, 400 years later, there emerged from the Middle East a Way of Thought that was primarily concerned with the founding of a truly Ideal Kingdom.
It began with the statement of a prophet in Israel (known as John the Baptist) that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. "At hand" must certainly mean "available," "ready to be appropriated," to become actual and practical. And this cry was taken up and expanded by one Jesus of Nazareth and his followers. The expansion consisted of the all-important localizing of this Kingdom in the words, "The Kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21.) Not, obviously, within the flesh-and-blood frame, but within the consciousness of man wherein dwells all that we have ever thought or experienced. This was at once the Gospel, or the good tidings, of Christianity, and its challenge.
As a challenge, it is the greatest that has ever been or ever will be given to mankind, for it demands nothing less than the sacrifice, or the crucifixion, of the fleshly man and the putting on of the spiritual concept of man, made in the image and likeness of the Divine Mind. And, to reach this concept, every experience symbolized in the life and actions of Jesus must be ours, individually and collectively. That is the true meaning of the Gospel of the Christ, the Messiah. It is the highest concept of manhood, our salvation from the lower sense of manhood, the carnal or fleshly man, the imperfect concept of man which appears to those deluded by the five deceiving senses.
It is from this transformation or translation that the flesh (which is to be sacrificed or given up) naturally shrinks. That is why homo-sapiens, the man of thought, continues to suffer the tortures of the damned within the limiting straitjacket of carnality.
This is the hard saying that has been taught by all the greatest Seers of the ages, the saying that the churches have watered down to the easy and acceptable demand for the denial of some of the indulgences of the carnal self. They have never taught the true self-denial, which is no less than the complete elimination of the carnal self, the worthless or insignificance person, removing all but the spiritual selfhood of man.
A few mystics have seen the necessity for this. The priests have never come nearer than the futile persecution of the flesh, the denial of the joy and fullness of life (which is the very reverse of true self-denial, since joy belongs essentially to the spiritual concept of man) and the flagellation and ill-treatment of the all too long-suffering fleshly concept of man.
These methods have nothing to do with the True Masonry: the building up in consciousness of a truly regenerate man, and, through him, to found new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.
This is the call to every one of us. This is the "harvest" which always finds laborers "few," but must now be gathered if mankind is to survive. We must all know ourselves as Spiritual Masons; all hold in consciousness the Ideal State ruled by Divine Intelligence and strive to the utmost to be governed in all our actions by the laws of Love. The Ideal State will arise only from the consciousness and labors of regenerate Masons.
By Steven Levey
It is remarkable how children are raised to follow a body of precepts on ethical living because of how conflicting the opinions on what is ethical are in the world. The conflicts are so extreme that they can lead to horribly violent acts. Therefore it is unreasonable for the foundation of a child's rearing to be based on learning the difference between right and wrong. But it is so!
Every culture has a systematic approach to teach its body of precepts under the guise of religion. Children are raised at home, brought up with a religious education designed to insure the ethics are not forgotten. Even if the precepts are remembered in a dead-letter sense, they are still there.
What is right and what is wrong have been impacted to us as children. How then do we have conflict as the norm rather than the seeking of resolution? After thousands of years of human culture, how can an ethical common denominator have eluded us? How so to the extent that we are flying blind as far as protecting ourselves from ourselves?
In the attempt to regulate human affairs politically and socially, there will be times when one culture or group will offend another. All too often, an individual has offended another with huge consequences. Knowing this, we should not wonder at the cause of conflict.
The cause of conflict is obvious. The wonder is that we are too willing to forgo our childhood ethical up-bringing. Granted, children do not face the complicated issues of the adult world. They do not face the same responsibilities and consequences for their decisions. But should we let our facing the adult world change what is right and wrong for us?
Why do we lose our ethical values? It is not because of a change in our sense of what is right and wrong. We are unable to act ethically. Before we explore why, consider the accepted grounds of human behavior. Consider what our culture sees as acceptable behavior.
Most justify their inharmonious actions saying people are naturally driven by base survival instincts. The Orthodox Christian doctrine of original sin gives further power to this view.
From the evolutionist perspective, there is a violent rational for our actions. It comes from the belief that we evolved out of the sea into land animals, monkeys, and finally up from all fours into human stature, crude communities, and then cities.
What remains is the survival instinct. Out of it, the fittest will be on top, having stepped on all that might impede them. This is not judgmental. It is the creed of the self-made man of the twenty-first century. Regardless of what they profess, the majority live as if they have but one life. The so-called fittest believe they have one life to do what needs to be done. Is this frustrating to the rest of us? Definitely!
How did the humanity of today arise? There are two ways to understand how it might have evolved.
The first approach assumes that the connectivity between us is through a gene pool. It has been altered in some definite manner to reflect the change of our awareness. This assumes that consciousness is the basis for genetic alteration.
Some may insist that the alterations are made simply through physiological changes in human habit. To them, we are more upright than our supposed monkey ancestors only because we stand more often for various reasons.
For whichever reason, we make the necessary alterations in our genes through the instantiation of precisely the required changes in that life. Those alterations are passed down through the generations. Over a long time, we have arisen as humanity. Of this ancestry, a clear stream of genetic evidence must exist.
What is important in one's life may differ with each of us. Across the board, we all want success. Happiness rates a strong second. Ironically, that happiness may become our primary concern when we do not succeed. We might insincerely say to ourselves, "It is not winning that is important. It is how we play the game." If nothing else, we are great rationalists. In our own eyes, we survive.
Most are not as successful in today's terms as those tenacious to be on top. There are evolutionary changes required to get us from the trees to Madison Avenue. If it left to the majority, the genetic changes to bring this about would never have happened.
Science grants no apparent connection between any of us but our parents and their interconnections. How else are we to think? Granted, all children have parents and all parents had parents. Is there anything for us to consider? Does our choice of actions affect our genetic makeup and that of our descendents? Is it enough to just have been born? That is all that the majority of us have accomplished.
Because of the common viewpoint, most communicate poorly and accomplish little. We are haphazardly connected. How do we insure the progress of humanity? Do the few make all the genetic changes required of the many? Does this come out of their need to be the fittest?
This takes us to the second approach to the evolution of humanity. I find it the most interesting. Individuality is a two-sided sword. Our uniqueness cuts us away from each other. It also affords us the opportunity to become what we will.
Many settle for conformity. They accept the public outlook and local religion. Even so, there is still a great need to be individual, welling up continuously. That need cannot be stifled. Out of the struggle between laziness and the need to act on one's own behalf, one succumbs to various psychoses. The struggle can be so great that one is left with little concern for the welfare of others.
There are great philosophies, including Platonism, Buddhism, Kabbalism, and Christian Mysticism. There are great writings by Emerson, Kant, Spinoza, and Theosophists such as H.P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and Robert Crosbie. All are theosophical in how they keep alive in the minds of men the authentic intentions of the Wisdom Religion out of which all religions originate.
These philosophies and philosophers all support a key concept that reconciles the problem of human evolution. It is the idea of the Monad. The Monad is our pure individuality, existing metaphysically for us as the core of our beings. Considering this, H.P. Blavatsky brings the writings of Leibniz to our attention.
There is an urge we feel. These philosophies point us towards realizing it. We seek our ultimate pure individuality. That is our Monad. It reflects all of nature in itself and from itself. From a different point of view, it includes all other Monads in itself. It has that connectivity because each reflects all the rest.
In his MONADOLOGY, Leibniz responds to this urge to seek our pure selves. He tells us that the concept of the soul is inherent in religion and he gives it added life. It also enlivens psychology as well, because it shows that our behavioral difficulties arise from an ignorance of our true nature.
Any practice of separatism causes pain, being a lie within the soul. It is like a parent rejecting some of its children. This is the basis for "The Great Dire Heresy of Separatism" of Buddhism.
This realization is a panacea, a remedy that heals all. It is not a mere concept for the curious few while the many are left with a dead-letter religion. As H.P. Blavatsky says, "This is the birthright of Humanity."
When taken seriously, these ideas penetrate the personality like leavening in dough. They bring about fermentation and lightness. The process is initially unpleasant because it brings on a psychological revolution. At first, the polar opposites react upon the new ideas of connectedness and responsibility. Those who have gone on before have said that the strength of our resolve will be tested!
How do we connect to our evolution and errant sense of ethics? It proposes that each as Monad (or Soul) is our own ancestor. Born repeatedly, we are the cause of our own evolution. Each is born with an aspect of his highest, truest Self, the cause of his ethical capacity.
The Latin term "virtue" means power of the Soul. That points to an inherent discrimination of right from wrong of which we have become inattentive. The Soul is our North Pole. We have become addicted to the power of the South Pole. It comes from personality, which tends to create separation and its needs to support that which is inherently untrue about itself.
Within the makeup of the Monad is Atman (our universal soul), Buddhi (universal compassion), and Manas (pure intellection). This higher aspect of Manas is different than our personal mind, which is selfish and egocentric.
In individual evolution, the natural tendencies must conform to our Spiritual Nature. We cultivate a sense of wholeness, a feeling of belonging to that which we can never be apart. Qualities inherent to the nature of the Soul become part of our lives.
There is a triple evolution within each of us. (1) The moral evolution comes out of Atman, our pure spiritual nature. (2) The evolution of wisdom and compassion comes out of Buddhi. (3) The intellectual evolution comes out of Manas, which encompasses the qualities of mind including intellection and introspection. These are time-honored terms in various Eastern systems using the Sanskrit language. These three lines of evolution are accompanied by attendant lines of karma.
The triple evolution has its corresponding genetic effects, leading to physiological changes over time. At each birth, we begin with an inner nature having moral, psychological, and mental qualities through which we can experience that life and improve ourselves.
The complexities of this are daunting. At first, they may seem unnecessary. Think this out carefully and you will come to agree with our fathers of philosophy. Making our greatest concern the welfare of others, we learn our strengths and weaknesses. Doing so, the ethical alloy of the inner man replaces the dross of the superficial personality. We are left with bodies of finer material, more malleable to use in future incarnations. We make ourselves fit to keep company with those whose duty is to assist humanity in its struggle.
By George William Russell
[From THE CANDLE OF VISION, Chapter III, pages 15-18.]
Because I was a creature of many imaginings and of rapid alternations of mood, there came to me the assurance of a truth, of all truths most inspiring to one in despair in the Iron Age and lost amid the undergrowths of being.
I became aware of a swift echo or response to my own moods in circumstance that had seemed hitherto immutable in its indifference. I found every intense imagination or every new adventure of the intellect endowed with magnetic power to attract to it its own kin. Will and desire were as the enchanter's wand of fable. They drew to themselves their own affinities.
Around a pure atom of crystal, all the atoms of the element in solution gather. In like manner, one person after another emerged out of the mass, betraying their close affinity to my moods as they arose.
I met these people seemingly by accident along country roads. I entered into conversation with strangers and found they were intimates of the spirit. I could prophesy from the uprising of new moods in myself that I, without search, would soon meet people of a certain character, and so I met them.
Even inanimate things were under the sway of these affinities. They yielded up to me what they had special for my eyes. I have glanced in passing at a book left open by some one in a library, and the words first seen thrilled me, for they confirmed knowledge lately attained in vision. At another time, a book taken down idly from a shelf opened at a sentence quoted from the Upanishads. Then unknown to me, these scriptures sent my heart flying eastward. It answered a spiritual problem that I had been brooding over an hour before.
Hardly a week after my first awakening, I began to meet those whom were to be my lifelong comrades on the quest. Like me, they were in a boyhood troubled by the spirit. I had just attempted to write in verse when I met a boy whose voice was soon to be the most beautiful voice in Irish literature.
I sought none of these out because I had heard of them and surmised a kinship. The concurrence of our personalities seemed mysterious. It seemed controlled by some law of spiritual gravitation, like the law by which in the chemistry of nature makes one molecule fly to another.
I remember the exultation I felt with my realization about life. As Heraclites said, life was in flux. In all its flowing, there was meaning and law. I could not lose what was my own. I need not seek, for what was my own would come to me. If any passed, it was because they were no longer mine.
One buried in a dungeon for many years could not have hailed sunshine, the sweet-smelling earth, and the long hidden infinitude of the skies more joyously than I did the melting of that which had seemed immutable.
It is those who live and grow swiftly, and who continually compare what is without with what is within, who have this certainty. Those who do not change see no change and recognize no law. He who has followed even in secrecy many lights of the spirit can see one by one the answering torches gleam.
When I became certain of this, I accepted what befell me with resignation. I knew that all I met was part of me. I knew that what I could not comprehend relates by affinity to some yet unrealized forces in my being.
We have within us the Lamp of the World. Nature, the genie, is Slave of the Lamp. Nature must fashion life about us as we fashion it within ourselves. What we are alone has power. We may give up the outward personal struggle and ambition. If we leave all to the Law, nature will pay us all that is rightly ours.
Man becomes truly the Superman when he has this proud consciousness. No matter where he may be, in what seeming obscurity, he is still the King, still master of his fate. As he is mighty or is humble in the solitude of his spirit, circumstances reel about him or are still.
We are indeed most miserable when we dream we have no power over our circumstances. I account it the highest wisdom to know there is no destiny in the living universe than that we make for ourselves.
How the spirit kindles and feels its power! Outwardly quiet, it can see the coming and going of life, as it dilates within itself or is still. Then do we move in miracle and wonder. Then does the universe appear to us as it did to the Indian sage who said that to him who was perfect in meditation all rivers were sacred as the Ganges and all speech was holy.
By Claude Falls Wright
From THE PATH, November 1894, pages 250-53.]
"Ideas rule the world," quoted one of those whose influence in the Theosophical Society is not the less felt because its source is unperceived by most members. Yet there are many, even among our own Theosophists, who hold tightly to the notion that the world is held and even advanced by forms and words. From the ritualism and ceremonies of the Priesthood to the carefully rounded phrases of a Chesterfield there is scarcely a step. Both are equally useless to the development of the real man. The effort of each leads men away from the contemplation of the Spirit to the adoration of matter.
Humanity has ever been led away from its freedom and recognition of the eternal principle of Life, to make obeisance to the god of form -- and matter! Those in the past who said that all objectivity was Maya or illusion spoke a truth which must vibrate throughout all time, reverberating through the hearts of all who develop to the life of independence and power. For assuredly none can limit the changes in the Great Breath, whose perpetual motions in the unseen world make the varieties in this.
It is worthwhile to recognize this as a philosophy, and so prevent many mistakes. The world pulls this way and that, seeking her freedom in legislature and habit, oblivious to the fact that it is precisely these things which forge her chains. Belief in the necessity for Custom and Convention, sovereigns and saviors, and style and good usage are really born of the soulless. These all limit freedom of the Spirit and propose to chain it to one idea. Hence arise disputations, and from them warfare.
Yet even recognizing this, the philosopher will not rebel against them nor seek their immediate destruction. Emancipated, in the world though not of it, he will see that the world being held by forms, and that through them it must be aided and advanced to freedom.
Some will think it is going too far to say that the spirit of evil and stagnation is in form. But it is easy to demonstrate this truth. Every great leader, every genius, has thrown off the yoke of form-slavery, drawing his principles of action from the free source of things. Though often disregarding and destroying things men have long believed dear and sacred, yet while he lives men follow him and love him. Recognizing something of the heavenly power about him, they find strength in his freedom and delight to be in his presence and to know his thoughts. Who has not seen the spirit of life in a child? And there are none among us who upset customs more than children.
Buddha, Jesus, and the true religious founders destroyed all forms. Even though we see in them the great originators of present religious forms, it is not because they desired the forms that they should be so. Their ideas and wisdom were clothed in matter by their followers, who, possessing little recognition of the Spirit, were incapable of drawing life from anything but externals.
Poets and painters, musicians, geniuses of all kinds, are noted for their eccentricities, yet no one can doubt that they see deeper into the divinity of things than do the Philistines. Strange as it may seem, it is, after all, the power of ORIGINALITY which is indicative of possible progress in any human being. Without this the nature is in darkness. There is no light in it and no creative power.
The Theosophical Society was established on such a basis that should prevent, if possible, it ever being tied by forms. Yet how many there are who want to make it a RESPECTABLE institution! They will not help a brother unless he is of the same rank as them! How many, indeed, wish that HPB had not had eccentricities or had not done so much outwardly to vibrate and shock conventional shells. How many wish that fewer uneducated persons were in the ranks and more of those who are book-learned and well placed in Society!
Others are so caught in the web of form that they think it impossible for anyone to possess wisdom or light outside the Society's ranks. Let such know that there are many persons all over the world, outside the Theosophical Society, who have caught something of the Spirit of Wisdom just now lighting up the whole earth. These as well as Theosophical Society members are surely being helped by the Great Brotherhood behind.
The Theosophical Society has its own work to do. It was the originator of these thoughts in the West. Through its members they must be given to the world. And if taken up and used by others outside, a part here and a part there, sometimes imperfectly, generally unacknowledged, it is no harm, but always unconsciously aiding the world. There are no forms here, no priesthood. Each one has a personal wisdom and should hasten to let the world know of it.
It is not only the Theosophical Society we work for, as a Society merely. This is a great danger to be avoided. It is for the Society only as a useful vehicle of ideas that we labor. It will fade and fall to pieces sometime. Let us trust it may be destroyed long before it approaches the possibility of creating any priesthood within itself. The ideas the world and our race have received through it will live and will have molded the thought of the people almost without their knowing it. We shall be forgotten, but the thoughts we have passed on will live. Members should recollect they are not building an institution, but only erecting a temporary structure in which a little wisdom has been stored.
Many in the Society are just now used by those "behind the scenes," to become vehicles of truth. They are intended to hand it on. Once the brain has opened to the Light only one thing can again close it, that is, the KEEPING BACK OF WISDOM FROM OTHERS.
Many receive knowledge in a flash of intuition, and instead of giving it out at some Branch meeting or to someone who may need it, they keep it hid away to burst it forth later in a carefully-written paper or lecture, so that they may receive credit for their ideas and not have them stolen by others beforehand. Their ideas will then find no ground in which to take root. They should have been given out when received. In time, such persons will, if this habit be kept up, lose the spiritual power they now possess.
The setting free of ideas in the world at the right moment has a great deal to do with the development of occult powers, however little connection between these two matters there may seem to be. It is pure personality and selfishness that make one hold back and wait until the thoughts can be given out with greater credit to one.
Madame Blavatsky launched her wisdom into the world without any consideration of herself. Probably her thought was something of this nature: "I know my English is faulty, I know my science is not of the best, but my wisdom is true, and it must be sent forth. Others will steal my ideas and knowledge for their own glorification, but it does not matter, that is their own loss. They are also helping me in my labor. "
So it is that work which must be done, and speedily lest we lose the knowledge ere we have penned it. Let loose the ideas among the people. Do not hold them till you can get glory by them. Do not wait until you can understand Sanskrit, can write classical English, and have made a name for yourself in the world before you become a worker.
This is all fear of form. To be sure, the better the instrument the better the work, but the means must not be mistaken for the end. The time is short. Only a few more years exist for active work. Let the ideas loose in the world at all costs. It does not matter at what loss of fame to you. After all, on your deathbed you will know that it is the IDEA -- spiritual or otherwise -- of life that you have had, and your virtue, that are the important things, not how much you have known of other men's thoughts, or how correctly you have dressed.
The Ideas live and rule, not the words that clothed them nor the imagery used for their expression. And it is well known that he who thus impersonally acts comes more and more directly in relationship with the Brotherhood of Light.
By Phillip A. Malpas
[The following comes from a series that appeared in THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, under Katherine Tingley as Editor and published at the Point Loma Theosophical Community. It later appeared in book form under the title TRUE MESSIAH: THE STORY AND WISDOM OF APOLLONIUS OF TYANA 3 B.C. -- 96 A.D., published by Point Loma Publications.]
Who and what was Apollonius of Tyana? In plain language he was the spiritual mainspring of the first century A.D. for Greece and Europe, immeasurably the greatest man of the years that covered Roman history from the days of Augustus to the death of Domitian and after. He lived from the time assigned to the birth of Jesus to 96 A.D. and a little beyond, perhaps passing the goal of a century of mortal years and living through the reigns of twelve Roman Emperors.
Why was he the greatest man of the time? Because he was the spiritual center of the western world; and as spirituality surpasses intellect more even than intellect does brute force, so his greatness surpassed that of all his contemporaries. The fact that intellect and the animal power of militarism are more spectacular and better advertised has nothing whatever to do with the matter. Nor does it matter in the least that spiritual power to very many may be a vague sort of term that means anything or nothing. If today it is not understood as a real thing, then it will be someday. Enough that there are always some who have it, and always some who understand it.
The difficulty for the historian is that a spiritual character usually loves the utmost privacy, and if some few facts of his life become public, it is somewhat rare to find anything of his personality in history. Often he is but a name, though fragments of his thought and teachings may last through the ages. Precisely this would have been the case with Apollonius had not a group of mystics under the Empress Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus, the Emperor so well known in Britain, gathered information about him and edited and published the diary of his Assyrian disciple, Damis. There is reason to believe that this diary or history, as edited, has a double signification, being on the one hand a plain narrative with some few rather far-fetched and seemingly absurd passages, and on the other a mystical and symbolical history in which the much-derided absurdities are often a kind of code or cipher linking the disjointed portions of the complete plan, or disguising in technically mystic language things of a nature private to the mystic and forbidden to the profane.
Indeed, there is nothing to prevent Philostratus from using the well-known philosophical method of narrating historical facts with a secondary (or primary) symbolical meaning, plain to the students of his school, but to the profane, a mere "mythical" anecdote. The method is not unknown in our own day, and if some ancient histories were read in the face of this fact, there would be found more sense in the 'fables' with which those histories are loaded.
Needless to say, this edited and abridged history, based on the translation of the Rev. Edward Berwick, is merely a narrative and a record of teachings. For the complete work, and a scholarly translation of the book by Philostratus, nothing can be better than that of Conybeare. Our own aim and purpose, and our only contribution, is to present the simple narrative and the philosophy that has been given to the public in a short and readable form, for the use and pleasure of those who cannot delve into the Greek and do not wish to make the task of reading the history of Apollonius too long. In these days of personality worship, it may be necessary to say that the philosophy of Apollonius is the important thing, while his personality is subordinate.
As we progress in our narrative, it will be convenient to give a few quotations from contemporary literature, although nothing new or of import about Apollonius has hitherto been given to the public except for the valuable comments of H.P. Blavatsky. We mention her because, as students of Theosophy know, she had access to records of the school of philosophy to which Apollonius belonged, and what she says may be relied upon. In ISIS UNVEILED and in THE THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY, she mentions one or two interesting matters.
We turn now to the year 210 A.D. The Roman Emperor, Septimius Severus, was a man well known in Britain as a soldier and governor, and his reputation for study was widespread. Quite likely he was an occult student who, as all students must, kept his researches to himself, if they are not to cease to be occult. Or, possibly, he was merely a dabbler in occult arts, such as are common enough at all times, but there is a balance in favor of his being connected with the more serious pursuit of occultism.
The popular description of such a man was quite as usual. The historian of THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE quotes it in the terms one might expect. He says that Septimius Severus was passionately addicted to the study of magic and divination, and besides the study of the interpretation of dreams and omens, was perfectly acquainted with the science of judicial astrology. What other description of his studies would be likely to pass current in the public gossip of the time?
Of the Empress, Julia Domna, it is said, "she applied herself to letters and philosophy with some success and great application; and was the patroness of every art and the friend of every man of genius."
Septimius Severus had been on the throne of the Caesars since the year 194 A.D. With him the western world entered the last septenary of the "last quarter of the century" during which, we are told by H.P. Blavatsky, an effort is made to enlighten a portion of that western world with Eastern wisdom. The Eleusinian mysteries, or their shadow, still existed, but there was not very much life left in them. Queer things had been happening in Alexandria with the 'Jewish superstition.' People who ought to have known better, such as Origen and Clement, are reproached by Porphyry (i.e. "Purple") for breaking away from their philosophy derived from Ammonius, and, as it were, selling it to Christianity, whereas Ammonius himself had been born of Christian parents and had abandoned that teaching. Persecutions had been rife and martyrdoms common at that very time. Precisely what passed for Christianity at that date would be difficult to define today. Even our histories of the period in this matter are 'arranged.'
If we let our imagination run a little, we may almost perceive something in the nature of an esoteric school of philosophy at the court, Julia Domna, the learned Empress, being prominently connected with it. We may at the same time sense a counter-influence which must have attained no little force to have raised its head so high as to have taken the methods of the Neo-Platonist school of Alexandria and carried them into the opposition camp, or at any rate grafted them onto the rival traditions, as Porphyry declares. However that may be, we are not concerned with it at the moment. If our imagination is not at fault, however, we have a picture of the Empress as the central star of a galaxy of learning at the court, with a strong bias in favor of the good old philosophy, now so much corrupted with all sorts of innovations.
It might not even be going too far to suspect that her school was the lineal descendant of the famous esoteric school of philosophy which adorned and illumined Ephesus exactly a century before, when the clash and cacophony of strange doctrines was not so strident and insistent in the Empire.
Already, we must suppose, the consolidating plastic mass of the new literature would be following closely the trend of the philosophies which went into its make-up of strange echoes of the mysteries, incidents in the lives of their adepts, the materializing of their allegories, the modernizing of their ancient parables, and adaptation of traditional histories to recent dates. Origen and Clement were really learned men who had drunk at the fountain of the Neo-Platonic school of Alexandria; but they had both of them thought it policy to go bodily with their learning over to the rising school of Christianity. It is quite possible that they did this at first with the idea of preserving what they could of the old philosophy in the coming storm, but it may have been cowardice, failure, desertion, ambition, or any one of the strange motives that impel even initiates of such a school to unexpected actions. The point is that they did it.
What more natural then, than that their traditions, allegories, rituals, and others of other schools should be made to act in a similar manner and be transferred to the new schools? We may look upon it as a barefaced robbery. But to them it was a merit to build these old stones in the new edifice, just as a cathedral has been injected in later centuries into the middle of the forest of columns of the mosque of Cordova. Those who did it thought it a worthy action.
The quiet school around the Empress Julia Domna could not but be aware of these little tendencies. Their system and plan were fairly safe from spoliation because they kept it to themselves, or at least disguised it in allegory and symbol, the more effective for being in outward appearance very simple and commonplace narrative and fable, though some of the deeper teachings were concealed under the strange jargon of the alchemists, as they had been for millenniums past.
Yet the signs of the coming break-up were not wanting. What could they do to meet the tidal wave that threatened to overwhelm them? Their esotericism would die out and with it their tradition, if it were not to be preserved in some outward public form. Already it was being nibbled into by the mice of the disintegrating sects that were growing up around them.
Obviously, a book must be written, half-revealing, half-concealing what they would preserve. As to the kind of book, there could be little doubt that a narrative, a biography, would be most suitable. It would arouse no great disputations or weird interpretations, yet it could contain all they needed to say. What more appropriate than a life of the great Apollonius who had passed away precisely a century before, after a career of sanctity and purity known the world over? They had access to the diary of his Assyrian pupil and companion, Damis, and such other documents as were available. Likely enough these were among the archives of their community, but it was sufficient for the outside world to know that the learned empress "collected them." They were crude though voluminous, and needed editing. In other words, they needed arranging so as to contain within the body of the narrative and discourses the inner body of the teachings and the philosophical system. This arrangement required skill and art, and the right man was found for the purpose in Flaccus, or Flavius Philostratus, son of Verus, who had once taught rhetoric at Athens, and was known for his speeches and tracts. His eloquence was such that he was known as the 'Sophist' among the group around the Empress.
If he was not a secret Pythagorean, he knew enough of the system to do his work thoroughly. For Apollonius was a Pythagorean in the double sense that he first followed the rule of Pythagoras and then became a direct pupil of the Indian School of Philosophy to which Pythagoras had belonged as a pupil before him.
By James Sterling
I see a vision in a crystal wave, Shimmering cave of liquid glass. Crashing waves on eternity's shores, Bathing sand with sweet, white foam. A vision in a hollow wave, Those traveling swells Traversing across the sea; Gulls screaming in the sun. Gallant armies clashed On the shores of ceaseless waves. Frigid water soaking through boots, Trudging forward in the sand, Only to be butchered by the faceless Enemy on the silent bluff. The waves were transparent and green, And then bloody red of dying men From the Trojan Wars to Tripoli. Waves were there and crashed in bloody Protest, but only the men on shore Knew the price to be paid. Men who knew not the eternity Of the waves. But I knew. I see a vision in a crystal wave Of gasping men on foreign shores Floating head down in shallow water Pounded by the knowing waves, Waves that pound on dead men or Seaweed just the same. A vision in a wave lasts but a moment Before the sun ducks behind a yellow cloud. The wind blows in from the west And waves crumble before my eyes, Leaving nothing but the flat sea And a feeling of melancholy pounding In my veins. From the Trojan Wars to Tripoli, The waves of eternity pounded Unyielding, unprotesting, repetitious, Like the dying of bleeding men. When winds blow, waves crumble. I turn back from the sea, leaving waves And dead bodies of the past to rock One another to sleep. The sun sets leaving the beach empty; The gulls have flown elsewhere for shelter. Nothing remains but the waves pounding in Nature's rhythm with the throbbing sea.
By Boris de Zirkoff
[This talk comes from the first part of a tape recording entitled "A Discussion on Rounds" made of a private class held on June 8, 1955.]
It is nice to consider worthwhile, noble, and elevating subjects quietly. The get-togethers have an objective, our study of the Ancient Wisdom. From another angle, having an objective sounds odd. We are earnest students. When we get together, our meetings do not have to have a particular objective since the search for truth motivates us.
Our meeting together is hardly an objective in itself. It comes from a dedication of search and thinking. Gathered as earnest seekers, we generate a combined force. It is of benefit to all present, even those not opening their mouths at all. Just getting together with a spirit of dedication to search for spiritual realities, we already generate force. It is not just a force between us, but also unquestionably one going out and benefiting others unbeknownst to them.
First, consider one aspect of the Rounds. In each Round, we populate the earth Globe-by-Globe. In this Round, we have gone through the process on Globes A, B, and C. We are down to Globe D.
We perform the same circulations in an individual lifetime. An incarnation ends and we pass into a passive state. Between successive incarnations as a human being, we alternate between embodied existence and the devachanic sleep. When the time comes to become active and incarnate again, do we come straight to Globe D or do we start at Globe A? Do we jump into existence on Globe D right out of some subjective state?
The answer is no. Without exception, all entities have to use existing channels or pathways. The circulations of the universe follow certain definite lines. This includes the visible and invisible, things of all natures including the material, psychic, astral, intellectual, and spiritual.
By analogy, we say they are as definite as the rivers of earth, the channels followed by trade winds, and the paths followed by cyclones. Every continent has its own paths over which storms always move. It is just as definite with the oceans, where we have mapped the various currents to a considerable extent. Rarely do they change. When they do, they change the weather.
The circulations of the inner world are just as definite. In order to enter into the planetary chain, you have to enter through its openings. In order to enter into a Globe of the planetary chain, you have to enter through its openings as well.
There are the unmanifest Globes, the upper five of the twelve. HPB hardly mentions them in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. Disregarding them, we speak of the manifest seven, Globes A to G. In every case, the entrance into the planetary chain is through Globe A. This is true whether it be a life-wave, the beginnings of a Root Race on a Globe, or the entrance into incarnation of a being, human or otherwise.
For the present, Globe D is our main abode. This is our central gravity for millions of years. Before anyone can embody here, he must pass on his downward arc from the Devachanic condition into the embodied condition. This downward journey passes through Globes A, B, and C, having brief embodiments on these upper Globes.
These embodiments are not physical. Do not view them as similar to ours here. They may be brief, fleeting, or perhaps not so brief. For all we know, they may be on the plane of the life-atom or even non-physical. They will take some form on the upper Globes for a time. On these Globes, we pick up substances and elements belonging to our constitution from these Globes.
The entity has to come down into embodiment on Globe D with the elements and substances of Globes A, B, and C within its constitution. As part of the human life-wave, it has already lived and evolved on these Globes four times. In round the first, round the second, round the third, and round the fourth, it was on Globes A, B, and C. As part of the human life-wave, it is now on Globe D.
An entity has many karmic connections with these upper Globes. These are not fleeting connections. In the human life-wave on previous Rounds and in this Round already, he was centered on these Globes for a long time. Now, he embodies as a human on Globe D. Therefore, his embodiments on the other Globes are incidental.
The human embodies himself on Globe D and eventually dies. After the second death in the Kamaloka of Globe D, he enters into Devachan. It is a spiritual condition that we might call ecstasy. His godlike parent, the Spiritual Monad carries him within its bosom or encompassing consciousness. As he ascends through the higher Globes of the chain, his devachanic sleep within the Monad becomes more complete.
In death, the human entity leaves the planetary chain by going through the upper Globes. There is no other way. Entering sleep, he does precisely the same thing. Do we have any embodiments on those outgoing Globes? Yes, but picture them as fleeting, rapid, without human self-consciousness.
In THE MAHATMA LETTERS, there is an extensive letter on Rounds and Races. It speaks of many incarnations, all in divisions of sevens or some power of seven. Would these fleeting embodiments figure in their mathematics? Before reaching D, would the manifestation we have on Globe A, B, and C count as embodiments? No. The explanation there refers to full-limit, full-sized embodiments of the entity on whichever Globe the life-wave centers on.
In the Fourth Round, when the life-wave centered on Globe A, B, then C, the human entity had many incarnations on the respective Globe. He had lives in the various Root Races belonging to the Globe. The time for life on the higher Globes is in the past. For millions of years, the center of gravity of our evolution has been on Globe D. For millions of years more, the dynamic growth and experience will remain here. Then the whole life-wave will pass onto Globe E. When that has happened, our Globe D embodiments will be fleeting.
Why do we humans seem to be always on Globe D? We are not always on this Globe. We are here for a period of time only, the last few million years and a few million years more. That is just a week or month in the soul's evolution.
These embodiments on the superior Globes are not taking place during the nine-month gestation of a new physical body on Globe D. The Reincarnating Ego is still in its devachanic sleep within the Monad, which has not reached Globe D at all. Conception and the beginning of gestation have not happened on Globe D because the human has not contacted the Globe yet. It is not here at all. It is on the Descending Arc somewhere. Descending through these Globes, the Monad carries the Reincarnating Ego to Globe D in its bosom. That Ego is almost completely in devachanic sleep.
The Monad will reach Globe D eventually. The Reincarnating Ego will contact the particular life-atom that will become the center for its conception and growth. For a long time after birth, the child will still be halfway in a dream. Until it starts talking, taking a five-mile walk, it is still not out of Devachan.
The Ego issues out of the devachanic condition gradually while the new body grows. The monadic self guides this process of gestation. The Christians would call it his Guardian Angel. The incarnating ego cannot help guide the process because it is still in devachanic sleep. One's own inner godhood guides this process, which builds the new brain and nervous system.
Issuing out of Devachan, the Ego pours its life energies into the form eventually. The greater the intensity of pouring, the wider-awake the individual becomes. Some reach adulthood mentally in early boyhood and girlhood. They are advanced. The less-advanced people reach adulthood later. In some cases, people go through life dazed and without self-consciousness. Curiously, they are not altogether out of Devachan their entire life, an unfortunate state of affairs.
As we pass through the Globes on our way out of the planetary chain, we leave on the Globes the corresponding essences of our constitution belonging to these Globes. As we go down through the descending Globes into incarnation, we pick them up. How can we pick up on Globes A, B, and C what we left on E, F, and G? Everything is in circulation. Everything moves around. Nothing stays in any one place too long. There is a circulation through the Globes of the various currents of life-atoms as well.
There will always be a physical embodiment, even in the Seventh Round. The same is true of the other parts of us. In that last Round, they will still exist. We will have completely purified and raised them to its nth degree of spirituality. Our physical vehicle is going to be fully and perfectly spiritual instead of the imperfect thing that it is now. The same is true of other parts of our nature.
Become familiar with these thoughts. Think them over in the quiet when opportunity arises. As you do, they become more logical, systematic, organized, and sensible. We now face what appears to add a complication to a formerly complex picture. This only seems so because we are unfamiliar with these thoughts. Dwelling on them more, they make more sense, the complexity dissolving into a pattern of great beauty, of magnificent harmony.
Now we come to a further complication. What incarnates on Globe D? The Monad does. The sevenfold, compound human constitution has a part having its habitat throughout the planetary chain. We call it the Intellectual Monad. Also called the Chain Monad, it is at the state of evolution making it at home throughout all the Globes.
It has twelve rays or twelve subordinate monadic centers. Each is for one of the Globes of the planetary chain. These twelve children Monads, twelve rays, or twelve essences all derive from the Chain Monad. Each has a corresponding magnetic relation to one of the twelve Globes of the chain.
The man on earth is the Globe D ray of the Chain Monad. That Monad has one such subordinate ray on each of the other Globes as well. We say the reincarnating entity takes brief embodiments on Globes A, B, and C on its way down to Globe D. What we mean is that on each Globe on the way down, the aspect of the Monad belonging to that Globe briefly embodies. Likewise, after death as the entity goes up the chain through Globes E, F, and G, the aspect belonging to those Globes embodies. The Globe D entity does not embody on the other Globes. Students have difficulty with this point. Be careful since this may seem confusing.
These twelve children come from the Chain Monad. That Monad is our parent. It is at home throughout the entire planetary chain. We are one-twelfth aspect of the Chain Monad. Like a family of twelve children, we have one common parent in the planetary Chain Monad. While the Globe D child is alive, the other children are active to some extent. Their activity and evolution are relatively latent, because the whole center of gravity is on Globe D now.
It would not be correct to say that they are inactive. Everything evolves all the time. The impetus of dynamic evolution is limited to Globe D as far as our hierarchy is concerned at present. It has not always been so. It will not always be that way. This is obvious because the life-wave moves from one Globe to the next. I do not want to complicate this more. It is complicated enough. I just want to point out the pattern.
We can say that when the individual dies here he will pass through the upper Globes of the chain. He does have a fleeting embodiment there. It is correct provided you realize it is another aspect of his consciousness that embodies there, not the Globe D aspect.
When the life-wave leaves Globe D and enters Globe E, the Globe D ray goes into a state of dormancy as the Globe E ray becomes central. The E aspect of the twelvefold entity now predominates.
Would it be accurate to speak of the Globe E aspects having THEIR lives, just as we Globe D aspects currently have OUR lives? No, this would be somewhat inaccurate. Consider a partial illustration. Picture a wheel with twelve segments, each with a different color. At various times, one of the twelve colors predominates, shining brighter than the others do. Eventually, all twelve have had a turn to shine brighter than the rest. They are the twelve aspects of the combined consciousness of the Chain Monad.
To avoid creating confusion, I will say little more on this. Having been men and women on Globe D, are any of us in this room ever going to manifest as men and women on Globe E? Yes, we will. Will that be as male and female? In certain stages of global evolution, the division into polarities will exist in some form. It does not have to be identical with what we have here.
What is the "we" that I mention? It is the human self-consciousness. It is not the personality or the lower part of us. It is that which is today self-conscious, something that we cannot say of the cat, dog, or horse, although they stand on the borderline. What can we postulate of us as human beings? We know that we are self-consciousness. Our human nature is that center within us that has unfolded consciousness to the point of recognizing ourselves. It is consciousness turned upon itself or self-consciousness.
We speak of the transfer of consciousness from Globe D to Globe E. If the Globe D consciousness exists and then goes into dormancy, what is it that passes onto the next Globe? Picture again the wheel with twelve spokes. Another colored spoke is coming into operation at that time.
Look upon our human consciousness of today. That individual in us is twelvefold. Even our self-consciousness is twelvefold. We know a degree of self-consciousness of a Globe D type now. We will become aware of self-consciousness of a Globe E type eventually. It is the same entity, but another aspect of it.
Consider another illustration along physical lines, imperfect but having value. You live in a house. A certain type of consciousness identifies you. You have a name. No one confuses you with anybody else. You are individual. You are not always living the same aspect of your individuality.
When in the kitchen preparing a meal, you are not a scholar. Your consciousness works along a certain keynote. When in your den working on important business matters or literary works, another aspect of your consciousness is at work. When in the living room entertaining guests, you are neither the scholar nor the man in the kitchen. When at the end of the day in your bedroom, you enter into an entirely different aspect of your individual self-consciousness, different from the rest.
Within the same day, you manifest differing aspects of your individual consciousness. This shows it is compound in constitution, perhaps differing so widely that you may be practically unrecognizable when changing location and keynote of consciousness. This illustration is not a perfect, but has value.
An intuitive way to put the circulation of consciousness through the Globes is to picture the wind of the spirit. Picture leaves on a tree. As the wind passes through the tree, each leaf quivers in turn, becoming predominant for a time. There is a passage of a spiritual wind, of a spiritual essence or effluvia or current. Each of the twelve rays of the Chain Monad stir into life in its turn.
In subjects like this, practically everything said arouses new questions. We wonder what about this or what about that. Invariably, my teacher had his students dwell on understanding the essentials or skeletal outline. He filled in the details when his students had really understood and grasped the main idea. Naturally, in discussing these things today, we are far ahead of just an outline. We have entered into some detail. That is where our difficulty lies.
There are entities of all kinds, human, superhuman, animal, vegetable, mineral, and elemental. Regardless of kingdom, the only way in which any can enter into the chain of Globes is through its upper Globes. One cannot jump into any Globe directly. There is no such entry. The only way to exit is by the Ascending Arc, passing through the upper Globes in succession.
There are all sorts of analogies and repercussions to this idea. Analogies are really repercussions. A man draws a certain note on a violin and shatters a glass. We can call that a repercussion. We can also call it an analogy. By what means do we reproduce the analogous vibratory rate over there also? We do so by means of repercussion. There is a tremendous science back of that, one sorely disregarded by modern science.
Modern science knows some of the laws of repercussion but does not use them. Consider when scientists explode one of their atom bombs. They should realize this is going to produce repercussions. They would realize this if they would put their minds to it and allowed themselves to think more freely than their theories permit. These repercussions are not merely noise but rather the arousing of overtones and undertones in aspects of nature's forces. Scientists do not know exactly where and how this happens. That is where they prove themselves blind, ignorant children playing with fire.
The life-waves of the planetary chain begin in the upper Globes. They circle down, center for millions of years on every Globe, and then circle up the Ascending Arc. That constitutes one Round. They do that seven times and then the chain ends. Subordinate to the evolution of life-waves as a whole, there are many other life processes. They follow the same route on the corresponding hierarchical planes. We know this by analogy.
On any particular scale of being, on any particular plane, everything that evolves uses the same route or channel. The life-waves pass down the Descending Arc and up the Ascending Arc. The minor circulation of one human incarnation does the same. It is a process of embodiment downward. One strikes bottom where a full life period of physical incarnation takes place. Then there is the channeling of the Ego back into the spiritual world via the Ascending Arc.
Take a bigger scale of being. There are the Outer Rounds. We have discussed them but little so far. On them, there are life-waves of a greater cycle, of a greater sweep. According to the same pattern, the life-waves pass through a number of planetary chains. I am not saying what kind of a chain the earth is, whether first, second, fourth, fifth, or twenty-fifth. It is one of a chain of chains. The pattern of Descending and Ascending Arcs prevails here too.
Another aspect involves the element principles of our constitution. There is a circulation of life-atoms within the full-fledged twelvefold constitution of a man. This is obviously not composed of life-waves. There are not human beings circulating within him. There are life-atoms going through a Descending Arc down to the physical body and then up an Ascending Arc into the spiritual reaches of his constitution.
This idea has an extremely practical application. Suppose someone has indulged in evil thinking. It was selfish, greedy, inharmonious, and unbalanced with nature's laws. He has indulged in that thinking, giving embodiment to many mental life-atoms impregnated with certain twisted and distorted energy on his mental plane.
Eventually, these life-atoms are going to circle down into the lower parts of his constitution. Wherever they go, they will engender disharmonious vortices of force. Reaching the astral constitution, they engender astral disharmonies. Reaching down to the physical plane, they engender disease.
How long is it going to take? Will it happen within the same life or take several lifetimes to happen? I do not know. Eventually, what one has generated on the higher planes will circle down to the lower planes. For ultimate purification, it will then go up eventually.
If that individual indulged in and built a wonderful trend of ideas and feelings, those will manifest eventually too. They will show themselves on the physical plane as great joy, happiness, abundance, or fortune. Something will accrue to the benefit of that individual and others. Why is this? Everything follows the same pattern, the same analogical channeling through the various planes. This is true whether they are the planes of the human constitution, the planes of the planetary chain, or the planes of the solar system on which the various chains are situated.
Consider this and realize that these abstruse teachings have practical application in our daily life.